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The 2018 Vios sports a refreshed face, a more premium cabin and a slew of handy standard safety features.

12 Feb 2018



The Toyota Vios is a car that holds a special place in my heart as it's the first car I've ever driven. In fact, the Vios is probably one of the most memorable cars for east-side Singaporeans because it's the learner car used by Comfort Driving Centre.

Back then; the Vios was merely a basic form of transport for anyone who wanted a cheap-to-buy and economical-to-run car.

And it sure looked and felt the part of a daily beater, until the third generation model arrived, which looked more handsome and offered decent practicality but still sported a rather mediocre build quality.

The 2018 facelift gives the Toyota Vios a refreshingly appealing design

Thankfully, an updated-for-2018 version of that car is now here, and is looking to change the perception of the model's budget proposition.

A little less econobox, a little more stylishness

Compared to the more barefaced appearance of the model it replaces, the updated Vios' front end is refreshed with a horizontal grille for a wider yet more aerodynamic appearance, as well as integrated LED daytime running lamps that round up the sleeker appearance.

With its new architecture, the Vios is now better posed to give its equally good-looking rivals like the Kia Forte K3 and the Mazda2 a good run for their money.

At 1,730mm wide, the updated Vios is the widest in the compact sedan class

Measuring 4,425mm by 1,730mm, it's also slightly longer and wider than before.

This, on top of new rear seats, allows for a more spacious cabin, one that's the widest in its class. Where the second row seats used to be a slight squeeze, three average-sized Singaporean adults will now have no problems finding comfort.

The enhancements on the inside do not end there. Aesthetic, noise and vibration levels, too, have been revised. The central console, for example, has been redesigned to integrate the upper portion of the instrument panel to the front console.

The Altis' more modern three-spoke steering wheel has also been adopted. And thanks to silencers and seals fitted throughout the car, there is noticeably much lesser road or wind noise making its way into the cabin.

Coupled with enhanced coil springs and shock absorbers, the Vios affords a much higher level of quietness and ride refinement than what you'd normally expect from a sub-$90,000 Thai-made compact sedan.

Smoother, more efficient Vios

Although a 106bhp, naturally aspirated 1.5-litre engine remains, Toyota has swopped out the outgoing car's four-speed auto for a CVT, which isn't surprising considering the rest of its models' powertrain pairings.

106bhp may be a humble figure but it's enough to get the 1,085kg car up and going in city traffic

The CVT is smooth, but monotonous and the disapprovingly disconnected steering deprives the car of driving pleasure. It does however provide decent real-world fuel economy figures of 13.1km/L, up from its predecessor's 12.7km/L.

Safety-wise, both Vios models (E Grade and our test car's G Grade) get seven airbags, Anti-lock Brake System with Electronic Brake-force Distribution, Brake Assist, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Control and Hill-start Assist Control.

For its price point, the Vios certainly is generous on electric nannies. The update may not have made the car any more fun to drive than before but for anyone considering a cheap-to-buy and economical-to-run car, the Vios is a highly appealing proposition.

Improved cabin quality and design offer a higher-quality feel

All of its practical bits remain, and it's much better-looking, feels more premium on the inside, more refined and packs more standard features.
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Car Information

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Toyota Vios 1.5 G Grade (A)
Rate it

Price

: $93,988

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve DOHC with VVT-i

Engine Cap

:

1496cc

Horsepower

:

79kW (106 bhp) / 6000 rpm

Torque

:

140 Nm / 4200 rpm

Transmission

:

7-speed (A) CVT

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

-

Top Speed

:

170km/h

Fuel consumption

:

17.2 km/L

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