Monthly Archives: August 2019

Volvo XC60 Facelift First Look & Test Drive

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Volvo XC60 Overview

It has been said before and I am going to say it again: Volvos are no longer boring. Gone are the days when they were considered the sensible librarians of the auto world. Now, it is the teenager who sneaks past librarians for a bit of mischief. Well, the new XC60 isn’t as striking to look at as the V90 Cross Country was, but it promises to hold its ground by being loaded to the gills with features. It’s time for us to take the SUV on a short drive in order to figure out two things. First, does it still have the old-school Volvo charm? And second, just how modern is it?

The 2017 Volvo XC60 is quite a competent luxury SUV. It’s premium, properly comfortable for four people, and is loaded to the gills with safety systems that can keep you in check when you aren’t paying attention to the road. The cabin’s noise insulation and seat comfort are commendable. Its high tech air suspension is extremely capable and can alter the ride experience depending on what you want the car to do.

Add to that the fact that it looks really good and packs in enough features to even keep children happy. This really makes the new XC60 a very capable urban SUV. Expect a price of around Rs 55 lakh for the D5 Inscription variant, the only one available at the time of launch, on December 12.

Volvo XC60 Style

The new XC60 has been conceived using the same design language as the XC90, the S90 and more recently, the V90. Naturally, it has the same basic design cues – clean, simple lines and striking details – as these other models. That said, the XC60 has a few distinctive bits.

The now familiar T-shaped daytime running lights in the headlamps, for instance, extend right to the edge of the front grille. The doors also have a heavily sculpted lower section, while the pronounced ridge that runs from above the rear door handle helps give the XC60 a broader stance. Also, the vertically stacked taillights seem to have been inspired by the old car, but they are significantly sharper looking and superbly detailed. All in all, the new XC60 expresses a lot through its design and despite the same design theme as other Volvos; it is distinct and looks different compared to the bigger XC90. To know more info on Volvo XC60 check Icps2016

 

Volvo XC60 Space

While the interiors of the XC60 retains vestiges of the beauty of the XC90 and S90, its out-of-the-box design cues incorporate a sense of simplistic exquisiteness. Then there’s the large glass area and a huge panoramic sunroof which provides an airy experience that’s simply astounding. The black soft-touch dashboard here is elegantly highlighted by matte wood trim, and the nine-inch vertically positioned screen continues to allow access to most on-board functions (including the air-con). Our only gripe is that it gets the driver’s eyes off the road.

The front leather seats offer incredible support thanks to the sculpted contours and premium cushioning. While these cooled/heated seats can also be electrically adjusted for lateral, lumbar, and thigh support, there’s ample head and knee room here too. But it’s definitely the massage function and the heated steering that takes comfort to an all new level. The rear seats themselves are comfy overall with superior cushioning and contours. They have a great backrest angle, offer lots of headroom and adequate leg room too.

For the rear occupants, though, there’s only the heated seats option, and the bench itself could have come with better under-thigh support. Besides you’ll have watch out to prevent your head from bumping into the C-Pillar since the door enclosure is visibly narrow. Although seating a middle passenger is possible, they’d have to deal with the flat cushioning and a tall transmission tunnel. On the boot front, the space-saver spare wheel has been neatly tucked away under the storage area. This makes for a boot that’s large enough for a weekend trip that includes some suitcases and soft bags. But the smart bit are the buttons to electronically lower/heighten the rear of this SUV to aid luggage loading.

Being a Volvo means the inclusion of a number of safety functions. These include collision warning, distance alert, lane keeping aid, road sign information, driver alert control, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control and a 360 degree camera. Other highlights are the active bending head lamps, panoramic sunroof, massage/cooled/heated functions for the front seats, heads-up display with road signs and warning alerts, semi-automatic parking and a Bowers and Wilkins infotainment system.

