much more expensive car, like a Hyundai Elantra. Finding a comfortable driving position isn’t too hard, thanks to the seat height adjustment. The buttons on the steering wheel have a quality feel about them and the rotary knobs for the air-con have a premium knurled finish. The two-tone dash is well designed and the plastics are upmarket. The top half is finished in black, and the bottom half is beige, giving the cabin a premium feel. The dash-mounted gear lever is also superbly detailed. In fact, we’d say that the cabin is easily the best in its class.
The Liva, on the other hand, feels a full generation older in comparison to the Grand i10. Toyota has gone for a more function-over-form design with the cabin. However, the carmaker has recently done away with the flat, thin seats of the older car and replaced them with a more comfortable set. Its driver’s seat has height adjustment too. The improved door pads and the faux wood trim go a long way in lifting the ambience of this plain-Jane cabin. The central instruments get icy-blue backlighting, but we did miss having a rev counter. The new air-con controls feel much better and have a nice tactile feel about them—an improvement over the previous ones, and the new music system is a lot less tacky than the previous unit. There are also plenty of cubby holes around the cabin for your knick-knacks.
The big advantage the Liva has is that it is wider than the Grand, so seating three abreast is easier. Thigh support is very good and the seats are set at a well reclined angle. The Grand, with the additional legroom, is decent too; in fact, maximum legroom is similar, at 89 mm and 90 mm for the Hyundai and Toyota, respectively.
When you put the two cars together and compare cabin quality, it’s the Hyundai that comes out on top, and by a long margin. It’s got that feel-good factor that the Liva simply lacks.
Equipment & safety
The Liva is decently equipped. We’ve tested the GD variant, which comes with decent kit. It’s got 12-spoke alloy wheels, power windows, central locking, tilt-adjust steering, ABS with EBD, keyless entry, optional airbags, and a two-DIN music system with CD, MP3 and USB connectivity. You can only get Bluetooth on the top-spec V petrol variant, as is the case with steering-mounted controls and an aux-in port.