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Old 29th August 2012, 00:18   #1
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Default My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

My White Toyota Etios Liva GD got delivered today, exactly 19 days after I paid an initial booking amount to Topsel Toyota, the only dealer in Kolkata. Given two days of public holidays in between (Independence Day and Eid) and two days of Bank strike, which stalled RTO functioning in this region, would say it was quite okay. This also included a loan from SBI, who took just five working days to complete the formalities.

Would be posting my ownership review as I get a hang of this car more, but before that, would like to explain why I chose this car.

I had been running on my 2001 VX 1.1 Alto, which is showing 85K on the odo and for the last couple of years my running around has increased to about 1500 kilometers a month. Had to change this car anyway and obviously I was looking for diesel. One reason was the running cost factor. Secondly, I always had a fancy towards diesel cars (I used to own a diesel Premier Padmini in the early nineties, when diesel cars were quite unrefined, but still the noise of diesel got me hooked from those days. )

I was postponing the decision for the purchase of new car for the last one and half year or so, basically because I wanted to be sure about what I was going for. I knew a few things though:
It would be a hatch. I don't like sedans. Also, since I drive myself and parking space was at a premium in Kolkata, I cannot look beyond the B-segment. And I decided to keep my budget to between 6 and 7 lakh. And, in the Indian scenario I had a few choice. Some cars I know, others needed to be test driven.

Here I go one by one:

Beat Diesel To me Beat diesel seemed a reasonable car from the reports that I read. I knew it wasn't that spacious, but didn't quite bother as most of my commuting is within the city. My last two consecutive cars being Maruti 800 and Alto, I am also not quite used to space. I am 5'7'' and my wife being 5'0'', a small car doesn't make much of a difference to us. So Beat Diesel was called for on a Saturday. I called them in the morning and within two hours a new Beat was standing in front of my house for a test drive. It came from Chevrolete OSL and the car has done only 200 kilometers. I was excited by the look of the car. Almost thought that this was the car I wanted to buy -- well, till I took the TD. I hated driving the car. Nothing wrong per se, but just the low seating position (or high dashboard was it?) made me unconfident. I was not sure that I would love driving this car. My wife had a problem with the back seat. She being quite short had to literally peep out from the rear window. This made her uncomfortable and claustrophobic. Beat was out.

Figo Diesel Once Beat was out, I was eyeing the Ford Figo ZXi. Had read great reviews about the car, the car looked good and classy and is loaded with features--more than what I wanted. So I decided to go for a TD. So, the following Saturday came a Ford Figo VXi model equipped with everything from Ganges Ford. Ford people were also very fast and prompt in providing me with the TD. Again, it took just two hours to arrange for a TD after I called them. I loved the TD. Figo, to me, is a fabulous car. The steering has the right feel. Only changing the gears was not too smooth, but that could be because of the Test Drive car, which was showing 55,000 km on its odo. The best feature of Figo was it had absolutely no engine noise inside (well almost no noise) and the car seemed to drive like a petrol car. I almost made up my mind that Figo is the car that I would go for.

But still, before coming to a conclusion, like any sane person, other options should be considered. So decided to wait for a while and check with other cars.

Nissan Micra was within our budget but was ignored as neither me nor my wife was comfortable about its looks.

Polo was in our consideration as it was slightly over our budget.

Ritz was out again because of it's looks. Its ugly from the rear as per our taste. Wouldn't like to be seen driving Ritz.

Well Swift is there. Maruti service, which I was so used to and happy with. Why not Swift then? Quite possible. Looks? Acceptable. Though, according to me the old Swift looked like an ugly dog (like the Bull Dog or pug) whom you don't like at the first instance but gradually fall in love with. The new Swift, well, is weird to look at. It's a cross between a dog and a cat and is something which is strange. I preferred the looks of the old Swift more than what it is now. But yes, the look of Swift is not unacceptable and Maruti being a Maruti should be checked. I didn't need a TD for this car as I have driven this car off and on (three of my friends own this car) so decided to check on the on-road price of Swift Vdi. My phone goes to a dealer and here is the conversation:

Me: I wanted to know the actual on-road price of Swift Vdi.

