Full Throttle
  • Frankly, I had rebuffed Mahindra’s offer to test drive the e2o when it was launched in 2013, because I knew I would be staring at the battery range indicator rather than focusing on the drive or the dynamics of the car. I was too skeptical to take the car for a photo-shoot or speed test because the maximum I could peacefully go away from a known charging station was 30-35 kilometres.  

    When Mahindra called me again recently with the same offer, I happily accepted because the new premium variant of the e2o runs up to 120 kilometres on a single charge. That’s not all, it is now equipped with power steering, which makes city driving a doddle.

    Design

    The new e2o’s exterior styling remains unaltered and continues to be a mix of futuristic and quirky design. Projector headlamps and honeycomb mesh grille give this tiny car a sporty front but it looks a bit disproportionate in profile, thanks to its tall stance and short wheelbase. The rear gets an all-glass tailgate and a pair of small but

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Mahindra e2o T2
  • Maruti has it easy in the small and compact car segments.  But India’s top carmaker hasn’t been able to hit the sweet spot in the midsize sedan category dominated by the tasteful rides from Japan, Korea and Europe. Now, in what could be a do-or-die effort, Maruti is once again vying for the wallets of C-segment buyers with an all-new car --the Ciaz. Ciaz not only ups the ante on what have historically been Maruti’s lackadaisical attempts to crack the midsize segment, but has developed into a resilient contender among its feature-laden competitors.

    Design

    Maruti cars have never been stylistic standouts but the Ciaz is absolutely more assertive than anything else from its maker’s stable. The four-slat chrome grille looks neat, so do the large dual headlamps with projectors. Remarkably, all variants of the Ciaz will get projector headlamps. The well-molded bumper adds some zing to the front, however, the chrome accents around the fog lamps as seen on the concept car would have made it

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Maruti Ciaz
  • Photos by Clint ThomasCarmakers generally introduce special editions on two occasions – to mark the tremendous success of a particular model or to give it a boost when sales show a downward drift. Mercedes-Benz India, which is observing 2014 as the “Year of Excellence,” has registered a strong half-yearly growth of 25% and a significant contributor to this growth trajectory has been the NGC portfolio comprising the A-Class and B-Class. Celebrating the overwhelming success of its New Generation Cars (NGC) portfolio, the Stuttgart carmaker recently introduced the A-Class and B-Class ‘Edition 1.’


    These two adorable baby Mercs have already found appreciation among young Indians and the Edition 1 takes them to new heights with some tasteful touches. Over the previous long weekend, I took the B Class Edition 1 on a roadtrip not just to find out what’s new in the special edition, but to explore the capabilities of the B Class as a sports tourer.

    Design

    The B Class is often described as an inflated A Class. While

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Mercedes-Benz B Class Edition 1
  • The dictionary defines the word elite as ‘someone who is superior in terms of ability or qualities to the rest of the society.’ Well, in that sense, Hyundai’s premium hatchback i20 has been an elite car since its inception in 2008. With its impressive fluidic design, interior quality and avant-garde features, the i20 redefined the benchmark in the segment. Now, in its second generation, the i20 has been justifiably christened the Elite i20 and let’s find out what makes an already good car even better.

    Design

    The Elite i20’s exterior represents the latest iteration of what Hyundai calls Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 design language. However, Hyundai has ditched the rounded fluidic edges for a bold design with sharper character lines. Dominating the front is the signature hexagonal grille, but this time with honeycomb mesh surrounded by chrome accents. The lower bumper is adorned by a plastic mesh strip that neatly connects the fog lamps. The striking design of the swept-back headlamps yields an

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Hyundai Elite i20
  • Photos by Clint ThomasPhotos by Clint Thomas
    A fellow auto journalist who is embarking on a 50-day road trip to Europe has the Isuzu MU-7 as his top vehicle of choice. As a car critic who has driven almost every car in India, he thinks MU-7 is the right vehicle for the 25000-kms drive. Built like a tank, the MU-7’s go-anywhere capability is impressive, but what caught his interest was the luxury of space the SUV offers - and that’s exactly what Isuzu highlights as the USP of the car.  

    In a country that loves SUVs and spaciousness alike, offering a full-grown SUV with some extra space can be a formula that endears itself to the buyers, but that alone doesn’t make a successful product. So I recently spent some quality time with the MU-7 to find out what makes it distinct in a segment where competition is razor-sharp.

    Design

    The MU-7 is unmistakably an old-school SUV that blows you away with its very aggressive front fascia. Wide tooth grille, sharp projector headlamps and beefy bumpers coupled with the large intercooler intake scoop

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Isuzu MU-7
  •  

    Two burgeoning segments in Indian automobile industry – compact sedan and luxury hatchback – have elicited a raving response. While one segment offered cheaper sedans, the other made luxury more affordable. When Audi decided to introduce its cheapest car in India, they charted a new path by blending together the best of both worlds. Thus, the Audi A3 creates a new market segment – the class of luxury compact sedans.

    Design

    The A3 is quintessential Audi. So it takes an eagle-eyed enthusiast to tell the difference between the A3 and the A4 - or even the A6 - from a distance. And it’s a great thing because on the road, the baby Audi grabs as many eyeballs as the more expensive models do. Like its elder siblings, the A3 gets the signature single-frame grille flanked by slim bi-xenon headlamps with DRLs that help the car retain its regal image. Striking horizontal contours and large air inlets on the bumper add to the broader stance of the front end.
    The ‘tornado line’ slicing the length of

    Read More »from Road Test and Review: Audi A3

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