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Hyundai Creta Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

As the Renault Captur launch is closing in, Hyundai has quietly made a few changes to the Creta. The new French SUV will be up against the Creta. It is stylish, looks premium and is built on the same Duster platform. There will not be diesel automatic in the start though. First is the addition of an all new colour, Earth Brown. This is made available with single and dual tone options. The Red Passion colour does offer the dual-tone roof option. The Pearl Beige colour has been discontinued. There will be a change in the colours on offer. This is a new change on the Hyundai Creta 2017.Moving on to the interiors, the SX+ dual tone variant comes with Luxure Brown interiors. This means addition of black and brown fabric seats with contrast stitching. The steering wheel and even the gear knob get brown stitches on it. Check On Road Price of Creta

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;

There are no significant changes made to the exterior of the SUV however it does get a new SX+ Dual tone trim which offers Piano Black Finish Roof Top & Sporty Black Spoiler. This new dual tone trim will be provided with two body colour combinations in the form of two colour combinations White & Black and Red & Black. This trim also gets a 17-inch diamond cut alloy rims which were only available with SX+ Auto and SX(O) until now.Apart from the changes mentioned above, there are no other changes made to the exterior of the SUV. The SUV is offered with a total of 9 exterior body colour options.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

A long wheelbase of 2590 mm implies an opulent cabin, which translates into good head room, leg room and shoulder room. That said, the front offers impressive space and the rear has ample room, allowing to seat three adults comfortably. A high window line at the rear enables restricted view from the back. The dual-tone dashboard is perfectly styled and appears chic. The central console does not look cluttered. Use of beige and silver accent renders an elegant look to the cabin. The range-topping grade gets a 7-inch touchscreen, just beneath which are climate control buttons. Leather-upholstered seats are exclusively available on the range-topping variants while rest of the trims feature fabric-upholstered seats. Leather covering can be seen on the gear knob in the SX+ automatic variant only. Comfort goodies on offing include adjustable front head rests, keyless entry, power windows, height adjuster for the driver’s seat, adjustable rear seat head restraints, 7-inch infotainment system with steering-mounted controls for audio system and bluetooth, audio-video navigation, and smart key with push button, among few others.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Hyundai always gives multiple powertrain options on its cars and same is the case with the Creta too. The compact SUV comes with two diesel engines and one petrol unit. Starting with the petrol mill, the 1.6-litre Dual VTVT engine generates 123 PS and 151 Nm, being matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The NVH levels on the vehicle are terrific, the petrol motor being barely audible even when you are driving at triple digit speeds, it does get vocal once you get past the mid-range. Low-end performance is where the petrol-powered Creta shines as the mid-range isn’t very strong while the top-end is quite lacking, it’s best to short shift using the smooth shifting gearbox and the light clutch. The ARAI claimed mileage is 15.29 km/l so real world mileage will be lesser.

Diesel is the more popular choice in this segment and Hyundai has 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre oil burners on offer. Both these engines also do duty on the Verna with the smaller diesel belting out 90 PS and 220 Nm. The 1.6 diesel is considerably more powerful with 128 PS and 260 Nm. Both the powerplants are matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox and Hyundai has managed to tune the transmission for butter smooth shifts, aided by a very light clutch. The 1.6 diesel has quite a lot of lag in the low-end so one does have to give it the beans in stop-go traffic as the turbo spools up in all its glory past 1900 RPM. The mid-range is the strong point of the motor while the power fades off quickly post 3800 RPM. When ambling in the city, downshifts are needed to get going quickly.

The 1.6 diesel mill is also matched to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Although a single-clutch unit, it’s very responsive to throttle inputs and there is a tiptronic function on the lever so as to let one take care of shifts. When driven in D mode, performance from the motor is slick with the turbo lag not being very apparent. The 1.6 motor feels more linear in the automatic version but you miss the punchiness of the manual as the latter has the silence before the storm. The engine up shifts at around 4000 RPM and won’t stretch the motor all the way to the 5000 RPM redline which is encountered on the manual. 100 km/hr in sixth gear sees the tacho ticking in a shade above the 2000 RPM mark while the ton comes in third gear. The ARAI mileage for the 1.4 diesel is 21.38 km/l while the 1.6 diesel returns 19.67 km/l in manual guise and 17.01 km/l in automatic avatar.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Creta also has an absorbent ride. The suspension works silently even on heavily rutted sections of road, and bump absorption too is right up there with some of the best riding cars in its class. It may not ride as flat as the Renault Duster, and there may be a bit more movement of the body over bad roads, but the Hyundai comes close enough. Yes, sharp bumps filter through, and then the suspension does feel a bit fragile, but for the most part, especially at lower speeds, ride quality is excellent and Indian car buyers will like that.

What’s also surprisingly good is the steering of the car. To begin with, it is light and easy to twirl, and what makes it better is the fact that it feels direct, with not as great a sense of vagueness around the straight-ahead as you find in most Hyundai cars. Straight-line stability is good, and the steering weighs up nicely as you speed up too, but that weight does feel a bit artificial. We also found the Creta surprisingly willing to turn into corners. It does roll a bit on its tall suspension and does not grip the road with the confidence of the Renault Duster, but all things considered, the Creta is quite accomplished in corners too, which makes it a good all-rounder.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Hyundai Creta is jammed pack with all the possible gadgetry one can possibly ask for in a car of this price range. Touch screen infotainment – Check. GPS navigation – Check. Climate control – Check. Keyless entry with a start stop button – Check. Rear AC vents – Check. Quite simple, the Creta negate the need to go to an aftermarket accessories dealer to fit a bunch of tacky addons that may or may not work in the long term.On the safety front, you also get a set of airbags and more importantly, traction control. And while the latter may not send the hordes into a frenzy, considering most western countries require traction control as a standard fitment, having an extra layer of protection isn’t exactly a bad thing afterall.

CONCLUSSION ;

Hyundai has recently launched updated Elite i20 and now they have also decided to upgrade their Creta SUV as well. Unfortunately the 2017 model year SUV does not get any mechanical changes under the hood, but it does get a new infotainment system, a whole new trim and along with a new dual tone exterior shade.

 

BMW 1 Series Review,Price & specifications

OVERVIEW

BMW has taken heed to critics of the 1 Series, who grumbled that the looks were challenging and the engine range spiralling. Solution? Its biggest facelift ever, introducing a far sharper nose, a much nicer rear end and some stonking new engines that further its performance and eco credentials over rivals. The BMW 1 Series has never been better.

It still comes in three-door and five-door guise, with badges aligned to the BMW 2 Series (so they bear little relation to engine capacity…) and BMW’s simplified the trim line-up. The old one was a top 10 best-seller regular. BMW’s aiming for more of the same with this.

