Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > Team-BHP Reviews > Official New Car Reviews


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 12th September 2011, 17:29   #1
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

The Toyota Liva Diesel has been launched in India at a price of between 5.54 - 5.84 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Modern diesel engine with minimal turbo lag and excellent driveability
• Expect the best-in-class fuel efficiency (ARAI = 23.59 kpl)
• ABS standard on both variants
• A neutral family hatchback with the "T" badge
• Spacious interiors can easily carry 5 adults
• Well-tuned suspension. Safe handling and flat ride
• Toyota’s fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales

What you won't:

• Diesel clatter above 3,000 rpm can get very intrusive
• Engine doesn’t like to be revved beyond 3,500 rpm
• Only one base variant launched (G-D). Period
• Cost-cutting glaringly obvious in many areas
• Economy-grade interior quality & unconventional dashboard
• Missing equipment (alloys, tachometer, climate control, audio system, height adjustable driver's seat etc.)


NOTE: Click any picture to open a larger higher-resolution version in a new window.

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2011 at 10:23.
Vid6639 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote

Old 12th September 2011, 17:34   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Since the Toyota Liva has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on the diesel engine & changes vis-a-vis the petrol. For easy reference, here is a direct link to the full Toyota Liva test:

Exterior Design & Build Quality

Interior design, space, practicality & features

Other Pertinent Points

The Smaller & Significant Things

Last edited by Vid6639 : 12th September 2011 at 17:39.
Vid6639 is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 19:39   #3
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review



Things have never been better for the B segment customer; here is yet another diesel hatchback to choose from in the 5 - 6 lakh rupee segment. The B segment space was ruled by the Maruti twins, the Ritz and Swift with the 1.3L MJD national engine. Ford introduced the Figo in March 2010 and was successful in grabbing a piece of the pie, thanks to the fantastic 1.4L TDCi mill and sensible pricing. Hyundai's i20 has been doing well, but hasn't really bothered the Figo or the Swift / Ritz as it is priced almost a segment higher. Plus, most i20 sales are anyways for the petrol variant. Tata's Indica Vista hasn't really taken off and it remains to be seen if the recent facelift will improve matters. The VW Polo and Nissan Micra diesels have garnered themselves a limited number of buyers as niche products (especially the latter).

The Liva was launched in June 2011 with a 1.2L petrol engine. This engine was a derivative of the 1.5L from the Etios to gain excise benefits. Unlike the Etios, which set a benchmark in terms of performance, driveability and economy, the Liva had its work cut out. The Maruti K series powerplant remains a benchmark in refinement and fuel-efficiency, along with the i10's Kappa2 engine. Where the Etios primarily has the Dzire & Manza for company, the Liva has to put up with significantly fiercer competition.

Toyota decided to introduce diesel mills in both cars, the Etios and Liva, together. Since the excise benefits apply for diesel engines within a 1.5L capacity, it made it easier to plonk the 1.4L D-4D engine into both cars with no changes required between them. The 1.4L D-4 D engine, code-named 1ND-TV, is similar to that of the Corolla Altis; primary difference is that the Liva gets a fixed geometry turbo (FGT) vis-a-vis the Altis’ VGT (variable geometry) unit. Power is down to 67 BHP while torque on tap is 170 Nm available from 1,800 rpm - 2,400 rpm. The wide 600 rpm band of peak torque is something that Toyota stressed upon, to emphasize the driveability of this engine. The diesel engine adds 90 kilos to the Liva petrol's kerb weight. The Liva D's kerb weight is surprisingly only 10 kilos lesser than that of the Etios D.

Comparing the specs on paper with the Liva's rivals shows us that the Maruti Swift and Ritz have a higher power output, yet the Liva matches them on the power-to-weight ratio. This is all down to the Liva being lighter than the Swift by 80 kilos, and a full 120 kilos to the Ritz. The Figo's heavier weight works against it, making its power-to-weight ratio a good 6 BHP/ton lesser. Fuel efficiency wise, the Liva is beaten only by the 3 cylinder Beat, making the Toyota the new 4 cylinder FE champ.

Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review-liva_spec-_comparo.jpg

With the Liva D, it is clear that Toyota is not really out to bite into Maruti territory at the outset, and instead wants to take it slow and steady. Why else would they launch the Liva with only one variant, and that too the middle G-D spec. The G-D variant is equipped with power steering, all 4 power windows, tilt steering, keyless entry and ABS (a very pleasant surprise) as standard. There's an optional G-D safety pack on offer, that adds Airbags and seat belt warning. The biggest let down is the lack of a tachometer in both variants. Toyota should have added this as standard, especially considering the oil-burner under the hood.

