There’s an all-new version of the Toyota Vios on the horizon that’s slated for an early August launch in Thailand where it’ll be known as the Yaris Ativ. Since it, codename D29A, should be arriving in Malaysia before long, here’s what we can look forward to.
First of all there’s a new shape, evident from the teaser image Toyota Thailand has released. The exterior now carries a more sloping roofline that with a C-pillar buttress that extends almost to the very tip of the boot lid.
The shade of blue seen on this very dimly lit photo does also remind us of the Celestite Grey Metallic found on the Corolla Cross Hybrid, though we’re pretty confident that we’ll find the usual fare of carried-over naturally aspirated 1.5-litre VVT-i four-cylinder petrol.
Specifically, we’d be unsurprised if the 1.5-litre 2NR-FE unit will be called up for duty again, boasting the familiar 107PS and 140Nm sent to the front wheels via a CVT. However, reports out of Thailand suggest that a smaller capacity 1.2-litre petrol will be offered as a more budget-oriented engine option, though it’s doubtful that we’ll see this in Malaysia.
Still, there is the possibility of a 1.5-litre Dynamic Force 3-cylinder unit being paired with Toyota’s series hybrid tech as already seen in the Japan-spec Toyota Aqua (or Prius C) as it’s known elsewhere. In those applications, it generates a combined output of 116PS and would be a strong contender against the Honda City RS equipped with their e:HEV powertrain.
Up front, there’s a fairly big grille element that integrates nicely into the LED headlights with an L-shaped daytime running light signature. Interestingly, Toyota has outfitted the Vios with sequential rear indicator lights.
Inside is probably just as much a departure as the exterior is from the Vios we know in showrooms today. You certainly can’t call it dated as we see a very minimal two-tone aesthetic that’s been most prevalent in cars from Mazda and, more recently, the Honda Civic (FE).
Perched atop the centre stack is a prominent touchscreen infotainment unit that even has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support displayed on the home screen. The contrasting dark red leather extends to the centre armrest upholstery and seats, which are also given a quilted effect.
It looks considerably more upmarket than anything we’ve seen in Malaysia wearing a Vios or Yaris badge, and it could even sway prospective City buyers just based on the exterior and interior appeal alone.
A more curious possibility coming out of the rumour mill is the speculation that the all-new 2023 Vios is based on DNGA (Daihatsu New Global Architecture), such as that shared with the 2nd-generation Perodua Alza and Perodua Ativa.
This does bode well as we’ve known this vehicle platform to be very adept at maximising interior space and packaging, though we will miss any dynamic advantages lost over the fact that Toyota passed up TNGA underpinnings.
With the reveal confirmed for 9th August, we won’t have long to wait before all these questions are put to rest and a new set emerges to replace them such as: (1) When is it coming to Malaysia?, and (2) How much will the new Vios be?
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.