Toyota Etios first drive : Now on a diesel diet

Discussion in 'Indian Automotive Scene' started by singh-a-lion, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. singh-a-lion

    singh-a-lion Super Moderator

    Apr 23, 2011
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    The Etios is Toyota’s first offering in the entry level sedan category in India and has so far been successful in its initial few months. It is a practical car with acres of space, good fuel efficiency and of course the Toyota badge, which is quite aspirational in our country. At the launch of the Etios in December 2010, Toyota had announced that it would launch diesel version too. Now, with the festive season just around the corner and petrol prices reaching for the stars, the Japanese manufacturer has jumped into the entry level diesel sedan market with the diesel Etios.

    There are no cosmetic changes to the car on the diesel version, which is available in three variants - G-D, V-D and VX-D. Features offered on each variant too are identical to what is offered in the corresponding petrol variant.

    GOOD THINGS-- Practicality, Toyota service and reliability, Lower depreciation
    BAD THINGS-- Plastic quality

    The Toyota Etios diesel comes with the 8-valve 1.4-litre engine that powers the Corolla Altis in its diesel avatar. However, in the Etios this engine has been detuned to generate a peak output of 68bhp and 170Nm of maximum torque. Also, while in the Corolla Altis it gets a variable geometric turbocharger in the Etios it gets a conventional fixed geometric turbo. There is bit of diesel clatter during cold starts however it settles down once the engine warms up. The throttle is fairly responsive and the engine has good mid-range and is drivable around the city. The power is enough for in-city driving and delivery linear. On an open road though you realise that the engine does lack that extra punch to make quick overtaking manoeuvres.

    The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. Gear shift operation is positive and slick. Since the engine is already pretty efficient in the larger Corolla Altis, we expect it to be very efficient in the Etios. As per ARAI test data, Toyota claims a fuel economy of 23.59kmpl.
    The Etios Liva also gets the same powertrain as the diesel version of the Etios. The Etios Liva is being offered with just one variant - G-D. With a mere weight difference of 10kg between the G-D variants of the sedan and the hatchback, there isn’t much of a difference in the performance of the two. The hatchback however gets ABS and EBD as standard and airbags comes as a part of an optional pack. The car however misses out on alloy wheels, even in the option list.
    There is not much change on the suspension front and the ride and handling characteristics of the diesel version of the Etios are similar to its petrol sibling. The suspension set-up is soft to ensure a better ride. So the Etios smoothly glides over potholes with barley a thud while most lesser road shocks do not filter through to the cabin. On the handling front however, the car doesn’t feel very planted around bends or when tackling quick direction changes.

    The Toyota Etios might not appeal you with its styling and design, but it is a practical car that can comfortably accommodate five without much of a squeeze. It also gets all the frills that a buyer in this segment will be looking for. To back this up, there is also the faith in the Toyota brand and the reliability of its products. Now with the oil burner as an option, the Etios becomes an offering to a much wider range of audience.

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