This Canadian province bans all cars equipped with Level 3 ADAS. Here’s why

  • British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS in the province, directly impacting the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS.
British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS in the province, directly impacting the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-Benz EQS.

At a time when the global automobile industry is thriving towards adopting ADAS in an increasingly wide range of cars, the Canadian province of British Columbia has banned all cars with Level 3 ADAS. The province has recently updated its Motor Vehicle Act, prohibiting the use of vehicles with the Level 3 systems, which comes as a major clampdown on using such systems. The updated law makes it illegal to merely drive any Level 3 driving assist-equipped vehicle, even if the technology is not used.

The British Columbia government introduced the new rule on 18th March and enforced it into effect on 15th April. With this rule, driving a car in the province that comes equipped with Level 3 or above becomes illegal. However, currently, there are only two cars that come with Level 3 ADAS, which include the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class and Mercedes-BVenz EQS. This technology allows the drivers to go hands-off and eyes-off at a speed of less than 64 kmph.

This means if a person owns the new Mercedes-Benz S-Class or the Mercedes-Benz EQS, he or she will have to think twice before visiting the province. If caught, the person will be fined with a hefty amount ranging between CAD 368 and CAD 2,000 or even six months in jail as well.

Interestingly, while the British Columbia government has banned the cars equipped with Level 3 ADAS, future use of the technology is not ruled out. In a statement, the government has stated that new and emerging transportation technology needs further testing and policy adjustments before widespread use. The government also said that these new regulations will keep people safer on the roads and encourage even more use of active transportation, which is another step in modernizing the rules to keep up with new technologies that are changing how people are getting around.

First Published Date: 16 Apr 2024, 07:14 AM IST


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Toyota Innova Hycross adds new petrol variant. Check what’s new

Toyota has expanded its Innova Hycross lineup with the introduction of a new petrol variant, the GX (O). This new variant offers several upgrades over

The Innova HyCross GX(O) sits on top of the GX variant. The new variant, offered in only petrol guise gets several improvements

Toyota Kirloskar Motor, the Indian arm of the Japanese carmaker, has added the GX (O) variant to its Innova Hycross lineup. The eight-seater variant is priced at 20.99 lakhs, while the seven-seater variant is priced at 21.13 lakhs. Bookings for the new variant are now open, with deliveries set to commence from April 15, 2024.

The GX (O) variant offers several upgrades over the GX trim, including a larger 10.1-inch infotainment system, wireless Apple CarPlay, automatic climate control, front parking sensors, a 360-degree surround camera, rear sunshade, rear defogger, dual-tone interior with a soft-touch dashboard, and LED fog lamps.

Inside, the variant gets dark chestnut quilted leather seats, soft-touch leather, and metallic decorations. Exterior features include 16-inch alloy wheels, a roof-end spoiler with LED stop lamp, and ORVMs with auto fold, electric adjust, and turn indicators.

In terms of safety, the GX (O) variant is equipped with an electric parking brake with auto-hold, all-wheel disc brakes, six SRS airbags, and ISOFIX anchors.

Sabari Manohar – Vice President, Sales-Service-Used Car Business, Toyota Kirloskar Motor, stated that the new variant with top-class performance along with 10 features is aimed to cater the customers seeking a fully loaded petrol version to meet their evolving lifestyle needs.

The Toyota Innova HyCross GX (O) is powered by a 2.0 L TNGA Gasoline Engine, producing 172 bhp and 205 Nm of torque. It comes with a Direct Shift CVT with a launch gear mechanism and a 10-speed sequential shift, offering a fuel economy of 16.13 kmpl.

Also Read : Twin sales record by Toyota in India; Fortuner, Innova remain hot favourites

Launched in November 2022, Toyota claims that it has sold over 50,000 units of the Innova HyCross till date. Recently, the company reopned the bookings for the top spec strong hybrid models, ZX and ZX(O).

The official website of the Japanese auto giant shows that the top variant is now up for booking at a price of 30.98 lakh (ex-showroom). Price of all other variants have also been hiked after Toyota announced increase of prices by about one per cent from April 2024 onwards.

First Published Date: 15 Apr 2024, 15:42 PM IST


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KTM 390 Duke price, Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 warranty


In addition to the 5-year warranty, a 1-year RSA is also offered on all KTM and Husqvarna models.

KTM India has announced that it is now offering a five-year warranty on all KTM and Husqvarna motorcycles purchased from April 1, 2024 onwards. The company previously offered a two-year warranty as standard. All motorcycles now get the standard two-year warranty, along with an additional three-year warranty, for no additional cost. Apart from the extended warranty, KTM and Husqvarna are also offering customers a free one-year RSA (roadside assistance) package. 

  1. Offer valid from April 1, 2024
  2. No duration disclosed for the 5-year warranty 

With the new warranty, customers can enjoy their motorcycle stress-free for five years before worrying about major repair bills, as the warranty covers the replacement of major parts should they be defective. The one-year RSA programme covers 24/7 Roadside Assistance, Bike Towing and other breakdown-related assistance.  

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that KTM and Husqvarna have offered this benefit. In the past, the brands have offered a five-year warranty, but only for a limited time. As there is no end date for this programme mentioned in the company’s official communication, only time will tell whether this will be a new standard feature on all KTM and Husqvarna models. 

