Hot deals for month of February 2011

We are back with the hot deals for the month of February 2011. It has just been a month since the new year started and car makers are already offering deals to get rid off their existing stocks and to pave the way for new models coming in. Here is the take on few of the models that we found out which were having discounts.


Audi A4: It is a rare sight to hear or to see that Audi India are offering discounts on their cars but then the Audi A4 2.0 TFSI as well as the Audi A4 2.0 TDI are been offered with comprehensive discounts. The amount been offered is a whopping Rs 1 lakh cash discount on both these variants. Other variants step aside, there are no discounts.

Audi A6: If you thought a sum of a lakh rupees was big enough, wait till you read this one. The Audi A6 2.7 TDI is been offered with a flat cash discount of Rs 3 lakhs. Amazing, isn’t it? If you were eyeing that Audi A6 for quite some time but were apprehensive about buying it due to the lack of some loose change, then here is the golden opportunity.


Chevrolet Beat: In lieu of the impending launch of the Beat diesel, General Motors are offering the petrol Beat with a sort of decent cash discount. On any variant of the car, one gets Rs 13,000 cash discount.


Fiat Punto: The Italian car maker is leaving no stone unturned in the quest for reviving its sagging fortunes. Just last month, we had reported that the company was offering free insurance on all the Fiat Punto models. As of February, they have stopped the same and are now offering flat cash discount of Rs 10,000 on all the variants.


Ford Fiesta: Also awaiting a new avatar is the Ford Fiesta. Riding high on the success of its small car, Ford India are all the more eager to drop their new Fiesta in the Indian shores and for the very same reason, the company is offering discounts of Rs 70,000 on the petrol Exi version of this car. This would give the ageing saloon a fresh life before the replacement arrives.


Hyundai I10: The face lifted Hyundai I10 has been topping the charts for quite sometime but then advent of newer rivals mean that Hyundai has to resort to the discounts option for its car. Currently dealers in Mumbai are offering a flat cash discount of Rs 15,000 across all variants of this car whereas the exchange scheme ensures that you get additional Rs 15,000 off on this car.


Mahindra Xylo: The very competent MUV gets a quirky offer. If any Mahindra dealer has a 2010 model at hand, one would be entitled for a Rs 30,000 free insurance whereas if the model in question is a 2011 one, then the discount would be half meaning only Rs 15,000. If you plan on exchanging your current car at the Mahindra dealership, then you bag an additional Rs 10,000 in the form of exchange bonus. So its your luck whether you get a 2010 one or a 2011 model.


Maruti Ritz: Maruti Suzuki India Limited are currently offering Rs 18,000 cash discount on any variant of the Maruti Ritz. The sole reason been that customers are attracted to newer offerings from rivals. Moreover, if one plans to exchange their existing car at the True Value outlet, then they can avail of an additional Rs 12,000 exchange bonus. Fantastic savings considering that the car is very good.


Mercedes C-Class: Close on the heels of been declared as number one in sales for the month of January, amongst luxury car makers in India, Mercedes India are offering upto Rs 50,000 cash discount on Mercedes C220 CDI as well as the Mercedes C250 CDI variants. Moreover insurance on these cars is also been offered at a discounted price. The savings from insurance amount upto Rs 30,000. So a total of Rs 80,000 in savings, if you are looking to buy a Mercedes C-Class that is.


Tata Sumo Grande: The slightly up-market work horse from Tata Motors, the Tata Sumo Grande didn’t quite cut the mustard with the UV buying public. So in a bid to give new life to this car, Tata Motors are offering Rs 15,000 cash on all the variants of this MUV. A joke been said is that the dealers are also ready to part with floor mats as well as car perfume, that is only if you are insistent enough.

Volvo Motors

Volvo S80: We know that buying a Volvo car would be the last thing on any car buyers list. But then if you belong to that 9 % who think about buying a Volvo car as the first option, then here is a good news for you. Volvo Motors are currently offering a cash discount of upto Rs 2 lakhs on their flagship car, the Volvo S80. But there is a catch to this. This discount is been offered only on the diesel variant and not on the 4.4 liter V8 turbo petrol.

That’s it for now folks. Please await for new developments till next month.

This article is regarding the discounts currently offered on Indian cars for the month of February 2011.

Ford Fusion in India Review

Way back in 2004, Ford India launched the first big hatchback, err crossover, small SUV. I am not sure how to place it and neither could Ford India. This car had the length of a hatchback, the height of a SUV and the looks of a sedan. Now, tell me, what do you think it is? Don’t look at me for answers, I am as confused as you are. But then I remembered the Ford Fusion in India somedays back and decided on a review of it. Done with BMWs and now finally on my way to finish the Blue Oval. It was a bit difficult getting a Ford Fusion for a review since the car has already ended its life cycle in India. Too early or late you decide. But then a few calls to a dealer friend of mine revealed that he had the 1.4 Tdci variant of the Ford Fusion with him while his friend has got the 1.6 variant as well. Okay, so we have both the cars here at Indiandrives. No issues now. Lets get straight to the point guys. So much for a car which is no longer manufactured in India. Check on Road Price


Well, earlier on I had described that I am not sure of its stance and neither was Ford India. The car looks very much like a small SUV like the Premier Rio of which I had a test drive recently. It has that Euro chic looks which many would have fallen for if the car was marketed properly in its haydays. The somewhat Audiesque grille adorned by the Ford symbol and those rectangular head lamps cut a straight figure, more like a brick. The car thinks that it is a upsized new Wagon R. Look from the upper quarters and you would notice the resemblance. There are some black inserts on the bumper which make it look like a mud ploughing SUV. There are fog lamps present and my dealer friend confirmed my suspicion that these weren’t there early on in 2004 and were additions for the face lifted model.

The 195/60 R15 wheels give it that SUV stance but then there are no alloy wheels. Yes, there was a Ford Fusion Plus 1.6 Duratec Petrol as well as Ford Fusion Plus 1.4 TDCi Diesel model but both were discontinued soon after they were launched. They had alloys on them. The same irritating plastic cladding from the front continues to the sides. The outside rear view mirrors are not body colored. But then the aforementioned two variants had them in body color. Showing off its SUV or MPV stance is the rear portion which has vertically stacked tail lamps. There is a single wiper doing duties here. Remember, this was a luxury in those times when the car was actually launched. The hatch opens upwards like typical hatches should do. The ground clearance by the way stands at 195 mm. Enough to shame some of our SUVs in the Indian market.


You don’t expect class interiors from Ford India in those days. Take the case of the Mondeo for instance. It was a fine car let down by shoddy after sales and not too classy looking interiors. The Ford Fusion in India is no different. It has got no music system as standard. The specimen I was reviewing, though had it as an after market fitment. There was a ikool Music Edition launched with a single CD player but no AUX or USB input. But then been a 6 footer, my concern was regarding if the driver’s seat would accommodate me or not. How wrong could I be? The Ford Fusion boasts of very good front seats. The steering wheel is a similar unit from the Fiesta and infact it is borrowed from the Ford Mondeo. The dials are also the same as from the Ford Fiesta. The 1.6 petrol unit had gray interiors whereas the 1.4 TDCi Diesel unit had beige ones. The biege one was a bit soilt, as expected but then it looked better than the gray one. The rear seats were also a perfect thing even with the front ones pushed all the way back. Having a higher roof line here helps as also the fact that the rear floor is flat.

The airconditioner in the car also works very good though it was a bit noisy. The dealer said that this is not because of age but that almost all of the Fusions have this problem. Couldn’t disagree with him on this. The build quality is European and marginally better than the Ford Fiesta. Yes, even though it is a car built on the same platform, the Fiesta had slightly iffy build quality when I had last compared it with the Maruti SX4. The boot capacity is more on the side of small sedans and it even gets a tie-down net which I found to be useful while storing small objects. The rear seats also split in the 40:20:40 pattern with the middle passenger seat accounting for the 20% part. This actually contributed to the car accommodating for larger pieces of luggage which some hatchbacks cannot even think of.

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Handling and ride quality

Ford India from the beginning of their innings in India have brought in good handling cars. But then the Ford Fusion in India with its 195 mm ground clearance cast a doubt on this ability. The first part is the fantastic steering wheel. It has got that same weighted feel of what we expect from Ford India cars. It has got nice turn in and there is no lack of feedback. I personally felt that it was a bit stiffer than what we are used to nowadays but then I have driven a fair amount of Ford cars and this one felt perfectly at home. The chassis is the same one which is used for the Ford Ikon as well as the Ford Fiesta now. The best part about the ground clearance was that despite big speed breakers, I didn’t have to brake as I would, were I be driving a Honda Civic.

I don’t know how Ford manages to keep the body roll in check for their vehicles. Inspite of its tall stance, the car remains unfazed at high speeds. Its only the cross winds that sometimes play spoil sport in an otherwise excellent package. The petrol Fusion or rather the Ford Fusion 1.6 Duratec Petrol uses conventional Macpherson struts,whereas the rear gets a decoupled dampers and springs with twist-beam axle. The chassis is tuned to provide good ride quality, which comes at the expense of not so good handling at high speeds. But then the argument is who would want handling at speeds in excess of 120 kmph when the average Indian rarely exceeds 80 kmph. Low speed ride is a bit lumpy but then it wasn’t as harsh as sitting in an Endeavor. Up the speeds and the car promises to smother all those pot holes coming its way. For the diesel power plant, Ford India have accorded the Ford Fusion 1.4 TDCi Diesel with a softer setup. This car rides good at low speeds whereas at high speeds, the handling was a bit more loose than the petrol model.

NVH is something which has been kept to the bare minimum. Be it the petrol or diesel model. Inspite of been 3-4 year old models, both the engines were relatively quiet like modern day engines.

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

The Ford Fusion in India used to come in 2 engine trims. One is the European spec 1.6 liter petrol engine with SEFI technology. It boasts of 100 Bhp of peak power at 4,300 rpm whereas the maximum torque of 145 Nm is achieved at 2,200 rpm. It is mated to a 5 speed manual. The diesel on the other hand was introduced after the Ford Fiesta came into picture. It is a 1.4 liter turbo diesel unit pumping out 68 Bhp of peak power at 4000 rpm whereas the peak torque of 160 Nm is delivered at 2000 rpm. This engine also gets a 5 speed manual. The petrol engine is highly responsive and can lung forward at the tap of accelerator. Talking about the accelerator, it is a drive by wire thing. There is no cable to carry forward the link and this is the reason why this car has a sense of urgency in its accelerator operation. The diesel also gets the same benefits. In flat out driving, the diesel is not as responsive as say, the Ikon diesel or the Fiesta diesel. All the three share the same engine. The diesel has a flat spot around the 100-1500 rpm mark however the turbo lag isn’t much as compared to the other cars in its category. The diesel raced from 0-100 kmph in 17.6 seconds whereas the petrol manages the same feat 4 seconds before.

Both the cars can do excess of 140 kmph but then since the owner was sitting just besides me, I couldn’t muster the courage to drive it all the way. Brakes are a good package unlike other Fords and give the Fusion decent stopping powers. But then lack of any safety gadgets like ABS and EBD ensured that the wheels lock up under heavy braking. Brakes by the way are discs in front and drums at rear. Safety is also minimal with no air bags. There is a collapsible steering column, 3 point seat belts and the tailor bank chassis with side intrusion beams. For the Ford Fusion plus variant, there was ABS, EBD as also two air bags as option.

Fuel efficiency for the 1.6 Duratec petrol version was 9.8 kmpl in city and 14.5 kmpl on the highway. For the 1.4 TDCi diesel variant, the figures were 13.4 kmpl in city and 17.7 kmpl on the highway.


There shouldn’t be a verdict in the first place since the Ford Fusion is no longer manufactured in India. Unlike the Toyota Qualis which had a big demand even when it was about to be discontinued, the Ford Fusion cannot lay claims to any such demand. The Fusion appealed to those looking for a tall hatchback with space rivaling some of the sedans. But then, many were put off with its odd ball design. Cars back then, sold mostly on the looks part itself. Not many cared if they had enough of space or not, were versatile enough, can handle bad roads better without breaking into a sweat or even the intuitiveness of it all. Ford India on its parts also played the cards wrong. They should have promoted the Fusion more than just putting one or two ads in the newspapers. Moreover, their pricing strategy was entirely wrong. Back then a Honda Jazz rip off cannot be priced for Rs 8 lakhs on-road. Coming to the price, the Ford Fusion price in India was Rs 6.8 lakhs whereas the top end diesel came close to Rs 7.78 lakhs. All these prices are on-road prices. In the same vein, used Ford Fusion prices are very low making them cheap buys. My dealer friend told me that recently he sold a used specimen and that too a diesel one for Rs 4.3 lakhs. It was a 2007 model. Now go hunt a used Ford Fusion for yourself if you liked this article or better still the car itself. For a discontinued model, the company supports with spares and service for a good 10 years.

