Monthly Archives: February 2018

Audi RS6 Facelift First Drive

OVERVIEW ;

German luxury behemoth Audi , has launched the Audi RS6 in India adding to the company’s already rich portfolio. The Audi RS6 Avant is a performance centric version of the A6. Audi has already charmed the Indian audience with its many refined luxury vehicles. The Audi RS6 has recently joined the family and graces the company’s Indian portfolio. The Audi RS6 Avant will be brought imported in India as completely built units and is one of the classiest offerings from Audi India. Check for Audi RS6 price in Mumbai

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The company has launched this vehicle with a sporty exterior appearance, which will certainly lure the car enthusiasts. It is fitted with a number of striking features, which gives the occupants an attractive look. To begin with the frontage, it is designed with a massive radiator grille in single frame, which has a few chrome slats. There is a prominent company insignia, which is embedded in the center of this grille. It is surrounded by a headlight cluster has a sleek design and is equipped with Matrix LED headlamps, which are extremely radiant. Just below this, it has a body colored bumper that looks quite aggressive and houses a wide air intake section along with a pair of air ducts for cooling purpose. This air dam is flanked by a couple of bright LED fog lamps along with day time running lights that gives the frontage a distinct look. Its large windscreen is made of heat insulated glass and fitted with a set of rain sensing wipers as well. The sleek bonnet has a few visible character lines. Coming to its side profile, it is elegantly designed with a few expressive lines and body colored door handles along with outside rear view mirrors. The door sill of has chrome finish with Quattro logo. Its external rear view mirrors are integrated with side turn blinker and are electrically adjustable. These mirrors are also auto foldable and come with auto dimming function as well. While top end variant is blessed with automatic anti glare action and memory function as well. The flared up wheel arches are expected to be fitted with a classy set of cast aluminum alloy wheels, which are covered with high performance tubeless radial tyres that gives a superior grip, while off-roading. Its rear end has a lot of attractive features that gives the crossover a captivating appearance. It has a large windscreen that is integrated with a defogger, which has a self timer. It is accompanied by a sporty roof spoiler that is fitted with a LED high mounted third brake light. The curvy boot lid is fitted with prominent company badging and a thick chrome strip that adds to the elegance. The body colored bumper is fitted with an aluminum under guard for preventing the vehicle from minor damages. It is also gets an optional package like Matte aluminum styling package, which includes air intake duct, side flaps, rear diffuser with Quattro logo in the titanium grey. Apart from these, the buyers can also opt for few more packages like carbon styling and gloss black styling package.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Much like the exterior, the interior was carried over from the standard RS6 Avant. As a result of that, the wagon is equipped with bolstered sports seats that have integrated head restraints, a custom instrument cluster with black faces, white dials, and red needles, a three-spoke, leather wrapped steering wheel, and a power-retractable display for the MMI navigation system. Other standard features include four-zone automatic air conditioning, MMI navigation plus with MMI touch and the Audi sound system. Optional features range from a head-up display and the Bang & Olufsen Advanced Sound System to various driver assistance systems, including adaptive cruise control with night vision assistant and Audi connect.Specific Performance features include new seat upholstery in an Alcantara and leather with a honeycomb pattern and matchingcontrasting stitching on the armrests, control elements and floor mats, Alcantara knee pads, and carbon twill blue inlays made from carbon-fiber interwoven with a blue thread.Cargo capacity remains unchanged from the RS6 Avant, meaning the Performance model offers 564 liters (20 cubic feet) of cargo room with the seats up and 1,680 liters (59.3 cubic feet) with the rear seats folded flat.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

As I have mentioned time and again, automotive journalists love being surprised. And we love a powerful engine that pushes us back into our seats and have the wind knock out of us. And the RS6 does both, with grace. Under the hood is a monster of a twin-turbocharged 4.0-litre V8 engine that makes a staggering 568PS of peak power and an equally staggering 700Nm of peak torque. Push the start button and the RS6 comes to life with a grown and a burble that would make every single petrol head in the world grin ear to ear.Floor the throttle pedal and the RS6 shakes like a 60s American muscle car hinting at the kind of performance you can expect. We cant help but mention again how absolutely sublime both the engine and the exhaust note are though with its well timed crackles and grunts. So how is it to drive? Well, potter around town in full comfort mode and it feels as comfortable and quiet as any other large Audi does. In fact, the engine actually cuts off four of the eight cylinders if it feels that the car does not really need that level of performance, which results in a surprisingly easy to drive experience in the city in start-stop traffic.The gearbox too is crisp and great and has no lag at all when you tug on the aluminum paddle shifters. Of course, on a slightly wet surface, the RS6 can be quite the handful to drive with the traction control and the Quattro system working in overdrive mode but it still manages to feel controlled at all times if you ignore the torque steer that does creep in sometimes. All said and done, the RS6 is one of those performance cars that most forgiving and can be driven briskly in any condition.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Audi RS6 Avant comes with 35-profile 20-inch wheels but despite this, the ride quality is surprisingly good. The estate can soak up most undulations without losing its composure. At high speeds, again the ride is very good and the car remains stable and maintains its line. The steering is really nice and it weighs up brilliantly. Handling is also fun but you can most certainly feel the length of the car while cornering. The Avant gets awesome brakes which are very sharp but due to the high speeds that the car does, the brake pads wear out really quickly.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Audi RS6 Avant is equipped with full size airbags for front and rear occupants. Adding to it, the car also offers side, front and head airbags for all the passengers. It is loaded with advanced safety and security features like anti-lock brake system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution (EBD) and hydraulic brake assist and anti-slip regulation (ASR) that avoids wheel-locking and skidding during panic braking. Also on offer is the electronic differential lock that offers good control while running on slippery surfaces. Other safety features include night vision assistant, cruise control, hold assist, rear view camera, camera based limit display, child-proof lock, safety steering column, to name a few.

CONCLUSSION ;

Given the unfavourable response to estates in India, the RS6 Avant comes across as a curious addition to Audi’s line-up. However, think of the RS6 as a performance car that just happens to be an estate and you’ll see it in the right light. This is a blistering fast car for those who must have something different. The estate shape will not only help the RS6 standout at the odd supercar gathering, but also gives it a practicality you wouldn’t associate with a high-speed machine.Question is, how many performance-car buyers will be willing to break the norm? It’s a pertinent question, because even the Ferrari FF’s shooting-brake form hasn’t found too many takers in India. Still, if the Rs 1.35 crore (ex-showroom, Delhi) RS6 Avant proves to be a success in the segment, it could just result in more estates coming to India at lower price points.

 

 

Tata Xenon Yodha Review

OVERVIEW ;

Announcing the launch of the new Tata Xenon Yodha, Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, said, “With the introduction of the new Tata Xenon Yodha, we at Tata Motors have a new range of smart pick-ups, which offers customers with a winning combination of high profitability and lowest total cost of ownership. The new Xenon Yodha is an ideal work horse for diverse commercial usage and with this new range, we are confident of extending our lead in the light commercial vehicle category, complementing the success and popularity of the Tata Ace range of small commercial vehicles.”

Lets have a look at the various features of the newTata Xenon Yodha pickup truck.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The striking design of the new Tata Xenon Yodha makes the enhanced performance of the vehicle noticeable at first glance. A perfect blend of practicality and performance, the Tata Xenon Yodha has an imposing stance, with its aggressive and contemporary SUV-like appearance. The look is further enhanced with aggressive body coloured bumpers and a clean body line.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The Tata Xenon Yodha also offers improved comfort and safety features. The cabin comes with high-intensity lights and complete carpet flooring for better aesthetics along with with a power steering and an adjustable steering column for comfort while driving. The Tata Xenon Yodha also comes with a high load body with an internal length of 2550 mm and width of 1750 mm. safety features include antiroll bars for better stability in loaded conditions at high speeds & loaded off road conditions, 3-layered body construction, crumple zones, a collapsible steering column, retractable seatbelts and side intrusion beams, will protect passengers in the event of a side impact collision.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Xenon Yodha has a ground clearance of 210 mm. Powered by a 3.0-litre engine, the Xenon Yodha develops 53.7 kW (72hp) in BS-III and 63.4 kW (85hp) in BS-IV form. It also delivers a high torque of 223Nm in BS-III and 250 Nm in the BS-IV guise. For better mileage, the pick-up has a reliable and rugged gearbox, for a flat curve at 1,600-2,200rpm which enables better pick up in loaded conditions and fewer gear shifts.

One of the key highlights of the new vehicle is high gradeability, which enables the vehicle to negotiate any type of terrain in loaded conditions, supported by bigger 16-inch tyres. The durable body is supported by a 4mm chassis frame, with reinforcements and a strong rear axle with unitised double bearing. The additional strong suspension – 5 leaves at the front and 9 leaves at the rear – ensures better safety in loaded conditions and at high speeds. Driver comfort and ergonomics are claimed to be of a high standard. Other highlights include a power steering and an adjustable steering column. The interior has specially designed utility spaces, which are ideal for a convenient driving style. The vehicle is fitted with antiroll bars for better stability in loaded conditions at high speeds and loaded off road conditions. Other safety features like the unique three-layered body construction, crumple zones, a collapsible steering column, retractable seatbelts and side intrusion beams, will protect passengers in the event of a side impact collision.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

An unladen rear end (the rear suspension has been designed to carry huge load), lots of torque and a tall body make for interesting dynamics for the Xenon. The steering offers a fair amount of feel and there is decent communication from the front end. The comparatively skinny tyres give you ample warning too, and you can feel the Xenon begin to slide in a controllable manner. Load up the rear with around 200kg and the ride settles down remarkably.The choppiness in the rear subsides and that pogo effect, especially when you hit a speedbreaker or a sharp pothole, is less severe. On tarmac, the Xenon is very composed and easily manageable too. Off-road though, it isn’t as convincing. While the Xenon’s alloy chin protector for the intercooler looks good, sitting low down it’s quite vulnerable. Besides, the relative soft front has the nose diving agonisingly onto its bump stops. To select four-wheel drive, you need to operate the rather fiddly roller switch that is located behind the steering wheel, on the dashboard. The Xenon has a limited-slip differential though and in slippery conditions this will definitely be to its advantage, although it wasn’t really put to the test on the arid, rocky terrain we took it over.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Xenon Yoddha gets antiroll bars, a unique 3-layered body construction, crumple zones, collapsible steering column, retractable seatbelts and side intrusion beams. Unfortunately the pickup truck still does not get any airbags for the passengers.

CONCLUSSION ;

The new truck gets a LFL propeller shaft which actually does not need greasing which is actually cost effective The service interval too has been extended to 20,000 km & also higher oil change intervals. While Tata Motors also promises that the drivetrain also is rugged and reliable. The new vehicle is also offered with a first-in-segment customized AMC package of 3 years / 1 lakh kms (whichever is earlier). It also gets best-in-industry assured Warranty of 3 years or 3,00,000 km (whichever is earlier).

 

 

Honda Brio Facelift Overview

OVERVIEW

Honda, after a considerably long time has finally given it’s entry level hatchback the Brio a much needed mid-cycle facelift. For starters the modifications made to this vehicle seem to be on the right track, taking care of all existing faults that the car had in the past. But the segment that this vehicle currently falls under has seen multiple new introductions in recent times, which were a notch up in comparison to the Brio in terms of their design as well as the magnitude of creature comforts on board. Nevertheless, we got the opportunity to put the all new Honda Brio facelift to test. So here is our detailed first drive report of this vehicle where we strive to find out how much of an improvement is the new model over the previous one. Get On Road Price of Honda Brio in Carzprice

DESIGN AND STYLE

The Brio certainly is a looker. In this segment where classical designs are more appreciated than anything radical, the Brio has everything working in its favour. While it doesn’t have the sharp, funky lines of its rival, the Chevrolet Beat, or the radical futuristic styling of its elder sibling, the Jazz, it still manages to stand out in a crowd quite easily. The well proportioned stance with short overhangs is something that really gives the car a dynamic look. While Honda’s designers might want to describe the styling as ‘double triangle’ or the like in the language only automobile designers can speak and very few apart from their ilk can understand, what is clear to understand is that the Brio does look like it’s moving forward at a good clip even when its standing still, especially when viewed bang-on from the side.

This is accentuated by the slashed crease just below the shoulder line and a parallel crease near the bottom of the car. Then there is there is a wide stance with its flared wheel arches, reminiscent of more sporty cars which really improves the appeal by leaps and bounds. This wider track combined with the car’s relatively short wheelbase of 2,345mm as well as the lack of overhangs at either end, and the Brio comes across as a little rally car that would be more at home spewing dust on special stages rather than pootling about town. The front of the car bears the typical Honda traits that we’ve come to accept now, such as the large ‘H’ badge on the grille

CABIN AND SPACE

The other reason for the roomy feel in the cabin is the amount of light that comes in from the large glass area. The steeply raked windscreen, the large front windows and the all-glass rear hatch gives the cabin an airy, well-lit feel, even on a cloudy day, as was the case during my test drive.

The other feature of the Brio’s interior that has enabled Honda to free up more space, especially knee-room, is thinner seat backs. By optimising the S-spring, Honda officials claim that thinner squabs were constructed without any compromise on the support provided to the passenger. The seats at the front are bucket-type with impact mitigating integrated headrests.

The dashboard layout also bears the Honda signature – simple, focused on practicality and uncluttered. The interior has a two-tone theme, but is dominated by light beige. The top half of the dash is grey, as is the centre console and steering wheel. Good fit and finish and quality plastic used gives the interior an upmarket feel which is free of compromises.

Triple analog 3D instrument meters, the trio of airconditioner controls on the centre stack and the exclusive 2-DIN audio system with USB and aux-in are noteworthy features. The chunky steering wheel fits neatly into ones hands and also offers audio system controls in the top-end variants. The glove box is narrow and a bit cramped, but there are a number of cubby holes to store all sorts of stuff on the go.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

On the mechanical bit, the Brio Automatic has a 4 cylinder 16 valve 1198cc engine which borrows the automatic transmission from its elder sibling sedan, the City. This unit produces a power of 88 PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 109 Nm at 4500 rpm.

The manual version is my favorite. Its compact dimensions, awesome steering feedback and precise handling gives amazing confidence. In addition to that is the error less gear shifts. Since the torque is well distributed, the manual Brio does seem out of breath across the rpms. The i-Vtec is a wonderful engine and it does its job pretty well.

Of the 700 odd kms that I did in the Brio from Ahmedabad to Pune, there was no fatigue at all going to the extent of proving this is indeed a superb offering in its segment. On this trip itself, I had told the Honda team about my wish of a possibility of an automatic variant of the Brio which they politely declined to accept then only to send the invites of the automatic Brio drive later.

