Face Off: Tesla Model S vs Cadillac ELR

One cannot have a conversation about the future of cars without talking about Tesla and one cannot discuss the history of cars without mentioning Cadillac. In this decade, the two motor companies produce cars that battle it out in the same price brackets in the United States of America. We take a look at what makes the better car: the past or the future?

Exterior

Tesla Model S:

Design-wise, the Tesla Model S is one of the most underrated cars of the 2010’s. Its sleek, uncluttered profile is often missed in the vast swathes of loud, tempestuous designs of current petrol driven sports coupes and luxury cars. The Model S’ subtlety is a welcome breath of fresh air in a cloudy atmosphere of brashness.

Tesla Model S P85D
The Tesla Model S is an elegant, understated super sedan

The smooth curves that define the sedan perfectly integrates the front grille along with the brand’s insignia up front with the gently swooping roof ending in an almost inconspicuous boot-lip spoiler. Unlike electric cars from conventional manufacturers such as Fiat, VW, Mercedes Benz and Audi, the Model S has been designed from the ground up to be an electric car. As such, the four door sedan’s body has been developed to make optimal use of its electric motors to reduce load on the batteries.

Cadillac ELR:

The Cadillac ELR is almost the anti-Model S. While the Tesla sedan plays with themes of minimalism, the very first hybrid Caddy is all muscle and drama through and through. The hybrid Cadillac’s large vertically stacked headlights and even larger grille endows it with a road presence rivaled only by supercars.

The Cadillac ELR is a sumptuous blend of muscle and luxury unseen in this segment
The Cadillac ELR is a sumptuous blend of muscle and luxury unseen in this segment

The rear end of the hybrid Cadillac is far more restrained and complements the raucous front end rather well. Unlike most sedans, the Cadillac ELR sports its reverse parking light as a separate unit found in the center on the lower half of the bumper. The boot-lip spoiler features a secondary brake light that runs along the width of the car further enhancing its road presence.

Winner: Cadillac ELR

Interior

Tesla Model S:

Tesla’s minimalist approach continues on the inside as well. Save for the sterring mounted controls and hazard indicator button, the Model S features no buttons whatsoever. The dashboard features a single large portrait oriented tablet as the main (and only) control panel for the electric sedan’s various features such as air conditioning, driving modes, GPS navigation and even the car manual.

The Model S' interior is very minimal
The Model S’ interior is very minimal

The rest of the cabin is a sleek combination of woodwork, leather and aluminum that provides a sense of luxury without invading the personal space of its occupants. The spacious rear seats even provide a 2+1 seating arrangement aiding in the Model S’ practicality. Similar to high end Bimmers, the touchscreen infotainment system is slightly aligned to the driver’s side producing a more driver centric cabin.

Cadillac ELR:

The Cadillac ELR’s interior is a seductive blend of wood, leather, aluminum and gloss. The dizzying array of buttons, knobs and switches is a far cry from the completely bare Tesla Model S. While the Tesla Model S focuses more on themes of luxury and comfort, the all black interior and aluminium and faux carbon fibre panels of the Cadillac ELR attempts to be a sportier looking model.

Themes of luxury and sportiness continue inside the cabin as well
Themes of luxury and sportiness continue inside the cabin as well

Unlike the Model S’ four plus five seating, the center console of the ELR runs straight through the middle providing a limousine style travel experience for rear passengers.

Winner: Cadillac ELR

Under the Hood

Tesla Model S:

Here is where the Tesla Model S really comes into its own. The Model S provides unimaginable performance figures for an electric car and rivals that of supercars. Powering the range topping variant is a pair of engines each residing on either end of the car. With a combined total power output of an astounding 691 hp, the Model S holds a zero to hundred time a mere 3.2 seconds. Power is sent to all four wheels via a one speed transmission.

Cadillac ELR:

This is where the Cadillac loses to the Model S. While the Tesla produces numbers that give even current generation supercars a run for their money, the ELR is basically a reskinned front wheel drive Chevy Volt. As such, the hybrid drivetrain produces a meek 217 hp and a peak torque figure of 295 lb-ft. 

Under the Cadillac's bonnet
Under the Cadillac’s bonnet

Winner: Tesla Model S

Verdict

Despite the Tesla Model S losing out in terms of sheer visual spectacle, the power driving the wheels, four wheel drive system and the wide range of variants to choose from puts the electric sports sedan right on top and serves as a benchmark that other manufacturers should follow while developing EVs of their own.

Face Off: Fiat Abarth Punto vs VW Polo GTI

The dawn of the hot hatch segment is finally upon us. With the launch of the Polo GT twins, VW kick started a segment long awaited for by petrolheads of our country. Sadly however, buyers looking to get themselves something fast and hatch-y had their choices limited to the Polo GT alone.

With Fiat finally launching its Abarth sub-brand here in India, we finally have a worthy competitor to the incredibly impressive VW Polo GT. Volkswagen, not one to fall too far behind is already planning to launch another, more powerful variant of the Polo hatchback. This time, the German car maker will bring in the Polo GTI. Today, we compare the upcoming Fiat Abarth Punto and the soon to be revealed Polo GTI to see which hot hatch comes out on top.

Exterior

Fiat Abarth Punto:

The Fiat Abarth Punto borrows its shell from the current gen Punto Evo. As a result, the upcoming car closely resembles its more pedestrian sibling. Visual changes include signature Abarth racing strips along the lower length of the car, Scorpion badging in place of the Fiat logos at the front and back, red ORVMs and scorpion alloys.

At launch, the Fiat Abarth Punto will be one of the fastest hatches in the Indian market
At launch, the Fiat Abarth Punto will be one of the fastest hatches in the Indian market

For the Indian market’s love of flash and chrome, the Italian car maker revamped the Punto’s instantly recognizable, understated character to produce something that appeals to a wider audience. As such, the new Fiat Punto Evo bore a few more sharper angles and a lot more chrome. While some may argue that the new Evo’s bells and whistles allow for greater road presence, the Punto Evo does lose a bit of the classic Punto charm.

