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Maruti Suzuki Celerio Facelift First Drive

OVERVIEW

Maruti’s small cars are always much-awaited and come pre-loaded with market-shaking potential. It is, however, true that after the Swift, there hasn’t been a hatchback from Maruti-Suzuki that has really rocked the passenger car market.But, the next small car from Maruti – the Celerio, due out at the Auto Expo next week, looks like it can disrupt the market. Get Ex Showroom Price of Celerio in Carzprice

The Celerio has been developed from the ground up on a completely new platform and has been endowed with a special automatic gearbox that Maruti officials believe with revolutionise the way we drive. The design of the Celerio is based on the A-Wind concept that Suzuki showcased at the Thai Auto show.

This new hatch has been built to fit into and complement Maruti’s portfolio of small cars, but it is also meant to take on new competitors in the segment such as the Hyundai Grand i10. The Celerio is just a bit smaller than the Grand i10 in terms of length and width, but matches the wheelbase and is even a bit taller than the latter

EXTERIORS

From various angles the Celerio brings to mind the Toyota Etios Liva, especially that smiling grille with the twin smiling slats flanking the Suzuki Logo. In fact, if you took off the Suzuki logo and replaced it with a Toyota badge you could easily fool anyone into mistaking this car for the latter. As it is, driving this car on the busy roads around Jodhpur did not elicit much interest from the very people who would in the near future be buying this car, the aam janta! And let me tell you in the past there hasn’t been a single new car that hasn’t grabbed attention on these drives. Find best offers on Maruti Celerio

At the front, the bumper is a strong element of the design and looks sturdy and well-sculpted, though the inverted curve to the lower air dam and the single fog lamps scooped inside the bumper continue to remind you of the Etios Liva. I like the hood which has this slight clamshell effect to it and gives the Celerio a sporty character.

The side profile is sculpted with two sweeping character lines that appear running parallel to each other. The one running along the shoulder starts at the fender and sweeps upwards towards the rear window with a sculpted kink. The outside rear view mirrors with integrated turn lamps and smaller indicator lamps on the fenders are the only ornaments that give this profile a sparkle. The rear is my least favourite area. The tallish tail lamps look a bit out of place, though the chunky bumpers look quite in sync with the rest of the body shell. The rear tail gate can only be accessed from the outside and not from within the car.

Where dimensions are concerned, the Celerio is comfortably long and wide, though to put it in comparison, it’s shorter in length than the Hyundai Grand i10 though taller by a few inches. At 2.425 metres, however, both hatchbacks share the same wheelbase and that also means the Celerio has substantial amounts of interior space, especially knee room, just like the Grand i10.

INTERIORS

As with the exterior, Maruti has played it very safe with the cabin. The two-tone dashboard uses a rather basic design, and though the instrument cluster is easy to read, it looks very bland. Plastic quality is good, but still not up there with Hyundai. It scores decently on practicality too, and though the front door pockets are slim, the rear ones house bottle holders. There’s another bottle holder between the front seats, a pair of cupholders near the gear lever and a medium-size glovebox. For luggage, you have 235 litres once you get past the tall loading lip, but you can also split-fold the seat for even more room.

Space is a strong point of the Celerio, with good headroom in all seats. Three adults in the back is a bit of a squeeze, but legroom is decent, and you get a good sense of space too. Apart from a slightly short seat squab and the low-set, fixed head restraints, the seats are really comfortable as well. Even the fixed-headrest front seats, though they don’t look the plushest, serve up a good mix of softness and support. The equipment level is acceptable and this ZDi (O) gets features like Bluetooth, driver’s seat height adjustment, steering-mounted controls, electrically adjustable mirrors, ABS and two airbags.

PERFORMANCE

The Celerio is being offered only with a petrol engine, though there are rumours already that Maruti Suzuki has developed a small, diesel engine in-house for use in the car. The same may be showcased at the Expo and potentially make it to showrooms late this year or early next year.

The engine that the Celerio will be launched with is the same one-litre K 10B engine that is currently available in the A-Star, Alto K10 and the Wagon-R. The engine is being offered in the same state of tune too. (See the Tech Spec box for more info.)

The story of the Celerio is actually inside the bonnet, but if the engine is a carry over, then what is different?

It is the new automatic gearbox that Maruti and Suzuki engineers have developed specially for the car, and which promises to be frugal both in terms of costs and in terms of fuel consumption. The new EZ Drive auto gear shift promises to do just that shift the gears on your behalf and it is a unique solution that is going to lead to a lot of clones cropping up amongst competitors. (Read more about it in the adjoining story).

The Celerio drives like a perfect city car. For an engine in this class, there is enough power and torque available on tap for all sorts of urban driving conditions and some more for the average highway cycle. The car is also offered with a 5-speed manual gearbox.

DRIVING

The suspension is soft enough to iron out road imperfections but the light car that it is, allows Maruti to keep the tune stiff enough for the Celerio to feel composed at high speeds. You don’t feel as nervous north of 100kmph in the Celerio as you would in an i10. The Celerio is a predictable handler too, fun to chuck around corners when you pick up the pace but the tyres could have offered more grip, especially in the diesel as there is more weight up front.

It is a given that a Maruti has to be an easy car to use in the city, and with the Celerio it’s no different. Light steering and good visibility out of the cabin coupled with nearly straight lined sides make for some precision driving when you are weaving through traffic. If there is one drawback in the diesel, it’s the lack of low end punch.

BOTOMLINE

The Celerio CNG is one of the most affordable hatchback in its segment and is the perfect package. The Wagon R’s interiors have started to look aged and the Celerio is a better option to pick as you will look at keeping the car for a period of three to five years. At the price and the mileage, Celerio CNG is a great buy. Wish it was also available in the ZXi variant also

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Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Facelift First Drive

OVERVIEW

It’s easy to see why the MPV (Multi Purpose Vehicle) segment is one of the most successful here in India. With large families predominant here, the average sedan is just not enough. The MPV, however, not only seats 5 or 7 in comfort but also carries everyone’s luggage with room to spare. And to top it all, it drives just as well as your everyday sedan. The Toyota Innova has been leading this scene ever since its inception, and Maruti Suzuki’s all-new Ertiga, though not the same size, aims to offer almost the same at a lot less. Check for specifications,features & price of  Maruti Cars

EXTERIORS

The Ertiga’s wheelbase, at 2740mm, is a considerable 310mm longer than the Swift’s and the kerb weight has increased by around 155kg. But this is impressive considering it’s a seven-seater. Suzuki has kept the Ertiga’s weight in check with extensive use of lightweight high-tensile steel in its construction.

With a length of 4265mm, the Ertiga is a fair bit shorter than the other MPVs in the market, namely the Toyota Innova, Mahindra Xylo and Tata Aria. The Ertiga employs an independent, MacPherson-strut, coil-spring suspension at the front and a non-independent torsion beam setup at the rear. The brakes are also a conventional front disc and rear drum setup. Check for Ertiga price in Hyderabad

Styling is typically Suzuki, with swept-back headlights like the new Swift’s, and a grille and bonnet that resemble the Ritz. The overall design is pleasing, but not what you would call eye-catching. In fact, the van-like look, which clearly doesn’t exude the status and image of a saloon, is possibly the Ertiga’s biggest weakness.

INTERIORS

A new variant, Z+ is introduced in the New Maruti Ertiga. This variant gets additional features like keyless entry, push start and stop, touchscreen system with navigation and reverse parking camera. The New Maruti Ertiga gets the same beige interiors and the upholstery is also the same. In terms of other features, it gets single airbags and ABS as a standard feature. Dual airbags is available on all variants as an optional feature

The New Maruti Ertiga has an identical dashboard with the Swift, however it is beige in colour. The quality of the materials is not that premium. The front row of seats are quite comfortable and even large. On long journeys this helps quite a bit. The rear seat space too on the New Maruti Ertiga is good enough. These seats slide and recline too. The third row is quite cramped, but it gets some knee room when the second row seats are moved a bit ahead. The boot becomes small when all the seats are raised. One needs a carrier for luggage especially with seven passengers

PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING

The choice of engines for the Ertiga is the new 1.4-litre K14BVVT petrol engine and the D13A DDiS super turbo diesel carried forward from the SX4. Given the additional weight of the new vehicle the two engines manage to offer a fair balance of power and torque.

