Category: SUV

Personal SUVs or Fleet Services

You see, not long ago, I was reminded of the importance of production in the services business, when I was asked by a start-up entrepreneur of on-site auto maintenance. He asked point blank; “How many oil changes can be completed by a decent crew (I am assuming 2 people to a crew/truck) in an 8 hour day using your trucks and methods?”

Okay, here is my experience; with full production – Six Sigma style – vehicles in a row (fleets) the answer is 100s with a crew of three. Personal cars, all different, you need very competent auto mechanics with experience 5-6 per hour with 2 people maximum. Of course, there is more to the story, in fact his next question was even blunter and I must say right on target too; “Do the trucks you use work on one vehicle at a time or multiple at once?”

When doing fleets you use an assembly line methodology, so first, you start the motors on five vehicles, but you pop the hoods on 15 in the row. After 8-minutes, you turn off the first five, start the second five, drain the first five drain plugs, you get the idea. Or, you use evacuation systems. It’s a process, the money is in the “time” not the job or cost per unit. Travel time is job time by the way, including chasing parts, filters – especially when you are paying automotive technicians to fetch oil filters, fuel filters, and such.

Indeed, I’ve always instructed our crews on the need to honor the concept of JIT – just in time inventory, that is to say have the supplier, NAPA Auto Parts for instance, deliver the filters needed to the job site, why pay to stock the filters, inventory them, transport them, when these auto part companies deliver and will do anything to earn your business? If you are going to run an auto business whether you are dealing with private owners of SUVs or those in charge of large fleets of vehicles, then you need to run it with production in mind. Please consider all this and think on it.

Use Maxtrax

If you are stuck in sand, simply remove them from their storage location (a lot of people mount them on roof racks with the supplied mounts), dig some of the sand out of the way and put them as far under the wheels as possible. Maxtrax have the ability to be used as a shovel, making life very easy. Once you have a pair (make sure they are used on the same axle or you will get crossed up) under the wheels, gently accelerate until the vehicle grabs the Maxtrax and goes forward. These can be used in forward or reverse motions, and if you have a second set can be used together (1 on each wheel).

There are a number of alternatives to Maxtrax, but you get what you pay for. In mud, Maxtrax also works exceptionally well. Simply move a bit of the mud out of the way (or just jam them under the tyres) and you are set to go. The advantage of storing these on top of your vehicles is that when they are dirty, you don’t have to put them in your car!

Maxtrax come in a number of colours, and can be mounted on the rear tyre, roof racks or inside the vehicle. If you have a dual cab ute its often easy to mount them up against the canopy. If you are going to use the conventional methods of recovering a vehicle (with a snatch strap, tow rope or winch) make sure you always think twice about your safety.

When recovering a stuck vehicle, there are a number of things that can break, creating fast flying object. Snatch straps in particular will take anything they are attached to and shoot it through the air faster than you can see. Dampeners are vital, as they limit how far the strap or cable will go through the air. The advantage of Maxtrax though, is the fact that you don’t have to worry about something breaking or going wrong. You are guaranteed a safe, quick and easy recovery!

Tata Safari

When the Safari was launched, back in 1998, it was equipped with a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, diesel engine that was turbocharged. A few years later, in 2003, the car received some upgrades such as power steering, better mechanics, improved interiors and so on. But the Safari still drew a lot of flak for its underpowered, harsh engine. As a response, Tata Motors launched a heavily modified Safari in 2005 with a 3.0 litre DiCOR engine. DiCOR stands for Direct injection Common Rail and this engine was indeed the first from Tata Motors which had common rail fuel injection technology. As of now, buyers can order their Tata Safari DiCOR only with a 2.2 litre, 138 bhp, 4 cylinder diesel engine and a 5 speed manual transmission.

One department where the vehicle has shone right from the day it was released is its off roading capability. Despite mixed verdicts, Tata Safari DiCOR reviews have always praised in this regard. The SUV has a high ground clearance of 205mm, high approach and departure angles of 31°, a 30° break-over angle and can wade through water that’s a foot deep. One can engage 4 wheel drive without having to stop the car first thanks to its shift on the fly 4×4 engagement system and also climb hills that have an inclination of up to 26° (78% gradient). Another major feature which helps this car tackle rough terrain is its limited slip differential as it prevents the tyres from slipping when the ground offers minimal grip.

