Mahindra Verito Vibe Facelift Review & First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

“The best way to save taxes is to cut it short” well! that is what the policy of many Indian Autocar manufacturers recently. Few years ago Indian Government decided to give tax benefits to those cars which are under the sub 4 meter in length or has a 1.2 litre petrol or a 1.5 litre diesel engine, and Tata Motors started the trend and created one of their best sellers the Indigo, then Maruti Suzuki launched their Swift Dzire which also became very popular in the Indian market then we saw Honda launched their sub 4 meter saloon the Amaze in the Indian market recently. Now Mahindra also followed the same path and launched the Verito Vibe which actually is a sub 4 meter Verito, the shape of the Verito Vibe is really attractive yet confusing. It does not have an extended boot like the normal saloon but still it is not a complete hatchback either because it has a 330 litre boot at the rear and it cannot be accessed from inside the cabin of the car. Check On Road Price of Verito Vibe

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

There are some cars which look good and feel nice. The looks of Mahindra Verito Vibe get mixed reaction. This one has no relation whatsoever with flowing lines and curves. It doesn’t boast of an aerodynamic design. Even sans these attributes, the Verito Vibe looks different and unique on the road.Firstly, the Verito Vibe gets the Aqua Rush colour which is essentially a bright blue. Other than this shade, it also gets the Toreador Red. The Aqua Rush surely isn’t one of the best shades seen on a car but then it looks very funky and breaks from the conventional whites and greys seen on cars of this segment.

See it from front and you may dash to the rear to confirm if it’s a new car or the Verito as they both look identical. The front profile is very similar. It has the familiar looking Mahindra toothed radiator grille finished in carbon. It also has smoked-glass headlamps.The Mahindra Verito Vibe has a three box design. It has a strong shoulder line running along its length. The ORVMs and door handles are done in body color. It may be a hatch but then it has a tall roof line making it a spacious vehicle with great headroom. The Verito Vibe also gets newly designed Champagne Alloy wheels. These wheels look sporty with its new rib design but then giving it a dedicated gold champagne color was not one of the wisest things to do as it doesn’t gel well with all body colours. Book test drive for Verito Vibe in Cazprice

Fortunately, unlike the Mahindra Quanto which has an abrupt looking rear profile, the Verito Vibe has an edgy and quirky rear design. It features a first in class Light-Streaming LED Tail Lamps. The tail lamps are mounted at a high position and double up as the C-Pillar of the car. Other sub 4 metre sedans have a boot attached to it after the C Pillar but in the Vibe, the boot is an extension of the C-Pillar with a duck tail spoiler on the tail gate.One small drawback in the rear profile is the opening of the rear tail gate. It is a very peculiar arrangement. The tail door does not open with the rear windshield instead it chooses to open individually which makes it a big issue as the loading area has a limited opening.

Overall, the Verito Vibe does not manage to be a very impressive looking car especially if you consider the other sub 4 metre sedans like Amaze and Swift DZire. Even then this one does have a few high points which include the LED tail lights, new alloy wheel design and the two tone finished rear bumper.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The interiors are identical to the Verito sedan which means you get a cabin which has generous space for passengers. Quality inside is just about average and some plastic parts are really hard in touch and feel. The use of beige inside makes the cabin feel a bit airy and pseudo carbon fibre inserts on the dash break the monotony. The centre console gets the black treatment with uniquely shaped buttons. The audio system is lifted off from other Mahindra vehicles and offers decent audio quality with good connectivity options. The rear speakers have been placed at the rear parcel shelf instead of the rear door and this enhances the sound.

The doors of the Mahindra Verito Vibe shut with a loud thud, they are heavy but the positioning of the door handles is too ahead and the driver finds the power window buttons intruding while opening the door. The lock/unlock buttons are placed below the right most AC vent which is an ergonomic overlook. The instrument cluster is easy to read and has multi-information display carrying a wide array of information including distance to empty and average fuel efficiency figures. The seats although wide, are a bit too hard offering decent under thigh support. There is a seat back pocket on the co-driver’s seat but not behind the driver’s seat. Rear seat passengers will not complain about legroom or headroom and all rear headrests are adjustable.

The Verito being a Renault/Dacia has quite a few of its traits, like the irritating indicator chime which sounds from the glovebox, rotary headlamp leveller and no redline on the tachometer. The glove box has decent space and there is an open cubbyhole right above the glove box to keep stuff. Mahindra hasn’t made the Verito Vibe a proper hatchback because the boot doesn’t open with the glass, instead it opens like a sedan. This makes it heavy to open the boot which has an extremely small loading bay and you have to bend to put stuff inside. The spare tyre is accessed from under the car and not from the boot. The boot itself is generous but the fixed glass and non folding rear seats limit practicality. There is no rear wiper/washer either.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

A 1.5-litre diesel mill is incorporated that runs based on a common rail direct injection fuel supply system and produces a good mileage. About 21.03 Kmpl can be expected on highways and in the cities, this can come down to only 18.01 Kmpl. There are four cylinders and eight valves which comprises of about 1461cc displacement. These are arranged based on a single overhead camshaft valve configuration. This mill has a capacity to generate a maximum power of 65bhp at 4000rpm and also a peak torque of 160Nm at 2000rpm. It is skilfully mated to a 5-speed manual transmission gear box and this motor can accelerate to a top speed of 145 – 150 Kmph. It can reach from 0 to 100 Kmph within 16 to 17 seconds, which is quite good.

This oil burner is based on a common rail direct injection fuel supply system and is efficient enough in delivering a decent mileage. On highways, it can stretch up to 21.03 Kmpl, whereas, when driven in the city traffic conditions, this figure minimizes to 18.01 Kmpl. Power of Mahindra Verito VibeIts mill has four cylinders which further have eight valves and can generate a maximum power of 65bhp at 4000rpm and a peak torque output of 160Nm at 2000rpm.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Mahindra bestowed Verito Vibe with an efficient suspension system that promises a bump free ride to its accommodators across all kind of paths. The front portion of the car is handled by a McPherson suspension accompanied by a wishbone link while the rear end is taken care by an H-section torsion beam along with a programmed deflection coil spring. The combination of these systems helps the car in covering all patches and unevenness over roads with smoothness.The car offers an outstanding ride quality and can smoothly glide over all kind of rough terrains without letting you feel the ups and downs below it. The 185/70 R14 tyres and a ground clearance of 172mm plays a huge role in ensuring this level of comfort. The car wouldn’t disappoint at all if your main priorities are a good driving experience with reasonable fuel efficiency.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Apart from ABS and EBD, this trim comes equipped with an airbag on the driver side which reduces risk of injuries at the time of accidents.The collapsible function of the steering column helps in avoiding injuries to the chest during collision. Fixed seatbelts are available in the base trim but the high end trims come with adjustable front seatbelts. Apart from these, an immobilizer is mated in all the variants of this vehicle. It helps in freezing the engine at the time of unauthorized entry to the vehicle. The rear doors are integrated with child lock system which makes this vehicle child friendly

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Verito Vibe is a puzzling car – it offers great space in the cabin but a boot that is not very practical. The plastic quality isn’t the best in its segment, but the ride and handling compromise certainly is, even though it isn’t even trying to be a driver’s favourite. It retails at approximately Rs 6.6 lakh, ex-showroom, which means that it competes directly with the likes of the diesel Figo. Of course, it being a Mahindra means that spares will be inexpensive, and service will be available in most, if not all, corners of the country. If you value cabin space and the ability to carry five full-sized adults in comfort but don’t need brand value or a boot, the compact Verito will certainly give you good Vibes.