Inside the city with bumper to bumper traffic, the automatic gearbox is a blessing in disguise. Shift it to the drive mode and just forget about it. The automatic variant just vanishes the hassles of the often manual shifts in tight traffic. Since Brio weighs just 970 kgs, it offers superb handling.

The automatic earns its due appreciation inside the city however on the highways; there is a slight lag in the output. This lag is evident only while we overtake as the engine revs hard but then the vehicle doesn’t move in sync with it. Except for this, there are no big setbacks felt. Throw any surface and the Brio happily takes it on with a always smiling front face. The Honda Brio AT is on the lazier side of performance compared to its manual counterpart but then it will appeal to the commuter type. In city traffic one hardly gets time and space to test the acceleration of the car.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The 88 bhp engine is responsive and is quick off the mark. Zipping around in city traffic is effortless especially with the automatic. The suspension is soft and takes care of most of the bad roads, undulations and speed breakers unless the car is heavily loaded with people, by that I mean all 4 people. The soft suspension does lower the car quite a bit. The car has a low centre of gravity still due to the soft suspension can’t be thrown around corners. If the signal is your start line you may be the 1st to heave a start.

The automatic is responsive but the manual is quicker. If at all Honda had a glitch it would be the CVT automatic. That feels like a drag. The Brios overtakes efficiently too. Honda have ticked all the right boxed. 88 bhp, responsive throttle and 19 km/l. What else could you ask for in a small car. As I have mentioned before this would be an IDEAL car for Mr Bean in today’s world.

SAFETY

The Honda Brio facelift is available with ABS and dual front airbags but only on the range topping VX variant. Honda should have offered the safety features at least as an option for lower variants considering the rising awareness of these features in India. Nonetheless, Honda’s badge is very well known for its after sales and reliability. They are offering a standard 2 year/40,000 km warranty with the new Brio.

CONCLUSSION

The Honda Brio is a brilliant small car that excels in most departments while keeping up with the rest of the competition in others. It is a great value proposition, providing comfort, space, fuel economy and performance, all at a justified price, keeping in mind that it wears the big H badge.

However, we felt that the interiors could have been better and the suspension more passenger friendly. But this is just looking for needles in a hay stack, for the Brio is otherwise a brilliant all-round package. Also, do not forget that when one buys a car, one builds a relationship with not only the car but also the manufacturer.

 

Toyota Etios Cross Review & Price In Chennai

OVERVIEW

Toyota seemed to be in a similar mood when they announced Etios Cross at the 12th Auto Expo in India. One associates the brand primarily with two models; the Innova and Fortuner. The former is the ultimate MPV while the latter is a popular premium SUV in India.

Unfortunately, the fame and success enjoyed by the above models never crumbled down on its entry level cars. Etios Liva, which marked an entry in the hatch segment, could not battle it out with the competition. Lack of premium interiors and dated design made buyers shy away from it. To regain lost confidence and engage more with the adventurous type, Toyota launched the Etios Cross. This crossover claims to be bold with an attitude. Our first impression report reveals more on it. Check for Toyota Etios Cross price in Chennai

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

From the front the Toyota Etios Cross sports a new smiling grill that stretches from light to light that later extends down like a chinese mustache. The lights though similar to the old a elongated on the inner side to match the grill. The new bumper is huge and very sporty and is loaded with a lot of cladding to put on the crossover mask. Beside the silver mustache at the base of the bumper on each side are the fog lamps that looks like two dimples on the cheek. This is something you may find in WRC rally cars. Just the huge spoiler at the back is missing.

The is also a silver cladding at the base like a small goatee on the face. There is a cladding that starts from the front to the side and flows into the rear too. From the side the Toyota Etios Cross is the same except for 3 changes. Now the indicators are on the mirrors and the sharp design is lovely and the other being the new chrome multi spoke alloys adds a sporty feel with sophistication and body cladding for the crossover effect. The side cladding is divided into two parts the fibre at the top and a silver touch at the base.

The rear too is the same but now the entire bumper is fibre and has a silver cladding in the centre. Unfortunately it misses out on sensors like the Etios and Viva. There is a fibre cladding on the bootlid too which houses the ETIOS CROSS badging. The tail lamps are clear and remain unchanged.

INTERIOR AND CABIN

The image quite clearly shows that the Etios Cross has dark Black tone interiors with matte finished platic parts looks quite premium. The steering wheel gets audio controls (only available with the top variant though) which definitely comes in handy. The gear levers are also covered in leather which adds a premium feel to the vehicles interiors. The speedometer is placed at the center of the dashboard and has a combination of Black and Blue colors which make it look unique and also easily readable. The seats also have the Etios Cross stitching which makes the interiors feel special.

The Etios Cross has a seating capacity of 5 adults, while the rear seats can accommodate 3 occupants quite comfortably and because of the semi flat central tunnel the person seating in the middle of the rear seat won’t feel cramped.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

Like the Etios sedan and the Liva hatchback, the new hatchover is also available with two petrol and one diesel engine option. The 1.2-litre petrol mill powers the base petrol model ‘G’ delivering 79bhp and 104Nm of torque. The more powerful 1.5-litre unit does duty for the ‘V’ variant sending 89bhp and 132Nm to the front wheels. The diesel GD and VD variants use the sedate 1.4-litre turbocharged engine producing 68bhp and 170Nm of torque.

