Thursday, June 23, 2016

Quickie Used Car Review - Toyota Vios (2007-2013)

2007-2013 Toyota Vios

The Good: Reliable, gas sipper, plenty of units in the market

The Bad: Dull steering, gauges located in the middle, allergic at high rpms

The Say: Does not hurt the wallet, but does not excite the soul.

Go For: 1.3 E/1.5 G
Avoid: 1.5 S

Price Range: P250,000-P500,000
Our Rating: ***

Full Review: Used Car Review - Toyota Vios (2007-2013)
Latest vehicle profile: Toyota Vios

See the different versions of this vehicle:

Vehicle Overview
Based on the Japanese Toyota Belta, the Vios is mostly sold in the Southeast Asian region while the former is only marketed in Japan and several American markets. Its 2007 Philippine introduction also heralded the start of the local assembly of this vehicle, which is still done until today with the third generation model.

Looking at the exterior, you may mistaken that this vehicle has the same length as the model it replaced, but no it had grew larger inside and out. Distinguishing the 1.5 models from the 1.3 would be the side mirror signal repeaters which the lower ones don't get. Special edition models have 16 or 17 inch wheels and some exterior modifications ranging from mesh grilles to body kits.

Powering them are carryover engines in the form of 1.3 and 1.5 ones, both excel in low speeds but will show their limitations when driven hard. The Vios isn't something special to drive, rather it would bring you from point A to B without any fuss and in a comfortable manner. 2010 and later 1.3 E and G models gain an automatic transmission option, which makes the 1.3 models not anymore strictly manual like before.

Some aspects of the older model are evident inside and one of them is the gauges mounted in the center, which you may like it or not. While cabin space is adequate (thanks to a size increase), drivers may get an awkward position which is either being close to the steering wheel or being too far away from the pedals. Cheap plastic materials are present although you are buying something below a million pesos you wouldn't bother.

What Should I Get
Three variants were originally launched in 2007 which were the J, E, and G. The J was the basic variant which only offered the 85hp 1.3 engine with power steering, CD player, a driver's airbag but the 2010 update it gained power windows, power door locks, MP3 capability, and an auxiliary jack. The original J model would later be the Base model added in 2011 that is aimed towards fleets but minus the hubcap cover. Going for the E adds ABS brakes, alloy wheels, alarm, keyless entry, and MP3 capability but it was removed in favor of the 1.3 G in September 2012, essentially offering the same kit of the E. The G gains a 107hp 1.5 engine which adds a passenger airbag, side mirror signal repeaters, multi-information display, power mirrors with fold function, and steering wheel audio controls. An option for leather seats and 60/40 fold rear seats became available in 2007 to 2010 for the 1.5 G AT but has been discontinued.

A bevy of special edition models were launched which mostly sported the 1.5 engine include the S (adds 17 inch wheels and a rear spoiler, added in July 2009), XX Limited Edition (gets large wheels and Ipod connectivity, launched in August 2008), SE Limited (15 inch TRD wheels, HID headlights, and mesh grille, added in October 2011), and TRD (17 inch rims, rear spoiler, muffler cutter, and TRD body kits, introduced in September 2012). The only exemption is the 1.3 J Limited that was launched in September 2012 which is a J model that gained alloy wheels and a passenger airbag.

How Much Would It Cost Me
One selling point of the Vios is its low maintenance costs, especially that spare parts are aplenty and a fuel efficient engine for the 1.3 (although the 1.3 automatic isn't that great in this aspect). Do take a peek for the alternator that tends to be weak and the radiator has the tendency to be problematic since its smallish size takes a toll on it.

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