Toyota is firing on all cylinders, as barely a month after the launch of the all-new Corolla Altis, it is already planning to take on the A-segment market that it once dominated. In February, Toyota Motor Philippines is to launch the Wigo, a new hatchback co-developed with Daihatsu primarily for the Indonesian Low-Cost Green Car sector. Indonesia will not charge luxury tax for these vehicles, thus making their pricing more attractive.
As for the Philippines, Toyota has been moving its cars steadily upmarket by adding more features and upscale styling cues, in line with the gradual increase in vehicle prices in general. That creates a big space for entry-level cars, a space that upstarts from Korea, China, and even perennial rivals Mitsubishi and Suzuki are happily jumping into. Well, Toyota is not about to take it with an idling engine. Toyota’s plan for Philippine domination continues with this little hatchback.
The Wigo follows the familiar Toyota template of a one-box body with large headlamps and tall greenhouse area. It’s a logical progression of styling cues we’ve seen in the Echo and Yaris hatchbacks. If the new city car looks overtly familiar, it’s because Daihatsu also penned Toyota’s small MPV, the Avanza.
The Wigo is expected to feature 14-inch alloy wheels, front foglamps, and such niceties as chrome garnish on the foglight surrounds and the door handles.
Inside, the new car will feature basic one-DIN or two-DIN audio units with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, driver-controllable power windows and power mirrors, features that are not standard for all vehicles in this class. Upgrades such as navigation systems will be dealer options. With its 3600mm length, 1600mm width and 1520mm height, it’s a close match for the Mitsubishi Mirage (3710mm length x 1665mm width x 1500mm height). Wheelbase is dead even, at 2450mm. Toyota figures that it will have the edge when it comes to ease of ingress/egress and favorable seat position. Dual SRS airbags should be standard on all variants.
Engine and transmission
Wigo will be powered by a 1.0-liter inline-three cylinder engine. The long-stroke engine generates a modest 65ps and 86Nm of torque. The payoff is expected in the fuel economy. As it is a participant in Indonesia’s Low-Cost Green Car program, the mandated fuel economy is at least 20km/liter. Transmission choices are five-speed manual or four-speed automatic.
The Wigo will feature MacPherson struts up front with coil springs, electric power steering, and torsion-beam axle at the rear. Brakes will be discs (vented discs for the AT models) up front with rear drums. 13-inch steel wheels will be fitted on the base models, with 14-inch alloys on the upper variants. A TRD kit with side skirts, front and rear bumper trim will be available soon after launch.
Built in: Astra Daihatsu factory in Indonesia.
Price: Wigo 1.0 G A/T P534,000
1.0G M/T P499,000
1.0E M/T P448,000
As a fan of the Toyota Echo hatchback, we had been hoping for the clever-looking Aygo from Toyota Europe, but: that is an older car and slated for a redesign, and its unconventional offset seating not likely to catch on in the ASEAN market. So Wigo it is then, in February.
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