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Crossovers no longer remain a foreign concept especially when it comes to hatchback crossovers. When we talk about crossover from foreign perspective, we really mean business. The crossovers abroad are actually equipped with 4X4 drive system, raised suspension and some off-road features which transforms the vehicle into a complete hatchback package. These cars are meant for serving city roads as well as rough terrain. As trend is shifting from giant cars to compact ones, this new segment will soon gain momentum in the market. The segment was first started by Skoda Fabia Scout but due to lack of good response from the Indian consumers, it now has been discontinued. A similar initiative has been done by Volkswagen last year by introducing Cross Polo in the Indian market and now Toyota Motor will be soon joining the bandwagon by launching its first crossover based on Etios hatchback. Letís have a quick comparison between the two to learn more about the new offerings.
Also see: All car prices in one place
Both the crossovers have underpinnings of their respective sibling hatchbacks. Toyota Etios Cross, the rugged version of Etios hatch looks more muscular from outside as compared to Cross Polo. The headlamps in Etios Cross look different from Etios hatchback where indicators are placed in the fog lamp enclosure on the front bumpers. Apart from the black plastic cladding across the car, it gets a new silver grille guard and tweaked bumpers. The side profile looks strong with new 10 spoke alloy wheels and roof rails which further help to make SUV image clearer. Rear of the car gets silver protector and Etios styled tail lamp cluster.
Volkswagen Polo Cross on the other hand gets the plastic side cladding. The front and rear bumpers are revamped to look sturdier with silver scuff plates and a minor revision to the front grille with chrome accents. The smoked headlamps on the front are not as modified as of rival Etios Cross. It also features black molded covering on the wheel arches, wing mirrors, silver roof rails, silver finished ORVMs and Cross Polo decals at the rear that looks classic from distance.
There is more dynamism inside both these cars as compared to their stock siblings. To start with Etios Cross, it features new vibrant black piano sporty theme, 3-spoke steering wheel with black and silver touch and all the essential changes company did with recent Etios range of cars. There is advance multimedia stereo system with USB and Bluetooth inputs with safety features like ABS with EBD, dual front airbags to define the off-road aspects.
The wannabe crossover comes equipped with new ĎLivoní Titanium black furnishing with steering wheel, gear knob and hand brake lever wrapped in chrome and leather. The decent list of equipment includes climatronic air conditioning with pollen filter, stereo system with 4-speakers and SD card, USB and Bluetooth connectivity ports, tilt telescopic adjustable steering wheel, powered rear view mirrors, height adjustable driver seat, etc. There are lots of safety features included in the Polo Cross to counter rivals like ABS, dual airbags, remote central locking and rear parking sensors.
Toyota Etios Cross will be available in three different engine choices. The base model will carry a 1.2L 4-cylinder petrol engine generating 78bhp and 104Nm of torque while the more powerful 1.5L engine will produce 88bhp and 132Nm of peak torque. Both these engines are taken from Etios hatch while for sports aficionados there is a powerful diesel engine option available in the form of 1.4L engine that belts out 66bhp and 170Nm of torque. All the engines are paired with 5-speed manual transmission system.
The Cross Polo which is available in sole variant, sports familiar 1.2L TDI diesel engine, produces 73bhp and 180Nm of peak torque mated to 5-speed manual transmission gearbox.
Toyota Etios is expected to be launched with the starting price tag of around INR 6.5 lakhs. While on the other hand, Volkswagen Polo Cross was launched last year at INR 8.22 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). Looking at the prices, Toyota seems to be a clear winner in the picture but there are other factors like price to performance ratio on which a car is judged.
With both these Crossovers in the market, it will be quite interesting to see the overall response as these cars offers the same recipe as provided by Skoda Fabia Scout which failed to make a mark in the Indian car bazaar. Also as these crossovers are aggressively priced, compact SUVs like Renault Duster and Ford EcoSport will have to brace the impact of tough competition.