Fiat Linea Facelift Review

OVERVIEW ;

Apart from the Fiat competizione, the Abarth Punto and the Urban Cross there was one more car which caught lots of attention at Fiat pavilion of the 2016 Auto expo and this was the new Linea 125s. Now the Linea 125s is based on the same Linea sedan which was actually launched way back in the year 2009 in India and honestly this car has started aging now. Perhaps Fiat wants to give this car a new lease of life until they launch a replacement for the Linea sedan.

Coming to the 125s, this variant of the Linea actually does not get a lot of cosmetic upgrades but what it gets instead is this interesting 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol unit under the hood of the sedan. Now you must be wondering what is so special about this new 1.4 litre T-Jet petrol motor, so for your information this is actually the same engine which powers the newly launched more aggressive and sportier Punto Abarth and the 595 Competizione.   Check Price of Linea

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

The Fiat Linea 125S is based on the current generation Linea. t has got some cosmetic changes too. The Fiat Linea 125S looks premium no doubt and is also a desirable car. It was always a beautiful looking car and still is. The Linea can still give a run for their money to many a competition, even after so many years.

The Fiat Linea 125S has a black coloured front grille with the outside ring plated in chrome. The headlamps remain the same as on other Lineas. The front bumper is also the same but it gets a black centre part. The fog lamp bezels are also black in colour and this gives it an urban car appeal. The rear portion is the same, the only difference being new 125S badge on the boot lid. There is also a chrome plated exhaust tip present, which adds to the sporty appeal in the car. Fiat hasn’t made any changes on the Linea as it was showcased at the Auto Expo.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

The cabin of the Fiat Linea 125 S though is a tad different than what you are used to seeing so far. While the general layout is the same, the age-old music system has been replaced with a fantastic 5-inch touchscreen system that supports navigation as well. Our top-end trim had leather seats, climate control, auto headlamps and wipers, a rear sun blind, all four auto down power windows with auto up for the driver, a rear AC vent and cruise control. The auto wipers though were a tad glitchy. It worked for the first day I had the car with me. For the next two days, even if it was pouring, the wipers didn’t work unless manually activated. Once you do this and revert to the auto setting, they will work just fine. Strange.

But what is worthy of mentioning is the music system. Ignore the ‘small screen’ for this segment and you will notice a crisp unit and good speakers. In many cars, the Bluetooth calling experience requires you to turn up the volume. The Fiat, however, was loud and crisp and sometime even required me to turn down the volume when not surrounded by honking traffic. It really is a good effort from Fiat’s end.

The front seats are supportive and kept me comfortable during the entire course of the test. The rear seat with a centre armrest in place is a tad cramped, especially for someone taller like me on the headroom front. Anis, who is 5’6″, could sit comfortably though (as evident from the photos). The 500-litre boot space is big enough. Speaking of which, Fiat could have added more useable storage spaces. In this digital age, there wasn’t any place to keep my smartphone and wallet. The glovebox is also small and can barely hold a few papers. The slim door pockets too can’t hold one-litre water bottles. Build quality is decent, but the glovebox closing action feels flimsy.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

Fiat offers Linea with two engine options a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol power mill and a 1.3-litre multijet diesel power mill. Both engines have been placed transversely under the hood and use a 5-speed manual transmission to deliver power to front wheels. The petrol versions of the car are powered by a 1.4-litre FIRE petrol engine that displaces 1368cc to deliver power worth 91PS against a peak torque of 115Nm. A lag may be felt at higher speed as the engine can manage to pull the 1240kgs kerb weight of the car at lower speeds only. But that doesn’t mean it is slow, the car speedily accelerates from 0-100kmph speed in just 16 seconds and attains a top speed of 165kmph. The diesel version of the car, on the contrary, is powered by a 1.3-litre 16 valve engine whose power and performance is enhanced by Multijet and Dual OverHead Camshafts (DOHC). The DOHC and Multijet not only enhances the efficiency of this engine but also help in improving its performance. The engine smoothly manages to delivers power worth 86PS along a maximum torque of 203Nm. The Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) supports the engine’s performance and helps it in gliding from rest to 100kmph speed within 15 seconds. The diesel version of Fiat Linea carries ability to attain a maximum speed of 170kmph.

Out of the two fuel options offered with this sedan it is its diesel version that makes it especially proud in terms of mileage. Fiat Linea delivers an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 20kmpl with its diesel engine. The fuel tank of the car bears a capacity to store 45-litres of fuel in one go which means with the diesel version you can easily travel a distance of 900kms in one go. The petrol version on the other hand delivers mileage of 15kmpl as certified by ARAI. The range of distance that can be covered via this version with a full tank is 675kms, not bad considering its cost and

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

This is a firmly set-up car but has a pliant and supple feel over potholes. Ride comfort or ground clearance are both non issues, and the handling is quite engaging. The Apollo Alnac tyres, which earned quite a bit of flak in the more powerful Abarths, feel just about up to the job here. They have good traction, even in the wet, and only tend to spin up easily in first gear.The hydraulically assisted steering wheel is a bit on the heavier side in the city, and the large turning radius can be tedious in the city. Fiat recommends a cold tyre pressure of 36psi for the front and 33psi for the rear. Any lower and the heavier engine in the front will make you work extra hard to steer the car. I think it will really be a close call between the Vento TSI and the Linea when it comes to driving pleasure in this segment as both cars take different routes towards entertaining the driver.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Linea 125s gets ABS and EBD as standard while you can also expect dual front airbags as well for the safety of the passengers inside. This car has value-for-money package featuring all the essentials that are required to be a perfect family car. It features an automatic climate control unit with rear knee level AC vents..Cruise control, ambient lighting on dashboard and other functional features make this sedan a tough competitor.

VERDICT ;

The Linea 125s definitely does not get lot of cosmetic upgrades but the subtle changes have actually made the car look more sophisticated. What will appeal to the customers though is the new powerful 1.4 Litre T-Jet petrol engine and all that power and torque that it actually generates from the engine. Hopefully Fiat has also worked on the gearbox as well just like we mentioned little earlier in this article to actually do some justice to the engine and all that power and torque that it generates.

