In our last spec-check, we pitted the top-spec Toyota Vios against its top of the line rivals. But not everyone gets the range-topping models. It could be said that a bulk of the B-segment sedans around are mid-level models.
A lot of social media commenters pointed out that nearly Php 1.1 million is a lot to ask for a Vios, particularly in 1.5 G Prime form.
But what happens if we run the numbers of the mid-spec model against the similarly-priced competition? And that's where we're going for this spec check. In this case, we're looking at a price cap of Php 900,000, equipped with automatic or continuously variable transmissions.
Serving as the middle-ground variant in the Toyota Vios range is the 1.3 E CVT model. What is it up against?
Again, starting alphabetically, we start with the Chevrolet Sail LT, followed by the now eight year old Ford Fiesta Trend. Over at Honda, it's the City E CVT, while Hyundai has the gas-powered Accent 1.4 GL CVT. The Mazda2 sedan has three variants for the but only one squeaks under the Php 900,000 mark and that's the 2 SkyActiv-S model with an automatic.
We compared the top-spec Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLS CVT in the previous spec check so for this one, we'll be pitting the GLX CVT against the competition. The Nissan Almera has two variants with automatic transmissions but we're going for the higher-spec V model as it's just right in the price cap. Last but not least is Suzuki with the Ciaz GL.
All cars do not differ in body meaning all dimensions are the same as their respective, top of the line models. However, it's quite different under the hood for some of these cars.
1.5 liters and below
Engine sizes in this spec-check range from 1.2-liters, all the way to 1.5-liters. Again, the smallest engine here is in the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLX with its 1.2-liter, three-cylinder mill. A hundred cubic centimeters (and one cylinder) more is the new Vios 1.3 E with its 1300cc, four-cylinder engine. Suzuki on the other hand puts in a 1.4-liter in the Ciaz GL, just like the the high-spec GLX. Also with a 1.4-liter engine is the Hyundai Accent GL CVT.
The rest of the group comes with 1.5-liter engines. These are the Chevrolet Sail, Ford Fiesta, Honda City, Mazda2 and Nissan Almera. Of course, engine size is one thing, power outputs are another.
Who makes the most pull in the mid-spec, B-segment sedan class? That would be the Honda City E with 145 Nm of torque. At the opposite end of the spectrum, the Mitsubishi Mirage G4. It's handicapped by one less cylinder and the result is 100 Nm of torque, putting it at the bottom of the torque curve.
The Chevrolet Sail LT makes 141 Nm of torque, putting it second in terms of torque. It's followed by the Ford Fiesta Trend with 140 Nm, then the Mazda2 with 139 Nm. Needless to say, It's a close fight for second when it comes to pulling power. The Nissan Almera meanwhile sits in the middle of the group with 134 Nm.
As for the Hyundai Accent 1.4 GL, it makes 133 Nm, making it the torquiest car with less than 1.5-liters. The Ciaz GL on the other hand makes 130 Nm while the Vios 1.3 E musters 123 Nm from its 1300cc mill. The Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLX is handicapped by one less cylinder and the result is 100 Nm of torque, putting it at the bottom of the torque stakes.
Power to the people
Honda takes also the top spot when it comes to horsepower. With 120 PS, along with 145 Nm of torque, the City is, overall, the most powerful in its class.
The Ford Fiesta is not that far off the City as it packs 114 PS, taking second place. The Chevrolet Sail LT makes 109 PS while the Mazda2 is just a bit behind at 108 PS. Despite a smaller engine, the Hyundai Accent 1.4 GL still musters 100 PS, ever so slightly edging the bigger-engined Nissan Almera V, which as 99 PS.
More impressive is the 98 PS output from the Toyota Vios 1.3 E, which is four horsepower more than the 1.4-liter Suzuki Ciaz GL with 92 PS. The three-cylinder Mirage G4 GLX has 78 PS. Coupled with its 100 Nm torque figure, it's also the group's overall lowest.
Touchscreen or radio?
These may not be the top variants but most come with a fair amount of equipment on board. Five cars here come with a touchscreen standard. These are the Vios, City, Ciaz,and Mirage G4, meaning these cars don't look to bare inside. All also come with Bluetooth audio, Aux-in, and can even store mobile numbers to avoid fumbling with cellphones while in the car.
The Almera, and Mazda2 have to make do with 2-DIN radios but at least they come with some for of auxiliary input, be it Bluetooth or by plug, for you to plug-in your phone and listen to your personal tunes. In the Accent however, one will have to settle for a 1-DIN radio, the same with the Sail but a touchscreen an option.
Stability control is a rarity at this price point but it's good to know that two cars here have it standard. These are the Ford Fiesta Trend and the Toyota Vios 1.3 E. The Vios trumps the Ford even more by having a full suite of airbags with a pair in front, the sides, curtains, and even knee airbags for the driver.
While not all have stability control, most come equipped with anti-lock braking systems (ABS), a plus in wet weather driving. The odd-man out here is the Accent, which doesn't come with airbags, nor ABS. You won't see any reverse cameras in the mid-grade variants. Also, only one car offers reverse sensors as standard, and that the Ford Fiesta Trend.
Fuel and cargo
Since these cars have the same body as their higher-spec versions, fuel tank and cargo capacities are the same. The Honda City has the biggest trunk at 536 liters, while the smallest trunk is in the Chevrolet Sail at 366 liters.
While it is the smallest car in terms of dimensions, the Mitsubishi Mirage G4's 450 liter trunk capacity beats the larger Chevy and Mazda 2, which has 410 liters of cargo volume. Right in the middle of the pack is the Hyundai Accent with a 465 liter trunk, but it's beaten by the Ford Fiesta which offers 471 liters in the trunk.
The Almera's trunk space is impressive given the fact that it's just a few liters behind the longest car in the class here, the Ciaz. Cargo capacity for the Almera is rated at 490 liters while the Ciaz is at 495 liters. The Vios? It's has one of the bigger cargo areas at 478 liters. Not class leading, but still pretty large nonetheless.
As for fuel tank sizes, Sail has the smallest at 39 liters while the largest belongs to the Ciaz at 45 liters. The City holds 40 liters of fuel in its tank while the Almera can hold up to 41 liters. Both the Vios and Mirage G4 come with 42 liter tanks. As for the Accent, it has a 43 liter tank and last but not least, the Mazda2 with 44 liters.
The price is right?
If you guessed the Mitsubishi Mirage G4 GLX CVT would be the most affordable of the bunch, you'd be correct. In this trim level, it's far below the Php 900,000 price cap at Php 717,000. Still within the Php 700,000 range is the Hyundai Accent 1.4 GL CVT at Php 745,000.
The first to breach the Php 800,000 mark is the Ford Fiesta Trend at Php 805,000. It's quite the jump for the next car as the Suzuki Ciaz GL A/T retails for Php 845,000. Up next, the Chevrolet Sail LT at Php 865,000 and, for just a few thousand more, the Honda City E CVT at Php 868,000.
Second-most expensive is the Mazda2 SkyActiv S at Php 890,000 and right at the price cap is the Nissan Almera V at exactly Php 900,000.
In 1.3 E CVT form, the Vios appears to be loaded for its price, especially when you take a look at the standard safety features it has to offer. On top of that, it undercuts two other cars and has more features to boot. By the looks of it, the 1300cc Vios is shaping up to be a better value proposition than its top of the line version.
Of course, specs can only go so far to give initial impressions of a car. The true test lies in the real world. Can the Vios still impress in a world of larger-engined B-segment sedans? We'll reserve judgment until when we get our hands on it; but for now, it's looking good for the mid-spec model.