Volkswagen Ameo Engine & Gearbox

Volkswagen Ameo Overview

If you are out looking for a practical compact sedan, there’s a new entry heading your way from the land of the hyper speed autobahns and beer gardens or ‘Biergarten’, as the locals would say.The Volkswagen Ameo, which will be delivered to customers starting next month, is the long overdue result of VW attempting to crack the escalating compact sedan segment. Essentially a boot-ed version of the Polo, the Ameo is the first ever VW model to be designed purely for the Indian market and the brand has made no bones about the fact that it’s betting big on this car. View Offers & Price on Ameo in Mumbai at CarzPrice

On paper the Ameo checks most of the right boxes and it certainly looks and feels the part. But going beyond what’s apparent, how well does it behave out on the road and more importantly, is it a worthy alternative to the current crop of compact sedans? A brief drive across the scenic route towards Wai suggests it just might be

Volkswagen Ameo Exterior & Design

The Ameo carries forward the timeless design language of Volkswagen successfully. The vehicle resembles the Polo and Vento from the front while the side (up to the C-pillar) will remind you of the Polo although changes have been made to the front fenders. The boot has been neatly integrated but the requirement of tucking under 4-metres in length does make the car look a bit awkward from certain angles. Still, this is one of the better looking compact sedans and the boot job doesn’t look like an after-thought. The only way to identify the diesel version from the petrol is the TDI badging on the boot.

Volkswagen Ameo Interior & Comfort

The superbly appointed interior is back too, with VW’s typically restrained-looking dashboard and exceptional fit and finish. The long equipment list on this Highline trim returns, replete with a touchscreen, rear-view camera, automatic wipers, cornering lamps, cruise control, two airbags and ABS. In fact, those last two safety features are standard across the range. The DSG auto version additionally gets ESC and a hill hold function. Finally, the rear seat – it isn’t the most spacious, especially on knee room, but if your use is only occasional, it might be good enough.

Volkswagen Ameo Engine & Gearbox

The Volkswagen Ameo is available with a 1.2-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel engine. The petrol is available with a five-speed manual and the diesel even has an option of a seven-speed DSG. The NVH levels on both the engines are a bit off. There is more than sufficient power in the petrol and the diesel is certainly a lot more powerful. The petrol engine is noisy and the diesel engine has a lot of clatter noise. Overtaking is a breeze with the diesel engine, however the petrol needs a downshift. The automatic version of the diesel is a lot more comfortable to drive and convenient to use.

Drivability is good on both. The sudden boost after 1800rpm is reveling. There is always the joy of driving the diesel engine. Also, the clutch is a tad deeper than the petrol engine. The diesel clutch is heavy, which makes it difficult to drive in city traffic.

Volkswagen Ameo Driving Dynamics

Don’t let the sporty looking flat-bottom steering wheel fool you. The Ameo is a compact sedan, after all, and it handles exactly like it’s supposed to. Like all other cars in its class, the Ameo’s suspension set up has been oriented towards comfort. That said, it has got the second best balance between ride and handling, after the Honda Amaze. The steering on the Ameo feels vague around the straight-ahead position and is slow to turn in. It’s initially light but becomes gradually heavier as more lock is applied. All in all, it lacks the consistency in feel that’s to be found in rivals like the Ford Figo Aspire. For information on contact details of Volkswagen car dealers in Chennai

The production-spec Ameo rides on 15-inch wheels as opposed to the bigger 16-inchers seen on the show car at the Auto Expo. Nevertheless, the Ameo’s ride quality is quite good – we sampled it across both pothole-ridden city streets and wide open tarmac on the highway. It deals with undulated surfaces rather well despite transmitting some sharp bumps from on the road into the cabin. So what’s not to like in terms of dynamics? Well, the Ameo, like all other compact sedans, has that inherent floatiness to its high speed ride. One has to make constant steering corrections to keep the thing true to its li

Volkswagen Ameo Price

Volkswagen Ameo Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,48,410/- (Ameo 1.2L MPI Petrol Trendline) to 9,87,627/- (Ameo 1.5L TDI Diesel Highline DSG AT). Get best offers for Volkswagen Ameo from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Ameo price in Hyderabad

Volkswagen Ameo Verdict

The Ameo on the whole is a pretty nice car, especially when you consider the equipment you get for the money you pay along with the fact that it is a Volkswagen, and is thus a very well-engineered car. Volkswagen has learnt from its previous mistakes and is offering a bucket load features this time which adds to the Ameo’s value for money quotient.

Build quality and quality of materials used is pretty good, which gives the Ameo a more premium feel. What’s more, it is a familiar looking car though that’s something which works in its favour but could also be a bit of a turn off for some. Not a deal breaker though, especially since it drives well, has a good balance of ride and handling, and of course the fact that this car has been made specifically for India. A little thing to be proud of, no?

Tata Zest Hatchbak Review & Performance

Tata Zest Overview;

The past few years haven’t been good to Tata Motors’ passenger car division. It has had a few good products, but there always was something that didn’t sit right. Of course, there were even more things that were brilliant about the products, but desirability, one of the most important things in an economy such as ours where a car still remains in large part a luxury rather than a necessity, was absent. Tata has now recognised this, and has thrown everything they have behind the new range of products that will launch from now on, and it all begins with this small car that will replace the cheapest sedan on the planet – the Tata Zest. Does it manage to deliver what Tata so badly needs? Check for Tata cars Price & Specifications at CarzPrice

Tata Zest Exterior & Look

There is a new look about the Zest, yes, but there is also a little that remains from the Indigo CS. However, everything except the silhouette is new about the Zest. There’s a new grille that has taken inspiration from the old Indica grille, but is now a snazzy honeycomb design with a bolder logo on it. It is flanked by the headlamps, which remain a dual-barrel design but the top-spec versions now get a projector low beam with a corona ring. The fog lamps are housed in the new bumper that has a trapezoidal black center.

The Revotron gets LED daytime running lamps, while the diesel auto we had sported a chrome accent under the fog lamp. The hood now has a ‘power bump’, which helps the sporty intentions. From the front three-quarter, the shoulder lines are what grab your attention. Never before has Tata made a car this aggressive in the bodywork, and it is a pleasant change. The wheel arches are flared a little, and this time they are adequately filled out by the 15-inch alloy wheels shod with 185/60 tyres. The fenders don’t have indicators on them any more, they have been relocated to the mirrors, and the bottom of the window line gets a subtle chrome strip. The diesel gets a multispoke design reminiscent of the Manza’s wheels, and the petrol, a new eight-spoke layout. There is no diamond-cut finish here, and the Zest doesn’t really need it, either. As with any other sub-four metre sedan, at the rear is where the proportions are odd, but the Zest does a fair job of hiding the height of the rear by breaking it up into the bumper with a matt black lower section that mirrors the front bumper, a bootlid with a numberplate and a generous chrome strip above it that links the tail lamps and a subtle lip on the top of the boot lid. The tail lamps are horizontal and wrap around the car’s corners a fair bit. The top-spec variants we drove even had LEDs with light guides on the top, linked to turning the headlamps on. Overall, the Zest is a leap forward for Tata design, without making a clean break from the past. It is the right step forward and will definitely have heads turn, especially when they realise it is a Tata.

Tata Zest Interior & Space

A much bigger surprise is the cabin, which is easily the most modern and classy looking one we’ve seen in a Tata vehicle to date. The two-tone colour scheme makes it feel really airy, and the piano-black and gunmetal grey plastic trim do liven up the dashboard. The steering wheel is smaller in diameter than the Vista’s, it has a smart new hexagonal boss and there are audio controls here too. The speedo and rev counter dials are also very attractive, with a chunky-looking 3D jewelled effect, and a detailed fuel and trip computer nestled between them. It’s not just the look that’s improved, but the quality too. The texture and finish of the plastics look and feel much better to be on par with Maruti and Honda (though not quite at Hyundai’s level). If we’re going to nitpick, panel fit still isn’t perfect, the edges of certain parts are still quite rough, and the shiny plastics still reflect too much. It’s a shame that all the leather trim from the car shown at the Auto Expo 2014 is missing, even on the top-spec car, and that there is just one cup holder in the cabin; the slim door pads could barely fit a half-litre water bottle.

