Toyota Innova Crysta Engine & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

If there has been any MUV that has won the hearts of Indian customers, it has been the Toyota Innova. The Innova has been the japanese manufacturer’s best seller in India. Though being priced at a premium to its competiton, the Innova took not time in becoming a favourite and a preferred people mover. Comfort, space, reliability and many more factors helped it become a best seller. New Toyota Innova Crysta 2017. This vehicle is now better on performance, features, fit and finish and also space.

Toyota has once again set a benchmark with the Innova Crysta. Now it is upto the competition to catch up. It has once again started to sell in large number despite the hike in price. That shows the level of confidence that people have in the Toyota Innova brand. We review the Toyota Innova Crysta in detail and tell you whether it is worth buying. Read on further. Check for Innova Crysta price in Pune

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The new Innova Crysta like we already mentioned looks sharper and edgier than before and if you ask me this people mover is also previewing Toyota’s new designs language which can also be seen in some of their recent products as well. Talk about swize and the new generation Inoova Crysta is wider as well as longer than its predecessor which in turn has created more room inside the cabin.Towards the front the Innova gets wraparound headlamps which gets integrated projector and LED units . Apart from the new headlamp unit the front profile also gets massive grille with chrome laden slats. The long front hood also gets some edgy character lines as well.

The side profile however looks simple but the new ORVM’s gets integrated side indicators and the huge glass area towards the side profile helps even the third row passengers to get proper view of their surroundings. The highlight of the side profile however is the diagonally cut D pillars.Walk towards the rear profile and you will greeted with the double layered completely new wrap around taillamps.The rear profile also gets an integrated rear spoiler as well which gives this massive vehicle some sporty appearance. There is even a shark fin antenna towards the rear roof area. Lastly the rear deep opening tailgate completes the overall look of the new Innova Crysta. The rear tailgate also gets the Smart Close back door system which automatically locks the door once it has been released.Overall Toyota has gone for the grand tourer type styling on the new generation Innova and it definitely looks impressive and much more modern than its predecessor.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Arguably the biggest transformation has happened on the inside and the cabin feels spacious, open and crisply styled. The modern dashboard looks fresh, is well detailed and the swooping dash top looks really great without being overdone. Details like the single piece of metal strip which runs across the top of the dashboard looks premium and classy. Visibility from the high front seats is good and this makes it easy to drive especially in traffic.Despite the swooping dash, ergonomics are spot-on and everything from the touchscreen to the Air-con controls are tilted upwards for ease of use. The blue backlit instrument cluster looks modern and the digital centre screen hosts a comprehensive trip computer. USB and aux-in ports are cleverly placed in the middle for an easy access for front and rear passengers. As an observation we would have preferred more USB ports especially considering it’s a premium seven seater. The touchscreen is intuitive to use and it host various information like satellite navigation, eco display (which shows how efficiently you are driving), Bluetooth telephony and music system controls. On the downside I would have preferred the volume control to be a knob for easier access while driving.

As far as upholstery is concerned the top of the line ZX variant gets leather seats. But while in the manual transmission variant you get an all-black cabin which looks sporty, the automatic features a more classy brown upholstery. Overall quality especially on the upper portion of the dashboard is quite good and Toyota has added some elements to justify the high asking price. The touch points like the armrest on the doorpad is covered in soft velvety fabric, the chunky leather wrapped steering with large control button is great to hold, the gloss black finish on the front doorpads look classy (weirdly the rear doorpad gets wood finish) and even the control stalks are of high order. But considering it’s an expensive car we expected better consistency especially lower down in the cabin.The sea of black hard plastics around the glovebox, cupholders and doorpads look shiny and the graining could have been better too. Even the air-con buttons are too small and the chrome finish doesn’t look very convincing. We also felt that although the old Innova didn’t have the premium leather dash top and modern design, it had better quality consistency across the cabin.

Thanks to the larger dimensions the cabin feels wider and is more spacious than before. Seat comfort is first rate and the contoured front buckets are very comfortable. The driver seat in this top Z variant is powered too, and combined with the telescopic steering adjust, finding an ideal driving position is extremely easy. The middle row sees the biggest improvement and the extra cabin width has allowed Toyota engineers to give larger and more accommodating captain seats.The middle-row buckets are supportive, underthigh support is really good and the reclining backrest makes this a great chauffer-driven car. The ceiling mounted blue ambient lighting and the large glass area makes this a great place to be in.Even the front passenger seat can be adjusted using a well designed lever from the back. If you love working on the go, the foldable trays in the back are placed at an ideal height and their 7 kg weight capacity make them perfect to place your laptops on.

