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.
Mahindra XUV 500 – review
There is a Scorpio, Innovo and then there is the likes of Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Chevrolet Captiva, Mitsubishi Pajero. Mahindra very intelligently has positioned XUV500 in between the two far ends to bridge the wide price gap and for buyers who want something better than your now common Scorpio or Innovo but can’t loosen their purse to the likes of Fortuner etc. Smart move indeed! Going by the bumper opening bookings, Mahindra has indeed hit a jackpot!
If looks can kill, XUV500 is a killer in designer attire – muscular, intimidating yet sophisticated. The design is inspired by Cheetah and gives a menacing stance ready to pounce on roads.
XUV500 is build on monocoque technology and the company’s first. The construct technology integrates body and chassis into single unit and is applied in most modern SUV’s around the world. So this helps in lower structural weight and in turn better power to weight ratio as well as gives a stable ride and performance.
The jaw like front grille is loud in design and matches the size of the SUV and at its menacing best giving it a beastly look. I very much fell in love with the spread of honeycomb grille giving it loads of character and uniqueness.
Check out the bold lines… two strong lines marking the sides and the accentuated curves highlighting the wheel arches giving a muscular yet polished looks…
When compared the front and side, the rear is not very dramatic…
The lights both front and rear compliment XUV500′s looks with projector headlamps, LED day-time running lights and also headlamps with their “bending” ability is very useful and practical while cornering. The vertical rear light sits pretty and there is even a curious looking motif engraved on it.
The exteriors gives a promising and an overwhelming presence and the trait is carried inside too. You have lots of surprising elements inside. XUV500 is quiet spacious with plenty of leg room and head room in the front as well as between the front and middle seats. The dashboard is well laid in dual tone.
The steering looks sturdy, meaty and hold well on your hands. It has bigger control switches and rotary knobs and side stalks on both ends and all are quiet easy and accessible to fiddle around while on a ride. So you can controls to toggle audio, controls to activate voice commands, controls for phone calls and control for activating the cruise mode. There is a large central pad on the steering sporting the mahindra logo giving a sense of muscular character as well as sportiness. The steering has tilt and telescopic adjustments.
The seats are spacious, comfortable and well laid with leather upholstery on the top variant and fabric seats for the base variant.
The instrument console had loads of tell-all signs. The twin circular pad has the speedo, fuel guage and rev counter and also the temperature and oil indicators. While the central screen between the two pads gives you a plethora of information that might just dazzle you.
The music console looks classy in waterfall central bezel that flows all the way down right to the first row. On top of the music console is a touch screen infotainment.
I am a sucker of touchscreen gadgets and it was delight to fiddle around it. As the screen would say, you got music, video, phone, car info and a navigation system. Navigation system is quiet hand
There quiet many handy boxes – glove box with laptop holder and a box above the glove box and also on dashboard above the touchscreen. There is a large cool box between the two seats in the front row.
The Air-condition vents are neatly done and is quiet good. Even the third row has a/c vents on the sides along with side holders and mobile charging points.
The top version comes with a sporty alloy wheels…
XUV500 comes in 7 colors: Dolphin grey, Opulent purple, Tuscan red, Moondust silver, Amazon green, Valcono black and Satin white.
Now coming to the heart of the matter. It’s here Mahindra proves that the company has come of age. Though the engine under the hood is the same that Scorpio sports, it comes with some noticeable tweaks. Neatly packed inside is a 2.2 litre mHawk engine delivering 140 bhp and an impressive torque of 330 Nm. Mated to this engine is a six-speed manual gearbox (I heard it is the first by an completely Indian made vehicle and build in-house by Mahindra) which gives the extra thrush to the car taking it 0-60 km in just 5.4 seconds.
As far the riding and performance, it is a delight to ride. It behaves like a cheetah indeed – ready to pounce, very agile in the movement, in control of the roads and yet gives you a commanding position and pleasure to ride. With 200 mm of ground clearance, you can be well assured of riding in even the worst of Indian roads and road humps
ARAI certifies a healthy 15.1 kmpl mileage which is quiet good for this segment.
The car comes in two variants : w6 and w8 and with w8 coming with front wheel drive and an All wheel drive option. Unlike the regular four wheel drive, the AWD in XUV500 sports an interactive torque management system which automatically monitors the road condition and shifts from 2 wheel drive to all wheel drive whenever necessary.
