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Toyota Etios Cross Review: Will It Change Toyota’s Fortunes In The Small Car Segment?







It was Renault who started the trend of compact SUV by introducing the Duster in India. Then automakers such as Mahindra, Volkswagen and Ford launched their own version of crossover and suddenly this class became the topic of discussion amongst every Indian shopper and all products became increasingly popular. Renault Duster or Ford Ecosport which was launched not so long ago were quite successful in impressing the people; thanks to their interior space, aggressive pricing and rugged look. Let’s be honest here the compact Sports Utility Vehicle definitely provides more than a standard hatchback.

Now, the Japanese automaker has introduced the Toyota Etios Cross in India and the all-new vehicle looks muscular and rugged unlike the current Etios hatch. There was an increase in demand for vehicles in this segment, which is the reason why Toyota decided to launch this rugged looking crossover dubbed, ‘Etios Cross’. It definitely looks more muscular as compared to the standard Etios hatchback; but is it enough for a compact SUV or crossover fans of India or will it change Toyota’s fortunes in the small car segment, let’s check it out.

Toyota Etios Cross

Exterior

The Toyota Etios Cross gets matte-finished black plastic cladding all around, rear window defogger with wiper, ORVMs with turn indicators, Etios Cross badging on the sides and boot lid, diamond-cut 15 inch alloy wheels, blackened B-pillar, skid plates, prominent roof rails and bold front grille, all of which provide the vehicle a muscular yet rugged look.

The cladding makes the Cross 45mm taller, 40mm wider and 120mm longer unlike the Liva, and the treatment ensures it stands out in the crowd. Seen the Volkswagen Cross Polo? Yes, it’s a rare sight that may indicate what lies ahead for Toyota’s new baby crossover. The all-new new Etios Cross is available in eight interesting colors; these include Inferno Orange, Classic Grey, Ultramarine Blue, Celestial Black, Symphony Silver, Vermilion Red, Harmony Beige and White.

Toyota Etios Cross design

Interior

Luckily, the automaker has found the time to do a bit of a change to the dreary interior of Toyota Etios Cross. The image clearly shows that the Cross has dark piano-black toned interiors with matte finished plastic parts, which look like premium. A height adjustable driver’s seat as well as adjustable rear and front headrests; now that’s comfort you just got to flaunt. It offers comfortable seating for 5 adults, and because of the semi flat tunnel, the person sitting in the middle of the rear seat won’t feel cramped.

The leather wrapped, 3-spoke steering wheel gets audio controls (offered on top variant only), which definitely comes handy. It gets electric power steering, built-in audio controls and tilt function; so, go ahead, take control! Seats with white stitching and Etios Cross badging and 2 DIN stereo system, make the interior a happening place to be in. Nonetheless, the vehicle doesn’t really get electrically operated ORVMs. In features department, there’s a stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary input and USB.

Toyota Etios Cross Interior

Engine

Underneath the hood of the new Toyota Etios Cross, it’s the same old story. It gets three engine choices that are also available with Liva hatch; the 1.2 liter DOHC petrol engine is good for churning out 80PS of power with 104 newton meters of torque; the 1.5 liter petrol is rated at 90PS of peak power with 132 newton meters of torque. While the only diesel mill available is the lean, mean, common rail 1.4 liter D-4D that’s good for 68PS of power with 170 newton meters of torque. All engines are teamed up with a 5-speed manual transmission. What? There’s no option of automatic transmission.

Safety

There’s some good news here. The all-new Toyota Etios Cross comes standard with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and what Toyota calls, a collision absorbing body. It gets anti-corrosion steel sheet at areas prone to rusting, anti-chip coating and underbody coating.

Driving Dynamics

Toyota claims that the engines are extremely fuel efficient! The Toyota Etios Cross gets MacPherson Strut at its front and Torsion Beam at its rear. It is little heavier than the standard Liva hatchback, which will help in offering a more planted yet comfortable ride. The Liva never disappointed in terms of ride quality and the new one too continues to do so – it’s absorbing and supple. The steering is on the lighter side to aid city driving; however feels low on feedback. In fact, while driving, we got eyeballs almost every minute and inquiries every ten minutes.

So how much does this crossover cost? That’s Rs. 5.76 lakh for G, Rs. 6.90 lakh for GD, Rs. 7.40 lakh for VD and Rs. 7.35 lakhs for V.

Wrap Up

The Etios Cross adds a bit of zest to the otherwise boring styling, yes, only a small bit, but it does. This is definitely a wise move by the Japanese automaker to launch the Etios Cross in India because even Nissan launched its compact SUV Terrano recently, which is based on the Duster platform. Some may like the idea of turning a hatch into a rugged looking vehicle; however it’s quite clear weather this Cross version of the hatch has what it takes to compete with a proper compact SUV like the Ecosport or the Terrano.

 

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