Snapshot – After forgettable numbers sales of models such as the Fiat Palio Adventure and the Skoda Fabia Scout, cross variants of hatchbacks are making a beeline to the Indian market yet again. In their second coming, these hatchback variations seem prepped for a longer stint in India. Here are four hatchback based crossover options that a prospective buyer needs to consider.
Toyota Etios Cross
A dolled up Etios Liva hatchback is what the Etios Cross essentially is. Along with butch looks, the engine options on this crossover based on a hatchback is quite extensive. You get three engines to choose from, all with 5 speed manual transmissions. The engine line up consists of 1.2 liter and 1.5 liter petrol motors, with the latter giving the Etios Cross great pep. For the frugal minded, the 1.4 liter D-4D turbo diesel engine with its fuss free performance devoid of turbo lag is the way to do. Apart from more rugged looks, the Etios Cross offers the buyer an additional few mm of ground clearance, in this case, 174 mm. Prices start at 6.23 lakh rupees.
Volkswagen Cross Polo
If you want a diesel crossover based hatchback with a good ride and handling package and butch looks, the Cross Polo is the way to go. However, with a 165 mm ground clearance, the vehicle continues to disappoint. With the 1.5 liter TDI turbo diesel engine added, outputting 89 Bhp-230 Nm, the Cross Polo has plenty of pep too. The 1.2 liter MPI engine is uninspiring though. So, the Cross Polo is a better bet in diesel trim than in petrol. Both variants of the Cross Polo feature ABS+EBD and twin airbags. The petrol variant is priced at 6.49 lakh rupees, with the diesel variant pegged at 8.38 lakh rupees, making it quite pricey.
The Fiat Avventura crossover based on the Punto EVO hatchback, is perhaps the closest a hatchback comes to SUV territory in terms of the capabilities it offers. Armed with a 205 mm ground clearance and suspension that pummels bad roads into submission, the Avventura is the leader in the hatchback based crossover pack as far as bad road handling ability is concerned.
It also looks the part, with a spare wheel on the hatch lid. The crossover is sold with two engine options – the 1.4 liter FIRE petrol and the 1.3 liter Multijet diesel. The diesel engine is the pick of the lot due to its impressive roll-on performance, good torque and high fuel efficiency. Prices vary between 6.44 and 8.49 lakh rupees.
Hyundai i20 Active
The Hyundai i20 Active is due for a March 2015 launch, and the hatchback based crossover is based on the hot selling i20 Elite. Body cladding, new alloy wheels and revised styling are the three main aspects that push the i20 Active towards crossover territory. The vehicle will borrow petrol and diesel engines from its hatchback sibling, along with the manual transmissions.
An increase in ground clearance, from the i20 Elite 170 mm, to something more substantial is expected, and so is a suspension upgrade that will give the i20 Active better performance on broken surfaces. Expect the i20 Active to be priced 40,000-50,000 rupees higher than equivalent variants of the i20 Elite.