Toyota has always led the way when it came to affordable small family cars. We can think back to the early Corolla models, later replaced by the Conquest and Tazz, and more recently the Agya. Now a new kid on the block is representing the brand in that segment. It is called Vitz and comes in different trim levels, including the model in question called the X-Cite.
Based on the Vitz baby hatch – which recently replaced the Agya in the Mzansi market – the Vitz X-Cite adds some lovely colour in a package that was already aimed mainly at the first-time buyer. This is a target market that is keen on looks and interior features, especially when it comes to connectivity and such. Their parents or the people more often than not, responsible for actually paying for the car, also count safety as a necessary feature in this segment.
Big headlights are the most visible feature in the car from a front end perspective, as they are laid on parts of the bonnet, side and front bumper side. This helps with night time visibility. Indicator lights are placed within clear housing for better aesthetical presentation and uniformity with the larger headlights cluster. With round fog lights sitting at the bottom of the front bumper, flanked by orange wings, the X-Cite has a complete feature range up front. That orange is a common denominator in the X-Cite models.
The side view is characterised by orange and black “X-Cite” wording on the rear doors, below which is an orange element atop the black bumper strip. Smoked black 15-inch wheels give the car a premium and sporty look, while the side mirror housings are covered in a combination of grey, black and orange.
At the back the outstanding bit is the orange roof-mounted spoiler, complementing the colour-coded bumper and rear lights. One also sees the XR badge mounted to the right of the boot lid. With all the X-Cite models, Toyota is offering buyers a choice of five exterior paint colours, namely Dusk Grey, Shadow Black Pearl, Mystic Pearl White, Jet Blue and Urban Silver.
X-Cite continues the upbeat theme when one steps into the interior. While the inside is mainly painted in black as per normal modern cars, orange is a recurring colour on several touch points. The contrast with the black is quite outstanding, which was probably the whole point of the exercise. Front air vent surrounds are in orange, extended into the dashboard placement area and door panel in three colours that include orange, rear centre console around the window buttons as well as the gear lever.
Touch screens have become commonplace in modern cars, and the Vitz X-Cite is no exception. Fitted with one of these hi-tech systems, the car then boasts features such as Bluetooth connectivity, radio accessibility, as well as Apple Carplay and Android Auto among others. ToyotaConnect then offers 25GB of in-car WiFi for uninterrupted connectivity. Nothing else in the segment offers this.
Note that the X-Cite model comes exclusively with a 5-speed manual transmission that is mated to the proven, naturally aspirated 1.0-litre engine that produces 49kW of power and 89Nm of pulling torque. Besides the free-revving nature of this compact motor, it sounds lovely coming from the exhaust tailpipe. Best of all the frugality it offers – measured at 4.4 litres per 100km on average – ensures the pocket is not a black hole for the petrol stations.
We mentioned safety as one of the requirements in this segment. To this end, the X-Cite comes with standard items such as ABS brakes with Electronic Brake Distribution, dual front airbags, Vehicle Stability Control, Isofix child restraints and rear parking sensors among others.
Toyota has introduced the Kinto mobility solution for its branded cars and for Lexus. Keen customers can then get into a brand new Vitz X–Cite and only pay R2 999 per month for 12 months or 18 000km. The deal includes:
- All scheduled services and maintenance included as well as warranty items for the contract period.
- Connected Car (Wi-Fi and Telematics).
- Stolen vehicle recovery unit and service.
- Initial license and registration.
- KINTO Protect Limited Liability waiver, offering peace of mind in the unfortunate event of an accident or theft.