2013 New Tata Vista D90 – review
Vista D90, Tata’s new hatchback in the Vista series is to be unveiled on January 28, 2013 at Buddh International circuit, Noida. Luckily, we at Ginger Chai got an early opportunity to review the car before its official launch.
Vista D90 Exteriors
After pushing the Manza upmarket by giving it a club class treatment, Tata has liberally taken the design cue from the the mid-sized sedan for Vista D90. The large and bold wrapping headlamps, black roofing which contrasts itself from the body color, generous embellishments of chrome accents all around the exteriors yet not overdone gives away all the indicators where the Tata designers took the inspirations from.
The large headlamp is quiet captivating and compliments the Vista’s body…
The fog light gets a chrome dip and a thin chrome strip decorates the bumper…
A dash of chrome again on the door knobs and not to mention the doors are quiet solid thanks to extra reinforced steel and the evenly spread out weight plants the car pretty comfortably on the move.
The typical Indica Vista D90 design element with a thin chrome strip running on the bottom half of the doors… It sports tubeless tyres with alloy wheels, with a split-spoke pattern which looks good.
The typical Vista rear lights gets a smoked black trim around the edges complimenting the over all black effect that graces the car.
The infinity contrast roof with the contrast black on top gives a striking look at certain angles especially looking down from an elevation…
The boot has a 232 litre capacity…
Vista D90 Interiors
Get inside, the interiors of Vista D90 carries forward few refreshing changes. The driver-aligned dashboard is again Manza inspired and the instrumental cluster is nested behind the steering wheel. Two big dials and two small dials on either side looks classy and features a speedometer, RPM meter, fuel and plethora of other indicators. Moving a little aside in the top middle of the dashboard is a digital driver information system which displays a digital clock, distance to empty, average & instantaneous fuel consumption and ambient temperature.
Then there is the centrally placed music system with FM/MP3/CD playback with remote, USB port and axillary input. The car infotainment deck supports upto 5 bluetooth devices and you can pair your smartphones and access and stream your playlists and phone book.
The dual tone interiors gives a very roomy, warm feel.
All the variants of D90 has driver seat height adjustment system for good back and lumbar support. It also has a tilt adjustable steering column with mounted music and call answer buttons on it in all variants.
The whole instrument cluster and car infotainment system come alive at night with moonlit white illumination. Also very handy is the illumination ring around the keyhole which is very useful at dark while inserting the key.
There is a good space utilization all around the car, you get two cup holders near gear knob, all the four doors has door inserts for slipping into stuffs like magazines etc, a storage tray under the co-drivers seat, a deep and big glove box with visiting card holder, pen holder and coin box.
Thoughtfully, there is an extra mobile charging port for the rear passengers in addition to the one in the front.
The seating is decent enough on comfort factor and they come with 60:40 flip and 100% rear seat folding option.
A 232 litre boot space is good enough for a hatch of this size.
Engine and Drive quality of Vista D90
Under the hood of new Vista reveals a Quadrajet engine with Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT), with double overhead camshafts and 16 valve technology. The 1248 cc engine delivers a 90 PS @ 4000 rpm.
The D90 drives good in city traffic, the ride feels peppy and comfortable even in bumper to bumper traffic. On highways the D90 stays well planted and grooved, offering better cornering at high speeds. Thanks to the ABS flooring, it feels more safe and breaking in tricky conditions is even more confidant. Tata has fine tuned the suspension keeping in mind the more power this car throws, it works good on bad roads. The new Vista also sports a decent ground clearance and uphill and bad road driving was zippy without the need for many downshifts.
Safety features include ABS (with EBD), dual front airbags, central locking with keyless entry, warning indicators for seat belts if not fastened and driver door if opened with key on, child safety lock on rear doors, collapsible steering and solid steel reinforced doors.
The only part where vista lags is the gear lever knob which is bit hard and feels bit rough during gear changes.
What works for Vista D90
- Black contrast roofing
- Chrome garnishes which is not overdone
- dual tone driver aligned dashboard with good features
- Illuminating ring around the keyhole
- Peppy drive and overall good driving experience
What does not work for Vista D90
Thanks to Tata Motors and BlogAdda.com for the review opportunity
Yamaha Ray – Review
Yes! Yamaha finally enters the scooter segment in India.
Yes! The scooter segment is a rapidly growing segment in India.
Yes! Yamaha has a scooter portfolio globally.
Yes! Yamaha is mainly targeting the ladies with its maiden scooter offering in India.
Will India say Yes or No to the entry of Yamaha into scooter segment? Well, lets find out about the scooter and bring out our opinion.
Yamaha Ray is quiet distinctive in nature and styling. There are more angular elements all over the body and my initial reaction ‘Why would Yamaha deliberately target it for women? The styling suits well for men too’
The distinctive styling of Yamaha Ray is the way the front apron wraps around your legs. On the side profile, the design looks prominent and quiet attractive. On a flip side, we all know in India we use scooters for multi-purposes and one common usage is carrying bulky baggage on the foot board. So am not sure how much the wrapped front apron might hinder the luggage space. But on a design point of view it scores high. There are more angular designs that fills the canvas rather than the fluidic trend that has caught up with most of the competitors.
The front headlamp is massive and bit aggressive and similar to Honda Dio, the headlamp along with the integrated turn indicators are mounted to the front apron to give yet another distinctive look.
The instrument cluster is simple and practical in a dual triangle shape. It reads the basic figures that you find in any scooter in the Indian market now along with the light indicators.
The rear sports an equally big tail lamp to compliment the headlamp and again the angular designs make it looks good and appealing.
