Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor Review: Cut From The Same Cloth

It’s the newest rebadged model and is based on the quite popular Fronx. But is the Toyota Taisor worth buying when you already have the Fronx coming up roses?

By Bilal Firfiray


7 mins read


Published on June 8, 2024

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  • Gets same 1.2-litre and 1.0-litre Boosterjet powertrain choices
  • Costs around Rs 20,000 more variant-to-variant compared to the car it's based on
  • Minimal changes on the skin, none underneath

Currently, the all-new Toyota Taisor is the fourth rebadged car shared between the two Japanese giants after the Baleno/Glanza, Ertiga/Rumion, and Invicto/Hyrcross. That’s considering Grand Vitara and the Hyryder are co-developed and not just rebadged. 


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But the Taisor is based on the Fronx which has, since its introduction, shaken up the market. So does the Toyota Taisor make any sense, especially since it is cut from the same cloth and does not have a significant change over its Maruti counterpart? We think it does. 


Toyota Taisor: Changes On The Outside


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Where the Fronx is a mini-me version of the bigger sibling Grand Vitara, the Taisor is given a mini-me look of its elder sibling the Urban Cruiser Hyryder. As for the design, as I said earlier, this is a very characteristic Toyota styling. If you look at some of the international models, this mesh grille in the centre is a very common element. Even these sleek LED eyebrows are much better looking than the bulbous bulbs of the Fronx. However, you do get the same tri-cluster headlamps and the skid plates without any changes. 


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Towards the side, there’s a 16-inch machine-cut alloy wheel that stands out here in the top-spec trim. This five-twin-spoke design adds much more muscle to the Taisor’s stance. Moving to the back there’s only one prominent change. Where the lightbar connecting the tail lamps is the same, on either end the tail lamp signature is new. It’s C-signature is also matched with the Hyryder. As for the colour, you get the flagship orange (that you see in the pictures), there’s also red, white, silver and grey. And if you choose a dual-tone you can have the red white and silver with a blacked-out roof.


Toyota Taisor: Unchanged Interior


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Moving inside there are no changes at all when compared to Fronx. Luckily, I haven’t spent a lot of time inside the Fronx so like you, I am also interested to see how this cabin feels. While the dashboard has a concoction of materials all around like the piano-black insert, there's a silver insert around it, and there are soft-touch materials on door pads but there's hard plastic seen all around. 


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The first thing I noticed about the dashboard is how this floating touchscreen and the IRVM reduce the visibility from this rather narrow windscreen. It's the same problem with the Fronx and it's carried over here as well. All Maruti parts are seen which are good and will be long-lasting, they also feel ordinary and not special. The fit and finish aren't a reason to complain, but some more aesthetic improvements would have made the cabin feel good. Of late the seats offered in Maruti cars are fantastic. They have a large backrest with proper bolstering. This helps in keeping you comfortable on short or long journeys, and that remains true for the Taisor here as well. 


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As for the space, the cabin does feel a bit cramped than it actually is owing to the way everything is designed and the blacked-out theme. Had Toyota adopted a beige theme for the cabin making it different from the Fronx it would have made the cabin feel much more premium and spacious. 


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As for the second row, getting inside is nice and easy thanks to the high seat height. Once inside, the legroom is ample but the same cannot be said about the headroom. Even the shoulder room is tight for three adults to sit abreast comfortably for longer journeys. Lastly, the boot space at 308 litres isn't too bad and it's deep enough to gobble in medium to large size suitcases. But the boot lip is quite high and it's narrow too reducing its practicality.


Toyota Taisor: But How Is It To Drive?


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Now under the hood, you have the same two powertrain choices sourced from Maruti. There's a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine from the KSeries lineup. It makes about 88bhp and 113Nm and can be had either with a five-speed manual or an AMT. This engine is also available in CNG avatar in entry-level variant albeit making slightly less in the CNG mode. The other engine that you can have the Taisor with is the resurrected 1.0-litre turbo petrol which goes by the name Boosterjet in Maruti’s say. It makes close to 100bhp and almost 150Nm of twisting force. You can have it either with a five-speed manual or a proper six-speed torque converter. 


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This Boosterjet engine is a three-cylinder engine but when you crank it up it doesn't sound or vibrate like a three-cylinder. Instead, it feels smooth and refined like a proper four-pot Maruti has in its lineup. Off the mark, if you keep the throttle inputs light, the mild hybrid assisting the engine can be felt. The response is good, and the drivability is quite smooth and linear at first. That's before the turbo kicks in at around 2000rpm. When that happens, the throttle response gets sharper too. A strong mid-range from the turbo engine is enjoyable too helping with quick progress. It's not as punchy as other turbo petrol engines but is good enough for everyday drivability. 


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There is a noticeable turbo lag below 2,500rpm but once you get it to a meaty midrange it will move much more athleticism. Even the six-speed unit which is also seen in the Brezza and XL6 is much improved in smooth in its operations. Might not be the quickest when you want to upshift or downshift but you do get paddle shifters if you want to take control of the gearshifts. Overall this engine and gearbox makes a good buy for those who like enthusiastic driving. 


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As for the ride quality, the Taisor remains flat over most undulations. The added suspension travel over the hatchback derivative makes the ride much more sorted. It easily irons out small and medium irregularities and even the sharpest ones aren't transferred inside the cabin that easily. So the ride quality is a big plus for getting the Taisor


Toyota Taisor: Should You Buy it? 


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As for the pricing, the Taisor starts at Rs 7.7 lakh and tops out just shy of 13 lakh rupees (ex-showroom). Variant-to-variant the Taisor is around 20 thousand rupees more expensive than the Fronx if You consider the 1.2-litre versions, while the 1.0-litre engines are almost on par with the Maruti Fronx. Firstly, let's take Fronx’s example, which is selling at an average of 13000 units a month. It has been preferred over the Baleno and has become one of the highest-selling cars every month. This means car buyers do love the concept of a small crossover with hatchback-like footprints and SUV-like stance. And with the Taisor they have another option to get the same package with a well-known badge upfront. Toyota loyalists who always wanted a Toyota SUV and that lineup was too expensive for them now can get one too. There's also Toyota’s higher standard warranty compared to Maruti's at 3 years/1lakh over 2yrs/40,000 for the Fronx. Lastly, if the Fronx has a higher waiting period, the Taisor might be readily available. 

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This has repeatedly complained before that the rebadging could also bring in some more noticeable changes but at least this one is better than the ones we first saw on the Glanza and Urban Cruiser which was just a badge change and nothing else. That grouch aside, the Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor is yet another likeable car born from the collaboration of two Japanese giants.

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