Old against new: 2019 vs. 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis


The Corolla nameplate is widely considered as Toyota’s ‘Old Reliable,’ owing to the fact that it’s been a constant top seller for the Japanese brand until crossovers and SUVs took over the market. Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) updated the Corolla name by appending it with ‘Altis’ back in the early 2000s for some upscale flair. And to make it more competitive in the current market, the Japanese automaker added a hybrid version to the Corolla Altis lineup in 2019, although gas engine variants remain on offer.

Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) launched the 2020 version back in August of 2019, with the introduction of the aforementioned hybrid version serving as the highlight of the event. The 2020 version also marks the start of the vehicle’s twelfth generation.

So how else does the 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis differ from the previous model? We take a closer look at the distinguishing factors here in this comparison of the old vs. new Corolla Altis.


Despite this being a new generation, there’s not that much difference in the outline. That said, the new Corolla is a little bigger in all dimensional aspects. The wraparound headlights and front grille retain their shape, but appears less angled and less aggressive than the outgoing model. The lower grille is also now larger and more trapezoidal, echoing the changes made in some of the brand’s current models such as the Yaris, Hilux, and Vios.



The 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis possesses a sporty style a low stance, and the sleek and contemporary grille. It also features standard LED headlights and taillights with a low profile design. The stylishly subdued sheetmetal is sure to earn the approval of many car buyers looking for an attractive ride without drawing too much attention.



At the back, the rear combination lamps get more streamlined, just like front, also appears less aggressive. The trunk and rear bumper are bulgier, and the reflectors are also slimmer and wider. The new one also hosts a less conspicuous blacked-out rear bumper spoiler than the old model.


While the differences in the exterior are relatively minor, the interiors of the new and old model are like night and day. Truth to tell, the dashboard of the outgoing model looks heavily outdated, with its busy mishmash look. There’s just so many stuff going on.


The new Corolla Altis dash is a sight for sore eyes, especially when you’re comparing it to the old one. The eye-catching features are all focused on the driver’s side, the design cues are also more cohesive with each other, and the monotone color choices help give a three-dimensional aspect to the overall aesthetics. The elevated infotainment system is also a nice touch, as it now promotes keeping driver’s eyes on the road. As for the rest of the cabin, there’s more soft-touch materials this time around. Most of the cabin surfaces are covered in synthetic leather, while genuine leather upholsters the seats (Hybrid only).


New for 2020 is an 8-way power adjustable driver’s seat (Hybrid only), further enhanced by a powered lumbar support feature. A Hybrid System Indicator at the instrument panel helps drivers monitor the state of charge of the vehicle. The car also comes with dynamic radar cruise control. All these features are housed in a sleek, minimalist interior design.


The old Altis's engine bay was graced by a Euro 4-compliant, Dual VVT-i, four-cylinder, in-line DOHC, 16-valve engine offers a more efficient and environment-friendly engine. Buyers had two versions of the engine to choose from—a 1.6-liter engine with 121hp and 153Nm, or a 2.0-liter with 143hp and 187Nm. Both options came either a 5-speed manual or continuously variable transmission (CVT).


New for 2020 is the Corolla Altis Hybrid CVT, the first-ever Corolla Hybrid offering. Combining a 1.8-liter gas engine with a 1.3kWh battery, the system yields a total system max output of 168hp (97hp engine, 71hp electric motor) and 207Nm. With this Hybrid option, Corolla Altis owners can now enjoy unprecedented fuel savings. For those who prefer a straight-up internal combustion engine, there’s the carryover 1.6-liter Dual VVT-I 4-cylinder in-line equipped in the rest of the trims.


Despite the Corolla Altis losing its luster, Toyota still makes an effort to make it one of the safest cars around. As such, the outgoing model possessed plenty of advanced safety tech, much more so than many of its rivals. The old sedan, aside from the standard safety features found in modern cars, came equipped with multiple airbags, vehicle stability control (VSC), cruise control, seatbelt warning, and child protection lock (among many other things).

The new Corolla Altis adds even more precautionary goodies. The top-of-the-line variant comes with the utmost benefit of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) driver assistance suite that includes Pre-Collision System (PCS), Lane Tracing Assist (LTA), Automatic High Beam (AHB), Lane Departure Alert (LDA), and Dynamic Radar Cruise Control (DRCC). An immobilizer also comes standard in the 1.6 V CVT and Hybrid trims. Common across the range are anti-lock brake system with electronic brakeforce distribution (ABS-EBD), SRS airbags (driver, passenger, side, curtain shield, knee), hill start assist, vehicle stability control, and seatbelts.


The old Toyota Corolla Altis came in the colors of Phantom Brown Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Silver Metallic, Attitude Black, Grey Metallic, and White Pearl. It had five variants, priced as follows:

  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Altis 2.0 V AT – PHP1.45 million
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 V AT – PHP1.11 million
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 G AT – PHP1.03 million
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 G MT – PHP977,000
  • 2019 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6 E MT – PHP941,000


There are currently five variants available locally for Toyota’s popular compact sedan. These are:

  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8V Hybrid – PHP1.580 million
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6V CVT – 185 million
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6G CVT – PHP1.115 million
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6G MT – PHP1.045 million
  • 2020 Toyota Corolla Altis 1.6E MT – PHP999,000

The new Corolla Altis also gives buyers six colors to choose from including White Pearl, Celestite Gray Metallic, Attitude Black, Silver Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, and Freedom White.


Carmudi has a great selection of new and old Toyota Corolla Altis models for you to peruse. Feel free to begin your car shopping by clicking on this link.

Photos from Toyota

Also read:

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