Toyota designed and developed the subcompact, 4-door sedan specifically for the Southeast Asian, Chinese and Taiwan markets.
The Vios was first launched in 2003 as a replacement model for the Toyota Tercel commonly known as Toyota Soluna in Thailand and Indonesia. The Vios was offered with a 1.5-L engine in Asian subcompact market and fall just below the Toyota Corolla and Toyota Camry in the region. In the Southeast Asia, the Vios is sold together with the Toyota Yaris, which was also offered as a hatchback. The second generation Toyota Vios is marketed as Toyota Yaris in the US market.
First Generation (2003-2007)
The first generation Vios was assembled and developed at the Toyota Gate Plant located in Gateway City, Amphoe Plaeng Yao, Chachoenhsao Province in Thailand. The plant is spread over the area of 1 million square meters. The vehicle was developed as a result of collective project between the Thai engineers and the Toyota’s designers.
The models offered for sale in the Thailand, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Malaysia are equipped with 1.5-L 1NZ-FE engine with VVT-i technology. The Philippine receives the Vios with a relatively smaller 1.3-L 2NZ-FE engine, while the Chinese market receives the Vios with 8A-FE engine. A wide range of trim levels are offered in Southeast Asia, such as J, E, S and G. however, the trim levels offered in Chinese market are DLX, GL, GLX and GLXi.
The Toyota Vios is derived from the previous Toyota Platz with some minor alterations that make the Vios look completely a new car. However, still there are many features that still resemble to the E120 Corolla. The 2006 model of Vios was introduced in 2005 with slightest of modifications, such as the car received a revised front bumper, grille, headlights, and taillights as well as the wheels and interior trim were also renewed.
For Thailand market only, the company introduced a “Turbo” variant of the first generation Vios. Some of the standard features of Vios Turbo include: a functional scoop on its hood, wrap-around body kits, stiffer springs, firmer shock-absorbers and 16″ alloys. The Vios named as the top-selling car in Southeast Asia for the year 2009.
Second Generation (2007-Present)
In November 2005, the second generation Vios was introduced as a Toyota Belta sedan with a model code of NCP93. The second generation Vios also received a 1.5-L 1NZ-FE engine. The second generation Vios is also sold in the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. Like the first generation Vios, the new generation model is also assembled at the Thailand’s Toyota Gateway Plant as well as at the Philippines Santa Rosa, Laguna Plant.
Imported from Japan, the Vios replaces the Echo Sedan in the US market under the name Yaris Sedan.
All the emphasis is given to improve the comfort over handling while designing the new Vios. Interior of the car is upgraded and wide range of new comfy enhancements and features are introduced to offer more comfortable and relaxed interior.