Monthly Archives: June 2018

Toyota Etios Liva Features & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

For increasing the number of sales in the car market, the Toyota India has launched the facelifted version of its flagship hatchback, Etios Liva in the country’s car market. It will compete against the likes of Hyundai Grand i10, Renault Pulse, Maruti Suzuki Swift, Fiat Punto EVO, Chevrolet Sail Hatchback and others in this segment. Now it is available with quite a few updated exterior and interior features that will certainly attract the buyers. It is being offered with both petrol and diesel engines in several trim levels. Among them Toyota Etios Liva G is the mid range variant. The internal cabin gets a greige color scheme, which is complemented by new fabric upholstered seats and door trims. It is also incorporated with dual front SRS airbags and driver seat belt reminder notification as standard features. In terms of exteriors, its frontage is designed with a revamped radiator grille and it gets a lot of titanium grey insert. On the other hand, there are no changes to its technical specifications. This variant is fitted with the same 1.2-litre petrol engine under the hood. It can displace 1197cc and can churn out 78.9bhp and 104Nm of power and torque respectively. This hatchback is being offered with a standard warranty of 3-years or 100000 Kilometers, whichever comes first. Check Ex Showroom Price of Etios Liva

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

Toyota Platinum Etios is a compact sedan with a sharp appearance that is marked by a stylized front grille and radiant headlamps. Intermittent wipers adorn the front windscreen. The upper grille is chrome treated and the lower grille is black in colour. White fog lamps are fitted on both ends of this black lower grille. The bumpers, door handles and Outside Rear-View Mirrors (ORVMs) are of the same colour as the body, and this makes the sedan look extremely elegant.

The side protection moulding comes with chrome insertions and the B-pillar is blacked out. The four 12-spoke alloy wheels are dressed in full wheel caps. Platinum Etios comes with a roof-mounted foldable antenna and the rear end of sedan is embellished with triangular tail lamps. The chrome garnish on its boot adds to the sophistication. Dimensionally, Toyota Etios is 4.27m long, 1.7m wide and 1.51m high. The wheelbase of the sedan is 2550 mm and it provides an incredible ground clearance of 170mm. The turning radius of 4.9m makes it easy to handle. Get deals on Etios Liva

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

With the exteriors done and dusted, let’s check what the Etios Liva has to offer once you step inside the cabin. In all honestly, there is not much. You continue to get the same simplistic and basic cabin layout, which is a bit of a turn-off as there was indeed quite a lot of scope for improvement.

First its the steering wheel, which ergonomically feels a bit to large to handle; however it does get mounted controls for the 2-din music system. Talking about the music system, this piece in itself feels outdated, especially if you were to compare it with the ones available on the competition. The dial for operating the air-con control module are very basic while the ones for door locks, exterior mirror adjustment and headlamp leveling feel a bit awkwardly placed.

With the update, Toyota has now revamped the centrally mounted instrument cluster and now it gets a digital tachometer, in addition to the back-lit speedometer, which now looks significantly better than the earlier one. Ergonomically, the Etios Liva’s cabin offers decent storage space, comfortable seats with good shoulder and under thigh support. To sum it up, the interiors of the Etios Liva are a love it or hate it affair, they have been designed not to look good but to work well, which they will for sure.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

There was a lot of talk of the Liva getting the big 1.5-litre engine from the sedan, but anyone who knows the Indian market would know that the hatch would be looking to exploit the maximum benefits of the excise duty concessions that the Indian government has on offer for small cars. That means that under the Etios Liva hood is a 1.2-litre four-cylinder engine (Read :Engine & Transmission). On paper, it isn’t all that bad, 80PS @ 5600rpm and 104Nm @ 3100rpm. In fact the figures are pretty close to most of the competition and better than some as well. Coupled with the Liva’s approximately 900 kg kerb weight, it should also make for a great power-to-weight ratio to score high on performance. But somehow, that’s not the case because the Etios LIVA’s brief seems to be rather straight forward – better efficiency. With the gear ratios matched to make life in the city easier, the car does feel peppy enough at low revs and accelerates cleanly off the line, but the excitement tapers off much too soon and you really need to work the engine to get past 120km/h.

Our instrumented tests did see the car cross the 150km/h mark but it took a lot of patience and even more stretches of empty roads to get there. The 5-speed manual gearbox may be the culprit here with gear ratios more conducive for city driving rather than highway cruising. But that does have a rather positive effect on its fuel efficiency. The ARAI certified stat reads 18.3kmpl cumulative but real world conditions should see you get about 14.3kmpl in the city and 16.1kmpl on the highway. Considering the prices of petrol today, that’s a welcome proposition indeed! All through the test, the Liva’s gearbox provided positive feel and slick shifts all the way to fifth. Predictably, the Liva didn’t scorch the acceleration runs, taking over 17 seconds to cross the 100km/h mark.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride comfort of the Etios Liva is very good. It doesn’t feel stiff on bad roads. The suspension absorbs most of the road shocks to give a comfortable ride. However at high speeds, it does feel a bit bouncy if your tyre pressures are incorrect. The handling is good enough. It doesn’t have the alacrity like its European competition, but it does a good job. The steering wheel too is light in weight and convenient to drive and park. The driving dynamics are how you get in a Toyota, there is absolutely no compromise

