4 variants of the 2021 Toyota Vios in Malaysia, but which is the better buy?
Sanjay · Feb 21, 2021 01:00 PM
"Just get a Toyota Vios lah!" - If you've made your intentions about buying a new B-segment sedan clear, then we'd wager you've heard or read that phrase a thousand times over.
Let's say for a minute that you're set on getting a Vios, but the variants and their offerings are a little confusing. Leave it to us to clear it up for you in this week's buying guide.
At a glance - 4 variants
Instead of just three variants like last time, the new facelift brings with it the hottest Vios yet - the GR Sport. At RM 95k, it's around RM 8k more than the G variant but hey, think about it this way - it's your cheapest entry point for any GR-branded car.
Exterior - much cleaner than before
The Joker smile of the pre-facelift is gone, replaced by a huge grille front and centre. It looks like Bane now.
That's not a bad thing. Combined with LED head lamps that come with integrated daytime running lights (DRLs), LED fog lamps (replacing halogen ones) and redesigned fog lamp surrounds, it looks rather neat.
The rear-end is nothing to shout about, looking virtually unchanged from the pre-facelift. The J variant gets bulb-type tail lamps, anything above that gets combination LEDs.
Beyond tail light bulbs, the E, G, and GR-S variants get an acoustic windshield (insulates sound better) and auto-fold side mirrors with integrated signal lights.
Wheels-wise, the E & G variants still wear the same 16-inch wheels as before, while the J variant rolls on 15-inch units.
Black is no longer a factory option, replaced by Orange Metallic. Besides that, choices include Platinum White Pearl, Dark Blue Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, and Silver Metallic.
GR-S - sportiest looks yet
The GR-S on the other hand borrows a few cues from the Toyota GR Yaris, such as the 'Functional Matrix' grille motif, flanked by slats extending into the fog lamp surrounds.
It's nice that the GR-S gets a bespoke multi-piece bodykit, complete with a pair of side skirts (with '10 Speed' badges), rear diffuser, and a bootlid spoiler.
Capping off the look then are these 17-inch wheels, wrapped in 205/45R17-profile Toyo Proxes TR1s.
If the GR-S is the one that tugs at your heartstrings, then you'll only have the Platinum White Pearl and Red Mica Metallic options to choose from. Finally, something easy!
Also, note that the GR-S' bodykit and sports suspension (more on this later) are available as a separate purchase only for the Vios 1.5 G variant for RM 7,700.
Interior - what's important to you?
The redesign isn't as extensive inside, barring some new dark-grey trim. These are what every variant of the Vios gets as standard:
Apart from these, the GR-S gets GR-specific red detailing inside.
In a nutshell, the gap between the E and G variants aren't too big, mostly about small enhancements like paddle shifters and leather seats. The J variant, if we're honest, feels a bit too barebones - why wouldn't you want the extra practicality of 60:40 split-fold seats?
Safety - which one gets TSS?
Bringing the Vios up on par with its advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)-equipped competitors - the Honda City and Nissan Almera - is the inclusion of Toyota Safety Sense (TSS).
Bear in mind that only the GR-S, G, and E variants get these functions:
Pre-collision system (PCS)
Lane departure alert (LDA)
Blind spot monitor with rear-cross traffic alert (BSM, RCTA)
Standard across the range are these features:
Vehicle stability control (VSC)
Traction control (TC)
Hill-start assist control (HAC)
Emergency stop signal (ESS)
Parking sensors (Front and rear for GR-S, G, rear-only for E, J)
Performance - ol' reliable
Performance-wise, all four variants retain the 2NR-FE mill, paired to a CVT. Output is 107 PS and 140 Nm.
Beyond that, only the G and GR-S variants get rear disc brakes. The rest of the line-up makes do with rear drums to pair with the front ventilated disc brakes.
Of course, the attention-grabber here is the GR-S, which has an updated transmission mapping that now features 10 virtual ratios (but only in Sport mode), three more than the standard 7-ratio mapping in the other variants.
How or why that's possible is best explained in this article.
Other than that, the GR-S benefits from tweaked dampers that offer a slightly stiffer ride. It's not an adjustable suspension setup, so the ride height remains stock.
Conclusion - E is Enough for most
Whittling everything down, we opine that the E variant is just right for most. Sure, you do lose some niceties, but you are getting everything important anyway - ADAS, smartphone connectivity, and split-folding rear seats just to name a few.
As always, the choice is yours to make. But before you go and plonk the deposit for one, consider reading this article about expected monthly installments.
With humble beginnings collecting diecast models and spending hours virtually tuning dream cars on the computer, his love of cars has delightfully transformed into a career. Sanjay enjoys how the same passion for cars transcends boundaries and brings people together.