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      Toyota Etios: First Impressions

      Shiva Shankar

      Shiva Shankar


      Toyota Etios – First Impressions

      Toyota Company is well known for its quality cars whether it be the earlier Qualis or the present Innova and its luxury sedans and SUVs. With the huge presence of sedans in India today in the range of 5 to 10 lakh and the need for companies to be able to give a economical but up to date car, Toyota has finally come up with a sedan in the range of 6 to 8.5 lakh, the Toyota Etios.

      The Etios was launched at the end of 2010 and has received tremendous response so far. Recently I made a visit to Toyota dealer to check out the car in more detail. Below are details and impressions of the same.

      Toyota Etios comes in four variants dubbed J, G, V and VX which increase in order of features. Colour options include Symphony silver, Harmony Beige, Serene bluish silver, Vermillion Red, Celestial Black, and White. 

      Appearance Exterior

      The Toyota Etios seems to derive certain cues from the Corolla though it has been designed suitably for the desired price range. The first look however is somewhat underwhelming. The car lacks curves, sleek shaping of bonnet etc.

      At the front, the head lights on the wide front bumper and the chrome lined Toyota emblem give the confidence of Toyota brand. However, the head light size seems on the large size, and though positioned well, it certainly feels that it could have been improved much. The positioning of the windshield is in par with aerodynamics and adds to the aesthetics of the front portion. Black radiator grill and fog lamp add to a good impression of the car.

      Toyota has used a good quality of body panels which is indicated by the sturdy feel of the front fender, front door, rear door and quarter panel.

      The rear side of the Etios is decent and has been covered with big tail lamps, and a somewhat lumpy dickey. The car from the back somehow reminds of the Mahindra Logan. 

      Appearance Interior

      The best of the features of the Etios are found in the interiors. Interestingly, Toyota has put the instrument cluster in the middle portion like that of Vista. When it had been introduced by Tata Motors, it had received lot of negative comments. Perhaps at this time, the Toyota Etios’ dashboard will be better received. Further, the music system is nicely placed surrounded by the instrument cluster, with blower vents and AC control knobs beneath the dashboard.

      The seating positioning is good and one has ample space for stretching his legs. There is good amount of head room too to help for comfortable seating for tall persons. The integrated head rest seats on the front are of alright quality, in order to provide extra length for back. Steering wheel is slightly oval shaped, making it stand out a bit. In the VX variant, we find audio controls on steering wheel also. The power window switches provided on the driver side door help for ease of operation.

      On the rear seats there is good leg space and comfortable seating for three passengers. But, though there is good back support, one could feel the seat is a bit narrow and lacking full comfort for thighs. The integrated front seats helps for better support but at the same time block the front side visibility for rear seat passengers. Bottle holders are provided in the rear door panels, and would certainly be a advantage for convenience of the passenger.

      The last image clearly shows the somewhat modern design of the Etios' seat.

      Indeed, all in all the interiors are a great boosting factor for Etios. Though, it should be noted that we saw the dual tone version, and the single colour, black interior may be less impressive. 

      Performance Drive

      The Etios comes with a petrol engine with capacity of 1496cc delivering a power output of 90 PS, torque of 132 NM, with the engine mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. On the front, the car has MacPherson suspension, while at the rear torsion beam suspension is present. The car is equipped with disc brakes on the front and at the rear, drum brakes. The car has a ground clearance of 170mm and turning circle radius of 4.9m. 


      Toyota cars always provide for good driving, and the same has been proved once again with Etios. The engine is smooth and noise is of very low level, though it is a bit noisier than e.g. the Altis, due to absence of many noise reducing measures. The car’s steering is smooth and the car can be driven with much ease in narrow space. Toyota has taken much care to keep overall weight as low as possible to boost power to weight ratio. The same is shown in the Etios’ smooth drive and fast pickup. The ground clearance of 170mm is just as required for standard humps in city and country roads.