VW Polo GTI:

VW’s next big game changer for the Indian market will be the Polo GTI, an even faster variant of the Polo. Volkswagen’s understated design philosophy continues with the Polo GTI as well. Critical changes to the front end include the instantly recognizable GTI badge on the grille, reworked lower bumper and a red accent across the grille.

VW's answer to the Abarth Punto, the Polo GTI will hit dealerships much later and will have to play catch up
VW’s answer to the Abarth Punto, the Polo GTI will hit dealerships much later and will have to play catch up

The rear features chrome plated dual exhaust tips and an all new rear diffuser with a sole chrome GTI badge adorning the trunk of the car. Volkswagen has also endowed the Polo GTI with sporty avantgarde alloys.

While the cosmetic upgrades may not be far too evident, the small changes build on the Polo’s “sleeper” character.

Winner: VW Polo GTI

 

Interior

Fiat Abarth Punto:

The interiors of the Abarth Punto remain largely unchanged with Fiat making subtle changes to the color scheme and badging. The tastefully executed cabin of the Punto Evo is now provided with a touch of sportiness providing occupants with a more enriching experience.

Abarth badges are present all over the interior as well
Abarth badges are present all over the interior as well

VW Polo GTI:

The VW Polo GTI features an all black cabin with red contrast stitching that aid in enhancing the car’s sporty character. The aluminium accented flat bottomed steering wheel and large toucschreen infotainment system add to the premium feel of the cabin. However, similar to most VW cars, the design feels far too clinical and lacks a bit of flair that has come to be expected of high performance cars.

The interior of the VW Polo GTI
The interior of the VW Polo GTI

Winner: Fiat Abarth Punto

 

Engine

Fiat Abarth Punto:

Powering the Fiat Abarth Punto will be a turbocharged 1.4 l four cylinder petrol mill that churns out 140 hp and 200 Nm of torque. The powerful engine is mated to a conventional 5 speed manual gearbox which sends power to the front wheels. To improve handling characteristics, the Abarth Punto sits lower than the standard car and comes with disc brakes for all four wheels and stiffer suspension.

The T-Jet engine that powers the Abarth Punto
The T-Jet engine that powers the Abarth Punto

VW Polo GTI:

The VW Polo GTI houses a 1.8 l turbocharged four cylinder petrol engine that churns out 192 hp @ 6200 rpm and  236 lb-ft (319 Nm) of max torque @ 1450 rpm. International variants of the Polo GTi are offered with both a six speed manual gearbox as well as a seven speed dual clutch automatic gearbox.

VW's tried and tested TSI engine makes an appearance in the Polo GTI as well
VW’s tried and tested TSI engine makes an appearance in the Polo GTI as well

Verdict

The Volkswagen Polo GTI will by far be the more powerful hatch. However, with only a few test mules spotted over the past six months, it is unlikely that the hardcore GTI variant of the Polo will land on Indian shores anytime soon.

Fiat has managed to already showcase the Abarth Punto in its production specifications and will launch the hot hatch sometime during the festive season.

Face Off: Ford Figo Aspire vs Honda Amaze

The sub 4 meter segment has been picking up immense pace here in India. With numerous sedans and even SUVs occupying this sector of the market, buyers have an immense array of vehicles to choose from. Currently,the Honda Amaze is the new leader in the sedan sub-section of the 4m segment with the Hyundai Xcent and Maruti Suzuki Swift DZire hot on its heels. The year 2015 marks the entry of American auto heavyweight Ford into this highly lucrative yet ultra competitive segment of the Indian market. With the launch of the Figo Aspire, Ford hopes to reclaim some of its lost glory from the Koreans and Japanese. We pit the all new Ford Figo Aspire against the highly sought after Honda Amaze to see whether the American sedan has what it takes to come out on top.

Exteriors

Ford Figo Aspire:

The design of the Ford Figo Aspire was first previewed with the Ka Concept car showcased at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. Up front we have Ford’s now signature horizontally slatted grille flanked by large muscular headlights. The car evidently lacks a bit of flair however, it is by no means a disappointing design. It is equal parts aggressive and subtle.

The Figo Aspire fights in the same sub 4m segment as the Honda Amaze
The Figo Aspire fights in the same sub 4m segment as the Honda Amaze

Honda Amaze:

The Honda Amaze borrows heavily from the manufacturer’s Brio hatchback. While some may argue that the results are far from appealing, the Amaze manages to produce a harmonious mix of aggressive cuts and effeminate curves. However, the Amaze too falls short in this segment.

The Honda Amaze has been a massive hit among Indian buyers since its launch
The Honda Amaze has been a massive hit among Indian buyers since its launch

Winner: Draw

Interiors

Ford Figo Aspire:

Fans familiar with the EcoSport and Fiesta’s cabin will instantly feel at home inside the new Ford Figo Aspire. The American car maker has employed roughly the same layout for its all new compact sedan. The interiors are a conventional combination of beige and black with the dashboard featuring Ford’s SYNC infotainment system and a three spoke steering wheel fitted with the now common steering mounted controls for audio playback and Bluetooth connectivity. Despite being a budget offering, the large multi-function display and the gloss black finish on the steering wheel and the center console provides the Figo Aspire with an upmarket feel.

The interiors of the Figo Aspire is far more upmarket than its rivals
The interiors of the Figo Aspire is far more upmarket than its rivals

Due to the compact nature of the sedan, rear leg room may prove a little too less for tall passengers. However, the beige color scheme provides an airy feel to the Ford Figo Aspire’s cabin. The interior features numerous cubby holes and compartments for miscellaneous items.

Honda Amaze:

The Honda Amaze features a slightly underwhelming cabin. Honda’s stock music system offers minimal features and the control knobs for the air conditioning system feel far too low-cost. With Honda sticking to a strict budget, the cabin of the Honda Amaze feels a little drab with no striking or radically innovative design elements present. However, Honda has made clever use of slightly thinner seats with more padding allowing for a more spacious cabin than most sub-4m sedans. The increased leg room coupled with the beige interior of the cabin delivers an illusion of mid-size sedan. However, the lack of rear AC vents may result in slightly uncomfortable rides with too many passengers sitting in the rear seats.

