Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Toyota Upgrades the Vios - A new engine and drivetrain finally as well as VSC for all variants

 2016 Toyota Vios 1.5GX

Good news! Toyota have finally upgraded the 3rd generation Toyota Vios! Launched in 2013, this time the edgy styled Vios gets a slight exterior tweak but most importantly, a proper engine and gearbox from the 2010s instead of still being stuck in 2002. 

Vios 1.5GX

The new Vios gets some very minimal styling tweaks. I think that front bumper gets DRL and that's about it (TRD Sportivo version gets a slightly different body kit) . The interior also gets a new infotainment system (for the higher end models) and some acoustic glass to make it quieter (for the higher models also). 

There is also Electronic Stability Control (called Vehicle Stability Control/VSC) for ALL VARIANTS (a very good thing). All variants get ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, 2 front airbags, ISOFIX and a knee brace below the dashboard to prevent the driver’s legs from injury. Quite well equipped!

The biggest change is the powertrain and drivetrain. This new engine allows the Vios to get EEV (Energy Efficient Vehicle) certification and allow for a tax reduction (which I think Toyota put to good use by stuffing the Vios full of safety equipment instead of just simply lowering the price - kudos to Toyota here). The new engine is the Dual VVT-i  1.5-liter 2NR-FE engine that we've seen in the facelifted Toyota Avanza This newer Toyota engine replaces the old 1NZ-FE which has been in all three generations of the Toyota Vios since 2002. 

The new engine now features variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust side of the cylinder head. The previous, very ancient by today's standard, engine only had variable valves on the intake side. It also has the usual engine upgrades that allow it to have less friction and make the new Vios consume 18% less petrol than before. 

The previous 1NZ engine was from 2002. How many years old is that? Ancient I tell you. Whilst it may make slightly more power than the newer engine - 109 PS and 141 Nm against 107 PS and 140 Nm of the new engine, you can bet your 10 Malaysian Ringgit that the new engine, coupled with the new CVT gearbox will be a more refined, economical and driveable car (which power coming in earlier when you want it to).

And that old 4 speed automatic gearbox that you would usually find in a Vios? No more! That Toyota 4 speed automatic has been passed down from the 1985 Toyota Corolla without much changes has been banished forever. Extremely reliable but woefully short on gears to ensure optimum fuel economy as well as performance (four forward gears to handle acceleration and top speed is far too little these days). 

When everyone was going 5, 6,7 or 8 speed torque convertors it was still doing 4. Whatever aerodynamic upgrades are quite worthless if you're cruising at 110-120kmh and the engine trashes around at higher than usual rpms isnt a good thing for fuel economy. So even though I do not enjoy CVT gearboxes that much, I welcome an efficient transmission in what is supposedly a car for the masses. 

So thank sambal belacan Toyota has decided to bring the Vios up to date. Well, as close to up to date as Toyota can lah. Circa 2015 as this was the year Toyota first launched the 2NR engine and plonked it into a facelifted 2nd Generation Toyota Avanza. And Do note that these days dual variable valve timing is nothing if we compared to the latest Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI) engines that most of the Koreans, Europeans and that Zoom-zoom Japanese manufacturer have. Of course, Toyota, being Toyota is always conservative.

But with the new CVT gearbox and that newer engine I welcome it into the Malaysian B segment market with open arms. Especially since every variant now has VSC as standard. 

And not forgetting, this car is now even better to drive that that B segment car which rhymes with Almari. I also have to state I now dislike this car much less than before. 

New Prices & variants for the Toyota Vios
1.5 TRD Sportivo with CVT           RM 96,400
1.5 GX with CVT                           RM 92,800
1.5 G with CVT                              RM 89,800
1.5 E with CVT                              RM 83,900
1.5 J with CVT                               RM 79,800
1.5 J with 5-speed Manual            RM 76,500



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