2018 Toyota Vios review – Basic transportation goes fishing for a new impression

The 2018 Toyota Vios has been given a facelift. Officially going on sale Summer 2018, it is now in-line with Toyota’s current design language. Love it or hate it, this big fish mouth Vios styling is much more aggressive than its predecessor, which was rather dull and uninspiring. Toyota Taiwan decided to retain the Vios name for this facelift, whereas Toyota Thailand chose to name this model as the Yaris Activ while keeping the Vios name with the previous design. This model is still different from Toyota USA’s Mazda2 sedan based Toyota Yaris (The iA name was dropped from the Yaris name for the 2019 model year).

Style and specs:

The styling is of this revised Vios is subjective, which is either aggressive or ugly depending how you look at it. The big mouth gives it a much bolder for sure, but the styling still isn’t too overly exciting. Projector halogen headlights and LED daytime running lights round out the front fascia, while restyled swooping taillights now extend to the redesigned trunk deck.

The interior sees a revised dashboard with silver trim and stitching giving it a more sportier feel. The three spoke steering wheel has been updated, as well as the 6 inch touchscreen that controls the 6 speaker audio system and GPS. The system now lets the driver sync their Android phone. No Apple CarPlay unfortunately, yet! The seats are unchanged with front seats being quite comfortable and supportive, while offering good bolstering.

A new CVT transmission replaces the ancient 4 speed automatic transmission. Two driving modes now give you a choice of driving, Eco or Sport. The 1.5L 1NZ-FE dual VVT-i inline-4 cylinder is unchanged, but it gets a one horsepower bump, which now produces 107hp at 6,000 rpm and 103 lb–ft. @ 4200 rpm.

What is unusual for the refreshed Toyota Vios is a slew of safety features that are now standard. Seven airbags, along with stability control (VSC), anti-lock brakes, EBD, and brake assist are all standard.

Measurements of the Toyota Vios sedan is the following: Wheelbase 2,550 mm (100.4 in), Length 4,410 mm (173.6 in), Width 1,700 mm (66.9 in), Height 1,475 mm (58.1 in).

With all the standard safety equipment, the pricing of the new Vios has increased to $18,150 USD (NT$549,000) [$16,750 USD (NT$519,000) was the starting price of the Toyota Vios in 2015] for the base to $21,150 USD (NT$639,000) for the top of the line.

On the Road:

So how does the revised Toyota Vios drive? The predecessor was quite lackluster. The problems that plagued the Vios was handling, ride, and interior noise, all of which didn’t make all that exciting to drive. I am happy to say that this face-lifted Vios is now more driver engaging. The CVT transmission offers both Eco and Sport modes, which gives the driver a choice of either efficiency or fun. During the test drive I chose the Sports mode. Handling-wise, the direct steering and compact dimensions make maneuvering predictable especially in a crowded city. The CVT simulates 7 speeds without that belt feeling of other CVTs. The ride is more competent on all types of roads, improved NVH reduces road noise protruding into the cabin driving on local roads, but at higher speeds the road noise becomes quite noticeable though. The 1.5L engine is peppy, despite the high rev bands. Acceleration and keeping up with traffic is improved over its predecessor, yet at highway speeds of 65mph (110km/h) the car still gets fidgety.

Stars: 3 of 5

This all-new Vios is a big improvement over its predecessor. The improved ride comfort and standard safety features now puts it in same league with its competitors, such as the Ford Escort, Honda City, and Luxgen S3. The low costs of ownership and bulletproof reliability will keep the Vios on the top of sales charts in Taiwan.

Toyota Vios review – Just basic transportation for the masses

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