Hyundai Elite i20 Featues & Driving Dynamics

OVERVIEW ;;

Hyundai has refreshed the popular i20 premium entry-level hatchback for 2017. The Hyundai i20 Elite now gets some exterior and interior upgrades along with even more added features that make it an even more compelling package. The updated i20 on the exterior front now gets a two-tone paint job option i.e. red or white with a gloss black roof option. Although the two-tone trend was popularised by the Vitara Brezza and then is available in the Ignis too, many i20 owners in the past have chosen to paint or wrap their cars in the same way that Hyundai is now offering straight out of the factory. Hyundai has also added yet another shade of blue for the 2017 model year. Blue incidentally has been an extremely popular colour for the premium entry level hatchback. Check Price of Elite i20

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;

It would be a pretty bold statement to say that this is the best looking vehicle in its class, but we’re sure many others would agree with us. The designers have fortunately veered away from excessive cuts and slashes for the sake of making it look attractive and instead, the Elite gets an understated layout which grabs attention rather than begging for it. Overall, it has a clean and sharp profile that injects a sliver of sportiness into its image. Admittedly, if you removed the Hyundai emblem, we would’ve easily mistaken it for something made by a European manufacturer. The face is aggressive thanks to the sleek, swept-back headlamps, with muscular lines down the bonnet complementing the chiseled fascia. The chrome outline on the grille adds just the right amount of flash to the front. The Elite i20 is a handsome car thanks to the sharply styled front bumper, which also slims down the car’s front. Even the indicator lights hide in plain sight and are well-integrated into the headlamp cluster. The chrome door handles are a bit much, but then again, Indians do love their chrome. The 16-inch alloy wheels that are nothing short of droolworthy and are a design highlight. You won’t feel the need to forage through aftermarket options. Unlike the Baleno or Jazz, the Elite i20 doesn’t have any MPV-like overtones. The blackened C-pillar slims down the side profile, as does the shoulder-line and door cladding. It’s also interesting to see how the shoulder-line connects the tips of the head and tail lamps.The rear doesn’t get the same slimming elements as the front, but it isn’t bulbous like the Baleno either. The LED-look tail lights look particularly good at night and perhaps a little black cladding in the rear bumper would improve the look from the back. Apply car loan for Elite i20 at Carzprice

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

As for the cabin, there’s really little to complain about. Overall quality is impressive (though still a notch down on the VW Polo), detailing is impressive (the column stalks feel very rich) and the layered dashboard looks suitably upmarket. If there’s a negative it’s that the screen for the audio system is a tad too small. Some might also find the knobs for the music system small and fiddly, but drivers do get their own set of controls on the well-finished, three-spoke steering wheel. Drivers will also like the good visibility and ability to adjust the steering for rake and reach. The supportive seats and general feeling of space enhance the front seat experience further. Access to the rear seat is nice thanks to the wide door aperture, and once inside you’ll be quite amazed by the space on offer. Legroom and headroom are particularly good and there is sufficient width to seat three. The rear seat also scores well for good back and leg support. However, the backrest is a bit too reclined and the bolstering on its outer edges hurts comfort when seated three abreast. Shorter occupants may also find the windows a little too high for their liking. If there’s a consolation, rear seat occupants do get a dedicated air-con vent in all but the base version of the i20.

And that brings us to features. The top-spec Asta trim we’ve featured comes with lots of equipment as standard. The list includes automatic headlamps, push button start, automatic climate control, an audio player with 1 GB of onboard music storage, Bluetooth telephone function and a reverse camera. Even the mid-spec Sportz trim comes well loaded, but frustratingly essentials such as a rear wash/wipe and a passenger-side airbag are only offered on the top-spec car.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel powertrain configurations as before though minor tweaks for efficiency and better load management have been employed. I have driven the 1.4-litre 16-valve 4-cylinder CRDI. You get 90PS at 4,000rpm with a superb 222Nm of max torque between 1,500 – 2,750rpm from this engine. Max engine rpm cuts off at 4,750rpm. The power and torque ratings in the new i20 diesel are adequate for every situation though I do feel Hyundai should have tuned it for better bottom end characteristics. The turbocharger kicks in at 1,400rpm and the boost improves acceleration past that point however, under that mark it feels a bit sluggish. Dense traffic as a result will see you shifting through first and second gears constantly, moreover since it comes coupled to a 6-speed manual transmission which is a fuel efficiency enhancer. Hyundai claims an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 22kmpl for the diesel, with 19kmpl for the petrol. Interestingly the petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual. There is no automatic at the time of launch but expect one in the future.

The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel power train configurations as before The new i20 gets the same petrol and diesel powertrain configurations as beforeThe diesel engine then, as I mentioned, has got a strong mid-range and you only feel the punch once the turbo kicks in. Acceleration after that is brisk and makes this an effortless highway cruiser. Though having said that it’s no slouch in city traffic either, the responses are sharp and you can get going pretty quickly when the need arises to get past slower moving traffic in urban areas. The diesel is also superbly refined and thanks to immense sound deadening, there is barely any engine clatter audible inside the cabin.The highlight of the Elite i20’s diesel drivetrain is the slick shift leverThe highlight of the Elite i20’s diesel drivetrain is the slick shift lever

The highlight of this drivetrain though is the slick shift lever which has short precise throws. I do like the way you can just give it a light nudge to slot into the required gear. Reverse gear on this can be found in the same place as first gear but engaging it requires you to raise the lever and then slot it into reverse. It’s a safer move unlike what you get in the VW Polo.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Hyundai has worked towards improving the ride and handling on the Elite i20 and it shows on the move. Though the suspension has been carried over from the older car in theory, the geometry as well as the damping characterisers have been revised significantly. The setup is slightly firmer than the older i20. Surprisingly, it hasn’t affected the ride and the i20 still rides quite well; it feels pliant, absorbent and well judged.