The Safari has undergone a lot of updates and upgrades to make it more appealing to potential customers. The car gets a dual air conditioner with a separate blower unit directed towards the middle and last rows mounted on the roof. An extremely useful feature is the parking lot locator. At least once, everybody would have forgotten the exact location of their car in a large parking lot and then run around all over the place searching for it. But with the Safari, simply press a button on the car’s remote and the car’s roof light turns on and, after 5 seconds, fades out. This makes the finding the car in a dark area a cinch. A puddle lamp mounted underneath the door illuminates the area where a person would step while getting out of the car so that they don’t step into something they wouldn’t want to! Another feature called the ‘Follow Me Home’ light keeps the headlights on for half a minute once the doors are locked so that the occupants can have their way home from the garage illuminated.

Taking safety into consideration, Tata Motors has endowed the Safari with ABS, a more rugged chassis and body construction and a reversing camera. Customers can choose from one of seven standard or dual tone colours – Cycus grey, Arctic Silver, Pearl White, Quartz Black, Arctic White, Quartz black with Real earth combination and Cycus grey with Arctic silver combination. The Tata Safari DiCOR price range goes from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 17 lakhs, depending on the variant. Despite stiff competition, this old timer is proving itself by continuing to perform well due its comfort, enormous interior space and its prowess at long distance cruising.

Trunk Mount Bike Rack

There are four main parameters based on which the compatible trunk mount bike racks has to be selected: user compatibility, bike compatibility, vehicle compatibility and vehicle accessibility. If the vehicle has a spoiler then the bicycle racks may not be compatible with your vehicle. Choose the strongest, secure, and easy to use bicycle rack.

The primary benefit is that the overall charges will be very low and affordable. It doesn’t need any roof rack or hitch and it are considered as the ideal choice for occasional short journeys. Most of these racks are user-friendly, and can easily carry 2-4 bikes. They are easily affordable and stored. The trunk mount bike rack blends security and provides greater clearance over other spoilers. It is more convenient for using and storage purpose.

The molded rubber pads are provided to give a firm support and hold the vehicle along with proper protection from scratches. As it can hold more than one bike, it is very important to handle the contact between the bike and the bike along with that of car and bike. The anti-sway cages play an important role in handling such contacts and the bicycle arms provide ample spacing to avoid the contact damage. It cushions the bike along with maximum security.

The levers of the trunk mount bike rack allow adjusting the bicycle arms easily as well as independently. This feature is designed to support all types of bike frames.

This type of rack is also available with another important feature called strap management. The strap management device consists of additional straps that protect the vehicle. These straps are made of proper nylon material so that they secure the rack guaranteeing the most convenient and safest installation. They are also provided with lockable secure bike carriers along with locks.

The trunk mount bike racks are also provided with narrow cradle arms to hold children’s bicycles and these can be folded when not in use. The arms are designed to provide flexibility, they can be folded or adjusted based on the requirement.

Audi TTS Roadster

Imagine the Qauttro’s wheel drive having a sleek hood that can conceal a turbocharged engine. It’s just so tempting to look into its features while forgetting about the price you pay for. Allowing you to have seamless shifts and straightened curves are results of the dampers that are adjustable as you desire. The features of the Audi German Roadster is never to be taken for granted with its heavily revised and heavily improved 2.0 TFSI engine, the machine runs smoothly and comfortably. It is available in either manual transmission or a six-speed S tronic transmission. Currently, TTS has all the useful upgrades you want.

