Maruti Ciaz Details Revealed

Ciaz isn’t an ordinary car from Maruti pitched to fill the gap. It’s the gate-pass of automaker to penetrate the upmarket section with a very efficient price tag. The launch is still days away, but details are sneaked quite before to notch up the excitement level. Just to brief, the Bollywood actor Ranbir Singh is roped in for the endorsement deal, means the youths are on spearhead.

Maruti Ciaz to be available in four trims: V, V+, Z and Z+ provided in seven color options.

The first impression marked by Ciaz is tastefully obvious of a long sedan measuring 4490mm in length and having deployed 16-inch wheels on the top-end variant. Other styling cues are sufficient to comment it from a Maruti’s stable. The Suzuki’s logo boldly engraved on the front daunts over the projector headlamps and chromed grille. The tails lamps of production-specific Ciaz get differentiated than the concept that was unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo 2014. Turning the car around, creases aren’t so remarkable but they seamlessly join the front bumper to the tail lamps; rather the tail lamps impose a resemblance from the new Honda City.  The blackened B-pillar completes it all as per the taste.

Maruti Ciaz Details Revealed

Interior:

The cabin is plush than any of the Maruti available on sale in this category. With finer quality materials, and better plastic grains, the car flaws out to be from the German repertoire instead. Beige color selection for the cabin, and black contrasting patters the packaging ideology. Chromes on certain areas are subtle and aren’t in abundance to feed the typical Indian customer. The central console is adored to ‘partly-empty and partly-filled’ aura. Touchscreen infotainment system dominates the whole attire. Large size cup holders and charging socket hidden underneath a stealth cover isn’t understood yet.

Rear air-con vents are ergonomically perfect not obstructing the space for third person. The spacious rear seat filled to entice the Indian buyers with ample of leg and head room may house three at a time. There will be steering mounted controls for the top-end. Meanwhile, the boot is gulped with enormous space and an electrically lifted tail gate.

Maruti Ciaz Interior

The driver’s console doesn’t boast panoramic drama. Dials are kept simple with easy to read numbers and the plastic quality near the power-window switches are of nifty uality. The hold of steering is good but lacks that sporty and youth feel.

Infotainment System:

The infotainment system on the Ciaz is named as “SmartPlay” deployed only on the higher trims. It gets compatible with the media playback via SD card and AUX/USB. Bluetooth telephony for hands-free calling, built-in navigation, voice recognition for phone and other media functions are its added advantages. The screen doubles up its role-play when needed for the reverse parking camera.

Maruti Ciaz Details Revealed

Equipment List:

Equipment list controlled by number of features includes projector headlamps, rear AC vents, automatic climate control, keyless entry, side-indicators infused and electrically foldable ORVMs, charging sockets, twin reading lights for the rear passengers. High-trim buyers can get leather on the steering. Push-start button, auto-dimming rear view mirrors, adjustable height for driver seat, rear sunshade, and controls mounted on steering are the gimmicks for those who prefers to drive Ciaz by themselves. The standard alloy size is 15-inch, but anyone opting for the top-two trims (Z and Z+) will be given with 16-inch. Music system consisted of four-speakers and two-tweeters isn’t sources from a branded sound maker.

Safety:

Safety is not overlooked despite the preference of a pocket-friendly pricing. The ABS and EBD with driver airbag is standard on V+ trims, where the higher variants are done with passenger airbag inclusive of the rest.

New Maruti Ciaz

Engine:

Now, ultimately the engine is not going to portray a new story for the Maruti’s only lacking category. The existed 1.4L K10B petrol engine of 91bhp and Fiat’s 1.3L Multijet diesel of 89bhp are the best. Refinement is much needed to drive the sales. Aesthetically, the company has given a better compression ratio to the petrol motor for improvement in performance, whereas the diesel engine is cranked on designing to whop a better fuel-efficiency and sounding reduction in friction. With such dedication, the Ciaz is claimed to deliver country’s best fuel-efficiency of 26.3kpml in diesel and 20.73kmpl from petrol.

Though, there couldn’t be any better option in the category than Ciaz if it will hit the nail with absolute pocket-friendly pricing.

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Mercedes Benz B Class B180 Petrol Test Drive in India

Experimenting new things in India, sometimes gets a one better result than anywhere else. Hope so keeping in mind the said testimonial, Mercedes Benz launched most affordable Merc last year in India. However, we now had the A Class in the start of line, but last year when this car was launched, the media was most hyped by the Germans’ new affordable horse in our country, which was seems sounding like a bliss to us. At present, there are tonnes of metals available for the most efficient price tags, but we decided to take a shot at a compact MPV type vehicle of Mercedes Benz this season.

Though, the car itself needs no introduction for being a Merc. The dual slat front grille, embarking big logo on the front, SLS AMG styled bonnet, (which is only a cue from said and not the whole), new generation LED headlamps, crispy lines flowing from front to end on sides, wraparound tail lamps, metal guard on the boot sill, and much more. Cosmetically, the B Class has better ergonomics as per the competitors in the respective price tag, and that partly hatchback partly MPV type stance makes it to stand apart from others. One could say here, we got a mixed feelings looking at the vehicle, either it’s a hatchback or a MPV, we decided not to dig that excuses very deeply and concentrate on the numbers of values that Germans had driven to lure the masses here with this vehicle. Hopefully, it will not be wrong to say that the B Class is for those who love to drive their own car to office, and also to some gateways on the weekends. Hence, the chauffeur driven audience may make a nag here at this car. Apparently, the thing that does matter for B Class here is the drivetrain then, which had mention further in this post, but confirming more details about the platform skinned underneath its body is the W245 front wheel drive architecture. We guess, the B Class is the first car in India to possess this platform, later on the further coming siblings will also dwell the same sort. A Class is the one to name right now, and the upcoming GLA is also meant to don the said.

Mercedes Benz B180 Petrol

The B Class has a very tall height, of 1557mm if said precisely, and 16-inch alloys as standard, making it to gasp something between two of the segments. Hence, no need for the disappointment, buyers can upgrade their wheel size to 17 and 18 inch as choosing the different packages available with Mercedes.

Interiors:

Moving inside, the interiors feel quite up to date, and sophisticated at its best. There aren’t nags found in it claiming the B-Class not to be part of the Mercedes stable. We in fact were pampered in the SLS AM Style by the looks of air-con vents and central console. Interiors feel well propositioned dating as per the ongoing requirement of Indian market, which are most probably termed as spacious, airy, comfortable, sophisticated, futuristic, and build to last. Unfailingly, even the minute details were also given the brief precision. None of the trials and erros typos be felt inside ‘B’. There is one more thing we would like to add, no offensive, sometimes the C Class may also lessons from this vehicle to learn pampering the passengers at a sight. The legroom is quite sufficient, on front as well as rear. The rear seats also feel spacious like expected. However, one of the things has kept us hovering throughout the test, and that is the lack of thigh support on rear. Given the upright sitting position along, that discomfort gets eased to a lot extent.

The engineers at the backend has plugged off the gear from the central console and shifted it behind the steering wheel, so the whole cluster in between becomes free of sort, and there those genius planted cubbyholes for storage and else. It feels of great use and advantage. Very importantly, the COMMAND system of the vehicle is fixed just above the AC vents on the dash, and peels up the feeling of ‘like it or hate it.’ Though, the size of it looks quite large, and user interface is also not interesting, but talking the fact we loved that oozed out component of the interiors. It in fact, gives that tech-fi feel to the car, and is also clearly visible from outside, in overall impacting a nice impression on some aspiring onlookers.

Tactfully as we said, the B-Class is partly a MPV, there arises the question of boot space as well. Need not to be disappointed, the Germans had bestowed this newbie a massive 486 litres of boot space, which is quite generous for any of the sorts road trip in India. for those who always carry some extra luggage with them, even they too will be satisfies when fold down the second row seats. Flipping down the second row, 1545 litres of boot space can be achieved, which is magnificently immense for the long-road travelers. Adjustable front seats, climate control, USB and aux-in ports, leather upholstery are some of the features to name for now. we bet, the safety is also not even compromised while keeping the costs low. Seven airbags, hill-start assist, ABS, ESP, brake assist, traction control and a tyre pressure warning system are mentioned in the feature list of B-Class.

Lastly, on the interior note, we would like to make a point; there is also a panoramic sunroof inside the car, which is enough to make a one feel of the convertible types. Thoughtfully, there weren’t expected this type of assortment on the petrol based ‘B’, but as per the time of writing this blog, diesel variant of B Class is not bestowed with the sunroof, which sounds as a major turn down for the buyers.

