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Old 5th March 2012, 13:06   #1
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Default Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

10 years is a very long time to keep a car.
But very long feels like a weak adjective when it comes to an old indica. 10 years makes an indica Ancient.
So... as 2011 came to a close, we were sitting with an ancient indica, and an aging safari.
Safari with its tantrums, and Indica with its own set of problems meant.. we did not have a single "fill it, shut it, forget it car:.

It meant when Safari went for its Spa holiday to the workshop, we were without a car.

So last year the quest began.

Buying Decision
Deciding on "What Car" is not easy. The "What car" section is a testimony to that. People take days, months or even years to decide on a car. some people take so long that their original candidates actually get phased out.
I had no such intentions, so we decided to get on a TDing spree.

Our experiences are in details here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...h-hopping.html (When truck drivers go hatch hopping)

And our "what car" thread is here
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...d-liva-gd.html (Budget diesel hatch - For one with A.S.S. Phobia - EDIT: Booked Liva GD!)

They are fairly long threads, with the usual flop flops and confusion and drama. But the jist of it was that around Nov we decided to book the Liva GDSP.
We loved the blue, and red. So, we booked a silver Liva. Well we did not book the silver liva because we loved red and blue, its just that, we were playing safe.


Final candidates were
Ritz Vdi - Which we called the car with the dented read hatch
Nissan Micra - The car with no breaks
Liva GDSP - Car with Brakes, and airbags, but it was actually a scooter under the skin.

On road, the Ritz was the cheapest. Around 6L, with no airbags, and a dent right out of showroom. The Micra was around 6.3, but it had only one airbag. Since it had no ABS, and no brakes to talk about, they might well have given 2 airbags. It was our choice, but the brakes, and lack of service center in Noida, and the 5000kms service interval pushed us away

that left the Scooter, and the dented car.
And guess what the Ritz had a tacho, but no Airbags.; And the Liva had a lot more space too. So at the altar of practicality, and space, the Tachometer was sacrificed.

So we booked the very noisy car with one wiper, No tacho, no temp gauge, and no foot mats or mud flaps.... But it had ABS, Airbags, excellent brakes and acres of space.

Estimated delivery time was given End feb/early march(4 months).

So the wait started, for the Silver Liva diesel.

Eternal Confusion of the confused mind
A few weeks back, I visited the dealer in Ludhiana, and he told me that they can deliver me a Silver Liva "Next week". We were getting impatient too with the rumor that govt may put a 1 billion rs tax on every new diesel car.
Toyota had also changed the interiors to black and put some more foam. Since black dashboards and foam are very expensive, price also went up by 15K.
So we were at the dealership, and we decided that we did not want a Silver Liva.

It has to be red or blue. Eventually red was decided, and our delivery date was pushed by another 2-3 weeks.

Delivery!
"your car is on the way" please make the payment, was what the dealer said. And we promptly did so, and on Saturday night, we were in Ludhiana. A call to dealer revealed that though the system was showing ETA of -1 day, the car was not here yet. So we will not get our car.
I called up the main sales guys, and expected a wall. But there wasn't any. Their delivery incharge told me that since I am already in town, they will specially get some staff on a sunday and get the PDI done.
I was already liking toyota.

And so, on an unusually warm Sunday Afternoon.... We got our Liva GDSP. In bright shining read.

It took around 2 hours, due to some temp number fiascos, but... we had the Liva.
Finally, we had our "Fill it, shut it forget it".

Normally, you go to a fuel station right from the dealership, because new cars run on fumes.
But I was quite amused when I saw the dealers men taking a huge jerrycan of diesel, and pouring it on. "Sir, there is atleast 10 liters of diesel in tank".

We were already liking Toyota. all in all, an excellent delivery experience... except for

FREEBIES.

you see, getting something free, is a big part of car delivery. It does not matter if its just 500rs footmats, or just some cheap mudflaps.
Its the freebie thing.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing with a liva diesel. No mud flaps, no foot mats, no hangy thingy.

