Fiat Abarth Punto Overview & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Finally the Abarth Punto is here and we have got our hands on it. Fiat is enhancing its product portfolio range and the new ones to enter are the Abarth Punto hatchback and the Avventura, powered by Abarth. This is the new hot hatchback from the Italian car market in India. If you recall Fiat was the first to get the Palio 1.6 GTX back in 2001 and after that there haven’t been many hot hatchbacks that our market has witnessed. We take it for a quick spin on the roads of Delhi to find out how good is this hot hatchback.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Abarth has made quite a lot of interesting changes to the exterior of the Punto Evo to complement its drivetrain change but because Fiat also has to keep the pricing point in mind and thus were on a tight budget and it shows.The changes made to the exterior of the Punto Evo are subtle but it definitely looks hotter compared to the other hatchbacks. Towards the front profile it gets chrome engulfed grilles, while the door handles and exhaust tips also gets wrapped around in chrome. The rest of the car remains identical to the Punto Evo. The other differences that you will also notice comes in the form of those Abarth badges which replaces the Fiat badge and also the Abarth style racing graphics positioned towards the lower half of the side profile of the car.

The stylish 16 inch scorpion alloy wheels which also gets wrapped with lower profile tyres but however take a closer look and you will notice the low profile tyres leaves a huge gap between the wheel arches. Fiat also has reduced the ride height of the hatchback furthermore to perfect the handling of this hatch.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The all-black theme inside the cabin is exactly the same as the Punto Evo 90 HP Sport variant. However, there are some Abarth specific details that makes this driver oriented car more special. While entering the cabin you would notice a neat Abarth branded door sill. Then there is the yellow and red stitching on the seats and gear lever. The aluminium pedals having Scorpion logos look great and also get rubber lining so that you don’t slip off the pedals. The revised instrument cluster with red and yellow elements looks more dramatic than the boring grey instrument panel of the Punto Evo. The leather wrapped steering feels great to hold and the key fob also gets the Abarth badge.

The small screen audio system has been carried over from the regular hatch, which is a big disappointment. Considering the fact that Fiat is offering a 6.5-inch touchscreen unit with navigation system on the lower trims of the Punto Evo in the form of Sportivo edition, why can’t they provide the same on the Abarth, which is relatively quite expensive. Having said that, the audio system on the Abarth now gets music streaming with Bluetooth. Earlier you could only make/receive calls via Bluetooth but no music streaming. The steering mounted controls can be used for controlling calls and music along with the voice command system. The audio system just sounds average like the Punto Evo, nothing extraordinary.

The automatic climate control system is effective and easy to use and the car also gets an AC vent for rear passengers. The quality of materials remain inconsistent, similar to the Punto Evo. There are some soft touch materials and tactile buttons but at the same time you can also find hard plastics and flimsy materials like the glovebox lid, door handles, steering adjust lever, etc. Space inside the cabin remains average for rear passengers as there is limited legroom and headroom for tall passengers. The front seats are big and supportive having seat height adjust for the driver. 280-litres of boot space is quite accommodating for keeping luggage for long trips. The spare wheel is a 15-inch steel space saver.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

As we expected earlier, this latest hatchback has arrived with a 1.4-litre, T-Jet petrol engine fitted under its bonnet. This is a turbocharged motor, which is coupled with a 5-speed manual transmission gear box that distributes power to its front wheels. This drive train comprises of 4-cylinders and 16-valves altogether making a total displacement capacity of 1368cc. It is also incorporated with a multi point fuel injection system for optimum power output and performance. It has the ability to churn out a maximum power of 145bhp at 5500rpm and yields a peak torque output of 212Nm between 2000 to 4000rpm. This mill is claimed to return a fuel economy of about 16.13 Kmpl.

This sensational product draws the power from a 1.4-litre T-Jet petrol engine, whose capabilities are boosted to improve power output. However, this doesn’t seem to have affected its fuel efficiency, as it is claimed to give a mileage of approximately 16.3 Kmpl (as per ARAI).Like mentioned above, the Italian automobile firm has tuned this 1368cc power plant enabling it to generate more power. As a result of this, it is able to churn out 145bhp of maximum power along with 212Nm of hammering torque.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Fiat Punto Abarth is easily the best driver’s car in the under INR 12 lakh segment. It excels in all those points where the Punto failed to impress, vis-à-vis – an under-powered engine, sporty interiors and so on. Tuned to deliver performance, the engine is responsive, while steering is razor sharp. With this setup, you will love to keep taking on those fast corners again and again.What you won’t like is the stiff suspension setting. This makes the ride quality in city a little uncomfortable. Gear shifts are easy, while overtaking on the highway is done effortlessly. NVH levels are good, and so are the brakes.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Abarth Punto is offered in a single variant that comes standard with safety features including ABS, EBD, dual front airbags, seatbelts with pretensioners and load limiters. The Punto was always praised for its strong build and structural strength and hence is one of the safest hatchbacks in India. The Abarth Punto is available in over 100 dealerships across India and there are 125 service outlets currently, which Fiat plans to grow further. The hot hatch comes with 3 years/1,00,000 kms standard warranty and you can also opt for 2 years/upto 1,50,000 kms extended warranty.