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Renault Captur Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

Renault Captur is the new SUV from the French manufacturer which will be launched in India. The Captur looks radically different from the Duster, though it is based on the same platform and also shares the same engine. The launch of the Captur is expected to happen this mont Renault has discontinued the Scala and the Pulse. It is focussing on new products now. The cross-badging of vehicles with Nissan has also stopped. The Fluence and the Koleos also have been discontinued. The Captur is the new global product from Renault.This SUV is built on the B0 platform. This means it shares its underpinnings with the current Duster. The Captur sold in Europe is built on a different platform. There is no similarity between the two. The B0 platform has been highly localised already, hence it brings a price benefit to the Captur. Renault India wants to get a stylish and modern SUV that will appeal to young and trendy car buyers. It reckons, this will be that SUV for them. Check On Road Price of Captur

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The biggest USP of the Captur is in the styling. Renault has rendered it more crossover styling than a traditional boxy SUV. However, the SUV elements are still very much there like flared wheel arches, cladding, faux skid plates and segment best ground clearance of 210 mm. And those 17-inch alloy wheels also scream SUV. Renault has equipped the Captur with LED headlamps and tail-lamps. You also get fog lamps with cornering function and the best in all are the LED DRLs and dynamic swipe indicators (at the front) which Renault likes to call floating indicators. Exchange your old car for Captur

The Captur is also the widest and longest car in its segment but that is more due to redesigned bumpers as the track and wheelbase is identical to that of the Duster. The side profile is highlighted by distinct proportions. The shoulder line rises up as it goes backwards and adds to the style quotient. The rear quarter bears a little similarity to the Kwid but that’s ok since it is part of the same family. Chrome has been generously used all around and Renault will be offering a lot of customisation options on the Captur at the dealership level, something similar to what they are already doing with the Kwid.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

When it comes to Renault Captur interiors, there is a lot to talk about. It is one of the most attractive and premium-looking car from inside as well. The dashboard layout and design is much better than what is found on the Duster. It looks fresh, decent yet dynamic with butterfly-shaped instrument cluster, large digital speedometer with tachometer and a fuel gauge. The cabin is lighted with ambient LED lights that look really cool and premium. The plastics used are of decent quality.

The top-end variant of Renault Captur features a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB connectivity options. It also supports voice command, navigation and acts as a rear camera display, when needed. However, it misses Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Other features on the inside include steering mounted controls, cruise control, electrically operated wing mirrors and automatic climate control, which is a standard feature acoss all variants. 2017 Renault Captur is quite a comfortable car. The two-tone white-and-black leatherette seats are very comfortable and they look good too. It offers good under-thigh support, knee room, back support and shoulder room, which makes Captur a perfect car for long journeys. Even three average adults on the rear won’t have any complaints regarding space and comfort. The rear gets its own set of AC vents too.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Renault offers the tried-and-tested 1.5-litre H4K petrol mated to a five-speed manual and a 1.5-litre K9K diesel motor with a six-speed manual on the Captur in India for now. On our first drive, we got the diesel version and we were quite impressed with it. This DCi motor makes 110hp and 240Nm like in the more powerful version of the Duster, but refinement levels have really hit a new high. On the Captur, this engine is the quietest it’s ever been.

This 1.5 DCi motor has always had a bit of turbo lag and it’s the same story with the Captur. However, once spooled up, power delivery is punchy and the motor pulls strong and smooth almost all the way up to 4,700-4,800rpm. Power doesn’t trail off rapidly like a typical diesel and this makes the Captur rather fun to drive. Of course, if it had delivered 20-30hp more, it would’ve been absolutely perfect. But it’s not that the Captur feels underpowered at speed. With a wide powerband like this, overtaking manoeuvres are a breeze. And combined with the car’s solid stability on wide open roads and fairly high speeds, it has all the makings of a great highway cruiser.

DRIVING AND HANDLING ;

Driving the Captur calmly inside the city is something you learn to do. The heavy clutch bites in quite late, and when it does – there’s not much progress from the engine. You will have to go heavy on the throttle, and get the engine ticking over 2000rpm if you want to get anywhere quickly. Below the 2k mark, the Captur feels a bit lacklustre. This means that a quick overtake inside the city, will most definitely require a downshift. When the turbo kicks in, it kicks in with all its might. So, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed trying to ‘control’ the surge. But, drive it around for a while and you’d learn to work around it, and time your overtakes to make use of this wave of torque. Roll on times are quite strong – the Captur does 30-80kmph (in third) in 7.77 seconds, and 40-100kmph (in fourth) takes 11.56 seconds. For reference, an all-out 0-100kmph sprint is dealt with in 13.24 seconds. It could be a lot faster, if the ESP wasn’t as obtrusiveOut on the highway, the Captur is at absolute ease. It’d make for a fantastic road-tripper. Getting to triple digit speeds is a fuss-free affair, and maintaining it easier still. Slot it into sixth, set the cruise control and let it take over. The open highways seem like the Captur’s natural home. It sips consciously here too – the big Renault returned a respectable 21.09kmpl, whereas the figure was a healthy 15.50kmpl inside the city.

SAFETY ;

In terms of kit, the top-of-the-line Platine variant comes well equipped. The infotainment system comes with a touchscreen interface, sat nav and can play music through USB, aux-in or Bluetooth. You also get rain sensing wipers, LED auto headlamps with dynamic turn indicators, climate control, rear parking sensors with reverse camera, keyless-go, leather upholstery and rear AC vents. In terms of safety, we feel Renault should have offered more than two airbags as its rivals offer as many as six in their top variants.

CONCLUSSION ;

In a crowded compact SUV segment, the Captur really stands out for its styling and level of customization. But it’s much more than just a pretty face. A spacious and very practical cabin and boot make it the ideal choice for a family car. And it’s great to drive too. Renault has omitted some of the key features such as the sliding rear bench split seats and automatic transmission that are offered globally. However, the Captur is a well-rounded car and will find a lot of love from those who like to stand apart in the crowd.

 

Volvo XC60 Price & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

The Volvo XC60 is a luxury SUV that is available with one diesel engine option which is mated to an automatic transmission. This powertrain is also offered with an all wheel drive system. The Volvo XC60 is available in 10 colour options, Power Blue, Rich Java, Flemenco Red Pearl, Caspian Blue, Chrystal White Pearl, Black Metallic, Bright Silver Metallic, Passion Red Silver, Twilight Bronze and Savile Grey Pearl. The XC 60 is offered with LED Daytime Running Lamps, projector lamps, LED tail lamps as well as front and rear fog lamps. Safety features include airbags, braking aids, reverse parking sensors and a reverse parking camera. Check On Road Price of XC60

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Its external appearance is quite decent and is appealing at the same time to any customer, who’s looking for a good looking vehicle. For a stylish image, the roof is mounted with a set of rails, which look stylish and make this crossover much more trendy. The window sill gets chrome decoration for an extra edgy richness for all the doors. Both its outside rear view mirrors can be electrically adjustable, which is an added comfort factor as well. The mirrors have a heating function to them additionally and are retractable as well. The headlamps which are fitted onto the front end are active and are stylish too. The daytime running lights are LED and help better in visibility. The side profile is quite lustrous with pull type door handles and neatly carved out wheel arches, which have been fitted with a set of alloy wheels. The base and mid range trims are integrated with a single exhaust tailpipe and it is further decorated with chrome strips for better look. Whereas, the rear end of the top end D5 Summum is fitted with dual exhaust tailpipes, which have chrome cover to them and this enhances the rear image. Skid plate is fitted to both front and rear end. These protect the bumpers from getting damaged from the road impacts and additionally the front plate safeguards the engine from damage. Exchange your old car for XC60

