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Old 29th May 2011, 12:43   #1
Tgo
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Smile Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Those were the days when the Esteem was the best stuff with four wheels and the Opel Astra was car that showed that diesels can be exciting too. Year 2000. The 9 year old Maruti Omni which had taken us to Jaisalmer, Udaipur, Chittaur, Jodhpur and numerous other places had become a very small and impractical vehicle for the household that loved travelling as much as we indians love bargaining. Over the past couple of years back then, the yearly trips to my grandparents and around our desert state of Rajasthan were done in borrowed Esteems from friends. One really loved the boon of Air Conditioning and Power Steering back in the day. Though being in class 5 the enthusiast in me could point out differences like the tachometer and teased my dad that he couldn't drive to the red line. Matiz, Palio and Uno had already happened but for us it had to be something with a boot. The Cielo and the Escort were out of the question as they were too expensive. Hyundai had launched Ford's Josh machine rival, the Accent. The advertizments called it a 1 billion dollar car. I later figured that that would be the amount invested in developing the vehicle, but only when my mind had enough sense filled in it.

So the hunt began. Well it wasn't a hunt really. Two brochures were brought home. One was of the ford Ikon and the other was of the newly launched and Toyota's first vehicle for India, the Qualis. I being a kid loved the Ikon. All the Josh machine advertizements helped me frame a positive opinion about it. The father was looking for a long term vehicle. It had to be Air Conditioned was what his priority was. One fine day, i find myself coming back from school and finding the the parents are discussing how the arrangements for the downpayment will be made. It was only a week later that i came to know that a Silver Qualis 2.4GS, 10 seater with Air conditioning, Power Steering and factory fitted Audio and Central Locking has been booked and will be coming by April 2000 which was about 2 months time.

I was sent off abroad for the summer vacation to be spent in Australia with my cousins. The joy of knowing that a new car was coming had died down in the month spent there. Back home, Toyota had had trouble with meeting out the demand, something what the fortuner is facing today. The date of delivery was pushed to second week of May. The new budget had already shaken the whole financing plan. The delay was becoming more and more frustrating. Finally it was worked out that we'd settle for a lower model the FS, Red in color and two speakers less than the GS and without central locking. It was done in one visit to the dealership with the remaining payment amount, arguing with the sales manager, intervention of the owner of the dealership who happened to be a friend of a relative and driving out in a brand new Toyota two hours later on the 12th of May 2000.

Returning back from my vacation i was recieved by my dad at the airport in Delhi. He had driven down to pick me up in the new car. I still remember the walk from the terminal to the parking lot to be full of so many emotions. And then i finally saw it, the boot was opened to fill up my luggage. Woah, it was huge... I could have stood in it without touching the roof. Compared it to the Omni in which we as children used to travel on mattresses in the boot, four of us cousins could easily chat, play Uno, eat lollies without our parents' knowledge, fight and sleep while the car used to tread long distances every December. But this was even better. It had seats right at the back too.

Here are some specifications of the Vehicle
Make: Toyota
Model: Qualis 2.4D
Max Power: 75 PS @ 4200 rpm
Max Torque: 151 Nm @ 2400 rpm
Variant: Family Saloon (FS) 10 Seater
Color: Red
Equipment: Power Steering, OEM Audio Cassette Player with 2 Speakers, Air Conditioning (Front only)

On Road Price: ~Rs. 5,70,000


2000-2004: 1,00,000 km

The next four years passed with Dad serving as an auditor which required a number of trips outside Jaipur. Every Monday the Qualis would be loaded to the roof. Usually 4-5 Colleagues and their week's luggage. Trips to Udaipur and Rajsamand were done on a weekly basis. Our Trips to our grandparents home in Dhaulpur were also increased. My Mom's sister used to live in Agra and being on the way to Dhaulpur there were always bags of Wheat/ Old home appliances/ Woolens etc. that needed to be hauled from one place to another. That fact that my dad loves driving resulted in a few places like Talab-e-Shahi and VanVihar (located around Dhaulpur) being added to our regular places of visit.