The grab rail talks a lot about the build quality. It is firm and sturdy. I feel this is one of a best grab rails available in Indian scooters currently. Did you say am getting too carried away by a simple grab rail? Well, each product leaves an impression and this happens to be one of it for me in Yamaha Ray.
The under seat storage is decent and also the fuel opening is nested under seat… In the front there is a baggage hook but no storage compartment in the front except for two cubbies.
Ray has a 5 liter fuel capacity.
Yet another part that caught my attention is the silencer. Its bold and makes its unique and strong design presence in good measures. Who said silencers in scooters are a boring visual affair?
Tyres are MRF Zappers in the 90/100-10 size. You get a telescopic fork suspension in the front and the regular swing arm mechanism for the rear. Telescopic suspension of course means a good handling and performance. Braking is taken care by the 130mm drums and are quiet good.
The 113 cc , four-stroke air-cooled SOHC 2 valve engine produces a top power of 7 BHP at 5000 RPM and a peak torque of 8 Nm at 5000 RPM which are not the best in the segment but decent enough. Though when compared to Swish or the fastest in segment Vespa, it might disappoint.
We didn’t get to spend a long time with the Ray but then the time we covered was enough to make our opinion about it. Weighing 104 kg, Yamaha Ray is lighter and easier to handle. Quiet peppy to ride, it handles the corners well and gives you a decent riding experience, though not very outstanding compared to the rivals in the segment.
Yamaha Ray is available in six colours comprising burgundy, black, blue, pink, grey and purple. Clearly, the pink and purple are kept with women in mind.
Ok, so what is the mileage figures? The company claims a 62.1kmpl but then I expect something in 50′s in the real world conditions. Ray is priced at Rs 46,000 launch price, ex-showroom Delhi.
For Yamaha the target segment is women and in fact the assembly line for Yamaha Ray is entirely managed by ladies. But going by the design aspect, I would not be surprised if many men are seen around in Ray, unless Yamaha goes overboard on pitching it exclusively for women and shy the men away.
Yamaha Ray is a decent offering, if not a radically top-notch product. With Ray, Yamaha does have a ray of hope in making its presence felt in the scooter segment.
Renault Duster – Review
4th time lucky! Renault seems to have got its act together and spot on with its compact SUV, Duster. Their three previous releases Fluence, Kleos and Pulse struggles with poor response but Duster is all set to change their fortunes in Indian market.
Internationally Duster was officially released in 2009 developed by Automobile Dacia S.A. The Romanian car maker, Dacia is a subsidiary of Renault after its acquisition in 1999.
Back to Renault Duster as it is in India, when it was announced for the Indian market, the design did caught on everyone and when the pricing was announced, most agreed it is a potential first blockbuster for the French car maker in India. If the sales story till date are any indication (I was told a figure of 15K plus), the Duster has arrived and here to stay.
Renault Duster Exteriors:
Built on monocoque body like Mahindra XUV 500 and Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, on first look Duster looks sturdy, rough and tough machine but compact. Exteriors especially the front looks very appealing.
Though conservative in design and not flamboyant and overwhelming like XUV 500, the front of Duster nevertheless has an imposing stance thanks to the large headlamps, the wide bodied strongly accentuated wheel arches and the can’t-miss-it to the point of being garish, chrome grille.
The front Front skidplate looks tough but when you know it is made of plastic, you feel cheated. Tough guys need a tough shield.
The front and rear headlamps … The front twin barrel headlamp is appealing with turn indicator stacked on top. The design flows with the wide stand of the front but the same cannot be said about the nondescript small tail lamp, though it is nested neatly in the rear.
The rear is not clearly an exciting stuff and the garish big sized chrome plate screaming the brand name does not work for all and it did not impress me that much here. Having said that the rear is neat, though not very exciting.
One good thing I liked about Duster is it’s 205mm of ground clearance.
Keep in mind Duster is essentially a 5 seater SUV. Though Renault provides with a side-facing, jump seat as an accessory. You get a large boot space of 1064 litre capacity.
Coming to the side profile of Duster, it is pleasing enough complimenting the overall stance of the car, much of the credit goes to the huge wheel arches that adds to the character. Though I have few complaints especially the old-fashioned door handles. Even the way it responds (read: the ‘thud’ sound while closing) does not inspire you. Even the OVRM with its silver coat on prods out odd in its coloring choice.
Interiors of Renault Duster:
Stepping into the Duster you are greeted to a roomy, warm ambience. The overall feeling you get is functional and practical rather than get ‘wowed’, though you might be disappointed by the choice of plastics used. In fact, the demo car we got our hands on already had its A/c vent broken.The cost cutting is quiet evident.
The black, beige & cream colour combination adds to the roominess and brightness to the interiors and quiet pleasing too. While the top variant gets a pleasant, shiny, wooden finishes, the rest of the variants has to settle with piano black finishes along with abundance of chrome.
Except for the basic variant, the others come with music system with 2DIN head-unit with 4 speakers, CD, MP3, USB, AUX & Bluetooth compatibility.
The steering is very practical with a large horn pad… Tilt steering is standard across variants.
The steering mounted audio controls is placed behind the steering wheel and is very intuitive to use. It has all the controls enabling you to choose the media type, radio stations, mute button, phone control etc.
The instrument console is functional and practical and ordinary in looks. The orange lit MID provides for necessary information like average speed, fuel efficiency, distance to empty, liters consumed etc.
As expected the base variant does not include the A/c. While there is no climate control offered even on the top variant. 6 speed transmission in the Duster 110 variant.
The top variant gets a choice of leather upholstery while the rest settle with fabric upholstery. Seating is bit stiff and flat. While the front offers quiet an impressive leg room, the same cannot be said about the rear. The central arm rest has two cup holders. Talking about the holders, the glovebox is illuminated and runs deep. The door has side pockets and there are two cup holders near the gear lever and back pockets behind the seat.
