Is six years too much of an age gap? It’s not a big deal if you’re looking at the number alone, that is until you put it in a context. Imagine, you’re a freshman in college and your future partner is already employed for two years. The disparity in life experience would be significant. It may or may not work in the long run, but it all depends on the people involved.
The car I have has this particular dilemma. This iteration of the Toyota Wigo was launched back in 2020, six years after its introduction in the country. In that span of time, it learned how to dress nicer and wear better accessories. However, inside it’s still basically the same car with the 1-liter engine and the aging 4-speed automatic transmission.
I was wondering when they’d put a CVT in the Wigo, like most of its rivals have, but instead we were given these new toys – power-folding side mirrors, a modern aircon control, rear sensors, rear camera, a dashcam, and a push-start button. I thought it was gimmicky to be honest, especially the push-start button. Why bother putting so many premium niceties when you can’t even take care of the basics? Well, that’s a question I had to answer myself so I took this Wigo TRD S for a drive. I want to know if this age gap in features would work.
In terms of feel, nothing changed with the Wigo. Driving it really shows its age as the 4-speed transmission and 1-liter engine had a hard time gaining speed and was not quick off the line. In terms of cabin insulation and riding comfort, the Wigo is at 3.6 roentgen – not great, not terrible as Comrade Dyatlov said.
Interior materials are still very plasticky and hollow. I’m even amazed that in the Wigo’s six years, Toyota still hasn’t found better materials that can be comparable to the ones in the cheaper Suzuki Celerio or its arch rival, the Honda Brio. However, they made up for it with the toys in here.
Stealing the show is the new center of the dashboard that looks like a variation of the one in the Vios G and has better amenities than its counterpart in the Vios XLE. The touchscreen isn’t the best out there but it’s nice that in this TRD trim you finally have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. It’s also your monitor for the rear camera and though it’s too pixelated for my taste, I’d take that over nothing. Below that is the new assembly for the air controls that has an LCD screen and tactile buttons to make them easier to use without looking.
As for the power-folding side mirror, dashcam, and push-start button, I still found them gimmicky. In my head, I was still mumbling about how I’d rather have CVT instead of those. The very next day, I changed my mind.
I went back to my personal car, a Suzuki Celerio. No biggie, I just needed to refuel and make sure the tires are all good. Then I had a light bulb moment when I arrived at the gas station. I can imagine Akio Toyoda laughing at me from his comfortable office chair in Japan.
I miss the toys that the Wigo has – all of it, especially the push start button I loathed. I laughed at myself when I realized my hand was searching for the push-start button in the Celerio to shut down the engine. Another chuckle when I saw my dashcam’s cable dangling from behind the rear view mirror, because the Wigo TRD’s dashcam is hidden and seamlessly integrated. It was an “oh I see” moment as I realized what the point really was for the Wigo’s new features.
A dull driving experience can be overcome with great functionality. Not everyone knows the Wigo is dull because they don’t test a new car every week. For them, it’s good enough for Point A to B. What they would really appreciate are all these bits and pieces that will make every drive more pleasurable. Turning keys will be so yesterday, as well as going to each door to fold the mirrors when you are parked. The dashcam of this TRD is hidden from the windshield without a cable in sight, and the sensor plus camera combo at the back makes parking a lot easier – and the Wigo isn’t even hard to park to begin with.
But what really takes the cake is the pricing of these toys. The power-folding side mirrors, new aircon controls, rear sensor, rear camera, and push-start button – they can all be had starting with the G MT variant that’s priced at P623,000. In comparison, the Picanto EX AT at P745,000 only has 1 of those while the Brio RS at P743,000 only has 2 of those 5 features despite both costing around a hundred thousand more.
The Brio puts up a fight with its CVT but even there, it’s not a significant improvement to be honest. The fuel efficiency isn’t far off as the Wigo returned 10km/l in the city on weekdays. On Sundays with more space on the road, it ran 16km/l which is already a highway figure of bigger sedans and crossovers.
If you’re on the fence regarding this Wigo TRD and its P700,000 price, jump over quickly. It’s not a totally contemporary car but its amenities more than make up for it and they’re not gimmicks as I previously thought. It won’t leave you lusting for a better car either unless you’re particular with your drive, interior feel, and need more space. Otherwise, it’s a well-rounded package for the first-time car buyer or a small family.
For a car with a six-year gap in its mechanics and features, this car does a great job of balancing the old with the new. Toyota clearly chose their battles for this iteration of the Wigo and managed to secure a decisive win.