The new, larger K series petrol engine reflects the same characteristics of its existing siblings. Quiet and almost vibe-free in idling mode, the engine comes across as refined and quick under hard acceleration. With variable valve timing to optimise performance and with low friction components, the new 1,373cc, 4-cylinder, 16-valve engine delivers a peak power of 95PS at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm.

The diesel engine is combined with an intercooled variable geometry turbocharger and this is same basic mill from the SX4. This 1,248cc engine with common rail diesel injection is almost free of any turbolag and delivers a peak power of 90PS at 4,000 rpm and a peak torque of 200Nm from as low as 1,750 rpm. The diesel engine makes its presence felt audibly despite the use of an extended dash silencer and other sound deadening components.

But, that is only when you accelerate hard, during idling and cruising conditions the familiar diesel engine is just the same as in the SX4. On the road, the Ertiga feels very much like the Swift and DZire. Though the Ertiga is no where near as big as the other utility vehicles like the Innova and the Tavera, you still get to feel its extra length compared to the Swift.

The engines have been mated to the five-speed gearbox already in the family cars, only the gear ratios have been optimised for the Ertiga’s expected driving cycle. Gear shifts are crisp and quick. The rated fuel efficiency for the petrol engine is 16.02 kmpl and the diesel is 20.77 kmpl.

The Ertiga handles quiet well too – almost, but not entirely, like a sedan. The suspension is also a carry forward in terms of its configuration – MacPherson strut at the front and torsion beam at the rear. The ratings for the springs have been increased and the dampers have been stiffened to handle the higher loads.

DRIVING

The Ertiga’s driving dynamics are largely influenced by its long wheelbase – the 2.74-metre gap between the front and rear axles give this MPV good poise and straight-line stability for most situations. The flipside is that it isn’t happy darting through corners and prefers a more relaxed driving style. The soft suspension means the low-speed ride is pretty absorbent, and even as speeds increase, the Ertiga handles bumps with aplomb and feels pretty solid. The Ertiga’s suspension works silently too and it’s just over sharp bumps that there is a mild thud from the suspension.

There is a bit of up-and-down motion over undulating surfaces and the diesel pitches a bit more in the front. However, at moderate speeds, this never gets uncomfortable and it’s only when you begin to push really hard that you long for a tauter setup. Considering its MPV proportions, the Ertiga doesn’t roll excessively and the steering is fairly accurate too. What you do miss is a tighter turning circle and the ability to wiggle into tight parking spots as with a hatchback. However, this doesn’t take away from the fact that the Ertiga is by far the most urban-friendly MPV in the market today.

SAFETY

Servicing the Ertiga won’t be an issue because Maruti has a service centre in almost every nook and corner of India. Talking about safety, the Ertiga comes equipped with dual front airbags and ABS on almost every variant. The LXi and LDi variants miss out on these safety features but Maruti offers them on the LXi (O) and LDi (O) trims. Apart from that, all the other V and Z trims come with these features. The same goes for front seat belt pretensioners too.

CONCLUSION

The Maruti Ertiga is a very good people’s carrier and it offers a good amount of features and practicality is also top notch. With the facelift, the car looks better, gets more equipment and even boasts of better efficiency. At the price it is offered for, the Ertiga does provide you with a lot of value and Maruti has got a strong contender on their hands in the 7-seater MPV segment.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno Hatchback Overview

QVERVIEW ;

The Swift was the car which changed the hatchback dynamics in the Indian market when it was launched in 2005 and since then, it has single-handedly dominated the hatchback segment, being the top selling car in its segment, not by a small amount but by a huge margin. The Swift’s popularity and the fact that it was Maruti Suzuki’s best hatchback meant that the vehicle had to deal with more responsibilities, like competing in the premium hatchback space which has cars a segment above. Now to relieve the Swift of its duties in the premium hatchback space, Maruti Suzuki has bought in the Baleno, a car which is bigger than the Swift in every way and has been designed to lure customers who find shortcomings in the Swift. The new Baleno has a lot of significance, it brings back the old moniker used by Maruti’s then flagship sedan (in the 2000s) and the Indian automaker has been entrusted with producing the car for the world. But how good is this Hyundai Elite i20 challenger? Get On Road Price of Suzuki Baleno in Carzprice

INTERIORS ;

Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with the interior when I first saw it at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. And Maruti executives confirmed that the cars given to us in India are closer to production, which explains why it seems a lot more likeable now. The smart all-black cabin looks upmarket and sporty, but there are plenty of parts carried forward from other Maruti Suzuki models, which steals some of the freshness away. We expected the premium-positioned Baleno to use some soft plastic parts on the dashboard and maybe leather upholstery options, which could have made the cabin even better. Apart from this there’s not much to complain about, as the fit and finish is pretty decent for the segment

The front seats are large, comfortable and well bolstered. Thankfully, the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, which helps get a good driving position. In fact, the tilt and reach adjustable steering further helps this cause. The icing on the cake is the positioning of the switches and buttons, all of which are well within reach, making the cabin ergonomically sound. Find best offers on Maruti Suzuki Baleno

As desired in this segment, the cabin is spacious and there’s plenty of space at the back too. What’s most impressive is the excellent knee room for the rear seat passengers – something Maruti car buyers were always left desiring more for until now. India being a predominantly chauffeur-driven country, this will not go unnoticed. There’s a spacious boot too, with a very useable 339 litres of storage space.

EXTERIORS ;

The front of the Maruti Baleno is quite stylish and gives a unique presence to the car, one that sets it apart from the crowd. There are daytime running LEDs, but these come only in the top end Alpha variant, which is quite a dampener. The headlamp design reminds one of the Swift. The black honeycomb grille is smart looking and has chrome garnishing on the lower end, which adds some flair. The bumper gels well with rest of the body

From the side the car looks very contemporary and long as well. The side profile does look much better than the competition despite the fact all of them are under 4 metres and the same length hatches. The hood has a nice curve to it and the silhouette looks beautiful. This is certainly the best angle of the car

The rear is also appealing and muscular. There is a rear spoiler as well which is neatly integrated. Maruti follows the liquid flow design for Baleno, which makes it look trendy. The paint job on the Maruti Baleno is of good quality and makes it premium looking. The Maruti Baleno looks longer than the competition and even more premium in styling

ENGINE ;

The car brings to India one of Suzuki’s latest innovations globally – the 998cc Boosterjet direct injection turbocharged engine. This all-aluminium, three-cylinder engine produces a peak power of a little over 100bhp and a maximum torque of 150Nm. It is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. There is no automatic gearbox option, as of now. (Boosterjet combines the two modern automotive technologies: direct injection and turbocharger.)

SAFETY ;

One of the keys to succeed in this segment is to offer plenty of features and driver aids, and Maruti has ensured that the Baleno doesn’t skimp on this front by loading it with some of the latest gadgets you can think of. So higher models gets climate control, colour TFT information screen, a 4.2-inch touch screen with a rear parking camera and satellite navigation system, and segment-first Apple CarPlay which, by the way, is a really cool feature. Apart from this, there are also steering-mounted controls, keyless entry, push button start, USB and AUX ports, and special coating on the glass which prevents UV rays from entering the cabin. Also commendable are the safety features such as ABS, EBD and dual airbags which are offered as standard on all variants

DRIVING ;

The ride of the Baleno car is very good. We have only driven the 195/55R16 (top-of-the-line variant) and yet to experience the other variant that comes shod with smaller tyres. But the ride will more of less remain the same. The suspension absorbs all the bumps with ease making it a smooth ride. On the other hand, the handling of the Baleno is just more evolved than the Swift. The alacrity of the chassis is a lot more superior to the other Maruti products thanks to the lighter weight chassis. This not just enhances the power and efficiency, but also improves the driving dynamics. The steering wheel too is light and feels comfortable to drive in city. It does weigh up a bit making it a joy to drive on the highways too.

