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Old 4th July 2011, 13:08   #1
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Part-I - SELECTION PROCESS

What do we need in the car?

We started thinking of buying a new car in later part of 2011. Went around looking for cars available in the market and started taking a few test drives here and there. Soon I realized that it was too confusing, given the way market had evolved since the purchase of M800 we...ll over a decade back. From the plethora of choices available, we needed to figure out what we wanted in a car to be able to take some kind of decision. Following a fair amount of research, a good number of test drives and some brainstorming, the following Qualifying Requirements (QRs) for the target car started emerging:
  1. A petrol sedan (monthly run of 400-500 km), can have a look at a competent premium hatchback with good boot space
  2. Long-term reliability & hassle-free ownership (will keep the car for 10+ years, hate making frequent visits to service centres)
  3. Should have safety features like ABS, airbags etc., sturdy build would be a great boon
  4. Easy serviceability with decent service network across the country (job may force relocation to interiors of the country)
  5. Should not feel underpowered under any driving conditions (for confidence on highways, convenience in city)
  6. Good ground clearance (me a little careless over bumps and potholes)
  7. Decent ride quality (gotta be comfy in a car!) and handling (my turning & highway overtaking behaviour is not exactly sedate)
  8. Mileage not a major concern, but anything below two digits would be unpalatable
  9. OTR price below Rs. 10 lakhs
Now my exhaustive QR list tended to rule out a rather large no. of cars. Out went Fiat (Tata-Fiat arrangement related concern), Skoda/Nissan/Volkswagen (limited network), City/Jazz/Linea (low ground clearance), Tata/Ford/Chevrolet (concerns on long-term hassle-free ownership), Logan (missing safety features), i20 (underpowered, came to know about weak AC later on)Ö While it seemed to narrow down the choices, I realized that some of the criteria would require relaxation; else I might have nothing to choose from!

Etios launched to fill the vacuum?

Just when the QRs were churning in the mind in end November 2010, came to know that Toyota was about to launch its entry-level Etios sedan. Went to see the demo car displayed in Saket mall on 3-4 Dec 2010. I found the overall appearance of the car quite decent, but wifey was absolutely shocked at the interiors. It was gradually revealed that she was ok with the other bits, the radical seat colour combination had shocked her out of her wits. My daughter found the interiors sporty and neat. Performance would matter a lot in the end though.

By now, I had already been initiated on team-bhp. I started going through everything connected to Etios and other competing cars on team-bhp and numerous other sites. I was a little taken aback by the initial general Etios-bashing by the car lovers on its launch, whereas expert reviews, some of them apparently biased, were projecting the car in a much more benign light. Keeping in mind the substantial criticism of the car, I booked the car a little late, close to middle of December with the judgment of getting the delivery by April-May 2011. By that time, some ownership experiences would be available to take a final call. I also figured that this would give me enough time for evaluating other options too. Hundreds of web-pages were to be read, numerous show-rooms to be visited and many more cars to be evaluated with some of them to be test-driven.

Testing more waters

Most of the hatches under consideration were disqualifying due to limitations imposed by 1200 cc engine or small boot. Hence focus shifted to sedans. You can see the that the choice was rather limited because of the exhaustive QR list. The formidable DíZire was in the race despite its looks, cramped interiors, 1200 cc engine etc., but eventually lost out on ride quality & handling parameters. Verna with great interiors was an instant hit with the family, but missing airbags, average dynamics and ordinary petrol engine performance convinced me otherwise. SX4, despite somewhat disproportionate & bulky looks, looked like a perfect fit and incredible VFM (with discounts & bonuses, sturdy build, distinctive styling, features including ACC, glass antenna et al) from Maruti stable. While it seemed to tick all my QRs and more, could not decide in its favour due to a clutch that felt a tad too hard, unexpectedly ordinary ride quality, and a concern about large wheels (a person with a small frame like that of mine would find it tough to change the heavy wheels when the need arose!).

Etios survies first onslaught

In the meantime, in the midst of all the Etios-bashing, a balanced detailed review by GTO, recollection of the fables of legendary Toyota quality and a visit to Toyota showroom where a display car had just arrived, prevented me from rushing into a bargain-oriented decision before the dawn of the New Year.

Circa Jan 2011. I took the test drive of Etios in the 2nd week. Did quite like the vehicle except for a mildly bothersome engine noise & some of the missing equipment. Wifey also felt much better about the package after the test drive, but interiors remained a concern even though better clothes would go over the seats. On the whole, we decided to stick with Etios and explore other options, which seemed far and few, in the meantime.

