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+

Toyota Vios: Honda City Rival?

2015 Toyota Vios

Rumors are abound that Toyota will soon be unveiling a C segment sedan in 2015 to compete against the incredibly popular Hyundai Verna and the Honda City. Japanese car maker Toyota hasn’t seen the best of days.

Falling behind in sales in various segments, Toyota has succumbed to models from other manufacturers that constantly revamp their entire lineup to stay ahead of the game. One of the primary reasons for Toyota’s rapidly declining market share is the lack of models in some of the biggest segments of the Indian market.

2015 Toyota Vios
The Toyota Vios Will Be Slotted Between The Etios and Corolla Altis And Will Compete Against The Honda City and Hyundai Verna

A wide gap in its lineup between the Etios and the Corolla Altis has much potential and Toyota may finally be filling it with the Vios. Set to compete against segment best sellers such as the Honda City and Hyundai Verna in 2015, the Vios has a long and difficult road ahead. We take a look at what the Vios has to offer against some of the biggest names currently in the Indian car market.

Design:

The Toyota Vios is far more aggressive in terms of character when compared to its more expensive siblings, the Corolla Altis and the Camry. Although the Vios borrows numerous elements from the Altis, the sedan’s angular front bumper and distinct headlight detail endow the Toyota with a much stronger road presence. The Vios’ heavily sculpted sides provide the car with a bit of flair reminiscent of Toyotas of yesteryear. The overall design of the upcoming sedan may be just the thing for the car maker to drop it’s image as a boring and safe option.

The model currently on sale in the Philippines is also sold in an interesting colour palette such as florescent orange and classic blue. Toyota’s in house racing division TRD, also offers a sporty body kit as an ption.

2015 Toyota Vios rear
Rear View of the Toyota Vios

Interior:

While the exteriors of the Vios demand for attention, the interiors of the car play it safe. Toyota had made use of a beige and black cabin similar to most cars in its range. However, it is also available in a sportier all black cabin as well.

2015 Toyota Vios Interior
Interiors of the Upcoming Vios Sedan

The three spoke steering wheel features silver accents along with a minimal amount of steering mounted controls. A welcome change in an era where steering mounted controls have become a little too obtrusive.

The infotainment system is rather dated for the international model but expect an updated system for the India bound variants. To match the upcoming Ciaz’s touch screen system, Toyota will need to pack the Vios with a fully loaded system capable of standing it’s own even against D segment vehicles.

Engine:

The Japanese are renowned for their engineering prowess and the team over at Toyota are no exception. The car maker’s focus on drive dynamics has generated a youth cult following over cars such as the Celica and the massively impressive Supra. Japan’s Tokyo Auto Salon is a yearly event that showcases Toyota’s incredible presence in the world of tuners and modders.

2015 Toyota Vios trd
The Toyota Vios Fitted With The Optional TRD Kit

Powering the Vios internationally are a pair of petrol and diesel engines. The 1.8 l dual VVTi engine churns out an impressive 140 PS of power and a max torque of 173 Nm. The Japanese car maker also offers the Vios with a more frugal 1.4 l turbocharged oil burner. The diesel engine puts out 88 PS of power. While the the diesel mill may seem underpowered, the main objective of the Vios diesel will be fuel economy and the 1.4 l turbo may just trump the segment leading City’s mileage of 26km/l. Both engines come mated to a six speed manual while the petrol variant is also offered with a seven speed CVT (automatic) gearbox.

Toyota has been missing in action for quite some time now and the manufacturer has slowly been reduced to selling commercial vehicles. With its entry into the C segment, the Japanese automaker may be able to regain its position here in India. Incredibly popular in markets such as Thailand and the Philippines, the sedan has seen great success in markets mirroring factors of our own. All in all, 2015 should be an exciting year for Toyota.

Face Off: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz vs Hyundai Verna

2015 maruti suzuki ciaz

Maruti has been out of the game for quite sometime now. Slowly losing market presence to manufacturers such as Hyundai and Honda, the Indian car maker has had it rough in various sectors of the Indian market. While the car manufacturer sells units in good numbers in the budget segments, Maruti Suzuki has not been able to break new ground in the C1 sedan segments. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna and the more recent 2014 Honda City, Maruti needed a replacement for the aging SX4 to compete against foreign manufacturers. Launching in a few weeks time, the Ciaz will be Maruti Suzuki’s trump card against the hugely successful Verna and City. How well does the new model compare? We find out.

Design:

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:

The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz is a milestone in the company’s design segment. Although the car maker has improved over the past few years, Maruti still did not have the finesse of the Japanese or the extravagance that the Verna offered. This time however, with the Ciaz, the Indian car manufacturer has vastly improved itself on the design front. Headlight design is striking without the outlandishly swept back design implemented in most cars these days. Unlike the Chinese model, Maruti has opted for lesser amounts of chrome around the grille and front bumper.

2015 maruti suzuki ciaz
The Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Is A Huge Step Up In Terms Of Design When Compareed to The SX4

Over at the back, one cannot help but notice the similarities in tail light design to the current gen Honda City. However the stylish tail lamps, boot lip spoiler and well designed rear bumper gives the Ciaz a premium look, a characteristic lacking in most cars from the Indian brand.

Hyundai Verna: Hyundai's critically acclaimed Fluidic Design philosophy worked wonders for current gen Verna here in India. With the launch of the C segment sedan here in India, Hyundai reinvented its brand image as a trend setter and not just a trend follower. Sadly however, riding on the immense success of the sedan, the manufacturer has failed to update the Verna sufficiently to compete against its rivals and as a result though the Verna is a striking car, the design has been around for quite sometime now and most buyers may want to look for something fresh.

