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Old 5th August 2010, 23:52   #91
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Rohan_iitr, excellent post. I couldn't have written it better. It is indeed amusing to watch some guys come to the rescue of Toyota saying," so what if it is underpowered." Why do people worship a badge, any badge so much? The same guys would have sung a different tune if Tata or Mahindra had plonked a weak engine in any of their cars. They say the Toyota badge is enough. May be for now, but it won't be long before things change. I think just like Sony, Toyota is past its prime. It may have has just crested its peak. I think the weight of badge and all the fat it has accumulated over the decades is weighing it down. Nothing lasts for ever. First the Brits, then the Yanks and then the Japanese and then the Koreans. Next wave would come from China. Whether we like it or not, in next 20 years most of the world would be driving cars the names of which we won't be able to spell or pronounce. But who cares? Name of the game is affordable motoring. Meanwhile and until that happens, Toyota can keep the game of under-speccing and overpricing going as long as it can.

Last edited by pgsagar : 5th August 2010 at 23:54.
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Old 6th August 2010, 09:47   #92
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so what if it is underpowered
Is the Altis under-powered for the segment? You bet. I clearly mentioned, in the opening post, that its performance is equal to 2 segments below.

However, we have to understand that there is a substantial chunk of the market which wants an all-rounder product, instead of only a powerful one. Fact is, a majority of the market cares about factors such a peace of the mind / space / comfort / practicality more than they do about power. Could the Altis have had more power? Again, YES. But then, the Cruze could have had better quality interiors and more cabin space. The Laura could have had better reliability, honest after-sales service and better back seat comfort. I am myself not happy about dumping a 1.4L into the C+ segment Altis.....but no car is perfect, and the good thing about competition is : There's something for everyone.

Let me give you another example:

My kid brother had taken the Civic out on Wednesday night. Last night, on the dinner table, as usual...something about cars comes up. My brother had come with me to pick up the Altis D-4D, so I asked him "Which between the two would you pick up?". Pat came the answer, without a second thought, "Altis D-4D". Note, he's a young man who is professionally educated (management student, and a class topper - Deans list), well-travelled, is extremely well-read, on top of most business & technological developments (industry wise), huge into sports (including playing himself), a gadget freak and his current affairs knowledge beats mine hollow. Translated : He isn't the one who doesn't have a clue about cars, or the type who will buy one only for the badge. He is an informed customer.

Understandably, I was shocked. His reasons: Great space & ride quality, economical running, long-term reliability and practicality. In addition, he adds a point "Bhai, even Mom / Dad can enjoy the car when they want to (be chauffeur-driven). The Altis is superior as a multiple use family car".

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Originally Posted by Maverick79 View Post
As the engine is under 1.5, why not Toyota think about a 'Compact Sedan' treatment to Altis ( Ofcourse after checking the wheel base and other complexities to make it less than 4mtr long) and further increase the competition in the entry level segment of C class..
1. They wouldn't want to dilute the Corolla / Altis brand by pricing it in the C segment.

2. The Etios (a proper C segment sedan) is coming.

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Very nice and very detailed review.
So when Punto 90BHP gets GTO'ed?
Thanks. Sometime soon.
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:07   #93
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Thats exactly what I felt in my mind, in case if they had plonked some bigger engine, I dont think they would have lost anything.

At the end of the day a 1.8 or 2L engine would have costed after all INR 1Lakh more. which I am sure any corolla customer would not mind paying.

But BTW I feel the 2.5L Innova would be too big for it.
If customers feel and start giving negative feedback about poor eng performance, I think Toyota may reserve this engine for Etios and put in Innova's 2.5 (if it is technically feasible) or any 2L from its shelf.
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Old 6th August 2010, 12:12   #94
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Understandably, I was shocked. His reasons: Great space & ride quality, economical running, long-term reliability and practicality. In addition, he adds a point "Bhai, even Mom / Dad can enjoy the car when they want to (be chauffeur-driven). The Altis is superior as a multiple use family car".
Thats where Toyota Stands.
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Old 6th August 2010, 19:44   #95
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Had gone to Nandi Toyota for some work on my Altis and asked the sales guy if I could get a TD of the D-4D Altis. Pat comes his reply, Sir, the car has not been idle since the day it was launched and we already have a waiting list for the car. We will give you a call based on appointment but getting a TD now is impossible as there are many people waiting already.

