The Toyota Etios Liva is the hatchback sibling of the Platinum Etios sedan. Since the two share the platform, the Liva gets to reap the benefits of the larger Etios even though being a hatch. That said, over past few years, Indian customer are showing an upward trend shifting towards large hatchbacks from the traditional high selling entry level ones. This is where the Etios Liva figures in. The Updates that arrived for the sedan version also percolated to the Liva making it much premium over its old version.
A compared to the first Liva, the new(er) Liva gets a better-looking front and rear bumper design. Especially the front is now sportier with the gaping design of the grill. The fog lamp cluster surrounded by chrome also adds to the cars sportier air. Being a hatch, the Liva does not suffer from its elder sibling’s ungainly side profile. In fact, it has a slight resemblance to the JDM sporty air from the ’90s. Here, the great looking 15-inch alloy wheels further lend a sportier much more engaging look to the car’s profile. All in all, the Liva especially when compared to the Etios sedan looks much more purposeful and soothing to the eyes. As for its direct rivals, the Liva does not offend anyone while a few might like its simple sporty air, especially in the bright metallic shades.
Like already mentioned, most updates that arrived at the Etios sedan have found their way to the Etios Liva as well. This means the centrally mounted instrument cluster remains, though is a much better design execution this time around. The air vent is still those quirky vertical slates, (so much JDM appeal there though). The new dual tone finish on the dash also is a welcome addition, while the overall fit and finish have improved considerably. Ergonomics remain as good as its sibling with good storage all around. However, in the large hatch market, things with its rivals are more funky, modern and well, better executed. However, the comfort being thrown into with those large supportive seats remains among the best in the segment. The steering and seat height can be adjusted, which further aids to the comfort. That large glass area and viewing angle lend an airy feel to the cabin. It also helps in driving through thick city traffic with ease. The A and C pillars are pretty thin, makes one wonder how Toyota has managed to make this car safe, but we have been told they have. The car is light on its feet and broad enough for three adults at the back. Though the Liva gets the best stuff form the Etios sedan, it does lack a fair bit on the huge boot space.
Again the whole driving experience of the Toyota Liva is much like the Etios sedan it is based on. However, it weighs less than the sedan and it means there is more performance to be had from it. The engines are similar to the Etios sedan and that means you get a 1.2 petrol unit that makes a modest 79bhp of power with a peak torque rating of 104Nm from its 1.2-litre capacity. The diesel which is a 1.4-litre lump makes 67bhp while the peak torque is rated at 170Nm. The petrol unit is more rev happy due to obvious reasons, while the 5-speed gearbox is ultra-smooth on both engine options.
The suspension is set up for comfort and the soft setup does take a decent amount of fun out of the drive. That is a slight shame since the steering is rather nice to hold and offers decent feedback. In the city, you would be pampered by this suspension as the car will float almost through almost all of the bad patches. However, the same positive attributes do tend to send in some bounce at highway speeds, still, there is not much to fret about the Liva in this aspect.
The Toyota Etios Liva is priced form INR 5.24 lakhs for base petrol variant to INR 7.44 Lakhs for the top end diesel unit. However, it plays in a segment that is highly contested and almost all cars lay a strong claim to the throne. It compete s with the likes of Hyundai I20, Honda Jazz, Maruti Baleno, VW Polo on one side, while the likes of Ford Figo, Maruti Swift, Hyundai Grand i10 on the other.
Toyota’s reliability. Comfortable seats. Enough space for five adults. Smooth Gearbox and clutch.
Limited appeal. Lacks desirability. Rivals offer more features. Intense competition.