Category Archives: Auto

Nissan Terrano Features & Specifications


The Nissan Terrano is the third model in the Renault-Nissan India line-up to receive the badge-engineering treatment. However, this time, it’s Nissan that is tweaking a Renault product rather than the other way around. Unlike the other two badge-engineered models in the Renault-Nissan stable – the Scala and the Pulse – both of which have got mild tweaks to their exteriors to differentiate them from their Nissan equivalents; Nissan has gone a step further with the Terrano and made significant styling changes, including heavy alterations to the sheet metal. These include redesigned bumpers and lights and a new grille, all of which help the Nissan Terrano look like a proper Nissan. And there’s no doubt that the company has got a winner in the looks department. The Nissan Terrano’s revised V-shaped bonnet integrates nicely with the new Nissan-family grille. The grille itself looks inspired by the larger Nissan Pathfinder SUV sold internationally. The front bumper and lights are new, and the detailed styling around the fog lamps gives the Nissan Terrano a striking look when viewed head on. Check for specifications,features & price of Nissan Cars


Dimensionally, Nissan Terrano measures 4.33m in length with a width of 1.83m. Its overall height with the fixed roof rail is 1.67m. The wheelbase of 2.67m adds more to the interior spacing which is already abundant given its incredible height. Nissan Terrano has a ground clearance of 205mm, which is similar to that of Renault Duster, but is an add-on advantage that will keep this SUV going easily on any terrain.

The side profile of Nissan Terrano has angular bold lines which are different from Duster’s curvy lines. The flared wheel-arches make the Terrano look aggressive, distinguishing it from most of Nissan’s models in India. The doors have two horizontal creases in them that enhance the butch look, but it isn’t enough to alleviate the organic lines of the rest of the car. The rear end bears no similarity to any of the Nissan SUVs and it is evident that Nissan has developed a new tail lamp cluster without fiddling too much with the Duster lamps. It gets a chrome garnish to add a premium feel, but the overall appearance is rugged with roof rails and silver skid plates. The flared up wheel arches of this SUV are endowed with a set of diamond-cut 16” machined light -weight alloy wheels in the top end variants, while the base as well as the mid variants are fitted with similar sized robust steel wheels, which certainly make the SUV look sportier. These classy rims have been further equipped with tubeless radial tyres of size 215/65 R16, which have a superior road grip on any terrain. Get On Road Price of Terrano in Carzpric


The Nissan Terrano has comfortable ingress and egress. Once you enter the cabin, the beige treatment of interiors gives a good sense of space. Nissan has spruced up the dashboard layout, which feels slightly more premium than the Duster. The storage space on top of the dashboard has been covered now with a lid and the centre AC vents get rectangular in shape with chrome outlining. The instrument cluster covering has a rounded panel and the steering wheel remains the same that gets a rebadged horn pad with silver accents. The centre console is restyled with vertical silver panels running on the sides and piano black panels surrounding the new multimedia system.

These additional embellishments make the interior styling a bit more attractive than the Duster. Quality of the materials used and the fit and finish is exactly the same again, which is much better than the competition but doesn’t feel as premium as a car in this price bracket should feel. The base XE trim comes with black interior, while the rest get beige interior. Colour combination used in the Terrano gels nicely and looks tastefully done, thanks to the piano black finishing. The air conditioning is effective and the vents provide thick flow of air. Everything falls under reach and most of the controls are convenient to use apart from the mirror adjustment control that is placed under the handbrake lever. You will also miss the dead pedal to rest your foot on long drives. Nissan should have addressed the minor ergonomic issues which customers of the Duster have been complaining about since quite some time now.

The door pockets are deep enough to accommodate 1-litre bottles and there is enough spread of cup holders and small storage elements to keep knick knacks. Cabin space needs a special mention here, as there is ample space in both the rows as well as the boot. The seats are sufficiently supportive but lacking a bit of under-thigh support. The 475-litre boot space is practical with a convenient loading lip that can accommodate a good load of luggage. Some of the safety and convenience features offered in the Terrano include dual airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, rear AC, double-din audio system with CD/MP3, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. Shockingly the steering mounted audio controls found on the Duster are not offered on the Terrano.


The Terrano comes in three different engine trims which include one petrol and two diesel. The specifications remain identical to that of the Duster. The 1598cc petrol engine churns out 104PS at 5850 rpm and a torque of 145 Nm at 3750 rpm. It has a 5 speed manual transmission and Nissan claims a mileage of 13.2 Kmpl.The petrol engine is smooth and not very audible. The 1.6L petrol engine seems perfect for city commute as it does not offer any kick as such but then in traffic conditions it is at its best. The gear shifts feel a bit notchy and can be bettered with a smoother shift movement.

