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No Benefits or Incentives

The Union Finance Minister presented the Budget for 2022-23, but, unfortunately, it contained nothing to help the automobile industry recover from the slump it has been facing because of the pandemic. The battery-swapping policy will help only two-wheeler and three-wheelers. No reduction in duty or any other benefit or incentive has been announced for electric vehicles (EV).

This month we have tested three seven-seater automobiles from different segments, the most affordable of them being the Kia Carens. This one comes in a new segment, RV (recreational vehicle), a new moniker for a multi-purpose vehicle (MPV). The Kia Carens has a lot going for it, starting with its design. The designers have done a great job by keeping the proportions in mind, because it becomes difficult to get the proportions right when the wheelbase is increased. The Carens is a good-looking RV with a lot of interior space to accommodate seven people.

The Škoda Kodiaq sits in the middle, providing one all the luxury and all the bells and whistles that one would want without making a hole in one’s pocket. The Kodiaq is a beautiful SUV to drive, with enough performance on tap to enable one to enjoy a long-distance drive.

The third SUV with a seven-seat option tested in this issue is one of my all-time favourites: the Audi Q7. The new Q7 now gets a petrol V6 motor instead of a diesel one. True, one does miss the torque and fuel efficiency of the oil-burner, but then the petrol motor is more refined as compared to the diesel one and offers you that extra vim when you put your foot down.

Now there is a seven-seat option for most people in different price brackets, starting from the Kia Carens (below Rs 20 lakh), the Škoda Kodiaq (Rs 35 lakh), going all the way up to Rs 80 lakh with the Audi Q7.


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