Toyota Motor Philippines held its 2018 Vios Ride and Drive activity is organized for media partners to rediscover the beauty of the most sought-out travel destinations in the Philippines under a new light. From the crowded streets of Metro Manila, we first headed north for a savory taste of Pampanga’s gastronomic offerings, then to the famous beaches of La Union, and finally to a cozy retreat in Baguio.
We are first grouped into 10 teams comprising of 5 different models- the all-new Vios, Rav-4, Innova Sport Touring, Fortuner 4×2 TRD, and the Rush. We were then assigned to the Fortuner 4×2 TRD as our test car for this trip.
Our First stop was an old ancestral house turned into a modern restaurant called 25 Seeds. We gorged ourselves in what seems to be an overflow of amazing food courtesy of Toyota Motor Philippines of course.
Continuing the first day, we head to San Fernando, La Union as we check-in to our first hotel of the trip called Aureo Hotel which was a beach side villa type of lodging. And i quote- “A sanctuary to relax and unwind.”
Day 2 continues with us driving from La Union to Baguio, and lucky enough I get to drive the new Vios in the 1.3J M/T variant, just above the 1.3 Base. Straight inside, you find a somewhat similar feel, everything’s placed just right with minimal changes. Going up mountain roads, the car feels very comfortable, very light and handles pretty well. The 1.3 litre felt challenged going up the slopes of Baguio, and I’m having to work 1st, 2nd, and sometimes 3rd gear just to let the car breathe. Its long gearing is a bit annoying because I really had to raise up the revs quite near the red line to just get a smooth and continuous speed up the roads of Naguilian, La Union. Though as a whole, I’m quite impressed with this little car. Steering feel is just about right and its ride and refinement was somewhat improved compared to its predecessor. Mind you, this isn’t an official review of the Vios, more on that to come. This was a taste of its capabilities in the real world situation. Now, this event isn’t just about the Vios, but rather, it’s also a memorable trip through the North with newly made friends, as well as lasting stories with old friends.
We also were able to have a short stint with the Vios that everyone is talking about, which is the 1.5 G Prime, which looks quite handsome and sporty. We took it around the block, and were left impressed, though a proper test drive is in order to really know how the car drives now.
I cannot exaggerate enough the amount of food we were provided with from the ever so generous Toyota Motor Philippines team.
While this was more of a travel experience for us, eating and travelling from one resort to another, it was nevertheless a good first impression trip for us in order to get to know the Vios more, as well as some of the other new Toyotas. With that in mind, then, we can’t wait to get our hands on the Toyota Vios soon.