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Old 23rd January 2013, 10:30   #16
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by ampere View Post
A minor corollary : A car like Sunny/Scala would be bought either for diesel (which does not seem to be the reason nowadays!) or back seat space.

If the most folks are taking rear seat as the prime reason, then why AT, as they wont anyway be on the driver's seat and why should chauffeur get an AT to drive!
I believe there is a market for people who self drive, yet also wish that their family travels in good comfort. With the pricing, class leading rear seat space which also leads to driver comfort as you do not have to adjust your seats, features & good build quality & of course the tradeoffs with the engine performance, I think Renault and more particularly Nissan, are tapping into this market.

Last edited by noopster : 23rd January 2013 at 11:02. Reason: Fixed quote tag
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Old 23rd January 2013, 11:34   #17
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

Thanks for the likes and the comments, folks.

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Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post

Can you elaborate on the safety features in the RxL variant?
The mid-variant RxL (base RxE trim is not available in the CVT) comes equipped with two airbags and ABS with BA- in short, all the safety features you could ask for in that segment. Plus keyless entry, engine immobiliser and an anti-theft alarm. Pretty commendable that Renault chose not to cost-cut and drop these (in my view) essentials from the car. The only noteworthy omission I can find is child locks (although I must state that we didn't actually TD an RxL, so I could be wrong).

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Also suggest you to add the mileage as an feature in the comparison chart of the various AT models.
You know what? If you're looking at FE, buy a diesel . The best that you can look forward to in this segment, regardless of which car you select, is around 14-15 kmpl on smooth, straight GQ-style highways and expressways. I have driven a Laura DSG that showed 21 kmpl on the MID. That is *not* going to happen with a petrol AT.

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Does this also mean that Nissan would soon come up with the Sunny AT variant too on the same configuration? What about braking - does it still carry over the poor braking of Renault?
I suspect they may mix and match the variants a bit but other than that the Sunny CVT, if and when it makes its appearance, will be a lower-priced and slightly different looking clone! Mechanically they are identical, so no difference in the braking.

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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post

@GTO & @Noopster :: Curious, which will be your pick of AT from those listed in the above sheet, an all rounder?
GTO's is probably the Honda City (check his first response on this thread). I am putting my mouth where my money is: the Vento AT. I got mine just under 10L OTR two years ago. The Rapid AT (launched much after my purchase) actually offers everything that the Vento does (plus a lower trim and slightly better dynamics at a lower price) so that is possibly my pick as of today.
Honda City AT with its paddle-shifters is a fantastic car and I would probably have bought it if they'd had the sunroof option and the subsequent price correction in place back then!
And then there is...
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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
After reading the excellent ownership review by kamen_rider ... the Fiesta AT is probably the best AT you can buy within 12L.


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Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Last but no the least, driving any autobox needs some figuring out from the driver, then they can be almost as sprightly as a manual box
We had a whole day and 300+ km to get used to the car, so I don't think that was a major factor! There are some situations where you just need to zipppp...and the Scala just fails to stand up and deliver on that front. One of the people needed to be dropped to the airport to catch a flight and, while we made it in quick time, it was an assault on the auditory senses since the tacho didn't budge from 5500 RPM almost the whole time. Not to mention all that extra fuel we burnt!

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Originally Posted by Earth Lord View Post
Even if the Scala had launched a Diesel AT, consider the costs and see if it would be worth it. 80k for the Renault badge, 80k for the AT, 1.2lakhs for the diesel engine, that's 2.8lakhs more. That changes the segment of the Scala.
Very accurate assessment! If Renault insists on sticking to their premium positioning vis-a-vis Nissan, they are going to be competing in the wrong segment. I don't think this car can hold its own against the Laura DSG and the Altis CVT.

