Toyota Vios: Honda City Rival?

2015 Toyota Vios

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.

2015 Toyota Vios
The Toyota Vios Will Be Slotted Between The Etios and Corolla Altis And Will Compete Against The Honda City and Hyundai Verna

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.

Design:

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.

2015 Toyota Vios rear
Rear View of the Toyota Vios

Interior:

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.

2015 Toyota Vios Interior
Interiors of the Upcoming Vios Sedan

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.

Engine:

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.

2015 Toyota Vios trd
The Toyota Vios Fitted With The Optional TRD Kit

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.

Face Off: Nissan Terrano vs Ford EcoSport

ford ecosport dashboard

The SUV segment of the Indian market has boomed over the past few years. With the Indian consumer’s ongoing craze over massively over-sized vehicles, companies have taken advantage of the opportunity and released barrage SUVs in every possible price bracket. As a result, buyers can choose from compact crossovers such as the Duster all the way to the incredibly powerful (and expensive) Mercedes Benz GL 63 AMG.

However, one of the fastest growing segments is the compact SUV segment. A section of the market populated by some of the biggest names of the auto industry. Here we pit the Nissan Terrano against the hugely popular Ford EcoSport to see which car could be the better bet.

Design:

Nissan Terrano:

The Terrano’s French cousin, the Duster had more of a love/hate design to it. Its butch exteriors and generous chrome grille gave the SUV a strong road presence. Unlike crossovers such as the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross, Renault has managed to endow the Duster with an exterior befitting of an SUV. Nissan has taken the Duster’s design and greatly improved on it.

nissan terrano suv
The Terrano Is The Nissan Counterpart of the Renault Duster

The sharper headlights and revamped chrome grille give the Terrano a far more intimidating character. Nissan has also provided higher variants of the Terrano with premium diamond cut alloy wheels adding to the car’s upmarket feel. Similar to the Duster, the car’s flared wheel arches and raised ground clearance hint at the car’s off road nature.

Ford EcoSport:

The first to don Ford’s new design philosophy, the EcoSport is quite a good looking crossover. The large grille and high stance give the EcoSport a towering presence. The EcoSport’s length qualifies it to be under the sub 4 meter category giving it the benefit of a cheaper price tag. However, with its short stature and tall height the EcoSport looks rather stubby and disproportionate. To keep costs low Ford has also opted for rather tacky looking alloy wheels as well.

ford ecosport
Front View of the EcoSport

Round 1 Winner: Nissan Terrano !

Interior:

Nissan Terrano:

Here’s where the Terrano loses out. Although the car is relatively new, the Terrano’s interiors are quite lackluster. The quality of plastics used are not upto par and the faux woodwork is immensely tasteless. The fat steering wheel is not available with steering mounted controls either. Although the music system features all the traditional inputs such as Bluetooth, USB, AUX IN and iPod connectivity, Nissan could have done a better job with the styling. However, the rather strange ovular door handles found on the Sunny and Micra do not make an appearance in the compact SUV, instead of which, the Terrano comes fitted with standard door handles which are far more pleasing to the eye.

interiors of nissan terrano
Interiors of the Nissan Terrano Compact SUV

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s new Kinetic Design philosophy has worked wonders on the interiors of the EcoSport. A combination of sharp angles and a futuristic center console gives the EcoSport one of the best looking cabins of the crossover segment. As with most cars these days, the infotainment system comes fitted with the usual array of connectivity options. However, Ford has also included its new Voice Recognition system that allows users to make phone calls, change tracks as well as find and play tracks from a Bluetooth connected device. The new infotainment system offers more than just creature comforts as well. In case of an accident, the Ford call system automatically dials for emergency services, a welcome feature in a time where many manufacturers pay little heed to passenger safety.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

One main issue with the EcoSport is the same one that plagues the Terrano as well: Quality. Despite having one of the best looking interiors, the quality of materials and fit & finish could have been much better.

Round 2 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Engine:

Nissan Terrano:

Nissan offers two engine options for the Terrano. The 1.5 L diesel engine that is offered with a majority of the SUV’s trim levels produces 84 HP @3750 RPM and 200 Nm of peak torque @1900 RPM. The petrol Terrano houses a 1.6 L naturally aspirated engine that puts out 102 HP and145 Nm of torque. Considering the sheer size of the car, these engine options are quite a disappointment.

nissan terrano rear
Rear View of the Terrano

However, the Terrano was never a car meant for true off-roading and the small engines will prove more than sufficient in city limits and vastly contribute to respectable mileage numbers.

Ford EcoSport:

The EocSport is offered with three engine options. The 1.5 L petrol engine produces 109 HP and 140 Nm of torque while the brand’s 1.5 L TDCi diesel mill churns out 89 HP and 204 Nm of torque. Ford has also introduced its critically acclaimed 1.0 EcoBoost engine for the Indian market as well. The 1.0 L petrol engine produces an astonishing 123 HP and 170 Nm of torque. The engine also gives the EcoSport an incredible mileage of 18.9 km/L.

orange ford ecosport
Although the EcoSport May Be Marketed As A Capable Off Roader, the Lack of a 4WD System Means That Going Off The Road May Need a Call From The Tow Truck

Unlike the Terrano, Ford’s offering comes with an optional automatic gearbox for the 1.5 L petrol unit.

Round 3 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Verdict:

The Nissan Terrano was a missed opportunity. Although the Japanese automaker has greatly improved on the Duster’s exteriors, it has failed to capitalize on the many flaws of its Renault sibling. However with its size and premium looking exteriors, the Terrano may garner a little more attention than the Duster.

The EcoSport on the other hand is a mechanical marvel. Despite its small size, it packs more for far lesser and offers never before seen features in its segment. An unbelievably powerful engine, superb interiors and feature loaded infotainment system all culminate to become one of the best cars to be sold in the Indian market so far. Although the EcoSport may seem to be the clear winner, the immense popularity of the compact SUV has led to Ford extending waiting periods to well over six months. Despite being the better option, the impatient will eventually turn to alternatives such as the Nissan Terrano.

Image Source: Internet