The key differences between the two variants:
The coup de grace comes in the pricing. It is where Mahindra had won the battle with a launch prize of 10.91 L for the base model (w6) and 12.07L and 13.02L for 2 Wheel drive and All wheel drive of W8 variants. (All prices are ex-showroom, Bangalore) With the impressive array of features and a brilliantly crafted vehicle both in terms of looks and performance, no wonder the vehicle has clocked 8000 bookings within the first 10 days and Mahindra has to stop taking fresh bookings. I was told bookings will restart in the first week of November.
A very appealing and wonderfully crafted SUV that is a sure value for money with a killer looks and a pleasure to ride. Cheers to Mahindra for coming of age with this world-class vehicle.
Honda Brio – review
Honda has unveiled their new baby called “Brio”. Brio means vigor, vivacity – full of life. True to its name, Brio has an infectious appeal and character that let you fall in love with it and also as the Honda tag line goes “Brio Loves You Back”, definitely the car has a life in it that would love you back. Do I sound smitten by love? I am and you will know why, read ahead.
In India, Honda has always been identified with premium cars with their lineup of Jazz, City, Civic, Accord and CR-V. While City was a run-away hit and market leader in its segment, Jazz was a promising car but Honda bungled in its pricing. Recently Honda dropped prices to began an aggressive retailing phase for the company in the Indian market and the company pins a lot of hopes on its new model, Brio which could add the numbers and the bottom line profits.
Honda has done lot of homework into the making of Brio (pronounced: Br-ee-oo) considering the fact that the car is designed from scratch especially for India and Thailand market to begin with. The entry level hatchback segment is over-crowded with well established models plus new entrants rolling in. This is also a segment where one successful model means a huge volume for the company but the problem is cracking the segment which is demanding as well as price-sensitive. So what Honda did? It patiently went about doing surveys and collecting facts, understand the customer demands and mindset and then collaborated with European designers along side taking inputs and involving the engineers from the targeted segment countries and arrived at what Honda calls double triangle form for Brio. The below picture explains it. (For more interesting aspects on Honda’s design talk, read HERE)
pic courtesy: Honda.com
So finally Honda Brio is here. Brio has a large-cylinder-design halogen headlights, a front grille that spells character and class of Honda’s styling. The bumper is flanked with wide lip like lines that give a wide stance. The two bold lines that draws up the front grille gives a strong presence and masculine nature to the car. Am I impressed by the front stance? Definitely yes.
A bold front…
The rear is interesting and Honda has taken a risk with the large glass hatch. You might like it or hate it or some of you might be slightly paranoid over the naked glass hatch. But trust Honda, the glass are really sturdy and fits very well. Its a hard reinforced glass hatch door and it isn’t definitely fragile at all, you can slam it shut as hard as a normal one. Personally, I liked this and it keeps the Brio stand apart from the rest since not many uses this design form factor these days.
The rear lights are interesting as well. Large, round red eye of the tail lamp and stop lights at the edges of the body accentuates the wider stance and protrudes and wraps up neatly to the sides and neatly slices the glass hatch diagonally.
In short, Brio has a pointy leaping forward wide stance, bold lines on the side that sprints upwards to the rear and a well sliced hatch with large glass and a curious tail lights all put together gives a contemporary, stable look to the car which is aerodynamic as well as boasts a terrific individual character and a strong presence.
Sit inside the car and you will smile at the tagline. Yes, Brio loves you back with one of the best in class interior quality. Inspite of the obvious pressure to keep the costs minimal, Honda has surprised as with a rich interior in the form of high quality plastic, fit and good upholstery. The dual tone beige upholstery brightens up the interiors as well as very comfortable and gives a uber cool rich feel to the car.
The dashboard is not as steep as in Jazz inspite of the forward design. A dual tone dashboard that nests the instrument console and other controls. Not overly glamorous, functional, pleasant and decent.
The 3 spoke design steering with a dash of smoky silver finish is compact and wonderful to hold and soft on your hands. Except for the start variant, all the other variants has steering mounted audio controls. The three pod analog 3D meter cluster with a soft orange illumination sits pretty. The MID display is basic and indicates trip distance info and average fuel consumption. The good part is the amber illumination stays even during the day light and is easy on eyes and to read. There is an Eco lamp function, when it is glowing green, it indicates you are driving economically. A green thought indeed!
Curiously, the music system controls are positioned slightly away from the driver but then the audio console is part of all the variants except for the basic variant. And one sore note, the audio console does not have a CD support. So you got to do with the USB sticks and other aux-in. Understood, a 4 GB USB costs very little now and can transport music in a pocket but then we still have a large population that are comfortable on CDs even now.