SAFETY AND SECURITY ;

Provisions on the new Liva for the safety of occupants include dual SRS airbags and ABS with EBD standard across variants. It also gets immobilizer, keyless entry, adjustable front headrest, child restraint system ISOFIX, fog lamps in front and reverse sensors

CONCLUSSION ;

Considering all of the above and the price (Toyota Etios Liva pricing revealed) tag that the Etios Liva sports, it sure seems like a quiet revolution in the small car segment. While most people might not be able to appreciate the car’s importance and value immediately, those who do will remain eternally happy with their decision to buy it. The Etios Liva is a big car in a small package and coupled with legendary Toyota reliability and quality, it should offer quality service to its owners who will revel in its roomy interiors and comfortable seating. This is certainly not the car for someone looking for a super fast mile muncher. But in the context of your monthly running bills, the Liva will definitely bring on the smiles. Maybe that’s what Toyota meant when they said that the Liva was a happy faced car then!

 

Toyota Etios Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW

Just as Mercedes-Benz is synonymous with luxury and BMW with sportiness, Toyota has established itself as a byword for quality and reliability. For years the Japanese automaker has churned out a range of well put together cars. Get behind the wheel of one and straightaway you’d be under an impression that it’s a thing that will probably last forever.

Oddly enough, it’s the knack of endlessly producing functional and reliable products that makes Toyotas of today (except for the utterly brilliant GT-86) rather dull and soulless appliances. Take the Etios for instance. On sale in the Indian market since 2010, the car has come under heavy criticism for its uninspiring design and low-rent interior. So when we heard that Toyota was bringing out a facelifted version, our first thoughts leapt to visions of a refreshing new Etios that is far more impressive to look at and sit in, compared to the earlier model. Check Ex Showroom Price of Etios

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

The Toyota Etios seems to derive certain cues from the Corolla though it has been designed suitably for the desired price range. The first look however is somewhat underwhelming. The car lacks curves, sleek shaping of bonnet etc.

At the front, the head lights on the wide front bumper and the chrome lined Toyota emblem give the confidence of Toyota brand. However, the head light size seems on the large size, and though positioned well, it certainly feels that it could have been improved much. The positioning of the windshield is in par with aerodynamics and adds to the aesthetics of the front portion. Black radiator grill and fog lamp add to a good impression of the car. Request test drive for Etios in Cazprice

Toyota has used a good quality of body panels which is indicated by the sturdy feel of the front fender, front door, rear door and quarter panel.The rear side of the Etios is decent and has been covered with big tail lamps, and a somewhat lumpy dickey. The car from the back somehow reminds of the Mahindra Logan.

INTERIORS AND SPACE

The Etios diesel’s interiors are unchanged from the petrol sibling and you get the same airy and spacious cabin. The front and rear seats are both big and wide, offering excellent back and thigh support. There is plenty of leg and headroom around as well. Since the Etios is almost as wide as a Camry, sitting three abreast at the rear is quite a comfy affair. And making life easy for the middle passenger is the flat floor and well designed backrest. However, what these seats lack is good lateral support and passengers do slide around a bit on the flat and firm surfaces if you corner hard.

There are no proper headrests in the rear and no central armrest either. However, the spacious seats, the perfect backrest angle and the ‘hip’ point translate into a comfortable sitting posture. It’s not just passenger space that’s class-leading. Storage space is phenomenal too. Apart from the massive cooled glovebox, there are lots of useful cubbyholes, generous door pockets and seven bottle-holders! To top it off the Etios has a 595-litre boot which can easily swallow the luggage of five passengers on a long holiday. The quirky dashboard design does take some getting used to, but once you get accustomed to the new layout, the change is actually quite welcome. Surprisingly, for all the chopping and changing, the functionality of the cabin is brilliant. The chunky steering with its dimpled finish feels terrific and the white semi-circular speedo and tachometer are quite distinctive, especially when lit up at night.

However, there are plenty of low-rent bits as well. The dashboard plastics don’t have a quality feel, the air-con controls look like they have been lifted from an old Maruti, and the cable-type headlamp height adjuster looks tacky. Then, the carpets are very basic and the sun visors look cheap too. Why Toyota has painted many bits in lipstick red is anybody’s guess. It looks too loud and is at odds with the conservative nature of this car.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION

Now it is time for the engines. First is the 1.2-litre petrol, which will be the most selling engine today as the fuel prices have seen a major dip and petrol has seen a major jump in demand. The engine is quiet and this engine produces about 80bhp of power. Most of the power is available at higher revs, so you need to downshift for an overtake, especially while driving on an highway. Most of the drivers prefer relaxed type of driving then this engine will perfectly suit this requirement. The power produced by the engine is sufficient for city driving and it even returns a decent figure of 12 km per litre in city driving and with highway, the mixed figure is close to 14 km/litre. The five-speed transmission is smooth and has short throws.

