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Toyota has launched its first ever hatchback in India, the Etios Liva. A five-door hatchback version of the earlier Etios compact sedan, the Liva is being branded as a “Q-Class hatch” with the “Q” supposedly standing for “legendary Toyota quality”. Priced from Rs 3.99 lakh, the Liva will have to lure Indian buyers away from the popular Maruti Swift and the Nissan Micra, among other hatchbacks.

There will be four trim levels for the Liva, but all share the same 3NR-FE, four-cylinder 1.2L petrol engine. This DOHC unit makes 80 PS and 104 Nm of torque. It’s not much, but the peak figures are developed at relatively low rpms – 5,600 rpm for power and 3,100 rpm for torque, which is a suitable for a car like this. It’s exclusively paired to a five-speed manual gearbox – no auto option is available.

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The suspension is par for the class – front McPherson struts and a rear torsion beam – while the brakes are ventilated discs up front with rear drums. Lower spec versions ride on 14-inch wheels while the costlier ones come with 185/60 R15 rubber.

The Etios Liva is 3,775mm long and 1,695mm wide, which makes its footprint slightly larger (15mm longer, 5mm wider) than the Suzuki Swift. The Toyota’s 2,460mm wheelbase is also longer than the Swift, and by a substantial 70mm, so it wins the space war. Boot volume is 251 litres.

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Toyota will be selling four trim variants – J, G, V and VX. The equipment list isn’t very long on the baseline J, which gets air con, body coloured bumpers, digital trip meter, wheelcaps, a cooled glovebox and an engine immobiliser. The G spec adds on electric power steering with tilt, power windows, central locking, intermittent wipers and a 12v power outlet.

One step up is the V, which has niceties such as a tachometer, 2-DIN CD/MP3/USB player, driver seatbelt warning, fabric door cards, rear wiper and washer, rear window defogger, fog lamps and 12-spoke alloys. The Rs 5.99 lakh VX gets the two-tone cabin you see here, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, chrome door handles, and chrome shift knob. Dual airbags, ABS and EBD are optional on the G but standard on the V and VX.

An inexpensive Toyota hatchback like the Liva is bound to sell well here, but don’t count on it coming for obvious reasons.