Toyota's cars are known the world over, for their bulletproof reliability and excellent build quality. The cars manufactured by the Japanese automotive giant are also a pretty safe place to be, in the event of an accident. Toyota organised the Etios Experiential Drive to showcase the safety features in the Toyota Etios series.
The Toyota Platinum Etios and Etios Liva were launched in the Indian market late last year, with Toyota making a few cosmetic changes to the cars, and leaving the mechanicals unchanged. However, the biggest change brought about by Toyota in the new models was, the standardization of safety features.
The Toyota Platinum Etios and Etios Liva now feature ABS with EBD, Dual front SRS airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and 3-point seatbelts for rear passengers, all as standard equipment. Other than that, the Toyota Etios now features an impact absorbing body construction, and further adding to the safety features are the dual ISOFIX child seat locks and reverse parking sensors as options.
With an aim to expose these features of the Etios and Etios Liva, Toyota organised the Toyota Etios Safety Experiential Drive in Bengaluru, and invited personnel from the media as well as customers and prospective customers and with their family. Those at the event were allowed to drive the Etios cars on a specially created track with guidance from professional drivers.
The event was divided into different zones, with a safety workshop, a drivers briefing, vehicle display being the first three zones. The fourth zone was the test track which consisted of a wet patch, where the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) was tested, a sand patch, where the EBD (Electronic Brake Force Distribution) was tested.
A speed bump section, and rumbler sections demonstrated the need to have ISOFIX mounts for children's safety. Toyota then demonstrated how their safety devices worked, including their standard equipment dual SRS airbags, of course not through a real crash, but a simulated one, through a virtual reality setup.
Other zones consisted of activities like, safety quiz, family games, safety contests, and other activities to keep those in attendance, especially kids, busy. The car that was tested in the Global NCAP was displayed at the event. Toyota even had a play area for the kids.
To stress on the need for safety, the participants were first driven by a professional in an older Etios model sedan without the safety equipment and then were allowed to drive the Platinum Etios with all safety features, and the car performed very well indeed, justifying the 4-star rating it has received in the Global NCAP crash tests.
The Toyota Etios series are excellent cars. They are built well, can take abuse, they look good, are well equipped and are the safest in their respective segments. However, they are somehow not selling well enough, which is why Toyota is having to organise events such as the Toyota Etios Safety Experiential Drive, to showcase the true potential of their cars.
The Innova, Fortuner, Corolla Altis - are all best-sellers for Toyota in India. However, despite having great potential, the Etios twins have not been able to catch up. Through initiatives like this drive, Toyota hopes to bring the Etios twins the attention they deserve.