In the second year of ownership the rear passengers were given the privilege of Air Conditioning. The dealership asked for Rs. 45000 for the installation whereas AC shops in Malviya Nagar - Delhi quoted Rs. 24000. The vehicle was driven to Delhi. The A/C unit fitted under personal supervision and a chilled out drive back home amounted to some amount of testing of the new fitment. I must say that this after market fitment was hassle free for 3 years after which it had to be checked once in two years for leaks and re-filling of the refrigerant. Otherwise it functioned blissfully.

During these four years the longest trip the Qualis made was to Haridwar. And in the mean time we used a Accent for a few days. I was impressed by the interiors of the car but the Qualis had already spoilt us. The high Ground Clearence. Abundance of Space. Accomodation for > 5 passengers and the excessive luggage space were a few things to start with.

The average running of the vehicle in this period was around 45-70 km per day. Highway:City = 70:30. All the while it used to return a nice 11 kmpl with Air Conditioning. One didn't bother after that when it was Diesel going into the tank.

Dad prohibited eating inside the car and opening the windows. The second rule was practiced so religiously that, when for the first time the AC started giving us trouble, the rear sliding windows were jammed.

Till this point the vehicle was the best thing to happen to us. There was no hesitation before commencing a journey. Fuel was not a problem as even the remotest of fueling stations had Diesel. And the engine was almost industrial in behaviour. Though we never tried it but looking at the variety of Diesel it has sipped on I am sure it could also run on a slight blend of Vegetable oil.


2004-2008: 2,00,000 km

I get my license = You get to know about how it drove.

>One of the first pictures from the first digital camera we ever bought. Such roadside scenes came in abundance in the years spent travelling in the Qualis.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc00047.jpg

>The first picture of the car parked in our drive-way. It had already done 1,00,000km at this point of time. The wheelcaps are non OEM. The reason for this: OEM Caps cost Rs. 1600 for a set and one tended to lose these quite often. OEM antenna for the radio was Rs. 1700 and was gnawed off by some Langurs while we had parked the vehicle on a hill-top (at owner's risk).
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Dad was posted in Bhilwara and used to stay there for the weekdays. It was the same old story every Friday evening. 4-5 Colleagues. just two day's luggage. And frequent trips to Nathdwara and Chittaur for recreation. Usage pattern remained the same till 2007 after which the daily runs were restricted to 30 km. All city driving with medium traffic.

>Scene from a place near Dhaulpur where we went for a picnic once. These places were not pre-decided, mostly used to be discovered en route to a particular destination.
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I got my license on 07/07/07 which is of no consequence for me but since Big celebrities all around the world were planning stuff a decade in advance for this i assume it is a lucky date. I was thrilled to get my hands on the big Car.

The seating was upright. You sit onto a chair instead of sitting in a seat. The steering wheel was really big, light and devoid of any feedback. The visibility was great. The indicator and wiper stalks were solidly built. Instrument cluster only had a Speedometer, Odometer, Trip Meter, a Temperature Gauge and a Fuel Gauge. The dash was nicely textured but hard plastic. The A/C switches all manual and the Stereo sat at the bottom of the dash. I particularly liked this positioning as you could easily control the audio system while resting your hand on the gear lever on while running in 1st 3rd or 5th Gears. The front passenger seat was a bench seat. Seat-belts in that time were only mandatory for the front seat passengers and hence existed in the front cabin only on this variant.

>Talab-e-Shahi near Dholpur. A place we visit frequently. This was one of the Sarais built along the GT road for the elite from the Mughal era. It was also used as a hunting lodge in the season when ducks and exotic birds used to migrate. It now houses the command office of R.A.C. (one of the para-military forces in Rajasthan). You can say that I'm obsessed with trees.
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The Jack (telescopic type, felt really unique) and Tool-kit had proper places for them under the Front seats. The tool kit in particular has a stretchy rubber band to keep it in place. Another thing that I loved was the contents of the glove-box. A detailed Street map of India and a Handy Torch-Light. This showed that the vehicle was conceived as a mile muncher from day one. The mid-section of the cabin in this variant had a bench seat and a bucket seat. Both could be flipped down an then folded against the front seat backs giving way to a large loading bed. The seats were fixed with no recline or reach adjustments. Leg room was just about snug for a 6 footer front and back. Front seats had poor under thigh support. The Air conditioning was brilliant. With the second unit for the rear passengers installed the chill factor was amazing even with mildly tinted glasses. The engine bay had space for two radiator fans. The second one installed when the rear AC unit was installed. The vehicle was very utilitarian in comfort levels but fared far better than the SUMO which at the point of time was its biggest rival. Comparing it to the Tavera I could not bare the stiffness of the suspension. The Tavera seemed Jeep like and on leaves all around. I liked the Metal bumpers with Plastic ends which were very helpful in preventing severe damage to bodywork in case of scooter guys ramming us from behind.

