What is a crossover car? This is an everyday vehicle packed with the practicality and the look of a SUV on which carmakers pack off-roading elements for a more rugged look. In India we have fair number of crossovers but only a few of them can actually be called true crossovers. However, India is the country where crossovers could play a vital role as road conditions are usually not ideal and the low cost of these crossovers makes them more desirable.
These vehicles get sporty and muscular look with the application of plastic cladding at the bottom periphery, which is standard for most crossovers. Moreover, the ground clearance is raised to increase its maneuverability over choppy roads and even for off-roading. But in India that doesn’t always happen as most of them have same ground clearance as their original models.
The outside of the car is made in such a fashion that make it look more like a SUV. This includes big tyres, off road suspension and other off-road technologies – all of these bridge the gap betwen off-roaders and hatchbacks.
On the inside, the tall boy setup of crossovers gives the driver strong command of road and enhanced driveability. This nature actually make crossovers feel bigger than they actually are. Interiors may or may not feature off-road utilities like high terrain gauges or other important data-providing info.
VW Polo Cross
Volkswagen back in time introduced the cross version of its popular hatchback Polo. The car is packed with premium plastic cladding to provide a sporty look. Though the cladding appeals a lot but doesn’t have any functionality as such. The reason being the car having same ground clearance as Polo which restricts its off-road use. Other than this, everything from tyres, suspension and interiors remains same as in Polo hatch. It is powered by 1.2 litre TDI diesel that puts out 74bhp@4200rpm of power and a peak torque of 180Nm@2000. But this is the same as in the original car and it has to carry more weight than before, making this upgrade pointless.
Toyota Etios Cross
Toyota Etios Cross is the car based on Toyota Etios Liva and like Polo, it too gets plastic cladding at the base that bulks it up. It has been given raised ground clearance, by 3mm, and that too because of the fatter set of tyres fitted. On the inside, the cockpit remains same as Liva and the only addition is of piano black finish on the dashboard and door panels. It is powered by 3 set of engine options borrowed from its sibling, two petrol and one diesel. On the diesel side, it gets 1.4litre engine that puts out 67.06bhp @3800rpm and a peak torque of 170Nm@1800-2400rpm. While on the petrol front it gets 1.5 litre 88.8bhp mill and a cost effective 1.2 litre motor that puts out a decent 78.9bhp. The 1.5 litre petrol is adequately powered but the ground clearance is also ready to bother on offroad trips.
This is the only eligible contender in this category in India. The name itself means adventure and the moment you see it rolling down the street it will leave you drooling. It looks very stylish and the stepney smartly mounted on the rear hatch adds to its appearance. As it is based on one of the best looking hatchbacks (Punto) in India, it certainly appears good. Furthermore, its ground clearance is raised to 210mm and that gives it superior edge when going offroad. It is powered by 2 set of performance motors; a 1.4 litre petrol F.I.R.E. and a 1.3 litre multi jet VGT. The engines produce 88.8bhp and 91.2bhp respectively. On the inside, it gets inspiration from its younger sister Punto EVO and the Italian design is complimented by high-terrain-gauges for off-roading. Also the height of the car gives the driver great command of the road ahead.