Performance:

The Mercedes Benz B Class is dwelled out in the petrol version till this year, where some months back the carmaker then finally launched the diesel one to comply the rising demand of oil burners. Formerly, the B180 which we were driving was lugged with the 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine, that was made of complete aluminum. Finally, a lot of weight is saved and the car feels light in driving. Enthusiastic prompt, the steering has some gut feeling somewhere in the centre portion. With that blasphemy of engineering, it made the drive behind its wheel just peppier than expectations. The nose is not as sharp as the A Class, we comparatively had a bit negative experience on this clause to the B180. Adding to its woes, the jarred design ergonomics of it was mending to do some body rolls in crossing the lanes. The B starts in the Eco mode first, and then one can switch it off ‘Sports’ to ravel the creamy layer of German mechanism. Now the Sports mode is where the drivers can drive the pulse out of their heart, but though it still has some of its own limitations, where we can name it as ‘fuel-economy’. That is but obvious the car the fuel has to be burnt in the wide opened funnel for gaining performance figures. Eco mode is recommended for the thrusts driving in the city, mostly in traffics. 0-100kmph is touched somewhere more or less to the 11 seconds; we guess there was as usual enough power in the mid range as well. Top whack that we touched was nearly to 150kmph, but reports on other portals have claimed more number than ours. The seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox works seamlessly without any hassle. No complaints from them, which we guess also an addition to the Germans’ magnificent engineering, which sometimes this type of assimilation doesn’t mean getting good responses. However, verifying all the ticks to be right in the boxes, the Merc has planted a ‘Manual’ mode too in the drivetrain. Though, manies may not like it at all , but trust us makes us feels its significance when being driven on highways for controlling the speed at a jiff.

Ride and Handling:

Talking Ride of B Class is a bit different thing here. Let us make clear that those who are highly addicted to the driving style of Merc sedans are but obviously going to get disappointed in this vehicle. We knew that we are not writing a ‘comparison’ here, but its driving experience clearly divides two sects when one takes the charge of steering and pedal, one of them is the existing Mercedes owners, while the second one is the new group of audience who are just introduced to the three pointed star just for being its owner because of the pocket-friendly price tag.

Mercedes-Benz B180 Test Drive in India

The car which we were driving was of standard version and was having the 16-inch wheels, it was found doing its job perfectly. As we sais before, the architecture of B Class is monocoque, hence a large amount of bumps gets filtered inside the cabin, which the Merc-sedans doesn’t provides it so even at the entry level model plate. As the wheelbase is of generous in nature, and added with the front wheel mechanism, the timings on turns gets sharper, speedy and accurate. It enters and exits the corners rightly; we didn’t felt any forcing complement from our side to navigate the car in right direction when on curves. For the butting note, B 180 starts in Eco mode, so the drivers needs to switch it off to Manual or Sports when he wanted to melt out the pastry layer from it on roads. But there is problem in usage of pedal shifter while downshifting. The speed control on the shifting process is not so definite on the pedal. We guess, the engineers need to addres this issue for India, because we don’t have those past swooping European roads here, where an obstacle can be observed from fat itself and hence braking procedure would start from there itself. More crap for it, the brakes aren’t so effective in handling the downshifting situation of pedal. Commenting steering, it is the most fabulous part we observed about the vehicles’ drivetrain in our test, ample of power and the right trigger to shoot it from, is what we can describe the steering of 2012 B 180 Petrol.

Added lastly, the gear shift on the right side of steering column will mostly make the most users to shift the car in neutral shift, obsessed with the habit of switching the lights from the right corner of steering.

Verdict:

Finally, the temp of Mercedes has dropped down and the B Class is the suitable option to drive out from the expensive German repertoire.  At the time of writing we have the A Class as well the B Class diesel launched in India, but looking at the price tag of B180 it feels suitable to buy the petrol version with its triumph over the diesel one justified with ‘sunroof’ and some ‘additional features’. Cleverly, the fuel efficiency of approximately “10.2kmpl” with mix of highways it feels well composed and propositioned for the driving comfort provided in the petrol variants of Mercedes Benz. And cosmetically, it looks better than the hatchback, giving the whips of MPV and not anything lesser than that. Hope so that answers all the questions regarding 2012 B180 Petrol.

Our Rating: 7/10

One can follow the technical specifications in the table below:

Engine

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Transmission

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Dimensions

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Mercedes-Benz B180 Back View

Chassis & Body

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Suspension

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Steering

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Brakes

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Nissan Terrano in India Test Drive

Nissan Terrano and Renault Duster are the two prominent names being tremendously christened in the auto fraternity nowadays.

Hence, the Renault Duster is been there in the market since long back, and had claimed some international titles too. Now it is the time for Nissan to invade the compact SUV segment and mark its prominence. Taking the strategic advantage by the means of agreement between the French automaker, Japanese showed up its aggressiveness and it finally resulted in the form of “Nissan Terrano”.

Though, we had already reported the Nissan Terrano in detail at our review section, where we claimed the Terrnao of having 1.5-litre dCi diesel and 1.6-litre petrol engines. Diesel engine tuned in two state of tunes – 84bhp and 109bhp, while the petrol one is done only with 103bhp. However, the 109bhp diesel is thrown with the six-speed manual gearbox, while the petrol one and 84bhp diesel are given with five-speed manual. For your information we had test driven two of the vehicles in Udaipur, where the Nissan had arranged a special media test drive session for all the leading publication houses, we now will reveal the experiences of all the said vehicles step by step.

Nissan Terrano Test Drive

1.5-litre dCi diesel of 109bhp

Firstly, we decided to put out the note on the most desirable 1.5-litre dCi diesel of 109bhp, which transacts all the power from a stick of 5-speed manual transmission. Hence, need not to say the power given to this Terrano is mouth watering and is a better option than that of the petrol fuel trim, sounding like bliss in the times of skyrocketing petrol prices. We took this vehicle for an approximately 80-90kms, drove in between winding roads and some off-roads. Need not to say, the Japanese (Nissan) has provoked the mechanism of best Japanese automotive engineering by giving us the Terrano. Well, over here one may say that, the Terrano is originally a French translation into a Japanese, but truly the car that the Nissan had developed is quite amazing than the Duster. It performs all the tasks that are thrown in front of it. No need of adjusting oneself to the devotions of car, but here we had experienced none of the naggings from vehicle at all. It pulls up the power from 2500RPM and leaves the genre uninterrupted to the 4000RPM. The 248Nm of torque comes active at around 2500RPM only, but due to the aggressive gear distribution ratio, excitement start notching the steering from 2000RPM itself. Though we don’t deny that clutch on this vehicle is a bit on the harder side, making feels a bit tad while climbing uphill, and in city traffics. Overall view from the driver’s seat gives a plenty of needed outlook. The ground clearance of 205mm makes Terrano to reach wherever needed.

New Nissan Terrano Test Drive

The above said was all about the ergonomics mostly, but now when the ghats and winding roads on our drive ended, highway started following us. Unbelievably, 0-100kmph is reached in some astonishing amount of time, and when we recorded the reciprocal of same, i.e. from 100kmph-0kmph we touched down the line in a slight more than 3 seconds. The mentioned figures are not knitted with the help of some advanced equipments, but are carried out with the bare-basics only. Hopefully, the Terrano delivered us uninterrupted power throughout the whole range of throttle, never disappointed at any of point. It finally landed us on the top whack of 120kmph during the test. No doubt that it was having a fair amount of additional horses being stored under the bonnet even at that time (i.e. at 120kmph) too. To sound safe in a new city and on the new roads, we didn’t pedal the accelerator more than that. Hence, if we could have done that, then reaching the 135-140kmph mark didn’t seem tough for the 109bhp 1.5-litre DCi engine of Terrano.

Nissan Terrano in India Test Drive

Talking suspension and control, there aren’t any bits which claim the Terrano is not bounded for the roads in India. Potholes and the open stretches are galled by it in tons and tons, without even beating a sweat. Push it harder, the harshest it gets. It not mussing even the king sized potholes inside the cabin, all thanks to the softly tuned suspension. In fact, that same soft suspension goes for a rough time when the car is being slided into some tight corners. Body rolls and understeer to an extent can be experienced at the steep turns. But that’s understood when given at this much of so desired comfort. Steering feels quite light, directs the car sharply in the reclined direction. No negative feedbacks even at high speeds. It weighs up along with the rising speed, and gives in confidence to make the most of it at its top notches.

We must say, Nissan Terrano is a good highway cruiser, and is boon for the city slicker too. We have no complaints from the high powered diesel variant of Nissan Terrano, but instead we would say the Japanese trapped the misfielded balls which the French had dropped while trimming it as per the low-costing profile.

