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      Toyota Etios Cross Review

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Aditya Chatterjee

      Opening

      Toyota Etios Cross

      Crossover is a new segment which some manufacturers are tinkering with. It is a smart way of tackling two segments at the same time. The Ecosport and Cross Polo are the best present day examples of this body type.

      A vehicle of this type need not specialise in any category but then it should try and bring in the benefits of a hatch and a SUV or other categories together. The Etios Cross tries just that by bringing the convenience of a hatch and a ruggedness of an off roader together. Generally, the excitement levels for the Etios series have not been high and thus with the Etios Cross, the company wants to refresh this brand.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Photos 8

      Powered by a 1.5L petrol engine, it is not really an underpowered car. We know that many would type cast the Etios Cross and not consider it all but then no car is all that bad. We try and find out more on it in our review.

       

      Appearance Exterior

      The Etios Cross looks very much similar to its hatchback version except for the cladding. The main idea was to make a car look rugged with a go anywhere theme.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Photos 6

      Keeping the upper half same, the Etios Cross gets a massive bull bar style radiator grille. This grille is basically made of reinforced plastic but then it doesn’t feel as strong as a protection bar. The angry face looks inspired from the company’s international line of SUVs. The lower section of the bumper gets a contrasting bash plate. One interesting bit of the front face is the fog lamp positioning with vertically stacked indicators which is interesting.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Photos 1

      Door handles get chrome accent and external mirrors get indicators. Apart from looking like a normal hatch it is the faux macho cladding which makes the difference. Tough profiles and contours on the cladding try hard to give it a rugged look but then they don’t succeed in doing so. It also gets 15inch diamond cut alloy wheels. Now if you are making a tough looking crossover you might consider giving it tough looking wheels too and not diamond cut alloys which normally feature as a premium design option. Bright roof rails give it a sporty touch along with a rear spoiler

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Photos 3

      Bold signature style model name embossed on the rear with generous matte cladding again. The rear number plate is a part of the bash plate on the bumper. More than looking tough, it reminds of the earlier days when companies used to offer lower variants of cars in black bumpers.

       

      Appearance Interior

      If Toyota wants to revamp the Etios platform, they have to start by completely changing the interiors of the car. Hard plastics and oddly positioned cluster do not work in its favour. There are cars lower than its segment which offers better interiors.

      Toyota Etios Cross Images 19

      It all begins with the centrally positioned instrumental cluster. Tatas had tried that with Indica following the Etios and the response it got was discouraging. The cluster should be shifted towards the driver and it will not just make aesthetic sense but also make it more convenient. Also, the tachometer and the odometer need a fresh design as the blue stickers are not helpful.

      Whoever suggested the AC vents position needs to justify them. Front passenger gets three vents the driver has to adjust with only one. The third vent on the passenger side has to be tilted completely towards the driver and centrally if the occupants in the rear need it. The seats get Etios Cross etched on them and is finished in good quality fabric. The cabin feels sufficiently spacious but then the seats are not comfortable. The seats need more support and cushioning as their flat construction can be tiring.

      Toyota Etios Cross Images 4

      It gets a 2 DIN music system with Bluetooth and Aux-in. Music playback quality is average. Pairing devices with the system is fairly easy. The entertainment system is easy to use. We did face some operational issues with the system after pairing our phone and playing music via Bluetooth. The volume function once set could not be changed unless you change the mode and then switch back to BT audio. It is only the top variant which get steering mounted controls along with rear wipers and defogger.

      The missing bits of convenience need to be improved like the missing electrical adjustment for adjusting the external mirror sticks out like a sore thumb. Not that for a major like Toyota giving good quality interiors is difficult and the new Corolla Altis is the perfect example. It is just the efforts taken by the company to make its premium cars feel good, the same approach has to be applied for its entry level cars too.

      Toyota Etios Cross Images 25

       

      Performance Drive

      The Etios Cross is offered in1.2L and 1.5L petrol along with the 1.4L diesel engine options. For this review, we chose the 1.5L petrol variant as it is the most powerful of the other three and thus claims more fun to drive too.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Images 11

      This Etios surely comes with Cross badging and mate cladding but it is no SUV or a potential SUV rival from any aspect. It does not have a higher ground clearance nor is it a go anywhere vehicle. It is still very much the Liva hatch which looks rugged and muscular.

      If one can ignore everything about the model brand and its typical image in the country, there is something interesting under the hood. Yes, the 1.5L petrol engine. The concept of plonking a big block engine on a hatch sounds legendary Japanese as many custom car builders there do this to make a conventional road legal hatch get exciting.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Images 10

      I personally love higher displacement petrol engines and a 1.5L petrol engine in the Etios Cross absolutely puts a tick on all desires boxes. Presently, the hot hatch segment is at a very nascent stage and except for Volkswagen who have tried their way with the GT series, no other car makers has shown an interest in this segment. The GT TSI is a perfect definition of an enthusiast’s dream.