The diesel engine of the Etios Liva is a gem. This is a 1.4-litre engine that churns out 67bhp of power. Let us not go by the numbers, once you get behind the wheel you realise how good this engine is. Be in almost any gear, the engine pulls without any hesitation. This is what Toyota’s are known for, and this diesel engine has the typical Toyota characteristics, which makes the Japanese auto giant one the best sellers in the world. The oil burner is a bit noisy, however it is highly fuel-efficient too. In city, the Etios Liva returns about 16km/l with ease, while on the highway, the figure is between 19-22km/l depending on your driving condition.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The ride quality on the Etios is very good but the suspension is stiffly sprung and hence some sharp bumps filter in the cabin. However, the car never loses composure and always remains stable irrespective of road conditions. The steering offers brilliant feels and feels great to operate. The car feels eager to dive into corners but on heavy cornering, the tail slides out due to the rear end of the car being a bit too light. Braking performance is also good and confidence-inspiring.

SAFETY

The list of safety aspects include dual front SRS airbags, driver seat belt warning light with buzzer , engine immobilizer, keyless entry, headlamp-on warning as well as door ajar notifications that adds to the safety quotient

CONCLUSSION

There is no doubt that the new Toyotra Liva hatchback definitely has received some worthy upgrades especially if we talk about the safety side. The changes to the exterior have certainly given it a more sporty appeal which definitely will attract much attention, while the refreshed interior too adds a premium touch to the hatchback as well. Although there are no mechanical changes but all those above mentioned changes has made this hatchback worth every penny.

Maruti Suzuki Ignis Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW

Maruti Suzuki had one of the hottest exhibits at the 2016 Auto Expo, where they showcased the Ignis. The off-beat styling with a crossover-esque design grabbed a lot of eye balls. After waiting for a year, the Ignis has been finally launched with a range of engine and transmission options along with highly customisable trims. The Indo-Japanese carmaker is targeting the millennial youth audience with the Ignis and retailing it via their premium NEXA dealerships across the country. What’s the hype all about? We find out in our test drive in Chennai.. Check Ex Showroom Price of  Ignis

EXTERIORS AND STYLE

The biggest USP of the Maruti Ignis is its distinct styling that immediately catches attention on the road. The crossover silhouette makes it a tall boy while the modern design language separates its identity from the regular lot of Marutis. The front profile is clean yet attractive with the wide grille extending towards the headlamps. The LED DRLs are wrapped around the projector headlamps that illuminate the road very well, there are no halogen lights. The bumper looks sporty integrating the fog lamps in chrome housing.

The side profile is dominated by the pronounced wheel arches with cladding and contrasting black alloys. Furthermore, the straight bonnet along with a high roofline and flat rear profile makes it look like a pseudo SUV. The C-Pillar gets a very distinct kink with stylish indents that might remind you of the Adidas logo, it looks sporty. Now the rear profile of the Ignis has got a “love it or hate it” design. Though looks are subjective but we like the classic touches of the squared out tail lights and the heavily cladded rear bumper. The Ignis also comes with dual tone colours like the Vitara Brezza. Also, you can customise the roof with different wraps. Request test drive for Ignis in Cazprice

INTERIOR AND SPACE

The interior layout is also in keeping with the exterior design. Maruti has cleverly used black and off-white interiors to enhance the sense of space in the cabin. That said, the lower portion of the dash and the door pads are prone to getting soiled too easily and it’ll be quite a task to keep these clean. The plastic quality too in these areas feels like its from the budget end of the parts bin.

The Ignis AMT is available in the Delta and Zeta variants only. The latter is what you see here and it loses out on goodies such as LED headlamps, DRLs, a touchscreen infotainment system, climate control and the cool toggle switches on the centre console that you get in the top-end Alpha variant. I also have a gripe with the music system in the Zeta variant. The sound output is average; the speakers seem like they are from a car in the ’90s. An aftermarket system, hence, is highly recommended.

Cabin space, as Rahul rightly pointed, is adequate to seat four adults only, so let the ‘based on the Baleno platform’ sales pitch not fool you into believing you’ll have space equal to that car. What you do get, however is generous knee and head room at the rear. The front seats are pretty comfortable and the generous bolstering offers great support, which I think is great for a reason that I’ll come to later.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

There’s a telling difference between the on-road performance of the petrol and diesel versions. The petrol is quiet, refined and linear in its power delivery. The diesel in comparison is noisy and a bit unruly. There’s also that turbo lag this 1.3-litre Fiat designed diesel engine is infamous for. The lag is less obvious in the automatic version compared to the diesel manual, but it is still there. The diesel however makes for easier overtakes once the turbo is spooled up. And it is clearly the more fuel efficient of the two.

