2 new cars from Kia, Toyota enter the competitive small SUV space - The Daily Guardian
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2 new cars from Kia, Toyota enter the competitive small SUV space

Both Kia Sonet and Toyota Urban Cruiser are based on already existing products; while the former takes inspiration from the Hyundai Venue, the latter is essentially a rebadged Vitara Brezza.

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The sub-compact or sub-4 metre SUV space is clearly one of the most keenly contested segments in the Indian passenger car space. There are some very popular cars present here like the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, Hyundai Venue, Ford Ecos- port and the Mahindra XUV 300. As the festive season approaches, other automakers too are looking at getting some share of the lucrative pie. And so the past few days have seen the introduction of two new cars in the segment — the Kia Sonet and Toyota Urban Cruiser. Interestingly, both these cars are based on already existing products; while the former takes inspiration from the Hyundai Venue, the latter is essentially a re- badged Vitara Brezza.

Kia Sonet

We told you in great detail about the Kia Sonet when its world premiere took place in August. That included the engine and transmission options along with all the features that have been provided with the car. Now with the launch past us, we know exactly how many variants the car comes in and what are their prices. The Korean company has launched the car at introductory price of Rs 6.71 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India) which is for the base HTE variant that comes with a 1.2 Petrol engine and a 5 speed Manual Transmission. In all, the Sonet is being offered across 17 variants, including two petrol engines, one diesel engine with two different configurations, five transmissions and two trim levels — Tech Line and GT-Line. Kia said that it was able to garner over 25,000 bookings for its car till the launch.

The 1.2 litre engine has come in the most afford- able variants that range from Rs 6.71 lakh to Rs 8.45 lakh. The popular 1.0 litre turbo petrol engine that we’ve seen on many cars from Hyundai like Venue and Verna, comes in 5 variants that range from Rs 9.49 lakh to Rs 11.99 lakh. Interestingly there is no manual transmission on offer here and the only available options are either a 7-speed DCT automatic or the new 6-speed IMT or intelligent manual transmission which is a clutchless technology but lets you change gears manually. Finally, the 7 diesel variants range from Rs 8.05 lakh to Rs 11.99 lakh and these include both manual and automatic options. However, the prices of some top-end variants of both
petrol and diesel engines are yet to be shared.

Kia has also revealed the fuel efficiency figures of all the engines. While the 1.2 petrol engine with 5 speed manual transmission delivers 18.4 kmpl, the 1.5 litre diesel promises 19.0 kmpl for 6-speed manual and an impressive 24.1 kmpl for the 6-speed automatic. Some of the features are a 10.25-inch HD touchscreen with navigation and live traffic information, an air purifier with virus and bacteria protection, BOSE premium seven-speaker sound system with sub-woofer, front ventilated driver and passenger seats, 4.2-inch colour instrument cluster, remote engine start via UVO connect and smart key (Automatic and Manual transmission), multi-drive & traction modes for automatic models and a wireless smartphone charger with cooling function.

Toyota Urban Cruiser

The Toyota Urban Cruiser is the second model to be launched in India under the global Toyota-Suzuki alliance following the premium hatchback, the Toyota Glanza. The Urban Cruiser is based on the Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza, but the company has tried to make enough distinctions between the look and feel. On the exterior the SUV gets a two-slat wedge cut front grille with chrome that reminds of the Toyota Fortuner. The dual chamber LED projector headlamps with chrome accents and split LED tail lamps are also changed. There are 16-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels on offer and roof rails are finished in gun metal grey. The car also gets some new colour options in single tone as well as dual tone.

The interior also gets a new dark brown colour and you cannot miss the Toyota logo on the steering wheel. The 17.78 cm smart playcast touchscreen audio works with Android Auto, Apple Carplay and
Smartphone- based navigation. Some other features include engine push start/ stop button, rain-sensing wipers, auto AC and cruise control. The car runs on the same 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine that we’ve seen on many cars from Maruti Suzuki including Vitara Brezza. Both Manual and Automatic Transmissions are on offer and claimed fuel efficiency figures are 17.03 kmpl and 18.76 kmpl respectively. All the variants of the car come with the smart hybrid technology which aids in better fuel efficiency.

