Premier Rio: First Drive

via




Premier-Rio_1-img

If there was a space vacant in the Indian automotive sphere, here is a vehicle that will fit it like a glove. Adil Jal Darukhanawala grabs a first drive of the new mini-SUV from Premier Automobiles on its comeback trail


Yes that's right, Rio is the name of the new mini-SUV which many car makers plain dumb ignored and it is here that an old venerable name from the motor manufacturing business hopes to reinvent itself. Let's avoid the riddles and cut straight to the chase which in this case is of Premier Limited announcing its advent back as a speciality car maker in India.


Better known eons ago for its Premier Padminis and Fiat Unos plus the eminently forgettable Peugeot 304 which pulled the company down (or was it the other way around! - the jury is out on this count), Premier under the stewardship of Maitreya Doshi, grandson of Walchand Hirachand, has embarked on a whole new way to get back into a segment of industry which his family helped pioneer in this country.



Premier-Rio_Action_2-img

First the method behind the madness and here it seems that Maitreya Doshi after the highly publicized spat with long time partner Fiat used all his business acumen to monetize his real estate holdings in Mumbai and then re-invest this into his firm's machine tool division at Chinchwad in Pune. This purely engineering-driven arm of the company began to specialize in cutting edge applications for heavy industry and has made not just a name for itself in its sphere of operation but has also managed to make the firm financially very sound. Apart from being shielded from the economical turmoil, the new business orientation also taught Premier to make do with less and this mantra has been put into place for a very lean automobile manufacturing unit at Chinchwad.

And the product with which Maitreya Doshi aims to get his firm rolling on our roads is unique as well. The basis of this vehicle, which will be sold under the Rio model name, is the Daihatsu Terios mini-SUV of late 1990s vintage. Built to the Japanese kei-jidosha class regulations which specify not just a maximum length but also the maximum width of a car to conform to very low tax rates, the new Premier Rio is a snug cozy compact small vehicle which with its very configuration has placed itself as the proverbial cat among the small car pigeons in the market!



Premier-Rio_3-img

Rights to the Daihatsu Terios were sold to Chinese car maker Zotye Auto which marketed it as the Zotye Nomad and now Premier has done a deal whereby the entire car sans the drivetrain would be brought into India as a CKD unit. Premier has resurrected its old Peugeot TUD5 diesel engine, tweaked it and even changed cylinder dimensions to make it into an engine of its own making and this along with a 5-speed manual gearbox is what powers the Rio.

The Rio drives very well, is sprightly without being over the top, and can more than hold its own with all of the A-segment hatches as well as the entry level B-segmenters. While its looks may scream SUV, its makeup and delivery is more like the smaller hatches but with rear wheel drive and an upright dominating perch which is distinctive of large SUVs. In fact, as I have mentioned before as well, this was a niche there for the taking and everyone saw right through it. Of course if Premier doesn't price the vehicle perfectly it might just score a self goal but then this was a car waiting to happen and Premier saw the opportunity.







Premier-Rio_4-img

The Rio is decently sized and can accommodate four adults perfectly with a small child just about managing to squeeze itself on the rear bench. The seats are firm and well crafted while the trim, upholstery and dashboard are par for the course for a car obviously built to a price. The plastics are not bad either but due to the kei-jidosha regs the original Terios was designed to, the cockpit is much too snug for comfort, the driver?s right arm being pinned by the door pad which is literally breathing down on it. Even the pedals are quite close but with some adjustment and familiarity you can have the vehicle working for you quite easily.



Premier-Rio_5-img

The performance is not shatteringly quick but is brisk provided you keep this diesel in its optimum torque band by being in the right gear as you motor through our hellish traffic situations. The ride is surprisingly good but you have to be gentle with your steering inputs for taking corners at speed is a mighty adventurous process given that the vehicle does roll somewhat thanks to its shortish wheelbase coupled to its narrow track. And yes the tyres must be mentioned. The ones on our preview vehicle were Chinese (Kenda Klever was emblazoned on the sidewalls) and Premier can do a world of good for the overall dynamics of the Rio just by the simple expedient of changing them to either MRFs or Apollos or Goodyears.



Premier-Rio_6-img

Overall the Rio is barking mad but in an absolutely positive sense. It might be familiar to enthusiasts but to the masses it is a breath of fresh air. And yes the most important ingredient of all which a generation of Indian motorists hasn't experienced is rear wheel drive in its truest essence. So if the ride is exhilarating and brings a flush on many faces, I wholly recommend you blame it on Premier?s Rio! In showrooms within the next month they say.

