2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire vs. Toyota Etios

The 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire has set sales chart afire, but is it a complete package when pitched against the Toyota Etios? Let’s find out.

etios vs dzire

The 2012 Dzire is a notchback measuring less than four meters (like the Tata Indigo eCS). Though the new Dzire has less boot space than the old Dzire, it still packs more creature comforts and is offered at a competitive price. Also see our Maruti Suzuki Dzire video review

The Etios marked Toyota’s entry into the entry-level sedans segment. Though it lacks when it comes to styling and interiors, the biggest USP of Etios is its acres of space and a large boot, larger than some cars that are a segment above it.

Here, we compare the two sedans in terms of driving, handling, features, looks, space, comfort to find out which one has the best ‘value for money’ proposition. Owing to the high demand for diesel versions, we take into account, the top-end diesel Etios VXD and the Dzire ZDI for comparison.

Driving and Handling

The Etios is powered by the 1.4-litre diesel mill that puts out a modest 67 bhp of power and 168 Nm of torque. The Dzire is powered by the popular 1.3-litre DDiS diesel motor (sourced from Fiat) that puts out 75 bhp of power and 190 Nm of torque. The higher power and torque output, together with the light body weight makes the Dzire, a more drivable car than the Etios diesel.

With regard to handling, the Dzire still has an advantage over the Etios. Thanks to the stiff suspension setup and the compact dimensions, the Dzire inspires confidence even when driven spiritedly unlike the Etios which exhibits fair bit of body roll. Summing up, the Dzire wins over the Etios in both performance and handling aspects.

Space and Comfort

Toyota has managed to carve out as much user space as possible, making the Etios, a very spacious sedan. The front seats are thin, but surprisingly offer good lumbar support, adequate under thigh support and knee room. See our Toyota Etios video review here.

The rear seat is literally flat and offers excellent space for three passengers seating abreast. The floor remains almost flat and hence, the middle passenger will have adequate knee room and will have no complaints even during long trips. The Dzire falls short in terms of interior space.

The Dzire offers all round comfort for front occupants, but the rear feels slightly cramped especially when compared with the Etios. The rear seat of Dzire is best for two passengers, while a third passenger will definitely feel lack of knee room and shoulder room. Boot space of the Etios is an XL-sized, 595 litres which is very large when compared to the small 316 litres boot space of the Dzire.

Clearly, the Etios has a significant advantage over the Dzire when it comes to space and comfort.

Looks

The 2012 Dzire looks a bit easy on eyes, thanks to its neat rear boot design unlike the bulging boot door design of the old Dzire. The Dzire looks best when viewed from front, the Swift-inspired headlamps and sporty grille with new fog lamps housing, makes it sporty. When viewed from the sides, the Dzire looks a bit awkward for its short wheelbase and squashed book doesn’t give you a feel of a proper three-box sedan.

The Toyota Etios, on the other hand, has been designed as a sedan from the start. And hence, its long wheelbase makes it look like a proper three-box sedan. However, the Etios lacks in terms of styling and except for the smiling grille and curvy tail lamp cluster design, the Etios largely looks like a modified Mahindra Verito (Logan). Besides, the interiors of the Etios feel a bit cheap, especially the plastic parts and the centrally mounted instrument cluster dials.

The Dzire comes with wooden inserts on panels and inside door handles, has an attractively laid out central console and a multi-information display. The Dzire looks sporty and with its compact dimensions, it actually looks at least smart, if not beautiful.

Features

The Etios VXD variant, is fully loaded with features such as  dual SRS airbags, ABS with EBD , air conditioning, power steering, power windows, remote central locking, tilt steering, DVD audio system, steering mounted audio controls, alloy wheels, cooled glovebox, rear defogger, fog lamps, body colored door handles and outside rear view mirrors.

The Dzire has a slight advantage for it comes with more features such as automatic climate control, turn indicators on outside mirrors, instrument cluster with average fuel consumption, range, outside temperature, which are not offered in the Etios.

Overall, the 2012 Dzire has a mild advantage over the Etios, with regard to features.

Price, mileage and VFM

The Etios VXD is priced at Rs. 8.15 lakh while the Dzire ZDI is priced at Rs. 7.51 lakh. Hence, the Etios VXD is Rs. 64,000 dearer than the Dzire ZDI. With regard to mileage, the Dzire has a claimed mileage of 23.4 kmpl, which is pretty close to the claimed mileage of Etios (23.59 kmpl).

When it comes to ‘value for money’ proposition, the Dzire, though comes with a smaller boot, manages to offer slightly more features at a significantly less price than the Etios and hence is an attractive package.

Pros and Cons

[table id=833 /]

Verdict

If you frequently use a sedan with five occupants on board and travel with a lot of baggage, the Etios will suit your needs. Otherwise, on all other aspects such as features, drivability and handling, the 2012 Dzire is a better package than the Etios.