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We at The Right Wrong are predominantly a performance car site. So you might be wondering, what is a family sedan doing on the site. Well the people at Borneo Motors sent us an invitation to take a closer look at their newest model, one of the best selling family sedans in the world. Couple that invitation with the lure of a free lunch and a test drive at The White Rabbit in Dempsey, who were we to resist such an invitation?

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We headed down on a Thursday afternoon to look why the previous generation Corolla Altis sold over 40 million worldwide. Let it be known that my personal opinion to all car guys has and always has been, we all need two cars. Before you go crazy on me and whine about the expensive COE prices and who would be able to afford two cars in Singapore, just give me a chance to explain. Due to the fact that many of us are unable to own track cars like the fortunate people overseas, we end up building our street cars to be as track ready as possible. This results in extremely hard coilovers, twin plate clutches with the biting point of a on/off switch and nothing in between which is especially painful to drive in traffic jams in our ever so newly opened MCE.

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So why would you need a second car? Driving such a painfully uncomfortable car on a daily basis makes it tiring. After a while you WILL end up getting tired of the car, especially if you are stuck in traffic jams after a long day at work and end up getting sick of the car you once loved. With a second car, each time you drive your performance car, it will only be for fun. Regardless of for track days or even just taking it out at night for supper, every memory of driving that car will be of something fun. Having a second car will also mean less chances of encountering an LTA officer, which will undoubtedly pull you over for a routine check.

So for a second car, what you will need is a reasonably comfortable and cheap car, because you have spent all your money on modifying your first car. A good reason to take a look at the new Altis.

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I’m not saying this because they bribed us with a delicious lunch, but because the Toyota Corolla Altis genuinely surprised me. Having once owned a Toyota corolla for a family car, I had many issues with the car. The steering was too light, it handled like a boat and had entirely no power.

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The new Altis however is a little different. Well it still has no power but its what’s necessary to keep the car in the Cat A category for COE, after some minister decided it would be a good idea to include horsepower in categorizing cars. Everything else however was so different I actually enjoyed the test drive. The steering felt right and provided great feedback to the driver despite the electric power steering and the car had a surprisingly good handling package!

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The suspension was stiff enough for cornering to feel stable yet soft enough to take the bumps in the road like a champ. Interior was reasonably classy and definitely felt well built. The car also had incredible leg room. We tested it by squeezing 3 large guys in the back seat and all of us were able to sit comfortably with additional space for a camera bag.

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Truthfully the car reminded me a little of a shrunken down Camry, great boot room, great leg room in the back and at the price of $133,000 after a $5000 CEV rebate for low carbon emissions, its quite a good package. So if you’re looking for a cheap mid sized family sedan, take the time to test drive the new Altis. You might be pleasantly surprised. I know I was.

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