Toyota Etios And Liva Facelift Launched In India From Rs 4.76 Lakh

Toyota has nothing exceptional to fume except for a certain facelift or a makeover to the existing models. One more time off its sleeve after the Innova facelift, company has launched Etios and Liva facelift in India.

Reporting the changes, they can be expressed as the revamped front grille, which gets a chrome treatment for higher trims, complemented by standard dual-airbags on all variants. Though, the base trims aren’t noteworthy of additional gimmick except the said. The mid variants in the line-up are added with larger LCD and a clock for instrument cluster, seatbelt warning buzzer for driver, headlamps and doors ajar, fabric upholstery, couple of speakers at rear. The top of line trims doses their buyers with a 2-DIN music system with Bluetooth connectivity and aux-in, steering mounted controls, rear parking sensors, cooled glovebox, electronically-adjustable ORVMs, fresh set of alloys and new faux-wood finish for armrests inside the cabin.

Toyota Etios And Liva Facelift Launched In India From Rs 4.76 Lakh

Aesthetically, the badges of Etios and Liva facelift are also changed, where the base model is wearing none of the trim nomenclature. The V and VD trim is discontinued, whereas the G and GD remains intact. The special pack of G and GD are now badged as V and VD. Earlier, the V and VD trims that is discontinued is now renamed as the new top-end VX and VXD.

Under the bonnet, there remains the same 1.2L and 1.5L petrol alongside the 1.4L diesel.


Toyota Etios Petrol Rs. 5.74 – 7.06 lakh

Toyota Etios Diesel Rs. 6.84 – 8.16 lakh

Toyota Etios Liva Petrol Rs. 4.76 – 6.57 lakh

Toyota Etios Liva Diesel Rs. 5.94 – 6.95 lakh

(All prices are ex-showroom Delhi)

Toyota Etios on a new job – the Brazilian Cop Car

Reporting the task for ‘cabs’ of India, Toyota Etios will now do the job of cop car in Brazil. However, it hadn’t reported the better sales-result there (blame it on the looks), now its maker had slotted it to make-up for the most of a dominating image when being planted in the fleet of Police vehicles.

It isn’t that easy for anyone to enter the official security fleet of government, hence, Etios was made to undergo the 20 stringent checks to register its name in the list. However, official confirmation is yet to come, but the image over here which was shot in Sao Paulo states the whole story clearly.

Brazilian version of Etios is powered by two engine options, namely 90PS 1.3 litre and a 97PS 1.5 litre of flex fuel.

Hopefully, after settling for the lesser number of sales everywhere why Toyota had started giving out its vehicle to the Police department, when he too knows that isn’t up to the exact mark of ‘rigidity’. But wait, there are some similarities between Brazil and India, so we hope doesn’t the Japanese are now thinking of putting that same on our local shores too. The previous example of Qualis is good example for us, which is worrying us a lot, but that means ‘Etios a complete no-no from our side to the local cops’!

Toyota Etios

New Mahindra Verito vs Competitors

The long wait is finally over as the much awaited Mahindra Verito facelift called Refresh has arrived with an exciting price tag of about Rs. 5.27 lakhs for the Petrol version and Rs. 6.26 lakh for the diesel variant. Since the entry level sedan market has been doing quite great, the customers are bombed with tons of choices. In this article, we will bring you three major factors like price, comfort and mileage for comparing Refresh with the other entry level sedans.

The 2012 Mahindra Verito has been rolled out with some serious changes over the previous model. It now gets all new grille, new alloy wheel design, trendy fog lamps, roof rails, and blackened pillars. Inside it has got bunch of new features like 2 DIN music system, new center console, new grab and door handles. The rear seats have been provided with more space.

2012 Mahindra Verito

Mahindra Verito vs.Maruti Swift Dzire

Maruti Swift Dzire being the segment topper will be the key competitor against Verito. With the new design and facelift Verito does have an upper edge over the contenders. The material used in Swift has always been a drawback for it. However Verito has been quite successful in maintaining the quality. Verito claims of giving 21 kmpl which is quite good but Dzire topples it with 23.4 kmpl.

Maruti Swift Dzire

2012 Mahindra Verito vs. Toyota Etios

Toyota is quite fun to ride with its limp steering and superb handling. It also houses more powerful 1.5 liter engine when compared to Verito’s 1.4 liter engine. The mileage figures for both the cars are almost same. However Verito feels little under powered but in terms of handling it’s a better car. And if styling and comfort is considered Verito is a clear winner.