>The roof liner was Amby like, but made of much more durable material. The aftermarket Air-conditioning unit had a snug fit even after 8 years of service.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc00850.jpg

Coming to the driving part. I think the driver's seat was the most comfortable seat in this variant. The engine had loads of torque and you could get the vehicle rolling in second gear without a fuss with 10 people and air conditioning. Acceleration was poor. The engine response was slow. The engine could not rev high. Since the vehicle didn't have a tachometer i can only assume that it used to hit a wall at 5000 rpm. Due to the soft front suspension the car used to pitch a lot under acceleration and deceleration, somewhat TATA Sierra like. Body roll was also very disturbing. We replaced the stock (read puny) Goodyears after the first 50,000km with bigger and fatter JKs and continued using them thereafter. I drove the vehicle only on JKs so cannot comment on the difference in the ride. It seemed okay. There are some benefits of having a 2.4 litre engine and the one that gives you the thrill is when you have a broken joint in the Exhaust pipe. The loud gargle of the engine just scared cars big or small, off our lane. Had my dad been 25 years younger, he would have left it like that. City driving was sedate. Mostly pedal to the metal with no response. Maneuvering was easy with a 4.9m turning radius. Where Safaris used to do 3 point turns, this one could shame them and even some sedans. Visibility was top notch with thin A-pillars. Rear and side view mirrors offered good rearward visibility mostly because this vehicle was a box.

>My mom doesn't drive but liked the automatic like behaviour of the car after slotting into first and releasing the clutch. And in this lose sand also it did not require any throttling.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc08489.jpg

Now comes a part which has made a benchmark in my head forever. I can't say if this was due to the pitching but the Brakes were Brilliant. The vehicle seemed like digging into the tarmac. No matter how fast (limited to 135 km/hr) you were going, you were always confident that the brakes were there to save you. The bite was perfect, the pedal response was perfect and confidence inspiring. Having driven much advanced vehicles like the Swift, Scorpio, Innova I have never been able to trust their brakes ever. The other make of cars whose brakes I like is Ford, with their Ikon and Figo (the ones that i have driven and can comment about).

>The brakes, saving us on the first occasion. A routine tractor-trolley guy swerving from the extreme left on spotting a gap in the median with utter disregard for the traffic on the other two lanes in between. This happened on the Jaipur-Delhi Highway near Shahpura. The front of the vehicle was wedged under the trolley and the crushed fender is from the impact with the wheel of the trolley.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03872.jpg

>No harm to any of the occupants and the vehicle got us back home (Jaipur) without a breakdown. It was back in form after three days at the workshop.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03888.jpg

The vehicle handled best when fully loaded. And mostly on long journeys, this was the case. The leaves supporting the full weight of the occupants were quite predictable and felt very sturdy. But with less than 6 passengers on board, it used to wallow like a boat. People with back and neck problems stayed away from travelling in it. The steering was super light but didn't have any play, ever. It was as much fun to drive the car in traffic as much it was on the highway. I would say it was a well rounded option which only the safari could shame back in those days.


2008-2010: 2,15,191 km

>These were the years of slumber. Even blind Oliver had figured out its permanent spot in the drive-way and liked taking a nap in the shade under the car.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc04275.jpg

The car was not used much as the office commute for Dad was taken care of by official transport. Both of us kids were in college and only went back in summer and winter for a month. Though the winter trips were still scheduled as per the custom but were done in hired Innovas which were much more comfortable. As a result we could only click another 15K kms in two years.