Sales Rep: Sir, we have a wait-list period of about 180 days. Why don't you try the Ritz, we can arrange delivery within 15 days.

So Swift was out.

That left me with two cars in my budget. Renault Pulse and Toyota Etios Liva. Theoretically Pulse is fine, but Renault being a late entrant, I was not too sure how the *** would work in Kolkata. That left me with Liva.

So, the following Saturday my call goes to Toyota in the morning. And like Chevvy and Ford, the car arrived for a TD within two hours. Before letting me do the test drive, the Toyota sales rep asked for my driving license and put down the license number on a sheet of paper he was carrying. I was pleasantly surprised by this. Ford and Chevvy people didn't check whether I had a valid license, they should have, right?

Liva GD test drive The car drives smooth. At par with Figo. Gear shifts are smoother than Figo. Lots of engine noise inside the cabin, feels like I am driving a tractor. Good in a way, reminds me that I am on diesel and saving money . No tacho, Figo has it. But again Figo has power windows only in
the front. ABS and EBD, Figo lacks them but trades in a music system in ZXi model. My first impression with Liva was that, it was aimed at the taxi market probably, while Figo aimed at private ownership. Being made for taxi market was good in a way, as it has to be reliable in the long run. And I am bound to lose the refinements.

Frankly speaking, Liva and Figo are at par. Test driving the cars gave me the impression that Figo and Liva had a tie. No knockout. Difficult to judge which one is better. So the title has to be decided on technical points. Also some personal preferences, maybe. It was a tough choice, specially when Ford sensing my dilemma started offering me more and more freebies and even promised to give hefty discounts while Toyota stood firm at its pricing and declared solemnly, "Sir, we cannot give you a single rupee discount on the diesel model. Not even one free accessory."

So I had to take a decision, which I finally took. First, Figo had a ground clearance problem. I checked with five owners of Figo (to be honest, the dealer provided their phone numbers) and all of them were happy with the car excepting on one count: yes, while crossing bumps the car underbelly scrapes the speed breaker. I know the Kolkata roads, and this is scary. Certain parts of Kolkata (specially the western sides, near the port) have no roads after the monsoons where you need to drive a tractor instead of a refined car. Well, Liva sounded like a tractor and hopefully will behave like one too! My call goes to Liva owners now. They are happy with their cars too and, no, their cars don't have a problem when crossing huge speed breakers. Clinched. Liva wins on technical point.

Here I have a question for the experts. Theoretically the difference in ground clearance between the two cars is just 2 mm. How come every Figo owner feels that the car is low and the Liva owners don't?

Well, I have decided to live with Liva. I know it doesn't have a tacho, makes the diesel car like sound, not quite refined interior. But well, my first diesel car was a Padmini Diesel, which didn't have a tacho, was noisier than this and won't comment about the interiors. I have upgraded, haven't I?

I booked my Liva on 9th August and just two days after that, when my SBI loan was being processed, Figo started the August discount of Rs 28,000/- And Toyota stood firm with no discount policy. Finally after much pleading, they agreed to give the floor mats and the mud flaps free. Great achievement, I got about Rs 1100/- worth accessories. I know, how much I have lost.

Will be posting about my experience with the dealer, the pros and cons of owning a Toyota in Kolkata and other things soon. Also, will be posting my ownership experience after a few days of driving the car.

