Maruti-Suzuki Baleno vs Toyota Liva Etios Comparison

Baleno vs Liva Etios Comparison

Verdict: Baleno is better than Liva Etios

Pricing & Features: The top-end, ‘VXD’ variant of the Liva Etios costs 7.21 Lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. For just 20,000 Rs. more retails the penultimate ‘Zeta’ variant of the Baleno, whose ex-showroom, Delhi price is 7.41 Lakh. However for that 20,000 Rs. extra, Baleno gives you a plethora of extra features over the Liva, which are easily worth 50,000 Rs. This makes the Baleno 30,000 Rs. cheaper than an equivalent Liva.

Common Features: ABS, Airbags-2, AC, Power Steering, Power Windows, Central Locking, Keyless Entry, Stereo: FM, Aux, Bluetooth + 4 Speakers, Steering Wheel Switches, Electrically Adjustable Mirrors, Rear Defogger, Fog Lamps, Driver’s Seat Height Adjust, Parking Sensors
Extra Features in Liva Etios (VXD): none
Extra Features in Baleno (Zeta): Climate Control, Push Button Start & Smart Key, Light Sensing Headlamps and Telescopic Steering Adjust, Electrically Folding ORVM, Auto-Up Anti-Pinch Driver’s Window

Fuel Efficiency:
Diesel: Baleno has an ARAI certified mileage of 27.4 kmpl, which is 3.81 kmpl more than Liva’s mileage of 23.59 kmpl. However in our back-to-back tests the difference was down to just 1 kmpl. This translates to a savings of around 30,000 Rs. a usage of 75,000 km.

Petrol: The manual geared Baleno has an ARAI certified mileage of 21.4 kmpl, which is 3.69 kmpl more than Liva’s mileage of 17.71 kmpl. In our back-to-back tests, the Baleno was close to 2 kmpl more efficient than the Liva. The CVT automatic transmission equipped Baleno has an ARAI certified mileage of 21.4 kmpl, which was also over 1 kmpl more efficient than the manual Liva. This translates to massive savings of 50,000 Rs. over a usage of 60,000 km.

Performance & Drivability:
Petrol: Baleno’s K12 power-plant coupled with its weight advantage gives it an edge over Liva in terms of performance throughout the rev-range. The Liva is able to match the Baleno in terms of low0end drivability, but it is no match for the refinement, free-revving nature and ballistic top-end of the Baleno’s engine. Also it is high time that cars of this class, especially ones like the Baleno which have entered the market recently ought to have turbo-petrol mills given that weaker competitors like Tata Bolt managed to ‘bolt’ one in over a year ago.

Power (PS@rpm): Liva Etios – 80@5600, Baleno – 84.3@6000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Liva Etios – 104@3100, Baleno – 114@4000
Kerb Weight (kg): Liva Etios – 895, Baleno – 875
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Liva Etios – 89, Baleno – 96
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Liva Etios – 116, Baleno – 131

Diesel: Liva has an advantage over the Baleno in terms of drivability around tow, Liva’s turbo spools up much earlier than the Baleno’s making it much easier to pilot in traffic. However, the Baleno makes up lost ground by giving excellent mid-range punch, making it better suited for overtaking fast-moving vehicles on the highways. Refinement of both the mills could have been better though and both fall sorely below segment standards. Even the performance is nowhere as good as new benchmarks set by the Figo and Polo. But overall they are par for the course.

Power (PS@rpm): Liva Etios – 68@3800, Baleno – 75@4000
Torque (Nm@rpm): Liva Etios - 170@1800-2400, Baleno – 190@2000
Kerb Weight (kg): Liva Etios – 980, Baleno – 975
Power to Weight Ratio (PS/ton): Liva Etios – 69, Baleno – 77
Torque to Weight Ratio (Nm/ton): Liva Etios – 173, Baleno – 195

Handling & Ride Quality: Neither the Liva nor the Baleno are particularly enthusiastic cars to drive. That being said both cars have decent ride quality and handle bumps and ruts like cars from two segments above them. Even the stability during high speed cruising and under panic braking belies their feather-light kerb weights. On the handling front, both cars tend to understeer when pushed hard and have light steering setups devoid of much feel or feedback. The Baleno holds a slight advantage thanks to wider tyres compared to the Liva giving it slightly better road grip around the curves.

Ground Clearance (mm): Liva Etios – 170, Baleno - 180

Space & Comfort: Baleno is a far more spacious car than the Liva, both in the front row as well as rear. Baleno’s fronts seats are wide and supportive and perhaps one of the best in its segments. Baleno’s rear seat is also wider than the Liva, which itself is wide enough to seat 3 occupants. In the Baleno you might just be able to squeeze in a 4th one. Even the interior finish and design inside the Baleno feels a touch better than the Liva. The Liva’s plain-jane styling does give it bigger window glasses and rear windshield though and therefore better all-round visibility than the Baleno. But the Baleno also trumps it in terms of a much bigger boot-space.

Boot Space (litres): Liva Etios – 250, Baleno - 339
Length (mm): Liva Etios – 3775, Baleno - 3995
Width (mm): Liva Etios – 1695, Baleno - 1745
Height (mm): Liva Etios – 1510, Baleno - 1500

Reliability & After Sales Service: Both cars are backed by stalwarts of Service support, Toyota and Maruti. Sheer product reliability and after sales service of Toyota is unmatched even by Maruti, but the sheer spread of Maruti’s 2000+ touch points is not going to be matched even by Toyota anytime soon. Both cars are bound to hold excellent residual values for the next 5 to 7 years without doubt.

Verdict: The petrol Baleno works out to be 80,000 Rs. cheaper than the Liva in terms of overall cost of ownership over a period of 5 to 7 years, making it far better value-for-money than the grossly overpriced Liva. The diesel Liva works out to be around 60,000 Rs. more expensive than the Baleno in terms of the Total Cost of Ownership, for that extra expenditure you will get better drivability around town than the Baleno, but every other parameter is superior in the Baleno making it our recommended choice in this comparison.

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