Toyota Corolla Altis facelift review, test drive

Toyota Corolla Altis Price in India

 

Reliability. It’s what we seek in life: a stable job, a stable set of

relationships, and most definitely a car that will not break. Failing

that, one that repairs easily. Gone are the days when cold-start

problems were forgiven in vehicles. In fact, just being reliable isn’t

enough – the product needs to be exciting.48 years and 40 million

units later, the Corolla doesn’t need to prove its reliability.

However, it certainly needs to inject some excitement into itself, and

that’s exactly what the 2014 year model aims to add to what was

already the best-selling diesel sedan in its segment in the Indian

marketplace.

 

DESIGN

 

The new Toyota Corolla Altis’ basic design remains largely the same. The

front of the car has the most eye-catchy features; of which the

layered front fender and the bonnet grille with its chrome line

merging into the eye-brow of the headlamps on either side are the most

appealing. The headlamps themselves feature LED bi-beams and LED

daytime running lamps. Similarly, though the tail-lamp design hasn’t

been altered, the combination has changed and now includes LEDs. There

is now more chrome trim all around the Corolla Altis. As part of the

refreshment package, the sedan also gets a new set of alloys with

chrome and black finish.

 

The exterior design of the Corolla Altis also features the addition of

what Toyota engineers call the aero fins — small, protruding

aerodynamic fins that reduce turbulence and improve air flow for

better efficiencies. You can see them in the door mirror housing and

on the edge of the tail-lamps.

 

CABIN

 

Step inside the cabin and you’ll be surprised again by the

distinctive ‘out of the box’ styling of the dashboard. The dual tone

layout involves three different layers that look chic. There is a mix

of black, beige and silver along with a carbon-fibre inspired panel

for the centre console. The three-spoke contoured steering feels good

to hold, having a brushed aluminium finish at the bottom and paddle

shifts on the automatic version. The wheel has reach and rake manual

adjustment. The steering mounted buttons are ergonomically placed and

there is a cruise control stalk mounted behind the wheel, on the

column. Instrument cluster is very neatly done with simple yet stylish

layout. Two chrome pods are placed on either side of the MID for

tachometer and speedometer with analogue fuel and temperature gauge.

The blue illumination and theme of the console is sober and not

in-your-face, so it’s easy to read. The MID shows all the necessary

information including outside temperature, gear selection, fuel info,

trip, etc. Quality of the materials feel rich and well screwed

together, putting a tough fight to the competition.

 

On the right hand side of the steering there is a button to switch

on/off parking sensors, mirror folding and adjustment controls along

with a tempting engine start/stop button. Further down you’ll find a

small storage space for parking tickets, coins, etc. and the bonnet

lever is placed in a way that you don’t have to crouch further down.

The fuel lid and boot opening controls are stacked together

traditionally on the floor. The new Corolla has automatic climate

control with user friendly layout of a single temperature dial and

buttons for air volume and different settings. The air conditioning is

very effective but sadly there are no air vents for the rear

passengers. There are blue-illuminated cup holders at the front along

with a decent arm-rest with storage space. All rear-view mirrors

provide good and wide view.

 

There is a well sized 7-inch touch screen with only a single button on

the side to operate the menu. It has Navigation, USB, AUX, SD Card and

Bluetooth connectivity. You can also charge your phone via a USB

cable. The Bluetooth integration is extensive and pairing the phone is

a few touches away on the screen, which is responsive. Once connected,

you can access your entire phonebook. The screen also doubles up as a

display for rear parking camera. Music streaming is good as well,

tracks change with steering controls and even if you switch off the

car, leave and come back, the Bluetooth gets connected and resumes the

music last played, neat! Audio quality is good by OEM standards.

