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The company known for manufacturing commercial vehicles, Ashok Leyland, has ventured in the Multi Utility Vehicle (MPV) segment in India with its model Stile. The latest offering of the company was officially launched on 7th October, 2013. Earlier, there were rumours doing the rounds that the auto maker is planning to launch a new model. Subsequently, after a time period, which prevailed with a lot of excitement and anticipation, Ashok Leyland did manage to take all of its planning to final fruition. The realisation of this project that the company undertook for developing a new utility vehicle for car customers and enthusiasts finally met fulfilment quite happily, and the customers were the ultimate beneficiary of this promising initiative.
In terms of pricing, Ashok Leyland Style was offered at Rs. 7.49 lakh for the base trim (at the time of its launch) whereas the top-spec was available from Rs. 9.29 lakh (all figures are ex-showroom Delhi). Incidentally and inevitably, Stile is a product from the Ashok Leyland-Nissan Motor Company joint venture. This utility vehicle is likely to see its production at Nissan’s manufacturing plant at Oragadam in Tamil Nadu. The Hinduja Group flagship, Ashok Leyland, has done well to make this newly launched vehicle aptly conducive to what was initially intended. This stylish MPV is seemingly based on a contemporary, award winning vehicle platform and thus, is likely to be favoured by its targeted audience in the country.
At the launch ceremony, Ashok Leyland's brand ambassador, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was present and he was quite impressed with the vehicle. The company officials too carried the same confidence to infect those who witnessed this unveiling ceremony, along with all those customers who were a part of targeted audience. As it apparently implies, the company has put forward the attractive aspects of this vehicle to lure domestic customers of the country. The noble goal of the company, here, is to get a strong foothold in the Indian automobile market, in accordance to aspirations for extensively laying out plans to explore new opportunities for its product range. Quite apparently, the utility vehicle 'Stile' will follow highly successful vehicle model named Dost as the second in-line product for Ashok Leyland’s fast growing light vehicle business.
Today, fuel cost is getting due consideration from prospective buyers and even market critics, to say for an instance. Consequently, this consideration also becomes a prerequisite for the auto company, which needs to be fulfilled in the form of a promise made. Obviously, those vehicles that return high fuel economy seemingly get more attention from customers and vehicle enthusiasts. The importance of fuel efficiency can be seen even among luxury car makers who have realised that in order to get their business and profitability going, they have to come out with vehicles that not only are high on affordability front, but also on fuel economy. Thinking on similar lines, Ashok Leyland too is aware of this unique and substantial demand of customers, especially from utility vehicles. Thus, it has put in substantial efforts to make the newly launched Stile as a fuel efficient utility vehicle. As company claims, Stile returns best-in-class fuel efficiency with a mileage of 19.5 kmpl (as certified by ARAI). The company has not left any stone unturned to enhance its performance and comfort aspects.
Ashok Leyland Stile gets its power from an advanced and globally acclaimed Common Rail Diesel Engine, which has been tuned for excellent on-road driveability and low NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels.
Ashok Leyland Stile Launch History
Indian car market has been going through a rough phase for a long time now as companies are experiencing a slowdown in demand and constantly dipping sales figures. Although Ashok Leyland stated that it is not going to compete in the passenger car segment, the fiercest competitors of Stile operate in it. Thereby, it was inevitable that Ashok Leyland Stile is going to compete with cars in the passenger vehicle segment, such as Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Enjoy and Nissan Evalia. The car of Ashok Leyland finally made its headway start in India during October.
Ashok Leyland Stile Variants
The latest offering of Ashok Leyland in the Indian car market, Stile is offered in different variants, namely LE, LS 8 Seater, LX 8 Seater, LS, LS Optional, LX, and LX Optional. In all these variants, the mechanicals are the same but major differences lies in their interior and the list of features.
