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MUMBAI I FRIDAY, MAY 11, 2012

Consumer Connect Initiative

Published from | Ahmedabad | Bangalore | Bhopal | Chandigarh | Chennai | Hyderabad | Jaipur | Kolkata | Lucknow | Mumbai | New Delhi | Pune

Small dimensions, Big intentions The compact Rio marked the resurgence of the Premier brand in 2009. Abhishek Nigam drives the updated compact SUV with fresh looks and more importantly a BSIV compliant 1.2-litre petrol unit

I

t's a fact that SUVs are a big hit with the Indian masses. The Toyota Fortuner and the Mahindra XUV500 are prime examples that are testimony to the fact that Indians just can't get enough of these big burly vehicles. However their biggest strength is also their Achilles heel. While their massive size is one of their main draws, that same size is a big problem while finding parking spots or maneuvering in bumper-to-bumper traffic. The Rio then is the solution to just that problem. With a proper SUV silhouette along with dimensions slightly bigger than your average B-segment hatch, the Rio was pretty much the first of its kind in India. While the first one was pretty much the same as the Dario Terios in China, the new refreshed version indeed looks pretty good. There are the new shapely headlights along with an all-new bumper which also get integrated fog lights. Even the grille has been redesigned and gets a nice chrome strip too. This along with chunky 205-section tyres gives the new Rio Plus a very modern and chunky look. However, the same modern lines are not carried on to the insides. Interiors remain pretty much the same as the older car. Quality does seem to have improved but first impressions suggest it

could do with a lot more improvement. The beige surrounding does make the car feel a bit roomier though. However space inside is at a premium. Powering the Rio is a 1.2-litre 4-cylinder petrol unit which pushes out 76.6PS @ 5800rpm and a maximum torque of 103.9Nm between 3500 and 4250rpm. That propels the little SUV to a 100km/h in 20.8 seconds. Not very slow by other 1.2-litre hatchback standards but post the 100km/h mark the underpowered engine starts showing its weakness. Handling is pretty adequate for the kind of power the Rio puts out and the car feels nice and nimble around town. Bad roads aren't a problem either thanks to the increased ground clearance which now stands at 200mm. Retardation is pretty good thanks to the ABS equipped brakes. Coming to the fuel efficiency aspect, for the petrol we got 9.8kmpl around town and 14kmpl on the highway which pretty much does the job. At Rs 5.96 lakh for the base version and Rs 6.23 lakh for the top GLX trim, the Rio isn't exactly cheap, but only until you realise that you are getting the best of an SUV and a compact hatch. That said, Premier still has a lot of quality issues which it needs to address. That done, the Rio can pretty much be what it always intended to be.

PHOTOGRAPHY: KUNAL KHADSE

www.volkswagen.co.in

Everyt hing a perfect

Comfortable seating

Amp le leg space

Minimum turning radius

The Volkswagen Vento . The perfectly sized cabin of the Vento offers good leg space, in tt he front as well as rear ensuring comfortable drives. Add to it the superior suspension and small turning radius makes city driving convenient. The seats are designed in a way that no matter how long your drive is, you’ll always feel relaxed. The ABS and airbags add to your safety In short, the Vento is truly the best in class. Price starts

@

Volkswagen. Dos Auto.

7.04 Locsth

Ex-showroom price (Thane) . All offers from Volkswagen dealer For further details , please visit our dealership our at:

VoVo lkswagen Mumb ai West Andheri: Tornado Motors Pvf. Ltd., Unit No. 8 11, Karfik Comp lex, New Link Road, Andheri (West),Mumbai - 400053 • Phone: 022 - 49160000 • Fax: 49160001 Mobile: 9920460000,9920160000 • Email: salesl@vw-tornadomotors.co.in -

Santacruz: Tornado Motors Pvt. Ltd., Showroom 4 & 5, Vikas Centre, 106,S. V. Road, Santacruz (West),Mumbai 400054 • Phone: 42460000 Fax: 42460001 • Mobile: 9594460000 • Email: sales@vw-tornadomotors.co.in -

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Quality of materials has improved, but ergonomics still need to be sorted

The four-cylinder petrol unit is good enough for city commutes and is decently refined

There is a diesel too, but since it's a BSIII unit, it's illegal within city limits

PREMIER RIO PETROL

SPECIFICATIONS

Engine: 1173cc, 4-cylinder Power: 76.6PS @ 5800rpm Torque: 103.9Nm @ 3500-4250rpm Transmission: 5-speed manual Drive: Rear-wheel drive Wheelbase: 2,420mm Tyres (F/R): 205 / 70 R15 (Tubeless Radial) Price (ex-showroom Delhi): `5.96 lakh

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