The Toyota Vios has been roaming Malaysian streets for more than 15 years, making it an obvious preferred choice other than the usual local branded models. Into its third generation, the Vios hasn’t lost ground on its value offerings. Fast forward to present, the Vios gets a fresh design and new engine with an updated CVT transmission. Here’s what we think of the Vios after a recent weekend drive, courtesy of UMW Toyota Motor.

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On the outside, the Vios brings a whole new sporty design to attract younger buyers. The car definitely looks pleasing to the eye with the new looks, but the front and rear overhangs are, we deemed, a little too long. With the bodykit, it makes you feel like you might scrape a road hump if not driving carefully. The headlights and rear lights have the same sporty tone, while the wheel arches go well with 16-inch rims, wrapped in 195/50 tyres.

2019 Toyota VIos: An interior made more refined

Moving on to the car’s interior, the dashboard greets the front occupants with a leather printed and faux stitching hard non-leather. Next, you got silver surrounds to liven up the dashboard, to go with a leather steering wheel. Behind the steering, the analogue instrument cluster with 4.2 TFT displays clear driver’s information. We like the fact that the Vios has a function that alerts you on how much you save from when you start the car until you switch off the engine.

The center of the head unit is a Toyota branded DVD-AVN system that has been pre-loaded with a Mirrorlink function but lack android auto and carplay. However, there’s a 360 camera in the infotainment system that work decently to help with parking. One unusual thing with the inside of the Vios is the armrest, although the height is acceptable but length can be a little awkward as it sort of positioned towards the rear legroom. Meantime, the small storage compartments in the car can be better optimized for bigger sizes.

Getting comfortable in the car is easy. The front seat is decently supportive for long distance, but there’s one thing that Toyota could improve on the driver comfort over long drives: include a a foot rest beside the pedals.

The rear seats in the Vios is comfy for 2 but three could be a tight fit. When you fold down the rear seats you get a max. cargo space of 506 liters.

On the safety front, the latest Toyota Vios comes with 7 airbags, most in its class. Common safety equipment are Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Vehicle Stability Control (VSC), Hill-stat Assist Control (HAC), Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), and Brake Assist (BA). On top of these, the Vios’ got a multi-functional DVR system that comes with both front and rear cameras, to work alongside the Lane departure warning, forward collision warning and blind spot monitoring system.

The 1.5l CVT Vios enables an output of 107PS at 6,000rpm and 140 Nm at 4,200rpm. On the plus side, the engine is quite well insulated and due to the car’s lack of weight, it actually felt a bit torque-ish when hitting the gas pedal with more effort. The gearbox ratio is well spaced, and it tends to simulate the gears when you’re driving in normal mode. Semi-auto mode is enabled with shifters on the steering.

Holding the car on the road

The Toyota Vios comes equipped with McPherson strut upfront and torsion beam at the rear. The suspension is tuned towards the soft side and absorbs bumps like a big car, but when you take corners at a higher speed, the body roll warns you that you’re pushing the car a little too hard. The electric power steering brings you some assurance to push through the corners because the steering is slightly on the heavy side, but when driving through mid-corner, you might need to do some minor correction to keep the car in line. The Vios is also equipped with 4 wheel disc brakes that are easy to modulate. Braking is moderately effective if you’re an aggressive sort of driver.

The Vios is overall very well insulated, we have to give the manufacturer a big kudo on the NVH improvement, compared to previous gen cars.

The Toyota Vios is a car that build for those who want a fuss free runaround. A small family of 4 or a young executive will suit this car perfectly. With RM 87,300 price tag, the Toyota Vios is fairly priced and offers up to five color options: Dark Blue Metallic, Red Mica Metallic, Attitude Black, Silver Metallic and Super White II.

Text/Images: See Zhan Wei