In AMT or AGS or automatic guise, the diesel Ignis makes for a relaxed commuter till the time you don’t ask much of the throttle pedal. There’s some shift shock, yes, but it isn’t uncomfortable. That is till you start getting hard on the gas. Because once you do, the gearbox likes to tie itself in knots. It’s not sure what gear to pick, especially when downshifting. It invariably picks a gear too low causing excessive head bobbing. The ‘box struggles to make smooth transitions between shifts as well.

The petrol comes with an AMT ‘box too. And it is fantastic in comparison to the diesel setup. The shifts are smooth, the throttle response is crisper, and the power delivery is alert and linear from the word go. Add to it the quiet nature of the petrol engine and the sporty note it takes on as the revs rise, and you have a car that’s certainly more in line with an enthusiast’s want.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The Ignis is based on a new platform that has been derived from the Baleno’s B-platform. Structural rigidity is thus improved from previous generation cars that the company has manufactured around these dimensions. This has allowed the engineers to offer generous window area with slimmer A and B-pillars without compromising on safety. Maruti Suzuki Ignis

The Ignis offers great all-around visibility for parking and manoeuvring in tight spaces. It is easy to get used to the proportions of the car but the slower steering rack is a letdown as it makes these manoeuvres difficult. The suspension is set up for urban conditions so they do a good job of absorbing undulations and potholes and it gets better as speeds climb. At slow speeds, the damping is a bit harsh but nothing that the well bolstered and slightly soft seats can’t handle.

We were mostly on fast, straight stretches of highway during our drive and the Ignis felt confident and quick there. The car is possibly the lightest setup that the engines have been applied to and the suspension does a good job of keeping the car stable and planted at highway pace.

SAFETY

It is one aspect where Maruti has truly excelled. Maruti Ignis specifications include dual front airbags, seatbelts with pre-tensioner and force limiter (PTFL), and Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) as standard fitments. In addition, ISOFIX Anchorage – a child seat restraint system – is also offered as a standard feature with the entire Ignis variant lineup.

CONCLUSSION

This isn’t your typical Maruti. It isn’t value for money in the true Maruti sense, its styling steers away from the safe path, and it will polarise people into ‘love-it’ or ‘hate-it’ camps. If you find yourself in the ‘love-it’ group there is very little to turn you away from the Ignis. The AMT gearbox isn’t all good and at this price point, it would be fair to expect a smoother shifting unit. Also, the steering is quite lifeless, particularly the petrol, but that apart, the car has a lot going for it. It’s cool and funky, it’s loaded with equipment not seen in this segment like LED projector lamps, a touchscreen system and auto climate control. There’s also a lot of space inside. Both engines are rewarding to drive, especially the peppy petrol and did we mention it’s really funky? So, in a positive manner of speaking, this is not your typical Maruti. And then again, it is one! Many components are shared with its stablemates, so maintenance costs will be minimal, and it’s backed by the carmaker’s wide service network.

Audi A6 Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW

Audi’s success and sales volume in India are reflective of its tremendous consumer centricity, strong product line and visonary implementation of its goals of the flamboyant Mr. Michael Perschke, Head of Audi India.However, Audi is not the kind of entity to get complacent with their hard earned success. The company has brought in the special edition A6 to take forward their lead and build upon its volume of 6000 A6 cars sold in IndiaThe Audi A6 maintains the title of the most awarded business luxury limousine in addition to winning Asian Car of the Year and World Car of the Year. The Audi A6 is packed with features like Adaptive Air Suspension with Audi Drive Select, 4 Zone Deluxe Air Conditioning, Bose Surround System and many other self spoiling features.

EXTERIORS AND DESIGN

The new A6 looks every inch an Audi, with many design cues similar to other vehicles from the German car maker’s stable. While the latest generation model is all new, it does have quite a few design cues from the old model, making the A6 unmistakably an A6. While the Audi A6 is quite long at 4.92-metres, it’s shorter than its predecessor and lower too. However, Audi has increased the wheelbase and the width of the A6, which gives it a very sporty appearance. The most striking aspects of the Audi A6 are the long engine hood, short overhangs and sweeping roof.

By far the most interesting part of the exteriors are the new headlights, which features an intricate design and extend towards the fenders. The day time running lights consist of a multitude of LEDs (60 to be precise). These headlights are not only attractive but sets the Audi’s apart from the rest. Aided by Xenon Plus and Adaptive Lightning, not only does the A6 offer splendid vision in the night but it also consumes very little power (just 40 watts per unit). The daytime running lights also double up as turn indicators and fog lights are in built in the headlight rather than being placed on the bumper.

The single frame grille is finished in high gloss black color and merges neatly at the front. The Audi A6 has well designed soft and hard lines dominating the side view, which reveals the generous dimensions of this vehicle. The windows are surrounded by high gloss package along with anodized aluminum chrome detailing which further accentuate the visuals of the car. The 10-spoke 17-inch cast aluminum wheels look very good and the side profile merges well with the rear part of the car, where the heavy influence from the A8 is immediately apparent. There is an integrated boot spoiler and the bumper is quite low with an exhaust pipe on each end. The trapezoidal tail lights are all LED units and look the part.

