2012 Toyota Innova – Toyota’s future plans for India

')">Launching their made for India product, the Toyota Etios wasn’t a small task for Toyota Kirloskar Motors that they are planning on revamping the entire look of their favorite people mover, the Toyota Innova. Well, this change would only be in effect in 2012. Unfortunately the car would still be built on the same IMV platform on which the earlier Toyota Innova was based on. Toyota Kirloskar Motors is one company which regularly conducts customer workshops and clinics to ask them about their thoughts on the company’s new designs. For the Toyota Innova, almost all of the customers reported that they were very happy with the performance and looks of the car. So it is now decided by the company that they wouldn’t alter with the looks of the car majorly and anyways it is a major challenge to improve upon an already successful product.

It is rumored that the next generation Toyota Innova would have certain body panels which would be re skinned and also major styling tweaks. In all probability it would sport an aggressive front end look. Also most of the customers said that the new car shouldn’t be elongated more since driving it in the city proves to be a chore. Toyota engineers are looking at ways to improve the third row seating space without increasing the length of the car. This new car would also sport a more powerful engine alongside an automatic option as well. Moreover, the company is also planning to make a 5 seater MPV based on the now famous Toyota Etios platform. This is to plug in the gap between the Etios Q sedan and the Toyota Corolla. India’s largest car manufacturer, Maruti Suzuki India Limited are also planning on a 5 seater luxury MPV which would be code named R3 and would be launched at around 2012. Future variants of the same platform would however depend on the success of the Toyota Etios Q and the Etios Liva. The 2012 Toyota Innova would also be highly re-engineered for it to have a more flexible seating arrangement and also to have different interiors than the more up market Toyota Fortuner suv.

Hyundai Santro Xing diesel Review


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Hyundai Motors India Limited {HMIL} is the second largest manufacturer in the country, only second to Maruti Suzuki Limited. Hyundai first started their operations in India way back in 1996 but it wasn’t before 1998 that they launched their first car in India- the Hyundai Santro. The Hyundai Santro was an immediate success after its launch. It was a welcome change from the slew of Maruti’s small cars. The Hyundai Santro Xing has the reputation of been the first of the tall boy designs in India followed by the Maruti Suzuki Wagon R. The tall boy concept was demonstrated first in the Delhi Auto Expo in 1997 and then subsequently launched in 1998. Hyundai Motors India admits that its bread and butter model in India is the Hyundai Santro now christened the Hyundai Santro Xing erlx. Not content with its success, Hyundai announced that on the eve of its 10 th anniversary, it will sell the Santro car at the same price that it was when it was initially launched. The Hyundai Santro Xing has been discontinued in every other market, where it has been replaced by the new Hyundai I10 but in India, the I10 is one rung above the Santro. To catch a greater chunk of the Indian market, Hyundai Motors India Limited are all set to introduce a diesel version of its popular Santro Xing. Below is the Hyundai Santro Xing diesel review:

Looks of the Hyundai Santro Xing diesel

The looks of the Hyundai Santro Xing diesel would most likely remain unchanged from its petrol sibling. It would most likely sport a CRDI tag on its grill and also on the rear. The front looks typical Korean and over the years has evolved. The earlier Hyundai Santro isn’t something that you would call cute and neither is the current one however we still prefer the old one to the new one.

The new Santro has a V-shaped grill and features re ctangular head lamps.It has short bonnet overhangs and this makes it one of the compact cars in the market today. The silver Hyundai logo sits atop the grill. Two black bumper claddings adorn the space between the head lamps and the air dams. The air dam is a slightly wide affair with slots for the Fog lamps. The bonnet is devoid of any crease and is a plain thing. The outside rear view mirrors are not body colored but they are big and are a big help in the city and highway.

Moving on to the side profile, the car rides on 13 inch steel wheels with plastic covers and no option for alloys. The door handles are also not body colored. The wheels seem apt for moving around this car and it is recommended not to upsize tyre size. However you can definitely go for after-market alloys and one of the black variety. This gives the car an angry menacing look. The car also has a vertical quarter glass. Speaking of glass, been a tall boy design, it boasts of good visibility all around. In fact, it is rated as one of the easiest cars to drive around after the erstwhile Maruti 800.

The rear also has a huge glass area but without a rear wiper. It has vertically stacked rectangular tail lamps.A black cover helps in lifting the hatch. On the bumper,a black plastic cladding cover is prevalent. The stop lamp is amounted atop the rear spoiler.
Interiors

The Hyundai Santro Xing is one of the roomiest small cars in its category and the diesel is expected to be the same. The doors, unfortunately don’t open wide enough though. Its column mounted hydraulic assisted steering was earlier a two spoke affair but now it has become a 3 spoke affair. The meters are white in color and the Santro petrol sadly though, misses out on a rev counter. However expect the diesel to sport one and it would have an icy blue background color. Flanking it would be a digital instrumentation showing the fuel, temperature and other tell tale lights. The flat dashboard has two swooping inserts in it which can hold a bit of your change and papers.

The Hyundai Santro Xing diesel India would have steering mounted audio controls as well as one for the Bluetooth controls. This would a segment first and would make the Santro Xing Diesel pricier, but it would definitely be in the options list. The glove box would be a double door thing in the diesel and would be elegantly carved out. The AC vents would be the same old circular ones. The Hyundai Santro Xing was also the first car in its segment to sport a dead pedal for those long highway drives. The diesel would miss out on entertainment package as standard but it would be a 12,000 more options Pioneer package. The door pockets are deep and lined with some soft material that protects your fingers from getting scratched. The central console would feature two cup holders as well. The gear lever would have an aluminum cover to it.

Overall a cheerful place to be in, than some other hatches in its segment.

Hyundai Santro Xing diesel Photo Gallery

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Handling and ride quality

The Hyundai Santro Xing petrol was always a sweet handler and only let down by its slightly low rubber wear. Its tall boy design means that it is more at home in the city than the highways. It is buffeted by cross-winds on the highway and anything above 120 kmph looks scary. Since the Hyundai Santro Xing diesel would feature a relatively heavy motor, expect the front suspension to have more bush and strut mounts. They would also be of the aluminum type to save weight. The rear seats can comfortably seat 3 without rubbing shoulders but leg room would be a problem. The boot is also small however it is more than the competition at 220 liters.