Externally, the G-D variant is exactly the same as its petrol counterpart i.e. 14" steel wheels shod with 175/65-14 tyres, compared to the higher end petrol variants that are equipped with 15" alloys and 185/60-15 tyres. The test car I was given came with a complete body kit (that is not part of standard equipment). You will notice that this body kit is not the same as the one on offer in the Liva Petrol, and is marginally heavier too. The rear skirt is larger while the front skirt is a single unit (compared to the 2 piece on the Liva petrol).



Toyota knows there will be a production constraint with the Diesel engine and has intentionally left out the V-D and VX-D variants for now. I'm not in favour of this strategy, though it might lead to better control on the wait periods. By introducing the Liva with only the G-D variant, it looks like Toyota is buying time till they can ramp up production capacity. It's only a matter of time before they introduce the higher spec variants.

Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review-liva_price-_comparo.jpg

Similar to the Etios D, the Liva D is priced pretty sensibly. The G-D variant costs Rs.95,000 more than the petrol G variant but gains ABS. Comparing it to other B segment diesel hatches, the G-D variant is priced 7,000 over the Ritz Vdi with ABS and the Indica Vista Aura with ABS. The 2011 Swift VDi retails @ Rs. 6,000 higher, but does not get ABS even as an option. The Figo remains the most value-for-money car in the segment. Rs.3,000 more than the Liva gets you Airbags, rear wiper / defogger and a bluetooth enabled audio system. The Beat D is also sensibly priced, but the 1 cylinder deficit and the relatively smaller interiors means it's actually a segment lower.

The Polo, Micra and i20 are in a different segment altogether. The Micra and i20 cost nearly Rs.80,000 more, and the Polo Rs.60,000 higher for a similar spec to the Liva.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 17th September 2011 at 00:30. Reason: Nissan Micra price updated.
Vid6639 is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 22:05   #4
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review



Fire up the engine and you notice that the 1.4L turbo-diesel settles down to a refined idle and minimal clatter. The rocking motion, typical of some diesel engines when cranked, is well controlled. There is some diesel clatter initially, but once the engine warms up, it is really quiet on the outside. Step inside, shut the doors and you would be hard pressed to tell if you are in the petrol or diesel. There is no vibration from the steering, clutch or gear lever. Sound insulation has obviously been beefed up and it shows when you’re pottering around town. On the flip side, give the engine some stick and you know you’re in a diesel, and a fairly audible one at that. NVH levels above 2,000 rpm can get intrusive in the cabin, and at 3,000 rpm they are downright irritable. Diesel clatter is high pitched and really forces you to upshift early, or get off the gas.

Here are 2 videos of how the diesel engine sounds at idle with the hood open, and once it has been closed. NOTE : These videos are from my Etios D review:




Where the Liva scores is in driveability. The clutch is extremely light, and just a gentle release with no accelerator input gets the Liva off from a standstill. There is hardly any turbo lag, and you can upshift early without getting bogged down. Power delivery is extremely linear. You do feel a small push at 1,800 rpm when the turbo kicks in. No need to downshift to 1st for Bangalore’s infamous speed breakers either; you can comfortably accelerate out in 2nd itself, unlike the Swift / Ritz (that require a downshift). The car pulls comfortably and you can potter around the city in 2nd or 3rd gears comfortably. The gearing is just perfect, not very short nor too tall. Toyota has tuned this engine / gearbox combo very nicely, unlike the Altis Diesel that suffered from massive turbo lag. Closing gaps in traffic does not require down-shifting, and a push on the accelerator is all that is needed. Performance is not shattering and is very close to the Figo 1.4 TDCi. In fact, the driveability is actually better than the Ford engine. That's saying a lot! It must be noted though that the Nissan Micra is still the benchmark when it comes to driveability.

While performance at lower / mid rpm ranges is very good, the same can’t be said when out on the open road. The simple 8V SOHC engine does not like to be revved. Beyond 3,500 rpm, it struggles and anything above is simply pointless. Power delivery tapers off very quickly after 3,500 rpm, diesel clatter becomes intrusive and the engine starts feeling strained. I tried pushing till the 5,000 rpm red line, but it was a real struggle, with the engine crying out loud. High revving this engine (when overtaking, for example) is absolutely pointless. The only way to drive this car is to be smooth, shift up early (below 3,000 rpm) and enjoy the torque. The absence of a tachometer (unlike the Etios D) can get very irritating at times because, obviously, there's no way to know the exact rpm! You can comfortably cruise at 100-110 kph on the highway where the engine is at its happiest. Highway overtaking does require a downshift, albeit progress will be slow.