A long view from the rear…
The front door with side pockets. Note the blue color? well, its the lining pocket and strangely Honda decides to leave it bare showing the metal color of the car and not lining it with fabric. Yes, it adds a color but then I feel a fabric lining would have been a better idea.
The front sports a very comfortable riding stance with good legroom and headroom. The rear is decent enough not exceptionally roomy but average size to fit in easily the average Indian sizes.
The 175 liter boot space is well, small. The rear seats can be folded but no split folding. Don’t fret over the large glass hatch that might make your baggage visible in case you are paranoid about it, you might want the glass tinted dark or better grab a parcel tray. Personally, I found the glass hatch pretty and would not complain about it.
The heart, ride and performance of Brio:
The Brio is powered by the same 1.2 Liter SOHC i-VTEC petrol engine that is tucked inside the bigger sibling, Jazz. Though it is tuned marginally lower. The 4 cylinder engine delivers 88 BHP @ 6000 rpm and 109 Nm @ 4600 rpm.
Inspite of sharing the same engine as Jazz, being a lighter sibling Brio’s power to weight ratio is superior providing a peppier drive. City driving is a delight on Brio and feels very agile and willing. Handling is surefooted and reassuring in city traffic. It corners amazingly well thanks to a very responsive electric power steering. Drive it into highway, the car is more delight to ride, thanks to the characteristic refined engine of Honda staple.
ARAI certifies a 18.4 Km/litre fuel efficiency. Even if it is couple of notches below on realistic note, it is still a good score. Since it is Honda, it is only petrol engine as of now but Honda is believed to be working on a diesel engine but then it might take couple of years more for them to actually bring it to production level.
There are in total 4 variants of Brio and the top two variants come with front driver i-SRS and passenger SRS Airbags and also sports ABS with EBD. All the variants sports electric power steering and air conditioner with heater and also front power windows and central locking. The rear power windows is in all models except the starter one. Except the basic variant, all the variants also has keyless entry.
Brio comes in 6 colors – Energetic blue, Rallye Red, Urban Titanium, Alabaster Silver, Taffeta white and Crystal Black pearl.
Now, this is where Honda has got it all right, learning their bitter lesson from their Jazz experience. The base variant starts @ Rs. 3,95,000 and the top variants has a sticker price of Rs. 5,10,000.
(Prices Ex-showroom, New Delhi)
It is quiet a competitive and aggressive pricing considering the styling, performance , quality and goodies that come along with the car.
A compact car that carries the Honda’s engineering and quality mantra. At a very aggressive sticker price, it is definitely a value for money and a owner’s pride. Brio definitely loves you back. Fall in love, well I have. Brio has in it to be the car of the year in its segment.
Toyota Liva – review
After a fairly successful outing with its entry-level sedan, Toyota Etios, the world’s largest automobile manufacturer drives into our Indian roads Liva, Toyota’s small car made-for-India. The small car segment is quiet populated and each car maker, unleashing an array of models. It’s a tough market to crack where volume matters, let’s see if Liva can as their tag line goes “Liv Tmrrw 2day”
The first look…
When you look at the front, Liva looks familiar. It looks identical to its bigger sibling, Etios. So like the sedan, Liva too has a conservative styling and devoid of any radical lines and flamboyant designing. It’s a plain-Jane design and Toyota has kept it clean, simple and neat.
Though Liva is not a stunner and a head turner, it sports a pleasant smiling grille with chrome ornamental finishing that gleefully meets the crystal clear wrap -up headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within. The bonnet sports two neat lines giving a slight mid-rise that adds to the subdued understated and a dash of sporty styling. (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte front grille). The bumper is neat too with fog lamps and skirting and again let me remind, don’t expect them in base version.
Come to the rear and it is where Liva comes on its own. Etios rear design has been chopped of and given a wonderful treatment. Shedding the big boot, Liva sports a well-proportioned silhouette. Thanks to the rounded hatch, it looks more appealing and cute. Overall, the rear of Liva compliments with the front design, unlike the Etios rear. The mounted tail light makes the difference to the Liva. The slight bulge and the mounted tail light gives a sporty and charming character to the car. It blends well with the hatchback and also adds to the characteristics of the car.
Measuring 2460 mm, Liva has a huge wheelbase and good ground clearance.
The top two versions sports a 12 spoke alloy wheels.
