Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Booked a Swift VDI ABS

After waiting for a long time after the launch of the new design 2011 Maruti Suzuki Swift, I have finally succumbed to the temptation of having the current generation Swift VDI (ABS). Fiat Punto gave the Swift a real run for its money but finally the Swift won due to the following reasons.

•    Better drivability in the city runs.
•    Better gear ratios.
•    Better after sales service.

I owned a Suzuki Wagon R before this and Galaxy Motors in Mulund were quoting a good price for it in addition to the discounts on the 1.3 MJD Punto Emotion Pack. The offer was as follows.

Old Suzuki WagonR Rs. 120,000
New Punto 1.3 Emotion Pack 695,000
-----------------------------------------------------
Net Payment Rs. 575,000

On the other hand, Spectra Motors at Borivali have the following offer.

Old Suzuki WagonR Rs. 85,000
New Suzuki Swift VDI ABS Rs. 626,000
------------------------------------------------------
Net Payment Rs. 541,000

I know that the offer from Spectra Motors is not that great while that from the Galaxy Motors is irresistible, but the reasons mentioned above tilted the scales in Suzuki's favor.

Also, I will get the delivery of the Swift in 30 days as the car is already in transit as people are holding their bookings to get the 2011 manufactured car.

My requirement was immediate for the new car as the Wagon R was giving lots of problems. The only thing that I am undecided on as of now is whether I did the right thing by not buying Fiat Punto given the features of the car at the given price point that it was available.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Visiting Rishikesh from Delhi by Car

Rishikesh is the nearest vacation destination to Delhi and provides a variety of activities. This is the reason I recommend this destination to you if you have a weekend off from your usual office routine. You will enjoy the spirituality and peace and adventure and thrill activities at the same time. I have also included road map with cost of travel including fuel, food, and accommodation for visiting Rishikesh. Enjoy your trip to this place where Lord Rama spent some time after killing Ravana. You can engage in rock climbing, river rafting, cliff diving, and visit the most famous temples in Uttaranchal on your visit to Rishikesh. Learn how Rishikesh despite being famous all over the world for its history, culture, and tradition, has become the favorite place for wanderers; the adventure lovers. Best of luck for your trip to Rishikesh by car.

Read more: Rishikesh: Best Weekend Holiday Destination near Delhi

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Honda CBR like Swift Diesel and Ninja like Verna Car

Apart from the figures where CBR has more torque, it also has a longer stroke engine which gives it an edge in city where you can keep purring the engine in a higher gear at same speeds whereas in Ninja, one will have to downshift. In fact, if I want to give you a layman’s example, Ninja is like Hyundai Verna diesel, fast, furious but only on highways where it has roads to stretch legs and CBR is like Swift diesel which is almost equally quick but much better in city to drive as it does not require constant downshifting. Those who have driven Hyundai Verna and Swift will understand what I mean. Hyundai has very limited range, just find open road, point and shoot, but in city, it keeps asking for downshifting as the power band is very narrow whereas Swift has a wider band.

Read more: Buying Best Bike to Attract Girls in College - Ninja 250R or Honda CBR250R

Girls Love Bikes - Honda CBR250R And Ninja 250R

According to experience shared by a few college going friends on Facebook, girls do like guys on bikes, but the guy must have at least some personality to make the girl look at him also; otherwise, the girl will look only at the bike and not the guy. Another college guy said that, “There is a guy in my college who has a hot blue Honda CBR250R, but no girl evens knows how his face looks like because everybody is busy drooling at his bike when it goes past. My friend said that his girlfriend advised him to make friends with him so that they both could take his bike for a ride. See that is what you can find in a girl’s mind. Of course, girls love bikes but they want to ride it with the guy they like.”

