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Sunday, April 12, 2015

Maruti Suzuki S-Cross SX4 - Review

Expected Launch: June 2015
Expected Price: Indian Rs : 8 - 14 lakhs

We first saw the Suzuki S-Cross SX4 crossover at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March. First developed and produced in collaboration with Fiat, the S-Cross SX4 is currently in its third generation and for the first time will spawn two separate models with the same naming convention. We in India,for the first time, are also expected to get the compact crossover due to a sudden spurt in demand for compact utility vehicles.


The S-Cross SX4despite being a crossover has a very familiar shape that the Indian market will be able to recognise, thanks to the presence of the SX4 sedan that has been on sale here since 2006. The front gets a three piece black grille with the Suzuki logo prominently standing in the middle. The headlights are the same as before but now get daytime LEDs. There is a black plastic cladding running along the base with a bit under the number plate holder and doors in a silver shade.

The side profile has changed slightly from the previous vehicle with the roofline being altered slightly. At the back, the S-Cross SX4 retains a similar profile as the outgoing vehicle but now gets sharper features including a new design for the tail lamps. The silver and black cladding can be seen here too and runs the length of the rear bumper. Suzuki has also fitted roof rails but in India we expect that they will offer a carrier as an optional extra.


An aerodynamically efficient from promotes fuel economy. Key features include a smooth, flowing roof line that slopes downward toward the rear; and smooth contours that flow from the front bumper to the doors to the rear end.


Suzuki by virtue of being known for its mass markets vehicles follows the policy through and through. This is most reflected in the interiors which look very similar to the ones found on the smaller Swift. The steering wheel, gauges, gearbox, stalks and buttons are all exactly the same as is the case with the layout. In fact, if you were to blindfold someone and seat them in the car, it would be hard for them to tell which Suzuki vehicle they are sitting in. The only major difference is that in the four-wheel-drive enabled models there is a drive selector. The rear can seat three people comfortably and will fold down to expand the boot space.


The way the S-Cross’ interior has been designed means there’s a useful 430-litre boot, which can easily be extended to 875 litres by folding the rear seats down flat – although there aren’t any remote-release handles in the luggage area.

With their seats up, the Nissan Qashqai has 430 litres of bootspace, the Kia Sportage 465 litres and the Skoda Yeti 416 litres. It’s only when you fold the seats down in the S-Cross’ main competitors that you really notice its smaller dimensions – its 875 litres are dwarfed by the 1,353 litres of the Sportage, the 1,585 litres of the Qashqai and the massive 1,760 litres offered by the Yeti.

If maximum luggage capacity is regularly important to you, there’s no denying the S-Cross’ smaller boot size, but it does at least have a flat load area and a wide, low loading lip for easy access when lifting heavy items in and out.

Elsewhere in the boot, you’ll find a number of handy shopping-bag hooks, a 12V power socket and a neat false floor that lifts to reveal hidden extra storage. There’s also a pair of lidded cubbies hidden behind the rear wheelarches.


Go wherever the spirit moves you. And go confidently. The new SX4 / SX4 S-CROSS is a true all-weather, all-terrain, all-you-need performer. Tough off-road technology x refined road running x smart safety. It all adds up to one of the most versatile cars you can imagine in life.


Petrol Engine :

There are two 1.6-litre engines to choose from in the Suzuki SX4 S-Cross and they both produce 118bhp. The big difference between the two is the amount of pulling power available lower down the rev range – the petrol has less than half the amount of the diesel engine.
This means that whether you pick the five-speed manual gearbox or the CVT automatic, the petrol engine always seems a bit strained and often underpowered when you’re driving up steep inclines or when the car is loaded up with passengers and luggage.

Although the front-wheel-drive petrol-engined model with the manual gearbox is actually the fastest SX4 S-Cross in the range (doing 0-62mph in 11 seconds), it doesn’t really feel like it, and given how most owners will use the car, we’d suggest choosing the diesel instead.

