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Ford Ecosport Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

Most cars go through a process of design development from the exaggerated sketch on the drawing board to clay mock-up model to a much more watered down final production prototype. However, the EcoSport looks like it just went straight from being a futuristic sketch on the drawing board to its final form

Its design is unconventional, but not uncomfortable. It has urban chic written all over it, but it is certainly not metro-sexual. The best part though is that its design works, in an odd sort of way. It brings in a lot of freshness to the compact sports utility segment and it had better, after all, there is a lot riding on its tall shoulders. Check Price of Ecosport

To be fair, the EcoSport is an honest attempt at building a relevant urban SUV for the new-age automotive markets of the world like Brazil and India. But it also makes you wonder if it is deception on four wheels.

EXTERIORS ;

The Ford EcoSport is a smart looking vehicle and this updated model that we have over here is no different. There are hardly any changes to the outsides and the SUV continues to flaunt its muscular and aggressive front fascia. The alloy wheels remain unchanged on the Indian model and we would have appreciated if Ford could have provided a different design with this update. It is also good to see that the spare wheel is still mounted on the tail-gate unlike the overseas model. The fog lamps get integrated DRLs while the headlights get light guides which are basically thin strips of white light. The EcoSport now gets a new brown colour which looks pretty attractive. The boot opening button is moved underneath the chrome handle unlike the previous model.

INTERIORS ;

The interiors are on the same page as those in the current Fiesta. The seats are comfortable and the red stitching on the black leather seats add a bit of premiumness to the EcoSport. The EcoSport comes well equipped with standard features like climate control; 16″ alloy wheels, steering-mounted controls, six airbags and of course SYNC multimedia system which makes the controlling of the the audio system, phone and other features very simple

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

There are three engines – the now-familiar 1.0-litre three-cylinder EcoBoost petrol, a 1.5-litre turbodiesel with 90bhp, and a 110bhp 1.5-litre petrol four. We’ve yet to test the naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol but have driven the other variants offered in the range.

Equipped with the 1.0-litre EcoBoost the Ford is hardly fast, taking 12.7sec to complete the 0-62mph benchmark, but it is smooth. The engine’s now-familiar three-pot note is prominent, but not intrusive, during acceleration – and at motorway speeds it remains audible. As in the Fiesta, it’s a likeable powerplant.

It was also 30 per cent more economical, according to our touring test, and quieter than the EcoSport both at idle and at 30mph. Gaps that size – to an undistinguished mid-class performer, remember – aren’t what we expect from Ford, and they aren’t what its customers are used to accepting, either.

The EcoSport’s 1.5-litre turbodiesel is rattly and coarse at idle, and it only gets noisier and less civil with revs. It responds to the accelerator reasonably well and is mated to a transmission that has a decent shift quality and a pleasant clutch, but it feels short on torque through the mid-range (because it is compared with most small diesels) and both harsh and asthmatic above 3000rpm.

At slower crank speeds and under a gentler throttle, the intrusion is tolerable, but even here there are vibrations through the seat and controls that you won’t find in most small crossovers. Consequently, despite some potential economy and CO2 benefits, it would be hard to recommend the diesel.

The EcoSport’s Goodyear Assurance tyres (a type with which we’re unfamiliar) and disc front/drum rear brakes don’t make for particularly good stopping power, either. There’s no reason why a 1300kg supermini shouldn’t stop from 70mph in less than 50 metres in the dry, or need more than 55 metres to stop from the same speed in our wet surface test.

The EcoSport missed both markers – not just because of a general lack of pure grip, but also because of an anti-lock braking set-up that lacked delicacy and sophistication.

DRIVING ;

Dynamics and Ford cars go hand in hand. The EcoSport boasts of excellent handling capabilities and it is actually a very fun car to drive around. The steering is very precise and it offers excellent feedback and feel. It is moderately weighed, neither too heavy nor too light while it also gains weight significantly as the vehicle’s speed increases. High speed stability is good on the EcoSport and it is fun around the corners but only upto a certain limit. You can never push an SUV as much as a sedan but the EcoSport does feel car-like to drive. There is some body roll too but not as much as other compact SUVs. It is somewhat comparable to what small cars have.

The ride quality on the Ford EcoSport is also very good and the suspension does an impressive job of ironing out all the potholes and craters that Indian roads have to offer. The SUV comes with MRF tyres which have satisfactory levels of grip if you don’t intend to push the vehicle very hard and the brakes also perform in a positive manner, making the vehicle shed speeds without any sort of unnecessary drama.

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

To begin with, our press demonstrator was the Brown. The Mars Red colour might appeal to several, but I prefer the Kinetic Blue on the Ecosport. This in my opinion looks more upmarket and carries a hint of sophistication. The variant we drove was the Titanium Option. It comes with keyless entry, push start and stop, artificial leather, in-dash music system with Bluetooth, auxiliary and USB connection, reclining rear seats, 60:40 split, six airbags and ABS. In our long-term report, we share the fuel efficiency, performance and the pros and the niggles that we faced with the Ford Ecosport in our daily running.

VERDICT ;

It’s a long time since a new Ford was as bad as the EcoSport. It may not be a European-hailing car and it may be due an early revision to address its failings, but customers won’t care and neither should we.

Its perceived quality is regrettable, its diesel powertrain is rough and flat, and its chassis is so rudimentary that it could even damage Ford’s prized reputation for dynamic excellence.

Anyone who has test driven a rival or two will instantly be aware that the EcoSport just isn’t worthy. Neither is it cheap enough to be unworthy.

Ford’s repost will be that this has already proven a successful car for developing markets, but on tougher roads and catering to different tastes from ours

There have been plenty of great Fords like that over the years – from Mustangs to Broncos to Falcons – but none has cut the mustard in Europe. Neither will this.