A lot of work has been done to the seats as well, and the big front chairs are well cushioned and supportive. The high dashboard means shorter drivers might have to use the seat height-adjuster (only available on the top trim), but you will be comfortable over long journeys. The rear seat is like a sofa – easily wide enough for three, with good support and space in every direction. The air-conditioning – automatic climate control on the top-spec car, manual otherwise – has also been improved, and though we didn’t have a hot summer’s day to test it on, it regulated cabin temperatures very quickly and efficiently.

Finally, another talking point on the inside is the new infotainment system developed with luxury audio experts Harman (of Harman and Kardon fame). The eight-speaker audio sounds fantastic for this class of car, and gets USB, Bluetooth, aux and SD card input (no CD player though). The touchscreen infotainment system on the top-spec car is very ambitious, offering higher-segment features like a proximity display for the rear parking sensors, alternate controls and display for the air-con, vehicle settings control, and even voice commands. It gets the job done, but is a little rough around the edges; the voice commands are too few and specific, for example. The screen is a bit too reflective to easily read on the move as well, but the unit itself feels really good to use, with high-quality controls. The lower-spec car misses out on the touchscreen, and with it, some of the aforementioned features, but its unit looks neat and works well.

Tata Zest Engine & Transmission

The Tata Zest is offered with the tried and test 1.3-litre Quadrajet diesel engine which produces the same output as it used to earlier. This engine is sourced from Fiat and is also popularly called as the “National Diesel Engine of India”. While offered with a 5-speed manual earlier, it now also gets paired to a 5-speed AMT automatic gearbox, making the Zest the cheapest diesel automatic in the country and also the only diesel automatic car in its segment. The bigger news is the new 1.2-litre Revotron petrol engine, which has been developed by Tata Motors in conjunction with AVL. It’s the first and only turbocharged petrol engine in its class.The 1.2-litre Revotron turbo engine uses an alloy head and a cast iron block, it belts out 90 PS at 5000 RPM and 140 Nm of torque at as low as 1750 RPM (up to 3500 RPM). The Zest gets a clutch lock and once you start the vehicle, you will really appreciate the low NVH levels, the motor is super refined with no vibes at all. In fact, the NVH is so good that at speed with the audio system playing, you can’t hear much of road, tyre or wind noise. Drivability is where the 1.2T Revotron mill truly shines, it offers an excellent low and mid-range punch but lacks top-end thrust. There is no turbo lag and performance is instant too, with power delivery being linear. The engine doesn’t rev quickly though and you do have to work the gearbox for quick overtakes, more so if the RPM drops below 2500 RPM in higher gears (4th and 5th).

So for instance, driving at 90 km/hr in fifth and you stand on the pedal, the motor does take its time to pull, clearly fifth gear is for cruising. Redline comes in just under 6000 RPM with the tacho glowing red once you whizz past 5500 RPM. 100 km/hr comes up in third gear with the tacho ticking in at around 2300 RPM in top gear at the same speed, so the engine is relaxed when you want to maintain cruising speed on the highway. Tata Motors has tested the engine for 3 lakh hours and there are many highlights of this powertrain – 10% faster than the closest rival, highest power and torque density in it class, 23% better peak torque than the closest rival. The engine doesn’t sound sporty but you can hear the turbo whistle. This is not the motor which will put the tarmac on fire as it’s not tuned for high revs but drivability is its forte. Still, it does cut off smoothly when it hits the redline (like European cars) and doesn’t feel jerky there.While accelerating, if you lift off, the RPM doesn’t drop quickly, it increases a bit and then falls very slowly. First gear is good for 50 km/hr while second will see you do 90 km/hr. The engine won’t rev more than 5000 RPM in neutral. The Revotron engine also has a first in class drive mode selector (developed with Bosch), you can choose between Eco, City and Sport. By default, the car is in City mode and a touch of a button on the centre console changes the mode (which is reflected on the 2.5-inch display on the instrument cluster). This change happens on the fly and the Eco mode is aimed at mileage, the Sport mode boosts performance marginally while the City mode gives you the best of both (the throttle response is altered). You can feel the power trailing off a bit in Eco mode while the accelerator feels more instant in Sport, the 0-100 km/hr timings reflect the difference in different modes and the same is significant. The 5-speed gearbox offers smooth shifts and the clutch is light too. We can expect a mileage of 13-15 km/l from the petrol Zest.

Tata Zest Driving Dynamics

This Tata car rides well and handles great. The Zest impressed us completely with its amazing handling potential. It has a taller ground clearance but at the same time the roof line flows at a lower height bring down air resistance. Introduced in the Nano, EPAS (Electronic Power Assisted System), with speed sensitivity along with a segment first feature of Corner Braking stability makes the Zest handles corners confidently. For information on contact details of Tata car dealers in Mumbai

All the earlier issues of steering losing grip and wobbling on high speeds has completely gone. During out test drive in Goa, it was raining heavily but the ride quality of Zest held the wet roads firmly. The 185/60 R15 tyres have great traction. Even on rough patches, the suspensions refused to give up doing its best to keep the disturbance felt at the lowest level possible. It is evident that the team at Tata Motors has worked really hard to make sure the Zest delivers on points where Tata cars have been highly criticized for like ride and handling, in cabin noise insulation, gear shifts and steering response.

Tata Zest Safety & Security

Tata Zest comes equipped with Disc brake as front brake while Drum brake does the duties as the rear brake. This primary braking system responds instantly and to ensure much better braking, the company has also introduced the most advanced, the 9th generation Antilock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD) as secondary braking system. Tata has also blessed the Zest with Speed dependent auto door lock system and Front and rear fog lamps. But unfortunately, the XE variants in both the guises miss out on these features. The company in a bid to avoid any mishap and make sure of maximum safety of the occupants, has also incorporated segment-first, the Corner Stability Control feature in the Tata Zest with mid and top trims. There are also dual front airbags and front seat belts with pre-tensioner & load limiter in the top-end trim. However, for the security of the vehicle; the company has come up with Immobiliser with every variant. But, the top-end trim XT also has a Perimetric alarm system that makes loud sound if any attempt of burglary or thievery is made.

Tata Zest Price

Tata Zest Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 5,17,692/- (Zest Revotron 1.2T XE) to 8,54,312/- (Zest Quadrajet 1.3 XTA). Get best offers for Tata Zest from Tata Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for Zest price in Hyderabad

Tata Zest Verdict

It must be said that Zest is probably Tata’s best and well coveted attempt to target most sort after compact sedan segment. It actually breaks away from what we Indians are used to seeing in Tata Motors product portfolio till date as this sedan brings forward the company’s latest design philosophy and engineering to conquer competition. In sheer performance, the petrol is the one that impresses the most while the availability of an automatic in diesel is definitely going to attract a great number of seekers. The attractive pricing at which the company has launched the Zest into the market, will surely pull a lot of customers towards it, especially when it comes to the first-in-segment diesel automatic variant.

Honda Brio Facelift Performance & Test Drive

Honda Brio Overview

Honda was always in need to hit the small hatch segment and that was answered by the Brio. It was the small hatch of the small hatches. Small, usable, idea for the city and efficient and reliable thanks to Honda. The Brio came out in 2011 and was an instant hit. But as time passed so did the sales figures. Now in 2017 Honda has introduced the new Brio. What are the changes in the new Honda Brio 2017? Are there any additional features? We share our detailed review of the new Honda Brio 2017. Honda Brio On road price starts from 4,73,597/- . Check for price details of Brio in CarzPrice.

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Honda Brio Exteriors

The Brio certainly is a looker. In this segment where classical designs are more appreciated than anything radical, the Brio has everything working in its favour. While it doesn’t have the sharp, funky lines of its rival, the Chevrolet Beat, or the radical futuristic styling of its elder sibling, the Jazz, it still manages to stand out in a crowd quite easily. The well proportioned stance with short overhangs is something that really gives the car a dynamic look. While Honda’s designers might want to describe the styling as ‘double triangle’ or the like in the language only automobile designers can speak and very few apart from their ilk can understand, what is clear to understand is that the Brio does look like it’s moving forward at a good clip even when its standing still, especially when viewed bang-on from the side.

This is accentuated by the slashed crease just below the shoulder line and a parallel crease near the bottom of the car. Then there is there is a wide stance with its flared wheel arches, reminiscent of more sporty cars which really improves the appeal by leaps and bounds. This wider track combined with the car’s relatively short wheelbase of 2,345mm as well as the lack of overhangs at either end, and the Brio comes across as a little rally car that would be more at home spewing dust on special stages rather than pootling about town. The front of the car bears the typical Honda traits that we’ve come to accept now, such as the large ‘H’ badge on the grille

Honda Brio Interiors

The plastic quality of interiors might not be what you expect of a Honda. Clearly, the company has done some cost cutting and it shows. There are some flimsy plastics, which scratch and come off quite easily. However, the overall quality is at par, if not less, than the competition.

