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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Volvo V40 Price & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

You’d think that of all the posh car brands building a rival to the safe, sturdy, sensible VW Golf, it should be Volvo. But no: for years, Volvo has missed the premium five-door hatch target, giving us small saloons, small estates and small three-door coupes instead. By the law of averages, it was bound to stumble across a winning recipe at some point: the launch of the five-door V40 hatch is it.

This is a vital car for the brand. It’s intended to be a step up for Golf buyers, for those who don’t want the flash of an Audi A3 or BMW 1-Series. On looks alone, it’s there: this is a rather foxy-looking Volvo, and even the bonnet has been kept low and sporty thanks to the trick addition of a pedestrian airbag. Underneath, there’s a Volvo-ised version of the fine Ford Focus platform, plus a range of engines that shame even Bluemotion Golfs for efficiency. There’s no doubting the potential it possesses.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

This newly launched hatchback inherits the aerodynamic silhouette of the company, which makes it look stunning from all round. It borrows the body structure and chassis along with several exterior cosmetics of the luxury Cross Country, but misses out in terms of rugged features. This hatch has a dual tone rear bumper, while its front one is in body color. There is a small air intake section on the front bumper accompanied by LED DRLs. The radiator grille has a thin chrome surround and is complimented by a company emblem positioned in the center. Another attractive aspect is the headlight cluster with projector lamps along with black accents, which adds to its bold appeal. Not to forget that the expressive slanting forward bonnet is another aspect that emphasizes its aerodynamic stance. On the other hand, the R-Design trim gets a fixed panoramic sunroof as standard. At the same time, there are metallic accents on the A pillars, which can be seen from the frontage. This hatchback has a stylish side facet owing to its low stance and bigger fenders. This exclusive trim also gets a special set of alloy wheels as part of R-Design package. While the door handles along with ORVM caps have been painted in body color. However, the top end version gets the outside mirrors in a glossy non-body color that emphasizes its exclusivity. This vehicle has a unique rear facet thanks to the glossy black finishing on its tailgate embedded with ‘VOLVO’ lettering. Enhancing this swanky stance is the taillight cluster that has an attractive lighting pattern featuring LEDs.

COMFORT AND SPACE ‘

The Volvo V40 hatchback comes with a stunning aerodynamic silhouette that is a signature of the company. There is a small air intake section on the front bumper accompanied by LED DRLs. It gets a bold glossy black radiator grille with a thin chrome surround which is complimented by the company emblem. The car gets noteworthy projector headlights with black accents to add to the bold looks. The car has a hard to miss expressive slanting bonnet enhancing its debonair stance. The R-Design variant also offers a fixed panoramic sunroof and an exclusive set of stylized alloy wheels. The car looks absolutely stunning with the metallic accents on it’s A pillars, stylish side profile bigger fenders and a low racy stance. While the regular trim gets body colored door handles and ORVM caps, the top end model trim gets its wing mirrors painted in a glossy non-body color to look exclusive. The vehicle’s rear design is also unique with its tail gate painted in glossy black color and embossed ‘VOLVO’ logo. The swanky car looks more attractive with its stylized LED taillights and distinctive chrome dual exhaust pipes.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Volvo V40 gets the same diesel engine as the Cross Country. The 2.0-litre 5-cylinder turbo diesel produces 150 HP at 3500 RPM and 350 Nm of torque at 1500-2750 RPM. There is some lag under 1800 RPM but post that, there is an unadulterated surge of torque, which makes it a seriously fast car. You can imagine the thrust of 350 Nm torque on a hatchback this size. There is no flat spot as the V40 continues to accelerate until the 5000 RPM redline. The 5-pot motor is loud at higher revs but doesn’t sound crude. Refinement is good and NVH is kept well under control.

Mated to this engine is a 6-speed automatic transmission that is butter smooth at part throttle inputs. Once you give it the beens there is a slight pause between shifts but not too annoying. There are no paddle shifts, which would have been quite fun on this hot hatch. There is a manual mode though and a Sport mode too for having fun. The regular D mode is efficiency oriented and shifts early but slot into the ’S’ mode and the throttle response is instant and gear changes happen near the redline. The motor also feels good for relaxed cruising. At 100 km/hr in top gear, the engine hovers around 1800 RPM, slight dab on the throttle is good enough for overtaking trucks on the highways. The Volvo V40 will provide you with decent efficiency of 11 km/l in the city that can stretch up to 13 km/l on the highways.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The V40 is a delight to drive on the streets thanks to her agile underpinnings. Chassis balance is sublime and the ride is firm, without really being back-breaking. You do however, have to crab over cautiously on our nasty speed breakers and watch out for potholes – for the low ground clearance (133mm) will hurt your heart & bank balance if you get complacent.

SAFETY ;

Safety features are carried over from the previous model, but that’s not something you should be worried about, as safety is an intrinsic part of Volvo’s DNA. The updated V40 comes with IntelliSafe, City Safety collision avoidance technology, Collision Warning with Full Auto Brake and Pedestrian and Cyclist Detection, Blind Spot Information System, Lane Keeping Aid and Cross Traffic Alert, Road Sign Information technology, and Adaptive Cruise Control. The V40 also uses a pedestrian airbag system, an industry first at the time of its introduction in 2012. When impact occurs, the section of the engine hood that’s closest to the windscreen is released and elevated by the deployment of the airbag. The inflated airbag covers the area under the raised hood, around one-third of the windscreen, and the lower section of the A-pillar. The system is designed to help reduce the severity of pedestrian injuries in the event of an unfortunate accident.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Volvo expects V40 buyers to largely comprise existing luxury sedan and SUV owners looking for an additional car. These buyers will immediately feel at home in a V40 because of how solidly engineered, well-equipped and comfortable it is. Those not hell-bent on a hot hatch will also be more than satisfied with the way it drives. And thanks to the way it looks, the V40 can even rival an A-class on star appeal. True, the engine can sound gruff and the ride is on the firmer side, but the other traits of the charming V40’s do make up for this

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Mahindra TUV300 Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

With tall boy designs becoming successful, in 2015 Mahindra decided to launch their NBA player. Tall, muscular and very capable at the same time. This was the Mahindra TUV300, which TUV stands for Tough Utility Vehicle. And in 2016 the Mahindra TUV300 get an additional option of a more powerful engine and this is the mHawk100 engine. With ample of space, new and improved, more powerful engine and also the option of an automated manual transmission, also got the power bump. It seems like Mahindra went slam dunk. Now a sub four-metre vehicle I guess this is one of the if not only rear wheel drive compact SUV with a ladder-on-frame chassis, Mahindra yelled “Let the games begin”! So what does the new Mahindra TUV300 have on offer? Read our in-depth our Mahindra TUV300 and the 100bhp TUV300 review. Check for review ,features & price of  Mahindra cars

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

When the pictures of the Mahindra TUV300 first surfaced with camouflage (a time when the vehicle was only addressed by its codename U301), everyone thought it’s the new Bolero because of the boxy design. After Mahindra announced the name, the TUV300’s uncamouflaged pictures surfaced and we were definitely not impressed. In person though, the car does look better but there is just too much influence from global car makers like Land Rover but mostly from Jeep’s Wrangler. The TUV does flash Mahindra’s new design language and the perception from the common man seems positive with many asking about the vehicle. Get On Road Price of TUV300

Mahindra has done a smart job with the dimensions of the TUV300 as it doesn’t look small in spite of tucking under the 4-metre length. The boxy design does give it that retro SUV feel and there are some macho elements like the big bumpers, high ground clearance, front grille with chrome inserts and the spare wheel mounted on the tail gate. Mahindra states that the design is inspired from a battle tank and while that might seem a bit too far fetched, the TUV300 does come across as a neutral looking car which appeals to a certain number of SUV lovers.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Step inside and the interior of the new TUV300 will surprise you because inside the story is totally different, the TUV300 gets duel tone dashboard finished in premium black and beige. The centre console gets hexagonal console which actually has been finished in Piano black and gets 2-DIN Audio compatible with Bluetooth, USB & AUX. The steering wheel in particular looks good because it gets mounted audio and phone controls.

The instrument cluster at the front gets twin pods which gets a sporty finish and definitely looks good at night time because of the amber backlighting and chrome ring on the dials. The hexagonal center console is not complete without the Silver accents on AC Vent outer ring. The TUV300 also has seating capacity of 5+2 passengers which has been made possible with the addition of the jump seats . The TUV300 also offers an amazing 400 litres of boot space at the rear which can be extended to 720 Litres if one folds the second row seats. There is also two 12 v charging points inside the cabin. While some top end variants also gets electronically adjustable ORVM’s

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The TUV300 comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine called as mHawk80 that churns out 84bhp of power and 230Nm of maximum torque. This engine has been redone completely as it has dual mass flywheel, which has reduced its vibration. The NVH (noise vibration and harshness) is something that Mahindra has to work on, as the noise is quite prominent. The engine is very smooth and it is the ease of driving that makes a strong statement for it. So driving this SUV in city will be easier and there will not much effort required as one doesn’t has to shift gears. We drove the five-speed manual version of the TUV300 and the clutch was light and easy to drive. The TUV300 also comes with a five-speed AMT (automated manual transmission), however we haven’t got our hands it yet.

The best bit about the TUV300 is the ease of driving in city. You do not require to downshift that often. There is generally enough torque to pull the TUV300 and overtaking is easier. The TUV300 has a good torque that has make it a lot drivable in city, on highway it feels a bit out of steam if you push it too hard. The engine refinement is excellent for a diesel engine and what we appreciate the ease of driving. One sits in a commanding position and there is a clear view of the road. The TUV300 gear box is a bit too notchy, especially for reverse, this is something that needs some work done

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

One of the things that really surprised us is the way the TUV300 handles bad roads. Throw it at a pothole or an undulated section of road and the TUV300 manages to waft over it without much fuss while keeping the occupants quite comfortable. That said, passengers in the rear seat and the last row do feel more jerks than the ones in the first row, but then, that is a typically Mahindra trait.The TUV300 is an easy car to drive for even the most novice driver due to the fact that it is really east to look out of. There is however a slight blind spot when you reverse and the inside rear view mirror could have been a tad bit larger. Of course, the reverse sensors do aid drivers but the addition of a reverse camera would have been very welcome.

Being a body on frame construction, expecting the TUV300 to handle like a sedan or a family hatchback is asking too much. That said, we were pleasantly surprised by how this new setup makes the TUV300 roll much less than the likes of the Quanto for example. The TUV300 also feels quite comfortable and planted at higher speeds. There is of course a noticeable level of body roll when you chuck it into a corner hard or when you take a high speed sweeping corner but nothing that might make it uncomfortable. The TUV300 comes with disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear and while other Mahindra cars do seem a little nervous under heavy braking, the TUV300 manages to hold its own thanks to the ABS and EBD that it gets.

SAFETY ;

We’re quite impressed with the safety parameters that the vehicle employs. Safety features shared by all the variants include a collapsible steering column, side intrusion beams, a seat belt reminder lamp, an auto door lock function as well as a digital immobiliser.

BOTTOMLINE ;

However, while we’re sure there will be plenty of takers for this tough, rugged look and feel at a relatively affordable price, it seems a bit of an oddity in this segment, where nimble dynamics, refinement and driving ease are also valued highly. In fact, it’s reflected in the slightly awkward proportions, which seem to be trying too hard. And finally, though Mahindra has made great strides in this area, fit and finish is still some way shy of global competition. So, while it’s not perfect, we will say the TUV300 is one of Mahindra’s best efforts yet, and if you think monocoque SUVs are not ‘real’ SUVs, or you want the Scorpio’s tough, rugged appeal in a smaller, more affordable package, this is the way to go.

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BMW X1 Features & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

This BMW X1 is the second generation of the company’s smallest crossover. There’s been a major change this time around. It’s based not on a natively rear-drive platform, but on BMW’s new front-drive/4WD components (the same setup is already used in the 2 Series Active Tourer MPV). This means a transverse engine, freeing up extra cabin space. Check Price of X1

In size and space, this brings it into line with the meat of the big-selling family crossover market, such as the Ford Kuga. But of course it’s more expensive than the Ford and can be had with more sophisticated equipment. Not that you’ll be considering the Ford: this is all about BMW X1 vs Audi Q3. Most versions are 4WD except the base 18d diesel. All engines, petrol or diesel, are 2.0-litre jobs from BMWs new powertrain family.

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

As expected, the second-gen X1 sports an evolutionary design with styling cues borrowed from its bigger siblings, the X3 and X5. The front fascia features a slightly bigger twin-kidney grille and longer, sleeker headlamps. Down below, the X1 received larger fog lamps and larger air intakes, making it seem not only bigger than its predecessor, but more aggressive as well. In all, it seems as if the X1 is no longer the ugly duckling of the BMW crossover family.

When viewed from the side, the X1 seems nearly identical to its predecessor from the waist down. The trademark beltline is still in place, while the side skirt area is creased in a similar fashion as on the previous model. However, things are different from the waist up, with a taller glass area, a bigger quarter window, and a raked roofline. Trade in Your used car for X1

The rear fascia has received its fair share of upgrades as well, starting with significantly larger taillights, which look way better than the previous units, and a better sculpted tailgate and upper bumper area.Overall, it seems the X1 has become a baby X5, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Mini SUVs aren’t exactly appealing design-wise, but BMW tried really hard with the X1 and the result is quite good.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Looking at the generous dimensions of the vehicle on the outside, I was a bit surprised when I opened the door to step into the driver’s seat. The cabin feels compact and even the dashboard and centre console seem to have a compact layout. Just like any other BMW, ergonomics are spot on and the dash is very driver centric. Materials used all over feel very upmarket and premium but when you drive this X1 back to back with any other car from the same stable, say the 3-Series, that is when you realise how superior the other car feels.

There are lesser number of buttons on the steering wheel, centre console, etc. and even though you do get a lot of features, the X1 does make you feel evident that yes it is one of the cheapest BMWs around. Even the round knob that is used to control the infotainment system is smaller in size. I found the front seats very comfortable and finding that perfect driving position is super easy thanks to the electric seat controls. The driving position itself feels much like that of a crossover and if you’re expecting a proper SUV-like driving position that feels commanding, then you’ll be disappointed.

The rear seats are comfortable too and space is better than the old X1. You also get a basic centre armrest at the rear. The best part about the new X1 is the large windows that BMW has endowed and it makes the cabin feel very airy and lends a positive vibe. Gone is the claustrophobic feel that you get in cars with smaller glass areas. If you’re buying a car for Rs. 40 odd lakhs you expect it to have a ton of fancy gizmos (a la Skoda Superb or Ford Endeavour) but BMW is known to skip a lot of features from the standard equipment list and the X1 is no different. It misses out on vital stuff like a parking camera. It doesn’t even have cruise control.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

A bit about the mechanicals first. For now, the X1 is available only in diesel form and uses BMW’s latest 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel engine. Peak power is an impressive 187bhp and max torque is a strong 40.7kgm. An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard fit, but buyers have the option to choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, the two obviously available at different price points. In normal driving conditions, the xDrive system powers the front wheels, but when needed, it can send 100 percent of the torque to the rear axle. So how does it all come together?

The engine’s alert from 1,500rpm on, has got a strong mid-range and will even rev happily to 5,000rpm with the gearbox in manual mode. There’s great access to power and you really won’t be left wanting for more anywhere in the rev range. Of course, the engine feels its liveliest best in Sport, but Comfort is quick too. As with all modern BMWs, the quick-shifting gearbox deserves praise here. It really does bring the best out of the engine.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A robust set of disc brakes are fitted to all its four wheels. The advanced anti lock braking system with brake assist are also on the offer that further boosts this mechanism. The top end variant features an M Sport suspension system that is designed for great driving dynamics. This system makes for a smooth ride and keeps the huge machine balanced and stable on all surfaces. On the other hand, it comes with a servotronic, electromechanical power steering column that is active only when you steer it. This provides good response and helps you maneuver easily in any road condition.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

For braking, BMW X1 has powerful ventilated disc brakes for all the tyres with ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. In addition, it also include six airbags, three point seat belts with front pyrotechnic belt tensioners and force limiters, the cornering brake control, dynamic stability as well as traction control, ISOFIX child seat mounting, run flat indicator, emergency spare wheel, and side impact protection among a host of others.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The X1 is a really big step over its predecessor and a better vehicle in almost every way. It is now stylish, genuinely spacious and finally offers all-wheel drive. Pricing goes like this – sDrive20d Expedition is priced at Rs 37.75 lakh (all prices on road Mumbai), sDrive20d xLine at Rs 42.67 lakh, xDrive 20d xLine at Rs 45.12 lakh and finally the xDrive M Sport at Rs 48.93 lakh. That puts it on the higher side of the segment and about Rs 6 lakh more than the smaller Mercedes-Benz GLA. However, the M Sport manages to undercut its main rival, the top Audi Q3 Premium Plus by about Rs 20,000. There’s no doubt that the new X1 is going to do considerably better than its predecessor.

 

 

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Ford Figo Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Hatchbacks are the most popular segment in India and for a long time, only a couple of brands were readily accepted in this high volume space. With the launch of the Figo, Ford’s India game plan took a drastic change for the better and the car brought the American automaker new customers, those who had never ever thought of owing a Ford before. The success of the first gen model is now set to go to newer heights with the launch of the all new Figo, a car that looks hugely promising on paper that we drove it all the way to one of the seven wonders of the world to see what it offers in the real world. Check for review, features & price of Ford cars

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;

Talk about styling and this new generation Figo surely won’t disappoint. Ford has already launched the Figo Aspire which is actually the same Figo hatch with an additional boot, so all of you actually have a very distinctive idea about the new Figo hatch styling. Towards the front the new generation Figo, gets the same trapezoidal grille which looks quite aggressive while the dynamic and sleek styling is what sets it apart from the rest of its competition. Apart from the bold looking trapezoidal grille the hatchback also gets elongated headlamps up front as well. The side profile of the vehicle looks identical to the compact sedan. The top end Titanium+ also gets an impressive alloy wheels as well. While towards the rear the well proportioned tailgate with stylish set of taillamps enhances the overall appeal. What else helps in enhancing the overall appeal is the accentuated character line which runs through the lamp clusters and also gives us an idea of the overall width of this hatch. The bold shoulder line merges perfectly with the taillamps as well which helps in adding the sense of movement even when the hatch is not in motion. Get Ex Showroom Price of Figo

