Toyota has come up with another version of its underrated Sedan Toyota Etios with some minor cosmetic changes both outside and inside. Etios has been commercially successful due to no non-sense performance and utmost reliability of Toyota. This reliability has made a huge fan base of Etios but for the taxi marketers. To break the Jinx, Toyota has tried to add this new addition with some premium touch which includes cosmetic changes and new features. Tata Zest on the other hand, has had a decent start owing to all the hype but its numbers slowly started to slope downwards. So we are here to compare two contrasting cars Tata zest which carries a tag of innovative Tata brain and typical sedan new Toyota Etios which is known for its quality and performance.
In the pricing section, Toyota very boldly cost its offerings at no-cheap rates for what Quality it is famous for in market, with an On-road range for the Etios variants ranging from Rs. 6.99-9.03 lakhs to be a bit high according to the market, but still manages to sell in huge numbers. While keeping the competitiveness in mind, Tata priced Zest well below we were expecting. It starts between Rs. 5.21 lakhs to 8.64 lakhs. Certainly, this section belongs to Tata as they played the trump card to grab customer attention and to have a grip in the market as well against Etios.
Engine and Performance
Under the bonnet, Toyota makes us all very happy with its set of two very refined and charming engines i.e. 1.5 liter 4-Cyl DOHC petrol and a 1.4 liter 4-Cyl SOHC D-4D diesel engine.
On the other hand, Tata has come up with newly developed 1.2 liter 4-Cyl Revotron petrol engine and 1.3 liter Quadrajet diesel engine. But, against Toyota’s engine, Tata’s new Zest’s only looks smaller in size and engine capacity, but comprises enough power and torque with the diesel engine generating as good as 88.77 BHP and 200Nm while the petrol mill is capably filled with 83.3Bhp and 140Nm.
On the contrary, Toyota develops 88.77Bhp and 132 Nm from petrol engines while the diesel ones are a bit lowly powered with 67.07Bhp and 170 Nm in the same category.
Apart from that, Tata boosted up their engine performance with an F-tronic 5-speed Semi Auto box for the diesel while the petrol version, like the Toyota mills is going to be having a 5-speed MT box. With Toyota, as of now offering more practical and more refined engine runs and transmission system, it would be noteworthy how the Tata’s engines are going to be beating them on road and on a long run.
Lastly, as this segment of cars mostly serves to our pocket-caring people, costs of running is also important where Toyota performs fairly decent with a mileage of 16.80 KPL from petrol engines and 23.59 from the efficient diesel trim. Tata meanwhile offers better petrol engine mileage of 17.6 KPL and stands equal in Diesel mileage with 23 KPL.
Driveability and Safety
Toyota, known for its international standards and Quality outlines in every product. New Toyota Etios yet again proves their innovative schemes which is said to have excellent handling abilities. While the Zest, with more Ground clearance than Etios, is decent with its set of independent McPherson Struts with 3-link struts in the rear wheels and anti-roll bars for both the ends over Toyota’s very normal yet capable offering of usual McPherson Struts in the Etios.
Tata takes a step ahead and is all ready to give competition to Etios with its best ever safety and riding features including an Immobilizer, ABS with better cornering control, dual SRS Airbags for front passengers etc. while Toyota already offers such safety measures in the existing market. So, on an overall level, while Tata’s Zest looks better, Toyota’s Etios performs much better on road practically making it better than Zest in this particular segment. Zest’s on-road capabilities and convincement of these new and innovative features would be a gem to notice in performance.
Interiors and Exteriors
In overall looks and built figure, it will be tough decision to declare any of the two to be superior as both the cars have their own beauty aspects. As when the Toyota Etios with its more suave and sophisticated built looks more like a full-blown sedan with easy and sleek profile, Tata Zest on the other hand took the whole concept of compact way too seriously, ending up making a sharply carved car with more stand-still looks and built.
Tata Zest has killing and fresh front profile with aggressive lights fitted with projector headlamps, sharp and sleek, Amaze like shoulder lines, chrome front grille, DRLs and LED rear lights looks appealing. While Toyota with its much relaxed and eye-soothing front profile, redesigned metallic imprints on front grille adding premium looks, sporty yet simple head and tail-lamps, un-boxy overall shape looks classy. While body colored ORVMs remain standard in both the cars.
Inside, Tata has taken the design element to a whole new level with fresh and market dominating Beige-Black theme for the car with more plush and sporty interior profile and upper quality materials are now being used by Tata too, with a blend of chrome and metal on the inside for those subtle richness of the cabin with an integrated 5’’ HARMAN touchscreen infotainment system with inbuilt MapMyIndia SATNAV and superior audio and telephony features intact.
On the other hand, Toyota remains more serene with its interiors without much fancy featuring and dual tone brown beige fabric feel of upholstery dominates the cabin with faux wood finish trims on doors and 2 DIN Audio system with LCD screen and remote controller for simplicity and relaxed acoustic music.
While as Zest is said to have a sporty IP, Etios already have a blue illuminated sporty combi-metre Console system which is strategically placed in the centre. Apart from that, Toyota also feels more soothing with an optional blue-Ambient lightening for front passengers to add bit flair of that fancy behavior it can still achieve. While both the cars have steering mounted controls for audio and telephony, Toyota is a step ahead in technology making its steering more ergonomically advanced with EPS and tilt feature and a fancy gear knob with wood like finish and a tacky chrome belt looks cool.
Getting a backseat in both the cars, you’ll forget all the fancy features of the Zest when you’ll be busy being mesmerized with the space and comfort levels the Etios offers with a flat rear floor for added comforts, an armrest in the rear seat with bottle-holders and extra comfortable cushioning of the seats. While Zest being more compact a car would not really match up with the comfort and space levels of the Etios. Even in the boot. In totality, remove the new-age fanciness and take home a Toyota Etios for more practical, easy going, long lasting and hassle free comfort and interior levels.
Pros and Cons
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Take Toyota Etios, for its pure sedan drive, decent engine and comforts with no nonsense fancy features and equal levels of quality as of Zest’s. But if you want a more powerful, refreshed and compact car, Zest is the right choice and Toyota has to re think about the pricing of Etios if it wants to dominate the segment.