Honda has made small adjustments in seat width and choice of materials to provide the maximum space possible for the Amaze's occupants
Honda has made small adjustments in seat width and choice of materials to provide the maximum space possible for the Amaze’s occupants

Winner: Ford Figo Aspire

Under the Hood

Ford Figo Aspire:

Ford offers both petrol and diesel variants for the Ford Figo Aspire. The petrol driven Figo sedan if available in two flavors: a modest 1.2 l four cylinder mill that churns out 87 bhp @ 6300 RPM and 112 Nm @ 4000 RPM and a more powerful 1.5 l unit that produces an impressive 110 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 136 Nm @ 4250 RPM. The American car manufacturer offers a sole diesel engine in the form of a 1.5 l TDCi mill that produces a segment standard 99 bhp @ 3750 RPM and 215 Nm @ 1750 RPM.

Ford offers one of the widest array of engine options to choose from
Ford offers one of the widest array of engine options to choose from

While the base petrol variants and all diesel models of the Figo Aspire are offered with a 5 speed manual gearbox, the range topping 1.5 l petrol variant of the sedan comes fitted with a six speed automatic gearbox.

Honda Amaze:

The Honda Amaze is also offered with petrol and diesel engines. Honda’s familiar 1.2 l i-VTEC motor does duty in the petrol variant of the Amaze while the diesel model houses a 1.5 l i-DTEC engine. The Amaze’s petrol variant produces 87 bhp @ 6000 RPM and a peak torque of 109 Nm @ 4500 RPM and is offered with a 5 speed manual gearbox as well as a five speed automatic. Honda’s 1.5 l i-DTEC engine produces 99 bhp @ 3600 RPM with a peak torque figure of 200 Nm coming in at  1750 RPM.

Honda's EarthDreams diesel engine is now rivaled by that of the Figo Aspire's
Honda’s EarthDreams diesel engine is now rivaled by that of the Figo Aspire’s

Winner: Ford Figo Aspire

Verdict

Though the Amaze set the benchmark for most sub-4m sedans, American car maker Ford has produced a phenomenal rival in the form of the Figo Aspire. The Figo packs in more horses under the bonnet, more features inside the cabin and offers a slightly less mellow design and aesthetics.

The Ford Figo Aspire is guaranteed to become a segment best seller
The Ford Figo Aspire is guaranteed to become a segment best seller

FaceOff: New Bajaj Avenger Street Vs Royal Enfield Classic 350

"RE Classic 350"

Any layman’s answer when asked about a few bike manufacturers will certainly have the inclusions of names such as Bajaj and Royal Enfield. The reason for this is fairly simple. With millions upon millions of riders flooding the streets everyday, it is quite obvious for anybody to remember these names.

The bike manufacturers have already created a mighty spark in the market and in order to retain their credibility, they are taking efforts to push design, aesthetics and features to unchartered boundaries.

Bajaj is a home bred player with a very strong presence pan India. The bikes manufactured by Bajaj are built for riders ranging from pretty much all walks of life. The company had recently announced the launch of the new Bajaj Avenger Street, a cruising segment bike that has gone through various structural and engine changes. This bike is likely to be launched anytime in the market, with the bike already reaching some dealerships.

Royal Enfield on the other end is built for those who like to consume a mighty chunk of adventure. The bikes from RE are a tad on the higher side in comparison with Bajaj. However, the biking enthusiasts look beyond the pricing barriers to own the Enfield. You’d know an Enfield just by the sound of it and what better way to rumble on Indian roads than cruising on the Enfield Classic 350.

For those who think that budget is no constraint but confusion sets your decisions ablaze, here is a comparison between the Bajaj Avenger Street and the Royal Enfield Classic 350.

P.s you are welcome 🙂

Design:

The Bajaj Avenger Street seems to have adapted plenty of design cues from its cousin; the Avenger cruiser. The Street comes with an all-black treatment and contains very less chrome. The looks are appreciation worthy for sure.

Combining the design aesthetics with Bajaj’s frugal way of going easy on your pocket is a great way of promoting the brand name. Further more, you can be assured of a great sales network and reputation. However pragmatic the arguments between Bajaj’s Avenger Street and the Enfield Classic, it is surely a tough decision to choose one bike over the other. The Avenger has a telescopic front suspension, Hydraulic Shock Absorber as the rear suspension. The bike has Tube type Unidirectional – 90 / 90 x 17″ front tires and Tube type Unidirectional – 130 / 90 x 15″ rear tires. The braking on this bike consists of Disc, Dia. 260 mm front and Drum, Dia. 130 mm rear brakes.

"Bajaj vs Enfield"
Image Source: www.zigwheels.com

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 comes with a timeless design that looks recognizable in a crowd. The bike, since its inception has gone through minor changes but managed to retain the same design.

A Royal Enfield biker, supposedly a macho guy who knows no limits and boundaries seems oblivious to other bikes and seems to have focus towards what’s between his legs 😛

The classic 350 has Telescopic, 35mm forks, 130 mm travel front suspension accompanied by Twin gas charged shock absorbers with 5-step adjustable preload, 80mm travel rear suspension. The bike has 90/90 – 19 front tire and 110/90 – 18 rear tire. Braking is handled by 280mm Disc, 2-Piston caliper front and 153mm Drum, Single Lead Internal Expanding rear brakes.

Technical prowess set aside, the RE brand is gaining immense popularity with each passing day. The sales are proof of the brand’s popularity and the Classic 350 doesn’t seem to have even a dent in terms of sales in comparison with the Avenger.

Engine & Mileage:

The Bajaj Avenger Street comes with a 219.8 cc, 4-stroke, single cylinder, DTS-i, air-cooled engine. The engine produces 19.03 Bhp of power @ 8400 Rpm. With a top speed of 120 kmph, the bike produces 17.5 Nm of torque @ 7000 Rpm. This bike accelerates from 0 to 60 kmph in just 5.2 seconds. In terms of mileage, the Avenger Street delivers an average of 35-40 kmpl mileage.

"Bajaj Avenger 220 Street"
Image Source: www.motoroids.com

The Royal Enfield Classic 350 on the other hand is powered by a 346 cc, Single Cylinder, 4 stroke, Twin spark engine. The engine produces19.8 bhp @ 5250 rpm. In terms of torque, the RE Classic 350 produces 28 Nm of torque @ 4000 rpm. With a top speed of 130 kmph, the bikes goes from 0 to 60 in 8 seconds. In terms of mileage, this bike averages a mileage from 40 to 45 kmpl.

"RE Classic 350"
Image Source: royalenfield.com

The Bajaj Avenger seems to have an advantage over the initial speed with its comparatively light body. The RE Classic on the other hand delivers better mileage and gains better speed eventually on the roads.

Price:

In terms of Ex-showroom pricing, the Bajaj Avenger Street out performs the Classic 350. The Avenger is priced at Rs. 80,800/- (Ex-showroom) that beats the likes of Rs. 1,25,000/- (Ex-showroom) for the Classic 350. That said, if price isn’t a constraint, the classic 350 has arguably better performance and power over its competing counterpart.

Maintenance:

Price is just the first hurdle of the journey. The Maintenance of a bike is the main vacuum lightening your pocket. The Avenger Street comes with excellent build quality.  In terms of sales and service network, this brand maintains its frugality and provides maintenance free rides that is certainly a delight.

Royal Enfield on the other hand have had their notorious attitude for quite sometime. Sadly, the service standard is pretty dodgy. With the launch of new and improved Twin spark units, the niggles cannot be overruled. Royal Enfields have been quite maintenance hungry machines and this certainly leaves behind a remark on the brand’s reputation.

They look muscular and suitable for machos, but these supposed robust bikes have been notorious for their build quality. No matter how devoted a RE enthusiast is, for the price they pay, there is always an expectation of a better build quality that is missing.

 

Verdict

It shouldn’t come as a surprise if you’ve limited your options to these two bikes and there is wee-bit of confusion. If you’re on the lookout for performance, reliability that go in sync with low maintenance and overall a less price, Bajaj Avenger is the right ride for you.

But, of you are an RE motor head and feel that the other bikes have a superfluous influence on the RE, this leisure befriending bike should offer you a steady cruise over your jaunty journey.

 

Battle of the hatchbacks: 2015 Maruti Swift Facelift vs 2015 Ford Figo

"Ford Figo vs Swift"

Hatchback cars are gaining plenty of reputation in India. The advent of the new era has given rise to new hatchbacks that adorn new looks, new features and make it worth spending your precious dough. To give you a perfect reasoning to boast the bang for your bucks, here is an awesome review on Ford’s Figo Hatchback versus the tough, versatile and the popular Maruti Swift Facelift.

Ford Figo:

Figo Facelift version has gained its popularity in the premium hatchback segment amid the buzz of various other entrants in the hatchback segment. With competitors being generous with additional features, extra offers and more interior space, the efforts are on to bring down the leading hatchback. The 2015 Ford Figo is the successor of the old Figo. This happens to be the trimmed down version of the Aspire that was launched by Ford not too long ago. Anticipation was a definite factor with the Figo and Ford did the same on 23rd of September by launching the new breed of Figo that bags a starting price tag of Rs. 4.29 lakhs and the diesel starts off at Rs. 5.29 lakhs.

 

Maruti Suzuki Swift (face lift)

In my recent review on the Face lift version of the Swift, Figo Facelift had not made its grand entry. However, with its strong sales figures and an unbeatable credibility, Maruti seems to get the creamy layer of the ever-expanding market in India. The basic price of Swift petrol starts off at Rs. 4.64 lakhs and the diesel variant starts at Rs. 5.84 lakhs. Will the Swift withstand the harsh thrust of Ford Figo? Let’s find out:

 

Engine:

Driving the Ford Figo Facelift are 1.2-liter Ti-VCT petrol and 1.5 liter diesel variants. The re launched version churns out a maximum power output of 87 bhp and a peak torque of 112 Nm.

"Maruti Swift vs Ford Figo"
Image Source: www.india.ford.com

 

The Swift on the other hand comes with a K-Series Petrol Engine and a diesel variant too that churns about 83 bhp and 115 Nm of torque. That sais and done, the clear winner of this challenge is the Swift that delivers 20.4 kmpl mileage. The figo petrol comes with a 5-speed manual gearbox whereas the diesel comes with a 6-speed gearbox. The Swift comes with a 5-speed manual transmission.

"Maruti Swift Engine"
Image Source: grabpage.info
Engine New Figo New Swift
Cubic Capacity 1196 cc 1197 cc
Power 87bhp 83bhp
Torque 112 Nm @ 4000 rpm 115 Nm @ 4000 rpm
Cylinders 4 4
Mileage 18.16 kmpl 20.4 kmpl

 

Exteriors:

Both the car look spectacular and it is difficult to differentiate between the two rivals in the looks department. However, since the new Figo is the new kid in town, the looks seem a tad enticing.

"Ford Figo vs Swift"
Image Source: www.motoroids.com

The Swift has retained the same design as it has since the beginning. The Face-lift version has a new grille; the mid-level models have chrome finishing on the fog lamps and look pleasing. The ground clearance on the Figo is 4 mm where as the Swift stumps down to 2 mm.

Dimensions Ford Figo Maruti Swift
Length 3886 mm 3850 mm
Width 1695 mm 1695 mm
Height 1525 mm 1530 mm
Wheelbase 2491 mm 2430 mm
Ground Clearance 174 mm 170 mm

 

"Maruti Swift Facelift Exteriors"
“Maruti Exteriors”

Interior and Space:

The Swift has a less boot space than compared to the Ford Figo. The Swift seems quite crammed up and the passengers might have to suffer through the small space and has a boot space of just 205 liters. The Figo on the other hand has 257 Liters capacity. The drivers’ comfort on the Swift is the best in its class; the stubby looking swift has quite a receptive steering and pairs up with the driver quite comfortably. The Figo is quite good, given its features and such. The Swift has quite an exciting instrument cluster and its music player is simply fabulous. The 4 speakers located on the rear side of each door has terrific sound effect and it adds extra thumps to the music. The Figo has decent speakers but the swift rocks the music all the way.

