What really catches your eye on the spec sheet is the Etios’ unreal 1005kg kerb weight. And when you consider its generous dimensions, especially the 2550mm wheelbase, this achievement is even more astonishing.
It’s easy to see how Toyota has chopped the flab. Look closely and you can spot some obvious weight and cost saving measures. The door handles are of the grab-type, there’s no rear quarter-glass, the rubber beading for the door is missing as is the engine cover, there’s only one horn and a single wiper.
Where the Etios disappoints though is in its ordinary exteriors. Not many would call the Etios ugly but even fewer would call it pretty and if there is one area where the Toyota is at a disadvantage, it’s with the styling. The meek-looking headlights, simple body lines and a bulky boot won’t turn heads. However, Toyota has tried to add some visual drama. The only distinctive bits of the Etios are the boomerang-shaped grille, the bulge on the hood, and a prominent crease that runs across the doors. Toyota has added a chrome strip at the rear to break the mass of the boot. But the triangular tail-lamps and the large mass of the boot make this difficult to achieve.
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Issue: 176 | April 2014
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