Cars we want to buy: Toyota Corolla Altis

Updated May 27, 2021 | Same topic: Best Advice for Car Buyers

Subtle but elegant, just the way I like it.

What’s up? I’m Cesar Guiderone B. Miguel, a content writer for My name is a mouthful, so you can call me Cesar instead. Today I'll be sharing with you guys a particular car that I would want to buy.

A picture of the front of the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid

The Toyota Corolla Altis. (note: photo above shows the Hybrid variant)

Anyway, I'm of the mind that I'm a fairly okay-ish mechanic. Back in grade school, I helped my dad maintain our 4BD1-Turbo jeepney. During my early college days, I managed to fix a compression issue on my first car: a Suzuki Carry. This took a week and it involved a lot of silly mistakes on my part. Later on, I (with a bit of help), managed to fix the front suspension on my Honda City. The spring nearly struck my foot when I finagled it out, but I'm rather proud that I managed to finish the job.

Now that I'm growing older and wider at the girth, I found out that fixing cars and wrenching on stuff is a pain. Bending over for hours on end is taxing, and kneeling to get to the car's lower bits will beat the stuffing out of me. So, if I wanted (or am able to) purchase a car right now, I would want something that’s comfortable, relatively spacious, and more importantly, known to be reliable.

What I'm talking about is the currently available Philippine-spec Toyota Corolla Altis.

Sized and styled just right

As a compact sedan, the Corolla Altis is just the right size for my needs. It can accommodate five people, which is more than enough for my immediate family of four. Then again, I'm living with only one family member right now so it provides a lot of space indeed. Plus, it has a trunk large enough to store the things needed to placate my occasional bouts of automotive paranoia: a portable tire inflating device, extra car fluids, etc.

A picture of the side of the Toyota Corolla Altis

Its got a stylish roofline

The best part about the Corolla Altis (at least for me), is it's subtle but elegant styling. It isn’t as loud and boisterous-looking as its competitors, and it can definitely blend in the usual crowd of cars plying the many roads of Quezon City and Ortigas. Sure, it does have some degree of aggressiveness on the front end, but most cars do nowadays anyway.

What really tickles my automotive senses is the Corolla hatchback versions that aren’t sold in the Philippines. I like sedans, but I really dig hatchbacks. To be more specific, the Corolla GR Sport Hybrid that’s sold in Europe right now more than floats my boat. Sure, it is a Gazoo Racing model and is sportier than the Corolla Altis, but it remains to be fairly subdued.

Manual goodness

Another thing that I, and many other people like about the Corolla Altis sold in the Philippines, is the availability of a manual transmission. Specifically, the said model uses a six-speed stick shift for its E and G variants. Then again, the higher-spec V variants come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) for those who don’t want to row through gears.

A picture of the interior of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid

This might be the Hybrid variant, but the interior arrangement remains identical on all variants

As for the engine, the Toyota-made sedan uses the 1.6-liter gasoline inline-4 1ZR-FE, or the 1.8-liter 2ZR-FXE hybrid. I am very interested with the hybrid due to its lower carbon footprint, but I'm sticking to variants with the 1ZR-FE 1.6-liter as it’s the only engine option paired with a manual tranny.

Now the Toyota ZE series of engines has been around since 2007 replacing the older 3ZZ-FE. Since then, this four-cylinder die-cast block has been known to be reliable. Sure, it did have some issues with earlier iterations, but even those are reportedly rare. Also, its 121 horsepower and 153 Nm of torque are just enough for my occasional in-city grocery trips during this pandemic. No, it isn’t as powerful as some competing cars within the segment, but then again, it's definitely got more oomph than the typical subcompact or city car model.

Lastly, the said engine is also fairly quiet. Sure, I can appreciate the roar of a high-displacement V8, the low rumble of a turbodiesel, or the screams of a tuned inline-4, but for a daily driver I’d prefer the relatively silent hum of the Corolla Altis’ engine.

A picture of the rear of the Toyota Corolla Altis

The Toyota Corolla Altis from the rear

So, there you have it folks, the car that I would like to buy is the Toyota Corolla Altis. Its ZR-series engine is known to be reliable and thus will keep me from working on it, and It looks subtle but elegant on the outside, just the way I like it.

Know more about Toyota Corolla Altis 2021

Toyota Corolla Altis

The all-new Toyota Altis is now on its 12th generation. This compact sedan gets an upgraded mechanics, modern aesthetics, and a trendier and more comfortable interior. It makes this car more attractive to Filipino buyers. The Japanese offering has something more to offer – a hybrid variant for the range-topping model. It’s a great advantage since none of its competitors have the same hybrid version availability. Even better, you can get a hybrid Toyota Corolla Altis at a relatively affordable price – that is, if you’re okay with spending a considerable amount for a greener powertrain. If not, the conventional 1.6-liter powered unit is always available. The mainly blacked-themed interior is complemented with chrome accents and blue lighting. Digital displays populate the interior of the Toyota Corolla Altis, creating a modern-looking cabin. 1.6 V and 1.8 Hybrid variants get leather upholstery. The Corolla Altis is equipped with six speakers for entertainment and an automatic climate control to keep the passengers comfortable while on the road. Security alarm, airbags, and ABS with electronic brake assist are a standard feature in this compact sedan. The entry-level Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 E variant is also equipped with seven airbags. The Toyota Corolla Altis, as offered by Toyota Motor Philippines, is available in five variants.

From ₱1,014,000

Cesar G.B. Miguel

Cesar G.B. Miguel


Cesar is a graduate of AB English with previous experience working as a freelance writer for varied internet publications in-between his former stints in the Pharmaceutical Industry, and later as a First Aid Provider and Training Staff at the Iligan City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

Since childhood, Cesar has been keenly interested in cars. He has learned the ins and outs of these marvelous vehicles and is a competent amateur mechanic who is keen on sharing his knowledge.

Cesar is perceptive of car culture in general – not only in the Philippines but in global regard, as well. His knowledge ranges from the prevalent stories and trends among car enthusiasts around the world, to closely following the latest local and international developments in the automotive industry.

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