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Old 19th December 2010, 19:51   #1
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Default Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

The Toyota Etios has been launched in India at a price of between 4.96 - 6.86 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• A practical family sedan. Realistic pricing too
• Spacious interiors can easily carry 5 adults
• Stunning in-city driveability. Torquey engine & nice gearshift
• Well-tuned suspension. Safe handling and flat ride
• Cavernous 595L boot swallows holiday luggage
• Toyota’s excellent after-sales service

What you won't:

• Dated, plain-vanilla styling. Lacks contemporariness
• Missing equipment (climate control, height adjustable seat, electric ORVMs etc.)
• Economy-grade interior quality & unconventional dashboard
• Cost-cutting glaringly evident in many areas
• Buzzy engine over 4,500 rpm. Doesn't like the redline

EDIT in September 2011: The diesel Etios review is available at this link (Toyota Etios Diesel : Test Drive & Review)



Take a look at the key points of the Etios in our video overview :


Last edited by Rehaan : 1st November 2011 at 16:51. Reason: YT Fix
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:51   #2
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review



Sub-8 lakh rupee cars account for over 75% of the Indian car market. For the big three – namely, Maruti, Hyundai & Tata - it’s no longer about increasing market share. Rather, it’s a matter of defending their turf! We’ve witnessed an intense battle amongst the hatchbacks, as well as in the upper C sedan segment, with a flurry of new brands and launches. However, in the entry-level sedan space, Maruti’s Dzire (especially) and Tata’s Indigo (including Manza) have had a relatively undisturbed run. Well, that situation completely changes now. The game is on.

After having firmly entrenched itself in the MUV, SUV and 10 lakh sedan segments (the Innova, Fortuner & Altis are at the top of their respective categories), it was clear to Toyota that the next growth story could only come from mass-market cars. Fact is, the Etios has the potential to give Toyota higher volumes than all of its currently sold models combined. This is validated by Toyota's own target of 70,000 Etios' (sedan and hatchback, together) for the year 2011. You know it’s an important car when the group president, Mr Akio Toyoda, launches the Etios himself in Bangalore. Then, there’s the Etios hatchback (badged as the Liva) arriving in April 2010. Perhaps, Toyota didn’t want to put more on its plate than it can handle. That’s why the Etios diesel & Liva hatchback are going to be launched in a phased manner.

The dynamics of the 5 – 8 lakh rupee market are completely different from what Toyota India has been accustomed to. For starters, the customer here is particularly price sensitive. A lower price point generally equates to slimmer margins. Then, the competition is fierce with the largest number of players vying for a slice of the pie. Indeed, this will also be the first time that Toyota is going up against Maruti head-on. Let's get one thing out of the way : The Etios is aimed straight at the Dzire, no two sides to that. Even the pricing is bang in Dzire territory. I feel a major draw will be the brand itself; a Toyota sedan for 6 lakh rupees is enough of a selling point for many out there.

No one knows how to diet like the Japanese, and the Etios is the lightest sedan on sale in India. The wafer-thin boot lid is the only giveaway of the Etios’ lack of flab. Most other aspects – including how the doors shut, behaviour at highway speeds etc. – meet or exceed segment standards. The panel gaps are consistent all through. In some areas however, say between the rear doors & the C Pillar, or the front doors & the A Pillar, the shut lines are larger than we expect of a Toyota. Paint quality is good and easily on par with the Corolla Altis. Weight is inversely proportional to performance & fuel efficiency (just ask Fiat). Take a look at the power to weight ratio; it’s nearly a 100 BHP / Tonne. At 2,550 mm, the Toyota’s wheelbase is longer than that of the Manza. Space will be a major selling point for the Etios over the Dzire.

Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review-c-segment-stats-screenshot.jpg

The pricing is realistic, with the base Etios starting at 4.96 lakhs. The entry-level car doesn't even have power steering and hence, will only be popular with those on a small budget / commercial users. In a welcome move, Toyota even provides the optional ABS & dual airbags safety pack on the middle variant, unlike its competitors who do so only on the highest trim level. For the top variant, the price difference to the Dzire is about Rs. 50,000.

Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review-c-segment-prices.jpg

The Etios isn’t going to win any beauty contests. In fact, the design wouldn’t have looked out of place in the late nineties either. Clearly a vanilla look that won’t excite nor offend anyone. The smiling front grille is flanked by traditional looking headlamps. If you shut your eyes to the 75% level, you will see a lot of the Innova at the front. The side profile is rather ordinary, while the rear is most definitely Logan-esque. Research 101 tells manufacturers that Indians love chrome. The boot wears a thick, king-sized chrome strip, as does the front grille and door handles. Toyota has very clearly used chrome to “brighten” up an otherwise lacklustre design. The large tail lamps lack design fusion, and are out of tune with the rest of the car. If there’s one thing you can give the Etios though, it’s that the overall design is well proportioned, unlike the Dzire’s weird boot integration. In terms of presence, the Etios totally blends in with the crowd. In my first 3 hours with the car, no one even gave her a second look (surprising for a fresh launch). It’s only at a dhaba tea stop where a family jumped out of an Innova. An elderly gent from the group proudly claimed that he’s booked two Etios without even seeing the car in person. Why? Pat came the answer “Toyota = Hassle free & Reliable”.

Toyota equips the Etios VX (top end) variant with dual airbags, ABS + EBD brakes, keyless entry, 4 power windows, alloy wheels, cooled glovebox, steering mounted audio controls, 4 speaker DVD / MP3 system and an audio remote control. Conspicuous by their absence are climate control, MID, driver's seat height adjustment, electric mirrors and USB / AUX audio port (sold separately as a Toyota accessory).

The only test car I've had with jet black tints. Toyota trying to make the Etios look cool? The car is well-proportioned:


Neutral design. Dated, yet not a quirky line in sight:




Logan-like derrière:




There's a lot of the Innova on her face:




Headlamp & fog light effectiveness is standard fare. Headlamp beam height adjustment has a surprisingly good range:




Fat chrome strip pasted onto the boot. Research tells manufacturers that Indians equate chrome with premium:


185 / 60 R15 tyres mounted on 12 spoke alloy wheels. Not a bad design for OEM. Wheels must have a narrow width as the tyres look more like 175 when viewed from the front / back:


Traditional headlamp design:


Subtle crease brings some character to the otherwise slab-sided Etios:


Etios nameplate on the rear door:


Radio antenna mounted on the roof. Stalk missing on our car:


These "flap type" door handles went out of fashion a decade back. Instead, the Etios ought to wear the "pull type" grab handles that are commonplace with modern cars:


Single wiper has a large sweep. Excellent for driver, may not be for co-passenger:


Smiling grille:


Rear tail-lamp design is out of sync with the rest of the car:



Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2011 at 11:40.
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:52   #3
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review



The doors shut just like that of any other Japanese sedan. There isn’t any European “thud” feeling, but neither are they flimsy. Once inside, the awesome steering wheel will be the first to grab your attention. Next in line to catch your eye is the center-mounted instrument console. I love the steering, although the meter placement in the middle of the dash isn’t to my taste. What’s wrong with conventional placement anyway?

Outright interior space is easily equivalent to the Honda City, both cars also have an identical wheelbase of 2,550 mm. 4 well-fed adults are an easy fit, while the occasional 5th shouldn’t pose any problems either. The Dzire isn’t even in contention here; it’s a straight fight to the Manza for comfort. Headroom, legroom & width are adequate for all occupants.