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If I wanted an AT for the city, I would pick a hatch back or wait for the Honda Amaze to be launched with an AT.
Amaze already promises to be a segment-killer and if Honda can somehow pull the AT rabbit out of the hat, I would be lining up to get one as well.
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What would be really cool is the Ecoboost engine coming into the Fiesta with the DCT AT, or an Ecosport AT with the EcoBoost engine.
Amen to that!
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Originally Posted by ambivalent_98 View Post
Nice crisp review Anoop. Thanks for it. Is this your first review independently as a mod ?
Actually my second. The first one was the...ummm...Scala MT. (Note to self: find a different car to review!)
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Old 23rd January 2013, 14:08   #18
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Default Re: Renault Scala : Official Review

Excellent review Anoop…Short and precise!
Happy to see more and more manufacturers getting into the AT bandwagon.

I could appreciate the convenience of AT (on Indian roads) when I did some back to back Test Drives. The Laura DSG was such a relief after grinding through the traffic in a Fiesta and Vento TDI.

And considering the fact that the Scala have its own strengths (looks, size, space etc.), and did not have much of negative publicity, I expect this to do well in comparison with the Fiesta AT (even with the fact that the latter is more engaging to drive, have better technology and safety kit).
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Old 24th January 2013, 17:27   #19
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

super review noopster! Being the owner of two torque converter ATs, have a few doubts..

1. Does the Scala CVT roll back in an incline? IMHO, that's one of the pleasures of traditional ATs - no foot on any pedal on a flyover, still as a rock!

2.Not having to put a leg on the brake pedal sounds good while at a complete standstill. Putting it to 'N' each time is too much of a chore in normal ATs if the stop is <30 sec.

3. Isn't it easier to crawl at 5-10 kmph and controlling brakes (like in normal ATs) rather than to control speed using the throttle and braking?

4. Wow, how on earth does the CVT rack up such good/better than Traditional AT mileage figures with that horrid high RPM rubber band effect?

Last edited by d_himan : 24th January 2013 at 17:28.
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Old 24th January 2013, 22:23   #20
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

Very nice review. I personally believe for all those Scala's and Sunny's to sell in India by companies like Renault, the product should be above the competition in every nick and department.

Look at the Duster, It offers an Indian customer an SUV with the weight and size a little more than a Swift. What a novel ingenious concept. You can drive it around the city like you would in your hatchback and take it on reasonably bad roads without a thought and this is from a company who has not even built a good reputation in India before the Duster except for its joint venture with Mahindra.

The Indian lifestyle has increased from the days of 2 and 3 lakh cars. Buying a 10 to 12 lakh car if it has what the Indians need is peanuts in today's day and time. Look at the bank loan and facilities you get.

A Scala or Sunny will never succeed in the Indian market, until they stop taking the Indian customer for granted and come up with something ingenious which out beat the competition.

XUV 500 did that, Mahindra would have succeeded if they had launched the Quanto as a mini SUV rather than something which is neither there, neither here nor anywhere. 1000 crores down the drain.
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Old 25th January 2013, 21:09   #21
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

Dear Noopster,
An excellent review.
I am currently in the market for an Automatic in this segment.
I test drove the Scala today and must say that she was very impressive.
I agree with the pros and cons listed by you, The Scala will certainly appeal to someone who has a sedate (I would say 'caring') style to his drive. The refinement of the car with this type of driving is simply outstanding. The Scala is very easy and predictable to manuver in traffic akin the Honda City Zx.

My current car is a Skoda Fabia and that is why the Scala felt a little light and not so well built but it compares well with the build of the Honda City. The stalks are well weighted and the interior fit and finish is decent. However I must say that one will need to be wary while reversing and parking due to a combination of high rear window line and an inadequate rear view mirror. This car qualifies for reversing sensors as 'must haves'.