INTERIORS AND COMFORT

If you have been spending generous time in meetings, playing the hard and busy boss and playing golf is how you relax, the Audi A6 will be an equally comforting extension with its supreme interiors. The interiors seem crafted painstakingly precise and screams of the brand philosophy.The interiors are designed in the most comforting and soothing way possible. The beige seats to begin with wrap around the passengers very delicately. The supports hugging the passengers are very firm. The front row seats can be electrically adjusted and the auto memory can save upto two positions. The co-passenger seat can be electrically pushed forward with the help of a button mounted on the following rear door trim. The Valcona leather surely leaves a positive feeling.

Since this is a long limousine, the legroom is grand for the rear passengers. The interiors are designed in such a way that the rear passengers have their own individual zone in the second half of the vehicle. The rear headroom is decent. Audi claims the A6 makes you feel at home. Apart from the fact that such cars are as expensive as real houses, the company claims the comfort is way too luring.It has unique four zone deluxe air conditioner. Inside the A6, there is a sun sensor which gauges the intensity and position of Sun and accordingly adjusts the cabin temperature. Rear passengers get pillar mounted AC vents which are indeed effective.

The instrumental panel has been designed in a crisp way with sporty dials. It displays host of information like distance to empty, fuel consumption, cruise control etc etc. The different options on the instrumental panel are very easily accessible and can be controlled with the help of steering mounted controls too.On the central panel occupies the most important, MMI Touch which is a new way to control the Multimedia interface. The MMI can also be operated with a remote by rear passengers. If the interiors and fabrics were too luring, perhaps the 14-speaker Bose Surround System can be a real kicker pushing the mood into something heavenly. It also comes with an optional 6 CD/DVD changer. The information on 7inch color display is very lucid.

The Audi A6 has the elegantly draped interiors. It has a very roomy cabin and is synonymous to premium and uber luxurious feel. With so many features and comfort options, there are no options left but to willingly surrender.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

Audi A6 sedan comes with four engine options for Indian consumers. At the heart of the 2.8 FSI variant of the car lies a powerful petrol engine, which delivers a power of 204 PS @ 5500 rpm and a torque of 280 Nm @ 3000 rpm. The car’s top speed is 243 km/h and it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 7.9 seconds. The second variant of A6 is 2.7 TDI, which is equipped with a diesel engine that churns out 180 PS @ 3300 rpm of power and a torque of 380 Nm @ 1400 rpm. With a top speed of 230 km/h, the car accelerates from rest to 100 km/h in 8.1 seconds. The 3.0 TDI Quattro model of Audi A6 is propelled by a diesel engine, which generates a power of 233 PS @ 4000 rpm, with a peak torque of 450 Nm @ 3250 rpm. Its top speed is 247 km/h and it accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. The fourth variant offered to the Indian consumers is yet another diesel model – 3.2 FSI Quattro – that churns out 256 PS power at 6500 rpm and a maximum torque of 330 Nm at 3250 rpm. It promises to deliver a top speed of 250 km/h and provides an acceleration of zero to 100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The A6 Matrix comes with three drive modes: Comfort, Dynamic & Automatic. Best used when commuting within the city, the A6 in Comfort mode feels pliant enough, at low speeds. But there’s this ‘floating’ feel to the ride and though the car soaks up bumps adequately, you do feel the need for a slightly more ‘taut’ and sporty ride. The ‘Dynamic’ mode provides just that, as the steering loses its vagueness and becomes a bit weightier in the hand. While the comfort mode is good and the Dynamic mode improves things a bit, you do find yourself wishing for an easier option, and that’s exactly what Audi have provided with the ‘Auto Mode’. Here, the computer wizardry gets into the action and varies the ride, handling and steering feel between the two modes, as per the changing road conditions.

SAFETY

Standard safety equipment on the 2017 Audi A6 includes antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. Rear side airbags, rearview and top-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, lane keeping assist, a blind-spot warning system and a night-vision camera system are optional.

The standard Audi Pre Sense system can sense when a collision is imminent and warn the driver, tension the seatbelts and close the windows, while Pre Sense Rear flashes the brake lights as a warning to rearward traffic. The optional Pre Sense Plus system (available via the Driver Assistance package) will also fully tighten the seatbelts and automatically apply the brakes full force to avoid a forward collision or mitigate crash damage if one is unavoidable.

CONCLUSSION

It is very hard to go wrong with the Audi A6. With all its additional gadgetry, it is genuinely a good luxury car especially if you are going to be chauffeured around in one. Is it a good driver’s car? Not really. What it is though is a good package for the affluent Indian customer who wants one part style, one part flashiness, one part badge and one part luxury all embodies in a sensible package. Yes, the interior could have certainly been a lot more dramatic and the drive experience a bit more engaging, but again, as a whole, the new Audi A6 isnt poorly placed at all. So how does it compare to the Jaguar XF, BMW 5 Series and of course, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class? Well, stay tuned to zigwheels.com for that answer soon.

