Many people who have seen the car at the Auto Expo have commented that it looks like the Mahindra-Renault Logan. And they are not entirely wrong — it has that feel about it, especially when seen from the rear three-quarters... those triangular tail-lamps are to blame. Plus the straightforward waistline and headlamps also contribute a bit to it. But the Toyota looks a wee bit more flamboyant than the under-designed French car. The front grille is more elaborate and seems to be designed to evoke the face of the best-selling Innova and a large chrome strip running at the top of the bare bootlid will be a hit with us Indians (cue the Maruti Suzuki Dzire). Yeah, but don’t expect the Etios to win any beauty contests — it looks sober and is designed to be inoffensive rather than cause strong reactions. Unlike the Dzire which looks like the Swift with a boot (which it is), the Etios looks more complete as a three-box car and looks bigger too.
And that’s the feeling you get when you sit inside the car and that's one of the points it gets against the Dzire. Scooped out headliners and the tall seating give you that sense of space, while leg room as well as shoulder room at the rear are pretty decent too. The drive tunnel has been flattened out, so it does not cause discomfort to the passenger at the middle of the rear seat. The entire dash layout is adventurous for Toyota, with the central instrument console placement. In the day, it looks all right, but in the night, when you put on the headlamps, it is vastly improved and cheerful. The controls are all analogue, which is a bit surprising — I would expect a digital climate control in the top end version at least.