So now it was time to get the stuff.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th May 2012 at 18:40.
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Old 28th March 2012, 22:50   #2
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Default Acessory time

The accessory list was set. 14" steel rims will go. 14" alloys will come in.
175/65R14 Bridgestones will go away, and be replaced by 185/65R14. So actually around 5mm gain in GC.

Tire change was done fairly quickly. Next stop? Well foot mats and stereo. The requirement was basic. Get something cheap which plays from pen drives. And guess what, whats cheaper than the JBL X-333? At 3200 it was a steal.

Finally at the end of the day, we had a liva with alloy wheels,185/65 Apollo Acelere and a stereo which played USB. But we had no radio.

Why?
Because the liva does not come with an antenna. It has a hole for the antenna. So you can call it the car with the hole, but it had no antenna.

And guess what, the wire from the hole to the stereo ran only till half of the A pillar. MY deduction. Stereo is at the wrong place. Stereo should be fitted in the passenger side A pillar, cause thats where the antenna wire ends.

Eventually, much later we got the antenna and wire and also mud flaps, but thats mundane details. And by the way, we got some nice seat covers too.

So now that buying, accessorizing is over.. Lets see what she looks like.

The shot of the brand new car
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Some night time shots of alloys

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And now, its time to start the actual review

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th May 2012 at 18:42.
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Old 28th March 2012, 23:05   #3
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Default Grrrr.... Toyota

So now you definitely want to know how she drives, how she rides, hows the handling and the regular stuff.
But the fact of the matter is I can't even begin to talk about all that.
I have to get something of my chest.
Until I do so, I can't write the actual review.

You see, there are some things which are extremely annoying. Tear your hair out annoying. And the most annoying of them cannot be found out in a TD. First off all, the TD is short, and secondly the TD is not at night.

So whats with the night?
Well first of all... THIS->
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Yes. Remember the paintings which we used to make as kids as a half sun rising behind the mountains. Well this is what it is. And its brighter.
And you cannot dim it.
At first its pleasing. After around an hour of driving, its distracting, and after 5 hours on the road, you want to punch it.
Why this? Why not put a 100W halogen if the aim is to blind the driver. Why this mini sun.

And now, speaking of this mini sun... Remember Harry Potter where dumbeldore used to take out a thingy out of his pocket, and then it used to suck all the light. Well, Toyota has invented that thingy. This mini sun. I understand why it is so bright. Because its sucked out light from all over the car.
At night, this is the only thing lit. You know what that means. The dark black pitch dark power window switches are dark black pitch black.
So to pay toll as I roll down the window. I actually start rolling down the rear window, then fumble, then passenger window and finally if I am lucky, I can get down the drivers window before the person behind me starts honking.

A 40rs watch at palika bazaar has radium dials. I am sure it costs them 2rs to add that radium paint. Why Toyota. Why not put some glowing paint atleast, if you do not want to put a LED or something?

And now this is done. The lights part. Lets come to other irritants.
The seats. Yes, they lack underthigh support, and to some extent lumbar support. But they lack it in a way that you get to know only after a 5 hour drive.

Well we fixed it with seat covers.
Extra padding does the trick.

So thats about it, atleast the major annoyances. Sure there are minor ones. For example you can't place anything anywhere on the dashboard. Airbags are to blame partially, but still, I have sat in airbag equipped small cars which had a dashboard which could be used to keep something.

And then there is the noise. Not the engine noise exactly, thats controlled to a great extent in the new iteration. ITs the road noise, and the noise every time you even lightly kiss any pothole.

Thud thud clank. Like you have thrown her of a 100 foot cliff. And every time the rear suspension does some travel, it sounds like terminator is tearing metal sheets.

And the pip squeak horn. Which is as loud outside as its inside. So its not really loud outside, but loud inside. I guess toyota refrained from twin horns to prevent owner deafness.

And now, lets get to the other major annoyance. No tacho. Sure, I have learnt the art of speed influenced gearshifts, and noise cue, but tacho is a tacho!
But in all fairness, we knew it had no tacho. So can't blame toyota here.

