2015 New Maruti Swift Dzire In India: Review

It’s Swift a one recalls in India on seeing the Suzuki logo. The fact is well-known by company and it leaves no stone unturned to make the most of it. Swift Dzire, the compact sedan of hatchback Swift, is the only model that outsells other in its class. Though, even after going a facelift the car hasn’t changed much, but the amendments carried out are very substantial in nature despite being small in size. Let’s explore how they fare against the old model.

  • Exterior

Firstly, the front grille in chrome will take over the eyes. A bolder appearance gives it a typical Indian look. Complimenting on the bottom of front bumper are those fog lamps enclosures that too see chrome accents. Secondly, the headlamps on either side of the front grill with dark black hue approaches the spectator for a brawl. Tempt in aggression are an add-on via these blackened heads.

At rear, its most interesting part, nothing changes here. So, those expecting a new show from Dzire at its back will now have to carry the drive disappointingly. Simultaneously, this also turns good news for the existing owners who will not feel left out from the crowd of fresh buyers. There aren’t any amendments on the wheels even. Those 10-inchers continue the duty offering option of alloys on top-end variants.

2015 New Maruti Swift Dzire In India

  • Interior

Step inside the cabin, the disappointment carries on. Beige-black dashboard with wooden accents accounts for that old premium feel. Those, expecting slight changes here may have to leave the car jacket-faced. The mid-variant of Dzire holds a very flimsy plastic feel on the steering, but chrome garnishing on the top-end is a suitable option.

  • Engine

Open the bonnet, and there aren’t more surprises either. The 1.3-litre diesel and 1.2-litre petrol engine options takes on the task of fulfilling every household needs. But a slight change in gear ratio make this car’s driver to enjoy no gear shifts very often. The start line and the mid-range see power-packed performance. The ratios shortened on the gearbox also aides this activity of driving. As far as the reports goes by our friends from media, number of horses declines up to redline and car feels breathless to deliver power after a certain level. But the suspension works tirelessly to keep the brash from rough patches outside the cabin. The sound deadening materials too works the challenge the same way as suspensions.

2015 New Maruti Swift Dzire In India

  • Overview

Maruti cars in India sell well for their outstanding fuel-economy, and in diesel this time, the company has attempted a record of delivering 26.59kms from a single litre, whereas, on the petrol it sits with 20.08kmpl as per the notations of ARAI.

B-Class Facelift B200 CDI Diesel Review: First Impression

B-Class facelift launch in India may have turned many heads from the segment of niche buyers at entry-level. Though, on the aspect of reforms it wasn’t a big ticket towards the big league. At the cosmetic front, it wore several changes, but engineers have focused on technical aspects equally to deliver better experience than their first attempt in the compact MPV. We strolled around this vehicle several times, and moving our goggles down the face, it was then realized the hot blazing sun focused the tweaks that one can find only if watched carefully. So, just go through the account we have studied, and take a glimpse into the next level amendments of B-Class which it may apparently see in the form of a total makeover except for another facelift.

  • Exteriors

On the face, B-Class facelift holds up a new twin-slat front grill with the bold star logo on the forehead. Fresh bumper and cool LED headlamps were too stylish for the cars of this gen. Its sides weren’t a new treat to the eyes, but those 16-inch replaced the 17-inch shod with high profile tyres will ease the driving experience. And the fresh set of bumpers sets it for a hike in length by 34mm. Concluding its last bit of the changes carried, some chrome inputs around the exhausts make it up for a flashy good-bye.

B-Class Facelift B200 CDI Diesel

Affirming a branding statement, the nomenclature is introduced with B200 CDI model against the B180 CDI, the reason was its updated diesel engine that sends more power than before, which we will study later on.

  • Cabin

Step inside, and one would realize most of it had remained unchanged. Ranging from soft-touch materials to the build-quality, air-con vents and dashboard with brush metal finish are from the past model. Excluding it for the big change, minute amendments like C-Class steering wheel, new color for the tripmemter and a tint of sportiness on the instrument cluster are worth of the feeling of sitting behind a steering of B-Class facelift. The CLA sibling has lent its operation system and the large HD color screen to it for an advanced console. The cabin as an overall experience offers a spacious treatment, with enough room for knee and leg at the rear even. It’s the boot that to an extent caused sour experience on our note despite measuring 488-litres. That’s the spare wheel in the space leaving us grumbled for not stacking our baggage and suitcases properly snug in that small closet.

B-Class Facelift B200 CDI Diesel Review

  • Technicalities

As reported before in this column, the diesel engine has turned more powerful than before. To be specific, it is the same displacement of 2.2-litre but company has compelled it to deliver 135PS, which is approximately 26PS more than the earlier one, alongside the 300NM of torque. A 1.6-litre petrol continues to do the job like it used to do before with its 120PS of peak output.

The driving ergonomics are based out of the city’s culture. Light steer, easy cornering, and compact structure make it thoughtful for the lady drivers even. Other than its urban jungle oriented nature, the affordable Mercedes MPV also performs the highway run very peacefully. The three digit figure on speedometer do not takes away the confidence either. Mercedes had officially rated the top-whack at 210kmph. Other factors that were aiding the drive culture are ground clearance and revised suspension which were already on-board of the past model. The refined diesel engines, well-insulated cabin, and on the top of all – a better fuel-economy (approximately 20kmpl) – is like an abundantly decent package for the Indian buyers. After all, that’s the price differentiating others and B-Class facelift from each of them. Petrol motor comes at a price of Rs 27.95 lakh, where the diesel is costlier by Rs 1 lakh, falls at Rs 28.95 ex-showroom Mumbai.

B-Class Facelift B200 CDI Diesel First Impression

Hence, buying a one of the B-Class facelift is altogether a style statement (not excluding the status quo) as well as utility; both of them bind together in the wrap of luxury and German engineering. So, from our perspective, B-Class facelift isn’t a loss statement at all. Have your say in the comments section below…

Hyundai i20 Active Review – First Impression

Nothing can come close to a hatchback as big as Hyundai i20 Active, that’s what a one of the spectators uttered on seeing this car at a dealership. It too made us realize what had worked for the Hyundai despite this Active being based on the same platform of Elite i20. To our realization, we found the hatchback is improved on ground clearance and faced revamp on front grille with skid plate added underneath poses it beefier than before. Even more, those rounded fog lamps added stealth and chunkiness to the attire. Mentioned down is the whole review of what you can see on spotting a one of these on the roads, or apparently at one of your friends’ neighbor.

  • Exterior

Based on the same platform of Elite i20, the Active models gets skid plates, new bumpers, front grille, raised ground clearance of up to 190mm, plastic cladding on sides, new large fog lamps, daytime running lights, silver roof-rails and lots more on the list. Even not to mention the fuel-cap is redesigned.

Hyundai i20 Active Review

  • Interior

The cabin is directly lifted off the Elite i20, but a zing at color-play provided sporty attire. Black and orange for the darker paintjobs, whereas blue and black for the lighter options. And top-end variant turns exclusive with loads of features mentioning smart key, cooled-glove box, height adjustment for driver’s seat, sporty aluminum pedals, adjustable steering wheels (telescopic and tilt), rear AC vents, music system with Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB storage space and lots more. Orange trims on the gear-lever, around air-con vents and other spots favor it for a sporty car, where Active is just meant for the road and partly off-road experience.

Active i20 Active i20

  • Engine

In the engine bay, power options are given from a 1.2L Kappa Dual VTVT petrol engine and 1.4L U2 CRDi diesel. The former machine sends the max power of 83PS @ 6000rpm along with 11.7kgm of torque @ 4000rpm after mated to a smaller 5-speed manual gearbox. The latter (diesel) is more powerful than the former, and sends us the generous amount of 90PS @ 4000rpm with 22.4kgm of torque between 1500-2750rpm form a six-speed manual. No automatic version launched yet. As per the figures of ARAI, petrol car delivers fuel-efficiency of 17.19kmpl whereas the diesel keeps its head up with the figures of 21.19kmpl.

Hyundai i20 Active Review

  • Overall

Though, we haven’t driven it, but since our friends got this chance to slip onto the backside of its steering, it was pretty much clear from their faces, except for raised ground clearance the drive was nothing distinct than its Elite sibling.

Datsun GO Plus MPV Test Drive And Review In India

Datsun’s entry was meant to show Indians a new line of options in the already clustered yet confused market of masses’ cars. The promise was delivered quite for a few notches. Earlier, the proper hatchback, dubbed as “GO”, sold at the price of a compact car and even the so called MPV “GO+” lined up at the sales floor is about to depict the same story once again.

A chance behind the steering wheel of GO+ made the vision clearer of how that partly called MPV in the skin of ‘estate’ feels when pulled out on the road.

Design

Honestly, GO hatchback hadn’t disappointed for that given price tag. The challenge before engineers was to make the similar promise more acceptable when added with the sheet of metal over rear pillar in GO+, and turn into a spacious model without harnessing price point very distantly. As a whole, the outcome is genius. GO+ looks a complete new car, instead not a stretched version of the hatchback. Lowering end of roof and the length compressed less than 4 meters with the raising beltline successfully cut chunk of masses. It appears pretty sizeable and adorable both with that same GO front grille inclusive of other fixtures. The flick at front bumper is appreciable to make that appearance more eye-soothing.

Datsun GO Plus MPV

Interiors

Model given was the top-end but still it felt like the basic trim. An only good gimmick that happened to be there was AUX connectivity.

Other than that, the plastic and numerous cost-cutting efforts can be seen in abundance. Even the company had given manually adjustable seat belts, whereas they should have not dropped out on that which is really a concern for safety. Seats lack good thigh support and paltry padding at the back makes it to go a bit uncomfortable for long runs. Must admit, the rest of cabin is crafted to suit the price for which it is going to be offered for, and nothing exceptional.

Datsun GO Plus MPV Interiors

Drivability

Despite the added weight, engine still feel that punchy to take on the roads with eagerness. The revs are pretty confident to roll on any of the given road condition in India. Even when packed to the core with all the passengers, power doesn’t feel less than the appropriate. Talking about suspensions, they are stiffened and able to handle the bumps (even when the car is packed to the fullest). Corners and other undulations are soaked up but due to improper insulations the noise filter inside the cabin. Gearshifts are savored for the light response whereas the tyres don’t offer that much of grip. Otherwise, the light steering and well-grim brakes makes the job easy further.

Datsun GO Plus MPV Test Drive And Review In India

Overview

The drive of car isn’t there to complain of. Every bit falls easy on the hand. In fact, shortcomings can be experienced at the cosmetic side of cabin. To make that very brief, it is rather not to expect a plush interior. Well, the third row is a total impractical effort for anyone to sit there. Only kids can go well with it that of the age below 5 years, otherwise one has to duck down upto the seat. It’s better to fold down the third row and use that space for the luggage, like it used to be in ‘estate’ kind of cars. Datsun GO Plus is a proper five-seater. No complaint looking down to its price tag.

Datsun GO Plus MPV Test Drive And Review In India

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2014 Skoda Rapid Test Drive And Review

Going fast is old, but going Rapid is all new, and here’s what he hope the Skoda had envision before getting the 2014 Rapid to market.

This new entry level saloon of Skoda is almost similar to the outgoing version, but Skoda performed some remarkable changes to make it a better competitor against the new Honda City, all new Ford Fiesta, Sunny facelift and more.

Exteriors/Styling & Design:

Firstly, the major change starts from the front itself, and that’s none other than the projector headlamps. It is projected to give a better visual appeal to the car. And apart from that, this Skoda also has the all new logo of the company earmarked everywhere from front to rear.

Sides and rear remains the same, except for the new logos. Changes apart, the car also gets fifteen-inch wheels on the Elegance trim, where the lower trims are shoed with the fourteen-inches.

2014 Skoda Rapid Test Drive And Review

Interiors:

Time for interiors, the steering is all new with three spokes, and the controls mounted on it pose to be late entrants in the market. USB, aux, MP3, Bluetooth connectivity and SD card compatibility enhances the package further. All variants except the base one gets airbags and ABS. The Elegance trim followed by Ambition Plus gets airbag for the passenger too.

Thoughtfully, Skoda also makes available the leather package with the 2014 Rapid, which gets the leather on steering, gear knob and seats. The automatic climate control on the top-end is the last addition to pinnacle.

Skoda Rapid Interiors

Engine and Technicalities:

On the technical front, the new updated Skoda Rapid derives the same engine of 1.6-liter petrol and 1.6-liter diesel powering the output of 105bhp. The difference in the engine bay of both the fuel trims occurs with the number of torque, as only 153 Newton Meter is delivered from the petrol motor, whereas the diesel churns out a hefty 250 Newton Meter. Paired to it are the 5-speed manual gearboxes, where the 6-speed automatic is only made available for the petrol buyers.

The engine is ultimately refined amongst its category, which brilliantly revs upto 5,500 rpm and the 0-100 kmph is jolted in a jiff of something near to 10 and 11 seconds.

2014 Skoda Rapid

Drive and Handling:

Likewise, the other Skodas available in India, this car on the drivability is a total frolic. The ticker swiftly moves to the north, and toward redline too is not a hectic at all. Every time the pedal is hit in each of the gears raw power of the car can be felt desirably. Sharp turns and dive into corners tendered smiles to our faces every time. Complementing to it is the astonishing fuel-efficiency. Our car clocked notches-near-to 14 and 15 kilometer per liter overall, which was also bound to go up to till 18-19 kmpl if run solely on highways. The braking to pull out the fun in time before its gets too late is sufficient which locks the wheels in over almost no time.

New Skoda Rapid

Conclusion:

The 2014 Skoda Rapid poses as a great buy for the money value, and also never turns down the enthusiasts with its dashing performance. Competition in the market is already risen a notch above. The new features added on 2014 Rapid are going to help this entry-level Skoda sedan for some more time. But, we guess, the all new Rapid must be there in the works that shall definitely make the Skoda to mark a return to this segment with “Vengeance”!