Toyota Etios

Mahindra Verito vs. Ford Classic

The newly launched ford classic can also become a clear rival to Verito. Verito is much more polished curvy and stylish. However Classic too possesses good looks but plastic quality used is not good. Mileage is quite same for both the cars with about 20 kmpl but Verito again scores over space and comfort.

Ford Classic

RnB: The best rental luxury on wheels

Whenever it comes to luxury car rental service in Mumbai, Red n Blue (RnB) Car Travels is certainly the one that hits anyone’s mind at the first place. The car rental service, launched in June 2011, brought in Airport Transfers, Day Hires, Weddings and many more luxurious rides. On the other hand, the fleet of cars on hire too includes equally luxurious cars as the rides are. It includes BMW 5 Series, Mercedes E Class, Mercedes S Class, Toyota Etios, Innova and Fortuner as well.

In fact, the recently launched Mini Cooper too has been included in the fleet of cars. Moreover, the luxury offered by RnB includes high-end in-car audio systems, Wi-Fi at better pricing and services to clients. The high-end luxurious facilities just don’t end here. It further includes leather seats, heat reduction sun films, air conditioning and leisure-pleasure with GQ and Vogue magazines. As per RnB, theirchauffeurs are their assets, who have taken the firm to such level of success.

RnB: The best rental luxury on wheels

The chauffeurs’ trainings are equally taken into account as the customer satisfaction is. The chauffeurs have to undergo exhaustive training and mandatory screening processes so as to ensure their dedication and a degree of professionalism. RnB has unparalleled operational standards as it has uncompromised maintenance of its fleet of cars.

It’s the unparalleled trust it has induced amongst its clients in the past year that now the car rental service has corporate giants as their clients. It includes Reliance Image Management, Percept Entertainment, Red Chilies Entertainment and IIFL Wealth Management. Apart from these, Bollywood celebrities like Rekha, JuhiChawla, Vir Das, Rahul Khanna and RohitBal too are amongst the list of their clients. Now you can judge yourself that despite being a few months old company, RnB has induced such big names in its client list. It’s just because of unparalleled services and luxury that have taken the company to such level of success.

Toyota Etios vs. 2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire

With its arrival the 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire notchbackhas put its competitors on their toes, but at the same time Toyota Etios has made its debut as a sedan in the entry-level segment. The former is less than four meters in length like Tata Indigo eCS.It has compromised boot space in comparison to the older model of Dzire. However, it has more luxury than the old Dzire and it is sold at a much more competitive price tag.  The Toyota Etios, on the other hand, lacks in luxurious interiors and style but it has a lot of space inside the cabin with an incredibly big boot space, even larger than those cars which are a segment above this car.

Now then, we put both of them together at one place to compare with each other, in terms of handling, looks, driving, features, space and comfort to realize which one gives the actual ‘value for money’ to the consumers. In India, since diesel vehicles are in a dominating position for their demand over and above their petrol fuel based engine brethren, we take the top end diesel variants of these two line-up, i.e. Maruti Suzuki Dzire ZDi and Toyota Etios VXD for comparison.


Designed to be a sedan from the beginning, Toyota Etios, has a grand wheel-base which gives it the look of a complete three box sedan. But other than the grille which seems smiling at all times and a tail-lamp cluster which is curvaceously designed when it comes to styling, it looks more or less like a modified version of Mahindra & Mahindra’s Verito (Logan).  In the interiors the feel is not that luxurious when one finds the plastic and the instrument cluster with dials mounted centrally in the cabin.

Toyota Etios


On the other hand, the 2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire is very much good looking to the eye, the design of the rear boot is very tidy in comparison to the bilging design of the boot door of the previous Dzire. This new model looks amazing when seen from the front since the headlamps and grille with latest fog lamps are inspired from the earlier Swift. However, when seen from the sides it looks a bit gawky as the short wheelbase and annihilated look from the side doesn’t give the viewer any feel of a complete three box sedan. With panels and the inside door handles having wooden inserts, the central console and the multi information display is laid out in a very alluring manner. With its compact amplitude it looks very smart and sporty if not beautiful from sides.

2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire

Space and Comfort

Toyota has worked hard to chisel out as much space for the users as it could to make its Etios a very commodious sedan. A perfect lumber support with a good support under thigh by the thin front seats is surprising, althoughKnee room is very adequate. On the rear, the seats are made flat to offer extra room to the three passengers seating shoulder to shoulder. The floor sojourns nearly flat and thus the passenger on the middle gets enough knee room like the front row passengers. In short, all the passengers enjoy the long ride without worrying about their knees in the Toyota Etios.