Last edited by GTO : 30th August 2012 at 17:55. Reason: No more than 2 smilies per post please
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Old 29th August 2012, 09:45   #2
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

The Loan part
The decision of buying the Liva D came last week of July and on 5th August I decided to check the Toyota showroom and to meet the Sales Officer who came for the TD. One good thing about Toyota was, they never flooded me with phone calls trying to convince that I should be buying Toyota over other cars, while Ford and Chevvy people started calling up almost every day. I liked their cool "take it or leave it" approach.
The showroom experience was good. A huge showroom near Kasba, cars on display. Two Liva D-s were there and I was amazed. The cars looked bigger than what they seem on road. The Black Liva was majestic, white was good too. These two colors were readily available. Black was out because of maintenance issue, so the decision was taken: our car would be white.
Asking for a loan was simple, the SO immediately called up SBI people and an appointment was fixed. They immediately sms-ed me about what documents I needed. 7th of August the SBI loan rate was decreasing by 0.5% and we decided to go for the loan after 7th. 9th of August the formalities were done. Took half an hour with SBI people after we paid a booking amount of Rs 50,000/- with Topsel Toyota. SBI people promised to process the loan in 5 days, but actually did that within 3 days. Incredible, to say the least.
On the 5th day, we pay the full amount to Topsel Toyota and the following day go to the SBI loan disbursement office and within 15 minutes all the things were done. Was really impressed. This was a public sector bank which was offering the lowest rate of interest and was great in Customer Care. Incredible!
Went back to Toyota with the DO from SBI and Toyota promised me to process delivery of the car as soon as possible. The final wait began.

Last edited by subratasenn : 29th August 2012 at 09:46. Reason: To give a subheading
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:10   #3
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Longer wait than anticipated

Saturdays and Sundays the RTOs don't work. Then there was Eid. One working day, followed by two days of bank strike and RTO stopped functioning (because road tax has to be filed through a bank). Left with one working day before the weekend began again.
On that day Topsel Toyota called me up asking me to give the DO to them (which was given to them a week back) failing which they couldn't process the delivery.
Confusion! They had lost the DO paper from the Bank! The confusion was cleared finally, but another day was lost.
Weekend again, so another two days would be needed at the RTO. Final delivery was scheduled on Tuesday at 11.30 am. The delivery was fast, without hassle. Only thing that caused a delay was that he forgot he had promised to give mud flaps and floor mats for free and they were added to the accessories bill. Took some time to correct that.
Extremely courteous the Sales people were, handed over the keys, offered me a bag which contained a box of cookies and a set of 6 La-Opala coffee mugs for free. The sales officer also promised to give me a Liva miniature model. It was not in stock, but said I'll get it as soon as it arrives. Considering that Toyota people are not giving anything free, this was a fair deal (coffee mugs, cookies, floor mats, mud flaps and the yet-to-come miniature Liva )
One thing here I would like to say against Topsel Toyota. I asked time and again how much diesel they've put in my car and whether I would be able to drive home without filling up diesel. They said, it was mandatory on their part to fill up the tank with 10 litres at the time of delivery and they have done it. They also claimed that the car comes with two litres of diesel from the factory and while sending the car from their workshop to the showroom they put in another 3 litres. So, according to them, the car should be having about fourteen litres of diesel in the tank. Well, I sarted the car and found that the reserve bar in the fuel gauge blinking. Took no risk, topped up the tank. After coming home, while going through the owner's manual found that the claims by Topsel Toyota that the car was having about 14 litres of diesel in it was true. The manual says that the reserve bar starts blinking when the fuel touches 6.8 litres in the tank!

Last edited by subratasenn : 29th August 2012 at 10:26. Reason: Forgot a point
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:18   #4
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The car number and numerology

A small but interesting tale I thought I'd share with T-Bhpians. The number plate of my new car.
I didn't ask for a fancy number, was not really ready to shell out Rs 2000/- for it. In any case, a randomly generated number would suit me fine as I am not a believer of this numerology thing. My car number came out as 9608. Fine.
Now wait. I notice a strange thing here. The numerals add up to 23, a prime number.
My previous car was 7444, which adds up to 19.
The car I had before that was 1961, adding up to 17.
And the one before was 6601, which adds up to 13.