"Swift Facelift"
Image Source: autopro.com.vn

 

Space New Ford Figo Maruti Suzuki Swift
Seating 5 5
Boot Space 257 L 205 L
Fuel Capacity 42 L 42 L

 

Variants with Price:

 

Here is a list of the variants of both Figo and Swift with their corresponding prices:

Petrol:

 

Ford Figo Maruti Suzuki Swift
1.2 base Rs 4.29 lakh LXI Rs 4.64 lakh
1.2 Ambiente Rs 4.56 lakh LXI (O) Rs 4.78 lakh
1.2 Trend Rs 5 lakh VXI Rs 5.40 lakh
1.2 Trend+ Rs 5.25 lakh ZXI Rs 6.24 lakh
1.2 Titanium Rs 5.75 lakh
1.2 Titanium+ Rs 6.40 lakh
1.5 Titanium+(AT) RS 6.91 lakh

Diesel

Ford Figo Maruti Suzuki Swift
1.5 base Rs 5.29 lakh LDI Rs 5.84 lakh
1.5 Ambiente Rs 5.62 lakh VDI Rs 6.31 lakh
1.5 Trend Rs 5.97 lakh ZDI Rs 7.28 lakh
1.5 Trend+ Rs 6.22 lakh
1.5 Titanium Rs 6.72 lakh
1.5 Titanium+ Rs 7.40 lakh

Bottom Line:

The Figo base model offers a few extra knick-knacks. In terms of safety, the Figo has driver airbag covered up even with the basic variant. With a new appeal that costs a little lesser than Swift, the Figo creates a space for itself. However, the obvious fact regarding Maruti Suzuki’s extensive coverage along with its credibility is definitely in Swift’s favour. The service standards, low maintenance cost and accessibility of Maruti beat all odds and this is a great challenge for Ford.

Hero Electric Photon and Mahindra Rodeo UZO 125

"Mahindra Rodeo 125"

Here is a comparison between Hero MotoCorp’s Electric Photon versus Mahindra’s Rodeo.

First off, MotoCorp’s electric vehicles division has announced the introduction of the all-new high-speed electric scooter – ‘Photon’ across India. The vehicle was first unveiled at the Delhi Auto Expo earlier this year. The company claims that “the product earned exceptional response during test marketing in select markets and was on waiting.” The new scooter comes with features like front telescopic suspensions, anti-theft alarm, float-cum-boost charger, and aerodynamic style, Economy & Power Mode.

Photon:

The Photon has a high mag-flux with 46 magnetic poles for high efficiency and high torque. The waterproof brushless DC motor with low electro-magnetic interference gives a virtually noiseless ride. The scooter also has electronic controllers with 12 mosfets, 24MHz high-speed controller that gives instant response to the drive train with minimum signal losses. The Photon’s AGM VRLA battery is especially made for the harshest of Indian environmental conditions. The Photon is available in 3-colours; Vivid, Burgundy, vanilla white and Velvet Black. The photon’s steel chassis gives the bike a conventional scooter with a round headlamp, indicators on the apron as well as telescopic fork front suspension. The 10-inch wheels carry a disk and a drum brake at the front and rear respectively. Its 1500W waterproof DC motor carries 2 drive modes- power and economy.  The bike can achieve a top speed of 45 kph and a range of 50 km per charge or 80 km per charge in the power and economy modes respectively. The Photon is installed with a VRLA battery and carries a multi-stage charger with in0built memory that regulates charge based on battery condition. It also carries a miniature circuit breaker along with battery charge conservation during long storage along with a fire-resistant wiring harness for safety.

"Hero Photon "
Image Source: heroelectric.in

The Photon’s multi-stage charger with in-built memory regulates the charge based on the battery condition, giving the highest charge efficiency. The Hero Electric Photon scooter is priced at Rs. 54,110 (ex-showroom, Delhi). The Hero electric dealers are offering finance on the Photon for 8 months to their customers. Additional offers include easy battery EMI scheme with 24 months of purchase through the “Super Saver Battery Scheme”

"Hero Photon"
Image Source: www.zigwheels.com

The vehicle is available across 5 metro cities in India.

Photon- Pros and Cons:

The Photon makes a great electronic scooter that is low maintenance, electric drive and it is eco friendly. Sadly, this ride is slow and speed cannot be expected. The range on this bike is insufficient. Also, the price of this electronic scooter is higher than the usual electric bikes.

Mahindra Rodeo UZO:

Mahindra Two Wheeler Ltd (MTWL) two-wheeler division of Mahindra Group has introduced the new Rodeo that is named Rodeo UZO 125.

The new Rodeo UZO:

The new UZO 125 comes with a new body, ornate graphics, colored wheels that bring out quite a sporty appeal. Moreover, it gets the double tone-dual texture seat that has been designed to “minimize slippage in high acceleration and sharp braking usage.”

"Mahindra Rodeo 125"
Image Source: www.bikes4sale.in

The company claims that the new UZO 125 is pretty advanced as a scooter in terms of technology. The UZO 125 happens to be the only Indian scooter that comes equipped with advanced DCDI technology along with AILA system. This technology ensures better performance and lower maintenance. The UZO 125 has the first-in-class external front fuelling along with features such as fully digital dashboard that incorporates functions of a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, fuel indicator, clock, high-speed alarm as well as an accelerometer.  Additionally, a 4-in-1 antitheft key protects this scooter; it also carries a mobile charging point as a standard feature as well as 22-litres of storage space. This scooter has an ARAI certified mileage of 59kmpl.

"Rodeo UZO 125"
Image Source: images.maxabout.com

The scooter has Racing style body graphics, Accented body colored impact resistant mirrors, Striking colored wheels, sporty seat with anti-slip dual texture seat, 4 exciting sports colors, front telescopic suspension, high ground clearance of 154 mm and 6 color feature loaded with fully digital dashboard and side stand safety buzzer. The 4-stroke engine carries a displacement of 124.6 cc and has 8 bhp power with 7000 rpm and 9 Nm torque at 5500 rpm.

Bottom Line:

Price is definitely a factor in the case of this comparison between Hero Electric Photon and Mahindra Rodeo. The electric Photon is a great introduction to the electric scooter sector. But, its disadvantages are hard to miss out. The scooter seems to be overpriced and contains a lot less features than the Mahindra Rodeo. The Rodeo UZO has a great engine, excellent features and the price is very competitive. Overall, the Rodeo makes up for a great scooter with excellent graphics!!!

2015 Audi TT vs Mercedes Benz SLK-Class

The 2015 Audi TT is all set to hit Indian shores early next year. Audi first iteration of the TT Coupe garnered critical acclaim for being one of the accessible sports cars available. Its unique design also allowed the first generation TT to become a style icon back in the early 2000’s. For the TT’s second generation, Audi upped the style even further and greatly worked on the sports coupe’s handling characteristics as well. With the Audi TT now a far more balanced product, the German car maker then went on to develop the the coupe as a platform for introducing new tech. We compare what the 2015 Audi TT now offers against one of the most popular luxury coupes currently in the market: the Mercedes SLK-Class.

Design:

2015 Audi TT:

The new Audi TT is more of a transition from the previous gen than an out and out revamp. Although the manufacturer has introduced several new elements for the new generation, the Audi TT retains some of its most recognizable elements such as the rear tail lamp design, short and stout proportions and the gentle cuts and creases that form its evocative design.

 

The all new 2015 Audi TT is an evolution in design.
The all new 2015 Audi TT is an evolution in design.

Up front we have Audi’s new LED DRLs that adds a touch of dynamism that was lacking in the previous generation. The rear is graced by a pair of all LED tail lamps. Audi has also added a third brake light in the form of a strip that runs end to end further enhancing the coupe’s visual appeal. However, like most of Audi’s new lineup, the TT fails to impress on the same level as its predecessors.

Mercedes Benz SLK-CLass:

The Mercedes Benz SLK CLass acts as a less expensive alternative to the manufacturer’s SL-Class. As such, the SLK sports a smaller engine and less aggressive styling. While the 2012 SLK may be a scaled down variant of the SL, the car remains in a class of its own. The all new SLK benefits from the toned down styling that manifests into a more appealing product that walks the thin line between brash and soothing. The mix of bulging, muscular power lines and subtle curves produces a scintillating silhouette.

The Mercedes Benz SLK Class features a milder design language when compared to its bigger brother: The SL-Class
The Mercedes Benz SLK Class features a milder design language when compared to its bigger brother: The SL-Class

Winner: Mercedes Benz SLK-Class

Interior:

2015 Audi TT:

The cabin of the 2015 Audi TT was first previewed at CES 2014. Featuring an all new virtual cockpit, the new TT is a radical departure from current Audi’s. Occupants are greeted by an all black cabin that features a single large screen that acts as both the infotainment system’s display as well as the instrument cluster. Each air vent features a unique display and controls for the automatic climate control system. Despite the intelligent redesign of the TT’s air con vents, the Audi TT’s virtual cockpit system may prove a hindrance to distraction-free driving and the co-passengers may undergo unnecessary hassle while adjusting music controls.

The interior of the 2015 Audi TT was introduced with the German car maker's all new Virtual Cockpit system.
The interior of the 2015 Audi TT was introduced with the German car maker’s all new Virtual Cockpit system.

Mercedes Benz SLK-CLass:

The SLK-CLass serves as a precursor to the more exorbitant Mercedes Benz SL-Class. As such, the car features a largely toned down, cabin that shares numerous elements with the A-Class such as the propeller style air con vents, and the infotainment system. While the CLA and A Class feature a floating display as opposed to the integrated unit found on the SLK-Class, the system’s specs and version remain the same. To keep with the theme of luxury, Mercedes Benz has also fitted an analog clock to the SLK-Class.

The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class is quite low-end on the Benz spectrum
The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class is quite low-end on the Benz spectrum

Winner: Audi TT

Under the Hood:

2015 Audi TT:

Powering the 2015 Audi TT is a 2.0 turbocharged inline four cylinder engine that churns out 220 hp @ 6200 rpm and 350 Nm of torque at 1600 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. Although the new MQB architecture on which the new TT is based off of is front wheel drive biased, the majority of the power is sent to the rear wheels.

Audi's sports coupe is powered by a 2.0 l turbo 4 cylinder engine
Audi’s sports coupe is powered by a 2.0 l turbo 4 cylinder engine

Mercedes Benz SLK-CLass:

The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class is powered by a frugal 1.8 l turbocharged inline four cylinder engine that churns out a modest 201 hp @ 5500 rpm and 310 Nm of torque at 2000 rpm. Power is sent to the rear wheels via a manual gearbox.

The SLK Class is one of the few cars from Mercedes Benz's stable that is offered with a manual gearbox
The SLK Class is one of the few cars from Mercedes Benz’s stable that is offered with a manual gearbox

Verdict:

What the TT lacks in self-expression, it more than makes up for in terms of performance and features. The Mercedes Benz SLK-Class may be Benz’s entry level sports coupe, however, the car fails to impress in terms of interior styling and engine specs.

2015 Toyota Camry vs 2016 Volkswagen Passat

toyota camry rear

The premium sedan segment of the Indian automotive market has come to a grinding halt. With the continued infatuation with SUVs here in India, cars such as the Skoda Superb and Honda Accord have taken a heavy hit in sales. Honda even pulled out of such segments a few years ago to concentrate its resources on the budget segments of the Indian car market. Although many consider this segment to be high risk-low gain segment of the industry, manufacturers such as Toyota and VW continue to press on. We pit the recently launched 2015 Toyota Camry against the upcoming facelifted VW Passat and see whether the Japanese manufacturer can repair its position in the premium sedan segment.

Design:

2015 Toyota Camry:

The Toyota Camry was never recognized for its impressive styling. While the previous generation strove to enhance the sedan’s visual appeal with sharp angles and a bit of chrome, most of the design elements seemed more of an after-thought rather than an integral part of the car’s development stages. For the 2015 model, Toyota has revamped the majority of the car’s cosmetic traits. While the previous generation Toyota Camry was designed to carry a sophisticated, business-like character, the 2015 facelift adds a bit of sporty appeal.

new toyota camry sedan
The all new Toyota Camry seeks to reinvigorate the dying luxury sedan segment.

For the 2015 facelift, he Japanese car manufacturer has ditched the straight angled design language for a more organic approach reminiscent of the autogiant’s cars of yesteryear. As such, the 2015 Toyota Camry now manages to hold a stronger road presence than its predecessors.

