#NEWLAUNCH-SKODA KODIAQ SCOUT

ŠKODA AUTO India unveiled the new KODIAQ SCOUT at an attractive introductory ex-showroom price of INR 33.99 lacs. Introduced in 2017, the KODIAQ marked ŠKODA’s foray into the popular full-size SUV segment, in India. The SCOUT variant, with its characteristic design, robust appearance, generous proportions, all-wheel drive and off-terrain capabilities, pushes the yardstick further. Its muscular body frame with silver protective elements radiates wild beauty, toughness, and an appetite for adventure.

The KODIAQ SCOUT comes equipped with the 2.0 TDI (DSG) diesel engine that generates 150 PS (110 kW) of power and a peak torque output of 340Nm. The seven seater ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT will be available in four colour options: Lava Blue, Quartz Grey, Moon White, and Magic Black, across all authorized ŠKODA AUTO dealership facilities in the country.

The newly launched ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT_2

Speaking on the occasion, Mr Zac Hollis, Director – Sales, Service and Marketing, ŠKODA AUTO India, said “The KODIAQ model range caters a growing class of discerning customers with the penchant for luxury as well as the right ‘value for money’ proposition. The new KODIAQ SCOUT is an integral part of our SUV campaign in India. While retaining its strong family characteristics – emotive design, exquisite interiors, class-leading safety as well as intelligent connectivity features – the SCOUT, with its distinctive design and all-terrain capabilities, offers a compelling combination and will continue to drive ŠKODA’s success in India.”

SKODA KODIAQ SCOUT (3)

The ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT inherits the signature contoured body of the KODIAQ, and arms it with dynamic details. The fascia is dominated by distinctive chrome surround on the radiator grille, and the front bumper with silver-coloured spoiler emphasize the off-road capabilities of the KODIAQ SCOUT. The characteristic LED headlamps with illuminated ‘eyelashes’ of the KODIAQ finds its way inside the SCOUT, too. The location of the sharply drawn fog lamps at the height of the grille, protected from damage, clearly shows the off-road ambitions of the latest offering from the Czech marque. The KODIAQ SCOUT opens up new vistas with the electrically-adjustable panoramic sunroof, which enhances the feeling of space.At the rear, the KODIAQ SCOUT dons crystalline elements in the ŠKODA-typical C-shape LED taillights. The rear bumper with silver protective cover borders the exhaust pipes and the diffuser; lending the KODIAQ SCOUT a robust appearance.New sculptural shapes, dynamic elements, and precise features lend the vehicle an emotive and authentic appearance with a strong identity of its own. The new KODIAQ SCOUT is characterized by the next development stage of the ŠKODA design language, which will be also present in future ŠKODA models. The new KODIAQ SCOUT is the first product, in India, to bear ‘ŠKODA’ in block lettering on the tailgate instead of the ŠKODA logo.

The newly launched ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT_3

The square wheel arches housing the dual-tone Anthracite R (18) Trinity alloy wheels, angular mud flaps with plastic edges, protective sill covers, and underbody Rough Road Package ensures that one may go off the paved roads, without fear. The silver roof railings, matte silver wing mirror housings, and the chrome strips around the side window intensify the premium feel of this new ŠKODA SUV. The SCOUT plaque, sitting on the front fenders, is tastefully complemented by the KODIAQ-embossed aluminium scuff plates that entice all into the interior.The all-new KODIAQ SCOUT gets brushed wooden décor. The decorative elements are black and gracefully complemented by chrome highlights. Elegant touches such as the SCOUT logo on the black Alcantara® leather upholstery, and the infotainment system home screen, are eye-catching and appreciated details. The LED ambient lighting, running along the inside of the KODIAQ SCOUT, offers ten appealing colour options.

 

The SCOUT comes equipped with the 2.0 TDI (DSG) diesel engine from the ŠKODA KODIAQ model range. With 16 valves Dual Over-Head Camshaft (DOHC), it generates 150 PS (110 kW) of power and a peak torque output of 340Nm while delivering a fuel efficiency figure of 16.25 km/l and a top speed of 194 km/h.

The newly launched ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT_1

The all-wheel or 4×4 drive system is based on an electro-hydraulically controlled multi-disc inter-axle clutch designed to smoothly distribute the torque between the front and rear axles in a ratio ranging between 96%-4% and 10%-90%. The system can transmit as much as 85% of the available torque to a single wheel (in conjunction with the EDS). The coupling of the rear axle is automatic, so under normal conditions, the car can utilize the advantages of front-wheel drive, and under extreme conditions the excellent traction of the 4×4 drive.Activated with mode button on the center console, Driving Mode Select offers Eco, Normal, Sport, and Individual modes as well as the Snow Mode, which ensures good handling even on low-grip surfaces.With the intelligent Off-Road-Mode system, which operates at speeds of up to 30 km/h, one can handle extreme terrains. It is designed to adjust the characteristics of the engine, electronic assistants, and stability control systems. The activated functions, which includes the steering wheel angle, the compass, the altimeter, and the oil and coolant temperature, are shown on the infotainment display.

