Porsche 911 Transmission

OVERVIEW

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

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

DESIGN AND STYLE

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

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

CABIN AND COMFORT

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

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING

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

SAFETY FEATURES

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

BOTTOMLINE

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

 

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Maruti Suzuki Swift Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

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

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

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

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

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

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

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

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

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

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

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

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

BOTTOMLINE ;

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

 

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Jeep Compass Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

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

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

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

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

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

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

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

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

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

BOTTOMLINE ;

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

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Renault Kwid Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

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

DESIGN ‘

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

CABIN ;

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

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

.ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

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

BOTTOMLINE ;

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

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Jaguar XE Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

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

STYLE AND DESIGN ;

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

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

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

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

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

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

SAFETY ;

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

BOTTOMLINE ;

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

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Honda WR-V Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

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

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

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

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

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

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

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

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ; .

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

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

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

BOTTOMLINE ;

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

 

 

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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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