With the entry-level sedan being most preferred automotive segment in the Philippines, it is certainly a monolithic feat to come out at the top. Despite the immense competition from manufacturers such as Honda, Chevrolet, Suzuki and Mitsubishi etc.
Toyota Motors have proved their dominance in the Philippine market yet again. With the highest sales for more than a million units, the Japanese automakers have effective dwarfed all the other segments and competitors by a huge margin. What’s even more amazing is the majority of this amazing sales figure is driven by the immense demand for their B-Segment sedan, the Toyota Vios. This surely doesn’t come out as a surprise for the Filipinos as the vehicle has been on with achieving this feat since its introduction in the market. But what is it that makes the vehicle so popular as compared to other models? Let's take a gander here.
Making its way in the automotive world back in 2003, the first generation Vios was assembled at the company plant located in Thailand. It was then released for Philippines in a total of 3 variants namely the 1.3J, 1.3E and the 1.5G. The vehicle received a warm welcome from the Filipino buyers and with subsequent facelifts and updates, became the most loved car in the country. With its 2015 update, the car reported a record sales figure of over 50,000 vehicles for that year, taking the top position in the country’s most competitive automotive segment.
Although its initial versions sure look a little bland by today’s standards, the Vios has been among the most good looking B-segment vehicles in the market. Yes, the Honda City sure looks equally good but for some reasons the City has seen a lower demand in the country as most people view Honda as a premium brand. But when we look at the latest Vios model, the design has surely come a long way from its humble looks from 2003. The new design language for the Vios is quite in tandem with Toyota’s other models such as the Corolla Altis and look quite different from its competitors in the market.
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Powerful Engine and Fuel Economy
Not always do buyers get a combination of both power and fuel economy when it comes to automobiles. While compact hatchbacks and city cars maintain their fuel economy through their lightweight bodies, it becomes a problem with sedans due to the larger body sizes. As larger engines would require larger amounts of fuel, it is essential for a B-segment vehicle to provide a healthy mix of both.
Toyota Vios comes in both 1.3-litre and 1.5-litre drivetrains, the majority of demand is for the entry level 1.3-litre variant. The engine produces 85 hp @ 6000 rpm with a torque of 122 nm @ 4400 rpm. It also comes with option for both 5-speed manual and 4-speed automatic transmission with super ECT. These are pretty neat figures for the engine size, but the Vios’ greatest strength lies in its astonishing fuel economy of 15-18 kmpl as claimed by the manufacturers.
Despite the 2016 Chevrolet Sail has also tried to follow Toyota’s footsteps by revealing a similar drivetrain configuration, it won’t be easy to topple the Vios’ extreme track record. In the recent turn of events, Toyota Motors have also revealed that they will be pushing another investment of around Php 9 billion in the next 6 years towards developing and improving this remarkable entry-level sedan.
This will be in accordance with their projected production target of 200,000 vehicles in the same time. No. 1 or not, Toyota fans will certainly be seeing some great things from the manufacturers in the near future.