Toyota Etios Road Test Drive Review


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Akash

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Etios view 7.JPG

Toyota has always been appreciated for its quality products, be it the luxurious Corolla or devilish Fortuner. Almost every Toyota model enjoys huge sales and consequently their buyers, long waiting periods. This is just because of the reason that these cars have proved themselves in terms of the reliability and overall efficiency. In this New Year, Toyota is back with an exciting lot of launches. Let us welcome the Etios, which is an entry level sedan at a very affordable pricing that is first ever seen from Toyota Kirloskar. To double up more of the excitement, this car is not only first most affordable Toyota in India, but also the first car launched by Toyota first in India and especially for India. Today, we find out whether the years of research and hard work of Toyota has ultimately paid off? Read on.
 
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Akash

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Toyota Etios Looks and Design.

Etios front.JPG

If it comes to looks, people at Toyota cannot be said as the most ideal beauticians. However, they habitually put on an upright make up which makes their cars look refined. Take Corolla or Camry for example, none of them has an out of the box styling; still they do manage to appeal their customers. Now, The Etios is something very different from the cars Toyota has been manufacturing in India until this time. The A3 segment is an entirely different territory for carmaker like Toyota which had a fleet of premium sedans and SUVs in India, that is why, Toyota has designed this car in an uncomplicated way.

To start off, the face is pretty simple looking yet a bit smart due to the huge grin of the smiling grill that comes with a chrome garnish to make its looks more pleasing. The headlamps are nothing to talk about; they bear a resemblance to the Optra NY edition lamps which was launched a few years ago. The front bumper too appears straightforward with no use of extra curves. It sports traditional circular fog lamps. Also, the skinny bonnet looks understated too.

The side profile has a certain resemblance to the Logan; especially the rear quarter will make you feel so. Though it does have some resemblance with Logan, it can definitely not be called ugly. The VX variant which we tested was equipped with side skirts which looked decent enough for an OE trim. The 12 spoke alloy wheels look elegant and contract the praise for improving the side stance. As a cost cutting, the spare wheel is made up of steel which means that in case of puncture, you will have to ride with three alloys and one steel wheel.

The rear profile can be termed as the most uninteresting amongst the competitors. The broad chrome garnish on the boot is an eyesore; On the contrary, the boot would have looked better without that huge chrome bit. The tail lamps too are unadorned, their triangular geometry and oversized appearance looks out of proportion with the overall rear design. The clear lens effect appears neat, but there is a solitary reverse warning lamp which is on the right tail lamp assembly only, similar to SX4, Logan etc. The left hand slot is vacant, although after a course of time, people will get used to it but, we must admit that the lone reverse lamp does look anomalous when viewed from distance. Nonetheless, Taken as a whole, the Etios may not be called a beauty contest winner, but it certainly looks much superior over the other attached boot sedans.

Etios Rear.JPG
 
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Akash

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Toyota Etios Interiors And Comfort.

Front seats.JPG

Toyota cars have never had exaggeratedly dynamic interiors; still, they did possess an executive finish because of the top class quality bits used inside but when you enter in Etios, you may feel disillusioned with the plastic quality used, which starts with the door trims itself. The plastics are coarse to touch and lack the soft finish like that of a Corolla or even the Innova, yet they are much better than actual competition, namely Tata Manza and Maruti DZire. The use of black and grey combo somehow manages to hide the cheap look and on contrary looks better than customary beige colour.

The wide opening doors give way to an interesting red contoured driver seats with lavish use of red all around. The moment you are on the pilot seat, it will certainly take some time to take your eyes off the flat bottom steering wheel which looks sporty enough to wake the enthusiast in you. It’s a kind of wheel you will see in most of the NFS cars! The Instrument cluster is centrally placed which may not be liked by enthusiasts, but it is favourable for the owner sitting at the rear to keep an easy eye on their drivers speed. The centrally placed cluster often leads to grumbles of difficulty in readability while on move; however, they won’t crop up in case of Etios. The positioning has been done in such a manner that it isn’t an effortful job to look at speeds and RPMs while cruising at good speeds. The tachometer has been located on the extreme left of the panel which makes it easily readable for those who shift the gears with RPMs but the tiny Speedo needle will take some time to become accustomed. The gear stick is short and sweet to use, It also get a red head in the top variant which goes well with the chrome garnish around the panel. This definitely adds to the visual pleasure.

The circular A/C vents have been chrome garnished which is nice touch; even their location is pretty good. The difference here is twin ac vents stay the centre. The driver side A/C vent has been shifted from its traditional house to the centre but still, it doesn’t affect the cooling at all. The cabin is cooled down within a short span. Although because of the low temperatures out here, we did not try to test the chilled cabin to freeze ourselves. The AC is manual and even the top end VX variant doesn’t gets a climate control, anyways, for the price, it is acceptable. The AC control plastics are flimsy to touch but thankfully, they don’t feel like easily falling off!

