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Road Test: Toyota Etios Liva [2011-2013]

Yogendra Pratap, 22-Jun-2011. Car Tested: Etios Liva [2011-2013]
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Introduction

The Etios sedan has, quite literally, turned around Toyota's fortunes in India. From what used to be a small niche in the Indian automotive market, Toyota can now hope to become one of the major players in the country.


The Etios has appealed to a market which clamours for space and size as well as fuel efficiency and comfort, all in a value-for-money package. While we expected the Etios sedan to do well, the Liva, which is essentially an Etios without a boot, we expect will do even better than the sedan. Because from first impressions it seems that the Etios Liva offers all that the Etios does (except for the boot).

Engine & Gearbox

Replacing the 1.5-litre engine on the Etios is a smaller 1.2-litre 4-cylinder powerplant which has been newly developed by Toyota. As compared to the other 1.2-litre engines in the country, the Toyota 3NR-FE engine makes power that is about par for this displacement with many other manufacturers' 1.2-litre engines churning out higher maximum power and torque.

The 1.2-litre engine has been adopted for the car to meet the sub-4m excise norms which also means that the Etios sedan needs to be shrunk a little. The Liva, at 3775mm, manages the length reduction by the means of 90mm in the wheelbase and another 400mm from the boot.

This means that while in-cabin space also becomes lesser than the Etios sedan, it is not badly compromised. The boot however, at 251 litres is not one of the larger boots among the  super minis in the country.

The Drive

The car is excellent to drive like its sibling with superb dynamic abilities. With an emphasis on ride quality and with its big car feel, the Etios should be able to ride out the worst of Indian roads with ease.

The engine, though not the greatest in power and torque is adequate, and will, like the Etios', be highly efficient. The interiors, apart from the lesser kneeroom, are exactly the same as on the Etios and thus the Liva also gets the same glove compartment as the Etios and also a similar number of stowage spaces.

Verdict

The Liva looks likely to take forward the Etios success story as it makes the same value offering that was made by its sedan sibling. In addition to the space are also all the Etios' features and an engine that will undoubtedly be highly fuel efficient. The car rides and drives like a big car and the only setback is an average sized boot, which of course can be extended. With the Etios starting at Rs 4.99 lakh it is likely the Liva will start at about Rs 1 lakh under the sedan and thereby be an excellent value proposition.

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