VERDICT ;

The Baleno RS has most of the points necessary to appeal to an enthusiast like an eager engine performance, being nimble around corners, have a great straight-line stability and good braking power. And then with a claimed fuel-efficiency of 21.4 kmpl, the Maruti Suzuki Baleno RS is still the most fuel efficient petrol hatchback in its segment. The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI and Fiat Abarth Punto might be a little more powerful than the Baleno RS, but then they are more expensive too. So overall, Maruti Suzuki seems to have played their cards well that should help the Baleno RS to be considered as an interesting proposition in the performance-oriented affordable hatchback segment in India.

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Volkswagen Polo GT Facelift Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Volkswagen recently launched the new Polo, which we reviewed in our last issue and were quite impressed with the improvements made to it. Now it was only a matter of time that the GT versions came out wearing the new changes. We were invited by the company to drive the petrol and diesel Polo GT in the scenic surroundings of Amby Valley and on a makeshift circuit on an airstrip. Here are the technical changes in the new models. Check On Road Price of Volkswagen cars in Carzprice

EXTERIORS ;

Even in the redesigned Polo GT TSI, little has changed. The front is exactly the same as the Polo facelift and the rear gets the same treatment. But it’s not that Volkswagen hasn’t tried telling people that this is the go-fast version of the regular Polo. So, there is GT badging on the front grille, on the C-pillar, on the rear door, and as a doorstep garnish. The ‘Estrada’ alloy wheels further differentiate the car from the regular Polo. Get On Road Price of Polo GT in Carzprice

However, the biggest difference is that the Polo GT TSI gets a rear spoiler which enhances the appeal of the car especially when looked at from the rear three-quarters. The ground clearance of 168 mm ensures the GT TSI is fit for most Indian roads. Overall, the car retains its classic, sober design and the subtle changes add to the sportiness of the new car. The paint quality and attention to detail is among the best you will find in a hatchback in India.

INTERIORS ;

The Polo GT TSI drives like a dream hatchback and it’s practical too. You get enough space inside the car to fit four people comfortably; three on the backseat can be a little cramped. The boot has enough space for two big bags or a sub-woofer, whichever you prefer.The driver gets seat height adjustment and the instrument panel shows a lot of relevant data like distance to empty as well as some irrelevant stuff like, in this case, the fuel efficiency. There is also tilt and telescopic steering wheel for the driver to adjust his reach.

You also get four speakers with a music system that can read music off a USB device, SD card and AUX. There is also bluetooth connectivity for your smartphone and a lot of buttons on the steering wheel that you can explore when stuck in traffic – the car even makes sure you don’t get bored while sitting idle.The Polo GT TSI comes with automatic climate control and the overall fit and finish of the cabin is exactly what you expect of a German car. The chrome inside the cabin has been subtly used and is tasteful.

PERFORMANCE ;

This is one aspect where the Polo does really well, as do the GT models. The GT TSI with the 7-speed DSG gearbox especially is an absolute bliss to drive. It performs well not just as a good automatic hatchback for your daily errands in the city but also as a performance hatch for your long drives. The GT TDI on the other hand has ample of torque thanks to which it doesn’t demand too many shifts while driving through traffic. That said, the clutch is a bit heavy. Ride quality and visibility all round on both the cars remains good.

The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI retains the same direct injection, turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol engine and the 7-speed DSG gearbox from the earlier GT. In this trim the Polo pumps 105PS of power and 175Nm of torque. The gearbox is seamless and responds instantly to the inputs of the throttle. Slot it into Sports or shift manually and the Polo GT TSI with its easy and quick revving engine makes for a delightful drive.

The GT TDI with the new 1.5-litre engine feels even more energetic than the petrol. Despite the fact that Volkswagen has retained the same engine from the standard Polo for excise duty benefits, it pumps out an extra 15PS of power and 20Nm of torque in the GT TDI guise. However, even though the new GT TDI is more punchy to drive than the regular similarly engine diesel Polo, it does feel a little lacklustre compared to the older 1.6-litre powered TDI. As for the shifts on this manual; the 5-speed gearbox is slick with precise and short throws.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Volkswagen Polo GT TSI also gets ESP which prevents wheel-spin although this system isn’t really required on this car since power is fed in a smooth manner. There is also hill hold which isn’t of much use on an automatic car. The GT TSI is lighter than the GT TDI and is less stiffer too, the softness of the suspension being very noticeable when you hit a bump, the tendency to bounce a bit and leave its line is there. There is less understeer though and ride quality is excellent. The steering is quick but could do with more feedback, more so considering the GT is a performance model. Braking performance is excellent and the car stops dead in its track at any given speed (the hazards turn on when you stand on the brakes). The new Apollo Alnac tyres offer better grip and don’t lose traction as quickly as the Aceleres offered before. Request test drive for Volkswagen Polo GT in Cazprice

SAFETY ;

Last year when it was reported that some of the most popular compact cars sold in India failed crash tests done by Global NCAP, almost immediately Volkswagen announced dual front airbags as standard fitment on all variants of the Polo. That says something about the company’s commitment to safety. The GT TSI gets ample safety features such as dual front airbags as standard, anti-lock braking system, rear-parking sensors, electronic stabilisation programme and hill-hold function. However, we believe that in addition to rear-parking sensors there should have been a rear-parking camera too.

VERDICT ;

What advantage the Polo GT TSi has is that it isn’t just an automatic that is fuel-efficient but at the same time it is more powerful than the conventional automatics. This means you can take this hatchback for weekend drives and at the same time even use it as your daily city car. This is fun and convenient at the most affordable cost.The German build quality, driving dynamics and the styling of the Polo makes it stand out of the crowd. The Polo is the oldest premium hatchback in its segment, but the German automaker has done a phenomenal job to keep it fresh in design and even features. The Polo is certainly a good option to consider.

 

 

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Tata Sumo Facelift First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

The Tata Sumo Gold is an entry level SUV from Tata Motors that promises tough characteristics and aggressive pricing. It’s been in the market for quite a while. Tata had showcased their upcoming cars in the month of June this year, in HORZONEXT where cars such as the Tata Nano CNG e-max, and the Tata Sumo Gold were launched.

The Tata Sumo Gold has been a consistent player in its segment and to keep it updated, the company launched it with a levy of updates inside-out which make it look even more exclusive. With the new looks and the competitive pricing, does this SUV stands out to fulfill the needs of its target audience?

EXTERIORS ;

The design of the Sumo was derived from the Mercedes-Benz G-Wagen and the connect is clearly visible. However, because of several updates it has somewhat different.

It gets a new front grille with chrome on the upper lip and with GOLD embossed on it. The clamshell hood is retained and the ruggedness in its styling is retained.

The side profile is the same, however it has been tweaked with some graphics and floating roof elements have been added to differentiate from the outgoing version. We believe that the company has gone overboard with the graphics. The rear too just gets extra graphics and that’s about it. There are no other major changes in the design as all the same panels are retained.

INTERIORS ;

As you step inside, you’ll be delighted to notice the changes that have been made. The airy cabin has been made more spacious by 20%, which means that there will be ample headroom and legroom for seven passengers, a rare quality found in an entry level SUV. The cabin quality has improved with the addition of not only a new fabric for the seats but also the addition of wooden inserts into the control panel. The gear shift knob gets a chrome treatment which, overall, enhances the plushness inside Sumo Gold. The cabin consists of a seating arrangement for seven people including the driver. The ample headroom, shoulder space and legroom allows for comfortable seating arrangement for everybody. Add to that, both the front seats come with the required lumber support. The ‘boxy’ center console also receives wooden inserts that houses a host of entertainment features like:

– A modern music system with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, – A supporting hands-free calling, and – A pair of powerful dual air condition (first time in the segment).

