Toyota Corolla Altis Diesel Ownership Review
After years of trustworthy driving on my hyundai accent petrol, i wanted something in the next segment. The cars considered were the Honda civic, chevy cruze, skoda Laura, Renault fluence , volkswagon jetta and the Toyota corolla.*
First love was the civic, but gave up because the new civic which was launched in US did not seem to be coming to India soon. Dropped the fluence because of their relatively small presence in India. The cruze and laura appealed a lot to the heart, but not much to the head after speaking to owner friends of those vehicles. I felt The jetta was a tad overpriced probably not to trouble its sibling, the laura.
The altis seemed to fit in all my requirements in the fields of brand reputation, long term reliability ,after sales service ,ground clearance etc. After finalising the altis, next came the perennial question, diesel or petrol?. The petrol was definetely smoother compared to the diesel sibling, but the diesel was definetely good on its own merit. I had read a lot about the size of the engine in the altis diesel car, but on TD, it was not so bad as i feared. In fact, it was overpowered for bangalore traffic and for long trips on the highway, it may take a few seconds more to reach 100km when compared to the cruze or the Laura, *but had the most important trump card, the amazing FE. So, settled on the altis diesel .(shall try to justify the diesel choice in another thread).
Dealership Experience: 18 days was the waiting period and 18 days was what was promised by the executive. Delivery process was smooth and slick. The car purchase was a surprise for my family and I had brought them to the showroom on a pretext of a test drive of the etios (which my wifey was not thrilled about). The executive and the manager played their part by coming with a box of choclates and the car keys on a big plate, gave them to my wife and said "ma'am,congratulations on your new drive, we are pleased to offer you a Toyota altis". What followed next was plain blank faces for some time, while me and the executive were just smiling". After the euphoria settled down,we finally drove home our new pearl white altis at 6pm on 30th November 2011. They don't offer any freebies or discounts for the diesel version.
Initial driving experience:- The car is an absolute pleasure to drive on long stretches of good road as well as in peak hour traffic. Seating comfort is top class and the interiors, fit and finish are top notch. Touch screen HU is good. However, nothing much to speak about the speakers. I got mine changed to component Rockford fosgate later at another place. After the initial running, the mileage more or less seems to have settled at around 17.2 for city drive. Haven't had the chance to go on a long drive yet, hence shall post on this later. The odometer presently reads 1450kms. The turbo lag is mostly unnoticeable because of the variable geometry transmission and also because of the additional 6th gear. Gear change is extremely smooth, though i felt that the clutch is a bit hard. Finished the first service at ravindu Toyota and the process was over in five hours.*
Presently enjoying my new set of wheels to the hilt. Shall post later after the odo has clocked a few thousand more.