Skoda Rapid Test Drive And Review

Bentley GT3-R Review

Bentley GT3 race car won ‘hearts’ and ‘titles’ since incepted, where the titles are expected resting calmly in the reports of British carmaker; but the hearts of fans were wobbling out to have a one such examples in their garages. So to keep them in check, Bentley had rolled out a production specific GT3-R, which is limited only to 300 units. The arrival of GT3-R happened at the 2014 Goodwood Festival of Speed. Appropriately, the car had undergone number of changes not only cosmetically, but also technically. Though, we cannot comment about the driving experience and wouldn’t relate the respective changes made in technicalities, but for sure the cosmetic changes are in numbers and can be relished in abundance.

Firstly, talking technical, the Bentley GT3-R is planted with 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 that develops 580 PS of power at 6,000 rpm and 700 Nm of torque from 1,700 rpm. All these figures were possible only through precision-honed high-boost turbochargers and eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox. The gearbox is tuned with shorter output gearing to enhance acceleration, with traction transferred to Bentley’s renowned all-wheel drive system. This is the first time the Bentley had deployed torque vectoring system which controls the torque transferred at each of the rear wheels, profound of great aide for cornering. The recalibrated control software had made Drive and Sport modes moved further apart, each with different characteristics and with Sport mode designed for more spirited driving. Maximum driver control is provided by completely recalibrated paddle shift functionality.

Bentley GT3-R Review

0-60 mph is achieved in just 3.6 seconds (0-100 km/h in 3.8 secs), and the top speed they said would be 273km/h.

Further on the drive and handling experience (as mentioned in the press release of Bentley) the chassis is tuned to handle those refinements on the performance. Air springs and dampers are lifted from the Continental V8 S. Talking about the wheels, the one which is going to handle the bruises, are lightweight forged 21” alloys brimmed with high-grip Pirelli tyres. And braking is taken care by Carbon Silicon Carbide (CSiC) braking system consisted of 420 mm front discs slowed by 8-piston calipers, finished in eye-catching green paint shade. The 356 mm discs are deployed on duty at rear axle. The braking system is reported to absorb up to 10 megajoules of energy (enough to power a family home for six hours) in a single stop and yet fade resistant, Bentley’s CSiC brakes are an engineering masterpiece in their own right. Commenting on the performance of the new Continental GT3-R, Bentley’s Member of the Board for Engineering, Rolf Frech, said: “We wanted to develop our powertrain and chassis systems further than ever before for the GT3-R project. The result is a Continental GT that is more dynamic than ever, with a torque vectoring system that neutralises understeer and a chassis tune that is both direct and forgiving. We’ve differentiated the Drive and Sport modes further to give the driver a choice between a relaxed and refined Grand Tourer and a sharp supercar with instant responses. The reflexes of the car are matched by the throttle response from our redeveloped V8 engine, and the new turbochargers eliminate turbo lag. Bentleys are rewarding drivers’ cars – but dynamically, the GT3-R is our finest hour yet.”

On interiors, GT3-R features a unique two-seat cabin handcrafted from carbon fibre, Alcantara and the finest leather. The side support is more comforted and finished in Beluga black leather with diamond-quilted Alcantara. This same exquisite material is also hand-trimmed onto the steering wheel and gear shifter. Like any other sports car, the Bentley too had thought of using the carbon fibre extensively inside; with centre console and fascia panels handcrafted in carbon fibre inclusive of door casings that also include diamond-quilted Alcantara inner panels. The baggage keeping space, or can be said as the vacant space left by the removal of rear seats is taken care of with ultimate cosseting luxuries. The carbon fibre surround finished in leather and Alcantara were supposedly found there.

Bentley GT3-R Interior

Likewise the icing on cake, Beluga leather and motorsport-inspired materials relegates a vivid green accent, used as a hide colour on the seats, instrument panel and door panels and in contrast stitching throughout the seats and diamond-quilted areas. GT3-R badging is stamped at the centre console, passenger-side fascia panel and sill treadplates, while the seats receive GT3-R stitching to the headrests in contrast-green thread. Like the other limited edition, this one no exception had the door sills embarked with its unique numbers out of 300.

On the outer skin, Bentley GT3-R is earmarked with a tint of prowess coated with the spirit of motorsports, and well, the luxury remains undaunted inside. Bentley’s Design team had taken the task with a new front splitter and a new fixed rear wing fitted to the boot lid – both finished in exquisite carbon fibre. The bonnet incorporates couple of vents like GT3 racer to enhance the inhaling and cooling of the powertrain. On the depicting note, it is safe to say the gloss carbon fibre sparks the whole GT racing experience with inputs taken from the place like aviation industry. Those green graphics positioned on the sides of car, one leading backwards from the front wheel, the other tracing the shape of the Continental GT’s iconic rear haunch, are added to just shape the designing ideas in a more beefy manner.

Overall, the final touch-up is lent by the gloss black on the headlamp bezels, matrix grille, window surrounds and bumper strips. Appealing it further, all-new lightweight 21” wheel, machine-forged from high-strength alloy completes the package.

