BMW 7 Series Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

The BMW 7 Series is the flagship sedan offering from the German carmaker. It is offered in three engine options, two diesel engine and a petrol engine. The BMW 730Ld comes four variants, 730Ld Design Pure Excellence, 730Ld M Sport, 730Ld DPE Signature and the 730Ld Design Pure Experience. The BMW 740Li is available only in one variant 740Li DPE Signature whereas the BMW 750Li comes in two variants, 750Li DPE and 750Li M Sport, both being directly imported to India. In terms of safety, the BMW 7 Series comes with ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with brake assist, airbags, electronic vehicle immobiliser and active front seat headrests. Key features include 8-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission, Servotronic steering assist, LED fog lights with reflection technique, executive lounge seating, automatic start/stop function, heated front and rear seats and 4 zone automatic climate control.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The 7 Series has always been the more sport oriented of all the luxury sedans. It’s still a proper luxury car, but the sporty BMW character always shows. It’s no different in the new model. In fact, the 7 is now a lot more dynamic in terms of styling and even gets an M sport package as you see here. Like most of its new siblings, the 7 Series now gets a more prominent kidney grille that merges with the headlamps. It’s a larger unit and features BMW’s Laserlight like in the i8. The bumper gets LED fog lights that sit within a prominent chrome element near the air dam. The sculpted hood is typical BMW and adds to the muscular front.

Move to the side and you’ll notice that the car is much longer. However, it’s still shorter in length when compared to the Audi A8L and the Mercedes-Benz S-Class. The front and rear bumpers protrude adding to the length and design. A prominent shoulder line runs across the door handles, and the C-pillar still looks a lot like the previous generation 7. The signature Hofmeister kink (the kink on the rear window frame) is for the first time a single piece in a series production BMW.

There’s a lot more chrome too. The air breather surround is finished in chrome and joins the chrome strip that runs all the way along the lower side of the doors. This is a now 7 Series signature and one that distinguishes it from other flagships. The rear looks very smart, elegant and modern at the same time. The LED lamps are sleek and split by a chrome strip. The contoured rear bumper looks chunky and gets chrome surrounds for the dual-exhausts.

CABIN AND SPACE ;

While the previous 7 Series’ cabin design was rather conservative, the new-generation model goes all-in on the latest technology. A standard LED “light carpet” illuminates your entry as you approach the car, while you’re greeted upon entry by ambient LED lighting and the latest version of iDrive, which notably adds touchscreen functionality and the Gesture Control system. The latter strikes us as more of a gimmick than anything else, but you’ll certainly impress your passengers when you turn up the volume by moving your fingers through the air.

The 7 Series’ standard long wheelbase affords truly copious rear legroom and is complemented by an unprecedented array of rear-seat luxuries, including the optional and very cool tablet-based infotainment system that’ll have you feeling as if you’re in a sci-fi movie. Bespoke touches like wood-trimmed seat belts suggest that a page has been taken from Porsche’s highly successful ultra-luxury playbook. Of course, it’s not a bad thing to be up front, either, what with the sublime available multicontour seats and nifty heated armrests. No matter where you are in the 2017 7 Series’ cabin, it’s a privileged place to be.

The 7’s trunk is suitably grand, measuring 18.2 cubic feet. Additionally, a standard cargo pass-through allows longer items to poke into the rear seat via an opening in the rear seatback measuring 8 inches wide and 9.5 inches high.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The new 7 Series destined for Indian shores will initially be offered with a single engine option, namely a 2993cc, in line 6 cylinder diesel unit. The engine itself is not new; however it has been tweaked for overall performance and enhanced efficiency. Fitted with a turbocharger, variable intake geometry and piezo injectors, this common rail diesel unit stands as testimony towards true blue German engineering and refinement.The engine now delivers 258Hp @ 4000 rpm as opposed to 231 horses earlier, and torque has also gone up from 520Nm to 560Nm which kicks in as low as 1500rpm. Unlike the earlier car, the new car is now mated to an all new eight speed automatic with steptronic. With all these changes in the drivetrain, the new 730Ld is capable of going from 0-100km/h in 6.2 seconds, shaving close to 1.7 seconds off its predecessor! The agility of this machine is serious business and despite its girth, the 7 Series retains the DNA of being a true blue driver’s car

Ensuring you get the best out of the machine, BMW has managed to strike an elusive balance between comfort and performance. The front axle retains the now familiar aluminum double wishbone construction, while the rear employs the patent protected integral V rear axle. In order to optimize the suspension, BMW has modified the ball joints, added stiffer hydraulic dampers and new rubber bearings which have allowed the engineers to further reduce vibrations.Incidentally, all new BMW 7 Series models will now come with automatically controlled rear air suspension, which maintains the ride height regardless of load and driving conditions. Complimenting the chassis is the Electric Power Steering which is light to use but does take away in terms of absolute feedback to the driver. On the whole, the car, despite its length, drives like a sportscar and the handling is impeccable for such a car without having to compromise on ride quality.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

At the very limit, the old 7-series was a blast. But in everyday driving, it felt heavy from behind the wheel and its inconsistent ride marked it down further. The new car improves on the latter fronts. The steering is light enough in Comfort and the all-round air suspension has improved ride quality by a big margin. With the dampers set to Comfort, the 7-series deals with most imperfections with a lovely softness, though you do still feel a mild tremor in the cabin every time a wheel goes over something like an expansion joint. Comfort Plus is softer still, perhaps unnecessarily so, as it also adds more float over undulations and makes the ride feel unsettled. You can get by on the highway just fine with the suspension in Comfort but if you plan to drive hard, you’d be best off in Sport. Yes, you sacrifice some level of bump absorption but the Seven also becomes far better tied down with more weight to the steering and feedback from it as well. Dyed in the wool BMW fans won’t be sold on the electric power steering but it is accurate and offers a great sense of control. The 730Ld’s 50:50 weight distribution also comes into play in the corners. The big BMW changes direction without delay and for a five-metre-plus-long limousine, it feels remarkably sharp and agile.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Standard safety equipment available across model series include active front headrests, multiple airbags, deactivable key for passenger side airbag, ABS with brake assist and dynamic braking lights, cornering brake light, dynamic stability control including dynamic traction control, electric parking brake with auto hold function, electronic vehicle immobilizer, ISOFIX child seat mounting, tyre pressure monitor, crash sensor, side-impact protection, rear doors with mechanical childproof lock and three-point seat belts at all seats.

BOTTOMLINE ;

By just about any measure, the 2017 7 Series is an excellent vehicle. Though it’s more expensive than some class rivals, it is far from the most expensive car in the class, and there’s a lot of value with that middle-tier price tag. The 7 Series features several powerful engine options, including a plug-in hybrid powertrain that’s new for 2017. The base 7 Series is more fuel-efficient than rivals, and it has one of the largest trunks in the class. And in a class that’s often judged by how luxurious the rear seats are, the 7 Series stands out for providing plenty of rear-seat comfort features and more legroom in the back than pretty much every rival.

The 7 Series provides a lot of positives for a decent price. But in a class where every car attempts to provide buyers with everything they dream of having in a vehicle, there are going to be some other outstanding choices. The Audi A8 costs about the same as the 7 Series, and – like its German rival – combines performance and luxury in a stylish manner. The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has arguably the nicest interior of any car on the market, and it’s worth noting that the few minor complaints about the BMW 7 Series usually take the form of “the 7 Series’ isn’t quite as nice as the S-Class.”

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Merecedes Benz AMG CLA45 Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Back in January of 2013, Mercedes-Benz pulled the sheets on the CLA Class at the North American International Auto Show. The car was a bit of a gamble for the German automaker, combining a compact, entry-level platform with four doors and a fastback coupe roofline. The formula ended up working and the CLA went on to be a smash hit, selling in record numbers across the globe. Alongside more pedestrian specifications was the hotrod AMG model, which packed in aggressive styling, driver-oriented interior amenities, sharper suspension, and a serious power boost. Last year, the AMG CLA45 got even more underhood performance, and now, Mercedes is giving it a refresh with new body components and new cabin equipment.Overall, it’s a pretty mild update for the four-door coupe, but considering the car’s popularity, not to mention last year’s horsepower infusion, Mercedes didn’t need to do much to keep the buyers rolling in.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The CLA is the sedan based on the A-Class and the resemblance is striking at the front. The side profile reveals the coupe lines of this compact sedan which features a sloping roof that neatly merges with the boot. The design influence from the CLS is apparent at the rear. The CLA in stock guise is also a very attractive car and the AMG version is simply irresistible in appearance. This car is very aerodynamic, having a drag co-efficient of just 0.23, making it one of the slipperiest cars in the world. It has very smooth flowing lines giving it a sleek profile.

Being an AMG, you get all those go-faster bits which clearly signal at the intentions of this 4-door performance car. While in size, it isn’t any bigger than a D-segment car, it still has loads of presence with an attitude which few can match. Right from the body kit to the massive rear diffuser, all look so sporty yet elegant on this Afflerbach tuned machine. Larger air intakes and aluminium accents are immediately striking while the 10-spoke 18-inch wheels proudly flaunt the CLA45’s big fat discs and red brake callipers. The biggest give away about this 2.0-litre engine not being your regular run of the mill motor are the quad-exhausts at the rear.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

From behind the wheel, racy cabin accoutrements such as a sport steering wheel, red-ringed HVAC vents, and a microsuede dash cover are clues that you’re driving something more special than a regular Benz. Aggressively bolstered sport seats provide more than enough squeeze to keep occupants located during high-speed cornering. That said, the cabins of the 45s are as cramped and impractical as those of the CLA250 and GLA250. Front-seat space is adequate in both cars, but taller folks would be wise to skip the optional panoramic sunroof; it steals precious headroom, and with it, back-seat passengers won’t find their accommodations nearly as, well, accommodating. VIEW 45 PHOTOS

Perched atop the shapely dashboard is the same 8.0-inch COMAND infotainment system that is also standard issue on the other CLA and GLA models, but navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are all extra-cost options. The system offers no touchscreen control; instead, a small rotary knob on the center console is pushed, pulled, or spun to manage functions. It generally works well, and we prefer physical controls, but with the addition of the aforementioned smartphone-integration menus, a touch-sensitive screen would make life easier.

The GLA45 offers slightly more rear-seat headroom and hatchback practicality, while the CLA45 is claimed to be quicker, handles a bit flatter, and sports a sexier shape. But either of these siblings will provide plenty of fun on your favorite back road. There is a third relative that blends together the best of the CLA45 and GLA45 but, regrettably, isn’t available in the States: the CLA45 Shooting Brake. Mercedes-AMG sells this ideal, albeit curious, blend of practicality, speed, and seductive bodywork in other parts of the world but not in the United States, where wagons are shunned in favor of SUV-like amalgams. Still, the smallest AMG specimens that we do get are delightfully sinful and carry the bragging rights that come along with having the most powerful production turbocharged four-cylinder in the world hammering away under the hood.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

Apart from the smaller displacement and lower cylinder count, the biggest difference between the CLA 45 and most AMGs is that it’s not rear-wheel drive. It uses Merc’s 4Matic four-wheel-drive system to help manage all that power better, but since it’s based on the A-class’ MFA platform, it’s primarily front-wheel drive, with additional power being sent rearward as and when necessary. As a result, there’s a lot of grip, but also a lot of understeer, and you have to drive it like a front-wheel-drive car to really get the most out of it. To properly tuck this nose-heavy car into a corner, it’s best to lift off, add some steering lock and then power through, rather than just flooring it round a bend. It’s at this point that you’ll also notice that the steering is a bit too light at speed, and doesn’t feed you much information from the road. This lightness is great in traffic though, and the CLA’s small dimensions (it’s about the size of a new Toyota Corolla) make it easy to manoeuvre. The CLA’s body movements are also superbly contained when you’re being enthusiastic with it, and that’s all down to the way the suspension’s been set up. It’s not adjustable or adaptive like some of the bigger AMG cars, and the corollary of that good body control is a somewhat firm ride. It’s acceptable for a car with sporting intent to be stiffly sprung, and we’re sure the standard CLA will be a lot more comfortable, but the 45 AMG’s ride simply lacks the sophistication and flexibility of bigger sports sedans, including Merc’s own E 63. It also lacks a bit in refinement, letting in a lot of road noise at highway speeds, although you can’t argue about the fact that it feels very stable. You must, however, remember to ‘crab walk’ the car over big speed breakers or rumblers, as it has a long wheelbase and not a lot of ground clearance. Finally, that engine. Five minutes in and you won’t doubt Mercedes’ lofty claims about it. Whether you’re attacking some corners or just cruising, there’s plenty of power available anywhere in the rev band. In fact, it’s easy to lose track of how fast you’re going if you don’t periodically check the speedo. That’s partly because there’s no perceivable step or shove in its delivery, just a great big surge from the get-go, with mild peaks around 2,000 and 4,000rpm.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

There is no denying that the ride is harsh, the suspension travel is limited and you are going to feel everything under the wheels – even the white paint that demarcates the lanes. At high speeds the car bounces even on the smallest of undulations and the Recaros don’t do much to alleviate the suffering. Probably the only cars of this size that score lower than the CLA 45 AMG in ride are the Minis. The ground clearance is not optimum for India and you need to be really careful over speed humps, especially since the lowest part of the car is the exhaust muffler.At the primary level this is a front-wheel drive sedan and even with the all-wheel drive assistance, the front bias is pretty evident. The car tends to understeer when pushed hard through the corners, but in a way I think it is a good thing since most buyers will be first timers to the world of performance cars.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

The automaker has incorporated several sophisticated safety aspects that provide unmatched protection to the occupants. It has an active parking assist with PARKTRONIC that gives excellent assistance to the driver, while maneuvering in tight corners. At the same time, its high end versions also have a 360 degree camera that minimizes the efforts required to park this saloon. It also has a tyre pressure monitoring system, impact protection beams, bi-xenon headlamps, ATTENTION Assist function, adaptive brake with hill start assist, central locking system, neck-pro head restraints and anti-theft device

BOTTOMLINE ;

The line ‘Happiness comes in small packages’ holds its relevance with the CLA45AMG. No one could have ever imagined a 2-litre engine to be this responsive and power packed. Agreed, it does not deliver spine pulling performance but then the figures it generates is second to none in its segment. This compact sedan from Mercedes-Benz produces sprint timings close to a BMW M3 at half its price.

If looks could talk, the45AMG’s design would have screamed of its rich hyper action heritage. With an increased focus on efficiency, there are not many cars which boast of such performance. Even the legendary Mitsubishi Lancer Evo X falls short to match with this baby AMG. Being the most affordable all out performance car, the CLA45AMG should make it an enthusiast’s parking…just make sure you don’t end up picking bets while racing around at night.

 

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Audi A4 Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

The A4 which has been selling for over 40 years now has been the Audi’s longest and best selling sedan. With its sharp and aggressive looks, this sedan has gained high popularity and has also elevated Audi’s position in India. The car maker claims that with its progressive design, efficient driving dynamics and class defining interiors, the A4 can take on most cars in its space. A4 price in Mumbai

Audi recently beefed up the A4 with a more powerful 177hp 2.0 TDI engine. It also gets Audi Drive Select to improve driving comfort and overall performance. The new sedan can reach a speed of 100 km/h from standstill in just 7.9 seconds. We decided to see if it is as impressive in the real world as it seems on paper.

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

Immediately recognizable as an A4, the new sedan is slightly larger than its predecessor, a sign that Audi redesigned it using the same successful recipe we’ve come to know for decades. The shape hasn’t changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines. This comes as no surprised given the new 2016 Audi Q7 and the 2016 Audi R8 received similar treatment. The model is more aerodynamic than its forerunner, and according to Audi, it’s also the most aerodynamic in its class, with a drag coefficient of only 0.23. Exchange your old car for A4

“The shape hasn’t changed and the styling is familiar, albeit with sharper lines.” While the front apron got only minor changes in the foglamp/intake area, the grille and the headlamps are as fresh as they get. Both feature sharper design cues, while the headlamps have a new pattern and extend less toward the fenders. There’s also a slightly reshaped hood. Together, these new features make the A4 look significantly more aggressive. The rear sports similar styling. The new bumper, the slightly shorter trunk lid and the slimmer, redesigned taillights give it a fresh and bold appearance. By contrast, the profile hasn’t changed much, even though Audi meddled with the side skirts and the quarter-windows.

As far as dimensions go, the new sedan is 1 inch longer and 0.55 inch wider, and its wheelbase has gained 0.6 inch. The car’s height has remained essentially unchanged. The big news regarding the A4’s revised body is that it’s 33.1 pounds lighter than its predecessor’s, contributing to an overall weight that has been decreased by up to 264 pounds, depending on trim and engine.

Alongside the sedan, Audi also unveiled the A4 Avant, which features the same styling updates and a sportier roof. The wagon is less aerodynamic than the sedan, with a drag coefficient of 0.26. Both models can be had with optional LED and matrix LED headlamps.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The cabin space feels very plush and upmarket with fine quality leather stitched seats. The driver and front passenger seats get electrical controls and also have memory settings to store different positions of seats. The lumbar support can also be adjusted electrically.

Front row legroom is decent with the driver feeling confident about the cockpit. The levers and controls are placed at an easy distance and are very convenient too. The steering wheel feels similar to other Audi models with controls mounted on it. These controls do the basic functions but for the rest one has to juggle with the music system.

Rear legroom is not impressive and especially for taller passengers who would often complaint of being cramped. But then it is not just the A4 which has this issue, the same being the cases with the C Class and 3 Series too where the rear passenger comfort and space have been ignored completely.

One of the most impressive features of this car is its fantastic music system. With its amazing sound distribution inside the cabin, it scores really well. The music system can play music via Bluetooth and CDs. Our variant did not have a USB plug in but instead it had IPod connectivity jack inside the glove box. We believe a conventional USB port won’t have harmed the cabin.

It gets conventional storage options under the seat, glove box and on the door trims. It also has cup holders on the central console. If the storage options in the cabin are not enough then perhaps the 480L of huge boot space shall be sufficient for anyone to just pack the necessary and head out for a month.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The 2017 Audi A4 is offered with the same 2.0-litre diesel engine with the 35 TDI nomenclature. The engine produces 188 HP of power at 4200 RPM and 400 Nm of twisting force between 1750 to 2500 RPM. The engine is now mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch transmission, unlike the earlier A4 which came with a CVT unit. Power is sent to the front wheels and there is no quattro on offer. The engine feels refined and isn’t too noisy. Power delivery is smooth and instantaneous and the sedan responds well to throttle inputs. Turbo lag isn’t felt much and the surge of power post 2000 RPM is very strong and continues till a notch above 4500 RPM. Top speed is a claimed 237 km/hr but progress dulls post 200 km/hr.

The A4 feels sprightly and eager. The gearbox understands driving styles well and responds very quickly. Gear shifts also happen fast. The new A4 is lighter than the older model by around 150 kgs and thanks to that, it feels even more livelier to drive. You also get paddle shifters and the option of shifting gears with the gear knob too. The TDI mill is also very efficient and churns out 14-15 km/l on the highways if driven sedately while under hard driving, efficiency drops down to 9-10 km/l (ARAI rating is 18.25 km/l). You get driving modes like Comfort, Dynamic, Individual and Auto though the A4 doesn’t come with an Eco mode.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Audi never had any issues with ride and handling. With the new platform of the 2017 Audi A4, things have enhanced further. The ride of the 2017 Audi A4 hasn’t changed much, it is still somewhat similar. Due to longer wheelbase, the suspension has been softened. The handling of the 2017 Audi A4 is crisp. The steering wheel doesn’t feel slack at any point and has good feedback. The alacrity of the chassis is at par with the other new Audis.

The A4 is designed to offer more comfort that outright handling finesse. However,it balances both these aspects well. Braking is right up there too. What impressed us most was the hight speed stability. The car feels relaxed even at 150km/h and keeping one oblivious of the speed outside.

SAFETY ;

New generation safety equipments have been installed in the latest model of Audi A4. The car comes with Electronic Stability Program (ESP), with traction control and Antilock Braking System (ABS), to ensure that the driver has complete control over the vehicle during emergencies. Apart from this, the car features dual stage front airbags, side and curtain airbags, to protect the passengers from the impact of collision in the event of accidents. Contributing to its amazing safety is the ‘Servotronic’ speed-sensitive power-assisted steering wheel.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Audi A4 is the flagship car of Audi and it satisfies Indian customers needs. Audi A4 provides a pleasant ride with features of safety, comfort and luxury. The cutting edge design and the state of the art technologies make this car to be more distinct. The A4 is a great car and creates a very tough fight to its competitors. It’s worth the money spent on it but keep an eye on detail about its maintanence

 

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Merecedes Benz AMG GLS63 Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

Coming to the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63, the SUV is the performance iteration of the standard issue Mercedes-Benz GLS that is already on sale in the country. The performance SUV gets AMG bodystyling complete with the trademark quad exhausts, LED Intelligent Light System with integrated LED DRLs and red painted brake calipers. You also get a panoramic sunroof, ORVM logo projectors, and an Easy Pack tailgate which can be electrically opened or closed.Inside, the Mercedes-AMG GLS 63 gets an AMG steering wheel finished in Nappa leather, temperature controlled cup holder and multi-contour front seats with massage function. You also have Thermotronic automatic climate control, memory package as well as a Harman Kardon Logic 7 surround system.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The GL-Class is one huge vehicle and feels almost tank like in traffic, where other cars feel like ants in comparison. The huge dimensions aside, there is little to tell the GL63 AMG from the regular GL-Class as both look quite similar. The GL63 AMG has the AMG bodykit which does tell it apart but it’s really the quad exhausts at the rear which immediately make people sit up and take notice. This ain’t a regular GL, this one has a beast of a motor under its belly, which the ‘V8 BITURBO’ badges near the front wheels easily reveal. The rear carries the AMG badging and if you look closely, you will also notice the massive 21-inch wheels wrapped around super wide 295 mm tyres. So in essence, the GL63 AMG does little to signify it carries a 5.5-litre behemoth in its arsenal.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The interior section gets exclusive AMG package that has a 4-spoke, multi-functional, AMG performance steering wheel covered with nappa leather upholstery and it is further accompanied with paddle shifters. The front cabin is fitted with multi-contour seats, which are fully power-adjustable and has a memory function as well. These seats have been covered with a combination of leather and designo leather upholstery, which enhances the plushness of internal cabin. Additionally, this variant gets stainless steel door sill panels embossed with AMG lettering, which will provide a distinct look to the interiors. The elegantly crafted dashboard is integrated with an advanced command online multimedia system featuring a 7-inch color display along with a 6-DVD changer , 10GB hard disc, Bluetooth interface, USB port and SD card slot.

This luxury SUV is incorporated with innovative comfort features that provides unparalleled luxury to the passengers. It is fitted with a THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control system that regulates the air quality, temperature and keeps the cabin cool irrespective of temperature outside. It is also incorporated with a PARKTRONIC active parking assist system that features a 360 degree camera, which provides excellent assistance to the driver, while parking. The list of features include, fully power-adjustable seats with memory function , AMG high performance steering wheel, electrically operated easy pack tailgate, ambient lighting system and temperature controlled cup holder. It is also blessed with an easy entry system with second row 60:40 split seats, which makes it easy to gain access to the third row.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The all new Mercedes Benz GLS Class 63 AMG is powered by a V8, 5.5-litre petrol engine that has a displacement capacity of 5461cc. Further this engine is incorporated with a twin-turbo charger producing a peak power of 557bhp between 5250 to 5750rpm and a peak torque of 760Nm between 2000 to 5000rpm. The engine unit is mated with an AMG SPEEDSHIFT Plus 7G-TRONIC automatic gearbox.

The powerful engine of Mercedes Benz GLS Class 63 AMG that churns out of a whooping power has a top speed of 250 Kmph. It performs well both in the crowded city streets and highways as always keeping up its standard. Mercedes Benz GLS Class 63 AMG gives an incredible performance with the powerful engine and braking system incorporated in it. The suspension system in this vehicle is of great quality. This SUV is blessed with AIRMATIC air suspension system on both front and rear axles. There is an adaptive damping system that enables it to adjust precisely as per the road conditions.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Behind the wheel, the GLS63 is a rocket ship. Select Sport+ mode, slip the transmission into manual shifting mode, and this docile SUV turns into a burbling, quarter-mile destroying monster. The drive modes really do change the driving demeanor. Comfort mode does just that, making it rather smooth and compliant over rough roads yet not porky around turns. The steering is nicely weighted and only requires a few turns from lock to lock.Selecting Sport+ mode wakes up the GLS’ AMG heritage. The steering tightens, the throttle response becomes more direct, the transmission shifts more quickly and keeps the revs high in the V-8’s power band, and the exhaust note becomes far more aggressive. Body roll is surprisingly well kept, even on twisty roads. Braking is powerful, with the six-piston calipers using every square inch of metal on the rotors.All told, the Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is a surprisingly fun vehicle to drive.

SAFETY ;

Standard safety features on the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS-Class include automatic crosswind stabilization, trailer stability assist, front side airbags, a driver knee airbag, full-length side curtain airbags, a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking and a driver attention/drowsiness monitor. Also standard are a rearview camera and a five-year subscription to mbrace Connect (includes Mercedes-Benz roadside assistance).For additional peace of mind, mbrace Secure is available and includes automatic collision notification, stolen vehicle location and more. The Premium 1 package adds a blind-spot monitor and lane-keeping assist, while the Driver Assistance package contributes adaptive cruise control, an upgraded collision mitigation system with pedestrian recognition, speed limit assist and “active” blind spot and lane-keeping assist systems that can automatically guide the car back into its lane if the driver fails to heed their warnings.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is quite the vehicle. It goes fast, its interior is functional, it can tow 7,500 pounds, and it will most likely be parked out front by the valet. What’s not to love about that?Sure, this SUV won’t be setting lap time records at the Nürburgring, but that’s not the point. This is the SUV for the dad who wants to drive a sports coupe to work, but has to pick up the kids from school. He has to haul little league equipment to practice on Saturday, before relaxing on the lake Sunday afternoon on a ski boat he towed in. The GLS63 is a jack-of-all-trades vehicle that combines the functionality of a SUV with the performance of a muscle car.

 

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Porsche 911 Transmission

OVERVIEW

Porsche has launched the 2016 range of its legendary 911s and with prices starting from Rs. 1.39 crores (ex-showroom, Maharashtra) and Rs. 1.42 crores (ex-showroom, Delhi), you could almost call it a bargain, for what you get is something of a rare breed on this planet, a German with a sense of humour. The 911 family tree has remained majorly unchanged over the years, with the flat-six engine stubbornly remaining at the back. Nobody thought it would ever work, but fast forward to 2016, and these are one of the most sought after driver’s cars, known for their one-of-a-kind feel.

In a welcome move, Porsche has launched the 2016 line up of its 911s in India. The new line-up, like every other year sees minor tweaks and changes to get the 911 formula that much closer to perfection. The models that have been launched in India include the 911 Carrera Cabriolet, the 911 Carrera S, the 911 Turbo and the 911 Turbo S Cabriolet. All of these cars were showcased at the 2016 Detroit Motor Show.

DESIGN AND STYLE

Much like the rest of the 911 lineup, the GT3 was updated to the recently introduced 991.2 design. Needless to say, there isn’t a lot to talk about here since the update is more about nips and tucks, but most changes are noticeable. While the front fascia wears the same nose and headlamps, but bumper was revised with a big focus on aerodynamics. The intakes are significantly larger, while the side vents sport additional winglets for enhanced downforce.

It doesn’t appear as if Porsche modified anything on the sides, but the rear end gained new taillights and a redesigned diffuser. The light units are taken off the latest Porsche 911 and have a more angular design as well as a new LED layout. The diffuser isn’t radically different compared to the outgoing model, but the mild changes deliver optimized airflow. The carbon-fiber wings also sports minor changes, the license plate has a different shape, while the side air vents are significantly larger.All told, the new 911 GT3 isn’t that new, but I can’t say I was expecting major changes. Porsche rarely takes the revolutionary route on its cars, so it’s far from surprising that there aren’t many details to set the new and outgoing models apart.

CABIN AND COMFORT

The steering of the Porsche 911 is the typical three spoke Porsche steering. But this steering has no controls. The area is hollow. The volume and track changer is a knob extending at the lower right side of the steering. Just in front of the of the stick for scanning through the system. On the left there is a similar stick for cruise control. Behind all this are the chrome paddle shifts. The three pod instrument cluster are again typical Porsche. The A/C vents are rather simple and blend with the dash. The centre vents blend with the centre infotainment screen.

Below the vents there is a chrome strip that runs across the dash board and is really broad. There is more chrome on the door livers and around the front speakers that are on the doors too. The large screen for the infotainment is good but the icons seem old and not up to the current level of cars. Luckily this car has way less button than the likes of Macan, Cayman etc and leads to less confusion. These seats in spite of being extremely sporty are extremely comfortable. The Sports seats are comfortable and provide support even during performance driving. They come equipped with electric backrest adjustment and mechanical height and fore/aft adjustment. The seat centres are lined with Alcantara®.

ISOFIX child seat preparation for the front passenger seat is available as an option and includes a deactivation function for the front passenger airbag. The Porsche equipment range of genuine accessories offers a selection of Porsche child seats specially tested and approved for Porsche cars.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Few engines have had as much to prove as this new 2,981cc, twin-turbocharged flat six does. In the Carrera it’s tuned to produce 370hp and 450Nm, but in the more potent Carrera S, it makes 420hp and 500Nm! These are, of course, far more significant numbers than what you’d get from the now defunct 3.4- and 3.8-litre naturally aspirated flat sixes, especially the torque figures, as is the case with most turbocharged cars. Even the performance claims – 0-100kph in 4.2sec and 3.9sec respectively are better than before. But all of this means nothing. No, in a 911, it’s all about the way the car sounds, responds, feels and makes you feel.

And I’m happy to report that it feels good. Fire it up and it sounds like a proper Porsche boxer six should (especially with the optional sport exhaust fitted), set off gently and it doesn’t feel laboured or strained. It feels naturally aspirated, and that’s the best compliment you can pay a turbocharged car. On the road, it’s comfy changing pace as we weave in and out of Abu Dhabi’s traffic, the quick and smooth seven-speed PDK dual-clutch automatic gearbox coping well with the random changes in throttle input. It’s very civilised and very comfortable, as the 911 has always been, but of course, we didn’t expect that to change.

RIDE AND HANDLING

All the wheels have been coupled with high performance internally vented and cross-drilled disc brakes that are further accompanied with four-piston aluminum monobloc fixed calipers. These brakes are integrated with anti lock braking system and Porsche ceramic composite brakes, which enables shorter braking distance even under race conditions. As far as the suspension is concerned, its front axle is paired with McPherson Strut and the rear axle is fitted with a Multi-link mechanism. This model series also comes with an electromechanical power assisted steering featuring a turning radius of 11.1 meters.

