Ready reckoner: Car launches in the past four weeks

Over the past four weeks, there have been five important launches namely, the Hyundai Eon and Maruti Suzuki Alto Xplore limited edition in the small car segment, the Mahindra Verito executive edition in the sedan segment, Premier Rio and Ford Endeavour limited edition in the SUV segment. Here’s a ready reckoner of what these new cars have to offer buyers.

Ford Endeavour Hurricane: October 19th, 2011

ford endeavour hurricane limited edition photo
Photo: The Ford Endeavour Hurricane is a purely cosmetic upgrade

Variant and price details: The Ford Endeavour Hurricane is offered only in one variant: the 4×4 automatic variant and is priced at Rs. 20.14 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The top-trim variant of the Endeavour, the 3.0 litre 4×4 AT comes at a price of Rs. 19.70 lakh and the Limited Edition variant costs almost Rs. 44,000 more than it.

For that price, a buyer could easily install a nudge bar of his or her choice, a rear mirror and even the chrome tip on the exhaust. The touch screen music system too is nothing new and is already available on the regular top end Endeavour. So Ford’s limited edition Endeavour has nothing to justify the price difference and the regular top end Endeavour is still a better bet.

Looks: The Endeavour Hurricane gets a front nudge bar, decals, rear convex mirror, chrome exhaust tip as additional features on the exterior. All other features are same as the regular 4×4 variant.

Performance: The Endeavour Hurricane is powered by a 3-litre TDCi diesel motor with VGT (Variable Geometry Turbo) that makes 154 bhp of power and 380 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed automatic transmission which is a boon in city driving conditions. On the highway, the engine offers decent midrange punch for cruising without breaking a sweat. However, outright performance is average and it is not as drivable as the Toyota Fortuner.

Comfort and Convenience: The Endeavour Hurricane has all the comfort and convenience features that the regular model has this includes dual A/C, independent control for rear AC, personalized AC Vents for the 2nd and 3rd row of seats, tilt adjustable steering.

You also get power windows (one touchdown for driver), electric adjustable outside mirrors, rear wash/wipe, rear defogger, height adjustable driver & co-driver seat belts, front center arm-rest with storage bin, large glove box with illumination, remote fuel cap release, removable ash tray and clutch foot rest. Read more: Ford Endeavour Hurricane

Premier Rio petrol version: October 18th, 2011

premier rio petrol photo
Photo: The Premier Rio is a compact SUV that costs only as much as most premium hatchbacks do

Variant and price details: The Premier Rio petrol is available in four variants namely: GX with grey interior, GLX with grey interior, GX with beige interior and GLX with beige interior. The prices of the variants are as follows: Rs. 4.90 lakh for the GX (Grey interior), Rs. 5.36 lakh for the GLX (Grey interior), Rs. 5.24 lakh for the GX ( Beige interior), and Rs. 5.79 lakh for the GLX (Beige interior). All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi. The prices of the Rio are at par with some premium hatchbacks available in the market today.

Looks: The Rio is based on the Chinese SUV called Zotye. In profile, the Rio is narrow and tall, but in length it measures less than four meters 9in order to enjoy excise duty sops for small cars). At the rear, the Rio gets typical a SUV treatment, with tall tail-lamps beside the rear windscreen and a tail-gate mounted spare tyre.

Performance: The Rio petrol is powered by a 1,173 cc motor that makes 75.5 bhp of power and 103.9 Nm of torque. The Rio is not built for hardcore half roading and nor does its petrol engine put out raw power to make driving on expressways fun. However, the Rio is good for city commutes, occasional highway trips and mild off roading.

Driving Aids: The Rio is equipped with day-night inside rear view mirror, headlamp leveling device, internally adjustable ORVM, rear wiper + washer, rear window demister, rear fog lamp, tachometer and reverse gear indicator on instrument cluster.

Safety features: The top-end Rio petrol gets safety features such as ABS with EBD, 3-point ELR with pretensioners front seat belts, rear seat belts, high mounted stop lamp, rear doors child lock, keyless entry, side impact beams, energy absorb type steering column and brake assist. Read more: Rio petrol launched

Maruti Suzuki Alto Xplore: October 18th 2011

maruti alto xplore photo
Photo: The Alto Xplore gets some minor but welcome upgrades in the looks department

Variant and price details: Maruti Suzuki has launched the limited edition of its Alto – the Alto Xplore. The Xplore is available in two variants, priced at Rs. 2.81 lakh for the Alto Lxi and Rs. 3.17 lakh for the Alto K10 Vxi. The additional features in the limited edition are worth Rs. 30,000 as per our estimates. But since, Maruti Suzuki offers them for Rs. 25,000, it’s a good deal.