Also see: 

2024 KTM 390 Duke review: still the benchmark

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 review: Now a compelling KTM alternative

2024 KTM 250 Duke review: 31hp never felt this good




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Next-gen Maruti Suzuki Swift India launch next month, to get new Z-Series engine

The fourth-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift is ready to hit the Indian market in May 2024 with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Ser

The fourth-generation Maruti Suzuki Swift is ready to hit the Indian market in May 2024 with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Series three-cylinder petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology.

Maruti Suzuki Swift has been making headlines over the last few months. The popular hatchback is all set to receive a completely new generation avatar in May this year, which will come with a revamped design, new features and a new 1.2-litre Z-Series three-cylinder petrol engine with mild-hybrid technology. This is going to be a major update for the Swift after a long time and is expected to boost the appeal of the hatchback further.

The new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift made its global debut at the 2023 Japan Mobility Show. Since then, the hatchback has gone on sale in global markets like Europe and Japan. Now, India is going to be added to that list. The India-spec next-generation Swift would be similar to the global model. However, the new generation Swift sits on the same platform as the current model.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Exterior

The new Maruti Suzuki Swift, also codenamed YED, comes with a significantly distinctive visual appearance compared to the outgoing model. It gets a new front profile featuring an updated radiator grille flanked by sharper and redesigned LED projector headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights. The top variant would get LED fog lamps. The bumper too looks different. Moving to the side profile, the hatchback gets new design alloy wheels, and relocated rear passenger door handles. At the back, the new Swift sports redesigned LED taillights and a revamped bumper. The new Swift is expected to come available in new colour options.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Interior

Moving inside the cabin, the Swift gets a significantly updated dashboard layout sporting a free-standing touchscreen infotainment system and a fully digital instrument cluster. Seat and upholstery materials too come refreshed.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Safety

On the safety front, the new Swift would come with six airbags, ABS with EBD and ESP as standard, a three-point seatbelt for the second-row centre passenger, reverse parking camera. The India-spec Swift may miss out on the 360-degree camera and ADAS that are available in the global model.

2024 Maruti Suzuki Swift: Powertrain

The new generation Maruti Suzuki Swift gets a new Z-Series 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine, which replaces the current model’s K12 four-cylinder petrol unit. Expect the power and torque output of the new engine to be similar to what the K12 unit generates. The current engine churns out 89 bhp peak power and 113 Nm maximum torque. Expect a five-speed manual unit and AMT option to be available for the new Swift. The biggest highlight would be the mild-hybrid technology that would be available across all the variants.

First Published Date: 15 Apr 2024, 07:54 AM IST


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Maruti Swift, New Swift launch on May 9, 2024 in India, fresh details


We tell you what all will be new and different on the India-bound all-new Maruti Swift.

The new Maruti Swift will go on sale in India on May 9, 2024, Autocar India can confirm. The all-new Swift will be one of the major launches for Maruti this year and will be followed by the market introduction of the all-new Dzire compact sedan later this year.  The new Maruti Swift (Codename: YED) gets fresh yet familiar looks, new interior and features and all-new petrol powerplant.

  • New Swift sits on the same platform as its predecessor
  • Fresh Z-series 1.2-liter petrol engine to debut on the Swift
  • More features and safety tech incoming

New Maruti Swift: India-spec details

The all-new Swift was shown internationally last year and since then, there have been sightings of various test-mules in India as well.  The India-bound Swift, will look more or less similar to the one sold abroad but there will be some country specific changes. 

Sources tell us that the India-spec Maruti Swift will get slightly different looking front and rear bumpers however the changes will be minimal like the number plate housing will be bigger and there will be no contrast black elements seen. All-in-all, the new Swift for India will still closely look like the ones on the car sold overseas. The alloy wheel design is also similar but not exactly the same as the international car and mid-variants will have a unique design.  The C-pillar on the India-bound Swift will also be all-black, similar to the Hyundai i20. The reverse camera however is placed on the boot lid and not on the rear bumper and the car will have full LED lights including LED fog lamps on the top variant.  On the safety front, expect six-airbags, ABS with EBD and ESP to be standard along with three point seat-belt for the second row center passenger.  Sources tell us that the car bound for India will not get a 360-degree camera or ADAS which is seen on the one sold abroad.

New Maruti Swift will debut new 1.2-liter Z-series engine

The K12 four cylinder petrol poweplant will be replaced by the new Z-series 1.2-liter three cylinder engine that made its debut on the Swift in Japan last year.  This engine will get India-specific tweaks with more focus on emissions, efficiency and power output. Speaking of power, we are told the output for the new Z-series equipped Swift will be more or less similar to the outgoing K12 engine that churns out 90hp and 113Nm.  There is no word on transmissions for the new Swift, however we expect Maruti to continue with the five-speed manual and AMT gearbox which will be tailored for Indian conditions.  The new Z-series petrol is expected to come with mild-hybrid tech on all variants.

With new looks, more features and more fuel efficient engine under the hood, Maruti will expect the new Swift to build upon the outgoing car’s legacy in terms of sales numbers and popularity.

Expect more details on the new Swift to trickle out as the launch nears.




