Toyota launches Etios sedan with shock pricing

Dec-01-2010 marked the beginning of a new chapter in the history of Toyota in India. After more than a decade of negligence of the small car segment, the hottest and most voluminous segment in our country, Toyota finally displayed what it is upto at the 2010 Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year when it displayed the Etios concept in both hatchback and sedan body styles.

Now, on the occasion of the sedan's launch, Toyota has, for once, both shocked and surprised us all with the car's prices. The Etios sedan comes with 4 versions priced between 4.9 lacs to 6.9 lacs, all ex-showroom. This price coupled with the legendary image of the Toyota brand in India will make sure that people throng the showrooms to get their hand in the Etios.

The front end of the Etios manages to get that family look, thanks to the smiling and slotted grille, very similar to the Innova. Smaller headlamps and plain bumper with fog lamps are the other notable features at the front. The profile has been relatively well executed, compared to the ridiculous work done in the Swift Dzire and Tata Indigo, where the boot looks like it was welded separately after the hatchback was made. The lesser said about the rear, the better. The huge triangular taillamps and the awkwardly placed chrome strip in the tailgate could be easily mistaken for a Logan.

Get over the disappointing exteriors and the interiors seem to impress, but only to a certain extent. Again, cost-cutting is clearly visible in many interior panels and elements. The car is well equipped with ABS and Airbags given as options in all but the base variant. Most of the other premium features like power mirrors, reverse parking sensors and the like are excluded in all variants. That base variant itself is just an excuse for a sedan with AC being its sole feature.

Apart from that, all other variants are reasonably equipped and competitively priced to give even premium priced hatches like Swift, i10, i20, Polo and Micra some serious headache. But, more importantly, with a 1.5 liter engine under the hood and a sedan bodystyle, my guess is that the Etios would totally shatter the Indigo Manza's and Swift Dzire's parties.