New 2023 Toyota Corolla Altis facelift launched in China with a more efficient hybrid engine
CY Foong · May 22, 2023 02:30 PM
Updated CN-spec Corolla gets torsion beam suspension on 1.5-litre petrol variants
Multi-link suspension maintained on hybrid and turbo variants
Hybrid gets latest 5th-gen THS II
The current 12th-gen Toyota Corolla Altis has been around since 2019 and thus, it has been given an update in China. Minor facelift aside, the world’s best-selling sedan has also undergone some changes underneath.
In China, the Toyota Corolla is sold by FAW Toyota, one of two joint ventures in the world’s biggest car market. The other is GAC Toyota which offers the Corolla’s twin called the Levin which sports a completely different design.
The updated Chinese-spec Corolla is offered with 9 variants priced between RMB 116,800-155,800 (~RM 75.5k-100.7k) and comes with a choice of 3 engines – 1.5-litre naturally-aspirated variants (121 PS/148 Nm), 1.2-litre turbocharged variants (116 PS/185 Nm), and 1.8-litre hybrid variants.
The petrol-hybrid system consists of a 1.8-litre Atkinson-cycle petrol engine with a 70-kW electric motor that makes a combined output of 137 PS. The hybrid system on the Chinese-spec Corolla uses the latest fifth-generation Toyota Hybrid System II (THS II) and Toyota claims that efficiency is improved.
Some improvements on the hybrid system include a lightweight battery that is up to 44% lighter than the ones used on the previous generation THS II as well as more compact battery size. Toyota claims that this not only offers a quieter ride but is also more fuel efficient with a claimed fuel consumption of 4.06 L/100 km.
As seen in the Taiwan-spec Corolla Altis, the Chinese-spec Corolla also receives rear torsion beam suspension but only on the 1.5-litre variants. The turbocharged and hybrid variants, meanwhile, maintain the rear multi-link suspension set-up.
Elsewhere, the 1.5-litre variants also only offer 6 airbags while the turbo and hybrid variants get 8 airbags as standard with the addition of driver and passenger knee airbags. However, all variants aside from the base 1.5 Pioneer variant get a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment screen as standard with Apple CarPlay.
ADAS is available as standard on all variants which includes Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC) with stop-and-go as well as Pre-Collision System (PCS) with front pedestrian recognition.
Back home in Malaysia, the Corolla Altis has remained mostly unchanged since it made its local debut in 2019. Imported from Thailand (CBU), the Malaysian-spec Corolla Altis is only available with a 1.8-litre 2ZR-FE (139 PS/172 Nm) petrol engine across two variants: