Japanese car giant, Toyota has recently unveiled the new Toyota Corolla Axio at their home-town in Japan, which is a sign that it won’t be long now until the Toyota Corolla Altis receives a full model change as well, since the 5 year lifecycle that it typically runs on is about due now.
Toyota Corolla Axio is one of the two Corolla models for the Japanese domestic market (JDM) – it is sold alongside a wagon variant called the Corolla Fielder. You may wonder, what’s with all the different Corollas? The first Toyota Corolla was rolled out in the year 1966 and was specifically designed to cater to basic requirements like practicality, ease of use, peace of mind and values that adapt to the times.
Two-generations ago, the name Corolla Altis made its debut, because Toyota wanted to make its C-segment sedan contender appear larger and more luxurious for the world market, but a larger Corolla would not be suitable for sale in Japan as they have certain tax segment based limits for the exterior dimensions of a car, which made sense considering how limited space is in Japan.
So they sold a Corolla in Japan (and in some other countries like Singapore), while the rest of the world markets such as India got a Corolla Altis. When the time came for a full model changed, the Japanese market Corolla got the Axio name tagged on when it was unveiled in October 2006, and soon after, a corresponding Corolla Altis was launched and hit Malaysia in March 2008. These 2 models had different outlooks but they did share a very similar interior.
So while this latest generation Corolla Axio is not the Corolla that will replace our Indian Corolla Altis, but we could assume that the next-generation Corolla Altis could share an interior design derived from the new Corolla Axio.
The new interior design is quite a departure from the previous generation Corollas – the sleek vertical Volvo-like “waterfall” centre dash area that felt like very clearly split the passenger and driver areas has been replaced by a more horizontal oriented design that positions all controls higher up.
The area ahead of the gear shifter which used to have a sloping trim has been replaced by what looks like a storage area – variants that have wood trim in the interior now have it rather gaudily encasing the audio and air-con controls.
The instrumentation panel has been changed to a triple-gauge layout like the Camry’s, replacing the current twin gauge layout. Lower end models only have a single speedometer. Some variants have a bare steering wheel while others have a joy-pad like control on the left steering wheel spoke.
The base variant of the Toyota Corolla Axio flaunts a 1.3 liter engine and is priced at 1,375,000 yen or $22,000. The top end 1.5 liter engine variant bears a price tag of Rs. 2,089,000 yen. At the same time, the base variant of Corolla Fielder Station Wagon is priced at 1,517,000 yen and derives power from the 1.5-liter engine. The top end variant on the other hand, flaunts 1.8-liter engine and is tagged at a price of 2,120,000 yen.
Also see – Toyota plans to revamp the Corolla sedan