Fiat Avventura – Test Drive Review

Fiat Avventura Review

For over a year now the crossover or compact SUV Segment has been dominated by the Ford Ecosport. Before the release of this car however this segment was relatively untouched or unmarked territory for car makers in India. However with the large success of the Ecosport more car manufactures are bringing in crossover versions of their cars to the market. In 2014 Volkswagen came out with the Polo Cross and Toyota with the Etios Cross. Both these cars were largely based on the hatchbacks sold by the companies the Polo and the Etios Liva respectively. The next company to follow the trend is now Fiat. I understand that is a little late and my apologies for that. The car has been on the market for a little over a month now and like the polo cross and etios cross it doesn’t seem to have disturbed the throne held by the Ecosport much but its early days yet. However I can tell you that the Fiat Avventura has all the tools to dethrone the Ecosport. Only time will tell if that happens. The Avventura like the Volkswagen and Toyota offering in this segment is largely based on the Punto Evo on the outside as well as in. Its priced a little higher than the Punto Evo starting at Rs 5,99,064 (Ex-showroom Delhi) compared to Rs 4,55,724 (ex-Showroom Delhi). However you do get more for extra money you pay.

Coming to the whole concept of a crossover or a compact SUV, is too maximize space within the limits. All the cars in this segment feel a lot bigger than the cars they are based on. This is due to various changes made to the car. These cars can also be used for more adventurous activates. Although they may not be thoroughbred SUV’s they can tackle a bit off-road and still offer all the luxuries a hatchback offers. Now with the Avventura, Fiat says that with this car ‘Boring is Dead’. So lets see if it really does liven up things.

Fiat Avventura test drive review

Exterior

On the outside the Fiat Avventura looks a lot like the Punto Evo barring a few things which help distinguish it. The Skid Plate on the front bumper being one such feature. Its gives quite a macho look to the car and adds protection for when you start to feel a little adventurous. Next as you look towards the side of the car you will find the side body cladding which adds protection and yet again contributes to the macho look of the car but the plastic used does feel a bit hard and looks dull with some of the bright colors available with this car. Also you can’t help but notice the roof rails on the car.

One more feature which will most defiantly please the adventurous side of you is the roof rails. These roof rails can be used to carry your bike if you ever feel the need for a bike ride outside of town. Now coming to the most stand out difference. The spare wheel. Yes. The spare wheel in the Avventura is mounted on the tail gate in quite an ingenious way. In most crossovers or compact SUV’s the spare tire is mounted on the boot lid and since the wheel is quite heavy & to avoid inconvenience the boot is hinged on the side and opens like a door.

Fiat Avventura - Side profile

In the Avventura however the wheel is mounted on an Arm which is connected and hinged on the Rear Bumper not the boot lid. So when you try opening the boot the wheel is unlocked first. So all you got to do is pull the leaver on the handle of the spare wheel cover and move the wheel to the side and then open the boot as you would on a regular car. Sounds a bit complicated but you will realize that it also aids you in removing the spare wheel when needed. The Avventura also has a sporty exhaust tip which adds to the look of the car.

Fiat Avventura - Spare Wheel

The Overall shape of the car is borrowed from the Punto which is not such a bad thing. It has the perfect amount of curves which lend to a very smooth shape and is quite appealing to look at.

Fiat Avventura - Boot Lid

Interior

The Interior of the Avventura is the same in terms of layout to the ones found in the Punto Evo as well as the Linea. There are differences however. The most noticeable being the High Terrain Gauges. The gauges are found at the top of the centre console and consist of a compass, tilt meter and inclinometer. This feature is unique to the Avventura and is not available is any other car in its class. The compass is a fixed card one that gives directions every 45 degrees so if you want to know your exact heading then its best not to rely on this compass.

The tilt meter and inclinometer however work a lot more precisely. The next difference is the color scheme used for the dash. It doesn’t follow the black and beige color scheme followed in the other cars but where there was beige fabric on the dash you will now find a kind of camouflage colored fabric. However on the door panels a dark brown shade of fabric is used. This contrasting color scheme is something I found to be quite funky but wasn’t to my taste.

Fiat Avventura - Interior

The seats are quite soft but support for the legs if you are tall can be an issue. There is a bit more space on offer in both the front and rear in terms of legroom than in the Punto and also in terms of headroom. The feature list is the same as in the Punto with the exception of the High Terrain gauges which is available only with the Avventura. You get steering mounted controls, Trip meter, Aux & USB inputs for the Music system, Bluetooth ( Blue & Me from Microsoft ) with Voice recognition, Climate Control, Central Locking, etc… the list goes on quite a bit but yes this is quite a stocked car.

FIAT Avventura - High Terrain Gauges

There is a bit more boot space on offering thanks to the spare wheel being shifted and also you get ambient lighting which adds a touch of class to the whole car at night and gives a real calming atmosphere. The overall build quality of the cabin and interiors is a good but can be improved to the standards set by Volkswagen with the Polo Cross but no doubting the interior is definitely something that stays true to the theme of the whole car.

 Fiat Avventura - Rear Legroom

Engine & Driving Dynamics

Here is where you will find a bit more difference between the Punto Evo and the Avventura. The Avventura shares the same engines as the Punto Evo. The 92 BHP diesel and the 89 BHP petrol but changes have been made to the suspension and ride height of the car to make it more suitable to use off-road.

The Diesel engine being the more powerful and also having more torque than the petrol feels quicker although it does have a bit of turbo lag. But once you cross 2300 RPM it picks up speed quite well. The diesel engine is FIAT’s 1.3L Multijet engine. The engine has 92bhp to play with and this comes in @ 4000RPM and 207NM of [email protected] The Petrol is FIAT’s 1.4L Fire Unit and has a power rating of 89 BHP @6000 RPM and torque is rated at 115NM @4500RPM. The petrol engine does feel quite underpowered for this car. The Avventura is heavier than the Punto Evo for which the petrol engine felt adequate but the added weight really tells as the engine does seem to struggle to build speed when you put your foot down. The diesel is better in that regard thanks to the extra torque. The petrol Engine however is quite refined and makes a nice noise past 3000RPM. The diesel engine is not the best in terms of refinement when compared to its competitors but tops them for power and sportiness.