BOTTOMLINE ;

If performance is all that you look for Abarth modified Punto Evo is your car. It remains largely same on the inside which seems a little dull, exteriors are sporty and the new additions on the outside make it appear enchanting but the void between tyres and wheel arches spoils the overall look. Engine is indubitably powerful and vouches satiety in terms of power supply with no dearth for power. The five-speed manual does the trick; power sent to front wheels grunts it giving right start. Colour contrasting body graphics are one of the pros, but mileage is low which could be a letdown in a mileage obsessed market like India. Price is again high, and as we had mentioned in the beginning, will anyone opt for a car that is heavy on pocket and demands high running cost, frankly answer to this question is still uncertain given the new product from Fiat wearing Abarth badge is a robust hatchback that vouches a power-packed performance.

Volvo S90 Review Price In Mumbai

OVERVIEW ;

Volvo has gained global recognition for developing one of the most opulent and safe cars. The company has recently introduced its new flagship sedan, the Volvo S90, in the Indian market in its fully-loaded Inscription trim. The sedan, similar to the entire Volvo product line-up, would be retailed as CBU while replacing the ageing S80 in the Indian market. It comes loaded with a plethora of premium features, while the exterior styling takes cues from Volvo’s latest Scandinavian design language, which has already been seen on the all-new XC90 SUV. For the time being, it has been launched in the diesel fuel trim only as the petrol variant is expected to launch next year. Volvo S90 2016 is up against the likes of BMW 5-Series, Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF. Check for Volvo S90 price in Mumbai

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

In the past, Volvos didn’t quite hit the spot withFind best offers on Indian car buyers as they fell short on the showiness expected of a premium brand. However, that is not the case with Volvo’s all-new line-up built on the new SPA platform. The design is striking while keeping the reassuring simplicity and solidity that has been a Volvo hallmark. The front grille with the concave elements connects the S90 to classic Volvos. A long and low bonnet coupled with a swooping roofline gives the S90 a sleek look and will help it stand out in its segment. It is very nearly a stately fastback.

There is a strength in the clean and crisp lines that give the S90 a strong-shouldered look as it runs along the sides and into the tail lamps. The rear of the S90 is also distinctive, with the large tail lamps dominating the design. The creases on the boot help to break the mass, but add a bit of fussiness to the look. The integrated exhaust openings lower down on the fender are a nice touch. Find best offers on Volvo S90

For now, the S90 will be offered only in the Inscription trim, which is absolutely feature-packed. Hence, you can see full-LED headlamps with cornering functionality, self-parking and drive-out functionality, and powered opening and closing for the boot. While 500 litres of boot space is ample, it is a bit lower than the competition and the boot shape is long and shallow. However, loading luggage will be easy as the lip is low. Under the boot floor sits a space saver, the only area where the Chinese connection becomes apparent as we saw a Sino brand tyre in use.

COMFORT AND SPACE ;

Slide into the 2017 Volvo S90‘s seats and you’re immersed in an elegant, minimalist cabin that rivals anything from its German contemporaries. This new interior, with its wood inlays and chrome and metal accents wrapping from door to door across the dash, is arguably the S90’s greatest leap from its comparatively tepid predecessor.

A large tablet-style touchscreen serves as central command for navigation, phone, climate and audio functions. Volvo has done away with almost of the buttons on the dash, including its well-known “mode man” climate control. The only controls left include the car’s ignition switch and a strip of buttons for audio advance/rewind and defrost functions.

