Brazil is bidding farewell to the Toyota Etios in its domestic market which is a little sad because it’s where Toyota produces the Etios, but even if it won’t be sold in its country of origin, it will still be around elsewhere.
Toyota Brazil announced that its Etios will become an export-only model destined for Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Uruguay. Toyota is reportedly planning to decrease production volume of the Etios as it increases production volume of the Corolla Cross, according to Autoblog Argentina. But, I want the cool little Etios to have fans the world over because it’s a neat, weird car you might not know about.
For starters, the hatchback Etios is even smaller than the Latin American market Yaris (AKA the Toyota Vitz) and that kind of throws my sense of proportion for a loop. The other kind of car I can see being smaller than that is maybe a Kei car.
The hatchback Etios is more like something you drive in developing countries that require practical overall size while still being able to carry passengers. The Etios sedan is slightly larger than the hatch and it’s a workhorse car. It’s used in the commercial sector quite a bit.
The Etios reminds me of the Tsurus and Sentras I grew up around. The kind of small cars I saw as taximetros everywhere in Mexico. All painted the same, ferrying people to and fro while being way small in comparison to the old American standard, the Crown Vic.
The Etios is also safer than you would think, having received a four-star rating from Latin NCAP in 2019. Usually, these small cars are considered affordable but unsafe machines and yet the Etios does well here.
And it’s affordable in Argentina, starting at $ 1,263,000 ARS which is just shy of $14,000 USD for the hatchback while the sedan version adds on about $900 USD.
The Etios has a very normal drivetrain, with a four-cylinder engine that produces about 103 horsepower and 106 lb-ft of torque, and you can still get a manual. In fact, the automatic transmission in current model years comes with four-speeds versus the six-speeds in the manuals!
There is one other neat bit about the sedan version of the Etios. You could have a compressed natural gas (CNG) kit installed at a dealer and it doesn’t void the warranty; the CNG kit comes with its own factory backing that’s good for five years or 150,000 kilometers, which is just over 93,000 miles.
Compressed natural gas never really took off even though we saw mentions of it here and there but it’s cool that in some parts of the world you can get a car like the Etios that runs on CNG with a stick shift and of all things, Apple CarPlay as standard.