Ashok Leyland Stile Review
The response meted out to Stile has been lukewarm as of now with industry experts giving giving mixed reactions to the vehicle. Since the competition in the MPV segment is intense as Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Chevrolet Enjoy and Nissan Evalia are already present, it would take time for Ashok Leyland Stile to establish itself in the passenger car market. As car buyers generally prefer buying vehicles from brands that have tasted success in the different segments, the sales figures of Stile have nothing to boast about. On the other hand, the company is putting very high stakes on its newly launched MPV as it recently told that it is aiming to sell 1000 units of Stile by the end of the fiscal year.
Ashok Leyland Stile Specifications
Ashok Leyland has offered the stylish new MPV in a diesel engine option that has SOHC valve configuration. Powered by a 1.5-litre K9K unit that has a displacement of 1461 cc, the vehicle has got four cylinders that are equipped with best-in-class fuel supply system under its hood. It must be noted that the same powertrain does duty in other vehicles that include Nissan Evalia. Deriving power from this engine, Stile has a potential to churn out 75 bhp at 3300 rpm while attaining 185 Nm of peak torque in the range of 1750 to 2750 rpm at the same time. This engine of Stile has been mated to a five speed manual gear box that further transfers the power to rear wheels of the car. Also to mention, Ashok Leyland Stile boast of good fuel economy that is claimed to be around 17 to 19 kmpl by the company. However, the average can come down gradually depending on the driving conditions.
Ashok Leyland Stile Exterior
If we talk about the exterior of this vehicle, it must be mentioned that Ashok Leyland manages to do well to make Stile look eye-catching. The car is fitted with large headlamps,
horizontally aligned plastic grille and broad bumper fitted with alternative driving lamps. For driving in unfavourable weather conditions, the manufacturer has placed the fog lamps in such a way that the road ahead becomes clearly visible. To make the exteriors look impressive, the frontal part of the radiator grille is lined with chrome strip. During the rainy season, drivers usually find difficulty in riding the vehicle. So to encompass this problem, this passenger car is well-equipped with a pair of wipers on the windscreen.
Throwing light on the side profile of Stile, one can see the coloured door handles and its rear view adjustable mirrors. This compact looking vehicle has a wide rear windshield that features a stop lamp along with small windows firmly secured on the side panels that cannot be opened. In order to have easy ingress and egress of passengers, the car is incorporated with sliding doors. However, the Ashok Leyland logo is fixed on the hood (or bonnet) instead of grille. For giving assistance to trailing vehicles, the halogen filled headlamps is integrated with an indicator to direct other drivers in traffic situations. To sum up on the exteriors, Stile is a beautifully designed vehicle that reflects simplicity in its appearance and thereby entices the buyers.
|Width (including wing mirrors)||1700|
Ashok Leyland Stile Interior
The newly launched four-wheeler vehicle, Ashok Leyland Stile comes with sophisticated and stylish features. The interiors of the cabin section are designed that it exudes a sense of luxurious feeling to the passengers. This MPV has seats covered with premium upholstery that enhances the comfort factor for the travellers. Trimmed with fabric, good quality plastics on the surfaces and elegant central console complement the overall look of the car. The inside of the Stile looks opulent and modern with a large windshield and simple dashboard layout with stylish instrument cluster.
One of the striking features of this vehicle are its sliding doors on the rear side that makes the passengers feel at ease in moving in and out of the car. For transportation of commercial goods, this MPV has enough room space for luggage and baggage storage. Moreover, for electronic purposes, there is a provision of 12V outlets for powering or charging your mobiles/gadgets. With wide seating capacity, foldable rear seats, low floor ground clearance and placing of the gear levels on the central console, this vehicle imparts comfort ability to the driver while cruising on roads.
Ashok Leyland has unleashed an amazing segment MPV named Stile, which provides excessive amount of comfort to the riders and its co-passengers. This diesel engine car is luxurious from inside, which every customer lures for. Stile has been designed in such a way that it fulfils the basic comfort needs of the occupants. This four-wheeler MPV has an adjustable electric power steering wheel that allows the driver to drift the car easily on steep turning points. For passengers who want to sit comfortably during long hour drives, this car comes with adjustable cushioned seats surfaced with premium upholstery. The dimensions of the car are such that there is a plenty of space for knee, elbow and leg, thus providing greater comfort for the passengers while sitting.