The Fiat Avventura has re-tuned suspension and raised ride height to serve its purpose as a compact SUV or CUV (Contemporary Urban Vehicle) as FIAT likes to call it. The new ride height is 205mm which is quite high. In fact it’s almost SUV territory. Now with this increased ride height the most obvious thing which will come to mind is that the handling of the car will have been compromised. It has but not to the extent you would imagine. The Fiat engineers have done a wonderful job in stiffening the suspension to minimize body roll but still maintain amazing ride quality. The Avventra soaks up the potholes and the bumps quite well and thanks to the SUV like ride height you won’t have to worry about the car bottoming out on any large speed breakers. This car can take the corners quite well too. There is a bit of body roll but the Avventura maintains it composure in the corners. The 16inch alloy wheels with 205/55 tires are to thank as well for that composure.

The steering is the same hydraulic unit as found in the Punto Evo. It allows the driver to place the car exactly where he wants it and is weighted beautifully. The feedback from the steering is the best in its class as well.

Areas For Improvement:

–          Interior Build Quality for Fiat cars has improved but needs to improve much more to keep pace with some of its competitors and some plastics are a bit hard.

–          The car needs more powerful engines. Its about time Fiat brought new Engines to India especially a petrol one.

Bottom Line:

The Fiat Avventura is a refreshing addition to the Crossover Segment. It’s a car built with a purpose and serves that purpose pretty well. It’s a very capable car to use for small off-road purposes and is defiantly well engineered. It should offer stiff competition to the Segment king the Ford Ecosport but like I said at the beginning. Only Time Will Tell.

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.

Toyota Etios Ownership Review

Future concept cars

It started off with a lot of tyro level research into the famous sedans offered in India. The battle is no longer about the price; in fact the spryness counts more than the Gandhi’s you offer. So started the rumination process of getting a new car.

The rifeness of Maruti is suffused all across India. But the year was 2012 and there weren’t any interesting models that attracted my attention. After various pretexts in order to elicit information came the name Etios. Surely enough Toyota has been prudent with its vehicles and service, but was the Toyota Etios really a great choice?

After loitering around the Toyota showroom and getting to know the Etios better, the car seemed a better choice than the usual Maruti addition in the garage. After several months, and numerous lists, Etios was the only name that was left on my list.

There was a bit of speculation about the diesel model over the petrol one. The Diesel model was pretty good to drive and the Silent yet powerful Japanese technology managed to create awe. But since we were more in favor of the Petrol model, we bought the Etios V.

After shooting out a million questions and inquiring about the Toyota Etios, the showroom people had shown a lot of interest. It is essential that you remain omniscient about the vehicle you get. It is always recommended that you get a Pre Delivery Inspection of your car. Once that was taken care of, the Car was delivered along with 2 keys and a wireless remote. The car has performed quite well and served my purpose really well till date.

Engine and Performance:

The Etios V is a mid range petrol sedan that is built with a lot of stability and power. A 1.5-liter petrol engine powers the car and produces 88.76 HP. The car also goes commando with a torque of 132 Nm. The Etios has an electronic fuel injection supply system which makes it quite a smooth sailor across the bumpy roads. The car has a double overhead clam shaft valve configuration along with 4-cylinders and 16 valves.

It is a 5-speed manual transmission sedan, which serves the family’s purpose quite well. I tried testing the car’s mileage performance too, sadly this is not as fuel efficient as the Maruti car but, it some how managed to give me a mileage of 9 kmpl in the city area (although the company claims that it should give me a mileage of 12-14, my car is always thirsty for petrol). I wouldn’t vouch completely on this but it has been my experience. I tried to put the pedal on the metal on a deserted road (to my surprise, the road had not even a single pot hole, may be because some politician lives close by :P)

The Etios took me from 0-100 in around 17 seconds. Although it can touch a 150 kmpl speed, I did not want to experiment that speed, considering the damages I would have to face at home 😀 Exteriors:

"Toyotal Etios V review" The Etios stands strong like nobody’s business and looks quite refreshing. Thanks to the new and refreshed radiator grille and the prominent Toyota logo. The vehicle has pretty neat looking headlights that dazzle the car’s front fascia. On the rear side of the Etios’ sturdy looking body is the radiant tail light that has turn indicators as well as courtesy lamp along with brake lamps.
"Toyota Etios V review" On the rear side, the company has left its insignia too. The Etios looks quite masculine and houses the right concoction of looks, elegance and appeal. At first glance, the Etios did look something different and it felt the same while driving. No matter how I spin this across, it completely depends upon your preference, mine lays with the Etios. Interiors and features: One reason I like the Etios over any other sedans that I had considered was its space. It easily fits in my family without having to worry about cramming up. The interior has decent fabric upholstery. Although it isn't the best, it feels comfortable on long drives. The boot space as well as the accommodation of the car is quite pleasing.
"Toyota Etios V Interior Space" My seat (driver) has height adjustment facility as well as a center armrest. What I like about the interiors is the dashboard placement. Its central placement has a spacious glove box along with an AC unit along with a music system. The music system is the right amount of disappointing, meaning that I would have to shell out a couple of grand’s on a better music system (what a rip off right?)
"Toyota Etios V Interior" There is an LCD fuel meter that features a digital clock along with a few informatics including a speedometer, tachometer and the digital trip meter. The music system houses a CD player along with FM radio support as well as USB connectivity. With a better music system and the right kind of subwoofers, the Etios would echo craziness.The electric power steering on the Etios makes driving simple. Owing to the heavy traffic and its perturbing conditions, the electric power steering helps a lot. The car has dual front airbags as well as the driver seatbelt notification system as a part of passenger safety (thankfully they have not popped out yet :D) the car also features key less entry, central locking as well as anti lock braking (the electronic brake’s force is equally distributed) and this makes it quite safe. My dad likes the advanced engine immobilizer device that safeguards the car and restricts unauthorized entry. Service: I get the car serviced once it touched 2000 Kilometers. I haven’t faced too many expenses. The car came with a 3 year or 1,00,000 km warranty along with 3 free services. The first service was done when the car had completed a month after getting the car, the car had not done 1000 kms then. The second service was done the succeeding year, although the car had touched 9400 kms then, the service was on the basis of duration. The Third service was done a few months earlier.  The services were supposedly free, then again a few negligible expenditures that were less than Rs. 3000 were incurred.
"Toyota Etios V side profile" Wrap up: I like the Etios for its safety features as well as the interior space of this car as opposed to competing cars in its category. What I dislike is the existing audio system that comes along with the car. A better audio system would have been spryer. Overall, this car is a great transition from my old Maruti Swift.

