The freshly updated Toyota Wigo is genuinely a solid city car made even better now. It may have begun life as an entry-level hatchback about eight-years ago but it has evolved into much more than just affordable mobility. The Wigo has transformed many people’s lives especially in our market. We are all aware that the Wigo is sold under different names and different brands with variable degrees of commercial success, but in third-world markets like ours, the effects of the product are much more profound. Literally folks who would have settled for a home-made stainless-steel jeep have made the big leap into a proper modern car with real-world virtues and safety.
Taking out this special edition top-spec yellow Toyota Wigo TRD S out of town further reinforced that narrative. During the week-long testing schedule, I decided to drive the Wigo out to Nasugbu, Batangas from the city to fully explore its limited yet realistic dynamic ability. After using up the tiny 33-liter fuel tank in town doing mostly routine drives and errands, I filled it up again for its next set of tests. All along the way to the beach, which is usually filled with traditional owner-type jeeps, I saw instead an enormous number of Wigo’s from different model years! That fact in itself is a revelation for me. The public rural roads are now a little safer with lower emissions and more fuel efficiency.
Around the city, the 64 bhp / 66 lb-ft four-speed automatic Wigo TRD S, which now has VVT-i to give the little 998cc DOHC 12-valve inline three-cylinder engine that bit more oomph, has the appropriate driving reactions and maneuverability. On the open road however, even with its light weight, it struggles to pass vehicles traveling faster than 80 km/h. You have to be very deliberate and strategize every passing exercise especially when on an incline.
I had no issues with its size and overall packaging. In fact, I think the new Wigo is good looking and the seats are quite comfortable. You can fold down the rear bench to increase trunk capacity like before which is great for its versatility and everyday usability.
The Wigo is certainly not meant to be a hot hatch yet it can still be fun in small measures. Its powerplant is a bit better now than before but it is really meant to be a city car. I have more issue that the top-spec model still uses halogen bulbs instead of LED for its projector headlights and that the sound quality from the four-speaker audio system was very unsatisfactory which is a pity because the new infotainment head unit is good.
Price as tested is P700,000. The new Wigo’s fuel economy is 21.3 km/L overall, with a best effort 0-100 km/h acceleration time of 12.8 seconds with a top speed of 139 km/h. After my full battery of tests, I can clearly recognize full well why the affordable Wigo is so successful despite my minor issues with it. It is a very well-built product with a full complement of safety equipment, tasteful TRD bodykit, and key niceties like a rear camera, rear sonar, front fog lamps, LED rear light assembly, keyless entry, powered folding mirrors, ignition button, digital climate control, and steering wheel remote controls.