1.6-litre petrol of 103bhp

However, it may make someone feels irk that petrol is driven on less number of horses comparatively to the 109bhp diesel. Let us tell you, the Duster is world’s cheapest SUV, so its sibling shall copy some of its traits. Hence, counting the major of its audience to be more cost-conscious regarding the mileage, it may be an issue for the carmaker to yield the stunning return on kilometers-per-litre-of-fuel, where the solution is being chalked out at the cost of deleting some horses underneath the bonnet. Well, gasoline wakes up the power of 103bhp at an early 2000RPM and keeps revving smoothly till 4000RPM. Disappointingly, the motor makes aggressive move till 4000RPM, later than it starts falling short of power. However, making the motor to reach near to maximum 4800RPM gets a one teddy to drive. One has to punch the feet harder on pedal on take on the paths at ease on gasoline. Though, we are not disappointed about its feel in the city. 103bhp of petrol maneuvers easily in the slicken lanes of towns. Five-speed manual does its job brilliantly. Taking the same on highway makes us to be under-confident when overtaking the heavy vehicles. However, other of the bits like suspension and body control are of the same what we had said about the diesel above, but drivetrain faces serious nags, which Nissan should do something about if it wanted to sell the petrol trim of Terrano successfully.

Final Verdict:

Nissan Terrano of 1.5-litre dCi diesel of 109bhp is awesome, and hefts the job to powertrain at a compelling need. All the effort of engineers at Japanese workshop seems to deserve a success party. However, they may have the cues from Renault Duster too; but personally, a lot of efforts had gone in making the Japanese compact SUV a better option in present times than the French version. Petrol one is sufficient for the city slick, but may pose serious lacks on the highway, as per to our experience. On overall (including interiors), the Terrano is a deserving option to get for a money value like this. Even French may not have tided this better when they could have tried drawing a notch above than their Duster. Contemporarily, the Japanese seems successful!

Nissan Terrano 2013 Test Drive

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Renault Scala CVT: Test Drive

Renault is the French by nature and we expect the French wine to flow from its automobiles, to an extent it had happened with the carmaker’s famous model plate Duster in India, which had grabbed the eyeballs due to its practicality and efficient pricing too, but the rest of them wasn’t boasting a good amount of sales figure on board; and as an outcome the organization screeches to roll out different variants in the market, which now in the latest Indians are bestowed with X-Tronic CVT transmission of Scala under the 1.5L Nissan sourced petrol head.

Before dabbing our foot on the accelerator, we want to inform you that Nissan and Renault are tied together on an inked paper which leads them to share various tweaks in between, and therefore the Sunny is also rolled out in the same avatar recently. Over here in the horizon, it is learnt, except the offerings from French-Japanese alliance there are other competitors in the market, namely Honda City and Volkswagen Vento both with CVT transmissions itself, are closely eyeing these duos striding with their different lucrative strokes being offered underneath their top notching brand names.

Renault Scala CVT

Get started, pressing the accelerator had leaded us to the claimed driving force of 134 Nm torque, swift driving traction delivered between 1000-1500 RPM ratio, gaining a comfortable drive within city limits, but when the same pedal is bulked off with full efforts then the engine power is returned on the very aggressive note, must say the 80% of extract had reached only at a 50% of throttling dab, and that too with an increased engine noise, which then had jolted us to relax down our excitement in sober strata – driving the vehicle in which it is suited better. City ride was satisfying on the core and even highway too hadn’t disappointed on the results.

Renault Scala CVT inters

On inside, interiors are cool and airy flaring the sophisticated factors, with ample of legroom on back and, a decent upholstery on front. Not much of the changes appeared from that of manual guise but those bits which flicked to be the ‘new’ are fine with the overall statement. Practically the boot space is sufficient enough to store most of the luggage, not tempting to refuse for any of the trips, and instantly the cosmetic exterior appeal is also similar to its conventional sibling.

New Renault Scala CVT

Conclusion:  Scala CVT had proven the complete test worth a drive but the thing that had fussed us was ‘engine noise’ and ‘dragging-type characteristic on high revs’. Speaking technically, the reason behind this may be the steel belt drive which is good for the durability, but it is also a turn off for compromise on the minute driving tricks.

Renault Scala CVT Back View

Fuel efficiency, as per the ARAI test it is termed at 17.97 kmpl, and to be true the CVT mechanism assimilates with engine when the accelerator knob is held down, but when we release the foot from the throttle board then it gets disconnected very instantly, leaving with less strain on the drivetrain and hence more return on fuel economy per litre, even better than the conventional gearbox makes.

Rating: 6.5/10.

Honda Urban SUV Concept in India :Preview

Honda Jazz is the most appreciated hatchback in India. With this vehicle, the Japanese carmaker filled the long vying gap of its product line. The hatchback market in India is mostly dominated by its very own Maruti Suzuki Swift. In spite of being highly priced, Jazz forayed into the Indian Territory successfully. Honda’s hatchback is also a world renowned moniker which had received overwhelming response from the entire domain wherever it was launched. It is also known as ‘Fit’ in US and some other parts of the world. Taking this one to some notches higher will not justify it to the collection of ‘bad ideas’. Though, this is what the Carmaker had applied in Honda Urban SUV Concept.

Compact SUV is the most sought after segment throughout the world. Not only in US but in India also it is witnessed that many of the four wheelers which plies on road are CUVs. Previously, this type of craze was felt for hatchbacks. It will not be wrong to say that they are now fully grown, and also capable of bullying every other model without an exception to sedans.

Almost everybody in auto industry had revealed their CUVs, it was only Honda who was left behind. By removing the cover from Honda Urban SUV concept in North America International Auto Show (NAIAS), it made an announcement that it is not going to spare anyone.

2013 Honda Urban SUV Concept

This new Honda is based on the framework of next generation Jazz. On exteriors, it is sharper and bolder that any other metal in this segment. The all new front grilles are assimilating with futuristic LED headlamps. It also bears the same traditional Honda logo on the boldly chromed strip which brightly connects both of the headlights. Edge cutting lines flow all over the eye soothing candy. Rear door handle is placed near to the C pillar, which was earlier seen as a debut on the Chevrolet Beat in India. Front handle is placed more smartly under the slit of bumper line which flows till the mid of car. Rear is much beautifully designed. Mostly, it is kept simple but a lot is added if viewed from the glasses of a car expert. Rear spoiler adds a much reclining factor to the roof which resembles it to a coupe. Other bits like body colored mirrors with engraved signal lights add some more tweaks to its sophistication persona.

Moving onto the interiors, it is done in such that it envies BMW and other German beauties. Use of chrome can be figured out extensively, but in a descent output. Minute detailing like steering mounted controls are also highlighted with chrome outlines. Two tone leather i.e. dark brown and off white, is used for all the others components. Steering wheel is seen draped in a leash brown leather cover with contrasting white stitches joining both the ends. Doors and dashboard also follow the same. Adding some tech smartness to it, a LCD is placed at the centre which really completes the look alike of a cockpit. The most dominating feature of this smart cabin is foldable second row. One can make lot of space for cargo while heading to a long journey. Two-seater luxury can also be experienced when the rear passenger seat is knocked down. Carmaker also said that they will deploy (and also debuts) ‘telematics’ system on this Jazz based crossover.

2013 Honda Urban SUV Concept in India

Engine specifications are not yet unveiled but we got the confirmation from Honda that Earth Dreams Engine will be bolted in its engine bay. There are no further revelations on this part.  We expect this crossover to bolt down the option of 1.6 liter i-DTEC oil burner which will be seen under the hoods of Civic and Amaze as soon as it will hit the Indian shores. It is presently processed in Swindon plant of UK which sweeps out a total lot of 500 in a day. Japanese diesel dwells the carbon print of 94g/km along with 120 PS and a maximum torque of 300 Nm at 2000 RPM. It also employs aluminum metal for its cylinder head and engine block with a (cylinder) wall membrane of 8mm, which in return grips it in the band of lightest oil guise of the class. Thriving for the quality quotient on throttling and driving experience (in which Honda is very famous amongst petrol variants), rotating parts are optimized to nib off the friction and brace up responsiveness.

There are some more exasperating bits which we had saved for the last. Wheels look like the one that will chop off everything which is going to prop in its way. Whenever we tried to look other proportions, our attention got jammed in the macs (mac wheels) only. Urban’s length of 169.3 inches (which is nine inches shorter than CR-V and eight inches longer than Jazz) shelves it as the younger sibling of CR-V.

2013 Honda Urban SUV Concept back view

As it is some Oz lesser than its elder rub-off (CR-V), it may be priced at $22,700 in US. In India we expect this one to cost somewhere near to the upcoming Compact Sport Utilities. Numbers can be termed between 14-16 lakh INR (in CKD form) and more than 2 million INR (in CBU form). There is no hope for CBU here, because Honda boffins are working hard on price reductions. We also got to know that CR-Vs will also follow a CKD route instead of CBU for India.

Japanese also confirmed that the production spec will be approximately similar to the concept model. In other cases it tends to happen that productions go off the conceptualized tracks.

Honda Urban Concept will arrive at the US showrooms in early 2014, so its landing in India is still a long way to go.

