2022 Toyota Vios GR-S Review | Philkotse Philippines

Updated Nov 22, 2022

Editor's: 3.8/5
Pushing what’s possible.
2022 Toyota Vios GR-S 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

2022 Toyota Vios GR-S Review: Introduction

As the country’s best-seller for several years, the Toyota Vios is a very familiar nameplate for Filipino car buyers. So in March 2021, TMP decided to spice up the model by introducing the subcompact sedan’s GR-S (Gazoo Racing Sport) edition. It comes with exclusive exterior and interior GR-S additions, with no major mechanical changes except for the 10 simulated CVT gears.

Toyota Vios GR-S front view

Toyota Vios GR-S

As the new top-of-the-line model, are the mentioned additions worthy of the price tag despite the lack of real performance upgrades? Let’s find that out in Philkotse’s 2022 Toyota Vios GR-S full review.

3.8/5

Toyota Vios 2022 Review

How we do our reviews
  • aesthetics
    4.5/5

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

  • Safety & Technology
    3.5/5

    Number of safety & tech features, consistency during usage

  • Performance
    4.0/5

    Power delivery, acceleration, transmission, suspension, handling

  • Comfort & Practicality
    3.5/5

    Overall Ride Comfort, Space, Storage Areas

  • Value for Money
    3.5/5

    Sticker price vs overall package

2022 Toyota Vios Exterior Review: Sporty and flashy

We’ll start with where most of the changes have been applied, which is on the exterior. The goal is to make the Vios GR-S look sportier than the rest of the range. Seamlessly integrated into the exterior are exclusive body kits including a front bumper skirt, side skirts, a rear bumper skirt, and a rear spoiler.

Toyota Vios GR-S side view

The GR-S version from the side

The Toyota Vios GR-S just looks way better in person, especially with how the blacked-out GR-S exterior bits seamlessly blend with this Super Red paint. It is also available in White Pearl Crystal Shine and Black, but the latter could look like it conceals the variant’s exclusive kits.

Like the outgoing top-spec variant, the Vios G, the Vios GR-S gets 3-tier LED headlamps, LED daytime running lights (DRLs) with line guide, side mirrors with integrated side turn signal lamps, and LED front fog lamps. The GR-branded sedan also comes with a set of 16-inch alloy wheels but has a different multi-spoke design.

Toyota Vios GR-S rear view

A new perspective on the sedan

Considering that our day won’t end without seeing a Vios on the road, the GR-S edition is your ticket to creating a distinction from the others. Plus, you get to represent GR, a brand that has been making a lot of noise in the world of motorsports, particularly in the World Rally Championship (WRC) and FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC).

Some will argue that the aesthetic enhancements aren’t enough for a GR-branded model. But as someone who drove the car for quite some time, I suggest that you take a look at the vehicle first in person. The Japanese automaker did a splendid job installing the GR-S kits in the right places for the intended sportier appearance.
 

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2022 Toyota Vios Interior Review: Subtle yet sufficient

Stepping into the cabin, it almost felt like a different car, especially since I’d been in many Vios units already. The seat material used is synthetic leather, with the front seats getting suede for added texture. For a sportier appeal, there are red stitches on the seats, leather steering wheel, door panels, and shift knob.

Toyota Vios GR-S interior view

Sports-themed interior

As a GR-branded model, you will find plenty of GR badges scattered in the interior including on the push start button. When you start the car up, you will get to see a GR graphic on the exclusive instrument gauge cluster with red accents. Why red? Well, it’s one of the easiest ways car design teams can integrate sportiness. 

The seats aren’t the most comfortable in its segment. Body rolls are quite noticeable but not to the point that driving gets very tiring. In terms of looks, the ones in the Vios GR-S have the most personality. All the red accents including the addition of suede provide a more upscale appeal.

Toyota Vios GR-S seats

GR badges

The wheelbase remains at 2,550 mm, making the interior space pretty much the same as what you can expect from the rest of the variants. I’m sure you’ve gotten inside a Vios at one point in your life so you can use that as a reference. Meanwhile, the trunk space should be more than enough for your groceries and weekend getaway luggage.

