With 12 generations, spanning 53 years, the latest generation Toyota Corolla Altis has finally arrived. With each generation, Toyota has strived to improve upon the Corolla, taking it from a humble and efficient subcompact sedan in its first inception to the standard-setter and C-segment benchmark that it is today. The all-new Corolla Altis is the realization of Toyota’s mission of building “ever-better cars,” as evidenced by its constant evolution.
Built on a new platform
Let’s take a look at what makes the all-new Corolla Altis the best one yet. This 12th generation model is built upon Toyota’s New Global Architecture (TNGA) platform. First introduced in 2015 underpinning the all-new Prius, the new platform was then implemented in the all-new Camry, RAV4 and now, the all-new Corolla Altis.
Unlike in the past, where a platform was made for each individual platform, utilizing the TNGA in the all-new Corolla Altis allows Toyota to raise the level of refinement, performance and efficiency of all Toyota vehicles. While building on these positive traits, using the platform also allows them to enhance the vehicle’s overall performance as well as its unique features.
In creating the all-new Corolla Altis, Toyota engineers sought to improve driving quality. To produce a car that is both agile yet stable, engineers have lowered the center of gravity by 20 mm for better stability. It is supported by totally new suspension, returning a supple ride yet responsive handling. Furthermore, it is built with a strengthened ring structure, made of high-strength steel for higher impact absorption and a more efficient dispersal of collision energy gives it a stronger and safer body. These all add up to return an agile and responsive feeling, without compromising its safety or quality.
The changes are felt inside as well with another one of Toyota engineers’ goals: comfort. The all-new Corolla Altis’ interior provides a greater sense of openness. The field of vision has been improved with thinner pillars and repositioned side mirrors for a better view of the road and reduced blind spots. Exclusively crafted seats provide the best driving position. With a spacious and comfortable interior paired with superior visibility, driver fatigue is reduced, making it enjoyable no matter the traffic conditions.
Active safety features
Making the all-new Corolla Altis even safer is the addition of the Toyota Safety Sense suite. First equipped on the Hiace Super Grandia, this set of features allows the vehicle to more proactively react to situations.
Among the features is the Pre-Collision System, which uses the Monocular Camera and Millimeter Wave Radar to detect a possible collision and alerts the driver with beeps and visual warnings. It also assists in braking or applies brakes should the driver fail to. Lane Departure Alert warns the driver when the vehicle departs its designated lane, best used in highway driving. Dynamic Radar Cruise Control automatically adjusts the vehicle’s set cruising speed when it detects another vehicle in front to maintain an appropriate distance. Automatic High Beam switches to low beam instinctively when it detects oncoming vehicles or a vehicle in front. Finally, when Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) is enabled and lane markers are visible, Lane Tracing Assist (LTA) uses the lines on the road and preceding vehicles to help keep the vehicle centered and in its lane.
A new hybrid era
Besides these improvements in the car, Toyota also wants its cars to help improve the environment as well. That’s why the all-new Corolla Altis is offered in the top-of-the-line 1.8V Hybrid variant.
Unlike fully electric vehicles, the Corolla Hybrid will not require any special plug-in hardware like expensive chargers. The Corolla Altis Hybrid uses a combination of an efficient gasoline engine and electric motor. Its electric motor can either assist the gasoline engine or power the car completely. Like electric cars, it uses a nickel-metal hydride (NiMH) battery unit. This battery is automatically recharged during deceleration. The kinetic energy produced by the car’s motion is converted to electricity and transmitted back to the battery for future use, constantly charging while on the go. No need for a charging station as it will switch to the gasoline engine seamlessly when the charge is low. This combination also allows the car to switch to the electric motor (when sufficiently charged) at stoplights or switch to the electric motor at low speeds, producing less emissions.
Powering this trim is the 1.8L (2ZR-FXE) engine that produces 97 PS and 142 Nm of torque. Yet combined with the hybrid’s electric motor, it can produce a total output of 121 PS.
What makes this offering even more tempting is that fact that the Corolla Altis is currently the most affordable hybrid on sale in Toyota’s line-up. Thanks to its ASEAN origin and just a 50% excise tax for automobiles, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is able to offer this vehicle at a bargain PhP 1.580 million.
The government and private sector may still be on the fence when it comes to electric vehicles and their required infrastructure, but you can already begin reducing your carbon footprint with this hybrid vehicle today.
“The all-new Toyota Corolla is the first-ever model to be launched in the Philippines that completely embodies our philosophy of ‘Ever better Cars,’” said TMP President, Satoru Suzuki during the launch of the all-new Corolla Altis. “With Toyota New Global Architecture which is the new standard of design and engineering, it provides ever better performance. With Toyota Safety Sense, it offers customers ever better lives. And with Hybrid Technology, it helps create an ever better world.”
The all-new Toyota Corolla Altis is already available at all Toyota dealerships nationwide.
By Iñigo S. Roces