Toyota Motor Thailand has just launched what is believed to be the 2023 Toyota Vios this morning. Actually, this model is known as the 2023 Toyota Yaris Ativ in Thailand. While it was originally thought that the Toyota Vios and the Yaris Ativ will remain two distinct models, it is now confirmed that Toyota Thailand will cease production of the former.
Underpinned by the same Daihatsu New Global Architecture (DNGA) platform also found in the Toyota Raize, Avanza and Veloz, the Yaris Ativ will cover the subcompact sedan segment currently occupied by the Vios.
The big question though is, given that Toyota has dropped the Vios nameplate in Thailand, will this mean that the Vios we have come to love over the last two decades will finally disappear from the Philippine market as well?
Vios status quo?
Currently, the Toyota Vios is built in the Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation plant in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Assuming retooling has commenced to accommodate the new architecture, TMP could just continue on assembling the Ativ as a Vios.
TMP is also one of two parties to the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program. It receives incentives and fiscal support from the goverment to produce the Vios locally to the tune of 200,000 cars for six years. And Toyota is committed to achieve this number by 2024. If the Ativ/ Vios is imported from Thailand, that could mean the end of Toyota's local production of the Vios in Sta. Rosa and possibly, its stake in CARS.
We reached out to TMP AVP and Head of Marketing Services, Elvin Luciano for clarification. And this is TMP's official statement:
"Toyota Motor Philippines will continue to offer the current generation of the Vios. For official information on new Toyota product local introductions, please refer only to announcements in TMP's official channels.”
Safe. For now.
Yaris Ativ in the flesh
Meanwhile, to satisfy your curiosity, we finally have photos of the Yaris Ativ to mull over courtesy of AutoFun Thailand as we await further details from TMP.
If the Yaris Ativ is any indication, to say that the next generation Vios will be all grown up is an understatement. Clearly, Toyota has put in much effort to make the car bigger and more spacious than before.
Comparative Dimensions of Current Vios vs 2023 Yaris Ativ
| Current Vios
| 2023 Yaris Ativ
The Yaris Ativ's new fastback rear is inspired by European car designs. According to Toyota Thailand, "Everyone's favorite car" was the underlying philosophy of the new look.
The Yaris Ativ features a front that reminds you of the Toyota Camry, or Corolla doesn't it? This will make the next generation Vios even more premium in looks and demeanor.
LED headlights and tail lights provide brighter, more efficient illumination. The Yaris Ativ also features sequential LED rear turn signals.
Proven ride quality
The Yaris Ativ/ Vios has MacPherson strut suspension up front and a Torsion Beam setup in the rear. It has disc brakes all around too for improved stopping power. While 16-inch alloys are the ideal setup for both comfort and decent handling.
An electric power steering motor will provide assist during tight maneuvers.
Push for premium
Toyota Thailand featured a variant with red leather seats and dashboard trims. This top-ranging model will also showcase the following premium specs:
- 64-color adjustable ambient light
- 6-speaker premium sound system
- Auto AC vent with premium knob together with PM2.5 filter
Would you like to see these goodies in a Vios?
Under the hood
To comply with Thailand's Eco Car program, the Yaris Ativ will feature a 1.2-liter Dual VVT-iE engine with 94 ps and 110 Nm of torque. Chances are TMP will still carry over the 1.3 and 1.5-liter mills to the next generation Vios. What do you think?
Designed by Daihatsu. The collaboration is strong in this one.
The Yaris Ativ is feature-rich. A 7-inch digital instrument cluster headlines the driver's point of view. To better see this display, and to find the ideal driving position, the steering wheel of the Yaris Ativ will now have telescopic adjustment along with the height.
While a 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity keep passengers entertained.
It also now sports an Electronic Parking Brake button with Auto Hold function.
For added comfort, there will be rear passenger air conditioning vents along with USB ports for charging electronic devices. If these features make it to the new Vios, we could have a major slugfest in the B-segment sedan category coming soon.
Toyota Safety Sense
Expect Toyota Safety Sense features to also make it to the next generation Vios as the Yaris Ativ has a full complement:
- Automatic High Beams
- Lane Departure Alert
- Pre-Collision System
- Pedal Misoperation Control
- Front Departure Alert
- All-Speed Adaptive Cruise Control
While a 360-degree view camera system is in place for higher variants.
Worth the wait?
While we await the final timing and specifications of the next generation Vios from TMP, let's hope many if not all of these features will make it into our market. As Toyota's best-selling sedan, it's hard to think that we could lose a trusted nameplate just like that. Don't you think?