Toyota Should Make Some Real Efforts To Make Corolla Altis Grande Standout

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Here’s a dilemma. In my mind, I am no longer poor. In my mind, I now have 2,299,000/= Rupees. What a great coincidence, that is exactly how much is required to buy the 2015 Toyota Corolla Altis Grande. I walk in to the showroom and start looking at one, the sales person comes in and tells me that; that is the XLi sir. I move to the one besides it and start basking in the glory of the Altis Grande, but the sales person once again interrupts my fantasy to tell me that, that is the GLi good sir.

I move on to the one next to it, I was to begin my passion-play with it, when I am told that it is the Altis 1.6, you can imagine my disappointment and ultimately, I fumble over to the actual Altis Grande but by this point, I had been wronged too many times to establish my trust over any Corolla as Altis Grande, worthy of 2.3 million of my imaginary money, but the sales person pointed me to the 200 rupees badge at the back reading ‘Altis Grande’ to brush aside my doubts about the vehicle. Bespoke chrome accent on the front grille, bespoke wheels and fog lights. And…well that’s it! How much more difference do you want?


People have stopped me over to ask the same question over and over, why do I have to look exactly the same as the guy who spent half a million rupees less?

The thing is that a commoner winding the windows up and down manually in their XLi does not have a difference in the eyes of majority. Its just a Corolla for everyone else despite Toyota’s attempt to establish Grande as the dominating figure over Honda Civic while the XLi and GLi are placed against the Honda City. And that’s the point of this article, the Civic X is coming and people rendering the sedan in Type R garb seems to give a hint that should worry Toyota…

Honda Civic Type R Sedan2

The new Civic X appeals to not just 15-years olds, it appeals to our inner 15-years old and the path that Honda had forgotten which Khurram most eloquently puts in words here: Honda Civic: A Story Of Continuous Decline, Disaster And Dinosaurs, Honda seems to have come back to. Even the engine introduction slides for the new Civic has words like ‘fun‘ written all around. Honda realized that the “executive” look that they tried to push with the 2012 (9th gen) Civic would never stick. Its hopes to become a Corolla were futile and it should be back to what it has always been: A sporty alternative to the Japanese affordable sedan.

However, the Corolla Altis Grande is no slouch either but it is difficult to call the Civic X and Corolla Altis Grande rivals anymore. Altis Grande, in the following quick renders to make it visually better and different to stand out from the XLi and GLi seems more like a sleeper. The Civic is more shock and awe, while the Grande is sleek and quiet. This isn’t a change that should be done to show the difference in money spent, its like the relationship between BMW M and Mercedes AMG, in which the M is a proper sports car and AMG is German muscle. This should be done to create some enthusiasm in what seems otherwise beige.

Related: Indus Motors Made This One-Off Concept Corolla

We tried to keep the changes to a minimal in the following render quickly done, things that are theoretically possible to do in real without investing too many resources. How about a PakWheels Edition Toyota?


Before the Altis Grande came out, I had a chat with the people at Indus Motors regarding the upcoming model and what were our thoughts about it. We talked about calling it the TRD version instead of Grande, keep it visually different to the XLi, do this, do that. I’d like to think that some of that discussion eventually showed up on the car but we still aren’t satisfied, there is some untapped potential in the Grande, and Indus Motors should time it with the Civic I think.

Automakers save on technology, not trims levels. Civic and Corolla are basically the same globally when you speak aesthetically, but they have saved on costs through cancelling stuff like; cruise control, push-start, Engine start-stop tech, air bags, etc etc. Read our past post on the Civic to understand that. Trim levels basically stay the same and they do not cost a lot, the technology does. There was a PW Member who ordered the BMW 550 in M trim instead of the M5…you’ll see countless BMW’s here with M trim (not even the full package with horsepower upgrades) just the cosmetic stuff and the cars would look like BMW M. Technology is expensive, not the trim.


So what I am saying here is that the technology is expensive in the Altis Grande; flappy paddle, some 1800cc boost, and some nifty stuff can be added to create a distinguishable trim and you’ll attend to a whole different set of people who may otherwise go for the Civic. Its not about showing off, its about standing out. The renders we have produce above are not at all Abu Dhabi Sheikh style, they’re quiet and calm, it may just be called a ‘Sleeper’.

Civic Type-R courtesy X-Tomi

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  1. Ahmed says

    Why does it have to be different? It’s the same car with just a different trim level with airbags, alloy rims, sunroof, bigger engine. TBH it’s the Pakistani paindu mentality that I have bought a “Grandeee” and I will drive it like my dad owns this road. I should look different lol

    PW blogs really need to grow up and have some less pointless articles.

