Two new Toyotas in SA: the budget-friendly Vitz and the luxurious Crown

Toyota South Africa has introduced two new models on opposite ends of the spectrum. One is the automaker's most affordable offering in SA, the Vitz, and the other is its most luxurious model, the Crown.

Borrowing its design cues and mechanics from the Suzuki Celerio, thanks to the Toyota-Suzuki collaboration for producing different badge-engineered models, the new Vitz replaces Agya in South Africa.

Three trim levels are on offer, each propelled by a 1.0-naturally-aspirated 3-cylinder petrol engine generating 49 kW and 89 Nm. The power drives only the front wheels and takes the Vitz to a maximum speed of 160 km/h.

The engine mates to either a standard five-speed manual gearbox or optional automated manual transmission (accessible for only Xr trim). Toyota claims a fuel economy rating of 4.4 l/100 kilometres for the manual and 4.2 l/100 kilometres for the automatic variant.

Priced at R16,000 less than the Agya (R206,000), the Vitz (starting at R189,900) is a more attractive option for budget-conscious buyers in South Africa, particularly when we consider the standard facilities. These include AC, electric power steering, central locking, and a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. Alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a rearview camera are available for high-spec versions. All the Vitz models come with a 3-year/100,000 km warranty and a two services/30,000 km plan.

Interestingly, the Suzuki Celerio boasts a comparable selection of three models, with price tags of R178,900, R198,900, and R213,900.

The completely redesigned, 16th-generation Toyota Crown is set to arrive in South Africa in limited numbers. Created using the TNGA-K platform, the Crown is available in four body styles in its home market. However, South African customers will only be able to get their hands on the Crossover model (at least for now).

The new Crown Crossover will carry a naturally aspirated 2.5-litre petrol mill and a freshly-created bi-polar nickel-hydrogen battery that would enable it to cover 100 km in just 4.4 litres. The maximum power output will be 176 kW, which would transfer to all the wheels via a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). It is the same powertrain we find in the new Lexus RX 350h. A more robust turbocharged 2.4-litre petrol-electric engine will probably be offered later.

The all-new 2023 Crown will also come equipped with the standard Toyota Safety Sense suite as well as the Toyota Teammate, a package of driver assistance systems. The KINTO car subscription service will also be accessible for buyers, taking care of regular maintenance and different other car expenses.

There will be a slight difference between single-tone and bi-tone Crown prices.  The former starts at R891,400, while the latter costs R899,600.

*All prices correct at time of publication.

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