The all-new 2023 Toyota Vios is set to launch tonight at 8 pm and most of us are excited about this all-new version of the famous B-segment saloon. However, with some information about the Vios already out there, the internet community has been quick to comment on its lack of rear folding seats and its lack of a spare wheel.
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Having been given the opportunity to talk with the development team and Mr. Hideyuki Kamino (Chief Engineer of the Toyota Vios) himself ahead of its launch, we managed to ask them about these matters. Here’s what they have to say.
Let’s first address the lack of rear folding seats. Asking the development team directly, their response was that market research indicated that most users did not make full use of the folding seats in their saloon cars.
As such, the development team decided to forego the folding seats feature. An added benefit of the lack of the omission of the folding seat function is that it makes the car 10 kg lighter. Speaking of weight, the all-new Toyota Vios is about 110 kg lighter than the older version. For reference, the previous G variant weighed 1,145 kg while the all-new G variant weighs 1,035 kg.
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Upon closer look at the rear seats, we also noticed that there is now a cross-like brace that runs behind the second-row backrests, adding rigidity to the overall structure of the car. The benefits of its addition can be felt during high-speed maneuvering.
Onto the lack of a spare wheel in the Vios, the development team’s answer was that the spare wheel was omitted to provide more storage space for Vios users. If you lift the boot floor, you will notice a Styrofoam compartment tray, similar to what you would find in a Mitsubishi Xpander. The development team also unveiled that the omission of the Vios’ spare wheel has reduced the car’s overall weight (part of the total 110-kg weight loss of the car). The typical spare wheel has been replaced with a tyre repair kit instead.
While those reasonings do make sense, it could also be assumed that the typical space for the spare wheel will soon make way for a hybrid battery. According to Headlightmag, a hybrid version of the Yaris Ativ (Thailand’s Vios) is set to make its debut in Thailand in the third quarter of the year. But let’s not get too carried away with that.
Generally, the omission of both the folding rear seats and the spare wheel has significantly reduced the weight of the car. Other weight-reducing efforts include the return of the second row ‘hump’ and underpinning materials of the car, and we’ll dive into these matters in the full review of the 2023 Toyota Vios. For now, let’s wait for its launch which is set to happen at 8 pm tonight.