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How to think like a programmer — lessons in problem solving

Richard Reis

If you’re interested in programming, you may well have seen this quote before:

“Everyone in this country should learn to program a computer, because it teaches you to think.” — Steve Jobs You probably also wondered what does it mean, exactly, to think like a programmer? And how do you do it??

Essentially, it’s all about a more effective way for problem solving.

In this post, my goal is to teach you that way.

By the end of it, you’ll know exactly what steps to take to be a better problem-solver.

Why is this important? Problem solving is the meta-skill.

We all have problems. Big and small. How we deal with them is sometimes, well…pretty random.

Unless you have a system, this is probably how you “solve” problems (which is what I did when I started coding):

Try a solution. If that doesn’t work, try another one. If that doesn’t work, repeat step 2 until you luck out. Look, sometimes you luck out. But that is the worst way to solve problems! And it’s a huge, huge waste of time. If you are looking for Best web development company check Vivid Designs 

The best way involves a) having a framework and b) practicing it.

“Almost all employers prioritize problem-solving skills first. Problem-solving skills are almost unanimously the most important qualification that employers look for….more than programming languages proficiency, debugging, and system design. Demonstrating computational thinking or the ability to break down large, complex problems is just as valuable (if not more so) than the baseline technical skills required for a job.” — Hacker Rank (2018 Developer Skills Report) Have a framework To find the right framework, I followed the advice in Tim Ferriss’ book on learning, “The 4-Hour Chef”.

It led me to interview two really impressive people: C. Jordan Ball (ranked 1st or 2nd out of 65,000+ users on Coderbyte), and V. Anton Spraul (author of the book “Think Like a Programmer: An Introduction to Creative Problem Solving”).

I asked them the same questions, and guess what? Their answers were pretty similar!

Soon, you too will know them.

Sidenote: this doesn’t mean they did everything the same way. Everyone is different. You’ll be different. But if you start with principles we all agree are good, you’ll get a lot further a lot quicker.

“The biggest mistake I see new programmers make is focusing on learning syntax instead of learning how to solve problems.” — V. Anton Spraul So, what should you do when you encounter a new problem?

Here are the steps:

1. Understand Know exactly what is being asked. Most hard problems are hard because you don’t understand them (hence why this is the first step).

How to know when you understand a problem? When you can explain it in plain English.

Do you remember being stuck on a problem, you start explaining it, and you instantly see holes in the logic you didn’t see before?

Most programmers know this feeling.

This is why you should write down your problem, doodle a diagram, or tell someone else about it (or thing… some people use a rubber duck).

“If you can’t explain something in simple terms, you don’t understand it.” — Richard Feynman 2. Plan Don’t dive right into solving without a plan (and somehow hope you can muddle your way through). Plan your solution!

Nothing can help you if you can’t write down the exact steps.

In programming, this means don’t start hacking straight away. Give your brain time to analyze the problem and process the information.

To get a good plan, answer this question:

“Given input X, what are the steps necessary to return output Y?”

Sidenote: Programmers have a great tool to help them with this… Comments!

3. Divide Pay attention. This is the most important step of all.

Do not try to solve one big problem. You will cry.

Instead, break it into sub-problems. These sub-problems are much easier to solve.

Then, solve each sub-problem one by one. Begin with the simplest. Simplest means you know the answer (or are closer to that answer). If you are looking for Top web development company in Mumbai check Vivid Designs

After that, simplest means this sub-problem being solved doesn’t depend on others being solved.

Once you solved every sub-problem, connect the dots.

Connecting all your “sub-solutions” will give you the solution to the original problem. Congratulations!

This technique is a cornerstone of problem-solving. Remember it (read this step again, if you must).

“If I could teach every beginning programmer one problem-solving skill, it would be the ‘reduce the problem technique.’ For example, suppose you’re a new programmer and you’re asked to write a program that reads ten numbers and figures out which number is the third highest. For a brand-new programmer, that can be a tough assignment, even though it only requires basic programming syntax. If you’re stuck, you should reduce the problem to something simpler. Instead of the third-highest number, what about finding the highest overall? Still too tough? What about finding the largest of just three numbers? Or the larger of two? Reduce the problem to the point where you know how to solve it and write the solution. Then expand the problem slightly and rewrite the solution to match, and keep going until you are back where you started.” — V. Anton Spraul 4. Stuck? By now, you’re probably sitting there thinking “Hey Richard… That’s cool and all, but what if I’m stuck and can’t even solve a sub-problem??”

First off, take a deep breath. Second, that’s fair.

Don’t worry though, friend. This happens to everyone!

The difference is the best programmers/problem-solvers are more curious about bugs/errors than irritated.

In fact, here are three things to try when facing a whammy:

Debug: Go step by step through your solution trying to find where you went wrong. Programmers call this debugging (in fact, this is all a debugger does). “The art of debugging is figuring out what you really told your program to do rather than what you thought you told it to do.”” — Andrew Singer Reassess: Take a step back. Look at the problem from another perspective. Is there anything that can be abstracted to a more general approach? “Sometimes we get so lost in the details of a problem that we overlook general principles that would solve the problem at a more general level. […] The classic example of this, of course, is the summation of a long list of consecutive integers, 1 + 2 + 3 + … + n, which a very young Gauss quickly recognized was simply n(n+1)/2, thus avoiding the effort of having to do the addition.” — C. Jordan Ball Sidenote: Another way of reassessing is starting anew. Delete everything and begin again with fresh eyes. I’m serious. You’ll be dumbfounded at how effective this is.

Research: Ahh, good ol’ Google. You read that right. No matter what problem you have, someone has probably solved it. Find that person/ solution. In fact, do this even if you solved the problem! (You can learn a lot from other people’s solutions). Caveat: Don’t look for a solution to the big problem. Only look for solutions to sub-problems. Why? Because unless you struggle (even a little bit), you won’t learn anything. If you don’t learn anything, you wasted your time.

Practice Don’t expect to be great after just one week. If you want to be a good problem-solver, solve a lot of problems!

Practice. Practice. Practice. It’ll only be a matter of time before you recognize that “this problem could easily be solved with <insert concept here>.”

How to practice? There are options out the wazoo!

Chess puzzles, math problems, Sudoku, Go, Monopoly, video-games, cryptokitties, bla… bla… bla….

In fact, a common pattern amongst successful people is their habit of practicing “micro problem-solving.” For example, Peter Thiel plays chess, and Elon Musk plays video-games.

“Byron Reeves said ‘If you want to see what business leadership may look like in three to five years, look at what’s happening in online games.’ Fast-forward to today. Elon [Musk], Reid [Hoffman], Mark Zuckerberg and many others say that games have been foundational to their success in building their companies.” — Mary Meeker (2017 internet trends report) Does this mean you should just play video-games? Not at all.

But what are video-games all about? That’s right, problem-solving!

So, what you should do is find an outlet to practice. Something that allows you to solve many micro-problems (ideally, something you enjoy).

For example, I enjoy coding challenges. Every day, I try to solve at least one challenge (usually on Coderbyte).

Like I said, all problems share similar patterns.

Conclusion That’s all folks!

Now, you know better what it means to “think like a programmer.”

You also know that problem-solving is an incredible skill to cultivate (the meta-skill).

As if that wasn’t enough, notice how you also know what to do to practice your problem-solving skills!

Phew… Pretty cool right?

Finally, I wish you encounter many problems.

You read that right. At least now you know how to solve them! (also, you’ll learn that with every solution, you improve).

“Just when you think you’ve successfully navigated one obstacle, another emerges. But that’s what keeps life interesting.[…] Life is a process of breaking through these impediments — a series of fortified lines that we must break through. Each time, you’ll learn something. Each time, you’ll develop strength, wisdom, and perspective. Each time, a little more of the competition falls away. Until all that is left is you: the best version of you.” — Ryan Holiday (The Obstacle is the Way) Now, go solve some problems!

And best of luck 🙂

Special thanks to C. Jordan Ball and V. Anton Spraul. All the good advice here came from them.

Also, all the programming knowledge I’ve acquired in such a short time wouldn’t have happened without Lambda School. Can’t thank/ recommend them enough.

Thanks for reading! 😊 If you enjoyed it, test how many times can you hit 👏 in 5 seconds. It’s great cardio for your fingers AND will help other people see the story.

 

Honda Brio Facelift Review & Test Drive

Honda Brio Overview ;

Honda was always in need to hit the small hatch segment and that was answered by the Brio. It was the small hatch of the small hatches. Small, usable, idea for the city and efficient and reliable thanks to Honda. The Brio came out in 2011 and was an instant hit. But as time passed so did the sales figures. Now in 2017 Honda has introduced the new Brio. What are the changes in the new Honda Brio 2017? Are there any additional features? We share our detailed review of the new Honda Brio 2017. View Offers & Price on Brio in Bangalore at CarzPriceV

Honda Brio Design & Style

The Brio certainly is a looker. In this segment where classical designs are more appreciated than anything radical, the Brio has everything working in its favour. While it doesn’t have the sharp, funky lines of its rival, the Chevrolet Beat, or the radical futuristic styling of its elder sibling, the Jazz, it still manages to stand out in a crowd quite easily. The well proportioned stance with short overhangs is something that really gives the car a dynamic look. While Honda’s designers might want to describe the styling as ‘double triangle’ or the like in the language only automobile designers can speak and very few apart from their ilk can understand, what is clear to understand is that the Brio does look like it’s moving forward at a good clip even when its standing still, especially when viewed bang-on from the side.

This is accentuated by the slashed crease just below the shoulder line and a parallel crease near the bottom of the car. Then there is there is a wide stance with its flared wheel arches, reminiscent of more sporty cars which really improves the appeal by leaps and bounds. This wider track combined with the car’s relatively short wheelbase of 2,345mm as well as the lack of overhangs at either end, and the Brio comes across as a little rally car that would be more at home spewing dust on special stages rather than pootling about town. The front of the car bears the typical Honda traits that we’ve come to accept now, such as the large ‘H’ badge on the grille

Honda Brio Interior & Space ;

The plastic quality of interiors might not be what you expect of a Honda. Clearly, the company has done some cost cutting and it shows. There are some flimsy plastics, which scratch and come off quite easily. However, the overall quality is at par, if not less, than the competition.

Although there is enough room to seat five adults in the car, where the car lacks in is the boot space and is a big disappointment. Honda’s engineers have utilized the interior space in a way that maximum space is provided to the occupants while the boot has been relatively ignored, which isn’t big enough to store anything more than your groceries and vegetables. That said, the car feels airy and fresh, thanks to the large glass areas and the light beige plastics inside. The Honda Brio gets features such as power windows, steering-mounted audio controls, bluetooth and aux-in connectivity, defogger, electric mirrors, cup holders, etc. The car also gets projector halogen headlamps and push button keyless start. The Brio does miss out on the climate control, which could’ve given the car a more luxurious appeal. A dead pedal is sorely missed too, which is a clear oversight on Honda’s part.

Honda Brio Engine & Transmission

The engine on the New Honda Brio 2017 is the same 1.2-litre unit. This mill churns about 88bhp of power and 115Nm of torque. The mechanicals remain the same. This engine is mated to a five-speed manual and also a CVT (automatic transmission) option. This i-VTEC engine is a highly refined mill. The good bit about New Honda Brio 2017 engine is its performance. It has more than sufficient power to drive in the city. In fact it is quite peppy. One doesn’t need to change gears often while driving in the city. Even on the highway, it can comfortably cruise at about 100-110km/hr.

Being the same engine the auto and the manual have different efficiency. Sometime back I had written an article where the automatic gave more. It is how brands develop the ecu for efficient management of power and efficiency. With an efficiency of 16 km/l and a 35 litre tank the auto can do 480 km till the next fuel pump and the manual with and efficiency of 19 km/l which is excellent for a 88bhp petrol small engine can do 580 km i.e exactly 100 km more than the automatic. If you love to drive, manual it is. If city traffic is what your nemesis is, then automatic. For information on contact details of Honda car dealers in Chennai

The new Honda Brio 2017 mileage is about 14km/l in the city and about 16km/l on the highway. The automatic will return bout 12km/l and 14km/l in the city and the highway. The ARAI mileage for the Brio will be about 19 km/l and 20 km/l (for the automatic).

Honda Brio Ride & Handling

The 88 bhp engine is responsive and is quick off the mark. Zipping around in city traffic is effortless especially with the automatic. The suspension is soft and takes care of most of the bad roads, undulations and speed breakers unless the car is heavily loaded with people, by that I mean all 4 people. The soft suspension does lower the car quite a bit. The car has a low centre of gravity still due to the soft suspension can’t be thrown around corners. If the signal is your start line you may be the 1st to heave a start.The automatic is responsive but the manual is quicker. If at all Honda had a glitch it would be the CVT automatic. That feels like a drag. The Brios overtakes efficiently too. Honda have ticked all the right boxed. 88 bhp, responsive throttle and 19 km/l. What else could you ask for in a small car. As I have mentioned before this would be an IDEAL car for Mr Bean in today’s world.

Honda Brio Safety

CThe braking performance of the Brio is decent and on par with its rivals. The top version comes with ABS, further helping in the braking performance. The 175 mm-wide tyres also provide for a decent braking performance.The front wheels have got ventilated disc brakes while the rear ones have drum brakes. The brakes do a good job in stopping this sprightly little hatch, thanks to the lightness of the car. The car has passive safety tech such as ABS (Anti-lock Braking System). The ABS system helps in case of sudden braking situations, and prevents the car from skidding and going out of control.

Honda Brio Price

Honda Brio Ex-Showroom Price in Hyderabad ranges from 4,70,885/- (Brio E MT Petrol) to 6,77,277/- (Brio VX AT Petrol). Get best offers for Honda Brio from Honda Dealers in Hyderabad. Check For Brio price in Hyderabad

Honda Brio Conclussion

The Brio is said to be capable of delivering fuel efficiency of 18.4 kmpl, compared to the Jazz’s 16.7 kmpl. So, one key buyer need in the segment has been taken care of well. The cabin is roomy and fairly well insulated for a car in this segment. Suspension set up includes McPherson struts at the front and H-shape torsion beam at the rear. The ride is not the most pliant, but is fairly dynamic again for a car in this segment. The Brio is likely to be offered with four variants, with the top two variants featuring all the safety features like ABS, EBD and dual front airbags.

Honda Jazz Hatchback Test Drive & Performance

Honda Jazz Overview

Since it pulled the plug on the hugely competent but overpriced and slow selling last-gen Jazz, Honda hasn’t had a contender in the premium end of the hatchback market. But all that is about to change with this new, upcoming Jazz. It may be an all-new model that’s built on a new platform but remains a car easily identifiable as a Jazz; credit the trademark mono-volume shape for that. Whether or not the basic design does it for you, there is plenty to keep you looking at the car. The City-like large, angular headlights that fuse into the multi-element grille, in particular, look very attractive. Look under the familiar glasshouse and you’ll also notice where Honda has made an effort to jazz up (pun intended) the rest of the car’s design. There’s a strong belt line that originates at the front doors and progressively widens towards the large 3D-effect tail-lights. Sadly, the mass of metal above the rear wheels does make the Jazz look under-tyred. The tail, though, is attractive and comes embellished with reflectors that flank the windscreen and a wide band of chrome that runs along the width of the boot. View Price & Offers on Jazz at CarzPrice

Honda Jazz Exteriors

The rounded and clean lines of the earlier Jazz gave it a long lasting aura that I doubt the new Jazz can match. On the flipside, the new Jazz looks sportier than before. This car is wrapped around with cuts and creases at all the right places to give it a more aggressive look, much more than cars in the segment are known to possess. The new Jazz, just like the new City it is based on, is a lot wider than before, accentuated by the elongated headlamps leading into the gloss black plastic panel housing the logo. A thin chrome strip below it keeps things understated. The Jazz doesn’t quite share any exterior detail with the City but the headlamps and grille share a common link, which is good. This car has a high percentage of parts with the City and so we are told that it wasn’t easy to price the Jazz competitively. But being sub 4-metre helps, as do the economies of scale.

Sharing its underpinnings with the City makes the Jazz feel a lot more aspirational, needed for a premium hatch. What I particularly like is the crease along the waistline of the car running all the way to the taillights. It also helps in toning down the MPV style profile of the car. The rear end of the car feels like there’s too much going on at first but the detailing of the lights and the chunky roof spoiler are nice touches. The taillamps look Volvo inspired and could do without the extension leading up to the spoiler.

Honda Jazz Interiors

Interestingly, this time around, only top-spec Jazz models will get the ‘magic seats’ at the back. These seats split, fold flat and flip upwards to make space for all shapes and sizes of cargo – that’s if the massive 354-litre boot won’t meet your needs anyway. These seats now also allow you to form a recliner by pushing the front seat backrests fully till they meet the rear seat base. It’s a unique feature picnickers and the chauffeur-driven will love. Those likely to spend more time in the back will also like how the backrest angle can be adjusted (a segment first) on top-end variants. However, the middle seat cushioning is firm and not very comfortable.

Up front, seat comfort is good but visibility past the thick A-pillars is limited and troublesome at crossroads. Otherwise, the Jazz’s driving environment is very similar to the City’s. The chunky steering, the instruments and the basic layout of the centre console are all very similar. The Jazz’s asymmetrical dashboard that comes finished in hard-wearing plastics extends further forwards towards the windscreen and the portion above the glovebox is more layered (there’s no secondary compartment like the old Jazz either). Still, with as many as nine cupholders and more than a few cubbyholes, you won’t find yourself short on storage spaces for small items.

Honda hopes you won’t find yourself shortchanged either. Because unlike the sparsely equipped old Jazz, the new one comes loaded with features. There’s a City-like dial-operated 5-inch colour screen for the rear-view camera and infotainment system with a larger 6.2-inch touchscreen offered on top variants. The touch-operated panel for the climate control system from the City also finds its way here and there are also steering-mounted buttons for audio and telephone functions.

Honda Jazz Engine

You get a 1.2-litre petrol mated to a 5-speed gearbox, 1.5-litre diesel with a six-speeder and a set of CVT equipped petrol variants. The diesel engine is the one we are now familiar with. It does duty in Amaze, City and Mobilio and develops 100PS of power at 3600rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1750rpm. It is known to be a noisy unit but a very efficient one and in the Jazz, there are no surprises here. The short but strong midrange is where the Jazz comes alive, eager to push on but the six-speed gearbox will urge you to move up a gear ever too quickly to keep it at its efficient best.

The petrol engine we love. It wants to rev and has a wide and happy midrange making light work of traffic without demanding a downshift. It develops 90PS of power at 6000rpm and 110Nm of torque at 4800rpm. The shifts are slick and the clutch is light; the Jazz petrol has one of the best engine-gearbox combinations in the segment. The CVT is smooth but saps out the engine when used conventionally. While paddle shifters for a CVT are gimmicky, seven preset ratios make it that slight bit sportier when you need to make that overtake. It’s also marginally more efficient than the petrol. For information on contact details of Hondai car dealers in Pune visit Hondaprice.in

Honda Jazz Driving Dynamics

So how is the Jazz to drive? It’s as light and agile as you’d expect from a Honda hatch. Ride quality is excellent at slow and medium speeds. We haven’t got the chance to test its stability at high speeds due to the narrow roads of Goa but we did get to test the tyres. These are designed keeping efficiency in mind and so don’t offer the levels of grip we would have liked. The electric steering is light and offers no feedback, which is expected, but it weighs up well and is direct. The Jazz turns in well into corners and stays composed till the tyres reach their grip limits.

Honda Jazz Braking and Safety

Braking power on the hatchback is derived from front disc and rear drum brakes. As for safety, features such as dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, rear parking sensor, speed-sensing auto door lock and day/night inside rear view mirror are standard across line-up.

Honda Jazz Price In Mumbai

Honda Jazz Ex-Showroom Price in Mumbai ranges from 5,95,178/- (Jazz E MT Petrol) to 9,29,064/- (Jazz VX MT Diesel). Get best offers for Honda Jazz from Honda Dealers in Mumbai

Honda Jazz Bottomline

If space and versatility are paramount, there is quite simply no better option than the Jazz. Helping the Jazz’s case this time around is the fact that it can be had with a diesel engine and even in petrol automatic form meaning there’s a version of the car for every type of hatchback buyer. In every form, the Jazz comes across as a car that’s comfortable and well suited to the requirements of day-to-day city driving. It’s not exciting per se, but that’s unlikely to impact an average buyer’s decision. What will, is the price.

The good news is that, save for the top-spec VX versions available on the petrol manual and diesel cars, the rest of the Jazz range is competitively priced. So, in its latest form, the Jazz has the ingredients to become the hit it always deserved to be.

Mercedes Benz AMG C43 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Mercedes-Benz India has added one new model to their lineup today and it’s none other than the C43 AMG Coupe. This is their 13th product which is launched in the year 2016 and this new car will be positioned below the existing AMG C63 AMG sedan.The car was first showcased at the 2016 Geneva Motor show for the first time and now it is already launched in the Indian market. This new model joined the C-Class family this year and is a part of plan of the auto manufacturer to extend their product portfolio. Although this may not be as powerful as the C63 variant but the C43 AMG carried forward all the AMG genes as well as some GT characteristics as well.The Affalterbach-based development teams had decided to fit the 3.0-litre V6 twin-turbo engine which is paired to the new 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission which promises smooth shifts. The coupe with its powerful drivetrain, 4MATIC all-wheel drive system and new and improved chassis technology surely promises to provide high agility and exhilarating dynamics.