Purchase of the car includes free standard servicing for four years (at the 10,000, 20,000 and 30,000 mile marks). Order books for the Continental GT3-R are open now, with deliveries to start late in 2014.

Bentley GT3-R

Wolfgang Dürheimer, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bentley Motors, comments: “The experience of driving a Continental GT3-R is awe-inspiring, and takes the dynamic abilities of our Grand Tourer to new heights. We were inspired to create something extremely special for the road by the performance of our Continental GT3. It is a celebration of the Bentley passion for building outstanding drivers’ cars. To be a true Bentley, the GT3-R had to be the most luxurious track-inspired Grand Tourer ever, and this car pushes our trademark combination of luxury and performance to a new level.”

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Nissan Sunny Facelift Test Drive and Review

Nissan’s Sunny side is up. The new Sunny, or can be said as the Sunny facelift, is about to launch in the coming month, but we got our hands onto it before it reaches the showroom.

Though, cosmetic changes only experienced. The technicalities were restored from the existing version.

On the cosmetic front, the Sunny facelift headlamps played the daunting task of differentiating it than the older one. Deeply penetrated into the bumper, headlights reminded us of it for being a true-blue Teana sibling at the first sight. Complementing it further was the more radical front grille which now is showing up as the enhanced face of the model plate. Minute nip and tucks returned it as a complete satiable package, with the chin been tidied. The chrome around fog lamps has nothing to do more obtusely with the newness, like the new tail lamps. The good thing that Nissan planted on this car is the black splitter at rear which actually cuts off the bulky 490-liter boot into a finely positioned element. The top-end variant of Sunny facelift gets new pieces of alloys, if specifically said they have 12-spoke.

On interiors, thankfully there was more number of changes than the exteriors. Firstly, the steering wheel which is inspired by Teana, had blissfully placed the buttons on itself in silver finish. Overall, plastic quality is good, and now the car got more premium feel with the beige interiors. This time, Nissan had played all the aces right – seemed from the oodles of sense-pulsating factors like chromed dials, leather-wrapped steering and such. In the high-end variants, customers are drawn to get the leather seats and leather covered gear knobs. The two-DIN music system with Bluetooth is borrowed from the Micra, which is not a bad thing at all here, but above it the dash also holds screen for reverse parking camera.

Nissan Sunny Facelift Test Drive and Review

Moving at the rear, the acres of legroom and shoulder room does ends up claiming Sunny facelift of being a roomy and airy car which can be hold onto for the chauffeur-driven title very well. The thigh support at rear was a bit bothering, while the rest of the dimensions and inclusions were completely fine; we mean the experience can be plotted at additional notches than just being ‘fine’.

  • Engine:

As said above, the technicalities are restored from the existing version. Hence, the same 1.5-liter HR15 petrol engine of 99PPS@6000rpm with 5-speed manual and 101PS@5600rpm in CVT both along with 134Nm of torque @ 4000rpm was found doing its duty. The famous 1.5-liter K9K dCi diesel engine of 86PS@3750rpm and 200Nm of torque @ 2000rpm was married to 5-speed manual.

In return, the drive and handling is the same as it was earlier.

  • Conclusion:

Nissan Sunny Facelift is bragged to be launched in 8 variants inclusive of all the trims. The pricing, they said, would be Rs 30,000-40,000 costlier than the outgoing model, for which the changes doesn’t felt overpriced to us. A good competitor in the market against the new Honda City and its likes, Nissan Sunny facelift is a car most preferred to be driven by the chauffeurs, so at the time making choice, do remember, it isn’t a Car, instead it’s a Caaaaaaaaaarrrrr!!!

Nissan Sunny Facelift Test Drive and Review

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New MINI Five-Door Hatchback Revealed: First Impression

The British are back with a vengeance, the new five-door Mini hatchback revealed and it’s in the giant leap to de-feminize the brand’s image. Expected to sell 1,50,000 units annually, it is about to add a bulky load to the brands’ sales chunk.

Shredding off the image of being a three-door hatchback, the MINI with five-door is expanded by 72mm (2.8 inches) to 2,567mm (101 inches) on the wheelbase and the body has been lengthened by 161mm (6.3 inches) to 3,982mm or 4,005mm for the Cooper S and SD models. It’s also 11mm (0.4 inches) taller than the 3-door model.

In terms of more metal added to all the dimensional figures, it means more space guaranteed inside.