Dangerous liasions

The time between the engagement and marriage was too long, about three months as it turned out, to remain loyal to the choice, which certainly was not perfect to begin with. I found it tough to resist other alluring temptations of the auto world, even if they were not in the reckoning initially. E.g. how can one ignore the diesel engine altogether in the midst of the modern super-performing diesel engines with turbo chargers? Or the reliability, performance, superior interiors and the striking road-presence of City, especially when acquaintances were buying them by the dozens? Or the curvy elegance of a linea with great performance of its TJet/Diesel? Or the feisty Fiesta for that matter? Or the competent Vento/Polo duo from formidable VW? Can a patriot inside me, with some VFM inclination to boot, easily ignore the compelling proposition called Manza Elan from one of the more ethical corporates of the country? I am often surprised that I found the time and energy to grapple with theses flirtatious distractions with lot more research and test drives. I will give a recount of significant flirtations, some of them quite serious ones.

Rejecting the ever-so-beautiful-forever-tugging-at-my-heart Linea was an easy decision in terms of physical efforts and tough one for the heart. Firmly adhering to the QR, despite persuasions by friends, I refused to even TD the fabulous performer to avoid haplessly falling in love! Fiesta kept inviting me with confidence-inspiring road manners and steering feel. However, the new Fiesta would take its own time to arrive and I was neither willing to buy the old Fiesta nor wait for new one. Incredibly VFM Figoís cabin noise was too loud for me. Moreover, even the reports of improving Ford quality did not give me enough faith regarding the criterion of long-term reliability and hassle-free ownership. So the Fords had to bow out. Vento fell behind due to a sluggish petrol engine. The Polo team somehow couldnít quite grab my attention. Undeservedly so, especially the 1.6L petrol mate. There also was this general negative associated with European / American cars Ė controls designed for LH drive. Wifey refused to get off the Manza sofa on the rear and had to be pulled out! Also, the diesel Elanís OTR, with discounts thrown in, was tantalisingly close to Etios VX. I was a bit disappointed though that it did not quite give an adrenaline rush the way Indica Vista Q-Jet did. Also, a whizzing sound from a misaligned belt in the TD vehicle warned me of Tataís quality niggles. Nevertheless, took a back-to-back TD of Etios for a practical comparo. All other things apart, the effortlessness of the Etios drive alone indicated, as far as I was concerned, against Manzaís immense VFM quotient (whether petrol or diesel) for an owner-driven vehicle.

The plain Jane wins the final frontier

The most tempestuous, and yet the most rewarding, of the affairs was with the City. While it almost broke the engagement, it made me realize the true value of Etios performance for me. With some peer pressure working, I developed amnesia about the ground clearance criterion. The City TD felt quite good (and why not?!). Apart from other positives, the gear shift felt heavenly, though I did not quite like the arrowshot roof swooping up just above my head when I adjusted the seat higher for better visibility. Family also felt good about the interiors though were not happy with the low seating position. The outcome was a no-brainer from the beginning, City vs. Etios?! Or was it, really? While we were about to cut the cheque for the finalized colour, an almost-lost-in-the-jungle-of-choices wisdom lurked from somewhere and commanded a back-to-back TD of Etios. Boy, here I realized the divinity of the sheer effortlessness in driving this so-called built-to-cost car as I felt completely at home during the run. The TD vehicle had done ~3500 km and the engine felt more refined than when I had TDed one early on. As a matter of fact, I was more than a little surprised that I was finding the driving experience of Etios perceptibly superior to the City. I tried assigning the reasons - superior steering feel and response, short and smooth clutch, lack of claustrophobia in driving seat, also perhaps my susceptible lower back preferred the harder Etios seat. Possibly, it was just my personal predilection towards these aspects. But the feeling of greater comfort was unmistakable. And, there really wasnít any deal-breaker for us in Etios. The verdict was finally out, it would be Etios, which also met just about all the QRs.

In hindsight, itís easy to see that a lazy creature like me would readily fall for a least-effort machine. It is also not a mere coincidence that The Law of Least Effort is my favourite among The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success enunciated by Deepak Chopra! In any case, the plain Jane had cast its spell on me with her soulful beauty and inner charm and managed to conquer the heart. Or is it a case of the head finally finding a logical explanation to be with where the heart already belonged?!

