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Old 14th May 2013, 16:43   #1
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Default Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Well, this is my first post on tbhp. After being a regular reader of tbhp for over 4 years, and having been a member for 1, I finally thought it is high time I begin contributing to this community.

I’ve owned and driven a Toyota Altis AT for more than 4 years now, and while I see a few Altis reviews (very few, but very well written!), I hardly find anything much about the Altis AT. Given how much I’ve enjoyed owning this brilliant vehicle, that’s a bit unfair. Given the number of Altis’s on the road, one or both of the two must be true

1) The owners are not petrolheads and couldn’t care less about which vehicle they are in, as long as it takes them from Point A to Point B
2) There is nothing much to talk about!

Since neither of the above are true of my Altis ownership experience, here I am.

Before I start talking about my experience of the Altis, a bit of a background - so that my review of the Altis is read in the right context. In my growing years, the family has owned a good variety of cars – which I’ve experienced as a kid and sometimes driven in the garage - good old Fiat 1100D, Premier Padminis, Maruti 800, Ambassadors, Contessa, 118 NE, Maruti 1000. Also briefly flirted with owning a Karizma in college, but quickly realized that riding a bike and exposing oneself to nature’s elements, and more importantly, the crazy humankind on Indian roads was not my cup of tea. Over the last decade, have owned an Esteem, Ikon 1.3, Opel Astra Club and 2 family runabout Santros. Only after writing the above that I realized that it has been quite an affair with cars – and it only continues! My close family overseas own a BMW X5 and a Lexus GS450 Sport, both of which I’ve driven extensively as well. I’ve also driven a fair number of other vehicles over the years, both in India and overseas. I love driving, and driving different cars is something I really enjoy!

Ok – so here goes the review, as per the prescribed separators

- All the alternatives that were considered, and why you zeroed in on this particular car
Well, I bought this 4 years back. At that time, only Civic and Altis were credible options in the price segment. Cruze was just being launched, but I’ve never been able to develop a positive opinion about the brand (no offence to anyone). We were also quite certain that we would like to have an automatic to the extent possible, since my dad would also like to drive it once in a while. Even I, while I do like to drive spiritedly, do value the convenience an Automatic offers. Anyone who has driven between Noida and Gurgaon would understand what I am saying. My left leg heartily agrees!

Between the Civic and Altis, it wasn’t easy. Civic certainly looked better (and the paddle shifts were appealing!), but the comfort and reliability offered by Altis seemed to outweigh Civic’s advantages. Also, the low GC of the Civic was a dampener – and I do have to go through a few speed (or rather, axle) breakers.

Also, my parents found Altis to be a car that they found more comfortable in the rear seat.

The last, but most important criteria for Civic vs. Altis was quality and reliability. I have a few friends in the auto components industry here and have also briefly worked for a few on assignments – and I know a thing or two about the systems and processes that Toyota has for quality management of suppliers and components, as also the other manufacturers. I would blindly buy anything from the Toyota stable, because I know that there is no chance of a lemon coming out of Toyota’s factories. For exactly the same reason, I would think twice before putting my hard earned money on the Mahindras, Tatas or even the Marutis and Hyundais. No offence to anyone, and not to say that these companies do not have systems and processes, but just that Toyota is far, far, far ahead. Even compared to Honda, which unlike the rest of the world, is nowhere close to Toyota in India on the backend. This was slam dunk on the Altis vs. Civic debate.

- Complete booking & delivery experience from the dealership
All very smooth. Brilliant Toyota experience. Completely smooth.

- On-road price, discounts etc.
This was a while back, so a little less relevant now. Came to about ~14.5 Lakhs on road

- Be sure to list the engine type & variant you opted for
1.8 V – Petrol, automatic variant with a 4 speed auto gearbox

- The good and / or bad about its equipment levels
This car came loaded with features. I haven’t touched it with any aftermarket accessory in the last 4 years of ownership (except upgrading front speakers), and I don’t see any feature that I’ve seen in other new cars that I miss EXCEPT ipod/iphone and Bluetooth connectivity.

