South Africa extends a warm welcome to the Toyota Etios

25/05/2012 - 04:06 | ,   | Shrawan Raja

The Toyota Etios has been launched in the South African market and fans of the Japanese brand have shown eagerness and support on the official Facebook page of Toyota SA to see and drive the new arrival.

Toyota Etios South Africa - Hatchback in South African landscapeToyota Etios South Africa - Hatchback rear

The Etios is exported from India and at the commencement of exports last month, a senior Toyota SA official said the Etios is positioned as a newcomer's car. On the other hand, Toyota is also expecting many pensioners to drive the Etios and them to be bought as retirement gifts.

Read about our interaction with Senior Vice President of Toyota SA' Sales and Marketing, Mr Calvyn Hamman

The South African market is dancing to the tunes of Volkswagen and Toyota has sacrificed overall market share due to the strong emergence of the sub-B segment models such as the Volkswagen Vivo over the past year. The Ford Figo is another competitor Toyota SA missed competing against.

The Etios was identified as the right model to enter this segment. Toyota offers two other premium hatchbacks, Yaris and Aygo, for the younger population and saw the Etios as a practical car to fill the shoes of the Tazz, a model they retired a few years ago from this segment.

Toyota Etios South Africa - Sedan front three quartersToyota Etios South Africa market interior

The Etios is priced in the range of 7.6-8.39 lakh rupees. Both models are powered by a 1.5-liter in-line 4-cylinder DOHC 16-valve (2NR-FE) petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission, returning 16.6 kmpl in the SA testing cycle. The car's top speed has been set at 165km/h. Toyota made modifications to the Etios's tires, suspension and engine electronics to suit conditions in SA before they left India. The sedan and hatch have two variants each.

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