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Posts posted by KarthickB

  1. Hi Rajesh,

    Please go ahead and TD the Skoda Octavia. It is extremely competent in all departments.

    The new VW Jetta is also a terrific car. German engineering with amazing comfort and engine.

    For SUV, you are stuck with the Toyota Fortuner. The BMW X1 now costs more than 30L On road. But you can bargain for discounts for the current BMW X1 as the new one is being launched later this year.

    OT, Could you please elaborate the problems in your XUV500, I am eager to know as an owner myself of the XUV500 W8?

  2. How good is the facelift Mahindra XUV 500, when compared to it's competitors?

    Im planning on getting one SUV in this price segment. Let me know the best of the lot.

    Hi Nikhil. After driving the facelift XUV a week ago, I can safely say that this New Age XUV500 is a competitive car. They have sorted out most issues (I own 2012 XUV500 W8 BTW) and the drive is very good. The engine is more responsive, the ride is supple, brakes are sharp and the gearbox feels more positive. The interior quality also sees a subtle improvement in quality.

    Compared to all SUVS and crossovers in the 10-20 Lakh price bracket. The XUV500 is the best of the lot in terms of styling, features and overall performance.

    Please go ahead and have a test drive and post your opinion.

  3. Hi guys. I am an owner of previous gen XUV500 W8 2012 model. Our car has run for over 40,000 kms and has been mostly trouble free and reliable thus far. I had a chance to test drive the New Age XUV500 W10 2WD near my office today morning and here are my observations. Please share your feedback for my review here as I had taken time to test drive and provide my inputs specially for you folks here in ACI forum. Humble request. ;)

    Positives (many):

    First let me talk about the exterior design and engineering.

    - Design is much more mature and the headlamps and new grille are actually pretty attractive in person, especially in lighter and the black grille and lighter body color has made a nice contrast to the front.

    The foglamp chrome housing also does not stick out like a sore thumb in lighter shades, though I feel that the chrome could have been used much more lightly. The plastic bit around the chrome housed fog lamps is glossy and already had slight scratches.

    The bonnet which looks much more tamed than before disappointed a lot of XUV fans as it lost those aggressive lines. But once you are inside and driving the XUV, the new bonnet sure does make an impression. It adds that muscular feel and since the bonnet is sculpted at the corners, it makes you easy to judge the car's proximities.

    - The OVRMS are now less noisy than before and no longer makes all cracking and grinding noises while folding and unfolding.

    Could not test the OVRM XUV500 logo projection as it was day time.

    -New door handles with integrated keyless entry button is much sturdier. Keyless entry worked without an hitch.

    -The sides of the car remain the same save for the chrome window lining (W10 only)

    -The back of the car again looks the same and the rear door applique is much better done. Rear cam(standard in W10) is located besides the book unlock handle. Strangely the boot release knocking sound is still there. :angry:


    - Man, M&M have done some serious work in here. Almost everything has been improved and this shows how well M&M listen to the customer's feedback.

    -Color scheme looks better and thankfully, the cheap soap wood plastic in the dashboard has been replaced by a much solid plastic piece.

    -New 7 inch touchscreen infotainment is very refined. Very smooth to use and uses much better fonts and UI. The maps can be zoomed in and out with two fingers. Display is of good quality, but once you turn on the parking lights (S shaped LED light in headlamp), the screen automatically becomes dim in brightness making the screen unreadable.

    -The sales rep told that the speaker quality has been improved with more equalizer options in the MID. The speakers definitely sounded better and had none of those vibrations and disturbance like before.

    -The buttons on the dash offer slightly better feedback than before, though still clicky in nature.

    -Start/Stop button is located at the bottom ahead of the gear lever. It is of very good quality. And though location of the button might not please few people, I find it easy to quickly press the start button and work the gear to move the vehicle.

    -Key fob is lighter than old gen key fob and is sees better design and quality. Mercedes users will find the key fob design familiar.

    -Electrically adjustable seats work well.

    -Sunroof has two parts, interior door and external glass roof. Internal roof door opens automatically when you press the switch but you have to close it manually. :huh:

    Glass roof works both ways. And no noises here, smooth operation.

