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

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

Design:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

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

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

BMW 7 Series:

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

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

Winner: BMW 7 Series

Interior:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

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

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

BMW 7 Series:

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

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

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Under The Hood:

Mercedes Benz S-Class:

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

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

BMW 7 Series:

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

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

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

Winner: Mercedes Benz S-Class

Verdict:

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

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

Face Off: Skoda Yeti vs Mahindra XUV5OO

mahindra xuv5oo suv interiors

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

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

Design:

Skoda Yeti:

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

2014 skoda yeti front
Front View of the Skoda Yeti

XUV5OO:

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

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

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

Round 1 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO

Interior:

Skoda Yeti:

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

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

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

XUV5OO:

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

mahindra xuv5oo suv interiors
Interiors of the XUV5OO

Round 2 Winner: Mahindra XUV5OO

Under The Bonnet:

Skoda Yeti:

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

XUV5OO:

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

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

Round 3 Winner: Draw

Verdict:

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

Face Off: Maruti Suzuki Ciaz vs Hyundai Verna

2015 maruti suzuki ciaz

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

Design:

Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:

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

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

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

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

[caption id="attachment_570" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]hyundai verna compare The Hyundai Verna[/caption]Winner: Maruti Suzuki CiazInteriors:Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:The Ciaz's interiors showcases Maruti's steady growth into a more mature manufacturer. Focusing on not just following the trend but developing a design philosophy that suits its vehicles, the Ciaz sports is one of the most well balanced cabins in its segment. While cars such as the Vento adopt a no-nonsense approach, the Indian audience always look for a bit of zing in everything. The Ciaz strikes the perfect balance between functionality and panache. Making good use of faux wood and premium plastics, the Ciaz's interiors a major step up from that of the SX4 and offers a more than premium feel to it.
[caption id="attachment_3011" align="aligncenter" width="1366"]maruti suzuki ciaz interiors Interiors of the New Ciaz[/caption]The center console also features a high end multi touch infotainment system that offers smartphone connectivity, navigation and voice recognition. One of the most interesting additions to the car's entertainment  system is MirrorLink which throws the paired smartphone's display directly onto the infotainment screen. The Ciaz also offers the best in class cabin space.Hyundai Verna:Compared to the Ciaz, the Verna is rather dated. While the Hyundai sedan has been hugely successful in its lifetime, the aging tech inside has begun to show. Interior design is still top notch. However, there is escaping the fact that the Verna sports a rather simple entertainment system with minimal connectivity options. Despite the beautiful plastics and faux wood inserts, the Verna falls short on features when compared to the Ciaz.
[caption id="attachment_571" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Interiors of the Hyundai Verna Interiors of the Hyundai Verna[/caption]Winner: Maruti Suzuki CiazUnder the Hood:Maruti Suzuki Ciaz:Maruti Suzuki has always been about value for money and the Ciaz is no exception. Powering the Ciaz will be both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol variant will sport the Ertiga's 1.4 L VVT engine that gives an incredible 20.73 km/l. When launched, the Ciaz will be one of the most fuel efficient petrol powered sedans available in the Indian market. The diesel mill will be a 1.3 L DDiS unit that also competes for best in class mileage. Rivaling that of Honda's EarthDreams 1.6 L i-DTEC motor, the 1.3 L diesel engine is expected to give 26.21 kilometers to the liter.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=diH3CvSfMW4Sadly however, Maruti Suzuki will not be offering the Ciaz with an AMT or automatic gearbox at the time of launching.Hyundai Verna:The Hyundai Verna makes use of a 1.6 L and 1.4 L petrol as well as 1.4 L and 1.6 L diesel mills. The 1.4 L petrol mill churns out 105 bhp @ 6300 RPM and 138 Nm @ 5000 RPM while the more powerful 1.6 L petrol engine puts out 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM and a peak torque of 155 Nm @ 4200 RPM. The 1.4 L and 1.6 L CRDi diesel engines produce 89 bhp @ 4000 RPM and 121 bhp @ 6300 RPM respectively.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOqxfriXnsIBoth the 1.6 L petrol and diesel are also offered with an automatic gearbox.Winner: Hyundai VernaVerdict:The Hyundai Verna has been a segment leader for quite sometime now. Sadly with the lack of updates to take on newer arrivals, the Verna has now become a thing of the past. Until the next generation Verna (rumored to be the Solaris Internationally) is set to arrive, Maruti's latest offering is one of the best in both the manufacturer's history as well as in the current market.

Face Off: Fiat Punto Evo vs Hyundai Elite i20

2014 fiat punto rear

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

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

Design:

Fiat Punto Evo:

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

2014 fiat punto facelift
The All New Fiat Punto Evo

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

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

Hyundai Elite i20:

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

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

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

Round 1 Winner: Draw !

 

Interiors:

Fiat Punto Evo:

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

2014 fiat punto evo interiors
Interiors of the Punto Evo

Hyundai Elite i20:

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

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

Round 2 Winner: Hyundai Elite i20 !

 

Under The Hood:

Fiat Punto:

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

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

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

Hyundai Elite i20:

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

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

Round 3 Winner: Fiat Punto Evo !

 

Verdict:

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

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

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

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

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

Face Off: Nissan Terrano vs Ford EcoSport

ford ecosport dashboard

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

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

Design:

Nissan Terrano:

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

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

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

Ford EcoSport:

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

ford ecosport
Front View of the EcoSport

Round 1 Winner: Nissan Terrano !

Interior:

Nissan Terrano:

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

interiors of nissan terrano
Interiors of the Nissan Terrano Compact SUV

Ford EcoSport:

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

ford ecosport dashboard
Dashboard of the Ford EcoSport

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

Round 2 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Engine:

Nissan Terrano:

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

nissan terrano rear
Rear View of the Terrano

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

Ford EcoSport:

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

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

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

Round 3 Winner: Ford EcoSport !

Verdict:

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

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

Image Source: Internet

Face Off: Fiat Linea vs Skoda Rapid

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

Design:

Fiat Linea:

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

2014 fiat linea review
The All New Fiat Linea

Skoda Rapid:

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

skoda rapid compare
The Skoda Rapid

Round 1 Winner: Skoda Rapid !

Interiors:

Fiat Linea:

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

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

Skoda Rapid:

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

interiors of skoda rapid
Interiors of the Skoda Rapid

Round 2 Winner: Fiat Linea !

Engine:

Fiat Linea:

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

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

Skoda Rapid:

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

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

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

Round 3 Winner: Fiat Linea !

The Drive:

Fiat Linea:

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

Skoda Rapid:

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

Round 4 Winner: Draw !

Verdict:

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

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

 

VW Beetle and Mini Cooper – Are they really GIRLY Rides?

Every Car ever built has always rolled out with a unique persona. While some cars (or their drivers) made a very mean and muscular appearance, some looked like wheels with attitude while the other had a very small voice that was ruled by the middle classes. Seemingly enough came gender specific cars that were somehow considered a myth.

Let us mull over the myth to uncover the truth.

“Chick’s” no matter where you see them, on a two wheeler or a car. You might either keep your distance or follow them for obvious reasons. The “Chick Cars” blossomed up in the automobile industry with a gender label. Cars that looked cute and tiny were usually considered chick cars. However, the recent facts negate such erroneous statements. Let us look at two cars that have unfathomably created a Girly Status in the Automobile Market.VOLKSWAGEN BEETLE:THEN:It started off with not such a smooth beginning. Ideated by Adolt Hitler in 1924 (uncanny connection right?) While in prison, conceived the idea of giving German’s a relief from unemployment, which gave rise to a mass production of the people’s car (Volkswagen; that means peoples car in German) The idea of building a car started way back in 1933, was supposed to be designed for the average man. However, the problems had only begun, because till the year 1938, the car designs were not finalized. During 1939, post war, the rear engine, rear wheel drive, economy cars that could accommodate two adults and three kids that could hit a speed of 100 kmph with much regard to the costs (£86) came into existence. Initially the car was named Type I soon after which, the car was named “Beetle

