Toyota Allion NZE260 1.5 quick test

My colleague purchased a Toyota Allion NZE 260 1500cc model, replacing his venerable FB14 which had served him with remarkable reliability for over 7-8 years.   So far he has been simply thrilled with the car, as it has been an marked upgrade from his former car.  He initially had wanted to go for the cheaper Axio, but then after much thought he realized that the axio was not that greater upgrade, and the price difference was marginal.

Just for the benefit of Sri Lankan visitors, he along with me directly imported the vehicle, and the total cost for the Allion was around Sri Lankan Rs 4.3million for a 2007, X grade, 4.5 auction grade, A grade interior, authentic 18,000km. The japanese FOB price being around 1.45million YEN.

He does not bring the car much to Colombo since his commute is over 70km from his home, but his running within his town has returned him an average fuel economy of 15.5kmpl.

However the very moment he came to Colombo and drove the car around the Colombo city limits on a busy hot Saturday, the economies dropped to 9.4kmpl.

My quick drive of the car just after driving the Stream, revealed the usual very compliant Toyota ride quality, and the much better insulation of noise from the outside.  The VVT engine in the car had very good low down throttle responses, which made the car very easy and effortless to drive.  The Allion like the Axio has the Toyota CVT gearbox and this clearly makes its presence felt as the car definitely has that CVT type of quick pickup, something that the standard automatics (Bar the dual clutch systems) are not capable of.

The difference low down in the way the engine has been setup is very noticeable as the Allion picks up quickly with minimal push to the accelerator, while the Stream you have give the engine a bit of rev (3500+) and then you see the car come alive. However the engine note is a lot sweater on the Honda Stream, and i am not being biased here 🙂

The seating is well thought of and extremely spacious, very much like a FD1 civic or the Honda Stream i have (comparatively the Axio/Corolla for some reason has pathetic rear legroom).

I was also quite surprised to see that even the X grade Allion had an audio system that includes a tweater, and the system could handle sound pretty decently.  My friend replaced the OEM CD player that came with the car with the Clarion VA400 6.5″ LCD audio system, as this player unlike most in the range has Bluetooth built in, and the Clarion CD head is even better than the Pioneer for reading scratched CD’s.  (I too have replaced my player with this same audio unit and will provide a review of the head unit after i have used it a bit more!)

A point that Toyota owners have to be mindful is that the new gearboxes are CVT in these cars.  You CANNOT use the standard ATF oil and you must use the Toyota CVT oil.  The impact of the using ATF oil on these gearboxes are not known, since its something new to Sri Lanka as the older Allion’s mainly had a standard automatic.

While Toyota has said the CVT oil change interval is 100,000km, remember these are for good driving condition. Honda quotes 80,000km for such conditions.  However Honda quotes 40,000 if the conditions are severe, and in SL Colombo context this might be even lower.  Hence the Toyota owner will also be safer opting for shorter cycle for changing the CVT gearbox oil.


14 thoughts on “Toyota Allion NZE260 1.5 quick test”

  1. Thanks for the great advice. In your view, which is the better car? An Allion or an Axio? I am thinking of buying one of these makes.

    1. The service prices at Stafford are quite competitive to the outside service agents, maybe 10-20% more. Generally i get all the engine oil/gear oil etc changed at Stafford but i prefer to do the service outside as i can stay and make sure its done the way i want. At Stafford you are not “allowed” to stay in the area, and with the high number of vehicles with the latest imports the quality may dip, but on average i know a lot of friends who get the service done their and they are happy.

      On maintenance, the prices can be more than say “tech motors”, but for most critical (engine, gearbox, etc) i would stick with the agents, as they can be held responsible as they carry the Honda name for SL. However garages such as Mag City, Arabian Motors are quite capable, but best suited for non-critical work.

      Overall though the vehicle maintenance is not that expensive annual for a proper condition Honda.

  2. thnx bro for ur useful advice.
    and i hv another question
    im thinking to import an allion bt sm ppl say premio is better than allion . bt when i called sm car sales they said both hv d same price . and i hv to consider about d resale value.
    wht do u think ? premio o allion. (once again thnx 4 ur useful tips)

    1. Both are internally the same vehicle, with the main change being the way its pitched. The Allion is the more everyday car, and also the one that has the sporty variants. The Premio is more towards the luxury segment, and hence the quality of materials are a bit more plush with a lot more chrome than the Allion. So if you are like the glossy stuff (chrome!) the Premio is the choice.

      However in the local market the Premio used to be slightly higher priced when buying, but on re-sale its goes lower since the spares (body parts) are a harder to find. Uncertain if things have changed, but looking at the market the Allion seems more favored.

      So its very much a personal choice, the premio for the more business look, and the allion for the more sporty look is what it works out. Internally they are pretty much similar.

    1. Interesting question, from a tax point there is not much different when importing, and it seems in Japan the prices of 1.8 is similar or can even be cheaper than the 1.5 due to the higher demand for the lower capacity model. However if you were to see the engine, the power and torque are not that different, 136hp vs 110hp. The key thing is that the 1.8 liter has more torque making it far more better on traction (pull).

      Most Sri Lankans only talk on fuel economy sadly, but the different between the 1.8 L and 1.5L would only be noticed in severe traffic (1.5 L might do 9-10 kmpl, while the 1.8L would do 8-9 kmpl). However in semi-urban (towns) and highway (and climbing) the 1.8L would return equal or better fuel economies! and it would also be a nicer to drive. The 1.8L also comes with larger wheels that would make the car look nicer, as the 14″ wheel is not ideal for the Allion.

      However if you are pure city driver, and fuel economy is key, then the 1.5L is better suited. If you are not bothered on the 1-2 kmpl higher consumption in the city, then the 1.8L makes much better sense. However another issue is on resale, as selling a 1.8L is harder than a 1.5L again due to the over riding belief that smaller engines are better on economy.

  3. Hi Rayaz,

    Just got an Allion 260 about 3 weeks ago.It had done 25000kms.What is the next step with regard to servicing.Do I need to get a tune up done too.For servicing and tuning do I go to Toyota Lanka or can I go to Kleen Park .

    1. Hi, since ur car has done only 25k, u will only need to change da engine oil n oil filter. Also get them to check da air filter.

      Your cvt/gearbox oil change if city running is recomended every 40k intervals.

      You wont need a tune up as your would have seasoned itself to local conditions in a few days!

  4. Toyota Axio come with CVT gear box. Toyota Lanka does not have OEM service bullating for CVT oil change, refilling and level check .

    1. Yes the Axio and Allion both seems to have the same mechanicals, and have the CVT gearbox. These are not the only CVT gearbox Toyota cars as it seems the entire japanese lineup (usually referred to as JDM, japanese domestic models) have CVT gearboxes!!!

      – Toyota Belta (Front wheel drive models)
      – Toyota Axio (Front wheel and 4WD models)
      – Toyota Allion and Premio (260 series)
      – Toyota IST NCP110/115 (Front wheel and 4WD models)
      – Toyota Prius NHW20 and ZVW30
      – Toyota Vitz KSP90
      – Toyota RAV4 ACA31/36W

      1. TOYOTA lanka advised me to change CVT oil at 40,000Km for my VITZ. That seems fine with your advice taken into account. Thanks.

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