Diesel Engine :

The 118bhp 1.6-litre diesel engine can sound a little gruff and noisy when you accelerate hard, but once you’re up to speed it’s a smooth and punchy performer. More importantly, with their impressive pulling power, the SX4 diesel models deliver effortless real-world pace and are able to power up hills that leave the Nissan Qashqai and Kia Sportage a little breathless.

The automatic versions of the SX4 S-Cross use a CVT gearbox that whines loudly when you drive up steep hills. The six-speed manual fitted to the diesel models is far better, and overall the S-Cross drives well, with quick steering, a surprising lack of body lean in corners and a decent amount of grip.

The good news is that the Suzuki’s impressive handling doesn’t come at the price of ride comfort. Supple suspension means the SX4 soaks up bumps that send a shudder through the Kia Sportage. Add strong brakes into the mix and you have a very competent performer.

The four-wheel-drive SX4 S-Cross models have extra driving modes for dealing with different conditions, including a snow mode for treacherous winter days and an automatic mode to keep the car gripping in most conditions. However, it’d be unwise to think of the SX-4 S-Cross as a proper off-roader, as even the budget Dacia Duster is more capable at driving on uneven ground.


From accident avoidance to occupant protection, ensuring your safety in the new SX4 / SX4 S-CROSS is a comprehensive all-road pursuit. High-performance technologies such as Suzuki's proprietary TECT (Total Effective Control Technology) body and top-of-the-line safety features such as ESP®* and 7 airbags give you the confidence to expand your driving perimeter to new territory. It has received maximum 5-star Euro NCAP overall safety rating.

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal

Saturday, April 11, 2015

2015 Kia Sedona - Review

PRICE : Sedona L 3.3L GDI V6 - 6 A/T $25,900
PRICE : Sedona LX 3.3L GDI V6 - 6 A/T $28,100
PRICE : Sedona EX 3.3L GDI V6 - 6 A/T $32,100
PRICE : Sedona SX 3.3L GDI V6 - 6 A/T $36,100
PRICE : Sedona SX Limited 3.3L GDI V6 - 6 A/T $39,700

The minivan segment has been dominated for years by Chrysler, Honda and Toyota, but the all-new 2015 Kia Sedona is out to crash the party. Replacing the functional but forgettable second-generation Sedona, the redesigned 2015 model wears crisp, muscular sheet metal that Kia says is crossover-inspired, accented by a prominent grille with the company's trademark style. Inside, the crossover theme continues with a driving environment that resembles a cockpit, including a prominent console between the front seats -- unique among minivans -- where the shift lever resides. Throw in competitive versatility and Kia's value-oriented pricing, and you've got a compelling new option that deserves close consideration alongside the usual suspects.

Despite the 2015 Sedona's dramatically different appearance, this isn't the sort of revolutionary product that we've come to expect from Kia in recent years. But that's not necessarily a bad thing. Chances are, you're not looking for a revolution: just sliding doors, spaciousness, flexible seating options, plenty of safety and up-to-date equipment, all of which the new Sedona provides. The crossover design cues are where the Sedona goes a step further. Kia knows a lot of buyers skip over minivans because three-row crossovers simply look and feel cooler, so the 2015 Sedona is a novel attempt to meet them halfway. If you're sensitive to the stigma associated with diaper-toting minivan ownership, perhaps this Kia will make you think twice.

At heart, of course, the Sedona is as much of a box on wheels as the next minivan. But some nifty features lie within, including the SX-L model's fixed lounge-style second-row seats with generous slide-and-recline adjustments, lateral sliding functionality and extendable leg rests. In all other trims, the second-row seats collapse upright behind the front row to facilitate cargo-carrying, an interesting solution that eliminates the common minivan chore of removing those heavy chairs. On the other hand, maximum cargo capacity suffers as a result, leaving the Sedona marginally behind its main rivals (and woefully so in SX-L trim).

