Toyota Etios Review & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

Toyota Company is well known for its quality cars whether it be the earlier Qualis or the present Innova and its luxury sedans and SUVs. With the huge presence of sedans in India today in the range of 5 to 10 lakh and the need for companies to be able to give a economical but up to date car, Toyota has finally come up with a sedan in the range of 6 to 8.5 lakh, the Toyota Etios.

The Etios was launched at the end of 2010 and has received tremendous response so far. Recently I made a visit to Toyota dealer to check out the car in more detail. Below are details and impressions of the same.

Toyota Etios comes in four variants dubbed J, G, V and VX which increase in order of features. Colour options include Symphony silver, Harmony Beige, Serene bluish silver, Vermillion Red, Celestial Black, and White.

EXTERIORS AND STYLING ;

The automaker has designed it with an overall length of 4265mm along with a width of 1695mm (including external mirrors). It has a total height of 1510mm, whereas its wheelbase comes to 2550mm. It has a minimum ground clearance of 174mm, which is quite decent. This sedan has an eye catching body design and includes a lot of interesting aspects. The front fascia has a redesigned radiator grille with a single chrome slat and is engraved with a prominent insignia in its center. There is a body colored bumper, which includes an air dam that cools the engine swiftly. There are a couple of intermittent wipers fitted to its wide windscreen, while there are expressive lines on the bonnet. It has a bright headlight cluster that is equipped with halogen headlamps and turn indicators as well. The rear end features a body colored bumper along with a pair of reflectors. It has a stylish boot lid that is garnished with chrome and embossed with company’s emblem. Whereas it has a wide windshield that is integrated with a high mount stop lamp. Besides these, it includes a radiant tail light cluster and a roof mounted antenna, which completes the look of its rear profile. The sides looks simply attractive with a set of 15 inch steel wheels that have full wheel caps and covered with tubeless radial tyres of size 185/60 R15. The body colored door handles as well as outside rear view mirrors further adds to its appearance.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

The interior layout remains the same, however, the plastic quality has improved. The surfaces feel soft to touch and the cabin no longer feels cheap.The centrally mounted instrument cluster is now an optitron meter with a digital tachometer and an anlouge tachometer. It looks much better than the basic cluster that was present in the previous Etios. While the cluster has readouts for fuel, odo, two trip metres, and the usual tell-tale lights I wish Toyota would have thrown in average and instantaneous fuel consumption readouts too.The music system in the new car is a big disappointment. The head unit looks like it belongs to an entry spec hatchback and so do the tinny speakers. It sounds like an aftermarket unit and I feel Toyota could have sourced a better system. It could have also introduced a touch screen infotainment system instead, given the segment and competition it positions the sedan in. But what the Etios may lack in equipment is made up by the spaciousness of the cabin. This is easily one of the most spacious cabins across segments and the use of beige around the dashboard, door pads and seats adds to the sense of space in the car. At 2,550 mm the wheelbase is long enough to liberate generous knee room, even for six footers.

The seats up front are very comfortable and offers adequate back and under thigh support which goes a long way in keeping fatigue at a minimum on long drives.The rear bench is wide and can easily accommodate three adults without them having to rub shoulders. Toyota has also incorporated a centre armrest that folds flush into the backrest. This explains the slight drop in boot space, from 595 to 592 liters. As a chauffeur driven car, the Etios does have one of the best rear seats in the business.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

If there is one area Toyota hasn’t bothered to ‘innovate’ with the facelifted Etios, it’s under the hood. There are no upgraded powertrains, only the same old petrol and diesel engines we have been seeing for quite some time.

Available with either the 1.4-litre, D4-D diesel or the 1.5-litre petrol engine, we tested the diesel which, incidentally, also powers the bigger Corolla Altis albeit in a higher state of tune. With about 67bhp of power and 170Nm of torque, this 1.4-litre, four cylinder turbo diesel engine not only offers reasonable amount of grunt, but does the job in a rather smooth, linear way. Gearshifts, too, on the short-throw 5-speed manual gearbox are quick and smooth.

Thanks to a strong bottom-end, the Etios goes off the moment you prod the throttle pedal. The diesel engine is surprisingly responsive at crawling speeds and as the revs rise, it has enough torque to get you out of light traffic. While refinement levels are not the best in class, this engine obliges to be revved and it is only when the needle is hovering near the redline that it starts to feels like it’s being put through heavy strain.

The low kerb weight (just 1020 kilograms) and well-spaced gear ratios allow the Etios diesel to easily keep up with most other diesel cars in its segment. It’s only at highway speeds where the engine’s power deficit is apparent. It’s also where the Etios will be outclassed by more powerful diesel cars like the Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire and the Honda Amaze.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The low speed ride, as a result, is stiffer than before which means you do feel some of the undulations on the road. That said, the ride improves as speeds increase.The suspension also does a brilliant job of ironing out the bumps and ruts, however you do hear a loud thud when you crash into large potholes.

The handling, just like the old car is predictable and there is decent feedback from the steering as mentioned before. It holds the intended line through a corner and mid-corner bumps do not unsettle the car. It’s not an out an out sports sedan, something that people may infer from the Etios Racing Series that was held a few years ago, but it does the job and it does it rather well.

SAFETY

Toyota has taken care of the safety of the passengers inside and a s a result they actually have loaded the LIva hatchback with ABS and EBD which comes as standard across all its grades. Furthermore the hatch also gets duel front SRS airbags as well. There is also an optional rear parking sensors as well with the car.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Toyota Etios is actually a very practical car which is also comfortable and efficient. It doesn’t fetch good sales with private buyers mainly due to its quirky-looking exteriors and interiors. While the exteriors have been redesigned mildly now, the interior still has the same layout. However, the Etios now feels more appealing than before and that should positively help Toyota generate some more sales.

 

 

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Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Review & Price In India

OVERVIEW

Up until a few years ago, when you would think Maruti Suzuki, chances are that a hatchback would come to mind. Something, that clearly stresses a lot on fuel efficiency and tries to be as cost efficient as possible. Clearly, that formula has worked wonders and the company has been unbeatable in the hatchback segment in the country. So, it was time to look at the higher segment – Sedan. It started with the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the company, in that segment, is currently represented by the Ciaz. Interestingly, the Ciaz also has a clever hybrid system variant that promises to deliver fuel efficiency unlike any other offering in the segment, making it probably one of the best value for money sedan in the country. There’s also an ‘RS’ variant which looks way sportier than other models. So, we got our hands on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS ZDi variant to find out how it fares. Get On Road Price of Maruti Suzuki Ciaz in Carzprice

EXTERIORS

The design of the Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept which was showcased first at the 2014 Shanghai Motor Show in April and then shown in production form as the China-spec Alivio sedan. It gets an aggressive front fascia with a trapezoidal front grille that features ample amount of chrome. The sweptback headlights and the elongated hood further enhance its street presence. The side profile is a rather conservative affair but one that works for Maruti Suzuki. It features delicately flared wheel arches, chrome door handles and a strong shoulder line which works well with the forward leaning stance of the car.

At the rear, the Ciaz gets the standard wrap around tail lamps which lend the car a premium look. The rear bumper is large and includes integrated reflectors. There’s also a lip spoiler and chrome badges across all variants. Get deals on Maruti Suzuki Ciaz

INTERIORS

The Ciaz’s wide-opening doors lead to a cabin that is the most spacious in its class. From the driver’s seat, the uncluttered, European-inspired dashboard looks elegant and important controls are within easy access. Also, the wooden trim, metallic highlights around select knobs makes the cabin look premium and the general finish and quality of switchgear is good too. Sure, some plastic bits feel a bit scratchy but overall, they don’t hurt the ambience much. That said, the Ciaz carries over bits like the steering wheel and window switches from smaller (read cheaper) Marutis and that’s an association the sedan could have done without.

We’d have also liked to see a touchscreen interface for the infotainment system on our top-spec Ciaz ZXi(O) test car. Interestingly, Maruti has such a system in the works that will be introduced on the ‘ZXi +’ version due in some months. For now, the simple black-and-white unit is all you get. It’s functional, easy to use and pairing our phones with it via Bluetooth was a breeze. This apart, there’s a fair bit of other equipment as well. The top-spec ZXi (O) gets front airbags, ABS, climate control, a reverse parking camera, keyless entry and push button start, a rear sun blind, rear air-con vents and leather seats as standard.

Speaking of the seats, the driver’s seat is fairly comfortable but even in its lowest setting, feels a touch too high. Taller drivers may have to fiddle around a bit to find a comfy driving position. The Ciaz’s strength, however, lies in its spacious rear bench; something that the chauffeured lot will appreciate the most. There’s almost as much legroom here as in some cars a class above and even with the front seat pushed all the way back, most people won’t have to worry about their knees touching the front seatback. Headroom isn’t great but what hurts comfort is that the rear seat itself isn’t very generous – the smallish seat squab is largely to blame here and feels a bit stingy on thigh support. It’s not that the seats are uncomfortable, it’s just that in this airy and spacious cabin, the seats could have been plusher.

Everyday practicality hasn’t been overlooked though. All four doors get a 1-litre bottle holder and there are lots of cubbyholes for small items as well. The boot is large too, but the wheel wells do eat into space and make it less useable than its 510-litre capacity would suggest

PERFORMANCE

The Ciaz gets a choice of two engines one each of petrol and diesel. The petrol engine is the K14 VVT mill that is already available in the Ertiga and in almost the same state of tune. But, Maruti engineers say that there has been considerable amount of weight reduction work that has been done to the engine. The Ciaz itself also features an increased use of lighter weight, high tensile steel that keeps the kerb weight of the petrol version to just above one tonne (1,010 kgs).

The 1,372cc petrol engine delivers a peak power of 92.5PS at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm. The engine, as we all know by now, is a refined unit that is inherently quiet and of low vibration. During our test drive of the Ciaz, the most likeable aspect of this engine was the amount of low-end torque available. During slow speeds, below the 20-30 kmph levels, the engine almost behaves like a diesel.

The diesel engine is the more familiar DDiS engine that is originally the multijet from Fiat. This is the 1,248cc diesel burner that is available across many models from Maruti and even Tata and Fiat models. This engine felt familiar during our test drive too and continues to surprise with its remarkably refined performance even in the Ciaz. The mill delivers 90PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 200Nm of torque at a low 1,750 rpm.

There is a bit of turbolag initially just like it is in other models with this engine, but there is enough pulling power just past 1,200 rpm. Both the engines are paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The petrol engine version also gets a 4-speed automatic, which was available for a test drive. What is missing in the smooth shifting manual transmission is a bit more shift feel. The cabin is quiet in both the petrol and diesel versions, with extensive use of sound deadening and noise dampening aids.

The improvements to the engines and the weight reduction measures manage to make the Ciaz one of the most fuel-efficient sedans with a claimed mileage of 20.73 kmpl for the petrol and 26.21 kmpl for the diesel (ARAI rated).

RIDE AND HANDLING

Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to dial in but it isn’t great on feedback. It just isn’t in the same league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz’s easy nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course an added plus.

The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all else and it’s evident in the way the car rides. It’s softly sprung, so at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However, at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load, the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.

CONCLUSION

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz was launched with high hopes and it manages to live up to it. This car doesn’t try to be everything, it is aimed at comfort and delivers that in good measure. Yes, it’s not a handler and the looks aren’t going to make you stop and take notice either. However, for most buyers in this segment who want a well specced car with acres of room, fantastic ride quality and frugal engines, the Maruti Ciaz is difficult to beat. When you factor in the pricing, which is a good Rs. 1 lakh plus cheaper for certain variants over the segment leader Honda City, you realise that the tradeoff in brand image might be worth the money saved for some. The Maruti Ciaz doesn’t come across as exciting but is certainly a very practical choice in the overcrowded C-segment.

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Merecedes Benz E Class Review & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

It’s the fifth generation of the car Mercedes bigwigs acknowledge as the heart of the company. No pressure here, then. Although it looks very much like a larger C-Class or smaller S-Class, worryingly so depending on your point of view, the latest E-Class is a stellar technological statement. Check for  specifications & price of  Merecedes Benz Cars

It’s also bigger and roomier than the previous model, but uses high-strength steel and aluminium in its structure to reduce weight. The big-selling axis of the range, the 220d, also gets a radical new all-alloy four-cylinder diesel engine, the upshot being a car that weighs 100kg less than the model it replaces. There’s also a 350d, with further versions to come.

STYLING AND DESIGN ;

As suggested by the numerous spy shots we received throughout 2015, the new E-Class can be described as either a larger C-Class or a smaller S-Class. The front and rear fascia are similar if you ignore the proportions, while the profile features pretty much the same swooping roofline, muscular beltline, and similar character lines.

Upon closer inspection, though, plenty of details that make it stand out can be spotted. Up front, the headlamps have a different cluster, even though they feature the trademark LED stripe toward the hood. The A-shaped bumper, now available on almost any model, is also slightly different. Of course, many of the details will change depending on the trim level. Get On Road Price of Merecedes Benz E Class in Carzprice

Around back, the shape and size of the taillights differ only slightly from its siblings. The cluster, on the other hand, is similar to the C-Class, having a three-tier configuration with the reverse lights at the bottom. More differences can be spotted in the shape of the trunk lid and the chrome trim above the license plate, as well as in the bumper. The apron is arguably the only thing that is significantly different than that of the C-Class and S-Class.

When viewing the E-Class from the side it becomes quite obvious that Mercedes aimed for a more cohesive design for its sedan lineup. Here, however, the E-Class is more similar to the C-Class than the S-Class, as both the front and the rear fascia are raked at almost identical angles. The roofline is also nearly identical, but the C-pillar is thicker, the rear doors longer, and the rear windscreen has a sportier angle. What sets the E-Class apart is its upper character line. While on the C-Class and S-Class it runs underneath the front door handles and goes down even further toward the rear fenders, on the E-Class it runs through both door handles and remains almost parallel with the beltline toward the taillights. Also, the lower character line, although identical as far as orientation goes, is more subtle. These two features make the E-Class seem less bulky than its siblings and give it a more elegant appearance.

COMFORT AND SPACE ;

Willkommen, the E-Class’ fantastic cabin invites you in. Although changes are not a world apart, the interiors of the E-Class are top-notch and you can bask in the sense of luxury. Built quality is tank like and the light colours along with the front and rear panoramic roofs make the cabin very airy. While the dashboard remains the same, out go the wood inserts, being replaced with silver and chrome bits. The centre AC vents are smaller with an analogue clock sitting right between them (instead of the hazard button which now shifts down). The old car had the clock in the instrument cluster which had five rings, the new one has only three and thus the cluster is not confusing to read on the move. The multi-information display shows vital data with interesting colours, like the Eco Display which gathers data about how long you have been accelerating or coasting.

The launch edition gets some extra bits and is offered in limited numbers. You get a 3-spoke AMG steering wheel while the regular model will be offered with a 4-spoke unit. The E-Class being a Mercedes is loaded to the gill and you get a plethora of unending features including ambient lighting with 5 stage intensity control, electric sunblinds, reversing camera with front and rear parking sensors (PARKTRONIC in Mercedes speak), 3-zone automatic climate control, electrically adjustable seats with lumbar support, programmable 3 way memory for steering and mirrors, rain sensing intermittent wipers, adaptive main beam assist, brake pad wear indicator, etc. You get the usual Mercedes safety tech too like front, side, pelvis and curtain airbags, PRE-SAFE, NECK-PRO, etc. The E-Class gets an updated infotainment system with higher resolution 5.8-inch screen offering navigation capabilities. Two additional buttons have been added near the COMMAND controller which turn on and turn off the screen.

There are abundant storage spaces inside including front and rear arm rests (opens to reveal cupholders). The front seats are extremely supportive and so are the rear. While headroom is good at all places, the rear seat is simply fantastic (for two as the transmission hump is very big) in terms of legroom and cushioning is spot-on with ample back support. However you can’t control the audio system or the front co-passenger seat from the rear (like in the Jaguar XF) which means you will have to adjust the position of the front seat before you start getting chauffeured around. Four AC vents at the rear keeps matters cool (two in the centre and one each on the pillar). The boot is ample in size with a space saver and battery sitting below it. Get deals on Merecedes Benz E Class

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

This is where the E-Class gets its 220d badge. This is an all new four-cylinder engine which replaces the 2.1 block that powered the previous E-Class. This engine produces 194bhp@3800rpm and 400Nm@1600rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a nine-speed AT. The newness of the engine shows in its levels of refinement. While the old mill had a bit of vibration and gave out that typical diesel clatter, this one is a lot more refined and quieter, especially on the go.

Gas the throttle and you get a linear surge of torque available just past the 1600rpm mark. Keep going and you will be into the three digit speeds much faster than you expected. In fact, for what is essentially a five-metre long luxury sedan, it is deceivingly quick and this is aided by the excellent NVH insulation which filters out most external noises and to a certain extent, numbs you to the sensation of speed.

This linear surge is no doubt aided by the nine-speed box which shifts smoothly and works without hesitation to keep the engine going in the torque band. It is not as sporty as the units found in its rivals, but then again, sportiness was never high on the E-Class’ priority list and this box works just fine for everyday driving. Our testing data revealed that the E-Class dusted the 100kmph sprint in 7.81 seconds which is impressive for such a large vehicle with a four-cylinder engine.

This E-Class gets a regular suspension with steel springs as compared to the 350d’s air suspension. But this is hardly an issue as this one works just fine. It gives the E-Class the ability to smoothly glide along on the road, absorbing bumps and imperfections like they were small rumble strips and in fact you would have to drop the car into something pretty hard to really feel and hear it in the cabin. The setup may be oriented towards comfort, but the car still handles decently at speed although that’s a relative term due to its size and weight.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The E 350d is offered with air-suspension for all four wheels and this multi-chamber system delivers quite an impressive experience. The ride quality is also helped by Mercedes India’s decision to use 17” rims instead of 18” or 19” wheels, as the taller sidewall helps improve comfort while reducing chances of tyre failure.At low speeds, bumps and potholes seem to just vanish when in Comfort mode. But, drive just a bit faster and there is a notable amount of up-and-down movement which feels troublesome. In Sport mode the suspension firms up such that there is less body movement without compromising comfort distinctly, and as such would be the ideal mode to cover long distances in. In Sport+ the ride is much firmer, such that you can feel the tarmac’s unevenness clearly. While the E feels tidier in the sportier modes, the sense of its length and weight when hustled through corners reduces, but doesn’t disappear. As you dial up the modes the steering weighs up and the gearbox becomes more eager. When driven fast through bends, the E-Class is surprisingly neat for a car of this size, but it isn’t much fun. For poor road conditions, the air-suspension equipped diesel also has a Lift mode to increase ground clearance by 15mm.

SAFETY ;

Standard safety features for all 2017 Mercedes E-Class models include antilock brakes, stability and traction control, a driver drowsiness monitor, front-seat side airbags, front pelvic airbags, side curtain airbags, a driver knee airbag, and the Pre-Safe system that cinches down seat belts, adjusts the front passenger seat and closes windows when a collision is imminent. Also included is Mbrace telematics system, offering smartphone integration and web-based apps that include remote controls, driver monitoring and emergency services. The convertible additionally features automatically deploying rollover hoops.

Mercedes-Benz also has some unique features for the redesigned E-Class, such as a new communication system that networks with other Mercedes vehicles to alert nearby drivers of possible hazards. A Pre-Safe Sound system is also included and reduces hearing damage by emitting a specific noise before a collision that triggers a muscle reflex in the inner ear to reduce hearing damage. An optional Pre-Safe Impulse Side system detects impending side impacts and inflates a chamber in the front outboard seat bolsters to move the occupant farther from the door.

Safety options include a rearview or surround-view camera, rear-seat side airbags, forward collision warning and mitigation, lane departure warning, lane keeping assist, active or passive blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert and automated parking systems. The Pre-Safe Plus option protects passengers in a similar fashion as the standard Pre-Safe system but is activated by impeding rear collisions. It also applies the brakes to prevent secondary collisions.

BOTTOMLINE ;

People who drop Rs 50 lakh on a car know exactly what they want out of it. In the current class, the Jag XF provides the style. Enthusiasts drool over the BMW 5-series. Technological converts hanker after the Audi A6. Even the bargain hunters have their choice in the Volvo S80. The E-Class sticks to what it does best – give the impression of being a tank. It is a throwback to its glory days of the W123/4 when the E really was indestructible. If you want a comfortable executive saloon that you might drive occasionally and that has impeccable engineering, put your hard-earned Rs 45 lakh down on the E250 CDI.