When you look at the dash, the two DIN music system will surely catch your interest. This music player is proficient of playing your ripped CDs, MP3 in addition to DVDs and AVI formats which is a great deal, from what is expected from an OE music system. The sound quality too is pretty decent however, an upgrade is recommended to satisfy the audiophile in you. The top end version gets audio controls on steering which adds to the ease when you require changing the song or volume while driving. With DVD music player, you won’t need to carry number of CDs with you, but still if you are a fan of it, don’t worry about the space. When it comes to storage space, Etios is full of it. Whether it the huge boot of 595liters or the cooled glove box, every compartment has some extra space in it. There are numerous cup holders to keep your water bottle and some change. They are deep enough to do the job. The glove box itself is deep and huge and provided with cooling feature to keep your drinks cool whenever required.

Coming to the comfort, as expected from a car from Toyota stable, the seats endow with excellent comfort. They are outfitted with integrated head rests which have been cushioned well enough to provide superior levels of comfort. The front seats offer outstanding comfort and finding a perfect driving position isn’t a tedious job. The rear seats offer decent under thigh support which equates to a comfortable ride even on highways. Just like its elder siblings, Etios offers good comfort due to the inheritance of similar suspension setup. The Mac Pherson Strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear gulps even the small patches really well.

Rear seats.JPG
 
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Akash

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Toyota Etios Engine and Gearbox.

1.5L DOHC.JPG

A new 1.5L 4cylinder 16valve DOHC engine powers this super light car. Talking about the tech specs on paper, the power output of this mill is 90PS @ 5600 rpm with a torque of 132 Nm @ 3000rpm. The figures look great but the performance is equally great on roads.
As soon as you start the engine, you will feel the traditional Toyota silence. The petrol heart revs smoothly without bothering the driver. Good insulation and higher NVH levels add to a silent cabin even on move.

As soon as you reach the red top gear stick, you will feel the pleasure of the gearbox which is butter smooth. The initial response is pretty good and definitely a stress buster in heavy traffic. The gear ratio seemed good enough which means you won’t need to downshift every now and then in traffic. Even with the AC being in operation, the drop is power isn’t noticeable. On highways, Etios glides surprisingly well. The bigger engine as compared to its competitors makes it the most powerful sedan in its segment. And the raw power is as good on roads as on specification sheet. Another feature about this new engine is the no knocking features. Even when the rpm dips to a comparatively low level, the need to change gears is not felt due to almost zero knocking or the traditional vibrations. The car pulled from a speed of as low as 30kmph in fifth gear without hiccups which is too good for Indian driving conditions. The best part about the drive is that the engine doesn’t run out of breath soon on highway stretches. Basically, the Etios can be considered as a perfect city sedan with occasional highway trips, however at higher revs the engine noise might irritate you.

Red head gear stick.JPG
 
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Akash

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Toyota Etios Performance and Safety.

12 Spoke alloys.JPG

As already mentioned earlier, the Etios is pretty light weight with just 930kg of kerb weight. With this, it is very clear that Etios is not only the most powerful sedan in its segment but also the lightest one too. This kerb weight definitely adds to the exciting drive. The power to weight ratio of the Etios is about 97PS/tonne that evidently shows up on drive. The perfect gear ratios add to the driving pleasure and free the driver from frequent downshifts.

The Electronic power steering is precise and does the job wonderfully. In addition to providing the feedback, it behaves really well even at high speeds. Coming to the acceleration, this is fairly good leading to a quick 0-60kmph figure. The optimum tire profile of 185/60/R15 translates to excellent grip round the corners. The car which we tested had Goodyear as its shoes which never seemed to lose their line. However, the basic variants (J, G) have a lower profile which too is decent enough for the job.

The suspension setup in Etios is similar to the sedan in the segment. The Mac Pherson Strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear is capable enough to go over potholes without giving its occupant a bouncy ride.
The major problem with the cars which come from the stable of foreign manufacturers is their non- Indian specific design. It often leads to the buyers moving to the Indian options even though those models do not excite them. The major issue of all is the ground clearance which is an infamous problem of people driving in India. But with Etios, that won’t happen. Gliding over the potholes is easy due the India specific GC. The enormous 170mm ground clearance ensures that the car does kiss those illegal speed breaker and uneven roads.

With power comes responsibility which Etios understands well which is why it is equipped with Ventilated discs in front and Drums at the rear along with the Anti Lock Braking system with Electronic braking distribution to ensure the car remains in control even during unexpected road conditions. Safety has been given utmost important while designing the Etios. The V and VX variants which are the top variants get ABS (EBD) and twin Airbags as standard equipment. Even the G variant customer gets a choice of these Safety features by choosing what Toyota calls as Safety Package. For an entry level sedan, this is pretty surprising and not to mention a threat to the rivals.

Dash finish.JPG
 
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Toyota Etios Fuel Efficiency and Verdict.

