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The redesigned hatchback version of Toyota’s compact car has earned a Top Safety Pick award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).  

The 2019 Toyota Corolla hatchback, which shares a name but little else with the Corolla sedan, missed out on the Top Safety Pick+ award because of headlights that earned “Marginal” and “Acceptable” awards depending on the trim level. The agency, backed by the insurance industry and informed by what lowers risk (and saves lives), requires “Good”-rated headlights for a car to earn its highest praise.

MORE: Read our 2019 Toyota Corolla review

As in many new cars, the better of two LED projector headlight options on the Corolla hatchback are reserved for the range-topping Corolla XSE with the optional Preferred package. Those headlights earned a higher score in part because they are curve-adaptive and move with steering inputs. The standard LED headlights on the Corolla SE and base XSE are fixed. 

In its barrage of instrumented crash tests, the 2019 Corolla hatchback scored “Good” marks in every category. Its standard active safety gear rates “Superior,” the highest score awarded.

The Corolla sedan is also a Top Safety Pick, although it hasn’t been subjected to the demanding passenger-side small-overlap test that simulates impact with a stationary object such as a utility pole. Regardless of trim, the Corolla sedan’s headlights scored “Acceptable.” 

The two Corollas may share a name, but they have different lineage. The hatchback was designed primarily for the European market and is sold overseas as the Toyota Auris, while the Corolla sedan was intended mainly for North American buyers. 


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