 

 

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Mercedes Benz AMG G63 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The German luxury car maker Mercedes-Benz have given the Indian customers another flamboyant and lavish off roader, which was recently launched. This Mercedes Benz G Class G63 AMG is one of the most expensive and luxuriant SUVs from the stables of Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes-Benz G Class model was first launched in the year 1970 as a vehicle that was to be used in the armed forces. The first civilian version of this stylish and charming Mercedes-Benz G Class model was introduced into the world market in the year 1979 and since then, it has been all the rage for SUV enthusiasts. This SUV has been through a number of changes and other makeovers in the period of the last two decades. The Mercedes-Benz G Class has been dubbed as the fastest SUV in the Indian market as its powerful engine enables it to break the speed barrier of 100 kmph in just about 5.5 seconds, which is rather thrilling. Now with this latest entrant that has been launched in the Indian car market, the company is expecting see a lot more sales of this SUV. The company has effected some changes to the exteriors as well as the power train along with the interiors as well. All these put together are being expected to increase the sales of this highly priced SUV among the Indian aficionados. The company has equipped this latest Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG with a performance packed 5.5-litre bi-turbo petrol engine, which has 8 cylinders along with a whopping 32 valves in it . This power packed engine is skilfully mated with a 7-speed, G-tronic automatic transmission, which also has an improved AMG speed shift plus. The company has also equipped this Mercedes-Benz G 63 AMG with best in class comfort features; some of which include a powerful air conditioner unit with automatic climate control and air quality control along with rear AC vents, a multi functional power steering wheel that can be adjustable, front and rear power windows and many more such features. Apart from these, the company has also packed this SUV with some very crucial and significant safety features, which propels this SUV into the league of premium SUV’s.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The upcoming G-Class will have an all-new body with plenty of updates and new details while still retaining that classic SUV stance. The new model is undoubtedly wider than the outgoing G-Class. Just take a look at the front grille and headlight area. The grille appears to be roughly the same width as before, but the area surrounding the headlights and the space between the lights and the grille is much wider. The angle of the hood in relation to the fenders seems to be the same, which should help it keep its image intact. This minor detail is a dead give-away as to the new G-Wagen’s added width.

As for the AMG aspects of the G-Wagen, the front bumper is unmistakably taller than the bumper seen on the last G-Wagen test mule. The air intakes are larger, helping feed the high-strung V-8 with extra cooling and air flow. Of course, AMG-spec wheels are present and likely wrapped with supper performance tires sized in a road-hugging wide size. They will help the G-Wagen with cornering, especially when combined with the extra width including in new architecture.The one thing we do see missing is the dual exhaust tips protruding just ahead of the rear tires. Perhaps Mercedes is dumping the idea. Perhaps this test mule simply isn’t wearing them. Only time will tell.

INTEROR AND COMFORT ;

Mercedes-Benz has carried forward the similar tough and strong kind-of interiors on the G63 AMG as well. The last time when I had driven the G55, it was very much crude but the G63 gets several luxury frills. Several AMG touches have been added and even some luxury has been sprinkled on on the interiors. The centre console has some gizmo with a seven-inch screen and COMAND system as well. The speakers on the G63 are Harman Kardon and the instrument cluster is somewhat retro.

The rich leather seats are super supportive. You can adjust the front seats to the minute detail and this is where the difference happens. There is support for lumbar and even sides. Despite the high ground clearance and quick direction changes, the seat grips you tightly, just like a bucket seat. There is AMG badging on the seat as well. Slide into the second row and you shall be disappointed as this row is a bit tight on space and the seat issn’t as comfortable as the front one. There are 2 LCDs at the back, but these are optional features. The boot too of the G63 is massive, it is good enough to carry a couple of chests in it. Though the parcel tray or rather a cover for the luggage is a bit flimsy for an AMG.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Mercedes G63 AMG is powered by a 5.5-litre V8 Bi-Turbo petrol engine that whips out 544 horses at 5500 RPM and 760 Nm of torque between 2000 – 5000 RPM. The engine is mated to a 7-speed AMG SPEEDSHIFT PLUS transmission. Floor the gas and the G63 pushes you back in the seat and flies ahead. The vehicle accelerates from standstill to 100 km/hr in just 5.4 seconds. The engine has a lot of grunt for sure and it feels very effortless to drive thanks to the way it has been tuned for power delivery. For driving at sedate speeds in the city, you just need to provide mild throttle inputs and the SUV maintains good speed. But who buys an AMG for driving in the city?

We quickly hit the highway and floored the throttle only to be overwhelmed by the exhaust growl. The exhaust note is so addictive that we actually turned off the music and lowered down the windows a wee bit to hear it properly. The Bi-Turbo engine offers superior performance across the RPM range and the vehicle never runs out of power. The vehicle also gets an ECO mode, but hey, did you buy an AMG to use the ECO mode? Along with that, the gearbox offers the choice of three modes – controlled efficiency, sport and manual. We tried the controlled efficiency mode first. In this, the SUV provides lovely performance but upshifts a bit early on the RPM ladder. In the sport mode, the exhaust note becomes more pronounced and the G63 redlines away to glory. The manual mode basically enables the use of paddle shifters. The gearbox seemed to be a tad bit jerky in its operations though and not as smooth as we expected. The vehicle cruises comfortably at 100 km/hr at under 1800 RPM, it redlines at 6300 RPM and needs at least third gear to hit the ton. The Mercedes G63 AMG is pretty good off the road too. It gets three electrically engage-able 100% differential locks that make sure that the SUV has a go-anywhere capability. The differential locks ensure that each wheel on an axle as well as wheels on both axles have the same number of rotations each minute. The drive torque is directed to only those wheels that have traction beneath them. Talking about fuel efficiency, you really cannot expect much from a vehicle that weighs so much and also offers so much performance. We managed to extract 5-6 km/l with very careful and sedate driving and approximately 3-3.5 km/l with some aggressive driving. The SUV has a massive fuel tank though (96-litres) so it can go on for around 400 kms on a single tank.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Just because the G 63 has the engine specs of a supercar do not expect this to handle the same way. The car is high so there would be body roll , and also the stiff suspension is meant more to take on the rough terrain and still manage to be able to do high speeds. This is one of the few SUVs with three differential lock which lock completely. Whether it is slush or rocks or smooth tarmac or your neighbour’s car who pisses you off, the G 63 can take on all with ease. Forget other cars even trucks and buses get out of the way. The steering is stiff, but that provides better high speed stability. The acceleration is quite responsive and the G 63 shoots forward with ease.The new AMG high-performance brakes deliver top performance in terms of deceleration, adjustable feed and endurance. All-round ventilated, perforated brake discs with dimensions of 375 x 36 millimetres at the front and 330 x 20 millimetres at the rear provide optimum thermal capability and outstanding deceleration values. I was hoping for the 9G-Tronic system but may be we will get to see it in the upcoming new G 63 AMG.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The Mercedes-Benz G-Class G 63 AMG Crazy Colour Edition has disc brakes on all wheels, and the ABS with EBD, Brake Assist System, Acceleration skid control system and electronic stability control system deliver perfect stability and control over all road and surface conditions. The safety feature of airbags for the driver and front passenger provides surround protection against front and side impact collisions. The neck pro luxury head restraints provide additional support, preventing whiplash injury in an event of collision from the rear.