Interior quality is acceptable for the price, just don’t expect Altis-grade parts in here. All plastics are hard to the touch, feel like they are of a 5 - 6 lakh rupee sedan, and you’ll never forget that it’s Toyota's cheapest car in India (and the world). Even the Dzire has superior grade interior plastics & parts. Panel gaps are consistently aligned and there aren’t any rough edges anywhere. The overall look & design brings some uniqueness to the segment; the liberal use of red, sporty steering wheel, center-mounted instrument console and vertically-arranged main air-con vents. The main point of disgruntlement I have here is the antique look & feel of the air-con controls. Forget climate control, the traditional knobs feel rudimentary to use; their look & feel is straight out of the nineties, and sticks out like a sore thumb. The generous use of red is Toyota’s attempt to brighten the interiors up. It may be a matter of personal taste, but I thought that the red + black + grey interiors are nicely matched to the silver exterior shade of our test car. I actually prefer the black colour (used on the seats, carpeting, parcel tray and handbrake area) over cars that wear an ocean of grey inside. The red highlights are neutral, and don’t look tacky like the Figo’s coral dashboard shade (as an example).

The front seats are well sculpted and offer A+ back support. The integrated neck restraints / head rests do an unexpectedly good job too. The seat compound feels durable and is neither too soft nor too hard. On the flip side, the back rest of the driver & co-passenger seats is rather thin; it isn’t thickly padded at all. Thigh support is satisfactory for long highway drives. Space at the back is such that, two tall adults can sit one behind the other (one each on the front & back seat) without crouching. Even if the Etios is carrying 4 tall passengers, no one will be complaining. The rear seat back isn’t too laid back (say, like the Manza), the recline angle is just right for most people (though I prefer the Manzas). Thigh support is satisfactory for those upto 5'10" in height, taller passengers may be left wanting for more. The seat itself is quite flat though, and doesn't have the thick contours or padding of some competitors. Toyota used the term “cushion” for the rear head-rests which I dismissed as staple marketing talk. Well, I have to admit : They are indeed soft, just like small pillows, and a nice place to rest your head on. Right where the rear passengers lower leg (shin area) would meet the front seats, that area is softly padded. Thus, you can bury your feet under the front seats without worry. The 5th passenger won’t feel unwelcome either. He has a soft backrest and a nearly flat floor (no large hump) to rest his feet on. On the other hand, the slim door armrests won’t be able to accommodate large-sized forearms. Not to miss, the rear seat is placed fairly low. You don’t “walk into” the Etios as much as you “sit down” on the rear seat. Senior Citizens will do well in making a note of this factor.

I was at home in the Etios' driver seat within 1 – 2 kms of driving. The Japanese truly have a way of designing user-friendly interiors. The steering is meaty to hold and is wrapped in high quality leather. It’s the best wheel from any Toyota in India (including the Camry) and is just the right size too. The thick width & flat bottom give it a sporty look. This is no enthusiast’s steering though (more on that in the driving post). The unit is tilt-adjustable, although the range is very limited (merely 2 inches of travel). Even the top variant Etios VX lacks a height-adjustable driver’s seat. The seat itself is placed fairly high and thus, shorter drivers shouldn’t face much issue with frontward visibility. The center console – including meters and audio controls - is subtly tilted toward the driver. The speedometer is easy to read, but the odometer’s casio-like small fonts aren’t. The tiny digital fuel gauge too needs a second look to confirm the reading. The rpm counter is positioned to the extreme left; further, the orange rpm needle is quite small (1.xx cm in height) and doesn’t sweep over the numeric dial markings. Those of us who shift by the revv counter will not be satisfied. The steering positioning is perfect, the gearshift falls right into your hand and the pedal arrangement is spot-on. All controls are within an arms length of the driver. I could also, without difficulty, reach the main air-con vents. Though I’m not a fan of the center-mounted meter arrangement, I’ll give it this : The frontal visibility is better than in other cars, as you don’t have to “look over” the instrument console. Nope, the Etios doesn’t have a multi-information-display for its driver. You’ll have to remain content with merely two trip meters.

