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Rediff.com  » Business » New Launches: Find out changes made to four small cars

New Launches: Find out changes made to four small cars

Last updated on: November 21, 2012 08:42 IST

Find out changes made to four small cars

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Despite slowdown in car sales in July - September quarter, the manufacturers went all out with new launches this festival season to keep their machines relevant to buyers.

Apart from introducing new models, carmakers also launched upgraded versions of the existing ones to keep competition at bay, and maintain customer loyalty.

It has been an exciting time for small car buyers, who can now get better features at an affordable price. Some of the models upgraded in the under-Rs 500,000 category include New Ford Figo, New Maruti Ritz, New Chevrolet Spark and New Maruti Alto 800.

Among these, some had noteworthy upgrades - Maruti Alto 800 for example - while some saw only cosmetic changes.

Let's look at these four cars and the value addition companies have made to grab buyers' attention.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Ford India

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New Ford Figo

Ford Motors' exclusive presentation, the New Ford Figo, now comes with new headlamps, distinct front, new design alloy wheels and sporty roof rail teamed up with new tail lamp cluster.

The interior of this American hatchback is as usual spacious, while the latest gadgetry comes in the form of newly incorporated steering column, improved bluetooth connectivity and best in class air conditioning.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Ford India

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Available in petrol as well as diesel, the entry model costs Rs 385,000 for petrol, while the latter is priced at Rs 482,000.

Both petrol and diesel variants have decent mileage of 15.6 kmpl and 20 kmpl respectively. Ford also added two new colours - kinetic blue and bright yellow.

The overall change is done to make it look fresh - and that it does; while the increase in price is minimal, which is acceptable.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Ford India
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New Maruti Alto 800

From design to mechanics, the second generation Alto has nearly everything enhanced. The company even added a greener CNG variant.

It has a trendy looking fascia with petal shaped headlamps, new grille and styling cues flowing over the body, making it the most chic of all cars in its segment. With the tall boy design, interior headroom, legroom and knee room has increased.

Moreover, this time, the company has managed to squeeze in safety features such as airbag and other protection gears to shield the occupants in case of accident.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Maruti Suzuki
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New Maruti Alto 800 returns outstanding 22.74 kmpl in the petrol variant and the CNG delivers 30.46 km/kg.

Price for Alto 800 STD is tagged at Rs 244,000, while the CNG is sold for Rs 319,000.

Compared to the earlier Alto model, the new one is refreshing. On the whole, a good package to bring home, if you are an Alto freak, while price is close to the earlier model.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Maruti Suzuki
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New Chevrolet Spark

The face lifted Chevrolet Spark with its peppy 1.0L mini motor is a very serious contender to be considered from the lot, although the company has not made any changes under the hood.

With new signature dual port grille in place, the 'Spark' now shines - it bears a striking presence in the small cars segment.

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There are new jewel-effect headlamps and novel fog lamp with satin-silver sporty roof rails. The interiors have been revamped with dual tone theme, power windows, silver finishing touch at dash and a unique instrument panel.

The petrol has an 18-kmpl mileage. The other specs remain the same. Besides petrol, Spark is also offered in LPG variants with starting price at Rs 381,000 while the entry level petrol costs Rs 326,000. There is Rs 10,000 increase in price but it is a reasonable hike.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Chevrolet India
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New Maruti Ritz

The car was launched a month back in diesel version and the New Ritz petrol was introduced when the festival season started.

The changes on the outer surface are not visible until you look at it carefully. According to the company, the new headlamps, front grille and bonnet gives the car an aggressive look, but it is hard to locate. The new fog lamp, however, is eye catching.

The dual colour interiors make the car looks fresh. The company has also added three new shades - mystique red, breeze blue and granite grey.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Maruti Suzuki

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The New Ritz starts at Rs 428,000 for petrol variant; for diesel version you need to pay over Rs 500,000.

The only worthy change is the mileage of the diesel variant - 23.2 kmpl - similar to that of Maruti Swift. Has the company increased the mileage to attract Swift diesel customers, who are facing long waiting periods? We don't know yet. The hike in price for the upgrade, however, is not justified.

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Photographs: Kind courtesy, Maruti Suzuki

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