Toyota is blazing all the guns to catch the interests of the Indian customers. After their entry into the mass-segment with Toyota Etios and later, Toyota Etios Liva, the Japanese auto major has now given us one, no, two more reasons to buy the fore mentioned cars. Enter the Toyota Etios Diesel and Toyota Etios Liva Diesel. After the Japan earthquake and tsunami delayed the launch of the cars earlier, the company now wants to take on the rivals with all it’s got. The timing of the diesel cars can never be better where they enjoy over 70% market share. Will the Etios and Toyota EtiosLiva Diesel prove their worth? Let’s see.
Styling is not one of the USPs of the Toyota Etios to be honest, but compared to the likes of Swift Dzire and Indigo Manza, Toyota Etios doesn’t fail to attract. This doesn’t mean Etios is not good-looking, the design is just too simple and Toyota has not put much interest in making it attractive. The Etios Liva looks much better than its sedan sibling and will attract more buyers if they tend to put away with the boot space.
Everything remains the same in the diesel twins as their petrol counterparts as far as exterior and interior styling goes. On the outside, the front profile is where the Etios look better with a smiling grille and big headlamps. To the rear, the Liva scores better than the Etios, whose rear design is, as I said earlier, too simple. The side skirts and the spoiler (for the Liva) add some style quotient. The interiors are the same story with the center mounted instrument cluster (again not a fan), dull looking interiors (except for the top-end variant) etc., with the only highlight being the flat bottomed steering wheel that you get in the top-end variant.
Quality and Features
The quality of the plastics used inside the cars still leave you yearning for better ones. The Etios Diesel is available in GD, GD (SP), VD and VXD grades. It comes loaded with audio system, alloy wheels, tachometer, fog lamps, side skirts, antenna, rear defogger, ABS, airbags, 2 DIN CD/DVD player and dual tone fabric seats and leather-wrapped, flat-bottomed steering wheel. The features are variant-based, so choose wisely. The Etios Liva Diesel will be available in GD and GD (SP) grades with no tachometer, audio system or alloy wheels but ABS comes as standard.
Space and Comfort
Space is the biggest selling point of the Etios and Liva. Five adults can travel in utmost comfort that can be availed in the class. The cabin of both the cars is extremely roomy and the rear seat comfort is as best as it can get. With a flat bottom in the rear, three adults can sit comfortably without the usual discomfort for the one sitting in the middle. The boot and hatch space also score top marks for their luggage capability.
Up next is the engine, the only reason this review is being written. Both the diesel versions of the Etios and Etios Liva are powered by the same engine that drives the Toyota Corolla Altis. The 1.4 litre D-4D common rail diesel engine fitted in the Etios twins have different gear ratios and lose the variable turbo for a fixed turbo for to cut down costs. Mated to a five-speed gearbox, this engine pumps a maximum power of 68 PS at 3800 rpm and highest torque of 170 NM @ 1800-2400 rpm.
The car performs flawlessly in the city driving with the gear ratios matching the requirements. In the highway, as the speeds build up so does the sound clatter from the engine. Overtaking needs some effort but the cars don’t fail you. The engine has been tuned to provide a fuel economy of 23.59 kmpl and that should put a smile to your face similar to the cars fascia.
Riding and Handling
With MacPherson struts in the front and torsion beam setup to the rear, riding the cars is as comfortable as they already were. The suspension of the cars has been re-tuned to match the increase in weight and this has resulted in the cars absorbing the holes and bumps much better. The increase in weight has also improved the feel of the steering wheel, which now weighs better and provides healthier feedback. Though the Liva handles better than the Etios because of the lack of boot, the 15-inch wheels of the Etios give you more confidence and grip than the 14-inch ones in the Liva.
Though not the most stylish ones, both the cars have proven to be of capable diesel choices, choices you will be happy with. Good comfort levels and space, adept diesel engine and attractive pricing would surely tip the scales in favour of either of these cars. The Etios Diesel is priced in the range of Rs.6.44 lakhs - 7.87 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), the Etios Liva Diesel is priced at Rs.5.54 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi).