If Perodua were to make a car in the same class as the Proton Savvy, it would have to be based on the Toyota Vitz.

The Toyota Vitz is in the compact car class, unlike the Perodua Myvi/Toyota Passo which is in the mini-MPV class. Driver posture, body shape and handling is totally different between these two classes of cars. One is a cute people mover and the other is a sporty hot hatch.

When the shots for this model of the Vitz first came out, everyone thought it was a Perodua car because of the logo on the front. It looked like a revised version of Perodua’s P logo. It was actually the Vitz’s own logo. Toyota has a habit of making a logo for every car. Like the Harrier has an eagle logo on it’s grill.

Looks good right? Like a Toyota Vios hatchback.

The meter panel is located in the middle of the dashboard, like the Vios. This trend is picking up pretty fast in new Japanese cars. The meters are Optitron meters.

Looks great from the side too right? I really think Toyota’s designers are getting better and better over the years. The cars look great out of the factory. No need for additional bodykits. Coupled with their reputation for reliability, you have a sure winner.

The Vitz is comes in 1.0 2WD, 1.3 2WD, 1.3 4WD and 1.5 2WD models. The 1.3 VVT-i used is not the K3-VE found in the Passo but another model, the 2SZ-FE for the 2WD and 2NZ-FE for the 4WD. From the engine code, you can tell that these engines have Toyota-style engine codes, unlike K3-VE which is Daihatsu styled. The 1.5 uses the same 1NZ-FE engine as the Toyota Vios available here. The 1.5 engine has been fitted with a turbokit reliably by tuners in Thailand, so that should be some good news to the speed demons out there who fancy more power in this good looking chassis. In Europe, the Vitz is also available with a 1.4 litre D4-D family diesel engine. This same diesel engine is the one BMW licensed to use in it’s MINI One diesel variants.

CVT gearboxes are also more and more popular these days. The Toyota Vitz comes with Toyota’s implementation of CVT known as Super CVT-i (Continuously Variable Transmission-intelligent). CVT allows for a smoother drive, with no jerky gear shifts as the gear ratios are infinitely varied through the use of belts. Maybe I will blog about how this works for my next howto article.

The Vitz is not available in Malaysia yet, and I do not know if Toyota plans to bring it in as a CKD model or a CBU model like the Toyota RAV4. However, grey importers can always bring it in if you request them to do so. Perhaps Wald will bring it in?

Update: Toyota is now selling this car in Malaysia as the Toyota Yaris. Click here for detailed information on the car.