      But what if you have a wish of owning a performance car without shelling a premium on the German hot hatch? The 1.5L of the Etios Cross comes into picture. The one on the Cross is a 1496 cc engine which produces 89 bhp at 5600 rpm while the same on a GT TSI is a smaller 1197cc engine which produces 103.5 bhp at 5000 rpm.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Images 9

      It is not the perfect replacement for the German powerhorse but then the 1.5L has some great potential to be a tuner’s delight. The engine is a free revving unit and builds power rapidly. Even the exhaust not gets coarse at higher engine speeds with the sweet sound of the air intake. The 5 speed manual transmission does a great job with quick shifts in city traffic. On highways, it comes handy during overtaking.

      The suspensions are decent but then the handling is not as impressive and here it takes severe beating. It has a great heart but gets no support from the handling section. The tyres just don’t have the confidence at high speeds and even the steering drops on its holding power at corners. Thus, the potential fun 1.5L engine cuts on all the excitement without proper support. Now, if the company takes this aspect seriously and takes effort to make it a great handler, things can look a lot different.

      2014 Toyota Etios Cross Photos 5

       

      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
       Make Toyota
       Model Etios Cross
      Variant 1.5L DOHC Petrol-V
      Engine Displacement 1496
      Power in PS/RPM 90/5600
      Torque in NM/RPM 132/3000
      Transmission 5/M
      Dimensions in mm
      Length 3895
      Width 1735
      Height 1555
      Wheel base 2460
      Ground clearance 170
      Minimum Radius 4.8
      Kerb weight 950
      Tyres 185/60 R15
      Fuel Tank capacity in Liters 45
      Mileage Kmpl 16

      Features

      Features G/GD V/VD
      Front Fog Lamp Yes Yes
      Rear Wiper and washer Yes Yes
      Alloy wheels Yes Yes
      Air conditioner with heater Yes Yes
      Power Windows Yes Yes
      Electric power steering Yes Yes
      Central locking Yes Yes
      Rear defogger Yes Yes
      Audio System with remote Yes Yes
      Audio controls on steering No Yes
      Internally adjustable ORVM Yes Yes
      steering wheel with sporty leather wrapped No Yes
      Dual SRS Airbags Yes Yes
      ABS with EBD Std for GD Yes

      Competition All Specs

      Specifications
      Toyota
      Etios Cross
      Ford
      Eco Sports
      Renault
      Duster
      Variant 1.5L DOHC Petrol-V 1.5 Diesel MT Titanium RxL Petrol
      Engine Displacement/No. of Cyl. 1496 1499 1598
      Power in PS/RPM 90/5600 109 @ 6300 102 @ 5850
      Torque in NM/RPM 132/3000 140 @ 4400 145 @ 3750
      Transmission 5/M 5 MT 5/M
      Dimensions in mm
      Length 3895 3999 4315
      Width 1735 1765 1822
      Height 1555 1708 1695
      Wheel base 2460 2520 2673
      Ground clearance 170 200 205
      Minimum Radius 4.8 5.3 5.2
      Kerb weight 1015 1241 1170
      Tyres 185/60 R15 205 / 60 R16 215 / 65 R16
      Fuel Tank capacity in Liters 45 52 45
      Mileage (Kmpl) 16 15.8 13.24
      Features
      Front Fog Lamp Yes Yes Yes
      Rear Wiper and washer Yes Yes Yes
      Alloy wheels Yes Yes Yes
      Air conditioner with heater Yes Yes Yes
      Power Windows Yes Yes Yes
      Electric power steering Yes Yes Yes
      Central locking Yes Yes Yes
      Rear defogger Yes Yes Yes
      Audio System with remote Yes Yes Yes
      Audio controls on steering Yes Yes Yes
      Internally adjustable ORVM Yes Yes Yes
      Dual SRS Airbags Yes Yes Yes
      ABS with EBD Yes Yes Yes

      Conclusion

      Tweaked design, revamped interiors and improved dynamics can make the Etios an acceptable car. The Cross is a brave attempt but then it does not succeed in creating any excitement like its elder siblings produce.

      Toyota has an amazing reputation when it comes to reliability, strength and quality. Customers of Innova, Corolla Altis and Fortuner have always sweared by it but then the same is not the case when the company’s entry level cars are considered. It is about time the company realises the importance of this segment and moulds their cars accordingly.

      Toyota Etios Cross Pictures 16

       

      Toyota Etios Cross ₹ N/A Onwards
      Toyota | Etios Cross | Toyota Etios Cross