The latest model of the country’s bestselling car, the Toyota Vios, was launched online last Saturday and it comes in at P671,000 for the Base MT and tops out at P1,056,000 for the G CVT.
Aside from the obvious change on its front end, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) let go of the Prime variants for the E and G grades but still, we’re left with nine variants to choose from.
Before we dig in, just know that variants from base to E run on the same 1.3L Dual VVT-i engine that has 98hp and 123Nm of torque, with the transmission varying according to variant. Only the flagship G variant gets the 1.5L Dual VVT-i engine.
TMP maintained the array of safety features they put in the Vios that includes Vehicle Stability Control, Hill Start Assist, ABS with Electronic Brake Distribution and Brake Assist.
Airbags have been modified per model as XLE variants and below are now only fitted with three airbags (two in front, and one on driver’s knee). However, XE, J and Base variants can still opt to have the full seven-airbag setup at an additional cost.
The Base (P671,000) and J (P697,000) variants are entry-level grades that are stripped down versions of the Vios, focused on getting you from Point A to B. They don’t have foglamps, no alarm system, black plastic side mirrors and door handles, and have steel wheels.
Their P20,000 difference boils down to the J having full caps to cover the steel wheels and powered windows front and back, compared to the base model’s exposed steelies and manual rear windows.
The X factor
The Vios XE variant (P747,000) was introduced last year, slotted just above the base variants. It’s poised for the budget-conscious private owner that still wants a bit of comfort in a more attainable price point. It’s only P50K more than the J MT but that difference will get you a CVT auto (saving your leg from cramping up in traffic) and a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system.
XLE vs E
The XLE (MT P791,000; CVT P841,000) and the E (MT P841,000; CVT P891,000) are basically the same car with different badges. They have more flair like having LED foglamps, fin-type antennas, body colored side mirrors and door handles, Optitron gauges, powered side mirrors, audio switch on the steering wheel, four speakers, car alarm, and wireless door locks.
The crucial difference is the airbags. The Vios E comes with the full suite of seven airbags, while the XLE only has 3 – and unlike the XE, J and Base variants, you can’t have more as an add-on. It’s for those who see having seven airbags as unnecessary and want to have a cheaper alternative, especially when they’re buying in cash.
G for grand
TMP went all out on the G variant of the Vios, putting premium appointments on both the MT and CVT versions that are priced at P997,000 and P1,056,000 respectively.
Outside, the Vios G has three-tier LED headlamps with Daytime Running Lights, side turn signal on the side mirrors that are power-folding, LED rear lamps, rear camera, and bigger 16-inch alloy wheels. Under the hood is the same 2NR-FE 1.5L Dual VVT-i engine that puts up 105hp and 140Nm of torque.
Inside, there’s auto-mode in the aircon, six speakers, leather finish on the steering wheel and shift knob, push start button, and speed-sensing door locks. It also has an immobilizer and smart entry system. G CVT owners get a little more as they get paddle shifters, and additional Eco and Sport drive modes.
Which variant is for you?
The base and J trims are a no-brainer for those into the business of cabs or TNVS. However for private use, the manual transmission can be a hassle if you’re in a clogged city, making the XE a much better option.
For the E and XLE, well, most cars only have two airbags that are for the front passengers. The Vios just goes the extra mile by giving the E and G a full suite of seven, making it seem like the XLE’s 3 are not enough. Either way, both are solid options for a modern everyday vehicle.
If you drive in and outside the city, or you go through some hills regularly and need a more powerful engine, the Vios G is the only way to go. The 165K difference from the E CVT is well spent considering you’ll get a bigger engine, and a slew of features that are helpful in your everyday drive.