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Ducati DesertX Rally bookings open, is more hardcore version of ADV

  • Ducati DesertX Rally uses a 937 cc Testastretta engine. It puts out 108 bhp and 92 Nm.
Ducati DesertX Rally comes with more suspension travel than the standard model

Last year, Ducati revealed the DesertX Rally in the global market. It is basically a more hardcore version of the DesertX adventure tourer which is already on sale in the Indian market at a price of 18.33 lakh ex-showroom. Now, the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer has announced that they have started accepting bookings for the DesertX Rally in India. So, the launch of the new motorcycle is expected to happen soon in the Indian market and it will be more expensive than the standard version.

The DesertX Rally is the first motorcycle from the brand to get a 21-inch front rim and 18-inch rear. This motorcycle has been put through its paces on racetracks and even took on the Erzberg Rodeo 2023. Not to mention, the DesertX Rally is sporting a fresh new livery.

With a beak-like design on the front mudguard and Kayaba suspension providing more travel, this bike is ready for any terrain. The rear wheel travel has been increased by 20 mm, while the front sees a 20 mm bump as well. Plus, the new central-spoked wheels offer better impact absorption than standard alloy wheels.

There is a forged carbon sump guard, machined gear pedals, and rear brake lever, the Rally version only weighs 1 kg more than the standard DesertX. Powering the DesertX Rally is a 937 cc Ducati Testastretta 11° twin-cylinder engine delivering 108 bhp at 9,250 rpm and 92 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm.

Also Read : Ducati Streetfighter V4 and V4 S launched in India

Equipped with six riding modes including Sport, Touring, Urban, Wet, Enduro, and Rally, the DesertX Rally also features Cornering ABS, Ducati Traction Control (DTC), and Ducati Wheelie Control (DWC). The 5-inch colour TFT screen with Ducati Multimedia System allows for seamless smartphone connectivity, offering music control, call management, and optional Turn by Turn navigation.

First Published Date: 13 Apr 2024, 18:30 PM IST


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Jeep Wrangler facelift to be launched in India on April 22

The Jeep Wrangler facelift made its global debut nearly a year ago and the SUV is all set to make its way to the Indian market with a comprehensive up

The 2024 Jeep Wrangler gets subtle restyling in the form of a slimmer grille, new alloys, and more

Jeep India is all set to bring the updated Wrangler off-roader to the market on April 22, 2024. The Jeep Wrangler facelift made its global debut nearly a year ago and the SUV is all set to make its way to the Indian market with a comprehensive upgrade to its design and feature list. Here’s a look at what you can expect.

The Jeep Wrangler facelift will get an all-black with the trademark seven-slat design being slimmer than before. There are new alloy wheels, different wheel sizes and multiple roof options available globally. Jeep India will likely bring the soft top and hard top options to the Indian market.

Also Read : Jeep Compass Night Eagle lands in Indian market at 25.39 Lakh. Check details

2024 Jeep Wrangler
The 2024 Jeep Wrangler gets a new infotainment screen and repositioned AC vents, while most of the other controls remain unchanged

The cabin will also get subtle changes including the revised dashboard layout features a larger 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system and repositioned AC vents, which will be standard on all trims.

The Wrangler facelift will also get Jeep’s latest Uconnect 5 user interface bringing more connected tech to the off-roader. Furthermore, there will be the new Trails Offroad guide with 62 off-road trails incorporated into the system. Other upgrades include the 12-way electrically adjustable front seats, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a semi-digital instrument console, and more.

Power on the Jeep Wrangler facelift for India will come from the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine tuned for 266 bhp and 400 Nm of peak torque, while paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission. The SUV will also get the Jeep Selec-Trac full-time Four-Wheel Drive (4WD) system. There won’t be a diesel engine for the Indian market.

The Wrangler is presently available in two variants – Unlimited and Rubicon – and we expect the same to continue on the facelifted model as well. The current version is priced between 62.65 lakh and 66.65 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively, and expect the new version to command a marginal premium over the same. The Jeep Wrangler will take on the Land Rover Defender in the luxury off-roader segment.

First Published Date: 13 Apr 2024, 14:59 PM IST


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Kusha Kapila buys Mercedes-Benz E Class, costs more than ₹70 lakh

Powering the E-Class are three engines. There is a 2.0-litre petrol engine that puts out 196 bhp and 320 Nm and a 2.0-litre diesel engine that produces 192 bhp and 400 Nm. Then there is the 3.0-litre diesel engine that puts out 285 bhp and 600 Nm. All the engines come mated to a 9-speed automatic transmission.

Mercedes-Benz recently confirmed that it will launch as many as three new electric vehicles for the Indian car market this calendar year. These EVs would be part of 12 launches planned for 2024, three of which have already taken place in the TEV (top-end vehicles) category.

While Mercedes did not reveal which EV models it is bringing this year, the company did once again underline that it is looking at playing a lead role in the battery-powered luxury car segment. At present, the portfolio includes models like EQE, EQS and AMG EQS.

Also Read : Singer Vishal Mishra brings home the Mercedes-Maybach GLS worth 2.96 crore

Besides revealing its plan for electric cars,Mercedes-Benz India also said that in the last quarter that ended in March 2024, the OEM sold 5,412 units in the country, marking a 15 per cent year-on-year (YoY) growth. The last financial year was the best-ever fiscal for Mercedes-Benz India, claimed the automaker. It claims to have sold 18,123 units in the country in FY24, recording a 10 per cent growth over the previous fiscal. Not only that, in March 2024, the luxury car marque registered its highest-ever sales in India. Another interesting fact the automaker revealed is that 25 per cent of its total cars sold in India were its top-end vehicles.