In terms of safety the car gets dual front airbags, ABS with EBD, hill hold control and ISOFIX child seat restraint system. In all there are 6 variants on offer divided equally between manual and automatic. Prices for the manual variants range between Rs 8.40 and Rs.9.80 lakh (ex-showroom) while the automatic variants are priced between Rs 9.80 and Rs 11.30 lakh.

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Auto & Tech

TWITTER’S NEW FEATURE LETS IOS USERS SHARE TWEETS DIRECTLY ON INSTAGRAM

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Washington: Microblogging site Twitter is rolling out a new feature that will let iOS users share tweets directly to their Instagram Stories. This update will help users save their camera roll from getting clogged with tweet screenshots.

As per Mashable, the social media platform is enabling the feature that allows users to share a tweet to their Instagram Stories with only a couple of steps. Users might be familiar with these steps if they frequently share their IG Stories on Facebook too. To share a tweet, just tap on any tweet, then tap on the share button, and then tap on Instagram Stories. That’s all you have to do.

Twitter will ask you for permission before launching the Instagram app, and it goes without saying but you will need the app installed in order to let the feature work. Once you’re on the Stories page on Instagram, you’ll notice that the tweet you’d picked now has neatly rounded corners and a pleasant card-like design to it.

Notable reverse-engineering guru Jane Manchun Wong has also noted that once you share a tweet on IG Stories, the card doesn’t really give you an option of opening the tweet on Twitter.

So in case you want to open or interact with that tweet, you’ll still have to open the Twitter app and search your way through.

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ZOOM ADDS NEW OPTIONS TO SHARE PRONOUNS

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Washington: Video teleconferencing software company Zoom recently announced that it will be adding new a feature that caters to pronouns, along with options to manage when they’re displayed. According to The Verge, pronouns will appear in parentheses next to people’s names in calls, essentially the same as how they’ve looked up until now when people have manually entered them. They’ll also be visible under people’s names on their profile cards. By default, pronouns will be visible on the profile pages for accounts on the free Basic Zoom plan, as well as for accounts with a single licensed user. With multiple users, the field will be off by default for accounts, though administrators can turn it on in their account settings. People can also decide whether they want their pronouns to be shared in meetings and webinars. In the profile settings for Zoom there are options to always share, never share, or to ask during every meeting if pronouns should be displayed. This flexibility could be useful for people who use different pronouns in various settings, but it’s important to note that pronouns are currently always visible in the profile card. As per The Verge, Zoom is among several sites and services that have rolled out dedicated pronoun fields recently. Instagram and Slack both added them last month, and Twitter is working on a pronoun field for its revamped profiles.

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SAMSUNG TAB A7 LITE IS LIGHT ON PRICE, HEAVY ON CONVENIENCE

Richa Kapoor

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Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is now available. Galaxy Tab A7 Lite comes in one storage variant that offers 3 GB RAM + 32 GB internal storage. The LTE model will cost you Rs 14,999 and the WiFi model is priced at Rs 11,999. Customers can get up to 6 months of no cost EMI on Galaxy Tab A7 Lite.

SPECIFICATIONS

The Samsung Galaxy Tab A7 Lite features an 8.7-inch screen with 1340×800 pixel resolution with support for only 4G connectivity. It has two variants – Wi-Fi and LTE and they weigh 366 and 371, respectively. At the back, there’s an 8-megapixel primary shooter, and the front panel carries a 2-megapixel camera. Customers can choose between the 3GB RAM with 32GB internal storage model or the 4GB RAM with 64GB storage option. The onboard storage is expandable via a microSD card up to 1TB. The tablet comes with a 5,100mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging via a USB Type-C port. It comes in Grey and Silver finishes.

DESIGN & DISPLAY

Galaxy Tab A7 Lite is a perfect gift and an add on gadget in someone’s kitty. It can be so well placed in your handbag and carry along in your hand without any worry. It gets an 8.7-inch display and runs on Android 11 OS. The display might not be the brightest but surely does the job well. You get a thick bezel on the top & bottom. Your volume rockers and plug on button are on the right. What made viewing better for me was the magnet on the cover. It simple makes placing the tablet easy while watching any content.

PROCESSOR

Galaxy Tab A7 Lite runs on an Octa-core 4×2.3GHz + 4×1.8GHz processor. It is not designed for multi-tasking or for some high-end gaming. The processor is good and well responsive. You can do your day to day working on it without a problem. You might find a bit of lag if you are working on multiple tabs at one point in time.

If you are using the device to view content, then it works in the aspect of convince not quality. You will be able to easily view your OTT platform shows without any hindrance. If you are specific about the visual quality, then may be you will be disheartened. Would not call it a device for gamers as you will not enjoy the graphics too much & the lag would be a bit of a disappointment.

CAMERA

Not really a camera device. It is decent for your Zoom meetings and online calls. The front camera does show the picture a bit grainy, but it does the job so not much to complain about. You are getting a 2MP lens so that the best you can achieve.

BATTERY

The tablet comes with a 5,100mAh battery with support for 15W fast charging via a USB Type-C port It charges 50% in 15 mins which works well for me. The battery lasted nearly 2 full days for me. The usage wasn’t intense, but I did use it generously.

VERDICT

Even though everything I mentioned above seemed to be mediocre in the device I would still give it a thumbs up. Reason being it falls right with its pricing. At a starting price of Rs 11,999 I find it a perfect device to gift. For someone who watches a lot of content this device is very convenient. It wins in its size and style for me.

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NEW JAGUAR F-PACE AND RANGE ROVER VELAR HIT THE INDIAN ROADS

After getting the all-electric I-Pace in the market in March, the month of June has seen the arrival of two new SUVs from the house of Jaguar Land Rover.

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NEW DELHI

British luxury car maker Jaguar Land Rover has been on a launching spree in the country over the last few months. After getting the all-electric I-Pace in the market in March, the month of June has seen the arrival of two new SUVs from the brand — the updated Jaguar F-pace and the new Range Rover Velar. While the former is priced at Rs 69.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India) the new Velar is priced starting at Rs 79.87 lakh. The diesel variant of the SUV is priced at Rs 80.71 lakh.

JAGUAR F-PACE

The new exterior design on the F-PACE includes a new sculpted bonnet with a wider power bulge. The enlarged grille features Jaguar’s heritage logo-inspired ‘diamond’ detailing, while the side fender vents feature the iconic Leaper emblem. A new front bumper with redesigned air intakes and dark mesh details can also been seen on the SUV. The super slim all-LED quad headlights with ‘Double J’ Daytime Running Light (DRL) signatures are new too and according to Jaguar they deliver increased resolution and brightness. At the rear, new slimline lights feature Jaguar’s double chicane graphic, first previewed on the all-electric I-Pace. The new bumper design and sculpted new tailgate also help the new F-Pace look different from its predecessor.

The F-Pace has an all-new interior which offers enhanced connectivity. 2 new colorways have been introduced in Mars Red and Siena Tan while the new cockpit design is bolder with greater focus on the driver. A new centre console sweeps up to the instrument panel and incorporates wireless device charging feature. The new gear selector features an upper section finished with ‘cricket-ball’ stitching; the lower part being made of precision-engineered metal for enhanced tactility. Other key features include reclining seats on the second row, four zone climate control, interactive driver display and a panoramic roof.

The new Jaguar F-Pace gets the brands latest Pivi Pro infotainment technology which can be accessed through the all-new 11.4 curved glass HD touchscreen. Jaguar says its enhanced clarity and simplified menu structure allows users to access or view up to 90 per cent of common tasks from the home-screen in two taps or less. In addition to this, the cabin also gets an air purifier which captures ultra-fine particles including PM2.5 particulates to improve occupant health. The new F-Pace also has gets features like a 3D surround camera, meridian audio system, and a smartphone pack.

The SUV is available for the first time in the R-Dynamic S trim with Ingenium 2.0 litre petrol and diesel powertrains. The 2.0 litre petrol engine delivers a power of 246 bhp and 365 Nm of torque while the 2.0 litre diesel delivers a power of 201 bhp and 430 Nm of torque.

RANGE ROVER VELAR

Land Rover says that the Velar offers a great balance of sophisticated design and intelligent technology with good all-wheel drive capability on every terrain. The burnished copper bumper accents, bonnet vents and side vents on the R-dynamic make the car look unique while the bonnet badge, tailgate script and grille are finished in shadow atlas. The door handles on the Velar retract when not in use and that has always been one of the highlights on the car. Their flush design creates clean, pure lines which improve aerodynamic efficiency and reduce wind noise.

The SUV comes with features such as 3D surround camera, electronic air suspension, cabin air ionisation with PM2.5 filter and new Pivi Pro infotainment system. According to the carmaker the new Velar is cleaner, safer, and smarter than before and is one of the most technologically advanced luxury SUVs in the world.

Like the F-Pace the new Velar too is available in the R-Dynamic S trim on Ingenium 2.0 litre petrol and diesel powertrains. The output is also same on both these engines. The 8-speed automatic transmission has been finely tuned by Land Rover engineers to combine smooth shifting with rapid response. The company says closely spaced ratios ensure that gear changes are almost unnoticeable.

Torque-on-demand all wheel drive (AWD) delivers both on road performance and full off-road capability. The all terrain progress control (ATPC) system enables the driver to set and maintain a steady speed in challenging conditions such as mud, wet grass, ice, snow, and dirt roads.The SUV is available in four colours – fuji white, portofino blue, sartorini black and silicon silver.

The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com

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ONEPLUS NORD CE 5G HAS MORE HITS THAN MISSES

Richa Kapoor

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It is time for a device with a strong core. OnePlus launches Nord5G CE. CE literally stands for ‘Core Edition’. Nord 5G made its way into the market in July last year and now it’s time for an upgrade with some new editions and competitive pricing. Let’s find out if Nord 5G CE is the upgrade you have been looking for.

DESIGN

OnePlus Nord has kept the design cue simple and like the previous model, CE 5G gets the similar Blue Void colour. The device is slim at 7.9mm and is light to hold at 170g. It is an easy device to be used with a single hand having the power button and volume rockers placed on the side centre. The device is curvy, making it easier to grip. Having a minimalistic bezel around the device, it is slightly larger towards the chin. The phone gets a micro SIM slot but misses out on a micro-SD slot. The device does get a 3.5mm headphone jack at the bottom of the device alongside USB Type-C port and speaker.

Flip the device and you get a Blue Void striking colour with a triple lens camera module which does protrude out a bit but it’s not really a problem. The matte finish at the back helps keep the finger marks away.

SPECIFICATIONS

The 6.43-inch AMOLED display has full-HD+ resolution and a 90Hz refresh rate. It also has an in-display fingerprint scanner and Asahi Dragontrail glass for protection. Powering the OnePlus Nord CE 5G is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G processor. You get 6GB of RAM on the base variant of the Nord CE 5G, and a 12GB RAM on the top range that I had for review.

There are only two storage options on this smartphone—128GB and 256GB. The Nord CE 5G has support for Bluetooth 5.1, dual-band Wi-Fi, NFC, and six satellite navigation systems. There is support for dual 4G VoLTE, as well as 5G connectivity.

SOFTWARE & PERFORMANCE

Nord CE 5G has the same ease and magical experience of the software which OnePlus has been well-known for. The device runs on OnePlus’ custom OxygenOS. The device has a clear interface, easy to use, and comes with good add-ons like two years of Android updates and three years of security updates.

The device is a pure delight for anyone and everyone. It is seamless while multitasking. You can switch from apps without hesitation. There is no trouble or lag that you would face using this device. Being light and handy makes the process even easier.

For gamers this device is a delight. You can play with the Game Mode on and not be disturbed during your game time. The graphic display is good; the only hindrance faced was the device heated up a little post a long gaming session.

BATTERY

OnePlus has packed a 4,500mAh battery into the Nord CE 5G which is slightly bigger than the one in the original OnePlus Nord. This phone supports 30W fast charging and comes with a Warp Charge 30T charger in the box. Having the default 90Hz refresh rate, the device can run for over 18 hours.

CAMERA

OnePlus Nord CE packs in a triple camera setup. It has a 64-megapixel primary camera with an Omnivision sensor, f/1.79 aperture and EIS; an 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera with a 119-degree field of view; and a 2-megapixel black and white camera. For selfies, it has a 16-megapixel camera with an f/2.45 aperture.

Daylight photography generated desired results with the primary lens. Ultra-wide lens did give you what you were looking for in an image but the quality might not be too good.

Low light photography is also not too good. In the Nightscape mode, the phone takes eight exposures and combines them into one photo. This process takes about 7-8 seconds. The output of that is much better.

Front camera gives you results as desired. The portrait mode works well with your selfies, giving the depth you would want from a selfie camera.

Video recording tops out at 4k 30fps for the primary camera and 1080p 60fps for the selfie shooter.

PRICE & VARIANTS

OnePlus Nord CE 5G price starts at Rs 22,999 in India for the base variant which has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. 8GB RAM and 128GB of storage is priced at Rs 24,999, 12GB RAM, 256GB storage variant is priced at Rs 27,999.