The improvement in handling on the other hand is more than obvious. The body roll, the pitch and the waywardness under quick direction changes have all been tied down tightly giving the i20 a more confident, stable and exploitable handling character. We would have liked a less artificial steering response though; the current setup fails to connect the driver with the happenings. Braking on the other hand, even though Hyundai has ditched rear disc brake in favour of a drum setup, is stable and strong.

SAFETY ;

The Hyundai Elite i20 hasn’t been tested by Global NCAP yet but the first generation Euro-spec i20 got a full 5-star crash test rating at Euro NCAP. The sad thing is that Hyundai India doesn’t offer 6 airbags anymore and the Elite i20 now comes with only dual front airbags, that too on the Asta variant, while only Sportz and Sportz (O) get driver side airbag. ABS is also offered only with Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta variants while the Era and Magna don’t get any safety features. The Elite i20 comes with Smart Pedal that overrides the accelerator pedal during simultaneous operation of brake and accelerator during panic braking. It also comes with impact sensing door unlock feature that unlocks the doors automatically incase of collision.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Hyundai Elite i20 with all these changes surely can compete easily with some of its potential rivals like the Maruti Baleno and the Ford Figo and Volkswagen Polo in the Indian market. The changes to the exterior and interior are limited to cosmetics, but that does not take the light away from the fact that the i20 is considered as one of the bestsellers of the Indian auto market.

 

Datsun GO Plus Test Drive Safety Features

 

Nissan revived the Datsun brand after a huge time period and launched the GO entry-level hatchback in India. Unfortunately, the GO did not sell as well as anticipated in the market and recently the vehicle received a lot of flak for performing terribly in the NCAP crash test. Datsun has also developed an MPV based on the GO and with the recent climb in sales that MPVs are witnessing, Datsun seems to be quite optimistic that it will be able to gain decent sales with the GO+. But, the Datsun GO+ competes with some products that have the backing of manufacturers with a huge service network. So how does the GO+ perform? Does it have what it takes to capture the market? A nice drive through Rishikesh, Uttarakhand allows us to test the GO+ and its capabilities. Get On Road Price of GO Plus

EXTERIOR AND LOOK

The Datsun Go+ is essentially a larger version of the standard Go. And just as with the latter, the Go+’s styling will not really sweep you off your feet. The large hexagonal grille and chunky headlamps go add a sense of sophistication to the car. Just like with the Go, the Go+ looks more expensive than it actually is with its distinctively muscular bonnet lines. The side profile too isn’t disproportionate and a well defined waist line reminds us of the Mercedes-Benz B-Class. Apply car loan for GO Plus at Carzprice

The rear could have certainly done with a bit more excitement though. A chrome moulding instead of a body coloured one could have easily been incorporated to break up the monotonous tail gate. The extended greenhouse and body structure on the Go+ looks well integrated and reminds us of cars like the first generation Ford Focus Wagon. The small 13-inch wheels though take away most of the hard work that the designers put into the Go+. Not only does the Datsun Go+ look undertyred, the lack of alloy wheels even on the fully loaded version is slightly disappointing.

CABIN AND COMFORT

Except the 3rd row, inside of the GO+ is identical to the hatch sibling. The dash and door panels are of ‘greige’ (mix of grey + beige) colour. Though plastic quality is very basic and just above satisfactory, sturdiness of the panels is a point worth mentioning here.We quite liked the black centre console that looks quite finished and smoother than the rest of the dashboard which carries a grainy texture. Quality of the plastic panels is decent & the GO+ uses the Sunnys-shaped door handles (save for the chrome).The GO+ uses an old school ‘stick’ type locking knobs, which might remind you of the car in which u learnt driving, but admiring them is a bit difficult. Central locking is available on the top-end variant only. The roof feels damn flimsy. There’s a lot of crunching & crinkling when you push the lining a few inches before hitting the roof. The sun visors have been carried over from the GO and don’t get vanity mirrors.

​​​​​​​The Go+’s wheelbase is longer than most of our hatchbacks. As a result, there’s ample space in both the rows. What we also liked is the decent shoulder and headroom. Ingress and egress is convenient. Corners of the dashboard slope inward, which is a boon for older drivers who sit first and then swing their legs. Though, an adjustable steering would have made it very comfortable.GO+’s front seats are ‘connected’ to each other – like the HM Ambassador. The driver’s chair is a conventional one, it’s the front passenger’s seat that has an extension to fill the gap. Datsun says that area in-between is useful for placing knick knacks & handbags. But we think –it’s not that thoughtful because in case someone tries to sit there(which we’re sure many would), can be risky.The seats feel offers ample comfort and feels more foamy than cushiony. It gets integrated headrests and the seat cushioning remains thin. Knees of the rear occupant can be felt through the seat, which’s annoying on certain occasions.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX

The Datsun GO+ MPV is also powered by the same engine which also does duty on their Go hatchback because Datsun has not yet introduced any other engines in the Indian market yet neither any product. However, it will be interesting to find out whether this three cylinder 1.2 liter engine which returns 68 bhp of peak power and 104 Nm of torque mated to a 5 speed manual transmission will be powerful enough to carry a vehicle with 7 passengers inside it.

The 1.2 Liter engine fitted under the hood of the Datsun Go is definitely smooth and refined but after all it is a 3 cylinder engine push it hard and it surely sounds unhappy. Datsun also has plans to introduce an automatic transmission in the near future and a diesel engine which will power both the Go hatch and the Go+ MPV.Beside all this the tiny 13 inch thin tyres and the overall lightweight of the vehicle will contribute towards returning an impressive fuel economy which will definitely impress many in the Indian market specially keeping the soaring petrol prices in mind.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Datsun GO+ has a really good ride quality and the suspension managed to absorb most bumps very well. The driver as well as the passengers remained quite comfortable on most bad patches of road and the vehicle too remained very composed. At speeds above the ton, the GO+ remains fairly stable but while taking corners or driving a bit quickly through twisties, we did encounter a fair amount of body-roll. In all of these situations, the vehicle did not lose form and never did we feel that it will go out of control.