The third row though is not a huge improvement over the old car and the combination of the high floor and low seat makes it comfy only for short stints. You also get a removable headrest for the middle passenger (how will he fit in the narrow seat is a different matter) and all three occupants get three point seatbelts.Visibility from the third row though is hampered by the stylish triangular quarter glass. With all three rows up, boot space is reasonable and can be extended by folding the last row when not in use.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

So the updates to the exterior and interior are both huge improvements, but there’s even more good news in store. The Innova Crysta comes with two entirely new diesel engines, a 2.4-litre with a five-speed manual gearbox, and a 2.8-litre with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.4 manual first, and when compared to the old 2.5-litre engine, there are some similarities. This one too is not very refined, sounding a bit gravelly at start-up and then again at higher revs, and it also doesn’t enjoy being revved a lot, making you want to shift up well before the redline. However, both these aspects are slightly improved from the old car. The Crysta settles into a smooth and relatively silent hum at low to medium revs, and though you’ll still want to shift up early, you get more out of each gear now. The rest is all positive. For one, there’s more power – 150hp is a significant jump in power over the old 102hp, and at 13.1sec, the Crysta is a full 4.4sec faster from 0-100kph than the previous car! It even feels much stronger when you’re overtaking, which is essential when you’re out on the highway with a fully loaded-up car; this is helped by its solid 343Nm of pulling power that’s made as low as 1,400rpm. The old Innova was geared very short, so cruising in fifth on the highway was a noisy affair and the engine sounded strained. The newer car has a much broader torque spread and relatively taller gearing, so it feels a lot more comfortable loping along at high speeds, although we feel a sixth ratio would have made it more effortless still. So it’s a great highway cruiser, but if you find yourself in traffic, you will notice the clutch pedal is on the heavy side and that the short gear lever needs a little more effort. It’s also got three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Power. Eco is best for when you’re in town and want to stretch every last litre of diesel, while Power yields the quickest responses to accelerator inputs. But Normal mode is the best for everyday driving, delivering a good mix of power and efficiency.

What really tells you that the Innova is now a seriously premium car is the availability of an automatic gearbox. The six-speed unit also comes with a larger, even more powerful diesel engine – 2.8 litres with 174hp at 3,400rpm and 360Nm at 1,200-3,400rpm. This car is properly quick, being able to cross 100kph in just 11.5sec, and this is despite the fact it weighs almost 1.9 tonnes! The automatic gear shifts themselves are smooth, but we feel the system is too eager to change gears sometimes, even when not necessary. And while there are no paddle shifters for manual gear control, you can change gears manually with the gear lever itself.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Toyota Innova has grown in size and gets a new frame but is also heavier now. In the early days of the Innova, people worried about the dimensions of the car as it was called too big for the city. The new one is even bigger and thus less maneuverable. Still underpinned by a body-on-frame platform with the steering still being a hydraulic unit, the Innova feels heavier to drive than before as the steering is on the heavier side and requires effort at low speeds, taking u-turns can be taxing. It does weigh up decently at high speeds but there is still a lot of slack in the straight-ahead position.

There is very good stability as you cross triple digit speeds, the Toyota Innova Crysta holding its line well on our not so perfect roads. The car also gets what Toyota likes to call ‘aero stabilising fins’. Without doubt, the biggest improvement has come to the ride quality of the vehicle. The work on the suspension is immediately apparent as this MPV rides beautifully even on bad roads. Bumps are absorbed very well and that’s inspite of the firmness at low speeds. Vertical movements are very well controlled and as you up the speed, the flatter ride only becomes better. There is quite a lot of body roll though but the Innova handles quite well for its weight and size. The brakes have good stopping power.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The braking system of the Innova Crysta has front disc and rear drum brakes with anti-lock braking system as a standard in all variants. The Innova Crysta models have three airbags, one for the driver, one for the co-passenger and the third one for the knee of the driver. The top-end variant ZX has a front side and curtain airbags as additional safety features for the occupants

VERDICT ;

The Innova Crysta has gone on sale at a price range of Rs 13.84-20.78 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). Yes, that puts it out of the realm of conventional MPVs from Maruti, Honda, Chevrolet, Mahindra and Renault and almost into the territory of seven-seat SUVs and even executive sedans. When you’re paying this much money, you have certain expectations of space, quality, luxury and comfort, and the good news is the Innova Crysta delivers on just about all of them. Sure, refinement is still not the greatest, and the steering, clutch and gearbox can get a bit tiresome in traffic, but these are minor setbacks in the scheme of things. The Crysta takes all the old Innova’s strengths that customers just love, and amplifies them. Yes, you will have to pay a premium for it, but as most owners of the previous car will tell you, it will be worth it.

 

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Audi S5 Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

Being in the fold since 2007, it was about time for the Audi S5 to usher in a new generation, and it will do just that for the 2017 model year. With the new generation comes a new, wider front grille, larger corner air inlets on the front fascia, a more muscular hood, and new, thinner taillight units. Inside, the car has gone through a major revamp, sporting an updated instrument cluster, a new infotainment display that sits above the center stack, a new center console, and redesigned door panels. The S5 still sports a 3.0-liter, gasoline-powered engine, but for 2017 it’s been updated to deliver 354 horsepower – a 21-horsepower increase over the previous generation.

As always, the S5 shares a strong amount of its DNA with the Audi A5, but offers up significantly more power in an overall sportier package. As a model that competes with the likes of the BMW M4 and the Mercedes-AMG C43 Coupe, Audi had to put in the wrench time to make sure the S5 is more competitive than ever. Part of that time was dedicated to developing an all-new chassis, revised aerodynamics, and shedding a little weight despite having a longer wheelbase than the outgoing model.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Elegant! First thing that came to my mind as soon as I saw the car in flesh. It’s the low and long front hood that has this menacing look, almost grinning straight at you with its low prowl. The hood looks strong and imposing with its lines and complementing it are the LED headlamps that look evil in their own way. The grille is designed to look sharp in its Titan black colour with horizontally-placed chrome inlays and the Audi logo at the centre of the headlamps. The car doesn’t come with fog lamps, not that it needs them but instead comes with some chrome trim and very aerodynamically purposeful looking vents for cooling the brakes.

Moving to the side of the car, there is a side vent with a short chrome inlay and a strong shoulder line running all the way from the headlamp to the tail-light. The door handles open upwards instead of the usual outwards making it a lot easier to open. The frameless doors are beautiful and just give this car a very unique look and surrounding them is you guessed it, more chrome. Although I have to admit, the use of chrome is minimal and doesn’t put me off one bit. The car also gets 17-inch twin 5-spoke wheels that look good. Coming to the rear of the car, it has a really sleek coupe-like roofline that’s so attractive with it curving slightly off the edge of the boot. The tail-lights are simple yet sharp LED units with dynamic indicators that are smoked, which add to that extra appeal. The car also gets chrome-finished twin exhaust pipes. On the outside, the S5 has the same shape and dimensions as the A5, but gets an S5 logo and a more aggressive looking front, with an optional titanium black grill with horizontally slatted matte aluminium inlays. The side mirrors are finished in brushed aluminium with the indicators integrated into them. The car even gets more aggressive S-Line side skirts finished in black. The S5 too gets 5-spoke 18-inch wheels which are a lot sharper in design compared to the A5 and look so much better too, with the brake callipers finished in red and the S5 logo on them. It has a much sportier rear diffuser in matte aluminium silver housing the quad chrome-plated exhaust system. The S5 is definitely the most attractive car in its segment.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The small joy of a frameless window sliding out of its slot each time you pull at the door handle is one of those small but special things about owning a coupé or Sportback. Less so is the fact that this car is largely restricted to being a four seater; you could get a fifth person in there, but he’d be very cramped. Still, headroom in the back is not as bad as you’d think for a car with a sloping roof, partly because it’s scooped out at just the right place, and partly because the roof extends further back than in a conventional coupé. Legroom is more than sufficient though, and the other advantage of this being a Sportback with a Skoda-Octavia-like liftback tailgate, is that the boot is massive enough to hold weekend luggage for four with ease.

