• 2022 Toyota Glanza First Drive Review

Toyota’s premium hatchback gets significant updates for 2022. Are they enough though?

Badge engineering is a term that has proved beneficial to carmakers when it comes to cracking complex markets like ours. Take Maruti Suzuki and Toyota for example. Both companies collaborated to come up with cost-effective cars which are essentially the same but sold under different names and banners. The Baleno and Glanza share the same chassis and powertrain but feature exterior and interior design tweaks to enable them to offer slightly different flavours of motoring. So when the Baleno underwent a significant transformation, it wasn’t long before the Glanza received the same treatment. The hatchback now looks more premium and is more feature-laden.

It starts with the design. The front end looks sportier now courtesy of the edgy headlamp connected by a chrome trim that accentuates the hatchback’s width. Equally impressive is the front bumper with a large, low-set airdam with a thick carbon fibre finished surround. The sides feature subtle chrome elements but the highlight are the 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels that look fantastic standing still and even better when on the move. The rear gets a new elongated C-shaped tail lamps that gel well with the raked rear glass.

The cabin receives a thorough update as well starting with an all-new dashboard that features a new nine- inch touchscreen infotainment system. The responsive display is crammed with information such as fuel efficiency, range, date and time and more. Features include Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, app connectivity, head-up display, premium Arkamys sound system and a comprehensive 360-degree camera. However, it does miss out on some features like a sunroof and wireless charging. Like the Baleno, the Glanza retains its USP of a roomy cabin.

The Glanza gets a heavily revised 1.2-litre four- cylinder motor which delivers 90PS and 113Nm. It impresses with its refinement and eagerness to rev while offering a linear power delivery. That said it is not as sporty as the previous unit, especially in terms of outright acceleration.

The other major powertrain transformation is the switch from the CVT to a 5-speed AMT. The obvious benefits are cost and fuel efficiency (a claimed 17 percent improvement at 22.94kmpl). As far as AMT gearboxes go, this one impresses with its seamless shifts and almost negligible ‘head nod’ effect. However, the gearbox tends to shift to a higher gear too soon which becomes irksome in heavy traffic leaving us wishing for a more sophisticated gearbox which would complement the engine better.

The Glanza has always appealed as a family hatchback than a sporty one. With new suspension revisions, the hatchback offers an even plusher low-speed ride quality and glides over potholes and craters. While the handling isn’t sporty, it feels surefooted and offers good grip with a noticeable body roll. The steering is light making it a joy to use in the city though it is a tad slow to respond and feels less engaging in spirited driving.
Priced at Rs 6.53 lakh onwards, the Toyota Glanza is a value-for-money offering and delivers premium looks, significant features, a refined and efficient powertrain and a plush ride. However, the switch to AMT feels like a downgrade if you enjoy driving. If you can look past that, the Glanza deeply impresses as a spacious and premium family hatchback

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