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Exclusive Corolla Altis Test Drive Report

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This time I got my hands on the new Corolla Altis. Here is a brief review.

 

Exteriors

 

First time you look at it from the front and you can't help but notice the resemblance to its bigger brother Camry. But that's only the front, the side and rear are an evolution from the older Corolla. It looks nice and well proportioned but is not a striking design and doesn't stand out because of which the Corolla may have its work cut out in our market.

 

Interiors

 

The dashboard is well laid out, some tacky plastics remain like the central lock button and the wooden finish that might not go with everyone's tastes. But it is still a nice place to be in. The seats are comfortable and the driver's seat is powered including lumbar adjustment. Driving position is pretty good thanks to the range of adjustments. You also get steering mounted controls for the audio system which is a 6CD MP3 changer. The rear seats have good legroom, but the seat base is slightly short which may be uncomfortable over longer journeys.

 

What you will really like about this car is that it comes loaded with equipment, you get auto HID lamps, lamp washers, auto dimming mirror, climate control, twin airbags, ABS, powered seat, Audio system, electric mirrors with retract, Cruise control (auto transmission only).

 

Performance, Ride & Handling

 

Start up the engine, the idle is smooth but you'd expect it to be less audible than it is. Floor the pedal and the engine makes its presence felt. Engine refinement is as good or as bad as the old Corolla. It is the same engine after all but with only slight changes to the ECU.

 

One drive in the city and you'll be surprised with the tractability of this engine, it pulls cleanly from as low as 1000rpm and the short gearing helps it keep ahead and record good fuel economy figures as well. But go faster, the gearbox doesn't like to be hurried and the clutch action isn't suited to this sort of driving. Everytime, you shift quickly and let go of the clutch, the engine bogs for a second and then picks up. Not fun. Engine noise too starts getting intrusive as the revs rise.

 

The suspension has been tuned for ride comfort so as a result it doesn't feel as agile as a Civic around bends. The steering is precise but could do with more feedback. But the soft suspension means, it eats up most bumps with ease and isolates you from the road better than the competition.

 

Verdict

 

It is a good upgrade over the old Corolla, but is it a competition beater....I don't know. It just doesn't feel as good as the Civic which is priced higher and has less equipment. But the Corolla having more kit at a lower pricetag just doesn't excite you as a Civic does. It will probably appeal to older segment of buyers while the Civic will appeal to the younger generation. Good car but has its work cut out due to some fabulous competition.

 

 

P.S - Pics a little later.

 

FRG

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Nice to know that FRG , good!

though i would personally like to see a shootout between Civic And this one! and how was the performance? is it better than the civic? and do tell us about the ground clearence!

Cheers!!

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One drive in the city and you'll be surprised with the tractability of this engine' date=' it pulls cleanly from as low as 1000rpm and the short gearing helps it keep ahead and record good fuel economy figures as well. But go faster, the gearbox doesn't like to be hurried and the clutch action isn't suited to this sort of driving. Everytime, you shift quickly and let go of the clutch, the engine bogs for a second and then picks up. Not fun. Engine noise too starts getting intrusive as the revs rise.

 
[/quote']

Two things -

1. Short gearing as well as good economy! Must be major changes to ECU/Cam to get both of these as well as tractability from 1000 rpm.

2. Baulky gearbox. Is it likely to open out with use?

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The quoted ground clearance is of doubtable importance. In 95% of the cars the lowest point is the steering just inside the front wheels. This rides over bumps with the wheel. So is of limited import to the bottoming problem. 

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Thanks FRG for the much needed review. I saw this car on road & it looks shorter than what it actually is.

So, overall Civic beats this one in  key areas- interiors & exteriors.

Actually I never felt like even test driving this car due to its bland appearance & unexciting nature. Civic is the clear winner. Toyota needs to rethink its strategies!

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But go faster' date=' the gearbox doesn't like to be hurried and the clutch action isn't suited to this sort of driving. Everytime, you shift quickly and let go of the clutch, the engine bogs for a second and then picks up. Not fun. Engine noise too starts getting intrusive as the revs rise.

 

The suspension has been tuned for ride comfort so as a result it doesn't feel as agile as a Civic around bends. [/quote']

So as I thought, the Corolla is not going to be good for spirited driving when compared to the Civic. The Civic also beats it hollow in the looks department. So for me the Civic is definitely a better car.

