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.

 

Land Rover Discovery Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

The new Range Rover Discovery expectedly smaller and lighter, but more powerful and much more agile, is now out and will aim to reclaim its top spot as the ‘Rangie’ of choice amongst buyers.

Born in 2005, the first-gen Range Rover Discovery was an instant hit and was the company’s top selling model within a year. The Discovery was, and still is, not just smaller, but also priced lower than the full-sized Range Rover. But, the Discovery was also the most profitable model for Land Rover. Since introduction six years ago, the Discovery has sold more than 4.15 lakh units.Check On Road Price of Discovery

It has offered buyers a unique mix of luxury, sporty performance and practicality, and a more affordable entry into the world of Range Rovers. This is a marque that has been aspirational always. I’m sure it didn’t hurt that the British royalty’s latest addition took his first trip home in a Range Rover.

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

The Discovery 5 takes its design cues from the 2014 Discovery Vision Concept. The new Disco moves away from its characteristic rectangular motif and adopts a more stylish and curvy design language set up by the new Evoque. Land Rover’s honeycomb grille is now flanked by sleek and modern LED headlamps. The imposing front bumper retains the skid plates and the necessary air vents.

The flared wheel arches define the characteristic silhouette of the Disco. The decked up roof is now a little less stepped-up compared to the older car. The tailgate is no longer horizontally split and has been replaced with a conventional top hinged tailgate with a slightly raked rear windscreen. The tail lights too are more modern sleek LEDs.

The Discovery features Jaguar Land Rover’s new aluminium infused chassis thus losing at least a couple of quintals in weight. The new chassis-body design opens up more space for the seven occupants in the three-rows the Discovery is known for.

The new Discovery measures 4,970mm in lenght, 2,220mm in width and stand 1,846mm tall, making it 141mm longer but both narrower and lower than before. Its 2,923mm wheelbase has increased by 38mm, thus creating generous cabin space.

SPACE AND CABIN ;

The Discovery has plenty of space for families because on top of seating for up to seven, it has as many as four full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats. There are two full sets in the second row, and if you add a third row, you get two more full sets of LATCH connectors.

With a maximum capacity of nearly 83 cubic feet, the Discovery has a good amount of cargo space. That’s considerably more than the Range Rover Sport offers. It’s a few cubic feet less than the Volvo XC90 provides, but the Discovery has more space with the rear seats up (45 cubic feet) than the XC90 (41.8 cubic feet).

Even with the rear seats in use, the Discovery has enough space to haul outdoor gear for the beach or a camping trip. Fold them down, and you can haul furniture items if need be. The cargo area also offers convenient features like a hands-free power liftgate and a powered inner tailgate that can be used as seating during a tailgate or to hold cargo in place.

The all-new Land Rover Discovery comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a 10-speaker audio system, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and the InControl infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen. Some notable upgrades include four-zone automatic climate control, premium audio systems, a rear-seat entertainment system, a Wi-Fi hot spot, and an upgraded infotainment system with navigation and a 10-inch touch screen.

The touch screen is easily visible and eliminates the need for many physical buttons, which may or may not be a good thing, depending on how you feel about touch screens in your vehicle. But while there are plenty of premium features in the Discovery, it lacks features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto – user-friendly smartphone connectivity technologies that are found in class rivals like the Volvo XC90.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Powering the Land Rover Discovery 4 in India is the same 3.0-litre, twin-turbo diesel engine which does duty in the Jaguar XF S. However the Discovery 4 is a much heavier vehicle but this motor copes up very well. Producing 245 PS of power (XF produces 275 PS) and most crucially 600 Nm of torque, the Discovery 4 is very drive-able. The best part about this TDV6 powertrain is the ability to offer 500 Nm of torque in 500 milliseconds from idle. That is an 83% of maximum torque available instantly. Performance is very good from SUV standards and the Discovery 4 responds to throttle inputs briskly.

This engine is mated to a smooth shifting 6-speed automatic gearbox. Shift the gearbox into manual mode and the instrument cluster conveys to you – ‘Command shift activated’. On full steam, the Discovery 4 will sprint to 100 km/hr from standstill in 9.6 seconds. That is very comfortable for a vehicle which weighs almost 2.6 tonnes! Engine is refined and revvs all the way to a shade above 4500 RPM.

