Rolls Royce Dawn Overview & Test Drive

OVERVIEW ;

The Rolls-Royce Dawn is the newest convertible to be added to the illustrious list of Rolls Royce cars in India. The four-seater convertible will only be the second RR convertible in the country after the Rolls-Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe. At its price point, the Dawn is almost twice as expensive as its closest competitor – the Bentley Continental GTC.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

Rolls Royce Dawn images and the Dawn itself reveal that it is based on the Wraith Coupe, its bodywork is 80% new. In fact the car carries forward only the doors and grille of the car on which it’s based. The car has a long hood and short rear overhang and yet looks proportionate. With Parthenon grille and the Spirit of Ecstasy remain the most noticeable features of the car. The Dawn is over five meter long, 5285mm to be precise and 1947mm wide and has a wheelbase of 3112mm. At 2560kg it weight about 200kg more than the Wraith. It is no less than a piece of exquisite art. Rolls Royce Dawn colors can be had in any different shades as per the customization required. For detail review, features and price of Rolls Royce car models visit Carzprice

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Like the exterior, the interior benefits from everything available with the Wraith, except for the Starlight Headliner and its 1,340 individual lights woven into the roof liner. Highlights include acres of wood — it features the largest contiguous portions of wood in any production car — and fine leather, wool carpets, and a wide array of upholstery colors and customization options.Rear legroom is generous inside the Dawn, which, according to Rolls-Royce, is not a 2+2, but a veritable four-seater.“In the world of Rolls-Royce, day to day mathematical norms don’t always apply. That’s why I say in the case of the new Rolls-Royce Dawn, 2+2 does not equal 4,” said Rolls-Royce director of design, Giles Taylor. “The idea of creating a car like Dawn that can be used in comfort by only two adults on a day to day basis is anathema. In creating Dawn we have accepted no compromise to the comfort and luxury of four adults who want to travel together in the pinnacle of style.”All told, the Dawn is the most opulent convertible in this niche and its interior look more like a luxury yacht’s than a car. Technology-wise, it’s also identical to the Wraith and features the BMW iDrive-based infotainment and navigation systems.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

Not surprisingly, Rolls-Royce dropped the same 6.6-liter V-12 found in the Wraith under the Dawn’s hood. However, the Dawn is motivated by a Ghost-spec unit, which means output sits at 563 horsepower and 575 pound-feet of torque, making the drop-top significantly less powerful than its coupe sibling. For reference, the Wraith comes with 624 horses and 590 pound-feet of twist on tap.The power is routed to the wheels by the same ZF-built, eight-speed automatic, pushing the Dawn from 0 to 62 mph in 4.9 seconds. Though it represents a half-second drop compared to the Wraith, it’s still impressive for a vehicle than tips the scales at 5,644 pounds. As usual, top speed is electronically limited at 155 mph. Get detail features, specs and price of Rolls Royce Dawn in Carzprice

DRIVE AND HANDLING ;

We haven’t driven a Dawn yet, but we don’t expect it to be much different from its fixed-roof cousin, the Wraith. That car combines an endlessly powerful V12 with a ride so sublime that anything else feels like a Lotus Elise traversing a dry creek bed. The Wraith makes even your Bentley-owning friends marvel at the pin-drop quiet inside the cabin. The only thing you’ll hear is the omnipresent 18-speaker Bespoke Audio system that massages your eardrums as Franz Liszt gently coaxes you onward.

SAFETY ;

Rolls-Royce keeps safety in mind with the Driver Assistance 3 package that includes active cruise control, night vision, a head-up display, high-beam assistance, and a lane departure warning system. Active cruise control maintains a selectable distance to the vehicle ahead while cruise control is activated, and night vision adds an infrared camera that can detect pedestrians in low-light conditions at distances up to 1,000 feet. The camera system on the Dawn provides an almost 360-degree view around the vehicle with distance indicators.

CONCLUSSION ;

Price at 6.25 crores (ex-showroom), it is certainly not the most affordable car in the world, but it’s not made for that. It’s built for a purpose. The purpose is to deliver Rolls Royce experience. The lucky owners can thank the Goodwood England for such machines. EMI Calculator for Rolls Royce Dawn

 

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Volkswagen Ameo Specifications & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

As Indians we have a lot of unique things about us. Be it our food habits, culture or diversity across the nation to name a few. Unsurprisingly, our car market is pretty unique too and the biggest example of this are the sub 4-metre sedans on our roads. The status symbol that a sedan is, we prefer a three-box saloon even if it isn’t as spacious as an equally priced hatchback! Now that’s something that isn’t going to change for a while – perhaps why Volkswagen decided to develop a car specifically for the Indian car market, the Ameo.

It’s exactly a year since Volkswagen confirmed plans of launching a sub 4-metre sedan developed specially for India, and we got to see the car first a day prior to the 2016 Auto Expo. And then came the pricing, along with the elaborate feature list which we’re sure has got other players thinking. We’ve finally spent a day driving the car, so here’s what it feels like in reality.

EXTERIORS ;

The Ameo carries forward the timeless design language of Volkswagen successfully. The vehicle resembles the Polo and Vento from the front while the side (up to the C-pillar) will remind you of the Polo although changes have been made to the front fenders. The boot has been neatly integrated but the requirement of tucking under 4-metres in length does make the car look a bit awkward from certain angles. Still, this is one of the better looking compact sedans and the boot job doesn’t look like an after-thought. The only way to identify the diesel version from the petrol is the TDI badging on the boot.

INTERIORS ;

On the inside, the Ameo is offering high quality interiors. The fit and finish on the inside is good and even the look and feel of the materials. The cabin feels a bit outdated in design. In terms of features, it gets most of it. There is a touchscreen system, reverse parking camera, Apple Car Play and a lot more features. Dual airbags and ABS is a standard feature across all variants.

The front seats are large and comfortable too. The second row gets tight on knee room and this is a drawback considering most of the competition. Tall people might not be very comfortable at the rear. For this reason, the Ameo is a good option to buy for those who drive themselves. There is a rear AC vent in the Ameo and a bottle holder as well. The boot isn’t the largest, but the rear seats fold and this is a unique feature for a compact sedan.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

After the disappointment of VW’s anaemic 1.2 MPI petrol engine in the Ameo, we knew it could only be uphill from there. But this latest version of the 1.5 TDI diesel is just plain impressive. Sure, it’s a little noisy at start-up and at higher revs, but the car is quite well insulated and it’s something you can get used to. With 110hp and 250Nm, it’s a wee bit more powerful than the old version of this motor, thanks to a new, larger turbocharger. There’s no way to do an ‘apples to apples’ comparison with the old motor just yet, but we can tell you that in the Ameo, the new one feels supremely punchy and powerful.

Release the slightly firm clutch pedal in the five-speed manual Ameo TDI and it will jump off the line eagerly, the short first gear prompting you flick the light gear lever down into second shortly after. There is a noticeable surge of power at around 2000rpm but there on, there’s seemingly no let up right till 5000rpm. And since the powerband is relatively short even by diesel standards, you charge through it rather quickly. It’s even got a decent top end. And, because the gear ratios have been smartly chosen, there’s little in the way of perceptible lag too. Get more details and offers on Volkswagen Ameo cars in Mumbai from Volkswagen dealers in Mumbai

In fact, it’s when you drive the DSG automatic that you’ll feel the lag a bit more. Because it’s been designed to slur its way through the lower gears for a smoother take-off, you feel more of that sub-1,800rpm sluggishness from the motor. There is, of course, less of this when you tap the lever down to Sport mode and you can eliminate it altogether by selecting gears manually (again via the lever; there are no paddles), but ultimately, it’s the manual that is more fun to drive.

