Toyota India has extended its arsenal of products by introducing the all new Etios Cross in the Indian auto industry. Basically, nothing more, but a more rugged and sturdy version of company's existing hatchback Liva; Etios Cross seems to be crossover. The Japanese automajor has incorporated several SUV elements in this crossover to make it rough, striking and swashbuckling. Being offered with petrol and diesel guises, the crossover in-houses three different engines – a 1.2L petrol, a 1.5L petrol and a 1.4L diesel.
Toyota Etios Cross has been launched with 4 variants - G, V, GD, and VD, where G and V fall in petrol guise while GD and VD represent diesel fuel trims. Although, this segment is pretty new for the Indians and there are not many vehicles available currently but it has got enormous potential. Not only outside but also inside the cabin, the crossover gets some of the flabbergasting comfort and convenience features. Toyota has kept an eye on the fuel economy, especially, as it plays a pivotal role in deciding the fate of a vehicle in India. In all, the crossover is a valiant effort by the auto major and it has something for everyone.
Etios Cross interiors are done in a plush piano black theme, matching to the door arm-rests. The sporty seats are done in fabric with stitch while the front seats also displaying the 'Etios Cross' badging. Although, the wheelbase is lesser than that of Etios sedan but despite that it comfortably accommodates five people with ample spaciousness and adequate knee room. The ergonomic seats with an added functionality of adjustable front and rear headrests enhance the comfort during long journeys. Also, the height adjustable driver's seat proves to be handy during such voyages. There is a boot space of 251 litres which swallows a decent amount of luggage.
As for infotainment, the compact crossover flaunts a 2-DIN Audio CD System with USB, Aux-in and Bluetooth connectivity. The Audio system comes remote controlled with 4 speakers whereas additional operating switches are also installed on the leather wrapped 3-spoke power steering wheel. Above the audio system, there is A/C with heater and clean air filter in order to ensure dirt-free and hygienic atmosphere inside the cabin. The crossover also has a cooled glove-box which can store up to 13 litres. Also, there is an array of comfort and convenience features like Power windows with driver side auto down, front cabin lights and 12V power outlet, 7 bottle holders, front and rear door pockets, chrome accented A/C vents, Digital clock, Assist grip with coat hook etc. that continue to serve effortlessly and keep the human efforts minimum.
The Etios Cross, with all the three engines, delivers supreme fuel economy. The 1.2L petrol motor which serves the base variant of petrol line up returns a mileage of 17.71kmpl which is decent in accordance with the Indian roads and traffic. The heavier petrol engine of 1.5L, despite being performance oriented, pulls out a fuel efficiency of 16.78kmpl which is commendable. The diesel mill, being mileage eccentric, registers the best fuel economy and delivers a thumping 23.59kmpl which is at par comparing with some of the other vehicles in the segment.
Performance and Handling
Toyota Etios Cross handling is a bit off mark at high speeds but it is decent in city driving, courtesy the 3-spoke leather wrapped electric power steering with tilt function. The audio controls find a place on it too, so that the driver can comfortably set the volume according to his desire. As for performance, the company hasn't tweaked or tinkered the all three engines; so it is a good performer spontaneously. The 1.5L petrol engine propels the crossover touch the 100kmph mark from standstill in a mere 11 seconds while clocking 160kmph as top speed. The other petrol engine, the 1.2L, achieves the 0-100kmph in a comparatively larger time span due to less powerful and mileage oriented. Precisely, it touches the 100kmph from standstill in 14 seconds along with a top speed of 150kmph. The 1.4L diesel mill focuses more on fuel efficiency and hence, lacks behind the petrol models by a fair margin. It crosses 100kmph barrier from standstill in 18 seconds and measuring top speed as 160kmph.
Toyota Etios Cross directly challenges the Volkswagen Cross Polo. It also competes with the likes of Renault Duster & Ford EcoSport. Volkswagen Cross Polo is already a failure as people disliked the idea of hatchback-turned-crossover vehicle. So, ideally, the Etios Cross has a clear road ahead as of now, but several other auto makers are gearing up to launch their vehicles in this segment, especially Fiat Avventura seems to be the first real threat to it. But, still there is time left in its launch and till then Etios Cross can enjoy a gala time at the Indian auto industry.
Underpinning the Liva platform, as mentioned earlier, it is more bold, tough and robust in character. As for the front facade, it sports a lurid front grille which is protected by a silver colored grille guard. Dual front fog lamps with integrated turn indicators enhance the appearance of this crossover. The company's logo finds its place in the centre of the radiator grille. Etios Cross shares its headlamp cluster with the Liva hatchback and beneath it, there is a wide air-dam. In addition, the body colored door handles and body colored outside rear view mirrors with turn indicators are a symbol of lavishness.
As we go sideways, there is a silver colored cladding and wheel arch fenders. The 15' diamond cut alloy wheels are flamboyant and make the crossover much sportier. The sturdy silver colored roof-rails seem upbeat at their place and compliment well the sportiness of the crossover. Going by the rear end, it is again identical to the younger sibling, Liva hatchback, but multiple additions in form of black colored bumper, silver color cladding make it more exotic. Additionally, several features such as the rear windscreen comprising of wiper, washer and defogger, dynamic garnish with badging, roof spoiler, roof-mounted Antenna etc. justify the sporty character of the crossover. The company has offered the compact crossover with a total of 8 dynamic colors - Inferno Orange, Ultramarine Blue, Classic Grey, Harmony Beige, Celestial Black, Vermilion Red, Symphony Silver, and White.
Engine & Transmission
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.
Braking and Safety
Toyota India has incorporated a highly efficient and effective braking system in the Etios Cross in which front brakes are ventilated disc brakes while the rear brakes being drum brakes. This braking system works exceptionally well in accordance with the Anti-lock braking system (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution. The trio, Braking System, ABS, and EBD, together ensure smooth braking and stopping while brakes are being applied suddenly. In order to endure collisions, the top-end variants are blessed with dual front SRS airbags for the driver and the co-passenger. In terms of security, the compact crossover consists of first-grade features like Immobilizer and Keyless entry. Additionally, the information cluster keep providing several security alerts and warnings regarding driver seat belt, door ajar, parking brake, headlamp on etc. to ensure safe driving. In all, the Etios Cross, despite being a budget-friendly car, features top-notch safety and security features.
What we think
Toyota Etios Cross doesn't seem to be a crossover; in fact, it’s the Liva with added features and better interiors. Well, such models haven't worked out in India before too, going by the dismal performance of Skoda Fabia Scout and Volkswagen Cross Polo. Overseeing it, Toyota Kirloskar Motors (KTM) has played a big gamble in the form of Etios Cross and in order to justify its step and receive optimum response, the company needs to market it aggressively. The price is also bit off, seeing the features available.