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.

 

 

 

 

Tata Tigor Price & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

The Tata Tigor is the second compact sedan in the Indian carmaker’s lineup and sits below the Tata Zest. Built on the Tata Tiago platform, the Tigor was first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi as the Kite 5 Concept. The Tata Tigor has been built with the HorizonNext design ideology and is an important product on Tata’s road to revival.While the Tigor was expected to rattle the sub-four metre sedan segment with its pricing, it still sits almost Rs 50,000 below the likes of Honda Amaze, Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Aspire and the Volkswagen Ameo. Check Ex Showroom Price of Tigor

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The Tigor compact sedan underpins slightly tweaked version of the XO platform. Although the car uses the same platform, the wheelbase has been extended by 50 more mm to add the extra amount of space for the rear passengers.Coming to its exterior styling, we must inform you all that the Tigor Styleback looks far better than any other compact sedans of the Indian market. It is quite evident that the Tigor hurriedly did not finish designing the car. It does not have any disproportionate lines towards the B-Pillar onward while the boot and the rear profile blends perfectly with the overall design quite well. The sloping roofline towards the rear of the car and that integrated roof spoiler with the stop lamps adds a premium appeal to the Styleback. The rear profile also features a wraparound split LED taillamps which look gorgeous with the Hexagonal elements in it. The lower bumper at the rear profile looks bulky which has helped in making the sedan appear slightly bigger than its sibling Tiago. Get deals on Tigor

Apart from the newly done rear profile, the front and side profile gets the same treatment as seen on the Tiago hatchback. Fewer changes to the front include a smoked projector headlamp which also gets integrated LED DRL’s as well. The lower bumper houses round shaped fog lamps with chrome embellishments. The Tigor also gets Tata’s signature grille with Hexagonal detailing and Tata Motors logo at the centre; this grille can also be found in the Tiago hatchback as well. The side profile too looks identical to the hatchback with no such noticeable changes. However, it does get two different alloy wheel patterns for the petrol and diesel variants respectively.Thus with all the changes mentioned above calling the Tata Tigor one of the most proportionate looking compact sedan’s currently available in the Indian market won’t be an understatement.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Step inside and you won’t notice and major changes over the Tiago. The dashboard design is exactly the same including the 3-spoke steering wheel and the instrument cluster. However, you get some more goodies in the Tigor compared to its hatchback sibling. The centre console comes with a Harman Connectnext touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity. It is being offered with Tata App Suite that lets you control the system via several apps for Navigation, Music, Emergency, Car Settings, etc. The display also doubles up as a reverse parking camera display. The touch quality isn’t great but the interface is user friendly. You also get steering mounted audio controls along with voice command system. The Tigor comes with 8 speakers and it sounds quite impressive with clear acoustics.

Another additional feature over the Tiago is the automatic climate control system which works quite well and cools the cabin effectively. The quality, fit and finish is similar to the hatch, which is quite impressive as Tata has improved their quality leaps and bounds compared to the older products. There are quite a few storage spaces to keep the cabin neat and tidy. The seats are very comfortable, specially the rear seats that have been improved in terms of padding and support. The legroom is ample at the back and you also get centre arm rest with cup holders. The boot is very accommodating with 419-litre of capacity. The best part about the boot is that you don’t get those conventional hinges that hinder the capacity and instead Tata has put hydraulic struts for optimum space in the boot.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Tigor will be available with the same diesel and petrol motors that power the Tiago, and both motors will be mated to a five-speed manual transmission. As of the now, the petrol version will not get an AMT gearbox option which is available on the Tiago. Let’s talk about the diesel Revotorq engine first. This is a 1.0-litre three-cylinder diesel mill that makes 70bhp and 140Nm of torque. On firing the engine, the diesel clatter can be heard within the cabin and some of the vibrations filter through to the pedals too.Off the mark, the diesel Tigor builds up pace in a linear manner and there’s hardly any turbo lag. It’s not exactly quick but there’s a mild surge at 1,900rpm till about 3,200rpm which helps the progression in speed. However, the narrow range means that you need to keep working the gearbox at times to derive the best out of this engine, especially for a quick overtake. One also needs to note that the engine gets louder when revved hard. This five-speed gearbox shifts with decent accuracy along a slightly rubbery gate but the throws are long and they sometimes don’t shift appropriately while slotting in a hurry.

This brings us to the all-aluminium three-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine that produces 85bhp and 114Nm of torque. This motor has undergone tweaks to improve the refinement and it shows immediately. However, if you keep the throttle depressed, the engine noise makes its presence felt but it doesn’t sound coarse. This is especially pronounced when you rev it to overtake or carry out a performance oriented manoeuvre. However, after driving the diesel Tigor, the petrol version felt a lot more eager and the build-up of momentum is quite linear all the way to the 6400rpm red line. This motor also has enough grunt for some adequate highway cruising abilities too.The five-speed gearbox on the petrol Tigor has long throws which feels far from precise. But thanks to the slightly lighter clutch (than diesel), the entire shifting process is easier. There are two drive modes on offer, namely Eco and City. The outcome of these modes are more pronounced in the petrol than in the diesel. When you start either of the engines, the City mode is activated by default, however on choosing Eco mode, the system slightly reduces the response from the engine to make way for more efficiency. Nevertheless, we felt that out on the highway, it makes sense to slot in City mode for some extra mid-range punch especially while overtaking.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

In terms of driving, the Tata Tigor ride has a very supple ride. It irons out most of the road bumps and it does a fairly good job. The handling too, is one of the best in its segment. Push it around a bend and the hatchback does a good job. The steering wheel is light and still has good enough feedback. This is what makes it stand out.The fuel tank capacity of the Tata Tigor is 35 litres, which will be sufficient for long road trips as well. The ride quality of this vehicle is good and what stands is its handling. It is a good mix of ride quality and handling characteristics. The ABS on offer comes with EBD (electronic brake force distribution), corner stability control (CSC) for enhanced braking efficiency.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Tata Tigor specifications include disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear as standard. As for the safety of occupants, the company has incorporated a plethora of premium safety features, like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), speed-dependent auto door locks, follow-me-home lamps, park assist with sensors and camera, and seat belt with pretensioners and load limiters. Sadly, the base grade XE doesn’t get any of the aforementioned features.

BOTTOMLINE ;

What’s clear is that the Tigor is not just a Tiago with a boot. It’s got a different vibe and that’s all thanks to the way it looks. It is an attractive car and has a certain visual appeal that the typical compact sedan doesn’t have. In a sense, the Tigor will attract buyers to whom design and style get priority over practicality. That’s not to say the Tigor isn’t practical. Much to the contrary, it’s got a well thought-out cabin, ample interior space and a large and useable boot. At the same time, top-spec Tigor’s also address modern day requirements for connectivity and features.Where the Tigor could have been better is under the bonnet. Both the petrol and the diesel engine could have done with more power. In fact, given the good ride and handling package, the powertrain is the sole area where the Tigor feels a notch down to the existing compact sedans. But here’s the thing. The Tigor will come in under the Tata Zest, which by extension means it will be priced significantly lower than compact sedans like the Maruti Swift Dzire, Honda Amaze, Hyundai Xcent, Ford Figo Aspire and Volkswagen Ameo. Tata is said to be looking at an aggressive price tag for the Tigor with prices likely to range from Rs 4 lakh (estimated, ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base petrol to Rs 6.5 lakh for the top-spec diesel. And that means the Tigor could sit in a sweet spot in the market with no direct rivals.The Tiago hatchback has already shown there’s a market for a well-priced Tata. The Tigor has the potential to take things up a few notches.