Surprisingly and unfortunately the rear seat does not offer a 60:40 splitting option.
The top variant gets a shiny wooden finish … the side door panel is impressive in look and feel. With apt placement of door controls (though no one touch down function even for the top variant) and deep pockets.
While the other variants gets shiny piano black finish…
Renault Duster Engine options and variants
Renault Duster offers a choice of three engines - two 1.5L diesels and one 1.6L petrol.
Renault Duster Diesel
Though essentially the diesel variants share the same engine, the BHP varies. So you can choose between a The 84 BHP 1.5L diesel engine and a 109 BHP 1.5 L diesel engine. The K9K turbo-charged common-rail diesel is a proven one and offers good fuel efficiency.
The Duster 110 diesel engine provides a 109 BHP @ 3,900 rpm and 248 Nm of max torque @ 2,250 rpm. While the 84 BHP variant churns out 84 BHP @ 3,750 rpm and 200 Nm of max torque @ 1,900 rpm. Forget all this technical numbers, the bottom line is the 85 BHP variant is not to be underestimated either. Thanks to the lower kerb weight, it performs rather well compared to its competitors like scorpio or safari. Though between the two variants, understandably the 110 BHP variant should perform well on highways due to its extra power range. The smaller of the variant also offers a better fuel efficiency.
Renault Duster Petrol
No multiple choices to confuse one here as it comes with one engine – 1598cc, 4-cylinder, Petrol engine delivering 104 PS @5850 rpm, 145 Nm @ 3750 rpm.
Variants of Renault Duster
Renault Duster spoils you with a 3 engine options and 8 variants.
The Petrol engine comes in two variants: Petrol RxE and RxL
The Diesel engines with its 85 PS and 110 PS options comes with 3 variants each.
Diesel 85 PS engine varaints: RxE, RxL, RxL option pack
Diesel 110 PS engine variants: RxL, RxZ, RxZ option pack.
Surprisingly both the petrol variants lack front dual airbags and ABS, EBD.
Ride and Handling of Renault Duster
What is undoubdetedly the highlight of the SUV is the ride quality of the Renault Duster. It effortlessly cruises through our bad roads. It’s a pleasure to ride and even the rear passengers would not complain. The suspension is in one word – awesome. It also has a commendable smaller wheel turning radius. The overall ride is very assuring and commanding. Although, unlike the competing models Renault Duster does not come with an all-wheel drive.
Renault Duster colors
Duster is available in 6 colours – woodland brown, fiery red, supreme white, moonlight silver, galaxy black, graphite grey.
Pricing of Renault Duster
With two diesel engine options and a petrol engine and variants within each Renault covers a wider price range. The base variant of petrol engine starts at Rs. 7,22,792 and the diesel engine (85 BHP) begins at Rs. 8,04,214. The diesel 110 PS variant starts at Rs. 10,07,770
A robust fairly good-looking compact SUV with an impressive drive quality. Though there are shortcomings like the choice of plastics used and being essentially a 5-seater and no four-wheel drive options, no 60:40 split rear seat etc, overall, Duster is a value for money and a game changer for Renault in Indian market. Though Renault seems to have given the petrol variant a raw deal in comparison with the Diesel variants.
Suzuki Hayate – Review
Suzuki does a dabangg with its newly launched 112 cc motorcycle Hayate. With this mass commuter bike Suzuki Motorcycle India Pvt. Ltd would be hoping to carve its pie out of the 100-110 cc segment which contributes the major sales numbers in the Indian bike segment. It also fills the gap for Suzuki where it does not have a presence in under 125cc segment so far which is dominated by Hero MotorCorp, followed by Bajaj and TVS and also has a new challenger in Honda’s offering ‘Dream Yuga’.
Can Suzuki’s Hayate take on the biggies and deliver a Dabangg super hit with the common man? Let’s find out.
Ask any true-blooded Indian automobile companies (read: Hero Motorcorp, Bajaj and TVS) and they would vouch that mass commuter segment is where money and volume is, though the high-end bikes gives the premium brand image and the much-needed brand image and buzz. The vast Indian middle class population cannot be discounted and also the need for a good commuter bikes for young executives and marketing people. With aspirations increasing , it becomes increasingly more difficult to please the segment. You need a right mix of good looks, good mileage, good life as well as value for money to see the sales figures surge ahead.
Look wise, Suzuki Hayate definitely looks pleasing. Just because it’s a 12.8 cc motorcycle and aimed at the entry-level segment does not mean it should be de-glamorized, definitely Suzuki does not seem to believe so. Hayate is decent in looks and this workhorse from Suzuki sports simple but aesthetic designing and style inspired by Suzuki’s own Zeus and Sling Shot bikes.
Hayate which in Japanese translates to ‘fresh breeze’ is characterized by a good build quality, robust yet basic design, a dash of sportiness in an urbanized elements. Living up to its name’s Japanese meaning, it spreads in a fresh breeze of styling in the mass commuter segment. Understated yet elegant.
Sports a splendid clear head light now a benchmark of Suzuki series of bikes. The design element follows the lines of its other models in India.
Being a mass commuter bike catering to entry-level segment, you get a basic instrument cluster with all analogue meter that gives you the basic readings. Notice the wavy design around the instrument panel, that is one small thoughtful addition that breaks the monotony of bland design.
The rear is minimalistic yet well-rounded and looks nice.
The wavy pattern on the plastic continues to the side where the battery nests.
The exhaust looks sleek and well-defined in an all-black powder coat.
Hayate is equipped with a telescopic, coil Spring, oil damped front suspension and 5 step adjustable swing arm rear shock suspension.
