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Toyota Corolla Altis E120

Updated on December 26, 2014

Toyota Corolla Altis E-120. Dear readers, before I write this I should like to take the time to tell you that, because I'm an avid car fanatic, I should very much like to purchase as many cars as I can. (In the future, God willing, should I make a business and it create tremendous income, I intend to purchase exotic brands such as Ferrari, Lamborghini, Pagani, Koeniggsegg, Aston Martin, Jaguar, Lotus and many more).

Sure, the car came out in 2000 and there's two successors. But I'm not going to blather on about it's latest functions, rather, I'm going to concentrate on what a used car can give you and how you can still be as awesome as a brand new E-160 or E-170.

Now, before I start, I'd like to say that it took us two years to find a great deal. I mean, we went from car dealer to car dealer and auto retailers and auto repossessors and used car dealers.

We went through the immensity of car shops. Some were of good price yet poor quality. An example would be a Toyota Avanza we spotted prior to the purchase of our Corolla Altis. It had the most gorgeous color and posh luxury interior with a silky smooth automatic gearbox. And the price was a mere PHP 375,000. That's about $ 8,389.17 for those who are living in the continental United States. We could have chosen the Avanza because of everything it offered except for a minor concoction from Beelzebub. That concoction was the heart of any vehicle, the engine, already had a troubling yet astonishing 90,000+ kilometers shown on the odometer. Troubling because it means that it's been moving around a lot and that it's been used, abused and abused again. That's like saying you're sorry for a crime yet you do it again. And it's astonishing because in a mere 3 years, the Avanza had already traveled to the Moon and back and you'd wonder who'd do such a savage thing?

Another example was a Mitsubishi Adventure. I was not informed of the price tag of the vehicle because, as the model was over 14 years old, you already knew the condition of the vehicle. So, automatically, you knew that it was as cheap as peanuts. Especially if you're driving in the pot-hole infested streets of Cebu. I saw the odometer and guess what I saw? No, really, guess. It can't be that hard to guess, right? Oh, fie! Since I"m your dearest Shive, I feel obligated to tell you so I'll indulge your curiosity. 180,000+ kilometers. Excuse me? Did I miss-type something? Perhaps I've accidentally added a zero. Surely, that's it. Well, no, actually. That is it. One hundred and eighty thousand plus kilometers. No typographical errors there. Yes, it was cheap. But if you use the amount of time, effort and money it'd cost us to maintain the bloody thing, you could actually technically buy a brand new Adventure or a Montero Sport. I mean, really, if your vehicle is as old as time, there will be necessary corresponding maintenance, make no mistake. And, mind you, this maintenance is priced accordingly. Car parts aren't cheap let alone the availability of parts.

Front of the Standard model with two proximity sensors
Front of the Standard model with two proximity sensors | Source

Now, when we came to a shop in Labangon or Tisa, mom spotted a car shop and saw this. A Toyota Corolla Altis E-120. it was a repossession and it had only 40,000+ kilometers on it. It was all in excellent show-room condition and the price tag was a mere PHP 480,000. About $ 10,738.14. But for a luxury-sport sedan in such supremely superb condition? This car was a steal. We went home and placed a reservation and bought it two days later.

As with luxury, this car is packed. I mean it's packed with luxurious amenities that were the best possible for it's time. No Rolls-Royce or Mercedes upholstery here, but you come close. Sure, the interior wood veneer or wood trim isn't actually wood, it's plastic designed to look like wood. But that's the whole point, right? It doesn't matter what material was used in construction as long as it looks the part. It certainly got me for a tiny bit. For a week, I actually thought it was real wood. But then I asked the owner of the used car dealer and said that all Toyota models never come with real wood veneer. Only luxury brands sell those. And this car was designed and made to give you luxury on a very tight budget.

Of course, if you do want a luxury car, be prepared to spend. And spend you shall. If you intend to purchase, say, a Mercedes-Benz S-class, the most expensive model, I heard was PHP 12,000,000. About $ 268,453.44. Or let's say a Rolls-Royce Phantom II. That'll be PHP 22,350,250.00 ($ 500,000), please. And that's just the standard price for a Phantom II. Any more amenities will skyrocket to well over a million dollars. Yes, they're posh. Yes, they're luxurious. Yes, they're comfortable. And yes, you'll also need to sell the house, sell the kids for medical experiments and since they both come only with an Automatic gearbox, you might consider selling a leg.

Back of the Standard model with 4 proximity sensors
Back of the Standard model with 4 proximity sensors | Source

As for sports, for all those gas-heads or petrol-heads, this car has what is known as an "ECT" button. What the ECT acronym means, I have no idea. But press it, and whoosh! Somewhere in the bowels of the car comes a tremendous amount of what adrenaline-junkies and auto racing fans call fun. Bloody hell fire! It's astronomical!

In normal mode, in an automatic gearbox, the gears change at about 1,750-2,000 rpm and occasionally change at revs as high as 2,500. But should you dare to press the ECT button, your gears change at an astonishing 6,800 rpm! Off the line, on ECT mode, it did 0-60 in......... Oh, I don't know. I was too busy trying to keep my face from being smashed on to the steering wheel. The forces of Inertia on my body were so brutal that I was still in Cebu City but the car was already in Naga City. In fact, I was traveling so fast in SRP that I reluctantly dared a glance at the dash and saw, believe it or not, 101 km/h. 101 km/h on an automatic! Sure, I've done 125 km/h in a manual I borrowed from my cousin. But an automatic? Thank goodness for the ECT button.

The brakes were your standard cast-iron brakes but the vehicle was armed with ABS or Anti-Lock Braking System. If you stepped on it, you'd stop. Any harder, and you could break your nose on the steering wheel and harder still, you'll be flying out the window. Not only is this car fast for a normal every-day-use-family car, but it can stop as quick as a Bugatti Veyron Super Sport or a Formula One car.

Front of the Race model with visible front bumper and side skirts
Front of the Race model with visible front bumper and side skirts | Source

I tell you now, dear reader, that even if you bought a brand new German branded auto like a Merc or a Beamer, your shock absorbers would tear itself apart and start moaning and groaning in less than a year. And a car isn't an investment. If anything, a car is a loss. It's not a property where it doesn't depreciate over time. A car, however, does depreciate with time. In fact, I'll tell you something I did.

Ever the college boy, I did some research. Your car will lose approximately 30% to 40% of it's value in a year. That's if you buy German brands like Mercedes-Benz and BMW. IF, God forbid, you purchase a Hyundai or Kia, you might be surprised if I told you that your car would lose 50%-60% of it's value in a year.

Rear of the Race model with visible rear spoiler and rear bumper
Rear of the Race model with visible rear spoiler and rear bumper | Source

So, how should I end this auto review, dear reader? If you like to show off how much money you don't have or are in utang, you could look forward to a night in jail. If you're practical, like me, let someone else swallow the bullet. It's their loss and your gain.


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