First Published Date: 13 Apr 2024, 12:25 PM IST


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Bajaj Pulsar, N250 update, features, review – Introduction

Updates breathe some fresh life into the Bajaj Pulsar N250.

It’s been two years since Bajaj launched the N250 and the F250, hoping they’d serve as a suitable replacement for the classic Pulsar 220F. Despite being a capable product, the N250 didn’t receive the same level of acceptance as the 220F and the sales figures reflected that sentiment. Well, Bajaj has been listening and decided to update the N250. The asking price has gone up by Rs. 800 over the previous model and here’s everything new over the existing N250.

2024 Bajaj Pulsar N250 Design and features

The design remains unchanged for the most part with subtle changes that only a true “Pulsar maniac” could spot. The big change is the addition of a USD fork which is finished in champagne gold on two of the three colors. There are two new paint options, one red and one white and Bajaj has replaced the eye-catching copper-color on the engine covers with a gunmetal finish.

 

The other big change is that Bajaj has replaced the part analog display with a completely digital LCD unit which is also found on the Pulsar N150 & N160. This unit also supports features like Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation. 

LCD display hard to read in direct sunlight.

 

Additionally, it also allows you to toggle through the different ABS modes and settings but more on that later. My problem with this unit is it isn’t bright enough which makes the dash difficult to read on a sunny day. What makes it more challenging is Bajaj has only provided a single button to toggle through this LCD which doesn’t feel very tactile to use. It also takes a good amount of memorizing to execute each input. Apart from these tweaks, the design remains unchanged and the Pulsar N250 looks largely the same as before.

2024 Bajaj Pulsar N250 Ride and handling

The N250 aims to offer a balance of power, agility, and comfort. Bajaj wanted to create a motorcycle suitable for both daily commuting and occasional spirited rides. In the city, the N250 felt nimble and very comfortably maneuvered around traffic. The front feels a little taut but is still supple over bumps and undulations. I only felt a lack of agility while taking sharp U-turns where you notice that the bike doesn’t have a very tight turning radius. The suspension performed comfortably both in the city and at highway speeds. Bajaj has also increased the overall width of the tyre by 10mm but you’d hardly be able to tell the difference. Instead, it adds more to the N250’s overall aesthetic by adding some visual heft to its stance.  

2024 Bajaj Pulsar N250 Performance 

The motor remains unchanged and so is its performance. Bajaj says the changes have added 2kg to the overall weight but that’s a negligible difference in the real world. The 249cc, single-cylinder motor still produces 24.1hp and 21.5Nm. This motor has sufficient low-end grunt and a healthy midrange but lacks any top-end oomph.

 

The LCD shows a redline of about 12,000rpm even though the N250 doesn’t exceed 9500rpm. Gear shifts were some of the smoothest I’ve experienced in this class and the light clutch made it effortless to use in congestion. Some might complain about the lack of a sixth gear, but the five ratios here feel well spaced out. 

 

Overall performance is good for the price and the N250 is a bang-for-your-buck type of product. However the N250 does lack some of  the drama and engagement I’d want from a sporty 250. This motor will make for a great companion for city commutes and even the occasional short highway run but it;s not the most exciting bike on  your favorite twisty road.

The brakes too perform adequately well but stop short of offering the bite and feedback one would expect from a performance-orientated machine. 

The M button feels squishy to use with gloves on.

 

On the positive side, Bajaj has given the bike switchable traction control which makes it the first 250 to have this feature, including the much more expensive KTM 250 Duke. The N250 always had dual channel ABS as standard, but the system is now switchable by cycling between three modes –  Road, Rain and Offroad. The system intervenes moderately in Road, Rain mode gets more intervention and Offroad allows a certain amount of slide before intervening. Traction Control stays on in Road and Rain and can only be turned off in Offroad mode. While you could argue that these features are overkill with less than 25hp, there’s no doubt that it’s nice to have the additional protection in the background for a rare case.     

2024 Bajaj Pulsar N250 Price, Verdict

The Pulsar N250 was already a good value proposition but the extra features certainly do a lot to dazzle up the bike, although the LCD system left me wanting for more. I didn’t find the LCD usable enough and even found myself missing the handsome semi-digital unit that debuted on the new 250s in 2021. 

 

Overall, As before, this is a very competent motorcycle, but it does things in a bit of a clinical manner and isn’t the most characterful thing out there. On the bright side, you get all this new stuff for a very small bump in price of just Rs. 800. And that makes what was already one of the best value deals in the 250 space even more so now.

Also See:

2024 Bajaj Pulsar N250 video review




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24-race Formula 1 calendar announced for 2025; to kick off with Australian GP

The 2025 F1 season will see the Australia Grand Prix as the season opener instead of Saudi Arabia, which has been the case in recent years since the d

The 2025 Formula 1 season opener will be held at Melbourne’s Albert Park between March 14-16

The FIA and Formula 1 have announced the calendar for the 2025 season, which will see the championship kick off in March next year. The 2025 F1 season will see the Australia Grand Prix as the season opener instead of Saudi Arabia, which has been the championship opener in recent years. The switch has been made owing to the holy month of Ramadan which will take place between March 1-30 next year.

