While the styling of the car is nothing to write home about, the low price point (INR496,000, or just under $11,000) is sure to make it a favorite of small Indian families and other middle income customers.
Toyota says the new Etios was developed specifically for Indian customers and will be built at a plant in Bidadi, near Bangalore. However, Toyota eventually plans to offer the small sedan in other emerging markets such as China, Brazil, Thailand and possibly certain regions of South America.
Power for the small sedan comes from a 1.5-liter inline-four that produces 89 hp and 97 pound-feet of torque. The engine comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which helps it achieve 17.6 kilometers per liter, or roughly 41.2 miles per gallon.
“India is a key market for our overall strategic growth plans, and the launch of the Etios is definitely a milestone not only for Toyota in India but for Toyota globally," Mr. Akio Toyoda, President TMC said, commenting on the launch of the Etios.
"We at Toyota believe, ‘the road makes the car’ and the Etios is a product of real-world testing on roads across India. Our testing has covered a hundred thousand kilometers on every kind of road that Indian drivers encounter, from Kolkata to Mumbai, from the Himalayan foothills to the tip of the Indian peninsula,” Toyoda also said.
According to JD Power, Toyota sold a over 60,000 cars in India through October, compared to 870,000 sales from Marutti Suzuki, which is the top-seller on the Indian market.