Land Rovers are very capable off-road and the Discovery 4 carries the same genes forward, which makes it an extremely capable machine on the road less traveled. With an approach angle of 36.2 degrees, ramp break over angle of 27.3 degrees and departure angle of 29.6 degrees, the Discovery 4 is at home in every situation. The highly sophisticated Terrain Response System (with 5 settings), Hill Descent Control (with Gradient Release Control) and adjustable ride height makes it a cake walk to go off-road. The wading depth of 700 mm makes the Discovery the perfect vehicle for cruising through water logged roads.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The standard air suspension delivers a suitably smooth ride. The Discovery is particularly comfortable at motorway speeds when it wafts over undulations like a jumbo jet running into very mild turbulence, but even broken town surfaces don’t cause any discomfort.

True, the Discovery isn’t quite as serenely comfortable as an Audi Q7 on air suspension, but then again, air is an expensive option on the Audi. As is often the case, avoid really big alloys (21in and larger) if you want your Discovery to ride as smoothly as possible

The Discovery is very much geared towards comfort rather than sporty handling. You can steer the car through corners with confidence at reasonable speeds without feeling as though you’re about to tip over, although it never feels as eager to change direction as a Volvo XC90 and leans more when it does.

The steering is slow, so getting around tight corners requires plenty of arm work. The Discovery isn’t the ideal town car, then, but it is among the best off-roaders in the world. It’ll breeze over terrain that its rivals couldn’t even dream of trying to tackle, thanks to a class-leading ground clearance of 283mm, a wading depth of 900mm (also best in class) and a multitude of clever electronics.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The 2017 Discovery has not been put through crash tests as of this writing, but several of its classmates receive high marks for safety. The Volvo XC90 earns a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and a rating of Good (the highest rating) in all five tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Standard active safety features in the Discovery include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Available features include a surround-view camera, autonomous emergency braking, driver drowsiness monitoring, a speed limiter with traffic sign recognition, a head-up display, lane keep assist, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert.

BOTTOMLINE ;

SUVs are turning soft these days and no longer offer go-anywhere capabilities. In these times, Land Rover has successfully managed to give SUV lovers the best of both worlds. The Discovery 4 is luxurious but at the same time practical. It is splendid on the road and off it too, offering very good dynamics. The Land Rover badge further enhances desirability, making the Discovery 4 easily the best full sized SUV in the market today.

Renault Kwid Design & Style

OVERVIEW ;

The Renault Kwid has redefined the entry level car segment altogether. The Renault Kwid 2017 is one of the few cars to take on the Maruti Alto 800 and provide some stiff competition to it. The Kwid is not compromised as much as others in the segment. The Kwid comes with SUV looks, spacious interiors, it is feature loaded and has a big boot. We share our detailed review of the Renault Kwid. Check Ex Showroom Price of  Kwid

DESIGN ‘

There are only two changes on the 1.0-litre Renault Kwid to differentiate it from the 800cc model. The French carmaker has added sporty body graphics on the doors having 1.0-litre stickers and there are a lot better looking full-size ORVMs finished in brushed silver. There is no badging on the tailgate or the front fenders. Apart from these minor changes, the Kwid looks exactly the same. The SUV proportions and high stance is the USP of the Kwid which really makes it stand out of the competition when it comes to styling. Exchange your old car for Kwid

CABIN ;

Here too, the design is really impressive. The dashboard looks contemporary, as does the chunky three-spoke steering wheel. There’s a nice, glossy black, chrome-lined central console that looks good too, and the instrument cluster uses a large, sporty digital speedo; there’s no tachometer though. On the storage front, you get a pair of big door bins at the front to hold bottles, two glove boxes and a large recess between them. There are cupholders and a cubbyhole between the seats, but they feel a tad too shallow for all practical purposes. The AC vents also have chrome accents and can, rather neatly, be clicked shut, but they do feel a touch flimsy. And like with the exterior, you will start to see a few cost-cutting signs if you look hard enough, but they’re really no better or worse than other cars in this class. Things like exposed screws, centre-mounted window switches at the front, no power windows at the rear, and non retracting seatbelts at the back either – you have to adjust the length manually every time you buckle up. A lot of this is par for the segment, but since the Kwid looks so upmarket, you have to remind yourself about which segment it is in.

