Posted on

Skoda Superb Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

That name was also met with wry amusement when the previous Superb was launched in 2001. But Skoda had the last laugh, for that Superb, based on the previous Passat with its wheelbase stretched for space, was a better car than the VW and rode British roads much more serenely. Check Price of Superb

Still, if Skoda’s hefty new car is to gain credibility, then it needs a USP. That’ll be the Twindoor, in which the bootlid either hinges open conventionally or can stay rigidly attached to the rear window as the whole assembly opens to reveal a vast load bay. A conventional estate version is also available. This Twindoor boot, together with enormous rear legroom, make the Superb unique in its sector, if indeed it occupies any known sector.

EXTERIORS ;

The exterior design remains the same across all variants and is impossible to judge from the outside about the variant of the car since none of the variants carry any badge. The long face comes with a large Skoda logo and the classic Fabia like grill along with the chrome inserts across and the lower on the air dam giving that nose a bold smart look. This fairly imposing front look makes you forget its enormous length of this car. Exchange your old car for Superb

The Halogen Projector headlamps replace the Bi-Xenon headlights head lamp. The headlights retain the auto On/Off feature. The front fog lamps also remains along with the cornering feature (Turn Lights) on them. The exteriors rear view mirrors auto foldsand have the turn lights integrated in them. Thesemirrors also have the auto dimming feature which useful while driving at nights.

The car looks long and wide from the side.The doors come with chrome strip that givesthe car rich a look. The windows boarders also get the chrome detailing around them while the pillars are blacked out identical to that on the Skoda Superb Elegance. The rear door is huge so you know inside the car leg and head room is not an issue. From the back it looks a bit different it feels plain and a bit disconnected from the front. The tail lamps have a soft glow and run a bit on to the booth lid. Unlike other cars the way the model name is written this is something new, in most car the badge is on one side. The little bit of chrome on the booth lid is subtle and comes with an integrated little lip making a statement with being in your face

INTERIORS ;

Once seated in the driver’s seat, you will be delighted with the brilliant visibility over the bonnet that is on offer. The dual tone shades for the cabin really light up the ambience. However, Skoda could have imparted a better design for the dashboard. Areas around the centre console and door pads imparted a bland unexciting feel. That said, little details like the silver accents around the vents, touchscreen and gear shifter do add a nice touch to the overall appearance. All the buttons are spread out in an accessible manner and finding a function should not be a chore.

While the front electric seats have nice contours to hold you in place and also offer appropriate support for the back, it lacked enough under thigh support. Well, the Superb’s rear was always the talk of the town and this will rightly continue. Occupants can enjoy even more legroom thanks to the overall increase in dimensions. There is no denying that it is the rear portion of the cabin that will make it stand clear of its opponents. The rear can seat three passengers easily and there is enough head and shoulder room too. However, the lack of proper under thigh support was again sighted. 625 litres of luggage can be swallowed by the boot whose lid opens like a hatchback, unlike the earlier double opening boot lid design that has been canned.

Highlights of the equipment list on the Style variant are keyless entry, a 6.5-inch colour touch screen infotainment system, leather seats, electric driver seat and bi-xenon headlamps with curve light assistant. Buyers also get eight airbags, multi collision brake, parking sensors with camera and dual-zone climate control. Unique additions to the L&K variant are the three-zone climate control, electric boot lid, boss button (front passenger seat position electrically controlled from rear seat), cooled front seats, fatigue detection and a virtual pedal (contact free access for the boot).

PERFORMANCE ;

Powering the Skoda Superb are two engine options – 2.0-litre diesel and 1.8 litre petrol. The 2.0-litre TDI produces 177 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 350 Nm of peak torque at 1500-3500 RPM. We only got the 1.8 TSI DSG variant to test at the drive which makes 180 PS of power at 5100 RPM and 250 Nm of torque at 1250-5000 RPM. There is no hint of turbolag in this motor and it goes off the mark quite briskly. As you rev up the motor, the progress gets more stronger. The entire rev range is silky smooth and never does the engine feels strained or overworked. Redlining this engine is a bliss, which comes up around 7000 RPM. It sounds very sporty as you rev higher but no vibrations filter through the cabin. NVH levels are supreme and the cabin is very well insulated.

Mated to the 1.8 TSI is a 7-speed automatic DSG gearbox. The dual-clutch transmission is famous for its lightning quick shifts and is mated very well to the Superb. It changes cogs in milliseconds and with the manual pedal shifts it is super fun to drive. However, it upshifts automatically after hitting the redline. In the regular D mode it changes gears early, which is best for city driving. Put it in the S mode and it pulls strongly at higher revs holding the gear longer. We also drove Octavia TSI back to back and the younger sibling feels more sprightly with the same engine at the lower end of the rev range because of its lighter weight. Skoda claims 14.67 km/l of fuel efficiency but in real world conditions you may get around 10 km/l.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The ride of the new Superb is pliant. One of the best ride qualities in this segment. The previous Superb was stiff but this one has the perfect ride quality. The handling too is agile. Despite the length, it doesn’t feel very large and does well around bends. The Superb even has sufficient grunt with the more powerful engine options. The steering wheel is lively and it weighs up nicely too. What else we liked on the Superb is the ground clearance. Despite the long wheelbase, it didn’t touch even once on badly designed speed bumps.

SAFETY ;

Skoda has done no compromise in terms of safety as you get top notch equipment with the new Superb. The list is long and here it is – 8 airbags, ABS, EBD, Hill Hold Control, multi-collision brake, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, traction control system, electronic stability control and more. Skoda after sales service has been controversial in India but according to the carmaker, they have improved a lot in terms of turn around time, spare part costs, customer satisfaction after the launch of the new Octavia. The Czech carmaker says customer satisfaction level has gone up in the recent past and they are working hard to get everything right when it comes to after sales.

VERDICT ;

With the mechanicals being the same, the facelifted Skoda Superb drives very much like the outgoing version.

There is enough power on tap for most Indian roads and more. One advantage is that you don’t feel the car’s size when in the driver’s seat. The suspension is fairly pliant and our only complaint will be the 16-inch wheel size. Overall ride quality is focused on the rear seat occupant, who has enough legroom to sit stretched out.

Posted on

Tata Tiago Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Tata Motors tasted success in the private car segment with the Indica when it was launched in 1998. The vehicle continues to be sold today but there was no replacement for it in spite of the Vista and later the Bolt coming along. This is solely because the Indica is largely sold to the commercial segment like fleet operators and thus isn’t appealing to private car buyers anymore. To fill this void, the company has developed an all new car which sits between the Nano and Bolt. Its most ambitious project of late, the Tata Tiago has been developed from scratch in just 3 years. After seeing it camouflaged since months and referring it to as Kite (codename), we finally get behind the wheel of what could be a game changer for the Indian auto giant. Check On Road Price of Tiago

EXTERIORS ;

Tata Motors has designed the Tiago with utmost diligence and have kept in mind that it is distinctly different than the Indica, but has even retained the essence and utility. It is not too sane (like the Indica was) nor too curvy (something like the Hyundai Eon is). In fact, it is the right mix of simpleness and boldness and this is where the Impact design language comes into the picture. Right from the time the Tata Tiago images have surfaced (much before the launch), there has been a great anticipation with the hatch. It has a wide mesh grille in the front section that flows into the swept back headlamps on either side. The lip spoiler holds the circular-shaped fog lamps. The side section of the car gets body-coloured door handles and ORVMs with turn indicators installed on them. There are a couple of defining character lines on both the sides, with one of them passing across through the door handles. The car rides on 13-inch alloy wheels. The rear portion is modern and houses wraparound but small tail light clusters and roof spoiler. The registration number plate is attached to the lower bumper and not at the tailgate. A total of six colour options are available. But out of all the Tata Tiago colours, the Peppy Orange may be the best.

INTERIORS ;

The interior theme of the Tiago mimics that of its elder siblings, the Zest and the Bolt. Tata has spent a lot of time maximising cabin space and improving the quality — it does show.Amongst the first things you notice when you enter the cabin is the soothing black-grey theme that envelopes the dash. Tata tells us they have bid goodbye to beige for good, and we’re glad! The colour combo not only looks pleasing, but is easier to keep clean as well.The quality of plastics used in the interiors, especially on the top half of the dash is very, very good. There’s a dab of piano black on the centre console and on the surrounds of the side AC vents amongst other places. Tata says the side AC vents can be colour coordinated to the exteriors, which we think is a pretty cool touchA familiar Tata steering greets you as you get into the driver’s seat. The unit is chunky, feels good to hold, and gets controls for the audio and telephony. The wheel is fairly thick at the 9 o’clock and 3 o’clock position that lets one get a firm grip. The steering can be adjusted for tilt.The two-pod instrument cluster looks like a downsized version of the one on the Bolt. A multi-information display (MID) sits in the centre with the pods housing the tachometer and the speedometer respectively. The MID can be used to cycle through information like time, trip distance, instantaneous fuel consumption, average fuel consumption and distance-to-empty. The tachometer has a cool trick up its sleeve — the needle turns red as you reach the redline!