The gearshifts are slick and smooth, supported by a light clutch. I actually found the gearshifts to be better than in the petrol Liva. The petrol did not like quick gear changes and used to baulk at times. The diesel handles quick changes far better, while shift quality is precise too. The gearbox is supposedly similar to the diesel Altis, with one ratio less of course. The reverse gear is engaged by lifting the collar on the knob and slotting the gear to the left of 1st position.

Toyota has beefed up the suspension to cope with the extra weight of the diesel engine. Usually, diesel variants end up having a stiffer suspension than their petrol counterparts. In the case of the Liva, it is quite the opposite. The diesel actually feels more pliant than the petrol. Where the petrol used to be skittish over bumps, the diesel is more composed thanks to the additional weight. This has resulted in slightly better ride comfort too. The handling retains the same neutral behaviour. The car has good composure, but it isn't exactly a Ford Figo! Body roll is present, yet not excessive, and there isn't much vertical movement either. The Liva has a shorter wheelbase (90 mm lesser) compared to the Etios, and it sports 14" wheels with 175/65 tyres (compared to the 15" alloys and 185/60 tyres of the Etios). This was apparent with the Liva understeering easier when pushed into a corner. Where the Etios felt tail happy, the Liva felt neutral and tended to understeer earlier. The Etios felt sharper to turn in, thanks to the low profile tyres and 15" alloys. Also, the added weight upfront means the light EPS steering feels heavier compared to the petrol Liva, and is more fun to use. One area that I particularly liked in the Liva was the braking. Braking is sharp and confidence inspiring.

Overall, the benchmark in handling and performance will be the new Swift followed by the Figo. The Liva is tuned more towards comfort, and is similar to the Micra's set up.

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2011 at 11:48.
Vid6639 is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 12th September 2011, 22:41   #5
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Other Points:

- Warranty is the same 3 years / 100,000 kms coverage. No extended warranty options available.

- Underbody coating has been added to both, the petrol and diesel Liva along with the Etios. This was a major grouse for Etios / Liva owners who were complaining of tyre / road noise filtering through the cabin. GTO had mentioned this in his Etios and Liva reviews as well.

- The all grey interiors are really a sore point. Even the seats are a dull grey shade with no dual tone effect. To top it off, there are no contours whatsoever, with just a single slat running across the seat. This makes it look cheap.

- A VX-D variant with the body kit and red interiors, coupled with a diesel tuning box bumping the power to ~90 BHP, will really make this a hot hatch. Toyota, are you listening?

- The rear skirt is extremely low and can get easily damaged (as demonstrated by another reviewer). A tap on a kerb resulted in the bumper snapping off from that side and hanging loose.

- The boot is suspended by only one strut. Shows the lightweight materials being used.

- I love the lack of chrome on the G-D variant. No chrome door handles, no chrome grill and no funny-looking chrome strip on the hatch either.

- Toyota will try and push the petrol Liva more than the diesel. This is obviously due to production constraints. According to them, diesel only makes sense if the usage is more than 2,000 kms a month. I disagree; with the recent petrol price hikes, diesel is more economical even if the running is 1/2 that!

- The 1.4L D-4D 1ND-TV turbo diesel engine weighs in at a mere 99 kilos. Remarkable.

- Toyota has used rubber mounts for the engine, compared to the hydraulic ones of the Altis.

- To reduce NVH, Toyota has used loads of sound dampening carpets. Lift the floor mats and you can find thick, soft cushioning:



- The exhaust system is rather strange. There’s an expansion chamber, but no end can to speak of. Check out this picture from my Etios D review:

Last edited by Vid6639 : 13th September 2011 at 12:46.
Vid6639 is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 12:49   #6
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Moving out to Official Reviews section!
Vid6639 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 12:59   #7
BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Thane
Posts: 685
Thanked: 593 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Great review Vid6639! Finally the Etios family gets a sound proofing coating. The cheap visual appearance of interiors is all too apparent, and already repeated many times to say it again. Seems Toyota spent all their budget of visual appearance on the gorgeous exterior colour.

As a buyer, I find the two contradicting statements by you and Toyota amusing. As per Toyota, monthly 2k running is advisable to go for diesel. Which means more high way runs, unless the person is running Pizza delivery service in city. And the review suggests the car produces harsh noises after 3500 rpm, and is happy within 100-110 kmph, best sound proofed in city. So which one is it?

Smooth city runs = low monthly running = Against toyota advise.
Long highway runs = harsh engine noise at higher RPMs = against buyer's wish!

Thumbs up for the great concise review. I especially liked the efforts put into comparing the appropriate versions of other cars!

