To quote William Shakespeare: "A Corolla hatchback by any other name would be as handy." (OK, I'm paraphrasing.)
As it turns out, it's even handier.
The Corolla hatchback used to be called Corolla iM, but that inherited name no longer fits. So the all-new Corolla hatchback is christened, logically enough, Corolla Hatchback.
By way of explanation, a hatchback labeled "Corolla" has been on offer since model-year 2017 under the moniker Corolla iM -- a then-logical name in light of the fact that the car had started life a year earlier as the Scion iM. Alas, the Scion brand assumed room temperature after the 2016 model year, and the hatchback Scion iM in 2017 morphed into the hatchback Toyota Corolla iM. Same car, different name.
Which brings us to iM's replacement.
For 2019, the five-door Corolla disavows all Scion antecedents, bowing as an all-new hatchback and, no doubt, foreshadowing a future new Corolla sedan. For the moment, however, this reborn Corolla arrives exclusively as a hatch.
Unrelated to the current U.S.-market Corolla, the 2019 hatchback rides Toyota's New Global Architecture ("TNGA" to its friends), shared by Toyota's Euro-market Auris hatch. Compared to the outgoing iM, the roomier newcomer is 1.5 inches longer and 1.2 inches wider while boasting a roofline that's an inch closer to the tarmac. It all rides a 103.9-inch wheelbase, which casts an inch-and-a-half of additional shadow.
Set to be offered in two trims -- SE and XSE, the former riding 16-inch wheels, the latter 18's -- the new hatch boasts the familiar big-mouth Toyota grille, a sleeker profile (thanks in large part to its longer length and lower roof), and a rakish, more steeply slanted tailgate.
That body, covering TNGA's copious aluminum and high- and ultra-high strength steel, is, Toyota says, an astounding 60 percent stiffer, torsionally speaking, than was iM. That should translate to a quieter cabin, more solid road manners and additional athleticism in the handling department.
Inside, a humongous 8-inch display screen, looming large over a simple center stack and a wider floor console, dominates the all-new interior decor.
Of course, the requisite infotainment stuff is here -- USB charging ports, Amazon Alexa integration, Apple CarPlay compatibility, Wi-Fi, Siri Eyes Free, voice recognition -- as are the expected safety nannies, like stability and traction control, Brake Assist and Smart Stop Technology. A Blind Sport Monitor is available.
Powering it all is a new 2.0-liter "Dynamic-Force" inline four that mates to either a new six-speed manual transmission or to an equally new CVT automatic.
One of the debits of iM is its lethargic CVT, but Toyota promises the new car's "Dynamic-Shift CVT" will enhance the fun quotient with its "physical first gear," for more responsive launches, and its "10-speed" manual-mode steps.
Notably more potent than the current iM, the new Corolla Hatchback gets power from a 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 168 hp and 151 lb.-ft. of torque -- numbers that represent increases of 31 and 25, respectively, over the iM's 1.8-liter four.
Look for the 2019 Corolla Hatchback this summer. No pricing yet, but our guess is a tad north of the 2018 iM's base of $19,745.