INTERIOR AND SPACE ;

Just like the exteriors, the Figo and its Aspire sibling are near-identical on the inside as well. The only difference here is that the Figo cabin is finished in all-black plastics where the Aspire’s follows a richer dual-tone theme. Either way, you won’t mistake the cabin for anything but that belonging to a Ford’s, largely thanks to the familiar-looking dashboard. The basic-looking instrument cluster, busy centre console and elegant knurled dials for the climate control system are other things you are bound to notice. Top Titanium + cars get a digital (albeit old-school) readout atop the dash for Ford’s Sync infotainment system. Lower trim cars lose the screen, but instead feature Ford’s clever MyDock phone holder. It’s designed to hold phones of all sizes snugly and is a useful feature for those who frequently use their phone’s GPS systems for directions.

Visibility out the front is decent, but it would have helped to have reach adjust for the steering; the stretched-out driving position may not be to everyone’s liking. There’s enough space though, and the seats themselves are comfortable, if a bit soft. At the rear, there’s enough room for your legs and knees even with a tall front occupant; scooping out the front seatbacks has helped free up crucial space here. Aiding the feel of space are the large rear ◊ ∆ windows that give a good view out. As for comfort, the rear seatback is nicely reclined, but seat cushioning is a bit too soft and there are no adjustable headrests either.

Quality and fit-finish in the cabin are acceptable, but no more. You can tell Ford has cut costs and there’s a noticeable inconsistency between the textures on the plastics used in the cabin. The switchgear, though, works with a tactile and positive feel. What also works well are the small touches in terms of storage space and practicality. There’s the nook ahead of the gearlever (to stow away odds and ends) and the concealed pockets between the side of the dash and doors (useful for keeping your valuables in). Each front door can hold two bottles and the glovebox is decent-sized as well. Rear occupants won’t be as happy with storage spaces as there’s just a sole bottleholder for their use. On the positive side, the tail opens to reveal a sizeable 257-litre luggage bay. The rear seat back also folds forward, should you need more space. Unfortunately, the loading lip is a bit high and the boot floor is low, so you’ll have to lift heavy luggage more than you’d like.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Like its sedan sibling, the Ford Figo 2017 also comes with three engine options. A 1.2-litre petrol with 87bhp of power and 112Nm torque, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The second engine is a 1.5-litre petrol that comes only with a six-speed DCT (dual clutch transmission). A dual cluch mechanism is a advanced automatic transmission and Ford was the first in India to introduce this technology in its segments, with the Fiesta. And lastly, the third engine is a 1.5-litre diesel that produces 98bhp of power and 215Nm of torque. This engine offers good performance and while there is a little turbo lag, it manages well with a strong mid-range. Its fits in well for a city as well as highway drive.

The diesel engine in the Ford Figo 2017 offers optimum performance with good fuel efficiency and is very usable too. The diesel is certainly the more powerful option and the good bit is there isn’t much lag that we generally notice in diesel engines, this makes it easy to drive in the city or even on the highway. Ford Figo 2017 is the most powerful diesel hatchback in its segment and there is sufficient power to drive it in the city or even the highways. Push the throttle and you can overtake with ease. It didn’t have that sudden rush of power when the turbo kicks in, it is more of linear increase improving the drivability.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

An all-new B562 platform forms the underpinnings of the Figo and Figo Aspire. Ford have increased the ground clearance of this car from the outgoing version to now 174mm. The car rides well over biggerbumps, however, the smallerones do unsettle the vehicle a bit. The handling is typical Ford. Precise. The steering is light but weighs up decently at high speeds. The car holds its line well during hard cornering while the brakes themselves are sharp and shed speed rapidly without much fade. Stability on the Yamuna expressway where I drove the car was also impressive

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Ford Figo has front disc brakes, while the rear are drums. The Figo’s ability to brake is good and this even has anti-lock braking system with EBD and ESP. This helps to enhance the braking capability and at the same time it is helpful to retain control of the vehicle.The new Figo is one of the most safest hatchbacks in its segment. Airbag is a standard feature across all variants and the Titanium Plus getting six airbags. There is ABS with EBD. ESP, reverse parking sensors, fog lamps, settles for all passengers

BOTTOMLINE ;

Compared to the first generation model, the Figo embodies plethora changes and good news is that these changes have bettered the hatchback. Exterior styling is in line with Aspire, similarities don’t end here even the interiors and engine choices are similar. The automatic option comes with a number of additional features missing in the rest of the line-up. Performance is not as good as one would expect but the other pros in the hatchback are good enough to make do with this void. Interiors are not just stylish but comfortable too in terms of space. With dual front airbags as standard and total six airbags employed for occupants’ safety, Figo has a cusp over rivals. Pricing is affordable which should also work in the vehicle’s favor.

 

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Merecedes Benz GLA Class Review

OVERVIEW ;

SUV craze is at its peak and the fixation to this body type is seen across all segments. While most manufacturers already have a SUV in their portfolio, others are scurrying to develop one at the earliest. Blame it on our roads or the fact that sitting higher up gives you the kick, whatever the case, this body type is seeing far more success than anyone had imagined. Coming to the luxury segment, SUV sales have seen a sharp rise during the recent past. The Mercedes-Benz’ SUV lineup comprising of the GL and ML contributes to nearly 25% of the company’s total sales in India. With this backdrop Mercedes-Benz is all set to launch the all new GLA-Class, which will not only be the starting point in the Stuttgart based manufacturer’s SUV ranks but will also give much needed competition to Audi’s Q3 and BMW’s X1. Get On road Price of Benz GLA Class

It was Mercedes-Benz who introduced the concept of ‘Compact Luxury’ to India with the A-Class at a time when many pundits believed India was not ready for this segment. The success of the A-Class encouraged others to follow suit and BMW came up with the 1-Series while folks from Ingolstadt recently launched the A3. The GLA is based on the same platform as the A-Class (MFA Platform) and is a front-wheel drive vehicle. We drive the GLA around the picturesque roads of Himachal and find out if it cuts the mustard.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;

