New vs Old: Can the 2020 Toyota Vios still hold off the City and Almera?

Sanjay · Nov 22, 2020 01:00 PM

Shortly after prices for the 2021 Toyota Vios facelift were announced, we heard you ask: 'What's new? What's still the same?" These questions are what we'll be answering in this article.

Exterior - Hey there, good lookin'

Like its recently-facelifted 2021 Toyota Yaris stablemate, the redesign makes the Vios look more mature.

Toyota has done away with the catfish-esque design of the pre-facelift model, this time employing sharper LED head lamps with integrated daytime running lights (DRLs) to accompany a rehashed front bumper.

Also, the front fog lamps are now LED units, replacing the pre-facelift's halogen bulbs.

The E & G variants still wear the same 16-inch wheels as the pre-facelift (the 15-inch units on the J are now like the Thai-spec cars). The rear on all variants are virtually unchanged from the pre-facelift.

Six colour choices are available: Platinum White Pearl, Dark Blue Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Silver Metallic and this Orange Metallic that replaces Attitude Black. 

Small trivia: this is the third car launched this year with an orange option - the others are the 2020 Proton X50 and the all-new 2020 Nissan Almera.

Interior - two shades of grey

Changes are more than just skin deep in the cabin. Yes, there's dark grey trims now (replacing bright silver ones in the pre-facelift) and a new fabric seat design, but the main things are updates to the infotainment and instrument cluster.

For one, the Vios' 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system now gets Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support, a welcome feature that replaces the fussy MirrorLink system. 

This cluster was previously only on the G variant, but it's now available on the E variant as well.

The 1.5 E variant now gets an Optitron instrument cluster like the 1.5 G. In the process, the 1.5 E also benefits from a new steering wheel with controls for the MID.

Also like its hatchback stablemate, there's an optional wireless charger. This costs RM 550 and it'll be available on all variants. 

Safety - a touch better with TSS

7 airbags: a pair for the driver and passenger, one for the driver's knees, side and curtain airbags.

Note that the new Vios 1.5 G comes with the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) suite of advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), comprising of these features:

  • Autonomous emergency braking (AEB)

  • Front collision warning (FCW)

  • Lane departure alert (LDA)

The 3D 360-degree camera replaces the 2D version on the pre-facelift Vios.

Other features include:

  • 7 airbags

  • 3D 360-degree camera (new, previously 2D)

  • Blind spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert (BSM, RCTA)

  • Front digital video recorder (DVR/dashcam)

  • Vehicle stability control (VSC)

  • Hill-start assist control (HAC)

  • Anti-lock brakes with electronic brake force distribution (ABS, EBD)

  • Brake assist (BA)

Here's what stays the same:

2NR-FE engine.

Powering the Vios is still the same 2NR-FE, 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated, four-cylinder engine making 107 PS and 140 Nm paired to a CVT with 7 virtual ratios.

Clockwise L to R: Drive mode selector and VSC switch, front DVR (dashcam) and paddle shifters.

Paddle shifters, electrochromic rear-view mirror and drive mode switches are also carried over from the pre-facelift car.

Any news about the 2021 Toyota Vios GR Sport?

A bit - the first spyshots emerged yesterday, but we have a few details about what it'll have. Expect a sportier suspension setup and a CVT with 10-virtual ratios, among other additions.

Prices of the 2021 Toyota Vios

All these changes mean there's a small price increase across the board - around RM 1,000 to RM 3,100. Here's the new estimated prices:

2021 Toyota Vios estimated price list
Variant 1.5 J (AT) 1.5E (AT) 1.5G (AT)
Price  RM 75,701 RM 85,674 RM 89,232

The estimated price list shown above are SST-exempt (valid until 31-Dec 2020), on-the-road sans insurance and road tax. They may look enticing, but take a look at how much you should expect monthly instalments to be in this article.

Vehicle Telematics System (VTS) and Toyota premium security and solar film (tints) come standard on the E and G variants at this price.

How does it fare against its competitors?

We've pitted the new Vios against the all-new 2020 Honda City and the Almera. It's an interesting proposition - read more in this article.