Part-II - INITIAL OWNERSHIP EXPERIECNCE

Toyota Etios
Variant: Vx
Colour: Harmony Beige
KMs done: ~1,600 km
Services done: 1st Free service @ 600 km
Cost On-Road: ~7.9 all inclusive
Mileage: 13.3 kmpl

Sales Experience
  • Booked the car in Dec 2010 and got the delivery from Uttam Toyota in Noida in April 2011. The staff was quite courteous and cooperative and had a good experience overall. I would have appreciated more, had the staff been more forthcoming, as I had to call them most of the time for seeking response to my queries raised earlier
  • I received intimation of arrival of the car in March end. Initiated the loan proceedings after doing a preliminary physical inspection of the car. I also performed a pre-delivery inspection to the best of my understanding a day before taking the delivery
  • The delivery in April was ahead of the original schedule of June-July. I did not get any free accessories. I had to remind the dealer for adjustment of interest amount on the booking deposit. I did manage to get the NCB of my previous car insurance transferred to save a tidy sum.
Positives
  • Exterior: The front smiling grille with character lines on the bonnet makes for a cheerful face. The rear silhouette is Loganesque, but the similarity ends there. Etios with its softer features and beautiful skin (top-class paint job) is decent-looking. The side profile gets some character with the side skirts. Overall, the car, no stunner though, is well-proportioned and exudes charm.
  • Interiors: We spruced up the ambience and feel with OEM genuine leather seat covers. [Pics at the end] This substantially improves the interior aesthetics. The thin front seats, forever rising like Churchís spire, afford unexpected comfort, and release space at the back. The seats are of firmer variety though. Rear bench, sans contours, is comfy enough for a family in which nobody is tall. The plastics on the dash, while not premium, do prevent sunlight reflection. I have no reason to believe that they will not outlast the car. Since the interiors have neat fit and finish, I consider it par for the segment (read DíZire) overall. The cabin roominess is eminently likeable. My family finds the overall interior ambience more elegant than SX4 ZXi+ variant having leather seat covers! Overall functionality of the interiors including driver ergonomics is unexceptionable.
  • Effortless driving experience with decent FTD quotient: This is a a BIG positive and the real differentiator from the cars that were in contention. The drive is fatigue-free, comfortable and enjoyable. You breeze through the traffic in city and overtake a lorry on the highway with confidence in 5th gear. The following are the contributing factors to this driving experience:
    • Good all-around visibility
    • Seats keep surprising with the comfort they offer
    • Steering wheel feels awesome, responsive and effortless
    • Short & smoo..th clutch
    • Light, smooth and precise gearshift
    • Minimal gear change requirement
    • Spot-on ergonomics
    • Peppy, responsive engine delivers power on the tap and never loses breath
    • Decent ride quality, handling behaviour and adequate ground clearance add big time to the comfort factor.
  • FE is decent with me getting 13.3 kmpl 95% driving in city with 100% AC on. However, I have recorded only one top-up to another top-up so far.
  • Provision of certain thoughtful features like air intake filter, large cooled glove box, storage spaces in the cabin etc. Option of safety package for lower variants helps broadbase car's appeal.
  • Humungous 595 litre boot is well-designed - space management & loading height - and gobbles up three large-23kg international travel check-in bags and two standard cabin bags
  • Reasonable pricing for ANHC-comparable space, performance, reliability and driveability
  • Toyota promise of long-term reliability, hassle-free ownership and graceful ageing: I do hope that the legendary quality practices of Toyota are still in place.
Negatives
  • Average road presence. Exterior styling is neither striking nor distinctive from the distance Ė a plain Jane in true sense. I feel that everything else being the same, just better designed front and tail lamp assemblies would have made a vast difference to the carís exterior appeal.
  • Long list of missing features / cost cutting measures Ė My take is that Hondas & Toyotas are generally miserly on equipment level and the latter on interiors too. For the price and superb fundamentals of this car, I am rather inclined to accept this bit. Nevertheless, I would like to highlight some of the irritants that matter most to me.
    • Quality of carpet and roofline. They occupy significant part of the vision span, and better quality here would substantially enhance the interior feel.
    • The way the flap-type door handles open gives off a far from premium feel. I have to encounter this every time I enter the car!
    • The one equipment I miss the most is e-ORVM. Next is centre cabin light, which I feel is a basic feature.
  • A small bang at the back, not entirely unexpected in our traffic conditions, and the ultra-thin boot lid will lose its shape. Though even Dzire has been selling like hot cake with this weakness, the immediate practical difficulty arises if you canít even lock the boot.
  • Mild rattling started from left dash soon after first service @600 km. It was rectified in the first attempt by the service station @ 1000 km. So far @ 1600 km, it has not recurred. Touchwood, for rattling really bugs me! I had to leave the car with the service station for full day expressly for this single issue. I received a call in the evening that my car was ready. When I reached the service station to pick up the car, the service guy who attended the problem had already left. Hence, could not ascertain the exact cause for the problem.