Now read this interesting bike girl love war story:

Buying Best Bike to Attract Girls in College - Ninja 250R or Honda CBR250R

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

French Carmaker Renault Plans 70 Dealerships across India

Though Mahindra and Renault announced their business split in 2009 itself, it practically happened in 2010. Within first 5 months of 2010, the Logans with Renault logo and name were selling out fast due to heavy discount and very few were in stock. As Mahindra cannot use Logan name anymore for its new cars as Logan is registered by Renault, Mahindra put down the Renault logo, gave its cars a new name as well as gave some cosmetic changes to the new cars, including reducing the length to bring it under 4 meters and lower down the cost. Renault name was also be put down from all dealership boards.
At the same time when Mahindra was engaged in getting off Renault, the French Carmker Renault was preparing to reenter Indian market in a grand way and is planning to launch two products initially, Koleos sports utility vehicle and Fluence Sedan. Renault has build up a new plant at Chennai, India and both the new products will come to India as CKD version and assembled in Renault India’s automobile plant. Renault is planning to appoint not less than 70 dealerships across India by the year 2013. Renault is also going to launch three new auto models by 2014 which will include a small car to take on Maruti Swift and others in its class. Renault is a big name in Europe and will now play with full force in India. Again, it is a better time for the Indian car customers.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Maruti Ritz Car 50,000 km Milestone Review

Dear friends, last evening, my Ritz completed 50,000 km milestone in 1 year, 7 months and 8 days. So far, it has been an enjoyable journey. Here I mention the brief parts of this story. While doing 50,000 km, it did some major highway munching. Ssome of which are:

Rajkot - Delhi - Rajkot run: 5 times (approximately 12000 km)

Delhi - Jalandhar - Delhi run: 2 times (approximately 2000 km)

Rajkot - Somnath - Rajkot run: 3 times (approximately 1200 km)

Rajkot - Dwarika - Rajkot run: 1 time (approximately 600 km)

Rajkot - Surat - Rajkot run: 2 times (approximately 1800 km)

Surat - Daman - Surat run: 1 time (approximately 300 km)

Rajkot - Ahmedabad - Rajkot run: 25 times (approximately 12500 km)

But sadly and strangely, it did not do even a single hill station tour in entire 50000 km but that is going to change soon as it will do its first run to Himalayas when it will go to Nainital in 1st week of July 2011.

Until now, whatever time I have spent with Ritz, it has given me many positive and some negative feelings.

Here Is My Extended Customer Maruti Suzuki Ritz Review

Also there is only one scratch on rear bumper till date. That was due to ABS as I applied brake but the biker behind me was not able to stop in time. Touchwood this car has remained scratch free until now. Well almost. No Ruts, No Rattles, except for the parcel tray at rear but that is not a genuine Maruti product so cannot blame Maruti Suzuki quality for that. So above was my Maruti Ritz car 50,000 kilometers milestone customer review.

Benefits of Anti Lock Braking System: ABS

Everyone must have anti-lock braking system in their vehicles, be it a 2-wheeler or a 4-wheeler. Due to worldwide success of ABS, Honda and TVS are the first companies in India that are offering ABS in bikes. Actually, ABS was to debut first on Honda CBR250R but as the launch got delayed due to a tsunami in Japan, TVS launched this feature on Apache 180 RTR. However, the ABS on Honda is much more sophisticated and premium as it also has CBS which is called as combined braking system.

ABS is also really helpful in tricky situations like corner braking. If you apply hard brakes in a corner at high speeds, 99% chances are that you will lose balance and the car will skid and will topple over whereas in an ABS car, even after braking too hard, the car will not lose direction and will be much stable.

Just like electronic brakeforce distribution, engine braking, and 2WD, ABS or anti-lock braking system comes under car safety technology.

ABS is the most integral part of 21st Century Cars. This is helpful when another car is so close that it is not possible to avoid collision. ABS gives you double benefits, you not only slow down shorter with ABS, but you can also avoid the collision by steering away from another car. ABS cars stop shorter on uneven, muddy, and slippery terrains.

Also read: ABS Vs Non ABS Cars - Which Car has Shorter Braking Distance?

Friday, May 20, 2011

New Maruti Alto K10 - My Review

Here is my brief review of Alto K10:

1. The engine is same 1000 cc proven K-Series powerhouse engine used in Maruti A-STAR, Wagon R, and Estilo, so engine reliability is not an issue.
2. Alto K10 is using the same wheelbase used in old ALTO, so chassis and handling is not an issue.
3. Tires are bigger than old ALTO. I would highly recommend to buy alloy wheels and better tires, wider one.
4. Seat position and interior space is same, except rear legroom which is a bit more than previous in old Altos.
5. New improved cable based gearbox.


Alto K10 VXI fire red color
But there are a few things I did not like about K-10:

1. Even the top-end version of K10 does not have rear power windows.
2. Inside space is too cramped.
3. There is very less leg room for front passengers.
4. Elbowing while gear shifting.
5. Plastic quality is not good.

So if you like the old Maruti Alto, then you will more than like the new one. I would say it is worth every penny and is value for money, but if you are not a diehard Maruti fan, then you will think about other options.

Now read extensive Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying New Maruti Alto K10 Car

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Indica Turbomax Vs Tata Indica Vista Aura

Email question: Hi Soni, I have planned to buy Indica Vista Quadrajet Aqua variant. After going through its reviews on the Internet, I inquired with a few Vista owners about their feedback. Most of them were telling about some recurring troubles like rattling sound, wheel alignment problem, ineffective AC, and other build quality-related issues. A couple of them even told that the build quality of Vista Aura is poorer than that of Indica DLS though I don’t believe so. It seems that Tata motors has introduced a new version of Indica named Tata Indica Turbomax (DLE & DLS). It has got more power (71 ps) and bigger wheel size (14”) than the earlier Indica versions. Now, I am really confused on choosing between Vista Quadrajet and Indica Turbomax. Please help.
Answer: Indica Turbomax V2 has Tatas own 1.4L turbo diesel engine with 71 bhp, 135Nm torque at 2500 RPM (this engine is used in Vista TDI models). Vista quadrajet aura has Fiat's own engine 1.3L CRDI with 75 bhp and 190Nm torque at 1750 RPM (used in cars like Fiat Punto, Maruti Swift, and Maruti Dzire). The Vista Aura is the latest one and has new features that have not been given in any other Tata cars till now (of course Manza have these features also). Vista is more spacious than the old Indicas. Vista Aura is better built than V2 Indicas. Yes I agree that the plastic used may make some people a bit irritating. This is where Tata lacks in this car. High-end Vista Aura has ABS and dual-front airbags also. You can go ahead and download the brochures of both cars from Tata’s website and see the difference. I guarantee that you will like Vista Aura Quadrajet instead of Indica Turbomax. Also, make visit to the showroom and take test drives. But Vista Aura is pricey compared to V2 Indicas, but it is worth your money for what it packs under the bonnet, the special Fiat’s multijet engine and gearbox.

Now read Tata Indica Vista Quadrajet Aura Review

Buy Tata Indica Vista Aura Quadra Or Not?

There are many people who are confused with buying Tata Indica Vista Aura Quadra. Here is some insight for those people:

Interiors: The interiors of Indica Vista Aura Quadra have moved a few steps ahead from its predecessor, though the look inside gives a feel of straight rip off from Ford Fusion/Fiesta but the Tata logo still makes it feel proud for what it has done. The central console concept is well adapted in the car which is very easy to get accustomed to after a few rides and is actually better than getting lost behind the steering. Still there is an incomplete impression with the finish of plastic fittings putting it below the mark. Overall the interiors are impressive. The space inside is unlimited for a hatchback, with ample legroom in front as well rear and good seating position in the rear seat, though the boot space has not seen much improvement.

Exteriors: Driving Vista Aura Quadra around the city in a week has actually turned quite heads around guessing what this new machine is and finally surprised to see the Tata Indica Vista Quadrajet badge behind it. Well that’s a straight compliment to designers I guess. The styling is overall superb redefining the Indica tag completely smart, sleek, and sexy look in short. Headlights extended and the futuristic appeal is just right for what it deserves to be. The c-pillar being pulled further rear adds an all new touch.


