Experience the Q Class - Toyota Etios Test drive
I saw this Etios moving in our town with the Q class experience sticker and a lot of dirt on it. A few hours later he reached our office to offer a test drive to my friend. So i too took the oppurtunity to test drive it and here i am sharing my experience. The design seems that, Toyota purposefully kept it's looks bland to classify it as an economy class car. Etios looks great in the Serene Bluish Silver and Vermilion Red. Watch them in bright sun and you will be in love with them. The front face looks like Innova and the rear looks like that of Logan. While the side profile looks better than Logan and Dzire - the chief competitors. I would have compared it with Fiesta, but the top version of Fiesta costs 1 lakh more than Etios' top version. Etios basic versions, without the front chrome grills look like Logan particularly in black colour. Overall, Etios looks neat. I took some snaps of the exterior from different angles and stepped inside. To be honest, it was shocking to me. The location of instrument cluster is odd but that doesn't matter much to me. But, the quality of interior is equivalent to a maruti estillo or an Alto. Every other sedan in the price bracket of Etios offers better quality interiors - both in looks and quality. The doors were thin and the door panels look cheap. The door along with its plastic panel is as thin as that of an Alto or an Estillo. Now my doubt about the kerb weight of 900 kilos got cleared. Leaving the interior quality and built quality aside, this car offers great view of the road to the driver. The windows are large and makes the cabin feel more spacious. seat comfort is good at both front and rear. Air conditioner is chilling. Music system is average and will not impress the bass freaks. The steering is ultralight with no slack. Though there is no feedback from the steering, i still liked it for its grip and shape. Engine noise can be heard inside the cabin, but not that disturbing to me, as i drive a diesel car most of the time. The thing that impressed me much is the pick up of the car. May be because of the light weight + huge torque at low rpm and good gear ratios. This car doesn't mind whether the A/c is on or off. It pulls cleanly till 120 kmph without any hesitation. A bit of engine roar can be heard, just increase the music player volume and forget about noise. I shifted to 2nd to cross a railyway track, except that i never felt the need to go down below 3rd gear. This car will definitely give good mileage and is awesome to drive in both cities and highways equally. Braking is good, but I don't suggest driving this car above 120 kmph for safety reasons. The grip levels and handling is not confidence inspiring. It is a perfect family sedan - not for boy racers.A special mention to its suspension - At high speeds, you will not notice that, you just drove over a pot hole. I didn't tested it on a bad road at low speeds though.Etios comes with 15 wheels and wider tyres on V and VX variant. From Variant G and below it is 14.In terms of price, Toyota competes with Swift Dzire, Tata Manza, Hyundai Accent, Mahindra Logan and Fiesta Classic (Base and middle versions). If i have to buy this car, i will go for the G safety version, which is 50k cheaper than its next version. This version comes with air bags and ABS and will give the oppurtunity to customize it to our choice at a much lower price (After market bluetooth audio system, fogs, seat covers, better tyres and alloys). Also this version will not come with the ugly red combination.If you are not bothered about ABS and Air bags, and the large space, Stay away from this car and Go for Fiesta Classic LXi or CLXi. It is well built, stable, safe and fun to drive car than Etios any day.Personally - if i have to buy a Toyota under 7 lakhs, I will go for a Second Hand Corolla than a brand new Etios.
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