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Is Toyota Etios The Real Sedan?

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Toyota Etios Real Sedan

Toyota India launched the Etios in 2010, after unveiling it earlier the same year at the Auto Expo. The Toyota Etios has been a disappointment for the company, not selling up to the expectations of the manufacturer. Not only has the Etios caused Toyota monetary loss, it has also resulted in the brand losing its highly sought after image a bit. Toyota is known for building quality cars but the Etios was an exception as it lacked quality and felt like it is made to a cost. Ironically Toyota referred to the Etios as a ‘Quality revolution’ which was thoroughly misleading.

Toyota has made changes to the Etios twins and re-launched it earlier this year. The Etios continues to lack emotional appeal and looks as bland as it always did, chrome inserts haven’t helped it one bit. The ‘Quality Revolution’ tagline was funny but the company has gone one ahead and used the tagline ‘The Real Sedan’ for the facelifted Etios, which is an even bigger joke. The Etios looks like a bread box on wheels and the design is very plane-jane both inside-out. What makes a real sedan? Certainly not centrally mounted instrument cluster, panel gaps and exposed wiring.

Cheap cars need not look cheap but the Etios is neither cheap nor good looking. Some of the variants are more expensive than competition, which looks much more appealing with fit and finish definitely much better put together. Toyota’s approach of making the Etios specific to ’emerging markets’ hasn’t worked well and the company needs to understand that they can’t take Indians for a ride.

Look at Honda for example, they too brought in the Brio and Amaze which boast of significantly better look and feel than the Etios twins. Last month Toyota sold 2125 and 1951 units of the Etios and Liva respectively while Honda sold 4965 units and 2375 units of the Amaze and Brio respectively. What worked in Honda’s favour? They never made absurd claims like Toyota. The Etios is not a real sedan but it sure is the real cab.

Toyota Etios Taxi

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Ben

    but the sportivo version of the liva is the most beautiful hatch back available in India according to me. the well spaced, well ventilated alloys, the rear spoiler, the paint schemes and graphics are best in class. but I heard that performance is not class leading and also the suspension is not hard enough.

    • pravin

      Sportivo and the best looker!! What a joke..

      What are cars like Punto, Polo then!!

    • Ben

      @pravin . does spoiler or high contrast alloys come standard on polo or punto? have you ever seen the paint finish in sportivo? very cool high contrast colours.

    • Jai

      The worst looking hatch back in India is ETIOS LIVA. You are saying that its the best. It looks very ugly compared to any other hatchback in the country and it is a car which is made for third world countries. Best design might go to PUNTO or SWIFT.

    • Anurag Kumar

      hw can somebdy call liva the most beautiful hatch lol…

      worst hatchback award goes to liva

    • Actually Toyota cars are known for neutral design but the Etios twins are plain ugly!

    • deba

      Etios Sportivo the best looking hatchback.. you got to be out of your mind.

  • pravin

    Viraja so you mean a cab can’t be a sedan then!!

    • Pravin, I guess sedan yes but not the “real” sedan.

    • pravin

      What’s the difference between Sedan and Real Sedan!

    • A sedan is any other 3-box. A real sedan is a proper saloon with good quality, space, features and performance. It’s an all-rounder and the Rapid can be called a real sedan.

    • Pravin

      Hmm.. So which other you guys is not a real sedan in India then as per your definition..


      @Faisail…… I agree with your view, Rapid is a very competitve sedan. But can you hail it as #RealSedan but according to me there are two sedans that are real good #Verna and #Linea. For me atleast,these two vehicles has a distinct persona that a proper #Sedan exudes which is not there in a Hatch-derived-sedan. A sedan buyer wants a bit of individuality n presence. Let me put it like this if we look these three cars (namely; rapid,verna,linea) head on, then the Rapid looks as if its out of the water ‘Totally Confused’ (despite its strength’s; solid engine,ride n handling), whereas other looks well rounded. The simpl reason y Verna outsells every other car in its segment n Linea not doing well ‘coz it needs a good promotion. So, that was my take on the “sedans” #Regards

    • Spitfire, yes the Linea is a complete sedan but again it lacks resale value. So overall Honda City with a diesel engine would be an awesome car.

  • Nikhil

    What is all up with Motorbeam nowadays with all the subjective Articles??

    – Is toyota Etios the real sedan
    – Is Etios the best cab
    – Does VW make the best hatchbacks

    Since when did a quality website like Motorbeam become a subjective vindicted journalism source like NDTV

    • Nikhil, I am sure when you read the article you will appreciate why we went ahead with these articles. Besides we do all types of articles to keep it interesting for our readers.

    • Jai

      You are right Faisal . We readers need these type of articles and we appreciate your honest and unbiased articles even if it is on very subjective matter.
      Some of the manufacturers in India take Indians for granted. When you(Toyota)say that you are the best, then you should think to deliver the best instead of the worst. Where is Quality revolution in ETIOS?

    • Nikhil

      I never said I disagree or dislike. I do believe VW makes the best handling cars of all sizes and segements, not just hatchbacks. I dislike Etios as they have only duped the Indian customer on the basis of their repo as a Quality company. I dislike the fact that Maruti cars are not really safe but people buy them in hordes because they are very efficient and easy to maintain. But again, all these are my opinions and not everyone will agree to it.

      I would call Honda City the perfect Sedan because if you talk to guys who have had bad A.S.S experience with rapid, they will vouch for the fact that they will never again buy a Skoda car. So, it doesnt make Rapid the perfect sedan because it is difficult to maintain

    • Nikhil, it’s not our opinion that Toyota Etios is a bad and bland car or VW cars are well engineering, it’s a fact which many will agree with. Hence the post.

  • nameer

    honda city can call a real it?

