The Corolla has been the definitive family sedan with a solid-as-tank build quality and a roomy, comfortable interior for ages. One of the largest selling nameplates in automotive history has been a hit with the Indian audience as well, although, of late, with the emergence of some new rivals from South Korea and Czechoslovakia, the sales have somewhat dipped. It’s too strong a brand to not believe in though, and Toyota recently introduced the 2017 Facelift of the Corolla with some smart styling changes and a few feature additions. We took the car out for a 700 km spin, and in this 2017 Toyota Corolla Facelift India review, we’ll see how well it fared. Let’s go!
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift Design And Styling
Since it is a facelift, the changes aren’t very big, though the face of the car has been given a clever cosmetic alteration to make it look much more modern than the version it replaces. The new fascia looks sharper, slimmer and appears very sci-fi from certain angles. There’s a new radiator grille, new bumpers, new lighting setup and all of it really works visually.
The radiator grille has been slimmed down to give the car a sharper, wider stance up front. The three slats on the radiator grille have been reduced to two and we really like the slim new chrome treatment on the 2017 version. The headlamps have also been given more than their share of changes, and have been slimmed down and extended to the flanks. The twin barrel setup from the earlier version has now been replaced with a slimmer set with some really nice chrome detailing inside the housing. The changes aren’t just cosmetic though – the 2017 Corolla facelift gets LED headlights and tail-lights. And after having driven it through dawn, dusk, shine, dark and rain we can vouch for the luminance and efficacy of those lighting sources.
The bumper’s central fins now extend all the way to the ends, engulfing the round fog lamps. The surface area around the air dam and faux side intakes is also more chiselled and looks more purposeful. We really like the way the new 2017 Corolla looks – although it’s just a facelift, from the front it looks very different from the car it replaces.
On the sides, things remain as they were, including the design of the 16 inch alloys. At the rear, too, changes aren’t as extensive as those up front with only the tail-lamps getting some minor changes in the colour of the lenses and detailing.
We were surprised by how different the new Corolla managed to look when viewed from the front with just a few changes on its face, and we really think it does manage to turn a few more heads than before with those sleek, slim styling cues.
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Facelift Interior and Features
Interior equipment hasn’t really been the forte of the Corolla, and while some changes have been made, the cabin hasn’t really been overhauled enough to bring it closer to some of its rivals. It’s still spacious, airy and by all means one of the most comfortable places to be in the segment, though, especially at the back seat.
Changes on the dashboard include new circular turbine-inspired side air vents, a new screen for the touchscreen infotainment system. The infotainment system responds better to touch and sounds pretty good too, though it’s definitely not the benchmark for the segment. It also gets satellite navigation, rear view camera projection, Mirrolink and can also tell you a thing or two about how environmentally friendly your driving style is and how you could improve it.
The HVAC controls have also been completely changed with the old rotary controls replaced with buttons. The AC on the top spec VL variant comes with ion generator for a fresher, healthier feel – it cools very effectively and brings the cabin to a chill in no time even on a hot day. There are no AC controls or vents at the rear, though we honestly didn’t feel the need for it (we were three of us) during the entire journey.
The buttons on the steering have been re-arranged and increased in number, and the wheel now also gets a dedicated button for voice commands.
The hazard light button is now circular, instead on an angular one before and there are softer to touch materials inside over the previous version.
At the back, the seats are comfortable as ever and are complemented greatly by the absorbent long travel suspension. The rear seats can be reclined and can also be dropped down to enhance luggage capacity of the 470 litre boot by folding down in a 60/40 ratio.
The power socket at the rear has been replaced with two USB sockets.
The top spec VL variant we had with us comes equipped with an electrically adjustable seat for the driver’s seat with lumbar support though the front passenger still has to make do with mechanical adjustment.
Other features include tilt + telescopic steering wheel, powered and folding wing mirrors, cruise control, paddle shifters, leather seats, rain sensing wipers, rear sunshade and an auto dimming rear view mirror.
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis facelift Engine And Performance
We drove the petrol variant of the car for this review, which is the apt choice for this segment as the diesel version feels rather underwhelming looking at the segment. The 1.8 litre engine which has been around for some time and is a proven, refined and reliable unit dishes out 140 PS of peak power at 6400 rpm, and delivers peak torque rated at 173 Nm at 4000 rpm.
Now those numbers may not be the most impressive within the Corolla’s segment, but we can vouch for the fact that in the real world, this motor has more than sufficient punch for all your practical needs and then some. The engine is mated to a 7 speed i-CVT auto transmission with sequential manual shifts through the shift lever or paddles behind the steering wheel.
