Hyundai Verna Hatchback First Drive

OVERVIEW

In recent years, the mid-size sedan segment has been sidelined by many in a bid to get behind an SUVs of varying shapes and size. With manufacturers offering compact SUVs, sub-compact SUVs, crossover SUVs and full-blown SUVs, sedans have not been enjoying the limelight of yesteryears. Nonetheless, the City from Honda continues to do respectable numbers within a segment where Maruti Suzuki have a firm footing courtesy Ciaz. Once a dominant player, the Verna from Hyundai gradually faded away under the onslaught from direct and indirect rivals. But no more. Or at least that is what Hyundai is hoping with the 2017 Verna. Check Ex Showroom Price of Verna

EXTERIOR AND LOOK

The k2 platform underpins the new Hyundai Verna 2017. This platform is light and does not compromise on safety. Ultra high strength steel used in almost 50% of the car. There are many useful features in the car. This platform is longer and wider. The design is based on the Fluidic 2.0 architecture.This architecture is present on Elantra, XCent 2017, Grand 2017 and even the Creta. Now the Verna follows the same and looks part of the family.

Fron / A new grille looks more mature and engulfs most of the front part. It looks more evolved. The headlamps are sleek and the grille gets chrome slate, though only on higher variants. Projector headlamps are now seen in the car and it and also gets LED DRLs. This is what makes the Hyundai Verna 2017 a lot more stylish and attractive. The fog lamps get chrome surrounds and the bumpers are stylish.

Side / The Hyundai Verna 2017 is sporty looking especially from the side. The design is inspired from a coupe and hence it looks suave as well. The silhouette has clean lines flowing across. The mid models have 15-inch steel/alloy wheels and the higher ones have 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The top variant also gets chrome door handles.

Rear / The Verna 2017 looks very similar to the Elantra. The LEDs on the taillamps remind one of the Elantra. The rear bumper gets a dual tone colour.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT

The cabin layout isn’t very different from its stablemates, but that isn’t a bad thing. Interiors are well-appointed and the placement of controls is good. The new steering controls add to the upmarket feel while offering better usability. The quality of plastics is as good as it gets and plastics are nice to the touch with a smooth feel. The 7-inch touchscreen offers a good resolution but a slightly crisper resolution would have been more welcome, particularly for the navigation. The infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity.

The ventilated seats deserve a mention as their cooling effect is a boon, and the seats are nicely cushioned and offer good bolstering. The rear bench is comfortable but leg and kneeroom aren’t as generous as some of the competition. The rear seat is a nice place to be in though with its plushness as the height of the arm rest is perfect and the rear air-conditioning vents ensure drafts of cold air reach you well. There’s an additional USB port for rear occupants, a thoughtful addition for the chaueffer driven lot. Storage spaces are abundant with several useful cubby holes, cup holders, a front central arm rest with storage and one-litre bottle holders in all doors.

Boot volume may not be best in class but there’s good amounts of space and I don’t think the average buyer will complain. Another highlight is the remote opening function for the boot, like the Elantra and Tucson – you simply need to stand behind the car for three seconds with the key in your pocket for it to open – which helps a lot when your hands are full.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Hyundai’s Verna will be offered with two engines, not four. The 1.4-litre engines have been shelved altogether. The 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines have been carried over, but not without tweaks. Though power figures are identical at 123PS (petrol) and 128PS (diesel), Hyundai says that the torque is a lot more accessible. For instance, at 1250rpm you’d have 245Nm of torque on tap, compared to 176Nm in the outgoing Verna 4S diesel. Similar case with the petrol, where it makes a full 7Nm more at 1500rpm compared to the outgoing car that developed 122Nm. There’s a 6-speed manual like before, but, the 4-speed automatic transmission has been ditched in favour of a 6-speed automatic, presumably borrowed from the Creta. We could only sample the diesel avatar of the Verna, but had a go with both the transmissions. Clutch in, thumb the start-stop button, and the engine comes to life with a faint clatter. The engine feels smooth and refined as you start driving. The highlight here is the drivability of the motor, courtesy the torque. You can lug it at 30kmph in third. Step on it, and expect it to build speed cleanly. Much like the little Xcent, power delivery remains linear, save for a small spike in power at around 1700rpm. The diesel should make for a good city car as the clutch is light (albeit springy), and the gearshifts are quick n’ slick.

If you don’t want that hassle altogether, the new automatic gearbox will save the day. It shifts through the gears quickly and just gets the job done. Don’t expect it to be a sporty gearbox that will give you split-second shifts. Think of it rather as convenience and it seems just right for the job. There’s a manual mode too, but it didn’t seem all that engaging to use. It’s best left to its own, really. What’s appreciable, is the fact that the Verna is no longer a skittish handler. Around the skidpad, it remained composed as we chucked it about. Yes, there’s a bit of body roll but it’s predictable. And, we’d say the same thing about the steering as well. It is light, sure – but not dead. It does a good job of telling you what the front wheels are up to. Impressive! We can’t comment on the ride just as yet, but Hyundai tells us the new suspension has been engineered to be more forgiving, more pliant and quieter. It should have no qualms munching highway miles, but we’ll reserve our word on it till we get enough time with the car.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The one serious shortcoming in the old Hyundai Verna was that it wasn’t a confident high-speed machine. With the new K2 platform and changes to both the front and rear suspension setup, Hyundai has completely transformed the driving experience in the 2017 Verna. The steering is still fairly light in town, making negotiating the tight traffic-filled street of Kochi a breeze, and when speeds increased out on the highway a nice reassuring weight enters the equation. The steering also feels quite direct and this really helps with letting you know what’s happening at the front wheels. Book a Test Drive for Hyundai Verna

It’s very well behaved around corners too. The chassis stays fairly flat and though there is some roll when really pushed it’s always predictable and controlled. The brake pedal is quite firm and though it is very linear and has more than enough braking force we do wish it was a little lighter action.Comfort hasn’t been compromised as the ride quality is still pliant in the new Verna. It’s on the firm side but yet manages to absorb bumps and imperfections in the road. This is down to Hyundai doing a lot of work on the suspension. It’s changed the setup of the McPherson linkages up front to limit the horizontal displacement that occurs when the front wheels go over sharp bumps and in the rear, the angle of the shocks have been changed to a more vertical design to better improve the backseat ride. It has worked.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

The next-gen Hyundai Verna gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. In addition, it is laced with a plethora of exceedingly reliable braking systems such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) as standard features. The body structure of the new sedan is developed with 50 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel, which is an additional increase of 37 percent over the preceding model. As for the safety of the occupants, the 2017 Verna comes several avant-garde features in form of 6-airbags, front projector foglamps, ISOFIX (Child Restraint System), Impact sensing Auto Door Lock, Cornering Lamps, Reverse Parking Sensors, and Reverse Parking Camera.

CONCLUSSION

The new Verna looks like a scaled down variant of the Elantra sedan which was unveiled last year. The new generation sedan comes with some modern elements on the inside like a new touchscreen infotainment system, but the biggest change that it has received come has to be the new automatic transmission which is much more responsive and smoother compared to the previous unit. Lastly the competitive pricing definitely will also help this sedan to compete with its rival quite comfortably. Apply Car Loan for Hyundai Verna

 

Maruti Suzuki Dzire Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

There is no denying the fact that the Maruti Dzire has shaken the compact sedan segment in India by selling in such huge volumes which no other rival has been able to come close to. The Dzire is also one of the highest selling cars here and hence there is a lot of anticipation around the new generation. The looks have changed, the interiors have evolved and the driving dynamics are better. Let’s check out everything in detail. Check Ex Showroom Price of Dzire

EXTERIORS AND INTERIORS ;

The use of wooden finish add a bit of class to the overall cabin quality of the new Dzire. There are also AC vents now for the back row passengers and despite being a compact sedan you won’t mind getting a chauffeur for it. The new platform used on the Dzire also makes space for some extra legroom for the rear passengers. There is also plenty of shoulder room at the back and getting three people to sit on the back seat is no longer a squeeze. Despite more legroom, the boot space 378 litres is more than what you would need on a family sedan. Apply car loan for Dzire at Carzprice

Now the biggest change on the new Dzire is how it looks from the outside. It now gets that fancy big grille up front just like its competition the Ford Figo Aspire. And the new eyes on the Dzire now has a shimmer to them thanks to the fancy looking DRL’s. The engine hood of the car in now much more flat and edgy and many would say it looks like a vintage design. We would say that Maruti has tried here to make it look classier with a modern aesthetic

One look at the Dzire from the side and you still get that feeling that there is something incomplete there. But that’s with almost any compact sedan in the market right now. The rear is something that we didn’t fancy that much on the Dzire. The reason is simple here, it’s just flat. The bumper, the tail-lamp and the rear boot hood are all on one line. And there is no major separation for all the three parts. That means there is a huge probability of a low collision impact damaging all those three parts

PERFORMANCE ;

The new Dzire carries over the same two powertrains from the previous generation. So, it is the same 1,197cc VVT petrol engine and the 1,248cc DDiS diesel engine with their 5-speed manual gearboxes. The powertrains get changes to their calibration and the automated manual transmission (AMT) makes an appearance in the Dzire. The AMT which we have seen in smaller Marutis is still the same basic tech involving sensors and hydraulic shifters mounted on top of the manual gearbox. The AMT’s relatively unrefined shifting characteristic is also, unfortunately, a carry-over. Unlike a torque converter or continuously variable (CVT) auto transmissions, AMTs tend to have prominent shift shocks during heavy acceleration. But, the head nodding pull during up shifts eases up during cruising speeds. Kick downs to lower gears when I stomp the throttle for an overtake maneuver also tend to be less urgent, but at slower speeds there is a double shift down from overdrive gears. With a lot of low-end torque being available, the diesel AMT was easier to use overall. Buyers have to be aware that the AMT tech is oriented towards optimising mileage in city driving cycles and so there is a certain inevitable performance compromise.

The petrol engine in the Dzire produces a peak power of 61kW at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 113Nm at 4,200rpm. This is a quiet, refined engine with its performance being an ideal combination for all types of driving cycles, My personal preference would be the manual transmission for both the petrol and diesel engines, but with more and more buyers preferring AMTs Maruti is now offering three trim variants each with the automated gearbox. The Dzire’s diesel engine delivers 55kW of power and 190Nm of torque. Peak torque is available from 2,000rpm. This common rail direct injection engine’s familiar character means that driving it in a Maruti is somehow always more pleasurable than in any other brand’s cars. It does get a bit raucous at high revs, but if you are a driver that loves to be connected with the car, this engine will keep you amply engaged.

The Bridgestone Ecopia 185/65 tyres that my test mule came with were shod on 15-inch alloys. While these tyres helped keep road rush to a minimum in the cabin, their relatively thin contact patch on the road meant lesser confidence while taking fast corners. However, straight line stability has improved dramatically and the Dzire now cruises confidently even at speeds of upto 160kmph

SAFETY ;

The safety features on offer include dual airbags, ABS with EBD and even brake assist. There is also ISOFIX on all the variants, which makes it a good option to consider. The other features on offer include the front seat belt with pre-tensioners, immobilizer, force limiter, seat belt warning lamps. Key left warning and door open warning are a part of this list.

(VXi/VDi) In the V variant, the additional features are day and night adjustable IRVM, speed sensitive door locking and anti-theft security system. (ZXi/ZDi) Z offers reverse parking sensor, front fog lamps, rear defogger as additional features. (ZXi+/ZDi+)

The Z+ also offers some additional features too. There is reverse camera with guide that is an extra over the Z variant

DRIVING ;

If I were to rate the most significant high points of the new Dzire, its ride comfort would come a close second after its interior space; it’s that unbelievable. Three key areas show significant improvement – the damping, the steering steadiness and robustness while tackling bigger potholes. The additional weight of the diesel Dzire lets the suspension setup deal with road uncertainties with aplomb. The characteristic can be experienced at both low and high speeds, and it ups the plushness of the cabin. The steering is also steadier now in and maintains its centre position when going over rough patches without much driver effort, which builds the driver confidence. The third, and the most common of the complaints associated with Maruti cars – that of crashing into the potholes, has also been addressed. The Dzire goes over uneven surfaces and even bigger uncertainties without any harshness

The new Dzire is built on Suzuki’s Heartect platform which is more rigid than the one on which it was based before. Apart from it passing the crash tests, it also improves the stability. The Dzire feels more planted now than before at speeds closer to three digits. While the platform makes it stable, the steering starts to get lighter with an increase in speed and makes it a nervous handler. At low speeds, the same steering feels better weighed. Braking is one department that doesn’t see any improvement. The Dzire still lacks the initial bite, and speed sheds only when you press the B-pedal hard. So, while the Dzire maintains composure under hard braking, it’s still not confidence inspiring

VERDICT ;

We won’t be surprised if the Maruti Dzire goes on to become the largest selling car by overtaking the Alto. Maruti Suzuki has taken a good package and made it even better with the new generation and the Dzire comes across as a well-rounded compact sedan that excels at a lot of things. What really impressed us is how the company has moved ahead in its quality standards and how the car is loaded with so many features. The driving characteristics are also very good and both the engines are efficient too. The Maruti Dzire is an excellent buy for someone looking for a not-so-big sedan that offers a competitive package.

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga Features & specifications

OVERVIEW

The market for estate or weekend cars has never really taken off in India. Many manufacturers have tried their hand at convincing Indian car buyers that an estate makes more sense if you are keen on travelling with your entire family and its luggage.

Fiat was amongst the first with the Palio Weekend, Maruti tried too with the Baleno Altura and so did Tata Motors. In fact, Tata Motors’ punch line – “Because we like to carry our world with us” – for the Indigo Marina, was not really off the mark in terms of its import, but the car just couldn’t capture the imagination of buyers looking for versatility and space. Get EX Showroom Price of Ertiga

However, the fact is that there have always been a small section of buyers for multi-purpose vehicles for their road presence and the fact that they came with diesel engines. It is also true that we Indians still want to carry our world with us and that includes our extended families. With many nuclear families even in the current ‘neo-urban’ context being larger than five members, the need for a six or seven seater passenger vehicle has been and continues to be there.

EXTERIORS

There is no mistaking the Ertiga as anything but Japanese. Right from the large swept back headlights, the sporty bumper with the massive air dam and minimal overhangs, the Ertiga reeks of Japanese lines all over. Look at it from any angle but the side and the Ertiga manages to hide its length very well. Its only when you look at it side on that you realise how long the car really is.

The bold wheel arches add a lot of character and blend quite well with the overall design, however, they also highlight the small wheels which don’t really gel well with snazzy design. Bigger wheels would not only have filled the wheel wells better but would have added more character to the overall design. The doors are quite large; in fact quite noticeably so to allow easy ingress and egress. The blacked-out B and C pillars add contrast and really make the car stand out. The rear follows suit with smart crystal-shaped taillights and a well-designed integrated spoiler. Overall, the Ertiga comes across as the smartest looking people mover we have. Chic, modern and very well proportioned.