 

 

Maruti Suzuki Swift Hatchback Overview

OVERVIEW ;

Maruti Suzuki Swift is one of the most easily spotted cars running on Indian roads. Launched in 2005, Swift has been here for more than ten years. Like most of the Maruti cars, Swift price is positioned competitively with entry level variant priced at Rs 5.96 lakh and the top-of-the-line variant available at Rs 6.3 lakh. Clearly the most contemporary looking hatch in MSI’s clan until Baleno came Swift has had an easy run amid rivals topping the popularity chart. During its product cycle, Swift has undergone one comprehensive facelift in 2011 followed by a couple of mild overhauls and various limited editions. Prepping to take a leap into the next generation, the new 2017 Maruti Suzuki Swift will receive vital changes to the exterior and interior. Dimensionally, it will be 50mm longer implicating more space inside the cabin. The new Maruti Suzuki Swift will underpin the new global platform used in Baleno and Ignis, implying lighter body as compared to the 3rd gen-model. Launched first in 2005, Maruti Suzuki Swift was a runaway success and its popularity continues in B segment. Check for Swift price in Hyderabad

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

The next generation Maruti Swift shares great resemblance with its predecessor, but the new design alterations have added a sporty charm to the vehicle. With its curvy and elegant body, the Swift is definitely one of the most beautiful cars ever seen in its segment. The new Swift looks bigger with extended dimensions, stylish front grill, large headlamps, ORVMs with integrated blinkers, chrome-finished logo and fog lamps. The coloured door handles, thin window glasses, mirror cowls and alloy wheels further enhance its aggressive look. Its rear looks quite refreshing with body-colored bumper and chic LED tail lights. Maruti Swift has all the crunchy features that have made it a game changer in the Indian automotive industry.

The mid variants of Maruti Swift are available with 14-inch steel wheels, whereas its top variants are equipped with 15-inch steel wheels, adding extra elegance to this premium hatchback. With an aim to offer comfortable and sporty drive, the new Maruti Swift comes with puncture-resistant tubeless tyres. The 165/ 80 R14 and 185/ 65 R15 are the standard tyre sizes for 14- and 15-inch steel wheels, respectively. The tyres are highly efficient and offer better grip over the rough Indian roads

INTERIORS AND COMFORT ;

Step inside the Swift, and you’d notice the interiors have received a major overhaul. There’s practically nothing that looks similar to the older generation, which we think is a big plus right off the bat. Most importantly, levels of quality have also gone up a notch. Yes, it isn’t in the league of the Hyundai Grand i10, but it does get pretty close.To aid the ‘sporty’ positioning, there’s no trace of a light colour in the cabin. Everything from the dashboard to the upholstery is engulfed in black. To break the monotony, Maruti has cleverly used matte silver accents around the centre-console, the door pads, and the steering. While the all-black theme does look good, it robs the cabin of its sense of space. The dull grey headliner and the black upholstery makes the cabin feel claustrophobic. This is especially prominent in the rear, where the small window amplify the feeling.

The front seats are among the best in the business, and can be adjusted for height, reach and tilt. They have the right amount of cushioning on the side, and there’s ample lower back and underthigh support as well. The steering, sadly, only adjusts for tilt – there’s no reach adjust on offer. That said, the steering is placed at a neutral distance from the dash and you’d rarely have a problem. It is just the right size, and feels nice to hold. In the top-spec variants, it also gets controls for the audio and the calls. Behind the steering lies the updated instrument cluster. It does look nice, and we especially like the silver outline it gets for the speedometer and the tachometer pods. There’s a monochrome MID sandwiched between the two, that reads out information such as the trip efficiency, time and distance to empty over and above the standard trip and odometer.

It scores very high in terms of ergonomics. The positioning of switches, the air-conditioning controls and even the cubby holes is right where you’d want them. The centre-console gets the waterfall theme kickstarted yet again, and houses a 2DIN audio system (with Bluetooth, USB and AUX inputs) and the automatic climate control interface. Air-conditioning works pretty efficiently, and cools the cabin down quickly. One will feel the lack of rear AC vents, though, especially since the all-black cabin doesn’t do much to keep in-cabin heat low.The Swift is a driver-oriented car, and there’s no denying the fact the driver’s seat is the seat to be in. This is made evident the moment you hop onto the rear bench. While Maruti claim an increase of 22mm in legroom, it still isn’t a comfortable place to be in – especially over long distances. The headroom isn’t all that great thanks to the sloping roofline, and the width barely manages to accommodate three abreast.Summing up, the Swift’s cabin is definitely a good place to be in. There’s a good blend of practicality and feel-good creature comforts to make it a rounded hatch for the city.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

Maruti Suzuki has come under a lot of pressure as newer cars in the segment were boasting of more mileage, thus both the engines had to be re-tuned for improved efficiency. The 1.2-litre K-Series mill now produces 2.7 PS less power, thus is outputs 84.3 PS at 6000 RPM while the torque has increased by 1 Nm to 115 Nm at 4000 RPM. This has been achieved by increasing the compression ratio from 10.0:1 to 11.0:1, the vehicle now returns an ARAI mileage of 20.4 km/l against the old car’s 18.5 km/l. The petrol mill has good mid and top-end performance and loves the redline, the changes made to the powertrain aren’t very apparent when you drive the car as it still moves with the same punchiness as before.

