Contrary to our usual comparisons where we differentiates the car on their beauty aspect, this time we try to figure out which one of these two designing blunders succeed to hide its quirkiness. Verito Vibe looks instantly different owing to its sharply raking C-pillars; it doesn’t feel like a coherent design. Although the rear of Vibe looks sporty like fresh air, the probability of this strange amalgamation going down well with customers’ is quite low. Front face of Vibe is almost similar to Verito and so is the profile except the rear three-quarter end. Carbon finished Mahindra-lineage grill and LED lamps are the highlights of this Mahindra. Sportiness and dynamism are taken care with roof-rails and beefy wheel-arches. Overall this Mahindra bets big on its rear styling which is quite subjective in terms of its feel and flavour.
EtiosLiva, like Mahindra’s Verito (initially Logan), had drawn flak from the critics and customers alike for its boring style and plain-Jane design. Thankfully Toyota gave ear to the criticism and came with the newer version of its sedan and hatchback. New Liva that has hit the market some time ago has undergone cosmetic surgery though the rear beneficiary of this treatment is inside cabin of Liva. Nevertheless exteriors also got some nice improvements though the overall panel structure hasn’t got the scissors treatment. Toyota has added more chrome up front, tinkered with rear tail lamp cluster and stacked OVRMs’ with side indicators. Also 12 spoke alloy wheels now garnishes the wheel arches though the contentious virtue of plain panels without any sleek cut-crease has been stay put in the newer version also.
On dimensional front, comparison results in mix-bang with Toyota dwarfing Mahindra in length though in turn knocked out in width and height department. In the crucial aspect of wheelbase too, Mahindra scores far better with its 2630 mm measurement against the 2550 of Liva. This dimensionality is sure to make things better in Vibe’s cabin in terms of available room in comparison to Liva though the crucial aspect of quality will also play its role there. Overall both these cars in comparison lacks the design appeal of competitors and both the manufacturers has to learn a lot from their counterparts; especially Honda that how to make strikingly beautiful car within the budget constraints.
VIBE: *****LIVA: *****
Hop on into Vibe cabin and feeling of abundance of room is recognizable instantly. Vibe is definitely one of the roomiest and airy cabins around and the use of bright colour combination of dash and seats have further gone to amplify this feeling. Two-tone colour scheme has gel very well with the roominess theme of Vibe and this is sure to attract flattering comments from the observers. Front seats are wide and big though could have come with some more support. Centre console though laid-out in quite attractive design, it is not something that is justified ergonomically. We find the buttons especially AC controls far below that they should have been. It is quite difficult to access them without taking off he eyes from the road and that means use of these controls on the go will be limited.
This is exactly at this weak point of Mahindra, Toyota scores exceptionally well. Now on design front, like Vibe, Liva has nothing that makes you go wow with its first look but then you have to appreciate the functionality of Liva’s cabin. Every bit of control is imbibed with customers’ comfort virtue with everything belonging to exactly where they should be. Vertically placed air-con vents though looks a bit strange in their placement criterion but then you wonder how much effective these are in cooling the back seat of Liva.
Rear bench of both the cars are roomy but in comparison fight, Vibe wins hand down. With its exceptionally wider body and longer wheelbase, Vibe rear bench is far more accommodating than the Liva and even the thigh support in better in Mahindra. Liva has too got good space feeling all-around and on any other day it would have won but in this comparison it has locked horns with proposition that comes with the best-in-class cabin space of ace and that’s why it feel humbled here. But scale again starts tilting back when we start quality bout between these two contenders. Toyota here punches a decisive blow on Vibe as feels far more luxurious and up market than the Vibe. Thanks to the recent face lift given by Toyota, Liva stands head and shoulder above Vibe and therefor settling the score in this second round of comparison.