So for my consecutive four cars since 1993 I had been alloted Prime Numbers in the perfect sequence of 13, 17, 19 and 23.

Strange coincidence, right? Would love to see whether the number in my next car would add up to 29! That would really be great.
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Old 29th August 2012, 10:52   #5
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On road price in Kolkata and the cost of accessories

The price that I paid for Liva GD in Kolkata is Rs 6,38,561/-
Ex-showroom price: Rs 5,87, 871/-
Rest are road tax (for five years), Insurance and a Rs 3,500/- "service charge" which Topsel Toyota charges for I-don't-know-what-reason.

So, Topsel Toyota does not give any discount, but the car pricing is quite less than what people have paid in other cities!

Went for the following accessories:

Mud flap (set of 4 costs Rs 583.39) -- free
Mats (front and rear total cost 629.93) -- free
Luggage tray -- Rs 1201.97
Red gear knowb -- Rs 572.04
Steering cover (red and cream) -- Rs 606.09
Side protection moulds -- Rs 2095.21
Bumper protectors -- Rs 572.04

They have added a labour charge of Rs 3.43 (very cheap labour, I must say )

Total cost Rs 5050/-

Topsel Toyota was trying to sell me the body undercoat, which I refused. My previous 2001 Alto Vxi has lasted all these years without any treatment. No rust at all. Why not check the body quality of Toyota this time?

But, something I wanted and Toyota refused. Wanted to upgrade to alloy wheels, was even ready to go with them. Their reply: "This is not recommended Sir. This would make the warranty void".

Sad!
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:01   #6
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Good and bad things of my Toyota experience

My last two cars were Marutis and to say the least, I was extremely pleased with their service quality. One good thing about Maruti in Kolkata is they have innumerable workshops, so if I have a problem with any one, I can always shift to someone else.
That's not possible in Toyota. They have one dealer, with only two workshops. I can't even have a fight!
But, so far my experience with them had been good. The showroom response is good, people are courteous and they would explain each and every point in detail. I particularly liked the short demo that the Sales Officer gave me explaining the functionality of the vehicle.
Only two problems: They WILL NOT give any discount. To manage that shortcoming, they tend to offer cups of coffee whenever you go to their showroom. That's not bad, but they put too much of sugar in their coffee!!!
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Old 29th August 2012, 11:26   #7
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

The first day feel

The first day saw me drive about 20 kilometers, after I filled the fuel tank full.

The car has a smooth ride, with engine sound quite audible, particularly when you try to rev the engine.

My cars are on MRF, probably that is less noisy than Bridgestone. I found that the tyre noise was higher when I was doing the TD. That car had Bridgestone.

The steering cover, bought as an accessory from Toyota is ill-fitted. Looks bad. But the red gear knob adds some color to a dull interior.

I didn't feel any turbo lag while driving. Gear shifts are superb. The Reverse Gear in diesel cars work in a different way though, but that's easy as a breeze.

The Headlights are brighter than what I anticipated. A cool knob to adjust the direction.

The car has plenty of space. I personally don't have anything against the dark grey-black interiors, excepting that the power window knobs should have been illuminated. It's difficult to locate them at night.

There's no tacho, but I shouldn't complain, as I knew it before-hand. The Odo is a bit tiny.

Well, the dashboard is designed in such a manner that you can't put anything on it, excepting towards the left which has a small wedge.

I am a smoker, and the car doesn't have an ashtray. I would be missing it, but maybe Toyota wants me to give up smoking!

The horn is okay, could have been a bit louder. But maybe, this is Toyota's way to put the sound pollution level down.

I particularly liked the horn switch. You can blow the from any part of the steering. Both sides, middle, all over.

Only one reverse light (the right one, the left one is a dummy). This is Toyota's way of saving money, but the sales rep explained: "Energy saver Sir, look at it from this angle. One reverse lamp is sufficient."

So this completes my Assembly line posts. Would now be posting regularly on my ownership experience.