Also, the OEM Halonix 60/55 w lamps definitely deserve a upgrade.
All in all a strong contender for the office going city warrior which can double up as a comfortable and spacious family car on the weekends.
Safe driving everyone.
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Old 25th January 2013, 23:07   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noopster
• The brake pedal has a long travel and feels spongy. Not confidence inspiring at all, given that brake usage is significantly heavier in an AT•.
Am really amazed that Renault Nissan get away with such poor brakes. I drove the manual (ok, manual Sunny) and found the brakes to be inadequate. I also found the brakes of the Honda City AT inadequate even though the City MT has fine brakes. I the Scala CVT has the same brakes as the Sunny, I dread to think how bad they must be. Wonder why manufacturers neglect such basics.
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Old 26th January 2013, 14:18   #23
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
After reading the excellent ownership review by kamen_rider ... the Fiesta AT is probably the best AT you can buy within 12L. The Honda City comes second followed by the Rapid/Vento.
Surprising!! Please section 2 and 1 of the above Fiesta review by Kamen_rider. An automatic car is fun to drive when the paddlers are used.

Unlike Fiestas 'L' mode the 'S' mode in City is really fun to drive. I use that every single time, I take the car to a highway. It allows you to go all the way to the red line in RPM counter and then is when the iVtec kicks in (@3500 RPM). And that is a different feeling altogether!!

Have to admit the fact that it is still a bit difficult to catch up (sudden acceleration after slowing down) with torquey diesels like Laura or Optra though.
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Old 26th January 2013, 16:26   #24
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by B103 View Post
Surprising!! Please section 2 and 1 of the above Fiesta review by Kamen_rider. An automatic car is fun to drive when the paddlers are used.

Unlike Fiestas 'L' mode the 'S' mode in City is really fun to drive. I use that every single time, I take the car to a highway. It allows you to go all the way to the red line in RPM counter and then is when the iVtec kicks in (@3500 RPM). And that is a different feeling altogether!!

Have to admit the fact that it is still a bit difficult to catch up (sudden acceleration after slowing down) with torquey diesels like Laura or Optra though.
Yes that's why I put Honda City as second. The Fiesta my not have the Sports mode or paddles shift but the dual clutch gearbox feels a lot like regular manual and not a torque converter which saps power.

Another thing is the handling and steering package. Honda is nowhere close when you drive a Ford.
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Old 26th January 2013, 22:57   #25
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Yes that's why I put Honda City as second. The Fiesta my not have the Sports mode or paddles shift but the dual clutch gearbox feels a lot like regular manual and not a torque converter which saps power. .
With availability of a paddle shift and additional torque available (as seen below) on the City, will Fiesta with DSG be more fun to drive than the City with torque converter?
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...converter4.htm

I have not seen a comparison thread between these 2 ATs in team-bhp but this is what topgear has to say:
http://www.topgear.com/india/car-gal...currentid=3374



Quote:
Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Another thing is the handling and steering package. Honda is nowhere close when you drive a Ford.
If the scope of discussion cover topics other than the gearbox, then City has a great rear seat which is a big plus. Rehaan's et. al reviews convey that Fiesta's back seat is cramped at leg, shoulder and head spaces.

Last edited by B103 : 26th January 2013 at 23:05.
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Old 26th January 2013, 23:08   #26
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by B103 View Post
With availability of a paddle shift and additional torque available (as seen below) on the City, will Fiesta with DSG be more fun to drive than the City with torque converter?
http://auto.howstuffworks.com/auto-p...converter4.htm

I have not seen a comparison thread between these 2 ATs in team-bhp but this is what topgear has to say:
http://www.topgear.com/india/car-gal...currentid=3374
Specs and how the gearbox works do not determine how a car feels to drive. In the end if you think that on paper the City is better that's fine.

I'm just saying that based on my drive of the City, I was not too impressed since the torque converter is not a very quick shifter and the honda lacks low end torque causing unnecessary downshifts.

My short drive of the Fiesta was a far more better experience with the gearbox in the right gear most of the time and quick downshifts when needed.

Anyways that's what I feel but your free to think that the City is superior and I wasn't trying to convince anyone about the Fiesta, it was just my opinion.
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Old 26th January 2013, 23:32   #27
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Specs and how the gearbox works do not determine how a car feels to drive. In the end if you think that on paper the City is better that's fine.

I'm just saying that based on my drive of the City, I was not too impressed since the torque converter is not a very quick shifter and the honda lacks low end torque causing unnecessary downshifts.
I agree. As you say, real drive feel is what is mattering. I have to admit that I have not driven the Fiesta AT. Thanks for sharing the feel.