[caption id="attachment_570" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]hyundai verna compare The Hyundai Verna[/caption] Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Interiors: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: The Ciaz's interiors showcases Maruti's steady growth into a more mature manufacturer. Focusing on not just following the trend but developing a design philosophy that suits its vehicles, the Ciaz sports is one of the most well balanced cabins in its segment. While cars such as the Vento adopt a no-nonsense approach, the Indian audience always look for a bit of zing in everything. The Ciaz strikes the perfect balance between functionality and panache. Making good use of faux wood and premium plastics, the Ciaz's interiors a major step up from that of the SX4 and offers a more than premium feel to it.
[caption id="attachment_3011" align="aligncenter" width="1366"]maruti suzuki ciaz interiors Interiors of the New Ciaz[/caption] The center console also features a high end multi touch infotainment system that offers smartphone connectivity, navigation and voice recognition. One of the most interesting additions to the car's entertainment  system is MirrorLink which throws the paired smartphone's display directly onto the infotainment screen. The Ciaz also offers the best in class cabin space. Hyundai Verna: Compared to the Ciaz, the Verna is rather dated. While the Hyundai sedan has been hugely successful in its lifetime, the aging tech inside has begun to show. Interior design is still top notch. However, there is escaping the fact that the Verna sports a rather simple entertainment system with minimal connectivity options. Despite the beautiful plastics and faux wood inserts, the Verna falls short on features when compared to the Ciaz.
[caption id="attachment_571" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Interiors of the Hyundai Verna Interiors of the Hyundai Verna[/caption] Winner: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz Under the Hood: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz: Maruti Suzuki has always been about value for money and the Ciaz is no exception. Powering the Ciaz will be both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol variant will sport the Ertiga's 1.4 L VVT engine that gives an incredible 20.73 km/l. When launched, the Ciaz will be one of the most fuel efficient petrol powered sedans available in the Indian market. The diesel mill will be a 1.3 L DDiS unit that also competes for best in class mileage. Rivaling that of Honda's EarthDreams 1.6 L i-DTEC motor, the 1.3 L diesel engine is expected to give 26.21 kilometers to the liter. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diH3CvSfMW4 Sadly however, Maruti Suzuki will not be offering the Ciaz with an AMT or automatic gearbox at the time of launching. Hyundai Verna: The Hyundai Verna makes use of a 1.6 L and 1.4 L petrol as well as 1.4 L and 1.6 L diesel mills. The 1.4 L petrol mill churns out 105 bhp @ 6300 RPM and 138 Nm @ 5000 RPM while the more powerful 1.6 L petrol engine puts out 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 155 Nm @ 4200 RPM. The 1.4 L and 1.6 L CRDi diesel engines produce 89 bhp @ 4000 RPM and 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM respectively. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqxfriXnsI Both the 1.6 L petrol and diesel are also offered with an automatic gearbox. Winner: Hyundai Verna Verdict: The Hyundai Verna has been a segment leader for quite sometime now. Sadly with the lack of updates to take on newer arrivals, the Verna has now become a thing of the past. Until the next generation Verna (rumored to be the Solaris Internationally) is set to arrive, Maruti's latest offering is one of the best in both the manufacturer's history as well as in the current market.

LaMaserati – the stunning Hyper car from Maserati

new maserati supercar

When it comes to creating passion fueled works of art, few automakers compare to the Italians. Although the Maserati marque is unbeknownst to many, the name itself instills an image of majesty and elegance. Adjectives that justly describe the Italian car maker. While Maserati did have a huge fan following back in the early 20th century, the Italian marque’s history is now riddled with financial problems. However, the brand has since stabilized and is slowly regaining some of its lost glory.

ferrari laferrari
Based off the LaFerrari, the LaMaserati Is a Conceptual Visualization of the Next Big Supercar From the Italian Marque’s Stable

Since the first sale of the company back in 1937, Maserati has switched hands multiple times. Currently under Ferrari’s ownership, the Italian car maker has churned out some of its best models till date. Track ready cars such as the Gran Turismo MC Stradale showcased what the guiding light of the oldest team in F1 is capable of. The direct ownership by Ferrari has also given birth to the fastest Maserati till date: the MC12. Developed from one of Ferrari’s greatest, the Enzo, the MC12 showed the world what could possibly be one of the best combinations in automotive history: the engineering prowess of Ferrari and the passione of Maserati.

maserati mc12
The MC12 Was Maserati’s First Serious Attempt at a Supercar

Designer Mark Hostler has now rendered an imagining of what a LaFerrari based hypercar from Maserati would look like. Dubbed the LaMaserati, Hostler’s rendition of the hypothetical hypercar is an exhibition of ardor and beauty that Maserati is famous for. Sadly though, Mark Hostler’s concept is unlikely to ever hit production. The LaMaserati is an unofficial concept and will most likely never be green lit for development. However, that being said, it hasn’t stopped the designer from endowing the concept with some performance stats. The LaMaserati will come with the LaFerrari’s innards save for the F1 style KERS (Kinetic Energy Recovery System). The KERS system is a definitive piece of tech inside the LaFerrari that ushers in an era of hybrid hypercars. However, the LaMaserati goes old school by ditching the system for a lot more conventional petrol fueled horses. The loss of the electric system saves weight and the 6.3 L v12 has been tuned up to develop even more power to ensure the LaMaserati holds its own against the hybrid speed demons of today.

Maserati LaMaserati hypercar
Say Hello To The Maserati LaMaserati

While Ferrari’s LaFerrari evidently draws its design cues from the very pretty 458 Italia, Mark’s design philosophy is a radical departure from Maserati’s current design methodologies. In many ways, the LaMaserati’s development harks back to the MC12. Maserati’s first supercar, the MC12 too showed a stark change in design philosophy to ensure the company’s fastest remained the most distinctive.

Maserati LaMaserati rear
Rear View of the LaFerrari Based Maserati Supercar

The front end greets us with the tantalizing gaze of the hypercar’s LED headlights with the marque’s insignia mounted between the bonnet and the front splitter. Dropping conventional side mounted rear view mirrors, Mr. Hostler has adopted unique roof mounted antennaes. Over to the side, the hunkered down stance of the Maserati cements the notion that this concept is seriously fast. Similar to the Lamborghini Reventon, the new Maserati’s specially designed alloys funnel air into the car to keep the stonking V12 cool. Unlike the MC12, the LaMaserati is a one seater with a pod-like design. Staying true to Maserati heritage, the LaMaserati is a beautiful amalgam of white and blue; the manufacturer’s classic colours.

Maserati LaMaserati headlights
The LaMasearti’s Menacing Gaze Is a Sight to Behold

Over at the back a bit of Ferrari creeps in the form of the tail lamp design. However, the designer has adopted the circular taillight design and given it a bit of flair by integrating them via a longitudinally running strip of LEDs.

new maserati supercar
The LaMaserati Ditches Ferrari’s KERS System To Save Weight

While Mark’s design may never see the light of day, an Enzo based Maserati means there is some credibility in the idea of a LaFerrari based Maser. A stunning display from two of Italy’s finest will truly be a sight to behold. However, until the promised day, Mark’s rendition should keep our dreams preoccupied.

side view of Maserati LaMaserati
Although the Will Never Be Built, The Hyper car Would Be an Impressive Addition To The Italian Marque’s CV

Jeep to Enter India Market in 2015-What To Expect

Iconic car maker Jeep will soon be making its official entry into the Indian market in the coming months. Although the Fiat owned manufacturer did announce it will hit Indian shores later this year, the brand has postponed its debut date to next year. The Indian audience eagerly awaits the arrival of the Jeep moniker primarily for two reasons. One being the on going SUV pandemic sweeping our nation and the other being the massive legacy of the Jeep brand. Although one might argue that the American car maker has been reduced to making luxury tarmac lovers and family oriented SUVs, Jeep still maintains cars such as the Wrangler in its purest form: a heavy duty off-roader.

red jeep grand cherokee front
The Jeep Brand Will Soon Be Arriving in India

Throughout the course of history Jeep has managed to garner a legacy for churning out rugged off roaders. With its range used in Word War II and Vietnam Wars, the American car maker’s reputation for making reliable 4 by 4’s hit super stardom. Sadly however, the Wrangler is the last of the thoroughbreds. The only SUV in the manufacturer’s range to offer sold front and rear axles and a chassis designed with a primary focus on hardcore off-roading.

We take a look at what Jeep has in store for the Indian market and its main competitors. Will the brand take off? We find out.

Jeep Grand Cherokee:

The big daddy of them all, the Grand Cherokee is the American automaker’s flagship SUV. While most manufacturers these days simply make a bulky car and slap an SUV tag onto it (read BMW X6), Jeep created an SUV with true off-road DNA. While cars such as the Q7, ML-Class offer a level of luxury rivaled by none, the high degree of opulence comes at a price. And that price for SUVs is its off-road capability. Jeep however has opted to keep the Grand Cherokee somewhere in the middle, the sweet spot. Offering a massive cabin, decked up in premium leather and wood, the Cherokee is no village barn on the inside.

black jeep grand cherokee
The Grand Cherokee May Not Offer The Same Level of Off Roading Prowess as the Wrangler But It Strikes The Perfect Balance Between On Road and Off Road Comfort

Under the hood you’ll find a 3.0 L V6 oil burner that churns out 237 HP and a massive 550 Nm of torque. Although the American car maker does offer a bigger 6.4 L V8, Jeep is unlikely to launch the Grand Cherokee with such an indulgent variant here in India. The car’s biggest rivals will be the BMW X5 and the Audi Q7.

 

Jeep Wrangler:

The next Jeep to soon enter the Indian car market will be the iconic Wrangler. Praised for its compelling and timeless industrial design, the Wrangler is one of the all time greats. Unchanged over the years since its inception, the Wrangler has spawned a cult following across the world. Without the unnecessary headlights, sleek roofline and fancy paintwork, the Wrangler is a no nonsense SUV capable of roaming any kind of terrain. Unlike its siblings, the Wrangler is no toned down, tarmac lover; built for the road less traveled by, the SUV is an off-roader’s favorite. However, its extreme off-road durability comes at a price. The Wrangler is extremely uncomfortable on city roads and with the poor state of infrastructure and road conditions our country has to offer, the Wrangler is reserved only for the true nature lovers.

jeep wrangler front
The Jeep Wrangler Is A Legacy Recognized By All

Powering this SUV is a 2.8 L four cylinder diesel mill that produces 197 HP and 460 Nm of torque. Although the performance numbers are not nearly as much as the Grand Cherokee, the Wrangler sports fewer creature comforts and is much lighter than the Cherokee.

black jeep wrangler rear
Rear View of the Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Renegade:

Officially not on the company’s release list, the baby Jeep is a highly likely candidate for an India launch. Unlike the new age crossover movement taking place all over, the Renegade is one of the handful of compact SUVs that can actually hold its own when off the road. Despite its short stature and rather meek engine, the Renegade has been designed with years of off road expertise and the results are quite impressive. For those of you who do not really intend on going for a bit of exploring in the woods, the Renegade is also offered in front wheel drive only format.

red jeep renegade rear
The Jeep Renegade Is One of the Latest Cars To Join The Jeep Range

For its India release, we may see both avatars of the Renegade. Powering the mini Jeep is a 1.4 L turbocharged engine that puts out 160 HP. The American car maker also offers a 2.4 L four cylinder engine that produces 184 HP. While the former is mated to a six speed manual, the latter is offered with a first ever nine speed automatic.

front jeep renegade
Don’t Be Fooled By Its Cutesy Exteriors; Inside, the Renegade is all Jeep

A synonym for all things rugged, Jeep represents a facet of culture that has long been abandoned thanks to gizmos and concrete jungles. While some may buy a Jeep for its snob value, the brand’s range is strictly for the adventurous. Hopefully the Jeep moniker will evoke the same feelings of breaking free as the original Safari did and take it to new heights.

2015 Honda Jazz: What’s New?

rear 2015 Honda Jazz

The Honda name will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Indians. Thanks to iconic cars such as the original City and Civic, the Japanese moniker rose from the primal broth of the first names to ever enter the Indian car market and became a brand Indians aspire to own. Sadly, thanks to the heart stopping petrol rates and the SUV craze sweeping our nation, Honda slowly stepped out of the limelight.

2015 Honda Jazz
The 2015 Honda Jazz

With the development of the brand’s i-DTEC Earth Dreams series of diesel engines, Honda is back to take its rightful place among the leaders of the Indian car market. The latest cars to sport Honda’s diesel engines are the City, Amaze and Mobilio, all of which are registering massive bookings since the time of their launch. The next car to be launched by the Japanese manufacturer will be the next gen Honda Jazz hatchback.

Although the original Jazz was a recipe for success, its unbelievably high price tag sent buyers scurrying to other manufacturers. Hopefully, this time around the Japanese marque will release the hatch in a more competitive price bracket. The 2014 Honda Jazz aka Fit has already been on sale in markets abroad for quite sometime now. Honda India however, has taken its time with its launch here. The new Jazz is a complete revamp from its 2009 predecessor. With the most likely inclusion of an oil burner in its range, the new Jazz will surely hit up some good sales figures in the hatchback segment.

Looks:

The next gen Jazz is an impressive looking machine. Although the hatch may not have the same aggressive road presence as some of its other rivals, the Jazz’s styling hints at what it truly is, a fun driver’s car. The front end features all new headlights and reworked grille while the front bumpers now feature large, aggressively styled fog lamp enclosures.

2015 honda jazz front look
Front View

At the side we see a sharp crease that runs along the length of the car and integrates into the reworked taillights. The new Jazz also comes with redesigned alloys as well. The back sees a pair of impressively styled tail-lamps and a thick chrome line running across the boot lid.

 

rear 2015 Honda Jazz
Rear View of the Honda Jazz

Interiors:

The interiors have also been thoroughly reworked with the new Jazz. Now featuring the same piano black center console as the 2014 Honda City, the new interiors have a more zesty styling about them. Similar to the City, the new Jazz’s air con controls are now feature touch sensitive controls. However, unlike the exterior, Honda has not worked too much on the design for the Jazz’s interiors. The exposed plastics and odd layout of the dashboard takes some of the charm from the Jazz’s character. Despite this, the all black cabin and blue backlit instrument cluster imbue a feeling of sportiness lacking in most cars in this segment. With an increased length from the previous generation and a massive 390 L boot space, the Jazz promises to offer the best in class cabin space.

2015 Honda Jazz cabin
Dashboard of the Honda Jazz Face-lift

Under the Hood:

Mechanically the Japanese hatch is unlikely to feature any new engine options for its India release save for the 1.5 L diesel mill. Internationally, the petrol variant is powered by a 1.5 L four cylinder engine that produces 130 HP at 6600 RPM and 114 lb-ft of torque @ 4600 RPM. Sadly, we may not see such a zesty petrol mill for the Indian market. Honda will most likely introduce the Jazz with the 1.2 L i-VTEC engine that churns out 87 HP @ 6000 RPM and 109 Nm of torque @ 4500 RPM.

Honda will also unveil its first diesel hatch in India in the form of the Jazz. Powering the diesel variant of the hatchback will be the company’s 1.5 L i-DTEC motor that delivers a whopping 100 HP. If the Jazz is released with the 1.5 L oil burner, it may well become one of the most powerful hatchbacks of the industry.

instrument panel 2015 Honda Jazz
Instrument Panel of the New Jazz

The 2015 Jazz’s biggest rivals will be the new Hyundai Elite i20, facelifted VW Polo and the Fiat Punto Evo. While its rivals strive to reinvent itself to be far more aggressive and dominating, the Jazz takes a different route. One of the best looking cars out there, the Jazz looks a lot peppier and promises to be incredibly fun to drive as well. With the unveiling of the diesel mill, Honda is slowly regaining its lost momentum and may very well be the next leader of the Indian auto industry.

Image Source: Internet

Face Off: Fiat Punto Evo vs Hyundai Elite i20

2014 fiat punto rear

The hatchback wars have begun. 2014 sees the launch of a dizzying array of cars in India’s most popular segment. Although Hyundai has kept the lead for many years now, the launch of impressive newbies and face-lifts in the heavily populated segment just might displace the South Korean manufacturer from its top spot. Some of the main contenders vying for the i20’s crown are the new Polo, the upcoming Honda Jazz and the Fiat Punto Evo, the underdog of the lot. To stay ahead of the game, Hyundai has unveiled another iteration of the successful i20 hatch. Dubbed the Hyundai Elite i20, the new car builds on the previous model’s impressive features and adds a touch of refinement to its design.

Italian manufacturer Fiat is yet to break into the Indian market. Despite being in the market on and off for over a decade, the car maker has failed to stand its own against the likes of VolksWagen, Hyundai, Honda and Ford. Adamant on turning its fortunes around, the Italian car maker has launched a Punto Face-lift specifically tailored for the wants and needs of the Indian car buyer. We take a look at the recently launched Fiat and its Hyundai rival, the Elite i20 and see if the underdogs can pull off a Rocky Balboa.

Design:

Fiat Punto Evo:

Unlike the previous generation and models sold overseas, the new Punto Evo is a lot flashier and stands out in a crowd. While Fiat’s design philosophy has always been more about subtlety and harmony of curves, Indian car buyers look for a bit more. As a result, though the Punto Evo looks striking, it doesn’t feel like something the Italian automaker would create.

2014 fiat punto facelift
The All New Fiat Punto Evo

Nevertheless, the new “reindeer” headlights and power lines running along the bonnet of the car give the hatchback the much sought after aggressive outline. Fiat has also added a new chrome lined grille and fog lamp enclosures that build on its premium look. Out back we see more chrome lining the lower end of the bumper and all new clear lens headlights. The Italian company has also provided chrome on the sides in the form of chrome plated door handles.

All in all, the Punto Evo may be the in its most appealing iteration ever. Yet, it is quite saddening to see a bit of the Italian charm taken away from the Evo to keep fickle buyers’ minds happy.

Hyundai Elite i20:

The Elite i20 debuts with a refined touch of the South Korean car maker’s critically acclaimed Fluidic Design methodology. Much of the car has been thoroughly reworked to introduce a more restrained exterior for the hatch. Sadly, the new Hyundai i20 fails to impress as much as the previous generation. The boxy dimensions and disproportionately long bonnet give the new i20 a rather awkward stance.

2014 red Hyundai Elite i20
The 2014 Hyundai Elite i20 Seen Here in Red

However, the rear end of the car is one of the most beautiful and refreshingly new designs seen in a car from this segment in recent years. The stylish tail lamps and stunning light cluster within, give the Elite i20 a far more impressive back end. So while the 2014 i20 is not an ugly car, it isn’t much of a looker either.

Round 1 Winner: Draw !

 

Interiors:

Fiat Punto Evo:

The Punto Evo’s cabin is quite lackluster. Although the new hatch features a brand new piano black center console and an updated color scheme, the quality of plastics is not upto par with the likes of the Hyundai and Fiat could have gone for a little more polish for its new face-lift. However, the amber ambient lighting, though ceremonial, is definitely a nice touch.

2014 fiat punto evo interiors
Interiors of the Punto Evo

Hyundai Elite i20:

As always, the South Korean car maker has done a phenomenally good job with the interiors of the new i20. Although not being a fan of beige myself, the car maker has made use of beige and black in all the right places create the right mix of sporty and airy. Buttons for the air con and music system are now located slightly higher than the outgoing model and the infotainment system’s display re-located, Hyundai has provided a far more ergonomically sound cabin.

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

Round 2 Winner: Hyundai Elite i20 !

 

Under The Hood:

Fiat Punto:

Powering the new Punto Evo is a range of in-house developed petrol and diesel engines carried over from the previous generation. Petrol enthusiasts have an option of a 1.2 L 4 cylinder engine that produces 68 HP and 96 Nm of torque or the more powerful 1.4 L unit that churns out 90 HP and 115 Nm of torque.

2014 fiat punto evo cabin
The Sports Variant (90 HP) of the Punto Offers An All Black Cabin

The more fuel conscious of us have an option of choosing between a 1.3 L oil burner that puts out 76 HP and 197 Nm of torque or 93 HP and 209 Nm of peak torque depending on the buyer’s choice of tune.

Hyundai Elite i20:

Hyundai too has gone for the old generation’s engine options for the new i20. The South Korean car maker offers the 1.2 L petrol engine that produces 82 HP 114 Nm of torque and the diesel mill that puts out 89 HP and 215 Nm of torque. While the new is heavier, Hyundai has opted for averagely powered engines which may not appeal to many.

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

Round 3 Winner: Fiat Punto Evo !

 

Verdict:

The Punto Evo is a radical departure from what the Italian marque generally create. That being said, the chrome and aggressive front headlights is sure to attract many a buyer. Although the interiors could use a more reworked design, its engine options trumps most other cars in this segment.

2014 fiat punto rear
Engine Options Remain The Same in The New Punto

The Hyundai Elite i20 on the other hand focuses solely on comfort and features. The superb interiors and feature loaded infotainment system ensures that every trip to be a pleasantly comfortable. However, the driver may not be so happy with what could be called, an underpowered engine.

rear view Hyundai Elite i20
The New i20 Maybe The Safer Bet Here in India

While there is no clear winner here, the Hyundai seems like the better bet for those who prefer comfort over and out power. While one may enjoy the experience of driving, the roads of India thoroughly disallow such unacceptable behavior.  The only solace from the frustration of unruly motorists, panicky pedestrians and pot hole ridden roads maybe some good music and good suspension and for that, the Elite i20 maybe the only choice.

Face Off: Nissan Terrano vs Ford EcoSport

ford ecosport dashboard

The SUV segment of the Indian market has boomed over the past few years. With the Indian consumer’s ongoing craze over massively over-sized vehicles, companies have taken advantage of the opportunity and released barrage SUVs in every possible price bracket. As a result, buyers can choose from compact crossovers such as the Duster all the way to the incredibly powerful (and expensive) Mercedes Benz GL 63 AMG.

However, one of the fastest growing segments is the compact SUV segment. A section of the market populated by some of the biggest names of the auto industry. Here we pit the Nissan Terrano against the hugely popular Ford EcoSport to see which car could be the better bet.

Design:

Nissan Terrano:

The Terrano’s French cousin, the Duster had more of a love/hate design to it. Its butch exteriors and generous chrome grille gave the SUV a strong road presence. Unlike crossovers such as the Cross Polo and the Etios Cross, Renault has managed to endow the Duster with an exterior befitting of an SUV. Nissan has taken the Duster’s design and greatly improved on it.

nissan terrano suv
The Terrano Is The Nissan Counterpart of the Renault Duster

The sharper headlights and revamped chrome grille give the Terrano a far more intimidating character. Nissan has also provided higher variants of the Terrano with premium diamond cut alloy wheels adding to the car’s upmarket feel. Similar to the Duster, the car’s flared wheel arches and raised ground clearance hint at the car’s off road nature.

Ford EcoSport:

The first to don Ford’s new design philosophy, the EcoSport is quite a good looking crossover. The large grille and high stance give the EcoSport a towering presence. The EcoSport’s length qualifies it to be under the sub 4 meter category giving it the benefit of a cheaper price tag. However, with its short stature and tall height the EcoSport looks rather stubby and disproportionate. To keep costs low Ford has also opted for rather tacky looking alloy wheels as well.

ford ecosport
Front View of the EcoSport

Round 1 Winner: Nissan Terrano !

Interior:

Nissan Terrano:

Here’s where the Terrano loses out. Although the car is relatively new, the Terrano’s interiors are quite lackluster. The quality of plastics used are not upto par and the faux woodwork is immensely tasteless. The fat steering wheel is not available with steering mounted controls either. Although the music system features all the traditional inputs such as Bluetooth, USB, AUX IN and iPod connectivity, Nissan could have done a better job with the styling. However, the rather strange ovular door handles found on the Sunny and Micra do not make an appearance in the compact SUV, instead of which, the Terrano comes fitted with standard door handles which are far more pleasing to the eye.

interiors of nissan terrano
Interiors of the Nissan Terrano Compact SUV

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s new Kinetic Design philosophy has worked wonders on the interiors of the EcoSport. A combination of sharp angles and a futuristic center console gives the EcoSport one of the best looking cabins of the crossover segment. As with most cars these days, the infotainment system comes fitted with the usual array of connectivity options. However, Ford has also included its new Voice Recognition system that allows users to make phone calls, change tracks as well as find and play tracks from a Bluetooth connected device. The new infotainment system offers more than just creature comforts as well. In case of an accident, the Ford call system automatically dials for emergency services, a welcome feature in a time where many manufacturers pay little heed to passenger safety.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

One main issue with the EcoSport is the same one that plagues the Terrano as well: Quality. Despite having one of the best looking interiors, the quality of materials and fit & finish could have been much better.

Round 2 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Engine:

Nissan Terrano:

Nissan offers two engine options for the Terrano. The 1.5 L diesel engine that is offered with a majority of the SUV’s trim levels produces 84 HP @3750 RPM and 200 Nm of peak torque @1900 RPM. The petrol Terrano houses a 1.6 L naturally aspirated engine that puts out 102 HP and145 Nm of torque. Considering the sheer size of the car, these engine options are quite a disappointment.

nissan terrano rear
Rear View of the Terrano

However, the Terrano was never a car meant for true off-roading and the small engines will prove more than sufficient in city limits and vastly contribute to respectable mileage numbers.

Ford EcoSport:

The EocSport is offered with three engine options. The 1.5 L petrol engine produces 109 HP and 140 Nm of torque while the brand’s 1.5 L TDCi diesel mill churns out 89 HP and 204 Nm of torque. Ford has also introduced its critically acclaimed 1.0 EcoBoost engine for the Indian market as well. The 1.0 L petrol engine produces an astonishing 123 HP and 170 Nm of torque. The engine also gives the EcoSport an incredible mileage of 18.9 km/L.

orange ford ecosport
Although the EcoSport May Be Marketed As A Capable Off Roader, the Lack of a 4WD System Means That Going Off The Road May Need a Call From The Tow Truck

Unlike the Terrano, Ford’s offering comes with an optional automatic gearbox for the 1.5 L petrol unit.

Round 3 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Verdict:

The Nissan Terrano was a missed opportunity. Although the Japanese automaker has greatly improved on the Duster’s exteriors, it has failed to capitalize on the many flaws of its Renault sibling. However with its size and premium looking exteriors, the Terrano may garner a little more attention than the Duster.

The EcoSport on the other hand is a mechanical marvel. Despite its small size, it packs more for far lesser and offers never before seen features in its segment. An unbelievably powerful engine, superb interiors and feature loaded infotainment system all culminate to become one of the best cars to be sold in the Indian market so far. Although the EcoSport may seem to be the clear winner, the immense popularity of the compact SUV has led to Ford extending waiting periods to well over six months. Despite being the better option, the impatient will eventually turn to alternatives such as the Nissan Terrano.

Image Source: Internet

Face Off: Volkswagen Vento vs Ford Fiesta

Volkswagen vento rear

Ford is back with an all new generation of the Ford Fiesta. Packed to the brim with features, the next generation Fiesta is all set to take on established rivals such as the Volkswagen Vento, Hyundai Verna, Honda City and the Skoda Rapid. Although Ford has had a long standing good reputation with the Indian consumer, its absence from the car market has left a serious impact on the company’s brand image.

2014 Ford Fiesta Facelift
The 2014 Ford Fiesta

Volkswagen on the other hand, is fast gaining momentum as a brand that produces quality cars with a Teutonic attention to safety. While the German car maker does have upmarket cars such as the Jetta and Passat in the more premium segments, the Vento and Polo are the company’s main bread winners. We take a look at the popular Vento and see what Ford’s latest offering is up against.

Volkswagen vento
The VW Vento

Design:

Volkswagen Vento:

As with all the latest VW’s of this generation, the German car maker has abandoned its organic design approach for a cleaner, more angular styling. As with the Jetta, the Vento maybe a good looking car, but it lacks a certain something that makes it stand out from the crowd. Nevertheless, the Vento looks far more upmarket than most of its rivals, a trait many buyers look for in a car.

Volkswagen vento side view
The Vento Follows a Simple Design Philosophy

The neatly sculpted bonnet and the sharp, straight creases that run along the sides of the car endow the Vento with an understated elegance about it. VW has revamped the rear profile rather than sticking to the Polo’s design to better improve the overall design of its sedan counterpart. The boot’s proportions and layout are perfect. So much so that one may be hard-pressed to guess which one may be the derivative.

Ford Fiesta:

Ford has taken what could be called the polar opposite to VW’s design philosophy. Instead of subtle framework and the use of an understated design language, the new Fiesta is a much bolder presence on roads than the outgoing model or the Vento. Dubbed Kinetic Design 2.0, the new design philosophy bears many similarities to Hyundai’s Fluidic Sculpture.

2014 Ford Fiesta Facelift front
The Ford Fiesta’s Aggressive Grille Gives The Sedan A Much Stronger Road Presence

The raised bonnet and aggressively styled front headlights add an element of sportiness lacking in the Vento. The retracted fog lamp enclosures, large chrome grille and a sloping roof line all hint at what the Fiesta really is: a fun car. Sadly the rear end of the Fiesta remains the same. The awkwardly styled tail lamps and stubby trunk give the Fiesta a disproportionate body.

2014 Ford Fiesta Facelift rear prodile
Rear View of the 2014 Ford Fiesta

While Vento’s design may play to the logical side of you, the Fiesta wildly impresses the child inside us all. From the get go itself, we see that though these two cars may be in the same price bracket and fall under the same segment, the Fiesta and Vento cannot be any more different. The Vento and Fiesta follow very different schools of design and appeal to very different segments of the Indian audience. While one appeals to businessmen, the other is targeted at a younger generation.

Round 1 Winner: Draw!

Interiors:

VW Vento:

The clinical precision carries over to the Vento’s interiors as well. Although the Vento’s cabin is quite upmarket, the car has seen little to no changes over the course of its lifetime and it has begun to show. The stereo system is outdated and the steering mounted controls do not offer the same level of accessibility as the Verna let alone the Fiesta. The beige interiors add to the airy feel of the sedan’s cabin. The Vento’s center console features a functional infotainment system with conventional connectivity options such as Bluetooth, AUX in, USB and iPod connectivity. Dashboard plastics are typical of a premium German sedan.

Volkswagen vento interiors
The No Nonsense Approach of VW Carries Over to The Vento’s Interiors As Well

Ford Fiesta:

The Fiesta’s zesty nature continues inside as well. Ford has adopted the very same design found on the previous model and the current gen EcoSport. The new infotainment system comes with the recently launched AppLink system that allows independent developers to create apps for the Fiesta. Definitely a step in the right direction by the American car maker. Apart from Ford’s AppLink system, the car maker’s voice recognition software is also included along with conventional options such as Bluetooth, iPod, USB connectivity and Aux In.

2014 Ford Fiesta Facelift push start
The Fiesta Offers Features Such as Push Start/Stop

Although the sloping roofline adds to the car’s sporty appeal, the rear headroom suffers and as a result, tall passengers may not be able to sit comfortably at the back. However, besides that, the Fiesta’s updated interiors are modern and offer much better functionality than the Vento’s.

2014 Ford Fiesta Facelift interiors
Interiors of the new Fiesta

Round 2 Winner: Ford Fiesta!

Engine:

VW Vento:

Volkswagen offers both petrol and diesel options for the Vento. The German car maker offers two petrol engines and one diesel unit for the Indian market. The diesel mill powering the Vento is a turbocharged 1.6 L engine that produces 103 HP @ 4400 RPM and 250 Nm of torque at 1500 RPM.

The 1.6 L petrol engine churns out 103 HP at 5250 RPM and 153 Nm of torque @ 3800 RPM. Petrol fans also have the choice of the more economical 1.2 L turbocharged unit. While both engine’s produce the same power at approximately the same revs, the 1.2 L turbo petrol puts out 175 Nm of torque at a much lower 1500 RPM. While the diesel and 1.6 L petrol variants come equipped with 5 speed manual gearboxes, the TSI variant sports the German car maker’s popular 7 speed DSG gearbox.