The MPV gets a speed-sensitive electric power steering. The steering is very light and it is devoid of feedback. The lightness comes in useful while driving on crowded roads or while parking and at higher speeds it does weigh up a bit. Handling is quite crisp and this is actually a fun-to-drive car, just let down by a poor choice of tyres. The puny 13-inch Strada tyres offer just average grip and they disappoint big time. It is clear that Nissan is using them just to save costs. An upgrade to 14-inch wheels will really add to the vehicle’s handling characteristics.

SAFETY

Safety is one of the biggest concerns with the Go +. When its younger sibling, the Datsun Go, was put through the Global NCAP crash test, the results were dismal. It scored zero stars and the testing authority claimed that even if the Go were to be tested with airbags, the results would bear no difference. The car’s structure was just so bad. The Go + is similar to the Go in terms of structure and this is where our concerns lie. Datsun had to trade off a features to keep the costs in check and safety seems to have taken the biggest brunt. While the Go + is sold with an optional driver airbag, we highly recommend looking for a safer alternative.

CONCLUSSION

The Datsun GO+ is a compact vehicle with a good engine, great ride and handling and decent fuel economy. It lacks on the safety front and in case of an unfortunate breakdown, it could be hard to locate a Nissan-Datsun service centre. But it is going to be a really cheap 7-seater and could be a great choice for someone who actually wants all those seats and is on a tight budget. For others, who really do not require a 7-seater, there are better options like the Maruti Wagon R and Hyundai i10 available in the market or the Maruti Ertiga and Honda Mobilio if buyers can stretch their budgets. Still, as far as value for money goes, this Datsun is hard to beat.

 

Honda City Test Drive & Safety Features

OVERVIEW

The Honda City is the main reason behind Honda’s premium image in India. It has been the reigning dominator of the sedan segment and features in every car manufacturer’s rival list in India.Modern and contemporary design with premium interiors makes the City a near to perfect premium sedan. The quality of finishing in this sedan is the best offered among its competition.Battling a tough fight against all the diesel options offered by its rivals, Honda City still manages to command its strong position. However, with so many options being available in the market, will the Honda City hold on to its charm is what we find out in our review. Check for review,specifications  & price of Honda cars

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

For those who actually thought that the new facelift sedan will get a completely new exterior design will perhaps be bit disappointed because instead of a complete overhaul Honda decided to give it a subtle exterior update.

Expect the facelift sedan to get a completely new grille with chrome inserts on them. While expect the front headlamps and the front bumper to get almost the same design as that of the newly launched Jazz hatchback. This overall front face sticks strictly to Honda’s ‘Exciting H Design’ language. Expect the grille to get blacked out theme as well. Besides all these cosmetic changes the other exterior change might also include a new set of alloy wheels while the overall side profile of this sedan will remain unchanged. Get Ex Showroom Price City

Just like the blacked out front grille you can also expect the pillars of the sedan to get blacked out as well just to add more premium touch to its exterior. As far as the overall dimensions are concerned expect it to remain unchanged however the addition of new bumpers might add a few mm or more to its dimensions.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT

The interiors are There has a few add-ons though. The plastic quality feels better now and is put together well. A larger touchscreen infotainment system dominated the centre part of the dash. and this has better resolution too. The system has HDMI input and MirrorLink as well. There is reverse camera and even six airbags on offer on the ZX variant.

There is more than sufficient space in the 2017 City. The front row seats are comfortable and spacious. There is ample of head room and leg room. The seats have good comfort and are good enough even for long distance travel. The rear seats are also spacious and have good amount of comfort too. The arm rest falls a bit too low but other than that there is no other issue. The boot space is 510 litres, which is sufficient for a family of four.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The City continues to be powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine that makes 100hp and 200Nm delivers great low-end performance and is smooth and linear in a very un-diesel-like way, but rev it hard and it becomes rather noisy. Honda claims to have added more insulation for lowering the NVH levels in the diesel, and, though it is a marked improvement, there’s only so much that could be done to curb what is inherently a noisy engine. Ambient sounds have gone down a bit, but the diesel engine rattle is still an issue.The petrol option is of course the tried and tested naturally-aspirated 1.5 i-VTEC engine developing 119hp and 145Nm. The motor is still a riot for enthusiasts, revving out eagerly to its red line and making a lot of its power at the top end. It’s quite usable at the bottom end too and, as the revs climb, it can get a bit vocal.

Gearbox options remain the same as well with a six-speed manual for the diesel and a choice between five-speed manual or seven-step CVT automatic for the petrol. With India’s crowded roads and newfound fondness for automatics, it’s sad that the City doesn’t offer such an option on the diesel, but that’s just something that will perhaps have to wait for the next generation.With no mechanical changes to the suspension either, the ride remains largely the same, which is to say agreeable by class standards, but not the class best. There’s still a fair bit of roll around corners and the ride quality can get a bit choppy at times. The top ZX variants do get new 16-inch alloys and wider tyres, and thankfully they don’t seem to have hurt the ride quality at all. As for the handling, we didn’t get much of a chance to test it on Delhi’s wide, smooth and straight roads, so the verdict is still out on that one.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

There are no tweaks for the suspension as well in the updated model and we feel it doesn’t need it either. The City has got a very balanced setup, which offers pliant ride quality and nimble handling. The ride might feel a tad stiff at low speeds but it flattens up as you gain speed. The high speed stability is good but you might feel the need of wider tyres. Handling is quite engaging and the City feels eager to dart into corners but again, the undertyred setup tends to lose some grip when you push the car to its limit.

