Toyota Etios Engine & Test Drive

Toyota Etios Overview

Just as Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with luxury and BMW with sportiness, Toyota has established itself as a byword for quality and reliability. For years the Japanese automaker has churned out a range of well put together cars. Get behind the wheel of one and straightaway you’d be under an impression that it’s a thing that will probably last forever.

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Oddly enough, it’s the knack of endlessly producing functional and reliable products that makes Toyotas of today (except for the utterly brilliant GT-86) rather dull and soulless appliances. Take the Etios for instance. On sale in the Indian market since 2010, the car has come under heavy criticism for its uninspiring design and low-rent interior. So when we heard that Toyota was bringing out a facelifted version, our first thoughts leapt to visions of a refreshing new Etios that is far more impressive to look at and sit in, compared to the earlier model.

Toyota Etios Look

The Toyota Etios seems to derive certain cues from the Corolla though it has been designed suitably for the desired price range. The first look however is somewhat underwhelming. The car lacks curves, sleek shaping of bonnet etc.

At the front, the head lights on the wide front bumper and the chrome lined Toyota emblem give the confidence of Toyota brand. However, the head light size seems on the large size, and though positioned well, it certainly feels that it could have been improved much. The positioning of the windshield is in par with aerodynamics and adds to the aesthetics of the front portion. Black radiator grill and fog lamp add to a good impression of the car.

Toyota has used a good quality of body panels which is indicated by the sturdy feel of the front fender, front door, rear door and quarter panel.The rear side of the Etios is decent and has been covered with big tail lamps, and a somewhat lumpy dickey. The car from the back somehow reminds of the Mahindra Logan.

Toyota Etios Comfort

The interior layout remains the same, however, the plastic quality has improved. The surfaces feel soft to touch and the cabin no longer feels cheap.The centrally mounted instrument cluster is now an optitron meter with a digital tachometer and an anlouge tachometer. It looks much better than the basic cluster that was present in the previous Etios. While the cluster has readouts for fuel, odo, two trip metres, and the usual tell-tale lights I wish Toyota would have thrown in average and instantaneous fuel consumption readouts too.The music system in the new car is a big disappointment. The head unit looks like it belongs to an entry spec hatchback and so do the tinny speakers. It sounds like an aftermarket unit and I feel Toyota could have sourced a better system. It could have also introduced a touch screen infotainment system instead, given the segment and competition it positions the sedan in. But what the Etios may lack in equipment is made up by the spaciousness of the cabin. This is easily one of the most spacious cabins across segments and the use of beige around the dashboard, door pads and seats adds to the sense of space in the car. At 2,550 mm the wheelbase is long enough to liberate generous knee room, even for six footers.

The seats up front are very comfortable and offers adequate back and under thigh support which goes a long way in keeping fatigue at a minimum on long drives.The rear bench is wide and can easily accommodate three adults without them having to rub shoulders. Toyota has also incorporated a centre armrest that folds flush into the backrest. This explains the slight drop in boot space, from 595 to 592 liters. As a chauffeur driven car, the Etios does have one of the best rear seats in the business.

Toyota Etios Engine

If there is one area Toyota hasn’t bothered to ‘innovate’ with the facelifted Etios, it’s under the hood. There are no upgraded powertrains, only the same old petrol and diesel engines we have been seeing for quite some time.

Available with either the 1.4-litre, D4-D diesel or the 1.5-litre petrol engine, we tested the diesel which, incidentally, also powers the bigger Corolla Altis albeit in a higher state of tune. With about 67bhp of power and 170Nm of torque, this 1.4-litre, four cylinder turbo diesel engine not only offers reasonable amount of grunt, but does the job in a rather smooth, linear way. Gearshifts, too, on the short-throw 5-speed manual gearbox are quick and smooth.

Thanks to a strong bottom-end, the Etios goes off the moment you prod the throttle pedal. The diesel engine is surprisingly responsive at crawling speeds and as the revs rise, it has enough torque to get you out of light traffic. While refinement levels are not the best in class, this engine obliges to be revved and it is only when the needle is hovering near the redline that it starts to feels like it’s being put through heavy strain.

The low kerb weight (just 1020 kilograms) and well-spaced gear ratios allow the Etios diesel to easily keep up with most other diesel cars in its segment. It’s only at highway speeds where the engine’s power deficit is apparent. It’s also where the Etios will be outclassed by more powerful diesel cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Honda Amaze.

Toyota Etios Driving

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. For information on contact details of Toyota car dealers in Hyderabad 

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.

Toyota Etios Safety

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.

Toyota Etios Price in Mumbai

Toyota Etios Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 6,76,368/- (Etios G) to 8,81,400/- (Etios VXD Platinum Edition). Get best offers for Toyota Etios from Toyota Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Etios price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Toyota Etios Verdict

There is no doubt that the new Toyotra Liva hatchback definitely has received some worthy upgrades especially if we talk about the safety side. The changes to the exterior have certainly given it a more sporty appeal which definitely will attract much attention, while the refreshed interior too adds a premium touch to the hatchback as well. Although there are no mechanical changes but all those above mentioned changes has made this hatchback worth every penny.

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