 

 

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Honda City Review & Performance

 

OVERVIEW ;

The new headlights with DRL, LED taillights, foldable ORVMs with turn blinker, sunroof, shark-fin antenna, new alloy wheels and several other styling elements reflect the premium class of the car. With a long wheelbase, Honda City offers great cabin space for the driver and passengers. The sedan comes integrated with eight-speaker stereo system with support for Aux-in and Bluetooth support. The 17.7 cm screen integrates visual Navigation system along with park assist system that displays objects while reversing. A climate control unit for passengers helps keep cabin temperature in check. There are power outlets in the front and rear for gadgets. An instrument cluster with the ‘Econ’ setting, a start-stop button, and several other advanced features find place in the City. Check for review, features & price of Honda City

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The Honda City has always had the design which looks ahead of its time. Except for the dolphin model, every generation of the City has impressed everyone with its futuristic design appeal.Sleek tail lamps along with the long stretched radiator grille make the front design of the Honda City very sporty. The radiator grille has been generously treated with chrome but very tastefully and does not look tacky at all. The front bonnet flows towards the nose of the front fascia. On the front bumpers is the contrast black air intake vent which gels well with the overall design.

The City is based on the Arrow shot form design which is seen on the raised shoulder line from the headlights to the rear profile. In the mid life facelift the ground clearance of the City has been improved and is now at 165mm which is a welcome change over the earlier offering as the lower section used to get scraped while crossing speed breakers especially when the car was filled with occupants.

The 10 spoke alloy wheel look very sporty and so does the slender roofline. The smart and crisp design of the City make it look very athletic compared to its competition.On the rear profile, the rear boot lip gets all the major attention as it is short and sporty. The tail lamp design is smart and the line descends from the boot through the rail lamp to the lower half of the rear profile which make it look very dynamic.Honda City looks right when seen from any angle as it does not have any artificial lines which flow out of proportion but instead a smart profile throughout the exterior profile of the car.

COMFORT AND SPACE ;

Honda has always been great with interiors and the City is no exception. The new car keeps the best bits of the City’s interiors intact while trying to pile on the premium quotient and tech. The first thing that will catch your eye inside the new City is the new ‘Digipad’ infotainment system. Available in V, VX and ZX trims, this system is equipped with a 7.0-inch capacitive touchscreen that has great resolution, legible icons and is pretty easy to operate.

The system also offers new features like Wi-Fi support (use your smartphone as a hotspot and it will connect to it), MirrorLink smartphone integration, navigation with real-time traffic data, 1.5GB of onboard storage, two USB slots, two microSD card slots and even an HDMI port. Connectivity is the buzzword for customers today and Honda seems to have kept this in mind.

The City’s premium quotient has been upped a bit with a greater use of soft-touch plastics and chrome trim on and around the dashboard. The City’s traditional strengths like the comfortable seats, rear seat space and flat floor remain unchanged.On the safety front, dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX seats are standard across the range. The top ZX variants get side and curtain airbags as well, but at this price point, perhaps ESP or traction control could have been included too.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Powering the City are the same 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines. They haven’t done any tweaks to the engine. Yes, the diesel version gets better insulation to make the cabin quieter than before. The 1.5-litre petrol engine is a gem to drive, the silky smooth i-VTEC makes a whopping 119 PS of power with its naturally aspirated engine. The power delivery is linear initially that gets insane near the redline, which comes at 7000 RPM. The amount of adrenaline you get while redlining the VTEC is super satisfying. Get deals on Honda City

Mated to the 1.5-litre petrol is a 5-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission. The manual gearbox is slick and fun to use while the CVT is good only for city usage and if you push it hard, it gets noisy. The CVT version comes with steering mounted paddle shifts that gives you better control. Honda claims 17.4 km/l of mileage for the petrol engine but you can get around 10-13 km/l in real world conditions. The 1.5-litre i-DTEC offers decent performance and good low end acceleration. You don’t feel that typical diesel lag. It comes with a 6-speed manual transmission and the best part about the oil burner is its fuel efficiency which is claimed to be 25.6 km/l and you can easily extract 18 km/l in mixed driving conditions.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The mechanicals of the updated Honda City remain same. Doing duty at the front are the MacPherson struts while the rear makes use of an H-shaped torsion beam. The 2008 new-shapeCity was criticised for its unsettling ride quality which was improved considerably in the fourth-gen model. The suspension set-up absorbs the uneven undulations with great ease. The other bit that impressed me about the City arethe lower NVH levels which do not let ambient noise seep inside the cabin. The overall dynamics of the sedan remains identical to the previous offering.

