Hyundai Verna Hatchback Review

OVERVIEW

In recent years, the mid-size sedan segment has been sidelined by many in a bid to get behind an SUVs of varying shapes and size. With manufacturers offering compact SUVs, sub-compact SUVs, crossover SUVs and full-blown SUVs, sedans have not been enjoying the limelight of yesteryears. Nonetheless, the City from Honda continues to do respectable numbers within a segment where Maruti Suzuki have a firm footing courtesy Ciaz. Once a dominant player, the Verna from Hyundai gradually faded away under the onslaught from direct and indirect rivals. But no more. Or at least that is what Hyundai is hoping with the 2017 Verna. Check Price of  Verna

EXTERIOR AND LOOK

The k2 platform underpins the new Hyundai Verna 2017. This platform is light and does not compromise on safety. Ultra high strength steel used in almost 50% of the car. There are many useful features in the car. This platform is longer and wider. The design is based on the Fluidic 2.0 architecture.This architecture is present on Elantra, XCent 2017, Grand 2017 and even the Creta. Now the Verna follows the same and looks part of the family.

Fron / A new grille looks more mature and engulfs most of the front part. It looks more evolved. The headlamps are sleek and the grille gets chrome slate, though only on higher variants. Projector headlamps are now seen in the car and it and also gets LED DRLs. This is what makes the Hyundai Verna 2017 a lot more stylish and attractive. The fog lamps get chrome surrounds and the bumpers are stylish. Apply car loan for Verna at Carzprice

Side / The Hyundai Verna 2017 is sporty looking especially from the side. The design is inspired from a coupe and hence it looks suave as well. The silhouette has clean lines flowing across. The mid models have 15-inch steel/alloy wheels and the higher ones have 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The top variant also gets chrome door handles.

Rear / The Verna 2017 looks very similar to the Elantra. The LEDs on the taillamps remind one of the Elantra. The rear bumper gets a dual tone colour.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT

The cabin layout isn’t very different from its stablemates, but that isn’t a bad thing. Interiors are well-appointed and the placement of controls is good. The new steering controls add to the upmarket feel while offering better usability. The quality of plastics is as good as it gets and plastics are nice to the touch with a smooth feel. The 7-inch touchscreen offers a good resolution but a slightly crisper resolution would have been more welcome, particularly for the navigation. The infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity.

The ventilated seats deserve a mention as their cooling effect is a boon, and the seats are nicely cushioned and offer good bolstering. The rear bench is comfortable but leg and kneeroom aren’t as generous as some of the competition. The rear seat is a nice place to be in though with its plushness as the height of the arm rest is perfect and the rear air-conditioning vents ensure drafts of cold air reach you well. There’s an additional USB port for rear occupants, a thoughtful addition for the chaueffer driven lot. Storage spaces are abundant with several useful cubby holes, cup holders, a front central arm rest with storage and one-litre bottle holders in all doors.

Boot volume may not be best in class but there’s good amounts of space and I don’t think the average buyer will complain. Another highlight is the remote opening function for the boot, like the Elantra and Tucson – you simply need to stand behind the car for three seconds with the key in your pocket for it to open – which helps a lot when your hands are full.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Hyundai’s Verna will be offered with two engines, not four. The 1.4-litre engines have been shelved altogether. The 1.6-litre petrol and diesel engines have been carried over, but not without tweaks. Though power figures are identical at 123PS (petrol) and 128PS (diesel), Hyundai says that the torque is a lot more accessible. For instance, at 1250rpm you’d have 245Nm of torque on tap, compared to 176Nm in the outgoing Verna 4S diesel. Similar case with the petrol, where it makes a full 7Nm more at 1500rpm compared to the outgoing car that developed 122Nm. There’s a 6-speed manual like before, but, the 4-speed automatic transmission has been ditched in favour of a 6-speed automatic, presumably borrowed from the Creta. We could only sample the diesel avatar of the Verna, but had a go with both the transmissions. Clutch in, thumb the start-stop button, and the engine comes to life with a faint clatter. The engine feels smooth and refined as you start driving. The highlight here is the drivability of the motor, courtesy the torque. You can lug it at 30kmph in third. Step on it, and expect it to build speed cleanly. Much like the little Xcent, power delivery remains linear, save for a small spike in power at around 1700rpm. The diesel should make for a good city car as the clutch is light (albeit springy), and the gearshifts are quick n’ slick.

If you don’t want that hassle altogether, the new automatic gearbox will save the day. It shifts through the gears quickly and just gets the job done. Don’t expect it to be a sporty gearbox that will give you split-second shifts. Think of it rather as convenience and it seems just right for the job. There’s a manual mode too, but it didn’t seem all that engaging to use. It’s best left to its own, really. What’s appreciable, is the fact that the Verna is no longer a skittish handler. Around the skidpad, it remained composed as we chucked it about. Yes, there’s a bit of body roll but it’s predictable. And, we’d say the same thing about the steering as well. It is light, sure – but not dead. It does a good job of telling you what the front wheels are up to. Impressive! We can’t comment on the ride just as yet, but Hyundai tells us the new suspension has been engineered to be more forgiving, more pliant and quieter. It should have no qualms munching highway miles, but we’ll reserve our word on it till we get enough time with the car.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The one serious shortcoming in the old Hyundai Verna was that it wasn’t a confident high-speed machine. With the new K2 platform and changes to both the front and rear suspension setup, Hyundai has completely transformed the driving experience in the 2017 Verna. The steering is still fairly light in town, making negotiating the tight traffic-filled street of Kochi a breeze, and when speeds increased out on the highway a nice reassuring weight enters the equation. The steering also feels quite direct and this really helps with letting you know what’s happening at the front wheels. Book a Test Drive for Hyundai Verna

It’s very well behaved around corners too. The chassis stays fairly flat and though there is some roll when really pushed it’s always predictable and controlled. The brake pedal is quite firm and though it is very linear and has more than enough braking force we do wish it was a little lighter action.Comfort hasn’t been compromised as the ride quality is still pliant in the new Verna. It’s on the firm side but yet manages to absorb bumps and imperfections in the road. This is down to Hyundai doing a lot of work on the suspension. It’s changed the setup of the McPherson linkages up front to limit the horizontal displacement that occurs when the front wheels go over sharp bumps and in the rear, the angle of the shocks have been changed to a more vertical design to better improve the backseat ride. It has worked.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

The next-gen Hyundai Verna gets disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. In addition, it is laced with a plethora of exceedingly reliable braking systems such as Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) as standard features. The body structure of the new sedan is developed with 50 percent of Advanced High Strength Steel, which is an additional increase of 37 percent over the preceding model. As for the safety of the occupants, the 2017 Verna comes several avant-garde features in form of 6-airbags, front projector foglamps, ISOFIX (Child Restraint System), Impact sensing Auto Door Lock, Cornering Lamps, Reverse Parking Sensors, and Reverse Parking Camera.

CONCLUSSION

The new Verna looks like a scaled down variant of the Elantra sedan which was unveiled last year. The new generation sedan comes with some modern elements on the inside like a new touchscreen infotainment system, but the biggest change that it has received come has to be the new automatic transmission which is much more responsive and smoother compared to the previous unit. Lastly the competitive pricing definitely will also help this sedan to compete with its rival quite comfortably. Apply Car Loan for Hyundai Verna

 

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Mahindra Verito Vibe Engine & Safety Features

OVERVIEW ;

Majority of car sales in the Indian market comes form compact cars, which are small in size, fuel efficient and are the least taxed too. The quest for evading higher excise duties for automobiles means that companies will have to trim their products to place them under the 4-metre length. With many automakers already doing compact engineering very well, it was Mahindra’s turn to use their scissors on the Verito’s derriere. The objective has been achieved for Mahindra designers and engineers with the Verito Vibe successfully becoming a compact vehicle (Mahindra likes to call it a sporty compact sedan), thereby attracting small car excise duties. However as a product, does the Mahindra Verito Vibe offer something significant in the sub 4-metre space? Check Ex Showroom Price of Verito Vibe

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The first impression that you will get from the new compact car from Mahindra is that it is the exact Verito with few minor tweaks at the front but when you will walk towards the rear of the car there you will find the real change. So let’s start with the front of the car the new Verito Vibe has the same boxy design at the front but the new grille has given some uniqueness to the front, it now looks more sportier than before, the headlamp clusters also gets a little smoky appearance which once again looks new on the old Verito’s front. The front lower bumper also gets little plastic elements to it which again is a welcome change to the front facial of the car. Now coming to the side profile of the car things start to get a little different here, the Verito Vibe gets a new 14 inch stylish set of wheels which is painted in Champagne color, some of you might dislike the color but Mahindra thinks differently, the side profile of the car also has a bold line which runs all the way to the rear of the compact car, the most significant changes that you will find in the car starts from its C pillars. The first thing that will catch your eye are the huge tail lamps which runs parallel with the rear windscreen, the top of the tail lamps has a little roof rails which once again gives it the sporty look and you will find a little bulging area just under the rear tail lamps (it cannot be called a rear spoiler exactly) just below that area is where you will find the rear boot door, the interesting fact about the rear boot of the Mahindra Verito Vibe is that you don’t have access to the boot from inside the cabin like you do on a hatch rather you will have to step outside the car and access the boot just like any other saloon. The massive rear boot has 330 litre of boot space but the only problem is that there is no lock to operate the boot door from outside the car, there is a switch inside the cabin of the car and once you press the switch then only you can open the rear boot door.Overall the new Mahindra Verito Vibe looks different from the rest of the compact car you will find in the Indian market, the unique looking rear and crossover style of the car will surely grab everyone’s attention. Apply car loan for Verito Vibe at Carzpric

INTERIOR AND COMFOR T ;

The interiors are done up very elegantly with well placed features, which makes it look like a complete package of comfortableness. The seating is very well designed to provide a cushiony feel by the plush fabric upholstery fitted to it. The Executive Edition is pampered with Italian leather based upholstery, which is far more luxurious and also the steering wheel is leather wrapped in it. Furthermore, it has floor mats as well as matching vinyl door trims that adds to the overall posh look. The rear door trim is layered with fabric that has a smoother holding. Moreover, there is a gear shift knob in leather covering. The parcel shelf is offered behind the rear bench seat for storing a few handy things. There is a central console storage space along with a bottle and mobile holder as well. The AC vent outer ring is in a silver finish that enlightens the interior elements altogether. The extra amenities are the cigarette lighter as well as an ashtray too. The luggage compartment has been layered with a full carpet and below that there is a spare wheel with its tool kit. There are sun visors to both the driver and the co-passenger as well. The center fascia has been given different designs for each of its variants. The instrument panel has a pad that shades it from the sunlight coming through the windscreen and makes visibility better. Additionally, for the front passenger side sun visor, a vanity mirror is also fitted.

The insides are well furnished with an air conditioner unit that also has a heater, which are offered to regulate the temperature. All the seats have been fitted with head restraints for additional convenience to the occupants. The front door has a map pocket that is an added storage space. There are theater dimming interior lights that has the facility with courtesy delay. The trunk room is provided with lighting as well. There is a remote operated fuel tank lid lever on the driver side for added convenience. When it comes to the automated elements, the outside rear view mirrors can be adjusted from inside. The power steering makes the drive much easier and keeps the driver in control of the vehicle at all times. All four doors have power windows, which further adds to the comfort quotient of the passengers. There is a central remote door locking system as well that boosts its security aspect. The music system that is decked into this car is a 2 DIN unit that can support a CD and MP3 player. The USB slot, Aux-In port and an FM tuner function can be enjoyed by four well placed speakers. The rear windscreen is fitted with a defogger that is helpful in foggy climate.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Verito Vibe uses the same engine as on Verito. Vibe is offered only in a diesel engine trim as Mahindras don’t have a smaller petrol unit to haul this car and at the same time avail the tax benefits of a sub 4 metre car.The Verito Vibe comes across as a decent commuter with no excitement. It can be a weekday solution from home to office kinds. This one is powered by a 4 cylinder 1461cc dCi CRDi Diesel engine. This unit produces a peak power of 65PS at 4000 rpm and a torque of 160Nm at 2000 rpm.This not just any sedan cut into a hatchback project by excusing the extreme third box. In the Verito Vibe, the third box has been reduced to the maximum limit. The overall length of the Verito has been brought down from 4277mm to 3991mm but the wheelbase stays intact at 2630mm. The Kerb weight of the Vibe has shot up too by 15 kgs.

Some issues which were seen in the Verito have been repeated in this smaller version too like the cabin is still not insulated and the growl of the diesel engine is evidently audible inside. Even the functioning of wiper or the power windows appears very crude and basic.The diesel unit however scores well in terms of power delivery. It displays very minimal lag and performs very well in stop go traffic. The gear shifts are not as smooth as the one in Swift DZire but then even the one on Amaze appears notchy. The notchy gears are well complimented by the smooth clutch which comes handy in traffic flooded areas.On highways, the Vibe lacks the punch especially at higher engine speeds. It cruises very well till about 130 kmph but then after crossing it the engine begins panting hard and the efforts taken by the diesel unit get evident. Overtaking is not difficult. The steering is not very smooth and thus maneuvering can be a bit of an issue.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Vibe’s suspension settings remain unchanged from the sedan’s, so it exhibits all the same characteristics. It has a very pliant ride, which leads you to believe that it will not handle well, and when you tiptoe through a corner, you discover that beyond the body roll lies quite a lot of grip. And beyond that grip lies very progressive understeer. Even the steering contributes to this feeling – it is a little vague when pointing straight and feels unreasonably heavy sometimes at parking speeds, but push the car through a corner and it weighs up really well, communicating exactly what is happening under the front wheels and elevating driver confidence to the point where you can find the understeer at the limit. It isn’t the best driver’s car in its segment, but it certainly gets our vote for the best balance between ride and handling.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

A part of the excellent driving experience offered by Mahindra Verito Vibe can be contributed to its sound braking system that does its job perfectly. While the front portion of the car is equipped with disc brakes the rear portion braking is supported by drum brakes. Apart from these, the braking system of the car gets aided by advanced systems like Anti-lock Braking System and Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD) system that help maintaining control over the car during sudden braking and fast deceleration of car whenever required. These two systems play a major role in strengthening the security and safety system of car. The safety front of the car is also strengthened with other standard measures such as a strong built, a fine tuned suspension system, driver airbag, steering wheel frame made up of magnesium which reduces impact of collision, central lock, day/night inside rear view mirror, anti-theft alarm, halogen headlights, collapsible steering, door ajar warning, electrical rear window child lock, fog lamps, a laminated windshield, adjustable front seats belts, adjustable head restraints over front and rear seats, remote door locking, and a few others. The safety as well as braking system of this car are one of its biggest USPs and make it one of the most reliable cars

CONCLUSSION ;

The Mahindra Verito Vibe is a sub 4-metre Verito in the true sense. It is identical to the Verito in every aspect except the rear end design and boot capacity. While the hinged boot isn’t much practical, it has helped Mahindra in saving costs of development and production. So does the Verito Vibe make sense? When you factor in the Verito Vibe costs a good Rs. 80,000/- less than the regular Verito, things start making to the mind. If you can live with the rather unconventional rear and boot, the Verito Vibe makes a good case for those who want a practical hatchback which can carry five in reasonable comfort while delivering exceptional fuel efficiency at this price point.

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Hyundai Creta Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

As the Renault Captur launch is closing in, Hyundai has quietly made a few changes to the Creta. The new French SUV will be up against the Creta. It is stylish, looks premium and is built on the same Duster platform. There will not be diesel automatic in the start though. First is the addition of an all new colour, Earth Brown. This is made available with single and dual tone options. The Red Passion colour does offer the dual-tone roof option. The Pearl Beige colour has been discontinued. There will be a change in the colours on offer. This is a new change on the Hyundai Creta 2017.Moving on to the interiors, the SX+ dual tone variant comes with Luxure Brown interiors. This means addition of black and brown fabric seats with contrast stitching. The steering wheel and even the gear knob get brown stitches on it.Check Ex Showroom Price of Creta

EXTERIOR AND DESIGN ;

There are no significant changes made to the exterior of the SUV however it does get a new SX+ Dual tone trim which offers Piano Black Finish Roof Top & Sporty Black Spoiler. This new dual tone trim will be provided with two body colour combinations in the form of two colour combinations White & Black and Red & Black. This trim also gets a 17-inch diamond cut alloy rims which were only available with SX+ Auto and SX(O) until now.Apart from the changes mentioned above, there are no other changes made to the exterior of the SUV. The SUV is offered with a total of 9 exterior body colour options.  Apply car loan for Creta at Carzprice

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

A long wheelbase of 2590 mm implies an opulent cabin, which translates into good head room, leg room and shoulder room. That said, the front offers impressive space and the rear has ample room, allowing to seat three adults comfortably. A high window line at the rear enables restricted view from the back. The dual-tone dashboard is perfectly styled and appears chic. The central console does not look cluttered. Use of beige and silver accent renders an elegant look to the cabin. The range-topping grade gets a 7-inch touchscreen, just beneath which are climate control buttons. Leather-upholstered seats are exclusively available on the range-topping variants while rest of the trims feature fabric-upholstered seats. Leather covering can be seen on the gear knob in the SX+ automatic variant only. Comfort goodies on offing include adjustable front head rests, keyless entry, power windows, height adjuster for the driver’s seat, adjustable rear seat head restraints, 7-inch infotainment system with steering-mounted controls for audio system and bluetooth, audio-video navigation, and smart key with push button, among few others.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Hyundai always gives multiple powertrain options on its cars and same is the case with the Creta too. The compact SUV comes with two diesel engines and one petrol unit. Starting with the petrol mill, the 1.6-litre Dual VTVT engine generates 123 PS and 151 Nm, being matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox. The NVH levels on the vehicle are terrific, the petrol motor being barely audible even when you are driving at triple digit speeds, it does get vocal once you get past the mid-range. Low-end performance is where the petrol-powered Creta shines as the mid-range isn’t very strong while the top-end is quite lacking, it’s best to short shift using the smooth shifting gearbox and the light clutch. The ARAI claimed mileage is 15.29 km/l so real world mileage will be lesser.

Diesel is the more popular choice in this segment and Hyundai has 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre oil burners on offer. Both these engines also do duty on the Verna with the smaller diesel belting out 90 PS and 220 Nm. The 1.6 diesel is considerably more powerful with 128 PS and 260 Nm. Both the powerplants are matched to a 6-speed manual gearbox and Hyundai has managed to tune the transmission for butter smooth shifts, aided by a very light clutch. The 1.6 diesel has quite a lot of lag in the low-end so one does have to give it the beans in stop-go traffic as the turbo spools up in all its glory past 1900 RPM. The mid-range is the strong point of the motor while the power fades off quickly post 3800 RPM. When ambling in the city, downshifts are needed to get going quickly.

The 1.6 diesel mill is also matched to a 6-speed automatic gearbox. Although a single-clutch unit, it’s very responsive to throttle inputs and there is a tiptronic function on the lever so as to let one take care of shifts. When driven in D mode, performance from the motor is slick with the turbo lag not being very apparent. The 1.6 motor feels more linear in the automatic version but you miss the punchiness of the manual as the latter has the silence before the storm. The engine up shifts at around 4000 RPM and won’t stretch the motor all the way to the 5000 RPM redline which is encountered on the manual. 100 km/hr in sixth gear sees the tacho ticking in a shade above the 2000 RPM mark while the ton comes in third gear. The ARAI mileage for the 1.4 diesel is 21.38 km/l while the 1.6 diesel returns 19.67 km/l in manual guise and 17.01 km/l in automatic avatar.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

The Creta also has an absorbent ride. The suspension works silently even on heavily rutted sections of road, and bump absorption too is right up there with some of the best riding cars in its class. It may not ride as flat as the Renault Duster, and there may be a bit more movement of the body over bad roads, but the Hyundai comes close enough. Yes, sharp bumps filter through, and then the suspension does feel a bit fragile, but for the most part, especially at lower speeds, ride quality is excellent and Indian car buyers will like that.

What’s also surprisingly good is the steering of the car. To begin with, it is light and easy to twirl, and what makes it better is the fact that it feels direct, with not as great a sense of vagueness around the straight-ahead as you find in most Hyundai cars. Straight-line stability is good, and the steering weighs up nicely as you speed up too, but that weight does feel a bit artificial. We also found the Creta surprisingly willing to turn into corners. It does roll a bit on its tall suspension and does not grip the road with the confidence of the Renault Duster, but all things considered, the Creta is quite accomplished in corners too, which makes it a good all-rounder.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The Hyundai Creta is jammed pack with all the possible gadgetry one can possibly ask for in a car of this price range. Touch screen infotainment – Check. GPS navigation – Check. Climate control – Check. Keyless entry with a start stop button – Check. Rear AC vents – Check. Quite simple, the Creta negate the need to go to an aftermarket accessories dealer to fit a bunch of tacky addons that may or may not work in the long term.On the safety front, you also get a set of airbags and more importantly, traction control. And while the latter may not send the hordes into a frenzy, considering most western countries require traction control as a standard fitment, having an extra layer of protection isn’t exactly a bad thing afterall.

CONCLUSSION ;

Hyundai has recently launched updated Elite i20 and now they have also decided to upgrade their Creta SUV as well. Unfortunately the 2017 model year SUV does not get any mechanical changes under the hood, but it does get a new infotainment system, a whole new trim and along with a new dual tone exterior shade.

 

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Tata Hexa Features & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

Once upon a time, Indian roads were all about Maruti 800, Ambassador and Fiat Padmini. The occasional change in the landscape was brought about by Tata Motors’ comparatively larger offering – Sierra. The ‘original Indian sports utility vehicle’ had quite the towering road presence and the 1.9-litre turbo charged engine provided a drive like no other.

The march of time affected markets. It is no secret that Tata Motors found the going increasingly tough in the passenger vehicle segment by the late 90s. Indica was its only passenger vehicle doing decent numbers. Check Ex Showroom Price of Hexa

Times changed and, thankfully, so did Tata Motors. In one of its strongest ever attempts to reclaim lost glory, the company in recent years took the covers off of a number of promising vehicles. And none may have as much potential as the Hexa. Here is a vehicle that seeks to be an all-rounder and (mostly) manages to pull it off effortlessly.

EXTERIORS ;

The Tata Hexa might be based on the Aria platform and possibly have similar lines but it’s a completely new vehicle. Where the Aria was curvy and a bit round, the Hexa is muscular, and in-your-face. It achieves this thanks to the chrome laced grille and gold coloured bumper. Complementing this is a modern looking lighting package comprising big headlamps and LED DRLs. The side reveals the MPV silhouette of the vehicle. However, it does get sharply raked A-pillars and really nice looking 19 inch wheels which increase the sporty quotient. The rear, despite having so many elements, looks too square but this is not such a bad thing as the boxy rear-end has been a defining trait of Tata’s SUVs over the ages. Trade in Your used car for Hexa

INTERORS ;

The dashboard layout of the Hexa looks premium thanks to the new design additions and controls made of fresh-looking materials like chrome trim used with glossy black and soft grain plastic. The instrument cluster is easy to read and except for the low-set air-con controls, all functions are easily accessible on the dash.

