2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback vs. 2019 Ford Fiesta

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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The Corolla Hatchback has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats (WIL), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WIL system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard Pre-Collision System, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Fiesta doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Fiesta doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Corolla Hatchback’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Corolla Hatchback’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the Fiesta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras and available blind spot warning systems.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback weighs 432 to 523 pounds more than the Ford Fiesta. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Crosswinds also affect lighter cars more.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is safer than the Fiesta Sedan:


Corolla Hatchback


Overall Evaluation






Head Neck Evaluation



Head injury index



Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

77 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

4 cm

5 cm

Chest Evaluation



Hip & Thigh Evaluation



Femur Force R/L

.9/.5 kN

2.7/1.8 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L



Lower Leg Evaluation



Tibia index R/L



Tibia forces R/L

1.6/2 kN

5.7/3.4 kN

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its available headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Corolla Hatchback the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 85 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Fiesta was not even a standard “Top Pick” for 2016.


Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hatchback for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Fiesta.


A hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs, drives the camshafts in the Corolla Hatchback’s engine. A rubber cam drive belt that needs periodic replacement drives the Fiesta’s camshafts. If the Fiesta’s belt breaks, the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the Corolla Hatchback’s reliability 42 points higher than the Fiesta.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 38 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Ford is ranked 18th.


The Corolla Hatchback’s 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 48 more horsepower (168 vs. 120) and 43 lbs.-ft. more torque (155 vs. 112) than the Fiesta’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Ford Fiesta (manual transmissions tested):




Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

9 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

16.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

88.4 MPH

82.8 MPH

As tested in Consumer Reports the Toyota Corolla Hatchback is faster than the Ford Fiesta (automatics tested):




Zero to 30 MPH

3.4 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.7 sec

10.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.4 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

16.8 sec

18.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87 MPH

79.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hatchback gets better fuel mileage than the Fiesta:





Corolla Hatchback



2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

28 city/37 hwy



SE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

32 city/42 hwy



XSE 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl.

30 city/38 hwy




1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/35 hwy



1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

27 city/37 hwy


A six-speed manual is standard on the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, with closer gear ratios for better performance and a lower final drive ratio for quieter highway operation, less engine wear and better fuel mileage. Only a five-speed manual is available for the Fiesta.

The Corolla Hatchback offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a CVT.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has a downshift rev synchronizer that automatically raises engine speed to make downshifts perfectly smooth. This keeps the car from lurching during downshifts, preventing loss of control during cornering. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a downshift rev synchronizer.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the Corolla Hatchback’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Fiesta:




Front Rotors

11.5 inches

10.2 inches

Rear Rotors

10.5 inches

7.9” drums

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Fiesta. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Corolla Hatchback stops much shorter than the Fiesta:





60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

133 feet

159 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Corolla Hatchback has larger standard tires than the Fiesta (205/55R16 vs. 185/60R15). The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Fiesta (225/40R18 vs. 195/50R16).

The Corolla Hatchback SE’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Fiesta’s standard 60 series tires. The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s tires have a lower 40 series profile than the Fiesta’s optional 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Corolla Hatchback SE has standard 16-inch wheels. Smaller 15-inch wheels are standard on the Fiesta. The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s 18-inch wheels are larger than the 16-inch wheels optional on the Fiesta.

The Toyota Corolla Hatchback’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Ford Fiesta only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

Suspension and Handling

For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hatchback has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Ford Fiesta has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Corolla Hatchback has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Corolla Hatchback flat and controlled during cornering. The Fiesta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla Hatchback’s wheelbase is 5.9 inches longer than on the Fiesta (103.9 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Corolla Hatchback is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 3.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Fiesta.


The Corolla Hatchback is 3.6 inches shorter than the Fiesta Sedan, making the Corolla Hatchback easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Corolla Hatchback a Compact car, while the Fiesta Sedan is rated a Subcompact.

The Corolla Hatchback has 3.3 inches more front hip room, 1.2 inches more front shoulder room, .5 inches more rear headroom and 5.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta Sedan.

Cargo Capacity

The Corolla Hatchback has a much larger trunk with its rear seat up than the Fiesta Hatch with its rear seat up (17.8 vs. 14.9 cubic feet).


The Corolla Hatchback’s standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Fiesta SE/ST-Line.

The Corolla Hatchback’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Fiesta SE/ST-Line’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hatchback the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (Your Toyota service department must activate this window function.) The driver of the Fiesta can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Corolla Hatchback has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the Fiesta only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Fiesta has an automatic headlight on/off feature standard only on the SE/ST-Line.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Corolla Hatchback detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Fiesta doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers see further while navigating curves, the Corolla Hatchback XSE CVT has standard adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle. The Fiesta doesn’t offer cornering lights.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Corolla Hatchback has standard extendable sun visors. The Fiesta doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Corolla Hatchback’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford offers heated mirrors for extra charge, but only on the Fiesta SE/ST-Line.

The Corolla Hatchback has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Fiesta doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

The Corolla Hatchback XSE’s standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Fiesta doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

Both the Corolla Hatchback and the Fiesta offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hatchback XSE has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Fiesta doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Corolla Hatchback has a standard Dynamic Radar Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Fiesta doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

Model Availability

The Toyota Corolla comes in sedan, four door hatchback and station wagon bodystyles; the Ford Fiesta isn’t available as a four door hatchback.

Economic Advantages

The Corolla Hatchback will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Corolla Hatchback will retain 51.71% to 51.95% of its original price after five years, while the Fiesta only retains 32.01% to 34.95%.


Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Corolla Hatchback, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Fiesta isn't recommended.

The Toyota Corolla outsold the Ford Fiesta by almost six to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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