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Volvo’s reputation for tastefully simple interiors is on full display in the 2017 XC60. The inviting cabin features a distinctive “waterfall” center stack that gracefully joins the dash and center console. Operating the climate control is intuitive, but other systems might take some getting used to. In particular, the infotainment system is controlled via a multifunction knob on the center stack rather than a traditional touchscreen or dial mount where your hand naturally rests. Menus for navigation and music browsing can also be confusing.Seat comfort, on the other hand, is excellent. Front seats are well shaped and appropriately cushioned for long road trips, and the range of adjustments ensure a comfortable position for a variety of body types. Rear seats are similarly accommodating, delivering adult-sized head- and legroom. Volvo is still one of the only manufacturers to offer integrated child booster seats that fold out of the rear bench.The quality of the interior materials is decent for the class, though some newer SUVs have surpassed the XC60 in terms of overall look and feel. The XC60’s age also shows in the overabundance of buttons on the center stack and small infotainment screen. Cargo space is better than average, though, providing 30.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and up to 67 cubic feet with those seats folded.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

In the 2017 XC60, you have a choice between a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a more powerful supercharged version of the same engine. The base engine should be potent enough for most drivers, with plenty of power for merging onto the highway or navigating city traffic. The more powerful optional engine is the right choice if you need to frequently haul a full complement of people and cargo or if you simply desire a little more punch when you press the accelerator. Both engines are paired with a slick-shifting automatic transmission that fades into the background.You can expect much of the same with the BMW X3. Its base engine is no slouch, but the available six-cylinder is more exhilarating. The Acura RDX only offers a single engine, a V6, which provides plenty of power for feisty driving. The base engine in the Volvo XC90 has 10 extra horsepower over the XC60, but the XC90’s heavier weight results in unimpressive acceleration. Both of the XC90’s optional engines feel more powerful by comparison.

The XC60 is among the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid vehicles in the class, getting 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the T5 FWD. With the T5 AWD, you can expect 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. Getting the supercharged engine that comes with all-wheel drive only decreases fuel economy a bit to 20/27 mpg city/highway.Part of the XC60’s secret for sipping fuel is its stop-start system. When you come to a complete stop, like at a traffic light, the system turns the engine off until you lift your foot off the brake. Then it fires back up and you’re on your way. Unfortunately, the system feels unrefined as it starts the engine back up. If you find it too annoying, you can shut the system off and forego the extra fuel savings. The BMW X3 has the same feature. It can also be distracting, but like the XC60’s stop-start system, you can disable it. From the base X3, you can expect 21/28 mpg city/highway. The Acura RDX returns 20/28 mpg city/highway. The Volvo XC90 gets 22/26 mpg city/highway in the base trim.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride quality can feel stiff but there’s no escaping how comfortable the Volvo XC60 feels to drive. The seats are fully adjustable, including the bolsters and well-crafted ride matches up rather well to create a car that feels very cosseting without feeling overtly plush.Handling is direct and pleasing but because of the focus of comfort and the ride quality, you will notice some amount of roll. The XC60 can be pushed very hard around corners if you like but expect the roll to be a companion. It never misbehaves in any way though, so switch to Dynamic mode and have fun.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Thankfully, Volvo hasn’t forgotten about its roots because the latest XC60 has some of the most advanced safety features in the class.Automatic emergency city braking is standard on all trims and not only recognises other cars, but also cyclists, pedestrians and large animals. The system can even help you swerve around obstacles and back onto the correct side of the road, although this feature only initiates if you start to make an evasive manoeuvre.

Blind spot monitoring and Pilot Assist (automatic steering at speeds of up to 80mph) are available as part of a pack, which also includes adaptive cruise control. However, until Euro NCAP publishes its crash test results for the XC60, we can’t tell you how it’s likely to protect you, your kids or any pedestrians in an accident compared with rivals.As you’d expect in a car costing this much money, all trims levels come with an alarm and an immobiliser, and security experts Thatcham rate it with its maximum five stars for resisting theft, and four stars for repelling scallywags trying to break in and pinch your valua

BOTTOMLINE ;

Volvo finally has a good engine and gearbox to go with the smart styling of the XC60. In its R-Design trim, the XC60 is a more involving drive and comes with a long list of pampering and safety equipment too. So should you go for it? If you don’t need all-wheel drive, which for a road biased SUV is not a top priority, the FWD XC60 will impress you with its breadth of abilities. Volvos are still rare cars in India so the attention you get with this SUV is welcome too.

 

Honda Amaze Hatchback Review

OVERVIEW

A few years ago Honda decided to restructure their product portfolio to reach a larger number of customers. The focus changed from premium offerings like the Civic and Accord to smaller cars like the Brio and Amaze. This was a smart move since the volumes lie in the smaller car segment when it comes to India. The Brio, by itself, may not have done too well for the Japanese manufacturer but more than half of Hondas products are based on the same platform. (Amaze, Mobilio and the upcoming Honda BR-V). Indian regulations of excise benefits to sub 4-metre cars and the love for 3 box design has made compact sedans very popular and Honda entered this challenging segment with the launch of the Amaze in 2013. Check Price of Amaze

EXTERIORS

With so many compact sedans out there in the market, what really sets the Honda Amaze apart from the rest is the design. To be more specific, we are talking about proportions which are pretty sedan like contrary to the trend which makes compact cars look rather ungainly. Honda’s ‘Man Maximum Machine Minimum’ principle is clearly highlighted here with abundant space available in the cabin. The compact engine bay has translated into one of the roomiest cabins in the segment. Quality levels are pretty Honda like throughout. With the odometer reading nearly 10,000 kms, there was no rattle or squeak from any part of the car.Book test drive for Amaze in Cazprice

INTERIORS

The Honda Amaze gets a major change on the inside. It gets an all new glossy black dashboard with centre console resembling the Honda City. This new dashboard gives the car a premium feel. Now, there is a new in-dash music system layout and even climate control too. A new instrument cluster too has been added to the Amaze., however the same steering wheel is retained. The new Amaze facelift comes with a similar set of features like integrated music system with bluetooth, steering mounted audio controls, dual airbags, ABS, climate control AC being some of them.

Where the Honda Amaze has an advantage over the competition, it is the rear seat space. The rear seat knee room and head room are one of the best in its segment. The Amaze with its 400 litres of boot space is one of the largest in its segment. The Amaze is a practical compact sedan and this is what works in its favour

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

Under the hood the Amaze still uses the same 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engines as before. We got to drive the manual petrol version, and the petrol engine in the Amaze has always been a likeable unit with its refinement. I would have expected some more pep from the motor but that’s not saying it doesn’t feel lively in its current avatar, offering 88PS and 109Nm of torque. The Amaze feels adept at its job of being a compact, zippy car to drive, especially in the city. We got to experience it in South Delhi’s traffic, which can be quite a challenge even in the afternoon. And that’s the typical domain for the Amaze, since most buyers will spend most of their time driving in traffic. The five-speed manual transmission is as slick as ever, offering precise shifts.

The ride quality is plush as before and the suspension continues to offer a likeable blend of handling and comfort. The Amaze is indeed a comfortable car if you are a family of four with its kind of space inside as well, which is another important reason behind the car’s success. Further, Honda is claiming NVH levels on the diesel version of the Amaze are better than before now, but sadly we did not get to experience the car thanks to the petrol getting allotted to us. The 1.5-litre diesel engine offers 100PS and 200Nm of torque, which is impressive for the segment. I did not get a chance to drive the CVT-equipped version either – something I was keen on experiencing since Honda is saying the transmission has been worked upon extensively to offer good efficiency.

