Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Toyota Aqua/Prius C Minor Change and Aqua X-URBAN

2015 Toyota Aqua

Having been there for three years since its debut in late 2011, the Toyota Aqua hybrid compact is served as the most fuel-efficient and cost-effective Toyota that money can buy if a normal Prius is so expensive for them. Even if its facing stiff competition from its chief rival, the latest version of the Honda Fit Hybrid with its double-clutch gearbox, looks like this compact car's fighting back with its fuel economy that shows that the Aqua is by no means the most fuel-efficient compact hybrid car everyone will buy. With this latest version, the newly facelifted Toyota Aqua features a mildly refreshed look that will keep this best-selling model updated for what lies ahead in the modern world.

For this minor change, the Aqua features the world's first switchable Bi-Beam LED headlamp first applied on the recently facelifted Prius Alpha MPV as well as a new front face that looks like it was similar to the 86 sportscar. Not only that, the rear view's been changed thanks to the new rear lamp design that kinda reminiscent of the Toyota 86 sportscar as well but don't be fooled though, this compact car is still a reasonably-priced baby Prius for the masses.

2015 Toyota Aqua interior

The Aqua's interior has been slightly refreshed for this minor change and when you see the difference between this and the pre-facelifted interior, you can't really tell but a spot at the climate control and some added materials should do the trick. Apart from the refreshed interior that seats up to five people, the software's been changed to accommodate Toyota's T-Connect telematics system. If you're new here, T-Connect is basically a smartphone-based navigation app that allows its customers access useful information as well as services and can also be access via an interactive touchscreen. The Toyota Aqua has this one via optional extra so if you're looking for some sights and sounds around downtown Tokyo as well as other Japanese locales, be sure to have one for a change.

2015 Toyota Aqua X-URBAN

Apart from the minor change, the Aqua added a nippy crossover variant called the X-URBAN and although it looks more like a rugged compact, the X-URBAN still feels like a normal Aqua so who cares? On the X-URBAN variant, it comes with three different accents such as BRONZE BASIC, SPICY COLOR, and COOL BLUE. It's all in the name of personalization of course but on the wrong hands, this X-URBAN may end up looking like a hideous-looking rubber shoes that your mom wore for jogging in the morning sun. For the fun of it, try the one with the SPICY COLOR accent and the Cool Soda Metallic exterior color. That will give you the look of the Gulf Oil team livery except this isn't going to race at your local track because it's a city car. A boring city car that's about as nerdy as your classmate seating next to you.

2015 Toyota Aqua

It still features the same 1.5L petrol engine bolted to an electric motor and nickel metal battery as with the previous model while mated with the same old CVT gearbox. As told from the previous update that combat against the Honda Fit Hybrid, the Aqua features reduced engine friction, an inverter, and an updated motor so fuel economy is a record-breaking 37.0kmpl by JC08 standard, depending on the model and your actual driving mileage. Yes. That's .6kmpl more than the latest Fit Hybrid but still it's worth dull because let's not forget, the Fit Hybrid's got double clutch rather than CVT that the Aqua had but with so many recalls about their faulty double clutch gearboxes that Honda faced since last year, the Aqua could be your safe but boring bet.

Although boring, it's still more enjoyable than the normal Prius and with seating up to five people, going out with your friends on a trip to the mall isn't half bad for a barkada car for a stop. It may be sluggish to accelerate but its handling wasn't half bad although some understeering is a high possibility just like any other subcompacts when going in too fast.

How much was it? The new Aqua starts at 1,761,382 Yen for the base model (around $18,000) while the heavier X-URBAN model is priced at 2,046,000 Yen (around $21,000). Although more costly than the previous Aqua, it's still a bargain to own although you might need to spend more on the optional extras as well as the T-Connect telematics essential on your Japanese holidays.

Available colors (Aqua): Super White II, Lime White Pearl Crystal Shine, Silver Metallic, Grey Metallic, Black Mica, Super Red V, Cherry Pearl Crystal Shine, Orange Pearl Crystal Shine, Yellow, Fresh Green Mica Metallic, Blue Metallic, Cool Soda Metallic, Dark Violet Mica Metallic.

Available colors (Aqua X-URBAN): Super White II/Bronze Basic, Lime White Pearl Crystal Shine/Bronze Basic, Silver Metallic/Bronze Basic, Grey Metallic/Bronze Basic, Black Mica/Bronze Basic, Super Red V/Bronze Basic, Orange Pearl Crystal Shine/Bronze Basic, Yellow/Bronze Basic, Fresh Green Mica Metallic/Bronze Basic, Blue Metallic/Bronze Basic, Cool Soda Metallic/Bronze Basic, Super White II/Spicy Color, Lime White Pearl Crystal Shine/Spicy Color, Silver Metallic/Spicy Color, Grey Metallic/Spicy Color, Black Mica/Spicy Color, Super Red V/Spicy Color, Orange Pearl Crystal Shine/Spicy Color, Yellow/Spicy Color, Fresh Green Mica Metallic/Spicy Color, Blue Metallic/Spicy Color, Cool Soda Metallic/Spicy Color, Super White II/Cool Blue, Lime White Pearl Crystal Shine/Cool Blue, Silver Metallic/Cool Blue, Grey Metallic/Cool Blue, Black Mica/Cool Blue, Super Red V/Cool Blue, Orange Pearl Crystal Shine/Cool Blue, Yellow/Cool Blue, Fresh Green Mica Metallic/Cool Blue, Blue Metallic/Cool Blue, Cool Soda Metallic/Cool Blue.

Photo: Toyota Motor Corporation

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