TRD stands for Toyota Racing Division and this division is hosting the Toyota Etios Racing Cup in India. Toyota had introduced a limited edition TRD Sportivo version on the Liva, however the response has resulted as a variant of Etios Liva since the time the hatchback and the sedan got titivated.
We were happy with the changes that the Etios facelift had received in our previous review, and now we get our hands on the Etios Liva TRD Sportivo. Dig in deeper to know how the good this hatchback is.
The styling of the Etios Liva TRD is similar to the regular Etios Liva, except for the additional body kit that makes it stand out in a crowd. Etios Liva has got an upgrade recently, with new front grille and minute changes being made to the front bumper and headlamps. The tail lamps have also been tweaked. TRD version of the Etios Liva gets a body kit for the front bumpers, side skirts and even at the rear. It gets a six-spoke alloy with different colour roof rails.
The rear also gets a spoiler that contributes to the styling of the Etios Liva, screaming out that this is TRD version with a more powerful engine.
The things that looks out of place is the front bumper, as it misses out on fog lamps and even no grab door handles, considering the cost being above Rs 7 lakhs.
The interiors of the Etios Liva have been revamped, when compared to the previous version. The facelift has undergone sea changes and the styling definitely looks much better.
The front seats now have adjustable headrests, and even the red and black combination of fabric upholstery has been replaced by grey and black. The music system also have been replaced by a new 2 DIN system, which does look better than the previous one.
Even the door pad styling has been changed and it feels more premium that before. Toyota has also worked on the insulation, reducing the sound that intrudes into the cabin.
The space in the Etios Liva is the same, and it has a very function over form design and five people can sit in comfort without any squeeze. The boot is also fairly large to swallow luggage.
The TRD version misses out on parcel tray, which is a let down and even the floot mats are beige which can make them dirty very easily. The seats have TRD Sportivo embossed on them and this does look good.
The interior on the facelift version looks leaps and bounds beter than the previous styling, however the styling of the AC vents is one thing that many won’t appreciate.
Engine and transmission:
Etios Liva sports three engine options, two being petrol and one being the diesel. The petrol ones includes the 1.2-litre and the 1.5-litre, while the diesel is the 1.4. The 1.5-litre is available only on the TRD Sportivo and it produces about 89bhp of power. This engine might not look powerful on paper, but it is the power to weight ratio that makes it a lot more performance driven. You can get pushed back in your seat in the second gear, and even encounter some amount of wheel spin. There is sufficient power irrespective of what engine speed you are at. The Etios Liva TRD is quick and even efficient. If you need better efficiency and sober styling, we recommend the 1.2-litre petrol or the 1.4-litre diesel depending on your usage. Those engines are reasonably powerful and the diesel is frugal.
Even the gearshifts are positives and the throws are short. We had liked this engine on the Etios, now on the Liva it is even more fun. The clutch is also light and one doesn’t feel tired of long drives.
The TRD Sportivo is the sport version of the Etios Liva, hence it has to have an edge in the handling department. The suspension is stiffer, the steering is more responsive and even the extra power is there to push that extra mile. The chassis of the Etios Liva is really flexible and the eagerness of it around the bends is fabulous.
The ride of the TRD Sportivo is wee bit stiffer, as the hatch has been tuned for better handling. The ride in the front row is fine, however it is the rear where the stiffness is felt. The steering is also light and easy to drive in city or the highway. Even the feedback from the wheel is good enough to retain the confidence of the driver around tight corners.
The Etios Liva TRD Sportivo is definitely one of the hottest hatchbacks around, until the Volkswagen Polo TSi comes in. The Etios Liva has always be practical, except for its quality. This has been taken care by Toyota. However, at about Rs 7.5lakhs, the Etios Liva is an expensive affair as it misses out on features like fog lamps, rear wiper and even defogger.