Yet another article comparing hatchbacks would make you yawn, however the fact that this is the most growing segment among Indian cars cannot be neglected. The Toyota Etios Liva has probably been one of the most anticipated cars in recent times, which started almost 5 years back when Toyota announced its intention of bringing a small car into the Indian market. Readers would find it interesting to know through this article whether the Company has been able to live to the expectations that have been created in the Indian market.
The Toyota Etios Liva in hatchback form looks much better than its sedan avatar. In its top-end VX variant, it indeed has one of the best looks given to a hatchback, particularly with its electric blue shade. Though the nose resembles its sedan cousin, other features are totally its own. Though not beautiful in conventional terms, its design elements have shaped up well giving it an overall pleasing effect.
The Ford Figo on the other hand is bogged down by its non-contemporary looks taken from the erstwhile Fiesta. Armed with a nice stance, sharp looking headlights and nice lines, the vehicle does have a typical solid European look.
The VW Polo, designed by Walter Da Silva, is indeed the best looking among the three. The combination of great looks without inherent aggression is what one can term as a head-turner that the vehicle has become. With great looking wheel arches and waist line, the Polo creates a great overall effect.
The Toyota Etios Liva outscores the other two variants in terms of interior space offered, in fact one does not feel much difference between it and its sedan variant, though the wheelbase has been reduced 90mm. even when one pulls back the front seats all the way through, the rear passengers do not feel any cramping of leg space, further three fully-grown elders can comfortably occupy the back. The interiors are however shocking coming from a brand like Toyota with the use of cheap plastics. The features however are decent enough including audio controls being steering-mounted, comfortable steering wheel and a latest audio system.
The Ford Figo offers better quality materials compared to the Liva and the cabin is definitely merrier, especially if the dashboard comes in red. Some well placed as well as easy to use features have been provided, though the absence of head and back support in rear seats makes it a touch discomforting.
The VW Polo presents a very interesting picture. It does not match the above two vehicles in terms of features provided, it has a thin steering wheel tough to hold but with all these deficiencies, it still boasts having the best cabin among the three. The quality reflects in its build and material usage, thereby giving its riders the feel good factor of security and solidity once they are inside the vehicle.
The Engine Power:
All the cars are equipped with 1.2L petrol engines; however all have their respective inherent strengths. The Liva has a conventional engine with the glorious advantage of being the lightest among the three vehicles, weighing just 920kg. Efficiency rather than power is the key focus for this vehicle, which is essentially a city drive. The car has ease of driving with lighter and precise controls but its light weight goes against it when taken to the highways under windy conditions. The car peaks to a little more than 140kmph and requires downshifting for driving on hilly roads. Handling the car can give you combined effects of comfort and sportiness. Hence, the Liva can be deemed a car that has in it to satisfy all its segments of riders.
The Ford Figo has the least powerful engine amongst the three cars but does surprise you with its performance provided you know the correct combination of using its gears along with the correct amount of revolutions. If not, you got get the feeling of being slowed down by the Figo.
The VW Polo on the other hand looks the least refined among the three cars in the power aspect, literally. It has got a lesser cylinder compared to the other variants and accelerates slower than both. But here ends the negativities, it also achieves 155kmph top speed, the best among the three. It has been provided with such a combination that handling the vehicle is superb in all ride conditions and different speeds of driving. It undoubtedly provides the best overall experience in terms of driving and handling.
The Final Word:
The Liva has come up with the best engines, is easiest to drive, has superb spacing in the cabin and has all aspects of practical city driving, but is badly let down by its interior quality. The Figo is a good value for money vehicle, as well. However, the Polo rules this segment till date and indeed would be the best buy as on date.