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Old 8th December 2011, 10:57   #1
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Default Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report. EDIT: 125,000 km up & sold

The Decision Process

After sales, niggle free experience and cheap cost of maintenance were my top most priorities while buying the car.
ABS and airbags were a must.
Budget in the range of 6 lakhs to 8 lakhs.
Wanted decent boot space.

With those factors in mind, these were the cars, I shortlisted.

1) Toyota Etios Petrol/Diesel
2) Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire Petrol/Diesel ( Swift was also in the reckoning. Infact, I even booked the new Swift ZDi before its release. But, the ever decreasing boot space combined with the poor ergonomics for the driver , lack of rear leg space and cargo like ambiance {quoting GTO's words here} on the rear made me eliminate that option inspite of that fantastic DDiS engine and sporty looks )
3) Honda Jazz Petrol
4) Maruti Suzuki SX4 Diesel was considered but, it went out of my budget range for the variant with ABS and airbag. If the cheaper variants of SX4 diesel had an ABS/airbag option, I would have given it some serious thought.

Dzire was eliminated by the lack of space, and poor visibility. The poor braking was the final nail in the coffin.

Was very tempted for the Jazz, but the lack of Diesel heart and the lower ground clearance helped me eliminate this option even though, I am a fan of this fantastic and practical car.

Out of the Etios Petrol and Diesel, I find more sense in buying the Diesel, since I expect to cover more than 15k kms per year, even though the Etios Petrol is a real fun to drive car.

Thanks to the People who helped me in the decision making process
1) Thank you, father for making me think beyond Maruti and Honda.
2) The excellent, comprehensive, honest reviews of Etios Petrol and Etios Diesel on team-bhp by @GTO and @Vid6639
3) I also would like to thank all genuine Etios owners on team-bhp and facebook community for Toyota Etios for giving me honest information about the car. I nearly made the wrong decision of compromising on my priorities and going with the Swift because of some false and exaggerated information on the internet with regards to Etios. ( I do not want to name that website here as I do not want to help the website owner's business interest ). But thanks to these honest and knowledgable Etios owners, I was able to take the right decision. After using the car for 2 months and 6000 kms, I'm so glad on my decision to buy the Toyota Etios.

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Thank you, Agni Sonu for the above snap.

Booking and Delivery Experience

The experience, we got at Trivandrum Toyota and Kalamassery ( Cochin ) Nippon Toyotas were good. The sales person - Rohit at Trivandrum Nippon Toyota was very polite and honest.

To spot an example of the honesty, When we asked feedback on the clutch of Etios Diesel through phone, he honestly replied to my mother that it was a bit hard and asked her to try it out by herself before buying the car.

But, when I accompanied my friend to Nettoor ( Cochin ) Nippon Toyota, the sales were least bothered to sell the car. When we asked for a test drive, they mentioned that the car is not available now. When we showed them the test drive car, they told it was going to be taken to service. Then we showed 2 more test drive cars, and we got the same response.

Result - My friend very rightly told Bye to Toyota and looked for alternate options.


1) City Drivability - With the negligible turbo lag and flat peak torque from 1800 - 2400 rpm, the Etios Diesel is real fun to drive on the city.

2) Braking - After 6000 kms of driving and having to brake hard at speeds upwards of 130 kmph, only one word to describe it - Excellent. The braking of the Etios allows you to cruise at higher speeds than you normally would.

3) Decent fuel economy - 18 kmpl with agressive driving mostly on the highways. 14 to 15 kmpl average while driving mostly in city and country roads.

Mileage update for trip from Kochi to Trivandrum and back ( around 450 kms ) = 18 kmpl ( 17.9 kmpl to be precise )
Odo reading after the trip = 2815 kms

Will add route description and driving style since I believe that mileage calculation is invalid without this information.

Route Description

1) Kakkanad to Oachira ( around 120 kms ) NH47 consistent speed between 80 kmph and 120 kmph since, the roads were empty in the early morning.
2) Oachira to Attingal ( around 70kms ) through city traffic and high traffic 2-line highways speeds between 60 kmph and 100 kmph
3) Attingal to Chirayinkil and from Chirayinkil to Trivandrum ( 45 kms ) through country roads mostly ( speeds mostly between 20 kmph and 70 kmph )
4) Trivandrum to Oachira ( 100 kms ) through busy NH 47 at night. Speeds between 40 kmph to 90 kmph
5) Oachira to Kakkanad ( 120 kms ) through empty roads early morning cruising mostly between 80kmph and 150 kmph

Driving style

1) Engine rpm mostly in the range of 1500 to 3000 rpm.
2) Quick acceleration by using the turbo range during overtaking.
3) Mostly sedate driving when entering into city traffic.
4) Braking is frequent thanks to the combination of high traffic highways, 2 line-traffic of highways and lack of bye-pass in towns - Attingal, Kollam and Aleppey

4) The gears - Short, slick and precise shifts. You will enjoy shifting on the Etios Diesel.

