The entry level luxury car segment in India is seeing more action these days than it has ever done in the whole of Indian automotive history. Initially dominated by the Audi A4, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and the BMW 3 Series, it received a good shake-up when Jaguar launched their XE earlier this year. However now, there are new versions of the original three and we see how they all fare against each other.
The Audi A4 was, till recently, the least expensive vehicle available from Audi in India and a formidable contender in its segment. But despite that, this car showcased the rock solid build quality of Audi. The car is powered by a 1.4 litre, 4 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that delivers 148 and 250Nm of torque. The transmission is a 7 speed, double clutch automatic unit.
The new A4 measures 4726mm in length, 1842mm in width, 1427mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2820mm. The equipment in this car includes an 8.3 inch MMI display, Audi Drive Select with 5 modes, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Audi Parking Aid Plus with a rear view reversing camera, 3-zone automatic climate control, Audi Virtual Cockpit, wireless charging, touch and voice inputs and more. With all its features, excellent ride comfort, roomy interiors and butter smooth engine, the Audi A4 continues to drive its Indian success story forward.
For starters, the new XE is unmistakeably a Jaguar from every angle. Appearances are where the Jag gets off to a flying start. Every single line, crease and bulge is there for a reason and they combine to give the car a fantastic and aggressive look. The car is available with a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that is tuned to deliver either 197 bhp or 237 bhp. The power is sent through an 8 speed automatic gearbox to the rear wheels.
The vehicle measures 4795mm long, 2075mm wide, 1416mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2835mm. Jaguar has kitted out the XE very well too, including the All Surface Progress Control (ASPC) system, a surround view camera, torque vectoring by braking, a 380 watt sound system by Meridian, ambient interior illumination, 10-way power adjustable seats, heated door mirrors and much more.
BMW 3 Series
Another serious competitor in this section of the Indian automotive market is the BMW 3 Series>. Combining superb driving dynamics with a long list of features, the 3 Series has always been immensely successful in India. BMW recently updated the car and it is now powered by either a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder, twin turbo diesel engine that produces 188 bhp or a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that puts out 181 bhp. The power is channelled by an 8 speed automatic transmission in all the variants of the car.
The 3 Series is 4633mm in length, 1811mm in width, 1429mm in height and has a wheelbase that measures 2810mm. Being a Beemer, it is very well kitted out as well. Features include the latest iDrive with an 8.8 inch display, a sunroof, touch input, LED headlights, fog lamps and tail lights, BMW Apps, an HUD, run-flat tyres and brake energy recuperation, amongst others.
Last but surely not the least is the Mercedes-Benz C-Class. The name Mercedes-Benz itself is often enough reason for people to buy this car. After all, this was the first luxury car company who set foot in India. Buyers of the new C-Class can order this car with a 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder petrol engine that delivers 181 bhp or a 2.1 litre, 4 cylinder diesel motor that is tuned to generate 168 bhp or 201 bhp depending on the variant.
Both these engines come mated to a 7 speed automatic gearbox in the C200 petrol and the C220d but, the C250d gets the newer 9 speed, 9G-Tronic automatic transmission. Features include a 7 inch infotainment screen with a touchpad, WiFi, attention assist, Dynamic Select with 5 modes, adaptive LED headlights, a panoramic sunroof, dual zone auto climate control, a 230V outlet at the rear, tyre pressure monitoring, a navigation module, This new version of the C-Class has also received accolades for its classy interiors, high levels of equipment and fantastically refined ride quality.