Audi A4 Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

The A4 which has been selling for over 40 years now has been the Audi’s longest and best selling sedan. With its sharp and aggressive looks, this sedan has gained high popularity and has also elevated Audi’s position in India. The car maker claims that with its progressive design, efficient driving dynamics and class defining interiors, the A4 can take on most cars in its space. Get Price of Audi A4

Audi recently beefed up the A4 with a more powerful 177hp 2.0 TDI engine. It also gets Audi Drive Select to improve driving comfort and overall performance. The new sedan can reach a speed of 100 km/h from standstill in just 7.9 seconds. We decided to see if it is as impressive in the real world as it seems on paper.

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

Immediately recognizable as an A4, the new sedan is slightly larger than its predecessor, a sign that Audi redesigned it using the same successful recipe we’ve come to know for decades. The shape hasn’t changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines. This comes as no surprised given the new 2016 Audi Q7 and the 2016 Audi R8 received similar treatment. The model is more aerodynamic than its forerunner, and according to Audi, it’s also the most aerodynamic in its class, with a drag coefficient of only 0.23.

“The shape hasn’t changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines.” While the front apron got only minor changes in the foglamp/intake area, the grille and the headlamps are as fresh as they get. Both feature sharper design cues, while the headlamps have a new pattern and extend less toward the fenders. There’s also a slightly reshaped hood. Together, these new features make the A4 look significantly more aggressive. The rear sports similar styling. The new bumper, the slightly shorter trunk lid and the slimmer, redesigned taillights give it a fresh and bold appearance. By contrast, the profile hasn’t changed much, even though Audi meddled with the side skirts and the quarter-windows.

As far as dimensions go, the new sedan is 1 inch longer and 0.55 inch wider, and its wheelbase has gained 0.6 inch. The car’s height has remained essentially unchanged. The big news regarding the A4’s revised body is that it’s 33.1 pounds lighter than its predecessor’s, contributing to an overall weight that has been decreased by up to 264 pounds, depending on trim and engine.

Alongside the sedan, Audi also unveiled the A4 Avant, which features the same styling updates and a sportier roof. The wagon is less aerodynamic than the sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.26. Both models can be had with optional LED and matrix LED headlamps.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The cabin space feels very plush and upmarket with fine quality leather stitched seats. The driver and front passenger seats get electrical controls and also have memory settings to store different positions of seats. The lumbar support can also be adjusted electrically.

Front row legroom is decent with the driver feeling confident about the cockpit. The levers and controls are placed at an easy distance and are very convenient too. The steering wheel feels similar to other Audi models with controls mounted on it. These controls do the basic functions but for the rest one has to juggle with the music system.

Rear legroom is not impressive and especially for taller passengers who would often complaint of being cramped. But then it is not just the A4 which has this issue, the same being the cases with the C Class and 3 Series too where the rear passenger comfort and space have been ignored completely.

One of the most impressive features of this car is its fantastic music system. With its amazing sound distribution inside the cabin, it scores really well. The music system can play music via Bluetooth and CDs. Our variant did not have a USB plug in but instead it had IPod connectivity jack inside the glove box. We believe a conventional USB port won’t have harmed the cabin.

It gets conventional storage options under the seat, glove box and on the door trims. It also has cup holders on the central console. If the storage options in the cabin are not enough then perhaps the 480L of huge boot space shall be sufficient for anyone to just pack the necessary and head out for a month.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The 2017 Audi A4 is offered with the same 2.0-litre diesel engine with the 35 TDI nomenclature. The engine produces 188 HP of power at 4200 RPM and 400 Nm of twisting force between 1750 to 2500 RPM. The engine is now mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, unlike the earlier A4 which came with a CVT unit. Power is sent to the front wheels and there is no quattro on offer. The engine feels refined and isn’t too noisy. Power delivery is smooth and instantaneous and the sedan responds well to throttle inputs. Turbo lag isn’t felt much and the surge of power post 2000 RPM is very strong and continues till a notch above 4500 RPM. Top speed is a claimed 237 km/hr but progress dulls post 200 km/hr.

The A4 feels sprightly and eager. The gearbox understands driving styles well and responds very quickly. Gear shifts also happen fast. The new A4 is lighter than the older model by around 150 kgs and thanks to that, it feels even more livelier to drive. You also get paddle shifters and the option of shifting gears with the gear knob too. The TDI mill is also very efficient and churns out 14-15 km/l on the highways if driven sedately while under hard driving, efficiency drops down to 9-10 km/l (ARAI rating is 18.25 km/l). You get driving modes like Comfort, Dynamic, Individual and Auto though the A4 doesn’t come with an Eco mode.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Audi never had any issues with ride and handling. With the new platform of the 2017 Audi A4, things have enhanced further. The ride of the 2017 Audi A4 hasn’t changed much, it is still somewhat similar. Due to longer wheelbase, the suspension has been softened. The handling of the 2017 Audi A4 is crisp. The steering wheel doesn’t feel slack at any point and has good feedback. The alacrity of the chassis is at par with the other new Audis.

The A4 is designed to offer more comfort that outright handling finesse. However,it balances both these aspects well. Braking is right up there too. What impressed us most was the hight speed stability. The car feels relaxed even at 150km/h and keeping one oblivious of the speed outside.

SAFETY ;

New generation safety equipments have been installed in the latest model of Audi A4. The car comes with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), with traction control and Antilock Braking System (ABS), to ensure that the driver has complete control over the vehicle during emergencies. Apart from this, the car features dual stage front airbags, side and curtain airbags, to protect the passengers from the impact of collision in the event of accidents. Contributing to its amazing safety is the ‘Servotronic’ speed-sensitive power-assisted steering wheel.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Audi A4 is the flagship car of Audi and it satisfies Indian customers needs. Audi A4 provides a pleasant ride with features of safety, comfort and luxury. The cutting edge design and the state of the art technologies make this car to be more distinct. The A4 is a great car and creates a very tough fight to its competitors. It’s worth the money spent on it but keep an eye on detail about its maintanence

 

Ford Figo Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Hatchbacks are the most popular segment in India and for a long time, only a couple of brands were readily accepted in this high volume space. With the launch of the Figo, Ford’s India game plan took a drastic change for the better and the car brought the American automaker new customers, those who had never ever thought of owing a Ford before. The success of the first gen model is now set to go to newer heights with the launch of the all new Figo, a car that looks hugely promising on paper that we drove it all the way to one of the seven wonders of the world to see what it offers in the real world. Check On Road Price of Figo in Carzprice

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;

Talk about styling and this new generation Figo surely won’t disappoint. Ford has already launched the Figo Aspire which is actually the same Figo hatch with an additional boot, so all of you actually have a very distinctive idea about the new Figo hatch styling. Towards the front the new generation Figo, gets the same trapezoidal grille which looks quite aggressive while the dynamic and sleek styling is what sets it apart from the rest of its competition. Apart from the bold looking trapezoidal grille the hatchback also gets elongated headlamps up front as well. The side profile of the vehicle looks identical to the compact sedan. The top end Titanium+ also gets an impressive alloy wheels as well. While towards the rear the well proportioned tailgate with stylish set of taillamps enhances the overall appeal. What else helps in enhancing the overall appeal is the accentuated character line which runs through the lamp clusters and also gives us an idea of the overall width of this hatch. The bold shoulder line merges perfectly with the taillamps as well which helps in adding the sense of movement even when the hatch is not in motion.Trade in Your used car for Figo

INTERIOR AND SPACE ;

Just like the exteriors, the Figo and its Aspire sibling are near-identical on the inside as well. The only difference here is that the Figo cabin is finished in all-black plastics where the Aspire’s follows a richer dual-tone theme. Either way, you won’t mistake the cabin for anything but that belonging to a Ford’s, largely thanks to the familiar-looking dashboard. The basic-looking instrument cluster, busy centre console and elegant knurled dials for the climate control system are other things you are bound to notice. Top Titanium + cars get a digital (albeit old-school) readout atop the dash for Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Lower trim cars lose the screen, but instead feature Ford’s clever MyDock phone holder. It’s designed to hold phones of all sizes snugly and is a useful feature for those who frequently use their phone’s GPS systems for directions.

