Saturday, December 28, 2013

CAR REVIEW: 2013 Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0V


With an all-new eleventh generation model coming out early next year, the 2013 Toyota Corolla Altis remains as one of Toyota's number one sellers in the Philippines together with the popular Vios, Fortuner and Innova models. It is also in the very diverse compact car segment with offerings such as the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and many more. Is it worth buying a 2013 Toyota Corolla Altis even if the all-new 2014 model is just around the corner? Let's find out!

EXTERIOR

The Altis received a minor facelift for the 2011 model year which includes a very sporty looking mesh grille for the 2.0V model which we have here. There are also some dealer-installed chrome rings around the fog lights. The Altis still looks conservative but it is in no way boring especially in this white pearl exterior. It's a Toyota so it's smiling at you.


The rear is a bit of a different story from the front. Honestly, it is a little bit more boring and not as sporty. Maybe even a bit ugly but it's okay. Simple and fine. It won't hurt.


All Altises from the 1.6G to the 2.0V are equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels. They look best on this 2.0V variant.

INTERIOR


The black and beige interior is a simple affair. Everything is located in the right place where they are easy to reach. Interior quality and feel is good for this class as it has a soft touch dashboard and door panels with real wood accents. You can't even get real wood in some midsize sedans and some luxury cars. The leather seats feel good and are comfortable.


Space in the Altis is the average in the class. The Honda Civic is still the leader in terms of space but there is enough in the Altis. Legroom is just right and trunks space is plentiful. Note the clutter in the trunk to show how much space there is.




The steering wheel on the Altis is similar to the one on the previous generation Toyota Vios. It's a nice three-spoke design with a flat bottom for a sportier feel.

EQUIPMENT

You have pretty much everything you need in the Altis. You've got a 6 CD changer with good sound quality and an AUX and USB port. Controls are easy but you can get confused with the A/C controls.


Smart key access and push-button start are standard on the 2.0V variant. Outside, the 2.0V Altis is equipped with HID headlights.

PERFORMANCE

The Altis is powered by a 2.0L, four cylinder engine with Variable Valve Timing which is what VVT-i stands for. It has 141 horsepower and 194 Nm of torque. It is mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT) with 6 virtual gear ratios.


We were surprised with the driving characteristics of the Altis. We weren't expecting much but a little tap on the gas pedal will already provide good acceleration. Steering feel is very good so the Altis is fun to drive especially when manually shifting through the virtual gear ratios. It was not hard for the Altis to amuse us as we quickly drove along the narrow empty road.

In normal driving, the Altis is a good city car with smooth acceleration because of the CVT. It is very easy to bring the Altis around. It also has a nicely smooth ride.

VERDICT

I'm not a fan of Toyota. I actually hate the Corolla Altis. This 2.0V unit however failed to dissappoint me. It's a good car if you like driving fast and a good car if you'd like one to bring you from point A to B. I'm getting close to getting an Altis as a personal car. It's that good. We can easily recommend this car. There is a new generation coming out next year though. In terms of the looks, we'd get this.

SPECS

Engine: 2.0L Inline-4
Transmission: 6 CVT
Power: 141 hp
Torque 194 Nm
Drive Layout: FWD
Price (brand new): Php 1,155,000 (White Pearl)
                                 Php 1,140,000
Price (used): Php 600,000 to Php 750,000


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