EXTERIORS

The BMW 1-Series isn’t an attractive looking car and there are no two ways about it. In reality the 1-Series has given birth to the X1 but in India the X1 came first and thus the 1-Series appears to be a X1 turned into a hatchback. The end result is a car which although proudly boasts of the BMW badge on its long hood, doesn’t solicit a second glance on the road. The 116i comes with 16-inch wheels which look a bit puny on this car. The rear is very plain too and overall this vehicle doesn’t make a visual impression. In spite of being in the market for more than 8 months now, the styling fails to grow on you.

INTERIORS

Every car in the 1 Series range has a standard 6.5in colour screen, mounted on top of the centre console. It’s controlled via the iDrive system, which is one of the most intuitive and user-friendly interfaces around. There is a large rotary control wheel near the gearstick, with simple shortcut buttons for all the major functions. The graphics are slick and the menus only take a moment to get your head around.

Bluetooth and audio streaming, a single CD player, a DAB digital radio, multifunction steering wheel and USB connection are also standard across the range, with the option to upgrade to an excellent Harman Kardon stereo, or even a larger display screen and sat-nav with real time traffic information and mobile internet services, plus a 12GB music hard drive, as part of the BMW Professional package. Only the 116d ED Plus model gets sat-nav as standard.

Fit and finish in the BMW 1 Series is well above average, although a few pieces of trim – especially the door pockets and the glovebox lid – feel quite hard and scratchy. There’s a nice mixture of brushed metal and gloss black surfaces in higher spec cars, but they can also be fitted as options on entry-level models.

All the major controls are solidly built and robust, although the indicator stalks and stereo controls are made from harder, flimsier plastics. In terms of its rivals, the Audi A3 and the Volkswagen Golf feel plusher, but only by a narrow margin.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

A pair of four-cylinder engines power this smallest of BMWs, one petrol and one diesel. The 1,995cc ‘N47’ diesel is a familiar one; we’ve already seen it in ‘20d’ guise in the 3-series, 5-series, X1 and X3, as well as in the 525d. However, here, in the 118d, it makes 141bhp and 32.6kgm. These figures still compare favourably with the diesel engines of its closest rivals, the A-class and the V40 Cross Country.

A pleasant surprise is that it is quite refined; almost more so than a 3-series. The NVH levels are impressively low, both at idle and on the go, and it gets harsh only near the top of the rev range. This milder state of tune suggests less aggressive turbo-charging, which means less noise.

The power delivery is smooth. This engine is incredibly linear for a diesel, and while you enjoy the almost petrol-like journey up the power band, you do miss that characteristic surge of torque that you get in the mid-range with most diesel engines. So, is the mid-range weak? No – it’s just a bit flatter than you’d expect, and if you’re worried about being able to pull off an overtake on a whim, the gearbox is there to help. The eight-speed ZF automatic, also shared with the bigger Bimmers, works brilliantly in the 1-series. With the ‘Driving Experience Control’ switch set in the default Comfort mode, the shifts are soft and seamless, and the gearbox is still decently quick to react to pedal inputs. In Eco Pro mode, the ’box can’t wait to upshift, and even if you’re cruising at 60-70kph, that’s good enough for eighth gear

Put it in Sport or Sport+, however, and you’d better have a clear stretch of road, because the engine responses quicken and the transmission just darts through the gears. Keep your foot in, and it won’t shift up until its 4,800rpm redline. Overall, the power delivery gets in its stride at about 1,500rpm, and builds strongly till about 4,000rpm. The 118d hits 100kph in 9.02sec, just 0.4sec after the V40 and much ahead of the diesel A-class.

The petrol is a 1,598cc, direct-injection, turbocharged motor that makes a healthy 134bhp and 24.47kgm of torque on overboost. Like the diesel, it is only available with the ZF automatic and that’s a good thing. Unlike the earlier, naturally aspirated BMW petrols that loved to be revved but had weak mid-ranges, this turbo-petrol has a meaty and wide torque curve. The ZF ’box masks whatever minimal turbo lag there is and the engine will spin happily to 6,500rpm, accompanied by a nice exhaust snarl and a muted turbo whistle.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Figures aside, there are four driving modes – one for every mood. The Eco Pro, for the one off occasions when you feel like driving in the economy mode; then there is the comfort mode, again something that will be sparingly used. The Sport+ mode, which automatically switches off the ESP, is sure to bring an ear to ear smile on your face. The steering feels heavier than in the other modes but continues to remain as precise and responsive which makes it that much more fun to push around corners. The 225/45 R17 tyres make their contribution in ensuring that you feel confident while carrying speed into round a bend. The 1 series not only handles amazingly but is also quite comfortable even on bumpy and rough tarmac. The suspension is well damped and easily absorbs all the undulations that the road throws at it without letting out a single twitch to put your comfort levels in question.

SAFETY FEATURES

Euro NCAP has recently made its crash tests more stringent, but the 1 Series scored highly in the old tests with a five-star result, and did well in all areas except pedestrian protection.

There are six airbags and tyre pressure-monitoring on all models, and run-flat tyres are included on many models. However, the 1 Series doesn’t get emergency automatic braking, adaptive cruise control or collision detection.

At least security body Thatcham rates it highly for being difficult to break into, or steal from.

CONCLUSSION

If you need a reduced and truly lively hatchback that consolidates solid execution with light-footed back wheel-drive taken care of, one and only auto will figure on your shopping rundown: the BMW 1 Series. The BMW 1 Series has earned the full five stars in the NCAP accident tests and gloats an especially great grown-up inhabitant assurance rating of 91%. Early-life unwavering quality is great, however as the miles mount up, it has a notoriety for giving inconvenience.

 

Tata Indica Review,Price,Specifications & Test Drive

OVERVIEW

The Tata Indica has no doubt shaped the Indian car market by being a product with many firsts. It was the first Indian car to have AC and power windows as standard, features which were found only on sedans. The Indica has made the common man consider cars as it was the only hatchback in its hay days to feature a diesel engine, thereby making sense in running costs. Now 15-years down the line, Tata Motors continues to sell the same Indica, which has been updated several times. What doesn’t change though is the shape. The Tata Indica has evolved but it’s no Porsche 911 that it won’t look dated. The Indica even with frequent make ups has started to show its age. However the Indian automobile giant continues to sell it by calling it the “new Indica” every time it facelifts it. Does the Tata Indica make sense when you can get more modern vehicles at this price? We take a quick spin to answer that very question.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

The Indica is not a car which will win hearts for its looks. The Italians who are normally well known for the things they design didn’t seem to have done justice with this hatch. It looks very dated and bland. The design has not seen any substantial change since the time it was launched in 1998.One thing that we surely want Tata Motors to do is a complete makeover instead of just changing a few bits. So what differentiates this Indica from the earlier models? The Spanish Tan is a new addition which indeed looks better if not the best. The radiator grille has a bright coated finish which looks contrasting with the new shade The front face has been retained from the earlier generation models. The headlight assembly has turn indicators in them. The side profile is unmistakably same. Nothing has been changed in 15 years which doesn’t go in Indica’s favor. The ORVMs are equipped with turn indicators in them but then it is not a modern touch as many other models have it.The rear profile gets re-touched tail lamps and a subtle chrome garnish on the tail gate. The exterior profile fails to create any enthusiasm and looks very dated.