At the front, since the S5 is based on the A4, you get the same dashboard that car, albeit with some sporty flourishes like carbon fibre on the centre console. However, it is starting to show its age now – the A4 is now the oldest model in Audi’s range (save for the soon-to-be-replaced Q7), and though the quality as always is top drawer, the design doesn’t feel as sharp as in newer Audis. It’s a similar story with the equipment – the MMI system has all the functionality you want, including satellite navigation, but the interface isn’t as slick as the latest version, and that applies to the trip computer screen between the dials. The optional sports seats on this car, upholstered here in a tasteful brown and black, are really good even for long distances though, and the flat-bottomed steering wheel feels great to hold.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The new Audi S5 Sportback runs the familiar 3.0-litre turbo-ed V6 petrol engine from the previous S5. However, it now makes more power 356PS/500Nm, up from the 333PS/440Nm of the outgoing car. The performance is just electric and right from the word go, there is so much of available torque. This is what I love in a sportscar – accessible performance while still looking a million bucks. Audi claims she can punch 100kmph in just 4.7s. The top speed is 250kmph. Dial in the Dynamic or Individual mode and the Audi S5 Sportback ditches her heels and heads straight for the horizon. The pull is apparent right till the 5,500rpm range. Use the paddle shifters and the car goes into a whole new zone – shifting at her 6,500rpm redline. Fast, she is stealthily fast. A boost pressure gauge shows how much more torque is in reserve. At it, the Audi S5 Sportback also sounds wicked (you should check our Facebook video). In the Dynamic mode, the quad exhausts sing in symphony with high pitched notes with equal measures of pops and crackles thrown in!

What I didn’t like was that while in Dynamic mode, if you let go of the throttle and get a bit lazy, the gearbox upshifts even at low rpms, similar to when you opt for Economy mode. One quick jab at the accelerator and the qualities of the Dynamic mode are back. Unfortunately, the India-spec cars don’t get adaptive damping and so there is no difference in the way the suspension behaves over roads when the driving modes change.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

When it comes to driving, however, the two cars are as different as a warm, soothing mocha and a charged-up double espresso. Both the A5 and the S5 have the same hero ingredient. But, while the former with its quiet and refined diesel is all about ease of driving and wafting in luxury, the S5 with its V6 turbocharged petrol is a wake-up call.With the driving mode set to Dynamic and the gearbox in S mode, the S5 cannot help but go charging into the horizon. The throttle response is crisp and alert. The engine is in a tearing hurry to hit the redline and it makes all the right noises too. All of this makes it very difficult to keep one’s foot off the gas pedal. The drive can get a little jerky in this setting, especially if you aren’t paying too much attention to your right foot. But, the overall outcome is well worth it.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Various effective safety measures have been incorporated in the S5. The basics are Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with assistance from Electronic Stabilisation Control (ESC). Then there are multiple airbags. Head airbags with side airbags with security measures include the reverse parking camera and parking sensors (front + rear), crash sensor, brake assist, engine immobilizer impact beams, etc.Being a S, it has good acceleration and an equally good braking system too. The S5’s brakes have a progressive bit and this makes it easy to brake and even the pedal feel id good enough. The parking brake is electronic like all the other Audis.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The S5 is a likeable car for someone wanting more than just a luxury sedan, especially with the sportback design and brilliant V6 petrol motor. It feels sporty outside and luxurious inside, even if familiar looking. Add to that brilliant handling manners and well-appointed interiors and you have a car that’s truly irresistible. That’s of course if you don’t mind the fuel bills that is – claimed efficiency is an impressive 12.2kmpl but expect it to drop down deep into single digits should you choose to put the 333 ponies to task. The sportback styling also means rear headroom isn’t great, so it isn’t a car you’d want to be chauffeur-driven in, rather one you would love to drive yourself. And at Rs 62.95 lakh ex-showroom Mumbai it is not too expensive either, when you think of it as a fast luxury sedan cloaked in sportier clothes, and one that has a soul too.

 

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BMW 3 Series Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The F30 generation 3 Series was introduced in 2012 in India and continued BMW’s tradition of outstanding performance and great dynamics. But with an impressive new Mercedes-Benz C-Class to fight off, an all-new Audi A4 arriving later this year and a fresh and desirable newcomer on the scene which goes by the name of Jaguar XE, the 3 Series needs to stay fresh in order to overcome its rivals.

