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Toyota Vitz 2016 to 19 Review





Toyota Vitz 2016 2017 till 19


Well I’m not going to get too technical or sound like the fan club here

But it’s a long story.

Despite being a popular car, it’s a very bland machine, but has its perks

Hence they are like the cockroaches of the current car scene.


The car is so popular at the moment that I have seen 2 instances unregistered cars were exchanged for money for the market value and for lands, for debts etc. between businessmen as they considered the vitz to be equal to money in the bank. 


Well as for my Vitz tale, I purchased a car, yes full cash deal, wife went crazy over it, 

 found the mileage was tampered 

Raised hell, returned the car, cash refunded got another car used it for 3months, 

saw a better car being imported , exchanged mine a small loss during the whole sales dip this year, got the new car cheap. so lost a few, gained a few.

So tasted both waters 2016 and post facelift 2019


So the popular grades in Sri Lanka are the F and Fm being the entry level , not heard of a U grade car,

 There is a Gr or an Rs here, not sure and a proper Hybrid Yaris from Australia with a known gent

The F has a Start stop model, with a pretty led display and rpm gauge  



Fm has no power Mirrors and has window winders in the back, and no rear wiper

Mostly all these are 1000cc 1KR powered 


Lesson learnt, 

Do a through check on auction records prior to purchase of a car, I caught my cars issue through the Jevic reading, it had done 88000km, 2 auction sheets one with the altered odo and the other with the real odo, car read 34000 odd km, and boy it looked new,  brand new

My trusty mechanic couldn’t tell it was run either. Tyres matched blah blah, they played the game well, do note I will not reveal the seller as post conflict he took the car and refunded every cent, only thing I lost there was about a week of my time. So the vitz is a properly beat up car in Japan, so most here are too good to be true, heavily run.


Always secondly go for a Toyota Lanka Inspection even if it’s a car off the factory, just to be safe




Well the basic frame and shape has been here since the 2011 model, but is the 1000cc tax cut that made these models common here, it’s a good looking layout true, 

Personally I feel the 2016 model looked better and the 2017 odd models look like a scary grandma on the front, the rear looks cool, 

Especially if you got the led package, it looks like an audi, 


Headlights are either h4 halogen, horrible or the lovely leds with auto dipping and levelling. The styles are different with the years


Also the bumpers are far more securely fastened in the 2017 facelift models but still they tend to hang front and rear both after going in our pillaged roads. So for those with that ocd, it’s never ending, I have it and I know, took apart 3 bumpers, the clips are pristine, the bulk of the bumper and humping the pot holes make them warp a few mm, so u have a noticeable panel gap on the sides.


The tail gate is very well thought after, they open with like minimal protrusion from the bumper length, maybe 1 foot at most, and doors open very wide, and easily, handles and mirrors are shared across the whole Toyota line. Mirrors are kinda wide for a small car, so they ding up easy. Remember to buy a few extra lights.





again no ,major difference between the  2016 and post facelift model, just a change in colour schemes, grey to gloss black, jewela had the fancy colors 

The 2015 model the air vents were different, thereafter they landed with axio style propeller like vents, which break very easy, 


Do note the multifunction wheel buttons are original in the car only if it has the 6 speaker sound system. The swap is very easy, 20min job cost about 10000lkr, but with Chinese parts, the replacement Chinese ribbons last only few 1000km and show airbag lights. Oem parts cost 80000 odd (may vary)

the 6 speaker (tweeter)



Seats, Nicely contoured, bit hard, bland fabrics,  front headrests are sown into the seat bulk up to the f grades, there are many variations on the vitz line, so nothing is certain. Dealer level upgrades and variations as well 

There is space, even when you are 120kg


The double din gap and the steering wheel I find well designed and well placed, giving it a bit of a dynamic vibe, the rest of the dash is like the designer sketched the aqua dashboard in a hurry.


The gauge cluster in the f grade is really dated but does it’s thing ok, nothing to be happy there unless you get the f smart stop or a bigger engine.


Most cars here do not have climate control, despite it being fossil parts, it works well, keeps the region cool, yes you loose a bit of low end power and ears hurt a bit more.


Light colored roof liner, headrests in the rear, typical Toyota stuff. Leg room is ideal  for the size, 

The door cards and dashboard remind you of a plastic dustbin though, they scratch like a lottery and love dust. 


Cargo area, quite large actually. Can accommodate the luggage of like 4, seats 4 easy, if you go 5 you gotta be closely related and malnourished. 

