Category Archives: Latest Test Drives

Be it the first look review, a proper road test or a long termer, this is the place you need to be in for all the automotive dope you need.

UM Renegade Commando Classic and Renegade Commando Mojave – Test Ride Review

The new American bike making brand, United Motors launched two of their products at the AutoExpo 2016 and now they are again making headlines with two of their latest products which are the Renegade Commando Mojave and the Commando Renegade. They invited us to test ride these bikes in the home of Lohia industries where these bikes are manufactured for the entire country, in the lap of Jim Corbett National Park.

From Left to Right, Mr Jose Villagas Director UM India, Mr Rajeev Mishra CEO UM Lohia Two Wheelers Pvt. Ltd, Ayush Lohia CEO Lohia Auto Industries_

Both the Renegade Commando Classic and the Renegade Commando Mojave are majorly apart in terms of how they look. The Classic carries an old traditional cruiser theme with long windshield, good looking saddle bags, tank mounted meter console along with chrome bits here and there, that makes it an overall good looking bike. While the Mojave comes in a very different black and sand color theme inspired by the American Mojave desert. It carries a dark color theme that is significant on the engine, exhaust, handlebar, and several other places. Both the bikes come with spoke wheels instead of alloys and that we reckon looks impressive. The meter console on the bikes comes tank mounted. The speedometer is analog while rest of information is displayed digitally. The bikes also have a USB socket to charge your cell phones on the go.

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Both the bikes are essentially the same underneath, carrying the same engine which is 279 cc single-cylinder Liquid-cooled EFI engine 25bhp at 8500 RPM and 23 NM of torque at 7000 RPM, mated to a six-speed transmission. The engines felt rev happy instead of running on the torque. The bikes never felt lazy to pick up pace and were quite exciting to ride. We didn’t get a chance to push these bikes hard during our first impression ride but it was quite evident that UM engineers certainly worked on minimising the vibrations and improving ride quality. Though the engine felt exciting to ride, the exhaust note certainly subtle and could have been a bit louder to go along with the whole character of these bikes.

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The bikes come loaded with a front telescopic suspension while the rear wheel has dual shock absorbers. The suspension has been clearly tuned to aid handling dynamics over anything else.  It allows the bikes to handle proficiently but at the same time the rear felt overly stiff that translates even the smallest of undulations to the body and though that might not be the most comfortable setup we’ve seen on a cruiser, but that still makes it a good handler. Talking of the brakes, the bikes come with a front disc brake and drum brake at the rear. The brakes are decent and has progression and feedback, but since the brakes were fairly new we are still to test the same when we get the bikes for full road test review, under hard circumstances. These motorcycles have a fuel tank of 18 liters with a kerb weight of 179kg.  UM Renegade Classic mileage and UM Renegae Mojave mileage falls between 30 to 35kmpl, and with an 18L fuel tank these bikes should have a decent touring range as well.

The UM Renegade Commando Mojave price in India Rs 1.80 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) while the UM Renegade Commando Classic price in India is Rs 1.89 Lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The bikes feel exciting for sure but could have been priced more aggressively as at this price point they face severe competition from other manufacturers such as Royal Enfield and KTM, which are already miles ahead in terms of overall sales figures.

The UM Motorcycles is pushing their limits by launching new UM Showrooms around India, but only time will tell how these products survive the competition and deliver on after sale service promises.

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Things we liked:

  • Styling
  • Performance
  • Handling
  • Engine

 

Things we disliked:

  • Exhaust Note
  • Comfort
  • Meter Console
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2016 Toyota Fortuner driven off road, the Boot Camp experience

The Japs really know how to make good cars and bikes and to give a clear idea, all the tremendously famous cars sold in the Indian market, like Innova, Fortuner, Maruti Swift, Alto, all are Japanese. Fortuner has ruled the Indian SUV market from since the time it was launched in the country. I still remember giving that jaw dropping look when I first saw the Fortuner in flesh, right in front of my eyes. Fortuner instantly became the first choice for the ones who didn’t want an Indian SUV and wanted something more premium, reliable and potent. Hence Fortuner was a no brainer choice.

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Recently I had a chance to lay my hands on the all-new 2016 Fortuner at Toyota’s own dirt ground, the Boot Camp, which the company has been organizing for quite a long time now. First things first, the car has been upgraded in all senses be its exterior looks, inside the cabin, under the hood or electronics. As soon as first pictures flooded the internet I was surprised as the effort put by Toyota designers was visible. The car came with huge visual changes from front headlights to taillights, all the body lines were new, and the whole silhouette of this SUV got upgraded. The pictures impressed but seeing it in the flesh actually revealed how massive Toyota designers have made the new car.

