New Liva vs Elite i20 Comparison Review

Updated on: Mar 13, 2017
Hyundai Elite i20 vs Toyota Etios Liva Comparison Review:


"The diesel powered Elite, seems far more powerful than the Liva on paper, but in reality it is riddled with excessive turbo-lag. Power delivery is annoyingly weak, till the turbo wakes up northwards of 2000 rpm. This makes it a nuisance to drive in city traffic, with constant gear-shifting taking its toll, on the driver"

Liva vs Elite i20 Comparison Video:



Pricing & Features 
New Liva's top-end variant, the 'VX' petrol, costs 7.2 Lakh Rs. on road, Delhi. Elite i20's most popular variant, the 'Sportz' (petrol) retails for 7.5 Lakh Rs. which is 30,000 Rs. more, than the Liva 'VX'. However, if you consider the features available in both these cars, you will realize that the Elite i20 'Sportz' is actually cheaper, than the Liva 'VX'. Since, it has quite a few extra features, that are absent in the Liva, like Parking Camera, Automatic Climate Control, Rear AC Vents, Telescopic Steering Adjustment and Auto Dimming Inside Mirror. The Liva 'VX' on the other hand has Alloy Wheels and Rear Wash-Wipe, which is absent in the Elite i20 'Sportz'.

Pricing of other Variants: 
Elite i20’s ‘Sportz' diesel-manual costs 9.00 Lakh Rs.
Liva's 'VXD' diesel-manual costs 8.60 Lakh Rs.

Common Features: 
ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking by Remote, Fog Lamps, Height Adjustable Driver's Seat, Rear Defogger, Stereo: FM, USB, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Parking Sensors, Electrically Adjustable & Folding Mirrors, Cooled Glovebox

Extra Features in Elite i20 (Sportz): Parking Camera, Automatic Climate Control, Rear AC Vents, Telescopic Steering Adjust, Auto Dimming Inside Mirror

Extra Features in New Liva (VX): Alloy Wheels, Rear Wash-Wipe

Performance & Drivability: 
Petrol: 
The Elite i20 petrol, is simply too heavy to be powered by the little, 1200cc engine. Drivability is quite poor in city traffic and it needs to be revved hard, to extract any semblance of performance from it. The Liva is also powered by a 1200cc engine, but it is almost 200 kg lighter than the Elite. This makes it far more drivable around town. Highway performance, is also noticeably better than the Elite, with superior overtaking punch as well as better outright acceleration.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elite i20 – 78, Liva - 89
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elite i20 – 108, Liva - 116

Power (PS@rpm): Elite i20 – 83@6000, Liva – 80@5600
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elite i20 - 115@4000, Liva – 104@3100
Kerb Weight (kg): Elite i20 – 1060, Liva – 895

Diesel:  
The diesel powered Elite, seems far more powerful than the Liva on paper, but in reality it is riddled with excessive turbo-lag. Power delivery is annoyingly weak, till the turbo wakes up northwards of 2000 rpm. This makes it a nuisance to drive in city traffic, with constant gear-shifting taking its toll, on the driver. The Liva, in complete contrast, has hardly any turbo lag at all, making it much easier to drive, around city streets. The Elite i20 does have better highway performance than the Liva, albeit by a very small margin. Elite’s engine is also far more refined and rev-happy than the Liva’s slightly coarse and vocal power-plant.

Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Elite i20 – 77, Liva – 69
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Elite i20 – 188, Liva – 173

Power (PS@rpm): Elite i20 – 90@4000, Liva - 68@3800
Torque (Nm@rpm): Elite i20 - 220@1500-2750, Liva – 170@1800-2400
Kerb Weight (kg): Elite i20 – 1170, Liva - 980

Fuel Efficiency: 
The Liva petrol has an ARAI certified mileage of 18.2 kmpl, which is 0.4 kmpl less than the Elite. However, in our real world tests, the Liva was consistently 1 kmpl more efficient than the Elite. The Liva diesel has an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 23.6 kmpl, which is 1.1 kmpl more than the Elite. In our real world test, the Liva was just over 1 kmpl more efficient than the diesel Elite.