Let’s just list and check these current TTS features below:

Manual transmission

Sport steering wheel

Beautiful casing

Leather sports power front seats

Bose sound system

Automatic single-zone climate control

265 horsepower turbo intercooled engine

Anti-lock brakes

Mounted airbags on the side seat

Automatic air conditioning system

Navigation system

Cruise control

Xenon headlamps

Rear parking sensors

Driveline traction control

Not to forget, it also has a soft top that folds over as a convertible and enough space for seating. It has a maximum seating capacity for two with heated seats. Side and knee airbags are available for safety optimization. It has stability and traction control, allowing the disc brakes’ pressure distributed at all the right amounts with the use of electricity. With its 22 city and 31 highway miles per second fuel economy rate, you get to save some bucks for your gas.

If you compare the model with the one of last year, you may see not much of upgrades, but still promises the sharper performance everyone has witnessed. Nothing compares with both the fully equipped interiors and exteriors. Basically, it has been known as well that the model wasn’t changed from the one.

Seeing all the mentioned features, it’s just really an amazing car for comfort, efficiency, and style. You may have your eyes on other brands or models, but you must expect the TTS to stand-out among the rest while you hit the road. Expecting to have the right fashion for both everyday use and special events, the TTS is just perfect for it. If you’re a die-hard racer, then you should be armed with the budget to pay off this luxury you’re into. If you’re not on a budget, then you’ll enjoy all the ultimate value and performance to satisfy your driving needs. The functionality and optimum safety you get from this Audi TTS Roadster is suitable for that racer like you.

Nissan Terrano

This is the third rebadged offering from the union of Renault-Nissan, the others being the Renault Pulse (a rebadged Nissan Micra) and the Renault Scala (a rebadged Nissan Sunny). In a lot of ways, the Nissan Terrano and its twin, the Renault Duster, are impossible to tell apart. Both these vehicles use the same set of engines – a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that delivers 84 bhp; a 1.6 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that puts out 102.5 bhp and a 1.5 litre, 4 cylinder diesel engine that generates 108.5 bhp.

These engines have been well matched with the weight of the car and the end result is that the Terrano is adequately powerful. It pulls right from when the engine hits 2,000 revs and the car performs well even while nearing redline. You do get a lot of car for the money you pay and Nissan has not scrimped on kitting out the car with features. Depending on the variant, you get airbags, anti lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake force distribution (EBD) with brake assist (BA), fog lamps, parking sensors, alloy wheels, trip computer, keyless entry, 12 volt sockets at the front and rear, a 2 DIN audio system and more.

A front skid plate also comes as standard on all variants to help protect the underside of the engine while driving on rough terrain. The suspension has been designed in such a way that it will remain unfazed even when driving over bad roads. The car stays level and doesn’t crash about for most bumps and dips. The car also grips really well and this makes driving on mountain roads a joy.

The interiors of the car look very different from its Renault twin; the centre console is now finished in glossy black with matt grey strips on either side, the cubby hole on top of the dashboard has a lid and the aircon vents are rectangular. The steering wheel is different as well; however, steering mounted controls are not available on any variant. Although this car does not have a 3rd row, meaning that it can take only 5 passengers, the seats all round are very comfortable in the Terrano.

The top end Terrano variant is filled with features such as ABS, leather seats, Bluetooth and USB audio connectivity, two airbags and rear parking sensors. But all these features are also present on the Renault Duster, which costs less than the Terrano. Even more weirdly, the Duster’s touchscreen navigation and multimedia system is omitted in the Terrano. It’s no wonder that Nissan Terrano reviews have always been lukewarm on the subject of features. However, the very same reviews always praise the vehicle’s ride quality, composure, performance and quality. Nissan Terrano prices range from Rs. 10 lakhs to Rs. 14 lakhs and while one does get a pretty good vehicle for that money, it feels as though Nissan could have done a nicer job and made the Terrano better still.

Buying Roof Racks

The things you can carry on your roof racks are only limited by the weight of the goods vs. the roof load limit and your imagination. You can carry all sorts of things like luggage boxes and bags, camping and fishing gear, kayaks, canoes, as well as skis and snowboards or even ladders.

There are so many options these days when it comes to selecting the appropriate bars for your car. If your car is fitted with side rails, you will need roof racks that are designed to be fitted to factory rails. For rails that are slightly raised and have a gap between them and the roof of the car, you will have to choose between the type of “Rail Bars” that sit between the rails, clamping on along the inside of the rail, and don’t raise the profile of the car by more than a few millimetres, and the type that sit on top of the rails and clamp on from above.

If you don’t have rails and your car is fairly new, it my have what are known as factory fixed points. These are an integral part of the car’s design that allow roof racks to be fitted at specific points.

Some cars built within the last 10 years will have a set of tracks fitted to the roof. These allow for the roof bars to be fitted and slid to almost any desired location on the roof.

Some older cars will have actual rain gutters, and you will need the type of racks that clamp onto the gutter. If your car is a reasonably late model car that doesn’t have any of these options then you may well need to get the type of roof rack that basically clamps to the car roof via metal straps that are fitted inside the doors.

When buying a set of racks for your car there are certain things you will need to consider, to ensure that you buy the solution that is best for you. First consideration would be, “What do you intend to carry up there?”

Secondly but of equal importance is the weights you intend to carry and what the legal implications of that can be. All cars have a roof load limit that includes the weight of the roof racks.

Before you go ahead and buy your roof bars it would be a good move to discuss your requirements with a qualified roof rack specialist to be sure that the roof rack you buy meets the vehicle’s manufacturer specification and the vehicle’s load rating. It.s also worth noting that the official roof load limits are designated for on road use. If you are going off road then you need to divide the load limit by 1.5 which means a 50kg limit is dropped to 33kg.

Safety and Handling have to be your next consideration, as any extra weight above the centre line of the car will have some detrimental effects on how the car handles. You may not notice it at first, but you’ll definitely notice it under emergency braking…

Whilst there are some downsides to using roof racks, the upsides far out weigh them. As long as you take some extra precautions before you travel, everything will be fine. First and foremost, DO NOT try to carry more than the specified weight on your roof racks. Make sure that you distribute the weight evenly across the bars, paying particular attention to the placement of the heaviest items, keeping them as close as possible to the centre of the car.

Crossover SUV

Pro: Smaller Size For A More Efficient, Agile Ride

Crossovers are lighter and more agile than full sized SUVs, which means a more responsive driving experience as well as better efficiency and kms. Since it doesn’t have to be built for heavy duty towing or hauling capacity, they are able to cut down on weight and size. This fact also helps the crossover to be more stable, since it is lower to the ground and is thus much less likely to roll over during a wreck. Plus, the smaller size and lower stature of the vehicle makes it easier to fit in both your garage or a tight parking space in town.

Today’s drivers and economy require good kms and an efficient ride, and that is a major reason why the crossover has become so popular. In fact, many of them offer a sporty ride that you would expect from a sedan or a coupe.

Con: Less Power, Capability Than A Truck Or Full Sized SUV

On the other hand, motorists who need to haul or tow very heavy loads will find that a full sized SUV or truck works better for them. As a working vehicle it will offer a heavier payload and towing capacity. In addition, they are a better platform for off-road capability due to the need for specialised equipment and oversized components.

Over time, the capabilities of the crossover have gotten better, to the point where they are starting to compete in the areas of towing and hauling. For now, if you need a heavy-duty vehicle, it might not be the right type of vehicle for your needs.

Pro: Efficient, Stylised Interiors

While crossovers are smaller than other SUVs, their designs strive to optimise the use of space for a roomier inside but smaller outside. Every cubic centimetre of space is put to good use for the passenger. The exterior design is more ‘car like’ rather than ‘truck like’, and designers often incorporate features from sedans, coupes, and even sports cars. The end result is that they tend to have a more modern and sporty look to them, which appeals to a lot of motorists.

Pro: Affordable And Accessible

In the end, the crossover is a great value. You can get a great blend of capacity, performance, and space at a great price. You don’t have to overpay to get the features you want or the space that you need. The efficiency and kms make for a lower cost of ownership so you will continue to save money over the entire life of the vehicle.

Tesla Model X

Design and Safety:

The Model X is designed in such a manner that safety was kept as the main priority. The presence of floor-mounted battery keeps the gravitational force to the minimum that reduces the likelihood of a rollover. The battery structure is such that it strengthens the vehicle against any side impact intrusions. Since there is no gasoline engine, the big front trunk functions as a huge impact-absorbing feature.