  • My issues with the top-end VX variant
    • Could have done without the DVD player and instead with some of the more value-oriented features like e-ORVM, centre cabin light, one-touch down windows, door auto lock, seat height/belt adjust....
    • Side skirts give desirable character to the side profile. But front mud guards can no longer be fitted because of this.
    • Red-black seat colour combination: Wifey was aghast, I have been neutral & my daughter took instant liking! So perhaps, itís a lot about individual taste. But in general, far too many people are put off with the seat fabric on offer in this variant.
Has Toyota done up the top-end trim in a hurry / as an afterthought? VFM souls would do well to consider V or G variants as against VX.
Other aspects, regarding which we are pretty much neutral, and some tidbits
  • I find sheet metal to be par for the segment (read DíZire), even ANHC isnít great on that front, though one canít compare with Manza or even SX4.
  • NVH: We find the cabin reasonably, but not very well, insulated from outside noise. I went in for underbody coating during the first service to reduce road noise intrusion. This measure does offer perceptible mitigation. With this measure in place, road noise is a non-issue for us upto the speeds of ~90 kmph.
  • Large glass area necessitates good quality sunfilm. AC does its work well, but is not a chiller. In summer afternoons, one has to set the knob at 3 to be comfy. At 4, the fan gets rather loud.
  • Engine is quite refined on idle and low rpms. I often cannot make out on a red signal if itís on. The slight grunt & a little judder while starting is welcome to me, else one keeps wondering if the machine has even turned on. City, i10 anyone? The owners of these cars will want to take this as a compliment! Anyways, expectation is that the engine will get more silent with longer run.
  • Stock tyres 185/60/R/15 Bridgestone Turanzas offer decent grip. I have done speeds upto 130 kmph without a fuss. An acquaintance has G variant having smaller wheel sets and gets a little nervous after 125-130. I wonder if there is a case for tyre upgrade for G trim.
  • ICE is decent for us - weíre no major audiophiles.
  • My take on some of the other issues regarding the interiors / missing equipment / general perceptions of cost cutting:
    • Seat height / belt adjust: I personally have no issues with this. I am 5í6Ē and Iíve not been any more comfortable in any other car in its driver seat. A shorter driver may feel the need for this though.
    • Speed dials look cool in the white backlight during the night.
    • Iím quite ok with the design quirks like centre console, single wiper, aircon vents and controls, bonnet opening lever etc.
    • I am happy with the single horn, as I belong to the school that would have honking banned! All the same, the horn does its job when called upon to do so.
    • Door auto lock is missing in ANHC too!
  • Driver side dash panel is differently textured and less plasticky than the centre and passenger side dash and also prevents sunlight reflection. Beats me why at least the passenger side dash is not the same as driver side for sake of symmetry. Cost-management or some well thought-out functionality? The difference in appearance is not stark though.
  • Flat rear bench offers a unique advantage apart from accommodating the 5th passenger. When itís only three of us on board for a long drive, the rear passenger gets to stretch comfortably!
  • The separate remote locking unit makes the key bulky to carry around in a pocket. All the same, I have figured out some advantage of a separate remote. I hand it over, sans the key, to the car cleaning guy for weekly internal cleaning with a relative peace of mind.
  • Lack of crash safety rating: Didn't know what to make of this aspect. Hence, conveniently ignored this factor for decision making.
  • For a car that starts sub-5 lakh ex-showroom, there can be little snob quotient. This conversely means that someone with a limited budget can also own this superb sedan. A potential game-changer?!
Service Experience
  • I got my car serviced at the end of one month at the service centre of Uttam Toyota in Sector 8, Noida. The car had done just over 600 kms. The service experience was revealing in the sense I was extremely impressed with the amount of courtesy, promptness and genuine desire to satisfy a customer & patience while responding to his numerous queries. I would like to believe that this attitude is generic to Toyota and am happy to have made a decision to go with a Toyota.
  • During the service, I enquired about the lack of rubber-beading at the front and rear glasses. The resultant substantial gap between the glass and metal is prone to accumulation of dry leaves, dust etc. [Pl. see pics at the end] The service in-charge explained that Toyota had thoughtfully done away with the rubber beadings for most part in Etios, including for sealing of the roof, as water residues inside the beading cause corrosion. Right or wrong, his attitude towards the explanation inspired confidence.
  • The mild rattling from the dash that I mentioned earlier got attended in the first attempt.
Accessories fitted
  • Mud Flaps on the rear (canít fit on the front on VX, sigh!)
  • Floor mats (Two sets to absorb the road noise, transparent one on the top of fabric one)
  • Aux+USB port
  • Luggage tray
  • Bumper corner protection
  • Genuine leather seat covers from OEM
  • Garware Icecool sunfilm on sides (50% VLT) and rear (70%VLT)
  • 3M anti-rust rubberised underbody coating
Conclusion


