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Rediff.com  » Business » Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

August 22, 2014 08:30 IST

Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The Toyota Etios Cross is a pseudo crossover but is the best version of the Etios yet, says Faisal Ali Khan

When Toyota launched the Etios in India earlier this decade, they had high hopes on the car but the model failed miserably and did not manage to sell as much as the Japanese automaker expected.

The Etios is the only vehicle in the company's line-up which is very un-Toyota like. The initial version had average quality and nothing like what we have seen in Toyota vehicles.

Post the facelift, Toyota did try to resolve issues but that did not boost the popularity of the car.

Earlier this year, the Etios Cross was launched, a crossover version of the Etios Liva. Does it boost the appeal of the vehicle? Let's find out.

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Photographs: Courtesy, MotorBeam

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The Etios Cross gets a slew of changes on the exteriors to make it look like a masculine automobile and it does work to a certain extent.

Although a bit plasticy, the body cladding gives it that macho feel while the silver accents and faux skid plates are a nice touch too.

With new wheels, roof rails, rear spoiler and blackened B-pillars, the Etios Cross does manage to look a whole lot better than the regular Etios hatchback.

The new Inferno orange colour does suit it quite well too.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The interiors of the Toyota Etios Cross aren't vastly different from its hatchback sibling.

The dashboard is more appealing with the piano black touches on the centre console and the all black theme of the interior goes down well with the positioning of the car.

Features inside are decent and on par with what the segment offers, there is a 2-DIN audio system with multiple connectivity options including Bluetooth.

The steering wheel gets audio controls too.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The car continues to use the inconvenient centrally mounted instrument cluster while quality still isn't up to what Toyota is known for.

The seats on this pseudo crossover get the 'Etios Cross' badging while space inside the cabin is generous too.

With a big 251-litre boot, the Etios Cross is quite a practical car with decent space for seating five in reasonable comfort. There are four variants offered - G, V in petrol and GD, VD in diesel.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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Toyota has offered the Etios Cross with three engine options - 2 of them being petrol while 1 being diesel.

The diesel engine is the 1.4-litre unit that thrusts out a mere 68 PS and 170 Nm and in spite of the low output, performance is quite good with turbo lag being almost negligible.

This unit has good mid-range but lacks thrust in the top-end, the claimed mileage being 23.59 kmpl as per ARAI. The 1.2-litre petrol mill produces 80 PS and 104 Nm, it has just about adequate performance and certainly won't put the tarmac on fire.

The claimed mileage is 17.71 kmpl as per ARAI.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The other petrol engine is the most powerful unit on the Etios, it's the 1.5-litre mill that also does duty on the Etios TRD and Etios sedan.

This powerplant belts out 90 PS and 132 Nm, which coupled with the light weight of the car, gives it stonking performance.

It never feels out of breath; give it the full beans and it makes a nice aural racket too. In spite of the Etios Cross tipping the scales at 20 kgs more, the vehicle doesn't feel much different in performance.

The 1.5-litre motor returns an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 16.78 kmpl.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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Toyota has a good set-up on the Etios and the same is carried over to the Etios Cross which rides and handles well. The car has good handling, it feels light and that makes it effortless to drive.

What robs away from the driving experience is the steering which is devoid of feel and feels very artificial too.

There is little feedback at all speeds and although the car looks rugged, it channels power to the front wheels which makes it incapable off the road.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The Etios Cross excels when it comes to the ride quality, it's absorbent and bad roads don't unsettle car.

Even the ground clearance is abundant so you need not worry when tackling speed-breakers.

Stability is good too but the NVH is a bit disappointing as a lot of road noise filters through. Brakes work well to haul the Etios Cross to a stop without any fuss.

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Toyota Etios Cross: It's spacious and very masculine

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The Etios Cross is just an Etios Liva with cosmetic changes, it's no way different in interior dimensions or drivability; it even rides and handles the same as its hatchback counterpart.

While the Etios Cross looks way more appealing than the Etios Liva, it still lacks on the interior front with design being nothing exciting and overall quality not on par with its direct rival, the Volkswagen Cross Polo.

The premium Toyota is charging on the Etios Cross makes it not such a great buy but if you want to buy an Etios, this is the one to get.

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