Rumors are abound that Toyota will soon be unveiling a C segment sedan in 2015 to compete against the incredibly popular Hyundai Verna and the Honda City. Japanese car maker Toyota hasn’t seen the best of days.
Falling behind in sales in various segments, Toyota has succumbed to models from other manufacturers that constantly revamp their entire lineup to stay ahead of the game. One of the primary reasons for Toyota’s rapidly declining market share is the lack of models in some of the biggest segments of the Indian market.
A wide gap in its lineup between the Etios and the Corolla Altis has much potential and Toyota may finally be filling it with the Vios. Set to compete against segment best sellers such as the Honda City and Hyundai Verna in 2015, the Vios has a long and difficult road ahead. We take a look at what the Vios has to offer against some of the biggest names currently in the Indian car market.
The Toyota Vios is far more aggressive in terms of character when compared to its more expensive siblings, the Corolla Altis and the Camry. Although the Vios borrows numerous elements from the Altis, the sedan’s angular front bumper and distinct headlight detail endow the Toyota with a much stronger road presence. The Vios’ heavily sculpted sides provide the car with a bit of flair reminiscent of Toyotas of yesteryear. The overall design of the upcoming sedan may be just the thing for the car maker to drop it’s image as a boring and safe option.
The model currently on sale in the Philippines is also sold in an interesting colour palette such as florescent orange and classic blue. Toyota’s in house racing division TRD, also offers a sporty body kit as an ption.
While the exteriors of the Vios demand for attention, the interiors of the car play it safe. Toyota had made use of a beige and black cabin similar to most cars in its range. However, it is also available in a sportier all black cabin as well.
The three spoke steering wheel features silver accents along with a minimal amount of steering mounted controls. A welcome change in an era where steering mounted controls have become a little too obtrusive.
The infotainment system is rather dated for the international model but expect an updated system for the India bound variants. To match the upcoming Ciaz’s touch screen system, Toyota will need to pack the Vios with a fully loaded system capable of standing it’s own even against D segment vehicles.
The Japanese are renowned for their engineering prowess and the team over at Toyota are no exception. The car maker’s focus on drive dynamics has generated a youth cult following over cars such as the Celica and the massively impressive Supra. Japan’s Tokyo Auto Salon is a yearly event that showcases Toyota’s incredible presence in the world of tuners and modders.
Powering the Vios internationally are a pair of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.8 l dual VVTi engine churns out an impressive 140 PS of power and a max torque of 173 Nm. The Japanese car maker also offers the Vios with a more frugal 1.4 l turbocharged oil burner. The diesel engine puts out 88 PS of power. While the the diesel mill may seem underpowered, the main objective of the Vios diesel will be fuel economy and the 1.4 l turbo may just trump the segment leading City’s mileage of 26km/l. Both engines come mated to a six speed manual while the petrol variant is also offered with a seven speed CVT (automatic) gearbox.
Toyota has been missing in action for quite some time now and the manufacturer has slowly been reduced to selling commercial vehicles. With its entry into the C segment, the Japanese automaker may be able to regain its position here in India. Incredibly popular in markets such as Thailand and the Philippines, the sedan has seen great success in markets mirroring factors of our own. All in all, 2015 should be an exciting year for Toyota.