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Old 19th October 2006, 13:42   #1
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Sorry if this doesnt belong in this section, but this was where I thought this post best fit.

Flashback: Around 1.5 months back I had decided to buy a new car. My options were the Indica followed by Santro or Wagon R. But upon comments from fellow BHPians, I decided that I must be the best judge of what I buy.
Then around 1 month back I enrolled for Driving Classes. When I was looking for a new car, I emphasised on driver comfort and leg room. So when the driving school had a santro, I immediately opted for that.

When you sit inside for the first time it looks moderately spacious. There is ample space to keep the legs. But as I drove it over the weeks, my leg started cramping to the point that I couldnt not walk after getting out of the car after an hour of the class. My knees hurt bad and I was dissatisfied with the car. Yes, the car was very smooth and the pick up was satisfactory.

This Week: It was finally time for my DL and when I went to submit my forms at the school, I was told that an 800 would be sent for the test. I had practised my bottoms off on the Santro and now an 800 with a different power/torque characteristic was the one which would make or break my license test. So I requested for a half hour drive in an 800.

Today: In the morning when I went for my penultimate class, they had given me an Omni because the 800 wasnt available. But I was reassured that the driving positions of the 800 and Omni were the same. 'What the heck', I thought and got into the car, or must I say I tried getting into the car. Cramped seats and absolutely no leg space. If I take my foot off the accelerator then my leg has to be kept suspended in the air as there is no room at all between the pedals and the seat. The seat was more like a bench and the driving position felt more like a tractor or a truck with the steering wheel almost in my lap. The relative positions of the A, B and C pedals were not at all ergonomic. After finshing the class I returned to see the 800 parked in front of the school. I requested for a few mins with the 800 so that I could practise getting off the 1st gear in it.

When I entered the car, the first thing that struck me was 'This is so spacious'. I had enough leg room when the seat was pushed all the way back (Tho I cant say if anyone would have fit at the back behind the driver). I felt the accelerator pedal was too close to the door(as compared to the Santro in which I felt it was too far away from the door), but it was good enough for me as I could rest my leg on the door. My feet were not hitting the steering wheel(as in the case of santro) and I generally felt much at ease. Of course the car didnt not feel as smooth or refined as the santro(lot of vibrations at idling and engine sounds were also louder) and I had to get used to pushing the accel pedal which releasing the clutch while getting off the 1st gear. The pedals were small and it was getting stuck in the soles of my shoes half the time. My opinion might differ if I was in the 800 for a longer time but this is how I felt in the morning.

Finally I gave my test and am expecting my license the next week after which I would be taking test drives and trying out cars for my first purchase. But the main reason for this write-up was to bring to the notice of newbies how different everyone's opinion is with respect to comfort of a car. A car suitable for a 6" tall person may not be comfortable for a different person of the same build whose seating/driving style/positions might be different. Unless one gets into the car and gets a feel of the car for himself(and for a moderately long time), he cannot pass a judgement on the car. Neither can one give his opinion about a car to another person and be 100% sure that, that is how the other person would also feel about the car.

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kuku
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Old 19th October 2006, 17:55   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp
Finally I gave my test and am expecting my license the next week after which I would be taking test drives and trying out cars for my first purchase. But the main reason for this write-up was to bring to the notice of newbies how different everyone's opinion is with respect to comfort of a car. A car suitable for a 6" tall person may not be comfortable for a different person of the same build whose seating/driving style/positions might be different. Unless one gets into the car and gets a feel of the car for himself(and for a moderately long time), he cannot pass a judgement on the car. Neither can one give his opinion about a car to another person and be 100% sure that, that is how the other person would also feel about the car.

