Monday, January 4, 2010

Toyota Corrolla Altis or Honda Civic? Test drive and hands on experience

Toyota Corrolla Altis and Honda Civic are dream machines in entry level D segment class of cars for aspiring Indians. Let me start the comparison by noting that when Honda Civic was launched in India, the existing old Toyota Corrola was not even comparable or had any commentable quality other than its engine to give a competition!

When the new versions of Corrolla is launched - Toyota Corrolla Altis, Toyota did make a winning upgrade - feature rich, attractive interiors, good fuel economy etc to give a beautiful value added car.Altis is excitingly different from the old.Whereas, Honda didnot give any scope of excitement even with its newer version of Civic and didnot correct the major complaints for this market leading sporty car like very low ground clearance, which takes away the fun of driving in Indian roads, practically!

If you are not a fan of Honda or Civic, and is seriously considering to buy one of these, I earnestly suggest you to immediately call for a test drive for both the cars, before you get biased by reading varied reviews, mostly by fans or commercially influenced writing of car portals or magazines.

Exterior Styling: Corrolla Altis is a conventional beauty. Civic is sporty and stunning and wins hands down in my opinion on looks and styling.However, Civic's looks are quite old now.Hence would give almost equal marks here.
Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.75 Honda Civic: 5

Engine and Performance:Both cars 5, though Honda Civic is more peppy.

Smooth Gear Transmission and driver's car: With its short gear change, Civic is appealing, but it pitiable ground clearance makes it troublesome in reality and takes away the fun, INCASE, if you have to drive outside of well maintained roads and highways.
Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.5 Honda Civic: 5

Interior Styling: Altis' quality of materials used and attractive design, is classy.Civic's dash is futuristic with large digit and this was futuristic, when it was launched years ago! So, overall styling, I would rate Altis a bit higher.
Toyota Corolla Altis: 5 and Honda Civic: 4.75

Seating and Getting in and out of the car: This is not a big issue in comparison, but does matter, if you have back aches or have elderly parents who finds it difficult to get in and out of the car, I would recommend to take them along for the test drive.Experience this for yourself.
Toyota Corolla Altis: 5  Honda Civic:4

Ground Clearance:If you are speeding on a good road and if you see a hump, its a breeze in your Altis. No passenger would notice you braking and hardly notice the road. But be careful, as many a times I have seen and experienced Civics(or City) on the road, invariably taking a zig-zag and criss crossing of the hump, to avoid hitting its bottom. It is a nuisance and dangerous as nobody will care for a 1.8 size car doing this, especially you can imagine in Indian roads! Of course all high end cars have this issue but they do have a better control and seating comfort too than Civic! Owners do comment irritatingly, but shrug it off depending on their usage of such roads. Altis has also touches the bottom, once fully loaded

Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.75  Honda Civic:3.5

Resale value: Both scores 5

Good Sales team: Honda and Hyundai has the best sales team in India, and Toyota to come only after that. Fiat is the avoidable.Experience this when you call themfor test drives.You dont need to mention this for a car comparison, but for making a purchase decision, this too matters in India. So be aware of the same.
Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.5 Honda Civic:5

Other cars to compare:
  • Honda Civic
  • Toyota Corrola Altis
  • Skoda Laura
  • Volkswagen Jetta
  • Mitsubishi Cedia
  • Chevrolet Cruze
Verdict: If you want a sporty car which you would use mostly in good roads, go for Civic. If you want an allround comfortable and a practical car for use in Indian roads, just go for Altis.

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