Toyota Allion NZE260 Detail Review

A more descriptive analysis of the highly popular JDM Allion this time around.

Engine

The 1496cc 1NZ-FE base engine in the A15 provides 110PS/6000 power, and 140Nm/4400 of torque.  Interestingly the A18 1790cc version which is more rare in Sri Lanka due to the higher taxes (yet low priced in Japanese auctions due to the high demand for the a15) has a more advanced 2ZR-FA engine which revs harder at 140PS/6400rpm and 176Nm/4400 of torque.  The A18 engine features Toyota’s VALVEMATIC that provides more power and yet high levels of fuel economy.  Anyone using this version, appreciate if you can provide your experiences specially on the fuel economy and performance, as my general feeling is that its not going to be too far away from the A15 in efficiencies, but you get the bonus of the higher outputs that can be an advantage on the highways, and also for the thrill seekers.

The A15 tested is remarkably quiet, partly due to the good noise insulation, and also possible the design of the engine.  However what is really interesting is the simple ease the vehicle pulls at low speeds, and i believe part of this reason is the CVT gearbox.  The end result is that the Allion offers painless acceleration that will make you feel the engine is lot more powerful than what it is.  Its only in the open roads and when you need that heavy pull in overtaking that you notice the lack of oomp in the engine, something that most users of this car in Sri Lanka are not going to notice unless you like driving a bit enthusiastically.

Transmission

A big change in the second generation Allion is the introduction of the CVT (called Super-CVTi) gearbox for the entire range of models.  Only the 2L version had the CVT gearbox in the 1st generation models.  The Super-CVTi has been tuned to give more of an auto feel and most users are unaware that the gearbox is a CVT.  Kudos to Toyota in achieving this, as common feature of most CVT’s specially Honda has been the rather revvy behaviour, though this can be an interesting attribute.

However see section below, seems if the car is used in heavy traffic situations, sticking to the Toyota standard gearbox oil change can cause gearbox failures.  Honda’s learning with the CVT gear oil change cycles may also be very applicable for Toyota as well!

Exterior

The Allion compared to the sister car the Premio always presented a more sporty younger appeal, and the same continues with this model.  The vehicle tested being a variant of the base model lacked some of the visual aesthetics,  still had that look.  The more beefy versions add to the visual impact that makes the car a lot more meaner.

The side mirrors have the now popular winker mirrors, while adding a touch of modern feel, most winker mirror implementations have the feel of being bolted in when compared to the winker mirrors in Mercs which were among the first to feature this.

The rear has the now fairly standard Toyota look, and has more than a  passing resemblances to the big brother Camry. A bit of the bangle  design has crept into the Toyota design house, but in a lot more  pleasing way compare to the BMW designs of the past.
Interior

The soft texture of the seating material gives a very pleasant feel for the passengers, and also gives the vehicle an upmarket feel.  However the material is a major dust attractor, so regular cleaning is on call, specially if its the dark colored interior.


The high mid console which has the  classy stubby gear lever i felt was a tad badly placed, and only suited  if you were the type who liked to sit back and drive in a relaxed mode.

The front seats are top notch, and though lacking any form of  electrical seat control, it provides the front passengers a very  comfortable driving position. The rear seat space is superb, and the ability to recline the seats (at the cost of some boot space) adds to the luxury feel of this mid level sedan.

The dashboard console is very neat, and the all LCD information screen provides a good level of information.  In addition to the average fuel economy, it also provides the current fuel economy to ensure the driver can optimize his driving style to meet his needs be it economy or a bit of thrill.  However while most JDM cars in the past had the information in English, the console now is in Japanese, which means any error information or warning are not going to be understood by non-Japanese users.



Ride and Handling

The vehicle suspension handles local rutty roads extremely well, giving a comfortable ride even in the most bumpy parts.  However for an enthusiast they may find the ride a tad on the softer side, but the advantage is that the vehicle does not loose composure on the rippled, rutty roads and maintains high degree of comfort for its occupants.  The standard tires on most Allions are the 185/65/R14, and with the thick sidewall, these tires ensure the ride comfort is maintained.  These tires look a bit too small for a car of this size, and especially cars that had the rims replaced by 14″ alloys look very ungainly.  Vehicles with Toyota alloys tend to get 185/65/R15 that provides a more balanced view, while the TRD alloys with the 17″ makes the car stand out.

Fuel Economy

The vehicle has as amazing fuel economies if driven properly, excelling in open roads.  The dual-VVTi configuration provided great traction with minimal revs and idle sipping very little fuel definitely attributing to this amazing returns.