SKODA KODIAQ SCOUT (1)

Standard safety equipment on the KODIAQ SCOUT includes a wide range of features such as nine airbags, which remains the segment benchmark.As standard, the bottom part of the KODIAQ SCOUT is protected by plastic covers that, besides serving the protective function, are shaped aerodynamically to optimize the air flows under the vehicle. To increase the degree of chassis protection, the vehicle is fitted with the Rough Road Package, taking the form of additional protection for the engine bay, oil sump, gearbox, rear suspension, lateral arms, and brake hoses.

The car is equipped with iBuzz Fatigue Alert which detects signs of fatigue in the driver and prompts him or her to take a break. In addition, a host of security equipment and safety support functions include AFS (Adaptive Front light System), ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), ESC (Electronic Stability Control), EBD (Electronic Brake-force Distribution), MBA (Mechanical Brake Assist), MKB (Multi Collision Brake), HBA (Hydraulic Brake Assist), ASR (Anti Slip Regulation), and EDS (Electronic Differential Lock).The ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT also features the all-new state-of-the-art Anti-Theft alarm with interior monitoring, tyre pressure monitoring system, acoustic warning signal for overrun speed, engine immobiliser with floating code system, dual-tone warning horn, and Parktronic sensors at front and rear.

The Power Nap Package of the ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT will enable rear passengers to sleep soundly on a long journey. It includes variable headrests of the outer seats for a comfortably supported head posture while sleeping, and two blankets.The Hands-Free Parking minimizes the hassle of parking in tight spots by automatically selecting an appropriate parking place in a row of parallel or perpendicularly parked vehicles. In today’s crowded cities and space-starved streets, hands-free parking is a blessing indeed and needs a space 60 cm longer than the car itself when parking in parallel.The KODIAQ SCOUT also features a Digital Voice Enhancement feature, which transmits the driver’s and front passenger’s voice to the passengers in the rear via a microphone in the cockpit, thereby facilitating a smooth interaction among occupants.

SKODA KODIAQ SCOUT (4)

With the largest boot capacity within its class, the KODIAQ SCOUT will never make a compromise on business, pleasure, and practical essentials. The KODIAQ SCOUT offers an impressive capacity of 270 litres, which extends to 2,005 litres with the rear seats folded down. The swipe foot movement underneath, with the Virtual Pedal enables contact-free access to this unrivalled luggage space.

The state-of-the-art 20.32 cm capacitive touch display features a glass design and is a part of the new generation Amundsen Infotainment and Navigation System developed by ŠKODA. The SmartLink+™ all-in-one technology integrates SmartGate™, alongside Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and MirrorLink™, as standard. The premium Canton Sound System features 10 speakers, including subwoofer, and has a power output of 575 watts. New age connectivity solutions along with BossConnect™, integrated with the ŠKODA Media Command App, help occupants control functions like navigation, entertainment, and assistance, from the comfort of the back seat.The Three-Zone Climatronic air conditioning system enables different temperatures to be set for the driver, front and rear passengers. It is also fitted with a humidity sensor, which reduces windscreen misting, and a sun sensor. The Boarding Spots, designated to illuminate the entry area, are located on the external side-view mirrors.

The ŠKODA Shield Plus ensures 6 years of hassle-free ownership experience and utmost ‘PEACE OF MIND’. It incorporates motor insurance, 24 x 7 road side assistance, and an extended warranty. ŠKODA AUTO had previously introduced India’s first 4 year service care programme (4 year warranty, 4 year road side assistance, and an optional 4 year maintenance package).

 

ŠKODA KODIAQ SCOUT PRICE SUMMARY

MODEL PRICE (EX-SHOWROOM, INDIA)
2.0 TDI (4×4, DSG) Diesel Engine INR 33,99,599

#NEW LAUNCH- MARUTI SPRESSO

Maruti Suzuki today launched its much-awaited Mini-SUV S-PRESSO. The S-PRESSO is conceptualized and designed in India for India and the world. It stands out with its bold and powerful SUV stance. Built afresh on acclaimed 5th generation HEARTECT platform, it uses 40% high tensile steel that ensures stronger, safer and sturdier structure.
S-PRESSO will be sold countrywide through the extensive ARENA retail network and is packed with more than 10 safety features and is compliant with all safety regulations. Maruti Suzuki will offer several best -in-its class features to customers with S-PRESSO.
Presenting the all new S-PRESSO to customers, Mr. Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “At Maruti Suzuki, we believe in the philosophy of ‘customer first.’ We continue our endeavor to provide Indian customers with high quality cars backed by affordable pricing. Today’s global launch of S-PRESSO stands testament to our commitment to offer best in design, technology and safety to our customers. I am happy to share that S-PRESSO joins our BS6 range, as the 8th vehicle compliant with new emission norms. We are confident that S-PRESSO will bring excitement in its segment,attracting the ever evolving young customer.”

a851e137-3bde-420d-899f-8ce36e4c01c8

S-PRESSO comes with a distinct SUV character with a bold design statement.
The upright A-pillar and back door design give it a solid SUV presence. The proportions are carefully crafted with modern glass to body ratio and sculpted volumes to give a bold look.The lifted door-sill underlined by a higher ground clearance, exhibits confidence and bold stance. The sturdy character is reinforced by the squared wheel arches with R14 tyres.The single aperture head lamp and grille graphic gives it a distinct and commanding bold look. The wide C-signature tail lamps are packaged higher-up to give a dominant presence and an instantly recognizable design character.

