• Thirty nine percent of compact sedan buyers make choices based on exterior design, surveys show. But designing a sub-4 metre sedan with pleasant styling and neat proportions still remains a challenge for automakers. Ford has skillfully leapt over that challenge, and the result is a very pretty compact sedan – the Figo Aspire.


    The Figo Aspire has a very satisfying design when compared to its closest rivals. The gaping grille with thin chrome bars gives the Aspire the same character as its elder sibling - the Fiesta. The swept-back polygonal headlamp and the bonnet bulge add to its attractiveness when viewed from front three quarters. Move to the sides and you immediately know it’s a compact sedan but thanks to an elongated character line and rising beltline, proportions appear balanced. Ditto for the car's posterior; the boot is well integrated and the wraparound taillights are joined by a chrome strip across the bootlid. The fact that the Figo Aspire is among the best-looking

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Ford Figo Aspire
  • Photos by Clint ThomasPhotos by Clint Thomas
    Soon, you’ll start noticing car showrooms branded as ‘NEXA’ in your neighborhood. Decked-up with state-of-the-art facilities and service, NEXAs are nothing short of a luxury car showroom.

    NEXA is a new sales network, through which Maruti Suzuki will be selling its premium cars in future. A brand that’s never known for luxury or premiumness, Maruti is all set to change that image with the new chain and future premium products.

    The first car that makes to the NEXA outlet is the S-Cross, a premium crossover. Built on a completely new platform, the S-Cross is tasked with the responsibility of catapulting the brand into new territories.


    The S-Cross is quintessential crossover – raised ground clearance, integrated roof rails and black body cladding giving a familiar rugged look. However, this one looks more special and original than most of its rivals that have added a “Cross” to their hatchback siblings.

    Although the S-Cross has an aggressive nose comprising xenon projectors with

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Maruti S-Cross
  • Compact SUVs are flying out of showrooms in India. The winning formula is very simple – for not much money, you get the comfort and fuel efficiency of a car with the versatility of a big vehicle. Hyundai has joined  the compact SUV bandwagon with the launch of Creta, a rugged compact SUV that has the looks of a mini-Santa Fe.


    The Creta is very much a lifestyle statement. Despite being categorized as a compact SUV, the Creta is a well-formed vehicle with balanced proportions. The front has a very strong presence owing to the muscular grille, accompanied with beefy front bumper and large fog lamps. Projector headlamps are accentuated by Daytime Running Lights. In profile, the Creta stands tall on 17-inch alloy wheels and a rising character line along with roof rails add to the tall stance. The rear design is very clean and simple, with wide wraparound taillights. Overall, the fluidic design language isn’t as loud as seen on other Hyundais, but that’s a good thing on this SUV,

    Read More »from First drive review: Hyundai Creta
  • Who are we to deny closure?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Is it imperative to watch India’s Daughter?

    There was no ‘revealing insight’, there was nothing that we already hadn’t read or heard before about the horrific crime.

    Leslee Udwin, the documentary maker, had said that the purpose of the interview with the rapist Mukesh Singh was to understand why rapes happen in India? Why do they? While we spend time debating and delving deep into the rapists’ psychology, Mukesh Singh says that he and his friend had drunk too much that evening and were heading to GB Road for some ‘fun’. On the way, they saw a girl and realized why drive down all the way when ‘pleasure’ was right at hand.

    Basically, a group of men from a society where respecting women was never a part of the social discourse, were having FUN. Remember Mulayam Singh Yadav’s ‘boys make mistakes’ quip to a cheering crowd during the election campaign?

    It was merely ‘coincidental’ that the girl fought back and things got out of control.

    This was not a premeditated crime; the perpetrators

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  • It’s not girls, but guys who need lessons on 'Rape'

    The predominant noises since Dec 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. What we need most is a ‘Beta Padhao, Beti Bachao’ programme.

    Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.Women are fighting a legitimate battle, and men must become a part of the solution.

    Disclaimer first. Some of the content below is likely to puncture a few male egos.

    For long, our patriarchal upbringing has led most of our men to believe that they are modern day versions of one or all of these: the righteous Yudhisthira, the valiant Arjuna or the mighty Bhima.

    But truth must be told. An outright majority of our men are none of these.

    The predominant noises since December 16, 2012, have only been limited to what women ought to know and do. Hardly any voice has advocated education for men to deal with their own impulses or to be prepared for an assault on their womenfolk?

    Last week, the Chandigarh MP Kirron Kher suggested a sensible starting point.

    Speaking about the controversy surrounding the documentary ‘India’s Daughter’, she raised a valid issue: clothes do not cause rapes, mindsets do. So rather than bury our heads in the sand, it is critical to transform the thoughts of little children and elderly men, Kher argued.

    Misogynistic beliefs are embedded in these

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  • Why ban on the Nirbhaya documentary is justified

    Why would someone interview men who openly profess that women should be in chains? Why offer a platform to a rapist whose acts are so vile and violent they defy comprehension?

    Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Leslee Udwin speaks during a news conference in New Delhi.Any form of suppression goes against my grain, but for some reason the ban on the broadcasting of Leslee Udwin's 'India's Daughter' doesn't make me too unhappy.

    And even though YouTube is flooded with copies of the documentary – mocking the ban, as it were – those against disallowing free release of the film seem to be disproportionately miffed.

    ‘Liberals’, Facebook activists and trolls of their ilk might now call for my head for supporting the ban. But is not this debate also about the right to one’s opinion?

    Let me first lay down the basics: I am not an opponent of free speech, but images of Mukesh Singh describing -- in gut-wrenching detail -- what happened on that ill-fated night of December 16, 2012 make me question the very motive of making this documentary. Was it Udwin’s effort to showcase to the West the misogynistic beliefs of the Indian men? The answer could be a yes or a no. Not that we live in a society that is pure as rain. Yes, we as a nation are plagued by this

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  • The Jetta has been one of the best sedans around - absolutely impressive in both the way it looks and drives. Volkswagen has recently launched the new Jetta, with handful of updates for 2015. Aside from some cosmetic changes to the exterior and cabin, the 2015 Jetta carries over unchanged.

    What’s New

    The Jetta has found favour with buyers for its unfussy, no-nonsense styling. In its newest avatar, the Jetta is an even more sanitized version of an already established design.  A new grille accentuates the car’s width, while the new bumper with redesigned airdam and foglamps add to the sharper look. The profile of the car remains untouched, save for the good-looking twin-5-spoke alloy wheels on the top trim diesel variant. The rear has a ‘son-of-Audi’ stance owing to the new tail lamp design, bumper and bootlid.

    The Jetta’s cabin is quintessential Volkswagen, exuding an air of solidity. The doors close with a reassuring clack and the new flat bottom steering wheel makes ingress and egress

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: 2015 Volkswagen Jetta
  • The previous-generation Hyundai Verna was nothing short of a super hit in the midsize sedan segment. With its combination of trailblazing fluidic style, best-in-class performance and generous equipment, the Verna easily convinced us that it was the best value for money in its segment. Now redesigned for 2015, the Hyundai Verna is a little more handsome, receiving refinements to its suspension, interior and feature content.

    What’s New

    A mellower version of its former self, the 2015 Verna stays close to its original fluidic recipe while adding more spice to its overall looks. The front fascia has been thoroughly redesigned to reflect contemporary tastes and trends. The signature hexagonal grille has made way for a wing shaped one with dual chrome slats. Surprisingly, the daytime running lights introduced in the 2014 Verna have been ditched for a simpler headlamp unit with projectors. Aggressively redesigned front bumper features boomerang shaped fog lamps that give the Verna a sportier

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: 2015 Hyundai Verna
  • Photos: Clint ThomasPhotos: Clint Thomas
    Honda’s Drive to Discover is something auto journalists look forward to every year, because it is one of the very few events that gives the opportunity to explore the diverse terrestrial and cultural environments of India. As a prelude to the Drive to Discover 2015, Honda organized a two-day drive to Rann of Kutch to introduce the new and improved Amaze and drive it across the sprawling expanse of Rann.

    A drive to Rann of Kutch was a dream come true for many of us, because Gujarat is not in the list of car manufacturers when it comes to organizing media test drive programmes. So with that first-time excitement, I joined a group of two dozen auto journalists in Ahmedabad to experience Gujarat roads for the first time.
    Over breakfast, a friend recommended I have as much non-veg food as I wanted because asking for non-veg in Gujarat gets you only shocked looks. The same applies to liquor, too. Before we could end a matter-of-fact discussion on how this could take a toll on Gujarat tourism,

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  • Mercedes Benz established a new class of elegance ten years ago, when it introduced the CLS four-door coupé.  With Its low, swoopy roofline, CLS represented exclusivity and has been influential on automotive design in the following years. The newest fruit of the carmaker’s youthful labour, the CLA, aims to replicate the success of the CLS.  The German carmaker’s most affordable sedan has already made young hearts throb but does it drive as well as it looks? Let’s find out.


    True, beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but some cars are destined to be absolute stunners - Mercedes Benz CLA is one of them. It looks highly desirable from every angle but rear three quarters view is just mind-blowing, thanks to the aesthetically designed tail lamps, twin tail pipes, brawny haunches and sculpted bumper. Riding on 17-inch alloy wheels, the CLA’s profile is characterized by a curvy rear window achieved by the sloping roofline. The expressive character lines lend the car an elongated

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Mercedes Benz CLA


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