Is the new 2021 Toyota Vios facelift a better car than the City and Almera?

CY Foong · Nov 17, 2020 09:00 AM

The B-segment sedan race is heating up for sure with UMW Toyota just only announcing (estimated) prices for the latest 2021 Toyota Vios facelift.

Malaysians are pretty much spoilt for choice in getting a brand-new B-segment sedan with rivals like the Honda City and the Nissan Almera also vying to get buyers.

However, which of the three would be the right choice? We’ll take a quick look and compare the highest specs (highest petrol-powered variant in the case of the City) of the 3 popular non-national B-segment sedans.

Specs - City is the cheapest

First up, the prices for the Vios are still estimated for now. UMW Toyota will announce the official price probably in December when it is expected to be launched alongside the Yaris facelift.

The top-of-the-line model, which would come with all the bells and whistles which we’ll cover later in this article, is estimated to be priced from RM 90,400.

Now, this sounds like a lot. In fact, the top-spec Vios facelift is RM 3,100 pricier than the outgoing pre-facelift Vios of the same spec. The powertrain for the Vios facelift remains unchanged with a 1.5-litre 2NR-FE engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox.

Meanwhile, the City is the cheapest among the three as you can see in the table above. At the same time, its 1.5-litre 4-cylinder i-VTEC engine also produces the most horsepower at 121 PS. The City's engine feels the most spirited on the road too among the three.

The Almera, on the other hand, is the most expensive but don't let its small 1.0-litre engine fool you. On the road, the 3-pot engine feels smooth and the turbocharger definitely helps to give the engine a boost. As for the price, it is justified with the number of features equipped.

Features - Vios sounds like a better value

Here is where the City loses out to the Vios. Both the Vios and the Almera cost a little more than RM 90k but you do get better safety features, especially in the Vios.

3D 360-degree camera on the Vios facelift

The Vios facelift comes with 7 airbags, BSM, RCTA, and a 360-degree camera just like the pre-facelift Vios. However, it gains the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) ADAS suite which includes AEB and LDA. Also, the 360-degree camera is updated to a 3D one as opposed to a 2D one.

AEB is standard across all variants of the Almera

Meanwhile, the Almera is also well-equipped in terms of safety with the top-of-the-line VLT-spec equipped with AEB, BSW, RCTA, and FCW.

Interested? You'll have to wait a little longer

While the petrol-powered City is lacking in terms of driving aids, the hybrid-powered RS variant will feature the Honda Sensing ADAS suite. But it also expected to cost a lot dearer too. We estimated that the City RS could reach close to the RM 100k mark when prices are announced early next year.

The Toyota Vios facelift also comes with an infotainment system that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The City also comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support while the Almera only has compatibility for Apple CarPlay. However, the Vios has one feature that is not available in its rivals.

That feature is a wireless charger, something commonly seen in larger vehicles. Granted it is an optional extra at RM 550 but this makes the Vios the only B-segment sedan in Malaysia to come with a wireless charger.

Each of these cars has its own pros and cons and they are definitely attractive to different types of buyers. The City is for those who wanted an engaging drive while the Almera is more suited for those who prefer comfort.

The new Vios facelift though is best-suited for those who want something in the middle. It's a reliable car with enough safety and convenience features and value for money.