2021 Toyota Vios G Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Jun 24, 2021

Editor's: 4.0/5
Getting better in every facelift amid fresh contenders.
2021 Toyota Vios G Review | Philkotse Philippines

In this review...

  1. Introduction
  2. Exterior
  3. Interior
  4. Tech & Safety
  5. Engine & Performance
  6. Fuel Efficiency
  7. Verdict
  8. Variants & Price
  9. Color Options
  10. Specs

2021 Toyota Vios G Review: Introduction

We Filipinos dwell in the safety of familiarity. That’s the reason why Toyota has been the number one car brand in the Philippines for almost two decades – to nobody’s fault, mind you.

In this regard, the Vios is probably the most familiar vehicle you’ll see around. It’s the perennial vehicle for public transport and ride-sharing platforms, a top choice among fleet buyers, and even private car owners. So much so that Toyota Motor Philippines has sold over 25,000 units of the small sedan amid the corona-riddled 2020, making it the best-selling nameplate in the country.

With the facelifted model arriving last year for the 2021 model year, and the recent P86,000 price cut that came with the arrival of the Toyota Vios GR-S, what can you expect from the former range-topping Vios G? Is it still competitive given the resurgence of fresh contenders from China? Here’s a full review.

2021 Toyota Vios G Review: Range-topper, best-seller – Is it worth the money?

4.0/5

Toyota Vios 2021 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.0/5

    Overall exterior & Interior design, build quality, form vs function

  • Safety & Technology
    4.0/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    3.5/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    4.0/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    4.5/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2021 Toyota Vios G Exterior Review: Simpler, Better

The biggest and frankly the most welcome change in the 2021 Toyota Vios G is the revamped front fascia. The spindle-ish shiny black grille blends well with the restyled accents near the LED fog lamps, a Vios design staple, trading the Joker grin for a more aggressive and serious aura. The execution is nowhere near a Lexus, though, so don’t push it.

A picture of the Vios G parked in a wooded area

It lost the "grinning grille" that was present on the previous version

The refreshed 2021 Vios also drops the Prime designation, which gives the lineup a unified look. That’s looking beyond the new Vios GR-S, but that’s another story.

Standard across the G range are three-tier LED headlamps that look expensive, akin to how it was executed on the bigger Corolla Altis sedan. They look good as they’re functional, giving the familiar Vios a competitive edge in terms of design.

A close-up pic of the Vios G's headlamps

The new 3-tier LED headlamps are stylish

Everything else that comes with the Vios G styling is pretty much carried over from its predecessor, which means chromes, better albeit unexceptional two-tone 16-inch alloys, shark fin antenna, and the G badge.

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2021 Toyota Vios G Interior Review: Familiar Space

Again, everything’s familiar in the cabin, meaning there isn’t much change from the previous pre-facelift model. That isn’t entirely a bad thing as the Vios G’s amenities are good enough, but not the best in its range.

A picture of the Vios G's cockpit

Inside the Toyota Vios G

With that said, still expect some hard plastics on most areas (except for the leather steering wheel and gear lever knob), comfortable fabric upholstery, and a huge piano black real estate positioned on several touchpoints. It’s obvious that the cabin banks on durability rather than finesse, sans maybe the scratch-prone shiny blacks. Just maybe trim your fingernails regularly, okay?

A picture of the Vios G's cockpit from another angle

Surrounding the AC controls is a scratch-prone piano-black plastic piece

As with the previous versions, the 2021 Vios builds on the advantage of its creature space. The cabin has an ample cozy room for four average-sized people – five is possible but with limitations to comfort. Trunk space is arguably one of the most spacious in the subcompact sedan class, so yes, five overnighters are a cinch plus a bit more room for extras.

Then again, I wish Toyota could give the Vios telescopic steering wheel adjustment and an accessible place to securely store smartphones in the next-generation model.

A picture of the Vios G's open trunk

The Vios G's trunk offers a lot of usable space

2021 Toyota Vios G: Tech & Safety Review

You shouldn’t expect much from a small sedan but as a range-topper, the Vios G delivers adequate features in terms of tech. It has speed-sensing door locks, power-folding side mirrors, and automatic climate control. While some people might be looking for cruise control on the Vios, its new price point is enough to justify the lack of it – though I wish I could say the same for the lack of one-touch lane change signal in this model.

A picture of the Vios G's touchscreen

The Vios G's seven-inch infotainment system

The biggest surprise that comes with the price decrease of the 2021 Vios is the addition of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the touchscreen head unit. It might be late to the party, but we’ll take that as a win considering this age of connectivity.

A picture of the Vios G's interior panel focusing on the power window controls

Of course, power windows come standard with the Vios G

Safety-wise, there’s nothing to complain about the Vios. Toyota made sure that its bestselling model is filled to the brim with safety features even down to the base variant. With that said, the Vios range comes equipped with 7 airbags (lower variants can come with a full set of airbags at an additional cost), vehicle stability control, hill start assist, ABS with EBD, five seatbelts, and ISOFIX tethers. The top G variant gets a reverse camera but proximity sensors are limited to the new GR-S trim.