Thats it.
I have gotten it off my chest. I can finally talk about the car. Its an irony, that such an annoying car is actually a delight

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th May 2012 at 18:44.
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Old 28th March 2012, 23:16   #4
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Default Livin the Liva Loca...! - The Actual TD!

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Ride and Handling
Lets talk about the handling first. I always try to talk about the good things first. And guess what, all that cost cutting worked. They managed to make the car light weight. And at the same time also managed to make it well balanced and neutral. So what do we have here. A car that handles well in stock form, and becomes a totally different animal with slightly fatter tires. Have driven a lot of hatches, and I must say, the liva handles better than many others. Sure it cannot be called the best handling hatch, but all you need in a consumer hatch, it has it.
And part of the delight is due to the brakes.
I can safely and confidently say, that the liva has the best brakes in the 6L and whereabouts segment. Pedal feel is just right, and the ABS works as it should. But then I could be a tad overwhelmed because both our earlier Tata's had no ABS.
That said, brakes were a major factor in our buying decision, and the reason why a better car like Micra got shown the door.
Now lets come to the ride part.
The liva does not really ride bad. There is no pitching and rolling, nor there is excessive bumpiness, however, the way the suspension tries to get every pothole right upto your behind is a little unnerving.
Infact, I was worried that something is wrong with the suspension. We had a 800 which had all shockers leaked, and coils bent. It used to make such sounds while going through potholes. Now definitely, out of the showroom, the liva does not have all shockers leaked. I even asked this question on the Liva review thread, and a couple of people came out with the truth. Some stopper in the front suspension causes it.
Surprisingly, I missed it during our TD, and even the official review missed it. How did that happen. Well the reason is simple. For this sound to come you have to make the front suspension elongate fully, and this happens usually when you take of a little too fast on a speed breaker, or the wheel falls into a pothole at a higher speed.

If you are a fan of quiet suspensions, I would advise you to stay away from the Liva twins.

Coming to the rear, its even weirder. There is a metallic tearing sound(as if somebody is ripping apart a metal sheet) when the rear has passengers, and you go over a "dip" in the road which fully flexes the rear suspension.
I am yet to figure this one out. Atleast one other member has reported it, but whether its a feature or a bug remains to be seen.

So how does she score. I would have gone for a 4/5 but the noises and stuff spoil the experience. So 2.5/5 is the score I would give her. Perfectly mediocre.

Engine, Gearbox and performance
Have you come looking for a hot hatch. A thriller? If so walk away. I would say run away from the showroom. Toyota in India does not make anything which is even close to the E of exciting. It makes boring mundane stuff which is designed to put you to sleep. Atleast in the sub 20L segment.
And this is what you have here. A boring middle of the road engine. No turbo boost, no turbo lag, no blitz in performance, but not a sleeing beauty either.

Power delivery is linear, and low end torque is great. She pulls cleanly, and the power tapers of gradually. Its good to upshift around 2000rpm. I follow this

1-> 2 15-20kmph
2-3 > 30-40kmph
3-4 > around 50kmph
4-5 > 60-65kmph

After that its best to keep below 120, because thats where she is happy.

And thats where you will get the best FE.
Its a boring mundane commuter vehicle. This is a car you buy either when you are old, or when your other car gives you so much excitement that you do not want to hear that word again. With a perpetual tantrum throwing white elephant in the stable, the liva is the perfect balance.

So as a city commuter, she is perfect, but as a highway runner, maybe 5 more horses would have done the trick.

The seats are not the most comfortable, but they are salvagable using seat covers.

So here she gets 3.5/5, for being the perfect middle of the road champion.

