Toyota and Suzuki entered into a partnership back in August 2019, with the aim of sharing products and also developing new technologies for the Indian market. Through this partnership, Toyota entered the premium hatchback segment in the Indian market by launching the Glanza, which was essentially a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno.
After receiving a positive response for the premium hatchback, Toyota has now gone on to introduce the Urban Cruiser, the second product from the Suzuki-Toyota alliance. The new Toyota Urban Cruiser is based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. However, unlike the Glanza where the company just swapped logos, the new Urban Cruiser features a few external tweaks that make it look slightly different from the Vitara Brezza.
We got our hands on the Toyota Urban Cruiser for a couple of days and drove it in the city and on the highway and here is what we have to say about the compact SUV.
Exterior & Design
Now as mentioned earlier, the Urban Cruiser has a few tweaks and the very first is the front grille of the vehicle. Toyota has introduced the Urban Cruiser with their signature design, featuring the vertical chrome strips on either side, along with horizontal slats on the grille itself. This gives the compact-SUV a bold look from the front.
The car also gets a full LED headlight unit along with LED DRLs that are pretty bright and provide good vision at night. The fog light placing is the same as the Brezza’s but Toyota has given some chrome garnishing around it that enhances the premium look of the car.
Moving onto the side profile, the Urban Cruiser gets a set of 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels. Nothing has changed much at the side, except that the compact SUV gets black cladding all around. It also gets a blacked-out ORVM with integrated turn signal indicators. The Urban Cruiser also gets functional roof rails and a shark fin antenna.
Speaking about the rear end of the compact SUV, it remains identical to the one seen on the Vitara Brezza. Starting from the taillight, bumper and a chrome strip that runs along with the boot. The ‘URBAN CRUISER’ name is embossed on the chrome strip just above the registration plate. There is also a rearview camera along with parking sensors.
Interior & Features
Step inside the car and the Urban Cruiser’s interior is exactly the same as on the Vitara Brezza. There is just one difference and that is the colour of the seat cover, which is different from the one seen on the Maruti SUV. The centre stage is taken by the ‘Smart Playcast’ which is a seven-inch touchscreen infotainment display that supports Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and more.
The climate control is present right below the infotainment system and has a digital readout to it that features a negative backlight and it looks good. Right below that you get a couple of cup holders and an aux and a charging cable.
The steering wheel is comfortable and has a good grip on it. The steering mounted controls are placed correctly and let the driver keep his focus on the road. Some other safety features dual front airbags, ABS with EBD.
Even the instrument cluster is the same as the one seen on the Vitara Brezza. It has a MID screen in between that gives out a host of details about the vehicle and flanked on either side is the tachometer and the speedometer and both of them are analogue.
Now speaking about the seats, at the front, only the driver’s side seat has the seat height adjuster and the steering wheel only has the tilt option. Finding the correct and comfortable suitable driving position might not be that easy, but eventually, you will find it. The seat offers a good amount of cushioning and decent under-thigh support.
Speaking about the second row, it has decent back support but lacks under-thigh support. However, there is a good amount of head and legroom available for five tall passengers to sit and go comfortably. Sadly, there is no AC vent present at the back row and neither is a charging socket. The second row does have a retractable armrest that also has two cup holders.
The Toyota Urban Cruiser gets a decent boot space of 328-litres that is not the best in the class. However, it does get a 60:40 split and more room for luggage can be made by folding either side of the seat according to the space required.
Engine & Handling
Powering the Toyota Urban Cruiser is the same petrol unit that does its duty on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza. The compact-SUV is powered by a 1.5-litre K-Series engine paired with Suzuki’s mild-hybrid (SHVS) technology.
It produces a maximum of 104bhp and a peak torque of 138Nm. The engine comes mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed torque-converter automatic transmission. We were driving the manual variant.
One thing must be appreciated and that is the engine refinement. When the car is idling, not a single noise creeps in, thanks to the good NVH levels and not only that, the insulation levels inside the cabin is also good and does not let the outside noise come inside.
Since the engine is a naturally aspirated one, a slight amount of gas is enough to propel the car forward. It has got good low-end torque and does not allow the engine to stall even when you are at higher gears at low speeds. There was a time when I was in the fifth gear and doing speeds of around 40km/h. And not only that, if you give gas the car will not jerk, but take off at a slow and steady pace.
The suspension setup on the Urban Cruiser is the same as the Brezza. It is on the softer side and because of this the ride quality is excellent, absorbing most of the bumps and potholes that the city roads have to offer. On the flip side, since the setup is soft, the handling does get affected with some amount of body roll being apparent.
It will be able to take corners at a decent speed, but if you try going beyond the car limits and if the road is bumpy then there are lots of chances that the rear end will lose grip. The steering response is good and just in case if you lose grip, then you can manage to get the compact SUV back onto a straight line.
Speaking about the mileage, the Urban Cruiser just amazed us. In the city, we got a very decent figure of between 12.5 to 14km/l and on the highway, the figures varied between 15 to 17.8km/l, which is not at all bad for a NA 1.5-litre engine.
The all-new Urban Cruiser features modern styling and features that will attract the youths more and has an attractive pricing for a compact-SUV. There are a few things that the vehicle could have got and that is a sunroof, better quality of plastic, slightly better insulation and maybe the company could come up with a slightly different interior theme during the facelift time.
The compact-SUV will go up against the likes of the Tata Nexon, Mahindra XUV300, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecosport and the all-new Kia Sonet in the Indian market.