• Probably, the name car enthusiasts heard the most in 2013 is Polo. The buzz was sparked by Polo GT TSI in April, followed by the Cross Polo in August and the Polo GT TDI in September. The blissful combination of the 1.2 litre turbocharged engine and DSG gearbox made the GT TSI very desirable. Volkswagen also listened to the clamour for a punchier diesel variant by dropping the Vento’s 1.6 litre diesel engine into the Polo GT TDI. Now, with the disparity between petrol and diesel prices fast shrinking, the carmaker is extending the 1.2 litre TSI to Vento as well.

    The best way to learn about these cars’ capabilities is to drive them in a controlled environment. I recently drove the Vento TSI and Polo TDI back to back at the Buddh International Circuit to find out what makes them completely different animals.

    Visually, both cars don’t imply what they actually capable of doing. Just like its petrol sibling, the Polo TDI gets GT badging on the grille and the boot lid, but not on the C

    Read More »from Track Test: Volkswagen Vento TSI, Polo GT TDI
  • Tisha Srivastav recalls moments where her life has been inspired by Mandela and what he means to her. A personal journey of an ordinary Indian who never met Madiba or stepped under South African skies.

    Some people touch your lives, I think because they have reached out and touched their own depths. Both of suffering and of possibility.

    And brought to light what a human can be.

    Nelson Mandela is one such. As much for his politics, as for his rebellion. As much for his personal strength, as for his leadership-in-exile.

    As a kid in the 70s flying to Africa, (when a large number of Indian Railways folk began to help African countries build their rail systems and that included my dad) I used to look at my diplomatic passport which said ‘All countries except those under the Pretoria regime.’ Now you tell a kid to NOT go somewhere, that is exactly the land which will fascinate. Especially because through the 80s, very little information would get out. But being in Africa, what would reach us Read More »from Mandela - An ordinary Indian remembers
  • Mobilio, the third car to be built on the Brio platform, marks Honda’s entry into the MPV segment in India. After unveiling the Mobilio at the Indonesian Motor Show in September, Honda invited a handful of journalists to Tokyo to examine the car up close. So keeping in mind that this isn't a complete test drive review, here are my first impressions of the MPV.


    If you said MPVs cannot be sporty, eat your words. Agreed, the Mobilio’s face is nigh-on identical to the Brio but move to the side and rear, sharp lines and chiseled facets give the car a sporty attitude. What I liked the most about the Mobilio’s design is the beltline that kinks downwards at the B pillar. This simple but clever design touch yields an airy greenhouse and a feeling of spaciousness. The large, wraparound tail lamps gel neatly with the styling and the Mobilio is best appreciated from the rear three-quarters.

    Many interior elements, especially the dashboard and the seats, are carried over from the Brio. The car

    Read More »from First Look: Honda Mobilio
  • In a major setback for the Samajwadi Party, the criminals in Uttar Pradesh have vowed to never vote for Mulayam Singh Yadav in future as his party officially bought rights to Billy Joel's hit song, 'We didn't start the fire' instead of stealing it proudly.

    Speaking to media, Bullet Babu, a popular mafia gangster lamented that this was a perfect opportunity for the party to gain international fame but blew it away meaninglessly by officially buying a song's rights, a concept for them unheard of.

    Bullet Babu feels the party is doing this just to boost its image ahead of the elections and not worried about the pride of criminals in the state. Bullet compares this move to the party giving free laptops to students - as part of a scheme launched by chief minister Akhilesh Yadav in 2012 - and termed it as yet another 'popular move'.
    Mulayam persuading criminals that he didn't mean to hurt their feelings.
    "Free laptops for students!" Bullet lost his cool as he pointed at yet another 'administrative failure' of SP. "Do they know how much effort it takes to steal

    Read More »from Criminals not to vote for Mulayam after SP buys rights to Billy Joel song instead of stealing it
  • Honda has unveiled the production version of its compact SUV Vezel at the Tokyo Motor Show. A new vehicle that belongs to a completely new category, the Vezel will go on sales in Japan on 20th December.

    The Vezel has been designed by fusing together the dynamic qualities of an SUV and the practicality of a minivan. It belongs to India’s hot-selling compact SUV segment and will certainly outshine the likes of Duster and Ecosport once launched. However, Honda’s next launch in India will be the new Honda City, followed by Jazz and Mobilio, so Vezel won’t make it to India before early 2015.


