All posts by admin

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

 

 

Nissan Micra Features & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

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

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

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

CABIN ;

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

ENGINE AND PERFORMACE ;

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

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

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

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

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

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

CONCLUSSION ;

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

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

Mahindra Verito Price & Performance

OVERVIEW ;

The newest offering from Mahindra called the Verito is a rebadged model of company’s proven workhorse Logan. With the divorce of Mahindra from Renault, the car has gone under the styling knife of Mahindra and gets a new front grille, less boxy headlamps, revised front and rear bumper, new boot lid design, clear lens tail lamps and new alloy wheels. Apart from new features, the sedan offers a value for money prospective which is a fundamental feature of Mahindra vehicles. Check Ex Showroom Price of Verito

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The entire picture of this machine is just amazing to look at and can only dream of owning one. The great uniform look it possesses is contributed by the body colored bumpers, the body side molding, and the body colored door handles. The Executive Edition is available in exclusive pearl white color and a badging to it, while the other variants are offered in eight stunning shades. Furthermore, the side view mirrors too are in the same body shade. There is a side cladding that adds to the style quotient as well as to the safety aspect in restraining any collision occurred from the side. There are stylish set of roof rails fitted on the top. When coming to the rear end, there lies the rear appliqué that boasts the model name. And there is a high mount stop lamp fixed, which alerts other vehicles in announcing its presence. The reverse light works its way to help in the parking or shifting job. The front fascia has got attention by fitting a set of front fog lamps with clear lens that gives a greater vision. And the front windshield has a wiper with 2 speed plus 1 speed intermittent function. The wheels that bear this beautiful baby has been offered with wheel covers, while it has got alloy wheels as an add-on to boost its side facet. Request test drive for Verito in Cazprice

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Mahindra Verito’s interior dimensions are generous and you get a practical and roomy cabin. The Verito is 4247 mm long, 1740 mm wide and has a height of 1540 mm. Interior space is it’s strength and the rear seats have plenty of leg and head room and can accommodate comfortably 3 adult passengers. The road visibility is very good and the broad mirrors allow you to see in every direction.Like the exteriors the interior styling too can be best described as modest. Just like the Logan the Verito too features a lot of storage places and you also get a lot of cheap plastics. The use of cheap plastic however does manage to keep the price of the car low.You don’t get an exorbitant feature list with the Verito but it has everything it needs to be practical. For the rear seats you get triple headrests, gradual dim cabin lights, air conditioner, power steering, power windows, driver information system and a rear defogger. At 510 litres the Verito’s boot is good for a big family. On the Verito you also get ABS with EBD and Driver Airbag.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Mahindra Verito is powered by a 3-phase 72V induction motor that promises 30.5kW of power and 91Nm torque. A single-speed transmission transfers all this power to the front wheels. The 200Ah Li-ion battery in the car powers all the ancillary functions, including the music system, AC and headlamps. It also charges the 12V battery which is used for the start up. Starting the car is also an art in itself. You turn the key, but it doesn’t go all the way like in your conventional fuelled car. 15 seconds after turning the key, you hear a slight noise –– a subtle ding from the rear of the car, signalling that the car is ready now. After this audible cue, you have to press the drive button located on the lower right side of the dashboard. At this point, the car starts to creep forward. For further progress, select F on the gear lever and you start to move ahead at a reasonable pace. For an additional boost, shift to the B mode which is the phase that I preferred to be in for the entire duration of my drive. In this mode, you get a slight boost. That being said, even in B mode, the driving experience is quite sedate and I wouldn’t really call it an electrifying.

The Mahindra Verito takes a fair bit of time to climb to 40kmph from naught, not ideal for quick getaways…or if you plan on robbing a bank. Mahesh Babu, the CTO of Mahindra Electric, claims that the 0-40kmph as well as 0-60kmph sprints are much faster than what one can achieve in the e2o. The maximum speed I managed to see was 56kmph and it took some time getting there. Achieving Mahindra’s claimed top speed of 86kmph will take both a long time and a long stretch of road.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The ride is pretty firm when compared to its competitors. But it also means the Verito can take the bad roads well. The car is sturdy and keeps the rattles and vibrations in control. The rear seat comfort is the USP among its rivals. It offers good legroom and headroom than the near competitor Dzire. The third passenger in the rear is welcome in the Verito. The cabin is pretty well silent till 100 kmph. After that the engine becomes noisy and harsh. The steering gives a positive feeling and gives great control at speeds. The typical diesel characteristics like the gear lever vibration are absent which is a good thing.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

Primary safety provisions including driver side airbag and ABS with EBD are standard on the top-spec variant. Other safety equipment armed in the sedan are-adjustable head rests in front and rear, immobilizer and electrical rear window child lock. Face sports chrome finished grille and clear lens fog lamps. Side panels get alloy wheels and side moulding. Inside, it gets tachometer, LCD display on instrument cluster, fabric upholstery, mobile holder and bottle holder etc.