 

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Mahindra Scorpio Review

OVERVIEW ;

In 1998 Tata launched India’s 1st Indigenous SUV the Tata Safari. Mahindra was not a brand to settle and for a viewing seat. So in 2002 Mahindra launched the 2nd indigenous SUV in India called the Scorpio. This car was more focussed on style than hardcore SUV capabilities. Mahindra Scorpio has developed a great fan following.It is a lot more efficient now and the price remains the same too. With a lot of improvements the Scorpio is almost a new vehicle. Let us check what all is new in the Mahindra Scorpio. Check Price of Scorpio

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

M&M has retained the body of the old car, though most of the panels, except for the roof and doors, are new. The overall proportions are still lopsided, thanks to the excessive height and narrow width of the body (which has an effect on the driving dynamics) and it’s easily recognisable as a Scorpio.It’s the nose that is truly all new and gives the Scorpio a fresh face. The big fan-shaped grille has been replaced with a slimmer but wider design with distinctive looking ‘dagger-shaped’ chrome strips. The headlamp cluster is also superbly designed, with a neat LED strip sitting above the projector lamps. We also loved the way the smart-looking skid plate has been integrated into the tough-looking bumpers. The bonnet scoop adds a sporty touch, apart from feeding cool air directly to the air-to-air intercooler. Find best offers on Scorpio

From the side, the carryover doors and windows make the changes less obvious and the old-fashioned rain channels betray the Scorpio’s vintage.There’s new plastic cladding and a cheesy looking faux vent behind the wheel arch, which don’t really work, but the larger 17-inch wheels do improve the Scorpio’s stance.The plastic cladding on the tailgate with an inset chrome garnish for the number plate do a good job of making the upright Scorpio look less slab-sided from the rear. The tail-lights with their LEDs and clear glass are another design highlight.

Given the limitations the designers had, it’s fair to say they’ve done a pretty good job. The new Scorpio looks far more sophisticated than before, though we are not sure how well this would go down with traditional Scorpio owners. The big changes though are below the body and centre on the all-new ladder or body-on-frame chassis that will underpin future Mahindras. The new chassis is far stiffer and stronger than before, and is designed to meet future crash regulations. The limitations of the body didn’t allow the wheelbase to be altered, though the new chassis can be stretched and widened to suit the dimensions of future models.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Step inside the Scorpio facelift and there is hardly anything that an individual can relate with the previous model. The cabin seems to be extremely advanced and up-market, with an array of never-seen-before sophisticated and contemporary features. To begin with, the SUV has an all-new dual tone black and beige dashboard with new blue-grey interior scheme. The conventional and old-fashioned faux-wooden finish for AC vents and centre console have gone for a toss in favour of new chrome finished A/C vents and premium looking centre console and needless to say, both these upgrades lift the overall ambiance of the cabin tremendously. The new centre console displays all vital informations’ related to gear position, trip distance, fuel and temperature. There is a new steering wheel with audio controls and cruise control mounted on it which is being sourced directly from the elder sibling XUV 500. Vouching for decent comfort and convenience inside the cabin, viola! Mahindra Scorpio comes loaded with an array of such dynamic features which rejuvenates an individual inside out. Some of the prominent ones present in the SUV are Fully automatic temperature control (FATC), Height adjustable driver’s seat, Front centre arm rest, 12V accessory sockets for front and middle rows, Smart rain and light sensors and Reverse parking sensors. By no means, Mahindra intends to hurt the sentiments of music and technology lovers as it has incorporated a new Hi-Tech 6-inch touch screen infotainment system with inbuilt GPS

Navigation/Bluetooth/CD/DVD/USB/Aux in the top-end variant S10. However, the mid-level variants like S6, S6+ and S8 haven’t been left out as they consist of a 2 Din Audio System with CD/USB/AUX with speakers and tweeters as standard features. On the contrary, the entry-level variant S2 seems to be quite lacklustre and impotent as it barely boasts anything in terms of comfort and convenience stuff.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The new Scorpio is powered by either one of two engines, a 2523cc four-pot that makes 75bhp and 200Nm or a 2179cc common-rail diesel with 120bhp and 280Nm. The S10 you see on these pages is powered by the latter and remains old-school in providing drive primarily to the rear wheels, with the fronts getting power as well in the 4WD version. It is a tractable engine, and combined with the slick-shifting gearbox, one can keep a good pace going. It is rated at 15.4kmpl, which is strangely more than the XUV’s. However, it exceeds the Safari Storme’s ARAI figure but lags behind the Duster/Terrano twins by a significant amount. The Scorpio’s engine has a little turbo lag, but things are moving nicely along by the time 1800rpm comes around, and it will rev happily to its redline beyond 4000rpm but there’s no real gain beyond 3000rpm. Keep the revs between 2000 and 3000 rpm, and the Scorpio moves along at a surprising pace. There is no automatic or petrol option available at this point in time. The turning radius of the 2WD model has been reduced to 5.4m but the 4WD remains the same as before at 5.7

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Another huge change on the new Mahindra Scorpio is the chassis. It still is a body-on-ladder frame SUV but the ladder frame has been completely revised for the new model. The frame is lighter and doubly stiff as compared to the older Scorpio. The wheelbase has been kept the same but the tracks – front and rear – are wider in order to reduce the turning circle as well as improve stability. What’s more, the suspension geometry has been altered, there are new more effective dampers and there’s even an anti-roll bar now at the rear. And of course the new Scorpio now runs 17 inch wheels instead of 16 inchers.On the road, the new Scorpio feels better tied down now. There’s still some side to side movement and the ride quality over broken roads is still jiggly, but it isn’t uncomfortable. The ride is also quieter and the increase in travel along with bigger wheels makes the new Mahindra Scorpio almost invincible over pot holes, no matter how huge. As for ease of driving, the shorter turning circle makes it easier to manoeuvre; the visibility is still great upfront and from the sides and via the large ORVMs; and with reverse parking sensors (in this the S10 trim), parking is a non-issue too.