The S90’s seats are some of the best in the business, wrapped in fine material regardless of trim level, with support and adjustments suited for extended periods of driving. With 36 inches of legroom, the rear seat of the S90 offers plenty of room for an average-size adult sitting behind a 6-foot driver

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Volvo offers two options under the hood of the new S90, both of them 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines. The base engine produces 250 horsepower and has a turbocharger strapped to it. The S90 is also available with a twin-charged engine, which utilizes both a turbocharger and a supercharger to provide 316 horsepower. Both engines are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Performance from the base engine should be adequate for most drivers’ needs, whether you mostly drive around town or have a long highway commute. The automatic transmission shifts smoothly and is quick to downshift when you really hit the gas, providing brisker acceleration.Upgrade to the optional engine and you’ll find a strong and steady delivery of power as you accelerate. Some turbocharged engines experience turbo lag, which is when power from the turbocharger doesn’t kick in immediately. The addition of the supercharger mitigates this, providing force as soon as the pedal is pushed.

The S90 gets 23 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with its base engine. This is slightly better than most other cars in the class and will cost you about $1,500 annually in gas. Choosing the more powerful optional engine will get you 22 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. The Acura TLX’s base engine gets only slightly better fuel economy with 24/35 mpg city/highway, saving you just $50 annually in gas. Its upgraded V6 earns 21/34 mpg city/highway.Volvo has announced a plug-in hybrid version of the S90 that’s expected to debut in the U.S. in the near future. So if you like the S90 but are also tickled at the thought of a 20-mile electric range and 400 horsepower, it may be worth waiting a little.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Volvo S90’s steering is feather-light at city speeds and it starts weighing up nicely on the highways. The steering could have done with more feedback though. The S90 gets an air suspension set-up at the rear and while it offers a very plush and luxurious ride, we found the ride to be a bit too soft. The S90 remains extremely stable at high speeds and even while cornering, it feels very predictable. The brakes do a brilliant job of shedding speeds and the silent Pirelli P-Zero tyres have amazing levels of grip too. Due to the long wheelbase, you need to be a bit careful on some nasty speed breakers unless you want to scrape the car’s belly.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Volvo’s reputation for innovative standard safety features continues with the S90, which offers collision mitigation with automatic emergency braking, pedestrian, cyclist and large animal detection, lane departure warning, road sign recognition, a system that helps you avoid running off the road (and another that helps minimize the damage if you do), a drowsy driver alert, and the OnCall telematics system, which can remotely start or unlock the S90 and notify authorities in the event of a crash.Curiously, blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert remain optional.

Semi-autonomous steering, lane keeping and adaptive cruise control (combined, called Pilot Assist) allow the S90 to drive itself through slow traffic jams or even swift-moving traffic, requiring only that the driver touch the steering wheel at regular intervals.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Given how aggressively the company has set Volvo S90 price in India, it is an all-out winner in the segment that is dominated by the Germans. It is at par with its German foes, owing to the fully-loaded Volvo S90 variants, be it in terms of performance, features or design. Despite being a CBU, the Volvo S90 price is an eye-opener and has fetched the Swedish automaker several orders, and it might do better than expected in near future.

Tata Nano Hatchback First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Launched first in India in 2008, Tata Nano gained popularity in no time for its low price and small stature. The hatchback has witnessed sea change during its product cycle and has bettered both in terms of looks and performance compared to the original model. Addition of an automated manual transmission and an openable hatch are the two most significant changes made to the small car.In retrospect, the car is much better with improved looks, openable hatch, revised interior and a modified petrol engine with a choice between a four-speed manual transmission along with an AMT unit. Exchange your old car for Tata Nano

STYLE DESIGN ;

Its petite size has been the talk of the town since its inception; no changes have been made on that front. Dimensions remain intact, the hatchback measures 3164 mm long, 1750 mm wide (with ORVM), 1652 mm high and has a short wheelbase of 2230 mm. As mentioned above, there is no change in the fundamental design of the hatchback but some styling changes have been made to enhance the outer appearance. Most of the changes have been made to the front fascia which now features a black band in between the head lights highlighted by a chrome strip. Tata Motors logo has been repositioned to the centre of the black band. Head lights now feature black surrounds, making it look prominently endearing. Bumpers have also been tweaked in front as well as rear, a newly designed grille is placed on the bumpers in front and rear. The grille in the front end gets fog lights aiding for enhanced visibility at night and during bad weather conditions. Among the various changes bestowed on the exteriors, the most appreciative change is an openable hatch providing access to the before unlike before. Except for the base XE trim, the rest of the variants get body coloured bumpers. Body painted outside door handles are available only on the range topping trims. Hood features piano black garnish, outside rear view mirrors are painted in black in the XE trim, while the mid level XM and XMA trims feature colour coordinated tip tap ORVMs. Only the top end XT and XTA trims get body colour matching outside rear view mirrors. Half wheel colours are absent in XE variant but it is offered on the XM and XMA trims, top end variants on the other hand feature full wheel covers. Tinted door glass hatch and integrated spoiler are among the standard fitments equipped on the hatchback. While roof mounted antenna and front fog lamps are again confined to the high end variants.

