Great comfort and looks; poor accelerator response; overpriced on brand image
Pros : Great looks and comfort for tall people
Cons : Poor accelerator response, unintended rpm surge
The only selling point is great roominess and comfort for five six feet tall people. Spaciosness and comfort is best in its class and comparable to the sedan class! Also looks good. Others have commented on cheap-looking interior, but I find it good and robust enough.
My greatest displeasure is the electronic throttle control in the ECU. The accelerator (gas pedal) is not cabled directly to the engine throttle valve. The gas pedal goes into a computer which decides if you really mean it when you hit the gas pedal. Apparently they do thsi to improve mileage. Thus far I am getting only 11 km/l on high quality petrol, so the mileage is not dramatic at all. On the other hand electronic throttle control is perfect anathema to the pleasure of driving a manual transmission car. Even a five degree slope makes acceleration difficult in 3rd gear, even if you floor the gas pedal. There is a 0.2--0.3 second delay between hitting the gas and engine rev up. A decent engine laid to waste by a pathetic ECU.
Beyond displeasure, the ECU is downright dangerous and scary. Roll gently into a parking lot on 2nd gear, then downshift to 1st gear to ease into your slot. After a random time interval between 20 and 40 seconds, there is a sudden surge in engine speed by 200--300 rpm. The car surges forward and you have to arrest it quickly using the brake, or you could have 1--2 feet of unintended travel, which can lead your fender into a wall or pedestrians. Toyota is actually infamous for ECU programming trouble.
I am a reasonably trained driver. I saw this same problem on three different Livas, but never on Maruti Swift, Ritz, WagonR, Esteem, or Hyundai i10 and Santro.
Other minor annoyances: Within a month of purchase, the handbrake lever came loose at the fulcrum, although luckily, the brake still engages. Rain water collects in the gap between the acrylic headlamp lens and the metal body below, and turns brown. Plenty of gaps between metal body panels let in leaves and other debris more easily that in cars with tighter fit tolerance like the i10.
In summary, a decent car, but overpriced by about 1 lakh compared to its build class. I loved the pedal response of the i10. If I (and another family member) were shorter than 5 feet 10 inches, I would not think twice before buying an i10, destined to be the next Swift. I was forced to buy the Liva only on account of height. The car is sensible and decent and I am adjusting to its throttle quirks, but I cannot rave about it.