Toyota Etios interior

Maruti Suzuki Dzire ebbs when it comes to space and comfort in comparison to the Toyota Etios. Although the Dzire offers complete overall comfort to its front passengers, the passengers on the rear may feel a little bit encumbered. This rear seat is best for two passengers, but the third passenger may make others feel the lack of shoulder and knee space. The 316 liter of boot space is nowhere near in comparison with the extra-large sized boot space of Etios, spacious by 595 liters.

2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire interior


The Toyota Etios VXD variant is completely packed with attributes like ABS with EBD, double SRS airbags, air conditioning, power windows, power steering, tilt steering, remote control locking, audio controls mounted over the steering, DVD audio system, rear defogger, alloy wheels, cooled glove-box, body colored door handles, ORVMs (outside rear view mirrors) and fog lamps. These are few of the many attributes Etios VXD is equipped with.

New Dzire has a piddling advantage here when it comes to attributes. Automatic climate control is an added feature with the air conditioning, turn indicators on the outside rear view mirrors, an instrument cluster with readings of range, average fuel consumption and outside temperature are very advance features, which is not at all offered in any of the Toyota Etios models. This way, 2012 Dzire has a paltry advantage over the Etios.

Driving and Handling

This is where everything else comes down to.The performance and maneuverability of a vehicle decides its success in the automobile market. The Etios is roused by a 1.4 liter diesel mill which gives out an unobtrusive 67 bhp of power and a peak torque of 168 Nm. While the 2012 Dzire has a DDiS 1.3 liter diesel motor, which is a provenience from the Fiat and pumps out a good volume of 75 bhp of power and a peak torque of 190 Nm.Here 2012 Dzire has more of a power and torque yield which in combination with the light body weight makes it a more commutable car in comparison to the Etios diesel. With the annealed suspension set-up and its compact gamut, 2012 Dzire exalt confidence even when driven expeditiously whence Toyota Etios shows a little of body roll when attempted. Here 2012 Dzire wins over the Toyota Etios in the overall aspects of handling and performance.

Toyota Etios engine

Value for money, mileage and price

Toyota Etios VXD comes for Rs 8.51 lakh while the Dzire ZDi goes to its owner for Rs 7.51 lakh. This makes Toyota Etios VXD Rs 64,000 costlier compared to Maruti Suzuki’s 2012 Dzire ZDi. Etios gives a mileage of 23.59 kmpl while 2012 Dzire gives a mileage of 23.4 kmpl which is very close to the earlier.

2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire engine

When we come to the value for money hypothesis, the 2012 Dzire comes ahead of Toyota Etios with a piddling advantage on attributes and less price, this makes it a good package in comparison to the later.


Toyota Etios has very spacious cabin with 595 liters of boot space and a good mileage of 23.59 kmpl, but one has to take in consideration its visible cost cutting measures. The high NVH level and thinner seat cushioning makes it a bit inappropriate.

Toyota Etios


2012 Maruti Suzuki Dzire has a very impermeable dimension, which allows it to maneuver with ease and the handling is just smooth in the busy traffic compared to the Etios, but the smaller boot of 316 liters and the less margin on space for the rear passengers are some of the negative things in this car.

2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire

In my opinion, if someone uses a sedan on a regular basis with a total of five passenger and travel around with a lot of luggage then Toyota Etios will suit his/her requirement perfectly. Or else on all the other attributes, the 2012 Dzire fits best compared to the Etios.

Toyota Kirloskar begins export of Etios Series to South Africa

Toyota Kirloskar Motor Private Ltd. (TKM) commenced the exports of its ‘World First, India First’- Toyota Etios Series to South Africa. While the first batch consisted of 247 units of the Etios series, the company targets annual export of 20,000 units. We had bought the news earlier of the Ennore port near Chennai to be the host port for the export, and the first batch departed from this port on Wednesday. On this occasion, several Toyota officials were present, including Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, V. Chairman, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, M. D., Toyota Kirloskar Motor, Mr. Vicente Socco, Executive V P, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific (TMAP), Mr. Takashi Sakai, Executive V P, Toyota South Africa Motors (TSAM) and several government VIPs.

Mr. Vikram Kirloskar, Vice Chairman, TKM, said on this occasion, “It is a very proud moment for the company, Toyota Kirloskar Motor with the first batch of Etios Series departing from India for the South African market. This is a new step toward trade with the exporting from Indai, I would like to convey my appreciation to the entire Toyota team, our associates and suppliers for their hard work, which have made it possible for us to achieve this goal.”

Toyota Kirloskar begins export of Etios Series to South Africa

Also commenting on the occasion was Mr. Vicente Socco, Executive V P, Toyota Motor Asia Pacific, “The beginning of export from India, signifies the vital role played by Toyota Kirloskar Motors in the overall trade of Toyota Motors. India was always considered as a significant market for us and it is further enhanced with the initiation of the Etios export to South Africa. TKM’s venture into the export market signifies tremendous growth for Toyota.”

