Toyota Vios

UMW Toyota Motor had a press preview for the new Toyota Vios earlier today, so here is the latest full details on the variants of the Toyota Vios that will be available in Malaysia.

The new Toyota Vios is bigger than the previous version although it looks somewhat smaller because of it’s Toyota Yaris hatchback connections. Read more on the new Toyota Vios which is in its second generation here in Malaysia, after the jump.

UPDATE: Updated with more photos today, as my DVD drive was abit wonky yesterday.

UPDATE #2: The official launch prices for the 2007 Toyota Vios has been released by UMW Toyota Motor. The 1.5S costs RM88,100, the 1.5G costs RM84,800 and finally the baseline 1.5E costs RM78,700. Click here for more details.

Toyota Vios

The Toyota Vios is basically the sedan version of the Toyota Yaris, in fact in other countries the duo have been called the Yaris hatch and sedan or the Belta hatch and sedan. Over here in Malaysia it uses the Vios name, in line with Toyota’s marketing plans for the region.

The new Vios uses a completely new chassis which has a longer wheelbase compared to the previous Vios. Cabin length is 1965mm and cabin height is 1200mm. This translates to a 120mm increase in interior length and a 5mm increase in interior height (the car is 25mm taller). Total cabin internal volume is a total of 2,466 litres.

Toyota Vios

I am 182cm tall and I got into the rear seats and did not have any legroom problems. If I sit up straight and rest the back of my head against the headrest, my head will touch the roof of the car, but if I sit up straight and keep my neck up straight as well, only the tips of my hair touches the roof. Neither my head nor hair touches the roof of the car if I slouch a little in the rear seat. This should give you an idea about the car’s rear headroom. The rear has a flat floor like the Perodua Viva’s, which should help with the middle rear passenger’s comfort.

Toyota Vios
Toyota Vios 1.5E and 1.5G interior (the 1.5E does not have integrated audio)

Toyota Vios
Toyota Vios 1.5S interior

The interior once again uses a centrally mounted meter panel and the overall design is similiar to the Toyota Yaris. The 1.5S sporty model uses Optitron meters for the center meter panel with multi-info display, while the others use a conventionally backlit meter panel. I don’t see why this differentiation by downgrading of spec is necessary as even the Myvi gets Optitron meters. The multi-info display shows information from the trip computer such as distance traveled, trip A, trip B, real time fuel consumption, average fuel consumption, remaining range and average vehicle speed.

The 1.5G and 1.5S mid range and high end sporty models feature a clean center dash layout with an integrated CD tuner with MP3 and WMA support, speed-sensitive volume which adjusts volume according to how fast you are driving, and steering wheel audio controls. The Vios 1.5E base model uses a 1-DIN audio player with no steering wheel audio controls.

The climate control knobs are arranged in a triangular fashion – this allows the lower part of the center dash area to be made thinner, allowing for a little storage area to be built around it. A gate-shifter design has been used that allows gate shifts for all four gears – no need to use an OD button to get from 4th to 3rd at highway speeds.

In terms of safety, an SRS driver’s airbag is standard on all models while the 1.5G and the 1.5S gains an additional front passenger airbag. Each SRS airbag also comes with a corresponding pre-tensioner and force limited seatbelt. Antilock brakes, EBD and Brake Assist is also standard on all models. All models also have collapsible steering wheel columns, an automatic impact sensing fuel cut device, and whiplash injury lessening seats.

The 1NZ-FE engine has the same specs on paper (109PS at 6,000rpm and 141Nm of torque at 4,200rpm) as the previous Vios but Toyota says they have made changes to the intake, exhaust and ECU programming to improve the low to mid-end torque even though final peak torque and horsepower figures remain the same. An electric power steering system is now used instead of the previous generation car’s hydraulic power steering.

Instead of a Super-CVT gearbox option available in other countries, this engine is mated to a 4-speed automatic gearbox which uses the same ratios as it’s predecessor, but the transmission control unit programming has been improved. Toyota’s executive chief engineer Yoshihiro Sawa said that a 4-speed auto was picked for this region because of customer feedback – most do not like the rubberband and stepless shift character of a CVT.

Toyota Vios
475 litres of boot capacity for the new Toyota Vios

If you notice, there is no antenna protruding from anywhere on the Vios as this new model uses a glass imprinted antenna on the rear windscreen. Not only does this make the car more aerodynamic, but this way there is no protruding antenna for anyone to steal! The new car’s boot has a capacity of 475 litres – which is 75 litres more than the previous generation Vios. Of course, this boot space can be extended by folding down flat the 60:40 split rear bench. The boot opening is 680mm from the road surface, which is relatively low so that items load more easily into the boot – you do not have to lift it too high to get it in.

Many have expected the new Toyota Vios to have a baseline model priced at under RM70,000 like UMW Toyota has indicated earlier, but apparently according to UMW Toyota this could not be done even though they tried – apparently despite sourcing more parts locally than before (local content is now at 40%, or a total of 149 parts including body panels from Toyota Auto Body Malaysia), prices for the Toyota Vios 1.5E had to go up by 3.5% and the 1.5G by 1.7%.


Click chart to view chart source

UMW Toyota’s managing director Dato’ David Chen says this is because of the appreciating value of the Thai baht versus the Malaysian ringgit. It’s just too bad that they decided not to lower the price, but then again, if this is the case I suppose UMW Toyota should be happy at the same time that they can be making more from each Toyota Hiace exported to Thailand if the situation continues. Perhaps a lower end manual transmission model with a smaller engine can be introduced at a later date to achieve the under RM70k entry level model price target?

I would say that Toyota has attempted to smoothen out the strange rear roof to boot curve that most sedans built from hatches and the result is not too bad at all – the car does not look overly unbalanced, and the rear spoiler on the 1.5S helps to further smoothen out the rear curves. The car looks better in real life compared to how it looks in photos.

Other than the rear spoiler, the 1.5S model’s bodykit also includes a front lip, and side skirts. It will appear quite unconventional to almost everyone at first, but people will slowly get used to it’s looks I suppose. Despite the S intending to stand for Sporty, the differences between the 1.5S and the 1.5G/1.5E are mainly of equipment level – there is no sports suspension setup for the 1.5S straight from the factory.

Toyota Vios
Toyota Vios 1.5E and 1.5G interior

Toyota Vios
Toyota Vios 1.5S interior

The 1.5S interior looks alot more premium than the 1.5E and the 1.5G though, because of the darker colours used which psychologically is disassociated with the typical cheapish beige or light grey plastic that we’re used to seeing in A-segment and B-segment cars. The Optitron meter and the amber-backlit display for the integrated audio also look better in my opinion than the green-backlit version on the 1.5G.

For a full listing of what each of the 1.5E, 1.5G and 1.5S equipment levels offer, please read my previous post on the Toyota Vios specs. Prices remain at RM88,600 for the 1.5S, and RM85,300 for the 1.5G, but the 1.5E has had it’s estimated priced dropped from RM79,200 to RM78,900. These remain unconfirmed and the official prices will only be announced on the 19th of October 2007. Four colours are available and you will be able to see all four of them in the pictures in this post – silver, black, blue and gold.

I will try to get a test drive sometime next month and report to you my findings on how the Toyota Vios is like on the road. If you want to see the car for yourself in the metal, head on to the Mid Valley Exhibition Center today from 5pm to 10pm!

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios

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Toyota Vios

Toyota Vios


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