Monday, 25 November 2013

Duster 2014 4x4

Renault is likely to launch automatic and 4x4 options in India by 2014.  The launch of Ford Ecosport and Nissan #Terrano in the same segment has dented the market of Renault Duster.  The higher price compared to its strongest contender, Ecosport, has dropped the sales of Duster in the recent months.  That makes it lower in Value For Money (VFM) rating.

Renault Duster - Best compact SUV in India !

Renault Duster is a robust, reliable and easy-to-drive SUV that has conquered the Indian car market.  It encompasses most of the sought-after features of an SUV while being a fuel efficient car.  This makes it ideal for Indian environment.  No other car has created the sensation recently that Renault Duster has done in the Indian automotive industry. 

All-terrain vehicles are generally larger in size, but Duster has compact dimensions.   It has high ground clearance (210mm), short overhangs (822mm at the front, 820mm at the rear) and big clearance angles.  The reinforced under body is suitable for all-track and all-terrain use.   In terms of safety features it is loaded with lot of safety features such as air bags, ABS with EBD.

Duster established the new segment – Compact Sports Utility Vehicle – even though few cars where available in this segment none could establish volume.  The Duster took the Indian market by storm.  It captured 23% market share in just one year. 

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Does using AC in car reduce mileage?

A valid question in the context of high fuel prices.  We shall evaluate this in two different scenarios.  While driving slow, say in cities, driving without AC by keeping window glasses down gives better mileage.  However, keeping window glasses down and driving in high speeds (speeds above 65kmph) without AC, there is no improvement in mileage.  Rather there is a drop in mileage compared to driving with AC keeping window glasses up.  This aspect is proven through studies conducted by certain organizations.

The mileage drop while keeping the window glasses down is substantially higher in new generation vehicles, which are designed aerodynamically, compared to old vehicles.  The drop in mileage in this case is attributed to the resistance developed by the air that gets into the car.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Remembering SUV

See the latest Volvo commercial here.

It has gone viral with 34 million hits. I wish to see some thing like this on our SUVs soon. But the beauty is wrt to the simplicity of the advertisement. This is the change I have been noticing recently in the advertisement. They are becoming more simple and elegant and to the point.

Another video site I like is the charlston car videos:

This site has the videos of the best cars with complete description.

Seeing all this I wonder what would have been the ancient SUVs. If we go back to the olden days chariots can be termed as the SUVs of those days.

SUVs as the definition says are sports utility vehicles. These vehicles are predominantly used by the rich to have a sporting fun through vehicles. This trend comes since ages. We remember the kings going on chariots for hunting expeditions. In those days the major needs for an SUV are power unlike today security is the sole responsibility of the chauffeur. Current days SUVs offer a range of inbuilt services which only magic can fetch in the olden days.

When I see the pictures of chariots I see that Indian chariots are gorgeous than their counterparts in the rest of the world. The trademark of Indian chariots is its flag bearing mast. I have never seen any chariot in the ROW with a flag. The flag is a symbolic representation of the person. As time went by the significance of chariot faded. As the form of warfare changed from bows to swords, chariots were discarded for horse backs. Elephants did serve some time as the SUVs of the kings. Whatever the plight may be chariots are now a representation of eternal past and symbol of our might.

Have a good day.

Most famous links for SUVs


We always spend time searching for information on SUV. What if the all the famous links of SUVs are consolidated at one place. Thats what I am presenting today. Here are the links for blogs of famous and most sought after SUV blogs:

The following are the top links for SUV blogs:

I cannot testify the content nor do I authorize it. But I feel that the stuff is pretty decent. Users are requested to apply their judgement before taking decisions.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

What is an SUV?

SUV is the widely used and known acronym for Sport Utility Vehicle. With the formation of a vehicle SUV combined the towing capacity of a full-size truck with the passenger and storage capacity of a minivan. However, as consumer demands have changed, so has the vehicle. Many manufacturers now focus on fuel-efficiency and driving and riding comfort, rather than towing capacity.
Typical features of an SUV include seating for five to seven, high seating and road positioning, roomy interior, non-dedicated trunk space, high engine capacity and 4 wheel drive capability. Though it was originally designed to be an off-road vehicle for sporting purposes, its popularity has spawned several different breeds, including the luxury SUV.
Like cars, the SUV has different classes and sizes. The mid-sized version, which typically seats five, is the best-selling variety in the United States. During the SUV’s height of popularity, the Ford Explorer remained the top-selling model. Compact and full-size SUVs appeal to many consumers equally, but for different reasons. Luxury versions have the same features as standard class models, but contain upgraded interiors and trim packages typically associated with luxury model vehicles, such as leather interior.
SUVs are known for high ground clearance, upright, boxy body, and high H-point. This can make them more likely to roll over due to their high center of gravity. Bodies of SUVs have recently become more aerodynamic, but the sheer size and weight keeps their fuel economy poor. Few of the SUV's to better understand the segmentation are given below in the figure:

A brief intro on how the SUV is sub-classified are as follows:
Mini SUV
A mini SUV (also called subcompact SUV or subcompact crossover) is a class of small sport utility vehicles. The term usually applies to crossovers based on a supermini (B-segment cars in Europe) platform such as the Chevrolet Trax, Mini Countryman, Opel Mokka etc.

Compact SUV
A compact SUV is a class of smaller SUVs that are commonly built with less cargo and passenger space, and often with smaller engines resulting in better fuel economy, the term is often interchangeable with crossover SUV. Some examples are: Audi Q3, BMW X3, Buick Encore, Ford Escape etc.

Mid-size SUV
A mid-size SUV is a class of medium size SUVs whose size typically falls between that of a full size and a compact SUV. This term is not commonly used outside North America, where fullsize and midsize SUVs are considered similar. Some examples are: Ford Explorer, Acura MDX, BMW X5, Audi Q7 etc.

Full-size SUV
A full-size SUV is a class of large size SUVs that are most often larger than Midsize SUVs and much larger than Compact SUVs. They have greater cargo and passenger space than midsize SUVs. Full Size SUVs are usually given higher safety ratings than their smaller counterparts. Some examples are: Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia etc.

Extended-length SUV

An extended length SUV, also sometimes called a long-wheel based SUV, are vehicles that are similar to a full-size SUV, except that these vehicles have a larger cargo area (around 130 in (3.30 m)) and passenger space that can seat up to 8 or 9 people. The only vehicles built under this segment are the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, Cadillac Escalade ESV, Ford Expedition EL, and Lincoln Navigator L.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Luv for SUVs…

There is a continuous debate going among vehicle enthusiasts “Which one is better - an SUV or a SEDAN?”

If one considers the parameters by which cars are rated such as Performance, fuel efficiency, ride comfort, price etc sedan scores in almost all.  Still SUV lovers continue to love driving an SUV. 

I am driving my Scorpio for more than 10 years now; its odometer reads over 165000.  If I change my car now, I would definitely be going for a new SUV! Why so adamant?  There is a certain unshakeable feeling of safety that one gets inside an SUV.  Not only that, one feels more relaxed at the wheel.

Sitting in the driver’s seat, one gets a feeling of security, of unsurpassed confidence.  Is SUV safer than a sedan?  Debate is still on.  But assume a Mahindra Scorpio colliding head on with a sedan of equal price, say a Hyundai Verna – you can imagine which one will get damaged more.

What else are better in a SUV?  After driving SUV for long I got accustomed to the commanding view of the road, feel like you own the road.  I prefer the chair like sitting posture.
SUVs were considered as gas-guzzlers. Was true for the giant old Americans – GMs and Fords.  Gone are those days, you can get SUVs – may not be true SUVs, rather soft-roaders - with monocoque body similar to a sedan that gives good mileage, equal comfort and ride quality.  They also hold most important merits of SUVs.  Ecosport, Duster etc fall into this category.

True SUV will have rugged body-over-frame construction, 4x4 and very powerful engine.  However, these features are required for off-roading, which most of us really do not do often.

In Indian environment SUVs have a few advantages that sedans can never offer.  The road condition in the entire country – even while travelling in a four lane highway there is a good chance that you have to get into a damaged road with potholes that can spoil the suspension of your sedan. In India, where drivers exhibit poor driving discipline and not considerate of other vehicles, SUVs command lot of road respect.

Hope you appreciate my love for SUVs!  But keep in mind – ‘SUV to be driven as a SUV’!

Monday, 11 November 2013

XUV  500 W4 Edition & TATA Safari Storme - Comparison

XUV500 W4


Price (approx. ex showroom)
10.95 Lakhs
11.36 Lakhs
Engine & displacement
2.2Ltrs mHawk Engine with variable Geometry Turbo charger, Microhybrid Tech
2.2Ltrs varicor engine with VTT technology
6 speed
5 speed
Max power (bhp)
Chassis type
Body over frame
Brakes (Front/
Disc brakes front & rear
Ventilated discs front & rear
Ground clearance (mm)
Dimensions (L/B/H)
Driver seat
6 way adjustable
Air conditioning
Electrically operated dual HVAC
Dual AC
Fuel efficiency (ARAI)
Dual Airbags
ABS with EBD
Dual Airbags
ABS with EBD

XUV 500 : Modern dynamic design.  Powerful engine.  Reasonably good mileage.  Comfortable ride owing to the monocoque chassis.  VFM car for the price.
SAFARI Storme : Has considerably improved from its older version.  Solid body-on-frame construction in the new platform (used in Aria). Excellent ride quality, better handling,  driveability and much better gearbox.
Out dated looks. Poor fit & finish.
Renault Duster & Ford Ecosport - comparison
Renault Duster
Ford Ecosport
Price (approx, top end diesel editions, Rxz Option & Titanium O respectively)
Engine displacement
Manual 6 speed
Manual 5 speed
Max power (bhp)
Chassis type
Brakes (Front/
Ventilated Disc
Ventilated Disc
Ground clearance (mm)
Dimensions (L/B/H)
Driver seat
Height adjustable with adjustable lumbar support
Height adjustable
Air conditioning
Auto AC with climate control
Manual AC
16” alloy (205/60 R16)
16” alloy (215/65 R16)
Fuel efficiency (ARAI)

Ford Ecosport : Build quality is good, the dash board looks posh compared to Duster.  Ride & handling is much better compared to its smaller length.  Ecosport has much more features compared to Duster for the price.  Overall a VFM car.
Duster : Has a proven engine that gives good economy.  Ride quality is excellent.  Sturdy vehicle.  Lacks climate control AC.  Has much bigger boot space compared to Ecosport.  However, one has to pay approx. 3.5 to 4 Lakhs more for Duster on road.

Friday, 1 November 2013

A SUV (Sports Utility Vehicle) is a car generally equipped with features that enable it to move through different types of terrain.  The power, ruggedness, ground clearance and features such as 'four-wheel drive' facilitates this.