The year 2018 started off well for the Indian car industry – right from the Auto Expo to the line up of cars that we have for next month, i.e, April. The market will witness five new models rolling out into their respective showrooms and three of these were showcased at the Expo. Let’s start with the Toyota Yaris first.
The Yaris will be launched in the C segment which means it will lock horns with the Honda City, Maruti Ciaz and the new Hyundai Verna. The car will only be launched with a petrol engine which means diesel lovers or those with high monthly usage will be disappointed. The engine is a 1.5 unit that makes 108 PS of power and 140 Nm of torque. The Yaris will get a choice of a 6-speed manual or a 7 step CVT automatic transmission. This new Toyota seems impressive in its design as well as features like electrically adjustable driver’s seat, gesture sensing touchscreen infotainment system, ambient lighting, roof-mounted rear AC vents, a tyre pressure monitoring system and 7 airbags. Plus it will offer Toyota’s long term peaceful ownership experience.
Next is the all-new Honda Amaze. This sub 4 meter compact sedan created waves when it was launched way back in April 2013. It still has the most comfortable back seat in the business and we love the punchy 99 bhp diesel engine. The new version is literally all-new : in the way it looks, with design hints from bigger Hondas lending it a premium feel. The interiors are heavily revised and get a black-beige theme with a large touch screen infotainment system taking center stage. We are also told the new Amaze rides better too and the 1.2 petrol will continue to get an auto option. The big news is the introduction of a CVT auto transmission with the diesel motor – a segment first offering from Honda.
BMW will launch the face-lifted version of the X3 on 19th April. This model was first launched worldwide in 2003 and since then over 1.5 m copies have been sold across the world. The new X3 gets a larger grille, bigger bumper with larger air dams and features full led treatment – for the hexagonal fog lamps, headlights and even the tail lamps. Wheel size is also bigger and we love the new found design. The longer wheelbase has also liberated more room for the passengers on the inside. Powering the new X3 will be two diesel engine options – the xdrive20d will get a 188 bhp unit while the more powerful xdrive30d will get a 262 bhp motor. Both these will be paired to a 8 speed step-tronic auto transmission. The new X3 will lock horns with the Mercedes Benz GLC and the Audi Q5 with prices starting at approx 50 lakh rupees.
Ford will make its entry into the world of rugged crossover hatchbacks with the Figo based freestyle. With all round body cladding, pseudo skid plates, larger wheels, a wider track and even higher ground clearance, the Freestyle could be the perfect value pick between a regular hatchback and the sub 4 m compact SUVs. Interiors are a lift off from the Figo hatchback with minimal changes and a new 6.5 inch infotainment system with Ford’s sync 3 tech and compatibility for and auto and apple car play. Powering the Freestyle will be a choice of 2 engine options – the diesel is the same 1.5 unit that powers the Aspire, Ecosport and Figo. The petrol is the all-new 1.2 litre Dragon series engine that makes 10% more power and 7 higher torque. An auto with the petrol engine will be offered later as well.
And finally the new Mahindra XUV500. This will be the second significant update to the XUV since its launch in 2011. The new version has updated front and rear design – as you can see , the front grille is larger now and gets oodles of chrome treatment. The headlamps are also altered. At the back, the new tail lamps give it a more MPVish look – gone are the original long vertical lights. The interiors are not officially revealed but we expect changes in the color theme and additional equipment. The new XUV might also get a revised engine with increased output. Expect prices to remain more or less.
Here’s a quick video of these upcoming cars