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Toyota's new Etios Sprint arrives in SA: Prices, details

2017-03-24 11:10

MORE OPTIONS: Toyota SA bolstered its Etios range with the addition of two Sprint models. Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Charlen Raymond

The new Toyota Etios Sprint will 'give prospective and returning buyers more choice for their hard-earned Rand,' writes Wheels24's Charlen Raymond.

Port Alfred -  Toyota has sold 90 551 units of its budget-friendly Etios since it first arrived in South Africa in 2012.

The Etios established itself as a formidable contender in the sub-B category; and in the process achieved a 23% market share in the segment.

Not content to rest on its laurels, Toyota South Africa has added a new Sprint derivative to the range in both hatchback and sedan guise.

Styling and practicality

In terms of design, the Etios Sprint sports subtle tweaks to differentiate it from standard versions. At the front the Toyota badge sits snug in the slightly redesigned chromed-strip grille and on the edges of the front bumper fog lights are housed in large, gaping air inlets.

The rear bumper sits slightly higher and a chrome strip runs above the badge. Buyers can choose from six exterior colour options.

READ: The best budget car buys

In sedan guise, the Sprint continues to boast with the impressive 562 litres of boot space and both body styles have seven one-litre bottle holders throughout the cabin. The glovebox is 13 litres big.

The interior retains the same black/gray colour scheme, as well as dials and gauges. Two airbags, one for the driver and passenger each, are standard, as are Isofix mountings.

On the road

The Etios Sprint has a marginally better steering than the rest of the range. The 15” tyres available to the Sprint do well to aid dynamic traits, but the car is not suited to, uhm… “sprint” driving.

With a very modest 66kW/132Nm from its 1.5-litre petrol engine, you're not going to be engaging in spirited driving. The Sprint uses the same five-speed manual gearbox as other derivatives in the range, though a sixth gear would be a welcome addition. At high speeds the engine can begin to squeal.

READ: Toyota's radical C-HR driven - 'There's more to this crossover than you think'

Apart from the mentioned drivetrain gripes, the car is comfortable transporting passengers along the open road though it excels as a city car. Comfort is definitely aided by a strong-blowing air con (which Toyota SA claims is the best system in its class) and the seats offer adequate support for journeys. Overall, it makes for a great budget family car.

Toyota claims a fuel consumption of 6.0-litres/100km.

Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

Getting it right

In total, the Etios range consists of three body types - sedan, hatchback and Cross - while the Sprint package is available on all but the Cross variant. Retailing from R172 600 for the hatch and R180 500 for the sedan, the Sprint will add to the range, giving prospective and returning buyers more choice for their hard-earned Rand.

Since 2012 the car has been a top seller in the South African new car market, Toyota's new Etios Sprint, given its improvements, is likely destined to be another hit for the automaker. Toyota SA knows that it has a good, value-for-money proposition on the table and bolstering the range will only enhance that offering.

The car is offered with a two-year or 30 000km service plan as standard.

Image: Wheels24 / Charlen Raymond

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