The Toyota C-HR may have been spotted roaming in Thailand, but the 2017 Bangkok International Motor Show came too soon for the funky crossover’s ASEAN debut. Which means that Toyota’s BIMS stand lacked the buzz its neighbours were generating. Still, there’s one relevant fresh model on display, one that’s coming soon to Malaysia.
The 2017 Toyota Vios facelift was launched in Thailand in January, which makes it two months old. This latest update to the B-segment sedan brings an aggressive new face, one that you’ll either love or hate. The polarising big-mouthed mug has a lot in common with the Chinese-market Vios launched at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show, and has hints of the latest US-market 2018 Camry. A big departure from the outgoing Vios.
There are new projector headlamps with integrated LED positioning lights, a prominent T-shaped grille and repositioned LED fog lamps with new LED DRLs beside them. At the back, the taillights have revised graphics, and the chrome bar linking them is slimmer. The bumper has also been restyled to be less busy than before. The 15- and 16-inch alloys sport new designs.
No remake for the cabin, and items such as the double-DIN seven-inch touchscreen head unit, keyless operation, leather/fabric seats, MID and automatic air-con (the latter not available in Malaysia) continue to feature here. The Thai Vios also comes with four different interior themes for each variant – J, E, G and S.
No change under the bonnet, and all variants continue to be powered by the 2NR-FBE 1.5 litre Dual VVT-i engine. Nothing ancient though – this 108 hp/140 Nm unit was part of a 2016 technical update for the Vios (happened in March last year for Thailand, October for Malaysia) that also included a CVT automatic gearbox with seven virtual ratios. No more four-speed auto, but also no more manual option, even for the base J.
Thai customers get to choose from six exterior body colours – Red Mica Metallic, Quartz Brown Metallic, Super White, Silver Metallic, Gray Metallic and Attitude Black Mica. Prices range from 609,000 baht (RM78,158) for the J to 789,000 baht (RM101,237) for the S. Coming to Malaysia this year to provide some challenge to segment leader Honda City facelift.