GALLERY: 2019 Toyota Corolla 1.8G versus 2018 Altis

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The new 2019 Toyota Corolla appeared in showrooms last week, and we’ve already brought you a full gallery and a complete breakdown of specifications. What we didn’t tell you was that we also shot a gallery of the 2018 Corolla Altis that was also on display right next to it, giving us a rare opportunity to look at the 11th and 12th generations side by side.

Of course, despite both cars being badged 1.8G, this is not a true apples-to-apples comparison – without a larger engine option, the same variant of the latest model is closer in specs and price (an estimated RM136,888) to the soon-to-be-discontinued 2.0V. However, this should still give us a good look as to what has changed between old and new.

Firstly, the name change. As Corolla is a more recognisable global nameplate, local distributor UMW Toyota Motor will ditch the Altis branding in marketing materials – a name that was used on Toyota’s stalwart C-segment sedan in Southeast Asia since the ninth generation. But since the new car is fully imported (CBU) from Thailand, it will still feature prominent Altis badging.

Before we start, just bear in mind that the new Corolla will be positioned on the left, and the older 11th-gen on the right. From the front, the new model looks neater and far sleeker with a thin chrome strip that extends into the slim headlights (halogen on the 1.8E, full LED on the 1.8G). Cooling vents have been moved down into a gaping intake with horizontal slats, mirroring that of the new Camry.

To accentuate its width, the new Corolla features prominently squared edges that are highlighted in chrome. Previously, the older model featured deeper grooves, but both still get rounded halogen fog lamps. The lower lip is also more subtle on the new car, and there’s a protruding camera model just above the plate holder.

Round the side, there are obvious differences between the two. For starters, the side mirrors are now mounted on the doors instead of the windows, slightly improving visibility. The newer design looks to be smaller too, and only the top section of the window surrounds are finished in chrome. Previously, the chrome was along the bottom section of the windows.

The doors differ in that the shoulder line no longer align with the new, chromed door handles, and the lower moulding is more sculpted. The rear door design no longer curves along the rear wheels, and the C-pillars are more uniform in shape (from roof to shoulder) thanks to the elongated window edge.

Other details include the new 17-inch two-tone alloys, with a design that’s similar (but not identical) to the previous pre-facelifted 2.0V, as well as the omission of the VVT-i badge on the front fenders. Nice updates overall, here.

Over to the back, the new three-dimensional LED tail lights get the same red/clear lens combo, although flipped to give the L-shaped red LED section a more distinct look from afar. The light units are again joined by a thick piece of chrome, designed to highlight the car’s width.

The boot opening is more squared out to make loading and unloading easier, the Corolla Altis badge moved below to the left of the tailgate, and the rear-view camera is positioned in the middle below the Toyota logo, which is now more prominently recessed. The rear bumper is new, of course, featuring four sensors and two reflectors – the sole exhaust exit is still on the right.

Inside, the new Corolla is evidently less cluttered than before. It’s not the prettiest, but at least it’s neat. The driver now gets a nicer three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel, a squared binnacle for the Optitron instrumentation with a seven-inch TFT LCD display, asymmetrical air vents (rounded vents before), and a freestanding touchscreen display as opposed to the older unit that’s integrated into middle.

Again, this is not the most elegant design, but it creates the visual effect which separates the dashboard from the centre tunnel. Down here, one will find a Qi wireless smartphone charging tray, a more modern gear shifter and no longer the ancient gated type (like finally), electric parking brake, dual cubbies to go with the larger door bins, and a dedicated Sports mode button at the fore of the tunnel.

Other changes include the repositioned start-stop ignition switch (now on the left), and redesigned centre stack with rounded dials for the dual-zone climate control.

The front and rear seats don’t just feature new design with mixed-material use – the front seats look like they’ve been sculpted to improve comfort, with a wider and longer seat base. The rear seats also feature deeper grooves on the seat base and seat backs.

Additional features and design changes include the new door cards, central rear air vents, integrated rear centre armrest with two cup holders, as well as a manual rear sunblind.

Unlike the 11th-gen Corolla, the new 12th-gen model will be offered with the sole 2ZR-FE 1.8 litre naturally-aspirated Dual VVT-i four-cylinder petrol engine, making 139 PS at 6,000 rpm and 172 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. As before, it is mated to a CVT with a Shiftmatic mode with seven virtual ratios, driving the front wheels.

The rear suspension has been upgraded to double wishbone units instead of the old torsion beam, a move that’s completely the opposite of what was done to the Mazda 3 (the previous-gen Mazda 3 featured multi-link rear suspension).

Standard kit includes automatic halogen headlights with LED daytime running lights and LED tail lights, 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, push-start button, acoustic glass windscreen, solar and security window tinting, single-zone auto climate control, an eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, fabric upholstery, a DVD infotainment system with a 6.8-inch touchscreen, six speakers and a portable tyre pump.

The 1.8G steps it up with full LED headlights, a wing mirror tilting function in reverse, auto wipers, dual-zone climate control, an Optitron instrument cluster with a seven-inch TFT LCD display, leather upholstery, a rear windscreen sunshade, Qi wireless smartphone charging and an electronic parking brake.

Safety-wise, all models get seven airbags, Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), hill start assist, rear ISOFIX child seat mounts and a tyre pressure monitoring system. The 1.8G benefits from the full Toyota Safety Sense suite of driver assists, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, lane tracing assist, blind spot monitoring and auto high beam.

The top-spec model also gets a “3D” 360-degree camera system and front and rear dash cams, items that are optional on the 1.8E (RM2,700 and RM1,100 respectively). Also offered as an option is a RM1,700 vehicle telematics system, which includes a two-year subscription worth RM250 a year. So, what do you think? Would you like a proper comparison between the new Corolla, Civic facelift and new Mazda 3?