We briefly drove the V petrol and V-D diesel variants and although there is some increase in weight compared to the Liva, the performance is pretty similar to the hatchback. The diesel is lacklustre in comparison to the petrol, although there is no turbo lag, the engine lacks grunt and needs to be revved hard if you don’t want to miss the quick overtaking opportunity. It also highlights the poor NVH levels, although that should not be too much of a problem in petrol as the four-cylinder unit sounds really nice. We had no opportunity of gauging the efficiency in our drive and the ARAI figures of two petrol and diesel are 17.71kpl, 16.78kpl and 23.59kpl respectively.

The steering is a bit vague and even though it does weigh up, it feels artificial. The ride quality is good, the Etios Cross absorbs all the bumps without much fuss. The ground clearance is marginally higher than that of the Liva (may be 5mm, no confirmation from Toyota), courtesy 15-inch alloy-wheels that also look nice. There is hardly anything exciting about the performance of the Etios Cross, but it is capable of plying on all sorts of roads, also with a ground clearance of well over 170mm it can also occasionally venture on the unpaved country roads.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Toyota Etios Cross handling is a bit off mark at high speeds but it is decent in city driving, courtesy the 3-spoke leather wrapped electric power steering with tilt function. The audio controls find a place on it too, so that the driver can comfortably set the volume according to his desire. As for performance, the company hasn’t tweaked or tinkered the all three engines; so it is a good performer spontaneously. The 1.5L petrol engine propels the crossover touch the 100kmph mark from standstill in a mere 11 seconds while clocking 160kmph as top speed. The other petrol engine, the 1.2L, achieves the 0-100kmph in a comparatively larger time span due to less powerful and mileage oriented. Precisely, it touches the 100kmph from standstill in 14 seconds along with a top speed of 150kmph. The 1.4L diesel mill focuses more on fuel efficiency and hence, lacks behind the petrol models by a fair margin. It crosses 100kmph barrier from standstill in 18 seconds and measuring top speed as 160kmph.

SAFETY

The Toyota Etios Liva hatchback has received 4 stars from Latin NCAP, which makes it quite a safe car. However the vehicle which was tested was equipped with dual airbags at the front. The Etios Cross gets dual airbags on the top V (or VD for diesel) variants. The base G doesn’t get airbags, nor does it get ABS. ABS with EBD is offered as standard on all diesel trims of the Etios Cross. With cars like the Hyundai i20 getting 5 stars from NCAP, we expect the world’s largest automaker to beef up safety on the Etios.

CONCLUSSION

The Etios Cross looks rugged and retains the same Etios range of engines. It is easy to drive and comfortable too. However, the badge Cross doesn’t justify as its ground clearance hasn’t been improved and the Etios Cross has an increase of just 4mm. This is more of a cosmetic upgrade, hence the price hike should be much.

 

 

Volkswagen Vento Overview & Features

OVERVIEW ;

German car major Volkswagen’s Indian wing has launched the new refreshed 2015 Vento facelift. In its new facelift version, the quality sedan gets more stylish with a refreshed look. The Vento gets mainly cosmetic updates, and the most noticeable change is on its front face which comes in the form of new chrome grille borrowed from the new 2015 Jetta and new Passat. This stunning German sedan now comes with refreshed exterior and interior design and is available in the Indian car market in both petrol and diesel versions. The Volkswagen Vento is offered a wide choice of ten model trims. While there are no mechanical changes in the vehicle, it has been tuned to offer an enhanced fuel efficiency of up to 7.5 percent, is another welcome update.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The Vento has always been known for its understated appeal. This sedan is preferred by all those who like minimalist styling. The front of the Vento looks premium while the side profile is pretty much simple without any overload of lines. The rear again has a very simple design. The previous Vento came with circular fog lamps while the facelift now gets rectangular lamps. The fog lamps also have an integrated cornering light function which comes in quite useful on dark corners or even tight ghat sections.

The cosmetic changes that appear on the 2015 Vento include a new bonnet, new bumper, new grille, redesigned front airdam, chrome strip on the front and rear bumpers, door handles with chrome trims, electrically folding ORVMs with LED indicators, new tail lights, chrome garnish on boot lid, chrome exhaust tip and a soft touch release button for the boot. We think Volkswagen has done a splendid job with this update and there seems to be no reason to complain.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Talking about extra space and interior on the previous paragraph the dashboard received some new color theme which comes in the form of new Walnut Desert beige on the lower half of the dash while the top half has been finished in Piano Black which definitely looks good. While talking about rest of the interior well! Quite honestly nothing has changed much. The Vento still carries that same old flat bottomed steering wheel, while the dashboard also comes with a cooled glovebox which really comes handy.

