First Drive

  • 2014 Honda City diesel review: Promises to be another bestseller January 9, 2014

    Honda has finally launched the much awaited City in India, and this shows how important the C sedan is for the Indian market. After all, the City has been Honda India's bestselling nameplate. In the last few years, the car lost out to a few rivals since it lacked a...
  • First drive: 2013 BMW 730Ld in India April 28, 2013

    Every single day auto makers thrive hard to make the automobile more efficient and powerful. And to differentiate their offerings in a crowded market place, car makers also come up with a host of new comfort features. BMW is one such auto maker that continues to add more features and...
  • First drive: Tata Safari Storme January 6, 2013

    It's taken Tata Motors 14 years to give the legendary Safari a new lease of life. So you would expect something truly amazing to happen after such a long gestation period, a cocoon to butterfly metamorphosis type event. If you look closely at the European automotive manufacturers most of their...
  • First drive: Honda Brio-based sedan 'Amaze' November 19, 2012

    Honda has been quiet for a while but the Japanese giant is far from sleeping. 2013 promises to be a milestone year for the brand in India and the story begins with this, the Honda Amaze. The Amaze is popularly being called the Brio sedan and that is what it...
  • First drive: 2012 Honda Brio automatic October 8, 2012

    When there was news about a newer variant of the Brio being launched, everybody got up hoping it's going to be a diesel variant. It's not the diesel though but an automatic transmission version. Honda has however confirmed that there will be a diesel car in its line-up by next...
  • First drive: 2012 Mahindra Quanto October 7, 2012

    At the launch Mahindra showcased the Quanto as an SUV to getaway on weekends with, laying emphasis on getting out into the open and having fun. We had the opportunity to drive the Quanto for a weekend and first impressions were a mixed bag. To look at, the Quanto is very...
  • First drive: 2012 Maruti Alto 800 September 30, 2012

    Ten years is a long time for a car to be the top seller. Ten years is also a long time for a car to not get any serious updates. So I don't even have to tell you how badly the Alto needed an update seeing how it has been...
  • 2012 Renault Scala in India first drive August 26, 2012

    Renault India had promised that they would deliver five cars to the Indian customers by the end of this year and with the Scala that number is now complete. Scala, which means ladder, is being marketed by Renault with the tag line of step up. So does it have the...
  • Curiosity rover aces first test drive on Mars August 23, 2012

    Cape Canaveral: NASA's Mars rover Curiosity took a 16-minute drive on Wednesday, its first since reaching the Red Planet to search for habitats that could have supported microbial life. The $2.5-billion, two-year mission, NASA's first astrobiology initiative since the 1970s-era Viking probes, kicked off on August 6, with a risky, but...
  • 2012 Toyota Camry in India first drive August 12, 2012

    Toyota's flagship sedan and one of the largest selling cars in the world, the Camry, will sport a new avatar soon. We drove this car in Bangalore recently and while nothing much has changed there are a few new qualities that make it endearing. The most significant of those changes is...
  • 2012 Mercedes B-Class in India first drive July 19, 2012

    Think of a Mercedes-Benz in India and the first things that come to mind are long sedans, convertibles, SUVs and even a van or two. Despite having a sizeable number of cars in its portfolio, the marque is falling behind its German rivals. Internationally, Merc competed with BMW and Audi...
  • Renault Duster first drive June 27, 2012

    Renault India is now ready to launch their first genuine volume product, the Duster SUV in India. Driving it in India, it came home to me just how much the car has changed in the last two years since Bert and I drove it across Europe. As I wrote then,...
  • 2012 Bentley Continental V8 first drive June 17, 2012

    Europe is clearly going through a financial crisis, America is changing its decadent ways by being more frugal but Asia is one of the last regions where fortunes can still be made. It's the new mantra for most car manufacturers, especially those in the luxury segment where the total volume...
  • 2012 Audi Q7 V12 TDI first drive June 3, 2012

    2011 threw up an unexpected googly when environment minister Jairam Ramesh threw a tantrum over diesel SUVs. In his opinion they were gas guzzling, pollution spewing behemoths whose owners should be taxed heavily. Matters reached a head last month as I was boarding a flight to Munich. The diesel subsidies...
  • 2012 Fiat Panda first drive May 6, 2012

    Is the new Fiat Panda destined for India? Officially, there are no plans to make or sell it outside Europe but it looks entirely suitable for our market and an ideal successor to the now-discontinued Palio. Examine the size and specification: a tall, five-door, five-seater 365cm long, it is about...
  • 2012 Premier Rio first drive March 20, 2012

    Compact SUVs were one of the highlights of the 2012 Auto Expo. While Ford unveiled its compact global SUV, the EcoSport, Maruti showcased its XA Alpha concept, and then there were the compact MPVs. This is a new niche in which manufacturers are now sensing serious potential, but guess which...
  • 2012 Mitsubishi Pajero Sport first drive February 18, 2012

    Goes without saying that Toyota caught everybody napping when they launched the Fortuner, none more so than HM-Mitusbishi. Not that the Fortuner came out of the blue; it was hardly a secret that the SUV was India bound, that it took so long was what raised an eyebrow. And the...
  • 2012 Mercedes-Benz B-Class first drive December 30, 2011

    The first small front-wheel drive Mercedes was a disappointment. And an expensive embarrassment for its maker. I was there when, in 1997, the upright A-class failed the 'elk test', a tight lane-change manoeuvre where it came close to turning over. Mercedes withdrew the car from sale, modified its suspension and...