Sunday, April 17, 2005

Quick Sunday post...

I somehow managed to spend till nine last night in office. I haven't spent that much time in office in a long time. And doing that on a Saturday did put quite a bummer in plans, not that I was going to do something dramatic, but nonetheless I couldn't get the energy levels back up. But staying home and getting a good night's sleep was a good idea.
Aacha, I am watching the match right now, and Afridi just got out. However, it is all about the General, whichy is why I asked ASG and Dad to give the passes they had away. I didn't want to wake up at 6.30 in the morning to go watch a cricket match. Even if this is an 'updated' Kotla Stadium. I still believe the stadium at Kalindi Kunj should be built, Kotla can only be increased 'this' much and though it is in the centre of town, Delhi needs and deserves a 90,000-100,000 seater stadium, not a 35,000 seater. After all 15 million people stay in the NCR, and a good, big stadium for the only sport that matters in this country is a must for the capital of the country.

I didn't mention this, thanks to entire handset being lost business, but I did test the new Tuscon on the Hyundai Test Track. Hyundai has really worked on their test track and all the cars they send out of the plant have done a run on the track which has some rough road sections, high speed sections, braking sections and a turning pad. The Tuscon, with the same 2-litre Common Rail Diesel engine as the Elantra does manage to get off the start line sluggishly yet smoothly. The Elantra is a lot smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic than the Tuscon, so while the diesel Elantra is a 'fun' car to drive, by Indian standards, the Tuscon feels distinctly underpowered. But, that said, in the zone that matters (since these cars will rarely ever leave tarmac) the 40-80kph zone, the Tuscon manages to be very good. However, because the drive wheels during the 2WD mode are the front wheels, the steering is very heavy and the car tends to understeer at low speed and then as you turn a bit faster it oversteers. Much like any front wheel drive car, but the steering still feels extremely heavy.
See, this car costs only a tad less than the Honda CR-V (some 75k less on the showroom price stakes) and the Honda should be on most people's radar still, after all they have sold more than 2500 of them since the launch, quite a lot for a car at that price. Lots of reasons why - the Honda is better looking, its got permanent all-wheel drive, it is a lot more fun to drive - heck, its a 2.4 VTEC petrol engine, more capacity and a Honda petrol, it has to be more fun to drive - which it is - its faster, corners better, um frankly it looks a lot better than the Hyundai. Unfortunately, the engine is a petrol and the Hyundai is a diesel. While the CR-V will return decvent milage figures of around 8-9 kpl (personal experience 40 litres of Premium got me around 357km in the city), the Tuscon, from what I've read, returns 11-12 kpl on a fuel that despite the Delhi government costs Rs 10 a litre less. More economy for less cost. Just like the Grand Vitara is the best big-SUV on the market in terms of drivability - the 2.7 V6 can hit 185kph but the Terracan is the better buy (the Ford Endeavour is powered by a generator). But, whereas the bigger oil-burning Hyundai still has some element of fun to it, in fact it is the better off-road car, thanks to the rear wheel drive and all, the smaller one seems a tad too expensive for me. If it was two lakhs cheaper than the CR-V it would be a compelling buy, but if I see one on the road - I'll know that the owner doesn't have the bucks for petrol. The only compelling reason to buy the Tuscon over the CR-V is the fuel. Which is honestly a very sad thing. Now if they painted one yellow....
Just read this... its too weird!

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