Ashok Leyland has put in extra effort in Stile to ensure a wide seating arrangement for the passengers. Ergonomically designed seats not only support your lumbar but also offer stability to the body while doing away long journeys. Special features like bottle and cup holders on the doors and rear seat belts allow the travellers to feel at ease while maintaining their safety. An air-conditioning system and instrument cluster on the dashboard with multiple notification lamps are present, helps the driver to ride the car conveniently.
Ashok Leyland Stile Fuel Economy
Coming to the most important part, which is mileage, Stile does well in this department too. The 1.5-litre K9K diesel engine of the vehicle gives away good fuel economy figures. As claimed by the company, the new MPV possesses the ability to return an average of 18 to 20 kmpl, which is quite impressive.
Ashok Leyland Stile On Road Drive
Ashok Leyland Stile promises to be a no dampener as it has got a power packed engine alongside the fully loaded features. Even though the car has some demerits, it still fares quite well. A marvel of robust engineering, the engine of Stile has adequate response mechanism even when cruising at higher rpm. The suspension system of Stile is ideally suited for Indian roads. To sum up on Stile, it is spacious, comfortable, powerful and offers a good driveability.
Ashok Leyland Stile Power
Ashok Leyland Stile has been powered by K9K diesel engine that delivers exceptional performance. The 1461 cc powertrain gives away 75 bhp of peak power at 3300 rpm while generating about 185 Nm of torque from 1750 to 2750 rpm.
Ashok Leyland Stile Acceleration and Pick Up
Talking about acceleration and pick up of the new Ashok Leyland Stile, it fares quite good deriving power from its 1.5-litre diesel engine. However, the company has restricted the speed of its MPV but it still manages to do 140 kmph at most. Also to mention, the vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 kph in about 15 to 18 seconds, which is respectable as per industry standards.
Ashok Leyland Stile Safety and Security
Ashok Leyland Stile comes with responsive safety and security features. The 1.5 litre diesel engine car with a seating capacity of 7 to 8 has safety and security features like child lock, central door locking, horn system, rear seat belts, engine immobilizer and halogen headlamps. When driving on bumpy and rough terrain is taken into account, then this MPV does not lag behind any other vehicle. For the type of roads we have in India, the Stile comes with a flexible suspension and power steering system. To minimize the damage and increase the safety, Ashok Leyland has taken utmost care for the protection of the passengers by making the body of robust structure on monocoque chassis.
Now if we talk about security, then the Stile is equipped with an engine immobilizer that is an anti-theft security system. It is an electronic security device, which will immobilize the transmission system if a wrong key is inserted during an attempt to theft.
Ashok Leyland Stile Comfort and Convenience
Ashok Leyland Stile is a new multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that features high in term of providing comfort and convenience for passengers. The vehicle is spacious from inside and that aspect is ideal for the comfort oriented Indian buyers that usually drive for prolonged hours. Factors like electrical power steering, air-conditioner with heater, fuel indicator, cushioned and adjustable premium upholstery seats, rear seat belts and bottle/cup holders ensures comfort for both occupants and drivers. Due to the provision of ample leg space, shoulder clearance and head room inside the cabin section, the passengers feel at ease during long journeys. Keeping in mind the height of Indian people, the seats of this car are ergonomically designed.
For charging electronic devices, there is a provision of 12V power outlet, which increases the usability of the vehicle. To offer convenience for passengers and riders, the car comes equipped with an air-conditioning system that eliminates perspiration during hot weather. Additionally, the dashboard or the control panel of the car is housed with an instrument cluster panel that has a tachometer, a low fuel warning indicator and a digital clock. The car also has an adjustable power steering wheel, in which the driver can change the position of the wheel according to his preferences. Provision of sliding doors makes it convenient for occupants to get inside the car easily. An important feature of this MPV is that there is enough luggage and storage space, which makes it ideal for travellers who are on a long trip.