Commenting on this occasion was Mr. Hiroshi Nakagawa, M. D. of Toyota Kirloskar Motors said, “IT has been a long journey for the Toyota Motors with trade in India and now export with efforts of Toyota Kirloskar Motors; we have been triumphant in making Toyota India business a tactical center for both the local and international markets.

The export with South African market displays the classy expertise and finer value pioneered by the Japanese automaker for Etios range. We are convinced that Etios Series will be fairly successful in delivering Toyota’s conformity in quality to South African markets as well”. Moreover, the export Etios will share the platform with India-spec Etios at Toyota’s plant in Bidadi industrial area near Bangalore. This is the second plant of Toyota Kirloskar in the country.

Toyota Kirloskar begins export of Etios Series to South Africa

Toyota confirmed that the export variants are trimmed to suit the particular market. As of now, the Japanese auto-giant has announced the export of petrol version of the Etios and the Liva to South Africa.

Cars launched in the month of September 2011

Phew! No sooner were we done with the enormous numbers of cars launched in the month of August 2011, car manufacturers unloaded another dump of cars in the month of September 2011. We have got a list of the car launches which happened in the month of September 2011.

2011 Mercedes C-Class:

The all new Mercedes C-Class is something which many wouldn’t even think of as a new thing. The changes included slight restructuring of the face, addition of some features like daytime running LEDs and a panoramic sun roof as standard. The interiors also received a fillip to keep in line with the external revisions. There were no changes in the configuration of the motors though. The starting price of the petrol variant was Rs 29.79 lakhs while the diesel costs Rs 32.30 lakhs.

2011 Mercedes C-Class

2011 Mahindra Bolero:

Mahindra and Mahindra came out with a new version of their workhorse, the Mahindra Bolero. Not only this, there is a new engine under the hood as well. This one produces 62 Bhp of power and 196 Nm of torque. ARAI certified fuel efficiency is also 15.96 kmpl. The exteriors received a new grille with the likes of a dark grey shade and decals splashed over the sides and also new head lamps. As of now, there is only a 2WD version going around with talks of introducing the 4×4 version later. The asking price for this one is Rs 6.19 lakhs.

2011 Mahindra Bolero

Toyota Etios and Liva diesels:

Toyota also put diesel engines under the hoods of their best sellers, the Etios and Liva and made for a grand launch. Both these cars borrow their powerplants from the bigger Corolla Altis, albeit with some modifications. The 1.4 liter diesel powerplant has been detuned with a fixed geometry turbo and also altogether different gear ratios. The hatchback gets two variants while the sedan gets three. The other common feature between these diesel variants is that they all get ABS, EBD and airbags as standard. The Etios diesel is priced at Rs 6.44 lakhs while the diesel Liva retails for Rs 5.54 lakhs.

Toyota Liva

Mahindra XUV500:

The much awaited Mahindra W201 aka Mahindra XUV500 was launched towards the latter part of the month of September 2011. The bulky Mahindra SUV has got attractive features in the exteriors as also great interiors. A 2.2 liter engine producing 140 Bhp of power and a choice of both auto and manual transmission along with 4×4 configuration is what makes the XUV500 even more charming. The asking price for the Mahindra XUV500 is Rs 10.8 lakhs while the top end model retails for Rs 12.88 lakhs. There are three variants.

Mahindra XUV500

Renault Koleos:

Renault, after launching the Fluence, jumped onto their next big thing, the Renault Koleos SUV. This all new SUV for India gets 17 inch alloy wheels, Bose surround system, split tail gate, cruise control, tray tables behind the front seats and a comprehensive safety package. The same motors as present in the Nissan X-trail can also be found here, in the same state of tune. It also gets a 1 lakh kms or 5 years long anti-rust warranty. It is priced at Rs 22.90 lakhs.

Renault Koleos

2011 Mercedes CLS 350:

The current E-class platform has been stretched to make the CLS 350. It is both longer as also wider than the 2010 Mercedes CLS350. A new corporate face makes its debut in the CLS350 while the interiors reek of a classiness with certain chrome styled elements coming into picture. A 3.5 liter engine powering this one produces 306 Bhp. Asking price of the 2011 Mercedes CLS350 is Rs 67.67 lakhs.

2011 Mercedes CLS 350

Nissan Sunny:

The much talked about Nissan Sunny also saw its launch in the month of September 2011. The Sunny is available in 3 trim levels and has a 1.5 liter petrol engine putting out 98 Bhp of power. The Sunny is a capacious car with sort of good features in its kitty. Its asking price is what rocked the boats of other manufacturers. The starting price of Rs 5.78 lakhs was too good to be believed.