Visibility out the front is decent, but it would have helped to have reach adjust for the steering; the stretched-out driving position may not be to everyone’s liking. There’s enough space though, and the seats themselves are comfortable, if a bit soft. At the rear, there’s enough room for your legs and knees even with a tall front occupant; scooping out the front seatbacks has helped free up crucial space here. Aiding the feel of space are the large rear ◊ ∆ windows that give a good view out. As for comfort, the rear seatback is nicely reclined, but seat cushioning is a bit too soft and there are no adjustable headrests either.

Quality and fit-finish in the cabin are acceptable, but no more. You can tell Ford has cut costs and there’s a noticeable inconsistency between the textures on the plastics used in the cabin. The switchgear, though, works with a tactile and positive feel. What also works well are the small touches in terms of storage space and practicality. There’s the nook ahead of the gearlever (to stow away odds and ends) and the concealed pockets between the side of the dash and doors (useful for keeping your valuables in). Each front door can hold two bottles and the glovebox is decent-sized as well. Rear occupants won’t be as happy with storage spaces as there’s just a sole bottleholder for their use. On the positive side, the tail opens to reveal a sizeable 257-litre luggage bay. The rear seat back also folds forward, should you need more space. Unfortunately, the loading lip is a bit high and the boot floor is low, so you’ll have to lift heavy luggage more than you’d like.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Like its sedan sibling, the Ford Figo 2017 also comes with three engine options. A 1.2-litre petrol with 87bhp of power and 112Nm torque, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The second engine is a 1.5-litre petrol that comes only with a six-speed DCT (dual clutch transmission). A dual cluch mechanism is a advanced automatic transmission and Ford was the first in India to introduce this technology in its segments, with the Fiesta. And lastly, the third engine is a 1.5-litre diesel that produces 98bhp of power and 215Nm of torque. This engine offers good performance and while there is a little turbo lag, it manages well with a strong mid-range. Its fits in well for a city as well as highway drive.

The diesel engine in the Ford Figo 2017 offers optimum performance with good fuel efficiency and is very usable too. The diesel is certainly the more powerful option and the good bit is there isn’t much lag that we generally notice in diesel engines, this makes it easy to drive in the city or even on the highway. Ford Figo 2017 is the most powerful diesel hatchback in its segment and there is sufficient power to drive it in the city or even the highways. Push the throttle and you can overtake with ease. It didn’t have that sudden rush of power when the turbo kicks in, it is more of linear increase improving the drivability.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

An all-new B562 platform forms the underpinnings of the Figo and Figo Aspire. Ford have increased the ground clearance of this car from the outgoing version to now 174mm. The car rides well over biggerbumps, however, the smallerones do unsettle the vehicle a bit. The handling is typical Ford. Precise. The steering is light but weighs up decently at high speeds. The car holds its line well during hard cornering while the brakes themselves are sharp and shed speed rapidly without much fade. Stability on the Yamuna expressway where I drove the car was also impressive

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Ford Figo has front disc brakes, while the rear are drums. The Figo’s ability to brake is good and this even has anti-lock braking system with EBD and ESP. This helps to enhance the braking capability and at the same time it is helpful to retain control of the vehicle.The new Figo is one of the most safest hatchbacks in its segment. Airbag is a standard feature across all variants and the Titanium Plus getting six airbags. There is ABS with EBD. ESP, reverse parking sensors, fog lamps, settles for all passengers

BOTTOMLINE ;

Compared to the first generation model, the Figo embodies plethora changes and good news is that these changes have bettered the hatchback. Exterior styling is in line with Aspire, similarities don’t end here even the interiors and engine choices are similar. The automatic option comes with a number of additional features missing in the rest of the line-up. Performance is not as good as one would expect but the other pros in the hatchback are good enough to make do with this void. Interiors are not just stylish but comfortable too in terms of space. With dual front airbags as standard and total six airbags employed for occupants’ safety, Figo has a cusp over rivals. Pricing is affordable which should also work in the vehicle’s favor.

 

Merecedes Benz AMG G63 Class Overview

OVERVIEW ;

It’s no secret Mercedes is preparing its next generation of G-Class – the go-anywhere luxury SUV that started life nearly 40 years ago as a military truck. Spy shots and rumors have surfaces regarding the upcoming Geländewagen, or G-Wagen, but no news has surfaced about Mercedes’ sportier version built under the AMG badge. That has all changed now thanks to our lucky spy photographer who captured a camouflaged test mule running around the hills of Spain.

The new generation of G-Wagen, even sans-AMG badge, is visibly larger than the outgoing model. Its track is wider, its wheelbase is slightly longer, and the overall height seems to be slightly increased. All this in the name of interior comfort and on-road driving dynamics, rumors suggest. The current G-Wagen is notorious for its cramped, outdated interior. Mercedes is undoubtedly ready to update its most iconic and longest-lived platform.Concerning the AMG version seen here, it’s wearing a taller bumper with larger air scoops, AMG-specific wheels, and wider fenders that accommodate the wider tires. We’ve compiled all the rumored into a speculative review, so keep reading for the all the info.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

If the appearance of a vehicle hardly changes for almost four decades, yet its popularity remains unbroken, the manufacturer has done everything right. The G class is such a stroke of luck: its design demonstrates timeless distinction. The Mercedes AMG G63 is a part of this tradition, setting its own accents with subtle design modifications. Its face is characterized by the AMG radiator grille, as well as prominent bumpers with large air intakes. Another feature that is characteristic for the AMG model is the fender flares. Stainless steel running boards and protective strips on the sides containing inserts with a brushed aluminum look complement the exclusive exterior.

Other signs of distinction are the “V8 BITURBO” lettering on the front fenders and the Mercedes AMG G 63 nameplate on the rear door. Red brake calipers and the 20-inch wheels round off the expressive exterior. This SUV is boxy, absolutely not aerodynamic and be used as a battering ram on other vehicles. The indicators on top of the front fender. When was the last time you saw this. They still managed to put a LED DRLs strip below the headlamps. This looks more like the armoured cars than a daily use one. Even the exhaust pipes is exclusive where you have twin pipes on each sides of the car below the side steps. Now that is an out of the box thinking design.

The G63 AMG looks different from anything on the road, with its boxy, old-school design. However, the Alien Green colour looks fabulous in real and livelier than what it appears in the pictures. The matte-black five spoke 20-inch alloy wheels and the carbon fibre ORVMs compliment the looks very well. This SUV is big, tall and quite intimidating. Open the door and feels as if you have opened a bank vault, such is the build.The G63 is a ladder frame chassis, hence the cabin is pretty high and even if you are six feet tall, you need to use the footboard as a step to climb in and settle into its superbly contoured seats. The seating provides a commanding position and has excellent all round visibility, except for the rear. The space inside is average.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

When you open the doors to step into the interiors is when you realise that even the doors have that old-school feeling to them. Unlike other Mercedes’ where the doors are quite heavy and close with a loud thud, this one has pretty light and thin doors that close with a thunk. We’re pretty sure that Mercedes must have made the body structure equally safe in this car as compared to its stable mates. The interiors of the G63 AMG are a revelation. They are quite modern when it comes to design and tech. The all-black dashboard has a simple design and the AMG steering wheel looks classy. There is also an AMG interior trim package and lots of carbon fibre bits on the inside. The number of storage spaces and cubby holes is decent and there are not too many of them.

