Hyundai i20 vs Toyota Liva vs Swift vs Polo

Hyundai i20 vs Toyota Liva vs Swift vs Polo

1200 CC HATCH-BACK WAR continues into the next year! Only this year, we have introduced the new popular Etios to turn this into a Quad-war. We had the opportunity to test drive the four popular hatchbacks in Pune, MH, India. The Review Bin reviews them in various categories including Performance, economy aesthetics and value for money.

Hyundai i20 vs Toyota Liva vs Swift vs Polo :

Test Drive location: Village Ozarde, Pune, Yashwant Rao Chavan tollway.
Test conditions: 26.5 degrees, dry road, clear weather.

1. What are we comparing?

Hyundai i20 1.2 Asta versus Volkswagen Polo Highline versus Maruti Suzuki Swift Zxi versus Toyota Etios Liva V.

Liva V has the typical smiling face. But it sure has weird smile. That’s why its on #3 on this list.

2. How much to shell out for these?

The i20 costs Rs 6.31 lacs, slightly higher than previous years Rs 6.25 Lacs (ex-showroom) in Delhi.

The Polo is priced at Rs 6.12 lacs from last years Rs 6.95 Lacs.

The Swift is priced at Rs 5.66 lacs from last years Rs 6.03 Lacs.

The Liva V is priced at Rs. 5.52 lacs.

Dealers offer financing that range from 15-25% initial down payments followed by EMI payable to the concerned banks at an interest rate upto 16%. Prices are higher by about Rs. 25,000 in Mumbai, while Delhi has the lowest show-room prices out of the four metros in India.

The interiors of the i20 are top of the class.

3. Power, Engine volume, torque and transmission?

Similar to the Liva, the Asta is rated to produce 80 bhp of power from its 4 cylinder 1200 cc engine while the Liva belts 79. The Polo does 75 bhp out of the same engine displacement with 3 cylinders. The Asta comes out to be the stronger one. But the Swift takes the segment churning 87 bhp through 1200 cc engine with 114 Nm torque. All vehicles have similar torque figures of 111, 110 and 114 Nm respectively with the Liva lagging at 104 Nm. The gearbox is 5 speed Manual. Neither car models come with Automatic transmission except the i20 Gamma AT which is the only AT model produced by Hyundai, priced at Rs. 8.14 Lakhs.

The i20 feels underpowered to drive however when compared to the Maruti Suzuki Swift which has a very sound pick up and higher acceleration figures.

1.2 Asta – 80 bhp, 4 cylinders, 1200 cc, 111 Nm torque

Polo Highline – 75 bhp, 3 cylinders, 1200 cc, 110 Nm torque

Etios Liva – 79 bhp, 4 cylinders, 1200 cc, 104 Nm torque

Swift Zxi – 87 bhp, 4 cylinders, 1200 cc, 114 Nm torque

Sporting a classy look always.

4. Performance: 0-100 Kms/hr and Top speed

This data has been derived from handbooks of the respective cars as test driving for top speed and breaking was not possible on the busy Gurgaon highway.

The 0-100 Kms/hr dash test

 – Asta sped from still to 100 kms/hr in 13.36 seconds.

– Polo does the same in 15.38 seconds.

Liva V takes the third at 13.50 seconds, slightly behind the Asta.

– Swift was the fastest with 12.93 seconds owing to its higher bhp and torque figures.

For ease of comparison, the Mercedes C250 does a 0-100 in 8.18 seconds and the top-notch Mercedes S 500L finishes in 6.40 seconds. BMW 7 series is slightly faster at 6.10 seconds.

Top speeds : Fastest to Slowest – Swift 165 kms/hr, Liva V and Asta the  both share the second place at 158 kms/hr  and  Polo slowest at 140 kms/hr.

Swift dominates performance when it comes to Top speeds and acceleration. However, breaking from 100 kms/hr to still is best done by Asta within 43m. While the Swift takes 48 m to come to a standstill and the Polo losing out at 56.5m.

Clean, sharp dashboard layout.