 

The driver’s foot-well is wide and gets a big dead pedal for

additional comfort. The seats are supportive and cozy. While the front

passenger seat is manually adjustable, the driver gets eight-way

electronically adjustable seats with lumbar support and good

flexibility. The additional 100 mm of wheelbase on the new Toyota

Corolla Altis is evident at the rear. There is ample amount of legroom

for rear passengers with an almost non-existent floor hump, so three

people can sit easily. Headroom and shoulder room would also be

appreciated in the new Corolla. There is good all-round support with

well cushioned seats and a wide arm-rest with cup-holders. The rear

seats are reclinable too and there is a power socket for rear

passengers. Enough storage space is provided including deep glovebox

and cup, bottle and sunglass holders. Boot is accommodating at

470-litres and there is a full-size spare alloy wheel underneath. Rear

seats have 60:40 split for additional cargo space. Other convenient

features include auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, smart key and

driver side one touch up/down mirrors.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

 

The new Toyota Corolla Altis 2017 continue with the same engines It

has a 1.8-litre petrol engine that develops 139bhp of power@6400rpm

and a peak torque of 172Nm@4000rpm. This engine coms mated to a

six-speed manual gearbox and also a seven-speed CVT transmission.  A

new addition to the line-up could be the inclusion of a hybrid variant

in the New Toyota Corolla Altis 2017. But this may take some more time

now, after the new GST regulations.

 

On the other hand, the 1.4-litre diesel engine continues to be offered

as well. This comes mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This

engine is tuned for fuel-efficiency more than performance. It is ideal

when you do a lot of long distance travelling and prefer to be driven

around. The comfort remains the same and the car is more economical to

run too.

 

The New Toyota Corolla Altis 2017 petrol will return a mileage of 13

km/l in the manual transmission and about 11 km/l with the CVT. The

diesel engine will return a fuel efficiency of around 17 km/l. These

figures are a mix of city and highway runs and may vary as per driving

conditions.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

 

The underpinnings of the car have undergone evolution as well with the

chassis being beefed up further to handle the additional bump in power

and aide handling. The suspension is pretty similar to the old car,

but the Altis sports a wider track and a newly designed ‘L’ arm

provides a more planted feel. The rear suspension has been tweaked as

well to aide stability. With increased ground clearance and running 65

profile tyres, the Altis provides a pretty pliant ride absorbing most

of the irregularities thrown by the road. But as the speed gets higher

the car tends to get skittish and at times the thumps and thuds do

tend to filter in.

 

The Altis also gets an all new electric power steering which feels

nice and light at lower speeds making the car extremely maneuverable

around town. Higher speeds however do not weigh it up as it should and

the steering still feels light limiting feedback and confidence. Come

to a series of bends and you find out the Altis is definitely inclined

towards traveling in comfort rather than in Schumacher mode. At its

limits the Altis understeers and just cant hold its line. That said

the Altis is definitely more of a family car than a drivers car.

 

SAFETY

 

The 2014 Toyota Corolla has already been crash tested by Euro NCAP and

it gets a full five star rating for its safety. Adult occupant gets 94

percent, child occupant gets 82 percent, pedestrian gets 67 percent

while the safety assist features score 66 percent. However, the India

spec Corolla Altis gets dual airbags only for front passenger and

driver, which is a letdown considering the fact that even lower

segment cars offer more airbags and safety awareness in India is

increasing. Other safety features include ABS, EBD and Brake Assist.

The Corolla tested at NCAP gets seven airbags and Electronic Stability

Program (ESP).

 

VERDICT

 

The highlight of the new Corolla Altis has to be its body design. It

looks a lot better than the earlier model. The comfort inside also

scores great points and with features like rear reclining seats and

great legroom, very few cars come close to it.

 

The engine s also feels refined now and Toyota claims them to be more

efficient than before. It is just finishing levels where the Corolla

Altis could have done better. We are sure with the new Corolla Altis,

Toyota can breathe a sigh of relief as this one will make the

competition think for sure.

 

Toyota Corolla Altis Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 14,88,500/- (Corolla Altis 1.8 G) to  18,67,300/- (Corolla Altis 1.8 VL AT) .Toyota Corolla Altis has 6 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Toyota Corolla Altis comes in 7 colours, namely Phantom Brown,Silver Mica Metallic,Grey Metallic,Champagne Mica Metallic,White Pearl Crystal Shine,Celestial Black,Super White Ii.

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