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.

Maruti Suzuki SX4 S-Cross : Preview

Maruti Suzuki is considered as one of the largest car manufacturers in India and now this leading company is planning to launch several new models in the next 12 months, starting with this line-up Maruti Suzuki India Limited has officially unveiled a brand new crossover for the Indian market named as Maruti SX4 S Cross. This is considered as one of the two crossovers which are going to be released by Maruti while the other one is said to be XA Alpha or iV4. While the SX4 Cross is placed under the compact crossover segment, XA Alpha or iV4 is said to be placed under the Subcompact segment.  The compact crossover SX4 S-Cross carries the same design principles of the SX4 sedan which is considered as one of the best-releases from this company and has received the 5-star Euro NCAP safety ratings for its safety features. Maruti is considering this crossover release to be as successful in par with its predecessor SX4 Sedan. Even the looks of the crossover are are in lines with the SX4 Sedan.

This crossover was first unveiled at 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March and it was also unveiled at 2014 Delhi Auto Show in India. This car was first developed in collaboration with the Italian automobile manufacturer Fiat. The demand for MPV’s and Compact Utility Vehicles are increasing suddenly in India as many people are opting to buy  Compact Utility Vehicles than a Full Fledged SUV considering the affordability factors. With this growing demand in India, Maruti is planning to launch two crossovers in India and Maruti is considering SX4 Cross to be a major trump card to play in this tough competition areana.

So let’s dive in to the review to understand whether this car has the required features to call it as the game changer or a considerable ordinary release??

Maruti SX4 S-Cross

Image Source: www.scrensearch.com

Review: Styling & Looks

Exterior:

The newly unveiled Maruti SX4 S Cross comes with good looks and with a bit of smart and glossy design that can impress you in the first glance itself. The Exterior looks quite similar to the 2006 release SX4 Sedan. The front look gets a three piece chrome plated black grille with the studded Suzuki logo at middle of the grille. The head lights are also similar to the old release except that the new release gets the daytime LED’s and projector headlamps. In addition to this, there is an protective cladding made from aluminium under the bumper that can provide additional protection to the front from sudden strokes and as well as also from minor accidents. The wheels are fitted with a diamond shaped alloy which looks trendy and classy. While the rear end of this car also has a rear bumper with a metal platted finish same as front bumper and the tail lamps have a new classy and edgy design. The side looks are slightly changed with elongated doors for a good entry and as well as exit.

Interiors:

When it comes to interiors it looks neat and well-furnished and the design of the interiors look similar as in the Maruti’s Swift Hatchback model. Especially the steering wheel and the instrument clusters look very similar to the Swift. The dashboard looks quite simple and sophisticated with an integrated infotainment system, gearbox console, AC unit and other control buttons which are placed in smart way so that the user will be able to handle them easily. The seats are covered with premium black leather upholstery that gives a luxurious feel to people seated inside the car. The rear seats can accommodate three people comfortably and will fold down to expand the boot space at the back and the boot space is quite large in order to accommodate all things inside.

Maruti SX4 S-Cross features

Review: Engine & Performance:

When it comes to engine, the SX4 S-Cross comes in both petrol and diesel variants. The petrol version is expected to be powered by a 4-cylinder, 1.6-litre Multi-jet engine (1586cc displacement). It can produce a maximum power of 118Bhp at 5600 to 6000rpm, and this engine can generate a maximum torque output of 156Nm of peak torque at 4000rpm, which is quite impressive. This petrol version is expected to be powered with a 5-speed manual along with a CVT gearbox option. The entry level or low level diesel variants could be offered with a 4-cylinder, 1.3-litre engine having a 1248cc displacement capacity which is also considerably good if the car price is set to minimum.

With these engines the car is set have a good acceleration as the company is saying that the 1.6-Litre Multi-jet engine can reach 100 Kmph speed in just 11.3 to 11.5 seconds. The car can reach up to a maximum speed of about 185 Kmph. While the 1.6-Litre Petrol engine mill is expected go up gear up to a top speed of 170 Kmph and can accelerate from 0 to 100 Kmph speed in 10 to 11 seconds which is also quite impressive.

Maruti SX4 S-Cross review

Image Source: indianautosblog.com

Review: Safety

Safety is considered as one of the maximum priority aspect by Maruti. Hence many Maruti Suzuki cars are equipped with great safety measures. This car also has great safety features such as dual front air bags, ABS+EBD, central locking system, engine immobilizer, seat belts, side impact beams. With all these we can say that the car has  great safety measures.

Rivals:

This car is all set to face its rivals right from Honda to Mahindra and Renault to Ford. The cars which are considerable rivals for this car are

  • Ford Eco-sport
  • Mahindra XUV-500
  • Scorpio
  • Renault Duster
  • Honda Mobilio
  • Nissan Terrano

Key reason to own: Sophisticated body design, luxuriant interiors, Classy looks and After sales support

Reasons to skip: Chance of high Price tag, Not so trendy looking.

Release Expectations & Price:

We can expect this car to be released in second half of 2014 or at starting months of 2015. It is likely to be priced in the range of Rs 8 lakh (low-end) to Rs 14 lakh (high-end).

Bottom-Line:

Maruti is said to be one of the largest manufactures for the Indian market and well known for its good designs. If you want a classy car at a good price then it will be one of the best choices you have. We expect Maruti to release this car at a reasonable price tag so that it can be a tough competitor for its rivals.

Fiat Avventura – a Pre-Launch Review

I am sure there are many reasons for people to own a Ferrari car. What about the consumers who think they can’t afford one in their lifetime. The savior for them is FIAT which we call in our friend’s circles as (Ferrari In Affordable Transport), which holds major stakes in Ferrari. The awesome news is : Fiat is coming out with this fantastic sporty model, the Fiat Avventura !

Good things : Time tested 1.3 litre diesel engine, Ride and build quality, handling dynamics, Stunning Design, Stylish looks, High ground clearance

Not so good things : Resale value, Niggling issues, after sales service, spare parts availability

 

Utility Vehicles:

Sports Utility Vehicle or SUV finds big attraction with most consumers. Consumers feel that the suv size is a measure of safety since it’s larger and heavier, room for more people, carrying extra luggage, off-road purpose and their strong road presence. Driving a SUV is often associated with the idea of macho, tough and independent person. At the same time it has its drawbacks like expensive to buy, fuel guzzler, expensive to maintain, hard time in parking them in crowded places. Here comes the idea of mini-suv/compact suv/crossover, where it combines the benefits of suv and cars. This in the recent time has runaway success in India and brands like Renault duster, Ford Ecosport is perfect example. In near future Fiat India will join this club by launching its rugged outdoor styled crossover Fiat Avventura. The crossover which was unveiled at 2014 Auto Expo, Delhi.

 

Fiat India

Fiat Avventura at Auto Expo:

Specs and Features:

Fiat Avventura is based on the same platform of Fiat Punto, which will enable Fiat to share parts and components. The length of the vehicle will be within 4 meter segment to get benefits on excise duty. It will be launched in both petrol and diesel versions. Petrol versions are expected in 1.2 litre and 1.4 litre units. Diesel version is 1.3-litre multijet engine, which will deliver 93ps and 209NM of torque. It will sport the new headlight design, projector headlamps and redesigned front grille. The front grille which will also be seen in the 2014 Fiat Punto facelift. Ground clearance in Fiat Avventura is increased to 200mm and fitted with wide 225 tyres around 17 inch alloys. Spare wheel is not fitted with the hatch though it appears to be, which is fitted on a swing arm. Side profile is designed with plastic cladding on the wheel arches and door. The interior console and dashboard looks more premium with its dual tone color. The other features include steering mounted audio and call function controls, armrest for driver, rear AC vents, power windows, power steering and vanity mirrors. The safety aspects include dual airbags, engine immobilizer and Anti-locking braking system (ABS) with electronic brake distribution (EBD). Front wheels will be equipped with ventilated disc brakes and rear wheels with drum brakes. Considering the off road nature of the vehicle Fiat Avventura is fitted with roof rails, navigation system etc.

Competitor Vehicles: Ford Ecosport, Toyota Etios cross, Volkswagen cross polo

Bottom-line:

Fiat products are better in terms of technology, engine but few factors as we mentioned above has affected their sales in the past. Things have started to improve recently as Fiat India has put in strategy to increase the number of its products offerings, expanding the dealership network and increasing the spares part availability. This will help them to build their brand image in a better way. Fiat India website has made announcement that Fiat Avventura will be launched soon. Fiat has crafted it in a manner it will sure be a head turner. Fiat Avventura launch is crucial to set the path for the future launches, considering the company’s plans to bring the iconic jeep brand from Chrysler to India.

Visit Fiat India Website: http://www.fiat-india.com