Autocar India

Comments

Transcription

Autocar India
(A The Resource Centre
Autocar India
Date: 01/05/2015
Page No: 90
Location: Main
Circulation: 160000
Edition: National
The arrival of Hyundai's i20 Active heats up India's crossover segment. But does it offer
more than Fiat's Avventura or Toyota's Etios Cross? Samarpan Bhowmik weighs the options.
PHOTOGRAPHY KULDEEP CHAUDHARI
90 AUTOCAR INDIA MAY 2015
www.autocarindia.com
Copyright of the article is with the publication
Hyundai i20 Active vs Fiat Awentura vs Toyota Etios Cross I Comparison
MH14£P.2994
ross hatchbacks. They're
what you get when
you combine India's
latest craze — SUVs,
with India's perennial
favourite — hatchbacks.
It's a niche within a niche that
allows carmakers to cash in on
the popularity (not to mention the
tax benefits) of sub-four-metre
compact SUVs, without actually
developing an all-new car. Think
www.autocarindia.com
of the three badges you see here —
Toyota, Fiat and Hyundai. None
of these companies currently has
a proper compact SUV to directly
rival the likes of the Ford EcoSport,
so these pseudo-crossovers based
on their existing hatchbacks are
what they offer instead.
The Toyota Etios Cross is the
oldest of the bunch, having been
around since May last year, but
hot on its heels came Fiat with its
Awentura in October. Now, it's the
turn of one of the biggest players
in the market to join the fray, with
a 'cross' version of arguably the
best premium hatchback in the
country'. It is, of course, Hyundai
with its newest model, the i20
Active, and we're here to see if its
strong 'source material' makes it
a better cross-hatchback than the
other two. Oh, and if you were
wondering where the Cross Polo
is, we wanted to bring it along too.
We think it would have stood a
great chance with its'new 1.5-litre
diesel engine, but alas, VW didn't
have a car for us.
ON THE SURFACE
Although all the cars in this
comparison are simply beefed-up
versions of hatchbacks, it's how
each manufacturer has carried out
the transformation that makes a -»
MAY 201 5 AUTOCAR INDIA 91
Hyundai i20 Active vs Fiat Awentura vs Toyota Etios Cross | Comparison
<r difference. Hyundai has raised
the i20's ground clearance by
20mm to a substantial 190mm,
given it roof rails, smart new
alloy wheels, larger bumpers,
matte finish body cladding and
aluminium roof rails. There are
even LED running lamps, projector
headlamps and cornering lights,
which the regular i20 doesn't
get. The end result is a look that's
tasteful and not too over the
top. However, as far as looking
rugged goes, the Awentura is more
convincing. It too gains roof rails,
20mm higher ride height (now an
EcoSport-beating 205mm), new,
much more aggressive bumpers
and cladding, but it also gets a
tailgate-mounted spare wheel.
While this does add to its SUV-like
appeal, and also frees up a bit more
boot space, die tailgate release is
quite cumbersome to operate; a
particular annoyance at security
checks outside malls and hotels.
The EcoSport's tailgate is like a
traditional SUV's - side-opening,
Rear camera display on inside mirror.
Steering adjusts for rake and reach.
Hyundai's blue trim inside looks distinct but may not be to everyone's taste.
ante are from
carmakerswltti
no compact SW
on otter currently:
with the spare wheel mounted
on it. However, it's hinged
inconveniently on the left (to suit
left-hand-drive markets) and hence
the rear door opens out from the
roadside and not kerbside — not
ideal for loading luggage.
The Toyota is also the only car
that hasn't had its suspension
altered from its hatchback
counterpart, so the 170mm ride
height remains the same. The
execution of the macho look is
where Toyota has strayed a bit off
the mark. The faux skid plate, roof
rails, 'Etios Cross' badging across
the boot lid, roof spoiler and new
alloy wheels do have their appeal,
but the cladding seems excessive
and just not as tastefully executed
as on the others.