Planted with extensive range of standard features and high-end options to enhance comfort, safety, premium characteristics and individual style such as LED headlamps including LED daytime driving light and LED rear lights, adaptive light distribution and LED turning light, LED fog lamp, lighting package with LED interior and orange-coloured ambient lighting, rain sensor with automatic driving light control, heatable windscreen, Park Distance Control, Comfort Access, electrically operated glass roof, roof rails, electrically heated and folding exterior mirrors, automatic anti-dazzle interior and exterior mirrors, heated seats, 2-zone automatic air conditioning; broad selection of roof and exterior mirror decorative styles, bonnet stripes, seat upholstery types and Colour Lines as well as MINI Yours offers; MINI navigations system, Professional navigation system, MINI Radio Visual Boost, Harman/Kardon hi-fi speaker system, DAB tuner, DVD changer.

New MINI Five-Door Hatchback Revealed

On the cosmetic front the nose is done more aggressively than before. The extension in wheelbase had also led to an upright tail gate. Despite having the best of German engineers and traditional British styling, the MINI Cooper with 5-door is found having short doors at rear, and reclining roofline takes away the enormous headroom for tall passengers.

Engine is provided with a mix of petrol as well as diesel options. To be rolled out in the three-cylinder Cooper petrol and three-cylinder Cooper D diesel engines, and four-cylinder Cooper S petrol and Cooper SD diesel at the international dealerships.

Five Door Cooper S is powered by a 1,998 cc, 4-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology (turbo charging, direct injection, fully variable valve control, variable camshaft control),

MINI Five-Door hatchback interiors

delivering output of 141 kW/192 hp at 4,700 – 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 280 Nm at 1,250 – 4,750 rpm (300 Nm with overboost). Acceleration from 0–100 km/h can be attained in 6.9 seconds (automatic: 6.8 seconds) and top speed is clocked at 232 km/h (230 km/h). Fuel consumption on an average is rated at 5.9 – 6.0 litres (5.4 – 5.5 litres)/100 kilometres,

MINI Cooper 1,499 cc, 3-cylinder petrol engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology (turbo charging, direct injection, fully variable valve control, variable camshaft control), is desired to deliver output of 100 kW/136 hp at 4,500 – 6,000 rpm and maximum torque of 220 Nm at 1,250 – 4,000 rpm (230 Nm with overboost). For the acceleration from 0–100 km/h it takes 8.2 seconds (automatic: 8.1 seconds) and clocks top speed: 207 km/h (207 km/h). Fuel consumption can be rated at 4.7 – 4.8 litres (4.8 – 4.9 litres)/100 kilometres.

MINI Five-Door

Now coming to the diesel part, the MINI Cooper SD 5 door of 1,995 cc, 4-cylinder diesel engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology (turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, common rail direct injection) is famed to shoot power output of 125 kW/170 hp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 360 Nm at 1,500 – 2,750 rpm. Diesel takes 7.4 seconds (automatic: 7.3 seconds) for the acceleration from 0–100 km/h and rates a top speed of 225 km/h (223 km/h). Fuel-efficiency is rated at 4.1 – 4.3 litres (4.1 – 4.2 litres)/100 kilometres,

The MINI Cooper D 5 door of 1,496 cc, 3-cylinder diesel engine with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology (turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, common rail direct injection),

Five-door MINI hatchback Back

cracks the max power output of 85 kW/116 hp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 270 Nm at 1,750 rpm, with acceleration from 0–100 km/h in 9.4 seconds (automatic: 9.5 seconds) and top speed of 203 km/h (202 km/h). Average fuel consumption ratifies it at 3.6 – 3.7 litres (3.8 – 3.9 litres)/100 kilometres.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard whereas the six-speed Steptronic torque-converter automatic transmission is optional.

Pricing of five-door MINI hatchback not to be extremely expensive than the three-door version.

Toyota Etios Cross Review: Will It Change Toyota’s Fortunes In The Small Car Segment?

It was Renault who started the trend of compact SUV by introducing the Duster in India. Then automakers such as Mahindra, Volkswagen and Ford launched their own version of crossover and suddenly this class became the topic of discussion amongst every Indian shopper and all products became increasingly popular. Renault Duster or Ford Ecosport which was launched not so long ago were quite successful in impressing the people; thanks to their interior space, aggressive pricing and rugged look. Let’s be honest here the compact Sports Utility Vehicle definitely provides more than a standard hatchback.

Now, the Japanese automaker has introduced the Toyota Etios Cross in India and the all-new vehicle looks muscular and rugged unlike the current Etios hatch. There was an increase in demand for vehicles in this segment, which is the reason why Toyota decided to launch this rugged looking crossover dubbed, ‘Etios Cross’. It definitely looks more muscular as compared to the standard Etios hatchback; but is it enough for a compact SUV or crossover fans of India or will it change Toyota’s fortunes in the small car segment, let’s check it out.

Toyota Etios Cross

Exterior

The Toyota Etios Cross gets matte-finished black plastic cladding all around, rear window defogger with wiper, ORVMs with turn indicators, Etios Cross badging on the sides and boot lid, diamond-cut 15 inch alloy wheels, blackened B-pillar, skid plates, prominent roof rails and bold front grille, all of which provide the vehicle a muscular yet rugged look.

The cladding makes the Cross 45mm taller, 40mm wider and 120mm longer unlike the Liva, and the treatment ensures it stands out in the crowd. Seen the Volkswagen Cross Polo? Yes, it’s a rare sight that may indicate what lies ahead for Toyota’s new baby crossover. The all-new new Etios Cross is available in eight interesting colors; these include Inferno Orange, Classic Grey, Ultramarine Blue, Celestial Black, Symphony Silver, Vermilion Red, Harmony Beige and White.

Toyota Etios Cross design

Interior

Luckily, the automaker has found the time to do a bit of a change to the dreary interior of Toyota Etios Cross. The image clearly shows that the Cross has dark piano-black toned interiors with matte finished plastic parts, which look like premium. A height adjustable driver’s seat as well as adjustable rear and front headrests; now that’s comfort you just got to flaunt. It offers comfortable seating for 5 adults, and because of the semi flat tunnel, the person sitting in the middle of the rear seat won’t feel cramped.

The leather wrapped, 3-spoke steering wheel gets audio controls (offered on top variant only), which definitely comes handy. It gets electric power steering, built-in audio controls and tilt function; so, go ahead, take control! Seats with white stitching and Etios Cross badging and 2 DIN stereo system, make the interior a happening place to be in. Nonetheless, the vehicle doesn’t really get electrically operated ORVMs. In features department, there’s a stereo system with Bluetooth connectivity, auxiliary input and USB.

Toyota Etios Cross Interior

Engine

Underneath the hood of the new Toyota Etios Cross, it’s the same old story. It gets three engine choices that are also available with Liva hatch; the 1.2 liter DOHC petrol engine is good for churning out 80PS of power with 104 newton meters of torque; the 1.5 liter petrol is rated at 90PS of peak power with 132 newton meters of torque. While the only diesel mill available is the lean, mean, common rail 1.4 liter D-4D that’s good for 68PS of power with 170 newton meters of torque. All engines are teamed up with a 5-speed manual transmission. What? There’s no option of automatic transmission.

Safety

There’s some good news here. The all-new Toyota Etios Cross comes standard with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, and what Toyota calls, a collision absorbing body. It gets anti-corrosion steel sheet at areas prone to rusting, anti-chip coating and underbody coating.

Driving Dynamics

Toyota claims that the engines are extremely fuel efficient! The Toyota Etios Cross gets MacPherson Strut at its front and Torsion Beam at its rear. It is little heavier than the standard Liva hatchback, which will help in offering a more planted yet comfortable ride. The Liva never disappointed in terms of ride quality and the new one too continues to do so – it’s absorbing and supple. The steering is on the lighter side to aid city driving; however feels low on feedback. In fact, while driving, we got eyeballs almost every minute and inquiries every ten minutes.

So how much does this crossover cost? That’s Rs. 5.76 lakh for G, Rs. 6.90 lakh for GD, Rs. 7.40 lakh for VD and Rs. 7.35 lakhs for V.

Wrap Up

The Etios Cross adds a bit of zest to the otherwise boring styling, yes, only a small bit, but it does. This is definitely a wise move by the Japanese automaker to launch the Etios Cross in India because even Nissan launched its compact SUV Terrano recently, which is based on the Duster platform. Some may like the idea of turning a hatch into a rugged looking vehicle; however it’s quite clear weather this Cross version of the hatch has what it takes to compete with a proper compact SUV like the Ecosport or the Terrano.

 

2014 Fiat Linea Facelift Test Drive and Review: 1.3L Multijet Diesel

Despite being very Italian in nature, Fiat still find its cars struggle hard to sell in numbers against the Maruti and Hyundai in India. Fiat sells a lot of its 1.3L Multijet diesel engine to various brands, that it seems almost every diesel car running in India are being deployed with the same. Selling that same Linea since 2009, a round of applause must be raised for Fiat for not carving out significant change during those past five years. Available in three engine options, 89bhp naturally aspirated 1.4L petrol, 112bhp 1.4L turbo-petrol (T-Jet) and the very favourite 1.3L Multijet diesel of 92bhp; turning down the petrol versions, we asked Fiat to send us a 1.3L Multijet diesel powered new 2014 Linea facelift for a test drive. And mentioned here are the first hand details we drawn on it when laid our hands on a one fine day.

On the front, it is a very much sophisticated and very Italian car on every bit. It got all the boxes ticked right by deploying chrome stark everywhere. The front grille received dual slats in chrome, while on the downside fog lamps and that whole lip spoiler, inclusive of air dam, from one end to another is done with that metal-kind shinning flair. However, it was easily remarkable the 2014 model is all new, and is Linea too. Must say, the black inserts on the backdrop of chrome structures is working impeccably, can be only thought by Italians.

