Those who feel that Etios is a good taxi need to have a look at the new Etios Platinum. Toyota has revamped the car so much that it has broken out of the taxi mould. The petrol vehicle tested here offered excellent drivability and comfort.
New grill and bumper, the big chromium strip at the back, new spoiler, new alloy wheels and foldable wing mirrors are the cosmetic changes that you see outside.
The effort to revamp the insides is very evident. Plastics, steering, dashboard and seats are all new. The amount of black has been toned down with beige and dials have improved although they still sit in the middle as in the old car.
Seats have been upholstered with more cushion and integrated headrests have been done away with. The central arm rest at the back is new and the driver's seat can be adjusted for height. Stereo controls are now on the steering.
The body material can reduce the impact of a collision and front seats get two air bags. ABS and EBD is standard and there is a child seat lock at the back. Pre tension force limiters are available for the seat belts, which translates into better security. The three seat belts at the back are point seat belts.
The vehicle is a proper family car and the outer dimensions do not reveal the space inside. Wide open doors allow egress and ingress quite easily and seats offer good support. Seat dimensions have not been cut to create more space and three can easily sit on the back bench. Ample space and a flat platform at the back offer lot of comfort for travelers at the back. Ample head space, a 13-litre glove box and lot of space for storage make traveling more comfortable in the Etios Platinum. The boot is 595 litres deep.
However, the car is sleek and it becomes evident when you drive it. A light steering and small turning radius makes you feel as if you are driving a small car. Parking and U turns are a breeze.
The four-valve, twin cam, 1500 cc petrol engine with four cylinders is not a super performer even though it is one of the well known international engines of Toyota. At 88.7 BHP, the car performs better than 100 BHP rivals, thanks to low kerb weight and practical gear ratios.
The assurance of the Toyota branding is confidence-inspiring and one can be sure of reliable, low-cost performance from this workhorse. It could also fetch a good price in pre-owned markets.
Cost has not been ramped up significantly. Test drive, Nippon Toyota-9847086007