SAFETY FEATURES

The car has full-sizeairbags for both the driver as well as the front passenger. Also, there are knee airbags for both of them. Porsche inbuilt Side Impact protection system (POSIP) as well as the head airbags protect you in every possible way. Three level automatic seat belt and remote locking are some of the other safety features installed.Talking about the breaking system the car has a 6-piston aluminum fixed monobloc calipers in the front whereas 4-piston aluminum fixed monobloc calipers in the rear end. With a brake disc radius of 380mm perfectly cross drilled and ventilated the car is in total control. An electric parking break is present alongwith pad wear sensors on every brake pad.

BOTTOMLINE

Needless to say, the new 911 GT3 doesn’t disappoint performance- and feature-wise and if the outgoing model is any indication, the 991.2-based coupe should be at least as exciting and popular with Porsche fanatics. I remember that last year I was thinking how cool it would be for Porsche to reinstate the manual transmission for the GT3, but I wasn’t really hoping it to happen. Well, it turns out I was wrong and I’m actually very happy that the Germans did the unexpected. The 911 GT3 deserves to continue with a manual transmission and I do hope that this won’t change with the next-generation model.

 

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Maruti Suzuki Swift Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

The Maruti Suzuki Swift is India’s most popular hatchback and has ruled the streets for a good 10 years now, unchallenged mostly. There is definitely something about the Swift which makes it such a hot seller, we have it our long term garage and can’t deny the smile it plants on our face everything we show it a pair of twisties. It’s not a very practical car due to the lack of rear seat room and a small boot but for those who love driving, the Swift is among the few options. The company updated its popular model with a minor facelift not so long back and we gauge the minor changes. Check Price of Swift

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

If we talk about styling definitely the new generation Swift has changed a lot. It looks more aggressive, the car still carries over the same sporty design. The hatchback retains the same overall silhouette. What has changed though is the way it looks. The new Swift hatchback looks even sportier with the redesigned front headlamps which now get projector units (on the top variant), a completely new single piece grille and a huge fog lamp enclosure towards the lower lip. Like the front profile the side profile of the hatchback gets newly designed alloy wheels. Both the A and B pillars are finished in Black which has actually left a floating roof like illusion similar to the ones found in the new Vitara Brezza SUV. The rear profile of the new Swift looks little slimmer and also gets broader LED taillamps. It also gets a neat looking spoiler interated into the roof which completes the overall styling of the new hatchback. Request test drive for Swift in Cazprice

The new Swift hatchback shares many of its parts with the Baleno hatchback however if we talk about overall dimension then the new hatchback is actually slightly shorter than the Baleno but has a longer wheelbase. The car is also lighter than the previous generation hatchback the lightest Swift hatchback only weighs 890 kilograms thanks to the new platform. This will definitely be useful and will help improve its overall performance.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The Maruti Swift 2016 has all black interiors, this has been done to make it look trendy, when compared to the Swift DZire that has black and beige interiors. This has been done on purpose to separate the audience and their liking. The Maruti Swift 2016 has a three-spoke steering wheel with twin dials for the instrument cluster, a centre console that has an integrated music system with bluetooth connectivity, USB and aux too. The Swift now even has reverse parking sensors, push start and stop and even keyless entry.

The front row seats on the Maruti Swift 2016 are large enough for six foot adults and this makes it a great option to consider. The rear seats on the Swift are a bit tight when it comes to knee room and even the boot size at 204 litres is extremely small. The rear seats fold with a 60:40 split. This is unique on the Swift in this segment at least. The Swift doesn’t have rear AC vents. The Swift has good storage places with space to keep your smart phone, keys and other knick knacks. The front door pocket can house a one litre bottle, while the rear can fit a half litre bottle. There are cup holders also in the front.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Coming in both petrol and diesel engine options, the Swift has total six variants: Petrol – LXI, VXI and ZXI Deisel – LDI, VDI and ZDI The petrol version of the car derives its power from the 1.2-litre KB12 unit that has a displacement capacity of 1197 cc, while the Swift diesel has the proven and potent 1.3-litre multijet motor under its hood. While the petrol mill has an MPFI (Multi Point Fuel Injection) system, the diesel engine has a 5-step Multi Injection CRDi system.

When it comes to performance, both the units are powerful and responsive. With a 16-valve DOHC (Double Over Head Camshaft) valve train and four-cylinder set-up, the petrol mill churns out a maximum power output of 85.8 bhp and 114 Nm of peak torque, making it one of the most powerful engines in its segment. The oil burner 1.3-litre diesel unit too is equally impressive with 74 bhp and 190 Nm. Despite being a hatchback, the Swift is one of the few vehicles in its segment that is as good for highway driving as it is for driving in the city and that has been the reason behind its popularity everywhere.

Both the 1.2-litre K-series petrol and Fiat-sourced 1.3-litre multijet diesel versions won’t disappoint you in this department. You will love throttling them. Having equipped with a five-speed manual transmission, the Swift petrol touches the 0 to 100 kmph mark in about 12 seconds. That is the case with the Swift dieselas well. Even it does the same in about 12 seconds at a top speed of 150 kmph. Despite having much better ride quality than most of its competitors, the Swift isn’t as ‘swift’ as its rival Hyundai i20, especially till the third gear. But as soon as one enters the fourth gear, it gives you a sense of stability and sportiness that you would just like to rev it hard.

As mentioned above, the Swift is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre K-Series VVT petrol mill coupled to a five-speed manual transmission pumps out 85.6 bhp at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of peak torque at 4000 rpm. The 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine, on the other hand, mated to a five-speed manual and turbocharger, belts out 74 bhp at 4000 rpm and 190 Nm at 2000 rpm. So in terms of power, both the engines are impressive and in fact better than most of their competitors. What impresses more is the improved NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) level; the designers have worked really well on insulation that one doesn’t feel any noise inside the cabin.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Another aspect that hasn’t changed, and for a good reason too, is the drive dynamics. The new Swift comes fitted with what MSIL calls RBSS, basically a rally based suspension set up. With learnings from JWRC and our very own Indian rallies such as Desert Storm and Raid de Himalaya, the suspension system has been designed to be robust yet offer a rather decent ride quality. Push the car around a tight corner and she holds her line extremely well. No doubt the larger tyres have a role to play here, but there is more to the story than meets the eye. Despite an increase in size, the new MSIL Swift is 30 kilograms (petrol version) lighter than its predecessor and the diesel manages to be 15 kilograms lighter. A better stance and a lighter body also contribute to the Swift’s engaging driving dynamics.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Standard safety provisions across line-up include 3-point ELR front seat belts, rear seat belts, rear door child locks, front head restraint, dual horn, high mounted stop lamp, side door impact beams and iCats. Eminent safety equipment available exclusively on the top-spec variant are reverse parking sensor, new generation anti-lock-braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, brake assist, airbags in front for driver and co-passenger. Of these features, ABS with EBD and brake assist is available exquisitely on the VDi trims while giving a miss to the petrol variants.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The new Swift is bigger and bolder than the outgoing one, but is it better? It’s made a huge leap forward in terms of practicality with a much bigger boot and a more spacious cabin. With families getting bigger and more demanding, extra space is always welcome. But the Swift isn’t really meant to be a family car. It’s for individuals who drive themselves most of the time and, to that end, the new Swift, though it may be quicker, hasn’t bettered the old car’s fun-to-drive desirability. Where it does add a bit of excitement is with its styling which is even more striking than before. To be launched in early 2018 and sold through regular Maruti channels – which means it will be competitively priced (and not have a Nexa premium) – the Swift is sure to be another runaway success. It’s just that the character of the previous car is missing.

 

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Jeep Compass Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after a long delay finally made their India debut back in 2016 with two exciting products which included the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Both these SUV’s were sold in the Indian market via the CBU route and thus were expensive and well above the reach of many. However, that is all going to change now because Jeep has decided to launch a new SUV which is well within reach of buyers. Check for Compass price in Hyderabad

Jeep has unveiled the Compass SUV in India today, and the good thing is that the compact SUV is made in India product which also means that the new product will also be priced quite aggressively as well. The brands new product will be locally assembled at their Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra from June onward. The new Jeep Compass replaces the old Compass and Patriot SUV in the International market, and apart from the Indian market, the same SUV is also produced in some other Countries as well. However, the good news is that India will be mother hub for right-hand drive Compass SUV from where it will also be exported to some other right-hand drive markets as well. For all your information the Compass SUV is offered with 17 engine options for different markets of the world.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

In terms of design, the Jeep Compass has most of the elements one is looking for. The design has a good road presence, there is more than enough similarity to the Grand Cherokee. The Jeep Compass gets the seven slat front grille and somewhat hawk-eye line design. The higher spec model gets projector headlamps and daytime running LEDs. The bumper too is wide and its lower end is black matte to avoid any scratches on the paint if and when off roading. Request test drive for Compass in Cazprice

The side profile does have the SUV like boxy styling, but the low stance makes it seem more like a crossover. The wheel arches are muscular and squarish. The door pillars are blacked out and there are roof rails too. The alloy wheels fill the arches well and they do not appear to be empty at any point. There are clean lines that run across the SUV. The rear styling of this new SUV also melds well with its overall design. The tail lamps are neatly integrated and they do look stylish. There is an integrated rear spoiler and reflectors in the bumper. The overall styling is just impressive and even the paint quality makes it feel premium.The Compass doesn’t seem to look very tall and its design will somewhat appear like a crossover. So, we aren’t certain on what will a buyer’s reaction to this design. The Jeep Compass India production will actually make it easier for the company to enhance their sales numbers as the pricing should be highly competitive.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The interiors of the Jeep Compass aren’t very swanky and lavish. The dashboard is simple yet functional having a dual tone treatment. You’ve got a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls but there are some dummy buttons for the cruise control, which is not being offered in India. The instrument cluster looks premium having a huge MID in the middle and is easy to read. There is a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system. The user interface looks good but the touch quality is just average. Jeep offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity. The sound quality of the audio system is rich and quite satisfying. Some of the features missing in the Compass are sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, auto headlamps, auto wipers, etc.

The ingress and egress is quite comfortable in the Jeep Compass and you don’t feel like you are sitting in a hatchback like other compact SUVs, it is relatively high and you have a commanding driving position with a good view all around. The quality, fit and finish is nice and you can hardly find any cheap quality panels inside the cabin. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, there is ample legroom and headroom at the back. Even the under-thigh support of the seats are pretty good. The boot is also well spaced out and can accommodate a lot of luggage.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The diesel version we drove comes powered with Fiat’s new generation 2.0-litre Multijet II engine that debuts in India on the Compass. It makes 173PS of power at 3750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. The torque is available from 1800rpm onwards below which there is noticeable turbo lag. The narrow, winding roads of Goa didn’t quite allow us to accelerate hard but the motor did feel like the power delivery could have been punchier. The engine is smooth but sounds clattery at idle and is a tad noisy even on the go, especially after 3500rpm.

Interestingly, the diesel version of the Compass will not be offered with an automatic transmission and will only come with a six-speed manual transmission. There will be a 7-speed automatic on offer as well, but only with the petrol version powered by the 1.4-litre Multiair engine. That said, a new 9-speed automatic is expected to be offered in the diesel by the end of the calendar year. The manual gearbox feels slick to use though, and gear changes have a precise feel which makes shifting up or down a delight when driving enthusiastically.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The steering unit on the Compass is a revelation. Though it is electrically assisted, it feels well-connected to the front wheels. While there is almost no resistance from the steering system at parking speeds, it weighs up nicely as you pick up speed.A brief drive on the beach also gave us a preview of how effective the ‘Selec Terrain’ system is. Controlled via a rotary knob on the lower centre console, it offers shift-on-the-fly traction modes – including ‘Auto’, ‘Snow’, ‘Sand’ and ‘Mud’. Though the Compass has all-weather tyres, which are generally just enough to cope with varying terrains, the AWD system made sure the Compass felt comfortable on soft sand. The system automatically sent power to the rear wheels when it detected slip and stopped it from digging in.

On a dedicated 3.5km long off-road track, the Jeep Compass felt like it was built to do such stuff. Water wading, steep inclines, slush tracks, slippery grass, wet rocky terrain and a very bumpy log path were all dispatched with minimal effort. We were tackling all these in the ‘Mud’ mode which locks the 4×4 system and disengages traction control. The short first gear compensates for the absence of a crawler gear and there is enough grunt low down the power band that you don’t need to slip the clutch to go over steep obstacles. The responsive steering wheel has to be given another mention here – it had enough feedback for me to know where my front wheels were pointing at, without tiring my arms.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Compass is a seriously impressive SUV that seems to take full advantage of Jeep’s experience with SUVs. In fact, look deep into its headlights, past that seven-slot grille, and you can see the years and years of know-how shining through. Prices for the Compass diesel start at a very competitive Rs 15.45 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), with this top-of-the-line Limited (O) 4 X 4 going for Rs 20.65 lakh. What you get for your money is real off-road ability, strong dynamics and plenty of luxury and comfort on the inside. Sure, the touchscreen isn’t really what’s expected of a car in this class and there are important bits of kit missing, like a sunroof; and those interested will have to contend with Fiat’s less-than-fantastic dealer network. Rear seat comfort could have been better for this segment, and those looking for a diesel automatic SUV will be disappointed as the Compass will get that only at a later stage. But this SUV’s fundamentals are so strong, it’s difficult not to compare it to cars from a class above, like the Volkswagen Tiguan which is a lot more expensive at where it stands today. And that’s the real kicker – the Compass may just be the value luxury SUV you have been waiting for.

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Renault Kwid Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

The Renault Kwid has redefined the entry level car segment altogether. The Renault Kwid 2017 is one of the few cars to take on the Maruti Alto 800 and provide some stiff competition to it. The Kwid is not compromised as much as others in the segment. The Kwid comes with SUV looks, spacious interiors, it is feature loaded and has a big boot. We share our detailed review of the Renault Kwid. Check On Road Price of  Kwid

DESIGN ‘

There are only two changes on the 1.0-litre Renault Kwid to differentiate it from the 800cc model. The French carmaker has added sporty body graphics on the doors having 1.0-litre stickers and there are a lot better looking full-size ORVMs finished in brushed silver. There is no badging on the tailgate or the front fenders. Apart from these minor changes, the Kwid looks exactly the same. The SUV proportions and high stance is the USP of the Kwid which really makes it stand out of the competition when it comes to styling. Apply car loan for Kwid at Carzprice

CABIN ;

Here too, the design is really impressive. The dashboard looks contemporary, as does the chunky three-spoke steering wheel. There’s a nice, glossy black, chrome-lined central console that looks good too, and the instrument cluster uses a large, sporty digital speedo; there’s no tachometer though. On the storage front, you get a pair of big door bins at the front to hold bottles, two glove boxes and a large recess between them. There are cupholders and a cubbyhole between the seats, but they feel a tad too shallow for all practical purposes. The AC vents also have chrome accents and can, rather neatly, be clicked shut, but they do feel a touch flimsy. And like with the exterior, you will start to see a few cost-cutting signs if you look hard enough, but they’re really no better or worse than other cars in this class. Things like exposed screws, centre-mounted window switches at the front, no power windows at the rear, and non retracting seatbelts at the back either – you have to adjust the length manually every time you buckle up. A lot of this is par for the segment, but since the Kwid looks so upmarket, you have to remind yourself about which segment it is in.

