Toyota Corolla Altis vs Skoda Octavia: Petrol Automatic Comparison Review

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  • Jul 17, 2014
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How does the newest D-segment sedan Toyota Corolla Altis stack up against the established Skoda Octavia? We bring the answers


Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia petrol in action



There is no denying that over the years the Toyota Corolla Altis has brought tremendous success for it maker. In its previous form, the¬¬ Corolla Altis was a no-nonsense, practical car with a refined engine and ample of comfort. The latest avatar not only retains these virtues, but adds a lot more. The Skoda Octavia on the other hand has been revered for its fine balance between comfort, performance and handling. It’s also right up there when it comes build quality and usable space. Both these cars then, are impressive in their own right and have played a massive role in establishing their maker’s place in the market. And now with the new generations, they intend to take it even further. But the question is which one is better? Let’s find out...



Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia



Exterior Styling / Design

Considering their price, it goes without saying that both the cars have been crafted to suit the liking of white collared professionals who like to arrive in style. But the Skoda Octavia scores over the Toyota Corolla Altis, with its aggressive styling. The Octavia sports a new butterfly grille, LED Daytime-running lamps and the sharp cuts on the bonnet. Despite the fact that the rear of the car with the diamond cut boot is quite similar to the smaller Rapid, it blends well with the C-shaped taillights. The side profile is not as dramatic and doesn’t match up to the standards set by the rest of the design. But overall the Skoda Octavia looks handsome.


Parked next to the Octavia, the styling of the New Corolla Altis still doesn’t have that planted, elegant look. Not that the Corolla Altis a bad looking car; in fact, it is the youngest we have seen the Altis ever. And, that’s a good thing. The chrome front grille blends well into the swept back headlights, and the stretched out taillights and the chrome strip just above the registration plate at the rear looks even more promising than the front. The profile of the Altis shows traces of aggression (missing on the rest of the car, otherwise) with a lot of it having to do with the long bonnet, the angle of the windscreen and the low slung roofline.

Skoda Octavia: 4

Toyota Corolla Altis: 3.5




Skoda Octavia dashboard



Interiors and Space

As far as the beauty contest is concerned, the Octavia is without doubt the winner but only when you step inside that the contest starts to get more nail biting. On the inside, the dual tone dash of the Octavia with the piano black centre console looks a lot more premium and appealing than the Corolla’s flat dash. In fact the quality of plastics on the Octavia also feels a lot better. Ergonomically both cars are easy with all the necessary buttons well within reach.




Toyota Corolla Altis dashboard



Both manufacturers have worked towards making their cars a lot more spacious from the inside. While the Octavia’s new MQB platform gives it a larger wheelbase and consequently more room, the Corolla which continues to be based on the same platform as before, is now longer by 80mm. There is a lot more space at the back in the Corolla and most importantly it also doesn’t have intrusion from the transmission tunnel which eats away the leg room of the third passenger in the Octavia. And if the space is still not enough for you, Toyota has also introduced five-way adjustable reclining rear seats into the segment for enhanced comfort. While the Altis has comfort and space going for it, the Octavia has build quality, rear air con vents and a massive boot.

 Skoda Octavia: 4

Toyota Corolla Altis: 4



Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia features



Features & Equipment

The different focus of the two car makers comes to fore under this category. Toyota has gone in for more comfort and convenience related features; features that the buying public can easily perceive and relate to. Things like a large 7-inch touch screen audio system with voice command, 8-way adjustable front power seats, USB and AUX connectivity for the stereo and satnav are features that only enrich the ownership experience but are there in your face every time you step into the car. The Corolla Altis also get paddle shifters for its automatic gearbox.


The Skoda Octavia is all about safety. Not only is it built extremely well, it also comes with dual front, side and curtain airbags against just driver and passenger airbags offered by the Altis. Moreover, the Octavia has traction control and because it is dynamically sounder as a car, it just makes for one fundamentally strong safety package. But, if lacks all the features mentioned above in the Altis, even basic stuff like USB and AUX connectivity, paddle shifters and a reversing camera. 

