Setting Up Your Business for Address and Phone

In the past, clients and consumers were wary of businesses operating from their homes. Knowing this, many home business owners sought ways, many of which were expensive, to hide the fact they worked home. They’d obtain a box at a local mail store and hire an answering service. Today, home based businesses are normal and only a few clients or consumers question it. Further, the options to create a professional identity, have become more affordable.

Setting Up Your Business Address and Phone

Before determining your address and phone, you should decide your business name. Once you know your name and how you plan to set up your business structure (i.e. sole proprietor or LLC), you’ll need to decide on your address and phone. You’ll use this contact information on your business license and other official business documents. You’ll also put it on your business cards, contracts, and other marketing tools.

Business Address Options

Today it’s not considered unprofessional to use your home address; however, you may want to protect your privacy. Your address will be used in many documents, and online, and you may not want that to be public knowledge. For example, the CAN-SPAM law requires that your address be in all your emails. There are two options if you’d like a different address. One is to open a post office box with the US Postal Service.The second is to get a box at a local mail store, such as and UPS store. PO boxes are considerably less expensive than private mail boxes. However, your decision may in part depend on the image you’re trying to project for your business. Some prospects may view your use of a PO box address for your business as meaning it’s small or not fully established, or that you operate a “fly by night” company from your garage.The mail store option can give the appearance of a business with a physical address, that might make some consumers more at ease working with you over seeing a P.O. Box. With a mail service, your address is the mail services address plus you box number. For example: 123 Elm Street, #123. This looks more like a location than P.O. Box 123.

Business Phone Options

Even 100 percent online businesses need a phone. While your clients or customers may not call you, you’ll need it for other reasons, such as for the services you use (i.e. web hosting). Many home business owners start off using their current phone, but there are several advantages to setting up a business line.

1 You can keep business and personal separate. When your phone rings, you don’t want to worry that your child is answering a client call. When a business line rings, you know it’s business, and when your personal phone rings, you know its personal.

2 Phone related tax deductions are easier to track. The IRS doesn’t like comingling of your personal and business accounts. If you use your personal phone, you can only deduct the direct business expenses.

Landline Options

Before cell phones, having a business phone was fairly limited.

You could either add a second number (distinctive ring service) to your existing phone, or have a second line added to your home. The latter option is more expensive, but it is also entirely deductible on your taxes. Using your existing line, you can only deduct business-related services (i.e. distinctive ring).

Cell Phone Options

Today, having a cell phone is easy and allows you to be accessible when you’re not in the office (which can be a good or bad thing depending on how much you work). Like your landline, you can get a business number to your existing phone service, or use an online service to create a business line that forwards to your cell phone.

 

 

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Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine & Transmission

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Overview

Mahindra & Mahindra has been known to be a maker of robust and rugged passenger vehicles, since a long time. However, with the advent of the compact crossover/SUV market and its subsequent fame among the Indian consumers, it is obvious that Mahindra also had its own offering/s in the segment. Mahindra KUV100 marks Mahindra’s entry into the lower spectrum of the compact SUV segment. With dimensions in-lined with crop of premium hatchback the Mahindra KUV100 brings compact SUV design language to lure customers into the Mahindra’s fold. Coming in with a contemporary take on tallboy masculine hatchback design, the Mahindra KUV100 is shorter than 4 metres in length, thereby utilizing the excise duty benefits, yet staying true to traditional flow lines of Mahindra. Mahindra KUV100 is flamboyant and has a striking design for the segment with its huge wraparound headlamps combined with a rather sleek grille that a neat Mahindra & Mahindra logo. From exterior styling to cosy interiors and stuffed cabins, Mahindra KUV100 have it all. With the KUV100, Mahindra believes it has created a comparatively more muscular and stylish compact crossover in this new segment. Looking at the design the Mahindra KUV100 will entice a lot of the younger breed of customers. Thereby, furthering Mahindra & Mahindra’s reach into younger India consumer. View Offers & Price on KUV100 NXT in Pune at CarzPrice

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Design & Style

While the silhouette hasn’t changed, it gets several small changes that make a big difference. For starters, the headlamps are new, and while it retains the DRLs, the red detailing within the plastic covering has been given a miss. Then there’s a redesigned front grille which looks quite aggressive, and it gets chrome inserts. Both the bumpers have been redesigned and get contrasting silver skid plates that give the KUV a more rugged look. In addition to increasing overall length by 25mm, these also enhance the car’s approach and departure angle, which make it a bit more off-road ready. Further strengthening the KUV100’s appeal are sporty 15-inch alloys which fill the wheel wells a lot better now, and new outside mirrors which get integrated turn indiators. The rear door handles are black now and don’t stand out like before. New clear-lens tail-lamps, new character lines and a new spoiler give the rear a much nicer look. Like the Anniversary Edition of the KUV100 that was launched earlier this year, this car also gets a dual paint option – the red or silver shade with a contrasting black roof – alongside the six other body colours. Overall, the KUV100 is more palatable to look at, and with this facelift, it leans more towards SUV than hatchback. But the oddball proportions remain and the confused mix of styling elements will not be to everyone’s tastes

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Cabin & Space

The raft of design refinements continues on the inside of the KUV as well. Layout-wise, the dashboard will feel instantly familiar to anyone who’s driven the earlier car; however, the lighter colour plastics and fabrics around the interiors have made way from a much darker theme. Honestly, I think the KUV looks all the better for it, and while the plastics in use are far from soft-touch, the textures in play, especially on top of the dash, do lend it a modicum of premiumness.The most apparent change is the addition of a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, available in both the mid and top variants. While it’s been borrowed from other contemporary Mahindra SUVs, it’s a welcome addition to the cabin. The infotainment experience is quite good, with a host of connectivity options including Bluetooth, USB and aux, all controlled through a touch interface that’s intuitive, extremely responsive and fairly legible even in harsh sunlight. And it even gets a full-fledged built-in navigation system

Right below the new infotainment system are new air-conditioning controls. No climate control here, but the controls feel much improved and easier to use, and the new air-con system is completely electronic, which Mahindra says has gone a long way in reducing the dashboard’s wiring complexity. I would like to mention that the top-spec K8 variant we were driving featured a remote opening tailgate that can be triggered only using the button on the key fob, with no apparent mechanical failsafe – a strange choice if you ask me. The rest of the cockpit pretty much follows what we’ve seen before and there are no surprises here.Just like before, you can get the KUV100 in either a 5- or 6-seat configuration. We drove the 6-seat option that gets a bench for the front seat, although the driver’s seat is individually adjustable. Of course, you can seat three in the front only in a technical sense, and anyone but the tiniest of occupants will have trouble fitting their knees behind the dash-mounted gear stick.

Thankfully, the middle seat can be flipped down to create a massive centre armrest for the driver and passenger and it even even gets a couple of cup holders. The NXT carries on the KUV’s tradition of offering interesting storage spaces, with a box that can be accessed by flipping the passenger seat up, and an under-floor space near the feet of the rear passengers.The glovebox too is surprisingly wide, able to accommodate a decent amount of stuff and gets a cooling function in the top-end model. Overall, seating space in the KUV100 is great, with ample amounts of knee, leg and headroom for all occupants. The seats themselves are quite comfortable, and ever under-thigh support all around is fairly decent. The driving position, though, is quite upright, like that of an SUV, so it gives you a commanding view of the road ahead.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Engine & Performance

The KUV100 NXT has the same underpinnings as its predecessor, and we have had good things to say about the monocoque’s limited body roll despite its height, compared to small cars. The NXT features slightly retuned versions of the mFalcon 1.2-litre three-cylinder G80 petrol engine which produces 83PS/115Nm and D75 diesel engine which outputs 78PS/190NM from the earlier KUV100. At the small straights on the Mahindra test track, the NXT stayed stable at speeds up to 135kmph, and it will go beyond that but we will have to wait until we bring it in for a detailed road test to find out. With the micro-hybrid electronic start-stop system, the engine will turn off when placed in neutral for a short time, and restart when the clutch is engaged.

The system works well and will give a 3 to 4 per cent boost to fuel efficiency, which stands at 23kmpl for the diesel and 17.45kmpl for the petrol (ARAI tested). With the D75 diesel motor on the top-spec K8 variant, throttle response feels direct in the switchable Sport mode, while the Eco mode slows it down a fair bit and limits the engine RPM in each of the five gears. The reach to the console mounted joystick-style gear lever is easy. Always staying within view, this lever should prove useful, especially for new drivers while constantly shifting gears in traffic conditions. With the centre seat folded into an armrest, driving through traffic will be less of a chore.

The steering wheel now feels a notch lighter to use at low speeds and does weigh in well as speed increases. However, some vagueness in feel sets in at speeds above 105kmph. That said, the small size makes it a breeze to turn the NXT and U-turns in tight spots will not be a bother at all. Braking with ABS as standard fitment is rapid from speeds in excess of 80kmpkh and the Mahindra feels composed through it. Some more feedback from the pedal would be welcome. For information on contact details of Mahindra car dealers in Kolkata visit mahindraprice.in