The DSG is superb at being an automatic though. It’s smooth, clever and quick and makes matters so much more convenient in traffic. It’s hugely better than the AMT gearboxes you get in the Maruti Dzire and Tata Zest, but that does come at a premium.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Don’t let the sporty looking flat-bottom steering wheel fool you. The Ameo is a compact sedan, after all, and it handles exactly like it’s supposed to. Like all other cars in its class, the Ameo’s suspension set up has been oriented towards comfort. That said, it has got the second best balance between ride and handling, after the Honda Amaze. The steering on the Ameo feels vague around the straight-ahead position and is slow to turn in. It’s initially light but becomes gradually heavier as more lock is applied. All in all, it lacks the consistency in feel that’s to be found in rivals like the Ford Figo Aspire.

The production-spec Ameo rides on 15-inch wheels as opposed to the bigger 16-inchers seen on the show car at the Auto Expo. Nevertheless, the Ameo’s ride quality is quite good – we sampled it across both pothole-ridden city streets and wide open tarmac on the highway. It deals with undulated surfaces rather well despite transmitting some sharp bumps from on the road into the cabin. So what’s not to like in terms of dynamics? Well, the Ameo, like all other compact sedans, has that inherent floatiness to its high speed ride. One has to make constant steering corrections to keep the thing true to its line. Get On Road price of Volkswagen Ameo from Volkswagen Dealers in Hyderabad at Carzprice

CONCLUSSION ;

The Ameo TDI’s ride quality is very similar to the petrol version and the Polo’s. The car remains planted and settled even at high speeds. This is the compact sedan you’ll feel confident in while doing over 160kmph. The Ameo does feel like it crashes into pot holes, we faced quite a few on Mumbai’s roads it being the post-monsoon season, but the car still stays the line.

VW has gone for a couple of basic safety features, so, ABS and dual airbags are standard across variants. The DSG variants get ESP and hill hold control too. Some of the top-end variants of the Ameo TDI also get a few segment first features, including cruise control, rain-sensing wipers and static cornering lights. There are three trim levels for the manual and two for the automatic transmission versions. The Ameo TDI is the most impressive diesel compact sedan out there now.

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Renault Captur Test Drive & Price In India

OVERVIEW ;

India is closely following the global trend of moving toward SUVs. Nobody knows that better than Renault, who has been fairly successful with the Duster. The Duster came at the right time for the French manufacturer and was unrivalled for a long time. There was just one major flaw with the Duster, it just didn’t feel premium at all. The interior quality was very average and didn’t justify the asking price. The Duster further lost the gloss once Hyundai launched the Creta and even though the Creta was more expensive it still found a lot more homes. Now, Renault wants to get back in the SUV game with the Captur, a Duster-platform SUV which Renault claims is more upmarket. Get more details and offers on Renault cars in Mumbai from Renault dealers in Mumbai

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

From the outside, it’s almost impossible to tell that the Captur is based on the Duster platform. It mirrors the European Captur’s design language, with swooping lines, curves and minimum angles, making it inherently French in its aesthetics, contrasting the Duster’s more Romanian origins. Even with the Captur’s graceful lines, it still manages to have a butch quality, thanks to the wide and squatter stance compared to something like the Hyundai Creta. Big wheel arches over the wonderfully designed ‘crystal cut’ 17-inch wheels sporting 215/60 rubber and the massive 210mm ground clearance lend it the unmistakable proportions of an SUV. To add to that, the Captur’s short bonnet is muscular, drooping down at the front into an elegant headlight cluster, and culminating in a chunky bumper with ‘C’-shaped units that house LED daytime running lamps (DRL) and fog lamps.

Speaking about LEDs, there are lots of them across the car. Apart from the aforementioned DRLs and fog lamp combo, the tail-lights, as well as the headlights, are also full LED. There’s LED ambient lighting on the inside as well, but more on that later. Overall, it’s a very refreshing design unlike anything else seen in this segment before. But, in spite of the Captur being a looker, Renault is offering a whole multitude of customisation options in the form of garnishes such as chromed trim parts, several roof graphics and even two preset themes for those would have a difficult time choosing individual parts .Get On Road price of Renault Captur from Renault Dealers in Chennai at Carzprice

CABIN AND COMFORT ;

Getting inside the Captur is a bit of occasion. There’s no bulky key fob, but a sleek looking credit card-sized ‘access card’. Sure, we’ve seen this with the Koleos and the Fluence years ago – but it still seems cool to have. The shape of the key makes it very pocketable, something we appreciate when out of the car. In the car, the card can be parked in a slot on the centre console. Pulling it out automatically kills off the electricals when the engine is switched off. ThoughtfulOnce you start getting comfortable in the front seats, you realise that the seating position is quite high. You tower over the dash and although you can’t see the low-set nose, you do get a confidence-inspiring view of the road up ahead. The cushioning on the seat is a tad stiffer than what we’ve seen on the Duster. But, that’s a good thing – it won’t tire you out over longer journeys. The seats hold you well in place, and we’ve got no complains as far as support for the sides or the lower back is concerned. The seat lets you manually adjust for height, angle and reach. But, the steering adjusts only for tilt. While reach adjust would’ve been good to have, we didn’t have issues getting into a comfortable driving position. That said, the taller folks will find their knees brushing against the centre console and their hairdo rubbing against the roof lining.

That’s down to the way the dashboard has been designed with a prominent, bulging centre console. There’s a lot to like about the design though as it flows effortlessly from one door pad to the other. It looks a lot trendier than the Creta’s or the S-Cross’ dash that have a no-frills design. On a related note, it’s a lot more upmarket than the Duster and the Terrano that have a utilitarian approach. The colour palette mixes black, white and rose gold in good measure. The textured finish of the dash feels pleasant to touch, although a proper soft-touch dash (or even an insert like in the S-Cross) would’ve upped the premium quotient by a huge margin. Getting into the rear is a bit of a task. A wider opening would’ve made ingress and egress a lot easier. Once in, there’s little to complain about. You don’t feel hemmed in inspite of the rising window line and the tallish seating makes you further feel at ease. Space on the inside is just about enough for two six-footers to sit behind each other. The cabin is wide enough to accommodate three passengers, but the seat back isn’t exactly flat for the middle occupant. Three healthy individuals will rub shoulders, but it should do just fine for a quick highway trip too. At 4329mm, the Captur is the longest in its class. The wheelbase is the largest at 2673mm as well. But, sitting inside makes you wonder if all that length could’ve been used more effectively. Then there’s the 390-litre boot that’s far from being the biggest in volume. But, the opening is wide and there’s not much of a loading lip – so you can easily brim it up.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

A 1.5-litre petrol engine churns about 99bhp of power and it produces about 150Nm of maximum torque. This engine is the same one that is offered on the Nissan Sunny too. It comes mated to a five-speed manual transmission. The petrol engine is silent and has low NVH too.The 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine churns about 108bhp of power and 250Nm of maximum torque. This engine is the most commonly used diesel engine by Renault. The same one on the Duster diesel too. At the same time, there is more than sufficient torque to drive in the city and even to overtake. The NVH levels of this engine aren’t too loud, but the insulation inside the Captur is good enough. This enhances the interior comfort of the car.The petrol engine returns about 10km/l in the city and about 15km/l on the highway. At the same time, the diesel engine returns close to 15km/l in the city and about 18km/l on the highway. There shall be no automatic on offer and only manual transmission will be made available.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

As for handling, the Captur feels very stable at high speeds and rarely gets out of shape. Even at normal speeds, the handling is pretty impressive for a high-riding SUV. There is a bit of body roll due to the soft suspension setup, but never too much. And you always feel in control. It’s not a sporty car though and it feels best when you flow through corners than hustling through them. Even the steering is quite slow off-centre and the irritating steering kickback which is typical of this platform when you encounter mid corner bumps is still there.