Some utility items are sorely missed in the Toyota Etios. For instance, driver’s seat height adjustment as mentioned above. Then, the doors don't auto-lock once you start driving. The Etios isn’t equipped with electrically adjustable ORVMs and it’s a royal pain to use manual stalks in today’s generation of cars. A center roof lamp is absent (there’s only one at the front, ahead of the rear view mirror). Nor is there a one-touch-down function for the driver’s window. The Etios doesn’t come installed with a “headlamp on” buzzer either. Be sure to switch the lights off before locking the car. The front seat belts aren’t height-adjustable, a feature that the humble Maruti Ritz has. I feel it’s acceptable to skimp on fancy bells & whistles, but the items listed in this paragraph have utility value on a daily basis! Cost cutting is glaring evident in some areas as well : The meek horn is an example. Then, there are the el-cheapo sun visors which really belong to a Rs. 3 lakh hatchback.

There are a generous number of cubby holes & storage spots on the inside. The front doors have wide door pockets, wide enough for you to pick a coin from their base, and can hold a 1 liter water bottle. The rear doors have 1 liter bottle holders too, in which you can either keep your replenishments or odd items (but not both together). The area ahead of the gear lever has two cup-holders, while there are some additional storage cubicles around the handbrake area, & behind the gear lever. The 13 liter glovebox is fairly deep and, Toyota claims, can hold five 500 ml bottles. Seatback pockets are conspicuous by their absence.

The massive 595 liter boot is not only the best-in-class, it’s even larger than the Corolla Altis’ or Skoda Lauras! The boot is deep, wide and can easily swallow airport or holiday luggage.

A cold December morning hardly provides the testing environment for an air-conditioner. I’m going to have to leave that verdict to the Team-BHP ownership reports. Toyota says that the front air-con vents are optimised for flow distribution at the rear. I don’t know about that, cooling at the back was the same as any other C segment sedan.

Funky steering wheel is simply awesome. Strange though, that a designed-for-India car doesn't have the horn pad stretching out more:


Stock audio has 4 speakers, all at the front (2 on the doors & 2 tweeters on the dashboard). DVD / MP3 compatible. USB / AUX connector sold separately. Has a video port at the back for an after-market TV screen. Sound quality = 7 / 10. Air-conditioner controls are 10 years too old in look & feel. Unique center air-vent arrangement works without complaint:


Cheesy fonts & blue highlighting of the meter console. Speedometer is easy to read, RPM counter not so (from driving position):


Smooth & slick gearshift. Red coating chips off easily with fingernails:


Large steering-mounted audio control buttons are easy to use:


Thin front seats offer surprisingly good support. Integrated neck restraints (head rests) work well too:


Lack of height-adjustable seatbelt is a shocking omission:


Right ahead of the gear lever, you will find two large cup-holders and a storage cubicle to park your cell phone:


One cup-holder for rear passengers, along with two long storage spots:


Manually-adjustable ORVMs do the job. I'd have preferred a size larger for highways though:


Control stalks feel durable:


The unmarked pull-to-open bonnet lever (on the left) feels like it's been picked from a truck! Headlamp beam adjuster (on the right) is XL sized:


No dead pedal and no space on the left to rest your foot either. You will have to park your left foot under, or ahead of, the clutch on long highway drives:


Unique, lined texture on parts of the dashboard reduces windshield glare:


Deep 13 liter glovebox can hold five 500 ml bottles. Maybe even a 14" laptop:


Front door pockets are well sized, and can hold 1 L bottles. Door pads wear a neat design. Some parts use nicely textured material:


Front seats are not height-adjustable. Notice thin backrest:


Generous back seat space beats some more expensive cars:




Rear window will roll down about 65% of the way:


Cavernous 595L boot can swallow airport / holiday luggage. The missus won't need to pack light:


Non-alloy spare wheel. Tyre size is the same 185 / 60 R15:

Last edited by GTO : 20th January 2011 at 09:30.
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:52   #4
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

1.5L petrol is an easy fit into the Etios' engine bay, with room to spare. Friendly Mod Jaggu says "that valve cover looks like its from the Maruti 800 era of 90's!". Driveability is unmatched and greatly adds to the practical nature of this car:




Toyota has currently launched the Etios with a 1.5 L petrol, while the 1.4L turbo-diesel should be arriving sometime in 2011. This DOHC 16V 1,496 cc petrol engine is rated at 89 BHP (5,600 rpm) and 132 Nm of torque (3,000 rpm). The BHP / Liter output of 59.33 is pretty modest. Toyota has evidently tuned the engine for driveability & fuel-economy instead. Nevertheless, thanks to the Etios’ light weight, it enjoys the best power-to-weight ratio of the segment. The Etios also makes more torque than the Dzire & Manza, and at a substantially lower rpm.

