Monthly Archives: November 2019

Volvo XC60 Facelift Review & Test Drive

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Volvo XC60 Overview

The XC60 is Volvo’s global bestselling car model line, and also Europe’s number one seller in the premium compact SUV segment. That’s quite a reputation – especially for a car that comes from a brand that was ready to be written off not so long ago, isn’t it? And being a brand’s best selling model in the last year of its life cycle – is even more creditable, given it was surrounded in showrooms by much newer and popular models like the S90, V90/V90 Cross Country, XC90, and facelifted V40 too. It also accounts for 35% of Volvo’s sales in India. This is significant since Volvo is now poised for growth in India.

The Volvo XC60 will come to us by November 2017. It will be a direct import for starters and therefore, we will get only one fully loaded Inscription variant. Volvo has announced that it will now also begin assembling cars in India an so eventually the XC60 will also move to being assembled here. The first generation of the Volvo XC60 came in 2007, and was developed at a time when Ford still owned Volvo. It was also a time when any brand looking for volumes or success of any kind, simply had to get into the compact SUV game.

Volvo already had the credibility with its XC90 fullsizer and so the XC60 naturally took on many of its attributes, while still providing safe, adventurous and capable off- and on-road usability. So, it was obviously always going to be hard to bring that car’s successor to the market. The new XC60 had to be all that and more. It needed to better its predecessor in every which way – while still looking sexy and offering frugality. And let me tell you, that Volvo has knocked it out of the park with the second generation – and how.

Volvo XC60 Style

The 2018 Volvo XC60 carries the Volvo Cars’ family design philosophy and the face of the SUV (especially in that colour) will remind of Volvo XC90 SUV. In other words, the Volvo XC60 is the shorter version of Volvo XC90. The design is bold and aggressive and it indeed looks good from every angle. The face of XC60 incorporates Thor’s hammer sideways T-shaped LED headlights. The vehicles wheelbase is 4.2 inch shorter than the Volvo XC90 buy is still 3.6 inch longer than the first-generation Volvo XC60 which has helped Volvo to increase the rear seating space. The XC60 is also longer, wider and shorter than its predecessor.

Under the Scandinavian metal clothing is the Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) which is a modular platform that also underpins the XC90, S90 and the V90. The use of this platform has allowed the designers to express freely diminish the XC90 and with the XC60 it is now possible to get an affordable XC90. Check for Volvo XC60 price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Volvo XC60 Space

Like the exterior, the interior has been thoroughly refreshed and brought in line to current Volvo standards. The slab-like dash and the beige interior of the old car have made way for a far sportier cabin finished in some nice-looking brushed metal inserts and an attractive layout. Volvo has also used high grade leather, dull wood and chrome bits for the clean and rather cool looking dashboard. The lack of buttons and plenty of horizontal surfacing makes the whole dash clutter-free. The touchscreen display measures in at 9-inches and has the sort of functionality that’s like a tablet or an Apple device. Nearly all of the XC60’s functions can be engaged via the large touchscreen and while the display is slick and responds really well, we are not sure if it’s the most convenient way especially on the move. As for the quality, the XC60 is well built and is right up there with the leaders but some of the interior bits could be better finished – the main volume controller and the engine start/stop knob feel a little flimsy.

The XC60 has one of the best front seats (in terms of support) that we have experienced in a long time. They are large and adequately wide with just the right amount of contour and perfect cushioning. Also, it’s easy to find a suitable driving position in thanks to a plethora of steering and seat adjustment. Similarly, the rear legroom is ample and the back seats are extremely supportive and leave little room for complaints – the backrest angle is near perfect and its nicely contoured for shoulder support. The only downside, as we see it, is the slightly less under-thigh support and the helmed in feeling that one may get from the small rear windows and the narrow ingress.

