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Old 1st November 2008, 19:27   #1
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Thumbs up Corolla Altis AT- Test drive

I had got myself registered with two dealers for the test drive of Altis (AT) around the time when it was launched. But due to some reason or the other it was not happening. On 30th Oct , I wrote to Toyota ( email) about this and also tried to get some info about the "Fortuner". I was pleasantly surprised to see a call from Bangalore within 10 minutes of sending the email. I spoke and confirmed few details.

Friday morning- I got calls from both the dealers with apologies from their CR team and soon had confirmed a test drive fro saturday.

Finally I got the test drive today. I have tested it thoroughly with 3 of my family members. I must admit that this was my most pleasant experience about the test drive so far. Drove it in the way that I would love to normally drive- redlined and ripped each opportunity I got over 30 kms- in Auto mode as well as Sports mode in all gears.

Overall experience is "fantastic" and this car seemed to meet all that I needed and was not expecting in terms of performance. The fact that I could zip it through in all conditions I encountered , ( which I would normally encounter on the road) was very satisfying. Driver seats adjustments, steering adjustments provided for very comfortable positions and excellent all around visibility which inspired a lot of confidence.

The gear/drive mode change stick is more comfortable while using (compared to the Santro / Laura which have a button which needs to be pushed while shifting the position- over a long drive in the city commute sometimes it hurts the left thumb). Tiptronic/ Sport mode was a fantastic revelation as in the Civic.

With just 4 gears in AT- I was expecting lower FE as well as performance but somehow - i didnt feel anything negative about it- though on brochures it may look an archaic AT box - but in real life I dont think it makes any difference.

Max I could touch was 150 - as everytime the road ended / there was a signal. Only grouch is that on the same road - in same conditions I have touched 160+ in Laura AT, Accent CRDi , Verna and even Baleno.

But yes it was pleasure to see it hitting the red line on the tacho each time I wanted it- it may make a bit noise as read elsewhere on this forum- which of course I didnt notice - as I was overwhelmed with the politeness of the test drive team from the dealer's side and this car from the driver's perspective that I was trying to feel.

Ask me if I am happy with this car- "Yes, very much". What I liked the most- nothing outstanding but there is nothing that is much needed and not there. However, if you like -for the sake of cribbing- I can say it doesnt have a sun roof, just a 4 speed AT, it doesnt have the tyre pressure monitoring system and I can say its a petrol engine - hey but something with all this is costing a whopping 4 lakhs more than this ( Laura AT) and it means that I can have the fun drive in Altis - for upto 75000 kms within the amount that I save if I buy it.

Decision- not too sure- Head says - Altis AT- Heart still says - Laura AT. Lets see.
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Old 1st November 2008, 19:47   #2
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If i had to make a choice
i'd choose altis

Its more vfm and even the service of toyota is better than skoda

A good review . Thanks
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Old 1st November 2008, 20:15   #3
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even i test drove the altis and i can also say that the gearbox is very nice and smooth shifts even though having 4 gears to play with, i would say that save and with patience go for the skoda laura
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Old 1st November 2008, 21:50   #4
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Sure, the Laura may be a better car, but the after sales is a big, big problem. If your city has a good dealer, go for it. Otherwise, it'll turn into a nightmare.

Thanks for the report!
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Old 1st November 2008, 23:45   #5
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A good report there.Was there any news from TOYOTA regarding Fortuner?
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Old 2nd November 2008, 02:13   #6
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Hey there, you not expecting the Altis to be the best in performance is a wise brain frame you took with you for the TD. As we mentioned in our review (in this forum), this car is not for the ones who seek performance handling etc. It is an ideal family car.

As you rightly mentioned, ultimately it is the satisfaction that you get in the car that prompts you to buy it. Seems like the Altis has given you the sign.

Again, very truly said - while strictly classifying it as a family car, there is nothing to crib about nor anything to boast about.

A very true report there. Keep it up!!!

PS: Are Toyota releasing the Yaris in your nation?
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Old 2nd November 2008, 12:45   #7
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Thanks.
@Raj & Brosreview - the dealers as well as the Toyota CR team at Bangalore- could give no clues for the Fortuner but some forums online mentioned dates from Dec end to Mid 2009. I doubt Dec 2008 - remotest possibility as Toyota has hands full with newly launched Altis, Innova - facelift is due soon and may be plans for Yaris in March-June 2009. Only then I guess they would go for Fortuner IMHO.

