Tata Zest – Much awaited game changer, compact sedan from Tata is expected to launch in few days. Bookings have just opened at advance payment of Rs. 21,000. Both petrol and diesel variants have first in segment and trendsetting aspects, like Revotron 1.2T petrol engine equipped with drive mode (City, Sport & Eco) select feature and diesel motor coupled with Automated Manual Transmission (AMT).
Both versions have max. power output of 90 PS, and will be available with all-new touch screen Multimedia Infotainment System from Harman. Facilities include Image Viewer, Voice Command, speed sensitive volume and iPod compatibility to begin with.
Unlike previous Tata cars, upcoming Zest compact sedan has a way of attracting customers with varied taste and functional preference. Read more about Tata Zest on our review of petrol spec here and diesel trim here.
Maruti Dzire – Reached astonishing position of best selling car in India, 18,953 units sold in May 2014, trumping all time top seller Alto. This boot chopped compact sedan from Maruti Suzuki needs no introduction for Indian car buyers. However, facelift version is expected to launch by November 2014, and quick description of possible upgrades is to be mentioned.
Dzire would be receiving new equipment and features just like upcoming Swift facelift would, in coming weeks. Automatic headlamps, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), electrically foldable and operable Outside Rear View Mirrors (ORVM) and turn indicators on wing mirrors will be seen other than revised bumpers and touch ups on front grille. Dual tone interiors, new seat upholstery, six Airbags, new In Car Entertainment (ICE) system with smartphone connectivity and fresh instrument cluster may add to list of changes in new Maruti Dzire.
Engine changes are not likely to be made, the very 1.2 litre K12M petrol engine with VVT giving out 87 PS max. power @ 6,000 rpm and 114 Nm peak torque @ 4,000 rpm would drive 2014 Swift Dzire. Usual 1.3 litre DDiS engine from Fiat churning out 75 PS max. power @ 4,000 rpm and 190 Nm peak torque @ 2,000 rpm will also be offered alongside. Both engines would be mated with well acquainted 5 speed manual transmission. However, since Tata offers Zest diesel with AMT setup, Maruti may be covertly planning the same with Dzire diesel. Wouldn’t it steal the show? Learn more about Maruti Dzire facelift here.
Maruti Ciaz – Based on Suzuki Authentics concept, new Ciaz sedan is set to take the position of failed and discontinued SX4 sedan, possibly in September 2014. Price of Maruti Ciaz can be expected to fall within Rs. 7.2 lakhs and Rs. 10.5 lakhs bracket, to rival Honda City, Hyundai Verna, Volkswagen Vento, Ford Fiesta and such.
Ciaz would receive 1.3 liter Multijet diesel engine and 1.4 liter K-Series petrol engine, currently doing duty in Maruti Ertiga. A pile of features is expected to be offered on board the Ciaz, enough to make customers of this segment to turn their heads and take a look. Would include keyless entry, push button start, leather seat upholstery, 16 inch alloy wheels, 6 Airbags, ABS with EBD, reverse camera, touch screen infotainment system, voice command, mapping and navigation facility and the like.
Dimensions of new Ciaz sedan will be 4545 x 1730 x 1475 mm (LxWxH), which is longer than Honda City, is expected to offer best in class rear seating comfort. This should be the USP of Ciaz along with premium interiors, which seems to be current preference of Indian customers opting to purchase a sedan in C-segment. Production ready version of Maruti Ciaz was spied recently, take a look here.
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Hyundai Verna facelift – Just last month, Hyundai launched facelift version of Solaris in Russia, which is actually dubbed Verna in India. Considering scenario here after launch of all-new Honda City, Hyundai needs to step up their game to race atleast closer to Japanese segment bestseller, hence Verna facelift would be an ideal move.
To describe upgrades applied to Solaris there, we mention revision of front fascia by way of larger headlamps (reminiscent of 2015 Hyundai Sonata’s), dual chrome strips in place of single slat front grille, redesigned front bumper housing fresh fog lamps, of course there is LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), and wider air dam. Rear facade of Hyundai Verna facelift (2014 Solaris) has undergone limited changes; bumper refreshed to host new reflector lights and blacked out lower lip.
Interiors of 2014 Hyundai Verna (Solaris) sports same design as in previous model. Engine options also remain same – 1.4 litre and 1.6 litre petrol units, similar to those we have here. While new 6 speed auto transmission box is mated to 1.6 litre petrol motor in Russian market, in addition to usual 5 speed manual setup, in India, 4 speed auto would be offered along with same 5 speed MT. Expect launch by end of 2014. Read more about upcoming Hyundai Verna here.
Volkswagen Vento & Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDI – As new VW Polo is launched with new 1.5 litre TDI diesel engine, and Volkswagen Vento & Skoda Rapid were caught doing tests with the new motor, it is obvious that these sedans will soon be launched, with changes in cosmetics as well. Expect one after the other to come out by November 2014.
Vento & Rapid would not be getting the lower tune of 90 PS via 1.5 TDI, only higher spec 105 PS version that will soon be seen in 2014 Volkswagen Polo GT TDI in August will be used. Volkswagen Vento was also caught testing new version in LHD (Left Hand Drive) configuration, for export markets.
While Volkswagen Vento manages to stay afloat, its Skoda Rapid that is affected in the race. Sudhir Rao, Managing Director of Skoda India, has indicated that new Rapid will host a variety of brush up favourable to Indian customers. In addition, news has also come to light that 2014 Rapid will get 7-speed Tiptronic Dual Clutch DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox), seen aboard the VW Vento TSI. More about the duo here.