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2018 Tata Tigor JTP review, test drive

Tata’s compact sedan gets the JTP treatment and is quite the sport.

What is it?
Think of the Tigor JTP as a Tata Tigor with a whole lot more spice. Along with the Tiago JTP, the Tigor JTP is the first of the products from JT Special Vehicles or JTSV – a joint venture between Tata Motors and Coimbatore-based Jayem Automotives that is big in the business of racing. In its transformation from mainstream Tigor to racier Tigor JTP, the compact sedan has been upgraded with a more powerful engine, an enhanced suspension and sportier details outside and in. And as you’ll learn, it all comes together very well.

What’s it like on the outside?
The stylish and distinctive Tigor was already a good base to build upon; the JTP’s styling package brings in the right dose of sportiness. There’s a new front bumper, the grille gets a new honeycomb mesh and there’s even a vent on the bonnet that actually does the job of channeling hot air from the engine compartment. The projector headlights from the updated Tigor also help the look.

At the sides, it’s the faux air vents (with JTP badging), side skirts and unique design of the 15-inch wheels that distinguish the JTP from the more everyday versions. Also unique to this version of the Tigor is its blacked-out roof and contrast mirror casings. Note, the Tigor JTP is only available in white and red body colour options. A faux diffuser on the rear bumper and a dual barrel exhaust round off the Tigor JTP’s slick visual upgrade.

What’s it like on the inside?
In keeping with the JTP’s sportier bent, Tata Motors and Jayem have jazzed up the Tigor’s cabin too. While there is no change to the basic design of the dashboard, the new colour theme does make the cabin look sportier than the standard Tigor’s. The JTP’s cabin is predominantly an all-black affair with bits finished in red adding the requisite splash of colour. Of the elements finished in red are the air-con vents, the lining for the floor carpets and the stitching on the seats and steering.

More form-fitting front seats would have been nice but no complaints for the chunky, leather-wrapped steering that feels great to hold. In fact, most of what you touch is nicely finished – save for the drilled pedals that seem a bit flimsy, and there’s still room for improvement in terms of panel fit. A cool detail borrowed from other Tata cars and the most apt here is the rev needle that glows red in the upper reaches of the rev range.

Just as on the standard Tigor, there’s a good deal of space in the back for two adults, and there’s also enough room in the boot for large suitcases. The Tigor JTP is reasonably well-equipped too with dual airbags, ABS, auto climate control and a 5.0-inch touchscreen. Just wish the touchscreen was slicker in operation and came bundled with Android auto and Apple CarPlay.  

What’s it like to drive?
The changes to the exteriors and interiors are all well and good but the real talking point on the Tigor JTP is its upgraded mechanical package. The Tigor’s naturally aspirated 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine has made way for a 1.2-litre, three-pot turbocharged unit. It’s the same engine that powers the Nexon SUV, albeit with a few revisions on the intake and exhaust to help it make slightly more power. On the Tigor JTP, the engine punches out 114hp at 5,000rpm and 150Nm at 2,000-4,000rpm; that’s quite a step up from the standard Tigor petrol’s 85hp and 114Nm. Tata and Jayem have also reworked gearing on the five-speed gearbox in the interest of better acceleration.

While we are yet to verify Tata’s claims of a 10sec 0-100kph time for the Tigor JTP, there’s no disputing that this is a fun car to drive. The engine won’t race to the 6,000rpm limiter and you won’t get a surge of torque even when the turbo comes on strong around 2,500rpm, but there’s enough performance on tap to satisfy the petrolhead in you. There’s plenty of poke in the mid-range and it is genuine fun working the smooth-shifting gearbox to keep the engine on the boil. Sound effects come by way of the thrum from the three-cylinder engine and you’ll even hear a hiss from the turbo’s blow-off valve every now and then. More volume would have been nice but Tata Motors simply couldn’t go louder to keep within noise regulations.

Even though it lacks the bottom-end pep of a Maruti Suzuki Dzire, the Tigor JTP feels fine in town too. We did find the power delivery a bit jerky in low speed settings perhaps down to snappy fueling. Also City driving mode that restricts torque to 115Nm is fine for its intended purpose only. To see the Tigor JTP in the best light, you need to switch to Sport mode that gives access to all of the engine’s power.   

