December 1, 2023


Power Of Engine

2023 Toyota Vios overview in Malaysia – DNGA brings massive enhancements; now with extra premium really feel & options

11 min read

With over 505,000 items bought in Malaysia throughout three generations, the Toyota Vios is an important bread and butter mannequin for UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT). This may increasingly shock you, however whereas the primary two generations of the Vios hung round for between 4 to 6 years every, the third-generation mannequin has been on sale for 9 years.

First launched in 2013, the third-generation Vios underwent two facelifts – one in 2018 and one other in 2020 – to maintain it related. Even so, there’s no denying {that a} complete overhaul was wanted, particularly when the Vios’ closest rival – the Honda Metropolis – upped the ante in its fifth era.

Fortunately, an all-new Vios was precisely what we obtained to see final August with the debut of the fourth-generation mannequin in Thailand. We’ve needed to wait a short while for the newest Vios to be launched in Malaysia, however on March 20, 2023 at 8pm, Toyota’s B-segment sedan will formally go on sale – estimated pricing is between RM90k to RM96k throughout two variants.

Forward of tomorrow’s launch occasion, we had the chance to check out the fourth-generation Vios (designated AC100) in Langkawi to expertise simply how a lot of an enchancment it’s over its predecessor and the way it roughly stacks up in opposition to a fellow heavyweight within the B-segment sedan ring.

Daihatsu bones, Toyota pores and skin

Even earlier than the AC100 Vios got here to gentle, it was closely reported that Daihatsu could be concerned within the mannequin’s growth (the challenge was internally referred to as D92A). Daihatsu’s guardian firm is Toyota, and in 2016, each events introduced the institution of an inside firm known as the ‘Rising-market Compact Automobile Firm’ or EMCC.

EMCC is liable for the event of the AC100 Vios, and the joint growth product that resulted adopted the Daihatsu New World Structure (DNGA). With the brand new platform, the Vios has grown barely, measuring in at 4,425 mm lengthy (+5 mm), 1,740 mm large (+10 mm) and 1,480 mm tall (+5 mm).

Of extra significance is the wheelbase, which has been elevated by 70 mm to hit 2,620 mm. For context, the Metropolis’s wheelbase is 2,600 mm, however measures 4,553 mm lengthy and 1,748 mm large – the peak is barely much less at 1,467 mm.

The prolonged wheelbase is mirrored within the styling, with a facet view showcasing the promise of a roomy inside. Visually shorter overhangs are additionally a part of the profile, and Toyota is eager to level out the Vios’ fastback design with its gently sloping C-pillars – do you agree with this declare?

Up entrance is the place the Vios is most distinctive given its new face that appears fashionable and fewer curvaceous than the outgoing mannequin. A big gaping mouth remains to be current, however the surrounding parts assist to make the design simpler on this eyes, a minimum of for this author.

Highlights embody sharper headlamps that seem like “hanging” by the tip of the L-shaped daytime operating lights, with the impact additional emphasised by the skinny black bar operating by way of the Toyota badge. This additionally acts as a divider between the big decrease grille and body-coloured trim trailing from the clamshell bonnet, offering a much less “busy” look in comparison with the earlier mannequin.

The decrease apron additionally will get a number of neat touches like a spoiler lip and purposeful air curtains (with ‘VORTEX GENERATORS’ printed on them), with the latter serving to channel air for improved aerodynamics and can be claimed to assist cool the entrance brakes.

The entrance lip is a part of an aerokit that additionally comes packaged with facet skirts, a boot lid lip spoiler and a diffuser-like ingredient for the rear bumper, the final of which additionally will get air curtain-like bits, though they’re purely ornamental. Additionally on the rear are angular taillights (with sequential flip alerts!) linked by a black trim piece that homes the reverse digicam and boot launch button.

The favored consensus among the many motoring media is the Vios appears form of like a “child Camry,” which is considerably merited. To my eyes, the brand new Vios additionally will get a bit of little bit of Corolla and is a radical departure from its predecessor. After all, appears are a subjective matter, so be at liberty to previous judgement and examine it to the Metropolis within the feedback under.

Premium inside with acquainted bits, some inconveniences

Similar to the outside, the Vios’ inside additionally will get overhauled and now contains a easier dashboard design that’s devoid of the earlier automotive’s many traces and complicated shapes. Taking centre stage is a 9-inch touchscreen head unit that’s unusually off-centred in its placement, so OCD folks may really feel a bit of uneasy.

Positioning apart, the top unit just like the one you discover in Corolla Cross, that means you get a high-resolution show that’s spectacular for a automotive on this section. Much more spectacular is the assist for wi-fi Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is a function that’s unusual within the realm the Vios lives in – the Metropolis depends on a wired connection. Throughout the media drive, my Samsung Galaxy S21 simply linked to the system for Android Auto and didn’t endure any dropouts as we navigated from place to position.