INTERIOR AND CABIN

The interior of Tata Indica eV2 is tastefully done and definitely impresses even in a cursory glance. Unlike other hatchbacks, it is loaded with some incredible features. The rack and pinion type steering wheel has four spokes and the instrument panel is very chic. Adding to passenger convenience are features like reading lamps, a cabin lamp that is operatable from all four doors, a lamp in the boot, a utility tray with a coin holder and a parcel shelf. The horn pad for the steering wheel, moulded roof lining, internal antenna and the door trims are other likeable features of this hatch. The dashboard is the same heritage Indica type and the music system is also the unchanged one with bluetooth connectivity and an aux-in port. Tata Indica eV2 can accommodate five passengers and the comfortable seating is lined with soft fabric. The Air Conditioning unit is very effective and makes the ride very comfortable. The electronic instrument cluster has a digital odometer, 2 trip meters with light intensity control, a tachometer and a digital clock. The painted floor Console comes with the provision for Mobile Charger / Cigarette Lighter. The boot space of 220 L is adequate and adds to the convenience value of this car. The headroom offered is quite significant with 960 mm in the front and 940 mm at the rear. Legroom available ranges from 915 mm to 1080 mm; and the knee room available ranges between 640 mm and 750 mm. Taller passengers need not worry as India offers a generous shoulder room of 1335 mm.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The Indica has two diesel engines, petrol and also a LPG version of the petrol motor. The 1.2-litre petrol develops 65PS@5200 rpm with a peak torque of 100Nm@2600rpm. 100kmph is reached in under 17seconds with a top speed of 155kmph and an ARAI claimed fuel efficiency of 16.54kmpl. Despite the mediocre performance the engine feels strong enough on the highway and with decent drivability in urban conditions. Mid range power delivery is good but the engine starts to show its weakness over 4000rpm.

The 1.4-litre diesel engine produces 54PS@5500rpm and 85PS@2250rpm. Refinement is poor and it delivers 17.88kmpl as claimed by ARAI. The 1.3-litre common rail diesel engine is sourced from Fiat and develops70PS@4000rpm and 140Nm between1800 to 3000rpm. This engine feels far more refined but isn’t as quick as on the Maruti Suzuki Swift. All engines use a five speed manual gearbox which feels rubbery and offers a vague response.

HANDLING AND SAFETY

In the city, there is no lack of poke. The Indica trundles through the traffic in third at 1500 rpm without a fuss. Downshifts are no longer a bother as the gearshift quality has been upped with each version of the Indica. The gearshift feels smooth, though some of the sogginess remains. Sudden overtaking manoeuvres can also be attempted and executed with gusto. However, the handling remains wishy-washy; the rear slides out at the hint of a slalom style manoeuvre and the steering does little to inspire confidence in pushing the car hard. The steering is well damped at low speeds, but lacks feedback and remains a little sluggish at high speeds. Tata Motors’ attempted part remedy for the weak-kneed handling are lower profile 165/60 R13 Goodyear GPS2’s. The low-profile tyres limit the car’s rolling tendency by a certain degree. The Airbags and ABS are now available in the Aura + segment of cars. The only thing that the Indica misses dearly are the alloy wheels.

CONCLUSSION

As can be seen, not much has changed and the Tata Indica continues to soldier on in the same manner as it used to last year. Tata Motors has recovered the development and fixed costs) of the Indica long time back so it makes a lot of financial sense to keep the car going in its current form. Sure the Indica makes a lot of sense for taxi operators with its generous cabin, attractive price and high fuel economy. But if the company wants to lure private buyers, the Indica needs a bigger update, a more substantial one which will help it stand strong in front of more established and better engineered products.

Tata Indica Ls Bs Iv Ex-showroom Price is   4,99,674/- and On Road Price is   5,79,416/- in Hyderabad.On Road price of Tata Indica in Banglors visit carzprize.com

 

 

Hyundai Elantra Review,Price,Specifications & Features

OVERVIEW ;

Hyundai has introduced the sixth-generation Elantra for the 2017 model year, bringing with it an all-new exterior design, and a driver-oriented cabin that is more in-line with the Sonata. On the outside, the car got a new hexagonal grille that takes up a majority of the front fascia. On the front corners, there are recesses in the bumper that house LED fog lamps. These recesses look similar to the fog lamp units on the previous generation. Overall, the exterior is more refined than before with less of that “fluidic” design. Even the taillights are less aggressive that the last-gen model. Inside, the instrument cluster gets a 4.2-inch color display between the two primary gauges, and upper trim levels come standard with leather upholstery. A seven-inch touch screen display is standard equipment, but an eight-inch screen is available on some models. Under the hood, Hyundai gave the Elantra two new engines – a 2.0-liter with 147 horsepower and a 1.4-liter with 128 horsepower.

The Elantra may seem like it is a little underpowered in a world where smaller vehicles often come with closer to 200 horsepower, but what it is lacking it power is made up with comfort, and economy. Competing against models like the Honda Civic and Chevy Cruze, economy and comfort are huge selling points, so the lack of power isn’t all the big of a deal anyway. So, how does the new Elantra compete with the competition otherwise? Well, check out our detailed review below to find out for yourself.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

Where the Elantra has seen a major change is its design. The new Elantra looks stylish and appealing. It now looks a lot more mature and upmarket. The Fluidic Design 2.0 is what makes it look more premium. The dimensions of the Elantra haven’t changed much. The new front grille is larger and looks premium.

The side profile will remind you of the Elantra. Now it looks more sporty. The sloping roof melds well with the boot design. A nicely integrated spoiler forms the rear of the new Elantra. This seems to be more like a European sedan than a Hyundai design. The tail lamps are also stylish and trendy. It does look and feel like a premium sedan.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Once you enter the cabin you get a feel of a German car the way the dashboard is designed. Just like the exteriors, the new Elantra now offers mature interior styling which looks uncluttered and user friendly than before. The cabin is all-black with brushed silver elements and the roof is finished in light grey which really makes you feel that you are in a proper D-segment sedan. The three-spoke steering feels great to hold and there are integrated buttons to control the infotainment system, cruise control and the big MID display in the instrument cluster as well. The instrument cluster is very informative and easy to read. Unlike many Hyundai cars, it shows distance to empty and average fuel consumption.

