This time we took 2007 model second generation Toyota Vitz for a review
Toyota Vitz has been in production since 1999. It is commonly known as Vitz in Pakistan, Japan and some parts of the world, it is also known as Yaris and Echo. Toyota Vitz was introduced as a subcompact vehicle to replace Toyota Starlet in late 90s. Ever since it has been introduced it has been a popular vehicle worldwide in the subcompact car category. In Pakistan it is being imported as a JDM vehicle and over the years have become one of the most popular cars in the local as well as the international market.
The first generation of Vitz was introduced in 1999 and remained in production till 2005; followed by the second generation which remained in production till 2012. The current generation of Toyota Vitz is its third generation and has been in production since 2013. All the vitz available in Pakistan are private imports as used cars as this car was never officially offered in Pakistani market.
It comes in three engine types 1.0, 1.3 and 1.5 liter in Pakistan; however the most common engine type you would find in the local market would be 1.0 L. Internationally however, the Toyota Vitz has at least 8 variants from engine size 1.0L to 1.8L in petrol engines and 1.4L in diesel engine. The car is available in both 4 speed automatic and 5 speed manual transmission with CVT automatic. The diesel variant has a 6 speed manual transmission, Body wise Toyota Vitz has two options a 3 door hatchback and a 5 door hatchback.
The car we reviewed was a 1.0 liter variant which comes with 3 cylinder 996cc 1KR Fe engine that generates 91 nm of torque with 68hp. The car comes standard with electronic power steering, antilock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD). The fuel tank capacity is of 42 liters
This car is offered in 5 common variants but there are minor differences in a package depending on what is the buyer ordering
B Package – B Package or Basic Package is the car at bottom of the ladder, just like the name this car is the most striped down basic variant, the car comes standard with basic features like power steering, CVT transmission, ABS etc. Power windows are optional in this variant however the car doesn’t offer rear window privacy glass.
FL Package – After B package comes FL which is short of fully loaded. This one comes with rear privacy windows, Full tyre wheel cups, rear wiper power windows & power retractable mirrors are also standard on top of what B Package offers. This is the most commonly available package in Pakistan and the car we reviewed was also FL Package.
U Package – Third in line is the U (Upgraded) package. This car comes standard with a push start remote control entry feature. This generation of Vitz received a facelift in 2008 and after facelift the U Package also received RPM Meter, Split folding rear seats & optional automatic climate control.
I’LL Package – I’LL package is the highest luxury package, the standard features in I’LL package include leather seats, leather stitched steering, chrome trims in the interior on top of everything offered in U package. I’LL package is only offered in Burgundy & Greyish blue color.
RS Package –RS package is the race / sports package, this is mostly available in 1.3 & 1.5 liter engine options. This is basically an FL car with different seat of tail lights, body kit & a rear spoiler.
When this car was launched it was considered a feature packed car because of the time when it was launched, cars didn’t have as many features as they have today however today when there are so many more options available especially with the arrival of those 660cc Japanese Cars; Vitz certainly feels it lacks far behind. This car has a CD player with radio which is concealed in the dashboard along with audio but to give you a perspective as how far behind this car is in terms of equipment this car lacks an AUX cable or the option of USB. Other feature / equipment in this car is certainly upto the mark to make this car comfortable however you cannot call this car a feature pack car.
The car has a lot of room and storage space with 3 compartments in dashboard. It has ample headroom and can accommodate 4 passengers easily; however, you can squeeze in one more person to make room for five. Trunk of the car is small but you can stack more luggages in by folding the rear seat of the car which in this variant isn’t a split of 40:60 which means if you are folding the rear seat to accommodate luggage then you can only fit in 1 passenger with driver.
There are three major turn offs in this car, first one being the engine noise when you accelerate the car the engine noise inside the cabin is very loud, this is due to the fact that the 1000cc engine is supported by a 3 cylinder displacement but the same engine in Toyota Passo 2007 doesn’t make as much noise. Second turn off is the instrument cluster placement which is placed in the center of the dashboard and I personally didn’t like the fact that it wasn’t in the direct line of sight of the driver. Lastly the rear seats fold in 1 piece and not 60:40 ratio in this car. That is a big turn off considering all the other cars this Vitz compete with offer the split folding rear seats.
During our tests the fuel economy with air-condition came to around 11 km / liter however that is always something depending on how the car is being driven.
While driving the car I was subconsciously comparing it with my wife’s Toyota Passo 2007, The acceleration wasn’t as fast as that of Passo nor was the visibility as good as it is in the Passo however sitting at the driver’s seat I felt I have more space in this car than I have in Passo. EPS, ABS & EBD makes the handling of the car seamless. The center placement of instrument cluster needs sometime getting used to to. You don’t feel the gear shifting because of the CVT transmission.
This isn’t a brand new car so the price cannot be given as final word as it depends upon the options & condition of the car when dealing with a used car. In Pakistan you can get a second generation anywhere between Rs.750,000/- to 1,100,000/- depending on the variant, year of manufacturing & current condition of the car.
Toyota Vitz is the most common Japanese car available in our market. The car has made its mark and all the three generations of this car are very popular all over Pakistan. The second generation still looks good but I personally feel now after so many years the car has started to look dated specially when so many new good looking cars are being offered nowadays.
Looks & styling – 5/10
When this car was launched it was no doubt one of the best looking hatchbacks available in Pakistan but today after so many years the car has started to look old and dated.
Features – 6/10
This car offers a lot of features for the price but certainly this car lacks many goodies which are available in newer 660cc Japanese Kei cars in the same price range.
Practicality – 7/10
The car has a high practically vale, this is one of the most common Japanese used imported car available and the reason is good fuel economy, good resale and a lot of storage space in the interior of the car.
Value for money – 7/10
Being the most common Toyota Japanese hatchback makes this car an extremely good value for money product.
Easy to maintain – 6/10
The car has Toyota’s 1KR Fe engine which is a newer technology engine meaning this car cannot be fixed by anyone and everyone, you do need a mechanic of a certain capability and then the regular maintenance parts like fuel filter & spark plugs are also not the one you use in any other common car which bumps the score down but since we have cars that are a lot harder to maintain this score doesn’t go too low.
Resale – 9/10
This car is liked and loved by all and the number of Toyota Vitz on roads makes us believe that this car sells like a hot cake.
Fun to drive – 5/10
This is a comfortable car to commute but the 3 cylinder 996cc engine doesn’t give this car a lot of power to make it anywhere close to fun driving however if we were reviewing 1.3 or 1.5 liter variants then the fun score would surely have been higher.
Comfort – 6/10
This car is comfortable but certainly not the most comfortable car in this price segment as you can get a used Sedan in similar price which would be more comfortable.
Quality – 6/10
The car is reliable and built with good quality material but the materials used aren’t of premium quality. For example the interior has a lot of plastic not leather but that plastic is strong and holds its place nicely.
Total - 57/90
To watch the review of this car please check the following link