The top unit is surrounded by soft-touch materials, which can be used for the armrest on the door playing cards and centre console in addition to the driving force’s knee pad. These contribute to the premium really feel, however you’ll nonetheless discover some primary plastic parts in most areas, though sure items are made to be shiny black and textured.

One other change from the earlier automotive is the raised centre console that has no cupholders. If you’d like someplace to position your drinks, there are actually cupholders on the corners of the sprint very like within the Perodua Ativa, with the one on driver’s facet being a bit of fancier with a push-to-deploy mechanism.

The brand new centre console additionally homes two small storage cubbies and controls for an digital parking brake (with auto brake maintain) that’s making its debut on fourth-generation mannequin. There are additionally two buttons for the 64-colour ambient lighting system, though this solely illuminates restricted areas within the cabin.

On the tail finish of the centre console underneath the armrest is one other storage space that incorporates a wi-fi telephone charger, however you’ll need to conscious about how thick your telephone is to make use of it. My co-driver’s S22 Extremely with a thicker case couldn’t match into the slot, however an S21 with a Spigen Liquid Air had no such issues.

Given Daihatsu’s involvement within the AC100 challenge, you’ll discover fairly a number of acquainted bits just like the steering wheel and kit lever look precisely like what’s within the Ativa. Elsewhere, the configurable 7-inch TFT instrument cluster show is just about equivalent to the one within the Ativa, albeit with Toyota-specific animations and graphics.

As for all times within the rear, the Vios additionally lastly will get rear AC vents on this era, which is probably going a function many have been ready for, and there are ergonomically positioned cupholders to enhance bigger storage pockets on the door playing cards.

There are additionally two charging ports – one USB-C and one USB-A – for rear passengers, however these on the entrance solely get one USB-A on the top unit. There aren’t any devoted USB charging retailers on the entrance of the cabin (in contrast to the Vios/Yaris Ativ in Thailand), so that you’ll need to spend money on a charger to plug into the 12-volt energy socket that curiously has blanked out sections flanking the all-seat seatbelt reminder.

Alternatively, you might simply plug into the rear retailers and drag the cable to the entrance, which is what we did. It isn’t elegant, however whenever you’re pressed for time and completely require high-wattage quick charging – which the rear retailers can present – it certain beats a wi-fi charger.

In the meantime, legroom is beneficiant because of the wheelbase, even when the driving force’s seat is adjusted for my co-driver’s 178 cm body. Nevertheless, rear headroom was a difficulty for my drive accomplice as his head was touching the headliner when sitting upright. With my 170 cm top, there was a bit of more room – about one to 2 fingers price – however I needed to slouch barely to really be snug on the transfer.

Curiously, this was much less of a difficulty within the earlier automotive in addition to the Metropolis, so possibly the fastback form is extra kind over operate. Maybe deeper concaves within the headliner – as seen on the entrance – would assist treatment this.

One other shortcoming is the removing of a folding rear bench, so making an attempt to load lengthy items of flatpack furnishings can be a difficulty. We have been informed by the engineers that the rear seat bench could be too skinny if it may very well be folded down, so a choice was made to not present the function – there isn’t a rear armrest both.

On boot area itself, you do get 475 litres (down from 502 litres) and a big entry aperture, so getting large objects in shouldn’t be an excessive amount of of problem. With the boot tray and flooring lifted, you’ll get much more area to stow objects, though there’s no room for a spare tyre. The quantity of room underneath the boot flooring is actually sufficient to accommodate hybrid parts, and a Vios Hybrid has been mentioned to make its debut someday this 12 months.

Succesful engine, new CVT

The swap to the DNGA platform additionally sees the Vios be powered by the 2NR-VE, which is Daihatsu’s model of the 2NR-FE that comes with 1.5 litres of displacement, four-cylinder, DOHC and Twin VVT-i. Delivering 106 PS at 6,000 rpm and 138 Nm of torque at 4,200 rpm, the 2NR-VE is marginally much less highly effective than the departing 2NR-FE that made 107 PS and 140 Nm.

Paired with the 2NR-VE is a CVT that comes with seven digital speeds and paddle shifters (new for the Vios). In response to the Vios’ growth crew, the transmission is basically Daihatsu’s D-CVT (Twin mode CVT) with a split-gear system that mixes belt drive with a gear drive – we’ve detailed the expertise earlier than. This mixture, together with the extra aerodynamic exterior, is claimed to ship a gas consumption of 5.2 litres per 100 km.

