3rd Gen Vios is here!

Well ahead of the Bangkok International Motor Show, Toyota have released the brand new 2007 Vios. Based on the Yaris, the Vios shares the same engine and underpinnings, but interior design is unique for the Vios having been designed in Japan, and the Yaris in Europe.

Still they are similar, with the instruments mounted in the center and similar functionality maintained. Personally I prefer the interior of the Yaris, and feel that the quality of the Yaris materials are a touch better. Still you can't fault this ad:

Well... other than the fact that they guy clearly breaks the speed limit near the end!

The Vios is a cute car, and should be a big success for Toyota, boosting sales in the small car segment. Pricing starts at THB 509,000 for the 1.5 J M/T model, and maxes out at a whopping THB 749,000 for the 1.5 S A/T Sporty model. Most sensible model is the 1.5 E A/T "Safety" which comes with dual airbags for THB 639,000.

I had a look at the Vios today and while I like the car I was disappointed with it. Rear headroom is poor. I'm 185 cm tall and my head was pressed against the ceiling! In the driving seat things are better, and rear legroom is also good even with the drivers seat all the way back. Luggage space seems a tad stingy too, even considering that this is a small sedan. I can't help feeling that the Nissan Tiida is a better option with a massive boot and more practical interior.

And as usual Toyota's marketing guru's have managed to come up with a completely asinine line to go with the Vios: "My Design, My pride." While this doesn't come close to being as dumb as "Fortuner, the world is mine," it still has the effect of taking some of the shine off the product.

Still, the Vios will be a welcome addition to Thai roads, if not to my carport.