It’s the very first issue of 2015 and there’s tonnes of stuff that we’ve got our hands on to keep the petrolhead in you happy. The Honda Accord is due to make a comeback in India, and we’ve driven it to see if it’s good enough for our highly evolved premium executive segment. We’ve also been able to drive a sportscar from Mercedes and Tata’s newest hatchback. And for you two-wheeler junkies, we’ve also ridden some very interesting models from Kawasaki and Triumph.
New Honda Accord
Honda’s big sedan was always a pretty well-rounded luxury package, but in the face of new competition from Skoda and VW, as well as the new crop of compact luxury cars, the Accord’s lack of diesel power was a big negative. The new car may still have a petrol engine, but it’s got a few new tricks up its sleeves that could help it find its old fan base here in India.
The Lodgy may just be the car to turn our MPV market on its head. It’s got the space and practicality of a full-size MPV, and will likely be priced closer to the compact ones. That means tremendous value. Read our detailed first look of the India-spec car to find out just what all the Lodgy will have to offer.
The engineers at AMG have come up with their second sports car developed entirely in-house, called simply the ‘GT’. But unlike the old SLS, it won’t be chasing down supercars, but rather sportscars like the Porsche 911. It looks mesmerising, is brutally fast and has enough grunt to scare the timid; still very much an AMG then.
After showing us with the Zest that its cars were now built to global standards, Tata Motors is taking that formula to arguably a more competitive segment with its premium hatchback, the Bolt. It’s got all the hallmarks of the Zest – superb ride, an attractive cabin, loads of space and even more equipment. Will this win it the segment?.
The M4 is a performance coupé based on the 3-series, just like the old M3 coupé. But this is a completely different animal. It’s lighter, more efficient, and thanks to a brand new turbocharged 3.0-litre inline six that makes 425bhp and 56.1kgm, you can bet it has a lot of poke. A solid thrash around the Buddh Circuit revealed all.
Mercedes-Benz GLA vs Audi Q3 vs BMW X1
Having missed out on the compact luxury SUV segment for three years, Mercedes has come in with a bang. The super attractive GLA is very desirable and packs a lot of equipment and luxury too. But is that good enough to beat the pioneers of this segment, the sporty BMW X1 and the all-wheel-drive Audi Q3?
After our full road test last month, we took the new Mini Cooper D on a little drive – 6,000km across India. Read about our epic drive in one of the most fun-to-drive hatches we’ve come across, well, since the last Mini. We’ve also managed to sample the first-ever five-door version of the hatchback; is the added practicality worth the extra spend?
Two new models have joined the green army – the Kawasaki Z250 and ER-6n – naked versions of the Ninja 250 and the Ninja 650. The Ninjas have always been known to be quite potent machines, so can these new nakeds add a little more usability without compromising on the performance?
Polo R Cup
We’ve seen them race, and we’ve also seen them being built. Now for this issue, we’ve gotten behind the wheel of this track-ready hatch.
And that is far from everything. There are more tests, features, news and so much more in the January 2015 issue of Autocar India. Grab your copy now!