Hybrid theory: (Briefly) driving the Toyota Corolla Altis hybrid

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is opening a gateway into the future with the introduction of the hybrid electric variant under its most celebrated model in the Corolla Altis.

Now on its 12th generation, Toyota’s longest-running model is infusing a hybrid variant into the local automotive market. With more than 46 million units produced globally since its debut 1966, TMP opens a new era in the Philippines by providing car buyers and staunch followers of the Corolla Altis an opportunity to get into the hybrid electric genre.

During the launch, TMP president Satoru Suzuki underscored the company’s efforts in producing better cars to Filipinos who grew up with the iteration of the Corolla Altis.

“The introduction of the Corolla Hybrid rapidly accelerates Toyota’s push for a more sustainable mobility. For the first time, our pioneering Toyota Hybrid technology now comes in a mainstream, high-volume and not to mention, familiar and well-loved model. We also worked hard to make the price more affordable compared to our other hybrid vehicles, thereby making this technology more accessible to many Filipinos. After all, this is what we aim for – an earth-friendly mobility technology that is appropriate for the present,” Suzuki said.

WHEELS.PH got a chance to get behind the wheel of TMP’s latest hybrid briefly and what can instantly be noticed is the hybrid’s almost non-existent noise, vibration, and harshness (NVH) inside the cabin. There’s no need for music to drown out noise or even a tad bit of rumble of the engine. All you can hear is a resounding silence which made us forget that we were driving around traffic-clogged BGC.

Although it offers a stress-free driving experience thanks to its quiet cabin, the hybrid’s VVT-I four-cylinder, inline DOHC, 16-valve engine roars to life when the need arises. The engine and motor combo serves up 121hp and 142Nm of maximum torque at 3,600 rpm.

As for the design, Toyota retains some of the looks familiar in the Corolla Altis that most of the Filipinos grew up with – the all-too familiar trapezoidal lower grill flanked by bi-beam LED headlamps and LED line-guide daytime running lamps. A curvature silhouette on the sides of the hybrid creates another layer of sophistication. It has broad front and rear bumper and seats on sporty 17-inch alloy wheels. Overall, Toyota’s offering banks on a minimalist approach which delivers a premium and posh appeal.

The hybrid variant also comes with a suite of safety features under the Toyota Safety Sense. Aside from the pre-collision system, lane departure alert, and automatic high beam, the 1.8V hybrid variant also sports lane tracing assist, and dynamic radar cruise control. 

All variants also come with seven SRS airbags, anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution, vehicle stability control, hill start assist, and three-point emergency locking retractor seatbelts.

Aside from that, Toyota has built a sturdy high-strength frame capable of absorbing collision impact by dispersing the energy through the vehicle to minimize cabin distortion.

The 1.8 V hybrid comes in Celestite Gray Metallic, Attitude Black, Silver Mettalic, and Red Mica Metallic and has a sticker price of P1.58 million. The all-new Toyota Corolla Altis will be available nationwide starting September 21. 

Visit www.toyota.com.ph for more information.

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