This puts the Middle East venues including Saudi Arabia and Bahrain out of contention to host the early rounds. This takes F1 to the land down under the 2025 campaign set to kick off at Melbourne’s Albert Park between March 14 and 16.

Also Read : US-based Liberty Media announces MotoGP takeover for 4.2 billion Euros

F1 2025 Calendar
The 24-race calendar for 2025 will conclude in Abu Dhabi at the Yas Marina circuit on December 7 (F1)

Speaking about the calendar announcement, Formula 1 CEO and President Stefano Domenicali said, “2025 will be a special year as we celebrate the 75th Anniversary of the FIA Formula One World Championship, and it’s that legacy and experience that allows us to deliver such a strong calendar. Once again, we’ll visit 24 incredible venues around the world, delivering top-class racing, hospitality, and entertainment, which will be enjoyed by millions of fans worldwide. We’re grateful to the FIA, our promoters, host city partners, and all the related ASNs for their commitment and support in delivering this schedule and securing what promises to be another fantastic year for Formula 1.”

Following the Australian GP, the Shanghai GP is scheduled next between March 21 and 23. This will be followed by a two-week gap after which F1 will head to Suzuka for the Japanese GP on April 6. The F1 circus will then head to the Middle East for Bahrain on April 13 and Saudi Arabia on April 20 in back-to-back races. The action will then move to the US with the Miami GP scheduled on May 4.

Formula 1 will then move to Europe for a triple header starting with Italy (May 18), Monaco (May 25), and Spain (June 1). The Canadian GP will be held next on June 15, followed by the Austrian GP on June 29 and British GP on July 6. A doubleheader would next in Belgium (July 27) and Hungary (August 3) before the scheduled summer break.

F1 will return to the track with the Dutch GP on August 31, followed by Monza GP (September 7), Baku GP (September 21), Singapore GP (October 5), Austin GP (October 19) and Mexico GP (October 26).

The last set of races starts with Sao Paulo (November 9), Las Vegas (November 22), and Qatar (November 30), with the finale at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 7, 2025.

First Published Date: 12 Apr 2024, 20:06 PM IST


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Kia Sonet gets My Convenience Plus Package. Here’s what it offers

  • Kia Sonet shares its underpinnings with Hyundai Venue.
Kia Sonet is offered with three engine options. (HT Auto/Kunal Vianayak Thale)

Kia has announced that they will be offering a new program called ‘My Convenience Plus Package’ for the Sonet. Under this program, Sonet owners can get a bundled package of essential services. The package is available for both petrol as well as diesel engines. There is a Premium package for four years which costs 33,596 for diesel and 29,996 for petrol engines. If you get the Luxury package for five years then it would cost 39,995 for a petrol engine and 45,995 for a diesel engine. It is important to note that the My Convenience Plus program can be purchased online through the MyKia app from the comfort of your home or offline at any authorized Kia dealer within 60 days of delivery.

The key features of the My Convenience Plus Kia ownership program include:

⦁ Pre-paid Maintenance (PPMs), Extended Warranty (EW), and Roadside Assistance (RSA)

⦁ Scheduled maintenance along with add-on services like wheel alignment, balancing and tyre rotation

⦁ Extended warranty (EW) coverage up to 4th and 5th Year as per chosen plan

⦁ RSA includes an initial one-year tyre alloy protection, ensuring a worry-free driving experience, thereby extending the RSA coverage up to 4th/5th Year as per the chosen plan

⦁ Offers peace of mind for customers for 4-5 years along with savings of up to 7,000

⦁ PAN India coverage and validity

⦁ Scratch Care program for the New Sonet owners (retailed till 30th Ap’24). Customers can avail of one scratch repair (without dent) free of cost in an ownership period of 12 months from the date of sale.

Also Read : Kia Tasman is brand’s first pick-up truck, will launch in 2025

Kia claims that with the new package, the ownership cost of Sonet should be as low as 75 paise per kilometer. Commenting on the new development, Mr. Myung-sik Sohn, Chief Sales Officer, Kia India, said, “Kia is continuously setting new industry benchmarks, and introducing ‘My Convenience Plus’ to Sonet customers underscores our commitment to enhancing the aftersales experience. With industry research recognizing Sonet’s lowest maintenance costs, coupled with the introduction of this program, Kia’s aftersales programs stand out as among the best in this segment. We are dedicated to delivering utmost convenience, affordability, and premium quality, ensuring peace of mind for our customers and setting new standards in customer satisfaction.”

First Published Date: 12 Apr 2024, 18:30 PM IST


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Force Gurkha, Gurkha 5-door, Gurkha 3-door, Thar Armada rival, launch details

Force Motors has teased the Gurkha again, but this time, along with the five-door model, the brand has stated that it will also bring back the Gurkha 3-door; the 3-door was discontinued with the start of BS6 Phase II norms in April 2023. While both models are expected to be revealed in the coming weeks, the teaser video only shows design details of the larger SUV.

  1. Gurkha 3-door and 5-door to have similar design with unique touches
  2. Gurkha 5-door has a 425mm longer wheelbase than 3-door
  3. Both expected to share the Mercedes-sourced 2.6-litre diesel engine

New Force Gurkha: design highlights

While some spy shots of the Gurkha had shown that the five-door model will have square headlamps, the latest teaser confirms it’ll have the same circular units as the Gurkha 3-door. In addition, the two-slat grille with the Gurkha nameplate is also expected to be shared between the two. There may be some differences in their front and rear bumper designs.