On that note, it’s interesting to see the way Renault has chosen the equipment here. It’s a budget car, so you don’t expect a lot, so things like the big multifunction touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth, fog lamps, the optional airbag and navigation are incredible features for a car at this price. Renault has been clever to give customers desirable features like this, while saving costs in areas less consequential to the average budget car buyer. It’s a smooth engine with a sprightly low and mid end but suffers from lack of power high up the rev band. You can short shift and stay in a higher gear without losing much speed. It’s not going to be a blast down the highway but the Kwid is quick on its feet nonetheless. The 5-speed manual gearbox is easy to use and the ratios are spaced well for city use. You don’t feel the vibrations in the gear lever that’s an annoying feature in the Alto. The pedals however could do with a bit more play, both the clutch and the brake.

.ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

There are obvious hints in the Kwid which show Renault recognises that part of the strategy in this segment is playing a mind-game. But, we wonder if the choice of a 800cc engine was also one that was influenced by this market reality. But eitherways, with the “Kitna Deti Hai?” question being a constant, it is good to note that the Kwid’s 799cc petrol engine is the most frugal in the segment. This three-cylinder engine is not as refined as the one’s in cars one segment above, but when compared to the Alto 800 or the Hyundai Eon, it is about very similar in idling character. Cabin noise levels are fairly well contained, though we felt vibration levels could have been lower. The test mule we drove was a pre-production model; hopefully the final versions will be better insulated.

The engine itself is a fairly peppy unit, for its size. Generating 54PS of peak power, and 74Nm of torque, the engine delivers much of this at lower rpm levels, though the peaks are hit closer to 5,000rpm. But, its ability to respond quickly to driver inputs seems to be affected by the throttle mapping. Overall, the focus seems to have been to squeeze the most fuel efficiency from the powertrain. Speaking of which, the engine is paired to a 5-speed gearbox. Shift quality is good and there is none of the rubbery feel that some of the other cars in the segment have.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A lesson Renault has learnt with the Duster is that a rugged high ground clearance car will find its takers here and with the Kwid, the carmaker delivers just that. Riding high at 180mm, the Kwid has the highest ground clearance in its class. And considering it’s a short wheelbase, this will be more than enough to go over just about every large speed breaker the country has in store for it. The high ground clearance also gives excellent visibility out of the driver’s seat making it a very easy car to drive around town. What impressed us right away is the ride quality of this tiny hatchback. The Kwid uses MacPherson struts up front and twist beam suspension at the rear and the setup is tuned to perfection for our roads. Large undulations are evened out impressively and broken roads don’t throw you about inside the car like most hatchbacks in this segment do.

The nice chunky steering and the driving position are spot on. You sit at a good height and there is no offset pedal nonsense or steering on your chest sort of feeling that budget cars tend to have. The Kwid has considerable roll but not of the scary kind. You know you can keep it together when you are hustling this Renault baby, and in fact it is good fun to chuck around corners, much like the Alto. Just 660kg of mass to stop does ease pressure off the tiny disc brakes up front and the drums in the rear. The brakes could do with a bit more play though and the 155 section tyres with a bit more bite. When weight is on your side however, you can get away with a little less grip. Renault should however have an ABS equipped variant in the lineup too, which is not on offer as of now.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The are multiple reasons to state that Kwid is a strong product from Renault as firstly, it is a global car made from scratch and not a mere downsized or upgraded variant of any other car. The CMF-A platform, which powers the Kwid, has been designed and tuned to take care of all the present and upcoming needs and requirements. The same platform has potential to churn out cars with varied body types.

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Jaguar XE Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

Jaguar XE is a premium compact sports sedan from the stable of Jaguar that comes with an elegant but powerful look. It has a sturdy build and is equally at ease in city roads as well as in uneven off track drive. The Jaguar XE images that the company released during Auto Expo 2016 shows an amazing designed car with commanding presence and style. It falls in the above 4-meter category and has remarkable features that give it an edge over its rivals in the market that are within this price bracket. Jaguar XE is available in two different trims; one of them is called the Jaguar XE and the other is called Jaguar XE 2.0L Petrol Pure2.0L Petrol Portfolio. This well-built sedan has a big 2835mm of wheelbase that allows it to seat around 4 passengers comfortably. The design of this SUV looks masculine and the comfort level of this car is on par with other such vehicles in this price category. Check Ex Showroom Price of XE

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

The Jaguar XE, in the released publicity material and spy shots, looks exactly like the larger XF and the flagship XJ. This is a common practice among all the manufacturers partly due to economies of scale and partly due to the fact that it is easy for them to adapt a successful design across all their models to retain familiarity of product.

The Jaguar XE will get a smaller version of the XF’s massive chrome mesh grille complete with the leaping cat. Standard features are expected to be projector headlights, LED daytime lights and projector fog lamps. We even expect that the bumper will remain the same but with a higher ground clearance. Exchange your old car for XE

The side profile is also similar to that of the XF in terms of roof line, flared wheels arches and the rake angle of the roof line both in the front and back. However, while the boot will have similar design elements as the XF and XJ-like tail lamp cluster and chrome strips, it appears to be far smaller (in relation to the larger cars). The rear bumper is expected to be a little sportier and will be complemented by dual exhausts.

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

The 2017 Jaguar XEs cabin features an attractive, uncluttered dashboard with clean lines, but it lacks the sort of visual flair that made the original Jag XF and current XJ so special. Its quality also leaves a lot to be desired. Compared to what’s in its German luxury sedan competitors, the door trim looks and feels a bit flimsy, the trim that wraps around the dash is unremarkable, and the dash top itself is shiny and a bit coarse. Our test car also had more squeaks and rattles than usual, and in general, the XE’s cabin feels as if it belongs to a nice midsize family sedan rather than an entry-level luxury one.

Admittedly, opting for a non-black color scheme improves things as does opting for the range-topping R-Sport model that covers the dash in stitched simulated leather. It makes a difference. So too does the 10.2-inch InControl Pro touchscreen included in the Technology Pack. It has impressively quick processing speed, responds well to inputs, and its especially wide size makes it look modern and aids functionality. Some of its audio controls are a little tricky to figure out, but in general, the system works well. The same could be said of the base InControl touchscreen, but it’s smaller, slower to respond and has less advanced graphics.

In keeping with the segment’s sporty character, the 2017 XE feels snug and intimate from the driver seat. Controls fall readily at hand and the supportive driver seat should adjust enough to accommodate taller drivers. Unfortunately, such ample adjustment up front does take its toll on the backseat. The XE’s Audi, BMW and Mercedes competitors all have more spacious rear accommodations. And although the 15.9-cubic-foot trunk would seem to be among the segment-best on paper, in practice it’s a bit narrow and those of competitors are likely more useful.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The punchy nature of the engine is more in keeping with the XE’s sporty pretensions. The engine feels quicker than its 9-second 0-100kph time would suggest and kickdown acceleration is good too, though its rivals are faster still. The engine bunches up its power for release at 2000rpm and till 4000rpm, progress is strong. You can rev on and even hold gear at the 4900rpm limiter in manual mode but the eight-speed gearbox does such a nice job of things on its own, you’ll be happy to let it do its thing. In Dynamic drive mode, the gearbox gets the best out of the engine by selecting the ratio that keeps revs near the 2000rpm mark. Resultantly, there’s no delay in the build of power and the XE just lunges forward as and when you need it to. The XE also adapts well to a relaxed driving style. The gearbox keeps engine revs and noise levels low. It’s just that the engine isn’t as quiet as it ought to be. Throttle inputs are usually accompanied by a grumble from the engine and there’s a drone in the mid-range too. You just won’t get the same sense of calm in the cabin as you would in the beautifully insulated A4 35TDI, though a BMW 320d is noisier still.

