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Toyota Etios Cross


It’s a crossover… It’s a hatchback… No, we don’t know! And since we don’t have a name for this segment of cars, we are going to begin by christening them Hatchovers! The Etios Cross is the latest entrant to this India-specific segment, where the cars look rugged and bulky like crossovers, but offer pretty much the same utility as that of a hatchback. It may be a unique distinction for the Indian automotive market, but not something that we should be proud of.

What exactly is the purpose of the hatchover then? What made manufacturers like Volkswagen, Skoda and Toyota enter this segment? Is it just a passing fad or will we see more vehicles of this kind in future? We spend some time with the Etios Cross to get to the bottom of this riddle.

Looks & Styling

The first look at the Toyota Etios Cross creates confusion, the silhouette is distinctly of the Liva hatchback, but somehow it looks different. It appears brawny and beefy but it does not hide the fact that in dimension it is still a small car. It feels like Toyota put the Etios Liva on a strict workout regime and protein-only diet, it is now more muscular but without any additional bulk.

The silver bull bar and skid plate form sort of a French beard on the face of the Etios Cross. It is this feature that mainly makes the hatchover look like it means no nonsense and is different from the somewhat mellow Liva. The big front bumper is black as part of the design theme and houses massive fog lamp consoles, while the rest of the front remains very similar to that of the Liva. The black body cladding runs along the other three sides visually in combination with the silver skirting, adding to the size of the car. The silver roof rails and the Etios Cross badging carved on the cladding are two other design elements adding to the side profile. There is a similar story at the back with a protruding spoiler, only thing different here is that the Etios Cross badge is bigger and embossed. Overall, the Etios Cross feels premium, all the cosmetic changes are well thought of and I am really glad that Toyota has not used chrome to add bling. 

I really wanted to say that the Etios Cross is a hatchback on steroids; however is not a correct analogy. It has not grown in size, purely on looks it is more like Peter Parker and Spiderman – same physique but more colourful.

Interiors & Features

The interiors of the Etios Cross look premium. The basic layout is similar to that of the Liva with the instrument cluster between the two seats, but the all-black get up looks very nice. The seats are also sporty with Etios Cross badging and the 2-DIN music system with AUX, USB and Bluetooth compatibility. The top-spec variant gets a cooled glove-box, steering mounted audio control and two airbags. 

The Liva was always a spacious car and that is evident in the Etios Cross as well. Although it feels more premium now, the basic design of the dashboard is dated. Toyota needs to give it a thorough makeover during the next update.

Toyota has still opted for a few costing cutting measures – the OVRMs have to be manually adjusted even on the top-end variant and the music system comes with only front speakers as standard.

Engine & Performance

Like the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback, the new hatchover is also available with two petrol and one diesel engine option. The 1.2-litre petrol mill powers the base petrol model ‘G’ delivering 79bhp and 104Nm of torque. The more powerful 1.5-litre unit does duty for the ‘V’ variant sending 89bhp and 132Nm to the front wheels. The diesel GD and VD variants use the sedate 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing 68bhp and 170Nm of torque. 

We briefly drove the V petrol and V-D diesel variants and although there is some increase in weight compared to the Liva, the performance is pretty similar to the hatchback. The diesel is lacklustre in comparison to the petrol, although there is no turbo lag, the engine lacks grunt and needs to be revved hard if you don’t want to miss the quick overtaking opportunity. It also highlights the poor NVH levels, although that should not be too much of a problem in petrol as the four-cylinder unit sounds really nice. We had no opportunity of gauging the efficiency in our drive and the ARAI figures of two petrol and diesel are 17.71kpl, 16.78kpl and 23.59kpl respectively.

The steering is a bit vague and even though it does weigh up, it feels artificial. The ride quality is good, the Etios Cross absorbs all the bumps without much fuss. The ground clearance is marginally higher than that of the Liva (may be 5mm, no confirmation from Toyota), courtesy 15-inch alloy-wheels that also look nice. 

There is hardly anything exciting about the performance of the Etios Cross, but it is capable of plying on all sorts of roads, also with a ground clearance of well over 170mm it can also occasionally venture on the unpaved country roads.



None of the hatchovers perform much better than their hatchback siblings – but they exist for a reason. Not that Toyota can’t make a proper compact SUV, but there are customers who want rugged vehicles without wanting to spend extra for them or even exploit their capabilities beyond loading over maximum capacity. The demand is for a tough looking car that would give the driver a bit of an edge over rickshaws, two-wheelers and other hatchbacks in the city traffic. 

The Etios Cross will address this set of buyers with a premium of around Rs 40,000 to Rs 60,000 over the Liva. At that price point, the Etios Cross will make sense – it does look like a brute, has better performance figures than the Cross Polo and will also be more affordable albeit few missing features.



Toyota Etios Cross Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
New Delhi₹ 7.51 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 7.65 Lakhs onwards
Mumbai₹ 7.92 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 7.52 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 7.96 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 8.31 Lakhs onwards
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