Marking its presence in the Philippines small car market back in 2014, the all-new Toyota Wigo has ruled the hearts of every petrol head in the country. The above mentioned statement isn’t a bragged one rather complements the following statement in idyllic manner. In its debut year, it bagged the title of Best Micro Car in Philippines, which clearly depicts its dominance and love gathered over the years of its existence. With zero doubts, it can be regarded as an ideal option currently available in the hatchback segment of the country not only due to its compact city-like dimensions but also due to the fact that it has been in the list of top 5 best selling cars on a consistent basis.
So, the question here is how the Wigo has been able to dominate the market in such a short span of time? Here, we throw light on the aspects, which make Wigo, an undisputed champion in Philippines as we took this drive along the streets to find out prominent reasons for the same.
It was 9:10 in the morning when I was waiting along with my partner, Luke to have a first look at my Wigo. And, guess what it was red, vibrant as ever. As it stopped in front of me, the first word which came into my mind was ‘ducky’. I looked at my partner and said the car’s designers have tried quite a few tricks off their sleeve to grant it a wider yet a compact look. As soon as I headed towards the side profile in order to enter the car, I noticed the chrome door handles and the side moulding, which was also dipped in chrome. It didn’t appeal me as a person especially on the vibrant red as the side profile looked too flashy. However, considering other subtle colors like white, silver and gray, it looks well settled. The color choice however depends on person to person and you might like, which I didn’t or the vice-versa. So, the call on the color choice would definitely be yours.
Talking about the front, it has an aggressive look that accounts for its bold and bulky headlamps, chrome-surround fog lamps and stretched bumper. The chrome love can be seen at the front grille, fog lamps housing and at the air dam lower down the bumper, which isn't just limited to front and moves along on its side profile as ORVMs and side moulding lower the doors. You can’t miss the 14-inch alloy wheels on which the Wigo G runs on, which isn’t the case if you consider the other variant, Wigo E that runs on 13-inch steel wheels with caps. Moving to the rear, it has a rear spoiler with LED stop lamp integrated, which provides it a sporty touch.
Overall, the minimalistic design and creases give it a smooth profile while its compact structure comes pretty handy as a city commuter. The character lines and contours across the car aren’t prominent providing a soothing finish to Wigo, which isn’t a seasonal offering.
Moving inside, Wigo gives an affordability feel instead of a ravishing one. The use of plastic is prominent across the dash while silver boundary of the instrument cluster and touch screen display helps a bit in imparting a modern touch. You can enjoy the dual color tone across the cabin, which features its seating, door panels and the dash. The overall monotonicity gets a break with the circular horn on the wheel that gets pleasant silver accents. To keep you engaged as a driver, it has a 3-spoke electronic power steering wheel, which is a joy to hold.
To keep us all entertained, the Wigo G has an audio system, which comes with AM/FM radio with CD, USB, MP3, Ipod and Aux connectivity in addition to integrated navigation system. There are four speakers in total complementing the inbuilt system and provide a blissful experience to the occupants.
Talking about the space and seating inside, the Wigo has been designed supremely to fit utmost of five occupants, that too with ease taking care of their leg as well head room. The seats are optimally cushioned providing a considerable experience whether you accompany the driver on the front passenger seat or be a part of the gang as a rear occupant. If you are that sort of guy who like to stuff your car with things like coffee glasses on the go or sunglasses or even your cell phones, then you have quite a few options to get them placed in safe places. Precisely, there are three mini-cup holders, two at the front near the gearbox and one at the rear behind the handbrake. In addition to this, each door of the car further aids you in storing your essentials as they come with a separate side pocket making your journeys fun and stress-free.
The cargo space is quite generous too as it can load back at least two weeks of groceries from your favorite departmental store. However, the space at the rear can be enhanced once the seat is folded down, although it doesn't fold down flat, but generates considerable space to accommodate a lot more items.
Finally the para which most of you would like to read, how’s the ride? Talking about my Wigo G experience, I had a pleasant experience sitting behind that wheel. As you know, the Wigo is powered by a 1.0-litre in-line three cylinder engine, with power rated at 65 PS and a peak torque of 85 Nm. The engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission system or a 4-speed automatic transmission, which is exclusively available with the 1.0E trim.
Starting off, you won’t feel vibration when the engine is switched on but as soon as the speed gets to a high, that is around 60, 80 or probably 100, the sound and vibration start to creep in. However, maneuvering the Wigo across crowded streets isn’t hard, thanks to its electronic power steering wheel and superb handling.
Fitted with MacPherson strut suspension at the front end and semi-independent torsion axle beam at the rear, it helps in optimum cushioning inside the car. However, due to its high body structure and body roll on a higher side, the overall ride was minimised when I took it around corners and over imperfections on road surfaces.
In short, don’t expect it to take you on a joyride as it has been developed to satisfy the needs of a daily office goer who is expected to get stuck up in traffic jams while on the way to his office. Hence, being regarded as a city commuter, the Wigo grants you an option to maneuver swiftly through crowded city streets or landing it perfectly in the desired parking slot.
In order to pump out a considerable fuel economy, you need to stick to a particular speed limit, probably around 60 to 70 Kmph on this engine configuration. However, the crowded roads won’t allow you to do the same, but you can make sure that Wigo runs consistently at the prescribed speeds on expressways else highways would also let you down on the economy factor.
In the Philippines, Toyota Wigo is offered in three variants - 1.0G MT, 1.0G AT and 1.0E
With the price, features, styling and storage it is currently on offer, it certainly is a value for money buy. Although, it doesn’t match the perfect package that Mitsubishi offers its customers with Mirage, but for the buyers who look to enjoy a significant fuel economy, basic functions and amenities all at a lower price and with a ‘T’ reliable badge, Wigo is definitely an ideal car for them.