Toyota Vios GR-S vs G: What do you get with the new, sporty version?

Updated Mar 12, 2021 | Same topic: Automotive FYIs

There’s a new range-topping Vios in town, with a performance-inspired look.

There’s little doubt that the Vios is the country’s king of the subcompact sedan hill, contributing a large chunk of sales to Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP). The latest generation has seen two facelifts so far, with the most recent one giving the Vios a more dynamic appearance.

Is there any way to make the current Vios any better, short of a new-generation model? Apparently, TMP thinks so, in the form of the Vios GR-S. Short for Gazoo Racing Sport, this version is teeming with performance-inspired touches while retaining the same everyday drivability that’s always been a Toyota hallmark for ages. Displacing the G trim level as the flagship variant, what does the GR-S bring to the table?


Although the G and GR-S are based on the same XP150 platform, the latter might be surreptitiously called the “Facelift 2.5.” Both variants sport the same swept-back dual-lens LED headlamps up front, yet those on the GR-S have a smoky tinge to them, apart from the wider grille decked out in honeycomb mesh. The slim foglamp housings on the G variant have morphed into full-on air intakes on the GR-S.

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S front profile shot

The Vios GR-S has a sportier fascia than the G variant

As part of the GR-S body kit, side skirts adorn the profile, accompanied by a new rear bumper with integrated diffuser. The GR-S adds a black spoiler to the G variant’s trunk, along with a GR badge just below the right tail lamp. Blacked-out side mirrors and door handles are standard on the new trim.

Side skirt detail

There are even '10 Speed' badges on the side skirts

Contrasting with the two-tone wheels on the G are a set of black multi-spoke alloys on the GR-S, with a shared size of 16 inches. This will be a minor disappointment to some, since the Malaysia-spec Vios GR-S offers 17-inch shoes as standard, the largest ever fitted on the model. The GR-S gains 42mm in length, likely on account of the exterior bits, but otherwise retains the other proportions common to the range.   


Customers can expect the GR-S cabin to be as functional and roomy as that on the G, with a dash of sportiness. Whereas fabric seats are the norm on the G, the thrones on the GR-S are rendered in leather and suede. The headrests showcase the GR branding, which can also be found on the carpet, engine start button, and the animation on the instrument cluster.

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S interior

Interior of the 2021 Toyota Vios GR-S

The blue-and-white palette on the G’s gauges has been replaced with Optitron Red for the GR-S needles and gauges. Red stitching can also be found on the leather steering wheel and shift knob.

Tech & Safety

Automatic climate control on both the G and GR-S free occupants from the trouble of having to fiddle with the air-conditioning in changing weather. The GR-S brings Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and voice commands on a somewhat downsized 6.75-inch touchscreen head unit, with all these making their way to as far back as the Vios XE variant.

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S

Paddle shifters give the Vios GR-S a more engaging drive

Safety equipment shared by the G and GR-S include seven airbags, stability control, traction control, anti-lock brakes, a rear monitor, and speed-sensing door locks. While the Malaysian release comes with driver-assist features such as lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring, at least the local Vios GR-S offers a clearance sonar that’s absent on the G trim.

Engine & Drivetrain

The front wheels on both the G and the GR-S are powered by the same 1.5L Dual-VVTi gasoline engine that’s good for 106 hp and 140 Nm of torque. While the G lets buyers choose between a 5-speed manual and a 7-speed CVT, the GR-S comes exclusively with the latter, accompanied by a twist: Toyota has squeezed in 10 simulated forward gears in Sport Mode, engaged through paddle shifters just behind the tiller. The company claims that this improves the engine’s response higher in the rev range.


2021 Toyota Vios GR-S

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S

The Toyota Vios GR-S starts at Php 1,020,000 for both the Super Red V and Black 1 body colors, with an additional Php 15,000 premium for the White Pearl Crystal Shine finish. Meanwhile, Toyota has slashed Php 86,000 off the prices for the Vios G, placing it below the Php 1 million mark (among other price adjustments on the rest of the Vios range).

Toyota showrooms nationwide will include the Vios GR-S in their lineup starting March 15, 2021.

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Know more about Toyota Vios 2021

Toyota Vios

<p><a href="" title="Toyota Philippines">Toyota Motor Philippines</a> introduced the Toyota Vios in 2002. This subcompact sedan is made at Toyota&#39;s plant in Santa Rosa, Laguna. Currently, the Philippine-spec Toyota Vios is offered in nine variants. Prices for the Toyota-made sedan ranges from Php 681,000 to Php 1,020,000. The Toyota Vios subcompact sedan gets two engine options, two transmission options, and a whole host of comfort and safety features. The said model is also available in a wide range of color options. This includes Black, Red Mica, Pearl White, Thermalyte, Blackish Red, Alumina Jade, Freedom White, Grayish Blue, and Super Red.</p>

From ₱681,000

Joseph Paolo Estabillo

Joseph Paolo Estabillo


Joseph has been a member of various car clubs since he got his driver's license in 2004 – old enough to remember riding in taxicabs with analog meters, but his fascination with cars goes way back. After nearly two decades of working in broadcast media, he shifted gears by coming on board as Philkotse’s first Filipino member and staff writer in 2017.

Apart from his role in Philkotse as Content Team Lead, Joseph has written episodes for Drive, which has been airing on CNN Philippines for five seasons running. He has also delivered content for various car dealerships based in the U.S., spanning multiple brands such as Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Jeep, Dodge, among others.

Keeping his hopes high and his revs low, he dreams about owning a Kei car when he retires. Hates slow parkers.

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