Itsy Bitsy Mini RocketMan

I’ve been a Mini fan ever since I laid my eyes on the mini cooper. But, just like the others, even I am not really convinced with its price.

The year was 2011, Geneva Auto Show had a miscellany of the newest eye catching cars that made a lasting impression. Among the displays was a concept that was mini (I literally mean that) and managed to make the fans go gaga over it.

New Mini Cooper
Image Source: www.carbuzz.com

Mini had unveiled the Rocket Man concept that invoked the ethos of aspirants globally at an extent of making its fans go nuts over it.The Cooper is alleged to be an ironically bigger compact car than the Rocket man (this might be the miniest mini)

The mini rocket man hasn’t made its debut past the concept phase yet. There had been speculations that the Rocket man project would be rocketed away. However, a few sources have given the fans some hope that the Rocket man would come to life soon.

THE ROCKETMAN

Measuring in at 11 feet and 3 inches, you can pretty much comprehend the eensyness  of the Mini Rocketman. But there is something interesting that mini offers; the rocketman is going to boast plentitude in the car’s interior, enough to accommodate four people.  Unbelievably so, the Rocketman’s cabin can be adjusted in such a way that it can easily fit in a 3+1 arrangement.

[caption id="attachment_2255" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Mini Rocketman Image Source: www.carbuzz.com[/caption] Mini stated that this new arrangement is going to be “an exceptionally efficient division of space” ( I just read that between the lines and I am not pretty sure that Indian’s are going to be very comfortable with that) Even mini claims that this task is challenging, but fun. Mini’s and similar looking vehicles are built for fun and the concept of “the more the merrier” applies to the Rocketman too (try stuffing in as many friends as you can) SAME DESIGN, NEWER ADDITIONS: You can recognize a mini when you spot one. The Rocket man albeit its size is a mini and just like any mini, the Rocket man has a clam-shell shaped hood, the design elements might be upgraded but, the prime focus of a Mini would pretty much be the same.
[caption id="attachment_2257" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mini Roketman Image Source: www.motorauthority.com[/caption] The Mini Rocket man concept has limpidly remolded the LED headlamps by introducing new and bright halogen lights, primping the roof; the all new transparent roof top which might or might not be a good idea, changing the tailgate, introducing new and impressive wheels, the new 18 inch wheels are as stunning as a girl in stilettos.  Albeit the size, the car looks extremely proportionate and in line with the technology and trend.
[caption id="attachment_2258" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mini Rocketman review Image Source: www.motorauthority.com[/caption] You might notice a mini from afar and chances are that during night you might consider it a normal hatchback car. However, that isn’t the case with the Rocket man. You might like it during the day, but night is when you would go head over heels for this baby. The lights are tucked comfortably into the chrome belt line making the interiors look as grand as the 4th of July. The car’s Union Jack is outlined with white light strips.( I am already in love with it)
[caption id="attachment_2256" align="aligncenter" width="640"]Mini  Rocket man exteriors Image Source: www.carbuzz.com[/caption] Mini has imbued the Rocket man with cosmetics, a make over and sheer excitement. The carbon fiber body supplants the emotions that the fans had for the previous mini’s. Carbon Fiber is the car’s arms and legs; this is one element that has been used magnanimously throughout (interiors and exteriors of the car) Being a model by nature and looks, this car would flaunt its beauty without worrying about the weight; the average fuel consumption would not be a concern too. The car will have a single center-mount tail pipe that is going to be tiny (literally sticking onto the theme of the car) PRICE: This is where our minds and hearts lie. Well, thankfully mini has realized that based on the size of the car, the price has to be directly proportional. The cooper and Countryman have a reputation of being the rich man’s car (at least in India) the mini Rocket man should cost lesser. Let us not get our hopes up just yet (wait till the Indian government grins at us while the price of this car is out) The Rocketman is going to be a fuel efficient car with uber chic features and a lot more to look forward to.
[caption id="attachment_2259" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mini Rocket man looks Image Source: www.motorauthority.com[/caption] BOTTOMLINE: The Mini Rocketman is going to be as conspicuous as a rocket. Although,Very little is known about the power of this mini package of stylish proportions is going to bring. Sources claim that this car might be announced during 2014 (still waiting)
[caption id="attachment_2260" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]Mini Rocketman review Image Source: www.motorauthority.com[/caption] Let us hope that car enthusiasts and fans alike get a mini chance to finally own this car 🙂

Virtual Exhilaration: An overview of Driveclub

Pagani Huayra in Driveclub

Cars in video games have been around for a few decades to cater to those gamer’s who are fans of the racing genre and want to drive their dream cars in real life locales or fantastical settings, virtually of course. Many video game companies strive to achieve an enjoyable racing game to appease gamer’s around the world, but a few stand out in the history of racing in video games.

In reality a minority of these games provide an authentic, moderately close to their real life counterparts experience. Some franchises place gamers in high speed chases which have a more arcadey feel to it, such as the hugely popular Need for Speed franchise. Others try to replicate actual tracks and cars faithfully from the sound of the car’s engine to the corners found at Nurburgring’s track. Gran Turismo and Forza Motorsport are well known established franchises that accomplish this. But there is a new competitor from Sony’s Playstation brand that is attempting to undermine these established games.

