Johannesburg - Toyota has added a pinch of salt and a few extra spices to its Indian-built Etios with the introduction of a limited edition Sport model, which ushers in a few small running changes across the range.
Like the Yaris Bi-tone that was launched a few years ago, the Etios Sport gets a two-tone external paint job where a black roof and C-pillars contrast with one of the two available paint colours - Glacier White or Retro Red.
The wheels also got the dual-tone memo, with the Sport wearing black and silver 15-inch alloys pinched from the Etios Cross, while the chrome strip that you usually find on the Etios grille makes way for an all-black colour scheme, and that courtesy extends to the door mirrors and roof spoiler as well.
All Etios models receive a new Optitron instrument cluster with orange backlighting, while the entry Xi model now gets rear electric windows - previously they were only fitted upfront.
As before, all versions are fitted with an aircon, audio system with Bluetooth, reach-adjustable steering, dual front airbags and ABS brakes - not forgetting that it received four stars in Global NCAP’s crash tests.
The Etios is backed up by a two-year/30 000km service plan and three-year/100 000km warranty.
The sole engine choice is the familiar 1.5-litre normally aspirated unit that produces 66kW and 132Nm.
We took a brief spin on the Sport’s Gauteng based launch, serving as a reminder that this is a solid little car that’s easy to drive, and the free-revving engine provides reasonably brisk performance that’s pretty much as good as you could expect at this end of the market.
TOYOTA ETIOS PRICES
|1.5 Xi||66kW/132Nm||R171 000|
|1.5 Sprint||66kW/132Nm||R176 300|
|1.5 Sport||66kW/132Nm||R178 800|
|1.5 Cross||66kW/132Nm||R198 400|
|1.5 Xi||66kW/132Nm||R179 500|
|1.5 Sprint||66kW/132Nm||R184 400|
Alternatives to the 1.5 Sport
|Ford Figo hatch 1.5 Trend||82kW/136Nm||R189 900|
|Honda Brio hatch 1.5 Comfort||65kW/109Nm||R176 500|
|Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Fluid||64kW/120Nm||R191 900|
|Kia Picanto 1.2 Style||61kW/122Nm||R181 495|
|Nissan Micra Active 1.2 Visia||56kW/104Nm||R161 500|
|Renault Sandero 0.9T Expression||66kW/135Nm||R171 900|
|Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL||63kW/113Nm||R174 900|
|VW Polo Vivo 1.4 Comfortline||63kW/132Nm||R192 000|