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Few cars offer the affordability, reliability and practical motoring that the Etios does. Since its introduction – much like the Tazz it replaced – it has become a South African favourite, consistently average over 1000 units sold per month.

But even with those incredible figures, Toyota refuses to rest on their laurels, and have updated the Etios range, as well as offering customers a chance to stand out from the crowd with a new ‘limited edition’ model, taking the total number of derivatives to six.

The new model is the new Toyota Etios Sport – which is available exclusively as a hatchback - is priced at R178 800, and becomes the middle model in the local Etios line-up.

It uses the same 1.5-litre motor as the rest of the range, which produces 66kw. Peak torque of 132nm is available from just 3,000rpm, further highlighting its torquey nature. The free-revving motor sends its power to the front wheels through a 5-speed manual gearbox. The 0-100kph sprint is completed in 11.3 seconds and it tops out at 165kph, making Etios Sport one of the zippiest performers in its segment.

Apart from a 'Sport' badge, what sets it apart from its siblings is a striking two-tone paintjob, with the roof and pillars in black. The lower half of the car is available in either Retro Red or Glacier White. Complementing the contrasting two-tone arrangement is a black radiator grille, black side mirrors, and a pronounced rear-roof spoiler, while it rides on model-specific 15-inch alloy wheels. Standard kit includes manual air-conditioning, a four-speaker sound system (with USB), front fog lamps, dual airbags and ABS with EBD.

While the Sport variant is added to the line-up, Toyota had ‘refreshed’ the entire range with the fitment of a new Optitron instrument cluster. Also new is the digital tachometer, while the soft, orange-hued, backlit illumination gives it a very Japanese sports-car vibe. 

The Etios range was recently awarded 4 stars for Adult Occupancy Protection (AOP) and 3 for Child Occupancy Protection (COP). This isn’t surprising considering that the Etios boasts both driver and passenger airbags.

Further safety specification includes ABS, EBD, front seatbelts with pre-tensioner and force limiter as well as ISOFIX provision. A full quota of headrests is provided with rear passengers also receiving a 3-point centre seatbelt across all models. To offer customers a peace of mind, all Etios models come with a 2-year/30 000km service plan, backed by a 3-year/100 000km warranty.

The Etios range is priced as follows:

Etios 1.5 Xi hatchback: R171 000

Etios 1.5 Sprint hatchback: R176 300

Etios 1.5 Sport hatchback: R178 800

Etios 1.5 Xi sedan: R179 500

Etios 1.5 Sprint sedan: R184 400

Etios Cross 1.5 Xs hatchback: R198 400

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