The year 2000 marked the release of the ninth generation Toyota Corolla. The new car departs in styling from its brethren to bring the marquee into the 21st century. For Toyota Malaysia and other ASEAN countries the new Corolla has been rebranded as the Toyota Altis or Toyota Corolla Altis. The newest Altis range of cars for 2011 come in a few variations including new 2.0 liter special to join it’s 1.8 liter and 1.6 liter stable mates all engines are equipped with the ZR range of Dual VVT-i. There’s also a brand new CVT gearbox featuring a seven virtual ratios in manual mode excluding the 1.6 liter model which retains the earlier 4 speed auto. The profile of the new Corolla was miles apart from earlier models with a refashioned grille and rounder bumpers which gave the car a much wider look and is a big improvement over the dated look of the 8th generation Corolla with a edgy X shaped nose.
For 2011 the new Toyota Altis mirrors the recently updated Toyota Camry; which judging by the Camry’s popularity may be a smart move. There are other minor tweaks here and there including smoked HID headlamps and restyled tail lamps, these updates help define and differentiate the newer Altis from the old model. Other cosmetic changes include longer chrome strips above the number plate,a redesigned bumper with horizontal reflectors and of course the Dual VVT-i badge, which Toyota Malaysia placed alongside the model badge. The Altis target market is aimed squarely at the average Joe,with its inoffensive and slightly sporty looks. All original cars sold by Toyota Malaysia will feature a light themed cabin as opposed to the black cabin available in other markets for the 2.0 liter model. The lighter color has its detractors but it does give the new Toyota Corolla a more luxurious feel. Most of the changes to the previous model are superficial but they do bring a positive impact.. The new interior trim receives a thumbs up from most reviewers and many agree it feels better and gives the car a more expensive feel than the older cars. The Altis is a car meant for mature users and is the sort of car that will be appreciated by those seeking refinement and comfort honed by over 40 years of improvements. The new Corolla Altis carries on the proud tradition of the Corolla name and delivers a good mixture of sedate and sporty for their C-segment car.
However the is one niggling fault with the new Altis, which is it’s fuel consumption. The tested 11.2 km/l is acceptable though not as good a previous Corollas. As a parting note, it can be surmised that the Corolla Altis is a satisfying car to own and use but will never be an object of desire in the way a Ferrari or Lamborghini is. But kudos to Toyota Malaysia for making the Altis a great blend of luxury and performance whilst retaining the level of quality and craftsmanship Toyota are renowned for.