Pitch, lean metres add SUV appeal,
Fiat's nicely designed dashboard with soft-touch plastics on top looks good but.
.quality inconsistent on some bits.
Central speedo takes getting used to.
INNER SANCTUM
Stepping into the i20 Active, you'll
first notice the large steering wheel,
well-appointed dashboard and
metal-finish pedals. On this silver
car, the cabin is upholstered in -»
www.autocarindia.com
No electric adjust for wing mirrors.
Toyota's dash is pretty well put together but the quality is only mediocre.
MAY 2015 AUTOCAR INDIA 93
Hyundai \20 Active vs Fiat Awentura vs Toyota Etios Cross I Comparison
Active gets 20mm ground clearance over standard car; rolls a bit around corners.
Fiat the most sporty handler here, its ride is as good as the Punto hatchback's.
Rear is most cramped in the Fiat.
Steering too high, position awkward.
No extra clearance means hatchback-like ride; Etios handles rough roads well.
e- black and blue, which is
distinctive, but may not be to
everybody's liking. On cars with
darker exterior colours, the insides
are finished in black and orange,
which we think looks a bit nicer.
The dash design is modern and
neat, with no unnecessary design
flourishes and quality all round
is very good. On the contrary, the
Awentura's dashboard is more
flamboyantly styled, but quality is
not consistent and rough edges are
visible in places. The soft-touch
plastic on the dashboard top is nice
though, and the compass, pitch
and lean metres add to the SUV
feel. Though the thick steering
wheel feels nice to hold, it doesn't
adjust for reach like the Hyundai's.
This only compounds the Fiat's
awkward driving position, with the
steering set too high and close to
your chest. The front seats, though
well-cushioned, are robbed of
comfort by their extra-long squabs,
which tend to dig into the base of
your thighs.
The Etios Cross's interior,
though a step-up from the Etios
Liva's, does not have the styling
flair of the other two cars here. The
dashboard's asymmetric layout
and central instrument cluster look
cluttered and not very upmarket,
and though it's put together quite
well, some materials just don't feel
as good as the Hyundai's. However,
when it comes to comfort, the
seats come pretty close to the i20
Active's, and it's not too difficult
to find a comfortable driving
position. The flat-bottomed
steering wheel looks sporty and
feels nice to hold too.
In the rear seat, the Hyundai
is on a different level altogether,
more akin to a midsize sedan than
a hatch. It is the most comfortable,
supportive and roomy aipong
this trio, and the slightly reclined
seatback helps comfort. The Toyota
has a very spacious back seat too,
particularly its width, but the seat
base is a little too flat and will have
you shifting around on long, non­
stop journeys. After these two, you
will feel cramped in the back of the
Awentura, thanks to less legroom
and headroom, as well as the small
windows. The seats themselves are
quite comfortable though.
Even when it comes to practical
spaces in the cabin, the Hyundai
has plenty. There's a one-litre
bottle holder in each door, two
large cup holders behind the
gearlever and a cubbyhole just
below the air-con controls where
you can store knick-knacks. The
Awentura, on the other hand, gets
www.autocarindia.com
one small cup holder, tiny door
pockets and even the glovebox is
quite small. The Toyota betters the
Fiat here, with large cupholders
and a simply massive glovebox.
And for your luggage storing needs,
the Active's 285-litre boot is the
biggest, with the Awentura down
by only 5 litres. The Cross' 251
litres is average when it comes to
accommodating your bags.
BELLS AND WHISTLES
The Hyundai and Fiat have a slight
edge over the Toyota in terms
of equipment. The i20 Active SX
has the longest list of features,
including keyless entry and go,
auto headlamps, an electrochromic
rear-view mirror, a music player
with CD, aux, Bluetooth and
USB capabilities, 1GB of onboard
memory, steering-mounted
controls, automatic climate control,
rear parking sensors and a rearview camera, among others. The
Awentura Emotion also does well,
missing out on keyless operation,
auto headlamps, rear-view camera
and onboard storage, but getting
it's more about
OutchMsthan
actual otfroart
prowess Here:
voice recognition and SMS readout
features instead. However, the Fiat
can't stream music via Bluetooth
and it only allows for telephony
functions. These two also get a
rear AC vent between their
front seats. The Toyota, in this
department, falls a little short.