We however noticed that the centre console was devoid of storage spaces barring the cup holder behind the gear shifter and the centre armrest. The seats are draped in a leather look-alike upholstery with contrast stitching that feels rich. In fact the front seats offer a comfortable drive thanks to the ample contours with lumbar, good back and appropriate thigh suppo

Similarly, the middle row seats have identical contours and offer good support, headroom and lots of legroom for the occupants. Entry to the third row of seats is by tumbling the second row, and while the seats offer hardly any support, headroom and space for adults is also confined. With the last row up, the boot can only take a few soft bags and a thin suitcase at the most. To stuff anything more, the last row needs to be folded but it doesn’t fold flat either.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Tata Hexa has a 2.2-litre turbo diesel engine. This comes with two options – a 148bhp engine and 154bhp. The first one comes with a five-speed manual and the more powerful one has two options: six-speed manual or six-speed automatic. The NVH levels on the engine are fairly low. The torque of this engine is more than sufficient for daily driving. One doesn’t require too many gear shifts in the city or highway driving.

The six-speed manual feels a bit notchy. It does take some getting used too. The manual comes with four driving modes in the 4×4. These are Auto, Rough Road, Comfort and Dynamic. The Auto and Rough Road are 4×4, while the other two work on 4×2. On the other hand, the automatic transmission is fabulous. The shifts are smooth even downshifts. Put it in the Sport mode and you shall be amazed in the manner it performs. There is also the tiptronic mode that responds well.

In terms of fuel efficiency, the Tata Hexa scores 10 km/l with the automatic in city and about 14 km/l on the highway. The manual version of the Tata Hexa will return an efficiency of 11 km/l in city and about 14.5 km/l on the highway. We haven’t driven the five-speed manual engine but the range will be between the six-speed manual and automatic.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

On the face of it, the Hexa has a number of things that could work against it on the dynamics front – its immense weight, ladder-frame chassis, long wheelbase, robust 4×4 system, 19-inch wheels – and those things considered, it really pulls off something impressive. The ride quality first; it is really good. You will get quite a bit of steering shock (although not the worst we’ve seen in this sort of car) that’s typical of ladder-frame SUVs when you hit a sharp bump. There’s an underlying firmness that you’re constantly aware of, but at very few points could you call it harsh or uncomfortable. The truth is, the Hexa’s variable-rate dampers do a phenomenal job of tackling various road conditions and keep things comfy in the cabin no matter what. It’s at its best out on the highway, with a supremely flat ride and very little movement. What you’ll also be impressed by is how silently it goes about its business; very little suspension, tyre and road noise makes it to the cabin.

Handling expectedly is not in the same league as an SUV with a monocoque chassis. The Hexa rolls around a lot, although, it has to be said that there is a lot of grip, especially in the 4×4 version. The bigger issue, however, is that it just feels too large and heavy for you to ever dream of pushing it even remotely hard around a corner. The hydraulic steering has a bit of slack at the centre position, and is really heavy at low speeds, making parking this big hulk quite a task. This is slightly less pronounced in the 4×2 version, likely because of the lack of front driveshafts. Also, the lack of reach adjustment for the steering is a bit annoying, and you do feel like the wheel is canted slightly forward on the whole.

SAFETY ;

Tata Motors haven’t compromised on safety this time and the Hexa is loaded with safety equipment. It comes with 6 airbags including dual front, curtain and side airbags. There is a 4 channel, 4 sensor ABS offered as standard along with Cornering Stability Control function. Other safety features include Traction Control System, Electronic Stability Program, Hill Hold Control and Hill Descent Control. The Hexa’s long term durability and cost of ownership is yet to be seen and Tata Motors needs to ensure stress-free ownership of the Hexa considering the unreliable nature of the Safari faced by some owners in the past.

CONCLUSSION ;

The Aria’s quite a capable machine and Tata has done well to build on its strengths while making up for its shortcomings. The Hexa’s spacious cabin with three rows of seats, its ability to shrug off bad roads, commanding driving position and easy driving manners make for a great machine to cover long distances in. Yes, it will be a bit cumbersome to steer in the city and fit-finish of the interiors could be better. Nonetheless Tata look to tackle the Mahindra XUV500 head on with the Hexa and if priced right, the Hexa has not just the manners, but the look and the appeal to make it happen this time around. Quite simply, the Hexa is SUV enough, rich enough and fresh enough to deliver an overall experience that feels quite welcome for those looking for a rugged three-row SUV.

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Nissan Micra Design & Style

OVERVIEW ;

Value. It is what the Indian consumer is looking for. Whether it is the world’s cheapest car or the best car in the world, we want the most bang for our buck, and this is most apparent in our market’s fast-growing hatchback segment. There are two ways to approach the concept of ‘value’ – one, to offer a low price. Sure, there will be compromises on quality, but you essentially get more car for your money. The other is to provide extra features at the same price as the competition. Nissan had tried the former with the original India-spec Micra, but with the imminent launch of budget sub-brand Datsun, they’re taking the Micra brand to the place it usually occupies in the markets it is present in: the premium end of the hatchback segment.Check Price of Micra

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

With substantial exterior updates, the new model of the hatchback looks completely different from the old one. The front fascia sports radiator grille with a thick chrome bar, new headlights, fog lights with chrome surround and modified bumper. The side profile, however, remains largely similar to the old mode, except for the new alloy wheels. The rear end gets new LED tail lights, revised bumper with bold creases and longer tail gate. Exchange your old car for Micra

CABIN ;

The bulbous theme follow suite on the inside as well. Nissan’s ‘twin bubble theme’ dashboard in multi-grain plastic looks very modern and breaks away from the conventional dashboard layouts. The nice roomy interiors remain and the Micra is definitely one of the most cozy cars to be in. While we already mentioned about the lack of storage places in our earlier review Nissan probably read wrong and as a result the second glovebox has now been omitted. Other than skimping on storage places, there is not much to fault with and everything feels pretty well put together.

ENGINE AND PERFORMACE ;

Due to tax benefits most manufacturers are tuning into 1.2 ltr engines and since fuel efficiency is more of a concern to the Indian buyer, a 3 cylinder engine is the ideal compromise between power and efficiency. The Micra is powered by a 1.2 ltr DOHC 3 cylinder petrol engine which churns out 75 BHP @ 6000 rpm and 104 NM Torque @ 4000 rpm. Low end grunt is not the best but the acceleration is good above 2000 rpm. The Micra gives 18.06 kmpl as per ARAI but practically speaking we expect the Micra to deliver 14 – 15 kmpl in regular city driving, which is pretty good. Floor the engine and the Micra hits 120 comfortably, keep it floored and it accelerated towards 140 but then you back off as the tires don’t give you enough confidence to push beyond. Thanks to the Renault – Nissan alliance, a diesel engine is just around the corner and the diesel Micra will be powered by a 1.5 ltr diesel which is currently serving the Logan.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

It covers the low-speed stuff well enough, offering a smooth urban ride that is unaffected by lumps and bumps like most things in the class. Its electrically assisted steering is light, as most buyers will demand, and although it lacks the oily slickness and response of the better electric racks, it proves accurate enough.

Raise the speed and you challenge a few of the Micra’s facets. The first is noise – the Micra isn’t an overly refined car – and the second is its driving dynamics. We wouldn’t expect the Micra to be any kind of driver’s car, but there are superminis out there, even inexpensive ones like the Suzuki Swift and Skoda Fabia, which maintain a broader level of capability at all speeds than the Micra, whose primary interest is at the slower end of the scale.

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

The base model on the Micra has a new steering wheel and even centre arm-rest. As the demand for automatics is on the rise, this will help Nissan to capture more buyers especially those who need an automatic and aren’t willing to spend a lot more on the features. The other features include push start and stop, keyless entry, in-dash music system with steering mounted controls. There is even ABS on offer as well. The company had earlier even introduced dual airbags as a standard feature for all variants. Now, the base model is offered with a single driver airbag.

CONCLUSSION ;

There are three variants (trim levels, including one CVT variant) of the petrol engine, and four variants of the diesel engine to choose from.

The facelift has improved the overall appeal of the Micra. Standard equipment levels including some safety and comfort features will certainly boost the value proposition too. Hopefully, Nissan will keep any price increase on the new versions to a minimum. Currently the prices for the Micra range from Rs. 4.3 lakh to Rs. 6.5 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The 2014 Micra will be available at Nissan showrooms by the end of this month.