5) The tall 5th gear - 100 kmph @ 2000 rpms & 140 kmph @ 3000 rpms on 5th gear means, highway cruising is really enjoyable even with just 68 PS of power. It acts like a virtual 6th gear. I enjoy the gearing ratios of the Etios. Wisely designed keeping in mind the constraints of 68PS engine.

I did a mapping of the rpm to kmph on all gears. Posting the info below.

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Note: There can be small errors due to parallax, especially on lower gears and lower speeds.

I also would like to thank the patience of my friend - Rai K Dhaman for taking snaps of the speedo at all those rpms.

PS: The maximum speed I've tried on the Etios Diesel is 155 kmph. Beyond 140 kmph, you do feel the constraints of a 68 PS engine. But, below 140, it's a pleasure to drive thanks to that excellent gearing ratios.

Also posting the torque curve of the vehicle to understand the 'workable torque band' of the vehicle.

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This is how I normally shift while enjoying my drive on the highways.

1st to 2nd - 1500 to 1800
2nd to 3rd - 2000 to 2500
3rd to 4th - 2500
4th to 5th - 2500 to 3000

PS: The above shifting style is the result of continuous evolution after driving the Etios for 6,000 kms.

Accelerator pressure for my driving style - light to medium ( medium when in the turbo band post 1800 rpm. )

6) Comfort - Thanks to the well tuned suspensions and longer wheel base, the car stays planted at very high speeds ( I've tried a max speed of 155 kmph. My normal cruising speed on 4-lane highways was 140 kmph ) and the passengers don't feel the speed, the car is cruising at.
The comfort on pot holed roads is plush as well. The suspensions are well tuned. It provides comfort with more than decent handling.

7) Space - Lots of space, both for the passengers as well as the luggage. No one will ever complain about the space on an Etios.

8) Ergonomics - The driving seat is spot-on with regards to ergonomics. Offers very good back support for long drives and your legs don't irritatingly touch sharp objects ( like in the new Swift )

9) After sales service -
First Service Experience ( 1000 kms ) @ Nippon Toyota, Nettoor, Cochin - It was just routine check-up and a wash. Punctual & Fast ( 2 hours ), Rs. 0/- bill and a free parker pen with Toyota emblem on it. I loved the concept of exclusive "Toyota Express Service" - Efficient and Fast
From what I hear from Etios Petrol owners, 10,000 kms service will cost just around Rs. 1,000/- odd.
Service Interval is 10,000 kms or 1 year whichever is earlier.

Since, I had to do a 600 km trip, I took the vehicle for a general check-up at around 3000 kms to Nippon Toyota, Kalamassery, Cochin to ensure that the vehicle is in perfect condition. They were prompt in doing the check-up even though I did not take a service appointment. They even took the car out for a test drive on my insistence. Again Bill - Rs. 0/-

From my friends who own Toyotas, the after sales and maintenance cost for Toyota seems to be very good. As far as I'm concerned, I'm happy with it for now. Will have to check it when some issues crop up on the Etios.

10) The steering of the Diesel variant is adequately weighed for the highways and at the same time feels soft for the city traffic. The steering adds to the driving pleasure.


1) Interior Looks - While the interiors are solid, functional and ergonomic, it fails in the looks department. For people, who would like to show off their car interiors to their neighbours, the Etios interiors are a disappointment. So, people who are concerned about interior looks, stay away from this car.

2) Higher NVH levels compared to Dzire DDiS - NVH has come down after 4000 kms. But, still the Swift DDiS is the benchmark here. Does it feel irritatingly high? No, thanks to that tall 5th gear which allows me to be on 3000 rpms even at speeds of 140 kmph.

