Ten power-packed reasons why you could really enjoy being behind the wheel in the new year
The BMW 5GT — the 5-series GT is the car you never knew you needed. It combines estate space, saloon comfort and an SUV driving position. The rear opens in two sections — one behind the rear seats joins the cargo cover to create a saloon-like trunk that is accessed via a flip-up tailgate, or you can open the full hatch for a usual cargo area. Expected price: Rs 60 lakh.
Two years ago, crowds at Auto Expo 2008 were stunned when they saw the over-the-top Kizashi concept. This year the actual car will be on view. The only version out so far is this four-door saloon with a 2.4-litre, 184 bhp petrol engine. The Kizashi looks like a bigger SX4 from a distance.
The GL-class will be the highlight at the Mercedes stand. This is Mercedes’ idea of what a super-luxury off-roader should be. The overall silhouette is very similar to the M-class but its girth is closer to the massive Audi Q7. The GL-class interiors come with three rows of forward-facing seats which can accommodate seven passengers; even the rear pair of chairs has good head- and legroom.
The Yeti, which is Skoda’s first soft-roader, is a clever mix of 4x4 capabilities, compact dimensions and hatchback practicality. The high-set seats and high roof means that the Yeti offers remarkable comfort as well. The cabin offers terrific quality, which we’ve come to expect from Skoda now and there are plenty of parts shared with the Laura.
The world will finally get to see Tata Motors’ much-awaited and slightly delayed MPV, the Indicruz. Based on the Safari platform, the MPV will share plenty with the SUV, which ensures that pricing will be competitive. Expected price: Rs 11 lakh.
If the sketches of the next-generation Micra are anything to go by, then this hatchback has all the makings of a winner with its cutting-edge styling. The interiors too are expected to be extremely contemporary. A choice of two engines are expected; an-all new 1.2 litre petrol and a three-cylinder motor and a 1.5 litre diesel. A sub Rs 4-lakh price is expected for the base model.
The Auto Expo saw the much-awaited Toyota Etios hatchback make its international debut. The carmaker has taken its own time to enter the small car segment, but its new compact car promises to have been worth the wait. The car promises to come with class-leading levels of space inside the cabin with special emphasis on rear seat comfort and ride quality. It comes in two body styles — a saloon and a hatchback.
Ford hopes to redefine the concept of value for money with its Figo hatchback, when it goes on sale in March 2010. The interiors are expected to set new standards for small hatchbacks combining class-leading aesthetics and functionality. At Rs 3.6 lakh.
The Volkswagen Polo is easily the most-awaited car in India at the moment and showgoers will get their first look at it. VW will display more than one variant including the Polo Cup race version. The company is squarely targeting Maruti’s Swift and the Ritz with a Rs 4.6-lakh on-road price for the base Polo. A saloon based on the Polo will follow by the end of the year.
The Beat, launched at the expo, is based on GM’s all-new M300 platform. It is sharp on styling, inside and out. The face looks very dramatic with the raked headlamps and the bold grille, while the rear gets chrome surrounds for the lamps. The interiors are just as stylish as the exterior. The Beat gets good room for both front and rear passengers and the tall stance means that getting in and out of the car is a comfortable affair. Prices start at Rs 3.5 lakh.