Honda is also offering dual airbags as an option even on the base variant of the Amaze, and in fact will offer dual airbags as standard on all its cars to be launched the next financial year onwards. Finally, pricing for the new Amaze begins at Rs 5.30 lakh ex-showroom New Delhi for the base petrol variant. The VX (CVT), the top of the line petrol costs Rs 8.20 lakh ex-showroom. The base diesel variant of the Amaze is priced at Rs 6.41 lakh, while the top of the line diesel version, though manual, costs the same as the CVT petrol at Rs 8.20 lakh. That might be a small premium over the older car, but is negligible when you consider the new features and the enhanced feel inside, which makes it feel more upmarket. It is nice to see how a rather mild facelift and the addition of new-age features have brought the Amaze back in the game.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Because of the suspension’s long travel, the saloon handles larger bumps and craters very well, but because it is a bit stiffly set up, smaller undulations do unsettle it slightly. The relatively small 14-inch wheels don’t help either. To find a middle ground, Honda engineers tuned the springs for stiffness and the dampers for comfort, and added a stabiliser bar at the rear. The front dampers and springs have also been retuned for the diesel Amaze to cope with the extra weight of the bigger engine, but the difference is barely perceptible. The suspension itself is pretty quiet, but the car’s poor overall sound insulation means you will hear a lot of road and wind noise – the downside of Honda’s interior space maximising efforts.

All this suspension work has not come at the expense of handling, however. In fact, the longer wheelbase only adds confidence as you go faster, and when you’re going around corners. The electrically assisted steering is very accurate, and although it’s very light at low speeds, it does weigh up a little when you go faster. The diesel’s steering has been given added power assistance to handle the greater weight in the nose, but it still feels a touch heavier, and more reassuring, than the petrol.

Honda’s claim of 25.8kpl for the i-DTEC engine is rated on the Indian Driving Cycle test. The good news is this engine still performs admirably in real-world conditions. Our tests returned 15.2kpl in urban conditions and 20.8kpl out on the highway, which is way ahead of its rivals. Honda says this engine’s efficiency belies its cubic capacity thanks to an ultra-low friction design, lightweight internals and a special ultra-low-viscosity engine oil developed specially for it.

BOTTOMLINE

Honda will finally be able to take the fight to the diesel club with the Amaze. I expect Honda to announce competitive prices ranging upwards approximately from Rs. 5.1 lakh for the base petrol and Rs. 6.2 lakh for the base diesel variant. The new Amaze diesel could also manage a mileage in the region of 14 kmpl to 20 kmpl depending on driving conditions and styles.

For now, hold on to your questions about whether there will be an automatic transmission variant of the Amaze and whether the new 1.5-litre i-DTEC diesel engine could be used in Honda’s other cars like the Jazz and the City. We will get answers to those questions soon.

 

BMW X1 Facelift First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

This BMW X1 is the second generation of the company’s smallest crossover. There’s been a major change this time around. It’s based not on a natively rear-drive platform, but on BMW’s new front-drive/4WD components (the same setup is already used in the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV). This means a transverse engine, freeing up extra cabin space.Check On Road Price of X1

In size and space, this brings it into line with the meat of the big-selling family crossover market, such as the Ford Kuga. But of course it’s more expensive than the Ford and can be had with more sophisticated equipment. Not that you’ll be considering the Ford: this is all about BMW X1 vs Audi Q3. Most versions are 4WD except the base 18d diesel. All engines, petrol or diesel, are 2.0-litre jobs from BMWs new powertrain family.

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

As expected, the second-gen X1 sports an evolutionary design with styling cues borrowed from its bigger siblings, the X3 and X5. The front fascia features a slightly bigger twin-kidney grille and longer, sleeker headlamps. Down below, the X1 received larger fog lamps and larger air intakes, making it seem not only bigger than its predecessor, but more aggressive as well. In all, it seems as if the X1 is no longer the ugly duckling of the BMW crossover family. Book test drive for X1 in Cazprice

When viewed from the side, the X1 seems nearly identical to its predecessor from the waist down. The trademark beltline is still in place, while the side skirt area is creased in a similar fashion as on the previous model. However, things are different from the waist up, with a taller glass area, a bigger quarter window, and a raked roofline.

The rear fascia has received its fair share of upgrades as well, starting with significantly larger taillights, which look way better than the previous units, and a better sculpted tailgate and upper bumper area.Overall, it seems the X1 has become a baby X5, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mini SUVs aren’t exactly appealing design-wise, but BMW tried really hard with the X1 and the result is quite good.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Looking at the generous dimensions of the vehicle on the outside, I was a bit surprised when I opened the door to step into the driver’s seat. The cabin feels compact and even the dashboard and centre console seem to have a compact layout. Just like any other BMW, ergonomics are spot on and the dash is very driver centric. Materials used all over feel very upmarket and premium but when you drive this X1 back to back with any other car from the same stable, say the 3-Series, that is when you realise how superior the other car feels.

There are lesser number of buttons on the steering wheel, centre console, etc. and even though you do get a lot of features, the X1 does make you feel evident that yes it is one of the cheapest BMWs around. Even the round knob that is used to control the infotainment system is smaller in size. I found the front seats very comfortable and finding that perfect driving position is super easy thanks to the electric seat controls. The driving position itself feels much like that of a crossover and if you’re expecting a proper SUV-like driving position that feels commanding, then you’ll be disappointed.

The rear seats are comfortable too and space is better than the old X1. You also get a basic centre armrest at the rear. The best part about the new X1 is the large windows that BMW has endowed and it makes the cabin feel very airy and lends a positive vibe. Gone is the claustrophobic feel that you get in cars with smaller glass areas. If you’re buying a car for Rs. 40 odd lakhs you expect it to have a ton of fancy gizmos (a la Skoda Superb or Ford Endeavour) but BMW is known to skip a lot of features from the standard equipment list and the X1 is no different. It misses out on vital stuff like a parking camera. It doesn’t even have cruise control.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

A bit about the mechanicals first. For now, the X1 is available only in diesel form and uses BMW’s latest 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine. Peak power is an impressive 187bhp and max torque is a strong 40.7kgm. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard fit, but buyers have the option to choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the two obviously available at different price points. In normal driving conditions, the xDrive system powers the front wheels, but when needed, it can send 100 percent of the torque to the rear axle. So how does it all come together?

The engine’s alert from 1,500rpm on, has got a strong mid-range and will even rev happily to 5,000rpm with the gearbox in manual mode. There’s great access to power and you really won’t be left wanting for more anywhere in the rev range. Of course, the engine feels its liveliest best in Sport, but Comfort is quick too. As with all modern BMWs, the quick-shifting gearbox deserves praise here. It really does bring the best out of the engine.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A robust set of disc brakes are fitted to all its four wheels. The advanced anti lock braking system with brake assist are also on the offer that further boosts this mechanism. The top end variant features an M Sport suspension system that is designed for great driving dynamics. This system makes for a smooth ride and keeps the huge machine balanced and stable on all surfaces. On the other hand, it comes with a servotronic, electromechanical power steering column that is active only when you steer it. This provides good response and helps you maneuver easily in any road condition.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

For braking, BMW X1 has powerful ventilated disc brakes for all the tyres with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. In addition, it also include six airbags, three point seat belts with front pyrotechnic belt tensioners and force limiters, the cornering brake control, dynamic stability as well as traction control, ISOFIX child seat mounting, run flat indicator, emergency spare wheel, and side impact protection among a host of others.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The X1 is a really big step over its predecessor and a better vehicle in almost every way. It is now stylish, genuinely spacious and finally offers all-wheel drive. Pricing goes like this – sDrive20d Expedition is priced at Rs 37.75 lakh (all prices on road Mumbai), sDrive20d xLine at Rs 42.67 lakh, xDrive 20d xLine at Rs 45.12 lakh and finally the xDrive M Sport at Rs 48.93 lakh. That puts it on the higher side of the segment and about Rs 6 lakh more than the smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA. However, the M Sport manages to undercut its main rival, the top Audi Q3 Premium Plus by about Rs 20,000. There’s no doubt that the new X1 is going to do considerably better than its predecessor.