The steering makes you feel connected to the road and there is no sense of numbness. It is quick to respond and offers decent feedback. The body roll is well controlled and you don’t get tossed around much on the twisties. Ground clearance is not a big issue in the fourth generation City, it rarely touches the underbelly on big bumps and potholes. Braking performance is good and the pedal bite is confidence inspiring too.

SAFETY

Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion

CONCLUSSION

Offcourse the facelift city no doubt will help carry forward the legacy of the City sedan ahead. This has been one of the most popular C-segment sedans of the country and actually has helped Honda to cement their position in the Indian market. The facelift sedan might not bring a lot of change with it but it definitely will help bring some fresh appeal with it until and unless the new generation sedan is launched in the Indian market.

 

 

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The C-segment sedan space is one of the most competitive so much so that there are eight cars fighting for volumes, the ninth to join is the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. We recently pitched all the eight C-segment cars against each other and it was amply clear that the top three in the shootout had a lot more to offer. India’s largest car maker is a master in offering more for less as so evident from a majority of its products but can the Ciaz break all moulds to become a success considering Maruti Suzuki’s image as a big car maker isn’t much to talk about. While this Maruti sedan is off to a good start in the Indian market, does the Ciaz have what it takes to rub shoulders with well established rivals and maintain the volumes? Get Ex Showroom Price of Ciaz

EXTERIORS ;

This perception change can only happen with upmarket, elegant exterior styling. The good news for Maruti fans is, the Ciaz most certainly looks like an expensive car. The large head lamps, the in-your-face chrome grille and the stylised bumper give the Maruti Ciaz an air of richness. The profile dominated by the strong shoulder line that runs from the front fender all the way into the tail lamp along with those nice looking 16 inch wheels lend the Maruti Ciaz an elegant but youthful stance. The blacked out B-pillar helps, as does the stretched feel for the panels.

At the rear, the tail lamps are clearly inspired by the new Honda City, but the Maruti still manages to look more rounded. The rear bumper, like the one at the front, is well styled and lends the Ciaz a hint of aggression. The chrome strip on the boot lid further enhances the sedan’s appeal. Book test drive for Ciaz in Cazprice

INTERIORS ;

The interiors of the Ciaz are completely new and different from any other Maruti car. The neatly laid out dashboard has a seven-inch touchscreen system. The higher variants get automatic climate control. The steering is shared with other models but it gets a leather wrap as also the gear knob. The top variant gets leather upholstery also. The Ciaz is comes loaded with features like push button start, keyless entry, bluetooth connectivity, navigation, reverse parking camera and sensors.

The Ciaz is not stingy on spacious too. There is good head room and leg room available. The seats are not the best but provide good comfort. It could have done with some more under thigh support. The boot is large and can fit in quite a lot of luggage with ease. This makes it a very practical sedan that can be used for weekend getaways too. The Ciaz S offers all black interiors and even the centre console has grey chrome finish on it.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

While the Ciaz doesn’t get an entirely new motor, it does get a fairly reworked version of Maruti’s own K14 petrol unit found on the Ertiga. The tweaks to the engine focus on improving driveability and maximising fuel economy. To achieve that, Maruti has modified the cylinder head to raise the compression ratio from 10:1 to 11:1 and the revised head design allows for a better tumble of airflow at low speeds. Also, the air inlet track has been lengthened to further improve low-end torque. To counter heating problems and engine-knocking, issues that are typically associated with higher compression motors, long reach spark plugs and a more efficient oil pump have made their way into the motor. Despite all these changes though, peak power and torque figures have pretty much stayed the same.

On the face of it, the petrol version doesn’t come across as enthusiastic since a power output of 91bhp (at 6000rpm) is a pretty ordinary number for a mid-size sedan. However, in-gear timings are good – the Ciaz is pretty responsive and has a nice urgency about town. The engine pulls quite well from

low revs and you don’t have to work the gearbox much; and even when you do, the light clutch and slick shifting ’box (albeit not as nice as the Swift’s) takes away the effort from city driving. But find an open stretch and explore the K14 motor’s powerband, and you soon realise the power delivery is pretty flat. The mid-range isn’t particularly strong; this engine doesn’t like to be spun hard and gets pretty noisy as the tachometer closes in on its modest 6,200rpm redline.

Flat-out performance is fairly decent, with the dash to 100kph taking 12.02 seconds. However, it’s the unenthusiastic way the Ciaz picks up speed that makes you feel that it’s not as quick as the numbers suggest.

SAFETY ;

Maruti doesn’t offer airbags and ABS as standard on the base V variant of the Ciaz but the other three variants are equipped with these safety features. It is the least equipped car when compared to its immediate rivals, the Hyundai Verna and Honda City in terms of safety. The Verna gets ABS standard across all variants while its range topping variant gets 6 airbags. The City comes with both ABS and airbags as standard on all its variants. The Ciaz hasn’t been crash tested yet by the Global NCAP but considering the low weight of the car (despite being the biggest car in segment) compared to the rivals, we believe the structural strength might not be up to the mark. When it comes to after sales service, Maruti is second to none and has the biggest dealership network in the country by a mile.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to dial in but it isn’t great on feedback. It just isn’t in the same league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz’s easy nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course an added plus.

The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all else and it’s evident in the way the car rides. It’s softly sprung, so at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However, at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load, the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.

VERDICT ;

The Ciaz is backed by the large dealer and service network of Maruti Suzuki, looks good, delivers good efficiency numbers and starts at a price tag of Rs 7.73 lakhs. Has an optional AT variant, petrol engine and a number of variants whose prices go all the way up to Rs 10.5 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

In our books, Maruti Suzuki has come a long way than being a manufacturer that’s known for being cost efficient and deliver good fuel efficiency. The company still delivers on those promises and so much more.