Having said that, this vehicle from the Ashok Leyland, an Indian auto-maker, is considered one of the best spacious MPV as it provides more comfort to the riders and the occupants as well. Overall, this newly designed Stile from Ashok Leyland, incorporated with multiple features is a suitable option for big families or where the passengers are more.
Ashok Leyland Stile Wheels
Ashok Leyland Stile boasts of an attractive exterior appearance that is accentuated by its robust set of wheels. The MPV gets 14 inch wheels that complement the neatly structured wheel arches of the car. In order to give a firm grip on roads, Ashok Leyland has given 165/70 R14 size tires in Stile. With this, vehicle will maintain its stability even on the roughest of terrains, making it easier for the driver to handle the car.
Ashok Leyland Stile Stereo and Accessories
Although the compact Stile is not incorporated with a music system but the buyers can add auxiliaries like CD/MP3 player or AM/FM radio for entertainment purposes from after market. This will not only make the journey on road lively and enjoyable but also a relaxing one. Users who want additional hi-tech features in their newly owned car can equip their vehicle with Bluetooth connectivity and USB interface.
Ashok Leyland Stile Company Quotes
V. Sumantran, Vice-Chairman, Ashok Leyland, who was present at the time of launch of Leyland Stile seemed extremely excited when he said, “We are extremely delighted to launch the second product from the Ashok Leyland Nissan JV, which we believe, will change the dynamics of Indian MPVs. With Stile, our mission was clear – to deliver to the Indian customer, a contemporary MPV with lots of space, contemporary styling, comfort features and most of all, class-leading fuel efficiency. Stile is developed on a trusted and reliable vehicle platform that reflects our continued focus on offering Japanese Technology and Quality at Indian Cost. With the Stile also in our portfolio, we are now better positioned to cater to a wider customer base and range of transportation needs.” He also said, “Stile is the closest we have got to a passenger car and I don't think we will go deeper into this. Our DNA and our value proposition is more towards commercial vehicles and it will remain like that.”
Sumantran mentioned about the Joint Venture that the auto company has taken up. He also hinted at the auto company's future goal, when he said, “Phase 1 of our (joint venture with Nissan) plans included the launch of three models - Dost, Stile and Partner. The second phase includes setting up of a greenfield plant. We are yet to finalise the investment for the new plant.”
Earlier, Nitin Seth, Ashok Leyland's executive director of light commercial vehicles and defence business, admitted that van segment is yet to realise its full potential in the country. He stated, “Stile is not a vehicle aimed at personal buyers; it is aimed at the value seeker fleet operator. In India, people want a balanced vehicle, with a focus on functionality of fuel efficiency and cost of running than on the performance of the car, and Stile intends to deliver that.” Nitin Seth also hinted at the Ashok Leyland's plan to establish its network in the eastern regions of the country when he said, “We are looking to enter East India by November this year. Between November and March, we plan to have 200 outlets across the country, which will also include expanding the network in smaller cities.”
Ashok Leyland Stile Competitor Analysis
Ashok Leyland is acclaimed worldwide as a commercial vehicle manufacturer, recently augmented in the Multi-Purpose Vehicle (MPV) segment. The latest offering named Stile, is the first passenger vehicle to carry the Leyland badge in India. Ashok Leyland is probably one of the most famed names in India, considering its strong hold in the transport industry but this time Ashok Leyland has come to the fore with Stile to establish its roots in the passenger car market. Although, Stile is first of its kind by Ashok Leyland, it has previously launched Dost LCV (Light Commercial Vehicle) in 2011, which was borne out of its joint venture with Nissan and Renault. Having said this, it will be appropriate to mention that the company once again wants to try its hands in the MPV segment. It is likely to be a difficult journey for Stile to make a mark amongst the established brands in the same segment and it will have to compete with the likes of Chevrolet Enjoy and Nissan Evalia.