COMFORT AND SPACE ;

Tata Nano dashboard layout remains unchanged, but there are some revisions. This includes centre console in black, new instrument cluster, circular chrome rings on AC vents, gear lever position is now nearer to the driver, while front power-window buttons have been placed ahead of the gear lever.As seen in older Nano, this one too gets USB port and Bluetooth for music. To charge your phone, there is a 12V socket. Cubby holes on dashboard, continue to be same. Tata should have given a better locking feature to these cubby holes, as over time, the current lock tends to malfunction.Gear lever is easily the most premium looking thing inside Tata Nano AMT. It comes with a steel rod and has a nice feel to it. For AMT variant, instrument cluster also displays which drive mode you are in.Interior space remains unchanged. There is plenty of leg room and head room, and accommodating five adults is not a problem at all. Having said that, the problem is safety, the rear passengers only provides two point safety belt, and that too only for two passengers. Other problem is, that seats do not have enough cushioning, it gets uncomfortable over long distances. With so much interior space, Tata could have re-designed seats to offer better comfort and safety.Talking about boot space, AMT variant offers 94 litres of space, while MT variant gives 110 litres of space. This space is enough to store a small trolley bag and a regular sized knapsack or your shopping bags. Do keep in mind that the engine unit is just under the boot, so it does get hot in here, in spite of Tata Motors placing a insulator.You also have company fitted rear speakers, which has completely changed the music listening experience. This move will definitely get the attention of young buyers. Apart from this, there are some funky colour combinations on offer, interiors and exteriors.Rear speaker tray is easily removable. Once removed, and rear seats folded, you have enough space to place store luggage for a month long holiday.Door pockets are hardly usable, they are good enough to store paper work. Rear seat also pockets the tool kit. Front driver seat continues to be a problem for tall drivers. Thanks to the battery placed under the seat, Tata cannot lower seat height.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The engine is the same – two cylinder, 624cc with 38PS on tap. So expectedly, the Nano isn’t fast. This engine now comes mated to a 5-speed AMT as an option while the manual version continues to get a 4-speed gearbox. Given the Nano has limited top end performance, we expected Tata Motors to have closed the ratios between each gear for the 5-speeder in order to better use the already small amount of torque.Sadly, that’s not the case and the AMT when left in full auto mode feels lethargic and unwilling to get a move on. The progress is slow and almost bothersome, especially when it comes to overtakes. Moreover, the AMT has significant lag between shifts and even in Sport mode (yes, the Nano now gets a multi drive mode) the progress isn’t exactly exciting. We eventually ended up driving the GenX Nano in manual mode since it gave us better control over shifts and didn’t leave us in too high a gear to battle slow kickdowns.What the Nano needs now is a significant engine upgrade. The engine needn’t be much larger, but it must have a high and flat torque curve and it must be high on refinement.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Neither the ride quality nor the handling of the Nano has changed too much, at least not noticeably. The Nano continues to use the ZF power assisted steering system that boasts a brushless motor for silent operation and an Active Return function that reduces effort to turn at lower speeds. I think Tata can afford to lower their claimed ‘SUV-like’ ground clearance of 180mm by a small margin thanks to the short wheelbase. This might help reduce the centre of gravity and thereby reduce body roll – which does exist despite the anti-roll bars. The tall stance, short wheelbase and puny tyres don’t help either. But the Nano isn’t a car that you’ll buy for its dynamic abilities. It’s driving it in the city traffic that will serve its purpose the best.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Safety provisions on the Nano GenX include central locking, central high mount stop lamp, booster assisted brakes, front & rear seat belts, additional body reinforcements and hazard warning switch.Exterior of the hatchback sports features including an openable hatch, body coloured bumpers, piano black door handles, colour coordinated tip tap ORVMs, front wiper and washer, front fog lamps among several others. Inside, the

BOTTOMLINE ;

From an ultra-low-budget car to a practical everyday city car, the Nano has come a long way in terms of built quality, refinement and features. It is like the graduation day for the Nano project, the GenX is now a complete package addressing every aspect of urban use.The Nano still lacks basic safety features like ABS (even as option) and that means I am not going to recommend one for any sort of highway use. But if the need if of an everyday urban commuter, the Nano will certainly top my recommendations list

 

 

Renault Duster Review & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

After introducing a handful of special editions and an all-wheel drive version based on it, Renault India has pensioned off the original Duster. Subsequently, the brand has dished out a major facelift for the model, complete with refreshed styling, a better-equipped interior and an all-important automatic gearbox option. On paper, then, this new Duster comfortably outdoes the original, but is it any better to take on the opposition?

