A newer, more fresh-faced version of the Toyota Vios has been officially announced by UMW Toyota Motor. The local distributor also wasted no time in swinging open the order books for all 3 variants. The enemies are at the gates and we were wondering how the Toyota would seek to defend its B-segment honour. Now we have an answer.
This new 2020 Vios most prominently comes with cosmetic tweaks to bring the car into visual parity with the XP150 Yaris. The fascia between both cars are now nearly identical with the primary grille now merged with the lower air intake, creating an almost Lexus-like frowning trapezoid.
This is accompanied by a new LED headlight cluster and daytime running lights, as well as a new lower bumper surround which integrates new fog lamps, both of which come as standard, putting an end to the lower-rung halogen reflectors found on the previous entry-level variant.
Being a mere facelift, no one expects anything more than a carry-over of the previous car’s mechanicals. Expectedly, the updated 2020 Vios retains the normally aspirated 2NR-FE 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine, generating 107PS and 140Nm that sends power to the front wheels via a CVT.
As they have done for some time, the updated range kicks off with the Vios J before moving up a notch to the mid-spec Vios E, and to the most well-equipped Vios G. Along with the styling improvements and other revisions, the Vios now starts at RM75,701, which is RM400 less expensive than before.
That being said, the Vios E and G are subject to rather substantial price increments of RM5,600 and RM3,100 respectively. Of the 5 colour options, the standout is undoubtedly this Orange Metallic. Aside from this there is Dark Blue Metallic, Platinum Pearl White, Red Mica Metallic, and Silver Metallic.
All prices for the 2020 Vios, locally assembled in Klang, are currently classified as estimated but are figured as on-the-road without insurance while factoring in the maximum SST exemption currently in effect.
Like the new Honda City and top-spec Nissan Almera, the biggest chunk of the extra outlay to justify the car’s price hike is related to its new active safety features. Much like the Yaris, the new Vios receives the Toyota Safety Sense suite, headlined by the Pre-Collision system (PCS) which works via camera and Lidar sensor at speeds above 15km/h to warn the driver of an imminent collision and, if needed, will automatically apply the brakes.
In addition, Safety Sense also includes a 360-degree panoramic view monitor, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning at speeds above 50km/h, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. The front and rear digital video recorders are also a feature the Vios has inherited from its hatchback sibling.
Another eyebrow-raising feature of the 2020 Vios is the dramatic improvement in the infotainment department. Apart from the automatic air conditioning and Optitron Meter with Multi-information display, the E and G variants gain a 7-inch central touchscreen with support for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.
A Qi wireless smartphone charging pad is also available but as an optional extra. Speaking of which, the Orange Metallic unit pictured here is also wearing an optional aerokit package which will run you an extra RM2,800.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.