Home / Home / Crossed Paths: Hyundai i20 Active v Toyota Etios Cross Shootout

 

Hyundai i20 Active v Toyota Etios Cross (3)The Hyundai i20 Active is the latest kid on the hatchback-turned-compact-crossover block and it’s a good product. But how does it fare against the competition? 

Story: Aninda Sardar
Photography: Sanjay Raikar

The pathfinder in the hatchback-turned-compact-crossover segment was the Volkswagen Polo when VW launched the Cross Polo. Some time later, Japanese giant Toyota decided to create their own version of the compact crossover. Naturally, they chose the Etios Liva and turned it into a more macho crossover product, calling it the Etios Cross (somewhat unimaginatively). The latest manufacturer to join this bandwagon is Hyundai with the i20 Active. Now, in an ideal world we would have loved to pit each of the three against the others to see which of them will get to keep the crown in a segment that hasn’t really taken off as well as the manufacturers would have hoped. However, for the purpose of this test we will keep ourselves restricted to the Hyundai i20 Active (obviously) and the Toyota Etios Cross. In both cases, the vehicles we used were the absolute range-toppers with their respective diesel engines. So, here goes…

Visually, the Hyundai drives away with the prize before Toyota have even started their engine. The i20 Active, given that it’s based on the new-generation Elite i20, is a much better-looking car. The design language is contemporary and eye-catching. The subtle changes like the new alloy wheel design, the understated cladding, the round fog-lamps (both up front and at the rear), the roof-rails, and the boot spoiler only add to the Hyundai’s appeal. In the looks department, the Toyota clearly follows where the Hyundai leads. Of course, with the addition of the cladding and the roof-rails the Etios looks better in the Cross form than in its Liva manifestation.

Open the doors of each of these two cars here and you’ll instantly feel that the i20 Active feels more solid and reassuring. Get inside and it’s a repeat story. The Hyundai’s interior is way ahead of the pack, and not just the Toyota alone. The quality, fit-and-finish and even the visual appeal is top-notch. This is a cabin where you enjoy. The Toyota’s interior, despite the upgrade in materials from the first Etios Liva that was introduced, looks outclassed compared to the i20 Active. Where the Etios Cross hits back is in space for the rear passengers. It does feel roomier than the Hyundai, which again wrestles the Etios Cross back into its place with a much bigger boot.

Hyundai i20 Active v Toyota Etios Cross (1)

 

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