Those rivals are well-established, starting with the 2015 Honda Odyssey, which wins in fuel economy and road handling, but carries a steeper price. The refreshed 2015 Toyota Sienna runs neck and neck with the Odyssey in most respects, but the Sedona is again likely to be the better value. Although the 2015 Chrysler Town & Country's Stow 'n Go seats are the slickest in the business, the van's overall interior quality pales in comparison to the Kia's. Dark-horse candidates include the Nissan Quest (if cargo space isn't a high priority) and the 2015 Mazda 5 (if a smaller minivan would serve you better).

So where does that leave the 2015 Kia Sedona? Right in the thick of things, we'd say. Although it doesn't notably raise the bar, the Sedona possesses many strengths that make it a must-drive if you're shopping in this segment.


Now this is more like it, Kia. The 2015 Sedona now looks like a proper Kia, complete with the company’s now famous ‘tiger-nose’ grille. Notice also how the overall shape of the front section has changed from the 2013 model with the new Sedona sporting a more balanced look that includes a more horizontal hood that doesn’t drop so steeply to the ground, thus creating a higher belt line for the minivan. Newly designed headlamps with LEDs on them also add to the sportier appearance and the lower bumper configuration gets a particularly nice clap from us, largely because it’s far more pronounced and in line with the overall new look of the front section.

At the back, square haunches have been adopted to carry a more muscular appearance and let’s not just forget about that new rear spoiler and those LED tailights, both of which are now standard on the Korean minivan.

Overall, it’s a sharp new look that deserves a lot of praise. Well done on this one, boys.


Despite its overall width and height remaining virtually unchanged, the all-new Sedona provides more front shoulder room, greater leg room in the front, second and third rows, as well as a slightly higher hip-point, improving outward visibility for the driver. The horizontal design cues across the instrument panel create a greater sense of width, and the generous use of soft-touch materials adds to the all-new Sedona's premium ambiance. The Sedona's proportions provide flexible seating in both seven- and eight-passenger configurations and a multitude of storage options. The front center console is unique to the segment and allows for generous and cleverly convenient storage space between the front seats. Second row Slide-n-Stow tracked seating slides and folds upright to allow for "on-the-go" cargo hauling while eliminating the hassle that comes with removing heavy and cumbersome middle seats. The all-new Sedona also offers the choice of second row "First Class" lounge seating that can be positioned rearward for astonishing legroom and provides retractable lower leg rests. And while some configurations feature segment-unique second-row seat cushion heaters for added comfort, all 2015 Sedona models offer a third-row that provides the convenience of a split folding 60/40 in-floor retractable design.

The Sedona also is the only vehicle in the segment outfitted with standard YES Essentials™ fabric technology to provide anti-microbial protection from spills, anti-static protection from irritating electrical shocks as well as stain-repelling and stain-releasing fabric characteristics appreciated by anyone who leads an active lifestyle.

The Sedona's sophisticated interior design theme is brought to life with a modern color palette featuring solid or two-tone color options in beige, gray and burgundy for a warm and inviting atmosphere. The top-line SXL trim features standard ultra-soft Nappa leather seating surfaces throughout the cabin, the same Chromium-free leather found in the K900 luxury sedan.


Price:$ 25900
0-60 time:8 sec. (Est.)
Top Speed:110 mph (Est.)



Available on the Sedona SX Limited models, these 2nd-row captain's chairs recline within about 25 degrees of horizontal, and the vertical sections below the seat cushions extend to become footrests. Behaving very much like First Class airline accommodations, the seats are aptly named.


The new Sedona's solution for achieving maximum cargo volume with a flat floor is track-mounted middle row seats that fold up and slide forward to stack against the front row. Third-row seats fold below floor level to create a substantial cargo hold.


The wheelbase of the Sedona is up nearly a couple of inches compared to the previous version, but in overall length and cabin dimensions it's now within a few inches in overall length of its chief rivals.

