My Toyota Etios Review: disappointment

Toyota etios review by Munish Ahuja | Toyota Etios Purchase date: February 2011 | Location: Delhi

What I know about Toyota

Toyota belongs to Japan and has the j- Factor derived from it. As per Toyota the j-Factor stands for

Synergy of Contradicting Elements.

The concept of “j-factor” is to create new values by “synergizing” various contradictory elements in harmony. For example, the hybrid vehicle was born by “synergizing” the powers of the engine and electric motor. The birth and the concept of the hybrid vehicle symbolize the concept of “j-factor”. Rather than “conflicting” or “compromising”, “synergizing” two contradictory elements in harmony creates new values.


Japanese craftsmanship allows us to see a sense of infinity in a tiny pottery bowl or it can express the universe in a small garden. “Miniaturization” is another concept of “j-factor” and is accepted globally as Japanese sensitivity.

For example, “iQ” is less than 3 meters long but can carry up to four passengers. The vehicle actualized new values — it’s small but premium; an ultra-high efficiency package vehicle with ample cabin space, an iconic exterior and premium interior realized through innovative technology. “iQ” overturned stereotypes of the compact car.

Structure of Nature

Japanese people love all things that exist in nature and have been incorporating its beauty in their craftsmanship through their unique way of conception. For example, the design of the Prius dashboard is based on the patterns found in leaf veins. Design elements found in nature are based on precise mathematics combined with energy. As a result, they are fresh and eternal.

The role of design is not merely to create something stylish. New value should be created while satisfying the social considerations and responsibilities for our environment and safety. It is important to covey the background concept as well as the originalities expressed through the design process.

Rather than a “conflicting” or “compromising”, “synergizing” various contradictory elements in harmony to create new values — this is based on uniquely Japanese values and aesthetics. We call it “j-factor” which is positioned as a fundamental element of the DNA of TOYOTA DESIGN. Unique Japanese values and aesthetics became global values. TOYOTA DESIGN will search for further possibilities of “j-factor” in creating new design values with our global network.


I bought Toyota Etios Based on this belief

We all have grown up seeing automobiles on the roads from our childhood days to our youthful years. We have seen the era of Ambassador and Fiat – Padmini. Our parents always trusted Maruti being a very reliable brand. But anyone who could afford brand would go for Honda and Toyota, both being very respectable brands from Japan.

Recently Toyota announced the launch of ETIOS, and that too at a very competitive pricing. That was a era when all the companies faced a challenge that ETIOS could pose affecting their Sales.

But thanks to the over confidence of Toyota of taking chance with Indians and launching the ETIOS which cannot even feature in the race for fighting with Maruti Dezire, Volkswagon Vento, Honda City, Tata Manza, Mahindra Logan, Verito, Tata Indica.

Nothing good in etios except the brand Toyota

There is nothing good in ETIOS except the brand Toyota which is embossed at three locations – Bonnet, Steering and Trunk. The vehicle is a result of over confident brand which has taken the Indians for granted. The media hype has been created with tailored website reviews, Media expert TV broadcasts, TV commercials.

But ETIOS Team failed to understand that this product is being designed for comfort and user experience will make or break the ETIOS brand and unfortunately it has bounced back and the ETIOS mania is over and the original buyers are looking for buyers and still the Toyota dealerships are trying to create hype that delivery will take 4-5 months where as each dealer has sufficient vehicles at the warehouse. I was also confused and misguided by the media and reviews and booked the vehicle before physically seeing the vehicle and even test driving it.

What I found lacking in Etios: My Toyota Etios Review

I have owned the vehicle since February 2011 and driven the vehicle for only 1500km, but trust me I do not like to drive the vehicle anymore because of the following reasons.

1) Engine Vibration at Idle/ Neutral position.

When the vehicle ignition is switched “ON” the vehicle shakes heavily and produces noise. Secondly when the vehicle is “START” and the gear is Neutral/ idling condition – vehicle produces lot of vibration.This vibration is irritating and distracts attention for every moment spent in the Etios.

2)  Road Noise inside the cabin.

When the vehicle is moving on the road, great amount of sound from the tyre reaches the cabin of the car, which is very irritating while driving.This noise is heard even with window glass closed and AC switched ON.

3)  Engine Noise inside the cabin.

The vehicle produces a lot of noise while accelerating. It sounds as if lot of lot has been put on the engine even with light load in the car (with 2 passengers inside the cabin). This noise is very distracting while driving.

4 ) Absence of EPDM gasket on all four Doors.

The absence of gasket makes it convenient for insects, cockroaches, ants, spiders and lizards to get inside the vehicle as soon as the door is opened. The interior area of the cabin trapped between the frame and door is always dirty even though the vehicle is cleaned from outside. It is worth mentioning that the presence of EPDM gasket would have made a lot of difference in reducing outside noise into the passenger cabin. But the ETIOS team failed to understand this also.

5) Transmission – Reverse gear

On application of reverse gear the gears make jarring noise. This is very annoying. The transmission is very poorly designed which takes lot of effort to shift gears. One feels like fighting with every gear change.

6) Weight of ETIOS is only 930 Kg.

The company tried to reduce the weight to achieve good mileage but inturn the vehicle has become unstable at high speeds.

7) Mileage of Etios

The actual mileage of ETIOS in city conditions is not more than 10 kmpl.