SAFETY

The Renault Captur comes equipped with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist, along with ISOFIX as standard across all variants. Move to the higher variants and you add features such as side airbags, hill start assist, electronic stability program (ESP), rear parking sensors and a rear parking camera with dynamic guidelines

BOTTOMLINE ;

The 2017 Renault Captur is an interesting and well-proportioned mid-sized SUV, which gets an attractive, trendy and appealing exterior design, great looking interiors, premium features and a well-refined & responsive engine. During our Renault Captur review and driving tests, we found that this car has everything needed to take Renault’s legacy and popularity forward in the Indian automobile market. What we liked the most is the overall appearance of this car. It is definitely one of the best-looking mid-sized SUVs available today.

 

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Toyota Land Cruiser Prices, Reviews and Pictures

Toyota Land Cruiser Price in India

 

Toyota Land Cruiser is a luxury SUV offered in the Indian automotive market by the Japanese carmaker. It is powered by a 4.5 L V8 diesel engine that develops 261hp power and 650Nm of torque. The engine is mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission and a ‘Full-Time 4WD system. For off-roading, the Land Cruiser has assistance functions such as Crawl Control, Multi-terrain Select with A-TRAC, Multi-Terrain Monitor, Turn Assist and a wading depth of 700 mm. All this can be done in the comfort of a four-zone automatic climate control, temperature controlled ventilated front and 2nd-row outer seats, and a choice of beige, brown or black interior. All occupants get their individual cup holders along with bottle holders in each door pocket and extra space in the centre console to keep essentials like wallet, phone etc.

 

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

Land Cruiser 200 has the innate muscularity which is synonymous to a sports utility vehicle. The tall height and higher ground clearance gives the SUV a desired stance or rather it supports the outer styling that is done to make the vehicle appear macho. Front profile in particular is styled aggressively and that is also the highlight of the SUV’s design. Bumper is wide featuring an assertive radiator grille with three thick chrome bars and a thicker chrome surround that meets with the head lights. The automatic projector LED head light units are not very broad or gawky, Toyota has sculpted in well rendering the right thickness that looks well in proportion with the front grille. Lower portion of the bumper is painted in body colour and gets fog lamps finished with chrome. Bonnet is also wide and gets two prominent lines that add aggression. Side profile frankly is not very impressive; window frame design is too suave or rather boxy, the thin chrome line on the window belt looks sleek.

Electrochromatic wing mirrors can be adjusted electrically and get a heater and camera, moreover it also comes with memory function. Tyres also appear under weight, wheel arches are large but the space between wheels and arches is a bit too much seeking the attention of onlookers easily. Ten spoke redesigned alloy rims are entwined with all four tyres, most importantly they kind of make do for that awkward space left between wheels and the arches. Black roof rails atop are sporty but it does not have any functionality. Rear comes with LED combination lamps and integrated spoiler with high mount stop lamp. The vehicle also gets a moon roof. Front windshield gets rain sensing wipers and deicer, rear also gets a wiper and defogger.

 

INTERIOR AND COMFORT

The 2017 Land Cruiser features an interior that is nicer than the average Toyota, with top-quality materials and lots of high-tech items. The overall impression is short of luxury-vehicle standards, but if that’s what you’re looking for, the similar Lexus LX 570 should satisfy.With the exception of the rather long reach to the central touchscreen, the Entune system is easy to use and has a wealth of apps to keep you entertained and informed. The rear entertainment system ensures that other passengers have plenty to keep them occupied as well.

Front seats have ample cushioning and support for all-day comfort. Second-row passengers enjoy heated seats that can slide fore and aft to increase legroom. The third-row seats fold out from the sides of the cabin, and the expected lack of legroom makes them suitable for smaller passengers only.Overall cargo capacity is smaller than you’ll find in other SUVs. Behind the third-row seats, there is only some 16 cubic feet of cargo volume.  Behind the second-row seats, you’ll find just 43 cubic feet of space because the third-row seats flip to the side rather than stow beneath the floor.  Once the second- and third-row seats are stowed, 82 cubic feet of cargo volume is available.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION 

The powertrain of new Toyota Land Cruiser 200 comes revamped, as it comes with a large and powerful V8 engine, which is capable to take the car literally anywhere, be it on road or off the road. The 4461 cc displacing enormous diesel engine comes mated to a 6 speed automatic gear box and powered by an all wheel drive system. It produces 261 hp of peak power and 650 Nm of maximum torque.

On the other hand the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser comes powered by a 5.7 litre DOHC V8 engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which is capable to produce 381 hp and 544 Nm of torque. 2016 Land Cruiser will come equipped with an all new 8 speed automatic gear box. Certainly it replaces the old 6 speed automatic gear box which is visible in the Land Cruiser 200 also.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

The powertrain of new Toyota Land Cruiser 200 comes revamped, as it comes with a large and powerful V8 engine, which is capable to take the car literally anywhere, be it on road or off the road. The 4461 cc displacing enormous diesel engine comes mated to a 6 speed automatic gear box and powered by an all wheel drive system. It produces 261 hp of peak power and 650 Nm of maximum torque.

Book a Test Drive for Toyota Land Cruiser

On the other hand the 2016 Toyota Land Cruiser comes powered by a 5.7 litre DOHC V8 engine with Variable Valve Timing with intelligence (VVT-i), which is capable to produce 381 hp and 544 Nm of torque. 2016 Land Cruiser will come equipped with an all new 8 speed automatic gear box. Certainly it replaces the old 6 speed automatic gear box which is visible in the Land Cruiser 200 also.

 

SAFETY AND SECURITY

The company has equipped its insides with a total of seven airbags that safeguards the passengers in the event of an accident. This SUV also gets an advanced anti lock braking system along with electronic brake force distribution and brake assist as well. It comes with a rigid body structure that has crumple zones as well as side impact protection beams, which helps in minimizing the impact in case of a collision takes place. There are child safety locks available on the rear doors for an enhanced security of children. The whiplash injury lessening feature is quite significant, which avoids the risk of injury to neck and back when a rear end collision occurs. The advanced engine immobilizer safeguards the vehicle from theft and any unauthorized entry into it. It has an advanced instrument panel that displays notifications of driver seat belt, low fuel consumption and door ajar, which keeps the driver alert. It also has a day and night anti glare internal rear view mirror, while there are seat belts offered for all its occupants. The parking assist system with rear camera as well as sensors enables the driver to park it safely. In addition to these, it has auto speed lock, rear defogger, downhill assist control, jam protection on all power windows, a high mounted stop lamp, hill start assist control, a centrally located fuel tank and a central locking system that gives maximum protection to the occupants. Another key aspect is the vehicle stability control, which assists in preventing side skids and maintains its stability when turning on a curve. It has a tyre pressure monitoring system that is useful to monitor the level of air pressure in its tyres.

 

CONCLUSSION

Toyota Land Cruiser is one of the most iconic cars in the automotive history of the world. It comes with superb off roading capability and offers supreme quality luxury too. Although Toyota is all set to bring their 2016 Land Cruiser, but this car has already given us the preview of the upcoming edition. It will surely gain the attention of those people, who prefers luxury off roading.

Apply Car Loan for Toyota Land Cruiser

 

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Audi A3 Facelift Review

Audi A3 Price in India

 

The world of cars seems to have come full circle. Not in terms of sales or the options available, but every single car that has grown over the decades to a size above now needs another model below it that is of the original size of that car. Premium manufacturers are also discovering a market in a size and price bracket below their traditional customers – this works out well for them, as these products are projected as an additional fuel-efficient model for the family in developed markets, and an easier step up to luxury in developing markets. Enter the Audi A3, which will be the easiest access to a premium luxury sedan when it launches.

 

EXTERIORS AND LOOKS

 

The 2017 Audi A3 is a facelift and it gets certain upgrades and new elements on the design front. While most of the car remains the same, there are few tweaks that enhance its appeal. To start with , the 2017 Audi A3 now gets a new front grille, which Audi calls ‘diamond inspired’. This grille is now wider and looks more premium as well.  The car gets sharper lies this time. The headlamps are also new and have a cut on the lower portion that give it a dynamic look.

 

It also gets aggressive looking front and rear bumpers. The 2017 Audi A3 also gets new sporty looking 16-inch alloy wheels . The car also sees new taillamps which are 3 dimensional and have dynamic indicators. There is a rear spoiler which is integrated in the boot.The 2017 Audi A3 has got looks similar to a fastback and has a coupe like roof which slopes downwards.

 

INTERIORS AND SPACE

 

When you look at it, the A3’s cabin seems a little conservative, especially after the boldly styled interiors of its arch rival – the Mercedes CLA. Nonetheless, the interior remains thoroughly premium, with lovely black textures, plush leather and good quality materials. Audi has retained the all-black wraparound dash design with horizontal lines which heighten the sense of width.

 

Given that it’s a facelift, Audi hasn’t made any upgrades when it comes to seat comfort or interior packaging. As a result, the 2017 model is just as driver-oriented as the outgoing car. Upfront there is more than enough shoulder support and good cushioning. The under thigh support, too, is commendable. Like the outgoing model, this new A3 falls short of being a proper chauffeur driven premium car. While the rear seat itself is well layered with good contours for two adults, there isn’t much legroom on offer. That said the A3 beats the Mercedes CLA which is worse still and feels claustrophobic at the rear because of its tiny rear windows and huge front seatbacks.

 

The boot capacity is rated at 425-litres which is big enough for outstation trips and the fact that, the space saver spare tyre is neatly tucked away makes it more practical than the CLA which houses its wheel over the boot floo

 

For 2017 Audi has introduced wireless phone charging function and full LED headlights as all-new features. Meanwhile, the top-spec variants also get dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors and a 7-inch retractable screen for the MMI infotainment system. Features like start/stop button and keyless entry, however, have been given a miss.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

 

This car uses a pair of familiar four-cylinder engines that can be found in a number of VW Group cars that are on sale in India, although thanks to Audi’s new performance-based model naming structure, they’re known in these forms as the 35 TDI and the 40 TFSI. The 35 TDI is just the 2.0 TDI producing 141bhp and 32.63kgm of torque, both very healthy figures for a car of this size and weight. As with most of the other cars that use this motor, in the A3, it’s mated to a six-speed dual-clutch gearbox, though surprisingly, gearshift paddles have been left off the spec sheet; in a car for the self-driven, it’s a desirable option to have. As ever, this engine’s biggest strength is its chunky mid-range and the gearbox does a good job of sensing when you need it the most. The ’box also works well to get you through the slight turbo lag, and it’s very happy to hop straight to sixth and sit there when you’re cruising on the highway. The A3 TDI managed to crack an impressive 8.97sec from 0-100 in our tests, which is quicker than both the BMW 1-series and Merc A-class diesels, incidentally. And not surprisingly, with that mid-range torque, kickdown times are a quick 5.46sec and 7.14sec for 20-80kph and 40-100kph respectively.

 

But then you drive the 40 TFSI, and it’s even quicker, crossing 100kph in 8.21sec, and despatching 20-80kph in 4.88sec and 40-100kph in 5.63sec in kickdown mode. Yes, it’s the same 1.8-litre turbo-petrol engine that we know and love, and this is undoubtedly its best iteration yet.

 

It churns out a creamy 177bhp and 25.5kgm, and despite being turbocharged, it simply loves to be revved. Power delivery is smooth and effortless, and so strong is the performance, you wonder if there’s any need for the latest crop of dedicated performance-oriented four-cylinder compact luxury cars. There’s a little hesitation at low revs, but it’s masked superbly by the wonderful seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. And while the TDI can sound a little clattery, this one

is beautifully silent.

 

DRIVING DYNAMICS

 

A lot is expected from Audi when it comes to driver involvement and the Germans are the masters of that but does this baby Audi drive like the others? Well, the answer is no. Blame it entirely on the new platform, the A3 is simply terrific to drive, a touch above the other Audi’s which are pretty good in their own regard. The electromechanical steering is light at low speeds and weighs up beautifully as the kms pile up. Handling is razor sharp and the A3 will corner with super precision, it will encourage you to push even harder. It loves taking corners hard and you have to appreciate how the light weight chassis offers terrific balance. The A3 also gets ‘Electronic Stabilisation Control’ (ESC) with ‘Electronic Limited Slip Differential’ as standard. High speed stability is very good too and inside the cabin, the speeds seem much slower than they actually are. The A3 is aimed at a buyer who will himself take to the wheel and the driver involvement the car offers will seal the deal for most who like to push their car to the limit.

 

With superb handling on offer, one would expect the ride quality to be stiff but that’s not the case here. In spite of the low profile rubber, ride quality is fantastic. Both at slow and high speed, the ride remains pliant and both front and rear passengers are engulfed in comfort. The light weight chassis and four-link rear suspension is hugely responsible for the same. The brakes offer good stopping power (all 4 discs) and our test was was shod on 225/45/17 Pirelli Cinturato tyres which offer phenomenal levels of grip. Even on wet surfaces, braking is spot on with no brake fade.

 

SAFETY AND FEATURES

 

The Audi A3 sedan earns a five-star overall rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. It scores four out of five stars on its frontal crash and rollover tests, and it achieves five stars for the side crash test. The A3 also does well in Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, earning a top rating in every category. The IIHS names the A3 a Top Safety Pick+. The Audi A4 receives the same rating from the IIHS, while the Volkswagen GTI earns a slightly lower Top Safety Pick designation.

 

Standard safety features in the A3 include a rearview camera with front and rear parking sensors. Other safety features are available. With adaptive cruise control, the A3 maintains a set following distance from the car in front of it, automatically slowing or accelerating with the flow of traffic. The A3 takes traditional adaptive cruise control a step further with the car’s ability to come to a complete stop and take off again, all on its own. Another driver assistance feature, lane keep assist, alerts you if you stray from your lane and gently nudges the car back into its lane. The A3 is also available with rear cross traffic alert, which monitors traffic behind the car while you’re reversing to prevent an accident.

 

CONCLUSSION

 

Well, the A3 surely makes a great case for itself. It is much better equipped than its rival, the Mercedes-Benz CLA (read review here), it rides really well and that petrol engine raises the bar of what you should expect from the segment. The only complain with the car would be the design. It is a tad too understated and Audi’s target market, the young professionals of India generally prefer a more flamboyant design. And that is where the CLA has a slight advantage *cough* frameless windows *cough*. However, with the customers now deviating to petrol engines (the A4 petrol has been outselling the diesel by a huge margin), Audi’s 1.4 with its responsive nature, refinement levels and frugality, 19.2kmpl compared to CLA’s 15.9kmpl, could tip the scales in Audi’s favour. All that remains to be seen now is the pricing which we expect to be between Rs 25-30 lakh.

 

Audi A3 Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 34,54,000/- (A3 35 TFSI Technology) to  35,65,000/- (A3 35 TDI Technology) .Audi A3 has 4 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Audi A3 comes in 6 colours, namely Beluga Brown Metallic,Brilliant Black,Misano Red Pearl Effect,Scuba Blue Metallic,Florett Silver Metallic,Glacier White Metallic.

