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Volvo S60 Cross Country India review, test drive

Volvo S60 Cross Price in India

 

The S60 Cross Country is the stand-out version of the already available S60 sedan with an increased ground clearance, raised suspension and handling tweaks to differentiate it from the regular luxury model. At the first glance, the S60 Cross Country looks like a S60 with lift kit and 19″ alloy wheels but it’s something more than just a four-door, five-seater luxury sedan as it offers two main traits: First, You can take it out on weekends and explore low-level terrain and second is it adapts a unique combination of an SUV and a sedan.

 

EXTERIOR AND STYLE

 

It’ll be completely honest here, at first glance, the S60 CC can be quite deceptive. I mean it looks almost exactly like the S60 sedan from most angles and the only thing that doesn’t fit with the S60 profile is the unusual height. It’s only when you step to the side of the car that you realize that this isn’t the standard S60 but one that could probably be the best suited luxury car for our Indian roads. Confused? Keep reading.  The S60 Cross Country boasts of a ground clearance of 201mm which means it has better ground clearance than all of its competition. Even luxury crossovers like the Audi Q3 (170mm), the new BMW X1 (193mm) and the GLA (183mm). In addition, it rides on 235 section Michelin Primacy 3ST tyres mounted on 18-inch alloys with a rather large sidewall. Aesthetically it looks like a jacked up version of the S60 with an imposing yet reassuring stance. And when you move around the back and notice the chrome badge that reads AWD do you realize that there is more to this car than meets the eye.

 

INTERIOR AND SPACE

 

As it is based on the S60, which is now entering its fourth model year since its last major update, the S60 Cross Country’s cabin is handsome, if showing its age. Cabin materials are uniformly of reasonably high quality, though some might quibble about some of its silver plastic trim.

 

We like that Volvo has not yet abandoned knobs for the temperature and volume controls in the Volvo S60 Cross Country. They are just easier to use than virtual buttons in competitors with touchscreen-heavy interfaces. The “mode man” vent controls are another clever solution that in practice requires no explanation. This kind of thinking is emblematic of Volvo’s Scandinavian design, which eschews gimmickry for elegance.

 

Like many Volvo S60 Cross Country’s front seats offer outstanding long-trip comfort and proper support. Full-size adults, however, might find that the ample bolsters are on the narrow side. In the backseat, the S60 Cross Country isn’t quite as accommodating. The seats themselves are supportive, but space is at a premium. Legroom and foot room are tight for folks taller than 5 feet 10 inches tall.

 

The trunk’s 12-cubic-foot capacity is on the small side among entry-level luxury sedans, but a low liftover height makes it easy to access the space. Both the rear seats fold down, and there’s a separate pass-through for skis.

 

ENGINE AND GEARBOX

 

The only engine you get in the S60 Cross Country is the 2.4-litre D4 – a detuned, 189bhp, 42.83kgm version of the five-cylinder diesel you get in the standard S60; we were hoping for one of the new four-cylinder Drive-E motors, but it’s not on the cards. It puts its power down through a six-speed automatic gearbox and standard all-wheel-drive, in keeping with its soft-roader USP.

 

It’s not a thrilling motor, but it’s actually pretty quick. We clocked an 8.2sec 0-100kph time, which is really not too bad for this sort of car. It’s very refined at idle, but the moment the revs climb to about 1,800rpm, you get an ugly diesel clatter. At full chat, the five-cylinder thrum is quite unique sounding, but of course, it’s not what you’d call sporty. Similarly, the car doesn’t leap off the line ferociously when you punch down your right foot, but instead, builds its speed in a smooth and measured manner. The gearbox can be a bit slow to react in kickdown situations, but because of the lack of urgency from the motor, it’s pretty easy to manage.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

 

By looking at it, the 201 mm ground clearance of the S60 Cross Country makes you feel that it can tackle rough terrains and handle bad roads with comfort. However, the story is a bit different here. It might crawl over huge bumps and potholes but the ride quality is stiff. That is good for high speed stability and offers flat ride on the highways but at slow speeds it feels a bit on the stiffer side. Handling is quite predictable and with the AWD system, the S60 sticks to the road like a leech, it doesn’t move away from its line when you push it hard. Just the feedback from the steering could have been better and the body roll is noticeable to some extent when you corner hard. It is well controlled though for a sedan with 201 mm of ground clearance. The brakes are spot on and the feel from the pedal is very positive, giving you lots of confidence. No, it’s not a full fledged off-roader that it can handle rocky terrain and deep slush but yes it can tackle mild off-road stuff to get you out of trouble.

 

SAFETY AND FEATURES

 

There is no dearth convenience equipment in the S60 Cross Country, the best part however is that the car is available in one trim only and that trim is fully loaded. You get electrically adjustable front seats with memory function for the driver’s seat. Dual-zone climate control comes in as standard and so does the sunroof, steering mounted controls and an electronic parking brake. It also comes with parking sensors both up front and at the rear coupled with a reversing camera with distance and obstacle indicator for low light conditions, rain sensing wipers also come in as standard.

 

Safety has been given the highest priority like in all Volvos and the list of the safety equipment is long and exhaustive though, a heads-up-display though has been skipped. 2-step airbags are standard along with curtain airbags and whiplash protection for front seats. Also fitted as standard to the Cross Country is the Dynamic Stability Traction Control system or DTSC along with Volvo’s City safety braking system.

 

CONCLUSSION

 

The Volvo S60 Cross Country is the first premium sedan crossover offered to the Indian buyers. Known for its safety and the powerful five-cylinder diesel and coupled with the raised ride height and all-wheel drive, the S60 Cross Country is a genuine value proposition if you are looking for something beyond the Germans.

 

Volvo S60 Cross Country Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 40,31,000/- (S60 Cross Country D4 AWD Inscription) to  40,31,000/- (S60 Cross Country D4 AWD Inscription) .Volvo S60 Cross Country has 1 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Volvo S60 Cross Country comes in 5 colours, namely Chyrstal White Pearl,Black Metallic,Ember Black Pearl,Caspian Blue,Passion Red Solid.

 

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Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Reviews India

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Price in India

 

Up until a few years ago, when you would think Maruti Suzuki, chances

are that a hatchback would come to mind. Something, that clearly

stresses a lot on fuel efficiency and tries to be as cost efficient as

possible. Clearly, that formula has worked wonders and the company has

been unbeatable in the hatchback segment in the country. So, it was

time to look at the higher segment – Sedan.

It started with the Maruti Suzuki SX4 and the company, in that

segment, is currently represented by the Ciaz. Interestingly, the Ciaz

also has a clever hybrid system variant that promises to deliver fuel

efficiency unlike any other offering in the segment, making it

probably one of the best value for money sedan in the country. There’s

also an ‘RS’ variant which looks way sportier than other models. So,

we got our hands on the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz SHVS ZDi variant to find

out how it fares

 

EXTERIORS

 

The design of the Ciaz is based on the Suzuki Authentics concept which

was showcased first at the 2014 Shanghai Motor Show in April and then

shown in production form as the China-spec Alivio sedan. It gets an

aggressive front fascia with a trapezoidal front grille that features

ample amount of chrome. The sweptback headlights and the elongated

hood further enhance its street presence. The side profile is a rather

conservative affair but one that works for Maruti Suzuki. It features

delicately flared wheel arches, chrome door handles and a strong

shoulder line which works well with the forward leaning stance of the

car.

 

At the rear, the Ciaz gets the standard wrap around tail lamps which

lend the car a premium look. The rear bumper is large and includes

integrated reflectors. There’s also a lip spoiler and chrome badges

across all variants.

 

INTERIORS

 

The Ciaz’s wide-opening doors lead to a cabin that is the most

spacious in its class. From the driver’s seat, the uncluttered,

European-inspired dashboard looks elegant and important controls are

within easy access. Also, the wooden trim, metallic highlights around

select knobs makes the cabin look premium and the general finish and

quality of switchgear is good too. Sure, some plastic bits feel a bit

scratchy but overall, they don’t hurt the ambience much. That said,

the Ciaz carries over bits like the steering wheel and window switches

from smaller (read cheaper) Marutis and that’s an association the

sedan could have done without.

 

We’d have also liked to see a touchscreen interface for the

infotainment system on our top-spec Ciaz ZXi(O) test car.

Interestingly, Maruti has such a system in the works that will be

introduced on the ‘ZXi +’ version due in some months. For now, the

simple black-and-white unit is all you get. It’s functional, easy to

use and pairing our phones with it via Bluetooth was a breeze. This

apart, there’s a fair bit of other equipment as well. The top-spec ZXi

(O) gets front airbags, ABS, climate control, a reverse parking

camera, keyless entry and push button start, a rear sun blind, rear

air-con vents and leather seats as standard.

 

Speaking of the seats, the driver’s seat is fairly comfortable but

even in its lowest setting, feels a touch too high. Taller drivers may

have to fiddle around a bit to find a comfy driving position. The

Ciaz’s strength, however, lies in its spacious rear bench; something

that the chauffeured lot will appreciate the most. There’s almost as

much legroom here as in some cars a class above and even with the

front seat pushed all the way back, most people won’t have to worry

about their knees touching the front seatback. Headroom isn’t great

but what hurts comfort is that the rear seat itself isn’t very

generous – the smallish seat squab is largely to blame here and feels

a bit stingy on thigh support. It’s not that the seats are

uncomfortable, it’s just that in this airy and spacious cabin, the

seats could have been plusher.

 

Everyday practicality hasn’t been overlooked though. All four doors

get a 1-litre bottle holder and there are lots of cubbyholes for small

items as well. The boot is large too, but the wheel wells do eat into

space and make it less useable than its 510-litre capacity would

suggest

 

PERFORMANCE

 

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz gets a choice of two engines one each of petrol and diesel.

The petrol engine is the K14 VVT mill that is already available in the

Ertiga and in almost the same state of tune. But, Maruti engineers say

that there has been considerable amount of weight reduction work that

has been done to the engine. The Ciaz itself also features an

increased use of lighter weight, high tensile steel that keeps the

kerb weight of the petrol version to just above one tonne (1,010 kgs).

 

The 1,372cc petrol engine delivers a peak power of 92.5PS at 6,000 rpm

and a peak torque of 130Nm at 4,000 rpm. The engine, as we all know by

now, is a refined unit that is inherently quiet and of low vibration.

During our test drive of the Ciaz, the most likeable aspect of this

engine was the amount of low-end torque available. During slow speeds,

below the 20-30 kmph levels, the engine almost behaves like a diesel.

 

The diesel engine is the more familiar DDiS engine that is originally

the multijet from Fiat. This is the 1,248cc diesel burner that is

available across many models from Maruti and even Tata and Fiat

models. This engine felt familiar during our test drive too and

continues to surprise with its remarkably refined performance even in

the Ciaz. The mill delivers 90PS of power at 4,000 rpm and 200Nm of

torque at a low 1,750 rpm.

 

There is a bit of turbolag initially just like it is in other models

with this engine, but there is enough pulling power just past 1,200

rpm. Both the engines are paired with a 5-speed gearbox. The petrol

engine version also gets a 4-speed automatic, which was available for

a test drive. What is missing in the smooth shifting manual

transmission is a bit more shift feel. The cabin is quiet in both the

petrol and diesel versions, with extensive use of sound deadening and

noise dampening aids.

 

The improvements to the engines and the weight reduction measures

manage to make the Ciaz one of the most fuel-efficient sedans with a

claimed mileage of 20.73 kmpl for the petrol and 26.21 kmpl for the

diesel (ARAI rated).

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

 

Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has

a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to

dial in but it isn’t great on feedback. It just isn’t in the same

league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for

a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz’s easy

nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course

an added plus.

 

The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all

else and it’s evident in the way the car rides. It’s softly sprung, so

at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However,

at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load,

the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.

 

CONCLUSION

 

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz was launched with high hopes and it manages to

live up to it. This car doesn’t try to be everything, it is aimed at

comfort and delivers that in good measure. Yes, it’s not a handler and

the looks aren’t going to make you stop and take notice either.

However, for most buyers in this segment who want a well specced car

with acres of room, fantastic ride quality and frugal engines, the

Maruti Ciaz is difficult to beat. When you factor in the pricing,

which is a good Rs. 1 lakh plus cheaper for certain variants over the

segment leader Honda City, you realise that the tradeoff in brand

image might be worth the money saved for some. The Maruti Ciaz doesn’t

come across as exciting but is certainly a very practical choice in

the overcrowded C-segment.

 

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 7,72,582/- (Ciaz Sigma Petrol) to  10,52,396/- (Ciaz Alpha Automatic Petrol) .Maruti Suzuki Ciaz has 11 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Maruti Suzuki Ciaz comes in 7 colours, namely Nexa Blue,Pearl Midnight Black,Pearl Metallic Dignity Brown,Pearl Snow White,Pearl Sangria Red,Metallic Silky Silver,Metallic Glistening Grey.

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Volkswagen Beetle Review & Ratings

Volkswagen Beetle Price in India

 

It was the year 2005 and I had just come out of a Planet M store with

a gleam in my eyes. In my hands, I had a brand new CD of Midtown

Madness 2 and I was dying to play it on my Compaq Presario. Quickly

installed the game and and found a yellow car that seemed quite

interesting. Yes, it was the second generation Volkswagen Beetle,

which I drove around merrily on the streets of San Fransisco, albeit

virtually. Times have changed since then and while I don’t possess

that CD of Midtown Madness any more, what I do have is a shiny white

Volkswagen Beetle standing in my parking. This is the third generation

of the cute hatchback and this time I’m driving it on the streets of

Mumbai. Let’s see whether the car really lives up to its hype or not.