On that note, it’s interesting to see the way Renault has chosen the equipment here. It’s a budget car, so you don’t expect a lot, so things like the big multifunction touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth, fog lamps, the optional airbag and navigation are incredible features for a car at this price. Renault has been clever to give customers desirable features like this, while saving costs in areas less consequential to the average budget car buyer. It’s a smooth engine with a sprightly low and mid end but suffers from lack of power high up the rev band. You can short shift and stay in a higher gear without losing much speed. It’s not going to be a blast down the highway but the Kwid is quick on its feet nonetheless. The 5-speed manual gearbox is easy to use and the ratios are spaced well for city use. You don’t feel the vibrations in the gear lever that’s an annoying feature in the Alto. The pedals however could do with a bit more play, both the clutch and the brake.

.ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

There are obvious hints in the Kwid which show Renault recognises that part of the strategy in this segment is playing a mind-game. But, we wonder if the choice of a 800cc engine was also one that was influenced by this market reality. But eitherways, with the “Kitna Deti Hai?” question being a constant, it is good to note that the Kwid’s 799cc petrol engine is the most frugal in the segment. This three-cylinder engine is not as refined as the one’s in cars one segment above, but when compared to the Alto 800 or the Hyundai Eon, it is about very similar in idling character. Cabin noise levels are fairly well contained, though we felt vibration levels could have been lower. The test mule we drove was a pre-production model; hopefully the final versions will be better insulated.

The engine itself is a fairly peppy unit, for its size. Generating 54PS of peak power, and 74Nm of torque, the engine delivers much of this at lower rpm levels, though the peaks are hit closer to 5,000rpm. But, its ability to respond quickly to driver inputs seems to be affected by the throttle mapping. Overall, the focus seems to have been to squeeze the most fuel efficiency from the powertrain. Speaking of which, the engine is paired to a 5-speed gearbox. Shift quality is good and there is none of the rubbery feel that some of the other cars in the segment have.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A lesson Renault has learnt with the Duster is that a rugged high ground clearance car will find its takers here and with the Kwid, the carmaker delivers just that. Riding high at 180mm, the Kwid has the highest ground clearance in its class. And considering it’s a short wheelbase, this will be more than enough to go over just about every large speed breaker the country has in store for it. The high ground clearance also gives excellent visibility out of the driver’s seat making it a very easy car to drive around town. What impressed us right away is the ride quality of this tiny hatchback. The Kwid uses MacPherson struts up front and twist beam suspension at the rear and the setup is tuned to perfection for our roads. Large undulations are evened out impressively and broken roads don’t throw you about inside the car like most hatchbacks in this segment do.

The nice chunky steering and the driving position are spot on. You sit at a good height and there is no offset pedal nonsense or steering on your chest sort of feeling that budget cars tend to have. The Kwid has considerable roll but not of the scary kind. You know you can keep it together when you are hustling this Renault baby, and in fact it is good fun to chuck around corners, much like the Alto. Just 660kg of mass to stop does ease pressure off the tiny disc brakes up front and the drums in the rear. The brakes could do with a bit more play though and the 155 section tyres with a bit more bite. When weight is on your side however, you can get away with a little less grip. Renault should however have an ABS equipped variant in the lineup too, which is not on offer as of now.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The are multiple reasons to state that Kwid is a strong product from Renault as firstly, it is a global car made from scratch and not a mere downsized or upgraded variant of any other car. The CMF-A platform, which powers the Kwid, has been designed and tuned to take care of all the present and upcoming needs and requirements. The same platform has potential to churn out cars with varied body types.