The good looks flows into the wheels too with this 5 spoke aluminium cast wheels.
Well rounded, sturdy – it did catch my attention!
The under-seat storage for your bike papers and tool kit. It could be unlocked through a key in the rear end of the bike below the seat.
Powering the Suzuki Hayate is an air-cooled, 4-stroke, 1-cylinder, SOHC engine that delivers a modest 8.4 BHP. The engine too is coated in black like most body parts and the all-black gives a premium feel to the bike.
Pleasantly, Hayate does come with both kick-start only and a kickstart plus electric start option. Press the starter button and the Hayate comes to life with a mild note. Gear it up and thrust the throttle, it surges ahead smoothly. A good road grip and an easy handling makes the bike a truly commuter friendly. Add to it good cornering ability, good seating and stance. For a 112 cc bike, it behaves well in all counts and performs well.
Suzuki Hayate Colors:
Hayate is available in choice of 5 colors: Metallic lush green, Sparkle black, metallic flint grey, Pearl mirage white, Pearl Mira Red.
Suzuki Hayate mileage, pricing, and the verdict:
With Hayate, you can expect a decent mileage of 65-70 Kmpl. Suzuki Hayate is available at Delhi at ex-showroom price of Rs 38,212 for kick-start model and Rs.40,212 for self start model (Bangalore ex-showroom price of Rs. 40,590 for kick-start only model and Rs.42,590 for self start model) and at this price it certainly is the cheapest Japanese bike round the corner. But Suzuki has to ward off tough competition from Hero’s Splendor and Bajaj’s Discover series and Honda’s newly launched Dream Yuga. It’s a heated up market and eventually like in Bollywood no one can predict if a model would make a box office hit like Dabangg. Let’s wait and watch for the common man’s verdict. All we can say is Suzuki has a good addition to its portfolio.
Piaggio Vespa LX125 – Review
Vespa, the iconic Italian brand, the heartthrob of millions across the world for decades makes a dashing come back to India sure to rekindle nostalgic memories as well as to create a classic style statement in our roads. Sporting a fresh, new chic look with oodles of sex appeal yet retaining the vintage charm, Vespa’s unique retro shape, classic design is a sure shot head turner. Vespa has evolved with time and spells refinement and excitement over it and has a premium vintage wine feel about it.
Everything about Vespa is a fashion statement be it the round head lamp, the signature chrome grille, cute looking vespa logo splashed at many places, chrome handle bar ends, chrome mud guard garnish (there is enough chrome all over that gives it a very up-market, jazzy feel yet not over done) or even the pillion grab rails or the tail lights that juts out to match with the overall retro styling and craftsmanship. Everything is so well put together like a piece of art making it a class apart from other scooters in the market.
The vespa is compact in size and is made of a monocoque full steel body frame, a signature Vespa feature since 1946. Don’t let the words ‘steel’ make you think of ‘heaviness’ , trust me its extremely light to handle and this can be felt the moment you take it off the stand. The handle bar is well positioned and easy on you while riding and sports a chrome rim to accentuate the style quotient.
The rear follows the retro styling with clear lights and with a dash of chrome again and the signature vespa logo…
Come to the sides, you cannot miss the cute looking Vespa logo. Seems like one will never get bored of seeing this logo that the scooter proudly splashes all over it …
The form factor has a smooth flow all over it even in the step-in areas. Check out out the compact glove box seamlessly integrated and the black foot board strips on the floor.
The instrument cluster is clear andd white faced with a chrome boundary line. It’s well laid out and sports a speedometer, odometerm fuel guage and a digital clock along with the turn and light indicators.
If I had one complaint about Vespa it is the quality of plastic used in these controls. It just looks odd and pretty cheap.
A neat looking glove compartment that looks fluently insync with the design. Its functional via the ignition lock.
Down the seat where the body flows to the floor is a small compartment that can be screwed open for you to check on the spark plug.
Again you are treated with bright chrome in exhaust can that in itself looks good and ‘cute’ (Did anyone count how many times, I used the word ‘cute’ ? Well, sorry I can’t stop myself!)
Yet again a dash of chrome and signature logo and a 3 spoke, alloy combination wheels. The nylogrip tyres comes with a tech specification of 90/100-10 53J if you are interested about the numbers
Pop the seat up and you get an under seat storage good enough to fit in your helmet and may be few odd things. The fuel in-let is also tucked in here.
Engine, tech specfications and ride quality of Vespa LX 125
The hallow storage box can be removed and it exposes the engine and other stuffs…
What lies hidden is a 4 Stroke, 3 Valve, Single Cylinder, Air Cooled 125 cc engine which pounds out a max power of 10.06 PS @ 7500 RPM and max torque of 10.6 Nm@6000 RPM, making it the fastest scooter on Indian roads in this segment. A 8 liter fuel tank means fill it, shut it and forget it coz of the impressive 60 kmpl mileage the company claims which means expect a range of 400 – 450 kms on a realistic mixed riding conditions. Impressive for a scooter!
Thumb the starter button and the Vespa LX 125 settles into a mild idle buzz, wrench the throttle and it surges forward smoothly without any stress. It feels light and easy over negotiating city traffic and it cruises very well on open stretches. The extra power adds a dash of sportiness and peppiness. The riding position and the posture feels very comfortable and never tired you down. Though the compact nature of the scooter offers a compact pillion seat, so I am not sure how many of those heavy-butted ones might complain about it. This machine performs superbly better than most of the modern looking ones out there.
The front and back coil spring and dual effect shock absorber are decent enough to give you a well balanced ride, comparable with most other scooters. After all no scooters can give you a butter smooth ride on our potholed roads. Vespa LX 125 has a good turning radius with a decent ground clearance with no problems in negotiating the ‘ups and downs’ of our roads.