The inside story…
Liva carries the Etios’s touch inside…
The dashboard is plucked straight from Etios.
cool glove box
So you have the same central instrument control, vertically mounted central air conditioning vents and the chilled glove box. There are plenty of bottle and cup holders (I think I counted 7 of them) and the 13 litre glove box with the air-conditioning vents is a cool thought.
If you thought the centrally placed instrument console would be not practical, you are wrong. It is not only easy to read but also gives the car an interesting perspective and a cool quotient. The console is pretty well stacked though the two of the starting base versions does not come with tachometer.
The top two variants come with a dual tone fabric upholstery – black and red in the top most variant and the other one in black and grey while the starting two variants comes in a single tone black upholstery which was quiet a boring sight. Again only the top two variants comes with fabric insert door trim. The front and rear door comes with pockets, which was quiet convenient to stuff papers, files etc.
Liva is quiet spacious. It provides good legroom and headroom both in the front and rear, sitting inside is quiet a lively experience.
Open the hatch and you get a decent 251 litres of b00t space. The rear seat can be folded but there is no split option.
The engine,the heart and the ride…
To take advantage of the excise duty concessions that the government provides for the small cars, Toyota Liva is powered by a 1.2 Litre, four cylinder engine that fires 89PS @ 5600 rpm and 104 Nm @ 3100 rpm. The brief given to the Toyota engineers is concentrate more on the engine efficiency rather than firing on all cylinders. The car is a delight to drive in city roads. It is peppy and behaves well in low revs and accelerates smoothly further. But come to highways, you will be slightly disappointed but then Toyota has strived at giving a good city car rather than a speedster.
As per ARAI, the car delivers 18.3 kmpl. But on a realistic note, expect 14 kmpl in city conditions and 16 kmpl in highways. This is the fine balance the Toyota engineers had worked on balancing the engine efficiency, acceleration and max power.
If you are looking for a diesel engine, sorry to say Liva comes with only a petrol version.
Liva comes in 7 colors, apart from the 6 colors that was seen in Etios range, Liva has one added blue color which looks cool too.
The variants and pricing…
Liva comes in 4 variants – J, G, V and the fully loaded VX . The basic version is heavily stripped down and without even power steering, which we find is hugely disappointing and ridiculous. The base model starts at Rs. 4,21,47 and it goes up to Rs. 6,08,684 for the top model (Prices are ex-showroom price, Bangalore)
GingerChai verdict: Liva is a good city car spacious and with decent looks, good ride quality and delivering a good mileage and more importantly its an affordable Toyota. It might not impress the speed demon within you but its a practical, no-nonsense, city car that is what Toyota has aimed and made for India.
Mahindra Verito – Old Wine in New Label
Old wine in a new label – this is the apt description for Mahindra Verito which is nothing but the erstwhile Logan in new branding. Barring minor cosmetic changes, Logan is here as it is but with Mahindra badge.
Even after its divorce with Renault, Mahindra managed to sustain a decent sales figure to its entry level sedan, Logan. Now with Renault charting its own path, Mahindra inevitably has to rebrand the Logan and so we have the new label Verito. The name is derived from the Latin word ‘Veritas’, meaning truth.
- As you see, the Verito comes with the prominent Mahindra badge replacing the Renault badge
- Verito sports a new fog lamp now.
- Verito sports a rail rack for a trendier look.
- It also sports side cladding now.
- A prominent rear chrome strip gives a style quotient to the car unlike the bland read of the logan.
With small but visible cosmetic changes, Veritos now looks sportier and more stylized when compared to the dull looking old Logan. Along with the new welcome change, it also retains the rugged feel that it infuses.
There is not much change in the interiors except for the new plush fabric upholstery. It retains the same roomy feel of Logan and as it is the most spacious car in its segment. The dashboard is the same from Logan and the instrument cluster with LCD display includes a tachometer, digital clock, mileage both total and partial and temp guages and intelligent panel that informs you the trip meter, average fuel consumption, distance to empty (ofcourse , don’t expect the intelligent reports in the base model)
Verito comes in both Petrol and Diesel engine. The 4 cylinder, 8 valve 1390 cc petrol engine revs a 75 PS max power while the 1461 cc diesel engine revs up a 65 PS max power. Though the numbers are not impressive when compared to its peers, the Verito scores over its competitors when it comes to one factor that is all important for average car and bike users – the mileage. The petrol version boasts a 16 kmpl and the diesel version boasts an impressive 21 kmpl. Remarkable numbers considering the concern in most minds with the fuel prices shooting up and up.
Verito comes in 7 colors.