    -Top storage bin is of very good quality and has button to release the lid. No nonsense here too.

    -Steering wheel leather much more rich.

    -Hood for instrument cluster now joins the dash and much more solid.

    - Icy blue lighting looks classy.

    -Overall quality can be easily rated 8/10, on par with cars like Cruze, Corolla and Fluence.

    I got a sense of feeling that the new gen XUV will not have electrical issues as almost everything with refinement. The new MID looks very refined too. The interiors too feel much nicer and everything seemed to be better put together.

    The only negatives of the interiors are that the boot space remains the same and dashboard texture is still unaltered.


    -Better driveability due to changed gear ratios for driving in lower gears. Turbo lag slightly less perceptible. Response is still the same, which is a good thing as the mHawk is one gem of an engine. Fast, refined and fuel efficient.

    -Gear shifts are much more precise and smooth than before. No notching like before. Infact M&M have made the gearbox very slick to use.

    -The clutch is way more lighter than before and is more progressive, making it easy to modulate.

    Ride and handling:

    -I really feel that the New Age XUV rides better on bad roads and has lost most of its hard crashing thuds and sounds of the previous gen XUV.

    -Steering is slighty lighter to use but still weighs up quite well at speed.

    -Handling seemed more or less the same. So you still get a decent handling SUV.


    - Oh boy, the brakes felt sharper than before. It is much more progressive, has a sharp bite and stopping power is really reassuring. The brake also works noiselessly.

    Price & Verdict:

    The on road price of the New Age XUV500 W10 4WD costs a little more than 18 lakhs. But considering the whole lot of improvements both inside and out, the XUV500 is much more compelling than ever. This W10 model will seriously draw a lot of potential Fortuner customers for sure.

    It looks mature(personal taste), the interiors are of better quality and equipment, the engine as good as ever, suspension and braking have improved considerably and as always that feature list just makes the new age XUV a well rounded package.

    The only negatives I felt were some iffy bits inside, the overdone foglamps design and no boot space. Thats all, I was really impressed with M&M on the improvements they have done. Kudos.

  4. If you are looking for a sedan, I would recommend you to wait for the launch of the Jaguar XE. It is being hugely appreciated by the automotive industry for its amazing styling, interior packaging, new ingenium diesel engine and dynamics.

    If you want to own a car which is already established, then look no further than the Merc C Class. It has won the International car of the year award. Enough peace of mind. :P

    If you want to buy an SUV (wise for Indian roads), then the ever capable BMW X3 3.0 xDrive (for 5 seats) would be the best option. If you want something unique then you can look at the Freelander 2/ Evoque.

  5. 1353459d1427283019-scoop-pic-mahindras-s101-mini-suv-spotted-s101.jpg

    Mahindra's Ecosport rival, the S101 has been undergoing rigorous testing in India. Now, ACI has gotten exclusive pics of the interiors of the S101.

    It looks smart indeed. Infact, while I was driving tonight in Chennai, I saw one test mule and got a glance of its interiors. It had white backlit instrument dials and HVAC knobs, blue backlit audio system, very similar looking to that of the Elite i20. Things to conclude from the interior snaps:

    1. vertical HVAC controls.

    2. Dash mounted AMT/manual gearbox.

    3. Possible Front bench

    4. Elite i20 like music system

  6. The new Innova is extremely ugly. My god, what have the designers done to the handsome grille of the Innova? There is to much of chrome, it looks oversized and awkward to look. I mean, it has been almost 10 years since the Innova was introduced and yet the basic shape has not been changed. :o Okay, the shape is still beautiful but this facelift is too ugly.

    The Mahindra Xylo and Nissan Evalia are way more pleasing than this new Innova. And the interiors, barely changed and the center console looks like an aftermarket thought. I admire the Innova legacy and its bullet proof reliability. Toyota should concentrate more on the engines rather than the styling. The engine while adequate, could be detuned to under 2.0 liter and for fuel efficiency. I wish the Indian Innova to have a better styled front grille.

