Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Bucket Seat: Toyota Etios Cross


With the ever expanding model ranges that manufacturers are dwelling into, we're seeing more and more different types of vehicles hit the road this is a good thing since it gives us the consumer more options when it comes to buying a car. Last week I was invited to the launch of the new Toyota Etios Cross, I read somewhere that it is the angry version of the sedan/ hatch which sort of fits it's profile well. The car being equipped to be a crossover has a menacing look to it, with a wide body kit, bigger wheels and molded bumper which extends over the grill to make it look like a bull bar. The car which forms another variant of Toyota's Sub B Segment model the Etios, will be looking to ride on the success of its brothers the hatch and sedan. The Etios which replaced the trusty Tazz has been on sale for just under 2 years and has already sold in excess of 45,000 units which is the highest in its segment. 


Power
The Cross retains the 1.5 litre, 16 valve DOHC engine that can be found in the sedan and hatch. It has an output of 66kW of power @ 5600 rpm and 132Nm of toque @ 3000 rpm which is adequate for the vehicle  as it is comfortable in all facets of driving, be it running around town or on a highway, as I found out when driving around the outskirts of Johannesburg (getting lost on more than one occasion). This car won't win you any drag races seeing that 0-100km/h takes you 11.3 seconds but prospective buyers won't be looking at that figure when buying this car. as with the ever increasing petrol price, one would be pleased to see that Etios Cross averages out at 6.0L/100km! 


Design
As mentioned before, the car has an overall more rugged look which is courtesy of the blacked out chunky body kit that wraps around the vehicle with embossed logo's on the side and at the front the grey grille hard that extends all the way into the bumpers, mimics the appearance of bumper overriders. The car also comes equipped with fog lamps with integrated turn indicators, the head lights are more full which blends in with the new grille. At the back there's a rear roof spoiler and embossed in silver the logo of the Etios Cross which sits in bold just above the rear bumper. A higher ground clearance along with bigger wheels wrapped around 15" multi spoke diamond cut alloy rims ensures that the Cross can manage any type of road.  The car also comes with two exclusive colours which are Inferno Metallic (metallic orange) and Jet Grey Metallic. 


Interior
Not much has changed in terms of design of the interior with it still looking very similar to the sedan and hatch but it gets an all black treatment with high glass piano black plastic used on the dash and chrome detailing around the air vents. The fabric seats feature white stitching and the Etios Cross logo's embroidered into the back rest. The radio has been replaced with a double din audio system which has built in USB and AUX ports but the major feature being bluetooth connectivity for audio streaming and hands free mobile. 


Space
Even though the cabin is basically the same size as the hatch, it does feel more spacious and is more than capable of transporting 4 grown adults in comfort. The boot is decent with a capacity of 251m cubed, so enough space for your shopping or luggage for a weekend away. 


Verdict
Overall I was pretty impressed with the car, you have to see where the guys at Toyota are coming from with a car like this. They're offering, as far as I'm concerned, a full package, that is a vehicle with their quality, durability and reliability, combining it with the rugged looks of an SUV with outstanding fuel efficiency at a fraction of the cost. Thus opening a new segment to the market and offering the lower paid consumer a chance at purchasing an urban crossover. The main competition for this car would be the Nissan Livina Range and the Renault Stepway, both of which are priced more, as the Toyota Etios Cross enters the market at just R159,800. That's just R16,800 more than the Etios Xs Sedan, fair enough it might not have full off roading capabilities but on gravel surfaces it managed fine, as I found out while getting lost a few times.


Specifications
  • 1.5 litre, 16 valve DOHC engine
  • 6 speed manual gear box
  • 66kW
  • 132Nm torque
  • Consumption: 6ltr/ 100km (claimed)
  • 0-100kph: 11.3 seconds 
  • Price: R159 800

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