The services were becoming expensive. The Air-conditioning was non-existent. The seat cushions had become hard and non-supportive and were coming off the metal frame they were stuck onto in the driver's seat back-rest. The front passenger bench seat bolts had loosened up and because of negligence of getting that checked in time a few threads were damaged. The new set cost some Rs. 3000. The Seat belts had started to fray. The AC ducts had started getting clogged and smelled of stagnant water. Putting money into the vehicle felt insane. Headllamps needed replacement as the plastic had lost its transparency. Even changing these parts required a long waiting period. Though these parts would have turned up at the service centers eventually. This being the pre-facelift model had the inverted trapezoid grille up front which made these parts more rare. Accelerator cable was on the verge of getting jammed but was replaced with a new one quite reasonably. Even spending 16K on a set of new tyres was pinching when the insured value of the vehicle was Rs. 60,000 after 10 years of depreciation. The service centers also gave the owners of a Qualis (now mostly turned to Taxis) step motherly treatment. Cars used to be returned without a wash. Small touch-ups were not buffed properly. The stereo had had an incident 2 years ago with an old cassette and was reduced to a FM tuner. The speakers had started crackling up.

I must say that the mechanicals were in brilliant condition. We used to get the service done at every 5000 kms and it used to cost within Rs. 3000 for the regular filter changes and a wash. So it was still quite maintainable looking at the cost of routine parts but, some not so routine parts started to pinch quite hard.

The Last Trip: Jaipur-Dhaulpur-Datia-Dhaulpur-Jaipur
It was July last year when just a few days of my vacation were left. Sitting at home was getting monotonous and a trip to my Grandparents' place was agreed upon quickly.

>Bir Singh Palace, Datia
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-x6img012.jpg

>An old bridge alongside the new one (in foreground) on NH3 near Noorabad.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-x6img015.jpg

Then came this unfortunate day when it all ended without us having the time to realise what we had lost.
>The Desi Limousine on NH 11. Just minutes before the story ends.
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-x6img019.jpg

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...lo-qualis.html (End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.)
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...lo-qualis.html (End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.)


Reminiscence


We will remember,
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03477.jpg
all small
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and tall
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc02240.jpg
The roads we traveled
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03217.jpg
The streets unraveled
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Ascents unpaved
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03293.jpg
Through sands unsettled
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-img_6389.jpg
The stops we made
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And the miles you slayed
Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-dsc03233.jpg

Last edited by Tgo : 22nd June 2011 at 01:06.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:35   #2
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Thread Moved to the Long Term Ownership Report Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:57   #3
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Its good to see this thread in the Long Term ownership section.

It took me almost a month to give it shape. Had to go through numerous Archived picture albums. This thread comes in the rare breed of ownership threads that Qualis owners will love.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 13:16   #4
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Superb! A thoroughly enjoyable read and a great car, quite possibly the most reliable ever to have done service in India.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 13:29   #5
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

A nice narrative. Does it mean the car is sold now? Or is it still serving you?
Qualis is really known for its reliability. I remember the times i spent in a qualis and they were really fun. Although it was dated looks, the engine was a gem.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 13:45   #6
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Quote:
Originally Posted by deep_bang View Post
Does it mean the car is sold now? Or is it still serving you?
The car was sold off in August last year. Have explained the details in the link (towards the end) provided right below The Desi Limousin pic.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 14:40   #7
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Superb long term ownership thread - really like the way you have penned down the report. One can really feel how emotionally the whole family were attached to the Qualis.

It is really a sad way to end the life, but thanks to the strong body none of you had any harm. So, which car did you buy to replace the qualis?
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Old 22nd June 2011, 17:46   #8
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Rocking thread TGO, all your effort in compiling the pics surely shows in your writing. I can imagine all the emotions and memories attached to the Qualis

I wish you many a safe & happy mile with your new acquisition
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Old 27th June 2011, 07:13   #9
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Thank you all for appreciating the thread. It was not only the family but the extended family and friends (non-forum users) too who have liked the thread.

I somehow get the feeling that people are skipping the link to the thread where I have described the unfortunate end of the vehicle and its replacement which is yet to arrive.

