Toyota Etios Liva: Road Test
Toyota's small car is finally here and the long wait seems well worth it! ZigWheels puts the Etios Liva to the test
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It seems like Toyota had already broken the mould with the Etios LIVA even before the hatchback’s launch. How? Well, normal practice for most manufacturers at least in India has been to launch the hatchback first and then stick a boot on to it after a few months. So it did come as a bit of a surprise when the extremely spacious Etios sedan was launched first in India. Toyota opted to hold back the hatchback. It’s here now though and the Toyota Etios Liva promises to not only live up to its suffix but also to the ‘breaking the mould’ theme in many more aspects. While the Etios Liva may not seem overly revolutionary at first glance, over time it will truly prove to be just so.
For starters, it sports a different engine compared to its sedan sibling, for more reasons than just efficiency. With a 1.2-litre engine under the aggressive front end, the Etios Liva also attempts to make the most of the excise duty concessions that the Indian government offers small cars. But the word ‘small’ itself is a paradox here because despite the Etios Liva fitting the bill as far as external dimensions are concerned, it is quite the opposite on the inside.
Design & Style: Happy face or angry bird?
The press release for the Toyota Etios Liva says that the car’s front was designed to look like a happy face. Now, everyone’s favourite angry birds may or may not have been around when the car was penned, but there’s no denying that the two do look similar. And that is not necessarily a bad thing. It means that the Etios Liva has a certain cuteness to it and despite the fact that it shares the same front end as the Etios sedan, the Liva looks more appealing owing to the rounded hatch at the back. That’s really where the magic of the Liva is. The rear end design is simply a delight to behold. It makes the front end look complete, something that the sedan could never manage. Two corner-mounted tail lights do the trick to give the Etios Liva not only a beautiful aura but also a very sporty stance. The car has a long wheelbase and pretty good ground clearance, but the overall design (Read : Design and Style) of the car camouflages both aspects extremely effectively from the outside so as not to appear jarring in any way. Read about how we think the new Etios Liva will fare against the existing competition here : Read : Liva Competition Check
If the exteriors are aggressive, yet cute, the interiors live up to the car’s name beyond doubt. The complete set is a straight lift from the sedan which means it comes with the same vertically mounted central air conditioning vents and the chilled glovebox. The central instrument console is also carried over and we must say it does give the car a rather interesting dimension. The sporty theme is extended all the way from the seat fabric and the door trims to the steering wheel and the central dash layout. But then again, that was bound to happen considering that the Etios sedan was always a very nice car to be spending time in and the Liva’s insides are more or less an identical match.
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