Toyota Vios Review: Pros and Cons (Updated 2019)

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Always put on your seat belt before driving anywhere.
Toyota-Vios.jpg

Introduction

The Toyota Vios has typically been seen as the baby brother of the Toyota Altis, yet it has managed to hold its own niche as an entry-level Japanese sedan. Toyota has explicitly stated that, with the Toyota Vios 2019 model, they have set out to retain the best qualities that customers have come to know and love, namely quality and comfort. True to their word, they do seem to be on the right track with the new generation. The new Toyota Vios 2019 model comes with a whole host of improvements from the old model, with the key highlights including: more equipment, a more refined interior and a brand new gearbox. 

Toyota Vios Exterior

Toyota has furnished the new Vios with a new horizontal grille that is is more aggressive than the old model, as well as a new, more pointy nose. 

The new headlamps extend even further into the front fender area as well, such that they are seemingly integrated into the grille as one cohesive piece. This gives the Vios a much more aerodynamic and sleek look as compared to its predecessor. There is also more side sculpting on the Vios, allowing it to stand out substantially as compared to the old model.

Finally, Toyota has kept the twin-domed roof design, giving the Vios two subtle ‘bumps’ on the roof. Not only does this add to the personality of the car, Toyota claims that it even reduces aerodynamic drag, which helps to improve fuel efficiency. 

Being the entry level sedan of the Toyota range, the Toyota Vios is naturally smaller than its big brother, the Toyota Altis.

However, that’s not to say that this is a small sedan. Measuring 4425mm long, 1730mm wide and 1475mm high, this new model is actually slightly longer and wider than the old one.

One thing the 2019 Toyota Vios has going for it is that despite this slightly larger model, the turning circle remains extremely small, allowing it impressive manoeuvrability. 

Like all Toyota sedans, the 2019 Toyota Vios has a front-engined, front-wheel drive layout, allowing to maintain the traditional Toyota strengths of lightness and fuel economy. 

Toyota Vios Interior

On the inside, more changes have been made. The interior is generally better refined and furnished than the old model, giving it an improved sense of quality. The center console has been given the biggest redesign, as it now extends from the upper part of the instrument panel all the way down to the front console. This enlargement has allowed the center console to be a lot more user-friendly, while the new aircon switches feel much better to use. 

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A more refined interior

Being a smaller sedan with a smaller wheelbase than the Altis, the Vios naturally has less cabin space for its occupants.

However, cabin space is not an issue. Both front and rear passengers have sufficient legroom and headroom, thanks to a completely flat floor. New seats and increased shoulder space increases the overall comfort level in the cabin as well.

The boot space is extremely generous, as the Vios provides 506 litres of it. In addition to the spacious boot, the Toyota Vios comes with a spare wheel located underneath the floor of the boot, which is an added bonus since this is rarely seen in cars nowadays.  

Toyota Vios Performance

The new Vios has simliar performance figures as the old model. This new model is powered by the same 1.5L, 4-cylinder engine, which produces 105bhp at 6000rpm and 140Nm of torque at 4200rpm.

However, the main difference lies with the gearbox. Whereas the old model had an automatic gearbox, the 2019 Toyota Vios uses a CVT with 7-Speed Sequential Shift gearbox.

This engine/gearbox combination allows the Vios to reach a top speed of 170km/h.

Handling is not one of the Vios’ immediate strengths. Despite a decent handling feel, the chassis is not very dynamic, and the suspensions are Toyota’s usual McPherson Strut/Torsion beam setup. As a result, there could be a bit of body roll when one is exuberantly driving around corners. 

As a sedan, the Toyota Vios prioritises ride quality, fuel economy and safety over performance, and that’s exactly what you get from it. Despite the rudimentary suspension setup, ride quality is surprisingly good in the 2019 Vios, as most bumps are absorbed by the car.

Also, the official fuel consumption figure from Toyota is 17.2km/L, giving the 2019 Toyota Vios better fuel consumption than its rivals and its big brother, the Toyota Altis, thanks to the less powerful engine and CVT gearbox.