Engine aside, the Tigor JTP also gets a revised suspension. Ride height is down by 15mm, the dampers have been optimised and there’s new rubber too. Interestingly, engineers say it’s the new tyres (from MRF and Apollo) that have made the biggest difference to the Tigor’s handling. The JTP generally feels keener around the bends. There’s loads of grip from the tyres, turn-in is that little bit sharper, and the added weight to the steering also helps you work a greater connect with the car. We also noted the Tigor JTP that has a 50mm longer wheelbase feels more poised and surefooted than the Tiago JTP, both on fast straights and through the corners. Low-speed ride comfort is just as good as the standard Tigor.

Should I buy one?
Where the standard Tigor undercuts its competition by a significant margin, the Tigor JTP’s Rs 7.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) price tag puts it in the heart of the compact sedan segment. Sure, the Tigor JTP stands out from the crowd for its sportiness but in a segment that’s lead by models that are big on practicality and efficiency, we fear the fun-to-drive Tata might not get the attention it deserves. And that would be a shame because the Tigor JTP injects much-needed flavour into the segment. It’s a car that addresses the needs of a family car buyer as well as the keen driver with equal ease.

That being said, we’d happily forego the Tigor JTP’s added boot space and roomier rear seat for the Tiago JTP. And save a cool Rs 1.1 lakh in the process. 

Courtesy:- Autocar

Nov 17, 2018
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2018 Hyundai Santro review, test drive

The new Hyundai Santro adds some wow factor to the budget hatchback segment. We get behind the wheel.

For Hyundai to name its new hatchback ‘Santro’ is a show of great confidence from the Korean brand, and it’s not hard to see why. The Santro was the brand’s first car in India, and one that’s taken a strong place in the Indian people’s hearts and minds. Moreover, it was the first solid mass-market alternative to the might of Maruti Suzuki – fresh in design, high on quality, tremendous on space and, yet, rather good value; and it set the template for all Hyundais that would follow. The other thing that resounded with Indian buyers was the term Hyundai coined – ‘tall boy’, which went on to represent not just the Santro, but a whole segment of cars (like the WagonR) which used their height to maximise space. That’s some legacy, but the Santro was eventually superseded by the i10 and the Grand i10, which were bigger and better. In its final Santro Xing avatar, it lived on in lower segments (you’ll still see hundreds of them running the streets of Mumbai as taxis) but was given the axe at the end of 2014.

What is it?

The Santro was so successful that it reached 1.86 million households globally and 1.32 million in India. Hyundai is really aiming to achieve high numbers with this new hatchback, hence the company has invested Rs 700 crores (or roughly 100 million USD) towards this new project.

The all-new Santro’s structure uses 63 percent advanced high-tensile steel and high-tensile steel, which not only ensures adequate rigidity, but keeps the kerb weight in check too, which is in the sub-one-tonne region – in the whereabouts of the Celerio, but lower than the Tata Tiago. This car is 45mm longer and 120mm wider than the older Santro and sits on a 20mm longer wheelbase too.

Many expected a return to that tall-boy silhouette, but that’s not quite what’s happened. Sure, it is tall, giving it a stance more akin to the Grand i10 – which makes sense, as it shares the (K1) platform seen on the Grand i10. The look, too, is a lot like the Grand i10 – angular, swept-back headlamps mounted high-up and Hyundai’s new ‘cascading’ grille below.

The grille, however, extends even wider and encompasses the high-mounted fog lamps too, making it look disproportionately large. The car’s designer, Sangyup Lee, says the grille is partly functional (for better cooling in our conditions) and partly to give the face some drama. Frankly, it’s a bit too dramatic for a typically conservative budget car buyer; but then the original Santro’s oddball styling was even more radical for its time and that didn’t deter people from buying one, back then.

There’s some of this deliberate drama at the side in the form of boomerang creases over the front-wheel arch, and that over the rear-wheel arch, which add some flavour to the side profile and make the car appear visually squat. Another interesting detail is the shoulder line that dips down on the rear door (Lee says this was to add an element of style as well as increase the glass area), leading to a set of small and simple tail-lamps. What livens things up, however, is the blacked-out section at the base of the bumper that mimics a diffuser and houses the rear reflectors. Overall, it looks like a pretty upmarket design, as do most Hyundais, but there are signs that the Santro has been designed to a cost. For one, the rear door frame varies in thickness around the quarter glass; and while its outer edge is smooth, its inner edge is very sharp. It sticks out like a sore thumb on an otherwise sleek-looking car. More obvious are the budget-looking flip-type door handles which hark back to the original Santro. A push-pull design handle (which even the Celerio has) feels more premium and should have been considered as this is a customer’s first point of contact with the car.

What is it like inside?

