A day after Honda launched the facelifted City, UMW Toyota has announced the arrival of the 2012 Vios. The company isn’t calling the introduction a facelift, but rather an ‘improvement.’

Same old 1.5 VVT-i mill and accompanying auto and manual transmissions, with the same output and performance figures as before. Exterior changes begin with the lighting units, which is to be found in all the 2012 models – the headlamps now take on a sporty image with a dark-plated (smoked type) design. Also revised is the front fog lamp bezel, incorporated on the lower corners of the bumper.

Elsewhere, the grille found on the Vios 1.5G Limited, dressed with chrome surround, is now offered as standard on the 1.5G, 1.5E and 1.5J versions. And the optional aerokit, which was available for the 1.5G Limited last year, can now be added to the other models (1.5E & 1.5J) at point of purchase for RM2,300. If you must know, the five-piece package consists of a front bumper spoiler, side skirts, rear trunk lid spoiler and rear bumper spoiler.

There’s also a new 15-inch 12-spoke design alloy wheel wrapped by 185/60 series tyres. The wheel gets slapped on the 1.5E and 1.5J, and replaces the 14-incher from before. The change is significant for the 1.5J, as it previously had steel wheels with a cover.

Inside, the only change is with new seat material, complete with fresh fabric pattern. As for safety, the front passenger now gets a SRS airbag, replete with seatbelt pre-tensioner and force-limiter, making it two for the count.

Optional kit now includes two infotainment systems, the DVD-AVX (RM1,900) and DVD-AVN (RM2,990), featuring a full-colour 5.8-inch (DVD-AVX) and 6.1-inch (DVD-AVN) touchscreen and reverse camera. Other features of the 2-DIN systems include a DVD player, MP3 format compatibility, Bluetooth connectivity as well as Aux and USB ports. The DVD-AVN system includes a GPS route navigation system.

Additionally, there’s also an optional suspension kit – comprising coil springs and shock absorbers that lower the ride by 10 mm – specially developed for the Vios by TRD Asia and tuned for local conditions, and this one goes for RM1,988 for the set.

Six variants of the 2012 Vios are available, starting with the top-of-the-line 1.5 TRD Sportivo at RM92,013, followed by the 1.5G Limited at RM89,613 and 1.5G at RM87,313. Then there’s the 1.5E, which rolls in RM82,300 and then the 1.5J Auto at RM77,300, with the 1.5J Manual bringing up the brood at RM73,200.

As with all models offered by UMW Toyota Motor, the 2012 Vios comes with a 36-month/100,000 km (whichever occurs earlier after first registration) warranty. Five colours are available for the car, these being Medium Silver Metallic, White, Deep Amethyst Mica Metallic with a new shade of Silver Metallic and Attitude Black, the last in place of the previous Coal Black.