Colors of Vespa LX 125
Vespa LX 125 is available in 6 colours to suit your style quotient – Nero Volcano (black), Monte Bianco (white), Rosso Dragon (Red), Giallo Lime (Yellow), Midnight blue, Rosso Chianti (brown). The yellow and red are sure to grab the attention instantly and and along with the white makes my pick out of the six colors.
Pricing of Vespa LX 125
Ok there is a price to pay for all good things in life and coming up with a iconic character, history and a classic style Vespa is a premium scooter. At around Rs 73,000 in Mumbai and Rs. 80,525 on-road price, Bangalore , its not a scooter for masses but it would definitely find its own league of proud owners who would be flaunting it and make a style statement. Let the colleges re-open, you will be finding lot many youngsters zipping across and not to forget young working professionals.
And my final verdict…
Ultimately it is a premium lifestyle product in scooter segment. ‘It touched my heart‘ and ‘left a mark‘, ‘Eighteen till I die‘ and then its Vespa that never ages.
Honda CBR 150R – Review
Honda Motorcycle and Scooters India (HMSI) who thrilled us with their quarter litre bike, the Honda CBR 250R now unleash it’s smaller sibling, the CBR 150R. This bike comes from the iconic CBR family with racing DNA of Honda.
Looking strikingly similar to CBR 25oR atleast visually, the bike looks smashing from every angle and feels more proportionate than the bigger sibling. Looks Leaner, trimmer and looks more muscular.
Look and feel of CBR 150R
CBR 150R takes its design cue from Honda’s VFR 1200F much like its elder sibling. The Y shaped headlight design identical to the larger variant looks neat and crystal clear. But in CBR 150R you have two unique eye design lights flanking the main head beam. It gives the bike a mean look and also a predator on prowl effect.
The combination of analog and digital instrumental panel are very similar to the one sported in 250R, though the metallic trimming is missing over here. So what we get is a digital speedometer, fuel gauge and trip meter and an analog tachometer.
The round built-in LED tail lights with separated signal lights adds a dash of sportiness.
The sporty full cowling makes the bike all the more better on aerodynamics. It expresses an aggressive character, complimenting Honda’s racing track genes. Compared to the 250R, the fairings are slightly flatter and the panels bit smaller. Talking about the stickering job, it could have been better if more attention paid to it. It is loud and seems like the sticker design hastily done. Well, these kind of design elements are very personal opinion, so who knows some of you out there might even like it!
Sporting a wide tubeless tyres that provides excellent road grip and enhancing the handling aided by front and rear disc brakes.
Engine, performance and ride quality of CBR 150R
CBR 150R sports a 149 cc, 4-stroke carburetted single cylinder 4 valve DOHC engine that delivers maximum power of 17.58 Bhp @ 10500 rpm and max torque of 12.66 Nm @ 8500 rpm.
As I saddle myself on the soft cushioned seat and fire-up the motor to a lovely rasping sound, the bike feels a lot more compact and nimble to handle. The dial’s tacho bar jabs across the dial in response to a blip of the throttle, the bike takes off ripping forward, building the power steadily. The bike feels seriously quick, flicks through corners effortlessly and feels flawlessly stable with great maneuverability. Significantly this bike packs in a mean punch and the suspension at both ends are firm and well damped enough to cope with our Indian conditions. The braking is precise and confident. All said and done, in city traffic 150R feels slightly less responsive but not to the level of making an issue out of it. Hit on an empty stretch or highway, all is forgiven and its a sheer pleasure to ride when the RPM’s high. The gearbox are pretty sharp and smooth. Under all riding conditions expect a decent mileage of 40-45kmpl. The riding posture is great for a long distance ride.
CBR 150R colors
The bike is available in four colors.
Variants of CBR 150R:
CBR 150R is available in two variants standard and deluxe. Technically both the variants are same. The difference is in the graphics or lack of graphics in the standard variant. Frankly, speaking I liked the white standard that is thankfully minus the overdone graphics.
Price of Honda CBR 150R
CBR 150R is priced at Rs 1,254,21 (ex-showroom price, Mumbai) for the standard variant and the deluxe variant is 1K more. The pricing is definitely a bit steeper considering you can get KTM Duke 200 for 3K cheaper and Yamaha R15 for almost 10K less. So, Honda CBR 150R is a super-premium bike price-wise and would make many a potential buyers think twice before putting their money into it.
So what are the difference between Honda CBR 250R and CBR 150R?
CBR250R uses a trellis type diamond frame while the CBR 150R uses a steel twin spar frame
The exhaust can of CBR 150R is shorter.
The meter dials of CBR 150R does not get the silver trim that the bigger variant sports.
Though the Y shaped headlight looks similar, watch out for the two unique eye shaped lights in CBR 150R flanking the main head beam.
No engine kill option in CBR 150R
No day flash in CBR 150R
CBR150R’s four paint schemes are completely different from that of the CBR 250R
DOHC 4-valve engines, yes! but then obviously they are not entirely similar.
What I liked in CBR 150R
looks mean, lean and crispier than CBR 250R0
Good premium 150 cc bike for every day use
A good looking mini-sports class bike
Good performance and handling as expected from Honda
What I did not like in CBR 150R
Suzuki Swish 125 – Review
No doubt that Suzuki Access 125 is a competent scooter in terms of performance but then a combination of factors like bland designing, poor marketing and a lack of overall buzz around it put brakes on the sales figures. Suzuki aims to go for an image makeover for its scooter portfolio with Swish 125 which looks youthful, trendy and more visually appealing.
On first impression:
It has a very desirable, trendy design.
Since it shares the same engine and almost other tech specifications of its elder sibling, Access performance should not be a worrying factor.
When parked next to each other Swish looks like an young, stylish kid in the block and Access a matured, mid aged. It would definitely appeal to the younger generation.
Swish is wrapped with ABS plastic/ fibre body panels which is not just light weight but also adds to the ‘cool’ quotient. And yes, they also would be a cheaper to replace, if need arises. The flowing lines of Swish along with the V-shaped front silhouette oozes youthfulness with a you-can-love-me-at-first-sight appeal. Multi-reflector light nested in an arched wide design adds a sporty character to the scooter.
The integrated turn indicators on either side of the front panel with a V-shaped groove in the front adds to the trendiness of the scooter.
The rear of the scooter blends well with the body. The wavy stretched tail gate is nested pretty well and wraps around the rear.
A blue-backlit instrument cluster is practical, easy to read and the blue color adds to the bright auro.
The ignition point also unlocks the under-seat storage. It also sports a cap for the key opening.
The under seat storage is decent enough to hold your helmet and odd things. The fuel lid is also nested over here.
Suzuki Swish colours
Swish is available in 5 colours – Triton blue, flint grey, pearl mirage white,pearl mira red, sparkle black.
Engine, Performance of Suzuki Swish
Under the skin of Swish is a 124 cc, 4 stroke, single cylinder OHC engine plucked from Access 125. So not surprisingly, it delivers 8.5 bhp @ 7,000 rpm and a max torque of 9.8 Nm @ 5,000 rpm very similar again to Access 125. The CVT auto gearbox is also the same shared by the earlier sibling. Though it shares the same heart of Access 125, thanks to its slightly lower body weight it is very peppy to ride. It handles well on road and sprightly. It gives a decent 40-42 Kmpl. Seating is pretty good with upright riding position.
The final word
Swish 125 is stylish, trendy and with a dash of youthful auro around it. Add to it a good performance and handling, Suzuki definitely now has a product to march ahead in the scooter segment but then it all depends now how good they would be at marketing the Swish into the customer’s mindset. Priced at Rs 46,000 to Rs 50,000 (ex-showroom price) depends on whichever city you live, it is worth giving a test drive if you are planning to buy one.
KTM Duke 200 – Ready to Race on Indian roads
The urban naked legend from Austria has hit the Indian roads and the credit goes to Bajaj and its global aspirations. Not many know that behind the arrival of KTM is yet another Indian company going global. Since 2009, Bajaj auto has been making footholds into the KTM parental company and now holds 47 % of the shareholdings in the KTM. The marriage between both the companies has been strategically successfull for both the companies, with Bajaj getting access to KTM technology for its home-grown Pulsar series and future products and KTM making leverage of cost effective development and production in India environment. KTM is already enjoying huge sales of its KTM Duke 125 and 200 motorcycles made in India and sold in Europe at a very attractive sticker price. Its win-win partnership!
Now lets talk about KTM Duke 200 that is all set to race the gut out of you because it comes from a company with years of racing reputation that proudly declares “Ready to Race”. A look at the Duke 200 is menancing, masculine and ready to knock you down with its naked look.
The styling boasts of pure KTM DNA complete with its impressive and eye-catching orange on black color that forms KTM line of motorbikes proudly blaze both in tracks and roads. Everything seems to be in perfect harmony and in right proportions – lean, mean and stunning. The chiselled looks, masculine, well toned body all gives it a looks like a greek God on wheels.
The big orange tank is chunky yet very muscular with a 11 litre fuel capacity and sporting a stylish, funky and very loud Duke 200 sticker.
The headlight spells out aggression with its unique frontal look, vertically stacked up and with minimal plastic gear around. The handle bar which is pretty wide and sportygives a good riding posture and a comfortable saddle position. The machine is very compact devoid of any unnecessary fats, giving it a quirky, sturdy looks, differentiating instantly from any other Indian made bikes on roads.
The Instrument console looks sporty and extremely compact but don’t undermine the small multifunction panel. It displays all the important data ranging from digital rev counter, gear indicator, total kilometers travelled, journey time, two trip displays, a fuel guage and an indicator of fuel consumption and also distance to the next service and even there is a clock! There is also a text display for warning messages such as when the side-stand is down etc. All in all, the multi-function console is surely a notch ahead of what we have seen in any other Indian made bikes.
The rear of the bike goes super stylish with sharp lean LED indicators, LED tail light and LED illumination for licence plate. The rear wheel sports a mandatory wheel hugger and a sari-guard and if you wonder sari-guard for this lean machine? They don’t look odd on this bike.
The pillion seat is wee bit small but then for the bikes belonging to this category, this is acceptable. There is a small rear under seat storage where you can slip in the bike papers etc..
Considerable thought has been put into making the machine as light as possible shedding unwanted flabs and making use of sensible engineering. The beautifully carved swing-arm with the cross patern on it and the rear wheel rim not just adds the killer racer looks but also the extremely stable die-cast aluminium make sure the beast is light weight while delivering the heavy weight punch.
The Duke is built on a lightweight trellis frame and sports a 199.5 cc DOHC, liquid cooled, four valve single engine which produces a whooping 25 PS of power at 10,000 rpm and 19 Nm of torque unleashed at 8,000 rpm. Comes equipped with WP suspension both at front and rear, upside down forks in the front and monoshocks at the rear – neither too soft nor too hard making it ideal for Indian conditions. Plus the braking system of Duke 200 is extremely potent and very precise, not surprising as it is sourced from Brembo, the leading and widely acclaimed brake makers. But the brand name apart, the braking system is very effective at handling the bike.
