Toyota Etios Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

The Etios is pretty nimble for its size and easy to punt around town, thanks to a tight turning circle and super-light electric steering. However, the steering which is totally devoid of feel doesn’t give much feedback. With plenty of turns lock to lock, it’s quite slow and there’s a dead zone around the straight-ahead position which makes you feel disconnected from the road. With a weighty diesel engine up front, the steering has become a bit heavier but it is still too light at speed.

For a car that doesn’t have sporting pretensions, the Etios is quite stiffly sprung but there’s a reason for that. High-speed stability was a priority for Toyota and hence a firm suspension set-up for better control was chosen. At low speeds, this has compromised the ride quality a bit which feels a bit jiggly over uneven surfaces but it’s not to the point of being jarring. Accentuating the stiff-kneed ride is a fair amount of road noise that filters through. Tyre noise and clunks from the suspension are quite audible, much of which is down to insufficient underbody insulation. Check On Road Price of Etios

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The Etios originally was barely a head turner. Its appeal was more inherent in what it offered to the buyers. For 2015, the sedan has gone under the knife although one will be hard-pressed to spot the updates in the overall design. Upfront, the Etios still greets you with a wide grin but in the facelifted version, the redesigned grille comes finished in chrome to lift up the street presence. It is worth noting that the base-spec variants will be offered with a matte black grille and not the fancier chrome finished unit featured here.

Toyota is also offering a new paint colour for the facelifted model; called pearl while, the well layered option is a welcome addition as it makes the Etios that extra bit nice to look at. A few other upgrades such as the 12-spoke alloy wheels and rear-view mirrors with turn indicators continue to enhance the appearance of the car.

All in all, the minor design upgrades help differentiate the Etios facelift from its more traditionally styled predecessor. Although the Etios now puts forward a stronger case for itself in terms of design, it is still far from striking looking and seems a generation old when pitted with newer rivals like the Tata Zest and the Hyundai Xcent.

INTERIOR AND SPACE

Let’s be honest about the fact that not many of us like the interior styling of the instrument panel. The circular air-con vents might be highly effective, but they miss out on the appeal bit and even the central instrument cluster isn’t something one will appreciate. The quality of the Etios Liva for the price is acceptable, however not its design. The central instrument cluster has always been no-no for all recently launched cars. In terms of features, the Liva is a well-loaded product.

The Liva’s recent upgrade to adjustable headrest was a very good option. This makes the car feel a lot more premium on the inside. The Japanese car maker has changed a lot of things in the Etios family after a delayed customer feedback. The space in the front row is good and even the seats are large enough, however the second row is a bit tight for knee room. There is a lot of stowage space. One can store seven litres of bottles in the Liva alone, which is humongous. Then there is a decent size boot as well. Seating comfort, driving position, access to controls, these are some elements that Toyota well has taken care of.

When you sit in the driving position, it is easy to get comfortable and adjust the steering wheel and the seat. There is height adjustable in the top-of-the-line VX trim. The A-pillars (side pillar) are thin and the visibility is good. However, the mirrors could have been bigger for better visibility of the rear. The large headrests at the rear, somewhat block the rear visibility.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Very few changes have been made to the mechanicals of the Etios. The petrol engine is a 1.5-litre unit producing 90 PS of power and 132 Nm of torque, mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. The engine has good drivability in the city but it seems to run out of breath on the highways or at higher RPMs. Fuel efficiency from the petrol engine is also just about average. However, it has always been the diesel engine which has been fetching sales for Toyota. The 1.4-litre D-4D engine churns out 68 PS and 170 Nm and performance is very good. Power delivery is linear and turbo lag is negligible. The mid-range feels very strong and the car pulls nicely. However, the engine runs out of breath post 3500 RPM.

While straight line acceleration isn’t the best, in-gear acceleration is very good and that will satisfy buyers. The 5-speed gearbox isn’t buttery smooth though and takes a mild effort to change gears. To make things easier, Toyota has made the clutch lighter this time around. Also, the clatter from the engine has been reduced thanks to better insulation on the car. The rubber mounts have also been replaced by hydraulic mounts, thus improving the NVH levels. The diesel engine can easily churn out anywhere between 15-19 km/l.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Etios is pretty nimble for its size and easy to punt around town, thanks to a tight turning circle and super-light electric steering. However, the steering which is totally devoid of feel doesn’t give much feedback. With plenty of turns lock to lock, it’s quite slow and there’s a dead zone around the straight-ahead position which makes you feel disconnected from the road. With a weighty diesel engine up front, the steering has become a bit heavier but it is still too light at speed.

For a car that doesn’t have sporting pretensions, the Etios is quite stiffly sprung but there’s a reason for that. High-speed stability was a priority for Toyota and hence a firm suspension set-up for better control was chosen. At low speeds, this has compromised the ride quality a bit which feels a bit jiggly over uneven surfaces but it’s not to the point of being jarring. Accentuating the stiff-kneed ride is a fair amount of road noise that filters through. Tyre noise and clunks from the suspension are quite audible, much of which is down to insufficient underbody insulation.

Up the pace and the ride smoothens out and in fact is quite comfortable for the most part. The Etios cruises with a flat and consistent poise which gives the driver a huge amount of confidence, especially at highway speeds. With a full load too, the suspension copes well and the saloon feels planted over most road surfaces.

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

The list of safety aspects include dual front SRS airbags, driver seat belt warning light with buzzer , engine immobilizer, keyless entry, headlamp-on warning as well as door ajar notifications that adds to the safety quotient.

This mid range trim is loaded with a number of comfort features that gives an enjoyable driving experience to its passengers. It is bestowed with an efficient air conditioning system that comes along with a heater and clean air filter. There are all four power windows including driver’s side auto down function. It has a tilt adjustable steering wheel and LCD type fuel meter with a digital clock. The front seats have adjustable headrests, while the driver’s seat has height adjustment facility. The 12V power outlet is quite useful for charging phones and other devices. Its stylish instrument includes a digital tripmeter, tachometer, low fuel warning light panel and displays few other notifications, which makes it quite convenient for the driver. In addition to these, it includes day and night inside rear view mirror, air vents, remote fuel lid as well as tail gate opener, speakers, rear defogger and front cabin lights that enhances the comfort levels.

VERDICT ;.

It’s clear that the Etios diesel has many shortcomings. The engine, though adequately powerful in the city, feels a bit breathless on the highway and is pretty noisy too. Built to a cost, it doesn’t feel as plush as it should and priced at Rs 7.87 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), it’s not that cheap either. But space and comfort is where the Etios scores in spades. It is phenomenally practical, thanks to its unmatched space, superb comfort and terrific fuel efficiency. Also, the light controls and the engine’s linear power delivery make it very easy to live with. It may not enthuse you but the Etios diesel comes across as a car that you can depend on, day in and day out. If you’re looking for a fuss-free efficient diesel-engined saloon, you can’t really go wrong with this Toyota.

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