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Maruti Suzuki Dzire Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

There is no denying the fact that the Maruti Dzire has shaken the compact sedan segment in India by selling in such huge volumes which no other rival has been able to come close to. The Dzire is also one of the highest selling cars here and hence there is a lot of anticipation around the new generation. The looks have changed, the interiors have evolved and the driving dynamics are better. Let’s check out everything in detail .Check for Dzire price in Hyderabad

EXTERIORS AND INTERIORS ;

The use of wooden finish add a bit of class to the overall cabin quality of the new Dzire. There are also AC vents now for the back row passengers and despite being a compact sedan you won’t mind getting a chauffeur for it. The new platform used on the Dzire also makes space for some extra legroom for the rear passengers. There is also plenty of shoulder room at the back and getting three people to sit on the back seat is no longer a squeeze. Despite more legroom, the boot space 378 litres is more than what you would need on a family sedan. Get deals on Dzire

Now the biggest change on the new Dzire is how it looks from the outside. It now gets that fancy big grille up front just like its competition the Ford Figo Aspire. And the new eyes on the Dzire now has a shimmer to them thanks to the fancy looking DRL’s. The engine hood of the car in now much more flat and edgy and many would say it looks like a vintage design. We would say that Maruti has tried here to make it look classier with a modern aesthetic

One look at the Dzire from the side and you still get that feeling that there is something incomplete there. But that’s with almost any compact sedan in the market right now. The rear is something that we didn’t fancy that much on the Dzire. The reason is simple here, it’s just flat. The bumper, the tail-lamp and the rear boot hood are all on one line. And there is no major separation for all the three parts. That means there is a huge probability of a low collision impact damaging all those three parts

PERFORMANCE ;

The new Dzire carries over the same two powertrains from the previous generation. So, it is the same 1,197cc VVT petrol engine and the 1,248cc DDiS diesel engine with their 5-speed manual gearboxes. The powertrains get changes to their calibration and the automated manual transmission (AMT) makes an appearance in the Dzire. The AMT which we have seen in smaller Marutis is still the same basic tech involving sensors and hydraulic shifters mounted on top of the manual gearbox. The AMT’s relatively unrefined shifting characteristic is also, unfortunately, a carry-over. Unlike a torque converter or continuously variable (CVT) auto transmissions, AMTs tend to have prominent shift shocks during heavy acceleration. But, the head nodding pull during up shifts eases up during cruising speeds. Kick downs to lower gears when I stomp the throttle for an overtake maneuver also tend to be less urgent, but at slower speeds there is a double shift down from overdrive gears. With a lot of low-end torque being available, the diesel AMT was easier to use overall. Buyers have to be aware that the AMT tech is oriented towards optimising mileage in city driving cycles and so there is a certain inevitable performance compromise.

The petrol engine in the Dzire produces a peak power of 61kW at 6,000rpm and peak torque of 113Nm at 4,200rpm. This is a quiet, refined engine with its performance being an ideal combination for all types of driving cycles, My personal preference would be the manual transmission for both the petrol and diesel engines, but with more and more buyers preferring AMTs Maruti is now offering three trim variants each with the automated gearbox. The Dzire’s diesel engine delivers 55kW of power and 190Nm of torque. Peak torque is available from 2,000rpm. This common rail direct injection engine’s familiar character means that driving it in a Maruti is somehow always more pleasurable than in any other brand’s cars. It does get a bit raucous at high revs, but if you are a driver that loves to be connected with the car, this engine will keep you amply engaged.

The Bridgestone Ecopia 185/65 tyres that my test mule came with were shod on 15-inch alloys. While these tyres helped keep road rush to a minimum in the cabin, their relatively thin contact patch on the road meant lesser confidence while taking fast corners. However, straight line stability has improved dramatically and the Dzire now cruises confidently even at speeds of upto 160kmph

SAFETY ;

The safety features on offer include dual airbags, ABS with EBD and even brake assist. There is also ISOFIX on all the variants, which makes it a good option to consider. The other features on offer include the front seat belt with pre-tensioners, immobilizer, force limiter, seat belt warning lamps. Key left warning and door open warning are a part of this list.

(VXi/VDi) In the V variant, the additional features are day and night adjustable IRVM, speed sensitive door locking and anti-theft security system. (ZXi/ZDi) Z offers reverse parking sensor, front fog lamps, rear defogger as additional features. (ZXi+/ZDi+)

The Z+ also offers some additional features too. There is reverse camera with guide that is an extra over the Z variant

DRIVING ;

If I were to rate the most significant high points of the new Dzire, its ride comfort would come a close second after its interior space; it’s that unbelievable. Three key areas show significant improvement – the damping, the steering steadiness and robustness while tackling bigger potholes. The additional weight of the diesel Dzire lets the suspension setup deal with road uncertainties with aplomb. The characteristic can be experienced at both low and high speeds, and it ups the plushness of the cabin. The steering is also steadier now in and maintains its centre position when going over rough patches without much driver effort, which builds the driver confidence. The third, and the most common of the complaints associated with Maruti cars – that of crashing into the potholes, has also been addressed. The Dzire goes over uneven surfaces and even bigger uncertainties without any harshness

The new Dzire is built on Suzuki’s Heartect platform which is more rigid than the one on which it was based before. Apart from it passing the crash tests, it also improves the stability. The Dzire feels more planted now than before at speeds closer to three digits. While the platform makes it stable, the steering starts to get lighter with an increase in speed and makes it a nervous handler. At low speeds, the same steering feels better weighed. Braking is one department that doesn’t see any improvement. The Dzire still lacks the initial bite, and speed sheds only when you press the B-pedal hard. So, while the Dzire maintains composure under hard braking, it’s still not confidence inspiring

VERDICT ;

We won’t be surprised if the Maruti Dzire goes on to become the largest selling car by overtaking the Alto. Maruti Suzuki has taken a good package and made it even better with the new generation and the Dzire comes across as a well-rounded compact sedan that excels at a lot of things. What really impressed us is how the company has moved ahead in its quality standards and how the car is loaded with so many features. The driving characteristics are also very good and both the engines are efficient too. The Maruti Dzire is an excellent buy for someone looking for a not-so-big sedan that offers a competitive package.

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Nissan Terrano Price & Specifications

OVERVIEW

The Nissan Terrano is the third model in the Renault-Nissan India line-up to receive the badge-engineering treatment. However, this time, it’s Nissan that is tweaking a Renault product rather than the other way around. Unlike the other two badge-engineered models in the Renault-Nissan stable – the Scala and the Pulse – both of which have got mild tweaks to their exteriors to differentiate them from their Nissan equivalents; Nissan has gone a step further with the Terrano and made significant styling changes, including heavy alterations to the sheet metal. These include redesigned bumpers and lights and a new grille, all of which help the Nissan Terrano look like a proper Nissan. And there’s no doubt that the company has got a winner in the looks department. The Nissan Terrano’s revised V-shaped bonnet integrates nicely with the new Nissan-family grille. The grille itself looks inspired by the larger Nissan Pathfinder SUV sold internationally. The front bumper and lights are new, and the detailed styling around the fog lamps gives the Nissan Terrano a striking look when viewed head on. Check On Road Price of Terrano

EXTERIORS AND STYLING

Dimensionally, Nissan Terrano measures 4.33m in length with a width of 1.83m. Its overall height with the fixed roof rail is 1.67m. The wheelbase of 2.67m adds more to the interior spacing which is already abundant given its incredible height. Nissan Terrano has a ground clearance of 205mm, which is similar to that of Renault Duster, but is an add-on advantage that will keep this SUV going easily on any terrain. Get deals on Terrano

The side profile of Nissan Terrano has angular bold lines which are different from Duster’s curvy lines. The flared wheel-arches make the Terrano look aggressive, distinguishing it from most of Nissan’s models in India. The doors have two horizontal creases in them that enhance the butch look, but it isn’t enough to alleviate the organic lines of the rest of the car. The rear end bears no similarity to any of the Nissan SUVs and it is evident that Nissan has developed a new tail lamp cluster without fiddling too much with the Duster lamps. It gets a chrome garnish to add a premium feel, but the overall appearance is rugged with roof rails and silver skid plates. The flared up wheel arches of this SUV are endowed with a set of diamond-cut 16” machined light -weight alloy wheels in the top end variants, while the base as well as the mid variants are fitted with similar sized robust steel wheels, which certainly make the SUV look sportier. These classy rims have been further equipped with tubeless radial tyres of size 215/65 R16, which have a superior road grip on any terrain.

