All-New 2013 Toyota Vios Makes World Premiere in Thailand
There’s a whole range of changes to the new Toyota Vios surrounding its exterior and interior design, but not much new in terms of performance and safety. But most importantly, it does look a whole lot better than any previous Vios we’ve seen.
So, tight-gripped on its evident philosophy of, “If it’s ain’t broke…”, here’s all about the new Toyota Vios.
Exterior styling: Aerodynamically pretty
Immediately apparent, the new Toyota Vios has a completely redesigned face; sharper, more aggressive, and a huge improvement from the outgoing model.
Its front grille features an upper chrome strip that’s sleek and meshes its way into the front projector headlights (S Grade). The bumper below appears more dynamic than ever before, and welcomes front fog lights on each side for improved visibility.
Running down its sides, turn indicators have made their way onto the side-view mirrors, and chrome door handles are also quickly noticeable.
At the back, there’s a completely redesigned rear bumper, boot lid, and tail light arrangement. Unique to the S Grade are a chrome strip on the boot lid, and new 16-inch black alloy wheels. All variants will get the newly designed multi-reflector tail lights.
Interior design: The return of the instrument cluster
The biggest shift inside the cabin is the return of its instrument cluster to the driver’s side of the dash; back to where it should always have stayed, rather than the previous design which saw it feature in the center of the car, to the left of the driver’s view.
There’s a whole new sporty front console which is unique to the S Grade with an added strip in piano black colour, and its entire body being covered with stitched leather.
S and G Grades are the big winners with most of the interior updates, such as leather gearshift knobs, intelligent ignition system (Push Start button), sportier meter designs, MID (multi information display).
However, all Toyota Vios models will feature a new ECO info light indicator, which highlights the level of your eco-friendly driving.
There’s also a new audio system in the new Toyota Vios which supports CDs, MP3s, WMAs, and USB and AUX plug-in slots.
And as is the way with the Toyota Vios, there are plenty of storage spaces in the front and rear, cleverly located throughout the cabin which typically offer great convenience.
Another cool option to the S Grade is the Smart Entry intelligent door system. Essentially a keyless entry with push start button arrangement, this is, as you might already know, one of our favourite things a modern car has to offer.
Performance: Holding firm to the tried and tested
Powering the Toyota Vios is the familiar 1.5-litre DOHC 16 valve VVT-I engine that offers 109PS, and 141Nm of torque. Missing the mark on our previous guesses, the transmission for the new S and G Grade Vios retains the same Super ECT four-speed automatic we’ve seen on the outgoing model. The lower-spec E and J models will offer five-speed manual options.
Helping the Toyota Vios improve on its acceleration and fuel economy figures is a new ‘catamaran’ style aerodynamic design; reducing wind resistance through redesigned side-view mirrors, headlights and tail lights.
Safety: Nothing more than the usual suspects
The regular list of safety features are seen on the new Toyota Vios; including ABS, Electronic Brake Distribution, Brake Assist, four-wheel disc brakes, and so on.
There are however some disappointments. Only two airbags are fitted to the new Toyota Vios, without any option for four or more. Also, while competitors to the new Vios are quickly adopting further safety programs to their cars such as ESC systems (Electronic Stability Control), the new Vios features none of the sort.
Buyer’s Guide/ Verdict:
There are four 2013 Toyota Vios variants that will hit the Thai market; the lower grade E and J variants, and the higher spec G and S versions. The lower grade E and J come with way too little for what we’d expect from a Vios, and even the G and S models fall short on improving its safety features and performance gains.
By Thai prices directly converted to Malaysian currency, the lowest spec 1.5J with Manual transmissions goes on sale for RM59,117 (559,000 Thai baht), and its highest spec 1.5S with Automatic transmission stands at RM77,625 (734,000 Thai baht).
For value, the Toyota Vios steps right into 2013 Proton Preve and 2013 Nissan Almera country. And while it may be able to hold its own against the Almera in some respects, the Preve still wallops it with its four airbags, seven-speed CVT, and great driving dynamics.