 

 

Merecedes Benz AMG S63 Coupe Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes Benz S 63 AMG is the performance oriented version of the S Class coupe. In terms of exterior styling, it is identical to the S 500 coupe, however what sets it apart from the latter is an even higher displacement engine which promises robust output. This in turn brings significant difference in the performance of both the coupes. Other than this, the S 63 AMG coupe gets AMG package which comprises of AMG line including AMG carbon fibre/black piano lacquer trim inside the cabin and AMG 5 twin light alloy wheels on the outside.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The Mercedes S-Class has always carried understated elegance but in the S63 AMG Coupe guise, it transforms its image into a car which invites unending stares. The front-end is unmistakable S but now flanked with the AMG body kit for that sporty appeal while the side will make you really appreciate the sporty coupe profile. But before looking around, one needs to closely stare at those headlights, there has to be something special, right? Of course there is because each headlight has 47 Swarovski crystals (30 for the turn indicator and 17 for the DRLs).

The side profile reveals the fastback proportions with the long bonnet, sloping roofline, 19-inch 10-spoke AMG wheels with red brake callipers and a short rear-end. There is no B-pillar and the long doors and windows use a frameless design which feel even better to use when the windows are down. The rear design is the eye-candy of the Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe and gives the car a very sporty feel, the number plate being neatly placed on the bumper while twin exhausts on each side given a hint of what powers this beast. There are quite a few chrome touches too like on the front bumper, around the window area and also on the boot where a strip runs across from above the LED tail lights. The rear bumper also has sport flaps for air to pass and there is a carbon-fibre finish diffuser too.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

You better turn away for now if you’re expecting Fostla to have some kind of interior dress up planned for the Mercedes-AMG S63 S Coupe. For the record, there is none, although that’s not really the fault of the German tuner since a lot of its peers have approached their own programs in a similar manner. Even established aftermarket companies like G-Power, Renntech, and Wheelsandmore have made little to no effort addressing this section of the car. Since it’s a matter of preference, it’s hard to pin blame on them for taking this approach.

The good news is that it isn’t always the case. There are other tuners who take the time to work on a car’s interior. In the case of the AMG S63 Coupe S, Mansory has an extensive interior program made up of a number of premium options, including fine leather upholstery, Alcantara, carbon fiber, and in some cases, trunk decorations. Even typical “upgrades” – if you can even call them that – like the illuminated door sills and the “bespoke” floor mats are also part of Mansory’s catalog.aftermarket offering for the luxury Mercedes. if you recall, the German tuner presented a tuning program for the AMG S65 Coupe at last year’s Geneva Motor Show. One of the highlights of that kit was an interior that was dressed heavily in light brown and magnolia leather, about as good a two-tone application as we’ve seen from a tuner. Not only that, Brabus also threw in dark wood inlays and umbra-colored wood trims in the cabin, giving it a really premium look that sharply complements the corresponding work it put into the coupe’s V-8 engine.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The AMG S 63 Coupe boasts a 5.5-litre, twin turbocharged V8 under the hood that delivers a mammoth 585bhp and an enormous torque of 900Nm, mated to the 7-speed Speedshift automatic transmission. The engine has a refined rumble on starting and roars when the throttle is pushed. Hit the highway and floor the pedal, within seconds you realize that you are on the other side of 150 km/h and its just the beginning. The car has loads of reserve power to propel it further. The top speed is electronically controlled at 250 km/h. Kick in the adaptive cruise control and all you need to do is relax behind the wheel, while the car does the rest. While the seats wrap around you snugly, the backrest’s side supports automatically retract inwards during cornering to keep you planted firmly. Ride quality is such that it leaves little to be desired, being calm and keeping you isolated from the undulations on the road. The cabin is extremely silent.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Without a doubt, the S63 AMG Coupe is an immense engineering achievement. This Merc has a wide set of talents and that’s where its appeal lies. It is ferociously quick yet it is as usable as any other Merc sedan. The price of Rs 2.6 crore might sound exorbitant but when you consider that its only closest rival is the Bentley, then the S63 AMG suddenly becomes of great value. Sure, it doesn’t have the finesse or appeal of the Flying spur and the ride could have been much better, but for Rs 70 lakh less, this Merc feels special enough. The Mercedes S63 AMG Coupe has all the ingredients to hold its own against the fiercest of rivals.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The cabin is bestowed with several protective aspects like ATTENTION assist system, night view assist plus, headlamp assist, intelligent LED light system, 8-airbags, programmable key with remote control opening and closing of windows, three point seat belts with belt tensioner, seat occupancy recognition for front passenger seat and three stage impact protection front crash. Apart from these, it has list of features like acceleration skid control, active blind spot assist, cross wind assist, tyre pressure loss warning system, under body protection, NECK-PRO crash responsive head restraints for front seats along with ISOFIX child seat mountings, attention assist and so on

BOTTOMLINE ;

The S-Coupe is one of the most stylish Mercedes-Benz in the recent times and such designs are seen once in a decade. The AMG avatar means more power and of course higher cows too. If you are in a league to pick a Rolls Royce Wraith or a Bentley Continental, then the S63 AMG is this league. If your tastes are subtle and you have the desire for extreme performance in the lap of luxury then it is this coupe that has to be considered. If you want to arrive in a car that is just about looks and has good performance, then the S500 Coupe will be your pick.

 

Jeep Compass Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after a long delay finally made their India debut back in 2016 with two exciting products which included the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Both these SUV’s were sold in the Indian market via the CBU route and thus were expensive and well above the reach of many. However, that is all going to change now because Jeep has decided to launch a new SUV which is well within reach of buyers. Check Ex Showroom Price of Compass

Jeep has unveiled the Compass SUV in India today, and the good thing is that the compact SUV is made in India product which also means that the new product will also be priced quite aggressively as well. The brands new product will be locally assembled at their Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra from June onward. The new Jeep Compass replaces the old Compass and Patriot SUV in the International market, and apart from the Indian market, the same SUV is also produced in some other Countries as well. However, the good news is that India will be mother hub for right-hand drive Compass SUV from where it will also be exported to some other right-hand drive markets as well. For all your information the Compass SUV is offered with 17 engine options for different markets of the world.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

In terms of design, the Jeep Compass has most of the elements one is looking for. The design has a good road presence, there is more than enough similarity to the Grand Cherokee. The Jeep Compass gets the seven slat front grille and somewhat hawk-eye line design. The higher spec model gets projector headlamps and daytime running LEDs. The bumper too is wide and its lower end is black matte to avoid any scratches on the paint if and when off roading. Book test drive for Compass in Cazprice

The side profile does have the SUV like boxy styling, but the low stance makes it seem more like a crossover. The wheel arches are muscular and squarish. The door pillars are blacked out and there are roof rails too. The alloy wheels fill the arches well and they do not appear to be empty at any point. There are clean lines that run across the SUV. The rear styling of this new SUV also melds well with its overall design. The tail lamps are neatly integrated and they do look stylish. There is an integrated rear spoiler and reflectors in the bumper. The overall styling is just impressive and even the paint quality makes it feel premium.The Compass doesn’t seem to look very tall and its design will somewhat appear like a crossover. So, we aren’t certain on what will a buyer’s reaction to this design. The Jeep Compass India production will actually make it easier for the company to enhance their sales numbers as the pricing should be highly competitive.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The interiors of the Jeep Compass aren’t very swanky and lavish. The dashboard is simple yet functional having a dual tone treatment. You’ve got a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls but there are some dummy buttons for the cruise control, which is not being offered in India. The instrument cluster looks premium having a huge MID in the middle and is easy to read. There is a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system. The user interface looks good but the touch quality is just average. Jeep offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity. The sound quality of the audio system is rich and quite satisfying. Some of the features missing in the Compass are sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, auto headlamps, auto wipers, etc.