A brief list of features:
- Automatic climate control - excellent cooling, works brilliantly)
- In-dash HU with 6 CD changer, 6 speakers, steering controls and remote – very convenient, easy to use, very well integrated into the dash. Sound is strictly average, and thus the reason for upgrading the front speakers.
- Automatic day/night rear mirror – great stuff again
- Multi information display – shows time, current average, average average (!), range, time since last reset. Odometer with two trip meters. The average displays are largely accurate, though not completely.
- 8 way electronically adjustable drivers seat
- Cruise control
- Auto headlights
- Xenon headlamps, with headlamp washers
- Front foglamps
- Indicators on OVRMs, internally adjustable and electronically foldable
- Front and rear armrests
- Rectractable rear shade
- Dead pedal
- Alloy spare wheel (thank god!)
- Lots of internal lamps etc., including above the sun visor for the wife’s makeup adjustments
- 6 or so bottle holders
- 2 glove boxes
- Leather seats, leather steering cover
- Rear window defroster
- Remote locking and engine immobilizer
- Safety features: ABS, ESP, 6 airbags

- How many kms you have completed at the time of writing your review
51500 kms at the time of going to press

- Your usage pattern (e.g. 12 kms daily in dense traffic)
Varies a lot. First 3 years was mostly weekend driving and long outstation drives. Last 1 year or so has been about 50-80 kms a day in city traffic.
I do go for a lot of long road trip holidays – so assume about 15,000 kms or so would be long holiday drives.

- Comments on the exterior styling & design
I find the exterior styling and detail of this particular Corolla to be really good. I did like the earlier version as well, but I somehow just don’t like the facelifted Corolla Altis (no offence to owners of new version). I don’t think this qualifies as the sportiest of designs, but looks and feels ‘premium’, adequately low and pretty sleek. I personally like the outwardly protruding headlamp and tail lamp design a lot.

The car has oodles of chrome, both in interiors and exteriors, and while I am not a big fan of bling, it does end up giving the car a bit of a premium feel.

- Overall build quality and fit & finish
Impeccable. Build quality is world class. Panel gaps are non existent, no rattles, no squeaks. The car just goes on. On my holidays, I’ve been on pretty inhospitable conditions – sands in extreme desert heat of 50 degrees plus, heavy rains and rocky river beds, mud mountain roads, potholed Gurgaon roads etc. Come back, give the car a good wash, and its back to being as refined and acts as if nothing happened. You can never make out that the car has just gone through a whole lot of abuse.

Disclaimer – All these are not ‘intentional’ abuses. I love the car, and take great care of it, but long road holidays have this habit of throwing surprises at you. And yes, they do add to the holiday experience, though the torture to the car causes pain in the heart!

- Interior design & quality
Interior are not like the sporty, sleek awe inspiring interiors of the Civic. Having said that, it has pretty decent, premium interiors. Leather seats, handrests, steering as well as faux wood paneling on steering and dash and the general two tone dash does look pretty premium.

- Interior space and comfort
Very spacious – legroom is never a challenge. Headroom is also quite good. However, I find my knees always rubbing against the center console when I am sitting in the front seats – either the driver seat or the passengers seat. I am 5’11 and 72 kg, so don’t think I am odd sized .

- Air conditioner, seat support, ergonomics and other noteworthy interior points
AC is very effective, never gave any trouble. Climate control is effective and intelligent. Heating and defrosting also works very well in the winters.
Seat support is in general very good. Rear seats are very comfortable, and drive quality is great. Only issue is my knee getting bruised against the center console.

Otherwise, the ergonomics of the interiors are very functional and intuitive. Everything is where you expect it to be, and you never need to take your eyes off the road for anything. Arms always find rest on the handrests, and there is decent lumbar support.

Dash lighting is good, and so is rest of interior lighting.

Doors have lights that help in looking out when stepping out of the car at night, which is a very useful feature.

One key point – while the front glass is big and slanted, the side glasses get progressively smaller as you go to the back of the car. The rear seat passenger may not get to see much of the outside environment if he/she is short. If it is a kid, you should anyway get a car seat!

