Toyota Corolla Altis diesel review

Overview- The Toyota Corolla Altis is present in the market more then 8 years. It is and was the only budget sedan present in India. It had a 1.8 petrol motor, until Toyota introduced the 1.4 D4d turbo diesel in it. The 1.4 unit is the same engine which is also used in the “Etios” sedan and the hatch but the Altis gets a VGT and a Intercooler. The power produced by this unit is 88.4Hp and with a torque of 205Nm. The power on paper looks inadequate, keeping the 1270kg weight in mind but let’s see how it performs on the road.

1) Looks and design-

This is the 4th generation Corolla we have in India. The car looks quiet sophisticated and the designers have kept the lines quiet subtle. There are no angular or sharp cuts like its competitor “Chevy Cruze”.

The car feels as if it’s meant for sedate driving, I mean more of a chauffeur driven vehicle. The headlights are quiet large and are distinct. The car has good road presence and attracts quiet a lot of attraction especially with the “Metallic blue” colour.

The wide smiling grill looks good and the new air dams compliment the look. The fog lamps are housed neatly into the bumper which also received new contours. The “Toyota” logo is very clearly visible from some distance ahead.

It’s neatly placed to the new grill which was earlier a mesh type. The bumpers also have the integrated headlight washers embedded into them. The do come out and spray water, to clean the headlight in case the headlight is dirty. The headlights get HID bulbs for the low beam and halogens for the high beam (Option on the top end variants only). The headlights are scooped outwards providing a fluid description. There is a certain amount of bulge at the ends where the indicator bulbs are placed, giving it a good character definition.

The panel gaps are consistent too. You’ll hardly notice any uneven gaps in the car for what Toyota is known for. There are few creases on the bonnet which gives a trendy and fluid looks to the car. Moving onto the sides, there is a line running onto the doors are then to the tail-lamps.

You get grab type door handles which are crome on the top end variant. The ORVM’s get turn indicators integrated in them look good. The ORVM’s are electrically adjustable and retractable too. The side protective claddings have chrome lining inserts on them.

The window sills get crome linings which makes it look even classier. The rear portion of the car and the best looking part of this Toyota we feel. The car gets LED tail-lamps which look uber cool and use less energy but at the same time provide better visibility for the car trailing behind it. The boot has a thick crome lining on it. The license plate is mounted on the boot. On the left of the boot, there is the “Toyota” logo and on the right the name and engine name is written. The bumper on the other hand is beautifully sculpted and new reflectors have been slapped onto it.

2) Interiors-

Toyota is known for quality materials used in their cars and this is no exception. The door grab handles feels quiet solid when you pull then towards yourself. Open the doors and you’ll be greeted by the high quality dashboard and seats which look really very good to look at and operate. The dual tone dashboard mainly consists of two colours, grey and light beige.

There is a use of faux wood in certain places such as the central console and the steering wheel. The passenger side dashboard splits up into two parts, for storing bottles and some daily stuff. The central console has been redesigned to fit in a new 6.1″ DVD touch screen system into it which is really easy to use.

The rotary knobs which adjust the volume and channel feel very tactile. The HVAC controls are also delightful to use. There is an old generation LCD display which is mismatches the DVD system as it was built for the last generation player which was replaced. The buttons are soft type same as the one’s used in “Fiat Linea”. There is a small storage place were few small items can be placed, is covered with a Faux wood cover which is made up of very quality plastic. Moving onto the right hand side, the steering feels solid and it houses audio controls and few other controls.

It also has Faux wood layer on the top portion of the wheel. The Speedometer dial and the Revometer look quiet soothing to the eyes and they use the optitron 3rd lighting which makes it look even better. They are bluish-white in color and there is a digital MID which provide many information’s such as Instant Mileage,Avg. Mileage,Range,Avg. speed etc. They are quiet easy to read even in direct sunlight and the Fonts are quiet big enough that won’t have to strain your eyes.