The hexagonal theme continues on the inside too with the centre console. It houses a pair of AC vents and the Harman developed music system. The music system is coupled to 8-speakers and the output is fantastic, to say the least. The music system is easily the best we’ve heard in a budget hatch. The system can also double up as navigation when paired with a smartphone. By downloading the ‘Turn by Turn Navigation’ app, the system shows driving directions on the LCD screen. Another cool addition is the Juke car app, that creates a WiFi hotspot to which 10 phones can connect simultaneously. This can be used to stream music. Both the apps are unheard of in this segment.The controls for the air-conditioner sit below the centre console. There’s no automatic climate control, but, to be fair, none of its rivals has it either. Unlike the Grand i10, there are no rear AC vents. That said, performance from the AC is acceptable.The front seats are well contoured and offer a decent amount of support. Headrests aren’t the integrated kind thankfully, like in the Celerio or the Grand i10. People with larger builds might have a small issue with under thigh support, and find the footwell to be a tad cramped. This apart, the front bench is a nice place to be. The driver’s seat gets a healthy range for height adjustment too, which, coupled with the rake-adjustable steering makes it easy to get into a comfortable driving position.

The rear bench is best suited for two people. Accommodating three people, although possible, isn’t recommended. Shoulder room is just about enough with two and non-existent with three. The leg space is generous by small car standards and the Tiago comes a close second to the Grand i10. The backs of the front seats are scooped out to liberate some more space for the knees.You’ll find a total of 22 cubbyholes around the cabin. There’s plenty of storage space around the gear lever and it gets pockets on all four doors to store water bottles. The glovebox is deep and gets a chilling function too, just like the Grand i10. There are also little thoughtful touches like a small hook on the lower half of the dashboard, that can hold up to 2 kilos of groceries.The Tiago features one of the best-appointed interiors in the segment. The fit, finish and build quality is now in the league of the segment leader, the Grand i10. Segment firsts such as the 8-speaker Harman sound system and the associated apps round the package off nicely. Overall, it has a well-packaged interior with just the right amount of features one expects at this price point.

PERFORMANCE ;

Tata Tiago is likely to come available with the same powertrain options like its regular sibling, which include a 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine paired with a 5 speed manual transmission and churns out 85 PS of peak power at 6000 rpm and 114 Nm of peak torque at 3500 rpm, while the 1.05 litre Revotorq engine does the duty under the hood of the diesel variant, which mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox generates 70 PS of peak power at 4000 rpm and 139 Nm of peak torque between 1800 rpm to 3000 rpm. The petrol and the diesel engine deliver the fuel economy of 23.84 kmpl and 27.28 kmpl of fuel efficiency respectively.Chevrolet Beat Activ is available in both petrol and diesel engine options, and it draws power from 1.2 litre SMARTECH petrol and 1.0 litre SMARTECH diesel engine, both of which gets mated to a 5 speed manual transmission and churns out 78 PS and 57 PS of peak power respectively, while the torque output stand at 106.5 Nm and 142.5 Nm respectively.

The 2016 Volkswagen Cross Polo comes with 1.2 litre MPI engine mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox which generates 74 bhp of peak power and 110 Nm of peak torque, while the 1.5 litre TDI diesel engine is paired with a 5 speed manual transmission and kicks out 88.73 bhp of peak power and 230 Nm of peak torque.The Toyota Etios Cross is powered by a range of engines which include 1.2 litre petrol engine generating 80 PS of peak power and 104 Nm of peak torque, a larger 1.5 litre petrol unit churning out 90 SP of peak power and 132 Nm of peak torque, and a 1.4 litre diesel engine which pumps out 68 SP of peak power and 170 Nm of peak torque.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Tata Motors has always found a good balance of ride and handling for its cars and the Tiago is no different. The suspension set-up is on the stiffer side (more so on the diesel with the extra weight) but the dual-path suspension and the tuning of the shock-ups is just right, ensuring even the worst of roads are dealt without ruffling a feather. Potholes or even jumping speed-breakers doesn’t affect the Tiago much and the ride quality is better on the petrol model but not by a mile. Straight line stability is good too and the vehicle remains composed at triple digit speeds, the Goodyear Assurance tyres offering surefooted grip levels.

The Tata Tiago has good handling with body roll being well contained but just like other Tata cars (UVs not included), understeer kicks in sharply once you up the speed through a corner. The understeer mostly comes up when you are driving fast around sharp bends with 75-degree plus turns, otherwise the car can be quite fun as the steering offers good feedback although it lacks some feel at the centre. The EPAS does centre quickly, thereby reducing effort when taking u-turns or parking. The brakes perform well to stop the car in its stride, no locking up thanks to Bosch’s 9th generation ABS with EBD, there is Corner Stability Control too.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

In terms of the braking, the Tata Tiago comes with disc brakes on the front wheels and drum units at the rear and this fitting is standard across all the variants. However, only the top-end variants – XZ (both petrol and diesel) and XZA, get the addition of ABS along with EBD and corner stability control. Moreover, dual airbags are added as a standard feature across all the variants, including the base XB trims.

VERDICT ;

Tata has clearly put its heart and soul into the Tiago and the result is very impressive. The Tiago looks attractive, comes with plenty of equipment and has a cabin that could very well belong to a more expensive car. The Tiago is also designed to tackle our imperfect roads with ease and is an easy car to handle. Unfortunately, the lacklustre engines take much away from what is otherwise a well-rounded package. However, Indian buyers might be willing to make a compromise on the driving experience in return for good fuel efficiency. The petrol Tiago (in Eco mode) gives an impressive 23.5kpl and the diesel is even more fuel-efficient. What these figures translate to in the real world remains to be seen.

Posted on

BMW X3 Engine & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

A seven-year life cycle is an eternity in car years, especially when the vehicle in question is a member of the very popular luxury compact crossover class. But even with a new version arriving for 2018, the 2017 BMW X3 still holds its own against newer rivals. Much of that is because of a comprehensive refresh in 2015, which updated the X3’s exterior and interior styling, among other enhancements. This year’s revisions to the iDrive infotainment system and new standard features to the xDrive35i trim only add to its appeal.

We’ve always considered the X3 one of the top choices in the segment, and the 2017 model is no different. In terms of the rear seat and cargo area, the X3 boasts one of the roomiest interiors in the class. That’s massively important if you have visions of taking your friends camping for the weekend and don’t want to upgrade to the larger (and more expensive) X5. That recent refresh also means all the latest and greatest tech and safety toys are on the options list, from a 360-degree camera to adaptive cruise control and a head-up display.

EXTERIORS ;

The X3, however, isn’t much larger on the outside. Its 4,708mm length, and also its width, are similar to that of the outgoing car. Where BMW engineers and designers have made more space, is between the wheels. So this all-new X3 gets an approximately 50mm-longer wheelbase for more space on the inside.What BMW has also done, to sort of compensate for the car not being much larger on the outside, is give it a larger and more prominent ‘kidney’ grille. It is taller, wider and more three-dimensional in nature now. The variable geometry slats protrude out ahead of the frame. And it’s not just the grille, the entire cowl or nose has been made larger. The double-barrelled headlights are placed higher, the bonnet is wider and the chin has been designed as if to allow air to flow through the engine bay in a controlled manner.

The glass house or cabin of the X3 actually looks similar to that of the second-generation car and while the very attractive tail-lights and hatch are very different, and the wheel arches are larger, the impression that the rest of the new X3 delivers is that of car that’s gently evolved rather than taken a big step ahead.Today, we have two versions at our disposal. The first is the 265hp 30d, BMW’s sublime three-litre diesel that seems to just get better and better every time we drive it. And then there’s the new 360hp M40i M Performance – a car BMW could get to India to take on the Mercedes GLC 43 AMG.

INTERIORS ;

The Interior design of this SUV looks quite attractive wherein, each variant has its own package that distinguishes them from the others. However, all these variants have one thing in common is that they have pearl chrome accents and instrument cluster with high gloss black finish. The Expedition variant gets the Sensatec beige colored upholstery, while the mid range xLine trim gets leather Nevada upholstery, which is available in different color schemes. On the other hand, the newly introduced M Sport version is blessed with premium upholstery that comes with a combination of cloth leather. The space inside the cabin is exceptionally good, as it can provide comfortable seating for five occupants. The cockpit section has individual seats with electrical adjustable function. While the second row gets bench seats featuring adjustable head restraints. They can be folded for improving the boot storage capacity further.