The ingress and egress is quite comfortable in the Jeep Compass and you don’t feel like you are sitting in a hatchback like other compact SUVs, it is relatively high and you have a commanding driving position with a good view all around. The quality, fit and finish is nice and you can hardly find any cheap quality panels inside the cabin. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, there is ample legroom and headroom at the back. Even the under-thigh support of the seats are pretty good. The boot is also well spaced out and can accommodate a lot of luggage.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The diesel version we drove comes powered with Fiat’s new generation 2.0-litre Multijet II engine that debuts in India on the Compass. It makes 173PS of power at 3750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. The torque is available from 1800rpm onwards below which there is noticeable turbo lag. The narrow, winding roads of Goa didn’t quite allow us to accelerate hard but the motor did feel like the power delivery could have been punchier. The engine is smooth but sounds clattery at idle and is a tad noisy even on the go, especially after 3500rpm.

Interestingly, the diesel version of the Compass will not be offered with an automatic transmission and will only come with a six-speed manual transmission. There will be a 7-speed automatic on offer as well, but only with the petrol version powered by the 1.4-litre Multiair engine. That said, a new 9-speed automatic is expected to be offered in the diesel by the end of the calendar year. The manual gearbox feels slick to use though, and gear changes have a precise feel which makes shifting up or down a delight when driving enthusiastically.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The steering unit on the Compass is a revelation. Though it is electrically assisted, it feels well-connected to the front wheels. While there is almost no resistance from the steering system at parking speeds, it weighs up nicely as you pick up speed.A brief drive on the beach also gave us a preview of how effective the ‘Selec Terrain’ system is. Controlled via a rotary knob on the lower centre console, it offers shift-on-the-fly traction modes – including ‘Auto’, ‘Snow’, ‘Sand’ and ‘Mud’. Though the Compass has all-weather tyres, which are generally just enough to cope with varying terrains, the AWD system made sure the Compass felt comfortable on soft sand. The system automatically sent power to the rear wheels when it detected slip and stopped it from digging in.

On a dedicated 3.5km long off-road track, the Jeep Compass felt like it was built to do such stuff. Water wading, steep inclines, slush tracks, slippery grass, wet rocky terrain and a very bumpy log path were all dispatched with minimal effort. We were tackling all these in the ‘Mud’ mode which locks the 4×4 system and disengages traction control. The short first gear compensates for the absence of a crawler gear and there is enough grunt low down the power band that you don’t need to slip the clutch to go over steep obstacles. The responsive steering wheel has to be given another mention here – it had enough feedback for me to know where my front wheels were pointing at, without tiring my arms.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Compass is a seriously impressive SUV that seems to take full advantage of Jeep’s experience with SUVs. In fact, look deep into its headlights, past that seven-slot grille, and you can see the years and years of know-how shining through. Prices for the Compass diesel start at a very competitive Rs 15.45 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), with this top-of-the-line Limited (O) 4 X 4 going for Rs 20.65 lakh. What you get for your money is real off-road ability, strong dynamics and plenty of luxury and comfort on the inside. Sure, the touchscreen isn’t really what’s expected of a car in this class and there are important bits of kit missing, like a sunroof; and those interested will have to contend with Fiat’s less-than-fantastic dealer network. Rear seat comfort could have been better for this segment, and those looking for a diesel automatic SUV will be disappointed as the Compass will get that only at a later stage. But this SUV’s fundamentals are so strong, it’s difficult not to compare it to cars from a class above, like the Volkswagen Tiguan which is a lot more expensive at where it stands today. And that’s the real kicker – the Compass may just be the value luxury SUV you have been waiting for.

Volkswagen Polo Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

Volkswagen has added a limited edition variant to Polo’s line-up christened Polo AllStar priced at Rs 7.51 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). Available on the Highline variant, it gets cosmetic upgrades and additional equipment. Additionally, it also comes in a new paint option-Silk Blue colour. Features including 15-inch diamond cut multi-spoke alloy wheels, AllStar badging on the B-pillars, scuff plates adorn exterior. Inside, it arms rear AC vents, adjustable driver side arm-rest, aluminium finished pedals, new upholstery and striping in the centre. Under the skin, it continues to draw power from the 1.2 litre petrol and 1.5 litre diesel engines from the standard version. Check Ex Showroom Price of Polo

Polo has received a couple of revisions in its itinerary so far, but the most recent facelift involved subtle cosmetic touch ups and a downsized diesel engine displacing 1498cc. Styling has never been a problem with Polo, it has in fact matured with time keeping up with the rivals in the segment. Alterations made to the mechanical build up include a changed suspension enabling a better run on erratic roads. Pricing is on a higher side but with this assortment of features, performance and handling, Polo’s price justifies its worth

DESIGN AND STYLE ‘

Few people would deny that this is one of the most modern looking and stylish hatchbacks in the market. The styling is sporty, but understated and mature at the same time. It’s a balance that none of its rivals have struck so far.With a length of 3,971mm, width of 1,682mm and height of 1,469mm, the Polo is just the right size for an urban hatchback.The Polo’s design is clean with a nearly flat shoulder line, a few chiseled touches along the body panels and gently beefed up wheel archesAt the front, the slim grille has been given touches of silver, while the large VW brand emblem rests at the centre of it. Flanking this on either side, the sharp headlamp clusters add to the aggressive image of the front.

A thin chrome garnish runs across the top of the air dam, adding a subtle premium touch.The bonnet gets two creases down its length to add an aggressive touch. These creases seem to begin where the A-pillars end.Arguably, the Polo is best viewed from the side. The design is lean and the windowline kink creates a swooping effect that leads to the front.We’re happy to note that 15-inch ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels have been well-designed and you won’t feel the need to change them.The Polo looks rather cute at the rear thanks to the square tail lights. The Germans have been obsessive in their need for cleanliness in design and apart from the minimalist badging, the VW logo itself has been utilized to double up as a lever for the tailgate.

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

Step inside and for someone who has driven the outgoing model, it all looks familiar. The dashboard layout is the same, but the dual-tone beige and non-reflective black colour combination is new. The new desert beige upholstery is bright and spices up the interior. The Golf-style flat-bottom three-spoke steering wheel looks like it belongs to an expensive car and is excellent to hold. The steering wheel gets buttons that control the audio system and the multi-information display. The MID controls on the steering wheel allows you to keep your hands on it all the time as its placement earlier was on the column stalk and the button was fidgety to use. The instrument cluster retains the two large dials with tachometer on the left and speedometer on the right. In between lurks the change – the multi-information display gets easy-to-read white fonts and the new function which shows the maximum speed is 250kmph, which we found a bit cheesy. The centre console and steering wheel boss get brushed aluminium surrounds adding to the premium look. Every bit inside the Polo you touch exudes quality, when it comes to the interior fit, finish and quality the Polo is right up there. Everything seems to be well put together and the interior is the best-in-class. The integrated audio system is compatible with USB, AUX-in, SD card, can pair with your Bluetooth devices and play your CDs too. The sound quality is decent and one won’t be disappointed with this system. It can take voice commands and the call quality with the phone paired to the audio system is good. The front driver’s seat with height adjustment and the telescopic steering wheel makes it easy to find an ideal driving position. The seats are supportive and are comfortable over long drives. We cribbed about the lack of sufficient lumbar support in the outgoing model which seems to have been fixed, but it can be better. The rear seat remains a weakness of the Polo. It hasn’t changed a single bit, the new specification sheet reads the Polo has a wheelbase longer by about 13mm, which aids the legroom getting a minor improvement complemented by the scooped out front seats. Seating three abreast is a task and the headroom is not the best-in-class, the Swift in comparison has a higher set rear seat and feels a little more comfortable than the Polo. The Polo boasts the largest boot capacity in the class at 294litre followed by the Hyundai Elite i20 at 280litre.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

VW’s turbocharged 94bhp 1.0-litre engine deserves to be the range pick. Although that doesn’t sound like much power, it easily handles town work, pulling strongly from low revs and willingly revving when you need a turning of speed to dart through traffic. Head out onto faster roads and you’ll need to work it harder, but it never feels out of its depth.

