Used car buying guide: Toyota Corolla Altis (2017-2020)

    Published On Aug 22, 2021 08:00:00 AM

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    Rs 14 lakh Will get you a fully-loaded Corolla Altis automatic with less than 30,000km. We tell you what to look out for before buying one.

    GOOD FOR: Reliability, Comfort

    LOOK OUT FOR: Body damage, Brake wear

    In today’s age of SUVs, sedans are often overlooked. The Corolla Altis, however, is a sedan that’s renowned world over for being very reliable and comfortable, making it a great alternative in the used car market if you want something other than an SUV. But, before you take the plunge, here’s a few things you should know about the Toyota Corolla Altis.

    A rival to the likes of the Skoda Octavia and Hyundai Elantra, the Toyota Corolla Altis got a facelift in 2017, which brought with it sleeker styling. The sedan got a revised front end, new alloy wheels and a tweaked rear end on the exterior. The interior too received updates in the form of a revised dashboard with new circular side air-con vents, new AC controls, new trim pieces, and a new touchscreen.

    The Altis gained tweaked LED tail-lights and new alloys with the 2017 facelift.

    The Corolla Altis has always been a comfortable car and the 2017 iteration is no different. The seats, front and back, are spacious and comfortable. Legroom in the back is generous and the rear seats can also be reclined. The rear seats can further be flipped down in a 40:60 ratio to expand the 470-litre cargo space.

    Two engine options are available with the 2017 Corolla Altis. There’s a 1.8-litre, four-cylinder, naturally-aspirated petrol engine that puts out 140hp and 173Nm of torque. The petrol motor can be had with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-step CVT automatic gearbox. The other engine option is a 1.4-litre, four-cylinder turbo-diesel motor that produces 88hp and 205Nm. The Corolla Altis diesel is only available with a 6-speed manual gearbox.

    The refined petrol engine, coupled with the smooth CVT, really adds to the comfort-oriented experience this car offers.

    In terms of mileage, the Altis petrol manual has an official ARAI-rated fuel-efficiency figure of 16.7kpl, while the petrol-CVT version is also said to do 16.7kpl. The diesel Corolla Altis is rated at 21.3kpl.

    The 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis was available in three trim levels (G, GL and VL), with a total of six variants on offer. The diesel is offered only in the G and GL trims while the top-spec VL is available only in petrol-auto form. In terms of equipment, the top-spec Corolla Altis VL gets features like LED headlamps with daytime running lamps, LED tail-lamps, a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation, voice recognition and MirrorLink connectivity, automatic climate control, leatherette upholstery, electrically-adjustable driver’s seat, cruise control, automatic headlamps and wipers, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, electrically-folding and adjustable wing mirrors and a rear-view camera.

    In terms of safety, the Altis VL comes with seven airbags, ABS, EBD, brake assist, hill-start assist and vehicle stability control. However, it still misses out on some equipment that its rivals get, such as a sunroof, two-zone climate control, ventilated seats and front parking sensors.

    There are good quality materials inside; dual-tone upholstery livens the cabin.

    Choosing the right one for you will ultimately depend upon the usage. The diesel will offer you a much superior fuel economy figure. However, this engine is not the most refined and is quite audible inside the cabin too. The Corolla Altis with the petrol-automatic powertrain will help you see the sedan in its best light. The refined petrol engine, coupled with the smooth CVT, really adds to the comfort-oriented experience this car offers.

    Toyotas are known to be reliable and the Corolla Altis follows in the same vein. Additionally, spare parts are readily available even though it’s now a discontinued model, and with Toyota’s widespread service network throughout the country you should have a peace of mind ownership experience.

    Buyer, beware…

    Body Damage

    Inspect the car you are looking at for any damage to the body panels or the lights. Being an executive sedan, these parts are not cheap to replace on the Corolla Altis.

    Brake Wear

    Take a test drive to check if the car makes screeching noises while braking, as this is a sign of worn-out brake pads. Especially check the ones on the automatic versions, as they tend to wear out the brakes earlier than on manuals.

    CVT Transmission

    While on a test drive, check if the car rolls off the line smoothly. Also ensure that it upshifts and downshifts seamlessly without any jerks. Although not a common issue, a handful of owners have faced some problems with the CVT gearbox.

    Also worth knowing

    Some owners of the petrol-automatic variants have complained about poor fuel economy, especially in the city. This is worth keeping in mind before you make the purchase.

    How much to spend

    Rs 10-14 Lakh

    Depending on the engine-gearbox combination and the variant, getting a used Toyota Corolla Altis for anywhere between Rs 10-14 lakh represents good value. Being a Toyota, the Altis still commands good resale value. However, as this is now a discontinued model, you can try to haggle and bring the price down.

    Factfile
    Years Produced2017-2020
    Price when newFrom Rs 15.87 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
    Engine4 cyl, 1798cc, petrol/4 cyl, 1364cc, turbo-diesel
    Power140/88hp
    Torque173/205Nm
    Boot space470 litres
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