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 Briobased 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 16minute drive on Wednesday, its first since reaching the Red Planet to search for habitats that could have supported microbial life. The $2.5billion, twoyear mission, NASA's first astrobiology initiative since the 1970sera 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 BClass in India first drive July 19, 2012

    Think of a MercedesBenz 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 nowdiscontinued Palio. Examine the size and specification: a tall, fivedoor, fiveseater 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 HMMitusbishi. 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...
  • First drive: 2012 Mercedes ML350CDI 4Matic January 23, 2012

    Hochgurgl sounds more like a throat rinse but the small ski resort north of Innsbruck isn't a place you'd rinse out of your system easily. Perched on my balcony at the Top Hotel overlooking the amazing landscape I can't help but admire how Europeans make every effort to improve their...
  • First drive: Tata Sumo Gold January 19, 2012

    My first memory of the Sumo is of a massive vehicle barrelling towards my dad's car while waiting at a red light. I remember it coming to a halt next to our car and sort of going into a nosedive. In my childhood ignorance, oblivious to the benefits of hard...
  • First drive: 2012 Maruti Swift Dzire January 17, 2012

    Maruti revealed the new Swift Dzire at the Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida. And the new car is a looker compared to the outgoing model which was rather frumpy. A new front bumper with a wider smile, shorter boot (just 145mm longer than the Swift) and new tail lamps...
  • 2012 MercedesBenz BClass first drive December 30, 2011

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