The 8.0-inch infotainment touchscreen system is the party piece of the new Hyundai Elantra. It’s one of the biggest screens in the segment having a very user friendly interface with smooth performance. The touch quality is very good and you don’t see any lag while swiping between menus. It offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity which makes it more convenient to access your phone data and it even has voice recognition. Sound quality is excellent and even the navigation system looks modern having informative display. The big screen also doubles up as a rear parking camera display, which makes it a breeze to park this big sedan.

You get dual-zone automatic climate control system which has a strong and silent airflow all the way to the rear passengers with the help of rear aircons. The cooling is super effective and the front ventilated seats adds to the comfort in the scorching heat of summers in India. The centre console is very neat and tidy, there is no clutter of buttons and the dashboard looks pleasant. The fit and finish is excellent, it’s hard to find any rough edges or bad plastics in the car and quality is Hyundai’s forte, which you won’t complaint about.

There are a lot of storage places to keep your bottles and knick knacks. The dashboard has cooling function but no illumination. There is a neat tray ahead of the gear lever with a smooth sliding action that looks cool. Because of the all-black theme you might think that it doesn’t looks spacious but there is ample room for both front and rear passengers. The light coloured roof adds to some airiness along with the sunroof, which is a tad small in size. The rear seat cushioning is perfect with good support. Legroom is excellent but headroom for tall passengers is just average. Sadly there are no controls on the arm rest for the rear passengers and even no socket to charge your phone or laptop at the back. The boot is huge and you can fit in a lot of luggage. It has an interesting feature of hands-free smart trunk with which you can open the boot without putting any effort. Some of the key features include keyless entry and go, 10-way power adjustable seat, drive mode select, etc.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

Under the hood of the new Elantra will sit one of two engine options – the familiar 128hp, 1,582cc ‘D4FB U2’ diesel and a brand new 152hp, 1,999cc ‘Nu MPi’ naturally aspirated petrol engine; yes, while the rest of the world is downsizing and turbocharging, the new Elantra’s motor is larger than its predecessor’s. Whichever engine you choose, you then have the choice of a six-speed manual or a six-speed torque-converter automatic, so really, all bases have been covered with this car.The familiar engine first. The 1.6-litre CRDi turbo-diesel has powered not only the previous Elantra, but also the Verna and the Creta in India. While in those other two cars, its 128hp and 260Nm of torque are class leading, in the Elantra, they fall behind the competition (apart from the Toyota Corolla Altis), as does the engine’s displacement – 2.0-litres is the norm here. In everyday driving, the lack of displacement and power isn’t too much of an issue, and the Elantra diesel is quite happy at city speeds, thanks to its smooth and linear nature. Even on the highway, sure, you’ll feel a bit of strain when you drop down from sixth to fifth in the manual car and go for an overtake, but it does still cruise quite comfortably otherwise.

Interestingly, it’s the old-school six-speed auto that highlights the engine’s lack of oomph, as the shift points are out of your control. Whereas in the manual, you would probably shift up a little before the redline, say at 3,500rpm, to keep progress smooth, in the automatic, if you bury your foot, it will run all the way to the redline and that brings with it a lot of strain (until this point, the engine is impressively refined). What’s more, there are no paddles for you to select gears manually with, but you can use the gear lever itself. The other issue we had with the auto was that it was a little over-enthusiastic to shift gears. Very often, even the slightest drop in revs or smallest twitch of the accelerator pedal would cause an unpredictable upshift or a downshift, adding unnecessary interruptions to progress.

It’s a similar experience with the six-speed automatic on the petrol car – although it is smooth, there are no shift paddles and it can be a bit hyperactive with its shifts at low speeds. However, the new 2.0-litre petrol motor is a very different animal from the diesel. While the unnecessary upshifts are somewhat blunted by the diesel engine’s relaxed nature, the petrol engine is super responsive at low revs. This means, in the petrol automatic, you have to be judicious with your throttle inputs at lower speeds to make jerk-free progress, but once you’re used to it, it’s quite enjoyable. Paired with the added control of a manual shifter and a clutch pedal, the petrol motor is even more enjoyable; it’s one of the most responsive at low revs that we’ve ever tested. This makes it very well suited to stop-and-go traffic, letting you jump off the line briskly and cut into gaps with minimal effort. There is a small flat spot in the power delivery, just below 2,000rpm, after which the mid-range builds up in earnest. It revs out very smoothly and quickly, making you want to push it harder, but it never quite delivers that same punch you’d get from, say, an equivalent Honda engine. Refinement is good, and it’s not until 3,000rpm that you start to hear the motor in the car. But, while both motors are impressively quiet, you do hear quite a bit of wind and tyre noise inside the Elantra.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

This brings us to one of the biggest improvements we experienced in the new Elantra – its ride. I spent a good hour on the back seat, most of it in amazement as my colleague driving the car did everything possible to make me come back to the empty front seat.At low speeds the car gracefully absorbs bad roads and speed breakers unlike any of its predecessors. And as you go faster and faster over road undulations the new suspension setup and damping system ensures that the car car quickly settles back and doesn’t bob around like before. The newly introduced Vehicle Stability Management system further aids this cause. This is a big transformation and a step in the right direct by Hyundai India.

The steering is still light and helps while manoeuvring in the city or parking this 4.5-metre car. It does weigh up a bit as the car gathers speed but, being electrically assisted, it isn’t as communicative as some hydraulic steering setup. Apart from this we would have also liked some more bite and better feel from the brakes.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Front and rear axles get disc brakes, which work mutually with evidently robust braking equipments, such as anti-lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution. Brake assist is missing from the adept braking system. From the safety brigade, Elantra gets dual front airbags equipped in all variants, while side and curtain airbags are confined to the SX and SX AT trims.

Some of the other safety features present in the SX and SX AT variants include electronic stability control, speed sensing auto door lock, vehicle stability management and automatic headlight control. The only feature available exquisitely in the SX AT trims is hill start control. Preeminent safety equipments proffered as standard among all variants are rear parking sensors, impact sensing door unlock, clutch lock, rear defogger with timer, front height adjustable seatbelts with seatbelt pretensioners and ignition key reminder. The diesel base variant comes bereft of electro chromic mirror bestowed on the rest of the trims.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Elantra is an insanely important model in Hyundai’s lineup. Since 2012, the Elantra has sold more than 200,000 units each year in the U.S. alone. That beats both the Accent by nearly 150,000 annually and Sonata by roughly 30,000 units annually. Needless to say, the Korean automaker has a lot riding on the Elantra’s redesign.It seems Hyundai has done its homework though, as the completely revised car seems far more refined, modern, larger, and more technology-laden. Its smart new looks and updated engine options should attract buyers looking for something that isn’t a crossover, but who still want all the bells and whistles automakers are loading in those high-riding station wagons.

