Toyota Belta Points to 2006 Soluna Vios

Update : New Vios spyed in Bangkok! We were right about the car, but it has taken much longer for the Belta to make its way to Thailand than we expected.
Update 2: All new Vios is released. It's here!

Toyota Belta Small Image

Toyota have just released a new compact sedan in Japan. Belta, according to Toyota's website, means "Beauty", and while I don't doubt their Italian language skills I would argue that the Italians do know more about making cars that could be described as beautiful. Looking at the images of the Belta, "beauty" would not be a word that would enter my head.

Yaris Image

Vitz will be Yaris in Thailand. Toyota Thailand are already taking bookings.

The Belta has bold looks, which I believe suite small cars quite well. The Belta appears to be based on the Vitz hatchback, which will be making it's way to Thailand soon. It will be called Yaris in Thailand as it is in Europe. The Yaris will be Toyota's answer to the popular Honda Jazz. It is very likely that the Belta is the 2006 replacement for the recently updated Soluna Vios although it's not likely that the Belta name will be used in Thailand.

In Japan the Belta is powered by a 1.3 liter petrol unit, but would likely feature the familiar 1.5 VVT-i here in Thailand. Toyota have opted for CVT-i systems for the Vitz and Belta. CVT transmissions are gaining popularity in small cars, offering smooth acceleration and good fuel economy. The 1.3 liter VVT-i in the Japanese version boasts impressive fuel economy of 19km/l.

Dash and rear

Interior looks like an improvement over Vios, while boxy angles replace subtle curves around back.

Belta interior

The interior is also all new, with virtually nothing being carried over from the of the current Vios. The new dials are still centrally mounted, but beyond that everything looks new. The Japanese Belta features advanced options like keyless entry and ignition systems.

This car is obviously much better than the current Vios here in Thailand. It is possible that the Belta will appear in Thailand after the launch of the Yaris, however Toyota might not be in too big a hurry to replace the still-popular Vios, which is selling more than the Jazz and City combined. Considering how well the Vios and City are selling in Thailand, it is strange that they remain the only two options in the compact sedan segment.

If you are considering a small car purchase in Thailand at the moment you might be wise to wait. The Vios, City and Jazz have all received their final facelifts and are approaching end of life. With the Yaris and Belta as indications, it is safe to say that replacements will be substantially better, higher quality cars.

Belta with all the additions