The comfort features include one-touch power windows and engine immobilizer. To make the drive easier, the company has added power steering which helps in easier maneuvering within congested city roads. To make people’s journey soothing and relaxed, the NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) level has been reduced to a great extent.

PERFORMANCE ;

Get the Sumo started and the 3.0L Diesel engine is at its loud best. If anyone has driven earlier generation models, the experience of driving the Sumo was not very memorable considering the vibrations and discomfort. Not that the vibrations have gone off completely but then the new CR4 engine feels comparatively refined.

We decided to be adventurous with this one and thus got the vehicle dropped just the Gateway of India in Mumbai. The traffic scene in peak hours is very chaotic with visitors flocking it to see the iconic landmark of Mumbai. In city traffic, steering the Sumo was very easy.The clutch is surprisingly smooth and the shifts too were decent. At lower engine speeds, the engine gets evidently audible because of its large displacement but then once the windows are rolled up; it gets cancelled with the good level of insulation inside the cabin.

And now how the Sumo feels on highways. Firstly, it has a tall design and thus the body roll around corners at high speeds is evident. The tyres start screeching thus limiting acceleration. It does not come with fancy safety bits like ABS and traction but even then the Sumo manages its way.The 3.0L unit gets the Sumo to reach speeds of 110 km/h but then post that it needs a really long stretch of road to push the speedo further. Obviously, the Sumo is not a high speed car it is for rugged applications. The external ORVMs which jet out obstruct the wind flow creating an irritating noise. This happens as the speed goes on increasing.

DRIVNG DYNAMICS ;

The Sumo Gold has been designed for good ride. It is meant to take occupants from point A to point B, and it does its good well.The Sumo Gold’s ride suppleness is excellent and the thick tyres absorb most of the road shocks, giving a pliant ride. We drove it through bad and rough roads and we were impressed in the manner the Sumo Gold glided over potholes.The handling of the Sumo Gold is decent. It’s a performance-oriented vehicle and it has a high centre of gravity due to its height. But, the vehicle behaves in a better manner when it is completely loaded, when compared to an empty car. The steering wheel is also light and easy to manoeuvre in tight spots because of its smaller turning radius.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The braking setup on the Sumo Gold includes disc brakes on the front runners and drum brakes on the rear wheels. All doors get side intrusion beam. ABS or airbags aren’t available. There’s engine immobilizer on the top-spec GX variant, and so is central locking and keyless entry.Door ajar and seatbelt warning, both are present on GX only.

VERDICT ;

We agree it is a practical SUV and also can drive almost everywhere with its tall ride height and sturdy suspensions but then it also demand great number of updates which Tata Motors should seriously consider. They should begin by giving it a new modern design which will make the urban consumers connect with the brand enthusiastically.Spacious and roomy cabin in the Sumo is great but then why not give it a complete makeover instead of just adding a music system which was not a great addition as the aftermarket is filled with such options. Perhaps the Horizonnext initiative will eventually bless the Sumo with modern changes.

 

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Porsche 911 Overview & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

Further expanding the 911 line-up in India, Porsche today launched the all-new 911 GT3 sports car in the country priced at Rs 22,329,000 crore (Ex-showroom). Currently, one of the most potent 911s in the country, Porsche India started accepting bookings for the new Porsche 911 GT3 early this year, right after the car’s global unveiling, which happened at the 2017 Geneva Motor Show. The new Porsche 911 GT3 is essentially built for some exemplary track performance and gets a bulk of changes over its predecessor. Get On Road Price of Porsche cars in Carzprice

Porsche 911 range comes from updated flat-six engines with the 911 Turbo and Turbo S using a 3.8-litre twin-turbocharged motor that now produces 533bhp and 572bhp respectively. The Carrera twins use a similar twin-turbo unit good for 370bhp on the Carrera Cabriolet and 420bhp on the Carrera S models. All engines come paired to Porsche’s 8-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic transmission that has been updated for quicker shifts.

EXTERIORS ;

The front remains true to the typical Porsche 911 design. Low slung bonnet that scoops upwards towards the windscreen and broad muscled shoulders on the sides for the headlamps. Porsche call this the wing design. There is an LED DRL ring that run around the whole headlamp and looks like a halo around it. The twin projector up and down look like a futuristic double barrel bazooka. The Side indicators are on the corners of the bumper. The grill is on the bumpers and has a valley type design the bumpers too have a chrome strip to bring in the premium feel.From the side Porsche has tried to mix sport with elegance. There is a bold shoulder line they runs through the lower side of the window. This runs from front to back. You get the feel that there is no B-Pillar in the car. From far and as it rained some time back I get the reference that at stand still the Porsche 911 looks like a frog ready to leap forward. The rear windscreen is big and I wonder why is it small in the Macan as it is an SUV and needs more visibility. The wrap around taillamps are sharp and the powerful LED make it look like Lazer blades from a Star wars movie.There is a grill which is again typical of Porsche rear or mid mounted engines for cooling and that is just below the glass. The rear bumper scoops in and then jets out for a more sportier feel and the exhaust pipes on each side are again big like cannons ready to fire. In between the taillamps is the Porsche 911 Carrera Badging. Check On Road Price of Porsche 911 in Carzprice

INTERIORS ;

Like mentioned above, the newly launched trim gets an extensive black treatment inside the cabin for a sporty yet classy appeal. While the regular variants are available with an option to personalize the cabin with different color schemes and cosmetics. Its interiors are made using premium leather material and is emphasized by metallic inserts. It has a sleekly structured dashboard that is equipped with several advanced aspects like an AC unit, an infotainment system and a sophisticated central console. The AC vent surround, door panels, dashboard and the central console are decorated with thick metallic strips. Also, it features a three spoke multi-functional steering wheel that is covered in leather and is engraved with company’s badge. Its cockpit is fitted with ergonomically designed seats with integrated headrest, which are electrically adjustment. These seats have been covered with high quality leather upholstery. The 911 Carrera range of variants comes with a luggage storage space of 145-litres and a total fuel tank capacity of 64-litres. While the Carrera S models have 125-litres of boot volume and a decent fuel storage capacity of 68-litres. The car maker has equipped this model series with several utility based features like smokers package, floor mats, storage net in front seat footwell and ISOFIX child seat mounting on front passenger seat.

This luxury model is available with several innovative comfort features as standard. The list includes a two zone automatic air conditioning system featuring separate temperature settings for passenger and driver along with air quality sensor and residual-heat function as well. It also features an integrated cluster featuring five round instruments along with a high resolution 4.6-inch TFT color display and an on-board computer. It provides information regarding engine speed, oil pressure, vehicle speed, oil temperature, coolant temperature and fuel level. The company is also offering this model series with features like leather seats, electrically adjustable and foldable outside mirrors featuring heating function, power windows with one touch operation, heated rear screen, three 12V power sockets and a key remote for central locking and luggage compartment lid release. It also comes with optional features like heated seats, cruise control system, fire extinguisher, seat ventilation, light design package and Preparation for Porsche vehicle tracking system. On the other hand, the latest variants are now blessed with PCM communication system featuring a navigation module along with an automatically dimming of rear view mirrors and cruise control system as standard.

