A litre of petrol costs Rs 25 more than a litre of diesel in Delhi today — a price-difference of almost 62% that spells bad news for petrol cars. Hence the launch of the Toyota Liva diesel can be termed timely. But is the vehicle itself good enough to capitalise on the long waiting-period of the segment topper, Maruti’s Swift?
No change in looks. The Liva with its cheery demeanour has a pleasant road presence — but it is no head turner. Compact, neatly designed, cute (depending on colour). But it will not win pageants.
Liva’s sore point. From its plastic to its fit and finish, interiors of the Liva bely the fact that its a Toyota. The centrally mounted instrument panel has a dated dull feel to it. Also apalling is the absolute lack of equipment wherein you will not even get a music system for spending almost Rs 6 lakh. What works for it though, is oodles of space in a way that no car in the segment can beat.
Ride and handling
Powered by a 1.4 litre D4D engine, same as in a much bigger Corolla, the diesel Liva is sprightly and if pressed hard is quite fun to drive.
Handling is top notch and is one of its strong points while working through the gears is effortless. This engine though, is not the most refined and the thud of the motor and its grunts while accelerating all filter in to the cabin. Or maybe, if it had a music system, one would have complained less.
The ARAI (automobile regulatory authority of India) figure for economy puts the car just above the Swift, and our analysis concurs with it. Fuel economy has been a key area where Toyota has been working and this car is quite easy on the pocket.
Toyota has managed to engineer the car well, but it is the other areas where it seems to have missed the beat. Shoddy interiors, low levels of equipment and poor attention to detail mar the story of a vehicle that could have been the answer to many questions.