Toyota to revamp Philippine line up with 7 new models

While Toyota Motor Philippines has been relatively quiet for the first half of 2023, the second half will clearly not be that way. Toyota has a lot in store for the remainder of the year and based on info from insiders at TMP, we have a lot to look forward to across the board.

If you’re looking at getting a new Toyota, read on. We’ll break it down into new nameplates (no local predecessor), full model change (all-new/new generation), and model change (facelift/upgrade).

Some plans may change or things may get delayed, so keep this as a general guide. Maybe you’ll find an incoming model that you may want to wait for, maybe use the information to leverage a better discount for an outgoing model.

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New Nameplate: Toyota Yaris Cross

Following in the wake of the Corolla Cross is the Yaris Cross. It was really a matter of time for Toyota to fill in the 5-seater crossover gap between the larger Corolla Cross and the smaller Raize, and that should give an indicator of what they will charge for it. As it stands, there’s a pricing gap that Toyota wants to cover between the highest grade Raize at PHP 1,056,000 and the entry grade Corolla Cross at PHP 1,312,000.

The Yaris Cross the Philippines is getting will not be the same as the one you may see in Japan or Europe that uses a Toyota platform and newer Dynamic Force engines (including hybrid). Instead, the Philippine version will be based on the Southeast Asia-spec Yaris Cross that’s made in Indonesia using the platform from budget car partner Daihatsu.

The good thing about using the Toyota-badged Daihatsu is that it is bigger than the Japan-spec model. However, using the Daihatsu platform means you can expect a ride that is probably more similar to the Raize than Corolla Cross. Also, the model will use 2NR 1.5L engines instead of the more advanced M15A 1.5L Dynamic Force power units. We’re not sure yet if the model will be getting the hybrid, but it is quite possible given Toyota’s thrusts for hybrids.

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Toyota Innova Zenix: Full Model Change... sort of

As we had previously reported, Toyota Motor Philippines isn’t phasing out the older Toyota Innova which has been in production at their Laguna plant since 2016 in favor of the third-generation Innova. Instead what they will be doing is launching the third-generation monocoque FWD Innova Zenix and putting it as the new range-topping model.

[Updated] The new generation Innova Zenix will be larger and will have the 2.0L hybrid variant as well as the 2.0L non-hybrid gasoline with a CVT. The hybrid component will use an electric motor with a NiMH (not Li-ion) battery pack. It is likely that the Innova Zenix will be based on the Q HV variant they have in Indonesia since it will be a TOTL variant. Expect features like the relaxation seats in the middle row, wireless charger, black leather, and possibly even the dual rear seat entertainment system.

Toyota did engineer the frame-based Innova for longevity which is why it probably won’t go out soon. And the investment to rework the plant to produce the monocoque-based third generation is undoubtedly high. That means the Innova model range will be a mixed second and third-generation lineup in the same way that Toyota sells the fifth and sixth-generation Hiace as the H200 still has great appeal for commercial vehicle operators.

[Updated] Originally it was indicated to us that Toyota is only looking at the hybrid, but they will also be offering the non-hybrid third generation Innova. As to how that will resonate with customers remains to be seen; TMP did offer the 2.0L gasoline variant of the second generation Innova but was phased out. Customers preferred the diesel given the torque for a full cabin and better fuel economy.

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Toyota Wigo: Full Model Change

It’s hard to believe that the Wigo we have in local showrooms is already a decade old. We were the ones that broke the news that Toyota Motor Philippines was planning to launch the Agya in 2013 to undercut the Mitsubishi Mirage in the market, and they subsequently renamed it the Wigo.

Now there’s a new generation model coming, and it has been fully restyled and rides on the newer Daihatsu platform resulting in a better ride and more space than its predecessor. Expect more new features in the model like the digital A/C (depending on variant) and possibly even paddle shifters for the CVT variants. Speaking of engines, the new generation Wigo will come with a 1.0L gasoline engine and the option for a CVT or a manual.

As for pricing, expect it to be slightly higher (given the current trends of cars being more expensive due to inflation and parts costs) than the current model which retails from PHP 578,000 to PHP 705,000.

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Toyota Vios: Minor Change or Full Model Change?

If there’s one vehicle the market is looking forward to, it’s the Vios. And they are finally launching a new one later this year.  But here’s where it gets interesting: we’re not quite sure whether Toyota is launching the all-new D92A Vios/Yaris Ativ that we would see on Thai roads, or the new facelifted Vios (same generation as the one we have) that was just revealed in Vietnam.

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We are hopeful that Toyota will give Filipino consumers the newest product with all the improvements that have been derived from the lessons of the current generation that has been in the Philippines since 2013. However, given the time it would take for reworking the local assembly plant, that might not be the case especially since the platform (DNGA) is different from the current one.

So our bet is that Toyota will retain the current generation XP150, and go for the facelift like what Vietnam did. Improvements will be minor (extra features) and most likely purely aesthetic.

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Full Model Change: Toyota Alphard Hybrid

The Philippines is a strong market for Toyota’s luxury minivan: the Alphard. It has actually become the de facto standard limousine in the country for two generations; you only need to take a quick drive around the casino/entertainment/reclamation area to see why. And even if the current model is already dated, there are still long queues for it.

But if you’re in the market for one of these, then it might be worth more to hold on to your money and wait because there’s a new generation model on the way. It hasn’t officially been revealed yet, but the interwebs are already rife with examples of the new generation Alphard being transported in Japan without any camouflage.

As with any new generation model, we are expecting improvements when it comes to the ride and refinement of the vehicle; critical expectations of something like the Alphard. But perhaps the biggest improvement will be the availability of the hybrid powertrain to address the biggest problem of the non-hybrid 2.5L and 3.5L: fuel consumption.

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Toyota Hilux and Fortuner: Minor Change... with hybrid?

We have also received a tip that Toyota will be introducing updated versions of the Hilux and Fortuner possibly later this year or early in 2024.

Toyota will most likely be focusing on updating the look of the Hilux and Fortuner which have been in the market since 2016. We also expect some new features particularly with safety and the like, but what we are really keen on are seeing some improvements with the powertrain with regard to hybrids.

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As early as 2021, we’ve been receiving information from our regional sources that Toyota is working on a hybrid version of the GD turbodiesel engine that they will use in the Fortuner and Hilux. The internal code of Toyota for the project is 188D, and will likely be a mild hybrid that could be in the form of a 48-volt belt starter generator (BSG).

Originally the GD Mild Hybrid was supposed to be produced sometime last year, but our source in Toyota said that Project 188D was going to be delayed to Q1 2023. If that is the case, the late 2023 launch certainly seems apt. The only problem though: we’re not quite sure if Indonesia (where we get the Fortuner from) will produce it.