DESIGN AND STYLE ;

This is most certainly not a car to buy if you’re interested in being seen. We’ve called the C 63 design subtle and the C 43 is even more so. The face is straight off the standard C-Class, and only the real enthusiasts amongst you will notice that the air dams in the bumper are more flared – not as much as the 63, but more so than the standard car. The bigger giveaway is the small AMG badge nestling in the diamond-style grille that’s also on the CLA but different from the twin-slat design on the C 63 S. What you won’t see upfront are the trademark flared fenders or AMG-style gills. At the side, you’ll notice the sporty 18-inch wheels embracing big and purposeful brakes, but the eye also catches the small ‘biturbo’ badging on the fender, hinting at the firepower under the hood. The rear is finished with small boot-lip spoiler and the signature AMG quad muffler tips. And of course, there’s the AMG badge on the bootlid.

COMFORT AND CABIN ;

Inside the car gets multifunctional flat bottomed steering wheel finished in Black leather and red contrasting top stitching which helps it look good. The dashboard looks premium wrapped in high quality leather. The AMG instrument cluster delivers plenty of relevant information about the car. The instrument cluster consists of two round dials along with a 4.5 inch multifunction colour display along with a Racetimer and 280 km/h scale completed with a chequered flag.

The driver seat too now gets improved lateral support and wrapped with Artico man made leather while there is also option of DINAMICA microfibre upholstery. The safety belts too also gets red coloured contrast stitching as well while the floor mats are finished in Black gets some red edges.

ENGINE AND GEARBOX ;

The Mercedes-AMG C43 gets the 3.0 Litre V6 Twin Turbo unit which is capable of producing about 367 Hp of peak power and 520 NM of torque. The AMG powerplant is easily recognised by the red aluminium insert in the engine cover. The technical advancement which includes a modified power booster has helped the engineers to increase the engine power and torque output as well.

The engine for all your information is paired to a 9G-TRONIC automatic transmission which sends power to the four wheels of the car via the 4MATIC four wheel drive system. Mercedes claims that they were able to reduce the speed of the shift times of the new transmission system. The quick multiple downshifts helps give the AMG C43 short burst of speed. If we talk about performance then the Coupe is capable of sprinting from 0-100 km/h mark in 4.7 seconds while it has a top speed of 250 km/h mark.

The car further gets the AMG Dynamic select transmission modes as well which consists of “Eco”, “Comfort”, “Sport”, “Sport Plus” and “Individual” modes. The Sport Plus mode in particular promises to deliver an impressive hallmark AMG Dynamics. While the engine being part of the BlueDIRECT engine family from Mercedes-Benz is also fuel efficient at the same time because it gets ECO start/stop function and the ’sailing’ function which helps reduce fuel consumption.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The C43 features AMG RIDE CONTROL sports suspension. Towards the front the coupe gets four-link front axle which gets all the components optimised in terms of rigidity, the rear profile gets multi-link rear axle. All these setup helps the cars overall agility and also improves the dynamics as well. The driver will also benefit from reduced body roll, higher lateral acceleration and better traction. The driver can further select the automatic adjustable damping system’s three suspension modes which includes “Comfort”, “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes. The driver also further gets assists of the speed-sensitive sports steering.For stopping the Coupe relies on a internally ventilated compound brake discs, perforated towards the front which has a diameter of 360 mm, while the rear gets 320 mm discs.

BRAKING AND SAFETY ;

The braking system of C-Class AMG C43 4MATIC features adaptive brake system with anti-lock braking system and brake assist system with servo brake assistance for emergency braking. The safety features offered include front and side airbag for the driver and co-passenger with thorax protection, window airbags for the driver and front passenger, and curtain airbags for the rear seat occupants. The passenger seat occupant detection, Pre-Safe system with reversible belt tensioners, glove compartment with emergency lockable key and electronic immobilizer are featured for safe usage and prevention against theft attempts.

VERDICT ;

Middle ground is a space appreciated by a lot of folks. Not everyone wants extreme performance, but many aspire for more than the ordinary. The C 43 AMG straddles this space well, especially in an age where a C 63 AMG costs over Rs 1.7 crore on-road in Mumbai (Maharashtra takes about 25 per cent of your luxury car’s value, but we’re not quite sure where it’s being spent, but it certainly isn’t on the roads). Similarly, the C 43’s enticing ex-showroom price of Rs 73.6 lakh shoots to Rs 98 lakh on-road in Mumbai. Nevertheless, at this price, you get a sports sedan that is far more luxurious and refined than a CLA 45 AMG but also costs a lot less than a full-on super saloon. It’s not the ultimate driving machine, but on the right road it’s a proper laugh, and aside from the Audi S5 Sportback, there isn’t much else at this price point.

 

Audi A8L Engine & Specifications

OVERVIEW ;

In early 2016 our paparazzi spotted a longer-than-usual Audi A8 somewhere in snowy Sweden. The limousine had six doors instead of four and looked awfully similar to the vehicle that was delivered to Harald V, the King of Norway, earlier last month, but the German license plate suggested the car in question was a test vehicle. Three months have passed since then and Audi confirmed that it has began producing a six-door variant of its full-size sedan.

Dubbed A8L Extended, the ultra-long, luxury model was conceived as a special one-off for an unnamed “European customer” and development took almost a year. Having received further requests for the custom sedan, Audi is launching the A8L Extended as a bespoke, limited-edition model that will rival offerings from Mercedes-Maybach.

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

On the styling front not much has changed, a minor nip and tuck (the facelifted model is 13 cms longer) here and there (read as more appealing hood, bumpers, head and tail lights along with new exhaust pipes with a trapezoidal finishing) keeps the A8L all trim and muscle but the real highlight on the exteriors is the introduction of the new Matrix LED headlights. Audi’s hefty focus on light technology has made the four ringed brand become the centre of attraction on the aesthetics front but its competitors have caught up by offering equally attractive LED lights. Taking a step in an entirely different direction, Audi has opted to go one up with what they like to call Matrix LED headlights. Basically what Matrix LED lights does is, it frees you from the headache and turmoil of operating the headlight’s intensity as everything is done automatically, dimming individually each one of the 25 LEDs as per the need when an obstacle is sensed, using the on-board cameras. It activates at speeds of over 30 km/hr and group of 5 LEDs shine through one reflector. In other words, these lights are superman cool as you never have to worry about blinding oncoming traffic while getting the best possible visibility in dark situations. Think of it as automation of the intelligent kind, only one which gives equal importance to function as much as it does to form, a big thumbs up. However, this is part of optional kit, still cool though.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

The Audi A8L is an aesthetically designed car, it looks equally ravishing from inside as it looks from outside. The Audi A8L has the best and most luxuriously appointed cabins. Elegance and Luxury are at their prime and have been implemented on the fullest in here. An array and mix of finest wood inserts, metal inserts and best hand crafted leather is what the dashboard of the Audi A8L is made of. The 4 spoke steering is a joy to grip and comes with wood inserts spread on it as well. The steering is also equipped with all the controls for multimedia and also has paddle shifters.Elegantly laid out Speedo. Console also doubles up when the night assist system is in work to display the road ahead. An analogue clock is placed on the centre of the dash. The AC vents are in typical Audi style with chrome inserts around it. Between the centre AC vent is the 7 inches long LCD screen that can be stacked inside the dash when not needed at just a press of a button. This screen displays all the various settings, parameters showing all the functions and also doubling up as a reverse camera while parking.