CONCLUSSION ;

Mahindra Verito is a perfect option for those looking for a sedan that gives high performance along with appreciable mileage. The car looks pretty good in terms of design, style, and features though may seem a step back as compared to its close rivals. This Verito is aimed to the people who want the sedan experience for a hatch like price. The Verito is well priced that ensures true value for money. The top variant gets all the bells and whistles a premium car can get including the ABS & EBD. The wider wheelbase of the car offers ample space within the car cabin which has been used in quite an economical way. The front as well as rear seats offer plenty of leg, elbow, and shoulder room and carry a grand ability to accommodate five adults without a hitch. Apart from space, comfort features are in ample number and help giving an upmarket look but keeps cabin cozy and comfortable

 

Nissan Micra Active Hatchback Overview

INTRODUCTION ;

This company is reputed for its diverse models in four wheelers, which happens to be one of the best vehicles available in the automobile market. It has a smart way to combine the features of different proportions in varied models, so that the particular unit which is released, always will appeal to the targeted customer category. Nissan Micra Active too falls in that line, where it has been bestowed with a right combination of all the sections including safety, more convenience and performance as well included within it. The company has equipped this model series with a reliable 1198cc petrol mill, which has three cylinders and 12 valves in total. This mill can generate 67.06bhp in combination with 104Nm toque and is mated with a manual transmission gear box. The company claims that this hatchback series has the ability to generate a peak mileage in the range of 19-20 Kmpl, when driven under standard conditions. It has a modest top speed and is quite zippy even with all five passengers seated inside. Check Price of Micra Active

DESIGN AND STYLING ;

The 2017 Nissan Micra Active now comes in new sunshine orange shade that was previously seen in the regular model. In terms of design, the 2017 Micra Active largely retains most of its traits in the front and side profiles. The only addition is the ‘follow me headlamps’ that remain on for a certain duration. The rear profile gets an update in the form of new combination lamps and sportier bumper, making it look comparatively better than the previous iteration. Also, it borrows heavily from the Renault Pulse hatchback. The 2017 Micra doesn’t get any substantial updates in the exterior design. Exchange your old car for Micra Active

CABIN ;

Interior styling is similar to the pre-facelift version of Micra armed with basic features found in other hatchbacks in the segment Cabin is equipped with power tilt steering, manual AC, power windows in front & rear, remote keyless entry, internally adjustable ORVM, adjustable headrest, 2 bottle holders, 3 cup holders, gear shift indicator and 12V power outlet.

Safety equipment on the Micra Active include driver airbag standard across line-up. Other features like passenger airbag, ABS with EBD & brake assist and driver seat belt warning indicator are available only on the top-spec variant. Centre door locking, speed sensing auto door locking, speed sensing auto door lock etc.

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE ;

The Nissan Micra Active comes with an 1,198 cc petrol engine which produces 65 hp of power at 5,000 rpm along with 104 Nm of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine’s performance is acceptable for its segment.

The Nissan Micra Active comes with a 5 speed manual transmission. Gear changes are smooth, however, no variant is offered with an automatic gearbox.

The Nissan Micra Active has an ARAI rated fuel efficiency of 16.5 kmpl in city along with 19.5 kmpl on the highway. For its segment, these fuel efficiency figures are reasonable.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The power steering of Micra Active is deft and manoeuvrable and this makes it an ideal car for congested areas. The turning radius of 4.65 m is one of the smallest in this segment. Ventilated disc brakes are fitted in the front while the rear end gets drum brakes for efficient braking. An advanced Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) makes it a safe hatchback. The staunch suspension is a McPherson Strut for the front wheels and a torsion beam system for the rear ones.

SAFETY AND FEATURES ;

Micra Active has ABS and driver-plus-front passenger airbags as a top-model feature.Nissan has astutely focused on the safety parameters. Central door locking with keyless entry, driver side power window with auto down and anti pinch features, child safety locks for the rear doors, powerful halogen headlamps for enhanced visibility for the driver, side and front impact beams, an electrical power steering with tilt adjustment, seat belts for added safety of the passengers, front wash and wiper for the windscreen are practical features. Driver seat belt warning notification, a door ajar warning indicator, a low fuel warning lamp, a head lamp on warning notification and a key remove warning indicator underscore the safety features. Nissan has also given this hatchback the highly advanced ABS + EBD + BA system and speed sensing automatic door locks, prevent your wheels from locking.