- Engine performance & driveability in the city, gearshift and transmission et al
The car has a very refined engine. It is sufficiently powerful, though not extremely powerful. It can ably compete with almost all D segmenters and others if you do put pedal to the metal.

My car has the old Toyota 4 speed auto gearbox, which is quite an ancient relic in the current days of CVTs and dual clutch transmissions.

Driveability is really good in the city and highways, and has a very even torque curve. There is a bit of a rubber band effect, and you can end up feeling a lot more tired and irritated if you try and drive very spiritedly. By that I mean frequent sudden accelerations and braking, and not consistent fast driving. The engine tends to downshift if you floor the accelerator, noise increases but power takes more time to come. However, this can be managed by driving in semi-automatic mode, which I do in the rare situations when I need to do quick driving in city traffic.

Otherwise, in general driving, engine and gearshifts are very smooth and refined, generally not noticeable for passengers in normal driving. Decent NVH levels, and you can hardly hear the engine or the outside noises in the well cladded and insulated interiors.

Much better in general compared to the Civic (which I have driven extensively) and the diesel D segment cars like Jetta, Laura and Cruze.

Ride quality is very good – eats up the miles and maintains its posture well. If you’re sitting at the rear, you can very easily read a book or work on the laptop on the rear seat – the road undulations hardly get through.

High speeds are a different ballgame altogether though – the shortcomings of the 4 speed gearbox surface prominently. At speeds beyond 130 kms, you sorely miss a higher gear and the car progressively feels ‘strained’. The rpms start going over 3.5 k and the top speed you can achieve ever is close to 150-155 kmph, not because the car can’t go any faster, but because you don’t have any more gears to shift up to. This is one that I sorely miss, and felt that my old Opel Astra Club was much less ‘screamy’ at these speeds.
As a disclaimer, I don’t always drive at such speeds, but these observations are from as and when I do happen to get to these speeds on endless and wide highways .

- Fuel efficiency : City and Highway
I am quite happy with the fuel efficiency of the car. City driving with AC gives me 10-10.5 kmpl on an average, and in a good week (with early morning / late night drives with less traffic), I do end up notching an average of 11-11.5kmpl.

Highway average varies depending on your driving style – if you are pumping it, the average ends up being in the range of 10-11kmpl because of the lack of an overdrive gear as a result of which the engine remains at high rpms for extended periods. However, on a recent trip I averaged ~100 kmph for an extended period, and ended up with a mileage of 19 kmpl over a 400 km distance. Amazing I say!

- Suspension & ride quality
Great. Pretty decent ride height, and right balance of softness and hardness in the suspension.

- Handling, on-road behavior, grip levels, steering, braking etc
Handling is decent – I don’t think the steering is as precise as the Ford Ikon I had, but still acceptable for a sedan. I keep the tire air pressure at 34 psi, which keeps the ride quality a little on the harder side but improves road behavior.

If you do happen to take a fast turn, there is body roll. In general the car feels fine, but when you try and be adventurous, it feels bulky and unwieldy. I have driven large, premium cars – and no, it is not just the size of this car. This one is not meant to be a nimble, sure footed car.

Braking is decent though. The car still wears the factory fitted footwear (Bridgestone), and I haven’t had a reason to complain. They do their job decently well, and the ABS hits in when you need it.

This car is not an enthusiast’s car from a handling perspective – period.

- Any particular likes (damped ashtrays, powerful headlights, music system etc.)
Well, the entire above review is mostly filled with positives. Some additional ones below:
- The headlights are HID headlamps, and I like the white light. They are quite effective, and in dark roads, the high beam is very effective. Good job Toyota, in giving factory fitted HID.
- I like the integrated in-dash music system. Many times felt like upgrading because of lack of ipod / iphone / Bluetooth connectivity, but didn’t want to spoil the integrated look of the dash. I use the Aux instead.

- Any particular dislikes (small mirrors, weak wipers, weak foglamps etc.)
No dislikes as such in general. However, I do have some challenges on maintaining the chrome on the rear and alloy wheel hubs. They have become black and corroded in the polluted Noida air, and I have no clue on how to recover them. Have asked all and sundry, and tried all sorts of chemicals – but nothing helps. Any advise or tips on this front would be very, VERY welcome.