The car settles into a very refined idle. Get moving and you’ll be left pleasantly surprised at the driveability on tap. Torque delivery from low rpms is phenomenal, easily the best in class. The 2nd gear can effortlessly pull the car from crawling speeds, as can the 3rd from as low as 20 kph. Depending on the traffic density, you could use either the 2nd or 3rd ratios like an automatic within the city. The Etios can even pull away from a speed-breaker in 2nd itself, a situation where most other cars require a downshift to 1st. Point worth noting : Shift into 5th gear a little over 50 kph, and the engine doesn’t complain. The Etios is extremely tractable and makes light work of driving about in urban conditions; you won’t be working the gear lever as often as in most other petrol cars. Keep the magic pedal buried and the Etios responds with decent pep for a sedan with 89 BHP on tap. It’s fast enough by segment standards, while the mid-range is punchy for highway overtaking as well. The revv limiter cuts in at a low 5,900 rpm, not an engine for high-revving enthusiasts at all. The refinement levels are acceptable up until 4,000 rpm. Thereafter, the powerplant starts getting buzzy at 4,500 rpm, and is pretty loud at 5,000. If you frequently redline the engine, your family / co-occupants will surely get annoyed by the excessive noise. Just like big brother Altis, it’s best to work the torque between 1,500 – 4,000 rpm. Even when you are in a hurry, don’t revv above 5,000 rpm! The Dzire’s K series engine is definitely the revv-happier & more refined on the limit. The Etios' 5th gear isn’t too tall. Actually, all of the gear ratios seem to be tuned short for city driveability. On the highway at 120 kph, the revv needle is hovering over 3,000 rpm. If you are a regular expressway tripper, you’d probably want a taller 5th gear, or miss a 6th. The 5 speed gearbox is very smooth to use. Positive shift quality, well defined gates and the throw is just right too (not too long or too short). The clutch has an unusually short throw (less than 3 inches of pedal travel) and is a joy to use. It’s also reasonably light and makes gear-shifting an effortless exercise.

The Etios is poorly insulated from exterior sounds. Wind, road & tyre noise are particularly high, even at 100 kph. As mentioned earlier, the engine can get fairly audible on the inside as the revv needle climbs. No problems with vibrations or the like though. The cabin is free of any feel of engine / drivetrain movement.

The MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear is standard fare in the C segment. There is some element of firmness at low speeds, but it's not uncomfortable at all, except over the largest & sharpest of potholes. The Etios’ ride quality is neither too soft nor too stiff, the suspension is well-calibrated with the ride staying flat all through. Example : Where the Tata Manza’s rear has excessive vertical movement on uneven Indian highways, the Etios stays firmly planted. Even broken highway roads are handled well. This planted ride, and lack of bounciness, greatly helps in keeping fatigue away for Etios passengers over long highway runs. Her long wheelbase is definitely a contributor to the nice ride. The neutral handling will suit the needs of most target customers. Outright grip levels are surprisingly good for a Toyota sedan, and even when pushing hard, understeer doesn’t come in that early. Having tested the Altis diesel on the exact same highway a couple of months back, I can confidently state that the Etios is the dynamically superior. Surprised? Don’t be. 1 km of hard driving will tell you that the Etios also has lesser body roll than the Corolla. The dynamics are safe enough with no sudden under / oversteer. It’s no corner carver though; don’t expect a “Fiesta” in the ghats. Even the Dzire has sharper turn-in and is more enthusiast oriented (especially the tail happy rear ). The Etios is satisfactory when it comes to straight line stability, and is at home cruising between 100 – 140 kph. Sure, the car is no “European” tank, and I did have to stay alert at 150. Yet there is no nervousness that you would expect from such a light car. The electric power steering is effortless to use at 0 kph parking speeds, as well as when pottering about in the city. If you’ve driven a Corolla Altis, you'll know exactly what I’m talking about. Unfortunately, at speed, the steering stays light and feels like a playstation wheel. Don't expect any feedback either. Whenever I wanted to know what the front tyres were up to, I’d roll my windows down. Toyota should increase dead play in the center position. On the highway, even a slight movement on the steering will see the car turning. The turning radius of 4.9 meters is short enough for city U-turns, though the Dzire is that much smaller at 4.7. The ABS + EBD brakes perform just as expected. The pedal has predictable behaviour and is easy to modulate.