Audi India on a roll for 2011

The Indian market seems to be the hot spot for all the automobile companies. Audi have had enough of treading the middle path in the Indian luxury car segment and are looking to up their sales figures as well as desirability quotient. They have about 5 new launches planned for the Indian market in the calendar year 2011-2012. The German marque is looking to fill in the niche market created by BMW India. The second variant of the Audi R8 V10 engined car has got about 15 bookings and now the company have even got a booking for the convertible variant. As we had reported earlier, the company is looking for bringing in one more engine option to the very successful Audi Q5 in India. This would happen somewhere down in March this year. It is slated to be a diesel engine and would have identical pricing as its petrol variant.

BMW M3 may finally have a rival in India. It is to be the Audi RS5 coupe. It is scheduled to be launched at around Diwali this year. This car would have a 440 Bhp output and a sleeker design than the M3. Its price tag is said to be in the range of Rs 80- 85 lakhs. Before that, the Audi A7 sportsback would be launched in early June 2011. Sporting both petrol as well as diesel engines, it would make a stylish option to the Mercedes CLS and would be available between the Rs 70 to 75 lakhs price bracket.

The company’s sporty saloon, the all new Audi A6 would also debut this year in India. August is the speculated date for its launch. There would be four engine options, two diesel and two petrol. Expected prices are in the region of Rs 36 lakhs to Rs 51 lakhs. Like BMW’s M version of the 5 series, there would be a souped up variant of the 6 series namely the Audi S6. Also in the pipelines is the Audi Q3, which would compete with the likes of BMW’s small baby, the BMW X1. We at Indiandrives cannot wait for the launch of these cars and we are sure that most of the readers would be salivating at the same prospects.

High hopes by Hyundai from the 2011 Cricket World Cup

The official partner of ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Hyundai Motors India Limited are hoping that during the world cup, the demand for their cars increase. For this very purpose, Hyundai has provided the players in the World Cup the services of their cars for traveling. Also the ICC officials would be using these cars for their jaunts during the World Cup. The company has also ensured that its new Hyundai Sonata as well as the Hyundai Santa Fe are on display in the capital’s T3 airport. Moreover, the company is luring customers into its show rooms by having many contests as well as the prospect of winning a ticket for the final and so on.
Hyundai is also looking to build a good bond with the buyers in this country since the company believes that it should build a bond with its customers in order for them to have complete faith in the company’s products. It is speculated that Hyundai would be launching 3-4 new vehicles in India in 2011. Their small car, which would be slotted under the Hyundai Santro would also be, most likely unveiled in 2011. The company as of now hasn’t so much as confirmed this news.

Tension high due to possibility of extra excise duties

Today is the boom day for India as the budget would be in session a few hours later from now. Usually everyone is tense about the budget but then the automobile companies are taxing their grey matter a bit more than the others. The reason for the same, as far as rumors suggest is that the government would be increasing the excise duties on small cars as also levying extra excise duties on diesel powered cars. This inference can be taken from the reports of the Kirit Parikh Committee.

Its been a year since the committee submitted its report to the Central government of India. The report stated that many of the multinational companies are investing big time in India for developing diesel powerplants. So an additional Rs 80,000 on all the diesel engined cars shouldn’t hurt the economy much. But then at the very disclosure of this report, the automobile companies have started crying foul and some even are going to the extent that they would think many times before investing in the Indian market again. It is a market trend that most of the cars sold in India are diesel cars and if there are extra taxes, then the demand would be curtailed. Already the automotive industry is reeling under the rising input costs of production. For more details about the ups and downs in the budget, we would have to wait till the final ruling is out. Watch this space for more information.

Small sedan for Indonesia based on Etios platform

Toyota after tasting success with the Etios car are thinking of developing new cars on the same platform for the developing Asian nations. We had uncovered the news of the world’s number 1 car maker thinking of a car on the lines of the Etios in Indonesia as well, just a couple of days back. Daihatsu, the company’s Indonesian subsidiary would help them in this regard. It is said that work is already been undertaken in this regard and the company is scheduled to get this car in the Indonesian markets by 2013. Moreover, in Thailand, a new car which would most likely be a hatchback would also be launched at around the same time.

Like the IMV platform that Toyota developed a few years back, the company is looking to project the Etios platform as one of the biggest platforms to come out from the company. The IMV platform is a big hit with the likes of Toyota Innova, Toyota Fortuner and the Hilux truck been built on it. All these cars are the number rakers in their respective categories. Also Toyota is keen on projecting India as their manufacturing hub for the South East Asian region. It is said that once demands in India are satiated, the Toyota Etios would be exported, albeit in the South Asian region first.

By 2012, Japan, which currently supplies the transmission for the Toyota Etios, would hand it over to India. Once the transmission gets made in India, the price of the Toyota Etios would be further lowered resulting in a superb value for money proposition. Moreover, the Brazilian market would be the key target for export of transmissions. Moreover, the engine which is also a Japanese manufactured unit, would also be handed over to Toyota Kirloskar India Limited in due course of time. This should happen earliest by 2012.

Mahindra Navistar trucking in the Indian market

Few days back, we had reported about Daimler coming to India and thinking of selling its trucks here. In this scenario, how could the world renowned truck maker, Mahindra Navistar be left behind? The good news is that the company is planning to enter the Indian market and establish their presence here. It is said that for the Indian market, the company is keen to have an all new multipurpose platform. This platform would however be ready by only 2011-2012. It is going to be a 16 tonne truck and would be available in CNG as well as diesel options.

Mahindra Navistar Automotives, MD, Rakesh Kalra mentioned that the company would also have their buses here soon. He elaborated that this range would include the likes of intra as well as inter city buses. They would also have the semi low floor as also the low floor variants. He also said that they are eyeing the prospect of exports and since the trucks would be built in the company’s Chakan plant in Pune, they would mostly make up for the right hand drive markets like South Africa where the company has a big presence. Moreover, the emission norms of India as well as South Africa seem to be at par. New engines are in the offing with talks of a 3 liter and 4.8 liter powerplant coming up in the future. Currently the company has to make do with a heavy 7.2 liter engine (diesel) for its heavy duty trucks.

Optimism is high in the air for the company since they believe that in the burgeoning Indian truck market, they would be able to sell about 50,000 units in about 3-4 years. Moreover a dealership number of 200 is also been floated around and these dealerships would be set in about 2 years time frame, all over India. Mahindra heavy duty truck range dealers would sell Navistar branded vehicles for the time been.

Mercedes looks to regain number one crown

Close on the heels of the news regarding Mercedes Benz India Limited showing off record number of sales for January 2011, the German car maker has announced their intentions of regaining their number one position in the luxury car market in India. Dr Dieter Zetsche, Board of Management of Daimler AG Head and Chairman, was quoted as saying that he is proud that his co-workers in India are putting in their best efforts to put Mercedes back on the pedestal in the Indian luxury car market. Mercedes have been thrown from their number one position by fellow German luxury car manufacturer, BMW India.

This downslide for Mercedes happened in the year 2008 when BMW was in full swing with their Indian operations and were launching a market offensive. For January 2011, the company recorded a 58.81% increase in sales from the same time in 2009.An unlikely hope is been placed on the first Indian Formula One Race which would be conducted in India’s capital, Delhi.This is scheduled later on in 2011. Dr Dieter Zetsche has mentioned that once the event is over, which they are sure that Mercedes Benz Race car Silver Arrow will win, the sales of Mercedes cars in India would once again reach new heights. All we at Indiandrives can say is Amen to that.

March 29 2011, new Volkswagen Passat would be launched in India

Its finally decided that Volkswagen India would launch their new generation Volkswagen Passat in India next month. To be exact, the date is March 29 2011. As much as speculations that we have done about the new car in our earlier articles, the final outcome would be unveiled on the aforementioned date.

Speaking of the changes, the new car would share only 40 % of its components with the outgoing car. It is also about 4 mm longer than the old generation one. Styling has also been discussed earlier and the 2011 Passat would have a closer resemblance to the Volkswagen Phaeton. Engine speculations range around the current 1.8 Tsi or the very competent 2.0 Tdi. The company is believed to offer both the DSG as well as the manual transmission options. As always, prices would be higher than that of the old one.