Diesel Vista rules Diesel Swift
It is a well known fact that the performance of any diesel engine lies on the efficiency of its turbocharger. In Maruti Swift, it is configured in such a way that it will get charged at 2000 RPM (more engine rev) but in the Vista Aura Quadra it is set at 1750 RPM which will ensure the sudden pickups even on the low RPM. Also, there comes the fact of drivability and torque, so Vista goes ahead the Swift far away. It is a fact that must be accepted then comparing to the value for money and diesel service records. No body will defeat the FIAT Multijet engine that is doing wonders in Fiat Linea and Punto, Tata Manza, and Maruti Dezire also and that FIAT is already owned by the Great TATA, so now you all can think who the clear winner is.

One thing which is noticed opposite to my above statement is the problem of turbo boost at low RPM is you end up with more fuel consumptions even in lower speeds, so Vista Aura Quadra have overall mileage much lesser than Swift in practical, but if you maintain the tachometer to 1500 RPM, it should help the fuel economy but yes the turbo lag feel is very less in Vista compared to peppy pickup of Swift which makes Vista good for smooth and controlled accelerations, so I think buying Tata Indica Vista Aura Quadra is the best option.

Read more info here: Tata Indica Vista Quadrajet Aura Review

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Car Trip to Uttaranchal - Driving in Binsar, Rafting in Mori and McLeodganj

After several days, today I have got some time to share my car trip to Uttaranchal State of India. Uttaranchal is a beautiful state and is full of greenery, magnificent hills, and roaring waters. Uttaranchal has also been a natural habitat for various birds and wild animals. This State of India consists of several peaceful vacation destinations that are totally different from the most popular and overcrowded vacation destinations like Shimla and Mussoorie where not only living is difficult due to overcrowding you are not able to drive comfortably. Moreover, the toxins and waste material has made these hill stations useless for people who love nature.


Nonetheless, now I will take you to a long ride of visiting some beautiful small villages where you will feel comfortable and relaxed and enjoy each and every moment with Mother Nature. These places are Mori, Binsar, McLeodganj, Thanedar, Lansdowne, and Almora.

All above mentioned places are in Uttaranchal State but some have different driving directions and some are interconnected if you can increase your days of travel.


Mori in Uttranchal: A beautiful place to be visited for adventure activities like camping, river rafting, trekking, hiking, etc. Again it is best to visit this place by car if you want to enjoy the beautiful views of nature on your trip. To make it easy, I have listed down all the details in this article:

Mori in Uttaranchal - Best River Rafting Camping Destination near Delhi

including official information of Mori, history of Mori, places of interest, driving directions with map, travel expenses like cost of food and hotels plus the most important traveling cost, petrol and diesel expenses so you can make your budget properly.



Binsar and Almora: Driving in Binsar and Almora is the most pleasurable activity as you will love these places for their uniqueness and natural treasures. Vis this link:

Perfect Vacation Itinerary to Binsar and Almora

You will able to get all the details on how to reach these places including driving directions and map.




McLeodganj: As the name suggests its name has been kept on some British officer at the time of British Rule in India. This place is a totally peaceful vacation destination with loads of beautiful nearby places to cover. I have also created a separate article for this destination to make it really useful for you and included all the things like travel expenses, driving directions, map, and photographs so that you can chill out and have fun:


Mcleodganj – Best Weekend Destination near Delhi


Now go ahead and make your car travel itinerary sharing this info with your friends, family, and relatives and planning your car trip to Uttaranchal on the weekend.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Maruti Estilo Edge Priced At 3.24 Lakhs

According to the recent news, Maruti Suzuki India has launched its new Maruti Estilo Edge at a price tag of Rs. 3.24 lakhs in the Indian auto market.

Just like Limited Edition Maruti Alto X-Fun and others, this new Estilo is a limited edition from Maruti Udyog India.

This new baby from Maruti comes equipped with K-series engine which is 998cc. Maruti Estilo has been extremely popular in India just like other cars from Maruti including Swift, Ritz, New Wagor R, Kizashi, and others.