City / Urban – Peak Hours 8-9kmpl
City / Urban – Non Peak Hours 9-12kmpl
Outstation / Highway – Narrow roads 10-14kmpl
Outstation / Highway –Wide roads 15-24 kmpl

Problems
Friends who have this vehicle have reported the following problems.

  1. The AC tends to get heated once in a while even on cars with low mileage. The AC fan is found to be working the issue could be due to the AC compressor bush expanding.
  2. The CVT gearbox has started to fail on several of these cars including the Axio which features the same gearbox and engine combination. The issue seems to stem from the fact that Toyota states a 100,000km duration for the CVT gearbox oil change, and sticking to this with the car being used mainly in traffic seems to be suicidal. To avoid the gearbox failing the best is to do the oil change every 50-60,000km and then reduce the duration even further as the car ages in mileage. The gearbox failure seems to be in two stages, one where the gearbox will not change which can be repaired, and the next where not attending to this problem in time causing a belt failure.
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39 thoughts on “Toyota Allion NZE260 Detail Review”

  1. I am using an Allion 2011 for last 1.5 months… Sometimes, when foot is withdrawn from accelerator (at low speeds), it seems that the car is applying brake by itself until in comes to a lower speed. My car dealer said, its common for these models. A bit confused…

  2. I have an Allion ( NZE 260) of 2012 model. Problem is – the A/C compressor has failed after 12 months of use and it is a very common phenomena of this specific model. Any suggestions to overcome the problem?

  3. I have toyota allion ZRT260 A18 2008 car too.very comfortable & powerful .fuel consumption in traffic 8-10 kml & long distance 11-13 kml. Love it.

  4. Hello. Lovely review. I imported a 2010Toyota Allion A15 in August 2015. Since a little over a month now it has started to occasionally restart itself while I am driving. It seems to shut off for a second butbecause its still moving I only know because the radio goes off and on, then the welcome message. The steering gets rigid for a second or two. Did an electrical diagnostic and it turned up nothing. Any ideas?

  5. just bought a 2010 Toyota Allion when driving on the highway i can only go 60-70k it feels as if the car will get out of control, the rear feels like its swinging and bouncing also the driver side gets a sudden tilt as if the road is uneven and you are driving in a ditch. can you share any idea. thanks

    1. My first guess was improper wheel alignment, but since you have mentioned that the car tilts assume that the fault is within the suspension. A quick test to check your suspensions is, Compress each suspension by giving it a good enough weight on each side, one at a time. Once you let go, if the car keeps oscillating for a while other than getting steady at once(when suspension gets back to its original position) that suspension sure needs some attention. But recommend you to go for a mechanic.
      Hope this helps.

  6. i have a toyota allion 260 model. these days i have a problem, when the car RPM move over 2.5 , 3 upwards my car is getting so much vibration. i checked my transmission system but couldn’t find any problem there. need a quick solution.

  7. Have a premio ZRT 260 1.8L. Been driving it since April, 2013. Cover an average of 5,000 km monthly in city and highways. Mostly drive on tarmac. Very good performance. 10-12 km/l city 12-27 km/l highway. Superb acceleration. Rear drifts at high speed manoeuvering. Air condition failure. Gear box started acting up, failing to change at about 120 kph when accelerating hard on an uphill engine revs at 5,000 plus. However works well at easy acceleration. Constant change of brake pads (front) at about 15-20,000km. Genuine pads expensive (Kenya). Japanese navigation aid a problem no English version. Regular maintenance initially at 10,000km on lexus synthetic engine oil from toyota.engine starts feeling rough on idle at about 200,000km. Changed to normal toyota engine idling smoother. Servicing now at 5,000km. Change fuel pump at 60,000km as it gets clogged and car stalls. If that happens shut off engine and let it rest for about 5-10 mins. Spark plug change at 30-40,000km.

  8. I need owner’s manual for Toyota Allion 2011 model. If anyone has it, please email it to me at ‘amir.golf@hotmail.com’.

  9. Very Helpfull comments, I owned a 2008 Allion 260, it does 19.5 KMPL when driving Kurunegala to Puttalam.. nice car to drive and good second hand value.

  10. It’s nice to have this review and the conversation;

    I’m planning to buy a 2010 Allion (A15). Have you guys faced any issues with it or anything that I should be concerned abt? How is the fuel economy? Any known faults?

    Thanks.

  11. Nice review. I recently bought a Allion 2010 YOM. I need to get a alloy wheel to replace one scratched one. It has come with original Toyota 15″ 10 spoke alloy. Any idea where I can get 1 or 2 of them in SL or import from Japan?