Fuel efficiency
2500kms is too early to give a verdict, but here are the figures.
111kms - 37.54 lit (First tank full)
410kms - 15.4 lit (19.42 avg for 80% highway, 20% city)
1100kms - 39.12 lit (17.54 avg, city driving, but long stretch driving on good roads too)
1761kms - 40.21 (16.44 avg - Full city driving, traffic jams. This is after first service
2238kms - 27.55 lit (17.31 avg - Highway driving, high speed - jams. Probably a anomaly)

So 17.39 is the average FE. A tad lower than expected But lets see if it gets better over time.

Again - 2.5/5. Middle of the road

Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th May 2012 at 23:24.
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Old 6th May 2012, 22:50   #5
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Default Service experience

The first service for most cars is at 1000kms, and the Liva is no exception.
So as we walked into the service center of Uttam Toyota, I got the shock of my life.

The service advisor we got was from Auto mobile sterling. A tata workshop of dubious quality(where i have wasted a lot of money fixing the indica and safari).

So that got me very worried. Its people who make an organization, and the Tata people are making the Toyota service center.

And thus the relevation. Its not that Toyota service is better than Tata service. Its just that toyota cars are better than Tata cars, so you do not struggle with service. If you got a Toyota which was of same quality as one of our Tata's it would be even more painful.

And my service experience reinforced my belief.
It took more than 40 minutes to attend to us(inspite of prior booking). The service was just an eyewash. Nobody took a TD. And no explanation was given to us about the notchy gear shift.

Maybe I got a no so good workshop. But this is the only one in Noida. I intend to show these suspension noises someday. Will most probably head to a Delhi workshop. anybody got recommendation, do let me know.
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Old 6th May 2012, 23:09   #6
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Default Livin with the liva - in pictures

So this brings us to the end of the review.
I will start by posting pictures and giving some finer comments.

The first pic is before the alloys. They totally change the look of the car. Toyota won't sell you alloys even if yo want to pay for them. Probably they believe people won't buy petrol VX if they made a VD. Well a word to Toyota, people who are in market for diesel won't buy a petrol. Its just that they will go to Nissan or Maruti if hey really want more features. For example if Micra had ABS, we would have never gotten the Liva
anyways...

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the alloys are standard 14", and tires are 185/65R14 (stock is 175/65R14). I still have the wheelcaps. I think I should hawk them in front of the showroom, since lots of cars lose theirs!

I hope toyota does not void warranty just because we got tires and alloys from outside.

Moving on, the car is a looker in red
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Paint quality is top notch
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There is one reverse light. If there had been two, I would have fainted from the shock
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Headlights are powerful, and have a very nice beam pattern, among the best in class.
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The rear view is perhaps the most unflattering
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The interiors are boring, but the seat covers fix the boring part
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As you can see, lots of places to keep stuff. Only the dash is a place where you can't keep anything, all thanks to the silly center based console.

Glove box is cooled, and there is one 12V charger.

Rear legroom is quite phenomenal
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and the boot is quite big.
There is a rear parcel tray, which is quite a shocking thing. I expected a wooden plank, and got a proper parcel tray
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The driver side area has a small space which can be used to keep a few coins.
Steering is nice and chunky, and offers good feel
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A pic of the drivers door. Its all black and invisible in the night
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This version is quieter, thanks to extra sound damping material. You can see it
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Lack of rubber beading means that this area collects a lot of dust. I think somebody even made a website dedicated to this area
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Here is the radiator and intercooler sectin
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Surprisingly, the engine sump gets protection. Ritz and micra lack this
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Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th May 2012 at 23:10.
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Old 6th May 2012, 23:17   #7
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Default Conclusion...

Its very difficult to really describe her.
Its a very boring car, no excitement, no drama(except on the pothole front). But at the same time its a delight to live with. The gears are light, the clutch has just the right feel, and throttle response is the way you want it. Brakes are best in class.
Potentially, this is one car, which could have been the ideal hatchback. Nobody would have needed to buy anything else. But sadly, Toyota was worried about overworking its factory, so they gave us something, which falls short on many other things.

I got it because I wanted A-B transportation. If I was looking for something with a soul, I would have ditched the Toyota.

