Toyota’s Etios saloon was received with tepid response. The carmaker is citing boxy styling as one of the reasons for the slow start. “Design is one issue and you will see that the new version will have a much better design,” said Hisayuki Inoue, CEO Asia-Pacific operations, Toyota.
The company feels that the Etios’ inherent strengths of fuel efficiency, space and durability “have not been appreciated by the young customers in the cities”. Inoue also confirmed that the company is studying the market and customer preferences before incorporating any changes.
According to sources, the new Etios will come with a completely new ‘top hat’ and will bear little resemblance to the robust but boxy shape of the current model. The new Etios, expected in mid-2015, is also looking at other body styles on the Etios. According to sources, a compact SUV is under consideration, although it hasn’t been signed off yet. The Etios Cross, which was shown at the Auto Expo, will test the response to a crossover concept, and is the first of a series of more stylish variants that can be expected on the Etios platform.