3) The hard clutch - The clutch on the Etios Diesel is hard and lady drivers especially won't enjoy it, if they try to use the clutch like in Petrol cars. We need to use the low end torque of the Diesel heart to your advantage by fully releasing the clutch on lower gears for rolling the vehicle at slow speeds. With regards to me, initially, I felt the clutch hard, but after driving 4k kms, I got used to it. My mother is finding it a bit hard on her Liva Diesel. I'm teaching her to drive without using the clutch on city traffic. She finds it much better now. But, by default a person who is used to the light clutch on the Petrol will not like the Etios Diesel's hard clutch. For comparison purpose, both Swift DDiS and Figo clutch feels softer than the Etios Diesel.

Little pros that deserves a mention.

1) The back support offered by the front seats.
2) The placement of the ac vents allowing the air to pass to the rear without being obstructed by the driver's hand. Also prevents direct cold air flow on hands placed on the steering wheel. Sensible design.
3) The soft well under the front seats that allow the feet of the rear passengers to be burried comfortably.
4) Shape of the front seats that allow more knee space for the rear passengers.
5) The flat middle area on the rear floor which allows the 5th person to be seated comfortably.
6) Abundance of glass area
7) The air cooled glove box.
8) Even when fully loaded - 5 passengers and full luggage, the Etios never felt short of power. Cruising at 120 to 140 was so easy even when fully loaded.
9) The little depressions on the steering wheel to comfortably place thumb fingers of both hands.

Littles cons that deserves a mention

1) Lack of arm rest on the rear seats - This is a very useful feature which was missed out on the Etios. I may have to compensate that with some rectangular shaped cushion.
2) Lack of height adjustable seat belts makes it uncomfortable for short people while wearing the seat belts.
3) Lack of height adjustment option for the front seats.
4) Spare tyres doesn't have alloys.
5) Even though, the ground clearance is 170 mm, it did scrap twice under body ( I've driven 4600 kms till now ) when fully loaded and travelling on bad roads. It could be due to the softer suspension which pushes the car down when fully loaded.
6) No auto-lock or auto-unlock feature for the Central locks.
7) The headunits ( atleast in the top-end ) should have been loaded with better features especially since you have the steering mounted audio controls in the top-end.

The rumours on Etios and my experiences on it.

1) Rattles - Nothing till now.

2) Water seepage - Passed the heavy rains in Kerala without any issues. If someone still doubt this, go to a Toyota showroom, ask them to show you an Etios being water serviced, check the interiors while water is pumped at high pressure. Not a single drop will get inside. I've checked this myself before buying the car.

3) Dirt accumulating in door trims - In Kerala weather, this was not at all an issue. But, when I took the car to dusty Tamil Nadu, I find that dirt does get accumulated on the door trims ( even though it's very easy to clean them )

4) The effectiveness of the dual-arm single wipers - I find it covering more glass area than the dual wipers on most cars thanks to the dual arms which change the angle of rotation of the wipers as it wipes from one side to the other. This design also avoids the presence of water at the center of the windshield after every half wipe of the 2nd wiper. I've absolutely zero complaints on this design and has started loving it.

Video of Dual arm mono Wipers of the Etios in Action ( Notice the non-circular sweep thanks to those dual arms. ) -

5) The positioning of the speedo - Initially, I did not like the positioning. But, after 1 month of driving, I'm used to it now. But, still given an option, I would opt for the conventional positioning of the speedo.

My Wish List for etios - 2012

1) Arm rest for the rear seat
2) Change in interior colour combinations.
3) 6-speed gearbox for the Diesel variant like in Corolla Diesel
4) Since, the Etios Petrol torque is one class higher than the competition, I would recommend Toyota to use that advantage and make the gears more tall ( especially the 5th gear ). That would reduce NVH at high speeds by providing a relaxed engine speed at very high speeds. It should also increase mileage marginally.
5) Better fabric quality for the seats ( While this is not a useful thing as everyone uses seat covers, it stills dents the confidence of the customer and leaves a bad impression about the car, the first time, they see the vehicle in the showroom. An Etios with seat cover looks much better than the one without one )
6) Better looking odometer/speedometer ( in the day-time ). For night, the current odo looks good enough.
7) Height adjustment option for front seats and seatbelts.
8) More angle for steering tilt.
9) Better NVH control.
10) Add auto-lock and auto-unlock feature to the central locks
11) Change the colour of red in top-end model of Etios to something more attractive. One of the main reasons I let go off the top-end was the colour combination used. But, I do miss the sporty steering wheel of the top end.
12) Provide a better audio/video headunit with atleast the top-end model of Etios. Very relevant with the top-end model since, the advantage of having the steering mounted audio control is worthy only if you have a player which you do not have reasons to upgrade 1 or 2 years after buying the car ( Missing bluetooth/IPOD connectivity, USB access seems to be slow, bad looks - doesn't blend with interiors, lower rms output, missing fine audio adjustment options ) are the negatives that I noticed on the headunit of the top-end variant of the Etios.
13) Provide eORVM and front arm rests as optional accessories or equip the top-end variant with EORVMs
14) If the above changes increase the cost and price, Toyota can very well afford to get it under control by stripping of needless features like Side and Front skirtings. They can very well chose to give the skirtings as optional accessories instead.
15) If Toyota can make the clutch a bit more lighter without compromising on the quality and durability aspects of clutch, I would prefer the Etios Diesel to have a lighter clutch as well.
PS: The Etios Petrol is equipped with one of the lightest Clutch.
16) Last, but not the least, don't do anything with the suspensions, wheelbase and brakes because it's simply the best.