DRIVECLUB

The latest entry to join the massive assortment of racing games is Driveclub, a social and competitive game that tries to find that sweet spot between simulation and arcade. Driveclub is an exclusive game for Sony PS4 fans that brings together stunning real world locations and dream cars in a tidy package.

The developer behind this ambitious venture is Evolution Studios, a UK based company that has conceived other franchises such as World Rally Championship and MotorStorm. With the power of the current generation of consoles they claim to have achieved a whole new level of photo-realism. The environments and the cars have been painstakingly modeled and generated with high detail. There are a vast range of cars extending over classes such as hot hatches, sports, performance, super and hyper. Each class obviously differs in terms of performance and design.

The Cars

The hot hatches consists of popular cars such as the Audi A1 Quattro, Mini Cooper, Renault Clio RS, Volkswagen Golf GTi and the Volkswagen Beetle. The sports class has the Audi RS5, TT RS PLUS, Bentley Continental GT, Lotus Evora, Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG to name a few. The performance, super and hyper cars have a huge array of machines you can get your hands on such as the Alfa Romeo 4C, Aston Martin’s Vanquish and V12 Zagato, Ferarri’s California, 458 Italia, 430 Scuderia. Other car makers have also agreed to license their cars for the game and these vary from the Marussia B2, Savage Rivale GTR-S, Spania GTA Spano, Hennessey Venom GT, Gumpert Apollo Enraged and the RUF CTR3 Clubsport. The cars listed above are just a tiny part of the list of cars that are included in the full game.

Pagani Huayra in Driveclub
Pagani Huayra in Driveclub

Graphics

Artists in other racing games seek to model the best looking cars they can possibly achieve with the game engine while maintaining solid performance. In Driveclub the artists and modelers have hit their mark with depicting the cars in-game to their real life counterparts. A car in the game consists of about 2,60,00 polygons which is extremely dense compared to racing games in the previous generation. Each car takes an average of 7 months to create from the licensing to the actual car in-game. The features that mimic real life is absolutely mind-boggling. From the dirt and dust that gradually builds up during the race on the cars to the animation and rigging of the aero flaps found in the Pagani Huayra are exactly like in real life. Another interesting point to note is that Pagani employ seamstresses that are on the body of their cars and even have their name etched onto the screw heads, even these nuances are added into the game. The sense of speed that is shown in the game gives it the edge over the racers too.

The locations that are available to race in are Canada, Chile, Norway, Scotland and very surprisingly India. Each country has 11 tracks to test your skills and each offer stunning views. Norway and Scotland have the beautiful vistas you can race by and India has pristine lakes on the side with a flock of flamingos feeding that move naturally. Skies are generated uniquely everytime a race starts so that you never see the same sky twice and clouds react dynamically to wind speeds. Finally if you're racing around tracks in Norway or Scotland expect to see the Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights in the sky.

[caption id="attachment_3477" align="aligncenter" width="600"]McLaren MP4 - 12C  in Driveclub Showcasing Driveclub's dynamic weather system[/caption] Audio and Car Handling The audio in a game is another important aspect of racing games that are usually overlooked. In this game each car was fitted with 16 different microphones to capture the sound 360 degrees from inside and outside the car and even a few mics in the exhaust. When the camera is panned around the car, the engine reacts to your perspective and the sound shifts accordingly. Also each view of the car provides a different sound when inside the cockpit and outside the car. The recordings that Evolution Studios had were so accurate that BMW and Mercedez-Benz AMG requested copies to replace their existing libraries. Although not a simulator, Driveclub's handling model is based on real world cars and data provided directly by the manufacturers. Taking this into account a gamer with any amount of experience can easily get started without too much of a hassle. Evolution Studios worked with Thrustmaster, a company that specializes in steering wheels for games, closely to achieve a 1:1 movement between your hands and the steering wheel in-game.
[caption id="attachment_3478" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Cockpit in Driveclub Highly detailed cockpit views[/caption] Final Thoughts If you're a casual or hardcore gamer and if you're a car enthusiast, Driveclub will offer an unique and amazing experience for everyone that has a go at it. The game boasts of an enviable line-up of cars at launch, stunning visuals and a friendly online community that will most definitely get players addicted. More cars will be added at later dates as free downloadable content along with a dynamic weather system and a photo mode so you can admire your dream cars cruising along in stunning locales. The game is exclusive to Sony's PlayStation 4 and retails at Rs. 3,999 at most stores for physical and digital copies.

The New Mahindra Scorpio (India Launch)

New Mahindra Scorpio

When it comes to a long but comfortable journey, SUV’s are at the “leap and the lead”. Mahindra & Mahindra has kept this promise with comfort, safety and economy which reflects in its very successful model SCORPIO. But what next? isn’t there any trump card which M&M hides under its sleeves to beat features of a sedan? I hope there is one, so let me introduce New Mahindra Scorpio w105 with all new 118bhp 2.2-litre mHawk turbo-diesel engine hiding under a 17-inch alloy under the very same hood, but with a nose this time. This model ranges from 8.4 to 13.05 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). Now, What else can be expected than improved dynamic ability – when periodic updates have saturated you already? Well, this model can be considered a genuine leap forward over the current generation.

Talking about #LOOKS, I think the carried over roof and doors with the ‘nose’ above projector headlamps along with efficient LED eyebrows are enough to give a new identity to the w105.

Mahindra Scorpio

 

Traditional fan shaped grille is replaced by a modern one

Mahindra Scorpio

Now the #DYNAMICS, the all new chassis and suspension system with an easily deform-able ladder chassis is awesome… and on contrary it is overall much safer than ever. Supporting its powerful dynamics the 2.2- liters mHawk turbo-diesel engine is accompanied by its new 5mt 320 five-transmission, derived from Xylo. This model is also available with a 2.5-litre m2DiCr engine option. Available in Rear-wheel drive as standard and a 4*4 option.