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Ride & Handling

Mahindra says that they’ve added new silent engine mounts to improve NVH levels in this KUV100 NXT. For the most part, I’d say they work well in the diesel variant we drove, isolating a fair amount of vibrations from the cabin. However, that doesn’t detract from the slightly annoying level of engine noise that still manages to creep into the cabin.With no mechanical changes to the monocoque structure or suspension either, ride and handling remains at what we’ve come to expect from this little crossover. The tall design means that there is a bit of body roll when you pitch it into corners, but it does manage to remain confident and under control if you get a bit aggressive with the steering. Suspension setup is still on the softer side, so it should still be able to handle real world roads quite well. On the whole, it pretty much feels like a tall hatchback to drive and that’s a real plus point for those who might feel intimidated with the notion of getting behind the wheel of an SUV.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Braking and Safety

Braking system is formed by the ventilated disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. Other vital braking features inset to support the brakes affixed in front and back comprise of anti-lock-braking system along with electronic brake force distribution, which is standard across all variants. Standard safety features on board are automatic door lock, central door locking, and door open indicator. Other safety features available on the SUV are child safety locks on rear doors, anti-slip clips for driver side door mats, ISOFIX child seat mount on rear seat, engine immobiliser, anti-theft security alarm, and dual airbags are available is available on all the plus variants along with the range topping variant.

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Price In Hyderabad

Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,39,000/- (KUV100 NXT K2 Petrol) to 7,40,191/- (KUV100 NXT K8 Dual Tone Diesel). Get best offers for Mahindra Kuv100 Nxt from Mahindra Dealers in Hyderabad

Mahindra KUV100 NXT Verdict

The KUV100 is a very practical and spacious car that’s fairly easy to drive. And the option of carrying six passengers is a huge draw for buyers looking for a budget family car. With this facelift, the KUV finally gets some premium features that other cars in this segment have been offering for a while now. Sure, its proportions are still a bit out of kilter, but Mahindra has managed to clean up the styling to a great extent and that has made the design of the KUV100 NXT a lot easier to digest. It’s well-priced too, and your money goes a fair way with all the features on offer. With the KUV100, Mahindra has taken a big step forward. It’s still not quite there but is definitely closer to the competition now.

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Hyundai Elite i20 Facelift Review & Test Drive

Hyundai Elite i20 Overview

It’s the facelift of a very popular premium hatchback, so naturally, there was a lot of anticipation for it. When the wraps came off it at the 2018 Auto Expo, however, the first impression was that not much had changed. Even afterwards, when we placed photos of the old and new side by side, it was a tricky game of ‘spot the difference’. Now that we have the car with us for some closer inspection, let’s see if there’s more than meets the eye. View Offers & Price on Elite i20 in Kolkata at CarzPrice

Hyundai Elite i20 Style

Now, before we answer that, let’s talk styling. The Elite i20 might run on juicy looking 16in wheels, but as you can tell, it’s no SUV. It is, nonetheless, a good looking large hatchback, we will give it that. The Elite i20 now follows what Hyundai calls its Fluidic Sculpture 2 design, which to you and me means a car that’s less flamboyant and in-your-face, and more palatable than the likes of the Hyundai Verna and Elantra. It still has Hyundai’s signature hexagonal grille and pulled back head lamps, but the mesh that integrates the fog lamps as part of the bumper is a new addition; and it looks good. The bonnet has more creases now and daytime running lights, interestingly, have been given a miss. Hyundai says customers weren’t willing to pay for it.

In profile, the increase in wheelbase of the Hyundai Elite i20 is obvious. What isn’t as clear is the reduction in length. The new i20 is 10mm shorter. But with its stronger shoulder line that runs from the front fender all the way into the tail lamps; the sloping down roofline; and the blackened C-pillar, the Elite i20 looks sportier and has a larger than class road presence. It is the rear where the Elite i20 looks very unlike the previous generation car. Its large LED tail lamps that run into the hatch dominate, and they look beautiful. But then on, it lacks the same styling flair the Elite i20 displays upfront and in profile. It has this ugly protrusion under the Hyundai badge (for the reversing camera) and the bumper though flowing in design, lacks character.

Hyundai Elite i20 Interior

Coming to the interiors, the new i20 easily possesses the best looking interior among them all. Not even the Volkswagen Polo, which I feel is a classy interior job indeed, can hold a candle to the sheer presence of the i20 interiors. It is impressive enough to be counted among the more luxurious German set of premium hatchbacks.Starting off at the dashboard, the basic idea Hyundai have captured is to try and make this look like a wrap-around dashboard with some of the elements inclined towards the driver. It’s similar in form to what BMW offers in their cars and I dare say some of the elements even look like they came straight off a BMW.

Again there are no mellifluously flowing lines to showcase a fluidic theme, instead it’s all hard kinks and corners captioning a more edgy design theme. The cut of the air-con vents, the hexagonal-ish housing for the air-con vents and the audio system, the climate control system and even the instrument panel behind the steering wheel are all superbly detailed and styled. It’s a very intuitive cabin and very easily you begin to memorise just where your fingers need to reach, to make audio changes or change the interior climate.More than just the way everything inside this cabin is styled I believe people will be taken aback just as I was with the attention to detail and the way things function. This is a fabulous form and function kind of cabin. Take for instance the controls for audio and the multi information display on the steering wheel. The buttons and knobs are soft touch and require minimal effort to operate. They are also smartly placed, all audio and phone controls on one side of the wheel and MFD on the other.

The multi function display clearly shows the global reach of this car. There is a host of information displayed in it, especially multi region units for speed and temperature which clearly indicate that Hyundai have fabricated this as a single unit for a universal market. The most interesting feature in this MFD is the one which tells you if the steering is centred or locked into one side. So if you have backed up into your parking while having forgotten to straighten out the wheel and come back to start the car in the morning, the MFD will indicate that your wheels need to be straightened out before you ignite the engine and roll out, probably straight out onto your driveway rather than a wall. I also liked the reminder feature which allows you to set the reminder for your service intervals, either as in number of days or kilometres to go before the next service. Now if only Hyundai had to put in a fuel log feature in it, it would seriously rock.

Hyundai Elite i20 Engine

There have been no mechanical changes on this facelifted i20, but there has been a bit of retuning to both the engine and the chassis. For instance, Hyundai says it has achieved a nine percent increase in fuel economy thanks to a slight remapping of the engine and those aero ducts in the front bumper. In truth, you can feel it a bit when you drive. In this diesel car, for example, the bottom end feels a bit stronger and some of the punch at the top end is missing, thanks to changes to the fuelling. The change is not too drastic, and if you drive primarily in the city, you will appreciate the improved low-end responses. What remains unchanged is the smooth nature of this motor and the light and easy gearshift action.

In a bid to make it a bit more engaging to drive, Hyundai has also tinkered a bit with the suspension and the steering of the i20. They’ve stiffened the rear suspension a little bit and you can feel that in the way the car isn’t quite as bouncy coming off a large speedbreaker, for instance. They’ve also sharpened up the steering a bit and reduced the slack at the centre position to make it feel a bit more engaging than before. Truth be told, this is still no driver’s car, and to truly improve the dynamics would require a full generational leap – as we saw with the new Verna, but it’s good to see Hyundai is trying to improve things on the current-generation car. For information on contact details of Hyumdai car dealers in Chennai visit Hyundaiprice.in

Hyundai Elite i20 Driving

On the handling front, I do feel that the new i20 is seriously underpowered for the kind of control it exhibits. It’s tightly controlled in corners and while there is some body roll, it’s not unsettling nor does it at any point make you feel unsafe. I did find the steering a bit elasticky and it’s not as impressive as in the Grand i10 but it’s light enough for urban commutes with enough weight for when you take it out of the city. The assistance fortunately is not excessive and like in the Verna or the previous i20, you do not need to be extra cautious when taking the steering wheel off centre.

Compared to the diesel variant, the petrol i20?s steering setup feels lighter, thanks to the lesser weight of the petrol engine. But that also makes the steering feel more lifeless. The engine however, feels livelier than its diesel counterpart. Being a naturally aspirated mill, it has a more linear power delivery with no flat spots to complain about. The engine is rev happy and gets the car rolling from as low as 1,200 rpm. Needless to say, it is also quicker and more refined than its diesel sibling.

Hyundai Elite i20 Safety Features

In fact, when it comes to comfort and convenience related equipment, the Elite i20 scores quite well; at least in this top of the line Asta trim. It gets steering mounted controls and single zone climate control system; electric ORVMs with auto fold and a cooled glove box; height adjustable seat and Bluetooth telephony; auto headlamps and keyless entry and start; and a reversing camera as well.What it could do with, however, was a rear central armrest, a better trip computer and a leather pack. On the safety front, there’s ABS and front two airbags. Sadly, the six airbag option available on the previous generation i20 has been skipped on the new car.

Hyundai Elite i20 Price

Hyundai Elite I20 Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 5,27,767/- (Elite i20 1.2 Era Petrol) to 9,09,277/- (Elite i20 1.4 Asta Option Diesel). Get best offers for Hyundai Elite I20 from Hyundai Dealers in Mumbai. Check for elite i20 On Road Price in Mumbai

Hyundai Elite i20 Bottomline

Overall, this facelift appears to be a case of ‘if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’, and really, not much was broken with the Hyundai i20. It’s also worth remembering that Hyundai has been giving the i20 small, regular updates over the years, particularly to the equipment list, and this is why the facelift doesn’t feel as much of a change as most facelifts do. The long equipment list couldn’t have gotten much longer and the interior quality was already pretty much at the top of the class. Even the changes to the engine mapping are very minor. What is much appreciated is the small but effective attention that’s been paid to dynamics, for whatever it’s worth. So yes, the i20 hasn’t changed all that much with the facelift, but then, it didn’t really need to.

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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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