Toyota Innova Crysta Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

Toyota Innova Crysta 2016 is the latest edition of the famous Innova model with a facelift in exterior styling and luxurious interior features. The Innova Crysta variants are available in manual and automatic transmission versions, widening the options for customers. Currently, Innova Crysta variants are available as GX, GX Automatic, VX, ZX and ZX Automatic, with ZX as the top-end variant.Check Ex Showroom Price of Innova Crysta

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

Like we said, the Crysta is a complete departure from the older Innova. Everything has been reworked extensively in order to give it that premium appeal. The design is fresh that ditches the slender proportions for a wider, more muscular stance. It is safe to say that the older generation was long in the tooth in terms of design, despite multiple facelifts. Toyota couldn’t have timed the update better. The front now features a prominent hexagonal grille that gets two massive chrome slats that flow into the projector headlamps. Most of the real estate at the front is taken up by the large bumper. We particularly like the detailing in the smoked-out headlamps and the placement of the LED pilot lamps. The lower half of the grille is glossy black, which helps break the bulk at the front.

Over to the side, the Crysta’s van-like proportions come to the fore. While there’s nothing interesting to speak of other than the large 17-inch wheels, we like how Toyota has managed to keep things simple and uncluttered. Little dabs of chrome on the door handles and the outside rear-view mirror add a touch of class to the profile.The rear ditches the triangular tail lamps for a much more aggressive, sabertooth inspired design.The rear profile is nearly slab-sided, with a large glasshouse that takes up most of the space. Subtle touches like the spoiler and the shark-fin antenna add some spice to an otherwise boring rear profile. Exchange your old car for Innova Crysta

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Arguably the biggest transformation has happened on the inside and the cabin feels spacious, open and crisply styled. The modern dashboard looks fresh, is well detailed and the swooping dash top looks really great without being overdone. Details like the single piece of metal strip which runs across the top of the dashboard looks premium and classy. Visibility from the high front seats is good and this makes it easy to drive especially in traffic.Despite the swooping dash, ergonomics are spot-on and everything from the touchscreen to the Air-con controls are tilted upwards for ease of use. The blue backlit instrument cluster looks modern and the digital centre screen hosts a comprehensive trip computer. USB and aux-in ports are cleverly placed in the middle for an easy access for front and rear passengers. As an observation we would have preferred more USB ports especially considering it’s a premium seven seater. The touchscreen is intuitive to use and it host various information like satellite navigation, eco display (which shows how efficiently you are driving), Bluetooth telephony and music system controls. On the downside I would have preferred the volume control to be a knob for easier access while driving.

As far as upholstery is concerned the top of the line ZX variant gets leather seats. But while in the manual transmission variant you get an all-black cabin which looks sporty, the automatic features a more classy brown upholstery. Overall quality especially on the upper portion of the dashboard is quite good and Toyota has added some elements to justify the high asking price. The touch points like the armrest on the doorpad is covered in soft velvety fabric, the chunky leather wrapped steering with large control button is great to hold, the gloss black finish on the front doorpads look classy (weirdly the rear doorpad gets wood finish) and even the control stalks are of high order. But considering it’s an expensive car we expected better consistency especially lower down in the cabin.The sea of black hard plastics around the glovebox, cupholders and doorpads look shiny and the graining could have been better too. Even the air-con buttons are too small and the chrome finish doesn’t look very convincing. We also felt that although the old Innova didn’t have the premium leather dash top and modern design, it had better quality consistency across the cabin.

Thanks to the larger dimensions the cabin feels wider and is more spacious than before. Seat comfort is first rate and the contoured front buckets are very comfortable. The driver seat in this top Z variant is powered too, and combined with the telescopic steering adjust, finding an ideal driving position is extremely easy. The middle row sees the biggest improvement and the extra cabin width has allowed Toyota engineers to give larger and more accommodating captain seats.The middle-row buckets are supportive, underthigh support is really good and the reclining backrest makes this a great chauffer-driven car. The ceiling mounted blue ambient lighting and the large glass area makes this a great place to be in.Even the front passenger seat can be adjusted using a well designed lever from the back. If you love working on the go, the foldable trays in the back are placed at an ideal height and their 7 kg weight capacity make them perfect to place your laptops on.

