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Toyota Etios - A Toyota for emerging nations or for all nations?

By Rigval on 14 Dec 2010

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Cars have grown in size over the years. In the late 1960s the Toyota Corolla was a tiny, tiny car. It was about the size of a peanut, or a Perodua Kelisa with a boot. It then grew into something the size of a decent sized 4 door car in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s. It was basically the size of the current Toyota Vios or the earlier Soluna. And then by the 1990s, it grew into something slightly larger, more comfortable and heavier. By 2010, the Corolla had grown into a bulbous car the size of a 1980s Toyota Corona, which was the large family sedan of that era. So everything has up-sized and new models like the Vios has had to come in to fill the original gap left by the Corolla.

And there you have newer and newer small models. Now those that remember will note that the Vios was originally called the Soluna, a basic mid-sized 4 door sedan that was built to a certain specification and budgetary standard. It was basically a no frills car for those on a budget. It was actually conceived to fill in a gap that the Corolla left vacant when it went slightly upscale (from a point of view) and when it went up in size.

And now, if you readers have noticed, the Soluna was replaced by the Vios and now in its second generation Vios form, is pretty well equipped and certain variants aren't exactly cheap anymore, especially for emerging economies and third world countries. So what we now see is another gap that would need to be filled. Hence the low cost, newly produced Toyota Etios, made specifically for emerging markets like India, China, Brazil, Indonesia and Thailand.

The 4.265mm long sedan has a 595liters sized boot and is powered by a newly developed 1.5L, 16V DOHC engine coupled to a 5-Speed manual transmission (and most probably the hardest and maybe the thinnest possible of all plastics ever to appear on a car's dashboard). Currently in production in India, the Etios will be available in four variants, J, G, V and VX, with prices ranging between 4.96 Lakhs and 6.9 Lakhs making it Toyota's most affordable offering in India (and it is also Toyota's first major sales offensive in the Indian family car market). The thing is, who's to say that it won't be sold in Singapore or even Malaysia?

It will be built from cheaper plastics and more rudimentary technology (but I dig the fluted roof design - adding rigidity but using thinner steel?), but it would certainly keep its Toyota derived quality control which would make it a decent (but not memorable or great) to drive. If newer generations of the Vios ends up going slightly more upscale and larger there would certainly be another gap to fill. The Etios could end up on sale in more developed and sophisticated car markets.

What do you readers think? Would any of you go for a Toyota sedan that is cheaper but more crude?

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toyota, etios, car sizes and 4 more...

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Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.

  • 1
BoneStock Dec 14 2010 01:24 PM
The dashboard looks weird especially with the awkwardly positioned aircon vents. As long as they retain the centralised dials similar to those on the Vios I will not go near one.
LoverofCar Dec 14 2010 03:01 PM
why car maker like to use ''tios'' for the car model....
Proton_neutron Dec 14 2010 03:26 PM
looks like a cheapo Lancia....
SimonTan Dec 15 2010 08:46 AM
The cheap cars we have in Singapore are just as basic and cheap looking. In fact this car looks good!! I would get it if the price is chap.
Cavver Dec 17 2010 11:11 PM
The roof look like some van.
  • 1
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