Everything you need to know about the 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis

Another compact sedan to consider
by Drei Laurel | Sep 15, 2019
PHOTO: Drei Laurel
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The local compact-sedan market has been a busy one this 2019. Kia Philippines got the party started in April by bringing back the Forte, with Honda and Mazda following later in the year with the launch of the refreshed Civic and the all-new 2020 Mazda 3, respectively.

Now, Toyota Motor Philippines is getting in on the action with the release of the all-new Toyota Corolla Altis—one of the most iconic nameplates in the segment. This Japanese offering has something up its sleeve that none of its competitors have in the local market as well: the availability of a hybrid version.

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Yes, you can get the 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis as a hybrid—and at a relatively affordable price, too. If you’re not too keen on spending a little—okay, a considerable—extra for a greener powertrain, there’s always the conventionally powered unit with the 1.6-liter engine.

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Regardless of which variant you’re eyeing, read on. Here’s everything you need to know about the all-new Toyota Corolla Altis.

Exterior

Is it just us or are have Toyota’s cars been looking angry lately? Not that we’re complaining. We really dig the new Toyota Corolla Altis’s aggressive swept-back headlights and sleek lines—it’s not the ultra-edgy hatch version other markets get, but we’re more than happy with what we’ve seen in the metal.

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The exterior also gets a nice mix of shiny chrome and attractive black plastics, and the wheels—both the 17-inch rims on the top-spec hybrid and the 16-inch alloys on gasoline-powered units—look pretty good. There’s more to the new design than aesthetics, though, as a large windshield works with slim A-pillars to provide a good view of the vehicle’s surroundings from the driver’s seat.

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In terms of size, the Corolla Altis measures in a 4,630mm in length, 1,780mm in width, and 1,435mm in height. The hybrid version is a slight 20mm taller at 1,455mm. Available colors are Celestite Gray Metallic, Attitude Black, Red Mica Metallic, Freedom White, Silver Metallic, and White Pearl.

Interior

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Depending on which variant you get, you’re looking at either basic fabric seats or some leather ones with nice stitching. The dashboard is a mix of soft-touch materials and hard glossy-black plastic surfaces. While the latter doesn’t feel shoddy by any means, we do need to say that the material surrounding the touchscreen infotainment system doesn’t blend in as well as the rest of the plastic panels used in the cabin.

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There’s a decent amount of space with good headroom inside, and the layout is pretty ergonomic. The driver’s area is relatively impressive, featuring a nice instrument cluster that boasts a multi-information display, low seating position, and a nice-sized steering wheel with telescopic adjustment and a good leather feel.

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If you need to charge a device from the front end of the car, simply pop open the center console and plug in—a nice way to keep cables hidden or organized, though some might prefer the usual USB-port placement underneath the A/C controls. The Corolla Altis also gets A/C vents in the rear to help cool passengers in the back.

Engine and specs

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The 2020 Corolla Altis is available with two powertrains: a conventional 1.6-liter Dual VVT-i four-cylinder gasoline engine capable of up to 121hp at 6,000rpm and 153Nm of torque at 5,200rpm, and a hybrid setup utilizing a 1.8-liter gasoline engine and an electric motor that is powered by a battery charged via regenerative braking. The latter has a combined output of 121hp at 5,200rpm and 142Nm of torque at 3,600rpm, and is only available with the top-spec variant.

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You can get the Corolla Altis with either a CVT or a six-speed manual transmission. Currently, it’s one of the few compact-sedan offerings available on the Philippines that is being offered with a stick-shift. The vehicle also runs on MacPherson-strut and double-wishbone suspension setup, with stopping power handled by ventilated and solid discs front and rear, respectively.

Extra features

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Entertainment is handled by a touchscreen infotainment system that courses sound through six speakers. There’s only one 12V socket and one standard USB port available. All units of the 2020 Corolla Altis get automatic climate control, save for the base variant, which settles for manual adjustment. Higher-end units also get a push-start ignition, while only the top-spec hybrid comes with three different driving modes (Eco, Sport, and Normal).

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If safety is a priority to you, the top-spec Corolla Altis comes equipped with Toyota Safety Sense features such as a pre-collision system, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, lane-departure alert, and dynamic radar cruise control. The entire model range comes with driver, passenger, side, curtain shield, and driver knee airbags.

Prices and variants

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The all-new Toyota Corolla Altis starts at P999,999 and tops out at a cool P1,580,000 for the hybrid version. Check out the official prices and variants for the Philippine market below:

2020 Toyota Corolla Altis

  1. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 E MT – P999,000
  2. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 G MT – P1,045,000
  3. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 G CVT – P1,115,000
  4. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 V CVT – P1,185,000
  5. Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 V HV – P1,580,000

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The hybrid model, which comes in even cheaper than the Prius, has the potential to be a game changer. The base variant with a six-speed manual transmission is also particularly attractive at its price point. Are you considering this all-new compact sedan?

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PHOTO: Drei Laurel
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