This is not a typical rev friendly petrol engine as it feels underpowered at lower engine speeds. As the engine speed is raised, it gets more audible but then the lag in the delivery also gets very evident. Also, the petrol version gets Hydraulic power assisted steering. It delivered a mileage of 9.5 kmpl.The 1.5L lower spec diesel engine produces 85PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 200 Nm at 1900 rpm. This engine is also equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission. The prime reason for having a lower spec diesel engine is for the mileage friendly consumers. This one being a diesel feels nice on torque.

This engine too has a lag but then it being a diesel unit tries to overcome it. It takes serious effort to make the vehicle reach higher speeds. The steering is very active in giving feedback and sometimes it gets a little too aggressive. Overtaking in a fully loaded condition is a stress as the notchy gears and the lag in the engine make it very difficult. This one scored more on mileage compared to the other two at 15 Kmpl After trying both the underpowered variants, it was finally time for me to drive the 110PS version. This remains my favorite with its superb power delivery. It produces a power of 110PS at 3900 rpm and a torque of 248 Nm at 2250 rpm. It also comes with a 6 speed manual transmission.

Crank it up and it feels the same until you shift it to the first gear. Cross 1700 rpm and the engine feels very much in control. The torque delivery is fantastic when it comes to the 110 PS model. In fact, I find this engine more athletic compared to that of the EcoSport in terms of sheer drive feel.


In terms of ride, unsurprisingly, the Terrano does brilliantly. It smothers even the biggest of potholes with ease and you don’t have to slow down for rough roads. In fact, the faster you go over rough surfaces, the better the ride.As for handling, the Terrano feels very stable at high speeds and rarely gets out of shape. Even in normal driving, the handling is pretty impressive for a high-riding SUV. There is a bit of body roll due to the soft suspension setup, but it is never too much. And you always feel in control of the car. Also, when you want to have fun, the car’s direct steering is quite rewarding. It’s light enough when you want it to be and weighs up at speed, and this adds to the overall fun.


Disc units in front and drum units at rear provide stopping power, anti-lock-brakes with EBD and brake assist are available across variants save for the base trim. Safety features on board include front airbags, front fog lamps, engine immobilizer, central locking, driver seat belt reminder, door ajar warning, rear defogger, reverse parking sensor, three point seat belt with retractor in front and rear, speed sensing auto door lock and impact sensing auto door lock


The Terrano is a genuinely nice car, and I do want to like it. However, it is missing some essential features that have been mentioned already. With the new Micra I thought that Nissan India had learned that the market will respond well to value – but according to the Renault-Nissan agreement, the donor car will always cost less than its twin. This means that the Duster will cost less than the Terrano, and this puts the top-spec Terrano between Rs 1-1.5 lakh over the top-spec Duster. That’s a staggering Rs 16.5-17 lakh on-road for great engineering but an incomplete feature set. The Duster filled in a gap in the Indian marketplace and it sold well as long as there weren’t options. The Terrano will enter the market with competition like the Duster itself and the Ford EcoSport. Will Nissan have a surprise in store for us like they did with the pricing of the new Micra? I certainly hope they do.

BMW i8 Review & First Drive


The BMW i8, India’s first hybrid supercar, is an absolute stunner in looks, performance and the way it drives. Aims to make it an eco-friendly car, and positioned as BMW’s futuristic product, the company uses an all-new LifeDrive platform, organic carbon fibre and organic leather dyes, along with hydro-electric power sourcing. The carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) and aluminum subframes help the car to maintain a superlight kerb weight and improve efficiency with less fuel consumption.

The i8 is pure German from inside too. Its premium interior design with top-notch materials and blue eco-color represent futuristic fashion. The front seats have enough legroom, though, the rear seats are little congested for tall passengers. The car brims with various entertainment and comfort-enhancing features such as BMW’s latest-generation iDrive system, DAB radio, Bluetooth and USB connectivity, a 8.8-inch media system display and more.


It has a breathtaking external appearance unlike any other in the automobile segment. It has a precisely crafted aerodynamic body structure with ‘scissor’ doors, which makes it look stunning. This ultra-modern sports car gets all the futuristic cosmetics all over its body, which emphasizes its next-generation appeal. On its front facade, there is a signature kidney bean shaped grille with metallic accents and is outlined in blue. Its also has a sporty dual-tone bonnet featuring scoops and the company’s logo. The headlight cluster looks extremely sleeker with black accents, which gives an intimidating look to the frontage. It is further equipped with ‘U’ shaped LED headlights along with daytime running lights. Like its bonnet, its front bumper also has a dual tone color scheme and it is housed with a pair of air intake sections. The glossy black accents on this bumper gives it a distinctive look to this facet. The side profile is very sleek, but the wheel arches are extremely large that gives it a sporty look. These fenders bear a stylish set of 20 inch lightweight alloy wheels, which are embedded with company’s badge. Coming to its side facet, it has ‘Scissor’ doors featuring wing mirrors, which are garnished with high gloss black accents. These delightful scissor doors are further embodied with handles, which are concealed to give it an unusual stance. The rear section is even sportier than its front or side facets owing to the dynamic wraps all over. Unlike any other conventional sports car, this car comes with a futuristic design with LED taillights, dynamically designed bumper and several other such aspects. The rear windscreen is quite large and it is accompanied by a shark-fin antenna along with LED third brake lights. The rear bumper also has has blue accents and comes with reflectors along with courtesy lamps. The overall look of this sports car is emphasized by the stylish company’s logo, which is embedded below the windscreen.


As with several other exotic sports cars on the market, getting into the BMW i8 requires some practice. Swing the scissor lift door up and out of the way (a cool experience in itself), and you’ll find a wide door sill you’ll have to step over. With that being the case, the generally accepted method involves sitting on the sill and swinging one leg in, then letting your hind quarters slip into the seat followed by the other leg, all while ducking under the bottom edge of the door. Sounds complicated, but once you get the hang of it, the procedure turns out to be no big deal.

After you’re in, you’ll find plenty of headroom complemented by power-operated seats that offer good comfort even during a long day behind the wheel. The stylish design combined with high-quality naturally tanned leather and recycled materials gives the passenger cabin the upscale look you’d expect from an exotic sports car. Since this is a BMW, the instrument display and various center-console controls are meant for an actively engaged driver.The rear seats are really seats in name only; they’re much too cramped for human habitation. Much as in a Porsche 911, it’s better to think of them as an adjunct to the notably small trunk, which itself offers just 5.4 cubic feet of space.


The BMW i8 is a hybrid car which is a known fact. The batteries sit below the rather large centre tunnel. There are a bunch of modes to choose from – Comfort, Eco, Sport and e-Drive. If you want to drive the car in pure electric mode, e-Drive is the one to pick. On a full charge, BMW claims that the car can go for 36 kms but if you’re driving aggressively, expect that figure to drop by almost half. The car can attain a top speed of 120 km/hr in pure electric mode. Comfort mode is best suited for regular driving. Provided there is enough charge in the battery, the car runs on electric mode up to 60 km/hr post which the petrol motor kicks in. In Eco mode, the engine responds to accelerator inputs in a toned down manner.

The petrol engine is a 1.5-litre, 3-cylinder unit which produces 228 HP of power and 320 Nm of torque. Mated to the electric motor, the total power output is 357 HP along with 569 Nm of twisting force. Coupled to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the BMW i8 races from 0-100 km/hr in 4.4 seconds which is quick. The i8 gets a 4WD system, however, you don’t get that feeling of going fast that you would generally get in a conventional sports car. The exhaust sound is artificial coming through the rear speakers, but even while you’re standing outside, you notice that the petrol engine does sound good. In 6th gear, 100 km/hr comes up around the 2400 RPM mark.

The BMW i8 has good punch and it responds to throttle inputs instantaneously. It gains pace swiftly and the gearbox also does a good and smooth job. Move the gear lever to the left and you enable Sports mode. The instrument cluster screen now turns into red showing you speedo and tacho meters. In Comfort and Eco modes, the screens shows quite a lot of info related to the batteries and the electric motor. The i8 has a standard 30-litre petrol tank while you do get the option of a larger 42-litre tank. After a lot of spirited driving, the i8 gave a fuel efficiency of 5.7-6.2 km/l on petrol with 27.02 kWh of electric consumption.


The i8’s ride is firm, but no firmer than you’d expect from any sportscar; it firms up some more when set to Sport, as well. With just 117mm of clearance, it is also very low. But the bigger issue is the long 2,800mm wheelbase (as long as a Renault Lodgy’s), which is what really makes crossing tall speed breakers a challenge.With one motor each at the front and the mid-rear, BMW has managed to, as always, nail its perfect 50:50 weight distribution with this car, and it really shines through when you drive it. You truly feel at the centre of it all as you go through corners, and though we didn’t get a chance to do a serious handling test on the long highways outside Jodhpur, we got a good feel for how tight and well balanced this chassis feels. The steering (electrically assisted, of course) is a highlight, feeling not too light, nor too heavy, very quick, and superbly direct. The car corners supremely flat and there’s a huge amount of grip thanks to the effective four-wheel drive. What limits it slightly are the skinny front tyres (215-section on our car, but 195-section on some wheel options), which when you really push hard, will lose their composure and lead to a bit of understeer. However, this is only at the very limit, and most will be able to enjoy the grip and chassis balance without issue. What definitely needs a mention are the brakes, which feel nice and progressive — not what you usually get from regenerative brakes.


This BMW i8 is capable of cruising along at tremendous speeds. Naturally, you need to handle the vehicle properly. This monstrous vehicle requires a tough braking system. In fact, the BMW i8 Braking and Safety is of the highest order. You have absolute control of the vehicle while attempting to stop at short notice as well. This vehicle comes with the most stable braking system in the world with its corner braking stability. The 8 airbags ensure to protect the occupants of the car in the case of any eventuality. This is one of the few cars that provide acoustic protection to pedestrians as well. The anti-theft alarms and the electric parking brakes are some of the additional BMW i8 features.


The BMW i8 is a modern marvel of automotive engineering and design. Its sleek lines and leather-lined interior are its main course, while the gasoline-electric hybrid powertrain is the cherry on top. It’s an excellent first foray into the newly created segment for BMW. Still, the i8 is confused about what it wants to be. Its performance figures technically disqualify it from the supercar category and its 15-mile range and 28 mpg combined rating only make it an average hybrid. Add to that the everyday livability issues of a cramped trunk, tight rear seats, and the wide door sills that require a contortionist’s skills to slide over.

Yet despite its flaws, the BMW i8 is an impressive machine that’s completely worthy of the attention it receives from onlookers. BMW has done a fantastic job making a high-performance hybrid with a serious lust factor that remains fresh after two years on the market. The i8 will definitely go down in history as a high point in the automotive world, not only for its sultry aesthetics, but also for its cutting-edge powertrain and use of space-age materials



Hyundai Xcent Performance & Test Drive


Introducing a mid-cycle update for the subcompact sedan, Hyundai India has launched the 2017 Hyundai Xcent facelift in the country with prices starting at Rs 5.38 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). 2017 Xcent gets a comprehensively reworked front design. The overall silhouette remains the same, but the grille is all-new and in-line with Hyundai’s bigger sedans while the headlamps have been re-profiled and get new black inserts as well. The front bumper has also been redesigned adding a fresh look and now gets boomerang-shaped LED DRLs as part of the changes. Not only does the Xcent look fresh, but also distinctly different from the Grand i10. The side remains the same, save for the revised alloy wheels, while the rear gets the more upmarket wide taillights, revised bumper and tweaks to the boot-lid. Get Ex Showroom Price of Hyundai Xcent in Carzprice


Initial spy shots left a lot of people saying, “Oh god, why?”, but much like the Mahindra TUV300, this is a car that looks better in person than in pictures. Additionally, it’s now more distinctive, not only from its predecessor, but the Grand i10 as well.The two-part grille is no more and is replaced by a plus-sized hexagonal unit, generously lined with chrome. It’s got a new front bumper too with a sleeker set of fog lamps, and, not to mention, daytime running LEDs. The side profile remains the same, save for the engine badge on the front fender that reads ‘1.2D’ instead of ‘CRDi’, highlighting the uprated engine size. Up top, the radio antenna is a shark-fin unit instead of the old antenna on the higher variants.

The rear end looks as if it were inspired by the Kia Rio. Some may even draw parallels with the Toyota Camry. Gone are the tiny old tail lamps and instead, you get a wider set of lights that occupy more real estate at the rear. The lights even get some internal detailing to make them look more distinctive. The boot-lid itself has been redesigned and sports a chunky chrome bar that connects the rear lamps. The bumper gets some aggressive contouring too, and while it will take a while for the new look to grow on many, the new Xcent does look more mature. Importantly, it still looks well-proportioned for a sub-4 metre sedan.


Much like the Grand i10, the Xcent will impress you the moment you set foot inside. Modern Hyundai cabins are high on quality and here too you’ll find the general level of fit and finish to be of a very good standard. Those behind the wheel, in particular, will love how the chunky steering and smartly detailed gear lever feel as good to hold as they are to look at. It’s a well laid out cabin too. The two-tone dashboard, identical to the one in the Grand i10, places all audio and air-con controls within easy reach. A welcome inclusion on the Xcent is an automatic climate control system that works well enough to maintain a cool temperature in the cabin. What’s also nice is that each of the round vents up front can be individually opened or closed to direct air flow as per your liking. However, the rear air-con vent (a first in this segment) isn’t particularly effective and in our view is a bit of a waste as it unnecessarily robs space from the middle passenger.The Xcent offers a fair amount of adjustability for the driver, so long as you opt for the middle or top-spec versions. Steering rake and seat height adjustment make it easy to find a comfortable driving position. The front seats, though slightly narrow and a tad on the firm side, are supportive enough. However, a cause for concern is that the fixed headrests are too short and unlikely to provide adequate protection from whiplash in the event of a rear collision.

Rear occupants, on the other hand, will appreciate the safety and comfort the adjustable headrests come with, but might find the seat base a tad short. Also, compared to the Grand i10, the Xcent’s rear seat back has been reclined a few degrees too far to compensate for the loss in headroom owing to the angle of the rear windscreen. The cabin’s average width also means the Xcent’s rear seat is best suited to two passengers. On the plus side, there is a good deal of legroom and the foldable centre armrest is well positioned too. Incidentally, the centre armrest comes with two cupholders, in addition to the two cupholders up front, one-litre bottle holders on each of the doors and the large (and cooled) glovebox. Even luggage space is very impressive, with the well-shaped 407-litre boot taking in large suitcases with great ease.


The Hyundai Xcent is offered with both petrol and diesel engines. Talking about the petrol engine first, no changes have been made to the 1.2-litre Kappa VTVT unit. It is mated to either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a dated 4-speed automatic transmission and produces 83 PS of power at 6000 RPM and 114 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. Throttle response is good and power delivery is linear. The top-end performance isn’t the best but the low-end and mid-range are very good. The NVH levels are also fantastic. The ARAI-claimed fuel efficiency is 20.14 km/l and 17.36 km/l for MT and AT respectively but in real world conditions, you can expect 10-14 km/l from the MT and 9-13 km/l from the AT.

The diesel engine has been upgraded from the older 1.1-litre unit to a larger 1.2-litre U2 CRDI unit which now produces 75 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque from 1750-2250 RPM. The engine has been tuned very nicely and turbo lag has been negated effectively. The engine has a good surge of power right from 1600-1700 RPM and continues till 3500-4000 RPM and the oil-burner feels very peppy. The engine is quite noisy though. The 5-speed gearbox is a charm and gearshifts are smooth. The ARAI-claimed efficiency is 25.4 km/l and you can easily expect 17-22 km/l in real world conditions.


The Xcent’s suspension setup remains unchanged and is still comfort-set as before. At low speeds, it’s very comfortable and offers great bad road ability as well. Additionally, it rides quite flat and is very stable over undulations/bridge joints even beyond 120kmph. However, there is a noticeable amount of vertical movement and through fast corners, body roll is perceptible. There’s a good amount of stopping power on offer too with the car dropping from 100-0kmph in 45.89 metres, while feeling a little more surefooted than the Grand i10 during the test.

The steering doesn’t offer much feedback, but is light enough for city usage, weighs up well with speed and is responsive too. In everyday conditions, there’s no guesswork involved. It won’t please any driving enthusiasts, but that’s hardly what the Xcent has been designed for. Overall, the handling mannerisms are predictable and novice-friendly.


On the features front, the top-of-the-line Xcent in SX trim with option pack we have driven gets driver and front passenger airbags, ABS, keyless entry with push button start/stop, rear AC vents, multi function steering wheel, driver seat height adjustment, a 2-din audio system with Bluetooth, USB and aux-in ports, power outlets for the front and rear, chrome door handles on the inside and out and rear parking sensors and parking camera with display in the rear view mirror. On the outside, the Xcent gets integrated turn indicators in the electrically adjustable auto-folding outside rear view mirrors and 15-inch alloy wheels (it’s part of the option pack – 14-inch wheels on SX trim). There isn’t much you will need besides leather seats, which should be available as a dealer option.


2017 Hyundai Xcent seems to be better than the preceding model in terms of exterior appearance, interior features, and driving dynamics. A special mention goes to the new diesel engine, which is more powerful and fuel efficient than before. The automatic variant is also available for added convenience. In all, it is a decent offering with more bells and whistles than before.

