Compare Chevrolet Sail vs Toyota Etios vs Tata Manza vs Mahindra Verito

These big saloons are very practical and can carry a family of five in comfort. With the arrival of the Sail and the improved Toyota Etios, things aren’t as straight forward as before for the Verito and Manza.

Comapre Sail vs Toyota Etios vs Mahindra D6

These big saloons are very practical and can carry a family of five in comfort. With the arrival of the Sail and the improved Toyota Etios, things aren’t as straight forward as before for the Verito and Manza.

The hot-selling Maruti Dzire, which is easily the most popular ‘saloon’ in our country and the Honda Amaze, which is the current favour of the month, have made sub-four-metre compact saloons the rage in India’s wide and varied saloon car segment.

But squeezing a ‘third box’ within a four-metre footprint creates quite a few compromises by way of less cabin space and a smaller boot. If you have a full-size Indian family, the sub-four-metre saloon will be a squeeze. So what you need is one of the full-fat saloons you see on these pages.

Unencumbered by restrictive government policy, these cars offer proper seating for five and luggage space for all their bags and, in some cases, are cheaper than their sub four-metre counterparts. The top-end Varito D6, for example, comes in at Rs 30,000 less than a Maruti Dzire ZDi.

Because they are bigger, they are naturally better suited to long journeys and owners will not doubt use them for such purpose. It’s why we have picked the diesel-engined versions of the four for this test. All four promise good value and a hefty dose of practicality, and though they might lack the appeal of the sub-fours, they are unquestionably sensible options.

Of the four here today, it’s the Verito that’s the cheapest at Rs 7.20 lakh, and the Manza that’s the most expensive.

So, Mr Family Man summer is here and it’s time to take the brood for a holiday. Which one of these cars should it be?


All four cars seem a little disproportionate from certain angles, and its’ clear that they have been designed to be spacious first and win beauty contests later. The Tata Manza may have some really nice looking elements, like its smart alloy wheels, contrast roof and oversized, swept-back headlamps, but the tail section looks incredibly heavy and the nose looks a bit too short. The Verito and the Etios don’t fare much better. Despite the generous helpings of chrome and plastic embellishments, it’s easy to tell they were designed as basic saloons. They both have very simple shapes and flat surfaces.

The Sail saloons is a bit of an exception here. With its split grille upswept headlamps and rising beltline, it looks pretty neat. The Chevy manages to look quite smart, with the nicely arced roof flowing smoothly into the neatly integrated boot section. However, the 14-inch wheels look a tad too small, and the rear overhang is a bit too pronounced.

But like we said, these saloons aren’t about looks. What they are about is size, and at 4413mm, the Manza is the longest here. However, the Verito’s dimensions, namely its width and its wheelbase, point to it being the most spacious car inside, at least at first glance. The Etios and the Sail fit somewhere in between these two and, though they may not have class-leading dimensions, they do have generous measurements.

Being the low-cost saloons they are, none of them use very sophisticated suspension or brakes. The general formula here is independent, MacPherson struts up front and non-independent torsion-beam axle at the rear. Braking comes via discs up front and drums at the rear, and all but the Manza and the Verito use electrically assisted power steering systems. Tata have always been heavier than their competition and the Manza is no exception. At 1210kg, It is the heaviest here by a fair margin while the Etios is the lightest at 1020kg.


The biggest letdown of the Sail is its interior. Hard Plastics, boring colours, downmarket seat fabrics, uninspiring design – it’s all there and, sadly, it’s all there and, sadly, it’s all rather obvious. Also, the ergonomics aren’t what we are used to. The power window switches are awkwardly positioned in front of the gearlever, the gearlever itself is placed a bit too far back, the small digital tachometer is a lot harder to read than a conventional analogue tacho and the single-DIN audio system’s controls aren’t the most intuitive. The lift-type door locks are a bit low-rent. Too, and you’re also likely to rue the absence, even on the top LT spec cars, of steering-mounted audio controls.

Still it is better than the Verito’s dash which, despite Mahindra’s efforts, feels the most simple here, But the ergonomics have improved (compared to the Logan) – Mahindra has moved the power window buttons from the centre console to the door pads and the old, single-DIN music system is now replaced by a larger, two-DIN one. The grey dashboard looks dull and some bits like the panel above the glovebox should have been better. The good bit is that the Verito’s low dashboard cowl allows for good outward visibility and that makes it a lot easier to drive than the others.

We’ve complained about the Etios’s dash in the past, but compared to these two, it is a whole lot better on feel and finish. The recent updates in the form of better colours and improved switchgear make a big difference as well. As for the Manza, it’s clear that it’s a step above all these cars from the moment you use the upmarket pull-type door handle.

Step inside and you’ll like the way the faux leather seats look and also the feel of the black and purple dashboard. Then there are interesting bits like the touch screen audio system and the interesting, if difficult to read dials.

As for the seats, they are large and accommodating, but curiously, aren’t as comfortable as they look. And the Manza has no place between the clutch pedal and the centre console for a dead pedal, and this can be uncomfortable especially if you have big feet.

Toyota has got the seats spot on with the new Etios. They are perfectly cushioned and really supportive and it’s clear that Toyota has spent a lot of time on fine tuning them, which lends them a truly plush feel

Front seat comfort on the sail is good (though there’s no driver seat height adjustment or dead pedal), and visibility is nice too, but the cushion itself is a tad too hard. Like the Sail, the Verito doesn’t get seat height adjustment, but the seats themselves are comfortable, so all you have to do is get used to the high-ish seating position, which can be annoying if you are short.

Move to the rear and it’s the Manza that has the most legroom and headroom. It isn’t as wide as the Verito though, so, it’s the Mahindra that will be more accommodating of three abreast seating.

Rear seat occupants of the Sail will like the space on offer. There’s good knee room and headroom is also sufficient for anyone under six feet tall. Still, the seat cushions are on the harder side, so it isn’t as comfortable as say, the Etios’s rear seats. The Sails has its fuel tank under the front seats, and this creates a natural footrest for the rear passengers. This layout has also freed up some storage space under the rear seat, enough for a couple of soft bags. But it’s the Etios that wins hands down on rear seat comfort. It is by far the most supportive and well cushioned rear seat here.

Now, looking at that huge, ungainly rear overhang, you would expect that the Manza has the biggest boot; it doesn’t. That distinction goes to the Etios, with its 595-litre boot; And it’s the Sail, with its hatchback-like 370-litre boot that can carry the least here.


The Manza feels a cut more refined than the others from the instant you start the engine. It is much quieter, a lot smoother and the quickest when driven flat out. This last bit is not surprising as the Manza makes the most power of them all. The 1.3-litre Quadrajet engine pumps out 89 bhp and 20.4kgm of torque, and this is mainly why it is also the quickest here. However, cars like these are rarely driven flat out, and it’s in the real world that the Manza falls short. When driven at normal speeds in traffic, you will find considerable turbo lag and an engine that only provides full boost when it’s spinning closer to 2500rpm. This gives the Manza a rather narrow power band, and you will find yourself having to work the slightly mushy gearshift to keep it performing its best.

The Sail also uses the same Fiat-derived Multijet engine as the Manza, with one difference – it uses a fixed-geometry turbo as against the Manza’s variable-vane turbo So, it makes less power (77bhp) and a bit more torque (20.9kgm). Like the Manza, there is some lag in power delivery, but the Sail wakes up earlier-at the 1800rpm make. It is more responsive than the Manza and hence easier to drive. It isn’t all that much slower either, but the engine does get quite noisy when revved, so you tend to upshift early to keep things quiet and smooth.

You can see how much more responsive the Sail is when you compare its in-gear times to the Manza’s. The Sail in the 20 to 80 kph dash in third gear is faster than the Manza by 1.3 seconds. In a sprint from 40 to 100 kph in fourth gear the Manza is slower by 1.2 seconds.

It’s clear after you drive both these cars that the Fiat Multijet era may be on its way out. This is all the more evident when you jump into the Etios after a stint in either the Manza or the Sail. The Toyota’s throttle response is more immediate, and thanks to the small turbocharger (that take less time to spool up) and the extra displacement, there’s little lag before you get into the engine’s strong mid-range. Gearshifts are slick and snappy, and the Etios also feels peppy thanks to its light kerb weight. It is only on the highway that you might wish for more than the 1.4-litre motor’s modest 68bhp.

It’s the same with the Verito. Its 1.5-litre motor is the biggest here, but it’s clear that Mahindra (or should we say Renault) has concentrated more on drive ability than outright performance. So the Verito is even more responsive than the Etios off-boost, and this makes it very easy to drive in part-throttle conditions. However, you do sense a lack or power when you push on, the Verito’s engine making just 65bhp and 16.3kgm of torque. This reflects in its 0-100 kph time of 17.15 seconds which is a good 1.3 seconds slower than the next best car, the Etios.


The Verito’s ride has to be experienced to be believed. Its longtravel suspension is pliant, quiet and handles the worst of our roads and handles the worst of our roads (sharp bumps included) with aplomb. It easily outclasses the others here and this is one of the best things about this car. It also has the most secure handling at speed, thanks to the well-weighted steering (it is, admittedly, a bit heavy at parking speeds) and good body control.

The Manza rides well too, but it loses out to the Verito only because the rear suspension is a tad too soft, resulting in some bobbing when you drive over undulating surfaces – something your rear seat passengers might complain about. Still, the Manza insulates its occupants from the road the best, with very little wind or tyre noise, and it feels like a properly big car from behind the wheel.