2016 VW Passat:

Volkswagen continues its minimalist design philosophy with the new Passat. Despite the large amounts of chrome up front and dual exhaust tips, the 2016 VW Passat exudes an aura of understated elegance. While VW’s design language has matured over the years, its current crop of cars for the Indian car market lacks a bit of charm. The design of the new Passat continues this trend with the shell of the sedan painting a somber feel.

2015 volkswagen passat
The 2016 VW Passat will probably hit showrooms sometime in the second half of 2016

Interior:

2015 Toyota Camry:

The interior of the next generation Toyota Camry fails to grab the same level of attention as its exterior. Toyota’s new Camry dons a conventional beige and black interior with lackluster detailing. Passengers are greeted by a black and beige dashboard. While the Camry’s competitors have opted for an all touch interface for their infotainment system, Toyota has stuck to the conventional physical interface. As a result, the new Camry’s interiors feel dated and a bit too crowded. Drivers may feel the steering wheel may be slightly overloaded with controls as well.

2015 toyota camry dashboard
The interior of thr 2015 Toyota Camry feel a bit dated.

2016 VW Passat:

The 2016 VW Passat blends subtlety and elegance in a manner rivaled only by that of the Skoda Superb. Despite form following function, the Passat manages to execute its minimalist interior with a bit of panache, a trait lacking in the sedan’s exterior.The 2016 VW Passat also comes with an all digital high resolution monitor that provides vital data such as speed and rev count as well as useful information like GPS navigation routes.

dashboard of volkswagen passat
The dashboard of the 2015 VW Passat is an elegant blend of minimalism and sophistication.

Under The Hood:

2015 Toyota Camry:

For the Indian market, Toyota offers the new Camry with traditional petrol as well as hybrid drivetrains. The petrol powered variant of the 2015 Toyota Camry houses a 2.5 l four cylinder mill that churns out 178 hp @ 6000 RPM and a peak torque of 233 Nm @ 4100 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a six speed automatic gearbox.

toyota camry rear
Toyota has adopted a greener philosophy with the availability of a hybrid variant for the new Toyota Camry.

The hybrid model makes use of the same 2.5 l inline 4 cylinder petrol unit that works in tandem with a permanently running electric motor that produces a total of 200 horses. The hybrid setup makes use of a CVT gearbox to transmit the power.

2016 VW Passat:

The 2016 VW Passat is offered in both petrol and diesel overseas. For the Indian market however, prospective buyers may only have a choice of a sole diesel motor. The India-bound VW Passat will likely be powered by a 2.0 l four cylinder engine that puts out 240 hp.

2015 volkswagen passat rear
The next gen VW Passat may be introduced with a slightly detuned variant of the 2.0 l TDI engine currently in use in the international model.

Verdict:

Although Toyota reigned supreme back in the early 2000’s, the car maker’s popularity has been on the steady decline. The arrival of luxury car makers such as Mercedes Benz and Audi into the same price bracket as the Camry and Passat have increased the competition. We have to wait and see how the market reacts.

Face off: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross vs Ford EcoSport

suzuki s cross interior

The crossover craze in India rages on. The year 2015 marks Maruti’s entry into the SUV crossover segment of the Indian market. Set to battle it out with established marques such as Ford, Nissan, Renault and now Hyundai, Maruti’s S-Cross has quite a lot riding on its initial response. Already available for prospective customers to view at malls across India, the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross will make its  big debut in dealerships in the coming weeks. We pit the upcoming Maruti crossover against the popular Ford EcoSport and see how well the pseudo SUV fares.

Design:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

The Maruti Suzuki S-Cross’ exterior is derived from the now discontinued SX4 sedan. The crossover shares numerous elements from the sedan such as the muscular profile and aggressively styled headlights. The upcoming crossover will also feature LED DRLs which are fast becoming the norm. Typical of most crossovers, the S-Cross sports black plastic cladding, raised ground clearance, silver skid plates and discernible muscle lines flowing around it. Although the S-Cross is quite aggressive when compared to its sedan derivative, the car fails to earn the same degree of attention as some of its other rivals.

new maruti crossover front three quarter
The Maruti Suzuki S Cross is the manufacturer’s first crossover SUV for the Indian market.

Ford EcoSport:

The Ford EcoSport was among the first to don the American automaker’s new Kinetic design philosophy. One of the key design elements in the car manufacturer’s design language is the large hexagonal chrome lined front grille; A character trait that makes the EcoSport was one of the most easily recognizable cars on the streets. However, the Ford EcoSport is a sub 4m compact crossover. As such, despite the pseudo off-roader’s raised ground clearance, lower body cladding and SUV silhouette, it fails to flaunt the genre of road presence commonly associated with SUVs here in India. Unlike the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross, Ford has opted for an amalgam of sleek body elements with SUV overtones to create a more balanced package.

ford ecosport
The Ford EcoSport

Winner: Draw

Interior:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

The interiors of the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross is surprisingly upmarket. The Indian car maker has opted for an all black cabin aiding in the S-Cross’ sporty appeal. Silver accents around the A/C vents, center console and steering wheel add a bit of contrast and up the upmarket appeal of the car’s cabin. The crossover’s top end variants also come equipped with an advanced 7 inch touchsreen display. Dubbed SmartPlay, the new system packs conventional connectivity options such as Bluetooth, USB, AUX and also comes with GPS navigation and voice command. 

suzuki s cross interior
Interior of the new Maruti S Cross

Ford EcoSport:

The Ford EcoSport’s interior may have been cutting edge back in 2013. However, while the American car maker has stuck with its old school monochrome display and button interface, other manufacturers have moved on to more contemporary forms of infotainment systems such as touchscreen displays and Android/iOS app interfaces. As such, the Ford EcoSport, with its dizzying array of buttons and knobs on the center console feels a bit dated.