There’s a further turbocharged petrol with more power, as well as two non-turbo 1.0-litres below them, but we have yet to try any of those at this very early stage. For those who want more punch, a turbocharged 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol is available (which you’ll also find in the Volkswagen Golf) and a 2.0-litre turbo is exclusive to the range-topping hot hatch GTI coming in 2018 – although we haven’t driven these, either.

Of the two 1.6-litre four cylinder diesels on offer, we’ve experienced the lesser 79bhp version (a more powerful 94bhp is available, too). We’d avoid this and stick with the turbocharged 1.0 petrol, because the diesel feels extremely flat at low revs and, even when pushed hard, it feels pedestrian in terms of performance in and out of town.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride is firm, typical to a Euro-spec car and I couldn’t find any potholes in Germany to comment on how good or bad it can get on the broken roads. But over a few ruts and joints, the suspension seemed pretty silent. The braking is sharper than the outgoing Polo and has a progressive and predictive feel to it. The steering setup has improved as well and weighs up well even at autobahn speeds. I’m guessing the new Polo has the same level of confidence around the twisties too.We will find that out when we have a longer drive in the supermini. I’m not sure when or where that will be, just the way Volkswagen isn’t sure if and when the new Polo will come to India. The MQB platform that gives the new Polo its matured drivetrain and handling, also comes at a price that has Volkswagen India worried. But I hope they crack the problem soon, for the new Polo promises to be a cracker of a supermini that seems poised to surpass benchmarks set by its predecessor.

SAFETY ;

2016 Volkswagen Polo comes with safety features like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), central locking, seatbelt warning, crash sensor, power door lock, child lock, front and side impact beam, engine immobilizer etc.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Polo is better to drive solo, not that it is any bad with full load of passengers, but the new racy engine and lower stance will provoke you to pull off mean driving skills that would throw back seat occupants from side to side. At price bracket of Rs. 6.27 – 7.37 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), VW Polo 1.5 TDI is definitely worth the buy. Wait for Polo GT TDI till September if you’re hunger for power doesn’t stop here. Comprehensive review coming soon.Head to technical specifications, full list of features in each variant, mileage and price list of new Polo here.

 

 

 

 

 

Audi Q3 Features & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

The Audi Q3 is an SUV offered by the German carmaker in a 2.0 litre diesel engine which is offered with a choice of a manual and an automatic transmission. The automatic is a 7 speed S tronic unit while the manual is a 6 speed gearbox. The 35 TDI is also offered with Audi’s exclusive Quattro all wheel drive system while the 30 TDI S Edition has a front wheel drive. This SUV is available in one variant for each engine option and has a number of exterior, interior and upholstery colour options. The Audi Q3 measures 4,388 mm in length, 1,831 mm in width, 1,608 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,603 mm. Other features on the Audi Q3 include cruise control, hill hold assist, reversing camera, audi sound system and electrically adjustable seats. Check Price of Q3

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

You would have to be a hardcore Audi geek to spot the difference between the 2017 facelift and the 2015 version. We’ll save you the trouble — there are just two. The front bumper has been redesigned, with the faux air inlet being slightly larger than before. Secondly, there’s an added dose of cladding that gives it a typical rough-roader look.Everything else remains identical to the outgoing version. But, that’s not a bad thing. The all-LED headlamps look slick, and the daytime running lamps grab attention. The dynamic turn indicator (LEDs blink sequentially in the direction of the turn) is a cool party piece too. What we particularly like are the loud colours the Q3 is offered with. The Aqua Blue and Bright Red shades you see in the pictures look stunning and suit the youthful nature of the Q3 quite well. We recommend skipping the subtle black, white and silver and look at these instead — they transform the little SUV into a head turner.

The Q3 is unmistakably Audi in its design. Aesthetically, it might not have the flair of a GLA, but with its crisp lines and upright stance, it is definitely likeable. To put it simply, the little Audi looks more like a scaled-down SUV than a blown-up hatchback. Measuring in at 4388mm x 1831mm x 1608mm (l x w x h), the Q3 isn’t the longest or tallest in its class, neither has the largest wheelbase. The BMW X1 is a full 51mm longer (and 10mm taller), while the Mercedes-Benz GLA has a 96mm longer wheelbase. The Audi is the widest car of the lot, measuring 10mm wider than the BMW and 27mm wider than the Mercedes. Apply car loan for Q3 at Carzprice

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The cabin of the 2017 Audi Q3 is very nice, with styling and materials that seem worthy of the Audi brand. In keeping with the sporting nature of the automaker’s lineup, the interior has a distinctly sports car feel thanks to sharp-looking gauges, metal accents and a center stack that’s slanted toward the driver. When it comes to ergonomics, the Q3’s otherwise well-considered layout loses points for climate controls that are awkwardly located low down, in a spot in front of the shift lever. The single large knob that’s used to move through the menus of the MMI system is also curiously located higher up on the dash, which can make for an uncomfortably long reach. The other glaring omission is the lack of a USB port for feature-rich smartphone integration, something that’s pretty common these days.

Up front, occupants will enjoy roomy accommodations with well-shaped seats that provide firm support. In back, the seats themselves are fine, but the lack of available legroom — 31.1 inches as compared to 36.1 inches in the Lexus NX 200t — means they’re realistically only suited to young children.When it comes to hauling stuff in addition to people, the Q3’s cargo hold offers just 16.7 cubic feet of capacity behind the rear seats. With those rear seats folded down, cargo capacity expands to a more reasonable 48.2 cubic feet.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Petrol Q3s start with a turbocharged 1.4-litre unit driving the front wheels. It’s powerful and rarely forces you to change down on steep hills. In fact, we’d choose it over the more powerful 2.0-litre engine since that one is available only with quattro four-wheel drive, and is less efficient as a result.

At the top of the range sits the RS Q3. It’s all-wheel drive and automatic only, and gets a 2.5-litre turbocharged five-cylinder petrol engine. It’s extremely quick in a straight line; there’s even a Performance version that’s quicker still, thanks to a power boost.

Of the two diesels, the lower-powered unit is the best. It’s easily strong enough to cope with a full load, pulling from low down over a wide band. The higher-powered diesel feels more strained under load and is hard to justify.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride quality of the Q3 is on the firmer side when compared to its silky smooth Q brethren – the Q5 and the Q7. That said it’s still perfectly composed over any obstacle you will encounter in town. From small to large bumps you remain quite isolated and comfortable. There is also very little vertical or lateral movement from uneven surfaces too. There are some differences in the way the petrol and diesel behave on the road and out on the highway the petrol tends to feel a little flighty, due to some unnerving bouncy vertical movement at high speed, and this may be down to its lighter kerb weight; the diesel on the other hand with a heavier kerb weight and four wheel drive is unsurprisingly more planted on the highway.

