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The all new Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid is certainly a compelling and appealing option, thanks to its excellent fuel consumption, high equipment levels and comfortable drive.

31 Jan 2020

The new 12th generation Toyota Corolla Altis launches amid a crowded and highly competitive field in the compact family sedan segment. The Korean manufacturers have really upped their game in recent years, and recent new entrants like Skoda and Seat brings even more competition to arguably the staple model within this segment.

So, to really stand out, Toyota needs to do something quite special with this new Altis. The naturally aspirated 1.6-litre model, while undoubtedly going to be popular with buyers, is capable but not particularly special. But this Hybrid? This might be a little bit special. 

Quality of life

Blue accents help set this Hybrid apart from the standard model
The new 12th generation Altis comes in three variants - the 1.6 Standard, the 1.6 Elegance and this Hybrid model. This Hybrid model is the most expensive, and it certainly feels that way. The cabin packs more equipment, including a head-up display and an electronic parking brake with auto hold function. You also get three drive modes, and an EV mode button.

From the outside, blue accents in the head lights and on the Toyota badges, as well as 'Hybrid' badging on the side and rear of the car, differentiate this from the standard model. 

Green peace

An Eco mode allows you to extract maximum fuel efficiency out of the car
Obviously, this being a hybrid, fuel economy is a key selling factor. Over three days in the car, we clocked a respectable 20km/L - not far off from the boasted 22.7km/L shown on the spec sheet. This car uses a version of the hybrid powertrain found in the Prius, combining a 1.8-litre engine with an electric motor to deliver a total of 121bhp and 142Nm of torque.

The car is 95kg heavier, and that compromises the ride slightly. It rides a tad more harshly over bumps, though it's still by no means uncomfortable. The steering is also notably heavier than the standard Altis.

On the road, this car demonstrates more grunt at low speeds, thanks to the availability of additional electric torque. It's smooth and extremely easy to drive, and if you don't really think about it, you won't really notice that you are driving a hybrid.

The Dynamic Cruise Control function is particularly useful when driving on the highway
Unlike the Prius, there isn't a giant screen constantly showing your state of charge and eco score (though those can be shown on the 7.0-inch multimedia display on the dashboard).

The great thing about this Altis Hybrid is that while the hybrid powertrain certainly helps to maximise fuel economy, it doesn't fundamentally change the nature of the car - it's still easy to drive and unimpeachably practical to use. 

Keen choice

This Hybrid is by far the most interesting and compelling Altis, offering something quite unique in its class. The only other comparable full hybrid offering is the Hyundai Ioniq Hybrid.

In this new generation, the Corolla Altis Hybrid is certainly the most interesting and compelling option
This is arguably the most accessible hybrid model right now. It feels every bit like a typical Altis - it's packaged the same way, drives very similarly, and doesn't really go out of its way to highlight the fact that it's a hybrid.

With this new generation model, this is undoubtedly the Altis to buy. Yes, the $18,000 price difference may be rather significant on paper, but your long-term petrol savings will offset that. Based on our back to back drives of this car and the 1.6 model, you can get about 35% more range per tank. And, together with its higher equipment level, we reckon this delivers more value for money.

This Altis brings together two of Toyota's keen capabilities - the practicality, accessibility and reliability of the ever-popular Altis, along with the hybrid know-how it has developed over more than 20 years of making the Prius. It's the Altis you know and love, just better. What's not to like?

Car Information



: $142,888

Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Dual VVT-i

Engine Cap





90kW (121 bhp) / 5200 rpm



142 Nm / 3600 rpm




Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption


22.7 km/L

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