Khaas Baat : A Publication for Indian Americans in Florida Read the Editor's Blog. By Nitish Rele Classifieds Motoring Cuisine Astrology Art/Youth Books Fashion Movies Finance Immigration Health Editorial News Content Find us on Facebook!

Range Rover BOASTS INCREDIBLE off- and on-road prowess

Test-drive stories by NITISH S. RELE,

RANGE ROVER SPORT HSE About six years ago, we test drove the Range Rover Sport with a 5.0-liter (510 horsepower) supercharged V-8. That was impressive. Equally notable was the 2016 HSE version the Range Rover folks dispatched to us recently. But this one with an all-new 3.0-liter turbo-diesel V-6 engine belted out an ample 254 hp @ 4000 rpm and 443 pounds-feet of torque @ 1750 rpm. The midsize luxury SUV is mated to a responsive 8-speed auto gearbox.

A full-time, permanent all-wheel drive delivers necessary torque to the rear wheels. Using the exclusive Terrain Response system, you can pick one of the following as per road/weather conditions: general (for daily driving), grass/gravel/snow, mud/ruts, sand, rock crawl and dynamic. Credit an independent front and rear electronic air suspension for a remarkably supple ride on the 20-inch wheel SUV. Leading passengers securely to their destination is a speed proportional electric-power assist steering system. Tow capacity is a remarkable 7,716 pounds.

The clamshell hood of the Range Rover meets up with a massive but striking horizontal mesh grille surrounded by auto xenon headlights with LED signatures and power side vents. The cabin is decked in typical Land Rover fashion with clear and rounded instrument gauges, straightforward climate, navigation and entertainment controls, and supportive seats. Power adjustable, Oxford-perforated leather front seats, along with a tilt and telescopic steering column, can accommodate the largest of drivers. Splashes of dark brushed aluminum trim and wood on the center console, dash and instrument cluster enhance its classiness. Space abounds inside with a gigantic glove box, huge center console and a decently-sized trunk area. Other standard amenities include dual zone auto climate control, panoramic roof, 250-watt sound system, open/close power tailgate and an 8-inch LCD touchscreen.

Dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Distribution, hill descent control, Dynamic and Electronic Stability and Traction control, anti-rollover system, single-speed electronic transfer case with torsion differential, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system are standard.

No doubt this diesel-charged and luxury-packed Range Rover is nippy off the mark, sprightly in traffic and a pleasure to drive. Plus, you can put the SUV’s off-road prowess to use. Now all you need is $66,450 and change.



VOLVO XC90It is one of the finest vehicles we have driven in years. Thoroughly redesigned for 2016, the XC90 blew our mind away with, not just its outward appearance, but also the fresh power train and an amply lush cabin.

Under the hood resides an all-new T6 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged and supercharged engine putting out 316 horsepower @ 5700 rpm and 295 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. You can’t find a smoother transmission than the 8-speed Volvo engineers have installed in the luxury SUV. And the start-stop feature (automatic engine stop when the vehicle halts) ensures substantial savings in fuel and weight. The front-wheel or all-wheel-drive vehicle can take off 0 to 60 mph in just 6.1 seconds and reach top speed of 130 mph.

The fresh suspension with more aluminum parts than its predecessor gets a front double wishbone with coil springs and rear integral axle. One can always count on the electric power-assist rack-and-pinion steering for an unparalleled driving experience. Drive modes available are comfort, eco, dynamic, off-road and individual.

Our XC90 was equipped with the optional $4,000 R-Design trim, which meant an R-Design front grille and lower spoiler, LED headlights and Thor’s hammer-like daytime running lights, alloy wheels, etc. The well-appointed interior gets an adaptive 12.-3 inch digital instrument panel. Cargo capacity is a remarkable 85.7 cubic feet of space overall with 41.8 cubic feet behind the second-row 40/20/40 seat and 15.8 behind the third row. Volvo Sensus infotainment, with a distinct vertical 9-inch display touch screen, is essentially made up of four tiles: navigation, media, phone and user-defined. Activate one and watch it expand while keeping the other tiles visible for future use. Also included are panoramic moon roof, 10-way power front seats, four-zone auto climate control, and power tilt/telescopic steering column and tailgate.

The Chinese-owned but Swedish-made car company is legendary for safety. Continuing the tradition, the XC90 gets dual front and side airbags, driver knee airbag, side curtain airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, anti-whiplash front seats, rear park assist and camera, side impact protection system, dynamic stability and traction control, City Safety (brakes automatically to help prevent a rear-end collision), tire pressure monitoring system and daytime running lights.