CONCLUSSION ;

Sure the G63 AMG doesn’t rate very highly according to our parameters, since it isn’t an all rounder. There are more than a few shortfalls starting from the weight, the aged design, average ergonomics and a very high sticker price. Any logical car buyer with deep enough pockets will and should not buy the G63 AMG over any other luxury offering around the same price. You have got to be of the eccentric kind to pick one up, especially in the crazy colours it comes with. Because if you have the potatoes in you to give this SUV a full workout after paying for it, you truly deserve the ability it rewards you with. The G63 is a statement of a conqueror that arrives after the thunder of its V8.

 

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Mercedes Benz GLC Class Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

This is one of the most important cars for Mercedes in India. Mercedes is entering a segment which has so far been exploited by the likes of Audi Q5 and BMW X3 for a while now. Internationally Mercedes has the GLK but it was getting long in the tooth and the Stuttgart giant waited for a brand new product to drop the floor from beneath its competition. Meet the GLC-Class, an SUV which in theory should give Mercedes a distinct advantage, considering he Audi Q5 and the BMW X3 are already quite old. It looks fantastic on the outside, is elegant on the inside and its proven mechanicals just makes it very strong on paper. Now thanks to local assembly the GLC-Class is really well priced as it undercuts all its rivals by a considerable margin. So just how good is the new GLC? We conducted a thorough road test on both the petrol and diesel versions to give you a definitive answer.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS ;

Images of the vehicle on the web leave you with the impression of a well structured, powerful looking vehicle that you don’t think twice about loving. We’ll admit, the vehicle’s robust and masculine stance is nothing like what we’ve seen in conventional, domestic models. Nevertheless, there are feminine themes that overlap with its strong form, and this is what we thought struck the best look possible. The tall and bulky vehicle has been tailored for a graceful shape, and this brings a modern note in its image. The muscular body lines have been smoothly textured, giving a far more attractive overall delight. It begins drawing viewers in with a face shaped with an aggressive allure, at the focus of which is a large radiator grille. A thick chrome furnishing stretches across the grille, with the large star-emblem resting at the centre. We know for one that a more distinct image is carved by factors like these, and they ultimate give the vehicle the true grandeur of a Merc.

At the bottom, the air intake section is embraced by thick chrome artistry. The headlamp clusters on either side are slim and eye catching, and we thought they complete the picture of the front perfectly. The hood has been refined with subtle lines that we thought made for a more awe-inciting vision. The fine curvatures that run across the bonnet further enhance the look, and there was an overall solidity in the design that we haven’t witnessed in any other vehicle of the day.The flawless metallic skin drapes down from the bonnet into the side profile, wrapping over the wheel arches in a neat fashion. There was a more well toned, prominent bearing in the wheel arches that is sure to attract the attention of younger car lovers.When you take a look at the side, you can’t help but feel amazed at the serene body lines printed over the door-side. We felt an indomitable spirit of luxury and richness exuded by this set-up, and we’ll give the company hats-off for it.

The 5-spoke well nurtured alloy wheels are also striking, and the well sculpted design further brings out the best in the vehicle’s appearance. As you trace the shape of the vehicle, you find that the rear area has been beefed up nicely, giving a more harmonious exhibition. There was also an element of grace in the structural disposition, so much so much so that the bulky machine almost has the tone of a sports car if viewed from far away. At the rear, the the slender headlamps stretch from the interior of the tail-gate to the side, and we thought there was an inherent, sporty design in them that most people would love. A large chrome strip rests at the bottom of the rear, while the sporty design of the exhaust vents finish the picture off in the cleanest way possible.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

The 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class‘ interior is nearly identical to that of the C-Class sedan on which it is based, and that’s a very good thing. The modern design features a graceful center stack wrapped in a single wood veneer as it transitions into the center console. The quality of materials and solid construction are excellent. Only essential buttons and knobs are present, with supporting systems controlled through the infotainment system.

The driver interface system employs a dial controller, much like the ones found in Audi and BMW rivals, but it does take a bit longer for new users to get used to how the menus are organized and operated. Once acclimated, it becomes second nature. The Premium 2 package adds a touchpad controller that hovers above the dial and accepts smartphone-like gestures (pinch-to-zoom and swipes) as well as alphanumeric fingertip traces. It’s an intriguing concept, but it requires a very steady hand and quite a bit of patience. The good thing is you can still control everything through the dial as well.

Despite having a compact SUV footprint, the GLC interior is remarkably spacious and comfortable. The front seats are optimally shaped and padded for hours of touring, and the rear seats easily accommodate 6-foot-tall passengers. Cargo capacity is smaller than competing luxury SUVs, with 20.5 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 56.5 cubic feet with them folded flat. Though smaller, the cargo space is still very useful and likely enough for your needs. The standard power-folding rear seats and available hands-free liftgate are especially convenient when loading bulky objects.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The lower-powered version of the four-cylinder 2.1-litre diesel engine (badged 220 d) is fast enough to satisfy the desires of most SUV buyers. The 250 d model is noticeably stronger at low and mid revs, however, which allows the standard nine-speed automatic gearbox to keep the engine revs lower and whisk you up to speed in a more relaxed fashion. It’s worth the relatively small premium.

The 3.0-litre V6 diesel gets the same nine-speed gearbox, and the engine and ‘box work well together. The V6’s smooth power delivery helps make it the most luxurious GLC to drive, although it’s capable of keeping up with hot hatches should you need it to.

The top of the range GLC 43 AMG (before a V8 GLC 63 joins the range later) is powered a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol engine, which drives all four wheels through a nine-speed automatic gearbox. It’s incredibly quick, beating the Porsche Macan and Audi SQ5 for straight line pace. Just be aware that this impressive performance comes at the price of terrible fuel economy.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

It feels like a Mercedes. That means solid and refined, reacting with measured consideration to your inputs. It’s not sporty, but if you want sporty you might be better advised looking away from crossovers anyway. The higher engine tune doesn’t provide much more performance, and both are decently quiet.