      The Etios' gear knob is nice and bulky, and lies nicely in the hand. The colour coding is a nice touch.

      Braking of the Etios is quite efficient and the car stops smoothly and swiftly. The quoted mileage of 14KMPL in average in city is quite gettable and 17 to 18 KMPL in highway is possible. We will be taking the Etios for a more thorough drive and will share more information.


      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
       Make Toyota
       Model Etios
      Variant VX
      Engine capacity (cc) 1496
      Power in PS 90@5600 rpm
      Torque in NM 132@3000
      GearBox Manual 5 Speed
      Length 4265
      Width 1695
      Boot space 595
      Wheel base 2550
      Height 1510
      Ground clearence 170
      Tyre rating 185/60 R15
      Fuel Tank Capacity 45
      Average Mileage 14
      Kerb Weight 915
      Ex Show room price 6.84


      Features J G V VX
      Body coloured bumper Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Fog lamp No No Yes Yes
      Body coloured ORVM No No Yes Yes
      Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Alloy wheels No No Yes Yes
      AC with heater Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
      Electric power steering No Yes Yes Yes
      Central locking No Yes Yes Yes
      Pillow type rear headrest Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Rear defogger No No Yes Yes
      Tilt steering No Yes Yes Yes
      Chrome accented shift knob No No No Yes
      Audio control on steering wheel No No No Yes
      Audio System No No 2 DIN 1CDMP3, AM/FM 2 DIN DVDMP3, AM/FM
      Fabric Upholstery Single tone Single tone Double tone (black &grey) Double tone (black &grey)
      Leather wrapped steering wheel No No No Yes
      ABS with EBD No Optional Yes Yes
      SRS Airbag No Optional 2 2
      Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Keyless entry No Yes Yes Yes
      Tyre rating 175/65 R14 175/65 R14 185/60 R15 185/60 R15
       Price (Bangalore)
      Ex showroom 492528 544135 638814 684314
      Insurance 18517 20292 23548 25115
      Road tax and handling charges 76435 89800 104380 111385
      Onroad price 587480 654227 766742 820814

      Competition All Specs

      Manza Petrol
      Swift Dzire
      Variant VX Safire Aura Zxi Sxi Play 1.4 GLX 1.4 LT
      Engine capacity (cc) 1496 1368 1298 1596 1390 1399
      Power in PS 90@ 5600 rpm 90@ 6000 rpm 87@ 6000 rpm 101@ 6500 rpm 75@ 5500 rpm 94
      Torque in NM 132@3000 116@ 4750 RPM 113@ 4500 RPM 146@ 3400 RPM 110@ 3000 RPM 127@ 3500 RPM
      GearBox Manual 5 Speed Manual 5 Speed Manual 5 Speed Manual 5 Speed Manual 5 speed Manual 5 Speed
      Length 4265 4413 4160 4286 4247 4310
      Width 1695 1703 1690 1686 1740 1710
      Boot space 595 460 440 430 510 400
      Wheel base 2550 2520 2390 2486 2630 2480
      Height 1510 1550 1530 1468 1534 1505
      Ground clearence 170 165 170 168 172 181
      Tyre rating 185/60 R15 185/60 R15 185/70 R14 175/65 R14 185/70 R14 185/60 R14
      Fuel Tank Capacity 45 44 43 45 50 45
      Average Mileage 14 13 13 15 14 14
      Kerb Weight 915 1115 1035 1130 1080 1095
      Ex Show room price 6.84 5.26 5.86 6.9 5.3 7.02


      The Etios is the car for people who want the Quality of Toyota but at a smaller budget. While the Etios definitely maintains good quality, Toyota has necessarily compromised on a few points of brand image which one may see in a Endeavour in order to provide a reliable car in the range of 6 to 8 Lakh.

      The Etios does come with many boosting factors such as a decent mileage of 14KMPL, power of 90PS and good interior space and comfortable seating. Overall, the Etios is a worthy selection for people looking for a reliable sedan in range of 6 to 8 lakh. 

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