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

The dual headlamp cluster looks nice with chrome edging on the new Renault Duster. They are connected with parallel running lines at the centre with a large Renault Logo. The parallel lines are place on the age old honeycomb grill of the duster. The fog lamps are placed at the base of the bumper with a large silver cladding in the centre. The bonnet is flat on the new Renault Duster and the whole looks gives a feel of aggression with classiness.

There have not been major changes but the small ones are not insignificant either. There is a silver strip that runs along the running board adding to the up market feel. The indicators have moved their location to the rear view mirrors and looks great. The thing that will attract you the most are the matt black five spoke alloys with a thin silver lining running along the circumference. The roof rails have now gotten a really sleek Duster badging. This is a strange place for badging but the Duster manages to pull the looks off very well. The major difference at the rear is the tail lamp going full LED and the bumper getting a really large silver cladding. The thick chrome strip also has the Duster badging.

CABIN ;

Though Renault has made improvements over the years, the Duster’s cabin has always come across as a bit utilitarian. That feeling has reduced, though still not completely gone, thanks to a fresh round of upgrades on this facelifted version. For starters, the new black and chocolate-brown plastics help cover up the rougher edges better than the lighter tones of the earlier Duster. You’ll also notice more silver highlights and a bit more chrome detailing (on the air-con vents, for instance) that help spruce up the cabin. The centre console also gets a lot more gloss-black plastic. On the whole quality has improved, but it’s still not at Hyundai levels.

The facelifted Duster also gets embossed branding atop the glovebox, but only those very familiar with the earlier Duster’s cabin will note that the layout of the centre console has been slightly revised. The buttons for the hazard lights and door lock now sit higher up and are more convenient to access. On a related note, the mirror controls that were formerly under the handbrake have been moved to the more traditional position near the window switches, which is more practical. However, the cruise control switches are still scattered between the dash and steering, and the steering column-mounted audio controllers continue to remain out of view. The cumbersome driver’s seat height adjust is also something that should have been improved. The seats themselves are trimmed in richer fabrics and the front pair get armrests for added comfort.

ENGINE AND PERFORMATION ;

The Duster is offered with two engines, one each of petrol and diesel. Knowing well that the diesel is likely to be the overwhelming choice, Renault India is offering the engine in two states of tune. Of course, the engine here is the now familiar 1.5L K9K dCi engine, which is shared by quite a few cars from the brand. The variant with the higher state of tune features this 1,461cc diesel engine with a variable geometry turbocharger and an intercooler, which together bump up the peak power to 110PS, which is available from about 3,900 rpm. Peak torque of 248Nm is delivered at a bit delayed 2,250 rpm. Just like the numbers indicate, the engine starts delivering decent levels of pulling power to the front wheels only after the needle crosses the 1,500 rpm level.

I drove this version of the Duster only and though I felt the turbo lag a bit more due to the hilly terrain that I was testing it out in, buyers who will be mostly driving it in urban conditions will probably not miss more torque in lower end of the rpm band. This 110PS variant is mated to a six-speed gearbox with a very sedan-like short throw, slick shifting gear stick. The same common rail direct injection engine is also offered with a lower tune state. Here the engine produces 85PS of power at 3,750 rpm and peak torque output is 200Nm at 1,900rpm.

Going by the stats, this engine could be the one that is more suited to urban driving conditions, with more lower end torque and possibly more fuel efficiency too. This could be the version that rakes in the most numbers, since most city buyers should be satisfied with this level of performance. Both the diesel variants offer the best performance when the engine is kept within a 2,000 to 3,500 rpm band.

The petrol engine on offer is the Renault 1.6 K4M engine. The 1,598cc engine produces 104PS of peak power at 5,850 rpm and 145Nm of peak torque at 3,750 rpm. The petrol engine version and the 85PS diesel version are both paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The Duster is not being offered with a four-wheel drive option, though it is available in other markets.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Duster has always been the best handling compact SUV in India and nothing has changed in this new version. The steering feedback on the chunky steering wheel is great and the Duster sometimes feels more like a sedan or hatchback rather than a compact SUV. Ride quality too has not been compromised and continues to be one of the best in the segment. The brakes though, just like on the previous Duster, lack enthusiasm after few heavy braking scenarios and could affect confidence levels of the driver. Renault should have seriously considered a rear disc brake option especially on the top of the line models.