For its price and segment, the way Hyundai has chosen to spec the new Santro is immensely impressive. There is a ‘wow’ factor the moment you step inside the cabin, and that’s mainly due to the sense of quality it exudes for the budget car it is. The dual-tone beige-and-black dashboard boasts of high levels of fit-finish and feels much nicer and airier than the optional all-black theme. The dashboard’s pièce de résistance is the 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system loaded with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and functions very slickly. The infotainment screen doubles as a reversing camera in the top-spec Asta variants – which, by the way, are available only with the manual transmission. There are buttons to the right of the steering column to power-adjust the outside mirrors (themselves with LED turn-indicators built in). Several bits like the buttons on the steering and the stalks are carried over from the Grand i10; which is not a bad thing, as their quality is top-notch. The dials are crisp and appear very sporty with the speedo needle resting at a zero-degree angle, and there’s also a detailed MID, displaying useful information like average fuel economy, average speed and distance to empty; apart from the trip computer data. The air-conditioner’s control knobs are a bit sticky; but like the rest of the switchgear, they feel hardwearing and chunky. The dull-gold finish on the accents surrounding the steering wheel, gear lever, AC vents and door handles looks classy whilst the round and sporty looking side air-vents resemble those seen on some Mercedes models and is another upmarket touch.

Many of the cost-saving efforts are subtle and largely inconsequential – like the Hyundai logo on the steering finished in grey plastic, not chrome, the exposed screws inside the interior door grabs, and the fact that there are only two parking sensors at the rear. There are some missing features that are a bit inconvenient – like no height adjustment for the front seats and seatbelts, the lack of any adjustment for the steering, and the fact that there is no external release for the tailgate. You can open the boot either with the key, or reach for the lever in the driver’s footwell. Finally, it’s things like the front and rear fixed headrests, the lack of a door lock/unlock button, and the missed opportunity for more stowage space next to the handbrake, which range from annoying to a bit unsafe. Even the placement of the power-window switches placed beneath the gear console is a measure to save costs, and it’s inconvenient that these aren’t back-lit. For all its talk of safety, Hyundai discriminates against those on a budget with only a single front airbag. It’s the pricier Asta version that gets two front airbags.

The car’s iconic tall and narrow proportions aren’t quite there anymore but that doesn’t mean the new Santro is low on interior room. Quite the contrary, this new car is larger in every dimension compared to the older car – save for headroom, of course. Users will love it for ease of ingress and its tall seating position.

The car’s front seats do remind you of the ones in the Eon. They’re slim (with fixed headrests, as mentioned earlier) but they have just about enough contours to allow you to get comfortable. Only broader passengers might find them lacking shoulder support. However, the lack of height adjustment for the driver’s seat – and no adjustment for the steering – means that tall drivers, in particular, will find the seating position awkward; the seat is too high and the steering, too low. All-round visibility is nice, though, thanks to the tall glass area and low window line.

The amount of leg-, head- and even shoulder-room in the back seat is really impressive for a car of this size. The back seat is flat and bench-like, which is good if you want to sit three abreast; and we particularly liked the generous under-thigh support that’s been built along with a high ‘hip’ point. It all adds up to making the back seat one of the most comfortable around. Hyundai has thrown one over the competition by slipping rear air-con vents in the Santro – a segment-first feature. The air-con itself is possibly the best in class and chills the cabin rapidly, despite the huge glass area.

There may be only one cupholder in the front but otherwise there’s a huge amount of storage in the cabin. The cubbyholes in the centre console are very useful and there’s a decently sized glovebox, as well; but what we particularly liked is the very practical and useful shelf with a rubberized finish to hold your phone and other loose items, which you need to regularly access. Each door gets a full-size bottle-holder and the parcel shelf also has enough depth to hold odds and ends. The boot has a very high-loading lip, but it is at par with the class; you could probably get one medium-sized suitcase and a few small soft bags in there.

Fire-up this engine and you’ll immediately appreciate its refinement. Vibrations are almost non-existent, whether at idle or on the move. The engine is pretty responsive and just like the original Santro, it’s a zippy car to drive around town. Driveability and a strong mid-range are this engine’s forte; and you don’t need to change gears that often, which makes it quite user-friendly to drive. Even when you do have to row the stubby gear lever, its hardly a chore. The light clutch and gearshift is effortless to operate.

Those used to driving in higher gears at lower revs will love the fact that performance is available from as low as 1,000rpm and remains strong throughout the mid-range. It’s only when you cross the 5,000rpm mark that it tends to sound a bit strained and coarse. This engine doesn’t like to be revved and feels best in the lower reaches of the powerband. Though power delivery is largely seamless – you can feel mild flat spots which can be blamed on engine calibration, since the new engine has been tuned for future BS-VI regulations.

