Ford Figo Aspire Facelift Review & Test Drive

Ford Figo Aspire Overview

This is the latest iteration of the Ford Aspire. A much-needed refreshment has been brought in three years after this sub-compact sedan was first launched in India. The carmaker has made a host of cosmetic changes like a revised face, tweaked rear and an updated cabin. This comes along with mechanical upgrades in the form of a five-speed gearbox and two new petrol engines. The latter are from Ford’s new Dragon engine family that was already seen on the new Ford Freestyle and the EcoSport. So, how effective are these changes? We find out. Book a test drive for Aspire in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Ford Figo Aspire Design

The new Figo Aspire as already mentioned above is the sub compact sedan based on the new generation Figo hatch, so except the extended boot at the rear everything while everything else looks identical to the new Figo hatchback which will be launched in the market after the sedan.

Ford retained the typical styling DNA even in this new sedan and that is quite obvious from the typical Ford Trapezoidal grille towards the front which gets the four slats while the long elongated headlamps adds the little touch of sportiness to the front face, the Blue oval logo has found its place on the tip of the front hood while talking about the front hood the new hood looks sculpted and has also got two vertical crisp lines on them which starts from the windshield and end towards the Ford logo placed towards the front tip. Besides these there is nothing much interesting to describe towards the front except the raked windshield and some sweeping lines towards the front hood which according to Ford conveys a sense of movement.

Towards the side profile there is a distinct character line which starts from just behind the front headlamps and blends perfectly towards the rear taillamps. You will also love the blacked out B pillar which adds a premium touch to the side profile so are the 8 spoke alloy wheels and side blinkers integrated with the ORVMs (available only on top end variants), the other variants will get side turn indicators placed on the fenders.

Walk towards the rear of the sedan and the extended boot has been perfectly blended with the overall design so the car’s shape does not appear boring or odd. The smaller wrap around tailamps looks stylish but unfortunately does not get LED configuration to them while the chrome finished slat runs across the rear boot of the car while the rear bumper gets some Black treatment towards the lower half which adds the premium feel to the overall sedan.

Ford Figo Aspire Cabin

As you step inside, you will notice the new 6.5-inch touchscreen infotainment system with both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. The centre console looks neater now as the massive onslaught of buttons has been removed in lieu of the slick Sync 3 system (even lower models get a touchscreen and not the el-cheapo mobile docking system). The equipment list remains the same as earlier with a few more features, it now gets auto-dimming cabin mirror, reverse parking camera, reverse parking sensors, automatic headlights and automatic wipers. The car also comes with push button start and both the sun visors now get a mirror. There are two USB ports right ahead of the gear lever.

The Ford Aspire offers decent amount of legroom and headroom on the rear seat, however getting three adults in the rear isn’t easy due to the width of the car, Ford knows that and hence there are only two adjustable headrests at the rear, there is a centre arm rest too but that gets no cupholders, neither do the door pads. The seat back is scooped out, there are magazine holders behind the front seatback and the only cupholder for rear seat passengers is the one in between the front seats. The Aspire gets a new key which has boot release on it, imperative as there is no electromagnetic tail gate opener. The car also misses out on a passive entry system which could be added in the near future.

Ford Figo Aspire Gearbox

The 1.2-litre Ti-VCT petrol engine from the predecessor is now replaced by an all-new, Dragon petrol motor that debuted on the Freestyle. This three-cylinder, 1.2-litre Dragon petrol mill produces class-leading 95bhp of power and 120Nm of torque. There’s also a new five-speed manual gearbox that is standard even with the diesel engine, which we will talk about in a while. Let’s first get to the petrol. We tapped the engine start button and the powerplant started without much of a noise. The idling is silent and the refinement is good enough for a three-cylinder mill.

Start moving, say from standstill and you realise the low-rpm throttle response is ordinary. The surge only starts to come above 2,000rpm otherwise below that, the punch (torque) feels weak. However, as you speed up, you realise it has enough pep to push the car. Above 4,000rpm is where I’d like it to be. Use the gearbox judiciously and the engine performance feels not just acceptable but on par with segment standards. Of course, as you accelerate to higher rpms the three-cylinder thrum becomes audible. The tyre noise also seeps into the cabin when doing three-digits speeds.

The diesel, on the other hand, gets the tried-and-tested 99bhp 1.5-litre four-cylinder TDCI motor. The mild clatter is still there but with 215Nm of torque; this one allows the car to putter around the city in third or fourth gear at 30-40kmph, without the engine lugging at all. Overtaking slow moving vehicles doesn’t make you feel nervous and you can take on the highways easily thanks to its good mid-range with torquey nature. The performance also starts getting stronger as the rpm needle climbs, while cruising at triple-digit speeds remains to be a breeze.

Then, the highlight is the new five-speed gearbox with short throws and well-defined gates. There’s no notchy feel in the shifts and that makes it a slick transmission to use. This, along with a light clutch with short travel, makes it great for the city. Furthermore, the steering at parking speed is light and weighs up nicely with increase in speeds. It is direct and quick to react making things easier within the city. The compact sedan continues to feel very chuckable and even around tight corners handling feels safe. There’s minimal body roll too.

Ford Figo Aspire Driving

Ford has got a good balance of ride and handling on the Aspire. With the bigger wheels, the dynamics are even better. Ride quality is pliant and absorbs almost everything in its stride although bad roads are felt inside but only at higher speeds. The steering offers good feel too, it’s light at lower speeds and weighs up at higher speeds but isn’t in the same league as the hydraulic steering assisted first generation Figo. There is some amount of body roll but the car is quite poised around the bends and is a whole lot of fun, no matter which engine is powering it. Brakes too offer good stopping power but the ABS is over sensitive and pulsates just too much under heavy braking.

Ford Figo Aspire Safety

Ford has given special attention to the safety of the occupants inside and thus the new sedan comes with robust passenger cage created from high-strength steel, both driver and passenger side airbags and for the first time in the history of Indian auto industry Ford has even provided side and curtain airbags for the occupants as an option. The top end trims also gets ABS and EBD and also hill assist which is available only with the auto transmission variant though.

Ford Figo Aspire Cost in Chennai

Ford Figo Aspire On-Road Price in Chennai ranges from 6,22,722 to 9,18,648 for variants Figo Aspire 1.2P Ambiente MT and Figo Aspire 1.5D Titanium Plus MT respectively. Ford Figo Aspire is available in 11 variants and 7 colours. Below are details of Ford Figo Aspire variants price in Chennai,Check for Aspire price in Chennai at Carzprice

Ford Figo Aspire Round Up

Ford has played their cards well with the Aspire facelift. Its looks are a differentiating point, cabin is well designed and reasonably spacious with some new equipment. However, it still misses out on some basic features like DRLs, projector headlamps and rear AC vents, which have now become a norm in this compact sedan segment. Nonetheless, the Aspire nails the spot with class-leading safety equipment, most powerful engines in segment, excellent driving experience and prices lesser than its outgoing model. It’s also competitively priced between Rs 5.5 lakhs to Rs 8.14 lakhs (ex-showroom) undercutting the Maruti Suzuki Dzire and the Honda Amaze by good margins. An Aspire to aspire for then then?