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Skoda Kodiaq: India First Drive Review

Skoda Kodiaq Price in India

Considering the ongoing popularity of SUVs in the Indian market, it isn’t at all a surprise that Skoda has decided to bring in Kodiaq to India. The car is based on the same platform (MQB) as the Tiguan, however it offers seven seats instead of five and is therefore longer. The car has evolved from the Vision S concept which was first showcased in Geneva and the name Kodiaq, literally means the Alaskan bear. The proportions are quite alright, and close to what you would expect from an SUV.

 

EXTERIOR AND LOOK

 

The Kodiaq will be Skoda’s flagship model in India, positioned right above the Superb. It looks sophisticated, considering Skoda has made use of crystalline design elements. The front end is sharp-looking with those sleek all LED headlamps and the black Skoda ‘butterfly’ grille, which is a standard in all Skoda models. What stands out right away is the fact that the ‘compactness’ of the car comes through neat edges and lines all over the car. The sculpted bonnet along with the very prominent shoulder lines gives it an appearance of all muscle and no bulk. There are hardly any curves anywhere. The stance of the car is as aggressive and muscular as an SUV could possibly have. But there is no mistaking the air of sophistication and elegance that Skoda cars are associated with. Adding to the muscle are the square-ish wheel arches with a touch of plastic cladding that houses 18-inch alloy wheels. Internationally, the Kodiaq gets 19-inch wheels but for Indian road conditions, the company believed 18-inch wheels to be perfect.

 

INTERIOR AND COMFORT

 

Step inside the Skoda Kodiaq and you might be reminded of the Superb’s interior, but it does get a new dashboard design. It is a mix of soft plastics in black and beige, with a black textured plastic panel separating the two. The plastic panel was the only design element we did not like in the otherwise cheery and premium interiors and we would rather prefer a wood-finished veneer instead. There are large, vertically mounted air-con vents that’ve been designed for better airflow and noise control. You get two glove compartments: a regular cooled unit and one above, both opened via buttons on the dash. There are cubby holes below the steering too, along with storage spots in the centre console.The Kodiaq abroad gets an all-black interior but here it is a mix of black and beige, with beige leather seats. This cabin is a cheery place to be in and quite comfortable as well. The seats offer fantastic support, especially the front ones, both of which get electrical adjustment for height, reach and lumbar support. The glasshouse effect of the cabin is accentuated by a large panoramic sunroof, so you do feel like you’re sitting in a really big car.

 

The rear have wide-opening doors that are heavy and take an effort to shut from the inside. Getting into the cabin is as easy as walking in; no need to climb up into the cabin like other SUVs. The middle row seats offer oodles of legroom, even with a 5ft 8in driver sitting in the driver’s seat. They are adjustable and can be moved forward by 18cm. The seat-back rest angle can also be reclined to a certain degree. A unique touch is the Kodiaq’s power nap package. It includes two pillows, window-mounted sun blinds and two blankets that are neatly bundled into pouches mounted at the back of the front seats. The highlight, though, is the lateral support extensions on the 2nd row headrests. These allow the occupants to hold their head in place if they wish to take a nap. We felt that this novel feature could do with more cushioning. The AC unit has tri-zone climate control. It offers three individual settings for the driver, co-driver and the middle row seat occupants. The middle row gets just two central AC vents and could do with roof- or pillar-mounted vents for better cooling.

 

The last row also does not get AC vents. The seats work for small adults but for someone above 5ft 8inch, you will be sitting with your knees close to your chest. Access to the split last row is also narrow and not as easy as, say, an Innova.Another interesting feature is the hands-free tailgate. Simply wave your foot below the bumper and the tail gate opens. Along with electronic actuation, the tailgate can also be adjusted to open to a certain height for shorter users. The boot light is a small unit that can be removed and used as an LED torch. The boot partition screen also hides below the boot floor for a cleaner look.Boot space is 270 litres with all rows up. With the split rear seat folded flat, boot space rises to 630 litres. With the middle and rear seats dropped down, boot space is a cavernous 2005 litres, enough to swallow a refrigerator.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

 

Now while we’ve previewed the Skoda Kodiaq extensively in the last few months, this is the first time we’re getting to drive it. Getting the specs out of the way first – it will come to India with a 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine making 180hp and 250Nm, as well as a 2.0-litre TDI diesel making 150hp and 340Nm. There’s also a version of the 2.0 TDI with 190hp and 400Nm, but this one is designed for Euro 6 emissions norms, and so might not make it to India initially, as it would have to be modified to suit our poor fuel quality. There will also be AWD on top variants, and both engines come with either six-speed manuals or seven-speed DSG automatics. Interestingly, the automatics will get priority in the range this time – Skoda India has learnt its lesson from the Yeti, which is still only available as a manual.

 

The petrol engine first, and it’s everything we’ve come to expect from a TSI motor. It’s smooth and refined and builds up all its power really early on, making it quite enjoyable to drive. For such a large car, it weighs a not-too-shabby 1,695kg, and as a result is able to sprint to 100kph in a claimed 8.0sec. The DSG gearbox too is as impressive as we’ve come to expect, with smooth and quick shifts exactly when they’re meant to happen.The 150hp diesel is impressively refined too, but that also has to do with the Kodiaq itself, which is great at shutting out outside noise. It’s very peppy off the line, sacrificing some top-end oomph in the process, but then with 340Nm on call, you really can’t complain, especially with a claimed 0-100kph time of 8.9sec. Each shift from the seven-speed DSG can be felt a little bit more here than in the petrol, but it’s not to the point of being uncomfortable.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

 

Well, driving a Skoda is always a pleasure. Be it hatchbacks or sedans or even the Kodiaq SUV. There are some things which bring a smile to your face in the way a Skoda does.Skoda Kodiaq is not an outrightly powerful machine and is aimed towards relaxed driving. It has a high quality ride which gives you more of a sedan feel rather than an SUV.The suspension has some amount of stiffness which is felt at slow speeds, but this helps in the vehicle retaining its composure at high speeds. There is minimum body roll and pitch and this goes a long way in adding to the ride comfort.The Kodiaq also gets 4X4, hence it is useful for situations when you need to go a bit off-road. That maybe on steep inclines with loose soil or in slushy areas ,which would have some amount of wheel spin. Though not a hardcore off-roader, the Kodiaq will definitely manage to get you out of quite a lot situations. In terms of safety, the Kodiaq comes with nine airbags and of course ABS with EBD is standard.

Book a Test Drive for Skoda Kodiaq

 

SAFETY FEATURES

 

It comes packed with features and equipment, some of which are unique and innovative. For instance, the retractable door protector that juts out of the front door edges each time the door is opened, and hides itself inside when you shut the door. It will help avoid scratching the paint on the doors or hitting the door onto another car in tight spaces. Then there’s the two umbrellas stashed into dedicated pockets on both front doors. Move to the boot, and you have a light that illuminates the area but can be detached and used as a flashlight.The Kodiaq gets 9 airbags, higher than most premium SUVs, compact luxury SUVs included. It also gets multi-collision braking and a fatigue alert system. In terms of features the Kodiaq gets the same 8-inch capacitive touch display. The infotainment system offers Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and MirrorLink connectivity. You can also control the infotainment system using Skoda’s boss connect app via your smartphone. The Kodiaq gets 10 colour ambient lighting like the Octavia, while a digital voice enhancement system plays the driver’s voice to occupants via the audio system’s microphone and speakers for better audibility, though the cabin itself feels very quiet.