One of the big issues with the older Scorpio was its unrefined dynamics. Even though various improvements were made over its near decade and a half long lifespan, the handling and braking of the Scorpio was never really secure. Now with the new chassis, new track lengths and significant suspension changes, the new Mahindra Scorpio feels a lot more planted. It’s still not a handling or braking benchmark, but you can finally push it hard without a prayer. The steering response is acceptable and even though the Scorpio still rolls and dives, the movements aren’t alarmingly high. The brake feel has improved and the new Scorpio displays less tendency now to swing about under hard braking.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The outgoing Scorpio did feature a longlist of comfort features such as rain sensingwipers, auto lights, tyre pressure monitor,parking sensor, start-stop technology andmore. The new Scorpio carries forwardthese features as well. Safety features likedual-airbags and ABS will continue tobe offered, a new Panic Brake Indicationhas also been included. All the additionsand modifications will add to the pricebut we still think Mahindra will price itcompetitively. The number of variants hasincreased too, allowing buyers to choosethe model that suits them best.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mahindra Scorpio facelift like we said will be launching towards the end of the year 2017 and most probably towards the festive season. The SUV will be getting mild updates to its exterior as well as interior while there won’t be any changes made under the hood. There is a slight possibility of Mahindra introducing a petrol variant alongside the diesel version while it will surely get a new 6-speed automatic transmission as well.

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Nissan Sunny Engine & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The caaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrr has become more affordable now! The Nissan Sunny 2017 is now available at a starting price of INR 7.6 lakhs, on-road, Delhi.This is one of the favorite chauffeur driven cars and offers excellent rear seat comfort and unmatched space. The space inside is nothing short of a Limo. The Sunny was launched in 2011 has been doing fairly well. Nissan had given it a few upgrades recently and now betters it with a lucrative price. Read more on the new Nissan Sunny 2017. Check Price of Sunny

EXTERIORS ;

The Nissan Sunny has never been a looker, it’s a car with neutral styling and the massive length gives it quite the presence on our roads. The Japanese automaker has made multiple changes on the outside which make it look fresh amongst a sea of sedans now vying for buyer’s attention in the C-segment. At the front, the Sunny gets new headlights which are bigger and seem to have taken a slight inspiration from the Altima and Teana with its arrow boomerang shape finishing on the side running deeper into the body. The grille too is new and bigger with thicker chrome surrounds. The front bumper is new as well with a chrome lip while the new fog lamp housing gets a chrome surround. The side remains quite similar, the rear view mirrors are new with side indicators while new wheels caps/alloy wheels (Y-shaped 12-spokes) make a debut.

The rear carries the same tail light while the rear bumper is new with the lower half getting a faux black diffuser to reduce the visual bulk. A sedate rear spoiler is being offered as an accessory, the same is standard on the Sunny in some markets. A new short antenna has been added (shifting the position from the front to the rear), while the boot lid gets a chrome garnish. The Sunny continues to look like its predecessor but the minor changes do make it look appealing. Nissan wants to position the car towards the more mature audience and thus sporty colours (like red) have been discontinued, being replaced by more stately shades, a new black colour has been added which appears purple in the sun.

INTERIORS ;

This rather cheeky marketing campaign has been quite successful in highlighting its best features- cabin space. The Sunny is extremely spacious on the inside; it almost feels like you’re sitting in a purposefully built long wheelbase model. The 2015 Nissan Sunny offers generous space for five adults and room to spare for their luggage. The car is more refined and Nissan has upped the level of comfort. The dashboard looks and feels premium although, the basic layout has been retained even in this updated version as well however you get an all new Piano Black center console which has made things look interesting inside although the most noticeable change is the addition of new steering wheel (the top end variant gets new leather wrapped steering wheel) which comes with audio mounted controls Yes! My friends the Sunny now has its own steering wheel and no longer shares its steering wheel with the hatch Micra. The on-board 2 DIN Wide-display Audio System entertainment system supports USB and iPod and also comes with Bluetooth connectivity. The top end version gets a display screen for the reversing camera. Now coming to the most important part of the Sunny and this is the reason of its popularity in the Indian market, the facelift Sunny continues to provide the same spacious interiors for its occupants inside like its predecessor in addition to that now the Nissan Sunny comes with a refreshed and premium looking cabin. The new seats fabrics have made things even more interesting. You can also get rear adjustable headrests and leather upholstery with the top end variants. The Sunny provides an impressive 490 litres of boot space at the rear which is also a big advantage for this sedan.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

If you are one of those who never forget to carry a stopwatch during their drives, you can leave it at home for this one. The Push engine start key does its job in this one as well. The 2011 Nissan Sunny is not the one that can be termed as the driver`s delight. The Sunny is powered by a 1498 cc, 4 Cylinder, 16 Valves DOHC engine. The power figures are decent 99 PS @ 6000 rpm and a torque of 134Nm @ 4000 rpm.

These figures are not performance oriented, especially if power to weight ratio is considered. For every single bhp it pulls 10.32kgs which makes the car obviously sluggish. The mid range power delivery is not as impressive as its American rival. The gear shifts are not something which would go unnoticed. It`s on the harder side. We did some performance driving but were struggling to reach the top whack.What earns my thumbs up is the low range revving of the motor. At lower revs and at higher gears, The Sunny won’t struggle or knock. It maintains its own calm. The Mcpherson suspensions were not totally tested by us, but still we got a nimble response from it.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The front MacPherson strut and the rear torsion bar suspension set-up works well for the Sunny and is a blessing on the kind of roads found in India. It is very forgiving and can take on any pothole or bump without sending you straight to the first spinal cord clinic en route! This works against the Vettel types who would seem to be all at sea with the car wallowing in the high speed corners but then there is always the 370Z and the GTR for this lot. Excellent ground clearance is another major attribute for our terrain, yes, urban and rural and thanks are also due to the 185/65-R15 tyres (ours was the top-of-the-line offering which has this size rubber while the other two versions make do with 185/70-R14 Bridgestones) for the fine poise and the ride quality. Among the other positive attributes of this big ’un in a very competitive segment poised for take-off is the fine and comfortable driving position with ample all-round visibility coupled to a very light yet precise steering. Both of these make themselves felt and count when gliding through traffic on our city roads despite the obvious girth of the vehicle.

