Twelve years ago, Toyota Vios made its debut in the Malaysian markets alongside Honda City. Together they brought Japanese manufacturing back for the consideration of masses. Right after the launch of the two cars, both the companies were recieving bookings at a rate faster than their rate of manufacturing. From that date till this date, Toyota Vios has maintained a special status in Malaysian B-Segment market. The exterior of Toyota Vios may not seem too appealing, too innovative. From the looks of it, Toyota Vios looks like a standard family car from the Toyota stable but with added features and upgrades one can make the Vios more stylish and drive-worthy. The interiors however, are surprisigly fresh and kept very simple.
Powered by a common 1.5-litre 4-cylinder, 16-valve DOHC petrol engine, the current lineup of the Vios has 5 variants for the buyers to choose from namely 1.5 TRD Sportivo, 1.5G, 1.5E, 1.5J and 1.5MT. All of the above variants recieve a 4 speed automatic transmission with Super ECT barring the base model which has a 5 speed manual transmission. Although, the gearbox and engine is retained from the previous models (which is now really ageing), Toyota claims that the 2013 launched Vios offers a 5% improvement in fuel absorbing over its predecessor. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is capable of extracting 109 PS power at 6000 rpm inline to a maximum torque of 141 Nm at 4200 rpm.
Mileage and Fuel Economy
Being an entry level sedan, it is expected that the car with lighter engine would deliver a higher fuel economy and Toyota Vios does not really dissapoint. All the 5 available variants have the same mileage because of the same engine installed which measures to an overall average mileage of 12.4 km/l. The maximum fuel tank capacity is 42 litres, again same for all variants.
Keeping in mind the price tag of car, and the comparing it with its competition it would be safe to say that the power output of Toyota Vios is not dissapointing albeit coming from a nearly outdated and ageing engine. The 4 cylinder, 16 stroke DOHC 1.5-litre engine with VVT-i throws out a maximum output power of 109 PS at 6000 rpm (better options are available) and a maximum torque of 141 Nm at 4200 rpm.
Acceleration and Pick Up
As mentioned before, the ageing 1.5 litre DOHC engien with VVTi makes the ride smooth but not speedy. It is because of the comfort over speed policy of this car maybe that Toyota Vios has a rather dissapointing acceleration rate of 0-100 km/h at 12 seconds. For an entry level Sedan with a 1.5-litre engine however the top speed is decent clocking in at 170 km/hr.
The exterior of Toyota Vios may not seem too appealing, too innovative. From the looks of it, Toyota Vios looks like any other car in the entry level Sedan range, there is nothing too dynamic about it. The front grille extends to the headlamps giving you a "Honda" like exposure with an aggressive front bumper design. The older broad pillar lines are replaced by a sleek straight line running throughout the body which makes the car look broad and curvier around the edges. Top variants 1.5 TRD Sportivo and 1.5G have additional previlidges like projector headlamps with manual levelling function. The most significant upgrade in terms of exterior is recieved by the top end all sport variant which offers 5 new modification options (Trunk Lid Spoiler, Side skirts, Rear Bumper Spoiler, Daytime running lights, front bumper) called the TRD Sportivo aerokit, these additions are enough to make your experience state of the art.
Toyota Vios has a tremendously spacious interior credits to the 2550mm wheelbase, one of the features which exceeds expectations. The overall dimensions of Toyota Vios measure 4410mm x 1700mm x 1475mm (length x breadth x height) with a ground clearance of 147mm.
This is where all variants of Vios are stars in their class. The revised dampers make it a standout car in class, bettering the features available in the highly popular Nissan Almera. The refinement feels top notch too and shields you better from wind and road noises when compared with competition. The new seats avaialable on the front are highly comfortable. The interior as per company's claim is a "perfect mixture of comfort, style and spaciousness" and we second it. The dashboard design looks like a mid range premium. Stylised for daily users, chrome accents, molded stitching accents, fine dimple grain finish and the 3 spoke steering wheel wrapped in leather (1.5 TRD Sportivo & 1.5G variants). For the cherry on the cake there is a genuinely stylish Meter panel with MID display (1.5 TRD Sportivo and 1.5G) and smart entry push starts.
