Used car: From RM 53k, the E170 Toyota Corolla Altis is tempting. Here's what you need to know
Jason · Jul 4, 2021 01:00 PM
When one buys a Toyota Corolla Altis, they know exactly what they getting: A relatively comfortable car, unburstable mechanicals, and a smooth ownership experience. Trouble is, in recent times, the buying audience might want something more than that (as demonstrated by the FC-generation Honda Civic).
That doesn't make the Corolla Altis a bad car to buy at all. In fact, the E170-generation sits at very attractive price point in the used car market now (from RM 53k to RM 99k). With that in mind, is there anything to look out for when buying one of these? We find out.
The 11th-generation Toyota Corolla Altis was introduced in Malaysia in 2013, with three variants (1.8E, 2.0G and 2.0V). It received a facelift in 2016, which then came in 1.8E, 1.8G and 2.0V variants.
Throughout it's lifecycle, it had two engine and one transmission option.
E170 Toyota Corolla Altis drivetrain
139 PS, 173 Nm
145 PS, 197 Nm
My pick of the bunch? Well, regardless of pre-facelift or facelift, I'd want the range-topping 2.0V variants with all the bells and whistles. Powered leather seats, LED headlamps and taillamps, keyless entry and push-start.
On the safety front, the facelift models, regardless of variant all come standard with 7 airbags and VSC stability control system. In the pre-facelift models, only the 2.0V came with the aforementioned safety equipment (the 7 airbags were optional, however).
Maintenance - Common Problems?
This being a Toyota Corolla, you'd expect it to be easy to run and mechanically stout. And.... it is! A quick chat with Ray Wong of Ray Car Care Service Centre reveals that, almost every E170 Corolla Altis he has worked on, there has been little to no issue. This is as real world as feedback gets.
He reasons that, these cars are still relatively new, hence even the wear and tear items (like suspension dampers, bushings, and mounts) are still in good condition.
I also spoke to Kent Goh of XD Autowerkz and he remarked the same thing about the mechanical integrity of these models. It's no wonder that in cities like Bangkok, Taipei, Ankara, you can see taxi versions of the E170 Corolla Altis running around, hardly breaking sweat in demanding urban conditions.
Maintenance - Running costs
In the drivetrain department, Ray says that, with faithful oil and fluid changes, there is little else to worry about, even for cars that have done more than 100,000 km. This applies to both the 2ZR-FE and 3ZR-FE.
Even so, you still gotta worry about running costs, so lets break down some of those to give you a clearer picture.
E170 Toyota Corolla Altis maintenance costs
1.8 E / 1.8 G
Road Tax (RM)
Oil change (RM)
CVT fluid change (RM)
So, yes it is true that the Toyota Corolla Altis is a relatively easy car to own and run. There's always this perception that Toyotas are reliable, now you know where that perception comes from.
For the money that it's asking for in the used car market, the E170 Toyota Corolla Altis is definitely something worth serious consideration. It's refined, comfortable (most comfortable in its class, I'd say), has four doors and isn't an SUV. Lest we forget, bomb-proof mechanicals.
Sure, it lacks the poke of rivals like the Honda Civic FC (with its turbocharged grunt), or the handling finesse of the BM-generation Mazda 3, but those who are looking for a Corolla Altis know exactly what they want.
Best part is, because the E170 Toyota Corolla Altis is still less than 10 years old, it is still possible to get financing to purchase one. So yes, this is one used car model that you can go ahead and buy, and you know it will be a steadfast, reliable companion all the time.
Jason's foremost passion is all things automotive, where he spent his formative working years as a Product Planner and Trainer. An Advanced Driving Instructor by training and an all-round enthusiast, Jason loves going into intricate details about driving dynamics. Will drive anything with 4 wheels and a steering.