The Fragmented Lineup Of Toyota Corolla In Pakistan – Explained!

11th gen Toyota Corolla

Toyota-Indus has long been known to offer fragmented variant options for its Corolla. The level of fragmentation has increased with every iteration which is understandable since Toyota has one car to put up against two cars of its main rival, Atlas Honda’s City, and Civic in the price bracket of PKR 1.6 to 2.4 million. Today, Toyota offers three different engines, four different transmissions and five different variants for Corolla inside this price bracket. Hence choosing the one which suits you the most and offers the best value for money may not be as easy as it looks.

This guide will try to cover major/minor differences between different variants of Toyota Corolla, which could help you decide whether or not to pay an extra premium to get more features. I will start off by dividing the five variants into two categories. First, one being the ‘Basic’ category which would cover the differences between XLi, GLi and 1.6 Altis and the second one being the ‘Premium’ category which would highlight the differences between the 1.8 Altis and 1.8 Altis Grande.

Prices of the cars compared at the time of writing:

  1. 1.3 Toyota Corolla XLi 5-Speed Manual: PKR. 1,639,000
  2. 1.3 Toyota Corolla GLi
  • 5-Speed Manual: PKR. 1,784,000
  • 4-Speed ECT Automatic: PKR. 1,859,000
  1. 1.6 Toyota Corolla Altis 4-Speed ECT Automatic: PKR. 1,994,000
  2. 1.8 Toyota Corolla Altis
  • 6-Speed Manual: PKR. 2,069,000
  • 7-Speed CVT-i Automatic: PKR. 2,194,000
  1. 1.8 Toyota Corolla Altis Grande
  • 6-Speed Manual: PKR. 2,229,000
  • 7-Speed CVT-i Automatic: PKR. 2,379,000

Let’s start off by comparing the variants of our ‘Basic’ category. XLi and GLi, one of the legacies and highest selling variants of Corolla, positioned to compete with Honda City. Since XLi is just a trimmed down version of GLi, I would just focus on the features exclusive to GLi:

  • It comes with Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA)
  • Central door locking
  • Power Windows
  • Rear Seat Arm Rest with cup holders
  • Four speaker audio system

Surprise variant of Toyota Corolla is the 1.6 Altis, which frankly looks like a confused model placed right in the middle of the five variants of Corolla. It was tough for me to decide on classifying it in my ‘Basic’ category of my comparison or to give it a spot in the ‘Premium’ category. The following two paragraphs would justify my decision of comparing it in the ‘Basic’ category because it shares more with the GLi than with 1.8 Altis.

Toyota Corolla GLi

Toyota Corolla GLi

On the outside, it borrows the front grille of XLi and GLi which makes its exterior look familiar to them while also getting the alloy wheels of the 1.8 Altis and Altis Grande. For me, and probably for others as well, the Altis 1.6 is actually the 1.6-liter variant of GLi. Altis 1.6 currently comes in one transmission, i.e., 4-Speed ECT Automatic, which is similar to the transmission of GLi Automatic, it’s ironic since it didn’t get the 7 Speed CVT transmission of 1.8 Altis in spite of being branded as an Altis.

On the inside, it’s again confused. The 1.6 Altis comes with a 7-inch entertainment system which is not the one that comes with the 1.8 Altis nor is it the one that is featured in GLi. Moreover, its seats and door panels are made with Hi-Grade fabric similar to the one found on 1.8 Altis. So 1.6 Altis defines itself as a GLi, which comes with a bigger engine, slightly better seats, better in-car entertainment and alloy rim.

Now let’s compare the variants of our ‘Premium’ category which are placed to compete Honda Civic. First up the exclusive features of the automatic CVT-i transmission variants of Altis and Altis Grande:

  • They come with an economy meter inside the information cluster,
  • They are equipped with Cruise Control.
  • The only difference between them is that the Altis Grande Automatic Variant has paddle shifters on steering wheel for gear changes.

Features exclusive to Toyota Corolla Altis Grande are:

  • It has leather interior compared to the fabric interior of Altis
  • It has a Sunroof
  • It comes with rain sensor for wipers
  • It allows seat height adjustment of the driver seat
  • It comes with audio controls on the steering wheel
  • Its front reading lamp comes with a storage compartment
  • It has rear reading lamps

To sum up, at a first glance the lineup kind of looks confusing, but they did succeed in catering to the needs of various types of consumers with different budget. And at the same time, tackle two different cars by its main rival as well.

Toyota Corolla Toyota Corolla grande and altisDisclaimer: Specs were taken from Indus Motors website.

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Adan Ali

Adan is a Rising Journalism Sophomore at Northwestern University, with an inclination towards non-political investigative journalism and advertising. He is currently serving as a Research Assistant for the Arab World’s first media museum, The Media Majlis and an Admissions Diplomat at NU-Q. Adan comes with an experience of almost three years in the field of media creation, alongside Dawn, Parhlo, PakWheels, and The Daily Q occupying the roles of an Intern, Guest Writer, and Staff Reporter. Formerly, Adan has served as a Founder and CEO of The Nixor Times, a media and advertising company, besides which, he has offered his services as a Member of Board at Nixor Corporate. He tweets @adanali12 and runs a channel on YouTube.

  • Ali

    nice article

  • Guest

    Different variants come with different options because of a certain reason. The reason is that suppliers in Pakistan are small, social security through insurance and other mechanisms is nil, markets cannot be guaranteed, government policies can change anytime so the companies do not want to invest into increasing the production capacity. Also, the suppliers are dependent on only one (or 3) customers for their bread & butter which is like a purchase cartel.

    These companies literally dictate everything. Hence a small supplier will provide only enough grilles of one shape for the XLi, and another would supply only enough navigation systems to cater to GLi, and so on.

    Last gen Corolla had a 1.6 with 6-sp manual for a very short run. It was a killer combination, very fuel efficient. Wonder why they do not supply this combination now. Looks like these car manufacturing companies want cars in Pakistan to be less and less fuel efficient so the country needs to import more and more fuel.