Cross badging isn’t really a new phenomenon in the Automobile world. In India too we’ve had several examples where literally the same car is launched by different automakers owing to alliance and tie-ups. A case is point is the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento. Or the Renault-Nissan alliance which had several such pairs including the Nissan Sunny-Renault Scala or the more popular Renault Duster and Nissan Terrano. So when Japanese giants Toyota and Suzuki announced a similar tie-up last year there was a lot of curiosity as to which would be the first product out of this alliance. And it is the former which has benefited first by using the Maruti Baleno to enter the premium hatch segment in the country. Meet the Toyota Glanza, the name derived from a German word which means Brilliancy/ Radiance/ Sparkle.
If you look at the cross badging examples mentioned above attempts were made to have different exterior features so that distinction can be made between the two cars. In fact the Nissan Terrano was a great example of that. In the Glanza, the list of features that differentiate it from the Baleno isn’t very long. Of course you have a new grille on the front and what you see here is a lot more chrome. But that’s about it; the LED Projector Headlamps with DRLs, the bumpers, diamond cut alloy wheels and those unique looking LED rear combination lamps with light guide are just the same as they are on the Baleno.
The Glanza gets dual tone interiors along with smoke silver accents. Once again it’s difficult to spot the differences when compared to the Baleno as almost everything is just the same. The touch screen system has just a new name called the Smart Playcast. You can connect your smartphone here and the system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Just like the Suzuki connect Toyota has come out with their own version called the Toyota Connect which pretty much does similar functions. The steering gets mounted audio & calling controls with voice command and the good thing is that it gets both tilt and telescopic adjustment. The Glanza also gets engine push start / stop button, 60:40 split rear seats, remote keyless entry and electrically adjustable ORVMs with retract & auto fold.
The major changes when compared to the Baleno are seen in terms of engine and variant options. The biggest difference is that the Baleno also comes with a diesel engine option, the Glanza does not. So what you have here are just petrol engine options that come with both manual and CVT variants. Looking at the Baleno sales where 3/4th of the models sold are petrol that seems to be a sensible choice. And Toyota has always been bullish on the petrol as even the Yaris was launched last year with just petrol engine options unlike its competitors. These 1.2 litre 4-cylinder K-series Petrol engines used here are known to deliver a good driving experience with low-end torque. All variants of Glanza are BS VI compliant almost one year before the regulations kick in. There are 2 options that get 90 PS power and the smart hybrid tehnology while the other 2 variants including one CVT get 83 PS of peak power. In terms of mileage Toyota is claiming 23.87 kmpl for smart hybrid, 19.56 kmpl for CVT and 21.01 kmpl for the VMT. The Lithium Ion Battery gets torque assist function, idle start stop function and brake energy regeneration therefore the enhanced fuel efficiency.
Being a premium hatchback the Glanza gets a long list of safety features just like the Baleno. Toyota says the total effective control technology effectively absorbs and disperses crash energy ensuring increased safety for all occupants. The hatch also gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD & brake assist. ISOFIX child seat tether anchorage and front seatbelt with pre-tensioners & force limiters are there too. Add to that Reverse Parking Camera along with Parking Sensors. A high speed warning buzzer is there whether you like it or not. The New Generation HEARTECT Platform promises superior crash resiliency, enhanced rigidity and improved NVH (noise vibration and harshness) performance
Variants and prices
The Glanza gets four variants in all (two manual and two CVT). That is much lesser than what the Baleno offers terms of variants. Basically the lower variants of the Baleno are missing here. The Glanza starts at Rs 7.21 lakh (ex-showroom) for the smart hybrid manual variant while the CVT options start at Rs 8.39 lakh (e-showroom). These introductory prices are largely at par with Baleno but in some variants the Toyota is more affordable. The big differentiating factor though is the superior warranty on offer which is a massive upgrade on the Baleno. The Glanza offers a standard warranty of 3 years/1 lakh kms which can be extended up to 5 years/ 2.2 lakh kms. Toyota is also differentiating itself by promising a stellar ownership experience, something that will ensure you won’t regret your buy.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars