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Toyota Etios Cross: Playing tough

2015-01-30 14:15


FUNKIEST TOYOTA YET: The Toyota Etios Cross is ready to make its mark on the urban cityscape with a masculine new look. The Cross is kitted out and ready to go – are you? Image: Toyota

There’s a serious question to be answered before you hunt down a new Toyota Etios 1.5 Xs: would you be content with the standard model... or would you prefer the tougher-looking Cross version for a premium of R23 000?

Each has the same 1.5-litre, quad-valve, four-cylinder, 66kW/132Nm engine and five-speed manual gearbox; the cabins are the same except for embroidered seats in the Cross and a piano-black centre-facia finish.


It does look armoured against the urban jungle and has suitable rugged look. The plastic cladding ‘armour’ comes with a load-capable pair of roof-rails and larger (alloy) rims to give the whole package that 4x4 look – which, to be fair, Toyota admits is certainly not the case.

IMAGE GALLERY: 2014 Toyota Etios Cross

It also lifts the bodywork by a couple of centimeters, handy for kerbs and bouncing across potholes.

The Etios Cross 1.5 Xs was launched in July 2014 in the traffic-rich, somewhat decaying, yet brilliantly ethnic melting pot of central Johannesburg. The ‘plating’, of course, is thick plastic and is intended to repel car-park dings and parking poles rather than hollow-points and thorns and it’s layered along each of the four doors and over the wheel arches.

Up front it continues beneath the radiator grille and has some reinforcement from an A-shaped plastic bar reminiscent of a Toyota Hilux bakkie while more cladding protects the lower section of the tail hatch.

An aerofoil hangs like an eyebrow over the rear window and up front the headlights have a treatment to distinguish them from the unarmoured model.


Buyers will like the 1.5 engine. It’s good for 100km/h in 11.3sec and general fuel-consumption of six litres/100km, its maker says, and is plenty powerful for the thinner Highveld air. I drove one all over central Jozi from OR Tambo and put in more than 100km in Mining Country around Springs during the one-day launch and, frankly, enjoyed the drive.

The car has enough punch to keep a young driver satisfied and he or she will not, of course, have any trouble finding it in a car park.

It’s based on the Etios Xs hatch, so already has electric power-steering , aircon, four power windows, rear-window demister and  wiper, audio system with USB and auxiliary ports, fog lights (which on the Cross come oversized with built-in indicators), remote-controlled central  locking, anti-lock brakes, two front air bags and an immobiliser and (sweet) just one very large front wiper.

The Cross adds the aforementioned plastic armour, revised headlight clusters, re-designed external mirrors with turn indicators, front and rear scrape plates (just in case you decide to venture marginally off the tar), the roof rails that can handle 50kg and a very nice set of 15” alloy rims described as “diamond cut”.

Overall, a fun package that, despite misgivings about the ruff-’n-tuff faux off-road appearance and swearing not to like it, well, I did.

Here’s the full list of Toyota Etios prices (which include a two-year or 30 000km service plan and VAT)

Etios 1.5 Xi Hatch (with aircon) - R127 800
Etios 1.5 Xs Hatch - R136 800
Etios 1.5 Xi Sedan - R134 500
Etios 1.5 Xs Sedan - R143 000
Etios Cross 1.5 - R159 800

Click here to view full specifications

Click here to find out more about the new Toyota Etios Cross.

Watch the Toyota Etios Size Challenge:

Watch the Toyota Etios Cross: Cargo Challenge

PERFECT CITY CAR: The Etios Cross is ready to make it’s mark on the urban cityscape with a masculine new look. The athletic style includes roof rails, a striking rear roof spoiler, new Cross moulded rear and front bumpers, the bold Cross grille, 15" alloy rims.
Read more on:    toyota  |  new models

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