The suspension is, optionally, by air springs. That’s the version we tested. The ride is supple and quiet but the body stays well damped. Steering is progressive rather than agile or direct. The SUV part of the job description turns out to be a core skill. It’s got good electronic traction and descent aids, enough suspension travel and good clearance, especially when fitted with liftable air springs. Good for towing, too.

SAFETY ;

Standard safety features for the 2017 Mercedes-Benz GLC300 include antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, a driver knee airbag, full-length side curtain airbags, trailer sway control, crosswind assistance, a forward collision warning system, a forward collision intervention system with automatic braking, Pre-Safe (takes measures to secure the cabin and occupants when a crash is imminent) and a drowsy driver warning system. The Mbrace Secure telematics system includes automatic collision notification, emergency assistance, agent-assisted remote unlock and stolen vehicle location assistance.

Features such as blind-spot warning (and automatic intervention), lane departure warning, lane departure intervention, enhanced forward collision intervention with pedestrian detection, and forward cross-traffic collision detection and intervention are available with the Premium packages.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mercedes-Benz GLC competes in a segment where demand is high. Buyers prefer mid-size luxury SUVs when they find their sedan counterparts to be lacking in space, ground clearance, etc. This segment is hard to crack since there are a lot of competitors and each one of them offer something unique. Mercedes has a really good package on their hands with the GLC and it will definitely be a very good choice for someone who wants a luxury SUV with all the creature comforts, good space for passengers and good cargo capacity. Hence, the GLC is a very good alternative to the Audi Q5, Volvo XC60 and the BMW X3 in this segment.

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10 Benefits Of Cloud Based System For Business

Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows people access to the same kinds of applications through the internet.When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. Chances are you rely on cloud computing to solve the challenges faced by small businesses, whether you’re firing off emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help you manage your workload.In short, cloud is fast becoming the new normal. By the end of 2015 it’s estimated that 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service.

Why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits…Check out ten of the best below.

1. Flexibility Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors – it’s not surprising that CIOs and IT Directors rank ‘operational agility’ as a top driver for cloud adoption.

2. Disaster recovery Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud is now helping more organisations buck that trend. According to Aberdeen Group, small businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.

3. Automatic software updates The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.

4. Capital-expenditure Free Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow. Add to that the ease of setup and management and suddenly your scary, hairy IT project looks at lot friendlier. It’s never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.

5. Increased collaboration When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and gives them full visibility of their collaborations.

6. Work from anywhere With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. And with most serious cloud services offering mobile apps, you’re not restricted by which device you’ve got to hand.

The result? Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity taking a hit. One study reported that 42% of workers would swap a portion of their pay for the ability to telecommute. On average they’d be willing to take a 6% pay cut.

7. Document control The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.

And as even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. According to one study, “73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly”.

When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees one version of the truth. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line. If you’re still relying on the old way, it could be time to try something a little more streamlined.

8. Security Lost laptops are a billion dollar business problem. And potentially greater than the loss of an expensive piece of kit is the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. And you can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

9. Competitiveness Wish there was a simple step you could take to become more competitive? Moving to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble. David now packs a Goliath-sized punch.

10. Environmentally friendly While the above points spell out the benefits of cloud computing for your business, moving to the cloud isn’t an entirely selfish act. The environment gets a little love too. When your cloud needs fluctuate, your server capacity scales up and down to fit. So you only use the energy you need and you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints. This is something close to our hearts at Salesforce, where we try our best to create sustainable solutions with minimal environmental impact.

 

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5 Reasons You Need An Affordable Business Phone Number For Your Home Based Business

A business phone number not only separates your business and personal calls, but when it is powered by the right technology and backed by excellent features, it can take your business to the next level.You made the decision to work from home – whether to spend more time with the kids, avoid the rising costs of child care, or just get away from the long daily commute and office grind – but working from home does not mean you cannot separate personal-communications and work-communications.You have a mobile phone, so you may be wondering why you need a separate phone number for your home business. But, think about the next vendor or client you meet and their less-than-appealing personality. Do you really want to give that person your personal cell phone number? Rest assured, there are ways to use your cellphone without having to compromise your personal security.

Or that important new client is calling, but because the number is so similar to your sister’s, you… well… let’s just say you answer the call in a manner that you perhaps might not have, if you had only realized it was actually your next big client calling.

If you still think there’s no need for a separate business phone number, here are five reasons to reconsider.

1. Sound and Look More Professional

Whether you freelance or you are working on a startup, you rely on your home office to get your work done. If you want clients and vendors to take your business seriously – despite the fact you’re taking phone calls with a toddler hanging off your hip – a dedicated line can help.With a dedicated business number you are no longer giving out your personal cellphone number – and it gives the impression you don’t work alone, even if you do. Just make sure you opt for a phone service that offers you a dedicated line and the ability to forward those calls to your mobile phone – so you can easily keep in touch regardless of where you are.If your home business has a website – and let’s face it, in this day and age if you don’t have one, you really should – adding your business phone number to your contact page and header makes your business look that much more professional and legitimate.It hasn’t been proven and of course Google isn’t talking, but it has been talked about by top SEO consultants that having a “contact us” page with valid information – including address and phone number – helps with SEO efforts – especially if you want to rank in local searches. It would seem that Google gives more credibility and legitimacy to websites that are transparent with their contact information.

2. Utilize Call Forwarding to Route Calls to your Mobile Phone

With smart call forwarding, you do not have to share your cell phone number when you leave the office. Instead, business contacts dial your business line as usual, and it forwards that call to your mobile phone regardless of where you are. The caller never knows you are answering via your cell phone unless you tell them.With forwarding, you don’t miss important phone calls, but you still keep your privacy. Whether you are out on a sales visit, showing a new house or picking up the kids from school, business keeps going. No matter what, don’t forget to set business hours and an after hours greeting that then forwards calls to your business voicemail – that way you aren’t getting calls on your cell phone at 2:00 am.Here at Revuezzle we utilize call forwarding from Phone.com so that our team members are able use their cellphones to conduct business but never have to worry about giving out their personal cell phone numbers to business contacts. We can easily see if the call is a business call or a personal call and answer accordingly. When making calls from our cell phone, it’s just a matter of utilizing either the free phone.com iPhone or Android app and the person we are calling will never know we are calling from a cell phone unless we tell them – the number that shows up on their caller ID is our business number.

3. You Get Clearer Call Quality

Cellphones are notorious for poor call quality. If your home office tends to have a few dead zones or that 4G you paid for isn’t working, you risk giving clients an inadequate call experience. With a dedicated business phone number, and HD digital phones, you can offer your clients and vendors better call quality, limited disruptions, and a fixed network.Virtual Phone System merchants offer HD quality digital business phones from top phone makers like Polycom, Panasonic, and Cisco, that come precon figured so that they are plug and use ready. Prices for these phones are very reasonable and in some cases like RingCentral, you can even rent them if buying a desktop phone doesn’t appeal to you. If you already have a phone you want to use, most merchants will allow you to use them with some setup on your end.

4. Offer Your Customers the Advantage of a Toll-Free or Vanity Number

Want customers from around the country to call you without paying long-distance rates? You can add even more professionalism and convenience by using a toll-free number.With most plans you can get a toll free number Free, or if you want to keep your existing local number an add a toll free number – the toll free number is less than $5 a month in most cases.If your business wants a competitive edge or you just want your company personality to shine through, look for a vendor that offers vanity numbers. Vanity numbers immediately identify your business to your customers – for example 1-800-FLOWERS.Have international clients? Some phone services also offer Global Virtual Numbers, that provide flat rate international numbers that provide your customers anywhere in the world with a local number to call at standard US local rates. Your clients will appreciate the savings.

5. It Really Doesn’t Cost That Much

Let’s be real. Professional phone services do not cost as much as you think – and if it’s really a big deal, remember it is a tax deduction. Most phone services for home-based businesses are extremely affordable, especially when you consider the free features, convenience of a dedicated line, and the fact you aren’t giving out your own personal number to new business contacts

 

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What Are The Opportunities & Risks Of Using Cloud Computing ?

Cloud computing is a buzzword that means different things to different people. For some, it’s just another way of describing IT (information technology) “outsourcing”; others use it to mean any computing service provided over the Internet or a similar network; and some define it as any bought-in computer service you use that sits outside your firewall. However we define cloud computing, there’s no doubt it makes most sense when we stop talking about abstract definitions and look at some simple, real examples—so let’s do just that

Cloud computing is here and virtually every organization is using it in some way, shape, or form. Educating yourself and your people on the opportunities and risks associated with this technology is of the utmost importance. Let’s look at the opportunities presented by cloud computing, managing the risks associated with housing your sensitive data offsite, using virtual computing environments, and vendor management considerations as you explore your cloud options.

What is “The Cloud?”

“The Cloud” is an all-encompassing term for a virtualized information technology (IT) computing environment in which individuals and businesses work with applications and data stored and maintained on shared machines in a web-based environment, rather than physically located in a user’s location. Google’s popular email system, Gmail, is an example of the cloud, but this is just one model. There are actually three cloud service models — infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, and software as a service — deployed in four types of settings — private, community, public, and hybrid clouds.

Service models

Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) provides access to server hardware, storage, network capacity, and other fundamental computing resources.

Platform as a service (PaaS) provides access to basic operating software and services to develop and use customer-created software applications.

Software as a service (SaaS) provides integrated access to a provider’s software applications.

Deployment models

Private cloud is accessible from an intranet, internally hosted, and used by a single organization.

Community cloud has infrastructure accessible to a specific community.

Public cloud is accessible from the internet, externally hosted, and used by the general public.

Hybrid cloud is a combination of two or more clouds.

Cloud benefits

Cloud computing provides a scalable online environment that makes it possible to handle an increased volume of work without impacting system performance. Cloud computing also offers significant computing capability and economy of scale that might not otherwise be affordable, particularly for small and medium-sized organizations, without the IT infrastructure investment. Cloud computing advantages include:

Lower capital costs — Organizations can provide unique services using large-scale computing resources from cloud service providers, and then nimbly add or remove IT capacity to meet peak and fluctuating service demands while only paying for actual capacity used.

Lower IT operating costs — Organizations can rent added server space for a few hours at a time rather than maintain proprietary servers without worrying about upgrading their resources whenever a new application version is available. They also have the flexibility to host their virtual IT infrastructure in locations offering the lowest cost.

No hardware or software installation or maintenance

Optimized IT infrastructure provides quick access to needed computing services

The risks

Environmental security — The concentration of computing resources and users in a cloud computing environment also represents a concentration of security threats. Because of their size and significance, cloud environments are often targeted by virtual machines and bot malware, brute force attacks, and other attacks. Ask your cloud provider about access controls, vulnerability assessment practices, and patch and configuration management controls to see that they are adequately protecting your data.

Data privacy and security — Hosting confidential data with cloud service providers involves the transfer of a considerable amount of an organization’s control over data security to the provider. Make sure your vendor understands your organization’s data privacy and security needs. Also, make sure your cloud provider is aware of particular data security and privacy rules and regulations that apply to your entity, such as HIPAA, the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (DCI DSS), the Federal Information Security Management Act of 2002 (FISMA), or the privacy considerations of Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act.

Data availability and business continuity — A major risk to business continuity in the cloud computing environment is loss of internet connectivity. Ask your cloud provider what controls are in place to ensure internet connectivity. If a vulnerability is identified, you may have to terminate all access to the cloud provider until the vulnerability is rectified. Finally, the seizure of a data-hosting server by law enforcement agencies may result in the interruption of unrelated services stored on the same machine.

Record retention requirements — If your business is subject to record retention requirements, make sure your cloud provider understands what they are and so they can meet them.

Disaster recovery — Hosting your computing resources and data at a cloud provider makes the cloud provider’s disaster recovery capabilities vitally important to your company’s disaster recovery plans. Know your cloud provider’s disaster recovery capabilities and ask your provider if they been tested.

 

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10 Affordable Benefits of Using A Virtual Phone System

If you own or run a company, you will more than likely be familiar with a PBX (private branch exchange) phone system. This local phone network allows your workers/employees access to phone calls while sharing a few external company phone lines or numbers. In other words, customers calling your company’s phone number can be quickly routed to the proper agents or branches within your company.Obviously, having an efficient PBX phone system is crucial to the operation of any company – big or small. Therefore, choosing and implementing any PBX should be taken seriously because your decision can often determine how successful your company will become in the future.

With competition getting fiercer in almost all business sectors, it is critically important for a business enterprise to have an efficient communication system for it to stay and survive and grow. After studying various phone systems available in the market, it can be said without fear of contradiction that a hosted PBX virtual phone service is the best option for small and midsize business houses to optimally meet their communication needs.The hosted virtual PBX solution offers you numerous useful features compared to the old hardware based systems and more than that, it enables you to save a lot of money. Yet another huger benefit of virtual PBX system is that you need not invest in costly equipment and the maintenance and support is the responsibility of the service provider.

