It’s our first issue of the New Year, and there’s plenty to look forward to. Our cover story this month is Honda’s new City that, for the first time, comes with a diesel engine, the same 1.5-litre diesel unit as the one found in the Amaze saloon. So, we decided to test every version of the City – the diesel, the petrol and the automatic - to find out just how much of a leap forward this new car is. Plus, in one of our most luxurious comparisons yet, we pit the new S-class against the Rolls-Royce Ghost and the Bentley Flying Spur.
New Honda City
Since it first launched in India, the Honda City has remained a popular choice amongst buyers in the mid-size segment, until the price disparity between petrol and diesel switched buyer preference towards diesel cars. With no diesel motor on offer and new stylish competitors armed with a long list of features, the sales of the City took a beating. Now, the new City is arriving in showrooms with the existing i-VTEC petrol motor and a new diesel engine from the Amaze, along with an impressive list of features. The fourth-generation City comes across as a complete package but can it deliver and become the king of its segment?
Honda City CVT vs Volkswagen Vento TSI automatic
Honda's latest fourth-generation 1.5-litre i-VTEC petrol City comes with a new CVT gearbox that utilises a slender torque-converter. Honda also claims that the petrol CVT is more fuel efficient than the manual City. The Volkswagen Vento TSI has a smaller 1.2-litre TSI petrol motor but it is turbocharged and comes mated to a seven-speed, dual-clutch automatic transmission. We compare the two and tell you which one makes the most sense to live with.
Despite its attractive European design and great ride quality, the earlier Koleos had slipped under the Indian car buyer’s radar. Back then, Renault had just entered the market and was an unknown brand for SUV buyers. The fact that the Koleos was up against butch and rugged looking competitors made buyers choose the safer, more established brands. Now though, Renault is introducing a facelifted version and we’ve gotten our hands on the SUV for an exclusive drive. The facelift isn’t just cosmetic, there’s a slight bump up in power as well. So, is the Koleos better value now?
Bloomberg TV-Autocar Car and Bike of the Year 2014
It's time for the results of the Bloomberg TV-Autocar Car and Bike of the Year 2014. This year, the contenders were quite diverse, right from the electric Mahindra e20 to the mammoth Mercedes-Benz GL-class; and from the petite Mahindra Centuro to the hyper Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R. This year’s contenders were evaluated by a jury comprising industry veterans with more kilometres of driving experience than some astronauts, and we used only our state-of-the-art testing equipment on every car and bike. So, was your guess correct?
Mercedes-Benz SLK 55 AMG
The Mercedes SLK 55 AMG gets a 5461cc V8 engine, identical to the one in the E63 AMG, but it’s naturally aspirated. It is quicker to 200kph than the SLK 350 by 7 seconds! Plus, you can even drop the roof down and hear the bellowing V8 in all its full glory. With an asking price of Rs 1.26 crore, should you contemplate writing a cheque for this fast and desirable AMG roadster?
With every generation of the S-class, Mercedes-Benz seems to raise the bar for the ‘best car in the world’. We just drove the majestic sixth-generation W 222 S-class in Mumbai and we put this luxo-barge through our full road test to find out if it can live up to its glorious predecessors.
Mercedes-Benz S500 vs Rolls-Royce Ghost EWB vs Bentley Flying Spur
And, just to be sure if it really is the best, we pit the Mercedes-Benz S500 against two luxury cars from a class above, the Bentley Flying Spur and the Rolls-Royce Ghost (extended wheelbase) to see how well the Merc holds up, and if it really is the ‘best car in the world’.
The 70bhp, 996cc engine from the Alto K10, coupled with a CVT transmission, doesn't scream performance until you put it into this 540kg package - the Rage Cyclone buggy. It’s so light, power-to-weight ratio is a smashing 130bhp-per-tonne. We let ourselves loose on a farm trail in this buggy and even manage to catch some massive air!
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R
Announced in 2005, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-14R took the performance bar a notch higher from its only close competitor, the Suzuki Hayabusa. Kawasaki is now selling the Ninja ZX-14R in India as a CBU offering. We try and come to grips with the all-new ZX-14R, Kawasaki’s fastest production bike ever!
Honda Activa-i vs TVS Jupiter
The Indian automatic scooter segment continues to gain ground. The Activa has allowed HMSI maintain supremacy on the scooter market for over a decade. Its latest offering the Activa-i doesn't deviate much from its existing and successful Activa formula. The TVS Jupiter comes equipped with new features which are completely new in its segment. Both these scooters are targeted towards buyers on the lookout for a comfortable and value-for-money city commuter. We find out which one offers the better deal.
Grab a copy of Autocar India's January 2014 issue today!