If you are looking for a sedan in the sub-10 lakh segment, then the Ciaz is definitely worth a shot.

Merecedes Benz AMG G63 Test Drive

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.

 

Maruti Suzuki Vitara Breeza Features & Transmission

OVERVIEW ;

When it comes to cars in India, one has to admit that Maruti leads the pack. Starting from the initial foray into the car market with the Maruti 800, this Company has come a long way. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza is the latest of the beauties to roll out of the Maruti stable. Maruti is the master at building these compact vehicles that suit every kind of budget in the country. Looking at the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza price list, one can say that this car has the capacity of following the same tradition. You get a sub-four metre compact SUV in the price range of INR 7.24 lakhs to INR 9.69 lakhs.

You have this beautiful vehicle in seven different models ranging from the LDi, VDi, ZDi, and others. The best part of all Maruti cars is the beautiful exteriors. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza exterior is undoubtedly the highlight of this vehicle. You get this beautiful vehicle in a range of exotic colours ranging from Blazing Red to Fiery Yellow and Premium Silver to Granite Grey. If you look at the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza images, it can give you the goose bumps. You cannot help but admire the beauty of the design. In addition to the exquisite exteriors, the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza interior is admirable as well. This vehicle is one of the more spacious of vehicles from Maruti. You will definitely get a better idea when we describe the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza interior in detail. You judge the popularity of the vehicle from its looks and mileage. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza diesel variant does offer an impressive mileage of 24.3 kmpl. This mileage forms an important observation in many a Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza review. The best part of this vehicle is that all the seven variants perform equally on the mileage front. This vehicle can adorn the portico of any house in town. Get On Road Price of Vitara  Breeza

EXTERIORS AND LOOK ;

The styling of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is quite straightforward and simple, which means typical Suzuki design language. The front grille gets a thick chrome slat connecting the two projector headlamps that integrate daytime running lights on the edges. The bumper looks sporty having honeycomb grille, faux silver skid plate and having fog lamps and blinkers placed in a neat housing. The bonnet hood is straight and flat which gives a typical SUV look along with the big wheel arches.

The dual tone colour variants really add to the visual appeal of the Vitara Brezza. Our test car had a white and blue combo that looks quite bright and fresh. The lower half of the side profile gets rugged cladding and sporty looking twin five spoke alloys. A strong crease runs across the length of the Brezza connecting the headlamps to the tail lamps. The rear profile looks well done because of the perfectly styled horizontal tail lamps, dual tone bumper with black cladding and faux skid plate. The overall silhouette of the Maruti Vitara Brezza is like an SUV and not like that of a crossover. Apply car loan for Vitara Brezza at Carzprice

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

On the insides too, the Vitara Brezza has got a boxy treatment with the squared off dashboard, which gets complemented with the detailing and lines on the door panels and center console. matching with the exterior color. While most of the bits like steering wheel, power window switches and the large 7-inch touchscreen are something which we have already seen on the S-Cross, the center console has a different looking rounded rectangle design, which ends up with the Auto AC controls and cup holders. The left portion of the dashboard gets two glove boxes, with the lower of the two being a cooled box.

Where the Vitara Brezza excels is the clever space management it offers. Despite being a sub four meter car, the Vitara Brezza doesn’t feel short on space, and has more than required leg room, head room and boot space of 328 liters, making it quite a spacious car. The rear seats have got the provision of 60:40 split pattern, which can be helpful in extending the boot space, while carrying additional luggage. In terms of features, the Vitara Brezza gets almost everything which we have been seeing in a car of this segment, like projector headlamps with daytime running LEDs, alloy wheels, push button start, dual airbags, ABS with EBD and BA, 7-inch touchscreen music system which gets reverse camera, navigation, voice command system and Apple Carplay, automatic climate control, cruise control, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers, steering wheel with audio, bluetooth and cruise control buttons, cooled glove box, tilt adjustable steering, electrically adjustable, front center sliding armrest and foldable rear view mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat.

All in all, the Vitara Brezza does look boxy and not as outstanding or European as its rivals like Ford Ecosport and Hyundai Creta, but then, the features and detailing on the car make it look modern and upmarket.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Brezza has been launched with a single engine option – the ubiquitous DDiS200 unit. The Fiat-sourced four-cylinder, 1.3-litre turbo-diesel engine produces 89bhp and a strong 20.4kgm. First impressions are that it is adequately powered with a nice, beefy mid-range; a well-known characteristic of this engine. It’s surprisingly quick too – the 1,197kg Vitara Brezza sprints to 100kph from rest in under 13 seconds, making it quicker than the 1,290kg Ford EcoSport. The Vitara Brezza’s strong mid-range is best experienced in the 40-100kph dash in fourth gear which is dismissed in 15.2 seconds; quicker than the EcoSport’s time for the same increment!

However, this engine is also known for its sluggishness at low revs which continues to be its weak link. Though Maruti has worked to minimise the turbo lag in successive models using this same motor, in the Vitara Brezza too, you can’t miss the fact that below 2,000rpm the engine isn’t quite awake. Although this compact SUV, which comes with reworked gear ratios will amble along quite happily on a part throttle to keep up with the flow of traffic, it’s when you mash your right foot down hard that the engine gets bogged down, especially in the relatively tall third gear. Cross the 2,000rpm mark and there’s a sudden rush of power which doesn’t abate until 5,000rpm. In fact, this engine maxes out at a remarkably high (for a diesel) 5,300rpm, which encourages you to make good use of the strong mid-range and top end. As a result, the Vitara Brezza is a comfortable highway cruiser with ample reserve for overtaking. However, a more linear power delivery and more torque deeper down would have made the Vitara Brezza more entertaining to drive. Hence, to get the most out of this engine you need be in the right gear at all times and this leads us to the gearshift, which again is nothing to write home about. It’s accurate but a touch sticky and lacks the crispness we have now come to expect from most cars in this price bracket. The clutch though is fairly light with good progression, which take the sting out of stop-start driving.

Where the Vitara Brezza impressed us was with its refinement. Sure, there’s no escaping the characteristic drone of the Fiat diesel that filters into the cabin at higher revs, but the Vitara Brezza does feel nicely hushed when driven in a relaxed manner, with road and wind noise well contained.The Vitara Brezza’s suspension comprises front MacPherson struts and a torsion beam at the rear, but what’s noteworthy is that ground clearance is at an impressive 198mm. Base and middle-spec versions get 16-inch tyres while top-end models get 215/60 R16 tyres as standard. Our ZDi+ version came with the bigger 16-inch wheels and did a good job of smothering potholes and bigger ruts in true SUV fashion. However, the suspension is on the firmer side and the thud from sharper edges filter through. Also, on uneven surfaces the ride feels a tad lumpy, but never to the point of being uncomfortable. In fact, the Vitara Brezza does a good overall job of isolating passengers from the road and copes admirably with rough surfaces. The fat Apollo Tyres on our ZDi+ car no doubt soaking up a lot of the shocks.

RIDE HANDLING AND BRAKING ;

Being a taller SUV, the Vitara Brezza will handle like one. That is exactly what we assumed about it till we actually put it through its paces. Of course, there is a fair bit of body roll but the suspension setup is on the stiffer side making the Brezza handle quite well for what is essentially a tall SUV. With only two people in the car, there is a lot of bouncing and skipping that comes along especially over undulated, bumpy or just the bad roads that we drive on daily here in India. This of course disappears when you have a full load of five people and a boot full of luggage. Ride for rear seat passengers is decent and the fact that the Brezza does not bounce around like some other SUVs in its market is a plus point.

Continuing on the handling aspects a little more, the Brezza is quite similar to the Duster’s setup in many ways as both these SUVs love being chucked into a corner with a sense of confidence and not making a fuss while at it. Maruti has always made neutral handling cars and the Brezza based on Suzuki’s brand new global C-Platform (first car in India to get the new platform) is no different. There is just a hint of understeer when you take a corner fast but slightly lifting off the throttle usually gets the Brezza back in line.

The Vitara Brezza gets disc brakes up front and drum brakes at the rear. All variants, from the cheapest to the most expensive get an ABS option which is something you must choose when buying your car. The brake feel itself is very positive and although the car does dip a little from the front under very heavy braking, there isn’t much drama on the whole which results in a good stopping distance. The 215/60 R16 tyres on the highest spec car does help too but the tyre noise and road rumble do filter into the cabin quite prominently.

SAFETY ;

All variants of the Vitara Brezza get a driver airbag as standard, while dual airbags are standard on the top variants. A passenger airbag can be added as an optional extra with the lower variants. While anti-lock brakes and electronic brake-force distribution come as standard with the ZDi and ZDi+, you can have them with the LDi (O) and VDi (O) as well. While parking sensors are featured from the VDi variant onwards, and the range topping ZDi+ gets reverse parking camera as well. Overall, the SUV does seem to have a good safety package

CONCLUSSION ;

The Maruti Vitara Brezza is a game changer for the automaker as it has all the traits of becoming yet another volume spinner for the company. The price positioning is very aggressive in the segment, the amount of features on offer will woo buyers, the SUV stance is quite appealing, it has a fuel efficient motor and the Maruti badge further attracts a lot of trust on this product. The only drawbacks we could find out were turbo lag under 2000 RPM and cabin noise at high speeds. Otherwise the Brezza is a good all rounder and ticks the right boxes for different types of buyers in varying age groups. After a good while there is a serious threat to the compact SUV segment and an uphill battle for other players to keep up the volumes.

 

Merecedes Benz AMG GLS 63 Overview

OVERVIEW ;

High-powered SUV might be a conundrum to some folks. Why put a twin-turbocharged V-8 in a vehicle that’s supposed to be for hauling kids and trailers, right? The way I see it – and likely most of you reading this – there is absolutely no problem with a 577-horsepower, three-row family machine with the ability to hit 60 mph in a scant 4.7 seconds.That’s exactly what the 2017 Mercedes-AMG GLS63 is all about.

New for 2017, the AMG GLS63 builds off Mercedes’ updates with the GL-Class. The SUV now wears the GLS badge across its model range, denoting the changes brought for 2017. A refreshed exterior matches a reworked interior and are combined with carry-over powertrain options including the GL63 AMG’s V-8 powerhouse. Nevertheless, the S-iffided GL now looks more modern, has a flashier interior, and comes with all the bells and whistles you’d expect at this price point.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The newly introduced Mercedes Benz GL Class 63 AMG looks completely refreshing, thanks to the sophisticated AMG exterior package. To begin with, the frontage of this vehicle is fitted with a large perforated radiator grille with two chrome slats along with the company’s insignia in the center. This grille is flanked by a distinctly crafted headlight cluster that is incorporated with adaptive bi-xenon headlamps along with LED daytime running lights. The front bumper has a large perforated air intake section that is surrounded by a pair of air ducts, which are further fitted with LED fog lights. It is also fitted with an aluminum protective cladding, which further enhances the elegance of front profile. The side profile has well-molded wheel arches that have been fitted with 21-inch, 5-spoke, titanium grey light alloy wheels that gives a captivating look to the side. The window sill surround has been treated with chrome, while the ORVMs and door handles are in body color. Furthermore, it also has aluminum running board with rubber studs, which is illuminated with LED technology. The rear profile is simply elegant and comes fitted with two-piece tail light cluster incorporated with LED lighting system . The rear windscreen is very large and it is accompanied by a roof spoiler that emphasizes the wide stance of the vehicle and gives it a road-hugging look. The rear bumper is fitted with aluminum cladding along with chrome tipped quad exhaust pipes.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

