Text: Brent Co / Photos: Brent Co | posted March 25, 2013 20:24
New compact sedan set to take segment by storm
Toyota held the global unveil of the 2013 Vios at the 34th Bangkok International Motor Show today. Currently in its fourth-generation, the Vios is one of the Japanese carmaker's most significant models in the ASEAN region and currently one of the best sellers in its lineup.
The Vios was borne from a car jointly developed by Thai and Japanese engineers as a compact sedan to suit the needs of the Thai market in the form of the Soluna in 1997. Five years after, a fully-remodeled second-generation called ‘Soluna Vios’ was debuted for the ASEAN market (Vios for ASEAN market). A third-generation version was revealed five years after in 2007 appearing as more of a major cosmetic remodeling compared to the transition from the first to second generation. The Vios has sold a total of 186,761 units in the ASEAN region since its introduction.
"Today, we proudly present our new Vios 4th Generation World Premier right here in Thailand. Developed under the concept of 'Value beyond Belief', the new Vios aims to deliver a world class quality vehicle that will exceed customer needs and expectations," said Mr. Kyoichi Tanada, President of Toyota Motor Thailand.
The Thai release of the Vios only comes with the same 1NZ-FE 1.5-liter engine as found in the previous generations. The engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. The Philippine release will most likely follow the same engine variants as the outgoing model which has a 2NZ-FE 1.3-liter engine in addition.
The new Vios receives a generous amount of styling improvement from the previous generations. It now follows Toyota’s more dynamic and ‘exciting’ brand design identity. It still sits on the same 2,550mm wheelbase, however the body is stretched by 110mm to 4,410mm, and stands slightly taller at 1,475mm from 1,460mm. Width stays the same at 1,700mm.
The interior receives a significantly more premium treatment with an ergonomic and well-sculpted interior. The instrument cluster has been relocated from the previously center-mounted position to its traditional position; in-front of the driver. The longer body also contributes to more interior space and better legroom for occupants.
The Vios is scheduled for release in the Philippine this year, however Toyota Motor Philippines officials have kept mum on the release date. They did however reveal that it will be assembled in the Philippines.