2021 Toyota Vios GR-S Red Philippines
Contents

The Toyota Vios has been a long-time go-to choice for buyers looking for an affordable and dependable sedan in the Philippines. With its recent update, Toyota Philippines has given the vehicle a new sportier variant. Enter the Toyota Vios GR-S, the newest variant that now comes with Gazoo Racing-Sport (GR-S) badging and a much sportier new look.

Gazoo Racing (GR) is Toyota’s in-house motorsport division. They have had success in multiple fields of racing such as the World Rally Championship (WRC) and even in endurance racing with the 24 hours of Le Mans. GR then took their expertise on the track and applied it to the normal range of vehicles that Toyota offers such as the GR Supra and GR Yaris. The GR-Sport line is mainly used on cars to give them a much sportier look inside and out. With that said, is the new Vios worthy of its GR-S badging?

3.8 / 5
2021 Toyota Vios GR-S Review
Performance
Engine Output (HP), Acceleration, Transmission, Handling
3.5/5
Design
Exterior & Interior Design, Quality, Fit and Finish, Ergonomics
4.0/5
Ride Comfort
Cabin Comfort, Suspension, NVH Insulation
4.0/5
Safety and Technology
Convenience Technologies, Active and Passive Safety Features
4.0/5
Value for Money
Amount of the vehicle you get for the price, Fuel Efficiency
3.5/5
What You Will Like
  • Great ride comfort
  • Fuel efficient engine
  • Sporty new looks
What You Won't Like
  • Piano Black plastics in high touch areas
  • No telescopic steering wheel adjustment
  • Odd placement of storage spaces inside the cabin
How We Do Our Reviews

The Toyota Vios GR-S is essentially a kitted-out Toyota Vios G. It comes with the same features such as regular model sport LED headlights, LED daytime running lights, and LED foglights as well. Where the GR-S differs from the standard range is the addition of a body kit that gives the Vios a more aggressive look. 

Changes in the vehicle start with its new front bumper which is now more angular compared to the normal variants with the addition of a new lower lip and with the rear bumper which has also received the same treatment with a new garnish and diffuser. Moving onto the side of the vehicle, the Vios GR-S now gets new side skirts, a lip spoiler, and a new set of 16-inch wheels. Something that we took notice of is that even with the bigger wheel size the tire width has remained the same. 

This might make it a little more difficult to find tires as the GR-S model now has 195/50 series tires. A minor quirk that might just limit your tire options in the future. Overall, the GR-S additions to the Vios help give the sedan a sportier and unique front end as well as a sharper rear.

Entering the cabin of the Toyota Vios GR-S, you are greeted with a familiar layout. Again it’s essentially still a Vios G at heart and thus shares in the same infotainment system and climate controls. Where the two models differ is with the addition of sportier elements to the interior as well as the presence of GR badging.

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S instrument cluster

Beginning with the instrument cluster, the GR-S Vios now sports a new set of gauges. While there are still two analog gauges, namely the speedometer and tachometer, Toyota has added a new digital display. The new display now shows the vehicle’s drive mode, gear indicator, fuel economy, fuel level, and other important information related to driving. The display also starts with a Gazoo Racing logo on the screen just to bring home the point that this isn’t an ordinary Vios. The automaker has even added the GR badge on the push start button just for good measure. Aside from the instrument cluster, Toyota has also given the sporty model red accent stitching found all around the cabin from the door cards all the way to the center armrest, steering wheel, and the seats. 

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S seats Philippines

Breaking the mold of its typically cloth seat material lineup, the GR-S comes with a leather and suede material instead. Aside from this Toyota has improved the bolstering of the seats to provide a more comfortable and ergonomic ride. The seats also do well to keep you in place when you take the vehicle out for spirited driving. Even the rear seats have received the bolstering upgrade, giving more support to the passengers to help keep them in place comfortably. The front seats are still not power-adjustable, so keep that in mind when considering getting this variant of the Vios. Topping it off, Toyota has also added GR badging to the headrests of the seats just to remind you and others that may see the interior of your vehicle that you own a GR-Sport model. 

Toyota Vios trunk space

Even with these upgrades the Vios still keeps to its functional and available roots. You still get 300-liters worth of space in the trunk and you still get a full-size spare at the back. Overall, the Vios GR-S offers interested buyers the best possible interior available for the nameplate in terms of comfort and seat material quality. 

Toyota Vios GR-S exterior

As a variant of the Toyota Vios, the GR-S model rides the same as the regular vehicle. NVH is decently quiet and the ride is balanced for its price point. Compared to its closest rival the Honda City RS, the Vios rides a little bit better thanks to its noise isolation. 

The 10-speed CVT also does a great job of keeping the engine noise to a minimum. At highway speeds, the engine will comfortably hum at around 1,500 RPM without the noise entering the cabin. The non-telescopic steering wheel will make finding your ideal driving position a little bit difficult, nonetheless, the new leather seats are considerably better and will easily support you even on long drives. 