Skoda Octavia: 4.0

Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.5




Skoda Octavia Petrol engine



Engines & performance

Cosmetics aside, drivetrain plays a crucial role in defining a good product. On this front, both cars are powered by 1.8-litre petrol engines. The Skoda unit pumps out 180PS of max power and 250Nm of peak torque compared to the Altis’ 140PS and 173Nm, respectively. Needless to say that the Octavia feels a lot quicker on its feet and that is despite the fact that it is more than 100kg heavier than the Toyota. Power delivery on the Octavia is linear and there is always that extra bit of punch available to make those quick overtaking maneuvers. The 7-speed DSG ‘box is an absolute gem too. The shifts are quick and more seamless compared to the Toyota. But, even though it has a Tiptronic manual gear changing feature, we did miss paddle shifters on the Skoda.



Toyota Corolla Altis Petrol engine



The Altis might make less power and torque, but it has a smooth engine and one that likes to rev in typical Japanese fashion. And, as expected, both the peak power and torque arrive much higher up the rev range compared to the Skoda making the Corolla Altis harder work to drive quickly. Toyota claims that the new Altis has an improved transmission to return better efficiency and it’s evident. The CVT-i transmission with 7 pre-defined ratios does shift seamlessly and responds well to inputs from the paddle shifters. But, it isn’t as eager as the DSG. While the Altis struggles to make its way past the 180kmph marker the Octavia does hit the two ton figure with relative ease.

Skoda Octavia: 4.5

Toyota Corolla Altis: 3.5



Skoda Octavia in action



Handling & braking

The Octavia, as we mentioned before, is more able dynamically. It feels more planted around a corner or in a straight line at speeds. We quite like the balance Skoda has managed to strike between comfort and handling on the Octavia. The ride quality on broken roads is quite comfortable and if you are the likes who buries the right foot deeper when you see a corner, the Octavia doesn’t fail to impress either. The suspension is well damped to take on the potholes and at the same time stiff enough to ensure that the car handles like a dream. A lot of this can be attributed to the fact that the steering is well weighted for enthusiastic driving and the fact that it is well supported by the 205/55 R16 tyres. The brakes too feel sharp and responsive. It is easily the more fun to drive car of the two.



Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia in action



Meanwhile, the Altis’ character is the other end of the spectrum. It has been the choice of wheels for a mature audience that probably don’t care as much about enthusiastic driving and is in most cases chauffer driven. Hop into the back seat and you will immediately feel that it is the more comfortable of the two cars. And, not just in terms of space but also overall ride quality. Steering feels lighter making it more convenient to park in tight spots but lacks enough feedback during cornering. Needless to say that the soft nature of the suspension has a resulting effect on the handling but then the Altis was never bred to be a great handler.

Skoda Octavia: 4.5

Toyota Corolla Altis: 3.5




Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia rear



Price and Fuel efficiency

The bit that matters the most – efficiency and price, and in both these aspects the Toyota Corolla Altis manages to better its rival. As per ARAI figures, the Altis returns 15.2kmpl while the Skoda Octavia is marginally less efficient at 14.7kmpl. Bring the price of both these cars into the picture and the equation changes altogether. The Skoda Octavia petrol automatic version is made available in just the top-of-the-line Elegance variant and costs Rs 18.3 lakh. Toyota has two automatic variants on offer at Rs 15.0 and Rs 16.9 lakh. All prices ex-showroom Delhi. Considering efficiency and price the Altis surely seems to be a more interesting proposition.

Skoda Octavia: 4.0

Toyota Corolla Altis: 4.5



Skoda Octavia and 2014 Toyota Corolla Altis




Yes, the Octavia is surely more expensive of the two and while it falls behind in terms of equipment levels, space and efficiency it scores heavily in departments of considerable importance like styling, performance and handling. The weighing scale tips towards the Octavia that scores an overall 4 as opposed to the Altis’ 3.5, but that doesn’t quite sum up the entire story. So which one of the two should you buy? We would still say both cars are well matched, but have different appeal. If you want a fun to drive, taut and well-built package that’s also good value for money, pick the Octavia. However, you like to be chauffer driven car, like comfort features and want higher resale, buy the Corolla Altis.

Skoda Octavia: 4.0

Toyota Corolla Altis: 3.5


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