Volvo has truly gone to town with features and safety equipment. You get panoramic sunroof, head-up display, leather seats, paddle shifters, a sweet sounding Bowers and Wilkins audio system, 9-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, ambient lighting and lots more. The XC60 even gets heated and cooled front seats with massage function, heated rear seats and heated steering wheel, air suspension all-round and a plethora of driving assists including lane-keep assist, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control and blind-spot assist. We tried out the lane-keep assist on the fast and windy ECR (East Coast Road) in Chennai and found the system to be fairly effective as long as the roads were properly marked.To know more details on Volvo XC60 check Icps2016

Volvo XC60 Gearbox

Under the muscular hood of the XC90 rests Volvo’s 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel motor that makes a solid 235bhp and 480Nm of torque. Thanks to the class-leading output, the XC60 feels brisk from the word go. On part throttle, the car is quick to react both in the city and at higher speeds thanks to the flat torque spread and a quick 8-speed automatic. If anything, this engine behaves its best on part throttle wherein it can ride the wave of torque and allow the gearbox to upshift early. The midrange pull is particularly strong and even at the top-end, this motor remains composed. The overall refinement levels, in fact, are quite high with little in terms of engine and road noise entering the cabin at normal speeds.

The highlight of the XC60’s running gear is the electronically controlled air suspension with adaptive dampers. It not only constantly adapts to the road conditions but offers a whole lot more. For instance, it will keep the car at a constant height and level, irrespective of the passenger or luggage load. What’s more, when the engine is turned off, it will lower the car by 40mm for easy exit or entry. Finally, it will lower the car to its lowest setting at high speeds for better stability and increase the ground clearance by up to 40mm in Off-Road driving mode.

Speaking of driving modes, the XC60 has five of them – Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, Off-Road and Individual. Unsurprisingly, the Volvo feels the calmest in Eco, with its throttle response feeling mushy and the gearbox upshifting early. Switch to Dynamic and you get a steering that’s noticeably heavier and a gearbox that hangs onto lower gears and upshifts over 4,500rpm. That being said, we found the XC60 to be the most intuitive in Individual mode as it allows the driver to alter the steering, gearbox, brakes and the suspension separately to suit their mood.

Volvo XC60 Driving

As far as the Volvo XC60 handling is concerned, the new PowerPulse engine is a very powerful unit with minimum lag and quick responding gearbox. The new 4-cylinder engine is a clean burning fuel and it is efficienct as well. It holds it lines very well through fast corners and Volvo’s massive safety systems means you are absolutely safe while doing so. Thinking of the rough road ride, the Violvo XC60 can glide through big patches easily with its air suspension system..

Volvo XC60 Safety

Known for its safety, Volvo’s XC60 has ventilated disk brakes for both the front as well as rear wheels and no compromises when it comes to installation of airbags, you get safety airbags for every passenger. While the automatic height adjustable seat belts and the intelligent driver information system are one of the highlights of Volvo XC60 Braking and Safety features.

Volvo XC60 Cost in Bangalore

Volvo XC60 On Road Price is 66,32,717/- and Ex-showroom Price is 52,90,000/- in Bangalore. Volvo XC60 comes in 4 colours, namely Black Sapphire Metallic,Bright Silver Metallic,Crystal White Pearl,Rich Java. Volvo XC60 comes with FWD with 1984 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 181 bhp@4250 rpm and Peak Torque 400 Nm@1750-2500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Volvo XC60 comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .

Volvo XC60 Final Thought

So is the 2017 Volvo XC60 good enough to compete with its rivals with more popular badges? It certainly is. As a premium mid-size SUV it nails the brief quite nicely, featuring a refined and powerful motor, well sorted dynamics and an exquisite cabin that’s loaded to the roofline. Although what sets it apart from the rest is its full suite of active features and that sense of individuality you get from driving a Volvo. So if you are in the market for a mid-size SUV that’s a little out there, the XC60 is worthy choice, if you can get around Volvo’s sparse dealer network, that is.

The Limitations Of H-1B Holders?

H1B sponsorship requirements

H1B visa is a temporary work visa for US that allow foreign professionals to get employed in the United States. The H1 visa is a great way to hire specialized employees for a limited period initially approved for a period of three years and can be further extended to more 3 years.

It is a career opportunity for foreign workers but it also does have its H1B visa limitations and restrictions both for employees as well as employers.

Here are some of the H1B Visa Limitations:

Temporary duration

H-1B status is not a permanent status; it is temporary in nature which is valid for 6 years. The initial period for the approval of H-1B visa is for 3 years and can be renewed for another 3 years.For H1B Visa Process Visit Orphosys Corp.

Thus adding the time period, the total time duration for the H-1B visa becomes to be of 6 years. After the completion of 6 years, the visa holder needs to leave United States for at least 1 year in order to qualify for the next H1B visa application.

There is a possibility for the holders of H-1b visa to extend their visa beyond 6 years of time span but only under the conditions.

The conditions are:

A. Those who have the approved EB visa petition including EB-1, EB-2, and EB-3 visa and are currently waiting for the new fiscal year visa quota to apply for visa can apply to USCIS for approval of H-1B visa beyond 6 years. However, there is a possibility for USCIS to reject the visa. Once they reject the application, then there is no way for the approval.

B. Those who have filed petition for more than 365 days have the benefit of filing the H-1B visa application more than 6 years. But the application cannot be filed anytime; it needs to file only within the time limit of one year. Such is the case for EB-1 petitioners.

C. Those candidates whose have labor certification which was filed for more than 365 days also have the benefit of extending the time period of H-1B visa from six years. Such is the case for EB-2 and the EB-2 visa petitioners. There is also limitation to extension of H-1B visa after 6 years, which has many clauses which requires detail attention.

H-1B quota

The limit for the H-1B visa quota for those pursuing bachelor’s is 65,000 whereas those pursuing masters is of 20,000. This is the current limitation which can vary with time.

For those who are on the F-1visa and are pursuing bachelor’s, if by chance their H-1b visa petition gets denied, they have the chance to apply for H-1B visa through master’s degree. The next level is Ph.D. but after that there is no scope.

Ineligible to work prior to approval

Candidates who have filed for the H-1B visa are not permitted to work unless their application is approved by the USCIS. Their employment cannot begin without the permission from the USCIS.To know more information on H1B visa check Byteintobigdata

If for some reason the candidate already hold the H-1B visa and now wishes to change the employer, then the candidate must wait for the new employer to file the application once again.

Spouse & children not allowed to work

The USCIS does not give the children of H-1B visa holders or their spouse to work unless and until their working authority is approved by the USCIS.

If the spouse or the children of H-1B visa holder is caught working in illegal manner then it is the violation of law. With the coming of the new law, it is said that their spouse can work from the May of current fiscal year.

No Automatic Conversion

As mentioned earlier, H-1B visa is not permanent and gives only temporary stay in USA. Thus, it does not automatically give the Permanent

Residency in the lawful manner. If any candidate wants to have the PR then there is a separate which requires to be followed.

Laid off At Will

It states that any of the party that is either the employer or the employee can resign from the job anytime. There does not need to be any strong proof behind it. Validation of the H-1B visa gets over form the time employee gets terminated from the work.

Though the candidate holds the visa, yet technically it would not be valid and neither is useful in fetching another job. As it would be impossible to leave the country very moment of expiration of visa, the candidate is given the time period of 10 days after the employment is over.

This is called the grace period where the candidate can search for another job and apply for H-1B visa again with that employer, is he/she wishes to continue their stay in USA.

Discharge of H1-B worker

At any time, the employer can replace H-1B candidate with the US worker. There is no way to fight against this discrimination done by the employer, as the first preference is always given to the native candidates than the international candidate.

This discrimination cannot be continued during the working hours of the employee, i.e. the hired employee should get all the benefits equivalent to the US Worker.

 

Datsun redi GO Review & Test Drive

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Datsun redi GO Overview

Automatic transmissions are gaining popularity in India as our roads are becoming more congested with every passing day. In order to offer its buyers the convenience of an automatic transmission in a budget, Datsun will soon launch its most affordable car, the redi-GO, with an automated manual transmission (AMT). The redi-GO shares mechanicals with the Renault Kwid and the 5-speed AMT paired with the 1.0-litre engine isn’t an exception either. We drove the redi-GO AMT in the heart of India’s capital to find out whether automating gear shifts has made the little Datsun a better city runabout.

Since the redi-GO AMT remains the same as the redi-GO 1.0, read our review of the latter to know more about the 1.0-litre engine’s performance and the exterior and interior styling. Without beating around the bush, let’s get straight to what’s new here, the 5-speed AMT.