#ENGINE

mHawk – tech collaborator AVL Austria. 2.2 FMTECH 4 – tech collaborator Daimler AG. Specifications classifies this engine as inline 4 and 2.2liters at 2179cc.

Mahindra Scorpio Engine

 

# FEATURES

This macho machine comes with,

– 6-inch Touch screen infotainment system with inbuilt GPS navigation

– Tyre-tronics

– Anti-lock braking system,

– Intellipark reverse assist

– New 5 speed manual transmission gearbox

– Dual front airbags

– New Panic Brake Indication

– New height-adjuster on driver’s seat

Mahindra Scorpio features

#INTERIORS

The new interiors with the light cream cabin feels more comfortable and top black finished dash prevents reflections, overall attractive interiors. A shift in power window control is more user friendly, now controls are on the doors modified from previous location the central console. Door handles are not much of an issue but they seem to be weak, but no need to worry as they are well tested in every possible scenario of emergency. Comparing interiors to international standards will not be fair enough while maintaining the bond between economies. We can say that in the tug of war between economy and luxury for M&M, economy always have an upper hand considering the major customers. Some flaws can be seen in design of interiors as poorly executed joints and still not up to scratch plastic. Off course, expecting this much will be a bit too much.

Mahindra Scorpio Dashboard

Now talking about #FUN FEATURES like I said about the trump card under the sleeves;

In the presence of flaws these features are ambient enough to groom the interiors with technological beauty of information and utility.

The six-inch infotainment touchscreen: Supporting the digital interface of sensors and car for the user, this display is promising, safe and provides easy navigation backed up by an inbuilt GPS system. Along with this there are parking sensors installed and integrated with the interface screen.

Tyre sensors: These are the thermostats inbuilt in the rim of the tyre that enables the driver to safely keep an eye on tyre temperature, this furthermore suits the SUV safety feature as these are designed to run furiously against the hot summers to the contrary cold winters. There is also a pre-alarming system to analyze the tyre pressure that tells exactly when to gas up air to the tyre.  Blessed with the all new interface and technically advanced features this SUV holds promise to at least compete the features of a sedan.

What #PEOPLE say?

Expecting minor changes like central locking system and bottle holders etc. there are some flaws that are minor but will continue to annoy the user each and every day.

There is still no central locking system in this new model. This is probably a good thing for some reasons: during accidents these central locking fails and locks the vehicle permanently, so if you want to break out- someone from the outside needs to break the glass for help. But still it is an important feature not to be ignored so easily.

Mahindra Scorpio

The front door and the narrow front seats are too close to each other, as per the opinion of test drivers- you need to open the doors to adjust the driver’s seat. But in my opinion there is no need to change driver’s seat adjustment daily, it is set once for each driver. So not much of an issue.

The rear bench seat is comfortable compared to previous model. New modifications are made for good thigh support with a high seating position and a finely adjusted backrest angle. The space in between the middle row is increased considerably by slimming down the seats and moving them back a little bit. The seats extend to the doors & are wide and makes overall travelling five up fairly comfortable. With too much thigh support on both the front and the rear seats the seat nearly mitigates all other interior flaws present. These combined features are so bright that typical strains like no bottle holders or poor joints are far too dim to notice.

The Scorpio even has a third row that faces each other and is safer and comfortable.

Mahindra Scorpio Front view

Technical Features: New Chassis and suspensions are a result of research on the spring system that includes tests on various springs with various stiffness but variable softness. That was a bit technical but this research allowed M&M in developing stiffer springs with soft materials. These features allowed this ultimate on and off road & a pleasant ride at low speeds. The rolling load behind you is only felt at high speeds.

Engine Noise: The all new improved mHawk diesel engine is a bit vibrant low below 1000rpm, but immediate power is still as smooth as on above rpm. The scenario is not as silent on or above 3800 rpm, it is actually a bit noisy on these rpm’s as the engine starts to strain on these powers. Talking about speed, this model is almost second and a half faster to 100kph than the earlier car. What is more disappointing is the gear box which feels quite notchy and needs extra shove to slot through the gate, and shifting gears is not a fun at all.

Model and options:

Model S-10

#Kit-Follow me-home Headlamp, tyre pressure warning system, speed alert system, rain and light sensors.

#Cruise control, steering-mounted audio control, touchscreen infotainment system with GPS, automatic climate control, height adjustable driver seat.

#Chrome garnishing on the front grille and AC vent and LED strips on headlamps.

Model S-8

#electrically adjustable wing mirrors, front fog lamp, rear parking sensors.

#a voice assist system, silver skid plate and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Model s-6 doesn’t get these but you have to choose in between economy and features.The line is so thin in between these models, but you can get 2-DIN music system, remote central locking, and sliding seats for middle row, rear wiper and defogger. A body controlled door handles can be found with wing mirrors and a rear spoiler and a roof rack. You cannot ask for much. But the model S-6 Plus trim gets dual front airbags. If you don’t compromise with safety over economy then S-6 Plus trim is the model.

Mahindra Scorpio

Other models are based on engine with two categories with 2.5 liter m2DiCr engine powering Model S-2 trim, while the other 2.2-liter mHawk mill will be powering Model S4,S6,S6 Plus,S8 and S10 trims. The S2 trims come equipped with basic necessities like air-conditioning, power steering, power window, central locking and 15-inch steel wheels.

Image source:

www.autocarindia.com;www.cartoq.com;auto.ndtv.com

Mahindra Thar-ownership review

Mahindra Thar CRDe is a vehicle for adventures people who would like to explore. And I am sorry to say that it does not meet the needs for the other category of people. It is an affordable four wheel drive vehicle by the Indian middle class. I bought the vehicle in Sep 2013 since then it has completed 14500 km. Back then the vehicle had come with an on road price tag of Rs8,30,000.