As many subcompact sedans are starting to integrate more modern interior features, the Toyota Vios GR-S might feel a bit trailing in the race. But as someone who has a fair amount of adoration for motorsports, I can live with what this sportier version offers in the interior even though most are classified only as cosmetics.

2022 Toyota Vios: Tech & Safety Review

Housed in the center console is a 6.75-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is also available in the XE, XLE, E, and G Vios variants. Since the USB port for the Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is on the head unit, connecting your phone via a cable charger can be an eye sore.

Toyota Vios GR-S instrument cluster

GR on startup

Moreover, the system isn’t the most responsive to the touch but you can use the control integrated into the steering wheel for easier navigation.

The use of physical knobs is what I appreciate in the cabin. However, the layout can start to look dated as compared to others found in the Vios’ rivals such as the Geely Emgrand. If you share the sentiment, worry not as an all-new version of the Vios is out in the Land of Smiles.

Toyota Vios GR-S infotainment screen

6.75-inch head unit

But going back to the current version available locally, the model is equipped with a wireless door lock with smart entry, speed-sensing door locks, automatic climate control, power-adjustable and power-retractable side mirrors, and a “Follow Me Home” light control system to assist you on your walkway.

Unlike the PH-spec Toyota Corolla Altis GR-S that received the Toyota Safety Sense (TSS), the brand’s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) hasn’t made its way into the Vios GR-S yet. Instead, the model is installed with seven airbags, an anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) and brake assist, hill-start assist control, and a reverse camera, among others.

Toyota Vios GR-S push start button

GR-badged push start button

If there is one feature that I wish is available in the Vios GR-S, that would be cruise control. Rivals such as the Honda City and MG 5 offer the said feature so I was expecting it as well on the Toyota sedan. To give the benefit of the doubt, maybe the automaker only wants us to experience driving the sportier GR-S edition.

2022 Toyota Vios: Engine & Performance

Speaking of driving, the Toyota Vios GR-S is powered by a 1.5-liter 2NR-FE gasoline engine capable of making 106 horsepower and 140 Nm of torque. It is the same power unit found in the Toyota Vios G. What’s not similar is the 10-speed continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is exclusive in the Vios GR-S.

Toyota Vios GR-S engine

1.5-liter gas engine

I wasn’t expecting much when I was about to try the GR-S-exclusive 10-speed CVT for the first time. What I can say is that the transmission is surprisingly fun to use. When downshifting, there was a noticeable change in engine RPM, which can give you spirited driving especially when the Sport mode is activated. Put the CVT to a higher ratio and you improve fuel efficiency.

Of course, the vehicle still performed pretty much like the Vios G. But with the GR-S-exclusive paddle shifters, along with the responsive CVT, the Vios GR-S was one fun car to drive. Just manage your expectations given its price point. It is the sole mechanical upgrade you get in the top-spec Vios, unlike the Malaysia-spec Vios GR-S that received suspension tweaks. In addition, other PH-spec GR-S models such as the Fortuner, Hilux, and Corolla Cross get changes in the suspension as well.

Toyota Vios GR-S spoiler

The GR-S body kits add sportiness

One driving characteristic worth noting is steering. As someone who fancy a heavy steering feel for a touch of sportiness, I didn’t mind the calibration. I’m not saying that it was uncomfortably stiff. But as compared to other subcompact sedans that provide a light steering feel, this is one of the things you need to see for yourself first before making a decision.

The suspension and NVH (noise, vibration, and harshness), on the other hand, worked to provide a comfortable ride. Outside noise was suppressed well but the engine can get loud on higher RPMs. If you leave the setting on Eco mode and shift to D, the transmission does a good job keeping the RPMs low for fuel saving.