- Review on overall practicality (luggage room, ease of ingress/egress, cubby holes etc.)
A very practical car. Only additional thing Toyota could have done was to provide a USB / charging point in the rear.

Boot size is massive, can hold 3-4 large suitcases comfortably. Much bigger than the puny boot of the Civic.

- Any niggles, problems or part replacements faced
No niggles, though please read below for a few painful points.

- Quality of after-sales service (if experienced)
Quality of Toyota service is good in general. Very process driven, and high attention to detail. Contrary to my experience with Ford, Opel and Hyundai in the past – I don’t have ‘new’ troubles with the car when it comes back from the workshop. They are objective in their work, and have not tried to palm off part replacements / additional activities to me. The car has a service interval of 10,000 kms, and a typical service costs 8-9k, all inclusive.

However, there are a few things which I am not completely happy with:
- Brake pads. I have changed the brake pads TWICE so far. The brake pads just don’t seem to be able to last more than 20,000 kms at a stretch. I didn’t realize it the first time over, and apparently screwed the brake discs as well since the pads had completely worn off. Thought that its just not possible for brake pads to have worn out in less than the first 20,000 kms! I know its an automatic, but still…

- Parts are expensive. One of the HID lamps stopped working a little while back. Replacement cost of one bulb was in the range of 10-11k! I was shocked out of my pants. I tend to get spares fitted only from the authorized service center, since I generally don’t have the time or the wherewithal to check veracity of spares from outside. However, am now beginning to question my default choice.. Any inputs would be helpful here.

- Cost of upkeep & maintenance
Besides fuel and service (and the parts I mentioned above), I’ve never had to spend a single dime in its upkeep. Hell, even the battery its running on is original – after 4.5 years of ownership and 51,000 kms!

I have many friends around me who own a range of cars from upper C and D segments, and have seen all of them go through certain painful experiences in their tenure of ownership. This includes breakdowns, battery troubles, equipment troubles, service issues etc – but not me. No point in talking about those, since this thread is not about the other cars. I am just very happy that this is the car I bought, and would probably make the same choice all over again if I was faced with the choice. Having said that, I am not a big fan of the exterior design changes of the new Altis (I like the LED lamps though).

Also, and I think I should end the review by saying this - I am in NO WAY related to anyone in Toyota, or have any relationship with any part of Toyota besides owning their brilliantly crafted vehicle. It may not be a head turner or a tarmac burner, but in my opinion, the Altis is still the best and most rounded (no pun intended!) vehicle available in the country in that segment.

Rounding off with a few readily available pics on my phone, do let me know if you guys would like to see any more.
Attached Thumbnails
Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!-upload-1.jpg  

Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!-upload-2.jpg  

Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!-upload-3.jpg  


Last edited by GTO : 17th May 2013 at 12:03. Reason: Removing extra smiley
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Old 16th May 2013, 11:08   #2
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Long-Term Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by GTO : 16th May 2013 at 11:10.
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Old 16th May 2013, 17:24   #3
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Congrats on the buy. Great write up! Wish you many happy years of ownership on this Toyota. Please keep the pictures coming.
Cheers!
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Old 16th May 2013, 18:03   #4
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by geronimo View Post
- Safety features: ABS, ESP, 6 airbags
Are you sure that Altis has ESP and 6 airbags? I thought it did not fair well in the safety features compared to european counterparts.
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Old 17th May 2013, 11:46   #5
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Thank you Geronimo for a great ownership thread.

I have read elsewhere as well that Corolla and Altis owners have had to replace their brake pads at shorter intervals than what would otherwise be expected. If fact 2 other people have quoted the exact same 20K Kms brake pad change interval! What is the costs of brake pads please?

I am looking for a used automatic for my wife and currently looking at Toyota corolla and Honda City, hence the specefic interest.

Totally agree with you on the Toyota Quality experience, I own a 2012 Innova V.
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Old 17th May 2013, 12:24   #6
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

I'm a bit confused on the 4 speed gearbox part.

As far as I remember, the Altis came with a CVT, right ?

