This is it. Several weeks after Toyota launched a teaser for the next-generation Vios, the world’s largest automaker has pulled the covers off its newest subcompact sedan in Thailand, where the model is known as the Yaris Ativ. The next-gen Vios boasts an all-new exterior and interior, as well as a platform set to underpin more Toyota models for the Asia-Pacific region.
This is a Vios? Looks more like a baby Altis
After nearly a decade of using the same chassis, Toyota has finally given the Vios a full-model change from bumper to bumper. The Japanese automaker isn’t shy from showing it either with a far more dramatic and aggressive look compared to the outgoing model. With those headlights, the slim grille, and a gaping lower intake, influences from the Corolla Altis and the Camry are loud and clear.
But what’s interesting here is the side profile of the 2023 Vios. Whereas previous models were upright, the roof of the new car has a fastback-like shape. That’s not all—the sedan also has a six-window configuration, which is a first for the Vios. As for the rear, a set of slim taillights take center stage with clusters similar to that of the Raize.
Let’s talk about size
Despite its outward appearance, the all-new Vios is still the same length as the current version at 4,425mm long. There are marginal gains in width and height at 1,740mm (+10mm) and 1,480mm (+5mm), respectively. However, you can expect more legroom thanks to the longer 2,620mm wheelbase, which is up by 70mm from the previous model.
Owners of previous Vios models will be in for a treat with the 2023 model. It’s a huge leap forward in terms of cabin design. The two-tier dash takes a page from the Avanza and the Veloz, along with the free-floating center touchscreen. Of course, we’re not expecting a whole lot of soft-touch materials, but the design does a good job of looking more premium.
Lower-spec versions in Thailand get an analog instrument cluster, while the more expensive trims get a fully-digital gauge. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are, of course, standard. It will be interesting to see if the local-spec Vios will get the same treatment.
Tech and safety upgrade
In Thailand, at least, all Vios variants have stability control, traction control, hill-start assist, and six airbags. If you move up the range, you get either a reverse cam for the mid-spec variant or a 360-degree camera for the upper models. Cruise control is standard for all except the base trim, and the full Toyota Safety Sense package is for the top two trim levels. Yes, we are now in an age where the Vios has automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control.
Under the hood
Powering the Thai-market Vios is a 1.2-liter, four-cylinder that's not related to the Raize. It has a little more power compared with the crossover at 93hp and 110Nm of torque. For reference, the Raize has 87hp, but a bit more torque at 113Nm to move its taller body. That said, it will be interesting to see if Toyota Motor Philippines will still stick to the 1.3-liter and 1.5-liter engines used in the fourth-generation model. Another thing worth pointing out is the lack of a manual-transmission option in Thailand as all variants sold there have a CVT.
When will it be launched here?
For now, there is no definite timeframe for the local Vios launch. It will depend on several factors, and we’re not 100% certain if these sedans will still be assembled locally at the Santa Rosa, Laguna facility. But given the popularity of this car in the country, we’re certain TMP would love to launch the 2023 Vios sooner than later. Watch this space.