But most people often want some excitement, some "X factor", some zing, some splash, and the Toyota Liva does not have any of that.
Its boring enough to put you to sleep, and totally predictable, and devoid of many features which cars 2 segments below have.

But it brings with itself the promise of long life and reliability. Its too early to saw whether she will deliver this promise. but if she does, its mission accomplished.

The odo stands at 2500kms now, and except for noises from down below, everything goes smoothly. If she continues like this, well and good, if not, I would always wonder, would the micra have been better??
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Old 6th May 2012, 23:27   #8
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Thread moved from assembly line to Initial ownership reports section
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Old 7th May 2012, 00:05   #9
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Let me be the first one to congratulate you for the Liva. It is surely a looker in Red.
The interior space is really very generous and airy compared to the likes of say Maruti. The FE is although a bit low. You must be freeing all those 68 horses quite frequently, eh!!
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Old 7th May 2012, 00:26   #10
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Congrats. The funky seat cover really looked good, it does make the interior more lively. Were did you buy those seat cover form?
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Old 7th May 2012, 00:27   #11
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Very nice, true & unbiased review Tsk. At one point of time, not long ago, I had paid full ammount for this car. On the delivery day, went through some reality check & decided would pay a lakh extra for diesel cars post bugdet but not buy this one. So took back the money.

Dull/boring interiors, absence of tacho, low quality seats & the scare from Altis D4D engine were the major factors that made me decide against it. Even I could not spot the suspension issue on my long TD's but that's another deal breaker for me because am living with it on my Corolla too.

What I instantly liked in the car was, spacious seating, ok looks, ABS. Extreme cost-cutting measures were big turn off too. If Toyota provides a Tacho, better sound insulation, takes care of suspension noises, I could be back at Toyota showroom but only till my Swift Zdi is not allocated!

Nice set of alloys but I won't swap Bridges for Apollo anyday. About the suspension noise, I don't see any solution arriving soon but do write about it to the Company, sometimes they do listen but after a long time.

Last edited by AWD : 7th May 2012 at 00:31.
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Old 7th May 2012, 00:49   #12
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Congrats on the Toyota!!

What I know about this car :

1) The steering wheel is better than Corolla and even Innova/Fortuner.

2) Space is quite nice. I found out ( strictly my view ) that the rear seat of Liva is more comfortable than Corolla. Etios is also good but with even more space.

3) Shape of boot also helps in actually utilizing the available space.

4) The good zone is 2000-3200 rpm range. The liva is brisk in that range and also can cruise for long.

5) Toyota service is not as good as Maruti. Even with prior booking of service for Innova, I had to wait for 30 mins before I was attended. The first service is not at all required. They actually check a few things and wash the vehicle, give it back to you. Thats it. I am not too happy regarding this. Somehow, I am better attended for a Rs. 4.5 lakh wagon R than a Rs. 15 lakh Innova.
The show off thing at service center is what hits me. Its no longer down to earth straight forward thing.

Enjoy the car, its a nice car with a good visibility and one does not feel claustrophobic or stuffed in a box feeling which other cars have. Specially the rear seat. Airy interiors play their part in giving that feeling.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 7th May 2012 at 00:51.
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Old 7th May 2012, 09:56   #13
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Congratulations on you scooter / tractor / whatever you call it.

I remember all the drama during your car selection process, I'm glad you stuck to your requirements of a fill it shut it forget it vehicle and purchased the one which best suits your requirements.

Toyota may have done a lot of cost cutting in the Etios/Liva models, but I'm glad that they did not cheap out on the things which matter the most - good brakes, ABS, airbags, cabin space, boot space, ride/handling, engine guard etc.

Good brakes are the most important safety feature in a vehicle. I'm surprised how many so called car enthusiasts (even on Team-BHP) conveniently overlook this.

Speedo brightness should not be that difficult to control. I'm sure that soon some innovative (jugaadu) people will come up with a cheap aftermarket fix for this issue.

I'm looking for a hatchback to replace my folks' aging M800. I feel this just might be the right car for them.

