Unique, fast, with Corolla reliability
- One coin holder has come loose, needs to be blue tacked on.
- Otherwise just standard services, has flown through them with no issues.
SPEC (of my car)
Engine 2ZZGE (190 hp)
Transmission 4-speed auto with Tiptronic
Front Wheel Drive
The WiLL VS is a really eye-catching car. Most people like to say that is inspired by the F117 stealth fighter. That jet has flat panels to deflect radar, and you can see this in the WiLL VS's shape. Toyota's also taken the flight theme inside, with a steering wheel that looks like a flight yoke, bright red aviation instruments, and an automatic selector looking like a plane's throttle. I really like how the design theme applies to the whole car. (That said, you can't deny Toyota has also stolen design cues from the Renault Megane).
It's surprising that the car has such attention to detail throughout, considering Toyota only made 4,000 units. The reason it was able to do such a small run was the underpinnings were lifted straight from the the top-spec Allex / RunX (aka the Corolla hatch). So it inherits most of the RunX RS180s characteristics - namely it's reliable, has a good whack of power and has surprisingly firm sports suspension. It also solves the Corolla's main problem: how common and boring they are.
My example also has the rarer Altezza-style rear headlights, and a full body kit (similar to the kit of the RunX RS180).
The 190hp 2ZZGE engine is pretty nippy. It has a kick of power about 6,200 RPM when the variable lift kicks in. It revs up past 8,000, so there is a nice little powerband to kick through.
To get the most out engine you really want to keep it in this powerband. While this might be possible in the (very rare) 6-speed manual version, it's impossible with the 4-speed auto.
The gearing is way to high in my opinion. In first gear, the lift kicks in around 55kph, and takes you up to 80. In second it kicks in at 100 and takes you up to about 130. Not too useful if you want a fast 0-100 time. I'd much prefer the lift to finish at 50 in first and 100 in second, so that you can get to the legal limits in style! However, when you need to pass, it'll go from 100 to 120 in an instant, which makes it pretty handy out on the highway.
It's also great pottering around town, keeping the revs low. It's really efficient and quiet. Thankfully when you put the hammer down it opens up and growls nicely :)
You can also get the Will VS with the boring 1.8, without VVTL-i. I imagine there's no real poke in it at all, but would make a competent family hatch.
Yep I know I whined about the gearbox about, but there are some good points too. The tiptronic works really well. It's controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, and shifts both ways VERY quickly. Note not all VSs has tiptronic, but I'd recommend it if you're going to get the auto box. It's also a relatively smart auto, kicking down to 3rd gear both up and down hills.
The VSs with the 2ZZGE engine come with sports suspension. It's way firmer than I expected. The car sticks to the road nicely - I've never felt like it was going to let go, but then again I haven't pushed it that hard. I did get a change to take it over gravel roads recently, and it was good fun! Despite the firmness, it goes over bumps and manholes gracefully. The shocks feel competent, and overall a much better handling package than I was expecting.
The stereo is pretty decent - components in the front with 6" woofers. I just discovered it has an inbuilt factory 8-disc CD stacker under the passenger seat. Nice! The rear speakers are mounted in the doors and provide surprisingly good sound quality for people in the back.
The aircon setup is well laid out, with dials similar to a Nissan Maxima. The only thing that bugs me is there is no cruise control on my model.
Inside it's really spacious for a hatch. Takes four adults with ease on a long journey. Rear seats have amazing legroom. The unique shape of the rear door makes it really easy to get in and out. Headroom is OK, but tall people may find it a little cramped. The rear seats have a 60 /40 split, which means I could take three people, luggage, presents, golf clubs, guitar, violin, sleeping bags, pillows, food, etc. away on holiday and back. Only complaint is the boot seems quite high - if it were lower you could fit in even more luggage.
Consistently around 8L per 100ks, or 12.5ks per litre of fuel. Great!
I absolutely love this car for what we use it for. We use it as a runabout in town, and on long trips away. It has the herbs when you need it, and good enough handling to be fun. It won't please someone wanting an all-out performance car. But if perfect for me - good looking, reliable, handles well, and has a decent turn of power.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 28th January, 2009