Although there is enough room to seat five adults in the car, where the car lacks in is the boot space and is a big disappointment. Honda’s engineers have utilized the interior space in a way that maximum space is provided to the occupants while the boot has been relatively ignored, which isn’t big enough to store anything more than your groceries and vegetables. That said, the car feels airy and fresh, thanks to the large glass areas and the light beige plastics inside. The Honda Brio gets features such as power windows, steering-mounted audio controls, bluetooth and aux-in connectivity, defogger, electric mirrors, cup holders, etc. The car also gets projector halogen headlamps and push button keyless start. The Brio does miss out on the climate control, which could’ve given the car a more luxurious appeal. A dead pedal is sorely missed too, which is a clear oversight on Honda’s part.

Honda Brio Engine

The engine on the New Honda Brio 2017 is the same 1.2-litre unit. This mill churns about 88bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. The mechanicals remain the same. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual and also a CVT (automatic transmission) option. This i-VTEC engine is a highly refined mill. The good bit about New Honda Brio 2017 engine is its performance. It has more than sufficient power to drive in the city. In fact it is quite peppy. One doesn’t need to change gears often while driving in the city. Even on the highway, it can comfortably cruise at about 100-110km/hr.

Being the same engine the auto and the manual have different efficiency. Sometime back I had written an article where the automatic gave more. It is how brands develop the ecu for efficient management of power and efficiency. With an efficiency of 16 km/l and a 35 litre tank the auto can do 480 km till the next fuel pump and the manual with and efficiency of 19 km/l which is excellent for a 88bhp petrol small engine can do 580 km i.e exactly 100 km more than the automatic. If you love to drive, manual it is. If city traffic is what your nemesis is, then automatic

The new Honda Brio 2017 mileage is about 14km/l in the city and about 16km/l on the highway. The automatic will return bout 12km/l and 14km/l in the city and the highway. The ARAI mileage for the Brio will be about 19 km/l and 20 km/l (for the automatic).

Honda Brio Driving

The 88 bhp engine is responsive and is quick off the mark. Zipping around in city traffic is effortless especially with the automatic. The suspension is soft and takes care of most of the bad roads, undulations and speed breakers unless the car is heavily loaded with people, by that I mean all 4 people. The soft suspension does lower the car quite a bit. The car has a low centre of gravity still due to the soft suspension can’t be thrown around corners. If the signal is your start line you may be the 1st to heave a start.

The automatic is responsive but the manual is quicker. If at all Honda had a glitch it would be the CVT automatic. That feels like a drag. The Brios overtakes efficiently too. Honda have ticked all the right boxed. 88 bhp, responsive throttle and 19 km/l. What else could you ask for in a small car. As I have mentioned before this would be an IDEAL car for Mr Bean in today’s world.

Honda Brio Safety

The braking performance of the Brio is decent and on par with its rivals. The top version comes with ABS, further helping in the braking performance. The 175 mm-wide tyres also provide for a decent braking performance.

The front wheels have got ventilated disc brakes while the rear ones have drum brakes. The brakes do a good job in stopping this sprightly little hatch, thanks to the lightness of the car. The car has passive safety tech such as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). The ABS system helps in case of sudden braking situations, and prevents the car from skidding and going out of control.

Honda Brio Price

Honda Brio Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 4,73,597/- (Brio E MT Petrol) to 6,78,710/- (Brio VX AT Petrol). Get best offers for Honda Brio from Honda Dealers in India

Honda Brio Verdict

The Brio is said to be capable of delivering fuel efficiency of 18.4 kmpl, compared to the Jazz’s 16.7 kmpl. So, one key buyer need in the segment has been taken care of well. The cabin is roomy and fairly well insulated for a car in this segment. Suspension set up includes McPherson struts at the front and H-shape torsion beam at the rear. The ride is not the most pliant, but is fairly dynamic again for a car in this segment. The Brio is likely to be offered with four variants, with the top two variants featuring all the safety features like ABS, EBD and dual front airbags.

Toyota Etios Liva Performance & Price

Toyota Etios Liva Overview

Etios Liva from Toyota competes with cars from manufacturers like Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. Toyota has been able to put together a delightful hatchback and that is rather commendable. This is ascribable to its intensive market research. Toyota has extracted information on what the customer desire right from the horse’s mouth and it is this customer orientation that has led to the development of an incredible little automobile – Etios Liva!It is derived from its sedan sibling, Toyota Etios, and shares many of its features. Its spacious interior can house five passengers with utmost ease and provide them supreme comfort. The controls are light, the steering provides tilt function and the clutch is extremely light. The well-tuned suspension makes it a safe ride and the superb after-sales service of Toyota is a cherry on the cake. Weighing a little less than 1000 kg, Liva is extremely light and thus quite fuel efficient. The sleek chrome-treated grille highlights the frontage of Etios Liva. The fin-shaped rear combination lamps enhance the dynamic look of the hatchback. The blacked-out B-pillar along with the stylish alloy wheels add a tinge of sportiness to the looks of Liva. The ambience inside is a perfect match to the spectacular exterior. The colour scheme is bi-tonal and the ash brown color lends immense elegance to the interior of Liva. Check for Etios Liva Price at CarzPrice

Toyota Etios Liva Exterior

The plain vanilla styling on the Toyota Etios may be ideal for people who do not like to grab attention in their mid-life. However, when the Liva was spawned, it looked crisper than the booted brother with the better finished rear end. The boxy body with minimum curves and slashes looks contemporary. In the recent facelift of the Etios Liva, Toyota has given the vehicle an updated grille with chrome finish along with new tail lights with minor modifications in the turn indicators which now use orange glass rather than clear glass.

The major contributor to the feel good factor is the subtle body kit, rear spoiler, gunmetal finished 15-inch alloy wheels (all other Liva variants get 14-inchers) and a plethora of TRD Sportivo badges. The side skirts, front-lip, boot-lid, rear-spoiler, side-skirts and even the rear bumper is not spared from TRD Sportivo badges.

Toyota Etios Liva Interior

Let’s be honest about the fact that not many of us like the interior styling of the instrument panel. The circular air-con vents might be highly effective, but they miss out on the appeal bit and even the central instrument cluster isn’t something one will appreciate. The quality of the Etios Liva for the price is acceptable, however not its design. The central instrument cluster has always been no-no for all recently launched cars. In terms of features, the Liva is a well-loaded product.

The Liva’s recent upgrade to adjustable headrest was a very good option. This makes the car feel a lot more premium on the inside. The Japanese car maker has changed a lot of things in the Etios family after a delayed customer feedback. The space in the front row is good and even the seats are large enough, however the second row is a bit tight for knee room. There is a lot of stowage space. One can store seven litres of bottles in the Liva alone, which is humongous. Then there is a decent size boot as well. Seating comfort, driving position, access to controls, these are some elements that Toyota well has taken care of.

When you sit in the driving position, it is easy to get comfortable and adjust the steering wheel and the seat. There is height adjustable in the top-of-the-line VX trim. The A-pillars (side pillar) are thin and the visibility is good. However, the mirrors could have been bigger for better visibility of the rear. The large headrests at the rear, somewhat block the rear visibility.

Toyota Etios Liva Performance

Now it is time for the engines. First is the 1.2-litre petrol, which will be the most selling engine today as the fuel prices have seen a major dip and petrol has seen a major jump in demand. The engine is quiet and this engine produces about 80bhp of power. Most of the power is available at higher revs, so you need to downshift for an overtake, especially while driving on an highway. Most of the drivers prefer relaxed type of driving then this engine will perfectly suit this requirement. The power produced by the engine is sufficient for city driving and it even returns a decent figure of 12 km per litre in city driving and with highway, the mixed figure is close to 14 km/litre. The five-speed transmission is smooth and has short throws.

The diesel engine of the Etios Liva is a gem. This is a 1.4-litre engine that churns out 67bhp of power. Let us not go by the numbers, once you get behind the wheel you realise how good this engine is. Be in almost any gear, the engine pulls without any hesitation. This is what Toyota’s are known for, and this diesel engine has the typical Toyota characteristics, which makes the Japanese auto giant one the best sellers in the world. The oil burner is a bit noisy, however it is highly fuel-efficient too. In city, the Etios Liva returns about 16km/l with ease, while on the highway, the figure is between 19-22km/l depending on your driving condition.