Tata Hexa Hatchback Overview


Once upon a time, Indian roads were all about Maruti 800, Ambassador and Fiat Padmini. The occasional change in the landscape was brought about by Tata Motors’ comparatively larger offering – Sierra. The ‘original Indian sports utility vehicle’ had quite the towering road presence and the 1.9-litre turbo charged engine provided a drive like no other. Get offers & discounts on Tata Hexa

The march of time affected markets. It is no secret that Tata Motors found the going increasingly tough in the passenger vehicle segment by the late 90s. Indica was its only passenger vehicle doing decent numbers.

Times changed and, thankfully, so did Tata Motors. In one of its strongest ever attempts to reclaim lost glory, the company in recent years took the covers off of a number of promising vehicles. And none may have as much potential as the Hexa. Here is a vehicle that seeks to be an all-rounder and (mostly) manages to pull it off effortlessly.


The Tata Hexa might be based on the Aria platform and possibly have similar lines but it’s a completely new vehicle. Where the Aria was curvy and a bit round, the Hexa is muscular, and in-your-face. It achieves this thanks to the chrome laced grille and gold coloured bumper. Complementing this is a modern looking lighting package comprising big headlamps and LED DRLs. The side reveals the MPV silhouette of the vehicle. However, it does get sharply raked A-pillars and really nice looking 19 inch wheels which increase the sporty quotient. The rear, despite having so many elements, looks too square but this is not such a bad thing as the boxy rear-end has been a defining trait of Tata’s SUVs over the ages


The dashboard layout of the Hexa looks premium thanks to the new design additions and controls made of fresh-looking materials like chrome trim used with glossy black and soft grain plastic. The instrument cluster is easy to read and except for the low-set air-con controls, all functions are easily accessible on the dash.

We however noticed that the centre console was devoid of storage spaces barring the cup holder behind the gear shifter and the centre armrest. The seats are draped in a leather look-alike upholstery with contrast stitching that feels rich. In fact the front seats offer a comfortable drive thanks to the ample contours with lumbar, good back and appropriate thigh suppo

Similarly, the middle row seats have identical contours and offer good support, headroom and lots of legroom for the occupants. Entry to the third row of seats is by tumbling the second row, and while the seats offer hardly any support, headroom and space for adults is also confined. With the last row up, the boot can only take a few soft bags and a thin suitcase at the most. To stuff anything more, the last row needs to be folded but it doesn’t fold flat either.


The Tata Hexa has a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. This comes with two options – a 148bhp engine and 154bhp. The first one comes with a five-speed manual and the more powerful one has two options: six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The NVH levels on the engine are fairly low. The torque of this engine is more than sufficient for daily driving. One doesn’t require too many gear shifts in the city or highway driving.

The six-speed manual feels a bit notchy. It does take some getting used too. The manual comes with four driving modes in the 4×4. These are Auto, Rough Road, Comfort and Dynamic. The Auto and Rough Road are 4×4, while the other two work on 4×2. On the other hand, the automatic transmission is fabulous. The shifts are smooth even downshifts. Put it in the Sport mode and you shall be amazed in the manner it performs. There is also the tiptronic mode that responds well.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Tata Hexa scores 10 km/l with the automatic in city and about 14 km/l on the highway. The manual version of the Tata Hexa will return an efficiency of 11 km/l in city and about 14.5 km/l on the highway. We haven’t driven the five-speed manual engine but the range will be between the six-speed manual and automatic.


On the face of it, the Hexa has a number of things that could work against it on the dynamics front – its immense weight, ladder-frame chassis, long wheelbase, robust 4×4 system, 19-inch wheels – and those things considered, it really pulls off something impressive. The ride quality first; it is really good. You will get quite a bit of steering shock (although not the worst we’ve seen in this sort of car) that’s typical of ladder-frame SUVs when you hit a sharp bump. There’s an underlying firmness that you’re constantly aware of, but at very few points could you call it harsh or uncomfortable. The truth is, the Hexa’s variable-rate dampers do a phenomenal job of tackling various road conditions and keep things comfy in the cabin no matter what. It’s at its best out on the highway, with a supremely flat ride and very little movement. What you’ll also be impressed by is how silently it goes about its business; very little suspension, tyre and road noise makes it to the cabin.

