Volkswagen Taigun- an expert Preview

German automaker Volkswagen is known for its build quality, perfection and is considered as one of the leading automobile manufacturers in Europe. It is the most loved car brand by Europeans ( and in many other countries ). The slogan of this company “Das Auto” also conveys the same, as the meaning of this slogan is “Peoples-Car”.  In order to standardize the name and fame of the company in the tough competitive landscape, VW group is planning to release some new crossovers across some European countries and as well as some Asiatic countries like China, India and Singapore. Taigun is one among this line-up.

Volkswagen Taigun:

Volkswagen Taigun was first showcased at the Sao Paulo Auto Show, which was held in the year 2012. Before jumping into the review – these are some technical specifications of this car ( to have a better understanding of what we are dealing with )

Volkswagen Taigun front look

Image Source: www.autoexpress.co.uk

Specs:

  • Engine: 1.0-litre 3cyl turbo charged petrol, Direct Fuel Injection
  • Power/torque: 109bhp/175Nm
  • Transmission: Six-speed manual, front-wheel drive
  • CO2 Emission: 60.1mpg/110g/km
  • 0-62mph/Top speed: 9.2 seconds/116mph
  • Equipment: Air-con, split tailgate, electric windows, LED daytime running lights
  • Will be on sale: End of 2015 or early 2016.

Styling Review

Exteriors:

When it comes to the car exteriors, the car’s masculine looks can impress you in the first glance itself. The Taigun features an overall length of about 3859mm, 1728mm of total width and an overall height of 1570mm, which seems quite good for this segment. The wheelbase has slightly increased to 2.47meters in order to give an aggressive look complementing to the masculine appeal. The car grille is neatly designed with its logo studded at the center ( looks stunning and elegant ). The looks of this car makes this vehicle most suitable for automobile markets like India. The LED daytime running light adds a nice and smart look for the car. The back and front of this car is designed for complementing the masculine looks of this car. The front end looks aggressive, while the rear end maintains a decent profile. The protective cladding on the bumper makes a good safety measure for the car. The 17-inch alloy wheels give the car a trendy look. The rugged appeal at the sides of this car looks even more stylish.

Interiors:

The car interiors also look pretty good with two tone beige and black color scheme, giving an ambient look for the car. The company has stated that the interiors of this vehicle will be equipped with a number of advanced functions and tech add-ons. The seats are covered with premium black beige color upholstery, that gives the car a gorgeous premium look. The car is very spacious and fit for long family rides. The dashboard looks great with well-placed control schemas, AC-vents, MP3/IPod Player, and an LCD screen fitted at the center. When it comes to interior design three things are considered : Connectivity, Luxury& Ease. The power steering system with tilt function can serve for a better driving experience. The boot space also looks big enough to accommodate all the stuff needed while traveling. Many other features such as the Seat heating systems, Smartphone connectivity, Bluetooth audio streaming, bottle and cup holders, fold-able rear seats etc. are quite good too.

Volkswagen Taigun interiors

Engine & Performance:

The car is powered with a 1.0-litre 3 cylinder turbo charged engine with a direct fuel injection system. This engine has the capacity to emit a maximum power of about 108.5bhp at 5000rpm, and it can generate 175Nm of peak torque output at just 1750rpm. This engine is precisely combined with a 6-speed manual transmission gearbox that distributes the torque output to the front wheels in order to get good acceleration, as the car is said to reach 100 Kmph speed mark only at 9.2 Seconds.

Reliability and Safety:

They are speculations that Volkswagen is going to place the car’s front axle with a McPherson Strut type, which is an advanced suspension system for added protection. If this is right then it would be an added advantage for this car. Excluding this, the rear could be protected by a Torsion Beam protective system and some other added safety features such as air bags, side impact protection, ABS with EBD, seat belts, engine immobilizer, central locking system etc. Now, that’s what I call as some of the best safety measures in a car.

Thumbs Up:

Very stylish and elegant body design, advanced engine, Masculine looks

Thumbs Down:

Cost May Be High, Absence of Diesel Variant.

Bottom-Line:

As this is considered to be a future release, some of the features may be changed from the concept model. When it comes to quality, Volkswagen has made Volkswagen Taigun remarkable with impressive design and features.  With competitive pricing, Taigun will sure be a shogun in the Volkswagen line-up.

Face Off : Renault Duster vs Nissan Terrano

What lies between two muscular beasts and one bumpy road?

Read on, and take your pick between two of the most competitive, strategically priced SUV’s introduced to India and supposedly built for the rugged Indian roads.

Renault Duster:

Nissan Terrano:

Albeit, the identical looking car roll-outs, Nissan was known to lead Renault by example. The launch of Nissan Micra, the hatchback had Renault’s pulse, a similarly designed car introduced to India. The same trend carried on with the sedan launches i.e Nissan sunny and Renault Scala. However, Renault decided to break the old tradition of following Nissan, and created a compact SUV that would bring about radical changes to India.

So, who is the winner? Well, lets find out.

Renault Duster (looks):

Renault Duster

 

The Renault Duster, considering its design and features was introduced to India with a rather nominal amount ranging between Rs. 7.86 lakhs- Rs. 11.91 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi)

At a glance, the general term “commodious” might escape everybody’s mouth. The mid sized brawny beast packs up a pretty decent fight and has its share of secrets under the hood.

Nissan Terrano (looks):

Nissan Terrano review

 

A little late but an effective entry by Nissan, the Terrano has the excellence parameter up and going. Competitively priced and yet another choice to spoil the customer. The Nissan Terrano (available in petrol and diesel) is priced between Rs. 9.51 lakhs- 12.28 lakhs (ex showroom Delhi)

 

With new and improved tail lamps and stylish doors the Terrano has definitely created an impact on Indian roads. Although, the design takes Nissan a notch higher, it somehow brings a fond recollection of Duster.