    About the car, its great in performance. Pick up at low speeds rave the engine bit too much when accelerating to increase speed but after 30kmph or so it just goes on like a rocket.

  12. Always been a fan of your reviews, thank you very much. I am down to choosing between the Civic FD1 and Allion A18(NZE 260). Having owned a Subaru Legacy B4 Twin-Turbo and now being forced to buy a more “practical car” I want to buy the faster accelerating car of the 2. I am thinking A18 with it’s CVT GB would be faster. What do you think?

  13. I am about to get a 2010 Allion 1.5cc I was wondering about the Ipod connection? Is there a plug next to the cig lighter like the 2009 Camry? Or an aux line ready to connect to the Ipod? thanks!!

  14. Great writeup Rayaz. I have a new NZT260 A15 1NZ-FE with 900KM on the clock. Should I do the first Engine Oil/Filter change at 1000KM or around 3000KM will be fine?

    1. Based on what i have seen, most jap manufacturers (toyota, honda) have 1000 and then 5000km as their service points for new cars. Surprisingly the Korean petrol car first service is 5000 for recent models (1000km for diesel). The 1000km seems to be set, since the first runs can bring minute particles that are within the engine. However a friend of mine who owns an Allion says the Japanese service manual for the Allion does not have a 1000km, but rather a 5000km, and supposedly the engine has already been pre-run prior to leaving the factory. In which case 3000km might be a safe option to do the first service.

      1. Dear Rayaz

        i was reading this all , thought of put my problem to you, i am using Allion NZT 260 2009 Nov model, i bought it unregistered in 2011 at that time i has been run in japan almost 36,000KM. and i was using it for a more than 3 Years and during that period i changed CVT oil at 80,000KM but sump was not removed and cleaned properly. before i changed oil i felt that slight shifting of gear at the low speed to high speed. bcoz of that i changed the CVT oil. that jurge i still have. then one month ago i did a tuneup, they open the throttle-body and all the required item they cleaned then suddenly my car RPM dropped to 600 and sometimes its go bellow 600 and now my car is giving me Engine vibration, petrol is not working as before the tuneup(6-7KM per Liter), before the tuneup in Colombo it gives me 10-12KM per ltr. then garage said throttle-body need to replace and see, and that also done but noting changed, then they break the seal and adjusted manually but it doesn’t make any improvement to the car. now i still have the gear shifting problem, Engine Vibration, RPM drops bellow 600, petrol is not doing well. can you suggests me a good garage or technical person to go and show my car, i went to Toyota Lanka Maharagama but they said nothing wrong with the car and they just changed more than 11,000 rupees for nothing. can you plz help me to sorted out my issue. my no is. 0774958872

  15. People give their personal view. But every car has its unique feature and excellent design. But toyota caters to the real market need of sri lanka and better to go for a toyota vehicle. When you have a toyota you can any time make money. If you can effort 3.5 – 4 million go for a allion 240 (may be 2004 or 2005). This model has a very good demand in sri lanka and good car for sure.

  16. i have Allion ZRT 260 ( Year 2008). fuel consumption is around 8.3km to 9km in heavy traffic(colombo) out station 11km to 13.2km. nice car to drive

    1. Many people give comments based on their personal experience. But some times this experience is very limited and unable to provide a solid answer. But Toyota allion is a superior car and it gives driving pleasure and fuel efficiency. Go for an allion. 240 looks more masculine than a 260. 260 is little bulky.

    2. Yes ,i have Zrt 260 (1.8) 2008 model.very comfortable car and same fuel efficiency as you told above.love it

    3. Yes ,i have Zrt 260 (1.8) 2008 model too.very comfortable car and same fuel efficiency as you told above.love it

  17. the 1800cc allion does abt 8-10 kmpl in colombo(mostly stuck in school traffic or office traffic).
    outstation does abt 13kmpl max(airport runs)
    overall 0-100 on my phone stopwatch(not 100% accurate)takes abt 9-10 secs.
    btw awesome review.very hard to find details abt the allion online!
    hope i helped.!
    matthew

    1. Hey Matthew. Thanks loads for the information on A18. I reckon you are also somewhat of an enthusiast to be buying an A18. So in your POV is Allion’s braking ability and feel acceptable? My extensive experience with an Axio 1.5L has left me unhappy about Toyota brakes. I wonder whether it’s any better with a A18.

  18. Thank you. Enjoyed the review. Was quite curious as to why this car is so popular in this country.
    Details on importing a car would be much appreciated. For example how you find a reliable auction agent in Japan?

    1. Just posted a work in progress, hope that helps as its far to big to be a comment. I will share another post on how to work with agents, and get a good car shortly.

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