Etios RHS Tail lamp.JPG

As a traditional rule, a car either has the capability to zoom ahead in traffic with the help of good torque or deliver mouth watering fuel efficiency. The combination of these two in a single car is a rare sight. Toyota Etios breaks this monopoly of power or fuel efficiency.
As per the ARAI test, the Etios is capable of returning a fuel efficiency of about 17.64kmpl. Now this figure may look not as much of to the diesel heads, but for a midsize sedan with such amount of torque, the figure cannot be termed less. Toyota has done good amount of homework prior to the making of this car and the way things have turned out, definitely call for applause for Toyota. Though Etios does have some niggling negatives, but all those are far to less when compared to the positives. Etios is capable enough to leave its rivals with some worries. It is a practical family sedan with good amount of power to take on chaotic traffic in cities as well as extended highway stretches. So if you are looking to buy a no nonsense sedan which gives the complete bang of you buck, then Etios is the car for you.
 
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Akash

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Toyota Etios Likes, Dislikes and Ratings.

Etios view 6.JPG

We Like in Etios: [thumbsup]

  • Excellent Pricing

  • Refined Petrol Engine

  • Enormous Boot Space

  • Trouble free After Sales Service

  • Optional Safety features

We Dislike in Etios: [thumbsdown]

  • Boring Design

  • Absence of Diesel Engine

  • Engine noise at high Revs

  • Disappointing Plastic Quality

The Automotive India Star Ratings

  • Design and Quality:
    (7/10)

  • Comfort Levels:
    (8.5/10)

  • Performance:
    (9/10)

  • Ride Quality:
    (9/10)

  • Handling:
    (8/10)

  • Fuel Efficiency:
    (9/10)

  • Safety:
    (9/10)

  • After Sales Service:
    (8.5/10)

  • Value For Money:
    (9/10)
 
Thread Starter #8

Akash

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Toyota Etios Price and Specifications.

Etios Comparo.JPG

Price:

  • J: Rs. 4,96,000
  • G: Rs. 5,46,000
  • G: SP* Rs. 5,96,500
  • V: Rs. 6,41,000
  • VX: Rs. 6,86,500
*With Safety Package
(Ex.Showroom, New Delhi)


Engine:

  • Type: 2NR-FE, Gasoline, 4 Cylinder 16V, DOHC
  • Displacement: 1496 cc
  • Max.Power: 90PS (66kW) @ 5600 rpm
  • Max.Torque: 132 Nm (13.46 kg-m) @ 3000 rpm
  • Fuel Supply System: (EFI) Electronic Fuel Injection
Transmission:

  • 5 Speed Manual
Suspension:

  • Front: Mac Pherson Strut
  • Rear: Torsion Beam
Brakes:

  • Front: Ventilated Discs
  • Rear: Drums
Wheels/Tire Size:

  • Steel / 175 / 65 R14 (J, V variants)
  • Alloy / 185/60 R15 (V, VX Variants)
Dimensions:

  • Length: 4265mm
  • Width: 1695mm
  • Height: 1510mm
  • Wheelbase: 2550mm
  • Ground Clearance: 170 mm
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 45 Liters
  • Turning Radius: 4.9m
  • Boot Size: 595 Liters
  • Kerb Weight: 930 kg(VX)
*(Engine specs of Etios VX Variant)

Colors:

  • Symphony Silver
  • Harmony Beige
  • Serene Bluish Silver
  • Vermilion Red
  • Celestial Black
  • White
 
Thread Starter #9

Akash

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Toyota Etios Pictures.

Etios Boot.JPG

Boot space view.JPG

2DIN DVD Music Player.JPG

Chrome garnish on handles.JPG

Driver door trim.JPG

Cooled glove box.JPG

Etios Fog lamp.JPG

Etios head lamp.JPG

Etios ORVM.JPG

Etios view 4.JPG

Lots of Cubby holes.JPG

Toyota badge.JPG

Road Test Credits
  • Road Test & Photography: Akash
  • Edit & Format: 350Z
(C) The Automotive India. All rights reserved. Our content such as reviews, images etc. cannot be reproduced in any form without written permission of our authority.
 
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Re: Toyota Etios Road Test Review

Fantastic Review Akash!! I like this car a lot! Any speculations when the Liva will be launched?
 
Thread Starter #12

Akash

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Re: Toyota Etios Road Test Review

Fantastic Review Akash!! I like this car a lot! Any speculations when the Liva will be launched?
Thanks a lot Archit. I guess most of the people have the same opinion about the car as yours because in even here, the waiting period for Etios sedan is 9months.[surprise]

Toyota Etios Liva will be launched in March this year.
 
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Re: Toyota Etios Road Test Review

Very good review Akash.
The headlamps look inadequate for highways.
Just had some queries, is the leg room in the rear seats good?
And How is the OEM Audio System Speakers?
 
Thread Starter #15

Akash

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Re: Toyota Etios Road Test Review

Superb review Akash.
Thanks Bharath.

Very good review Akash.
The headlamps look inadequate for highways.
Just had some queries, is the leg room in the rear seats good?
And How is the OEM Audio System Speakers?
Thanks safire90.
The leg room is pretty good at the rear even for tall occupants. With a tall driver behind the wheels and a similar height ed person behind on the rear, the legroom is sufficient for both. Thanks to the extended wheelbase, Etios has one of the most comfy rear with adequate headroom.

As for the SQ, the OE player which is capable of playing DVD and AVI formats sounds good enough. However it may will be a disappointment for audiophiles. The bass seems to be pretty less, however it is comparatively better than other OE players.
 
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