The Toyota Vios is a subcompact sedan and one of Toyota Motor Philippines' (TMP) most treasured and best-selling nameplates, along with its bigger MPV and SUV brothers. The Vios nameplate was introduced in 2002 and is driven and tested by thousands of Filipino drivers, be it for public or private use. With this, the Vios is consistently among the country's best-sellers outselling many other vehicles in Toyota's lineup almost every year. Toyota proudly sells this sedan as a Philippine-made product, with the brand's plant in Santa Rosa churning out these subcompacts in order to meet demand in the Philippine market.
The refreshed Vios hosts a whole new exterior and interior design. Decorating the front are the long squinting headlights, teardrop-shaped fog lamp vents, plus a wide trapezoidal grille. Even the taillights have been stretched, wrapping to the rear quarter panel. TMP added new Prime variants to its lineup which are equipped with skirts, spoiler, and a differently-styled bumper straight out of the showrooms. The interior, on the other hand, saw a major makeover as well. The cabin features a newly-designed steering wheel that's similar to the one found in the Toyota Yaris, while the dashboard boasts a more unified styling to the sense that it flows smoothly towards the door panels.
Since the refresh's debut in the Philippine market, Toyota has expanded the model's lineup with several new variants that are affordably priced like the XE and the XLE, which both feature CVTs which are indispensable for drivers in Philippine traffic. These variants accompany the E and G variants which remain core offerings in the Vios lineup. Toyota Philippines would then again give the Vios another refresh in August of 2020 giving the vehicle a revised front face, a price restructuring, as well as a few new features to make the vehicle even more attractive and give it a great value for money proposition. Toyota Motor Philippines also added another trim level to the variant family called the Gazoo Racing Sport, otherwise known as the GR-S.
The first-generation Toyota Vios was introduced in the Philippines in 2002. From then on, it has become a staple sedan among Filipinos and a common sight on Philippine roads. The second-generation Vios, on the other hand, was launched in 2007 and was affectionately called the "Batman" because of the shape of its grille.
Finally, the third-generation Vios landed the Philippine shores in 2013 with a bigger body and a new powertrain setup. In 2018, however, TMP gave its popular subcompact sedan a major revamp, which could make you think that it's an all-new model. The platform is the same, though, but the redesigned exterior and interior styling were way different from before.
In August of 2020, Toyota Motor Philippines would then again give the Vios another update giving it a fresh new face along with a new set of headlight housings. The mid to higher tier variants now gain access to LED lighting elements as well as LED foglights. Along with the new face, the Japanese automaker would later add a new set of wheels and a backup camera as standard for the G variant.
On March 10, 2021, Toyota Motor Philippines extended the subcompact sedan’s range with the Vios GR-S, a special variant of the subcompact sedan that carried a number of aesthetic enhancements which makes the car look sportier compared with the rest of its stablemates. Despite maintaining the same 1.5-liter gasoline engine, the Vios GR-S gets more virtual gears to shift on with its 10-speed Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The launch of the sportier GR-S trim also included significant updates on other Vios variants. Specifically, the XE variant and higher now comes ready with Apple Carplay and Android Auto, as well as accessible Bluetooth switches on the steering wheel. Other trims including the G, XLE, and E variants get redesigned seat patterns for the interior. The XE, on the other hand, gets additional two speakers. Lastly, XLE and E grades get a new alloy wheel design for that fresher look.
Platform, Chassis and Powertrain
The Toyota Vios comes in two powertrain options: the 1.3-Liter 1NR-FE gasoline engine that produces 98 hp and 123 Nm of torque, and the 1.5-Liter 2NR-FE mill with outputs of 105 hp and 140 Nm torque. Both engine options can be paired up with either a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 5-speed manual transmission. The engine is mounted transversely in a front-engined front-wheel-drive layout which allows for more cabin space.
The third-generation Vios sits on the Toyota B platform, shared with the Yaris and other small Toyota cars. The facelifted Vios carry over the same platform. Suspension setup remains at McPherson strut front and torsion beam rear, while brakes are both discs at high trim levels while rear brakes are relegated to trailing drums at lower J and Base variants. The Toyota Vios features gas shock absorbers and coil springs for added comfort, and better control. The chassis of the Vios is constructed with a unibody architecture, which means the frame of the vehicle is one piece. This, in turn, allows for more chassis rigidity without sacrificing lightness.