The seats in this car are made up of leather, which are very supportive. They look of superior quality and have very nice contours on them. The front seats are quiet a delight to be in. Moving on to the rear bench, they are very supportive too and the rear leg room is decent too. The seats have good under thigh support.

There is no central hump absolutely. It’s a boon for he 3rd passenger who can sit with comfort to spare. The rear arm-rest has a wood finish with lid for cup holder. The overall built quality of the car is very good but it is nowhere near its German Competitors. Now lets move onto the drive.

3) Engine and Drivetrain-

The Corolla Altis diesel has a 1.4 D4d turbocharged diesel motor mated to a 6 speed gearbox. The output from this small turbo diesel unit is a healthy 88.4Hp and 205Nm of torque. The motor is very small as compared to its competitors as they have at least of 2.0L engines except the “Renault Fluence”.

The 1364cc motor is same motor used in the Etios Liva and sedan. This small motor does the job with a little more power in hand in this car. This motor is no Multijet motor. I mean, it not meant to revved hard. It likes to stay within its power band and there is no power surge like the MJD. The power delivery is very refined and linear in this car. It has been tuned for sedate drivers and no spirited driving.

The redline of this engine is also 5100RPM. We did also checkout the 0-60Kmph timing which came to be 6.7Secs. The six speed gearbox in this car is slick and perfect. The additional 6th gear makes it a lt better for the highways. There is a certain amount of turbo lag in this motor. The power delivery is good only after 2000Rpm.

The gearings are short, which makes it easy to drive in the city. The clutch is quiet heavy and takes time to get used to it. The refinement is the only true engineering in this diesel Altis. You can barely tell its a diesel under the hood. Crank it up, there is almost no vibrations at all. There is no clatter audible either. For this type of a result, Toyota have used 7 layers of Noise and vibrations insulating materials in between the engine and firewall.

As the engine is small, the acceleration is no-where in comparison to say a “Chevy Cruze”. The car does 0-100Kmph in about 13.48Secs as claimed by the company. The fuel efficiency is good for a car in this segment, which is 23.4Kmpl. The top speed of the Altis in the speedo in the sixth gear was exactly 200Kmph. The road manners of this car are discussed below.

3) Suspension-

This car is biased for more comfort and is not for drivers who expect a car to hug the corners. The suspension is very soft, which helps it improve the ride of the car. This is why the Altis is known for, matured ride quality.

It just glides over each and every pot hole present on the roads. The car is the most comfortable car in its segment. Due to this, it looses its edge in the handling department. The car is way too soft to be pushed around the corners. It just floats around them and the car tends to bounce at high speeds. The steering is a electronic unit.

It is direct, but there is not much confidence which tells the limit of the car. The front suspension is McPherson Struts and the rear get torsion beam for better stability in straight line and corners. The brakes are good in this car. It comes with ventilated disc in the front and solid disc in the rear wheels. The car also comes with a lots of safety features.

4) Safety-

1) SRS Airbags

2) ABS with EBD

3) HID headlamps

4) Auto anti-glare IRVM

5)3 point ELR seatbelts with Pre-tensioners

6)195/65/r15 Alloys and steel wheels.

5) Features-

1)6.1″ Touchscreen DVD system with Bluetooth

2) Audio controls on steering wheel.

3) Automatic headlamps

4) Tilt + Telescopic Adjustable steering

5) MID (Multi Info display)

6) Adjustable driver’s seat

7)60:40 split rear seat foldable

6) Tech specs-

Overall lenght X Width X height – 4540mm X 1760mm X 1480mm

Wheelbase – 2600mm

Ground clearance – 176mm

Turning radius – 5.3m

Fuel Tank capacity – 50L

Boot Space – 475L

8) Automatic HVAC etc.

Final Verdict:

Firstly its a Toyota, so can expect the best quality and reliability. The car is a very good option if you are looking a for a fuel efficient Diesel car with space and luxury. However of you want more power and performance then this is definitely not the car. The car seems elegant, luxurious and a good value for money.