8 ) Engine sounds like a diesel engine

The engine sounds as if you have pressed pedal on a diesel vehicle. This is because of the poor acoustic insulation. It is as good as sitting in a diesel vehicle and paying the cost of petrol for running it.

9) Horn Sounds more inside than outside

This is because of poor acoustic insulation in ETIOS that the sound of Horn is heard more inside the passenger cabin than outside.

10) Light weight metal doors and door handles

If you open and close the gates of Etios multiple times you will realize that because of light weight of the metal sheet the gates sound like shallow steel.

11) Paint Quality

The paint quality is very poor and the paint is very brittle. If the door slightly touches the wall or any other surface it immediately leaves the metal door.

12) Pick up

The pickup is very low at any gear and even the new vehicle seems to be tired and exhausted.

13) Interior

The interior plastic quality is very raw and gives a very cheap feeling. The interior plastic shade is also very irritating. The seats are also of very poor quality.

14) Speakers

There is no speaker in the rear.

15) Centre Meter

As the meter console is placed in the centre of the dashboard, the space is all consumed in the curves of this meter console and you can hardly have any flat space on the dashboard. The plastic again is of very poor finish and appearance.

16) Safety

If the weight of the metal doors is kept less to reduce the weight of the car then one immediately is concerned about the safety of oneself and the family members.

I have not mentioned other lacuna in the vehicle which will make you also reconsider the ETIOS purchase.

Driver seat adjustment, absence of protection sheet for Engine under body and the list is endless.

When I complained about Etios

The comfort part is missing from the vehicle. The drive is very rough. But it is quite evident from the engine behavior that the vehicle engine is not a refined engine and is making all sorts of rattling noises and vibrations. Raising all these issues the technical persons visited my house on 14.04.2011 and acknowledged the intense vibrations and even made video recordings of the water bottle in Etios and my Wagon R. In Etios the water and the bottle itself vibrates intensely at idle condition and in Wagon R there was no single vibration in water or the bottle. I am sorry to point out that no action has been taken in the matter after their visit.

The persons who visited were from Galaxy Toyota, Shalimar Bagh, Outer Ring Road, New Delhi,  Head CRM Galxy North, Senior Technical person – Winner of Japan Trip and Warranty Manager

These persons did not have any instrument to test the high NVH and especially Vibrations that my vehicle produces in idle condition. How can you expect these people to analyze this problem?

In Etios, the seats, steering, doors, arm rest vibrate and this is very annoying and unacceptable. This is only one of the few problems.

It is very bad for Toyota to make such a technically degraded Etios and then the non technical personnel at their dealerships making all kinds of justifications for Toyota’s poor efforts, which even worsens our woes. The most surprising shock for me was that after inspecting the vehicle they acknowledged the extra vibrations in the ETIOS and confirmed that they will report the same to Toyota and will come back to me with a solution, but they never turned back. Even the Toyota people are not considerate to listen to their customer vows.

Lost the Toyota confidence

Etios should have been sold without the prestigious brand name “TOYOTA”. I am an engineer myself and have lot of respect for the “Toyota” brand and family but I confess that I am ashamed of buying Etios.

I have great respect for Toyota as a brand for the Quality and reliability of their engineering and product quality. But sorry to say that I took so much time to write to you because I was myself not convinced that Toyota could make such a disaster. I hope you will understand the faith that we Indians have shown to Toyota that the vehicle was booked by me even before physically seeing the Toyota Etios and the color of the Toyota Etios was confirmed for delivery even before seeing the visual car/color. This shows the trust and confidence that I have towards Toyota products and Engineering.

During the launching of Toyota Etios, respected Mr. Akio Toyoda grandson of Mr. Sakichi Toyoda a legend and technical personality showed great confidence in Etios and shown promising products for India. But I regret to say that Toyota Etios is a disaster and a technically degraded car from Toyota family.

I would congratulate Yoshinori Noritake for his efforts to visit India for 5 years and doing a lot of research before concluding the design of the Etios incorporating all the features that an Indian family was looking in their family car including the leg room, boot space, pricing, ac vents, etc.

But it is quite evident from the engine behavior that the vehicle engine is not a refined engine and is making all sorts of rattling noises and vibrations.

I have not bought a vehicle from Toyota but I have made a relationship with Toyota family. This relationship is hurting right now.

Advice to fellow buyers of Toyota Etios

I am constrained to write to that after spending a huge amount on the purchase of Etios, I have purchased headache which gives me trouble when I drive the Etios. The quality of the product is poor which is beyond description and the mental agony which experience is beyond expression. It is beyond human consideration that you spend your money for your comfort but in return you get troubles.

It is my request to everyone that while spending your hard earned money do not trust websites or media but take test rides and Genuine user Toyota Etios  reviews before finalizing your choicest car.

I am really missing the j-factor in ETIOS. (Japanese Technology)

Munish Ahuja | New Delhi

Vehicles owned | Maruti Suzuki Wagon R | Toyota Etios

1 comment to My Toyota Etios Review: disappointment

  • Arvind

    I agree with Mr Ahuja’s review. Poor mileage (going as low as 7.5kms/hr)- that too when half the times AC is not used. Lot of cabin noise as well.

    Service center engineers say the engine is working fine as per their testing. However cant understand in that case how can the mileage be less than half of claimed mileage.

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