2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback Nightshade - Review by Mark Fulmer
A Snazzy Looking and Handling Urban Runabout
By Mark Fulmer
The Auto Channel
This is the third year of the Corolla Hatchback and the first year of its Nightshade edition. The Nightshade has a black front lower grille surround and a black diffuser, a black rear spoiler, and 18-inch black alloy wheels. In addition there are black heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, along with full-speed adaptive cruise control and lane tracing assist.
A naturally-aspirated2.0-liter four-cylinder engine provides 168 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque. Sport Mode quickens the shifts - keep in mind that this is a nimble shuttlecraft and not a neck-snapping rocket. The 13.2 gallon fuel tank gives you around 450 mile range with mpg numbers of 30/38/33. The suspension, handling, and braking do just fine in town or on the freeway and the overall agility makes for a pleasing and precise driving experience. I found that switching to the Sport mode when entering a highway gave good results.
The safety systems have been upgraded, with rear seat-mounted airbags added for a total of ten airbags. Also included are pre-collision with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, automatic high beams, and road sign assistance. Add to that heated power outside mirrors with turn signal indicators, as well as full-speed adaptive cruise control and lane tracing assist.
The interior is a clean modern-looking design that gives the feeling of a more expensive car, and although the rear seat is a bit snug, it offers decent space for five adults. The headroom in front is 38.4 inches, 37.6 inches in the rear, while legroom is 42 inches in the front, and 29.9 inches in the rear.
A standard eight-inch touch screen is mounted high in the dashboard and the images are well detailed HD for easy readability. The usual digital suspects of USB and auxiliary inputs live both in the lower dash and the center console and are compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The vehicle includes a three-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a five-year corrosion warranty, a five-year/60,000-mile drivetrain warranty, two years of roadside assistance, and a two-year/25,000-mile maintenance plan.
For folks looking for an affordable, reliable, cost-effective vehicle that both looks good and is a fun drive, be sure to test drive the '21 Corolla.