It does get the basics, like a
four-speaker audio system with
USB, aiLX, Bluetooth and CD
compatibility, adjustable front
and rear headrests, but misses
out on parking sensors or camera
and auto climate control. Where
Toyota has done well is to provide
all variants of the Etios Cross with
dual airbags; you need top trims of
the other two for this.
HEART AND SOUL
The i20 Active uses the same
89bhp 1.4-litre diesel motor as
the standard i20 and it's a
smooth and refined unit. There
is enough power at low revs and ->
MAY 201 5 AUTOCAR INDIA 95
.
' AVVENTURA
Largest boot here at 285 litres.
<- even though the turbo takes a
bit of time to spool up, there's
more than enough go even before
that. And once past 2,OOOrpm, the
Active gathers pace nicely, reaching
lOOkph in an impressive 12.79
seconds. Its strong mid-range
makes it an able highway cruiser,
helped by its unique advantage
of having a sixth gear. There's
always enough power in reserve
and overtaking is a breeze. The
Awentura has a power advantage
on paper with its 1.3-litre Multijet
motor pumping out 92bhp and
21.3kgm of torque. Trouble is, you
96 AUTOCAR INDIA MAY 2015
...but makes boot access difficult.
Headlamps get LED DRLs, projectors.
have serious amounts of turbo
lag to contend with, and a lot of
engine noise. However, once past
2500rpm, power comes on in one
solid whack, getting the Awentura
to lOOkph in 15.10 seconds; good,
but not as quick as the Active.
The Toyota, on the other hand,
is equipped with 1.4-litre motor,
which makes 67bhp — the lowest
in this comparison. You don't feel
the deficit too much in city driving,
as there's sufficient power and
virtually no lag. The Etios' light
kerb weight of 1030kg also helps.
It's only when you rev it higher
'SUV elements
look good ort
the Active and
Flat but over-tbetoo on tne Etios:
and ask more of the mid-range
that the motor fails to deliver. It's
also a rather noisy engine that only
becomes harsher when rewed.
STREET CRED
Right from when you set off, the
Hyundai's ease of use becomes
apparent. The steering is light
and quite effortless to operate
in the city, as are die rest of the
controls. And when it comes to
road imperfections, it smothers
them pretty well, albeit with some
bobbing over larger undulations,
which becomes more pronounced
www.autocarindia.com
Hyundai i20 Active vs Fiat Awentura vs Toyota Etios Cross I Comparison
VERDICT
HYUNDAI lo«*y
120 ACTIVECRDi SX
FIAT
AVVENTURA1.3EM0TI0N
TOYOTA
ETIOS CROSSVD
Most appealing overall
Good-looking, well-built but
package on offer here.
not the most ideal in city.
Decent for city use but not
convincing as a pseudo-SUV.
