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.