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2017 Toyota Corolla Altis facelift review, test drive
Apr 13, 2017 by Siddhant Ghalla



What is it like to drive?

The 2017 Altis is mechanically unchanged. We drove the petrol automatic variant powered by a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine putting out 140hp at 6400rpm and 173Nm at 4000rpm. The engine is mated to a seven-step CVT automatic gearbox, although a six-speed manual is also available with this motor.

The most striking feature about this engine is its refinement: it is smooth and quiet at almost all times. In terms of performance, its power output is not ample, but delivery is predictable and the torque is evenly spread out. Under part-throttle inputs, the CVT gearbox shifts ratios smoothly, minimising the rubberband effect considerably; under hard acceleration though, this effect becomes more pronounced. This can be countered by taking control of the shifts via the paddles which are obedient to your inputs for the most. This engine works best in the mid-range, striking a good balance between performance and refinement.

The CVT gearbox also gets a sport mode and hill-start assist. However, putting it into sport mode does not alter performance much; the only difference is small changes in the CVT’s shift points. 

The ride quality, as before, is laudable. The long-travel suspension glides over most minor road imperfections and handles larger bumps and potholes well too. Stability is good on the whole, though it does not ride as flat as some of its rivals on undulating surfaces. Through corners, the Altis feels composed and stable, allowing you to take bends at relatively high speeds.

The Altis’s steering is not particularly quick or sharp, but it does win points for how safe and predictable it feels. It is light enough to handle urban driving comfortably, but not so light that it fazes the driver on the highway.

Should I buy one?

This facelift brings with it only minor changes, most of them cosmetic and a few functional, leaving the Altis in much the same place as it was before. On the whole, this is a balanced, comfortable and reliable executive sedan that puts passenger comfort and safety before all else. The cabin is spacious, quiet and well-equipped; the ride is supple and stable, the handling safe and predictable, and performance adequate and smooth. To top that, the refreshed design and better materials impart it with a modern, sleek look and make it feel more upmarket.

With a price tag of Rs 19.91 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the petrol automatic Altis is not the most expensive in its segment, but it certainly is on the pricey side. However, if driving thrills aren’t your priority, and what you want is a no-nonsense, efficient, reliable executive sedan, the Corolla Altis is still a safe choice.

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Technical Specifications

Engine

Fuel: Petrol/Diesel
 
Type: 1798cc, four-cylinder, DOHC / 1364cc, four-cylinder, turbocharged
 
Power: 140hp at 6400rpm / 88hp at 3800rpm
 
Torque: 173Nm at 4000rpm / 205Nm at 1800-2800rpm

Transmission

Type: Front wheel drive
 
Gearbox: 6-speed manual/CVT

Dimensions

Length: 4620mm
 
Width: 1775mm
 
Height: 1475mm
 
Wheel base: 2700mm
 
Boot volume: 470 litres

Chassis & Body

Weight: 1220 - 1310kg
 
Wheels: Alloy
 
Tyres: 195/65 R15 / 205/55 R16

Suspension

Front: MacPherson strut
 
Rear: Torsion beam

Brakes

Front: Ventilated disc
 
Rear: Solid disc

Economy

Tank size: 55 litres / 43 litres


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