SAFETY ;

Talking about safety, the 2016 Renault Duster comes with dual front airbags and ABS. The AMT transmission also gets features like Hill Hold and ESP. There is also a traction control system on offer which does its job pretty well should you decide to have some fun around the twisties. In terms of after-sales service, Renault does have a not-so-good network and it just doesn’t match the quality levels of Hyundai for that matter.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Renault Duster was always an impressive product and now with the upgrade it’s better than before – interiors are plusher, there’s more standard equipment and it looks even more macho now. Plus, there’s the additional draw of an affordable automatic version. It still has its shortcomings, of course – for a car that costs Rs 15 lakh or thereabouts, the plastics needed to look and feel richer, and the AMT – with its slow-witted nature – just doesn’t cut it. A modern torque converter or a DCT gearbox would have been the right fit for this price. So, as we see it, the Duster to buy, continues to be the AWD variant. And it is in this trim with its added capability that it’s a great alternative to the Hyundai Creta.

Merecedes Benz C Class Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

An all-new iteration of the Stuttgart staple. Formerly, the Mercedes C-Class looked a bit conservative, but aimed (and didn’t quite succeed) in matching the way a 3-Series drives. The new one is styled more elegantly, but feels aimed less at hooning about and more at proceeding in great comfort, safety and refinement. Tech includes optional adaptively damped air suspension, a first among its rivals. It feels like a smaller Merc S-Class, and that’s a very good thing. Check Ex Showroom Price of Merecedes Benz cars in Carzprice

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN ;

In spite of being on sale for a good seven years, the third generation C-Class wasn’t exactly as dated as you would expect. However, the new model just takes things forward and that too in a big way. The styling takes hefty cues from Mercedes’ flagship sedan, the S-Class. There is a striking similarity between the S and the C, while the upcoming next generation E-Class will also be largely like the best car in the world, thereby falling in sync with the Stuttgart automaker’s new design language. Still if one looks closely, they can easily distinguish the new C-Class from the S-Class, the smaller Merc having more compact proportions although it has grown up in size when compared to its predecessor.

The fourth generation Mercedes C-Class looks every bit as elegant as a car with the three pointed star should. There is the twin-slate grille at the front with the logo sitting right between while the full LED lights at the front and rear have massive detailing. The vehicle has prominent lines running across, giving it a clean and purposeful stance while the necklace shaped tail lights gel well with the V-shaped boot. The detailing on the lower parts of the bumper give the car a sporty flavour, the rear getting a diffuser and nicely shaped exhaust pipes. Overall this car does make most people mistake it for an S-Class and that’s a huge compliment in itself.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

While the layout of the new C-Class’ interior is similar to that of the previous car, we can see signs of the company’s new design philosophy. Standard creature comforts include a tablet-like screen, climate control, panoramic sunroof and the latest version of the COMAND infotainment system. This infotainment system integrates a Garmin navigation system with 3D-visualisation and gets a new interface design with a touchpad as standard. Merecedes Benz C Class price in Hyderabad

Rear seat passengers get individual temperature zones. The rear seats get a 60:40 split which adds to the car’s practicality. Boot space at 480 litres is on par with the competition. The trim levels include leather for the seats, dashboard, steering wheel and the gear knob. The gauges are partially digital and feature a large central display which shows most of the options of the car. The interior also gets three colour ambient lighting, a reversing camera, panoramic sliding sunroof, keyless go starting function and an illuminated boot.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The C-Class comes with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that produces 181bhp and 300Nm of torque. This comes mated to a 7G-TRONIC, and there is only petrol is available at the moment. The new C-Class has been built on a new lighter platform and this has improved the driving dynamics. The engine feels a lot peppier and surely a lot more fun to drive. There is sufficient power at any speed and the C-Class is a lot more nimble than before. Push the accelerator pedal and the C is always ready to lift its skirt and begin running.

The diesel engine is 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine that produces 168bhp of power and 400Nm of peak torque. This engine also gets the same seven-speed transmission. The power is linear and this time the C220 even gets paddle shifts. The C-Class certainly a lot more agile to drive and it does feel like an E-Class when you get behind the wheel.