Rohan
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:15   #14
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Smile re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Congratulations on the Liva, the colour looks fiery on the car.

Your thread makes an interesting read, at times I was confused whether you really wanted to go for the Liva considering the brickbats you used many times. Finally you have a no nonsense transportation means which suits the purpose. Good things that you ditched the brakeless Micra and the dented Ritz. Whats the mileage that Liva produces?

By any chance did you consider the Pulse from Renault?. Sorry could not go through your What car thread to check this.

All the best, happy mile crunching and drive safely.
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Old 7th May 2012, 10:42   #15
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Default re: Toyota Liva : The Red one comes!(30,000kms update)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Utopian View Post
Let me be the first one to congratulate you for the Liva. It is surely a looker in Red.
The interior space is really very generous and airy compared to the likes of say Maruti. The FE is although a bit low. You must be freeing all those 68 horses quite frequently, eh!!
I am actually a sedate driver. Thats why this FE surprises me. 16-17 in city is good, my office run is short, and has lot of traffic lights in between. However, on the highway I was expecting consistant 20+. Will do more checking. I record all fuel stops, so a clear picture will emerge over 5000kms or so
Quote:
Originally Posted by ecenandu View Post
Congrats. The funky seat cover really looked good, it does make the interior more lively. Were did you buy those seat cover form?
I got them from lajpat nagar from a small shop for around 2700rs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD View Post
Very nice, true & unbiased review Tsk. At one point of time, not long ago, I had paid full ammount for this car. On the delivery day, went through some reality check & decided would pay a lakh extra for diesel cars post bugdet but not buy this one. So took back the money.

Dull/boring interiors, absence of tacho, low quality seats & the scare from Altis D4D engine were the major factors that made me decide against it. Even I could not spot the suspension issue on my long TD's but that's another deal breaker for me because am living with it on my Corolla too.

What I instantly liked in the car was, spacious seating, ok looks, ABS. Extreme cost-cutting measures were big turn off too. If Toyota provides a Tacho, better sound insulation, takes care of suspension noises, I could be back at Toyota showroom but only till my Swift Zdi is not allocated!

Nice set of alloys but I won't swap Bridges for Apollo anyday. About the suspension noise, I don't see any solution arriving soon but do write about it to the Company, sometimes they do listen but after a long time.
Having used bridgestones as well as apollos on my indica, I can safetly vouch for the acceleres. They are underrated tires, which are tough, and give decent performance. Certainly better than the stock bridgestones(lower end model) which come as OEM on most cars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rohan_iitr View Post
Congratulations on you scooter / tractor / whatever you call it.

I remember all the drama during your car selection process, I'm glad you stuck to your requirements of a fill it shut it forget it vehicle and purchased the one which best suits your requirements.

Toyota may have done a lot of cost cutting in the Etios/Liva models, but I'm glad that they did not cheap out on the things which matter the most - good brakes, ABS, airbags, cabin space, boot space, ride/handling, engine guard etc.

Good brakes are the most important safety feature in a vehicle. I'm surprised how many so called car enthusiasts (even on Team-BHP) conveniently overlook this.

Speedo brightness should not be that difficult to control. I'm sure that soon some innovative (jugaadu) people will come up with a cheap aftermarket fix for this issue.

I'm looking for a hatchback to replace my folks' aging M800. I feel this just might be the right car for them.

Rohan
If you want a no nonsense car, this is it. However, if you want the car to be an object of joy and excitement, look elsewhere.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Congratulations on the Liva, the colour looks fiery on the car.

Your thread makes an interesting read, at times I was confused whether you really wanted to go for the Liva considering the brickbats you used many times. Finally you have a no nonsense transportation means which suits the purpose. Good things that you ditched the brakeless Micra and the dented Ritz. Whats the mileage that Liva produces?

By any chance did you consider the Pulse from Renault?. Sorry could not go through your What car thread to check this.

All the best, happy mile crunching and drive safely.
by the time pulse came out, we had already made our decision. So decided not to get confused further.
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