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Shiva Shankar Shiva Shankar Saturday 02 July 2011

Toyota Etios Liva Review – First Impressions

Toyota had launched its entry level sedan Toyota Etios a few months back and has now introduced its much awaited hatchback version of the same, the Toyota Etios Liva. We made a visit to the Toyota dealer to check out Toyota’s new hatchback. Below are our first impressions of the Toyota Etios Liva. 

Toyota Etios Liva


The dimensions of the Etios Liva are similar to those of the Etios in terms of width, height, ground clearance, and fuel tank capacity. The variations are obviously is with respect of the length and wheel base, due to its hatchback shape. The car’s exterior design is on par with other cars like Hyundai i20, Skoda Fabia, VW Polo and yet to be launched Maruti new Swift, Though there have not been many impressive changes or innovations in styling, the boosting factor for the Etios Liva are the colour options, brand and quality image of Toyota.

Toyota Etios Liva

At the front of the Liva, the head lights on the wide front bumper and the chrome lined Toyota emblem give the confidence of Toyota brand. However, the head light size seems on the large size, and though positioned well, it certainly feels that it could have been improved. The positioning of the windshield is in par with aerodynamics and adds to the aesthetics of the front portion.  Black radiator grill and fog lamp add to a good impression of the car.

Toyota has used a good quality of body panels which is indicated by the sturdy feel of the front fender, front door, rear door and quarter panel.

Compared to sedan version Etios, a lot of curves have been introduced in the Etios Liva to make it impressive in styling. The rear side of the Etios Liva is also quite attractive. It looks quite big and the newly designed Tail lamps help in boosting the image of rear side of car. 


The best of the features of the Etios Liva are found in the interiors, though they are of course similar to the Etios. Just as in the Etios, Toyota has put the instrument cluster in the middle portion like that of Vista. When it had been introduced by Tata Motors, it had received lot of negative comments. Perhaps at this time, the Toyota Etios Liva’s dashboard would be better received. Further, the music system is nicely placed surrounded by the instrument cluster, with blower vents and AC control knobs beneath the dashboard. Also glove box is designed well to accommodate good lot of materials and has provision of AC input to keep things cool.

Toyota Etios Liva

The seating positioning is good and one has ample space for stretching his legs. There is good amount of head room too to help for comfortable seating for tall persons. The integrated head rest seats on the front are of alright quality, and help provide extra length for back. Steering wheel is slightly oval shaped, making it stand out a bit. In the VX variant, we find audio controls on steering wheel also. The power window switches provided on the driver side door help for ease of operation.

On the rear seats of the Liva there is good leg space and comfortable seating for three passengers. Though there is good back support, one could feel the seat is bit narrow, lacking full comfort for thighs. Indeed, from the rear the car looks wider than it is on the inside.

Toyota Etios Liva

The integrated front seats help for better support but at the same time block the front side visibility for rear seat passengers. Bottle holders are provided in the rear door panels, and would certainly be a advantage for the convenience of the passenger.

The foldable rear seat provides expandable space for luggage. The seat lock is easy to operate, just a simple flip is enough to open it and fold the seat. The panel on the back can be used for fitment of additional speakers if needed and it is also detachable easily to accommodate of easy of usage of interiors.

Even with rear seat in sitting position, there is good enough space in boot to accommodate for storage of two or three bags.

Toyota Etios Liva

Indeed, all in all the interiors are a great boosting factor for Etios Liva. Though, it should be noted that we saw the dual tone version, and the single colour, black interior may be less impressive.


The Etios Liva comes with a 4 cylinder petrol engine with capacity of 1197cc, which churns out a power output of 80 PS and torque of 104 NM. The engine has been mated to a 5 speed manual transmission. On the front, the Toyota Etios Liva has MacPherson suspension, while at the rear torsion beam suspension is present. Further, the Etios Liva has been equipped with disc brakes on the front and at the rear, it carries drum brakes. The car has a ground clearance of 170mm and turning circle radius of 4.8m. 

Toyota Etios Liva 

All variants of the Liva are fitted with tubeless tyres, while alloy wheels are available in top end variants. The Etios Liva’s indicated mileage is 18KMPL, an attractive number.

The Etios Liva comes in basic four variants dubbed as J, G, V and VX. There is also a fifth, called the G SP, which has features as per the V variant, though the upholstery remains single tone black. Colour options in the Etios Liva include Symphony silver, Ultimate Blue, Harmony Beige, Serene bluish silver, Vermillion Red, Celestial Black, and White.
In a nutshell, the variants can be summarized as below:

  • The Toyota Etios Liva J is a very basic entry variant, and comes without power steering and power windows
  • The Toyota Etios Liva G carries the functional features which one would expect in a Toyota hatchback, such as central locking, power steering and power windows, but no safety features
  • The Toyota Etios Liva V comes with safety features added, such as ABS and airbags, as well as alloy wheels and bigger wheels
  • The Toyota Etios Liva VX adds some cosmetic enhancements, such as chrome and leather wrapped steerings.

