Toyota SA has confirmed its latest budget-beating range – the Etios hatchback and sedan – will be launched in South Africa in May, 2012.
CHEAP AND CHEERFUL? The Etios range will join the recently-launched Yaris in the B-segment.
The Etios range, first shown in South Africa at the 2011 Johannesburg international motor show, is Toyota’s first stab at the sub-B segment since the discontinuation of the Tazz more than five years ago. Has it really been that long?
That is, however, where the similarities end. While the Tazz was a re-heated product of Toyota’s Prospecton plant just south of Durban, the Etios cars are designed specifically for modern buyers. The cars will be sourced from Bangalore, India.
MADE TO MEASURE
Speaking at the launch of the Etios at its state-of-the-art facility in Bangalore, chief engineer for Etios, Yoshinori Noritake, said: “After interviewing and studying the customer preferences, we found a growing need for affordable, quality cars.
“We first observed various aspects that were sought by customers then enhanced the features and performance aspects that were truly needed while doing away with excessive design elements.”
BIG BOOTY: The Etios sedan's 595-litre boot should endear it to growing families.
The Etios is instantly recognisable as a Toyota through its dipped grille with dramatic chromed detailing; largely, the overall styling seems inoffensive.
Once launched here on May 21, 2012, the Etios range will be offered at two specification levels – entry Xi and more upmarket XS – with features including colour-coded bumpers, chromed accents and 14” steel rims.
Power will be supplied by Toyota's proven 1.5 petrol engine.