Nissan Sunny

Hyundai Santa Fe automatic:

After receiving a good number of bookings for its Santa Fe SUV, Hyundai have now released an automatic version of this SUV. The power made by the engine remains the same at 197 Ps and a 6 speed auto box collaborates with this engine to put power to all the 4 wheels. Features galore, there are also some added ones from the manual variant of the Santa Fe. The price of the Santa Fe auto is pegged at Rs 24.36 lakhs.

Hyundai Santa Fe automatic

Honda Brio:

Honda’s small and economy class car, the Honda Brio also saw its launch in the month of September 2011. With a smaller wheelbase than the Jazz, this one has got oodles of space and features which some of the other cost effective cars don’t offer. The Brio comes with 4 trim levels and with 6 color options. A 1.2 liter motor powers the Brio and it would produce 88 Bhp of power along with 110 Nm of torque. A 5 speed manual transmission is assigned the cog swapping duties. The asking price is also shocking for a Honda at Rs 3.95 lakhs.

Honda BrioThese were some of the cars launched in the month of September 2011. The month of October 2011 should also see some huge launches and we are sure to update them for you time to time as also collectively next month.

Nissan Sunny vs competition – a new rule

The Caaar ad would have definitely caught anyone’s attention and that is just the right thing that Nissan wanted for its baby sedan in India. The only thing that Nissan officials weren’t sure about was the point at which the Sunny would be competing against or rather which segment would it cater to. Once the price of this car was announced, it became even more confusing since it straddles both the lower strata of the C segment as also the higher end of it. The former due to its pricing and the latter due to its space quotient and features list. The Etios, Dzire and Manza would be the direct competitors of this car from the lower segment while the higher segment would see it competing against the likes of the Hyundai Fluidic Verna, Honda City and also the Maruti SX4. The Sunny is a rounded off product which is a well thought out weapon from Nissan’s arsenal and one which thinks to straddle both the ends of the C segment. We just primed the Nissan Sunny against its so called rivals and the results are for you all to read.

Nissan Sunny


The Nissan Sunny in India car looks like a mini Teana for sure and this was a unanimous thing which everyone would agree to. However, turn towards the rear and it is quite obvious that apart from the tail lamps which are similar to the Teana, the boot looks more like that of the Swift Dzire. Come to think of it, there are also some comparisons with some other Maruti products like the SX4 as well. The most flamboyant design package in this lot would have to be the Hyundai Fluidic Verna. Its got all those chops, swivels and what nots in what can be called as a diminutive package. Sportiness is quite evident from the Hyundai Fluidic Verna in India’s appearance. Even the rear does seem to sync in with the whole design of the car. The Honda City in India can be called as a car which holds its appeal even well after 3 years since its launch. This car can be said to have aged gracefully. The arrow shot design still commands a second attention. The rear is also well proportioned. The Toyota Etios in India is a bread box package. Its boxy, however the uses of some elements of chrome have definitely spruced up the looks of this car. Even at the rear, the car carries forward the boxy theme. As for the Tata Manza, it’s a product which cannot be called cutting edge but at the same time, it stands its ground well. When it was introduced, it had an all new look and approach to design. It never looked like the Vista had a boot tacked onto it. However, the same cannot be said now since the Vista has now got the Manza face to it. However, it definitely takes up the fight with the upper C segment with its space and features quotient, just like the Sunny. The Maruti SX4 is more like a concept car here. It seems smaller than it actually is plus the thing that it is the most butch amongst cars here. Traditionally cars have been referred to in the feminine gender, however not with the SX4. The tall stance and a well integrated boot is what it all stands for. Its smaller brethren the Maruti Swift Dzire in India looks exactly like the old generation Swift, with the addition of a downright ugly boot.

On the design side, it’s the Hyundai Verna which looks cool while the Etios and Sunny cater to the sober kind of clientele. The Manza and City would appeal to the young as also middle aged personality while the SX4 is something which we can call as the car for someone who wanted an SUV with sedan like capabilities. The Swift Dzire for the budget conscious and lovers of the Swift’s design language.

