Mercedes Benz GLA – With rapidly growing demand for crossovers in India, every car manufacturer operating in India has been planning to throw their card on the table hoping for better game. One such already successful carmaker took a little time, but came out with a bang in the entry level luxury premium crossover segment enjoyed by Audi Q3 and BMW X1, that is until 30th September 2014.
Mercedes Benz GLA was sailed into the sub-continent as CBU to rival the aforementioned. Since others are made from CKD kits, GLA Crossover turned out to be a much pricier contender, starting at Rs. 32.75 lakhs. But given the company’s position as a super premium brand in India, the extra buck didn’t come in the way of fiery booking and sales.
Mercedes Benz GLA, which got nominated for World Car of the Year 2015, is offered in three variants in India – GLA 200 CDI Style at Rs. 32.75 lakhs, GLA 200 Sport (Petrol) at Rs. 36 lakhs and GLA 200 CDI Sport at Rs. 36.90 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). Next year as Mercedes Benz finishes the plant expansion, all MFA platform cars except AMG variants would be assembled locally. But that does not warrant price drop of Mercedes GLA SUV, given Audi and BMW didn’t cut prices of Q3 and X1 when they started putting together CKD kits of the same.
But, Audi did launch Q3 S as new entry-level variant, with minimal features and lower sticker price. Expect such a move from Mercedes Benz India next year, as the current variants are loaded with cool features. Also, Mercedes is expected to launch AWD version of GLA in India in 2015.
Audi A3 – While Mercedes Benz celebrated launching an entry-level SUV in India, Audi flaunted introducing their most affordable model here, the A3 sedan. At starting price of Rs. 22.95 lakhs, Audi India didn’t just steal the day (7th August 2014), they probably yanked several from then, making people stand in line to book the chic looking sedan. Audi A3 recorded over 1,000 sales in three months, which played a good role in helping the car maker cross 10,000 units sales milestone in India, again.
Offered in five variants, including four diesel and one petrol, Audi A3 even made some people step down from A4 for better price-to-features factor in the smaller. The variants are Audi A3 Attraction 2.0 (35 TDI) at Rs. 22.95 lakhs, Audi A3 Premium 2.0 (35 TDI) at Rs. 25.95 lakhs, Audi A3 Premium Plus 2.0 (35 TDI) at Rs. 29.95 lakhs, Audi A3 Technology 2.0 (35 TDI) at Rs. 32.66 lakhs and Audi A3 Premium Plus 1.8 (40 TFSI) at Rs. 28.95 lakhs. Not just from A4, Audi A3 attracts buyers who are about to spend the same kind of money for a luxury premium hatchback that offers much less space, in cabin as well as boot.
New gen Mahindra Scorpio – Although it was just a facelift operation, persistent marketing and persuasive new appeal stuck the new generation tag for prefix of the Indian cinema villains’ go-to SUV, Mahindra Scorpio.
Launched on 25th September 2014 at starting price of Rs. 7.98 lakhs, new Mahindra Scorpio facelift is offered in five variants all the way up to Rs. 11.46 lakhs (ex-showroom Mumbai). Variants include Scorpio S2 at Rs. 7.98 lakhs, Scorpio S4 at Rs. 8.60 lakhs, Scorpio S6 at Rs. 9.77 lakhs, Scorpio S8 at Rs. 10.84 lakhs and Scorpio S10 at Rs. 11.46 lakhs.
New Mahindra Scorpio gets same old engines mated to manual transmission boxes sending power to rear or all wheels depending on variant. Whats totally new is the killer looks and features. Checkout first drive review to know about the new Scorpio in detail. Those who would prefer an automatic variant of new Mahindra Scorpio, next year they may see.
2014 Honda City – After a short void in end of 2013, Honda Cars India launched all-new City, which is the fourth generation model. Available for the first time in India with a diesel engine, Honda offers five variants of City diesel and seven trims of petrol. Price starts at Rs. 7.42 lakhs and goes all the way up to Rs. 11.10 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi). Honda managed to squeeze in another surprise, with claimed mileage of 26 kmpl in diesel variant topping any other car’s in the country, when it was launched. That’s not the only contributing factor to the claim that Honda CIty is the best sedan in its class, there are several others, in the review.
