Renault Captur Review & Test Drive

Renault Captur Overview

India is closely following the global trend of moving toward SUVs. Nobody knows that better than Renault, who has been fairly successful with the Duster. The Duster came at the right time for the French manufacturer and was unrivalled for a long time. There was just one major flaw with the Duster, it just didn’t feel premium at all. The interior quality was very average and didn’t justify the asking price. The Duster further lost the gloss once Hyundai launched the Creta and even though the Creta was more expensive it still found a lot more homes. Now, Renault wants to get back in the SUV game with the Captur, a Duster-platform SUV which Renault claims is more upmarket. View Offers & Price on Captur in Chennai at CarzPrice

 

 

Renault Captur Exteriors

This car looks stylish. It is a head turner for sure and Renault has successfully hidden any signs of the Duster platform here. While there are many talking points, special mention must be made of the dynamic turn indicators, which are a copy of Audi’s dynamic LED turn indicators. They look cool even on the bulky Captur. The front-end also gets nice C-shaped fog lamps and a heavily sculpted bumper. The huge grille and sweeping lamps with multiple elements in them look cool as well. The side profile is rather simple compared to the front but the back end again with its stylish lamps looks like nothing else on the road. This SUV looks distinct from anything else on the road.

Renault Captur Interiors

Creta has black and beige interiors. There is a 7-inch touchscreen system with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and a large touchscreen infotainment system. There is navigation and even reverse camera, while there are four speakers and two tweeters also on offer. Dual airbags and ABS are a standard feature. Top-of-the-line variant gets leather upholstery too. Creta has spacious interiors, but these are similar to the Duster in space. The boot is about 400 litres, which is just fine for a vehicle of this size.Then Captur should have all black interiors. The dashboard layout is all new. The design is neat. A new steering wheel with audio and cruise control, push start and stop, touchscreen with navigation, reverse camera are the features. We reckon dual airbags and ABS will be standard too. Captur will have equally good space like the Creta. There won’t be much of a difference in the two. Boot space should be bigger on the Renault SUV

Renault Captur Specifications

1.6-litre petrol, 1.4-litre diesel and 1.6-litre diesel will be offered on the Creta. These are offered with six-speed manual and the bigger engines have six-speed automatic too. The NVH level are one of its strongest point. Power is good in the 1.6-litre engine and there is more than sufficient torque overtake with ease. At the same time, the Creta has a soft clutch and easy shifting gearbox. The automatic also has good enough performance too.Now as we haven’t driven the Captur, it is a tad early to state anything on it. The Captur will come with a 1.6-litre petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine. This will be the same engines on the Duster too. The Petrol one shall churn about 103bhp of power and will come mated to an option of either five-speed manual or CVT. At the same time, the diesel will churn 108bhp of power and will made available with six-speed manual or AMT options. The Creta is front wheel drive, but the Captur will come with AWD option mostly. This will be only on higher variants itself.

Renault Captur Ride and handling

The Captur handles rough roads with complete aplomb. It simply annihilates all road surfaces with authority. Rumble strips, patched up roads, potholes simply don’t seem to bother this car in the least.The steering could do with a little more feel though. It’s light enough for town travel and decent for highway but can’t be called a true keen drivers car. Grip levels from the tyres are good though and there is limited body roll when pushing it into corners.

Renault Captur Safety & Service

The Renault Captur will get dual front airbags along with ABS and EBD. The SUV also gets Brake Assist. Renault’s sales and service network in India is limited in reach and the company still has a long way to go when compared to some of its immediate rivals. However, the French automaker is progressively increasing its dealership reach in the country.

Renault Captur Price In Mumbai

Renault Captur Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 9,99,999/- (Captur RXE Petrol) to 14,14,699/- (Captur Platine Diesel). Get best offers for Renault Captur from Renault Dealers in Mumbai

Renault Captur Verdict

With the Duster having had a very successful start to Renault’s campaign in India, it was about time that the French manufacturer brought a more upmarket SUV. The Captur strikes the right cords with some sporty styling and a good number of features while delivering on the performance and dynamics front. It does have some dark bits like reduced cabin space (compared to Duster) and average plastic quality which could have been better since Renault is marketing the Captur as a premium SUV. We reckon that it will boil down to pricing and if Renault can get the price spot on, the Captur is set to be another success story.

Honda Jazz Hatchback Overview

Honda Jazz Price & Offers in Bangalore

Honda Jazz Overview

Honda’s reborn Jazz gets several updates, including design changes on the outside and a spruced-up cabin stuffed with equipments for making it snugger. Despite underpinning a new platform and embodying various styling changes, the Jazz is evidently reminiscent of the older one, which implies that the basic silhouette of the premium hatchback remains unchanged. Though, quite contrary to it, Jazz’s version still has a lot on offing, which was missing earlier and keeps your interest alive in it. One of the most prominent changes made to the nose is the front grille that meets seamlessly with the headlights, thus making it appear like a single unit. Also, the strong beltline stretched until the tail lights accentuates the side profile and renders the much-required assertiveness to the hatchback. The cabin offers generous space. That said, it is undoubtedly one of the most spacious hatchbacks in the B segment, offering ample leg room, head space and shoulder space even to the passengers sitting at the rear. A host of features have been embedded inside, totally complementing the large cabin space and hence upping the practicality of the cabin.Check for Jazz On Road Price in Pune at CarzPrice

Honda Jazz Exterior

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.

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.

Honda Jazz Interior

The interiors of the Honda Jazz 2017 are derived from the Honda City. The higher variants get a complete black interior while the other variants have a black and beige combination. The Honda Jazz 2016 has a similar steering wheel, dash board and even a similar instrument cluster. This is a three dial cluster that even shows driver information system like Trip, Distance to empty, mileage etc. The top variant of the Honda Jazz 2016 gets features like integrated music system with AVN, navigation, bluetooth connectivity and reverse parking camera, steering mounted controls, airbags and ABS. The unique feature offered on higher variants of the Jazz called as Magic seats and these can be folded in multiple ways.

 

The space that the Honda Jazz 2016 offers in one of the best in its segment. The interior space on the new Jazz has been increased by 139 litres compared to the previous one. The space in the front row is sufficient and the seats are comfortable. Then there are adjustable head rests that make seating a lot more comfortable. Even the rear row has comfortable seating for three large adults, which isn’t a very common thing. The Honda Jazz 2016 is a lot flexible and even the boot size at 354 litres is larger than most of the compact sedans too.

Honda Jazz Engine & Performance

Honda is offering the Jazz with both petrol and diesel engines. The 1.2-litre petrol motor is the same unit that powered the old Jazz and does duty on the Brio and Amaze. It outputs 90 PS and 110 Nm, being paired to either a 5-speed manual or a 7-step CVT. Mid-range performance is the best and one does have to rev the motor a lot to get going quickly as the bottom-end isn’t strong. Performance post 4000 RPM is exciting as some enthusiasm is shown by the motor but that also gets amplified by the increase in engine sound, the i-VTEC mill getting quite loud. 100 km/hr comes up in third while doing the ton in top gear results in the engine spinning at just under 3500 RPM. The Jazz is positioned as a spacious car so chances of having more people in the vehicle can’t be ruled out and when there are more passengers on board, one really needs to wring out every juice from the mill to get going quickly, this 1.2-litre powerplant is just about adequate for the Jazz and Honda has no plans to offer the car with the City’s praise worthy 1.5-litre mill, due to higher excise duty it attracts.

The manual gearbox on the petrol Honda Jazz offers smooth shifts while the CVT comes with steering mounted paddles, a segment first feature. One does enjoy using the paddles to shift gears but the motor lacks punch to scorch the tarmac. Then there is the rubber band effect which is a given with a CVT unit, the Jazz suffers the same fate, thus the revs rise for no reason as the car still doesn’t get going as quickly as the tachometer would suggest. There is a Sport mode too and the Jazz automatic gets a gear position indicator in the tachometer pod. Upshifts happen at 6000 RPM (the manual Jazz redlines close to 7000 RPM) while downshifts don’t happen immediately even after you prod the big pedal for some thrust (in Sport mode). NVH levels are good but in CVT form, the added revs are heard loud and clear while the petrol motor is audible at high revs although the engine is silent at idle. The ARAI fuel economy numbers are 18.7 km/l for the manual and 19 km/l for the CVT.

The big news is, Honda has equipped the Jazz with a 1.5-litre diesel engine that belts out 100 PS and 200 Nm. The motor gets the same tune as the City as it’s not limited to 140 km/hr and comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox. NVH levels are good but only at idle because as you mash the throttle, the diesel clatter becomes very audible inside the cabin. The oil burner is almost lag free, has good low-end punch and redlines early at around 4100 RPM. Honda says it has widened the gear ratios over the City for better acceleration and higher fuel efficiency, on the latter front, the Jazz becomes the second most frugal car in India, returning an ARAI certified 27.3 km/l. The diesel Jazz certainly feels fun to drive as it doesn’t feel underpowered like the petrol model while the good low-end poke and strong mid-range makes it quick off the line. The car reaches 100 km/hr in third gear while at the same speed in top gear, it ticks the tacho at just under 2000 RPM. The diesel Jazz certainly feels more refined than the City while the 6-speed gearbox also offers smoother shifts.

Honda Jazz Performance and Handling

The ride quality of Honda Jazz 20167 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.

Honda Jazz Braking and Safety

Disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear have been fitted to provide the stopping power. Anti-lock braking system, along with electronic brake force distribution, has been set up in the Jazz S CVT and diesel trims only. Dual front airbags are available in the SV trim and the others placed above it. Among the secondary safety features, central locking, driver seat belt and key reminder have also been put in place to perform their respective duties.

Honda Jazz Price

Honda Jazz Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,87,533/- (Jazz E MT Petrol) to 9,17,803/- (Jazz VX MT Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Jazz from Honda Dealers in India

Honda Jazz Verdict

The Honda Jazz is a top selling car in Japan but can it beat its rivals in India? Well, that seems unlikely as Honda has priced the car at a premium. This Honda hatchback is big on space and offers flexible storage too, it doesn’t feel like a hatchback from the inside which is a big plus for the Jazz. Till now, no car has been able to give the Hyundai Elite i20 a run for its money but the Honda Jazz is the vehicle which comes closest to do so because it is a genuinely good premium hatchback which has a lot going for it.

 

5 Advantages You Need To Have An Affordable Business Phone Number For Your Business

Whether you are a marketing professional, blogger, writer or consultant, your home business needs a phone system that gives you a level of professionalism – and also, security. Handing out your personal cellphone number to random clients you meet, vendors you chat with, or potential business partners means you are giving out your personal contact information to potential strangers – and no one should have to sacrifice security for business communications.A virtual phone system lets you separate your personal and professional calls, but still gives you the flexibility and cost savings of operating your home business using your cell phone if you want. While there are plenty of virtual phone systems out there advertising themselves as the ideal partnership for home-based businesses,

 

A business phone number not only separates your business and personal calls, but when it is powered by the right technology and backed by excellent features, it can take your business to the next level.You made the decision to work from home – whether to spend more time with the kids, avoid the rising costs of child care, or just get away from the long daily commute and office grind – but working from home does not mean you cannot separate personal-communications and work-communications.You have a mobile phone, so you may be wondering why you need a separate phone number for your home business. But, think about the next vendor or client you meet and their less-than-appealing personality. Do you really want to give that person your personal cell phone number? Rest assured, there are ways to use your cellphone without having to compromise your personal security.

Or that important new client is calling, but because the number is so similar to your sister’s, you… well… let’s just say you answer the call in a manner that you perhaps might not have, if you had only realized it was actually your next big client calling.Check for Virtual Business Phone Number in Linked Phone

If you still think there’s no need for a separate business phone number, here are five reasons to reconsider.

1. Sound and Look More Professional

Whether you freelance or you are working on a startup, you rely on your home office to get your work done. If you want clients and vendors to take your business seriously – despite the fact you’re taking phone calls with a toddler hanging off your hip – a dedicated line can help.With a dedicated business number you are no longer giving out your personal cellphone number – and it gives the impression you don’t work alone, even if you do. Just make sure you opt for a phone service that offers you a dedicated line and the ability to forward those calls to your mobile phone – so you can easily keep in touch regardless of where you are.If your home business has a website – and let’s face it, in this day and age if you don’t have one, you really should – adding your business phone number to your contact page and header makes your business look that much more professional and legitimate.It hasn’t been proven and of course Google isn’t talking, but it has been talked about by top SEO consultants that having a “contact us” page with valid information – including address and phone number – helps with SEO efforts – especially if you want to rank in local searches. It would seem that Google gives more credibility and legitimacy to websites that are transparent with their contact information.

2. Utilize Call Forwarding to Route Calls to your Mobile Phone

With smart call forwarding, you do not have to share your cell phone number when you leave the office. Instead, business contacts dial your business line as usual, and it forwards that call to your mobile phone regardless of where you are. The caller never knows you are answering via your cell phone unless you tell them.With forwarding, you don’t miss important phone calls, but you still keep your privacy. Whether you are out on a sales visit, showing a new house or picking up the kids from school, business keeps going. No matter what, don’t forget to set business hours and an after hours greeting that then forwards calls to your business voicemail – that way you aren’t getting calls on your cell phone at 2:00 am.Here at Revuezzle we utilize call forwarding from Phone.com so that our team members are able use their cellphones to conduct business but never have to worry about giving out their personal cell phone numbers to business contacts. We can easily see if the call is a business call or a personal call and answer accordingly. When making calls from our cell phone, it’s just a matter of utilizing either the free phone.com iPhone or Android app and the person we are calling will never know we are calling from a cell phone unless we tell them – the number that shows up on their caller ID is our business number.

3. You Get Clearer Call Quality

Cellphones are notorious for poor call quality. If your home office tends to have a few dead zones or that 4G you paid for isn’t working, you risk giving clients an inadequate call experience. With a dedicated business phone number, and HD digital phones, you can offer your clients and vendors better call quality, limited disruptions, and a fixed network.Virtual Phone System merchants offer HD quality digital business phones from top phone makers like Polycom, Panasonic, and Cisco, that come precon figured so that they are plug and use ready. Prices for these phones are very reasonable and in some cases like RingCentral, you can even rent them if buying a desktop phone doesn’t appeal to you. If you already have a phone you want to use, most merchants will allow you to use them with some setup on your end.

4. Offer Your Customers the Advantage of a Toll-Free or Vanity Number

Want customers from around the country to call you without paying long-distance rates? You can add even more professionalism and convenience by using a toll-free number.With most plans you can get a toll free number Free, or if you want to keep your existing local number an add a toll free number – the toll free number is less than $5 a month in most cases.If your business wants a competitive edge or you just want your company personality to shine through, look for a vendor that offers vanity numbers. Vanity numbers immediately identify your business to your customers – for example 1-800-FLOWERS.Have international clients? Some phone services also offer Global Virtual Numbers, that provide flat rate international numbers that provide your customers anywhere in the world with a local number to call at standard US local rates. Your clients will appreciate the savings.

5. It Really Doesn’t Cost That Much

Let’s be real. Professional phone services do not cost as much as you think – and if it’s really a big deal, remember it is a tax deduction. Most phone services for home-based businesses are extremely affordable, especially when you consider the free features, convenience of a dedicated line, and the fact you aren’t giving out your own personal number to new business contacts

 

Volkswagen Ameo Price & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

As Indians we have a lot of unique things about us. Be it our food habits, culture or diversity across the nation to name a few. Unsurprisingly, our car market is pretty unique too and the biggest example of this are the sub 4-metre sedans on our roads. The status symbol that a sedan is, we prefer a three-box saloon even if it isn’t as spacious as an equally priced hatchback! Now that’s something that isn’t going to change for a while – perhaps why Volkswagen decided to develop a car specifically for the Indian car market, the Ameo. Check for Ameo price in Mumbai

It’s exactly a year since Volkswagen confirmed plans of launching a sub 4-metre sedan developed specially for India, and we got to see the car first a day prior to the 2016 Auto Expo. And then came the pricing, along with the elaborate feature list which we’re sure has got other players thinking. We’ve finally spent a day driving the car, so here’s what it feels like in reality.

EXTERIORS ;

The Ameo carries forward the timeless design language of Volkswagen successfully. The vehicle resembles the Polo and Vento from the front while the side (up to the C-pillar) will remind you of the Polo although changes have been made to the front fenders. The boot has been neatly integrated but the requirement of tucking under 4-metres in length does make the car look a bit awkward from certain angles. Still, this is one of the better looking compact sedans and the boot job doesn’t look like an after-thought. The only way to identify the diesel version from the petrol is the TDI badging on the boot. Find best offers on Ameo

INTERIORS ;

On the inside, the Ameo is offering high quality interiors. The fit and finish on the inside is good and even the look and feel of the materials. The cabin feels a bit outdated in design. In terms of features, it gets most of it. There is a touchscreen system, reverse parking camera, Apple Car Play and a lot more features. Dual airbags and ABS is a standard feature across all variants.

The front seats are large and comfortable too. The second row gets tight on knee room and this is a drawback considering most of the competition. Tall people might not be very comfortable at the rear. For this reason, the Ameo is a good option to buy for those who drive themselves. There is a rear AC vent in the Ameo and a bottle holder as well. The boot isn’t the largest, but the rear seats fold and this is a unique feature for a compact sedan.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

After the disappointment of VW’s anaemic 1.2 MPI petrol engine in the Ameo, we knew it could only be uphill from there. But this latest version of the 1.5 TDI diesel is just plain impressive. Sure, it’s a little noisy at start-up and at higher revs, but the car is quite well insulated and it’s something you can get used to. With 110hp and 250Nm, it’s a wee bit more powerful than the old version of this motor, thanks to a new, larger turbocharger. There’s no way to do an ‘apples to apples’ comparison with the old motor just yet, but we can tell you that in the Ameo, the new one feels supremely punchy and powerful.

Release the slightly firm clutch pedal in the five-speed manual Ameo TDI and it will jump off the line eagerly, the short first gear prompting you flick the light gear lever down into second shortly after. There is a noticeable surge of power at around 2000rpm but there on, there’s seemingly no let up right till 5000rpm. And since the powerband is relatively short even by diesel standards, you charge through it rather quickly. It’s even got a decent top end. And, because the gear ratios have been smartly chosen, there’s little in the way of perceptible lag too.

In fact, it’s when you drive the DSG automatic that you’ll feel the lag a bit more. Because it’s been designed to slur its way through the lower gears for a smoother take-off, you feel more of that sub-1,800rpm sluggishness from the motor. There is, of course, less of this when you tap the lever down to Sport mode and you can eliminate it altogether by selecting gears manually (again via the lever; there are no paddles), but ultimately, it’s the manual that is more fun to drive.

The DSG is superb at being an automatic though. It’s smooth, clever and quick and makes matters so much more convenient in traffic. It’s hugely better than the AMT gearboxes you get in the Maruti Dzire and Tata Zest, but that does come at a premium.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Don’t let the sporty looking flat-bottom steering wheel fool you. The Ameo is a compact sedan, after all, and it handles exactly like it’s supposed to. Like all other cars in its class, the Ameo’s suspension set up has been oriented towards comfort. That said, it has got the second best balance between ride and handling, after the Honda Amaze. The steering on the Ameo feels vague around the straight-ahead position and is slow to turn in. It’s initially light but becomes gradually heavier as more lock is applied. All in all, it lacks the consistency in feel that’s to be found in rivals like the Ford Figo Aspire.

The production-spec Ameo rides on 15-inch wheels as opposed to the bigger 16-inchers seen on the show car at the Auto Expo. Nevertheless, the Ameo’s ride quality is quite good – we sampled it across both pothole-ridden city streets and wide open tarmac on the highway. It deals with undulated surfaces rather well despite transmitting some sharp bumps from on the road into the cabin. So what’s not to like in terms of dynamics? Well, the Ameo, like all other compact sedans, has that inherent floatiness to its high speed ride. One has to make constant steering corrections to keep the thing true to its line.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Ameo TDI’s ride quality is very similar to the petrol version and the Polo’s. The car remains planted and settled even at high speeds. This is the compact sedan you’ll feel confident in while doing over 160kmph. The Ameo does feel like it crashes into pot holes, we faced quite a few on Mumbai’s roads it being the post-monsoon season, but the car still stays the line.

VW has gone for a couple of basic safety features, so, ABS and dual airbags are standard across variants. The DSG variants get ESP and hill hold control too. Some of the top-end variants of the Ameo TDI also get a few segment first features, including cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and static cornering lights. There are three trim levels for the manual and two for the automatic transmission versions. The Ameo TDI is the most impressive diesel compact sedan out there now.

Honda Amaze Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Honda is dedicating a lot of its resources to ensuring that the i-DTEC powerplant is heavily localised in order to keep the price competitive and to make sure the demand is met. It also makes a lofty promise, claiming this to be the most fuel-efficient engine in the country with a 25.8kpl Indian Driving Cycle rating, despite also being the most powerful in its class.

The Amaze is less than four metres long, its petrol engine displaces less than 1200cc and its diesel less than 1500cc, so it qualifies for the government’s excise benefit on small cars. There are lots of other small but significant features on the car that are a direct result of feedback from Indian customers too, so Honda does seem to have done its home-work. Priced from Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the petrol and Rs 5.97 lakh for the all-too-important diesel, it is very competitive. There is definitely a lot riding on this car, so let’s see how well it fares on the road. Check for Amaze price in Hyderabad

EXTERIORS

The New Amaze is not a major facelift. The front grille gets a thick chrome slat. gets The headlamps are also new, which are borrowed from the Mobilio. A new bumper also finds its way here. It remains the same from the side though. The only differentiation is the new set of alloy wheels and some tweaks to the ORVMs. The rear of the Honda Amaze now looks a lot more smart with the new chrome strip running across between the new tail lamps. The rear bumper is also new.

The antenna of the Honda Amaze facelift has been changed too and it is the new magnetic one. The tyre size on the Amaze facelift remains the same with 14-inch tyres (175/65/R14) and for the top variants it is 185/60/R15, with alloy wheels.

INTERIORS

The changes thus though not extensive, do give the car a fresher appearance. It’s the changes to the insides that impressed me the most though. This is the area where owners would spend the maximum time and Honda has reworked the cabin well to offer a better in-car experience. The highlight is the new dashboard, which looks more appealing with its two-tone beige and black appearance. Fit-finish levels are high as expected from Honda, and the cabin exudes a more premium feel. On the whole, the new dash looks nice with its thoughtfully executed, clutter-free layout. I wish the infotainment system screen was bigger and colourful instead of monochrome though. The Amaze also gets Bluetooth connectivity now, apart from the AUX and USB. It gets automatic climate control too, with a large display for the air-conditioning unit.

The steering wheel is the same, but its rim uses a thicker, better feeling material which makes it chunkier to hold. The revised clocks look better too, which means the cockpit is a better feeling place now. The Amaze also gets redesigned door trims which give it a more upmarket feel, and do a good job of it. These interiors are the same as the upcoming BR-V, and work well in offering a more

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Powering the updated Amaze are the same set of engines as before. The diesel is powered by the 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre i-DTEC which produces 100 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm torque at 1750 RPM. This motor fares quite well in terms of performance and fuel efficiency but was known to be noisy when compared to the competition. Honda claims they have improved upon the NVH levels with better insulation. This oil burner performs very well in the low and mid range of the rev band which makes it quite practical in most driving situations. Power fades off as you go to the higher end of the rev band. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission which offers decent shifts but isn’t the smoothest shifting box in the segment.

Under the hood of the petrol version is a 1.2-litre, i-VTEC engine producing 88 PS at 6000 RPM and 109 Nm at 4500 RPM. This comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Honda is known for gasoline powertrains and this i-VTEC is quite rev happy and performs very well in the mid and high end of the rev meter. Low end grunt is average as with most petrol engines. This engine loves to be revved and pulls quite cleanly once you give it the beans.

Previously Honda was offering the Amaze with a 5-speed automatic transmission but the Japanese manufacturer has done away with this and has now slotted in a CVT transmission. This makes more sense as the CVT has infinite number of gear ratios making it more practical in most driving situations. We had a short spin in the CVT variant and it was quite easy navigating through peak hour Delhi traffic. However, it gets too noisy as you go higher up the rev band and progress isn’t brisk as you would get in a manual. The CVT version is more fuel efficient than its manual counterpart and produces 90 PS at 6000 RPM and 110 Nm torque at 4800 RPM.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The ride quality in the Amaze is just about right. There is a bit of body roll, but the suspension is overall tuned to handle city roads. Compared to the Brio, though similar, the suspension set up at the front and the rear have been tweaked in the Amaze to handle the increased weight.

We can’t expect this entry-sedan to compete with the likes of its bigger sibling – the City – in this department. But, compared to similar sedans the Amaze manages to make the cut. The bulkier Swift DZire may just be a bit more agile than the Amaze. But that could change by the time the car makes it here. My test car came with 14-inch wheels and 175 / 65 R14 MRF radials. The final trim levels may include 15-inch rims too.

The steering felt well weighted and wasn’t unusually light or oriented towards being over-assistive. Though it was difficult to test the car at high speeds on the short track with a speed limit also being enforced, there were a few corners where the steering’s abilities could be tried out and I liked the fact that I could direct the car precisely.

CONCLUSION ;

The Amaze has been one of the top sellers from Honda off late and the trend is bound to continue for the time to come. The Amaze is a practical compact sedan which delivers on almost every front, be it interior space, performance or fuel economy. The potent diesel engine also happens to be the most powerful in its segment. What the Amaze lacks is some additional equipment like Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, etc., most of which is standard in its latest Korean rival. However, the Amaze is quite involving to drive and the Honda badge does carry hefty brand value making it an option seriously worth considering, if you are looking to buy a compact sedan.

Volkswagen Jetta Hatchback Review & first Drive

OVERVIEW

Volkswagen is largely known in India for its two crucial models – Polo and Vento. These offerings give the Indian buyers a taste of German engineering while being affordable to own and run at the same time. What goes unnoticed for the masses is the Volkswagen Jetta, which is in its sixth generation and is being offered in India since its fifth generation. This mid-size premium sedan has seen a small set of buyers including some enthusiasts or people obsessed with German machines. It happens because at this price range, most of the Indian buyers start craving for SUVs. Now Volkswagen has updated the Jetta and we take a quick spin to see what’s new on offer.Check for review & price of Volkswagen cars

EXTERIORS AND STYLE

This is makeover 2.0. The car we see today is more of a cosmetic upgrade than anything else. The top-end Highline (only diesel) model now gets new LED day time running lights along with Xenon headlamps and dynamic cornering system. The shape of the headlamp has been altered yet again, to appear sharper than before. There’s a new grille – larger, with three chrome slats, which now merges seamlessly with the headlights. The bonnet is also slightly different and along with the redesigned front now gives the 2015 Volkswagen Jetta a wider stance. The front of the new VW Jetta looks more premium and now closely resembles the bigger VW Passat. The top-spec diesel also gets these solid looking twin-5-spoke alloy wheels. New bootlid with integrated spoiler, new rear bumper and redesigned tail lamps complete the upgrade to the rear section of the car. Check On Road Price of Volkswagen cars

INTERIORS AND CABIN

Volkswagen has always been subtle with its styling updates on facelifted versions, be it the Polo, Vento or for that matter the new Jetta. The updated car carries minimal styling revisions and you can count them on your fingertips. The headlight unit is now equipped with LED strips without any changes to the layout and the grille now gets an additional chrome slat on the top. The bumper at the front is new, so is the small kink at the top of the boot lid and the new design tail lamps. All these minor revisions make the car look sharper than before and it is one of the elegant cars in the D-segment.The cabin doesn’t tell you a different story either, with the changes being lesser than that on the outside. The new flat-bottom steering wheel is straight from the Polo and the Vento and I would write the same that I wrote when I reviewed the Polo, it is brilliant. The dashboard is angled at the driver, clearly showing the focus of the car. Everything is well laid-out and falls nicely to hand and while the cabin is very functional, the quality seems a little compromised as everything looks like have been borrowed from the Polo and the Vento. If you have been in a VW car before, you would relate to the instrument layout, the placement of the wing mirror adjustments, it’s all the same albeit, things are larger.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The engines remain the same—the 1.4-litre TSI petrol which produces a maximum power of 121 bhp and the 2.0-litre TDI diesel with an output of 138 bhp. The petrol is mated only to a six-speed manual transmission, while the diesel additionally gets the DSG gearbox. Unlike sibling Octavia, which is based on the Volkswagen MQB platform, this Jetta is based on the old PQ35 platform. This explains why the Jetta doesn’t get the 1.8-litre TFSI engine that the Octavia boasts of. (The 1.8 TFSI is an MQB-specced engine.) The petrol is available in Trendline and Comfortline trims, and the diesel is available in Trendline, Comfortline and the top-end Highline trims.

First, the petrol. While 121 bhp doesn’t read too much for a car this big, the 1.4 TSI is a rev-happy engine. The six-speed manual transmission further enhances the driving pleasure; the gear-shifts are precise and very smooth. The engine easily takes the car to three-figure speeds and even overtaking at such speeds is not much trouble. The TDI diesel is one of the best motors in the business—it is very refined, quick, and is relatively quiet. It pulls the car relentlessly and there is no apparent turbo lag. The reason is that the TDI engine generates a huge amount of torque—320 Nm. Just nudge the accelerator pedal and the car effortlessly surges ahead. NVH levels in both petrol and diesel variants are impressive. Mention must be made of the fact that the DSG in the Jetta diesel is not a seven-speed box seen in the Octavia but a six-speed one. However, even this box is one of the best in the world of cars and shifts gears at the speed of thought; you also have the option of manually changing gears using paddle shifts on the steering wheel.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Volkswagen Jetta gets multi-link suspension as standard across all the engine options. The ride and handling balance that it offers is terrific as always. It has pure German drivability thanks to the taut and solid feeling suspension with brisk handling. The ride is on the stiffer side at low speeds but very well damped and as the speed increases, it gets flatter and there is no vertical movement. The Jetta absorbs bumps, potholes and harsh tarmac maturely and hardly did we feel any clunky noise filtering through. It’s based on the PQ71 platform that offers excellent handling, which is fun around the ghats. The car stays glued to its line and is confidence inspiring at any speeds. The steering is light and weighs up well according to the speed giving precise feedback. Braking is effective with precise pedal bite and feedback.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