I agree one may argue that this is a new car launch so there's gonna be a lot of hype. As a comparison there was no queue at the Chevy showroom for the Cruze on the second day of launch when I went there.

The Corolla brand name itself is enough. superb FE from a diesel, comfortable car and a corolla badge is the reason why people go for a Toyota. Not to enjoy driving.
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Old 6th August 2010, 21:33   #96
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On the one hand we have the Cruze which frankly IMO is 'overpowered'. Good to have for car freaks like us, but the mass market does not need that much power and torque. The money could have been spent on other things that it lacks.

On the other, we have the 'underpowered' Altis.

Can we just have a normal car with around 120 bhp maybe?
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Old 6th August 2010, 21:45   #97
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Can we just have a normal car with around 120 bhp maybe?
Hyundai Elantra Avante CRDi maybe?
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Old 6th August 2010, 22:04   #98
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We will give you a call based on appointment but getting a TD now is impossible as there are many people waiting already
That quite succinctly puts across what the car buying public thinks of the Altis D!

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If customers feel and start giving negative feedback about poor eng performance, I think Toyota may reserve this engine for Etios and put in Innova's 2.5 (if it is technically feasible) or any 2L from its shelf.
This chassis is capable of taking the 154 BHP 2.4L petrol engine (Corolla XRS) but a 2.5L diesel is much heavier.

BTW, Toyota Thailand recently plonked the new 2ZR-FE petrol engine (bye bye 1ZZ-FE) developing 140 PS into the Altis. That should be fun! The same engine is tuned for 132 HP in the US.

PS - The new Thai Altis with no less than a 7 speed AT box!

Cheers!

Last edited by R2D2 : 6th August 2010 at 22:10. Reason: added PS
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Old 7th August 2010, 10:45   #99
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Originally Posted by Mpower View Post
On the one hand we have the Cruze which frankly IMO is 'overpowered'. Good to have for car freaks like us, but the mass market does not need that much power and torque. The money could have been spent on other things that it lacks.

On the other, we have the 'underpowered' Altis.

Can we just have a normal car with around 120 bhp maybe?
The Optra Magnum probably fits the bill. Its almost in the ANHC price bracket and offers more VFM albeit loses out on brand image.
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Old 7th August 2010, 15:39   #100
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Good review. Yes, the car is suitably set for chauffer driven. But,I think, its a great car for personal use too--driven by owners themselves. I mean, to people -- like me --who like to be patient when driving, who need to hit highway once or twice a week or in some cases, everyday, who dont care about the performance aspect especially considering the FE and the price, and not to mention thats its a C segment car. I dont think there are many cars offering what this 1.4L D-4D Toyota Altis is offering, especially considering this segment only, i mean look at the FE, the price and with the Toyota badge on it. If I had the money , I would buy it eyes closed . I am seriously considering on an attempt:- To persuade my father on buying this car. Notwithstanding the fact, that my father never listens to me when it comes to buying cars.

The question , like many others are asking is : Why 1.4 L D-4D for altis which seems underpowered for this car , and when it already has a petrol 1.8L twin sibling?

One deliberated on this , and rather than coming to the simplistic response that it would have been better had Toyota plonked a higher capacity Diesel motor even with FE not like the irresistable 21+ this car is giving,but performance at the expense of FE; By the by this proposition may have its legitemacy. But this would eventually increase the price and would make the Diesel Altis much more expensive than her twin petrol sibling and more importantly would decrease the price difference this Diesel Altis enjoys at this moment comparitively to other Diesel cars in this segment only,like Skoda Laura and Diesel Altis price will come near Chevrolet Cruze. The fact of the matter is that by doing this , Toyota would actually eliminate the very two factor's that set this car different from other cars of this segment :- A least expensive Diesel car of this segment and the irresistable FE which others in this segment arn't giving .

Let us consider another aspect , the sibling rivalry between the Petrol Altis and Diesel Altis . If higher spec Diesel Altis gives performance similar to its twin petrol sibling and has FE way better than petrol sibling , then who would go for petrol Altis? Even though less expensive the petrol one, the performance similar but the FE , would tilt the scale in favor of Diesel Atlis. The consequence would be the fall of sale of Petrol Altis especially in comparison to higher sale of Diesel Altis. At this moment, the 1.4L D-4D Diesel Altis keeps her 1.8L petrol Altis at arms length. The customer bent on buying Altis who doesn't care about FE, considers performance essential would go for Petrol Altis and similarly the customer bent on buying Altis who considers FE most important would go for Diesel Altis. This would allow Toyota sale of Diesel Altis at the same time, if not rise of sale of petrol Altis atleast not Fall to nil. The cumulative sale of Toyota Altis would grow anyway , as one believes that the 1.4 L D-4D diesel Altis is a good product.