SAFETY ;

Safety has been upgraded and is one of the key points of the new Honda City. The entire lineup now gets ABS, EBD and dual front airbags as standard. Rear ISOFIX child seat mounts are also standard across the range. The top of the line ZX variants now also feature side and curtain airbags, which brings the total tally to six which is now on par with the rivals.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Honda City was coming under a lot of pressure from the Maruti Ciaz, which has managed to outsell it for quite a while now. So with the facelift instead of making the City more affordable, Honda have gone even more premium and have added lots of features especially in the top ZX variant. Prices for the updated City start at Rs 8.50lakh and go all the way up to Rs 13.57lakh for the top ZX diesel variant. This makes it way more expensive than the Ciaz. But as a product there is lot going for the City. The cabin is well thought out, and its combination of humongous space and well-designed seats make it one of the most comfortable sedans in the segment. Then there is the equipment list, which can rival cars from the segment above and the fact that you get more safety equipment than before, just adds to the package. Surely the updated Honda City won’t appeal as VFM proposition, but as a package it is still a car you can’t go wrong with.

 

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Hyundai Creta First Drive Review

OVERVIEW ;

Hyundai has launched the updated 2017 Creta SUV in India. The updated Creta SUV now gets cosmetic as well equipment upgrade to it. Apart from getting exterior as well as interior update, Hyundai who also happens to India’s second largest car manufacturer has decided to add an exclusive diesel trim in the form of a new Executive variant ‘E+ trim while there is one more trim in the form of SX+ which gets dual tone trim to it.

Unfortunately, Hyundai has decided not to make any changes under the hood and thus this popular SUV still offered with 1.6-litre Dual VTVT petrol, 1.6 Litre CRDi VGT diesel unit and 1.4L CRDI U2 diesel engine options.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

From nose to tail the Hyundai Creta has been designed keenly. There’s not a single angle from where it looks disproportionate or bland. The designers have done a fabulous work with the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, which makes it look like Santa Fe’s younger brother. The lean and aggressive front styling consists of a shiny and wide three-slat grille with the Hyundai badge sitting proudly in the middle. The sleek projector headlights with LED DRLs are the party piece of the front styling. The muscular bumper integrates the faux silver skid plate and vertically stacked foglamps. Just notice how the bonnet runs straight and suddenly cuts flat from the grille, this makes it look like a true blue SUV. Get more details and offers on Hyundai cars in Chennai from Hyundai dealers in Chennai

There is nothing bulbous on the side profile of the Creta, which makes it carry the butch SUV stance from this angle as well. The squarish roofline, sharp and rising crease lines, roof rails, high ground clearance and pronounced wheel arches with black cladding are undoubtedly the ingredients of a full-flavoured SUV. The 5-spoke diamond-cut alloys further add a pinch of premium appearance to the Creta. The sharp shoulder line goes up to the tail lights that carry the crease to the tailgate in a wave pattern making a smart number plate housing, nice touch. With a silver skid plate and dual tone bumper, the Creta looks complete from the rear.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

There will be no change in the interior design of the Hyundai Creta 2017. It will continue with the same interior theme. It will however, get new materials. The colour theme will be a new one with black and red theme on certain variants. The upholstery also will be upgraded. The interiors which are already good will be further enhanced. This will make the SUV feel even more premium. Rest of the interiors will be the same. There shall be Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as well on offering with the new Arkamys Sound Mood system.

There are no changes in the seating and space. So, the Creta will continue to have the same space like the current one. Five people can sit comfortably abreast without any constraint for knee room or head room. There is even a rear AC vent that will cool the rear occupants area quicker.

The Hyundai Creta 2017 will see some more features getting added to it. A new infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto is likely to come. This is the same system we had witnessed in the new Elantra. Hyundai is looking at adding more options on the SUV as and when time passes by. It even has Arkamys Sound Mood system, which comes standard on the S+, SX+, SX+ Dual Tone & SX(O) variants. Then on the inside, the seats now have a black and red upholstery too.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Hyundai’s SUV is powered by a set of engines shared with the Verna – 1.4 and 1.6 diesels and a 1.6 petrol, all of which get a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, though the bigger diesel gets the option of a six-speed auto as well. We managed to drive both the 1.6-litre motors – petrol and diesel – and came away quite impressed. The 1.6-litre diesel engine is smooth, silent and feels very punchy in its band of operation. While its high power output of 126bhp is important, even more important is the healthy torque figure of 26.5kgm; the latter helping with the additional weight of the SUV. There is a fair bit of turbo lag initially and the engine hits its stride only after 1,700rpm, so you do sometimes find yourself needing to shift to a lower gear at times in traffic. Performance after that, however, is strong and overtaking is just a flex of the right foot away. And the Creta is also well-suited to highway use, the punchy midrange and tall gearing working well on open highway roads to deliver plenty of useable performance. So what you want to do with the diesel is stay in the 2,000 to 4,000rpm powerband. What remains a strength of this motor, however, is refinement – it’s smooth and silent at just about any RPM, and even the clutch action is super light.