Disc brakes are inset in the front as well as in the rear, vital braking features like anti-lock-braking system with brake assist and brake pad indicator constitute the proficient braking system of the Jetta. Safety of occupants is a primary concern at Volkswagen and they load their vehicles with pertinent safety equipment. Jetta is no exception and comes incorporated with a host of potent safety features available as standard fitments across the range. Starting from fatigue detection, electronic stability control, anti-slip regulation, electronic differential lock, hill hold control, height adjustable front seat belts, seat belt tensioner in the front, 3-point rear centre seat belt, ISOFIX mounting points for two child seats on rear seat bench, 3 rear head restraints, central locking with 2 remote control folding keys, electronic engine immobilizer, engine and transmission guard, driver and front passenger airbag, front passenger airbag deactivation, curtain airbag for front and rear passengers, side airbags (front) and retro reflectors in all door. Compared to other saloons in its segment viz; Volkswagen Jetta Vs Toyota Corolla Altis, the former is endowed with considerably more safety features

CONCLUSSION

Globally Volkswagen is seen as a premium luxury automaker. It has the Skoda brand under its umbrella among many other brands. The Jetta faces a stiff rival in the form of Skoda Laura, Chevrolet Cruze and others.The refreshed look of the car deserves appreciation. It’s not just a visual treatment but a complete overhaul from its earlier version. The design cues which are a part of the present generation Volkswagen theme act as a pro as well as con for the new Jetta. The negative aspect of the design is its striking resemblance with comparatively lower priced Vento. The first glance of the car can mistake you for the Vento, though when seen properly one can differentiate the characteristi

 

Tata Tiago Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Tata Tiago is, undoubtedly, one of the best available options in the entry-level hatchback segment. It is based on the company’s new “Impact” design philosophy, which offers a driver-focussed layout with best-in-segment size and proportioned cabin-to-body ratio. The Tiago hatchback is small but agile, and it does tick all the right boxes that make the car so competitive in its segment. What makes this Tata car special is that it is extremely feature-rich, both inside out. After all, not many cars in the segment would offer you the quality, fit & finish and the urban interiors as the Tiago will. Every bit of material inside the car is of high quality. In fact, the moment you get inside, you will find it miles better than the original Indica. The Tata Tiago car is offered in both petrol as well as diesel trims, which opens up to a wide range of customers, unlike some of its competitors that have a petrol engine only. Moreover, a close look at the segment will give you an idea that both the fuel versions, the Tata Tiago diesel or petrol are much more powerful than most of its competing vehicles. Check for Tiago price in Pune

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

The Tiago bears no resemblance to any other Tata product, which in our books, is a very good thing to begin with. The Bolt and the Vista were plagued by the ‘Indica lookalike’ tag which didn’t go down well with the masses. The hatchback follows Tata’s ‘Impact’ philosophy, just like it’s elder siblings, the Zest and the Bolt. It looks fresh, contemporary and modern. It is amongst the widest cars in the segment at 1647mm, second to only the Grand i10. It has a shorter wheelbase than the Celerio, in spite of being a full 146mm longer. However, it is the heaviest car in the segment by a considerable margin.

The front profile is home to a pair of swept back, smoked headlamps. Joining the headlamps is a curved strip of chrome that Tata calls the ‘humanity line’.The grille harbours a three-dimensional Tata logo and hexagon detailing that become smaller as they spread out towards the headlamps. The air dam is sleek and is peppered with some more hexagons. The fog lamps are placed at either end of the air dam and get a chrome surround as well. The subtle creases on the bumper complement the ones on the bonnet, thereby lending the Tiago a confident face

We particularly like the sharp character line that runs across the side of the car and finishes into the wrap around tail lamp. As is the norm in the segment, the Tiago gets blacked out B-pillars and indicators on the wing mirror as well.The side shows off the low-slung stance of the car beautifully, with the 14-inch alloys filling the wheel well. However, the design of the alloy itself is a bit of a letdown. In comparison, the diamond cut wheels on the Grand i10 look truly a class above.The rear profile is clean and minimalistic. The almond-shaped tail lamps and the faint character lines connecting the two look really classy. It also gets an integrated spoiler that houses a high mounted stop lamp.

However, the things that drew our attention remain the gloss black spoiler spats that are placed on either end of the integrated spoiler. Tata says that it not only looks cool but also aids aerodynamics. The matte-black finish around the number plate area helps break the monotony of colour at the rear. Notably, the exhaust is neatly tucked away from view. Boot space stands at 240-litres, which is on par with the Celerio for all practical purposes and is slightly smaller than that of the Grand i10.We will go out on a limb and say that the Tiago is the best designed Tata till date. The proportions, the sharp lines and attention to detail are praiseworthy.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The Tata Tiago gets a fresh new dashboard with only a few parts being borrowed from the Bolt which is actually a good thing because the fantastic 3-spoke 360 mm steering wheel is not only good to look at but is also nice to hold and comes with ergonomically positioned audio controls. Just like the Zest and Bolt, the Tiago’s cabin is well put together and is a step in the right direction as far as quality, fit and finish goes. The use of colours too are fresh and the company states it has firmly banned the usage of beige in the interior of its cars. Thus the Tiago gets a two-tone black and grey cabin which looks different in a good way. The instrument cluster gets similar colours and dials as the Bolt with the MID being identical too.

There is plenty of piano black and chrome usage on the inside with parts of the steering wheel, centre console and door handle getting the glossy finish while the AC buttons, AC vent surrounds and door knob get the chrome treatment. On the orange and red coloured cars (on other cars the vents are finished in gloss black), the side AC vents are finished in body colour whose appeal solely depends on personal taste, we don’t like it much. One does have the option of customising the colour of the interior (at dealer level) with orange or red colours for the side AC vents, steering spokes (the silver can be changed), gear lever surround and other areas which are finished in piano black like the centre console and the door handles. The AC isn’t a chiller and when you run the fan on full speed, the blower does make quite a lot of noise.

There are a lot of practical touches in the car, in fact Tata has equipped the vehicle with 22 utility spaces including a ticket holder on the windshield, recessed storage on top of the centre AC vents, cubby hole next to the gear lever, two cupholders next to the off centre handbrake, driver side storage pocket under the right most AC vent, tab holder in the glove box, front door pockets to accommodate two 500 ML bottles, rear door pockets to store one 1-litre bottle, glovebox with cooling function, hooks with weight markings (on the centre console and in the boot) and a decent sized boot with a low loading bay.Other interesting bits include the centrally placed cabin light which uses LED, adjustable driver seat height (but no adjust for the seat belts), button operated glovebox, mirror on both sun visors, knitted headliner, one touch down driver side window and a Tata typical illuminated key ring. Below the AC switches are sockets for charging, USB and AUX. The vehicle gets a flip key, key operated follow me home headlamps and rear parking sensors (there are four sensors which are concealed properly and graphics are displayed on the infotainment screen).

What we miss on the Tata Tiago is a dedicated lock/unlock button (one has to pull the knob up and down now) while the front seat back misses out on pockets and the rear seat folds down in a single piece (no 60:40 here). The spare wheel isn’t an alloy and isn’t painted black either. Space inside the cabin is good and there is ample legroom and knee-room (the seatback is scooped) but headroom is a bit lacking for tall passengers at the rear while seats could also do with more under-thigh support. The seats are good and offer a lot of back support but the rear seat gets small, non-adjustable headrests.Three can fit in at the rear and the rear passengers can tuck their feet under the front seats. The Harman sourced ConnectNext audio system offers good audio quality through its 4-speaker, 4-tweeter arrangement and also gets NaviMaps wherein turn by turn navigation is displayed on the vehicle’s infotainment screen while connected to an Android device (using paid version of MapMyIndia maps which is free for a Tiago owner). The vehicle also gets a Juke-Car app wherein one master phone is connected to the car via Bluetooth and the same phone creates a virtual network (via WiFi hotspot) which others can join (up to 10) to jointly create a playlist, a helpful feature when multiple people are travelling in the car on a long journey. The audio system also has speed sensitive auto volume adjustment.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine is a grounds-up design and uses lightweight all-aluminium construction, a four valve per cylinder DOHC setup and variable cam timing for the intake. It’s an undersquare engine with bore and stroke measuring 77mm and 85.8mm respectively. Peak power is 83.8bhp (at 6,000rpm) while max torque of 11.6kgm is produced at 3,500rpm.

Respectable as the above numbers are, the petrol Tiago isn’t a very lively performer. The engine doesn’t rev particularly quickly and performance is adequate and no more. The feeling is that you always have to work the engine to bring out its best; a tall third gear only makes this more evident in slow moving city traffic. In stop-go traffic, you’ll also notice power delivery to be jerky. You can sense the fuel cut off the moment you lift off the throttle. The clutch is light, but not very progressive, and the gearbox also requires effort to slot in at times. Refinement levels are fair at low revs though the thrum from the three-cylinder engine can get intrusive, especially at the 3,000rpm mark when a bit of resonance filters into the cabin.

To be honest, it’s the three-cylinder Revotorq turbo-diesel engine that seems a lot nicer. This 1.05-litre engine is actually a downsized (and thoroughly modernised) version of the Indica’s 1405cc, four-cylinder diesel unit. The block is cast iron while the aluminium head houses twin cams and four valves per cylinder. The engine’s 69bhp at 4,000rpm and 14.27kgm from 1,800-3,000rpm make it far more powerful than the Celerio’s two-cylinder diesel unit.

Start the engine and there’s no escaping this is a small displacement three-cylinder motor. There are vibrations but it’s not all that bad. The engine also takes time to wake up but builds speed reasonably well from about 1,500rpm though the real power comes in only post 1,800rpm. Thereon, the engine pulls sufficiently but again it doesn’t feel particularly peppy. That’s to say it gets the job done but doesn’t excite in the least. The powerband is narrow and by 3,500rpm you know the engine is done with its best. At this point, the engine also gets noisy with a rough roar for a note and this gives even less reason to rev it to 4,000rpm and beyond. Drivers will find the clutch light but snappy (more so than the petrol) in the way it engages. The gearbox too is not as crisp as the competitions’.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Tata Tiago is very impressive when it comes to its ride quality. It is easily the best in its segment. The Tiago’s suspension is well tunes to offer a pliant ride. The ride is well-cushioned and absorbs most bumps and potholes with comfortable ease. Tata has traditionally been good in this department and gets better with the Tiago. The handling is also pretty good for city driving. The steering is light and responsive. This makes it easy to park in tight spots. On the highway the car doesn’t lose its composure and one can easily cruise at 130 km/h. The car remains steady. We wish the brakes were slightly better.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

In terms of safety, Tata Motors has provided front driver and passenger airbags along with ABS and EBD including cornering stability control that works with the ABS. There is speed-sensing auto door lock function along with immobiliser for the owner to feel safe about the car. With the HORIZONEXT program, Tata is making sure to improve their after sales service quality and it has come a long way compared to the old days. However, there is still some room left for better service quality. Tata has a wide network and reach across the country including Tier-II and Tier-III areas.

CONCLUSSION ;

Based on the Tata Tiago price, the car has a good range of features on offer. It is extremely efficient but powerful too, something that most of its competitors are low on. Even the AMT gearbox unit is smooth to drive and does not get any hiccups along the way. Moreover, the car ranks high on fuel efficiency and will save you loads on fuel bills, for sure. Even the automatic transmission variant is equally efficient as the manual, something that is not very common among contemporary cars

 

Audi Q5 Engine & safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

Positioned between the smallish Audi Q3 and the huge Audi Q7, the Q5 promises to be a great urban SUV. It can handle bad terrain, and won’t be too cumbersome to drive in traffic either. Also, given that it looks good too, Audi hasn’t had a problem with the competition either. Back on tarmac, it’s docile and boasts car-like dynamics.??While Porsche is readying the Macan (it will be priced higher than the Q5) and BMW has the X3 already, the Q5 enjoys its position, because of its capability as a product, and Audi’s well deserved value in the market.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The Audi Q5 comes up as a very subtle looking SUV. The overall design of it looks more coupe inspired than a typical SUV. The sloping roof lines, mild flares on the side with a longish bonnet make the Q5 look very suave in nature. The Q5 does not look like a typical in-your-face kind of a SUV but then it still has a bold look and looks contemporary.Having a family face, this one too has a single frame radiator grille which has been finished in gloss chrome. The vertical chrome struts look very neat. The three dimensionally finished bonnet flows very elegantly between the single frame grille to the front windshield making the design look very aerodynamic. The Xenon plus trapezoidal headlamps sweep back to the side.

The side profile is humble. The window lines have been done in chrome. The Audi Q5 measures 4629mm in length. That also translated to good interior space. This one gets a 10 spoke V shaped lightweight forged aluminum wheels and 235/60 R18 tyres. The combination of these two make the car look dynamic. The roof line drops very subtly and the lip of the roofline ends with a spoiler which makes it look sporty.The rear has wide spread tail lamps. The tail gate indeed gives it a distinct look and one can easily it’s an Audi you are following. The tail gate is indeed very practical and makes it very practical to load and unload. Hidden under the massive chunk of a rear bumper are the exhaust diffusers which have been done in brush Aluminum.

So, the new Q5 which recently got its dose of updates is a good looking SUV. It looks more like a big hatch and less of a SUV. The fact that the Q5 is selling in good numbers also assures that India has matured as a market in terms of taste and choice. So, the Q5 packs in cues from Big-Bro Q7 and still manages its own character. The daytime running LED lights of the Q5 are just an icing and looks simply awesome.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Perhaps even more vast a change than the exterior, the 2017 Q5’s interior gets huge update. It takes after Audi’s current design styling and features a low-hung, thin dashboard with its Virtual Cockpit gauge cluster, minimalist HVAC controls, and (oddly) tacked on infotainment screen. The center console also sports a new design that includes a new electronic gear shifter and track pad. The steering wheel takes after other Audi models, as well, and features a thin yet sculpted design. The hexagonal grille design is mirrored on the airbag cover, too.

In-dash technology includes Audi’s Virtual Cockpit with its 12.3-inch TFT screen and configurable digital gauges. The MMI infotainment screen perched above the center console offers 8.3-inches of viewing screen and is controlled by both touch and the large track pad just ahead of the shifter. The pad offers smartphone-like controls, with pinch-to-zoom and finger-writing to text capability. The system also features Audi’s Personal Route Assist, which learns your driving habits and can suggest alternate routs should traffic have your usual route blocked. Onboard LTE Wi-Fi allows the Q5 to be an online hotspot and there’s even a Qi wireless phone charger and integrated phone antenna to keep smartphone powered and connected. Audiophiles will appreciate the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 3D sound.

Rear seats offer a good amount of legroom matched with lightly bolstered outboard seats and decent headroom. HVAC vents keep rear passengers happy on hot or cold days, and an optional rear seat entertainment package features two huge screens.The seats also fold flat, offering an impressive amount of cargo room. Audi says there’s 54.7 cubic feet of space with the seats stowed. With the second row in place, cargo room is cut down to 21.5 cubic feet of space. That’s does represent an improvement of 0.4 cubic feet of the last Q5.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

We have already witnessed the 3.0-litre, V6 TDI diesel engine in the Audi A6 and Audi A7 earlier, but this motor just doesn’t cease to amaze us every single time. In the Q5, Audi has boosted the output by 5 BHP and 78 Nm, which is quite significant considering the added twist on offer. However the addition in power hasn’t come at the cost of economy and Audi claims that the new Q5 is up to 15 percent more efficient than its predecessor. Power delivery is instant and rewarding and NVH levels are very good with very little diesel grunt audible inside the luxurious cabin.

This engine is mated to a 7-speed S tronic transmission which is at the forefront ensuring smooth cog swapping. There are no paddle shifts even on the top-end variant which comes as a disappointment, however one can take control of things by using the tiptronic function on the gear lever. Performance, as you would expect, is nothing short of explosive with every dab on the accelerator pedal resulting in an instantaneous surge ahead with plenty of reserve still left. Power delivery although linear, is still addictive and there is a definite shove in your knickers when you bury your right foot in the floor.

We can go endlessly with praise about the 3.0-litre TDI engine, it’s that darn good. The motor feels at home at all speeds, whether its ambling around the city, sprinting on open roads or simply cruising on the highways. This mill does a splendid job in hauling the 1.8 tonne Q5 with urgency and blurred scenery. The Audi drive select system offers various modes which control the accelerator pedal characteristics, automatic transmission shift points and amount of steering assist as well. How has Audi managed to boost performance and efficiency at the same time? The German car maker has reduced weight with the use of aluminum on the engine hood and tail gate. Whoever said ‘you can’t have your cake and eat it too’ was wrong, very wrong!

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Apart from the engines, the other thing that Audi did not have to do much to was the quattro all-wheel-drive system, which has widely grown to be accepted as one of the best traction aids in the market. The bit of fine-tuning they’ve done has resulted in smoother transitioning from the efficient front-wheel-drive set-up to the all-wheel drive, but can you and I tell the difference? Probably not. What you will notice, however, is the new multi-link suspension set-up with the optional air suspension which has made the ride quality and transfer of weight noticeably more pliant. You can feel the suspension complying with the quattro system more amicably when you chuck the car into corners, pretending it’s a low-slung sportscar. It’ll play pretend along with you, keeping things tidy and under control. What also helps is that the new chassis takes away 90kg from the Q5’s kerb which helps it behave on the road the way it does.

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

It has a list of safety aspects including a central locking system, heat insulating glass, a windscreen cleaning system, movable sun visors, sun blinds, roof-edge spoiler and anti-theft alarm. It has an advanced immobilizer system, first aid kit with warning triangle, tyre pressure monitoring system, a collapsible spare wheel and ISOFIX child seat mounting.

CONCLUSSION ;

There are a lot of products in the market that shout for attention, displaying a probable lack of substance. The Audi Q5 is the exact opposite. It is quite capable but doesn’t give a clue about it, until you get behind the wheel.The simple but effective styling, the range of good engines, and a wide array of options makes the Audi Q5 so special. The 2.0TDI is the choice of the lot. It has a good amount of power, and doesn’t drink too much of fuel either. ?It’s comfortable and spacious inside as well, which means if you are going to be chauffeured around in one of these, you won’t have any problems either. Add the good amount of stability and safety options the vehicle offers, and you have a winner in your hands.

 

 

Audi A3 Cabriolet Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW

India has one of the largest automobile markets in the world. We have all sorts of body styles on offer here. The evergreen hatchback, the aspirational sedan, the macho SUV and of course the family oriented MPV. Sadly though, convertibles in recent years have never taken the fancy of the Indian automotive manufacturers for reasons that seem to baffle us. That said though, if you do have a bit of money saved away and are willing to spend about 50 lakhs on a car you might want to see past the norm and look at something like this. The new Audi A3 convertible.

DESIGN AND STYLE

It’s a sense of familiarity when you look at the Audi A3 cabriolet from the front because it’s essentially the face of the A3 sedan that we see. The large black slatted grille is overlapped by the automaker’s four rings while the headlights expand outwards to the sides.

The cabriolet sits marginally lower than the sedan (4.42mm vs 4.45mm) with a pronounced forward heaviness thanks to the slope in the bonnet which is the same in the sedan but much more noticeable thanks to the lower height of the convertible. The air dams of the front bumper have little aerodynamic vanes which also serve to add to the sportiness of the car.

The side profile reveals the entire extent of the nose heavy stance as well as the sharp rake of the windshield. In that typical orderly German fashion we can see three separate sections to the side. The first section is the area around the edge of the cabin which sports a large chrome surround.

The second section comprises most of the door as well as a strong shoulder line. The third section is a large crease that extends from the edge of the softly flared rear wheel arch to the front wheel arch. The wheels themselves are large 17-inch clover design units which are specific to the non-sedan body styles of the A3.

This being a convertible, it looks particularly good with the roof down. Press down on the roof button in the centre console and watch the roof, windows and boot do a 20 second (we timed it!) synchronised dance to make the car go from top to topless. We would always recommend you bring the car to a complete halt and then take down or put up the roof.

The rear, like the front, has all the familiar Audi bits like the two- piece tail lamp as well as the familiar bulge below the bootlid section. Like the sedan, the cabriolet too has a small lip at the edge of the boot which doubles up as a spoiler. The rear bumper sticks out a bit and has a little honeycomb section just above the two- piece single side exhaust for additional cooling.

The A3 cabriolet is a combination of a modern product with all the traditional elements of a budget convertible. It will certainly get you the attention with the top up and more so when the roof is down and also because it is something you do not see every day on the roads.

CABIN AND SPACE

The cabin design may appear slightly dull but there is no denying that it’s beautifully made and finished to the standard you would expect of a high-end Audi. Positives inhere include dark black textures, plush leather and good quality materials such as the circular air vents and switchgear on the centre console. Audi has also retained the all-black wraparound dash design with horizontal lines which heighten the sense of width.

Despite the shortened wheelbase, comfort levels up front are on par with the rest of the A3 range. There is more than enough shoulder support and good cushioning. The under thigh support, too, is commendable. What’s definitely better though is the view out when the roof is down – the thin A-pillar, low-set door mounted wing mirrors and the absence of B-pillar all add up to provide brilliant visibility all round. Being a 2+2, you wouldn’t really expect it to accommodate two full-size adults at the back and in truth, it’s barely acceptable for short drives. Still, headroom and legroom is decent and it’s best to keep the rear reserved for kids. That being said, the pair of seats are heavily contoured and as a result, very supportive for those small enough to fit into them. Speaking of squeezing stuff, the boot space has been reduced from the standard A3’s 425-litres to 320-litres to accommodate the roof mechanism. Now although its opening is wide, filling it with large suitcases is plain impossible because of the enclosure’s lack of height and depth.

The 2017 A3 Cabriolet gets wireless phone charging function and full LED headlights as all-new features. It also gets dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors and a 7-inch retractable screen for the MMI infotainment system. What it doesn’t get though are features like start/stop button, keyless entry and electric adjustment for the seats.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

There will be no diesel version of the Audi A3 Cabriolet. The only motor it comes with is the 1.8 TFSI turbo-petrol engine, which sends its 177bhp and 25.5kgm through the front wheels via a seven-speed S-Tronic dual-clutch gearbox. That’s fine by us, as this powertrain is what cemented the A3 sedan as one of our favourite cars to drive in 2014; the diesel version just isn’t as much fun. As ever, the 1.8 TFSI is super smooth and refined, spins quite freely and builds its power in a beautifully linear surge. There are, however, three differences to the driving experience compared to the sedan. For one, you can option a sports steering wheel on the A3 Cabriolet that comes with paddles for shifting gears manually, rather than just using the gearlever as you have to in the sedan. Secondly, the soft-top gets as standard Audi’s Drive Select driving modes – Efficiency, Comfort, Auto, Dynamic and Individual – that alter the powertrain responsiveness as well as steering weight. And finally, with the roof folded, you can hear more of the otherwise silent motor when you open it up a bit, which only adds to the thrill. It makes a pleasing purr at high revs, and in Dynamic mode, delivers a subtle ‘whump’ from the exhaust with every upshift. Lovely.

