‘Vios’ in latin means ‘to move forward’. It’s clear that the Japanese auto-giant Toyota is all set to move forward in its efforts to make an impact in the Indian C-segment Sedan market. Needless to say, the market is huge and Toyota has so far managed to barely scratch the surface with its erstwhile offering, the ‘Etios’. The ‘Etios’ though intended to take on the likes of Honda City and Hyundai Verna, ended up competing with the likes of Swift Dzire and Ford Classic. Despite the fact that Etios owners have been thoroughly satisfied with the car due to its low costs of maintenance and the way it runs, Etios hasn’t given the edge Toyota desired to gain in the C-segment Sedan Market for a while. Perhaps this is why, the ‘Vios’ is here with aesthetically designed dimensions, a sharper appearance, an abundant addition of chrome and wraparound headlights and taillights. Looking at the car, you’d notice that the Vios is a significant and a visibly obvious improvement from the ‘Etios’. IBB is not sure when the ‘Vios’ will be out for the Indian market (despite the public test runs on Indian roads), but if you’re looking for a sedan and are considering a Toyota as your next purchase, here are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Pedigree: We don’t need to tell you that Toyota is a reliable brand and has enjoyed decades of success in the Indian market with vehicles like the Corolla, the Fortuner, and the Innova etc. Even a car like ‘Etios’ which had a drab internal and external design has managed to satisfy its owners. A combination of Japanese technology and Toyota’s rock solid reputation built over its 78 years of existence should be of some comfort when you decide to check out any of their cars to purchase.
- Engine: While one would expect Toyota to continue Etios’ existing 1.5 Litre (90 PS) engine with Vios too, since Etios was designed for Indian roads, one must consider that the ‘Vios’ is 100 kgs lighter than the Etios and that has led us at Indian Blue Book to assume that when the Vios gets launched in India, it might just retain its existing 1.5 Litre VVT-i petrol engine (currently functional in Malayasia). Since we’re assuming that Toyota is going to launch the Vios in its current avatar in India, we can also expect the car to be available in 3 trims: low end, middle and top-end (fully loaded), with either a manual gearbox or the 4-speed Electronic Control Transmission functionality.
- Exteriors: The ‘Vios’ is has aesthetically designed dimensions, a sharper appearance, an abundant addition of chrome and wraparound headlights and taillights. Vios boasts of an impressive ground clearance of 147mm and a spacious boot with a volume of 500+ litres.
- Handling: The Vios holds its own at higher speeds, especially on the highways. Judging by the brake and suspension design in the Vios, IBB feels that the sedan will be perfect for the regular office-goer who has to traverse long distances over a multitude of terrains that range from being silk smooth to being downright uncomfortable.
- Safety: The current Vios is equipped with an ACE body structure, which according to Toyota is the safest in this segment. The base variant is equipped with two ABS and ESP airbags.
IBB Verdict: We know that the aforementioned list of features isn’t enough to satiate your curiosity, but we feel that if Toyota sticks to what we have listed down, the Vios may be all set to give the Honda City and the Hyundai Verna a tough competition. IBB concludes that the ‘VIOS’ could be a REALLY viable option to consider if you’re planning to buy a cool new sedan this year. With a new design and a comprehensive list of features, the only thing we need to watch out for is an announcement by Toyota as to when the ‘Vios’ will be launched in India.