The S-PRESSO comes with a unique and exciting interior giving it a distinct style. All the energy originates from a dynamic centre console inspired from tough sports watches to appeal the young customer. Together with trendy infotainment system and digital speedometer, it adds to the car’s iconic style and a seamless blend of new technology and bold design.S-PRESSO has high seating layout that offers a commanding driving position. This also enables easy ingress and egress with ample leg room. The large cabin space with intense sporty black colour scheme accentuated by bright pop out accents brings excitement for young customer.S-PRESSO is loaded with conveniently located utility spaces in front and rear. It offers plenty of storage options like open tray, glove box, door trim and door console pocket to keep smartphones.

S-PRESSO offers first in its class Steering mounted audio and voice controls. The advanced Smartplay Studio ensures that music, entertainment and navigation are always available with a touch. It has a user friendly and vibrant graphic user interface, compatible with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and other Smartplay Studio Apps.
Under the hood of the S-PRESSO is a proven 1.0 L K10 engine with BS6 compliance. Equipped with both Manual and AGS (Auto Gear Shift) options, it delivers a peppy performance and great fuel efficiency.

S-PRESSO is a result of continuous and consistent effort to reinforce the passenger and pedestrian safety. Built on Suzuki’s 5th Generation HEARTECT platform, S-PRESSO is compliant with all the latest Indian safety regulations including frontal offset crash, side impact and with pedestrian safety. The HEARTECT platform gives better impact absorption and energy dispersion power to the body structure to ensure passenger safety. S-PRESSO boasts of safety features such as dual airbags, ABS (Anti-Lock-Braking System) with EBD (Electronic Brake force Distribution), seat belts with pre-tensioners and force Limiters, driver/co-driver seat belt reminder, rear parking assist system, high speed warning alert and reverse parking sensors.

The S.Presso is available at an introductry price of Rs 3,69,000/-  for the STD Version, Rs 4,05,000/- for the LXI Version, Rs 4,24,500/- for the VXI Version, Rs 4,67,500/- for the VXI AGS Version, Rs 4,48.000/- for the VXI+ Version and Rs 4,91,000/- for the VXI+ AGS Version. All prices are ex-showroom Delhi.
b9f9786c-7f1c-4d4a-8c8f-d9f9fd7409e0

#MONSOON TRAILS – VOLKSWAGEN TIGUAN

This is the 4th time in the last one year, that I got an opportunity to spend time with one of my all-time favourite SUV’s the Volkswagen Tiguan. This is a car that is universally loved by whoever drives it…Snapseed(1).jpgAs part of our ongoing series #MonsoonTrails, we reviewed the Tiguan this time around. Over the course of 5 days we put it through different kinds of road conditions and terrain. How did it fare? Let’s find out…But before we do that, lets reacquaint ourselves with what the Tiguan is all about.

The hallmark of VW cars is how simple and clean the design always is. The Tiguan follows the same design language. Starting with the front you have the 3-slat chrome grille on which sits the VW badge. Accompanying that are the LED headlights and LED DRL’s which complete the look.Snapseed(3).jpgSnapseed(2).jpgWalk to the side and you see the silver finish 18-inch alloy wheels which offer a ground clearance of about 200mm. The shoulder line that runs from the front right to the rear reflect  the elegant design of the Tiguan along with LED tail lamps in the rear.IMG_5954.jpgThe Tiguan comes with a 2.0 litre TDI turbocharged diesel engine with a peak power output of 143 hp and 340 Nm of torque. This is based on Volkswagen’s MQB modular platform, making it lighter than other SUVs in that price range.

The all black interiors are rich and premium in feel and finish. The centre console comes with a host of features, colour touch screen, Apple car play and Android auto. The seats in the front offer good support and the cushioning is high quality. The Tiguan comes with a huge and panoramic sunroof which when fully opened offers a great view. The legroom and shoulder room in the rear is terrific. The headroom is good courtesy the design of the roof. The rear seats have a reclining feature with a 60:40 split.  There is 615 litres of boot space on offer in the Tiguan.IMG_5952.jpgIMG_5953.jpgThe 7 speed DSG transmission in the Tiguan is extremely refined in terms of upshifts and downshifts. Paddle shifters usually come into play mainly, when driving on the highway. The four driving modes available are Snow, Normal, Off road and Individual. The mode I started with in the city was Eco. In this mode the engine is tuned to deliver optimum efficiency in terms of overall engine performance. Once on the highway I switched between Normal and Sports depending on the traffic conditions there.Snapseed(6).jpgThere are 6 airbags, ABS, ESC, Hill Descent and Auto hold available as part of the safety package. The Tiguan comes with a feature called the “active hood” which raises itself automatically by 3 inches, in the case of a collision with a pedestrian. This is to ensure the pedestrian doesn’t hit the hard parts of the vehicle in such an accident, minimising the level of injury.

The whole of last month Maharashtra has seen the kind of monsoons that haven’t been experienced in a long time. The roads are in pathetic shape, highways have huge craters in place of paved roads… All this can make driving on such roads a pathetic experience.Snapseed(5).jpgBut did this matter to the Tiguan? Not at all. It handled every kind of road thrown at it with the utmost ease. I was travelling with 3 other passengers in the car, not once did anyone complain about any discomfort. The handling of the Tiguan in and out of corners is very sharp, steering feedback is good. Overall visibility from the front cabin is impressive. The fuel efficiency numbers the Tiguan returned during this review were very good.Snapseed.jpgThe Tiguan is a SUV that offers comfort, safety, has excellent suspension, very good fuel efficiency and is fun to drive.

The Tiguan is available for 28 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai for the Comfortline(base) variant and 31 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai for the Highline variant.

 

New launch -Volkswagen Polo And Vento

Volkswagen India today launched the sportier, dynamic and power packed Polo and Vento for the Indian Market. Starting at an introductory price of INR 5.82 Lakh for the new Polo and INR 8.76 Lakh for the new Vento, these carlines are now available for customers to experience and own across the vast network of Volkswagen in India, starting today.

polo f1.jpgvento f1.jpgThe new Polo And Vento come with a host of exterior changes. They now appear more vibrant,younger and sportier owing to its new sporty side skirts, new smoked oil lamps, GTI inspired honeycomb front grille and bumpers. Further, accentuating the overall appeal of the carline is the rear bumper with diffuser.

The new Polo will now be available in a brand new colour “Sunset Red” and a new GT line edition featuring Black too, GT line side foil and fender badge black ORVM cap and rear spoiler. Both the carlines symbolise the right amalgamation of form, function and connectivity. Volkswagen Connect will come as standard across the Highline Plus and GT variants of the new Polo And Vento.

NEW POLO AND VENTO INTRODUCTORY PRICES (EX-SHOWROOM)specs 1.jpg

Effective 1st January, 2019 all Volkswagen carlines come with standard warranty, RSA as below:specs.jpg

 

#MONSOONTRAILS – LAND ROVER DISCOVERY SPORT

As part of monsoon trails this year, I have best reviewing SUV’s which are ideally suited to the conditions one encounters during this time of the year.IMG 1.jpgThe Land Rover Discovery Sport is part of a SUV lineage that is legendary. This SUV is the entry level Land Rover on sale in India. The model that I drove was the updated 2019 Discovery Sport Diesel HSE Edition.

HOW DOES IT LOOK?ex 14.jpgCOLLAGE 2.jpgThe Discovery Sport is a well-balanced, good looking SUV with excellent finish and an imposing stance. The 2019 update gets the Dynamic Design Pack. This is being offered in the top end HSE Trim. One gets chrome tail pipes, and a recognisable body kit. Otherwise everything is like the previous model.

HOW IS IT INSIDE?

The first thing you notice as you get into the driver’s seat is how good the all-round visibility is from that position. Lumbar and under thigh support is top class, something we have come to expect in all LR/RR vehicles. The dashboard, the quality of the interiors, fit and finish is premium. Another update to the 2019 model is in terms of the infotainment system. The SUV now gets the upgraded version of the Touch Pro Interface with a 10-inch display that’s available in the HSE Luxury trim. The rest of the variants get an 8-inch Display. The UI is smooth, fluid to use, going through the menu loaded with features is a smooth affair. The switchgear on the steering wheel and doors are premium in fit and finish.COLLAGE 1.jpgLeg, head and shoulder room in the second row is fantastic. 3 adults can be seated comfortably in this row. The seating position in the 2nd row is a little low compared to the 1st row which translates to more headroom here. The 3rd row is ideally suited for kids as the combination of a low seat and high floor means one would end up being seated in a cramped fashion. Boot space on offer in the Discovery Sport is 280 litres.COLLAGE 3.jpgThe Discovery Sport HSE trim I drove came loaded with features. You get a fixed panoramic roof, power adjusted heated power fold exterior mirrors, xenon headlights with LED daytime running lights, 10-way electric front seats, a 17-speaker premium audio system, rear camera, front and rear parking sensors, screens for the rear seats, tyre pressure monitoring system, ABS , ESP, traction control and plenty of airbags.

HOW DOES IT DRIVE?

The engine on the 2019 Discovery Sport has gone through a huge update. While it’s the same 2-litre Ingenium diesel engine, power has gone up in the HSE trim that I drove. Now it puts out 179bhp of power, 30hp more than what is available in the entry level Pure variant.

ex 21.jpg

As soon as you turn on the car and put it into drive mode, one gets a sense of the power on offer. The Discovery Sport takes off so swiftly and smoothly, you forget momentarily that this is a 7-seater SUV! The steering is well balanced and light enough, making driving the Discovery Sport in the city an easy exercise.  Getting to three-digit speeds is done with utmost ease on the highways.

ex 18.jpgex 2.jpgI drove the Discovery Sport over 4 days during this review over a combination of city roads and highways. The biggest standout about this SUV was the quality of the suspension and ride quality. This is by far the best ride quality I have experienced in any SUV so far. Bad roads, large potholes, off road terrain, nothing was a challenge for the Discovery Sport. The Discovery Sport handled these roads with such aplomb and finesse; one actually forgot the pathetic quality of the roads encountered during this review.

THE VERDICT

The 2019 Discovery Sport is a good looking, solid and premium SUV. It offers fantastic ride quality, drives and handles well in all driving conditions. This is a SUV that appeals to a buyer who’s looking for a comfortable and luxurious everyday city vehicle, as well for someone who likes to go off-roading on weekends.

ex 11.jpgex 16.jpgThe Discovery Sport Diesel Pure edition 5-seater (base variant) is available for Rs 44.68 Lakhs ex-showroom, the Discovery Sport Diesel Pure edition 7 seater (base variant) is available for Rs. 52.47 Lakhs ex-showroom. Prices for the Diesel HSE Edition 7-seater starts at Rs.56.57 Lakhs ex-showroom. Prices for the Petrol SE 7-seater starts at Rs. 51.37 Lakhs ex-showroom.

FIRST DRIVE – MARUTI SUZUKI XL6

An invitation to visit Rajasthan is always welcome. Lovely topography, colourful people, delicious food and the best driving roads in the country. It’s no surprise that Rajasthan plays host to multiple media drives each year.

FIRST.jpgLast weekend we were in Jaipur to drive the new Maruti Suzuki XL6. Maruti’s new premium MPV, which is being retailed through the Nexa network.

HOW DOES IT LOOK?

The XL6 is a good looking MPV. Raised bonnet lines, larger grille, a scuff plate, full- LED headlights are what one sees when viewed from the front.

Car 1.jpgCOLLAGE outside.jpgCladding has been added to the front and rear bumpers and on the sides. This gives the XL, kind of a SUV look. 15-inch wheels sit under the exaggerated wheel arches. As you walk around the side towards the rear, you will notice the roof rails, a rear scuff plate and dual tone tailgate.

We were told at the product presentation that these are exclusive to the XL6. The XL6 is available in 6 colour options.

HOW IS IT INSIDE?

Step inside, and the familiarity of a Maruti car greets you. Slide into the driver’s seat and the first thing you notice are the all-black interiors theme the XL6 cabin comes with. This makes it look plush and premium.

COLLAGE INT.jpgAdding to that experience are the faux black ash wood finish, leatherette seats and the knitted roof lining. The front seats are comfortable and offer good under thigh support.

The biggest change in the XL6 over the Ertiga is in the middle row. The bench has been replaced by captain seats. The seats are very comfortable and offer good under thigh support. Legroom is impressive; the second-row passengers can incline the seats to a fair degree for further comfort.

To get into the third-row seats one must push the second-row backrest forward. Getting in doesn’t take too much effort. Leg and headroom on offer are decent. One can incline the backrest further to make it more comfortable. These 3rd row seats split and fold completely, thus increasing the luggage capacity from 209 litres to 550 litres.

The XL6 comes in Zeta and Alpha trims with loads of features on offer. Starting with Maruti’s next generation Smart Play studio infotainment system. The User interface is smooth and fast and easy to surf.

COLLAGE INT 01.jpgIt comes bundled with Android Auto and Apple Car Play. Keyless entry, auto climate control, electric fold mirrors cruise control, reverse camera makes up the list of features in the XL6.

Suzuki Connect can be added as an option. This is an E-sim based connected tech which offers features such as geo-fencing, vehicle alerts, live vehicle status, vehicle tracking and driving behaviour analysis.

The XL6 is powered by a BS6 compliant 1.5-litre petrol updated to BS-6 specifications. It comes with mild-hybrid technology that Maruti offers in some of its other cars as well.

car8.jpgThe first evening I drove the auto version of the XL6. Easy to drive, the moment you put it into drive mode the XL6 feels familiar. That’s because this is the same petrol engine that Maruti uses in the petrol Ertiga and Ciaz. Acceleration is smooth and linear, there’s enough power going through the gears. Once you go past 3000rpm the engine sounds throatier.

car18.jpgThe XL6 gets to three digit speeds easily. The automatic transmission on duty in the XL6 is a 4-speed torque convertor.  There’s an OD button on the side of the gear knob. Switch that off and the car converts to a 3-speed. This is very useful when climbing steep slopes, driving in hilly terrains, driving in smaller places where you want more power to overtake.

Next morning, I got my hands on the manual transmission XL6. The 5-speed manual gearbox is refined, upshifts and downshifts are very smooth, the clutch is light enough to use.

car22car12.jpgThe ride quality of the XL6 really impressed me. The roads I drove on in Jaipur during this media drive were a combination of national highways, off road stretches, bad stretches of city roads. That made no difference to the XL6.The suspension handled everything thrown at it with ease. Extremely well planted at all times, the XL6 has the best ride quality in its class.

