Gliding in the new Altis

Published on January 26th, 2011

I was not in the best of health or even the state of mind for the past few days and with that being said… it’s a sure fire that a test drive would be the best remedy. And with the good graces of Toyota and our very own deputy editor Azdee who passed me the new Toyota Corolla Altis.

When I first laid my eyes on it, first impression was, “Hmmm… uncle’s car….” boy was I wrong. With the Dual VVT-i engine paired with the 7-speed Super CVT-i transmission, it was way much better than just another uncle’s car. Once I stepped in, the cabin is spacious without anything to be impressed about except for the numbers of cup holders available. Apart from that, it’s the first time I saw a glove compartment that can double up as a monster’s mouth to entertain your kid as when they started to feel a little bored.

Nothing much to say about the exterior though, except for the clean looks and “i’m innocent!” stance. Look at is as a smaller version of Camry, but with power to impress, and nice handling too!

I was a little skeptical about driving the “Uncle’s car”, so I just pushed the pedal as far as possible. Acceleration was smooth, power was immediate, and if the car doesn’t look so boringly standard, I might just fall in love with its power. It needs a little more braking power though, say 17″ cross-drilled Brembo disc brakes with four-pot calipers should do the trick. The car will need bigger rims to accommodate the disc brakes though, so a modest 20-incher will do. Might need to widen the arches a little, I suppose, with new custom front bumper with bigger grille and some carbon fiber decoration to make it a little more sporty.

New skirts will be needed to accommodate the front bumper, along with the rear bumper. With diffuser please, and no clothes’ hanger spoiler. But then, it’s up to anyone’s liking how to mod up their car aye?

The final touch would be a matte grey paintjob with green lining around the car. Or maybe just a green stripe from the front to the back. Oh, and slammed. It has to be slammed with just a Zippo’s gap between the lips and the tarmac.

Ooops, I’m talking modified again. What can you say anyway, I’m not really a stock standard guy. But seriously though, the car’s handling is superb considering its size.

As for speed, I managed to push it a bit over 200km/h but since braking was a bit spongy, I kept it at that rather than pushing it further and ended up kissing a divider, or worst, into another car. Mind you, it was done in a very secure environment, at the stretch in front of Subang Parade before the renowned huge U-turn and there were no cars around, except for another car which was trying hard to match the Altis acceleration. Fuel consumption is surprisingly low… but I guess that’s one of the perks of having a 7-speed Super CVT-i transmission, apart from going into a gear-shifting frenzy every time another car overtook me.

Interior is cozy and comfy, and freaking spacious. Cup holders were aplenty, and I couldn’t think of why would anybody would want so many cups/bottles/drinks in the car. Then again, I’m only engaged and does not have five mouths to feed, yet… make that ever! As I mentioned earlier, the glove compartment is huge! I think if you can fold a superbike, you can probably fit it right inside there with room to spare. I’m exaggerating of course, but do consider the methaphor.

Entertainment comes from the single CD player with MP3, WMA and radio support, and through the luxurious 6-speakers setup. It would be nice to have an LCD for DVD playing though with that many speakers. The sound churning out of the speakers is more than enough for a regular guys and girls without any problem of having only one speaker working every when you carve a corner.

Decorating the meter cluster is the bright and clear Optitron Meter with a generous Multi-Information Display, that’ll tell how much fuel you’re using, how much fuel is left and other useful infos. Multi-function steering, electronic 8-way front seats, auto air-condition and Toyota premium solar film are some of the other features available with the new Altis. Although some features are only available in the 2.0V and 1.8G variant only. Do check out the Toyota showroom for more enquiries or better still test it yourself for a better feel of the car. Seriously, it’s an uncle ‘s car that you’d fall in love with and with a starting price of RM105,990 for the 1.6 and RM131,990 for the 2.0 it’s definitely a car worth buying.

words: Hage’  pix: Azdee Amir

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