Looks: The limited edition Alto Xplore is equipped with special features such as leather seats, body colored bumpers, body colored rear view mirrors, body colored door handles, body graphics and sporty rear spoiler, stylish door sill guard, mud flap set and universal carpet mat.

Performance: The Alto Xplore is powered by the tried and tested 3-cylinder 0.8-litre engine that produces 47 bhp of maximum power and 62 Nm of maximum torque. The performance of Alto Xplore is just adequate for daily city commuting but it returns a consistent fuel economy.

Comfort and Convenience: The Alto Xplore gets a double DIN stereo, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, power windows and a car perfume. Remaining features of the Xplore are same as the regular Alto. Read more: Alto Xplore limited edition launched

Hyundai Eon: October 13th 2011

hyundai eon launch day photo
Photo: Hyundai Eon is priced well enough to tempt buyers of both Alto and Alto K10

Variant and price details: Hyundai has launched its smallest and cheapest car in India – the Hyundai Eon to take on the segment leader, the Maruti Suzuki Alto. The Eon is available in six variants namely D-Lite, D-Lite AC, Era, Magna, Magna (O) and Sports, and is priced between Rs. 2.69 lakh and Rs. 3.71 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).

The base variants of the Eon are priced at around Rs. 30,000 more than the Alto and Alto K10 variants, while the top-end variant of Eon enters into the territory of Maruti Suzuki Wagon-R and the Estilo.

Looks: The Eon’s attractive fluidic design with its large headlamps, wide hexagonal grille and aerodynamic front bumper catches the attention of onlookers. The side profile of the Eon resembles the Hyundai i10 while the rear has a unique high mounted tail lamp cluster.

Performance: The Eon is powered by a three-cylinder, 814 cc, petrol engine that puts out 55 bhp of power and 75 Nm of torque. This is mated to a five-speed manual transmission, which is slightly notchy and has a rubbery feel to it. The Eon can accelerate to 60 kmph in under 8 seconds and can reach three digits speeds (less than 120 kmph) with ease though the engine feels strained at such speeds.

Comfort and Convenience: The Eon comes with host of convenience features such as gear shift indicator, remote fuel lid opener, remote tail gate release, AC, tilt steering, internally adjustable ORVM, front power windows, front door full size armrest, digital clock, 2-DIN radio/CD/MP3 audio system with front door speakers (2), aux-in port and USB port. Read more: Hyundai Eon launched

Mahindra Verito Executive: October 10th, 2011

new mahindra verito executive photo
Photo: Mahindra has made a desperate attempt to improve the Verito's looks using minor tweaks

Variants and price details: Mahindra has launched a special edition of its entry level sedan the Verito. The special edition has been dubbed the Executive Edition and comes at a price of Rs. 7, 09,034 lakh (Ex-showroom, Delhi). The Verito Executive Edition is available only in one trim, the top-end diesel, D6. The Verito Executive Edition costs Rs. 37,226 more than the regular Verito D6 (Rs. 6, 71, 808) but we feel it is worth it’s price considering the additional features Mahindra offers in this special edition.

Looks: The Verito executive edition comes with a host of elements that enhance its looks. This includes ten spoke alloy wheels, blue vision headlamps, a pinstripe decal, body cladding and an ‘executive’ badge on the car’s exterior. The Verito Executive Edition is available in two exclusive body colors, Pearl White and Walnut Brown.

Performance: The Verito diesel is powered by 1.5-litre dCI engine churning out 65 bhp of power and 160 Nm of torque. The Verito diesel has adequate mid range punch to take on overtaking maneuvers in highways easily. However, outright performance is average but Verito returns consistent fuel economy in return, which appeals to running cost conscious buyers.

Comfort and convenience: The Verito executive edition comes with MP3/CD music system with USB port and four speakers. The special edition comes loaded with special features such as leather upholstery, Vinyl door trims, Silver finish louvers, garnish & bezels. Read more: Verito Executive edition