The Etios Hatch & Sedan have been around for a while, and has established itself as a popular choice for buyers looking for affordability, functionality & value for money. Selling a total of 12 768 units in 2016, this is evidence that the Etios is certainly top of mind for buyers in the small car segment.
It has a tag line of ‘’ here to make you smile’’ by the Toyota advertising execs, and it certainly made us smile at the launch of the Sprint model recently. Coming with a new front facia that incorporates the bumper & lower air dam, which lends itself to more width. The lower grille is fashioned in matching black and utilises sharp horizontal slats to reinforce the muscular theme. The upper radiator grille employs a distinctive wing-like motif, with the Toyota ellipse at its centre and a broad chrome ‘brow’ forming the upper border.
It has 15’’ alloys with a distinctive carbon fibre Sprint motif.
Line-Up of Models.
Starting with the entry-level Xi model , which retains its styling & adds a colour-coded grille with chrome accents, it is the epitome of value. The Sprint moves into the mid-range space & the top model is the edgy Cross model, which is only available in hatchback.This is for the so-called urban adventurer or warrior, that likes a slightly higher drive style, and has that bespoke styling.
All models share the same chassis & engines and the damping gives a medium type of drive experience that is not unpleasant. It is a easy car to drive and goes along at a fair clip without being pushed around by wind on the roads.
The Sprint comes with a 1.5L naturally aspirated engine that produces 66kw at 5600 rpm & 132nm of torque at 3000rpm. Doesnt sound much, but the power is there and did not disappoint at sea level. The Sprint is nippy and should zip in and out of traffic in the city.
It has a 5 –speed manual gear shift which is easy to operate and is smooth changing. Fuel consumption is claimed at 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres for the sedan, and the hatchback recording 6.0 litres per 100 kilometres. CO2 emissions are kept equally low with 138 and 136 g/km respectively.
A comparative look at the various variants is listed below.
Colour-coded door handles
14” Steel wheels
4-speaker audio system with CD/USB/Aux/Bluetooth
15” Alloy wheels
Power door lock
Remote central locking
Silver interior handles
Colour-coded mirrors with indicator
Cross exterior styling pack
Side protective mouldings
Always top of mind is the safety measures in a small car & the Etios Sprint does well in this area. Specced with ABS, EBD, Driver and Passenger airbags seat-belts with pre-tensioner and force limiter as well as ISOFIX provision. A full quota of headrests is provided with rear passengers also receiving a 3-point centre seatbelt across all models.
All Etios models come with a 2-year/30 000 kilometre service plan, backed by a 3-year/100 000 kilometre warranty. Service intervals are set at 10 000 kilometres.
Enjoyable easy going drive with a fairly spacious and confortable interior. The centre console is an acquired taste for sure. The styling is an improvement & pricing is keen. A good value buy indeed, backed up by comprehensive dealer network.
MODEL LINE-UP & PRICING
1.5 Xi – R163 900
1.5 Sprint – R172 600
1.5 Cross – R194 300
1.5 Xi – R172 200
1.5 Sprint – R180 500