The Toyota Vios is a subcompact sedan and one of Toyota Motor Philippines' most treasured and best-selling nameplates, along with its bigger MPV and SUV brothers. The Vios nameplate was introduced in 2002 and is driven and tested by thousands of Filipino drivers, be it for public or private use. With this, the Vios is consistently among the country's best-sellers outselling many other vehicles in Toyota's lineup almost every year. Toyota proudly sells this sedan as a Philippine-made product, with the brand's plant in Santa Rosa churning out these subcompacts in order to meet demand in the Philippine market.
The refreshed Vios hosts a whole new exterior and interior design. Decorating the front are the long squinting headlights, teardrop-shaped fog lamp vents, plus a wide trapezoidal grille. Even the taillights have been stretched, wrapping to the rear quarter panel. TMP added new Prime variants to its lineup which are equipped with skirts, spoiler, and a differently-styled bumper straight out of the showrooms. The interior, on the other hand, saw a major makeover as well. The cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel that's similar to the one found in the Toyota Yaris, while the dashboard boasts a more unified styling to the sense that it flows smoothly towards the door panels.
Since the refresh's debut in the Philippine market, Toyota has since expanded the model's lineup with several new variants that are affordably priced like the XE and the XLE, which both feature CVTs which are indispensable for drivers in Philippine traffic. These variants accompany the E and G variants which remain core offerings in the Vios lineup. Toyota Philippines would then again give the Vios another refresh in August of 2020 giving the vehicle a revised front face, a price restructuring, as well as a few new features to make the vehicle even more attractive and give it a great value for money proposition.
The first-generation Toyota Vios was introduced in the Philippines in 2002. From then on, it has become a staple sedan among Filipinos and a common sight on Philippine roads. The second-generation Vios, on the other hand, was launched in 2007 and was affectionately called the "Batman" because of the shape of its grille.
Finally, the third-generation Vios landed the Philippine shores in 2013 with a bigger body and a new powertrain setup. In 2018, however, TMP gave its popular subcompact sedan a major revamp, which could make you think that it's an all-new model. The platform is the same, though, but the redesigned exterior and interior styling were way different from before.
In August of 2020, Toyota Motor Philippines would then again give the Vios another update giving it a fresh new face along with a new set of headlight housings. The mid to higher tier variants now gain access to LED lighting elements as well as LED foglights. Along with the new face, the Japanese automaker would later add a new set of wheels and a backup camera as standard for the G variant.
Platform, Chassis and Powertrain
The Toyota Vios comes in two powertrain options: the 1.3-Liter 1NR-FE gasoline engine that produces 98 hp and 123 Nm of torque, and the 1.5-Liter 2NR-FE mill with outputs of 106 hp and 140 Nm torque. Both engine options can be paired up with either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine is mounted transversely in a front-engined front-wheel-drive layout which allows for more cabin space.
The third-generation Vios sits on the Toyota B platform, shared with the Yaris and other small Toyota cars. The facelifted Vios carry over the same platform. Suspension setup remains at McPherson strut front and torsion beam rear, while brakes are both discs at high trim levels while rear brakes are relegated to trailing drums at lower J and Base variants. The Toyota Vios features gas shock absorbers and coil springs for added comfort, and better control. The chassis of the Vios is constructed with a unibody architecture, which means the frame of the vehicle is one piece. This, in turn, allows for more chassis rigidity without sacrificing lightness.
New driving modes for the G variant have been put into place by Toyota with the vehicle's most recent update. It now comes with ECO and Sport driving modes that all help maximize what the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine can offer.
With two engine options available for the Vios, except different driving performance from each as well. The 1.3-liter 1NR-FE engine produces a decent 98 hp and 123 Nm of torque and is paired up with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Don’t expect a fast and spirited drive with this car. It's enough to get you around the city but quick highway drives will need more effort because of the rubber band effect of the CVT. The car could reach speed limits at its own pace but it would take time to do so especially when it’s loaded with passengers.
As for the 1.5-liter 2NR-FE, expect more grunt compared to the 1.3-liter counterpart. Handling's commendable on both cars as the steering wheel's nicely weighted, which makes highway drives planted, composed, and stable. It’s also easy to maneuver the vehicle even within tight spots and the absence of sensors. Body roll is naturally present, but minimal, especially at speeds. Brakes bite nicely but can be improved.
With Toyota Philippine's recent update to the 2021 Toyota Vios, it comes with 6 variants available that have been divided by engine options. The G, E, and XLE variants now gain access to most of the better features on offer, with motorized adjustments available at most of the variant level. The mid to high tier variants also gain access to Optitron gauge clusters and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, which are a nice touch. Another piece of equipment found on both variants (and in the new XEand XLE variants) is the 7-inch touchscreen display audio system with iPod connectivity. Sadly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't standard in this model yet. Push-start ignition is present on G variants, nevertheless.
