Prime time: 5 ways the Toyota Vios Prime lives up to its name

Prime time: 5 ways the Toyota Vios Prime lives up to its name

Take a look at all the sedans in the market, from subcompacts to compacts, mid- and even full-size. Only one holds the distinction of cornering more than 43% of its segment. With total overall sales of close to 350,000 units locally, it has to be, unofficially, the “undisputed king of all passenger sedans.” That vehicle, ladies and gents, is the humble Vios.

Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT side 850 x 420

Despite its unparalleled success that warrants the label “pambansang sasakyan” (national vehicle), Toyota hasn’t rested on its laurels and instead went out and created another Vios trim, the Prime. I was intrigued obviously and checked out what it’s all about. After a week with the mid-level Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT, these are five that stood out.

1 The Prime look

It now has a smaller implementation of the “keen look” – shiny new wraparound headlamps and the large intake panel. There’s more expression along the shoulder line, sweeping up from the front fender, through the doors and up until the rear quarter panel.

Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT rear quarter 850 x 420

A shark’s fin antenna has been installed which helps it appear sleeker and more upscale. Taillights have been redesigned, and the Vios gets exclusive front and rear bumper skirts, side skirts, a rear spoiler, and new multi-spoke, 15-inch wheels.

2 Remote trunk unlock

It’s a feature usually reserved for higher trims and models but the Prime gets it. Click a button on the key fob to remotely open the trunk. Aside from making the vehicle look more upscale, it comes in handy when you’re in a hurry and want to dump your stuff pronto.

The physical button has been removed from the trunk so if you don’t open it via the keyfob, you’ll have to use the lever at the bottom left of the driver’s seat.

3 Engine and fuel economy

Powering it is a 1.3-liter gasoline engine with dual variable valve timing that puts out 98hp and 123Nm of torque. It will do okay in the city and if cruising on the highway is your thing. But if you overtake a lot, you’ll need to exert some pressure on the throttle to feel the pull needed to pass. As a small-displacement engine, it will feel like it crawls up to speed but it gets there. It can even maintain 100kph easily on SLEX without feeling like it straining too much. I suspect it also has insulation and sealing because engine noise barely came into the car even at higher revs. Combined consumption is 8.5 kilometers per liter in the city and with just a day’s drive on the highway.

4 Seven-inch infotainment screen

This really ups its level of tech and sophistication to bring it up to par with segment competitors. The seven-inch touchscreen system comes with iOS and Android connection, Bluetooth, a USB and AUX port, and even a CD player.

Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT infotainment 850 x 420

The one thing it’s short of is additional slots to pair with via Bluetooth. You’ll need to delete connections not being used to accommodate new one. How to delete took some figuring out for me. Everything is plain and straightforward once you’re paired. The mic is good and audio is clear both ways.

Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT cockpit 850 x 420

It has a four-speaker system that won’t please audiophiles but if you just want to hear music in traffic, it’s more than ample.

5 Vehicle stability control and hill-start assist control

 As most of my drive during the week was in the city, it wasn’t really challenging enough to test vehicle stability control, but bumper-to-bumper situations along flyovers and bridges showed how hill-start assist control can be your most favorite feature. What it does is pretty self-explanatory, so I won’t go into detail about it. But even if you’ve mastered the manual, this will make you thank Toyota for putting this safety feature in.

Prime and just in time

The number of units it has sold throughout the years is proof of how much Filipinos trust a Toyota and also shows how much we appreciate an affordable and reliable vehicle.

Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT center stack 850 x 420

Others might shake their head at its P933,000 tag price but aside from all of the above, remember that it also uses a more dependable and fuel efficient gearbox, a continuously variable transmission (CVT). It’s lighter than an automatic transmission, more fuel efficient as well, and makes peak power available all the time. Do the math and add all those features up. There’s your justification right there that makes this unit well worth the price.  

If you want value-added features that can rationalize the kind of money you’ll invest in an everyday car, there’s hardly any reason not to choose the Toyota Vios 1.3 E Prime CVT.

Photos by Eric Tipan

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Toyota Vios Promos, DP & Monthly Installment

  • 1.3 Base MT DP ₱119,800 MA ₱10,524 x 60 Months ₱706,000 SRP View Offers
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  • 1.3 XLE MT DP ₱158,200 MA ₱13,898 x 60 Months ₱831,000 SRP View Offers
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  • 1.3 E MT DP ₱168,200 MA ₱14,776 x 60 Months ₱886,000 SRP View Offers
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