The Hyundai Santro Xing diesel may feel nose heavy or show heavy pitch during hard braking. The ride is quite comfortable at low speeds however when the speeds rise, the ride of the car becomes nervous. It seems sort of choppy but never to the point of been uncomfortable. The ride used to be silent on the petrol motor however the diesel been a 3 pot motor may be noisy and been a cheap car, it would sport less of sound deadening material as opposed to the Verna.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Hyundai Santro Xing diesel will sport a 1.2 liter 3 pot CRDi engine pumping out 75 bhp @ 4000 rpm and also putting out a maximum torque of 157 Nm @3800 rpm. This is one of the best figures achieved by a small Crdi engine. It would be a DOHC unit and one having 12 valves, 4 per cylinder. Hyundai Motors India is more famous for having launched the first Crdi engine in the Hyundai Accent and it has been a huge success. This would be the company’s smallest Crdi engine till date and will also perform duties in the Hyundai I10 later on. The gearbox would be a 5 speed manual with a 4 speed auto coming later on.

The diesel car would sprint from 0-100 kmph in approximately 16.4 seconds. Its fuel efficiency is pegged at around 18 kmpl in the city and this figure rises to 26 kmpl on the highway. This makes it one of the most efficient small diesel cars around.

Braking would be handled by up-rated discs on the front and bigger drums on the rear. Safety features would take on a new high with the Hyundai Santro Xing diesel sporting two air bags as standard and will also get ESP as an option. It also comes with 3 point ELR seat belts as standard.

Verdict

The Hyundai Santro Xing Diesel or Crdi would be a huge success when it would be launched. Indians are known for lapping up diesel motors in a jiffy. Hyundai Motors India have always got the pricing right for their cars and we expect the Santro diesel to be no different. It has got the best fuel efficiency of small cars, diesel running costs, Hyundai reliability and spacious interiors. The only things going against it would be the price point and staid looks. With Hyundai Santro Xing diesel price, it may cannibalize the sales of the Hyundai I10. Hyundai Santro Xing India is expected to be launched in January 2011 and would sport a price tag starting from Rs. 4.10 lakhs to 4.50 lakhs for the top end diesel version.

Engine specifications of Hyundai Santro Diesel Car are as follows:

Engine: 1.2 Liter 3 cylinder engine DOHC, 4 Valves per Cylinder, 12 Valves in all

Dimensions of engine: Bore x Stroke – 75.00 mm × 84.50 mm

Maximum Output : 75bhp @ 4000RPM

Maximum Torque : 157NM @ 3800 rpm

Top Speed : Approximately 158kmph

Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel in India

')">Maruti Suzuki India Limited has long dominated the Indian car market. Their partnership with Suzuki has borne them fruits. Maruti has long persisted with their petrol motors but then sensed that they would stand to gain more ground if they sold diesel cars. Their earlier feeble attempts at getting a diesel into their cars was a disaster. The main problem been, Suzuki itself didn’t manufacture diesels and they had to be sourced from the likes of Renault. After Suzuki’s world wide alliance with Fiat, they had access to Fiat’s world renowned multi-jet engines. They made the first useful application in the famous Swift hatchback and haven’t looked back since.

That Maruti was renowned for small cars is well known but when it comes to their soft roader, the Grand Vitara, Maruti Suzuki completely lost the plot. The car came with an anemic petrol engine which coupled to its high price didn’t go down well with the buyers. Plus it had to contend with the likes of the capable Honda CR-V and Chevrolet Captiva. At this price bracket, car buyers usually go for the badge and Maruti lacked the brand image higher up.

This bad luck phase for the Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel in India changed in 2009 when the car was introduced with a new face, more pleasing interiors, some heavy price revisions and an upgraded engine. The engine is now the 2.4 litre, 4 cylinder, 16 valve, DOHC, VVT, VIS, Euro V compliant petrol engine which belts out 164 Bhp @ 6,200 rpm and has a torque rating of 225 Nm @ 3,800 rpm. People started taking the Grand Vitara seriously after this. The sales chart showed some improvements but all that the customers complained was that they wanted a diesel, now that Maruti had some of the best loved diesels in the business.

Maruti has finally woken up and will shoe-horn a 142 Bhp 2.0 liter multi jet diesel engine into the Grand Vitara and make it the Grand Vitara Diesel or DDis. This diesel puts out 280 Nm of torque at 3,200 rpm. It would handy in off-roading situations and also give a fillip to the sagging fortunes of the New Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel. It would also boost the economy figures that the petrol motor throws out. The diesel motor gives an estimated 12 kmpl in city conditions as opposed to the petrol giving out 7.7 Kmpl in the city. Out on the highway, the petrol returns 13 kmpl whereas the diesel gives a healthy 16 kmpl. Factor in the low diesel running costs and suddenly the Maruti  Grand Vitara Diesel seems a bargain. Maruti diesels have now gained a reputation for good performance, low NVH, fuel efficiency and also reliability. This should swing the way for the Maruti Grand Vitara diesel.

Maruti will price the  Grand Vitara diesel at approximately Rs.50,000 more than the petrol motor. This will still undercut the CR-V by a decent margin and also the Chevrolet Captiva. It is by far the cheapest diesel soft roader in the country. It is available with a permanent 4*4 option. Maruti should also rope in a good brand ambassador as it never had any for the Grand Vitara and it badly needs one to spruce up its image. Maruti will launch the Grand Vitara Diesel by February 2011 and the asking price would be Rs.17 lakhs onwards.

Technical specifications of Maruti Grand Vitara Diesel

Engine : 2.0L DDiS Turbocharged 4cylinder common rail DOHC
Segment : soft roader segment
Maximum Power: 142 Bhp
Wheel : 16” alloy
Wheel base: 26340mm
Seating capacity : 5
Transmission: 5-speed manual

Force Motors new plans

The lesser known automobile company, earlier owned by Bajaj Auto limited, Force Motors has been quietly developing a SUV for use in the Indian market. The company currently makes light commercial vehicles, three wheelers, buses, tractors, heavy commercial vehicles and multi utility vehicles. Earlier attempts by the Pithampur based manufacturer gave us the Trax, the Judo and Gurkha. All the three used the common Trax platform. It is rumored that the company even hired ace designer, Dilip Chabbria to design one of their so called concept Juggernaut however it didn’t take off. This vehicle was supposed to be on the lines of the Hummer.

The new SUV that they are developing is more for a personalized mode of transposrt rather than the earlier commercial peoples mover that the company used to make. They have taken technological help from Lotus Engineering. The latter would help the company in honing the new SUV’s ride and handling. It is noteworthy that Lotus Engineering has also helped Mahindra and Mahindra in their earlier days with the Mahindra Scorpio SUV. The Force Motors Suv would also have tough competition in the form of the Tata Safari, Mahindra Scorpio and also the new SUV coming from Mahindra code named W201. The engine powering this new SUV would be a 2.2 liter engine which is to be made under license from Daimler Motors. Force Motors also assembles engines for the Mercedes E and Mercedes C class of passenger vehicles. Force Motors are also undergoing talks with other foreign agencies to reduce the NVH levels for their new SUV.

