Toyota Prius Exterios,Interiors,Performance & Driving

OVERVIEW ;

The Toyota Prius had set a new benchmark in the luxury hybrid car segment. The new Toyota Prius has been upgraded in terms of performance parameters and styling features. The exteriors feature new LED headlamps and fog lamps with daytime running lights. The new interior features introduced in this model include a multi-information instrument cluster with a head-up display and a new touchscreen display music system with 10 speakers. The safety features of seven airbags, including driver knee airbag, ABS with EBD and traction control, are featured in this model.

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

Most of the automakers spend relatively more time on the drawing board when it comes to designing a hybrid or electric vehicle. There are no exceptions in the case of the Prius, as Toyota has paid special attention to the futuristic styling of this hybrid vehicle. It is indeed an attention seeker because of its unique design and for the fact that there are very few examples on our roads. Up front the Prius boasts of a sharp headlight cluster housing projector lamps along with a thin grille divided by the Toyota logo, which is highlighted in blue shade to tell that it’s a hybrid Toyota. On the front bumper it gets a wide air inlet that integrates fog lamps alongside vertically shaped turn indicators, which is a neat touch.

The side profile of the Toyota Prius reflects a fish like design. The steeply raked windshield blends with the swoopy roofline that ends immediately at the angular shaped tail of the car. There is a sharp shoulder line on the side that erupts from the headlights and continues till the tail lights. The 15-inch wheels look a tad small in proportion to the well-sized body. The rear is the most attractive part of the Prius, where the hatch acts as a rear windshield blended with the roofline, which drops flat at the end, pointed with a sharp edge that looks like an integrated spoiler. The rear bumper is big and chunky and the vertical tail lamps are sharply treated with shiny bits, attracting good attention at the rear.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The new Prius has received an interior with just enough changes to call it new. The car’s traditional high-mounted driver information cluster appears to have remained in place. In fact, this particular design strategy has been a staple for quite some time now, going all the way back to Asian models like the Toyota Vios.The multi-layered dashboard is a nice touch and I also like how the chrome trim creates a separate compartment for the new infotainment screen and the HVAC control buttons at the bottom.

The biggest issue I see is the size and positioning of the gear shifter. It’s one thing for the shifter to be small or located in an unusual place. It’s another thing for it to be both, which is what you’ll get on the new Prius. The white surround does pop out from the mostly black interior, but it looks like it’s made of plastic. The mobile phone charger and the cup holders in the tunnel are nice and functional additions.For the most part, the cabin looks clean and smooth, although it might have been better off with a more traditional transmission tunnel instead of having the shifter resemble a video game joystick.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The Prius uses Toyota’s Hybrid Synergy Drive that in this application comprises a 98hp, 1.8-litre petrol engine – that runs the efficient Atkinson cycle – and a 53kW (72hp) electric motor that draws power from a 6.5Ah nickel-metal hydride battery. Do note, the latest Prius is also available with a superior lithium-ion battery but the higher cost is sure to have ruled it out for India. The combined output of the hybrid system is 122hp.Getting going in a Prius is an occasion, or actually a non-occasion. Provided there’s enough juice in the battery, the Prius will come to life in full-electric mode giving you the opportunity to make a noise and emission-free getaway. The Prius can run in full-electric mode, and on battery power alone, at speeds up to 50kph but you’ll have to be gentle with throttle inputs to manage so; the combustion engine wakes up when the system senses that more power is needed, or simply when the battery needs charging. Full-electric mode is perfectly useable in city traffic and there’s ample power on call to keep pace with traffic. When the engine does kick in, you can feel the additional power at your disposal. With both engine and motor at work, the Prius does manage to feel brisk enough. What is good is that the CVT gearbox doesn’t spoil the experience as it does on the Camry Hybrid, with far less of that irritating ‘rubber band’ effect. But outright performance is anyway not the focus here, fuel economy is. The Prius boasts an ARAI-tested fuel economy of 26.27kpl, though the car’s onboard computer showed a figure closer to 18kpl on our drive that included city streets and smooth moving highway stretches. Think about it, only a few small cars deliver that sort of efficiency.

