Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor : Observations after a day of driving

In the city and bumper-to-bumper traffic, the car doesn’t feel jerky to drive. The automatic has been mated nicely with the turbo-petrol engine.

Driving the Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor 1.0L Turbo-Petrol AT

1.0L turbo-petrol engine makes 99 BHP @ 5,500 rpm and 148 Nm @ 2,000-4,500 rpm. It is mated to a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission:

Since the suspension and handling of the Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor are exactly the same as the Maruti Fronx, we'll just focus only on the engine and gearbox in this post (Link to Maruti Fronx driving post).

Powering the Taisor is the same 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbo-petrol engine from the Fronx which comes with a Smart Hybrid system. We got to drive the 6-speed automatic variant which has a kerb weight of 1,055 kg. Hence, the power-to-weight ratio & torque-to-weight ratio are 94 BHP/ton & 140 Nm/ton respectively. Just like the MT variant that we drove on the Fronx, the AT isn’t an outright performer. Yes, it has a turbo-petrol engine, but at best, we can describe the Taisor AT as quick, not fast.

Fire up the engine and while moving the gear shifter to D, be careful that you don’t choose M by mistake. Since the M mode is placed right below D, 7 times out of 10 I found engaging M mode instead of D. It takes some time getting used to. With a light foot on the throttle, the Taisor is smooth to drive. In the city and bumper-to-bumper traffic, the car doesn’t feel jerky to drive. The automatic has been mated nicely with the turbo-petrol engine. At low speeds, the car isn't lethargic or struggling to get off the line. Driving around town should be comfortable and the gearbox shifts smoothly. In cases where you need that extra bit of power for a quick overtake or to close a gap, the gearbox is responsive to throttle inputs. While driving in the city you will notice that the transmission gets confused at times with varying throttle inputs. Driving sedately is the best way to get a smooth drive in the city.

Out on the highway, you can stretch the Taisor’s legs. As mentioned earlier, the turbo-petrol is not an outright performer, but it has enough power on tap and the power delivery is linear. The turbo kicks in just under 2,000 rpm and there’s a good surge of power past that point. With your foot hard down, you can feel the upshifts. They’re not super quick like you would see in a dual-clutch transmission, but not so slow that most drivers would complain. The engine has enough grunt to keep up with highway traffic and you can overtake slower vehicles easily. While cruising at 80 km/h with the engine spinning at roughly 1,500 rpm, floor the A-pedal and the gearbox takes a moment to drop down the gears, but once it does, the progress is good and you can quickly overtake the car ahead of you. The engine is pretty relaxed while cruising. It spins at 2,000 rpm while doing 100 km/h and 120 km/h is seen at ~ 2,400 rpm.

Switch to manual mode to get a bit more out of the engine. Enthusiasts will prefer being in this mode when trying to push the car. There is no tiptronic mode for manual shifts and you have to use the paddle shifters for going up and down the gears. The response time while using the paddles isn’t quick and it takes a second to upshift or downshift. What’s good though is that the gearbox doesn’t upshift on its own when in manual mode. You can rev the engine all the way to 6,000 rpm (a bit conservative) where it stays until you upshift. Once you get used to the slight delay in shifts, it’s easier to extract more performance from the engine. You can even be in ‘D’ mode and use the paddles to momentarily switch to Manual mode and drop down a gear or two for quicker acceleration. And once you don’t use the paddle shifters for some time, the transmission goes back to D mode.

Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH)

There is a slight shake of the body as the engine cranks, but other than that, there are no vibrations felt inside the cabin. At idle, you will feel some faint vibrations on the centre armrest though. While driving around calmly, the engine noise doesn't bother the occupants of the cabin. However, as the revs climb, the motor makes itself heard a lot more. While it's a likeable sound for enthusiasts, other occupants are likely to complain as things get boomy at higher revs.

Wind noise starts creeping into the cabin above 90 km/h and gets louder with speed. Even so, it’s not excessive at 100-120 km/h. Road noise and tyre noise are average.

Mileage & Fuel Economy

As we are already aware, turbo-petrols are sensitive to throttle input and you will be visiting the fuel station more often if you have a heavy foot. But drive sedately and you should see some acceptable FE figures. The Taisor turbo-petrol AT's ARAI-certified fuel efficiency is 19.86 km/l which is slightly lesser than the Fronx’s 20.01 km/l. The MT variant has a claimed fuel efficiency of 21.18 km/l (Fronx 1.0L MT = 21.5 km/l).

The 1.2L naturally aspirated petrol has an ARAI-certified fuel efficiency of 21.71 km/l for the MT and 22.79 km/l for the AMT.

MID shows this symbol when you're off the throttle and the mild hybrid system battery is charging:

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