October 07, 2013

FIRST IMPRESSION: 2013 Toyota Vios !

Toyota Vios basher, hold on a second! Before you criticise the third generation Vios is just an old man with a new outfit, you should take a look at it in person. It's a product with plenty of improvement, enough to be called an all-new model. Yes, it still wears the same 1.5 litre VVT-i engine and 4-speed gearbox from its predecessors, but they do no wrong. The powerplant is responsive while the gearbox shifts nicely in the previous Vios, the result is a smooth and fuel efficient car. 

The G variant comes with projector instead of halogen headlights and chrome finishing on the grille, door handles and boot lid. Fog lights comes as standard from E variant onwards. I'm not particularly fond of the add-on bodykits, quite aftermarket-ish. However, the daytime running LEDs below the fog lights are a good addition. it should be made standard on the G variant.


The elongated front end and sharp creases on the side profile make the 3rd gen Vios far more attractive than its 'dugong' predecessor. Aerodynamic fins around the side mirrors and taillights as well as the 'catamaran' roof helps in aerodynamic too, contributing to the 5% improvement in fuel efficient. 


The boot space is measured at 506 litres, and it's bigger than the older Vios, as claimed by an aunty who mentioned the increment to me while visiting the showroom. Sorry for the grainy photo.


It's still plasticky in the inside, but most of the touch points are padded. The upper dashboard has stitching effect on it, a huge plus point in making the cabin look more upmarket, but unfortunately it's not made of soft-touch plastic, and the same goes to other parts such as the inner side of the door which looks like they are made of leather material. The dials and cup holders doesn't quite feel that they are solidly built when they are fiddled. Nevertheless, the dashboard and instrument panel are very attractive. Keyless entry with push-start button is available for G variant and TRD Sportivo.
Vios G (above) and Vios E (below).


The rear legroom surprised me! It's not as generous as the Almera's but it's more ample than the 1st generation Altis which has longer wheelbase than the Vios! Headroom can be improved though, my head touches the roof when I lean on the rear seat.


There are two map lights at the front but where did the dome light go? Cost cutting measure? Or research shows that people don't need it anymore? I surely need it!

Pricing on-the-road with insurance for J (manual) is RM73,200, J (auto) is RM77,300, E (auto) is RM82,900, G (auto) is RM88,500 and TRD Sportivo (auto) is RM93.200. Although Mitsubishi Mirage (only 1.2 litre engine) and Nissan Almera (one airbag for the entry-level variant) are priced lower than the entry-level Vios, Vios has its own perks. Good design in and out, Toyota's bulletproof reliability and good resale value. However, it's still not quite priced at what I'd call 'affordable' and there are still room for improvement.

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