The Toyota Corolla Altis has undergone its scheduled mid-life upgrade and the plaid homely sedan has grown into an anime over the years. The sharp looks, edgy fascia and swanky lines are good to look at. But underneath this space-age cloak are the reliable age-old mechanicals which made Toyotas bulletproof for at least a decade. But if you were looking at the choices you have for the kind of money you would spend on the new Altis, look no further.
The 2017 Corolla Altis starts at Rs 15.87 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi. At this price tag, you would get yourself a top-spec Honda City diesel with an electric sunroof and still save at least Rs 2.5 lakh. Instead of the bare-bones petrol sedan, you can opt for the Renault Duster RXZ AMT with a frugal diesel engine and an automatic gearbox and save almost Rs 3 lakh. The top-spec Hyundai Creta diesel automatic is another car you could zero-in on and still save more than Rs 1 lakh. The Honda City might be a long shot for comparison, but the other two SUVs make a very strong case for themselves, especially on the value-for-money front.
For an additional Rs 2lakh, you can invest in the base G petrol CVT, priced at Rs 17.52 lakh or the base G diesel for Rs 17.36 lakh. When you are spending that much moolah, Rs 50,000 extra will get you the second-to-top VX trim of the Innova Crytsa, with the 2.4-litre engine, or the 2.8-litre automatic of the GX trim, with almost Rs 1 lakh to spare. You could also get the top-spec Hyundai Elantra diesel with a manual gearbox at a similar price and we all agree that the Hyundai will, on any given day, have more features than even the top-spec Toyota.
Next comes the GL trim where the petrol will cost you Rs 18.3 lakh while the diesel will set you back by Rs 19.05 lakh. Well, these are serious amounts and for this price, you will get the top-spec Mahindra XUV500 AWD automatic or the Tata Hexa XT 4x4 (both of them seat seven rather comfortably). While the XUV will give you a sunroof and automatic gearbox with 4x4 and a slew of features, the Tata Hexa will get you everything except the auto and sunroof and also save you more than Rs 1 lakh.
The top-of-the-line Toyota Corolla Altis VL CVT comes with a petrol engine and will set you back by Rs 19.92 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. At this price you can get the top-spec diesel automatic Hyundai Elantra and save almost a lakh also in addition to incurring lower running costs or you could go in for the mid-level Ambition trim of the Skoda Octavia (both petrol and diesel along with automatic options). Throw in Rs 1 lakh more and you get the top-spec Volkswagen Jetta and if you like driving, there is hardly anything that betters the VW for that price.