  2. Baber says

    Well, tell that to BMW M and Mercedes AMG, Audi RS that what you’re doing is paindu mentality. You really need to stop being so aggressive at everything and read the whole damn thing.

  3. Atif says

    Hi Baber..

    Only way we consumers will get their money worth is if there is serious competition in auto sector like the telecom sector.

    Government always prefers Japanese Embassy/foreign assemblers over consumers which is why the situation is so bad today.

    Despite CCP reports, SBP recommendations and numerous private research articles government only seeks input from assemblers never consumers

    Perhaps it is not wrong to say corruption has engulfed every sector of our government.

    I was shocked to read Paksuzuki GM marketing Azam Mirza’s interview in Dawn. In a response to a question “why does the company not provide airbags?”. .. He avoided answering and stated ” we provide seatbelts “…what a shame…

    Govt keeps comparing our defense forces to India’s and spends so much money to match them….how about the government compare our auto industry to theirs and match up..

  4. Baber says

    You are correct, they don’t even have pretensioners in their seatbelts. I am in the process of writing about the Punjab taxi scheme with another writer. That also can give an idea how governments can boost Research and Development, and design in the country.

    Also, Pak Suzuki has the worst brand management now. Just go to their FB page and check out their ad posts, everyone is their just giving them crap. If there was competition, they would’ve already shut shop but Toyota listens and talks back, and Honda quietly lurks here I tell you, so it is possible that some of what you say may end up on the vehicles.

  5. Aqeel Zia Nayyer says

    spot the difference between 520d and 550i 🙂

  6. Makes common sense says

    To be honest no offence but it doesnt make any sense. U need to know the whole idea about Trim Levels. And as far as the Civic X is concerned do u actually think Honda Atlas would launch Civic X especially the picture u have posted here in Pakistan? Honda Atlas does the same as Indus Motors by introducing Trim Levels. And as far as your classification of Grande based on just the grill is concerned is pretty childish and biased and stupid. Grande has alot of features that the XLi, GLi and 1.6 Altis lack e.g 1.8L Engine, Cruise Control, CVT-i Transmission, Sunroof, Paddle Shifters etc. Now you are telling me that they are nothing?
    To be honest if u look all around the world there are Trim Levels even America and Europe have Trim Levels and the car is the same but every trim has something to offer.
    The whole idea of Trim Level exists in every other brand not just Toyota. So your article / blog is kind of pointless considering the fact that Indus has distinguished Grande from other trim levels but we just cant stop complaining. You paid 24 for grande while others paid 17-19 for XLi or GLi. Yes no doubt car is the same but there is a hell lot of difference and once can easily tell. Let me tell you a car is supposed to keep the owner satisfied and Grande owners know their car is different than a GLi or 1.6 Altis because they drive it and they have a clear idea how its different. If you want to show off to others that hey i have spent 24 Lakh on a car then why not spend more money and buy a Lexus, Mercedes or BMW to show off?

    No offense but all i got from ur blog is that u want to show off but u cant because the car looks the same. Pathetic bro.

  7. Makes common sense says

    *one can easily tell.

  8. Makes common sense says

    do you think Honda Atlas would launch Civic X in the same trim levels as abroad? especially the picture u have posted here in Pakistan?

  9. Baber says

    Have you seen the current Civic? It is the same as abroad. Exactly the same. Honda saves money on stuff like Cruise control, push-start, Engine start-stop tech, air bags, etc etc. Read our past post on the Civic. Trim levels basically stay the same and they do not cost a lot, the technology does. There was a PW Member who ordered the BMW 550 in M trim instead of the M5…you’ll see countless BMW’s here with M trim (not even the full package with ECU settings) just the cosmetic stuff and the cars would look BMW M. Technology is expensive, not the trim.

    So what I am saying here is that the technology is expensive in the Altis Grande (Flappy paddle, some more 1.8 boost, and some nifty stuff can be added) and create a distinguishable trim and you’ll attend to a whole different set of people who would otherwise go for the Civic.

    Please see the Civic here:

  10. getmoa says

    He is use to of writing baseless & orthodox article. Don’t know from where he calls himself Admin…….hahahaha

  11. Ahmed says

    Dude, you’re comparing a ordinary compact family sedan to the performance tuned divisions of luxury sedans. Corolla’s market is nowhere near that which you compared it with. Maybe checkout Toyota US website and see the Corolla trim levels and pricing for reference for the point I tried to make above.

  12. Salman says

    You certainly do have ambition and the idea is not a bad one at all.

    If executed correctly, it can be done and be very affordable.

    Economics play a very very large role at this end of the market. It’s not an overtly expensive car to start with nor has the prestige of an Audi. You will be lucky to get someone to spend 5M-8M rupees on a car that costs 22M.