If you are searching for the exhaust canister on either side of the Duke 200, you will be surprised to find it not existing. Well, here is the another highlight of the bike the underfloor exhaust system you find between the rear wheel and engine with a low center of gravity. It not just adds to the visual appeal but also the way the bike behaves and handles when you are ready to race.
Ride quality, handling and performance of KTM Duke 200
Swing the leg, mount the saddle and turn on the ignition, the engine feels full of life with a mild grunt, something much quieter than I had thought but that feeling goes away the minute you open up the throttle. The mild grunt kicks in to a sporty thump. Once the bike takes off, it was all talking to winds and you start enjoying the mounted beast. It attacks the corners with no hint of nervousness and has good flickability. Its rev-happy, lively and joy to ride.
So wondering how much could be KTM Duke 200 top speed ? It can hit a top speed of 136 Km per hour in the top gear after which it hits the limiter. Neverthless the way the bike attains that top speed is phenomenal. To top it, it delivers an impressive mileage of 35 Km/litre in city conditions and on a highway cruise it impresses you more. With all the technological prowess it is bestowed with and crafted with fine attention backed up by KTM’s decades of racing DNA and Bajaj’s understanding of Indian market, Duke 200 with a sticker price of of Rs 1.17 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) is a bike to put your money at, if you have even the slightest racing inclinations. At this stage, there is no other Indian bike to match its prowess, technology and looks in this segment and at this attractive price range.
Ginger Chai Exclusive KTM pictures shot by Dipesh H Premdoss
Maruti Ertiga – Fall in LUV with this MUV
While you might call it as MPV (Multi-Purpose Vehicle) or MUV (Multi Utility Vehicle), Maruti would love to call it LUV – Life Utility Vehicle and for the car buyers there are good enough reasons to love this new vehicle from the staples of Maruti Suzuki. One can love its sedan-like handling, impressed by its fuel efficiency, floored by its better driveability and ofcourse fall for its sensible pricing and making this 5+2 seater a sure shot winner on our roads.
Key Features of Maruti Ertiga
With Ertiga, Maruti Suzuki aggressively re- enters the Multi Utility Vehicle segment hitherto ruled by segment leader Toyota’s Innova and Mahindra Xylo.
Measuring 4,265mm in length, 1,685mm in height and 1,695 in width Ertiga is chiselled with much detailing for design and visual appeasement, unlike its earlier vehicles like Omni and current van like Eeco. The end product is pleasure to watch from whatever angle you look at.
Ertiga? wonder what the name means? In Indonesian language, Ertiga means Three Rows.
Incidentally, Ertiga will also be exported to Indonesia by end of the next month.
Inside of Ertiga gives a deja vu moments for all those familiar with new Swift. The dashboard especially is borrowed from the new Swift and one cannot complaint about it since it fits well into Ertiga’s scheme of things though it sports a different shade.
The interiors are quiet vibrant and has a good quality and finish. The light beige interiors makes the vehicle roomy and bright, though one might also have to take extra care to keep it clean, considering the dusty environs we have.
All the variants comes with power and tilt steering and with A/c, though the seat height adjustment comes only with the top variant.
Like the Mahindra XUV, Ertiga is built on monocoque design, compared to a body on frame chassis in the Xylo and Innova, resulting in better handling.
Ertiga Engines, variants and fuel efficiency
Ertiga is available both in petrol and diesel engines and in total 6 variants – 3 in each engine types. LXi / LDi, VXi/VDi, ZXi/ZDi
The petrol variant of Ertiga is powered by a 1,373 cc K14 engine with VVT (Variable Valve Technology) which delivers a maximum power of 95 ps at the rate of 6,000 rotations per minute (RPM) and with a good fuel efficiency of 16.02 km per litre.
The diesel variant is powered by a 1,248 cc D13A DDiS super turbo engine which produces a max power of 90 ps at the rate of 4,000 RPM with an impressive fuel efficiency of 20.77 km per litre.
Ertiga is available in 6 colors
Competing models to Ertiga from rivals in near future
Indian UV segment is fast growing and currently has a 370,000 unit per annum utility vehicle (UV) market. With Ertiga, Maruti has in it to carve a good pie of the market share. Though competition would soon close in with Renault to launch its own compact SUV Duster and Ford to drive in its EcoSport and also M&M set to launch a mini Xylo and Nissan to offer Evalia.
Priced between Rs.5.89 lakh and Rs.7.30 lakh for the petrol variant and Rs.7.90 lakh and Rs.8.45 lakh for the diesel-powered one (ex-showroom Delhi) Maruti has sensibly priced Ertiga and with the features, styling and performance combined with Maruti’s branding you would definitely see a large numbers of Ertiga soon on Indian roads.
We would come up with our complete test drive and review soon.
All about new Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire
March 26, 2008 when Maruti launched Swift Dzire no one believed, the sedan which was ridiculed to be swift-slammed-with-a-big-booty would become the numero uno in its segment but Maruti had their last laugh with Swift Dzire selling like hot cakes. After almost 4 years, Maruti launched the second generation of the popular sedan and claimed to have made more than 150 changes. Wait, don’t go round the car counting the changes.
Exterior design of new Swift Dzire
First word is compact. Maruti has chopped down 165 mm in its length to make it just under 4 meter. So what it means is the new Swift Dzire becomes the second car to fall under sub 4 -meter sedan next only to Indigo CS and there by it also gains to enjoy the excise benefits. A cool 10% dollops that Government of India offers to compact small sized cars and by its definition those that fall under sub 4-meter bracket and with engine capacity less than 1.2 L for petrol versions and 1.5 L for diesel cars. India being a price sensitive market, the benefits makes sense for Swift Dzire.