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
My short drive of the Fiesta was a far more better experience with the gearbox in the right gear most of the time and quick downshifts when needed.
Is it so? GTO in section 4 of Fiesta AT review thread, thinks upshifts happen quickly but downshifts are slower. May be he is comparing it with the upshift of Fiesta itself and not in general with other ATs.

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Originally Posted by Vid6639 View Post
Anyways that's what I feel but your free to think that the City is superior and I wasn't trying to convince anyone about the Fiesta, it was just my opinion.
Thanks and no worries. My wish is to be aware of the facts, not to probe or challenge. Regret if it sounded otherwise by any chance.

By the way, here is some interesting information on Honda's decision to move back to torque converter from the earlier CVT:
http://gearboxtech.wordpress.com/201...honda-city-3g/
It gives information on why the current City gearbox is kicking down more readily.

Last edited by B103 : 26th January 2013 at 23:38.
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Old 26th January 2013, 23:51   #28
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Originally Posted by d_himan View Post

4. Wow, how on earth does the CVT rack up such good/better than Traditional AT mileage figures with that horrid high RPM rubber band effect?
Thank you very much for crisp review Mr. Aroon. I think conventional torque converter based CVT yields less fuel economy than the manual transmission counter part. However, Scala's AT version gives better FE than its MT, that means they might use toroidal or roller based Extroid ID CVT, please refer wiki page to know about Extroid CVT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Continu...e_transmission).

I feel this technology comes from Nissan's invention http://www.nissan-global.com/PDF/tcvt_e.pdf

This is a wonderful technology which gives more FE than manual transmission. If they fit into entry level hatch backs, it can lure many new buyers and city's bumper-to-bumper drivers. However, I personally prefer MT.
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Old 27th January 2013, 00:53   #29
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

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Is it so? GTO in section 4 of Fiesta AT review thread, thinks upshifts happen quickly but downshifts are slower. May be he is comparing it with the upshift of Fiesta itself and not in general with other ATs.
It's definitely not as good as the VW/Skoda DSG but what I was trying to say was the downshift is quick and not the kickdown. The difference being that to get a kick down you really need to press the accelerator a lot but when you do, it's quick to shift down. The City and Brio on the other hand go down a gear very easily even on a light press. the process of changing to a lower gear has a lag but it's eager to go down. Hope you get what I am saying.


Quote:
Thanks and no worries. My wish is to be aware of the facts, not to probe or challenge. Regret if it sounded otherwise by any chance.

Quote:
By the way, here is some interesting information on Honda's decision to move back to torque converter from the earlier CVT:
http://gearboxtech.wordpress.com/201...honda-city-3g/
It gives information on why the current City gearbox is kicking down more readily.
Interesting read and exactly what I was trying to say, it kicks down readily. In the Fiesta you need a heavy press on the gas to change down but it will quickly oblige.

Also, it's strange that Honda went back to torque converter but Toyota went with the CVT on the Altis. The Altis CVT is one brilliant box by the way.

The problem in the older CVT city was the rubber band effect and absolute lack of connection between rpm, engine speed and no feeling of gears. It removed driver feel completely. Exactly what the Scala has done with the CVT.

In contrast the Toyota CVT has pseudo jerks and mimics a torque converter but still gives you the benefits of CVT i.e. efficiency. The Altis even has 7 presets using the tip-tronic mode just to give feedback to driver.

When it comes to torque converters, the Honda is still the best though.

Last edited by Vid6639 : 27th January 2013 at 00:54.
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Old 27th January 2013, 01:25   #30
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Default Re: Renault Scala CVT (Automatic) : Official Review

Not enough is how I would view it. Diesel AT options are desperately required in the C segment. Petrol AT will somehow not move in numbers considering all factors.

Superb detailing of AT technology added to the review. Have always have 1 or 2 AT vehicles in my garage and yes this would have made a lot of sense and it is indeed practical but does not tug at the heart.
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