Honda City


Now, this is where the Fluidic Verna outshines its rivals. Everything out here has got a premium feel with what even the switches and power goodies falling into hands easily. The Verna has got a nice feeling going for it. Its only when the space is concerned, that it falls short in the backseat. The Nissan Sunny in contrast is a car which, like the Verna has got good interiors along with the assurance of space thrown in. The AC unit has been plucked out from the one in the Micra and is a cool looking piece. The Verna and the Sunny are the only two cars here to have a push button start for the engine. The Tata Manza in India is one product which is very similar to the Sunny in its dimensions. It has also got features galore, even though it is a very affordable car. The Blue and Me technology which is derived from Fiat is a useful feature. Spacewise, the Manza is one of the best in the class, even surpassing the Sunny when it comes to head room. When we talk of space, there was earlier only the mention of Honda City. Even now, things haven’t changed much and its still very much a spacious car. However, the price point at which its positioned, with the entry of new rivals promising the space, it is but natural that people would ditch the snob value of Honda and go in for the others. The City also lacks in features which the Verna and even the Etios to some extent offer. The Etios top end model comes with steering mounted controls. However, that is it. It was built to be a low cost car and it stands true to that. The seats are flat at the rear and shoving in 3 huge people at the back wouldn’t be a problem. As for the SX4, it has also got a good features list. One sits upright in this car and visibility all around is real good. Even for the back benchers, this one is pretty good. The Swift Dzire seriously lacks space at the rear and the boot addition just about adds some space to the Swift’s puny boot. The features list is almost similar to that of the SX4, moreso since they share parts from the same bin.

If its space, one is looking for, then there is no contest and it would be the Manza here with a cutting edge price tag for it. Next comes in the Sunny with its features list and comfort factor. The Toyota Etios is one more car which is good for being chauffer driven, however the quality of plastics leaves a lot to be desired. The Honda City is still a very comfortable car, however, the omission of certain features plus the typical Honda “stinginess” really hurts. The Swift Dzire makes for a good car for singles; however, if carrying around people is a priority, it better is left alone. The SX4 is for those who would like to be in a commanding position while driving and would even like their passengers to be in the same position. It has got just about adequate features.

Toyota Etios

Handling and ride quality

The Sunny here can be called as a neutral handler, its not an expert in controlling the body roll thing, however, does well to mask it with its soft suspension setup. The ride quality is also of the absorbing kinds. However, the NVH factor is something which Nissan should have worked on coz this sedan isn’t that noise proof as the others in this comparison. The Fluidic Verna is something which is a very quiet performer. In terms of absolute NVH, there is nothing that comes close to this sedan. The handling though is a doubtful thing and it isn’t as well planted as we would have liked. The ride quality for a softly sprung car is very good and it more or less is in the same ballpark as the Sunny’. The Manza’s engine makes a little less of noise than the one in the Sunny plus the suspension is all the more absorbing. The handling for the Manza is also on a similar foot like the Sunny, however the steering wheel lacks some feel as compared to the slightly better feel from the Sunny. The Suzuki SX4 is the one to go for if one has to have a sporty car as an everyday drive car. The SX4 has a stiffly sprung suspension underneath and this means that the ride quality may not be that all cosetting, however the handling definitely is very surefooted. As for the NVH, the Suzuki engine is quiet and only gets coarse towards the top of its rev range. The Toyota Etios in India was perceived as a low cost car and this is evidently visible from the fact that this car doesn’t have sufficient insulation under the hood. As a result, inside the cabin, things do get thrashy after a certain limit. The ride quality is good, however, the Toyota doesn’t feel confident around bends and plus the steering wheel which is more tuned for city use, doesn’t work in its favor while on the highways. As for the Swift Dzire, its also stiffly sprung and this affects its ride quality. As for the handling part, the Dzire is a bit tail happy; however, it does its best to plant a smile on its driver’s face. The NVH is well controlled for the 1.2 liter engine. The Honda City in India has a ride quality, which though not exactly pampering, can still be termed as acceptable. The handling would have been stellar, were it not for the lackluster steering wheel, which simply doesn’t provide a good feedback. Wider tyres would have also made it to handle better.

The overall balance tilts in favor of the SX4 with its made for India ground clearance as also handling prowess. Other meekly follow it here, however, the ratio would vary depending on one’s preferences.

Maruti SX4

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

The Maruti Swift Dzire’s engine is the one which has the least capacity amongst this competition. However, it produces a mighty 84 Bhp from its heart along with 113 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5 speed stick shift. The Dzire is amongst the lightest cars in this category and has superb acceleration to its credit. The engine and gearbox combo is a perfect thing here. The Dzire’s brakes need some working into while the safety features list, up the variants is also good. The Toyota Etios comes with a light weight body and a 1.5 liter heart. 89 Bhp of power and 132 Nm of torque is what can be plucked out of it. A 5 speed manual gearbox, which though a tad notchy, does the job well. The Etios’ brakes have almost the same bite as the Dzire’s and safety levels are also the same. The Tata Manza has got a 1.4 liter Safire heart and 89 Bhp of power along with 132 Nm of torque is what it has managed to produce from it. A 5 speed manual gearbox, derived from Fiat is what this one brings into the equation. The gearbox, though not in the same region as that of either Suzuki or Toyota, is a reasonably good shifter. The Manza, due to its porky weight loses out on the acceleration front, but, still is a nice cruiser. The brakes of the Manza are better than the Dzire and Etios, however on the safety features front, per variant, the Manza lacks behind.