The earlier gen Corolla AT had a 4 speed AT box.

Please let me know if I'm mistaken.



Cheers,
Yogesh.
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Old 17th May 2013, 15:28   #7
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

A very detailed comprehensive review. I have a 3 year old Altis GL (M/T) in the same colour and can vouch for most of the points you have penned down except for the transmission. I am touching 20K km, so I need to watch out for the break pads wearing out.

Did you not get an extra set of HID bulbs with your car?

Like someone above pointed out, your mention of ESP and 6 airbags looks like an error. The Altis has 2 airbags and no option of ESP.

My experience with the dealership has been excellent too. I have had the driver side lumbar support motor and the steering column intermediary shaft replaced under warranty so far. Had to make multiple visits for each of the issues but managed to get them both resolved. The seat motor was replaced few days after the 3 year warranty period at no charge.

Two things that I admire most in the Altis are the tractability of the engine (in stop-go traffic and city driving conditions) and the legroom/back seat comfort. I agree engine is noisy beyond 155-160 kph but seldom drive at those speeds.

The new Altis with the dual VVT-i engine and the 7 speed A/T box is a radical step-up from the 2008 model.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 17th May 2013 at 15:31.
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Old 18th May 2013, 19:49   #8
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Thank you for a well-crafted review. The Corolla AT is my first choice too, but when I called the dealer the other day, I was shocked by the Rs. 18.5 lakh on-road price! Push that price a little and a plethora of options open up. I was thinking of spending more like 15 odd lakhs.
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Old 19th May 2013, 10:01   #9
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Batfreak View Post
Congrats on the buy. Great write up! Wish you many happy years of ownership on this Toyota. Please keep the pictures coming.
Cheers!
Thanks! Will do.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yogeshnagpal View Post
I'm a bit confused on the 4 speed gearbox part.

As far as I remember, the Altis came with a CVT, right ?

The earlier gen Corolla AT had a 4 speed AT box.

Please let me know if I'm mistaken.

Hi Yogesh - Yes, you are mistaken. My Altis also came with a 4 box gearbox. The Altis received a facelift in 2009 (or maybe 2010) - the auto tranny was upgraded to the CVT along with the facelift.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoSlow View Post
Thank you Geronimo for a great ownership thread.

I have read elsewhere as well that Corolla and Altis owners have had to replace their brake pads at shorter intervals than what would otherwise be expected. If fact 2 other people have quoted the exact same 20K Kms brake pad change interval! What is the costs of brake pads please?

I am looking for a used automatic for my wife and currently looking at Toyota corolla and Honda City, hence the specefic interest.

Totally agree with you on the Toyota Quality experience, I own a 2012 Innova V.
GoSlow - I think it costs about 8k to replace a pair of brake pads. I would go back to the bills and cross check once. My 2 bits on your choice between Honda City and Corolla automatics - both are great. Rear seat of Altis is better. City may be slightly cheaper to run and maintain.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
Did you not get an extra set of HID bulbs with your car?
Great you brought that up! I found them stashed away from 4.5 years back!
Though they do not look like HIDs... can you confirm if they are HIDs or not? Attaching a picture at the end of this post.

The Altis's left HID headlamp just went bust, and I was not too happy at the prospect of spending a packet !

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
Like someone above pointed out, your mention of ESP and 6 airbags looks like an error. The Altis has 2 airbags and no option of ESP.
Yup, my bad.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
The new Altis with the dual VVT-i engine and the 7 speed A/T box is a radical step-up from the 2008 model.
Well I think the engine is the same - mine also has the dual VVT-i sticker. I was secretly hoping they would do a major recall and change my 4 speed to the 7 speed CVT .

Quote:
Originally Posted by smekad View Post
Are you sure that Altis has ESP and 6 airbags? I thought it did not fair well in the safety features compared to european counterparts.
My mistake. It has EBD and not ESP. And 2 airbags.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitkb View Post
Thank you for a well-crafted review. The Corolla AT is my first choice too, but when I called the dealer the other day, I was shocked by the Rs. 18.5 lakh on-road price! Push that price a little and a plethora of options open up. I was thinking of spending more like 15 odd lakhs.
Woah! Prices HAVE gone up. I didn't realise that the AT is now 18.5L on road! Though I think you may be able to get some good deals, given the state of the industry and that the petrol Altis isn't really selling like hot cakes.

