Monday, December 22, 2014

Hyundai Tuscani

Hyundai Tuscani is a modern car with a great performance and quite affordable price. Translated from Spanish, the word “Tuscani” means shark,- and indeed, the smooth profile and “gills” on the fenders really make the car look like the predator. In addition to the unique appearance, the “Tuscani” is distinguishable from its Hyundai-fellows by a 2.7-liter engine capable of producing 172 HP, bifurcated exhaust pipe, which slightly increases the engine power, and more sophisticated interior equipment.

In Armenia, Hyundai Tuscani is available in two versions: with 2L 4-cyliner engine with a capacity of 143HP and 2.7L V6 engine with a capacity of 172HP. Although these two versions are equipped with different engines, they share the same set of standard options: central locking, air conditioning, disk brakes on all wheels, air bags and split exhaust pipes made of chromium. The car is very attractive from every side and has a very modern appearance. The smooth body lines adds elegance to the model, which makes it distinguishable from other coupes. In the images, the “Tuscany” looks slightly bigger, but in reality, it’s quite compact and has a low height. The features of Hyundai Tuscani allow the car to be easily considered as a roadster, because the rear window (along with the trunk lid) is actually the third door.

This car is also attractive on the inside. Compared with Hyundai Tiburon, the “Tuscani” has got quite a different interior. The dashboard now has a new appearance- it is equipped with an odometer, the indications of which are shown on an electronic display. The panel is stretched along the length of the cabin- it is divided by two holes of the heating system and control buttons. The stereo system is located in the center of the console panel with the adjustment knobs of the heating system and air conditioning.
The handle of the gearshift has not only a short stroke, but also a comfy location, so the driver can make a smooth shifting at any time. The seats of the “Tuscani” have scoop-like shape and are very comfortable.
The interior trimming is made of high-quality fabric, which keeps the salon warm in winter and cool in summer.  The “Tuscani” has four seats. The back seats would be more appropriate for children and can additionally be used as a storage place.

Specifications of Hyundai Tuscani 2.7: 

Length-4395mm, width-1760mm, height-1330mm.
Maximal weight- 1740kg
Engine capacity- 172HP/6000
Maximal torque- 245 N m/4000
Maximal speed 220km/h
Transmission- manual  6-speed.
Fuel consumption per 100km- 10.3-10.4L
Fuel tank volume- 55L

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Skoda Superb (Part 2)

In spite of the fact that the base of the ‘Superb’ is shorter by a couple of centimeters than that of the previous model, it’s still quite spacious inside the car, and this is partly due to the transverse replacement of the engine. If you've ever driven a VW, you won’t have to get used to Skoda.

There are plenty of knobs and buttons, the locations of which are more than predictable- the ergonomics allows to guess everything intuitively. The panel is simple and unobtrusive- it has nothing to surprise the passengers, which I think is for good.
The wheel and gearshift are wrapped with leather. If you want everything else to be covered with leather, you’ll have to pay extra. But even without leather, the interior looks expensive and presentable- there is no hint of cheap Chinese plastic.

The power train is supported by 6-speed DSG gearbox (with twin-clutch plates), which pleasantly surprised me- it works amazingly fast. The 1.5-ton Sedan with DSG gearbox manages to accelerate 0-100 km/h in 8.5 seconds, while the one with manual gearbox does it in 8.6 seconds.
The mode “D” was more than comfortable, but I preferred to drive on the “S”- it wasn't a true sports mode- the behavior of the car becomes slightly sharper.
Someone might think that a 1.8-liter engine is too small for a business sedan- but no, the engine, indeed, demonstrated good dynamics.

The fuel consumption is less than 13 liters in the city. When I took the car, it had a full tank- I drove almost 500 kilometers for two days and there was still plenty of fuel left in the tank.
It’s great pleasure to ride in this car- the excellent sound insulation saves the passengers from the roar of the engine and aerodynamic howls. Both at high and low speeds, all the road junctions and roughness are ignored; the suspension is capable of coping with even bigger road holes and bumps, so that the passengers may only guess that there was something, but nothing special.
"Skoda Superb" is not created for young people- it would be more suitable for those who once got attached to affordable "Octavias" and "Felicias", but has since grown in age and status. But in spite of the fact that I was still fresh and young, I enjoyed driving the “superb” very much.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Skoda Superb (Part 1)

I managed to get a wonderful car for a couple of days- the Skoda Superb of second generation. Not long ago, I spent a whole day riding in it as, and I loved it very much. The car belonged to a friend of mine and I decided not to miss the opportunity to put it to the test.

In Armenia, this car is available in three versions- two of them (manual and automatic) have a 1.8-liter petrol engine with a capacity of 152 HP, and the third is equipped with 2-liter 140 HP diesel engine with automatic gearbox.  All these engines are turbocharged and are called TDI (Turbo Diesel Injection) and TSI (Turbo Stratified Injection)- everything like in blood brother VW. Each of the models is available in three versions-Comfort, Ambition and Elegance. Perhaps, I got the most interesting model, the 152HP-Elegance with a robotized DSG gearbox. I am not a connoisseur of automotive design and, without going into the prehistory of this model, I will say that Skoda Superb is something quite different from what the company manufactured before.  The car has a unique design and recognizable image. The unusual shape of the headlights and massive black grille give the car aggressive appearance, which is emphasized by the bonnet relief. 
The side view is not so interesting- there is nothing special to attract somebody’s attention- simple and with taste. But… if you take a good look, the elongated roof shapes stretching down to the rear rack start to remind you of Bentley Continental Flying Spur. The designers of Skoda seem to have inspired in the right place.

The back appearance is less expressive- could be done better. But in general, it’s pretty, I like it.
The "Superb" is simply huge- throughout the whole test drive, I was trying to get used to the dimensions of the car, but I couldn't- only after the third attempt I managed to make a parallel parking in the yard. The Parktronic system (in my case, it was only on the back) wasn't much help. As for ‘Parking Assistant’, I wouldn't have trusted it, even if there had been any.
To be continued...