Coming to the automated manual transmission (AMT), this is Hyundai’s first in-house-developed AMT and it’s a brilliant first effort. The big pauses between gearshifts (a fundamental flaw of an AMT) have been smoothened – although not eliminated. Compared to a conventional automatic transmission, the shifts are still slow, especially between the first and second gear. Flex your right foot, and the AMT is quick to respond by shifting down a gear, too. However, all’s not perfect, and there are times when the AMT holds revs for higher than required up to 4,500-5,000rpm, making the engine sound strained. Flat-out, it will hold revs till 6,200rpm. What’s nice is that there is a Tiptronic mode present, to shift gears manually.

What is it like to drive?

Although the platform is a new-generation one, the engine is not. It’s not the 1.0-litre (Kappa II) engine from the Eon, but instead, is the same 1.1-litre Epsilon engine (G4HG) that was in the old Santro Xing and in the original i10. This is likely for cost reasons, as the Kappa II engine (though a cylinder down on the Epsilon) uses four valves per cylinder and variable valve timing. In this latest state, the 1.1 Epsilon makes 69hp and 99Nm of torque (almost the same as the 1.0 Kappa engine), which is at par with Maruti’s 1.0-litre K10 engine, albeit lower than Tata’s 1.2-litre Revotron. The 20.3kpl ARAI-rated fuel economy figure is lower than both rival engines, although in the new Santro, it remains the same whether you opt for a manual or an AMT. That’s right, you can have this car with a 5-speed AMT as well – Hyundai’s first-ever attempt at one.

Ride comfort is one of the highlights of the new Santro. It takes on bad roads very competently and absorbs bumps with a sense of maturity; it’s only the sharp bumps that filter through. Even this car’s dynamics are very refined and it can confidently take corners without feeling unsettled or unnerving. The steering, typical of a city car, is light yet very consistent in its behaviour. It isn’t bristling with feedback, but you’re always aware of what’s happening at the front end. The turning radius is tight and manoeuvring this car through traffic is effortless. The only small issue we had is that while taking U-turns, the steering doesn’t self-centre easily and needs the driver to bring the wheel back to the straight-ahead position.

Should I buy one? 

To put the new Santro into perspective, it’s first important to remember how much the market has grown since the time of the original Santro. This is no longer the entry-level car the Santro Xing was until it was discontinued in 2014. This is not a rival to the Maruti Alto or Renault Kwid either, as the Eon was conceived to be. This isn’t a replacement for the old Santro, but it’s really a replacement for the discontinued i10 and goes up squarely against the Celerio, Wagon R and Tiago.

Since it’s not a full-on premium hatchback, you can see where Hyundai has made some compromises to keep costs in check. Apart from an old-generation engine, there’s a raft of smaller cost-cutting measures; but those aren’t really deal-breakers. Instead, what the Santro brings is a certain ‘wow’ factor which has been seriously lacking in this segment, so far.

The design is bold, its hugely spacious for its size and class, and above all, its been lavished with features and equipment never seen in the budget hatchback segment before. The well-designed touchscreen is, of course, the master stroke – but there’s also stuff like the rear camera and sensors that make you feel like you’ve gone a segment higher. At a price of Rs 3.90-5.45 lakh (ex-showroom, India) for the petrol version (CNG costs extra), the new Santro may seem expensive – especially the pricer automatic variants – but it gives you your money’s worth. Even though it may have shed the original car’s tall-boy look, it’s clear that this new Santro embodies the same core values as its predecessor.

Courtesy:- Autocar

Nov 17, 2018
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Mahindra TUV300 facelift spied

The compact SUV will feature a revised body structure to meet the upcoming crash test norms.

The 2019 Mahindra TUV300 facelift was spotted undergoing testing. As seen in from the images, the SUV is set to receive cosmetic and feature upgrades.

The TUV300 facelift was spotted with a new X-shaped spare wheel cover mounted on the boot and a new design for the alloy wheels. Inside, there is a touchscreen infotainment screen. In addition, LED daytime running lights will be offered as part of the updated package.

The refreshed TUV300 will also receive modifications to the body structure in order to comply with India’s new crash test norms that become applicable on all cars from October 2019. 

The TUV300 is currently powered by a 1.5-litre, three-cylinder diesel engine that makes 100hp and 240Nm of torque, and is mated to either a 5-speed manual or an AMT gearbox. With the facelift, Mahindra aims to attract more buyers for its rugged compact SUV. We also expect the 9-seater TUV300 Plus to get a similar treatment to its structure along with a BS-VI-compliant engine in the future.

