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March 2, 2021

Review: 2021 Toyota Wigo 1.0 TRD S

Who would have thought? From merely being a market disruptor against the Chinese and Korean car brands, the Wigo has become one of the most important models for Toyota Motor Philippines. Last year alone, it moved close to 12,000 units—more than the Innova, Fortuner, or Rush. It is, for the most part, designed to attract first-time new car buyers—those either moving from old, used cars or those who’d otherwise be taking public transportation. As such, don’t expect it to be the fastest, cushiest, or most refined offering out there. This is unabashedly basic level motoring, but surprisingly enough, it’s a remarkably fine one.

The second refresh for the Wigo, it now has a meaner-looking face that better matches the rest of the hatchback’s angular profile. New for this update is a straight-from-the-factory TRD version, the TRD S. While there are dangers of slapping the TRD badge on Toyota’s cheapest car, it actually works here. The bumper extensions, side skirts, larger spoiler, and eye-searing Yellow SE colorway all work to give it that additional oomph. And at an additional P 42,000 (P 700,000 suggested retail price) over the previously top-of-the-line 1.0 G, buyers, especially those opting for financing won’t be feeling the pinch that much.

Inside, the Wigo’s brief as basic transportation is on full display. The design and execution are clearly no-frills, but kudos to Toyota for managing to keep every screw head hidden from plain sight. Prior to its refresh, the center console felt particularly cheap. For this update, it’s been addressed with a new panel complete with a high-gloss piano black finish. In particular, the new digital type air conditioning controls feel classier as does the infotainment system which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. A clever, almost-hidden dashcam mounted in front of the rear-view mirror complete the package.

Quips are minor. For one, despite having a push-button starter, there’s no smart keyless entry. The Wigo requires drivers to fumble for their keys (or at least the transponder) whenever it needs to be locked or unlocked. This in turn, connects to the second problem: the tailgate. Despite the hatchback body style, opening the tailgate can’t be done from the outside; it’s opened via a traditional trunk release by the driver’s side.

Despite the ultra-compact dimensions, the interior manages to feels airy. The steering column is fixed, but finding a comfortable driving position is easy enough. Sadly, the one-piece front seats could be a recipe for potential whiplash injury for anyone above 175 centimeters as the headrests don’t give enough coverage. Those in the back seat fares better with individual headrests for everyone.

Designed and engineered primarily as a city car, the Toyota Wigo is perfectly at home in the urban confines. The VVT-i-equipped three-cylinder engine is lacking in refinement with all sorts of vibrations entering the cabin. It is, however, remarkably quiet given its design brief. It feels lively even with three adults onboard, even as speeds reach 80 km/h. The 4-speed automatic is quick in its responses, and rarely bogs down. Progress though starts to crawl once the needle goes past 100 km/h.

Handling-wise, the Wigo thankfully reacts the same way whether its fully-loaded with passengers or not. The electric power steering is light and quick, but since it requires more turns lock-to-lock than its size suggests, some adjustment is necessary. Once accustomed to, its 4.7-meter turning radius can be used to slot into the tightest of spaces, sometimes to the chagrin of jeepney drivers and motorcycle riders alike. It also feels planted and stable while managing to keep its ride pliant except for large, crater-sized ruts. Steering through left-right-left corners reveals some understeer and body roll, but nothing that lessens the confidence in this little car.

Taken in isolation, the latest Wigo is basic motoring done right. Understanding that would-be buyers are increasingly spoilt for choice, the 2020 model offers the right dash of changes to help maintain its position as an easy-to-drive, easy-to-own first car. However, in the bigger picture, inflation hasn’t been so kind.

At its current price, the TRD S is just P 47,000 cheaper than the larger and similarly-equipped Vios 1.3 XLE. Factor in the P 78,400 DTI safeguard tariff, and the smaller Wigo’s actually more expensive. In the end though, it doesn’t matter. Toyota simply covered all their bases, whatever your mindset. It’s pure genius. Those swayed by math, will set their sight for the Vios 1.3 XLE. But for those who want the unequivocal top-of-the-line variant of a model range, even if it’s the most affordable one on offer, there’s the Wigo TRD S. Regardless, buyers end up with a Toyota. Enough said.

2021 Toyota Wigo 1.0 TRD S

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Ownership 2021 Toyota Wigo 1.0 TRD S
Year Introduced 2014 (Refreshed: 2017, 2020)
Vehicle Classification Sub-compact Hatchback
Warranty 3 years / 100,000 kilometers
The Basics
Body Type 5-door Hatchback
Seating 5
Engine / Drive F/F
Under the Hood
Displacement (liters) 1.0
Aspiration Normally Aspirated
Fuel Delivery EFI
Layout / # of Cylinders I3
BHP @ rpm 66 @ 6,000
Nm @ rpm 89 @ 4,400
Fuel / Min. Octane Gasoline / 91~
Transmission 4 AT
Cruise Control No
Fuel Economy @ Ave. Speed 11.5 km/L @ 18 km/h
Dimensions and Weights
Length (mm) 3,700
Width (mm) 1,600
Height (mm) 1,520
Wheelbase (mm) 2,450
Curb Weight (kg) 860
Suspension and Tires
Front Suspension Independent, MacPherson Strut
Rear Suspension Torsion Beam Axle
Front Brakes Vented Disc
Rear Brakes Drum
Parking Brake Manual
Tires Bridgestone Ecopia EP150 175/65 R 14 T (f & r)
Wheels Alloy
Safety Features
Airbags 2
Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) Yes, with EBD
Traction / Stability Control No
Parking Sensors Yes, Rear
Parking Camera Yes, Rear
Front Seatbelts 3-pt ELR with pre-tensioner x 2
Rear Seatbelts 3-pt ELR x 3
ISOFIX Child Seat Anchor Yes
Other Safety Features None
Exterior Features
Headlights Halogen
Fog Lamps Yes, Front
Auto Lights No
Rain-sensing Wipers No
Tailgate Manual
Interior Features
Steering Wheel Adjust Fixed
Steering Wheel Material Urethane
Seating Adjustment (driver) Manual, 4-way
Seating Adjustment (front passenger) Manual, 4-way
Seating Surface Fabric
Folding Rear Seat Yes
Sunroof No
Trip Computer Yes
Convenience Features
Power Steering Yes
Power Door Locks Yes
Power Windows Yes
Power Mirrors Yes, w/ Fold
Rear View Mirror Day/Night, Manual
Proximity Key Yes
Climate Control Manual
Audio System Stereo
Smartphone Connectivity Apple CarPlay
Android Auto
# of Speakers 4
Steering Controls Yes


  1. daming nakakairita na wigo sa daan. ang babagal. pati pag liko parang aabutin ng 10 seconds

  2. Mr. Rommel, you are SO ARROGANT!

  3. You should have pointed out that the raize/rush side mirrors look overkill on the wigo. The original ones look much better in it because at least it's proportionate. Not sure why toyota needed to change it tho it's just a minor gripe.


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