SAFETY ;

One area where the Sunny scores is its fuel efficiency. The light weight and moderately powerful engines mean that the Sunny is not particularly thirsty. Nissan India claims the diesel Sunny manages 22 km/l in test conditions and the petrol CVT is close to 18 km/l. Of course, real world figures are lower, but oour experience has been that the Sunny really is among the most fuel efficient mid-size sedans in the country. . VERDICT ;

The Sunny has always been the stepson of the segment, recommended to those who want value rather than features or snob value. No more, not with the features list that is now available with the Sunny. Nissan has gone for a relatively safe strategy and not offered a top-spec petrol (yet), instead preferring to promote the diesel. If Nissan manages to keep the 2014 Sunny within Rs 20,000 of its predecessor, it will make an extremely strong case for itself if you’re looking for an alternative to the segment’s usual picks, the Honda City and Hyundai Verna.

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Honda Brio Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

Honda Cars launched the new Amaze at the start of the year. The second we set eyes on it, we knew that the new Honda Brio would be just around the corner as well, the company just kept mum about it. Well, we were right and here it is, the new Brio, ladies and gentlemen.

The changes which Honda have made are not mechanical, where they have chosen to focus their attention on is the styling and features. A mid-life upgrade, if you will. Well the old Honda Brio was a car that provided the individual quirky looks, Honda reliability and affordability. However, it needed something more and that comes in the shape of the new Brio we test drive today. Check Price of Brio

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The Honda Brio was showcased as a futuristic concept in the previous, 10th edition of the Auto Expo held in Delhi last year. Of course, the final production version of the Brio doesn’t quite have all the sci-fi features that the concept featured, but it has carried forward much of the design concept. The Brio’s design is classically Honda. Starting from the shape of the headlamps to the aerodynamic profile, to the broad bonnet grille with the H logo in the middle and the character lines, the Brio’s design features can all be traced back to other Honda hatches. Yet, the Brio is distinctive and very unique in the brand’s line up.

A number of simple, relatively straight lines that are meant to enhance the perception of length and width of the Brio have been integrated. There is also a lot of clarity and purpose with merging lines that give the Brio’s design a lot of sophistication – like the front bumper lip that seems to merge into the shoulder line and the aerodynamic profiling for the door mirrors that merge with the base of the windscreen.

The rear design of the Brio is the most simplistic. Triangular tail-lamps that have been peeled back and into the side panels try to offer some relief with a circular, cutaway, integrated stop lamp. The hatch door is frameless and all glass and it ends just a couple of inches above the base of the tail-lamps. The glass hatch door sports the Honda logo and Brio badging. The oversized rear bumper gives the Brio a squat, wide stance, as does the more prominent rear wheel arch. A rear wiper option is not offered with the Brio

INTERIOR AND SPACE ;

The plastic quality of interiors might not be what you expect of a Honda. Clearly, the company has done some cost cutting and it shows. There are some flimsy plastics, which scratch and come off quite easily. However, the overall quality is at par, if not less, than the competition.

Although there is enough room to seat five adults in the car, where the car lacks in is the boot space and is a big disappointment. Honda’s engineers have utilized the interior space in a way that maximum space is provided to the occupants while the boot has been relatively ignored, which isn’t big enough to store anything more than your groceries and vegetables. That said, the car feels airy and fresh, thanks to the large glass areas and the light beige plastics inside. The Honda Brio gets features such as power windows, steering-mounted audio controls, bluetooth and aux-in connectivity, defogger, electric mirrors, cup holders, etc. The car also gets projector halogen headlamps and push button keyless start. The Brio does miss out on the climate control, which could’ve given the car a more luxurious appeal. A dead pedal is sorely missed too, which is a clear oversight on Honda’s part.

ENGINE AND PERFPRMANCE ;

So when you look into the business end of the Brio, you find the familiar 1.2-litre i-VTEC mill that you find in the Jazz as well. Thankfully, Honda hasn’t decided to do something drastic such as downsize the engine for this smaller car, or something as dire as lopping off a cylinder to achieve that. What Honda has done is smartly retune the motor in keeping with the ‘city car’ aspect of the Brio. The 1198cc motor now produces 88PS of power which comes at 6,000rpm and a decent torque of 109Nm, available at 4,600rpm. The five-speed manual gearbox which sends that power and torque to the front wheels features revised ratios as well, which are very well suited to capitalise the new state of tune of the engine. What really works in favour of the engine is its unimaginable levels of refinement it offers. During our test drive, we were tempted to turn the key again to bring it to life when we though the engine was switched off, when it was already running, turning away at idle rpm.

With a state of tune that favours city driving over spirited, corner carving shenanigans, one would expect the performance to be rather on the low side. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The dash to 100km/h from standstill is completed in just 14.36 seconds – the second quickest we’ve tested for any 1.2-litre hatchback so far, just a couple of tenths more than the Hyundai i10 Kappa. While the acceleration from zero certainly is impressive, the in-gear roll-on is quite strong as well. Put your foot down at 60km/h in fifth gear, and the 100km/h mark comes up in just 21.33 seconds. In fact, try the same from as low as 40km/h, and still the Brio doesn’t bog down at all – something that even more powerful cars available in the market struggle with.

The only place where the Brio’s engine shows its lower state of tune is in its top speed. With the torque dropping off sharply after its peak at 4,600rpm, the Brio runs out of steam after 142km/h when going for a top speed run. While it eventually will hit the company claimed 150km/h mark, it would need a really long straight, and maybe a bit of a slope to do so. But top speed figures are not what really determine a car’s worth. When it comes to driveability, the Brio scores high marks, be it in bumper-to-bumper city traffic, or even cruising at highway speeds.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Honda Brio is underpinned by a very potent platform in terms of dynamics. This is why currently Honda has four products based on the same platform including two 7-seaters. The Brio can handle triple digit speeds with good stability on the highways. The ride quality is flat most of the times and it doesn’t unsettle on bad roads. Since it is a light hatchback, the handling is brisk and the Honda Brio feels eager to take corners hard. The steering feels direct and very predictable while cornering. Braking performance is quite effective too having a strong pedal bite. There are no mechanical changes so you won’t feel any difference compared to the pre-facelift model.

SAFETY

CThe braking performance of the Brio is decent and on par with its rivals. The top version comes with ABS, further helping in the braking performance. The 175 mm-wide tyres also provide for a decent braking performance.