 

STYLING AND DESIGN 

The original Beetle had lived more than any other car has and when it

was time to say goodbye, it was replaced by a new, modern version. The

new version, though was contemporary in many aspects, it lacked the

charm and simplicity of the original. It appealed to women instantly

and initially sold decent volumes. However, it got a particular gender

focused and hence male buyers were not too keen on this car. This time

though Volkswagen aims to change that perception by making the Beetle

more muscular and mean looking, thereby adding a masculine undertone

to the car, to make it appeal universally.

 

The styling of the all-new Beetle leans towards the sporty side and is

a luxurious car too, unlike the original Beetle. In fact, at a glance

one might mistake it for a Porsche, from the front. The car is now

chunkier while keeping the basic design elements similar like the

rounded front with oval headlamps, bulging fenders, sloping roof and

the flattish rear. The taillamp is now elongated and the boot has a

large  and prominent spoiler, making it look sportier. The car also

seems to be flatter from the top. The sharper lines and sporty looks

are sure to make it much more appealing to a wider audience.

 

CABIN 

There are some very obvious retro touches, particularly the upright

dashboard finished in the same colour as the exterior. It houses a

tiny novelty old-fashioned glovebox, but the real one sits below it.

You’ll also like the round, hooded instrument cluster and the rather

unique looking door grab handles. Trouble is, that’s about where the

‘retro’ stops, and the rest of the cabin borrows quite obviously from

the VW family parts bin, unlike its rival the Mini Cooper, which has a

largely bespoke cabin. One borrowed part we’re not complaining about

is the new touchscreen, which is VW’s latest unit. It’s crisp, smooth

and uses a high-resolution screen, and though it doesn’t have its own

sat-nav, it does come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which

should let you mirror your phone’s maps app.

 

The new shape has allowed this Beetle to be quite practical. Apart

from a very large boot, you get loads of room in the front and a

sufficient amount in the two rear bucket seats as well; only headroom

is a bit tight. Visibility all round is very good too, and it needs to

be, because the Beetle is deceptively wide. The car comes with a

healthy amount of equipment. Missing in action are electric seats and

a rear-view camera, but you do get front and rear parking sensors,

leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, push-button start and

engine stop-start, among other things, on this sole variant.

 

PERFORMANCE 

Internationally, the New Volkswagen Beetle comes with four engine

options. Of these the one that will make it to India is the 150PS

4-cylinder 1.4-litre TSI engine. This unit comes mated to a 7-speed

DSG transmission. Twist the key and the car comes to life with a sweet

sound. It isn’t the quickest off the line, but felt fairly comfortable

cruising at 140kmph on the autobahn. However, post that it does tend

to take longer to gain speeds and needs a long straight to reach its

top speed. We have always loved the way the 7-speed DSG from VW

performs and in this new Beetle it is no different. Shifts are butter

smooth even when you take matters in your hands with the paddle

shifters.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING 

Ride quality is simply brilliant and we were in for a pleasant

surprise after driving the Beetle. Our highway blasts revealed that

the Beetle felt well-planted and it impressed us with the silent, flat

and absorbent ride. Its only when speeds fell that the car began to

show a slight stiffness over bigger undulations but it always feels

comfortable. What brings an even bigger smile to your face is when you

learn that the Beetle’s ground clearance makes a no-brainer out of

almost every kind of speed breaker. While the steering is mostly

accurate and feels well weighted, we would have appreciated better

feedback as it tends to feel numb around the dead centre. This also

means that it’s not very confidence inspiring for spirited driving

around tight bends

 

SAFETY 

The 2016 Volkswagen Beetle comes with the usual safety tech that you

would expect in a car below the price segment that the Beetle is

positioned in. It gets 6 airbags, ABS, Hill Hold and ESP. That’s it.

However, the build quality on the whole is also good and the hatchback

even bagged a 5-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash tests. Talking

about after-sales, Volkswagen has a pretty bad reputation in this

regard and people generally don’t have a good perception about the

German automaker’s service standards.

 

BOTTOMKNE 

As a car the new Beetle works really well and except for the so-so

cabin it is hard to fault this VW bug. But when you consider its

ridiculous Rs 28.7 lakh price-tag, this is just not enough and it has

to feel special too. As far as looks go, it certainly looks fantastic

and its iconic bug shape definitely turned heads wherever we went. But

what really disappointed us is the cabin, which in our eyes looks too

generic, especially when you get the Mini Cooper in the picture. It

doesn’t feel half as much fun to drive too. So for the money, you get

a piece of history which feels thoroughly modern but nothing more.

Volkswagen Beetle Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 26,61,798/- (Beetle 1.4 TSI) to  26,61,798/- (Beetle 1.4 TSI) .Volkswagen Beetle has 1 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Volkswagen Beetle comes in 1 colours, namely Night Blue.