In recent years, many company owners and managers are opting for a virtual PBX system. These are VOIP (voice over IP) phone systems which operate on the web. It is often referred to as “Cloud” services because these programs are hosted by remote providers – far removed from one’s base of operation.Why are companies opting for this virtual solution? Perhaps, the over-riding reason has to do with the major benefits using a virtual phone exchange gives any company. These are discussed in some detail below, and if you’re considering a virtual PBX system they are probably worth knowing.

1. Total Integration

Let’s face it; we have become a totally mobile computer obsessed world – one that is completely connected every second of every day. Total integration of your company into this mobile connected world is the only way to proceed. Using a virtual PBX system will fully integrate your company’s operations into this wireless environment and synchronize all your operations with your computer network.

2. Quick Set-up Or Installation

Installation or set-up is almost instant as there are no landlines or hardware to install. The common use of cell phones, mobile tablets/laptops makes setting up a Virtual PBX system quite painless. While many virtual phone providers do supply special VOIP phones your company can use, but depending on the size of your operation, your current smartphones and computers may suffice.

3. Cheaper Costs With One Monthly Payment

Virtual phone systems usually cost less than traditional ones – especially when you consider the expense of installation and ongoing maintenance of a landline system. There is one low monthly payment, and long-distance calls will be cheaper over a VOIP system.

4. Completely Scalable

A virtual phone system is completely scalable – you can add lines or numbers within seconds. This factor is important if your company is growing quickly and you want to keep costs to a minimum.

5. Location Independence

With a web-based phone service, you and your workers have complete access regardless of where they are located. This location independence means your company is no longer limited to one location. Also, it means customers can reach your company 24/7, 365 days of the year.

6. Flexible

These virtual phone systems are very flexible when it comes to call management. There are many options including voice mail, direct routing or even a virtual secretary if you’re operating on a small budget.

7. Convenience

Again, having a web-based system will offer much more convenience since you and your workers are no longer restricted to one location. Calls can be accessed from anywhere at any time, so this offers great convenience to your workers.

8. Enhance Customer Interaction

Virtual systems can offer greater enhanced customer interaction especially if they are set-up properly where a customer is quickly directed to the right service or employee that can solve their problem or issue within minutes.

9. Internet Fax

Most of these virtual phone providers also offer Internet or online fax as an additional feature that can be a major benefit for companies. Online faxing is portable, convenient, flexible and much cheaper than traditional faxing methods.

10. Competitiveness

Competitiveness is a major benefit that should be considered by any company opting for a virtual or cloud solution to their phone network operations. Any owner will have to consider if having a phone system that is mobile, scalable, flexible, convenient, cost-efficient and totally integrated into the web will simply make your company more competitive?

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Renault Duster Engine & Safety Features

INTRODUCTION ;

It is the revised and improved version of the SUV that started the avalanche of compact SUVs in the country; a segment that the Hyundai Creta is currently milking. The Creta had delivered a knockout punch to the Duster not just by winning every comparison test it entered, but by outselling the Renault Duster by a huge margin.The latter isn’t taking this thrashing lying down, and now with its refreshed exterior, improved interior quality, more equipment and crucially, an affordable and efficient automatic gearbox, the Renault Duster is back with a vengeance. Check price of Duster

DESIGN ;

Those anticipating a sea change to the exterior would be disappointed to know that Renault hasn’t fiddled much with the Duster’s design. Yes, the purposeful-looking stance is still there though what’s new for this 2016 model is some garnishing to the bits that matter. The square-ish headlights, for instance, are a lot busier now and feature multiple sharp creases and the front bumper, too, is equally refreshed with dollops of brushed silver cladding.

Never is a major facelift complete without a newer set of alloy wheels and for the Duster, Renault has opted for a 5-spoke blacked-out design that seems to have been inspired from those good old die-cast models from Hot Wheels. Apply car loan for Duster at Carzprice

The new Duster also gets chunky-looking roof rails, different wing mirrors and a revised taillight cluster with funky detailing. While these new taillights retain the basic shape of the old units, they do look rather nice when lit up. Rounding off the changes, there’s a new colour option as seen on the car here. Called Cayenne orange, this shade really brings out the taut and beefy lines of the Duster.

CABIN ;

The interior too is familiar but the upgrades and changes made do go a long way in making it a lot more user friendly. For starters the ridiculous ORVM adjustment switch is no longer below the handbrake and has now found a new position on the driver’s side. There are also a set of new AC vents which get a lovely contrast surround option on a few select variants. The new centre console is smart and not overdone in any way.

The Duster also gets climate control now but the touchscreen infotainment system is pretty much similar to what we got earlier. That said, the screen position has been moved slightly lower than before making it difficult to read the map at a quick glance or do simple acts like playing a new song or choosing another radio station. The quality of the plastics too have improved over the early cars but there are still niggles on certain panels that continue to persist. Other features include cruise control, a reversing camera with parking sensors and GPS navigation which comes as standard on the top of the line variant.

Although Renault has skipped on the leather seat option, the fabric seats do offer a sense of richness with its dual textured. Again, as with the accents on the dashboard, certain variants like the AWD get unique fabrics and colors that do look a lot better. That said, the issue with the driver’s side seat, which tends to rock back and forth when put on its lowest setting still exists as it did on the original Duster and that, in our opinion is frankly unacceptable.

Rear seats are comfortable but do not have a 60/40 folding split. Legspace seems to have improved over the earlier car due to a scooped out front seat and the omission of the rear AC vents. That said, in a market like India, we would have much rather preferred a rear AC system instead of extra few centimeters of legspace.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

As before, the Duster is available with a 104PS, 1.6-litre petrol engine, an 85PS, 1.5-litre diesel and a 110PS, 1.5-litre diesel. Again, front-wheel drive is standard though the 110PS diesel can also be opted with all-wheel drive. What is new is the option of an automated manual transmission or AMT for the 110PS front-wheel drive Duster. Renault calls the system Easy-R (to be read as ‘easier’) and, well, it does make driving in heavy traffic less of a chore.

At mild throttle inputs in average scenarios, automatic gearshifts on the six-speed ’box are timely and largely predictable. Gearshifts aren’t exactly seamless, but unlike the characteristically abrupt shifts of other AMTs, the Duster’s gearbox swaps ratios more progressively. We suspect the K9K 1.5 diesel engine’s relatively heavier flywheel has a smoothening effect. The Duster Automatic is the first AMT to come with hill-start assist too, which allows for safe getaways on an incline.

Where the Duster’s AMT unit does get caught out is when you press down hard on the accelerator, say to overtake. There’s a bit of a delay before the gearbox downshifts to the right gear and in general, there’s no escaping the characteristic AMT ‘head-nod’ or pause in power between gearshifts. Gearshifts are expectantly not as fluid as on the Creta’s more sophisticated torque converter unit, but its safe to say this is the best AMT in the market today.

The Easy-R gearbox does give drivers the option to shift manually too. In manual mode, gearshifts are nicer and what’s good is that the electronics don’t intervene with an upshift right till 5000rpm. This is an important point because it gives you better control especially through corners and on hilly roads.

Earlier Dusters were known for transmitting road shock through the steering wheel and while this has been minimised, there’s still a fair bit of judder that filters through the steering whilst cornering on rough roads. Handling on the whole though is surefooted and predictable and the Duster’s legendary ability to flatten bad roads is just as good. The suspension is one of the highlights on the Duster. While it can come across as a tad stiff at low speeds, it absorbs just about everything at higher speeds. The AWD version gets independent rear suspension that is a touch more supple and sure-footed but, as mentioned, it doesn’t come with an AMT option, which is only reserved for the front-wheel-drive version.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

Ride quality of the Duster is also a big plus. The monocoque construction, the rigid chassis and a good match in the 215/65 R16 tyres give the Duster confident handling characteristics on the highway and winding hill roads. The suspension set up includes anti-roll bars at the front and the rear. Though very bad roads momentarily seem to leave the Duster a bit unsettled, the suspension does an excellent job of soaking up most of the challenges that regular roads throw at it. Some amount of road and wind noise seeped into the cabin in the RxL variant I was driving, but that could be a one-off. The noise was absent in the RxZ variant I drove later and I am also told by Renault engineers that considerable work has been done on insulating the cabin.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The New Renault Duster AMT gets safety features like ABS & EBD, along with brake assist function. There is ESP and hill-start assist too, as well as dual air-bags at the front. It also has central locking, speed sensitive door locking and driver seat belt warning. The New Renault Duster AMT is fairly feature loaded.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Renault Duster has now got a new lease of life with so many significant updates. It looks younger, gets more appeal and also comes with the convenience of an AMT gearbox. Sure, it lacks the finesse of its direct rival, the Hyundai Creta, but otherwise it is very fun to drive and power is in abundance too. The Renault Duster has positioned itself as a very strong product in the affordable SUV space and with all these enhancements, the vehicle has just improved its own standing in the market.

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Mercedes Benz CLA Class Performance

OVERVIEW

The Mercedes CLA is an entry-level sedan offered by the Stuttgart-based automaker. The CLA was first launched a couple of years back and it is based on the A-Class. The sedan is one of the best looking cars out there in the market and now the automaker has given it a minor update as part of a mid-life facelift The Mercedes CLA is known to be one of the most aerodynamic cars. The vehicle has sporty dynamics and while it isn’t targeted towards families or people looking for rear seat space, the CLA makes for a smart choice for the millennials.

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN

A coupe like looks with futuristically rounded tail lamps & frameless doors had always been one of the strong points for Mercedes CLA ever since its launch. The long swooping bonnet merging into the neatly flowing roof line at the rear renders an impeccable silhouette for the most stylish car on offer in the segment. The classic Mercedes emblem resting snugly on sloping bonnet along with a large three pointed star on the grille creates a nice identity statement for the brand.

One look at the side profile & you cannot miss the beautifully crafted doors with smooth flowing folds lines that define the bold character for the car.

Like the exteriors, you will find a lot of similarity with the Mercedes A Class. The retro sporty style AC vents with a large dia shouts out loud on the dashboard & is one of the most noticeable design touches on the interior. 2017 CLA also comes with a refreshed dashboard insert with a new colour & a rich texture adding a pinch of luxury premium to the interiors.

INTERIOR AND SPACE

Inside a Benz, there are some things that you can take for granted like luxury, comfort and amazing fit and finish of trims. The CLA too follows the same tradition of delivering one of the finest interiors seen in a luxury compact sedan.

It looks visually more appealing than an Audi A3 as the complex lines of the dashboard paired with the mix of use of aluminium, soft touch leather and soft touch buttons make it feel expensive. The front dashboard, like the A-Class, borrows many elements including the air con vents and instrumental styling from the higher models thus making its customer feel connected with the brand.

It comes with sporty seats for the front as well as rear passengers. Unlike the hot seats in the CLA45AMG, these seats are comparatively more comfortable. The front zone can accommodate fairly tall passengers provided they are not too keen on moving their knees around. The rear passengers are not in for any joy as the sloping rear roofline will be an obstacle always especially if the car is being driven enthusiastically. While the rear passengers do get a door handle on top to hold, the front co-passenger doesn’t get one.

The other issue being that of the front view getting completely blocked by tall front seats. It gets individual rear seats which can seat only two occupants in comfort and leaves a remote possibility of squeezing one more provided he agrees to sit in between with a folded central armrest to his back support.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

;We are test-driving the CLA 200 here and mechanically, the car is unchanged from before this refresh. Under the hood is the same 1991cc, four-cylinder turbo-petrol with a power rating of 184hp and maximum torque of 300Nm. The engine is quite responsive and generally quick off the line, with barely perceptible turbo lag. It spins quite freely and propels the car into three-digit speeds without breaking a sweat. It is mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic gearbox which complements the car’s sporty orientation rather well.

Press the accelerator sedately and the gearbox skips through the ratios rather quickly to maximise efficiency and minimise engine noise. In fact, the upshifts, under such gentle driving, are more or less seamless. Slam the gas hard, though, and you will see the speedo needle spin to the redline (in Sport mode) before the gearbox shifts up. It transforms from a sedate background worker to a frontline soldier almost immediately. It is so eager and aggressive that it will gladly downshift two ratios at a time if it senses urgency in your foot flexing. And if you’re still not satisfied, all you need to do is tug at the paddles behind the wheel to take control (or at least most of it) of gear shifts.

The engine is mostly refined, though it does become progressively more vocal with rising revs; mind you, this is not a complaint, because its snarl is rather satisfying. The different engine modes – Comfort, Sport and Eco – mainly alter the engine and gearbox response.