There are various driving modes too, Economy, Sport and even Sport+. The ride quality has been improved too, despite the C-Class having the best ride in its segment already. The modes are only for the throttle response and gearshifts; there is no suspension set-up option. No car brand offers this feature in this segment.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

This entry level luxury sedan aims at offering superior passenger comfort, more than the driver’s, and does this fairly well. The suspension cannot be altered through the Drive Select modes, but can tackle even poor city road surfaces with aplomb. It’s just during enthusiastic driving that misses firming up the suspension a bit. Sharp turns do let in fair bit of bodyroll and thankfully there’s enough electronics to keep the drive in control.

The low profile 225/50 R17 lets in severe harsh bumps through the cabin, but for most parts the car maintains its poise. Interestingly, the ground clearance has improved and the new Mercedes-Benz C200 can be now driven around town without having to worry about it scraping its underbelly. Also impressive is the turning radius of 11.22m which makes maneuvering the car a breeze.

Another important change is the all-new completely electric steering wheel which although lacks the feedback of the older hydraulic steering system, but does not feel artificially weight and is quite accurate. The new C-Class is not the most fun car to drive in its segment, but isn’t too far behind either.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Mercedes-Benz cars are known for their robust safety systems. And the C-Class is one of the safest luxury sedans that comes equipped with Mercedes-Benz Intelligent Drive with driving assistance package that include seven airbags, Pre-SAFE, ASR, ESP, BAS, hill start assist, electric parking brake and several other features. Other safety fitments are attention assist, adaptive high-beam assist, Neck-PRO head restraints, LED Intelligent light system, parking sensors, central locking, door ajar warning, crash sensor etc, Find best offers on Merecedes Benz C Class

BOTTOMLINE ;

The C-Class lives up to Mercedes’ reputation for classic luxury – few, if any, cars can match the level of upmarket style you’ll find in the C-Class. You’ll also enjoy a comfortable ride, even over rough bits of road. The C-Class is not, however, thrilling to drive. But that’s okay because there are other luxury small cars to choose from if that’s what you want. The Mercedes C-Class is unapologetic in the way it treats you to refined comfort.

If your idea of the perfect luxury small car is chic and comfortable, the C-Class is a good choice for you. It’s got an elegant cabin, a cushioned ride, and plenty of features to keep you comfortable, safe, and entertained.

 

 

BMW 1 Series First Drive & Price In Chennai

OVERVIEW ;

It’s ironic how price and positioning change the perception towards a particular body style of vehicles. Let’s talk about hatchbacks. Most people buy hatchbacks because they are cheap to buy and run with a majority owners wanting to upgrade to a bigger vehicle as a hatchback doesn’t carry any prestige. However in the premium segment, luxury car makers are trying to lure buyers to their fold with their premium hatchback offerings, which are also the cheapest way of owning a German brand. While the hatchback segment is booming in Europe, even for cars like the BMW 1-Series, in India the situation is quite different. After having driven the 1-Series diesel last year, we now get behind the wheel of the petrol variant, the 116i, to gauge if it has the sporty quotient to lure petrol-heads.

DESIGN ;

The 1-series is unmistakably a BMW with its kidney-shaped grille, long bonnet and twin-barrel headlamps, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best looking around. In fact, its ungainly proportions – short, tall and backward leaning – make it look a touch awkward. It simply doesn’t make the brilliant first impression that the A-class manages so easily. There is some nice detailing, like the strong shoulder line and the accents in the headlight units (base models don’t get projector headlamps) and the classic Hofmeister kink, but overall, it’s quite a bland design.

The 1-series is compact, even for its class; both the A-class and the V40 are bigger. But importantly, the 1-series’ wheelbase is relatively generous, in the interests of cabin space and to compensate for the longitudinal engine, RWD layout, which isn’t the most space efficient.

To achieve BMW’s trademark 50:50 weight distribution, the engine had to be pushed back to almost behind the front axle line and the battery moved to the boot floor where the spare wheel is normally placed. And there isn’t a spare wheel; BMW, being BMW, has stubbornly stuck to run-flat tyres despite the growing dissonance from Indian customers who want the security of a spare.

The 1-series’ suspension has been completely revamped from the previous generation (E21), which drew criticism for its not-so-involving handling. The new car gets a five-link rear axle and MacPherson struts up front, complemented by a double-joint, cross-strut front axle. The track is also pretty wide and this gives the 1-series a planted stance, but it’s not as hunkered down as it could be thanks to the raised suspension for the Indian-spec models. The Indian 1-series gets BMW’s ‘rough-road’ suspension that offers better damping on bad roads and ground clearance that’s been jacked up from 140mm to 157mm – very useful when tackling speed breakers.