The third row though is not a huge improvement over the old car and the combination of the high floor and low seat makes it comfy only for short stints. You also get a removable headrest for the middle passenger (how will he fit in the narrow seat is a different matter) and all three occupants get three point seatbelts.Visibility from the third row though is hampered by the stylish triangular quarter glass. With all three rows up, boot space is reasonable and can be extended by folding the last row when not in use.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

So the updates to the exterior and interior are both huge improvements, but there’s even more good news in store. The Innova Crysta comes with two entirely new diesel engines, a 2.4-litre with a five-speed manual gearbox, and a 2.8-litre with a six-speed automatic gearbox. The 2.4 manual first, and when compared to the old 2.5-litre engine, there are some similarities. This one too is not very refined, sounding a bit gravelly at start-up and then again at higher revs, and it also doesn’t enjoy being revved a lot, making you want to shift up well before the redline. However, both these aspects are slightly improved from the old car. The Crysta settles into a smooth and relatively silent hum at low to medium revs, and though you’ll still want to shift up early, you get more out of each gear now. The rest is all positive. For one, there’s more power – 150hp is a significant jump in power over the old 102hp, and at 13.1sec, the Crysta is a full 4.4sec faster from 0-100kph than the previous car! It even feels much stronger when you’re overtaking, which is essential when you’re out on the highway with a fully loaded-up car; this is helped by its solid 343Nm of pulling power that’s made as low as 1,400rpm. The old Innova was geared very short, so cruising in fifth on the highway was a noisy affair and the engine sounded strained. The newer car has a much broader torque spread and relatively taller gearing, so it feels a lot more comfortable loping along at high speeds, although we feel a sixth ratio would have made it more effortless still. So it’s a great highway cruiser, but if you find yourself in traffic, you will notice the clutch pedal is on the heavy side and that the short gear lever needs a little more effort. It’s also got three drive modes – Eco, Normal and Power. Eco is best for when you’re in town and want to stretch every last litre of diesel, while Power yields the quickest responses to accelerator inputs. But Normal mode is the best for everyday driving, delivering a good mix of power and efficiency.

What really tells you that the Innova is now a seriously premium car is the availability of an automatic gearbox. The six-speed unit also comes with a larger, even more powerful diesel engine – 2.8 litres with 174hp at 3,400rpm and 360Nm at 1,200-3,400rpm. This car is properly quick, being able to cross 100kph in just 11.5sec, and this is despite the fact it weighs almost 1.9 tonnes! The automatic gear shifts themselves are smooth, but we feel the system is too eager to change gears sometimes, even when not necessary. And while there are no paddle shifters for manual gear control, you can change gears manually with the gear lever itself.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The premium feel of the Innova Crysta is also in the way it drives. Though this vehicle has a ladder frame (subframe) chassis, it feels very comfortable. The ride remains composed and passes on minimal undulations of the road. The new chassis is even more stronger now. An improved suspension sees the ride quality improve a lot over the earlier vehicle, there is much less pitching and rolling now. Hence it is ideal for long distance travel.

At slow speed you can feel some thuds inside, but higher speeds its good. The steering wheel feel a bit heavy at parking speed. But as speeds rise, it gets better and a joy to hold and drive. The brakes are also very good and a progressive. The all round visibility of the New Toyota Innova Crysta 2017 is excellent and one drives in a commanding portion. The Innova Crysta is also a great vehicle to drive within the city. It has a tight turning radius hence taking sharp U-turns is a breeze. Even parking poses no problem.

SAFETY ;

Toyota has upped the game in the safety department as well. The Japanese automaker is providing seven airbags with the new Innova including a driver-side knee airbag for the range topping ZX variant. Dual front airbags and ABS is standard across all the variants. There is Vehicle Stability Control and Hill-Start Assist Control on offer as well. Toyota is providing 3-point seatbelts with adjustable headrests for all the passengers including third row seats. The Toyota badge is known to offer hassle-free after sales in India with a wide reach and network spread across the country. Longevity is tried and tested while the resale value of Toyota cars is up there as well. We expect low maintenance and spare parts cost due to high localisation (the diesel engines will soon be made in India).

CONCLUSSION ;

The confidence Toyota has in its MPV product is quite similar to how the buyer perceives the vehicle to be; simply commendable. We saw it when Toyota pulled the plug on the Qualis when it was absolutely flourishing in our market. Then came the Innova and it ultimately caught up and even outsold its predecessor. Buyers still swear over its bullet-proof reliability and they’re ready to part with even Rs 18 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) for the top-end versions. While in the latest iteration, the Innova Crysta, is a substantial improvement over the old Innova’s strengths, it will come at a premium. Especially, as it now ticks all the boxes to contend in the higher end of the MPV segment. And we believe that buyers will just carry on and pile on the bookings.

Mahindra KUV100 Safety Features

OVERVIEW

Mahindra launched the KUV100 exactly a year ago in India; the auto manufacturer pitched it as a small SUV and their entry level offering for the Indian market. Basically this is actually a beefed up hatchback and gets both petrol and diesel engine under the hood. Although the KUV100 made a fiery start in terms of sales when it was launched initially but slowly the sales number declined and in the month of December 2016 only 1953 units of the vehicle was sold which is actually its lowest numbers since its launch.Check On Road Price of KUV100

Like you all know that the Mahindra KUV100 is definitely not a compact SUV and is also priced lower than most of the other compact SUV offerings. This car now competes directly in the B+ segment hatchbacks and locks horns directly with the recently introduced Maruti Suzuki Ignis which too is actually a beefed up Cross hatchback.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

The KUV100 might be marketed as an SUV, but it is essentially a pumped up hatchback; one that will compete against the likes of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the Hyundai Grand i10 and the newly launched Ford Figo. So, it has a monocoque chassis, a transverse mounted engine and front wheel drive. But, because it must be referenced as an SUV, the KUV100 naturally has high ground clearance too; 170mm of it. It isn’t very large though. At 3675mm in length, it is the shortest in its class. And its 2385mm wheelbase is the least as well. But the KUV100 stands tall at 1655mm (with roof rails) making it the tallest. Get deals on KUV100

As far as styling goes, the front of this pumped-up hatchback has a sleek front grille, a buff bumper, and large pulled back headlamps with LEDs KUV100 embossing. The side profile looks aggressive thanks to the shallow greenhouse area. It also has its rear door handles integrated into the rear window panel aka Chevrolet Beat. The rear meanwhile is less aggressive, looks palatable and decently modern. The KUV100 is available in seven colours, Pearl White, Aquamarine, Dazzling Silver, Flamboyant Red, Fiery Orange, Designer Grey and Midnight Black.

INTERIOR AND SPACE

If you don’t already know, your friendly salesperson will go to great lengths to point out that the KUV cabin’s USP is the advantage of six seats, just like on the Datsun Go. This has been made possible by positioning the gear lever and handbrake lever on the centre console, freeing up floor space for the additional seat up front. But what distinguishes the car from the Datsun Go is that the KUV is certified as a six-seater. Though three adults can squeeze in up front, the middle passenger legroom is limited, making it more suitable for a child. Question is, would you want your most precious cargo seated within striking distance of the centre console and gear lever? Also, folding down the middle seat backrest turns it into a large armrest and that is the best way to use (or rather, not use) the sixth perch. However, the flat bench type front seat doesn’t offer the kind of back or side support the standard version’s shapelier individual chairs do.

High-set seats and flat floors, front and back, mean getting in and out of the KUV’s cabin is easy. What’s also a relief is that unlike the exteriors, the KUV’s cabin is smart and restrained in design. The ‘bowed’ dashboard that rises towards the middle is the centrepiece and comes finished in nice, textured plastics on the top, though quality lower down is not great. Boring monochrome display for the audio player apart, we didn’t have much else to complain about with the well laid-out centre console. Drivers will also like the three-spoke steering wheel that’s good to hold, though the inconvenient pull-type handbrake is unlikely to find many fans. On our test car, the handbrake lever malfunctioned, making hill starts quite tricky.

Those seated on the KUV’s rear seat will be surprised by the space and comfort on offer. There’s generous leg, head and shoulder room, the backrest position is just right and there’s even a foldable centre armrest. And all three rear passengers get adjustable headrests, which enhances their overall comfort levels. The spoiler though is the blanked-out space after the rear windows (there to accommodate the exterior door handle) that cuts outside visibility. Form unfortunately followed function here. .

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

The Mahindra KUV100 comes with the newly-developed mFalcon range of engines. The petrol engine is a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder G80 unit churning out 82 HP of power at 5500 RPM and 114 Nm of torque from 3500-3600 RPM. The motor is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission and it reaches 100 km/hr in third gear. The engine needs to be revved but does go freely to its 6000 RPM redline. After 4500 RPM, it has a tendency to get vocal though. The mid-range isn’t satisfactory and in-gear acceleration isn’t much to talk about either, one needing to downshift to get going. On the whole, it is a refined engine and the KUV100 cruises at 100 km/hr in 5th gear at 3200 RPM. While the vehicle is standing still, the engine doesn’t rev above 4000 RPM. The car maxes out at 150 km/hr when the speed warning buzzes, a feature also present on the XUV500.

The diesel engine is also a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder D75 unit belting out 77 HP of power at 3750 RPM and 190 Nm of torque between 1750-2250 RPM. The oil-burner also gets a 5-speed manual transmission. The D75 unit does 100 km/hr in 4th gear and power is delivered in a very linear manner. It redlines at 4750 RPM and touches 100 km/hr in 5th gear at 2750 RPM. The turbo lag is very well-contained and this motor feels much better to drive than the petrol unit which feels underpowered on the highway. Still, one needs to keep the throttle floored to get the vehicle going quick. Vibrations are felt on the console but not much on the pedals in the diesel model while on the petrol, there is some harshness felt at multiple places when nearing the redline.

There is also a lot of wind noise creeping inside the car post 100 km/hr, coming from near the A-pillar. The 5-speed gearbox is very smooth and the clutch is also extremely light on both the petrol and diesel models, thus allowing the driver to have a stress-free driving experience. The claimed fuel efficiency for the petrol engine is 18.15 km/l while the diesel engine extracts 25.32 km/l. Mahindra will offer an AMT unit with the KUV100 later this year. There is a MicroHybrid technology on offer just like the Scorpio and XUV500 while Mahindra also offers Power and ECO modes on the diesel, which boosts fuel efficiency by restricting fuel supply and thereby keeping max RPM to around 3500 RPM. The default mode is Power and it is best to drive the KUV in that mode as the 3-pot oil burner needs to be worked to get going quickly. Both the petrol and diesel engines are average at best, they are very refined for three-cylinder motors but lack excitement and aren’t urgent either.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The levelled surface of the test track was barely any gauge for the KUV100’s ride, but expect it to be comfortable given the soft suspension setup. The KUV100 sits on an all-new platform developed from a clean sheet of paper using a monocoque chassis that offers a car like feel, and those used to driving hatchbacks will feel at home. There’s a fair bit of body roll around corners though thanks to the soft suspension and higher centre of gravity, which takes away some confidence when cornering at speeds. The soft suspension also made for some bit of weaving under hard braking but things were pretty much in control at all times, and KUV100 even felt stable being pushed around the banked corners of the track. Brakes have a progressive feel, though some more bite would be welcome.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

Braking system is formed by the ventilated disc brakes in the front and drum brakes in the rear. Other vital braking features inset to support the brakes affixed in front and back comprise of anti-lock-braking system along with electronic brake force distribution, which is standard across all variants.

Standard safety features on board are automatic door lock, central door locking, and door open indicator. Other safety features available on the SUV are child safety locks on rear doors, anti-slip clips for driver side door mats, ISOFIX child seat mount on rear seat, engine immobiliser, anti-theft security alarm, and dual airbags are available is available on all the plus variants along with the range topping variant.

CONCLUSSION

Now we come to the hardest part of any review – the tester’s final impressions of the Mahindra KUV100.

The Mahindra KUV100 is a one-of-a-kind hatchback that aspires to be an SUV. If you’re looking to turn heads (in the quirky manner), the KUV100’s design is apt as it incites curiosity and attention. The seat comfort could’ve been better, while rear visibility and boot volume aren’t satisfactory.

However what we have here is one of the most refined Mahindras ever built. It’s got an impressive diesel engine, slick gearbox, well-trimmed and spacious interior, and a commanding view over its rivals. The cherry on the top is its competitive pricing, which is slightly lower than the competition.

Volkswagen Vento Price & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

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

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

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

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

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

SAFETY SECURITY AND FEATURES ;

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

CONCLUSSION ;

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

Merecedes Benz AMG GLC43 Coupe Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The Mercedes-Benz AMG models have the superb reputation of the luxury sports utility vehicle with grand styling features and high-performance factors. The Mercedes-Benz AMG GLC 43 Coupe exteriors feature the AMG body styling with diamond pattern grille LED intelligent light system, and electrically folding ORVMs. The interiors aesthetics are highlighted with ARTICO man-made leather upholstery, AMG instrument cluster with 5.5” multifunction display and sunroof with electric adjust. The dynamic select feature with five mode selection, speed sensitive steering, and the safety features of seven airbags and Parktronic park assist system are featured as a standard.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

