Mumbai, Sep 13: Close on the heels of launching their flagship people mover Toyota Innova Crysta, the Japanese auto major on Tuesday launched the revamped Toyota Etios and Toyota Etios Liva facelift. While Platinum Etios sedan facelift begins from Rs 6.43 lakh and the diesel topline is available at Rs 8.87 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai). The Etios Liva hatchback will be available from Rs 5.24 lakh to Rs 7.44 lakh.Also Read - Toyota Becomes Top-Selling Automaker In US, Leaves General Motors Behind

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The launch of the facelift editions of the Toyota passenger cars comes at a time when the Indian car market has just started to report better sales. However, for Toyota despite better products in the market, the response has always been a little cold as far as its passenger cars is concerned. The company has not been able to repeat the success of Toyota Innova. (ALSO READ: Toyota Etios sedan and Etios Liva facelift launched at Rs 5.24 lakh and Rs 8.87 lakh) Also Read - Toyota Goes Completely Renewable Way To Meet Energy Requirement

What s new

The facelifted versions of the Etios and Etios Liva have the same specifications as before. There are some cosmetic changes and slight mechanical improvements over the previous models.mThe company claims a better ride quality with the improvement in the rear seating with changes in the cushioning. There is also some changes in the aerodynamics of the Toyota Etios and Etios Liva which also gives it a better contemporary look. The company says it has carried out over 50 changes in both the sedan and hatchback versions of Etios.

The cars also have better NVH values and more locally manufactured parts. Toyota launched the sedan and hatchback versions of the car to take on the rivals in the market but so far it has failed miserably as Maruti dominates the segment with models like Swift Dzire and Swift. Hyundai and Honda too are a popular option for people looking for better sedans. Will Toyota Platinum be the game changer? Not very likely as it still remains old car with new cosmetic changes. (ALSO READ: Toyota brings petrol version of Innova back after diesel ban; Innova Crysta petrol variant launched)

The interiors however remain the same bland ones. Why the company is not acting on the feedback and improving the interiors which scream cost cutting measures wherever you look, is something only the company knows. If they really want to beat the competition, they really need to do this cause everything else is fine in a Toyota.

Sales

The company sold 32,511 Etios and 22,139 Liva cars in 2015. However, in the first two months of the current fiscal the company reported 33 per cent increase in Etios sales. Innova continued its good run and in August 2016 it reported sale of 8,229 units registering increase of 59 per cent as compared to last year. Innova was the only model from the company stable to have made it to the list of top 20 selling models in India. The other cars in the passenger car segment from Toyota have failed to catch the fancy of the car buyers.

Toyota cars in India have been awarded 4 star in Global NCAP crash tests which means they are one of the safest cars to drive in India. In 2015 the agency tested some of the popular car models in India and all of them failed the test. The models tested include the Renault Kwid, Maruti Suzuki Celerio, Maruti Suzuki Eeco, Mahindra Scorpio and Hyundai Eon. All the cars got zero ratings in the crash test. Toyota has fitted all its car models with two airbags and two pretensioners as standard fitment to ensure safety of passengers. This has significantly improved the safety features of the car and one of the best ones to drive around in India. (ALSO READ: Toyota sales up 15 per cent in August)

It is the success of Innova that has forced others in the competition to launch a better product. Honda came out with BR-V and has received moderate success. Mahindra and Mahindra is reportedly testing a vehicle in its Chennai research centre to give competition to Innova. The vehicle has been designed by its US design team and will plan its launch after the test session is over. This could be real threat to Toyota Innova as Mahindra enjoys a good customer base and has a slew of successful launches to bank upon. The Innova Crysta range starts from Rs 13 lakh.

Diesel ban

The company had uncertain moments when Supreme Court banned diesel engines over 2000L capacity in the NCR region to keep a check on pollution. Toyota was the worst hit as the sale of its Innova took a hit. With no other choice available the company re-introduced the petrol version of Innova as a way out. However, soon after the apex court allowed sale of diesel vehicles in the NCR region if the consumers were ready to pay extra cess. The court order came as a big relief for companies like Toyota and Mahindra and Mahindra as they primarily rely on diesel models.

The launch of recent Toyota Innova Crysta could not have come at a better time and has been well received and the company now has a waiting period of over couple of months. The facelift launch of Toyota Etios and Toyota Etios Lava is not going to make much of change in the numbers for the company. Toyota needs a real good product for the Indian market something like Renault Kwid.