List of all Mafia Wars Vault Collection Items

The Vault collections give a bonus to one of the five skills on your profile: attack, defense, health, energy, and stamina. Each collection contains seven different items of a similar category. All seven of these items must be collected to get the bonus. After you have all seven items, click “Vault Collection” on the “Collections & Vault” page under Inventory. The Collections can be found in ANY job under the specific Job Tier and can also be gifted to you from

Diamond Flush Collection (Street Thug Job Tier)

Eight of Diamonds



Nine of Diamonds



Ten of Diamonds



Jack of Diamonds



Queen of Diamonds



King of Diamonds



Ace of Diamonds



Vault Bonus:

+1 energy



















Heart Flush Collection (Associate Job Tier)



Eight of Hearts



Nine of Hearts



Ten of Hearts



Jack of Hearts



Queen of Hearts



King of Hearts



Ace of Hearts



Vault Bonus:

+5 health





















Sculptures Collection(Soldier Job Tier)



Rat Sculpture

x0

Sheep Sculpture

x1

Rooster Sculpture



x0

Monkey Sculpture

x5

Tiger Sculpture



x0

Snake Sculpture

x0

Dragon Sculpture

x0

Vault Bonus:

+3 defense





















Poker Chips Collection (Soldier Job Tier)



White Poker Chip



Brown Poker Chip



Red Poker Chip



Blue Poker Chip



Green Poker Chip



Purple Poker Chip



Gold Poker Chip



Vault Bonus:

+2 attack





















Club Flush Collection (Soldier Job Tier)



Eight of Clubs



Nine of Clubs



Ten of Clubs



Jack of Clubs



Queen of Clubs



King of Clubs



Ace of Clubs



Vault Bonus:

+3 attack





















Boxing Collection (Soldier Job Tier)



Hand Tape

x0

Gloves

x0

Headgear

x0

Boxing Trunks



Speed Bag

x0

Heavy Bag

x0

Boxing Ring

x0

Vault Bonus:

+3 attack





















Cigars Collection (Enforcer Job Tier)



Ebony Cigar

x5

Sky Cigar

x5

Rose Cigar

x5

Ivory Cigar

x5

Turquoise Cigar

x5

Gold Cigar

x5

Royal Cigar

x5

Vault Bonus:

+2 energy





















Spade Flush Collection (Enforcer Job Tier)



Eight of Spades

x3

Nine of Spades

x5

Ten of Spades

x5

Jack of Spades

x5

Queen of Spades

x4

King of Spades

x1

Ace of Spades

x3

Vault Bonus:

+2 stamina





















Billiard Balls Collection (Enforcer Job Tier)

One Ball

x1

Two Ball

x2

Three Ball

x0

Four Ball

x2

Five Ball

x3

Cue Ball

x4

Eight Ball

x0

Vault Bonus:

+1 stamina



















Rings Collection (Hitman Job Tier)



Topaz Ring

x2

Opal Ring

x0

Amethyst Ring

x3

Emerald Ring

x1

Sapphire Ring

x0

Ruby Ring

x1

Diamond Ring

x2

Vault Bonus:

+5 defense





















Ties Collection (Hitman Job Tier)



Solid Tie

x2

Striped Tie

x0

Checked Tie

x0

Geometric Tie

x3

Dot Tie

x0

Paisley Tie

x2

Knitted Tie

x0

Vault Bonus:

+6 defense





















Paintings Collection (Capo Job Tier)



Warhol Painting

x3

Cezanne Painting

x6

Matisse Painting

x4

Van Gogh Painting

x5

Dali Painting

x4

Monet Painting

x3

Rembrandt Painting

x0



Vault Bonus:

+6 energy





















Cufflinks Collection (Capo Job Tier)



Silver Cufflinks

x3

Gold Cufflinks

x0

Amber Cufflinks

x0

Jasper Cufflinks

x3

Agate Cufflinks

x0

Onyx Cufflinks

x0

Pearl Cufflinks

x0

Vault Bonus:

+10 health





















Barber Shop Collection (Capo Job Tier)



Barber Pole

x0

Razor

x0

Brush

x0

Seat

x0

Towel

x0

Scissors

x0

Cream

x0

Vault Bonus:

+4 energy





















Great Race Horses Collection (Consigliere Job Tier)



Mill Reef

x2

Sea Bird

x3

Arkle

x2

Golden Miller

x0

St Simon

x1

Ormonde

x7

Eclipse

x3

Vault Bonus:

+7 energy