[caption id="attachment_785" align="aligncenter" width="1500"]Adolf Hitler with His beetle. Adolf Hitler with His beetle. Image Source: www.photosofwar.net[/caption]People disregarded the looks during the 1960-70’s. Beetle’s were very durable and considered very cheap (cost and service). It was during the 90’s when the beetle went feminine. The bug shaped car was the talk (well, gossip to be more girly and specific) of the entire girly community. The gender based cars were much more evident and the men developed taste for muscle, sporty and mean looking cars, leaving the frivolous beetle to the (then) other gender.It was generally noted that girls in various movies belonging to sororities had beetles and that might have been the reason behind the entire girly build-up.NOW:Males like sport cars and muscles that roar. Men generally like cars like the Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bugatti, Pagani etc.  The New Beetle’s had however, broken the perception chain that men had over the bug shaped car. With the Volkswagen group’s primary focus hooked onto sales and their eyes glued onto men, the 2012 beetle model looked sporty (unlike the previous cute and sexy girly version)
[caption id="attachment_794" align="aligncenter" width="800"]Volkswagen Beetle India Volkswagen Beetle India
Image Source: Indiandrives.com[/caption] Volkswagen’s strategy had completely changed, the ads were manly, and the looks of the car were masculine. Surprisingly, beetle had male buyers. Out of the total beetle sales since September 2011, the new (2012) beetle had a massive 49% masculine buyers list. Volkswagen was smart enough to understand the psychology of men. Masculinity was advertised through the turbocharged models (men drool over turbo charged models)THE CAR:Stretching 168.4 inches in length and 71.2 inches in width, the New Beetle (2012) had its engine adopted from small cars such as the VW Golf. The vehicle had a powerful engine (170 horse power) than most of the cars, delivered 177Nm torque. There were optional variants introduced too, there were turbo charged models like; the 2 liter turbocharged, 4 cylinder model that had 200 hp and delivered 207 Nm torque whereas the 2 liter turbo-diesel model that came in later as yet another option had 140 hp and delivered 236 Nm torque.
[caption id="attachment_786" align="aligncenter" width="1035"]Evolution of Beetle Evolution of Beetle
Image Source: www.digitaltrends.com[/caption]WHEN THE BUG BECAME DESI:Although Volkswagen stated that its New Beetle model would stick onto the base on which these cars were built. “Remain affordable to a large portion of the population”. India somehow remained indifferent to this fact.Most of the Indian sport car lovers would stop whatever they do for a while just to witness a sports car roar by. The Volkswagen beetle was treated in the same manner. Well, who wouldn’t stare at this exorbitantly priced bug right?.
[caption id="attachment_788" align="aligncenter" width="800"]India Welcomes VW Beetle. Image Source www.indiandrives.com India Welcomes VW Beetle
Image Source: www.indiandrives.com[/caption]The Volkswagen Beetle, India starts at Rs. 21.23 lakhs (Ex-Showroom Price Delhi) No matter who drives the beetle (man or woman) the bug is certain to gain attention over the bumpy Indian roads.A “MINI”CONTENDER:THEN:Termed as one of the most iconic vehicles of the 1960’s belonging to a racing car origin, Mini Cooper was taken over by BMW (Bayerische Motor Works) and re-launched in the year 2000, by rolling out 2 variants; the Cooper and the Cooper S.The Mini Cooper was originally developed by the British Motor Company (BMC) and designed by Sir Alex Issigonis in the 1950’5. Fuel crisis was reaching an all time high and the demand for fuel-efficient cars was soaring up. Hence, the mini came into action. The mini was developed as a two door, 4-cylinder engine car. Mini or otherwise known as Mark I was associated with other prevailing brands such as Morris Minor and Austin. 1960 proved to be a fruitful year for Mini, which launched a new member in the mini family, the Mini II, that featured a new grille and classier looks.
[caption id="attachment_789" align="aligncenter" width="433"]Old Mini Old Mini
Image Source: www.automobilesdeluxe.tv[/caption]It was later that John Cooper of the Cooper Car Company, who put the potential of the Mini’s at best use. Hence, the motor sports versions namely; Mini Cooper and Mini Cooper S were launched in 1961 and 1963 respectively. These racing machines sported 848 and 1071 cc engines respectively. The mini’s kept their cool ever since and were considered sporty.The popular movie Ïtalian Job” relied on Mini Coopers to successfully pull off a heist, creating a special place in the minds of men.It was during the 1980’s when the brand license was sold to Spanish and Italian Car manufacturers. This resulted in newer and better-looking models. Soon after, Rover Group (currently under TATA) owned the rights of Mini, sold them off to the German manufacturer popularly known as BMW. Ever since, the mini has been a mini part of BMW Group. 
[caption id="attachment_790" align="aligncenter" width="1200"]Old & New mini Cooper Old & New Mini
Image Source: www.sfcitizen.com[/caption]NOW:The mini looks a tad better than the beetle. Although even the mini is labeled a girly car, it had a reputation of being a sports car and the racing DNA still exists. Currently Mini has many variants of the hatchback available in various countries. In fact, even special edition classic cooper and cooper sports cars were rolled out. The mini still holds a retro chick design, which may or may not be desirable by a few men.
[caption id="attachment_791" align="aligncenter" width="700"]Mini Cooper India Mini Cooper India
Image Source: www. catazz.blogspot.com[/caption]The engine of the cooper has undergone a major overhaul, running on a Toyota diesel engine and bringing out new variants such as the convertibles and hatch models have expanded horizons for Mini.THE CAR:The car might seem mini and chick friendly, with all the girly colored cars seen on roads and seen on the Internet. However, a look under the hood would change your perspective. Although, being considered chick friendly, the driving experience is more towards the fun loving side over the racing and drifting kind. The mini has push interiors and a cool look, to top it all up the mini is safe (Youtube has various lady driver videos; if you know what I mean J) with 6 ABS airbags and a Brake Assist, safety is ensured (phew)The Cooper S is a sporting hit that comes with a 1.6- liter four cylinder engine that has been turbo charged proudly boasting its 184 BHP high performance engine that produces 240 Nm torque. The racing machine can cover 0-100 in 6.8 seconds*. However, the manual transmission models aren’t available in India.WHEN MINI WENT MAXI:The Mini carries a cute and girly image. However, this ride just like the Volkswagen Beetle; comes at a hefty price tag too. With a starting range of Rs. 23.70 Lakhs (Ex-Showroom Delhi), the Mini (available and priced according to variants in India) goes as heavy as 36.50 Lakhs on your pocket or purse.BOTTOM LINE:
[caption id="attachment_792" align="aligncenter" width="898"]Mini & Beetle Mini & Beetle
Image Source: www.autoevolution.com[/caption]Beetle Commercial: Mini Commercial: For a price ranging from 23- 36.50 lakhs + margin, it doesn’t really matter if you are a man or a woman. The price certainly removes the gender bias. These cars certainly managed to create awe in the Indian market through their looks. However, both the companies need to reconsider the pricing 🙂Bottom Line: Although the looks and the general belief might have deceived you, The Volkswagen Beetle and the Mini Cooper aren’t girly cars. They are powerful machines that come in small packages.Visit the Volkswagen Website: www.volkswagen.co.inVisit the Mini Website: www.mini.in 

