Remaining rock strong in Hero’s portfolio for more than 15 years now, the Passion has recently received its 2018 facelift. The motorcycle brand is one of the best selling ones not in India but across the globe and one key reason is the timely updates along with keeping the genetic code of the Passion intact for which it is still respected among the budget conscious buyers, especially in price-sensitive markets like ours. After the retirement of multiple Passion models, the Passion Pro was the only one left in the company’s line up. Being a prime cash cow for Hero MotoCorp, the Passion line up has got a revamp after the unveiling of a more powerful Passion Pro and the comeback of the Passion XPro that now gets a sharper styling and added features. So, the question is, what do the new-generation Passion models pack in and if they are worth your money. Let's find out!
2018 Hero Passion XPro, Passion Pro: Design and Styling
The Hero Passion Pro essentially carries forward the handsome looks of the previous model, however, with a handful of changes. For instance, the bike now gets a smaller 11-litre fuel tank as against 12.5-litre as compared to the one in the previous model. Furthermore, there are changes on the rear with a revised tail lamp in order to give the bike a more premium appeal. The Passion XPro, on the other hand, sees some heavy changes when it comes to the design and it looks more energetic in front of the humble Pro. As compared to the model that was retired in mid this year, the latest 2018 avatar brings an interesting visual makeover that is intended towards making the XPro one of the sportiest looking commuters in the market in the 110cc territory. The Hero Passion XPro gets twin pilot lamps up front along with a sharp tail lamp that takes its inspiration from the new generation Glamour. So, while the new Passion Pro looks quite mature, the Passion XPro is aimed at people for whom looks do come at the first place.
2018 Hero Passion XPro, Passion Pro: Engine and Performance
The 2018 Hero Passion Pro now gets a bigger, completely new, in-house developed 109.1cc engine as against its 97.2cc motor previously. Having said that, the bike shares its heart with the new Passion XPro and the power and torque outputs are also identical at 9.2 hp and 9 Nm respectively. For this reason, the engine performance of the two bikes are almost quite similar. The carbureted mill has a decent grunt low down in the rev range and the power linear power delivery makes city riding hassle free. However, the engine does not like being revved hard and vibrations start kicking in as soon as you cross the 65 kmph mark.
Though the motor will not disappoint you in daily commutes, it lacks the high refinement level that you can feel in the Honda Dream and also, in the TVS Victor. Nevertheless, Hero has the trump card in the form of its patented i3s technology that saves fuel by shutting down the engine automatically when the engine is at idle and gearbox is engaged in neutral for more than five seconds and with this, you can actually expect a mileage of over 70 kmpl in real world riding conditions.
2018 Hero Passion XPro, Passion Pro: Ride and Handling
Out of the two, the 2018 Hero Passion XPro is slightly longer with a wheelbase of 1,967 mm as against 1,962 mm for the Passion Pro. Also, the suspension on the XPro is on the stiffer side at the rear and combining the two facts, the Passion XPro is a good handler when compared to the Pro model. The new Passion Pro and Passion XPro get an optional 240mm disc brake up front that definitely offers the braking prowess as it has a good feedback. The 130mm drum at the rear too, works fine and is aptly suited for daily commutes. The Passion XPro has been assisted with tubeless tyres while the Passion Pro has to content with the tubed units, which is indeed a cost-cutting measure.
2018 Hero Passion XPro, Passion Pro: Verdict
There is no denying the fact that the Passion is still one of the top choices of buyers when it comes to a low-cost stylish looking motorcycle and the new models will continue to do so. The price of 2018 Hero Passion XPro and Passion Pro is due for announcement next month and we believe that the bikes will demand a premium of Rs 700 to 2,000 over the previous models. The Passion XPro being the more premium one, is expected to be priced marginally higher than the sober-looking Passion Pro that is currently on sale at Rs 51,446 (ex-showroom, Delhi) for the base model. The solid build quality and the good looks of Passion have attracted buyers over the years and now, with the addition of some advanced features, the success story shall continue. However, we believe that the TVS Victor can be a better pick over the Passion as it packs in more features at a similar price point. Nevertheless, with the unveil of the new Passion models, Hero MotoCorp has sorted out the options for the buyers as it now offers a pick for both, the spirited ones and those who like to take things easy. Add to that the reliability and trust of Hero, the name of which is still just enough for many when it comes to buying a motorcycle in India.