Below the cargo deck there is either a useless puncture kit or a space saver wheel, kit varies with car so I suggest a spare wheel. 


The jack is hidden under the drivers seat, not in the tray, so note that before your curse the fellow who stole the jack during a puncture 


Engine and drivetrain 


Yea so the 1000cc agony, no turbo. No isg, just groaning with the cvt box, 

Well it pulls, after a while, and if you floor it, it can keep up the guy who overtook you for going too slow and showed you the finger, and if you keep flooring it it can shift down and pass him. 

It’s just slow to respond, but certainly not a crawler, but no race car either. It’s just enough for traffic, feels brisk between 30kmph and 100kmph, thereafter it just sits.


It’s the noise, it’s not like this huge engine revving noise, this is like a blown exhaust, leaking cat or a cow giving birth,  something, loud and agonizing, the accelerator pedal is very flimsy, no feel, the car responds late to throttle, thereby it’s like asking a question and waiting for an answer.

The vibration is more prominent on the 2016 models, the 2017 onwards ones have a completely different gel mount, we ll get to know more as the cars age.



They’ve gone really stingy on the sound proofing on the f grade, so it’s like only 50% sound proof thanks to the engine. 

Cold starts give you the creeps, it’s that noisy, Reminds you of a 90s elf.


So in Japan cars come with 0w20 oil, here Toyota recommends 10w30, there’s 5w30 as well so pick your poison, parts are cheap, the oil change costs between 10k to 16k depending on the joint, with genuine parts and synthetic oil. Approx 3.2l

You shouldn’t be driving a car if you don’t know the intervals, 

Tip- almost all new jdm cars have a sticker under the hood, with oil change spec, so start translating

 oil change costs like 16k, agents can handle and recommended, at 40000km

PCV valves get clogged easily, so keep an eye, same goes for the throttle body.


So there are many variants of the 1KR engine, this having the 1KR Fe, 

The competition, Wigo and the Perodua cars have variants, so if interested dive in,




The drive,


The suspension 

Well this is why this thing sells so much. The handling is really nice, feels a bit like a hot hatch (before you start cursing just the HANDLING) , but there is zero compromise on the comfort, it’s sedan matching comfort in a cheap hatch, in local context that’s my bottom line here. 


Road noise is very poorly insulated, has the pathetic dying bird horn, 

A63E8958-CA90-4DA0-AFDD-D98810688938.jpeg.7e0ababa39ac6a9cfc48d80ddb53f11c.jpegUsually the 14 tyres are chunky, so manage to cushion even more, 


The ground clearance is PATHETIC, so unless careful, it rubs everywhere, a good option is to fit mudflaps, they make a noise so you won’t bottom it out suddenly 

The front lip is more or less a sacrificial element, or a painters monthly allowance if you are conscious about the car


They have had no concern on driveways and steep descents when they sketched that.

As I write this, my car has been parked for 2 weeks as they’ve started meddling with the road.

It can manage long journeys with comfort if you have a good stereo and if you drive “Normal”

Do note road presence is less, so from biker to bus driver, no one gives a damn and tend to abuse you, being the small car slogan now.


Turning radius is like a bicycle, so cops will start to smile while they write you up when you do that illegal U turn 


Fuel economy is like 11kmpl in traffic, my first Vitz did 18kml in the highway, yet to test the new car, 

92Oc is specced, 



Toyota Safety Sense

Impressive bit of tech here, extremely intelligent, doesn’t try to kill you, warns many times before braking, lane Change assist, auto wipers and headlights  work very well, I’m sure the high beam algorithm was programmed by a very polite Japanese gent as it never sets high beams, even when it’s needed, good stuff.


Pointers not to get yourself screwed

Carry a spare wheel

Do not go off road, steep slopes and avoid bigger potholes, and rocks on the road, you will feel the impact on your groin and pain on the wallet. If you do well you ll need a new sump or a bellhousing 

Don’t over load the car. 


Try to upgrade to factory multifunction steering, or don’t 

92 is enough 

Jewela is just a trim level, gaudy with chrome


Avoid FM models, they are like lorries, and used for mostly cargo and deliveries all over 

Mileage is almost always faux, get a personal import or a TL verified car 

Or just be very very very thorough, jump all the hoops when buying one. And pray it’s a good one.

If you need help with auction sheets, ask 


It may burn a bit of oil after 50000km ish, 

Use genuine parts.  