Ford Fiesta:

With the massive popularity of oil burners and the ever increasing petrol prices, Ford has dropped the petrol engine for the new Fiesta. While many may criticize Ford’s latest move, the diesel engine is quite capable and is quite refined. The tried and tested 1.5 L TDCi engine produces 90 HP and 203 Nm of torque. 

Round 3 Winner: VW Vento!

The Drive:

VW Vento:

Volkswagen has always focused on a car’s driving dynamics. While the Vento is equipped with electric steering, the feedback is quite adequate yet light enough for city traffic. Brakes are incredibly responsive and perform well when pushed to the limit. However, the car could’ve done with a rear parking camera as parking a sedan in the city has now become a monumental task.

Volkswagen vento rear
The Vento Is a Briliiantly Engineered Car; However, the sedan could with a few extra features

Although some may be happy with the 100 odd horsepower engine, the Vento could do with a more powerful unit. The size of the Vento requires a little more grunt under the hood to keep the car entertaining. Hopefully we may see a new engine option on the next gen Vento.

Ford Fiesta:

The Fiesta is renowned for its driver centric design. Sadly, with the discontinuation of the petrol variants from the new lineup, Ford maybe be letting go of its signature characteristics. However, the sedan’s diesel engine is far more refined than most engines and the car’s small size means that the 1.5 L TDCi engine is more than sufficient.

ford fiesta front
The Fiesta’s Design Has Been Targeted At A Much Younger Audience

Round 4 Winner: VW Vento!

Verdict:

While the VolkswagenVento may be the clear winner on paper, the all new Ford Fiesta is a car that tugs at your heart. Both cars may be in the same segment, but their primary purpose is completely different. The eternal case of apples and oranges, a clear winner can never be determined.

For a customer who just wants the job done with no regard for extra features or zing, the Vento is ideal. However, for the playful ones, the Fiesta is the better bet. With its aggressive front fascia and futuristic interior design, the Fiesta is easily one of the zestier cars available in the market right now.

Image Source: Ford India VW India

Face Off: Fiat Linea vs Skoda Rapid

Italian car maker Fiat has been struggling in the Indian market for years now. Fiat’s first outing in the Indian car market proved disastrous for the company. While the company’s range was impressive, expensive spare parts, poor after sales services and lack of service centers quickly proved to be the Italian manufacturer’s downfall. This time around, Fiat is back with a refreshed range and an all new dealer and service center network to keep fans of the brand happy as well as to attract new ones. To keep pace in the heavily contended C2 segment, Fiat has recently updated its Fiat Linea sedan. We take a look at what the new car has to offer against the impressive albeit often overlooked Skoda alternative, the Skoda Rapid.

Design:

Fiat Linea:

The 2014 Linea doesn’t see too many changes save for a few chrome embellishments and slightly reworked bumpers. While the changes do not drastically change the sedan’s looks, they do add a bit of upmarket feel to the car. Sadly however, the Linea’s design is quite dated and fails to stand out from the crowd of zesty Fords, futuristic Hyundai’s and timeless Skoda’s. However, a Fiat’s true selling point isn’t its exterior, it’s driving dynamic. Sadly, this does not excuse the Italian manufacturer’s lack of inspiring design for what is currently one of three models on sale here in India.

2014 fiat linea review
The All New Fiat Linea

Skoda Rapid:

Skoda, as always, has done an impressive job on the Rapid. Although the car may not turn heads wherever it goes, the understated elegance coupled with the classic Skoda touch is a match made in heaven. While the car may be more than three years old now, the Skoda Rapid is still as fresh as it was when it first made its debut here in India.

skoda rapid compare
The Skoda Rapid

Round 1 Winner: Skoda Rapid !

Interiors:

Fiat Linea:

The interiors of the new Linea are quite impressive. A combination of beige and black gives the cabin a premium and sporty feel lacking in most cars in its range. The updated dashboard features a black center console with a secondary unit for climate control. The impressive ambient lighting bathes the Linea’s cabin in a beautiful amber. Steering mounted controls give the driver access to the infotainment system. Rear legroom is sufficient, headroom on the other hand is quite less and tall passengers may feel a bit cramped at the back.

 Dashboard of the 2014 Fiat Linea
The Dashboard of the 2014 Fiat Linea

Skoda Rapid:

The Skoda Rapid is almost four years old now and its age is now beginning to show, predominantly with its interiors. The dull grey and beige interiors are quite lackluster. Although the Rapid comes with automatic climate control and a fully loaded infotainment system, the lack of steering mounted controls and dated green backlight of the instrument cluster and the infotainment system gives the Rapid a rather unattractive cabin.

interiors of skoda rapid
Interiors of the Skoda Rapid

Round 2 Winner: Fiat Linea !

Engine:

Fiat Linea:

The Linea is offered with two engine options. The first being the 1.4 L T-Jet petrol engine that produces 112 HP at 5000 RPM and 207 Nm of torque at 2200 RPM. Fiat’s diesel Linea is powered by a 1.3 L MultiJet unit that produces 92 HP @ 4000 RPM and 209 Nm of torque @ 2000 RPM.

Unlike the Skoda Rapid, the Linea is offered only with a 5 speed manual gearbox.

Skoda Rapid:

Skoda offers both petrol and diesel options for the Rapid. The petrol powered variant houses a 1.6 L unit that produces 104 HP and 153 Nm of torque. It comes equipped with both a 5 speed manual as well as a 6 speed automatic gearbox that gives a respectable but not class leading mileage of 15 km/l and 14.3 km/l respectively.

The 1.6 L turbocharged diesel mill powering the Rapid produces 104 HP and 250 Nm of torque. While the power figures may be approximately the same as its petrol counterpart, the diesel offers peak power and torque figures at a lower point of the rev range allowing for better movement is slow traffic conditions. The diesel too is offered with both a 5 speed manual as well as a 5 speed automatic.

Although Skoda Rapid may offer better gearbox options, Fiat’s mechanical engineering prowess is unrivaled. The company’s T-Jet and MultiJet systems are one of the best in the business.

Round 3 Winner: Fiat Linea !