Also impressive is the Prius’ overall level of refinement. The petrol engine runs quietly for the most part and only sounds strained when you really extend it, while much of the other sounds from outside stay where they belong.The new Prius is the first car to be built on Toyota’s new modular TNGA platform that will eventually underpin everything from compact sportscars to SUVs. And if the Prius’ generally impressive driving manners are a sign of things to come, there’s a lot to expect from future Toyotas. Yes, this is a Prius that you can actually have some fun behind the wheel of. It does roll considerably in the corners but the steering feels nicely weighted and offers pretty good feel, and there is good grip on offer too. Even brake pedal feel (the Prius uses regenerative braking) is much improved. And though squeaky, the low rolling resistance tyres also hold on quite gamely. Make no mistake though. The new Prius is not a sporty car. But rather than feeling like an appliance as old Prius models did, this one feels like a nice-to-drive mainstream car. For one, it’s a whole lot nicer to drive than Toyota’s own Camry Hybrid.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Strong disc brakes clamp down on the front as well as the rear, and we thought that the overall braking quality was superb. Cornering is easy, and slowing down and halting requires little strain. There is no body roll, but high speed does shake up the inside a bit. Coming to the suspension system, there is a McPherson strut armed onto the front axle. We thought that the overall ride was comfortable enough, but conditions could defer depending on the road terrain. The vehicle absorbs moderate road anomalies well, and we thought an average Indian passenger would feel quite satisfied with the overall comfort.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

The Toyota Prius Hybrid features has ventilated disc brakes at the front and solid disc brakes at the rear. The firm grip on the road by the alloy wheels is further improved with anti-lock braking system, brake assist, electronic brake force distribution and traction control, assuring effortless driving on all sources. The safety features in this variant include airbags for the driver, co-passenger, side airbag at the front, curtain airbags at the rear and driver knee airbag.

CONCLUSSION ;

Here’s the thing with the new Prius ­­– given the lack of support from the government in terms of taxation, it is expensive. What’s more, one can buy more conventional cars for similar money that offer better features, more driving fun, and even higher practicality and comfort. What these conventional cars lack, however, is a statement. So, if I had an M3 in my garage to burn both fuel and rubber over the weekends, and I had judgmental friends at the club, I’d buy the Prius as my second car in a heartbeat; you know to handle the daily commute and put a lid on the club gossip.

Toyota Prius Z8 Ex-showroom Price is   44,95,034/- and On Road Price is   47,29,000/- in Pondicherry. Toyota Prius Z8 comes in 7 colours, namely Emotional Red,Attitude Black Mica,Grey Metallic,Silver Metallic,White Pearl Crystal Shine,Super White,Dark Blue Mica Metallic.Test drive for Toyota Prius.

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Tata Nexon Overview,Interiors,Mileage & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

The sub 4-metre subcompact SUV segment of which the new Tata Nexon is one of the most popular and most aspirational automotive segments in the country. Maruti Suzuki consistently sells over 10,000 units of the Vitara Brezza every month and the Ecosport single handedly helped recover Ford India’s lull a few years ago. Mahindra has four SUVs in this segment too – the TUV 300, the Bolero Power+, the KUV 100 and the NuvoSport and even Hyundai and Datsun will soon launch brand new SUVs in this segment. So it was only obvious that sooner or later, any automaker who wants to be a real volume player in the Indian market needs to have a model present in this segment. Tata Motors first showcased a concept compact SUV called the Nexon at the 2014 Indian Auto Expo and an almost production ready version of the Tata Nexon at the 2016 Indian Auto Expo. While most of us expected the production SUV to be watered down version of the concept, the Indian automaker has surprised us by launching the Tata Nexon subcompact SUV that is very close to the concept’s original look and design. And the last time that happened was when Jaguar launched the F-Pace! So read on to know more about the brand new 2017 Tata Nexon!

EXTERIORS ;

The Tata Nexon is neither a sub-compact SUV nor a hatchback on stilts. It’s a crossover in the true sense. The SUV traits of the Nexon are ground clearance, which at 209mm is comparable with the Renault Duster, and large 16-inch wheels. The high-stance is married with a coupe-like sloping roofline that rakes sharply like that of the Range Rover Evoque.The unconventional design is eye-catchy, which should make it hard to miss when parked beside other hatchbacks and compact SUVs. The top-spec XZ+ variant of the Nexon that we drove sported a contrast-colour roof in steel grey with both red and blue exterior colours. The signature element is an off-white plastic trim that runs just under the greenhouse on the side. It continues at the rear too, but that’s paint and not plastic. Tata could have done away with it, but then, they could have overdone it too, which they have not.

Apart from the grey roof and off-white sash, there’s another contrasting element on the outside – the black plastic cladding. It does its job of making the Nexon look rugged and high-heeled quite well.Look straight into the Nexon’s eyes, and you’ll get a hint of Tata’s ‘Impact’ design. The front grille’s top line extends into the headlamps, and onto the side. That’s the ‘humanity line’ in Tata lingo. The Nexon’s design is, however, more aggressive than its siblings. The elements that add to the bold front look are pulled back projector headlamps with LED daytime running lamps, high-set fog lamps, a large front air intake and flared wheel arches.While the Nexon looks SUV-ish from the front, the rear is more hatchback-like. The high ground clearance is hard to miss, and the stock tyres (215/60 R16) look wide for a vehicle of the Nexon’s size. The faux skid plate on the rear bumper adds some ruggedness. There’s an off-white and glossy black element around the clear-lens tail lamps that adds quirkiness to the design, but you get used to it with time.

INTERIORS ;

The interior is filled with new techie stuff and the focus on quality and refinement is quite apparent. The highlight is what Tata calls the Grand Centre Console, which really pushes the boundaries of what we expect of a car in this segment. From the neatly tucked in handbrake lever to the sliding tambour door mechanism, everything looks and feels a few classes above.Then, there’s the first in segment Multi Drive Modes selector dial that lets you choose between Eco, City and Sport settings. The theme colour of the infotainment screen changes to match the driving mode you are on. Don’t get your hopes too high though – it doesn’t have any off road setting because the Nexon is a front wheel drive car.

Unlike the exterior, the dashboard follows a simple and straightforward design. You get a floating 6.5-inch touchscreen that supports Android Auto. Tata says Apple Car play will be introduced soon. Infotainment system comes with the ability to read out text and Whatsapp messages and send replies using voice commands. The HD display offers intuitive interface and responds quickly. You can access all functions with minimal ‘eyes off the road time’. Nexon also offers a lot of niceties including the superbly sounding Harman music system, automatic climate control, navigation through the connected smartphone, voice commands for most functions, reverse camera and most importantly, a wearable smartkey. However, the steering wheel and the instrument panel have been carried over from the Tiago and Tigor.

There are 31 smart storage areas including a huge glovebox, bottle holders and even umbrella holders on the doors to make the cabin very practical.The front seats are well padded for great comfort and support. Height adjustable driver seat and tiltable steering ensure finding a suitable driving position is not an issue. You would appreciate the elevated driving position and the excellent visibility in all directions. However, rear visibility is slightly compromised thanks to the small rear windscreen.There’s adequate legroom for rear passengers and despite the sloping roof, head room is generous too. Yet, the rear bench is not wide enough for three passengers. Centre armrests with cupholders and rear air vents make things more comfortable at the back.350 litres of boot space can be expanded to 690 litres by folding the rear seat on a 60:40 ratio.

PERFORMANCE ;

Tata is offering all-new petrol and diesel engines in the Nexon. Both can be upgraded to BS-VI norms as and when the mandate comes in. While the basic architecture of the 1.2-litre indirect injection turbo-petrol engine is the same as the Tiago’s 3-cylinder motor, Tata says that they have used all the know-how from the Zest’s turbopetrol unit and incorporated it here. So while the block remains the same, the engine is lighter than the Zest’s turbocharged unit and also makes 110PS of power and 170Nm of torque. These figures in the compact SUV segment are lower than that of only the EcoSport’s 125PS turbo-petrol engine.The diesel, in the meanwhile, is a 1.5-litre unit that makes the same amount of power as the petrol but a significantly higher 260Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated to 6-speed manual transmissions, with AMTs to be slotted in at a later date. Tata also offers the aforementioned Drive modes in both the variants. The Drive modes can be accessed via the rotary knob and can be changed on the move. The good part about this dial is that whatever mode you’ve selected, there will be an audio note telling you the selection and the colour of the infotainment system too changes a la Mini Cooper style. The dial also remembers the last selection made and sticks to it even after the car has been switched off.