THE VERDICT

car19.jpgcar 6.jpgThe XL6 offers comfort, great ride quality, is very easy to drive and is priced well. The size of the car makes it just right as a family car. This is a car which can be self-driven, be chauffeured in, something every adult member of the family would enjoy driving. If you are in the market for a premium 6-seater at an affordable price, look no further. The XL6 is just the car for you.

car13.jpgThe XL6 pricing starts at 9.8 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai (inclusive of GST) for the Manual Zeta Petrol. The Auto Zeta petrol starts at  10.9 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai(inclusive of GST)

NEW LAUNCH-KIA SELTOS

Kia Motors, the world’s 8thlargest automaker today launched its first product inmid-SUV segment, the Seltos in the Indian market with an introductory price starting from INR 9.69 lakhs (Ex-showroom PAN India) for the entry level Petrol Smartstream G1.5 HTE model going up to INR 15.99 Lakhs (Ex-showroom PAN India) for the Diesel1.5 CRDi HTX plus (6AT) and Petrol Smartstream 1.4 T GdiGTX (7DCT) and GTX plus top-end variant. The Seltos is BS-VI compliant and available in both petrol and diesel variants with manual and automatic transmission options.

666A88D1-D2DF-4EC3-8EC3-9CC3BB9A8D32

The company also announced the receipt of record 320,35 bookings for the Seltos so far which has set a new benchmark for the mid-SUV segment in the country. Kia Motors India is well equipped to handle the overwhelming demand for Seltos in the market.  The company’s Anantapur plant has an annual production capacity of 3,00,000 units which will allow the company to smoothly cater to the increasing demand of Seltos in the country.

BFB150BA-001B-4594-805E-4D031D2F566A

Commenting on the occasion, Mr Kookhyun Shim, MD & CEO, Kia Motors India said, “The Seltos has been one of the most ambitious projects for Kia Motors and even more so for Kia Motors India. The Seltos marks the arrival of Kia in India for the first time, and we have put our heart and soul into this product. The Seltos is all about surprising everyone with its premium features,distinctive design, supreme quality, refined and powerful engine options, addictive performance and so much more. It is BS-VI compliant and has undergone extensive testing to meet emission norms even with the currently available BS-IV fuel, which makes it future proof. With the most advanced set of engine, fuel and transmission options in Seltos, we are confident to address all the unmet needs of the segment today. For our new age digital savvy customer, we have also designed a complete digital journey from booking, sales and delivery to aftersales service thereby ensuring the most evolved ownership experience ever. I am confident that Seltos will redefine the entire mid SUV segment in India.

Seltos is available in Smartstream 1.4 turbo petrol with a 6-speed manual/7-speed DCT, smartstream 1.5 petrol with 6speed manual/IVT and 1.5 diesel VGT with 6speed manual/6speed automatic. Further, all theengines will be BS-VI compliant, making Seltos the first car in the segment to meet the emissions norms that will come into effect next year. The Seltos will have two distinct design lines – Tech Line aimed at family-oriented customers and GT Line aimed at enthusiasts who are young at heart. The Seltos line up will get premium and smart features such as 8.0 inch heads-up-display, 10.25 inch HD touchscreen, a hi-tech sound mood lamp, a rear shade curtain, 360 degree surround view monitor, blind spot monitoring, world’s first connected air-purifier, highly advanced proprietary UVO connect system with 37 unique features for a wirelessand seamless communication with the car, an 8-Speaker Bose Hi-Fi sound system with sound mood lamp and more. Host of safety features, ESC, VSM, 6 Airbags and use of AHSS– Advanced high strength steel.

The Kia Seltos will be offered in a variety of 8 sensuouscolors and will get 5 dual tone options to keep the young and dynamic character of the car intact.

Further easing the buying process, Kia’s partnership with 8 leading banks of India will help the customers get the most attractive financing options with the lowest interest rates and desired paying back period. To add more comfort to the buying process for the customer, the company has designed a unique online purchase process, which begins with booking, selection, to financing and closes with delivery. Two leading banks of the country have tied up with the company to offer a complete online financing option to customers as well.

Seltos will come with Kia Motors’ comprehensive Promise to care service program which has been designed on the core philosophy of CARE-Connected, Adaptive, Responsive and Engage, which dovetails into a never before service experience for our customers. The service network of across 160 cities in India issupported by a digitized, IOT enabled Kia LINK app to efficiently manage service lifecycle. Spare parts network ensures spare parts are available across the country through 4 Parts Depots in Chennai, Navi Mumbai, Delhi NCR and Kolkata. The Seltos comes with a 3 years comprehensive warranty, extendable upto 5 years. The offering includes 24/7 Road side assistance of 3 years and scratch care program for one time free repair, amongst others.