Toyota Etios Liva Performance and Handling

The suspension setup on the Liva has been setup to provide best of both worlds. The handling is neutral. Liva turns into corners quickly, thanks to the lower kerb weight. There is a bit of body roll and the steering feel is average. It is nowhere as feedback rich or eager as the Maruti Suzuki Swift or the Ford Figo in the corners. The electronic steering is light and does city duties well but it does not offer feedback or weight up at high speeds. The steering wheel in particular is not good enough to hold in the first place, it’s too big.

The ride quality is mature and the wide tyres offer splendid levels of grip. The Liva doesn’t get unsettled on bad roads and absorbs most bumps in its stride remaining reasonably composed. Braking is excellent with good pedal feel and offer quick speed shedding capacity. High speed stability is good too and changing lanes does not upset the car’s balance. Ground clearance is not an issue and we did not scrape the body kit or the under body on any large speed breakers at all.

Toyota Etios Liva Braking and Safety

Toyota Etios Liva has ventilated disc brakes for the front wheels and Drum brakes for its rear wheels.Vehicular safety is quite important for Toyota and hence, Etios Liva comes loaded with safety features like SRS airbags for the driver and the co-passenger, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS),Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), engine immobilizer, keyless entry, driver seatbelt warning and door ajar warning.

Toyota Etios Liva Price

Toyota Etios Liva Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,49,355/- (Etios Liva G) to 7,41,458/- (Etios Liva VXD Dual Tone). Get best offers for Toyota Etios Liva from Toyota Dealers in India

Toyota Etios Liva Verdict

Let us get this straight, making affordable cars in India is a tough task and so far Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai have been successful. The Etios Liva is a good hatchback to buy and for the price you can expect a little better quality. However, the interior styling could have been better. The biggest USP of this hatchback is the Toyota badge and bullet proof reliability of this Japanese manufacturer. The top-of-the-line variant of the Liva diesel costs about Rs 8 lakhs, there are cars with more features available at this price, but most of them lack the refinement and experience of that Toyota promises. You can’t expect the same high Lindt standards for that price, which the Swiss company has set with its other range of chocolates. However, the company will deliver better product than a Cadbury and so is Toyota. They have made a lot of changes in the Etios family, we expect them to sort out the remaining ones too.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Performance & Price

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Overview

No matter how hard you try, somethings just aren’t heard, like in the case of automobiles how often have we heard India’s largest car manufacturer having a flop model in its portfolio. Rarely, but when Maruti Suzuki’s product does fail to sell, the company quickly makes amends by discontinuing the model and replacing it with something better. Such has been the case always and that’s why the Japanese automaker is replacing not one but two of its poorly performing cars in India with one product. The Zen Estilo and A-Star are being replaced by the Celerio, a car which also fills in the shoes of the Splash globally. Does the Maruti Celerio have what it takes to replace three cars? Suzuki thinks so, its ideology behind developing the Celerio was to make a vehicle which has the economy of the Alto (A-Star) and space of the Splash (Ritz). We put the Maruti Celerio through the thick and thin to see if this Maruti has what it takes to be a success. Check for Celerio Car Model Price in CarzPrice

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Exterior

The Maruti Celerio looks similar to its petrol counterpart. The badgingg on the fender and boot mark the difference. The styling of the Celerio is mix of various elements. It has a pleasing front end with twin chrome horizontal slats. Large headlamps also add to the look. The fog lamps have chrome surrounds and the fascia looks appealing. this makes it look attractive. It is a somewhat tall boy design which is apparent when viewed from the side. The door handles are grab type ones and the crisp line adds on to the styling. The wheel well size is perfect and it doesn’t look small like the Wagon R, neither is it too big. The rear of the Maruti Celerio Diesel is nothing to talk about, but is decent with simple looking tail lamps.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Interior

Maruti Celerio gets a dual tone interior design with Indian favourite beige being one of the shades. Inside the vehicle gets characteristic Suzuki traits and parts that can be found on the other models of the Japanese carmaker. The large 2425mm wheelbase offers spacious cabin with extra headroom, legroom and shoulder room. Moreover, passengers get 15 smart utility spaces for putting small bags like bottles, magazines, phones and others.

When compared to A-Star and Estilo, this hatchback offer more upmarket and better quality interiors. The seats have better cushioning and offers comfortable seating to passengers. The rear seats come with the option of 60:40 split flexibility to increase luggage capacity. That is what we call XpanDesign. The flowing curves of the dashboard and the way it merges with the rest of the interiors give the cabin a premium feel. All of it comes together to create a space thats perfect for you and your family to settle into and enjoy the drive.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Engine & Transmission

The Maruti Celerio uses the same engine which powered the cars it replaces. It is the same motor which propels the Wagon R but sees some changes. The 1.0-litre K10B motor (now called K-Next) gets drive-by-wire technology (instead of a mechanical linkage), reduced friction (thanks to redesigned valve springs), high pressure injectors and low viscosity engine oil. The changes aren’t a world apart but do end up improving the performance from the car which now produces the same 68 PS of power at 200 RPM earlier. Being a 3-cylinder unit, the Celerio’s engine has its achilles heel, the NVH is very poor which is amplified by the low weight of the car, resulting in everything from the gear lever to the pedals and seats vibrating at idle (noise isn’t much though but vibes are very intrusive). What the low weight does help in is, it gives the Maruti Celerio slick performance in the city, you do however have to keep the pedal depressed at low speeds to prevent stalling in crawling traffic, specifically in first gear.

The 3-pot unit is quick to respond to throttle inputs at low speeds and moves swiftly in stop and go conditions. However like most Suzuki petrol powertrains, rev the nuts of the motor and it makes an unpleasing whine, the Celerio goes one step ahead and sounds massively coarse near the 6100 RPM redline. The car debuts an improved 5-speed gearbox which although has slick shifts, can be a bit of an effort to use till you get used to the slight stiffness. The 1.2-litre K12 engine in the Ritz and Swift would have made a world of a difference to the Celerio but Maruti Suzuki is focussed on mileage, which the smaller petrol mill will deliver in abundance. Our VBOX runs with both manual and automatic versions of the Maruti Celerio revealed the 0-100 km/hr time to be 15.05 and 15.60 seconds respectively, which is decently quick for a car with such a pint sized motor.

The A-Star was offered with an automatic but Maruti Suzuki has opted for a cost effective solution with the Celerio, which uses an automated manual transmission, technology sourced from Magneti Marelli. This transmission is shared with the manual and doesn’t have a torque converter (thereby returns the same mileage as a manual), instead it uses an ECU to control gear shifts (using actuators), eliminating the need of a physical clutch. There is a creep mode which prevents clutch wear in slow moving conditions while a hold function prevents roll back on slopes. You have the option of leaving the box in auto mode while there is a manual mode as well (slot the lever to the left) wherein you can keep the gear engaged till redline to extract the most out of this mill. The EZ Drive does make driving very convenient but is very jerky and you can feel the clutch being activated most of the time. Since this is an automated manual gearbox, there is no P mode like in traditional automatics (there is M, D, N and R modes). The company claims a fuel efficiency of 23.1 km/l which is quite impressive.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Ride and Handling

The Maruti Celerio offers a good mix of space and comfort and it is exactly like its petrol sibling. The ride is pliant and the suspension feels well balanced. It is not too stiff nor soft. The steering too is well weighted and not overly assisted like some other cars in the segment and this feels good. The clutch too feels pretty light, especially for a diesel. While the engine sound intrudes inside the cabin, it gets easily muffled with the audio system on. Overall, the driving dynamics in the Maruti Celerio are better than just acceptable.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Braking and Safety

The hatch comes clubbed with the EZ Drive in it, which makes driving the vehicle easy. The EZ technology in the car assures a ride that is hassle free, especially while riding in heavy traffic conditions. The braking system comprises of front and rear drum brakes, which enables immediate braking action. Maruti Celerio is much more safer than the existing A-Star, as the car is bigger in size. The tall boy design gives high driving position, which helps in better upright view of the road. The electronic power steering helps in easy manoeuvering of the vehicle with shorter turning radius. High strength steel side impact beams ensure protection at the doors in case of any side impact. The top-of-the=-line variant boosts dual airbags – one for the driver and the other for the co-passenger.

