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      Toyota Etios Liva Review:

      Quraish Umrethi

      Quraish Umrethi


      2011 Toyota Etios Liva Review : Just a boot-less Etios or more ?

      It was only a couple of months ago that Toyota launched their most affordable offering, the Toyota Etios. The Etios received a fairly good response from the Indian consumer and the wait list just kept growing.

      Toyota has now launched the even cheaper, Toyota Etios Liva, the Hatchback version of the Toyota Etios sedan at a price almost a lac cheaper. We take the top of the line VX variant for a quick drive.


      Appearance Exterior

      There is nothing major to distinguish the Etios from the Liva from the Front. The Liva has the same Large Headlights, Front Grill and Fog Lamps from its sibling. The side profile of the Liva looks a lot better than the Etios. Although the boot on the Etios is well blended into the overall look of the car, the Liva looks a lot better without it.

      The Tail Lamps on the Liva too, looks comparatively better than the Etios. The Large Triangular Lights give way to better proportioned, vertically stacked tail Lamps. Overall the rear of the Liva does not look as Cheesy as the Etios. Even the rear chrome strip does not look out of place and the rear spoiler adds that extra bit of Sportiness. Overall, the bland Etios suddenly comes to life in the Liva.

      The beautiful 12 Spoke alloy wheels come standard with the VX variant. The Liva too is equipped with single wiper blades, which is quite efficient at cleaning the front wind shield. The miniature front Fog lamps are ineffective. The only thing that they do is work as effective parking lamps and Toyota gets to add that as a feature on their brochure. Dual Reverse Lamps, thankfully, make a return on the Liva. The Ribbed roof (similar to what we saw on the Micra and the Etios) adds stability / rigidity while helping to keep the weight down.

      The boot, though not as large as the Etios (Obviously, what else were we to expect), comes in at a decent 251 litres and is capable of fitting in a couple of small bags in a tight squeeze. It is sufficient for city travel and the occasional outing too. The rear seats however, unlike the Etios, are foldable in the Liva. No 60:40 split, but atleast you can fit in the larger bags if you really need to.

      The boot floor again is just a thin piece of Corrugated PVC sheet. If I owned a Liva, I would not try and load anything heavy in the boot. The spare wheel has a standard 15” Steel Rim. I would not really call that cost cutting, as these days; everyone seems to be doing the same thing. 

      Appearance Interior

      The interiors of the Etios and the Liva are identical, sans the boot space. The stereo system looked much better this time around. Maybe we just got used to its look. However, there was no improvement on the sound quality.
      Plastic quality is strictly average. Everything is hard touch. Dashboard colour is similar to that of Etios and helps in reducing glare on the windscreen.

      The flat bottom steering wheel looks sporty and is great to hold, but the feedback offered from it is negligent. It is super soft in the city but does not weigh up enough as speed increases. It does have steering height adjustment which seemed more of a gimmick to me, as the travel was barely a couple of inches. The VX trim also gets audio control on the steering wheel and Toyota also provides a remote control so that the rear passengers can operate the audio system too.

      Sit in the driver’s seat and there is little you can complain, except for maybe the lack of a height adjustable seat and adjustable seat belts. Yet the seat is positioned high enough so that even a shorter driver will have a good view of the road. The rear seat is quite thin, yet provides excellent back and thigh support. The front seat literally hugs you and gives a very comfortable feel.

      The speedometer console is not in its regular place. Instead, it is right in the middle of the dashboard. Personally I don’t like the setup at all. The speedometer numbers are small and it is tough to tell the speed at first glance. There is also a shadow that is created by the needle which shows a pseudo speed about 20kmph more than what you are actually doing. The tachometer is also too far to the right to be used effectively. You don’t get any MID display too, which is the norm these days. It has just 2 basic trip meters.

      The Rear Seats are comfortable and provides adequate thigh support. The recline angle is also excellent for a comfortable ride. Integrated head rest are provided all around, but we won’t complain as they are soft and it feels good to rest your head on them.

      The Liva has a lot of interior space with plenty of leg room all around. The rear seats can comfortably seat 3 people and the centre passenger gets a good deal too. The middle seat is soft and the low transmission tunnel doesn’t intrude into his leg space either.

      The Red and Black interior Theme looks good, but might not suit everyone’s taste. The top of the gear lever gets red paint. The interior fabric quality is quite good. The AC vents are positioned quite uniquely. Toyota says this setup helps more airflow towards the rear passengers. The round Vents operate differently from the ones we see regularly, although I can’t really say if they provide any kind of an advantage. In fact I feel the standard ones are much better. You can’t completely close them either and air flows out from the sides.

      We could not test the Air Conditioner this time around as it was raining all the while. But with a lower capacity engine, we do not think it would be any better than the Etios, which took quite a while to cool the cabin in the summer heat.

      You can close the vent to the left of the Front Passenger and open the glove box vent to direct the AC air into the Glove box. The 13 liter glove box can store a lot of items in it.

      The front doors open really wide but don’t close with a soft thud. You need to apply some amount of force to close the doors. The Door pockets are large enough to hold 1 liter bottles. You also get some storage behind the hand brake and in front of the gear lever. The Power window switches are quite tacky. No auto up down feature on any window. The Front door arm rests are adequate to rests your hand on, but the rear ones are quite small.

