Toyota hatches Etios Liva in India

Is there anything bigger than the occasion of the world’s largest automaker entering the world’s biggest small car market with its world’s cheapest car? Phew, that was an overdose of superlatives in a single statement and it just goes on to show just how much this moment was eagerly awaited. The brand Toyota is so alarmingly strong in India that the global recalls, which almost crippled Toyota world-wide had almost no effect in India. Starting from the Corolla Altis to the Fortuner to the Landcruiser, Toyota was dominating every segment it was competing in.

Then came the Etios sedan and Toyota was no more a fringe player in India. The bookings shot through the roof and the long waitlist, which stretched for months together, forced Toyota to postpone the launch of its hatchback variant Liva. After making sure that the sedan customers have got their due and the waitlist has come down to sensible levels, Toyota has finally launched the Etios Liva in the country on 27th of June with ex-showroom prices ranging from 3.99 Lacs to about 6 Lacs, depending on the city in which it retails.

Now, don’t drool over the starting price as that variant does not even have a power steering. With people complaining about the lack of power steering in the Tata Nano, this is a shocking omission by Toyota. Having said that, hats off to the company for giving Safety Pack (ABS & Airbags) as an option even in the mid variant. If only other manufacturers learn from this and start giving ABS and Airbags as options right across the model range instead of only the top-end variants, it would be great. The Etios Liva is not as feature-rich as the i20 but is also not under-equipped either.

The front-end of the Liva with its smiling grille, small headlamps and chrome accents is carried over from the Etios sedan. In profile, the sloping windows and the thick C-Pillar has strong resemblance to the Nissan Micra. The rear end of the Liva looks much better than the sedan but the taillights are a tad oversized and the thick chrome strip is too gaudy to pass off unnoticed. I agree, Indians love chrome, but to what extent? The top-end variant that comes with chin spoiler, side skirts and roof spoiler looks sporty, especially in that unique Blue color that is being offered.

Toyota has openly stated that it will spend the next two years in India establishing the brand ‘Etios’. With the sedan already commanding a waiting list and making Toyota work over-time, the Liva is just going to compound those problems. The combination of its no-nonsense looks, acceptable interior quality, sensible feature levels, competitive pricing, good service reputation and above all Toyota’s bullet-proof reliability will make sure that the Etios Liva becomes a huge success. In just the first two days of launch, the Liva has already managed to garner more than 1000 bookings. But then, it is not something new as every Toyota model has succeeded big-time in India.


  1. Hello Aravind Thanks for the Great deal of information on the newly launched Liva.

    I would like to share my recent test drive experience and views about this product.

    I had a 5KM drive on this machine and the 1.2L Power train system seemed to have a good response and acceleration was also on the better side,

    the Engine sound was hardly to be heard inside the cabin.

    Handling was zippy and gives a great deal of confidence in maneuvering the vehicle.

    Gear shift was a point of concern as the shift feel needs to be worked on for Indian conditions.

    On to the sporty looks of the car, much attention is paid both to the exterior and interior as well.

    Exterior comes with the chrome fitting, Spoilers, Bumper and side line Skirts and the Interior is complemented with

    sporty Steering Wheel with mounted audio Control, Red Fabric Seats and Door Trim inserts & Chrome finish.

    Talking of the seats, rear leg room is good enough to have decent comfort level with sufficient boot space.

    Though there are few short comings like use of poor plastic in the interiors, awkward looking Centre cluster,

    much noise while operating the switches in the console and Turn Signals.

    Toyota's cost covering measures are much evident in many of the places,

    but the over all feel seems to be positive with a mileage of 18.3 Km/litre as claimed by Toyota.

  2. Thanks for the above comment prazzy. That was a neat driving impression covering almost all aspects of the vehicle. Though I agree to your views on the engine and handling of the vehicle which are pretty good, its the interior quality and to an extent its looks that are dampeners for the Liva.

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