A quiet beast

If you want to know what 408 hp and 664 Nm of torque sound like, when you step on the accelerator of the new Audi Q8 e-tron, then let me tell you that it sounds like nothing… quite literally! Much to the disappointment of auto nerds who love the rumble of a powerful engine, Audi’s all-electric super SUV is a silent beast.

The interiors of Audi Q8 e-tron

The interiors of Audi Q8 e-tron
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Special Arrangement

We recently took it out for a test drive and while the interiors feature standard Audi fare — including a virtual cockpit and infotainment screen — it’s the exteriors that pique our interest. Audi swaps its older logo for a minimalistic 2-D logo as well as a new-look front grille.

We give a thumbs up to the impressive 114 kWh battery pack, which, according to the manufacturer, promises a range of 600 kms. Drive-wise, this car ticks all boxes and evidently fills the lacuna of high-performance, full-sized, electric SUVs in the country. In the Indian luxury car segment, Audi has been the leader, and this car is its 6th EV in its portfolio, with a mission to promote high-performing electric vehicles. It is priced upwards of ₹1.13 crore. 

A city car

This month, Mercedes-Benz launches its second generation GLC

This month, Mercedes-Benz launches its second generation GLC
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We’ve spent enough time driving Mercedes-Benz GLC’s previous iterations launched in 2016, to know that this is a , foolproof city-driving car. This month, the German carmaker launches its second generation GLC, one of its best-selling SUVs, in a petrol and diesel version with marginally larger dimensions. There are subtle but significant design cues — for instance, the redesigned grille is larger, flanked by brand new, high-performance LEDs. The silhouette has stylised chrome accents by the window, on the roof and floor board giving it an urban, sporty look. The rear too has a simplistic look and we love the 3-D tail lamps.

The German carmaker coddles its passengers with Maybach-inspired interiors

The German carmaker coddles its passengers with Maybach-inspired interiors
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The German carmaker coddles its passengers with Maybach-inspired interiors, ambient lighting and aviation turbine-style air vents. Our favourite part, however, is the massive 11.9 inch infotainment touchscreen. It is also the first Mercedes-Benz SUV to get the latest MBUX user interface. The GLC is a cult favourite and the new version gets a big thumbs up from us in terms of drive quality, technology and luxury. The car is priced upwards of ₹73.5 lakh.

Spacious and design-forward

Citroën’s stylised C3 Aircross SUV has the angles and capabilities of an off-roader, boasting the manufacturer’s famous suspension prowess.

Citroën’s stylised C3 Aircross SUV has the angles and capabilities of an off-roader, boasting the manufacturer’s famous suspension prowess.
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The French have a way with design, and Citroën’s designers go all out with their fourth India model. The C3 Aircross SUV has the proportions and physiology of a classic SUV, in a stylised silhouette. It is suitably called a five-plus-two seater and not a seven-seater.

Citroën is playing on the spaciousness factor

Citroën is playing on the spaciousness factor
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For starters, Citroën brings its legendary suspension to this model too — we challenged it with a cup of full coffee on a bumpy road, and it passed the test. While the C3 Aircross is everything and more on the outside and under the hood, the carmaker surely has a way to go for its rather basic interiors to keep up with its competitors. Citroën is playing on the spaciousness factor — 511 litre of boot space and generous interiors.

What remains to be seen is how the manufacture prices it to keep it competitive. The C3 Aircross SUV that I drove was a 1.2 litre turbo petrol engine, manual version, with an automatic version coming soon.

Popularity contest?

The facelift Kia Seltos is supremely tech heavy and offers multiple customisation options.

The facelift Kia Seltos is supremely tech heavy and offers multiple customisation options.
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The Korean carmaker’s success story in India — the Kia Seltos — gets a major facelift this month. Kia India says that this is its safest and smartest Seltos yet, so we took it for a spin to test those claims. What’s new, you ask? The iconic tiger nose grille gets a redesign, new LEDs and the read gets a fresh, modern look too. We have always been fans of Kia’s incorporation of technology in the mid-SUV segment. We loved the dual 10.25-inch screens, one for driver display and the other for infotainment touchscreen. And there’s a Bose sound system in tow. Apple CarPlay connectivity is quick and pain-free.

I test drove the X-line, which comes with a 1.5 litre turbo petrol and a dual clutch transition, offering a great drive experience and road handling. The new Seltos comes with a Level 2 ADAS, with 17 features, usually seen on high-end cars. With its competitive price starting at ₹10.5 lakh, could this be the SUV that India drives?

A future tourist workhorse?

The Maruti Suzuki Invicto is the Indian auto giant’s largest car ever manufactured.

The Maruti Suzuki Invicto is the Indian auto giant’s largest car ever manufactured.
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We recently test drove Maruti Suzuki Invicto, which is the India’s largest carmaker’s most-expensive car. The Invicto is based on the Toyota Innova Hycross, under the Toyota-Suzuki collaboration. It a good-looking SUV with its rugged, upright stance and signature NEXA front grille as well as 17-inch alloy wheels.

Interesting to note that the manufacturer is calling this an intelligent electric hybrid, which combines a petrol engine with an electric motor, where the self-charging mechanism generates superior torque. We found the cabin to be resolutely plush with its panoramic sunroof, fuss-free user interface on the infotainment and comfortable seats in all three rows.

This car packs in a 2.0 litre, four-cylinder petrol engine, making it rather punchy and torquey to drive. The Invicto has the DNA of a quintessential people mover and given the success of the Innova in the tourist segment, we see a bright future for Maruti Suzuki with this model priced upwards of ₹24.7 lakh.

Affordable luxury

Hyundai Exter is the South Korean manufacturer’s entry-level offering, with impressive cabin features

Hyundai Exter is the South Korean manufacturer’s entry-level offering, with impressive cabin features
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The Hyundai Exter is the Korean manufacturer’s new entry-level SUV offering. The car makes a statement on the road with its chic lines, skid plates, bold stance, striking DRLs and tail lights. Hyundai says that the Exter sets a benchmark in its segment, owing to its 40 advanced and 26 standard safety features. It comes in three powertrain options — 1.2 litre petrol, 1.2 litre (five-speed manual and Smart Auto AMT), as well as a 1.2 litre bi-fuel petrol and CNG version with five-speed manual.

The interiors of Hyundai Exter

The interiors of Hyundai Exter
| Photo Credit:
Special Arrangement

We found the interiors to be premium in finish, with elegant, accents on the dashboard and centre console. Full marks for the panoramic sunroof (voice command enabled), dash cam with dual camera, the highly interactive 4.3-inch driver display and the easy-to-use 8-inch infotainment touchscreen. Starting price: ₹5.99 lakh.



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