    It does however have an exceptional chassis and drivetrain for it’s class and it’s unbelievably comfortable even on larger wheels.

    Unlike my RX8 on 18’s!

    Keep the ideas coming.

  13. Atif says

    Please remain professional and refrain from using inappropriate language.

  14. Atif says

    Thanks for your response..

    I seriously hope so that something good materializes. In face of competition from countries like India, Malaysia, Thailand, Iran, Indonesia (and now relatively new industries like in Uzbekistan) which have all surpassed Pakistan fast…time is critical now, if we don’t act now we will forever be stuck with a further stagnant industry….only difference will be parts were imported from Japan and now with time its increasingly Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines (countries with more or less somewhat similar economies to ours)…

    I feel furthermore localization requirements are highly unrealistic…government has stupid policies in place which make it impossible for new entrants to step into Pak market…It is a non-tariff barrier placed on new entrants…..It’s so stupid that new entrants are expected to meet localization levels of those present since three decades…this is one reason why Chevrolet(nexus), Gandhara Nissan, and Kia withdrew from Pak market before….

    Now latest news on business recorder states that local big 3 anti-consumer assemblers have reached out to Engineering Development Board and Ministry of Finance to even scrap the few little incentives being provided to new entrants…..Btw lately even the World Trade Organization (WTO) has criticized how Pakistan’s auto industry is highly overprotected.

    I don’t know why the government is not waking up even now..

  15. Umer Fayyaz says

    totally agree with both you guys

  16. Usman Ansari says

    I liked the way they created difference in 7th gen Corolla a.k.a “Indus Corolla”. XE came with black door handles, black side mirrors, black bumpers and lacked rear garnishing. The expensive trims were clearly distinguishable due to the presence of matching bumpers and the rear garnish. There should be a slightly more visual difference between the Grande and the rest of the lot, in Thailand they do offer some spoilers and bumper extensions etc, Indus can consider this adding such stuff to Grande..

  17. Makes common sense. says

    I dont need to see the civic mate. But u do know Atlas also offers trim levels in the Civic. Also other markets also get Trim Levels in Corolla so yeah so its not just about the exterior and if u read ur whole blog post above u will see that u said that the only difference u saw was Grill and chrome finishes etc. And as u mentioned its the same abroad well u urself contradicted ur own statement. Also Altis Grande is also almost the same as abroad and if u want the bumper extensions well u can buy them and then once again u will point out that XLi and GLi owners can buy them too. To be honest the vibe that i got from your blog is that “You want to show if because u spent 24-26 Lakh on an Altis but u cant because to u it looks the same”.

    No matter which direction u take this discussion to your point of this blog is going to remain the same mate. All i am saying is that if you want to show off then buy a different car rather than Altis Grande there are many other options to choose from because the owners of Altis Grande are more than satisfied with their purchase and they can easily feel the difference.

  18. Makes common sense says

    Mate i respect ur suggestion but as far as my comment is concerned the language is okay and not inappropriate. Thank You.

  19. Makes common sense says

    But sadly it looks the same as XLi and GLi and thats the biggest no point according to the blogger. Its not just about the exterior to distinguish a car from the rest of its trim levels there are plenty of other things involved. But sadly the respected blogger fails to understand this point.

  20. Makes common sense. says

    And to be honest from my personal experience people with an experience with Altis always prefer to go for Altis as their new car. Also I have seen alot of people prefer Altis Grande over the Civic. Call them paindu or whatever u want. I cant say anything about the new civic cz its not available in the market yet but we will see. Considering the current Generations of Corolla and Civic i see more Grandes on the road than Civics.

  21. Makes common sense. says

    Trim Levels are Trim Levels. Exterior mostly remains the same which is the whole point of Trim Levels in the first place. If you want you could have discussed the point that Indus Motors should so something and introduce a new car maybe the new Vios in Pakistan instead of XLi and GLi. You cant expect big and huge amount of changes in the exterior of a different Trim Level.

  22. Makes common sense says

    *you want to show off* (Correction)

  23. kkk says

    It doesnt matter nobody looks at a corolla or a civic these days. these are the most boring cars and we are tired of seeing them on the roads like taxies. Its really funny when corolla people drive wrecklessly with their full headlights on.

  24. Abdul Basit Khwaja says

    “Its really funny when corolla people drive wrecklessly with their full headlights on.”

    haha. Spot on!

  25. Shiraz Maqbool says

    I don’t get it – an Altis Grande isn’t an S trim or TRD version. It’s just a trim level of a family saloon. First, why compare it with a Civic in Type R trim or even a Mugen tuned Civic – that would’ve been a reasonable comparison if this was a TRD version or a ‘S’ trim. The second point which was completely skipped was the interior – now that would be a shame if it were the same in all trim levels.