 

CONCLUSSION

 

So where does the Kodiaq sit? In terms of size, Hyundai’s Santa Fe would be the Kodiaq’s closest rival. But, its sophisticated and car-like nature would make it an obvious choice for those who have yearned for a Honda CR-V but wanted a diesel option. In terms of pricing, it will be pegged on par with the Skoda Superb, and that means it will crop up on the radar of anyone looking to buy any SUV, from the Tucson to the Endeavour. Its European design and build quality could tempt entry-level luxury SUV customers who don’t want to sacrifice on the space or the third row of seats. Yes, this Skoda isn’t invigorating to drive, but this large seven-seat SUV it appeals to the head with its car-like manners, easy drivability, roominess and sense of premiumness. The Skoda Kodiaq is sure to be quite sought after when it arrives in India before Diwali in 2017!

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Skoda Kodiaq Ex Showroom Price in Jaipur ranges from  34,49,000/- (Kodiaq Style 4×4) to  34,49,000/- (Kodiaq Style 4×4).Skoda Kodiaq has 1 Variants of Diesel are available in India. Skoda Kodiaq comes in 4 colours, namely Lava Blue,Moon White,Quartz Grey,Magic Black.

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Skoda Octavia Hatchback Review

Skoda Octavia Price in India

 

Now, this model has changed significantly; not only to maximise its own potential but also to make space for  nother car in the firm’s line-up.The Rapid is now the compact family hatchback of the range, leaving the Octavia with a bigger body and, inevitably, a higher price to prevent it from clashing with its sibling

 

DESIGN

The Skoda Octavia carries a minimalistic design that comes with a blend of premium appeal and sportiness. The front fascia carries an aggressive look and the facelifted model here comes with a new set of LED headlamps which have a love it or hate it design, while the new grille adds some flair to the styling. You also get restyled bumpers and revised LED tail-lamps. To complete the package, the alloy wheels have also been given a new design now. The grey colour that you see here is also new and looks quite good in flesh.

 

CABIN

The new Octavia’s cabin is clinical, clean and very German. The amount of space available also hits you immediately when you step in. A cream-beige and grey interior colour theme is pleasing to the eye and also gives it an airy feel, though there is no dearth of light streaming in.

Fit and finish quality and the material quality is perfectly matched to the best in the segment and there is a general feeling of solidity to the cabin, except the faux wood trim in the centre console, which felt that too faux. The controls and knobs are all within easy reach for the driver and there was enough electrical and manual adjustability to the seats and steering for me to get the most comfortable driving position.

 

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

The car remains identical to the outgoing version mechanically, except for the wider rear track as mentioned earlier. Powertrain options remain the same and you can choose from the same 1.4-litre petrol, 1.8-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engine options. We drove the 2.0-litre diesel version which offers 143PS of power and the 1.8-litre TSI petrol engined version that offers 180PS.

The diesel motor feels as smooth as ever and offers brisk acceleration along with excellent throttle response. The engine is a tad noisy though, with the clatter typical of diesel engines. It comes mated to a 6-speed DSG automatic gearbox as before. The 1.8-litre petrol version has always been the better driver’s car and is a hoot to drive with its performance and the responses from the 7-speed DSG transmission.

The abundance of space and plush ride quality are the highlights of the Octavia as before, with the latter not compromising handling or driving pleasure. The steering offers good feel and feedback too, while feeling perfectly weighted, which adds to the joy of driving the car. While the diesel version is a good handler no doubt, the petrol version handles even better, thanks to its independent rear suspension that also offers a slightly better ride.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

The handling ability has come at a slight cost which is that the ride quality on this facelifted Octavia has been setup to be on the stiffer side, but in a way that isn’t back or deal breaking. Instead what you get is an assured clunk and a setup that will settle down quickly if you push the car through imperfections, pot holes and bumps.

Book a Test Drive for Skoda Octavia

 

SAFETY

This car  is good in safety as well you can get up to 9 airbags in the top end variant. You get ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, Anti Slip Regulation (ASR), electronic stability control and tyre pressure monitoring. There is also a feature called Multi Collision Braking which essentially continues braking even after a collision thereby reducing chances of colliding with other obstacles.

 

CONCLUSSION

Overall, the facelifted Skoda Octavia builds on the strong points of the earlier model and wraps them in a package that is even neater and more modern than before. The subtle exterior changes work well and lend the Octavia lot of character than before. Buyers will also appreciate the extra bit of kit that has been added to car. The fact that it is very practical just adds to the package.  Overall the upgraded Octavia is an exceptional product and a car that is easy to recommend. Its blend of luxury, space, comfort and performance at this price point is hard to match. Now with a four year warranty and an optional Rs 39,999 maintenance package (takes care of your regular service for four years) the Octavia has become a relatively safe buy too.

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User Reviews: Maruti Suzuki Baleno

Maruti Suzuki Baleno Price In India

 

The Baleno  is Maruti Suzuki’s performance version of its premium hatchback, a name enhanced by the fact that the RS means Race Sport. This variant is based on the top-end Alpha trim of the current Baleno and is powered by a new powerful 1.0-litre BoosterJet direct injection petrol engine. This one is already exported to Europe and Japan from India, and now the carmaker has launched it in our country. Well, the manufacturer has detuned this engine for the Indian market as against the international counterpart. Nonetheless, the Baleno RS with, 100bhp of power, still becomes the most powerful hatchback from the carmaker. But, does it make an enticing buy? To find out we put the car through its paces at the Buddh International Circuit.

 

EXTERIORS

A quick look at the Baleno RS makes it tough to spot any key differences but a closer look reveals the new bumpers at front and rear along with skirtings all around. The alloy wheels are the same as found in the standard Baleno but in the RS they’re painted in black. The rear bumper too features a blackened out area that looks particularly well with contrasting colours.

Overall, the Baleno RS looks sportier than the regular version without being too loud. While one might say Maruti has played it safe, I think this approach is better since cars with a loud exterior have always been received with mixed reactions from Indian consumers.

 

INTERIORS

The interior gets an all-black treatment with silver inserts like the Swift. The design is fresh and the flattish dashboard goes well with the design concept. The centre console looks modern and neatly houses the stereo and climate control switches. The instrument cluster is contemporary and the higher end models even feature a colour TFT multi information screen.

There are various animated graphics designed to offer real time fuel consumption and power output information too. The steering seems to be borrowed from the Ciaz and S-Cross and is good to grip. Steering controls are easily accessible and quite handy. Fit and finish is impressive and on par with rivals. There are enough storage spaces but space offered under the front armrest could have been better. The seats are firm and supportive and good for long drives too. The headrests too are firm while headroom is good even for tall drivers (Hear hear,Lijo).

Move to the rear and you will be impressed with the rear kneeroom. We couldn’t measure it but overall space is excellent. There is, however, no rear armrest while leather seats aren’t offered even as an option. Boot space isn’t highest in segment but more than sufficientat 339 litres. The loading lip is high and is further exaggerated since the boot itself is quite deep

 

PERFORMANCE

The real changes are under the hood. Baleno RS comes with a 998cc, 3 cylinder turbo charged DOHC petrol engine, which produced a healthy 103 bhp and 150Nm of torque. This setup is mated to 5 speed transmission, the same unit as the standard Baleno. Maruti Suzuki has stiffened suspension to minimize body roll, and help minimize acceleration and decelleration pitch. On the first lap, I went easy to warm up with the gearbox and braking, and the Baleno RS feels right. There are disc brakes, and an effective ABS system, which works rather well at higher speeds.

Gearbox is smooth to shift, and precise. Baleno RS weighs 950 kilos (dry) and that means agility is not a problem at all. The problem is weight distribution. Maximum car weight lies around the front axle than the rear where only the torsion beam and spare wheel weighs things down. So, while taking corners with lift off, and turn right, before I hit the apex, the rear starts rolling brutally, causing spin outs now and then.