Unfortunately the Vento comes with a comes with the conventional entertainment system while its rivals has moved to the touchscreen infotainments era. For the comfort of the rear passengers the Vento also gets rear AC vents and also space max technology which actually allows the rear passengers to adjusts the front seats (Co Driver) from the rear only making more leg room. The car also comes with a cruise control for easy drivability option. The rest of the features includes auto folding mirrors and an external boot release.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

According to VW, the new Volkswagen Vento has a 7% more efficiency in fuel consumption, making it more competitive. We drove the Diesel – TDI with the 7-speed DSG (Auto) and the car again impressed us as it retains the same virtues of being a responsive and spirited performer. The gearbox though, has a certain initial lag. Also, what was noticed was that on releasing the brakes (in Drive mode), the car leaps ahead suddenly (forward or reverse) and one needs to be careful, especially in bumper to bumper driving situations.The suspension setup remains the same, offering a pliant ride and good overall composure, which is certainly a highlight of the Volkswagen Vento.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

As for the braking, a robust set of ventilated disc brakes are fitted to its front wheels and the rear ones get sturdy drum brakes. Anti lock braking mechanism is also offered that not only boosts this mechanism but also prevents the vehicle from skidding. Meanwhile, the McPherson strut on front axle and semi-independent trailing arm on the rear one makes your journey in this sedan quite comfortable. This suspension system ensures the ride is smooth no matter how the road conditions are. On the other hand, with a speed sensing electronic power steering column, you can easily take turns besides having good control at both low and high speeds.

SAFETY SECURITY AND FEATURES ;

Primary safety equipment including dual front airbags, ABS, height adjustable head restraints in front & rear, electronic engine immobilizer, auto dimming IRVM, 3-point height adjustable seat belts in front & rear, rear fog lamp, front fog lamp with cornering lights and power windows with pinch guard function on all doors are available on the sedan. The DSG variants get some additional features like electronic stabilization programme and hill hold control. On the outside Vento gets key elements like halogen headlamps, chrome grille, 3D tail lamps and ORVMs with turn indicators. Cabin packs in a sporty flat-bottom steering wheel, leather wrapped gearshift knob, premium upholstery, cooled glove-box, multiple storage points, 12V power socket and foot-well lights.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Volkswagen vento surely is one worthy car to take on its competitor but it surely does lacks some of the modern amenities that its rivals provides take the touchscreen infotainment system as an example. But what it does provide is surely an impressive engine lineup with two petrol and diesel engine options which are not only fuel efficient but also comes with an automatic gearbox as well.

Fiat Linea Overview,Features,Specifications & Price In India

OVERVIEW ;

Fiat Linea received a more powerful variant to its range ‘125 S’, delivering upgraded power akin to its name. Based on the regular Linea, it sources power from the 1.4 litre T-jet petrol engine calibrated to produce 123bhp of power as against the 87bhp developed by the regular petrol variant. Other than this, the sedan comes in two more variants powered by the 1.4 litre petrol and 1.3 litre Advanced Multijet diesel engine. Aesthetically, it looks largely similar to the standard model, sporting additional features.

Rivalling the likes of Hyundai Verna and Honda City in the C segment, Linea gets a new 123bhp 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol engine making it the most powerful sedan in the segment. The diesel range draws power from the 1.3 litre Multijet engine pumping out 90bhp and petrol variants plonk a 1.4 litre Fire petrol engine making 87bhp. All these engines are mated to the five-speed manual transmission missing out on the auto-box. On the feature front, Linea sports a new 5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Map my India navigation, Bluetooth, USB and AUX connectivity. It also comes with goodies including rear view camera, dual stage driver airbags, rear disc brakes and ambient lighting.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

This soon to be launched vehicle features exclusive cosmetics such as blackened roof, outside mirrors and alloy wheels. We can also see exclusive badging of the variant on its boot-lid.Moving on with the existing version of Linea, it looks more like a budget car. Although it received facelift in 2014, the Linea failed to garner attention, thanks to its sobered front facia.Its headlight cluster bears a dual barrel design featuring conventional lamps. The manufacturer should have offered projector headlamps instead of dual parabola headlamps. Most other rivals of Linea including the likes of Ciaz and Verna come with projector headlamps.The redesigned radiator grille has dated design with extensive chrome treatment to its surround strip. There are two horizontal strips in it garnished with glossy black. The company’s emblem is positioned in the center of grille.

Its front bumper is the only thing that could attract you. It looks drastically different from its predecessor and has bigger air vents and a premium design rendering a class look to the car. Unlike other sedans, there is an extensive use of chrome that adds to the sophistication.The side profile of the car has a similar design to that of its predecessor or perhaps, it looks precisely the same as its earlier version. Even the design of alloy wheels remains the same. Its base and mid-range variants get 15-inch steel rims, while the range topper Emotion gets 16-inch alloy wheels.As we all know, Fiat has displayed the performance version of its family sedan, the Linea 125s at the Auto Expo 2016. This car is seen with black alloy wheels and red disc brake calipers exuding the sense of sportiness.