New driving modes for the G variant have been put into place by Toyota with the vehicle's most recent update. It now comes with ECO and Sport driving modes that all help maximize what the 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine can offer. The Toyota Vios GR-S separates itself from the rest of the line with its 10-speed CVT that’s still accompanied by the 1.5-liter gasoline engine that produces identical figures of the G variant.
With two engine options available for the Vios, except different driving performance from each as well. The 1.3-liter 1NR-FE engine produces a decent 98 hp and 123 Nm of torque and is paired up with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Don’t expect a fast and spirited drive with this car. It's enough to get you around the city but quick highway drives will need more effort because of the rubber band effect of the CVT. The car could reach speed limits at its own pace but it would take time to do so especially when it’s loaded with passengers.
As for the 1.5-liter 2NR-FE, expect more grunt compared to the 1.3-liter counterpart. Handling's commendable on both cars as the steering wheel's nicely weighted, which makes highway drives planted, composed, and stable. It’s also easy to maneuver the vehicle even within tight spots and the absence of sensors. Body roll is naturally present, but minimal, especially at speeds. Brakes bite nicely but can be improved.
With Toyota Philippine's recent update to the 2021 Toyota Vios, it comes with 6 variants available that have been divided by engine options. The G, E, and XLE variants now gain access to most of the better features on offer, with motorized adjustments available at most of the variant level. The mid to high-tier variants also gain access to Optitron gauge clusters and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, which are a nice touch. Another piece of equipment found on both variants (and in the new XEand XLE variants) is the 7-inch touchscreen display audio system with iPod connectivity. Sadly, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto aren't standard in this model yet. Push-start ignition is present on G variants, nevertheless.
As mentioned, the latest refresh of the Toyota Vios gets standard LED headlights for the G variant and LED foglights for the G, E, and XLE variants. Moreover, there's also a welcome addition of paddle shifters and different drive modes like Eco and Sport mode for the G CVT variant. While Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are still not present in the Toyota Vios it still retains its T-Link system which allows the user to mirror their smartphone device.
The new refreshed Toyota Vios that was launched in 2018 got mixed reactions from the public and the motoring media, especially with the introduction of Prime variants. The non-prime variants feature a sleeker set of headlights and taillights than before, but the body size is pretty much the same with the pre-facelift model. The Prime variants, on the other hand, have bigger garnishings on the bumper and have other additions like side skirts and redesigned bumper lips. Halogen is still the bulb-type of choice, with the higher G variants getting projector types and LED daytime running lights.
As for the wheels, G variants have 16-inch alloys while the E trim sits on 15-inch wheels. The XE, XLE, and J have 14-inch steelies with full cap, while the Base trim only has 14-inch steel rims. For the latest update to the Toyota Vios, the Japanese brand has given the G variant a new set of wheels 16-inch wheels while the other trim-levels still retain the older design of the pre-facelifted model.
The Toyota Vios GR-S, on the other hand, gets some exclusive appointments which boosts the sportiyness of its exterior. These enhancements include a set of black wheels that are wrapped in 195/50 tires. Aside from the wheels, black details were also applied on its side mirrors and door handles. Lastly, its overall look is finished off with some side skirts and a black lip spoiler.
The Vios' interior trimmings are pretty much the same at every variant level, with soft and hard plastics primarily found on each. G variants get the upper hand with leather wrappings at some part of the cabin. Also present at all variants of the Vios is the open-cabin feeling, which makes the Vios one of the most spacious cars in its segment.
At the back, there’s not much to play around with except for the bottle holders by the doors. Rear legroom and headroom are plenty for average-sized Filipinos, and a nearly flat rear tunnel only adds to the good amount of space for rear passengers, even for a middle occupant in the middle row. In the most recent update Toyota has given the Vios a new 7-inch infotainment system, the vehicle, however, still retains the same fabric material for its seats as the pre-facelifted model.
The GR-S variant maintains the overall sporty appearance inside, with it having exclusive details such as red stitching found on the steering wheel, shift knob, and on the seats, which are, by the way, upholstered with a fine combination of suede and leather.
One of the best things found on the Vios is its plethora of safety features across the range. Present in the entire lineup are seven airbags, vehicle stability control, hill-start assist, ABS with EBD and brake assist, five 3-point seatbelts, ISOFIX child seat tethers, and child lock protection. Toyota also standardized 3-airbags throughout the lineup, with 7 being an option if more peace of mind is needed.
With this, the Vios got 5 stars on the ASEAN NCAP testing, getting high ratings on both adult occupancy and child occupancy protection. For Toyota's 2020 the safety features of the Vios remain the same as the Japanese brand didn't feel the need to update its already popular and safe subcompact sedan.
