Car news

15 October 2012

Updated Toyota Etios coming soon, but no Lexus till 2014

While the 'India first' Etios range will soon be updated in looks and features, Lexus gets pushed further, yet again...

Ashish Masih
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Here’s a bit of good and bad news from the house of Toyota. First, the good – Toyota officials have confirmed the company’s plans to bring in updated versions of its Etios sedan and Liva hatchback. Though details are cagey about the full nature of the updates, what we can confirm is that the interiors will be beefed up considerably.

So you can expect a flurry of beige replacing the current grey, along with a boost in the car’s plastic quality to give it a premium feel, something that the rivals have. We can also expect the seat cushioning to be made more sumptuous, a constant grouse with current owners. There are minor updates expected on the exteriors as well. A fresh set of head and tail lamps along with a new grille (like in the new Innova), should work wonders to make the car appealing to a wider (and more importantly, younger) set of owners. Something that Toyota is gunning for.

We don’t expect any changes to both the engines, but can expect better use of sound deadening material on the diesel versions. But these changes won’t be on offer till the first quarter of next year, so expect the new Etios/Liva only around March - April 2013.  

Now, the bad news. The highly anticipated Lexus luxury brand, which the company had hoped to launch by early 2013, has been delayed by an year and won’t make it to India till sometime in the middle of 2014. This is due to a factor of reasons, the primary being that Lexus doesn’t have a feasible diesel engine on offer for the cars that Toyota was planning for India. Also, the rising Yen means that Toyota isn’t so sure if the car will be cost competitive in front of its German rivals, who are under-cutting each other in the price department.

That doesn’t however mean the company isn’t serious about its brand in India. Toyota has made a separate Lexus division that will look after sales and marketing. Lexus dealerships will be separate from Toyota dealerships and the cars will only sell at select metros via these exclusive dealerships. Let's just keep our fingers crossed and hope Lexus comes to India sooner than later to give the German trio a run for their money.

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Tags: toyota, liva, etios, lexus

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