This is the main difference for the 2017 Toyota Etios in Brazil: interior and transmissions

When the Toyota Etios started its career in Brazil, back in September 2012, it was priced very low for what it offered because it was considered ugly as hell. The interior, with a terrible instrument panel, with considerable parallax errors in its reading, was the worst part of the car by far. With time, its robustness and low fuel consumption earned it some fans and reasonable sales, but not even close to the ones Toyota expected to have. The 2017 model of the car has not changed significantly in its exterior, but the interior has been modified in its worst parts, what may assure more sales until the car is replaced by something that looks any better. A digital dashboard and an automatic transmission can help it a lot. Look at it below and tell us if it would stand any chance if it was not a Toyota…

Curiously, Akio Nishimura, Etios chief engineer, told me personally at the Gamagori circuit in Japan that the car, based on the EFC platform, would be sold only in India and Brazil. A more sophisticated version of it would be slated for China because the Chinese consumer would be much more demanding than Brazilians and Indians. And the truth was that Etios only made sense with a very low price tag. Something the new model of the car has passed by. And ignored.

Toyota-Etios-Brazil-8

The cheapest Etios for sale, the cramped hatchback X 1.3 with a 6-speed manual gearbox, costs R$ 43,990, or US$ 12,400. That’s what Nissan charges for a brand-new Versa in the USA, a roomier and more powerful car. Etios used to cost R$ 41,890. When this model receives the 4-speed automatic transmission (yes, 4-speed…), its price goes up to R$ 47,490, or US$ 13,400. Its 1.3 engine, now produced in Brazil, delivers 72 kW at 5,600 rpm with ethanol and 65 kW with petrol at the same engine rotation. The top output of the previous 1.3 engine was 66 kW. Torque is respectively 126 Nm and 121 Nm at 4,000 rpm. Versa’s engine, for the sake of comparison, is a 1.6 4-cylinder that delivers 81 kW. While the hatchback Etios is 3.77 m long, 1.70 m wide, 1.51 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.46 m, Versa is 4.49 m long, 1.70 m wide, 1.51 m tall and has a wheelbase of 2.60 m.

 Toyota-Etios-Brazil-7

The most expensive Etios uses the sedan body and comes in the XLS version, equipped with the 4-speed automatic transmission and the 1.5 4-cylinder engine. It is sold for R$ 60,295, or US$ 17,000. A little less than a Honda Civic (US$ 18,640), a Jeep Renegade (US$ 17,995), a Mazda3 (US$ 17,845) or a VW Jetta (US$ 17,680). No leather seats explain such prices.

The new 1.5 engine delivers 79 kW on ethanol and 75 kW on petrol at 5,600 rpm. Torque is 141 Nm and 137 Nm, respectively, at 4,000 rpm. The Etios sedan is a roomy car, even with a 2.55 m wheelbase. It is 4.27 m long and shares most other measures with the hatchback, apart from the size of its trunk: 562 l, against 270 l.

As we have mentioned, the major changes in the car are related to the transmissions and to the instrument panel. It must be much easier to read than the one you have below…

With these changes, you should see lots of Etios as taxi cabs in Brazil in case you will visit the country for the Olympics. Just remember that Brazilian taxi cab drivers get huge discounts for buying their cars.

Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.