Aside from the prominent sloping roofline, the Coupe 43 looks decidedly sportier than the standard GLC SUV with a chrome-pinned diamond radiator grille, twin louvred air intakes and a chrome splitter running across the lower edge of the front bumper that channels air flow for better cooling. The sporty bits continue on the sides with twin five-spoke alloys and what is now Mercedes’ signature coupé rear – narrow horizontally oriented split tail-lights, a centrally positioned three-pointed star and a sharp spoiler lip. The exhausts are four-pipe chrome tipped units. Should you still be in doubt, the Coupe 43 gets ‘AMG’ lettering on the front grille and boot lid, AMG-badged wheel center hubs and ‘Bi-Turbo 4-Matic’ lettering on its flanks.

On the whole, the SUV-coupé does a good job of looking sporty with very little visual bulk and flab thanks to its taut and tucked in lines. The athletic stance of the coupe is further accentuated with a length that’s stretched out by around 80mm and a height dropped by 40mm compared to its SUV counterpart.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

On the inside, you’ll find the same general appearance is shared between the GLC Coupe and the GLC43. Big things sometimes come in little packages, though, and that’s the case with the interior of the GLC43. To start off, AMG threw in a set of front sport seats that come with increased lateral support to help keep you in place during more extreme maneuvers. The entire interior is upholstered in black MB-Tex/DINAMICA microfiber that is held together by red contrast top stitching. Believe it or not, the stitching adds to the overall ambiance and luxuriousness of the cabin. You’ll find AMG tossed out the white inserts from the center of the seats and the door trim panels and went with the black DINAMICA instead. The silver inserts on the door panels, the face of the dash, and in the middle of the center console carry over from the standard GLC Coupe. There is a new carbon fiber insert that covers the majority of the center console, which is a nice addition.

As far as infotainment goes, the car comes standard with an Audio 20 system with a 7-inch touchscreen display, Frontbass, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, and two USB ports. Garmin Map Pilot comes as optional equipment to create a “full-fledged navigation system.” Maps for the Garmin system are supplied via an SD card. Opting for the Comand system, the media display is replaced by an 8.4-inch unit and includes hard-disc-based navigation, live traffic information, and can be optioned with a WiFi hotspot and advanced voice control system. A Burmester Surround system is available as an option and includes a nine-channel DSP amplifier, 13 speakers, and an overall output of 590 Watts. Not bad, but surely, you’ll have to pony up some extra cash for this luxury.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Powered by the AMG 43 series V6, the Coupe 43 puts out 367hp at 5,500-6,000rpm and makes 520Nm of torque between 2,500 and 4500rpm. These values are identical to that of the larger GLE Coupe and it does the 0-100kph sprint in a claimed 4.9sec, about a second quicker than the GLE’s 5.7sec. The car feels quick and sounds so too. Even in Comfort mode, there is a hint of a rumble and murmur, and Sport and Sport+ modes bring these gloriously to the forefront. It’s no V8, but the soundtrack is exciting enough and Sport+ mode brings along some neat pops and cracks from the exhaust when you lift off. ‘Sport’ is best for some spirited driving and while Sport+ mode may be the most dramatic, it’s also quite hard-edged with an aggressive throttle setting; it would be best to use this when you have the road all to yourself. The car also has an Eco mode and I did try this out for sometime. Being an AMG, it does not feel as lethargic as some of the regular Merc cars, but the throttle does get heavy and my guess is you’d only use it if you were running low on fuel and struggling to reach a pump.

All four wheels are driven and the Coupe 43 gets an AMG-specific power distribution that puts a larger percentage of power towards the rear but the car does tend to lean towards understeer when pushed. The steering has a nice and weighted feel but even in Comfort mode some would find it on the heavier side for simply meandering about traffic. It’s also over-assisted at times.

The GLC SUV has a well-rounded suspension and even the steel-sprung regular coupé that I sampled in Italy had a nice balance of ride comfort and sporty handling. However, this being an AMG, it’s set up a bit firmer. It does get air springs all round but the ride is on the harder side and rough surfaces feel loud and rumbly. The upside to this is a very stable body, there is no getting away from the mass, but it rolls far less than you would expect of an SUV this large and heavy. The air springs also allow you to raise the ride height of the body should you need the extra clearance.

