Corolla Altis

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Toyota Corolla Altis

Driven June 2011

Toyota Corolla Altis

Let’s face it the Toyota Altis has never been the car you dream of every night. It is something that is bought with the head rather than the heart. You have to give it credit though, it is as reliable as the rain in London and for most people as boring as the Opera. But boring doesn’t mean it doesn’t do the job.

If you look at the Altis objectively, it is actually quite a nice car. Anyway, Toyota has now gone ahead and updated the Altis but don’t really hold your breath. There is a facelift and it is okay if you can’t tell. But if you must know, the grille is slightly changed, the headlights are slightly larger and tail lamps get the LED treatment. Apart from this there’s nothing different really.

However, most work has happened on the mechanicals or as we say under the hood. The 1.8-litre engine now gets dual VVT-i. This means the variable valve timing now works on both the exhaust and intake valves making the power delivery smoother and making the engine more efficient. Apart from this the other biggest change is the 7-speed automatic CVT gearbox. We aren’t fans of the CVT thanks to its rubberband effect. But we have to say this CVT is different. Shifts are quick and even fun. The engine is eager. Our advice, put the CVT in manual mode to actually enjoy the car.

What hasn’t changed is the suspension, it is still tuned more for ride comfort and the light steering isn’t exactly going to shame a BMW anytime soon. On the inside, there are some new features like the engine start/stop button, a touchscreen audio, keyless entry among others. Also, the manual transmission version is now a six-speed.

So nothing much to report really, the Altis remains what it is. Something you buy with the head rather than the heart. Only this time, it goes out of its way to appeal to the head.

 



Manish Sarser

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