The rear profile of the car has a contemporary look like every other C segment sedan. We can see a great amount of chrome on the boot-lid and bumper as well. The taillight cluster too has chrome underlining that makes for a rich appeal.This contemporary sedan measures 4596mm in length, 1730mm in its width and stands at a height of 1487mm. It also has a long wheelbase of 2603mm, but Ciaz has the longest wheelbase in this class with 2650mm.Linea is more like a classy looking sedan without much of modern design traits. However, its build quality, fit and finish is something better than other conventional sedans of today.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The cabin of the Fiat Linea 125 S though is a tad different than what you are used to seeing so far. While the general layout is the same, the age-old music system has been replaced with a fantastic 5-inch touchscreen system that supports navigation as well. Our top-end trim had leather seats, climate control, auto headlamps and wipers, a rear sun blind, all four auto down power windows with auto up for the driver, a rear AC vent and cruise control. The auto wipers though were a tad glitchy. It worked for the first day I had the car with me. For the next two days, even if it was pouring, the wipers didn’t work unless manually activated. Once you do this and revert to the auto setting, they will work just fine. Strange.

But what is worthy of mentioning is the music system. Ignore the ‘small screen’ for this segment and you will notice a crisp unit and good speakers. In many cars, the Bluetooth calling experience requires you to turn up the volume. The Fiat, however, was loud and crisp and sometime even required me to turn down the volume when not surrounded by honking traffic. It really is a good effort from Fiat’s end.

The front seats are supportive and kept me comfortable during the entire course of the test. The rear seat with a centre armrest in place is a tad cramped, especially for someone taller like me on the headroom front. Anis, who is 5’6″, could sit comfortably though (as evident from the photos). The 500-litre boot space is big enough. Speaking of which, Fiat could have added more useable storage spaces. In this digital age, there wasn’t any place to keep my smartphone and wallet. The glovebox is also small and can barely hold a few papers. The slim door pockets too can’t hold one-litre water bottles. Build quality is decent, but the glovebox closing action feels flimsy.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

Fiat offers Linea with two engine options a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol power mill and a 1.3-litre multijet diesel power mill. Both engines have been placed transversely under the hood and use a 5-speed manual transmission to deliver power to front wheels. The petrol versions of the car are powered by a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol engine that displaces 1368cc to deliver power worth 91PS against a peak torque of 115Nm. A lag may be felt at higher speed as the engine can manage to pull the 1240kgs kerb weight of the car at lower speeds only. But that doesn’t mean it is slow, the car speedily accelerates from 0-100kmph speed in just 16 seconds and attains a top speed of 165kmph. The diesel version of the car, on the contrary, is powered by a 1.3-litre 16 valve engine whose power and performance is enhanced by Multijet and Dual OverHead Camshafts (DOHC). The DOHC and Multijet not only enhances the efficiency of this engine but also help in improving its performance. The engine smoothly manages to delivers power worth 86PS along a maximum torque of 203Nm. The Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) supports the engine’s performance and helps it in gliding from rest to 100kmph speed within 15 seconds. The diesel version of Fiat Linea carries ability to attain a maximum speed of 170kmph.

Out of the two fuel options offered with this sedan it is its diesel version that makes it especially proud in terms of mileage. Fiat Linea delivers an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 20kmpl with its diesel engine. The fuel tank of the car bears a capacity to store 45-litres of fuel in one go which means with the diesel version you can easily travel a distance of 900kms in one go. The petrol version on the other hand delivers mileage of 15kmpl as certified by ARAI. The range of distance that can be covered via this version with a full tank is 675kms, not bad considering its cost and

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Fiat hasn’t made any mechanical changes to the Linea so driving dynamics are more or less the same as before. When we first drove the Linea in 2009, we instantly fell in love with it, being thoroughly impressed by its sharp handling characteristics. While Fiat has continued with the hydraulic power steering, the Linea (2012 onwards) hasn’t given the same feel to the driver as before, which is largely because the vehicle has had an increase in ground clearance to 190 mm. This has certainly ruined the sharp dynamics of the car and although it still is quite fun to pilot through a set of corners, it doesn’t give you the same surefooted feel as before.

The steering too lacks the razor sharp precision you would expect from a hydraulic unit but the wide tyres give plenty of grip even while cornering really hard. However high speed stability isn’t as good as before (pre-2012) although the Linea is relatively poised at expressway speeds. Braking performance is good and so is the NVH levels inside the cabin. What is stupendous though is the ride quality, the Linea’s suspension absorbing everything in its path with authority and not transferring any bump to the occupants. The weight of the car can be felt though which is both a good and bad thing.

SAFETY ;

Safety standards of this sedan are at par with other best-selling sedans. That’s because of its sturdy build quality and features it has. Even the base versions in the line-up gets automatic door locking facility, fire prevention system and an engine immobilizer with rolling code. Also, they have features like double crank prevention system and central door locking. The mid range and the top-spec variants get all-four disc braking mechanism as standard (T-Jet petrol version only). In addition to these, they also have dual stage driver airbag with early crash sensor and a front passenger airbag as well.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Linea was always a good sedan, with decent engines, a solid build quality and lots of Italian flair. Those qualities have carried over to the 125 S, and additionally, now there’s more power, resulting in an even better driving experience, and the oh-so-in-demand touchscreen. Add to this, a competitive price of Rs 10.46 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). However, recommending one is a tricky affair, because all Fiat cars are ultimately let down by a harrowing ownership experience. The sales and after-sales service infrastructure for Fiat cars are not the best, which is a caveat to bear in mind.