The Corolla will be good for all the middle and old aged people with the amount of equipment it has on board and its rear seat comfort.

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this in the business standard today

September 9, 2008

Like the Volkswagen's Jetta, in the American market the Toyota Corolla is considered entry level car and gifted to students entering college.

While the same Corolla in India is pegged on a luxury platform.

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just as an FYI, have a look at this

http://www.toyota.com/corolla/features.html?trim=1836

2.4 litre, 158 BHP, automatic corolla in the US market with massive amounts of kit, including 17inch alloys and 215 tyres as standard, ABS, EBD, 6 airbags, traction control, tyre pressure monitoring system, more safety, more convenience, more everything

all this for INR 8 lacs

toyota should drown themselves. morons. I'm not buying their overpriced and overhyped trash. at least give us what you sell to the rest of the world.

diablo379892008-09-09 16:24:20

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But this is the case with all manufacturers.

Considering the cheap labour & raw material costs in India, it should cost 6L/- only!

Im also not going in for such trash! But the ones who really need to drown are the people who are throwing themselves into the trap. Had we shunned these products at such high prices, manufacturers would have been forced to reduce prices drastically.

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But this is the case with all manufacturers.Considering the cheap labour & raw material costs in India' date=' it should cost 6L/- only!Im also not going in for such trash! But the ones who really need to drown are the people who are throwing themselves into the trap. Had we shunned these products at such high prices, manufacturers would have been forced to reduce prices drastically.

[/quote']

true enough speed. well said

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the corolla altis is a better vfm proposition when compared to the civic....the fuel efficiency is really good and my corolla averages around 11 kmpl in city with 100 % ac usage...the ground clearance is so good that you can easily do a bit of off-roading in this car and the engine is all mighty though a bit noisy....floor the pedal and the car just zooms off...short gearing makes it really good for driving in city....not a nice review because the author from starting makes the reader beleive  that he just loathes the car from the core of the heart....and diablo and speed all car manufacturers price their car's a bit on higher side in india,if u dont want to buy then i guess u wont be able to buy a car in india !!!!

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@Mehul, I have seen & driven both Civic & Corolla extensively & given a choice, would pick up Civic at 1st. instance. Civic gives FE figures in tune to its class & does its job of a saloon pretty well, afterall for offroading SUV's & Jeep's are there.

If you read my earlier posts patiently, I have mentioned "this is the case with all manufacturers" & Toyota seems to be one of them.

I also believe that the review by the author is true & precise & its only natural to pit it against the best in class & in this case Corolla clearly falls short of Civic.

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well no offences frg and speed...but i found the write up to be a bit biased....well choice depends on person-person.....even when altis wasnt launched i would have preferred corolla over civic...speed-well u r right that for off-roading i should use jeep but i just wanted to stress the point of its gc which is one of the most essential things on indian roads......according to me civic is way better than altis interior and exterior wise but corolla is an overall better package according to me and speed is one off the few difficult to find unhappy corolla owner  !!!!

mehul_bhp2008-09-09 19:25:49

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Im not at all offended, you have right to your own views & I respect that. You are right GC is important factor on our roads & I can pledge that my Corolla has never kissed any  surface underneath, but  then there are many other core areas where Civic clearly beats the Corolla.

While on a lookout for a car for myself, GC does figure, but there are other things which top the list. Overall Civic is a better packae.

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Guys cool down..Altis now better package overall..but if you compare the old corolla with civic and it was just the crap...If anybody says that old corolla was better than Civic and person is being bit emotional as he might have love and affection for corolla but Civic is at par with ALtis considering the altis features but civic was much much much ahead the older corolla..and thats why After civic, Toyota had bad time ...the only who bought corolla it was due to discounts and nothing else..

Now for looks its CIVIC..

For features its Altis...

And also if you consider brand wise then Honda is moving ahead than Toyota and now i cant say that both are at par..With limited range Honda is moving ahead..

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Are we not splitting hair on the obvious. If product B is launched after A then B will try to have some Plus points. When the New A comes it will try to improve on B and so on.

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and diablo and speed all car manufacturers price their car's a bit on higher side in india' date='if u dont want to buy then i guess u wont be able to buy a car in india !!!!

[/quote']

do you think perhaps this might have something to do with the typical customer being, shall we say, uninformed? there's always this wonderful thing called google

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