PERFORMANCE ;

It’s here where the main novelties come into the spotlight. For starters, the previous 3.8-liter flat-six engine was replaced by a larger, 4.0-liter unit. The swap is far from surprising, as the 3.8-liter caused quite a few issues in the previous model, prompting Porsche to issue a massive recall after a few engines caught fire.The 4.0-liter flat-six is shared with the GT3 Cup race car and is rated at 500 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. That’s a 25-horsepower and 15 pound-foot increase over the previous GT3 and makes the new sports car as powerful as the GT3 RS. The seven-speed, dual-clutch PDK transmission remains standard and pushes the 911 GT3 from 0 to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, a tenth-second quicker than the outgoing model. Top speed has increased from 195 to 197 mph, too.However, the really big news is the optional six-speed manual. Requested for many years by purists, the manual finally made a comeback on the GT3 some years after Porsche said it’s unlikely to offer a high-spec 911 with three pedals. But before any of you purists pop the champagne, you should know that the manual GT3 is slower, needing 3.8 seconds to reach 60 mph. Top speed, on the other hand, is slightly higher at 198 mph. Get offers & discounts on Porsche 911

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

As ever, the 911 is a super-competent handler with loads of grip available. Yes, you could be a hooligan with it and slide it around corners on a race circuit, but it’s so sharp and well balanced, it actually encourages you to concentrate on getting a better lap time. Lament the electric steering all you want, it’s probably the best one in existence with the sharpness, weight and feedback it gives you. And even in this two-wheel-drive version, the grip is so immense, it’ll make your eyeballs hurt. Then there’s the other controversial bit of tech – optional rear-wheel steering, which until now was only available on the Turbo and GT3 models. It steers the back wheels ever so slightly when you turn the wheel, to tighten the turning circle and let the 911 corner sharper. It feels like witchcraft, but boy does it work! It goes into corners faster, stays more composed through them and comes out the other side with less drama too. One could argue that track-driving enthusiasts will prefer the more natural feel of the standard setup, but for the average driver, this will only help corner faster.

SAFETY ;

The car offers ventilated ceramic disc brakes all around that keep rotating mass low and offer high efficiency. Safety features include ABS, airbags, traction management system, emergency brake assist, stability management etc.

VERDICT ;

Porsche has hit the nail totally plumb on the head with its most cherished sports car, and went straight back to the highest point of the class. The 991-era Porsche 911 is a triumph. There is a couple of complaints, yet in truth they’re more like quibbles. The movement quality on the manual could do with a frisson of honing, the torque bend on the 3.4 could be a bit more extensive and the parsimonious standard hardware rundown leaves a partially severe taste in the mouth. On that last point couple of recommendations: collapsing entryway mirrors, voyage control, a multi-capacity guiding wheel and Porsche’s phone module are every sensible choice. On the other hand, in the frame division less is by all accounts more. Typical dampers, with no controlling or move bar alternatives, leaves the 911 an exceptionally genuine driving, drawing in sports auto.

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BMW 5 Series Overview

OVERVIEW ;

BMW launched the sixth generation 5-Series in 2010 and last year the company gave the vehicle a mid-life facelift. The changes to the car aren’t a world apart as the facelifted F10 version gets subtle changes all around along with the addition of new features. The BMW 5-Series is a hot favourite of enthusiasts the world over but in 520d avatar, it’s trying to woo those who want a practical yet luxurious vehicle. Our test car came with the Modern Line trim, which focusses on luxury over sportiness. The BMW 520d is also the most popular variant of the 5-Series lineup in India and we got behind the wheel to gauge what’s new. Get On Road Price of BMW cars in Carzprice

EXTERIORS ;

The 2017 BMW 530i comes standard with LED adaptive headlights, 18-inch wheels, driver-selectable vehicle settings (altering steering, transmission response and throttle calibration), LED accent lights, LED foglights, power-folding and auto-dimming heated mirrors, automatic wipers, a sunroof, adaptive cruise control, dual-zone automatic cruise control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, driver and passenger 16-way-adjustable sport seats with power-adjustable side bolsters and driver memory functions, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat and premium vinyl upholstery. Standard technology features include the iDrive interface (knob/button controller and 10.3-inch display), a navigation system, gesture and voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, BMW emergency services, and a 205-watt, 12-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, a media player interface and 20 gigabytes of digital music storage.

Options include a 600-watt, 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system or a 1,400-watt, 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins premium audio system, 20-way-adjustable multicontour driver and front passenger seats with ventilation and massage, a rear-wheel steering system and adaptive dampers. The Adaptive Drive system package combines the adaptive dampers with active stabilizer bars. Check Ex Showroom Price of BMW 5 Series in Carzprice

An M Sport package includes unique body trim, a lowered suspension and 19-inch wheels, a sport leather steering wheel and unique interior trim. Twenty-inch wheels are optional on the 540i when the M Sport package is selected.

INTERIORS ;

The Modern Line of the BMW 520d gets all beige interiors which do give the cabin an airy feel but might not appeal to some. The dashboard is very similar to the old model but BMW has made small changes to boost the luxury appeal of the 5-Series. There are brushed silver inserts on the dashboard, including on the third spoke of the 3-spoke steering wheel. Light coloured wood inserts are placed on the dashboard, centre console and doors. The car uses a 6.5-inch screen for the infotainment system but the iDrive controller isn’t a touch-pad like on the 530d. Build quality is good and the front seats offer excellent support too.

At the rear, seating comfort continues to be excellent with ample cushioning all around. There is space for two at the rear as the transmission hump prevents a third passenger from squeezing into the rear bench. The big update to the 5-Series is the new instrument cluster, which isn’t a conventional unit. Instead, it uses an LCD screen and can change the display based on the driving mode. There are three modes on offer – Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport, the complete console changing colours and layout in each of these modes. BMW hasn’t skipped on equipment on this base 5-Series variant, it still comes with 8 airbags, sunroof, leather seats, steering mounted paddles, dual-zone climate control, electric steering and seat adjust (the latter with memory function).

PERFORMANCE ;

All the variants are interestingly of a 2.0 litre capacity with only the BMW 5 Series 530d M Sport and BMW 5 Series GT 530d LE offered as a 3.0 litre engines. The engine performance of the BMW 5 Series 525d Luxury+ is slightly tweaked to offer higher power compared to the usual engine variant. The three key variants however are BMW 520d, BMW 525d and BMW 530d. The BMW 530d produces a maximum output of 258 bhp and the torque reaches a peak of 540 Nm at 1500 rpm. The BMW 525d however offers 218 bhp out maximum output. The third variant BMW 520d does not fall short in terms of performance and generates a maximum output of 184 bhp decent 380 Nm or torque at mere 1750 rpm which shows the effective power distribution inside the vehicle. Following Common Rail Direct Injection in combination with a turbocharger, the BMW 520d offers a top speed of a remarkable 231 kmph. Since all the variants are predominantly diesel oriented, they come with impressive mileage. BMW 530d offers an impressive mileage of 14.69 kmpl while the BMW 525d offers a slightly higher 17.09 kmpl. However most impressive of the lot is the BMW 520d which generates 18.48 kmpl mileage. The emission figures of all the vehicles comply the national regulations and are noted to be at 154.75 gms per kilometre and 114.47 gms per kilometre for BMW 525d and BMW 520d respectively.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

This being a German luxury sedan, it rides low on the road and that too after BMW has raised the ground clearance for the Indian market. The low ground clearance means that you have to slow down significantly for speed breakers.The ride is a little hard even in the comfort or ECO PRO mode and tends to give you feedback even for the smallest imperfections on the road. This is down to the large 18-inch wheels and massive run-flat tyres which are tuned for fast driving but in turn make your ride much harder. However, the ride, despite being hard in the 530d, is much softer when compared to the previous generation car. At high speeds the 530d is very stable. The electric power steering from BMW is the best I have ever used and it weighs up quite well at high speeds. However, it still does feel heavy even at lower speeds. The massive brakes are well suited to this car of this size and have ferocious stopping power.Book test drive for BMW 5 Series in Cazprice

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

It has an active protection, which includes attentiveness assist, which enhances the safety in case of critical situation. Dual front airbags along with head and side airbags are an effective protection in the event of any collision. The cabin has an advanced electronic immobilizer along with crash sensors, which safeguards it from any unauthorized entry. Its rigid body structure has side and front impact protection beams, which enhances safety of the occupants sitting inside. It has runflat tyres with reinforced side walls along with runflat indicator that warns the driver with a light when there is a slight drop in tyre pressure. It is also equipped with anti lock braking along with emergency brake assist function. It also has cornering brake control, which enhances the stability in sharp curves. For enhancing the suspension mechanism, it is decked with a dynamic stability control, which constantly monitors the driving status, modifies directional stability and traction by brake management system. Apart from these, this sedan is bestowed with emergency spare wheel, passive pedestrian protection, electric parking brake with auto hold function, company’s condition based service (intelligent maintenance system) and much more.