On the inside, you get a familiar GL dashboard but this one gets a lot of tweaks for that sporty appeal. It’s finished in black and gets silver inserts (even on the instrument cluster). The steering is an AMG unit with perforated leather grips and a flat bottom. The paddles are made of aluminium while AMG logo and menu is also incorporated in the infotainment system. The GL63 AMG also gets two 20.3 cm displays, placed right behind the front seat headrests, working in sync with wireless headphones and infrared remotes. Audio quality sees further improvement with the Harman Kardon surround sound system which has 14 speakers. The vehicle also gets Night View Assist Plus system which uses an infrared headlamp and camera to detect pedestrians in the dark.

The Mercedes GL63 AMG also gets the Designo Exclusive package which comprises of AMG sport seats finished in Designo leather. The same high grade soft leather is also used on the dashboard, door panels, arm rest and centre console. Even the Velour floor mats get the Designo treatment and the Designo badges are placed across the interiors on the seats and mats. The car also gets AMG sports pedals finished in brushed stainless steel with rubber studs. Space inside the cabin is in plenty and what makes the interiors such a special place to be in is the high feel of luxury and ease of folding seats with a one touch of a button, which boosts practicality tremendously. Even the boot is huge and the interiors of the GL63 AMG have a fantastic blend of luxury and sportiness.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLS350d is powered by a 3.0-liter turbocharged diesel V6 engine that generates 255 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. The GLS450 uses up to a 3.0-liter turbocharged gasoline V6 rated at 362 hp and 369 lb-ft of torque. The GLS550 gets a 4.6-liter V8 that churns out 449 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. All three of these models come standard with all-wheel drive and a nine-speed automatic transmission.The GLS550 pictured here comes standard with a turbocharged V8 engine that serves up sports-carlike acceleration.

The AMG GLS 63, meanwhile, employs a 5.5-liter V8 that provides an astonishing 577 hp and 561 lb-ft of torque. It comes with all-wheel drive and a seven-speed automatic.According to the EPA, the GLS450 should return 19 mpg combined (17 city/22 highway), with the GLS550 dropping to 16 mpg combined (14/18) and the AMG GLS 63 bringing up the rear at 14 mpg combined (13/17). The GLS350d has not been rated as of this writing, but should deliver even better numbers than the GLS450.

DRIVING ;

The drive modes also control the engine, transmission, and exhaust calibrations. Set comfort, the GLS63 rides like a cloud with a soft throttle response and smooth shifting. The V-8’s exhaust rumbles quietly in the background. Put into Sport or Sport+ modes, and the engine awakens with all 577 horsepower ready to run, the transmission keeps itself in lower gears for quick acceleration, and the flaps inside the exhaust open up for a gnarly roar with burbles and splats on overrun. The exhaust note is the cherry on top of every sporty feature found on this AMG.Pulling the GLS63 to a stop are massive AMG-specific brakes. The front rotors measure 15.4 inches in diameter and are squeezed with six-piston calipers. The rear discs are 14.2 inches in diameter and are capped with slightly smaller calipers. All four rotors are drilled and slotted.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

Mercedes Benz GLS Class 63 AMG in spite of bearing so many luxury features delivers a safe performance. It is equipped with a high end disc braking mechanism. Its front wheels have been fitted with ventilated disc brakes, whereas its rear wheels have been equipped with perforated disc brakes. The brake calipers that come along with the disc brakes enhance the performance. Additionally there is an anti lock braking system with electronic brake force distribution system and electronic stabilization program. An active curve system featuring active stabilizer bars is present in the vehicle that reduces the rolling motion of the vehicle. It is equipped with other safety features such as infrared headlamps, infrared camera and an on-board computer for analyzing the images.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mercedes GL63 AMG isn’t your typical SUV. While it ticks all the right notes for an SUV buyer, it goes ahead and gives you much more than you would ever want. This is one vehicle which is not only practical but a whole lot of fun too. It has some serious power to keep you grinning all day long, while the dynamics are well sorted too, a feat indeed for a machine of this size. Factor in the luxury and usability on a day to day basis and the Mercedes GL63 AMG immediately comes out as a performance SUV for those who don’t compromise at all.

 

 

Hyundai Xcent Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

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

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

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

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

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

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

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

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

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

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;’

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

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

SAFETY FEATURES ;

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

CONCLUSSION ;

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

Ford Figo Hatchback Test Drive

OVERVIEW

After tasting success with the first Figo, Ford has introduced the new-generation Figo. This is a fresh design, sporty, powerful and at the same time more powerful too. The Figo is known for its space, value for money and fuel efficiency. These characteristics are retained on the new-gen as well. The new Figo now shares its platform with the new Figo Aspire. This is made available with three engine options and six trim levels, giving buyer a lot of opportunity to pick and choose the variant. The Figo is manufactured at Ford’s new Sanand facility and it has been Made in India to meet our market needs and even to export to other car markets. Check Ex Showroom Price of Figo in Carzprice

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN

The first generation Ford Figo had some quirky styling cues that were appealing to many but not so special to some. The new Figo though comes across as a fresh and complete looking hatchback. There are many appealing bits such as the huge and stylish front grille and swept back headlamps along with a smart bonnet bulge, these obviously remind one of Aston Martin. The side profile gets a strong shoulder line and blackened B-pillar for a sporty appearance but the simple alloy wheel design makes it look a tad old.