Coming to the famous diesel engine of the Maruti Suzuki Swift, the 1.3-litre Fiat motor, it hasn’t been tuned, thus it generates the same 75 PS at 4000 RPM and 190 Nm at 2000 RPM as before. The company has made tweaks to the ECU while also reducing friction to improve the mileage which is now rated at a stellar 25.2 km/l (the old car was claimed to return 22.9 km/l). The oil burner is fun to drive on the open road but there is considerable low-end lag which makes it difficult to drive the vehicle in stop-go city conditions. But once the turbo spools in full flow, the mid-range punch is extremely satisfying, still not as good as the last generation Swift which gave a kick in the pants feel like no other. Both the petrol and diesel engines are married to a 5-speed manual gearbox and there is still no automatic on offer, not even on the petrol model. Want an automatic only, get the DZire or so is what Maruti feels.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The Maruti Swift 2016 is one of the few Suzuki that we pick when it comes to handling. The chassis of this hatchback is responsive and changes directions without much of a hassle. It is agile and it does well around bends. This is one of the strong points of the Swift. This chassis has been built to handle Swift Sport’s power, hence with this engine it does a good job. The ride on the Swift too is composed. It is a bit stiff, but that to improve the handling. The Maruti Swift 2016 certainly has a great package when it comes to the ride and handling aspects. The other strong point for the Swift is its steering wheel. It is light at low speeds and it weighs as you gather momentum.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

For the safety of the passengers inside the new Japanese spec Swift hatchback gets seven airbags, ABS with EBD, Rear defogger, Reverse parking camera with sensors, ESP and Hill Hold Assist (RSt variant), LED DRLs while there is also an Optional Safety Pack (which comprises of Dual Camera Brake Support, Lane Departure Warning, and speed limiter).

CONCLUSSION ;

Overall the newL Swift takes the evolution of the Swift brand to a new level. Everything about the car is more crisp and essentially you get a feeling of being offered a lot more car than before and that is a boon considering the changing market dynamics. In 2005 when MSIL rolled out the Swift it set a benchmark for the premium hatchback segment. Now with competition having grown so much, the Swift was definitely getting old in the tooth, but it possessed immense brand value and had a strong fan following. The new Swift retains those values yet manages to take the game more than just a notch higher.From the looks of it, the new Swift is here to reset the benchmark and the competition might as well start planning their arsenal. With the ability to rule the roost, the only factor that will seal the new Swift’s fate as kingpin of the premium hatchback segment is its pricing. Maruti has been known to price its small cars extremely aggressively and we hope to see that with this car as well.

 

Ford Figo Aspire Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW

The Indian market saw a big shake up in 1990s when foreign car makers were invited with open doors to the country. Ford was among the first few to enter in 1997 and although the Blue Oval has been in the country since almost two decades now, they haven’t been able to dominate with a significant market share. This is set to change as the company brought in the Figo, got a terrific response and decided to invest more money in India. Then the EcoSport came, an even bigger success and more and more Indians brought home their first Ford. Now the American automaker is set to launch the Figo Aspire, a car which will further boost Ford’s sales numbers in India as it sits in the highly competitive yet volume churning compact sedan space. Has Ford nailed it yet again? A drive around Udaipur helps us get our answer. Check Ex Showroom Price of Figo Aspire

STYLING AND DESIGN

The compact sedan segment generally has cars which look like more of a compromise. Good looks takes a back seat here. Thats not the cars with the Ford Figo Aspire, though. This one is a very good looking car. The Ford Figo Aspire is based on Ford’s Kinetic Design 2.0. The bonnet or boot are neither too long nor short. The front design is similar to other new Fords like the Fiesta and Mondeo. There is a prominent swag line that runs across the car. The glass area is small so the car looks larger. This also makes it look well balanced and not too tall. The boot design too is good with a chrome strip that is well proportionate. Its not too flashy not too thin. The car looks premium ever from the rear. Request test drive for Figo Aspire in Cazprice

COMFORT AND CABIN

The interior of the Aspire definitely looks neat while the dashboard design is almost identical to the Ecosport or the recently launches Fiesta’s dash including the steering wheel, part of the central dash and also the information screen placed on top. The interior has been finished in duel colors which include Black and Beige while the higher variants also get some silver inserts to them. The instrument cluster gets the same blue backlit treatment which looks good at night. The rest of the dashboard looks premium while the round air vents towards the side of the dash looks good what makes them so are the chrome detailing.

What is good about the interior is the fact that there are plenty of storage spaces inside the car which comes in handy especially during long journeys. The seats too look comfortable while the top end Titanium+ trim also features leather upholstery which also is segment first. Obviously what is disappointing is the fact that the rear seat passengers might feel uncomfortable because of the transmission tunnel that runs through the middle but the rear seat offers a arm rest which is a good thing. Ford has also provided Ford’s SYNC infotainment system with the top end trim, while the mid trim features My Ford Dock and also steering mounted controls along with USB and Bluetooth connectivity.

