Coming next year, 2021 Toyota Vios - this over the City or Almera?

Eric · Nov 12, 2020 11:47 AM

Toyota unveiled the facelifted 2021 Toyota Vios a couple of months ago in the Philippines, followed by Thailand a month later.

Current model pictured

Set to be introduced in Malaysia by December, let's take a closer look at Toyota’s upcoming B-segment contender that will be going head-to-head against the all-new Honda City and Nissan Almera.

1.  When will the 2021 Toyota Vios go on sale?

Thailand market model shown. Our Vios is sold there as the Yaris Ativ

Considering that the current, pre-facelifted Toyota Vios has completely sold out, it does mean that UMW Toyota Motor will introduce the updated model sooner than later.

According to what we’ve gathered, the facelifted Toyota Vios could be introduced as early as December 2020.

2. Will it get a new powertrain?

The tried-and-tested 1.5-litre engine is expected to be carried over

Taking into consideration that this is a mid-life update, the updated Toyota Vios is expected to carry over the same 1.5-litre petrol engine from the pre-facelift model.

This engine is capable of delivering 107 PS and 140 Nm, mated to a CVT-type automatic transmission.

Power figures
Model Power (PS) Torque (Nm)
Toyota Vios 107 140
Honda City 121 145
Nissan Almera 100 152

3. So you’re telling me it’s an old engine?

The Dual VVT-i engine made its debut with this Vios back in 2016

Not really, no.

The 1.5-litre Dual VVT-i engine is actually a relatively new engine, having been introduced in 2016 Toyota Vios. Codenamed 2NR-FE, this engine supersedes the ageing 1NZ-FE found in all earlier-generations of the Toyota Vios.

4. How does it look like?

Thailand Yaris Ativ and Yaris pictured. Our Malaysian-spec car should look the same

The 2021 Toyota Vios’ design will largely mirror the upcoming Toyota Yaris facelift, including the new LED headlights flanking a redesigned front fascia.

Other details will be made known once UMW Toyota launches the model.

5. Any changes inside?

Thailand Yaris Ativ pictured

In the case of the Thailand-spec mode, the silver trim on the centre console with a more sombre-looking dark silver trim.

The Yaris facelift that was previewed recently also features the same dark silver trim, so it's not too far-fetched to say that the Malaysian-spec Vios will receive the same trim.

Like the Yaris facelift, a wireless charger could also be offered.

6. Does the 2021 Toyota Vios get Android Auto and Apple CarPlay?

Updated Toyota Yaris' new head unit. The Vios should be receiving the same head unit

We expect the 2021 Toyota Vios to finally feature support for both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, considering that the recently-announced Yaris facelift already offers this feature.

Prior to this update, only the Vios lacked support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay; practically every other non-national B-segment sedan offers support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

7. What about ADAS features?

The biggest improvement is the inclusion of the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) ADAS suite.

While not the full ADAS suite found in the Toyota Corolla Altis or Toyota Camry, it does offer autonomous emergency braking (AEB) and lane departure alert (LDA).

7 airbags should be offered acriss the range

Apart from the TSS ADAS suite, the updated Vios is also expected to carry forward safety features like the Blind Spot Monitor (BSM) with Rear Cross Traffic Alert (RCTA), a 360-degree view monitor, and a front digital video recorder (DVR). The rear DVR is an optional extra.

8. Will there be a sportier variant?

That's still the current-gen Vios rear lights, and the badge doesn't look like a Photoshop job. 

It’s no surprise that UMW Toyota is busy promoting its Gazoo Racing branding, and the Vios is likely the next recipient on the list.

What we’ve gathered so far is that the upcoming Vios GR Sport (one tier below the full-blown GR models, like the GR Supra and GR Yaris) will feature:

  • CVT with 10 virtual ratios
  • Stabilizer bars as standard
  • GR Sports suspension setup
  • Sportier wheels

9. How much does the Vios cost?

Estimated prices for the updated Vios start from RM 75,701 for the Vios 1.5 J, while the Vios 1.5 E is priced from RM 85,674. The range-topping Vios 1.5 G is priced from RM 89,232.

All prices are are SST-exempt (valid until 31-Dec 2020), on-the-road sans insurance and road tax.

10. Any other new addition?

Well yes, UMW Toyota has discontinued the Attitude Black colour option, replacing it with Orange Metallic.

The rest of the colour options remain unchanged, including Silver Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Dark Blue Metallic and Platinum White Pearl.

11. What else do I need to know?

This update may be the last update before the new generation Vios that will be developed by Perodua is introduced in the next couple of years.

Codenamed D92A, the upcoming Vios replacement model is likely going to be developed on the much-newer DNGA platform, as the current model rides on the much older Toyota B Platform.

Whether or not the Perodua-developed Vios will be sold as a Perodua is a whole different story. Recall that Perodua's manufacturing operations are controlled by Daihatsu and the Malaysia-lead management only controls the sales company Perodua Sales Sdn. Bhd., or PSSB.

Whether PSSB will be given the rights to sell the Vios under a Perodua brand or not is a separate business decision.