COUNTDOWN TO ETIOS – PART II Room to Grow
21 May 2012 will see the public launch of one of the most important new cars to hit the South African market. On that day, the all-new Toyota Etios will be shown in Toyota showrooms countrywide – all 191 of them – for the very first time.
Ever since the discontinuation of the legendary Tazz in 2006, there has been a gap in Toyota’s local line-up for an entry-level, high-quality vehicle with advanced features, performance and space. Enter the all-new Etios, a bespoke Sub-B segment competitor that was designed specifically around the needs of the value-seeking customer.
A true fit-for-purpose product, the Etios strikes the best balance between initial purchase cost, running cost, performance, and quality while still achieving that little something extra – personality.
This is evident from the moment you slip behind the elegant three-spoke steering wheel. A cockpit-like feel is created courtesy of the central instrument cluster which is angled towards the driver. The white back lighting for the semi-circular dials coupled with the three-dimensional graphics make a bold style statement – ditto the twin, vertically-stacked air conditioning vents which also have some very practical applications. They are positioned in such a way to prevent the driver’s arm or the steering wheel from interfering with the air flow. Also, the top vent is aimed directly at the rear. This in combination with the strong throw of the air conditioning means that the back seat area is chilled within seconds.
And, when it comes to sheer space on offer, “there is not a shadow of a doubt that the Etios is the most comfortable car in its class,” (Autocar India). The front bucket seats with integrated headrests add a racy twist to the interior and according to Autocar India’s Hormazd Sorabjee: “They are perfectly contoured to give just the right amount of support to your lower back and thighs.”
Rear seat passengers are just as well looked after. The back seat is remarkably wide to easily accommodate three people. (In the case of the hatchback version, the rear seat is foldable to extend the versatility of the cargo area.) Further contributing to this sense of spaciousness is the near flat rear floor with minimal intrusion from the transmission tunnel.
But it’s not just the seats that are generous. In the words once again of Autocar India: “The Etios has more space for luggage and other stuff than you know what to do with.”
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the Etios’s spatial and convenience attractions:
- 13-litre glovebox – big enough to swallow a handbag or even a laptop
- Seven 1-litre-sized cupholders
- The sedan has a ridiculously cavernous 595-litre boot – by far the biggest of any of the compact saloons currently on sale.
- Electric power steering
- Air conditioning
- Remote central locking (XS only)
- Electrically adjustable windows – front and rear (XS only)
Kerry Roodt, General Manager of Marketing Communications (Toyota SA) is very upbeat about the imminent launch of the new Etios: “It’s the right product at the right time. It ticks every single one of the boxes – comfort, practicality, performance, safety (ABS and dual front airbags are standard) and above all, value for money. The fact that it’s all wrapped up in a visually attractive package makes the Etios an absolute no-brainer.”