 Toyota Etios Liva

We took the Etios Liva for a drive. Getting into the car is quite easy with wide opening doors, and the good leg space provided helps for ease in getting in and out. Seat cushioning is good and gives the feel of comfort. Integrated head rest back provided the required lumbar support also.

The engine starts smoothly and is very quiet. The hand brake made simple and very light in operating - while putting it back there is minimum effort required.

We took the Etios Liva for a ride on the state highway. The rear view mirrors are well positioned as well as the cabin mirror due to which following the movement of vehicles on the rear side is not a problem.

What impresses most is the steering. We realized a turning circle radius of 4.8M, which means taking the car out from narrow spaces will never be a problem. Changing gears is very smooth and one can easily change gears while driving. The car’s ride is very smooth and comfortable. The Toyota Etios Liva’s AC is good and powerful and one could feel the effectiveness of the same quickly after turning it on. One more point here is that the glove box is also provided with blower inputs and hence cooling takes place in glove box, making it a good storage for things like chocolates, cool drink bottles etc. Also cup holders have been provided in each door and near the dash which adds to comfort as expected from a premium hatch.

Toyota Etios Liva

Major humps in the road are overcome with comfort thanks to the high quality suspension. There was no discomfort after the front wheels crossed hump, and there was enough ground clearance to clear the humps without scraping the ground.

The car’s pick up is good and we could reach 60 to 80KMPH easily and smoothly in city traffic. While we pushed the car, we were able to touch 150 on the highways. The positioning of Instrument cluster in the middle though innovative, makes it difficult to gauge the speed of the car.Parking of the Etios Liva was easy and we could confidently park the car with minimum space for turning the car.

Tech specs
Technical Specifications
Make Toyota
Model Etios Liva
Engine Capacity 1197/4
Power in PS@RPM 80PS(59 KW) @ 5600 rpm
Torque in NM@RPM 104 NM @ 3000 rpm
Gears 5/Manual
Turning circle radius (m) 4.8M
Ground Clearance (mm) 170
Length (mm) 3775
Width (mm) 1695
Height (mm) 1510
Wheel base (mm) 2550
Fuel Tank capacity in Liters 45
Average Fuel efficiency 18
Features J G V VX
Body coloured bumper Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog lamp No No Yes Yes
Body coloured ORVM No No Yes Yes
Tubeless tyres Yes Yes Yes Yes
Alloy wheels No No Yes Yes
AC with heater Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows No Yes Yes Yes
Electric power steering No Yes Yes Yes
Central locking No Yes Yes Yes
Pillow type rear headrest Yes Yes Yes Yes
Rear defogger No No Yes Yes
Tilt steering No Yes Yes Yes
Chrome accented shift knob No No No Yes
Audio control on steering wheel No No No Yes
Audio System No No 2 DIN 1 CD MP3,AM/FM 2 DIN DVD MP3/AM/FM
Fabric Upholstery Single tone Single tone Double tone (black &grey) Double tone (black &grey)
Leather wrapped steering wheel No No No Yes
ABS with EBD No Optional Yes Yes
SRS Airbag No Optional 2 2
Immobiliser Yes Yes Yes Yes
Keyless entry No Yes Yes Yes
Tyre rating 175/65 R14 175/65 R14 185/60 R15 185/60 R15
Price latest
Ex showroom Bangalore 421476 461306 558134 608684
Onroad price Bangalore 507557 554507 674831 734975
Etios Liva
Variant VX 1.2L highline Titanium 1.2 LT Option Fire Emotion Pk
Engine Capacity 1.2L 1.2L 1.2L 1.2 1.4
Max Power (PS) 80 75 71 80.5 90
Torque (NM) 104 110 102 108 115
Gears 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M 5/M
Power Steering Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Power windows Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Central locking Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
A/C Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Music system Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Fog Lamps Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Rear wind shield washer Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Defogger Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
ABS Yes Yes Yes Optional Yes
Airbag 2 2 2 Optional 2
Average fuel efficiency 18 14 14 15 13
Ex showroom Price Mumbai (lacs) 5.97 5.82 4.84 4.96 6.22

The Etios Liva can be termed as a better late than never introduction of a hatchback car from Toyota. It is the car for people who want a hatchback with the Quality of Toyota at a good price. Indeed, the competitive price with different options is a great boosting factor for the entry variant, which is however quite poorly equipped. As features get added, the price does shoot up steeply.

Toyota Etios Liva

While the Etios Liva maintains a good quality, Toyota has necessarily compromised on a few points of brand image which one could have seen in an Endeavour or Altis, in order to provide a reliable premium hatch car in the range of 5 to 7.5 Lakh.

The Etios Liva does come with many boosting factors such as a decent mileage of 18KMPL, power of 80PS and good interior space and comfortable seating. Overall, the Etios Liva is a worthy selection for people looking for a reliable premium hatch range of 5 to 7.5 Lakh. 

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