CONCLUSSION ;

Nissan’s Micra Active has superior all-round visibility that is slightly marred by the thick C-pillar. It has bulbous outcrops flanking the bonnet and this makes it a rarity among modern cars where the bonnet is almost never visible and this makes parking in tight spots extremely easy. Micra Active lives up to its tagline ‘drive easy, live better’

 

Merecedes Benz AMG GLE 43 Coupe Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes’ mid-size luxury SUV, the GLE-Class, started life in 1997 as the Mercedes-Benz M-Class. The five-door crossover received two generational updates since its initial debut, the first of which was issued in 2005. The third gen arrived in 2011, and four years later, Mercedes gave it a facelift, revealing the update in January at the North American International Auto Show. With the facelift came a name change, with the M-Class badge retired in favor of GLE-Class, per Mercedes’ revamped naming strategy. Now, for the 2017 model year, Mercedes is replacing the GLE400 and GLE450 AMG with the new AMG GLE43. Essentially the same five-passenger performance SUV as the outgoing GLE450 AMG, the AMG GLE43 is framed as a stylish, high-tech, relatively quick SUV, with a dollop of family-oriented practicality and autonomous safety features spread on top.

The AMG GLE43 joins its slightly slimmer sibling, the GLE43 coupe, in Mercedes’ ever-expanding AMG lineup. In case you were unaware, AMG is essentially Mercedes’ in-house tuning division, similar in purpose to BMW’s M division.For 2017, AMG will be celebrating 50 years of making fast Mercedes vehicles even faster, with plans of offering no less than 34 different AMG-branded models for the new model year. Included in the list is a host or performance SUVs, including the GLE43 featured here.

EXTERIOR AND LOOK ;

The front area has been mildly revised in its look, making for only a loose resemblance of the other variants. The conventional Mercedes-Benz grille stretches all across the front section, and the large star at the centre sends out an aggressive effect. The company seems to have a good understanding of the love of chrome among us Indians, and this shows in the shimmering highlights placed on many regions of the front and the side. The headlamps on either side are sharper than the conventional version, and they are intricately detailed for a more powerful visual effect when driving. It is quite stunning the way the polished metallic skin slides down and forms the bumper. We found the slender layout of the air dams to fit into the layout of the front with utmost perfection. Coming to the sides, the large fenders instantly grab your attention, while the stylish wheels are factors that further reinforce this effect. There are serene design lines around the door sides, creating a more ambient effect which further enhances the vehicle’s look. Perhaps the most sensational element of the car’s exterior, in our opinion, is the well sculpted rear portion. The car’s roof tapers down towards the rear, blending right into the image with a dab of sportiness.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

Just like the exterior, the AMG GLE43 is basically the same as the outgoing GLE400 on the inside. In fact, the cabin is even more of a copy/paste than the styling outside. Drivers grip a three-spoke steering wheel with a flat bottom and numerous buttons placed at thumb’s length on the sides. The wheel is wrapped in leather and trimmed in brushed metal. Behind the wheel is a gauge cluster with a left-mounted speedometer and right-mounted tachometer, which sandwich a center-mounted digital driver’s information display. More brushed metal trim is found around the gauges, not to mention the center console and vents, while in the foot well, there are drilled metal pedals with rubber inserts for greater grip.Mounted high on the dash is an 8-inch color screen. Below the screen is an array of hard buttons and switches that look pretty dated on something for the 2017 model year. On the central tunnel, you’ll find the standard touchpad controller and other infotainment system navigation tools. Other anticipated features include Bluetooth connectivity, voice control, and app support.

Tunes are provided by a standard Harman Kardon Logic7 sound system, but audiophiles can opt into the high-end Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system if desired. The AMG GLE43 also gets the latest lineup of safety and driver-assist tech. See the Safety And Convenience section for more information.Further features include the standard AMG paddle shifters on the steering column, random AMG trim pieces scattered here and there, and if you’re feeling frisky, optional sports seats. Premium materials pervade throughout, including wood trim and leather upholstery.On its own, the AMG GLE43’s interior doesn’t look too bad. However, once you prop it up against the competition, it starts to look a little… less good.I mean, look at the Porsche. Sure there are copious hard buttons and the layout could use some simplification (okay, a lot of simplification), but the way the central tunnel sits above the seat line gives it a sort of fighter jet cockpit feel. And that’s cool.