INTERIORS AND SPACE

The Nissan Terrano has comfortable ingress and egress. Once you enter the cabin, the beige treatment of interiors gives a good sense of space. Nissan has spruced up the dashboard layout, which feels slightly more premium than the Duster. The storage space on top of the dashboard has been covered now with a lid and the centre AC vents get rectangular in shape with chrome outlining. The instrument cluster covering has a rounded panel and the steering wheel remains the same that gets a rebadged horn pad with silver accents. The centre console is restyled with vertical silver panels running on the sides and piano black panels surrounding the new multimedia system.

These additional embellishments make the interior styling a bit more attractive than the Duster. Quality of the materials used and the fit and finish is exactly the same again, which is much better than the competition but doesn’t feel as premium as a car in this price bracket should feel. The base XE trim comes with black interior, while the rest get beige interior. Colour combination used in the Terrano gels nicely and looks tastefully done, thanks to the piano black finishing. The air conditioning is effective and the vents provide thick flow of air. Everything falls under reach and most of the controls are convenient to use apart from the mirror adjustment control that is placed under the handbrake lever. You will also miss the dead pedal to rest your foot on long drives. Nissan should have addressed the minor ergonomic issues which customers of the Duster have been complaining about since quite some time now.

The door pockets are deep enough to accommodate 1-litre bottles and there is enough spread of cup holders and small storage elements to keep knick knacks. Cabin space needs a special mention here, as there is ample space in both the rows as well as the boot. The seats are sufficiently supportive but lacking a bit of under-thigh support. The 475-litre boot space is practical with a convenient loading lip that can accommodate a good load of luggage. Some of the safety and convenience features offered in the Terrano include dual airbags, ABS, EBD, BA, fog lamps, reverse parking sensors, rear AC, double-din audio system with CD/MP3, USB, AUX and Bluetooth connectivity. Shockingly the steering mounted audio controls found on the Duster are not offered on the Terrano.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The Terrano comes in three different engine trims which include one petrol and two diesel. The specifications remain identical to that of the Duster. The 1598cc petrol engine churns out 104PS at 5850 rpm and a torque of 145 Nm at 3750 rpm. It has a 5 speed manual transmission and Nissan claims a mileage of 13.2 Kmpl.The petrol engine is smooth and not very audible. The 1.6L petrol engine seems perfect for city commute as it does not offer any kick as such but then in traffic conditions it is at its best. The gear shifts feel a bit notchy and can be bettered with a smoother shift movement.

This is not a typical rev friendly petrol engine as it feels underpowered at lower engine speeds. As the engine speed is raised, it gets more audible but then the lag in the delivery also gets very evident. Also, the petrol version gets Hydraulic power assisted steering. It delivered a mileage of 9.5 kmpl.The 1.5L lower spec diesel engine produces 85PS at 3750 rpm and a torque of 200 Nm at 1900 rpm. This engine is also equipped with a 5 speed manual transmission. The prime reason for having a lower spec diesel engine is for the mileage friendly consumers. This one being a diesel feels nice on torque.

This engine too has a lag but then it being a diesel unit tries to overcome it. It takes serious effort to make the vehicle reach higher speeds. The steering is very active in giving feedback and sometimes it gets a little too aggressive. Overtaking in a fully loaded condition is a stress as the notchy gears and the lag in the engine make it very difficult. This one scored more on mileage compared to the other two at 15 Kmpl After trying both the underpowered variants, it was finally time for me to drive the 110PS version. This remains my favorite with its superb power delivery. It produces a power of 110PS at 3900 rpm and a torque of 248 Nm at 2250 rpm. It also comes with a 6 speed manual transmission.

Crank it up and it feels the same until you shift it to the first gear. Cross 1700 rpm and the engine feels very much in control. The torque delivery is fantastic when it comes to the 110 PS model. In fact, I find this engine more athletic compared to that of the EcoSport in terms of sheer drive feel.

RIDE AND HANDLING

In terms of ride, unsurprisingly, the Terrano does brilliantly. It smothers even the biggest of potholes with ease and you don’t have to slow down for rough roads. In fact, the faster you go over rough surfaces, the better the ride.As for handling, the Terrano feels very stable at high speeds and rarely gets out of shape. Even in normal driving, the handling is pretty impressive for a high-riding SUV. There is a bit of body roll due to the soft suspension setup, but it is never too much. And you always feel in control of the car. Also, when you want to have fun, the car’s direct steering is quite rewarding. It’s light enough when you want it to be and weighs up at speed, and this adds to the overall fun.

BRAKING AND SAFETY

Disc units in front and drum units at rear provide stopping power, anti-lock-brakes with EBD and brake assist are available across variants save for the base trim. Safety features on board include front airbags, front fog lamps, engine immobilizer, central locking, driver seat belt reminder, door ajar warning, rear defogger, reverse parking sensor, three point seat belt with retractor in front and rear, speed sensing auto door lock and impact sensing auto door lock

CONCLUSSION

The Terrano is a genuinely nice car, and I do want to like it. However, it is missing some essential features that have been mentioned already. With the new Micra I thought that Nissan India had learned that the market will respond well to value – but according to the Renault-Nissan agreement, the donor car will always cost less than its twin. This means that the Duster will cost less than the Terrano, and this puts the top-spec Terrano between Rs 1-1.5 lakh over the top-spec Duster. That’s a staggering Rs 16.5-17 lakh on-road for great engineering but an incomplete feature set. The Duster filled in a gap in the Indian marketplace and it sold well as long as there weren’t options. The Terrano will enter the market with competition like the Duster itself and the Ford EcoSport. Will Nissan have a surprise in store for us like they did with the pricing of the new Micra? I certainly hope they do.

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Honda City Performance

OVERVIEW

The Honda City is the main reason behind Honda’s premium image in India. It has been the reigning dominator of the sedan segment and features in every car manufacturer’s rival list in India.Modern and contemporary design with premium interiors makes the City a near to perfect premium sedan. The quality of finishing in this sedan is the best offered among its competition.Battling a tough fight against all the diesel options offered by its rivals, Honda City still manages to command its strong position. However, with so many options being available in the market, will the Honda City hold on to its charm is what we find out in our review. Get On Road Price of Honda City

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

For those who actually thought that the new facelift sedan will get a completely new exterior design will perhaps be bit disappointed because instead of a complete overhaul Honda decided to give it a subtle exterior update.

Expect the facelift sedan to get a completely new grille with chrome inserts on them. While expect the front headlamps and the front bumper to get almost the same design as that of the newly launched Jazz hatchback. This overall front face sticks strictly to Honda’s ‘Exciting H Design’ language. Expect the grille to get blacked out theme as well. Besides all these cosmetic changes the other exterior change might also include a new set of alloy wheels while the overall side profile of this sedan will remain unchanged. Trade in Your used car for Honda City

Just like the blacked out front grille you can also expect the pillars of the sedan to get blacked out as well just to add more premium touch to its exterior. As far as the overall dimensions are concerned expect it to remain unchanged however the addition of new bumpers might add a few mm or more to its dimensions.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT

The interiors are There has a few add-ons though. The plastic quality feels better now and is put together well. A larger touchscreen infotainment system dominated the centre part of the dash. and this has better resolution too. The system has HDMI input and MirrorLink as well. There is reverse camera and even six airbags on offer on the ZX variant.