The front wheels have got ventilated disc brakes while the rear ones have drum brakes. The brakes do a good job in stopping this sprightly little hatch, thanks to the lightness of the car. The car has passive safety tech such as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). The ABS system helps in case of sudden braking situations, and prevents the car from skidding and going out of control.

VERDICT ;

It wouldn’t need much of a stretch of imagination to call what Honda has on its hands a ‘perfect city car’. The Brio really hits all the essential nails perfectly in the head, be it convenience, comfort, driving pleasure and more importantly, the right price point. Coupled with the excellent reputation that Honda enjoys in India, the deal almost seems too sweet to be true. Even in this era where every car maker has a highly competitive product in this segment, you will be really hard pressed to find another hatchback that offers so many features, such great quality, absolutely premium feel and a brag-worthy badge on the front grille in one delectable package.

 

 

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Honda Jazz Engine & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

It looks like Honda has been readying the facelift Jazz hatchback in Japan. This is the mid-life facelift that the new generation hatchback will receive. Some Reports states that the facelift Jazz hatchback which is popularly known as Honda Fit will be launching within the next few months in the markets of Japan. Now the popularity of the premium hatchback from Honda has risen to a great extent in the recent year’s credit goes to the Indian consumers who are now getting their hands on the premium hatchbacks as well. Check Ex Showroom Price of Jazz

The upcoming Jazz hatchbacks according to the leaked reports on the internet are getting plenty of exterior as well interior changes. These changes will make the hatchback a far better competitive rival to the Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Baleno.

EXTERIORS ;

The Honda Jazz has a strong design identity of its own and thus all three generations of this hatchback show an evolutionary direction. One might be tempted to call this car a compact MPV as certain angles does make it look like a shrunk down MPV. There are certainly some nice design elements which make the Jazz look premium like the headlights which are similar to the City (they are single barrel while the City gets dual barrel), they merge into the grille that gets a piano black finishing and a chrome line below. Honda’s angular design does make the Jazz look attractive at the front while at the side, the Jazz come across as big which is largely due to the glass area, the vehicle getting both front and rear quarter-glass for added green house. Find best offers on Jazz

The B and C pillars are blackened which will certainly look good on light colours like white while a strong belt line runs from the door, merging with the rear tail light at the top and flowing through the rear bumper on the bottom. The tyres look small on the car and bigger wheels (at least on the top spec trims) would have made the car look more balanced. The rear is nicely done with reflectors right next to the windscreen while a large chrome bar is right below, featuring the Honda logo. The reflector and rear LED tail lights together make the rear portion look a bit like the Volvo V40. There is also a rear spoiler (the VX trim gets a bigger one) with stop lamp while the bumper has a black rectangle mesh finish on either side to reduce the visual bulk. Just like all other Hondas, the design of the Jazz isn’t outright exciting or eye catchy but it does have subtle appeal.

INTERIORS ;

The Jazz shares the dashboard with the City and it has a really funky design with a flurry of asymmetric cues. It is well thought-out, with nice touches, including multiple cubby-holes and the touch controls for the air-con. There are as many as nine cupholders and quite a few cubbyholes too, so you won’t find yourself short on storage spaces for small items. Quality is quite decent, but it still can’t match the Hyundai as far as fit and finish is concerned. Also, overall plastic quality, though largely good, is still a notch down on the class best.The top-of-the-line Jazz comes with an all-black cabin which looks quite sporty. Apart from the top VX, all other variants get beige fabric, which makes the cabin feel even more airy, but gets soiled easily.

Like the old car, the brilliance of the Jazz lies in its unbelievable space efficiency. Entry into the massive cabin is made easy by large doors which open wide. Outward visibility is good, thanks to the generous glass area, but the front quarter-windows near the slim A-pillars obstruct view. The front seats have a tall seating position and are pretty broad with generous bolstering, comfortable over long journeys. In the rear, the seat squab is a touch short, so under-thigh support is not as good as we would have liked. Other than that, it’s hard to fault the back seat. The adjustable back rest, terrific head and legroom, plus generous width, make the Jazz’s bench comfortable. The flexible manner in which the rear seats function is also outstanding. But unlike the old car, only top-spec Jazz models will get the ‘magic seats’ at the back. These seats split, fold flat and flip upwards to make space for all shapes and sizes of cargo – that’s if the massive 354-litre boot won’t meet your needs anyway. These seats now also allow you to form a recliner by pushing the front seat backrests fully till they meet the rear seat base.

The top Jazz VX trim comes equipped with a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There’s also satellite navigation, a reclining back seat, automatic climate control with feather-touch operation, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, height adjustable driver’s seat, a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel and auto folding rear-view mirrors. On the safety front, it comes equipped with two airbags and ABS with EBD. Surprisingly, although it gets a reversing camera, there are no parking sensors.

PERFORMANCE ;

The engines on offer on the Jazz are the 1.2-litre petrol with a five-speed manual transmission and the other is a CVT (continuously variable transmission). This will be the engine is higher demand as the price between petrol and diesel have narrowed and there is a higher demand for petrol cars now. This petrol engine has sufficient grunt to drive in the city, however you need to work your way up to extract the best possible performance. The Honda Jazz 2016 is more powerful than its competition not just on paper but even in real world. The Jazz petrol has a fuel efficiency of about 12-14 km/l in the city, while on the highway it will be between 14-16km/l.

The second engine in the Honda Jazz 2016 is the 1.5-litre diesel that churns out 98bhp of power and 200Nm of peak torque. This comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine has sufficient grunt to be driven in the city or on the highway. There is sufficient pull available from the engine at almost any rev range. The diesel is a lot more powerful than the petrol and even its competition. Its ease of driving gives it an edge over the competition. The diesel is a lot more fuel-efficient than its current competitors. In the city, it will return about 15-17km/l, while on the highway it will be between 18-23km/l depending on your driving.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The ride quality of Honda Jazz 2016 is good and is also an improvement over earlier Hondas. It does a good job of absorbing the bumps. The Michelin Energy Saving tyres help to increase the fuel efficiency of the Honda Jazz 2016, however, they aren’t that sticky on the road. The handling of the Jazz is good. This along with the peppiness of the diesel, is a great combination. The steering feedback is excellent and it weighs up well. This is indeed one of the much better electronic power steerings in the market.