Maximum power is at 5500rpm, so, it really isn’t a rev happy engine. This rev sadness also slows you down while down shifting as you have to go down the rev range to downshift to a lower gear whilst braking. Baleno RS is electronically limited to 170 kmph and on the back straight of the Buddh International Circuit, it really could have done much higher speeds than it suggests. Brakes are effective at such high speeds but power braking makes the rear end go loose even before you’re halfway through 0-100 came at a lazy 10.8 seconds, which isn’t the fastest in the segment. Acceleration from standstill is linear, and there is no prominent shove off the turbocharger, which should be excellent for city driving

 

SAFETY

Maruti is offering the Baleno RS in a single variant and hence the car is loaded with top spec safety features as standard such as dual front airbags, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX child seat provision. Additionally, the Baleno RS comes with all-four discs for better stopping power. In terms of after sales, we all know that Maruti has a very renowned and wide network across the country. The NEXA channel is growing with each passing day and the ownership cost of the Baleno RS will definitely be the lowest compared to the other performance hatchbacks in this segment.

 

DRIVING

The ride of the Baleno car is very good. We have only driven the 195/55R16 (top-of-the-line variant) and yet to experience the other variant that comes shod with smaller tyres. But the ride will more of less remain the same. The suspension absorbs all the bumps with ease making it a smooth ride. On the other hand, the handling of the Baleno is just more evolved than the Swift. The alacrity of the chassis is a lot more superior to the other Maruti products thanks to the lighter weight chassis. This not just enhances the power and efficiency, but also improves the driving dynamics. The steering wheel too is light and feels comfortable to drive in city. It does weigh up a bit making it a joy to drive on the highways too.

Book a Test Drive for Maruti Suzuki Baleno

 

VERDICT

 

The Baleno RS is essentially a Baleno Alpha petrol variant with a turbo, one less cylinder and two more disc brakes. Subtle bodywork aside, painting stock alloys black don’t make them sportier. As well equipped as it is, it doesn’t have strong enough differentiation for the asking price. Maybe it’s just a case of expecting too much from a badge. When all the hype is removed the Baleno RS is, in fact, a more fun-to-drive car than the standard and that’s what counts.

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Maruti Suzuki Baleno Ex Showroom Price in Chennai ranges from  5,39,698/- (Baleno Sigma Petrol) to  8,48,378/- (Baleno Alpha Diesel).Maruti Suzuki Baleno has 10 Variants of Petrol are available in India. Maruti Suzuki Baleno comes in 14 colours, namely Premium Urban Blue,Metalic Premium Silver,Pearl Arctic White,Ray Blue (RS),Autumn Orange (RS),Fire Red (RS),Granite Gray,Ray Blue,Premium Urban Blue (RS),Autumn Orange,Premium Silver (RS),Granite Gray (RS),Fire Red,Pearl Arctic White (RS).

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FIRST DRIVE: BMW 5-SERIES – REVIEW

BMW 5-series Price in India

 

With a new platform and new engines, the 2017 BMW 5 Series looks to reaffirm its standing in the midsize luxury sedan segment. It distinguished itself decades ago as a driver’s car and has since evolved into a sophisticated, comfortable sedan that attempts to be all things to most people. In the process, the 5 Series traded some of its driver’s car chops for a more isolated feel. The 2017 model doesn’t stray far from this contemporary vision of the 5 Series. And despite being a hair larger and bringing an arsenal of technology to bear, the new car manages to avoid the weight bloat that afflicts many such attempts.

 

BMW didn’t take any chances with its successful product. The new 5 Series grows in length by 1.2 inches and stands 0.6 inch taller than the outgoing model, while the wheelbase and width are nearly unchanged. The updated cabin primarily benefits backseat passengers, who gain 1.2 inches of legroom. These modest changes to its footprint, combined with the evolutionary styling, mean the new car is readily familiar.

 

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

 

BMW has always taken it easy when it comes to exterior changes on their facelift models and the 5-Series isn’t any different. The 2014 BMW 520d gets very minor cosmetic tweaks including new front and rear bumpers which now get metallic accents, new slimmer headlights with a re-shaped LED layout, silver finish on the front grille of this trim (the M Sport gets black finish on the grille) and 18-inch alloy wheels (Turbine design), instead of 17-inchers found on the pre-facelift 520d. The overall result is the 5-Series now looks a bit fresh but nothing in the design strikes you immediately.

 

INTERIOR AND CANIN

 

On the inside, the 2017 BMW 5 Series has some design elements from the 7 Series. In fact a lot of features have trickled into this sedan. This is a good combination of sportiness and luxuriousness. There is Active Cruise Control, Steering and lane keeping assistant, iDrive controller with 10.25 inch screen, BMW Heads Up Display, Adaptive LED Headlamps, Gesture Control and wireless charging. The Heads Up display is now 70% larger and there are large screens for the rear passengers as well.

 

The cabin looks plush and premium. It does feel a lot like the new 7 from the inside. The company claims to have improved the knee room for rear passengers. Then there is the massage function and the seat can be operated with gestures. There is even a Special Synergy Thermoacoustzic Capsule that reduces the outside. This enhances the cabin insulation. One can park the car by using the car key system called as Remote Parking. There is Apple CarPlay and even WiFi hotspot for up to 10 people. The Remote 3D View allows drivers to see the 360 view of their parked cars. Microsoft 365 users can sync their emails, calendar entries and contacts and edit them in the car itself.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

 

The BMW 520d uses a 2.0-litre, 4-cylinder engine which belts out 184 BHP of peak power at 4000 RPM and 380 Nm of peak torque between 1750 – 2750 RPM. While this might not sound much for a car of this size, performance is ample. The 5-Series performs brilliantly, the engine revs cleanly to the redline and power delivery although linear, is smoothly transferred to the rear wheels via a fantastic 8-speed ZF gearbox. The transmission is the high point of the package, it shifts cogs with butter smooth precision and is very quick too. In Sport mode, the autobox holds the gears till the redline and you have the option of upshifting using the steering mounted paddles or the fantastic to hold gearshift selector.

 

Other modes include Comfort and Eco Pro, the former not letting you know about gear shifts while the latter doing its very best to save fuel by keeping the revs as low as possible. There is also an ECO start/stop function. The only downside of this 1995cc mill is the refinement, it’s too audible inside the cabin and the clatter is quite evident at idle. Even when you floor the pedal and whizz past 3000 RPM, you can hear the growl from the motor. 100 km/hr comes up in fourth gear, signifying the shorter gearing. You can comfortably cruise in top gear at 100 km/hr with the RPM needle ticking in at just 1500 RPM. Our VBOX run showed that the 520d is a reasonably quick car, doing the 0-100 km/hr sprint in a 8.60 seconds. Fuel economy is good with city mileage being upwards of 10 km/l.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

 

Now let’s delve into the details of the driving modes. There are four of them – eco pro, comfort, sport and adaptive. I started off with the eco pro and understood that the leisurely power output was due to the system trying to extract the maximum fuel efficiency from the powerplant. The comfort mode, on the other hand, ensured a better throttle response. This got sharper in the Sport mode. The best part of this mode, is that it lets you rev till 4,000rpm before automatically shifting gears. And all of this is quick, but still in an unhurried manner and without jerks. Then the adaptive mode, as the name suggests, did a good job in adjusting to the throttle responses. A gentle tap on the gas pedal is all that’s needed for the car to easily gather speed.

Book a Test Drive for BMW 5-series

The steering on the 520d feels light while cutting through traffic, and also responds quickly to steering inputs when you’re going fast around bends. This luxury sedan comes with an adaptive suspension with independent damping for each wheel as standard. As a result, the suspension adjusts itself in different driving modes. This is evident in the comfort mode as broken roads and rough patches were taken into the car’s stride easily. The soft tuning also meant that there is some slight side-to-side movement of occupants, but not to discomforting levels. The damping is good and felt similar in the adaptive mode too. At higher speeds there is some floating motion which immediately disappeared with the sport mode on. The car felt more composed and was fun to chuck around corners with the increase in pace. And thats impressive for such a long car. The Pirelli tyres offer superior grip which in turn gives the user more confidence to go faster. Braking power, too, felt sufficient enough to stop this 1690kg car.

 

SAFETY

 

Not surprisingly, the new BMW 5 Series is packed with safety features. The package includes airbags for driver and front passenger, side airbags for driver and front passenger, head airbags for front and rear seats, three-point inertia-reel seat belts on all seats with belt latch tensioner and belt force limiter at the front seats, crash sensors, and tire defect indicator.

 

The sedan also comes with semi-autonomous drive. The feature is part of the Driver Assistance Plus II package, which also includes, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with side collision avoidance, Traffic Jam Assistant and Active Lane Change. The bundle is optional on all four models, but it could be standard on the more expensive trims set to arrive at a later date.

 

CONCLUSSION

 

We Indians are not brand loyalists and will go wherever we get a good deal and so it seems that BMW has upped the ante by offering more as standard equipment. The 530d is priced Rs 4 lakh more than its closest rivals but for this amount there seems to be a fair bit more in the offering and so seems like a value proposition for those who can afford a car that costs as much as a 1BHK in Navi Mumbai.

 

Each of the Beemer’s rivals is known for a certain trait. The Audi A6 is all about technology while the Volvo S80 is all about super high levels of safety. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class (for India) is not on the same ground in terms of this engine but has gained the reputation of a large luxurious tank. The Jaguar XF-S does the best job of combining sportiness with luxury but is down on the feature list not to mention interior space, and so allows the BMW 5 Series to crown itself the ‘sportiest diesel executive sedan’.

BMW 5 Series Ex Showroom Price in New Delhi ranges from 49,90,000/- (5 Series 520d Sport Line) to  61,30,000/- (5 Series 530d M Sport) .BMW 5 Series has 3 Variants of Diesel are available in India. BMW 5 Series comes in 5 colours, namely Sparkling Brown,Alpine White (non-metallic),Glacier Silver,Black Sapphire,Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect.

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Skoda Rapid Facelift Review

 

Usually German cars’ mid-life facelifts are very mild and hard to

notice but this time around Skoda has updated the Rapid with a

comprehensive facelift. This is the second update since its launch in

India but the previous one had very minute changes. The C-Segment

sedan has got a new front profile, longer list of features and a more

powerful diesel engine that we’ve recently seen in the Volkswagen

Ameo. We went all the way to Mussoorie to see what’s new on offer.

Skoda Rapid Prices in India

 

DESIGN AND STYLING

The Skoda Rapid Black Edition looks exactly the same as the old car.

The only difference is that the headlamps are blacked and also the

alloy wheels are now black colored ones. The Rapid now gets projector

lamps as well. This gives it a very sporty look. The Skoda Rapid is

now aimed at the younger buyer. The front portion as well as the rear

end remain the same and there is no change on either sides.

 

CABIN

The dashboard is identical to the earlier Rapid’s, which in turn is

shared with the VW Vento. The dash design is restrained, but

everything is where you expect it to be. Taking centre stage is a new

large and reasonably crisp 6.5-inch touchscreen that comes with USB,

AUX and Bluetooth support as well as MirrorLink connectivity. Other

new equipment include rain-sensing wipers and electronically-folding

exterior mirrors, which help bridge the gap between the Rapid and

better-equipped rivals. Skoda’s trademark ‘clever features’ are

manifest in the form of a cardholder clip in the centre console to

hold all your toll passes and the likes.

 

The Rapid is reasonably comfortable to sit in. The front seats are

generally comfortable, with side-bolstering to hold you in place, and

a large-enough seat cushion to support your thighs. Their lumbar

section, however, feels a bit hollow and might irk you on longer

drives. The rear seats are firm and supportive, offering adequate

thigh support and legroom and good amounts of knee room; you won’t get

the same sense of space as rivals like the Honda City and Maruti Ciaz,

though. Frontal visibility for rear passengers is also not the best on

account of the large front seats. However, the provision of a front,

as well as rear armrest, is appreciated.Other notable equipment

include a tilt-and-telescopic steering adjust, automatically-dimming

rear-view mirror, cruise control, cooled glovebox, climate control,

rear AC vent, one-touch power windows and remote-controlled opening

and closing of windows. Certain features are prominently missing,

though, such as a rear camera and an engine start/stop button.

 

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The new Skoda Rapid is available with both petrol and diesel engines.

The 1.5-litre, turbocharged diesel engine in the Rapid now produces

5PS more power and the final output is 110PS.

 

Max power is also available 400revs lower in the range, although the

overall impact on outright performance isn’t noticeable but the spread

of power and torque throughout the range is likeable.The diesel unit

is a strong performer; it has 250Nm of torque from 1500rpm and revs

eagerly, too. The lively engine combined with the 7-speed DSG

transmission proved to be a potent package, as the quick gearbox

selected the right ratios to tackle whatever inclines that came our

way.

 

Besides the power surge, Rapid’s spec-sheet also registers a slight

increase of 0.06kmpl in the claimed fuel-efficiency, which now stands

at 21.72kmpl for the diesel automatic version

 

The 1.6-litre MPI petrol engine makes 105PS of maximum power between

5200-5250rpm and delivers 153Nm of maximum torque between

3750-3800rpm. Although power figures for both the engines are closely

spaced, the petrol engine doesn’t like to be hurried and gets quite

audible when pushing hard.

 

Since it’s not a rev-happy engine, it takes time to get into the max

power range and appears slower to 100kmph compared to its diesel

counterpart. On-papers, however, the manual petrol Rapid is quicker

than the manual diesel in the 0-100kmph run, albeit by just 0.1s.

 

On a positive note, the 1.6-litre, MPI engine has decent pull at the

bottom end of the rev-range although maximum torque is available at

3750rpm.It is, therefore,a good ambler for leisurely runs as it

doesn’t require frequent gear changes to maintain consistency.

 

RIDE AND HANDLING

Skoda has definitely figured out the best balance when it comes to

setting up the suspension for Indian conditions. Barring the Laura

vRS, all Skoda models possess a fine balance between ride and handling

and the Rapid is no different. Ride quality is a bit on the firm side

but never gets intrusive unless you are traveling over real crater

like potholes. The sorted damping means handling is taken care of as

well and high speed endeavors are a piece of cake. The steering is

well weighted and gives reasonable amount of feel even at high speeds

and it’s a real joy throwing it around the corners.

Book a Test Drive for Skoda Rapid

 

SAFETY

Talking about safety, Skoda India is offering ABS and dual front

airbags as standard across all the trims of the new Rapid. You also

get Hill Hold Control and Electronic Stability Control with the DSG

transmission. Skoda has had a bad reputation in India when it comes to

after sales but they’ve come a long way in making the process

transparent and reliable. They are also offering 4 year service car

programme as standard with the new Rapid that covers 4 years warranty,

4 years of roadside assistance and an optional 4 year service package.

 

BOTTOMLINE

Thanks to modern creature comforts, good ride and a powerful diesel

engine, Skoda has surely put forth a competitive package. It still has

the old cars robust build and material quality is really good too. So

in a way it should be just right for most buyers even if it might not

exceed expectations of some. Skoda is also revamping its after-sales

service and now has well thought offers for buyers. The Rapid is being

offered with a four-year warranty, road-side assist and maintenance

package, all-inclusive in the ex-showroom Delhi prices that start at

Rs 9.49 lakh. So the competitive pricing with added benefits does make

the updated Rapid a more lucrative buy.

 

Apply Car Loan for Skoda Rapid

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