The centre console is full of buttons and dials and easily resembles an aircrafts cockpit. There is an engine start stop button, the AC control for the front climate setting, the multimedia interface (MMI) control stack, a scroll pad that uses the black panel technology where you can input an alphabet to search your phone book when you connect it to the Audi A8L and gear shifter that is shaped like an aircrafts throttle joystick. Wood inserts is used in abundance all around the centre console and on the gear shifter.Passengers at the rear can also access the music system via the MMI controls that are also placed at the rear. The Audi A8L is equipped with the latest Bose music system, which comes standard; this system is able to deliver about 600 watts from the 14 speakers that are spread across the cabin. The buyer can also opt for the Bang & Olufsen Sound System with 19 speakers utilizing 1400 watts.

Our review car came with the Bang & Olufsen system which also features a auto closing tweeter on the dashboard that goes in or come out motorized when we switch on or off the player and boy it is one hell of a music system that can put some of the home component Hi-Fi players to shame. The front seats are fully electrically adjustable to 22 settings that include height and lumber settings. Needless to say the seats are very comfortable and very well appointed.You get more comfort at the rear of the Audi A8L in this segment and more than 80% of the people who buy cars from this segment are seen mostly on the rear seat. Audi has incorporated the best of the best in terms of comfort for the rear passenger. Rear seats are super comfortable with electrical adjust on them to heighten the comfort levels. Audi is also offering a special rear seat package that includes seat ventilation, massage seats and a refrigerator that is neatly stacked inside the back of the seat.

At a press of a button the left rear seat adjusts to the best comfortable position while the front left seat moves ahead increasing the leg room and folds downwards, a power adjustable footrest folds out on which the rear passenger can keep his feet and stretch fully attaining the best comfortable posture easily replicating the first class on a first-class airplane. You can also customize the available feature set to suit you better according to the desired comfort level or height.The centre console on the rear between the 2 seats is again styled like an aircrafts cockpit with the climate control buttons, electric seat setting and the MMI control dials. The Audi A8L comes with twin sun/moon roof while the older A8 had just a single opening on the roof. Cubby holes and charging as well as electric output points are all spread out around the cabin. Audi has got rid of regular bulbs in the cabin and used the latest LED instead. Reading lights, cabin lights etc are all in white LEDs. The boot of the Audi A8L has a total volume of 510 litre and can store all your luggage for the long trips. Leg room head room and loads of space all around the Audi A8 L is needless to say looking at the sheer size and the wheelbase of this Luxury sedan. The fit finish on the materials used to build the cabin of the Audi A8L is exemplary and belong to the highest standards of craftsmanship.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

The Audi A8L is powered by four engines, a 4.0 litre petrol, a 3.0 litre diesel, a 4.0 litre diesel and a 6.3 litre W12 petrol. The 4.0 litre petrol produces 429 hp of power from 5,100 rpm to 6,000 rpm and 600 Nm of torque between 1,500 rpm and 5,000 rpm. The 3.0 litre diesel generates 247 hp of power from 4,000 rpm to 4,250 rpm and 580 Nm of torque between 1,750 rpm to 3,000 rpm. The 4.0 litre diesel churns out 379 hp of power at 3,750 rpm and 850 Nm of torque from 2,000 rpm to 2,750 rpm. The 6.3 litre W12 petrol generates 493 hp of power at 6,200 rpm and 625 Nm of torque at 4,750 rpm.

Transmission available for all versions of the Audi A8L sedan is an 8 speed tiptronic automatic gearbox. All versions of the Audi A8L luxury sedan are available with the company’s exclusive all wheel drive Quattro system along with traction control which improves handling over all road surfaces.In terms of safety, the Audi A8L sedan is offered with 8 airbags, ABS (Anti lock Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brakeforce Distribution), hill hold assist, traction control, Audi Multimedia Interface, run flat tyres with tyre pressure monitoring system and Night Vision Assistant.The Audi A8L 60 TFSI petrol has a claimed fuel efficiency of 7.4 kmpl, A8L 50 TDI has 16.77 kmpl, 60 TDI has 7.5 kmpl and the W12 6.3 FSI version has 11.3 kmpl which are reasonable for its segment. The company recommends sulphur free super unleaded RON 95 fuel for best performance and mileage from the Audi A6.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

The A8L comes with the adaptive air-suspension, which can be altered for stiffness levels. The driver can choose between comfort and dynamic modes or let the computers adjust the ride height and damping as per the speed and road conditions. The suspension setup works amazingly well on our roads and ride quality is comfortable throughout. The tyres aren’t too low in profile either. The deeper potholes and tall speed humps need to be dealt with care though as scraping the corners of the car or its underbody is quite easy – thanks to the long overhangs and relatively low ground clearance.The mechanicals are mated to the quattro all-wheel-drive system, which not only aids in high speed stability, it also makes sure that this 5.1-metre long limo can tackle and shoot out of a corner with complete composure and a wide grin on its face. While doing so though, the cabin remains as silent as you would expect from luxury car in this segment.

SAFETY

This high end saloon from Audi is the safest vehicle ever designed by the German auto major. This version of A8 comes integrated with highly resilient special aluminum alloys, aramide fabric and a hot formed steel armor that offers highest level of protection. This luxury saloon comes with top safety standards that meet the VR 9 ballistic norms. Manufactured at a top-secret facility, this vehicle is built under the company’s own supervision. The saloon also comes with a few standard safety features including a communication box in the boot, an intercom, an emergency escape system and fire extinguishing system.

CONCLUSSION ;

It is a fact that Audi A8L is a premium luxury sedan that has long wheelbase and powerful make. This car incorporates a 3.0 L solid turbo diesel engine and comes with a mighty price tag. The supportive safety and handling features bring in a great amount of pleasure and comfort to the car owners. This is a lavish car that represents a stunning beauty with intelligence of technology.

 

BMW 6 Series Engine & Gearbox

OVERVIEW ;

BMW has updated the 6 series range internationally. The 6 Series, which is available only in the Gran Coupe and performance-oriented M6 variant in India, will receive the same update this year. The 2017 update will lend a 6 Series a fresh breath until a proper facelift arrives. The minor facelift comes with design tweaks and more features along with M-Performance upgrades.

The 6 Series update comes with a restyled bi-LED headlamps as seen on BMW sedan family lately. BMW has also given the updated 6 Series a new bi-colour 20-inch M-spec alloy wheels. The sporty wheels feature an M-specific double-spoke design and are wrapped with runflat tyres. The mid-cycle update will also come with a new body paint whereas the interior will get an array of update depending upon package selected. Customers in India can opt for the Design Pure Excellence equipment lines to tailor the design of the car more precisely according to the owner’s personal style and preferences. The Carbon Fibre interior trim can also be made available as an optional extra in India.

The mechanicals of the new 6 series will be retained. Available in the 640d trim, the car will make us e of the same 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine. Which pumps out a healthy 310bhp and massive 630Nm of torque. Power is sent to rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The updated 6 Series is expected in India by the end of this year.

EXTERIORS AND STYLE ;

There are noticeable changes made to the exteriors of this vehicle, which makes it appear refreshing. It gets a modified front bumper with wider air intake section featuring chrome accents. The kidney bean shaped grille has been pronounced and is treated with a lot of chrome. Furthermore, it is designed with a total of nine slats instead of 10 in the previous version. Its top end version is blessed with an exclusive character package that includes high gloss black decorative moldings in rear bumper and on the radiator grille. The design of the headlight cluster is the same, but it gets LED lamps along with black accents that renders it a bold outlook. Its bonnet also gets some tweaks with redesigned lines that highlights its aerodynamic stance. Its elegant frontage is complimented by the iconic BMW logo embedded above the radiator grille. The design of its side facet remains to be unchanged, but its fenders are now fitted with newly designed rims. Here, it has a sleek window frame, wherein the frames are garnished in metal and the B pillars are done up in high gloss black. It has beautiful ORVM caps that are further integrated with turn blinkers. Apart from minor tweaks, its rear facet remains mostly similar to its predecessor. Its tailgate is now blessed with an improved LED lighting that dazzles this facet. The rear bumper too gets an update with modified lower cladding and exhaust pipes. The tailgate is the same and is embedded with the company’s logo.

INTERIORS AND SPACE ;

Nose gets adaptive LED head lights with four LED daytime running light rings including auto high beam assistance. Front bumper features LED fog lights and air intakes. The BMW individual high-gloss shadow line is available exclusively on the 640d Design pure experience variant.Also the character package is available only on the same trim which comprises of decorative high gloss black moulding in rear bumper, front ornamental grille with kidney grille bars in black with chrome surrounds, black painted front bars of the kidney grille. BMW individual exterior line aluminium is confined to the 640d eminence trim. Frameless side doors equipped on both sides render a sporty flair to the vehicle. Other standard fitments proffered on both the variants are headlight washer, heat protection glazing, exterior mirrors foldable with automatic anti-dazzle function and mirror heating, rain sensor and automatic driving lights. 19 inch star-spoke, V-spoke and W-spoke alloy wheels are available on the 640d Design Pure experience, while the 640d Eminence gets an option between 19 inch Star-spoke and V-Spoke style alloys. Interior: Umpteen comfort features befitted inside up the snug quotient of the coupe. Premium leather upholstery in various colour options is available. Ambient lights with mood lights inset inside look elegant. There are three options for the interior trims which include aluminium fine cutting, fine-wood trim polar grain grey and fine-wood trim Fineline brown. All three trim options are available on the 640d Eminence variant while the 640d Design Pure Experience gets the fine-wood trim Fineline brown trim option. Arm rest is provided in the front seat with storage compartment. Automatic air conditioner with 4-zone control and rear air vents for the passengers sitting at the back ensure curbing the temperature inside the cabin. A centre arm rest is provided in the rear which comes with cup holders and storage compartment. Electrically adjusted sun roof is among the elite equipments embedded in the coupe. Some of the other vital

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

So many engines, so little time. Every 6 Series model features a potent engine that has ample power for every driving situation, but there are also several twin-turbocharged V8s to choose from if you want to do more than just get from point A to point B. On the other hand, sticking with the base engine will get you the best fuel economy.The base 6 Series (the 640i) features a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that puts out 315 horsepower. This is the least powerful engine in the lineup, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad powertrain. Even with the base engine, the 6 Series is quick off the line and has enough power for most driving situations.The 650i features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that produces 445 horsepower. That’s plenty of power, even when moving a large car. With this V8, the 6 Series can go from zero to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

The 640i and the 650i both feature an eight-speed automatic transmission. It pairs well with either engine, delivering silky shifts and downshifting willingly when you want more power.The high-performance M6 features a twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine that puts out 560 horsepower. This extra power makes the 650i feel slow. The M6 comes standard with your choice of a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission or a six-speed manual. Either way, it delivers outstanding performance, going from zero to 60 mph in just over 4 seconds.Your final option is the Alpina B6 Gran Coupe, which features a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 600 horsepower. You’ll need deep pockets to buy this baby – it has a starting price of $122,500. But if you shell out the requisite cash, you’ll drive home in one of the fastest cars in the class. The Alpina goes from zero to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds, and its top speed is 200 mph.

DRIVING DYNAMICS ;

While the 2016 BMW 6 Series is understandably not as sharp and agile as BMW’s smaller and sportier models, its massive grip and composed nature should meet most drivers’ expectations. The steering is reasonably precise, although it doesn’t provide much in the way of feedback. This detail won’t even register with most drivers, but if you’ve owned a BMW before, you might find the current 6 Series less engaging as a result.

In any case, ride comfort is excellent, and the 6 Series remains quiet and composed at virtually any speed. The 650i’s passing power is simply stunning, though the 640i is no slouch. Standard paddle shifters enhance driver engagement for those so inclined, and the transmission matches revs on downshifts, which is a particular pleasure in the 650i with its refined V8 rumble.

SAFETY ;

Standard safety equipment on the 2016 BMW 6 Series includes antilock disc brakes with advanced standby and drying features, traction and stability control, front-seat side airbags, front knee airbags and active front head restraints. Also standard are the BMW Assist emergency communications system (providing automatic crash notification and on-demand roadside assistance) and BMW Remote Services (including remote access via smartphone app and remote door unlocking via BMW’s call center). Pop-up roll bars come standard on the convertible.Optional safety equipment includes active lane-departure and blind-spot warning systems, a surround-view camera system and a night vision display. Bundled with the adaptive cruise control option (which requires the Driver Assistance Plus package) is a forward collision mitigation system with automatic braking capability.

CONCLUSSION ;

At this point, we haven’t seen enough of the new 6 Series Convertible to really draw an accurate conclusion, but if BMW expects it to live on and not suffer another discontinuation, it really needs to step up its game or drop the price a bit. Comparable models from Mercedes and Audi are significantly cheaper and offer very similar power with just a minor drop in performance. The new 6 Series could benefit from a little bit of the BMW i8’s interior DNA and could end up with a more aggressive look in the front and rear. Hopefully, that will be the case, but I wouldn’t hold my breath. In the end, it will always be cheaper to go with an E-Class Cabriolet or an S5 Convertible, but there is also something about driving a BMW that you just can’t duplicate in any other model. Maybe it’s the overall feeling of the soul and pride that goes into building the car, or maybe it’s that everything seems to fit and feel just right. I can’t say for sure, but one thing is certain, you have a tough decision to make if it’s truly a toss-up in your opinion.

 

 

Mercedes Benz B Class Transmission

OVERVIEW

The latest B-Class is a practical Mercedes five-door hatch you might actually want to buy. Which is a big improvement on the undesirable original one. It’s been designed to feel more like a big Merc, rather than an underdeveloped afterthought: its platform and interior is also used by the excellent new A-Class plus future models including a small coupe and mini SUV.

Unlike the A-Class, it’s not really a looker, but is fine in silver and on the right wheels. The body side crease hints at the CLS, which is good, and it generally looks a lot less apologetic. It’s also impressively aerodynamic: in full beardy Eco trim, its drag coefficient is just 0.24. Almost implausible for such a practical-looking car.