BMW has taken the cue and has given the 3 Series a mild facelift and updated interiors. The 3 Series just went under the knife and, along with subtle changes to the exteriors, the 320d now is also available in an M Sport package. The changes however, aren’t just skin deep, and BMW has also plonked a brand new engine under the hood. For now the 3 Series is just available in the diesel guise. So are the changes comprehensive enough to make it significantly better than its predecessor? Read our full-blown Road Test to find answers.

DESIGN ;

The exteriors of BMW 3 Series are one of the best things to look forward. Not just the designing elements, but chrome finishing and character lines all over give the car a magnificent look. Its side profile gets highlighted owing to the set of attractive multi-spoke alloy wheels. At the rear end, the car got chrome painted exhaust pipe and an aggressive boot lid, which features the auto maker’s moniker embedded neatly at the centre. At the front fascia, the kidney bean-shaped radiator grille features eleven slats painted in chrome. Another key highlight of the car is its headlight cluster, which now has bi-xenon headlights and LED DRLs.

CABIN ;

There’s a familiar feel to the insides of the car, especially the centre console, though there are a lot of changes. The car gets paddle shift levers, a welcome addition for the sportier kinds like me, along with different materials and finishes for the M Sport trim. The low set cabin adds to the sporty ambience inside, though it is surprisingly spacious while the seats, finished in tan brown leather are very comfortable. There’s a lot of unlacquered carbon fibre like panels on the centre console and doors which give the insides a raw, sportscar like feel, along with the matte finish of the Alcantara-like material on the dashboard.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The 2016 BMW 3-Series comes with a 2.0-litre diesel engine and the oil-burner is the new B47 unit that also made its way to the X3 recently. It belts out 187 HP of power and 400 Nm of torque which is slightly more than the older unit’s output. The engine is an absolute blast to drive and it starts pulling with great urgency right from low RPMs. The mid-range feels very strong while the engine is a gem even at higher RPMs. Acceleration is just marginally quicker than the older unit and we clocked a 0-100 km/hr time of 7.55 seconds.

The 320d’s engine is a good performer and the 8-speed gearbox is also smooth The power delivery feels very linear and due to this the engine feels very peppy. The 4-cylinder unit is fun right up to the redline of 4500 RPM for automatic and slightly more in manual mode. It also cruises happily at 100 km/hr in 8th gear at a touch below 1500 RPM. The engine is mated to the same 8-speed ZF gearbox but the ratios now seem to be better tuned than the pre-LCI model. The gear shifts are quick and the transmission is smart enough to understand the driver’s requirements

The new engine feels much more refined than the older model. It comes with an assortment of driving modes like Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+. Comfort is best chosen when you plan to cruise while Eco Pro results in the car losing some of its steam for a marginally better fuel efficiency figure. The Sport mode makes sure the car stays right in the punchiest band of revs and it responds quickly to throttle dabs. In Sport+ mode, the car switches off the DTC so you better not try this mode on public roads. Talking about fuel efficiency, the 320d will keep your wallet happy with figures hovering around 12-13 km/l under normal driving conditions.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

What made BMW into a BMW has been the outright performance and agile handling. The BMWs did have a harsh ride back in the older days. However, with time the ride quality kept on improving. The new 3 Series 2016 offers good quality of ride. It is pliant as the suspension does soak up most of the road shocks. The handling too of the new 3 is good. We liked the manner in which it behaves around bends. This is what makes the 3 Series a special vehicle in its segme The 3 Series gets a new electronic power steering. This makes it light and easy to drive in the city. However, we sorely miss out on the heavy steering wheel in the hydraulic version. This is what we loved the most about BMWs. With the current one, you will need some getting used too.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The M Sport Package we drove focuses on sportiness above everything else, and does a really good job of it. The M gear lever reminded me of the M3, and the driver’s seat is a fantastic place to be in if you like driving and enjoy motorsport. That’s also because unique to this trim are a head-up display, sports front seats that grip you perfectly, 3-spoke steering wheel from the M cars and sportier, aluminium pedals. The navigation system does its job well, and I had barely any trouble punching in destinations in the NCR region where we drove the car. A sunroof and high resolution 8.7 inch screen are standard on the Sport, Luxury and M Sport trims whereas the Prestige makes do with a smaller 6.5 inch screen.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Introduction of the BMW 3 Series 320i will surely enhance the appeal of the model with the new petrol variant. The customers who want to buy a luxury car at a lower price range, will surely get attracted to this car.

 

 

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