Maruti Suzuki Celerio Verdict

The Maruti Celerio is an improved product, compared to the A-Star whose direct replacement it is. However it isn’t a vastly improved product which makes you question why the manufacturer did not go the long haul in taking a car which bombed so miserly, to the next level. The regular manual version of the Celerio doesn’t appeal much with the EZ Drive model being the only saving grace here. By using the intelligent and cost effective option, Maruti Suzuki will offer the cheapest automatic car in India in the Celerio. Although very jerky, the ease of driving offered by the Auto Gear Shift in the Celerio is sure to appeal to those on a budget. Being a Maruti Suzuki with a vast dealership network and aggressive pricing (for the lower trims), the Celerio is bound to be a success. However if you want a manual hatchback at this price point, there are better options.

Nissan Sunny Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

The small car segment in India has continuously been explored and re-explored by manufacturers in the pursuit of having the correct ingredients in their car. While some car makers have found them, others haven’t. But it is the entry level sedan segment that is still to be exploited to its full potential. Nissan has now brought its internationally launched Versa under the Sunny tag to India, in an attempt to make a breakthrough in the segment. Although there are only five cars in the segment, each one has a USP of its own, making it very difficult for a buyer to make his choice. While the Suzuki Swift Dzire is the class leader offering great mileage and a peppy drive with great after sales service, Toyota offers refinement and comfort with its Etios. And let’s not forget the sleekly styled Tata Manza and the highly affordable Mahindra Verito. The question is what does the Sunny have to offer? Is it the segment shaker Nissan wishes it to be? Check for review & price of Nissan cars

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

This is a facelift, so the basic shape of the Sunny is retained. However, the front is where major changes have been wrought, beginning with a new, chromed trapezoid grille and massive boomerang-shaped headlamps. The chrome doesn’t stop at the grille, the new, aggressive bumper is underscored with chrome and the fog lamps also have L-shaped chrome underlining as well. It may get a little too in-your-face for some, but this is not a bad thing, because it is certainly an improvement over the outgoing model’s bland face. The three-quarter panel reveals a new, more angular mirror housing with integrated signals. Nissan hasn’t done a halfway job with these, either: the original signals have disappeared from the fenders. The alloy wheels have a new six split ‘Y’ shaped spokes, but the tyres remain the same size as before. Our test car was shod with JK Vectras instead of the standard Bridgestones it used to be shod with. The roof also exhibits a single change – the long, thin antenna has made way for a rear-mounted shorter, thicker aerial. At the rear, not much has changed. The tail-lamps remain the same, but the rear bumper has changed. The corners get an extra horizontal crease that rises towards the rear. This, coupled with the new matt black underside that cuts into the visible area at the low end of the bumper helps reduce the visual height of the rear more neatly than the previous car’s busy, all-painted triple horizontal creases low down on the bumper. The chrome strip above the number plate on the top-spec variants is now a more complex piece, and under it hides the reversing camera. None of the Sunny’s sheet metal has changed, but it is marginally longer and taller than before. It will also be available with a new paint scheme, a deep metallic purple that appears black until you view it in bright sunlight, when it shows off its true colours. This same paint used to be available on the previous-generation Honda City, and its appeal has not diminished at all with the 2014 Nissan Sunny. Check On Road Price of Sunny

INTERIORS AND SPACE

Nissan had updated the Micra last year and that facelift had transformed the interiors of the car drastically. Similar changes now flow into the Sunny, which also gets a new centre console with piano black finishing. The AC controls see minor changes while Nissan has made heavy changes to the dashboard of the car. The instrument cluster gets a new fine vision meter which changes the way the console is lit, the multi-information display now getting white lighting. Lower variants still get a basic cluster. The steering wheel too has been ditched for a new and sportier unit. The new 3-spoke steering feels much better to hold and doesn’t come across as too big, the audio control buttons having a slick feel. The beige and grey interior has been replaced by an all black interior which looks so much better, invoking a sporty feel inside the cabin.

The rest of the Nissan Sunny remains identical. You get a cabin which truly has acres and acres of space, more so for rear passengers who can sit and stretch like they are in a lounge with 636 mm of legroom, easily class leading. Good headroom, decent under-thigh support (a bit lacking for tall passengers at the rear), two reading lights at the rear (there are four cabin lights), a chiller of an AC (with rear fan vents which pull AC air from the front), all play a big role in ensuring the Sunny is among the best cars in its class to be chauffeur driven in, the airy cabin further accentuating the backseat appeal. Our only gripe with the cabin is the doors don’t auto lock. Nissan has given the Sunny Bluetooth connectivity and the 2-DIN audio system with a 5.1-inch screen is new as well. The top variants (XV and XV Premium) also get reverse parking sensors and a reverse camera. The XV Premium variant is available in two optional packs – Safety Pack adds side airbags while Luxury Pack consists of genuine leather seats along with a leather wrapped gear knob.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

The Sunny’s 1.5-litre, twin-cam, 16-valve petrol motor (codename: HR15) makes a decent 97bhp and 13.6kgm of torque. Down from 1.6 litres as in other markets, this 1.5 also has only one injector per cylinder, as opposed to two. But because it doesn’t have much mass to move, you will find it performs more than adequately. Its 12.6sec 0-100kph time is no match for a Honda City or a Toyota Etios, but isn’t too far off a VW Vento’s and you can see this in the way it drives. The 1498cc motor’s almost ‘square’ cylinder dimensions work at making part-throttle responses peppy and giving it decent mid-range and top-end power. The best bit about this engine is how well it pulls from low speeds, which makes city driving quite a breeze.

Power delivery is quite linear all the way to the 6500rpm redline, but isn’t as smooth or willing to be revved as, say, a 1.5-litre Honda City motor. It gets quite thrashy past 5000rpm and the Sunny works best when you upshift early and use the engine’s good part-throttle responses and excellent low-rpm performance to get you to speed. It’s easy enough to maintain cruising speeds, and overtaking doesn’t require too much downshifting.

The five-speed manual gearbox has a well-judged set of ratios, but the gearshift feels a bit notchy and there’s a fair bit of transmission whine as well. However, the clutch is light and this takes some effort off the gearshifts.As for fuel efficiency, it sipped a litre to travel 11.5km in the city, and 16.4km on the highway, and that’s better than a Honda City.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The front MacPherson strut and the rear torsion bar suspension set-up works well for the Sunny and is a blessing on the kind of roads found in India. It is very forgiving and can take on any pothole or bump without sending you straight to the first spinal cord clinic en route! This works against the Vettel types who would seem to be all at sea with the car wallowing in the high speed corners but then there is always the 370Z and the GTR for this lot. Excellent ground clearance is another major attribute for our terrain, yes, urban and rural and thanks are also due to the 185/65-R15 tyres (ours was the top-of-the-line offering which has this size rubber while the other two versions make do with 185/70-R14 Bridgestones) for the fine poise and the ride quality. Among the other positive attributes of this big ’un in a very competitive segment poised for take-off is the fine and comfortable driving position with ample all-round visibility coupled to a very light yet precise steering. Both of these make themselves felt and count when gliding through traffic on our city roads despite the obvious girth of the vehicle.

SAFETY ;

One area where the Sunny scores is its fuel efficiency. The light weight and moderately powerful engines mean that the Sunny is not particularly thirsty. Nissan India claims the diesel Sunny manages 22 km/l in test conditions and the petrol CVT is close to 18 km/l. Of course, real world figures are lower, but oour experience has been that the Sunny really is among the most fuel efficient mid-size sedans in the country. . VERDICT ;

The Sunny has always been the stepson of the segment, recommended to those who want value rather than features or snob value. No more, not with the features list that is now available with the Sunny. Nissan has gone for a relatively safe strategy and not offered a top-spec petrol (yet), instead preferring to promote the diesel. If Nissan manages to keep the 2014 Sunny within Rs 20,000 of its predecessor, it will make an extremely strong case for itself if you’re looking for an alternative to the segment’s usual picks, the Honda City and Hyundai Verna.

 

Mahindra Scorpio Facelift Review &Test Drive

OVERVIEW

The Scorpio is a household name in the Indian car market since the year 2002; the SUV has many accolades to its name including ‘Best car of the year’, ‘Best SUV of the year’ and much more. While the first generation SUV was introduced back in 2002, the second generation was introduced just after four years in 2006. Much later Mahindra decided to up their game and introduced the third-generation SUV back in 2014. Now after almost three years of its production Mahindra has decided to launch the facelift variant of the SUV.

EXTERIORS

Like we already mentioned above the test mule of the facelifted SUV was spotted a couple of times and from the spy shots of the test mule, it is quite clear that the facelifted SUV will get all the changes mostly towards its front and rear profile. Check for Scorpio price in Jaipur

The front profile of the SUV will feature a restyled bumper which might get some bigger air inlets to make it look premium and slightly more aggressive. Apart from the new bumper expect the facelifted SUV also to get a slightly redesigned grille as well. Many reports are saying that Mahindra might redo the headlamps, but we firmly believe that the daytime running lamps styling won’t change much. Apart from these changes to the front profile, there won’t be any changes made to the side profile of the SUV. However, we do expect it to get a new set of alloy wheels to enhance its exterior styling. Just like the front profile the rear profile of the SUV will also get some styling updates as well which might come in the form of slightly redesigned taillamps and rear bumper.

INTERIORS

More than the exteriors, it is the interiors that have the maximum refreshment in the Mahindra Scorpio. Not just the design, also the styling, shade and quality. The 4 spoke steering though looks bigger but is a bit smaller giving for more a car like feel. It now gets steering mounted controls and the downward flow of the silver strip looks great. The Hexagonal design of the speedometer and tachometer with the information display between the two looks futuristic. The A/C vents now get chrome rings to add to the bling. The entire dash is now split with darker shade of grey with a light shade.

There is a further a chrome Scorpio badging on he co-drivers side dash too. The centre console o f the Mahindra Scorpiois dark grey cladded and has a nice 7 inch touch screen which is just above the now fully automatic climate control. Now even the seats are dual tone with grey and blue. Both the driver and co-passengers side gets armrest. And these are small details that a very well appreciated.The 2nd row seats are flat but have more cushin now and come with better thigh support. The 3rd row as as usual opposite facing jump seats.

The space in the Mahindra Scorpio remains the same. . The front row seats are large and spacious. The second row are a tad tight on knee room but there is ample of head room. The third row is majorly for short distance travel. The Scorpio’s quality and fit and finish are much improved. The Mahindra Scorpio Intelli Hybrid with its evolved interiors is a good option to consider.The Mahindra Scorpio does come loaded with a lot of features, however most of the features are available from S8 and S10, and till S6, the bells and whistles are limited. The features on S10 include dual airbags, ABS, touch-screen music system with Bluetooth connectivity and Aux and USB connectivity, reverse parking sensor and satellite navigation system. Majority of the features like touch screen, navigation etc are available only in the top-of-the-line S10 variant. This variant also features indications by voice.

PERFORMANCE

Mahindra Scorpio continues to draw power from the engines that were on offer with the previous generation Scorpio. The base variant S2 comes loaded with 2.5L, 4-cylinder, Turbocharged m2DICR engine which is good enough for a maximum power output of 75 bhp at 3200rpm and peak torque performance of 200Nm on tap between 1400rpm to 2200rpm. All the other variants in the Scorpio variant range in-house a 2.2L, 4-cylinder, Variable Geometry Turbocharger with Intercooler mHawk engine which rakes in a massive power of 120 bhp at 4000rpm with a top torque performance of 280Nm at 1800-2800rpm. The company has discontinued the traditional 5-speed gearbox and introduced an all-new 5MT320 gearbox for smooth gear shifting. This new 5-speed manual transmission is mated to all the variants of the Scorpio line-up. However, for the time being, there ain’t any automatic transmission on offer with the Scorpio but the company would certainly launch it later or sooner. Mahindra Scorpio is also on offer with an all-wheel-drive system with the S4 and S10 variants, albeit on order-to-made basis.

Mahindra has boosted the mileage significantly with the next generation Scorpio as it now delivers an ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 15.37kmpl as compared to the 11.2kmpl of previous generation SUV. Although, the SUV may not be able to return exact 15.37kmpl as claimed by the company but it won’t go down than 12kmpl, even in thick traffic of city driving. With an exceptional power of 120 bhp, the mileage of around 12-15kmpl is just like a red cherry on the cake.

It won’t be an understatement if the Scorpio facelift is being said the most technological advanced SUV amidst its domain with best ride quality and handling. The handling has witnessed a quantum leap due to the shortened turn radius of 5.4m as opposed to the previous model which had a rather large turning radius of 5.7m. The hydraulic power steering with collapsible steering column and tilt function is as effortless as one would see in a premium luxury SUV. Also, the all-new ladder frame chassis and cushion suspension technology have made a lot of difference in the riding department. The Double wishbone type, independent front coil spring as the front suspension while Multi-link coil spring with anti-roll bar at the rear takes care of the potholes and ensures a comfortable journey. The Scorpio was always a performer, whatsoever the terrain is and with the new iteration, it gets better and better with its impeccable tenacity and agility. The Scorpio variants achieve the 100kmph mark from standstill in a sub 15-second time with the top speed being around 160kmph mark.

RIDE AND HANDLING

With a completely reformed suspension setup, the ride and dynamics of the vehicle has gone up by several notches. Its potential to take uneven roads and potholes has also increased. The new dampeners come into effect when the vehicle goes through a rough patch and insulates the cabin from the entire disturbance. The difference in stability is also clearly evident.While taking corners at speeds of up to 100kmph, there is no body roll. It is only at higher triple digit speeds where one can feel an oversteer. To make night driving safer, there are static cornering lamps positioned behind the projector lights. These lights glow during taking turns thus illuminating critical points at night. They are very useful during pitch dark driving conditions. One thing that has changed is its straight line handling. The earlier version felt bouncy at higher speeds. Not that it has completely come down but has noticeably improved.In fact, we managed to drive it on great lengths of bad roads. The new suspension setup swallowed whatever we threw at it. The gear shifts were little sticky but nonetheless it still impressed us with its safe insulation. Even the in-cabin noise insulation is simply fantastic. The 2WD impressed us immensely.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

Airbags for driver and co-passenger are offered on S4+ onwards in the range missing out on the entry level variants. ABS with EBD and panic brake indication is also available on variants above the S4 trim. Other safety features aboard include collapsible steering column and side intrusion beams, digital immobiliser, anti-theft warning, seat belt reminder lamp, speed alert and auto door lock while driving.

CONCLUSSION

The Scorpio has never been a pretty car, neither has it been brilliant at one single thing. However, it has always delivered a lot of value at its price. At Rs 11.46 lakh ex-showroom, the two-wheel drive S10 we’ve driven shows exceptional value for money. Add to that the trouble-free reputation that Scorpios have and Mahindra’s service network and you have a car that can sway you. It might sound a little far-fetched, but the new Scorpio really is quite new, and worthy of a look if you’re looking at the XUV, Duster, Terrano and Safari Storme.

 

 

Honda Amaze Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

Honda is dedicating a lot of its resources to ensuring that the i-DTEC powerplant is heavily localised in order to keep the price competitive and to make sure the demand is met. It also makes a lofty promise, claiming this to be the most fuel-efficient engine in the country with a 25.8kpl Indian Driving Cycle rating, despite also being the most powerful in its class. Check for review & price of Honda cars

The Amaze is less than four metres long, its petrol engine displaces less than 1200cc and its diesel less than 1500cc, so it qualifies for the government’s excise benefit on small cars. There are lots of other small but significant features on the car that are a direct result of feedback from Indian customers too, so Honda does seem to have done its home-work. Priced from Rs 4.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the petrol and Rs 5.97 lakh for the all-too-important diesel, it is very competitive. There is definitely a lot riding on this car, so let’s see how well it fares on the road.

EXTERIORS

The New Amaze is not a major facelift. The front grille gets a thick chrome slat. gets The headlamps are also new, which are borrowed from the Mobilio. A new bumper also finds its way here. It remains the same from the side though. The only differentiation is the new set of alloy wheels and some tweaks to the ORVMs. The rear of the Honda Amaze now looks a lot more smart with the new chrome strip running across between the new tail lamps. The rear bumper is also new. Check for Amaze price in Pune

The antenna of the Honda Amaze facelift has been changed too and it is the new magnetic one. The tyre size on the Amaze facelift remains the same with 14-inch tyres (175/65/R14) and for the top variants it is 185/60/R15, with alloy wheels.

