Sub-million sub-compacts: Toyota Vios G vs Honda City V

There’s been a shift in the sedan game courtesy of Toyota Philippines. A few months back they introduced the Vios GR-S, a sportier take on their popular sedan and now serves as the new top-of-the-line trim for the Vios with a price of P1,020,000.

The interesting thing about it is it’s P29,000 cheaper than the former top dog, the 1.5G CVT (used to be sold at P1,056,000). Even more compelling is the 1.5G trim is now P86,000 less with a sticker price of P970,000. This brings it squarely in the arena of the Honda City V that retails at P978,000.

As a former top trim, is the Vios G a better buy at the price point? Or does the Honda City have what it takes for an upset win? I’ve driven both to find out what’s worth your hard-earned cash.


It’s easy to see at a glance that the Vios leans toward being sporty which is emphasized by the two-tone alloy wheels. On the other hand, the City has a classy vibe with its utilization of a wide strip of chrome for the grille and plain alloy wheels. It’s very subjective though so I’ll leave that up to you. What you must know is that the Vios has a bit more flair despite its frowning face. Both have LED taillights but upfront, the Vios takes the lead with its LED headlights and foglights, while the City only has halogen headlights and no foglamps.


Space-wise, they’re more or less the same. There’s plenty of leg and headroom for all occupants. Even if the driver is around 5’7-5’8, rear passengers will not be cramped if they’re of the same height. Their difference comes down to their vibe.

The Vios is very neutral inside. It’s modern and pleasing to the eye with the piano black trims on the dash and center console, but it doesn’t have a distinct character to it. Toyota played it safe with the black interior, silver accents, and standard backseat setup with no vents or center armrest.

It’s a runaway win for the Honda City in this section. It was able to continue its classy exterior to the interior, thanks to the cream-colored soft-touch accents all over the cabin. It doesn’t have a center armrest at the back either, but it has rear air vents so passengers won’t complain even on a hot summer day.

Tech and Safety

Both sedans are loaded with nice features as toys and tech. They have audio controls on the steering wheel, Android and Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, smart entry system, push start button, speed-sensing door locks, stability control, hill-start assist, rear camera, ABS with EBD, and ISOFIX.

What’s unique to the Vios is its paddle shifters, 6-speakers, and 7 airbags. Meanwhile, the City makes do with 4 speakers and 4 airbags, but has a bigger and higher-definition touchscreen, agile handling assist, and cruise control.

If we’re looking plainly at what they offer, the City has the upperhand with its inclusion cruise control at this price point. I have to give this to the Vios though for having 7 airbags because for me, safety is above all else. I’m not saying the 4 airbags in the City V is a turn-off, it’s just that having more puts my mind at ease for those what-if moments. You never know.

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