53A7803E-DE67-4C00-85FE-42B79D3118BC

PRICE

There will be a total of 16 variants, the ex-showroom prices of which are:

The deliveries of the Seltos will begin today and bookings will remain open and the interested customer can purchase the Seltos at any one of the 265 customer touchpoints across 160 cities or can even purchase the car online by logging onto www.kia.com/in

All India (EX. Showroom Price   in Lacs)

Tech Line

All India (EX. Showroom Pricein Lacs)

GT Line

Petrol

Diesel

Petrol

Smartstream G1.5

1.5 CRDi VGT

Smartstream

1.4 T – GDi

HTE

9.69

9.99

GTK

13.49

HTK

9.99

11.19

GTX

14.99

15.99  (7 DCT)

HTK Plus

11.19

12.19

13.19  (6 AT)

GTX Plus

15.99

HTX

12.79

13.79  (IVT)

13.79

HTX Plus

14.99

15.99 (6 AT)

NEW LAUNCH-THE NEW MARUTI XL6

Driving forth the NEXA values of global experience, innovation and excitement, Maruti Suzuki India Limited today launched its all new premium MPV, the XL6. Available at over 360 NEXA dealerships across the country, the exclusive 6-seater, XL6, is a blend of stylish exteriors coupled with plush interiors.

48574651477-685f439623-z

Presenting the XL6 to customers, Mr. Kenichi Ayukawa, Managing Director and CEO, Maruti Suzuki India, said, “There is a considerable increase in demand for premium MPVs owing to the ever-evolving customer needs. At Maruti Suzuki, we always bring out products that match and compliment customer’s demand. Backed by NEXA’s focus on creation and innovation, the XL6 is a testament of our commitment to bring the newest technologies to our customers. The XL6 strikes a perfect balance of style, space, comfort, performance and safety. We are confident that our exclusive 6-seater, the XL6 will strike a chord with today’s customer who seeks Comfort and Style.”

48574499681-054ca9479a-z

XL6 Exterior – BOLD, ICONIC, SPORTY AND ASPIRATIONAL

The bold exterior design of the XL6 reflects aspirations of urban individuals who need space without compromising on style.Its raised hood and unique grille with bold cross-bar design element sweeping into the head-lamps ending with the inset LED DRLs add to XL6’s imposing, rugged and tough stance.The Stylish all black Alloy wheels, Roof rails and side claddings along with expressive side profile add to vehicle’s personality. Signature Quad LED headlamps and tail lamps with LED light guide are designed to captivate anyone with their detailing.

48574500221-86cd4e2fa5-z

INSIDE THE ALL NEW XL6 – BUSINESS CLASS, TECH-SAVVY AND SOPHISTICATED

The exceptional driving experience of XL6 is enhanced by the sophisticated and plush interiors.The all black interiors, with Premium stone finish and rich silver accents sweeping across the cabin impart a sophisticated touch.  The slim wide Instrument panel emphasizes the width of the car, adding to the overall feel of space and carrying forward the exterior

The XL6 prices are as follows:

d11f3950-2d25-4c99-809c-c622c2ed9cff

NEW LAUNCH-THE ALL NEW BMW 3 SERIES

The all-new BMW 3 Series, the power-packed seventh generation of the world’s most iconic sports sedan, was unveiled today at the ‘Thrill City’ in Gurugram. Locally produced at BMW Group Plant Chennai, the all-new BMW 3 Series is now available in diesel and petrol variants at all BMW dealerships across India.

849034B8-F116-4DD9-8981-CDCEC0EBCE2F.jpegMr. Rudratej Singh, President and Chief Executive Officer, BMW Group India said, “The 3 is the heart and soul of BMW. As the ultimate sports sedan, for over four decades, it has been the flag bearer of ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’. In its new avatar, the 3 has outdone itself once again! Built for thrill and driven by technology, the all-new BMW 3 Series is an automobile that creates an impeccable harmony between the driver, the machine and the road. Enthusiasts waiting for the perfect luxury sports sedan will be undoubtedly drawn to its new design, generous space, luxurious interiors and host of innovative technologies. Our current patrons, who swear by the unmatched driving character of the 3, will be equally thrilled with its enhanced best-in-class handling and agility.”

029B5106-7E76-445B-9870-930E06837979‘Thrill City’, a unique pop-up space, reflects the pulse of modern city life, full of buzzing entertainment, high skylines, city squares and even has its own nightclub. Created exclusively for the launch, it showcases the highly-urban, dynamic and spirited personality of the all-new BMW 3 Series.

29AA63C9-0501-45FF-912F-91511F4B5A4C.jpeg

The all-new BMW 3 Series makes an incredible impression with segment-first technologies for an even better driving experience. Making its debut in the all-new BMW 3 Series is the BMW Virtual Assistant, a digital personality of the vehicle that responds to voice commands. It sets a new benchmark for voice recognition. Drivers can operate a number of car functions simply by speaking to their BMW Virtual Assistant. It can be addressed by saying “Hey BMW” or a customer-defined wake word, thereby adding an individual touch to the car. Hands do the talking with BMW Gesture Control, which is part of a rigorously thought-out operating concept that recognizes six pre-defined hand movements for control of a number of functions. The spread of driver assistancesystems is more extensive than ever. The Reversing Assistant provides unmatched support in reversing out of a parking spot or through narrow driveways. It keeps a record of the last 50 metres driven and assists by taking over the steering.