INTERIORS

Entry to the cabin is made easy by large doors that open wide. The dashboard is a straight lift from the Swift, which means quality and ergonomics are good. Even the door pads and other plastics are of good quality, and the Ertiga doesn’t feel built to a price. There’s a long list of equipment too, which includes a CD player, Aux and USB ports, steering-mounted audio controls, powered mirrors and power windows. However, the more affordable VDi/VXi variants do without alloy wheels, fog lights and airbags.

Visibility is decent from the front seats, which are taken from the Swift. They are broad with soft yet generous cushioning, which makes them truly comfortable even over long journeys. In the second row, 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 high ‘hip point’, adjustable backrest, terrific headroom and decent legroom make the Ertiga’s middle bench a pretty comfortable place to be.

Move to the rear and it is clearly evident that the Ertiga can’t compete with the likes of the Xylo and Innova for sheer carpet area, but that said, the last row isn’t as uncomfortable as we thought. The narrow access means getting into the last row requires some contortion, and once you’re inside, shoulder room is tight and the squab is short.

The Ertiga’s best trick is the massive 240mm seat travel that allows you to deftly balance the legroom for both the second- and third-row passengers. Well-engineered latches and levers allow you to push forward or collapse the seats neatly into the floor. With all seven seats in place, there is enough space in the back to hold just two soft bags, while a concealed storage bay hidden beneath can hold small items. For more space, the third row can be folded flat. You also have the option to fold the middle row, and the 60:40 split further aids flexibility. Simply put, the cabin is far more useable than the Ertiga’s exterior dimensions would suggest.

PERFORMANCE

The New Maruti Ertiga comes both in petrol and diesel. A CNG version is also available, which comes in only variant. The engines have good driveability. They are easy to drive in city and there isn’t much a need to shift gears that often. This makes it a lot easier to drive in the city. There is sufficient power in the engine to cruise on the highway.

The CNG variant comes only in the VXi variant. It isn’t very powerful and is more for economy. If you have a good amount of driving in the city, you might have to fill CNG even day. All the engines on the Maruti Ertiga facelift are refined and have low NVH. The diesel could have had a bit more power though. All the engines come with a five-speed manual transmission. The petrol even has an option of a four-speed automatic too

DRIVING DYNAMICS

The Ertiga’s ride quality is nice and the suspension absorbs most potholes and craters with ease. The suspension set-up isn’t that soft and it does its job well. On the highways, the MPV remains very composed even at speeds up to 140 km/hr. The steering offers nice feedback but it just doesn’t weigh up at high speeds and continues to feel very light, which isn’t confidence-inspiring. The brake pedal lacks feel but braking performance is above average.

SAFETY

Servicing the Ertiga won’t be an issue because Maruti has a service centre in almost every nook and corner of India. Talking about safety, the Ertiga comes equipped with dual front airbags and ABS on almost every variant. The LXi and LDi variants miss out on these safety features but Maruti offers them on the LXi (O) and LDi (O) trims. Apart from that, all the other V and Z trims come with these features. The same goes for front seat belt pretensioners too.

VERDICT

The Ertiga is a balancing act between size, practicality and ease of use that Maruti has played almost to perfection. It offers the practicality of a seven-seater and yet is as easy to drive as a mid-size saloon. True, it doesn’t have the sheer interior space of a full-size MPV, but with average-sized adults and children on board, the flexible interior allows you to find a happy compromise within its compact confines.

To offset the upward spiral of petrol costs, Maruti has priced the base petrol variant at a mouth-wateringly low Rs 5.89 lakh, which makes it outstanding value. The diesel Ertiga, however, is significantly more expensive, with the top-end ZDi stretching to Rs 8.45 lakh. Also, the diesel motor feels sluggish at low speeds and the spiky power delivery can be annoying in traffic.

For sheer versatility, there is no other vehicle at this price point that even comes close, and as a pure family car the Ertiga is hard to beat.

Honda City Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW

The Honda City is the main reason behind Honda’s premium image in India. It has been the reigning dominator of the sedan segment and features in every car manufacturer’s rival list in India.Modern and contemporary design with premium interiors makes the City a near to perfect premium sedan. The quality of finishing in this sedan is the best offered among its competition.Battling a tough fight against all the diesel options offered by its rivals, Honda City still manages to command its strong position. However, with so many options being available in the market, will the Honda City hold on to its charm is what we find out in our review. Check On Road Price of City

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

For those who actually thought that the new facelift sedan will get a completely new exterior design will perhaps be bit disappointed because instead of a complete overhaul Honda decided to give it a subtle exterior update.

Expect the facelift sedan to get a completely new grille with chrome inserts on them. While expect the front headlamps and the front bumper to get almost the same design as that of the newly launched Jazz hatchback. This overall front face sticks strictly to Honda’s ‘Exciting H Design’ language. Expect the grille to get blacked out theme as well. Besides all these cosmetic changes the other exterior change might also include a new set of alloy wheels while the overall side profile of this sedan will remain unchanged.

Just like the blacked out front grille you can also expect the pillars of the sedan to get blacked out as well just to add more premium touch to its exterior. As far as the overall dimensions are concerned expect it to remain unchanged however the addition of new bumpers might add a few mm or more to its dimensions.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT

The interiors are There has a few add-ons though. The plastic quality feels better now and is put together well. A larger touchscreen infotainment system dominated the centre part of the dash. and this has better resolution too. The system has HDMI input and MirrorLink as well. There is reverse camera and even six airbags on offer on the ZX variant.

There is more than sufficient space in the 2017 City. The front row seats are comfortable and spacious. There is ample of head room and leg room. The seats have good comfort and are good enough even for long distance travel. The rear seats are also spacious and have good amount of comfort too. The arm rest falls a bit too low but other than that there is no other issue. The boot space is 510 litres, which is sufficient for a family of four.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The City continues to be powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine that makes 100hp and 200Nm delivers great low-end performance and is smooth and linear in a very un-diesel-like way, but rev it hard and it becomes rather noisy. Honda claims to have added more insulation for lowering the NVH levels in the diesel, and, though it is a marked improvement, there’s only so much that could be done to curb what is inherently a noisy engine. Ambient sounds have gone down a bit, but the diesel engine rattle is still an issue.The petrol option is of course the tried and tested naturally-aspirated 1.5 i-VTEC engine developing 119hp and 145Nm. The motor is still a riot for enthusiasts, revving out eagerly to its red line and making a lot of its power at the top end. It’s quite usable at the bottom end too and, as the revs climb, it can get a bit vocal.

Gearbox options remain the same as well with a six-speed manual for the diesel and a choice between five-speed manual or seven-step CVT automatic for the petrol. With India’s crowded roads and newfound fondness for automatics, it’s sad that the City doesn’t offer such an option on the diesel, but that’s just something that will perhaps have to wait for the next generation.With no mechanical changes to the suspension either, the ride remains largely the same, which is to say agreeable by class standards, but not the class best. There’s still a fair bit of roll around corners and the ride quality can get a bit choppy at times. The top ZX variants do get new 16-inch alloys and wider tyres, and thankfully they don’t seem to have hurt the ride quality at all. As for the handling, we didn’t get much of a chance to test it on Delhi’s wide, smooth and straight roads, so the verdict is still out on that one.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

There are no tweaks for the suspension as well in the updated model and we feel it doesn’t need it either. The City has got a very balanced setup, which offers pliant ride quality and nimble handling. The ride might feel a tad stiff at low speeds but it flattens up as you gain speed. The high speed stability is good but you might feel the need of wider tyres. Handling is quite engaging and the City feels eager to dart into corners but again, the undertyred setup tends to lose some grip when you push the car to its limit.

The steering makes you feel connected to the road and there is no sense of numbness. It is quick to respond and offers decent feedback. The body roll is well controlled and you don’t get tossed around much on the twisties. Ground clearance is not a big issue in the fourth generation City, it rarely touches the underbelly on big bumps and potholes. Braking performance is good and the pedal bite is confidence inspiring too.

SAFETY

Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion

CONCLUSSION

Offcourse the facelift city no doubt will help carry forward the legacy of the City sedan ahead. This has been one of the most popular C-segment sedans of the country and actually has helped Honda to cement their position in the Indian market. The facelift sedan might not bring a lot of change with it but it definitely will help bring some fresh appeal with it until and unless the new generation sedan is launched in the Indian market.

 

 

Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The Maruti Suzuki Alto is the highest selling car in India but the company was not satisfied by the way few buyers discounted it for being old and slow. Enter the Alto K10, which is essentially a control + C and control + V job of the engine from the A-Star, but is it? Not really as the Maruti Alto K10 also gets a minor facelift to its aged exteriors and interiors. Does this make the Alto K10 an alternative to modern machines like the Hyundai i10 and Chevrolet Beat? We find out. FEATURES ; On the features side, you do get air-conditioning across all variants as standard with power windows coming in only on the higher VXi variant. This variant also gets airbags but there is no ABS anywhere, not even as an option. Whats also strange is that the Alto is one of the very few cars to still offer just one wing mirror on the base LX and the LXi variant as standard which is simply poor manufacturer attitude towards safety. Check On Road Price of Alto K10

DRIVING ;

Drive it with a steady foot and the shifts happen smoothly. It progresses from the first to second at an engine speed of 2500 to 3000 rpm. The same band is repeated if the throttle response is increased gradually. It is only the initial shift where a mild lag is experienced but as the engine makes up sufficient speed, the transmission too works at tandem. If driven with a heavy foot, the shifting points of the transmission are shifted to higher points making the engine breathe longer between shifts to produce a greater power delivery. This is useful during overtaking. Book/Request test drive Alto K10 in Cazprice

Shifting from automated to manual mode takes place in a jiffy. In the manual mode, the engine holds on to higher speeds reaching a peak of 6000rpm. This takes care of spirited style of driving with a quick downshift availing a wide range of engine speed. The downshifts in particular happen without any hassle. The up shifts aren’t as smooth but do their job in shifting to lower gears as soon as the engine speed drops.

CONCLUSION ;

At an ex-showroom price of just 4 lacs, the Alto K10 AMT oozes practicality. It is no longer the cheapest one around with the Tata Nano coming in at a lakh less, but it is definitely more upmarket and comes with a very peppy 1.0 litre motor. It may not be as dynamically sorted or as good looking as we would have liked it to be, but it does make those long daily commutes that much easier without the usual cost of owning an automatic being reflected in your bank balance. Kudos to Maruti for plonking the 1.0 litre K-Series motor in the Alto and coupling it with the 5-speed AMT! The Alto K10 AMT is surely among the most sensible hatchbacks around. Thus car will not win many traffic-light GPs, it won’t encourage you to attack corners, and it will not turn many heads either. But it will keep your left foot happy and make those boring daily commutes through jam-packed roads that much easier, without burning a big hole in your pocket. Practical and peppy, the Alto K10 impresses!

Honda BR-V Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW

The Honda BRV is the latest seven-seater MUV to compete in the people mover space. It is a new vehicle which is based on the Mobilio. Compact seven seaters are preferred by a lot of customers as they take up equivalent space of a sedan, yet offer a lot of utility. The BRV tries to fill in this space. What is the BRV all about? How good is the engine, performance, drivability, design, features, space, comfort, practicality and the price? We drive it in Udaipur as Honda had invited us to try out the new BRV. Check On Road Price of BR-V

DESIGN AND STYLE

The Honda BR-V belongs to the Brio family as the compact SUV is based on the same platform. However, the BR-V is the first car from the Brio lineup to break the mundane styling cues. It has got a heavily revised front, spruced up side profile and a new look for the rear. The projector headlamps are sleek and chunky, merging with the signature Honda chrome grille seamlessly. The front bumper is brawny getting some nice styling details along with a faux silver skid plate and an upright hood for that SUV stance. The front three-quarters of the BR-V manages to exhibit the SUV look but as you go towards the side profile, things are quite different.

The Honda BR-V resembles the Mobilio MPV to a large extent when viewed from the side angle. It has got the same kink on the B-pillar, roofline is identical and the lengthy MPV silhouette is quite visible. Honda has given it some rugged details for making it look a bit SUVish and these include tall roof rails, 210 mm of high ground clearance and black cladding on the lower half of the body. The rear has got some eye catching elements such as the new LED tail lamps with a long reflector panel connecting the cluster which gives it a wide look. There is chrome garnishing on the tailgate and a skid plat for the rear bumper. The overall design looks more MPV oriented rather than being an upright SUV. Book test drive for BR-V in Cazprice

SPACE AND CABIN

When we first saw the Honda BR-V in Japan, we were relieved that Honda was dumping the low rent interior from the Brio family for a more premium design. Since then, Honda has upgraded the Amaze in India offering the very same new dashboard and it is only a a matter of time before both the Mobilio and Brio get a similar update.

The layout follows a similar design to the Honda City and Jazz but unlike their touch controls for the sensitive automatic aircon, the Honda BR-V uses conventional buttons. Quality is good and the plastics feel durable. More importantly, the dash is no longer a deal breaker. The Honda BR-V also gets a new instrument cluster that uses white ringed dials with a separate multi-information display that has dual trips, average and instant efficiency, driving range and ambient temperature.

The audio system is a simple unit with a small black and white screen. It has USB, AUX and Bluetooth playback but sound quality is only average.

Where the Honda Amaze offers a standard key, the BR-V has a push button start system. The cabin is thoughtfully laid out, there are enough storage spaces, large bottle holders in the door pockets and an Innova-like roof mounted second AC for the rear passengers. Having roof mounted vents is logical as it sends some of the cool air to the third row. Low mounted ac vents like the ones in the Duster and Creta won’t send air so far back. That having been said, the rear aircon, while effective, is quit

The seats on the top spec model are leather wrapped and supportive. Being the longest car in its segment has its advantages and space is generous, even the third row is quite usable. Middle row knee room isn’t on the same level as a Honda City and you can tell Honda has sacrificed a little here to make the third row more practical. I’m 6″1 and I could fit in there with reasonable comfort. Being a conventional third row, passengers also get seatbelts unlike those silly jump seats in the sub-4m 7-seaters from Mahindra.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Honda will offer the BR-V in two engine trims of petrol and diesel. The diesel will be the 1.5-litre motor that is also seen in the Honda Jazz and the Honda City. Similarly, it will produce 98 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. It will come with a six-speed manual transmission. The diesel typically will serve well for the highway mongers but then for the city commuters, it will be the petrol doing rounds.

We got a chance to test drive the Honda BR-V under a controlled environment at a specified speed on a special track. The duration was too less for us to form definite judgements about the riding dynamics and the overall performance but based on our brief experience with the car, we concluded the following.

Firstly, the 1.5-litre iVTEC engine will power the petrol variants and will come with a six-speed manual transmission. In addition, Honda will also offer the same engine with a seven-speed CVT transmission. This 1497cc motor makes 118 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and generates an impressive 145Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. The power delivery has been deliberately tuned in such a way to order more push in the lower range.

