OVERDRIVEs most viewed car reviews of 2014
The year gone by has been eventful for a whole lot of carmakers - Tata brought out the all-new Zest and then pulled out the Bolt, its bootless sibling, and then Maruti tried to reclaim a place in the premium sedan segment with the Ciaz. And while there's much hoo-ha over crossovers, MPV, SUVs, FCVs and what have you, most of our eyeball-grabbing stories continue to be the hot little hatchbacks. Maybe we can all resolve to open our minds and not just our hearts to more exotic options in the new year. Until then, take a look at our top reviews from 2014.
"For the first time I am willing to consider the Zest in the same segment and to evaluate it on the same stage as the Xcent, the Amaze or the Dzire, all superstar compact sedans. What Tata Motors has done is simply brilliant, they haven't made a great car but the Zest is a highly competent car that can finally match up to anything else in the segment."
"The Celerio packs in quite a lot of simple yet innovative solutions. I think that is what is appreciable in this package. And the automated manual transmission is simply a brilliant idea. Maruti would like to usher in a new era of progress, they firmly believe that like the air conditioning and power steering became essentials over the last couple of decades in cars, automated transmissions will take over the future and they are going to focus their energies in that direction."
Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI
"With this new 1.5-litre engine, the Polo finally feels like a complete car. It looks good, is well built, drives well and is also very efficient. But most importantly you now won't regret the (not insignificant) amount of money you've spent on it every time you step on the throttle."
"One such car in particular that will make a difference in the next few months is the new Hyundai i20. There I've almost said it, the Hyundai i20 will be a gleaming success. . . On one hand my head says, the new i20 is brilliant. On the other hand, my heart is feeling a bit disappointed because it was looking for something more from the i20."
"The Maruti Suzuki Swift may have kick-started the premium hatchback segment in India, but the car that gave the segment its definition is the Hyundai i20. With a kit brimming with features and quality to match, the i20 became popular almost instantly."
"But then you come to the rear of the car and there seems to be something amiss. I can't tell if it's the fact that the tail lights look too much like a particular competitor's or just not Suzuki enough. Or maybe I'm getting used to the family look ideology of building cars. It doesn't quite look like a Suzuki . . . Despite this small misgiving though, it still manages to be a pleasing car to look at from most angles."
Hyundai Verna diesel
"The improved handling and a slightly more premium touch to the exterior design come at the cost of the better safety equipment that the Verna had, as Hyundai has made no changes to the existing price range of Rs 7.4 lakh to 11.7 lakh. But the Verna remains one of our top recommendations. . ."
"For a moment put aside the Tata badge adorning the grille and let me tell you the look Rishaad Mody had on his face when he got behind the wheel and took the Bolt out for a short spin soon after I had done the same. Incredulous! Yup, that's exactly the word to describe his expression. Rishaad couldn't, for even a moment, believe that the Bolt could be that exciting!"
Fiat Punto Evo
"The classic Italian front of the older Punto has now been replaced with a more modern but not so Italian face. Fiat designers have not just redesigned the headlamps and bumper but a lot more. . ."
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