Test Driving The Mahindra KUV100 In SA

On a trip to India In May, I drove the diesel model. After 40 km on Mumbai’s highway, it was clear to me that the high-riding hatchback could very well raise some eyebrows in the SA passenger-car market.

My first experience of the Mahindra KUV100 back in South Africa was a ‘Sunset Orange’ diesel model. It was powered by a 1.2-litre turbodiesel engine capable of a modest 57kW/190Nm. They claim the fuel consumption is 4.4l/100km but you won’t be able to accurately tell as it doesn’t have a consumption gauge.

Specifications:

The K6+ derivatives and above offer a six-speaker sound system with Bluetooth connectivity to the Mahindra Blue Sense app. A multi-function steering wheel and a refrigerated glove compartment are also included.

Despite its low horsepower, the three-cylinder delivered as it did in Mumbai and felt lively with loads of torque between all five gears.

The gearbox really deserves all the accolades. The shifting is solid and precise but sadly the clutch pedal is too low down on the floor. It took me a while to get used to and this is perhaps something Mahindra should reconsider.

On that note, the pedal placement of the brake and clutch are too close together. If you have small feet, you might be OK or just let your toddler drive you around.

Taking to a gravel road showed an acceptable ride but the height of the 1155kg KUV100 meant the ride was rather bumpy, especially at speed. Build quality could also be improved upon as I experienced wind noise while driving on the highway.

I wouldn’t go for the petrol model even though it also has the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine (61kW/115Nm). It feels lethargic and nothing compared to the diesel. In first, second and third gear it really struggled like the Bulls did in Super Rugby this year.

Is the KUV worth buying?:

Mahindra claims the KUV100 competes with the Toyota Etios Cross, Renault Sandero Stepway, Suzuki Swift, Hyundai Grand i10, Chery J2, Tata Bolt and the Ford Figo. It’s a tough ask as most of these cars have great commercial value, brand loyalty, better-perceived build quality and an established dealer network.

There is one area the Mahindra KUV100 outshines the rest and that is on price. It will set you back a little under R150 000 for the entry level petrol model which comes standard with aircon, electric windows, ABS and driver/passenger airbags.

I may have been somewhat reluctant of the KUV100 but at the end of the launch I had really warmed up to the diesel model. The price, equipment level and overall driving experience left a good impression. Let’s hope the automaker ages like a fine wine and not like vinegar.

In conclusion, the diesel engine and gearbox are both more than adequate but the biggest concerns are pedal placement, clutch and wind noise. It remains to be seen whether or not South Africans will be interested in the KUV100 but it’s certainly worth a mention. Even if the Mahindra KUV100 isn’t quite your cup of tea, there is more Mahindra on the way.

*Three-year or 100 000 km warranty on all models and a three-year or 50 000 km service plan on the K6+ and K8 derivatives (optional for K4+).



Source by Gemma Murray

Truck-Based SUV's – DTO, DTS

Large SUV's built on truck chassis present a serious danger to others (DTO) on the road. A truck-based SUV provides about 5% greater safety for its occupants than a car does in a front, rear, or side crash, and deals about a 300% greater risk of death to the people in any vehicle it hits. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety looked at deaths per million miles driven and found that large SUV's involved in two-vehicle accidents inflict far more damage on other vehicles and their occupants. The reason is simple physics.

Full size SUV's and pickup weigh about 1000 pounds more than the average car. A vehicle that weighs a half ton more delivers a far greater destructive force on impact. Add to that a significant difference in the vehicles' construction. SUV's and pickups are built with stiff frame rails. When an SUV or truck rams another vehicle, it does not give. It transfers the force of impact to the other vehicle. Cars, minivans, and small SUV's built on car frames are designed with energy-absorbing structures. They're built to absorb and the force of impact, and because the SUV is not, the smaller, more flexible vehicle absorbs more force.

SUV's are taller than cars, with higher road clearance, and their height makes them more dangerous to other cars. The modern car bumper is a superbly designed energy absorption system. But in front and rear end collisions, the tall SUV is likely to ride up over the other vehicle's bumper. When the SUV rides over the bumper and pushes its way into the engine compartment or the trunk, the bumper's energy absorbing value is lost. In side crashes, the SUV's height means it can ride over the car's door-frame and T-bone directly into the passenger compartment.

In rollovers, SUV's are also DTS, danger to self. Large SUV's are at much higher risk of rollovers than other vehicles. Again, it's simple physics. Its height and resulting high center of gravity make it much more likely for the vehicle's rear end to fishtail, or slide sideways in a tight turn or an emergency braking maneuver. The SUV's height and high weight distribution means that once the vehicle is moving sideways, it's much easier for it to flip and roll over once or multiple times.

When a pickup or SUV rolls, it poses its occupants to much more danger of roof crush, the collapsing of a roof under the weight of the vehicle. Physics again: The vehicle's weight, including that extra thousand pounds, is now on top, crushing down on a roof that too often is simply not designed to support it. Most pickup and SUV roofs are not unibody construction. The incremental cost of a unibody roof and sturdier metals would run about $ 50 per vehicle, but manufacturers have chosen not to make this simple improvement.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured, or your loved one has been killed in a crash involving an SUV, you will want to consult with an experienced SUV crash attorney to determine whether you may have a case against the manufacturer. It is important to do this as soon after the crash, to insure that the SUV involved is not destroyed, as it will be vital evidence in your case.

Your SUV attorney will want to have an automotive design safety expert examine the vehicle. In rollover cases, particularly consultants and experts help your attorney put together the most accurate and case for presentation to an arbitrator or a jury.



