Published on November 29th, 2015 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez0
Used Car Review Comparo. A used Altis or a used Civic
When the 8th generation Civic was launched 7 year ago, the motoring public was drawn to the car like holidaymakers to discounted flights. Sales were good and till today there is a group of buyers yearning for this Civic in the used car lot with prices today starting from RM50,000. Its immediate competitor, the Toyota Altis was at the end of its product lifecycle at the time and now some 7 years later it is still also a popular used car buy but with prices starting today from a lower RM45,000. Toyota at the time needed a new model to get back in the game and it took them a year later to bring in a new model Altis. The 8th generation Altis (Corolla) came with a bold new look that carried Toyota’s new generation design cues first seen in the previous Camry. It has sharp angular lines, a high shoulder line with a lower roofline. The Civic on the other hand takes a concept car design study and brings it to showrooms.
Climb inside this Civic and the concept study continues with a two-tier instrument cluster and switches and levers that promise to stay in fashion years ahead of the competition. It is an ultra-modern cabin with space to rival products a segment above it and looks fresh even till today with most having little wear in them.
The Altis was equipped with an executive interior that is very similar to the Camry from 2 generations ago. It carried a beige interior mated with splashes of wood trimming for the very obvious executive class segment. Most Toyota owners would be simple drivers that will wear their cars very little unless family abuse come in. Electric front seats, steering and increased luxury gives little need to look at the larger Camry unless more space and presence is needed in the corporate car park. Honda on the other hand gave the Civic a more sports orientated interior with gray and black trim mated to polished metal finishes. It provided less electric features but returned better sporty intentions.
Under the Toyota bonnet was the familiar range of 1.6-liter and also 1.8-liter engines experienced before in the previous generation Altis cars. The Civic carried a 2-liter engine for the first time and there was a familiar 1.8-liter engine also. For a proper comparison we take the version with 1.8-liter engine.
First impressions with the Altis 1.8-liter is a little daunting as it is the same VVT-I engine mated to the same 4-speed gearbox. After a few hours behind the wheel our impression changes as the engine seems more responsive and gearshifts are smoother than before. There is also a nicer engine note and better throttle response thanks to revisions in the intake manifold and also the ECU system. Handling in the city commute is marginally better with 16-inch alloys shod with 65 series tires. On the limit cornering however is still unchanged and it is clear that Toyota planners were not looking to put the Altis in the hands of track racers and instead provide good city commuting.
The Civic on the other hand provides razor sharp handling and its engine response inspires traffic light sprints. There is also more midrange power when needed and top end satisfaction is better behind the wheel of the Civic. It is clear that even though both these cars sit as close competitors in the same segment, their product planners have moved them apart with these models at design stage. Honda took a bold step with design and drive train to keep exiting loyalists and entice new ones and Toyota were looking to strengthen their position in the corporate segment looking for luxury and reliability.
The objective of any shootout is to produce a winner and here we have to say that both are winners as they represent different demographic of buyers for the first time since they started their ‘segment fight’ some 37 plus years ago. The choice is yours depending on what tickles your fancy when driving.
Toyota Altis 1.8 Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder DOHC VVT-i
Max power: 130bhp @ 6000rpm
Max torque: 170Nm @ 4400rpm
Gearbox: 4-speed auto, Super ECT
Selling Price NEW: RM120,250.00 (G-Spec)
Selling Price USED: RM44,000.00 – RM52,000.00
Honda Civic 1.8 Specifications
Engine: 4-cylinder 16-Valve SOHC i-VTEC
Max power: 140bhp @ 6300rpm
Max torque: 174Nm @ 4300rpm
Gearbox: 5-speed auto
Selling Price NEW: RM113,800.00
Selling Price USED: RM50,000.00 – RM62,000.00