Last edited by ani_meher : 13th September 2011 at 13:00.
ani_meher is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 13:02   #8
BHPian
 
fuel_addict's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 663
Thanked: 98 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Thanks for the review Vid. The one thing that disappoints the most is the absence of the V-D and VX-D variants. Looks like a conscious effort to keep (top end) pricing down. I hope Toyota has plans to get these variants in soon. Right now, the car looks too bare bones on the equipment side. Not that the VX-D would have had equipments on par with Swift/i20, but it would have got it somewhat closer atleast.

The HP/wt and torq/wt values are encouraging. Should make this a very good city car. The NVH above 3K rpm is a big disappointment just like it is in the Etios.

The car looks fabulous in this blue shade.

Last edited by fuel_addict : 13th September 2011 at 13:06.
fuel_addict is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 13:27   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
F150's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: PUNE
Posts: 1,305
Thanked: 432 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Are the the spoiler and skirting part of standard equipment ?
F150 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 13:52   #10
Team-BHP Support
 
Vid6639's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 10,606
Thanked: 8,156 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
Are the the spoiler and skirting part of standard equipment ?
Nope they are not and I've mentioned in it in the review as well.

Quote:
The test car I was given came with a complete body kit (that is not part of standard equipment). You will notice that this body kit is not the same as the one on offer in the Liva Petrol, and is marginally heavier too. The rear skirt is larger while the front skirt is a single unit (compared to the 2 piece on the Liva petrol).
Vid6639 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 13:59   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 19,696
Thanked: 8,476 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

I am wondering about the Micra Diesel Ex showroom price. When I checked a month back, it was 5.79 Lakhs for the mid variant.
It has Driver Airbag, but no abs, all 4 power windows, electronic folding mirrors and simple HVAC
tsk1979 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 14:00   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Madras
Posts: 522
Thanked: 266 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Nice review there!

But why has been Punto missed in your comparo sheets? I can understand if it is some xyz magazine, but here in T-Bhp(where we give damn to sales numbers) many love this car and would like to see how best cars pit against each other.

Please include Punto in the comparo sheets.
CliffHanger is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 14:01   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
vnabhi's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: DC -> DC
Posts: 4,442
Thanked: 635 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Nice review! Came in handy for a pal going in for a diesel hatch.

He was pretty impressed with the driveability and F.E. factors, as also the space.

But what put him off were the horrible dash layout, and the central speedo placement, like in the Vista.

He is now thinking of the Figo, Swift or Beat.

I agree with his viewpoint. Sorry Toyota, we deserve better layouts on the interior. Even the Vista looks better inside the cabin.
vnabhi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 14:22   #14
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 35,731
Thanked: 26,470 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Super review, Vid, just like your take on the Etios diesel. *Rates thread a well-deserved 5 stars*

As you rightly said, the Etios D has it much easier. It's only competing against the Dzire & Manza, and provides an all-rounded package in terms of space, zero turbo-lag (unlike either competitor) and balanced ride / handling. However, the Liva diesel is going to have a much tougher time, considering it's formidable competition of the Swift, Ritz, Figo, Vista, i20, Polo and gang. While the Etios has 2 primary competitors and is a class-topper in many ways, the Liva has 10 competitors and doesn't really stand out. The T badge and promised hassle-free ownership will ensure reasonable success, but in terms of quality, equipment, performance and overall package, there are better hatchbacks.

Peculiar strategy with launching this variant though, inevitably, the higher-spec variants will be launched shortly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by CliffHanger View Post
But why has been Punto missed in your comparo sheets?
Please note that it isn't possible to include all competitors, especially when it's the hatchback segment that has innumerable options. The ones that have been included are so because of their sales numbers and thus, market relevance. You will notice that the i20 is also missing, thanks in no small part to its high price. This has been discussed over & over again in various hatchback review threads. If you wish to discuss this further, please use the "contact us" form. Thanks

Last edited by GTO : 13th September 2011 at 14:25.
GTO is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 13th September 2011, 14:28   #15
Senior - BHPian
 
cityvic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Philly/Calcutta
Posts: 1,531
Thanked: 1,967 Times
Default Re: Toyota Liva Diesel : Test Drive & Review

Brilliant Review Viddy.

This blue on the Liva looks Hot.

Just waiting for Toyota to improve the interior material quality and add door beadings so that the water seepage can be prevented.
cityvic is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Toyota Corolla Altis (1.4 D-4D) Diesel : Test Drive & Review GTO Official New Car Reviews 189 30th April 2014 12:15
Toyota Liva : Test Drive & Review GTO Official New Car Reviews 423 4th March 2014 23:54
Toyota Etios Diesel : Test Drive & Review Vid6639 Official New Car Reviews 251 30th November 2013 23:48


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 19:53.

Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks