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Jaguar Land Rover is riding the crest of a wave of growing sales and burgeoning profitability worldwide. This golden period is driven primarily by its product pipeline and superb brand management. Things have never been this good for Land Rover, and we get behind the wheel of the latest Range Rover Sport, which reaffirms the company?s credentials as a maker of unimpeachable luxury off-roaders. Did I just give the game away? Perhaps, but let me tell you more.
Maruti Suzuki has launched a new version of the popular WagonR hatchback called the Stingray. Priced at Rs 4.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Kolkata) for the base LXi trim, the Stingray slots in above the current WagonR and is powered by the same K-series petrol powerplant that does duty on its stable mate – the Wagon R. The Maruti Suzuki Stingray will be available in LXi and VXi variants with ABS and driver airbag available as a cost option on the top VXi trim.
We told you Nissan would make its own version of Alliance partner Renault’s popular Duster SUV for the Indian market over a year ago. Well, we finally get to drive it. Here’s the lowdown on this new compact SUV, which is sure to shake up this increasingly-crowded segment a little more.
This is the all-new, third-generation Skoda Octavia, the most important car in the Czech manufacturer’s line-up. It will be launched in India in early October. We get behind the wheel of the new Octavia sedan in Himachal Pradesh, putting it through its paces in some truly gruelling terrain. I don’t want to give the game away, but we did come back mighty impressed. Skoda will launch the new Octavia with a total of four different powertrain options, of which we’ve driven three.
Hyundai has designs on becoming the No 1 car-maker in India. To usurp Maruti’s throne, Hyundai knows it has to fight in the compact segment, which is where the Grand i10 comes in. Smartly positioned between the existing i10 and i20, the new Grand i10 will form the fifth hatchback model from Hyundai. We drive this latest hatchback car, to give you the complete lowdown of how it performs.
Mahindra’s MUV has won a certain fan following, but sales of this utility vehicle haven’t been spectacular. With the H-Series Xylo (so called because the mHawk engine replaces the previous mEagle power unit), M&M is hoping for better numbers. It has widened the Xylo’s appeal by offering a broader spread of variants, and equipping the Xylo with many features to make it as good value as possible. Has Mahindra pulled it off? We put the new Xylo to the test to find out.
Jaguar’s re-emergence as a luxury car-maker has ridden much on the shoulders of the XF saloon. From being a company which was regarded as a has-been to being the only brand globally to rub shoulders with the German Big Three of Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi, Jaguar today is poised for greater things. Developed under Ford’s watch, the XF as we know it is now over 5 years old. It has received a face-lift in 2012, and now it has a new 2.2-litre oil burner under the hood as well.
The Toyota Innova forms a very important part of Toyota’s product portfolio in the Indian market. The Innova was launched in 2005 and ever since it has proved itself to be a good performer contributing significantly to Toyota’s revenue in India. Toyota Kirloskar Motors claims to have sold over 4 lakh units of the Innova MPV since the time of its launch. Today, the Toyota Innova is common sight on Indian roads and beyond doubt enjoys the status of being regarded as a very popular and reliable MPV.
Call it a hatchback, notchback, compact car or by whatever name that you desire, but the long and short of it is that the Mahindra Verito Vibe is a sub-4 metre version of the company's Verito sedan with a chopped and redesigned rear.
First impressions often end up being lasting impressions. We get behind the wheel of Force Motors’ first attempt at the burgeoning SUV market in India. Is the Force One simply a case of mere opportunism, or does there lay real substance behind rough and tough exterior? Join us for the drive as we attempt to find out.
Rising petrol prices over the last year and half and a steadily increasing demand for diesel vehicles finally witnessed Japanese auto manufacturer Honda take the plunge and launch their first ever diesel vehicle in India – the 1.5-litre i-DTEC powered Honda Amaze compact sedan.
General Motors (GM) India has launched the Chevrolet Enjoy MPV. The Enjoy is the third product from the company’s Chinese partner Shanghai Automotive Industries Corporation (SAIC) in the last six months. GM India has launched the Sail U-VA hatchback last November and the Sail sedan this February. The Chevrolet Enjoy will compete with the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and the Nissan Evalia.
The Micra always had a lot going for it, from good built quality and Japanese reliability, a fuel-efficient petrol engine (a diesel joined the range soon after) and a fast-expanding dealer network. Despite all the right ingredients, the Micra never found the sales numbers it richly deserved. Now however, with Nissan having addressed the Micra’s one valid criticism – the designed by committee approach was always fraught with pitfalls – can this car stage a fight back?
The Ssangyong Rexton ‘by Mahindra’ is the first product from the Korean car-maker in India, better known for its SUVs. For those bewildered by M&M’s acquisition of the beleaguered Korean car company, don’t be; it may not be a ‘sexy’ brand like Land Rover, but it has potential, not just in developing markets like India, but in evolved automotive market places as well. While that might be a story for another day, let’s focus our attention on the big, brawny but not so beautiful Ssangyong Rexton.
