November 18, 2019
Toyota is one of the most popular car brands in South Africa. The Toyota Etios range has become one of South Africa's favourite models. This new car is offered in both hatchback and sedan body styles as well as a crossover model.
Let's explore the Toyota Etios 1.5-litre Sprint, which is a nimble modest-sized family car for everyday use.
Since its introduction in 2012, it has become a firm favourite in South Africa. The Etios is not one of the most attractive hatchbacks in its range but has gained some aesthetic appeal in its 1.5-litre Sprint model, with a redesigned bumper with large air dams and integrated fog lights, and a chrome winged motif grille. The rear bumper has been reprofiled, and new twin-spoke 15-inch alloy wheels have been fitted. The badge has also been revamped with a carbon fibre inspired "Sprint" badge.
With the Etios being quite a light motor vehicle, weighing at 930kg's, it never feels underpowered with the 1.5-litre engine. The engine’s power output is 66kW, with a 132Nm torque driven by a 5-speed manual gearbox which shifts smoothly and effortlessly. The Etios is a nifty urban dweller and is well suited for the open road.
The fuel consumption on the Etios also fairs well with its 1.5-litre naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine at 6.0L/100km.
The Etios' suspension fairs well on South African road conditions, which are not always up to scratch, soaking up bumps and road imperfections effortlessly.
The interior also seems to have improved on the Sprint model, as the road noise has softened. The interior plastics have also shown improvement with shiny and soft-to-touch panels, omitting rattles and creaks in the car.
The Etios does not come with a multi-function steering wheel or touchscreen infotainment but does offer Bluetooth audio, telephony and USB/Aux.
All the windows on the Etios are electric, it has levers to release the hatchback and fuel flap at the driver's seat, and the car has a central locking button.
The Etios' rev counter and speedometer have a modest appearance. The boot space is not very large, but if the rear seats are folded down, it can provide more space.
The car comes with an ignition key and a central locking fob, which some say can become a challenge to live with daily. The hatchback models have to be opened with the ignition key. This made it quite an inconvenience when instead, Toyota could look at upgrading the locking system on the Etios.
Even though the Etios is an urban roundabout, it still offers a pleasant ride and good handling balance. But what was surprising was the Etios’ larger than expected turning circle. This may have also been influenced by the 15-inch alloy wheels fitted to it.
The Toyota Etios comes with the standard manufacturer's warranty and service plans, 3-year/100 000km warranty and 2-year/30 000km service plan. That is excellent value for money. Nevertheless, the service intervals for the Sprint and its other derivatives are pegged at 10 000km. This means that if you were to use up the first 30 000km in two years, which are covered under your plan, you would be required to service the car every 12 months unless you plan on driving the Etios very short distances and not often.
The Etios Sprint starts at R189 900, which is an affordable daily budget car.
The Toyota Etios will always be a popular seller in the South African market, not only because it's affordable but because Toyota has always been seen as a reliable car.
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