New Liva vs New Swift: Hot Hatch Battle for Supremacy

Swift Vs Liva, two good cars known for their space and driveability are well worth considering for purchase if one is considering a premium hatchback. One from Maruti and other from Toyota, making a choice sure becomes difficult.

Swift Vs Liva - Which is Better?

Despite all the buzz and enthusiasm that Toyota managed to garner at the launch of its EtiosLiva, Maruti’s Swift continues to top the sales charts in Indian automobile market. We admit that our expectation of seeing a fierce fight between these two compatriots wasn’t met fully as Swift continued to rake in decent sales numbers without facing any serious threat from its country-origin competitor; Liva. This below-par business of Liva can be largely accounted for by its plain-bland looks and low quality interiors further conspired to make it an average performer by Toyota’s standard.

Further India’s largest manufacturer, Maruti-Suzuki didn’t rest on its laurels and raised its own set benchmark by launching the all new Swift with plusher and roomier interiors. This led to little choice in front of Toyota but to retaliate back with full fervour and they recently unveiled a new range of Etios series which marks the enthusiasm with which this Japanese manufacturer was burning mid-night oil for some time.

With thoroughly redesigned interiors and slightly tweaked exteriors, Toyota has finally rooted out the most annoying ingredient of poor quality and style in Etios proposition. Now backed with the bang, this time Toyota hopes to give a tough fight to Swift which has been ruling the roost of Indian hatchback category right from the day it was launched. So whether Etios Liva will be manage to do so or no tis a question we at Ecardlr wanted to find. We did the obvious and pitted the New Liva against New Swift head-on, read on to find who scores over whom:

New Etios Liva vs Swift - Exteriors

Swift has always remained a benchmark owing to its European styling and futuristic looks. In its new long wheel base avatar, Swift continues to behold the design theme of its predecessor although the dimensions have been starched for better room and space. New Swift no doubt is quite similar externally to its earlier siblings with major alterations have been limited to tweaks in styling cues rather than an outright replacement. 

Etios Liva Front Shot  Swift Front Shot
Swift headlamps and tail lights have been stretched for bigger looks although they continue to wear the old waterfall design. In comparison the new Liva still looks a bit old school although there have been attempts to make it more upmarket with additional embellishment of chrome right at the nose of the car. Headlamps feel subdued and the overall character seems understated in comparison to much fuller and substantial Swift.

Side profile of Swift feels a razor-sharp thanks to its sleek belt and window line. Upright c-pillar and blacked-out A and B pillars helps Swift to stand out in the crowd,  while Liva is clearly deprived of these character lines and play a safer game in comparison. Rear portion is also the same story with Swift dominating the aesthetics with its designer tail lamps and round-ish profile though this time Liva also tries to entice the customers with its chrome- zing and flat rear.

Overall despite of its external tweaks, Liva feel incompetent to compete with new Swift on aesthetics front. New Swift is more contemporary, feels more confident and looks a part while Liva still lacks that feel-good feeling that even a casual glance of Swift is bound to arouse.

Swift:   *****                                                                                                            Liva: *****

Swift Vs New Liva - Interiors

Despite a huge difference in the layout and approach, both Swift and Liva have one thing common when it comes to their interiors and cabin comparison. Both the cars have heavily revamped interiors from their predecessors and this change has indeed made cabins of both the cars better. Starting with Swift, we had no issue with the quality of older Swift though it lacked the flair and tempo that is associated with its engine and performance. New Swift addressed this lack of excitement and it did it in style. New cabin is all wrapped up in black giving it a sportier feel and the waterfall console fills the gap for low pizzazz. Wrap-around silver accents give Swift a new high on attitude and sportiness, classy steering wheel augments the feeling of liveliness and imparts an active feel to Swift's cabin. 

Liva, on other hand, steered clear of these sporty pretensions and hold on its line of practicality. The new colour combination has made Liva feels roomier and nicer than the horrible red-trims it came when it was launched. Dash board feels plush and beige interiors has done the trick for Liva. Vertically stacked air-con vents are really good for cooling the voluminous cabin and almost flat floor further makes the things convenient for passengers.  
On space front, Liva walks away with honour although new Swift feels a lot more comfortable than the older one. There has been increase in the wheelbase on new Swift though the high window line and small glass area makes it feel a bit cramped in comparison to Liva. Three adults can be easily sit abreast at the back in Liva while Swift, at its best, is good enough for only two people. On boot space too, Swift does not match the Liva as it can hold up 20 litres more luggage than the Swift’s boot. 

Swift:   *****                                                                                                               Liva: *****

Swift Vs New Liva - Engine

Powered by famous Fiat’s multi-jet diesel technology and then endowed with ingenuity of Suzuki’s own R&D, Swift’s engine continues to remain one of the best oil burners in country. Displacing the capacity of 1.3 L, it pumps out 75 PS of power and 190 Nm of torque. In comparison, Liva uses a comparatively larger heart of 1.4 L with power and torque freezing at 68 PS and 170 Nm.  Also the overhead cam feature is also different as Maruti has used 16 valves architecture compared to 8 valves used by Toyota.

Liva Engine  Swift Engine 

Idle of both the cars are silent and non obtrusive once you inside either of the car. Low end grunt of new Swift has remarkably improved though it’s Liva which impressed us with its immediate urgency. However as the revs builds up the free-revving nature of Swift makes it more addictive than Liva. In mid-range and top range Liva has no answer to Swift’s brilliant performance and this is when in reality this sweet addiction of Swift has been toned-down by the company. Even after this change Swift driving is a fulfilling experience and you want to take it out on highway more than the Liva. 

Both cars are mated with 5-speed manual transmission and features sleek shifting too. But we found clutch action of Liva a bit heavier than Swift. This could be a contentious point if you are habitual petrol driver and require some time getting used to. Brakes of both cars are good though Liva felt a bit more eager to stop than Swift. 

Swift:   *****                                                                                                          Liva: *****

Swift Vs New Liva - Ride Dynamics 

Both cars, in-line with their positioning, feel entirely different in their approach towards the ride and handling. With its RBSS (rally bases suspension system) Swift is more eager to take the corners while Liva prefers to comfort the passengers with its absorbing ride. However both the cars use the same suspension hardware in form of front McPherson strut and torsion beam at rear. 

With new Swift, Maruti tries to rectify the grouse of average ride quality that old Swift offered but in process, lost out some of the cornering ability of previous version. That said, new Swift still holds its forte of handling and can be easily regarded as the segment benchmark. The positive side of the coin however reveals the better cushioning ability of Swift’s suspension though it still has some way to go to match the Liva’s capability.

Liva offers a fine blend of ride and handling virtues and strikes a commendable balance between these two characteristics. It had far better ride than Swift and handles well also. Thanks to its wider tyres, Liva holds the line with some extra grip to spare. 

Swift:   *****                                                                                                                    Liva: *****

Swift Vs New Liva - Verdict

Crucial aspect of Value for money (VFM) holds a prominent value as Liva’s top model undercuts Swift’s price by around 50 k. This substantiates Liva’s claim for supremacy but then Swift holds the advantage on other critical dimensions of style, design and performance. It looks far more contemporary, interiors feels plush, engine is a blast to dive and it handles like a crazy. In contrast, Liva still feels a generation behind in aesthetics, choice of material for cabin and overall performance aspect. The only feel good factor is large cabin space that Liva comes loaded with. So if you have a large family of 5 and you travel together all the time, Liva fits your bill otherwise, both our heart and mind speaks in favour of our all-time favourite Swift. 

Swift:   *****                                                                                                                 Liva: *****

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