The Toyota Glanza with its 2022 mid-life update has tried to move away from the often referred as ‘re-badged’ version of the Maruti Suzuki Baleno. This time around, Toyota engineers have taken to the drawing board and tried to differentiate the visual appearance of the Glanza by redesigning the front fascia, re-patterning the alloy wheel design, and also giving the interior a new dual-tone theme. We recently spent a few days with the Glanza to give you an idea of what it is like to live with the hatchback and how it performed on various duties we put it through.
Now, the Glanza is a big hatchback and has a very practical cabin with many usable spaces all around. All door pads can fit in one-litre bottles and the front doors can additionally accommodate small 500ml bottles as well. Moreover, the glovebox is decent in size and the centre-placed cupholders are adequate for your takeaway coffee/tea. We also found the position of the centre armrest convenient to rest the elbow while toggling the AMT gear stalk. The added advantage is the small cubby placed underneath, which is useful to stow away small belongings like a wallet and charging cables.
Coming to the front seats, while the seats miss out on leatherette upholstery, the cushioning feels right and with adequate side lateral support. Furthermore, the height-adjustable driver seat and tilt-telescopic adjustment for the steering wheel means it is easy to get into an ideal driving position. We have spent long hours in the driver and co-driver seats and never felt tired. Even the view up front is clear and when not needed, the heads-up display can be folded down at the touch of a button.
The rear seats are quite comfortable for two passengers. The backrest angle feels right, and with adjustable headrests and space below the front seats to tuck the feet, the rear occupants will surely enjoy the space and comfort on offer. In fact, the two charging ports at the back and the option to fold the seats in 60:40 do come in handy. However, with the third occupant in place, the first hindrance was the rear aircon vent and then the lack of headrest and tight shoulder room.
Now, the boot at 318 litres is roughly 20 litres less than the older model. And with a high and slightly narrow loading lip, putting things into it may be a chore. But if you are good at arranging things, placing the suitcases and duffle bags vertically will fit in all commuters’ luggage.
The dashboard of the Glanza follows a dual-tone black and beige theme that is easy on the eyes. Then, the gloss black inserts in the centre and on the steering wheel and centre console lend it an upmarket look. With the updated interface, the nine-inch touchscreen unit gets a dark-coloured theme and now has several tabs on the home screen to access details like vehicle data, driving details, music, navigation, and weather updates.
While the system is easy to use, we found the ‘Hey Toyota’ voice assistant slow to respond and limited to a specific set of voice commands. And when we sampled the preset commands, the processing wasn’t smooth, given the different dialects and pronunciations. We would have also appreciated if the power window buttons had a backlit function making it easier to spot while driving at night.
The Glanza is also equipped with a 360-degree surround view camera. The four different camera angles to choose from along with the height-adjustable driver seat and rear parking sensors make parking the hatch a breeze. What’s also new to the segment is a heads-up display and the one on the Glanza is a coloured unit with over 10 levels of adjustable brightness and three levels of font positions. Thus, the vision of the display screen is hindrance-free. Not only it displays speed, tachometer, and gear position, but also information like aircon temperature, fuel economy, and a clock.
The tweaked 1.2-litre petrol engine with idle start/stop technology is focused more on improved and high efficiency with the brand claiming 22.94kmpl. As per our test cycle, the new Glanza delivered 17.34kmpl in the city and an impressive 22.23kmpl when on the highway run.
The Glanza, like any other hatchback, is extremely easy to drive in the city. Add the smooth AMT gearbox to the mix and tackling hours of bumper-to-bumper traffic becomes effortless. Talking about the gearbox, this AMT unit replaces the CVT and it isn’t half as bad. In fact, pottering in the city, the gear shifts are pretty smooth and one barely needs to shift to the manual mode. Another boon while driving in the city is the new 360-degree camera which aids parking in parallel as well as perpendicular spaces.
Then, the steering is light too, which helps in easy manoeuvring. However, the ride quality, like before, is on the softer side and does get a bit springy at high speeds. Also, out on the highway, the petrol motor feels a bit sluggish and doesn’t build speeds rapidly when you want to make quick overtakes. Having said that, driving over normal speed bumps, rumblers, and uneven surfaces, the Glanza feels pliant and none of the undulations are filtered inside the cabin. Additionally, the cabin feels decently insulated and when doing speeds of under 90-100kmph, there is hardly any tyre noise seeping inside the cabin.
Now, when you plan a weekend outing with your gang, you need to choose the car that offers ample space for four if not seat five with ease, comfortable seats, decent luggage space, and a powertrain that is easy to use and delivers decent mileage. The new Glanza ticks almost all these boxes. Seating four comfortably is easy and if you have pals on leaner side, the fifth one won’t be left out either. Then there are rear charging ports, bottle holders, soft cushioned seats, and Arkamys sound system to keep the passengers in a pleasant mood.
With a kerb weight of 960kg and a fuel tank capacity of 37litres, theoretically, the hatchback claims a range of nearly 849km on a full tank, considering the claimed fuel efficiency of 22.94kmpl. However, in real-world conditions which involve a mix of city and highway runabouts, the Glanza could deliver approximately 690km on a full tank. We derived this number by conducting a detailed fuel efficiency test wherein the combined (city+highway) stood at 18.57kmpl. Given the engine tweaks and the added idle start/stop function, this is an impressive figure.
With strong and reliable after-sales service being a big plus for Toyota in India, the Glanza, despite being a Maruti under the skin, is offered with a standard warranty of three years or one lakh kilometres (whichever is earlier). This, coupled with 24-hour roadside assistance and an option of extending the standard warranty up to five years/2.20-lakh kilometres, makes for a convincing reason to buy the hatchback.
Absolutely, yes! Visually, the fresh face of the Glanza does look different from its DNA cousin and personally, we found it more appealing. It’s bigger than the entry-level hatchbacks and thus offers a spacious cabin. Moreover, it is decently equipped with modern and essential features and also promises good safety with six airbags. The re-tuned 1.2-litre petrol engine is frugal and refined, and when paired with the AMT gearbox it’s smooth and gets the job done without any hiccups.
What also helps is Toyota’s brand image of strong after-sales support and longer warranty plans. On the flip side, it demands a premium of up to Rs 30,000 for this top-spec V AMT over the Baleno’s Alpha AGS with an identical set of features. When looking at the competition, it does miss out on a diesel derivative. At the time of writing this story, the price range of the Glanza is from Rs 6.59 lakh – Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom). And in the hatchback segment, the Toyota Glanza locks horns with the Tata Altroz, Hyundai i20, Honda Jazz, and the Maruti Suzuki Baleno.
Photography: Kaustubh Gandhi