Overwhelming driving comfort of the all-new BMW 3 Series is a result of the debut of lift-related damper control that reduces body movement perceptibly caused by bumpy road surfaces and dynamic cornering, which paves the way for sporty, authoritative handling.

The all-new BMW 3 Series adapts perfectly not only to a dynamic lifestyle but also to personal taste. It is available in three design schemes – Sport, Luxury Line and M Sport. Sport celebrates the gust of adrenaline with sporty style and self-confidence. Luxury Line indulges movement in style and endows elegance. M Sport package bestows masculine character distinguishing itself as an elite sports model.

The all-new BMW 3 Series is available in two diesel variants (BMW 320d Sport and BMW 320d Luxury Line) and in one petrol variant (BMW 330i M Sport) which are locally produced. The ex-showroom prices are as follows :

1F015C93-4E70-46C8-8F73-010E6EBD752E

 

BMW 320d Sport – INR 41,40,000

BMW 320d Luxury Line –   INR 46,90,000

BMW 330i M Sport –   INR 47,90,000

#MONSOONTRAILS – HYUNDAI VENUE

The compact SUV segment is the hardest, most fiercely competitive segment for SUV’s in India. Every manufacturer has launched products in this segment in the last decade.2.jpgHyundai now enters this segment with the entry of the Venue. The Venue was launched earlier this year and has been an instant success. Hyundai is known for quality, ease of service & maintenance, making products that are top class and priced competitively.

This weekend we drove the Hyundai Venue SX 1.0 turbo petrol manual as part of our ongoing series #MonsoonTrails.

THE OUTSIDE6.jpgThe Venue has an upright stance with a longish bonnet which makes it stand out in a crowd. The design language is quite different from the competition in the segment.

Chrome finish for the grille, low-set bumper mounted headlights with rectangular DRLs are all segment first features. One gets 16-inch alloy wheels, roof rails and projector fog lamps on the topmost SX trim variant. The LED tail lamps gets lenticular lens which look superb when it switched on.8.jpgcollage 1.jpgTHE INSIDE

The cabin of the Venue is made up of nicely finished plastics, soft touch materials and ergonomically designed seats and interiors. The dashboard, tablet style touchscreen display, leather steering wheel all showcase the sleek and classy design language Hyundai is known for.

Slide into the driver’s seat and the first thing one notices is the level of all round visibility on offer. The front seats are comfortable and offer good under thigh and lumbar support. Leg and head room in the back row is good as well. Shoulder room may feel a bit cramped when 3 passengers are seated in the rear.collage 2.jpgHyundai is known for designing cars which are loved by Indian customers. One of the reasons is the practicality their cars offer in terms of storage options. Deep bottle holders on the doors, biggish enough glove box, cup holders between the seats, open area above the glove box, open space under the ac section. The Venue comes with wireless charging, sunroof, 8-inch infotainment system with smartphone mirroring tech and cruise control, cooled glove box.

Safety and driving aids are part of the standard package these days in modern vehicles. Dual airbags, ABS and EBD with rear parking sensors are offered standard across all variants. The top spec versions come with 6 airbags, cornering lamps and stability control.

Being connected is the new catchword in cars being launched this year. The venue is the 1st car in the compact SUV segment to offer this option. Using Hyundai’s Blue Link Connectivity app which comes pre-loaded in the infotainment system, one can access 33 services such as safety, remote control, security related options, vehicle alerts etc.

THE DRIVE12The version I drove during this review was the 1.0 litre 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol 6 -speed manual which puts out 120bhp and 172nm of torque.

The Venue engine comes with a twin stage oil pump and a clever waste-gate management for the turbo. This helps in improving throttle response while reducing loss of energy. This was immediately evident in the briskness with which the Venue took off the moment I put it into 1st gear. One feels the power from as low as 1800 rpm… Post 2500 rpm there’s a slight boost in power…Before you know it, the speedometer is crossing 100 kmph.14.jpgI drove it over 300 kms on this review. Most of the driving was done outside Mumbai. Handling, braking, sliding into corners the Venue scored good marks in all these departments. Ride quality is of paramount importance for car buyers in India. Here again the Venue scored good marks. There’s no noticeable discomfort to the passengers even while going over bad patches of roads.  The manual gearbox works very efficiently. Going through the gears was very smooth and this complements the 172 Nm torque delivery the Venue offers. The clutch on the Venue isn’t heavy, one doesn’t feel tired even in bad traffic conditions.

THE VERDICT

Hyundai has got it spot on with the Venue. One gets a well refined engine, spacious and comfortable cabin, loads of features, connected car capabilities and very good driving dynamics. The Venue is easy to manoeuvre in traffic, braking and handling is sharp, it offers good ride quality and is available at a killer price tag. Making this compact SUV an excellent companion to own and drive.911.jpgThere are a total of 13 variants of the Hyundai Venue to choose from.

The Hyundai Venue E (base version petrol) is available for Rs 6.50 Lakhs ex showroom Mumbai. The Venue E (base version diesel) is available for Rs 7.75 Lakhs ex-showroom Mumbai.