The Drive:

Fiat Linea:

Fiat is renowned for their extreme focus on driving dynamics. While other manufacturers are moving with the times by adopting technologies such as electric steering systems, Fiat has stuck with the classics to create an unadulterated driving experience. A risky move, but a move that works. The Linea is an absolute joy to drive and provides a familiar driving experience.

Skoda Rapid:

The Skoda Rapid exhibits extremely similar driving dynamics as well. Despite this however, the Fiat Linea feels like the more well balanced of the two. The Czech car maker stated that the Skoda Rapid will act as the brand’s experimental platform here in India. This means that we may be seeing an array of new variants with all new equipment inside the cabin as well as under the hood.

Round 4 Winner: Draw !

Verdict:

The Fiat Linea is an extremely well balanced car in almost every aspect. Save for the nearly ordinary exteriors, the Linea offers superb engines and beautiful interiors. With an improved service center network and updated lineup, the Italian manufacturer may soon make a sizable dent in the Indian car market.

With the huge success of the Octavia and Superb, Skoda has honestly ignored a car that could have easily become No. 1 in its segment. This time hopefully, we might see a new and improved Rapid to take on cars such as the Linea, Verna and City. With Skoda’s design finesse coupled with VolksWagen’s engineering capability, the Rapid has the potential to become an icon of the masses, similar to what the original Octavia did for the company. Until then however, Fiat Linea is the clear winner.

 

Face Off: Nissan Micra vs Renault Pulse

The Renault Nissan Alliance has given birth to a vast array of cars for the Indian market. With an impressive (and almost identical) lineup of cars from both sides, one can be forgiven for his indecisiveness in choosing between the two brands. We take a look at the Nissan Micra and Renault Pulse to see which car is the better bet.

Design:

Nissan Micra:

The Micra was never the most appealing hatch in the Indian market. Its cute-sy design failed to impress and with cars such as the Fluidic i20 and Volkswagen Polo entering the market, the Micra was in need for a major revamp. That revamp came in the form of a makeover last year to improve its image among buyers.

blue 2013 nissan micra
The Nissan Micra Facelift Improves The Aesthetics of the Rather Uninspiring Predecessor

Although the latest facelift does improve the Micra’s looks, the car’s proportions still look out of place. However, with its aggressively styled headlamps and revamped rear end, the new Micra is a drastic improvement over the previous gen model. The Nissan hatch also comes with a new chrome grille and LED taillights that build on the car’s premium appeal.

white 2013 nissan micra rear
Rear View of the Nissan Micra

Renault Pulse:

Unlike Nissan, the French car maker has retained the original design of the hatchback. However, with subtle structural changes such as the re-sizing of the grille, altered contours and its large Renault badge, Renault has endowed the Pulse with a more masculine character.

Renault pulse review
The Pulse’s Altered Dimensions Add a Bit of Masculinity To The Hatch’s Appearance

However, with its dated design, the Pulse loses out to the more recent Micra facelift.

red renault pulse
The Pulse Is Quite Dated In Terms of Design and Equipment

Round 1 Winner: Nissan Micra !

Interior:

Nissan Micra:

Much of the new Micra’s facelift manifests itself with its interiors. The piano black center console and Nissan’s dual display system are the two most eye catching design elements of the Micra’s cabin. While the larger display is used by the infotainment system, the secondary screen displays the AC settings.

nissan micra interior
The Interiors of the Nissan Micra Facelift Look Far Better and More Upmarket Than the Pulse’s

The cabin is far more upmarket with updated plastics and aluminum finishes all over.

Renault Pulse:

The Pulse’s interiors are relatively rather dull and drab. The company’s choice of colors of beige and grey all over makes the Pulse’s cabin look quite cheap. The choice of plastics and fabric are not up to the mark as well.

nissan micra interior
The Interiors of the Nissan Micra Facelift Look Far Better and More Upmarket Than the Pulse’s

Since the Pulse and Micra share the same platform, the interiors of the Renault hatch are almost identical to the first generation Micra.

Round 2 Winner: Nissan Micra !

Engine:

Nissan Micra:

The Micra is powered by both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol variant make use of a 1.2 L three cylinder engine that produces 76 HP at 6000 RPM and 104 Nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. Although the 1.2 L petrol unit produces a respectable amount of power, the engine could do with some remapping for better accessibility of peak power and torque. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual with a CVT gearbox also available.

The diesel engine is a 1.5 DCi unit that produces 65 HP @ 4000 RPM and a peak torque of 160 Nm @ 2000 RPM. The diesel Micra is equipped with a 5 speed manual only.

Renault Pulse:

The Pulse uses the very same engines except for slight changes to the performance numbers. The 1.2 L petrol mill produces 74 HP @6000 RPM and 104 Nm of torque at 4000 RPM. The 1.5 L diesel mill outputs a peak power figure of 63 HP at 4000 RPM and 160 Nm of torque at 2000 RPM.

Although the Pulse produces slightly lesser numbers, the difference in power is almost negligible with no tangible differences in top speeds or acceleration rates.

Round 3 Winner: Draw !

The Drive:

Nissan Micra:

One major issue with any Nissan developed car is the stiff clutch. Although the clutch pedal and clutch movement feels sturdy, the Japanese automaker could have added a lighter movement to allow ease of use under heavy traffic conditions. The Nissan Micra’s compact structure means that the 1.2 L petrol is relatively quite powerful and the Micra that works well under heavy stress.

The inclusion of ABS across a majority of the models and the choice of two or four air bags means the Micra is also one of the safest hatches as well.

Renault Pulse:

The Pulse, although identical to the Micra improves on the Nissan hatchback’s driving dynamics. The clutch pedal had just enough pressure to not be a nuisance in city traffic but offered enough feel for accurate clutch movements. The engine was extremely responsive and just as much fun as the Micra. However, the brakes left much to be desired. The Spongy and vague feel greatly depreciates driver confidence.

Unlike the Micra, the Pulse slightly skimps on safety features such as ABS and airbags along a number of variants. Hopefully the French automaker will understand that safety is the need of the hour and introduce a better set of options in the Pulse’s next iteration.

Round 4 Winner: Nissan Micra !

Verdict:

Although both cars are almost identical, the results speak for themselves. The Nissan Micra is a newer offering that adds better safety options across a larger number of variants and its updated interiors are far more appealing than the Pulse’s dated beige cabin. The inclusion of an automatic gearbox also means that the Nissan Micra is an option to an increasingly automatic inclined audience.

Image Source: Internet