Weekend Warrior

Psst! Weekend Warrior isn't really his name. Chirag is an automotive journalist for TurboZens, one of the fastest growing autoblogs in India. if you can't find him tearing up clubs (his backyard) every weekend, you can always try Google+

Face Off: Tata Bolt vs VW Polo

2015 volkswagen polo dashboard

Tata Motors is one of the few surviving Indian car makers. Although the car maker enjoyed great success back in the 20th century and early 2000’s, the indigenous car maker has failed to keep pace with its competition. The emergence of foreign car makers such as VW, Hyundai and Nissan dealt a great blow to native automakers. However, after a long period of absence, Tata is back to regain market control with its all new Bolt hatchback. We pit it against Volkswagen’s popular Polo to see how the latest Tata hatch fares.

Design:

Tata Bolt:

The all new Bolt is a refreshing change from the dated design of the Indica. Though the Indica proved to be a value for money product, its popularity in the commercial vehicle segment resulted in the hatchback developing Although the Indica Vista introduced a slew of changes and improvements,  the Vista’s uncanny resemblance to the original Indica drove many to opt for other vehicles such as the Maruti Swift and VW Polo. For the 2015 Bolt however, the Indian car maker has introduced an all new design philosophy that attempts to provide the premium feel the Indian consumer is looking for without the high price tag commonly associated with such products.

2015 tata bolt front three quarter
The Tata Bolt has come a long way from the Indica and its modern styling will surely play a great role in the hatch’s critical reception

The Bolt is a major step up from the Indica Vista in terms of design. The blackened C pillars, aggressively styled headlights and silver foglamp accents all contribute to the car’s appeal. Despite all the changes Tata has managed to squeeze in, the Bolt still feels a bit dated in design when compared to the more contemporary VW Polo.

Volkswagen Polo:

The 2015 VW Polo sports minimal exterior changes. Key changes include a reworked front and rear bumper, revised headlight cluster design, new alloys and a strip of chrome across the lower bumper. The neat, restrained design of the Polo is executed perfectly and the understated presence and business like demeanor of the German hatch is far more modern when compared to the Bolt.

2015 Volkswagen Polo front three quarter
The Polo’s restrained design makes the German hatch one of the slickest in its segment

Winner: VW Polo

Interior:

Tata Bolt:

The sporty all black cabin of the Tata Bolt may seem claustrophobic to some. However, the Bolt features one of the best interiors from the Indian manufacturer in a long time. A sporty three spoke steering wheel complete with steering mounted controls greets the driver. The instrument cluster makes its way back to its conventional position behind the silver accented steering wheel.

2015 tata bolt dashboard
The Bolt features an impressively specced infotainment system

The Indian automaker has also fitted the 2015 Bolt with a best in class infotainment system. The specially designed Harman sound system features a high res touchscreen with established features such as Bluetooth telephony, USB, AUX in and iPod connectivity. However, unlike any other system in its class, the Harman entertainment system also offers navigation, voice recognition, SMS readout and even video playback.

Volkswagen Polo: 

Interiors of the previous gen Polo was a very humdrum affair. Though the hatchback’s build quality vastly surpassed its Indian rivals, the Polo suffered from an issue most VW models bear. The clinical precision of a German made car comes at the price of creativity and outright style; A trait most of the Indian buyer community look for in a premium hatch.

 

2015 volkswagen polo dashboard
The facelifted VW Polo is graced with a flatbottomed steering wheel and the center console now sports a silver finish

The German automaker has made tremendous strides in the latest iteration of the Polo. The glossy black flat bottomed steering wheel and the addition of a dead pedal will surely help VW score some brownie points in the enthusiast community. Unlike the Bolt, the German car maker has opted for a dual tone beige and black interior giving the cabin an airy feel. Despite the Polo offering an ergonomically well balanced cabin, the low functionality of the car’s infotainment system is a major downside against the fully loaded Bolt.

Winner: Tata Bolt

Under the Hood:

Tata Bolt:

Tata offers the Bolt in both petrol and diesel avatars. The petrol variant is powered by Tata’s all new 1.2 l Revotron engine that produces 89 hp @ 5000 RPM and peak torque of 140 Nm @ 1500 RPM. Power from the turbo petrol is sent to the front wheels via a five speed manual gearbox. For the first time ever in its segment, the Tata Bolt offers three different driving modes. Based on the user’s choice of Sport, Eco or City, the engine’s mapping is reworked to provide power, maximum fuel economy or a computer estimated combination of both.

tata revotron engine
Tata’s 1.2 l Revotron engine offers three different driving modes

The 1.2 l diesel unit produces 74 hp @ 4000 RPM and 190 Nm of torque @ 1750 RPM. The QuadraJet engine is mated to a five speed manual transmission. Unlike the cutting edge Revotron engine, the diesel variant is rather conventional in nature, offering no new tech under the hood.

Volkswagen Polo:

VW is the only automaker to offer a truly high performance variant in the hatchback segment. Although Fiat made an attempt very early on with the 90 hp Punto, VW offers the Polo with 100+ hp in both petrol and diesel variants. Powering the more pedestrian petrol variants is a 1.2 l four cylinder unit that churns out 74 hp @ 5400 RPM and max torque of 110 Nm @ 3750 RPM.

VW packs a detuned variant of the 1.5 l diesel mill found on the GT TDI. Producing 89 hp @4200 RPM and a peak torque of 230 Nm at 1500 RPM, the diesel Polo is far more powerful than the diesel variant of the Tata Bolt. Both engines are mated to a five speed manual.

Winner: Tata Bolt

Verdict:

The VW Polo offers a little more than just style and features. Its solid build quality and dual airbag standard is an indication of the German car maker’s commitment to producing safe, quality cars. However, for the extra premium that the German hatch demands, VW offers little in terms of creature comforts.

2015 Volkswagen Polo rear three quarter
The Volkswagen Polo offers solid build quality and high safety standards

Tata has come a long way from the Indica. The Bolt is a near perfect blend of style, features and engineering ingenuity. Setting a benchmark for the hatchback class here in India, the Bolt is easily one of the best from the Indian car maker in a long time. It’s cost to features ratio will play a major role in sales figures and may just bring Tata back from the brink.

 

The Future of Locomotion: Autonomous Driving

bmw self driving car

CES, the annual event that serves as a platform to showcase some of the most creative and path breaking inventions of the year has always been host to a wide array of developers from every field. Although phone and chip makers have always been regulars at the event developers from various other industries have slowly entered the fray.

ces 2014
CES brings together some of the most innovative ideas and path breaking technologies from manufacturers from across the globe

CES 2014 and 2015 saw the debut of BMW’s and Audi’s autonomous driving technologies. Both manufacturers have developed systems capable of maneuvering, accelerating and braking in high speed, high risk conditions. This new technology has been long touted to be the future. With game developers, film producers and even scientists proposing radical new modes of autonomous locomotion, the world strongly believes that the next big leap for the auto industry will be the autonomous driving era.

google self driving car
Tech giants such as Google have also shown keen interest in the field of self driving cars

Although BMW debuted its self driving tech much earlier, a far more refined system was showcased last year. Dubbed ConnectedDrive, the system was developed in-house by BMW’s Technik division. The project aims at making a some of the cars in the German automaker’s range fully autonomous by 2020.

bmw self driving car
BMW aims for a fully autonomous range by 2020

Demonstrated with the German car maker’s 6 Series Gran Coupe and 2 Series, the presentation featured the cars navigate an entire race course with no input from the driver whatsoever. More than that however, the Bimmers put on a breathtaking show with smokey burnouts and tail spins. The Bavarian manufacturer’s Autonomous driving tech painted the future in a new and wondrous light.

Audi, BMW’s biggest rival made its big leap into the future with its “Piloted Driving” system. Though not fully dependent on the computer’s vast array of sensors and processors as BMW, Audi’s new tech is just as impressive. While BMW showcased its system at CES in closed grounds, Audi took it one step further by testing the concept on a long distance drive from San Francisco all the way to Las Vegas where the event is held. Affectionately named Jack, the Audi sportsback managed to travel the 900 km journey with minimal input from the driver.

audi rs7 autonomous car
Audi’s customized RS7 made it through a 900 km journey with almost no driver input whatsoever

The self driving Audi car serves as a bridge between pure autonomous vehicles and our current generation. Similar to our transition from candle light to electricity, the shift from modern day locomotion to autonomous driving will be a gradual one. Although BMW envisions the grand future, Audi’s self driving A7 gives us an idea about what the very near future of road traffic will be.

While most of civilization embraces the future, some experts are rather discouraged and even dismiss the idea of autonomous driving. The idea of self driving cars may evoke images of a safer and less threatening future, however, in actuality, shocking latent ethical and legal complications frequently arise in the most common of situations.

Wired magazine’s Patrick Lin explores the mind boggling moral ramifications of simply designing a crash aversion and damage control algorithm for cars. He suggests that the development of such an algorithm is not unlike the design of a targeting mechanism. On the surface, these algorithms may be seen as a method for terrorist attacks. However, bizarre ethical and legal issues raise their ugly heads in real world applications. For example, consider an imminent crash wherein the autonomous crash must make a decision between colliding with a motorcyclist with a helmet and a motorcyclist without.

Common sense and probability dictates that the vehicle must collide with the biker that has a higher chance of survival i.e. the one wearing the helmet. This leads to a situation where the motorist adhering to the rules is punished. This will in turn lead to a radical change in riding habits of most bikers. By cultivating hazardous driving habits, such motorists will be less prone to “attack” from the on-board computer systems. A strange consequence of autonomous driving.

By ensuring cars and bikes are safer in tougher conditions, consumers have a tendency to push harder with the knowledge that the car has been designed to provide better safety. There is no escaping the veiled hurdles of the future but as Mr. Lin suggests, with conscious effort from consumers and a better understanding of what is under the hood of the car of the future, we can better appreciate and implement this new technology.

Face Off: Mercedes Benz S-Class vs BMW 7 Series

Cars in India have mostly been reduced to tools for locomotion. While the budget models do bring in the big bucks, automakers such as Honda, Mitsubishi and Suzuki have completely departed from the upper segments to focus solely on dominating the A, B and C segments of the Indian market. This trend is now being carried over into luxury car makers such as Mercedes Benz, Audi and BMW as well with each manufacturer launching sub 30 lakh hatches and crossovers to woo the Indian buyer base. However, the Germans have not given up on the ultra luxury section of the automotive industry with Mercedes Benz launching what it calls the “Greatest car ever made”. Released in India late last year, the 2015 S-Class is one of the most advanced luxury cars opulence has to offer. Although the all new 7 Series is yet to arrive, how well does the current model stack up against the Benz’s Golden Chariot?

Design:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

Although Benz has implemented its new design language with finesse on its lower models, the S-Class is on an entirely different plane. Serving as the car maker’s flagship, previous iterations of the luxury sedan have always been quite formal in character lacking any frills and embellishments.However, the new design language calls for a bit more flair. While this may have worked well with cars lower in the German car maker’s range, the new design philosophy simply won’t do. The S-Class may be striking, but one may not term it beautiful. It’s ungainly posture, bloated headlights, flashy grille and the odd combination of organic elements make for an incoherent design.

2014 mercedes benz s class sedan
The new S-Class is rather ungainly in character

BMW 7 Series:

The current gen 7 Series is more of an evolution in design rather than a complete makeover. As a result, the 2014 BMW flagship wears a finely tuned, refined shell characteristic of big Bimmers. With its understated presence and no nonsense styling, the 7 series is a far more elegant offering than the S-Class.

2013 BMW 7 Series front three quarter
The 7 Series’ somber tone and sophisticated presence suits the character of the car quite well

Winner: BMW 7 Series

Interior:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

For all its exterior design flaws, the S-Class’ cabin is a beautiful place to be in. A blend of quilted leather, aluminum and bewitching ambient lighting envelop its passengers in a cocoon of opulence and magnificence. While the S-Class battles it out with the BMW 7 Series and Audi A8 in terms of pricing and size, the interior of the Benz flagship is comparable to ultra luxury cars such as the Bentley Mulsanne and the Rolls Royce Ghost Series II. Few cars make its occupants feel so special.

2014 mercedes benz s class interior
The Mercedes Benz S-Class is the ultimatum when it comes to interior design and comfort

BMW 7 Series:

Similar to the luxury sedan’s exterior, the interior of the new 7 Series adopts an understated look. An ergonomic, business like cabin greets its passengers. However, while the 7 Series’ cabin is just as functional as its Benz rival, passengers may not feel as exclusive as they do in the S-Class.

bmw 7 series cabin
The unimpressive cabin of BMW’s flagship is rather disappointing

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Under The Hood:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

The big Merc is offered with some seriously big engines. Offered in both petrol and diesel, buyers have an options between a 3.0 l oil burner and the more potent 4.6 l petrol mill. The 3.0 l diesel unit churns out 255 hp @ 3600 RPM and a peak torque of 620 Nm @ 1600 RPM.
The mammoth 4.6 l petrol engine puts out an impressive 453 hp @ 5250 RPM and a shocking 700 Nm of torque at 1800 RPM. Power is sent to the rear wheels via Benz’s 7G-TRONIC gearbox on both variants.

2014 mercedes benz s class engine
The big Merc is offered with some impressive firepower

BMW 7 Series:

BMW too offers both petrol and diesel engines for the 7 Series here in India. The diesel variant is powered by a 320 hp 3.0 l engine that produces 450 Nm of torque. The 7 Series petrol twin houses a 4.4 l turbocharged unit that churns out 450 hp at 5500 RPM and 650 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM.

2013 bmw 7 series engine
BMW offers more “sensible” engine options for its 7 Series

While both cars offer potent engines under the hood, the S class offers the more entertaining petrol mill.

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Verdict:

While the 7 Series may seem like the more civilized of the two, the S-Class is the last word on luxury. Although the 7 Series enjoys the privilege of honing years of dseign expertise, the Bavarian flagship fails to impress on the inside. The dull interiors and lack of exotic and bespoke touches lends a pedestrian feel to what should be the very best from BMW.

The S Class however, is God’s own chariot. The epitome of luxury, Mercedes Benz’s flagship wraps its occupants in an exorbitant cloak of wood, leather and aluminium. With the optional AMG madman under the hood, few can match what Benz has to offer with the S-Class.

2015 Maruti Alto vs Hyundai Eon

maruti suzuki alto k10 interiors

The sub six lakh category is one of the biggest and fastest selling segments of the Indian automotive industry. Although this particular segment has been mostly dominated by Maruti Suzuki since the birth of compact budget four wheelers here in India, Hyundai has slowly gained ground in this popular segment. The Eon has been hugely successful for its stunning exterior, quality interiors and good pricing. The Maruti Alto on the other hand has failed to evolve with the changing times and has fallen behind in terms of tech and design. Maruti Suzuki has thus launched the 2015 Alto K10, to launch a counter attack against the Koreans. Who wins? Lets find out.

Design:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

Maruti Suzuki has ditched the safe approach and gone for a radical redesign of the small hatch. The new Alto K10 is now more aggressive and striking to look at than any of its predecessors. A strip of chrome adorns the grille adding a bit of upmarket appeal lacking in models of the past. The uninspiring headlight design has been revamped as well for a bit of flair. The rear too has been remodeled in keeping with the overall design of the front fascia. Despite all this however, the Alto K10 still retains its boxy silhouette and isn’t nearly as jaw dropping as the Hyundai Eon.

maruti suzuki alto k10 front
THe Maruti Suzuki Alto K10 Facelift

Hyundai Eon:

As we have stated time and time again, Hyundai Fluidic Design has worked beautifully over its range and has completely turned the public’s impression of the South Korean automaker’s image around. Creating impressive, quality work at the price that Hyundai offers its models in is something that truly needs to be appreciated. The Eon too is quite a good looking machine. Its sensual curves and aggressive headlights are well ahead of its time and as a result, despite the South Korean car maker leaving the Eon virtually unchanged since its launch, the car still manages to grab eyeballs wherever it goes.

front of the Hyundai Eon
Front View of the Eon Hatchback from Hyundai

Winner: Hyundai Eon

Interiors:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

The first major revamp in many years, the Indian car maker has finally graced its little hatch with a bit of premium interiors. The piano black center console and steering wheel sport a silver finish. The center console consists of a conventional music system with iPod, USB, AUX IN and CD compatibility. However, the beige and black theme of the cabin leaves much to be desired. The 2015 Alto K10’s interiors is a huge step up from the previous generation and shows Maruti’s progression as a brand that not only focuses on cost effectiveness but presentation as well.

maruti suzuki alto k10 interiors
Interiors of the Alto K10

Hyundai Eon:

Despite the huge leap forward in terms of the Alto K10’s interior, the Eon is far ahead of its competition. The entire cabin is made from quality plastics and fabrics. The stunning design and good materials make the Eon feel far more expensive than it really is. However, the South Korean automaker has made drastic compromises to space and ergonomics for such beautiful interiors. For example, if you have a tall friend sitting in the front passenger seat, one must first push the passenger’s leg away before changing gear.

Interiors of the Hyundai Eon
Interiors of the Hyundai Eon

Winner: Hyundai Eon

Engine:

2015 Maruti Suzuki Alto K10:

Perhaps the Alto K10’s only saving grace, the 998cc four cylinder petrol mill produces 67 HP @6000 RPM and a peak torque of 90 Nm comes in at 3500 RPM. Mileage is at 24.07 km/l. One of the Alto’s biggest upsides when compared to its Korean rival is the availability of an AMT gearbox.

Hyundai Eon:

The Eon is offered in two engines, the 814cc and the 1.0 L model. The 814 cc three cylinder engine produces 55 HP and 75 Nm of torque while the 1.0 L unit churns out 68 bhp @ 6200 RPM and a max torque of 94 Nm @ 3500 RPM. Fuel economy is rated at 21.1 km/l and 20.3 km/l respectively. However, despite the better engine options, Hyundai has never been a pioneer in engine performance and the 814cc falls short of its Indian rival. The 1.0 L model has eliminated all of the shortcomings of its 814 cc sibling however, Maruti Suzuki’s Alto K10 can and does do everything the Eon 1.0 L can do a little bit better.

Winner: Maruti Suzuki Alto K10

Verdict

Despite Maruti’s best efforts, the Alto K10 still feels a bit dated in terms of design. However, looks can be deceiving and the Hyundai Eon is quite simply a poorly engineered car draped in a pretty gown. Although the 1.0 L model tries to make right everything that was wrong with its smaller engine’d model, it does not justify the almost Rs. 1 lakh price bump.

So if you are not the one doing the driving then the Eon with its comparatively comfortable seats, stunning interiors and good music system is the car for you. However, the Alto K10 is the better engineered car. The K Series of engines has proven itself in higher models of the Indian manufacturer and does incredibly well for its small displacement.

2015 Hyundai Elite i20 vs 2015 Maruti Swift

red Suzuki Swift

2015 brings another great year for cars. The new i20 is all set to lock horns with the updated Swift. Although the Swift has been around for so long, the car has managed to keep its momentum going for generations now. The next gen i20 is finally here. Following year after year of churning out massive volumes, Hyundai brings yet another best seller to the table. The next generation Hyundai Elite i20 was primarily created with handling characteristics and design in focus. Has it worked out? We find out.

Design:

Hyundai i20:

As always, Hyundai has done a phenomenal job with the design of its car. Unlike the previous generation, the 2015 i20 is far more restrained. Still keeping its impressive and striking profile, the i20’s exterior has evolved to create an image that will impress both the young and old. The bonnet’s side profile however, could’ve used more curves. While the front could use some work, the rear is beautifully designed. The new i20’s tailights are simply stunning.

elite i20 red
The Hyundai i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Maruti Suzuki Swift receives only minor updates for 2015. The front end is refreshed with the addition of LED daytime running lights and slightly revamped lower bumper. Maruti Suzuki is also offering all new alloys as well as three new paint jobs. However, despite the revamped interiors and bumped up engine efficiency, in the face of updated competitors such as the new Polo and i20, the Swift’s aging exteriors have begun to show.

2015 maruti suzuki swift side
The New Swift Does Not See Any Major Changes

Winner: Elite i20

Interiors:

Hyundai i20:

Compared to the interiors of old model, the i20 may seem a little boring. However, the interiors of the new model is far more ergonomically designed. The use of beige and light colored plastics give the new i20’s cabin an airy feel to it. The infotainment system’s display has been moved down from the top of the dashboard back to its conventional position. Functionality remains the same with the music system offering bluetooth, AUX in, iPod and mobile connectivity. The fuel gauge and temperature gauge has gone all digital in the latest model. Interesting

Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20
Interiors of the Hyundai Elite i20

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The basic layout of the Swift’s interiors has been left largely unchanged. The top end models will receive push button start. Although the all black interior is sure to impress a younger crowd, however, the older generations may not take to such a dark cabin.

 

2015 maruti suzuki swift interiors
Interiors of the New Swift

Winner: Elite i20

Engine:

Hyundai i20:

Hyundai has never approached the question of its weak engines. The South Korean car maker has once again fitted the new i20 with the same 1.2 l petrol and the 1.4 l CRDI engine. Although both engines produce the industry standard of 82 and 89 BHP, the massive size and weight of the car prevents the car from having the same levels of acceleration as the Swift. The petrol variant gives a claimed mileage of an unimpressive 18.6 km/l and the diesel engine gives out 22 km/l.

drive new 2014 i20
The New i20 is Still Sluggish at Lower RPMs

However, cabin noise insulation is superb and the occupants will feel little to no noise at all from the engine. Sadly good NVH levels means a compromise on a different front and the low end torque is almost non existent. The 2016 model has done away with the generally unsuccessful automatic variant.

Maruti Suzuki Swift:

The Swift has always been known for its peppy performance. The little Indian hatch has garnered a cult following for its low price tag and impressive handling and engine characteristics. Powering the petrol variant is a 1.2 L engine that develops 83 HP @ 6000 RPM and 114 nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. Power has been sacrificed for fuel economy. The petrol variant gives out a supposedly 20.4 kkm/l. The diesel engine is a Fiat sourced DDiS 1.3 L unit that churns out 74 bhp @ 4000 RPM and max torque of 190 Nm @ 2000 RPM. Despite the relatively lower power figures, the good torque numbers ensure the car is on the power at all times.

suzuki swift diesel ddis engine
The Diesel Motor Gives An Impressive 25.2 km/l

Winner: Suzuki Swift

Verdict:

Despite all the new features that the new i20 is loaded with, a driver will always prefer the Maruti Suzuki Swift as his/her first choice. However, one cannot simply ignore the oodles of tech and features offered by the 2016 i20. If you want to drive around in comfort and love fiddling with the multitude of features on a car then the i20 is for you. But if you love the experience of driving and nothing else then the Swift is the car for you.

red Suzuki Swift
The Suzuki Swift Will Always Be A Driver’s Car

Best Electric Cars of 2015

mercedes-benz-sls-amg-electric-drive

The electric car generation is upon us. With the launch of car manufacturers specifically catering to the electric car industry, EVs are becoming increasingly accessible and viable for day to day use. Although fossil fuels may sustain for a few more years, the shift to electric is paramount to a stable future.

While many car makers already offer hybrid car models, few manufacturers produce fully electric vehicles. Many, like the Reva Electric company do not offer many of the creature comforts now considered to be standard among its petrol counterparts. We take a look at some of the best electric cars of 2015 that are currently (or soon to be) on offer.

10. Smart ForTwo:

One of the smallest cars on this list, the Smart ForTwo may seem as impractical as the Mahindra REVA. Better known as the G-Whiz overseas, the Mahindra’s offering abroad may have been a relative success, however, the immense negligence on safety and creature comforts generated a lot of flak from car magazines and TV shows alike. So it holds the 10th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015

Smart ForTwo
Smart ForTwo

Mercedes Benz’s Smart division however, played its cards right. The ForTwo is a nimble city goer and offers a plethora of tech inside.

9. VW e-Up!:

The German car maker’s peppy hatch has been introduced in a greener avatar. The e-Up! is an all electric affordable hatch set to take on the Nissan Leaf and the Peugeot Ion. Despite electric cars having notoriously bad performance numbers, the e-Up! manages to hit the ton in around 14 seconds, quite impressive for a budget electric car. Although rated power is at a measly 55 HP, the electric hatch produces 82 for small sprints; A feature that will come in handy- and it holds the 9th slot in our list of best electric cars of 2015

VW e-Up!
VW e-Up!

8. Fiat 500E:

Fiat’s iconic car for the masses, the 500 has always been a driver’s favorite. Its zippy handling and retro styling helped the little Fiat generate massive numbers all over the world. Introduced in an all electric model, the 500E retains all the driving characteristics and Italian panache that made its petrol powered twin so popular. This little beauty stands at the 8th spot in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

Fiat 500E
Fiat 500E

7. Zoe:

Renault’s entry into the world of EVs hasn’t been too popular. With heavy competition from the its Japanese and German rivals, the Zoe’s late entry into the electric hatchback segment may have been the main reason for the car’s poor sales numbers. Despite this however, the car’s futuristic design and cheap pricing will definitely appeal to many & sits comfortably at the 7th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

Renault Zoe
Renault Zoe

6. VW e-Golf:

Although the e-Golf may draw flak from motoring enthusiasts for its departure from its glorious petrol roots, the e-Golf heralds the arrival of electric hot hatches. Despite what some may call small, the nimble 115 HP motor and instant torque makes up for the hatch’s lack of massive triple digit speeds. This cute bast holds the 6th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

blue Volkswagen e-Golf front view
The Volkswagen e-Golf hatchback

5. Tesla Model X:

Although still in its concept stages, Tesla has announced that deliveries will commence in early September. The crossover SUV will be the world’s first fully electric SUV on offer. Similar to the car maker’s other models, the Model S and Model D, the Model X will undoubted be one of the best electric cars in the market and yes it holds the 5th position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

"falcon wing doors on Tesla model X"
The Tesla Model X Concept

4. BMW i8:

The advent of a truly practical hybrid car. the BMW i8 signals the beginning of the next generation of sports cars. Although the i8 does not perfectly fit the bill as a fully electric car, its conception and subsequent launch could not be any more significant to the automotive industry. With the depletion of our oil resources, the change to full electric will be inevitable. However, this transition has in no way been smooth.

front view BMW i8
The BMW i8

The i8 is a truly groundbreaking development in the field of high performance motoring as it offers the convenience of a electric range and the raw power of old school petrol.

 

3. Tesla Model S:

Dubbed a revolutionary product in a time when many believed electric vehicles could never hold a candle to their petrol rivals, the Tesla Model S melded science fiction and horsepower into the most alluring shell an electric car has ever had. The interiors are beautifully minimal with an iPad-esque touch screen infotainment system measuring 17 inches diagonally. The display system replaces conventional knobs and buttons found on other cars and acts as the medium through which the user can control all the car’s settings. 

Tesla red model s
The Tesla Model S

Powering the Model S is a shockingly powerful 416 HP motor that produces 600 Nm of torque. The massive motor allows the Model S to hit the 100kmph mark in 4.6 seconds. Available in rear wheel drive only, Tesla announced that it will offer all variants of the electric sedan with all wheel drive once the more powerful Model D is launched. Despite the impressive stats, the Tesla still manages to provide a mammoth 427 km of range on a single charge and it sits in the 3rd position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

2. Tesla  Model D:

Tesla’s latest venture, the Model D is a high performance four wheel drive variant of the Model S. Despite identical exteriors, the Model D introduces another game changing element. The first electric car ever to come with autonomous driving systems, the new EV from American car maker Tesla paves the way forward for other manufacturers to embrace change and the future. Powering the new model are a pair of electric motors located on the front and rear axles. While the D retains the original’s 471 HP rear engine, the American car manufacturer has introduced a 221 HP front engine for a whopping total of 691 HP and 931 Nm of torque.

bBlack Tesla model p85d
The Tesla Model P85 D Is Identical To The Less Powerful Model S

Despite all the extra power and four wheel drive, the Model D attains an unbelievable claimed range of 442 km. A number surprisingly greater than the less powerful S.  An interesting feature of Tesla’s autonomous system is that it is also capable of reading road signs and adhering to speed limits specific to particular areas.

Tesla’s Model D and Model S is important for more reasons than just luxury and range. Despite many hurdles, Tesla’s range has shown the world what the future can be. Founder Elon Musk recently announced the release of all its patents to the general public. A move confusing many, Tesla will now allow anyone to use its patents to make electric cars. With profits still down, the American car maker hopes and works for a cleaner and better world. A vision most of society has failed to interpret as anything more than bad planning. And this amazing car holds the 2nd position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

1. Mercedes Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive:

Another game changer, this time from the ludicrous minds of AMG, the SLS AMG Electric Drive is one of the fastest fully electric cars on the planet. Designed as a test bed, the SLS AMG Electric Drive is a production vehicle intended to explore what was possible in the still nascent world of electric supercars.

 Mercedes Benz SLS Amg ED
The Mercedes Benz SLS Amg ED

The SLS ED houses four separate electric motors located on each wheel that produce 185 HP each for a combined total of a whopping 740 HP. Sadly, unlike Tesla’s models, the green super car from the Germans offers a small range of 193 km, a figure too small to be practical. However, with a zero to hundred time of 3.7 seconds and a top speed of 250 km/h, the SLS AMG ED puts many petrol powered speed demons to shame. This stylish and powerful monster holds the top position in our list of best electric cars of 2015.

Top 10 Best Sports Cars of 2015

Sports cars are often perceived as unnecessary and extravagant playthings. While that maybe true, little in this world can compare to the thunderous . The economical and parking friendly hatchback may prove easier for day to day use but few experiences live upto charging down highways at 200 km/h. We take a look at some of the fastest cars currently available in the market.

10. BMW M235i:

When it comes to performance oriented cars, no other car maker stands out as much in the sports car segment as BMW. Spanning decades of brilliance from its motor-sport division, BMW’s M range of cars have been highly praised for their poise and unbelievably brilliant driving dynamics. Although the car maker produces a wide range of M enhanced cars, the M235i is the company’s most accessible product. Powering the M235i is a 3.0 L turbocharged straight six engine that churns out a massive 320 HP and 330 lb-ft of torque.Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight speed automatic. While BMW uses the the ‘M’ tag followed by a single letter nomenclature system to name its high performance machines, the M235i takes a different route. This is primarily because the 2 Series based sports car is not in the eyes of BMW, a full fledged M division car. Despite this, the M235i offers an ideal mix of German engineering and cost effectiveness un-rivaled in its class. This dream car holds the 10th position in our list of Best Sports cars of 2015.

red BMW M235i: Best sports cars 2015
The BMW M235i

In a viral video to promote sales, the German car maker staged a flash mob with a fleet of M235i’s to showcase the car’s capabilities. A treat to watch, the video demonstrates the car’s ‘M’ DNA.

9. 2015 Mazda MX-5:

Its finally here folks, the next generation Mazda MX-5. Although not officially launched for the US market, the unveiling of the next generation MX-5 had been one of the most eagerly awaited events of the year. Unlike previous iterations, the new MX-5 is far more muscular in terms of design. However, the car still retains classic Mazda elements such as the long hood and stubby rear. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3C6GXY5dHk Powering the Miata will be a 2.0 L four cylinder SkyActiv-G that produces 155 HP and 150 lb-ft of max torque. One might argue that placing the phenomenal BMW M235i below that of a small time Japanese runt seems absurd. But the Mazda MX-5 is a legend in its own right. Best known for popularizing the coupe convertible sports car segment and showing the world that one need not sell a kidney to have a great time behind the wheel, many claim that the MX-5 is the reason why BMW Z4, Porsche Boxster and even the Mercedes Benz SLK exist & it holds the 9th slot in our list of Best Sports cars of 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3C6GXY5dHk

8. Dodge Challenger Hellcat:

The mother of all muscle cars, the Dodge Challenger Hellcat is back in its newest iteration. The Hellcat moniker is reserved only for the most powerful of cars. For the Challenger Hellcat that power comes from a force of nature itself. Housing a 6.4 L Hemi-V8, the Challenger Hellcat makes a whopping 707 HP and 650 lb-ft of torque, numbers that have now earned Dodge's mad dog the title of the most powerful muscle car ever built. Popularizing muscle cars back in the day and introducing high performance machines for the common man, the Challenger has now become an icon in the American auto industry and a fan favourite among teens & sits at the 6th position in our list of Best Sports cars of 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x22OEDYv0-U

7. Ford Mustang:

This name needs no introduction. Ford's hugely successful muscle car has been around for decades now. While many criticize the new Mustang's new look as a departure from its muscle heritage, Ford's engineering prowess more than makes up for it. Offering a wide range of engine spanning a 300 HP V6 all the way to a stonking 435 HP V8, the American car maker offers a model for all & enjoys the 7th position in our list of Best sports cars of 2015. [caption id="attachment_3373" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]Best sports cars 2015: Ford Mustang 2015 Ford Mustang[/caption]

6. Jaguar F-Type:

Demonstrating a bit of English restraint, the Jaguar F-Type is a beautiful rendition of the classic British sports car. Available in convertible or coupe form, the F-Type is a paroxysm of engineering artistry and heritage. This beauty holds the 6th position in our list of Best sports cars of 2015. [caption id="attachment_3372" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]silver jaguar f-type: Best Sports cars Seen here in classic sliver, the Jaguar F-Type is the company's flagship sports sedan[/caption] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFqaFu2maDg

5. Corvette Z06:

Developed for and by the American muscle car fan, the Z06 perfectly sums up the appeal of American muscle. A stonking supercharged 6.2 L V8 coupled with a body to die for, the Z06 is a titillating combination of speed and handling rivalling those of its German counterparts. It holds the 5th slot in our list of Best sports cars of 2015. [caption id="attachment_3370" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]2015 Chevrolet corvette z06 The Z06 Falls Into Supercar Terriotory[/caption]

4. 2014 BMW M3/M4:

German sports saloons don't get any better than this. Heralding from a rich legacy of incredibly successful sports cars, the M3 and M4 are a masterful combination of agility, power and grace & snatches the 4th position in our list of best sports cars of 2015. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFtUpMTs4vI

3. Porsche 911:

The Porsche 911 is regarded as one of the best sports cars since its inception way back in 1963. Despite the rear engine architecture deemed too off-balance to hit up ideal performance numbers, the German car maker has persisted, tweaked and developed one of the finest cars in history. Although Mercedes-AMG has launched the GT to take on the 911, Porsche's sports car is undoubtedly still the car to buy & firmly clings on to the 3rd position in our list of best sports cars of 2015! [caption id="attachment_3399" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]Porsche 911: Best sports cars 2015 The Porsche 911[/caption]

2. Alfa Romeo 4C:

Renowned Italian car maker Alfa Romeo will finally be re-entering the American car market with the 4C. Despite housing a mere 2.0 L turbocharged petrol mill, the 4C is a focused sports car designed solely for the pleasure of driving. Composed of carbon fibre and sporting no power steering whatsoever, the lightweight two seater has been lauded as one of Alfa's greatest & sits in the 2nd position in our list of Best sports cars of 2015. [caption id="attachment_3371" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]white New Alfa Romero 4C The All New Alfa Romero 4C[/caption] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCselcfalZM

1. Mercedes Benz S65 AMG Coupe:

Few car makers hold a reputation as planted as Mercedes Benz. Staying in the game since time immemorial, the German car manufacturer has one of the most diverse range of cars available in the car market. Latest to join the fray is the S65 AMG Coupe. The two seater S-Class is one of the most beautiful cars ever designed by the Germans and features some of the most futuristic tech a car is allowed to have. Everything from Bengal leather to active suspension control makes the S65 AMG the top sports car to buy. [caption id="attachment_3375" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]blue Mercedes Bnez S65 AMG Coupe The Stunning Mercedes Bnez S65 AMG Coupe[/caption] Although the German sports saloon is powered by a twin turbocharged 621 HP V12, the S65 AMG is all about balance. Its restrained elegance and almost tranquil silhouette bear no resemblance to the monster lurking under the bonnet. Bathing its occupants in the utmost luxury, no other car can stake claim to the title of most luxurious best sports car of 2015.

Virtual Racers From the World of Gran Turismo

Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo

Ideas are quite often difficult to reproduce in reality. Though the sheer vastness of our imagination is almost unimaginable, the laws of physics and mathematics continually inhibit our own fantasies. A major reason behind the massive success of video games is the fact that the video game world provides a way out for our reveries. Endless possibilities combined with an infinite number of ways to adjust the laws of nature has allowed the gaming industry to design beautiful visual constructs previously only comprehensible within the mind’s eye .

Gran Turismo is one such game. A PlayStation exclusive, Gran Turismo has become an extremely popular racing franchise renowned for its realistic racing dynamics as well as an impressive aggregation of locale and cars to choose from. Although Need For Speed is still right on top in the racing genre, GT has been recognized as one of the few games that adhere very closely to real life physics and thus acting as more of a focused simulator than an out and out racing arcade game.

For the franchise’s sixth release, Gran Turismo 6, the studio behind the game has taken a different route. Unlike most racing games that source their car range from existing models or concepts, Polyphony Digital, the developers behind the game approached design firms and major car manufacturers to create concepts exclusively for the game. What came soon after was a stunning amalgam of concepts showcasing what auto-makers are capable of, if it weren’t for feasibility studies or budget constraints.

1. Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo:

The first and still the wildest, Mercedes Benz unveiled the AMG Vision Gran Turismo in the flesh (metal?) earlier this year at the LA Auto Show. A purposeful show of magnificence, the AMG Vision GT is no wallflower. Mercedes Benz’s addition for the PlayStation racer is powered by a twin turbocharged V8 that produces 585 HP.

Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo
The Mercedes Benz AMG Vision Gran Turismo

2. BMW Vision Gran Turismo:

Unlike Mercedes’ concept, BMW’s Vision Gran Turismo concept is a far more restrained offering from Germany. Based off the current gen 2 Series, the Vision GT is a focused track ready grand tourer. Draped in classic BMW M Division livery, the Vision GT paints a picture of what the manufacturer could produce in an ideal automotive world. BMW has always been known for developing some of the most well balanced sports cars of this generation. And The Vision Gran Turismo is no exception. Built for the track, the BMW’s take on an ideal sports car looks more production ready than most concepts unveiled by manufacturers at motor shows.

BMW Vision Gran Tursimo
BMW Vision Gran Tursimo

Powering the virtual racer is a 3.0 L turbocharged straight six engine that produces 549 HP and a whopping 677 Nm of torque.

3. Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo:

Japanese car maker Mitsubishi has slowly been pulling models from its lineup across the globe. Falling sales figures and the recent announcement of the discontinuation of the company’s critically acclaimed Lancer Evolution has left fans of the legendary rally marque second guessing about the car maker’s future. However, that hasn’t stopped our beloved Mitsubishi from unveiling a no-holds barred Evolution.

Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo
The Mitsubishi Concept XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo

The Concept  XR-PHEV Evolution Vision Gran Turismo is a hunkered down track focused hybrid. The flared wheel arches and lowered stance of the saloon hint at a more racing oriented approach rather than a rally driven development.

4. Volkswagen GTI Roadster Vision Gran Turismo:

VW’s series of hot hatchbacks have been extremely popular since the ’80s. The German car maker’s Golf and Sirocco hot hatches offer good performance at affordable rates. For the Gran Turismo however, the German car maker has gone all out.

volkswagen gti gran turismo
Volkswagen’s GTI Roadster Concept

Powering the GTI Roadster is a 3.0 L twin turbocharged V6 that puts out a mammoth 500 HP and 600 Nm of torque. The massive power from such a small car allows the GTI to hit 0-100 km/h in 3.2 seconds.

5. Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo:

A glimpse into the future of Nissan’s critically acclaimed GT-R, the 2020 Vision Gran Turismo may soon become a reality in the near future. Unlike most cars featured in this article, the Nissan Concept 2020 Vision GT may be in the pipelines as a future product. The 2020 Vision concept borrows design elements from the current GT-R as well as some retro design cues closely resembling the IDx Freeflow revealed earlier this year.

 

Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo
The Nissan Concept 2020 Vision Gran Turismo

6. Aston Martin DP-100 Vision Gran Turismo:

Unveiled at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year, Aston Martin’s Utopian supercar is a mid engined V12 rocketship. Unlike most Aston Martin’s, the DP-100 is more of a racer than a grand tourer. The twin turbocharged 6.0 L V12 produces a whopping 800 HP making it the most powerful Aston Martin ever conceived. Similar to an earlier concept, the DP-100 will influence future design languages implemented by the English marque.

 

aston martin dp-100 concept
Aston’s Wildly Monstrous DP-100 Concept

7. Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo:

The final addition to an insane list of cars, the Toyota FT-1 Vision Gran Turismo is a fitting tribute to the once mighty Supra. Based of a recent Supra concept, the FT-1 is a return to its roots. Since 2007, Toyota has regressed to making family MUVs and cheap sedans to maintain profits. The days of tarmac shredding Supra’s and Celica’s have come to close. However, with the new FT-1 Vision GT, the Japanese automaker may make a return into the world of burnouts and drifting. A world we welcome with arms wide open.

Toyota FT-1 Concept
Toyota FT-1 Concept

Face Off: Skoda Yeti vs Mahindra XUV5OO

mahindra xuv5oo suv interiors

The automotive market is rife with a multitude of options to suit every buyer. One of the biggest segments here in India is now the SUV segment. Constantly bombarded by a stream of launches, the prospective SUV owner is spoilt for choice. Out of the dizzying number of models currently on sale, the Mahindra XUV5OO has been a chart topper since its launch. Although the Mahindra SUV has been left untouched since its launch, the incredible range of options across all three variants and well executed design has allowed the XUV5OO to remain on top.

Czech car maker Skoda on the other hand is a rather obscure marque in the world of off-roaders. Although the Skoda Yeti has been hailed by many as one of the best SUVs in International markets, the car’s lackluster design and high price tag discouraged buyers from choosing the Czech SUV. Undeterred by the lack of enthusiasm shown by the Indian audience, Skoda has launched a face-lifted Yeti for the year 2014. Let’s see how this new model stacks up against the crowd favorite.

Design:

Skoda Yeti:

The 2014 Skoda Yeti Face-lift is more of an evolution of the car’s previous generation than a total revamp. The car still maintains its boxy structure but drops the dual headlight design for a more refined classic Skoda look. The 2014 model also comes with Skoda’s new butterfly grille as well as the redesigned logo. However, while the new Yeti is a massive improvement from the previous generation, the SUV still features uninspiring bodywork.

2014 skoda yeti front
Front View of the Skoda Yeti

XUV5OO:

Despite Mahindra’s choice of retaining the XUV5OO virtually unchanged since it’s launch, the SUV’s design still manages to grab eyeballs.  The front end’s striking headlights coupled with the stylish mesh inserts endow the XUV5OO with a very strong road presence. The SUV’s flared wheel arches as well as imposing build add to the visual mass of the XUV5OO. Unlike the almost ordinary facets the Yeti displays, the XUV5OO uses more of a shock and awe approach. A tactic that works quite well for the Indian audience. 

mahindra xuv5oo front
The XUV5OO is one of the best looking indigenous SUVs around

Mahindra’s SUV is also a clear example of how an indigenous car maker’s work can truly stand toe to toe with renowned International marques.

Round 1 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO

Interior:

Skoda Yeti:

The Yeti’s interiors follows similar design methodologies as most cars in Skoda’s range. Simple, elegant and uncluttered, the SUV’s cabin features the standard array of tech and safety equipment. The international model features a faux wood panel running across the all black dash adding a bit of luxury appeal. Skoda’s SUV comes with a 2 DIN music system with the usual iPod, Bluetooth, AUX connectivity. True to German standard, the Yeti’s interiors are well built and makes use of high grade plastics and leather-work. Steering mounted controls allows the driver to control the audio system as well as receive calls.

interiors of 2014 skoda yeti
Interiors of the All New Skoda Yeti

The neatly organized interiors maybe one of the German car maker’s strong suites, however, the car does seem to lack a bit of the Skoda panache we’ve come to know and love.

XUV5OO:

The XUV5OO is truly one of Mahindra’s greatest achievements in the design segment. The blend of curves and cuts endow the SUV with one of the most interesting cabins till date. Unlike the woodwork in the Yeti, Mahindra’s implementation of the same is far more impressive. In the center we are greeted with a fully loaded touchscreen infotainment system complete with rear parking sensors. The generous use of quality plastics and leather give the XUV5OO a luxurious interior lacking in most Indian SUVs.

mahindra xuv5oo suv interiors
Interiors of the XUV5OO

Round 2 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO

Under The Bonnet:

Skoda Yeti:

The Yeti makes use of a 2.0 L TDI CR engine that churns out 138 HP @ 4200 RPM and a max torque of 320 Nm @ 1750 RPM. Power is either sent to the front wheels or all four wheels via a 5 speed manual gearbox

XUV5OO:

Powering the Mahindra XUV5OO is a 2.o L mHAWK engine that features a variable geometry turbo. The Mahindra SUV produces 140 HP @ 3750 RPM and a max torque figure of 330 Nm @1600 RPM. 

Although the power difference is minimal, the XUV5OO’s overall bulk might give the Yeti an edge with its greater power to weight ratio.

Round 3 Winner: Draw

Verdict:

Despite the obvious reasons why one would choose the Mahindra XUV5OO, the Skoda Yeti has a better track record as a versatile everyday car as well as a credible off roader. Sadly, the same cannot be said about Mahindra’s SUV. While the 4×4 variant can perform well off the beaten track, Mahindra still has some kinks to work out with its two wheel drive variant as well as the rather disconnected steering system.

Top 10 Best SUV’s of 2015

2014 range rover sport

The automotive sector of the US market is home to a vast collection of cars. Right from pick up trucks to Maybachs, the American car buyer has an almost uncountable number of options to choose from. One of the most popular segments of the American car market is the SUV sector. Teens and soccer moms alike adore large 4×4’s for their practicality and style statement. We take a look at the hottest and best SUVs of 2015.

10. Subaru Forester:

A safe bet for those unsure of what they’re exactly looking for, the Subaru Forester may not appeal to many but its cheap running costs and massive amounts of space is primarily why the Forester is on this list & is definitely one of the best SUV in 2015

subaru forester in red: Best SUV 2015
The Subaru Forester Is A Reliable and Extremely Cost Effective SUV

9. Toyota RAV4:

Toyota is a brand renowned for its reliability. With a reputation for building sturdy (read Top Gear’s Toyota Hilux Stress Test) and value for money products, a Toyota SUV on this list of Best SUV’s in 2015 was inevitable. While SUVs bring to mind a world of muddy byroads, marshes and 75 degree vertical inclines, in truth, most buyers opt for SUVs solely for the large amounts of space they offer. And that is what the Toyota RAV4 does well. Although the Japanese automaker hasn’t focused on the RAV4 as a stiff jungle dweller, Toyota has developed an impressively priced all purpose vehicle.

Best SUV of 2015: The Toyota RAV4
The Toyota RAV4

Powering this Japanese SUV is a 2.5 L four cylinder engine that produces a modest 176 HP as well as a more powerful 3.5 L V6. Sadly, the RAV4 has been around for quite sometime now and the car manufacturer has made little changes over the years. As a result, the RAV4 may feel a little dated in terms of design and even material use.

8. Acura MDX:

Honda's luxury division, Acura hasn't experienced the same kind of success as Toyota's Lexus. Despite offering a staggering number of models for the US market, Acura never really caught on as a real Benz or Audi competitor. Nevertheless, the car maker's range does include an impressive collection of cars whose German equivalents would be almost double the price. [caption id="attachment_3262" align="aligncenter" width="2048"]Acura MDX: SUV of 2015 The Acura MDX Is One of The More Affordable Vehciles on This List[/caption] The Acura MDX is a stunning piece of machinery. Featuring futuristic headlight design as well as a well contoured silhouette, the Acura NDX is one of the best looking SUVs around in 2015. Coming from Honda's luxury division, the MDX is extremely well built and offers superb ride and handling dynamics. Japanese engineering and premium styling may seem like a recipe for success, however, the SUV's unbelievably complex infotainment system and its questionable ergonomics may prove maddening for the digitally less inclined. Despite this, the Acura is a superb SUV with impressive ride and handling characteristics. 7. Kia Sorento: One might say including a Kia is almost blasphemy but the latest launches from South Korean car maker Kia, has proved that the automaker has learned that setting trends in segments is far more rewarding than religiously following them. The Kia Sorento's selling point isn't its engine or handling or even pricing. However, interior design as well as comfort are one of the SUV's strong suites and the best in the business. Buyers have an option of a 2.4 L inline four cylinder or a more powerful 3.3 L V6 unit that produces 191 HP and 290 HP respectively. Both engines are mated to a six speed automatic- making this one of the best SUV's in 2015! Kia Sorento 2015 SUV 6. Hyundai Santa Fe: Showcasing the company's latest StormEdge design philosophy, Hyundai's Santa Fe is a wildly impressive looking car. Sadly however, the car's driving dynamics are still not upto par with its rivals such as the Honda CR-V. Despite the beautiful cabin and aggressively styled exteriors, the steering is vague and feels unstable at moderately high speeds. However, the soft suspension is a boon for bumpy roads and offers good levels of comfort. Buyers have an option of 2.0 L petrol or a 2.4 L turbocharged unit that produces 190 HP and 264 HP respectively. The South Korean car maker also offers a more powerful 3.3 L V6 that churns out a massive 290 HP. The 2015 model will for sure be one of the Best SUV's of the year. Best SUV: 2015 hyundai santa fe 5. BMW X5: Highly lauded as one of BMW's finest SUVs, the X5 is an extremely popular luxury crossover. Known for its sedan like handling and performance, the X5 is one of the most impressive & Best SUVs of 2015 on road. However, all the power comes at a price as the X5 isn't really made for true off-roaders. Despite offering the grunt and oodles of space, the suspension setup and power delivery system is not adequate enough for off roading. [caption id="attachment_3268" align="aligncenter" width="1920"]front bmw x5 new The All New BMW X5[/caption] The new design philosophy is implemented well in the X5 and is one of the best looking luxury sports crossovers out there. 4. Range Rover Sport: A name synonymous with rugged, reliable off-roaders, the Range Rover breed has always been the goto vehicle for all sorts of shenanigans. Although previous iterations of the Sport has been met with less than positive feedback, the English marque's latest attempt is quite impressive & will be one among the best SUV's of 2015. [caption id="attachment_3267" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]Range rover sport One Can Never Go Wrong With a Range Rover[/caption] The Range Rover Sport is offered in two engine variants, the 3.0 L 340 HP and the utterly mad 5.0 L 510 HP unit. 3. Jeep Grand Cherokee: Jeep needs no introduction. A brand popularized during the World War, the American car maker has a developed International acclaim for creating immensely capable SUVs. Although the Wrangler is a far more competent SUV off road than the Grand Cherokee, the SUV offers little in terms of creature comforts and daily usability. The Grand Cherokee maybe a slightly toned down off-roader but the car offers more on the inside than most other Jeep products, and so is in the list of Best SUV's of 2015! [caption id="attachment_2885" align="aligncenter" width="960"]black jeep grand cherokee 2015 SUV Jeep Grand Cherokee[/caption] Plush interiors and a feature loaded cabin offering plenty of space makes this one of the top choices for a big family. The American automaker also offers a wide range of engine options to choose from. The Grand Cherokee is available in a 5.7 L  360 HP V8, 3.6 L 260 HP V6, 3.0 L turbocharged diesel and the monstrous 6.4 L 470 HP V8. 2. 2014 Dodge Durango: Few carmakers have generated the same level of cult following as that of American legend Dodge. Producing iconic cars such as the Charger and Challenger, the American car maker has slowly expanded to produce cars in various segments of the car market. One of Dodge's other ventures has been the Durango. [caption id="attachment_3261" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Dodge durango 2015 Dodge's Durango Is One Impressive Car[/caption] Donning trademark Dodge design elements with a hint of old school muscle, the Dodge Durango is easily the most charismatic and Best 2015 SUV on this list. The low price level when compared to SUVs of similar grunt makes the Durango a top pick on this list. Unlike most new age SUVs, the Dodge is capable of true off-roading, all the while allowing its occupants to be seated in comfort and luxury. Buyers have an option of choosing the mighty 5.7 L V8 that produces 360 HP or the 3.6 L V6 that churns out 290 HP. 1. Porsche Macan: The latest to join the fray of high speed, fuel thirsty off-roaders is the Porsche Macan. A highly anticipated model, the Macan is a success story for more than one reason. When the Cayenne, Porsche's first SUV was first announced, many believed the advent of a Porsche SUV signaled the eventual ruin of the German automaker's racing pedigree. Despite many manufacturers before it turning to creating cars in segments outside their safety zone, Porsche was especially criticized for even proposing the idea. Although many were of the opinion that the Cayenne would dilute the car maker's racing pedigree, the Cayenne became a huge success. Primarily because the German SUV was infused with racing DNA, a trait unheard of for a bulky 4x4. [caption id="attachment_3260" align="aligncenter" width="1280"]Best SUV 2015: blue Porsche Macan The Porsche Macan[/caption] The Macan too is another runaway success. Posing as an SUV, this 911 in sheep's clothing is the closest one can get to for the best of both worlds. Agile cornering abilities combined with almost uncanny off roading capabilities, the Macan is a worthy adversary to its American counterparts. And yes it holds top position and is claimed the Best SUV of 2015.