Honda also claims to have made the engine smoother than before and has been tweaked according to the body type. Even the efficiency has been increased by usage of low friction rings along with piston stroke noise reduction. Also, tackling criticism against this transmission, Honda has developed a new CVT unit for small sized engines. This has helped in reducing the lag by quicker acceleration from standstill as well as reduced overall weight of the unit increasing the mileage.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Most Hondas these days lack that incredible driver appeal that was a key part of the company’s DNA for decades. Still, they are still quite agreeable to drive, and that’s true of the BR-V too. It’s helped in a big way by that car-like driving position and good visibility. The steering is quick and accurate and this SUV will track true around corners; it really feels like a sedan from behind the wheel. What lets it down is its massive girth that can be felt at all times; you simply have to remind yourself that there’s a lot of car behind you when you try to push it hard. Body control is pretty impressive for something so big, it has to be said, and that’s due to a suspension setup that’s a little on the stiff side. Yes, the BR-V’s ride is a little firm, but like the other cars on this platform, it’s not too uncomfortable for it. Yes, you’ll get a bit of up-and-down movement over a really rough patch of road, but it’s really not bad enough to be a serious complaint. In fact, in most situations, it really handles a variety of surfaces quite well. It’ll smash out potholes quite impressively and it will stay quite flat out on the highway too; there’s even an impressive resistance to crosswinds. All things considered, the BR-V’s ride doesn’t have that excellent balance of the Renault Duster, nor does it have the soft, floaty ride of a Hyundai Creta (nor, thankfully, the associated body roll), and most owners will be quite happy with the comfort levels in here.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

BR-V gets dual frontal airbags for driver and co-passenger as standard fitment across the line-up. Other than this the SUV also gets preeminent safety features like vehicle safety assist and hill start assist.

The braking system of Honda BR-V features disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The ABS with EBD is used as a standard in all variants except the petrol E variant. The body shell is made strong with ACE body structure and front dual airbags are introduced in all variants for complete safety of the occupants

CONCLUSSION

The Honda BR-V is a crossover SUV that India has waited for with bated breath for years primarily because it is Honda’s first diesel SUV offering in the country. But, we think that Honda has tried to play it way too safe with the BR-V, which makes it an underwhelming product. Now the perfect target audience for the BR-V would have been the middle class family man with a couple of children who go out over the weekend for a holiday or two ever so regularly and want a car that has a premium Japanese badge and a sense of pride in ownership. This customer also wants something reliable which means that the Honda brand caters perfectly to him or her. But we think that even this perfect target customer might be concerned about a few things.

 

 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza Overview

OVERVIEW ;

When it comes to cars in India, one has to admit that Maruti leads the pack. Starting from the initial foray into the car market with the Maruti 800, this Company has come a long way. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the latest of the beauties to roll out of the Maruti stable. Maruti is the master at building these compact vehicles that suit every kind of budget in the country. Looking at the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza price list, one can say that this car has the capacity of following the same tradition. Check Ex Showroom Price of Vitara Brezza

You have this beautiful vehicle in seven different models ranging from the LDi, VDi, ZDi, and others. The best part of all Maruti cars is the beautiful exteriors. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza exterior is undoubtedly the highlight of this vehicle. You get this beautiful vehicle in a range of exotic colours ranging from Blazing Red to Fiery Yellow and Premium Silver to Granite Grey. If you look at the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza images, it can give you the goose bumps. You cannot help but admire the beauty of the design. In addition to the exquisite exteriors, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza interior is admirable as well. This vehicle is one of the more spacious of vehicles from Maruti. You will definitely get a better idea when we describe the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza interior in detail. You judge the popularity of the vehicle from its looks and mileage. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza diesel variant does offer an impressive mileage of 24.3 kmpl. This mileage forms an important observation in many a Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza review. The best part of this vehicle is that all the seven variants perform equally on the mileage front. This vehicle can adorn the portico of any house in town.

EXTERIORS AND LOOK ;

The styling of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is quite straightforward and simple, which means typical Suzuki design language. The front grille gets a thick chrome slat connecting the two projector headlamps that integrate daytime running lights on the edges. The bumper looks sporty having honeycomb grille, faux silver skid plate and having fog lamps and blinkers placed in a neat housing. The bonnet hood is straight and flat which gives a typical SUV look along with the big wheel arches. Book test drive for Vitara Brezza in Cazprice

The dual tone colour variants really add to the visual appeal of the Vitara Brezza. Our test car had a white and blue combo that looks quite bright and fresh. The lower half of the side profile gets rugged cladding and sporty looking twin five spoke alloys. A strong crease runs across the length of the Brezza connecting the headlamps to the tail lamps. The rear profile looks well done because of the perfectly styled horizontal tail lamps, dual tone bumper with black cladding and faux skid plate. The overall silhouette of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is like an SUV and not like that of a crossover.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

On the insides too, the Vitara Brezza has got a boxy treatment with the squared off dashboard, which gets complemented with the detailing and lines on the door panels and center console. matching with the exterior color. While most of the bits like steering wheel, power window switches and the large 7-inch touchscreen are something which we have already seen on the S-Cross, the center console has a different looking rounded rectangle design, which ends up with the Auto AC controls and cup holders. The left portion of the dashboard gets two glove boxes, with the lower of the two being a cooled box.

Where the Vitara Brezza excels is the clever space management it offers. Despite being a sub four meter car, the Vitara Brezza doesn’t feel short on space, and has more than required leg room, head room and boot space of 328 liters, making it quite a spacious car. The rear seats have got the provision of 60:40 split pattern, which can be helpful in extending the boot space, while carrying additional luggage. In terms of features, the Vitara Brezza gets almost everything which we have been seeing in a car of this segment, like projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs, alloy wheels, push button start, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, 7-inch touchscreen music system which gets reverse camera, navigation, voice command system and Apple Carplay, automatic climate control, cruise control, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, steering wheel with audio, bluetooth and cruise control buttons, cooled glove box, tilt adjustable steering, electrically adjustable, front center sliding armrest and foldable rear view mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat.

All in all, the Vitara Brezza does look boxy and not as outstanding or European as its rivals like Ford Ecosport and Hyundai Creta, but then, the features and detailing on the car make it look modern and upmarket.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Brezza has been launched with a single engine option – the ubiquitous DDiS200 unit. The Fiat-sourced four-cylinder, 1.3-litre turbo-diesel engine produces 89bhp and a strong 20.4kgm. First impressions are that it is adequately powered with a nice, beefy mid-range; a well-known characteristic of this engine. It’s surprisingly quick too – the 1,197kg Vitara Brezza sprints to 100kph from rest in under 13 seconds, making it quicker than the 1,290kg Ford EcoSport. The Vitara Brezza’s strong mid-range is best experienced in the 40-100kph dash in fourth gear which is dismissed in 15.2 seconds; quicker than the EcoSport’s time for the same increment!

However, this engine is also known for its sluggishness at low revs which continues to be its weak link. Though Maruti has worked to minimise the turbo lag in successive models using this same motor, in the Vitara Brezza too, you can’t miss the fact that below 2,000rpm the engine isn’t quite awake. Although this compact SUV, which comes with reworked gear ratios will amble along quite happily on a part throttle to keep up with the flow of traffic, it’s when you mash your right foot down hard that the engine gets bogged down, especially in the relatively tall third gear. Cross the 2,000rpm mark and there’s a sudden rush of power which doesn’t abate until 5,000rpm. In fact, this engine maxes out at a remarkably high (for a diesel) 5,300rpm, which encourages you to make good use of the strong mid-range and top end. As a result, the Vitara Brezza is a comfortable highway cruiser with ample reserve for overtaking. However, a more linear power delivery and more torque deeper down would have made the Vitara Brezza more entertaining to drive. Hence, to get the most out of this engine you need be in the right gear at all times and this leads us to the gearshift, which again is nothing to write home about. It’s accurate but a touch sticky and lacks the crispness we have now come to expect from most cars in this price bracket. The clutch though is fairly light with good progression, which take the sting out of stop-start driving.

Where the Vitara Brezza impressed us was with its refinement. Sure, there’s no escaping the characteristic drone of the Fiat diesel that filters into the cabin at higher revs, but the Vitara Brezza does feel nicely hushed when driven in a relaxed manner, with road and wind noise well contained.The Vitara Brezza’s suspension comprises front MacPherson struts and a torsion beam at the rear, but what’s noteworthy is that ground clearance is at an impressive 198mm. Base and middle-spec versions get 16-inch tyres while top-end models get 215/60 R16 tyres as standard. Our ZDi+ version came with the bigger 16-inch wheels and did a good job of smothering potholes and bigger ruts in true SUV fashion. However, the suspension is on the firmer side and the thud from sharper edges filter through. Also, on uneven surfaces the ride feels a tad lumpy, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. In fact, the Vitara Brezza does a good overall job of isolating passengers from the road and copes admirably with rough surfaces. The fat Apollo Tyres on our ZDi+ car no doubt soaking up a lot of the shocks.

RIDE HANDLING AND BRAKING ;

Being a taller SUV, the Vitara Brezza will handle like one. That is exactly what we assumed about it till we actually put it through its paces. Of course, there is a fair bit of body roll but the suspension setup is on the stiffer side making the Brezza handle quite well for what is essentially a tall SUV. With only two people in the car, there is a lot of bouncing and skipping that comes along especially over undulated, bumpy or just the bad roads that we drive on daily here in India. This of course disappears when you have a full load of five people and a boot full of luggage. Ride for rear seat passengers is decent and the fact that the Brezza does not bounce around like some other SUVs in its market is a plus point.

Continuing on the handling aspects a little more, the Brezza is quite similar to the Duster’s setup in many ways as both these SUVs love being chucked into a corner with a sense of confidence and not making a fuss while at it. Maruti has always made neutral handling cars and the Brezza based on Suzuki’s brand new global C-Platform (first car in India to get the new platform) is no different. There is just a hint of understeer when you take a corner fast but slightly lifting off the throttle usually gets the Brezza back in line.

The Vitara Brezza gets disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. All variants, from the cheapest to the most expensive get an ABS option which is something you must choose when buying your car. The brake feel itself is very positive and although the car does dip a little from the front under very heavy braking, there isn’t much drama on the whole which results in a good stopping distance. The 215/60 R16 tyres on the highest spec car does help too but the tyre noise and road rumble do filter into the cabin quite prominently.

SAFETY ;

All variants of the Vitara Brezza get a driver airbag as standard, while dual airbags are standard on the top variants. A passenger airbag can be added as an optional extra with the lower variants. While anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution come as standard with the ZDi and ZDi+, you can have them with the LDi (O) and VDi (O) as well. While parking sensors are featured from the VDi variant onwards, and the range topping ZDi+ gets reverse parking camera as well. Overall, the SUV does seem to have a good safety package

CONCLUSSION ;

The Maruti Vitara Brezza is a game changer for the automaker as it has all the traits of becoming yet another volume spinner for the company. The price positioning is very aggressive in the segment, the amount of features on offer will woo buyers, the SUV stance is quite appealing, it has a fuel efficient motor and the Maruti badge further attracts a lot of trust on this product. The only drawbacks we could find out were turbo lag under 2000 RPM and cabin noise at high speeds. Otherwise the Brezza is a good all rounder and ticks the right boxes for different types of buyers in varying age groups. After a good while there is a serious threat to the compact SUV segment and an uphill battle for other players to keep up the volumes.

 

Hyundai Elite i20 Fecelift & Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;;

Hyundai has refreshed the popular i20 premium entry-level hatchback for 2017. The Hyundai i20 Elite now gets some exterior and interior upgrades along with even more added features that make it an even more compelling package. The updated i20 on the exterior front now gets a two-tone paint job option i.e. red or white with a gloss black roof option. Although the two-tone trend was popularised by the Vitara Brezza and then is available in the Ignis too, many i20 owners in the past have chosen to paint or wrap their cars in the same way that Hyundai is now offering straight out of the factory. Hyundai has also added yet another shade of blue for the 2017 model year. Blue incidentally has been an extremely popular colour for the premium entry level hatchback. Check Ex Showroom Price of  Elite i20

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;

It would be a pretty bold statement to say that this is the best looking vehicle in its class, but we’re sure many others would agree with us. The designers have fortunately veered away from excessive cuts and slashes for the sake of making it look attractive and instead, the Elite gets an understated layout which grabs attention rather than begging for it. Overall, it has a clean and sharp profile that injects a sliver of sportiness into its image. Admittedly, if you removed the Hyundai emblem, we would’ve easily mistaken it for something made by a European manufacturer. The face is aggressive thanks to the sleek, swept-back headlamps, with muscular lines down the bonnet complementing the chiseled fascia. The chrome outline on the grille adds just the right amount of flash to the front. The Elite i20 is a handsome car thanks to the sharply styled front bumper, which also slims down the car’s front. Even the indicator lights hide in plain sight and are well-integrated into the headlamp cluster. The chrome door handles are a bit much, but then again, Indians do love their chrome. The 16-inch alloy wheels that are nothing short of droolworthy and are a design highlight. You won’t feel the need to forage through aftermarket options. Unlike the Baleno or Jazz, the Elite i20 doesn’t have any MPV-like overtones. The blackened C-pillar slims down the side profile, as does the shoulder-line and door cladding. It’s also interesting to see how the shoulder-line connects the tips of the head and tail lamps.The rear doesn’t get the same slimming elements as the front, but it isn’t bulbous like the Baleno either. The LED-look tail lights look particularly good at night and perhaps a little black cladding in the rear bumper would improve the look from the back.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

As for the cabin, there’s really little to complain about. Overall quality is impressive (though still a notch down on the VW Polo), detailing is impressive (the column stalks feel very rich) and the layered dashboard looks suitably upmarket. If there’s a negative it’s that the screen for the audio system is a tad too small. Some might also find the knobs for the music system small and fiddly, but drivers do get their own set of controls on the well-finished, three-spoke steering wheel. Drivers will also like the good visibility and ability to adjust the steering for rake and reach. The supportive seats and general feeling of space enhance the front seat experience further. Access to the rear seat is nice thanks to the wide door aperture, and once inside you’ll be quite amazed by the space on offer. Legroom and headroom are particularly good and there is sufficient width to seat three. The rear seat also scores well for good back and leg support. However, the backrest is a bit too reclined and the bolstering on its outer edges hurts comfort when seated three abreast. Shorter occupants may also find the windows a little too high for their liking. If there’s a consolation, rear seat occupants do get a dedicated air-con vent in all but the base version of the i20.

And that brings us to features. The top-spec Asta trim we’ve featured comes with lots of equipment as standard. The list includes automatic headlamps, push button start, automatic climate control, an audio player with 1 GB of onboard music storage, Bluetooth telephone function and a reverse camera. Even the mid-spec Sportz trim comes well loaded, but frustratingly essentials such as a rear wash/wipe and a passenger-side airbag are only offered on the top-spec car.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel powertrain configurations as before though minor tweaks for efficiency and better load management have been employed. I have driven the 1.4-litre 16-valve 4-cylinder CRDI. You get 90PS at 4,000rpm with a superb 222Nm of max torque between 1,500 – 2,750rpm from this engine. Max engine rpm cuts off at 4,750rpm. The power and torque ratings in the new i20 diesel are adequate for every situation though I do feel Hyundai should have tuned it for better bottom end characteristics. The turbocharger kicks in at 1,400rpm and the boost improves acceleration past that point however, under that mark it feels a bit sluggish. Dense traffic as a result will see you shifting through first and second gears constantly, moreover since it comes coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission which is a fuel efficiency enhancer. Hyundai claims an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 22kmpl for the diesel, with 19kmpl for the petrol. Interestingly the petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual. There is no automatic at the time of launch but expect one in the future.