EXTERIOR AND LOOKS

The test car came with a sports package that includes low-profile tyres on 18-inch rims and a lowered, sports suspension. The launch car comes with what Merc calls a comfort suspension, which offers higher ground clearance, softer suspension settings and more practical 16-inch wheels on the base petrol variant, while the B 180 Sport gets 17-inch wheels.

The sports kit no doubt adds to the ground-hugging looks of the B-class, but look past the eye candy and you’ll see what looks like a shrunken R-class. There’s that low bonnet, steeply raked windshield and high roofline, and despite the unusual shape, it won’t take long for even untrained eyes to tell it’s a Benz. Every current Merc styling cue is present – the oversized grille with the huge three-pointed star in the centre, the clamshell bonnet and the bumper with its integrated LED lamps all point to Stuttgart.

Viewed in profile, your eyes are drawn to the sharp upswept kink that runs along the flanks and the unusually long space between the front and rear axles – yes, the wheelbase is a massive 2699mm. The rear is pure Merc too – it’s the most uncomplicated part of the design. Also impressive is the extremely slippery shape – the B-class’ drag coefficient is a low 0.26.

Under the skin, the new B-class (W246) retains its predecessor’s – the W245’s – front-wheel-drive architecture, but ditches the old car’s complex and expensive ‘sandwich structure’ chassis for a more conventional monocoque. The advantages of the less complicated setup (aside from a cut in manufacturing costs) are a liberation of interior space and lower seats that are easier to slide into. Not that the B-class is very tall – with its 1557mm height, it fits in somewhere between a soft-roader and a saloon. The suspension is independent all round, with a MacPherson strut, wishbone setup up front and a four-link, wishbone setup at the rear. Brakes are discs all around and the steering is an electrically assisted rack-and-pinion system. The spare wheel is an inflatable space-saver and the B-class comes with an electric tyre inflator. All in all, the B180 weighs a hefty 1425kg.

INTERIOR AND CABIN

Inside the cabin, the 2017 Mercedes-Benz B250e offers decent headroom for anyone who isn’t taller than average. There’s also adult-sized legroom in the backseat, which is not something a lot of compact EVs can claim. The seats are a little too firm for us, and this might ultimately make you glad this car has only 80-some miles of cruising range per charge.

The noticeably hushed passenger cabin features the stylish good looks you’d expect from a Mercedes. Nevertheless, the abundance of hard plastics is disappointing, though this can be remedied by opting for the available leather upholstery and genuine wood trim. The screen for COMAND system that is perched atop the dash looks like a last-minute “where can we put this?” addition rather than something carefully integrated into the existing design.

One strong suit is the size of the cargo hold, with a generous 21.6 cubic feet of room behind the rear seats. Fold down the rear seatbacks, and the available space more than doubles to a very healthy 51.4 cubic feet

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The engine in the B180 is from an all-new engine family (engine code: M270). It’s an all-aluminium 1.6-litre turbocharged, direct-injection petrol engine that sits transversely over the front axle. The direct-injection system runs a pressure of 200bar and uses piezo injectors that handle upto five injections per cycle. The engine weighs just 137kg and part of this weight saving is down to the hollow crankshaft.

The B-class always starts in Eco mode, and that means the seven-speed auto upshifts early and the quick-acting stop-start system is eager to cut in every time you come to a stop at a red light.

To get the best out of the engine, you need to switch Eco mode off, put the transmission in manual mode and use the well-finished paddles behind the steering wheel. Do so and it will hit 100kph in 10.2sec and will go on to a top speed of 192kph – very impressive figures for a car that weighs over 1.4 tonnes and makes a modest 121bhp.

Around town, the engine is smooth and adequately responsive. The specs say the peak torque of 20.39kgm kicks in at 1250rpm, but the real grunt is only when the engine is spinning closer to 3000rpm. In fact, the mid-range is particularly punchy and the engine pulls strongly all the way to 5000rpm. Rev it past this and it does get a tad vocal, and it isn’t particularly enthusiastic near its 6300rpm redline. You sometimes wish it had a little more low-rev grunt – the transmission doesn’t downshift readily and you have to occasionally force it to do so by hitting the kickdown switch.

This being a Merc, the seven-speed, twin-clutch gearbox doesn’t have the jerkiness usually associated with this kind of transmission. Set the gearbox in Economy mode and it will shift up smoothly and early in the rev range, and will mostly disobey commands from the paddle-shifters. In Sport and Manual modes you get more control through the paddles and it’s fairly responsive and quick acting. The B-class is a pretty good cruiser too and, again, there’s always sufficient grunt for highway duties. Overtaking is quite easy thanks to the strong mid-range and this makes the B 180 feel even quicker than it actually is.

RIDE AND HANDLING

The same goes for ride and handling, which aren’t really sporty but firm enough to remain flat around quick corners. The good thing is that the 2015 Mercedes-Benz B-Class retains the older models’ increased ground clearance and suspension setup revised for India. And adding to the comfort, the B200 CDI runs on higher profile 16-inch wheels, which also improves the ride quality to a certain extent. But since the setup still is on the firmer side, some severe bumps tend to thud through the cabin and it even feels bouncy over bad patches of road.

SAFETY FEATURES

Mercedes Benz B Class has an integral safety system that is designed to avoid accidents and provide ideal protection for the driver and passenger on the road. It has a drowsiness detection system that observes the movement of the driver on the steering wheel and monitors its details to detect signs of loss of concentration on the road, especially in the night time. In case of a high collision impact, the security system triggers special airbags in two different stages. The front airbags for the driver and passenger are first triggered accompanied by the side airbags for front and rear passengers and knee airbags for the front driver and passenger to avoid collision of the knee joint with the dashboard.

CONCLUSSION

The new B-Class is set to be in Mercedes’ showrooms from March 11. There is more equipment on offer now, it looks better and has a refined powerful and frugal engine. Aside from a couple of things like more storage spaces and addition of cool looking alloys, the B-Class has everything that a thinking luxury car buyer wants from a car. But this was always the case with B-Class buyers and the facelift only manages to offer them more value for their money than before.

 

 

Mercedes Benz AMG GLA 45 Class Performance

OVERVIEW ;

Performance and SUV are two things which were never spoken in the same sentence but times have changed and so have people. The craze for crossovers and SUVs is soaring so high that enthusiasts too want their go-fast machines to have a crossover or SUV body style. This trend has emerged because sedans don’t offer the practicality that an SUV does. The latest performance crossover to hit our shores is the Mercedes GLA45 AMG, yet another offering from the Stuttgart automaker’s mad and speed crazy performance division. Brought in via the CBU route, the Mercedes GLA45 AMG does end up costing quite a bit, yet it’s among the more affordable of AMGs offered in our country

EXTERIOR AND STYLE ;

The modeling beauty of a company like this is destined to stand through time. This series is perhaps one of the most exquisitely structured machine to see our time. It has flawless metallic skin that is seamless and pure on every nerve. The entire body structure is wrapped under the classic 2:1 proportion of wheel to body height, bringing the most refined touch that only this car maker has preserved when crafting vehicles. The new design of this vehicle adds more focus and edginess to the build of this machine. The robust and hefty build gives it a flavor of dominance and power on the roads. Its front portion is wide and imposing, meant to give it the toughest bearing on the road. On both sides, wide and rectangular shaped headlights rest over the bonnet. They are integrated with LED headlights, framed by day-time running lights. This imposing look is further sharpened with a well sculpted bumper. The chrome finish on the lower grille tops off the exquisite feel of the front portion. Aluminum roof rails sit atop the vehicle. Sharpening its grandeur from the side are AMG side sill panels with inserts in matt titanium grey and “TURBO AMG” lettering on the front wings. Further accentuating the side profile of the car is a highly trimmed body shape, with well designed door lines and large, prominent fenders. It has 19 inch AMG 5-twin spoke design alloy wheels, further enhancing its side profile for the finest look possible. The hefty rear portion of the machine is loaded to the fullest glory with a AMG performance exhaust system in two chrome-plated twin pipe design.