Its just not about 165 mm short in length but the new Dzire has added mass in other areas. At 1555 mm, it has grown up by 25 mm when compared to the outgoing model and gained 5 mm on width and 40 mm longer wheel base.
Enough of dimensions. Lets look at the gloss and the stock.
Front looks good. What is new? A larger headlamp, pleasant looking radiator grille, redone bumber.
The rear compliments the front and sits pretty well. The all smiling wide chrome strip adds to the glamour quotient. The tail lamp is refreshing.
The rear side profile is a big let down. It just does not stimulate your visual senses.
The large head lamps and a dashing tail lamp is an attractive sight
The OVRM comes only in the top two variant thought…
The bulges are unsightly in the rear side profile…
Unfortunatley only the top variant comes with alloy wheels if you are eyeing at the wheel at the left …
Interiors of new Swift Dzire
Inside of the new Dzire is where pleases you most. Lavish with soothing beige color that guaranteedly would brighten up your mood, a dual tone dash with black on top and a continuing beige below and faux wood trimmings, the interiors treat you to a lively ambience. And the quality of plastics used are notch better than the outgoing Dzire. Yet another area where the new Dzire scores over the old one is the quality of seating both interms of seating positions and the furnishing used, especially the rear. The leg room real estate in the rear is though not very spacious, considering the compact nature of the car but still decent enough for Indian average sizes. The Dzire R&D team has bettered the driver seat positioning with a right height that gives a good riding visibility and seating, this is a good news considering only the top variant has a seat height adjustment.
The dashboard again has a refreshing feel painted over it. The dual tone black and warm beige adds a classic feel to the car sporting an all new instrument cluster and the center console where in nests audio console in black tone and the climate control panel in beige tone, though the bottom variant comes with manual controls for air-conditioning.
Very thoughtfully added pop out can holder under the side air-con vent is not only adds to utility value but also is an attractive feature that the front passenger would love. Add to this, the car stocks in ample side pockets on all doors, cubby holes and a decent sized glove box.
Predominant beige colour tone
Seating and furnishings used are better, soaking you gently into it. Rear seat is remarkably better for a relaxed ride.
The drive position and visibility are better.
Dual tone dash in stark black and warm beige
All new instrument cluster
Ample pockets, holders and decent glove box. The pop out can holder under the side air-con vent in the front is an attractive feature.
The space is little premium in the rear for 3 people compared to few other cars in this segment.
Boot space which is now reduced to 316 liters
Non-foldable rear seat, which adds to the woes of the already reduced bootspace.
The center console in black and beige tone looks neat. (Though do have our chart on the variants to see what you might get or miss out on various variants)
The all new instrument cluster is a welcome addition to the new Dzire to make the owner’s happy. It looks classic and the silver trim around the dial is a small design addition that brings a volume of visual goodness. The multi functional display with amber glowing characters throws you informations on real-time and average fuel consumption, range on remaining fuel, odometer, tripmeter, outside temperature and time.
A decent glove box and the pop out can holder nested above it
The 3 spoke steering is decent enough, not very soft but I won’t complaint either.
The steering comes with mounted controls.
The gear shift is smooth and well placed and also the warm beige shades around it adds a character to the car ….
The impact of the sub 4-meter compact nature of the new Dzire hits more on the boot space. While the old Dzire sported a 464 liters boot, the new Dzire has to live up with a paltry 316 liters. Considering the fact there is no foldable rear seat option, it remains a big disappointment and the impact would be felt when you are on a long tour with family with heavy baggages.
Variants of new Swift Dzire
Available both in petrol and diesel engines, the new Swift Dzire comes in total 7 variants. 3 variants in petrol and diesel respectively and an automatic transmission that is available only on VXi petrol variant.
Dzire AT also boasts of being the cheapest AT sedan in India.
Check the chart for the features available in various variants.
P.S Features and variants mentioned in the image are directly sourced from Maruti
New Swift Dzire Colours
New Dzire is available in 7 colors – pacific blue, midnight black, silky silver, clear beige, bright red, arctic white, glistening grey.
Engine and Driving performance of new Swift Dzire
As mentioned earlier Dzire comes in both petrol and diesel models.
The new K-12 series 4 cylinder, 16 valve, 1197 cc petrol engine with VVT (variable valve technology) delivers a maximum power of 87 BHP @ 6000 rpm and a max torque of 114 Nm @ 4000 rpm. According to Maruti, VVT helps in a significant improvement in fuel efficiency.
The DDiS 4 cylinder, 16 valve diesel engine with 1248 cc displacement delivers 75 BHP @ 4000 rpm and a maximum torque of 190 Nm @ 2000 rpm.
The company claims an impressive fuel efficiency of 19.1 kpl (petrol) and 23.4 kpl (diesel)
The ride quality of the new Dzire feels more peppy, zippy and very rev happy.
Though due to the engine tuning for maximum fuel efficiency, in petrol drive you do find the engine lacking a bit on low rpm
Cabin is noiseless even with A/c on, though under heavy acceleration noise level does go up
Suspension feels stiff and more rigid
A well planted engine and handling, which the average Indian car buyer will not complaint about.
Pricing of new Swift Dzire
|NEW DZIRE LDI
|NEW DZIRE LXI
|NEW DZIRE VDI
|NEW DZIRE VXI
|NEW DZIRE VXI AT
|NEW DZIRE ZDI
|NEW DZIRE ZXI
P.S Prices ex-showroom, Bangalore. Do note price over here is costlier than most other cities.
Maruti has a history of princing its cars sensibily and cleaverly guaging the market dynamics, Dzire comes at a very attractive price levels and this would be one factor that would keep the Dzire juggernaut keep going in this segment.