The company has bestowed this vehicle with a lot of sophisticated features, which gives the occupants a comfortable driving experience. Both these variants have been incorporated with a 2-Zone automatic air conditioning system including active carbon microfilter and rear air con vents, which keeps the ambiance pleasant. It is blessed with an advanced features, which is known as ConnectDrive. It is equipped with a lot of advanced features. The list includes apps, Bluetooth with handsfree and USB interface, extended Bluetooth with audio streaming, voice control, office functions and contact photo display. It also supports HiFi loudspeaker system with nine speaker that enhances the ambiance of its cabin. Then it also has an iDrive with 16.5cm touchscreen display, which supports DVD player, integrated hard drive for maps and audio files. It has a rear view camera along with display on central console, which makes the parking quite easy. It has an advanced cruise control system along with braking function, which maintains a steady speed on the highways as set by the driver. Not to forget, its Driving Experience control is the most advanced feature that provides desired driving style with the help of ECOPRO, Comfort and Sport modes. In addition to these, it is equipped with a lots of features including adjustable steering column, all four power windows with one touch operation, electrically adjustable outside mirrors featuring anti dazzling function along with memory and automatic headlamps. Furthermore, it has rear center armrest with two cup holders, inside rear view mirror with automatic anti-dazzling function, storage compartment package and push button engine start and stop function. Apart from these, it also has sophisticated feature like a panoramic glass roof, which adds to the plushness of its interiors.

PERFORMANCE ;

In case you haven’t figured it out yet, there’s plenty of models to choose from when the new X3 hits showrooms in November 2017. Like the current model, the new X3 will be offered with a 2.0-liter or 3.0-liter engine, but those can be had with a thirst for petrol or diesel. On the diesel side, you can choose from the xDrive20d and the xDrive 30d – that’s right; AWD is standard for the oil burners. The 20d comes with a 2.0-liter that’s good for 190 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque with the latter being available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Fuel economy is rated at 52.3 to 56.5 mph on the imperial scale. It can hit the 62-mph sprint in eight seconds flat and will top 132 mph before she says no more. But, maybe that’s not enough. If so, you can jump up to the xDrive30d and get yourself an impressive 258 horsepower to go with 457 pound-feet of gut-wrenching, trailer-hauling torque. The later is available between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm and represents an improvement of 59 pound-feet over the outgoing model. Not bad, huh? AS it turns out, the xDrive30d will get you to 62 mph in 5.8 seconds on the way to a top speed of 149 mph. Fuel economy, however, is where the sacrifice comes in, as the 30d is only good for 49.6 mpg on the imperial scale.

Well, the xDrive30i comes correct with an extra 7 ponies on tap from the 2.0-liter, bringing output up to 252 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque that comes into play at a relatively low 1,450 rpm and holds steady through 4,800 rpm. 62 mph comes in as fast as 6.3 seconds with the right tires and motivation while top speed comes in at just 149 mph. You’ll manage to travel 38.2 miles per gallon on the imperial scale with this model. Finally, for those of you who crave that M goodness and desire BMW’s famed inline-six, you’ll want to check out the M40i. It comes with xDrive AWD as standard equipment and delivers a cool 360 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. And, that’s where the gains really come in for this generation. See, those figures account for an improvement of 54 ponies and 74 pound-feet over the outgoing model. That’s pretty huge for the range-topping model. These credentials are good for a 4.8-second sprint to 62 mph and a top cruising speed of 155 mph. And, according to Bimmer, this extra power doesn’t affect fuel economy, with the M40i achieving 34.4 mpg on the imperial scale.

Shifting duties for every model and engine happen smoothly and efficiently thanks to BMW’s eight-speed Steptronic gearbox. And, while BMW didn’t go into details, the transmission has been updated to for each engine for increased reliability while also being more efficient to help combat emissions and fuel consumption woes. At the time of launch, you’ll only be able to get your hands on xDrive models, the sDrive20i will come shortly thereafter, but if you live in Europe, don’t get your hopes up as it’s not ging to be offered in your market. BMW has gone to extreme lengths to refine the X3, and that includes a lighter rear differential and a revised transfer case – the same one that’s found in the current 7 Series – that helps to combat fuel efficiency as well.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The X3 is only available with BMW’s xDrive 4-wheel drive system, which is now in its third generation. This system channels 40% torque to the front and the remaining 60% to the rear axles. The multi-disc clutch can vary power delivery to the front and rear depending on road conditions. This system ensures optimum grip in all conditions and works flawlessly to enable moderate off-roading. The X3 stays true to BMW principles and handles very well. It is surefooted at all speeds and changes lanes quickly with body roll being minimal. High speed stability of this SUV is truly awe inspiring and the Bimmer stays firmly planted to the road at all speeds.

The splendid dynamics don’t come at the cost of ride quality, which is very pliant and comfortable. The X3 absorbs bumps with confidence and the chassis is so well engineered, it doesn’t transmit much to the inside. In Normal mode with the dampers softened, the X3 is simply flawless in the way it goes about conquering the worst of terrains. Surprisingly the vehicle rides decently in Sport and Sport+ modes when the dampers stiffen up and the steering weighs up heavily too. The electric steering doesn’t feel as direct and involving though but makes it much easier to navigate in low speed conditions. Brakes have very good progressive feel to them and have some serious stopping power.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

As is the case with most German manufacturers, safety is a prerogative with BMW too. This is evident from the crumple zones, energy-absorbing bumpers and restraint systems. The X3 has upto 8 airbags for maximum safety. All technologies like anti-lock braking (ABS), Cornering Brake Control (CBC), advance Electronic Stability Programmes (ESP) are standard features in the car. It’s no wonder then that BMWs are considered some of the safest cars on Indian roads today.

VERDICT ;

The BMW X3 excels in areas which an India SUV buyer will rate high on their agenda. Not only does the X3 offer splendid performance, it is quite frugal too and offers good dynamics. The ride quality is well suited to our roads and the interiors are well laid out with plenty of passenger room and luggage space. It may not be the most striking BMW vehicle, but as a package, the BMW X3 is very appealing, offering loads of practicality and technology, making it a strong contender in its segment.

 

Posted on

BMW Z4 Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

BMW essentially struck gold in the compact, two-seater market when it released the Z4 back in 2003. It featured a sporty exterior, with potent, naturally aspired engines, and could be had as a soft-top convertible or in coupe form. That first generation lasted until 2009, but before the first-gen made its exit BMW was able to introduce a Z4 M in both forms with performance credentials good enough to get the little car that could up to 60 mph in as little as 4.8 seconds if you knew how to shift it right. The second-gen came to be in 2009 and, while most of the engine choices were naturally aspirated, one was offered with turbocharged goodness. Within a couple of years, the entire drivetrain lineup went turbo, and BMW hasn’t looked back since. The second-generation model lasted from 2009 to 2016 and, ever since its discontinuance, fans and purists everywhere have begged for the third-gen model – an all-new roadster that’s due for the 2018 model year and has been caught many times testing out in public over the last two years. At the kickoff of Monterey Car Week, BMW decided to release the Concept Z4, a wild interpretation of the upcoming roadster and something that at least gives us a little hint as to where BMW is going with the third-gen model.

EXTERIORS ;

It has neatly sculptured exteriors with modernistic cosmetics all over. To start with the front profile, it has a radiant headlight cluster with high intensity bi-xenon headlamps and indicators. It has four LED day time running light rings for giving it a distinct appeal. In the center, it has a signature kidney bean shaped radiator grille treated with chrome. Just below this, it has a body colored bumper featuring a pair of air ducts and a wide air dam. Its air ducts have a thin chrome strip, which makes it look more classy. It is flanked by a couple of fog lamps that gives out bright light. The slanted forward bonnet has a total of four expressive lines and these compliment the iconic logo embedded on the hood. Coming to its side profile, it is extremely stylish thanks to the masculine wheel arches for giving it a distinct look. They are fitted with a set of stylish 18-inch multi-spoke alloy wheels with logo embedded on it. These rims are covered with tubeless radial tyres that gives a superior grip. Its front wheel arches have an air vent with chrome strip and integrated with LED blinkers. The door handles and the ORVM caps have been treated in body color. These outside mirrors are electrically adjustable and integrated with side turn LED indicator. It also has heating as well as memory function for increasing their convenience. It has a curvy rear profile and yet it has a sporty appeal. Its small tailgate has a spoiler and LED third brake lights. It is decorated with its name lettering and insignia to emphasize its exclusiveness. Surrounding this is the aggressive taillight cluster with LED turn indicators and signature brake lighting pattern. The bumper houses a pair of round shaped exhaust pipes, which are treated in chrome. All these put together makes it one of the best in this segment.

INTERIORS ;

Inside the 2016 BMW Z4 you’ll find a classy interior done up in high-quality materials, though the standard “SensaTec” vinyl upholstery strikes a discordant note in such a luxury model. If it were us, we’d definitely opt for the sun-reflective “Kansas” leather. Customization possibilities abound, including two-tone color schemes and unique trim that give the cabin a noticeably more eye-catching look. There are some practical details here too, including a handy cargo shelf behind the seats.Speaking of practicality, the Z4’s passenger compartment has an edge on many other two-seat cars by virtue of above-average legroom that gives taller drivers and passengers a chance to stretch out. Another advantage includes the rear quarter windows that go a long way toward eliminating the blind spots commonly found in traditional soft-top convertibles.Out back, the Z4 offers a decent-sized cargo hold that provides 8 cubic feet of stowage with the roof raised. With it lowered, the two roof panels take up a good bit of that space, but there’s still more room here than you’ll find on most other retractable-hardtop convertibles. An available trunk pass-through between the seats also makes it possible to transport longer items.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

BMW Z4 is available in India with a sole 3L TwinPower petrol engine option. The six-cylinder engine comes fitted with twin turbochargers for better throttle reflexes and minimum turbo lag. Further, the double-Vanos system alters the valve timing and injection system outputs as per desired driving mode.Engine churns out a massive 306HP of pure power at 5800 rpm and max torque of 400Nm starting at as low as 1300rpm further continuing up to 5000rpm. The power delivery is simply brilliant with almost no lag whatsoever. Power is generated linearly and neatly all the way up to the very redline. Moreover, the best bit of the 2979cc gem is the near-perfect exhaust note. A sweet whining burble at every downshifts and a mechanical crackle whenever floored down. This symphony of mechanical and electrical trickily defines the soul of Z4 as a true roadster. A seven-speed sport automatic double-clutch transmission (yeah, that long) is mated to the engine for effortless gear variation and better fuel-economy. One clutch each for even and odd gear trains shifts the cog with minimum time-lag and almost no interruption in traction. For sportier feel, paddle shifters are mounted onto the steering column. This manual form of shifting enhances the driving ecstasy in the BMW Z4 roadster. Regenerative braking system along with BMW EfficientDynamics elements builds up a very respectable amount of fuel-economy of 10.37kmpl for the Z4. However, being a rev-happy product, an average enthusiastic drive with bring the real figures to about 7.5-8kmpl.

Handling and ride quality is outstanding, especially on fast chicanes and switchback roads. Massive tyres provides tons of grip and control even at high speeds. However, the electric nanny is still the party spoiler as it restricts almost any tyre smoking and rubber shredding action. Steering is razor sharp with quick and conforming feedbacks. A great mix of comfort, agility and stability is what defines the attributes of the Z4’s chassis. Near perfect 50-50 weight distribution aids too to deliver a well-planted ride. However, the only grouse is the spooky wobbliness of cabin under high load due to the convertible platform. DSC and CBC tightens the cornering lines effectively and therefore making high-speed maneuverers a piece of cake for the Z4.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

A BMW car is always expected to be the ‘Ultimate Driving Machine’ and the Z4 does impress with its handling prowess. It darts into corners with eagerness, devoid of much body roll with the steering giving close to razor sharp precision but lacking a bit in feel. There is quite a lot of torque firing up the rear wheels and going a bit aggressive into a corner (with the traction controlled turned on), you can slide around this Bimmer, so it’s not really the most well behaved although it remains glued to the road in a straight line. The big grouse though is the ride quality. It’s far from cosseting as almost every irregularity on the road can be felt through. The low profile rubber makes you become extremely cautious over bad tarmac while speed-breakers can catch the Z4’s underbelly off guard. This is simply not the car you would want to drive over bad roads, because as much as it unsettles the occupant, it also tends to rattle a bit (with the roof down as the roof is lying folded in the boot). Braking performance is good, as expected from a BMW car.

SAFETY ;

The BMW Z4 hasn’t been tested by Euro NCAP although the old model (first generation) was given a 4-star rating. Considering the advancement of the vehicle, we expect the current model to get a 5-star rating. The Z4 comes loaded with a lot of safety kit, including front and side airbags for the driver and co-passenger along with active safety features like ABS, CBC, DSC and DTC. The sports convertible also gets roll-over protection system, side-impact protection, three point seat belts with pyrotechnic belt tensioners and belt force limiters.

VERDICT ;

The Z4 is more of an experience than anything and cars like it don’t exist to add numbers to annual sales but wow people, enhancing the brand’s value.As a machine in solitude, the Z4 does have its drawbacks in the form of an almost unusable boot with the roof down and the lack of a softer suspension mode to soften things in the urban jungle. Anything beyond would actually be nit picking, unless making a direct comparison with its rivals, which we haven’t done yet. The BMW Z4 is a capable drop top and for almost Rs 69 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi, it’s good value too, provided hedonism is a belief you side with.

 

Posted on

Honda WR-V Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW

With cross-hatches, carmakers have kept the formula simple – take their existing hatches, inject some testosterone with thick slide cladding, roof rails, larger wheels and voila! We have an all-new model. The i20 Active, the Etios Cross and the Cross Polo, all seem to toe this line of thought (except the Fiat Urban Cross – but it hardly sells!).With the new WR-V, Honda has made an honest effort to create a Jazz-based crossover that stands out from its donor car. Not just in terms of its SUV-inspired looks, which gives it a different persona, especially when viewed from the front and rear. But also in the way it has gone about tweaking the suspension, raising ground clearance and adding a few more features to differentiate it from the Jazz. Get offers & discounts on WR-V

EXTERIORS AND LOOKS

Honda looked through the crosshatch business in India quite closely and created a design that not only tries to minimize the silhouette of the Jazz hatchback on which it is based but also create a sense of desirability in the onlooker. The front sees an uplifted hood with strong bonnet lines and a mega chrome bar thrown in for good measure. The chrome back connects the swooping headlamps to create a cohesive appearance.Thick plastic cladding up front saves the WR-V face from the ruts and rocks on occasional harsh road expeditions. The WR-V front looks nothing like a Jazz, and looks like a completely new car from that angle, but as you go to the side, the picture of a known hatchback becomes reminiscent.

Honda has ensured that image is diminished by throwing in ample plastic cladding and a set of roof rails finished in silver. They have also sized up the wheels. WR-V runs on 195/60 R16 Eco tyres with diamond cut alloy wheels, which look quite similar to the what’s in a BR-V. At the rear, tail lamps have been extended to contribute to a change in the overall design. These extensions include new rear fog lamps, which are quite bright at night to be honest.There is a thicker plastic bumper and silver rear diffuser to create the true essence of a crossover. Suspension setup has been reconstructed to make space for longer suspension travel and higher ground clearance. Honda WR-V sits at 188mm off the ground. WR-V may not look very attractive on paper but it definitely wins over the war of cross hatchbacks when it comes to design.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT

The WR-V is a bigger machine than the Jazz, but it’s still under 4 metres long. So the space would be just about enough, right? Well, no. The sense of space could obliterate claustrophobia as a concept. While you won’t have that commanding/SUV-esque driving position, you do get the sense you’re sitting in a car that’s longer than 4 metres. That segment-first sunroof just adds to the airy feel. Seating five-up is easy but the middle occupant will want for more shoulder room. Also, the lack of adjustable headrests is just ridiculous and the integrated ones are too small and soft. The seat cushioning is a tad too soft, especially for long jaunts and considering this car’s positioning as something for explorers. After all, unlike the Jazz, this does get cruise control. Heck, you even get a 363-litre boot that’ll accommodate the average adult comfortably (kidnappers/Omni owners please note).

You also get nice touches like a steering that’s adjustable for rake and reach, and a can-holder in front of the driver’s AC vent. Also, modern cars have A-pillars that’re thicker than the US president, so the WR-V’s little quarter glass comes in handy at intersections. Somehow, the quality benchmark is similar for the tech and trim – just enough. There are hard plastics all-round, but nothing you’d call cheap. There’s no leather this or soft-touch that, but the upholstery is of a decent grade. The 7-inch infotainment system has a simple UI and a decent list of connectivity options including MirrorLink and WiFi, which is great. However, the system’s inherent lagginess is annoying and ever present. Moreover, the setup looks like an aftermarket add on. Also, the lack of Android Auto or Apple CarPlay can’t be ignored when there’re cheaper cars that get both. Lastly, the air-con may have a cool touch-panel but using it on the move isn’t all that convenient. You do have to take your eyes off the road to operate it and even the cooling was weak in our 40-degrees Celsius test conditions, which also draws your attention to the missing rear AC vents.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

As expected, the WR-V gets the same engines as the Jazz. That means a SOHC 1.2-litre i-VTEC petrol that produces 90PS at 6,000rpm and 110Nm at 4,800rpm as well as a DOHC 1.5-litre I-DTEC turbo-diesel that puts out 100PS at 3,600rpm and 200Nm at 1,750rpm. The diesel gets a 6-speed manual and the petrol gets a 5-speed manual – however, there is no CVT option like in the Jazz.The diesel engine has got good low-end grunt and with a responsive throttle, it will happily trudge along at 25kmph in third gear. The engine is quite free-revving and the linear power delivery makes the car quite enjoyable, if not exciting, to drive around. The gearbox is typically Honda with a precise ‘click-click’ when you shift gears, while the light and progressive clutch is nice to use in stop-and-go traffic.