Tata Tigor Hatchback First Drive & Overview

Tata Tigor Overview

Last time Tata Motors tried its hands at getting a slice of the compact sedan market with the Zest, things didn’t turn out to be to their desire. The Zest, despite indicating a transforming Tata Motors, failed to grab the consumers’ attention, primarily due to lack of a totally fresh design. Now though, Tata Motors is having another go at the segment with the Tigor, which was earlier known as the Kite 5. We’ve driven the Tigor and its different variants to find out if Tata Motors has the right ammunition this time to go against the likes of Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Hyundai Xcent, Volkswagen Ameo and Ford Aspire. The brief drive around Delhi NCR turned out to be quite a revelation in itself and you might be surprised to find out why. Book a test drive for Tata Tigor in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive

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Tata Tigor Design & Look

The Tigor is a fresh offering in the compact sedan segment. As per conventional norms, under-4 meter compact sedans are crafted by adding boot to the hatchbacks in order to make them look like a sedan. But Tigor is a bit different than other traditional cars as it has been given a lot of thought process in design. The vehicle looks pleasing to eyes especially from the rear which somewhat remind us of BMW X6. In the latest version, the headlights of the car have been slightly tweaked with new dual-chambered projector headlamps finished in chrome.

The grille styling has also been changed with the front fascia getting new diamond shaped with chrome accents. Moreover, the chrome treatment is also given to the fog lamps on the bumper. And in the facelift also, daytime running have not been included, may be company thinks it’s irrelevant and adds to the overall cost. Apart from this, the front end looks as cheerful as before. Coming to the side profile, here is what the real difference in design comes into the picture. Starting from the B-pillar, the rear half of the car is completely different from its alter-ego hatch sibling. And with rolling roofline, the coupe-like design lends it a more expensive car look. The carmaker has added new 15-inch alloy wheels besides the standard 14-inch wheels being offered in lower variants.

At the rear, the best angle to view the car is the three-quarter especially when looked with the new clear lens tail lamps. The chrome strip beautifully runs across the breadth of the bootlid and merges into the tail lights. The car now comes with shark fin antenna which does add a sense of sportiness. And the roof-mounted spoiler incorporating LED strip across the width of the stop lamp raises its appeal a notch further. A new colour option named Egyptian Blue has also been added. Overall, Tata has really upped the ante with Tigor as it is one of the best looking sedans in the class.

Tata Tigor Cabin & Space

Stepping inside and one will find familiar interior as that of Tiago hatchback. But this time around, the cabin gets black and grey treatment along with faux leather seats finished in titanium grey. The seats are knitted with roof liner. Tata has hit the right chord with another biggest change in the form of 7-inch capacitive touchscreen unit which has placed this car in the line of the contemporaries. The new infotainment is compatible with Android Auto. The system is provided by Harman with 4-speakers and 4-tweeters to groove into the music. The infotainment also supports USB, Bluetooth, Aux-In and iPod connectivity, voice command functionality and image and video playback. The reversing camera also relays feeds on to the same screen. The lower variants continue to come with the 5-inch ConnectNext infotainment system.

The car now comes with digital controls for the automatic climate control system. The air conditioner is excellent in terms of quickly cooling the cabin but is slightly loud even if run at low fan speed. The placement is also a bit odd as between the switches there is a lot of empty space which could have been used for other stuffs. The aircons located at the extreme end of the dashboard gets contrasting exterior colour which does add a sense of richness. The Tiago features cooled glovebox while the instrument cluster is the same as of Tiago housing the two silver-coloured pods featuring speedometer and tachometer. The center of the instrument gives info on distance covered, temperature, average fuel economy and trip meter.

Further, the steering wheel is identical and so is the gear stick. The car comes with 12V socket placed between the front seats and another one on the central console adjacent to USB and Aux-in ports. The door panels have fabric highlights though a little more padding could have been better. The black colour of the door panels and the grey coloured plastics feels a bit dull. In terms of stowage, there are cubby holes to put your wallet, phones or loose coins. One of the major highlights of the interiors is the rear seat. As the wheelbase is lengthier than the hatchback sibling by 50mm, the space inside especially the leg and knee room is ample. The angle of the seatback is more reclined than the Tiago with the overall experience of the seats is comfy as they extend from pillar to pillar. Moreover, they are well-cushioned and with the addition of centre armrest there is increased sense of richness and comfort. Even for the tall person there is more than average knee-room at the back which is really an impressive thing in an under 4 meter car. Headroom is also good while the seat is wide enough to absorb three reasonably sized adults.

Coming to the front seats, they are comfortable as well with the top end model giving height adjustment functionality. However, the placement of the seat is a little upwards and a tall person’s head might be touching the roof. In terms of features, one will find one of the best music systems in the car as the company has collaborated with Harman. The central console also features digital controls for FATC while image and video can also be played on the device till the speed of 5kmph.

Another interesting thing in the same centre console is the placement of boot release button. The driver can release the boot by pressing the button located on the center console adjacent to the ECO driving mode switch. Though the release button comes handy, it only works when the ignition is on. And there is no pull release button so from outside you either have to press the light button on the key fob or insert the key to open the boot. The top variant also features reverse camera with rear parking sensors. Other features in the car include electrically adjustable ORVMs, interior lamps with theatre dimming and collapsible grab handles.

Tata Tigor Engine & Transmission

The Tigor compact sedan is powered by the same powertrains found in the Tiago and before you get worried about the lack of performance due to the additional weight of the boot, the Tigor only weighs 50 kg more than the Tiago. Hence, the effect of weight isn’t much on the overall performance. The 1.2 litre Revotron petrol engine develops 85 hp, while the 1,050 cc Revotorq diesel is good for 70 hp. The diesel motor looks underpowered on paper but in the real world, it has just enough power to move the Tigor with ease. While performance isn’t brisk, once past 1700 rpm, the engine delivers better power but tapers past 4,000 rpm. This motor is meant for city usage primarily and occasional highway runs only. The petrol motor is the more lively of the two and lets one have some bit of fun as well. Power delivery is linear and beyond 3,000 rpm is when the power surges in. The engine is a refined mostly but feels rough towards the top end of the power band.

Tata Tigor mileage figures range at 23.8kmpl for the petrol variants, while the diesel variants return 27.2 kmpl (ARAI specified).Tata has done a lot of tweaks to various components to enhance the fuel efficiency of this vehicle. The carmaker claims that the petrol engine is able to deliver 20.3kmpl while the diesel one can return 24.7kmpl, certified by ARAI. The petrol automatic gives the same mileage as that of manual, however, real world figures might be different.