INTERIORS

The changes thus though not extensive, do give the car a fresher appearance. It’s the changes to the insides that impressed me the most though. This is the area where owners would spend the maximum time and Honda has reworked the cabin well to offer a better in-car experience. The highlight is the new dashboard, which looks more appealing with its two-tone beige and black appearance. Fit-finish levels are high as expected from Honda, and the cabin exudes a more premium feel. On the whole, the new dash looks nice with its thoughtfully executed, clutter-free layout. I wish the infotainment system screen was bigger and colourful instead of monochrome though. The Amaze also gets Bluetooth connectivity now, apart from the AUX and USB. It gets automatic climate control too, with a large display for the air-conditioning unit.

The steering wheel is the same, but its rim uses a thicker, better feeling material which makes it chunkier to hold. The revised clocks look better too, which means the cockpit is a better feeling place now. The Amaze also gets redesigned door trims which give it a more upmarket feel, and do a good job of it. These interiors are the same as the upcoming BR-V, and work well in offering a more

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Powering the updated Amaze are the same set of engines as before. The diesel is powered by the 4-cylinder, 1.5-litre i-DTEC which produces 100 PS of power at 3600 RPM and 200 Nm torque at 1750 RPM. This motor fares quite well in terms of performance and fuel efficiency but was known to be noisy when compared to the competition. Honda claims they have improved upon the NVH levels with better insulation. This oil burner performs very well in the low and mid range of the rev band which makes it quite practical in most driving situations. Power fades off as you go to the higher end of the rev band. This engine comes mated to a 5-speed manual transmission which offers decent shifts but isn’t the smoothest shifting box in the segment.

Under the hood of the petrol version is a 1.2-litre, i-VTEC engine producing 88 PS at 6000 RPM and 109 Nm at 4500 RPM. This comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox. Honda is known for gasoline powertrains and this i-VTEC is quite rev happy and performs very well in the mid and high end of the rev meter. Low end grunt is average as with most petrol engines. This engine loves to be revved and pulls quite cleanly once you give it the beans.

Previously Honda was offering the Amaze with a 5-speed automatic transmission but the Japanese manufacturer has done away with this and has now slotted in a CVT transmission. This makes more sense as the CVT has infinite number of gear ratios making it more practical in most driving situations. We had a short spin in the CVT variant and it was quite easy navigating through peak hour Delhi traffic. However, it gets too noisy as you go higher up the rev band and progress isn’t brisk as you would get in a manual. The CVT version is more fuel efficient than its manual counterpart and produces 90 PS at 6000 RPM and 110 Nm torque at 4800 RPM.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The ride quality in the Amaze is just about right. There is a bit of body roll, but the suspension is overall tuned to handle city roads. Compared to the Brio, though similar, the suspension set up at the front and the rear have been tweaked in the Amaze to handle the increased weight.

We can’t expect this entry-sedan to compete with the likes of its bigger sibling – the City – in this department. But, compared to similar sedans the Amaze manages to make the cut. The bulkier Swift DZire may just be a bit more agile than the Amaze. But that could change by the time the car makes it here. My test car came with 14-inch wheels and 175 / 65 R14 MRF radials. The final trim levels may include 15-inch rims too.

The steering felt well weighted and wasn’t unusually light or oriented towards being over-assistive. Though it was difficult to test the car at high speeds on the short track with a speed limit also being enforced, there were a few corners where the steering’s abilities could be tried out and I liked the fact that I could direct the car precisely.

CONCLUSION ;

The Amaze has been one of the top sellers from Honda off late and the trend is bound to continue for the time to come. The Amaze is a practical compact sedan which delivers on almost every front, be it interior space, performance or fuel economy. The potent diesel engine also happens to be the most powerful in its segment. What the Amaze lacks is some additional equipment like Bluetooth connectivity, climate control, etc., most of which is standard in its latest Korean rival. However, the Amaze is quite involving to drive and the Honda badge does carry hefty brand value making it an option seriously worth considering, if you are looking to buy a compact sedan.

Ford Ecosport Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

We have had hatchbacks, sedans, SUVs and various other types of cars in our long-term garage. But this is the first time, we get sometime new in its segment. A compact SUV, called as the Ford Ecosport. To be honest, I was keen to drive this car for a long time and we finally got our hands on this SUV. The Ecosport has been the first compact SUV, and since then even Maruti has got into this segment. Check for review & price of Ford Cars

DESIGN ;

In terms of design, the EcoSport manages to excel in leveraging the platform’s strength in creating a compact SUV, which still manages to be very aerodynamic. There is enough road presence and purpose to the design. With the wheels out on the extremities of the vehicle, the raised posture and the spare wheel mounted on the hatch door, the EcoSport has that butch stance that we associate with SUVs.

But, it must be remembered that the design also cleverly uses visual cues to elevate itself into SUV territory. Some of the features that help it achieve this include the roof rails, the aggressive oversized bonnet grille, and the wrap-around rear glass that merges with the kink in the C-pillar, the large stalked door mirrors, the high shoulder line and the body-side cladding that visually raises the EcoSport even more than its already high 200mm ground clearance.

CABIN ;

The Ford EcoSport range is punctuated by three trim levels, and unlike the original, the facelifted model comes with far more equipment. The first and most noticeable difference is the removal of the tyre from the rear door, followed swiftly by the smart LED day-running lights. Check for Ecosport price in Kolkata

Opt for the Zetec trim and your EcoSport will come fitted with 16in alloys, manual air con, all-round electric windows, hill start assist. Other luxuries include a radio/CD player complete with Ford Sync and USB connection and a leather steering wheel. Go up to Titanium and keyless entry and go, cruise control, auto headlights and wipers, and half leather seats are thrown in.

The new Titanium S trim level not only gets a peppy 1.0-litre Ecoboost engine but also 17in alloys, sports suspension, trim and a Sony DAB system.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The highlight of the updated EcoSport is of course the 1.5-litre diesel engine. The oil-burner now whacks out an additional 9 PS of power and the total power output has been bumped up to 100 PS, which also matches the numbers of the Figo twins. Torque remains at 205 Nm and the engine is still mated to the same 5-speed manual gearbox. Gear shifts are not the smoothest out there and still feel a bit notchy. 0-100 km/hr has been improved by a small margin which isn’t really noticeable in normal usage, but what is noticeable is the fact that the TDCI mill has a much better bottom-end now and the car responds to throttle inputs in a very brisk fashion.

The clutch feels lighter now while the turbo starts spooling in from a notch below 2000 RPM. All the 99 horses are delivered across the rev range in a very linear manner. 100 km/hr comes up at 12.76 seconds from standstill compared to 13.43 seconds of the previous model. The EcoSport also gets a 1.5-litre petrol engine and a 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine and both of these remain completely unchanged. The EcoBoost is offered with a manual transmission while the bigger petrol engine gets a 5-speed manual gearbox along with the option of a 6-speed DCT.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ground clearance of the Ecosport has been a boon. At 200mm higher from the ground, this makes it easy to drive on bad roads and even park on not-so-well paved roads. Driving on winding roads is also a lot of fun with the Ecosport. The electronic steering is precise and doesn’t make you feel tired at any moment. However, the suspension set-up is on the stiffer side. This means a lot of the bumps and the occupants feel shocks from the road.

One thing that many experts will miss out on talking is the stowage space in the Ecosport. There is a drawer under the co-driver seat, two one litre boots can fit in any of the front door pockets and even the glove box is large enough.

SAFETY ;

The EcoSport is now offered with an extra variant which takes the total variant count to six – Ambiente, Trend, Trend+, Titanium, Titanium AT and Titanium+. Ford offers ABS on all variants except Ambiente. Dual front airbags are offered on all variants barring the Ambiente and Trend trims. The Titanium AT and Titanium+ trims also get side and curtain airbags. Ford has loaded the automatic variant with Emergency Brake Assist, ESC, Traction Control and Hill Launch Assist. The EcoSport comes with a 2 year/ 1 lakh kms warranty and Ford also offers a 24/7 roadside assistance service.

CONCLUSSION ;

The EcoSport has much going for it in terms of design, focused engine tech and features. To push the envelope Ford has loaded in tech like the Microsoft partnered SYNC system into the car’s audio and telecom features. And Ford India is said to be involving local emergency services to utilise the infrastructure if an emergency arises for the car and its occupants. The system auto dials the emergency services if an airbag is deployed or if detects an emergency ignition cut-off.

