To strengthen its footprint in India, Toyota had introduced the Etios as the new entry-level vehicle. This was the first C segment sedan by Toyota for the Indian market, and this was initiated as a part of their global plan to introduce a sedan and hatchback that has been designed for emerging markets.
Albeit the sales numbers saw a rise, the Bangalore-based Japanese auto giant didn’t stop there. It introduced the hatchback version of the Etios and christened it as the Etios Liva. This hatchback is the new entry-level version to the Toyota badge.
Toyota has been known to have highly reliable and trouble-free products. We review the Etios Liva to find out if it lives upto the Toyota badge. Read further to find out how the mystery unfolds.
Etios Liva resembles its elder brethren the Etios in terms of styling. The Liva misses out on the third-box and also the length of the wheelbase has been reduced in the hatch. The Etios Liva also doesn’t get the chrome, like the Etios.
It has been given a sportier stance than premium feel, as it is available in vibrant colours and it misses out on the chrome. If the Etios is for an executive, the Liva is for a youngster, one who might have just begun working.
Etios Liva retains the same Toyota smiley front grille, with the same headlamps like that of the Etios. The Liva comes with an option of body kit that makes it look smart and natty. The rear looks better than the Etios and with the body kit; the Etios Liva also gets an addition of rear spoiler.
The interiors of the Liva are similar to that of the Etios— as both are based on the same platform. The entire instrument panel of the Liva is shared with the Etios. It gets the same dual air-conditioning vents that are located on the left hand side, one above the other instead of next to each other.
It also gets the same music system, instrument cluster, the same steering wheel and the seats like that of the Etios. This helps to reduce the cost of the product. The fit and finish is decent, however, we expected the plastic quality to be a tad better.
The wheelbase of the Liva is 2460mm, which is shorter than the Etios by 90mm. This means that there is a reduction in knee room in the second row. However, the space isn’t that bad. The central tunnel in the second row has been flattened and three large people can seat without much of a squeeze.
There is sufficient room for your head and knees in the second row and you sit comfortably in the first row as well. We wish that the seats had a bit more cushioning to soften them.
The thigh support is decent and to our dismay, the back support wasn’t that good. Even the boot of the Liva is sufficient as it can gobble 251 litres of luggage into it. The loading bay could have been a bit lower for easy loading and unloading.
The Etios Liva comes with a 1.2-litre petrol and a 1.4-litre diesel engine. The diesel engine is same block that also powers the Corolla Altis. Toyota has detuned the same mill from 88bhp to produce only 67bhp. Even out goes the variable geometric turbo that is replaced by the fixed geometry. The 1.4-litre mill churns out 67bhp of power and 170Nm of torque.
The NVH levels of this engine aren’t low, and there is a lot of clatter melodrama especially on cold starts and high rpms. The power delivery is fairly linear and one can potter around in city traffic, even in a higher gear. There is no turbo lag in the engine, but the engine lacks the punch or the rush of power that other common rail diesel engines.
The Etios Liva comes bolted on to a five-speed manual transmission, which is smooth with short throws. Even the clutch is light, making driving in city traffic easy.
Shorter wheelbase of the Liva makes its sportier than the Etios. Push it around bends and obeys you as the authority. It sticks to the line as per your command. The alacrity of the chassis isn’t like its European competition, if you are the thrashing around types. The ride on the Etios Liva is predominantly comfortable, even the secondary ride is moderately smooth. However, at higher speeds, the Etios Liva tends to get bouncy.
The sporty steering wheel feels good to hold and steer. It is light, which makes manoeuvrability easier in city traffic and in busy street lanes. With a short turning radius of 4.8m it becomes easy to steer the Etios Liva.
Toyota has engineered a practical hatchback under the moniker of the Etios Liva. It has sufficient space for passengers and their luggage, drivable and frugal engine, sporty styling and decent price.
The only thing that isn’t in its favour of is the plastic quality, if you can live with that, then the Etios Liva is the hatchback you should procure.
Although the diesel version comes in only one trim level, which doesn’t get all the bells and whistles that its competition possesses.