Positioned as a no-nonsense, no-frills offering in the entry-level sedan segment, the Toyota Etios is available in six variants in three trim levels each in petrol and diesel.
Ford India has had a tough innings in India. Apart from the Ford Figo, and the Ford Ikon before that, there has been no car which wears the Blue Oval badge which seems to have caught the Indian car buyer’s fancy. All that could change though with this, the new Ford EcoSport urban SUV. We get behind the wheel to bring you this comprehensive test drive report.
The quest to discover just how good the special edition Audi A6 has fared took us all the way from Calcutta (city of joy) to Jaipur (the pink city) where we got behind the wheel of an Audi A6 2.0 TDI and drove down the Jaipur-Agra Highway. Read on to find out how it performed.
The Jaguar F-Type returns the brand to its original roots, that of a sportscar manufacturer. The name ‘F-Type’ is the greatest clue yet, a powerful homage to the grand old E-Type from the 1960s and ‘70s. The new Jaguar F-Type will be available with a choice of three different engines, which includes two 3.0-litre V6 engines and a 5.0-litre V8. We drive Jaguar’s most recent offering along some sinuous roads in Spain’s wine country to bring you this exclusive test drive report.
The launch of the Toyota Etios Liva marked the Japanese car manufacturer’s foray into the fiercely competitive and crowded Indian small car segment. The Etios Liva is the most inexpensive Toyota on offer in the Indian market and competes with the likes of Hyundai i20, Volkswagen Polo, Ford Figo and the hot selling Maruti Swift.
Not too long after introducing the new Sail U-VA hatchback into the Indian market, Chevrolet has brought in its next offering, the new Sail sedan, based on the same platform. We get behind the wheel of Chevrolet’s new entry mid-size challenger to bring you this exclusive twin test of both the petrol and diesel versions.
Mercedes has made a commitment to India; a commitment to offer as many models as possible from its vast repertoire. While the locally-built sedans are obviously the bread-and-butter models for Mercedes, it does offer most of its range as completely built-up units, or CBUs, in our market. We get behind the wheel of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Cabriolet, which is fully-imported. In India, the E-Class Cabriolet is available with a single engine option – a 3.5-litre petrol V6, christened the E350.
After the success of Nissan Micra petrol, the Japanese auto manufacturer followed it with the launch of the diesel version of the Micra hatchback, utilizing the popular 1.5-litre dCi diesel from the Renault Pulse.
There is little doubt that the Micra hatchback is perhaps the most important car among Nissan’s product line in India. We got behind the wheel of the Nissan Micra Petrol XV and drove it down Rajarhat to discover has got what it takes to topple some of its more established competitors. Read on to find out what we found out.
Maruti Suzuki has recently launched a face-lifted version of its ‘Blue-Eyed-Boy’ – the WagonR hatchback at a price of Rs 3.77 lakh for the base LX variant, ex-showroom Kolkata.
Renault’s Scala sedan is a recent entrant to the hyper-competitive mid-size sedan segment, but has managed to carve a niche all its own. Based largely on the Nissan Sunny, Renault has tried to position the Scala as the more premium of the two, a strategy which has met with measure success. Now, Renault has broadened its product offering with the launch of the new Scala CVT. The Renault Scala CVT is the automatic transmission variant, sporting a compact and frugal continuously variable transmission.
The Nissan Sunny is the company’s second Indian made vehicle and forms an important part of the company’s product portfolio. First to arrive was the petrol variant in September 2011 and in less than three months, the company launched the diesel variant keeping in tune with the market demand and rising petrol prices across the globe.
In many ways, the new Hyundai Elantra is the Korean car-maker’s most significant model globally. To put it in context, you need to understand that the Neo Fluidic Elantra takes on the big guns, viz. the Toyota Corolla and the Honda Civic, in that most competitive market of them all – North America. It’s a battle that Hyundai desperately wants to win, and so has thrown in all the delectable ingredients, including premium styling, a feature-rich cabin and wide variety of powertrain options.
Maruti Suzuki has launched the new Alto 800 at the price of Rs 2.60 lakh for the base petrol variant, ex-showroom Kolkata. The Maruti Suzuki Alto 800 will be manufactured at the company’s Gurgaon facility and will be available in three petrol and three factory fitted CNG variants namely the Standard, LX and LXi.
General Motors has launched the much anticipated Chevrolet Sail U-VA hatchback in India earlier this month. The Chevrolet Sail U-VA will be replacing the Aveo U-VA hatchback and has been developed in collaboration with General Motor’s Chinese counterpart – Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation (SAIC).
The original Range Rover created a sensation when it was first launched more than 40 years ago. Touted as being the most versatile car in the world, Land Rover engineers faced a huge task in improving upon the concept. In fact, so thrilled are existing Range Rover customers, they insisted to Land Rover engineers: “don’t change anything, just make it better”! It’s been a task the company has been hard at work fulfilling. We drive it – no, make that really give it the beans – in Morocco.
Mercedes-Benz has arguably invented the car itself, so if I were to tell you that the convertible hardtop/coupe concept is also a Mercedes original, you shouldn’t be too surprised. Here, we put the car which invented this genre, the Mercedes SLK, through its paces. This is the third-generation Mercedes-Benz SLK, internally designated as the R172, which was launched internationally a little over a year ago.
The original Safari, launched in 1998, well and truly took the market by storm, being the first ‘upmarket’ product in that space. Fourteen years later, here we have it – the new Tata Safari Storme. We drive the new Safari Storme on a brief off-road course and some broken terrain, while also quickly putting it through its paces on the twisty hills around Pune. Does the new Safari have enough in its armoury to take the Indian SUV market by Storme?
Almost two years since the Ford Figo was launched in India, the company decided to give its B segment hatchback a face-lift and launch its refreshed avatar just ahead of the upcoming festive season to cash in on the upbeat mood.
The low development cost base offered in China was something which could be leveraged very lucratively and that is how the Chevrolet Sail hatchback and sedan were pencilled in to GM’s India model strategy. The name Sail U-VA for the hatchback variant we’ve driven here (the sedan will come towards the end of 2012, or maybe early 2013), was something we’d exclusively confirmed back in May. The U-VA suffix is a nod to the earlier Aveo U-VA, which didn’t set sales charts on fire in India.
Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) has launched the much awaited Quanto compact UV last week at the price point of Rs 6.23 lakh (ex-showroom Kolkata) for the base C2 variant. The name 'Quanto' is a derivative of the word 'Quantum'. The Quanto name has been chosen by Mahindra to associate the new vehicle with qualities like maximum space, seats, power and performance.
Tata Motors’ journey as a car maker isn’t that old. But its utility-vehicle derived heritage nonetheless, Tata Motors has evolved into a maker of modern cars, fit for sale in markets around the world. In some ways, the Aria is the boldest statement from Tata yet, and is the biggest and most expensive passenger vehicle to emerge from its factories.
The numeral “4” in the Land Rover Discovery 4’s name doesn’t stand for four-wheel drive, as some may assume, but instead establishes this model of the Discovery as the fourth-generation in the genesis of this popular luxury off-roader.
Mahindra Verito is a no-frills, entry level sedan that offers a lot of space, good reliability and fuel efficiency at the best price. Mahindra has recently launched the New Look Verito with a facelift. Mahindra has priced the new Verito at Rs 5.30 lakh for the base petrol and Rs 6.30 lakh for the base diesel model, both prices being ex-showroom, Kolkata.
In May 2011, French carmaker Renault launched its very first car in the Indian market – Renault Fluence. At the launch, Len Curran of Renault had made a promise to everyone gathered that afternoon that Renault will launch five cars across segments in the coming 18 months. In months to follow, Renault went on to launch the Koleos, followed by the Pulse and finally the Duster. And a little over 15 months since the promise was made, Renault is all set to launch its fifth car in India – Renault Scala.
The soon-to-be-launched Nissan Evalia is the third made-in-India vehicle from the Japanese manufacturer, after the Micra hatchback and the Sunny sedan. With the Evalia, Nissan hopes to tackle the lucrative MPV/MUV segment in the country, which is displaying robust growth.
For India, the X3 is available with a choice of two different engine variants, which include a 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel and a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder diesel. Both variants have all-time four wheel drive and both come with an 8-speed gearbox as standard. The variant we’ve driven here is the BMW X3 xDrive30d, which has the 3.0-litre engine.
Would it be a claim too high to say the new Renault Duster is one of the most eagerly anticipated launches of 2012? Perhaps not. French car maker Renault has much to say about how the Indianised Duster with a lot of ‘masala’ will be a segment breaker. We get behind the wheel to find out.
The Rapid is the newest member of the Skoda family. Just one look at this latest offering from Skoda’s stable and one can’t but help be reminded of the Volkswagen Vento. It is no hidden secret that Volkswagen and Skoda share engines and platforms and the Skoda Rapid is basically the VW Vento with a few tweaks.
Skoda is an ambitious brand for sure. After initially tasting success with the Octavia and Laura, the company has followed it up with the new Superb. Our test drive reveals why the Skoda Superb remains the pick of the Premium Sedan market.