Audi A3 Overvew,Test Drive,Specifications,Mileage & Price In India

OVERVIEW ;

Given the full LED headlamps, the massive hexagonal grille and those taut shoulder lines, you might think you are looking at Audi’s new A4 here, when in fact this is the noticeably more affordable A3 which has been comprehensively updated for 2017. Armed with Audi’s latest design language, improved feature list and a new petrol motor, the 2017 A3 makes for an attractive proposition. Here’s what has changed and how.

EXTERIOR DESIGN ;

For starters, it looks a lot similar to the A4 now thanks to the redesigned LED DRLs. The car that we got, featured all LED headlamps as well, though it is not a part of the standard kit. It now sports the hexagonal ‘Diamond-inspired’ single frame grille as a part of the family design. The front bumper has been redesigned and features slimmer air vents that lend a sporty appeal to the styling. The shoulder line is more prominent and at the rear, the tail lamps retain their shape but the detailing is now different and also boast dynamic turn indicators, like the ones on the new A4.

The rear bumper has been given an overhaul as well and now looks a bit more aggressive and sporty. Panoramic sunroof though is standard across the range. It also now runs on new 16-inch alloys shod with Bridgestone or Michelin rubber.

INTRIOR DESIGN ;

The A3’s interior isn’t very different from other Audis, but there are a few things that will make you sit up and take notice. The first thing is the MMI screen – it pops up out of a slot at the top of the centre console, which is very impressive. Paired to this is the rotary knob on the centre console which has a touchpad on the top. This is much like a laptop computer’s mousepad, and you can write on it with a finger and it will recognise the letters, no matter how bad the handwriting. (We tried it, it works.) The second is the new design of the air vents. Audi says they’re modelled on a jet fighter’s turbines. Claims of turbofan resemblance aside, they are very pretty things, and the bezels have to be rotated to cut airflow. The crowning glory is the central circle – pull to focus airflow, and push for a diffused effect. This should help in cooling all of you equally rather than just one ear or your fingers.

All the usual bells and whistles are present – leather upholstery with contrasting stitching, a very nice four-spoke steering wheel, a multi-function display, a CD player with different multimedia options and a 20 GB hard drive, and dual zone climate control. The AC is effective and has a rear blower as well. Sat nav is an optional extra for some variants but is standard for the top-spec variant.

The seats are comfortable, of course, but tall people should stick to the front. The rear is surprisingly roomy for the car’s size (and roofline), with just enough headroom and knee room for a six-footer. Three abreast is going to be a big ask, though. Two at the rear will be comfortable, what with the armrest and dual cupholders and even a 12V socket exclusively for the rear seat. The A3 gets access via the central armrest recess at the rear to the 425 litre boot, which is a lot larger than that figure suggests. If it isn’t large enough for you, the rear seats split and fold flat for greater convenience.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The 2017 A3 comes with a choice of two power-plants – a 1.4-litre TFSI turbo petrol and the familiar 2-litre TDI diesel. Whereas the former is paired to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the more efficient diesel works in conjunction with a 6-speeder – also a dual clutch unit.

Starting with the petrol variant, Audi has replaced the old 1.8-litre TFSI unit in favour of this 1.4-litre motor which makes 150bhp and 250Nm of torque between 1,500 and 3,000rpm. Unlike its competition, the petrol powered A3 comes with cylinder-on-demand tech, which shuts down two of the four cylinders when you’re just pottering around. Then, as you floor it, all four cylinders fire up for maximum thrust.

Within city limits, the motor is surprisingly brisk, pulling strongly from around 2,000rpm. But despite making as much torque as the 1.8-litre unit, the new A3 doesn’t pull as hard as the older car. Where the 1.8-litre motor pushed you back in your seat, the 1.4-litre motor feels more linear and laidback in the way it goes about its business. As for refinement, the new A3 offers impressively low NVH, with a near silent idle and staying composed till about 4000rpm. Its only near the redline that the motor gets a bit loud. The 7-speed gearbox is undoubtedly quicker to respond than the competition and teamed with this engine’s eager power delivery, the surge of acceleration is addictive. The only downside to the gearbox is the jerky low speed behaviour and delay in response as you floor the throttle.

The 2-litre diesel continues to offer strong mid-range punch. It may be a little noisy when worked hard but it never feels vibey or harsh. Like in the older car, there is more than sufficient pulling power, all of which is efficiently transferred to the road via a 6-speed dual clutch automatic. Like its petrol-powered counterpart, gearshifts are rapid and smooth on the go but the overall response is a little jerky at crawling speeds.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

What we have here is, quite simply, one of the sweetest-handling Audi sedans we’ve come across in years. We’ve always found the handling of the bigger As to be really competent, but this one adds another element – fun. It’s simply a joy to chuck around corners, and that’s down to a number of factors. Primarily, it’s the very stiff chassis, which has allowed Audi to give the A3 softer suspension without corrupting the dynamics. Then there’s the steering, which though still not perfect, feels miles more direct and full of feel than just about any other recent Audi. The end result is a car that will eagerly dart into corners as quickly as you dare throw it. It feels light on its feet, there’s not too much understeer, with loads of grip, despite the lack of Quattro, and the body roll is all but imperceptible.

As for the ride, in the diesel, with its stiffer front end, you will feel a bit more of what’s going on under the tyres, particularly at city speeds over, for instance, a poorly paved piece of tarmac. Even so, it’s not as firm as the Mercedes A-class, and Audi’s equivalent of a ‘rough road package’ for India (read: added stiffness) seems to have been calibrated perfectly for our conditions. The petrol model is even better, with a slightly softer edge, especially when you consider our test cars were top-spec, wearing 17-inch wheels on 45-profile tyres. It’s impressive that Audi has managed to achieve this sort of compliance without the adaptive suspension trickery that you find in the bigger cars. The only fly in the ointment is road noise, and a fair bit of it comes into the cabin as you pick up speed. All said and done, Audi has nailed the ride and handling package on the A3, and for once it’s something we hope filters upwards into the next A4.

SAFETY ;

The Audi A3 received 5-stars in the Euro NCAP crash test. There are abundant safety features on offer and the car feels very well built. Front and side airbags are standard across the range and the higher end models also get rear airbags and knee airbag for the driver. Besides the standard ABS, the A3 is also equipped with ‘Electronic Stability Control’ (ESC) and ‘Electronic Limited Slip Differential’ as standard.

VERDICT ;

The A3 has a lot going for it – it looks great, especially in scarlet with 17-inch rims, has a ton of features that aren’t present at the price, and has enough performance to keep customers happy. It is also a first mover in the segment. Surprisingly, at the price that we expect it to go on sale, Rs 26-28 lakh, it will be great value for money as well, so we have no doubt that should Audi stick to that price, it will have another great product flying off their shelves.