The first thing that catches the eye is the new headlamp design, which features a new LED strip that extends from the upper outer corner toward the lower inner extremity. Called LED High Performance, the new headlamps are optional on the GLA250, replacing the previously available bi-xenon headlamps. Mercedes says that these headlamps are characterized by a color temperature similar to daylight and “relieve the strain on the eyes when driving at night.” Their energy consumption is also lower, at around 60 percent less than xenon and 70 percent less than halogen. Trade in Your used car for Benz GLA Class

The grille is also new, sporting horizontal slats finished in black. This grille is offered on the more expensive trims as standard and optional on the base model, but it’s pretty cool and gives the small crossover a more rugged, SUV-like stance.”The GLA gained styling cues from the A-Class and elements from larger Mercedes crossovers.” More significant changes can be seen in the bumper, starting with the new foglamps that replaced the previous side grilles. The main intake is also larger, while the lower bumper also seems to have borrowed the more utilitarian cues of the larger Mercedes-Benz crossovers.

Moving onto the sides, we can see new wheel designs, while the rear fascia received slightly revised taillights and bumper. A new color, Canyon Beige, was added to the palette. The optional Night Package adds 19-inch AMG wheels and black window trim, exterior mirrors, roof rails, and exhaust tips, as well as sportier exterior accents.

All told, the revised GLA gained styling cues from the car it is based on, the A-Class hatchback, as well as elements from larger crossovers for a more SUV-like appearance.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Just like the exterior, the changes to the inside are minimal. There are now two new trim options – sail-patterned trim on the Sports edition and black matrix trim on the Style edition. The instrument panel is new with an 11.6 cm colour multifunction display and has a concentric circle meter design with neat red needles. The new GLA also has an ambient lighting system with 12 selectable colours. The rest remain from the earlier car and the GLA is fairly well equipped with bits like a large panoramic sunroof, attention assist, powered tailgate, powered front seats with memory and an 8-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Curiously, however, it makes do with a manual AC system only. Another odd bit is a reverse camera system but with no audio warnings.

Seating is comfortable and what’s nice is the small extendable underthigh support on both front seats. Space, on the whole, isn’t very large by the standards of its competitors, headroom and rear legroom is just sufficient for my five-foot-eight frame and what adds to the hemmed-in feeling is the narrow all-round glass house. In fact, you will notice the slightly restricted view out at the front thanks to the short height of the windshield. Beige interiors and a large sunroof on our car did alleviate this to an exte

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA will continue to offer the same powertrains. However there will be slight performance updates to them. The petrol version will have a 2.0-litre turbocharged unit. This will make a healthy 185bhp of power and 300Nm of torque. The diesel will come with a 2.1-litre unit that will have 140bhp of power and 310Nm of torque.

The 2017 GLA 45 AMG will be powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This will produce 340bhp of power and 480Nm of torque. This high-powered version will continue to be a thrill to drive and also will be offered with an AMG spec body kit and larger alloy wheels.The transmission option will be the 7G, seven-speed dual clutch transmission.

RIDE AND HANDLING ; . The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class gets electro-mechanical power steering offering the best of both a conventional mechanical or hydraulic steering setup and the new age electronic power steering systems. As of now, the GLA will only be offered with a front wheel drive option with a 4Matic (all-wheel-drive) version coming soon. With a turning radius of 11.8 metres, the GLA turns nicely in tight spaces too.The Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is aimed straight at a younger audience like all other MFA platform cars. This means that the suspension is slightly on the stiffer side, which in turn does tend to compromise on ride comfort. Over undulated roads, the stiff suspension combined with the bigger wheels did feel a tad bit uncomfortable and bouncy. That said, the joys of a stiffer suspension come to play on smoother surface. But more on that laterAs we mentioned earlier, the GLA-Class does seem a little stiffer than its rivals. Although that does have a negative effect on ride comfort, it has a hugely positive effect on handling finesse. If there was ever a car to highlight the ‘sport’ part of a sports utility vehicle, the Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class is it. Although the larger 18-inch wheels combined with the 235/50 R18 tyres does lend to some of the handling prowess of the GLA, its real ability is more than skin deep

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

This SUV is built with high strength aluminum material, which is quite rigid and capable of dealing with collisions. It comprises of side impact protection beams and crumple zones at critical areas for added safety. As for the features front. both the trims in this series are equipped with identical safety functions. Some of those include seven airbags, three point ELR seat belts, head restraints, driver’s seat belt warning, door open indicator, rear parking sensors, seat occupancy recognition system for front passenger, collapsible steering wheel and anti-glare inside rear view mirrors. Besides these, they also have an advanced engine immobilizer system with rolling code, remote central locking system including unlocking of doors, anti-theft alarm, and protective under-body guard. The manufacturer has also incorporated it with sophisticated programs like electronic stability control, dynamic curve assist, hill hold assist, anti lock braking system, anti slip regulation, and brake assist function.

BOTTOM;LINE ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLA is a worthy buy if you’re looking for a reliable, entry-level luxury subcompact SUV. While its interior is relatively upscale and attractive, don’t expect it to be as luxurious as more-expensive Mercedes-Benz models. It’s an entry-level SUV, after all, and like many in the class, the cabin materials reflect its base price ($32,850). Still, you can find a few competitors, like the less-expensive Audi Q3 ($31,800), that don’t compromise on interior material quality.

As for space, the GLA is one of the smallest vehicles in the class. It has cramped back seats and a low cargo capacity. The Q3’s cabin is fairly cramped too, but rivals like the BMW X1($33,100) have plenty of space in both rows. If you’re concerned about the GLA’s lack of space, a larger compact SUV like the BMW X3 ($39,250) may be a better choice, if it fits your budget.

 

 

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Renault Duster Price & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

After introducing a handful of special editions and an all-wheel drive version based on it, Renault India has pensioned off the original Duster. Subsequently, the brand has dished out a major facelift for the model, complete with refreshed styling, a better-equipped interior and an all-important automatic gearbox option. On paper, then, this new Duster comfortably outdoes the original, but is it any better to take on the opposition? Get On Road Price of Duster

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

The dual headlamp cluster looks nice with chrome edging on the new Renault Duster. They are connected with parallel running lines at the centre with a large Renault Logo. The parallel lines are place on the age old honeycomb grill of the duster. The fog lamps are placed at the base of the bumper with a large silver cladding in the centre. The bonnet is flat on the new Renault Duster and the whole looks gives a feel of aggression with classiness.