2022 Toyota Vios: Fuel Efficiency

The Toyota Vios GR-S returned 9.8 km/l while driving at an average speed of 20 to 30 km/h. It can go lower in heavier traffic situations such as rush hours along EDSA. In my opinion, the said fuel efficiency rating when driving around the city is notable as the model utilizes the larger 1.5-liter engine over the 1.3-liter power unit found in lower-end variants. But comparing the Vios to one of its mainstream rivals, Honda City, which got 12.1 km/l in our tests, the Toyota sedan starts to look average.

Toyota Vios GR-S steering wheel

The Vios GR-S gets an exclusive 4.2” TFT multi-information display (MID)

Meanwhile, the highway drive managed to return 19.2 km/l. Looking at our Vios G fuel eco test run, the said model posted 19.9 km/l, which is not far from the GR-S variant. To note, the Vios GR-S highway fuel eco test run was conducted while driving at an average speed of 90 km/h.

2022 Toyota Vios: Verdict

As a model marketed to be a budget-friendly option, the place of the Toyota Vios GR-S in the range might not make sense for some buyers, especially considering that it is Php 50,000 more expensive than the Vios G at Php 1,035,000. For that price difference, you can get the Vios G and dress it up to your liking.

Toyota Vios GR-S front view

The top-ranging variant of the country's best-seller

But in my opinion, the Vios GR-S is the best way to support the GR brand, representing the automaker’s enthusiasm for motorsports. Despite lacking loads of mechanical upgrades, the 10-speed CVT with paddle shifters already makes the driving more fun. It is complemented by the sporty GR-S kits that look marvelous.

So yes, I believe that you get what you pay for in the top-spec sportier Vios trim. The way I see it, the Toyota Vios GR-S is for those who want to stand out from the sea of Vios driving around local roads. It’s also for those individuals who want a sportier and more athletic-looking Vios straight out of the showroom.

2022 Toyota Vios: Variants & Price

Toyota Vios Price & Variants in the Philippines

Vios Base 1.3 MT

Php 686,000

Vios J 1.3 MT

 Php 712,000

Vios XE 1.3 CVT

 Php 769,000

Vios E 1.3 MT

Php 866,000

Vios E 1.3 CVT

Php 916,000

Vios G 1.5 MT

Php 926,000

Vios G 1.5 AT

Php 985,000

Vios GR Sport 1.5 CVT

Php 1,035,000

2022 Toyota Vios: Color Options

2022 Toyota Vios Color Options
Super White II, White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic 1,
Red Mica Metallic, Super Red V, Blackish Red Mica
Grayish Blue Mica Metallic, Alumina Jade Metallic, Black 1

2022 Toyota Vios GR-S: Specs

Overall 

Make  

Toyota 

Name 

Vios GR-S

Body Type 

4-door subcompact sedan 

Dimensions and Weight 

Length 

4,467mm 

Width 

1,730mm 

Height 

1,475mm 

Wheelbase 

2,550mm 

Engine and Transmission 

Type 

1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline 

Max Power 

106 horsepower 

Max Torque 

140 Nm 

Transmission 

10-speed CVT 

Chassis and Suspension 

Brakes (Front/rear) 

Disc/Disc 

Suspension (Front/rear) 

McPherson Strut/Torsion Beam 

Wheels and Tires 

195/50 R16 Alloy 

Exterior 

GR-S Body Kits

3-tier LED

LED Daytime Running Lamps 

LED Front Foglamps 

Side-mirror integrated turn signals 

LED Taillamps 

Interior 

Optitron Gauge Cluster 

Synthetic Leather with Red Stitching

Tilt adjustable steering wheel 

Leather steering wheel 

Automatic air-conditioning 

Manual driver’s seat adjustment (w/ height adjust) 

Push-to-start 

6.75-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 

Rex Sanchez

Rex Sanchez

Author

Rex Sanchez grew up in Saudi Arabia where he saw and got into the automotive scene. He started his career for an aviation company in the said region, writing about turbines and rotors which are later distributed for educational purposes. And now, he joined Philkotse.com as a staff writer. Currently, he is the youngest on the team and is more than ready to grow in the field.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rexsanchez09

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