      OVRM’s have to be manually adjusted from inside. No electrical adjustment provided. 
      Many features are missing to save costs. You don’t get any lane change indicators, no anti-drip wiping and the Doors don’t auto lock either. Flimsy Sun-Visors have been used; the Bonnet Lever and XL Sized Headlight Leveller look like they have been taken out of a car from the 90's.

      Just to add another couple of points, the rear windows go only about 3/4th the way down. All passengers get grab handles on the roof with integrated coat hangers. Keyless entry has a separate remote control for it; it is not integrated within the key itself. 

      Performance Drive

      The Liva has a beautiful ride, just like the Etios and their siblings. The suspension setup is just about right, not too stiff and not too soft either. The 185/60 profile tyres on 15” Bridgestone Wheels provide ample grip to the car. Just like the Etios, the Soft Power Steering and smallish 4.8 metre turning radius make it a dream to drive along with the city.

      We called the Etios a great city car, and the Liva, with its lower price tag goes one step further. NVH levels are still quite high. Loads of tyre and wind noise even at speeds just above 100 kmph. Noise insulation is very poor and even in the dead of night at high speeds; cabin noise was a bit too high to keep me happy.

      The headlights still need Improvement, both in Intensity and in range. The Liva has a 1.2 litre engine (to make the most of the exise benefits) as opposed to a 1.5 litre engine on the Etios. The 1197 cc unit produces 80 PS @ 5600 RPM and 104 NM of torque at 3100 RPM. The Liva weighs in at just 900 kgs.

      In the Timed Runs we managed to reach 60kmph from a standstill in 6.5 seconds and the 100kmph mark in 16.5 seconds. The Quarter mile was achieved in 20.2 seconds and at 102 kmph.The Liva is very comfortable to drive in the city. It pulls cleanly in any gear without knocking. Even at low speeds in high gears, the Liva drives smoothly. This eliminates the need for constant gear shifting.

      Mileage wise the Liva is very frugal. The Liva returned 15 kmpl in the city and 17 kmpl on the highways. Much needed considering the high petrol prices. Add that to a 45 litre fuel tank and the Liva has a range of nearly 720 kms. Front 2 Airbags are provided and ABS with EBD comes standard on the VX variant. Braking is powerful and brings the car to a halt within no time.

      Tech Specs

      Technical Specifications
       Make Toyota
       Model Etios Liva
      Variant VX
      Engine Capacity 1197/4
      Power in PS@RPM 80PS(59 KW)@ 5600 rpm
      Torque in NM@RPM 104 NM@ 3000 rpm
      Gears 5/Manual
      Turning circle radius (m) 4.8M
      Ground Clearance (m) 170
      Length (mm) 3775
      Width (mm) 1695
      Height (mm) 1510
      Wheel base (mm) 2550
      Fuel Tank capacity in Liters 45
      Average Fuel efficiency 18


      Features J G V VX
      Body coloured bumper Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Fog lamp No No Yes Yes
      Body coloured ORVM No No Yes Yes
      Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Alloy wheels No No Yes Yes
      AC with heater Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
      Electric power steering No Yes Yes Yes
      Central locking No Yes Yes Yes
      Pillow type rear headrest Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Rear defogger No No Yes Yes
      Tilt steering No Yes Yes Yes
      Chrome accented shift knob No No No Yes
      Audio control on steering wheel No No No Yes
      Audio System No No 2DIN1 CDMP3, AM/FM 2DIN1 DVDMP3, AM/FM
      Fabric Upholstery Single tone Single tone Double tone Double tone
      Leather wrapped steering wheel No No No Yes
      ABS with EBD No Optional Yes Yes
      SRS Airbag No Optional 2 2
      Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Keyless entry No Yes Yes Yes
      Tyre rating 175/65 R14 175/65 R14 185/60 R15 185/60 R15
      Price latest
      Ex showroom Bangalore 421476 461306 558134 608684
      Onroad price Bangalore 507557 554507 674831 734975

      Competition All Specs

      Etios Liva
      Variant VX 1.2L highline Titanium 1.2 LT Fire Emotion Mode
      Engine Capacity 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.2 1.4 1.2
      Max Power (PS) 80 75 71 80.5 90 90
      Torque (NM) 104 110 102 108 115 110
      Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M
      Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Music system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Fog Lamps Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes
      Rear wind shield washer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      Defogger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
      ABS Yes Yes Yes Optional Yes Yes
      Airbag 2 2 2 Optional 2 2
      Average fuel efficiency 18 14 14 15 13 16
      Ex showroom Price Mumbai (lacs) 5.97 5.82 4.84 4.96 6.22 7.3


      Toyota has improvised on their own Etios. Personally the Liva looks better than the Etios and with its cheaper price tag, it is even more lucrative. Priced between Rs.4.2 lac (Ex-showroom) for the base J variant to Rs. 6.1 lac (Ex-showroom) for the top of the line VX variant the Liva proves to be very good value for money.

      The Liva gets the Toyota badge and Toyota reliability. Now with the Diesel engine available as an option (between 5.6 to 5.9 lac Ex-Showroom) and only 1,40,000 units to offer this year, the wait list is just going to get longer. 

      Toyota Etios Liva ₹ N/A Onwards
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