Renault Kwid Price In India,Performance,Exteriors & Interiors

OVERVIEW ;

The Renault Kwid has redefined the entry level car segment altogether. The Renault Kwid 2017 is one of the few cars to take on the Maruti Alto 800 and provide some stiff competition to it. The Kwid is not compromised as much as others in the segment. The Kwid comes with SUV looks, spacious interiors, it is feature loaded and has a big boot. We share our detailed review of the Renault Kwid.

DESIGN ‘

There are only two changes on the 1.0-litre Renault Kwid to differentiate it from the 800cc model. The French carmaker has added sporty body graphics on the doors having 1.0-litre stickers and there are a lot better looking full-size ORVMs finished in brushed silver. There is no badging on the tailgate or the front fenders. Apart from these minor changes, the Kwid looks exactly the same. The SUV proportions and high stance is the USP of the Kwid which really makes it stand out of the competition when it comes to styling.

CABIN ;

Here too, the design is really impressive. The dashboard looks contemporary, as does the chunky three-spoke steering wheel. There’s a nice, glossy black, chrome-lined central console that looks good too, and the instrument cluster uses a large, sporty digital speedo; there’s no tachometer though. On the storage front, you get a pair of big door bins at the front to hold bottles, two glove boxes and a large recess between them. There are cupholders and a cubbyhole between the seats, but they feel a tad too shallow for all practical purposes. The AC vents also have chrome accents and can, rather neatly, be clicked shut, but they do feel a touch flimsy. And like with the exterior, you will start to see a few cost-cutting signs if you look hard enough, but they’re really no better or worse than other cars in this class. Things like exposed screws, centre-mounted window switches at the front, no power windows at the rear, and non retracting seatbelts at the back either – you have to adjust the length manually every time you buckle up. A lot of this is par for the segment, but since the Kwid looks so upmarket, you have to remind yourself about which segment it is in. On that note, it’s interesting to see the way Renault has chosen the equipment here. It’s a budget car, so you don’t expect a lot, so things like the big multifunction touchscreen, digital instrument cluster, Bluetooth, fog lamps, the optional airbag and navigation are incredible features for a car at this price. Renault has been clever to give customers desirable features like this, while saving costs in areas less consequential to the average budget car buyer. It’s a smooth engine with a sprightly low and mid end but suffers from lack of power high up the rev band. You can short shift and stay in a higher gear without losing much speed. It’s not going to be a blast down the highway but the Kwid is quick on its feet nonetheless. The 5-speed manual gearbox is easy to use and the ratios are spaced well for city use. You don’t feel the vibrations in the gear lever that’s an annoying feature in the Alto. The pedals however could do with a bit more play, both the clutch and the brake. .

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

There are obvious hints in the Kwid which show Renault recognises that part of the strategy in this segment is playing a mind-game. But, we wonder if the choice of a 800cc engine was also one that was influenced by this market reality. But eitherways, with the “Kitna Deti Hai?” question being a constant, it is good to note that the Kwid’s 799cc petrol engine is the most frugal in the segment. This three-cylinder engine is not as refined as the one’s in cars one segment above, but when compared to the Alto 800 or the Hyundai Eon, it is about very similar in idling character. Cabin noise levels are fairly well contained, though we felt vibration levels could have been lower. The test mule we drove was a pre-production model; hopefully the final versions will be better insulated. The engine itself is a fairly peppy unit, for its size. Generating 54PS of peak power, and 74Nm of torque, the engine delivers much of this at lower rpm levels, though the peaks are hit closer to 5,000rpm. But, its ability to respond quickly to driver inputs seems to be affected by the throttle mapping. Overall, the focus seems to have been to squeeze the most fuel efficiency from the powertrain. Speaking of which, the engine is paired to a 5-speed gearbox. Shift quality is good and there is none of the rubbery feel that some of the other cars in the segment have.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

A lesson Renault has learnt with the Duster is that a rugged high ground clearance car will find its takers here and with the Kwid, the carmaker delivers just that. Riding high at 180mm, the Kwid has the highest ground clearance in its class. And considering it’s a short wheelbase, this will be more than enough to go over just about every large speed breaker the country has in store for it. The high ground clearance also gives excellent visibility out of the driver’s seat making it a very easy car to drive around town. What impressed us right away is the ride quality of this tiny hatchback. The Kwid uses MacPherson struts up front and twist beam suspension at the rear and the setup is tuned to perfection for our roads. Large undulations are evened out impressively and broken roads don’t throw you about inside the car like most hatchbacks in this segment do. The nice chunky steering and the driving position are spot on. You sit at a good height and there is no offset pedal nonsense or steering on your chest sort of feeling that budget cars tend to have. The Kwid has considerable roll but not of the scary kind. You know you can keep it together when you are hustling this Renault baby, and in fact it is good fun to chuck around corners, much like the Alto. Just 660kg of mass to stop does ease pressure off the tiny disc brakes up front and the drums in the rear. The brakes could do with a bit more play though and the 155 section tyres with a bit more bite. When weight is on your side however, you can get away with a little less grip. Renault should however have an ABS equipped variant in the lineup too, which is not on offer as of now.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The are multiple reasons to state that Kwid is a strong product from Renault as firstly, it is a global car made from scratch and not a mere downsized or upgraded variant of any other car. The CMF-A platform, which powers the Kwid, has been designed and tuned to take care of all the present and upcoming needs and requirements. The same platform has potential to churn out cars with varied body types.

Jeep Grand Cherokee Review,Features,Specifications & Price In India

OVERVIEW ;

Jeep has over 75 years of experience in building SUVs and the brand explicitly claims that their vehicles clearly inspire a sense of freedom and adventure. If you take a trip down memory lane, you will always come across Jeep owners who confirm that the brand has always gone by the ‘Go Anywhere. Do Anything.’ slogan. After contemplating for four years, Jeep finally rolled into Indian showrooms late last month. With the Grand Cherokee, it’s primarily the extravagant nose with the seven-slat grille, the uniquely formed HID head lights, and immense chrome splashed all across, that allures. Adding to the visual drama is a towering and conspicuous bonnet line which flows all the way to the rear portion along with the square wheel-wells which indicates to the potent off-road lineage. A substantial quantity of chrome can be seen highlighting the details, however, soon after one appreciates the individuality of the design, you stumble upon the rear section of the car which could easily pass off as just another SUV. With the Grand Cherokee and Wrangler on the product list for now, Jeep has priced both cars more than what the market anticipated. We drove the diesel Grand Cherokee extensively and here’s the details.

EXTERIORS ;

. For starters, the Grand Cherokee is a spectacular looking vehicle as compared to its earlier generations showing exemplary evolution. The vertically placed 7-slat chrome grille might look familiar to most considering how Mahindra has been using the same design for a long long time. There is a generous serving of chrome on the front of the car with a large and rather well placed chrome accent piece running across the lower half of the front bumper and two handsome air intake ports with chrome linings occupying the top half of the front bumper.