PERFORMANCE AND HANDLING ;

The high power output and torques with AMG performance 4MATIC technology with two-stage AMG speed-sensitive sports steering and the steering mounted controls enhance super smooth drivability of the vehicle. The AMG dynamic drive selector with five mode select feature enables the driver to choose between comfortable, sporty, particularly sporty or efficient drive styles and individual drive modes suiting the driving conditions and speed and torque requirement. The drive quality improved with suspension system featuring continuously adjustable damping deliver a high standard of driving dynamics.

CONCLUSSION ;

You could consider me as one of those people who thinks that the GLC Coupe, in any form, is a little pointless. Merc has crammed a Coupe body onto an SUV chassis and has tried to mix the dynamics of a coupe with the off-road abilities of an SUV. The problem is, I don’t see this thing really being all that dynamic. Sitting so high, it’s still a little top heavy, which will make maneuvering at higher speeds difficult – something you don’t want in a sport coupe – while it doesn’t sit high enough to really be considered for off-road use, regardless of what Mercedes claims. I do like the interior and that the GLC43 features a decent uptick in power and performance, but a vehicle like this really seems like the red-headed stepchild of Mercedes entire lineup.

Merecedes Benz AMG G63 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz have given the Indian customers another flamboyant and lavish off roader, which was recently launched. This Mercedes Benz G Class G63 AMG is one of the most expensive and luxuriant SUVs from the stables of Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz G Class model was first launched in the year 1970 as a vehicle that was to be used in the armed forces. The first civilian version of this stylish and charming Mercedes-Benz G Class model was introduced into the world market in the year 1979 and since then, it has been all the rage for SUV enthusiasts. This SUV has been through a number of changes and other makeovers in the period of the last two decades. The Mercedes-Benz G Class has been dubbed as the fastest SUV in the Indian market as its powerful engine enables it to break the speed barrier of 100 kmph in just about 5.5 seconds, which is rather thrilling. Now with this latest entrant that has been launched in the Indian car market, the company is expecting see a lot more sales of this SUV. The company has effected some changes to the exteriors as well as the power train along with the interiors as well. All these put together are being expected to increase the sales of this highly priced SUV among the Indian aficionados. The company has equipped this latest Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG with a performance packed 5.5-litre bi-turbo petrol engine, which has 8 cylinders along with a whopping 32 valves in it . This power packed engine is skilfully mated with a 7-speed, G-tronic automatic transmission, which also has an improved AMG speed shift plus. The company has also equipped this Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG with best in class comfort features; some of which include a powerful air conditioner unit with automatic climate control and air quality control along with rear AC vents, a multi functional power steering wheel that can be adjustable, front and rear power windows and many more such features. Apart from these, the company has also packed this SUV with some very crucial and significant safety features, which propels this SUV into the league of premium SUV’s.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The upcoming G-Class will have an all-new body with plenty of updates and new details while still retaining that classic SUV stance. The new model is undoubtedly wider than the outgoing G-Class. Just take a look at the front grille and headlight area. The grille appears to be roughly the same width as before, but the area surrounding the headlights and the space between the lights and the grille is much wider. The angle of the hood in relation to the fenders seems to be the same, which should help it keep its image intact. This minor detail is a dead give-away as to the new G-Wagen’s added width.

As for the AMG aspects of the G-Wagen, the front bumper is unmistakably taller than the bumper seen on the last G-Wagen test mule. The air intakes are larger, helping feed the high-strung V-8 with extra cooling and air flow. Of course, AMG-spec wheels are present and likely wrapped with supper performance tires sized in a road-hugging wide size. They will help the G-Wagen with cornering, especially when combined with the extra width including in new architecture.The one thing we do see missing is the dual exhaust tips protruding just ahead of the rear tires. Perhaps Mercedes is dumping the idea. Perhaps this test mule simply isn’t wearing them. Only time will tell.

INTEROR AND COMFORT ;

Mercedes-Benz has carried forward the similar tough and strong kind-of interiors on the G63 AMG as well. The last time when I had driven the G55, it was very much crude but the G63 gets several luxury frills. Several AMG touches have been added and even some luxury has been sprinkled on on the interiors. The centre console has some gizmo with a seven-inch screen and COMAND system as well. The speakers on the G63 are Harman Kardon and the instrument cluster is somewhat retro.