Thanks all for the interest and comments!
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Old 19th May 2013, 15:06   #10
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Quote:
Originally Posted by geronimo View Post
Great you brought that up! I found them stashed away from 4.5 years back!
Though they do not look like HIDs... can you confirm if they are HIDs or not? Attaching a picture at the end of this post.
The pic you posted shows a HB9005/9006 halogen bulb ; not a HID

Congrats on your ownership -I am a big fan of the Corolla AT and the Altis Gen1 , since it features a simple straightforward torque converter transmission.

I owned a Corolla AT and was mighty pleased with the reliability of its mechanicals,except the ac.

The change interval of brake pads in the AT is low - depends on whether the car is primatily used in the city or on the highway.In the former case , pads need change even at 15k kms but an average repalcement frequency is 20 k kms

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Old 20th May 2013, 11:38   #11
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Great review and very spot on with your observations. Since I own an Altis I can relate to your brake pad issue, mine too was replaced at 20k kms but I wasn't as shocked as I had owned a Accord in the past and that too had the same wear time of the brake pad since it was automatic.
However this seems like a problem only with Japanese cars. My german cars have brakepads running for almost double the time.
Overall I don't think the Altis is cheap to maintain, surprisingly my Superb which was bought only 6 months after the Altis has prove to be cheaper to maintain overall. And also provided better FE. I am surprised how you are managing 10kmpl, in Mumbai the car does not deliver more than 7.5kmpl.
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Old 23rd May 2013, 11:22   #12
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Congrats on a well written review. I am also from Noida and also own a Altis VL bought in March 2009 and my ownership experience has been similar to yours. I bought this after having evaluated Linea, City and Civic

I summarize this car in few lines as follows:-

1. Very comfortable and convenient car for driver and the passengers.
2. Trouble free ownership experience leading to peace of mind.
3. It is a car for family and not a car for enthusiastic driver but that's alright with me as I don't think that enthusiastic driving is a good idea in India.
4. The list of features in this car was I think best among all the cars in its price range, when I bought it in 2009, so no regrets. But yes I would have liked to have Automatic Wipers, USB Cable and Bluetooth connectivity.
5. The purchase and service experience from Uttam Toyota has been very good (barring some minor irritants). I haven't let anybody else touch my car for service and spares and though it is costly but my car stil feels like new.
6. Their service workshop is very process driven so chances of goofups and cheating are minimum.
7. The drivability of the car in City is excellent but on highways car feels strained over 120 and definitely in need of more gears. By the way I have never exceeded 110-120 in India but in UK I have driven our Jaguar XF and our old 525 upto 195 without any problem.

My take on few points which you raised:

The rear brake pads only lasts about 20000 KMs. The service advisor told me in advance that only 1.5mm thickness is left on the pads so I can drive about 1000 Kms more before changing them. I had a quote for 2000-2500 from market for pads plus labour but I paid 8500 to Uttam Toyota for changing them. The brakes still feel like those in new car. I have driven 31000 KMs so far and front ones are still holding. Life of rear pads is indeed 20000 in Altis.

My battery conked out last year only after 3 years but that may be due to the fact that my car is not used for 5-6 months every year, as I goto UK. You got a very good life out of your battery

I was given 2 bulbs with the car and I was told that those are HIDs, not halogens.

My service costs have been about 4000 per service. In this March they changed the spark plugs also as per Toyota maintenance schedule.

Sound from my rear speakers have started to crack so I need to change the speakers. Can you please help me on this matter ?

My overall FE now stands at 10.6 KMPL.

I doubt that Superb is cheaper to maintain than Altis.

My one grouse is that after opening the Fresh Air Intake, outside smells enter the car despite the car having a pollen filter. I have had the filter replaced but still problem remains as it is. Maybe it is a known problem though bearable as I keep the vent closed 99% of the time.

