It’s NOT a Celerio.
It is an extension of the Suzuki Toyota JV relationship ala Starlet/Baleno flavour. So expect a lot of similarities between the two.
The Vitz replaces the Agya and let me get this off my chest. I don’t think the looks are an improvement – from the front the Vitz looks like it embraces the not so trendy squashed frog approach a little too closely for my comfort levels. Compared to the Agya it’s a move backwards in my opinion. It doesn’t get better from the rear either where the Agya is certainly distinctive – you either like it or hate it – but you can’t miss it. The Vitz is a bit non for my liking but there you go.
Also to get off my chest is that it the reason it looks like a Celerio is because this is the second JV type venture that Toyota have with Suzuki along the lines of Starlet/Baleno. Which seems to have worked for both brands thus far.
And that’s really all there is to say about the worst of the Vitz. Everything else is actually pretty good. What we have here is a city run about budgeted to be affordable. It starts off at R190k for the base version, climbing to R220k for the more upmarket XR manual and R30k for the AMT XR. One cannot argue that in this current market of new car prices that the Vitz is certainly not on point in pricing to sell.
It is also aimed at a younger generation and so it has AAACP (Android Auto Apple Car Play) that cables to the media module located in the centre console. We had the manual XR for the introductory drive and it has a surprising level of spec. A/C, electric windows, door mirrors – what seems to be an acceptable entry level sound system, digital tach integrated into the digital fuel consumption and usual mileage meters to name a few that stood out. The 1.0l normally aspirated 49kW 89Nm 3 cylinder engine didn’t feel too wheezy or over revved mated in this case to a 5 speed manual that was particularly easy to drive smoothly and economically.
Fuel consumption is claimed at under 5l/100 and ought to be achievable on the open road, around town you’ll probably get slightly over that but I don’t think it will be by much. For a small car there is quite a bit of room although I didn’t get into the rear seats. Boot space Toyota say has been improved by 35l and it’s now class leading in this department. Except, perhaps, against the Celerio.
On the road the Vitz is certainly more at home in the city streets which is what it was designed for. The CR gets attractive 15” alloys and they’re not too bad in terms of ride either with a comfortable soft sprung ride the lasting overall impression. We didn’t drive it long enough to put it into drift mode, but to be perfectly honest I do not think you should be expecting extended tyre shredding experiences from the Vitz. At least not until Toyota drop a V8 into the thing.
On the highway up hills you are going to be able to keep up with traffic but the fast lane is not going to be where you spend the majority of your time. Over takes might need some planning but really, the Vitz is not designed around doing grand tours of the country at speed.
Interior cabin build quality is of course done to a price point, but even so it’s not bad. The plastics are hard and tough – and that’s what I want to see – nothing easily breakable means less cash for maintenance thank you and that’s a big chunk of the value for money component of the Vitz package.
As a first car, as a car you put your offspring into, or indeed even as a car that you’re downsizing into (and I can attest that the switch was one I should have done AGES ago – it is genuinely a pleasure), the Vitz ticks a lot of boxes with affordability being the biggest. Add the Toyota badge and as much extended motor plan as you like from the standard 2 year 20k km offering and really the question becomes one how far wrong can you go with the Vitz?