Tata Tigor Ride & Handling

Although the components are the same as that of Tiago, the overall suspension system has been tweaked to suit the weight and weight distribution of the sedan. And this is clearly evident when you drive the car over uneven road patches as it absorbs the bumps elegantly. It even doesn’t feel firm as the body control is quite good.A bit of difference can be seen in ride and handling as petrol variant comes with 15-inch rims with 175/60-section tyres and the diesel one features 14-inch rims with 175/65 tyres. As a result, the diesel one feels a bit stiller on highway. The petrol variant feels more keen and responsive especially at corners. The steering wheel is nicely weighted and while it does not give sharp response, the suspension adds a bit of confidence to it.

Tata Tigor Safety & Security

Tata Tigor specifications include disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear as standard. As for the safety of occupants, the company has incorporated a plethora of premium safety features, like dual front airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) and Corner Stability Control (CSC), speed-dependent auto door locks, follow-me-home lamps, park assist with sensors and camera, and seat belt with pretensioners and load limiters. Sadly, the base grade XE doesn’t get any of the aforementioned features.

Tata Tigor Cost in Chennai

Tata Tigor Ex-Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from 4,70,547/- (Tigor XE Petrol) to 7,04,172/- (Tigor XZ O Diesel). Get best offers for Tata Tigor from Tata Dealers in Chennai. Check for Tigor price in Chennai at Carzprice

Tata Tigor Conclusion

Overall, the Tigor is an impressive product on many accounts, especially exterior design and the infotainment system. Smart features such as the smart four-link boot too reflect the focus on providing functionality to consumers. There are bits that could’ve been better but most of them aren’t going to make any major difference to the cabin experience.

Where the Tigor stands out is its design because in a segment challenged by dimensional restrictions, we’ve become used to seeing ugly vehicles mostly. The Tigor on the contrary comes across as a handsome vehicle despite the challenges.

Mahindra TUV300 Facelift Review & Test Drive

Mahindra TUV300 Oveview

TUV3OO is a compact SUV offered by Mahindra in India. It is powered by a 1.5 litre mHawk diesel engine that is in two states of tune. In one state, the engine generates 85 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 230 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 2,250 rpm while in the other the same engine churns out 101 hp of power at 3,750 rpm while the torque remains the same. For the AMT (Automated Manual Transmission), the torque is 10 Nm higher in the same rev range. Along with the AMT, the Mahindra TUV3OO also gets a 5 speed manual transmission which is available in both states of tune of the engine. The compact SUV measures 3,995 mm in length, 1.835 mm in width and 1,839 mm in height and has wheelbase of 2,680 mm. View offers on Mahindra Cars from Mahindra dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

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Mahindra TUV300 Style

The design of the TUV300 is perhaps a complete reversal from what we have seen so far in Mahindra vehicles. Seriously, it is one of the improved designs that has rolled out by Mahindra’s design and engineering team in so many years. Reasons? It’s not excessively designed and sprinkled with ornaments of XUV500 and Scorpio. In fact, with the squared-out design inspired from battle tank, brawny haunches and prominent wheel arches, this SUV fit the right prospects when it comes to flexing muscles off road.

The front profile is dominated by typical multi-slat grille and well-designed carbon black finished headlamps that gel nicely with the overall design. The headlamps shows some traits of Bolero while the rectangular shaped fog lamps gets black chrome inserts boasting of a great combination of macho and manliness of the car. Come to the side and you will see how dexterously, Mahindra has hid the boxy appearance of the SUV. For instance, the D-pillars have been blacked out to give it a floating roof while the B and C pillar have been raked back along with thick shoulder line lending it some character.

There are straight lines and sharp angles that run across the length. The way 15-inch wheels have been designed is really appreciable, though they are puny in appearance. Instead, Mahindra should have used 17-inch wheels on this SUV just like in other cars such as Scorpio and XUV500. The understated design of the front is carried forward at the rear with majority of the focus on huge spare wheel mounted on the tailgate. The tail lights and the rear bumper are vertically placed which is nice but the rear steps looks like an eyesore.

Mahindra TUV300 Space

Step inside you will see how drastic transformation the carmaker has done to enrich the in-cabin experience. It is arguably the best interiors you will see in a Mahindra vehicle. There isn’t any silly plum finished plastic and desperately designed air cons here, but a nicely designed dashboard draped with dual beige and grey combination. The TUV300 follows the traits of other cars launched in the past couple of years by using glossy back plastic console for the infotainment system at the centre. Other parts of the cabin including the door handles and the AC vents are adorned in aluminium finished silver plastic.The apt placement of buttons on the central console shows the minimalistic approach of the carmaker. Especially, the way the top beige layer of the dashboard shelters or say surrounds the center console and instrument cluster without breaking the lines, is truly awesome. The quality of the plastics and the fit and finish shows that Mahindra needs some serious business here. The faux leather seats give a more comfortable experience to the occupants.

Coming to the space, the cabin is remarkably good in terms of headroom, legroom and shoulder room. However, the front seats that come with lumbar support are slightly on the firmer side and will not entertain passengers on long journeys. The carmaker could have added more padding around the lower regions. The bench seats at the rear too come with ample space and can absorb three adult passengers with enough legroom. But here again, they will not prove comfortable for longer distances due to lack of thigh support. Then there is third row which can also snug in 2 adult occupants but still not best for longer journeys. In terms of storage, you get plenty of bottle holders and cubbyholes in the cabin along with a huge illuminated glove box which is practically helpful in storing knick knacks.

Talking about the equipment, Mahindra has given a lot. The car comes with 7 inch touchscreen infotainment unit that comes with GPS, Bluetooth, USB photo/video viewer, voice messaging system as well as iPod support and 4-speakers to add more to the music experience. The reverse parking sensors relays relevant feeds on the screen. Other comfort feature in the car include height adjustable driver seat, internally adjustable ORVM, steering mounted audio controls, follow me headlamps, rear wash/wipe and second row full seat fold.

Mahindra TUV300 Engine

The Mahindra TUV3OO is powered by a 1.5 litre mHawk diesel engine that has two states of tune. In the lower tune, it generates 85 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 230 Nm of torque from 1,500 rpm to 2,250 rpm. In the higher tune, the same engine develops 101 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and the torque remains the same. That said, the AMT variant has 10 Nm more torque in this tune of the engine. Both states offers a good balance between performance and fuel efficiency.There are two gearbox options on the Mahindra TUV3OO, a 5 speed manual and a 5 speed AMT or Automated Manual Transmission. Both transmissions have been tuned for the right balance between performance and fuel efficiency. That said, the AMT does have prominent shift shocks during a gear change.For more info on Mahindra TUV3OO visit tamc2011.com 

The Mahindra TUV3OO has a certified fuel efficiency of 18.49 kmpl both, manual and AMT versions. These figures are acceptable for a compact SUV and are comparable with the segment.Fuel economy on offer stands at 18.49 kms in a litre which is commendable for a SUV. Like other Mahindras, this one too comes with a micro hybrid technology which includes a start-stop function. This feature in turn aides towards enhanced fuel economy. Besides, there is an option for eco mode too, that again enables increased efficiency.