Toyota Corolla / Altis is the largest selling car in the world and now I can appreciate why it is so.

Hopefully my next car in India will also be a Toyota.
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Old 26th May 2013, 20:29   #13
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

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Originally Posted by Sahil View Post
Overall I don't think the Altis is cheap to maintain, surprisingly my Superb which was bought only 6 months after the Altis has prove to be cheaper to maintain overall. And also provided better FE. I am surprised how you are managing 10kmpl, in Mumbai the car does not deliver more than 7.5kmpl.
Sahil, I can only say I am happy for you that your Superb has been cheap to maintain .

On the average, well I rarely get below 9.5-10 kmpl. Well, one reason could be that I use a fair bit of toll roads in and around Delhi, which may be averaging out the bumper to bumper city driving.

Also, I don't know if you have a driver. Do check what he does when he isn't around - I started getting really low mileage for a few weeks when I'd given this car to my wife's driver. Immediately improved once I showed him how I can track if he's been keeping the AC on!

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Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
Congrats on a well written review. I am also from Noida and also own a Altis VL bought in March 2009 and my ownership experience has been similar to yours.....
AKJ, great to know mate! I don't know many people with Altis ATs from that generation.

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Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
I was given 2 bulbs with the car and I was told that those are HIDs, not halogens.
Well, this is what I got from Uttam Toyota. Maybe you could check which bulbs you have. In any case, I think it is 4 years too late for me to go and complain to them!

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Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
Sound from my rear speakers have started to crack so I need to change the speakers. Can you please help me on this matter ?
Well, I think that the speakers in the Altis music system are strictly average. Since I drive myself, I got the front speakers changed. I agree that if you want to enjoy some good music, these speakers just don't make the cut.

I am not very technically aware - but I just went to 'Driven' in East of Kailash (based on tbhp directory) and told them to upgrade my ICE without changing the HUD looks. Spent 15-20k, and the results are decent.

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Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
My overall FE now stands at 10.6 KMPL.
Yay!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
My one grouse is that after opening the Fresh Air Intake, outside smells enter the car despite the car having a pollen filter. I have had the filter replaced but still problem remains as it is. Maybe it is a known problem though bearable as I keep the vent closed 99% of the time.
Well you're right. Whenever I've opened the fresh air intake, outside smells do enter the car. I wasn't aware that they weren't supposed to, though! I keep it closed most of the times - except while heating during winters and for the first few minutes when I switch the car on after it's been standing in the heat.

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Originally Posted by akj53 View Post
Hopefully my next car in India will also be a Toyota.
Well I too have been dreaming of the Fortuner for a while! There may be other SUVs which may have a lot of things going for them, but the fact that the Fortuner is a Toyota is a big plus for me.
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Old 27th May 2013, 01:40   #14
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

Thanks for sharing an honest and well written review. As you mentioned, Altis ownerhsip reports are hard to come by. Apart from the brake pads the car is absolutely a joy to own. Wishing you many more happy miles with your car.

You got your brake pads changed both the times from Toyota or tried to get them changed outside? Any idea about the life of aftermarket brake pads?
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Old 27th May 2013, 06:44   #15
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Default Re: Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8 AT - 4.5 years, 51000 kms. Running well...very well!

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Thanks for sharing an honest and well written review. As you mentioned, Altis ownerhsip reports are hard to come by. Apart from the brake pads the car is absolutely a joy to own. Wishing you many more happy miles with your car.

You got your brake pads changed both the times from Toyota or tried to get them changed outside? Any idea about the life of aftermarket brake pads?
Thanks drmohitg. I got the brake pads changed from Uttam Toyota both times. Quality is good, but costs a packet :(. Am already at a stage where I am looking at another brake pad change in the next few months...

No, I haven't explored the aftermarket. I don't have any 'trusted mechanic' that I know of, and am quite uncomfortable handing my car over to unknown folks. Having said that, if someone does tell me of a credible, trustworthy and cheaper option, I would go for it .

I don't think the life of aftermarket brake pads should be any different - its probably the labor cost which will be different, and the same brake pads bought outside are bound to be cheaper...

Other Altis owners, any comments / suggestions?
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