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Apart from the engine, there are changes to the design and a tighter suspension, which improve the handling of the earlier Estilo.
The front had to be modified to fit the engine under that short hood, which is a bonus mainly because it has improved the car’s appearance. The Estilo now looks more aggressive with a larger front bumper, bigger air intake, a larger grille with a chrome strip and peeled back headlamps like on the SX4. The rear bumper has been replaced by a more angular one with an integrated fog lamp. The interiors remain unchanged - the only difference is the addition of a two-tone dash rather over the all-beige interiors of the earlier car.
The new engine is a big step forward over the older unit. It’s peppier and loves to be revved. However, when you get off the clutch, you have to give it a bit more throttle or it threatens to stall, which can be irritating when you’re driving in traffic.
Performance isn’t as quick as the old Estilo, 0-100kph takes 15.8 seconds, but the engine’s willingness to rev more than makes up for this. This engine’s strength lies is in the mid- and top-end of the power band, where it feels eager and smoother. This engine is more refined with vibration seeping through only at idle. Gearshifts are also a whole lot smoother now.
The stiffer suspension means the Estilo feels more solid to drive than before. Straightline stability is better but high-speed bumps still have the ability to unsettle the car. In the city though, it soaks up rutted surfaces well. The stiffer suspension hasn’t gotten rid of its body roll - it tends to get tossed around a fair bit, the overly light steering gives you absolutely no feedback and grip from the 155/65 R13 tyres is overcome quite easily. However, in comparison to the previous Estilo, it feels better tied down.
The old Estilo’s strengths remain - it’s very easy to drive thanks to its miniscule turning circle and great visibility. The interiors are airy and, though they’re not as spacious as a Wagon R. Some weaknesses remain though - the Estilo feels flimsy in comparison to better-built small cars like the i10 and even its own sibling, the A-star. It does come with a decent amount of equipment though. You get power windows, power mirrors and power steering as standard, which is the same as the earlier car, and a lot more than what its direct competition offers.
The New Estilo is a much-improved version of the previous car. The light steering, compact dimensions and responsive engine make it very suited for urban duty. It looks better, the engine is a big step forward and it handles better than the previous car.
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