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton in India: Review

Getting to share the limelight with a stalwart automobile major such as Mahindra is surely a blessing for those automakers which are the new kids in the block. Mahindra has been setting a benchmark in India ever since the foundation of the company was buried into the ground decades back. Since then, Mahindra & Mahindra Pvt Ltd has been ruling the SUV County in the country undisputedly. From Bolero to Scorpio to Xylo to XUV 500, Mahindra has earned its repute of being one of the most thriving and lethal contenders in the Indian circuit. Mahindra tried to swerve its path and ventured into sedan section with Verito which is nowadays catching lots of eyeballs. But even then the automobile heavyweight would always be revered as one of the most cut-throat automobile companies here in India. Verito is also a newbie on Indian circuit but now it seems that their latest spectacle will take away the limelight of the solitary sedan. On 17th October 2012, Mahindra pushed open the doors of its garage and unleashed a new bull which goes by the name Ssangyong Rexton. Mahindra and Korean automobile major Ssangyong signed an alliance and this is their first SUV. Prior to the launch, there was already hype circulating across SUV owners owing to the fact that Mahindra was about to roll out an SUV. But now let us look into what this novice in the arena has got so that we can show him thumbs up.

Exteriors: –

Three cheers to the design team of both the companies who have done us all a service by giving Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton a very formidable and conspicuous outlook. The design team kept had put together an exoskeleton which would support aerodynamics and let the car tread faster than usual SUVs. The radiator grille which is an integral part of the front fascia has taken a new design and adding to that, the finishing of the grille has been purely done using chrome. There are three vertical slats embedded on the grills which in turn are cornered by a big cluster headlight. This has been equipped with projector lamps which are of the shape of the eagle’s eye. These lamps are of high intensity and assist the driver in maintaining a proper view of the roads ahead. The front bumper of Rexton has been stylized and has been merged with a set of fog lamps. There are large air gaps on the front bumper. The primary function of these air gaps is to let the outside air into the engine as diesel engines usually heat up a lot. This is the reason why the intake of air into the engine would keep it chilled thus allow it to function smoothly. Intermittent wipers have been fitted to the windshield of Rexton which are equipped with automatic rain sensors. This makes them start functioning on their own whenever there is rain.

Moving over to the side profile, Rexton’s rear-view mirrors bear the same colour as that of the body of the car. Side-turn LED-based blinkers have been added to give a stylish finishing to the rear-view mirror. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has used lots of chrome for its exteriors which makes the car look more elegant. With ample chrome finishing, Rexton looks soo much polished. The door handles bear the same colour as that of the colour of the body and these have been fitted with pull-type levers. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has been generously fitted with light 16-inch alloy radial wheels which are robust and help in generating enough friction which can make the car hold the road efficiently without the fear of skidding.

Moving over to the rear fascia, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of a large rear windscreen which has been well equipped with a defogger and at the same time has wash-and-wipe function activated in it. The lamp cluster of the rear fascia is quite radiant as well as large and this has been fitted on the rear tail gate which in turn is also quite big. ‘L’ shaped parking lights have been fitted along with which, Rexton emblem is prominently visible. A new feature is the rear spoiler which has been given to make the SUV look sporty. Even the exhaust tips are made using chrome which gives it a sporty finishing.

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

Interiors: –

We have talked loudly and enthusiastically regarding the exteriors and maybe the same treatment ought to be given to the interiors as Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has a lot to offer once we’re seated comfortably inside the cabin. The interiors have been done up primarily using two colour shades one of which is beige and the other one is knight black. These colour combinations make the insides of Rexton look more urbane and chic. Soft comfortable seats have been provided and the leather upholstery has a very well-dressed finishing. The steering wheel has four spokes and is covered with premium leather and the same leather covers the gear shift as well as hand brake. Better-quality lumbar support has been given to all the seats in order to make the passenger feel more comfortable. The front seats can well be adjusted as per our own convenience and adding to that, the driver’s seat has the provision of being electronically adjusted in not just one or two but eight altered ways. On top of that, it also boasts of having a memory function which stores all the seating positions which have been taken by the driver in the past and as per that, the driver can ask for a particular position from the memory function. An arm rest has been provided in-between the driver’s seat and the co-passenger’s seat which assists in storage space and at the same time gives the driver comfort while on a long drive.

The rear seats are foldable in a 60:40 way in order to make more space for extra luggage. There is enough space inside the cabin and a large family can be accommodated easily. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of an overriding air-conditioning which has separate blowers for different rows of seating. The central console on the dashboard has a wide range of interesting functions to boast about. In addition to that, there are three 12V power outlets which have been generously provided. In terms of storage, Rexton does not leave any stones unturned as almost every part of the car has a separate place meant specifically for storage purposes. A mobile holder has been fitted to the dashboard.

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

Engine & Ergonomics: –

Not only exteriors and interiors are enough to determine the credibility of a car as what lies beneath the hood is much more important that the former. Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton boasts of a 2696cc 2.7L diesel engine which is capable of delivering a peak power of 165 bhp at 4000 rpm with a maximum torque rate of 34.6 kgm at an rpm rate of 1800 to 3250. It is utterly justified that Rexton might not be having one of the best engines in the market but even then, performance should never be underestimated. Both companies tried their level best to minimize the level of noise, vibration and harshness in order to give a smoother ride to the driver and the passengers.

Along with the engine, there are lot more features which are part of ergonomics and after engine comes the braking system. The braking system of Rexton is immensely reactive and powerful which would definitely give the driver enough space to drive comfortably without and hindrance. Both front wheels as well as rear wheels will be having ventilated disc brakes. Along with that, we have Anti lock braking system as well as electronic brake force distribution system which affects uniformly on all the wheels of the car. These two features are the key highlights of the braking system owing to the fact that they help in maintaining a hold over the wheels of the car and prevent them from locking up under any circumstances. Thus if wheel-locking is admonished then there would a lesser risk of the car skidding off its course.

To improve the handling, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton has been munificently equipped with a very strong suspension system which helps it to tread rough terrains without giving much discomfort to the people seated inside the cabin. Though, just to be honest, Premier Rio and Mahindra Bolero have a better suspension system than Rexton but the plus point is that Rexton’s suspension system is pretty calm and noiseless.

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is available in primarily two variants one of which works on manual transmission whereas the other one works on automatic transmission. The transmission system has been developed in such a manner that the driver does not face any hindrance in operating the gear knob.

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

Safety Features: –

Mahindra and Ssangyong have left no stones unturned regarding safety of passengers which is the reason why they have provided power-assisted steering wheel in order to give the driver enough scope to handle the car easily without letting it swerve off its path. This feature helps the driver to make his way through heavy traffic conditions without much hassle. Additional safety features include traction control, airbags both for the driver as well as the co-passengers, collision avoidance system, electronic stability program and engine immobilizer. All these features have been provided to neutralize any risk to the passengers and prevent the car from entering a collision course. A few additional safety features might as well be thrown into the car which includes hill descent control as well as large halogen headlamps for increased visibility at night. Brake assist might also be thrown as a bonus safety feature.

Mileage: –

Owing to the fact that the first thing Indian customers want to know about a car is its mileage, Ssangyong and Mahindra decided to make Rexton a fuel-efficient car. Rexton gives out a mileage of 9.1 to 9.8 km/L. Though it is not much but then for a starter, this can fare well.

Price: –

Presently Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is available only in Hyderabad and Kolkata. The RX5 model has manual transmission and comes under a price tag of Rs. 17, 75,000 whereas the RX7 which has automatic transmission carries a price tag of Rs. 19, 75,000.Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton

VERDICT: –

On the whole, Mahindra Ssangyong Rexton is not on the same grounds as its contender SUVs in the market and might fare a bit less than them. To some extent Rexton can be called as overrated as the price is exorbitant and not justifiable when it comes to ergonomics. Looks are the plus point as the car has been given a very impressive design both from the exterior point of view as well as interior. Rexton will take a few more upgrades to reach the same class as the other SUVs whom it locks horns with.

Honda Brio Automatic in India: Review

A lot of automobile heavyweights marked South-east Asia as their new playground as this is the place where the development in the automobile industry is happening at the hastiest rate. India specifically is now being termed as one of the most blossoming automobile markets all across the world and Honda is considered as one of the prime players in the arena. Over the last decade, Honda has come a long way into the roots of India and has produced massive sales rate. The latest offering has by Honda is something that has not yet been seen in the country. A few months back or probably a year, Honda brought its flagship hatchback Brio to India and the response was truly overwhelming. Thus, naturally upon setting a benchmark in the industry, the boundaries of Honda expanded and now they made up their minds to introduce India’s first Automatic Hatchback. Thus we heartily welcome Honda Brio Automatic to the arena with loud and boisterous cheers. Being a hobbyhorse of Honda, Brio Automatic naturally came with high stakes but owing to the appreciation of Honda fanatics in India, the car made a grand opening into the market. But no matter whether it is Honda or Audi or Rolls Royce, no car misses the hind eyes of a loophole-obsessed critic who somehow castigates every vehicle that treads its way into the country. So now hereby, we will throw Honda Brio Automatic into a rough concourse and analyze every part of it to determine whether it deserves thumbs-up or a catcall.

