Car Trivia of the Week: 3 Things You Didn’t Know About the Toyota Wigo
Updated on September 23 2023
The Toyota Wigo belongs to the top-selling list of used and repossessed cars at Automart, and that’s hardly surprising. The Wigo represents the very essence of an agile, affordable, and fun-to-drive small car. Equipped with a small three-cylinder engine and a choice between a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, the Wigo is an ideal second car or a worthy choice for first-time drivers.
Despite the Wigo’s popularity among Filipino buyers, there are a couple of interesting facts that only a few car lovers know about Toyota’s small hatchback. Here are the top 3 things you didn’t know about the Toyota Wigo.
Top 3 Toyota Wigo Facts
1. The Wigo is not a Toyota.
You read it right. Even though Toyota brought the Wigo nameplate to Philippine shores in 2013 to compete with the Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, it’s not actually a Toyota to the core. Instead, it has the DNA of fellow Japanese automaker Daihatsu.
Toyota became a significant shareholder in Daihatsu in 1967 and increased its stake in the company from 16.8-percent to 33.4-percent in 1995. By 1998, Toyota has a 52.1-percent share in Daihatsu. And by 2016, Daihatsu became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Toyota.
Quick fact: Did you know the Toyota Rush is also a Daihatsu? The Rush first entered the Japanese market in 1997 under a different name: Terios. Want more Rush trivia? The first-generation Terios or Rush replaced the Daihatsu F300 Series Rocky (also known as the Feroza three-door compact SUV).
2. The Wigo is sold with a more potent 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine.
The Toyota Wigo is available with a larger and more potent 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine in Indonesia (Toyota Ayga/Daihatsu Ayla) and Vietnam (Toyota Wigo). Producing a healthy 87 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque, the four-cylinder motor, as expected, has more oomph than the three-cylinder engine we get in the Philippines.
The local Toyota Wigo has a 1.0-liter three-cylinder gasoline engine pumping out 66 horsepower and 65 pound-feet of torque. On the other hand, the Mitsubishi Mirage also has a three-cylinder engine, but the Mirage has more power and torque than the Wigo’s three-cylinder mill. The Mirage has a 1.2-liter three-cylinder engine with 77 horsepower and 74 pound-feet of torque.
Based on the numbers, the Wigo’s larger four-cylinder engine is a better match to the Mirage’s three-cylinder power unit. However, the smaller engine achieves 15.2 km/L in city driving and up to 24.2 km/L on the highway – part of why Toyota insists on not bringing the larger four-cylinder engine to the Philippine-spec Wigo.
3. Toyota/Daihatsu made a Wigo Concept with a turbocharged engine.
Even before Mitsubishi and Ralliart New Zealand unleashed the Mirage Evolution concept in 2021, Toyota and Daihatsu came up with the Ayla Turbo Concept, a one-off model based on a production Wigo hatchback.
Under the hood, it gets the bigger 1.2-liter four-cylinder engine with modified pistons and a new turbocharger. It now has 200 horsepower to play with, which is a lot for a car weighing less than 900 kilograms. Exterior-wise, the Ayla Turbo Concept has unique side skirts, a deep chin spoiler, and lightweight plexiglass windows. Underneath, it has AP racing brakes, special alloy wheels wrapped in Achilles semi-slick tires, and lowered suspension.
Like the Mirage Evolution Concept, the Ayla Turbo Concept will probably remain as concept cars for now. Given that Toyota is busy reinvigorating its image with the GR Supra and GR Yaris, a hardcore and turbocharged Wigo (GR Wigo, anyone?) will definitely strike a chord for enthusiasts looking for a fast Wigo out of the box.
Small Car, Big Features
The Toyota Wigo is well-loved by the motoring public for a multitude of reasons. It may only have a three-cylinder engine, but it has enough power to climb Baguio and Tagaytay without penalizing fuel economy.
The compact and quirky hatchback design offers enough room for a small family and light cargo. Finally, it is one of the most affordable practicars (practical cars) in the market, especially if you buy a used or repossessed Toyota Wigo.