The instrument cluster is big in size and displays a lot of information. The centre console gets a 7-inch infotainment system which has the usual functions like SDHC card slot, Bluetooth, USB and AUX-in connectivity and also 10 GB of storage space. The upholstery is finished in black with contrast stitching in green colour matching the exteriors of the vehicle. The roof is finished in Dinamica black microfibre. The sunroof has a tilt and rollback function but it misses out on a cover. So when you press the sunroof button, the roof opens up completely while in other cars there is usually a cover that opens first and then the actual sunroof. The Harman Kardon Logic 7 sound system gets 12 speakers and gives out very good sound quality. There is also a rear seat entertainment system on offer.

The front seats get a lot of adjustment options and finding the perfect driving position is easy after playing around with the buttons for a few minutes. The vehicle also gets a Memory Package for the front seats and head restraints, steering column and exterior mirrors while parking. Overall visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent and the ORVMs are also generously big in size. All the seats are very comfortable but space is lacking at the rear. The rear seats has a 20:40:20 split functionality. The boot is large enough to stuff whatever you want to. The G63 AMG also gets a reversing camera with PARKTRONIC feature that includes 10 ultrasonic sensors – six and four in the front and rear bumpers respectively. The system displays the surroundings on the screen on the dashboard and also on the roof liner at the rear which is a nice touch. The SUV gets a THERMATIC climate control system with 2 climate zones and it works brilliantly and cools the cabin fairly quickly.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The G63 AMG comes with a 5.5-litre twin-turbo V8 engine burbles to life when you turn the key. It was in 2012 that Mercedes-Benz upgraded this 36-year old SUV from G55 to G63 enhancing its power from 500bhp to 537. There is immense torque in this engine and the SUV rocks if you press the throttle when at standstill. Something like how an American muscle car would have reacted. The side-twin exhausts make the length shorter and the exhaust note gruntier. This engine is a monster and only a not-so-sane person can think of this. When the world is moving on to curves, someone willing to risk it made this boxy SUV and the results have been marvelous.

Step in behind the steering wheel and you will be astonished to see how easy it is to adjust the steering position and despite a V8 under the hood, the bonnet feels compact and one can see the left edge as well. It never feels like a large SUV when you are driving. The steering wheel is lighter than the G55 and even the turning radius is short. It is very easy and convenient to drive in city and on the highways, its ooh-la-la. You cannot stop grinning the moment you put your foot down. The G63 AMG makes a strong case for it and handles tight turns with ease. What is astonishing is how this heavy SUV – with three sets of differential locks, which can put most of the other SUVs to shame while off-roading – can even throw around its weight and make a strong case for itself. This SUV is just the perfect one when it comes to drivability and even the handling. It can accelerate like a sports car, turn like one and if you want to cruise, it mutes its exhaust, especially when you are cruising with minimal throttle input. This is a tall SUV and it handles brilliantly. So, it has to have stiffer ride than other Mercedes-Benz products. The G63 AMG feels a tad stiff during off-roading too.

PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING ;

The on-road and off-road capabalilty of the Mercedes-Benz G-Class G 63 AMG Crazy Colour Edition is assisted with the drive mode selection feature of ECO and Power modes. The smooth steering with AMG performance steering wheel with AMG carbon-fibre trim, steering-mounted controls for music system, cruise control and the adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights assure a comfortable driving experience on long stretch roads. The permanent all-wheel drive mechanism is provided with differential gear and differential locks that are electrically engageable while in motion assist for smooth changes in driving modes during off-road usage.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

This Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG has been equipped with quite a number of comfort features, which comprise of a powerful air conditioner unit with automatic climate control and air quality control along with rear AC vents, a multi functional power steering wheel that can be adjustable, front and rear power windows, adjustable seats , rear seat adjustable headrests, rear seat centre arm rest with cup holders for added comfort, front center console cup holders, folding rear seats, front and rear heated seats, remote trunk lid opener, a remote fuel lid opener, luggage compartment lamp, a rear reading lamp, height adjustable front seat belts and many more such features.The list includes a total of six airbags that includes front, side as well as curtain, a set of Bi-Xenon Headlamps, seat belts with 3-point design, an Anti-lock Braking System and Brake Sssist, an ISOFIX child seat fixing points , electronic stability control, central locking with keyless entry and power door locks, door open warning, engine immobiliser with an anti theft alarm, cruise control, parking sensors, seat belt warning lamp and many other such important safety aspects as well.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Look at the G63 AMG objectively and you’ll probably see it as a has-been that’s just trying to fit in the modern world. Performance is epic but on ride, dynamics and overall finesse, the G63 can’t match up to today’s SUV standards. In fact, Merc’s own monocoque-bodied ML63 AMG and GL63 AMG are far more complete as performance SUVs go.Experience one though and in all likelihood, you too will be sold on the G63 AMG, flaws be damned. There’s just something inherently desirable about an old-school, rugged SUV with such an excess of power. True, the G63 doesn’t make for the most rational of purchases but then again, performance cars in India rarely ever do. Ahem, just the small matter of price. The G63 AMG Crazy Colour edition costs an equally crazy Rs 2.17 crores (ex-showroom, Delhi). You could save yourself some hard earned money if you opt for ‘standard’ white or black G63s that retail for a more digestible Rs 1.96 crore. Either way, you can be assured of owning an SUV like no other and one that’s unlikely to go out of fashion anytime soon.

Honda WR-V Features & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

Honda unveiled the WR-V Crossover last year in Brazil. The compact SUV made its world premiere at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show 2016 which commenced from the second week of November.We all know the demand for Crossovers and SUV’s in the Indian market and the compact SUV segment is flooded with many brand new products. So it was quite obvious that Honda would have introduced this new Crossover too in the Indian market as well after its launch in the markets of Brazil and some other countries in South America.The car was also caught a couple of times testing on the road with full camouflage. For all your information this newest Crossover WR-V is based on the Jazz hatchback platform and is the same car under the hood. It will make it to the Indian market as well to take on some other sub-compact Crossovers. Check On Road Price of Honda WR-V in Carzprice

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Unlike some other Cross hatchbacks of its segment, the Honda WR-V gets some significant updates which has helped it get an entirely new identity. Towards the front, the WR-V features a raised bonnet while the thick chrome grille somehow reminds us of the new City. Besides the revised hood and grille the headlamp cluster too has been redesigned as well and also gets integrated LED daytime running lamps. To make the Crossover slightly beefier the WR-V also features a sculpted bumper which also houses round shaped fog lamps. There are also silver finished scuff plates. Just like the front profiles the side profile too features larger 16-inch wheels wrapped with 195/60 profile tyres.

Just like the front and side profile the rear profile too has been heavily modified as well as it gets different appearing L-shaped taillamps. The rear bumper too has been amended as well along with new bumpers and slightly modified tailgate.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Open the doors and a familiar interior awaits you. The dashboard is shared with the Jazz save for a few changes. The instrument cluster remains the same and so does the steering wheel. The centre console now gets an all-new 7-inch touchscreen that is shared with the City. It is an Android-based unit and supports WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and Aux-IN. It also gets GPS and a reverse camera. Sound quality from the new audio system is excellent and way better than the Jazz. Some other features include electric ORVMs, keyless entry, sunroof and automatic climate control. Cruise control and push button start are limited to the diesel trim only, surprisingly. The AC is a chiller and cools the cabin in a jiffy. Just like other Honda cars, the WR-V too misses out on rear parking sensors.