Accessories that I bought for Etios

1) Alpine 103-BT Headunit
-> The original headunit that came factory fitted was removed and fitted on to my mother's Liva Diesel.
-> 103-BT provides good sound quality
-> at times get hung after hanging up calls via bluetooth. There can be a delay of 1 to 2 minutes for the music to resume due to improper hangup of bluetooth call. Probably a firmware upgrade should fix this up.
-> Handsfree mic is of excellent quality.

2) Alpine SPR-69C Coaxial Oval Speakers
-> Even though the speakers sound good, I prefer the Polk Audio speakers on my old Esteem than the Alpine speakers.

3) V-Kool 70 Films on all glasses
-> Love these films. Offers excellent visibility ( 70% VLT ) and at the same time cut down most of the heat ( 94% IR Rejection ). Has 5 years warranty as well. The only downside is the very high pricing.
-> Had previous experience of these films on my Esteem's front windshield. Worked well there as well.

4) Toyota Synthetic leather seat covers ( Horizontal Black and White Stripes )
-> Offers decent looks, huge improvement when compared to the default seat fabric used in the Etios.
-> Fit is not tight enough

5) Toyota Security System
-> Alarm sound is unique and loud.
-> Motion Sensors
-> Remote Locking doesn't let you lock your doors if any of the door is not closed properly. Sensible to prevent the doors being left open.
-> Compact alarm speakers fit perfectly inside bonnet

6) Toyota Boot Tray
-> Helps easy cleaning of the boot.

7) Toyota Water proof Car Cover
-> Self-explanatory

8) Bosch WindTone Horns
-> Decent, but I prefer the Stebel Compact Airhorn that we got fixed on my mother's Liva

9) Philips Xtreme Vision Bulbs
-> Worth every penny, increases the visibility by a good %
-> Same power consumption as the standard bulbs and hence no wiring changes required.

10) Toyota Mats for Etios
-> Doesn't match the colour combination of the interiors.
-> Effective

11) 3m anti-corrosion underbody treatment ( Done on underbody as well as wheel arches from a 3m dealer directly )
-> Prevents Corrosion
-> Reduces Road Noise

12) Autoplanet Reverse sensors.

-> Voice Help ( Speaks out the distance to hit an obstruction. Once it reaches around 0.3 m, it starts yelling - Stop, Stop, Stop! )
-> Beep to instantly alert an appearance/change in distance of the obstruction
-> 4 sensors
-> Display of the location of obstruction and the distance to obstruction on the center portion of the inside rear view mirror.
-> Anti-Glare rear view mirror.

Note: The reason why I did not add many pictures of the Etios is only because of @GTO. He covered every nook and corner of the Etios in his Comprehensive Review of Toyota Etios - Petrol . What else can I post now ! Grr !


The Toyota Etios Diesel is a practical car with very good drivability, handling, comfort and space. The compromise is the looks of the interior. I'm glad I bought this gem and I relish every minute inside my Etios.

Signing off for now,

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Last edited by GTO : 21st February 2012 at 13:27. Reason: Please refer to our rules; no more than 2 smileys per post please
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Old 2nd January 2012, 16:35   #2
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Thread moved from Assembly line to Initial Ownership Reports. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 2nd January 2012, 18:11   #3
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Congratulations. Very good unbiased report. Loved every part of it. I'll definitely recommend this thread to any of my friends who is a prospective buyer of Etios.

Why did you prefer Stebel air horn over Bosch? Does installing these horns voids the electrical warranty? What was the cost for both?

I have driven my relatives Etios but found the ground clearance to be decent. I did not scrape any of the notorious speed breakers that are found abundantly in Bangalore.