Exteriors: –

When Honda Brio was launched into the market, there were praises all around regarding its exterior design as it was compact and at the same time easy to handle. From technical point of view, Honda Brio Automatic is a B segment 4-door hatchback which has been given an altogether chic outlook. The ride height of the front part of the car is low and sleek which gives it a stylish appeal on the contrary of which the rear part is a bit elevated. The centre part of the front fascia known as the nose of Brio sports the iconic symbol logo of Honda on it. Let us move on to the headlights of the new Brio Automatic. Whosoever designed the headlights surely needs a pat on his back as the design goes perfect with the appeal of the car that the customer expects. A closer look at the headlights gives us an impression of the eyes of a cat. The upper grille as well as the lower grille come together and accommodate the logo of the car. Indicators as usual have been placed adjacent to the headlights and the positioning of headlights has been done in a sleek manner facing downwards thus making the car look more modish.

The rear view mirrors on the outside are of the same colour as that of the body of the car but unfortunately these do not have LED indicators. One characteristic feature embedded in Brio is that its rear part is wider than the front part which appeals to the look of the car. The rear lights are based at the extreme ends with a glossy glass finishing. If we have to comment on the side-profile of the car, then we would stumble upon the fact that the designing of the windows from the front part till the rear part is interesting. Some would say that this has been taken from the Fluidic concept of Hyundai but even then Honda claims that it has nothing to do with that design. A number plate for the real part has been taken and fitted to the rear view door. On the whole, the exterior design has been done in order to perfectly justify how a hatchback should look like. The primary idea behind the design of Brio Automatic came from the “Double Triangle” concept. The primary advantage of the car being wide is that it helps the car to be handled better and decreases any chances of skidding. Also, Honda Brio Automatic comes with alloy wheels which make the car look sporty. Coming to the shades of the car, Honda Brio Automatic is available in six shades namely Emerald Blue, Alabaster Silver, Rally Red, Titanium Grey Pearl, Crystal Black Pearl and Taffeta White.

Honda Brio Automatic

Interiors: –

No matter how well the exteriors of a car are, it always depends on the interiors of the car which the owner relies upon. Honda wanted to make Brio Automatic one of the premier automobile both in terms of its exterior features as well as interior. The prominence of the interiors is something that Honda kept as its top priority as the company is known to give lavish interior features in its cars. A close look inside the cabin enthrals us all as the features gives are top-notch than the class of the car. There are various needs of Indian customers which Honda Brio Automatic fulfils which is the reason why the response to the car has been so awe-inspiring. There is immense room for legs and head in the cabin and it is capable of accommodating even a tall person comfortably. There are many more features which are present on the dashboard of the interiors all of which are for different functionalities. The primary colour of fabric used to dole up the whole interiors is purely beige colored. The steering wheel that comes with the car is controlled electronically and at the same time is stylish as it has three shiny spokes on it. Adding to this, the steering wheel has audio controls as well which would give the driver the liberty to change music without losing concentration from the road. The music player has been neatly embedded on the dash board and gives somewhat retro feel. The look of the central dashboard is also impressive as it contains lots of features such as music system, air conditioner, etc. The placement of the AC vents have been strategically done as both of the large AC vents have now been put up on the two sides of the music system on the central console. The ORVMs of Brio Automatic are operated electronically with the help of a button thus making it more user-friendly.

There are soo many features which have been put into the interiors of Brio Automatic that it will surely strike a chord with anyone who enters the cabin and gets to drive the car. There are three 3D analog meters which have been placed on the dashboard which are now much more visible. Another feature worth mentioning is the eco lamp. The prime function of this lamp is to make sure whether the car is treading on a certain economy mode or not. Coming to the music system, an integrated music player has been fitted to the dashboard with Aux cable facility and AM/FM radio features. The look of the speakers is also alluring as both the fronts as well as the rear end of the speakers have a blue outlook which is illuminating. Preference has been given to storage space owing to the fact that Brio Automatic being a hatchback still had to accommodate people comfortably and boast of enough space in all its compartments. The rear seats can easily be folded in order to make more boot space.

Honda Brio Automatic

Engine and Specifications: –

All units of Honda Brio Automatic available in India run on 1.2L 4-Cylinder 16 valves i-VTEC SOHC petrol engine which is capable of delivering a peak power of 86.8 bhp at 6000 rpm. Adding to that, the maximum torque attainable is 109 Nm at 4500 rpm. Honda Brio Automatic uses PGM-Fi type fuel supply system. Now let’s come to the main reason behind the word “Automatic” attached to Brio. New entrant of Honda boasts of a 5 forward as well as 1 reverse transmission and also an automatic transmission of 5-speed configuration in place. Since it boasts of giving out a high torque that too at a low rpm rate, thus it is for sure that Brio Automatic would outshine many other hatchbacks in the market. Since we have i-VTEC feature into power-play, thus we can assume that the fundamental concept of the working of Brio Automatic involves doling out more power and at the same time consuming less fuel. Thus the power as well as the torque rate of Brio Automatic makes it outdo its rival hatchbacks. The powerful engine strongly assists Brio Automatic to pick-up a fairly good acceleration. Honda Brio Automatic takes 16 seconds from 0-100 km/h and boasts of a top speed of 185 km/h. One negative point attached to the car is that all its variants would be having a petrol engine which can hinder the sales rates in India owing to the fact that the prices of petrol have been skyrocketing since last two years.

Honda has been known for its strong ergonomics offerings due to which their cars are in high demand all across the world. Honda Civic is still considered as one of the best mid-concept sedans rolling in India and Honda is desperate to give a cold shoulder to its counterparts with Brio Automatic. As we know the extent of rivalry which all the hatchbacks in India have, thus Honda wanted to overpower them .This is the reason why Brio Automatic is considered to be one of the most ergonomically powerful hatchbacks treading on the Indian roads just because of its looks and of what lies beneath the hood of the car.

Honda Brio Automatic

Honda Brio Automatic Honda Brio Automatic

Safety: –

When it comes to safety, Honda is best relied upon as it has been setting a benchmark owing to the advanced safety features that it equips its cars with. Since the body of Brio Automatic is compact and at the same time has a broad wheelbase, thus handling the car is not much of a problem. There are two airbags provided for the driver and the co-passengers. The airbags have a gas valve which makes it stand out for a longer time than usually in order to totally absorb the tremor of the mishap. Other safety features include Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), brake assist function and EBD. The basic structure of Honda Brio has been designed using the G-CON fundamental of the company which basically used G-Force Control Technology. The benefit of this technology is that it provides specific crumple zones for the passengers just in case if the car meets with an accident. The provision of seat belts is also interesting this time as the material by which these are made and the way they function is thought-provoking. Honda has developed a unique way by which the passenger would not feel pressure on any part of his body even if a mishap puts pressure on the seat belts. At the Honda Crash Test facility, Brio Automatic had to sustain maximum damages and then only the car got its green signal.

Safety has always been one of the primary concerns of the company and this is why Honda designers specifically paid emphasis to the safety components which were to be fitted to Brio Automatic.

Honda Brio Automatic

Mileage: –

Honda Brio Automatic boasts of an engine which delivers more power and torque at less rpm rate which is the reason why the car is said to be highly fuel-efficient. Brio Automatic gives a total mileage of 19.4 kmpl in case of manual transmission and 16.5 kmpl in case of automatic transmission. The capacity of fuel tank is 35 litres.

Honda has been known in the market to produce one of the most fuel-efficient cars and this time also, the company has set an example for its rivals.

Price: –

The base price of Honda Brio Automatic has been fixed at Rs. 417,961 which goes up to Rs. 540,801 for the highest variant. The prices have been pretty justifiably fixed and owing to the features that Brio Automatic has to offer, its prices are relatively low which, to some extent is the reason behind the high claim of the car in the Indian market.

VERDICT: –

Altogether, Honda Brio Automatic definitely deserves applause owing to its sleek exteriors as well as inviting interiors. The car is ergonomically fuel-efficient and easy to handle owing to its design. Price range is also justifiable and all this makes the car even more alluring.