Mahindra TUV300 Driving

Seems like Mahindra had worked really hard on this one, not that it performs brilliantly, but the SUV is certainly impressive. The 80 PS diesel engine is capable enough to give a good start to the vehicle. There is that initial grunt like other Mahindras, hence there is lack of refinement. In fact there is an insignificant turbo lag too, but it does not bother much. Steering wheel is heavy, but responsive at the same time. Overall, it is a well suited car for city driving as it enables easy manoeuvrability.

Mahindra TUV300 Safety

The TUV3OO from Mahindra comes with ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), dual front airbags and ISOFIX mounts for child seats on all variants except the base T4 trim. Standard features include a digital immobiliser, collapsible steering column, seat belt reminder, auto door lock when the vehicle is in motion and side intrusion beams.

Mahindra TUV300 Cost in Hyderabad

Mahindra Tuv300 Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 7,92,154/- (TUV300 T4 Plus) to 10,64,305/- (TUV300 T10 100HP AMT Dual Tone). Get best offers for Mahindra Tuv300 from Mahindra Dealers in Hyderabad. Check for TUV300 price in Hyderabad at Carzprice

Mahindra TUV300 Conclusion

Mahindra has come with a boxy SUV which may be liked by many and may not be liked by some, but it has not over-styled it which makes it a winner for us. The space on offer inside the cabin despite confined length is something to learn from Mahindra engineers. Seven-seat option is again viable for large Indian families but does it really allow enough space for the last two passengers seated on the jump seats? Interior quality and styling is good, equipments embedded are ample and even the performance is appreciable. At this price, TUV300 is a complete package.

Volvo XC60 Performance & First Drive

Volvo XC60 Overview

Over the past two years, Volvo has really upped their game. And their products speak for themselves – right from the XC90, S90 or even the relatively niche S60 Polestar and the V90 Cross Country. While all of these are impressive products in themselves, their best-selling model has always been the XC60. Volvo claims that nearly 30 percent of their overall sales in India is thanks to this mid-sized SUV. It is no wonder then, that Volvo has a lot of hopes from the newest version of the XC60. Volvo XC60 price range in India is between 52,99,500/-to 52,99,500/, check for detail pricing of Volvo XC60 in Carzprice

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Volvo XC60 Design

The 2018 Volvo XC60 takes design inspiration from its bigger sibling the new XC90 SUV.The SUV is underpinned by a shorter version of the SPA architecture. It sports Volvo’s signature Thor’s hammer LED headlights. Also, the front grille gets chrome garnishing and boasts design cues from the flagship SUV model in the range.At the side profile, the SUV features stylish appearance with the turn indicator integrated ORVMs, sporty alloy wheels and sleek roof rails. The rear fascia of brand new XC60 gets vertically positioned LED taillights and looks sharper and more stylish compared to the outgoing model. The exterior is understated but has a typical luxury stance of a modern Volvo.

Volvo XC60 Cabin

Step inside and for a minute we think that we are stepping inside the XC90 – the same finesse, the same excellent interiors that set the benchmark for the XC90 – everything is repeated here though with some changes. There is now a wood strip that goes around and cradles the dashboard – and is again very distinct, with a driftwood finish, adding a Scandinavian charm to the cabin. The same 9in vertical touchscreen sits in the centre but with a reworking of the icons, making them even easier to use with even larger touch areas and a simpler layout. The instrument panel is digital, displayed on a high res LCD screen, and the heads-up display adds another information source for the driver.The start-stop knob though is now unidirectional, and has to be turned in clockwise to both start and shut-off the engine. The drive mode select knob is also a replication of the XC90.

Volvo XC60 Performance

Although internationally, the new Volvo XC60 comes with several engine options, here in India we will only get the 2.0-litre diesel at the time of launch. The XC60 in the D5 form produces 232bhp and 480Nm. All of this power is put down to the road in a very linear manner. In fact, even with its near two-ton weight, it feels energetic and rather quick to gain speeds. One of the biggest let downs with most diesel offerings is the turbo lag, but Volvo has managed to develop a smart solution that overcomes the issue. The XC60 comes with what the Swedish carmaker calls PowerPulse technology. With the help of an air compressor, this system pumps more air into the engine which results in a relatively immediate power delivery. The engine feels its best in its mid-range where it has enough and more energy on tap. The most impressive thing about the XC60 is just how refined the engine is. Irrespective of your speed, the powerplant doesn’t feel under stress and you won’t hear even a hint of discomfort inside the cabin. Of course, due credit must also be given to the insulation for inside the cabin. The XC60 is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission that shifts smoothly but it isn’t the fastest box out there.

Volvo XC60 Ridei ng

Volvo has fitted the XC60 with air suspension on all four corners. It allows the mid-sized SUV to offer a phenomenal ride quality. Although we didn’t get a chance to drive the XC60 off-road, en route to our shoot location, we did encounter some pretty bad roads but the XC60 managed it all with astonishing plushness. The 223mm of ground clearance at full stretch meant that the underbelly doesn’t scrape either. As far as handling is concerned, the XC60 manages well for the most part, but there is still that floaty feeling from the air-suspension that robs away some of the fun. Having said, Volvo has clearly tuned the suspension to be a lot sportier on this one than the luxury-centric XC90.

Volvo XC60 Safety

Front and back, the seats are amply supportive and comfortable. The driver, as well as the passenger, get ventilated seats with massage function. Funnily, passengers at the back only get heated seats. Speaking of which, the rear door doesn’t open wide enough to make ingress and egress a rather smooth affair.The XC60 gets all the features that you’d expect from a car in this class. As you’d come to expect from a Volvo, the XC60 too comes with a brochure full of safety features like Blind Spot information, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, 360-degree camera, semi-automatic parking and more. View offers on Volvo Cars from Volvo dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Volvo XC60 Price

Volvo Xc60 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 52,99,500/- (XC60 Inscription) to 52,99,500/- (XC60 Inscription). Get best offers for Volvo Xc60 from Volvo Dealers in India

Volvo XC60 Verdict

All in all the India spec car with be loaded with all the systems, features and equipment available anywhere on an XC60. This would include all the radar based safety systems that have been missing from the Indian cars, air suspension, a Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system, wood inlays, Napa leather perforated seats and a heads up display.Given the length and breadth of the features and equipment list, the fact that the car is spacious and can seat five easily plus the pricing strategy that Volvo employs in India, the XC60 will be the pick of the cars in its segment as things stand and it remains to be seen whether the new Audi Q5 or the upcoming new BMW X3 can match up.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview & Performance