VERDICT ;

The new BMW 5 Series looks elegant and has new features, which its predecessor missed. It drives well and also offers the comfort and luxury you would expect from a chauffeur-driven car. Still if the latter is your primary need, the 5 doesn’t come anywhere close to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. After all, the E-Class is the only long wheelbase model in this segment. Nonetheless, at Rs 53.6 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), the new 5 Series still has sufficient kit to compete against the Audi A6, the Jaguar XF and the Volvo S90 in our country.

 

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Audi Q3 Review & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

Audi has cleaved open another gap in its mega portfolio to create the slightly predictable Q3. It’s a posh crossover that’s bigger and taller than the A3 but – despite appearances – not quite as full-figured as the Q5. So it’s a smallish hatchback jacked-up to look like an SUV, while still looking like a hatchback. Sort of. You know what it is: think Audi Q3 vs BMW X1. It’s designed mostly for tarmac, but the raised ride height and optional four-wheel-drive will do a decent job of treading over a relatively rough track.It was facelifted early last year, earning it a bolder front end that looks not unlike the big Q7. Engines were tweaked and a 1.4 TFSI introduced. Check On Road Price of Audi cars in Carzprice

EXTERIORS ;

The Audi Q3 S is christened “S” but then it is the most basic Q range SUV sold in India. The famous LED lights and washers are not present and also you won’t find a panoramic sun roof but then this baby SUV is not boring at all instead it has its share of funk.It all begins with the cherry red paintjob which gives the S tag some meaning. It looks as dynamic and strong as a normal Q3. There are some angles where the S also manages to make its elder sibling look dull. Reading no LEDs on the Q3 S makes it loose it sheen but when you see it in skin, the Mustang inspired multi layered headlights are gorgeous to look at.The S gets a generous chrome surround on the radiator grille along with the glittering vertical slats. There is an aluminium finished front bash plate which makes this SUV look rugged. The media car came in with Pirelli Scorpion tyres which are of 235 / 55 R17. These look super stylish especially the black glossy wheels paired with the spicy red paint-job makes it look very racy. Get Ex Showroom Price of Audi Q3 in Carzprice

The wheel flares are subtle and the fenders are finished in matte plastic cladding and so are the side running board. The longish nose of the bonnet and the silhouette of the C-Pillar gradually flowing to the rear makes the Q3 look very dynamic. The roof gets Al finished roof rails too.The tail lights don’t blink as quickly as the LEDs but I am still not complaining because even the conventional set looks very impressive. The different cells of the tail light make it look as aggressive and edgy as that on the Q3. There is no separate S badging on the car which does not distinguish it from the standard Q3.

INTERIORS ;

There are no major changes to report in the cabin. The Audi Q3 carries forward with the same neat dashboard and generally user-friendly interior. Quality is up there with more expensive Audis and though the seats are not real leather but leatherette, the ambience inside is what you’d expect in a premium SUV. You sit reasonably high up in a Q3, the front seats are generous in size and support and even the rear seat is spacious enough for two adults to sit in comfort.

With the update, Audi has streamlined the variants on offer. The 30TFSI and 30TDI can only be had in Premium trim while the 35TDI is available in Premium Plus and Technology trim too. What is nice is that even the Premium variants get much wanted goodies like a panoramic sunroof and electrically adjustable front seats. The Premium Plus trim doesn’t get more features but adds in richer aluminium-look inlays. The top-spec Technology variant is pricey but your money does get you paddle shifters, SD card-based navigation, a reverse camera and a colour multi-info display in the instruments binnacle among other features.

The Q3 runs Audi’s MMI infotainment system. It is easy enough to use but the interface doesn’t look as slick as that in the newer Audis and there’s no Android Auto or Apple CarPlay support either.

PERFORMANCE ;

Audi is offering the Q3 facelift with a diesel engine option only, the petrol version will be launched later, just like how the pre-facelift model was launched. The 2.0-litre TDI diesel mill gets no changes whatsoever and produces the same 177 BHP of peak power at 4200 RPM while peak torque of 380 Nm is available between 1750-2500 RPM. The oil burner offers good performance throughout as it dolls out punchy performance and revs quickly to its under 5000 RPM redline. 0-100 km/hr takes 8.2 seconds while top speed is rated at 212 km/hr.

The Audi Q3’s TDI mill is very smooth and NVH levels are low, save for the sound it emits post 3000 RPM when you go hard on the big pedal. The engine shows no signs of stress even when you drive at high revs and keeps pulling with enthusiasm to high speeds. The vehicle comes with Audi’s Drive Select (Comfort, Sport, Auto modes) wherein it alters the engine, gearbox and the steering. There is a bit more pep in Sport mode while the Q3 now gets steering mounted paddles too which is a great addition. The 7-speed S tronic automatic gearbox is quick with shifts and is very responsive to throttle inputs, downshifting in a jiffy when you need a quick burst of power. The compact SUV is quite frugal and will return upwards of 12 km/l.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

For the most comfortable ride it’s worth sticking with SE trim, or deselecting the lowered suspension offered on more expensive S line cars (a no-cost option). In this guise the Q3 does a brilliant job of keeping large bumps and ruts under control at low speeds, and keeping the car’s body stable.That said, even if you do decide to keep the S line model’s lowered suspension and larger wheels, the Q3 does a far better job of keeping its ride controlled than other S line models in the Audi range. Even the lowered RS Q3 remains composed, even over patchy surfaces.Unfortunately, the faster you go in any trim level, the more uncomfortable the ride becomes. The car thumps into large potholes and expansion joints, jostling its occupants. Book test drive for Audi Q3 in Carzprice

Raising the ride height of any car doesn’t do much for its handling but, among rival SUVs, the Q3 deals with it better than most. There’s plenty of grip in tight turns and body lean in corners is fairly well controlled.S line models have larger alloy wheels than entry-level SE cars, as well as lowered suspension. These contribute to even higher levels of grip and body control.However, although the steering winds on and off smoothly, and the Q3 is relatively quick to turn in, it doesn’t have a great deal of feel, meaning you can’t quite sense the front wheels biting and so plot an accurate course through bends. Even the high performance RS Q3 fails to communicate with the driver, although it does resist roll better than lowlier versions.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

When compared with its small SUV rivals, the Q3 falls short of the class best but still performs well with regards to safety. In fact, examining its five-star Euro NCAP rating more closely, it’s evident that the model’s child protection rating is near the top, although its pedestrian rating is only average.The Q3 provides most of the safety kit you’d expect: six airbags, including curtain bags that extend into the rear of the cabin, electronic stability control and ISOFIX fittings for the front passenger and two outer rear seats. However, automatic emergency braking isn’t available.

There’s a long, and largely reasonably priced, selection of optional safety and security kit including visual and acoustic front and rear parking aids, rear side airbags, and active lane assist and blind spot assist.To ward off thieves, deadlocks, locking wheelnuts and an alarm are also included. It’s enough for the Q3 to have earned five-star ‘theft-of’, and four-star ‘theft-from’ ratings from to security experts Thatcham.