Toyota Vios achieves unbounding sportiness with the red and black leather seats available on its 1.5 TRD sportivo variant. Step down to the lower variants and the only loss will be in aesthetic eye appealing features, comfort is not compromised. Rear seats are available with a 60:40 split folding options in the top three variants which increases your trunk space. There are no bumps for rear passangers, a flat floor is made available for their comfort. The integrated Audio System with steering control (1.5 TRD Sportivo and 1.5G) only adds to your comfort manyfold.
Their is enough provision for leg room and head room, a very important aspect in comfortable driving, this feature alone makes it a standout vehicle in its class bettering many high end sedans as well. Toyota Vios comes with a huge boot space of 506 litres, whereas you can increase more space inside the car with 60:40 split folding rear seats available only for 1.5 TRD Sportivo, 1.5G and 1.5E variants.
Engine and Performance
Despite the fact that engine has not changed and is now comparatively old, the 4 cylinder, 16 stroke DOHC 1.5-litre engine with VVT-i provides the driver with modest pull with the smoother 4 speed Auto transmission variants (1.5J MT gets 5 speed manual transmission). It is a totally befitting option for a daily office commuter, but it is really doubtful if this engine appeals to the speedsters. The maximum output power is 109 PS at 6000 rpm while the maximum drawn torque is 141 Nm at 4,200 rpm.
Decent 15 inch alloy rims are employed to all variants of Toyota Vios, these rims are stable enough to ensure maximum sturdiness to the vehicle given the tyre size which is 185/60 R15 for all 5 variants. Spare tyres are also avaialble with same 15 inch (steel) rim and same size.
Stereo and Accessories
Nothing too fancy, being a budget friendly car the in built audio system of Toyota Vios is a simple Dashboard Integrated CD Player (1.5 TRD Sportivo (AT) and 1.5G (AT) and 1.5E(AT)) and primitive 2-DIN Head Unit CD player for lower variants. Both audio players are packed with a tuner, USB, AUX Jack and MP3. Toyota has provided its customer base with optional features to increment their entertainment quotient, these are DVD-AVN (2 DIN Head Unit DVD player which comes with 7 inch touchscreen, smartphone connectivity, Wi-Fi, Internet Browser, Voice recognition, Navigation system, USB, HDMI and reverse camera) and DVD-AVX (2 DIN Head Unit DVD with 6.1 inch touch screen, touch screen, tuner, AUX-Jack, USB, SD card slot, Bluetooth, MP3 and reverse camera).
Braking and Handling
There is a highly efficient ABS system made available on Toyota Vios (Anti lock Braking System) which stops the wheel locks up if brakes are applied on a surface with less friction. EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution) augments this by distributing the optimal braking power between the four wheels, also there is Brake Assist which enhances your control on machine even further, it helps you manage your own braking force and reduces the distance drift while stopping. Front brakes of all the variants have been appointed Ventilated Disc brakes while 1.5 TRD Sportivo (AT) and 1.5G (AT) are provided disc brakes on the rear as opposed to lower variants. Handling on the other hand has never really been Vios forte from the time of its launch itself and it still isnt. The grip over the steering isn't really bad but the steering itself is dull at times and at times it is too tight. Low suspension induces a possibility of body roll if the roads twist.
Safety and Security
When you have a safety package like Toyota offers, confidence is bound to go up while driving. Toyota Vios is embedded with all the standard features to increment your safety. ABS braking and SRS airbags packed in a steel structure with a high tensile strength give way to incremented protection against any mishap. There are dual airbags, 3 point ELR seatbelts have been appointed which retract in case of emergency. WIL (Whiplash Injury lessening) front seats aid in reducing the possibility of a serious head and neck injury by aiding support in case of a rear collision. Auto Jam Protection Window for driver detects any kind of resistance offered when the window is raised to protect driver from any sort of injury. ISOFIX mounting points are available for child safety.
- Highly improved especially in styling
- Better and more aligned interior
- Keyless entry, GPS
- 2 air bags only
- Old engine
- Sub-standard handling