Additionally, the 6-speed makes the WR-V a comfortable and effortless highway cruiser. While Honda didn’t give us any figures, they are claiming best-in-class acceleration figures. They are also claiming that the WR-V diesel will offer segment-leading efficiency with a figure of 25.5kmpl. This is 1.8kmpl less than what they claim for the Jazz. Apart from the extra 50kg that the WR-V carries, this could also be down to the gearing which, Honda says, has been optimised for better acceleration. But we’ll have to wait for the road test to get real-world figures.What is obvious is that the engine is still as loud as it has always been. NVH levels are quite poor in the cabin and that’s personally quite off-putting.

On the contrary, the 1.2-litre petrol engine is super refined and creamy. It’s very quiet till around 4,000rpm at which point the sound turns to a nice raspy note which gets louder as you get to the redline. That said, the sound is the only exciting thing about it. The engine feels annoyingly underpowered and you really have to rev the nuts off of it for some decent acceleration and that can get quite annoying especially during overtakes. This, despite Honda saying that they reworked the gearing for better acceleration. That said, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem within the city. The precise gearbox and the light clutch only make the experience that much nicer in slow-moving traffic. Honda is claiming that the petrol WR-V will return an overall average of 17.5kmpl which is quite respectable.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Honda WR-V offers excellent driving dynamics, ride comfort, enthusiastic driving and punchy engines. Both petrol and diesel engines are very responsive and the level of refinement is impressive even at high speeds. The transmission offers smooth shifts with evenly spaced-out ratios. Power delivery is quite linear with a strong mid-range and an impressive top end. The 1.2-litre petrol engine has good performance in the city as the autobox makes driving in stop-go traffic a breeze, though its low-end performance is not impressive when compared to the competition. The 1.5-litre diesel engine performs better on the highways as you can simply go down a gear or two to make quick overtakes, but it is not very good when it comes to noise, since in spite of improving the NVH characteristics of the car, the diesel motor is quite audible inside. Book a Test Drive for Honda WRV

SAFETY

The Honda WR-V comes loaded with the usual safety features like dual front airbags and ABS with EBD. Honda has a good after-sales network in India and they are panned out across the country even in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities. Another positive point is that Honda cars have good resale value in the market

CONCLUSSION

The Honda WR-V is the first sub-4 meter Crossover from Honda which will help the Japanese Auto manufacturer to boost some sales because their other Crossover the BR-V definitely neither did not impress the Indian crowd much after its launch. The Cross hatchback looks loaded with features and although this is the beefier variant of the Jazz hatchback it gets slightly more interior space than the standard hatchback. Apply Car Loan for Honda WRV

 

Posted on

Honda Jazz Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

It looks like Honda has been readying the facelift Jazz hatchback in Japan. This is the mid-life facelift that the new generation hatchback will receive. Some Reports states that the facelift Jazz hatchback which is popularly known as Honda Fit will be launching within the next few months in the markets of Japan. Now the popularity of the premium hatchback from Honda has risen to a great extent in the recent year’s credit goes to the Indian consumers who are now getting their hands on the premium hatchbacks as well. Check Price of  Jazz

The upcoming Jazz hatchbacks according to the leaked reports on the internet are getting plenty of exterior as well interior changes. These changes will make the hatchback a far better competitive rival to the Hyundai Elite i20, Maruti Baleno.

EXTERIORS ;

The Honda Jazz has a strong design identity of its own and thus all three generations of this hatchback show an evolutionary direction. One might be tempted to call this car a compact MPV as certain angles does make it look like a shrunk down MPV. There are certainly some nice design elements which make the Jazz look premium like the headlights which are similar to the City (they are single barrel while the City gets dual barrel), they merge into the grille that gets a piano black finishing and a chrome line below. Honda’s angular design does make the Jazz look attractive at the front while at the side, the Jazz come across as big which is largely due to the glass area, the vehicle getting both front and rear quarter-glass for added green house. Apply car loan for Jazz at Carzprice

The B and C pillars are blackened which will certainly look good on light colours like white while a strong belt line runs from the door, merging with the rear tail light at the top and flowing through the rear bumper on the bottom. The tyres look small on the car and bigger wheels (at least on the top spec trims) would have made the car look more balanced. The rear is nicely done with reflectors right next to the windscreen while a large chrome bar is right below, featuring the Honda logo. The reflector and rear LED tail lights together make the rear portion look a bit like the Volvo V40. There is also a rear spoiler (the VX trim gets a bigger one) with stop lamp while the bumper has a black rectangle mesh finish on either side to reduce the visual bulk. Just like all other Hondas, the design of the Jazz isn’t outright exciting or eye catchy but it does have subtle appeal.

INTERIORS ;

The Jazz shares the dashboard with the City and it has a really funky design with a flurry of asymmetric cues. It is well thought-out, with nice touches, including multiple cubby-holes and the touch controls for the air-con. There are as many as nine cupholders and quite a few cubbyholes too, so you won’t find yourself short on storage spaces for small items. Quality is quite decent, but it still can’t match the Hyundai as far as fit and finish is concerned. Also, overall plastic quality, though largely good, is still a notch down on the class best.The top-of-the-line Jazz comes with an all-black cabin which looks quite sporty. Apart from the top VX, all other variants get beige fabric, which makes the cabin feel even more airy, but gets soiled easily.

Like the old car, the brilliance of the Jazz lies in its unbelievable space efficiency. Entry into the massive cabin is made easy by large doors which open wide. Outward visibility is good, thanks to the generous glass area, but the front quarter-windows near the slim A-pillars obstruct view. The front seats have a tall seating position and are pretty broad with generous bolstering, comfortable over long journeys. In the rear, the seat squab is a touch short, so under-thigh support is not as good as we would have liked. Other than that, it’s hard to fault the back seat. The adjustable back rest, terrific head and legroom, plus generous width, make the Jazz’s bench comfortable. The flexible manner in which the rear seats function is also outstanding. But unlike the old car, only top-spec Jazz models will get the ‘magic seats’ at the back. These seats split, fold flat and flip upwards to make space for all shapes and sizes of cargo – that’s if the massive 354-litre boot won’t meet your needs anyway. These seats now also allow you to form a recliner by pushing the front seat backrests fully till they meet the rear seat base.

The top Jazz VX trim comes equipped with a 6.2-inch touchscreen infotainment system. There’s also satellite navigation, a reclining back seat, automatic climate control with feather-touch operation, steering-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls, height adjustable driver’s seat, a rake and reach adjustable steering wheel and auto folding rear-view mirrors. On the safety front, it comes equipped with two airbags and ABS with EBD. Surprisingly, although it gets a reversing camera, there are no parking sensors.

PERFORMANCE ;

The engines on offer on the Jazz are the 1.2-litre petrol with a five-speed manual transmission and the other is a CVT (continuously variable transmission). This will be the engine is higher demand as the price between petrol and diesel have narrowed and there is a higher demand for petrol cars now. This petrol engine has sufficient grunt to drive in the city, however you need to work your way up to extract the best possible performance. The Honda Jazz 2016 is more powerful than its competition not just on paper but even in real world. The Jazz petrol has a fuel efficiency of about 12-14 km/l in the city, while on the highway it will be between 14-16km/l.

The second engine in the Honda Jazz 2016 is the 1.5-litre diesel that churns out 98bhp of power and 200Nm of peak torque. This comes mated to a six-speed automatic transmission. This engine has sufficient grunt to be driven in the city or on the highway. There is sufficient pull available from the engine at almost any rev range. The diesel is a lot more powerful than the petrol and even its competition. Its ease of driving gives it an edge over the competition. The diesel is a lot more fuel-efficient than its current competitors. In the city, it will return about 15-17km/l, while on the highway it will be between 18-23km/l depending on your driving.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The ride quality of Honda Jazz 2016 is good and is also an improvement over earlier Hondas. It does a good job of absorbing the bumps. The Michelin Energy Saving tyres help to increase the fuel efficiency of the Honda Jazz 2016, however, they aren’t that sticky on the road. The handling of the Jazz is good. This along with the peppiness of the diesel, is a great combination. The steering feedback is excellent and it weighs up well. This is indeed one of the much better electronic power steerings in the market.

SAFETY ;

The front passengers are shielded with the presence of dual airbags. An anti-lock braking system (ABS) and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD) are offered as well. Along with this, you also get a rear parking camera, front fog lamps, driver seatbelt reminder, rear windshield defogger and an immobiliser.

