Targeting the budget segment buyers, the Japanese automaker - Toyota introduced the Etios Liva, which is claimed to be the most spacious and comfortable hatchback in its league. The Etios Liva is the Etios with a chopped boot. It shares a great resemblance with its sedan sibling, though the later looks better in design. The redesigned grille with chrome finish, headlights, bonnet creases and front bumper with fog lights enhance its front end. The bold side creases and alloy wheels highlight its side profile. The top-end variant of the Etios Liva is equipped with the spoke 185/60 R15 12 size of tyres on the 15-inches alloy wheels, while the other variants get 175/65 R4 size of tyres on 14-inches steel wheels. The rear profile looks sporty with fine finishing all over the rear spoiler, boot lid and rear bumper.
For the first time since its entry into the Indian market, Toyota compromised on the interior quality, to keep the pricing of Etios competitive. The plastic quality isn’t up-to the mark. However, using the generous shades, Toyota created a bright, airy and sophisticated cabin. The interior layout is practical, but dashboard design is awkward. The fabric seats are comfortable with overall good support. Seating position is straight instead of the low. The seats feel comfortable with good cushioning and back support. The beefy steering wheel feels good to hold. Loaded with various bells and whistles, the Etios Liva is one of the most feature rich cars in its league. Features on offer are an audio system with four speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, AC unit, electric power steering, 12v power outlet, power windows, front and rear headrests, tachometer and digital tripmeter, front cabin lights, tilt steering and more. It offers a boot space of 251-litre.
The Toyota Etios Liva is available in two engine options - a 1197cc, DOHC petrol engine and a 1364cc diesel engine. The 1197cc, 3NR-FE, DOHC petrol engine produces a peak power of 79bhp @ 5600rpm with maximum torque of 104Nm @ 3100rpm. It offers an impressive fuel efficiency of 15kmpl in city and 18.31kmpl on highways. The 1364cc diesel unit delivers a peak power output of 68PS and a maximum torque of 170Nm @ 1800-2400rpm. The Etios Liva diesel promises to deliver a fuel economy of 20.32kmpl on urban roads and 23.59kmpl on highways. A five speed manual transmission is the only available option. The Liva TRD variant can accelerate 0-100kmph within 12.1 seconds, which is reasonably prompt for a hatchback. Toyota tuned the engine for fuel efficiency rather than the power and performance.
The ride quality is good. The MacPherson strut front suspension and rear torsion beam suspension contribute to its ride quality and drivability. The engine isn’t impressive, especially when it comes to the city driving. The low-end throttle response is missing somewhere, and bottom-end torque is dull. The mid-range performance is on par. The gear-shifting is decent, but gearbox isn’t smooth. Its lightweight body construction provides decent power-to-weight ratio, and add more to its drivability. The NVH levels are low compared to the sedan, but still is an issue. Aiming to appeal the young and first-time buyers, Toyota priced the Etios Liva quite competitively.
Toyota removed the boot from the Etios, and introduced the Etios Liva hatchback with some exterior and technical updates. The Etios Liva looks identical to its booted sibling, especially when looked from the front. The redesigned grille with chrome finish, headlights, bonnet creases and front bumper with fog lights are inspired from the Etios. Though, it still manages to look different than its sedan sibling.
The side skirts and alloy wheels add more to its overall appearance. The ‘flap-type’ door handles are outdated. The 15-inches, five spoke alloy wheels with 185/60 R15 12 size of tyres are offered with its top-end variant, while the base and mid-level variants are available with 14-inches steel wheels and 175/65 R4 size of tyres.
The cost-cutting is apparently visible when you look at its wheels. Due to the lack of wheel well cladding the wires are exposed on metal that look very unpleasing. Its petrol variant carries a kreb weight of 890kgs, while the diesel variant weighs 980kgs. The 170mm of ground clearance is sufficient for city driving purpose. The Toyota Etios Liva is available in seven colors: Classic Grey, Celestial Black, Ultramarine Blue, White, Harmony Beige, Vermilion Red and Symphony Silver.
With an aim to adjust its pricing, Toyota made significant changes to its interior that can be easily noticed. The plastic quality isn’t close to the Etios, and feels very hard. However, the cabin is bright and airy and the layout is practical. The unconventional dashboard design doesn’t appeal. The seats are comfortable with decent legroom and back rest. Seating position is straight rather than the low. The fabric seat upholstery looks good. The steering wheel is beefy, but feels good to grab.