CABIN ;

The interior will add dynamic and forward-leaning lines and surfaces, combined with high-quality and precision-finished materials. Customers will have the possibility to opt for a an optional navigation system and the BMW Professional radio that includes a controller on the center console, favorites buttons and a freestanding flat screen monitor. Check on road price of  BMW 1 Series in Chennai in Carzprice

The BMW Sport Line package includes: sports seats with specific coverings, leather sports steering wheel with contrasting red stitching, a red keyclasp, adjustable armrests, high-gloss black interior trim and matt coral accent strips.

The Urban Line package will be distinguished by: specific cloth/leather seats, a leather sports steering wheel, adjustable armrests and contemp

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

But then again, the boffins at Munich have built the car with a one track mind. Get behind the wheel and you will immediately feel that the car has been crafted to be completely driver oriented. The 118d that we drove hosts a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel mill that produces 143PS at 4,000 rpm and 320Nm between 1,750-2,500 rpm. Now, on paper, these figures might just seem a little run of the mill but hit the throttle hard and you will be swayed into an entirely different opinion altogether. Power is available throughout the rev range and this actually comes into perspective when you go pedal to the metal and watch the tacho needle revving with much ease right up to the red line. A lot of this character comes thanks to the eight-speed transmission that shifts oh so seamlessly. Go hard on the throttle and it touches the 100km/h marker in just 8.6 seconds and it goes on to hit a top speed of 212km/h. BMW claims that the diesel iteration of the 1 series is capable of returning an overall efficiency of around 20.58kmpl.

Figures aside, there are four driving modes – one for every mood. The Eco Pro, for the one off occasions when you feel like driving in the economy mode; then there is the comfort mode, again something that will be sparingly used. The Sport+ mode, which automatically switches off the ESP, is sure to bring an ear to ear smile on your face. The steering feels heavier than in the other modes but continues to remain as precise and responsive which makes it that much more fun to push around corners. The 225/45 R17 tyres make their contribution in ensuring that you feel confident while carrying speed into round a bend. The 1 series not only handles amazingly but is also quite comfortable even on bumpy and rough tarmac. The suspension is well damped and easily absorbs all the undulations that the road throws at it without letting out a single twitch to put your comfort levels in question.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

When the BMW 1 Series first appeared back in 2005 there was a high level of champing from hacks and punters alike. Here was a hatchback, from handling maestros BMW no less, with rear-wheel drive. However, the reality was rather muted. It didn’t handle anywhere near as well as a 3 Series.

This second-gen car has revised and lighter aluminium suspension components. These reduce unsprung mass, significantly improving ride quality. On board, a ‘driving experience switch’ offers you Comfort, Sport or fuel-saving Eco Pro driving modes. These remap the engine and stability control and alter the optional auto ’box to suit the desired driving style.

The upshot is greater levels of comfort and refinement rather than a more-focused driver’s car. The 1 Series will still wag its tail under provocation, but, for better or worse, this is not what this car is about these days. Saying that, BMW does offer a M140i variant which, with 335bhp from a turbocharged 3.0-litre straight six, does bring a welcome dose of classic BMW enthusiasm.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The BMW 1 Series grabbed a five-star rating in the Euro NCAP accident tests, and was positioned among the best in its class for accident insurance, with a grown-up tenant rating of 91 percent and a kid inhabitant rating of 83 percent. You get a heap of security innovation fitted as standard, including a footing control, four airbags, ISOFIX tyre seat mounts, non-freezing stopping devices and electronic dependability control. What’s more, you can pick from various security-related additional, discretionary items, for example, path takeoff cautioning and programmed braking, which has the capacity to recognize stationary activity before you and naturally brake to keep a low-speed crash.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The BMW 1-Series is a very involving car to drive and in spite of being an entry-level offering, it’s practical too, offering a decently big cabin, a large boot and good ride quality. However look past these things and you feel a bit disappointed. While the base 116i is priced attractively, it doesn’t even have features which the world’s cheapest car comes with as standard. The top trim is only available in diesel and that car costs as much as a 3-Series. Thus the petrol 1-Series doesn’t make a strong case for itself. It’s limited audience are those who want a BMW on a budget and are ready to live with the bare basic equipment in return for the ultimate driving experience in the segment.