Ed's take: The interior styling and features on the Fiesta are good, however the only complain we have is of the rear seat knee room.
The interiors of the Fiesta are trendy and stylish. The design of the instrument panel looks futuristic as it gets a flowing dashboard with a screen on top and a numpad at the centre. The instrument binnacle gets twin large dials that are easy to read and a small steering wheel that is easy to turn, as it is light. The fit and finish of the plastic is decent and also the quality of plastics is good.
The other good bit of the Fiesta is the space it offers in the front row. The seats are large and even comfortable. There is lots of side support and one of the best front seat thigh support. The space at the rear is however cramped. The knee room especially, as it seems to be tight for tall people. The boot of the Fiesta is also large and can gobble luggage for five people for an entire weekend.
Ambiente: Ambiente is the base model on the Fiesta and is available only with the petrol engine. The Ambiente gets features like all power windows, ABS, driver airbag, Defogger and driver's seat height adjuster. It is a loaded model for even a base version.
Style: The Style version gets body coloured bumpers and ORVMs, front fog lamps, auto AC, in-dash music system, audio controls, passenger airbag and ESP expect for those that come on the Ambiente. This is available with petrol automatic and manual and also with diesel engine.
Titanium+: The Titanium+ is the top of the line and it gets features like indicators on ORVMs, Bluetooth, voice controls and six speakers for the music system.
Ed's take: The pick of the lot is definitely the diesel engine as it isn't more frugal but also has more linear power delivery. The petrol with the automatic box is much preferred over the manual petrol.
The Fiesta comes with a 1.5-litre petrol engine that is available with manual and automatic transmission options and the 1.5-litre diesel that comes with manual transmission only.
1.5-litre petrol: The 1.5-litre petrol engine on Fiesta produces 108bhp at 6045rpm and 140Nm at 4500rpm. The NVH level of this engine is low. Since the engine has been tuned for better economy, one cannot expect a stonker of a performer. In the manual version, the engine feels a bit languorous and makes you work hard to extract performance. The five-speed box does feel a bit rubbery, but that's about it. The shifts on it are positive and the throws are short. The automatic on the other hand has the dual-clutch six-speed box makes things easier as downshifting is taken care by the intelligent box. Simply put, there are two clutches, one operates the odd gears and the other engages the even lot. This reduces the change time and so the shifts are smooth and not lethargic unlike the conventional boxes. Drive it in D mode and the transmission shifts considering the best fuel economy, whereas the L mode is similar to the sport mode, where the box doesn't upshift until the engine redlines. Of course there are a few downsides of this box, as it does not have Tiptronic or comes with flappy paddle shifters.
1.5-litre diesel: The 1.5-litre diesel engine produces 89bhp of power at 3750rpm and 204Nm at 2000rpm. This engine has decent NVH levels. It has good initial torque with a strong mid-range. However, the engine feels sluggish at low rpms. The turbo lag does exist. However, once in the power band, the engine is fantastic to drive. The power produced by the diesel engine is excellent and it does a tidy job, as even the clutch is light and easy to drive in city traffic.
Ed's take: The Fiesta strikes a perfect balance between the ride and handling characteristics making it meet Ford's standards.
Ford has softened the suspension set-up on the Fiesta to make it suitable for Indian road conditions. As a result, the ride suppleness is good and most of the jolts are soaked well. The ride is composed even at high speeds.
The previous-generation Fiesta was a handler and so is the new one, despite the tweaking for better ride. Turn into a tight chicane and there is no drama except the tyre squeal. The chassis can easily handle tight corners and hairpins. The light steering wheel is a bit of a letdown as the feedback feels rather artificial and doesn't inspire confidence.
The facelift version of the Etios gets improvement in quality. The sedan has always been practical, with loads of space to seat five and a massive boot of 595 litres. The brownies on the Etios are decent. The only thing we are against is the plastic quality.