Handling expectedly is not in the same league as an SUV with a monocoque chassis. The Hexa rolls around a lot, although, it has to be said that there is a lot of grip, especially in the 4×4 version. The bigger issue, however, is that it just feels too large and heavy for you to ever dream of pushing it even remotely hard around a corner. The hydraulic steering has a bit of slack at the centre position, and is really heavy at low speeds, making parking this big hulk quite a task. This is slightly less pronounced in the 4×2 version, likely because of the lack of front driveshafts. Also, the lack of reach adjustment for the steering is a bit annoying, and you do feel like the wheel is canted slightly forward on the whole.


Tata Motors haven’t compromised on safety this time and the Hexa is loaded with safety equipment. It comes with 6 airbags including dual front, curtain and side airbags. There is a 4 channel, 4 sensor ABS offered as standard along with Cornering Stability Control function. Other safety features include Traction Control System, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control. The Hexa’s long term durability and cost of ownership is yet to be seen and Tata Motors needs to ensure stress-free ownership of the Hexa considering the unreliable nature of the Safari faced by some owners in the past.


The Aria’s quite a capable machine and Tata has done well to build on its strengths while making up for its shortcomings. The Hexa’s spacious cabin with three rows of seats, its ability to shrug off bad roads, commanding driving position and easy driving manners make for a great machine to cover long distances in. Yes, it will be a bit cumbersome to steer in the city and fit-finish of the interiors could be better. Nonetheless Tata look to tackle the Mahindra XUV500 head on with the Hexa and if priced right, the Hexa has not just the manners, but the look and the appeal to make it happen this time around. Quite simply, the Hexa is SUV enough, rich enough and fresh enough to deliver an overall experience that feels quite welcome for those looking for a rugged three-row SUV.

Jaguar XE Hatchback First Drive


The Jaguar XE is the British marque’s first full-bodied attempt at taking on the big German three in the compact luxury sedan game; a game that’s currently being dominated by the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 Series. Designed by Ian Callum and underpinned by an all-new aluminium intensive modular platform, the XE is positioned as the most driver focused car in this class by Jaguar. And so the car on test here is a 200bhp plus, petrol version of the sedan. How does it do? We find out. Check On Road Price of Jaguar XE in Carzprice


Jaguar XE has an agile look and is designed to make it a head turner when it is driven on the road. Jaguar XE features include a length of 4795mm and a width of 2075mm and come with body colored bumpers. The engine grill has a beautiful perforated design that is bordered with a chromium strip and the logo of the company inscribed in the middle. The headlight cluster is big and powerful and are equipped with halogen lamps for the Pure trim whereas, the Portfolio trim is equipped with bi-functional HID Xenon headlamps along with headlamp power wash function. To cool the powerful engine quickly, it has a big black color perforated air dam along with two black color air vents to dry the brakes. Looking at its side profile, you will notice silver encrusted air vents, body colored ORVM caps (with integrated turn lamps) and door handles along with uniquely designed fenders, which houses 17-inch silver alloy rims mounted by tubeless radial tyres. The rear profile of this car reinforces the athletic look of its front. Jaguar XE Colors available in the market include, Ebony Black and Polaris White. If you want more variety, then you have to pay for some other colors like Ammonite Grey, Blue Fire, British Racing Green, Dark Sapphire Metallic, Glacier White, Italian racing Red, Odyssey Red, Osmium Blue, Quartzite, Rhodium Silver, Ultimate Black, Black Cherry, Celestial Black, Ingot, Storm Grey, and Tempest Grey.


The sporty and understated design philosophy of the exterior has trickled down to the interiors as well. It shares some beautiful elements with the big daddy XJ like the ‘Riva Loop’ which is a continuous band of trim running around the dashboard and connecting the front doors. The dashboard itself sports a clean design with the touchscreen infotainment system taking centre stage. The AC controls are neatly laid out with buttons being of adequate size. Speaking of buttons, it is slightly disappointing to hear a click sound from many buttons. It robs away some of the premium experience and Jaguar could have used better buttons.

The overall interior quality is very good in the Jaguar XE. The front seats offer excellent support and are well cushioned. The rear seat is a little tight in terms of headroom for tall passenger owing to the sloping roofline but is otherwise very comfortable. The under thigh support and legroom is good for any passenger below 5’10”. However, a third passenger would not be comfortable due to the tall transmission tunnel and protruding rear AC vents.

The boot is very practical due to its flat and wide floor. The spare tyre is tucked away under the floor unlike the Mercedes C-Class and BMW 3-Series which makes all the boot space usable. The infotainment system is much improved over the previous iterations seen in other Jaguar cars but it still isn’t the best in trade. A very neat party trick in the Jaguar XE is the 360 degree camera which is the best we have ever seen in a car. It works very well to show the complete surroundings of the car and makes parking in tight spaces a breeze. The Meridian sound system will satisfy the audiophile in you by providing good music quality.


Now that Jaguar has released information on U.S. XE models, we now know what engines will be available in the U.S. market. The XE 25t comes with a turbocharged, 2.0-liter, four-cylinder – already seen in other Jaguar Land Rover vehicles — that puts out 240 horsepower 251 pound-feet of torque. For those diesel fans, the XE 20d delivers with a 180 horsepower, 2.0-liter diesel engine that also pushes 318 pound-feet of torque. The range topping model – the XE 35t – comes with a 3.0-liter, supercharged, V-6 that puts out a respectable 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. With that kind of performance, zero to 60 mph takes just 5.1 seconds and top speed is limited 120 mph.

All three engines are mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, but the XE35t AWD is mated to the beefier 8HP70 transmission, while the RWD variant of the XE 35t, the XE20d and the XE 25t are mated to the 8HP45 transmission.

We’ve all known that AWD was coming to the new XE, but now we have confirmation of what XE models will be available with all-wheel drive. It won’t even be an option on the base XE 25t, but it will be available on the XE 20d and the V-6 powered XE 35t. Like the new XF and F-Pace, the AWD system uses a multi-plate wet clutch transfer case to transfer power to the front propshaft. When needed, the system can switch from full, RWD to AWD in just 165 milliseconds. This on-demand system allows for the steering to remain uncorrupted during normal driving maneuvers.

You may have noticed that there is no V-8 engine option, but give it time. Jaguar won’t let BMW, Audi and Mercedes have all the fun in the compact super-sedan range. Expect the same 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 from the other Jaguar models to find its way into a Jaguar XE R model in the next few years


The 2017 Jaguar XE could easily win you over once you turn its rotary transmission selector to Drive. It’s a car engineered for the driver who wants to feel the road through the steering wheel and the seat of the pants. While many cars, including the vaunted BMW 3 Series, have moved toward being more comfortable and isolating, the Jag XE doubles down on driving dynamics. The steering is exceptional, delivering consistent weighting and providing an impressive amount of feedback. You can feel what the car is doing.

Jaguar also knows how to tune a suspension, managing to maintain control around corners and feel perpetually composed yet still deliver a well-damped ride that soaks up bumps and never punishes you for its athleticism. This perception is even better when you choose the Advanced Dynamics Pack. Truthfully, you won’t notice a big difference between its standard and Dynamic settings, but the adaptive suspension’s ability to further improve upon ride comfort and handling is well worth the extra cost. Really, the XE could go up against the Cadillac ATS as the most engaging luxury sport sedan to drive right now.

Of course, the engine you select makes a difference. At this point we’ve only sampled the 35t’s supercharged V6. Like Jag’s supercharged V8s, the XE’s 340-hp engine upgrade delivers silky smooth, effortless power that is pleasantly different in character compared with those offered by competitors. The fact that it gets the same EPA-estimated fuel economy as the base 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder would certainly make us think long and hard about paying extra for the 35t. Of course, the presence of a diesel engine certainly makes the 20d the engine to get for those who prioritize fuel economy. If there is one disappointment from a powertrain perspective, it’s the unrefined automatic stop-start system that draws too much attention to itself.


All XE versions come with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning and traffic sign recognition that shows the relevant speed limit on the dashboard. Front, side and curtain airbags (which cover the front and rear windows) are also standard, although it’s a shame that there’s no driver’s knee airbag and you can’t add rear side ’bags. A blindspot monitoring system and adaptive cruise control are available as optional extras.

Euro NCAP gave the XE 5 stars in its crash test, and drill down into the details and you’ll discover the XE scores well in the individual categories, outscoring the Audi A4 in all but child occupant protection.The standard tyre pressure-monitoring system warns you if you have a puncture, although you’ll have to pay extra for a space-saver spare tyre instead of an inflation kit. A full-size spare isn’t available.As you’d expect, every version comes with an alarm and an engine immobiliser to help fend off thieves, and you can add a vehicle tracker.


The XE retains the Jaguar DNA be it for looks and styling, interior, power and agility. The only knick in the armour is no option for diesel engines as majority of the luxury car sales in India are for oil burner. Leaving that, we loved the XE. With this brand, you don’t just move away from the German badge but you even procure a fresh product that looks a lot more expensive than its price tag.


Audi RS6 Facelift First Drive


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.