VIBE: *****LIVA: *****
UNDER THE HOOD
Both the contenders engulfed in battle of supremacy here, comes with similar 1.5-litre capacity engine. Power and torque rating too is quite matching in nature as against the 68 PS and 170 Nm of Liva, Vibe puts out 65 PS and 160 Nm of torque respectively. Now thinking that because of these motors have similar output so they perform similar on the real world is quite logical until the kerb-weight virtue comes into picture. Compared to 915 kg of Liva, Vibe weighs around 1155 kg; around 240 kg more and that makes the sea level of difference between the real-world performances of both these cars. Compared to Vibe, Liva feels more peppy and eager in city and thanks to its low kerb-weight the performance is quite more than adequate for the city crawling. Vibe also has the linear power delivery though it lags the alacrity of Liva. Both the cars have above average city performance with this similarity even extending to top end range of the vehicles. Out on highway, both feels quickly out of breath as they tend to lose the steam as the engine revs harder.
Oil-burners of both these cars come mated with 5-speed manual transmission. In this shifting mechanism too, Liva has upper-hand as the clogging process feels more precise, direct and wholesome than the Vibe’s. Mahindra is still to come over the aspect of being notchy in its vehicles as Vibe too suffers with this time-honoured problem of this home grown auto major. Brakes works well in both the propositions though here once again Toyota leads the pack with more reassuring feel and bite from its disc-drum retarding force combo.
Overall in this driving comparison, Liva feels a more complete package as Toyota efforts to bring this diesel version as light as possible really paid-off. Liva doesn’t feel like a diesel car as the connotations of being heavy and unrefined attached for long with oil-burners find no favour in Liva. Now if Toyota had made clutch of Liva a bit lighter, then this hatchback would have inched closer to perfection.
VIBE: *****LIVA: *****
In terms of suspension hardware, both Liva and Vibe shares the similarity as MacPherson strut up front and torsion beam at rear is doing the duty in both the cars. Width of the rubber shrouded on wheels is also similar standing at 185 mm. In terms of riding comfort, Vibe feels more accomplished than Liva as it beautifully soaks every undulation coming it way. Soft suspension settings make Vibe a more accomplished rider car though Liva too is not far behind. Toyota too has managed to endow Liva with cushioning ride though the magnitude of this cushioning ability is better in Vibe than in Liva.
On the handling front though, the cushioning prowess of Vibe takes its toll on the vehicle as this Mahindra struggles to stick to its line during hard manoeuvring. Throw it around the corner and body roll stems up which at times feels quite disturbing. Liva on the other hand also get suspected to some mass-shifting phenomenon but it gets in control very quickly. Only in the very hard and steep cornering, the Liva gets slightly over disturbed but that’s too within acceptable limits.
VIBE: *****LIVA: *****
Comparing head-on the diesel versions of both these vehicles reveal that both these cars are priced at almost same bracket with starting tag of Rs 5.77 lakh that extends to Rs 6.64 lakh for the top end variant. So the crucial parameter of value for money loses its relevance here as both the cars are equally matched on pricing confrontation. Now Verito Vibe has got all the inheritance of Mahindra with spacious cabin, fuel-efficient engine and this time got some spicy design also. It is most comfortable in comparison to Liva and people are sure to enjoy its overall comfort factor of its rear space. But then a close scrutiny reveal that Mahindra has failed in living the things up in Vibe as this Verito cousin has got the poor quality and fit-finish unfortunately intact. Ergonomics too are poor and oil-burner though has got the fuel-efficiency right; it lacks the feel and punch of the competitors. And this is where Toyota’s Liva scores enormously. With lightweight chassis and body, Liva feels much more spirited on roads and better Vibe on mileage aspect also. New brighten up interiors feel plush and the overall lay out is spot on ergonomically. It rides well though handles quite efficiently thereby allowing the driver to go a little crazy. So if you want a complete and holistic package in between these two, we recommend you to drive out with Liva as in totality it fares better than Verito Vibe.
VIBE: ***** LIVA: *****