By the numbers, that makes it 201.4 inches long, with a 120.5-inch wheelbase. Total volume behind the front seats is 142 cubic feet, or 78.4 cubes behind the second row and 33.9 cubes behind the third-row seat. A Honda Odyssey, for comparison's sake, is 202.9 inches long on a 118.1-inch wheelbase, with 148.5, 93.1, or 38.4 cubic feet of space behind its seating rows.

On our personal usability scale, it's in a tier above the smaller and narrower Mazda 5 and Nissan Quest, roughly on par with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, and not quite as all-around flexible as the Chrysler Town & Country and Dodge Grand Caravan, which have our beloved stow-away second-row seats.

The Sedona offers seating for up to eight, as well the kind of versatility that always seems to be at its best in minivans.  Kia has raised the seating position of the driver's seat somewhat for better visibility, and though the higher dash slims the view outward a little, the front seats seem like they could soothe adult bodies on a cross-country family vacation.

In the second row, Kia tries to have it both ways. It doesn't tuck away its seats like the Chrysler vans--a feature we believe really maximizes the utility of a vehicle meant to be a do-it-all. However, on most versions, the Sedona has what's called Slide-n-Stow, an arrangement that can slide middle-row seats forward and flip up their bottom cushions, compacting the seat vertically in a space very close to the front seats. It leaves behind a low, level floor without the need to remove the seats, though there's not the internal length to do some of the things Chrysler's vans can do--haul a full-size sofa with the tailgate closed, for example. A 4X8 sheet of plywood will fit in back, but only if it's loaded at an angle over the tipped-forward second-row seats.

On the top Sedona SX-L, Kia rips out those non-removable sliding seats and installs so-called 'first-class' lounge seating with retractable lower leg rests and headrests with winglets. These seats can also move a limited amount side to side, to make a wider path from the front to the rearmost seats, but they also can't be removed. Kia thinks it's an acceptable trade-off and distinct enough from the Japanese minivan offerings, which don't have any tuck feature, either. The Sedona's exposed seat tracks are open to attracting a lot of gunk, but they're wide enough to be cleaned easily.

As for the third row, it's small, and not suitable for teenagers or adults, unlike the Sienna and Odyssey back seats. Headroom is shy and the entry space is barely a foot wide, even with the sliding seats moved forward. The third-row seat does split 60/40 and folds flat right into the floor.

Elsewhere in the Sedona, storage is pretty vast. There's a huge, deep front center console and several usable storage bins around the doors and dash. Top-end Sedonas have a sliding armrest on the console and a tiered tray. USB and charging points are easily accessible, and some models offer high-powered USB ports and 115-volt outlets for charging on the go.

In outgoing versions of the Sedona, refinement was somewhat behind the curve; Kia now describes the Sedona as the quietest in its segment, with all sorts of new measures like wheel-house padding, double-sealed sliding doors, and new engine-compartment sound deadening. In the vehicles we drove, all SX Limited models, the Sedona was exceptionally quiet, with a substantial feel you just don't get in a Chrysler van. It's tasteful at this $42,000 level, but we haven't yet seen one with the base cloth or Yes! Essentials spill-proof interior trim.


Acceleration from the 2015 Sedona's V6 engine is confident and refined, and the six-speed automatic transmission shifts promptly and unobtrusively. The selectable drive modes (Normal, Comfort and Eco) provided in the SX and SX-L afford driver control over transmission and steering calibration, but the differences are slight.

Among minivans, the Sedona is exceptionally quiet, as engine, road and wind noise are all held to reasonable levels. The ride quality is agreeable on most surfaces, though the SX-L's 19-inch wheels can make bumps a bit more vivid than they need to be. Around turns, the Sedona acquits itself well for a big people hauler. There's nothing particularly memorable about driving Kia's latest minivan, but that approachable character should endear it to potential buyers.