We had a go at the turbopetrol engine first. At start-up, the engine has decent refinement; however, on the move, it is audible. There is some amount of turbolag and the motor isn’t that happy sitting at high revs. What it is happy doing is cruising. At around 1,600rpm, the engine is doing 100 clicks in top gear. Good for those efficiency numbers then. It is also tractable and even at a higher gear and low revs, the engine is happy. For example – 40kmph in fourth gear is possible and the engine doesn’t really protest. But if you want quick acceleration, you need to drop a couple of gears before making any progress. The hairpins up Idukki dam were taken in second gear; however, the moment brisk acceleration was called for uphill, I had to downshift. Rowing through the gears though is pretty much fun as the gearbox is slick. Vibrations are present though and manifest through the pedals and gear lever. However, they aren’t at an alarming level.The diesel, in the meanwhile, sounds as refined as the Brezza’s unit. It, however, is the punchier of the two motors. The clutch is light and has a short travel while the gearshift too is smooth. Surprisingly, the diesel is a bit more eager to rev than the petrol. Tractability remains common for both with the exception that hurried progress doesn’t really require dropping a gear in the diesel. This will be the engine to watch out amongst the two. It has less turbolag and gets the job done in a better fashion.The Drive modes do alter the engine mapping and throttle setting, but over the years Tata Motors has refined it. The Sport mode no longer feels snappy. Instead it is quite linear. Around 70 per cent of our first drive review was done in this mode. City is the apt one for err…in the city while Eco dulls out the throttle response and requires a bit more of patience when hurried progress is to be made.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Where the Nexon scores top marks, however, is in the ride and handling department. Ride quality isn’t pillow-soft and you do feel some of the larger bumps, but the suspension rounds off sharp edges brilliantly. The little bit of stiffness in the suspension also means there is not much pitching or bobbing and body roll is well contained despite the Nexon’s height. There is a bit more up-down movement in the lighter petrol car, but on the whole ride quality is really impressive. The steering, borrowed from the Zest, is spot-on and one of the best electrically assisted units we’ve experienced in this class of car. It has a reassuring on-centre feel and weights up perfectly as you pile on the lock. All of this translates to brilliant overall stability, and with a best-in-class 209mm of ground clearance, and lots of wheel travel you really don’t need to slow down for potholes.The stiff chassis, impressive brakes and generous grip from the fat 215/60 R16 tyres give a lot of confidence through corners. It doesn’t feel as keen to drive as an EcoSport and isn’t as surefooted either, but work up a rhythm, keep the engines in their sweet spot and you’ll be nicely rewarded.

SAFETY ;

Tata Motors is offering dual front airbags and ABS with EBD on all variants. You also get a seat belt height adjuster standard on the Nexon. We all are pretty much familiar with the sales and service of the automaker. Sales outlets across the country are aplenty and service centres are also in abundance. While service quality levels may not be the best, Tata isn’t that bad either and the company is working their way up.

VERDICT ;

So it seems, Tata’s holistic approach towards the Nexon has paid off. The flamboyant styling, superbly finished cabin, modern tech along with impressive performance are sure to win many hearts. Moreover, Tata is already revamping the dealership and aftersales experience to welcome the Nexon.Yet, we all know that it’s not going to be cakewalk for the Nexon as it will be running into formidable competition from the heavyweights like the Vitara Brezza and the Ecosport. However, despite a few minor niggles, the Tata Nexon is well-placed to put the competition to shame and rake in good numbers.

Tata Nexon Revotron Xe Ex-showroom Price is   5,97,315/- and On Road Price is   6,89,807/- in Chennai. Tata Nexon Revotron Xe comes in 5 colours, namely Vermont Red,Moroccan Blue,Glasgow Grey,Calgary White,Seattle Silver

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Nissan Micra Review First Drive & Price in India

 

 

INTRODUCTION ;

Nissan has been in India since a few years with limited products in their portfolio. Nissan’s range revolves around high end cars such as the Nissan Teana, Nissan X trail, and the recently launched sports car, the 370Z, all of which are imported as completely built units thereby justifying their price tags. India has emerged as the fastest growing automobile market in the world and the small car segment is boiling with almost unlimited options and Nissan adds another quality product to their portfolio in the form of the Nissan Micra, a small car which was perhaps the most awaited launch of the year. Nissan has high expectations from the Micra since it is the first of its mass production cars in India based on the all new ‘V Platform’. We drive the Nissan Micra and judge for ourselves.

