Toyota Etios Cross Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Toyota had cars in the 10 lakh segments. Vehicles like Corolla, Camry, Innova and the Fortuner, not to forget the super premium vehicles like the Land Cruiser and the Prado. Back in 2010 Toyota decided to launch 2 cars in the sub 10 lakh segment with the Etios and the Etios Liva. The Etios being the sedan and the Liva being the Hatch. Toyota wanted to enter the Crossover segment and the Toyota Etios Cross was the answer. Get On Road Price of  Etios Liva

The Toyota Etios Cross was launched in 2014. The body was similar to the Liva but with much more body cladding to challenge Robocop. Toyota being one of the brands known for their service and quality decide wanted to take market share in this segment too. Now little over half a decade over. Let’s have a look as what is in store for us.

DXTERIORS AND DESIGN ;

Etios Cross is the third cross to enter Indian shores after similar styled Fabia and Polo. While the Polo is the smartest looking hatch and Fabia can still make way with its international styling, the Etios Liva unfortunately has nothing to boast of.Plastic claddings, aluminum finished bash plates and a bold name, this is the perfect recipe for a crossover hatchback. Toyota has done the same with Etios Cross. The front face has a handle bar moustache looking grille. Turn indicators have been clubbed with fog lamps. It also gets a skid plate positioned below the front bumper. The hood gets a strong rib section flowing in the middle. Request test drive for Etios in Cazprice

Diamond cut 15″ alloy wheels on the Etios Cross is standard. The new alloy wheels have made the ground clearance rise by 4mm. The wheelbase has been retained whereas the overall dimensions have grown cause of the matte plastic claddings all over. The electrically adjustable ORVMs also get turn indicators. Unlike the Cross Polo, which just gets a sticker, this one gets its name etched on the plastic cladding. It also gets contrasting silver roof rails.

It gets a roof mounted spoiler and the name Etios Cross written in bold on the rear tail gate. Similar to the skid plate on the front bumper, the rear too gets one. Toyota has launched the Etios Cross in 8 different colors. Personally, a yellow would have done for me but then my choice among the different shades would be the Orange and Blue. Even though it is supposed to be an adventurous looking car, it does not come across as an attractive looking car. The brand perception won’t change unless these cars get a complete makeover.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Step inside the Etios Cross and you find yourself in a familiar cabin. The layout of the dashboard hasn’t changed which is dissapointing as the centrally mounted instrument cluster is still not easy to read on the move. That said, the cabin looks much improved thanks to the use of piano black inserts on the doors, instrument cluster and centre console. Quality inside seems improved as well but is still not up to Toyota’s legendary standards. Our test car which had done only 130 kms showed signs of rattling over bad roads, which can be attributed to the light weight of the vehicle.

The other change to the interiors is the Etios Cross badging on the seats. There is ample amount of room inside the cabin, with rear seat passengers having enough space to stretch out in utmost comfort. Even the seats offer good support making the Etios a comfortable car to be in. The boot is reasonably big at 251-litres and it’s when you close the boot lid do you realise the Etios is a very light car. Toyota is offering the Etios Cross in 4 variants – G, V, GD and VD. All variants get a 2-DIN audio system with MP3, FM and USB functions but the top-spec trim also gets steering mounted audio controls and Bluetooth connectivity. The Etios Cross comes loaded with quite a few features even on the base trim but the lack of internally adjustable ORVMs is a shocking omission.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Toyota Etios Cross is being offered in both gasoline as well as a diesel guise. The base variant G, out of the total two variants in the petrol fuel trim, in-houses a 1.2-litre motor that returns a maximum power of 7800rpm at 5600rpm. It is a 4-cylinder, 16-Valve, 1197cc DOHC enabled engine which is also responsible for the generation of maximum torque of 104Nm at 3100rpm. It is mated to company’s traditional 5-speed manual transmission in order to maximize fuel efficiency and performance. On the other hand, the remaining top-end variant V in the petrol fuel trim carries a much powerful and agile powertrain. It comes loaded with a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, 16-Valve mill that belts out an incredible power output of 88bhp at 5600rpm along with a peak torque performance of 132Nm att 3000rpm. It carries a displacement of 1496cc and also DOHC enabled. It is too coupled with the same 5-speed manual transmission but to ensure high performance and acceleration.

The compact crossover also comes in diesel avatar and under the hood; it sports a 1.4-litre D-4D motor that produces a maximum power of 67bhp at 3800rpm. It is a 4-cylinder, 2-valves per cylinder (8-Valves), 1364cc, SOHC enabled Common Rail engine with Intercooler who also churns out a peak torque of 170Nm at 1800 – 2400rpm. The company has mated the engine with its conventional 5-speed manual gearbox for the sake of enthralling mileage figures.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Toyota’s motives are clear here. A car that can take you from point A to point B. There can’t be anything more clear than the 900 km range for the diesel. The steering is super light and the suspension super soft. But on the flip side the soft suspension and the 170 mm ground clearance make the car top heavy on corners and give a bit of body roll. Though it makes it very easy to ride in daily traffic and highway drives too are good but you can’t push the car around too hard.

The diesel engine is a bit noisy if pushed too hard. If we compare the petrol to the diesel, the petrol is better for quick city stints. And the diesel is an effortless mile muncher, at the same time the diesel has taller gears thanks to the enormous torque hence leading to lesser gear shifts. The option of 1.2 and 1.5 petrol gives you a choice between efficiency and performance. The ease of driving is only proven by the no of cars used by a lot of women drivers.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Etios Cross also has been equipped with ABS and EBD.The fog lamps offer better visibility during bad weather conditions. The vehicle also has been fitted with front airbags for driver and passenger, plus bars side impact protection. It also has alarm on all doors beside the engine immobilizer system for anti theft security.

VERDICT ;

The Etios Cross isn’t much different than the regular Etios Liva, as it carries the same underpinnings and engines. With unchanged mechanicals, the performance and dynamics are almost the same. However the Etios Cross is a car which has some attitude and muscularity. While it still isn’t the most polished when it comes to interior design and overall quality, the Etios Cross comes across as a much more appealing Etios. Coming at quite the premium, the Etios Cross is without doubt the best version of the Etios yet but not really worth buying over better cars at that price.

 

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