Inspite of what one believes, who knows many may consider the above as mere speculation and consider the above estimation unwarranted, perhaps , there may be an inherent flaw in my estimation! But, one would like to know the views of other T-bhpians about it.
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Old 7th August 2010, 16:43   #101
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Thanks for sharing. I wasn't aware that so many other cars come equipped with mat-holding hooks.
Well--they had a lot of accelerator stuck claims in the US that they, among other reasons, also attributed to misplaced carpets .

Guess the newer models in India got them as a result

Toyota Vehicles : Frequently Asked Questions For Sticking Accelerator Pedal Recall and Suspension of Sales / Toyota

Toyota floormat recall gets explained — Autoblog

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Old 7th August 2010, 18:26   #102
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Another useful test drive writeup. It seems Toyota have a winner on their hands. Not too many manufacturers in this segment can get away with plonking a 1.4 diesel under the hood. But, all things considered, this is quite simply the best no-nonsense back-seat driver's car for that price.

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Iím shocked at the omission of airbags in the Altis J (base variant). Further, the base version doesnít even get pre-tensioners for the seatbelts!
Omitting pre-tensioners is a bit silly, even for the taxi segment variant.
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Old 7th August 2010, 20:11   #103
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Looking at many of the previous posts where most of them feel that the toyota is reliable compared to a cruze , toyota has much better brand value etc .. I do not think that there exists any scientific explanation . Going by the posts most of them have repeated something from the previous other posts . I do not think whoever thinks toyota is more reliable than a cruze , honda civic , magnum has ever owned both the vehicles to warrant a comment . I agree the chevy brand is equated much lesser than the toyota , but given the 3 year warranty schemes from chevy with regard to maintenance and the success of spark and the company honour of actually giving a 3 year trouble free maintenance ride ,it is totally rubbish that toyota would be cheaper to maintain .

Moreover , Chevy have been increasing their dealerships and Toyota still has 2 dealers in chennai where as the chevy has 3 and a few more are expected .
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Old 7th August 2010, 20:27   #104
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One deliberated on this , and rather than coming to the simplistic response that it would have been better had Toyota plonked a higher capacity Diesel motor even with FE not like the irresistable 21+ this car is giving,but performance at the expense of FE; By the by this proposition may have its legitemacy. But this would eventually increase the price and would make the Diesel Altis much more expensive than her twin petrol sibling and more importantly would decrease the price difference this Diesel Altis enjoys at this moment comparitively to other Diesel cars in this segment only,like Skoda Laura and Diesel Altis price will come near Chevrolet Cruze. The fact of the matter is that by doing this , Toyota would actually eliminate the very two factor's that set this car different from other cars of this segment :- A least expensive Diesel car of this segment and the irresistable FE which others in this segment arn't giving .
When talking about fuel efficiency , I do not think the toyota diesel will be much more fuel efficient than the laura or the jetta on the highway .
We are talking about ARAI fuel efficieny of 21+ here and not the actual everyday use . Talking about highway cruising if the car is already on 100km/hr and If someone needs to overtake this car it would take ages . With toll roads coming up on most of the highways the normal cruising speed would be much higher say 120 + for a C ,D segment vehicle . At this speed the vehicle has almost reached its top speed ( i think the top speed is 140Km/ph ) .
Any vehicle to remain fuel efficient will have to be driven at its optimal operating speed and in this case I am sure the corolla would be well over its optimal speed on the highway . At this speed I do not think the vehicle would still have a useable torque to overtake other vehicles effectively . I am sure drivers with a lead foot will get a lower fuel efficiency on the toyota compared to the other same segment vehicles .
As noted from GTO post , the best use for this vehicle would be a chauffer driven one inside the city and not for the highways . And when it comes to the cities the car with its turbo lag would not be so comfortable to drive around .
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Old 8th August 2010, 00:49   #105
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@GTO
Great review man, couldn't have been better. Had been waiting to read something like this on the corolla since its launch.
Waiting to see the figures on the sales charts. Not sure how will the people respond to this car. Have a feeling it might be pushed in the 'high end taxi' segment which will really piss toyota.
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