Text: Vince Pornelos / Photos: | posted July 11, 2013 17:54
Aiming for number one... again
At a grand launch party at the SMX Convention Center, Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation unleashed the next generation Toyota Vios.
The Toyota Vios is the country's number one selling model, a feat that it has held consistently for the better part of a decade since the original model was launched in 2003.
The new Vios is considered (internationally, at least) as a 4th generation model, though locally this is the 3rd generation version. The car itself is a subcompact sedan, slotting in just under the Toyota Corolla Altis.
The Toyota Vios directly competes with the Honda City, the Hyundai Accent, the Kia Rio, the Nissan Almera, the Chevrolet Sonic sedan, the Ford Fiesta sedan, the Mazda2 sedan, and the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 (when it arrives).
Exterior design and dimensions
Critics have noted the previous generation's design as being too conservative for a younger market. The new model addresses that head on.
Toyota's designers worked to design a Vios that was 'up-class' and sporty. The new subcompact sedan takes a lot of design cues from the new Toyota RAV4 with the 2-bar grille, the futuristic headlamps, numerous feature lines, an aggressive lower air intake, and other high tech details.
The Vios has grown, too. Length is extended to 4,410mm, the height is the same at 1,475mm and the while the car is wider at 1,700mm. Unusually, the wheelbase remains the same as well at 2550mm. Given the car's stretched dimensions, it means the front and rear overhangs were extended; it'll be interesting to find out how that would affect the handling of the car.
The larger exterior means a roomier interior, the better legroom as well as the expanded trunk space which can now hold taller items or a total of 476 liters.
Interior design and features
Like the exterior, Toyota sought to 'up-class' the cabin, working the interior of Vios to meet their new standards of interior design. Apart from the overall design changes, the Vios now has its gauge cluster on the driver side, with all models getting a tachometer, speedometer and other indicators in a triple binnacle gauge cluster layout.
Toyota also worked out two new interior colors, with the top end G models getting the predominantly 'ivory' interior and the mid and entry level grades getting the predominantly black interior. As stated, legroom has improved, and Toyota also worked to incorporate more levels of adjustment for the front seats in terms of slide and height for better comfort for more types of drivers.
All models come with USB and Aux ports, electric power steering. J grade models and up get power windows and central locks. E grade models and up get power mirrors, while G grade models come standard with projector halogen headlamps, a multi information display, and other convenient features.
Powertrain and suspension
In terms of engines, the Vios retains the same powerplants from the previous generation, with the Base, J, and E grades getting the 2NZ-FE 1.3L DOHC 16-valve inline-4 VVT-i engine. The 1299cc engine makes 85 PS and 122 Nm of torque, and can be matched with either a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic.
The G grades retain the 1NZ-FE 1.5L DOHC 16-valve inline-4 VVT-i engine that makes 107 PS and 142 Newton meters. A 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual are the transmission choices, the same as before.
The deputy chief engineer for the Vios project, Suzuki-san, stated that the new Vios has had a reworked body structure for better rigidity, better aerodynamics, and a reworked suspension. We'll find out later on how the new Vios drives.
Safety and security
For safety, all grades now get dual airbags including the 1.3 Base grades, along with ELR seatbelts for all passengers. Foglamps, ABS, EBD and the alarm system become standard with the E grades and higher.
Variants, prices and colors
The all new Vios will be sold in 6 variants, and will be made available in Freedom White, Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic, Black, Red Mica Metallic, Dark Brown Mica Metallic and Orange Metallic.
2014 Toyota Vios 1.3 Base PhP 592,000
2014 Toyota Vios 1.3 J M/T PhP 630,000
2014 Toyota Vios 1.3 E M/T PhP 727,000
2014 Toyota Vios 1.3 E A/T PhP 762,000
2014 Toyota Vios 1.5 G M/T PhP 812,000
2014 Toyota Vios 1.5 G A/T PhP 847,000
White Pearl is also available for the G grade models for an extra PhP 15,000.