SAFETY ;

The front passengers are shielded with the presence of dual airbags. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) are offered as well. Along with this, you also get a rear parking camera, front fog lamps, driver seatbelt reminder, rear windshield defogger and an immobiliser.

VERDICT ;

We Indians are hatchback crazy. It’s no secret that we simply cannot get enough of their practicality, ease of use or the low running costs and a few other distinct advantages that they have over sedans or SUVs. Needless to say, carmakers are well-versed with this trend and have actively introduced new and improved products over the years. And although a similar movement is taking place in the flourishing compact crossover space, it’s the hatchbacks that continue to demand a lot of time and effort from established carmakers. Honda, for one, is making all the right noises with the Jazz. The new Jazz certainly looks the part, has a versatile cabin with loads of space and for the first time – the efficiency of a diesel motor. It’s still not an enthusiast’s choice but that’s passable because it’s not what Honda was looking to make here. The Jazz is all about practicality and you get plenty of it.

 

 

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Renault Captur Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

The Duster has been a smash hit for Renault in India, bringing many new buyers to a brand not very popular until then. The Kwid further established the French carmaker’s credibility and now, Renault hopes to repeat the success with the Captur, a premium SUV with strong crossover DNA.The Captur shares the engine, transmission and chassis with the Duster, which is a good thing as they’ve proved their mettle over the years. But what makes it more expensive than the Duster. We’ll find the answer in this review. check EX Showroom Price of Captur

EXTERIORS ;

The Captur’s crossover design may not appeal to all at first glance. But, spend some time with it and the edgy design grows on you. We once parked it next to a Duster at a restaurant and were pleasantly surprised at how mature the Captur looked. Yes, it isn’t as tall as a conventional boxy SUV, but there’s no doubt that it looks like a premium offering. Will you give it a second glance? Oh yes. It’s got a bit of novelty on its side for now, and the bright orange colour our test car wore only aided the eye-ball grabbing. There are some premium car elements here too. That includes the full-LED headlamps and the Audi-like ‘dynamic’ turn indicators. Low beam has a wide spread and a long throw too. But, in terms of illumination – it felt just a bit brighter than the LED projectors we’ve used in the Ignis or the Dzire. Find best offers on Captur

The profile and the rear are a notch understated compared to the face. The design here has some understated French flair, which is going to be an acquired taste for most. That said, the 17-inch wheels look classy, and the 215/60R17 tyres look just right sitting under the flared wheel arches.The two-tone is well-executed, and it’s easy to see why Renault say the Captur was designed to sport a dual-tone paint scheme even since it was conceptualised. Keep in mind that the dual-tone combination will be an option. There’s quite a lot of customisation options on offer as well, which should give you the liberty to deck the Captur up the way you want to. From the rear, the Captur tries hard to shrug off the resemblance to the little Kwid. The tail lamps, the bumper and the windscreen all look like polished, grown-up version of the hatchback. That’s not necessarily a bad thing in our books, though.

INTERIORS ;

While there’s nothing to complain about the chic exteriors, the interiors are a bit of a hit-and-miss. The wrap-around dashboard is a fresh design and certainly feels like a step up from the Duster’s. There are also some great design touches such as the butterfly-shaped instrument cluster that gets a large digital speedometer in the centre, flanked by a tachometer and a fuel gauge. And I really like the ambient LED lighting and design of the air conditioner controls. However, our biggest gripe is the type of materials that have been used for the dashboard and the overall use of hard plastics for the interiors. They don’t feel as upmarket as they should for a car in this category, especially the roof liner which feels like it’s from one full segment below.Then there are some slightly wonky design elements, like the centre armrest – it doesn’t fold away and interferes with the operation of the handbrake lever. We really hope that all variants of the Captur offer hill- hold assist; trying to start moving from a standstill on an incline will be quite tricky otherwise. Then there are the front seats. Only the driver’s seat gets height-adjust, which is fine. What isn’t fine, however, is the fact that even the lowest setting on the seat is so high that it not only gives you a commanding view of the road but also of the entire top of the very large dashboard; this serves as a visual reminder of the basic quality of plastics that populate much of the cabin. And, if you’re on the taller side, say over 6ft, you are going to be uncomfortably close to the roof. The other ‘fit’ issue with the Captur can be found in driver’s footwell. The pedals are well proportioned and placed, but forget a dead pedal, there’s almost no space to the left of the clutch. This means the driver needs to keep his left foot under the clutch pedal when cruising; not an easy transition to make if you have large feet.

Renault made a big deal about its ‘panoramic’ windscreen and minimal A-pillars, along with the quarter windows designed to provide you much better situational awareness of what’s around and in front of you. While the side-to-side visibility is great, sitting so high up behind a raked windshield cuts out a bit of the view of the sky. Now, this isn’t a problem when it comes to driving, but it does give you a feeling of looking at the world through a narrow letterbox.The front seats themselves aren’t too bad though. The two-tone white- and-black leatherette seats look and feel good, and there’s enough support for your back and under-thighs, as well as sufficient bolstering for your shoulders when tossing the car around corners. The design and similar contouring are seen on the rear seats as well. While two adults, or even three in a pinch, can sit fairly comfortably, the kneeroom is nothing to write home about, and the rising window line robs the back of some airiness. The rear cabin space also gets its own set of AC vents which should be useful on hot days.