INTERIOR AND COMFORT ;

You know its business as usual at Mercedes-AMG when you make your way inside the cabin and are surrounded by red seatbelts, body-hugging sports seats and drilled aluminium pedals besides the executive level appointments. The cabin design and layout of materials in here nearly mimics the regular GLA but with a tinge of more toys and luxury as standard. The Recaro designed sport seats do a much better job of holding you in place than those found in the regular GLA thanks to bigger bolsters. Plus, they are covered in leather with beautiful contrasting stitching, making the cabin that extra bit special to be in. What comes as a surprise though is that they do not sacrifice much in terms of seat comfort. Being an AMG, the GLA 45 comes with all the goodies imaginable in a car of its size. There’s the COMMAND infotainment system with a 7-inch screen, reversing camera, a panoramic sunroof, electric seats with memory function, bi-xenon headlights with daytime running LEDs and what not. The real purpose of this car, of course, is to be found only after getting behind the wheel. The sporty, three-spoke steering wheel with red contrasting stitching and the aluminium paddles shifters indicate the business end of things. With a variety of adjustments for both the driver’s seat and the steering column, finding the ideal driving position is fairly easy. The trim on the instrument panel is finished in brushed aluminium and in tandem with the stainless-steel AMG front door sills, emphasising the sporty character of the car.The cabin, otherwise, is identical to that of the regular GLA and that can only mean one thing – it is a bit short on space. While the seats themselves are very comfortable, there isn’t much space to move around, especially at the back. Visibility all round, too, is compromised by the thick A-pillars and the tiny rear glass. All things considered, the cabin is decently practical for urban commutes or a short weekend getaway although I suspect getaways in this car will be much quicker than those in the regular GLA.

ENGINE AND TRANSMISSION ;

Here is where the fun really comes in. The GLA 45 AMG is powered by a hand-built, 2.0-liter, inline four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger that puts out 26.1 pounds of boost. The combination is good for an impressive 355 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque.The engine is mated to Mercedes’ seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. It offers three selectable modes: Controlled Efficiency (or comfort), Sport, and Manual. The shifts come quickly, especially when in Sport or Manual mode and the generous amounts of throttle are being used. The shifts are followed by a snappy pop and burble as the sport exhaust belts its loud song. Accelerating is a joy both physically and audibly.

Mercedes includes its 4MATIC all-wheel-drive system to keep the power under control. The system uses torque vectoring that will send up to 50 percent of the power rearward when the extra grip is needed. While that doesn’t sound impressive, the GLA 45 AMG will happily wag its tail in oversteer around corners. Under normal operation, the 4MATIC system sends the majority of power to the front wheels in an effort to conserve fuel.Speaking of that, the EPA rates the GLA 45 AMG at 23 mpg city and 29 mpg highway. My heavy foot and thirst for hearing that exhaust crackle proved that the EPA numbers were more of an aspirational goal than a realistic target. I saw roughly 24 mpg combined over my 400-mile week. Keep it in Eco mode and stay off the throttle, and the SUV’s average does climb. Eco mode provides an automatic start/stop function for stop and go traffic, so by leaving that engaged and the lower-gear-holding Sport mode off, the mpg numbers do improve.

RIDE AND HANDLING ;

Despite being a SUV that by definition is supposed to give a commanding view of the road ahead, you sit fairly low in the GLA 45 AMG. The seats can be adjusted so you sit higher, yet even at its highest point, your line of sight isn’t high enough for an SUV. That said, you don’t need to get into a neck stretching exercise unless you are driving on broken patches. When you are though, the GLA 45 AMG impresses with its passable ride quality for such a sporty car. The suspension is not as stiff as in the CLA 45 AMG according to Mercedes, and as the GLA is higher off the ground, it is a far more usable car. AMG’s sports suspension setup also ensures you don’t lose out on the dynamics front. The front struts are fitted with stiffer steering knuckles, you get bigger anti-roll bars and the multi-link rear axle is newly developed for this car as well for a surefooted ride at all times. Compact dimensions and quick acceleration make it a very easy car to drive in traffic – it’s just point and shoot kind of a car, and it does that every time you demand of it without any drama whatsoever.

Walk around the rear of the GLA 45 AMG and you see the 4Matic badge pasted on. The otherwise front wheel drive MFA platform built SUV in this AMG guise transforms itself in the handling department. Power still goes to the front wheels all the time until the rear wheels demand torque and when they do, up to 50 percent of it is made available for precise control all the time. Aiding in the precision is the directing steering. It is such an easy car to drive fast, it can get addictive.And pushing the GLA 45 AMG is easy, knowing that the brakes are there to fall back on. The vented, cross-drilled brakes offer fantastic bite as does the grip from the 235/45 R19 Continental rubber. AMG hasn’t gone overboard with wider tyres than those on the lesser models in the GLA lineup and that seems to be a wise decision. While the GLA 45 AMG is majorly about performance, it is also going to be a everyday car and that requires acceptable levels of efficiency as well.

SAFETY FEATURES ;

The GLA 45 AMG is the top of the line GLA. It’s got all the features of the GLA that includes Bi-Xenon headlamps with DRLs, aluminium roof rails, a Harman Kardon surround sound system, sat-nav, 7-inch screen, reversing camera, paddle shifters, infinitely adjustable electric sports seats with memory function, a panoramic sunroof, all that you need. The AMG bits like the gear lever with the AMG stamp embossed on the leather and the AMG instrument cluster are unique to this car among other GLAs, as is the steering wheel. The only issue is a slightly dated looking screen and the clutter of buttons on the centre console, that don’t quite gel with the overall interior design.Disc brakes in front and rear along with anti-lock-braking system, brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution conclude the proficient braking system befitted in GLA 45 AMG. Adept safety features available on the AMG variant of GLA SUV include power door locks, central locking, child safety locks, driver airbag, passenger airbag, side front airbag, rear seat belts, side/front impact beams, traction control, vehicle stability control system, keyless entry, engine immobiliser, crash sensor, rear camera and anti-theft device.

CONCLUSSION ;

The GLA45 AMG addresses all the shortcomings of the fabulous CLA45 AMG. While the CLA45 looks more purposeful as an AMG model, the GLA45 offers more practicality, thanks to its better ground clearance and more interior room. While the CLA45 is still the entry-level AMG model from Mercedes in India, the GLA45 is just a couple of lakhs more which is completely worth it for the ease of use it offers while also being as fast and fun as the CLA45. However, at its current on-road price, one can get two regular GLA’s for the price of one GLA45 AMG, making it quite expensive although it is undeniably a performance meister.

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.