VERDICT ;

The Audi Q3 has had it easy since the time it was launched in India because it was quick to beat the BMW X1 in the sales chart while it held off fresh competition from its Stuttgart rival with relative ease. With all the updates made to the car, although none are to the engine or suspension, the Q3 continues to be the best luxury compact SUV in the market today. Audi is starting off with the diesel model as that’s where majority of the sales come from but soon the petrol version will arrive and even the manual gearbox equipped Q3 S (which is our pick of the Q3 range). Now Audi only needs to bring the Q3 RS to tackle the GLA 45 AMG, we are waiting!

 

 

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Mahindra KUV100 Overview & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

Today most of the automakers are working towards introducing developing new compact SUVs, which are just under four metres. This is one of the fastest growing segments, and today most of the automakers are working on it. However, Mahindra had different plans. The company did introduce the TUV300, which is a compact SUV but it has even got an SUV under that. This is the KUV100 and this is the smallest Mahindra passenger vehicle ever made. We lay our hands on the smallest Mahindra for a quick spin and tell you how good it is. Get price of Mahindra cars in Carzprice 

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;

The KUV100 (Kool Utility Vehicle One Double Oh) is Mahindra’s newest member in the portfolioand the most compact passenger vehicle they’veever made. The hatchback footprint makes it one of the most compact crossoversaround. The vehicle’s unique styling is meant to appeal to the younger audience. The face features the signature grille that’s sleek, but misses out on the centre bucktooth. A clamshell bonnet gives the KUV a more premium look.

In a passing glance, the headlamps will remind you of the EcoSport, but look closer and you’ll notice some interesting detailing. The lamps wraparound the entire front fender, which is unique and something we’ve neverseen done before. Mahindra says that the design has been inspired from wraparound sunglasses. The extra length meant that the engineers had to split the unit in two sections. While the main section houses the headlamp and LED DRLs, the second part is actually an extension that smartly incorporates the engine badging and side indicators. The lower section of the bumper isn’t body-coloured, giving it a dual-tone appearance. The bumper houses neat fog lamps and a contrasting silver mock bash plate too. Since the grille is small and not as imposing as its siblings, there’s a large blank portion below. This areashould have housed the registration plate in our opinion. The front track is wider than a few hatchbacks and this gives the vehicle added presence. Check for Mahindra KUV100 price in Mumbai

Move to the side and it does take some time just to get used to the design. The short length and the longish front section make it look less proportionate. There’s a lot of detail on the sides too, like the character line running from the headlamp. The rear haunch is further accentuated thanks to the prominent line that runs upwards from the rear door, all the way to the taillamps. Even the mirror caps get some detailing. The side is more hatchback than SUV. The pillar mounted rear door handles are similar to the ones on the Chevrolet Beat. This gives the KUV100 an appearance of a two-door vehicle. The handle can be operated from both sides and is finished in contrasting silver so it doesn’t go unnoticed. The wheel arches are prominent and there’s cladding too (not available onthe base trim) to give it that rugged SUV look. The 14-inch wheels however, look small. Top variants get alloy wheels as standard and the design is said to be inspired by aturbine. The rear end is quite smart with the rectangular taillamp that protrudes slightly upwardssince it sits below the extended haunch line. An integrated spoiler is standard across allvariants.

INTERIOR AND CABIN ;

Moving to the interiors, the Mahindra KUV100 has a smart looking cabin with nice use of colours and nothing seems overdone on the dashboard which uses beige and piano black to good effect. The fit and finish is also excellent by Mahindra standards and there is not much to complain here. The instrument cluster is simple to read and offers basic information such as gear indicator, trip meter and odometer. There is a distance-to-empty feature available too but it is difficult to find unlike other hatchbacks as it’s in the infotainment system. The steering comes with audio and phone controls and a regular audio system with Bluetooth, USB, AUX-IN connectivity and Blue Sense app compatibility is also offered, audio quality being average with the small screen being out of place in this touch-screen dominated world. The button to turn on and off the audio system is difficult to use as it also offers four other functions, thereby requiring a careful press. Mahindra also offers mood lighting on the top variants of the hatchback and puddle lights on all the 4 doors which do help at night.

The steering wheel feels nice to hold and the front seats offer good levels of comfort. A height adjustment feature is also offered. The travel range of the seats is pretty good. The KUV100 is offered with a 5-seater as well as a 6-seater layout. The 5-seater model comes with adjustable headrests at the front while the 6-seater gets fixed headrests. The rear seats on both the models get three adjustable headrests which is a good thing. On the 6-seater model, it is possible to fold away the front middle seat and use it as a large armrest which is the best use of the extra seat as safety of a third person at the front is questionable with the lap seatbelt (on the 5-seater model, there are a ton of cubbyholes in the centre). The rear seat also comes with an armrest with two cupholders. Even at the front, the number of cubbyholes and storage bins is pretty good (sunglass holder, toll receipt holder below the right AC vent and a lot more). There is a storage bin on the rear floor (in the middle) while the co-passenger seat (only on the 6-seater version) opens up for storage, it has a tray in it too. The gear lever is mounted on the dashboard while the vehicle gets a pull-type handbrake, similar to the Datsun GO. The AC (the controls are vertically stacked) is an absolute chiller and Mahindra has provided two power outlets, one at the front and one in the boot which is also accessible from the rear seat.

Outward visibility from the driver’s seat is good while viewing ahead, while sidewards visibility isn’t the best due to the thick B-pillar. Even the small rear windshield and thick C-pillars cause a bit of a visibility concern at the rear. The rear seats have good kneeroom (thanks to the scooped out rear seatback which also get magazine pockets) but average legroom (the floor might be flat but at the bottom of the front seats, there is a raised floor area) which is much lesser than the Hyundai Grand i10 and even lesser than the Maruti Swift, its two chief rivals. The black cladding which houses the outside rear door knob makes things claustrophobic at the rear which is amplified on the 6-seater model as forward visibility is further reduced by the extra front seat. The headroom isn’t adequate for tall passengers and space for the shoulders is just about decent. The seat belts aren’t height adjustable and are placed low, causing another issue for tall occupants. The boot of the KUV100 is decent but will hardly fit in a weekend’s luggage for 2-3 people (the rear seats fold flat though). The ORVMs are also very small and offer a limited view of what’s behind.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

It was no secret that Mahindra had been developing a new family of small-capacity petrol and diesel engines, and the KUV100 is the first recipient of the new mFalcon range. The petrol engine, called mFalcon G80, is an all-aluminium, 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit, which uses a four-valve head and variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust. Pumping out 81.8bhp at 5,500rpm and 11.7kgm from 3,500-3,600rpm, the petrol KUV doesn’t stand out amidst peers for max power or torque.

However, performance is more than acceptable. Sure, the KUV’s 15.13 second 0-100kph time does put it behind rivals, but if you look at in-gear times, it’s actually quicker than the Swift and Grand i10. The KUV’s relatively shorter gearing undoubtedly helps here. What also works in the KUV’s favour is that part-throttle response is pretty good, which makes ambling around town quite relaxed.

However, it’s when you floor the throttle or want to execute a sudden overtaking move that this engine falls flat, quite literally. Power delivery is flat and lacks any sense of urgency and it’s only when you are in the 4,500-6,000rpm range that you get a second wind or surge. But it’s a bit pointless as average users will rarely ever push the KUV so far into the rev band. Just as well, because the engine gets thrummy and loud at high revs. Engine refinement is a bit disappointing especially the petrol engine which vibrates quite a bit at idle and rocks on its mounts. Clutch engagement could be smoother too, though the five-speed gearbox won us over for its slick and accurate action.