The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel power train configurations as before The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel powertrain configurations as beforeThe diesel engine then, as I mentioned, has got a strong mid-range and you only feel the punch once the turbo kicks in. Acceleration after that is brisk and makes this an effortless highway cruiser. Though having said that it’s no slouch in city traffic either, the responses are sharp and you can get going pretty quickly when the need arises to get past slower moving traffic in urban areas. The diesel is also superbly refined and thanks to immense sound deadening, there is barely any engine clatter audible inside the cabin.The highlight of the Elite i20’s diesel drivetrain is the slick shift leverThe highlight of the Elite i20’s diesel drivetrain is the slick shift lever

The highlight of this drivetrain though is the slick shift lever which has short precise throws. I do like the way you can just give it a light nudge to slot into the required gear. Reverse gear on this can be found in the same place as first gear but engaging it requires you to raise the lever and then slot it into reverse. It’s a safer move unlike what you get in the VW Polo.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Hyundai has worked towards improving the ride and handling on the Elite i20 and it shows on the move. Though the suspension has been carried over from the older car in theory, the geometry as well as the damping characterisers have been revised significantly. The setup is slightly firmer than the older i20. Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected the ride and the i20 still rides quite well; it feels pliant, absorbent and well judged.

The improvement in handling on the other hand is more than obvious. The body roll, the pitch and the waywardness under quick direction changes have all been tied down tightly giving the i20 a more confident, stable and exploitable handling character. We would have liked a less artificial steering response though; the current setup fails to connect the driver with the happenings. Braking on the other hand, even though Hyundai has ditched rear disc brake in favour of a drum setup, is stable and strong.

SAFETY ;

The Hyundai Elite i20 hasn’t been tested by Global NCAP yet but the first generation Euro-spec i20 got a full 5-star crash test rating at Euro NCAP. The sad thing is that Hyundai India doesn’t offer 6 airbags anymore and the Elite i20 now comes with only dual front airbags, that too on the Asta variant, while only Sportz and Sportz (O) get driver side airbag. ABS is also offered only with Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta variants while the Era and Magna don’t get any safety features. The Elite i20 comes with Smart Pedal that overrides the accelerator pedal during simultaneous operation of brake and accelerator during panic braking. It also comes with impact sensing door unlock feature that unlocks the doors automatically incase of collision.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Hyundai Elite i20 with all these changes surely can compete easily with some of its potential rivals like the Maruti Baleno and the Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo in the Indian market. The changes to the exterior and interior are limited to cosmetics, but that does not take the light away from the fact that the i20 is considered as one of the bestsellers of the Indian auto market.

 

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

The C-segment sedan space is one of the most competitive so much so that there are eight cars fighting for volumes, the ninth to join is the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. We recently pitched all the eight C-segment cars against each other and it was amply clear that the top three in the shootout had a lot more to offer. India’s largest car maker is a master in offering more for less as so evident from a majority of its products but can the Ciaz break all moulds to become a success considering Maruti Suzuki’s image as a big car maker isn’t much to talk about. While this Maruti sedan is off to a good start in the Indian market, does the Ciaz have what it takes to rub shoulders with well established rivals and maintain the volumes? Check Ex Showroom Price of Ciaz

EXTERIORS ;

This perception change can only happen with upmarket, elegant exterior styling. The good news for Maruti fans is, the Ciaz most certainly looks like an expensive car. The large head lamps, the in-your-face chrome grille and the stylised bumper give the Maruti Ciaz an air of richness. The profile dominated by the strong shoulder line that runs from the front fender all the way into the tail lamp along with those nice looking 16 inch wheels lend the Maruti Ciaz an elegant but youthful stance. The blacked out B-pillar helps, as does the stretched feel for the panels.

At the rear, the tail lamps are clearly inspired by the new Honda City, but the Maruti still manages to look more rounded. The rear bumper, like the one at the front, is well styled and lends the Ciaz a hint of aggression. The chrome strip on the boot lid further enhances the sedan’s appeal.

INTERIORS ;

The interiors of the Ciaz are completely new and different from any other Maruti car. The neatly laid out dashboard has a seven-inch touchscreen system. The higher variants get automatic climate control. The steering is shared with other models but it gets a leather wrap as also the gear knob. The top variant gets leather upholstery also. The Ciaz is comes loaded with features like push button start, keyless entry, bluetooth connectivity, navigation, reverse parking camera and sensors.

The Ciaz is not stingy on spacious too. There is good head room and leg room available. The seats are not the best but provide good comfort. It could have done with some more under thigh support. The boot is large and can fit in quite a lot of luggage with ease. This makes it a very practical sedan that can be used for weekend getaways too. The Ciaz S offers all black interiors and even the centre console has grey chrome finish on it.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

While the Ciaz doesn’t get an entirely new motor, it does get a fairly reworked version of Maruti’s own K14 petrol unit found on the Ertiga. The tweaks to the engine focus on improving driveability and maximising fuel economy. To achieve that, Maruti has modified the cylinder head to raise the compression ratio from 10:1 to 11:1 and the revised head design allows for a better tumble of airflow at low speeds. Also, the air inlet track has been lengthened to further improve low-end torque. To counter heating problems and engine-knocking, issues that are typically associated with higher compression motors, long reach spark plugs and a more efficient oil pump have made their way into the motor. Despite all these changes though, peak power and torque figures have pretty much stayed the same.

On the face of it, the petrol version doesn’t come across as enthusiastic since a power output of 91bhp (at 6000rpm) is a pretty ordinary number for a mid-size sedan. However, in-gear timings are good – the Ciaz is pretty responsive and has a nice urgency about town. The engine pulls quite well from

low revs and you don’t have to work the gearbox much; and even when you do, the light clutch and slick shifting ’box (albeit not as nice as the Swift’s) takes away the effort from city driving. But find an open stretch and explore the K14 motor’s powerband, and you soon realise the power delivery is pretty flat. The mid-range isn’t particularly strong; this engine doesn’t like to be spun hard and gets pretty noisy as the tachometer closes in on its modest 6,200rpm redline.

Flat-out performance is fairly decent, with the dash to 100kph taking 12.02 seconds. However, it’s the unenthusiastic way the Ciaz picks up speed that makes you feel that it’s not as quick as the numbers suggest.

SAFETY ;

Maruti doesn’t offer airbags and ABS as standard on the base V variant of the Ciaz but the other three variants are equipped with these safety features. It is the least equipped car when compared to its immediate rivals, the Hyundai Verna and Honda City in terms of safety. The Verna gets ABS standard across all variants while its range topping variant gets 6 airbags. The City comes with both ABS and airbags as standard on all its variants. The Ciaz hasn’t been crash tested yet by the Global NCAP but considering the low weight of the car (despite being the biggest car in segment) compared to the rivals, we believe the structural strength might not be up to the mark. When it comes to after sales service, Maruti is second to none and has the biggest dealership network in the country by a mile.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

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.

VERDICT ;

The Ciaz is backed by the large dealer and service network of Maruti Suzuki, looks good, delivers good efficiency numbers and starts at a price tag of Rs 7.73 lakhs. Has an optional AT variant, petrol engine and a number of variants whose prices go all the way up to Rs 10.5 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

In our books, Maruti Suzuki has come a long way than being a manufacturer that’s known for being cost efficient and deliver good fuel efficiency. The company still delivers on those promises and so much more.

