Toyota Vios vs Honda City

Choices, choices!
by Botchi Santos | Sep 2, 2009
Hi Top Gear!

I'm looking to purchase my first car and I've narrowed my choices to the two subject cars. As I've been offered a discount for the Vios, the prices of the two cars will more or less be the same (P716,000 for the City and P720,000 for the Vios). As I see it, the Vios has the 1.5-liter engine as its main advantage while the City has its more progressive looks and its being a newer model as the main characteristics going for it.

What do you guys think?

Thanks and warm regards,


Hi Jek!

Thanks for writing in! We always enjoy getting back to our readers when they email us.

The Honda City is definitely a very nice car, newer than the current Toyota Vios.

I do believe that you should get what you really want, i.e. you should get what you're comfortable and confident with. In my case, I want to get the most bang for my buck, which is why I would pick the Toyota Vios. It's got a bigger engine, more goodies inside, and Toyota's more than likely to give you more goodies and freebies compared to Honda's usually stricter discounting policies (based on my years of doing Wrong Car, Right Car and asking for the best deals on behalf of our guests).

No doubt both are very fine cars, but the Vios represents better value in this case, especially compared to the City's 1.3 liter engine. You'll really miss the extra grunt those extra 200cc worth of displacement gives you when your car is fully laden, going up a steep incline, or overtaking on a two-lane road at a brisk pace.

Lastly (this might sound rather controversial), based on my experience, a bigger engined car has better potential to be more fuel efficient since its engine is less stressed when compared when a similarly sized car with a smaller, less powerful engine. Toyota's 1NZFE engine is a very torquey engine especially at low revolutions/engine speeds, the sort of engine speeds we see while in bumper-to-bumper traffic or intra-city driving. Hondas traditionally have very linear power deliveries compared to Toyotas. The City's engine will rev smoother and feel smoother but you'll be revving it far higher up the rev range compared to the Toyota, thereby diminishing whatever perceived fuel economy gains you might get from the smaller engine.

Another thing to consider is after-sales servicing. Traditionally, Toyotas are cheaper to maintain than Hondas, parts are always plentiful, and there are a whole lot of dealers out there. Toyota has the most extensive dealership network in our country.

Whatever your choice, you won't feel you made the wrong decision though as both are very good cars. My preference is for the Vios, but that's me.

Good luck!

Botchi Santos
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