170 mm of ground clearance, with a suspension that isn't too soft, is sufficient for our roads. We didn't scrape anywhere on the drive that included a handful of rough patches.

Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2011 at 11:42.
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:53   #5
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

Other Points:

• The Etios feels like a “well-engineered” Toyota, albeit not an “over-engineered” one (as say, the Innova does).

• Standard Toyota philosophy reflects in the product : Does some things really well, most things satisfactorily and nearly zero things poorly.

• Current level of localisation is 70%.

• The Etios may be "made for India", yet will be sold to other parts of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India & China) regions eventually.

• 3 year / 100,000 kms warranty as standard. No extended option.

• Toyota’s sales outlet expansion in preparation of volumes : 97 in 2009 to 150 in 2010.

• Note to Toyota : When you get the diesel, ensure that the massive turbo-lag is reduced. The Altis D4-D was quite a handful in the city.

• I think it's fascinating how Tata & Toyota are entering previously unseen segments; the former recently launched a 15 lakh rupee MPV, and the latter a 5 lakh rupee sedan!

• No NCAP testing. But then, neither are the Dzire and Manza.

• As if to take a dig at the Dzire & Manza, Mr. Toyoda says that the Etios is a true sedan (and not a boot pasted onto a hatchback).

• 6 colour options : White, Black, Silver, Beige, Bluish silver and a Dark red.

• There are some accessory packages on offer, which include a combination of mats, door visors, steering wheel cover etc. More details on Toyota's website.

• Fuel tank capacity = 45 liters. ARAI rating : 17.6 kpl.

• The short-throw clutch will take you 2 minutes of getting used to. Once done, you’ll grow to love it.

• The interior rear-view mirror on our test car came off a couple of times! The bonnet-holding rod got detached, and there were innumerable plastic clips & rubber bushings left by previous reviewers in the cubby holes. Not the Toyota we know. Our car was a pre-production example. Lets hope there are no such issues once the Etios starts rolling off assembly lines in the 3rd week of December.

• The front seat has a generous travel range (fore & aft). On the other hand, the steering tilt adjustment range is rather limited (rough estimate = only 2 inches of travel). Some will complain that it doesn't tilt high enough.

• Thin backrest of the front seats liberates that much more knee room for rear passengers.

• Rectangular storage places on either side of the handbrake are long enough to hold pens. They even have cut-outs for exactly the purpose.

• All three passenger grab handles have bag hooks.

• The driver has decent all-round visibility, including whilst reversing.

• Cost cutting : Between the boot and the rear seat, there is no partition to speak of. It’s merely a piece of black cloth hanging around. Further, the instrument cluster illumination isn’t adjustable.

• Sometimes, between the 2,800 – 3,200 rpm range, we could here a faint whistle from the engine. Obviously, it ain’t no turbo-whistle.

• Large rear windows don’t have a quarter glass. Greenhouse is generous. No feeling of claustrophobia at all.

• Rear seat cannot be folded down for when cargo carrying flexibility is required.

• Foot room for rear seat passengers is generous. Those with XL sized boots won’t have any trouble fitting in.