Datsun redi GO Design

Datsun has done an amazing job with the redi-Go, with the design closely resembling the original concept. With its young, fresh styling based on Datsun’s new Yukan theme which means brave and bold in Japanese, the redi-Go also manages to make the Go siblings look outdated. The front is dominated by the large hexagonal radiator grille with its chrome surround and a matte black mesh. It does look large for the overall profile but then Datsun wants it to be a signature trait that will also be seen on its future offerings. The wraparound headlights have a sleek design with chrome detailing on the inside.

The front bumper gets a series of crease lines which makes the lower portion appear wider. Instead of fog lamps, it gets LED DRLs which we believe will only be offered in the top-end variant or as an optional accessory. The recess above the DRLs gets circular and squarish slots which make the design look unfinished. Front bumper also gets a plastic cladding to mimic a bash plate which is a smart addition.The first thing that you notice on the side profile is its height. Datsun claims that the tallboy design was not only done for aesthetics but also to provide better ingress and egress compared to that of its competition. Also, for substance on the side profile, there are two distinct character lines that flow along the length creating multiple layers. In addition, it gets flared wheel arches and bulging contours, especially on the rear. This is further accentuated with its tall ground clearance of 185mm, which is greater than that of the Alto 800 (160mm), Eon (170mm) and even the Renault Kwid (180mm).

The redi-Go measures 3,429mm in length, 1,560mm in width and 1,541mm in height which makes the redi-Go shorter than the Hyundai Eon by 66mm, wider by 10mm and taller by 41mm.On the rear profile, the sharply raked character line gels into the tailgate to create the effect of a slingshot. The clear lens tail lights have been placed at a higher position which offers better visibility to cars around you. The redo-Go’s rear bumper is wide and gets a chrome-treated exhaust pipe neatly tucked underneath. The faux skid plate can be seen on the rear bumper too. It is a step towards making the redi-Go appear like an ‘urban-cross’ (as Datsun likes to call it), but to me it just looks like a jazzy A-segment tallboy, at best.

Datsun redi GO Cabin

The instrumental cluster doesn’t feel as modern as the Kwid’s digital unit but displays the same amount of information like fuel efficiency, distance to empty, gear shift indicator and trip distances. The redi-Go shares it three-spoke steering wheel with the Go range. The centre console isn’t reminiscent of the Go though and gets a comparatively premium layout with a piano finished bezel around the single-DIN audio unit and the HVAC controls. Also, the redi-Go’s entertainment unit offers USB connectivity too which is missing in the more expensive Go series. Is it better than the Renault Kwid? Not when you consider the Duster-sourced 7-inch touchscreen system, which comes with satellite navigation system and bluetooth telephony.Check for Datsun redi GO price in Bangalore at Tryaldrive.

Being 6’1 in height, I always have trouble crawling inside the cabin of entry-level hatchbacks, but in the redi-Go, it wasn’t the case. The tallboy cabin design was of great help. In addition, the cabin offers generous headroom. The cabin can accommodate four average-sized adults and a kid; however, taller occupants will find it uncomfortable with the shortage of kneeroom in both the rows. I also felt that the seats were tad too small. In addition, both row seats lack under thigh support as well. However, I liked the tall seat positioning which Datsun claims was done intentionally to give a better visibility of the road.

In terms of practicality, the front door panels don’t offer useful storage – maybe enough space for a tablet device or a notebook. The glove box too is shallow on space and can only hold the vehicle documents at best. Under the dash, there are cubby pockets to make space for knick knacks. The 222-litre boot is sufficient to carry one average size suitcase, but the higher placed loading lip makes it difficult to haul.There are certain areas that highlight various cost-cutting measures like the lack of enough cladding around the pillars(exposed metal instead), seat mechanism and foot well or just having one reversing lamp instead of the usual two. Justifying it by considering the price range of Rs 2.5 – 3.5 lakh won’t be right, especially when you realize that even the Renault Kwid is positioned in the same segment and offers better quality of interiors compared to the redi-Go.