The Nissan Sunny gets a 1.5 liter engine which is tuned out and out for fuel efficiency. It produces 98 Bhp of power along with 134 Nm of torque. The gearbox here is a vague unit and neither does the engine like to be hurried. However, the Sunny scores on its opponents by having its safety features in place. Variant on variant, there is no comparing the Sunny with its competitors, with even the base variant coming with a single airbag, ABS and EBD. The Hyundai Verna’s less decorated 1.4 liter engine makes 107 Bhp of power and also 136 Nm of torque. A 5 speed manual handles the cog shifting duties. The Verna petrol is also a gutsy performer; however cruising is what best it can do. The base Verna lacks safety features in the name of ABS and airbags, which is a big letdown. The petrol SX4 has got a 1.6 liter engine which has a peak output of 104 Bhp of power along with 145 Nm of torque. The gearbox of the SX4 is a bit recalcitrant; however, does the job perfectly. As for safety features, the Sunny’s spec list matches that of the SX4’s and both the cars are evenly matched here. The Honda City makes do with a 1.5 liter petrol engine which produces 117 Bhp of power, the highest in this comparison along with 146 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a smooth shifting unit and a delight to use. The engine also takes on a sporty note, after a particular rpm. The Honda City, however, lacks the basic safety features which one would expect from a sedan of this class.

Tata ManzaAs for the fuel efficiency, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency is the highest for the Etios while the Sunny ranks in a close third.

The Nissan Sunny does stake out claims to being a big sedan with lots of space and just about inoffensive looks. However, for the part that it has been, it doesn’t do anything exceptional. Its fuel efficiency is also not class leading. What it promises is a very tempting price package plus some segment firsts like the rear cooler vents, push button start and keyless entry. The Sunny price starts from a very tempting Rs 5.78 lakhs and is available in three variants. Compared to this, the Toyota Etios starts at a price of Rs 5.54 lakhs, the Maruti Swift Dzire’s base price is Rs 4.88 lakhs, the Tata Manza’ price starts at Rs 5.39 lakhs, the Maruti SX4 starts at Rs 6.91 lakhs. The Honda City’s price starts at Rs 7.6 lakhs while the Hyundai Verna’s price starts at Rs 6.99 lakhs. Feel free to guess the winner in the comments section below.

Hyundai Fluidic Verna

Toyota to Bring Down Wait Period for Etios Sedan to 1 Month

Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota announced that they would be decreasing the wait period for their Etios sedan to a month, from the present two months, within a fortnight itself. They will also launch the hatchback version of their Etios sedan, Liva on 27th June.

The MD of the company, Hiroshi Nakagawa, said that they have delayed launching their early awaited Liva small car so that they could satisfy the demand in the market for their Etios sedan that has been very successful. The company hopes to sell around 60,000 models of the Liva and Etios sedan this year.

They are also increasing their production with an investment of INR 300 crore by mid 2011. They expect to sell around 2.1 lakh models next year.

Meanwhile, the company’s Deputy MD, Marketing, Sandeep Singh, said that they had earlier set their target as 1.5 lakh units to be sold this year. They have now brought down this target to 1.4 lakh units because of the one month halt cut in productions following the March natural disaster in Japan.

The company is all set to board an aggressive strategy of localisation across verticals. Singh said that the Etios is 70% locally built, a figure that they want to take to 90% by two years time, adding that the Toyota Etios will outdo the Innova in sales for this month. They are their eyes on the market of mass volume. At present, however their prime target does not involve capturing greater market share, but rather satisfying their customers first.

Why small cars sell more than the big ones

The passenger car segment in India have never had it so good with the car sales touching the 2.4 million mark and all this courtesy small cars. India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki themselves accounted for more than 1.3 million cars and come to think of it, Maruti is known as the master of making small cars in India. Maruti Suzuki cleared the doubts among car lovers – whether they would still be the market leaders in India or not. The Indian car market is touted to be one up on the Brazilian one and this means that we would grab the 6th spot in the world of automobiles. A 30 percent growth from the small car segment was witnessed and at the same time, India’s luxury car market touched new heights. Affordable (in the term of luxury car makers) cars like the BMW 5 series and X1 made their way into many Indian homes. The Audi Q7 also reported decent numbers and its smaller variant, the Audi Q5 also posted healthy sales figures for the German manufacturers. An economy which is growing at a rate of 10 percent coupled with higher incomes and easier loans ensured that the luxury car market sold about an estimated 18k units in 2010-2011 which translates to an all time high of 80 percent increase from 2009-2011.