All three variants are available in the dark Charcoal Ink finish. The 8GB variant is also available in a Blue Void colour. The 12GB RAM version gets the above two and you get a Silver Ray option as well.

VERDICT

Nord CE 5G is a device which fares well in all departments. Camera might not be the best offered by OnePlus, but the overall experience of the device is good. You get a capable device in 3 variants and colour options with an above average performance and software. The Core Edition does make an impact, but it does face competition.

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SKODA OCTAVIA IS BACK WITH A NEW LIKEABLE CHARACTER

First launched in India almost two decades ago, Skoda Octavia is back in the market with everything new about it but the name. Will the luxury sedan be able to hold fort?

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NEW DELHI: A car that was first launched in India almost 2 decades ago is back in the market with everything new about it but the name. The name Skoda Octavia still excites many car lovers in the country and the new generation of the sedan aims to attract a fresh set of buyers towards itself and the Czech car brand. Yes, the market has evolved, and it is now dominated by SUVs of various shapes and sizes. In the middle of this, the big question is: Will a luxury sedan be able to hold fort?

LOOKS

The Octavia has been completely redeveloped; it gets a new, light design which makes it look more muscular than before. According to Skoda, every panel of the car is new. It is 4,689 mm long, 1,469 mm tall, 1,829 mm wide, and comes with a wheelbase of 2,680 mm. The classic chrome laden grille is flanked by narrower, new headlights featuring Bi-LED technology and daytime running lights which come as standard. The car is available in 5 colour options—lava blue, candy white, magic black, brilliant silver, and maple brown—with the last two exclusively available on the more expensive Laurin & Klement variant.

INTERIOR

The new Octavia gets premium beige suede leather upholstery complemented by chrome highlights. The multi-level dashboard has been completely redesigned while the two-spoke multifunction steering wheel gets paddle shifts and black leather. The new 25.4 cm display infotainment system gets a touch slider to adjust the volume or the map. Smartphones can be paired to the infotainment system, offering access to infotainment apps. The premium canton sound system on the L&K features 12 speakers, including a subwoofer, and has a power output of 600 plus watts. The car also gets a 2-zone climate control for front passengers while the new lighting system assists in safety and turns red when the front doors open.

The Octavia also comes with gesture-operated LED reading light unit, smartphone pockets on the front seat backs, a storage compartment in the front doors for an umbrella, easy open-cup holders, a pair of USB C Ports in the dashboard and centre console, a USB C port behind the internal rear-view mirror and roller sun blinds. The car offers 600 litres and 1,555 litres luggage space after folding down the rear seats. The electrically controlled 5th door or boot hatch opens and closes at the mere touch of the button on the remote control. It is equipped with a virtual pedal enabling contact-free access. However, a major miss on in the car is the absence of a sunroof.

ENGINE

A first for the Czech auto manufacturer in India, the fourth generation Octavia features ‘shift by wire’ technology and electric parking brake. A rocker switch is integrated into the centre console which controls and electronically conveys the gear selection to the transmission unit. The car runs on a turbocharged 2.0 TSI petrol engine which delivers 190 PS of power and a peak torque output of 320Nm.According to the company the sedan comes with a fuel efficiency of 15.81 kmpl.

SAFETY

The standard safety equipment on the higher Laurin & Klement includes 8 airbags, iBuzz fatigue alert and AFS (adaptive front-lighting system). In addition, the car also comes with ABS (anti-lock braking system), ESC (electronic stability control), EBD (electronic brake-force distribution) and tyre pressure monitoring system. The car is also equipped with the “MyŠKODA Connect” connectivity solution that helps one in case of an emergency with features such as roadside assistance and SOS. It also helps keep the car secure in the owner’s absence with features like geo fence, time fence, etc. It also offers useful information driving behaviour and trip analysis.

PRICE

The base or Style variant of the car is priced at Rs 25.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India) while the Laurin & Klement version will set you back by Rs 28.99 lakh (ex-showroom, India). This means the car is now much more expensive than what it was earlier, and at a time when sedans are not finding much favour with the buyers such kind of pricing may not help the brand. But the name Octavia has done wonders for Skoda in the Indian market before, so do not be surprised if history repeats itself.

The writer is Senior Editor at carandbike.com

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