In the first look of Ashok Leyland Stile, it becomes evident that its aesthetics are borrowed from Nissan Evalia. To begin with, the exteriors of Evalia is designed more like a van with sliding doors giving it a simple look, while Stile exhibits distinctness in the front grille, bumper and headlights. Furthermore, the company has bestowed Stile with the same 1.5-litre diesel engine, however it is slightly detuned to generate 75 bhp of power as compared to Evalia's 84 bhp. Talking of the mileage, Stile proudly struts of its fuel efficiency of 19.5 kmpl as against Evalia's 16 kmpl. Stile get thumbs up in spacing and other features like sliding windows for the second row seat, power steering, individual vent for second row, something which is not found in Nissan Evalia. In addition, it is easy manoeuvring the Ashok Leyland Stile, thanks to the tiny turning radius of 5.2 metre. With great power, mileage, space and fuel efficiency, Stile certainly gets a clear edge over Nissan Evalia.
Chevrolet Enjoy is another car in the MPV segment that competes with Ashok Leyland's passenger car, Stile. It has been rendered with a 1.3-litre diesel engine, which churns out a power of 75.5 bhp at 4000 rpm and torque of 188 Nm at 1750 rpm. In return, Chevrolet Enjoy promises a mileage of 18.2 kmpl, which when compared with aforesaid mileage of Stile falls slightly short in numbers. The Enjoy has several other advanced features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), AC, dual front airbags and driver seat height adjuster, however, many of the features are offered only in its top-end variants.
All the three passenger cars- Ashok Leyland Stile, Nissan's Evalia and Chevrolet Enjoy- differ on the grounds of pricing as well. Since, Stile is a new entrant in the MPV arena Ashok Leyland has kept its price lower to that of Evalia by Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 35,000. Industry experts are of the view that Stile's low pricing and better fuel economy will make it a preferable choice for today's car buyer, considering the economic slowdown.
Ashok Leyland Stile Pros
One of the main highlights of the newly launched MPV is its attractive exterior appearance that goes in hand with its interiors. The car has got a sportier design as compared to the conventional MPV's. The seating arrangement given inside Stile is appropriate for seating 7 to 8 people comfortably. Also to mention, Ashok Leyland has been spot-on in pricing Stile as the vehicle carries an ex-showroom price of Rs. 7.49 for the introductory trim in Delhi.
Ashok Leyland Stile Cons
Despite being a class-leading vehicle from Indian manufacturer, the MPV has got some demerits with the major being of less amount of features as compared to the same segment cars. The MPV of Ashok Leyland is believed to be short in terms of comfort and convenience features, which could have been more if the one given in rival cars are taken into account.
Ashok Leyland Stile Conclusion
Ashok Leyland Stile is said to be a weapon of choice, as the model is a badge-engineered model of a world known people carrier's credentials, efficiently blended with the magic touch of light commercial vehicle manufacturer. Designed on the Nissan NV200 platform, this vehicle takes on the likes of several segment leading models. Also, few experts are of a view that it can be a replacement for taxi segment in the near future. It must be noted that Ashok Leyland is counted among the famous auto makers, when it comes to the transport industry. Stile shares looks from its sibling Evalia, although Ashok Leyland has tried much to put much effort in differentiating it’s from Nissan Evalia. However, Stile does not feature as premium features as offered within the Evalia. On this point, industry experts stated that it can be said that Stile can be accepted as an economical model of Evalia.
In order to make a difference between the two models, Stile sans features like airbags, Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD). The only drawback this model carries is the presence of a petrol engine option. Adding to its likes is the five different colour options, namely sparkling white, silky silver, moon grey, passion red and imperial black.
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28 January 2014, 12:13 IST by Nikhil Puthran
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