September 20, 2014
A different ToyotaMonday, June 16, 2014
Cross: the Etios’ adventurous brother
The first conclusion I reached driving the Etios Cross was that this type of vehicle exudes an adventurous, offroad image, but is still a simple vehicle in terms of traction.
A pseudo off-road look is often used by carmakers of late as a strategy for this particular segment. Seduction through a more adventurous style has shown good results. Perhaps the best example is the Renault Sandero Stepway, which in its first generation, was more successful than the conventional model.
A special look
Based on the full XLS version, the Cross takes on a wild personality through several elements that adorn its image. Such details include roof rails, side skirts, a fender grille, a mudguard imitation, a rear diffuser painted on aluminum, more plastic covers in guards in the front and sides and its bumpers.
The Etios Cross logo has been printed on the rear doors and the trunk door, which, by the way, was spared the task of carrying the spare tire. Good decision. Other details to note include the wheels and their specially designed black rims.
The inside remains the same as the XLS, although unique details set it apart, including the Cross logo, which has been embroidered on the back of the front row seats and white stitching on the upholstery textiles.
Otherwise, the inside is identical: the central instrument panel has a blue hue and a very small display for the odometer and fuel gauge.
The steering wheel has solid grippage and command buttons for the audio system. The driving position is comfortable, but maybe a little high for taller drivers. The overall quality deserves no objections, while the highlight is found in the rear row, which offers ample legroom.
The somewhat shabby trunk has a capacity of just 270 litres, and has a spare tire of the same size as those on the outside.
The 1.5-litre engine is efficient, capable of 90HP, featuring a four-cylinder overhead camshaft, bent head and distribution chain. It develops torque of 13.4 kgm and is associated with a five-speed manual gearbox.
The main virtues of the engine include its elasticity and its remarkable benefits in terms of consumption. On the highway, at 130 kmph consumption clocks in at eight litres per 100 kilometres, and in the city, the car uses only nine litres over the same distance. The Cross accelerates from 0 to 100 kmph in 11.1 seconds, reaching a maximum speed of 166 kmph.
The transmission is well-sequenced and very comfortable.
The Cross is based on the top-end vehicle and thus features air conditioning; central locking; electric windows; an audio system with a CD, MP3 and USB input; an internal switch to open the fuel cap and power steering, as well as electric mirrors. Bluetooth and an onboard computer are missing, however.
In terms of safety, the car includes ABS brakes with EBD; dual front airbags, seat belt alerts and front fog lamps. No Isofix hooks or fifth headrest, however.
The suspension setup is adequate, allowing you to move with absolute ease and efficiency in urban traffic, neither perturbed by holes in the road nor speed bumps. It does a good job of absorbing imperfections without being overly firm. Another advantage is the turning radius, which facilitates all kinds of manoeuvring in tight places, such as a garage. While it is remarkable that it has not been changed in terms of clearance off the ground to match its adventurous look, it’s generous enough to not only get away from the challenges brought forth by the city but also to navigate shabby roads.
The Etios Cross is known for its optimum engine performance, good turning radius and the space in the rear seats. The support provided by the Toyota brand is very reliable, with solid after-sale service and a strong resale value. The warranty is three years or 100,000 km.