Road Test

Toyota Etios Cross India First Drive Review

By   |   03 May,2014

Q. What is it?

This is the Toyota Etios Cross. First shown at the 2014 Auto Expo the Etios Cross is an important product from Toyota as it wants to grab a large slice of the compact SUV space. Lets face it, we just cannot get enough of crossovers whether be it India or the rest of the world and as you can see the Etios Cross is a toughened up Liva which is no bad thing.

Thus what you get here, just like the Volkswagen Cross Polo, is muscular looks with all the advantages of a hatch.

Q. I see, certainly has more presence than the Liva..

Yes, quite easily in fact as Toyota have added some flair and aggressiveness to the styling. The Etios Cross features a grille guard, side and rear cladding, roof rails, new front grille, roof spoiler, fog Lamps with integrated turn indicators and ORVM with Turn Indicators.

Yes, you also cannot miss those cool diamond cut 15 inch alloys. The dimensions of the Etios Cross include length of 3895 mm, width of 1735 mm and height of 1555 mm. In comparison to the Liva hatch the Etios Cross is 120mm longer, 40mm wider and 45mm taller. 

The cladding adds presence and makes the Etios Cross look rugged plus the new inferno orange further adds to the appeal. During our shoot we were stopped by many curious onlookers who were interested to know about the car. The Etios Cross has eight colours with lots of bright colour options and the rugged styling details really stands out in them, so if you are buying one do not go for boring colours. Build quality is good and overall the Etios Cross comes across as a much better looking car from the bland Liva.

Q. What about the interiors?

Since its quite obvious that the Etios Cross is based on the Liva, a lot of the interior looks similar and it is but some sporty bits have been added. The Piano Black interiors look sporty and the shiny bits- though not to all tastes, makes the cabin much more interesting and sporty from the Etios Liva.

The design as said earlier is the same so you get the centrally mounted speedo etc. Carrying the sporty theme the Etios Cross has new seat fabric with white Stitch and logo. Space is same as the hatch which means its a roomy cabin with good legroom and the black interior does not effect the feeling of space.

When it comes to features the Etios Cross has 2 DIN Audio with Bluetooth, USB, AUX-in & Remote, audio control on leather wrapped steering wheel, cooled glovebox, rear defogger with wiper, tilt steering etc. In safety department the Etios Cross has dual front airbags, ABS with EBD.

Q. What about the drive?

The Etios Cross has three engine options- all carried over from the Liva and Etios sedan. The petrol engines inlude a 79 bhp 1.2 petrol and the more powerful 90 bhp 1.5 petrol. The diesel is a 67 bhp 1.4 litre engine. We have driven the 1.5 petrol and the diesel version. The petrol with its 90 horses and torque figure of 132 Nm offers good performance and performance in the city especially impresses as you do not need to constantly use the gearbox to extract the performance. This is a fun motor and suits the Etios Cross. Mileage for this engine is also not bad with 16.78 kmpl vs 17.71 kmpl for the 1.2 petrol.

Though the diesel is what many would choose and that is a good motor with an eye on efficiency (23.59 kmpl). It cannot offer the thrills of the 1.5 petrol but performance is adequate. There is not much lag and for city use its perfect. Despite the Etios Cross being slightly heavier over the hatch there is no effect on the dynamics. The ride is exceptional and handling quite decent though steering could be better.

Q. Which variant to buy?

The Etios Cross has four variants with the diesel and petrol offered in two trim levels. Standard equipment is very good with features like diamond cut alloys, body coloured ORVM, rear wiper, air con, power windows, rear defogger, 2 DIN CD/MP3 USB/ FM, keyless entry. The GD variant has ABS with EBD as standard.

The V/VD variants add features like chrome door handles,  AUX-IN, Bluetooth, chrome accented gear knob, steering controls, leather wrapped steering wheel, and dual airbags. If you can spend more then the V variant makes sense though standard equipment is not bad at all.

Q. Verdict?

As we had suspected the Etios Cross has come across as a much more attractive choice than either the Etios sedan or the hatch. Toyota has injected more youthfulness and the design changes have worked. In the end the Etios Cross has all the plus points of the Liva with better looks which is something many will like.

Toyota has launched the Etios Cross and it starts from Rs 5.76 lakhs which is a price increase of Rs 80,000 over the Liva hatch. With the beefed up looks we think it makes sense to go for the Etios Cross rather than the Liva.


Watch our Etios Cross Video review