Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain

Shaun · Apr 12, 2021 10:51 AM

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 01

New to the 2020 Toyota Vios facelift is the addition of the GR-Sport (GR-S) variant, sitting on top of the G variant. The Toyota Vios GR-S adds a few goodies like a reprogrammed CVT with 10 virtual ratios, sports-tuned suspension, and 17-inch wheels just to name a few.

If you’re pondering on whether to fork out another RM 8k over the G variant – we’ve listed pros and cons to help on your buying decision.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 02

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Pros

  • Superb suspension tuning
  • Aggressive exterior styling

Cons

  • Slowest in class
  • Increased tyre noise level

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 01

Pros – Superb suspension tuning

The Vios GR-S gets bespoke suspension tuning and it is absolutely spot on. Springs are firmer and does transmit more road imperfection to the cabin, but it’s complemented by perfectly-tuned dampers that just rounds off the sharp edges.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 02

Ride quality wise, the Vios GR-S sacrifices a small degree of comfort, but still very much composed is more than acceptable for daily driving. In return, body roll is noticeably lesser. It leans to a certain degree and sits there confidently going through the bends.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 03

In lower rung variants of the Vios, it gently oscillates over bumps, giving that comfortable floaty sensation. Conversely in the Vios GR-S, there’s no waft to be had as it settles quickly over any lumps and bumps with superb composure.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 04

Sharp edges are rounded off nicely, which is quite impressive considering it rides on larger, 17-inch wheels with thinner profile tyres.

Pros – Aggressive exterior styling

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 05

The exterior styling is where it makes or break your decision to pick the Vios GR-S over the standard G variant. If the aggressive exterior kit tickles your fancy, it’ll likely get your vote.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 06

The Vios GR-S’ front bumper looks similar to the much-talked-about Toyota GR Yaris, and so does the headlamps with its L-shaped DRL and triple-chamber LEDs. The contrasting elements finished in gloss black give the Vios GR-S a sporty flavour.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 07

Wheels are largest they’ve ever been in a Vios, wrapped in 205/45 R17 rubbers. However, the wheel gap appears to be enhanced which is generally an eyesore. But overall, the GR bits do increase its road presence.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 08

Cons – Lackluster powertrain

The Toyota Vios is not quick even by B-segment sedan standard. The engine makes 107 PS and 140 Nm of torque, paired to a CVT. After several attempts in the century sprint, the fastest 0-100 km/h time recorded for the Vios GR-S is 12.9 seconds.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 09

Despite the transmission tuning, the laid-back nature is still present and feels almost identical to the regular variants. The perceptible difference would be the Sport mode, which allows the engine to work at a noticeably higher rpm.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 10

The “10-speed” CVT seems more like marketing exercise than enhancing the driving experience. The simulated shifts feel rather strange, as if the car is having hiccups. It blunts acceleration compared to normal mode (we’ve timed it to be about 0.8 seconds slower from 0-100 km/h). 

Cons – Increased tyre noise level

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 11

Cabin insulation has been one of the plus points of the Vios and it’s retained here. But since the Vios GR-S rides on larger 17-inch wheels, wrapped in 205/45 R17 Toyo Proxes TR1 tyres which is a performance-biased tyre, there is more tyre noise generated and intrudes the cabin quietness.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 12

We recorded the cabin noise level to be 1 dB higher on average at every speed intervals compared to the G variant. At 110 km/h, the Vios GR-S averaged 70 dB.

Conclusion

The Toyota Vios GR-S has a superbly calibrated suspension and features extroverted exterior styling. Downsides are the weak powertrain and the larger tyres do disrupt the cabin serenity. But at least the Blind Spot Monitor isn't beeping annoyingly anymore like in the pre-facelift model.

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 13

If the pros outweighs the cons for you, then you should pick the Toyota Vios GR-S over the regular G variant.

Also read: Review: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-Sport - The ride and handling champ in class

Pros and Cons: 2020 Toyota Vios GR-S – Superb suspension, lackluster powertrain 14

 

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Shaun

Writer

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.

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