2021 Toyota Corolla Altis adds TSS to more Thai variants, can it boost past the Civic?

CY Foong · Jan 12, 2021 09:00 AM

In light of poor sales compared to its main rival, the Honda Civic, Toyota Thailand has launched an updated version of the 2021 Toyota Corolla Altis.

As the Corolla Altis was only launched in the Kingdom back in 2019, nothing major has been added in terms of design but the refreshed Thai-spec Corolla Altis does gain a few new features and variants.

We’ll start with the features of the updated Corolla Altis 1.8 Sport. Previously, the 1.8-litre engine was only available on the GR Sport variant and Toyota Thailand decided to add a lightly less racy-looking variant to use this engine.

The powertrain is retained from the GR Sport which is a naturally-aspirated 1.8-litre Dual-VVTi that produces 140 PS and 177 Nm. This engine is mated to a Super CVT-i automatic transmission with 7 virtual gears.

Equipped as standard on the 1.8 Sport variant are:

  • Optitron fluorescent meter with a 7-inch display
  • 8-inch touchscreen infotainment display
  • Apple CarPlay support
  • Qi-wireless charger
  • Electric parking brake
  • Automatic climate control
  • Rear air conditioning

However, a vital update in the 1.8 Sport variant is the addition of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) ADAS suite that was previously only featured on the range-topping Corolla Altis Hybrid High. These features include:

  • Outer Mirror Reverse Function
  • Blind Spot Monitor (BSM)
  • Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA)
  • Cruise control
  • Reverse camera with guiding lines

Now for the enhanced 1.8 GR-Sport and while the features remain mostly the same as the pre-updated GR-Sport variant, it does feature some enhancements including a head-up display. It shares the same powertrains and safety features as the 1.8 Sport.

Keeping in line with the GR-Sport name are the front and rear diffusers, side skirts, and a black boot lid spoiler. Will we see this variant come to Malaysia?

Meanwhile, the Corolla Altis Hybrid receives updates too. The entry-level Hybrid spec is now called the Hybrid Smart, while the Hybrid Premium effectively replaces the Hybrid Mid, and the Hybrid Premium Safety replaces the Hybrid High.

The Corolla Altis Hybrid powered by a 1.8-litre petrol-hybrid engine that produces a combined output of 122 PS. Just like the updated petrol-powered variants, TSS is available on the Hybrid Premium and Hybrid Premium Safety variants.

With these updates, prices across the 2021 Toyota Corolla Altis variants have also gone up in Thailand with the base 1.6-litre Limo starting from THB 839,000 (RM 112,897).

As for Malaysia, we won’t be seeing these updates as the local-spec Corolla Altis is already well-equipped compared to the Thai-spec Corolla Altis.