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Toyota Corolla Altis vs Elantra vs Octavia 1 web

The 11th-generation Corolla Altis lands in the country amidst a heated D-segment battle with the Škoda Octavia and the Hyundai Elantra already having their heels dug deep in the segment. How does the Japanese best-seller go up against the Czech tank and the Korean warrior?

Story: Jim Gorde
Photography: Sanjay Raikar



Evolution is a wonderful thing. So far as humans are concerned, I have my doubts, but with cars and their prices, I know it’s getting better. About 15 years ago, I couldn’t imagine an average car costing as much as it does now, let alone getting to grips with good family sedans with price-tags of Rs 20 lakh! Now, however, with the prices of everything except labour across sectors sky-rocketing, the time where no price is too high is upon us, or so I am led to believe. As I’ve read on a popular social media feed, people will go out of their way to spend money they don’t have to buy things they don’t need to impress people they don’t like. I look around, and, sorry to say, I do find that quite true. So where does that put quality family sedans? Not everyone just wants to have a ‘longer’ car. People want better cars with better equipment and with reasonable price-tags. For many, this is the premium segment, forget the Mercedes S-Classes and the Audi A8s; their asking price would be better invested in a new apartment with more rooms than what this segment car-buyer already has.

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Elantra vs Octavia 2 web

Enter the D-segment and you would know that the cars above the Rs 15-lakh plane have seen a change. Many would invest in SUVs rather than in a longer car. However, for those who want style and boot to go with their idea of a social statement, the Hyundai Elantras and the Škoda Octavias have sold in far greater numbers than Santa Fes or Yetis. Toyota are no stranger to the segment, and even though their big Fortuner seems to be scurrying about in as many numbers as their Corolla, it is the Corolla that has become a global best-seller; racking up numbers other manufacturers can only dream of for now. And with this, the 11th-generation model, they don’t need to worry about it slowing down.

The new Corolla Altis doesn’t bring too many radical changes. It’s still built on the same platform, has the same engines and packs a good amount of equipment. What is new, however, is the front grille, the headlamps and the rear end. The lines make it look sharper and less rounded than the previous model, while overall the car is now an even better all-rounder. Having driven it extensively, I can easily find that it does the job well. How well? We had to find its two greatest challengers to find this out.

The Hyundai Elantra and the Škoda Octavia are two great cars with near identical price-tags, but, look closer and there is a world of difference between them. The Elantra looks the sportiest of the lot, while packing in the least passenger room. The Octavia looks modern, but not contemporary, save for a few design elements, but really raises the performance plane. How will the Corolla fare against these two? For the sake of fairness, we’ve decided to split the test into the three areas that matter: style, comfort and performance.

Toyota Corolla Altis vs Elantra vs Octavia 3 web

More on page 2 >


About the author: Jim Gorde


Automotive Correspondent at Bike India and Car India.
Believes that learning never stops. Loves V8 engines as much as a good breakfast.
t: @BikeIndia / @CarIndia


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