Ford Figo Aspire also offers about 359 Litres of boot space which is comparatively less than its rivals but still that is enough for a weekend trip

ENGINE AND GEARBOX

The Ford Figo Aspire will be available with two petrol and one diesel engine options. The 1.2-litre four cylinder petrol and the 1.5-litre turbocharged four-cylinder diesel will come mated to the five-speed manual gearbox, while the 1.5-litre petrol will be available with a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The 1.5-litreTDCi diesel is tuned to produce 99bhp and 215Nm of torque making it the most powerful car in the segment, marginally higher than the Honda Amaze. At standstill and low speeds, the engine is harsh and there is prominent clatter in the cabin, also a light buzz can be felt on the steering wheel and pedals. The harshness goes down as the rpm increases and engine feels pretty smooth over 2,000 rpm. We are however willing to live with it for the kind of performance it has to offer. The car is quick, getting to 100kph is easy and cruising in triple digits even more so. There is no turbo lag and the healthy bottom-end torque helps quickly getting from 60kph to 100kph without downshifting to the fourth gear. The clutch is light and easy to use even in the city traffic, though the gear shifts require a little extra effort. The ARAI efficiency of the diesel car is rated at 25.83kpl and we managed to get 15.5kpl in our test drive.

The petrol car on the other hand feels relatively underpowered. The Ti-CVT is good to deliver 87bhp and 112Nm, though the tuning, as expected, has been for efficiency. The engine refinement is top notch and driving around in the city is going to be comfortable. The performance isn’t too bad, it can get off-the-line quickly and there is decent midrange to get to 100kph in respectable time, but going past 120kph requires some efforts. The engine needs to be put under lot of stress, though we didn’t mind doing that since it sounds incredible at high rpms. While the ARAI efficiency of the petrol is decent as well at 18.16kpl, we expect the real time efficiency to be much lower at around 12kpl.

The 1.5-litre petrol was not part of the first drive, though we are looking forward to driving it soon. Our experience with the Fiesta AT tells us that the dual-clutch PowerShift transmission is fantastic and the 110bhp and 136Nm will feel even better in the smaller, lighter car.

RIDE AND HANDLING

When it comes to ride and handling, comfort is clearly a focus area with the Aspire. The suspension is quite plush and absorbent and bumps are ridden over so well that you stop paying attention to every pimple on the road and makes driving a bit more relaxed. On really bad sections of road, the ride does get a bit jiggly and bouncy, which is when you detect a hint of stiffness, but that’s only to be expected. What makes ride quality even nicer is that the suspension works quite silently for the most part.

Yes, it does mildly enjoy being driven hard and responds better the more you load up the suspension. But, that effortless grip, unimpeachable confidence and precise steering you get on Fords like the Fiesta is missing here. There’s a strange looseness in the steering around the straight ahead position it doesn’t have the same agility as other Fords and body roll is ever-present. The petrol version is the better of the two Aspires in the corners with a touch more on-centre steering feel and correspondingly a greater feeling of connection with the car. The brakes on both petrol and diesel Aspires, however, inspire tremendous confidence; stopping power was impressive as well and that lends a lot to the overall driving experience.

SAFETY FEATURES

Every car from this segment offers something unique. Ford has taken its time to enter the segment and has thus made sure the Figo Aspire offers a long list if features and equipment. The car will be available in four trim levels namely – Ambiente, Trend, Titanium and Titanium+. The Ambiente trim offers a dual tone interior, adjustable front and rear headrests, front power windows, tilt adjust steering, multi information display, keyless entry, electric boot release and driver and passenger airbags.

The Trend adds front fog lamps, gloss black elements, rear armrest, steering mounted controls, rear power windows, mobile phone dock and a Bluetooth stereo with four speakers. The Titanium trim also gets auto climate control, power fold mirrors, ABS with EBD and an adjustable driver seat. The Titanium+ is the fully loaded variant and it also gets segment first leather seats, the 4.2-inch information screen with the Sync feature, CD player, side and passenger airbags (very impressive and first in segment but passengers don’t get grab handles), Ford MyKey (a programmable key that when used can limit speed and stereo volume level).

All trims will be available in seven different shades – Ruby Red, Sparkling Gold, Oxford White, Tuxedo Black, Deep Impact Blue, Ingot Silver and Smoke Grey. Optional accessories like illuminated scuff plates, rear parking sensors (should have been offered as standard), mirror mounted reverse camera and GPS, ambient lighting and shark fin antenna will also be available at Ford dealerships.

CONCLUSSION

The Aspire is a very impressive package which is arguably the best to drive in the segment and is incredibly spacious for a car in the sub-four-meter category. There are plenty of smart storage spaces around the cabin and they have created a smart docking station for devices at the top of the centre console to make it user-friendly for today’s consumers, with an easy to use charging port