If you are looking for a sedan in the sub-10 lakh segment, then the Ciaz is definitely worth a shot.

Merecedes Benz CLS Class Overview

OVERVIEW

The trend of fastbacks is on the rise in the luxury car segment and now most of the automakers are looking forward towards introducing fastbacks. Mercedes-Benz was the first to design such a car with the CLS-Class. This new sedan fell in-between the E-Class and the S-Class and is based on the E-Class. The CLS-Class is more driver focused than the E-Class and the S-Class. After that the Audi A7 and the BMW 6 Series Grand Coupe followed up (again following the same pattern between the mid-size and full-size luxury sedans).

The CLS-Class has been seen timely updates and the current-generation has undergone an upgrade recently. We lay our hands on the MY2015 CLS, and tell you if there are any major upgrades in this saloon, or no? Read further as the mystery unfolds.

STYLING AND DESIGN

Mercedes Benz CLA Class appearing as menacing as ever, owing to the newly introduced 15-spoke 18 inch alloys. Coming to the front fascia, it features a V-shaped front grille with lots of chrome treatment which separates it from the bonnet. The front bumper color is identical to the body color of the car. Then, there are the C-shaped automatic projector and bi-xenon daytime running LED headlamps integrated at the front. The company logo is placed at the centre just above the massive air dams which are hugely responsible for its aerodynamic optimization. Coming to the side profile, it is ecstatic with the body colored electrically operated side mirrors sporting LED indicators.

Going by the rear end of the coupe, it features a body colored bumper along with LED fog lamps and sweptback headlamps. The LED clear lens tail lamp cluster along with the brake lights and the shoulder line emerging out of the wheel arches further intensify the sportiness of the beast. Mercedes Benz CLA Class flaunts an electrically operated glass sunroof. It facilitates an individual by opening and closing automatically and is both tiltable as well as sliding. It is being offered with a total of 9 colors – Obsidian Black, Palladium Silver, Cuprite Brown, Thulite Red, Tenorite grey, Iridium Silver, Pearl Beige, Diamond White and the newly introduced Silver Diamond.

CABIN AND COMFORT

The internal cabin of this coupe does not have many updates like its exteriors and yet, it looks stunning. The manufacturer is providing an option to its customers to personalize its interiors with various color schemes and veneers. Its cabin gets an ambient lighting scheme with three different electable colors that amplifies the cabin. Both the cockpit and the rear cabin are furnished with individual seats, which can provide accommodation to at least four occupants. They have headrests along with side bolsters and are covered with fine quality leather upholstery. Both the front seats also have electrically adjustable facility wherein, the driver’s seat also has a memory function. The design of the dashboard is quite attractive and is skilfully embodied with a stylish center console, air vents and several other advanced equipments. The center fascia has a glossy finish with wood accents that gives a sublime stance to the cabin. It also houses an attractive instrument cluster with two large analogue meters and a multi-information display. It notifies the driver with the information related to vehicle’s speed, fuel levels, average fuel consumption and various other such aspects. The three spoke steering wheel is also decorated with a few metallic along with chrome accents. At the same time, it is covered with leather upholstery and is mounted with multi-functional switches for added convenience. The automaker has placed several utility based features inside the cabin including accessory power sockets, drink holders, sun visors, front center armrest and a few storage spaces.

This series is available in one trim level only and is bestowed with an array of advanced comfort aspects. It is blessed with PARKTRONIC active parking assist featuring reversing camera that provides visual and acoustic parking aid on infotainment screen. The center fascia houses a proficient THERMOTRONIC automatic climate control unit air vents that regulates the air temperature of the cabin, irrespective of conditions outside. The list of other comfort features include electrically adjustable front seats with memory package, leather wrapped steering wheel with 12 multi-functional switches, ambient lighting system with 3 different electable colors, and power adjustable outside mirrors. Beside these, it also has features like electric sun protection blind for rear window, analog clock instrument panel, lockable glove box compartment, storage compartment in central console and center armrest with drink holders.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The base CLS400’s turbocharged V6 engine provides plenty of power for quick highway acceleration, and it has a higher horsepower rating (329 horsepower) than the base engines in many competing luxury large cars. Power delivery only gets better from there. The CLS550’s 402-horsepower turbocharged V8 engine produces silky, strong acceleration, and the high-performance AMG CLS63 S’s V8 is incredibly potent at 577 horsepower. The CLS400 and CLS500 come with a nine-speed automatic transmission that is new for 2017. The AMG CLS63 S has a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. If you’re looking for other options in the class that provide strong acceleration, you certainly won’t have much trouble, as nearly every competing car offers a lineup of powerful engines.The Audi A7 delivers 333 standard horsepower and is available in several other iterations that have 340, 450, 560, and 605 horsepower. Likewise, the standard BMW 6 Series boasts 315 horsepower, and other variants have anywhere from 445 to 600 horsepower.

There were no EPA fuel economy estimates for the standard CLS400 as of this writing, but Mercedes-Benz estimates it will return 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway. The CLS550 gets 18 mpg in the city and 26 on the highway, and you lose 1 mpg in both of those measurements if you opt for all-wheel drive. Efficiency suffers somewhat more with the performance AMG model, which gets 16/22 mpg city/highway.There’s very little disparity among the CLS’ rivals and their gas mileage. Equipped with standard six-cylinder engines, the Audi A7 gets 21/29 mpg city/highway, while the BMW 6 Series gets 21/30 mpg. The Mercedes E-Class with its four-cylinder standard engine gets fuel estimates of 22/30 mpg city/highway.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The CLS is a comfortable car, especially at high speeds on a long journey; the car absorbs all the undulations on the roads without any fuss and minimal body roll. At city speeds, the ride is a little harsh though it gets negated to some extent with an increase in ride height to tackle the speed humps.The airmatic suspension is one of the key features in the usability of the CLS. The fully-loaded sporty looking, low-slung CLS managed to ride over all the speed humps without once scrapping, courtesy the feature that allows increasing the ride height. Suspension can also be set up for a comfortable or a sporty ride though the latter becomes too harsh for most situations on the Indian roads.The steering is precise, though there is hardly any feedback and needs to further weigh up with speed. The CLS can go around the corners fast with the sporty setup, but it requires lots of efforts and concentration and all the weight can be felt going around the corners. The braking is good with sufficient feedback and there is hardly anything more that one can expect from a car of this size.

SAFETY

Every CLS-Class comes standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, front side airbags, front side pelvic airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and front knee airbags. Also included are a drowsy driver warning system and a forward collision warning system with automatic braking. The Mbrace emergency communications system provides automatic alarm and collision notification, emergency assistance, stolen vehicle location, and remote locking and unlocking.

The Lane Tracking package adds blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. The Driver Assistance package upgrades those systems with automatic steering override, an enhanced forward collision warning system (operates at higher speeds and can detect pedestrians), a cross-traffic alert system, a rear collision detection and vehicle preparation system, and the Mercedes Distronic Plus adaptive cruise control and steering assist system. Parking sensors, a rearview camera and an enhanced surround-view camera system are also optional.

CONCLUSSION

Every CLS is well equipped, coming with dual-zone climate control, satellite-navigation, leather upholstery, full-LED headlights, a DAB digital radio, cruise control and part-electric seat adjustment. There’s therefore little need to raid the options list, although we’d go for the 360-degree camera system to help make manoeuvring much easier. The optional Premium package (full-electric front-seat adjustment with memory function, a reversing camera, sunroof and split-folding rear seats) is also good value, and will make your CLS more desirable when you sell it on