Major changes have been made on the interiors of the Etios and the results are positive. The dashboard now has beige and grey trim and even the quality has been improved by a couple of notches. The interior trim has been changed from grey to beige fabric and even the headrests are no longer integrated and can be adjusted. This alone changes a lot in the interior, and it does feel premium than before.
The music system on the Etios has been changed and even the new 2 DIN music system does look a lot more stylish and better in design. Toyota built a sedan for a family that can only afford a single car, so the Etios had to be spacious. The Etios can comfortably seat five adults and to make things easier the central tunnel has almost been flattened. Even the boot space is large, as it can swallow 595 litres of luggage, making one the best in its class. The driving position is great and the light steering makes maneuvering in city convenient.
J: This is the base variant of the Etios and now comes in diesel variant also. This version comes with body coloured bumpers, tubeless tyres, air conditioner with heater, cooled glovebox and digital tripmeter. It even misses out on power steering.
G: This is a variant higher than J and is available in petrol and diesel engine options. It also includes body coloured door handles, body coloured ORVMs, B-Pillar Black-Out, intermittent wiper, chrome garnish on boot, power windows, electric power steering and central locking.
G Safety: Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
V: This variant encompasses front fog lamps, 12 spoke alloy wheels, and roof-mounted antenna, and rear defogger, tachometer and in-dash music system with USB & Aux-in.
V (with safety pack) A top end variant in Toyota Etios includes side skirt, steering mounted audio controls, leather wrapped steering wheel and chrome-accented shift knob. Similar to the above variant, it comes with some additional safety features that include SRS Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake Distribution) and Driver Seatbelt Warning. Hence, the name is G Safety. It comes in petrol and diesel variants.
The petrol engine of the Etios is amazing, thanks to the power to weight ratio. It is one of the quickest sedans in the C segment and even efficient. There is always enough power to drive through city lanes, and downshifting might not be required.
1.5-litre petrol: The petrol engine of the Etios is a 1496cc mill that churns out 89bhp@5600rpm and a maximum torque of 132Nm@3000rpm. The engine isn’t a stonker of a performer, but there the power to weight ratio of 90bhp/tonne changes the entire game. The Etios weighs 930kg, which is hatchback territory. The engine is perky and power is always available at the tap of your right foot. One usually doesn’t require a downshift to overtake.
This motor happily revs upto 6000rpm, but it tends to get a bit noisy when it crosses the 3500rpm mark. The torque spread is good and the power delivery is linear like any other efficient petrol engine. The 5-speed manual transmission comes mated to the petrol engine. The gear lever is small and the shifts are precise.
1.4-litre diesel: The 1.4-litre engine that powers the Etios is the same that also does duty on the Corolla Altis. In the Etios, this engine has been detuned to generate maximum power of 68bhp and 170Nm of maximum torque. The Corolla Altis it gets a variable geometric turbocharger in the Etios it gets a conventional fixed geometric turbo. With the same engine block, there is bit of diesel clatter during cold starts but this is muted once the engine warms up. The throttle is fairly responsive and the engine has good mid-range and is drivable around the city. The engine is drivable as the power delivery is linear. It is on the open road you feel that the engine lacks that extra punch.
The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gearshifts are positive and slick. As per ARAI test cycle, Toyota claims the Etios diesel to have a fuel economy of 23.59kmpl.
The ride of the Etios is fairly composed and most of the road shocks are absorbed by the suspension. The handling on the Etios is good enough even driven within city speed limits.
The suspension set-up is soft and it ensures better ride and fairly decent handling characteristics. The Etios smoothly glides over potholes with a muted thud and most of the road shocks are ironed-out by the transmission. The ride is smooth, but some road noise does intrude the cabin.
The Etios’s handling is decent, when within city speed limits. The sedan can zip through busy streets but things get difficult as you make it to twisty roads. The steering wheel of the Toyota Etios is light and feels slack around the corner as the car gathers speed.
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