Honda City was selling over 7,000 units until new rival Maruti Ciaz came along. Not to worry, the honey moon period of Ciaz is kind of over and the City is back to selling the same amount, from around 5,000 unit sales when Ciaz was launched.
Here is ex-showroom Delhi price list of 2014 Honda City:
City VX MT diesel Rs 11.10 lakhs
City V MT diesel Rs 10.16 lakhs
City SV MT diesel Rs 9.66 lakhs
City S MT diesel Rs 9.24 lakhs
City E MT diesel Rs 8.62 lakhs
City VX CVT petrol Rs 10.98 lakhs
City SV CVT petrol Rs 9.49 lakhs
City VX MT petrol Rs 9.93 lakhs
City SV CVT petrol Rs 9.49 lakhs
City V MT petrol Rs 8.99 lakhs
City SV MT petrol Rs 8.49 lakhs
City S MT petrol Rs 8.04 lakhs
City E MT petrol Rs 7.42 lakhs
Maruti Ciaz – Much, too much was expected from Maruti Ciaz as it replaced the dull SX4 sedan and promised to be a new face for Maruti Suzuki; and it did not fail to impress. In just three days into launch, Maruti Ciaz registered 3,000 bookings and the order books continued to be filled at a great pace.
There are many reasons why Ciaz was an instant hit. For starters, it has the looks of a pricier car, stretches so long to make its presence felt so hard, wears a lot of chrome jewellery to stay in trend and comes equipped with cool contemporary features which are not seen in other cars in the price range.
Like all these weren’t enough, Maruti Suzuki’s bread and butter buyer community, who’s slogan is ‘woh kitna deti hai’, were struck real hard with ARAI mileage claim of 26.21 kmpl, that tops all other car in the nation, especially its rival Honda City by a margin.
But upon closer inspection, the car is found to be overrated, which is explained in the review. To back it, sales has fallen from sky high in a short while and now stands behind Honda City at over 5,000 units per month (which is not bad at all in Ciaz’s defense).
Next month, January 2015, a missing variant, Maruti Ciaz Z+ will be launched, and possibly another model with extra body kits could follow.
Here is ex-showroom Delhi price list of Maruti Ciaz sedan:
Ciaz V – Rs. 6.99 lakhs
Ciaz V+ – Rs. 7.55 lakhs
Ciaz Z – Rs. 8.24 lakhs
Ciaz Z+ – Rs. 8.59 lakhs
Ciaz V+AT – Rs. 8.65 lakhs
Ciaz Z AT – Rs. 9.34 lakhs
Ciaz V – Rs. 8.04 lakhs
Ciaz V+ – Rs. 8.63 lakhs
Ciaz Z – Rs. 9.45 lakhs
Ciaz Z+ – Rs. 9.80 lakhs
Honda Mobilio – Just as the MPV segment was gaining higher and higher momentum, Honda launched all-new Mobilio MPV adding more petrol and diesel into the fire. Positioned as a premium product, it rivals Maruti Ertiga as well as the higher up Toyota Innova, among other small players like Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia, Mahindra Xylo and Ashok Leyland Stile.
Built on Brio / Amaze platform, Honda Mobilio uses Honda City’s engines to be powerful enough to carry 7 seat full and offer an energetic ride. Although Honda Mobilio is an MPV by body type, its dynamics and capabilities guarantee enthusiastic driving experience, while allowing a couple of friends to sit at the back to show off to.
In almost all aspects, Honda Mobilio beats Maruti Ertiga, but a few niggling issues totally unexpected in a Honda machine has destabilised its expectation and impression, causing Ertiga to be preferred over this by many. Reasons are still noise diesel engine, mundane looking dashboard and too thin seats that does not provide the kind of comfort Honda fans are accustomed to. Hence the extra cash for Honda Mobilio is deemed worthy only by those who appreciate the styling and engine performance.
Here is ex-showroom Delhi price list of Honda Mobilio MPV:
Honda Mobilio Petrol
E – Rs. 6.49 lakhs
S – Rs. 7.51 lakhs
V – Rs. 8.78 lakhs
Honda Mobilio Diesel
E – Rs. 7.89 lakhs
S – Rs. 8.60 lakhs
V – Rs. 9.60 lakhs
RS – Rs. 10.86 lakhs
Here is a quick spec comparison of Honda Mobilio vs Maruti Ertiga, Toyota Innova, Nissan Evalia and Chevrolet Enjoy