But apart from all this the most key metric that can enable Ford to make the EcoSport a really attractive proposition to buyers is the car’s overall length.

At 3,999 mm, the EcoSport meets the sub-4-metre lower duties stipulation and that basically means that the price of this compact SUV can be really aggressive (read affordable). The diesel and the EcoBoost engines will, of course, qualify for the lower duty too.

Mahindra Verito Vibe Engine & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Majority of car sales in the Indian market comes form compact cars, which are small in size, fuel efficient and are the least taxed too. The quest for evading higher excise duties for automobiles means that companies will have to trim their products to place them under the 4-metre length. With many automakers already doing compact engineering very well, it was Mahindra’s turn to use their scissors on the Verito’s derriere. The objective has been achieved for Mahindra designers and engineers with the Verito Vibe successfully becoming a compact vehicle (Mahindra likes to call it a sporty compact sedan), thereby attracting small car excise duties. However as a product, does the Mahindra Verito Vibe offer something significant in the sub 4-metre space? Check On Road Price of Verito Vibe

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The first impression that you will get from the new compact car from Mahindra is that it is the exact Verito with few minor tweaks at the front but when you will walk towards the rear of the car there you will find the real change. So let’s start with the front of the car the new Verito Vibe has the same boxy design at the front but the new grille has given some uniqueness to the front, it now looks more sportier than before, the headlamp clusters also gets a little smoky appearance which once again looks new on the old Verito’s front. The front lower bumper also gets little plastic elements to it which again is a welcome change to the front facial of the car. Now coming to the side profile of the car things start to get a little different here, the Verito Vibe gets a new 14 inch stylish set of wheels which is painted in Champagne color, some of you might dislike the color but Mahindra thinks differently, the side profile of the car also has a bold line which runs all the way to the rear of the compact car, the most significant changes that you will find in the car starts from its C pillars. The first thing that will catch your eye are the huge tail lamps which runs parallel with the rear windscreen, the top of the tail lamps has a little roof rails which once again gives it the sporty look and you will find a little bulging area just under the rear tail lamps (it cannot be called a rear spoiler exactly) just below that area is where you will find the rear boot door, the interesting fact about the rear boot of the Mahindra Verito Vibe is that you don’t have access to the boot from inside the cabin like you do on a hatch rather you will have to step outside the car and access the boot just like any other saloon. The massive rear boot has 330 litre of boot space but the only problem is that there is no lock to operate the boot door from outside the car, there is a switch inside the cabin of the car and once you press the switch then only you can open the rear boot door.Overall the new Mahindra Verito Vibe looks different from the rest of the compact car you will find in the Indian market, the unique looking rear and crossover style of the car will surely grab everyone’s attention. Exchange your old car for Verito Vibe

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The interiors are done up very elegantly with well placed features, which makes it look like a complete package of comfortableness. The seating is very well designed to provide a cushiony feel by the plush fabric upholstery fitted to it. The Executive Edition is pampered with Italian leather based upholstery, which is far more luxurious and also the steering wheel is leather wrapped in it. Furthermore, it has floor mats as well as matching vinyl door trims that adds to the overall posh look. The rear door trim is layered with fabric that has a smoother holding. Moreover, there is a gear shift knob in leather covering. The parcel shelf is offered behind the rear bench seat for storing a few handy things. There is a central console storage space along with a bottle and mobile holder as well. The AC vent outer ring is in a silver finish that enlightens the interior elements altogether. The extra amenities are the cigarette lighter as well as an ashtray too. The luggage compartment has been layered with a full carpet and below that there is a spare wheel with its tool kit. There are sun visors to both the driver and the co-passenger as well. The center fascia has been given different designs for each of its variants. The instrument panel has a pad that shades it from the sunlight coming through the windscreen and makes visibility better. Additionally, for the front passenger side sun visor, a vanity mirror is also fitted.

The insides are well furnished with an air conditioner unit that also has a heater, which are offered to regulate the temperature. All the seats have been fitted with head restraints for additional convenience to the occupants. The front door has a map pocket that is an added storage space. There are theater dimming interior lights that has the facility with courtesy delay. The trunk room is provided with lighting as well. There is a remote operated fuel tank lid lever on the driver side for added convenience. When it comes to the automated elements, the outside rear view mirrors can be adjusted from inside. The power steering makes the drive much easier and keeps the driver in control of the vehicle at all times. All four doors have power windows, which further adds to the comfort quotient of the passengers. There is a central remote door locking system as well that boosts its security aspect. The music system that is decked into this car is a 2 DIN unit that can support a CD and MP3 player. The USB slot, Aux-In port and an FM tuner function can be enjoyed by four well placed speakers. The rear windscreen is fitted with a defogger that is helpful in foggy climate.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Verito Vibe uses the same engine as on Verito. Vibe is offered only in a diesel engine trim as Mahindras don’t have a smaller petrol unit to haul this car and at the same time avail the tax benefits of a sub 4 metre car.The Verito Vibe comes across as a decent commuter with no excitement. It can be a weekday solution from home to office kinds. This one is powered by a 4 cylinder 1461cc dCi CRDi Diesel engine. This unit produces a peak power of 65PS at 4000 rpm and a torque of 160Nm at 2000 rpm.This not just any sedan cut into a hatchback project by excusing the extreme third box. In the Verito Vibe, the third box has been reduced to the maximum limit. The overall length of the Verito has been brought down from 4277mm to 3991mm but the wheelbase stays intact at 2630mm. The Kerb weight of the Vibe has shot up too by 15 kgs.

Some issues which were seen in the Verito have been repeated in this smaller version too like the cabin is still not insulated and the growl of the diesel engine is evidently audible inside. Even the functioning of wiper or the power windows appears very crude and basic.The diesel unit however scores well in terms of power delivery. It displays very minimal lag and performs very well in stop go traffic. The gear shifts are not as smooth as the one in Swift DZire but then even the one on Amaze appears notchy. The notchy gears are well complimented by the smooth clutch which comes handy in traffic flooded areas.On highways, the Vibe lacks the punch especially at higher engine speeds. It cruises very well till about 130 kmph but then after crossing it the engine begins panting hard and the efforts taken by the diesel unit get evident. Overtaking is not difficult. The steering is not very smooth and thus maneuvering can be a bit of an issue.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Vibe’s suspension settings remain unchanged from the sedan’s, so it exhibits all the same characteristics. It has a very pliant ride, which leads you to believe that it will not handle well, and when you tiptoe through a corner, you discover that beyond the body roll lies quite a lot of grip. And beyond that grip lies very progressive understeer. Even the steering contributes to this feeling – it is a little vague when pointing straight and feels unreasonably heavy sometimes at parking speeds, but push the car through a corner and it weighs up really well, communicating exactly what is happening under the front wheels and elevating driver confidence to the point where you can find the understeer at the limit. It isn’t the best driver’s car in its segment, but it certainly gets our vote for the best balance between ride and handling.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

A part of the excellent driving experience offered by Mahindra Verito Vibe can be contributed to its sound braking system that does its job perfectly. While the front portion of the car is equipped with disc brakes the rear portion braking is supported by drum brakes. Apart from these, the braking system of the car gets aided by advanced systems like Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system that help maintaining control over the car during sudden braking and fast deceleration of car whenever required. These two systems play a major role in strengthening the security and safety system of car. The safety front of the car is also strengthened with other standard measures such as a strong built, a fine tuned suspension system, driver airbag, steering wheel frame made up of magnesium which reduces impact of collision, central lock, day/night inside rear view mirror, anti-theft alarm, halogen headlights, collapsible steering, door ajar warning, electrical rear window child lock, fog lamps, a laminated windshield, adjustable front seats belts, adjustable head restraints over front and rear seats, remote door locking, and a few others. The safety as well as braking system of this car are one of its biggest USPs and make it one of the most reliable cars

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mahindra Verito Vibe is a sub 4-metre Verito in the true sense. It is identical to the Verito in every aspect except the rear end design and boot capacity. While the hinged boot isn’t much practical, it has helped Mahindra in saving costs of development and production. So does the Verito Vibe make sense? When you factor in the Verito Vibe costs a good Rs. 80,000/- less than the regular Verito, things start making to the mind. If you can live with the rather unconventional rear and boot, the Verito Vibe makes a good case for those who want a practical hatchback which can carry five in reasonable comfort while delivering exceptional fuel efficiency at this price point.