2020 has been quite the rollercoaster, hasn’t it? It was a quiet first half - no thanks to Covid-19 - and now we’re getting a barrage of cars we’ve been waiting for: the Nissan Almera and Honda City, among others.
If you’re in the B-segment sedan market, you may have noticed a distinct lack of news on the Toyota Vios. Last we heard of it was during its refresh in the Philippines but it got completely eclipsed by the City and Almera after that.
That was until recently, when UMW Toyota Motor (UMWT) launched a promotion to make the Vios easier to own.
Naturally then, this begs the question: should you snap one up with the discount or discount it entirely?
What is being offered?
By now, you'd have probably seen this floating on your social media feeds:
Like it says on the tin, there's RM 5,800 worth of cash rebates and accessories up for grabs across the Vios range.
Here's what UMWT offers:
|2019 Toyota Vios Promotion|
|Variant||SST-exempted prices||Entitlement (total RM 5,800)|
|1.5 J||RM 76,101||
Cash rebate: RM 4,000
Aerokit: RM 1,800
|1.5 E||RM 80,074||
Cash rebate: RM 1,000
Accessories (incl. aerokit and vehicle tracking system): RM 4,800
|1.5 G||RM 86,132|
Recall that until 31-December 2020, prices for the Vios are SST-exempt - so the rebates and accessories seem to get along with the cheaper prices like a house on fire.
Offers aside, how is the Vios?
We're happy to report that the 2019 Vios improves everything its predecessors were known for. It's a comfortable fuel-sipper that's now well-equipped with creature comforts and safety features.
It's positively familiar - especially in interior and build quality - but there is a bit less space and cubby holes than its segment rivals.
The suspension is soft, supple and the car rides well. In fact it's the quietest among the outgoing City and Almera.
It's car you just get in and get going with. A fact helped along by its reliable 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated 2NR-FE mill (107 PS/140 Nm) and CVT combination.
For all that it does well, it does have its failings. For one, its blind spot monitor (BSM) really eats into the otherwise very quiet cabin.
Everytime you hit the signal stalk, the hyper-jumpy BSM beeps and that gets old really quick.
The competition: City and Almera
Supercars notwithstanding, these are the hottest cars on the Malaysian market right now.
The Honda Sensing ADAS suite is also present in the new City - certainly a welcome addition.
Meanwhile, Malaysians are keen to welcome the Almera because it could be the pivot for Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM).
There's a lot to like, such as the new 1.0-litre turbocharged engine (100 PS/152 Nm) and good safety features being standard underneath the sharp exterior.
These make the Vios look old...
On paper, maybe. But you could be forgetting something...
Remember that the Vios follows a tried and true formula. Same dependable powertrain as in the previous generation, predictable maintenance costs and is very good at what it does.
Sure, you get new engine technologies in Nissan and Honda's offerings, but keep in mind that they are very, very fresh - essentially making you a beta tester of sorts.
This also means that things like reliability and maintenance costs are yet to be proven.
While the decision is ultimately yours to make, just bear in mind that old dogs can learn new tricks too.