Yes fully agree with you that I didnt have much expectations in terms of performance but honestly - after ripping Verna VGT- Santro, Laura & Altis ( all in AT) feel too slow- but very very comfortable.

Surprisingly my family members felt that Laura was more spacious at rear than the Altis. Is it true? The debate is still on in the family over which one. Wish Fortuner was here- there would have been no debate.
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Old 2nd November 2008, 15:10   #8
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Hey there, we haven't driven a Laura. But, we gather from our friend in India that it is more spacious than the Corolla. But, then he (our friend) mentioned that the spare part rates and after sales service of Skoda is poor in India.

In that case, we reckon it is smarter to own a Corolla instead. It is not wise to rely alone on space issue(s) to alter a car buying decision now, is it? The Corolla is quite spacious and over all a decent family car.

Well, what is the price difference between the two cars?
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Old 3rd November 2008, 00:07   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shatrughna View Post
What I liked the most- nothing outstanding but there is nothing that is much needed and not there.
And that, in a nutshell, explains the Corollas global success. The Corolla doesn't particularly exceed in one area...on the other hand, it does everything acceptably well. Great report. You are obviously sold, when are you plonking that deposit?

Quote:
Only grouch is that on the same road - in same conditions I have touched 160+ in Laura AT,
I'd be surprised. The Laura feels decently peppy at the start but totally runs out of pep at 140 - 150.

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Originally Posted by Brosreview View Post
But, we gather from our friend in India that it is more spacious than the Corolla.
The Altis backseat is much better than that of the Laura.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 02:07   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO - Touring View Post
The Altis backseat is much better than that of the Laura.
I can attest to that. When we were comparing cars for our own purchase, we were surprised at how bad the Skodas were at backseat comfort. Octy is a bench with near no leg room, Laura is a bench with some cushions. Disappointed at that.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 03:16   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO - Touring View Post
The Altis backseat is much better than that of the Laura.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ImmortalZ View Post
I can attest to that.
Hey there, sorry about the possible mistake shatrughna. As admitted earlier, we have not driven the Laura. Anyway, we reckon you could stay happy with the Altis.
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Old 3rd November 2008, 09:37   #12
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Go for the ALTIS, Toyota service is the best you can get for your car. I have my best experience with Toyota for my friends Innova, how i wish they could service my SWIFT VDI too
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Old 3rd November 2008, 16:05   #13
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Nice study, trully the price difference too large compaired to the extra things in laura.

What was your study about the low speed driving like we do most of the time in city? Which one you found better Laura or Altis?
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Old 3rd November 2008, 16:27   #14
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While the car may be a bit lackluster, toyota A.S.S is very good by any measure , and positively stellar compared to Skoda's.
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Old 4th November 2008, 10:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ym-enjn View Post
Nice study, trully the price difference too large compaired to the extra things in laura.

What was your study about the low speed driving like we do most of the time in city? Which one you found better Laura or Altis?
Low speed ride or high speed ride- from driver'e perspective- I found corolla very very convenient to drive- flooring the pedal- redlining it. But one thing I didnt like was the top speed that I could achieve. I am not able to find any information about the top speed that Altis AT achieves.

Laura just blows mind away with its safety features , 6 speed tiptronic - twin zone ac and with the sunroof opened- no words to share that feeling. But yes, even the pedal needed a push which could be tiring and even the button on the transmission stalk/ lever can be painful for the thumb. Overall visibility and confidence to push it in corner was felt better in Corolla than in Laura. One thing I would like to share is that in tiptronic ( manual ) mode- the rpm meter redlines in any gear and doesnt change to higher gear on its own- truly manual control and better still no button to push on the gear lever- its just a little push to left / right and up / down - Its great.

My Verna easily touches 200kmph ( speedo) , even Accent CRDi - I could easily touch 170 (speedo and max 180kmph- I have done). Anyone who has floored the pedal for a pretty long time- please, let know what max speed could you achieve.
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