What really captivated us was the sheer attention to detail in the sleek headlamp unit. The horizontally placed headlamps with embedded LED daytime running lamps gives the Grand Cherokee tremendous street presence and character. The headlamp units also come with small engravings that showcase the original Jeep form in them on one side and the words ‘Since 1941’on the other side paying homage to the vehicle that started the off-road trend. Incidentally, Jeep is also credited in making the world’s first luxury offroader, or what later came to be known as the SUV, the Wagoneer, which to some is the father of all modern SUVs the world over.

Coming back to the design elements on the new 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee, although the front of the car demands respect with its well crafted design, the rear of this range topping SUV does seem a little vanilla from the rear end due to its upright stance and large tail lamps. There is even more chrome on tap here though with the large Jeep badge dominating the boot lid. The rear bumper is festooned with two large trapezoidal exhaust tips and a large chrome accent piece dominating the rear bumper from one end to another. What does really stand out though is the sheer size and dimensions of the car amongst other cars on the road. We also like the large 20-inch split-5-spoke chrome wheels which although huge on paper look just about right on this huge SUV. In fact, if one is seriously considering buying the Grand Cherokee, we would beg you to go for the largest set of wheels Jeep as to offer just because this is one of those few cars that can actually pull a gigantic wheel off without looking awkward. The Grand Cherokee is most certainly one of the most brutish SUVs built and will certainly command instant respect wherever one takes it.

INTERIORS ;

We’ve glossed through some photos on the web and gathered all we could about the machine. The cabin is more spacious than most people would desire. At the front, you’re given more than enough room to stretch your legs out, while headroom and shoulder room are also fine. The second row could have been improved slightly according to some sources, although it’s quite possibly more comfort-oriented than most other SUVs of its classThe layout and styling of the cabin is pretty marvellous, but you might want to keep your expectations in check, because it’s not the type that you’d find within Audi/BMW/Mercedes-Benz. We definitely adored it, with the fine treatment and the expensive highlights. There is an edge of sophistication that you can trace in the design, and we personally thought it was very well done.

We aren’t too sure about the colour scheme, but we get the idea that there could be a two two colour scheme. At the front, the upper section of the dashboard is to come in a lighter colour, while the lower portion that flows down towards the leg area would be darker. AC vents are present on either side of the dash, and on either side of the console by the centre. A thick wooden garnish runs the length of the dashboard, stretching into the doorsides as well. This definitely does rake up the glamour within, and we thought that it was unlike other models that we see today. At the focus of the console is a 8.4-inch Touchscreen display with the buttons aligned below it. The placement and arrangement of the system was great, bringing a modern pulse to the interior that most people would find enthralling.

The area surrounding the console is wrapped in the same silver embellishment, making for a more opulent and energetic look. At the bottom of the console, the gear-shift lever has been placed right next to a bottle storage region. By the corner, the steering wheel is to come with fine leather dressing, and we’re sure few people would turn down this thrill. Paddle shifters have been incorporated by the wheel, allowing for easier shifting. Coming to the seating arrangement, you’re sure to love the black leather upholstery that lavishes the seats, and it comes along with Suede inserts for a more affluent touch. When you take a seat here, you’re sure to feel more relieve than in most other cars, with the strong ergonomic design, along with many reliable comfort facilities. This includes seat heating, 4-way adjustable lumbar support, split folding for the rear seats, and ventilation for the front seats. With all of these and more, we can safely say that riding in this vehicle, upon its release, is going to be quite a breeze.

PERFORMANCE ;

This is the department where the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT shows its true colours. Petrol motors with huge displacement is an American trademark and this beast is no different. Powering the SRT is a 6.4-litre naturally aspirated HEMI V8 engine which produces 475 BHP and 630 Nm of torque. On paper, the numbers aren’t too high considering the displacement. However, in the real world, the performance of this SUV is mind numbing. Being a naturally aspirated motor, torque is available from the word go and there’s no turbo lag to deal with. This makes the car shoot like a rocket.

Speaking of shooting like a rocket, the Grand Cherokee SRT comes with launch control which is very easy to use. All one needs to do is press the launch button located next to the gearlever, straighten the steering wheel, press the brake and accelerator completely and then leave the brake pedal. The way this thing surges forward post that is an experience which is very, very difficult to put into words. To describe it in one word – unreal. Never in my wildest dreams would I imagine a SUV to launch this way. This even beats the European SUVs which have turbocharged engines with more horses in terms of brute force.

The brute force and rawness of the engine is down to the torque it produces and the way the engine is built. Earlier, I mentioned about the dual exhausts acting like speakers. What I meant there was that the exhaust note of the SRT is music to the ears. There are very few things which can be better than the sound coming out of a big block American V8 engine and it adds to the whole drama. However, all this comes at a cost and the cost is in terms of something very dear to us Indians – fuel efficiency. Drive it sedately and you would be lucky to get around 3.5 km/l. Drive it the way a SRT is supposed to be and you end up getting 2.5 km/l. The low fuel efficiency is somewhat set off by the huge 120-litre fuel tank.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The driving dynamics of the Jeep Grand Cherokee are improved with drive select mode with five settings. The grip management system coordinates with 12 driving systems, including throttle control, transmission shifting, electronic stability control system, etc., delivering accurate stability over varying driving conditions. The superior quality of the suspension system with high ground clearance inspires for an adventurous drive.

SAFETY ;

The safety level of the Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT is right up there as it is imported as a CBU from the USA which is known to have one of the most stringent safety norms. It gets the usual shebang of safety kit including multiple airbags, ABS, ESP, TCS, Hill start assist, Hill descent control and the likes. What remains to be seen is the sales and service network of the brand once it is established in India. In the beginning, showrooms will be opened up in very few cities which is definitely a problem for potential owners.

VERDICT ;

We’ll be honest with you, it’s hard to judge a vehicle with such amazing depth. The Grand Cherokee is displaying promise like no other vehicle has, and its response in other markets is pretty good. We’re sure that a major class of Indian car lovers would enjoy this vehicle’s enthralling exteriors, luxurious interiors and the never ending list of comfort. Its handling and performance would charm the sportier section of the crowd, and youngsters would definitely love the overall style and glamour. In the end of the day, we’re going to have to wait for the machine to be launched here before we can ascertain whether it’s destined to fly or to flop.

Jeep Compass Review,Specifications,Features & Price in India

OVERVIEW ;

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles after a long delay finally made their India debut back in 2016 with two exciting products which included the Wrangler and the Grand Cherokee. Both these SUV’s where sold in the Indian market via the CBU route and thus were expensive and well above the reach of many. However, that is all going to change now because Jeep has decided to launch a new SUV which is well within reach of buyers.

