The B-segment sedan is one of the most competitive segments in Malaysia, with one of the top-selling models being the Toyota Vios, preferred for its reliability and good looks.
The launch of the latest generation Vios was highly anticipated, and it did not disappoint, equipped with several improvements over its predecessor including a brand new engine and transmission.
LOOKS AND COMFORT
From the outside, it does not look much different, but the optional bodykits Toyota offers for this generation have been redesigned, and in our opinion gives the car a sportier look.
On the inside, it features a DVD-AVX infotainment system with 6.1-inch touchscreen and a reverse camera on the E variant and higher, while you could also get a DVD-AVN navigation system with a 7.0 inch screen, voice recognition and smartphone screen mirroring as an option.
Toyota took us on a drive to Melaka from its HQ in Shah Alam, and we felt no discomfort at all during the drive, whether we were in the driver’s seat or the passenger seats, front and back.
There was plenty of legroom and headroom, and the shoulder space was also sufficient to keep us comfortable throughout the drive, but headroom in the back was less than impressive; although we are a mere 165cm in height, we found it was more comfortable to lean to the side rather than sit up straight when we were sitting in the back.
Besides taking us on a route consisting of a good mix of trunk roads, hilly roads and highways, Toyota had also given us the chance to drive the car around a track and a short route to truly test out its handling and power.
Although we did feel it was more powerful, we felt the acceleration on the previous model was more instantaneous, as when we stepped on the accelerator for overtaking there was a considerable delay before the car picked up speed, and we had to really floor it to get it to go.
We had trouble overtaking, and going uphill was also sluggish compared to the previous Vios, which made us feel somewhat unsafe and less confident to make manoeuvres if there was a narrow window to do it.
However, even though there was a lag in acceleration, once it got up to speed it could really go, and we managed to get it up to 180km/h before we started to feel it was becoming difficult to control, and we had to slow down to a more comfortable speed.
The Vios is powered by a 2NR-FE 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i which generates 106hp at 6,000rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 4,200rpm.
Handling was excellent, and we felt in control even doing hard cornering on the track, even though the body roll was considerable.
It was quieter inside the cabin with noticeably less noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) than before, increasing the comfort of the ride.
Fuel economy is also impressive, proven by a fuel economy challenge organised by UMW Toyota for the media during the drive event, with the best fuel economy achieved being around 25km/L.
We managed to achieve 22km/L ourselves without trying very hard, and we believe real-world driving could yield similar results, or numbers very close to that figure.
Toyota claims an 18% fuel economy improvement over the previous generation, though it did not share the exact consumption figures.
The Vios has always been known as a solid, reliable car as is typical of Toyotas, and this generation is no different.
It’s spacious and comfortable, and gives a driving experience comparable to its competitors.
Being behind the wheel of this vehicle can’t be said to be exceptional, but if you want a nice comfortable and stable drive, this is it.
2016 Toyota Vios 1.5GX
|Price (RM)||RM92,800 OTR with insurance|
|Engine Type||4-cylinder, In-line, 16-valve, DOHC with Dual VVT-i|
|Power||106hp @ 6,000rpm|
|Torque||140Nm @ 4,200rpm|
|Gearbox||Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) with 7-speed Sport Sequential Shiftmatic Mode|
|Front Suspension||MacPherson Strut with Stabiliser|
|Rear Suspension||Torsion Beam with Stabiliser|
|Front Brakes||Ventilated Disc|
|Rear Brakes||Solid Disc|
|Safety||VSC, TRC, ABS with EBD & BA, reverse sensor, two airbags, Isofix, immobiliser|