Now to compare this limited edition Estillo with others, we need to take a test drive. I will be back with its review after the test drive. Bye bye till then.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Honda Brio Car Review

Friends, Honda, world’s best automotive manufacturing company, had released its brilliant, much talked about small car in Thailand, in the name of BRIO (means Funny Small Car) just a few months back. At 3.6 meter length, it easily qualifies Indian norms for a small car and hence is expected to be competitively priced and I expect it to start from 4.75 lakhs (serious threat for Maruti Swift, Ford Figo, and Volkswagen Polo in this case). Though it is just 3.6 meters long, don’t make a mistake of thinking it as a cramped small car as Honda is famous for making full use of all the room available and space will be at par with the class leader Figo. The engine is Thailand variant which is the same 1.2 liter unit doing successful duty in the Honda Jazz but in India, speculations are that Honda will chop off one cylinder from this unit (900 cc ) to make it even more fuel efficient and yet quite powerful for its class. The 1.2  liter mill pumps out 90 bhp which is the highest in class so even after chopping off one cylinder, we can expect around 70+ bhp which is more enough for this small hatch and this move will give it class leading fuel efficiency. (Honda Jazz is already most fuel efficient in all 1.2 liter capacity engines).

Below you can see a few pics of New Honda Brio’s Interiors and Exterior. This car breaks few new grounds in styling and designing area. There is no rear tailgate, in place of it, the window glass completely acts as the tailgate and opens like hatch. As Honda has maximized the interior space of Jazz which is the most spacious hatch by far in any class, expect the same treatment with New Honda Brio and it is expected to be among the most, if not the most, spacious hatches in its class. The cherry on the cake is that expected launch price of this car's base model is approximately 4.75 lakhs which is quite competitive considering it is a Honda which is a premium brand. Now have a look at pics of Honda Brio.

 New Honda Brio - Compact - Spacious - Dynamic- Best Brand - Value for money - Tough competitor - Best in class and fuel economy
 
Look at the 3 quarter view. It really lives up to its name BRIO (Funky Small Car). The front seats have fixed headrests as is the norm in today's cars like Hyundai i10 and have quite supportive cushioning.
 
 
New Honda Brio Interiors
Source: Honda Brio's Official Website
 
The music system has been straight way lifted from Honda City and the steering wheel is quite meaty and I feel it will be great to grip. Note, the automatic transmission which I hope Honda gives to Indians too. Glass holders are of full size. Sadly, no climate control.
New Honda City Interiors - Steering wheel - good grip - music system - Honda City
Source: Honda Brio's Website Thailand Version
 
The rear 3 quarter look is quite futuristic (my view) and note that the window glass acts as the tailgate too interesting. Wheel size is quite good and hope Honda retains the size for India as well.
New Honda Brio Exteriors - Side view
Source: New Honda Brio Site
 
Improved view from the rear as how the window glass also acts as a tailgate. Boot space also seems to be good.

Regarding styling, it is a very personal subject on which everyone has his/her own views and like/dislikes. There are many vehicles which did not click on looks front much but still became segment leaders in their class as the products were brilliant. Last generation Honda City or Santro are the classic examples where people initially did not like their looks but because of the quality, these products outsold all others in their segment.

Honda Brio Rear - Tailgate
Source: Honda Brio Site
 
And we must not forget that it’s Honda, which is among the most aspired for brand in India. People tend to forget the looks if the badge in the hood says it’s a Honda. When you get the feeling of owning a premium brand like Honda for Swift money, generally people forget and forgive the looks even if the vehicle is not up to everyone’s taste.

It may look compact by outer dimensions but as you must be aware, Honda is known for making best use of available space and it will be as spacious as the premium competition. In fact it is more spacious than Swift, Polo, and competes with Figo for space.

Check out this latest video of Honda Brio



Interiors are among the best in class and fit and finish is top grade as expected by Honda brand name. Stereo is from New Honda City. Hope it has steering mounted controls on the top variant. Air conditioning though is sadly manual in place of climate control.