Now look at the Bimmer. The dash swoops through the cabin in a futuristic curve, and the various controls are set at an angle to provide maximum benefit to the driver.Now look at the Mercedes. It looks like something from 2010, but with a slightly bigger screen. Gripes over the layout aside, you do get some pretty decent kit for your money. A power sunroof and heated front seats come as standard, while extra outlay will land you ventilated front seats with three levels of heating or cooling. There’s also an available heated steering wheel.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Most of the AMG cars are powered by Bi-Turbo V8s with insane amounts of power. However, the GLE 450 not being a full blown AMG is powered by a 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine which produces 364 BHP and 520 Nm of torque. The power figures translate into a 0-100 km/hr time of just under 6 seconds which is very impressive considering it isn’t a light car by any stretch of imagination. The exhaust note of the car is very addictive too and keeps one well entertained.

The engine is paired to a 9-speed automatic transmission which makes cruising at highway speeds very relaxing with the engine spinning at very low RPMs. At 100 km/hr, the RPM needle hovers around 1400 RPM and a slight dab on the accelerator is all that is needed for a quick overtake. When you pin down the accelerator, the acceleration is linear and in no time you are at triple digit speeds. The power delivery is very linear and the engine redlines at 6500 RPM.

Holding the brake and pressing the accelerator completely makes the car launch perfectly (two thumbs up for launch control) and gear shifts happen smoothly instead of the slight jerkiness in Sport+ mode. Speaking of Sport+ mode, the GLE 450 AMG does a kickback from the exhaust when upshifting and that adds to the drama. No, it doesn’t mean anything is broken, it is just to add that bit of character. The most surprising part is despite the engine not having too many ponnies, you feel that it is accelerating faster than it actually is. And the exhaust note adds to the whole experience. Full marks to the blokes at Mercedes for getting the setup right.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Being an AMG Sport badged car, let us talk about the handling and braking aspects of the GLE450 AMG sport first. In normal comfort mode, the GLE450 behaves like most normal SUVs would around a bend, but just like with the engine, the Sport and Sport+ modes turn it into a different animal. The GLE450 AMG Sport corners well for something this large and this heavy and is certainly a lot more poised than the likes of the previous generation ML63 AMG. The large tyres and big wheels of course help but on the whole, the GLE450 coupe certainly feels really sorted for an SUV. Of course, the fact that it doesn’t make astronomical amounts of power also makes it a lot more usable around the tight and twisty roads that we tested it on. That said, as a balancer, chucking the GLE450 coupe into a corner, even with the great suspension setup working overtime still cannot mask the fact that this is a heavy SUV an not a nimble sportscar.

If you want to use the likes of the GLE450 AMG on a daily basis, here is a word of caution. It is not comfortable. Not by a long shot. In comfort mode, the firm suspension makes it extremely jittery over undulated roads that we here in India are ‘blessed’ with. Surprisingly, the moment you stiffen the GLE450 up by putting it into Sport, the car becomes a lot more comfortable and usable. We are guessing the ‘Sport’ part on the AMG sport series is a very subtle hint then! The GLE450 also gets a huge set of brakes and although they are pretty much on point, use them hard over extended periods of time and they do start to show signs of fade. Again, this is not because of the way the brakes are constructed, it is just about the fact that the GLE450 weighs as much as a moon and this puts a lot more stress on them.

SAFETY ;

Safety and German cars go hand in hand and same is the case with the Mercedes GLE 450 AMG Coupe. It carries over all the safety technology from the standard GLE SUV. When it comes to after sales service, Mercedes is one of the best in the game in today’s time. Mercedes offers service packs for a time period of upto three years. Extended warranty is also available which protects the owner from unpredictable failures. The sales reach of the three pointed star is also very good with showrooms in most major cities.

CONCLUSSION ;

If you are looking at the GLE Coupe as a practical buy then it scores a big zero. The luggage area is tiny and despite the massive size the rear bench is not the most comfortable. This being an import, its price of Rs 86.40 lakh comes as a pleasant surprise and makes it quite of decent value. So this luxury crossover is for people who are looking for a sports car performance without compromising on everyday usability thanks to its great ground clearance. With its unique styling, buying the GLE coupe is more like self-indulgence but then for the enthusiast, car buying is not a rational decision anyway.