Another concern with convertibles is that, in removing the roof, the car often loses a lot of its chassis rigidity, which in turn compromises handling and just the overall feeling of solidity. Yes, go over a steep bump and you might be able to sense a slight shudder through the body, but it’s barely there. Put it down to the car’s compact dimensions or just the integral rigidity of the new MQB-platform chassis the A3 is built on, which makes for a nice, taut bodyshell. Where it really matters, though, is in the handling, and we’re happy to report that almost none of the dynamic prowess of the A3 sedan has been lost with the roof cut off. It still darts into corners eagerly, there’s plenty of front-end grip and it just feels light and compact at your fingertips. In fact, the sensation is only amplified with the roof off and the wind in your hair. Find yourself some nice weather and a good road, and you won’t be disappointed.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The most comfortable A3 Cabriolets are those in SE spec, because this trim level gets well-judged suspension that blends good bump and pothole absorption with decent body control. Move up to S line trim and you get a lower set-up that’s noticeably firmer at low speeds, compounded further with the bigger wheels you get. None of these firmer set-ups is unbearable, but the good news is that you can specify softer SE suspension on S line trim – and doing so won’t cost you an extra penny. The S3 is lower and stiffer even than S line models, although it comes with standard adaptive dampers, so is actually quite comfortable.

The A3 Cabriolet changes direction eagerly. Its steering is precise and gives you plenty of information about what’s going on between the wheels and the road, even though it’s not the most rewarding system we’ve ever tried.

The car has plenty of grip for those twisting B-road drives in the country, allowing you to press on if you so desire. Fortunately, there isn’t too much body roll, even when you choose the standard SE suspension over the more focused Sport and S line set-ups.

Regardless of which suspension you go for, Audi offers an Adaptive Magnetic Ride system as an option, but the mix of comfort and body control is so good on the standard set-up, that we really wouldn’t bother paying the extra.

SAFETY FEATURES

The A3 sedan earns a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It scores four out of five stars on its frontal crash and rollover tests, and it achieves five stars for the side crash test. The A3 also does well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, earning a top rating in every category. The IIHS names the A3 a Top Safety Pick+. The Audi A4 receives the same rating from the IIHS, while the Volkswagen GTI earns a slightly lower Top Safety Pick designation.

Standard safety features in the A3 include a rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors. Other safety features are available. With adaptive cruise control, the A3 maintains a set following distance from the car in front of it, automatically slowing or accelerating with the flow of traffic. The A3 takes traditional adaptive cruise control a step further with the car’s ability to come to a complete stop and take off again, all on its own. Another driver assistance feature, lane keep assist, alerts you if you stray from your lane and gently nudges the car back into its lane. The A3 is also available with rear cross traffic alert, which monitors traffic behind the car while you’re reversing to prevent an accident.

CONCLUSSION

It is very easy to sum this car up. It has the advantages you get with the A3 sedan, the sheer thrill and pantomime of an open top convertible and of course, the added pride that comes with driving and owning something this special.

The A3 convertible may not be as practical as a top of the line A4 or a base model A6 that costs about as much but as an automotive package, it is certainly more thrilling. And although some might argue that at Rs 45 lakh it isn’t as pratical, for most buyers this will be a second or third car. Should you consider it? Well, if you are in the market for a stylish convertible, there is nothing available in India today that offers as much value as this does and yet allows you to indulge in a bit of fun.

 

What Is Cloud Computing ? What Are The Opportunities & Risks Of Cloud Computing ?

Cloud computing is here and virtually every organization is using it in some way, shape, or form. Educating yourself and your people on the opportunities and risks associated with this technology is of the utmost importance. Let’s look at the opportunities presented by cloud computing, managing the risks associated with housing your sensitive data offsite, using virtual computing environments, and vendor management considerations as you explore your cloud options.

But there’s another, more precise meaning of cloud computing the virtualization and central management of data center resources as software-defined pools. This technical definition of cloud computing describes how public cloud service providers run their operations. The key advantage is agility: the ability to apply abstracted compute, storage, and network resources to workloads as needed and tap into an abundance of pre-built servicesFrom a customer perspective, the public cloud offers a way to gain new capabilities on demand without investing in new hardware or software. Instead, customers pay their cloud provider a subscription fee or pay for only the resources they use. Simply by filling in web forms, users can set up accounts and spin up virtual machines or provision new applications. More users or computing resources can be added on the fly—the latter in real time as workloads demand those resources thanks to a feature known as auto-scaling.

 

Service models

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides access to server hardware, storage, network capacity, and other fundamental computing resources.

Platform as a service (PaaS) provides access to basic operating software and services to develop and use customer-created software applications.

Software as a service (SaaS) provides integrated access to a provider’s software applications.

Deployment models

Private cloud is accessible from an intranet, internally hosted, and used by a single organization.

Community cloud has infrastructure accessible to a specific community.

Public cloud is accessible from the internet, externally hosted, and used by the general public.

Hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more clouds.

Cloud benefits

Cloud computing provides a scalable online environment that makes it possible to handle an increased volume of work without impacting system performance. Cloud computing also offers significant computing capability and economy of scale that might not otherwise be affordable, particularly for small and medium-sized organizations, without the IT infrastructure investment. Cloud computing advantages include:

Lower capital costs — Organizations can provide unique services using large-scale computing resources from cloud service providers, and then nimbly add or remove IT capacity to meet peak and fluctuating service demands while only paying for actual capacity used.

Lower IT operating costs — Organizations can rent added server space for a few hours at a time rather than maintain proprietary servers without worrying about upgrading their resources whenever a new application version is available. They also have the flexibility to host their virtual IT infrastructure in locations offering the lowest cost.

No hardware or software installation or maintenance

Optimized IT infrastructure provides quick access to needed computing services

The risks

Environmental security — The concentration of computing resources and users in a cloud computing environment also represents a concentration of security threats. Because of their size and significance, cloud environments are often targeted by virtual machines and bot malware, brute force attacks, and other attacks. Ask your cloud provider about access controls, vulnerability assessment practices, and patch and configuration management controls to see that they are adequately protecting your data.

Data privacy and security — Hosting confidential data with cloud service providers involves the transfer of a considerable amount of an organization’s control over data security to the provider. Make sure your vendor understands your organization’s data privacy and security needs. Also, make sure your cloud provider is aware of particular data security and privacy rules and regulations that apply to your entity, such as HIPAA, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (DCI DSS), the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), or the privacy considerations of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Data availability and business continuity — A major risk to business continuity in the cloud computing environment is loss of internet connectivity. Ask your cloud provider what controls are in place to ensure internet connectivity. If a vulnerability is identified, you may have to terminate all access to the cloud provider until the vulnerability is rectified. Finally, the seizure of a data-hosting server by law enforcement agencies may result in the interruption of unrelated services stored on the same machine.

Record retention requirements — If your business is subject to record retention requirements, make sure your cloud provider understands what they are and so they can meet them.

Disaster recovery — Hosting your computing resources and data at a cloud provider makes the cloud provider’s disaster recovery capabilities vitally important to your company’s disaster recovery plans. Know your cloud provider’s disaster recovery capabilities and ask your provider if they been tested.