Land Rover Discovery Sport Overview

Land Rover India has introduced the 2018 edition of the Discovery Sport in the country. The updated luxury SUV gets a host of new features for the new year with prices starting at Rs 41.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai). More prominently, the 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport boasts of the InControl Pro Services and Wi-Fi hotspot, which provide access to a host of other connectivity features. A replacement to the Freelander 2 in Land Rover’s line-up, the Discovery Sport is one of the more affordable SUVs from the British car maker’s stable and is offered with a diesel heart. Book a test drive for Discovery Sport in Trya;ldrive

Check for Land Rover Discovery Sport  On Road Price in New Delhi

The 2018 Land Rover Discovery Sport is now offered only with a diesel heart and draws power from the 2.0-litre Ingenium diesel engine, which is available in two states of tune. The Pure, SE and HSE trims get the 147 bhp version of the engine with 382 Nm of peak torque. On the other hand, the range-topping HSE Luxury variant gets power uprated to 177 bhp and 430 Nm of peak torque. A 9-speed automatic transmission and All-wheel drive is standard on both versions. Land Rover is not offering a petrol engine on the Disccovery Sport.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Exterior

These spy shots give away a few clues. First, check out that fuel door. It’s massive compared to the current design and likely indicates big changes underneath. Speculation is running ramped that the 2020 Disco Sport will have an entirely new architecture, meaning things like the fuel filler neck don’t exactly line up with the current body. If true, that means this test mule could be running the new chassis with the current body shell bolted on to fool onlookers.The second clue is the exhaust. A look up its skirt reveals a single muffler with dual tips at the vehicle’s left-hand side. The current SUV features a single exhaust tip at each end of the bumper.

Then again, these changes could indicate updates to the powertrain. Currently, the Discovery Sport’s diesel exhaust fluid reservoir tank is located under the hood and requires a special DEF bottle to refill. Land Rover could be relocating this filler neck to under the fuel door. The new exhaust layout also suggests powertrain changes and the need to better control diesel emissions. Still, we won’t know until more information comes to light.As for the front, this test mule has a slightly revised fascia with very minor changes. The lower chin sticks out further than before and with a sharper edge, giving the crossover a more aggressive appearance. The rest seems oddly unchanged despite the swirly camouflage.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Interior

Refreshing, especially for its class of cars. The German’s approach to luxury includes wood and busy layouts; high-tech screens and complicated multi-media systems. Land Rover, though, goes for warmth, simplicity and functionality. And the Discovery Sport’s interiors are exactly that. With easy to read and use controls, blocky and clean-cut dash design, and subtle colours and highlights, you know this one isn’t about bling; it’s about purpose.We love the driving position, the excellent visibility all round and the space, including that for the luggage. Land Rover has got the seats spot on too. These aren’t cushy but are large, supportive and well designed to keep you comfortable over long hours of travel, and this is true for both front and rear. Additionally, the rear ones can recline, and slide fore and aft further adding to creature comfort.

This here is the lesser powerful 148bhp, TD4, five-seater version and it is available in three trims – S, SE and HSE. But all three get Land Rover’s signature elements like hill descent, roll over and stability control systems besides Terrain Response as standard fitment. This apart, the S trim is pretty basic and doesn’t even get a two-zone climate control system. The SE, with two-zone AC, parking sensors and split rear seats and not to mention automatic headlamps, rain sensing wipers and a panoramic sunroof, is much better specced.With a rear view camera, 8-way adjustable front power seats, keyless entry and start, leather upholstery and something called perpendicular park assist over and above what one gets in the SE trim, this one has a high pamper co-efficient. But, it also takes the TD4 very close to the likes of the X3 and the Q5 in terms of pricing. The HSE TD4 costs Rs 55.7 lakh ex-showroom.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Gearbox

The current Land Rover Discovery Sport is offered with both gasoline and diesel engines in a range of power levels. Outside the U.S., the Disco Sport is available with the 2.0-liter TD4 with 150 horsepower or 180 horsepower. Those who like shifting their own gears will appreciate the manual transmission available with those engines. A nine-speed automatic is optional. There is also the 2.0-liter SD4 turbodiesel with 240 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. The gasoline option also displaces 2.0 liters but makes 240 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Both the upper turbodiesel option and the gas engine come standard with the nine-speed gearbox. Here in the U.S., we’re confined to the 2.0-liter gasoline engine with 237 horsepower as standard or the 286-horsepower version optional in the HSE and HSE Luxury trims.

As for the future, we know Jaguar Land Rover has committed to electrifying every model it makes, so the next Discovery Sport will indeed have a plug-in hybrid powertrain as an option. The specifics of the driving range and battery size aren’t yet known, obliviously.The 2017 Land Rover Discovery Sport can actually be had without 4WD, believe it or not. Outside the U.S., the Pure E-Capability trim level with its efficiency-tuned, 150-horsepower turbodiesel is front-wheel drive. Land Rover could expand the FWD’s reach to more markets in hopes of selling to the eco-conscious crowd. Perhaps FWD will be paired with the hybrid powertrain, leaving 4WD to be an optional extra.As for the turbocharged 2.0-liter gasoline and diesel engines, expect only minor updates since they fairly new. They belong to the JLR’s Ingenium engine family and are as cutting-edge as current production engines go.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Driving

It’s great for inter-city travel (with it being rock solid in a straight line, no matter what speed or surface) or to spend time pondering over board meetings while the chauffeur battles rush hour traffic. But, it’s only when the going gets slushy, sandy or grassy that the Discovery Sport comes into its own.The Terrain Response System seems to have a cure for nearly every road condition on earth. Gravel, snow, grass, mud, ruts or sand, press a button, ease into the seat, and get tapping on that throttle. Soon enough leisure off-roading turns into child’s play.

The drivetrain impresses too. The 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, diesel, isn’t the most refined or powerful, and on its own, it isn’t a match for the BMW or Audi engines. But, the quick-shifting, seamless and efficient 9-speed automatic box, masks the engine’s shortcomings beautifully. It’s only when you rush the engine do its chinks start to show.Where the Sport fails to impress, though, is the way it rides. We won’t call it uncomfortable, but it is anything but cosseting. It crashes into bigger potholes, jiggles over road joints and no matter how smooth the surface; it never rides with the pliancy expected of a luxury automobile.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Safety

Equipment armed in the SUV for the safety of occupants includes dual front airbags with side-bags, perimitric & volumetric protection, Drive Control Monitor, Intelligent Speed Monitor and Lane Keep Assist. Other than these, it also gets hill descent control, electronic power assisted steering and adaptive Dynamic with MagneRide.Exterior profile gets a fixed panoramic sunroof, power adjusted heated exterior mirrors with power-fold and memory functions. In front, it sports adaptive Xenon headlamps with LED signature, fog lamps and rain sensing wipers. Inside the cabin, it is gets Windsor leather seats, 10 way adjustable electric front seats with driver & passenger memory and sliding arm-rest on centre console.