There have not been major changes but the small ones are not insignificant either. There is a silver strip that runs along the running board adding to the up market feel. The indicators have moved their location to the rear view mirrors and looks great. The thing that will attract you the most are the matt black five spoke alloys with a thin silver lining running along the circumference. The roof rails have now gotten a really sleek Duster badging. This is a strange place for badging but the Duster manages to pull the looks off very well. The major difference at the rear is the tail lamp going full LED and the bumper getting a really large silver cladding. The thick chrome strip also has the Duster badging. Request test drive for Duster in Cazprice

CABIN ;

Though Renault has made improvements over the years, the Duster’s cabin has always come across as a bit utilitarian. That feeling has reduced, though still not completely gone, thanks to a fresh round of upgrades on this facelifted version. For starters, the new black and chocolate-brown plastics help cover up the rougher edges better than the lighter tones of the earlier Duster. You’ll also notice more silver highlights and a bit more chrome detailing (on the air-con vents, for instance) that help spruce up the cabin. The centre console also gets a lot more gloss-black plastic. On the whole quality has improved, but it’s still not at Hyundai levels.

The facelifted Duster also gets embossed branding atop the glovebox, but only those very familiar with the earlier Duster’s cabin will note that the layout of the centre console has been slightly revised. The buttons for the hazard lights and door lock now sit higher up and are more convenient to access. On a related note, the mirror controls that were formerly under the handbrake have been moved to the more traditional position near the window switches, which is more practical. However, the cruise control switches are still scattered between the dash and steering, and the steering column-mounted audio controllers continue to remain out of view. The cumbersome driver’s seat height adjust is also something that should have been improved. The seats themselves are trimmed in richer fabrics and the front pair get armrests for added comfort.

ENGINE AND PERFORMATION ;

The Duster is offered with two engines, one each of petrol and diesel. Knowing well that the diesel is likely to be the overwhelming choice, Renault India is offering the engine in two states of tune. Of course, the engine here is the now familiar 1.5L K9K dCi engine, which is shared by quite a few cars from the brand. The variant with the higher state of tune features this 1,461cc diesel engine with a variable geometry turbocharger and an intercooler, which together bump up the peak power to 110PS, which is available from about 3,900 rpm. Peak torque of 248Nm is delivered at a bit delayed 2,250 rpm. Just like the numbers indicate, the engine starts delivering decent levels of pulling power to the front wheels only after the needle crosses the 1,500 rpm level.

I drove this version of the Duster only and though I felt the turbo lag a bit more due to the hilly terrain that I was testing it out in, buyers who will be mostly driving it in urban conditions will probably not miss more torque in lower end of the rpm band. This 110PS variant is mated to a six-speed gearbox with a very sedan-like short throw, slick shifting gear stick. The same common rail direct injection engine is also offered with a lower tune state. Here the engine produces 85PS of power at 3,750 rpm and peak torque output is 200Nm at 1,900rpm.

Going by the stats, this engine could be the one that is more suited to urban driving conditions, with more lower end torque and possibly more fuel efficiency too. This could be the version that rakes in the most numbers, since most city buyers should be satisfied with this level of performance. Both the diesel variants offer the best performance when the engine is kept within a 2,000 to 3,500 rpm band.

The petrol engine on offer is the Renault 1.6 K4M engine. The 1,598cc engine produces 104PS of peak power at 5,850 rpm and 145Nm of peak torque at 3,750 rpm. The petrol engine version and the 85PS diesel version are both paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The Duster is not being offered with a four-wheel drive option, though it is available in other markets.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Duster has always been the best handling compact SUV in India and nothing has changed in this new version. The steering feedback on the chunky steering wheel is great and the Duster sometimes feels more like a sedan or hatchback rather than a compact SUV. Ride quality too has not been compromised and continues to be one of the best in the segment. The brakes though, just like on the previous Duster, lack enthusiasm after few heavy braking scenarios and could affect confidence levels of the driver. Renault should have seriously considered a rear disc brake option especially on the top of the line models.

SAFETY ;

Talking about safety, the 2016 Renault Duster comes with dual front airbags and ABS. The AMT transmission also gets features like Hill Hold and ESP. There is also a traction control system on offer which does its job pretty well should you decide to have some fun around the twisties. In terms of after-sales service, Renault does have a not-so-good network and it just doesn’t match the quality levels of Hyundai for that matter.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Renault Duster was always an impressive product and now with the upgrade it’s better than before – interiors are plusher, there’s more standard equipment and it looks even more macho now. Plus, there’s the additional draw of an affordable automatic version. It still has its shortcomings, of course – for a car that costs Rs 15 lakh or thereabouts, the plastics needed to look and feel richer, and the AMT – with its slow-witted nature – just doesn’t cut it. A modern torque converter or a DCT gearbox would have been the right fit for this price. So, as we see it, the Duster to buy, continues to be the AWD variant. And it is in this trim with its added capability that it’s a great alternative to the Hyundai Creta.