It’s a crazy platform, we get a boring variant, like that cousin who became an accountant 

when the others are cardiologists, astronauts and rock stars

Overall it’s a good car, not that refined, reliable, old time true tested stuff. 

  • Like 8


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Well written review! Good to know about Jevic too!

As for the car, the Vitz along with the Suzuki Every (Bomb/Cartel van) have to be the most MEH cars i have ever been in. But I like the look of the 2020 Hybrid Yaris, even the interior is rad! Also, would like to know more about that GR here! Also when you mention 'burns some oil after 50k'..I can't help but think why are people so boring and why they buy such vehicles when options like the Fit GP1, Demio, Mazda2, Fiesta, etc.. are available with similar reliability but better driving quality.

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enjoyed reading it, being an owner of a 2016 f grade. there are many characteristics to like the car and several to hate it. 

I have replaced the factory horn with a Hella fanfare duals bought from motorcade as I couldn't bear the negligence it receives from the traffic even when I keep pressing on the horn for 1 minute straight. 

I don't plan on selling the car any sooner so maybe one day the 1KR-FE could be replaced with a 1300cc variant ? 

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I have not heard of a GR but there is a GR Sport.  Gazoo Racing tuneups come in three levels.

GR Sport is the entry level sporty variant and is equivalent to what used to be called the RS....sure it comes with disk brakes and slightly stiffer suspension than the normal grades and a bit of more welds. Some GR Sport vehicles have a slight tune in the ECU to make it feel a bit more responsive.

The next level up is the GR Sport GR. This is what is commonly called GR. This has more sportier suspension, more welds, more braces and some vehicle models come with paddle shifts, etc...and the ECU settings would be a bit more intense. This is kind of like the TRD phase 2 vehicles or TRD spec'd vehicles we used to have.

The highest level is GRMN...this is like all out tuning with everything from the engine to the suspension is completely redone and does not look or feel anything like the stock vehicles we are used to. This is equivalent to the special limited edition TRD performance models that used to be around.

I have only heard of a GR Sport Vitz in Sri Lanka....the one I know of was a Hybrid when imported but was converted locally to a gasoline variant :) 

As for the Vitz in general...yes...the 1KR engine is a dead mule....has always been so even in the previous models. The larger capacity cars have a completely different character.

The 1L Vitzies in Japan are usually fleet cars or entry level cars used by beginner drivers who want a bit more space than a kei car but want the cheapness of one.

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In my experience of riding the Vitz for two years (Vitz 2016 F safety), its a good looking car and better for day to day ride. the car also have plenty of space inside, the driving experience was not much comfortable and the seats are little hard too. fuel consumption in city is around 11km/l-12km/l . Well, it's a good vehicle as a budget car for the price is around for 35-38lhaks. but the new Vitz cost is around 44-48lhaks which is not worth for that price.

Edited by danuja
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45 minutes ago, ghostwriter said:

Got the meter cluster upgraded to the Vitz RS version's on my KSP130. Looks and feels much better with a tachometer. 

WhatsApp Image 2020-11-24 at 1.18.31 PM.jpeg

Is that a direct swap? Looks cool.

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2 minutes ago, hrm said:

Is that a direct swap? Looks cool.

Yes direct fit. Just plug and play.

Even the one with LED display panel and digital fuel gauge is plug and play unit. A CAN bus standard is maintained throughout all models so most of meter panels that fit in the model series are direct fit.

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1 hour ago, ghostwriter said:

Yes direct fit. Just plug and play.

Even the one with LED display panel and digital fuel gauge is plug and play unit. A CAN bus standard is maintained throughout all models so most of meter panels that fit in the model series are direct fit.

My wifes dinged up our one, not a panel without a scratch, it's an Led ver, with all that noobs are offering un the 5 mil range now lol. Its not even for sale 

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1 hour ago, priyanka said:

What about the ODO reading??

ODO needs to be corrected as the new panel shows the mileage it had when it was removed from its original fitted vehicle. I decided to live with it as I don't know any capable mechanic who can change Odometer reading. Don't want to take the risk of frying the circuits trying to correct mileage.

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26 minutes ago, tiv said:

My wifes dinged up our one, not a panel without a scratch, it's an Led ver, with all that noobs are offering un the 5 mil range now lol. Its not even for sale 

regardless of how many dings, scratches it got, this underpowered Toyota will hold its value.

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