Exterior design

The beauty of the car is indescribable. It is an admirable piece of architecture. The suv looks pretty much as its predecessor the mm540 DP, there is nothing much changed in terms of exterior design, apart from broad tyres. The car can be customized as desired by the owner, and you can keep doing it as long as you run out of money, because there are a lot many custom parts available in the market to meet your taste. Buying the vehicle is only a small part, customizing it is the major challenge. When you open the doors of the vehicle you get the same sound like in the old jeeps, and I am happy that Mahindra has made it a point to keep it in the present model.

Mahidra Thar front view

Undesirable Interiors

The Thar CRDE has the same dashboard as the Bolero, which is a bit disappointing as people would like something different for a vehicle that looks so appealing from the outside. The vehicle comes with air conditioning and heater as standard. The Thar looks very outdated from the inside. To feel like you are in the 21th century, you have to customize your interiors as well.

The dashboard is made of poor quality plastic and it has a very bad finish quality. The air blower cannot be adjusted for the flow of air to the driver and the co-driver, it is a major setback in the vehicle. It has no electric windows, no cigarette lighter, and it has no indication when the doors are opened, and it has no indication for the seat belt. The steering cannot be adjusted. To say it in one word its “rubbish” on the inside. It is a very bad impression for Mahindra. Jeep is a vehicle that owns a great reputation all around the world, and it’s not very pleasant to see Mahindra destroying it.

The rubber is out of place in the period of just six months.
The rubber is out of place in the period of just six months.
poor interior quality
poor interior quality

Driving experience

Good

The Thar has a 2400cc engine which has good torque and in no time you are into higher speeds as and when you press the accelerator. This attribute comes at the cost of greater fuel consumption. Overall the engine feels very refined and smooth. The braking characters are very good, the vehicle comes with front discs and rear drum brakes. If you would ask me what I like about the vehicle it would be the front end, because it has individual front double wishbone suspension which keeps the vehicle planted to the ground while off road. The vehicle has good off road ability, it handles any terrain with ease and it is gives you the that adventures feeling while you drive.

Bad

It handles very well at high speeds on the tarmac unless you meet pot holes or obstacles on the road, because it goes uncontrollable when you come across obstacles. When you travel at speeds above 50 kph, you come across hearing the soft top battering, no matter how many speakers you install you just wont be able to hear your music. The rear suspension is a leaf spring suspension. It is not very comfortable for occupants while traveling on uneven surfaces or bumpy roads. When you come across bumps while traveling at descent speeds you feel as though there are many loose components.

As the vehicle has a powerful engine you end up getting very poor mileage. On the highway you might get around 12 to 13 kmpl if drive below 80kmph, in the city will get 8 to 9 kmpl. If you have money constrains this might worry you a lot.

Service

Mahindra does not  have the facility to service the Thar in most of its centers, you have to be prepared to go miles to service your vehicle if you would like to own one. I am not very satisfied with the quality of service that Mahindra offers. The only thing that is done is the replacement and toping up of fluids, the vehicle is not washed, in fact the service station where I service my car does not even have a hydraulic facility to wash the vehicle. As it has been free service so far I am not sure what might turn out to be the Maintenance cost.

Overall vehicle build quality

The material and the paint job is done brilliantly, but there are many small details that is not very pleasant to view. The door beading’s are not of good quality, and during rain, water seeps through the door beading’s. The window seals are not of good quality either. The car’s hood beading is also not good and it is not fitted properly.

My car had coolant leaking in the first 1000kms itself. The clutch pedal rubber had come off the pedal. The quality of material used is very poor, they tend to fail very often. Mahindra has not taken good care in building the vehicle, and not taken any efforts in testing it before it reaches the customer. This vehicle is not built as rugged as the mm540, and I can tell you that because we had owned one.

Mahindra Thar CRDE

Conclusion

This vehicle is not worth the price tag, since it has no competition I believe Mahindra is taking this car leniently. Producing cars of such low standards is a bad reputation for the company. I had already sent an email stating the problems but the company has not given any response so far. I would be happy if Mahindra considers customer feedback and rectifies the problems. For people who would like to buy the Thar I would suggest you take a detailed inspection, and if it meets your needs, you can go ahead in buying the vehicle.

Faceoff: Volkswagen Polo vs Hyundai Elite i20

2013 volkswagen polo

The Volkswagen Polo is a model that has cut its teeth in a cut-throat segment for years now. The car has proved its mettle and lived up to the reputation of the stable it comes from. With the latest facelift, the Polo has proved that even small tweaks can make a car a whole lot more of  luring prospect.

But what happens when the segment is overtaken by a callow competitor making its entry for the first time? The Hyundai Elite i20 may be new but it has managed to validate itself in a very short time by garnering a whopping 15,000 bookings in a month following its launch. So how do these two rivals fare when put head-to-head? Let’s find out.

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

EXTERIOR

The Hyundai Elite i20’s new “Fluidic 2.0” design looks very smart. The wide swept back headlamps, alloy wheels, and chrome finish door handles lend the car a bold and elegant appearance. One also gets to see electrically adjustable outside rear view mirrors which come with integrated turn indicators in front. The beautifully designed tail lamp combination gives the Hyundai Elite an aggressive look from the side profile.

Although the Volkswagen Polo does not come with much transformation in its latest form, it still holds a strong command over its visual appeal, which makes it a very strong contender in its segment. Few distinctive changes which can be seen are- artistic dual beam headlights covered with a posh black layer, 16inch alloy wheels, a beautifully designed front grille and tail lights. The rear hasn’t been tampered with much and it’s quite a task to tell the new Polo apart from its predecessors on this aspect.

But at the end of the day, the Elite i20 is a model that comes of looking better thanks to a fresh design which dares to defy what’s worked for it in the past.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 3.5

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

INTERIORS

The Volkswagen Polo’s interior changes are next to nil. The minor modifications that have been made include the additional SD card reader, silver trimmed dashboard, and the newly designed steering wheel, which contributes to the ambiance of the cabin. The major drawback of the Polo is the lack of space in the rear seat due to scooped off front seats as it comes with a 13 mm longer wheel base. There is also insufficient room for knee and shoulder at the rear .

