The Toyota Levin has been updated in China, gaining a brand new 1.2 litre turbocharged engine and LED daytime running lights. In case you’re wondering, the Levin is the GAC-Toyota (Guangqi-Toyota) joint-venture’s version of the Corolla for its home market. FAW-Toyota sells a different Corolla that looks like our Altis model.

Replacing the old base 1.6 litre naturally-aspirated engine, the new 9NR-FTS 1.2 litre, direct injection turbocharged four-cylinder engine puts out 116 hp and 185 Nm of torque – similar to the unit already in use in the European-market Auris hatchback. Both a six-speed manual and a CVT are available for the Levin 1.2T, badged D-4T.

A new Toyota Smart Stop system is now standard to improve fuel consumption, and CVT models also get a Sport mode. In China, the Toyota Levin 1.2T is priced between 109,800 to 133,800 yuan (RM68k to RM83k), below the Levin 1.8 that goes from 141,800 to 150,800 yuan (RM88k to RM93k).

This down-sized petrol engine may or may not be be available in other markets. After all, the Levin HEV with a 1.5 litre hybrid drivetrain is still limited to China. Still, would you be interested in a Toyota Corolla Altis 1.2T here in Malaysia?