There is more than sufficient space in the 2017 City. The front row seats are comfortable and spacious. There is ample of head room and leg room. The seats have good comfort and are good enough even for long distance travel. The rear seats are also spacious and have good amount of comfort too. The arm rest falls a bit too low but other than that there is no other issue. The boot space is 510 litres, which is sufficient for a family of four.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The City continues to be powered by the same set of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.5 litre i-DTEC engine that makes 100hp and 200Nm delivers great low-end performance and is smooth and linear in a very un-diesel-like way, but rev it hard and it becomes rather noisy. Honda claims to have added more insulation for lowering the NVH levels in the diesel, and, though it is a marked improvement, there’s only so much that could be done to curb what is inherently a noisy engine. Ambient sounds have gone down a bit, but the diesel engine rattle is still an issue.The petrol option is of course the tried and tested naturally-aspirated 1.5 i-VTEC engine developing 119hp and 145Nm. The motor is still a riot for enthusiasts, revving out eagerly to its red line and making a lot of its power at the top end. It’s quite usable at the bottom end too and, as the revs climb, it can get a bit vocal.

Gearbox options remain the same as well with a six-speed manual for the diesel and a choice between five-speed manual or seven-step CVT automatic for the petrol. With India’s crowded roads and newfound fondness for automatics, it’s sad that the City doesn’t offer such an option on the diesel, but that’s just something that will perhaps have to wait for the next generation.With no mechanical changes to the suspension either, the ride remains largely the same, which is to say agreeable by class standards, but not the class best. There’s still a fair bit of roll around corners and the ride quality can get a bit choppy at times. The top ZX variants do get new 16-inch alloys and wider tyres, and thankfully they don’t seem to have hurt the ride quality at all. As for the handling, we didn’t get much of a chance to test it on Delhi’s wide, smooth and straight roads, so the verdict is still out on that one.

DRIVING DYNAMICS

There are no tweaks for the suspension as well in the updated model and we feel it doesn’t need it either. The City has got a very balanced setup, which offers pliant ride quality and nimble handling. The ride might feel a tad stiff at low speeds but it flattens up as you gain speed. The high speed stability is good but you might feel the need of wider tyres. Handling is quite engaging and the City feels eager to dart into corners but again, the undertyred setup tends to lose some grip when you push the car to its limit.

The steering makes you feel connected to the road and there is no sense of numbness. It is quick to respond and offers decent feedback. The body roll is well controlled and you don’t get tossed around much on the twisties. Ground clearance is not a big issue in the fourth generation City, it rarely touches the underbelly on big bumps and potholes. Braking performance is good and the pedal bite is confidence inspiring too.

SAFETY

Thankfully, more and more manufacturers are taking safety seriously nowadays and so is Honda. The City facelift gets dual airbags and Anti-lock brakes along with electronic brake-force distribution as a standard fitment. Adding to standard list of equipment are the ISOFIX mounts for child seats. The top ZX trim gets six airbags which include side and curtain airbags, which is a great offering, in our opinion

CONCLUSSION

Offcourse the facelift city no doubt will help carry forward the legacy of the City sedan ahead. This has been one of the most popular C-segment sedans of the country and actually has helped Honda to cement their position in the Indian market. The facelift sedan might not bring a lot of change with it but it definitely will help bring some fresh appeal with it until and unless the new generation sedan is launched in the Indian market.

 

 

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Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Price In Hyderabad

OVERVIEW ;

The C-segment sedan space is one of the most competitive so much so that there are eight cars fighting for volumes, the ninth to join is the Maruti Suzuki Ciaz. We recently pitched all the eight C-segment cars against each other and it was amply clear that the top three in the shootout had a lot more to offer. India’s largest car maker is a master in offering more for less as so evident from a majority of its products but can the Ciaz break all moulds to become a success considering Maruti Suzuki’s image as a big car maker isn’t much to talk about. While this Maruti sedan is off to a good start in the Indian market, does the Ciaz have what it takes to rub shoulders with well established rivals and maintain the volumes? Check On Road Price of Ciaz in Hyderabad

EXTERIORS ;

This perception change can only happen with upmarket, elegant exterior styling. The good news for Maruti fans is, the Ciaz most certainly looks like an expensive car. The large head lamps, the in-your-face chrome grille and the stylised bumper give the Maruti Ciaz an air of richness. The profile dominated by the strong shoulder line that runs from the front fender all the way into the tail lamp along with those nice looking 16 inch wheels lend the Maruti Ciaz an elegant but youthful stance. The blacked out B-pillar helps, as does the stretched feel for the panels. Trade in Your used car for Ciaz

At the rear, the tail lamps are clearly inspired by the new Honda City, but the Maruti still manages to look more rounded. The rear bumper, like the one at the front, is well styled and lends the Ciaz a hint of aggression. The chrome strip on the boot lid further enhances the sedan’s appeal.

INTERIORS ;

The interiors of the Ciaz are completely new and different from any other Maruti car. The neatly laid out dashboard has a seven-inch touchscreen system. The higher variants get automatic climate control. The steering is shared with other models but it gets a leather wrap as also the gear knob. The top variant gets leather upholstery also. The Ciaz is comes loaded with features like push button start, keyless entry, bluetooth connectivity, navigation, reverse parking camera and sensors.

The Ciaz is not stingy on spacious too. There is good head room and leg room available. The seats are not the best but provide good comfort. It could have done with some more under thigh support. The boot is large and can fit in quite a lot of luggage with ease. This makes it a very practical sedan that can be used for weekend getaways too. The Ciaz S offers all black interiors and even the centre console has grey chrome finish on it.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

While the Ciaz doesn’t get an entirely new motor, it does get a fairly reworked version of Maruti’s own K14 petrol unit found on the Ertiga. The tweaks to the engine focus on improving driveability and maximising fuel economy. To achieve that, Maruti has modified the cylinder head to raise the compression ratio from 10:1 to 11:1 and the revised head design allows for a better tumble of airflow at low speeds. Also, the air inlet track has been lengthened to further improve low-end torque. To counter heating problems and engine-knocking, issues that are typically associated with higher compression motors, long reach spark plugs and a more efficient oil pump have made their way into the motor. Despite all these changes though, peak power and torque figures have pretty much stayed the same.

On the face of it, the petrol version doesn’t come across as enthusiastic since a power output of 91bhp (at 6000rpm) is a pretty ordinary number for a mid-size sedan. However, in-gear timings are good – the Ciaz is pretty responsive and has a nice urgency about town. The engine pulls quite well from

low revs and you don’t have to work the gearbox much; and even when you do, the light clutch and slick shifting ’box (albeit not as nice as the Swift’s) takes away the effort from city driving. But find an open stretch and explore the K14 motor’s powerband, and you soon realise the power delivery is pretty flat. The mid-range isn’t particularly strong; this engine doesn’t like to be spun hard and gets pretty noisy as the tachometer closes in on its modest 6,200rpm redline.

Flat-out performance is fairly decent, with the dash to 100kph taking 12.02 seconds. However, it’s the unenthusiastic way the Ciaz picks up speed that makes you feel that it’s not as quick as the numbers suggest.

SAFETY ;

Maruti doesn’t offer airbags and ABS as standard on the base V variant of the Ciaz but the other three variants are equipped with these safety features. It is the least equipped car when compared to its immediate rivals, the Hyundai Verna and Honda City in terms of safety. The Verna gets ABS standard across all variants while its range topping variant gets 6 airbags. The City comes with both ABS and airbags as standard on all its variants. The Ciaz hasn’t been crash tested yet by the Global NCAP but considering the low weight of the car (despite being the biggest car in segment) compared to the rivals, we believe the structural strength might not be up to the mark. When it comes to after sales service, Maruti is second to none and has the biggest dealership network in the country by a mile.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

Now if you like driving, the Ciaz might not be the car for you. It has a precise steering and you eventually learn how much steering input to dial in but it isn’t great on feedback. It just isn’t in the same league as the Volkswagens and the Skodas. But, if you are looking for a comfortable long distance cruiser, you will like the Ciaz’s easy nature. Good straight line stability and potent braking, is of course an added plus.