••••••••• Wr
*••••••••••
•••••••
L/W/H
3995/1760/1555mm
3989/1706/1542mm
3895/1735/1555mm
Wheelbase
2570mm
2510mm
2460mm
Ground clearance
205mm
170mm
Engine
190mm
4 cyls, 1396cc, turbo-diesel
4 cyls, 1364cc, turbo-diesel
Installation
Front, transverse
4 cyls, 1248cc, turbo-diesel
Front, transverse
Power
88.8bhp at 4000rpm
92bhp at 4000rpm
Front, transverse
67bhp at 3800rpm
Torque
22.4kgm at 1500-2750rpm
21.3kgm at 1750rpm
17.3kgm at 1800-2400rpm
Gearbox
6-speed manual
5-speed manual
5-speed manual
Tyres
195/55 R16
205/55 R16
185/60 R15
PERFORMANCE
Acceleration (from rest)
Acceleration (from rest)
Acceleration (from rest)
Kph
Sec
Sec
Sec
20
1.08
1.44
1.17
40
3.45
2.98
60
2.64
4.92
8.08
6.05
10.02
5.80
80
100
12.79
15.10
15.86
120
140
18.28
27.92
22.08
36.48
20-80 (in third gear)
12.45
11.61
37.71
12.37
40-100 (in fourth gear)
13.03
13.80
15.33
Rs 8.89 lakh
2 years/ unlimited km
Rs 8.49 lakh
3 years/100,000km
Rs 7.72 lakh
3 years/100,000km
USB
Rear AC vents
•
•
•
•
•
•
Auto climate control
•
•
10.10
24.21
WHAT IT COSTS
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Warranty
EQUIPMENT CHECKLIST
Aux-in/USB
Bluetooth telephony
Powered mirrors
•
•
Airbags
2
Reverse camera
NA
NA
NA
NA
•
NA
2
2
NA=Not Available
urn "
i
"
ETIOS CROSS
i;.
f
jjj-—*
Least spacious here at 251 litres.
at speed. Cornering manners aren't
bad either, with a little bit ofbody
roll, but then the Active rides higher
than the standard hatchback, so
it's not a huge surprise. It's clear
that this isn't meant to be a sporty
handler, but interestingly, the
Fiat, which is also raised by 20mm,
handles rather well. It rolls a little
when cornered enthusiastically, but
less so than the Hyundai. While the
steering is die heaviest here, it also
feels the most direct and reassuring
at speed. Stability is unmatched,
although when going over rough
surfaces, the stiffness of the sporty
www.autocarindia.com
suspension becomes apparent.
This only happens at low speeds
though; as you step on the throttle,
the ride evens out. The Toyota
has the lightest steering of the
three, but that advantage is
slighdy eroded by the fact that
it requires the most number of
turns between locks. It's with ride
that the Toyota really shines —
an advantage of its unaltered
hatchback suspension. It smothers
bumps and craters well and without
too much movement or feeling
unsettled. There's some body roll,
but no more than expected.
THE CRUX OF THE MATTER
Before we arrive at a decision on
this comparison, there are certain
things that need to be considered.
Yes, priced at Rs 7.72 lakh for the
VD trim, the Toyota Etios Cross
is considerably cheaper than both
the Rs 8.89 lakh Hyundai i20
Active SX and the Rs 8.49 lakh
Fiat Awentura Emotion. But then,
it is based on the Liva, which is
half a segment lower than the
i20 or the Punto in the hatchback
pecking order. And this comes
across in everything, from the
build quality to the materials used
and features provided. The Cross
is a convenient runabout for the
city — it's effortless enough to
drive and has a good amount of
space on offer as well. However,
the motor lacks punch and doesn't
perform too well on the highway.
Overall, it comes across more as
a top-spec Liva than a separate
model. The Fiat is more convincing
in that regard. Its SUV-like styling
cues work well to add appeal to
the standard Punto hatch — be it
the stylishly done exteriors or the
nicer interior; a lot more effort
has been made to differentiate it.
Given its capable motor, highway
cruising abilities and solid build,
this crossover is more suited to the
out-of-town trip than the other two
here. But if you live and primarily
drive in the crush of urban traffic,
the heavy steering, stiff ride and
lethargic throttle responses would
make it less than ideal.
And this is the reason why the
Hyundai emerges as our champion
in this contest. Its light steering,
strong engine, good ride and
handling characteristics, along
with all the Hyundai-typical bells
and whistles, make for the best
package among this lot. Whether
in the city or on the highway, the
i20 Active is the crossover-hatch
that makes most sense. It is
expensive and the premium you
have to pay isn't quite justified, but
compared to the competition, it is
easily the most superior.•
MAY 201 5 AUTOCAR INDIA 97