Last edited by guyfrmblr : 2nd January 2012 at 18:15.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 19:04   #4
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

So finally you get the time to write down the review and a very well written one too. Etios is a very decent package except the interior design. Do share some pictures of the interiors too. Wishing you many happy trouble free miles.

You got the reverse sensors from the dealer or what outside? Does it interfere with the warranty in any case? Also do you mind sharing the Cost of the same? I have to get them fixed in my Altis but I am unable to find something that matches the pearl white colour of the car.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 21:05   #5
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Fantastic review Amalji.
Isnt the service interval for diesel Etios 5k km? As you have pointed out my 10k service of Etios (P) cost 1185 which i think is a steal
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Old 2nd January 2012, 21:43   #6
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Fantastic review. I am considering the Etios D, and this review provides me with valuable inputs. A couple of questions:

1. How do you find the build quality specifically the sheet metal quality? Good enough?
2. Is the lack of space in Dzire rear seat significant compared to that of the Etios?
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Old 2nd January 2012, 22:18   #7
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Very well written - compact too. Could you tell me how much does the Philips Extreme vision cost?

Regarding the problems faced with Cochin Nippon, your friend of you should have shot a mail to Toyota heads and that would have taken care of the issue permanently. We always think why do we need to take the issues to next level and leave these which further encourages the SAs to continue doing such mistakes.

Wish you miles of happy & safe motoring! Please do upload more pics. We would love to see those.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 22:35   #8
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

I own a Liva and can answer the below questions to some extent. Please see replies in bold.

Originally Posted by nilanjanray View Post
Fantastic review. I am considering the Etios D, and this review provides me with valuable inputs. A couple of questions:

1. How do you find the build quality specifically the sheet metal quality? Good enough?
Though the car is light the sheet metals does seem rigid and hell a lot better than what Maruti has to offer

2. Is the lack of space in Dzire rear seat significant compared to that of the Etios?
Dzire is wholly cramped compared to Etios. The Etios rear seat space does seem to more than the Corolla (might be illusion), but people at the back will not complain.

Do test drive the Etios D before signing the dotted line.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 22:49   #9
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Super review !
Thoroughly enjoyed the report.
The hidden beauties of Etios actually pretty well mentioned.
Better interiors,better NVH level and stronger build quality can do world of good to this practical car.
Etios is an interesting car to drive. Never feels as light as it actually is.
Btw any reason for not considering Manza,i20 CRDi and even Verito D ?
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Old 2nd January 2012, 22:53   #10
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Thanks nkrishnap. Will definitely TD all the vehicles extensively. Etios, Dzire and perhaps even a couple more just to compare.
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Old 2nd January 2012, 23:14   #11
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

A lovely review with loads of information. Thank you very much.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 01:29   #12
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Thank God after a long time, I got an honest reviews on Toyota ETIOS.
Congratulations amalji on buying the Toyota ETIOS VD.

As I've also booked New Swift ZDi, so I've also read this thread with keeping the thinking in same mould as yours & due to Indefinite waiting period of Swift I'm very fast searching for another feasible option with ETIOS VD being one of them, alongwith Nissan Sunny dCi diesel & Skoda Rapid, but the latter seem to burn a bigger hole into my pocket.
Will definitely love to opt for ETIOS/LIVA D if better Interiors, Insulation has to be introduced in its 2012 version, as shared by our colleague bhp-ians.

Congrats once again & have a Happy Motoring ahead.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 06:23   #13
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Oh my god never seen such a comprehensive ownership report with torque curves. Thanks for the review. what was the on-road price? Was there any freebies given by Toyota?
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Old 3rd January 2012, 06:51   #14
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Congrats Amalji on your great purchase and equally great write up. Wow,7000 kms in 2 months,nice.
Yes, interior space is indeed a premium and very few cars offer that.
Kerala has always been a diesel market,good choice.
happy motoring.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 08:56   #15
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Default re: Toyota Etios Diesel VD Ownership Report EDIT : Now at 30000 kms

Hearty Congrats Amalji on the Etios Diesel. Its gem of a car to drive in the city as I had most of my Test Drive extensively in the city traffic only about a month back.

But primarily Hats off your fantabulous comprehensive review. Quite an eye opener to many prospective Etios Diesel customers.

You seem to be having superb drives going on clocking so much so early. Wish you many more happy miles with it.

Even if you do not want to post regular noon-n-corner pics of your Etios, what will be good is to see pics with various accessories fittings and in action like entire music system, reverse sensors and also with it costs of various items etc.
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