BMW X6 Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

BMW India has made it official that second-generation X6 would be launched on 23rd July, 2015 in the country. Originally unveiled at 2014 Moscow Motor Show, the 2015 BMW X6 would be the company’s flagship SUV in India. Just like the ongoing model, which was launched in 2009, the new-generation X6 would be sold as Completely Built Unit (CBU). For those asking, BMW India would also launch the high-performance X6M in India later this year. Get Ex Showroom Price of BMW X6

BMW X6 would be the company’s ‘X’ fourth product in the country as it already offers X1 entry-level SUV, X3 mid-sized SUV and X5 premium SUV. As for the second-generation BMW X6, it is 40 kgs. lighter than the outgoing model. The chassis comprises of high-strength steels, thermoplastics and aluminium, which has helped immensely in the weight reduction. Moreover, the centre console of the SUV is made from Magnesium, which makes it even more ligher in weight. The 2015 X6 would continue the traditional 50:50 weight distribution on the front and rear axles. Apparently, BMW would launch the xDrive40d variant of the X6 in India. Just so you know, BMW X6 would rival the Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class coupe.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Take a look at the new X6 and it definitely looks bigger and wider than its predecessor which means more interior space and comfort but we will be talking about all these a bit later let us first find out what else is newin the second generation X6 exterior. The first and the most important styling feature of the x6 is its dynamic coupe like roofline which not only makes it look different from the rest of the SUV’s out there but also looks elegant and stylish. The front of the vehicle has a dominating character but you won’t definitely miss the signature BMW grille which now comes with Cerium Grey color, you will also notice that the Kidney shaped grille which looks fatter and wider compared to its predecessor. The standard Xenon headlamps gives the front a sharp appearance. You will also find the lower front bumper now gets bigger air dams which has been reshaped for both practicality and functionality; it helps the engine to keep cool and improve its efficiency also imporved airflow. Just like the front the rear too has received its fair share of u pdates. The L shaped full LED tail lamps at the rear has increased in length compared to its predecessor. The duel exhaust at the rear of the vehicle also looks new and the second generation BMW X6 comes with underbody protection which is made up of Brushed steel and it helps enhances the muscular appeal of the SUV.

The side profile too now has duel character lines which according to BMW words are called swage lines. The first of those Swage lines appears from the from the front wheel arches and rises and ends up in towards the to the rear door handles. While the second swage line runs on the lower half of the vehicle and ends towards the rear tail lamps. You also get a new air breather on the X6 which not only adds sportiness to the design but also helps in improving ventilation and efficiency.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Step inside and you are welcomed by a trademark BMW cabin. The dashboard has horizontally been split into three parts. The upper half is black leather wrapped, the lower half gets an off-white treatment and splitting the two are slats of piano black and wood. The interior and the door trims are also optionally available in American Oak, Fineline Stripe, Fineline Pure, or Poplar Grain fine-wood trim fine-wood trim. The off-white materials used in the cabin gives it an airy feel. The seats can be adjusted electronically making it easy to find the right driving position and comfort. There is a fair bit of space at the back too but due to the centre arm rest and the air con controls, seating three at the back won’t be the most comfortable affair. Surprisingly, despite the coupe roofline, the low seating means there is quite a bit of head room even at the back. For those planning to go on a long family vacation need not worry about boot space. With the seat back upright the 2015 X6 makes 580 litres of space. Moreover the rear seat can be folded down in a 40:20:40 split thereby expanding on storage space.

The 2015 X6 comes heavily loaded with features. From Head-Up Display, night vision with dynamic light spot, 360 degree camera to parking assist, the X6 has it all. In terms of safety, the X6 gets 6 airbags, ABS, EBD and all other abbreviations you can think of. It also gets Lane departure warning and pedestrian alert. For the passengers at the back there are two separate HD 9.2-inch monitors with separate DVD drives to view different films on. Talking about movies and sound, the 2015 BMW X6 also comes with a 16 speaker Bang and Olufsen high end surround sound system.The centre console gets a 10.25-inch screen below which is the dual zone climate control and the controls for the integrated Bang and Olufsen infotainment system. Aside from the media and navigation, the screen also displays vehicle information and settings too. All the buttons are soft touch and well within reach. And then there is the automatic tailgate operation. If you hands are full after a shopping spree, a quick wave of the foot under the rear bumper opens up the tailgate.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Under the hood sits BMW’s most recent gem — a smooth, free-revving diesel six with not one, not two, but three turbos! The M50d’s 3.0-litre, triple-turbo straight-six produces 381bhp and commercial vehicle-like torque of 75.45kgm. All this is achieved because BMW has reduced the compression ratio of this diesel to just 16:1, really low considering few petrols nowadays come with a 12:1 ratio. The lower compression allows for greater ‘fill’ from the three turbos at maximum boost, and BMW has made sure injection pressure is good enough to supply plenty of diesel. The M50d’s injection pressure is upped to a really high 2,200bar when the engine is running at max speed.