The Chevrolet Tavera started life as an Isuzu Panther. General Motors at one time held a controlling stake in Isuzu (now no longer), which is how the Tavera nee Panther found its way to Indian shores. So what’s new about the Neo 3? A mild facelift for starters, but more significantly, a new engine. Read on for more.
The cheeky little Chevrolet Spark has been around for a number of years now. Chevrolet India is keen to maintain its presence in the lucrative sub-compact segment of the Indian car market. We drive the revised and improved Chevy Spark, ahead of the face-lifted new model which we expect by end-2012.
With an all new-fluidic styling and first-in-segment features that should help in prolonging the shelf life of this premium hatchback in India, the new Hyundai i-Gen i20 has been launched in 12 variants (seven petrol and five diesel) and six colour options.
The Ford Fiesta Classic nee Fiesta was first launched in 2006. At the time, it was available with a choice of three engines – two petrols and one diesel. The new Ford Fiesta was launched last year, and the original Fiesta was renamed ‘Fiesta Classic’. We test drive the 1.6 Duratec Classic, which slots in at the lower end of the mid-size sedan market.
The Honda Brio is the first true small car from the Japanese manufacturer. After a torrid 2011, which saw Honda having to discount its models heavily to keep sales going, the Brio has helped hold the fort. We get behind the wheel of Honda’s first mass market car for India – the little Honda Brio hatchback. But has Honda finally managed to crack the code?
The Maruti Ertiga MPV is a first of sorts from the Indo-Japanese manufacturer. A luxurious family vehicle rather than a bare-basics people carrier unlike the Omni and Eeco, Maruti hopes to capture a whole new segment of the market, and accelerate its market share beyond 50 % once again.
The new Audi Q3 might be fashionably late, but it has enough and more in its arsenal to be the life of the party. ‘Start Young’ is Audi’s slogan for the soon-to-be-launched Q3 SUV, and makes things clear as to the demographic the company is targeting. There’s much to like about the new Q3, and it makes a very good first impression.
After two years of launching its budget sedan, the Indigo CS, Tata Motors came up with a new range of Indigo CS called the Indigo eCS series. This new car’s engine is BS IV emission norms compliant which make the car eligible to be sold in the 13 cities which have upgraded to BS IV emission norms.
Hyundai’s new Eon is a significant car for the Korean manufacturer, and a model which marks a new strategy and approach to the Indian market. For the first time in its illustrious history in India, will there be two products from its stable competing at a similar price point. The new Hyundai Eon is slightly cheaper than its Santro stable mate, but the two cars’ prices overlap across the range. But let’s not judge the Eon that way, and instead let’s look at it independently.
The new Mahindra XUV 500 has been launched to rapturous applause. We get behind the wheel of M&M’s winner. The variant we’ve driven is the front-wheel drive W8, which is fully-loaded with all the features you could wish for.
The recently launched Renault Pulse is the first of the truly mass-market Renaults in India. Following on from the successful introduction of the Fluence sedan and Koleos SUV, the Pulse will in many ways drive the Renault brand into the mindspace of the Indian car buyer.
The new for 2012 Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire seeks to capitalise on what seemingly is a loophole in government legislation – excise benefits for cars less than 4 metres in length. With this being the major talking point of the new Dzire, Maruti’s engineers have worked backwards to ensure the car meets this critical parameter.
Michael Jackson would probably drive this car, so a little plagiarism from one of his hit songs is apt for this little Chevy.
Audi the German carmaker launched A4 sedan in India in mid 2008. Audi maintains its reputation of producing some of the world's most luxurious cars, with excellent finish in their design.
History, past, precedent, call it what you will, the fact remains that India and Indians continue to view Hyundai as a maker of small cars. All has been hunky-dory in the B and C segments, but the marketplace hasn’t caught on fire with the car-maker’s other offerings. With the Santa Fe, all that could change
Hindustani is a dialect widely spoken throughout India. It is a pot-pourri of mainly Hindi and Urdu, peppered with Arabic, Sanskrit and Persian words and phrases, and lately English as well. Widely spoken in the Indian subcontinent, it is the default lingua franca in most parts of our country. Into this eclectic mix, Renault has thrown in some French flavour
Nissan’s second made-in-India product, the new Sunny sedan. The new Nissan Sunny is global car, and will be sold in 170 countries around the world. Indian production will be exported to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
Ford’s new Fiesta will be parachuted straight into the fire-fight of 2011 – the Battle of the Sedan. It brings enough ammo though, including the choice of petrol and diesel motors, voice-recognition technology, a blend of nimble handling and planted ride, and good looks.
Expert Reviews - Exhaustive Road Test and Test Drives in IndiaExpert Reviews serve the purpose of providing insightful data about new cars. Our auto experts conduct the road test with utmost sincerity and un biasedness ensuring that the test drive report that we publish is accurate and fair and would act as a reliable and relevant research data for prospective car buyers.
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