The steering is quite light and this is excellent when navigating through city traffic and parking in tight spaces, but when you up the pace through a set of corners you’ll soon find it lacks any feedback. The chassis is quite nice when pushed, with the suspension handling any challenge our bumpy roads care to throw its way. There is a little bit of body roll when you push the car but this too is controlled and soon you can learn to trust the front and let the suspension handle the rest. The petrol engine with its gruff rumble and desire to rev is quite nice when your evil twin shows up behind the wheel, but it’s again let down by the lack of pedals that would have allowed better use of the gearbox while keeping both hands on the wheel. The diesel with its smooth spread of 380Nm of torque is again the more fun of the two even when you’re hooning around.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Audi Q3 facelift’s long equipment list includes LED headlamps (optional), dynamic turn signals in LED taillights, Audi Drive Select (drive modes), updated MMI system with navigation, voice dialogue system, parking sensors with reverse camera, dual zone automatic climate control, and electrically adjustable and foldable ORVMs with driver side auto anti-glare function.In terms of safety, new Q3 offers 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, BA and an updated Electronic Stabilization Control (ESC).

BOTTOMLINE ;

The new Audi Q3 is now a lot fresher, offers extra features and at the same time, retains the good qualities of the previous version. It would have been nice to see the updated engine with betterpower and efficiency make it to India as well. There are more colour options too, like the shade you see here. Model trims will mostly be similar to the outgoing model. We drove the Technology variant that features standard navigation and 20GB jukebox storage in addition to the other features like the panoramic sunroof and LED lighting. The entry level model wasn’t here at the drive but expect this version to get added features too. The Q3 rolls out in India on June 18 and we expect prices to go up only marginally

Maruti Suzuki Swift Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

The Maruti Suzuki Swift is India’s most popular hatchback and has ruled the streets for a good 10 years now, unchallenged mostly. There is definitely something about the Swift which makes it such a hot seller, we have it our long term garage and can’t deny the smile it plants on our face everything we show it a pair of twisties. It’s not a very practical car due to the lack of rear seat room and a small boot but for those who love driving, the Swift is among the few options. The company updated its popular model with a minor facelift not so long back and we gauge the minor changes. Check Ex Showroom Price of Swift

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

If we talk about styling definitely the new generation Swift has changed a lot. It looks more aggressive, the car still carries over the same sporty design. The hatchback retains the same overall silhouette. What has changed though is the way it looks. The new Swift hatchback looks even sportier with the redesigned front headlamps which now get projector units (on the top variant), a completely new single piece grille and a huge fog lamp enclosure towards the lower lip. Like the front profile the side profile of the hatchback gets newly designed alloy wheels. Both the A and B pillars are finished in Black which has actually left a floating roof like illusion similar to the ones found in the new Vitara Brezza SUV. The rear profile of the new Swift looks little slimmer and also gets broader LED taillamps. It also gets a neat looking spoiler interated into the roof which completes the overall styling of the new hatchback. Apply car loan for Swift at Carzprice

The new Swift hatchback shares many of its parts with the Baleno hatchback however if we talk about overall dimension then the new hatchback is actually slightly shorter than the Baleno but has a longer wheelbase. The car is also lighter than the previous generation hatchback the lightest Swift hatchback only weighs 890 kilograms thanks to the new platform. This will definitely be useful and will help improve its overall performance.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The Maruti Swift 2016 has all black interiors, this has been done to make it look trendy, when compared to the Swift DZire that has black and beige interiors. This has been done on purpose to separate the audience and their liking. The Maruti Swift 2016 has a three-spoke steering wheel with twin dials for the instrument cluster, a centre console that has an integrated music system with bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux too. The Swift now even has reverse parking sensors, push start and stop and even keyless entry.

The front row seats on the Maruti Swift 2016 are large enough for six foot adults and this makes it a great option to consider. The rear seats on the Swift are a bit tight when it comes to knee room and even the boot size at 204 litres is extremely small. The rear seats fold with a 60:40 split. This is unique on the Swift in this segment at least. The Swift doesn’t have rear AC vents. The Swift has good storage places with space to keep your smart phone, keys and other knick knacks. The front door pocket can house a one litre bottle, while the rear can fit a half litre bottle. There are cup holders also in the front.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Coming in both petrol and diesel engine options, the Swift has total six variants: Petrol – LXI, VXI and ZXI Deisel – LDI, VDI and ZDI The petrol version of the car derives its power from the 1.2-litre KB12 unit that has a displacement capacity of 1197 cc, while the Swift diesel has the proven and potent 1.3-litre multijet motor under its hood. While the petrol mill has an MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection) system, the diesel engine has a 5-step Multi Injection CRDi system.

When it comes to performance, both the units are powerful and responsive. With a 16-valve DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft) valve train and four-cylinder set-up, the petrol mill churns out a maximum power output of 85.8 bhp and 114 Nm of peak torque, making it one of the most powerful engines in its segment. The oil burner 1.3-litre diesel unit too is equally impressive with 74 bhp and 190 Nm. Despite being a hatchback, the Swift is one of the few vehicles in its segment that is as good for highway driving as it is for driving in the city and that has been the reason behind its popularity everywhere.

Both the 1.2-litre K-series petrol and Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre multijet diesel versions won’t disappoint you in this department. You will love throttling them. Having equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, the Swift petrol touches the 0 to 100 kmph mark in about 12 seconds. That is the case with the Swift dieselas well. Even it does the same in about 12 seconds at a top speed of 150 kmph. Despite having much better ride quality than most of its competitors, the Swift isn’t as ‘swift’ as its rival Hyundai i20, especially till the third gear. But as soon as one enters the fourth gear, it gives you a sense of stability and sportiness that you would just like to rev it hard.

As mentioned above, the Swift is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre K-Series VVT petrol mill coupled to a five-speed manual transmission pumps out 85.6 bhp at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm. The 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine, on the other hand, mated to a five-speed manual and turbocharger, belts out 74 bhp at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm at 2000 rpm. So in terms of power, both the engines are impressive and in fact better than most of their competitors. What impresses more is the improved NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) level; the designers have worked really well on insulation that one doesn’t feel any noise inside the cabin.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Another aspect that hasn’t changed, and for a good reason too, is the drive dynamics. The new Swift comes fitted with what MSIL calls RBSS, basically a rally based suspension set up. With learnings from JWRC and our very own Indian rallies such as Desert Storm and Raid de Himalaya, the suspension system has been designed to be robust yet offer a rather decent ride quality. Push the car around a tight corner and she holds her line extremely well. No doubt the larger tyres have a role to play here, but there is more to the story than meets the eye. Despite an increase in size, the new MSIL Swift is 30 kilograms (petrol version) lighter than its predecessor and the diesel manages to be 15 kilograms lighter. A better stance and a lighter body also contribute to the Swift’s engaging driving dynamics.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Standard safety provisions across line-up include 3-point ELR front seat belts, rear seat belts, rear door child locks, front head restraint, dual horn, high mounted stop lamp, side door impact beams and iCats. Eminent safety equipment available exclusively on the top-spec variant are reverse parking sensor, new generation anti-lock-braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, airbags in front for driver and co-passenger. Of these features, ABS with EBD and brake assist is available exquisitely on the VDi trims while giving a miss to the petrol variants.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The new Swift is bigger and bolder than the outgoing one, but is it better? It’s made a huge leap forward in terms of practicality with a much bigger boot and a more spacious cabin. With families getting bigger and more demanding, extra space is always welcome. But the Swift isn’t really meant to be a family car. It’s for individuals who drive themselves most of the time and, to that end, the new Swift, though it may be quicker, hasn’t bettered the old car’s fun-to-drive desirability. Where it does add a bit of excitement is with its styling which is even more striking than before. To be launched in early 2018 and sold through regular Maruti channels – which means it will be competitively priced (and not have a Nexa premium) – the Swift is sure to be another runaway success. It’s just that the character of the previous car is missing.