The seats are shared with the Jazz and they are very comfortable. The cushioning is soft and the seats feel nicely supportive even for well-built people. You also get a centre armrest at the front which is a useful addition. At the rear, you get abundant head room, knee room and shoulder space. What is disappointing is the fact that the WR-V neither gets Magic Seats nor does it get 60:40 split rear seats. The boot is decently sized at 363-litres. Another negative point about the interiors is the build quality on certain panels which feels very plasticky. Even the door pads have a slightly flimsy feel to them. Talking about the upholstery, Honda is offering two colour options – Black and Grey or Black and Blue.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

. Moving on to the other end of the car, Honda has retained its familiar petrol and diesel engines, with 5-speed and 6-speed manual gearbox options. Starting off with what’s bound to be more popular of the two, the diesel-powered model gets a 1498cc, 4-cylinder turbo unit which makes 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. For the WR-V, Honda says they have worked on reducing the overall NVH levels. So has it worked? Not entirely. Although there’s less engine noise inside the cabin compared to the Jazz, the WR-V is not as refined as any of its rivals and the diesel clatter is evident nearly all the time. Honda, though, fights back with a fairly linear power delivery despite the strong mid-range punch. Better still, the 6-speed manual gearbox is a joy to use – it allows for super slick shifts and is complemented by a perfectly weighted clutch pedal.

After the 1.5-litre diesel, the 1.2-litre petrol feels pleasantly refined though we would like to add that this motor is pretty refined in isolation, too. Making 89bhp of power and 110Nm of torque, the petrol-powered WR-V is decently quick around town. Overall response can be best described as ‘relaxed’ and while there’s no flat spots throughout the rev range whatsoever, the WR-V does what it’s told to do, just rather casually. Again, the 5-speed gearbox (with lower final drive compared to the Jazz) is a sweet thing – because the engine isn’t as punchy as some of its rivals, this revised unit makes good use of the power on offer with smooth shifts.

Hatchback-based crossovers generally make use of the same suspension set-up as the vehicles they are based on. The WR-V though is a little different. For starters, it’s got a longer wheelbase and bigger tyres compared to the Jazz. As one would expect, the ground clearance is higher, too. All things considered, the WR-V does ride noticeably better than the Jazz – the ride quality is cushier over sharp-edged potholes and less clunky too. Although the coastal roads of Goa are among the nicest in the country, we did manage to hit a few rough sections where we found the ride quality to be consistent and comfortable, albeit slightly bumpy

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The WR-V rides on a slightly higher suspension compared to the Jazz, but this has not had any adverse effect on its handling which inspires confidence at high speeds. Body roll too is fairly contained. With its larger 16-inch wheels that ride on 195/60 profile tyres, the WR-V absorbs bumps pretty decently – certainly better than the Jazz and will handle any pothole-riddled urban street rather well.The electric power steering is from the Jazz and has been re-calibrated for the WR-V. It offers more assistance at lower speeds and can be twirled with ease. The steering is precise and offers good feedback, which makes it enjoyable at higher speeds.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Ventilated discs at the front with drums at the rear ensure confidence-inspiring braking. As for safety, the new Honda WR-V offers dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard, and a rear camera with guidelines is limited to the top trim only. The company has also introduced additional features, like ECU immobilizer system, windshield defogger (rear), driver seat belt reminder, fuel reminder control system (diesel only), key-off reminder, day/night rear view mirror, intelligent pedals (brake override system), etc.

BOTTOMLINE ;

… if you are looking at getting yourself a Jazz, the WR-V deserves a closer look. It is definitely better suited to tackle our roads, and as such is more versatile than the Jazz. Just don’t expect the WR-V to tackle any serious mud plugging. However, the WR-V does offer more in terms of appeal and equipment. We expect the WR-V to be priced Rs 70,000 – Rs 1,00,000 over the Jazz, and that would well justify the extra kit and attitude that the WR-V has to offer. However, when compared to the more square and upright compact-SUVs in the market today, the WR-V’s appeal seems to dim. And, when you factor in the expected price, Honda’s WR-V ends up feeling like a bit of a hard sell.

 

 

Merecedes Benz GLA Class Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

SUV craze is at its peak and the fixation to this body type is seen across all segments. While most manufacturers already have a SUV in their portfolio, others are scurrying to develop one at the earliest. Blame it on our roads or the fact that sitting higher up gives you the kick, whatever the case, this body type is seeing far more success than anyone had imagined. Coming to the luxury segment, SUV sales have seen a sharp rise during the recent past. The Mercedes-Benz’ SUV lineup comprising of the GL and ML contributes to nearly 25% of the company’s total sales in India. With this backdrop Mercedes-Benz is all set to launch the all new GLA-Class, which will not only be the starting point in the Stuttgart based manufacturer’s SUV ranks but will also give much needed competition to Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1. Check for review,specifications & price of Benz Cars

It was Mercedes-Benz who introduced the concept of ‘Compact Luxury’ to India with the A-Class at a time when many pundits believed India was not ready for this segment. The success of the A-Class encouraged others to follow suit and BMW came up with the 1-Series while folks from Ingolstadt recently launched the A3. The GLA is based on the same platform as the A-Class (MFA Platform) and is a front-wheel drive vehicle. We drive the GLA around the picturesque roads of Himachal and find out if it cuts the mustard.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;

The first thing that catches the eye is the new headlamp design, which features a new LED strip that extends from the upper outer corner toward the lower inner extremity. Called LED High Performance, the new headlamps are optional on the GLA250, replacing the previously available bi-xenon headlamps. Mercedes says that these headlamps are characterized by a color temperature similar to daylight and “relieve the strain on the eyes when driving at night.” Their energy consumption is also lower, at around 60 percent less than xenon and 70 percent less than halogen. Get Ex Showroom Price of Benz GLA Class in Carzprice

The grille is also new, sporting horizontal slats finished in black. This grille is offered on the more expensive trims as standard and optional on the base model, but it’s pretty cool and gives the small crossover a more rugged, SUV-like stance.”The GLA gained styling cues from the A-Class and elements from larger Mercedes crossovers.” More significant changes can be seen in the bumper, starting with the new foglamps that replaced the previous side grilles. The main intake is also larger, while the lower bumper also seems to have borrowed the more utilitarian cues of the larger Mercedes-Benz crossovers.

Moving onto the sides, we can see new wheel designs, while the rear fascia received slightly revised taillights and bumper. A new color, Canyon Beige, was added to the palette. The optional Night Package adds 19-inch AMG wheels and black window trim, exterior mirrors, roof rails, and exhaust tips, as well as sportier exterior accents.

All told, the revised GLA gained styling cues from the car it is based on, the A-Class hatchback, as well as elements from larger crossovers for a more SUV-like appearance.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Just like the exterior, the changes to the inside are minimal. There are now two new trim options – sail-patterned trim on the Sports edition and black matrix trim on the Style edition. The instrument panel is new with an 11.6 cm colour multifunction display and has a concentric circle meter design with neat red needles. The new GLA also has an ambient lighting system with 12 selectable colours. The rest remain from the earlier car and the GLA is fairly well equipped with bits like a large panoramic sunroof, attention assist, powered tailgate, powered front seats with memory and an 8-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Curiously, however, it makes do with a manual AC system only. Another odd bit is a reverse camera system but with no audio warnings.

Seating is comfortable and what’s nice is the small extendable underthigh support on both front seats. Space, on the whole, isn’t very large by the standards of its competitors, headroom and rear legroom is just sufficient for my five-foot-eight frame and what adds to the hemmed-in feeling is the narrow all-round glass house. In fact, you will notice the slightly restricted view out at the front thanks to the short height of the windshield. Beige interiors and a large sunroof on our car did alleviate this to an exte

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA will continue to offer the same powertrains. However there will be slight performance updates to them. The petrol version will have a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. This will make a healthy 185bhp of power and 300Nm of torque. The diesel will come with a 2.1-litre unit that will have 140bhp of power and 310Nm of torque.