Unfortunately none of Force Motors earlier ventures like the Traveller, Trax and the Minidor had a rural following and quite didn’t make it through the urban commuter. This time around, they want to make a big difference and for this very reason, they are planning on initially marketing this SUV as an urban vehicle and once its popularity increases, they would put it across to the rural areas as well. There would be an elaborate marketing campaign as well unlike other Force Motors products. The company have put in Rs.150 crores for this new project. This new SUV would be built in Pithampur which has an annual production capacity of 24,000 units. As per the company’s plans, this new SUV would be sold through the dealership network of 25 outlets. A new set of R&D as well as advertising people would also be selected from out of the range.

For this very effect, the company has put along 11 prototype vehicles on the road for testing and all these cars have achieved about 30,000,00 kms. The company’s Managing Director Prasan Firodia said that all the hard work gone into the SUV has been paying off now with the powertrain and the C in C chassis sturdy enough for the term of the testing. Unfortunately none of these prototypes were tested in Mumbai but near the company’s Pithampur facility. This SUV is expected to be launched in India by February 2011. Following on the lines of the launch of this SUV, an urban MUV would also be launched which would compete with the likes of the Toyota Innova and the Mahindra Xylo.The MUV would be launched at around May 2012. It would have quality in the same ball park as the latter.

Tata Aria Road Test


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India’s largest and most popular car manufacturing company is paving the way for other small car companies to take on the larger more established brands by challenging them in multiple segments. The niche crossover segment is one of the newest segments in the automotive industry and there are not many car manufacturers, international and national, that offer cars in this segment. Tata Motors has decided to fill the gap in this segment and has introduced their newest car in the Indian market called the Tata Aria. At the Geneva Motor Show in 2006, Tata Motors unveiled one of their concept vehicles the Indica prototype and the Indica that was showcased has come a long way to become the final production car the Tata Aria.

The niche crossover segment is a small one at present but saying that there are a number of car manufacturers that are flooding their research and development departments with requests to deliver vehicles that would fit into it. This is because an early entry into the segment may very well mean gaining a foothold in this unique segment. I say unique segment because the feature of a crossover vehicle is that it has characteristics of both a sedan and an SUV making it a very desirable vehicle for many different consumer types including small families, joint families as well as transport and people carriers. Tata Motors has decided to do its part to fill the void in the Indian market and the Tata Aria does a stellar job of accomplishing this as it is not only competitively priced but also features a whole host of features that would give Inspector Gadget an inferiority complex.

The Tata Aria in India comes fitted with the 2.2 liter, DICOR engine that puts out a maximum 140 PS with a maximum torque of 320 Nm. The DICOR engine has been used by Tata in the vehicle as it is the signature of the Indian car manufacturer. Tata Motors has launched the Aria in three different trim levels to suit all the requirements of the Indian market and these are the Tata Aria Pride, Tata Aria Prestige and Tata Aria Pleasure. The Tata Aria should put Tata Motors on the global map and make them a world player as the car features some of the latest and most innovative technology that is sure to entice potential buyers to the Tata dealerships even if it is just for a test drive.

Speaking of test drives, we ourselves could not resist the temptation to get our mitts on this newest offering from the big Indian brand and are bringing you the road test of the Tata Aria. To fine out if the car lives up to the hype and expectation you will have to read further.

Exteriors and Interiors

Let us start with the look of the vehicle and slowly move into gear talking about the engine and then finally the drive. There have been rumors floating around that since Jaguar is now owned by Tata Motors some of the final engineering was done at Jaguar. This has been strongly refuted by the people at Tata. Looking at the car it is quite obvious why these rumors may have sprung up as the car is a definite change from the more traditional styling cues of Tata vehicles. The Tata Aria looks really big at first glance and the MUV/SUV has a very aggressive look. Looking to compete with the Innova and Captiva it starts of well and has a wide stance and high roofline.

The front of the Tata has a smooth flowing hood which meets the sleek chrome plated grille which is wide and centrally located. There are some well positioned creases and lines on the hood to give it some well deserved character and definitely help to make the car stand out. The headlamps are long and vertically positioned at the extreme ends of the front and incorporate the turn indicators which are also long and vertical. The unique shape of the headlamps fits in well with the smooth flowing front end and amalgamates freely into the front bumper, which is really wide and low slung. The bumper houses the air dam that is also really big with the recesses for the fog lamps positioned on either side of the air dam.

The outside rear view mirrors are placed a little away from the vehicle and allow better rear visibility and these also incorporate turn indicators in a very modern, trendy way and have a certain European look to them. The high roofline flows well towards the rear and the rear view of the car is what makes it stand out as a large vehicle. The rear window is wide and allows ample viewing space with the taillights positioned on either side of the tailgate. The taillights are also long and vertically positioned and give the car a taller feel. There is well placed chrome accents all over the car with the rear getting its share on the tail gate handle and Aria and Tata badging. The rear bumper is again really wide and low adding to the low silhouette of the vehicle. The bumper features two rear reflectors and the twin tail pipe with large twin exhaust vents, which further add to the aggressive look of the Tata Aria.

Step into the Tata Aria and you could mistake it for some European car. Actually when I say step in it would be easier if there was a step board to step on but that is probably me just being a bit picky. Once inside you will notice the interiors are very modern and the two-tone cabin is a real pleasure on the eye. The brown and maroon finish is neatly mixed with some well placed aluminum accents that make the inside look very appealing.

The instrumentation panel is also well lit with a combination of white, silver and red needle on the dials that make sit easy for the driver to see at anytime. The steering wheel is four-spoke and seems quite large but then again so is this vehicle and it fits in proportionally. The steering wheel incorporates the audio, Bluetooth and cruise control buttons and is adjustable for rake but not for reach. This seems a let down as it tends to inhibit driver positioning for a more comfortable drive.

The centre console comprises the LCD screen which is used for satellite navigation as well as Bluetooth telephone conversations and also houses the audio system and climate control buttons and knobs. The vertical aluminum strips on either side of the centre console appear to give the dash board a compartmentalized look. The middle a/c vents are placed in these aluminum strips and are quite long themselves. The rest of the dash is made up of the glove box, which is very large and accommodating and a smaller storage space at the top of the dashboard.

The front cabin is very spacious and the front seats are also very comfortable providing sufficient support and cushioning for both front occupants. The gear shift is also well positioned and has some aluminum accents on it making it look quite modern.

The rear cabin of the Tata Aria is made up of a row of middle seats and another row of seats further back. The middle rows of seats have adjustable backrests and head rests and offer a comfortable seating position for passengers. The seats have a folding armrest and are also 60:40 foldable to allow for increased storage space. The middle row has another feature, being able to slide forwards and backwards and allows for increased legroom for taller passengers and very comfortable seats three people. The third row of seats only occupies two people and is a slightly more cramped affair than the middle row. These are 50:50 foldable allowing more room for storage and would generally be best suited for seating children.

