Toyota’s new Corolla Altis AT G9HV) takes on the Renault Fluence AT

Toyota has introduced a new base automatic variant of the Corolla Altis called the G (HV). Priced at Rs. 13.76 lakh, the G (HV) variant lacks some of the comfort features offered in the VL variant, but comes with a 7-speed CVT transmission.

Renault India launched the Fluence petrol sedan at a price of Rs. 14.40 lakh last year. Though the car has not topped the sales chart, its ride quality and spacious cabin are commendable. Here, we pitch the Corolla Altis G (HV) AT against the Fluence petrol to see which car is more value for money.

toyota altis photo10

Driving and handling

The Fluence is powered by a 2-litre petrol motor that puts out 135 bhp of power and 190 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a CVT II 6-speed AT gearbox. The Corolla Altis, on the other hand is powered by 1.8-litre petrol engine that puts out 130 bhp of power and 172 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 7-speed CVT transmission.

Although the engine specifications of the Fluence are better than the Altis, its CVT II gearbox spoils the party. At city speeds, both the Fluence has adequate throttle response, but out on open highways, its performance is average. The Altis, with the 7-speed auto which is responsive, delivers power both at city speeds as well as on the highway speeds.

Ion terms of handling both the cars are far from impressive. However, the Fluence is more composed at high speeds and when taking corners than the Altis. Also, the Fluence’ steering is one of the best electric power steering available in its segment as it is easy to use in low speeds and weighs sufficiently at high speeds.

While the Altis with the responsive 7-speed auto has an edge in terms of drivability, the Fluence has an edge in terms of handling.

renault fluence front right photo

Space and Comfort

The Fluence is dimensionally bigger than the Corolla Altis especially in length, width and wide wheelbase. This has resulted in a more-than-adequate legroom for rear seat passengers in the Fluence.

However, headroom for rear seat passengers is just adequate. Besides, the slightly low hip position of the rear seat may not be comfortable for easy ingress and egress. The Altis has near perfect seating arrangement with its seats offering all round comfort. Overall while the Fluence is more spacious, it’s the Corolla Altis that offers more comfort.

Looks

The Fluence has a distinctive look and a subtly bold road presence. Its European dimensions are evident from the wrap around tail lamps and unique double barrel headlamps. However, its unique edges and curves may take a while getting used to. The Corolla Altis is too familiar and lack uniqueness.

Features

The Fluence has impressive features such as four airbags (front dual airbags + side chest level airbags front seats), dual zone automatic climate control, and leather upholstery, follow me lamps, rain sensing wipers, cruise control and speed limiter. These features are not offered in the Corolla Altis. However, the Altis gets touch screen DVD system while the Fluence comes with CD/MP3 player.

Features wise, the Fluence is well equipped and better than the Corolla Altis.

Price, mileage and overall VFM

The Fluence is Rs. 64,000 pricier than the Corolla Altis G (HV). But considering the equipment levels in the Fluence, its price is reasonable. Mileage wise, the Corolla Altis has claimed mileage of 14.3 kmpl while the Fluence has a claimed mileage of 13.4 kmpl. This makes the Corolla Altis, slightly more fuel efficient than the Fluence.

Overall, the Altis is better value for money than the Fluence, but loses out to its competition in terms of features.

Verdict

The Corolla Altis G (HV) is Rs. 64,000 less priced, performs better, is slightly more fuel efficient and is decently equipped when compared with the Fluence. Further, maintenance and service costs, service network and resale value are in favour of the Altis.

Hence, if you are not particular about the features such as  dual zone AC, leather upholstery, follow me lamps, rain sensing wipers and cruise control, the Corolla Altis G (HV) is slightly better ‘value for money’ than the Fluence AT.