The 2017 GLA 45 AMG will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This will produce 340bhp of power and 480Nm of torque. This high-powered version will continue to be a thrill to drive and also will be offered with an AMG spec body kit and larger alloy wheels.The transmission option will be the 7G, seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

RIDE AND HANDLING ; . The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class gets electro-mechanical power steering offering the best of both a conventional mechanical or hydraulic steering setup and the new age electronic power steering systems. As of now, the GLA will only be offered with a front wheel drive option with a 4Matic (all-wheel-drive) version coming soon. With a turning radius of 11.8 metres, the GLA turns nicely in tight spaces too.The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is aimed straight at a younger audience like all other MFA platform cars. This means that the suspension is slightly on the stiffer side, which in turn does tend to compromise on ride comfort. Over undulated roads, the stiff suspension combined with the bigger wheels did feel a tad bit uncomfortable and bouncy. That said, the joys of a stiffer suspension come to play on smoother surface. But more on that laterAs we mentioned earlier, the GLA-Class does seem a little stiffer than its rivals. Although that does have a negative effect on ride comfort, it has a hugely positive effect on handling finesse. If there was ever a car to highlight the ‘sport’ part of a sports utility vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is it. Although the larger 18-inch wheels combined with the 235/50 R18 tyres does lend to some of the handling prowess of the GLA, its real ability is more than skin deep

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

This SUV is built with high strength aluminum material, which is quite rigid and capable of dealing with collisions. It comprises of side impact protection beams and crumple zones at critical areas for added safety. As for the features front. both the trims in this series are equipped with identical safety functions. Some of those include seven airbags, three point ELR seat belts, head restraints, driver’s seat belt warning, door open indicator, rear parking sensors, seat occupancy recognition system for front passenger, collapsible steering wheel and anti-glare inside rear view mirrors. Besides these, they also have an advanced engine immobilizer system with rolling code, remote central locking system including unlocking of doors, anti-theft alarm, and protective under-body guard. The manufacturer has also incorporated it with sophisticated programs like electronic stability control, dynamic curve assist, hill hold assist, anti lock braking system, anti slip regulation, and brake assist function.

BOTTOM;LINE ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA is a worthy buy if you’re looking for a reliable, entry-level luxury subcompact SUV. While its interior is relatively upscale and attractive, don’t expect it to be as luxurious as more-expensive Mercedes-Benz models. It’s an entry-level SUV, after all, and like many in the class, the cabin materials reflect its base price ($32,850). Still, you can find a few competitors, like the less-expensive Audi Q3 ($31,800), that don’t compromise on interior material quality.

As for space, the GLA is one of the smallest vehicles in the class. It has cramped back seats and a low cargo capacity. The Q3’s cabin is fairly cramped too, but rivals like the BMW X1($33,100) have plenty of space in both rows. If you’re concerned about the GLA’s lack of space, a larger compact SUV like the BMW X3 ($39,250) may be a better choice, if it fits your budget.

 

 

Skoda Rapid Features & Driving Dynamics

INTRODUCTION ;

Usually German cars’ mid-life facelifts are very mild and hard to notice but this time around Skoda has updated the Rapid with a comprehensive facelift. This is the second update since its launch in India but the previous one had very minute changes. The C-Segment sedan has got a new front profile, longer list of features and a more powerful diesel engine that we’ve recently seen in the Volkswagen Ameo. We went all the way to Mussoorie to see what’s new on offer. Check Ex Showroom Price of Rapid in Carzprice

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

The Skoda Rapid Black Edition looks exactly the same as the old car. The only difference is that the headlamps are blacked and also the alloy wheels are now black colored ones. The Rapid now gets projector lamps as well. This gives it a very sporty look. The Skoda Rapid is now aimed at the younger buyer. The front portion as well as the rear end remain the same and there is no change on either sides. Get deals on Rapid

CABIN ;

The dashboard is identical to the earlier Rapid’s, which in turn is shared with the VW Vento. The dash design is restrained, but everything is where you expect it to be. Taking centre stage is a new large and reasonably crisp 6.5-inch touchscreen that comes with USB, AUX and Bluetooth support as well as MirrorLink connectivity. Other new equipment include rain-sensing wipers and electronically-folding exterior mirrors, which help bridge the gap between the Rapid and better-equipped rivals. Skoda’s trademark ‘clever features’ are manifest in the form of a cardholder clip in the centre console to hold all your toll passes and the likes.

The Rapid is reasonably comfortable to sit in. The front seats are generally comfortable, with side-bolstering to hold you in place, and a large-enough seat cushion to support your thighs. Their lumbar section, however, feels a bit hollow and might irk you on longer drives. The rear seats are firm and supportive, offering adequate thigh support and legroom and good amounts of knee room; you won’t get the same sense of space as rivals like the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz, though. Frontal visibility for rear passengers is also not the best on account of the large front seats. However, the provision of a front, as well as rear armrest, is appreciated.Other notable equipment include a tilt-and-telescopic steering adjust, automatically-dimming rear-view mirror, cruise control, cooled glovebox, climate control, rear AC vent, one-touch power windows and remote-controlled opening and closing of windows. Certain features are prominently missing, though, such as a rear camera and an engine start/stop button.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The new Skoda Rapid is available with both petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine in the Rapid now produces 5PS more power and the final output is 110PS.

Max power is also available 400revs lower in the range, although the overall impact on outright performance isn’t noticeable but the spread of power and torque throughout the range is likeable.The diesel unit is a strong performer; it has 250Nm of torque from 1500rpm and revs eagerly, too. The lively engine combined with the 7-speed DSG transmission proved to be a potent package, as the quick gearbox selected the right ratios to tackle whatever inclines that came our way.

Besides the power surge, Rapid’s spec-sheet also registers a slight increase of 0.06kmpl in the claimed fuel-efficiency, which now stands at 21.72kmpl for the diesel automatic version

The 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine makes 105PS of maximum power between 5200-5250rpm and delivers 153Nm of maximum torque between 3750-3800rpm. Although power figures for both the engines are closely spaced, the petrol engine doesn’t like to be hurried and gets quite audible when pushing hard.

Since it’s not a rev-happy engine, it takes time to get into the max power range and appears slower to 100kmph compared to its diesel counterpart. On-papers, however, the manual petrol Rapid is quicker than the manual diesel in the 0-100kmph run, albeit by just 0.1s.

On a positive note, the 1.6-litre, MPI engine has decent pull at the bottom end of the rev-range although maximum torque is available at 3750rpm.It is, therefore,a good ambler for leisurely runs as it doesn’t require frequent gear changes to maintain consistency.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Skoda has definitely figured out the best balance when it comes to setting up the suspension for Indian conditions. Barring the Laura vRS, all Skoda models possess a fine balance between ride and handling and the Rapid is no different. Ride quality is a bit on the firm side but never gets intrusive unless you are traveling over real crater like potholes. The sorted damping means handling is taken care of as well and high speed endeavors are a piece of cake. The steering is well weighted and gives reasonable amount of feel even at high speeds and it’s a real joy throwing it around the corners.