Land Rover Discovery Sport Cost in Mumbai

Land Rover Discovery Sport Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 41,98,338/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel Pure 5 Seats) to 51,75,305/- (Discovery Sport 2.0l Diesel HSE Luxury 5 Seats). Get best offers for Land Rover Discovery Sport from Land Rover Dealers in Mumbai. Check for Discovery Sport price in Mumbai at Carzprice

Land Rover Discovery Sport Conclusion

It’s hard to tell what Land Rover has up its sleeve at this point, but the Discovery Sport is clearly about to change. Whether it’s a refresh or a complete generational update, that’ has yet to be seen, but we’re betting on the latter. Adding a plug-in hybrid powertrain to an existing platform isn’t an easy proposition, after all.The new Discovery Sport will undoubtedly be more advanced, more efficient, and more techie while still appealing to active families who might occasionally venture off the beaten path.

Renault Captur Hatchback First Drive & Transmission

Renault Captur Overview

The Captur(pronounced Capture) is based on the same platform as the Duster SUV, which means that robustness is proven. It looks more premium as well and will offer better equipment levels too. Renault hopes that the stylish exterior will be the talking point and help the car find takers in the highly competitive SUV segment. Well that’s the plan anyway. But is there more to this car than just looks and can it beat the likes of the Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass? That’s what we should figure out by the end of this review. Book a test drive for Captur in Tryaldrive

Check for Renault Captur On Road Price in Mumbai

Renault Captur Design & Style

The Renault Captur is designed as a crossover using the French car maker’s global design language and has been positioned as a premium offering. India gets the Captur (with a C) moniker, same as the European version, unlike the Russian version that uses ‘K’ in its name. The design is quirky on the compact SUV with the bold grille and diamond logo up front, but looks smart and likeable, and very urban too. While the standard name is Captur, Renault India has added the ‘Platine’ suffix to the top-end variants to differentiate more effectively.The Renault Captur is a lot premium and comes with some bold styling and a bunch of premium equipment. Up front we have a stylish chrome accented grille, flanked by LED headlamps with integrated daytime running lights and a primary set of C-shapped LED DRLs on the front bumper. The SUV get s faux silver skid plate as well along with some subtle lines on the bonnet that give the Captur an imposing stance

Renault Captur Cabin & Comfort

When it comes to Renault Captur interiors, there is a lot to talk about. It is one of the most attractive and premium-looking car from inside as well. The dashboard layout and design is much better than what is found on the Duster. It looks fresh, decent yet dynamic with butterfly-shaped instrument cluster, large digital speedometer with tachometer and a fuel gauge. The cabin is lighted with ambient LED lights that look really cool and premium. The plastics used are of decent quality.The top-end variant of Renault Captur features a 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system with Bluetooth, Aux-in and USB connectivity options. It also supports voice command, navigation and acts as a rear camera display, when needed. However, it misses Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity. Other features on the inside include steering mounted controls, cruise control, electrically operated wing mirrors and automatic climate control, which is a standard feature acoss all variants.

2017 Renault Captur is quite a comfortable car. The two-tone white-and-black leatherette seats are very comfortable and they look good too. It offers good under-thigh support, knee room, back support and shoulder room, which makes Captur a perfect car for long journeys. Even three average adults on the rear won’t have any complaints regarding space and comfort. The rear gets its own set of AC vents too.

Renault Captur Engine & Gearbox

The Captur is available with both the 1.5-litre H4K petrol and K9K diesel engines. But the diesel motor will only be offered in the more powerful 110PS/245Nm tune. And this is the motor we had on test. It’s coupled to a 6-speed manual (the petrol is paired to a 5-speed manual), but considering that the Captur is aimed at a new ‘stylish’ customer, one more likely to stick to urban environments, we feel that Renault could have considered adding in the option of its Easy R-AMT transmission as well.At idle, the engine is quieter than in the Duster. But that’s more to do with the better cabin sound insulation than a different engine tune. On the move, you do get a fair bit of road and wind noise, but they sound a little softer when compared to the Duster. But in the city, where it really matters, the Captur doesn’t feel much more urbane. You have to get the K9K spinning up to over 1700rpm to make progress and, when combined with the heavy clutch, you can look forward to developing some strong left leg muscles if you do a lot of city commuting. One way to get around this is to hold either 2nd or 3rd gear for a little longer and then skip one gear on the upshift by going to 4th or 5th gear. This cuts down on the number of gear shifts on the smooth shifting gearbox, and if done right you should still be in the power band as well.

Out on the highway, the engine and gearbox are more at home and the Captur likes to stretch its long legs. From a standstill, it will hit the ton in 13.24 seconds if pushed hard. But once there, it’s happy to sit at triple-digit speeds all day. When cruising along the highway, the Captur returned a strong 21.09kmpl and in the city, that number decreased to 15.50kmpl.The suspension setup feels slightly firmer than the Duster and this means that the Captur feels a little better going around corners. At highway speeds this stiffness actually keeps the chassis more composed but at city speeds, the small imperfections like level changes and ruts are heard and felt as well. The steering feel is also great but if you push it hard through a set of corners you will feel that familiar kickback through the wheel. For a crossover SUV it’s not quite as car like to drive in the city as say the Creta for example and not quite as sporty as the looks might suggest.

Renault Captur Ride & Handling

Handling is good I have to say. surprisingly because I was worried that the rather generous 210 mm ground clearance would make it wobbly or top-heavy feeling. It is neither. The car takes corners well, though they wouldn’t go as far as to call it very sporty. Again – think Duster! So it holds an intended line, and the steering is properly stiff with decent feedback. The ride quality is also sorted and the suspension set up is indeed like the Duster’s. So it’s a supple ride, with the capability of swallowing up mostly anything. But the Captur does not get AWD, as Renault believes the buyer in this space isn’t really looking to go off-roading. And if they are then the Duster is the option for them anyway. I did mange to go off the road briefly – nothing too intense though. But the car handled it very well. Now the ground clearance certainly helped! Renault says that of all the Captur iterations worldwide, the India spec has the highest clearance. 5mm higher than Russia’s Kaptur, and our Duster!