VERDICT ;

We Indians are hatchback crazy. It’s no secret that we simply cannot get enough of their practicality, ease of use or the low running costs and a few other distinct advantages that they have over sedans or SUVs. Needless to say, carmakers are well-versed with this trend and have actively introduced new and improved products over the years. And although a similar movement is taking place in the flourishing compact crossover space, it’s the hatchbacks that continue to demand a lot of time and effort from established carmakers. Honda, for one, is making all the right noises with the Jazz. The new Jazz certainly looks the part, has a versatile cabin with loads of space and for the first time – the efficiency of a diesel motor. It’s still not an enthusiast’s choice but that’s passable because it’s not what Honda was looking to make here. The Jazz is all about practicality and you get plenty of it.

 

 

Posted on

Hyundai Grand i10 Fetures & Specificatons

OVERVIEW ;

The Hyundai Grand i10 was launched in global markets as a successor to the i10 but both the models continued to be sold along side each other in India. The Grand i10 has been extremely successful for Hyundai and it is also one of the top 10 selling cars in the country. Hyundai has now given the hatchback a mid-life facelift that brings in refreshed exteriors, additional features on the inside and a revamped diesel engine. Get offers & discounts on Grand i10

EXTERIORS ;

Hyundai designs its cars brilliantly and the Grand i10 is no different. The Grand i10 follows Hyundai’s elegant Fluidic design language strictly. The car looks beautiful, elegant and premium than any other car in its segment. The Grand i10 matches the design of its bigger cousin Hyundai i20 closely but is more compact than i20. The Grand, as the company likes to call it, is focused on the youth of the country and it does not disappoint. The elegant-looking vehicle has sculptured bodylines, which makes the car very soothing to look at. The subtle crease, which starts just before the front door and connects to the tail lamps, makes the car elegant while the strong-shaped crease on the bottom of the front and rear doors makes the car look very aggressive. Following the Hyundai design language, Grand i10 gets sweeping headlamps, making the front fascia very strong. The fog lamps have been placed very conveniently in the especially-designed dams with black inserts to give it a manly look.

The Grand i10 also gets roof rails in the mid and top variants, which adds to the sporty look. The Grand i10 looks very sporty and the rear spoiler makes things even better. Premium as it can get, Hyundai also offers optional diamond-cut alloy wheels on the top-of-the-line Asta variant and Sportz(O) AT. The Magna and Sportz variants get full size wheel covers, while the base Era model gets just the steel rims. Hyundai has also made a point by equipping body coloured bumpers with all variants. The base model misses out on body-coloured door handles, tail gate and mirrors. Hyundai has made a lot of things exclusive to the top-end variants. The micro roof antenna does not come checked with the base Era model. The Sportz and Asta models get the chrome dipped outside door handles for a premium look. The waist-line moulding, which saves the car from a lot of scratches, is also missing out from the base Era, Magna and Sportz models. The sporty-looking roof rails come as standard only with the Sportz and Asta models. The premium-looking indicators on the outside rear view mirrors also come as standard only with the Sportz and Asta models. Hyundai has made the Grand i10 brilliant but a lot of things are yet missing on the lower variants. Since the car offers a lot on paper, many important features, like ABS and passenger airbag etc. take a back seat in case of the lower variants.

INTERIORS ;

At launch, the older Grand i10 was one of the most feature-rich cars in its segment and for the price. With time, however, these features were available in other cars and for much less. Hyundai though has clawed back some of its lost ground. The new Grand i10 comes with a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system which has Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink. The system is easy to use and the only missing link there is an in-house navigation menu. However, this should be taken care of by the aforementioned apps. There is still 1GB of music storage within the system.

The steering wheel is new too and has a different pattern for the buttons with audio volumes to the left and others menus to the right. The buttons themselves are new too. The voice command option though will work only if you have connected your Android or Apple phone via USB. I would have preferred the simple idea that Maruti uses in the Baleno and other cars. Features that would have made the Grand an even better car will be height-adjustable seat belts, a centre armrest for the front seat occupants and a telescopic steering wheel. Other niceties that are carried over from the earlier car are a chilled glovebox, rear AC, automatic climate control, and power foldable and adjustable mirrors. The mirrors will also automatically close once you lock the car and unfold when unlocked. Neat! I however think that Hyundai should offer dual airbags as standard instead of just the driver airbag on all the models. Similarly ABS is available only on the top-spec Asta trims, which again in my opinion is a complete miss. If Hyundai could have gone the Maruti way by offering safety kit even as an option right from the base variants, it could have made much more sense.

PERFORMANCE ;

Pop the hood and it reveals the all-familiar, 1.1 litre, diesel engine which fills up the engine bay nicely. A three-cylinder affair, it does clatter when cold, but things settle down once it is warmed up. Besides, things fade away further upon rolling up the windows, which tells us that Hyundai have lavished some attention on the NVH characteristics as well. This oil burner produces about 70bhp of power and comes with a five-speed manual transmission.

The power & torque characteristics of the motor, coupled with the smooth-shifting five-speed gearbox are the ideal combination for the urban grind. There’s enough power on tap throughout the rev-range, with additional pull being only a down-shift away. The Grand i10 darts around traffic with a certain eagerness that’s most endearing. Not once did we feel the need for more power when doing the cross-city runs and even the occasional inter-city, highway runs. Yes, with the latter, one does have to be a bit careful, particularly if it is a trip full of long straights.

The engine will quickly run out of steam in the higher part of the rev range, but she’d have given the driver enough warning to slow down to respectable speeds by then. This is the ideal urban commuter and will be more than happy to do the weekend highway runs, provided you don’t ask her to run with the big boys.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The ride quality is pliant & the car handles bumps rather maturely. She’s a little out of her element when faced with quick directional changes, but make no mistake. She’ll pull through whatever you throw at her, just not in the most graceful manner, that’s all. The steering feedback sadly is still the typical Hyundai legacy affair & no matter how much time I spend behind the wheel, I still haven’t gotten used to it. The glaring lack of feedback is disappointing & takes away a lot from an otherwise solid city runabout package.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Talking about the safety features, the facelift Grand i10 gets advanced safety features like Rear Parking Assist System with Dual Airbags, ABS, Reverse Parking Sensors and newly introduced Rear Parking Camera which displays all the output on the newly added 7.0 Inch touchscreen monitor.

VERDICT ;

Totally loved the Grand i10 when we had one in our long term fleet and with this update, Hyundai has refreshed the car nicely. The new diesel engine is very good for the segment and even though it still is a 3-cylinder unit, I think it offers very good performance and efficiency. The Grand also has an excellent ride and is pretty easy to drive. The interiors boast of excellent quality materials and even the fit and finish of exterior panels is better than most rivals out there. For me, the Hyundai Grand i10 is easily one of the best city hatchbacks around.

 

Posted on

Honda Brio Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Honda Cars launched the new Amaze at the start of the year. The second we set eyes on it, we knew that the new Honda Brio would be just around the corner as well, the company just kept mum about it. Well, we were right and here it is, the new Brio, ladies and gentlemen. Check On Road Price of Brio

The changes which Honda have made are not mechanical, where they have chosen to focus their attention on is the styling and features. A mid-life upgrade, if you will. Well the old Honda Brio was a car that provided the individual quirky looks, Honda reliability and affordability. However, it needed something more and that comes in the shape of the new Brio we test drive today.

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The Honda Brio was showcased as a futuristic concept in the previous, 10th edition of the Auto Expo held in Delhi last year. Of course, the final production version of the Brio doesn’t quite have all the sci-fi features that the concept featured, but it has carried forward much of the design concept. The Brio’s design is classically Honda. Starting from the shape of the headlamps to the aerodynamic profile, to the broad bonnet grille with the H logo in the middle and the character lines, the Brio’s design features can all be traced back to other Honda hatches. Yet, the Brio is distinctive and very unique in the brand’s line up. Book test drive for Brio in Cazprice

A number of simple, relatively straight lines that are meant to enhance the perception of length and width of the Brio have been integrated. There is also a lot of clarity and purpose with merging lines that give the Brio’s design a lot of sophistication – like the front bumper lip that seems to merge into the shoulder line and the aerodynamic profiling for the door mirrors that merge with the base of the windscreen.

The rear design of the Brio is the most simplistic. Triangular tail-lamps that have been peeled back and into the side panels try to offer some relief with a circular, cutaway, integrated stop lamp. The hatch door is frameless and all glass and it ends just a couple of inches above the base of the tail-lamps. The glass hatch door sports the Honda logo and Brio badging. The oversized rear bumper gives the Brio a squat, wide stance, as does the more prominent rear wheel arch. A rear wiper option is not offered with the Brio

INTERIOR AND SPACE ;

The plastic quality of interiors might not be what you expect of a Honda. Clearly, the company has done some cost cutting and it shows. There are some flimsy plastics, which scratch and come off quite easily. However, the overall quality is at par, if not less, than the competition.