Mahindra is currently set to launch two all-new products this fiscal year, which include the flagship Y400 SUV and the feature-laden S201 compact SUV.

Courtesy:-  AUTO CAR

Oct 16, 2018
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2018 Hyundai Santro: 5 things to know

With the new Santro, Hyundai hopes to rekindle the magic of the older model in the budget hatchback segment. The Korean brand’s Eon failed to make so much as a dent in terms of sales, and now that it has been replaced by the upcoming Santro, Hyundai plans to take the fight to Maruti Suzuki and Tata in this competitive segment.

With this in mind, here are the five key things to remember about the all-new Hyundai Santro:

It’s tall-boy-ish

The new hatchback brings back the original model's nameplate and is also a return to the tall-boy design. While our specifications comparison showed it to be one of the tallest and widest in its class (1,645mm and 1,560mm, respectively), it is by far the shortest in length (3,610mm). While its silhouette may not put it at par with the original Santro or the boxy Maruti Suzuki WagonR, the new Santro is definitely a tall boy. This, along with the fact that the new hatchback is based on the same platform as the larger Grand i10, indicates that the Santro could boast class-leading space on the inside.

It gets segment-first features

A long features list is a very Hyundai trait and the Santro carries this ethos forward. The top-spec Asta trim will sport quite a few segment-first features, including a 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, rear AC vents and a reverse camera. Lower-spec variants are expected to get steering-mounted controls, power windows, a USB port at the front and power-adjustable and folding wing mirrors with integrated turn indicators. Interestingly, there is some kit that the Hyundai misses out on, like adjustable headrests at the front and rear and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.

Though it’s down on its safety kit

Surprisingly, the Santro does not get dual front airbags – a feature available on its rivals like the Datsun Go and Tata Tiago. Meanwhile, the Santro and Celerio both get a driver’s side airbag as standard though the Celerio gets the option of a passenger-side unit. Other safety kit on the Santro includes ABS with EBD, seat-belt reminders and pretensioners, a rear defogger and wiper, and rear parking sensors. The latter feature is meant to help the Hyundai meet the upcoming Indian crash test norms.

Marks debuts of AMT for Hyundai

For the first time since Hyundai's arrival in India, the brand will offer the low-cost automated manual transmission instead of the more expensive torque convertor automatic unit. The 5-speed AMT (and the 5-speed manual that comes as standard) comes mated to an updated version of the Epsilon petrol engine which powered the previous Santro Xing. In its current form, the 1,086cc, four-cylinder, naturally aspirated motor makes 69hp and 99Nm of torque, and has an ARAI fuel efficiency figure of 20.3kpl. The hatchback will also be offered with a CNG kit which brings output figures down to 59hp and 84Nm of torque, and is rated to go 30.5km/kg of gas.

It will be priced aggressively

In order to beat Maruti Suzuki at its own game, Hyundai is looking to undercut the Celerio. Our sources indicate that the enSantro will start at about Rs 3.7 lakh for the base Dlite variant and go up to Rs 5.4 lakh for the top-spec Asta trim. This means that it will comfortably slip under the Rs 4.21-5.40 lakh you have to shell out for the Celerio; though it will directly compare with the Tata Tiago petrol (Rs 3.40-5.63 lakh) and the recently updated Datsun Go (Rs 3.29-4.89 lakh).

All prices, ex-showroom, Delhi

Courtesy:-  AUTO CAR

Oct 16, 2018
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MG's second product for India to be an electric SUV

MG has confirmed that the brand's second product for the Indian market will be an electric SUV, but hasn't provided any specific information about the said model. The electric vehicle (EV) will be launched within one year of its first car launch. 

Earlier this year, the Roewe ERX5 electric SUV was spotted testing in India, which suggests that MG might be evaluating it for the Indian market. The ERX5 is a mid-size SUV that is powered by an electric motor that puts out 114 BHP and 225 Nm of torque. It comes equipped with a 48.3 kWh lithium-ion battery which offers a maximum range of 425 km on a single charge.

The brand plans to expand its footprint in India by appointing 45 authorized dealers with around 100 touchpoints across the country in the first phase. The production capacity of the Halol plant might also be expanded from 80,000 to 2,00,000 units per annum. The company has said that its products will be designed and engineered in the UK and China with the support of Indian engineers and will be heavily localized to make them cost-effective.

Courtesy:- Team BHP

Oct 16, 2018
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