  26. twister286 says

    So when I go to Toyota Australia’s showroom, I ask for a Camry Atara SL (the top-end model here) which is around AU$41,000…there’s every chance I’ll mistake it for the Altise (yes, with an e at the end, that’s the base model Camry in Australia/New Zealand) unless I’m looking carefully at the rims or interior trims/instrument console. Even the audio systems in the Camry Atara SL and the Altise look similar…what you’re saying reeks of elitism in all honesty (“I’ve paid more hence my car has to look better than the povo-spec base models”)…

    This is by no means unique to Toyota Indus. At the end of the day they’re just different trim levels of the same car, not different cars outright. From a distance, you can’t tell the difference between a basic 2.4L Honda Accord and the top-end 3.5L VTI-LN model either…the differences are cosmetic from the outside. I’ve yet to hear anyone say “I paid AU$50,000 for my Accord V6L…why does it look the same as the AU$32,000 base-spec 2.4VTi?”

  27. twister286 says

    The Lexus IS-F differs from the IS350 in the same way almost as the XLi differs from the Altis. The same chassis/frame is there but the rims and interior fitting/equipment is different. There’s only so much you can do with the shell (Thr ISF has a different bonnet though to accommodate the larger engine).

    The M5 and 530i for example don’t look drastically different from the outside. The Lexus IS200T and IS350 have a price difference of almost $25,000 in Australia…and they look almost identical. Go figure. They’re trims of the same car, not different cars.

  28. Khubaib A Jamal says

    First, toyota indus should focus on the features that they forgot to add in an altis grande and are available in indian version of corolla altis rather than the looks of the car. We are paying a lot for a car without passenger side air bag, push start, DRLs, electronic driving seat, climate control, automatic projection headlamps, automatic rear view mirror, etc etc.

  29. Kashif says

    Nice n tight review…….I agree with it…….in my view toyota must have changed the rims with new shape. Current alloys looks great in previous model but totally unmatched with current models…….similarly rim size must be enhanced to 16″…….car must be a bit dropped for better grip n looks……..plastic used in dashboard n door panels is of low quality……it must be refined for better feel of having such an expensive n elegant car……..climate control AC may add to its being top of the line…….

  30. Usman Ansari says

    that’s because Corollas here have always been like that as long as i can remember. Back in the 80s the base DX trims use to come without matching bumpers and rear-garnish & different front radiator grill, similar methodology was adapted by Toyota in the 90s when they differentiated the base XE by black bumpers and no rear-garnish. So its something the Corolla buyers of our market are used to. The current Altis Grande misses the “exclusivity” factor, Toyota use to offer us in the previous models..

  31. AbdulB1 says

    there is a reason they are known as assemblers not manufacturers.

  32. adnan syed says

    Toyota marketing people r so obsessed with corolla badge that thyey r afraid to change any thing. I might be surprised they left others model like hilux nd fortuner without a corolla badge. I think their smart marketing brains might be thinking if they put corolla badge on these models too they start selling like hot cakes. e.g. corolla fortuner and corolla hilux, corolla vitz. Why they r not launching a corolla 125 to compete with honda 125. Believe me its a great success as far as indus marketing team is concerned. And also bribe high ups of govt to stop new enterants in the market. Brilliant marketers.

  33. Chikni Chameli says

    Babar Khan you are just another Hassan Ahmed who day dreams his own fantasies about cars and posts whatever crap he has in his head from those day dreams onto Pakwheel forum, which I think due to your personal links with PW websites gets posted.
    Your current review is nothing but silly, you are Honda brand follower and we have got no problem with it. Every body has their right to choose and like whatever brand they want. You can’t enforce your thoughts to others for liking Civic. Professional Blogs on other foriegn websites are surprisingly very to the point and never biased.
    And last but not the least, the Civic X in your posted Pic looks Ugly (no offense)

  34. Sarfraz Ahmed says

    Yeah right and who can tell the difference between various variants in Honda City which starts from around 15 lac and ends to 18 lac. And in Civic also who can tell whether its oriel prosmatec or manual until one jumps to see the sunroof.

    This review has been written by a complete idiot

  35. Sarfraz Ahmed says

    Yeah right and who can tell the difference between various variants in Honda City which starts from around 15 lac and ends to 18 lac. And in Civic also who can tell whether its oriel prosmatec or manual until one jumps to see the sunroof.

    This review has been written by a complete idiot lol

  36. Adnan Khan says

    Great Article . But There Are no Alternatives .
    Mehran/Alto/cultus/,city/civic/Corolla. Choose one.

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