Face Off : Hyundai i20 vs Maruti Suzuki Swift

The Hatchback segment is a heavily contended area of the Indian market. Although a multitude of cars from various manufacturers have entered the fray over the past five years, two names have managed to always stay on top:  Maruti Suzuki and Hyundai. The Swift and i20 have been clashing against each other for years now and with both offering a host of features and space at a reasonable price point, the battle in this segment eventually became a two horse race between the Suzuki Swift and Hyundai i20.

Lets take a look at what makes both these hatchbacks so successful and what may be the better choice for you as a buyer.

Exterior:

Swift:

The current gen Swift is more of an evolution from the previous generation than a full blown facelift. As a result merely the dimensions of the headlights and taillights have been changed. While many consider the new look to be more contemporary, the Swift falls a little behind the competition in this department. However, the finish and choice of colours have greatly improved over the first model and the car makes for a far more premium offering.

Verdict: 7/10

i20:

Hyundai’s latest fluidic design philosophy greatly aided the ailing company’s fortunes around the world. With the launch of the Fluidic Verna, the company revived its sales figures to even displace Indian heavyweight Maruti from the top spot in multiple segments. Following the phenomenal success of the Verna, Hyundai applied the very same design methodology to the i20. While the previous generation i20 was criticized for its plane Jane looks, the new i20 is far more edgy in terms of design. Free flowing lines emanating from the hexagonal grille run across the body of the hatchback add to the hatchback’s “fluidic” nature.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Interior:

Swift:

Maruti has made tremendous strides with the interior of the Swift. Replacing the conventional beige and grey colours with an all-black cabin vastly improved the car’s upmarket feel. The dashboard has been thoroughly redone with high grade plastics and quality buttons. However, we do find some evidence of cost cutting with some areas where fit and finish isn’t entirely perfect.