Volvo XC60 Transmission

Under the muscular hood of the XC90 rests Volvo’s 2-litre, four-cylinder diesel motor that makes a solid 235bhp and 480Nm of torque. Thanks to the class-leading output, the XC60 feels brisk from the word go. On part throttle, the car is quick to react both in the city and at higher speeds thanks to the flat torque spread and a quick 8-speed automatic. If anything, this engine behaves its best on part throttle wherein it can ride the wave of torque and allow the gearbox to upshift early. The midrange pull is particularly strong and even at the top-end, this motor remains composed. The overall refinement levels, in fact, are quite high with little in terms of engine and road noise entering the cabin at normal speeds.

The highlight of the XC60’s running gear is the electronically controlled air suspension with adaptive dampers. It not only constantly adapts to the road conditions but offers a whole lot more. For instance, it will keep the car at a constant height and level, irrespective of the passenger or luggage load. What’s more, when the engine is turned off, it will lower the car by 40mm for easy exit or entry. Finally, it will lower the car to its lowest setting at high speeds for better stability and increase the ground clearance by up to 40mm in Off-Road driving mode. Speaking of driving modes, the XC60 has five of them – Eco, Comfort, Dynamic, Off-Road and Individual. Unsurprisingly, the Volvo feels the calmest in Eco, with its throttle response feeling mushy and the gearbox upshifting early. Switch to Dynamic and you get a steering that’s noticeably heavier and a gearbox that hangs onto lower gears and upshifts over 4,500rpm. That being said, we found the XC60 to be the most intuitive in Individual mode as it allows the driver to alter the steering, gearbox, brakes and the suspension separately to suit their mood.

The old XC60 wasn’t all that great dynamically but this 2017 model is a lot better. First of all, the steering is no longer vague off-center and it weighs up nicely as you up the pace – it’s fairly direct and heavy (though not to the point that its cumbersome) in Dynamic, giving you plenty of confidence through high speed corners. The ride quality, too, has improved with the 2017 model exhibiting plenty of composure over a few bad sections that we managed to find on our test route. Sure, you do hear the suspension working but there is hardly any lateral movement or unsettling jolts. On the highway, the XC60 remains composed with just a hint of up and down movement. Overall, it’s a great long distance car, one that will cover up kilometers for hours without leaving the occupants fatigued.

Volvo XC60 Riding

In Eco/Comfort mode the ride at low speeds is great and although you can hear the suspension working its way over harsh bumps, you never really feel them in the cabin. However, there is some up and down movement at higher speeds. But as soon as you shift into Dynamic mode, the ride gets noticeably flatter, and the XC60 drives with good stability at highway speeds.

Let’s talk about the steering now. The XC60’s steering is adequately quick off the centre, and also feels light in Eco and Comfort modes. It goes without saying that this makes driving in the city an easy affair. But having said that, although the steering gets slightly heavier in Dynamic mode, we found the steering response in Comfort mode more natural, and eventually stuck to that. Volvo also seems to have got it spot-on with the brakes since it is remarkably progressive with excellent feedback. On the whole, we thoroughly felt that the XC60 will do a great job in covering great distances in good comfort.

Volvo XC60 Safety

Known for its safety, Volvo’s XC60 has ventilated disk brakes for both the front as well as rear wheels and no compromises when it comes to installation of airbags, you get safety airbags for every passenger. While the automatic height adjustable seat belts and the intelligent driver information system are one of the highlights of Volvo XC60 Braking and Safety features

Volvo XC60 Price in Pune

Volvo XC60 On Road Price is 62,63,475/- and Ex-showroom Price is 52,90,000/- in Pune. Volvo XC60 comes in 4 colours, namely Black Sapphire Metallic,Bright Silver Metallic,Crystal White Pearl,Rich Java. Volvo XC60 comes with FWD with 1984 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 181 bhp@4250 rpm and Peak Torque 400 Nm@1750-2500 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Volvo XC60 comes with Automatic Transmission with FWD .Check for Volvo XC60 price in Pune at Tryaldrive.