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Volvo XC60 Price & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The Volvo XC60 is a luxury SUV that is available with one diesel engine option which is mated to an automatic transmission. This powertrain is also offered with an all wheel drive system. The Volvo XC60 is available in 10 colour options, Power Blue, Rich Java, Flemenco Red Pearl, Caspian Blue, Chrystal White Pearl, Black Metallic, Bright Silver Metallic, Passion Red Silver, Twilight Bronze and Savile Grey Pearl. The XC 60 is offered with LED Daytime Running Lamps, projector lamps, LED tail lamps as well as front and rear fog lamps. Safety features include airbags, braking aids, reverse parking sensors and a reverse parking camera. Get price of Volvo XC60

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Its external appearance is quite decent and is appealing at the same time to any customer, who’s looking for a good looking vehicle. For a stylish image, the roof is mounted with a set of rails, which look stylish and make this crossover much more trendy. The window sill gets chrome decoration for an extra edgy richness for all the doors. Both its outside rear view mirrors can be electrically adjustable, which is an added comfort factor as well. The mirrors have a heating function to them additionally and are retractable as well. The headlamps which are fitted onto the front end are active and are stylish too. The daytime running lights are LED and help better in visibility. The side profile is quite lustrous with pull type door handles and neatly carved out wheel arches, which have been fitted with a set of alloy wheels. The base and mid range trims are integrated with a single exhaust tailpipe and it is further decorated with chrome strips for better look. Whereas, the rear end of the top end D5 Summum is fitted with dual exhaust tailpipes, which have chrome cover to them and this enhances the rear image. Skid plate is fitted to both front and rear end. These protect the bumpers from getting damaged from the road impacts and additionally the front plate safeguards the engine from damage. Trade in Your used car for Volvo XC60

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Volvo’s reputation for tastefully simple interiors is on full display in the 2017 XC60. The inviting cabin features a distinctive “waterfall” center stack that gracefully joins the dash and center console. Operating the climate control is intuitive, but other systems might take some getting used to. In particular, the infotainment system is controlled via a multifunction knob on the center stack rather than a traditional touchscreen or dial mount where your hand naturally rests. Menus for navigation and music browsing can also be confusing.Seat comfort, on the other hand, is excellent. Front seats are well shaped and appropriately cushioned for long road trips, and the range of adjustments ensure a comfortable position for a variety of body types. Rear seats are similarly accommodating, delivering adult-sized head- and legroom. Volvo is still one of the only manufacturers to offer integrated child booster seats that fold out of the rear bench.The quality of the interior materials is decent for the class, though some newer SUVs have surpassed the XC60 in terms of overall look and feel. The XC60′s age also shows in the overabundance of buttons on the center stack and small infotainment screen. Cargo space is better than average, though, providing 30.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and up to 67 cubic feet with those seats folded.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

In the 2017 XC60, you have a choice between a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a more powerful supercharged version of the same engine. The base engine should be potent enough for most drivers, with plenty of power for merging onto the highway or navigating city traffic. The more powerful optional engine is the right choice if you need to frequently haul a full complement of people and cargo or if you simply desire a little more punch when you press the accelerator. Both engines are paired with a slick-shifting automatic transmission that fades into the background.You can expect much of the same with the BMW X3. Its base engine is no slouch, but the available six-cylinder is more exhilarating. The Acura RDX only offers a single engine, a V6, which provides plenty of power for feisty driving. The base engine in the Volvo XC90 has 10 extra horsepower over the XC60, but the XC90’s heavier weight results in unimpressive acceleration. Both of the XC90’s optional engines feel more powerful by comparison.

The XC60 is among the most fuel-efficient nonhybrid vehicles in the class, getting 23 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway with the T5 FWD. With the T5 AWD, you can expect 20 mpg in the city and 29 on the highway. Getting the supercharged engine that comes with all-wheel drive only decreases fuel economy a bit to 20/27 mpg city/highway.Part of the XC60’s secret for sipping fuel is its stop-start system. When you come to a complete stop, like at a traffic light, the system turns the engine off until you lift your foot off the brake. Then it fires back up and you’re on your way. Unfortunately, the system feels unrefined as it starts the engine back up. If you find it too annoying, you can shut the system off and forego the extra fuel savings. The BMW X3 has the same feature. It can also be distracting, but like the XC60’s stop-start system, you can disable it. From the base X3, you can expect 21/28 mpg city/highway. The Acura RDX returns 20/28 mpg city/highway. The Volvo XC90 gets 22/26 mpg city/highway in the base trim.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride quality can feel stiff but there’s no escaping how comfortable the Volvo XC60 feels to drive. The seats are fully adjustable, including the bolsters and well-crafted ride matches up rather well to create a car that feels very cosseting without feeling overtly plush.Handling is direct and pleasing but because of the focus of comfort and the ride quality, you will notice some amount of roll. The XC60 can be pushed very hard around corners if you like but expect the roll to be a companion. It never misbehaves in any way though, so switch to Dynamic mode and have fun.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Thankfully, Volvo hasn’t forgotten about its roots because the latest XC60 has some of the most advanced safety features in the class.Automatic emergency city braking is standard on all trims and not only recognises other cars, but also cyclists, pedestrians and large animals. The system can even help you swerve around obstacles and back onto the correct side of the road, although this feature only initiates if you start to make an evasive manoeuvre.

Blind spot monitoring and Pilot Assist (automatic steering at speeds of up to 80mph) are available as part of a pack, which also includes adaptive cruise control. However, until Euro NCAP publishes its crash test results for the XC60, we can’t tell you how it’s likely to protect you, your kids or any pedestrians in an accident compared with rivals.As you’d expect in a car costing this much money, all trims levels come with an alarm and an immobiliser, and security experts Thatcham rate it with its maximum five stars for resisting theft, and four stars for repelling scallywags trying to break in and pinch your valua

BOTTOMLINE ;

Volvo finally has a good engine and gearbox to go with the smart styling of the XC60. In its R-Design trim, the XC60 is a more involving drive and comes with a long list of pampering and safety equipment too. So should you go for it? If you don’t need all-wheel drive, which for a road biased SUV is not a top priority, the FWD XC60 will impress you with its breadth of abilities. Volvos are still rare cars in India so the attention you get with this SUV is welcome too.

 

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Audi R8 Review & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

The 2017 Audi R8 exotic sports car isn’t the only fully redesigned Audi this year that looks an awful lot like its predecessor (ahem, A4). But in the R8’s case, at least, that might be more of a compliment than a criticism. After all, the first-generation R8 was so Hollywood cool that it served as Iron Man’s steed, and it was still turning heads when it bowed out in 2015. The challenge, as Audi saw it, was to preserve the R8’s curb appeal while adding contemporary technology and even more performance to its repertoire.

As before, the all-wheel-drive 2017 R8 is based on a sister car from Lamborghini. This time, it is the new Huracan, which is a replacement for the discontinued Gallardo. Gone, for better or worse, are the original R8’s sultry base V8 engine and distinctive exposed-gate manual transmission. With the new R8, you can have any powertrain you like as long as it’s a screaming Lamborghini-derived 5.2-liter V10 paired with a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic. There are probably a few people who will lament the loss of the old-school manual, but there’s so much greatness with the precise S tronic automated gearbox that’s it hard to really complain.

