Toyota Etios Cross Test Drive Review2013 Volkswagen Cross Polo Review Ford EcoSport Diesel Drive

Customers today want more from the most favoured hatchbacks including space, power and capability. Manufacturers too have been listening carefully and in a bid to provide an all-in-one package, the segment of compact SUVs or better put ‘Crossovers’ was brought to life. While the Etios Cross may have limited competition in the form of pseudo crossovers like the Cross Polo; it is in a segment that has not seen growth yet. The Ford EcoSport on the other hand has received a head start being a far more well-rounded package, but is expensive when compared to the other two.

Will the Toyota Etios Cross be a compelling package at a reasonable price for crossover fans? We compare the three crossovers on sale to see which is the most value for money.

1) Styling – Toyota did take some effort to make the Etios Cross look visibly different than the regular Liva hatchback. Have they succeeded, is another question altogether. When compared, the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross are marginally different from their hatchback siblings. You do get the plastic body cladding, pseudo scuff plates and the rugged look to boast off, but the SUV like stance does not come out naturally. The Ford EcoSport instead makes up for that SUV presence. You actually get raised ground clearance coupled with a tall boy design. The bigger body and tail gate mounted spare wheel also means improved boot space over the competition.

2) Features – All the three models have been well packed, especially when you consider the price tag for each. The Cross Polo carries 2-DIN music system with AUX, USB, SD card and Bluetooth connectivity with steering mounted controls. You also get electrically adjusted side mirrors and automatic climate control offered as standard. While the Etios Cross may lose out on quality, it is loaded with a built-in music system with USB, AUX, remote and Bluetooth connectivity along with a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. You also get driver-seat height adjust and rear defogger as part of standard kit (the Etios Cross doesn’t get internally adjustable rear view mirrors). The EcoSport comes in loaded as well and gets rear parking sensors, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, USB and the SYNC system which works efficiently in keeping you connected with your smartphone. It is pretty neck to neck in the features department, as all models are loaded with the essential goodies.

3) Powertrain – Considering that the Cross Polo only comes with a diesel, we will take the diesel variants into consideration. The Cross Polo comes with the 1.2-litre TDI motor that produces 75 PS and and 180 Nm of torque. Whereas the Etios Cross is the least powerful and comes with a 1.4-litre D4-D motor producing 68 PS and 170 Nm of torque. Winning with the maximum horses on tap is the EcoSport that comes with the biggest engine in the group, a 1.5-litre TDCi motor that produces 91 PS and 200 Nm of torque. On the road too, the EcoSport is the most fun of the lot, but the Etios Cross’ light weight makes for up good acceleration and the bulk does not overpower the performance aspect. The Cross Polo takes some effort though with turbo lag, but the mid-range is the most fun.

4) Safety – The EcoSport manages to win by a mile with a plethora of safety features on offer. You get ABS, EBD, Brake Assist, two Airbags (with the option of side airbags) and parking sensors on the Titanium variant, while the Cross Polo gets ABS, EBD, dual airbags and electronic immobiliser offered as standard. The Etios Cross is offered with dual front airbags, ABS and EBD offered as standard on the VD variant.

5) Price – The Etios Cross is the most value for money offering in the segment priced at Rs. 7.40 lakhs for the top end VD variant; the crossover manages to pack in just the right amount of features for a price conscious buyer who wants to buy a rugged vehicle. The Cross Polo comes in close and is marginally expensive than the Etios Cross retailing at Rs. 7.75 lakhs for the Highline variant. The Ford EcoSport does seem pricey by a significant margin priced at Rs. 9.95 lakhs for the Titanium Option variant (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

Verdict – The Etios Cross comes loaded with most features that the Cross Polo and the EcoSport offer. The cabin also offers best in segment legroom at the front and rear, but it does miss out on the overall finish on the outside and the inside that will leave you wanting for more. A loaded package with rugged looks on offer, the Etios Cross is a value for money offering compared to the competition. But if quality is what you crave, then the Cross Polo is a more suitable package. The Ford EcoSport though is the ideal crossover/compact SUV that will offer more features and proper SUV stance at an additional price.

Toyota Etios Cross Dashboard Volkswagen Cross Polo Dashboard Ford EcoSport Diesel Interiors

SpecificationsToyota Etios CrossVW Cross PoloFord EcoSport
Engine1364cc, 4-cyl1199cc, 3-cyl1498cc, 4-cyl
Power (PS) 68 @ 3800 RPM75 @ 4200 RPM91 @ 3750 RPM
Torque (Nm)170 @ 1800 RPM180 @ 2000 RPM204 @ 2000 RPM
Transmission5-speed Manual5-speed Manual5-speed Manual
Dimensions in mm (LxWxH)3895 x 1735 x 15553987 x 1698 x 14743999 x 1765 x 1708
Fuel Efficiency (ARAI)23.59 km/l22.07 km/l22.7 km/l
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)Rs. 5.76-7.41 lakhsRs. 7.75 lakhsRs. 6.22 – 9.59 lakhs

* Engine and specifications mentioned above are for diesel versions.

Further Reading

Toyota Etios Cross Review
Volkswagen Cross Polo Review
Ford EcoSport Review