When small cross over looking cars pop up, I sometimes wonder; what’s the point?
Then I remember, when we were younger, we all wanted to venture onto gravel roads, go camping and maybe be a tad more adventurous.
Let’s get the small things out the way that makes the Etios, well, angry-looking and all agitated for no apparent reason.
For starters, it’s got plastic covers on the doors which should, in reality, protect them from getting scuffed up in the mild grass that you would be forging through. The front and rear bumpers have also been revised and should theoretically give you a better approach and departure angle. Mind you, I don’t really care about those numbers because, quite frankly, I think it looks funky and very cool.
The 15” rims, which are standard on both the Xs’ models, apart from the higher profile on the Cross, which should give you a 5mm higher ride height, are prefect for those “middelmannetjies”.
At the heart of the Etios is still the rev happy 66kw 1.5l DOHC engine that gives surprisingly good performance and a very decent economy, should your right foot keep it in check. Toyota claims that you will be doing around 6l/100km on the open road at freeway speeds. The tank, which is 45l, should give you a decent range between fill-ups too, then.
0-100kph is claimed in a 11.3 seconds, although it feels a little quicker.
On the inside you have a surprisingly decent looking dash with black mirror type inlays and a double DIN radio with USB. The speedo is center-mounted and, although nothing fancy to be seen here ,does its job and features an A and B trip meter and a digital fuel gauge. All four windows are electric, with the driver window being one touchdown. The side mirrors adjustment, on the other hand, are still manual units which, I’m pretty sure, is something we can all live with.
The steering wheel will adjust, up and down only.
The Etios Cross features driver and passenger airbags and the stopping is taken care of by ventilated front disks with ABS. with The rear brakes being drum units. The Etios also features Electronic Brake Force Distribution. With the Etios being so light, stopping is really not a problem and we found its stopping performance impressive on tar and gravel, for both its class and price respectively.
Now, the big question is? Should you buy a Etios Xs hatch or the Etios Cross Xs, for roughly R24000 more? Personally, I think it’s completely lifestyle orientated. If you are the mountain biking, camping, fishing or hiking kind of person, it’s a no brainer to keep the Etios Cross, because you are going to encounter that one gravel road and, to be honest, the regular Etios will just look out of place.
So do yourself the favour and buy the Cross; it looks way cooler, anyhow.
The Etios Cross retails for R159 000 and comes standard with a 2 year / 30 000km service plan and a 3 year 100 000km warranty. For more info, check out Toyota.co.za