For increasing the number of sales in the car market, the Toyota India has launched the facelifted version of its flagship hatchback, Etios Liva in the country’s car market. It will compete against the likes of Hyundai Grand i10, Renault Pulse, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Fiat Punto EVO, Chevrolet Sail Hatchback and others in this segment. Now it is available with quite a few updated exterior and interior features that will certainly attract the buyers. It is being offered with both petrol and diesel engines in several trim levels. Among them Toyota Etios Liva G is the mid range variant. The internal cabin gets a greige color scheme, which is complemented by new fabric upholstered seats and door trims. It is also incorporated with dual front SRS airbags and driver seat belt reminder notification as standard features. In terms of exteriors, its frontage is designed with a revamped radiator grille and it gets a lot of titanium grey insert. On the other hand, there are no changes to its technical specifications. This variant is fitted with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine under the hood. It can displace 1197cc and can churn out 78.9bhp and 104Nm of power and torque respectively. This hatchback is being offered with a standard warranty of 3-years or 100000 Kilometers, whichever comes first
EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;
Toyota Platinum Etios is a compact sedan with a sharp appearance that is marked by a stylized front grille and radiant headlamps. Intermittent wipers adorn the front windscreen. The upper grille is chrome treated and the lower grille is black in colour. White fog lamps are fitted on both ends of this black lower grille. The bumpers, door handles and Outside Rear-View Mirrors (ORVMs) are of the same colour as the body, and this makes the sedan look extremely elegant.
The side protection moulding comes with chrome insertions and the B-pillar is blacked out. The four 12-spoke alloy wheels are dressed in full wheel caps. Platinum Etios comes with a roof-mounted foldable antenna and the rear end of sedan is embellished with triangular tail lamps. The chrome garnish on its boot adds to the sophistication. Dimensionally, Toyota Etios is 4.27m long, 1.7m wide and 1.51m high. The wheelbase of the sedan is 2550 mm and it provides an incredible ground clearance of 170mm. The turning radius of 4.9m makes it easy to handle.
INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;
With the exteriors done and dusted, let’s check what the Etios Liva has to offer once you step inside the cabin. In all honestly, there is not much. You continue to get the same simplistic and basic cabin layout, which is a bit of a turn-off as there was indeed quite a lot of scope for improvement.
First its the steering wheel, which ergonomically feels a bit to large to handle; however it does get mounted controls for the 2-din music system. Talking about the music system, this piece in itself feels outdated, especially if you were to compare it with the ones available on the competition. The dial for operating the air-con control module are very basic while the ones for door locks, exterior mirror adjustment and headlamp leveling feel a bit awkwardly placed.
With the update, Toyota has now revamped the centrally mounted instrument cluster and now it gets a digital tachometer, in addition to the back-lit speedometer, which now looks significantly better than the earlier one. Ergonomically, the Etios Liva’s cabin offers decent storage space, comfortable seats with good shoulder and under thigh support. To sum it up, the interiors of the Etios Liva are a love it or hate it affair, they have been designed not to look good but to work well, which they will for sure.
ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;
There was a lot of talk of the Liva getting the big 1.5-litre engine from the sedan, but anyone who knows the Indian market would know that the hatch would be looking to exploit the maximum benefits of the excise duty concessions that the Indian government has on offer for small cars. That means that under the Etios Liva hood is a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine (Read :Engine & Transmission). On paper, it isn’t all that bad, 80PS @ 5600rpm and 104Nm @ 3100rpm. In fact the figures are pretty close to most of the competition and better than some as well. Coupled with the Liva’s approximately 900 kg kerb weight, it should also make for a great power-to-weight ratio to score high on performance. But somehow, that’s not the case because the Etios LIVA’s brief seems to be rather straight forward – better efficiency. With the gear ratios matched to make life in the city easier, the car does feel peppy enough at low revs and accelerates cleanly off the line, but the excitement tapers off much too soon and you really need to work the engine to get past 120km/h.
Our instrumented tests did see the car cross the 150km/h mark but it took a lot of patience and even more stretches of empty roads to get there. The 5-speed manual gearbox may be the culprit here with gear ratios more conducive for city driving rather than highway cruising. But that does have a rather positive effect on its fuel efficiency. The ARAI certified stat reads 18.3kmpl cumulative but real world conditions should see you get about 14.3kmpl in the city and 16.1kmpl on the highway. Considering the prices of petrol today, that’s a welcome proposition indeed! All through the test, the Liva’s gearbox provided positive feel and slick shifts all the way to fifth. Predictably, the Liva didn’t scorch the acceleration runs, taking over 17 seconds to cross the 100km/h mark.
RIDE AND HANDLING ;
The ride comfort of the Etios Liva is very good. It doesn’t feel stiff on bad roads. The suspension absorbs most of the road shocks to give a comfortable ride. However at high speeds, it does feel a bit bouncy if your tyre pressures are incorrect. The handling is good enough. It doesn’t have the alacrity like its European competition, but it does a good job. The steering wheel too is light in weight and convenient to drive and park. The driving dynamics are how you get in a Toyota, there is absolutely no compromise
SAFETY AND SECURITY ;
Provisions on the new Liva for the safety of occupants include dual SRS airbags and ABS with EBD standard across variants. It also gets immobilizer, keyless entry, adjustable front headrest, child restraint system ISOFIX, fog lamps in front and reverse sensors
Considering all of the above and the price (Toyota Etios Liva pricing revealed) tag that the Etios Liva sports, it sure seems like a quiet revolution in the small car segment. While most people might not be able to appreciate the car’s importance and value immediately, those who do will remain eternally happy with their decision to buy it. The Etios Liva is a big car in a small package and coupled with legendary Toyota reliability and quality, it should offer quality service to its owners who will revel in its roomy interiors and comfortable seating. This is certainly not the car for someone looking for a super fast mile muncher. But in the context of your monthly running bills, the Liva will definitely bring on the smiles. Maybe that’s what Toyota meant when they said that the Liva was a happy faced car then!