Major differences will be seen at the sides – to incorporate the rear doors, the Gurkha 5-door has a wheelbase that is 2,825mm long; 425mm longer than the 3-door. The teaser also shows new-design alloy wheels, though they look to be 16 inchers, shod in similar 245/70 R16 tyres. The video released by Force Motors also shows a number of accessories, like a rear ladder and a roof rack with a jerry can holder.

New Force Gurkha: interior details

Naturally, the biggest difference on the inside of the two SUVs will be the seating configuration. While the Gurkha 3-door is a strict four-seater, the 5-door may get multiple seating layouts – a five-seater, two-row version; a six-seater, three-row version; and a seven-seat three-row iteration with two individual captain’s chairs for the third row, and a bench seat for the second row.

In addition, spy shots of the Gurkha 5-door’s interior showed that it’ll come with a shift-on-the-fly 4WD knob positioned next to the driver’s seat on the centre console. The Gurkha 3-door had separate front and rear diff-lock levers and a manually operated transfer case positioned behind the gear lever.

New Force Gurkha: powertrain

The Gurkha 5-door and 3-door are expected to carry over the Mercedes-sourced 2.6-litre diesel engine and the 5-speed manual transmission. No details on the engine’s output figures have been revealed yet, but the older Gurkha 3-door had it in a 91hp, 250Nm state of tune.

New Force Gurkha: launch timeline, price, rivals

According to our sources, the Force Gurkha 5-door and 3-door will be launched in India in the coming weeks. While the 3-door will continue to rival the Mahindra Thar, the 5-door will see competition from the upcoming Thar 5-door, which may be called the Thar Armada when it arrives by mid-2024, and the Maruti Jimny.

Before it was discontinued, the Gurkha 3-door was priced at Rs 15.10 lakh (ex-showroom). Considering this price point, the 3-door may be priced at a slight premium over its predecessor, while the Gurkha 5-door could be priced about Rs 1 lakh-1.5 lakh higher.

Also see:

Force Gurkha vs Mahindra Thar comparison

Force Gurkha based Spartan 2.0 EV SUV breaks cover




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Will a Tesla owner buy a Tesla again? Here’s what survey finds

  • Tesla enjoys a massive following the world over and many of its offerings find a place in the list of top most-selling EVs in the world.
File photo of Tesla Model S electric vehicles. (REUTERS)

Even though the growth in sales of electric vehicles (EVs) is slowing down the world over, Tesla can perhaps rely on a majority of its existing buyers to once again buy a car from the brand. At least this is what 87 per cent of current Tesla owners in the US said in a survey conducted by Bloomberg Intelligence.

Tesla enjoys a massive cult following in markets where it has a presence. And while early adopters and affluent buyers are now making way for more gradual – and cautious – EV buyers, many of those who drive a Tesla appear happy with their ride. A brand loyalty of 87 per cent is impressive considering that Lexus finds itself second in the survey results with 68 per cent existing owners saying they would return to the Japanese brand. Toyota is third at 54 per cent.

The survey also found that 81 per cent of potential Tesla owners are those making their way in from a rival EV brand. The survey had 1,000 adult respondents who confirmed they had plans of either buying or leasing a new car within a year. The report observed that 42 per cent of those surveyed were willing to buy a fully-electric vehicle while 23 per cent were willing to purchase a hybrid. “Tesla, GM, and Stellantis’ slew of affordable EV models, set for debut by 2026, may tap more mass-market buyers,” said Steve Man, global lead director for auto & industrial market research at Bloomberg Intelligence and the lead author of the report. “Despite this, the market still has a long way to go to mature, with charging network inadequacy, range anxiety, and extended charging wait times topping the list of concerns for all car buyers.”

Tesla EVs like Model 3 and Model S are extremely popular in markets such as the US and China, and repeatedly find a place in the list of most-sold EVs in the world, as well as most-sold vehicles overall.

First Published Date: 12 Apr 2024, 07:00 AM IST


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Hyundai Grand i10 Nios price, Nios Corporate price, Sportz, features

The new Nios Corporate variant gets manual and AMT options and sits between the mid-spec Magna and Sportz Executive trims.

Hyundai has launched the Grand i10 Nios Corporate variant, priced between Rs 6.93 lakh and Rs 7.58 lakh, ex-showroom, Delhi. The Korean brand had introduced a limited-run variant with this name back in 2020, but had discontinued it in 2021. The new Nios Corporate variant is available in manual and AMT form, with the same 83hp, 1.2-lire petrol engine.

  1. Nios Corporate priced Rs 15,000 higher than the Magna
  2. Priced Rs 35,000 lower than Sportz Executive
  3. Gets more features than Magna like dual tone wheel covers, infotainment touchscreen

Priced at Rs 6.93 lakh and Rs 7.58 lakh for the manual and AMT versions, the new Nios Corporate variant is priced Rs 15,000 higher than the Magna trim. However, the Corporate variant costs Rs 35,000 less than the Nios Sportz Executive trim.

When compared to the Nios Magna, this new variant adds features such as dual tone covers for the 15-inch wheels, a new Amazon Grey exterior finish, and a ‘Corporate’ emblem on the tailgate. On the inside, the new trim gets a 6.75-inch infotainment touchscreen.

