• 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
  • India loves SUVs and there are a handful of them that impressed enthusiasts and critics alike. But how many of our SUVs have managed to inspire a cult following? Perhaps, only Duster did. A terrific combination of styling, ruggedness, performance and pricing has won Duster a legion of dedicated fans within one year of its launch.

    In an attempt to maintain a special connection with the Duster owners, Renault recently launched the Gang of Dusters initiative. As part of the initiative, Duster owners get a chance to go on adventurous long drives with family, meet other Duster owners, talk to experts, take part in impromptu rallies, attend interactive service sessions and indulge in many fun activities.

    The first of many such drives to come, the West Coast Expedition saw 15 Duster-owning families set out to break free from the mundane and drive from Mumbai to Goa and back across five days.

    Mumbai to Goa

    After months of meticulous planning and a lot of hard work, the Gang of Dusters convoy

    Read More »from Two days with the ‘Gang of Dusters’
  • Around the same time last year, we drove the Honda Brio from Goa to Bangalore as part of Honda’s Drive to Discover 3 and appreciated the many facets of the small car while enjoying the beauty and majesty of the Western Ghats. Drive to Discover is back again and this time, with the stunning Honda Amaze i-DTEC. 

    We’ve already reviewed the Honda Amaze i-DTEC, but living with the car for three days across 1000 kilometres will certainly expose many unnoticed virtues and shortcomings of the car. More exciting is the fact that our route is part of the Golden Quadrilateral along the scenic East Coast from Visakhapatnam to Kolkata. 

    Sure, this drive is going to be full of action and I’ll be bringing you live updates, photos and short videos from across the East Coast. Meanwhile let’s make this event more interactive by discussing your thoughts on the Honda Amaze and clarifying the questions you may have about the car.


  • Bharat – Ek Khoj?

    15th August. To anyone in the News business (what else do I call it?), it’s a day of pithy editorials and strong reports, all flavoured with the appropriate degree of patriotism. If it’s a heart wrenching story of a rape survivor, pack in something about how ineffectual the laws are in this country. If it’s a heart-warming rags to riches story, talk about India Shining. Photos of innocent children holding the tricolour or old people showcasing toothless, benevolent grins could come in handy. And of course, there are the celebrations – from the prime minister’s speech – to flags hoisted in every state. Keeping in mind the eternally argumentative Indian, introduce debates around popular keywords such as Anna Hazare, Telengana, Bodoland, human rights and attacks by Pakistan along the LoC.

    I wanted to be wise this time. I wanted to write something more solemn, of historical importance. I had a posse of photos from my travels. Forts, sadhus, hills, temples, mosques, sea beaches strung

    Read More »from Bharat – Ek Khoj?
  • The GRAND i10 is still in the testing stage but I recently got my hands on one of the pre-production cars and initial impressions are simply amazing.

    Design and Features

    Although it’s called GRAND i10, the car is built on a completely new platform and there is nothing ‘i10-ish’ about it. The car resembles more of an i20, both in terms of size and features. Since the cars are still in the testing stage, they are heavily camouflaged and I’m unable to comment on the design in detail. However, it’s evident from the teaser photographs that the GRAND i10 follows Hyundai’s ‘fluidic’ design language and looks as stunning as any other Hyundai cars.  All new tail light design and dual-tone alloy wheels are unique to the new model.

    Interiors were slightly camouflaged, too, but it was evident from whatever I saw that the cabin quality of the GRAND i10 shames more expensive models. Plastics look premium and feel premium, too. The driving position is spot-on, the seats are comfy and the steering wheel

    Read More »from First drive review: Hyundai GRAND i10
  • Call it the height of sycophancy or passionate following of their beloved leader. Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders have written a letter to Lord Indra, the God of heavens, urging him to give Narendra Modi a place in heaven!

    The BJP leaders, reportedly are worried that Modi's chances of getting a place in heaven will be thwarted by rival political leaders, some of whom recently wrote to the United States of America (USA) president Barack Obama, pleading him to not to give a visa to the Gujarat chief minister.

    The letter, reportedly signed by 12 party leaders, was a knee-jerk reaction to zealous activities by the anti-Modi camps. "Modi's detractors can go to any extent to make his life hell on earth and even after death. Hence, we are taking every measure to ensure Narendrabhai's path to glory and bliss is not ruined by anyone," said one of the leaders who signed the letter on condition of anonymity.

    The letter, later leaked in the media, read,"Dear Lord, We are writing to request you

    Read More »from BJP leaders write to Lord Indra, request a place for Modi in heaven
  • My friend, the Young Mountain

    Akanksha Joshi, an award winning documentary film maker based in New Delhi writes a poetic rumble, one that puts an ear to the heart of the Himalaya. And hears the ultrasound of man’s doings and undoing. A fresh take on a long relationship the mountains have with rivers and people with nature.

    The story is old, very old. About 90 million years ago. India began a journey. Not the nation, but the land mass. It split from what used to be a huge continent - Africa, South America, Australia, Arabia, Antarctica. Somehow, this land seemed to be in a hurry. Travelling fast. Northwards. About 18 cm per year. Simultaneously rotating, creating oceans, and finally, colliding with Asia.

    A part of the land went down, another part came up. Some folded, some twisted. Bits of the ocean's crust, Tibetan earth and bits of the Indian earth, all mish-mashed to emerge as the world youngest mountains. Yes, the Himalaya. Since some 10 million years, growing. And showing no signs of stopping.

    To a mountain,

    Read More »from My friend, the Young Mountain
  • Bridge over the Ganga in Uttarakhand. Credit: Sandeep Somasekharan/ The Green OgreBridge over the Ganga in Uttarakhand. Credit: Sandeep Somasekharan/ The Green Ogre

    New Delhi based entrepreneur Sunny Narang’s public Facebook post on Thursday raised and debated issues concerned with the pilgrimages in the Uttarakhand Himalayas. Sometimes the solutions that even well-meaning people propose battle one another, becoming part of the problem and complicating it.

    In this case, the barrage of opinions comes fast and furious, just like the floods, with insights, suggestions and a richness of human conversation that flows back and forth through time, experience, hope, cynicism and each from its line of vision. This is a wisdom that belongs to the people, but it is a vision that has rarely been realised on the ground. Tune in. Those in power who continue bickering over ‘natural’ and ‘man made’ could pay heed too, and not only when nature comes calling.

    Annotated excerpts:
    Sunny: [The solution is] managed pilgrimages and tourism in all ecologically sensitive zones. Once allowed, no second visit till slots are available – a bit like Bhutan and Arunachal Read More »from Pilgrim’s progress: Insights from a public FB post


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