How to check the chassis and suspension of your car by yourself

I’m sure each one of you out there must have felt the need to adjust your suspension at least once. Infact I’m sure that you will be thinking to change it often unless you have a sedan. Anyways the point is not that whether you have a sedan or a hatch back or any other car. The point I’m trying to make here is that why do you take your car to the mechanic every time you need to adjust the suspension and pay him while you can really do it yourself. So today lets make to a point that why to give our beloved cars to mechanic for the simplest of task like suspension adjustment and all the other chassis settings, lets do it ourselves. You don’t know how to do it? Oh boy, that is a big trouble, but anyway I know how to do it so just follow this article and then even you will know how to do it. And trust me it is really simple just a matter of couple of minutes. Now let’s get it started.

Chassis Lubrication:

Listen this is the easiest part. You don’t have to do much in regards to the other thing you are soon going to deal with. Purchase a good lubricant from your nearest garage. Sometimes you will find that the chassis parts of your car are not fitted in with the grease fitting. So, in that condition you can easily install them in any of the components just by removing the screwing plug. Apply the grease in all the parts of your chassis especially the suspension and steering joints. If any part is not accepting grease then, twist that part a bit and even if that doesn’t help, then I guess you have to  change the grease nozzle. Remember you have to pump in the grease until and unless the dust covers on the suspension joints doesn’t swell in. Don’t forget to check the level of the transmission oil and differential oil.

In order to check the level of both of these oils mentioned above, you should remove the plug from the side unit. Usually you will find it there only. Majority of the cars also use the hypoid oil at for the rear end especially if your car is a rear-driven one. Besides the information I have already provided you with, also check whether you car really requires the under chassis lubrication because usually the new cars even Maruti for that matter doesn’t require to be lubricated under chassis.

Under chassis checking:

Even though your car might not be in need for an under chassis lubrication, it is really important that you inspect your car chassis, at least the basic inspection. Check for all the possible leaks and especially check the exhaust system components. The hangers must be in a good shape (not literally), check for any fallen under coating. Try and remove all the dirt and rust and then repaint the area if possible. Make sure that the dust boots and the rubber bushing aren’t deteriorated. Special attention should be paid to the bushing at each rear sway bar and front sway bar. Why I said you have to pay a special attention to them is because these are the most problematic areas. If any of the bushing have shrunk then your car is tend to make lots of noise.

Ball Joints:

Make sure that you check your car after every 20 km your car has travelled. At least check its suspension and steering settings and their components. Firstly, start checking the condition of the ball joint. See if you go to a mechanic, he will only check the condition of your loaded joints while your car has both the loaded joints as well as the unloaded joints. Anyways if your cars loaded joints are in good condition then for sure the unloaded joints are also in good condition. Now to make it even simpler for you, you can easily figure out the difference between the loaded joints and the unloaded joints. If the spring is mounted over the upper control arm then they are loaded joints but if the spring is on the on the lower side than it is the unloaded joints. Besides the joints you can also check the axial movement. Just insert a screw driver in the bottom of the tyre and floor and then lift the wheel.


If you have a front wheel drive car then you can also check the CV joint boots for any visible damage. The joint have to be replaced along with the boot immediately if any torn or damaged boot is discovered. The way I check for an improper CV joint is by driving my car at a slow speed of 20 kmph and then taking a u turn. If you heard the clicking sound, then you also heard its replacement plea. Also, make sure that if you heard any metallic sort of noise while accelerating and decelerating then again, you heard the replacement plea. Since the replacement or repair is not recommended, the thing you had to do is to replace the whole assembly.

Spring and Shock Absorbers:

First and foremost it is really important to know why I’m paying so much attention to the shock absorbers and the springs used in your car is because of the reason that both of them can lead to an erratical handling of the car. If your car springs and shocks are worn out then I would suggest you to go and change them as they are really uncomfortable and also can pose to be really dangerous as well. Make sure that your cars frame and body are higher than the front spindles and rear axle. Now what to change and what not to? So if your spring and shocks are really worn out then what you can do is that you can change the coil spring while you can recamber the leaf spring. Make sure that the ride height is correct and also check the wheel alignment.