Despite having a small engine, the Altezza is a sporty saloon

The Altezza is a fast yet stable car with economical fuel consumption. PHOTO/internet

What you need to know:

Since 1998 when the first generation of the Toyota Altezza was released, the five-seater saloon has become popular among few motorists as a fast, sporty and reliable car

Since 1998 when the first generation of the Toyota Altezza was released, the five-seater saloon has become popular among few motorists as a fast, sporty and reliable car, writes Roland D. Nasasira

Nicholas Agaba   

My first car in 2015 was a Toyota Brevis. I drove it for three years until I sold it off because it did not have the features I wanted, apart from giving me the much needed comfort and luxurious interior. I wanted a saloon car that was sporty in nature and that is how I ended up acquiring the Altezza after test driving a friend’s from Kampala to Mbarara. When I made a return journey, I asked my friend if they would be willing to part ways with the Altezza. While they were not ready at the time, by the end of 2019, they had accepted to sell me the car.

Three years down the road, I have never regretted the choice I made. My model runs on a 2000cc petrol engine, which I find economical with consumption. When I refuel with Shs150,000, it will take me through the week of driving within Kampala from my home in Mutungo to the CBD for work from Monday to Friday without topping up. 

Regarding performance, the Altezza is a really fast car. The heavier the acceleration foot, the faster it will go because it runs on a sporty engine.

While this engine is small, it is powerful in terms of responding to the acceleration commands to give you the speed as and when you need it.

Robert Ssegawa 

One of the features I like about the Altezza is its size. It is small on the outside but gives you enough interior space, especially the headroom for the driver and co-driver. That is not forgetting the spacious trunk.

The other feature is that it shares most of its spare parts with most Toyota brands on the market. This makes its service affordable in terms of spare parts availability with dealers in Wandegeya and Kisekka Market. The most expensive parts I have replaced in two years were the shock absorbers that cost Shs700,000 a pair when I had just bought the car in late 2020.

Since then, the other repairs have mainly been minor and les costly. For instance, I service once in four to six months, depending on how often I drive the car and it costs Shs180,000 to replace engine oil, fuel, oil and air filters, brake pads and a few other serviceable parts. Other parts such as spark plugs are replaced upon recommendation by the mechanic. 

However, one of the downsides of the Altezza is that it has low ground clearance. This makes driving in rough marram roads and potholes along tarmacked roads challenges.

Benjamin Kwesiga

Ilike the Altezza because it is reliable in terms of speed. Much as it is a very fast car, its fuel consumption rate is constant. For instance, when driving within Kampala, I use one litre for between 12 and 16 kilometre. In instances where I only drive from Ntinda (home) to Kololo (work) and back, my full tank (60 litres), will take me for three weeks. The secret is that I leave home as early as 6:00am when the roads are clear and leave for home at 3:00pm before the evening rush hour traffic jam builds up. 

My Altezza had a low ground clearance and I raised it using low profile rims against big profile tyres. That gave me a few more inches of height which makes driving even more comfortable because the high profile tyres help absorb and contain the discomfort of road bumps. I am also able to maneuver through uneven roads better.

It is also a reliable car in the sense that while it will alert me about a mechanical fault, if minor, I can still drive it. For instance, when the engine mounting got damaged a few months ago, I was still able to drive for two months until I got the money to replace. 

Altezza Lexux RS200

Safe to say, the Altezza RS200 really brought out the true expression of the first-generation Lexus IS sedan’s sporty nature. It was still a relatively comfy sedan, but was made lighter and buzzier with its great engine and six-speed manual transmission.

Altezza AS200

The Altezza Stock tire sizes are 195 / 65 on 15 inch rims at the front, and 195 / 65 on 15 inch rims at the rear. For stopping power, the Altezza AS200 braking system includes at the front and at the rear.

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