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kuku
hey kuku,
nice to know that you are thru with the driving test. opinions/advice from others need not be taken for facts. this is the truth about everything in life. these opinions/advice are only for your consideration the next time you test drive a car. first, you should have a clear idea of what car you want, then test it to feel if you like it. there may be +ves & -ves in every car, it is your heart that will decide whether you still want it or not. if you do not like it, check out the next car & get back to us with your feedback. there is bound to be someone here who will share your opinion of the car you drove. so happy looking & all the best, cheers
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Old 19th October 2006, 18:31   #3
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Absolutely! As the old saying goes....'one man's medicine...another man's poison!'
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Old 23rd October 2006, 05:18   #4
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I admit that whatever herculesksp has mentioned in the article is 100% true...EXCEPT the quote about Omni

Quote:
Cramped seats and absolutely no leg space. If I take my foot off the accelerator then my leg has to be kept suspended in the air as there is no room at all between the pedals and the seat. The seat was more like a bench and the driving position felt more like a tractor or a truck with the steering wheel almost in my lap. The relative positions of the A, B and C pedals were not at all ergonomic.
But the Omni is having one of the best comfortable driving positions for a person of any height combined with a good all-round visibility. Perhaps you might have forgot to adjust the seating of Omni before driving. Unlike M800/Santro the seating position is quite like a SUV.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 08:39   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun
But the Omni is having one of the best comfortable driving positions for a person of any height combined with a good all-round visibility. Perhaps you might have forgot to adjust the seating of Omni before driving. Unlike M800/Santro the seating position is quite like a SUV.
That was abit rich dont you think? The dude found it uncomfortable for himself, so thats the way it is.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 08:45   #6
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All said and done, way back in 1986 I used to drive around a Maruti Van (then it wasn't christened as OMNI) high roof top. While the drive was great, then, with a fantastic turning radius, it used to wobble on an open road if caught in the cross winds.

The biggest disadvantage that I noticed was it did not give any frontal protection at all. I always had this mortal fear that in the event of a head-on the first thing to go, apart from any other body items, would be the legs.

Recently, I lost my friend's father who was driving an OMNI and rammed into the back of a stationery Bus on the highway. In the postmortem the first thing the Doc commented was the way the legs were smashed...

Quote:
Originally Posted by mithun
EXCEPT the quote about Omni

But the Omni is having one of the best comfortable driving positions for a person of any height combined with a good all-round visibility. Perhaps you might have forgot to adjust the seating of Omni before driving. Unlike M800/Santro the seating position is quite like a SUV.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 09:10   #7
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Overall space considerations apart, I find the driving position of the Maruti 800 just right. (I am just about average : 5'8"). But for the "Yepp! Spot on!!" feeling, my vote goes to Zen, even though it might be cramped and uncomfortable for the passengers. Even the Esteem is sweet.
For some reason, I find the driving position of the Indica/Indigo to be quite uncomfortable, even though it may offer more cabin space than the cars mentioned above. My right ankle hurts on driving it for more than 10 minutes or so. Also I constantly feel the urge to take my foot off the accelerator and wiggle it.
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Old 23rd October 2006, 23:04   #8
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totally agree with you..drove an 800 for 3 years, and have been driving the Zen for the past two years...The 800 was ok, but I drive between Mumbai & Pune a lot and after a 3 hour drive in the 800 my legs would be completely stiff, whereas witht he Zen, apart from the obvious soreness of being stationary for so long, I'm very comfortable...BTW, I'm 5'11''
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:16   #9
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i guess the difference is that in the 800,zen,esteem,baleno you sit lower compared to the dashboard whereas in the indica,indigo you sit higher(like on a bench).this way you can stretch out more in the maruti cars.same goes with the ohc.
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Old 24th October 2006, 02:20   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellspawn
i guess the difference is that in the 800,zen,esteem,baleno you sit lower compared to the dashboard whereas in the indica,indigo you sit higher(like on a bench).this way you can stretch out more in the maruti cars.same goes with the ohc.

Also, the advantage with sitting lower is that the angle between your calf & your foot is a lot less..so less strain on your ankle
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