Variants: J, G, G Opt, V & VX
Price: Rs 5.04 lakh to 6.95 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai
Basic specs: 1495cc, petrol, 88.8 bhp, 13.5 kgm
Performance: 0-100 kph - 11.47 secs, Top speed - 180.1 kph, Mileage - 13.1 kpl (overall)
TATA MANZA SAFIRE
Variants: Aqua, Aura, Aura ABS, Elan
Price: Rs 5.57 lakh to 7.02 lakh, ex-showroom, Mumbai
Basic specs: 1368cc, petrol, 88 bhp, 11.8 kgm
Performance: 0-100 kph - NA, Top speed - 165 kph, Mileage - 12.7 kpl (overall)
The Etios is Toyota's first India-specific product after being in India for nearly 12 years. It's also its cheapest offering in India, until the arrival of the Etios Liva, the hatch version of the Etios. Currently offered in only petrol form, the Etios sedan will sport a diesel engine by the end of 2011 or early-2012.
The Manza is Tata Motors second generation Indigo and has been successful considering its vastly improved build quality, good space and features and refined and frugal motors borrowed from the Fiat Linea. Having been around for the last two years, the Manza has dropped the Indigo moniker to distinguish it from its first iteration.
Both cars offer great space, comfort and ride quality. The Etios is quicker and more entertaining and is even quite frugal while the Manza has more sedate performance and is better suited for chauffeur driven use. The Etios lacks in features and the build quality isn't typically Toyota, which can be disappointing to many. There's also been a considerably high waiting period on the Etios, which recently forced the company to push back the launch of the Liva and increase the Etios' production.
What the Etios offers is a peace-of-mind package in a car that is not too expensive to run and is fun-to-drive too at the same time. With the largest boot in the class, the Etios is quite practical. The Manza runs the Etios close and as far as value-for-money goes, it is quite easily several steps ahead of the Toyota offering. But there are still some rough edges that Tata Motors need to iron out, especially with respect to reliability and after-sales service to make it a perfect package. The Etios has the edge on the Manza this time around, but we would like to do a re-match once Tata Motors improves upon the Manza a bit more.