2021 Toyota Vios G: Engine & Performance Review

The Vios G is still powered by a bigger 1.5-liter 2NR-FE Dual VVT-i gasoline engine – one of the perks of moving up the sedan’s range. It makes more power at 106hp and 140Nm of torque. In a stale setting amid the city, this engine has more than enough for a confident drive but a run towards provinces and mountain passes tells a different story.

A picture of the Vios G's engine bay

The Vios G's 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine

If you’re looking for spirited sprints, you’ll feel the limitations of the CVT. You’ll find yourself pushing the pedal to the metal during overtakes and speed changes. The addition of paddle shifters somehow helps in conquering mountain passes – a bit of an essential, really, if you frequent these roads for the longevity of your disc brakes. Of course, that comes with few know-hows in proper “downshifting” considering that CVT and paddle shifters aren’t exactly a match made in heaven.

A picture of the Vios G's gear shifter

The Vios G's gear shifter

Handling, on the other hand, is one of the Vios’ strengths (hello, Vios cup) and that’s carried over to the facelifted unit. The steering wheel has a nice weight to it, which inspires sure-footing on both straight and winding thoroughfares. Meanwhile, forward visibility’s superb, while the McPherson strut/torsion beam setup seems like a sweet spot for this consumer vehicle. There’s a bit of body roll and there are some of the road’s harshness creeping through the cabin but overall, they’re expected and not something to be concerned about.

2021 Toyota Vios G: Fuel Efficiency

Despite being powered by the bigger engine choice, the Vios G still registered notable fuel efficiency figures during my test.

In mixed driving conditions (city and highway), the Vios returned 12.2 km/L. A 30-minute sprint on SLEX at an average speed of 90 km/h, I was able to clock in 19.9 km/L.

Of note, there were two people on board during the fuel efficiency testing.

2021 Toyota Vios G Review: Verdict

Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt. In the case of the Vios, the current-generation model may have been lingering for quite some time but the bevy of facelifts don’t always just improve upon the vehicle’s aesthetics. I commend Toyota for always improving the vehicle in each update, catering more to the needs of its wide scope of buyers.

A picture of the Vios G's rear

The Vios G's rear end

More importantly, with the price decrease for the top-spec G (from P1,056,000 to P970,000) in March, the Vios undercuts its competitors in the small sedan segment – and that’s without sacrificing anything.

With that said, I won’t be surprised if the Vios retains its status as a bestseller for this year. Then again, it goes without saying that a solid contention exists.

A picture of the front of the Toyota Vios G

So, what's your opinion on the Vios G?

2021 Toyota Vios G: Variants & Price

Toyota Vios Price in the Philippines
Variants
Price
Vios Base 1.3 MT
Php 681,000
Vios J 1.3 MT
Php 707,000
Vios XE 1.3 CVT
Php 753,000
Vios XLE 1.3 MT
Php 801,000
Vios E 1.3 MT
Php 851,000
Vios XLE 1.3 CVT
Php 851,000
Vios E 1.3 CVT
Php 901,000
Vios G 1.5 MT
Php 911,000
Vios G 1.5 CVT
Php 970,000
Vios 1.5 GR-S CVT
Php 1,020,000

2021 Toyota Vios G: Color Options

Toyota Vios G Color Options
Black, Alumina Jade Metallic, Super Red, Grayish Blue Mica Metallic,

2021 Toyota Vios G: Specs

Overall
Make
Toyota
Name
Vios G
Body Type
4-door subcompact sedan
Dimensions and Weight
Length
4,425mm
Width
1,730mm
Height
1,465mm
Wheelbase
2,550mm
Ground Clearance
133mm
Curb Weight
1,075kg
Engine and Transmission
Type
1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline
Max Power
106 horsepower
Max Torque
140 Nm
Transmission
Five-speed manual/Continous Variable Transmission
Chassis and Suspension
Brakes (Front/rear)
Disc/Disc
Suspension (Front/rear)
McPherson Strut/Torsion Beam
Wheels and Tires
195/50 R16 Alloy
Exterior
3-tier LED
LED Daytime Running Lamps
LED Front Foglamps
Side-mirror integrated turn signals
LED Taillamps
Interior
Optitron Gauge Cluster
Fabric Seats
Tilt adjustable steering wheel
Leather steering wheel
Automatic air-conditioning
Manual driver’s seat adjustment (w/ height adjust)
Push-to-start
Seven-inch Touchscreen
Bluetooth, USB, and Aux-in
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Connectivity
Six-piece speaker system
Safety and Security
Hill-start assist
Reverse Camera
Seatbelt reminder
Driver, Passenger, Side, Side Curtain airbags, and driver’s knee airbag
Anti-lock braking with electronic brake-force distribution
Traction Control
Speed-sensing door locks
Engine Immobilizer
Car Alarm
Stability Control
Jacob Oliva

Jacob Oliva

Author

Jacob is a motoring journalist and the Content Manager of Philkotse.com. A recipient of the Henry Ford Awards in 2019, he currently has a column under Wheels, the motoring section of The Philippine Star. He's also an editor for Motor1.com, a leading global automotive website.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jacobosing/

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