I find this car a great VFM proposition notwithstanding the missing features, run-of-the-mill styling & average interior aesthetics. This is on account of the value I attach to the following positives of ETIOS:

E - Effortless Driving
T - Trustworthiness / Toyotaís reliability promise
I - Inexpensive (to run and maintain, reasonably priced too)
O - Outstanding Fundamentals (power delivery, ride quality, handling, FTD, GC, fit & finish, decent looks, safety features etc.)
S - Space all around

In a nutshell, Etios is a well-engineered furnished-to-cost car that drives like a dream and comes with Toyota reliability promise.

Fantastic job, Toyota, provided you keep the Q-promise!

A FEW PICS

Leather Seat covers
Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-seat-cover-view1.jpg

Another interior view
Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-seat-cover-view2.jpg

Lack of beading and resultant space between the glass and metal at the front is accumulating dry leaves and dust
Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-front-view-glass-gap.jpg

And at the rear too!
Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-rear-view-glasss-gap.jpg

EDIT on 7th July, 2011:

Hey folks, I have turned a BHPian from a Newbie. Feels like I have been elevated! I have created a signature to mark the occasion. I would like to take this opportunity to thank moderators for putting up with my Newbie days. They have been fabulous! Each of my post was moved post-scrutiny to the forum in quick time, even with correction of occasional typos. Now as a BHPian, the responsibility to maintain the forum standards and decorum is squarely on me.

I am also putting up a few overdue pics of Miss Jane, as desired by the fellow members and requesting the mods to move the pics to the opening post.

Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-front.jpg

Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-rear.jpg

Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-side1.jpg

Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-side2.jpg

Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!-side3.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 7th July 2011 at 20:45. Reason: Merging your exterior picture post with the opening post
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:45   #2
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Congrats on the Etios! It's surprisingly quick & fun to drive (much more so than even the twice as expensive Altis). Plus, as an all-rounder, the Etios beats the Dzire & Manza hollow.

Thanks for sharing such a wonderful review. You truly have a way with words and some parts of your writeup had me in splits.

However, you really need to upload some great exterior pictures, without which the review looks kinda incomplete. You can upload the pictures via a new reply. PM me when done, I'll have them moved to the opening post.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RadiantKarma View Post
a balanced detailed review by GTO
Thanks, I'm glad you found my review helpful.

Quote:
Did quite like the vehicle except for a mildly bothersome engine noise & some of the missing equipment.
Every car has its list of pros & cons. If the Etios' interiors are basic, the Dzire's backseat is too cramped & its ride quality too unbalanced. The Manza has the usual Tata niggles.

Quote:
Vento fell behind due to a sluggish petrol engine.
If only you'd taken a spin in the diesel.

Quote:
Wifey refused to get off the Manza sofa on the rear and had to be pulled out!


Quote:
I was more than a little surprised that I was finding the driving experience of Etios perceptibly superior to the City. I tried assigning the reasons
Only one reason : Low rpm TORQUE. The Etios has loads of it, while the Hondas are usually weak <2,000 rpms. Once on the redline though, you'd prefer the City to the Etios.

Quote:
Long list of missing features / cost cutting measures
True, very true. The Etios & Liva feel cheap even when compared to the Tata Manza. And that's say a heck of a lot!

Quote:
The way the flap-type door handles open gives off a far from premium feel.
Agreed. This is something I've highlit in my Liva, Etios & Linea T-Jet review. They feel so terribly outdated.