Datsun redi GO Performance

All our doubts on the Datsun redi-Go getting a different tune of the engine compared to the Renault Kwid were cleared when Gerard Detourbet, managing director, 2ASDU Renault-Nissan Technology and Business Centre India clearly stated that both the motors are identical in nature.The Renault-developed 799cc petrol motor makes 54PS of power at 5,678rpm and generates 72Nm of torque at 4,386rpm. This aluminium-finished motor is claimed to be highly fuel efficient and extremely compact in construction. It weighs a mere 57kg and this was achieved with the use of a plastic oil sump and directly attaching the alternator to the engine block. This motor is paired to a 5-speed manual transmission with gear ratios identical to the Kwid. Even the claimed fuel economy remains unchanged at 25.17 kmpl. To know more details on Datsun redi GO check Lanetalab

While the Kwid hadn’t made any claims about its 0-100kmph sprint, the Datsun claims 15.9s, with a top whack of 140kmph.Crank up the motor and you hear a familiar note. The engine idles at a little less than 900rpm. The motor doesn’t feel eager at lower revs, but comes into its zone beyond the 2,800rpm mark. I liked the motor’s mid-range performance, and the car feels a bit more energetic than the Kwid. But don’t expect it to be as rev-happy as the engines in the Maruti and Hyundai rivals. That said, I appreciate its ability to cruise effortlessly at speeds of 80-90kmph in fifth gear. The engine refinement is impressive for this class, but at higher speeds, the motor noise starts seeping inside the cabin.

With two passengers, the redi-Go’s motor doesn’t feel stressed but with four, the motor demands frequent shifts within the lower gears. This was felt especially while climbing flyovers. Speaking of the transmission, the unit is not the best in the business and the shifts feel rubbery. We believe that the AMT unit, which will debut in the Kwid by June-July 2016, could make a lot of sense on the redi-Go as well.

Datsun redi GO Driving

The first thing that you notice while driving the redi-GO 1.0 AMT is the transmission’s eagerness to upshift. Feather the throttle and it shifts from first gear to second at around 15kmph, which is okay. It shifts to third at around 25kmph and to fourth between 30kmph and 40kmph; the shift from third to fourth being sooner than what an experienced driver would anticipate. It’s a great strategy for extracting the best economy from the engine but does hamper drivability in certain situations like fast-moving traffic – typical of a metro city like Delhi, where you want the engine to remain in its sweet spot. But more often than not, in D (automatic) mode the transmission tends to be in a gear too high to maintain pace with the car in front.

So, unless you’re driving in fast-moving traffic, the D-mode shift logic seems to be spot on. The redi-GO, then, is at its best in the fully automatic mode when driven in a relaxed manner; when you don’t mind a hurried driver overtaking you with just a car’s distance between you and the car in front. The downshifts and the upshifts happen with negligible head jerk and the engine turning over at a relaxed rpm.Since there are no mechanical changes compared to the redi-GO 1.0, the redi-GO AMT continues to offer a comfortable ride at city speeds. The steering is feather light at slow speeds which makes it easy to park and turn in the city. However, it feels a bit too light as speeds exceed 60kmph-70kmph.

Datsun redi GO Safety

The top-end variant of New Datsun Redi-GO features driver side airbags as well, which makes for a very good offer in this segment. Along with this, the car gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear to give the driver a confident drive.

Datsun redi GO Price in Bangalore

Datsun Redi GO On Road Price is 3,17,231/- and Ex-showroom Price is 2,61,300/- in Bangalore. Datsun Redi GO comes in 8 colours, namely Red Sport,Lime,White,Grey,Grey Gold,Ruby,Silver,Silver Gold. Datsun Redi GO comes with FWD with 799 CC Displacement and 3 Cylinders with Maximum Power 53 bhp@5678 rpm and Peak Torque 72 Nm@4386 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Datsun Redi GO comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .

Datsun redi GO Bottomline

The AMT in the Redigo gives prospective buyers yet another reason to consider this car. It remains a smartly-styled, practical car which is amply spacious for its size and due to its tall stance, is very user-friendly, too. The high ground clearance, light steering and nice frontal visibility make it very easy to drive; and now this automatic only makes it easier. Datsun may be making its moves very late in the segment, as compared to rivals like the Maruti Alto and the Renault Kwid, however, this Redigo does pack in a lot of strengths. For city commuting, then, the Redigo offers buyers in this segment almost everything they’re looking for – space, style, practicality and ease of driving. The Redigo 1.0-litre AMT is pegged rather aggressively to begin with, at prices ranging from Rs 3.81-3.96 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The AMT’s price is about Rs 20,000 more than the subsequent 1.0-litre manual transmission; this makes it the most affordable AMT in its segment.