Toyota had also boarded the two-tone bandwagon last year, given the success most carmakers seem to have with the option. The Etios Liva Platinum edition has this option on the V grade but it seems Toyota received much feedback to introduce the feature in the top spec too. So even though its dealers are calling it a limited edition, the dual-tone is now a bonafide variant being offered on the top two trim grades - V and VX (and in the case of the diesel, VD and VXD). So what you get is a black roof, on offer with either blue, red or white contrast colours.
The black paintjob is factory-done and sees the A, B and C-pillars (and roof) painted in black. The car's window line is also black, and so are the electrically folding outside rear view mirrors. You also get two-tone black and polished metal diamond-cut alloy wheels, a carbon fibre-like finish in the redesigned bumper inserts, chrome bezels for the fog lights (in the VX - the V doesn't have fogs and so gets an aluminium coloured plastic bezel), and a rear-spoiler. The front grille is also finished in a glossy black, which makes the car look rather upmarket. It plays very well with the white paintjob by the way. The new bumpers and black grille were not offered on the Platinum Edition by the way.
The car's mechanicals remain unchanged, and so I will not send too much time on them. The petrol engine is the 1.2, 78.4 bhp unit mated to a 5-Speed manual gearbox. Its zippy and efficient, though will not set the road on fire. The 1.4, 66.6 bhp diesel is a lot torqueier but is a tad noisy. The manual gearbox does well, and frankly Toyota could really benefit from an AMT on these drivetrains - but that is unlikely from the Japanese carmaker. The two variants are still good to drive and the suspension will take on most rough or broken surfaces.
Where the Etios Liva continues to score big is on ride comfort and cabin space. Easily the roomiest car in its class, and therefore a popular choice amongst taxi fleets these days, it also offers an ample boot. The good news is that on the dual tone variants you get a rather upmarket and slightly plush looking cabin. Plastics are finished in two-tone with beige playing against black. They're much improved over the first car that came to us. The upholstery is finished in a pleasant beige, and isn't two-tone like it was on the Platinum Edition. Also unlike that car's wood grain finish, the dual-tone gets a piano black finish on the dash. The instruments were updated with the facelift anyway and look much sharper and richer - and this complements the glossy piano black. The music system offers Bluetooth connectivity but there is no touchscreen, Apple CarPlay or navigation. On the VX grade you get steering mounted controls of course.
The Toyota Etios was launched in 2011, and since then Toyota Kirloskar India has done a lot to get the sales moving. Most buyers swear by either the hatch or the sedan, but that's only once they're convinced to buy one in the first place. The big facelift came in 2016, when the two went under the scalpel for a restyling - especially of the face. It was followed by that aforementioned Platinum Edition. The Etios family has not been in the consideration set for most entry-hatch/sedan buyers despite its obvious qualities and Toyota's peace-of-mind reliability. The Liva too always lost out to the likes of the Swift, Grand i10, and now Tiago. But I have to say the dual tone will make individual buyers sit up and notice. Or should anyway.
This is now a no-nonsense, reliable and roomy hatch that will play the role of family car very well. The fact that Toyota is one of few brands to offer dual airbags, ISOFIX child seat restraints and ABS as standard across all variants just adds to that. The plusher cabin, more premium looks and the young element of the dual-tone roof will make the Etios Liva a compelling buy now. Prices are only Rs 8-14,000 higher than the regular V/VD and VX/VXD variants. For that extra money there is a good amount of kit and style on offer. What goes against it are the baggage the Etios models carry (and so the fact people may still not consider one) and the many Livas entering the fleet market. And this is no performance-oriented hatch for sure. If that's what you want you're better off considering the sportier hatches with tighter handling. But if a reliable and roomy family hatch is what you seek, the Etios Liva dual-tone is now looking like a good buy - finally.