Some people say that the Toyota Corolla is getting old. In the fifty-one years since it first launched, and in the fifteen years since ASEAN car manufacturers adopted the Altis name, the automobile line has consistently remained on the front line of unwavering durability. So, of course, a number of naysayers have also enjoyed accusing the company of playing it safe and lacking innovation; to be fair, the Corolla Altis is rarely ever the first thing to come to mind for connoisseurs looking for luxury and stylishness.
While this isn’t exactly a problem for the Corolla, one has to wonder — after years of Toyota proving their excellence and reliability to booming sales — if it’s about time the model had another facelift to reaffirm its presence in the style arena. Enter the 2017 Corolla Altis.
The New Altis still pulses with the same high-performance engine of its predecessors, and the same trusted mechanical DNA that has enabled the Corolla to sell over forty million units. As a result, its innovations appear to be primarily cosmetic at first. Toyota’s Keen Look and Under Priority design philosophies dictate that the 2017 Altis be more streamlined in posture and sportier in feel. This is most noticeable when looking at it head-on. Its wider base and prominent front grille give the vehicle more balance and allow it to fill the lane. So by comparison, this Altis comes off as distinctively more aggressive — an important quality for such a popular car that tends to be underestimated on the road.
But before you write off the New Altis as a minor aesthetic improvement, consider its interior: again, similar on the surface but designed to reduce noise while increasing insulation and ride quality for its passengers — all with an upgraded infotainment system to boot.
Still, the most important thing about the 2017 Altis is the aspect of car manufacturing that Toyota is most proud of and most passionate about: safety. The New Altis is stocked with a full suite of safety features for virtually any driving situation. It’s equipped with a pre-collision system, vehicle stability control, anti-lock brakes, automatic high beams, a lane departure alert, and seven airbags for maximum damage reduction. It’s a wonder that the inside of the Altis is nowhere near as claustrophobic as this description makes it out to be, but that’s where Toyota’s customer-focused work ethic smoothens things out. The company recognizes that safety always begins with the driver, but this doesn’t mean they can’t do everything they can to help out.
The 2017 Corolla Altis makes a clear statement: that Toyota can have their cake and eat it too. They’re a company that understands — perhaps better than anyone else — that cosmetic improvements never have to come at the cost of more limited functionality and less safety. For them, a facelift means a step in the right direction on all fronts. So while the ever-present naysayers will herald the coming of the company’s midlife crisis, Toyota is just going to keep the engine burning.