    • Nameer, yes and no. I think the next gen City will be a “real sedan”.

  • Arvind sharma

    Agree to the article .etios is really not an appealing sedan compared to competition .most itching is the speedo cluster unit . It’s just making fun of buyers as they lack in their eyesight or the speedo like anything……

    • Arvind, the surprising part is, when the world has dumped centrally mounted console, Toyota is going backwards.

  • delvin

    lol etios looks like its been designed by a local garage modifier who was just too sleepy while penning the design, it looks rubbish even when compared to cheap local Mod’s.

    • Delvin and you won’t believe they spent Rs. 3200 crore on the Etios project.

  • sandeep

    I’m happy that the Etios both failed hard. i hope now they finally use brains and launch the Yaris & Vios here instead these 2 uglys

    • Sandeep, they will continue to update Etios and not bring global models because Toyota treats India as third world country. Hence we don’t get Aygo, Yaris, Vios, 4Runner, Tundra, etc.

  • viper

    good one! keep it interesting like this and patronize no one manufacturer…and they still wont give elect. adjustment for rear mirrors on the real sedan! but it gets led repeaters ! bling bling for india! we as a country do elect congress everytime but are not total fools toyoda sen!

    • Viper, actually Toyota strongly believed their brand would be enough to sell the Etios. They thought, if we can sell the boxy Qualis, we can sell the Etios too.

  • Amit Kumar

    In Indian minds Maruti-Suzuki Swift Dezire is the best sedan in this world. You have # to prove that. But Suzuki does not think that Indian liking can be translated into global liking otherwise they would have introduced Dzire in Pakistan at least. In Pakistan Swift is as successful as it is in Europe.

    • Amit, actually DZire is a different case and segment too. Due to smaller dimensions, it attracts lesser duties which reflects in its price as well.

  • Shanks

    Each of the models has its own advantages and disadvantages :
    1. Etios is real good for common Indian who was not able to buy a sedan with good ride quality and simple no-nonsense, spacious sedan. Price wise too the G(SP) suits pocket of common man a lot. Looks and luxury are not material, when it has major features built in. Till now it is 70% Japanese and most reliable machine. Well proportionate simple design.
    2. Honda City is quite levels UP to Etios and not comparable at all. Its spacious but very low in height. Touches almost all speed breakers. Has world class engine though that has unmatched performance. rear is not as spacious as Etios or Manza. Amaze is not really amazing at all. Looks like extended Brio. Lacks the flair in design and looks compared to Honda styling so far. Remember the first design of the City.. it was so much liked by all. Price for City.. a luxury tag.. Amaze not really a cheap one either.
    3. Manza is beauty inside and bland outside. The whole lot of efforts. Its like watching the growth of man… first bowed monkey.. then standing tall Gorilla, then the early cave man.. its journey like Indica’s design. still being printed and printed.. the face lifts will also look alike.. thats where the popularity is lot in owning a sedan. Quality wise not so attractive either… Price? yes, quite negotiated.. component manufacturers get less margins… so its possible to keep price control.. Indian style.

    So Etios is not a bad sedan compared overall.. which a common Indian can go for the latest version, yes, much attractive than previous one.. good car for Indian who wants to switch to spacious sedan for family use.


    • Shanks, it’s not a bad sedan but neither as good as Toyota wants us to believe.

  • Shanks

    If the standard equipment is used “As it is” and made available, it makes sense to keep it simple and affordable . Etios is like that.. do not over spend on the car to keep it simple to maintain use as it is. Its car one can have. Spend more on accessories on cars that are luxurious in nature where it can absorb the cost of modifications to ones test. Ex. a woofer.. in boot .. Do you not have home theater? a TV .. Do you not have a 40+ LED at home? Mobile system to take calls on drive.. Most impractical one, disturbs driving and control of equipment, Films on window panes are now a banned thing.. so alternative could be sleek curtains? the Old Amby or Fiat use to have lacy curtains, remember? Haha..


    • Sometimes it’s not about the features. it’s the approach. Look at the design and quality. That is the worst part and on top of that Toyota calls it ‘Quality Revolution’!

  • Rohan

    I wonder what will be the outcome if the top end model of Etios is crash tested according to Euro norms!

    As mentioned in the article, Etios is neither cheap nor good looking. To add to that, Etios looks cheap. When it comes to a buffet dinner and you have various options to pick from, what’s the first thing that attracts you to a dish? The way it is presented, right? Toyota had the audacity to think could attract potential customers just by their brand name. Typical Japanese attitude…

    • Rohan, Etios does ok in crash test is what I feel. Because it’s being sold in some other countries too.

  • js katre
  • Satyajit Chakraborty

    I have been driving cars for last 20 years. Before that I rode motor cycles for 12 years. I love cars & bikes & am a mechanical engineer by profession.

    As a owner of Etios GD, I would like to pen my opinion.

    External looks are subjective. Etios looks great in Black & Red.

    Etios has a fantastic engine (diesel version), beautiful gear box, OK type suspension and a poor body.

    After I was hit by a Alto at the rear, it was shocking to discover the extent of damage & lack of a steel beam behind the rear plastic bumper. I gathered from the workshop that a 25 NB pipe (my estimate costing no more than Rs 100) is attached to models like Corolla but not in Etios for reasons best known to Toyota Kirloskar.

    Lack of outer door gaskets , allow annoying dust to settle between door frame & inner gasket. The built of the body can be gauged by the sound as one closes the door.

    Above said, the car is remarkable in fatigue free long long drives, gives very good mileage of 19-22 kmpl, cornering, turning is very easy.

    In my opinion, the car would have been superb had Toyota Kirloskar added a few more kilos to enhance the rigidity of body shell.

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