As mentioned, the latest refresh of the Toyota Vios gets standard LED headlights for the G variant and LED foglights for the G, E, and XLE variants. Moreover, there's also a welcome addition of paddle shifters and different drive modes like Eco and Sport mode for the G CVT variant. While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are still not present in the Toyota Vios it still retains its T-Link system which allows the user to mirror their smartphone device.
The new refreshed Toyota Vios that was launched in 2018 got mixed reactions from the public and the motoring media, especially with the introduction of Prime variants. The non-prime variants feature a sleeker set of headlights and taillights than before, but the body size is pretty much the same with the pre-facelift model. The Prime variants, on the other hand, have bigger garnishings on the bumper and have other additions like side skirts and redesigned bumper lips. Halogen is still the bulb-type of choice, with the higher G variants getting projector types and LED daytime running lights.
As for the wheels, G variants have 16-inch alloys while the E trim sits on 15-inch wheels. The XE, XLE, and J have 14-inch steelies with full cap, while the Base trim only has 14-inch steel rims. For the latest update to the Toyota Vios, the Japanese brand has given the G variant a new set of wheels 16-inch wheels while the other trim-levels still retain the older design of the pre-facelifted model.
The Vios' interior trimmings are pretty much the same at every variant level, with soft and hard plastics primarily found on each. G variants get the upper hand with leather wrappings at some part of the cabin. Also present at all variants of the Vios is the open-cabin feeling, which makes the Vios one of the most spacious cars in its segment.
At the back, there’s not much to play around with except for the bottle holders by the doors. Rear legroom and headroom are plenty for average-sized Filipinos, and a nearly flat rear tunnel only adds to the good amount of space for rear passengers, even for a middle occupant in the middle row. In the most recent update Toyota has given the Vios a new 7-inch infotainment system, the vehicle, however, still retains the same fabric material for its seats as the pre-facelifted model.
One of the best things found on the Vios is its plethora of safety features across the range. Present in the entire lineup are seven airbags, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, ABS with EBD and brake assist, five 3-point seatbelts, ISOFIX child seat tethers, and child lock protection. Toyota also standardized 3-airbags throughout the lineup, with 7 being an option if more peace of mind is needed.
With this, the Vios got 5 stars on the ASEAN NCAP testing, getting high ratings on both adult occupancy and child occupancy protection. For Toyota's 2020 the safety features of the Vios remain the same as the Japanese brand didn't feel the need to update its already popular and safe subcompact sedan.
Ask our team of experts any question and we will do our best to give you the best answer possible.
What is the most affordable or cheapest Toyota Vios?
The lowest-priced Toyota Vios in the Philippines is the 1.3 Base MT variant priced at just P671,000.
Is the Toyota Vios safe?
With an ASEAN NCAP rating of 5-stars, the Toyota Vios is one of the safest subcompact cars in the market.
Does the Toyota Vios have enough ground clearance?
In the Philippines, the Toyota Vios has 133 mm of ground clearance which is within the same range as its rivals.
What is the Vios' drivetrain layout?
The Toyota Vios has a front-engined, front-wheel-drive layout. Its motor is mounted transversely to allow more room in the cabin.
Where is the Vios made?
Toyota has a factory located in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and produces the Vios and the Innova.
Is the Toyota Vios fuel efficient?
In our test of the 1.3L variant of the Vios, we got an average of 22.3 km/L after an hour on the highway with an average speed of 90 km/h.
Is the Toyota Vios reliable?
Based on its population on the streets alone, the Toyota Vios is a reliable car that could last years of ownership. Parts availability is also one of the Vios' main strengths, thanks to third-party car parts available in the market.
Is the Vios' CVT better than the conventional automatic?
In terms of fuel efficiency and emissions, the Toyota CVT found in the Vios is better than the conventional torque converter automatic transmission.
Is the Toyota Vios automatic?
In its latest version, the Toyota Vios comes with a continuously variable transmission which is essentially a type of automatic transmission.
Is the Vios the same as the Yaris?
Technically, yes, since the Vios and the Yaris share a lot of things, namely the underpinnings, engine, interior layout, and even cabin space. What differs between the two is the trunk, wherein the Yaris gets a more flexible boot space courtesy of its hatchback body.
Is there a Toyota Vios diesel?
The Toyota Vios doesn't have a diesel in the Asia-Pacific region. In India, however, the subcompact sedan as a 1.4L diesel variant that produces 87 hp and 205 Nm of torque.
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