The Model X is a smart car in the sense that it continuously scans the nearby roadway through radar, sonar systems, and the camera. This enables the driver to get real-time feedback to avoid collisions. If the speed is quite high, the vehicle is capable enough to apply brakes automatically at the time of an emergency.

The outside pollution, bacteria, and pollen are constantly filtered through a medical grade HEPA filter prior to the air circulating inside the cabin. There are three modes for adjusting the filter level that include a ‘bio-weapon defense’, ‘re-circulate inside air’ and ‘circulate the outside air’ respectively. Thus, a positive and clean pressure is created that protects the occupants inside.

Falcon Wings:

The Falcon Wing doors are special and unheard of before. They provide easy access to the second and third-row seats even if the car is parked in a tight space. Having only a foot of clearance on each side, the Falcon Wing doors articulate up smoothly. This enables the passengers to enter the cabin from the front and the rear side. Interestingly, the overhead and side opening is so big that even the parents can buckle the children inside without having to strain or duck or even bumping the kid’s head on the roof.

Seating Capacity:

The Model X has a seating capacity of seven people in the three rows. Each seat is equally good, but those present in the second row are remarkable. Each seat in the second row is mounted on the single post and reclines independently that helps to maximize the legroom, comfort, and the under seat storage. Moreover, the third row can be easily accessed as well.

When not in usage the third-row seats can be folded flat. While the second-row seats can be made to lean forward that allows for more cargo area.

Engine:

Two versions of Model X will be available for the consumers. One is the P90D Signature, and the other is sportier P90D Founder. The engine specifications include a 259-hp electric motor that energizes the front wheels and the 503-hp rear-mounted motor that stimulates the rear wheels to account for the all-wheel drive transmission.

The P90D Signature version has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and a 250-mile range. In just 3.2 seconds, it can accelerate to 60 miles per hour respectively.

SUV Dealers and Negotiation Tactics

There are variety of sizes and styles to choose from when selecting your sport utility vehicle. Details will vary among different car manufacturers, but generally SUV dealers will offer four size options: compact, mid-size, full-size, and hybrid. Compact is the smallest size option, featuring two to three rows of seats and plenty of cargo space. This option is ideal for buyers who are interested in sporty transportation that offers a bit more room than a sedan. Mid-size SUV’s are capable of seating up to seven individuals, but maintain maneuverability and sportiness. The largest option is full-size. This designation refers to vehicles designed for large families, seating from eight to ten passengers, or for towing purposes. The newest edition to the SUV family is the hybrid. Hybrids are around the size of compacts, but they feature gas or electric drivetrains. This allows you to appreciate the advantages of a sport utility vehicle, while alleviating one of the major drawbacks to owning a bigger car–gas consumption.

Once you’ve narrowed your options, it’s time to start visiting SUV dealers. Visit multiple dealerships and be sure to research prices and financing options ahead of time. There is always room for negotiation when making your purchase, so it is helpful to have a prospective selling price in mind. In most cases, negotiating is the most stressful part of buying a new car. Use the following tips to ensure you pay a reasonable price:

Set a Limit

When financing, it can be easy to be persuaded into paying to a slightly higher quote than expected. Know the maximum amount you’re willing to spend before you visit any SUV dealers and do not budge. If a dealer won’t meet your price, move on to the next dealership.

Focus on Selling Price

Some sellers will try to negotiate your monthly payment, but it’s beneficial to look at the bigger picture. A low monthly payments, does not necessarily indicate a reasonable selling price. Keep your focus on the bottom line when negotiating.

Wait for Counter Offer

If the dealer says no to your first offer, don’t immediately make another. Always wait for a counter offer. This will allow you to better gauge negotiations. The salesman has a lowest offer and you can bet he doesn’t start the negation with it, so be prepared for some back-and-forth.

Raise Offer Slowly

Never raise your offer by more than $250-$300 at a time. If you raise your bid in small increments, you’ll be far less likely to overshoot your opponent’s lowest price.