It's time to meet the best handling cars once again. But this time round, the fight is for the quickest accelerating and quickest stopping cars with the addition of three new players.
Handling, you’d agree, is only half of what endears a car to an enthusiast. The other half is performance. But then what good is a quick accelerating car if it doesn’t shed speed equally rapidly? So, we welcome our participants from the handling test (Vol 2, Issue 1) once again to our test track with the addition of three newcars – the Maruti Suzuki Ritz ZXi, the Honda Jazz and the Skoda Laura 1.8TSI.
The test is simple. Accelerate from a standstill to a true speed of 100kmph and then brake ashard as possible back to a standstill. The car that manages the quickest 0-100-0kmph time is our winner. To give you a better idea of how these cars comparein the segment they operate in we have divided the group into four – hatchbacks, C-segment cars, D-segment cars and finally everything else that’s in a higher segment are clubbed together.
We also have an overall ranking (see table below) to give you an idea of where your car (or to be car) stands in the Indianperformance scene.
Moreover, like we redefined the handling test as Indians know it by providing you tests and information no one else hitherto even dared measuring, forget printing, wehave rewritten the 0-100-0 test rules as well in the country. Besides providing time taken to complete the run, which is split into 0-60kmph, 0-80kmph and 0-100kmph times in addition to the 100-0kmph time, weare also offering the information on reaction time, max braking Gs and the highest pitch angle registered by a car. These termshave been explained in the following pages. Again, measurement like the pitch angle of a car was possible thanks to our state-ofthe- art 3-axis VBOX testing gear.So here goes…
Audi A4 -Machines of the rich and famous
No surprises here, with the most powerful engine, four wheel drive and tyres that grip like a leech, the A4 3.2FSI takes over from where it left off at the handling test – winning our 0-100-0 contest as well. It pulls out half a second on the next best, the BMW 530i, in the run up to 100kmph and wins by a similar margin overall. It registered the least pitch under braking, an insight on its superb dynamic abilities. The 530i impressed us immensely as well, especially under braking. It might take more ime, but it's stable. However, the pitch is pronounced; just look at the pitch it registered, it’s the highest in this test.
Skoda Laura -Gathering for top achievers
The new Laura’s late launch meant it missed the handling test. But it has more than redeemed itself here and it did so thanks to its quickest 0-100kmph time. It’s not as good under braking, thanks to its tyres. It takes longer than some of the other cars in this group as well, like the Toyota. The Corolla though can only manage third best here behind the Civic. It takes longer to get to 100kmph and even though it takes both less time and distance to stop than theHonda, the difference in acceleration time proved too much to overcome. The CR-V meanwhile beats its sedan stablemate, the Accord.
Honda City -Cars for the upwardly mobile.
In the previous two higher categories the Hondas finished close to the bottom. But here the City runs away with top honours. It is by far the quickest car to 100kmph in this group. But the surprisewas its braking time. Compared to its competition like the SX4, Linea and even the Fiesta, it runs narrower tyres, but it still managed lesser time to come to a stop. It also offers good brake bite. The Fiesta, our handling champ among affordable cars, comes in second. It did equally well under braking taking similar time and distance to come to a stop, but the 1.6S simply could not match the City's acceleration.
Hyundai i20 -Choice of the Indian masses.
The Hyundai i20 wins among the hatchbacks and it does so thanks to good performance in both acceleration and braking. It also registered the leastpitch angle among hatchbacks displaying better body control. The Fabia diesel came in second followed by the Jazz. We in fact had expected the Honda to do better, especially as itregistered the quickest 0-100kmph time. But thanks to lack of grip from its relatively thinner tyres, it takes much longer to stop. There’s also more body movement compared to the Hyundai. The Fabia though has superb brake bite; so much so that the tyres struggle to keep up.