Honda Brio Automatic

Tata Safari Storme in India: Review

In a herd of bulls there is always a chief whom every other bull listens to. No one dare looks up to the chief. Similarly, Tata Safari Storme stands above the herd and leads the pack in the SUV arena here in the Indian automobile market said to be one of the most thriving automobile markets in the world. Tata is one of the pole position holders on the Indian SUV circuit owing to the fact that it brought one of the first SUVs to India. Tata Safari was a rage when it was launched on the roads and continues to cleave to its stance with Mahindra breathing down its neck. Safari came followed by Mahindra Scorpio both of which became instant hits in the market. Soon Mahindra threw covers off a few more upgraded facelifts of Scorpio following which Tata finally made up its mind to work on a new design which would bring it back into mainstream at a position from where there would be no turning back. Thus, Tata Safari Storme hit the market with a massive wave of sales when it was hoisted as the flagship SUV of the automobile heavyweight at Auto Expo 2012 held in Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. The launch was pretty boisterous owing to the fact that it was Tata who was under spotlight this time. Thus the new Safari Storme redefines the limits of optimum performance and gives the antecedent ruling model a new as well as meaner outlook. Let us conduct a thorough extensive research on this latest fiend on the block and unravel the reason behind its immense uproar amongst automobile enthusiasts especially those who have owned or own Safari right now. Our research starts with the exoskeleton of Safari Storme followed by interiors, ergonomics, safety and price. Finally on the basis of these, we’ll give out a loud call as to whether it is fit to set a benchmark or not.

Tata Safari Storme

Exteriors: –

Tata had to come up with a design which would still hold the same structure of Safari Storme as that of its previous model but at the same time give a brand new outlook in terms of its front fascia and rear fascia. On seeing the side profile of the SUV, we can say that it bears semblance with its predecessor model but then the front and rear porticos do change our mind. Since most of the youth in the present day and age go for vehicles having sharp and sleek features, thus Tata designers came up with a sleek design for its headlights as well as taillights. The frontage of the car is pretty orderly and tidy with agreeably L-shaped low beam projection headlights. When it comes to comparing the outlook of the SUV, Range Rover comes closest to the design. The proportion of the headlights has been kept quite flat in order to give a sporty appeal to the SUV. The bumper will have the same colour as that of the body of the car and thus time the fog lights have been kept at an elevation.

Five twin-spoke alloy wheels have been given to Safari Storme which makes the car look even sportier. The door handles also bear the same colour as that of the body of the car. The ORVMs attached to the car boast of indicator lights which can be electrically folded as per the convenience of the driver. Both of the side-view mirrors are controlled electronically and adding tinted glasses just feels right when it comes to setting a charm upon customers.

Now let us move on towards the rear part of the car. The taillights have been revamped and the new square-shaped design is deeply inspired by Land Rover. As per the new overhauled design, the spare tyre would be fitted beneath the chassis. This is advantageous to the tail gate as it does not have to bear much weight now. Fitting a spoiler to such a car would only add to its appeal and on top of that, we have roof rails which make the car look even meaner as it ventures into a high with overhauled cult outlook. There are two exhaust pipes that have been neatly fitted to the rear fascia the size of which is trapezoidal. The exhaust tips have been chrome-plated which gives them an extra shine. Adding chrome-plated exhaust tips to the car makes it more stout and belligerent. And while facing heavy rains, a rear defogger ensures that the there is no scope of fog settling on the glass. An additional rear wiper has also been fitted just in case fog is too dense. Tata Safari Storme is available in 7 shades namely Sardinia Red, Pearl Champagne, Pearl White, Arctic Silver, Arctic White, Urban Bronze and Astern Black. Thus, Tata designers have done us all a service by beautifully modifying and giving us a much more appealing facelift to the predecessor Safari.

Tata Safari Storme

Interiors: –

It is a privilege to enter the cabin of Safari Storme and experience epitome of luxury. The designing team deserves a big round of applause for that. The interiors of Safari Storme are spacious and can easily accommodate 7 people without any adjustments whatsoever. The meter dials fitted to the interiors of the car have a white backlight which gives more prominence to the meter reading and at the same time makes it look even more elegant. The dashboard has been covered with beige colour and same goes with the seats which boast of high-quality leather. The stock of plastics that the interiors hold is much better than what the previous Safari had to offer. There are two large AC vents which are tuned with a very powerful air condition that also acts as climate control at the same time. This time the analog clock has been made to look much clearer and can be viewed easily. For the benefit of the passengers as well as the driver, Tata Safari Storme comes equipped with a Multi-information Display which keeps them updated regarding the components of the car and how much fuel the car has. This time the cup holders attached to the car have been strategically positioned ahead of the gear knob so that in case if the driving wants to keep the glass or bottle, then he can do that as the holder is in close proximity.

A better requisite of Safari Storme lies in the cubby holes which have been made much deeper than what they were in the previous model. This allows more items to be stored. Loading a CD and playing it while the car is moving in the third gear is not a hassle as such. A new knob has been fitted behind the gear which enables the car to move from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive. The car is well equipped with features such as power steering and power windows which give the passengers a comfortable and easy ride. Headlight controls are there on the steering wheel. There has been a slight change in the design and positioning of the door pad as well. The third row of seat can be folded easily in order to accommodate more members or make up more room for storage. Not only the third row of seats but the middle row seats can also be folded in 60:40 patterns. The seats of driver can be adjusted in many ways as per their convenience. Thus, altogether the interiors fare as good as the exteriors.

Tata Safari Storme Tata Safari Storme

Engine & Ergonomics: –

Naturally we can be presumptive if asked to post a layman comment on the engine of this car as by judging its muscular and burly outlook; we can ascertain that it would naturally have lots of power beneath its hood. Tata Safari Storme is powered by a 2.2L DICOR DOHC diesel engine which has the capacity to dole out peak power of 138bhp at an rpm rate of 4000. All the power generated by the engine is uniformly distributed to all the wheels of the car. Safari Storme runs on five-speed manual gearbox. Adding to this, the maximum torque which it can deliver is 320 Nm at 1700 rpm. The engine has a displacement capacity of 2179cc and is capable of delivering an impressive performance with appreciable acceleration in terms of an SUV. With such an engine configuration, Tata Safari Storme can give a strong head-on the Mahindra XUV500 said to be its toughest rival. A benefit of Tata Safari Storme is that it is powered by a diesel engine rather than a petrol one. As we know well how prices of petrol are skyrocketing thus more and more people are picking diesel vehicles rather than petrol.

Safety and Handling: –

Firstly, Safari Storme is equipped with central locking system which would prevent it from being stolen or being subjected to forceful entry. There are 6 airbags for the passengers and adding to that Anti-Lock Brake System is operational which is piled with Electronic Stability Control which monitors the stability of the car and gives update to the driver in case of danger. Electronic Brake Distribution has basically been fitted in order to make sure that in case if the car meets with an accident then the wheel does not jam in any manner. These features also ensure that the traction control of the car is not lost no matter how adverse road conditions are. There are a few more safety features which have been installed in Safari Storme. Many a times we have parking problems in case if the car is big and the space for parking is too compact. Thus, in order to tackle this situation Tata engineers fitted Safari Storme with parking sensors which sound an alarm whenever the car is too close to a pavement. Fog lamps of high intensity have been fitted to the car in order to make sure that the even if the visibility is low; the driver would still be able to drive through with a proper vision.

Tata Safari Storme has been launched on the X2 platform as per which the driving experience in much more enhanced. The wheels of Tata Safari Storme get immense support from the ABS system which tune it up in order to attain more friction so that there can be a stronghold on the road. This is the reason why the traction control is high and there are very few chances of the car swerving away from its path. The ground clearance is 195mm which is enough to support wheel balancing. The rear wheels have disc brakes attached to them whereas the front wheels have ventilated brakes. There is a double wishbone to which the wheels of Safari Storme are connected and along with that, the front wheels and rear wheels are compiled with a torsion suspension which helps the car to tread through rough terrains without much hassles. Thus, a smooth and comfortable ride is what Tata Safari Storme guarantees without any second thoughts.

Tata Safari Storme

Mileage: –

There are primarily two variants of the car one of which has 2WD (Two-wheel drive) giving out a mileage of 14kmpl whereas the other one 4WD (Four-wheel drive) gives out a mileage of 13.2kmpl. SUVs usually are not able to give appreciable mileage but Tata Safari Storme surpasses our expectations with its engine tuned up in such a manner that there is ample scope of saving lots of fuel.

Price: –

The base price of Tata Safari Storme starts from Rs. 995,000 to Rs. 1,366,000. The prices are justifiable as per the features that Safari Storme boasts of. Thus the car has been in rage since it was launched. The price of range of Safari Storme falls somewhere on the same line as that of Mahindra XUV 500 and this is the reason why the rivalry between both these heavyweights is intense.

Verdict: –

The new Tata Safari Storme has come out to be one of the most promising SUVs of 2012 ever since it was launched at this year’s Auto Expo held in New Delhi. The car fares well in all perspectives be it Exteriors, Interiors, Engine, Safety and Mileage.

Tata Safari Storme

2012 New Tata Indica eV2 Review

Coming from the family of Tata is in itself a boon for Indica which made its presence felt when it was launched in 1998. The opening was as anticipated, grand, and since then Tata has been increasing the production of Indica all across India. Presently, Tata probably has one of the most dealership units based across the country. Tata Indica was rolled as a hatchback segment distinguished from others. Owing to its demand amongst Indian citizens, Tata brought out more and more advancements in the form of new upgrades. The Tata Indicae V2 version of Indica came out into the market last year and was taken well by enthusiasts owing to the fact that ‘e’ stood for economics. Thus, the primary agenda of Tata behind launching eV2 was to bring out a car which is fuel efficient and still boasts of a powerful engine beneath its hood.

It is being righteously said that the automobile industry of India is nowadays earmarked as one of the fastest growing empires across the world with most of the automobile heavyweights across the world. Revamped models and new faces are being introduced every now and then. Indica was something that was considered as a rage amongst Tata enthusiasts when it was launched on the roads. The taxi industry also brought Indica into mainstream and the popularity gradually increased. Now, a new era kicked off in which fuel prices skyrocketed to optimum limits without even looking over its shoulders. Thus, Tata played the role of a saviour and introduced Indica eV2 last year in order to tackle fuel prices head-on. This comes as a Diwali gift to people of India as the launch had been awaited since a long time. Tata Indica eV2 gives out a mileage of 25kmpl way ahead of its compatriots. Its prime competitors in the market include Maruti WagonR, Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat and Maruti Swift. Now, as usual, a new face on the street never treads without us pushing it behind a scanner. So hereby, we put Indica eV2 to test.

2012 New Tata Indica eV2

Exteriors: –

Lots of alterations can be seen in the new facelift version of Indica. Let us commence with the front part of the car. The front part including the bumper and the headlights are more bulging than they were in the previous version. The overall look given to new Indica is much sleeker and edgy which makes the car look sporty. There has been a change in the design of the grille as well. The new grille fitted to the car is chrome plated and much more refined than the grille of the previous Indica. The headlamps in the new version are much more stylish than before. The stop lamp this has been kept at an elevated level. There are a few more updates that need to be mentioned. The new Indica eV2 now comes with a rear spoiler which gives a sporty touch to the car altogether. Adding to this, there will be alloy wheels attached to the car. The earlier versions of Indica never came with alloy wheels option so this time Tata decided to go with a new outlook. The rear view mirror on the outer column of the car bears the same colour as that of the body. There is an additional metal strip that goes along the lining of the car. Even the grille boasts of having a chrome strip attached to it. Thus, altogether when it comes to the exteriors of the car, new Tata Indica Ev2 does sound promising.

Interiors: –

Moving over to the interiors of the car, Tata before launching this model had promised to its enthusiasts that the new Indica eV2 interiors would definitely strike a chord with the people. There have been lots of adding and dropping inside the cabin but the final conclusion surely deserves praise. This time, space has been considered by Tata designers and as a result, we have more spacious interiors with enough boot space to keep luggage as well. There have been lots of inclusions inside the cabin in order to make it look more luxurious. The height of the car has also been elevated as per which even a tall person can sit comfortably. When it comes to the seating arrangement, five people can easily be accommodated without any adjusting whatsoever. There is a lot more that Tata has put into Indica eV2 which we will discover only when we are behind the wheel of the car and sitting comfortably inside the cabin.

2012 New Tata Indica eV2

Engine and Ergonomics: –

Coming to what lays beneath the hood, Tata Indica eV2 boats of having 1.4 Litre common rails CR4 Diesel engine capable of delivering a maximum power of 70PS at an rpm rate of 4000 rotations per minute. The engine has been built as per Bharat Stage IV norms of emission which is the reason why it is considered as fuel efficient and at the same time less pollutant. The maximum torque which it can give is 140 Nm at 1800-3000rpm. Tata Indica eV2 comes in 5-speed manual transmission system. The suspension system of the car has been newly upgraded as per road standards which in turn will give the driver an easier drive over rough terrains. Tata Indica eV2 boasts of a smart engine management (SEM) chip which monitors how the engine is functioning and at the same time gives the engine an extra thrust. Handling was one of the primary motives of Tata while designing the components of the car. Thus, the new Indica promises better handling along with better braking systems for safety concerns.

Safety and Convenience: –

Not only does Tata Indica eV2 deliver a promising performance but at the same time ensures that there is no compromising in terms of safety. When it comes to comfort, new Indica does fare better than a few of its counterparts. One of the prime features which support this claim is the auto-drive assist system as per which the driver has the liberty to remove his foot from the throttle even when the car is elevating and adding to this, the engine performance does not degrade ever after removing the foot. The clutch-to-start option is another feature worth highlighting. This features makes sure that there is no chance of engine cranking and maintains the functioning potential of the same. Power-steering is there in all variants of the model along with strong air conditioning. There is a headrest that has been provided in both the front seats and these supports can be adjusted as per self convenience and that too in two ways. Now coming to the fuel lid opening, most of the cars generally have handle which we are supposed to pull in order to open the fuel lid. Tata instead of going with the preceding trends, decided to make the whole thing automatic. Now the fuel lid can be opened just at the push of a button and that is all that takes it to open. Even the tailgate opening works by the same means. There is a new feature inclusion in the Indica eV2. The antecedent versions never had power windows on all four doors but Indica eV2 facelift has power windows operational for all the four windows of the car.

There are a few key safety features which have been worked upon by Tata ever since the components of Indica eV2 were being put together by the able designers of the automobile major. Some of these features include ABS, three-point ELR seat belts, anti-submarine seats, collapsible steering, high-mounted stop lamps, child lock, etc. The topmost variant of the car boast of the central locking system which other variants lack unfortunately. The topmost version will also be having both front as well as rear fog lamps as an additional safety feature.

Price: –

Tata Indica eV2

The base price of new Tata Indica eV2 has been fixed at Rs 401,162 and the range went up to Rs. 487,619 for the topmost model.

Verdict: –

Last year Tata came up with the facelift version of Indica eV2 which was also one of the most fuel efficient cars by the company giving a mileage of 25 kmpl which is much more than what other cars of the segment offer.

Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 in India: Preview

They say the one who prevails amongst all its compatriots with head held high, succeeds in making a legacy and compelling its compatriots to follow its trajectory. Such is the case of Maruti Suzuki. Ever since it routed its destiny to India, it has left no stones unturned in setting a benchmark for itself amongst its rivals. Now, the whole automobile industry respectfully takes its hats off in honour of the legacy that the Japanese enterprise has dug deep inside Indian soil. It all goes back to good old Maruti Omni and Maruti 800 days when these two cars were launched on Indian roads with moderate expectations. But within the span of a year, the expectations uplifted to colossal limits as Maruti 800 had already set its name in every second household. When its counterparts were busy scratching their heads over the prospects of venturing into Indian subcontinent, Maruti had already time-honoured itself here.

Presently, Maruti sits comfortably on the throne with its cars being one of the most economical and revered cars on the circuit. When it comes to fuel efficiency ensured hand-in-hand with commendable performance, Maruti is the first name that comes to most minds. Lately, Maruti finally made up its mind to escort 800 out of the arena respectfully and thus productions and sales halted for the torchbearer. But the realization settled in and highly placed officials realized that the legacy had to be taken ahead. Thus, the company restructured the car and decided to bring out a new version of Alto which could be on the same platform as Maruti 800 in terms of affordability. The price of the new version will fall somewhere around Rs. 2 Lakh and the test drives on the car have already commenced. It is being said that Maruti wants to give a grand opening to the car which would be as imposing and ostentatious as that of the predecessor version. But no car overtakes the prying eyes of a critic and thus just like always, we put our newest Maruti venture behind the scanner as well.

Maruti Alto 800 in India

Exterior Features: –

Since this makeover comes from one of the most revered automobile groups in the world, thus naturally we can predetermine that the new the whole exoskeleton will have a new outlook as Maruti always makes sure that what it is offering to its followers is something that catches their eye and attains their appreciation regarding its performance. The new exteriors given to Maruti Alto 800 are endearing and affable as both the front of the car as well as the rear has been given a new finishing. Before putting together a new design, Maruti had this premonition that it had to design something that will attract customers in the same way and scale that it attracted Maruti 800 when it was launched in the market. Thus, from cosmetic point of view, there have been impressive and appealing changes to the outlook of the car. It’s not that the previous design has totally been taken away from the new one as there are a few appealing features which were there in the antecedent model. Amongst those features which have been left untouched, we have the wheel base which has been maintained as it was in the previous model though it remains a fact that the new Maruti Alto 800 is said to be 100mm shorter than what the previous version was. When it comes to other dimensions such as the space and comfort level, then it has been maintained as it was. The whole composition of the car is quite uniform as per what an economical hatchback should have. To the delight of passengers, there would be more head room in the new version in order to comfortably accommodate those who have tall shoulders. The chassis as well the overall foundation of the car remain unscathed as Maruti wanted to preserve the outlook of the precedent.

Coming to the front part of the car, we will notice that the new radiator grille looks much more attractive than the previous one and this whole façade has much bigger headlights. The grille has a thick chrome strip passing by which makes it look stylish. On the grill the logo of the company has been neatly embossed. Just beneath the grille, we will come across a large air dam which in turn compliments the look of the whole front façade of the car. The new headlights are much brighter than the previous version and are petal shaped. The placement of headlights has been done a bit higher than Alto and the inner portion of the headlights are being covered with black film which in turn produces a much more intense beam of light. A new front bumper has been added to the car which contains two fog lamps comfortably placed with the headlights which give the driver a better view of the road in case if the visibility is low. The glass fitted as the windscreen is made up of toughened glass having intermittent and sporadic wipers attached to them. Adding to all this, there is a front chin spoiler as well this time which adds to the sporty factor of the car.

Maruti Alto 800 in India

Making way to the side profile of the car, we will notice that the door handles bear the same colour as that of the body of the car and the side mirrors also have the same colour. Coming to the tires, a normal economic hatchback usually has a normal tire but Maruti wanted to offer something much more appealing and thus here we are looking at the alloy wheels of Maruti Alto 800. Alloy wheels would be there in the higher models of the cars which will be priced a little more than the entry level model. But that does not downgrade the tires of the entry level model as it will be having steel rims covered with radial tires which are stout and corpulent.

Finally making our way to the rear part of the car, the first thing that we will notice is that the rear windows are much more compact but the tail lamp cluster appears to be quite incandescent which in turn makes the car look impressive from behind. Most of the rear part bears some semblance with Maruti A-Star as the tail lamps attached to the car are integrated in a compact manner. The whole roof line has been made keeping in mind the aerodynamics of the car.

Thus, the exteriors of Maruti Alto 800 surely deserve thumbs up from critics. The whole exterior design of new Maruti Alto 800 might have been changed but the size remains almost the same. Both the front as well as the rear of the car is laudable. But will the interiors garner the same response? Let’s open the doors and have a closer look at what the interiors have in store for us.

Maruti Alto 800 in India

Interior Features: –

The designers as well as the engineers have done us all a service by refining the interiors of Maruti Alto 800 beautifully and elegantly. The first look of the car from inside will strike a chord with anyone who gets in and experiences it. The whole design has been done very tastefully after lots of ups and downs. Thumbs were shown both upwards as well as downwards and finally a new composition was voted for which would surely attract more and more car enthusiasts. The best part of the interiors is the new V-Shaped dashboard which has been fitted to the central console with expertise. The door pads and everything inside have been given an altogether new shade by the designers. All this makes the interiors look more alluring. The inside is much smoother than the outgoing version of the car and there has been an upgrade in the type of plastics that have been used to decorate the interiors. There are a few chrome elements which have been dropped into the cabin as well and this in turn adds to the elegance of the car from inside. Maruti Alto 800 has a very comfortable seating arrangement and can accommodate five persons easily. The seats are also slimmer than the previous version due to which the internal leg space is more. Thus as a result, all these features make the car perfect for a long drive.

Comfort is something that Maruti designers kept as top priority while putting together the features meant for interior of the car. Head rests are there on the front seats and there is a separate compartment between the seats for storage purposes. In addition to this, a large glove box has also been provided so that relatively bigger things can be kept. The roof lining from the inner side have been moulded well in order to make the interior ambience perfect. The steering wheel has three spokes attached to it at the centre of which there is a stylish pad. The buttons meant for AC and other switches have been installed in a user-friendly manner.

Coming to the instrument cluster of the car, there is nothing new to its design but it serves all the purposes and helps the driver monitor information about the car. The central console of the car has AC vents which are larger than the previous Alto and has ample space for an integrated music system. There are lots of storage spaces which have been made available all across the car and a separate parcel case is also there for the things which we need close to us. The top part of the interiors have dual colour contrasts whereas the entry level will be having the same for a standard grey colour. As per the new design of the interiors, the buttons for the power windows have now been placed between the front seats instead of the door pads. This is something that has got a mixed response as many of us are used to the previous set-up as per which the buttons for power windows used to be on the door panels respectively. Thus, we have to get used to this new set-up. However, those of us who are having Tata Indica would not face much hindrance in getting used to this new feature as Indica already has all power window buttons between its front seats.

Thus, not only the exterior design passes our test but same goes with the interiors as well. All the features of the interiors are utterly commendable and the new seating arrangement deserves thumbs up.

Engine and Specifications: –

Maruti Alto 800 in India

Since we are throwing light on the production of the cars of one of the reigning automobile makers in the world, thus we can make a presumption that what lies beneath the hood of the car is surely praiseworthy. Maruti Suzuki has made a legacy because of its fuel-efficiency and ergonomics that it uses in its cars. Since the new Maruti Alto 800 has been made on the platform of the previous Alto, thus the performance assured would be the same for both to a great extent. But since they are coming out with a new upgrade of the model thus we can assume that there would be some discrepancy in the performance for the better. Thus, minor alterations have been made to the car in order to give a better performance than its prevailing sibling.

Coming to the engine specifications, Maruti Alto 800 has a 0.8 Litre 796 cc engine which is capable of churning out a peak power of 45.7 bhp at a maximum rate of 6000 rpm. The net torque that it can give is 69 Nm at a peak rate of 3500 rpm.

Not only the petrol version but the CNG version of Maruti Alto 800 will also be having the same engine beneath its hood and even then it does not hinder the car from giving optimum performance. However, the power given by the CNG version stands a little less than the petrol version at 40 bhp at a peak rate of 6200 rpm along with a peak torque of 56 Nm at a maximum rate of 3000 rpm.

Indian customers have always demanded something that is economical and at the same time delivers optimum performance on any form of road. Thus Maruti took this into consideration and put a sophisticated braking system inside Alto 800 which in turn makes the car perfect for Indian roads. There are different brakes that have been attached to the front part of the car and at the rear respectively. The front tires will be connected with strong disc brakes whereas the rear tires would be in sync with drum brakes. This has become one of the most standardized set-ups for most of the new-age cars. Thus, Maruti decided to go with the trend. A repercussion is that the new Maruti Alto 800 would not be boasting of any complex features such as anti-lock braking system or any distribution system for electronic brakes. But that does not matter much as the present system of brakes does a fair job and serves the purpose.

Handling of the car had always been one of the top priorities of Maruti which is the reason why most of the focus was put on the way the car treads. The whole system of the car has been assembled in such a manner that the driver finds it easy to keep the car under his control. An interesting feature worth mentioning here is the new suspension that Maruti has drilled into Alto 800. Gas-filled McPherson Strut has been inserted as an active component of the suspension and along with that, we have Torsion Roll control device as well that is meant for the front axle of the car. On the contrary, the rear axle has Coil springs which help them in functioning smoothly. Additional suspension features include isolated trailing arm and a three-link stiff axle tied to gas-filled shock absorbers. Thus, all these features in the heart of Maruti Alto 800 make it once of the most user-friendly cars in terms of performance and handling.

Safety Features: –

Since we have already praised Maruti Alto 800 owing to its exteriors, interiors as well as ergonomics, now comes the part where we ascertain as to whether the car has adequate safety equipment for safeguarding the passengers or not. This is one of the most important phases of our analysis and we better be satisfied with what the car has to offer to us as its safety features.

As we have already mentioned how commendable the suspension system of Maruti Alto 800 is, we can say that the car would not easily steer off its course and will give the driver ample opportunity to gain control over the whole vehicle. Power steering ensures that the car is able to make smooth manoeuvres with any risk of skidding or misbalance of weight. All this ensures that there is no threat to the safety of the driver as well as the passengers sitting inside the car.

Safety features are something that Maruti doesn’t compromise with. The credibility of the braking system has also been ascertained to us before and thus the driver would not have to worry regarding the response of the brakes even though there are lots of braking features such as brake assist, electronic brake distribution, anti lock-braking system, etc. But even then, the brake system that has been provided is sufficient enough. A few more safety features have been compromised though as per what we perceive. One of them is airbags. Maybe since the price of the car is not much, thus it is justifiable that the car would miss out on a few features. But on the contrary, the outer exoskeleton of the car has been made strong and seat belts have been provided so that even if the car comes into a collision course with any other vehicle, it does not suffer much damage. The wheels also deserve a special mention as radial tires have been installed which have high durability and traction control.

Thus, in terms of safety, Maruti Alto 800 might have missed out on a few features but then we shouldn’t complain as the company is already giving enough at a meagre price. Thus, when it comes to safety, we can still give thumbs up even if a hesitated one.

Price: –

Maruti had to preserve the legacy of 800 and thus even with many more upgraded features on board, the base price has been kept at Rs. 2 Lakh. This is the reason why more and more people would be going for Alto 800 as of what has been expected by the company. Thus Maruti is keeping its fingers crossed for the opening of the vehicle on the Indian roads.

Verdict: –

Maruti Alto 800 would surely be a head turner whenever it makes its way to the Indian roads owing to the fact that the looks have been changed for better and the car has been upgraded ergonomically as well. Thus, as per our verdict, thus will be a rage amongst the middle-class people.