Since its introduction to the local market in 2003, the Toyota Vios has been the best-selling passenger car in the Philippines, with cumulative sales of 254,380 units, and capturing 24-percent of the over-all passenger car market in 2017. With the launch of the locally-produced 2019 Toyota Vios, Toyota aims to continue their dominance in the segment, with important updates in safety, comfort, and convenience features.
First introduced in 2003 as a Completely Built-Up (CBU) model from Thailand, the Toyota Vios has been locally manufactured at the Toyota Motors Philippines (TMP) Santa Rosa plant since 2007. Because of its success through the years, the all-new 2019 Toyota Vios is registered as a part of the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy or CARS program. The CARS program provides fiscal incentives as well as other benefits aimed to attract new investments in the manufacturing of motor vehicles and parts to revitalize the Philippine automotive industry and develop the country as a regional automotive manufacturing hub.
In his speech during the ceremonial roll-off for the 2019 Toyota Vios at the Santa Rosa plant, TMP President, Satoru Suzuki, noted the challenges faced under the program.
“To enjoy the incentives under this program, we must manufacture at least 200,000 units in the next six years starting this month. It took us ten years to achieve that cumulative production level with the previous variants, so this is indeed a very big challenge. With the support and commitment of our suppliers and other stakeholders, we are confident that we will achieve this target and comply with CARS’ twin over-all goals: higher production volume and greater localization.”
Toyota needs to sell an average of 33,000 Vios units annually to qualify for the incentives under the CARS program. Sales in 2017, amounted to 36,000 units sold – commanding a 43.4 market share in the segment, with the added speculation that a large number of car buyers advanced their purchases to avoid the additional excise taxes which came into effect this year. As a result of investments by TMP and local suppliers amounting to P5.53 billion, 40-percent of the 2019 Toyota Vios, with a total of 352 individual parts, is produced locally – an increase of 22-percent from the previous model.
Updates and new variants
The 2019 Toyota Vios is available in nine variants. The top-of-the-line 1.5 G Prime, available solely with a CVT transmission, starts it off at P1,095,000. Unique to this variant are piano black outer mirrors, front, rear and side bumper skirts, a rear spoiler, paddle shifters, as well as Eco and Sport selectable drive modes. The 1.5 G variant is priced at P1,040,000 for a CVT transmission, and P981,000 for the manual transmission version.
Finding itself at the middle of the pack is the 1.3 E Prime variant, priced at P933,000 for the CVT version, and P883,000 for the manual transmission. The 1.3 E Prime variant receives the same exterior body kit found in the 1.5 G Prime variant, but these E variants get four-beam halogen headlights, bulb-type taillights, fender-integrated turn signals, body-colored door handles, and 15-inch alloys. The seven-inch touchscreen audio system loses two speakers from six to four, and lacks push start/stop button and climate control air-conditioning. The 1.3 E CVT is priced at P878,000, while the 1.3 E M/T is priced at P828,000.
Lastly, the 1.3 J M/T variant and 1.3 Base M/T variant represent the entry-level offerings, priced at P685,000 and P659,000 respectively. These variants lose fog lights, with door handles painted black, and are both fitted with 14-inch steel wheels. Inside, The J and Base variants lose the seven-inch touchscreen display, equipped instead with a two-speaker 2DIN configuration with Bluetooth, aux, and USB connectivity minus steering wheel-mounted audio controls. For the Base trim, power windows are exclusive to the front.
All 2019 Vios units share the same platform as the previous model, with additional welds to make it more rigid. Based on Toyota’s estimates, this results in an 11-percent improvement to NVH levels, with the dashboard receiving 40-percent more sound insultation compared to the previous model. The powertrains are also carry overs from the previous model, with the 1.5-liter variants using the same 2NR-FE engine with 106 hp and 140Nm of torque, and the 1.3-liter variants using the 1NR-FE engine with 98hp and 123Nm of torque.
All Vios models across the range benefit from upgraded safety features which include seven airbags, ABS with EBD, and vehicle stability control as standard. As a result, the 2019 Toyota Vios receives a perfect score of five stars from the ASEAN NCAP (New Car Assessment Program) safety rating.
The 2019 Toyota Vios comes in nine colors, namely, Super Red, Grayish Blue Mica Metallic, Freedom White, Alumina Jade Metallic, Blackish Red Mica, Thermalyte, White Pearl, Red Mica Metallic, and Black.
By Chris Van Hoven