The rich leather seats are super supportive. You can adjust the front seats to the minute detail and this is where the difference happens. There is support for lumbar and even sides. Despite the high ground clearance and quick direction changes, the seat grips you tightly, just like a bucket seat. There is AMG badging on the seat as well. Slide into the second row and you shall be disappointed as this row is a bit tight on space and the seat issn’t as comfortable as the front one. There are 2 LCDs at the back, but these are optional features. The boot too of the G63 is massive, it is good enough to carry a couple of chests in it. Though the parcel tray or rather a cover for the luggage is a bit flimsy for an AMG.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Mercedes G63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-litre V8 Bi-Turbo petrol engine that whips out 544 horses at 5500 RPM and 760 Nm of torque between 2000 – 5000 RPM. The engine is mated to a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS transmission. Floor the gas and the G63 pushes you back in the seat and flies ahead. The vehicle accelerates from standstill to 100 km/hr in just 5.4 seconds. The engine has a lot of grunt for sure and it feels very effortless to drive thanks to the way it has been tuned for power delivery. For driving at sedate speeds in the city, you just need to provide mild throttle inputs and the SUV maintains good speed. But who buys an AMG for driving in the city?

We quickly hit the highway and floored the throttle only to be overwhelmed by the exhaust growl. The exhaust note is so addictive that we actually turned off the music and lowered down the windows a wee bit to hear it properly. The Bi-Turbo engine offers superior performance across the RPM range and the vehicle never runs out of power. The vehicle also gets an ECO mode, but hey, did you buy an AMG to use the ECO mode? Along with that, the gearbox offers the choice of three modes – controlled efficiency, sport and manual. We tried the controlled efficiency mode first. In this, the SUV provides lovely performance but upshifts a bit early on the RPM ladder. In the sport mode, the exhaust note becomes more pronounced and the G63 redlines away to glory. The manual mode basically enables the use of paddle shifters. The gearbox seemed to be a tad bit jerky in its operations though and not as smooth as we expected. The vehicle cruises comfortably at 100 km/hr at under 1800 RPM, it redlines at 6300 RPM and needs at least third gear to hit the ton. The Mercedes G63 AMG is pretty good off the road too. It gets three electrically engage-able 100% differential locks that make sure that the SUV has a go-anywhere capability. The differential locks ensure that each wheel on an axle as well as wheels on both axles have the same number of rotations each minute. The drive torque is directed to only those wheels that have traction beneath them. Talking about fuel efficiency, you really cannot expect much from a vehicle that weighs so much and also offers so much performance. We managed to extract 5-6 km/l with very careful and sedate driving and approximately 3-3.5 km/l with some aggressive driving. The SUV has a massive fuel tank though (96-litres) so it can go on for around 400 kms on a single tank.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Just because the G 63 has the engine specs of a supercar do not expect this to handle the same way. The car is high so there would be body roll , and also the stiff suspension is meant more to take on the rough terrain and still manage to be able to do high speeds. This is one of the few SUVs with three differential lock which lock completely. Whether it is slush or rocks or smooth tarmac or your neighbour’s car who pisses you off, the G 63 can take on all with ease. Forget other cars even trucks and buses get out of the way. The steering is stiff, but that provides better high speed stability. The acceleration is quite responsive and the G 63 shoots forward with ease.The new AMG high-performance brakes deliver top performance in terms of deceleration, adjustable feed and endurance. All-round ventilated, perforated brake discs with dimensions of 375 x 36 millimetres at the front and 330 x 20 millimetres at the rear provide optimum thermal capability and outstanding deceleration values. I was hoping for the 9G-Tronic system but may be we will get to see it in the upcoming new G 63 AMG.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class G 63 AMG Crazy Colour Edition has disc brakes on all wheels, and the ABS with EBD, Brake Assist System, Acceleration skid control system and electronic stability control system deliver perfect stability and control over all road and surface conditions. The safety feature of airbags for the driver and front passenger provides surround protection against front and side impact collisions. The neck pro luxury head restraints provide additional support, preventing whiplash injury in an event of collision from the rear.

CONCLUSSION ;

Sure the G63 AMG doesn’t rate very highly according to our parameters, since it isn’t an all rounder. There are more than a few shortfalls starting from the weight, the aged design, average ergonomics and a very high sticker price. Any logical car buyer with deep enough pockets will and should not buy the G63 AMG over any other luxury offering around the same price. You have got to be of the eccentric kind to pick one up, especially in the crazy colours it comes with. Because if you have the potatoes in you to give this SUV a full workout after paying for it, you truly deserve the ability it rewards you with. The G63 is a statement of a conqueror that arrives after the thunder of its V8.