Shiny diamond-cut alloys on the range topping variants with bigger tyres would have worked well on the Figo. Having said that, the Figo’s rear gets a neatly designed tailgate, beefy bumper and smart looking crystal clear tail lamps. The well proportioned overall profile of the new Figo along with the tasteful styling attracts some attention. The new model draws a lot of attention on the road as it’s fresh currently, seeing a ton of interest from other Ford car owners. Book test drive for Ford Figo in Cazprice

INTERIOR AND CABIN

The Figo always had a good reputation of being one of the spacious hatches in its segment and most of the consumers quite frankly prefer a spacious cabin which easily can accommodates five persons while the dash should have a fair amount of gadgets and accessories which could come in handy.

Nothing much is actually different inside in the hatch than the compact sedan which was launched here previously. The cabin looks young and sporty while the black dashboard with the silver accents surely looks gorgeous. The Figo has an impressive wheelbase of 2491 mm which actually has helped in create generous amount legroom and knee room for the passengers seating at the rear bench.

There are number of interesting features as well available on the higher trims of the hatch which includes automatic climate control system which can actually bring the temperature inside the cabin to below 25 degree Celsius in less than 15 minutes. It also gets the MyFord Dock system as well which can actually help in storing mounting and charging mobile phones, MP3 players, it also has got a satellite navigation system which helps in integrating this system with the cars entertainment screen.

Ford for the first time is also offering the Ford MyKey technology which actually allows the owners to programme the Figo’s restricted riving mode which actually includes increasing seats belt use and limiting the overall top speed of the vehicle and even regulating the audio volume of the car.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX

As mentioned, the Figo will be available with three engine-gearbox combinations. There’s a 1.2 petrol with a five-speed manual, a 1.5 diesel with a five-speed manual and a 1.5 petrol with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. The dual-clutch auto version first. This one’s 1.5-litre petrol engine makes the most of its twin cams and variable valve timing architecture to produce a healthy 110.5bhp. The power figure makes the Figo automatic the most powerful of the mass market auto hatches in India. In town, the engine’s good bottom end responses help this version of the Figo build speed smartly. However, in slow-moving city traffic, you can feel the clutch engage, so shifts aren’t super smooth. But once on the go, the gearbox settles into its rhythm and responds well enough to changes in throttle position. It’s not lightning fast as the VW Polo’s twin-clutch unit, but it gets the job done.

At light loads, the gearbox will upshift at about 2,200rpm, but drive hard and it will hold to about 6,300rpm before shifting to the next ratio. Unfortunately, the gearbox’s Sport mode won’t let you hold gear beyond 6,300rpm (at which point the engine sounds thrashy) either, but does well to downshift and keep revs right in the heart of the powerband. Those driving on hilly roads will particularly like the engine braking effect of Sport mode. Drivers also have the option to shift gears manually in Sport, but only via the small ‘+/-’ buttons on the gear lever; there’s no traditional tiptronic function or paddle shifters on the steering. The gearbox is responsive to manual inputs, so you will find yourself making use of the buttons when conditions permit. Performance on the whole is good. The dash from 0 to 100kph takes just 11.1 seconds – the VW Polo GT TSI does it in 11.02 seconds – and in-gear timings are decent as well.

But good as the auto Figo is, it’s the diesel that really impresses us. The engine is the latest version of Ford’s 1.5 diesel you’d find under the hood of the pricier refreshed EcoSport and Aspire, but the good news is that it’s not been dulled down for use in the cheaper hatch.That means power is a solid 98.9bhp! Couple that with a body that weighs all of 1,041kg and you are guaranteed excellent performance. 100kph comes up in 10.5 seconds, which makes the Figo diesel quicker than all the mass segment diesel hatchbacks, bar none.

Real-world performance also feels better than lower-powered rivals from the moment you set off. Responses are good right from idle, with a gentle surge speeding things up at about 1,600rpm. Thereon, there’s an even spread of power right till 4,000rpm. The engine’s not quick revving per se, but remains responsive throughout, even in fifth gear. The diesel engine also runs relatively quiet, though you can feel a buzz on the steering. Also worth mentioning is that gearshifts on the Ford IB5 gearbox are a touch notchy and aren’t suited to quick shifts. Driving in town, we also noted the diesel car’s clutch to be well weighted if springy in action.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The suspension set-up in the Ford Figo 2017 is well balanced and offers a good riding experience by making the occupants comfortable. The Ford Figo 2017 is based on the new B572 platform and this has well tuned for Indian road conditions. Ford have increased the ground clearance of this car to 174mm. Handling is one of the best you will find and the car rides very well over potholes, though you can feel a few ones. If you have driven a Ford earlier, you will find a typicality in handling, which is precise. The steering is light for city condition as and weighs up well at higher speeds. The Ford Figo 2017 remains planted under hard cornering and the brakes compliment its overall handling. High speed stability is also impressive.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

Braking duties are performed by disc brakes in front and drum brakes at rear. On the safety front, Figo hatchback gets a number of equipments such as six airbags, anti-lock-braking system with electronic brakeforce distribution, among the prominent ones. Besides the aforementioned safety features, the hatchback also feature engine immobilizer and driver seatbelt reminder. Some features are exclusive to automatic version like electronic stability control; traction control and hill start assist.

CONCLUSSION

Although this update is a bit late to join the party, the new Figo ticks all the right boxes in terms of features, engine and gearbox options as well as ride and handling. To add as icing to the cake, it has been priced extremely well too. And for those who worry about after sales, Ford has reduced its service call times as low as 48 hours. Wish there was some more shoulder room for passengers at the back. But as a product, the new 2015 Ford Figo repeats what its predecessor managed to achieve and that itself is quite commmendabl

 

 

Hyundai Creta Facelift Review & First 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 in Carzprice

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. Apply car loan for Hyundai Creta at Carzprice

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.