This month we drive the Chevy Sail, GM’s comeback kid for the hotly contested premium hatchback segment, as well as Mahindra’s sub-four-metre family-mover, the Quanto. The recent hike in diesel prices means there’s less of a gap between them and the prices of petrol. In that light, we’ve focussed on some very petrol-centric cars this month. The new Camry and the new Elantra petrol face off against their respective rivals, and we’ve even tested a bunch of powerful petrol sports cars.
Chevrolet Sail U-VA: Exclusive First Drive
General Motors’ long-in-the-tooth and often overlooked Aveo U-VA is about to be replaced by the China-sourced Sail. It will be the first offering from GM’s alliance with its Chinese partner SAIC. But can it pass muster with Indian buyers’ lofty standards? We’ve spent some exclusive time behind the wheel to find out.
Mahindra Quanto driven
You knew it was coming eventually. Arguably Mahindra’s worst kept secret, the ‘mini-Xylo’ is now called the Quanto, and despite ducking under the hallowed four-metre mark, it’s actually a seven-seater. Or is it? We get behind the wheel of the tiny SUV at Mahindra’s plant in Chakan to see if it’s worth all the hype.
Toyota’s more grown-up big executive saloon, the new Camry, is fringing on Lexus levels of luxury now and could possibly take on more expensive competition, despite its petrol-only handicap. We decided to give it our full road test treatment, and also pit it against the Accord, Superb and Sonata to see which saloon is the best to be chauffeur-driven in.
Petrol executive comparison
Has the diesel price hike got you down? Here are four good reasons to go back to petrol power. The all-new Hyundai Elantra takes on the cleverly downsized Jetta 1.4 TSI, the 160bhp might of the Laura 1.8 TSI and the thoroughly reliable Corolla VVT-i.
Alliance partners Renault and Nissan have done it again. After tweaking the styling on the Nissan Micra to arrive at the Renault Pulse, they’ve done a similar job on the Sunny to get this, the Scala. The Sunny is a great car, so our expectations are quite high for this one, especially given the premium Renault is charging for it.
The E46 M3 is a legend in its own right, but the nutters at Pete’s Performance weren’t satisfied with it, so they decided to supercharge it! We get behind the wheel of this ballistic car which, mind you, looks like it’s straight out of a Need for Speed game.
Just about every Audi model gets a sportier ‘S’ version these days, but this one is a little bit different. It’s the first Audi SUV to get the S treatment, and the first one to be powered by a diesel motor. And what a motor it is!
Audi used to sell the TT in India before, but that car came with a big, thirsty V6 engine and a steep price-tag. Now Audi has brought it back to our roads with a light nip-and-tuck and a smaller engine. It still looks great, and it’s cheaper to buy and run – but should you buy one?
Mercedes SLK vs BMW Z4
Long bonnet, short boot, six-cylinders, 300bhp, rear-wheel drive, two seats and a folding metal roof. The formula may be common to both, the SLK 350 and the Z4, but which of these rival German roadsters does it better?
Sometimes, we like living in the past, and if you like cars, there is no better way to go back in time than to head to the world’s most iconic classic car show, the Concours d’Elegance.
Bajaj Discover 125ST
Arguably Bajaj’s most comprehensive makeover of the Discover yet, the 125ST (Sports Tourer) is quite a package. It’s got more than a hint of Pulsar to it and we were thoroughly impressed with this new Bajaj. Find out why.
With half the season done, we give you a round-up of what’s happened so far in the JK NRC; see if your favourite is on his way to the title. Plus, we give you a full report of the Belgian Grand Prix and the Italian Grand Prix.
All this and much more in Autocar India’s October 2012 issue. Plus, an additional Nissan booklet free with this issue!