Ever since I saw it at the 2010 Auto Expo, where the Liva (along with the Etios) had been displayed as a concept car I've been waiting for the Liva to set the cat amongst the pigeons. Yes, Toyota does have hatchbacks in it's product portfolio globally but it doesn't have one in it's India portfolio. Until now, that is. Which meant that the company was missing out on a very key segment of the Indian market. The Etios saloon came first and it was adequate but didn't really set one's imagination on fire. All it did was to get most people who drove it remember the Maruti Esteem in terms of dynamics and some thought it looked like a bit like the Renault (Dacia) Logan. The Liva on the other hand was expected to be launched in April 2011 but various factors including the major disaster that affected Fukushima and Japan.
Just as Etios is a derivation of the Greek word Ethos which means spirit, character and ideas, Liva has been derived by combining the words and the intention - Lively and Live Life to the fullest. This also tells you who the car is targetted at, today's youth whose spirit and belief influences the advertising line for the Etios Liva -“LIV TOMORROW TODAY”. Toyota likes to do this in India – remember the Qualis?
Etios Liva is available in four variants, J, G, V and VX, and the pricing ranges from Rs 3.99 Lakhs to Rs. 5.99 Lakhs, ex-showroom Delhi. Toyota says the Liva has several USPs that will endear the car to buyers – These include youthful and sporty design, best-in-class cabin space, superior ride comfort and best-in-class fuel efficiency. Toyota has attempted to impart a stylish, sporty and trendy look by offering the Etios Liva with aero kits with front, rear and side skirt. The sporty flat-bottomed steering wheel is another plus as is the 2 DIN audio system with Aux in, USB and a wireless remote.
Toyota says that the Etios Liva has been designed around the concept of ‘Bold Simplicity’. Dunno about that but from the front the Liva is very Etios-like . The same front dominated by the smiling grille and Toyota logo has been replicated here. Standing next to the B pillar looking back, I'm reminded of the Micra but while the Micra's hatch is slanted forward a bit aggressively, this one is upright. The profile view is that of any other hatch in the segment give or take a line here and a curve there.
Read full Test Drive Review : Toyota Liva: Spunky Little Runabout