Volvo XC60 Final Thought

So is the 2017 Volvo XC60 good enough to compete with its rivals with more popular badges? It certainly is. As a premium mid-size SUV it nails the brief quite nicely, featuring a refined and powerful motor, well sorted dynamics and an exquisite cabin that’s loaded to the roofline. Although what sets it apart from the rest is its full suite of active features and that sense of individuality you get from driving a Volvo. So if you are in the market for a mid-size SUV that’s a little out there, the XC60 is worthy choice, if you can get around Volvo’s sparse dealer network, that is.

Hyundai Elantra First Drive Review

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Hyundai Elantra Overview

The Hyundai Elantra has been one of the best selling cars globally having sold more than 11.5 million units. Hyundai had launched the fifth generation Elantra in 2012 and it was, at one point, the best-seller in the segment. The D-segment has shrunk as the craze for SUVs has caught up in recent times. Inspite of this, Hyundai has launched the sixth generation model in India and the Koreans aim to lead the D-segment again. Hyundai claims that this is the best Elantra they have ever made. We were in Chennai to sample this latest sedan from Hyundai.

Hyundai first launched the Elantra in India in its third generation, which was the 2000 model. The fourth generation wasn’t introduced to the Indian market but the Elantra made a comeback to the Indian soil in its fifth generation, which was the 2010 model. Now the sixth generation is here with some promising aspects to kill the D-segment sedan space.

Hyundai Elantra Exteriors

This is the first Hyundai in a long time that isn’t a massive visual departure from, but rather an evolution of, its predecessor. The cab-forward shape and coupé-like curved roofline may be similar to the previous car’s, but everything else is all new – this is Fluidic Sculpture 2.0, Hyundai’s newest design language. Gone are the pointy edges that perhaps looked a bit too radical for this class, and in their place have come far more European styling cues. At the front, the wide hexagonal chrome grille bears more than a passing resemblance to what you’ll find on a modern Audi and there’s even a hint of Jaguar’s ‘J-Blade’ signature in the LED running lamps. The boomerang-shaped slits that house the small fog lamps on the extremities of the bumper are more than meets the eye, because they are actually functional, Hyundai says, channelling air efficiently to reduce turbulence inside the wheel arch and thereby improve fuel economy, aid stability and lower wind noise.

Over on the sides, the wheel arches (especially at the front) aren’t as pronounced as before, and, overall, the car doesn’t look as tall as before, which is a definite improvement. The biggest visual departure, however, is at the rear, where the rather bulky tail has been made a lot more elegant. The smaller, slimmer tail-lamps with their distinct LED signatures give a much better sense of width, as do the wide LED strips on the bumper. So while the flowing shape and aggressive nose are still attention-grabbing, the toned-down rear looks a lot more mature than before.

Where the third-generation Elantra (the first one to come to India back in 2004) was quite special for its expensive independent rear suspension, this sixth-generation car (as well as its predecessor) uses a more conventional and cost-effective non-independent, torsion-beam rear suspension. The front wheels, of course, use independent, MacPherson struts. The chassis now uses more high-strength steel than before – 53 percent versus 21 percent – resulting in a 30 percent increase in stiffness, which should dramatically help ride and handling.

Hyundai Elantra Interiors

While the exterior bears a slight resemblance to its predecessor, the interiors are worlds apart. We loved the old car’s daring approach to dashboard design, what with the vertical AC vents, hourglass-shaped control panel and surfeit of angles. This new one is far more conventional looking and altogether more ‘horizontal’ in its layout. It’s a very European approach to dash design, which seems to be the theme with this car, and the result is that everything is where you expect it to be. The big 8.0-inch touchscreen sits at the top of the central stack, followed by the AC vents and then the AC controls. The dials are classic Hyundai – white-backlit, easy to read, with a detail-rich screen between them. The biggest point of note is the cabin quality. Thus far, all Hyundais have used materials that are a notch above other Asian car brands, but there’s been a more or less uniform level across all the brand’s models, perhaps with the exception of the Santa Fe. This is the first Hyundai that feels a distinct step above all of them in the way it’s put together, and is closer than ever now to its European rivals in terms of fit and finish. There are a few low-rent bits – the fuel filler and boot-release levers in the driver’s footwell come to mind – but that’s about it. Other than that, we just wish there was a bit of chrome or wood trim in here to liven things up from the dull black and grey shades that permeate the interior.