ARAI Mileage (kmpl):
Elite i20 (petrol, manual) – 18.6, Liva (petrol, manual) – 18.16 (difference 6.1)
Elite i20 (diesel, manual) – 22.54, Liva (diesel, manual) – 23.59 (difference 3.7)

Fuel Cost for 75,000 km (in Lakh):
Elite i20 (petrol, manual) – 4.00, Liva (petrol, manual) – 3.85
Elite i20 (diesel, manual) – 2.70, Liva (diesel, manual) - 2.40

Space & Comfort: 
The Elite i20, is a noticeably larger car than the Liva. However, it’s the Liva, which has more interior space than the Elite. Especially, Liva’s rear seat, has considerably more room, higher seat-base and large windows, making it much more supportive and airy, than Elite’s rear bench. Although, the Elite’s 285 litre boot is slightly bigger than Liva’s 251 litre boot capacity. The Liva's interiors might be tough and durable, but they don’t feel even half as luxurious and upmarket as the Elite i20’s.

Boot-space (lit): Elite i20 - 285, Liva - 251

Length (mm): Elite i20 – 3985, Liva – 3884
Width (mm): Elite i20 – 1734, Liva – 1695
Height (mm): Elite i20 – 1505, Liva – 1510

Ride Quality & Handling: 
If only the Elite i20, had the dynamics to match its looks. Elite i20, though much improved over its predecessor, is quite disappointing for the spirited drivers. It has a dull life-less steering setup, and is prone to early onset understeer, making it quite uninspiring to drive, on twisty roads. The Liva on the other hand, though not as sharp as a Swift, is quite enthusiastic around the bends, with a progressive, and even fairly feel-some, steering setup. Both cars have a pliant low-speed ride. However as the speeds rise, the Elite feels a bit floaty, over a series of bumps, whereas the Liva’s ride remains consistent at any speed.

Ground Clearance (mm): Elite i20 – 170, Liva – 170

Tyre Size: 
Elite i20 – 185/70R14 (Era, Magna, Sportz), 195/55R16 (Sportz O, Asta)
Liva - 175/65R14 (G/GD, V/VD), 185/60R15 (VX/VXD)

Reliability and After Sales Service: 
Both Hyundai and Toyota, have made a name for themselves, when it comes to providing a hassle free ownership experience to their customers. Toyota holds an edge over Hyundai, in terms of the bulletproof reliability of its cars, whereas Hyundai trumps Toyota, in terms of the widespread reach of its service network with over 800 touch points in our country, compared to Toyota’s 350 service centers.

Resale after 5 to 7 years est. (Lakh): 
Both cars are bound to hold outstanding residual value post a usage of 5 to 7 years.

Elite i20 Sportz (Petrol manual) – 4.15 Lakh
Liva VX (Petrol, manual) – 4.00 Lakh

Elite i20 Sportz (Diesel manual) – 4.85 Lakh
Liva VXD (Diesel, manual) - 4.65 Lakh

Total Cost of Ownership (in Lakh): (Vehicle Price + Fuel Cost – Resale Value) 
Overall, the petrol powered Elite i20 ‘Sportz’, works out to be 30,000 Rs. more expensive, than a Liva VX, while a diesel powered Elite i20 ‘Sportz’, works out to be around 50,000 Rs. more expensive than a Liva VXD.

Elite i20 Sportz (Petrol manual) – 7.35 Lakh
Liva VX (Petrol manual) – 7.05 Lakh

Elite i20 Sportz (Diesel manual) – 6.85 Lakh
Liva VXD (Diesel manual) - 6.35 Lakh

Verdict: 
Toyota made a huge blunder, when they decided to make ultra-cheap cars for India, and they have been paying the price for their folly, for the last 5 years in the market. Even if the Liva was marginally more premium than what it is, it would have mounted a strong challenge to the Elite. In terms of mechanicals, it is well-sorted, with better drivability, better efficiency, better ergonomics and better dynamics than the Elite. But in its current avatar, it just doesn’t feel like a car which costs northwards of 7 Lakh Rs, from whichever angle you may look at it. That is why it has been rejected by the masses, in spite of being a 'Toyota'. And that is why it is the deserving loser of this test.

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