Toyota Glanza Review

The Nissan Micra and the Renault Pulse, the Skoda Rapid and the Volkswagen Vento, or the Renault Kwid and the Datsun Redi-GO, these are products of partnerships or alliances between two automakers. While some are simply based on the same platforms but look different, like the Kwid and Redi-GO, others like the Micra and Pulse are essentially the same products that come with some minor cosmetic changes and a different badging. Product and technology sharing between automakers is not a new concept for the Nepalese market. So when Maruti Suzuki and Toyota announced their partnership, we were expecting something similar to happen. The first model to come out of this partnership is the Toyota Glanza, a rebadged Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Let us not ignore the obvious; the Glanza is, in fact, the Baleno with the Toyota badging. Baleno is a good-looking car, in fact, its design and styling one of its key USPs, but we wished Toyota has made some extra effort in creating a bit more distinction between the two cars, more than just slapping on a new twin-chrome slat grille. In fact, it still features the same chrome underline that extends into the headlamps. The Glanza also gets the same headlamp design with LED projector lights as standard, and this one being the entry-level G variant, it comes with guide lights instead of LED daytime running lamps, offered with the top-end V trim. Even the bumper looks the same with its wide black central airdam and black housings for the round foglamps.

The profile of the car is no different either, featuring the same body-coloured ORVMs with integrated turn indicator lights, and blacked-out pillars. The Glanza also comes with the same 16-inch dual-tone alloy wheels, which in our opinion Toyota could have avoided and gone for a new design to create some amount of differentiation. Similarly, the rear section too is identical to the Baleno featuring the same rounded LED taillamps, which also comes with guide lights in the top-end model. There is also the same chrome strip on the tailgate connecting the two taillamps, and the rear bumper with reflectors.

We wish the cabin was a slightly different story but that's not the case here. Get out of a Baleno and step inside a Glanza and you'll literally notice no difference in your surroundings. In fact, the car even gets the same dual-tone black and blue fabric upholstery. Toyota, new seat covers aren't much to ask for, are they? Well, moving on to the dashboard, of course, you get the same layout featuring large air-con vents with silver bezels, glossy black frame for the infotainment system, and below you have all the controls for the air-con system, plus the steering wheel gets control for music and telephony.

The Baleno is a pretty well-equipped car and the Glanza offers everything that the former gets. So you get the Smartplay Studio, or as Toyota calls it, Smart Playcast Audio, with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink as standard. The car also gets automatic climate control and a smart twin-pod instrument cluster with an MID unit offering information like distance to empty, fuel efficiency, battery capacity (hybrid version) and more. Of course, for that added comfort and convenience, the car also gets tilt-adjustable steering, height-adjustable driver seat, power windows with one-touch up-down function for the driver, a USB and a 12V charger upfront and a separate 12V charger for the rear passengers. The top-end V trim offers some additional features like - a rear parking camera, automatic headlamps, follow me home headlamps, and UV protected glass for the windows.

The Glanza also comes with a host of standard safety features like - dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and Brake Assist, ISOFIX child seat mounts, rear parking sensors, and seatbelt reminders for both front passengers. Plus you also get added safety and security bits like an anti-pinch window for the driver, rear wiper and defogger, electrochromic inner rearview mirrors (IRVMs), high-speed warning buzzer, immobiliser, and more.

Now, as already mentioned, the model we got to drive was the entry-level G variant, which is also the only trim to come with a smart hybrid system, and yes it's the same system that the Baleno gets, featuring both a Lithium-Ion and Lead Acid battery. The engine is the tried and tested 1.2-litre, four-cylinder, Dual Jet, Dual VVT, petrol engine, which is also Bharat Stage VI (BS6) compliant. This particular version, with the smart hybrid system, is tuned to churn out more power than the regular petrol version, which gets the 1.2-litre VVT engine, 8 bhp to be exact, offering a maximum output of 88 bhp. However, peak power in both the versions is achieved at the same 6000 rpm. The torque output, on the other hand, remains the same at 113 Nm, for both models.

Coming to ride and handling, there is not much of a difference. The suspension is a bit on the softer side so it handles the undulations on the road pretty nicely, but the ride becomes bouncy if you are on a really bad patch of road. The steering is also a bit too light and it doesn't offer much feedback, but people who drive around the city on daily basis might like the feel of it and find the light steering convenient to manoeuvre the car in traffic. 

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