  7. Ashok Leyland is always known for their tough build quality and endurance. The buses and trucks of Ashok Leyland are very reliable and is no brainer that we see a lot of them on our roads. The Stile looks great and infact better than the Evalia. This car would be a great platform for AL to enter the private car market and become a big player. Tata became one of the leading car manufacturer from building trucks, so I see nothing impossible for AL to venture into the car market.

  8. I just visited the Auto Expo at the Chennai Trade Center today and I managed to see a lot of cars and even sit in them. An orange Grand i10 took centre stage at the Hyundai stall and it certainly grabbed a lot of eyeballs. Thank god the crowd was less and I had plenty of time to spend with the Grand i10.

    The first think which strikes me was how mature the looks of the car is. It will be loved by everyone. Also the paint and overall fit and finish were excellent. The boot was spacious and will be appreciated by many buyers.

    Next, I sat in the driver seat and it was comfortable. The overall quality and design of the interiors is amazing and really impressed me. The clutch was light and the gearbox seemed snappy too. The back seat was good too, but not i20 spacious. The rear bench can has decent under thigh support. The rising beltline may not go with few people. But it is overall very good.

    Since it was an expo, we could not drive it, but judging by ACI review, it is an excellent car to drive. The Grand i10 sure is very 'Grand'. It has mature exterior styling, quality interiors, good space inside, better ride and handling and also the very tractable diesel engine. The only thing I feel is that the top end does not have ABS and Airbags as standard and is optional. But the representative there said, the cost of optional ABS and airbags will be affordable. The pricing is good though.

    Rivals: Ford Figo, Maruti Ritz and Chevrolet Beat

  9. As a proud owner of the Yamaha RX100, I can safely say it is the best performance bikes to have ever hit Indian roads. It still can accelerate faster than many 180 cc bikes in sale now. It is a joy to ride and has an addictive exhaust note. It is pretty easy to maintain too, provided you get the right mechanic to service the RX and you oil the engine well.

    Coming to the pricing, since early RX100's had a Japanese motor, before moving to Escort motor, just ask if it is a Japanese engine. If it is so and in pristine condition, then I think it is even more worth every penny. The Escorts motor is still better than many engines around, but the Japanese motor will be even more long lasting and you will be lucky.

    I think any RX100 in good condition under 40,000 rupees is worth it. But I would not mind if you bargain even more and save money for the bike's modification.

  10. If you want excellent handling and tough build quality, then look no further than the Skoda Rapid. It has all the positive aspects of the VW Vento and has better dynamics and steering feedback. All reviews and ownership reports are generally positive. But be aware of poor A.S.S of Skoda, which has no signs of improvement. But, still Skoda cars are mostly niggle free, hence it wont bother you.



  11. While many have been arguing about whether people will spend 20 lakh rupees on a premium hatchback, I believe that it is much more practical and easy to own in India. Just think about it, you get to buy a premium brand like Mercedes, plus it is significantly easy on the pocket both in buying and fuel expenses.

    I feel the A class will be a seller based on the following points:

    -The 1.8L diesel engine will be much more fuel efficient than the C class.

    -An hatchback is more easy to punt around in crowded cities and traffic.

    -It has killer looks and interior styling. Space seems to be adequate too.

    -Boot space will not be too bad either, hence it appeals to potential saloon car buyers too.

    Am watching this space eagerly, especially the launch and the pricing. :D

  12. Ewwwww.... :o

    What the hell they've done to the Gorgeous Evo-like Outlander !

    Though Interiors are a leap ahead of current-gen but its exteriors with massive over-overhangs & pouchy rear, this one looks hell infront of that current exceptional looking Outlander.

    Sir, this is what I felt too after glancing it. The present Outlander is miles ahead of this design. Infact I can safely say that it is one of the best looking SUVs in India right now. The present Outlander with a diesel engine(or any diesel mill that fit its engine bay) of the Pajero Sport with 140 bhp and seven seat options would do wonders for Mitsubishi, rather than launching the above eww looking SUV.

  13. I have to admit its an awesome car. The car looks amazing and judging by the engine/gearbox options, we can expect a lot variants from Skoda ranging from Active to Ambiente or even an L&K edition. The interiors has an air of BMW to it, especially the aircon vents and dashboard lines. This will surely be a benchmark and will sell well even it costs a few bucks extra. Am watching this space keenly.

  14. I managed to catch a glimpse of this car near Anna University, Chennai. It looks actually pretty good and better than the pictures in the real world. It will surely look better in shades such as Black and White. Blue is pretty boring. The rear is the only sore angle of the car and looks like a slab. Also, the car was driven by a Nissan employee as it had a red board. The car was pretty swift when moving from the traffic.

    Its pricing is also quite spot on. I am quite skeptical of this car being an alternative to Innova. Its simply in a different league. This car will be good alternative to the Tavera, Xylo and the Ertiga though. I am expecting this car to do average business in the market just like the Xylo which is also practical yet has subjective styling.

  15. Sorry for the consequent posts mods. Please delete my previous post. I have cross checked with motoroids.com and the the above car has also been taken from the front and its the Ssangyong Rexton W that was recently unveiled in Moscow.

    M&M has done a ggood job by bringing the new Rexton to India. The previous Rexton had quirky looks and was an average car according to the Autocar India Review. The new Rexton is more modern looking and has an imposing horizontal chrome grille. Its engine has also all new. The SUV has oodles of road presence and will be praised by our Indians. :D Launch is predicted by Diwali this year. And pricing in the 18-20 lakh bracket and will compete with the likes of the Fortuner, CRV, Endeavour, Captiva and the Pajero Sports. Whether the Rexton will sport the M&M badge or a Ssangyong badge is still unknown. If it has a M&M badge then surely it will be more profitable.

  16. The car sure looks good. It looks like a baby Fiesta Hatch, and in the 'Kinetic Blue' color, it sure flaunts a sexy look. Hope its rear suspension is slightly raised, as the current Figo when fully loaded looks like its suspension has sunken and there is literally no gap between the wheel arch and the tyre. Hope the Interiors get updated too like power windows for rear windows.

    Hope the diesel is more powerful. Say around 75 bhp.

  17. Does anybody know when exactly the Ecosport is going to be launched? Some reports suggest early 2013 launch, while others hint on a diwali launch. Can anyone throw some light? :P

    People discussing about the pricing are bang on target, the price alone will seal its success here in India. It has got everything -

    Butch looks, a pair of great engines, good space and top notch dynamics. Pricing of this product eventually decides the fate of its stint in our market. :mellow:

  18. Sonalika Rhino goes Xtreme? It looks like the same old Rhino with just a slightly altered bumper and bonnet scoop. The previous Rhino was designed to resemble the then successful Toyota Qualis. The new Rhino should have been designed to look like the Innova, the current MPV king. :D

    Jokes apart, The Rhino is a good alternative to the Tavera, Bolero and Sumo Gold rather than a competitor to Innova, Evalia, Ertiga and Xylo. Still the 120 bhp engine was well received by the ACI review of the new Tavera. I think the Rhino scores on this front. Yet to see the interior pictures.

  19. I am quite able to visualize the front and rear of the disguised car but cannot reproduce in photoshop due to lack of skill. :(

    But judging by the New Camry, I can clearly say the new Corolla has a Camry like tail lights treatment, which in turn looks like a VW Jetta's rear :lol: . The front seems to resemble the current Corolla but has smoked headlights and a slightly altered grille, perhaps a more aggressive looking front grille than the current Corolla. The side profile replicates a Civic-ish form. Strong character lines like the new Camry can be expected.

    The steering wheel in the interior spy snap looks like the Camry's too. Attached a link of a photoshopped pic done by some anonymous person which I found in google images.


  20. rBC4Bl.jpg

    Maruti has launched the refreshed Ritz. The updated hatchback gets a slightly altered and lower mounted nose with a one-piece grille.

    The new elongated grille is ugly in my opinion. Especially when viewed from the side. Wonder what they were thinking when working on the front. Mahindra Quanto looks way better than this. Nonetheless, I have little doubt about the Ritz's talents.