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Toyota Liva – review
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Toyota Liva – review

After a fairly successful outing with its entry-level sedan, Toyota Etios, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer drives into our Indian roads Liva, Toyota’s small car made-for-India. The small car segment is quiet populated and each car maker, unleashing an array of models. It’s a tough market to crack where volume matters, let’s see if Liva can as their tag line goes “Liv Tmrrw 2day”

The first look…

When you look at the front, Liva looks familiar. It looks identical to its bigger sibling, Etios. So like the sedan,  Liva too has a conservative styling  and devoid of any radical lines and flamboyant designing. It’s a plain-Jane design and Toyota has kept it clean, simple and neat.

Though Liva is not a stunner and a head turner, it sports a pleasant smiling grille with chrome ornamental finishing that gleefully meets the  crystal clear wrap -up headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within. The bonnet sports two neat lines giving a slight mid-rise that adds to the subdued understated and a dash of sporty styling.  (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte front grille). The bumper is neat too with fog lamps and skirting and again let me remind, don’t expect them in base version.

Come to the rear and it is where Liva comes on its own. Etios rear design has been chopped of and given a wonderful treatment. Shedding the big boot, Liva sports a well-proportioned silhouette.  Thanks to the rounded hatch, it looks more appealing and cute. Overall, the rear of Liva compliments with the front design, unlike the Etios rear. The mounted tail light makes the difference to the Liva.  The slight bulge and the mounted tail light gives a sporty and charming character to the car.  It blends well with the hatchback and also adds to the characteristics of the car.

Measuring 2460 mm, Liva has a huge wheelbase and good ground clearance.

The top two versions sports a 12 spoke alloy wheels.

The inside story…

Liva carries the Etios’s touch inside…

The dashboard is plucked straight from Etios.

cool glove box

So you have the same central instrument control, vertically mounted central air conditioning vents and the chilled glove box.  There are plenty of bottle and cup holders (I think I counted 7 of them) and the 13 litre glove box with the air-conditioning vents is a cool thought.

If you thought the centrally placed instrument console would be not practical, you are wrong. It is not only easy to read but also gives the car an interesting perspective and a cool quotient.  The console is pretty well stacked though the two of the starting base versions does not come with tachometer.

The top two variants come with a dual tone fabric upholstery – black and red in the top most variant and the other one in black and grey while the starting two variants comes in a single tone black upholstery which was quiet a boring sight. Again only the top two variants comes with fabric insert door trim. The front and rear door comes with pockets, which was quiet convenient to stuff papers, files  etc.

Liva is quiet spacious. It provides good legroom and headroom both in the front and rear, sitting inside is quiet a lively experience.

Open the hatch and you get a decent 251 litres of b00t space. The rear seat can be folded but there is no split option.

The engine,the heart and the ride…

To take advantage of the excise duty concessions that the government provides for the small cars, Toyota Liva is powered by a 1.2 Litre, four cylinder engine that fires 89PS @ 5600 rpm and 104 Nm @ 3100 rpm. The brief given to the Toyota engineers is concentrate more on the engine efficiency rather than firing on all cylinders. The car is a delight to drive in city roads. It is peppy and behaves well in low revs and accelerates smoothly further. But come to highways, you will be slightly disappointed but then Toyota has strived at giving a good city car rather than a speedster.

As per ARAI, the car delivers 18.3 kmpl. But on a realistic note, expect 14 kmpl in city conditions and 16 kmpl in highways. This is the fine balance the Toyota engineers had worked on balancing the engine efficiency, acceleration and max power.

If you are looking for a diesel engine, sorry to say Liva comes with only a petrol version.

The colors…

Liva comes in 7 colors, apart from the 6 colors that was seen in Etios range, Liva has one added blue color which looks cool too.

The variants and pricing…

Liva comes in 4 variants – J, G, V and the fully loaded VX . The basic version is heavily stripped down and without even power steering, which we find is hugely disappointing and ridiculous.  The base model starts at Rs. 4,21,47 and it goes up to Rs. 6,08,684 for the top model  (Prices are ex-showroom price, Bangalore)

GingerChai verdict: Liva is a good city car  spacious and with decent looks, good ride quality and delivering a good mileage and more importantly its an affordable Toyota. It might not impress the speed demon within you but its a practical, no-nonsense, city car that is what Toyota has aimed and made for India.

0 12 July, 2011 Cars & Bikes July 12, 2011

About the author

A passionate car and bike enthusiast from Bangalore, Sanjiv drives the fast and fair lane and fills our cup with his car and bike reviews.

View all articles by Sanjiv Vakharia


  1. Nethra

    If it’s Toyota then it must be good but with basic model around 4L and high end model 6L, when we have Nano that’s only 1L, it’s not very attractive.

    1. Lakshmi Rajan

      Well, you cannot compare nano and cars like Liva. Nano is a fairly good car for its price and cannot be compared with likes of Etios, Figo, Beat, Swift etc 🙂

  2. subhayu

    liva is a good car,and its have all thing inbuilt what a car need to in indian condition.Good ground clearance,good mileage,ample interior space,with full safety features.Toyota cars always maintain a class.

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