The new Hyundai Elite i20 simply seems to be unbeatable in this segment in terms of the features and equipment it packs in. A chilled glove box, two 12V power outlets, telescope adjusted steering, 1GB inbuilt memory and a rear view parking camera are just some of the many entries on the model’s list of features. It also screams ahead in terms of rear seat comfort, as it is more spacious and provides more comfort than the Polo.

Once again, it is the youthful Elite i20 that edges past. Its interiors are welcoming and comfortable. For those who like to have a lot of bells and whistles to play with as part of the drive experience, the Elite i20 offers features up in spades.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 4

2014 Volkswagen polo

ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE

The major change to be seen in the new Volkswagen Polo is their upgraded engine. It now comes with a 1.5 litre diesel powerplant that puts out 90PS of power and 230Nm of torque. It comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox.  It attains a three digit speed with an ease and tends to be very smooth. The tactile feedback is intuitive and reactions measured and brisk. It also turns out to be an absolute comfort to push to higher speeds on open roads.

On the other hand, the Hyundai Elite i20 comes with a 1.4 liter CRDi engine as the previous versions. It also puts out 90PS of power but offers a torque of 220Nm, slightly less compared to the Polo. But this one comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox, which makes it a slight challenge for the driver to maintain rectilinear motion when pushing the car.

While the Elite i20 may have a slight edge in the cosmetic departments, it is the Polo that impresses with its reliable performance and ability to ride the torque curve. Add to this its well sprung suspension and comfortable cockpit, and the Polo trumps the Elite i20 in this department.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4

Volkswagen Polo: 4.5

 Volkswagen polo signal light left

FUEL EFFICIENCY AND PRICE

When it comes to one of the most essential parameters of comparison, that is the mileage, the Elite i20 is slightly ahead. The new Volkswagen Polo offers a mileage of 20.1 kmpl.  The new Elite i20 is slightly more economical in its use of fuel, yielding a mileage of 21.9 kilometers per liter.

The new Hyundai Elite i20 diesel variant starts at 7.66 lakhs, while Volkswagen Polo diesel variant is around Rs.30,000 rupees cheaper.

Hyundai Elite i20: 4.5

Volkswagen Polo: 4.5

VERDICT

This face-off has proved to be an interesting one given that these cars each have their individual strengths and weaknesses in different departments. With the Polo, Volkswagen has managed to stick to their trend ie. manufacturing powerful engines. The Hyundai Elite i20 has a done a phenomenal job in its styling, space and equipment. If you want to enjoy your drive, Volkswagen’s Polo best suits you. But if you tend to hunt for a value package which best suits you and your family standards, then the Hyundai Elite i20 is the way to go.

Faceoff: Hyundai Grand i10 vs Maruti Suzuki Celerio

grand i10 interiors

The Maruti Suzuki Celerio is a car that amassed a huge following even before it had been launched or was even officially unveiled. India’s first Automated Manual Transmission-  this tag was enough to make the Celerio talk of the town. A manual gearbox which behaves like an automatic; everyone wanted to know what sorcery was behind this ingenuous technology. There were many car makers of international renown showcasing some of the swankiest cars in the industry at the 2014 India Auto Expo, but it was the Celerio that drew the largest, most raucous crowd.

The Hyundai Grand i10 is a car which entered the Indian market with an illustrious short history of being a hit in the European market and being the recipient of many awards behind it. It is so rich in features and high on performance that very few can compete with it on paper. However, real-world conditions bring a different side to every car. So here’s a look at how the Maruti Celerio stacks up against the Hyundai Grand i10.

hyundai grand i10

DESIGN

The Hyundai Grand i10 is clearly much larger than the Celerio in almost every aspect, except for the height. The Grand i10 possesses a very classy and modern appearance and is the more appealing of the two cars. The Celerio  takes after the likes of the Alto, Estilo and A-Star, and seems to combine the various design elements these cars sport. There isn’t much to differentiate the Celerio from the rest of the company’s portfolio in the design department. When compared with the Grand i10, it seems to be outdated given the manner in which it is reminiscent of the Maruti models of yesteryear.

Hyundai Grand i10: 4

Maruti Suzuki Celerio: 3

 Hyundai grand i10 interiors

INTERIOR

The Celerio comes with an attractive interior design which is more or less similar to what is offered on other Maruti models. Despite being above average on the interiors front, the Celerio simply doesn’t stand a chance against the Grand i10. The Hyundai Grand i10 comes with a fully loaded interior package which includes a 1 GB storage for multimedia, push button start, rear AC vents, electrically adjusted rear view mirror, rear parking sensors and much more.The Hyundai also trumps the Maruti Celerio in terms of quality of its interior and the impact it has on the drive experience. The Celerio being a bit taller than the Hyundai Grand offers a good amount of head room. However, due to  its improper rear spacing there is insufficient leg room for passengers at the back.

Hyundai Grand i10: 4.5

Maruti Celerio: 3.5

maruti celerio red

ENGINE & PERFORMANCE

It isn’t just on features and equipment that the Grand i10 is way ahead. Hyundai’s premium hatch also takes the cake when it comes to performance parameters. The Celerio works on a 998cc engine called K-Next by Maruti. The grand is powered by a 1.2 L engine with VTT. Their engines are simply incomparable. The Hyundai Grand has a peak power output of of 83 PS and offers a torque of 119Nm. On the other hand, the Maruti Celerio produces 67 PS and 90 Nm torque. Another major drawback of the Celerio is its light weight. Due to this it produces a lot of vibration in its gear handle, steering wheel and the seats. The auto gear shift version in the New Maruti Celerio is the only advantage which the Celerio poses over Hyundai Grand i10. The Hyundai hatchback uses a 4-speed automatic gearbox compared to Celerio’s 5-speed manual one.