In an executive sedan, all the seats are equally important, because these cars tend to be both owner and chauffeur driven. At the front, you get suitably large chairs with a good amount of support for your back and thighs. On top-spec cars, the driver’s seat is powered and, on the automatics, cooled too, but there’s no memory function, sadly. The cushioning is a bit on the soft side, so while it’s great on short drives, it could cause you a slight backache over a long stint at the wheel. Still, despite the tall instrument binnacle and sharply raked A-pillars, visibility from the driver’s seat is very good.

The back seat is quite similar to the previous car’s in that it is placed low and the roofline is low too, so you will have to duck a bit when you get in. Once you’re in place though, you’ll have little reason to complain. Headroom is surprisingly good despite that roof, there’s more than enough kneeroom, thanks to an H-point that’s sited pretty deep, and thigh support is about two inches away from being perfect. Here too, the central cushioning is perhaps a touch too soft for longer distances, but for short stints, it’s nice and comfortable. Hyundai has also provided three individual head restraints back here, and of course there are a pair of rear AC vents (they don’t take up too much space either).

With even premium hatchbacks (Hyundai’s own i20 is a prime example) now packing luxury-car levels of equipment, you get the feeling that Hyundai is starting to run out of ideas for its more expensive models, especially when costs have to be kept in check. There’s the very gimmicky automatic boot release (which rarely works), automatic headlamps (but not wipers), rear-parking sensors (but not front), projector headlamps and cooled seats, which are all very neat. Other staples like push-button start, dual-zone climate control, leather upholstery, a rear-view camera and a very impressive touchscreen (read about it in the special box) are all welcome, but it’s not segment-transcending stuff, as used to be the case with every new Hyundai. Another unusual thing is that all top-spec SX(O) cars are not created equal, as the automatics get a bit more equipment than the manuals. Cooled front seats, a sunroof, six airbags (the others get just two) and speed-sensitive door locks are only available on the two-pedal cars.

Hyundai Elantra Transmission

The Elantra is available in both petrol and diesel engine options. Hyundai is using a new 2.0-litre petrol engine which punches out 151 HP & 192 Nm. This engine comes mated with both manual and automatic transmissions. We got a chance to drive the petrol automatic variant at the media test drive. This new motor feels quite peppy and has a strong mid & top end. The 6-speed automatic gearbox mated to the petrol engine is the second generation autobox and is more refined now. However, being a single clutch transmission, there is some amount of lag, you feel it more once you completely floor the pedal to the metal. This engine delivers an ARAI certified fuel economy of 14.59 km/l and 14.62 km/l with both the manual and auto gearboxes respectively. For more information on Hyundai Elantra visit Icps2016

The diesel is the same tried and tested 1.6-litre U2 CRDI engine which has been refined as per Hyundai claims. It still delivers the same 127 HP of power and 260 Nm of twisting force. Power delivery is linear and power feels quite adequate. Mated to this oil burner is a 6-speed automatic and manual transmission which has been carried forward from the previous generation model. Hyundai claims that the diesel Elantra is the most fuel efficient sedan in its segment delivering 22.54 km/l as per ARAI standards. Hyundai has worked to improve NVH levels too. There is barely any wind or tyre noise heard inside the cabin. Even the engine bay is well insulated.