• Stereo can play DVDs. If you aren’t the iPod type, you could easily carry upto 4.7 gigs of MP3s on a single disc (dual-layer single-side DVDs go upto 8.7 GB).

• Here’s my theory : In addition to cost, Toyota has intentionally left out some good bits to avoid overlap with the Altis. Will there still be some amount of overlap in the showroom? Hell ya!

Thanks to Rehaan for the additional points, pictures & video!

Last edited by GTO : 11th January 2011 at 11:43.
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:53   #6
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

The Smaller yet significant things:

Light-weight roof gets a ribbed structure for strength:


Cost-cutting! Single reversing light:


Rotary air-con vents can be set in any horizontal / vertical direction. Can be entirely shut too:


That's the open & close flap for the glovebox' cooling function:


El-cheapo sun visors:


Dash-top is home to two tweeters:


Textured part of the door pad breaks monotony:


You will have to cut metal to install rear speakers in the Etios. ICE champions, make note:


Spare wheel cover is....well, hardly one! It is merely a thin sheet of corrugated plastic:


Integrated front neck restraints / head rests are well-foamed:


As are the rear pillows!


Audio remote control for rear passengers. Toyota knows that the Etios will be chauffeur-driven as much as it will be self-driven:


Nope, the keys don't have integrated door lock / unlock buttons. The remote is separate:


Rear wheel arches should have had more trim & insulation. The front (pictured here) are even more naked. I have no doubt this adds to the prominent road noise inside:


Front arm rests (pictured here) are wide enough. Rear not so:


Roof moulding is contoured to release that much more headroom. Center roof lamp conspicuous by its absence:


Spare tyre jack is placed under the front passenger seat:


That's a 5'8" gentleman with the front seat pushed all the way back. Room is more than sufficient:


Suspension is well calibrated, especially the torsion beam rear. Flat ride on the highway is enjoyable. Check out the silencer's plumbing:
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Old 19th December 2010, 19:53   #7
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

Chief Competitors of the Toyota Etios

Maruti Dzire:
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Owners liked:
- Value for money pricing
- High fuel efficiency
- Punchy diesel engine
- Level of standard equipment
- Maruti’s after-sales service

Owners disliked:
- Inconsistent fit & finish
- Strange boot styling
- Cramped space at the back
- Average ride quality

Tata Manza:
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Owners liked:
- An all-rounded 6 lakh rupee sedan
- Competent 1.3L diesel engine. Fuel efficient too
- Class leading interior space & backseat comfort
- Absorbent ride quality
- Respectable level of equipment & safety kit
- Value for money pricing

Owners disliked:
- Tata’s niggles and a lack of absolute quality
- Interior fit & finish are sub-par
- Petrol engine is neither fuel-efficient nor powerful
- Inconsistent after-sales network

NOTE : Competitor information sourced from the Team-BHP Ownership Review Section.

Last edited by GTO : 20th December 2010 at 12:34.
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:02   #8
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

12,000 bookings and it is easy to understand why, just look at the positives. Every car has a negative, but in this case, if the price to value quotient is considered and the Toyota brand value added, it itself overlooks everything and there is..like nothing really wrong with this sedan. What a typical Indian middle to upper middle class family buyer will want, this car seems to have it all in perfect optimism.

Kudos for another cracker of a review rush!
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:10   #9
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Default Enter the Dragon ?

So Toyota folds up it's sleeves and gets ready to get down & dirty in the compact sedan segment. With this kind of a package from Toyota, I dont think people are going to mind the missing bits.

I definitely dont like the front look. It's not a smiley .. it's more a big grin reflecting the punch it is getting ready to deliver to Maruti & Tata. I wonder if Hyundai will even think of a replacement for the Accent.

The chrome strip on the rear reminds me of one on the Avalon a decade ago .. (IIRC).

The opening in the glove box for the cool air is a neat idea.

The center mount console is biased to RHD. So the top part of the dash will have to be re-designed for LHD versions. No biggie, though.