Mahindra has sensibly prices the Verito. With the starting price tag of Rs. 4,82,100 for petrol variant and Rs. 5,61,800 for diesel variant (ex-showroom price, Chennai) it is a car over all decently packaged.
GingerChai verdict: With a refreshing facelift though not very drastic but still making it more sporty and stylized than the erstwhile Logan and with the same old Renault engine giving a great mileage and with a sensible pricing Verito is a value for money in its segment.
Toyota Etios – Review
I know it was long over-due but then due to various reasons, I was able to keep my eyes, hands and feet on Etios just now. But then as the age old cliché goes better late than never right? One parallel I could draw from this long pending review and Etios is even the car was much over-due from Toyota, ideally speaking the world’s largest car maker and seller should have launched the car in India couple of years back but then sometimes delay happens for various reasons. If it happens for a good reason and a better product, the delay can be forgiven. Like almost in this case with Etios. Read again, I stressed on almost.
My friends were betting on the car to give Maruti Suzuki’s D’zire a Hosni Mubarak fate. But does Etios have in it to take on the number one Sedan of the segment and topple it from its position? Before answering this, let’s figure out the car and what it is all about.
So after setting up my date with the car. I arrived before it and went around it. Well, I wound not say Etios is a heart racing stunning beauty. It has an understated elegance that also gives a commanding, soothing presence. The front is classic Toyota-istic with crystal clear wrap-up of headlamps with indicator, parking lights integrated within to add to more clear looks with chrome ornamental finish of the grills and moulded fog lamps on bumper plus the Bonnet with neat lines that adds to the subdued style. (The basic model of course comes with a Black matte font grille). The side profile holds in it a side protection moulding with classic chrome insert (the basic model does away with it) giving a visual aerodynamic appeal apart from the safety feature. The rear of the car continues with the understated elegance without going over-board with interestingly good looking clear red tail lamps. Overall Etios has a sensible, not-over-the-board, subdued styling.
Ok after Nano does any other car come with single wiper these days? I can’t recollect immediately but you have Etios. Though the broad sweep is aimed at maximum coverage, I doubt practically how it efficiently it will handle the Indian rainy season.
Etios comes in 6 colors: Symphony Silver, Harmony Beige, Serene Bluish Silver, Vermilion Red, Celestial Black, White.
So far, so good. Even if the exteriors where not flamboyant, it scored better than D’Zire, its main number game rival. Understated, not loud, it had a strong, conservative but pleasant look.
What caught my eyes, when I stepped in was the central instrumental console. A smart design element by Toyota in an otherwise conservatively designed car. The tachometer, digital trip meter, the audio console and all the buttons and knobs sits pretty well over there. But then my eyes also caught hold of the poor dashboard plastic quality. Yes, cost is a factor but then from Toyota our expectations are always high. So one cannot deny a dip in the excitement.
You stretch your legs, turn around, peep into the rear and you smile again coz the car stacks in a plenty of head room, leg room, shoulder room, knee room and amble real estate both in from and rear. It also packs in smart placements like vertically stacked air-vents, seven 1 litre bottle holders, a spacious 13 litre cooled glove box etc.
With 595 litres of luggage space, the boot space is definitely something to boast of.
The top two versions of the car comes with dual tone fabric upholstery (Black & grey, Black & red) and the basic two versions in a single tone (black).
Finally a good report card banks upon the performance. Sporting a 1496 cc, 16-valve 4 cylinder DOHC engine delivering 90 PS of power at 5600 rpm, riding on a kerb weight of 930 Kg helps Etios to surge very quick off the line. Thanks to the light weight, the drive is sprightly and sporty to drive. So Toyota does not leave any room for disappointment in the engineering front. Truly an uncompromising Toyota offering.
With the spiralling petrol price, the good news is the car gives 13.2 kmpl in city ride which is definitely not disappointing for a sedan.
Ex-show room price Bangalore: Rs. 4,92,530 for the very basic version to 6, 84,315 for the fully loaded version.
GingerChai verdict: Etios has every ingredient in it to conquer the Indian roads. They have taken time to understand the Indian market demand and have come up with a product that offers a no-nonsense car with remarkable Toyota engineering plus a bit of cost saving to grab the market. Currently there is a waiting period of 6-8 months and if it is fine with you, go ahead for a test ride and take a call and chances are you might just like it.
Ford Figo – Review
The Indian car war is on and the car manufacturers are leaving no designs untouched. Ford has unleashed Figo to conquer the roads of India.