On the other hand, the Corporate misses out on features such as a rear camera, a rear defogger, projector headlights, alloy wheels, an 8-inch touchscreen, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which are available on the Nios Sportz Executive. 

The Grand i10 Nios continues to rival the likes of the Maruti Swift (Rs 5.99 lakh-8.89 lakh) – an all-new model is due quite soon – in the Indian market.  

Also see:

Hyundai Grand i10 Nios facelift video review

Hyundai Creta facelift gathers 1 lakh bookings since January 2024 launch

Hyundai, Kia partner with Exide in India for EV battery packs




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Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor vs Hyundai Venue: Price & specification comparison

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor is essentially a rebadged iteration of the Maruti Suzuki Fronx. This crossover comes as the latest product under the Suzuk

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor is essentially a rebadged iteration of the Maruti Suzuki Fronx. This crossover comes as the latest product under the Suzuki-Toyota global agreement for model and technology sharing.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor has been launched as the latest entrant in the Indian passenger vehicle market’s compact segment. It is basically a rebadged version of the Maruti Suzuki Fronx, which was launched last year as a crossover based on the Maruti Suzuki Baleno premium hatchback. Toyota and Maruti Suzuki both have already launched multiple cars in India, which come under the Suzuki-Toyota global agreement for model and technology sharing. The Taisor comes as the latest addition to the list.

The Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor has been launched in a segment that has been witnessing fierce competition from multiple OEMs. The compact SUV and crossover segment has been witnessing ever-increasing demand, fuelling the OEMs to introduce a range of products in this space. Taisor comes as part of that wave. The crossover competes with rivals such as Tata Nexon, Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue etc.

Also Read : Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor vs Kia Sonet: Which one to choose

Here is a price and specification-based comparison between the Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor and Hyundai Venue.

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor vs Hyundai Venue: Price

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor is priced between 7.73 lakh and 13.03 lakh (ex-showroom). On the other hand, the Hyundai Venue comes priced between 7.94 lakh and 13.48 lakh (ex-showroom).

Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor vs Hyundai Venue: Specifications

The newly launched Toyota Urban Cruiser Taisor crossover comes available in two different petrol engine options. There is a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol motor. The 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine is available with a CNG combination as well. The 1.2-litre petrol engine churns out 88.5 bhp peak power and 113 Nm maximum torque in petrol-only mode, while in CNG mode, it offers 76.44 bhp power and 98.5 Nm torque. The 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine generates 98.6 bhp power and 147.6 Nm torque. Transmission options for the crossover include a five-speed manual unit, a five-speed AMT and a six-speed automatic gearbox.

Watch: 2022 Hyundai Venue facelift SUV: First Drive Review

Hyundai Venue is available in both petrol and diesel options. The Venue gets a 1.2-litre petrol engine and a 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, while there is a 1.5-litre diesel motor on offer as well. The naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine is available with a five-speed manual transmission and generates 82 bhp peak power and 113.8 Nm torque. The turbocharged petrol motor is available with a six-speed manual gearbox, while there is a seven-speed DCT option as well. This engine churns out 118 bhp peak power and 172 Nm torque. The diesel motor on the other hand is available with a six-speed manual gearbox and pumps out 114 bhp peak power and 250 Nm of torque.

First Published Date: 11 Apr 2024, 13:31 PM IST


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Yamaha shifts greener motorcycle strategy in favour of ethanol, not EVs

  • Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.
Yamaha India is aiming to focus on flex-fuel engine technology while the Indian two-wheeler industry is increasingly emphasising on electric mobility.

While the two-wheeler manufacturers in India are thriving for electric mobility, Yamaha India is aiming big with ethanol-based flex fuels, reported Mint. This comes as a more conservative approach towards greener mobility, considering the peers are focusing on pure electric two-wheelers. The report has quoted Eishin Chihana, Chairman of Yamaha Motor India, saying that anticipating a 0 per cent adoption rate for electric scooters by the end of this decade, the company is betting on a holistic approach to cleaner emission technologies and this strategy will be led by ethanol-based flex fuels.

Chihana stated that the OEM’s primary strategy to meet its emissions targets revolves around flex-fuel (E85) options for motorcycles, acknowledging the global shift towards sustainable fuels. He also stated that this strategy will help the OEM avoid the infrastructural and technological challenges of full electrification. This shift of strategy comes in line with the government’s focus on cleaner mobility solutions, which also include flex-fuel engines propelled by ethanol-blended petrol.

Interestingly, Yamaha India’s Chairman’s comment comes immediately after the former Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant called for full electrification of the two-wheeler and three-wheeler segment by 2030. Instead of focusing on pure electric propulsion tch, Chihana advocated for technologies like ethanol-blended fuels to achieve the country’s emission targets.

Considering the current market share of electric scooters at five to six per cent Yamaha India expects EVs to grow to 20 per cent of the scooter market in India by 2030, he said. “While 20 per cent of the market will become EV, 70-80 per cent will remain internal combustion engine. So, our Target 2030 is while we prepare for EVs, we will certainly increase our step-up models with ICE engines. We are preparing, but we are not in a hurry. Our focus remains on developing our premium motorcycle dealership network and targeting the younger generation with our urban, sporty motorcycles. Our first priority is to establish premium motorcycle dealerships across India,” he further added.

