Toyota Etios Sedan
The Fresh King Of The Segment.
The Etios is to Toyota what the Dzire is to Maruti Suzuki, high hopes and aspirations on the Etios Sedan and the initial huge booking numbers are just the first signs that the strongly indicate that Toyota has got a big winner on their hands. The Etios twins (Sedan and Hatchback the Liva) happen to be the most talked about car in recent time from the world’s 2nd largest car maker of the world. Read on as we drive the Toyota Etios VX Sedan to find out how good it really is to get such a huge booking numbers.
Its taken nearly 4 years for Toyota engineers to get the Etios sedan conceived and ready and from the first look the Etios sedan reminds you of the Altis from the sides and has some styling cues from the Prius when seen head-on. The initial concept that was shown at the Auto Expo looked more like the Renault Logan to many. The Toyota Etios VX does still remind you of the Logan especially the rear half but the Etios Sedan looks like a well designed Logan with lots of roundness to it.
Coming back to the design aspect, the front face has got a wide smiling grill in chrome that runs from between the two headlights. Large bumpers with a low air dam and integrated round fog lamps make up for the front profile of the Etios Sedan. The side profile as mentioned earlier resembles to some extent of the Altis. The top end version of the car, the Toyota Etios VX that we drove came with nice chunky 15inche tyres on good looking alloys.
Half Blacked out door pillars look like an afterthought but never the less gel nicely with the overall appearance. Door handles also have the chrome treatment on them. The rear end has the triangular tail lamp that look more like the Logans while a thick chrome strip runs across the boot lid adds to the beauty of the Etios Sedans rear.
The Toyota Etios VX looks like a proper 3 box sedan, has a nice aggressive stance, fit and finish is typical Toyota which is better than many and the overall look is sober yet different. Remember the Etios Sedan is directly targeted at the Maruti Dzire and on the outside we find the Etios Sedan looking much better, larger and well built than the Dzire.
Step inside the Toyota Etios VX and the cabin is much larger once you get in than what you see from the outside thanks to some very clever cabin layout and designing by Toyota engineers. You get a 2 tone dashboard in black and grey plastic that’s big in size something on the lines of the Honda Civic.
The instrument panel is in the centre and not on the driver’s side which is again a first for this segment. White colored speedo and RPM meters are well designed and look much better at night. The Toyota Etios VX has a uniquely shaped steering wheel which is not entirely round but is flat on the part which touches the driver’s thighs, this has been done deliberately to give a very sporty look to the steering.
The steering also has the audio controls placed on it and feels chunky to hold and grip. The top end Toyota Etios VX has a height adjustable steering. The top end Etios Sedan came with a MP3, DIVX player with an integrated radio which had a remote with it. Sound quality is good and the music player is easy to use.
The AC on the Etios Sedan is a regular one and we would have preferred a climate control at least on the top variant. The AC cools the cabin very quickly, the vents are round in shape and have a unique shut mechanism on them. Two A/C vents are placed on either sides of the dashboard, one for the passenger and one on the drivers side while the remaining two vents are placed on the left to the MP3 player one on the top of other, Toyota says that this is done so that the AC flow reaches the driver directly and if the vents are on both sides of the MP3 player the flow doesn’t reach the driver as it gets stuck with the steering and the drivers hands coming in between its flow, a very unique and clever design element.
The Toyota Etios VX has a very large glove box, it has a internally cooling vent inside it. The plastic quality is better than some of its rivals in this segment. The Etios Sedan has a very sporty front seats which has a unified headrest that is joined to the seat, drivers side height adjust is missing. Seats are comfortable and supportive. A mix of black and red fabric has been used in here to give a very sporty feel inside the Etios Sedan cabin.
The red theme continues on the long throw gear shifter too, this shifter has a round grip and feels good to grip. The red theme goes on the door panels as inserts along with the fake aluminum finish on them. Bottle holders are also a welcome touch on the door pads. Map pockets are missing behind the front seats.
The rear seat has loads of space and 3 people can easily fit in there moreover the intrusion part on the seat of the rear wheel arches has been chopped off making the seat much more wider. Leg room even with the front seats fully pushed back is huge and so is the head room. Not forgetting the XXL boot area that’s 595litres, compare that to the 506 litres for the Honda City and 440 litres on the direct rival the Maruti Dzire to be precise. The in-cabin area of the Etios Sedan is nearly as big or bigger as the bigger sedans including the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and the Ford Fiesta.
Cabin area is cleverly designed and quality is above average. Choice of fabric on the seats and the door pads is sporty while the equipment level is good. The top end Toyota Etios VX comes with 2 airbags.
The Toyota Etios VX is a 1500cc four-cylinder 16-valve DOHC petrol engine that develops 90 PS @ 5600 rpm and 135 Nm of torque @ 3000 rpm, which is mated to a five-speed manual transmission. This all new engine is very powerful and torquey as well. Start the car and you instantly notice that this engine is very responsive at low revs which should make the Toyota Etios VX a very driveable car on our busy slow moving traffic conditions. The 5 speed transmission is slick enough, shifting is smooth and no false shifts were experienced.
The engine revs fast and the power delivery is quick, cabin insulation is pretty good and the NVH levels are good. The drive quality is at par with larger sedans and the suspension is on the softer side but does its duty very ably The power steering on the Toyota Etios VX is a gem, its very light and responsive and this aids while driving on busy city roads. The 15 inche tyres help in soaking out the bad roads while the ABS and EBD make things easy while braking. The braking is good with the front discs and rear drum setup. The power is good and quick and the Etios Sedan touched 160kmph easily on the run and could do much more. The Etios Sedan feels planted all the time and behaves in a very mature large sedan fashion.
Typical Toyota engineering has gone in on the Toyota Etios VX and it is seen and felt when you drive it. The Etios has a very powerful and linear power delivery, making it a very easy car to drive in town. The Etios Sedan weighs just 930kgs and this works in its favor to achieve an best in class fuel economy of 17.64kpl in the ARAI tests.
The Toyota Etios VX may not be the best looking car around but is intelligently designed and engineered keeping into mind the needs and demands that a Indian car buyer aspires. Sound engineering and clever designing inside the Etios Sedan are its USP while loads of cabin space along with superb utility makes it’s the clear winner. All this combined with the best in class fuel efficiency and a Rs 5 to 7 Lakh priceing for a car which is as big as the bigger sedans make it the fresh new King of the segment. Competition better watch out and this is just the beginning the Etios Sedans brother the Etios Liva hatchback has not even been launch.
Ex-showroom Price Rs 6.86 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi).
Type 4 cylinders in-line, 1496cc
Power 90PS at 5600rpm
Torque 132Nm at 3000rpm
Wheel Base 2550mm
Boot Volume 595-litres
Ground Clearance 170mm
Wheels 15 inch
Spare Full size
Front Independent, MacPherson strut
Rear Non-independent, torsion beam
Type Power Electronic Power Steering
Overall 17.64kpl ARAI certified
Tank size 45-litres
|Variants||*Ex-Showroom Price New Delhi|