GALLERY: 2019 Toyota Corolla 1.8 G

GALLERY: 2018 Toyota Corolla 1.8 G

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Matthew H Tong

An ardent believer that fun cars need not be fast and fast cars may not always be fun. Matt advocates the purity and simplicity of manually swapping cogs while coping in silence of its impending doom. Matt's not hot. Never hot.



  • Granny on Sep 24, 2019 at 12:04 am

    Good Car. 9years loan is acceptable. Can tahan lasak. Toyota’s 86 set up. Front McPherson Rear Double Wishbone. Compared to last gen Altis, bonus is the more comfy interior and still good legroom with Lower seat height. High engine air intake make it safer through 500mm water depth. 225/45R17 can matched Mazda CX-5 and BMW330iM tire width.

    Finally a car with autonomous safety features more advanced than perodua ASA 2.0. Toyota full safety sense with millimetre Radar.

    Added millimetre Radar. Autonomous EBrake excellent. Adaptive cruise control 0to180km/h with auto stopGo, and set distance btw cars too.

    Geely’s made Proton X70 full spec rm123 also very good. Got 30to150km/h adaptive cruise control thanks to radar.

    New Civic facelift also nice. Just lacking behind due to camera based for AEB and adaptive cruise control not full speed nor adjustable distance. But civic facelift full spec still better than full spec Honda Hr-V rm 125k 1.8L with Jazz sofa interior – which don’t even any low spec camera based nor radar/milimiter radar based advanced autonomous hardware and capibility.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 3
  • Thermos on Sep 24, 2019 at 12:19 am

    People will buy this either Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic than Mazda 3. More safer and good services for both UMW and Honda Malaysia than Mazda Malaysia

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 24 Thumb down 9
  • No engine cover on the new Altis? What happens to the head unit, 6.8 inch looks very cheap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0
    • It doesn’t bother me though. We use Android Phones for split screen Spotify and GPS. Any affordable Samsung Xiaomi iPhone 7 Phone is better than MBUX or built in Apple car play.

      Car infotainment is all bull shit. Even the best in the market is slower than any new smartphones. We always ended up in retrofit when we found 1 that fit.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1
  • Haidi on Sep 24, 2019 at 9:25 am

    I love the new Corolla. In overall it’s a nice looking car. But the bad side is, the infotainment screen at the centre of the dashboard is unacceptable ugly, look cheap.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2
  • That ‘freestanding’ touchscreen display ain’t freestanding, it’s basically an aftermarket unit that was just positioned higher up, just look at the back of it and you’ll know it. That cheapo UMW downgrade our headunit compared to the Thailand version.

    Thai version;

    Our version;

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 0
  • Dylan Ch'ng on Sep 24, 2019 at 10:44 am

    gallery title “2018 2.0G “

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0
  • DVD TAK on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Feel like a facelift to me.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 2
  • Zoom Zoom on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:36 am

    The exterior look like facelift to me. Almost similar front look. First time see nice.. somehow after few weeks.. the design become very boring.. lol.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
  • seancorr (Member) on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:50 am

    I still hate that ugly HU sticking out like a sore thumb. The Corolla will sell but nowhere close to the Civic due to its price. Have a look on the road, there ain’t many new Camrys either because one has to fork out 200k for one.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1
    • Uncle Lat on Sep 24, 2019 at 1:27 pm

      Tax too high. Not much New D segment now. Accord and Mazda6 is literally zero sales. Teana is dead. Not even New BMW330i USD40k with under spec safety at rm289k.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • vVivi Zurianti on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:55 am

    Short and simple version: Both are overpriced and low spec.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4
  • Nice design in and out, out date engine + first class price 138,888

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 2
  • Not Toyota Fan on Sep 24, 2019 at 1:01 pm

    Infotainment on a 6.8 inch is like Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ or Huawei P8max … LOL

    And that super duper size bezel, blardy hell ….

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • sir rhys lee on Sep 24, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    at that price mazda 3 is the better option.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5
  • tricycle on Sep 24, 2019 at 2:30 pm

    Good design, interior and exterior.

    BUT too bad, no turbo, no fun driving.

    Toyota need to put turbo on many of its “people”s car. Not many can buy harrier 2.0 Turbo.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 7
  • if umw is smart, they should bring in the hatch version…since civic did not bring the hatch ^^

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3
  • michaelooi on Sep 24, 2019 at 9:26 pm

    The 7 inch LCD looks very cheap

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0
  • Dylan Ch'ng on Sep 24, 2019 at 11:16 pm

    paultan could have reused the gallery from December 2016 but I’m glad they didn’t and put in the effort to re-photograph the Altis. At least now the gearknob exists.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1
  • Dave N on Oct 30, 2019 at 9:47 am

    I’m driving 2015 2.0V. Although not so happy with the flat dashboard design, I have nothing much to complain about the speed and paddle shift’s response. I went 3 times to the showroom to touch and feel the new one. But, there’s something is distracting.

    1. No secret compartment at driver side (below dashboard) compared to the previous model.
    2. Small pocket compartment in all doors compared to the previous model.
    3. -45 mm lowered down height is the biggest setback as my head hit the roof panel twice when exiting from back door..!
    4. USB port still placed in head unit? It looks ugly there and only Toyota is having it there. Why can’t they put it inside arm rest?
    5. No compartment near gear lever / centre tunnel as it has been replaced with wireless charger.
    6. The whole dashboard panel design has been pushed outward as I could feel little space in front row.

    Somehow, disappointed!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 1

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