2019 Toyota Glanza CVT petrol first drive review
Just before I start with my views about the Toyota Glanza, here's the backstory on why it came into existence. Back in 2017, Toyota and Suzuki confirmed a partnership 'to jointly contribute to resolution of social issues and achievement of sound and sustainable development of an automobile-based society'. As per this understanding, it was decided that Suzuki will produce electric vehicles for the Indian market with technical support from Toyota. Effectively, Suzuki will be supplying various models like the Baleno, Vitara Brezza, Ciaz and Ertiga from its line-up to Toyota, who will manufacture and supply the Corolla Altis to Maruti Suzuki. Needless to say, both manufacturers will be rebadging the aforementioned cars along with making suitable changes to suit their respective brand images in the market. And the first-ever car to come out of this agreement is the Toyota Glanza. The model name comes from the German word 'Glanz' which literally translates to shine. While styling and features remain unchanged largely, Toyota is offering a better ownership experience in the Glanza. How? Let's find out.
Different but same
The Toyota Glanza gets blink-and-miss changes as compared to the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. These include a revised grille and Toyota badges on the outside. The grille looks smarter, but one can barely distinguish it from the Baleno's. We only wish the designers at Toyota could have tweaked the design further or added different colour options.
And the feeling continues when you step inside, though it's hard to miss the Toyota badge on the steering wheel and also the infotainment screen when you turn the ignition on. Interestingly, the Glanza is the first Toyota product in India to come equipped with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as connectivity options. The touchscreen identical to the Baleno's though the Smart Connect app in the Baleno offers a host of real-time information about the vehicle including fuel efficiency, trip details, vehicle position tracking, geofencing and the like additionally. In comparison, the SmartPlay Cast system in the Toyota only offers RSA, dealer locator, navigation and 24x7 concierge service. Importantly though, Toyota offers the aforementioned services complimentary for the first year in the Glanza but in the Baleno, you have to shell out Rs 10,000 for a three-year subscription.
To give you a perspective about cabin feel, the Glanza's cabin has a far more upmarket and premium air about it than the Etios twins which are in dire need of a thorough makeover. The Glanza's cabin design and trims remain unchanged from those of the Baleno's but finally do justice to the Toyota brand, especially when you consider the interiors of its premium offerings like the Camry, Innova Crysta and Fortuner. The cabin feels airy thanks to the impressive headroom and legroom and the Glanza can accommodate taller occupants easily, as we have seen in the Baleno. One issue though is the taller loading lip for the boot which makes loading luggage a bit of a task. The Glanza really impresses on the safety front though, as it comes equipped with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, ISOFIX child seat mounts and reverse parking sensors as standard across variants.
Drives any different?
Unlike the Baleno that is offered with petrol and diesel engines both, Toyota is offering the Glanza with a BSVI compliant petrol engine only. The base variant uses Maruti Suzuki's 1.2-litre K12C petrol motor that produces 90PS at 6,000rpm and 113Nm at 4,400rpm. The engine gets mild-hybrid tech and is offered with a manual transmission only. For the record, this is the same system that was introduced in the Baleno Dualjet Smart Hybrid recently. Unlike in regular fuel injected engines that use a single injector, the Dualjet engine uses two injectors per cylinder, translating to one injector each for every intake port. This helps in improving precision, fuel combustion and results in higher efficiency. The Toyota Glanza's base G variant is priced lower than the Zeta variant of the Baleno, making it the most affordable mild-hybrid car one can buy in India today.
Other trims such as the G CVT, V MT and V CVT are offered with the K12B engine that produces 83PS at 6,000rpm and 113Nm at 4,200rpm. This engine is offered with the choice of either a 5-speed manual transmission or a CVT. And the latter is what we drove. The 1.2-litre petrol engine feels smooth and boasts linear power delivery, so driving the CVT in traffic is easy as gradual throttle inputs, especially at times when conditions do not warrant quick movements, will work well if you are residing in cities like Mumbai or Kolkata where traffic in peak hours is a pain. It is only when you take the CVT outside city limits and onto open stretches of tarmac that you experience the typical rubber band effect that is good for fuel efficiency but affects performance, especially in situations where you need a sudden 'kick', like when overtaking or driving on inclines. To tackle the latter, the Glanza is equipped with an L mode in the shift gate which lets the engine rev higher thereby sending more torque to the front wheels.
The Glanza also impresses on the ride and handling front. It is equipped with MacPherson struts in the front and a torsion beam at the rear and the set-up does an impressive job of ironing out differences on uneven roads. Braking duties are taken care of by discs up front and drums at the rear and retardation is decent, though the higher-specced Baleno RS has been equipped with disc brakes all round and offers a better braking experience. The same set-up would have been welcome on the Glanza too.
Should you then..?
...and here is where the Toyota Glanza betters the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. Maruti Suzuki offers a standard, 2-year/40,000 kilometre warranty on the Baleno whereas Toyota is offering a standard 3-year/one lakh kilometre warranty on the Glanza. Additionally, one can also avail the 5-year/2.2 lakh kilometre warranty on the Glanza through the extended program. In terms of pricing, the Glanza's V MT petrol, G AT petrol and V AT petrol variants retail at the same prices as the Baleno's Alpha petrol, Zeta petrol AT and Alpha petrol AT, which are Rs 7.58 lakh, Rs 8.29 lakh and Rs 8.90 lakh ex-showroom, respectively. So clearly, the Toyota offers better peace of mind by means of the higher warranty periods. Interestingly though, the Glanza's base G variant is equipped with mild-hybrid tech and also has the same list of features as the Baleno's equivalent variant but is priced Rs 65,000 lower than the Baleno, which certainly makes it a better buy.
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