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Inside the cabin, Fortuner feels seriously upmarket as the judicial use of leather, high-quality dashboard and intelligently designed panels and buttons have made the car feel none less than high-end cars. Practically, quite a number of cubby holes and bottle holders have been placed very thoughtfully to make this space as easy and practical as it can be. So the car gets full marks especially in terms of the cabin experience.

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It was now time to take it to the places it has been built to call home. The boot camp has been designed to test a specific capability of the car. From chicken holes, mountain elevation, water wading test, speed zone, slush pit and much more, everything was there for Fortuner to prove that it can easily be driven by even the most amateur drivers in the most extreme off roads without any hassle at all.

Also read: List of Hybrid Cars in India

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The car comes with a knob that is used to select the modes such as H2, H4, and L4. What these modes will do for you is that they change the car driving behavior according to the terrain. For example when driving on metalled roads with H2. When driving off road select H4 and when the terrain gets really tough (when driving in the hilly section or into the jungles) select L4. The first two modes can be engaged on the go while the last mode can only be chosen while the car is in the neutral gear.

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The car also comes with Active traction control feature, so how is this different from the usual traction control? Well, it is a more intelligent version of the standard traction control. Imagine you are struck in a really bad slush, the normal traction control will just prevent tires from skidding on a single place while the Active traction control will distribute the power intelligently and provide more power to the tire with more traction. Isn’t that a fabulous tech? Yes, it is!

Also read: This is not a showroom but the living room of a Chennai car collector

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The most impressive feature apart from the ATC was its Downhill Assist Control. In simplest words, this control will allow the car to be driven safely on to the steep slope areas. When going downhill, just activate the DAC button and the car will electronically control its speed but don’t forget to hold the steering wheel (it’s not exactly a self-driven car.).

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Apart from these electronic wizardly, the car handles like a pro when going over tight chicanes, so that makes the Fortuner an effective handler. And also its minimum steering radius ensures the car take really tight turns when needed. As I have some real life experience off roads, I know how important it is for a car to have a small turning radius so all thumbs up to Fortuner on its driving part. Taking you to the suspensions, the most significant change you can notice in the new Fortuner is that it’s less bumpy and that won’t make you headbang every time you hit a deep pothole for which our Indian roads are famous.

We had a limited time to test the Fortuner, until next time we hope to take it out on a really nice road drive and tell you more about it from everyday utility’s point of view. Stay tuned for more such updates.

Also read: Next Generation Maruti Swift Dzire to launch ahead of new Maruti Swift

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Don’t forget to scroll down for more technical details:

Safety & Security

  • VSC [Vehicle Stability Control] with BA [Brake Assist] [Except 2WD MT]
  • HAC [Hill Assist Control] [Except 2WD MT]
  • DAC [Downhill Assist Control] [Only on 4WD]
  • 7 SRS Airbags Front Seats: WIL Concept Seats [Whiplash Injury Lessening]
  • Child Restraint System: ISOFIX + Tether Anchor on 2nd Row All Row 3-point ELR Seat Belts Front Row: Pretensioner + Force Limiter Immobilizer + Horn
  • ABS with EBD Speed Auto Lock with Emergency Unlock Impact Absorbing Structure with Pedestrian Protection Support Airbag Manual Cut-off Switch

 

Exterior Features

  • Bi-Beam LED Projector Headlamps
  • Dusk Sensing Headlamps
  • Auto Headlamp Leveling
  • LED DRLs
  • Follow-me-home Headlamps
  • Front Fog Lamps with Chrome Surround
  • SMART Entry and Push Start/Stop Illuminated Entry System – Puddle Lamps under Outside Mirror
  • New Design Alloys Chrome Plated Door Handles and Window Beltline
  • LED Rear Combination Lamps
  • Fully Automatic Power Back Door with Height Adjust Memory and Jam Protection

 

Dimensions & Weight Overall

  • [LxWxH] 4.795 m x 1.855 m x 1.835 m
  • Wheelbase 2.745 m
  • Turning Radius 5.8 m
  • Fuel Tank Capacity 80 l
  • Seating Capacity 7 Seater
  • Gross Vehicle Weight 2610 kg [2WD], 2735 kg [4WD] 2500 kg

 

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