Engine and Ride

The Tata Aria in India is fitted with the acclaimed DICOR engine manufactured in-house and is common rail direct ignition. The engine is 2.2 liter, 4 cylinder, inline, DOHC that deliver a very impressive 140 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque. The engine works on VTT or variable Turbine Technology and is mated to a 5-speed gearbox that is very smooth to shift. There is also a Dual Mass Flywheel that is incorporated in the CRDI engine that minimizes vibrations helping to keep the noise levels in the cabin to a minimum. The Tata Aria comes with All-wheel-drive and Tata calls it Adapterra 4×4.

Suspension on the Tata Aria is also very good and the front is fitted with a independent double wishbone setup and the rear has a 5-link suspension setup. Ride in the Tata Aria is very smooth and this is down to the silent nature of the engine. Starting it up you will be surprised at the lack of noise emanating for the vehicle while idling. Shifting it into gear lets the car move forward effortlessly and the power is delivered quickly with the minimum of fuss and also without the whine that you are used to in other Tata SUV’s. Acceleration is really good in the Tata Aria and this is down to the perfectly tuned gearbox ratios and smooth shifting gearbox.

Verdict and Recommendations

The Tata Aria is a very impressive vehicle and offers the Indian market a great option instead of the Toyota Innova and the Chevrolet Captiva. It definitely makes one think of the new Mercedes R-class in terms of space and styling. The powerful, efficient DICOR engine is very capable and lets the driver drive the vehicle with the least amount of stress while the suspension and braking setup provide a safe and comfortable ride for all passengers.

The Tata Aria comes with a plethora of safety features that includes ABS, EBD and ESP as well as the required set of airbags. It is slightly more expensive than the Toyota Innova coming in at around 15 lakhs but has more features than any other car in its segment. The styling of the vehicle is also very modern and should attract a number of buyers especially those Tata fans who would be most impressed with this crossover offering from the Indian car giant. The Tata Aria is definitely one for the future but that future is now and only serves to excite me even more.

Tata Aria Pride India Specifications

Tata Aria Pride Engine

Fuel: Diesel
Installation: Front, all wheel drive, longitudinal,
Type: 4cycle in-line, intercooler, 2179cc, CRDi,
Bore/stroke: 85/96mm
Compression ratio: 17.2:1
Valve gear: DOHC, 4-valves per cyl,
Power: 138 hp@4000rpm
Torque: 32.6kgm@1700-2700rpm

Tata Aria Pride Chassis and Body

Length: 4781mm
Width: 1896mm
Height: 1790mm
Wheel Base: 2851mm
Ground Clearance: 186mm
Construction: Five-door MUV, body on ladder frame chassis
Weight: 2126kg (4×2), 2220kg (4×4)
Wheels: 7.5J x 17 inch
Tyres: 235/65 R17
Spare: Full size, alloy wheel
Tank size: 60 Litres

Tata Aria Pride Suspension

Front: double wishbone, Independent, coil springs
Rear: coil springs, Non independent, 5-link
Steering: Power Assist, Hydraulic

Tata Aria Pride Brakes

Front: 302mm ventilated discs
Rear: Discs
Anti-lock: ABS with ESP

2011 Tata Aria in India


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Introduction – Tata Aria India Review

The Tata Aria is the first car by Tata Motors to target the crossover segment and this full time four-wheel-drive vehicle is one of the latest cars launched in India. Being a crossover the Tata Aria has salient features of both an SUV and a sedan and will also feature a whole host of luxury features. The Tata Aria comes equipped with a 2.2 liter, DICOR engine that produces a maximum 140 PS with a maximum torque of 320 Nm.

Tata Motors is planning on launching the Tata Aria in three different trim level – Tata Aria Pleasure, Tata Aria Prestige and Tata Aria Pride. The Tata Aria will be one of the first offerings from the Tata stable to have a whole range of internationally acclaimed technologies to help drivers and  keep its passengers safe.

The Tata Aria has been on the drawing board for a while now and was first shown off at the Geneva Motor Show way back in 2000. The Tata Aria in India is hoping to become the flagship of Tata Motors and for that Tata has loaded the car with lots of extras. It is priced between 13 and 15 lakhs and for the Indian market this could be a bit steep when compared to its direct rivals the Toyota Innova and Chevrolet Tavera.

Performance – Tata Aria in India

The Tata Aria gets its acclaimed engine from the best selling and ever present Tata Safari and is the 2.2 liter, DICOR, 4-cyl that also incorporates a dual flywheel. Although the engine is sourced from the Tata Safari it is a heavily refined version. It uses VTT (variable turbine technology) which enables it to perform better while driving on the road or when driving off-road. The engine puts out a maximum 140 PS along with 320 Nm of torque.

The Tata Aria also features some improved specifications on the engine and these are the introduction of an aluminum cast stump along with rubber mounts; dual mass flywheel both of which give the performance of the engine a massive boost. The Tata Aria also features an improved suspension which is now Independent wishbone and makes the Tata Aria much smoother to drive even on uneven or rough roads.

The Tata Aria has good power and acceleration and many will be taking by surprise with its response and agility. The new refined engine helps with all this and moves the Aria from 0-100 kmph in under 14 seconds. Top speed of the Tata Aria tops out at 162 kmph. Handling of the vehicle is also good and drivers will be happy whether driving it in the city or cruising on the highway.

2011 Tata Aria Styling

Tata has not been known for its style or aesthetic looks so people will be surprised by the latest offering by the leading Indian car manufacturer. The Tata Aria is probably one of the most stylish cars produced by Tata Motors and recent reviews tend to support this. The 2011 Tata Aria is styled quite aggressively in the front with sharp curves and lines defining the hood and bumper.

A short glance at a passing Aria and you could easily confuse it to be an MUV. The long sloping hood and the wide wheel wells give it a broader look and further accentuate its SUV look. The look of the front of the Aria is further improved with the wide grille that reminds of the Indigo Manza. The large air intake is positioned low in the front bumper which also incorporates the two fog lamps.

The headlights of the Tata Aria slope along the hood and house the turn indicators. The outside rear view mirrors are automatically adjustable and electrically powered. The Tata Aria gets its stance from the wide wheel arches which incorporate the very sporty looking 17 inch alloy wheels. These alloy wheels come as standard with the Tata Aria, another of those extras thrown in to entice buyers, and these wheels are wrapped by tubeless tires.

The interiors of the Tata Aria fit in with the image that Tata is trying to achieve of the Aria being a luxury vehicle that will fit a large family. The cabin is very spacious and the feeling that one gets when you step in is of a much more premium segment vehicle. Tata seems to be following Hyundai Motors’ concept of provide more for less and this is a very good way to go forward especially in the Indian market as a majority of Indian buyers prefer spending less for a whole lot more even if some of these are unnecessary.

The center stack of the Tata Aria houses the climate control and navigation screen but their scattered positioning seems as though they have been placed as an afterthought by engineers. The center of the dashboard is fitted with the LCD screen that displays the GPS and other navigational tools and this undoubtedly is the best part of the car.

2011 Tata Aria Pricing and Recommendations

The 2011 Tata Aria is a very comfortable crossover vehicle and seats seven easily even allowing for ample storage of luggage. It is available in the choice of three trim levels – Tata Aria Pleasure, Tata Aria Prestige and Tata Aria Pride. The Tata Aria starts at a base price of Rs.12,90,901 for the Pleasure with fabric upholstery; Rs.14,13,001 for the Prestige in fabric interiors and Rs.15,50,000 for the Aria Pride.

The Tata Aria has a very good fuel efficiency of 10.2 km/l while driving in the city and 14.5 km/l driving on the highway and this is due to the improvements made on its 2.2 liter, direct injection common rail engine. It has superior styling and is probably one of Tata’s best designed vehicles in its current line-up.

The Tata Aria features a range of safety features normally found in cars higher up the price range. These safety features include dual function front airbags, rear side and top airbags, traction control, ABS and ESP, which Tata offers for the first time in any of its vehicles.

It also has all the other standard features like dynamic cruise control, automatic climate control, music system that is CD/MP3 compatible and darkness sensing headlamps. A couple of drawbacks of the Tata Aria are the rear legroom and the fact that Indian specifications mean fewer airbags.

The Tata Aria is no doubt the standard that will define Tata vehicles, but could still find it difficult to make inroads and capture a good share of Toyota’s market. Tata Motors has done really well in including loads of creature comforts that are meant to entice the Indian buyer. Positioning the Tata Aria as a luxury level vehicle could come as a double edged sword for the company as some may feel it is overpriced.

For those loyal Tata fans though this is a very good response to the crossover segment and will do well on Indian roads while giving some tough and well sought out competition to the likes of the bigger manufacturers like Toyota, Nissan and Chevrolet.

2011 Tata Aria India Specifications and Price

Vehicle Category: Crossover vehicle
Engines (standard): 2.2 L, full time four-wheel-drive, DICOR, 140 HP, 320 Nm torque
Drivetrain: 7 passenger, Front engine, 5-door, FWD
Transmissions (standard): 5-speed manual
Curb Weight: 1896 kg
0-100 kph: 14 secs (est.)
Mileage city/hwy: 10.2 / 14.5 kmpl
Tata Aria Price: Rs.13 – 15 Lakh (est)

2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster in India

Skoda Fabia Roomster Review

Just a little while ago the Geneva Motor Show was witness to the latest face lifted offerings from Czech car maker Skoda. They unveiled the newest look of the Skoda Fabia Roomster and Skoda Fabia Estate along with the modified upgraded engines. These compact car offerings from Skoda have gotten fresh exterior styling, an exciting range of engines which incorporate new technology and touched up interiors as well.

The Roomster and Estate now get new front grilles and “3-D shaped headlights” which gives it a better dynamic look accentuating their stance and giving it a wider look as well. Under the hood will be an upgraded engine portfolio with four units being powered by gas and two being diesel-powered and starting from a range of 60 horsepower up to 105 horsepower.

The 2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster as the name suggests also packs quite a spacious cabin for this MPV car and is comfortable for all passengers. Expected to hit the Indian market in the fist quarter of 2011, the Skoda Fabia Roomster is one of the most eagerly awaited vehicles from the Skoda stable after the Skoda Yeti. With an expected price in the range of 13 to 15 lakhs depending on engine options and features the Roomster should provide Indian audiences with a good choice in the MPV car segment

Performance – 2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster in India

The all new 2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster will offer a range of engines which will either be petrol powered or diesel powered and give between 60 and 105 horsepower. This should make it very exciting to see the response it receives in the Indian market as it will provide the market with various options to suit every buyer’s requirement.

In India one of the main concerns of buyers is mileage and the Skoda Fabia Roomster is fitted wit a range of engines from 1.2 liter to 1.9 liters. This will additionally provide options for those that are looking for high fuel efficiency as well as performance.

The 1.2 liter TSI petrol engine is mated with a seven-speed, dual clutch DSG gearbox and gives the best in the range horsepower. Do not let the size of this engine fool you as with it engineers at Skoda not only extract maximum power but also amazing fuel efficiency. This four-cylinder 1.2 liter engine is available with two power levels delivering 85 horsepower and 105 horsepower. Skoda also provides the option of a five-speed manual transmission mated to this engine.

Other variants of the 1.2 liter engine are the 60 horsepower, 4 cylinder, 6 valve; the 1.2 liter, 12 valve, 70 horsepower and the 1.2 liter TSI, 85 horsepower.

The Skoda Roomster is also available with other petrol versions and has either a 1.6 liter delivering 105 horsepower and 153 Nm of torque or the 1.4 liter which puts out 85 horsepower and 132 Nm torque. These engines will be mated with a five-speed manual transmission and deliver a great combination of fuel economy and performance.

The diesel variants of the Skoda Fabia Roomster will have two types of engines – the 1.4 liter, turbo diesel, common rail putting out 80 horsepower and 195 Nm of torque and the 1.9 liter, turbo diesel, common rail giving 105 horsepower and a peak torque of 240 Nm. The diesel version of the Fabia Roomster will also be mated to a five-speed manual transmission and will also have a ventilated disc brake system and power assisted, speed sensitive steering. The 1.9 liter TDI is the same engine that is presently used in the Skoda Octavia and should continue to be the one of choice for Indian buyers.

The Skoda Roomster provides a great combination of mileage and performance and buyers will be delighted with the latest engine offerings from the car manufacturer. The 1.2 liter and 1.4 liter petrol engines should deliver around 10.2 km/l while driving in the city and around 15.8 on the highway. The 1.6 liter petrol engine should deliver around 9.6 km/l in the city while giving around 15.5 km/l on the highway.

The diesel variants are touted as giving 14.6 km/l in the city for the 1.4 liter engine along with 20.2 km/l on the highway, with the 1.9 liter TDI being able to deliver a mileage of 13.9 km/l in the city and 19.2 km/l while driving on the highway.

Steering in the Skoda Roomster is light and makes for easy maneuverability and the turning radius of the Roomster is also very tight. The power assisted steering makes for a completely enjoyable and comfortable ride whether in the city or on the highway.  The ride quality in the Roomster is smooth and even at high speeds the car is stable and compliant.

Interior noise levels are a bit high as the smaller 1.4 liter engine knocks a bit although the more refined 1.9 liter diesel is quite silent at speed with only road noise tending to filter through.

2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster Styling

The styling of the Roomster is one of its unique features with new modifications to the front end and interiors as well. The front of the Skoda Fabia Roomster has been redesigned to fit in the new engine portfolio and now has a more aggressive styling. The body is an eclectic mix of both straight and curvy lines and incorporates masculine and feminine design features.

The wheel wells of the Roomster are pushed out a bit further and give the car a broader stance. The widening of the car has also increased interior space for passengers to sit more comfortably while also increasing the ground clearance.

The exterior of the car has a much stronger finish to it and the car now has a much sturdier look. The rear door handles are integrated into the black window border and provide a nice touch of class to the car. Front headlights are 3-D styled and flow smoothly into the hood which then cuts sharply upwards to meet with the high roofline.

The rear of the car has those feminine features I mentioned earlier and the wide curvy rear end is accentuated by the wide rear wheel wells. This gives the impression that the car has a large boot, which it does. The taillights are placed mid way up the tail gate and are vertically positioned to provide optimum viewing to other drivers and the rear window is wide and also features a rear wiper.

Interiors of the car are a bit of a let down when compared to the exterior styling but that is not to say they are not good. The interiors are designed and styled keeping in mind comfort and functionality for all occupants. The interiors are dual tone and the dash, seats and instrument cluster look neat and tidy with the black and grey combination.

The front cabin is very spacious and the seats offer good cushioning and support for both occupants. The steering wheel comes with a rake and reach option to offer maximum comfort for driver position. The rear cabin is also very spacious and easily fits three passengers with loads of headroom and more than adequate legroom. The rear seats are also 60:40 foldable and offer increased storage space when required.

Additional features in the Skoda Fabia Roomster include leather wrapped gear knob, power assisted steering, leather seats and upholstery, leather trimmed steering wheel, chrome pedals, climate control, remote fuel cover control and door ajar warning indicator.

2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster Pricing and Recommendations

Skoda has been planning the launch of its multi purpose utility vehicle since mid 2008 and after extensive feasibility studies and extended research and development they have finally decided to introduce the Skoda Fabia Roomster to Indian audiences. This eagerly awaited MPV should put the cat among the pigeons in this ultra competitive segment.

With Indian buyers now being more comfortable using foreign made cars and Skoda actually being one of the better received car brands in the country the Skoda Fabia Roomster is a practical choice with price being very competitive among its other diesel powered rivals.

It is small enough to fit into the price range of the small car segment but the interior space allows it to compete with much more expensive cars. Skoda as a brand always promises good value for money and the Skoda after sales service is now on the up and is also becoming cheaper. Skoda has introduced their extended warranty and sales service for customers to make it easier to get vehicles serviced. They have also reduced their insurance costs making running costs of Skoda vehicles more affordable.

The Skoda Fabia Roomster continues with the Skoda tradition of reliability as well as customer comfort and satisfaction and the Roomster meets all the required safety requisites. Safety features in the Roomster include electronic stability, ISOFIX seats, central locking, dual front and side curtain airbags, ABS and electronic brake force distribution. With the price expected to be between 14 and 16 lakhs we will have to wait and see what kind of impact the car makes on the Indian market.

2011 Skoda Fabia Roomster in India Specifications and Price

Vehicle Category: MPV
Engines (petrol): 1.2 L, 4-cyl, TSI, 105 HP, 185 Nm torque
Engine (petrol): 1.4 L, 4-cyl, TSI, 85 HP, 132 Nm torque
Engines (diesel):
1.4 L, 4-cyl, TDI, 80 HP, 195 Nm torque
Engines (diesel: 1.9 L, 4-cyl, TDI, 105 HP, 240 Nm torque
Drive train: Front engine, 5 passenger, 5-door MPV, FWD
Transmissions (standard): 7-speed manual DSG
Transmissions (standard): 5-speed manual
0-100 kph: 15.9 sec (est.)
Mileage city/hwy (petrol): 10.2 / 15.8 kmpl
Mileage city/hwy (diesel) 14.8 / 20 kmpl
Base Price: Rs.14 – 17 lakhs(est.)

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento Review

Sesto Elemento. What does this mean to you? Probably the 6th element in the modern day periodic table. Wait, if my memory serves me right or to say that I am using my Bsc Chemistry background, it is Carbon. Let me double check. Yipee, I am right. But why would a car be named as carbon in Italy. It has got something to do. The car I am referring to is the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento. Believe me, that’s the coolest name I have ever heard for a car.

Now, Lamborghini showed this concept car named as the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento at the Paris Motor show. The reason why the car is so named is because of the high use of carbon-fibre. Lamborghini management is concentrating more on reducing the weight of a car rather than increase its power. This has been going on through the mind of other super car makers like Ferrari, which amply demonstrated its concept car named as Milli Chille in the 2008 Paris Motor Show. Carbon, as we know is one of the lightest element to be used for building a car. The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento comprises of about 85% of carbon fibre and this makes it one of the lightest super cars. It weighs in only at 999 kgs and this is lighter by the similar motored Lamborghini Gallardo Superleggera by about 315 kgs. The engine by the way is the 5.2 liter, direct injection, V10. It produces 570 Bhp of power and about 530 Nm of torque. It is 4 wheel drive equipped. Now that is speaking of volumes about the production techniques used in the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento.

Lamborghini actually used carbon fibre as a component of the car way back in 1983. The percentage of the element used was about 38%. Carbon fibre other than been light also has more energy absorbing capacity. In short, it is more tensile than aluminium. Look inside the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento and you would find that the seats are just cushions fused into the carbon fibre frame. Even inside, everything is black signifying the heavy use of carbon fiber. There are only 3 buttons on the dash namely, the engine start, lights and reverse. There is a red color used for some stitchings as well as on the outside for the rear diffuser and carbon ceramic disc brakes. The tail pipes are made of PyroSic, which is a glass composite having very high resistance to heat. The gear box is also the E- gear tranny, while not preferring the heavy dual clutch to be used in a sports car. The Lamborghini Sesto Elemento races from 0-100 kmph in 2.5 seconds. Same like the Buggati Veyron which is significantly more powerful as well as heavier.

Will it make it into production or not is the million dollar question asked? Sadly, the answer is no. This was confirmed by one of the top management person. He also said that there are chances that only a few would be made and sold at a million dollar price tag. Future cars from the Lamborghini stable would also feature the heavy use of carbon fibre. All they want to do is make cars with the power to weight ratio like a motorbike. The power to weight ratio of the Lamborghini Sesto Elemento is approximately 572 Bhp per tonne and this is definitely one of the most powerful super cars.

Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Cabriolet

Mercedes Benz India Limited {MBIL} are going the BMW way of launching niches within niches. This they realize is their only way of sticking in this car business. They have lost their numero uno position 2 years back to BMW and come to think of it, BMW plonked their Indian operations only in 2003 whereas Mercedes were around from a far longer time. The problem was that Mercedes made only cars which catered for comfort and preferred been a little laid back as far performance was related to. Their brand image became one for only comfort as well as state of the art technologies. Mercedes Benz India Limited wants to explain to their customers that they too can build comfortable, sporty  but affordable cars. Their answer lies in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Cabriolet.

Yes, you read it right. Mercedes Benz India Limited {MBIL}have launched the Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Cabriolet in India. Now many may argue that a cabriolet design doesn’t work in Indian climate given its unpredictability but Mercedes Benz India Limited {MBIL} feel that they should give more options to Indian customers to flaunt their exclusivity much to the likes of BMW.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class E350 Cabriolet has a the same look as the E-class sedan albeit with a more Avantgrade type grilles. It is visibly smaller than the E-class sedan but a tad bigger than the E-class Coupe. It has a staggered 17? twin 5-spoke alloy wheels of 235/45 (F), 255/40 (R) dimensions. It has got a 3.5L V6 Petrol Engine displacing 3498cc and putting out 272 Bhp @ 6000 rpm and 355 Nm between 2400-5000 rpm. It does the 0-100 kmph run in 6.9 seconds and amasses a top speed of 250 kmph. Its fuel economy is pegged at 7.6 kmpl in the city and 11.2 kmpl on the highway. The soft top retracts to the trunk in flat 20 seconds and makes quite a scene at that. In India, it doesn’t have a definite competition as of yet but niches anyways don’t have much competition.

The price for the Mercedes Benz E Class E 350 Cabriolet is put at Rs. 64,50,000 { Delhi ex-showroom price}.

Technical specification of the Mercedes Benz E Class E 350 Cabriolet

Engine and performance

Cylinder arrangement/number: V 6
Displacement (cc): 3498
Rated output (kW [hp] at rpm): 272 at 6000
Rated torque (Nm at rpm): 355 at 2400-5000
Compression ratio: 10.7 : 1
Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s): 6.9
Top speed (km/h): 250
Transmissions: 7 speed automatic with manual override.

Fuel and consumption

Tank capacity/with reserve (l): 66 / 8
Fuel consumption, city in kmpl: 7.6
Fuel consumption, highway in kmpl: 11.2
Fuel consumption combined in kmpl: 9.4
CO2 emissions (g/km) combined: 229 – 235

Chassis (standard) & wheels

Front tyres/wheels: 245 / 40 R 18
Rear tyres/wheels: 265 / 35 R 18

Dimensions & weights

Kerb weight/payload capacity (kg) [2]: 1765
Perm. GVW (kg): 2235
Boot capacity (VDA) (I): 390
Turning circle (m): 11

Hyundai Santa Fe test drive


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Hyundai Motors India Limited {HMIL} are well known for been a Korean brand which has established base in India and are currently leading in the small car market. They are second only to Maruti Suzuki India limited. Hyundai Motors India Limited {HMIL}  have a good presence in all the market segments except for the upper luxury segment and the SUV segment. Now, the former would take some time in coming however HMIL are more interested in the SUV segment as of now. As of now, their negligible presence in the SUV segment with the Hyundai Tucson and the Terracan is bothering them. To remedy this, they have introduced the Hyundai Santa Fe in India. Now, we as automobile journalists knew that the Hyundai Santa Fe was long in the coming to Indian soil and were eagerly waiting to get our hands on it. I had the privilege of driving a Hyundai Santa Fe on Indian soil for about 430 kilometers and the following is a complete account of what happened on road. Let’s have a look at Hyundai Santa Fe specifications:

Looks

If this SUV was launched probably 3-4 years back, it would have toppled the SUV segment cart. It looks can now best be described as at par with the segment. Nothing ground breaking as of such. The reason why I am telling this is because we have been spoilt with the Hyundai iX35 crossover’s looks. Now, as they say, “you cannot satisfy every one” stands true with automobile journalists. Hyundai’s global fluidic “design concept” is apparent from the grille of the Hyundai Santa Fe. The grille has horizontal flaps and looks like those from a regular home air conditioner. It is actually a part of the design theme from Hyundai Motors India Limited to give all its cars a family look. Hyundai Motors India Limited’s other cars like the Verna Transform, I10, I20 as well as Sonata sport this look. Exception is that of the Accent, which is actually a decade old design and in its last phase now.

The fog lamps are placed in their own small compartments with blacked out inserts. The air dam is crossed by a horizontal black slat. Overall, viewed from the front, the Hyundai Santa Fe looks big but well rounded off package. The narrow head lamps which have Bi-Xenon projector lights are also housed in blacked out frames. The outside rear view mirrors have the turn indicators embedded into them at the lower base.

Viewed from the sides, the Hyundai Santa Fe looks the part for its 4660 mm wheel base. The door handles are of the tug types. The 16 inch alloy wheels with the multi spoke design also look good and while doing this, they also fill the flared wheel arches well. The roof rails are standard and body colored as well.

Moving onto the rear shows some of the iX35’s design elements. The tail lamps are boomerang shaped but in a horizontal manner. They are split by the heavy looking tail gate. There aren’t LEDs but just the normal lamps with clear lens surrounding them. The roof mounted spoiler also houses the stop lamp. The rear reflectors are mounted on the body colored bumpers. A unique feature of the Hyundai Santa Fe is that it has a large lever to lift its tailgate. This feature is quite convenient as well. The twin tail pipes are chrome tipped and look quite snorty.

Interiors

Climbing{ for people shorter than 5 feet 8 inches} into the interiors, you would find the Hyundai Santa Fe’s interiors to be luxurious enough for this segment. Especially when compared to its competition, the Toyota Fortuner. However considering the newer Hyundai’s in the pipe line, this one certainly disappoints. That saying, the car does have good quality interiors and it is just that I expected it to be more radical. There is plenty of  beige and faux wood used in the interior design. The hooded binnacle houses three circular dials comprising of the speedometer, revometer and the fuel gauge. There are also many tell tale lights inside.

The steering wheel is chunky and has many of the functions in it like the audio controls, Bluetooth as well as cruise control. It also looks and feels good. The entire dash is lit in a soft blue color much like the I20’s. The entire dash in angled towards the driver, showing its driver centric nature. There is an all row automatic climate control system along with a 6 CD changer system and a small clock on top of it. The audio quality was excellent since there are about 8 speakers surrounding the system. The short and stubby gear lever seems derived from that of the Hyundai I20 or otherwise. The seats are made of a slightly firmer material but there was no discomfort observed even on the long drive that I took. My seat was 10 way powered and even the one having our lens man Ismail was powered with memory functions. The steering column is adjustable for rake and reach and finding a good driving position isn’t a problem.

