2003 version of Toyota Vios was market in Malaysia as a 1.5cc Dohc VVTi FWD car. It fit perfectly for 4... 5 as what the car registration said. This model is the 1st Generation of Vios which is market mainly as the first car for a small family / youth drivers. I remembered UMW Toyota Malaysia uses Ms Britney Spears to market this car. Around the world this car has different engine and variant specs from 1.5cc 1NZ-FE engine, 1.3cc 2NZ-FE engine and some said there was a 1.0cc too. The 1.5cc has a 40 Litre of storage on petrol and could run average 550km until it goes to the last line on the petrol blinking indicator. Bare in mind this car still run on the 1.5 year old 15" Goodyear NCT5 tyres.
2006 Toyota has face-lifted the 1st generation of Vios but from far they both looks the same on the outside but rather enchanced some of the interior. Owners now can rest their arm on a plastic arm rest right above the hand-brake. Yet comparing to these 2 models, some customers still prefer the 2003 Vios looks mainly because it was simple and adorable?
Anyway it still performs same as the 1st Vios.
End of 2007 UMW Toyota took in the Belta (Japan) to replace Vios, you can read more about that in Paul's blog. M'sia 2nd Generation of Vios share parts with Yaris, but Toyota did a great job in creating the Vios more towards functionality design.
I manage to test out the G-Spec and found it rather noisy as the muffler is underneath the driver seat but overall its has the same engine performance and a slightly bigger interior compare to the 1st generation Vios. One of the main features available in all the 2008 Specs:
ABS , EBD & BA
"The Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) helps to prevent wheel lock-up when braking on slippery roads, while the Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) applies optimum braking power to each wheel. Further control is in your possession with the Brake Assist (BA) that works to give you significant reduction in braking distance."
Toyota uses their gearbox SUPER ECT to match with the engine, this is to reduce the maintainance cost as to compare to SUPER CVT-i which i believe runs on timing belt. Honda City owners do know how high maintenance the 7-Speed CVT gearbox is.
SOME-SAYS that is the reason why the new VIOS is more fuel efficient. Too bad the STIG [topgear] have not the chance to test out this car, well I would expect him saying only this ".... ... ...... .... .... .... .. (with some hand gesture)... ". SOME-SAYS the new version has a lag of acceleration power as compare to the 1st version.
July 2008 Vios J-Spec was launch and it has all the basic accessories that needed in a car, but if compare to E-Spec you will found out NO signal light on the side mirrors, electronic mirror control, fog lamp, sport rims, AIRBAGs, mp3 player, some colored interior plastics... you will then found out more as you sit into the other specs. Even the safety-feature seatbelts will be different. However 1 thing I found out, the J-Spec has the same black interior with S-Spec. Guys like me do prefer black interior being easy to maintain.
J-Spec was market for people whom are looking for a cheap reliable new Toyota at the price around RM70k-74k. Senior-Tze always bug me to buy this version mainly due to the reason of "RMs". I took my parents on a test drive on the Manual J-Spec around the hill roads of Cheras.
Gear shift and driving experience is quite the same as the Perodua Myvi / Nauticar. It has the ability to go uphill smoothly with 4 adults and was quite smooth on a short 80Km speed drive. Front and Rear cabin space was even better as compare to the 2003 version, but Senior-Tze head just nicely fit.. not my brother whom is slightly taller.
Honda City on the other will stop production by Oct'08 and will continue to focus on the 2009 Model. Price may be estimated around RM83~89K with just i-Vtec SOHC FWD without the 7-Speed CVT-gearbox. Varies website has been posting the spy shots, rumours has it will launch in Thailand and India soon.
Nissan has Latio 1.6cc, Chevrolet has Aveo 1.4cc. Proton could complete IF they were to come out with a reliable 1.4cc Dohc Campro FWD setup SAGA with 4 reliable power windows & reliable accessories?
*pictures taken from: autoworld / toyota / thai website