Having a plenty of features, the Etios Liva offers the best-in-class comfort and ease such as an audio system with four speakers and Bluetooth connectivity, AC unit, electric power steering, 12v power outlet, power windows, front and rear headrests, tachometer and digital tripmeter, front cabin lights, tilt steering and more. The large glove box, two cup holders and additional storage cubicles behind the gear lever and around the handbrake area solve the storage purpose. The Etios Live offers a generous boot space of 251-litre.
Engine and Transmission
Toyota offered the Etios Liva in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1197cc, 3NR-FE, 4-cylinder, 16 valve, DOHC gasoline engine churns out a peak power of 79bhp @ 5600rpm with maximum torque of 104Nm @ 3100rpm. Under normal driving conditions, it delivers a decent fuel economy of 15kmpl in city and 18.31kmpl on highways. The 1364cc diesel motor develops a maximum power output of 68PS with 170Nm @ 1800-2400rpm of torque. The Etios Liva diesel offers an impressive mileage of 20.32kmpl on urban roads and 23.59kmpl on highways. Both the engines are coupled with a five speed manual transmission. The Liva TRD variant is competent to achieve 100kmph from standstill within 12.1 seconds, which is reasonably prompt.
Performance and Handling
Toyota stressed to tune the engine for better fuel efficiency, and overlooked its efficiency and performance aspects. Having robust MacPherson strut front suspension and rear torsion beam suspension, the Etios Liva offers a balanced and comfortable ride. But, it fails to make an impact when driven on busy urban roads. The engine isn’t up-to the mark. It lacks low-end throttle response, and the bottom-end torque is awful. The mid-range performance is mediocre. The gearbox doesn’t feel smooth, but its shift quality is decent. The lightweight body construction offers decent power-to-weight ratio, enhancing its drivability. The car feels stable even at high speed. The ground clearance is sufficient for city driving purposes. The NVH levels are better than the Liva, but the wheel and wind noise is audible inside the cabin. The turning radius of 4.8-meters is good for the city.
The braking performance is excellent. The pedal feels great, and offers prompt shedding capacity. The advanced ABS (Anti-lock brake system) with EBD (Electronic brake-force distribution) braking system performs well, and handles the panic braking situations effortlessly. The disk brakes on front wheels and drum brakes on rear wheels do just right. The Etios Liva also gets front independent and rear non-independent shock absorbers.
On the fuel efficiency front, the Toyota Etios Liva doesn’t disappoint its buyers. The Etios Liva offers a decent fuel efficiency of 15kmpl in city and 18.31kmpl on highways. While the Etios Liva diesel delivers an impressive fuel economy of 20.32kmpl in city and 23.59kmpl on highways. A five speed manual transmission is the only available option.
The Etios Liva offers a plenty of safety features such as dual SRS airbags, ABS (Anti-lock brake system) with EBD (Electronic brake-force distribution), power steering, remote central locking, power windows, engine immobilizer, keyless entry, seatbelts, driver seatbelt warning, door ajar warning and more.
The Toyota Etios Liva is one of the most spacious and comfortable cars in its segment. The dual tone interior feels bright, but material quality isn’t impressive. The hatchback feels comfortable and convenient from inside, though it lacks some vital features. The engine is frugal, but in terms of power and performance it fails to make an impact. The handling is predictable, and ride quality is decent. The driving dynamics isn’t impressive, especially in city.
Toyota Etios Liva Vs Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Toyota Etios Liva might appeals buyers with its different styling, though it shares a great resemblance with the Etios. The Maruti Suzuki Swift is a sportier and an overall better looking car. The Swift is also longer and slightly wider than the Etios Liva.
The Etios Liva is well-packed from inside. Claimed to be the most spacious hatchback, the Etios Liva offers ample legroom, shoulder room and head room to front and rear passengers. The Swift is limited with rear seat legroom, but its plastic quality is far better than the Etios Liva. When it comes to comfort and safety, the Swift has more to offer.
Powered with the 1.3-litre Multi-jet diesel engines, the Swift is obviously a better performer than the Etios diesel. In terms of power and torque outputs, acceleration and pick-up of the Etios Liva doesn’t come close to the Swift. However, with marginal difference, the Liva is more frugal than the Swift. The Swift is fun to drive, while the Etios Liva doesn’t perform well in city. The ride quality of Etios Liva is decent, and handling is predictable. But, there is nothing like Swift. So, in our opinion, the Swift is a better value for money product than the Etios.
Pros & Cons
Robust suspension system
Predictable and safe handling
Smooth ride, especially in city
Optional safety package with mid-level variant
Exceptional ownership experience
Mediocre interior quality
Unconventional dashboard design
Missing features such as height adjustable driver’s seat, climate control etc.
Engine isn’t up-to the mark
High NVH levels
Cost-cutting significantly observed in various areas