Performance is hardly a factor for minivan shoppers, and the 2015 Kia Sedona does a fine job of keeping performance within the usual bandwidth. In its single drivetrain combination, it delivers moderate but smooth power, a mostly calm ride, and responsible handling that clears all the basic minivan hurdles without attempting anything too challenging.

The Sedona shares the 3.3-liter V-6 found in Kia's Cadenza sedan and in the Sorento crossover. It makes 276 fuss-free horsepower and 248 pound-feet of torque, and has a nicely rounded engine note as it winds through its powerband and through lots of layers of sound deadening.

The powertrain is saddled with a lot of curb weight, though--the Sedona weighs 4,414 pounds in base trim, and up to 4,720 pounds in loaded models. Compared to a Honda Odyssey minivan, it's up on horsepower, about even on torque and weight, and unremarkable in its moderate acceleration.

Power is delivered to the front wheels through via a six-speed automatic transmission. The Sedona can tow up to 3,500 pounds, but a full passenger load and a trailer will take patience.

The Sedona rides on a basic strut suspension design in front and multi-link rear, with new bushings at the rear crossmembers and better isolation at the rear suspension for a better ride. In tuning, the Sedona feels like heavier Chrysler minivan in ways, with some minor shake in the steering column and a mostly well-damped ride that can get bouncy as it encounters rhythmically placed bumps. It's nearly wander-free on the interstates we drove, but push it briskly in corners and the Sedona's weight and suspension failsafe into minivan mode, tires lodging lots of complaints, just like your passengers will.

Only the top versions will have electric power steering, but unfortunately that's the only version we've driven to date. It's fairly fast off-center like the Chryslers, with enough weight added in to keep the Sedona tracking true on highway slogs.

Kia fits ventilated discs in front, solid discs in back. Base models get 17-inch steel wheels, but nicer wheels on nicer trim levels range from 17-inchers to 19-inchers, which didn't seem to ruffle the SX Limited's ride at all.


As in previous generations, the new Sedona is limited to one engine, one transmission, and front-wheel drive. However, the engine and transmission are both new, though not new to Kia's powertrain inventory. The engine, a 3.3-liter V6 with direct fuel injection, is shared with the Kia Cadenza sedan and Sorento SUV. It replaces the previous port-injection 3.5-liter V-6 and raises peak horsepower by 32, to 276 at 6,000 rpm. A 6-speed automatic transmission replaces the previous 5-speed. EPA fuel economy ratings are 18 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway.

3.3-liter V6
276 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
248 lb-ft of torque @ 5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24 mpg


All Sedonas come standard with dual front airbags, dual front seat airbags, full-length side curtain airbags, rollover mitigation, 3-point seatbelts for all positions (including both rear center seats), front seatbelt pre-tensioners, electronic stability control, traction control, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, cornering brake control, electronic brake-force distribution, brake assist, hill start assist, tire pressure monitoring, LATCH points and rear child-safety door locks.

Only advanced smart cruise control, forward collision warning and lane departure warning are optional, and exclusively available on Limited models with the Limited Technology Package.


All Kia Sedona minivans are equipped with the same powertrain, but fuel economy can vary depending on the model.

How's that again?

There's one key difference that separates most Sedonas from the top SX and SX Limited trims: electric power steering. On the models equipped with throwback hydraulic-boosted power steering, gas mileage is rated by the EPA at 18 miles per gallon city, 24 mpg highway, and 20 mpg combined.

Electric steering helps the Sedona SX up to 18/25 mpg, or 21 mpg combined. But opt into the SX Limited and it falls to 17/22 mpg, or 19 mpg combined, in spite of the more efficient steering. That's because the SX Limited has lots of standard features not found on other models--lounge-style second-row seats and a panoramic sunroof--that add weight to its bottom line.


By : Automotive News & Super Modified Sports Cars

Posted by : Shahen Tharammal