Last edited by subratasenn : 29th August 2012 at 11:30. Reason: Missed a point
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Old 29th August 2012, 14:33   #8
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Me and my wife at Topsel Toyota at the time of delivery.
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Old 29th August 2012, 14:36   #9
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Me and my wife at the time of delivery
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Old 29th August 2012, 14:45   #10
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

Note from support : Thread moved to Test drivers and Initial ownership reviews section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 29th August 2012, 15:14   #11
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
[b]

But, something I wanted and Toyota refused. Wanted to upgrade to alloy wheels, was even ready to go with them. Their reply: "This is not recommended Sir. This would make the warranty void".

Sad!
This is very odd.
If you buy alloy wheels, of the recommended size, as per your vehicle model, which is endorsed as a genuine accessory by the manufacturer, from the authorised dealership, there is no way it is going to void the warranty.

Something doesn't seem to be right here. I understand that the top petrol Liva model has alloys. So what's restraining them towards the Diesel ?
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Old 29th August 2012, 15:29   #12
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

Congrats and wishing you a long and trouble free ownership. With a toyota i guess reliability should not be a problem.

Being a Vista owner was curious to know why it was not in your consideration list? Staying away from TATA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
So for my consecutive four cars since 1993 I had been alloted Prime Numbers in the perfect sequence of 13, 17, 19 and 23.

Strange coincidence, right? Would love to see whether the number in my next car would add up to 29! That would really be great.
Great you noticed this coincidence
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Old 29th August 2012, 15:34   #13
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

@subratasenn
Excellent write up sir. And a well thought out purchase. Congrats on your liva. I have driven this car a few times and i can tell that it is a perfect city hatch.
Even if your liva sounds like a tractor it will, like all toyotas, serve you for a very long time without any major issues.

Regarding the alloy wheels:
All showrooms do this. Upsizing the wheels correctly will not affect the warranty(MASS accepts my upsized tyres.) If you are planning on going in for just the alloys without an increase in tyre size then i suggest you ask the dealers for the alloys which come with the top end petrol liva. Ask them if your warranty will be void if you use even those alloys. They will try to talk their way out of it. Stand your ground and after 15-20 min of talking they will say "ok sir! you can use these alloys, your warranty will not be void"
Then ask them for the alloy specs and get an after-market set of your liking for the same set
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Old 29th August 2012, 16:05   #14
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

Congrats on your new Liva GD. I have a Ultramarine blue Liva GD, thats run 11000+ kms. The engine noise comes down slightly over time / kms.

The petrol Liva's higher end variants come with the same spec of alloys and tyres as the Etios (15'') but the Liva comes with 14'' tyres. I have upgraded mine to a 185/65/R14 Michelin's XM1+ on Plati alloys and they have been working real good and look great. I am surprised that the dealer mentions warranty issues on using alloys.

I would recommend a 3M or Wurth under chassis coating for under chassis protection and noise deading, more so with our bad roads and being close to the ocean.

Enjoy the car and drive safe.

Cheers,
Sats
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Old 29th August 2012, 16:06   #15
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Default re: My White Toyota Liva GD -- Initial ownership report

Quote:
Originally Posted by subratasenn View Post
[b]But, something I wanted and Toyota refused. Wanted to upgrade to alloy wheels, was even ready to go with them. Their reply: "This is not recommended Sir. This would make the warranty void".

Sad!
Dear Subrata,

I just checked with my friend who works at Toyota's Kolkata Office regarding your alloy wheel issue.
He says changing to Toyota recommended Alloy Wheels is not a problem at all.
For the LIVA Diesel the Alloy Wheels are not listed as part of the Accessories List but the same can be sourced by then through the Genuine Spare Parts List. Your warranty and everything else will be unaffected.

I could not send you a personal message through your user id. Should you wish to discuss this further you can email me at arjab@rediffmail.com

Happy Motoring !
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