SAFETY ;

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty, 4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Thanks to modern creature comforts, good ride and a powerful diesel engine, Skoda has surely put forth a competitive package. It still has the old cars robust build and material quality is really good too. So in a way it should be just right for most buyers even if it might not exceed expectations of some. Skoda is also revamping its after-sales service and now has well thought offers for buyers. The Rapid is being offered with a four-year warranty, road-side assist and maintenance package, all-inclusive in the ex-showroom Delhi prices that start at Rs 9.49 lakh. So the competitive pricing with added benefits does make the updated Rapid a more lucrative buy.

Audi Q5 Review & First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

The luxury crossover from Audi, the Q5 has been in the market for eight years, without any major change. These spy pictures reveal an all new styling for vehicle. The new-generation Audi Q5 has been spotted on test in India. After its recent unveil, Audi will want to get the new-gen quickly to India, as the competition, especially Mercedes-Benz has been outselling others in this segment. The Mercedes-Benz GLE has been a hit and the Ingolstadt-based automaker will want to get a stronger and fresh product to become competitive. The 2017 Audi Q5 shouldn’t be very far from its launch. The spy pictures captured by one of our readers and close friend Harsh Jhaveri. Get Price of Audi Q5 in Carzprice

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Audi has freshened the Q5’s look tremendously thanks to a more minimalistic design styling. Still, there are plenty of details and intricate nuances flowing over this crossovers body. Audi is offering the Q5 in 14 different exterior colors. There’s also five new trim packages, each adding distinct styling cues to the exterior. They include the Sport and Design package, the S Line Sport package, Design Selection package, and the S Line Exterior package.The Q5 comes standard with 17-inch wheels. 18-inch wheels come with the Design and Sport trim, while 19-inch wheels come with the S Line Sport and Audi Design packages. Additionally, customers can opt for other wheels ranging in size up to 21 inches. Upgrade to new Audi Q5 by exchanging your used car 

The Q5 is now larger than its first-generation predecessor. It is now 15.3 feet long, 6.2 feet wide, 5.4 feet tall, and has a lengthened wheelbase of 9.3 feet. Despite this, Audi’s extensive use of high-strength steels and aluminum has cut nearly 200 pounds off the last-generation’s weight.Aesthetically, the Q5 now wears Audi’s updated corporate look, with sharpened lines and crisper detailing. The previous Q5’s slightly bubbly look is completely gone, replaced by a crossover that looks muscular and toned. The new design is also more aerodynamic. It has a reduced drag coefficient of 0.30, which helps its revised powertrain get the most out of its fuel.

Up front, the headlights feature an angular design that’s rather smart looking. Its LED daytime running lights give the Q5 an angry look. That’s accentuated by the hard-edged grille and lower air intakes. Overall, the front clip is far more aggressive and bold. The rounded wheel wells create bulges in the bodywork above the beltline, making the Q5 feel muscular. A sharp character line runs rearward from the headlight, ending at the LED taillights. A second character line along the rocker panels helps the Q5 suck in its gut, giving it a lighter appearance.Around back, the new taillights feature LED lighting and sequential turn signals. Reverse lights and rear fog lights reside in the bumper lights, much like on the previous Q5. A new lower fascia has faux exhaust outlets with chrome trim. The “outlets” don’t even pretend to be real exhaust tips with openings, so they should be tolerable to folks who hate this current trend.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Once inside the Audi Q5, you will immediately face a déjà vu moment, because like other Audi cars, the Q5 too has a very similar dashboard, which is not a bad thing at all. Audi designs one of the best interiors in the industry and although most vehicles share parts, the quality is top notch and the cabin exudes the luxury feeling. Changes from the previous model are minor but well executed to ensure that the Q5 stays true to its premium tag. The well laid out dashboard carries stupendous levels of fit and finish and we love the 4-spoke steering wheel, which is a delight to hold.

The 6.5-inch Multi Media Interface (MMI) sits right on top of the centre console and is neatly shaped with slender chrome ring. Infact, Audi has given many controls chrome treatment to give a distinctive appearance to the interiors. The centre console is finished in high-gloss black and there are quite a few storage areas inside the vehicle. Audi has also improved the infotainment system on the Q5, which now boasts of a better media centre, including voice control functionality and driver assistance systems (now features drowsiness detection).

The seats are extremely comfortable and even after several hours behind the wheel, one feels as fresh as a daisy. The rear seats offer decent legroom but the huge transmission tunnel makes the Audi Q5 strictly a 4-seater. Boot space is impressive too and the rear seats can be folded to boost it even further. The attention to detail is impressive on the Audi Q5. If you leave the ignition on and get out of the vehicle, the Q5 shuts down itself. Sunroof is standard on all variants and the top-of-the-line variant gets a large Panaromic roof.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Its 2.0-litre TDI power-train that has common rail fuel injection technology and can displace 1968cc. It can churn out 174.3bhp at 4200rpm and yields a pounding torque of 380Nm between 1750 to 2500rpm. While 3.0-litre power plant has six cylinders and 24-valves. It also has a turbocharger, which generates 241.4bhp of power between 4500 to 6200rpm and develops 580Nm of commanding torque at 1400 to 3250rpm. Both have been mated with a seven-speed S tronic automatic transmission gearbox that works in collaboration with quattro technology. The petrol option is equipped with a robust 2.0-litre TFSI mill that comes with a displacement capacity of 1984cc. This direct injection based petrol motor comprises of 4-cylinders, and 16-valves. It also has a turbocharger and valvelift system, which enables it to pump out a maximum power of 221.3bhp between 4500 to 6200rpm in combination with a commanding torque output of 350Nm in the range of 1500 to 4500rpm. This motor is coupled with an advanced 8-speed tiptronic automatic transmission gearbox, which transmits torque output to all four wheels by means of quattro technology.

Both the diesel motors have been incorporated with an advanced common rail based direct injection fuel supply system. Its V6 power-train has the ability to produce a mileage of 10.8 Kmpl within the city and 13.22 Kmpl on the highways. Whereas the 1968cc in-line oil-burner can produce a maximum mileage of 14.16 kmpl (on expressways), which goes down to a minimum of 10.6 Kmpl (on city roads). Its petrol ones have been equipped with a TFSI based drive-train that is integrated with a direct fuel injection technology, which enhances its mileage. It enables the vehicle to produce a minimum mileage of 8.35 Kmpl on city roads, while delivering a maximum of 11.81 Kmpl on the bigger roads.

Its TFSI mill has valvelift system and a turbocharger as well. It can generate 221.3bhp of power at 4500-6200rpm and yields 350Nm of hammering torque in the range of 1500 to 4500rpm, which is rather remarkable for Indian road conditions. The 2.0-litre turbocharged motor enables the vehicle to pump out a maximum power of 174.3bhp at 4200rpm in combination with a commanding torque of 380Nm in the range of 1750 to 2500rpm. While, the 3.0-litre mill can belt out a mammoth power of 241.4bhp at 4000-4500rpm along with a peak torque output of 580Nm between 1400 to 3200rpm.

