Toyota Motor Thailand has introduced the all-new Corolla Altis with three engine variances to stay ahead of its C-segment sedan competition.
For the first time, the Corolla is available with a petrol-electric hybrid apart from the usual 1.6- and 1.8-litre pure petrol options, all mated to CVT automatic transmission. It is considered the first full-featured hybrid electric vehicle in the Thai market. The proliferation of hybrid electric technology is the first step towards the expansion of electric cars in the future.
The hybrid-powered Corolla shares the same 122hp drivetrain with the C-HR B-segment SUV combining 1.8-litre combustion engine and electric motor. There are three grades: High 1.099 million baht, Mid 989,000 baht and Entry 939,000 baht.
The other two motors have been carried over from the preceding model including 140hp 1.8-litre and 125hp 1.6-litre. The 1.8 sees a power drop of 1hp.
Toyota has chosen to equip the 1.8 with just one trim called GR Sport featuring sporty seats, special instrument panel and steering-mounted paddle-shifters, as such. It replaces the outgoing Esport model and costs 999,000.
The 1.6, meanwhile, has two specs: G going for 869,000 baht and Limo for 829,000 baht with the latter aimed at taxis. The CNG-powered 1.6 has been discontinued.
The latest generation of the Corolla is underpinned by the brand’s TNGA platform that’s also used in the C-HR and bigger Camry sedan. Seven airbags are made standard across the range.
In addition, the Corolla now comes with some driving aids from the so-called Toyota Safety Sense package available in higher end models. Some of them include blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert and parking guidance system.
The main rivals for the Corolla in Thailand are Honda Civic, Mazda 3 and Nissan Sylphy with none of them having a hybrid option to choose from.
The Mazda 3 will be introduced in all-new form later this month. But rather than coming with the brand’s innovative Skyactiv-X engine, the 3 gets the carried-over Skyactiv-G 2.0-litre petrol motor and six-speed torque-converter auto.