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Toyota VIOS TRD Sportivo – a solid ride!

Considering my preference for round-bodied cars (think the Leaf, Beetle, DS3yes FAT, round, CUTE shapes) I surprised myself when I started speculating the thought of owning a Toyota VIOS TRD Sportivo.

No doubt I had enjoyed my time behind the wheel. Likewise also as a passenger.

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My 4 hours journey to Kuantan was a breeze. I spent 2 hours behind the wheel, then the remainder snoozing as a passenger, seat in full recline, air conditioning quiet and cool.

At this stage I appreciated the low cabin noise, which made for a very comfortable journey.
Since I never sleep well in a moving vehicle; mostly due to interruptions of noise and bumps, that says a lot.

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Part of the reason was the Acoustic Windshield (available on the 1.5G and 1.5 TRD Sportivo models only) that comes with a 3-layered construction that minimises wind and road noise.
I did a bit of googling and found that acoustic windshields are layers of tempered glass with one of the layers designed to dampen sound, thus conversations are better heard, along with the comfort of reduced wind and road sound.

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The seat reclines enough, the legroom ample (well, for a person of 5 feet it was) and since we were on a mission to calculate fuel consumption, both of us had to drive very sensibly, thus understandably our long ride was very smooth.

Having said that, when we went into parts of Sg Lembing and the outskirts where the roads were less than ideal, the bumpy ride wasn’t too pronounced to the point of extreme discomfort.

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I think I have just reiterated what the VIOS is known for.

Its reputation precedes it as a sedate, reliable and comfortable B-segment sedan.

For my less automative-intuitive readers, B-segment refers to subcompacts, super mini, city car, mostly designed for family use and city driving.
They are often basic transportation, offering 1st time car buyers an entry point into the car market and are prized for its low prices and ability to squeeze out more km from every litre of fuel.
For better comprehension, examples of other B-segments in our Malaysian market are the Honda City, the VW Polo Sedan, the Ford Fiesta sedan and the Nissan Almera.

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Depending on personal interpretation, the VIOS looks could even pass off as elegant.
I prefer to describe it as “dignified“. 🙂

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There’s function to the form, too.
Since I’m on the mission to record the best possible fuel consumption per litre, let me share with you a bit of the aerodynamic and engine features the Toyota VIOS sports for such purpose.

First of all is the engine.
Toyota’s Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-i) engine technology adjusts the intake the intake valve timing to generate powerful acceleration, better fuel efficiency and cleaner emissions“.
What that means to the rest of us (less automotive-inclined mortals) is by being able to alter the timing of the valve that controls air intake and exhaust, the engine is able to better adapt to the various speed and driving conditions of our everyday use.
Without it, there is no adaptability which means under different conditions, power, fuel consumption and emissions may not be ideal.

The Catamaran shaped roof was most intriguing to me. I mean at least that is one feature that I can see with my naked eye on how it supposedly works.

This specially designed roof realises a light weight structure without compromising bodyframe rigidity.
The grooves encourages the airflow from front to rear (translating to less air resistance) which enhances aerodynamic performance.

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Overall the body of the car plays a role too.
And the VIOS has a body frame that features deeply sculpted and flowing lines are designed to reduce air resistance.

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The third factor is the EPS (Electronic Power Steering).
This is a speed sensitive wheel that is light during low speeds and progressively stiffens up at higher speeds for better stability.
In other words, power is only used to assist steering when necessary, reducing the use of fuel.

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Lastly, I spoke of acoustic windshields earlier.
Besides noise reduction, acoustic windshields are thinner and hence some weight savings are expected.
Naturally the lower weight (however little bit) translates to less fuel burned, meaning better mileage and lower emissions.

Still, for whatever technology that may come with a car, driving habits matters most to maximise fuel savings.
As a responsible driver, there were some rules I adhered to to boost fuel efficiency.

1. Ensure your tyres are properly inflated (please refer to your car manual) on the PSI to pump.
2. Do not forget to inflat your spare tyre as well just in case you get a flat.
3. Do not carry unnecessary weight, the heavier the car, the more fuel it consumes.
4. Please do turn on the air-con if you are feeling hot. We know that that saves fuel, but it is impractical.

And contrary to popular belief folding your side mirrors in doesn’t reduce much fuel usage and makes you a dangerous driver on the road, to yourself and others.
So don’t be silly.

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Other tips (if you going on a journey of considerable distance):

5. Coolent level is sufficient.
6. Brakes are not worn out.

While driving:
1. Keep your feet light on the accelerator – the key to fuel efficiency is patience and steady acceleration/slowing down. Be light footed & steadily build up the momentum to get to the speed that you want.