Speaking further, the Yamaha official said that despite the high petrol prices driving faster adoption of electric scooters, consumer behaviour remains largely unaffected due to usage patterns and infrastructure challenges. Interestingly, despite emphasising its intention to focus on flex-fuel engines, Yamaha plans to introduce two electric scooters by 2030. Besides that, the OEM intends to enhance its premium motorcycle strategy and distribution network as well over the next six years, Chihana said.

First Published Date: 11 Apr 2024, 07:18 AM IST


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2024 Hyundai Creta zooms past 1 lakh bookings in just 3 months. Check details

  • While the 024 Hyundai Creta was launched in January, the compact SUV recently saw a price hike in the Indian market as the introductory price ended.
The all-new 2024 Creta is offered with three engine options.

Hyundai Motor India Limited has announced that its 2024 Creta has exceeded one lakh bookings, marking a significant milestone. The Creta SUV, Hyundai’s first launch of 2024, is priced between 13.41 lakh and 24.49 lakh (ex-showroom). Additionally, the manufacturer disclosed that variants with sunroof and connected car features account for 71% and 52% of total bookings, respectively.

The 2024 Hyundai Creta is available with three engine options. All three have a capacity of 1.5 litres. There is a naturally aspirated petrol engine, a turbocharged petrol engine and a diesel engine. In terms of transmission choices, the updated Creta comes with a six-speed manual, IVT (Intelligent Variable Transmission), seven-speed DCT (Dual Clutch Transmission) and six-speed torque converter automatic transmission.

Also Read : Hyundai Creta N Line review: Dressed for pride, decked for drive

2024 Hyundai Creta: Variants

Hyundai offers the Creta in seven variants. There is E, EX, S, S(O), SX, SX Tech and SX(O). Hyundai has also introduced the N Line version of the Creta which is being sold only in two variants – N8 and N10.

Also Read : Upcoming Cars In India 2024

Watch: Hyundai Creta facelift review: Major step-up for the SUV king

The Creta has been a very popular model in India. Based on Hyundai’s Global Design Language of ‘Sensuous Sportiness’, the 2024 Creta was revised with several design updates.

Commenting on the milestone, Mr. Tarun Garg, COO, Hyundai Motor India Ltd., said, “The response to the recently launched new Hyundai CRETA has also been overwhelming with over 1 lakh bookings in a span of just 3 months since the launch in January’24. It is interesting to note that sunroof and connected car variants are contributing 71 per cent and 52 per cent respectively to the overall bookings, a testimony to the changing aspirations of young Indian customers. With new Hyundai CRETA, we have continued our pursuit of introducing exceptional products for the Indian market while strengthening Hyundai Motor India’s commitment towards ‘Make in India’. Brand CRETA has always created new benchmarks and now with the new Hyundai CRETA we have challenged the status quo by having a female brand ambassador for an SUV in India, a first in the industry. We sincerely thank all our customers for their love and trust in the new Hyundai CRETA and we are confident that we shall continue to establish new milestones and benchmarks in the industry.”

First Published Date: 10 Apr 2024, 12:16 PM IST


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Unpopular Weekend Destinations From Delhi-Mandawa, Rajasthan w/ Jimny

In this edition of Un-Popular Weekend Destinations (from Delhi), I got stuck in dunes near Jaipur and traversed some narrow streets of Mandawa in the Jimny.

A Solitary Escape In The Timeless Sands

With the Good Friday long weekend approaching, I had my eyes set on exploring some dunes and sandy trails of Rajasthan. A quick search for dunes led me to finalising Kalpana Nagar dunes as my destination for this adventure. It’s one thing to drive through sand pits deep enough to get even a burly SUV stuck at an off-road track. It’s another to drive through endless sands where you could not only get stuck, but also get lost.

But, I wanted some privacy. Privacy to explore my limits. Privacy to get stuck and not have someone remind me that I’m a newbie. After all, I was looking for places to get stuck. Because how you get out of it is what matters. That’s how you gain experience.

I spent a few hours there playing around with the various combinations of 2H, 4H, 4L and electronic off-road settings. I wanted to learn how to get rolling when I dug my wheels in too deep. After playing around with the Jimny, it was time to head back home. Time well spent!

Change Of Plans

When I was done, I noticed that I had several missed calls from Piyush, who was in Mandawa at that time and I called him back to apologise. But I had a damn good excuse!

He insisted I visit him, and knowing that I had a 4X4, recommended I take a detour wherever possible to absorb more of the local vibe. I think he just wanted me to get lost in the vast desert or get stuck in some narrow passages with a dead end and no way to reverse out of.

Along the highways, and via Sikar, the drive to Mandawa from the other side of Jaipur is almost 200km and about 180km from my hotel in Jaipur. “Do hell with it. Let’s see what the Jimny can do.” — I thought to myself and promised to meet Piyush the next day.

To make sure I don’t turn my back on him, through his connections, he allowed me access to a privately-owned forest reserve near Jaipur. Before wrapping up my day, I spent a few hours in the reserve where I saw deers and nilgai. When I had dunes on my mind, forests were nowhere near my plans. Yet, I ended up playing in the sands and meditating in a mini forest, all in a matter of a few hours.

Tales Of Trails