Category Archives: Cars

A dirty weekend with the Polaris Phoenix 200 ATV

Sick of grumpy bosses and commutes that make being waterboarded seem like fun? We just might have found the right antidote: Spending a dirty weekend with the Polaris Phoenix 200 ATV…

You’d have found this article in the February 2016 issue of Stuff India. Missed it on the stands? No worries; head over to our website to read the online version. Meanwhile, here’ s an excerpt to keep you entertained (for a few seconds at least):

“Going mad with the hectic pace of life? Dream about running away to a tropical island? Wait up! There’s a far easier way of getting rid of the city blues – by grabbing your pals and heading out to play in the dirt.

That’s exactly what we did when we woke up one weekend with a burning desire to be outdoors. We’d heard the Polaris ATV chaps had set up a few Experience Zones around Delhi, and guess what? There was a spanking new one on National Highway 1, near Sonepat. You can guess where we’re going with this…

VS - Stuff Feb 2016 - Polaris Phoenix 200There’s a dirt track laid out, designed by Polaris to ensure you get plenty of thrills without risking a nasty tumble. A long straight to build up speed, a few turns to slide around while pretending to be the baddie from a cheesy Hollywood flick, a slush-filled pit for powering through (with a big grin plastered all over your face), and a couple of ramps and bridges for a butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling. A recipe done right? We’d be inclined to agree…”

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The car’s the star at Auto Expo 2016

With the world’s leading marques and a few hundred thousand visitors, Auto Expo might be the biggest mela since the 80s, when the brothers Ram and Shyam got separated and ended up on opposite sides of the law.

But don’t fret if you couldn’t battle your way through the crowds. Stuff India has all the skinny on all the cars that really set our pulses racing.

The car's always the star - Stuff India March 2016

This article was published in the March 2016 issue of Stuff India. Pick up a copy at the stands or head over to Stuff.tv/in to read the online version.

P.S My favourite?

“…The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT

In a nutshell You don’t have to settle for copycats, now that the real deal’s here!

Claim to fame It’s the Jeep. Get it in full SRT trim and you’ll get to taste an insane 470hp from the 6.7L Hemi V8. Combine that with Quadra-Trac 4×4 and you get a continent- devouring monster!

Tech on the menu This bonafide, rock-crawlin’, mud-pluggin’ 4×4 has Launch Control, 8-speed auto, paddle shifters, an 8.4in touchscreen and a 0-100km/h time of 5.0 seconds. Yup, it could embarrass many a supercar

Best driven… Wherever you may want to roam (And don’t forget to put on some Metallica on the stereo and hang up a Stars-and-Stripes out of the window)

Status On our roads soon

Price tba …”

Chariot of the Gods: The Mercedes-Benz CLS 250 CDI reviewed

Last month I had the chance to drive the fantastic CLS 250 CDI.  I spent a weekend with this massive, 4-door coupé, falling in love with they way it looked, felt, and drove. I’m putting up a few excerpts here on my  blog; the full-review can be found in the June 2015 issue of Stuff India Magazine. Mercedes CLS 250 CDI First Test

“…The CLS is quite the rarity on our roads, and while that does lend it  even more of a cachet, it’s not that it needs any help. That’s ‘cos whether it’s standing still or overtaking everyone else, this fearsome 4-door, 4-seater coupé looks like the proverbial million bucks. Actually, make it a billion…

…But while the CLS has always been about melding styling flair with CEO-level luxury, it doesn’t mean that the tech aspect’s been pushed under the carpet. A new, fuel-efficient oil-burner might have replaced the previous model’s V6 petrol, but the diesel’s grunt, paired with the adjustable air suspension, makes the CLS a fantastic highway cruiser. And there’s other stuff to gladden  the hearts of the 21st century sybarite – the Harman Kardon sound system, the intelligent headlamps, the 3-zone climate control, and of course, the next-gen COMAND Online infotainment system….

…The next-gen ‘COMAND’ System
Infotainment systems have come a long way since someone decided to fit an 8-track to his car so he could listen to Elvis when stuck in a nasty gridlock. Merc’s new COMAND Online system is where the logical progression of tech has brought us. Flick around the control dial and watch the 8-inch display light up with the many Internet-connected apps: Mercedes Web Radio, TuneIn Radio, Weather, RSS feeds, text-to-speech news, Morningstar Finance, hotel search, and of course, a web browser. And yes, new apps can be added and updates applied over the air. Traffic jams just became a lot more tolerable! …”

Chalk and Cheese – The Patrol V8 and the Leaf EV

“Nissan’s completed 10 years in India so they decided to celebrate this in the only way possible – a grand party featuring all their cars. What, you expected a Page 3 do with fashion designers in attendance? Sorry, that’s not how petrolheads roll…

So if you found yourself part of the Nissan Carnival festivities at the Buddh International Circuit, you got to see and drive Nissan’s lineup in India – the Sunny, the Micra, and the Terrano. But that’s not why we were so excited. Nope, the real reason is that we’d heard Nissan had flown down a couple of special guests…”

Nissan Carnival - India

“…LEAFY GREEN MACHINE

From the outside, the Leaf looks just any other premium hatchback around. Get inside, and you find a very well-put-together cabin that looks and feels very, very good indeed. But it’s when you turn it on that you realise this isn’t just another hatch – it’s an electric car, one of those new-fangled upstarts that will eventually save our planet…

…NISSAN PATROL V8 4X4

You can’t miss the Patrol. Not even if it’s trying to hide behind a Himalayan range. It’s simply massive. Over 5 metres long, almost 2 metres wide and tall, and nearly nudging the 3 tonne mark on the weighing scale. But even with all the weight the Patrol has to cart around, it’s not slow. That’s it comes with what’s known amongst petrolheads as A Very Good Thing – A 5.6L V8 that pumps out 400 screaming horses, all of which Nissan says will drag the Patrol to the 100 km/h mark in around 6.6 seconds…

…Bouncing around on the off-road section, you do realise what all the fuss is about. The V8 provides enough power to terrify small asteroids and there seems to be enough ground clearance to set up camp. Inching down steep inclines or powering up elephant-sized mounds of loose dirt, the Patrol seems nearly idiot proof…”

Read more about the Nissan Patrol V8 and the Leaf on the brand-new Stuff India website!

Running to the hills in a ‘lil Datsun

One of the best things about Stuff magazine is the breathtaking variety of er, stuff, you get to review. Nope, it’s not just phones and gaming gear that floats our gadgety boat, but a helluva lot more. But what’s my favourite? The chance to travel. Like that time when the folks over at Datsun decided to take us up to Rishikesh to drive their new Go+ MPV…

Datsun Go+ drive to Rishikesh - Stuff India Magazine

“…Weekend Warrior
Delhi’s infamous fog has us thinking we’re stuck in a horror movie, so
when Datsun asks us if we’d like to drive the new Go+ MPV around
Rishikesh, we don’t think twice. Heading out of Dehradun, we’re impressed by the Go+, with its 1.2-litre engine making up in torquey-ness what it lacks in capacity. Yup, powering up steep climbs is surprisingly easy for this little car, with not many gear changes required…

Rallying round for the picnic basket
Sliding the Go+ around in a dry river bed makes our day. What makes it even better is our picnic spot, hidden in a corner of the Rajaji National Park. But more than the pakoras, we loved the drive down here. In fact, I think we’ve struck upon the formula for happiness: A torquey engine, a suspension that can take a beating, and a dirt track, far, far away from civilisation. Bliss indeed…

…Temple Town
Sunrise and silence at the Triveni Ghat, with only a few worshippers (and cows) around. It’s also time for us to head back and we gotta say we’ve had fun. The Go+ drives better than you’d expect, and while it’s just not spacious enough to seat 7, you can pack enough stuff for a long vacation. Too bad the interiors are disappointingly spartan. Verdict? The Go+ isn’t really an MPV, but does make a decent hatchback for anyone who can’t resist the lure of the open road….”