How do the three turbos work together? To begin with, a small variable-geometry turbo comes in at low revs. This allows for fast responses and a reduction in lag as the light turbo is easy to spool up even with a small tap on the throttle. There is a hint of lag as you take off, but the quick eight-speed gearbox ratios help you overcome this in a jiffy. The larger main turbo joins the fray at just 1,500rpm, and takes responsibility for most of the meaty midrange. So, after 2,000rpm, responses are massive and explosive bursts of acceleration are just a flex of your right foot away. The third turbo is small again and chimes in at approximately 2,600rpm, helping give the mid range a boost. The best bit is that the turbos overlap so smoothly, you really need to pay attention to notice where each comes in, especially if you accelerate flat out in one long seamless pull all the way to 5,600rpm.

As a result, the X6 M50d is really quick. This 2.2-tonne SUV does 0-100 in an insane 5.3 seconds, and that’s just the start of it. And the manic pull in the higher gears simply has to be experienced. The motor delivers huge thrust from 2,000rpm to 5,000rpm, and the manner in which it progresses up the powerband is so undiesel-like, you almost forget it is one. Yes, it growls like a diesel in the midrange under load and there’s a hint of clatter too, but there’s also a nice snarl in the top end that sounds just great. At speed, the X6’s most remarkable feature is its near-petrol-like hush.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

BMW’s are known to be driving machines, the X6’s weight tries to make an exception here. With significant amount of weight under its belly, the X6’s heaviness is felt at high speeds and it has quite a bit of body roll. The vehicle gets bouncy on bad roads and the run flat tyres really don’t help matters much. Surprisingly this BMW has a space saver spare wheel but still BMW has opted for run flat tyres, which do end up spoiling the ride quality to a certain extent. The vehicle is on the stiffer side but still glides on good roads, only to be unsettled on large bumps. BMW doesn’t offer mode selection on this variant of the X6 and you can’t choose between Comfort or Sport, surprising.

High speed stability is excellent and although it’s not as sharp as other BMWs, its still much ahead of its key rivals (from the SUV segment). The steering is a delight and has immense feel and feedback. It isn’t much heavy at low speeds but as you go faster, the steering simply comes into its own, offering a very tactile feel to the drive. Brakes are very sure footed and have terrific stopping power, with the pedal feel being extremely positive. The X6 has good off-road ability and can easily traverse most terrains, thereby offering an splendid balance of good on and off-road driving.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Like its comfort features, the manufacturer has also given due importance to its safety department by equipping it with several innovative aspects. It has active head restraints along with eight airbags and seatbelts, which can minimize the risk of injuries to the occupants inside. Other protective features include dynamic stability control including anti lock braking system, cornering brake control, dynamic traction control, electric parking brake with auto hold and an emergency spare wheel. It also has functions like hill start assistance, brake drying and brake stand-by function. Apart from this, this vehicle is also blessed with adaptive LED headlamps, parking assistance, side impact protection, ISOFIX child seat mountings, run flat indicator, run flat tyres with reinforced side walls, warning triangles with first aid kit and an immobilizer with crash sensors.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The new BMW X6 is an excellent car, and since it is equipped with “M” package as standard, it is even more attractive. The only real drawback of the vehicle is its size. Most of the urban areas are not big enough to handle a car as big as this one. You are going to have a lot of trouble while trying to park it. But, the size does not matter a lot as all its competing cars are of the same size barring Porsche Macan. X6 definitely looks rich and the performance figures match the sporty looks. Though if you are looking for a proper SUV, which can do a fair amount of off-roading, you should probably go for the Land Rovers but since there are only a few people in India who try out their 1 crore+ vehicles off-road, X6 seems to be the perfect choice.