Quote:
I went in for underbody coating during the first service to reduce road noise intrusion.
Did you choose the 3M stuff? Also, get better tyres. Improved grip, ride quality & lesser rolling noise. I'm a huge fan of the rubber from Michelin & Yokohama.
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Old 5th July 2011, 09:57   #3
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Radiant Karma, that was a nice written ownership experience. Glad to know that you are satisfied with your Etios upgrade. Like already discussed, the torquey engine, excellent driving characterisitics and super spacious interiors are some of Etios' strengths. The boot can even accommodate a Nano!

You have chosen the top of the line VX variant. I agree that some of the features should have been provided in the VX - such as electronic ORVM adjustment, ACC, adjustable seat belts (in all variants). The DVD 2 DIN system is frankly quite a waste.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 5th July 2011 at 09:59.
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Old 5th July 2011, 10:37   #4
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

This was an amazing review.
Thanks for taking time out to write such a longish and wonderfully composed review.

Etios is quick off the start, had a little run with it on NH7 on my drive to Bangalore, and my Ikon had a hard time.

The boot surely is huge. At the price Etios is selling, it is certainly a game changer and a very good buy considering the Toyota reliability.

But you can't take it away from Tata for providing the best sofa on wheels
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Old 5th July 2011, 11:33   #5
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Very detailed and mature review in fact pointing out every detail of GTO's reviews and your decision points.
As you have noticed, engine is in fact quite refined and i felt it too during our test run in my firm.
Boot space surprised us but some of the metal cutting for cost reduction are significant in this area.
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Old 5th July 2011, 12:13   #6
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Congrats on the Etios! The practical sedan for the masses.

Enjoy many more happy miles with the Etios
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Old 5th July 2011, 13:48   #7
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Congrats on the Etios, it sure is a practical buy. I wish you many a safe mile together. I didnt know the top end version was priced so close to 8L, thats a bit of a surprise for me.

At first glance, the seat trims were an eyesore to me and quite off putting to be honest. I do agree this is subjective, maybe more reason why Toyota could have offered options in the colours.
Do you find the central placement of the speedometer useful? Apparently, it is better ergonomically as you dont take your eyes off the road. At least this is the reason offered by one of the manufacturers (dont remember which one!)
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Old 5th July 2011, 14:15   #8
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Congrats! I think you have made a much practical choice and purchased a hassle free car! Frankly speaking I don't mind the plane jane looks much. But the lack of rubber beading is a bit hard too digest.

Please put in more pics of the car, especially of the boot and the interiors.
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Old 5th July 2011, 14:39   #9
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Thanks guys for the compliments and the best wishes. Yeah, it did take me a while to compile the review and post my first substantative thread on the forum. It was payback time folks, and I didn't want to skimp! You all guys, through this wonderful forum, gave me the guidance and confidence in my buying decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
However, you really need to upload some great exterior pictures, without which the review looks kinda incomplete..
Sure, will do it as soon as I can get a few fresh pics. I refrained from posting exterior pics for the reason that the car is a common sight now.

Quote:
Thanks, I'm glad you found my review helpful.
Oscar Humility award goes to...!!! Seriously, it was one heck of a review. The choice of words to describe some of the features is a straight subconscious lift from your review, as could not find more apt terms!

Quote:
If only you'd taken a spin in the diesel.
Vento highline diesel was beyond the budget. I got my thrills from the review though!

Quote:
Only one reason : Low rpm TORQUE. The Etios has loads of it, while the Hondas are usually weak <2,000 rpms.
Yeah, that must have been a major factor. I still believe the steering, clutch, feeling of roominess in Etios as significant reasons for my better Etios drive experience.

Quote:
Did you choose the 3M stuff?
Yup.

Quote:
Also, get better tyres. Improved grip, ride quality & lesser rolling noise. I'm a huge fan of the rubber from Michelin & Yokohama.
I have been thinking about this. VFM soul is creeping up to prevent me from throwing away my existing rubber that has not even done as many miiles as the years on the Christian calendar. What kind of deal can I expect to get for the old(?!) tires? What range & size of Micheline/Yokohama would you recommend for tire upgrade?

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Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
You have chosen the top of the line VX variant.
Yeah, despite knowing it wasn't VFM. Family first! Wifey gets uncomfortable with my fiddling with the ICE while driving. She considers Steering mounted audio controls an essential safety feature! Daughter wanted some red touches, that VX offered, in the cabin to be retained.

