Toyota is all set to enter our Indian car market with their latest offering, Etios Cross. This will be the third car to be based on the platform of Etios. However, Toyota has smartly managed to give distinctive appearances and body dimensions to all these cars. Where Etios and Liva are a regular three box sedan and hatch respectively, the Cross will try to penetrate a new segment of buyers; those who have an inclination towards sporty and rugged looking compact cars. Earlier with the Fabia Scout, Skoda had failed badly by establishing this segment in India whereas, its cousin VW, is still trying hard with their Cross Polo. The only similarity between all these cars is their additional exterior body kit which tries to differentiate these cars from their regular hatch variants and give them a more macho and sporty appearance. Till now, the results have not been very encouraging for such experiments in India but Toyota still wants to give it a shot and prove itself in yet another segment. In this article, we try to know more about this car which is soon expected to become the leader in its segment.
Toyota has decided to enter this segment fully prepared and that's why they have smartly spread all its engine line-ups for the Etios Cross. This includes two petrol engines and one fuel efficient diesel engine which is already quite popular in its siblings. The 1.2L four cylinder, DOHC engine with a power and torque output of 79 bhp and 104 Nm respectively is expected to contribute to the most of the sales of this car in India. The more powerful 1.5L, DOHC, 4-cylinder engine is from Etios sedan and it will only be available on the top variant. This engine pumps out a power output of 89 bhp while its maximum torque output is 132 Nm. The only diesel engine available in this car is its 1.4L turbocharged, 4-cylinder engine which has a power and torque output of 68 bhp and 170 Nm respectively. There is minimal turbo lag in this engine as the torque starts coming as early as 1800rpm. As for now, Toyota has no plans for the automatic version of Etios Cross and all these engines are mated to a five speed manual gearbox supplying power to its front wheels only. Having three engines in comparison to its rival, the Cross Polo, which only has a 1.2L, 3-cylinder diesel engine; the Etios Cross has a very high chance to succeed. The 1.2 L petrol engine is only for those who just look out for the basic body kit at an affordable price. As far as performance is considered, the engine performs optimum in city conditions and is tweaked to give you good fuel efficiency. If you want a feature equipped and performance oriented car then its top variants powered by the powerful 1.5L engine will meet your expectations. This engine gives you fast flat out accelerations and makes it a good highway cruiser. The ample amount of torque further makes sure that you don't have to change gears frequently while driving in city. The 1.4L diesel engine might not look much impressive on papers but is far better and appealing on roads thanks to the light weight body construction of this car. The negligible turbo lag in any gear makes it extremely easy for you to drive in city traffic and is best enjoyed at mid- high range with its well matched gearbox. The suspension set up of this car confirms you good grip around corners and gives you comfortable rides on un-even roads. Its bigger tires also play a vital role in its handling while changing lanes at high speeds. The positive steering feedback further enhances fun while driving this car.
The exterior look of the Etios Cross is surely its biggest USP and the provided body kit makes it the best looking version of Etios launched in India. The black coloured side cladding and silver finished body skids all around the car adds a much needed sporty appearance to this car. The Etios Cross is longer, wider and taller than the Liva and that's quite visible as well. The 15 inch alloy wheels and roof rails gives it a macho look when seen from the side. The Cross badging on the boot suits the dual colored rear bumper of this car and gives it an appealing look. Step inside, and you will find its interiors are quite similar to its siblings. A 2 DIN music system with Aux-in, USB compatibility and Bluetooth connectivity is on the top of its equipment list which further gets extended with features like rear spoiler, de-fogger, rear wash-wipe, integrated side indicators on ORVMs and steering mounted controls. Premium features like automatic climate control and electrically adjustable side mirrors are surprisingly absent even in the top variant of this car. Apart from these, you will get all other comfort features including all power windows, remote locking and an adjustable steering wheel. Toyota has not missed on the safety features and assures sufficient amount of safety features in the top variant of the Etios Cross. The car will have dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and child-proof rear door locks. It———s yet to be seen though if Toyota also offers optional safety package in the Etios Cross including rear parking camera and sensors. However, the base variant will miss all these premium safety features and will only have seat belts for rear passengers and child proof door rear door locks amongst its list of safety features.
The Toyota Etios Cross is the latest in a new trend of compact crossover vehicles making their way onto Indian roads. If you are the type who likes to take the family for an occasional weekend retreat to the mountains, the Etios Cross will be right up your street. This car has the butch looks, spacious boot and other characteristics that make it word in both urban and off-road environments. And with Toyota———s legendary reliability, we feel that it can handle it all with aplomb.