Toyota Vios dashboard

In terms of technology, the Toyota Vios GR-S comes with the standard equipment of the G variant. It still gets access to a 6.75-inch infotainment system that comes with a 6-speaker sound system as well as supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

The infotainment system serves its purpose well but it isn’t excellent as the resolution could do with an upgrade. The controls are straightforward and are easy to use. Connectivity-wise the head unit is quick to connect via Bluetooth and is quick to recognize your phone when you activate either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. One flaw we found is that, when streaming music, it will have a tendency to skip a beat. 

As the head unit also doubles as your screen for the reverse camera, its resolution is something that you as the owner will need to adjust to over time. It’s not the best and will get drowned out in high light or very dark environments, but nevertheless gets the job done well. 

2021 Toyota Vios GR-S exterior front

Similar to the G model, the GR-S variant gets access to the same safety features. This means that the sportier sedan comes with 7-airbags as standard, ABS with EBD, a reverse camera, clearance sonar, as well as an alarm with an immobilizer. It also means that the Vios GR-S is one of the safest Japanese sedans you can buy on the market today as it inherits the same 5-star ASEAN NCAP crash test rating as seen in the G model. The sporty sedan ultimately presents itself as a safe yet affordable vehicle that comes with a more aggressive and Gazoo Racing inspired look.

Toyota Vios GR-S action shot Philippines

When the Toyota Vios GR-S was initially launched, we asked the automaker if they have done anything to adjust the suspension of the vehicle. It is important to note that in other ASEAN markets, the GR-S model comes with suspension upgrades. Toyota Philippines gave us the answer that the suspension in the GR-S model remains unchanged. With that said, its handling is pretty much similar to that of the regular models. We did notice that the GR-S felt a little more planted and a little more confidence-inspiring. While Toyota Philippines did not touch the suspension, the tuning to the steering feel was just right and matched well to the sportier looks of the sedan. 

As this model is equipped with a 10-speed CVT, we didn’t notice much of a difference at least when it came to fuel economy. While the gears were simulated, the transmission presented itself as a neat party trick to have if you want to have a “sportier” drive. The feeling of the transmission quickly shifting through the gears gives you the impression that you are traveling faster than you really are. A quick look at the speedometer will reveal that even if the transmission has already shifted through several gears, you will still be within the legal speed limit.

Powering the Vios GR-S is still the same 1.5-liter naturally aspirated gasoline engine found in the G variant. It still pushes out 106 hp and 140 Nm of torque. It’s still as fuel-efficient as ever with power coming in towards the top of the rev range. This is evident under hard acceleration as the 10-speed CVT will give you a slight surge in power egging you on to the next gear. 

Toyota Vios GR-S engine bay philippines

The Vios GR-S, being equipped with a 10-speed CVT and extra weight thanks to the body kit, was still able to deliver roughly the same fuel efficiency figures as the G model. During our testing, the sedan was able to do about 21 km/L on the highway and inside the city, the Vios was able to do 8.5 km/L. Still, great fuel efficiency numbers coming from a Vios, especially as the 10-speed CVT is the only major element that has been changed with the GR-S model.

Toyota Vios GR-S side left profile

Starting at P1,020,000 the Toyota Vios GR-S presents itself as the sportier-looking version of a proven platform. With its sharper looks, it still comes with everything else that quintessentially makes it a Vios. You still get good fuel economy, the ridiculous reliability of Toyota, and you get features in the sedan that make it a daily driver that you can keep for a very long time. 

The question still arises, is it worthy of the GR-Sport badging? In a way yes as it offers interested buyers a unique and sporty twist to the otherwise regular Vios. It lets the sedan stand out just a little bit better in a sea of regular traffic and compared to other variants in its model lineup. If actual performance and handling are what you are after, then the GR-S Vios isn’t what you should be after, as the GR Yaris and GR Supra are better candidates but at a much higher price point. 

That said, the GR-S Vios is still on the pricey side for what it offers. Its nearest rival, the Honda City offers you more modern features but with a slightly higher price tag, plus it also has an arguably better interior. The City even comes with more power under the hood and roughly the same fuel economy figures. That being said, the GR-S is cheaper compared to the RS version of the Honda sedan by about P38,000, still making it an ideal choice for those looking to get a dependable and sporty daily vehicle. 

Overall, what you get from the Toyota Vios GR-S is a sedan that comes with looks from the brand’s motorsports division. While it’s still a regular Vios at its core and you won’t be running circles around the competition in terms of performance, you will be turning heads thanks to its unique looks and GR-S badging.


Specifications

Engine

1.5 L

Fuel Type

Gasoline

Performance

106 hp @ 6,000 rpm

Transmission

CVT

Summary

Name Toyota Vios 1.5 GR-S CVT
Body Type Sedan
Price ₱1,020,000
Transmission Type CVT

Engine

Performance

Economy & Environment

Dimensions

Safety & Security

Features

Technology


Colors

Get the best deal - Choose multiple dealerships to compare offers!

You can compare quotations simultaneously from multiple Toyota dealerships. Select your preferred dealers from the list below.

  • Compare quotations from multiple dealerships in minutes.
  • Check vehicle and color availability.
  • Find info on special offers and promotions.
  • 100% Hassle-free with no obligation to purchase.

Latest Review

View More Articles

Popular Articles