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First Drive Report - Bajaj Qute

  • Apr 25, 2019
  • 2452 Views


Popularly known for their motorcycles and auto rickshaws, Bajaj now has a four-wheeler in their ranks. It gets a motorcycle engine with a sequential style gearbox but offers the conventional body style of a car. So, is it just a cute gimmick or can the Qute really offer the best of a motorcycle, auto rickshaw and a car? We find out.


Exterior



  • The Qute looks quite conventional. It has two large halogen headlamps with a chrome Qute logo in between.

  • Under that, there is a grille with ram air opening that forces air up the A-pillar and into the cabin for increased ventilation.

  • Under the bonnet, there is a 77-litre storage area but it has a 20kg weight limit.

  • There are more vents in the plastic cladding below the window which channel air inside the cabin when the Qute is in motion.

  • The ORVMs have also been shaped to direct air inside the cabin when the windows are open.

  • The designs at the rear stays similar to the front, a ‘Qute’ logo flanked by tail lights. There is also a hatch at the back that opens to reveal the engine.


Interior



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  • The interiors are simple but surprisingly roomy. All seats are fixed except for the driver’s, which can be moved forwards and backwards. The Qute offers enough room for four adults.

  • The rear seats are split 40-60. They can be folded down to access a 40-litre storage area. The total cargo space at the rear balloons to 400 litres with the rear seats folded down.

  • The driving position is comfortable and that's a boon as the steering wheel is fixed in one position.

  • The dash gets two lockable cubby holes. The doors also get two storage compartments that can hold even a 1-litre bottle of water. Space isn’t segmented though and thus cargo stowed here is prone to rattling about once on the move.

  • There is a small FM radio which also supports USB and AUX. There are two speakers mounted under the dash that offer decent sound quality.


Powertrain and Performance



  • The engine is a 216.6cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled, DTS-i unit that makes 13PS@5500rpm and 19Nm@4000rpm

  • There is also a CNG option that makes 11PS and 16Nm. There is no flexi-fuel option.

  • The engine is mated to a 5-speed sequential transmission that drives the rear wheels.

  • Braking duties are taken care of by drum brakes all around.

  • The Qute doesn’t get power steering and that is evident at lower speeds. It lightens up at higher speeds though and isn’t a pain to use.

  • It is agile in the city and can handle lane changes well. The ride quality is quite good courtesy of independent suspension all around.

  • The engine has enough meat for city driving. Driving with three heavyweights onboard in the city didn’t stress the motor.


Verdict


The Qute is not cut out for out of city usage with its limitations. However, is it a viable alternative to using an auto rickshaw or a motorcycle in the city? In one word, yes.

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