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Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Part II

We continue our series on getting you to choose your next car based upon your favourite Bollywood actor!

Planning to buy a new car but confused about what to buy? Here’s the second part of our recommendations on the right car for you based upon your Bollywood heart throb.

In Part 1, we recommended the best car on Indian roads for you if you love Amitabh Bachchan, SRK, Aamir Khan or Hrithrik Roshan. We continue our series with five more Bollywood heart throbs…and five more cars!

Salman Khan – Toyota Fortuner :  All brawn

What do you make of someone who is often called the People’s Star – yet is accused of running over four people sleeping on a pavement & of hunting endangered black bucks (both cases are still in court), is notorious for repeated physical assault of his girlfriends and needs to improve his acting  (by his own admission) after spending nearly 25 years as a leading man in Bollywood?  That is the curious case of Salman Khan – a man who can make or break your career (or your neck), but is universally recognized as a humanitarian and is possibly Bollywood’s biggest celebrity (Times of India voted him as India’s Most Searched Celebrity Online in August 2013). He is also the most bankable star in Bollywood right now, having starred in five consecutive blockbusters since 2010 (Dabangg, Ready, Bodyguard, Ek Tha Tiger, and Dabangg 2)

The Toyota Fortuner is possibly the most popular SUV on Indian roads, a position it has held since it’s launch in 2009. It has the brawn of a real SUV, the quality that is the hallmark of Japanese car manufacturers such as Toyota, comfortably seats seven people and has great off roading skills. It’s also extremely handy in intimidating the pesky bikers & auto-wallahs on Indian roads, and is equally useful if you want to impress the neighbours or the in-laws. No wonder then that 7 of every 10 SUVs sold in the Rs. 15-25 lakh bracket in the country  are Fortuners.

Shahid Kapoor  – Renault Fluence:  A great product that failed to take off

We can take comfort that we are not the only ones to sigh over Shahid Kapoor, the yummiest actor in Bollywood – there are 3,641,456 (over 3.6 million) similar fools on Twitter right now. We admit we get a little vague on being grilled on this topic, but hey, what’s not to like about a guy who has a great smile and can dance like a dream – he even made Gandi Baat look classy. Despite being an extremely competent actor and an outstanding dancer, success has eluded this Kapoor – he has only three mega hits in Vivaah, Jab We Met & Kaminey.

The Renault Fluence has everything for sedan lovers – elegant looks, great city performance, good fuel efficiency and is loaded with features (cruise control, traction control, electronic stability control, key less entry, Bose speakers…the list is endless). To top it all, it’s a “caaaar” in the real sense – being the longest car in the C class sedan segment  means it offers ample rear room at the back. Despite all this, the Renault Fluence is one of the slowest selling cars in India – it sold an average of a little over 100 units a month between Jan – Aug 2013 (856 units in all during this period). Here’s hoping that the expected facelift in 2014 manages to overturn the fortunes of this car.

Abhay Deol – Fiat Linea T Jet: Great looks & performance, but stardom eludes

If we had to find an actor in Bollywood who is cute, full of versatility but highly under appreciated, we’d look no further than Abhay Deol. We liked him in his debut Socha Na Tha, but it was in Manorama Six Feet Under that we recognized the talent that lay beneath those deep dimples. Dev.D would not have been the same without him, and we loved his take as Lovinder ‘Lucky’ Singh in Oye Lucky! Lucky Oye! and as bureaucrat T. A. Krishnan in Shanghai. We can’t wait to see him in the zombie rom-com Rock The Shaadi and really hope he breaks out of the ZNMD & One by Two phase – he’s simply too talented to be wasting his time in this Chakravyuh.

The Fiat Linea T Jet is one of the best sedans on Indian roads right now. Guaranteed to make heads turn, it’s a powerhouse performer whose turbo charged engine is just waiting to be unleashed on the highways. It has the build quality of an army tank with interiors luxurious enough to invite your CEO for a spin. It also offered the first affordable turbocharged petrol engine in the country, long before the Ford Ecosport turned this into a premium feature. Unfortunately, the car doesn’t sell – thanks to the battering that Fiat’s brand has undergone in India. Just like our One by Two hero, we’re praying for a change in the T Jet’s fortunes in 2014.

Sushant Singh Rajput – Ford Ecosport:  The new kid on the block

Telly super stardom, a great debut movie, a pretty good second movie – what more can an actor ask for? We can’t help point out that Sushant Singh Rajput a.k.a SSR has several similarities with his co-Delhiite SRK – not only did both hone their acting skills doing theatre with Barry John and had immensely successful stints on TV before their entry into Bollywood, the choice of their debut movie can also be termed “unusual” by filmi standards. In fact, Rajput seems a step ahead of his more famous colleague – he’s a fantastic dancer and finished second on the popular dance reality show Jhalak Dikhla Ja. With movies with Rajkumar Hirani, Dibakar Banerjee & Shekhar Kapur in his kitty, Sushant Singh Rajput appears poised for a bright innings on celluloid.

The Ford Ecosport had a sensational debut in 2013, topping the sales charts and hitting the sweet VFM spot for Indian car buyers. This crossover SUV has the convenience of a hatchback, the safety & comfort of a sedan and  just the right hint of brawn for a city SUV. Apart from that, it’s the first SUV with a turbocharged engine for the petrolheads – no wonder the Ecoboost variant is so popular! The Ford Ecosport is a fantastic car for singles & couples wanting a vehicle that is easy to drive in the city but offers solidity and performance on the highways. The big glitch – it has a really long waiting period (up to 6 – 9 months for popular models) and has a hatchback-sized boot.

Farhan Akhtar – Honda CR-V:  Overpriced, low on value but still popular!

Farhan Akhtar brought a breath of fresh air to Hindi Cinema with Dil Chahta Hai & Lakshaya. Then he made Don – and somehow started believing that the famous line of “Don ko pakadna mushkil hi nahin, namumkin hain” was written for him. Now if only he’d chatted with Subhash Ghai and stuck to running his hand through his crew cut hair. Instead, he decided to prove that he is Raymond’s Complete Man – someone who can sing and dance and lo and behold, even act. Bollywood being the most civil place in India, no one’s had the bad manners to tell him that the proof has been over-done and it’s time to warm the Director’s seat – or just get the hell out of Bollywood.

We’ve never quite figured out how the Honda CR-V manages to sell over 12,000 units a year. Till less than a year ago, it was running on a petrol engine in a segment dominated by diesel engines – and not Honda’s famously frugal engine either, but one that earned the car the notorious moniker of petrol junkie. There was a time when it had the beauty and ruggedness of a city SUV, but that was almost a decade ago. And the Honda brand means that the car costs over 20 lacs on road – without 4WD or the ability to handle really bad roads. There is no better example of an overpriced car riding (unfairly) on its history and parent brand than the CR-V.

Image courtesy: Fadzly @ Shutterhack via Compfight cc


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