Carma Driver

Toyota Corolla Altis ground clearance and speed bumps

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Let me share my experience with a brand new Toyota Corolla Altis (G) Automatic. On taking the car out to drive in the streets of Bangalore the joy of driving a brand new car was cut short by the sound and feel of the car's chassis scraping on a speed bump. At that time there were just 4 passengers and the trunk had two normal suitcases (standard luggage). I thought that maybe I need to drive slower and tried the next few bumps. Despite that, the car kept hitting the bumps from time to time. After returning from my journey, I went to the dealer's workshop (Ravindu Toyota, Bangalore). The personnel were extremely courteous and offered to test drive on the nearby roads to verify if the suspension was indeed faulty. Unfortunately, under able driving of the Toyota folks, the car cleared all the bumps. We tried with 4 passengers and once again it cleared the bumps. I was told that I need to avoid pressing the brake after the front wheels glide over the bump. Otherwise, the car sits down a little and touches the bump. I agreed and decided to do that going forward.

Today, once again on the streets of Bangalore (different roads), with five people in the car (and no luggage), and driving as directed, the car once again scraped the muffler after crossing the bump.

My concerns are below:

  • Roads in India invariably have unscientific speed breakers (bumps). We definitely need vehicles to clear them.
  • Using an automatic, it is almost impossible to drive without pressing the brake before or after a bump. Because the car immediately starts to accelerate. And most of the time there is some obstruction or the other in front (vehicle etc) that requires us to brake.

I had never heard of Toyota Corolla having a 'ground scraping' issue - though it was more common heard for Honda Civic. Can Toyota consider adding some spacers to the suspension to let the car ride a little stiffer and prevent hitting the road?

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its very sad to know that it does so often scrape its belly.Its an unknown issue for the corolla as many of my friends have a corolla (not an automatic though) and it has never come up in any of our conversations .Think about getting the suspension raised on your end if you so often carry this number of people / luggage

What are your fuel consumptions figures (city and highway)

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@Carma Driver: under body scrapping is a common issue in India and even cars like Ford Figo, Fiesta (old model) have that problem. The reason of this being happening is longer wheelbase, soft rear suspension, load in the car and braking infront of the speed breakers which lowers the car body, result is the car hitting the bump.

Ever since Toyota launched Altis, they increased the wheelbase comparison from the older generation ( i guess I am correct) and noting that you guys were 4-5 people in the car at the time it touches the bump - so could be load issue as well.

Including spacers in suspension may harm the suspension and some chasis alignment issues. Since you have a new car with you, please consult with dealer for any warranty related concerns.

Edited by Sstar

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Well am Having a Corolla Altis and my vehicle has scraped a few times on speed bumps, but it was not bothering me much as the size of bumps were considerable. Generally this vehicle does not have Ground clearance problem.

However I would like to give you a tip which I follow, My parents are a bit on the heavy side and my self on the lean side.

If I am driving and Dad is on the front left seat I make sure that my Mom sits on the rear right side. This distributes the weight equally in the vehicle whith 3 passengers and avoids leaning of car to one side and thus providing better ground clearance.

I have tested this on few bumps in my neighbourhood and it actually hepled me escape the bump without scraping the car.(Vehicle was tested with same number of people on same bump whith only the seating re arranged)

Apart from this you may also check your tyre pressure which should be 30Psi

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My Corolla has'nt given me a reason complain. Into the 8th year of ownership & driven over worst of the roads, underbelly has "never" scrapped. Well once it was my fault when I could could not spot a mainhole, actually it was hidden from view due to grass overgrowth. The front tyre fell in & belly touched ground but the car came out of it smoothly.

Earlier model Corolla had a superb GC, its lowered on the Altis to make the ride plusher. While negotiating a speed breaker or a huge bump, slow down some distance from the obstacle & not over or just when about to hit it. Also don't go straight over a speed-breaker, take it diagonally.

Hope you have not changed the tyres to lower profiles & always check & keep the tyre pressure to what is advised on the manual.

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