2014 Fiat Linea Facelift

Moving inside, the cabin is completely revamped. It is refreshed and feels airy, not because the windows are enlarged, but the fabric and colour scheme used are adding value to it. Beige and black colored dashboard, nifty audio system, finer plastic grains, new console are the things to talk about. Yet the digits on the coveted floating hooded new dials may fall tough to read when on zest, but in still image they do feel super. Those bonks-type oozed out dial enclosure to speedo is the perfect fit. And the most remarkable change that this new car got is the ambient lighting, which makes its customers feels special during night. The model that we were driving was the Emotion variant of Linea facelift, where its seat fabric is meant to be matched to the leather quality, which it doesn’t. The covering on steering and gear knob feels true leather, but not on the other components of car. Front passenger gets an armrest and some cubby holes all around. The space chink that was one the top of dashboard is of more utility, which can be used for keeping sunglasses and other tit-bits on the go.

2014 Fiat Linea interiors

The bottle holder and mid-size door pockets are of great utility for front row too. The knee room wasn’t that generous to the tall person like me. Meanwhile, on the rear, the seats were bolstered with great comfort. Leg room and thigh support find interests with short-heighted, instead of the long ones. Central armrest with cup holders completes the pinnacle. The rear AC vents doesn’t seem making an exception to the ongoing trend. Needed not to forget, the door panels were carried over but the quality feels better. The last and the least not-so-liked feature of the 2014 Linea inside cabin remain the regular ‘power-windows’. They are not anti-pinch, so children on the drive shall be taken care of while rolling the windows up. The top end variant also gets a sun-down cover for rear wind-shield.

Fiat Linea Facelift 2014

On rear bench, there too are number of cosmetic changes. Major one is the change in number plate fixture. Earlier it was marked on the bumper, now shifted to the boot lid. The rear bumpers inclusive of front bumpers are revamped. With that minute tweaking Fiat managed to slap a one more chrome strip on the rear bumper, in addition to the side chrome skirts, for an additional price-value proposition factor. The boot lid too gets a complete makeover. The boldly encrypted LINEA over number plate enclosure is found making more promises than the brand itself. And if we aren’t wrong then the tail lamp cluster too are new, as it was fitted with one more diode which was touted for the highway driving. It remains sharp all the time, and warns other drivers like that of the fog lamps. Boot space is quite generous, but what we noticed is the Fiat sedan received hydraulic suspension for the opening of tail gate.

On the safety front, the Linea isn’t a safety-vault cocooned car, but it has enough of it to delight an average Joe. ABS with EBD, passenger and driver airbag, reverse parking sensor, and more importantly the safety-belt alarm are the ones to be named in the list.

Drive and handling experience remains tried and tested of Linea throughout the time for 1.3L Multijet. Though, already the brand made no changes in the drivetrain, so hitting the mark and attending the curve walks in through that same old road-sticky manner. There is a turbo lag till 2000rpm, but even after that the boost doesn’t comes out as what it is been expected of. Steering gives a bulky feel, but the good old good suspension eases up bumps-jumps. The potholed-filled tarmacs don’t bother either, because the ground clearance is also notched to 190mm. So, if by mistake u hit a speed-breaker at the speed of 45kmph, like what we had done accidentally, it would only grace a hitch and not the screeched or dents. Rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps appear of an important aide, while the top player in the list remains that “Cruise Control”, which is the first in segment. 2014 Linea facelift is done with front discs and rear drum, except the one variant T-Jet that gets discs on all four. We tried to hit all the best on it, but couldn’t find it manageable to drift it on roads, due to lack of power despite bestowed with the Turbo. But when rolled it out on the dirt, drifting was a child’s play. Now seriously, the city driving made keep shifting between the cogs, so to upkeep with the inner roads one needs to keep his temper control in composition with the gearbox. Even the open-stretches and highways feels to be better outdone by others, because of the lack of sixth gear; if added would have pumped in better power and improved fuel-economy.

2014 Fiat Linea Facelift Test Drive and Review

Conclusion:

Overall, the 2014 Fiat Linea is a good product for the money value. Oodles of chrome, much integrated sophistication, end number of features and Italian style on every deigned cue are the things to talk about. Hence, the turbo lag is making it to stay behind the rivals, but an added feature of Cruise Control manages to sail it swiftly. Modern technicalities and a good music system with all the needful embellished, this car doesn’t needs an additional attention after the showroom. All is done and said, the 2014 Linea is a good job and the carmaker had changed the world of its sedan at a very minimal cost. We love Italians because of their outstanding design than others, which make them to stand separate even in the crowd of a thousand. Hope so, the development on the after-sales service of Fiat must improve sales numbers, likewise the increasing number of its dealerships.

2014 Fiat Linea Back View

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