Consistently charting on the bestseller list, Toyota’s ubiquitous Etios is the recipient of further refinements for 2015.
While exterior enhancements are limited to a new colour option, Jet Grey Metallic (a shimmery mid-tone silver), it’s indoors where the most discernible changes have taken place. All-new anthracite seat fabric with a subtle, tailored, stipple design translates into a more ‘grown up’ décor for the Xs models.
In addition, a new audio system has been adopted for Etios (standard on Xs). This factory fitted double-din unit features Bluetooth functionality and is neatly integrated into the dashboard; the piano black finish with chrome trim elegantly mirrors the metallic bezels adorning the centralised instruments as well as the ventilation controls.
In keeping with the quality feel, the luggage compartment cover now features a lift function on all hatchback models.
In summary, here’s a list of all the quality and aesthetic enhancements the Etios has received since its introduction in May 2012:
- A new grille design.
- Colour-coding across the range for door mirrors and handles.
- A new aero design exterior mirror featuring aero stabilising fins.
- A new tail lamp design.
- Re-profiled front and rear seat design with adjustable headrests for Xs models.
- Auto-Up electric window function on the driver’s door.
- Redesigned central instrument cluster with Ice Blue backlighting, enlarged LCD display for enhanced clarity and digital clock – the latter is on Xs models only.
- Lights-on warning as well as seat belt and door ajar warning buzzers (Xs).
- Ergonomically and aesthetically enhanced ventilation controls.
- Improved NVH package which included a switch from rubber engine mounts to more refined, sound-absorbing hydraulic mounts. The silencer was also modified for enhanced insulation and the damper settings were adjusted to filter out suspension noise and improve ride quality.
- Improved carpet quality for the luggage compartment.
- Luggage cover with lift function.
- All-new tailored upholstery trim for Xs models.
Beneath the finery is the same punchy 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder mill (coupled to a 5-speed manual transmission) whacking out a laudable 66 kW at 5 600 rpm and 132 Nm of torque at 3 000 rpm, endowing the light-weight Etios with a class-leading sub-11-second sprint time to 100 km/h. Fuel economy is pegged at 5,9 L / 100 km for the sedan and 6 L / 100 km for the hatch in the combined cycle.
Kaizen, or continuous improvement, is a phrase coined by Toyota and the latest incarnation of the Etios is proof that it really works. With a class-leading 1.5-litre engine, generous spec, ample safety kit, affordable price tag and now some extra polish thanks to its evolutionary refinement, the Toyota Etios is a very worthy bestseller.
The best news is that these improvements haven’t come at a price. The latest refresher has resulted in a symbolic R100 price hike across the range. (Please note that all Etios models come standard with a two-year/30 000km service plan.)
Etios 1.5 HB Xi – 134 500
Etios 1.5 HB Xs – 143 600
Etios 1.5 SD Xi – 141 100
Etios 1.5 SD Xs – 150 000
Etios Cross – 164 700