6 best small sedan alternatives to the Toyota Vios
Updated Jun 02, 2021
More choices are good when going for a new set of wheels.
The Toyota Vios subcompact sedan is the best-selling car in the Philippines last year with more than 19,000 units sold. This is a testament to the Vios’ popularity in the local market, and it also shows that sedans are still marketable in the country.
The fact that the Toyota Vios is manufactured locally under the Comprehensive Automotive Resurgence Strategy (CARS) Program is another source of pride for the automaker, even as it resisted calls to export the model to overseas markets.
From fleet units to personal use, the Vios seemingly has something for everyone, considering the breadth of its Php 681,000 to Php1,035,000 price range. The wide selection of Vios variants offer a lot of options for the consumers. But there are those who don’t quite appreciate the ubiquity of the Vios on the streets, balking at getting a car that looks too much like everyone else’s.
If you’re one of those who’d rather take a different route to personal mobility, here are six alternatives to the Vios for you to consider, listed in no particular order.
1. MG 5 (Php 658,888 to Php 938,888)
The MG 5 is the latest offering so far in British marque MG’s local lineup. With bigger overall dimensions than the Vios, it carries a remarkable presence for a Chinese model sporting a British badge.
The angular fascia flanked by LED headlamps is followed by flowing curves dressed in generous amounts of chrome, with the 2,680mm wheelbase resulting in generous interior space.
There’s even an electric sunroof for the midrange and top-spec variants. The trunk space is quite generous at 512 liters. Five seatbelts are standard as on the Vios, with a 10-inch color touchscreen that offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration.
Like the Vios, the MG 5 is available in manual and CVT drivetrains, and its single 1.5L 4-cylinder DOHC engine option trumps even the top-spec Vios in terms of power output, at 112 hp and 150 Nm of torque.
The MG5 offers cruise control along with stability and brake cornering control, plus a 360-degree view camera setup. Up to six airbags are standard.
2. Hyundai Reina (Php 683,000 to Php 783,000)
The Reina was introduced in 2017, and shares the PB platform used by the Hyundai Accent. Halogen headlamps bookend the gaping blacked-out grille, while Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 still reigns supreme on the Hyundai Reina’s compact dimensions. Steel rims in 14-inch size serve as the Reina’s shoes.
A neat dashboard greets passengers in the Reina’s cabin, which is also based on the bigger Accent. Controls for the front power windows are placed on front center stack, freeing up space on the doors for storage.
Driving the Hyundai Reina’s front wheels is a 1.4L gasoline engine kicking up 95 hp and 132 Nm of torque. Transmission options include a 5-speed manual and a 4-speed automatic. Despite its size and price, it still manages to have dual airbags and antilock brakes as standard kit.
3. Kia Soluto (Php 665,000 to Php 755,000)
Launched at the beginning of 2019, the Kia Soluto is yet another renamed Chinese model, marketed as the Pegas in the mainland. It continues the squarish tiger-nose fascia seen in other Kia models, flanked by swept-back headlamps and a clean profile. A short, sloping hood aids in forward visibility, and the Soluto rides on 15-inch alloys.
Entering the cabin, the Kia Soluto offers contoured seats wrapped in a leatherette material, with manual adjustments for the front occupants. There’s room for five people, plus 475 liters of cargo in the trunk. A 7-inch touchscreen dominates the dashboard featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Powering the Soluto is a 1.5-liter inline-4 gasoline engine that makes 95 hp and 132 Nm of torque, mated to either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Four 3-point seatbelts, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, and a rear camera round out the safety features.
4. Mitsubishi Mirage G4 (Php 735,000 to Php 869,000)
Mitsubishi Mirage G4
The Mirage G4 is technically the rival to the Vios, made under the same CARS Program by Mitsubishi. Likely benchmarked against the second-generation Vios, the G4 unsurprisingly came out on top when Toyota’s contender moved up another category with a heavier body.
The G4’s compact exterior conceals cabin that has legroom and headroom in spades. Somewhat narrow seats in front are comfortable enough, although they don’t do much against body roll in corners.
Five seatbelts are standard, and the large trunk boasts a 450-liter capacity. Onboard entertainment is via a 6.75-inch touchscreen head unit with mirror link feature and offline navigation.
Power comes from a 1.2L 3-cylinder engine that generates 77 hp and 100 Nm of torque, working with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. The G4 has relatively minimal safety features, settlng for dual airbags, ABS, and ISOFix anchors.
5. Chevrolet Sail (Php 791,888 to Php 917,888)
The Chevrolet Sail is on its third generation, built using a new small car platform developed by SAIC-GM. It comes with a dual-port grille surrounded by eagle-eye haologen headlamps that give the impression of width. The Sail also has a sharp crease that cuts cleanly across the profile. A set of 15-inch alloys marks the Sail’s corners.
On the jet-black interior, a sporty three-spoke tiller dominates the driver’s seat. There’s room for up to five occupants on fabric seats, and 366 liters of cargo in the trunk. A power sunroof is available to brighten up your drives, while blasting out tunes from the 4.2-inch HD screen with Mirrorlink and HDD media storage.
The base LT trim has a 1.3L gasoline engine that makes 73 hp and 127 Nm of torque, connected to a 5-speed manual transmission. Meanwhile, the midrange and top-spec variants use a 1.5L powerplant that generates 80 hp and 141 Nm of torque, mated to a 4-speed automatic. Dual airbags are the norm, along with ABS, ISOFix anchors, and side impact beams.
The Chevrolet Sail 2017, after a few years, is still a strong option to replace a Toyota Vios.
6. Suzuki Ciaz (Php 823,000 to Php 978,000)
Suzuki Ciaz exudes compact elegance that somehow belie its asking price. It is fitted with halogen projector headlamps as well as a chrome grille. The Ciaz’s creases along the profile lend an elegant air, and the vehicle is finished off with a set of 15-inch alloy wheels.
The interior of the Suzuki Ciaz fits five people, and the cavernous trunk can accommodate up to 495 liters of luggage space. A touchscreen audio head unit linked to four speakers offers AM/FM radio reception, with Bluetooth, AUX IN and USB for connectivity, as well as offline navigation.
It is powered by a 1.5-liter gasoline engine that delivers 92 hp and 132 Nm of torque, delivered through a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Safety features include dual airbags, antilock brakes, four 3-point ELR seatbelts and side impact beams.
Visit Philkotse.com for more car buying tips.
Joseph Paolo Estabillo