The gearshifts on the six-speed manual ‘box are positive, with precise and short throws. As for the six-speed automatic on the 1.6 diesel, in normal D mode with a relaxed driving style, it shifts up very early, so progress is relaxed but adequately rapid. Thanks to the torque converter masking the engine’s initial turbo lag, the power delivery is quite linear, making this Hyundai SUV easy to drive. The gearshifts are smooth and remind you that refinement and comfort have been given more priority than ultimate performance. It does help that you can shift gears manually via the gear lever when you need that sudden acceleration for overtaking. Even in this mode, however, it will automatically upshift at the red line, and it’s slow and reluctant to downshift manually. It’s a very old-school slush-box, and for most this should be fine, but if you want to drive quickly, it’s nowhere as good as something more modern – like VW’s DSG dual-clutch unit. Get On Road price of Hyundai Creta from Hyundai Dealers in Hyderabad at Carzprice

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Hyundai Creta with its 17-inch wheels rides like a car twice its price…maybe even better. There is an almost minimal amount of pitching or bounce on large bumps and the Creta even take broken tarmac with relative ease. Of course, chucking it into a corner at higher speeds does take its toll on the overall composure of the car, but more on that a little later.Every Hyundai car in recent times has differentiated itself by being easy to drive. Whether that means a light steering, light clutch or light gearshifts, most Hyundai’s do not tend to give you general fatigue either in the city or on the highway. And the Creta is exactly the same. Being quite a bit larger than the i20, etc, the Creta does not feel large both because of its easy to drive controls and also due to the fact that the large greenhouse offers almost unrestricted views of your surroundings. Of course, having height adjustable steering and a height adjustable driver’s seat also helps.

Being a high riding SUV, one might expected the Creta to handle like a marshmallow. It does not. It isn’t exactly a race car, but Hyundai has clearly worked a lot on the overall suspension settings to tune the Creta’s handling dynamics to suit the general public. Although it does have a fair bit of body roll in long sweeping faster corners, the Creta does feel quite comfortable at highway cruising speeds. Yes, there are other SUVs like the Duster that would outhandle the Creta but as an overall package and especially in the city, The Creta is certainly a more livable package.Coming to the brakes, this is possibly one of the only aspects of the Creta that did disappoint us a little. Its not that the brakes aren’t good enough to stop the car in time, it is just the fact that the pedal does not have any solid feel and feedback to inspire confidence from the get go. Maybe the Creta’s brakes just need getting used to but on a personal level, it definitely needs a bit more bite.

SAFETY ;

In the Creta, ABS is offered as a standard across all variants. The Creta is a great option for someone looking for a safe car. The top end SX(O) variant is offered with 6 airbags, traction control, Electronic stability program and hill-start assist.The Creta is constructed using advanced high-strength steel and ultra high-strength steel. This keeps the weight low as well as enhances passenger protection in case of a collision. This claim was proved when the Creta (Called the ix25 in China) underwent the C-NCAP (China New Car Assessment Program) and scored a full 5 stars. Point to be noted is that the tests were conducted on the mid-range (S+) variant without curtain airbags.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Hyundai has come up with a smart offering in the compact segment, Creta, which is refreshingly styled. Its outer stance is robust, which makes the SUV look larger than the rivals. Hyundai’s new generation Fluidic Design language convincingly manages to lure lookers. Cabin is designed austerely. Space for passengers on the front and rear is generous, however, the view from rear is a little restricted due to the high window line that makes the seat seem low. The well-equipped cabin and all-essential safety features make Creta a desirable SUV. The powerful engine line-up and a segment-first six-speed auto box on offer (SX+ diesel only) bring Creta a notch above the rivals. Mileage is appreciative and performance on road is good, making Creta a complete package.

 

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