DESGN ;

The 2017 Nissan Micra will be designed on the Sway concept that was showcased at the Geneva Motor Show. Nissan states that the Sway has been designed to shake up the compact hatchback segment, traditionally a conservative sector of the market. With its swooping lines, striking nose, elegantly simple interior and bold use of sophisticated colours, the concept is a daring and emotional design. The new Micra has an aggressive styling which a departure from the current one. The headlamps are inward sloping ones that give it a mean look. It has has integrated LED DRLs. The large headlamps have a small front grille between them. The sloping roofline and the presence of a rear spoiler add to the sleek styling. The taillamps are sharp looking ones with a C-shaped illuminating pattern. The rear-end has an angular styling and the rear door handles are integrated into the upper partof the doors. It has classy looking 12-spoke, 16-inch alloy wheels. Earlier, the 2017 Nissan Micra had been spotted testing in Europe for the very first time. The new Micra has taken clues from the Sway concept showcased earlier. The V-shaped small grille is identical to the concept

CABIN

; Accommodation itself, mind, is entirely adequate, especially given the Micra’s compact dimensions. There’s considerably more shoulder room than in its predecessor, decent enough rear accommodation and a boot that’s competitive in the sector. It’s an airy cabin, too, thanks to a low window line and large glass area. It remains a pity, though, that there isn’t more to surprise and delight in here. As we mentioned before there are four trim levels to choose from – Visia Limited Edition, Vibe, Acenta and n-tec. The entry-level models come with 14in steel wheels, speed-sensitive steering, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, six airbags and front electric windows, while upgrading to a Vibe specced Micra adds alloy wheels and air conditioning to the package. The mid-range Acenta trim equips the small Nissan with 15in alloys, a rear spoiler, cruise control, auto wipers and lights, and electric door mirrors, while the range-topping n-tec models come with 16in alloys, rear parking sensors and a 7.0in Nissan Connect touchscreen infotainment system.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The new facelifted Micra features the same two engines in the same state of tune. The 3-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine has seen a slightly bumped up peak power level (80 PS) in some other markets, but here it continues to offer the same 76 PS of peak power at 6,000 rpm and 104 Nm of peak torque from 4,000 rpm. The diesel engine is also the same 4-cylinder, 16-valve, 1,461cc mill that generates 64 PS of peak power and maximum torque of 160 Nm from a low 2,000 rpm. The only difference is that now the petrol version of the Micra is also being offered with an automatic transmission. The same CVT gearbox used in the Sunny XTRONIC CVT has been put to work in the Micra. This continuously variable transmission continues to be set at a high ratio of 7.2 and has been paired with the 1.2-litre engine to offer higher fuel efficiency than the 5-speed manual transmission version. Nissan claims that the new petrol CVT powertrain offers a mileage of 19.34 kmpl (Nissan internal estimates, not ARAI rated), whereas the manual transmission variant offers a mileage of 18.44 kmpl.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Shooting through traffic is an absolute joy thanks to all that power at hand and coupled with an extremely plush suspension setup the Micra simply gobbles up the roads no matter what the condition. On the highways though things change quite a bit. While the car can cruise pretty effortlessly at ton up speeds, it’s not really in its element when fast corners are brought into the picture. And then we come to the braking. Though adequate around town, braking hard results in immediate locking of the wheels. The culprit here are the non-ABS brakes. Why Nissan decided to omit a necessary safety feature like ABS is simply beyond us.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Like most Nissan car models, the hatchback is loaded with plenty of safety features such as driver airbag, central door locking with remote keyless entry, Follow-me-home lamps, engine immobilizer, an intelligent key with push button ignition of the car, seat belts, driver seat belt warning indicator, rear parking assistance, driver side power window with auto down feature etc. While the passenger airbag, side airbags with supplemental restraint system, ABS (anti-lock braking system) with EBD (electronic brake-force distribution), brake assist (BD) and immobilizer with alarm are available only on the top-end variant.

BOTTOMLINE ;

Luckily for Nissan, the general public will disagree with me and the new Micra will turn heads wherever it goes. On the inside, the new Micra is a much improved, much nicer place to be. It’s easy to see what Nissan has done; they’ve raided the Sunny parts bin to good effect. What this also means is that the price increase won’t be as much as we expect it to be. The Micra brand still has to establish itself in the Indian psyche, and the one thing holding it back is the quality of service that Nissan offers. If Nissan can fix that – and surprise us with the price – then we don’t see why you shouldn’t opt for the Micra.

Nissan Micra Xl Cvt Ex-showroom Price is   5,97,887/- and On Road Price is   6,42,244/- in New Delhi. Nissan Micra Xl Cvt comes in 6 colours, namely Sunshine Orange,Brick Red,Blade Silver,Storm White,Turqouise Blue,Onyx Black.EMI calculator for Nissan Micra.

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