Toyota began selling the Qualis in India in 2000, and three years later, launched the company's first sedan, the Corolla. In 2010, Toyota decided to launch another sedan, slotted below the Corolla — the Etios.
The Etios was welcomed by Indian customers, and also became a huge hit with taxi aggregators, primarily because of the car's pricing, reliability, and cost of ownership. With time, Toyota upgraded the car to make it sporty and thereby, more appealing.
In 2016, Toyota decided to pony up the Etios sedan. This overhaul sought to make the Etios a family car. Christened, the Etios Platinum, the carmaker has invested to carry out a few changes, that could still pack quite a punch.
So, how does the all-new Etios Platinum drive? Does it retain the ‘Toyota Characteristics'? Let's find out.
Model Tested: Toyota Platinum Etios VXD
Design-wise, the Etios Platinum looks modernistic. Toyota has redesigned the front and rear bumpers, along with the front grille, making the car stand out from previous generation Etios'.
Another noticeable change in terms of design is the rear tail light. While exterior changes are limited to a few, the biggest upgrades come in the form of structural parts.
For instance, crumple zones have been improved to offer occupants more safety during frontal and side impact. The whole body structure has been strengthened, and Toyota has added additional reinforcements to make the overall body stronger.
Toyota Platinum Etios Engine Specifications
The engine of a Toyota is the strongest aspect, and for the Etios, the standard power plants have been retained from the previous model. The petrol powered Etios runs on a 1.5-litre engine that produces 89bhp and 132Nm of peak torque. The diesel engine is a 1.4-litre that produces 67bhp and 170Nm of torque. Both engines come mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.
On the mileage front, Toyota claims that the petrol version will deliver 16.7km/l and the diesel variant of the Etios Platinum will return 23.5km/l.
Ride And Handling Of The Toyota Platinum Etios
The Etios is known to be a great car to drive. Toyota has worked hard to reduce in-cabin noise and has achieved that, for the most part. However, at higher rpms, noise does sneak into the cabin. Another important reworked feature is the suspension. Improved rebound springs give the car a firm ride.
Assuming that the Etios is mostly driven in the city, Toyota has reworked the clutch pedal. Simple things such as the addition of a turn-over spring and redesigning the length and ratio of the pedal has resulted in softer clutch action.
Features Of The New Toyota Platinum Etios
Toyota has heard the voice of customers and made the following changes. First, you will notice the new interior colour theme: Black and Ivory. The second attention-grabbing feature is the centrally mounted instrument console from the previous model, offered with a new colour theme.
The console has a black background with white markings.The analogue tachometer has been replaced with a digital one. Warning lights are better organised too, and with the Etios Platinum you can now adjust the brightness of the console.
Other features include adjustable headrests for the front and rear seats, redesigned seats for better comfort, centre armrest for the rear seat, steering wheel finished in leather, electrically adjustable and folding outer rear view mirrors (ORVMs), steering mounted controls, redesigned speakers, and a height adjustable driver's seat.
Toyota Platinum Etios Safety Features
Toyota has had an eye for safety for a while. The Etios Platinum comes with the standard airbags for the driver and front passenger, in addition to the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD). The ABS was tested on Toyota's test track at speeds of over 100km/h and the performance is impressive.
In addition to Toyota's improved crumple zones, the rear seat is now made of tubular structure, further enhancing its safety. Also, all three seatbelts at the rear are three-point safety belt. This is something rarely seen in Indian cars, especially in this segment.
Another important safety feature found in the Etios Platinum is the ISOFIX child seat anchors. This is an option hardly found in cars that are sold in India, apart from the luxury car segment.
Verdict — Should You Buy The Toyota Platinum Etios?
People may shy away from the car primarily because it portrays the image of a taxi. However, the Etios Platinum has the potential to change it. It looks different, feels different, drives better, has everything one would expect in the price range, and most importantly, it is very reliable.
Toyota has worked towards making the Etios Platinum a family car and we think that they have done a satisfying job of it. While the centrally mounted instrument console may not appeal to many, there is a lot more on offer that makes the Etios Platinum a good option. Toyota estimates the cost of ownership at under 40 paise a kilometer.
If you are looking for a compact sedan for your family and can think past the ‘sub-4 meter' term, the Etios is a "Platinum" choice.
Toyota Platinum Etios Variants And Pricing
Etios Platinum GX: Rs. 6,94,430
Etios Platinum V: Rs. 7,22,141
Etios Platinum VX: Rs. 7,85,256
Etios Platinum GXD: Rs. 8,07,470
Etios Platinum VD: Rs. 8,35,181
Etios Platinum VXD: Rs. 8,98,296
Note: Prices are ex-showroom (Delhi)