There are plenty of cubby holes in and around the cabin. There is a huge glove box in the sculpted dash. There is also an  USB as well as Aux input for the audio system, not to mention about 3 12V power socket. The multi information display on the dash also gives a plethora of information like outside temperature, tire pressure monitor, distance to empty, trip meter, gear shift indicators and current fuel economy. I felt pampered with the arm rest provided and on the long drive it proved to be a boon for my left hand. The air conditioning was also spot on and the vertical slats can be individually opened or closed. Actually speaking writing about the Hyundai Santa Fe’s extensive features list would take about 2 full pages. I could actually only fit in some of the those aforementioned into this article.

The rear passengers are also pampered no end. They have their own individual AC vents and controls. There is enough room for three at the second row of seats. Even these are quite comfortable. They feature a 60:40 split arrangement. The third row is also sort of comfortable for those south of 5 feet 4 inches. The access to it is tricky though and you would have to slip the second row of seats and then get into the last row. However even the last row of passengers have two AC vents keeping them cool. The boot space is also quite big for a 7 seater. It is 380 liters with the second row of seats up and about 1003 liters with the second row of seats flipped down. The loading lip is also quite low and lined with some soft material so that there are no scratches happening while loading heavy objects.

Handling and ride quality

The Hyundai Santa Fe would mostly be chauffer driven given its proportions, so ride quality is of prime importance. The heavily bolstered rear as well as front seats cushion you from most of the road irregularities. The front suspension does it job quite silently whereas the rear is a bit of soft one and self levelling one sensitive to weight changes. The Hyundai Santa Fe also handled the off-roads that I took it to and didn’t show any signs of fatigue or reluctance on those non-existent roads. Seems that the Toyota Fortuner has finally met its nemesis.

Going fast or around a corner wouldn’t make you spill your morning cuppa or cold drink in the beige colored cabin. Body roll is well controlled with the traditional McPherson at the front and multi-link one with anti-roll bars at the rear end. Its on demand 4 wheel drive system detects wheel slippage and accordingly increases or decreases power to that particular wheel. This is one fast SUV which is quite stable even at speeds in excess of 140 kmph.There is no engine or wind noise inside the cabin and that speaks volumes about the amount of sound deadening materials used under the hood as well as in the cabin. Good glass area aligned with auto dimming rear view mirror and parking sensors make parking chores as easy as they can be for such a big SUV.

Engine,Performance and fuel efficiency

The Hyundai Santa Fe in India is available only with 1 engine option. Hyundai Motors India Limited were right in thinking that buyers in this segment wouldn’t require a petrol motor and so they offered the best diesel engine they could offer in this segment. The 2199 cc diesel engine is an in-line 4 cylinder with variable geometry turbo and a 4 valve head CRDi unit. Maximum power available is 194 Bhp @ 3,800 rpm whereas peak torque is 420 Nm @ 2,200 rpm. Internationally, the Hyundai Santa Fe is available with a choice of 3 diesel engines with the same 2.2 liter capacity however in India, they are offering the most powerful trim. This speaks volumes about Hyundai Motors India Limited’s commitment to the Indian market.

Coupled with this stonker of an engine is the 6 speed manual tranmission which is easy to operate and the gears shift into the gate with a positive feel. The Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the fastest SUV in its class with a 0-100 dash in 9.8 seconds flat. This is coming from a SUV weighing in at a porky 1997 kgs. The steering wheel though is a bit plasticky in its feel. It doesn’t have the directness of say, the Honda CR-V however it still dials in some feel. Some amount of turbo lag is experienced however that is only below 1,700 rpm. The maximum speed I could race this beast was 163 kmph and the claimed top speed from Hyundai Motors India Limited was approximately 188 kmph. I have no qualms about this claim since the car was all the more eager to go past everything in its path with the tractable motor even revving freely till its 5,400 rpm redline.

Hauling this heavy SUV to a complete stop from those speeds is a combination of ventilated discs at the front and solid ones at the rear. Assisting them in this retardation duties was 4 channel advanced ABS, traction control, EBD and ESP. Modulation from the brake lever was also quite positive. Across the world, the Hyundai Santa Fe is one of the safest vehicle in its class. In the Indian market, Hyundai Motors India Limited have introduced a segment first, 10 safety air bags, collapsible steering column, 3 point ELR seat belts, roll-over sensor and tensile steel beams.

Fuel efficiency is all so critical in the Indian market and the Hyundai Santa Fe doesn’t disappoint on this count as well. Considering all the performance on tap, the SUV gave me 11.8 kmpl in the city and 15.3 kmpl on the highway jaunt. Couple that to a 70 liters fuel tank and you get close to 948 kms before a refill.

Verdict

Hyundai Motors India Limited finally seems to have the right spot for their SUV dreams in the Indian market with their new Santa Fe SUV. Its looks are at par with the competition, it has a blow fuse of a diesel engine with performance and the fuel efficiency needed, spacious interiors, good ride and handling package as well as spacious interiors with extensive features list. Its minus points are that it is a CBU sourced from South Korea and is priced slightly higher than others in its class and also Hyundai vehicles lack image at this price point. But if you are looking in the market for a seven seater with all the aforementioned qualities, the Hyundai Santa Fe should be perfect for you. It is available in two variants and the difference between the variants is two and four wheel drive. The Hyundai Santa Fe (4×4) is available for Rs.25 lakhs {Ex-showroom, Delhi} and the Hyundai Santa Fe (4×2) is priced at Rs.23 lakhs {Ex-showroom, Delhi}.

Technical specifications of the Hyundai Santa Fe for India

  • Engine: 2199cc, in-line 4, variable geometry turbo, 4 valve head CRDi unit
  • Max Power: 194 Bhp @ 3800 rpm
  • Max Torque: 420 Nm  @ 2,200 rpm
  • Transmission: 6 Speed Manual
  • Brakes: Ventilated Discs at front and Solid Discs at the rear
  • Suspension: Front – Macpherson Struts & Rear- multi-link type with anti-roll bars
  • Tyre Size: 236/60 R16 Tubeless alloys
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 70 Litres
  • Length: 4670 mm
  • Width: 1880 mm
  • Height: 1770 mm
  • Wheel base: 2710 mm
  • Ground Clearance: 201 mm
  • Front row Headroom: 40.3 in
  • Front row Hiproom : 55.6 in
  • Front row Legroom : 43.5 in
  • Front row Shoulder room : 59.3 in
  • Second row Headroom : 39.4 in
  • Second row Hiproom : 55.1 in
  • Second row Legroom : 36.8 in
  • Second row Shoulder room : 58.7 in
  • Seating: 7
  • Kerb weight : 1997  kgs