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The public may have recently made a faux pas on social media over a “new Toyota Vios,” but the real deal has been revealed for the Thailand market. The B-segment sedan has been updated in the land of smiles for 2016 with a brand new engine and transmission combination.

Although it looks exactly the same inside and out (save for a new gearlever), it’s all-new under the bonnet. Out goes the familiar 1NZ-FE VVT-i mill, replaced by a flex-fuel 2NR-FBE 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i engine capable of running on E85 biofuel – expect other markets to receive the facelifted Avanza‘s regular petrol-powered 2NR-FE instead, also fitted with Dual VVT-i.

The Thai-market version produces the same power as our current Vios, and is actually slightly down in torque – output is 108 hp at 6,000 rpm and 140 Nm (down 1 Nm) at 4,200 rpm.

However, the new engine should provide improved fuel economy, especially now that the old four-speed automatic gearbox has been banished in favour of a new continuously variable transmission (CVT) with a seven-speed stepped-ratio mode. The five-speed manual has been dropped.

Safety kit has also been given an upgrade – while airbag count stays at two, the 2016 update adds, surprise, surprise, VSC stability control on top of the usual ABS with EBD and brake assist, and for the Thai market it’s standard across the range too!

The new Vios range in Thailand is slightly more expensive than before, with price increases of up to three percent compared to the outgoing models. Prices start at 599,000 baht (RM69,500) for the 1.5 J – up from the current car’s 589,000 baht (RM68,300).

The price tag rises to 669,000 baht (RM77,600) for the 1.5 E (current price 654,000 baht, or RM75,800) and 714,000 baht (RM82,800) for the 1.5 G (current price 699,000 baht, or RM81,000). As ever, the 1.5 S tops the range, priced at 749,000 baht (RM86,900) – that’s 15,000 baht more than the 734,000 baht (RM85,100) that buys the current model.

New for 2016 is an Exclusive model that slots above the 1.5 G variant, adding a new bodykit with integrated LED daytime running lights, black leather seats, grey dashboard and door trim, piano black steering wheel and gearlever trim as well as a T-Connect infotainment system with a seven-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity. It is priced at 719,000 baht (RM83,400).