The diesel KUV uses a 1.2-litre three-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that Mahindra has labelled ‘mFalcon D75’. A cast iron block and aluminium head make up this engine, while diesel is fed via a common-rail system at a pressure of 1,600bar. The engine makes a respectable 77bhp at 3,750rpm, while its 19.37kgm max torque figure is on par with the larger-hearted four-cylinder Swift diesel’s output. That said, in outright acceleration contests, the KUV won’t keep up with the Swift. The KUV will hit the ton from a standstill in 14.85 seconds, while the Swift will do the same in 1.2 seconds less. But compare the KUV diesel’s performance to the three-cylinder Grand i10 diesel’s, and you’ll find the Mahindra to be significantly quicker.

In everyday conditions, the KUV diesel is actually quite nice to drive. There’s minimal turbo lag and the diesel motor feels quite responsive as the turbo kicks in from about 1,500rpm. There’s a gentle surge that comes in at 1,800rpm and it stays put until 3,500rpm after which, the engine takes its own sweet time to rev harder. If you are patient enough, you can have the engine rev to 4,800rpm, but doing so only increases the noise level without any real rewards in performance. As you would have gathered, this is not an exciting or punchy engine, but one that feels well in tune with the rigours of urban driving. Taking it easy is the best approach here, and one that also keeps the engine noise levels to a minimum.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

During its product presentation, Mahindra stated that the KUV100 has a long travel suspension setup for better ride quality over bumpy roads.As it turns out, the KUV100 does have a pliant and comfortable ride, soaking jerks from small potholes and road undulations like a proper SUV.While it may instill confidence, be aware that the KUV100 only has an hatchback-like ground clearance of 170 mm. Book test drive for Mahindra KUV100 in Cazprice

The soft suspension may have affected its handling characteristics. Driving around the sharp hairpin corners towards Yelagiri, I found that the body roll and understeer can be a bit nerve-wracking.Given that the KUV100 is not developed to be a cornering machine, its handling capability isn’t too much of a bother.​

SAFETY ;

Mahindra is offering ABS as standard across every variant of the KUV100 while dual front airbags are also offered as optional on every variant except the top K8 variant where they are standard. The hatchback also comes with a 2-year, 1 lakh kms standard warranty which can be optionally extended to 5 years. Mahindra has a good after-sales network across the country while the service quality levels are neutral. While some dealers offer exceptional levels of service, there are some where the quality of work done is below par too.

VERDICT ;

We will definitely update you with more details as soon as the updated Crossover is launched in the Indian market. But with the refined engine and better fuel efficiency and obviously some cosmetic upgrades there is no doubt the Mahindra KUV100 definitely has everything to dominate over this newly formed segment.

 

 

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Jeep Compass Review,Specifications & Features

OVERVIEW ;

Jeep was the first company in the world to design, engineer and build the first proper SUV. Known as the Willys Station Wagon, this great, great, great granddaddy of the modern SUV first went on sale in 1946. And it wasn’t just any old off-roader; it was the real deal, with almost every essential SUV element present. It had an upright two-box shape, plenty of space in the cabin, a tough build and, of course, a proper four-wheel-drive system that allowed it to clamber over obstacles with ease.Fast forward 70-odd years and it’s precisely these genes and strands of DNA that have given the new Compass an unassailable edge. We’ve only just driven out of the plant in Ranjangaon, near Pune, but the Compass has already made such a strong first impression that we’re scratching our heads. Is it really that good? Check price of Jeep models

EXTERIORS ;

The Jeep Compass is an all-new product with styling cues derived from the Grand Cherokee. The front fascia is a reminiscent of Grand Cherokee’s design language, which flaunts Jeep’s traditional seven-slot grille, albeit with modern updates. There are trapezodial wheel arches, which once again provides a glimpse of the rich heritage of the company products since 1940. These elements reflect the true Jeep DNA in the SUV, while several other components in form of rear fog lamps, roof rails, bi-xenon headlamps, dual-tone roof, LED tail lamps etc. give it a suave and urbane appearance. The Compass SUV is available in a total of five paint schemes: Vocal White, Hydro Blue, Minimal Grey, Exotica Red and Brilliant Black.

INTERIORS ;

The Jeep Compass India gets dual tone interiors with black and sky grey colours. The instrument panel design is neat and it does stand out. There is a three-spoke steering wheel with controls, a twin dial instrument cluster with driver information system. Fiat was the first brand in its segment to offer driver information system in the Linea and even the Punto. Jeep is also setting new standards.

Jeep Compass – Rear Seats (2)The centre console has a 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Then there is the climate control followed by the off-road hardware. Controls to move into different modes. Then there is the electronic parking brake, which can be seen on all the models. The space on offer is good enough. The front seats offer very good bolstering and are comfortable. There is more than sufficient head room and knee room for tall persons too.

Jeep Compass Rear MotionSlide into the rear seats and you won’t be disappointed either. There is more than sufficient space for tall occupants even at the rear. The boot size is also large enough making it more than sufficient in size to carry luggage for an entire weekend. Whats more the seats fold 60:40 making it a lot more flexible too. In terms of safety, two airbags and ABS will be offered as a standard feature. Check On Road Price of Jeep Compass in Carzprice

PERFORMANCE ;

The good thing is that the Jeep Compass SUV is offered with both petrol and diesel engine options. The petrol unit will be powered by 1.4 FIRE MultiAir petrol engines which are expected to produce around 160+ Hp of peak power and 250 Nm of torque.. The diesel unit, on the other hand, gets the 2.0-litre MultiJet unit which will provide 170 Hp+ of peak power and about 350 NM of torque. The following drivetrains will be paired either to a 6-speed manual or 7-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

Both the petrol as well as the diesel drivetrain is offered with both 2X2 as well as 4X4 wheel drive options. The Jeep’s dedicated four-wheel-drive system and also select terrain technology will also be present even in their entry level product for the Indian market which means the Jeep has shared its offroading DNA with the Compass as well. Besides all these offroading hardware the Compass will also get a differential locking system as well on the top end variant. The lower trims, on the other hand, will be offered with a two-wheel drive option.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Jeep Compass’s suspension set up manages to bring a bit of comfort, ruggedness and impressive handling. It gets a MacPherson strut set-up at the front and an independent Chapman strut set-up at the back with Koni’s frequency sensitive dampers. This system works like adjustable dampers without all the expensive and complicated electrical systems. It uses hydraulic valves to control how much damping happens, depending on the frequency of suspension movement – high frequency (when you drive over bad roads) will reduce damping for better ride quality, while low frequency (when on smooth roads) will increase damping for better stability and handling.

Does it work? Yes! Over bad roads, the Compass while happily absorb ruts and potholes without complaint and it also feels quite rugged. However, there is a fair amount of movement at the rear seat. At the same time, when on smooth tarmac, the Jeep Compass will stay surprisingly flat through corners even when you push it hard. At the same time, steering feels direct, weighs up well at high speeds and offers good feedback too. This makes it one of the most involving cars to drive in this price bracket.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

There are six airbags on the Limited variant, though lower variants could get fewer. Fog lamps get cornering function, and ABS, EBD, ESP are obviously there, along with electronic rollover mitigation. The showstopper though is Jeep’s trademark SelecTerrain system. The Compass is primarily front-wheel drive, but four-wheel drive is engaged full-time in auto mode and the system can power the rear wheels whenever it detects a slip. It also offers modes like snow, sand and mud with a mere twist of the rotary knob placed behind the gear lever. There’s hill hold too, and it worked excellently on inclines. Apply car loan for Jeep Compass at Carzprice

VERDICT ;’

FCA has made a huge effort for getting the Jeep brand in India and especially setting up the Compass project in India for making it the manufacturing hub for right-hand drive export markets. The SUV is quite capable and feels good to drive too. It also comes with a reasonable amount of equipment, however, there are some missing features for a car belonging to this segment. It will be interesting to see the price point in which it is being offered and how it is positioned against the competition in the Indian market. If priced attractively, the Jeep Compass is one SUV which will pull people from both smaller and bigger SUVs as it offers the best of both worlds