PERFORMANCE ;

The Captur is powered by the very familiar 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine. Although this 108bhp motor is identical to the Duster, Renault has fine-tuned it, to boost refinement and drivability. Unlike our experience in the Duster which has pronounced turbo-lag under 2000rpm, the Captur feel more linear and there is a nice build-up of power from as low as 1600rpm. It felt significantly more refined too thanks to the better sound insulation. This motor comes in its own beyond 2000rpm and carries on till 4300rpm, after which power tails off. Even on the highway the punchy mid-range makes overtaking just a flex of the right foot away. Although the sixth gear ratio is really tall, it’s a great cruising tool that keeps the engine spinning at just about 2,000rpm at 100kph; great for stretching your fuel tank. The Captur will be a better city run about than the Duster too thanks to the lighter clutch and slicker gearbox. Like the Duster, the Captur’s ride quality is exceptional. It smothers even the biggest of potholes with ease and even on rough roads you can maintain a fair clip. In fact, the faster you go, the better the ride. Also Renault has worked hard on the refinement and it has paid dividends. The cabin is very well insulated from the outside and it’s only when you cross the three-digit mark that there’s some wind noise entering the cabin through the A-pillars.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Captur is dynamically very sound and it was bound to be since it shares it underpinnings with the Duster. Handling characteristics are very similar to the Duster. The steering offers good feedback, sometimes more than you would like. It still has the mid-turn kickback but can be irritating at times. Nevertheless, this is the best steering in the segment as far as enthusiastic driving is concerned. The Captur is not unnerved in changing direction and while doing so there isn’t much body roll.The Captur offers a very settled ride. It is barely moved by rough and bad roads. At slow speeds, almost every undulation is filtered before it reaches the cabin. At high speeds, the rear passengers did feel a few jolts over very rough roads but overall, the passengers would find no reason to complain as far as ride is concerned. Braking performance is progressive with the pedal offering good bite.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The list of Renault Captur safety features include Front Disc Brakes, Drum on Rear, ABS with EBD, Rear Parking Sensors, Central Locking, Driver & Passenger Airbags, Crash Sensors, Rear Seat Belts, Seat Belt Warning, Power Door Lock, Child Safety Locks, Side & Front Impact Beams, Passenger Side Rear View Mirror, Rear Camera, Centrally Mounted Fuel Tank, Engine Immobilizer, Automatic Headlamps, Follow Me Home Headlamps and ISOFIX Child Seat.

VERDICT ;

So on the whole is the Captur a welcome addition to the market? Yes most certainly. It is stylish, offers unique style and is unlike another product in many ways. The fact that Renault is going to town with personalization options is also great. These span everything from excessive (!) chrome add-ons to theme-based decals, even an array of roof wraps and a cool chrome embellishment for the front grille (kind of reminds me of the A-Class’ diamond grille). Now to the prices – which start at ₹ 9.99 lakh for the petrol and go all the up to ₹ 13.88 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the top-end diesel model. The car will compete in the C-SUV space (compact SUV) and that currently sees products like Creta, Compass, etc. All I know is that I would have been surprised if Renault were to price the car at a premium. the current prices are very aggressive – as this is a Duster rival too after all. There are just three variants on offer and the base RXe variant comes with plenty of equipment, as I too pointed out earlier. Is the space hotting up then? You bet! Your move Maruti Suzuki (S-Cross facelift notwithstanding)! Dare I say the Vitara, baby?

 

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Fiat Linea Classic Review & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

The Fiat Linea Classic is a beautiful car, make no mistake about it. The Linea has been sold for quite a few years in the Indian market though it has not really set the charts on fire in terms of sales. However, there’s no denying that it is a beautiful car. However, the expensive price tag of the regular Linea has put it out of reach of the masses. Fiat has now taken a cue from Ford and has launched a version of the Linea at a more affordable price point. The company has chopped prices by removing some features instead of developing a whole new sub 4m Linea. check EX Showroom Price of Linea Classic.

EXTERIORS ;

Its image is well designed with plenty of aesthetics that make it look very elegant. Its front fascia consists of a bumper which is in body color. This is available to all the variants as a standard feature. While the front radiator grille in the top end is in silver, rest have it in black. Whereas, grille has chrome over its surround. On its either sides, there are dual parabola headlamps integrated. Outside door handles as well as the outside rear view mirrors are painted in body tone. There are steel wheels integrated to all the trims, while the top end is offered with wheel covers. The rear end has a sleek boot lid with a pair of radiant tail lamps surrounding it. This also has a company emblem in the center along with the other standard variant badging as well.

INTERIORS ;

The Linea Classic comes with a grey dashboard with beige seats and accent pieces. The dashboard is quite similar to the Linea T-Jet though several features of the regular car are missing here. The Classic has a conventional knob-type air conditioning system in comparison to climate control offered in higher spec vehicles. The Classic Plus does get a climate control air conditioning option though. The infotainment system also seems to be dated. The Blue and Me Bluetooth setup is missing along with USB and Aux input.The car also gets manually adjusted rear view mirrors instead of electronically adjusted ones. There are no steering mounted controls and the instrument binnacle has been revamped. The seats have also been revamped and are definitely not as comfortable as the regular sedan. However, there is ample space as compared to several vehicles at a similar price point. There is a supersized boot in place as well.

PERFORMANCE ;

When Fiat launched the Linea Classic, we all were skeptical about how it would perform as the 1.3-litre Multijet diesel engine only outputs 75 BHP of power and 190 Nm of torque, which is down on the regular Linea’s 90 HP and 209 Nm. Considering the regular Linea isn’t quick and the Linea Classic also weighs as much, we were expecting disappointing performance. However the Linea Classic has surprised us with the way it moves. The engine lacks VGT which has somehow become a blessing for the car in city conditions. Unlike the VGT equipped Linea diesel, this lower output motor has turbolag well contained which gives it slick performance in the city.

The Linea Classic’s mill is very tractable and power delivery is linear. You will never feel the lack of ponies in city conditions. Want to amble around town at 20 km/hr, sure you can do that in third gear without a hitch. 100 km/hr comes up in third gear near the redline while cruising on the highways in top gear at 100 km/hr will make the tacho needle tick at around 2500 RPM. What further complements the Linea Classic’s drivability is the light clutch with a dead pedal although the gearbox is a bit resistant and isn’t a fast shifting unit. One can expect a mileage of 14 km/l in the city and 16 km/l on the highway with 100% AC usage.

