Diesel hatch comparison: Liva, Swift or Micra?

CarToq community member Sohit asked the community which car he should buy. He listed down his choices as the Toyota Etios Liva, the Maruti Suzuki Swift and the Nissan Micra. He also mentioned that he wanted to know which of these would be the best diesel car for him. CarToq finds out which of these diesel small cars makes the most sense.

Photo: The Swift is one of the best handling cars in its segments and is a complete drivers car

Driving and Handling

The Swift diesel is powered by a 1.3-litre motor that puts out 74 Bhp of power. The Liva is powered by a 1.4-litre motor that puts out 68 Bhp of power while the Micra is powered by a 1.5-litre dCI motor that puts out 68 Bhp of power. The Micra has a refined engine with good noise insulation and no turbo lag, the Swift on the other hand suffers from some turbo lag.

In city traffic, driving the Micra is slightly easier than driving the Swift as the engine demands lesser gear shifts, but the Swift does have a smoother gearbox. The Liva, on the other hand, offers linear acceleration, but a lot of the engine noise filters into the cabin and reminds you that there’s a diesel engine under the hood. Also read: Community Speak: Maruti Suzuki Swift vs. Ritz

When it comes to handling, the Swift beats the Micra and the Liva, hands down. The stiff suspension and precise steering makes the Swift, lot more fun to drive. The electric power steering of the Liva is very light at low speeds and makes it easy to cruise at low speeds. The Micra’s steering doesn’t offer much feedback but is fine for daily chores.

Photo: The Liva has a lot of space inside although it is not as comfortable as some of its competition

Space and Comfort

The Liva is the most spacious car among the three. The Micra comes next and then the Swift. This is because there is ample shoulder room in the rear seat and the full flat floor allows three passengers to sit more comfortably in the Liva than in the Micra or the Swift. In terms of boot space the Liva and Micra offers 251 litres each while the Swift offers a 204 litre boot.

With regard to comfort the Swift offers plush seats and the Micra too offers a decent level of comfort. The rear seats of the Micra though lack under thigh support. The Liva has thin seats and just adequate comfort it may not be as well done as the Swift or the Micra but it is quite comfortable. Read more: Upcoming Chevrolet Sail versus the Toyota Etios Liva!

Summing up, the Liva has an edge over the Micra and Swift in terms of space while the Swift and Micra are good in terms of comfort.

nissan micra front right
Photo: The Micra has a unique design which may not be liked by all but is very cute and attractive

Looks

The Micra has retro theme wide headlamps, unique protruding tail lamps and a pressed boot door. The interiors of the Micra have a bubble theme.  The central console layout with buttons arranged in a circular fashion is quite retro to. Also read: New Hyundai i20 vs. Nissan Micra: Diesel comparison

Toyota has been too conservative as far as the styling of the Liva is concerned. Though the Liva looks better than the Etios, it is still no match for other sporty and funky hatchbacks that have a youthful appeal. The Liva also looks dull on the inside. The centrally mounted instrument cluster has a classic theme, but its design may not be liked by all.

The Swift has sporty looks and a strong road presence unlike the Micra and the Liva. The interiors of the Swift have a refreshed instrument cluster and neatly laid out central console. The plastic feels durable and fit and finish is pretty decent. Summing up, the Swift looks appealing and the Micra looks cute, but the Liva fails to stand out in a crowd.

Features

The top-end variants of the Swift and the Liva get dual front airbags and ABS while the Micra comes only with driver airbag. With regard to comfort features, the Swift and the Liva get steering mounted audio controls which the Micra lacks. But the Micra and the Swift offer automatic climate control which the Liva misses out on. The Micra comes with push button (engine) start and electric folding mirror which the Liva and the Swift do not offer. The Swift comes with ORVM mounted side turn indicator and speed based auto volume for music system not offered in the Micra and the Liva.

Overall, the Swift and the Micra have an edge over the Liva, when it comes to features in the diesel variants.

Price, mileage and overall VFM

The Micra diesel is priced in the range of Rs. 5.96 lakh – Rs. 6.41 lakh while the Liva is priced in the range of Rs. 5.77 lakh – Rs. 6.08 lakh. The Swift is priced in the range of Rs. 5.53 lakh – Rs. 6.76 lakh making it slightly cheaper than the other two cars when it comes to starting price (base variant). However, the top-end variant of the Swift has a premium price over the other two variants.

With regard to mileage, the Swift has an ARAI-certified mileage of 23.4 Kmpl while the Micra has an ARAI-certified mileage of 23.08 Kmpl and the Liva offers 23.59 Kmpl. In real driving conditions, these cars will offer similar mileage of around 19 Kmpl and hence, there is no clear winner here.

Overall, the Swift is a great VFM as it performs and handles better than the other, has sporty looks and quality interiors.

Verdict

At the end of the comparison, it is clear than each car has its own character. Pick the Swift if you want looks, comfort, features and handling from a diesel hatchback. Choose the Micra if city drivability is of utmost importance. Go for the Liva if interior space for five passengers is your top priority. But as an overall package, the Swift is the winner in this comparison. Which car do you think is better and why? Share your views in the comments section below!