2. Brake hard. That’s what the brakes are for right??
NO!! Release the accelerator, allowing the car to slow down as you approach your desired stopping point while pressing the brakes gently is the fuel efficiency way.

3. Fast and furious driving. Drift it!
NO! DON’T drive like a mad man. This is NOT to say the Toyota VIOS can’t go fast but if you wish to save fuel, racing is not it.

The Toyota VIOS also has a trip meter ECU (Electric Control Unit) which will show the average consumption so you can track it.

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Fuel business aside, let’s talk about the rest of my ride.
Looks, convenience and comfort – how does the VIOS TRD Sportivo fare?

Exterior: Dignified.
It won’t turn heads immediately, but it does exude a modest sense of style.

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The projector headlamps does a wonderful job at illuminating the roads ahead, and just as effective at flashing slow moving traffic away. 😛

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Interior: Highly comfortable and somewhat stylish.

It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of a higher end car (you know some cars has dashboard that looks like a cockpit?) but it serves its purpose for its price.

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The audio unit allows pairing of mobile devices with the unit.

This includes a CD player with tuner, MP3, AUX-jack and USB functionality. For safety and convenience, you can control its uses from the steering wheel.
You can preset your favourite radio channels of course.

Toyota Vios TRD review - entertainment

Toyota Vios

Over at the driver’s side, the Multi-Information Display (MiD) features the odometer and tripmeter reading.
Other useful details includes the (1) cruising range, (2) average fuel consumption, (3) instantaneous fuel consumption and (4) average driving speed.
Do note on the ‘Eco’ button that lights up whenever you are driving efficiently.
It is like a reward of approval for being light-footed. LOL.

Comfort: Very snug.

No doubt the bodykit helped, for my ample behind sat on firm yet well cushioned seat and as I settled myself into the car. Soft leather enfolded me in a warm and comfortable embrace.
This luxurious combination seats complements the chrome accents of the interior, and sports a fine dimple finishing.

Just to reiterate, this handsome vehicle that I’m driving is the at the highest spectrum of the VIOS range, the VIOS 1.5 TRD Sportivo thus it has all the added luxury touches.
For the uninitiated (of which I’m sure most of my readers here aren’t automotive freaks), “Sportivo” refers to the model name for the top range model knitted with full bodykit.

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The back seats 3 adults comfortably and I must say that the legroom looks very generous.

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Other likeable comforts:
1. Keyless entry – Smart Entry and Push start
2. Navigational system
3. 3 -step door opening makes it more convenient to open the door in tight areas. Do you ever face the problem of swinging the door out and getting it bump into the parking pillar or to another car?
Well, I get that all the time, but not once in the VIOS.

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Navigational system:

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So cool, there’s a split window to highlight our route.

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Toyota Vios

4. Safety :

2 front airbags, ABS (Anti-lock Brake System), WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) seats, Isofix Child Seat Fitting and Child Safety locks are built into the rear doors ofthe VIOS, ensuring safety of all in the vehicle.
PS: Seats incorporating the WIL (Whiplash Injury Lessening) concept are designed to cushion the passenger’s head and chest simultaneously, helping to minimize injuries in lower speed collisions.

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In fact, you are not allowed to fiddle with the audio unit unless the car is stationary.

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5. Storage – cup holders, compartments, rear centre armrest, glove box, door pockets and console tray. Unless you live in your car, these should suffice.

Below: Cup right at your front-right side, very convenient for the driver to reach out & chug down a gulp or 2, also minimising the need for the eyes to be off the road.

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Door on the driver side:

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The rear centre armrest.

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6. Boot – 506 litre. It fits my 28″ luggage with space for more.
The rear seats splits 60:40.

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All in all other cars within its segment may offer a bit more for interior, looks and technology but the Vios remains a great comfort-oriented and feasible cost option.
The TRD Sportivo appealed to me more of course, as I’m a very sporty person and the use of black and red perforation combination leather seats cleverly combined comfort with a sporty appeal.

More about the Toyota VIOS:
1. There are 5 variants.
Lowest to highest:
1.5J (MT -manual transmission ) – RM74, 749.96
1.5J (AT -auto transmission) – RM78, 649.40
1.5E (AT) – RM84, 367.25
1.5G (AT) – RM90, 113.69
1.5 TRD Sportivo (this is the one you see here!!) – RM94, 945.27

The difference for each of the variant above (other than alphabets and prices ) are ..well…. for a more detailed explanation on the difference in specifications, head over to the nearest Toyota showroom and ask your friendly Toyota sales advisor. 🙂