Toyota Yaris Cross: Etios Cross replacement in India or not?

The Toyota Etios Cross wasn't a huge commercial success but the Yaris Cross looks upmarket as well as has modern equipment in the form of a hybrid powertrain.

By:Published: April 24, 2020 5:24:08 PM

The Toyota Yaris Cross was unveiled (digitally) in Europe last night. Surprisingly the model is trending in India with many wanting to know the price or launch date here. Given that the Etios Cross has now been discontinued, doesn’t the Yaris Cross come across as a perfect replacement? Toyota also doesn’t have a sub-4m SUV in its portfolio in India – a segment where all the action is happening. Well, the short answer will be NO. The Yaris Cross isn’t coming to India though it is a beautiful thought. There you have it. End of the story. However, if you are bitten by the bug to know why we think its not coming here, scroll down.

It is based on the Yaris, so why not bring it here?

True, it is based on the Yaris that we have here in India. The Yaris itself is based on the TNGA-B. If you see, the Yaris at present isn’t a hot selling item compared to cars like the City, Verna, and Ciaz. Even if it makes a case, Toyota India might not want to compromise on its deal with Suzuki. This deal entails that the Toyota-badged Vitara Brezza will soon be launched. In fact, in a recent interaction with Toyota, we were told that

Preparation is going according to plan for the Vitara Brezza. At this point in time, we would like to refrain from sharing a specific schedule of the official launch of the model as it concerns our future product plans.

 

Not only this, but the Yaris Cross also boasts a 10mm longer wheelbase than the Indian Yaris sedan. Bringing it here will mean more investment in stretching the wheelbase and making the car shorter. Currently, the Yaris Cross has a length of 4.1-metres. Ducking it under the sub-4m metre will mean new bumpers and then dialling that with the upcoming pedestrian protection means additional investment.

Apart from the Suzuki part, what you said is doable, right?

Yes, it is doable. We have seen companies extending wheelbase as well as reducing their car length to suit the Indian requirement. However, with both these things in place, what about the engine. At present, Toyota India on its own doesn’t have a smaller capacity petrol engine. To be precise, a 1.2-litre petrol or a 1.5-litre diesel. The Indian government gives a sub-4m car tax benefits only if the petrol engine is below 1.2-litre and the diesel 1.5-litre.

The Yaris Cross runs a 115hp, 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder, hybrid engine. This will be noteworthy as it will have the fuel efficiency edge over the others in this segment. Toyota will also have a first-mover advantage since we are yet to see a full-blown hybrid engine in the sub-4m segment. The closest is Maruti with the Vitara Brezza (mild hybrid) as well as Mahindra with a start-stop system for the TUV300 and XUV300 models.

A hybrid engine will add to the cost and pricing of the car over Rs 10 lakh and with just a single fuel option will be harakiri. Moreover, the Yaris Cross also comes with an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, again a segment-first.

We reached out to Toyota to know if the car will be launched here or not. The company’s standard response was sent out to us and it says 

As this question pertains to our future product plans, we will not be able to comment on the same.

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