Renault Captur Safety & Security

The list of Renault Captur safety features include Front Disc Brakes, Drum on Rear, ABS with EBD, Rear Parking Sensors, Central Locking, Driver & Passenger Airbags, Crash Sensors, Rear Seat Belts, Seat Belt Warning, Power Door Lock, Child Safety Locks, Side & Front Impact Beams, Passenger Side Rear View Mirror, Rear Camera, Centrally Mounted Fuel Tank, Engine Immobilizer, Automatic Headlamps, Follow Me Home Headlamps and ISOFIX Child Seat.In terms of features, the Captur does tick a fair number of boxes like the 7-inch touchscreen, six-speaker sound system and climate control. In terms of safety features, there’s four airbags in the top-of-the-line Platine variant (two airbags standard) and ABS with EBD, brake assist, and hill hold assist that are common across all variants

Renault Captur Cost in New Delhi

Renault Captur Ex-Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 9,99,999/- (Captur RXE Petrol) to 14,14,699/- (Captur Platine Diesel). Get best offers for Renault Captur from Renault Dealers in New Delhi. Check for Captur price in New Delhi at Carzprice

Renault Captur Conclusion

This puts it head to head in competition with the Hyundai Creta that’s nearly Rs 50,000 more expensive. The Duster which is also in the same market space is approximately, variant to variant, 1.5 lakh cheaper.Judging by the number of heads the Captur turned on our test, Renault seems to have certainly hit the mark in the design department. The better sound insulation, ergonomics and richer looking Interiors have managed to address some of the Duster’s shortcomings. However, it hasn’t gone whole hog either. The lack of automatic transmission options, the tiresome clutch and bumpy suspension feel in the city and the lack of a better infotainment system hurt its case. So, the Captur delivers on it’s promise of being a stylish and modern SUV, but somewhat halfheartedly.

Maruti Suzuki Alto800 Features & First Drive

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Overview

Maruti Suzuki Alto till date is the most preferred entry level car with its high reliability, best mileage, decent styling and above all the dense service network. Maruti Suzuki Alto and 800 both have the same 796 cc 3 cylinder engine. However, the one in Alto produces 47PS while that of the 800 makes 36 PS. Undoubtedly Alto has grabbed a huge market with its power and mileage. Maruti 800 is in market for more than 20 years and has been a very successful throughout its tenure. It recently got discontinued from the metros with the application of the BS4 emission norms.  Maruti Alto 800 On road price starts from 2,63,370/-. Check for price details of Maruti Alto 800 in CarzPrice.

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Earlier this year, Hyundai entered the mass car segment with its fluidicly designed Eon featuring a 3 cylinder 814cc engine delivering a power of 56PS. Eon banked on its fluidic design in addition to a more powerful engine which is a fresh change in the entry level segment.Hyundai Eon and Tata Nano were the fresh entry level cars compared to the ones Maruti Suzuki was offering. As Maruti Suzuki was losing market to the newbies, they decided to reincarnate the 800 cc segment. Cashing on the brand of Alto and offering a car with better styling than the conventional 800, the Alto 800 was launched. Will the Alto 800 set a new benchmark for entry level cars is what we find out in our review.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Design

The styling of the Maruti Alto 800 looks far from impressive. The old Alto looked cute even thought it has been around for more than a decade. With the Alto 800, Maruti Suzuki has just tried to bring styling from the Japanese Alto and the A-Star, which doesn’t give the Alto 800 an identity of its own. The Alto 800 has very compact dimensions and the company has added new bits to make the vehicle look modern. A new and lighter roof has been added with corrugations to boost stability. New outside rear view mirror has been picked up from the Alto K10 but its shocking too see no left side rear view mirror as standard. The door handles are body colored but the rear view mirror is not. The full wheel caps look good and the wheel arches are slightly flared too. The increased height and high ground clearance makes the Alto 800 look odd. The Alto 800 is thus, no match for the well styled Hyundai Eon. The conservative styling doesn’t appeal much and the Alto 800 ends up looking very disproportionvate.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Cabin

The interior of the Alto 800 has been improved too. The dashboard central panel is now oval in shape which scores more than the simple design of the earlier version of Alto. Also, the cabin is more spacious now. Between the front seats, an additional provision has been given for storage which can now hold a 1 liter bottle.Inside the new Alto 800, passenger comfort and convenience has been given due importance. The 3 spoke steering wheel has silver accents, which give it a premium feel. The front dashboard has easy pockets for keeping small items like mobile, remote of music system etc.

Compared to the Alto, the new car features better headroom and legroom and also a better lumbar for front row seats. Fabric upholstery is used in the LX and LXI variant while double vinyl upholstery can be seen in basic variant.Contributing to the nice overall fit and finish of the cabin are the upholstery texture of seats and that on door panel. Top of the line variant LXI also features optional Airbag which is fantastic especially as the Alto never had one.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Engine

It has a 3 cylinder 796cc engine which produces a power of 48PS at 6000 rpm and a torque of 69Nm at 3500 rpm. Alto 800 comes with a 5 speed manual transmission with an all new cable type gear shift. Also going with the latest and strict emission norms all the variants not come in BS4 versions.The first most prominent change that one notices seated inside the Alto 800 is the improved height of the car. Thus even for taller passengers, it is not that difficult to get in and move out. The headroom and the legroom have been revised and also the seats have been made wider and offer greater seating comfort.The driving view has also been improved with a taller ride height. The new engine gives a very positive feedback with its peppy performance. Also the new engine promises of a better fuel efficiency.

Gear shift has been made smoother with the new cable type gear shift. Handling of the Alto 800 has been improved even if not substantially but then one can feel the difference while driving the new car. The Alto 800 with its design boasts of a better street presence.Call it smart marketing or a true attempt, Maruti Suzuki deliberately chose not to name the car as an all new product but instead name it under the Alto brand. The Alto from the time of its inception has been a runaway success. The connect and the loyalty that this brand enjoys is unparallel. On the other hand the 800 too has enjoyed a cult following. So with the Alto 800, Maruti Suzuki wanted to retain the support and confidence of its buyers in the new model too.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Driving

The Alto 800 has a feedback rich steering though it feels a bit heavy at crawling speeds. However, the steering is very direct and despite being such a small car, the Alto is quite fun to drive. Thanks to its small footprint, you can easily drive it around and tackling too much traffic doesn’t get easier than this. The ride is very flat at low speeds and it tends to get uncomfortable when you hit broken or uneven surfaces at even moderately high speeds. The car remains decently stable at high speeds but it’d be best if it is driven below 90 km/hr. The body feels very light and the super thin tyres have questionable grip levels. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Price

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 2,63,370/- (Alto 800 Standard) to 3,89,701/- (Alto 800 LXI CNG Optional). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 Verdict

Maruti Suzuki hasn’t made many changes to the Alto 800, which is essentially the Alto in fresh clothing, with slight upgrades here and there. What this results in, is a much better Alto overall but is it enough considering this is the first facelift to the Alto in 12-years. While Maruti Suzuki’s brand name is more than enough to keep the Alto’s sales flying high, we were hoping for a vastly improved Alto to compete with the likes of the Hyundai Eon. However, the changes to the Alto are more than welcome and the refreshed exteriors, new dashboard, marginally more space, slightly more eager engine and better quality of plastics is enough to justify the Rs. 30,000/- price hike which is expected on the new Alto

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Performance & Price

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Overview

Maruti Suzuki Baleno is a new premium hatchback that sits above the Swift. This is the first product that is based on Maruti Suzuki’s new fifth-generation platform. This is a revolutionary platform for the company as it is lighter and even stronger than the existing Maruti Suzuki platforms. The Baleno is placed above the Swift and will be Maruti’s product for the premium hatchback segment.The Maruti Suzuki Baleno competes with the Honda Jazz and the Hyundai Elite i20. The Volkswagen Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo could also be considered as competition to the Baleno. Maruti Suzuki Baleno On road price starts from 5,42,411/-. Check for price details of Maruti Suzuki Baleno in CarzPrice.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno Design