INTERIORS

Duster:

The capacious interiors resemble the exteriors; the obvious circular look consumes the vehicle inside out, right from the air-vents to the round edges of the centre console to the circular exteriors. However, the driver’s seat has a mind of its own, you might move back and forth along with it while applying the brakes. Renault has chosen to let the duster with an open storage space on the top. Overall, black finishes on the dashboard and doors as well as the joy of comfort are appeasing.

Renault Duster interior

 

Terrano:

Considering a revamped and a fresh looking Terrano, Nissan has bought in a few basic changes to the interiors to give it a fresh and vibrant look. However, you might love what Nissan has done to the new and groovy music system. The shapes of the A/C vents are rectangular as opposed to the common circular shapes on the Duster. The interior colors of the doors and the dashboard are infused with a dual tone, Beige is predominant towards the lower part of its dashboard and this pattern is uniformly followed on the doors as well. Beige and black are two primary colors. To add storage space, Nissan has chosen to include a lid on the top of the Terrano. Nissan has certainly worked meticulously on the interiors of the Terrano.

Nissan Terrano interior

 

Taming the Beasts: 

Duster & Terrano:

Rightly built for Indian roads, the Duster and Terrano prove their respective expertise with a decent mileage that the companies claim, both Duster (85 PS diesel, 20.45 kmpl and 110PS, 19.01 kmpl. Petrol, 13.4 kmpl) and Terrano (18.48kmpl diesel & 11.6 kmpl petrol) possess the abilities to battle bumpy roads with their massive power, solid torque and efficiency. The duster has a bit noisy engine. (Although the 1.5 dci k9k diesel engine is epic) whereas the quieter Terrano has just about the same engine (1.5 litre k9k diesel engine)

Renault-Duster-Review-Engine
Duster under the Hood

Duster petrol is available in 2variants, the 1.6 litre RxE, 1598 cc petrol engine and the RxL that too has a 1598 cc Petrol engine producing 104 PS. Whereas, the Renault Duster has launched various diesel variants (1.5 RxE, 1.5 RxL, 1.5 RxL110, 1.5 RxZ, 1.5 RxL 110 Adventure Edition and the recently launched limited edition variants)

That produces 85PS/200NM or 110PS/248NM (with a six speed transmission) depending on your choice.

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Terrano under the Hood

The Nissan Terrano provides just about the same. With a 1.6 litre petrol engine that offers 104 PS and the same torque as the Duster (145 Nm) whereas the Terrano Diesel that has a fair share of variants too (85 PS, XE, XL and XL Plus and 110 PS, XL XV and XV Premium) that are powered by the K9K diesel engine, provide similar output options as the Duster, 85PS/200Nm or 110PS/248 Nm.

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The Driving Dynamics of both the SUV’s are identical and there aren’t any evident mechanical changes. The setup, brakes, tyres, suspension, are the same between both the SUV’s and are known to strike a perfect driving and handling balance. Both the SUV’s belong to the 2 wheel drive segment and hence, it isn’t recommended going completely off roads with either of the rides. Overall, the driving dynamics of the compacts seem to sustain the reputation of both the SUV’s.

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Kit’s and Features:

Duster and Terrano share the same Kits. Both the vehicles come equipped with ABS airbags, terrain shield guard to shield your engine against the rocky terrains, reverse parking sensors. The drawback with Terrano is, that you don’t get the option of dual airbags and a good audio system with impressive controls even if you pay a considerably higher amount than the Duster. The Duster RxE and Terrano XV models provide impressive features like key-less entry, steering with tilt adjust with height adjustable seats and so on.  However,  as discussed earlier, the Duster’s driver seat jerks a bit under braking whereas the Terrano’s seat seems to be impervious to such situations.

Our Final Word:

Although both the SUV’s are from different bloodlines, they somehow share same instincts. The Duster that has served longer years on the road than its nemesis, the Terrano but, both the SUV’s managed their way into setting perplexing yet persistent standards in the minds of the customer. It is difficult to choose between the French Hunk and its Japanese counterpart.

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Renault celebrated Duster’s second anniversary recently and to double the celebration, is selling the limited edition duster at a special price tag of Rs. 8.88 lakhs.  With an average sale of 6000 units every month, Duster has certainly left a competitive dent in the minds of its competitors.

Renault Duster Anniversary Edition
Renault Duster Anniversary Edition

Nissan Terrano is catching up fast with its arch rivals, with an average of 3000+ cars rolling out each month, the Terrano seems to be doing good considering a severe battering from competitors like Renault Duster and Ford Eco Sport.

Nissan-Terrano-2014-625x353

 

Both the vehicles are commodious enough to comfortably seat a family of five and sufficient boot space to easily accommodate ample amount of luggage. The engines of both the compact SUV’s are just about the same and deliver a well balanced drive. Indian roads are certainly going to feel less bumpy in either of these vehicles. The features and offerings remain the same in both the vehicles However; the prominent difference in both the vehicles lies in the pricing. Duster certainly wins the price war with Terrano. Duster offers it’s variants for a lesser price but compromises on the looks. The Terrano on the other hand has an exemplary design and looks visually appealing.

Bottom Line: If you want a visually enhanced duster, you can go in for the Terrano. Else, the Duster gives you just about the same and goes a little easy on your pocket.

Visit Renault India website: http://renault.co.in

Visit Nissan India website: http://www.nissan.in