Engine and transmission
You have a choice of two engines with the Toyota Corolla Altis, all mated to a continuously variable transmission.
The non-hybrid models get a 1.6-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline engine pumping out 122 PS and 153 Nm of torque.
Meanwhile, the hybrid variants get a 1.8-liter, twin-cam, 16-valve inline-4 gasoline engine mated to an electric motor. The system produces a combined 122 PS and 142 Nm of torque.
Although the hybrid may seem less potent on paper, it produces all of its torque at 3,600 RPM, compared to 5,200 RPM for the regular Corolla Altis.
This means you don’t have to wind up the hybrid engine as much to accelerate.
The driving feel is where the Corolla Altis really made strides over the old model.
Apart from riding on the new Toyota New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform, which is related to the one used in the rapid Toyota GR Yaris, the Corolla Altis also has fully independent suspension.
The fronts use MacPherson struts, while the rears use very sophisticated double wishbones. GR-S models use an uprated setup for sportier handling.
All this makes the Toyota very nice to handle in corners, which is where the old model fell a bit short. Although it drives better than the large and ponderous Honda Civic, it still isn’t quite as nice as a Mazda3.
That’s because of the slightly dead steering and the spongy brake pedal, which is even more difficult to modulate in the hybrid models because of the regenerative braking system.
Based on our tests, the Corolla Altis Hybrid can get 17 to 24 km/L in the city and 27 to 29 km/L on the expressway.
Meanwhile, the regular Corolla Altis gets around 10 to 12 km/L in the city and 18 to 20 km/L out on the open road.