Honestly, I wasn’t very impressed with the interior when I first saw it at the Frankfurt Motor Show last month. And Maruti executives confirmed that the cars given to us in India are closer to production, which explains why it seems a lot more likeable now. The smart all-black cabin looks upmarket and sporty, but there are plenty of parts carried forward from other Maruti Suzuki models, which steals some of the freshness away. We expected the premium-positioned Baleno to use some soft plastic parts on the dashboard and maybe leather upholstery options, which could have made the cabin even better. Apart from this there’s not much to complain about, as the fit and finish is pretty decent for the segment

The front seats are large, comfortable and well bolstered. Thankfully, the driver’s seat is height-adjustable, which helps get a good driving position. In fact, the tilt and reach adjustable steering further helps this cause. The icing on the cake is the positioning of the switches and buttons, all of which are well within reach, making the cabin ergonomically sound.

As desired in this segment, the cabin is spacious and there’s plenty of space at the back too. What’s most impressive is the excellent knee room for the rear seat passengers – something Maruti car buyers were always left desiring more for until now. India being a predominantly chauffeur-driven country, this will not go unnoticed. There’s a spacious boot too, with a very useable 339 litres of storage space.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cabin

The front of the Maruti Baleno is quite stylish and gives a unique presence to the car, one that sets it apart from the crowd. There are daytime running LEDs, but these come only in the top end Alpha variant, which is quite a dampener. The headlamp design reminds one of the Swift. The black honeycomb grille is smart looking and has chrome garnishing on the lower end, which adds some flair. The bumper gels well with rest of the body

From the side the car looks very contemporary and long as well. The side profile does look much better than the competition despite the fact all of them are under 4 metres and the same length hatches. The hood has a nice curve to it and the silhouette looks beautiful. This is certainly the best angle of the car

The rear is also appealing and muscular. There is a rear spoiler as well which is neatly integrated. Maruti follows the liquid flow design for Baleno, which makes it look trendy. The paint job on the Maruti Baleno is of good quality and makes it premium looking. The Maruti Baleno looks longer than the competition and even more premium in styling

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Engine

The real changes are under the hood. Baleno RS comes with a 998cc, 3 cylinder turbo charged DOHC petrol engine, which produced a healthy 103 bhp and 150Nm of torque. This setup is mated to 5 speed transmission, the same unit as the standard Baleno. Maruti Suzuki has stiffened suspension to minimize body roll, and help minimize acceleration and decelleration pitch. On the first lap, I went easy to warm up with the gearbox and braking, and the Baleno RS feels right. There are disc brakes, and an effective ABS system, which works rather well at higher speeds.

Gearbox is smooth to shift, and precise. Baleno RS weighs 950 kilos (dry) and that means agility is not a problem at all. The problem is weight distribution. Maximum car weight lies around the front axle than the rear where only the torsion beam and spare wheel weighs things down. So, while taking corners with lift off, and turn right, before I hit the apex, the rear starts rolling brutally, causing spin outs now and then.

Maximum power is at 5500rpm, so, it really isn’t a rev happy engine. This rev sadness also slows you down while down shifting as you have to go down the rev range to downshift to a lower gear whilst braking. Baleno RS is electronically limited to 170 kmph and on the back straight of the Buddh International Circuit, it really could have done much higher speeds than it suggests. Brakes are effective at such high speeds but power braking makes the rear end go loose even before you’re halfway through

0-100 came at a lazy 10.8 seconds, which isn’t the fastest in the segment. Acceleration from standstill is linear, and there is no prominent shove off the turbocharger, which should be excellent for city driving

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Driving

The Baleno is lighter than the Swift due to a new platform and while the lightness is a boon, it’s not at the cost of rigidity as the new platform is 10% stronger. This Maruti has been softly sprung (remember, this car is made to please those who find something lacking in the Swift) and comfort is what the Baleno is aimed at. Thus the ride quality is excellent and the car absorbs almost everything in its stride, save for sharper bumps. Even on bad roads, there is little noise which is transmitted to the cabin, the suspension working silently to iron out bad tarmac. But out on the highway, road and tyre noise does get inside the cabin and in the case of the diesel, the engine’s drone further makes things noisy

The top-spec model rides on lower profile, 16-inch wheels while the lower models with higher profile 15-inch rubber is even better in the ride quality department. The Maruti Baleno features a long wheelbase which does help in giving the hatchback very good high speed stability. The handling is good and body control is excellent too, although not in the same league of the sportier Swift. What is really impressive is the steering wheel that weighs up quite well at speed and is quite quick too, feel and feedback being good enough to put a big smile on the driver’s face. Braking performance left us a bit disappointed as the Baleno doesn’t inspire confidence to brake hard and even though it’s light, the car feels a bit twitchy under hard braking, the lower trims more so with the 15-inch MRF ZVTV rubber lacking grip. The top-end model using 16-inch wheels gets Apollo Alnac 4G tyres which offer much better grip than the MRFs. View offers on Maruti Cars from Maruti dealers in Hyderabad at Autozhop

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Safety

Maruti is offering the Baleno RS in a single variant and hence the car is loaded with top spec safety features as standard such as dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX child seat provision. Additionally, the Baleno RS comes with all-four discs for better stopping power. In terms of after sales, we all know that Maruti has a very renowned and wide network across the country. The NEXA channel is growing with each passing day and the ownership cost of the Baleno RS will definitely be the lowest compared to the other performance hatchbacks in this segment.

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Cost

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Ex-Showroom Price in India ranges from 5,42,411/- (Baleno Sigma Petrol) to 8,62,135/- (Baleno Alpha CVT Petrol). Get best offers for Maruti Suzuki Baleno from Maruti Suzuki Dealers in India

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Verdict

The Baleno is based on the new, Suzuki fifth-generation platform that is lighter, rigid and safer. Designs are subjective and the Baleno doesn’t top the list when it comes to styling, but what it gets is a complete package from the country’s best-selling car maker. The interior quality, the space and the drivability is one of the best in its segment. Maruti is ticking all the correct boxes with the Baleno and this is what the customers need. This is the new-generation Maruti and it stands strong, sending a signal to the competition that it is not going to stay quiet and it will not give up its market share. It is there to lead and hold on its market share. The Baleno is the first one and many more are coming in.

Maruti Suzuki is once again flexing its muscles with the Baleno and this is the segment that is already on a rise. The brand value adds on to it and it makes it a great option to buy, especially the petrol. Once the price tags are revealed that is when we can give a clear opinion. The only think that will stop buyers from getting a Baleno is the badge value that Maruti Suzuki holds in the premium segment at the moment in the premium segmen

 

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.