Hyundai Elantra Driving

Here’s the really impressive thing about the new Elantra. It no longer feels softly sprung, a trait we have long associated with Hyundais. True, things have been on the mend over the years, but this feels like a significant step forward. The springs aren’t outright firm by class standards, but they’re firmer than any Hyundai before, which is something you’ll feel as soon as you hit a speed breaker a little too hard. The rebound can be felt with a solid thwack permeating the cabin. Hyundai tends to go a size up on the competition when it comes to its alloy wheels on top-spec cars, but not this time. 16 inches is the segment norm and Hyundai has stuck to it. They’re shod with thick, 60-profile Hankook Kinergy Eco tyres, which seem to be the magic ingredient in this ride-quality recipe. They do well to compensate for the stiffer suspension, soaking up the initial harshness of most bumps really nicely.

Then the firmer suspension steps in to make sure that body control is kept in check on an undulating surface. Considering how bad the old car was, you’ll be impressed to find that this one hardly bounces or floats at all at high speeds. It stays flat and tied down, and back seat passengers will be especially thankful for this. It really feels a whole lot more grown up and, dare we say it, European. As mentioned earlier, it’s only when you hit a bump or speed breaker really hard that you’ll catch the suspension off-guard. This added firmness, however, has not completely eliminated body roll, and you’ll still feel a bit of it when you corner the Elantra hard.

What you won’t feel much of when you corner hard is what the front wheels are up to, as the steering is still far too numb. Again, there is a marginal improvement from the previous car, but that seems more to do with added weight than outright feel. You will get a better sense of security at high speeds, or when you accidentally drop one of the front wheels into a pothole – the steering doesn’t go limp in your hands, nor do you feel any steering shock. All things considered, you still won’t want to drive the Elantra hard, but you will be thankful for the lightness of the steering when you’re parking or making a three-point turn.

Hyundai Elantra Safety

The new Hyundai Elantra is loaded with safety equipment having dual front airbags and ABS as standard on all variants along with 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Vehicle Stability Management and Hill-Start Assist Control standard on the range topping variant. The new gen Elantra has been awarded the top safety pick from IIHS having green signals for all aspects. Hyundai is well known for its after sales service and with the launch of the new Elantra, the Korean carmaker announced new Hyundai Premium Assurance Program offering 3 years unlimited kms warranty for all the customers of the new Elantra. It also comes with free maintenance for 3 yrs/30,000 kms, 3 yrs roadside assistance, 3 times update on ‘Map Care’ and 3 times Customer ‘Home Visit’. On top of that, Hyundai loyal customers will get additional 4th year extended warranty.

Hyundai Elantra Cost in Hyderabad

Hyundai Elantra On Road Price is 16,50,935/- and Ex-showroom Price is 13,71,400/- in Hyderabad. Hyundai Elantra comes in 5 colours, namely Sleek Silver,Phantom Black,Marina Blue,Red Passion,Polar White. Hyundai Elantra comes with FWD with 1999 CC Displacement and 4 Cylinders with Maximum Power 150 bhp@6200 rpm and Peak Torque 192 Nm@4000 rpm DRIVE TRAIN FWD and reaches 100 KMPH at N/A . Hyundai Elantra comes with Manual Transmission with FWD .Check for Elantra price in Hyderabad at Tryaldrive.

Hyundai Elantra Final Thought

The new Hyundai Elantra hasn’t rewritten the rule book for executive sedans; in fact, its formula has stayed unchanged – striking looks, lots of equipment, value for money and capable, refined engines. But it’s also improved dramatically in most areas and also gained a couple of new skills along the way. Dynamically, it’s a quantum leap over its predecessor and a new benchmark for Hyundai in India, with a ride quality that can, at last, rival what its European rivals offer; shame the handling hasn’t quite caught up yet, but it too has improved. On the equipment front, yes, it isn’t the revolution its predecessor was, but you can’t say it leaves you wanting either. The feature-rich touchscreen, in particular, is just superb. It’s got a pair of very different, albeit both capable in their own right, engine options each with an auto or a manual, so there should be something for everyone. Space and comfort are generous, the striking looks will still be a big draw, but what really makes it worth it is the price, which is still a notch below cars from Europe. It just goes to show, it’s possible to have an attractive proposition in the executive sedan segment yet.