Source by David S. Casey Jr

Car Rental Deals Guidelines – Important Factors to Consider When Shopping Around for Vehicle Rentals

People need to rent a vehicle for a variety of reasons: to drive around while on vacation, for business, or as a temporary replacement to their own vehicle. There are so many companies out there that offer a wide variety of automobiles of all models and makes that it can be difficult to find the right car or SUV for your needs. It's important that you look over car rental deals carefully so you'll know exactly what each one offers.

The companies have many of the same guidelines, with just a few variances depending on location. In most locations, the minimum rental age is 21, while in a few it is 18. There are some companies that actually charge a fee for any driver under the age of 25. If you are under 25, it's essential that you look over the policy carefully before renting a car.

A good company offers a seamless rental experience from the moment you book to the moment you return the vehicle to the drop-off location. If you want to rent a car as quickly as possible after your plane lands at the airport, make sure the companies you are looking into have offices that are easy to get to from your terminal. Keep in mind that the cheapest car rental deals are often found off of the airport's concessions. Determine whether it would be better to pay extra to rent a car from the airport or if you would rather take a bus or taxi to the rental office away from the airport and pay less.

Another essential factor to consider is customer support. The more options you have, the better. Will you be able to call for assistance right when you need it? What about insurance packages and roadside assistance? First, check with your credit card company to see if it offers coverage for car rentals. Your own insurance policy may offer some type of service for rentals. Read over the various policies of rental companies to have a better understanding of how their insurance packages work.

Which Companies Offer Car Rental Deals

There are many, many companies to choose from these days:

• Enterprise

• Hertz

• Thrifty

• Fox

• Avis

• Sixt

• Dollar

• Budget

• Alamo

• Payless

• National

• Ace

• Advantage

While this may seem like an overwhelming list, it does not have to be. Simply enter the dates and location (s) on which you will need a rental vehicle into a travel booking site and it will automatically give you a list of everything that will be available to you.

Some experts recommend booking the smallest car possible and then checking to see if any free upgrades or better car rental deals are available once you arrive at the pick-up location.

No matter where you want to go, you can always check and see if any online promo code can help you save on your next vacation. Use a website to discover car rental deals that can not be found anywhere else.



Source by George Botwin

The 4 Benefits of Using an Airport Taxi Service

Taxis are known to be one of the safest and the most comfortable modes of transportation to reach your destination. They are one of the few transport services that can be customised according to your choice and help to move about from one place to the other. Several private companies have a fleet of taxis that are modernised according to the latest requirements. These private cabs are known to be extremely professional in their services where they reach the doorstep of their clients within minutes of making a booking.

Apart from helping you reach your destination within your city, they often have specialised services for airport pickup and drop. While you hire them to help you reach the airport on time, here are a few benefits of hire these taxis services rather than opting for any other mode of transport.

• Saves up on time – As the cabs are fitted with modern devices and technology, the driver can help you reach the airport in the fastest time possible using the shortest route. They are aware of the direction in the city, and GPS devices make it easier. You can simply inform them before hand with the details of your flight, and they would come over to help you board your flight on time.

• Lets you relax – If you opt to use your car to reach the airport and do not have a driver to help you, it is something that you need to worry about as your vehicle would be left with no one to take care of it. While the cab comes over to help you reach the airport, you do not have to worry about taking care of your car and thus helping you relax.

• Allows you to concentrate on other priorities – While you make arrangements to board a flight, you do not have to worry about making arrangements for transport to help you reach the airport. The moment you make a booking with their office, they would frequently send across reminders showing you their existence and thus would be arriving to help you reach your destination safely.

• Make you pay according to your convenience – Most taxi services have a fixed price that they charge for airport pickup or drop. There are a few who charge according to the distance covered. After you confirm on the payment procedures, you can either make payments online or can use your debit or credit cards to do so. It isn’t always necessary to pay for their services in cash.



Source by Natasha Unger Nandi

Benefits of Polishing and Waxing Your Car

Whether you have owned a car for many years or just bought a new model, it is practical to put in place a proper maintenance schedule. There are many things to consider in the process of maintenance. It is essential to keep on top of the mechanical maintenance to ensure the vehicle is kept running. However, you also want to invest time on the general appearance inside and out. Keeping the vehicle in top condition related on a variety of methods such as washing, polishing and waxing.

Let's take a look at the benefits of polishing and waxing your vehicle:

Polishing

A proper polishing session is a wonderful way to restore the paint. Polishing is practical for correcting a variety of issues, such as problems related to etching, water spots, swirl marks, scratches and stone chips. Applying polish to improve the appearance is only practical if the chips or scratches are surface marks. If the vehicle has deep penetrating marks, the process of applying polish on its own is not enough to restore the original look.

Once the polishing is complete, the vehicle will have a nice protective layer that lasts for quite a while. There will be fewer issues with dirt and grime because a clean, smooth surface is more difficult to stick to. This should mean it is a lot easier to keep the vehicle clean in the future.

Also, the polishing process should only take place when it is actually needed. It can include certain degrees of roughness which is needed to remove the minor signs of damage. If a vehicle is polished too often, there is a risk of compromising the all-round quality of the paint.

Waxing

Out of the two options, waxing is the least harsh cleaning method because it does not feature abrasive compounds that can affect the paint overtime. But, it is still useful to provide a great protective layer on the paint to minimize issues with scratches, chips, or general contaminants in the air. Plus, a regular waxing session is certain to leave the vehicle looking sparkling clean and makes the basic process of washing significantly easier. Even though waxing is a practical choice to minimize the surface marks and scratches, it is not a reliable option to restore the paint like a high-quality polish. Also, it is necessary to use the waxing method more often than polishing to help maintain the all-round appearance of the vehicle.



Source by Leo Eigenberg