 

Merecedes Benz AMG C43 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The AMG models from Mercedes-Benz, driven by performance and excellence with luxury and versatility, have got a great response in the Indian Sports Car segment. The latest series of AMG model, the C-Class AMG C43 4MATIC, has been upgraded with new LED headlamps with the intelligent light system and radiator grilles in a diamond shape, with chrome grilles at the exteriors. The advanced features of instrument cluster with 5.5 inch multifunctional display, infotainment system with navigation and 20 CD audio, Artico man-made leather upholstery, and the panoramic sunroof are featured as a standard.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

This C43 AMG has a front fascia that displays a diamond studded grille with a single chrome slat that holds a large Mercedes logo. Surprisingly, the AMG badge is inconspicuously stashed away at the corner of this grille that’s flanked on either side by those contemporary looking LED headlamps. Lower down, the bumper can be seen with bigger air dams and a silver front splitter that suit the intended sporty application.

In profile, the C43 AMG shows off its low stance with the ‘star’ design 18-inch five-spoke chrome-black alloys and potent AMG brake callipers. While a subtle boot-lid integrated spoiler adorns the rear section, so does the restyled lower section of the rear bumper that accommodates two exhausts with a quad look, a mesh grille, and a diffuser finished in silver paint. With the subtle but distinct updates, the C43 AMG in white paint earns a ‘sleeper’ reputation without any doubt whatsoever.

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

Inside the car gets multifunctional flat bottomed steering wheel finished in Black leather and red contrasting top stitching which helps it look good. The dashboard looks premium wrapped in high quality leather. The AMG instrument cluster delivers plenty of relevant information about the car. The instrument cluster consists of two round dials along with a 4.5 inch multifunction colour display along with a Racetimer and 280 km/h scale completed with a chequered flag.

The driver seat too now gets improved lateral support and wrapped with Artico man made leather while there is also option of DINAMICA microfibre upholstery. The safety belts too also gets red coloured contrast stitching as well while the floor mats are finished in Black gets some red edges.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Mercedes-AMG C43 gets the 3.0 Litre V6 Twin Turbo unit which is capable of producing about 367 Hp of peak power and 520 NM of torque. The AMG powerplant is easily recognised by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover. The technical advancement which includes a modified power booster has helped the engineers to increase the engine power and torque output as well.

The engine for all your information is paired to a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission which sends power to the four wheels of the car via the 4MATIC four wheel drive system. Mercedes claims that they were able to reduce the speed of the shift times of the new transmission system. The quick multiple downshifts helps give the AMG C43 short burst of speed. If we talk about performance then the Coupe is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h mark in 4.7 seconds while it has a top speed of 250 km/h mark.

The car further gets the AMG Dynamic select transmission modes as well which consists of “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual” modes. The Sport Plus mode in particular promises to deliver an impressive hallmark AMG Dynamics. While the engine being part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz is also fuel efficient at the same time because it gets ECO start/stop function and the ’sailing’ function which helps reduce fuel consumption.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Hurtling down a twisty back road, the C43 feels crisp and well mannered, its responses alert but not harsh and madly aggressive like the brutish C63’s. AMG’s sharp, electrically assisted steering rack is direct and precise, if rather muted, and the selectable driving modes (Eco, Comfort, Sport, Sport+, and Individual) give the chassis, drivetrain, and steering effort a sizable amount of bandwidth. The C63 also donates its three-position adjustable dampers and some of its front-suspension hardware, which give the C43 a 1.5-inch-wider front track than the C300 4MATIC, as well as revised suspension geometry and increased negative camber. New for 2017 is an updated three-stage stability-control system that in its sportier settings allows for a bit more sideways action at the handling limit before stepping in.

SAFETY ;

The braking system of C-Class AMG C43 4MATIC features adaptive brake system with anti-lock braking system and brake assist system with servo brake assistance for emergency braking. The safety features offered include front and side airbag for the driver and co-passenger with thorax protection, window airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags for the rear seat occupants. The passenger seat occupant detection, Pre-Safe system with reversible belt tensioners, glove compartment with emergency lockable key and electronic immobilizer are featured for safe usage and prevention against theft attempts

CONCLUSSION ;

Overall, the C43 does a great job of bridging the gap between the C300 and C63, providing buyers with the comfort and luxury of the C300 with some thrill and dynamics from the C63. Although the car is more reminiscent of the C300 than the C63, the C43 doesn’t defame the AMG name and still provides ample thrill to the driver. Compared to its competition, the C43 is rather pricy but few other models as close to engineering such a well-balanced machine … for the time being at least.