Jeep has unveiled the Compass SUV in India today, and the good thing is that the compact SUV is made in India product which also means that the new product will also be priced quite aggressively as well. The brands new product will be locally assembled at their Ranjangaon facility in Maharashtra from June onward. The new Jeep Compass replaces the old Compass and Patriot SUV in the International market, and apart from the Indian market, the same SUV is also produced in some other Countries as well. However, the good news is that India will be mother hub for right-hand drive Compass SUV from where it will also be exported to some other right-hand drive markets as well. For all your information the Compass SUV is offered with 17 engine options for different markets of the world.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

In terms of design, the Jeep Compass has most of the elements one is looking for. The design has a good road presence, there is more than enough similarity to the Grand Cherokee. The Jeep Compass gets the seven slat front grille and somewhat hawk-eye line design. The higher spec model gets projector headlamps and daytime running LEDs. The bumper too is wide and its lower end is black matte to avoid any scratches on the paint if and when off roading.

The side profile does have the SUV like boxy styling, but the low stance makes it seem more like a crossover. The wheel arches are muscular and squarish. The door pillars are blacked out and there are roof rails too. The alloy wheels fill the arches well and they do not appear to be empty at any point. There are clean lines that run across the SUV. The rear styling of this new SUV also melds well with its overall design. The tail lamps are neatly integrated and they do look stylish. There is an integrated rear spoiler and reflectors in the bumper. The overall styling is just impressive and even the paint quality makes it feel premium.The Compass doesn’t seem to look very tall and its design will somewhat appear like a crossover. So, we aren’t certain on what will a buyer’s reaction to this design. The Jeep Compass India production will actually make it easier for the company to enhance their sales numbers as the pricing should be highly competitive.

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

The interiors of the JeepCompass aren’t very swanky and lavish. The dashboard is simple yet functional having a dual tone treatment. You’ve got a chunky three-spoke steering wheel with audio controls but there are some dummy buttons for the cruise control, which is not being offered in India. The instrument cluster looks premium having a huge MID in the middle and is easy to read. There is a neatly integrated touchscreen infotainment system. The user interface looks good but the touch quality is just average. Jeep offers Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for smartphone connectivity. The sound quality of the audio system is rich and quite satisfying. Some of the features missing in the Compass are sunroof, electrically adjustable seats, auto headlamps, auto wipers, etc.

The ingress and egress is quite comfortable in the Jeep Compass and you don’t feel like you are sitting in a hatchback like other compact SUVs, it is relatively high and you have a commanding driving position with a good view all around. The quality, fit and finish is nice and you can hardly find any cheap quality panels inside the cabin. The seats are very comfortable and supportive, there is ample legroom and headroom at the back. Even the under-thigh support of the seats are pretty good. The boot is also well spaced out and can accommodate a lot of luggage.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The diesel version we drove comes powered with Fiat’s new generation 2.0-litre Multijet II engine that debuts in India on the Compass. It makes 173PS of power at 3750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1750rpm and 2500rpm. The torque is available from 1800rpm onwards below which there is noticeable turbo lag. The narrow, winding roads of Goa didn’t quite allow us to accelerate hard but the motor did feel like the power delivery could have been punchier. The engine is smooth but sounds clattery at idle and is a tad noisy even on the go, especially after 3500rpm.

Interestingly, the diesel version of the Compass will not be offered with an automatic transmission and will only come with a six-speed manual transmission. There will be a 7-speed automatic on offer as well, but only with the petrol version powered by the 1.4-litre Multiair engine. That said, a new 9-speed automatic is expected to be offered in the diesel by the end of the calendar year. The manual gearbox feels slick to use though, and gear changes have a precise feel which makes shifting up or down a delight when driving enthusiastically.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The steering unit on the Compass is a revelation. Though it is electrically assisted, it feels well-connected to the front wheels. While there is almost no resistance from the steering system at parking speeds, it weighs up nicely as you pick up speed.A brief drive on the beach also gave us a preview of how effective the ‘Selec Terrain’ system is. Controlled via a rotary knob on the lower centre console, it offers shift-on-the-fly traction modes – including ‘Auto’, ‘Snow’, ‘Sand’ and ‘Mud’. Though the Compass has all-weather tyres, which are generally just enough to cope with varying terrains, the AWD system made sure the Compass felt comfortable on soft sand. The system automatically sent power to the rear wheels when it detected slip and stopped it from digging in.

On a dedicated 3.5km long off-road track, the Jeep Compass felt like it was built to do such stuff. Water wading, steep inclines, slush tracks, slippery grass, wet rocky terrain and a very bumpy log path were all dispatched with minimal effort. We were tackling all these in the ‘Mud’ mode which locks the 4×4 system and disengages traction control. The short first gear compensates for the absence of a crawler gear and there is enough grunt low down the power band that you don’t need to slip the clutch to go over steep obstacles. The responsive steering wheel has to be given another mention here – it had enough feedback for me to know where my front wheels were pointing at, without tiring my arms.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Jeep Compass gets disc brakes at front as well as rear. The SUV comes with as many as 50 safety and security features in form of Four-channel Anti-lock Brakes, full-function Traction Control, Electronic Stability Control, Panic Brake Assist, Hydraulic Boost Failure Compensation, Electronic Roll Mitigation etc. Additionally, the company has incorporated 6 Airbags (side curtains for front and rear-passengers), Electronic Parking Brake (EPB) and Reverse Parking Camera to further strengthen the safety of the occupants.

BOTTOMLINE ;

The Compass is a seriously impressive SUV that seems to take full advantage of Jeep’s experience with SUVs. In fact, look deep into its headlights, past that seven-slot grille, and you can see the years and years of know-how shining through. Prices for the Compass diesel start at a very competitive Rs 15.45 lakh (ex showroom Delhi), with this top-of-the-line Limited (O) 4 X 4 going for Rs 20.65 lakh. What you get for your money is real off-road ability, strong dynamics and plenty of luxury and comfort on the inside. Sure, the touchscreen isn’t really what’s expected of a car in this class and there are important bits of kit missing, like a sunroof; and those interested will have to contend with Fiat’s less-than-fantastic dealer network. Rear seat comfort could have been better for this segment, and those looking for a diesel automatic SUV will be disappointed as the Compass will get that only at a later stage. But this SUV’s fundamentals are so strong, it’s difficult not to compare it to cars from a class above, like the Volkswagen Tiguan which is a lot more expensive at where it stands today. And that’s the real kicker – the Compass may just be the value luxury SUV you have been waiting for.

Jeep Compass Sport 1.4 Multi Air Petrol Ex-showroom Price is   15,14,873/- and On Road Price is   17,39,336/- in New Delhi. Jeep Compass Sport 1.4 Multi Air Petrol comes in 5 colours, namely Exotica Red,Hydro Blue,Vocal White,Brilliant Black,Minimal Grey.