Figo draws inspiration from the architectures of Ford Fiesta and fusion models. Does is have in it the punch to win over the Indian roadies ? Lets see.
The outer look:
At first look Figo is not loud and flashy but solid. The lines are fluid with wrapped head lamps nesting an integrated indicator giving a confident look. The rear sports a towering tail lamps and a shapely rear window completing the looks of the car which is little conservative, masculine and nice. Not a show stopper but packs a strong personality.
Figo comes in 7 colors: squeeze, colorado red, diamond white, moondust silver, panther black, sea grey, chill. My pick was colorado red and diamond white.
The inner look:
As you step in, you would be happy with the roomy feel – a good head room & leg room. The inside out view instills a confidence behind the steering wheel.
The instrument cluster comes with a digital odometer and tripmeter in all the variants and gets better in the higher variants. The dashboard finish could have been better. Personally, I did not like the vibrant coral color of the dashboard. The seating is good with an average upholstery. The 284 litre boot space gives you pretty good area for you to fill up.
Figo comes in petrol as well as diesel variants. Sitting pretty under the bonnet and powering the car is a 1.2-litre Duratec engine in the petrol version and a 1.4-litre Duratorq TDCi engine for the diesel version. The engines packs punch in both the version making it a hot contender in the B-segment cars. In fact the diesel engine is quiet smooth and impressive. The ground clearance of the car is pretty good making it great for Indian road conditions.
All the variants comes with a good A/c with heater, power steering, remote fuel filter opening. You also get body colored front & rear bumpers in all the 4 variants. I didn’t like the fact that the dual front airbag is available only in the high end variant.
Pricing: Finally the success of a car in India boils down to the pricing and Ford has got it right with Figo. The pricing is surprisingly very tempting. In Bangalore the on road price of the base petrol version starts at 4.15 Lakhs and diesel version at 5.3 L (Considering that the on road price is pretty steep in Bangalore, it might be considerably sweeter in most other cities)
GingerChai Verdict: Figo is not jazzy but it is masculine and gives you a sense of confident ownership. With an aggressive pricing and solid performance, Figo is definitely a car to buy.
“Beat the town”
Small is beautiful and Chevy’s beat brings a new meaning to the definition. Here comes a car that is visually appealing, boldly cute and packs lots of punches in terms of design, technology and performance.
The front look of the car is quiet a stunner. The trademark Chevy dual front grille, front headlamps cluster with twin barrel design headlamp, bold front chrome rimmed fog lamps, high bonnet gives a jazzy, skip-your- heat beat, hot look. The mirror wraps around the whole car to give a sturdy look.
Come to the sides, the raised waist line, slight but definite curves and the rear door handle sitting pretty in the place where usually the quarter glasses used to be gives a very sporty and fresh look. Have a look at the rear, a retro-looking twin circular rear lamp clusters with smooth flowing lines that reaches the bumper gives a complete compact look to compliment the good looks of the front.
In nutshell, the car bowls you out in any angle.
The open & shut of the car feels good, the door handle is comfortable and catchy and welcomes you into with a feel of a big car. As you seat in, you find the seating comfy and just laps you into it by good cushioning.
The instrument cluster in the dashboard is a delight to watch with LED backlit analogue speedometer, LCD digital tachometer and ice blue illuminated controls.
The sporty console gives the beat an edge over other cars of its category and provides a zingy feeling. Overall, the dashboard is very functional, space wisely used and yet sporty and peppy.
The legroom, headroom are fairly good for the car of this category. May be your kid may not be amused with the missing quarter glass in the rear seat that has been taken by the stylish rear door handle but then this very change is also a highlight style of the car. Nevertheless, the rear portion is good enough. Legroom is fairly good. The boot space is little small but then don’t forget we are talking about small car here. The 40:60 rolling seat takes care of extra storage part when in dire need.
Ignite the 1.2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine and you are greeted with silence and smoothness. Hit the accelerator it effortlessly surges ahead. Even with the A/c on you don’t find the drop in power, that makes it a ideal candidate for city driving. The staff claimed it gives 14 Kmpl, well in practical driving, it may be a little short of it. The suspension of the car is quiet remarkable and it is easy on our city potholes and uneven bumps. Riding a small car, you tend to have a big car feel.
GingerChai Verdict: A heady combination of beauty and performance – a city stunner. Chevy’s Beat looks gorgeous, performs wonderfully and at a base price of 3.34 Lakhs it can give any competitor a run for money. Add to it the Chevy’s 3 year warranty package you have a new winning horse in the market.