Leave it to me, shortly after deriding the whole black wheel trend to find a car where it really appealed to me. The car in question is the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE Nightshade.
I doubt it would have worked for me on a Corolla Sedan, which is probably the most attractive and sporting-looking of that model ever. But the Corolla Hatchback is an even more aggressive and purposeful-looking machine and the black wheels and black accents just work.
The Nightshade Edition is purely about looks. Under the hood, it's the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 169 horsepower engine from the Corolla XSE (a bump up from the 139 hp 1.8-liter in other Corollas) connected to a continuously variable transmission. Zero to 60 isn't exactly breathtaking, at 8.2 seconds, but it's not the slowest compact out there by any means. And there's a serious payoff at the gas pump. The EPA fuel economy estimate is 32 city/41 highway.
The 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE Nightshade Edition's base price is $22,465. The window sticker is at the end of this review so you can see for yourself, but among the standard equipment highlights at that price are black 18-inch wheels, black lower grille surround and side rockers, black side mirrors and door handles, black rear spoiler and rear diffusers, black badging, the full Toyota Safety Sense 2.0 suite including full-speed dynamic radar cruise control, smart key system and automatic climate control.
And...that's it. Our tester had zero in the way of extra-cost optional equipment. So, with $995 delivery processing and handling fee, the as-tested price of the 2021 Toyota Corolla Hatchback SE Nightshade is $23,460.
$23,460 all in for a five-seat hatchback that gets that kind of fuel economy, has Toyota reliability and the added sporty looks of the current-gen Corolla Hatchback in black accents is a screaming bargain.