Answering your questions about the 2023 Toyota Vios - Why omit spare tyre, folding seats?
Shaun · Mar 24, 2023 10:43 PM
Just before the launch of the all-new 2023 Toyota Vios, UMW Toyota Motor had arranged a media test drive in Langkawi and joining the event was the development team behind the 2023 Toyota Vios, including Executive Chief Engineer, Hideyuki Kamino.
Like most of our readers, we were equally curious as to why some items are omitted, like the folding rear seats and spare tyre. Talking to the team as well as the chief engineer, we learnt the reasoning behind these decisions.
On the topic of the foldable rear seats' omission in the all-new 2023 Toyota Vios, we were told that the research they carried out shown that folding rear seats are underutilised by the majority of sedan users.
With global inflation and increasing manufacturing cost, they decided to drop the folding rear seats feature.
However, there are benefits to having fixed rear seats. For one, the lack of the folding mechanism saves weight (which will turn out to be the theme here) by 10 kg from what we were told.
With fixed seats, they were able to fit additional bracings to improve body rigidity, which generally aids handling as well as comfort.
Furthermore, the sculpture and paddings of the rear seats can be made thicker and more supportive as they aren’t required to fold flat. This translates to a more comfortable back rest.
As for the absence of a spare tyre (in its place, a tyre repair kit), and again, this relates to cost, weight, and studies conducted on user experience of a spare tyre. They found out that a large portion of users do not possess the know-how in performing a wheel change.
They’ve also pointed out that changing a wheel by the roadside is an incredibly risky operation, even more so on the highway. And to that, we agree completely and would even ask those with a spare tyre - when was the last time you checked its pressure? Are you certain it has sufficient air?
A benefit to not having a spare tyre is extra storage space. If you lift up the floor board in the boot, you’ll find a foam compartment tray with partitions. It’s also useful if you’d like to carry smaller items without having them being chucked around in the boot.
Adding to that, it has been hinted that the omission of the spare tyre is part of a development plan for the future. Yes, we’re talking about the Vios Hybrid that will reportedly make its ASEAN debut in end-2023.
Not much is known about the Vios Hybrid, only that it will likely be series-type hybrid where the combustion engine serves as a generator to charge the high voltage battery, like the system seen in the Perodua Ativa Hybrid.
Back to the combustion-engine-only 2023 Toyota Vios, there are two variants available – 1.5E and 1.5G, priced at RM 89,600 and RM 95,500 respectively. Despite having fewer variants with a higher starting price, the company is confident in the all-new Vios and that sales will remain competitive.
We’ve driven it and found it to be a vast improvement in terms of drivability and features, read our first impressions here.
The quest for automotive knowledge began as soon as the earliest memories. Various sources information, even questionable ones, have been explored including video games, television, magazines, or even internet forums. Still stuck in that rabbit hole.