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

Winner: Maruti Suzuki S-Cross

Engine:

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:

Powering the Maruti Suzuki S-Cross crossover for the Indian market is a pair of diesel engines. Maruti offers a Fiat sourced 1.3 l DDiS engine for all variants of the S-Cross while only three out of the four trims on offer also comes with a more powerful 1.6 l oil burner. The 1.3 l diesel mill churns out 89 hp @ 4000 RPM and a peak torque of 200 Nm @ 1750 RPM. The four cylinder 1.6 l diesel unit is good for 118 hp @ 3750 RPM and 320 Nm @ 1750 RPM. While the 1.3 l unit is mated to a 5 speed manual, Maruti offers the 1.6 l variants with a six speed stick shift. Currently, Maruti Suzuki has not made any announcements of an automatic variant.

Ford EcoSport:

Ford’s engineering prowess is revered in the automotive community. The manufacturer’s new EcoBoost series of engines have garnered critical acclaim for its practicality and immense potential. For the Indian market, Ford offers a range of diesel and petrol engines including a 1.0 l EcoBoost. Base variants of the petrol EcoSport sport a 1.5 l i-VCT unit that churns out 109 hp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 140 Nm @ 4400 RPM. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5 speed manual transmission or a 6 speed automatic gearbox.

Diesel variants of the Ford EcoSport are powered by a sole 1.5 l TDCi unit that churns out 89 hp @ 3750 RPM and a peak torque of 204 Nm @ 2000 RPM. While the Maruti S-Cross offers more power engine options, the Ford EcoSport caters to a wider audience.

Winner: Ford EcoSport

Verdict:

The Ford EcoSport’s reign in the crossover segment has come to an end. With the debut of mass volume pushes such as Hyundai and Maruti, the crossover segment just became a whole lot more competitive. Although Ford’s Ecosport remains a good buy, the American car manufacturer’s initial inertia to deliver the first batch of cars permanently damaged the impact of the crossover here in India.

With the S-Cross, Maruti Suzuki has managed to create yet another winner. The premium leather seats, touchscreen navigation and entertainment system and SUV DNA is certain to make the new S-Cross a winner.

2015 Audi Q7 vs 2015 BMW X6

2015 BMW X6 front three quarter

German luxury car makers Audi and BMW are back with all new iterations of their flagship SUVs. While both the Audi Q7 and the BMW X6’s first generation was launched years ago, the car manufacturers will be introducing an all new generation of each SUV for the very first time this year. BMW has gone ahead and launched the all new X6 SUV for the Indian car market, Audi has put its flagship SUV on hold until next year. We pit the mammoth 2016 Audi Q7 against the equally gargantuan 2015 BMW X6 and see which Teutonic SUV emerges victorious.

Design:

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Audi Q7’s design language lies somewhere between a total revamp and an evolution of the previous model’s design methodology. Audi has ditched the sleek, sporty profile of the current gen model for a more boxy, butch exterior. Audi has dropped the traditional projector headlights for a more modern all LED system. The gentle angle at which the windscreen meets the bonnet has been increased giving the front end a far more pronounced look. Audi has ditched the separate housing units for the turn indicators for a conventional setup.

2016 Audi Q7 SUV front three quarter
The all new Audi Q7 has been thoroughly revamped to be better suited for city use.

The rear is graced by a pair of all LED taillamps that adhere to the new design philosophy. The German car maker has also directly integrated the dual tail pipes onto the lower bumper. Similar to the front end, the rear too has lost much of its character with Audi sticking to the straight angles approach.

2015 BMW X6:

The BMW X6 was one of the first cars in the automotive world that popularized the concept of crossovers. BMW melded SUV characteristics to a beautiful coupe body to spawn the first generation X6 and the vicarious birth of the coupe crossover segment. As such, the 2015 BMW X6 is one of the most stunning SUVs currently available in the market. Key changes to the car’s design include larger headlights, a wider kidney grille and the optional full LED headlights. despite its coupe profile, BMW has managed to carve out enough space for the rear passengers.

2015 BMW X6 front three quarter
The all new BMW X6 showcases an evolution in design.

Interior:

2016 Audi Q7:

The 2016 Audi Q7 joins its next generation Audi brethren with a revamped dashboard. Audi offers its new single screen MMI/instrument cluster system as an option. Standard variants of the new German flagship SUV retain the conventional MMI interface with an all digital high resolution instrument cluster. Similar to the Audi TT, the new instrument cluster can provide standard data such as speed and RPM reading as well as convenient information such as GPS navigation and music options. While the front passengers are treated to a host of controls, the rear is left a little lacking.

2016 Audi Q7 Interior
The 2016 Audi Q7 is offered with the manufacturer’s all new all in one infotainment system.

2015 BMW X6:

BMW’s new X6 takes a more traditional route. While the coupe crossover also features an all digital instrument cluster, its large iDrive display handles controls for the suspension setup, drive modes, music and various others. The BMW X6 is available only with the M Sport Package here in India. As such, the new X6 offers a sporty three spoke M-branded steering wheel, nappa leather for the dashboard, seats and door inserts and M badging all around. The al new BMW X6 also offers head-rest mounted touchscreen systems for the rear passengers.

2015 BMW X6 interior
The interior of the BMW X6 is a beautiful blend of leather and wood.

Under the Hood:

2016 Audi Q7:

Audi offers the new Q7 with both petrol and diesel engines. The diesel variant of the new SUV is a turbocharged and intercooled 3.0 liter V6 unit that churns out 272 hp and  a whopping 600 Nm of torque. Petrol powered Audi Q7 variants house a supercharged and intercooled 3.0 liter V6 that produces an impressive 333 hp and 440 Nm of torque. Both engines are mated to an eight speed automatic gearbox with manual shifters.  

2016 Audi Q7 rear
The Audi Q7 wil likely enter the Indian market with a detuned variant of the diesel engine.

2015 BMW X6:

The 2015 BMW X6 is powered by a 3.0 l turbocharged inline six cylinder diesel motor that churns out 300 hp @ 6000 rpm and 406 Nm of torque at 1300 rpm. Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight speed automatic gearbox.

2015 bmw x6 rear
The X6 houses a powerful inline six cylinder engine.

Verdict:

Though the Audi Q7 offers far more in terms of engine options and features, the BMW X6 speaks to the heart. However, at a price tag of a whopping INR 1.15 crore, the BMW X6 remains accessible only to a select few.