The integrated music system is far more appealing and features steering mounted controls. Although the peak volume is quite impressive, cabin acoustics could have been fairly better. Though this can be fixed with after-market speakers.

Cabin space is good but not exceptional with even tall passengers sitting at the back in adequate comfort.

Verdict: 7/10

i20:

The i20’s interiors are one of the best around. The premium plastics and chrome touches across the dash improve on the premium feel of the car. The blue ambient lighting is quite pretty when compared to the rather low key white light of the Swift. The music system features the conventional USB, iPod, AUX In inputs, however, the car’s acoustics are excellent and give the passengers an immersive experience.

One major flaw of the i20’s infotainment system is the positioning of the rather small monochrome screen. The size, position and control units for the display is simply not ergonomically sound.

Verdict: 7/10

Under The Hood:

The Swift and i20 are powered by both petrol and diesel units. For the purposes of the comparo, we will be considering the petrol variants of both cars.

Swift:

The Swift is powered by an updated 1.2 L engine that features variable valve timing that improves performance and fuel efficiency. The new chassis has improved weight reduction, which means the power to weight ratio of the current gen Swift is one of the best in its class. The petrol mill churns out 85 HP @ 6000 RPM with a peak torque of 114 Nm hitting at 4000 RPM. Although the claimed mileage is 18.6 km/L, the Swift gives about 14 – 16 km/L in the real world. Still a commendable job from the little hatch.

Verdict: 8/10

i20:

The i20 is powered by a similar specked engine and also offers the latest in tech wizardry to ensure maximum fuel efficiency and performance. The 1.2 L four cylinder engine puts out 82.8 HP @ 6000 RPM and 113 Nm of torque @ 4000 RPM. However, the Hyundai hatch is much larger and heavier and as a result performance takes a big hit. Although claimed mileage is 18 km/L, the i20 gives about 12/13 km/L in city traffic conditions. Despite the lack of power, the engine is extremely refined and quiet even beyond 4000 revs. Hyundai has done an impressive job with cabin noise insulation as well.

Verdict: 7/10

Performance:

Swift:

One can argue that the Swift does not posses the refinement of the i20 or the features, however despite its shortcomings in build quality and the like, the Swift runs circles ’round the i20 when it comes to the drive. The Swift has always been a tuner’s favorite and for a good reason, with a superb rev happy engine and good power to weight ratio, the Swift is an absolute blast to drive. Brakes are strong and responsive and react well when put under test. Gear shifts are smooth and the gearbox works with minimal fuss. The turning radius is better than the i20 and the car also offers good rear visibility. Given that it is a Maruti, spare parts are also easily accessible and cheap.

Verdict: 8.5/10

i20:

The i20 is a bit of a disappointment here. With a hatchback this large, you would think that Hyundai would put a more powerful engine under the bonnet. Sadly however, the 1.2 L petrol mill provides poor low end torque and as a result the car fails to pull away when you need it the most. Although noise insulation is impressive, Hyundai has skimped on the engine to provide more features. While many may consider a feature loaded car as a value for money product, the i20 fails to impress as a driver’s car. The brakes, despite providing adequate braking capability, feel spongy and lack the bite that the Swift offers.

Verdict: 7.5/10

Verdict:

While both cars are placed in the same segment and cost about the same, the Swift and i20 belong to totally different worlds. While one tugs and pulls at your heart, the other makes a whole lot more sense. One is meant to be driven while the other is meant to be driven in.

maruti suzuki swift
The Maruti Suzuki Swift

So for the better driver’s car, it has and will always be the Maruti Suzuki Swift. However, for the more feature loaded and spacious of the two, our pick would definitely be the Hyundai i20.

2012 hyundai i20
The Hyundai i20

Image Sources: Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai

Visit Maruti Suzuki India Website: http://www.marutisuzuki.com

Visit Hyundai India Website: www.hyundai.com/in

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.

images
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.

images (1)

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