>>The Toyota Etios diesel is identical to
its petrol counterpart. The Toyota Etios VX-D we are driving can only be differentiated
by the badging on the boot lid. The Etios has a straightforward practical
design to it. Upswept smiling Toyota grille, single windshield wiper, and boxy rear with
triangular tail-lamps are all very familiar. The diesel Etios comes in three variants – GD,
VD and VXD The VXD variant you see in this video is priced
at 7.87 lakh rupees ex-showroom New Delhi. The Etios diesel competes with the Maruti
Dzire diesel, Tata Manza diesel and Ford Fiesta Classic, but has unique driving characteristics.
Competition: Maruti Dzire diesel, Tata Manza diesel, Ford Fiesta Classic
When you look at the specifications of the Toyota Etios diesel on paper, they really
don’t seem impressive. It puts out just 68 bhp of power and 170 newton meters of torque
from a 1.4 litre diesel engine. It has a smooth-shifting five-speed gearbox.
It’s the same engine that is used in the Toyota Altis diesel, but has been detuned
for better mileage. And talk about better mileage – Toyota claims
the Etios diesel gives 24 kilometers per litre. During our road test, we managed an amazing
20.9 kilometers per litre in city driving conditions.
The Etios diesel’s driving characteristics are quite different from the petrol. The engine
needs to be kept above 1800 rpm for the turbo to really give it a shove. This needs frequent
gear changes, but because the gearbox is quite smooth, you don’t feel the effort.
Toyota has used some sound dampening material under the bonnet, but that’s not enough.
There is a fair amount of engine noise and road noise that enters the cabin. On hard
acceleration, you can hear the diesel engine drone becomes intrusive.
The electric power steering feels very light at low speeds, but weighs up well beyond 40
kilometers an hour. The suspension is fairly stiff and good ground clearance helps on bad
surfaces. Braking is sharp and confident with no dramatics.
As features and equipment go, the Etios is quite basic. The top-end VXD has a DVD-based
music system with steering audio controls. Mirrors are manually adjustable. The centrally
mounted instrumentation isn’t really worth writing home about. We also weren’t too
impressed with the use of plastic and the lack of door seals or other sound dampening
material. But the huge 595 litre boot can swallow quite
a bit of luggage. A large 13-litre chilled glove box is another plus, while the AC cools
quite effectively. Overall, don’t expect the Etios diesel to
go winning any drag races or beauty contests. Instead, what you get when you buy an Etios
diesel is a pretty well-built car that will save you plenty of cash at the fuel pump with
its great mileage. It can also ferry five people and their luggage comfortably, as long
as you can ignore the clatter from that diesel engine.