Finally, disc brakes are standard on all 4 wheels for the G Grade model, like most other Toyotas, giving it greater stopping power than the disc/drum combination. 

Safety

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Spacious seats

As with all other Toyota models, safety is a high priority when it comes to design.

The Toyota Vios 2019 comes equipped with a whopping 7 airbags, including one for the driver’s knee.

Also, it has the rest of the standard electronic safety systems that most Toyota vehicles have, including an anti-lock braking system, vehicular stability control with traction control, brake assist, and a hill-start assist.

However, the Vios does not come equipped with the Toyota Safety Sense system, meaning that it misses out on useful systems like lane change assist and blind-spot monitoring. 

Toyota Vios Features

The base model of the Vios, also known as the E Grade, comes with a good number of features and equipment as standard, making it very good value for money.

The E Grade comes equipped with a leather-covered, multifunction steering wheel, a smart key and keyless ignition system, rear sensors and a reverse camera, halogen 4 beam headlights, auto-retractable side mirrors and 15-inch wheels. 

On the other hand, the more expensive G Grade model, comes with everything the E Grade model has and more.

Along with additional trinkets and equipment, the G Grade also includes halogen projection headlights, LED rear lights, auto headlights, auto climate aircon and 16-inch wheels, as well as 60:40 collapsible rear seats. 

Summary

The 2019 edition of the Toyota Vios is not an all new face in the Toyota range. Rather, it is an upgraded, improved version of the faithful companion that Toyota owners know and love. With prices starting at 83,999 SGD, the Toyota Vios 2019 retains its key qualities of value, comfort and safety, which is exactly what Toyota set out to do.

In doing so, it has managed to capture the essence of what it means to be a Toyota and will remain a favourite for Toyota lovers for times to come.

Verdict

What we like
- Larger and feels a lot more solid as compared to its predecessors
- Posh-looking interior
- Good sound insulation with acoustic glass
What we do not like
- Drum brakes for the E Grade, but you could always pay a few grand more to upgrade to G Grade for disc brakes
- Centre console towards juts out towards the middle rear seat
Editor’s recommendation
The 2019 Toyota Vios no longer feels like a compact sedan. In fact, it is now worthy of comparison to many other 1.5L and 1.6L sedans. If you are budget conscious, the Vios will give you a good run for your money!

Toyota Vios Specifications

Measurements

Toyota Vios 1.5L (E Grade)

Toyota Vios 1.5L (G Grade)

Dimensions

4425mm x 1730mm x 1475mm (L x W x H)

Wheelbase

2550mm

Turning Radius

5100mm

Weight

1085kg

Specifications and Performance

Toyota Vios 1.5L (E Grade)

Toyota Vios 1.5L (G Grade)

Engine

1.5L, 4-cylinder in-line 16 valve

Transmission

CVT

Drive Type

Front-wheel drive

Power

106bhp

Torque

140Nm

Top Speed

170km/h

Fuel Consumption

17.2km/L

Suspension (Front/Rear)

McPherson Strut/Torsion Beam

Brakes (Front/Rear)

Ventilated Disc/Drum

Ventilated Disc/Disc

Safety

Toyota Vios 1.5L (E Grade)

Toyota Vios 1.5L (G Grade)

Airbags 

7

Toyota Safety Sense

No

Features

Toyota Vios 1.5L (E Grade)

Toyota Vios 1.5L (G Grade

Multifunction Steering Wheel

Yes

Smart Key

Yes

Keyless Engine Start

Yes

Auto Headlights

No

Yes

Electronic Park Brake

No

Reverse Camera

Yes

Remote Boot Release

No

Yes

Headlights

Halogen 4 Beam

Halogen Projection

Daytime Running Lights

No

Rim Size

15-inch

16-inch

Auto Retractable Mirrors

Yes

Rear Aircon

No 

Auto Climate Aircon

No

Yes

Electronic Seats

No

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