Pushed in a civilised method, the setup delivers energy easily to rise up to frequent speeds most could be at on their every day drive. In conditions the place immediacy is required, say for overtaking quickly or charging up Gunung Raya, the CVT drops digital gears to deliver the engine revs up and also you get to listen to fairly a little bit of noise from the engine because it makes an attempt to pile on velocity.

The transmission decides when the gear drive kicks in primarily based on how a lot of the accelerator pedal is depressed, however there’s nonetheless some rubber banding impact felt, though it isn’t as extreme as what would expertise in older CVTs. Acceleration is aggressive sufficient versus the Metropolis in a demonstrated drag race and is helped by the truth that the DNGA platform trims round 110 kg off the Vios’ weight in comparison with the outgoing mannequin. Within the case of the G variant we spent all our time in, the kerb weight is listed as just one,035 kg – the earlier G was 1,145 kg.

With expectations set proper and a mild proper foot, the powertrain stays comparatively quiet and nice to make use of usually, however there can be moments the place the transmission sees match to kick down and also you’ll be listening to the extra of the 2NR-VE that you simply want to. The Vios additionally comes with three drive modes (Regular, Eco and Energy) if it is advisable drive the engine to be extra responsive (holding the engine at increased revs) or reserved (much less attentive to throttle inputs for gas effectivity).

Improved consolation and dealing with

Different touted advantages of the brand new platform are improved dealing with and luxury, each of which have been on show on a closed course with a slalom and fast lane change. In each workouts, the Vios stay composed and guaranteed with fast directional modifications, helped alongside by its wider 205/50 profile Continental PremiumContact C tyres wrapped round 17-inch wheels – the biggest for the mannequin but. As earlier than, the suspension continues to be MacPherson struts up entrance and a torsion beam on the rear, however the chassis is stiffer.

Throughout our runs up and down Gunung Raya, the Vios felt agile by way of the corners and offered good brake really feel (i.e. not too mushy). The electrically assisted steering is correct sufficient however there’s not a lot in the best way of suggestions, with the main focus extra on making it gentle and straightforward to manoeuvre.

On regular roads, the Vios was compliant to be extra snug than its predecessor. Main experience was good, with the automotive remaining composed over giant bumps, whereas secondary experience was properly dealt with so it doesn’t really feel too obnoxious to the purpose that we’re bounced round. The operated by hand seats have been additionally supportive and offered ample consolation, though an extended drive could be extra conclusive.

Noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) have been additionally a lot improved over the earlier era because of the fitment of acoustic glass for the entrance windscreen and facet home windows. Sure areas of the chassis additionally get foam inserts to assist dampen out undesirable intrusions, additional enhancing NVH.

Toyota Security Sense made higher

When the third-generation Vios obtained its second replace, the Toyota Security Sense suite was added to enhance its security chops, however solely got here with two methods: Pre-Collision System (autonomous emergency braking) and Lane Departure Warning.

The newest mannequin takes issues many steps additional by including Lane Departure Prevention, Entrance Departure Alert, Adaptive Cruise Management, Lane Preserving Management and Auto Excessive Beam. You even get Pedal Misoperation Management, Blind Spot Monitor with Rear Cross Visitors Alert, a 3D panoramic view monitor, entrance and rear parking sensors in addition to a multi-view reverse digicam.

These are on high of the usual six airbags and checklist of passive methods (VSC, ABS, EBD, brake help, hill begin help, and so forth.) In immediately’s world the place such energetic security methods will be discovered on vehicles that price much less, it was inexcusable if the Vios solely provided solely the fundamentals, however fortunately, this isn’t the case.

A winner in some ways with some faults

In comparison with its predecessor, the fourth-generation Vios is a serious leap ahead in lots of elements, notably when it comes to experience and dealing with in addition to NVH. The great function set additionally enhances the premium inside really feel, whereas the expanded checklist of security options is an absolute necessity and warmly welcomed. As for the brand new powertrain, it doesn’t submit increased figures, but it surely does properly sufficient in most driving conditions when you taper expectations.

Nevertheless, there are some issues associated to practicality that automotive consumers may discover to be a difficulty with just like the headroom limitation for notably tall rear seat passengers. The shortcoming to fold the rear seat bench down can be a degree of rivalry, particularly when the Metropolis gives this as commonplace throughout its whole variant line-up – the earlier Vios 60:40 split-folding rear seats on the E and G variants. These are viable issues for many who depend on just one automotive to fulfill as many wants as attainable, together with ferrying individuals and/or cargo.

Toyota took their time with the AC100 Vios and the top result’s a product that impresses in some ways and higher suited to compete in opposition to the two-year-old-plus Metropolis. It’s not with out faults, however there are many positives and enhancements that some could overlook the shortcomings.

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Vios media check drive official photographs

GALLERY: 2023 Toyota Vios official photographs

Tags: Toyota Vios 2023

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