Tested Variant: Toyota Vios 1.5 G CVT
Child Occupant Safety
Front Impact Score
Side Impact Score
Adult Occupant Safety
Front Impact Score
Side Impact Score
Head Protection Score
Front Passenger Airbag
Seat Belt Retractor Driver
Seat Belt Retractor Front Passenger
Safety Assist Technology
Effective Breaking & Avoidance
Seat Belt Reminders
SBR for Driver
SBR for Front Passenger
SBR for Rear Passenger
Blind Spot Technology
Advanced Safety Assist Technologies
Intelligent Rear View Mirror
Lane Departure Warning System
Forward Collision Warning System
Lane Keep Assist
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Toyota Vios Colors
The Toyota Vios comes in the following colors: Freedom White, Jade Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Super Red, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Black1, Alumina Jade Metalic, Black, Blackish Red Mica, Crystal Blue Mica Metallic, Silver Metallic1, Super White II, Silver Metallic and Alumina Jade Metallic
Red Mica Metallic
White Pearl Crystal Shine
Alumina Jade Metalic
Blackish Red Mica
Crystal Blue Mica Metallic
Red Mica Metallic
Super White II
Red Mica Metallic
Alumina Jade Metallic
Toyota Vios Specifications
Key specifications & features of the Toyota Vios. View engine specs, dimensions, safety and technology features in our full variant pages.
No. of seats
Max Output (HP)
98 HP @ 6,000 rpm - 106 HP @ 6,000 rpm
14 in - 16 in
3 - 7
*Depending on variant
Front Parking Sensors
Available *Depending on variant
Rear Parking Sensors
Available *Depending on variant
Aux, Bluetooth, USB, Voice Comm, AM, FM, Apple Carplay, Android Auto and SDL
*Depending on variant
This isn't your average Vios, it's the sportiest one yet. We bring you the 2021 Toyota Vios GR-S on this episode of Behind the Wheel. Available in the Philippines for P1,020,000, the Vios is a subcompact sedan that still sports the same engine, but has an updated CVT with up to 10 simulated gears and paddle shifters. Is it worthy of its additions? Watch to find out!
Ask our team of experts any question and we will do our best to give you the best answer possible.
What are the performance improvements on the Toyota Vios GR-S?
The Vios GR-S' main performance improvement over the normal variants of the Vios is the 10-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT). The 10 simulated gear ratios can be accessed through the gear lever or the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
What is the most affordable or cheapest Toyota Vios?
The lowest-priced Toyota Vios in the Philippines is the 1.3 Base MT variant priced at just P671,000.
Is the Toyota Vios safe?
With an ASEAN NCAP rating of 5-stars, the Toyota Vios is one of the safest subcompact cars in the market.
Does the Toyota Vios have enough ground clearance?
In the Philippines, the Toyota Vios has 133 mm of ground clearance which is within the same range as its rivals.
What is the Vios' drivetrain layout?
The Toyota Vios has a front-engined, front-wheel-drive layout. Its motor is mounted transversely to allow more room in the cabin.
Where is the Vios made?
Toyota has a factory located in Santa Rosa, Laguna, and produces the Vios and the Innova.
Is the Toyota Vios fuel efficient?
In our test of the 1.3L variant of the Vios, we got an average of 22.3 km/L after an hour on the highway with an average speed of 90 km/h.
Is the Toyota Vios reliable?
Based on its population on the streets alone, the Toyota Vios is a reliable car that could last years of ownership. Parts availability is also one of the Vios' main strengths, thanks to third-party car parts available in the market.
Is the Vios' CVT better than the conventional automatic?
In terms of fuel efficiency and emissions, the Toyota CVT found in the Vios is better than the conventional torque converter automatic transmission.
Is the Toyota Vios automatic?
In its latest version, the Toyota Vios comes with a continuously variable transmission which is essentially a type of automatic transmission.
Is the Vios the same as the Yaris?
Technically, yes, since the Vios and the Yaris share a lot of things, namely the underpinnings, engine, interior layout, and even cabin space. What differs between the two is the trunk, wherein the Yaris gets a more flexible boot space courtesy of its hatchback body.
Is there a Toyota Vios diesel?
The Toyota Vios doesn't have a diesel in the Asia-Pacific region. In India, however, the subcompact sedan as a 1.4L diesel variant that produces 87 hp and 205 Nm of torque.
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