GTO, two questions :
1. is there a higher trim option that provides more standard fare like adjustable head rests for the front ?
2. How is the under-thigh support for the seats ? How does the back-support feel ? Best in class .. or just okey types ?


A good, crisp review there. Thanks, GTO.

Last edited by condor : 19th December 2010 at 20:14. Reason: Adding questions
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:32   #10
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

As usual another mind blowing review by non other then Mr. GTO.
Good to see the video review as well

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
• As if to take a dig at the Dzire & Manza, Mr. Toyoda says that the Etios is a true sedan (and not a boot pasted onto a hatchback).
What is great about it? Maruti and Tata can always say that their Swift & Vista are true Hatch backs unlike Etios Liva? or whatever that is after its launch!!

Quote:
• Thin backrest of the front seats liberates that much more knee room for rear passengers.
Are those seats as comfortable as the normal thick back seats?

One question: Is there anything why one will leave aside TOYOTA Etios and still go for 'current' DZire if some is purely looking for a petrol sedan in that price range?

Last edited by HammerHead : 19th December 2010 at 20:34.
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:33   #11
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

As usual, Fantastic Review. No mention of the Simple pleasure of Marlboro with Chai ( while mentioning the Innova person who booked 2 Etios at the dhaba) 5 Star rated for the usual attention to detail making it a must read!

I am still surprised with the car being only 900 kgs, it still handles speeds upto 140 without a feeling of taking off.

NCAP/Safety according to me is a bit suspect with such less metal available to cocoon.
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:38   #12
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Default Re: Enter the Dragon ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
I wonder if Hyundai will even think of a replacement for the Accent.


1. is there a higher trim option that provides more standard fare like adjustable head rests for the front ?
No adjustable head restraints in any model, not even on VX.

Accent replacement? perhaps another transformation?
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:43   #13
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

Great review GTO. Though I am waiting for Liva, I was definitely looking forward to teambhp's official review.

Any pointers on mileage? Being light weight, this should have a comparable if not better mileage that Maruti counterparts.
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:46   #14
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

Toyota teased us with the launch of Etios with A.R. Rahman popping up every now and then to weave his magic on us in the T.Vs, now GTO has teased us this long to get the TD of one of the most awaited cars in India.

Thanks much GTO sir for bringing us a superb review of a superb car. I wonder how much more bookings are Toyota going to get after people have read this review.


I must say this is a Q class review Do we have any idea on the when will the deliveries start and how much cars have they targeted for each month?

Finally, rated the review 5 star!
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Old 19th December 2010, 20:46   #15
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Default Re: Toyota Etios : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Kudos for another cracker of a review rush!
Thank you Sid! I was just hoping you don't beat me to this one, going by your scoop records

Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
How is the under-thigh support for the seats ? How does the back-support feel ? Best in class .. or just okey types ?
Quote:
Originally Posted by HammerHead View Post
Are those seats as comfortable as the normal thick back seats?
Front seat overall support is excellent (surprisingly)! Rear seat back rest is good, though taller (over 5'10") people will want more under-thigh. Neither seat has that thick, cushiony feeling.

Quote:
One question: Is there anything why one will leave aside TOYOTA Etios and still go for 'current' DZire if some is purely looking for a petrol sedan in that price range?
There's place for both in the marketplace. I suppose the Tata Manza will be the worst hit once the diesel Etios comes around. Maruti is a Maruti after all, has an equally good engine (better at high revvs) and more equipment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vignesh_ny View Post
No mention of the Simple pleasure of Marlboro with Chai ( while mentioning the Innova person who booked 2 Etios at the dhaba)
Ah well, you know me . There were a lot of those.

Quote:
I am still surprised with the car being only 900 kgs, it still handles speeds upto 140 without a feeling of taking off.
It's SO MUCH better than even my 985 kilo OHC Vtec. Taut suspension helps. I'd say the stability is par for the course uptil 140. At 150, I was on my toes.
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