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Originally Posted by Fordmanchau View Post
But you can't take it away from Tata for providing the best sofa on wheels
Yeah, at least I can't! My better half is keeping watch!

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Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
The practical sedan for the masses.
Yeah, and may I add, fair deal of fun for the classes (read enthusiasts)!

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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Do you find the central placement of the speedometer useful? Apparently, it is better ergonomically as you dont take your eyes off the road.
I have tried analysing this. I find central placement better for frontal visibility and also for speedo reading. Tacho reading, however, requires substantial shift of the eyes to the left. Overall, thumbs up to central placement. However, once you bring MID in the picture, conventional placement is must from driver ergonomics point of view. For Etios, without MID, central placement is fine. This, however, is my personal and amateurish understanding.

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Originally Posted by W.A.G.7 View Post
But the lack of rubber beading is a bit hard too digest.
Existence of rubber beading might have enhanced cabin insulation from outside noise.
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Old 5th July 2011, 14:47   #10
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

Congratulations on your Toyota Etios. Very nice review and pictures.

This car will set sales chart on fire once Toyota brings a diesel mill for this car.

Wishing you many years of happy and safe driving.
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Old 5th July 2011, 15:05   #11
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

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Originally Posted by RadiantKarma View Post
I have tried analysing this. I find central placement better for frontal visibility and also for speedo reading. Tacho reading, however, requires substantial shift of the eyes to the left. Overall, thumbs up to central placement. However, once you bring MID in the picture, conventional placement is must from driver ergonomics point of view. For Etios, without MID, central placement is fine. This, however, is my personal and amateurish understanding.
Well, after all you are the buyer/ user and its only your opinion that matters!

I tried looking at the AC vents in my car to see if the positioning made any difference, but I guess it becomes more a habit once one knows where to look!

In my case, it is more evidence/ ammunition for the back seat drivers to start commenting about the speeds and to reduce/ increase as they may deem fit. Unfortunately there are some such creatures who you can neither ask to shut up nor to get out.
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Old 5th July 2011, 15:24   #12
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

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Originally Posted by Nicky View Post
Very detailed and mature review in fact pointing out every detail of GTO's reviews and your decision points.
As you have noticed, engine is in fact quite refined and i felt it too during our test run in my firm.
Boot space surprised us but some of the metal cutting for cost reduction are significant in this area.
Thanks, Nicky for the kind words.
Glad to know that you've also appreciated the engine refinement level.
Boot area metal saving is, of course, pure cost management.
Cheers.
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Old 5th July 2011, 16:08   #13
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Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Well, after all you are the buyer/ user and its only your opinion that matters!

I tried looking at the AC vents in my car to see if the positioning made any difference, but I guess it becomes more a habit once one knows where to look!

In my case, it is more evidence/ ammunition for the back seat drivers to start commenting about the speeds and to reduce/ increase as they may deem fit. Unfortunately there are some such creatures who you can neither ask to shut up nor to get out.
That's right. Once you get the habit, it's quite easy to read. Trying to look at aircon vents and figuring out if central placement would work will not help, simply because the meters are not placed in that position.

Regarding the 2nd part, I do sympathize with you! I can only say that it would help if the seat belts could also fasten the lips!

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Originally Posted by bluevolt View Post
Congratulations on your Toyota Etios. Very nice review and pictures.

This car will set sales chart on fire once Toyota brings a diesel mill for this car.

Wishing you many years of happy and safe driving.
Thanks a lot bluevolt.

I agree with you. If the diesel mill is competent, the Etios will be a watershed event for Toyota in India.

Last edited by GTO : 8th July 2011 at 13:27. Reason: Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing back to back posts.
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Old 5th July 2011, 16:23   #14
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

RadiantKarma, you have made a wonderful choice by selecting the Etios. While you want to keep this car for 10+ years, I am sure that the Etios, with Toyota's legandary reliability will stay with you as long as you are not bored of it and decide to sell it off. By the way, do you mind posting better exterior snaps of the car? The posted pictures, though good in their own right, dont do enough justice to the car at all.
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Old 5th July 2011, 17:51   #15
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Default Re: Plain Jane Toyota Etios conquers the heart with her soulful charm!

^^Thanks arvi86. Hope Etios lives upto the expectations of Toyota reliability.

As promised to GTO earlier, shall post the exterior snaps asap.
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