The best performer of 2010 was however the small car, the Ford Figo. That the Figo managed to outmatch its competition even without having any discounts on its speaks volumes for itself. Launched last summer, the Figo registered bookings of over 8k cars in a month. At the end of the year, the Figo had raked in 78116 units. In the overall sales ranking, Ford India came to a respectable number 6 from the pathetic number 8 that they were earlier. For boosting the sales of Figo and ensuring that the customers need not suffer a waiting period, Ford India started a second shift. Earlier on, the cheapest car in the world, the Tata Nano got a boost in its sales with waiting periods being reduced and the Sanand plant running in full steam. Sales touched an all time high of 9000 units in July however a few reliability issues and some fire incidents ensured that the sales of this car slowed down. There was a pathetic stage in the sales of the Nano when it touched an all time low of only 509 units in November 2010. However Tata Motors quickly swung into action with the 4 year warranty deal and also offering the remedial action that no further damage would be done with the fire catching incidents.

This small segment as a whole continues to remain the largest part of the market by smashing the million mark and above, which is up by about 35 percent from the figure shown in 2009-2010. Key launches like the ones of the small cars like Figo, Polo, Wagon R, Micra and the Alto K10 made way for the growth of car sales and especially small cars. The best selling car was the Alto K10 with over 3.4 lakh units, which is a 48 percent increase over its previous year’s figures. Next up is another Maruti which has taken the second spot from the Hyundai I10 and that is the Maruti Wagon R, which witnessed sales over 12 percent more than the previous year. The Hyundai i10 in the meanwhile witnessed a sales rise by over 10 percent while its bigger and fatter cousin, the i20 witnessed a boost of 100 percent to about 86 k units. This good show by both its models helped the Korean company to retain its number 2 position in the Indian car market. Tata Nano sales spurts always ensured that Tata Motors were a close third as far as the sales figures go. For the American General i.e. General Motors, sales of its small but ultra funky car, the Beat ensured that the numbers were boosted in multiples however the cheeky little Spark’s sales toppled down by 20 percent. Fiat showed a lackluster display with the sales of their Punto hatchback dropping by 5 percent indicating that manufacturers need to keep the pot burning for their cars.

The new midsize entries like the Volkswagen Vento and the Toyota Etios received a warm welcome from the car buying public and this enabled them to get off to a good start. In only 6 months, the Vento has clocked in more than 18k units in the domestic market. The Etios which was launched at around the year end managed to garner over 30k bookings however with production facilities in a sort of tizzy, managed to sell off only 8k units. Strong performance by the Vento meant that the Honda City sales could rise only 3 percent of what was sold last year. However in March 2011, the Vento managed to go one up on the City. Honda finally realized that it needs a diesel engine in its Indian car lineup as India is predominantly a diesel driven country. Due to a huge price cut and also nifty ad campaigns, the Mahindra Logan has seen its sales being doubled. Recently the car has been renamed as Verito with a lower asking price and added benefits of more goodies. Moreover, Mahindra is latching onto the idea of reducing the boot size of the Logan and ducking it under the 4 meters mark to gain excise benefits and further lower the price of this car to gain a good market share. Due to the introduction of a much needed diesel under the hood of the Toyota Corolla Altis, Toyota Motors managed to get a 10 percent increase in their sales. However due to the capacity constraints in its manufacturing facility, Toyota could only manage to grab 10 percent increase in sales. The Chevrolet Cruze, saw a 100 percent bump up in its sales figures compared to the year 2009, with sales of about 9,040 cars.

Well, if you thought that only compact cars were the stars of the day, then take a look at the luxury car market also. The Mercedes C class finally managed to steal one from the BMW 3 series by clocking in 2614 cars in the entire year. However BMW fought back with the much more expensive 5 series contributing to 3k units plus. The BMW X1 which is one of the lowest priced BMWs in India made a solid start to its innings in India with 525 units being already sold for an SUV which made its debut in December 2010. The silent player in this game, Audi managed to sell well over 1000 units of the Q5 and also the Q7. This was the highest amongst the SUVs in this segment. The market is showing no signs of slacking over however trade pundits say that there are chances that the market would chill a bit after all this show. However money spinning models from Maruti, Tata and Hyundai are expected to hit this year and who knows if the pace would be maintained or get to the next level.