Although there is enough room to seat five adults in the car, where the car lacks in is the boot space and is a big disappointment. Honda’s engineers have utilized the interior space in a way that maximum space is provided to the occupants while the boot has been relatively ignored, which isn’t big enough to store anything more than your groceries and vegetables. That said, the car feels airy and fresh, thanks to the large glass areas and the light beige plastics inside. The Honda Brio gets features such as power windows, steering-mounted audio controls, bluetooth and aux-in connectivity, defogger, electric mirrors, cup holders, etc. The car also gets projector halogen headlamps and push button keyless start. The Brio does miss out on the climate control, which could’ve given the car a more luxurious appeal. A dead pedal is sorely missed too, which is a clear oversight on Honda’s part.

ENGINE AND PERFPRMANCE ;

So when you look into the business end of the Brio, you find the familiar 1.2-litre i-VTEC mill that you find in the Jazz as well. Thankfully, Honda hasn’t decided to do something drastic such as downsize the engine for this smaller car, or something as dire as lopping off a cylinder to achieve that. What Honda has done is smartly retune the motor in keeping with the ‘city car’ aspect of the Brio. The 1198cc motor now produces 88PS of power which comes at 6,000rpm and a decent torque of 109Nm, available at 4,600rpm. The five-speed manual gearbox which sends that power and torque to the front wheels features revised ratios as well, which are very well suited to capitalise the new state of tune of the engine. What really works in favour of the engine is its unimaginable levels of refinement it offers. During our test drive, we were tempted to turn the key again to bring it to life when we though the engine was switched off, when it was already running, turning away at idle rpm.

With a state of tune that favours city driving over spirited, corner carving shenanigans, one would expect the performance to be rather on the low side. But this couldn’t be further from the truth. The dash to 100km/h from standstill is completed in just 14.36 seconds – the second quickest we’ve tested for any 1.2-litre hatchback so far, just a couple of tenths more than the Hyundai i10 Kappa. While the acceleration from zero certainly is impressive, the in-gear roll-on is quite strong as well. Put your foot down at 60km/h in fifth gear, and the 100km/h mark comes up in just 21.33 seconds. In fact, try the same from as low as 40km/h, and still the Brio doesn’t bog down at all – something that even more powerful cars available in the market struggle with.

The only place where the Brio’s engine shows its lower state of tune is in its top speed. With the torque dropping off sharply after its peak at 4,600rpm, the Brio runs out of steam after 142km/h when going for a top speed run. While it eventually will hit the company claimed 150km/h mark, it would need a really long straight, and maybe a bit of a slope to do so. But top speed figures are not what really determine a car’s worth. When it comes to driveability, the Brio scores high marks, be it in bumper-to-bumper city traffic, or even cruising at highway speeds.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Honda Brio is underpinned by a very potent platform in terms of dynamics. This is why currently Honda has four products based on the same platform including two 7-seaters. The Brio can handle triple digit speeds with good stability on the highways. The ride quality is flat most of the times and it doesn’t unsettle on bad roads. Since it is a light hatchback, the handling is brisk and the Honda Brio feels eager to take corners hard. The steering feels direct and very predictable while cornering. Braking performance is quite effective too having a strong pedal bite. There are no mechanical changes so you won’t feel any difference compared to the pre-facelift model.

SAFETY

CThe braking performance of the Brio is decent and on par with its rivals. The top version comes with ABS, further helping in the braking performance. The 175 mm-wide tyres also provide for a decent braking performance.

The front wheels have got ventilated disc brakes while the rear ones have drum brakes. The brakes do a good job in stopping this sprightly little hatch, thanks to the lightness of the car. The car has passive safety tech such as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). The ABS system helps in case of sudden braking situations, and prevents the car from skidding and going out of control.

VERDICT ;

It wouldn’t need much of a stretch of imagination to call what Honda has on its hands a ‘perfect city car’. The Brio really hits all the essential nails perfectly in the head, be it convenience, comfort, driving pleasure and more importantly, the right price point. Coupled with the excellent reputation that Honda enjoys in India, the deal almost seems too sweet to be true. Even in this era where every car maker has a highly competitive product in this segment, you will be really hard pressed to find another hatchback that offers so many features, such great quality, absolutely premium feel and a brag-worthy badge on the front grille in one delectable package.

 

 

Posted on

BMW 7 Series Design & Style

OVERVIEW ;

The world that we know of today is filled with people who have dreams. Most just dream while some work towards converting dreams into reality. While the former category succumbs to the societal pressure and ends up in the usual rat race, the latter create their own path. A path of success. A path which leads them to a position above the rest. And when you are above the rest, you would definitely want to make a statement. To make a statement, your ride has got to be special. It has to have all the luxuries and then some. What better choice than the Mercedes-Benz S-Class? Well, BMW recently launched the all new generation 7-Series in India and we reckon it poses a serious threat to the flagship Mercedes sedan.

EXTERIORS ;

It will take a keen eye to identify the new, sixth-generation 7 Series over the old one. It is just over an inch longer, while its width and height are quite similar. The styling is an evolution of the old car but it does have a better sense of proportion. In profile the prominent shoulder-line crease gives it a balanced look thanks to it extending all the way from the headlamps to the complex shaped tail lights. Upfront the new 7 Series looks much better thanks to a sharper kidney grille and the beautifully detailed LED headlamps(the old cars huge swollen grille was a sore sight). At the rear the taillamps and the twin exhaust dominates and the blackened lower portion in the bumper help in hiding the mass. Indians love for chrome is no secret and BMW has given abundance of silverware to keep us happy. But still in our eyes there is just too much of it and bits like the hockey stick like elements on either side of the front bumper looks overdone.

Beneath the similar exterior, however, the new 7 Series gets an all-new chassis. Christened the “Carbon Core” structure, the chassis is a a mix of carbon-fibre, aluminum, and high-strength steel. The carbon fibre is used in areas such as the A-, B-, and C-pillars to keep the centre of gravity down and the transmission tunnel is made up of carbon composite too.

INTERIORS ;

BMW 7 series interior are spacious and can easily seat up to five people comfortably with a lot of legroom and shoulder room. It is furnished with premium leather, Pine wood and chrome. The seats are wide and well cushioned. The front seats are electrically adjustable and have memory function. The driver seat also has lumbar support. The dashboard is decorated with large grain pinewood and features several instruments with chromium trimmings. The multi functional steering wheel of this sedan has mounted buttons to control the music playing on the sophisticated audio unit of this car. The audio unit is that comes integrated with a 10.25-inch high-resolution display screen. It includes a CD, MP3 player, eight high-powered speakers. It also supports two USB ports, one SD card slot as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The windows are powered and the automatic climate unit is very good in keeping the climate inside the car pleasant. The sliding sunroof is very useful to let in the sunlight and cool air while driving. In addition, it also features ashtray inserts, cigarette lighter, sun visors with illuminated vanity mirrors, assist grips, and rear armrest with cup holder, cooled glove box, door pockets, paddle shifter and many more.

PERFORMANCE ;

The BMW 7 Series 740i (the base model) features a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that puts out 320 horsepower and has more than enough power for any of your day-to-day driving maneuvers. There are more-powerful engines in the lineup though. The 750i features a twin-turbocharged V8 with over 440 horsepower, and the high-performance M760i sports a twin-turbo V12 that puts out an obscene 601 horsepower. There’s also the Alpina B7, which is another high-performance trim. It features a twin-turbo V8 engine, but with “only” 600 horsepower, the B7 is merely the second-most powerful 7 Series model.

BMW introduces a plug-in hybrid to the 7 Series lineup for 2017: the 740e xDrive. It features a twin-turbo four-cylinder and an electric motor. Don’t let the plug-in hybrid tag fool you; the 740e is still quick. It can go zero to 60 mph in just over five seconds. No matter which engine you select, it will be mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission that delivers smooth, timely shifts.

The base 2017 BMW 7 Series has some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class: 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Those are better ratings than you’ll find in the Audi A8, Porsche Panamera, and Mercedes-Benz S-Class. By driving the 7 Series instead of the aforementioned rivals, the average driver will save at least $150 per year in gas money.The 740e can go 14 miles on all-electric power, and even with the gasoline engine running, it gets better fuel economy than any other 7 Series model. It gets 64 mpg-e on electricity only, and 27 mpg combined with the gasoline engine running.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The base inline-6 should satisfy most shoppers with its seamless turbocharged thrust and laudable refinement, but the V8 takes things to another level. In our instrumented testing, a 750i xDrive launched from zero to 60 mph in a swift 4.5 seconds. Either way, the eight-speed automatic is one of the best in the industry, delivering buttery shifts right on time.

Out in the wild, the 2017 BMW 7 Series is a more capable handler than its size suggests, if not a full-fledged performance car like the Panamera. The Autobahn package’s predictive suspension helps produce an impressively flat cornering attitude, yet the ride is very supple on virtually all surfaces. There are five selectable drive settings in the 7 Series — Eco Pro, Adaptive, Comfort, Sport and Sport Plus — but if it were our car, we’d just leave it in Sport, which strikes a winning balance by gracefully soaking up bumps while keeping body motions disciplined. Road and wind noise are held to a minimum, allowing passengers full enjoyment of their various entertainment options.