This isn’t something you could say about the Etios – you can feel the lightness in its build in the way there’s quite a bit of ambient noise entering the cabin. Toyota did work on the NVH package and the Etios is quieter than before, but it’s still not as quiet as some of the others here. The reworked suspension as also a lot more comfortable than before, but the damping is still not as progressive as we would have liked and it is quite evident from the Etios’s sharp vertical movement that its suspension doesn’t have the long-travel, big-bump-absorbing qualities of the Verito’s.

The firmest ride here by a fair margin rests with the Sail. It’s stiff at low speeds and feels jiggly on rough roads. The flipside, however, is that it turns progressively flatter and more comfortable as you go faster. In the Sail, you can confidently ‘sail’ over bad patches, the stiff spring rates doing their bit to keep the car settled and secure.

None of these cars is particularly thrilling to drive, but then again, most owners won’t really push them to the ragged edge anyway.

Still, it has to be said that the Etios, with its relatively light steering is the easiest to drive in traffic and the Manza, with its high-dashboard cowl and tricky throttle response, will require the most effort in the same situations.


The Manza is the most powerful and is the heaviest too, so it isn’t surprising that it is the least efficient here. It returned 11.6kpl in the city and 17.1kpl on the highway. The Sail, with its 75bhp motor is the third most efficient car in this test. It gave us 12.9 kpl and 18.7kpl in city and highway cycles, respectively. The 1.5-litre DCi motor is renowned for its frugal nature and despite the Verito’s high 1140kg kerb weight, it managed 13.6kpl in the city and 19.3kpl on the highway. The Etio’s, thanks to the motor linear power delivery and light kerb weight, is the most efficient, with figures of 14.2 kpl and 19kpl for the city and highway. But the Verito, thanks to its large 50-litre tank, goes the furthest on a full tank.


The Verito will attract you with its price, its sheer space, its easy to drive nature and its brilliant ride. In fact, for most people looking for a full-size diesel saloon, it ticks all the boxes. But we think that its slightly wheezy engine (especially with a full load) and its rather ‘poor man’ interior mark it down enough to take its winning chances away.

It’s for the same reasons that the Sail can’t win either. The interiors are too unappealing and then there’s the fact that it has a small boot, a stiff ride and hard seats.

The Manza is a strong contender – it’s got the space it’s got the equipment, it’s got the ride and it is the most refined car here. But it’s not as effortless to drive as the other and is rather expensive too, especially for a Tata, and this means it falls short by a wee margin to our eventual winner, the Toyota Etios. The Etios may be on the expensive side but we like what it offers. It is easy to drive, fuel efficient, has fantastic seats, enough space and a truly massive boot. Toyota has seriously improved on the weaknesses of the original Etios and it shows. It may not be the prettiest in this group, but for sheer practicality, it comes out on top. And when you factor in Toyota’s reputation for reliability, the Etios is hard to beat.



Chevrolet Sail                                                      7/10

Toyota Etios                                                        8/10

Tata Manza                                                         8/10

Mahindra Verito                                                  7 /10

Verito the widest, Manza has the most space and Etios has the best seats. Sails seats a bit too firm.


Chevrolet Sail                                                      7/10

Toyota Etios                                                         7/10

Tata Manza                                                          6/10

Mahindra Verito                                                   7/10

Manza the quickest, but not as driveable as the others. Verito the most responsive but lacks outright punch.


Chevrolet Sail                                                       6/10

Toyota Etios                                                         6/10

Tata Manza                                                          7/10

Mahindra Verito                                                   7/10

Manza is the quietest and best insulated, Etios lets the most road noise in Sail’s suspension a bit noisy.


Chevrolet Sail                                                    7/10

Toyota Etios                                                       6/10

Tata Manza                                                        5/10

Mahindra Verito                                                 8/10

The Manza is the most expensive, Etios is not very well equipped, Sail I well priced but Verito is the best value.


Chevrolet Sail                                                    6/10

Toyota Etios                                                       7/10

Tata Manza                                                        7/10

Mahindra Verito                                                 6/10

All cars come equipped with ABS. But only Manza and Etios come with two airbags while Sail and Verito have only one airbag.


Chevrolet Sail                                                    7/10

Toyota Etios                                                       7/10

Tata Manza                                                        8/10

Mahindra Verito                                                 9/10

Varito has the best ride, the Manza a close second. Sail is stiff, Etios pliant but not as nice as Verito.


Chevrolet Sail                                                     6/10

Toyota Etios                                                        7/10

Tata Manza                                                         7/10

Mahindra Verito                                                  8/10

Varito feels the most secure at speed, Manza not too bad. Etios has slow steering and Sail quite dull to drive.


Chevrolet Sail                                                       6/10

Toyota Etios                                                          6/10

Tata Manza                                                           6/10

Mahindra Verito                                                    6/10

Manza and Varito feel the best built, Etios has light build quality. Sail decently so. Quality best in the Manza. 

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