5. Economy – Fuel consumption city and highway

So far, the Swift has taken a clean sweep in all categories of comparison. Despite same engine displacement figures, the Swift produces more bhp per cc and saves more fuel than its competitors. The manufacturers claim about +2 kms/l in their manuals.

The Asta claims 13.8 kms/l in city and 19 kms/l on the highway.

Polo recorded 12.7 kms/l and 19 kms/l in city and highway respectively.

The Etios Liva V came close second to the Swift with figures of 15.0 and 18.3 kms/l respectively.

The Swift owned the other two models with figures of 14.9 and 20.1 kms/l in city and highway respectively indicating supremacy.

A good looking car, well shaped and brilliantly contoured.

6. Features and Facilities

All the models are equipped with Power steering, power windows and a tachometer as standard fitments.

Trip computer – Asta and Polo have electronic (MFD) trip computers installed in the dashboard. Swift has no on-board Multi-function display or MFD.

Air Bags  – All models except the Liva V are equipped with 2 front seat Air Bags for driver and front passenger. No side Air bags.

ABS – All models except Liva V are equipped with ABS. However none of the models sport Traction control (TC) and Electronic stability program (ESP)

Climate control – Only the Swift Zxi sports climate control to maintain cabin temperature. The i20, Liva and Polo use the standard Fan speed controlled air conditioning.

Wheels – All three models have Alloy wheels.

The dashboard of the Liva has a neat unconventional look. Notice the bareness beyond the steering as the entire set up is tucked up into the central zone.

7. Looks and aesthetics

Out of the three, the best looking car is undoubtedly the i20 with 4.5 stars. Polo is not far behind with 4 stars and the Swift stands at 3 stars.

1.2 Asta takes this cake.

Polo is the next on the list in looks.

Liva settles for third but definitely better than the Swift.

Swift looks good, but not the best.

Takes a beating against the other three. Its got average looks.

7. User Reviews –

Hyundai i20 1.2 Asta – Fully loaded car, great for city and highway driving. Good interiors, great ownership experience, easily serviceable, feels under-powered to drive, silent engine, good interiors, best looks.

Volkswagen Polo – Good car, good interiors, expensive maintenance, not easily serviceable in India, too expensive for the segment, smaller in size, heavily under-powered, medium noisy engine, great looks.

Maruti Suzuki Swift Zxi – Best car of the lot, most popular car, great in economy, robust build, great ownership experience, easily serviceable, medium interiors, zippy performance, medium noisy engine, medium looks.

Toyota Etios Liva V – Good car for the competition, well priced, decent interiors, easy on maintenance, lacks the pull relative to the other lot, average looks, lack of features.

Works best for the Swift. It wins the rounds anyways!

8. Verdict

The Maruti Suzuki Zxi is by far the show stealer in the 1200 cc category hatchbacks followed by the i20 1.2 Asta.

Winner – Swift Zxi!!  

Winner Value for Money – Swift Zxi!

9. Ratings

Swift Zxi – 9/10
i20 1.2 Asta – 8/10
Polo Highline – 6/10
Etios Liva V7.5/10


Have your own review for your favourite hatchback? Feel free to submit them in the box below and rate it!

i20 Worst Car

1 5 1
I20 has a premium look and feel but there ends everything. It has the worst gear ratio and a stupid suspension setup. The suspension throws you up in the air on bumpy roads and the gear ratio doesnt allow you to drive in the overdrive below 60 kmph speed. The engine knocks below 60kmph in overdrive. In nutshell..the engine and gear box are made to drive it above 80kmph speeds and the suspension is meant only for below 60kmph speeds... Makes the perfect trajedy and mismatch. So I sold it out after 40000kms. Buying it was the biggest mistake in my life...

Swift rules, I20 rocks

4 5 1
Swift perfcect choice and I20 second best. I agree with the author, however, I own an i20 and happy wiht it. Excellent CRDI engine. there is a small turbo lag, but its not noticable as seen in the Verna. Great mileage. Getting almost 12 in the city and 16-17 in the highways.\r\nIt is already giving Hyundai a terrific run. 8000+ cars every month in the premium hatchback is just awesome.


5 5 1
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Written by Aru Raghuvanshi

Aru Raghuvanshi