The top-dog M760i maintains the high levels of 7 Series luxury and comfort while also adding ridiculous amounts of performance. While it’s not an “M” car in the traditional sense, it corners with unflappable tenacity, and the power from the V12 is giggle-inducing. We recognize that it’s far beyond the expectations of any reasonable 7 Series driver, but we love it just the same.

SAFETY ;

This luxury car from BMW is packed with enormous list of safety features making this 7 Series as the safest in its class. Most of its features have been retained from its predecessor, but improved body construction made it even stronger. It has a total of eight airbags including dual front, sides and head airbags (for front and rear) that ensures maximized protection to the occupants. Besides these, the car is also loaded with impressive features including active protection with attentiveness assistance, passenger side airbag deactivation with key, electronic vehicle immobilizer, ISOFIX child seat mounting and so on. The list also includes side impact protection, crash sensor, tyre pressure monitoring system, runflat tyres with reinforced side walls, warning triangle with first aid kit and rear door with mechanical child-proof lock

VERDICT ;

Technology. That’s what the new 7-series is all about and that’s what makes it special. There’s a whole lot of science that’s gone into the bits under the skin and the cabin is, quite simply, a tech fest. The 730Ld also does luxury better than its predecessor with higher quality interiors, better all-round comfort and significantly improved refinement. The strong performance and good handling also make this a luxury sedan owners would love to get behind the wheel of themselves. To nitpick, ride quality could have been better and the dashboard design could have been more special. But, all said, the new model puts the 7-series back in the game, and how. The S-classes, A8s and XJs of the world better watch out.

 

 

Posted on

Mahindra Scorpio Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

In 1998 Tata launched India’s 1st Indigenous SUV the Tata Safari. Mahindra was not a brand to settle and for a viewing seat. So in 2002 Mahindra launched the 2nd indigenous SUV in India called the Scorpio. This car was more focussed on style than hardcore SUV capabilities. Mahindra Scorpio has developed a great fan following.It is a lot more efficient now and the price remains the same too. With a lot of improvements the Scorpio is almost a new vehicle. Let us check what all is new in the Mahindra Scorpio. Check Ex Showroom Price of Scorpio

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

M&M has retained the body of the old car, though most of the panels, except for the roof and doors, are new. The overall proportions are still lopsided, thanks to the excessive height and narrow width of the body (which has an effect on the driving dynamics) and it’s easily recognisable as a Scorpio.It’s the nose that is truly all new and gives the Scorpio a fresh face. The big fan-shaped grille has been replaced with a slimmer but wider design with distinctive looking ‘dagger-shaped’ chrome strips. The headlamp cluster is also superbly designed, with a neat LED strip sitting above the projector lamps. We also loved the way the smart-looking skid plate has been integrated into the tough-looking bumpers. The bonnet scoop adds a sporty touch, apart from feeding cool air directly to the air-to-air intercooler. Apply car loan for Scorpio at Carzprice

From the side, the carryover doors and windows make the changes less obvious and the old-fashioned rain channels betray the Scorpio’s vintage.There’s new plastic cladding and a cheesy looking faux vent behind the wheel arch, which don’t really work, but the larger 17-inch wheels do improve the Scorpio’s stance.The plastic cladding on the tailgate with an inset chrome garnish for the number plate do a good job of making the upright Scorpio look less slab-sided from the rear. The tail-lights with their LEDs and clear glass are another design highlight.

Given the limitations the designers had, it’s fair to say they’ve done a pretty good job. The new Scorpio looks far more sophisticated than before, though we are not sure how well this would go down with traditional Scorpio owners. The big changes though are below the body and centre on the all-new ladder or body-on-frame chassis that will underpin future Mahindras. The new chassis is far stiffer and stronger than before, and is designed to meet future crash regulations. The limitations of the body didn’t allow the wheelbase to be altered, though the new chassis can be stretched and widened to suit the dimensions of future models.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Step inside the Scorpio facelift and there is hardly anything that an individual can relate with the previous model. The cabin seems to be extremely advanced and up-market, with an array of never-seen-before sophisticated and contemporary features. To begin with, the SUV has an all-new dual tone black and beige dashboard with new blue-grey interior scheme. The conventional and old-fashioned faux-wooden finish for AC vents and centre console have gone for a toss in favour of new chrome finished A/C vents and premium looking centre console and needless to say, both these upgrades lift the overall ambiance of the cabin tremendously. The new centre console displays all vital informations’ related to gear position, trip distance, fuel and temperature. There is a new steering wheel with audio controls and cruise control mounted on it which is being sourced directly from the elder sibling XUV 500. Vouching for decent comfort and convenience inside the cabin, viola! Mahindra Scorpio comes loaded with an array of such dynamic features which rejuvenates an individual inside out. Some of the prominent ones present in the SUV are Fully automatic temperature control (FATC), Height adjustable driver’s seat, Front centre arm rest, 12V accessory sockets for front and middle rows, Smart rain and light sensors and Reverse parking sensors. By no means, Mahindra intends to hurt the sentiments of music and technology lovers as it has incorporated a new Hi-Tech 6-inch touch screen infotainment system with inbuilt GPS

Navigation/Bluetooth/CD/DVD/USB/Aux in the top-end variant S10. However, the mid-level variants like S6, S6+ and S8 haven’t been left out as they consist of a 2 Din Audio System with CD/USB/AUX with speakers and tweeters as standard features. On the contrary, the entry-level variant S2 seems to be quite lacklustre and impotent as it barely boasts anything in terms of comfort and convenience stuff.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The new Scorpio is powered by either one of two engines, a 2523cc four-pot that makes 75bhp and 200Nm or a 2179cc common-rail diesel with 120bhp and 280Nm. The S10 you see on these pages is powered by the latter and remains old-school in providing drive primarily to the rear wheels, with the fronts getting power as well in the 4WD version. It is a tractable engine, and combined with the slick-shifting gearbox, one can keep a good pace going. It is rated at 15.4kmpl, which is strangely more than the XUV’s. However, it exceeds the Safari Storme’s ARAI figure but lags behind the Duster/Terrano twins by a significant amount. The Scorpio’s engine has a little turbo lag, but things are moving nicely along by the time 1800rpm comes around, and it will rev happily to its redline beyond 4000rpm but there’s no real gain beyond 3000rpm. Keep the revs between 2000 and 3000 rpm, and the Scorpio moves along at a surprising pace. There is no automatic or petrol option available at this point in time. The turning radius of the 2WD model has been reduced to 5.4m but the 4WD remains the same as before at 5.7

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Another huge change on the new Mahindra Scorpio is the chassis. It still is a body-on-ladder frame SUV but the ladder frame has been completely revised for the new model. The frame is lighter and doubly stiff as compared to the older Scorpio. The wheelbase has been kept the same but the tracks – front and rear – are wider in order to reduce the turning circle as well as improve stability. What’s more, the suspension geometry has been altered, there are new more effective dampers and there’s even an anti-roll bar now at the rear. And of course the new Scorpio now runs 17 inch wheels instead of 16 inchers.On the road, the new Scorpio feels better tied down now. There’s still some side to side movement and the ride quality over broken roads is still jiggly, but it isn’t uncomfortable. The ride is also quieter and the increase in travel along with bigger wheels makes the new Mahindra Scorpio almost invincible over pot holes, no matter how huge. As for ease of driving, the shorter turning circle makes it easier to manoeuvre; the visibility is still great upfront and from the sides and via the large ORVMs; and with reverse parking sensors (in this the S10 trim), parking is a non-issue too.

One of the big issues with the older Scorpio was its unrefined dynamics. Even though various improvements were made over its near decade and a half long lifespan, the handling and braking of the Scorpio was never really secure. Now with the new chassis, new track lengths and significant suspension changes, the new Mahindra Scorpio feels a lot more planted. It’s still not a handling or braking benchmark, but you can finally push it hard without a prayer. The steering response is acceptable and even though the Scorpio still rolls and dives, the movements aren’t alarmingly high. The brake feel has improved and the new Scorpio displays less tendency now to swing about under hard braking.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The outgoing Scorpio did feature a longlist of comfort features such as rain sensingwipers, auto lights, tyre pressure monitor,parking sensor, start-stop technology andmore. The new Scorpio carries forwardthese features as well. Safety features likedual-airbags and ABS will continue tobe offered, a new Panic Brake Indicationhas also been included. All the additionsand modifications will add to the pricebut we still think Mahindra will price itcompetitively. The number of variants hasincreased too, allowing buyers to choosethe model that suits them best.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mahindra Scorpio facelift like we said will be launching towards the end of the year 2017 and most probably towards the festive season. The SUV will be getting mild updates to its exterior as well as interior while there won’t be any changes made under the hood. There is a slight possibility of Mahindra introducing a petrol variant alongside the diesel version while it will surely get a new 6-speed automatic transmission as well.