The engine offers low and mid range torque in spades, making it a very smooth, refined and practical motor for all the real world scenarios – city or highway. The transmission too, though not the quickest, responds pretty well to gentle inputs or part throttle though mashing the pedal does bring to fore its relative sluggishness with some noise accompanying it without a corresponding increase in speed at times. The engine-transmission combo works well in tandem though, and unless you are driving over enthusiastically, swaps gears smoothly and efficiently with ample and quick surge in acceleration while overtaking.
There’s also a sport mode to engage, which essentially moves the shift points a tad higher within the rev range and holds on to a given gear for longer to enhance acceleration. The car also gets hill hold assist wherein it won’t roll back momentarily if you took your right foot away from the brake on an incline to allow time for it to move ahead and not roll back.
Overall, the New 2017 Corolla Altis gets a decent motor and transmission which is sufficiently powerful and should not give you a chance to complain in most of the scenarios it faces.
There’s also a diesel variant of the Toyota Corolla available the tech specs of which are mentioned separately in the story.
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift Ride and Handling
The highlight of the Corolla is its supple and absorbent ride quality, which allows it to glide over rough surfaces, making the cabin a very comfortable place to be. The ground clearance is pretty good too and even the nastier speed bumps never manage to scrape this one’s belly even when fully loaded. Despite being comfortable and absorbent, however, the Corolla handles predictably with well contained body roll when thrown around bends.
It isn’t as sharp as its German rivals, but is decidedly better than the Elantra when driven enthusiastically. The steering is precise, if not brimming with feedback and allows the driver to place it accurately on the road. There’s no mentionable under or over steer for a car from this class and for the occasional enthusiast it won’t disappoint. Sure, it’s no driver’s car but for a family sedan, the New Corolla finds a great balance between predictable road-holding and a very absorbent ride with ample ground clearance.
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift Fuel efficiency
The ARAI certified fuel efficiency of the new 2017 Corolla Altis Facelift is 16.7 kmpl. During our test drive, we managed to extract a fuel efficiency of around 9 km/l within the city and above 12 km/l for the highway. By the end of the trip, since most of the driving was done on highways and empty roads, we received a healthy efficiency figure of 11 km/l with three aboard. That number is pretty good for a 1.8 litre petrol engine in the real world driving conditions.
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift Safety Features
Following are the safety feature available on the top of the line petrol VL AT variant we drove:
- 7 airbags
- Hill hold control
- Electronic Stability Control
- ABS with EBD and BA
- Impact sensing fuel supply cut
- Speed Auto Lock
- Child restraint system
- Triple 3-point seat belts at rear
- Rear window defogger
- Alarm + Immobilizer
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift 1.8 Petrol Tech Specs
|Type||2ZR-FE, Gasoline, 4 Cylinder Inline|
|Valve Train||16 Valve, DOHC, Dual VVT-i (Dual Variable Valve Timing – intelligent)|
|Displacement||1798 cm3 (cc)|
|Fuel Supply System||Electronic Fuel Injection (EFI)|
|Max. Output||103 kW (140 PS) @ 6400 rpm|
|Max.Torque||173 Nm @ 4000 rpm|
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift 1.4 Diesel Tech Specs
|Type||1ND – TV, D-4D Diesel Engine with Variable Nozzle Turbo and Intercooler, 4 Cylinder Inline|
|Displacement / Fuel Supply System||1,364 cm3 (cc) / Common Rail|
|Max. Output||65 kW (88 PS) @ 3,800 rpm|
|Max. Torque||205 Nm @ 1,800-2,800 rpm|
New 2017 Toyota Corolla Altis Facelift Price in India
G Manual: INR 15.43 lakh
G CVT Automatic: INR 17.04 lakh
GL Manual: INR 17.80 lakh
DG Manual: INR 16.89 lakh
New 2017 Corolla Altis Facelift Buying Advice
The Corolla Altis is a reliable car which focuses on things that matter, while somewhat cutting out the frills and some features. It’s priced slightly on the higher side looking at the features, though it still is the most dependable workhorse in its segment which would serve you for years with minimal service and repairs overheads. If you are looking for a comfortable family sedan which is high on reliability, longevity and maintenance costs – this one is a no brainer. If, however, you are looking for more specific things like a very rich looking interior, or enthusiast oriented performance, you should probably look at other options.