Fprd Ecosport Review,Price & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

We have had hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and various other types of cars in our long-term garage. But this is the first time, we get sometime new in its segment. A compact SUV, called as the Ford Ecosport. To be honest, I was keen to drive this car for a long time and we finally got our hands on this SUV. The Ecosport has been the first compact SUV, and since then even Maruti has got into this segment.

DESIGN ;

In terms of design, the EcoSport manages to excel in leveraging the platform’s strength in creating a compact SUV, which still manages to be very aerodynamic. There is enough road presence and purpose to the design. With the wheels out on the extremities of the vehicle, the raised posture and the spare wheel mounted on the hatch door, the EcoSport has that butch stance that we associate with SUVs.

But, it must be remembered that the design also cleverly uses visual cues to elevate itself into SUV territory. Some of the features that help it achieve this include the roof rails, the aggressive oversized bonnet grille, and the wrap-around rear glass that merges with the kink in the C-pillar, the large stalked door mirrors, the high shoulder line and the body-side cladding that visually raises the EcoSport even more than its already high 200mm ground clearance.

CABIN ;

The Ford EcoSport range is punctuated by three trim levels, and unlike the original, the facelifted model comes with far more equipment. The first and most noticeable difference is the removal of the tyre from the rear door, followed swiftly by the smart LED day-running lights.

Opt for the Zetec trim and your EcoSport will come fitted with 16in alloys, manual air con, all-round electric windows, hill start assist. Other luxuries include a radio/CD player complete with Ford Sync and USB connection and a leather steering wheel. Go up to Titanium and keyless entry and go, cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, and half leather seats are thrown in.

The new Titanium S trim level not only gets a peppy 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine but also 17in alloys, sports suspension, trim and a Sony DAB system.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The highlight of the updated EcoSport is of course the 1.5-litre diesel engine. The oil-burner now whacks out an additional 9 PS of power and the total power output has been bumped up to 100 PS, which also matches the numbers of the Figo twins. Torque remains at 205 Nm and the engine is still mated to the same 5-speed manual gearbox. Gear shifts are not the smoothest out there and still feel a bit notchy. 0-100 km/hr has been improved by a small margin which isn’t really noticeable in normal usage, but what is noticeable is the fact that the TDCI mill has a much better bottom-end now and the car responds to throttle inputs in a very brisk fashion.

The clutch feels lighter now while the turbo starts spooling in from a notch below 2000 RPM. All the 99 horses are delivered across the rev range in a very linear manner. 100 km/hr comes up at 12.76 seconds from standstill compared to 13.43 seconds of the previous model. The EcoSport also gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and both of these remain completely unchanged. The EcoBoost is offered with a manual transmission while the bigger petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual gearbox along with the option of a 6-speed DCT.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ground clearance of the Ecosport has been a boon. At 200mm higher from the ground, this makes it easy to drive on bad roads and even park on not-so-well paved roads. Driving on winding roads is also a lot of fun with the Ecosport. The electronic steering is precise and doesn’t make you feel tired at any moment. However, the suspension set-up is on the stiffer side. This means a lot of the bumps and the occupants feel shocks from the road.

One thing that many experts will miss out on talking is the stowage space in the Ecosport. There is a drawer under the co-driver seat, two one litre boots can fit in any of the front door pockets and even the glove box is large enough.

SAFETY ;

The EcoSport is now offered with an extra variant which takes the total variant count to six – Ambiente, Trend, Trend+, Titanium, Titanium AT and Titanium+. Ford offers ABS on all variants except Ambiente. Dual front airbags are offered on all variants barring the Ambiente and Trend trims. The Titanium AT and Titanium+ trims also get side and curtain airbags. Ford has loaded the automatic variant with Emergency Brake Assist, ESC, Traction Control and Hill Launch Assist. The EcoSport comes with a 2 year/ 1 lakh kms warranty and Ford also offers a 24/7 roadside assistance service.

CONCLUSSION ;

The EcoSport has much going for it in terms of design, focused engine tech and features. To push the envelope Ford has loaded in tech like the Microsoft partnered SYNC system into the car’s audio and telecom features. And Ford India is said to be involving local emergency services to utilise the infrastructure if an emergency arises for the car and its occupants. The system auto dials the emergency services if an airbag is deployed or if detects an emergency ignition cut-off.

But apart from all this the most key metric that can enable Ford to make the EcoSport a really attractive proposition to buyers is the car’s overall length.

At 3,999 mm, the EcoSport meets the sub-4-metre lower duties stipulation and that basically means that the price of this compact SUV can be really aggressive (read affordable). The diesel and the EcoBoost engines will, of course, qualify for the lower duty too.