2010 Toyota Etios

    The talking point of the Etios is its very aggressive price.

    Published on Feb 21, 2011 08:00:00 AM


    The Etios comes with a single engine option at the moment – a 1496cc petrol, developing 90bhp and 13.4kgm of power and torque. These are modest figures for a 1.5-litre engine that has deep-breathing 16 valves activated by twin camshafts. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that performance is less than adequate. This very long-stroke engine has phenomenal driveability which you immediately notice. Prod the throttle and the lightweight Etios simply leaps forward. The motor is super-responsive and has a solid, linear
    tug from low engine speeds, which makes it ideal for city driving. In fact, so good is the pulling power that you feel the Etios could have got away with taller gearing. Where you think you need second gear, the Etios does the job in third.

    All you have to do, even if you are in a high gear, is put your foot down and the Etios scoots forward to make up that gap in traffic. As a result, you don’t need to change gears frequently. But if you want to, the crisp and quick gearbox is quite nice to use. The light and slightly short throw allows you to execute a quick shift with just the flick of a wrist, and this reduces the stress on the driver even further.

    Despite its long stroke, this engine revs quite freely but gets quite vocal when you near the redline. In fact, the engine is a bit noisy and not as well insulated from the passenger cabin as we would have liked.
    The Etios is very capable on the highway and just loves to sprint. For a 90bhp car, it’s remarkably quick and can outrun several more powerful cars.  Zero to 100kph is executed in a very quick 11.38 seconds and 140kph comes up in 23.5sec, which is very impressive and not far removed from something like a Honda City. Overtaking is quite easy and even with a full load, the Etios never feels labored.

    Of course, the secret to the strong performance is the Etios’ light kerb weight and well spaced gear ratios. Our only complaint here is that you feel shortchanged by the very conservative rev limiter, quite suddenly encountered at 6000rpm. This motor feels like it can spin another couple of hundred rpm at least. Toyota, it seems, has curtailed revs in an effort to improve fuel efficiency and the longevity of the motor.

    With an astonishingly low kerb weight, a very tractable engine that has been tweaked for fuel efficiency, we would have been surprised if the Etios was anything other than very fuel efficient. The ARAI or official Indian driving cycle test figure of 17.6kpl hinted at the Etios’ superb efficiency but it was our own test that confirmed this. We achieved a very impressive 11.8kpl in the city and 16.8kpl on the highway, which
    makes the Etios the most fuel efficient 1.5-litre petrol car in the country.

    Toyota Cars

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