As we said at the outset, this Volvo is special, unique in every way. For a 4,627-pound vehicle, it is an exceptionally powerful and poised ride, thanks to an all-new engine, suspension and chassis. The XC90 is a fantastic combination of performance and style that should appeal to potential luxury SUV buyers who can afford to spend $50,000 and beyond.

XC90 (AWD)


2016 ACURA TLXLast year, Acura fused the compact TSX and midsize TL sedans into the TLX luxury sports sedan. Positioned between the ILX entry sedan and the flagship RLX, we must admit that the result has been notable. Our 3.5-liter direct-injection V-6 engine cranked out 290 horsepower @ 6200 rpm and 267 pounds-feet of torque @ 4500 rpm. The fresh 9-speed gear box – an electronic push-button gear selector instead of the previous shifter knob – is highly effective.

The unit-body TLX is offered in front-wheel as well as Acura’s renowned Super-Handling All-Wheel-Drive (SH-AWD), which distributes power not just between the front and rear wheels but also the left and right rear wheels. Thanks to the Integrated Dynamics System (IDS), eco, normal, sports and sport+ settings are offered. Looking to save fuel? The Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system operates in three or four cylinder modes for substantial fuel savings.

Jewel-eye LED headlights convey a powerful and athletic stance. The dashboard is straightforward with two 8-inch navigation and 7-inch touchscreens. The easy-to-use central control dial takes care of audio, navigation, phone systems. Directly in front of the driver are large analog instruments for speedometer and tachometer, fuel and coolant temp readings with a centered information center. The spacious trunk can gobble up 14.3 cubic feet of belongings. Also standard are dual-zone auto a/c, perforated leather seats, 10-way power and heated driver and eight-way front-passenger seats, power moon roof, and a 60/40 split rear seat.

Standard safety features include dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag, driver knee airbag, four-wheel antilock brakes, front/rear crumple zones and parking sensors, vehicle stability assist with traction control, lane departure and forward-collision warnings and lane-keep assist (which maintains the ride in its path), blind-spot monitor, collision and road-departure mitigation systems, hill-start assist, rearview camera, daytime running lights and tire pressure monitoring system.

No doubt, the classy TLX with all-wheel-drive capabilities is a blast to drive under virtually any road or weather conditions. And its high-tech luxury cabin will only leave you asking for more.



2017 KIA SPORTAGECompletely revamped for 2017, the Kia Sportage is an extra 1.2 inches in wheelbase and 1.6 in length than its predecessor. The test-drive SX model was equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 turbo engine blasting off 240 horsepower @ 6000 rpm and 260 pounds-feet of torque @ 3500 rpm. The fourth-generation crossover utility vehicle, also Kia’s longest running nameplate, continues with the 6-speed auto gear box.

The front-wheel-drive Sportage adopts an all-new suspension with MacPherson strut front and multilink rear, ensuring that the SUV handles the rigors of daily driving with comfort. The tweaked motor power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering is quick and precise.

A centered gloss black “tiger nose” grille meets up with higher-positioned but sweptback bi-xenon headlights and unique ice-cube LED fog lamps to create a sleek and eye-catching appearance. The interior is spacious than before, thanks to 0.2 inches and 0.6 inches more front and rear headroom respectively. Cargo capacity behind the 60/40 rear seat is up from 26.1 to 30.7 cubic feet, a substantial difference. And yes, storage bins are scattered throughout, including a dual-level cargo floor. Standard amenities include dual-zone auto a/c, 10-way power driver and 8-way front-passenger heated/cooled seats, D-shaped tilt/telescopic steering column, leather seats and shifter, panoramic sun roof, push-button start, navigation, rear camera display, and power lift gate.

Kia needs to be commended for offering numerous standard safety features, which are optional in competitor vehicles. Some are dual front and side airbags, side curtain airbag for both rows, rear-cross traffic alert, front/rear park assist, lane departure warning, blind spot detection, four-wheel antilock brakes, rollover sensor, Electronic Stability Control and traction control, Downhill Brake Control, hill-start assist and a tire pressure monitoring system.

The overhauled Sportage is a good-looking, sizeable, sporty, useful and inexpensive vehicle. That it comes with a 10-year or 100,000-mile power train and a five-year or 60,000-mile basis warranty is a bonus.


homeeventsbiz directorysubscribecontact uscontent newseditor's notehealthimmigration
financeayurveda/NUTRITIONmoviesfashionmusic/art/dancebooks/getawaysUS-Indo businessbeat
IIFA 2014astrologyyouthcuisinemotoringplaces of worshipclassifiedsarchivesBLOGFACEBOOK