    Vezel has got a striking design, taking cues from its siblings. Front profile is reminiscent of the CR-V and has the sturdy stance of an SUV. In profile, the Vezel flaunts sharp character lines and the sleeker roof profile of a coupe above the window line. The interior is designed to create a high-quality space and overall, it looks great. The steering wheel is similar to the CR-V’s while the

    Read More »from First Impressions: Honda’s compact SUV Vezel
  • The cricket officials have taken the idea of honouring the batting legend Sachin Tendulkar –playing his final Test match for India – to a bizarre new level.  A man was promptly asked to leave the Wankhede stadium for not cheering the Indian batting great on day one of the second Test match between India and West Indies.

    The security officials caught the fan on one of the cameras not cheering Tendulkar for five minutes during the day’s play. The officials said a few cameras were installed for the special occasion of Tendulkar’s 200th Test, only to catch such ‘culprits’.

    “We wanted to ensure every Indian in the stadium cheers for the batting maestro,”said one of the security officials. “If anyone is caught not expressing support to Tendulkar, then he or she will be asked to leave as we consider such people to be a threat to the overall lively atmosphere in the stadium. Their nonchalance might spread to others and eventually will kill the great occasion.”

    The man evicted from the stadium,

    Read More »from Man evicted from Wankhede Stadium for not cheering Sachin Tendulkar
  • In a move that might bewilder the critics of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) more than ever, the board has decided to scrap the second and the final Test against the West Indies and consider sending the Indian team to South Africa to ensure Sachin Tendulkar bats in both the innings of a Test match.

    The strange decision was taken by the board's working committee which was under pressure by the BCCI to arrange a series in a country where the Indian batting legend gets a guaranteed time to bat.  Hence the committee decided to consider South Africa for Tendulkar's farewell series where, traditionally, except him the rest of the batting line-up has fallen like a pack of cards.

    A source close to the board said, "Since the Indian batting is playing so well against a relatively weaker team like the West Indies at home, Tendulkar didn't get a chance to bat in the second innings as the first match ended in just three days. If it happens again, it will be quite embarrassing for the

    Read More »from BCCI scraps 2nd Test against West Indies; to arrange South Africa tour to ensure Tendulkar bats
  • Photos by Clint Thomas
    By now, most of us are familiar with the word badge engineering, thanks to the Renault-Nissan Alliance. The alliance has already brought us two great rebadged cars – Scala and Pulse. The third car born out of the partnership, the Nissan Terrano, is a rebadged Duster and this review will endeavor to find out how far the Terrano has departed from the Duster.


    Nissan has thrown in some stand-out styling cues into the Terrano that clearly differentiate it from the Duster. From the front, the Terrano can easily be identified by the signature Nissan grille that is reminiscent of the Pathfinder. It's certainly the most effective element of the Terrano’s look, because it translates well into a big SUV shape. The bold lines on the V-shaped bonnet that blends seamlessly into the grille make it unmistakably a Nissan. The angular headlamps and bumper are new as well.

    In profile, changes are more subtle, with curvier door panels and blacked out B and C pillars being the only difference. Alloy

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Nissan Terrano
  • Skoda Octavia is a household name in India - not just because it marked the Volkswagen Group's entry into the country back in 2001, but for the fact that it was fast, solidly built, elegant-looking, affordable and most importantly, returned amazing fuel economy.

    When the second generation arrived, Skoda killed the Octavia nameplate and rechristened it the Laura. Although Laura managed to sell in decent numbers, it failed to continue the revolution sparked by its predecessor. Now, the Czech carmaker is all set to reintroduce the Octavia into what could be a tougher challenge in a more competitive market. Will the Octavia do the trick again for Skoda and rise above the competition? Let’s find out.


    Sharp is the word. The new Skoda Octavia’s exterior design is all about clear lines and sharp edges. The Octavia is 90 mm longer and 45 mm wider than the Laura, but despite growing in height and width, the design remains well proportionate and balanced. Highlight of the front design is

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: 2013 Skoda Octavia
  • There has been a long-standing void in Hyundai’s lineup for India – between the i10 and the i20. The i10 is too small and the i20 slightly ‘more premium’ for the most competitive hatchback segment. Now, Hyundai has brought some balance to its line-up, with the new GRAND i10 bridging the gap between the i10 and the i20.

    So, having tested the GRAND i10 prototype last month and been impressed with the features on offer, I recently spent a day with the production car and here’s the detailed review.


    The GRAND i10 is not merely a ‘grander’ form of the i10. Built on a completely new platform, the car looks totally original. Although the GRAND i10 adopts Hyundai’s fluidic design language, it sports a more sober look with less creases and lines.  Hexagonal grille and elongated headlamps look elegant and I particularly liked the unique design of the fog lamps. Sloping roofline, ascending beltline and integrated roof rails coupled with the two-tone diamond cut alloy wheels create

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Hyundai GRAND i10 Diesel


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