The Toyota Glanza is back and how! Following its first facelift after its original reveal while the donor car, this is Baleno’s second facelift. An important model already for Toyota in the Indian market as brings in a lot of volumes for the brand which helps climb the market share ladder. The hatchback from the manufacturer that aims to take on the likes of heavyweight champion, the Hyundai i20, and Tata Altroz is finally here with us. Toyota has an aggressive strategy and is set to be bringing out new Maruti rebadged models to make sure they meet cafe norms and increase volumes as well. This hatchback is going to do so for them as it is based on the sales segment leader, Baleno. Be it on the inside and outside, it has what it takes to impress a set of consumers. Like always there are core strengths and weaknesses of any product that comes from the Toyota/Maruti stable. We find out what the Toyota Glanza offers and doesn’t to its prospective buyers.
On the outside, the hatchback is a sub-four meter car and it has a proportionate stance and very good curvy design that grabs attention. The elements in facelifted version make the car stand out. The front grille, bumper, the rear badging is only what make it different. The diamond 16-inch wheels, LED head lamps are good and boomerang shaped tail-lamps make it look good but a bit aftermarket as well. The white and cherry red color schemes on both our test cars did suit the car profile and there are most popular colors among customers after the blue of course.
On the inside, the build and quality are good, not great. The stowage is good, charging points are in plenty and overall a very practical cabin. The feature list, we have explained time and again in our launch reports. You get every feature possible in the top variants of the SUV apart from a sunroof, connectivity features, and other new age bits, while the rest of the variants are decently speced. The inclusion of rear a/c vents is seen here now! A/C works quite well too. The Rear gets two fast charging port to make things practical. Automatic lights and wipers to reversing cameras and projector lamps, Android Auto, and Apple Car play are here in the Glanza. The list also now includes 360 degree camera, HUD display, parking sensors and brand new infotainment system. The sound system is good too considering the premium price tag too.
Space is quite good too. The shoulder, head, leg, and knee rooms are segment standard and more than adequate. The boot space is good by segment standards at 300 litres. Road and wind noise inside the cabin can be better controlled better as it can get intrusive. Wind noise creeps in, but after 140 km/hr. The safety kit includes ABS and EBD with two airbags that come as standard. Six airbags on the top end variant and standard from October 2023 should help makes things safer in the car. Overall, cabin experience is busy, in a good way and tech laden then before.
We drove the petrol 1.2 litre engine making 90 PS and 113 Nm of torque. The motor is a free-revving and low on NVH unit. Be it in any part of the rev range. Be it automatic or manual either it is easy to drive. Also, the clutch is light and so is the gearbox to operate in the manual version. Rev the engine to the redline and it makes a nice raspy exhaust note and a roaring intake note too!
Automatic is now an AMT which is fine for our insane traffic-ridden roads but feels jerky when you demand more from it as the head nod effect kicks when you go pedal to the metal. Low and mid-range acceleration are good and the top-end is good enough as well and it cruises at legal speeds easily. It still delivers spectacular fuel economy on the highway and city. 19 km/l on the highway and 14 km/l in the city is a very good number for the manual. AMT fuel economy number drops in the city to 12.5 km/l and 18 km/l on the highway. This makes good enough for city and highway duties.
The low to medium ride quality is good, underlying stiffness means it takes bad roads well enough at all speeds. The high-speed ride can be a bit floaty. Body roll increases as speeds get higher while taking a corner or changing lanes at high speeds. Steering is light, barely precise, and has adequate feedback on offer this time which makes the car just about fun to drive and confidence-inspiring to push harder. The suspension only feels good at legal speeds with un-demanding drivers are driving it sedately. After that nervousness can set in depending on road condition and banking of the surface. Brakes are good with a well-done pedal bite but the overall power could be better. Overall, very easy to drive and live with it. We wish it was more fun to drive.
2023 Toyota Glanza Review, Verdict
The Glanza has a slightly expensive price tag over the Baleno. For them, this might be their second or third car in the garage. Toyota has adequate reach and quality when it comes to sales and after-sales service. With not so cheap spare parts but cheerful service on offer, Toyota customers can expect what they always do, quality. Toyota has a loyal customer base and in some cases Toyota dealers can be great for existing customers to deal with. Physically too, a Toyota showroom near by can help seal the deal if not Maruti isn’t seen. Toyota is ready for a big dealer expansion plan in the Indian market, especially, in the North East and home base down south!
Meanwhile, Glanza shares it fate with the MS Baleno when it comes to crash tests. The donor car is confident this time that it will score higher considering the inclusion of standard six airbags from October 2023 onwards. This ends up putting a lot of confidence in the customer and can buy this extremely fuel efficient, well designed, fully loaded premium hatchback.
2023 Toyota Glanza Facelift Review