Hyundai Grand i10: 4.5

Maruti Celerio: 3.5

side Maruti Celerio

FUEL EFFICIENCY AND PRICING

Finally a point under which Maruti has an opportunity to come off looking the better of the two cars . Maruti claims a mileage of 23.1 kmpl on the Celerio, even for its automatic manual gearbox version. This is where the Celerio grabs an edge over the Hyundai Grand i10. The Hyundai Grand has a mileage of 18.9kmpl, considerably below what is offered by the Celerio.

The Hyundai Grand i10 is set at a price of Rs 4.29 lakh to Rs 6.4 Lakhs. The Celerio is much better suited to the budget minded and its price ranges from Rs. 3.76 to 4.79 Lakhs.

Hyundai Grand i10: 3.5

Maruti Celerio: 4

VERDICT

After going through all the specifications of both the cars, it is easily understood that the Maruti Celerio fails to pose a serious threat to the new Hyundai Grand i10. Maruti has focused a lot of its energy on the AMT and the other facets of the car that seem to have been neglected in the process. A smaller budget is the only thing that is going to keep buyers in the segment from choosing the Celerio over the Grand i10. For those looking to make a purchase in the segment, it is advisable to wait and save up for the Grand i10. Be it features or handling and performance, the Hyundai hatch offers a superior experience.

Faceoff: Maruti Ciaz vs Honda City

At the India Auto Expo 2014, there was one car at the Maruti stall which looked like it didn’t quite belong there. Maruti has come to symbolize efficiency and practicality, but design daring isn’t something we’d associate with the King of the Indian automobile industry. However, the Maruti Ciaz concept was such a striking model that it elicited at least a double take from those who happened to catch a glimpse of it. But of course, in the transition from flamboyant concept to road-going car, some of the flare has been lost. Be that as it may, the Ciaz is a combination of Maruti’s perennial mastery of efficiency in a shell that is a product of their newfangled absorption with design.

Understandably, with the launch of new Ciaz in the market, Maruti has very high hopes over its success. But, the battle’s not going to be easy as it has to compete with the Honda City, a car that has made a comeback and how. For a manufacturer that has conventionally rode the success wave with small cars, Maruti is treading relatively new ground with the launch of the Ciaz. Whether the Maruti Ciaz is ready to take on the 2014 Honda City comes down to a number of factors. Let’s look at how these two models stack up.

2014 city red

EXTERIOR

The latest Honda City has been fully carved with a new design from the bumpers to the rear of the car. The large chrome grille, razor sharp lines all over its body, and the outstretched tail lamps gives it a more edgy appearance than we’ve seen from its successors. But surprisingly, Maruti doesn’t trail too far behind. The Ciaz is not City but it does have a lot going for it in the looks department. The widened chrome grille, smart projector headlamps, and its curves are different compared to the other big cars. The features are a lot more rounded as compared to the angular relations in the City. It also has a sleek side profile, and a crease line which is a lot straighter when compared to the one the City sports.

The Ciaz is the best-looking car to ever come from the Maruti stable. The Honda City has always been known for its cosmetic capabilities. It does come as a surprise to see how well the Ciaz performs against the City in terms of its exteriors.

New Honda City : 4 Maruti Ciaz: 4

interiors-honda-city INTERIORS AND EQUIPMENT Both the cars share certain features in them such as the push button start/stop, climate control, rear AC vents, and multimedia controls incorporated over the steering wheel with Bluetooth telephony. The  510 litre boot is also something the two have in common. The beige interiors finish in the Maruti Ciaz lend it a light an airy feel. At the dashboard, it is incorporated with a touch screen infotainment system with satellite navigation. It also has rear parking sensors, and a sun-blind for rear windscreen. Meanwhile, the new Honda City also gets upgraded interior in its latest iteration, with a new gloss black finish with fine quality and texture. It is the best in its class, and is best known for its interior designing in the upcoming years. It also offers a sunroof as an additive feature over the Maruti Ciaz on its top variant. Unlike the exteriors, the competition isn’t as close on the interiors front. The Ciaz gets a lot right but simply cannot match the extravagant City. New Honda City : 4.5 Maruti Ciaz: 4  
2015 maruti suzuki ciaz ENGINE AND PERFORMANCE The new Honda City comes with a 1.5 litre i-VTEC engine compared to the 1.4 litre K-series Ciaz's engine. The Ciaz develops 92 PS, whereas, the new Honda City develops peak power of 119 PS, which is a whopping 27 PS greater than that of the Ciaz. Clearly, the City comes off better on paper, and continues to maintain a powerful engine as it has since previous generations. The Maruti Ciaz offers better a good suspension setup and a fair amount of on the drive. However, when it comes to the pickup, the new Honda City leaves the Ciaz far behind. The 27 PS greater power output begins to reveal itself in the form of more power on tap and better lift off the blocks. But the Ciaz does provide better grip with its huge 195 section tyres as compared to the City's 175 section tyres. Thus the City under-steers a bit on corners but does do pretty well when the brakes are required to kick in. New Honda City : 4 Maruti Ciaz: 3.5
 rear view maruti suzuki ciaz MILEAGE AND PRICING The manufacturers of the Maruti Ciaz claim that this product provides the best mileage in its segment. The petrol variant of the Ciaz is said to have a mileage of 20.7kmpl, and the diesel variant offers 26kmpl. According to the ARAI figures, the new Honda City offers a mileage of 17.8kmpl in the petrol variant and 25kmpl is the diesel variant. The new Honda City ranges between 7.20 to11.06 lakhs. Maruti’s Ciaz comes in with a price that starts 20,000 below the City. The Ciaz’s price ranges from 6.99 lakhs to 9.80 lakhs. New Honda City: 3.5 Maruti Ciaz: 4 VERDICT For a newcomer, the Maruti Ciaz does extremely well against the New Honda City. On most parameters  that matter in the Indian market, the Ciaz matches up to or even outperforms the City. It eventually comes down to how a buyer perceives a car. For those who need a dependable commuter, the Ciaz is the way to go. For the enthusiasts and those who like to focus on the nuances, the City is a great choice.