RIDE AND HANDLING

While the engines are powerful enough for the segment, it is the transmission that takes the cake. The 7G-DCT dual-clutch gearbox combines the comfort of a 7-speed automatic transmission with the driving dynamics of a manual, and is perfectly aligned to the power output of these engines. The gearbox consists of two sub-transmissions—one transfers the tractive power to the wheels while the other preselects the next gear, leading to quick, smooth shifts.

The ground clearance of 165 mm ensures the CLA won’t scrape most speed-breakers found on our roads. But while the ride quality is good, on bad roads the CLA turns a little nervous; however, the ride quality never goes harsh. The car behaves its best on smooth roads and cornering even at high speeds is a lot of fun. Braking is spot-on.

SAFETY

Being a Mercedes, there are a host of safety features. You get attention assist (which monitors the steering behaviour of the driver, recognises signs of drowsiness and warns accordingly); automatic headlamp; ABS; electronic stability; tyre pressure monitor; reverse camera; and six airbags.

CONCLUSSION

The Indian introduction of the Mercedes Benz CLA has been a highly anticipated one. The good news is, the CLA doesn’t disappoint. It is good looking, well put together and premium and luxurious for its class. It’s well specced too, and honestly, it isn’t too bad a drive; the petrol for sure isn’t. So, is it worth buying? Yes, it is! And should you also consider it over all else in the same price bracket? Well, now that’s a difficult one because if it’s value you want, there are clearly better options. But, if it’s a badge you want to flaunt and feel good about, yes, the CLA is just the ticket.

 

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Hyundai Grand i10 Facelift Performance & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Hyundai Motors India LTD launched the facelift Grand i10 in India; the hatchback was unveiled for the first time in UK last year. While the hatchback is sold in the European market as the new generation i10 the same car is sold alongside its predecessor in the Indian market.The facelift hatchback which was launched yesterday promises redefined exterior styling, Hi-tech Features, improved performance and Fuel Efficiency. Priced in between INR 4.58 Lakhs – to INR 7.33 Lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi), this new hatchback surely brings a lot on the table.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

There are very few changes to the exteriors but they do give the car a fresher look. The front bumper gets a mild tweak in design which includes a new fog lamp housing, honey comb grille and LED DRLs, which come on only when the handbrake is disengaged. The side profile continues to remain similar save for the redesigned 14-inch alloy wheels. At the rear, the bumper gets the most apparent change which includes a thick black strip with circular reflectors on either side. The Grand i10 has always been a pleasant looking car and the update looks good too. Find best offers on Grand i10

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Step inside & you’ll find yourself wearing a nice, cheery smile near instantly. The cabin is a class act on the Grand i10. Fit & Finish levels are brilliant for the class. The dashboard is neat & well-put together. Get behind the steering wheel & you recognize the parts sharing that’s gone behind the car, but all that doesn’t really matter. You notice the fully-specced out interiors.The seat height adjust, the Bluetooth enabled entertainment systems; auto-folding mirrors, key-less entry & push-button start. Hyundai have even gone ahead & given the car a cooled glove-box for good measure! Plus, there’s enough storage options in the dash, the gear console & the door-pads to keep everyone happy as punch. What’s more, open the trunk & you’ll be delighted to see the amount of space that’s available. There’s enough in there to stow away the weekend luggage for all four occupants, with the backpack & duffel bag for the fifth occupant squeezed right in.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

This new hatchback also gets a new power source; an all-new, 1.1-litre, three-cylinder diesel motor (codename: U2) which develops 70bhp. Now, diesel engines and three cylinders don’t really go well together, as both are inherently prone to vibration, so it’s no surprise that the Grand i10 flutters and vibrates softly at idle. This new engine may be essentially Hyundai’s 1.4 four-cylinder unit with a cylinder chopped off, but that creamy idle is gone.Counter-balancing shafts have been used to iron out the inherent imbalance of a three-cylinder configuration, so when you rev the engine, it smoothens out a bit. There is a hint of turbo lag, but after 1,500rpm, the motor pulls cleanly and with a fair amount of enthusiasm. Performance feels smooth and linear at best, but you truly miss that strong surge in the mid-range that is so typical of more powerful diesel motors. The top-end isn’t strong either, and the engine labours as you cross the 3,500rpm mark, so it’s best to upshift early. Refinement on the move, however, is pretty good. At low revs, the engine is never intrusive and it’s only when you near the redline that you can really tell it’s a diesel. It must be said that this motor lacks the punch needed to really make the Grand i10 fun to drive, but the new Hyundai does have the right gearing for city driving. The short gearing makes you feel at home in the city and coupled with short throws, navigating through the box isn’t tiresome. We also had a go in the petrol version of the Grand i10 with the manual gearbox (it’s also available with a four-speed automatic). It uses the same 1.2-litre ‘Kappa 2’ four-cylinder motor as the current i10, which is equipped with variable valve timing (VVT in Hyundai speak).And just like the i10, it feels fairly peppy to drive. It may lack the outright performance of cars like the Swift or the Brio but, the power delivery is smooth and there is adequate power throughout most of the rev-range. You get useable power from 1500rpm and this makes it comfortable to drive in the city. Also, a strong mid-range means you can easily cruise at a reasonable 100kph on the highway and still have some power left in reserve for a quick overtaking manoeuvre.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The ride quality is pliant & the car handles bumps rather maturely. She’s a little out of her element when faced with quick directional changes, but make no mistake. She’ll pull through whatever you throw at her, just not in the most graceful manner, that’s all. The steering feedback sadly is still the typical Hyundai legacy affair & no matter how much time I spend behind the wheel, I still haven’t gotten used to it. The glaring lack of feedback is disappointing & takes away a lot from an otherwise solid city runabout package.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Talking about the safety features, the facelift like Grand i10 gets advanced safety features Rear Parking Assist System with Dual Airbags, ABS, Reverse Parking Sensors and newly introduced Rear Parking Camera which displays all the output on the newly added 7.0 Inch touchscreen monitor.

VERDICT ;

Totally loved the Grand i10 when we had one in our long term fleet and with this update, Hyundai has refreshed the car nicely. The new diesel engine is very good for the segment and even though it still is a 3-cylinder unit, I think it offers very good performance and efficiency. The Grand also has an excellent ride and is pretty easy to drive. The interiors boast of excellent quality materials and even the fit and finish of exterior panels is better than most rivals out there. For me, the Hyundai Grand i10 is easily one of the best city hatchbacks around.

 

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