It’s actually the 320d that the XE 20d can be best clubbed together. Both cars are designed to put the driver at the heart of the action. And like its petrol siblings, the XE diesel succeeds in this quest, and how. The steering is straight up incredible and there is a very natural balance in the chassis that makes the XE a joy to drive on curvy roads. Yup, we can’t wait to bring it head-to-head with a Bimmer either. Ride quality, again like the petrols, is really good too. There is a great balance between body movement arresting firmness and ride-enhancing suppleness in the suspension setup, and only on occasion will the XE thud and thump on our roads.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride of the XE is smooth. It has been tuned for better handling, but for India it has tweaked for better ride also. Drive on broken tarmac or even at high speeds. It irons out most of the road shocks for front and rear passengers making it extremely comfortable for the occupants. The handling of the XE is just fantastic. What makes it even better is the steering feedback. The steering wheel weighs up as speed increases. Most of the sedans in this segment now have electronic steering wheel that is extremely light and kills the joy for those who enjoy driving

SAFETY ;

The Jaguar XE got the highest safety rating, 5 star in the Euro NCAP test. It comes with the usual package of safety features which are more or less standard across the segment. The lightweight aluminium structure of the car is supported by high strength steel in impact areas which gives solidity to the car. The sales and service network of Jaguar is limited when compared to the German trio but they are expanding steadily. Yes, the current Jaguar owners haven’t been happy with the service quality but the Tata owned brand is committed towards customer satisfaction.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The all-new Jaguar XE is worth a look in the luxury small car class, but some rivals may better fit your needs, so be sure to cross-shop before you buy. The XE’s strong suit is its sharp performance, though you can get a similar driving experience behind the wheel of the BMW 3 Series. Inside, the XE has nice features, but it isn’t especially roomy, and there are some unappealing materials that don’t fit the luxury brand. The Audi A4’s cabin, on the other hand, feels premium and has generous space for all passengers.

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Honda WR-V Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

Honda unveiled the WR-V Crossover last year in Brazil. The compact SUV made its world premiere at the Sao Paulo International Motor Show 2016 which commenced from the second week of November.We all know the demand for Crossovers and SUV’s in the Indian market and the compact SUV segment is flooded with many brand new products. So it was quite obvious that Honda would have introduced this new Crossover too in the Indian market as well after its launch in the markets of Brazil and some other countries in South America.The car was also caught a couple of times testing on the road with full camouflage. For all your information this newest Crossover WR-V is based on the Jazz hatchback platform and is the same car under the hood. It will make it to the Indian market as well to take on some other sub-compact Crossovers. Check Ex Showroom Price of WR-V

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Unlike some other Cross hatchbacks of its segment, the Honda WR-V gets some significant updates which has helped it get an entirely new identity. Towards the front, the WR-V features a raised bonnet while the thick chrome grille somehow reminds us of the new City. Besides the revised hood and grille the headlamp cluster too has been redesigned as well and also gets integrated LED daytime running lamps. To make the Crossover slightly beefier the WR-V also features a sculpted bumper which also houses round shaped fog lamps. There are also silver finished scuff plates. Just like the front profiles the side profile too features larger 16-inch wheels wrapped with 195/60 profile tyres. Exchange your old car for WR-V

Just like the front and side profile the rear profile too has been heavily modified as well as it gets different appearing L-shaped taillamps. The rear bumper too has been amended as well along with new bumpers and slightly modified tailgate.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Open the doors and a familiar interior awaits you. The dashboard is shared with the Jazz save for a few changes. The instrument cluster remains the same and so does the steering wheel. The centre console now gets an all-new 7-inch touchscreen that is shared with the City. It is an Android-based unit and supports WiFi, Bluetooth, USB and Aux-IN. It also gets GPS and a reverse camera. Sound quality from the new audio system is excellent and way better than the Jazz. Some other features include electric ORVMs, keyless entry, sunroof and automatic climate control. Cruise control and push button start are limited to the diesel trim only, surprisingly. The AC is a chiller and cools the cabin in a jiffy. Just like other Honda cars, the WR-V too misses out on rear parking sensors.

The seats are shared with the Jazz and they are very comfortable. The cushioning is soft and the seats feel nicely supportive even for well-built people. You also get a centre armrest at the front which is a useful addition. At the rear, you get abundant head room, knee room and shoulder space. What is disappointing is the fact that the WR-V neither gets Magic Seats nor does it get 60:40 split rear seats. The boot is decently sized at 363-litres. Another negative point about the interiors is the build quality on certain panels which feels very plasticky. Even the door pads have a slightly flimsy feel to them. Talking about the upholstery, Honda is offering two colour options – Black and Grey or Black and Blue.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ; .

Moving on to the other end of the car, Honda has retained its familiar petrol and diesel engines, with 5-speed and 6-speed manual gearbox options. Starting off with what’s bound to be more popular of the two, the diesel-powered model gets a 1498cc, 4-cylinder turbo unit which makes 100bhp and 200Nm of torque. For the WR-V, Honda says they have worked on reducing the overall NVH levels. So has it worked? Not entirely. Although there’s less engine noise inside the cabin compared to the Jazz, the WR-V is not as refined as any of its rivals and the diesel clatter is evident nearly all the time. Honda, though, fights back with a fairly linear power delivery despite the strong mid-range punch. Better still, the 6-speed manual gearbox is a joy to use – it allows for super slick shifts and is complemented by a perfectly weighted clutch pedal.

After the 1.5-litre diesel, the 1.2-litre petrol feels pleasantly refined though we would like to add that this motor is pretty refined in isolation, too. Making 89bhp of power and 110Nm of torque, the petrol-powered WR-V is decently quick around town. Overall response can be best described as ‘relaxed’ and while there’s no flat spots throughout the rev range whatsoever, the WR-V does what it’s told to do, just rather casually. Again, the 5-speed gearbox (with lower final drive compared to the Jazz) is a sweet thing – because the engine isn’t as punchy as some of its rivals, this revised unit makes good use of the power on offer with smooth shifts.

Hatchback-based crossovers generally make use of the same suspension set-up as the vehicles they are based on. The WR-V though is a little different. For starters, it’s got a longer wheelbase and bigger tyres compared to the Jazz. As one would expect, the ground clearance is higher, too. All things considered, the WR-V does ride noticeably better than the Jazz – the ride quality is cushier over sharp-edged potholes and less clunky too. Although the coastal roads of Goa are among the nicest in the country, we did manage to hit a few rough sections where we found the ride quality to be consistent and comfortable, albeit slightly bumpy

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The WR-V rides on a slightly higher suspension compared to the Jazz, but this has not had any adverse effect on its handling which inspires confidence at high speeds. Body roll too is fairly contained. With its larger 16-inch wheels that ride on 195/60 profile tyres, the WR-V absorbs bumps pretty decently – certainly better than the Jazz and will handle any pothole-riddled urban street rather well.The electric power steering is from the Jazz and has been re-calibrated for the WR-V. It offers more assistance at lower speeds and can be twirled with ease. The steering is precise and offers good feedback, which makes it enjoyable at higher speeds.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Ventilated discs at the front with drums at the rear ensure confidence-inspiring braking. As for safety, the new Honda WR-V offers dual airbags and ABS with EBD as standard, and a rear camera with guidelines is limited to the top trim only. The company has also introduced additional features, like ECU immobilizer system, windshield defogger (rear), driver seat belt reminder, fuel reminder control system (diesel only), key-off reminder, day/night rear view mirror, intelligent pedals (brake override system), etc.

BOTTOMLINE ;

… if you are looking at getting yourself a Jazz, the WR-V deserves a closer look. It is definitely better suited to tackle our roads, and as such is more versatile than the Jazz. Just don’t expect the WR-V to tackle any serious mud plugging. However, the WR-V does offer more in terms of appeal and equipment. We expect the WR-V to be priced Rs 70,000 – Rs 1,00,000 over the Jazz, and that would well justify the extra kit and attitude that the WR-V has to offer. However, when compared to the more square and upright compact-SUVs in the market today, the WR-V’s appeal seems to dim. And, when you factor in the expected price, Honda’s WR-V ends up feeling like a bit of a hard sell.

 

 

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