It has an advanced recuperation system, which is a technology that recovers the energy during braking phases with the help of an intelligent alternator voltage regulation. It has a proficient dual-circuit with a diagonal-split braking system and all wheels are fitted with ventilated discs brakes. It is incorporated with an advanced anti lock braking system, electronic brake force distribution and electronic stabilization control, which improves this braking mechanism. Its front axle is fitted with a 5-link system whereas the rear axle is coupled with trapezoidal link type of suspension. It is also loaded with gas filled shock absorbers, which augments the suspension and is blessed with a maintenance free rack and pinion based electromechanical power assisted steering featuring speed dependent control, which offers excellent response and makes handling simpler.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The biggest surprise in the improved Q5 is the far more pliant ride. Gone is the fidgety ride of the old car and the now it feels much more supple and bump absorption is first rate. The softer spring rates and damper settings means the Q5 glides over most surfaces without much fuss and gives it the all important luxury ride it always deserved. Despite its size and weight, the Q5 is a fairly decent thing to punt around corners. The steering is typically Audi — light and effortless but devoid of feel. The Quattro set-up is biased towards road driving and under normal driving conditions power is split 40/60, front to rear, which gives the Q5 a nice handling balance in brisk driving. Except for the base Premium variant all other Q5s get adjustable dampers and if you set it to Dynamic mode, it’ll surprise you with its agility. Body movements are well controlled, and it grips willingly and steers accurate

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Given that the vehicle gets quattro four wheel drive system as standard across all variants, Audi has given a great deal of importance to safety per se. But that’s not all, there’s the Electronic Stabalisation Control, Electronic Differential Control, Antilock Brake System with EBD to keep the grip levels high. There’s also an Anti-Slip Regulation feature, which would reduce the spinning of the drive wheels, in case they are not transmitting power to the road.There’s also a plethora of airbags (for both front and rear side passengers) to minimize the injury in case of an accident.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Audi Q5 comes out as a very sensible choice among the competition. Personally, it is just the design which pinches me a little bit as they all look very similar but apart from that, the Q5 is a very strong contender in this segment. The same can be seen with the number of Q5s Audi manages to sell.The main reason behind Audi’s success in India is because of their flexible decisions behind getting models in India. Tapping the right segment at the right time is the key element Audi has thrived on. Their sedans sell in good numbers as it is but their SUV offerings are as dynamic. The Q3 which is an entry level Audi SUV comes with class leading features. The Q7 on the other end is a massive machine which commands respect. The Audi Q5 strikes a perfect balance between the two.

 

 

Mahindra KUV100 Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has had a huge head start over the others in the sports utility vehicles space. Its background in making affordable UVs and SUVs has been instrumental in its quick ‘Rise’ up the sales charts with some very focused and modern vehicles launched during the last decade. But, the recent paranoia about diesel vehicles and their contribution to high pollution levels in cities seemed like it could threaten to derail Mahindra’s growth plans. Obviously, M&M has been aware of its over-dependence on diesel engines and so right after its acquisition of Ssangyong of South Korea, it has been investing in developing a new line of petrol engines.

Mahindra is timing the launch of one of the first petrol engines from this line in the new KUV100. This new sub-compact SUV, already being heavily advertised, is M&M’s answer to the huge jump in interest amongst small car buyers. An affordable, sub-four-metre SUV is the latest must have in the urban car buyer’s garage. And of course, petrol power is back in the business amongst these buyers Get deals on Mahindra KUV100

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

First and foremost the KUV 100 looks imposing right from the word go! The front end is typical Mahindra with a large two-tier bumper. The massive wraparound headlamps add to the flair of the KUV and to keep replacement costs low, it is created of multiple sections. Clever! In profile the KUV 100 stands tall and also offers a generous 180mm of ground clearance.

Look closely and you will also spot that the rear door handle is mounted behind the rear windows. At the back the KUV looks like a hatchback. Large tail lamp units look good and overall we would say that it is a smart looker. But the other big thing about the KUV which you can’t see is the fact that it is based on a monocoque chassis and this is Mahindra’s second attempt at a monocoque after the XUV.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Slide in the KUV’s driver seat and you are greeted by a modern-looking dashboard whose showpiece is the large central console with the high accommodated gear-lever. You sit at a good height and ingress height is very good making it ideal for elderly people. We had the 6-seater version on test and though Mahindra has made a floating dash to accommodate a third person upfront we highly recommend to go for the five-seater version with bucket seats. Firstly the bulging centre console makes it best for children. So if you love your small ones, you don’t want them to go through a face full of centre console with no airbags to save them in an unfortunate accident. Although you can fold the middle backrest to use it as a front armrest, it gets in the way of you shifting gears. The seat itself though is comfortable with good back support and the wide cabin gives you an airy feel. Even at the rear, space is good with the wide cabin and flat-floor making it good for three people. You sit at a good height and it has one of the most comfortable seats in the segment. But it doesn’t particularly feel airy at the back thanks to the rising window-line, large front bench arrangement and the blacked-out section right next to your face where the exterior door handles are placed. Even getting in the rear seat is compromised by the small rear door. Although the KUV gets good fit and finish for a Mahindra, it can’t match the likes of Hyundai or even Maruti in this respect. The dash-top gets a uniquely grained plastic which looks nice but as you go lower down things gradually get low-rent. The black centre console which is finished in matt-black feels old-school and there are many places where bits are ill-fitting and have hard edges. Interior quality is one area where the KUV just hasn’t kept pace and feels a generation behind the Grand i10 or even the Swift

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE;

The KUV100 is powered by three-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol and diesel engines that are part of a whole new family of engines developed in-house, called mFalcon. The petrol engine produces 83PS and 115Nm of torque, while the diesel offers 78PS and 190Nm. Both are currently mated to 5-speed manual transmissions and an AMT version will come later. The oil burner offers decent performance and feels smooth but noisy even inside. Performance should be comparable to hatchbacks though only a full road test will help us decide. The petrol feels slightly underpowered but is smooth and slightly quieter. Petrol and diesel both get the same tachometer that redlines at 5000rpm, though the petrol obviously revs higher, accelerating up to 6000rpm.

The diesel also gets a micro-hybrid or start-stop apart from a power/eco mode selector which makes a noticeable difference to performance. Power mode offers good response, but switch to eco and acceleration feels slower instantly, apart from the engine barely crossing 3500rpm. In-gear acceleration is comparable to hatchbacks, and the diesel is what offers a torquey feel typical of SUVs. It is difficult to say whether the petrol will be in demand or the diesel since buyers in this segment are divided, though Mahindra feels the push in the case of the KUV100 will come from the petrol version.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

To further fine-tune the suspension to suit Indian driving conditions, Mahindra has partnered with US-based Cayman Dynamics – the same company that helped develop the TUV300’s suspension. And the results, at least as small cars go, are largely successful. The KUV’s suspension absorbs small and medium-sized bumps admirably well, and thanks to the 170mm of clearance, the small Mahindra isn’t caught out on the largest of speed breakers either. But before you ask, the KUV is no good off-road. Even large urban potholes gobble the KUV’s small 14-inch tyres, so you have to be careful on them. Also, the suspension doesn’t work as quietly as some of the competition’s, and you can hear a fair bit of the action underneath, and at times, even the dampers on rebound.

At higher speeds, it’s easy to tell the KUV is a softly sprung car. There’s a constant up and down motion, especially from the rear suspension and this is most felt when the rear seats are unoccupied. Drive fast and you’ll also notice lots of wind noise near the A-pillars. The KUV’s soft setup and high centre of gravity also mean it’s not that well tied down around the bends. There is plenty of body roll and even the brakes could do with more bite. The slow ratio steering is not the most feelsome either, but it feels well weighted and though a bit dead around the centre position, it gives more than enough confidence in typical driving conditions.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Given the increase in awareness towards occupant safety in India-made cars, Mahindra has taken the first steps in ensuring that its products meet current and future safety norms.

The new monocoque platform consists of ultra-high strength steel for better structural rigidity, and features such as ABS with EBS and ISOFIX child seat mounts are standard across all variants. Driver and front passenger airbags are optional in all grades.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The KUV100 is a unique proposition as no other vehicle at this price point offers high ground clearance and an SUV-like stance. It has decent engines, is easy to drive and the fit and finish – though not best in class – isn’t bad by any stretch. But what really works for the KUV100 is the fact that it gets ABS as standard across all trims. And even then, it is priced superbly. It is a great value for money offering. The K8 is the best option and if you cannot afford it, then the K6 is a good value proposition as well.