The Maruti Ciaz rides well too. It has been setup for comfort over all else and it’s evident in the way the car rides. It’s softly sprung, so at slow speeds and over broken roads, it remains comfortable. However, at higher speeds and particularly over undulating roads and with load, the Maruti Ciaz does tend to wallow.

VERDICT ;

The Ciaz is backed by the large dealer and service network of Maruti Suzuki, looks good, delivers good efficiency numbers and starts at a price tag of Rs 7.73 lakhs. Has an optional AT variant, petrol engine and a number of variants whose prices go all the way up to Rs 10.5 lakhs (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).

In our books, Maruti Suzuki has come a long way than being a manufacturer that’s known for being cost efficient and deliver good fuel efficiency. The company still delivers on those promises and so much more.

If you are looking for a sedan in the sub-10 lakh segment, then the Ciaz is definitely worth a shot.

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Honda BR-V Facelift Review & Test Drive

OVERVIEW

The Honda BRV is the latest seven-seater MUV to compete in the people mover space. It is a new vehicle which is based on the Mobilio. Compact seven seaters are preferred by a lot of customers as they take up equivalent space of a sedan, yet offer a lot of utility. The BRV tries to fill in this space. What is the BRV all about? How good is the engine, performance, drivability, design, features, space, comfort, practicality and the price? We drive it in Udaipur as Honda had invited us to try out the new BRV. Get On Road Price of Honda BRV in Carzprice

DESIGN AND STYLE

The Honda BR-V belongs to the Brio family as the compact SUV is based on the same platform. However, the BR-V is the first car from the Brio lineup to break the mundane styling cues. It has got a heavily revised front, spruced up side profile and a new look for the rear. The projector headlamps are sleek and chunky, merging with the signature Honda chrome grille seamlessly. The front bumper is brawny getting some nice styling details along with a faux silver skid plate and an upright hood for that SUV stance. The front three-quarters of the BR-V manages to exhibit the SUV look but as you go towards the side profile, things are quite different. Get deals on Honda BRV

The Honda BR-V resembles the Mobilio MPV to a large extent when viewed from the side angle. It has got the same kink on the B-pillar, roofline is identical and the lengthy MPV silhouette is quite visible. Honda has given it some rugged details for making it look a bit SUVish and these include tall roof rails, 210 mm of high ground clearance and black cladding on the lower half of the body. The rear has got some eye catching elements such as the new LED tail lamps with a long reflector panel connecting the cluster which gives it a wide look. There is chrome garnishing on the tailgate and a skid plat for the rear bumper. The overall design looks more MPV oriented rather than being an upright SUV.

SPACE AND CABIN

When we first saw the Honda BR-V in Japan, we were relieved that Honda was dumping the low rent interior from the Brio family for a more premium design. Since then, Honda has upgraded the Amaze in India offering the very same new dashboard and it is only a a matter of time before both the Mobilio and Brio get a similar update.

The layout follows a similar design to the Honda City and Jazz but unlike their touch controls for the sensitive automatic aircon, the Honda BR-V uses conventional buttons. Quality is good and the plastics feel durable. More importantly, the dash is no longer a deal breaker. The Honda BR-V also gets a new instrument cluster that uses white ringed dials with a separate multi-information display that has dual trips, average and instant efficiency, driving range and ambient temperature.

The audio system is a simple unit with a small black and white screen. It has USB, AUX and Bluetooth playback but sound quality is only average.

Where the Honda Amaze offers a standard key, the BR-V has a push button start system. The cabin is thoughtfully laid out, there are enough storage spaces, large bottle holders in the door pockets and an Innova-like roof mounted second AC for the rear passengers. Having roof mounted vents is logical as it sends some of the cool air to the third row. Low mounted ac vents like the ones in the Duster and Creta won’t send air so far back. That having been said, the rear aircon, while effective, is quit

The seats on the top spec model are leather wrapped and supportive. Being the longest car in its segment has its advantages and space is generous, even the third row is quite usable. Middle row knee room isn’t on the same level as a Honda City and you can tell Honda has sacrificed a little here to make the third row more practical. I’m 6″1 and I could fit in there with reasonable comfort. Being a conventional third row, passengers also get seatbelts unlike those silly jump seats in the sub-4m 7-seaters from Mahindra.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Honda will offer the BR-V in two engine trims of petrol and diesel. The diesel will be the 1.5-litre motor that is also seen in the Honda Jazz and the Honda City. Similarly, it will produce 98 bhp of power and 200 Nm of torque. It will come with a six-speed manual transmission. The diesel typically will serve well for the highway mongers but then for the city commuters, it will be the petrol doing rounds.

We got a chance to test drive the Honda BR-V under a controlled environment at a specified speed on a special track. The duration was too less for us to form definite judgements about the riding dynamics and the overall performance but based on our brief experience with the car, we concluded the following.

Firstly, the 1.5-litre iVTEC engine will power the petrol variants and will come with a six-speed manual transmission. In addition, Honda will also offer the same engine with a seven-speed CVT transmission. This 1497cc motor makes 118 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and generates an impressive 145Nm of torque at 4600 rpm. The power delivery has been deliberately tuned in such a way to order more push in the lower range.

Honda also claims to have made the engine smoother than before and has been tweaked according to the body type. Even the efficiency has been increased by usage of low friction rings along with piston stroke noise reduction. Also, tackling criticism against this transmission, Honda has developed a new CVT unit for small sized engines. This has helped in reducing the lag by quicker acceleration from standstill as well as reduced overall weight of the unit increasing the mileage.

RIDE AND HANDLING

Most Hondas these days lack that incredible driver appeal that was a key part of the company’s DNA for decades. Still, they are still quite agreeable to drive, and that’s true of the BR-V too. It’s helped in a big way by that car-like driving position and good visibility. The steering is quick and accurate and this SUV will track true around corners; it really feels like a sedan from behind the wheel. What lets it down is its massive girth that can be felt at all times; you simply have to remind yourself that there’s a lot of car behind you when you try to push it hard. Body control is pretty impressive for something so big, it has to be said, and that’s due to a suspension setup that’s a little on the stiff side. Yes, the BR-V’s ride is a little firm, but like the other cars on this platform, it’s not too uncomfortable for it. Yes, you’ll get a bit of up-and-down movement over a really rough patch of road, but it’s really not bad enough to be a serious complaint. In fact, in most situations, it really handles a variety of surfaces quite well. It’ll smash out potholes quite impressively and it will stay quite flat out on the highway too; there’s even an impressive resistance to crosswinds. All things considered, the BR-V’s ride doesn’t have that excellent balance of the Renault Duster, nor does it have the soft, floaty ride of a Hyundai Creta (nor, thankfully, the associated body roll), and most owners will be quite happy with the comfort levels in here.

SAFETY AND SECURITY

BR-V gets dual frontal airbags for driver and co-passenger as standard fitment across the line-up. Other than this the SUV also gets preeminent safety features like vehicle safety assist and hill start assist.

The braking system of Honda BR-V features disc brakes at the front and drum brakes at the rear. The ABS with EBD is used as a standard in all variants except the petrol E variant. The body shell is made strong with ACE body structure and front dual airbags are introduced in all variants for complete safety of the occupants

CONCLUSSION

The Honda BR-V is a crossover SUV that India has waited for with bated breath for years primarily because it is Honda’s first diesel SUV offering in the country. But, we think that Honda has tried to play it way too safe with the BR-V, which makes it an underwhelming product. Now the perfect target audience for the BR-V would have been the middle class family man with a couple of children who go out over the weekend for a holiday or two ever so regularly and want a car that has a premium Japanese badge and a sense of pride in ownership. This customer also wants something reliable which means that the Honda brand caters perfectly to him or her. But we think that even this perfect target customer might be concerned about a few things.

 

 

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