The meat of the performance comes between 2000-3500 RPM and post that the Linea Classic’ powerplant really starts to lose breath. NVH levels are good in the lower part of the powerband but once past 3000 RPM, the oil burner starts becoming audible and is very loud post 4000 RPM. The motor itself is very lethargic in the higher end of the power band and redline comes in at 5100 RPM. This isn’t a car you would want to rev hard as there is no top end power. Thus the Linea Classic doesn’t far well in outright acceleration and 0-100 km/hr takes around 18 seconds. You need to downshift on the highways to get going while overtaking.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

With regards to the braking mechanism of this sedan, front wheels are equipped with ventilated disc brakes whereas, the rear ones have a pair of standard drum brakes. It is further integrated with an anti-lock braking system with an electronic brake-force distribution. This will allow the driver to have stronger control over the vehicle over all kinds of roads. In case of suspension, the front axle has an independent wheel whereas, the rear axle is mated with a torsion beam type suspension. These axles are integrated with helical coil springs with double acting telescopic dampers along with a stabilizer bar. A hydraulic based power assisted steering is bestowed for much efficient handling along with tilt adjustment facility. About 5.4 meters of its minimum turning radius is very useful, particularly on narrow roads.

SAFETY ;

The Fiat Linea Classic feature anti-lock braking system in Classic plus and Classic plus alloy wheel variant of Multijet diesel version. The safety features such as engine immobilizer, double crank prevention system, fire prevention system are available in all Linea Classic variants.

VERDICT ;

The Linea Classic is definitely one of the most beautiful, spacious and comfortable sedans out there and the price point is particularly attractive as well. If you can make do with the lack of some features, this is the car for you. To know more about Fiat Cars in India, visit here for more details.

 

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Volkswagen Ameo Price & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

If you are out looking for a practical compact sedan, there’s a new entry heading your way from the land of the hyper speed autobahns and beer gardens or ‘Biergarten’, as the locals would say.

The Volkswagen Ameo, which will be delivered to customers starting next month, is the long overdue result of VW attempting to crack the escalating compact sedan segment. Essentially a boot-ed version of the Polo, the Ameo is the first ever VW model to be designed purely for the Indian market and the brand has made no bones about the fact that it’s betting big on this car.Check Ex Showroom Price of  Ameo

On paper the Ameo checks most of the right boxes and it certainly looks and feels the part. But going beyond what’s apparent, how well does it behave out on the road and more importantly, is it a worthy alternative to the current crop of compact sedans? A brief drive across the scenic route towards Wai suggests it just might be

EXTERIORS ;

The design of the Ameo. On the outside and for the most part inside the cabin too, the design and layout remains identical to the petrol version. Like is the case also with almost all the other compact sedans, the Ameo looks a bit gawky when viewed from the side. The stubby boot is disproportionate with the front of the car, and the impression that the third box has been slapped on to the rear of the hatchback is inescapable. But, the design doesn’t hurt the eye and in fact, viewed straight-on from the rear, the Ameo’s design actually seems to have a unique character which still ties in well with other VW cars. Find best offers on Ameo

All the familiar design elements of the Polo are there in the Ameo TDI diesel too, as also some of the distinguishing tweaks to the design of the airdam, front fender, the new tail-lamps and boot lid

INTERIORS ;

The Volkswagen Ameo diesel has the same interiors as the petrol model and there is nothing to differentiate between the two models except the tachometer which is marked till 6000 RPM on the oil burner. The dual-tone black and beige interiors look very nice and this is nothing but a Polo cabin with slight improvements to the rear headroom due to the re-designed C-pillar. But the rear seat lacks in legroom, knee room and under-thigh support so this isn’t a car you would want to sit behind, specially if you are tall.

The Volkswagen Ameo is equipped with a ton of features, many of them are segment first like rain-sensing wipers, cruise control, window opening and closing using key remote, one-touch up/down for all windows and anti-pinch windows. There are decent amount of storage spaces but the boot is far from being the biggest in the segment. Where the Ameo can’t be matched is the build quality, it feels very solidly put-together and is made like a tank.

ENGINE ;

The Volkswagen Ameo is available with a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine. The petrol is available with a five-speed manual and the diesel even has an option of a seven-speed DSG. The NVH levels on both the engines are a bit off. There is more than sufficient power in the petrol and the diesel is certainly a lot more powerful. The petrol engine is noisy and the diesel engine has a lot of clatter noise. Overtaking is a breeze with the diesel engine, however the petrol needs a downshift. The automatic version of the diesel is a lot more comfortable to drive and convenient to use.

Drivability is good on both. The sudden boost after 1800rpm is reveling. There is always the joy of driving the diesel engine. Also, the clutch is a tad deeper than the petrol engine. The diesel clutch is heavy, which makes it difficult to drive in city traffic.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Don’t let the sporty looking flat-bottom steering wheel fool you. The Ameo is a compact sedan, after all, and it handles exactly like it’s supposed to. Like all other cars in its class, the Ameo’s suspension set up has been oriented towards comfort. That said, it has got the second best balance between ride and handling, after the Honda Amaze. The steering on the Ameo feels vague around the straight-ahead position and is slow to turn in. It’s initially light but becomes gradually heavier as more lock is applied. All in all, it lacks the consistency in feel that’s to be found in rivals like the Ford Figo Aspire.

The production-spec Ameo rides on 15-inch wheels as opposed to the bigger 16-inchers seen on the show car at the Auto Expo. Nevertheless, the Ameo’s ride quality is quite good – we sampled it across both pothole-ridden city streets and wide open tarmac on the highway. It deals with undulated surfaces rather well despite transmitting some sharp bumps from on the road into the cabin. So what’s not to like in terms of dynamics? Well, the Ameo, like all other compact sedans, has that inherent floatiness to its high speed ride. One has to make constant steering corrections to keep the thing true to its line.

VERDICT ;

The Volkswagen Ameo diesel is a very good package since it comes with great build quality, loaded equipment list, a power packed engine and two really nice gearboxes. The compact sedan does look a bit quirky from certain angles but looks are always subjective. Overall, Volkswagen has got a really fine product on their hands with the Ameo TDI and we really wish it fetches more sales now because the numbers of the petrol Ameo have been far from satisfying.