EXTERIORS ;

In every way a car from the future, Audi R8 is the epitome of sports car designs. There was always an apprehension about creating cars that run quick at the same time look elegant because having one automatically pushed the other into an abyss at some level. Audi however found the perfect mix. The front grill of the Audi R8 too is innovative, slightly tweaked from its other cousins. With strong horizontal strokes extending through the front grill, the vents under the headlamps, the car is a true design gem.The curves on the front bonnet extend so effortlessly like a butter sliding on a hot pan. It is this brilliant design aesthetic that gives Audi an edge over its aerodynamic skills. While the curves extend on the roof and the side profile too, never do the curves make the car look voluptuous. Rather they are like a perfectly made sculpture with the right about of muscle in the right places. The car’s side profile is predominantly dominated by the beauty of the ASF and we cannot complain for it just looks so wonderful with the entire design in general. The rear profile of the Audi R8 has the letters R8 etched with a red parallelogram behind R showing off its sporty appeal. The air vents are right under the tail lamps since the vehicle’s engine is mid moutned. The curves fit perfectly together without just enough gaps between plates to make a grown man kneel for more. As a whole, the exteriors of Audi R8 are splendid and the sheer pleasure of seeing it, let alone riding it is indescribable.

INTERIORS ;

Inside the cabin, the changes are more noticeable than they are on the outside. First up is a redesigned, flat-bottom steering wheel with plenty of controls mounted on the crossbars – more than on the 2015 model. Audi also added a set of revised sports seats with enhanced lateral support, thanks to revised headrest and deeper pockets – these updated seats are standard on the V10 Plus but optional on the standard model.Giving the driver all the important vitals on the 2017 R8 is Audi’s virtual cockpit, which features a 12.3-inch screen. This screen not only replaces the instrument gauges, but also the MMI screen that cluttered up the center console. The driver can reconfigure this display via controls on the new steering wheel to show only the information he wants.From images, I can see that the designs of the dashboard and the center stack are new, too. The air vents are reshaped and the center vents are no longer housed within the center stack bezel. Additionally, the HVAC controls are repositioned and appear to be easier to reach. Lastly, with the six-speed manual transmission no longer an option, the center console features only the S tronic transmission’s switchgear.

The covering for the cabin is at the discretion of the buyer. He can go with an Alcantara-and pearl Nappa leather combo or the optional full fine Nappa leather. Other optional dress-up items include diamond stitching and clear-coated carbon-fiber trim.Standard on the 2017 R8 is MMI navigation and the MMI touch wheel. The Audi connect module gives the passenger the ability to connect his smartphone or tablet to the car and utilized the system’s Wi-Fi hotspot. For buyers who need a little more, there is an optional Bang & Olufsen audio system with 500 watts.Overall, the cabin looks and likely feels like a new generation compared to the 2015 model. So where Audi failed to completely impress me on the outside, it certainly made up for it in the cabin.

PERFORMANCE ;

Enough discussion on the exteriors and interiors, let’s get to the meat of the matter now. The powerplant sitting at the rear of the car is a beastly 610 HP at 8250 RPM and 560 Nm at 6500 RPM naturally aspirated, 5.2-litre, V10 engine which comes matched to a 7-speed S-Tronic gearbox. Press the red button on the steering wheel and the motor comes to life with a loud rumble. The engine settles with a meaty exhaust note and once you start driving with light throttle inputs, the mill constantly gives out a burble. Give it the beans and the music from the V10 powertrain is a source of immense pleasure.

Talking about driveability, there is a linear surge of power right from 1000 RPM to the 8000 RPM redline. This being an NA engine, turbo lag is out of the question, the aggressiveness with which the power is delivered is mindblowing. 0-100 km/hr comes up in just 3.2 seconds and the entire rev band feels punchy. The Audi R8 has a top speed of 330 km/hr. The 7-speed tranny is quick shifting and downshifts gears rapidly when you pin the throttle in kick down mode. There are different driving modes via Audi Drive Select like Comfort, Individual, Dynamic and Auto and I think Comfort mode is good for most driving situations. The Dynamic mode is useful on the track as well as when you want to push the car on the twisties. Talking about fuel efficiency of a supercar is a crime so no comments here. However, I’m sure you’re curious and so, the R8 churns out 3-4 km/l under usual driving conditions with some pedal-to-metal moments while sedate and consistent driving on the highways will deliver 6 km/l too.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A vehicle of this might requires equally strong chassis and braking systems, and the company sees to this. The front wheels come with 8-piston brake callipers, while the rear wheels are equipped with 4-piston callipers. We thought that cornering, braking and stopping were a marvellous and strain free affair. With the massive speeds that the car takes to, however, you’re likely to be thrown around slightly during swift cornering. The vehicle tackles road anomalies moderately, but one needs to note that it has been designed for high speed cruising on clean raceways, not bumbling over potholes and road bumps. Its advanced suspension arrangement includes dynamically tuned springs and shock absorbers, and this does help to ease the overall ride condition

SAFETY ;

Audi has a pretty good sales and after-sales network in India so servicing the R8 won’t be an issue. In terms of safety features, you get a lot of tech like traction control, ESP, ASR, Electronic Differential Lock, collapsible steering column, ABS with EBD along with multiple airbags including dual front airbags, side airbags, seat-mounted and side head level airbags.

VERDICT ;

Absolutely. It may not be the fastest, most charismatic or the best-riding supercar around and, in the rarified atmosphere in which it operates, it may not have the most alluring badge either. But as an all-round experience, there’s very little that can take on and beat Audi’s new R8. It’s blisteringly fast, drives like a track car, is beautifully built on the inside and looks just stunning. It’s even good value, what with prices starting at Rs 2.55 crore and competition like the Huracan costing in the region of Rs 2.5-3.43 crore. It’s even likely to be better looked after, especially with a long list of dealers spread across the country and service stations now in many small towns. So, if a supercar is on your shopping list, make sure you test drive one of these.

 

 

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