Please check it out here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...lo-qualis.html (End of a decade, a buffalo and a Qualis.)

Will randomly be putting up some more pictures in the days to come.
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Old 4th September 2011, 23:17   #10
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Cool Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

So, I thought its about time I put up a picture of the new ride. This was taken on its third day out of the showroom at Nurabad (MP) while on our way back from a trip to Datia.

Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis-x6img151.jpg

And would you believe it? We got it delivered in the 27th of July! There are two things which are important when I say that.
  1. We got it within two months from the Booking Date
  2. This was the same day last year when our Qualis died.

5 Days later it was taken to the Service Center for its First Service. Diesel helps you get away from home more frequently. It gave an overall efficiency of 19kmpl on the highways. And is returning between 13.6 -15kmpl within the city. And my jaw just dropped when I was at the fuel station getting it tanked up for the first time, all for just 1600 bucks (been using a Santro for a year till the Verna arrived).

The engine is superb and makes the car behave like an automatic in 2nd or 3rd gears if you are below 750 rpm (its normal idling speed) and pulls the car ahead due to the loads of torque available. The Ground Clearance which was an issue soon became a non-issue as it didn't scrape its belly even once during the entire trip (3 on board, 5 on board on the worst parts of the road).
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Old 8th September 2011, 23:20   #11
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Nice thread Tgo. Liked the way you maintained the flow of thread.
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Old 27th September 2013, 03:47   #12
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Its been a year since we parted ways with the replacement of the Qualis. The Verna tried hard to be liked by all but couldn't and made way for the Duster a year ago. Till date the Duster has clocked 22,000 km in 10 months of ownership.



This one seem to be the one which is here to stay... for quite some time.
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Old 17th January 2014, 23:18   #13
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Default Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Hi Tgo, just came across your thread and had to respond even though I'm very late in doing so. The reason is that I too had bought a Qualis, in April 2000, and its still with me, in practically mint condition. I've done about 2.01 lakh kms in it in almost 14 years and I really identify with your story since its been a part of me for all these years too. I've had some good times in it, though nothing as exciting or heart-rending as you have. Though, I remember once, on 26th July 2005, when half of Mumbai was submerged in a cloudburst that lasted for a whole day and night. I was on my way home from work when north Mumbai came to a standstill, with parts waist deep in rainwater. I was luckily stuck in traffic on top of a flyover, where I stayed for 23 hours, in my Qualis, with the engine and A/C on, until the waters subsided. I was really glad I had this vehicle then as I felt infinitely safe in it, unlike other cars in which the occupants had got trapped since their batteries had died and their windows were up and the doors were stuck shut and so on.
I've decided to move on now, since my kids have grown up and my pet Dalmatian, which you see on the left, is no more and the old girl is feeling the heat from newer, more fuel efficient kids. So, since I'm not a fan of 'jing bang' in my cars I'm booking a Fiesta Classic Titanium tomorrow and will probably pass on the Qualis to the most eligible suitor I can find. Or maybe I'll just keep her and let my daughter use the Classic. It's really hard to let her go so I'll see how things pan out when the new car comes.
Cheers
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Old 18th January 2014, 07:33   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tgo View Post
Its been a year since we parted ways with the replacement of the Qualis. The Verna tried hard to be liked by all but couldn't and made way for the Duster a year ago.
Somewhere in my mind I knew this would happen. As the same thing had happened to me. 4 years ago when my Qualis was due for replacement dad had booked a Dzire. He had even gone there with a cheque to pay the booking amount. Something pulled him back. Within a month we were driving an Innova.

Completely happy with the decision. Have already covered 1,12,000km as of date.
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Old 18th January 2014, 16:38   #15
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Smile Re: Year 2000 - 2,00,000 km - and the E.N.D: The Qualis

Quote:
Originally Posted by FarPatel View Post
I remember once, on 26th July 2005, when half of Mumbai was submerged in a cloudburst that lasted for a whole day and night. I was on my way home from work when north Mumbai came to a standstill, with parts waist deep in rainwater. I was luckily stuck in traffic on top of a flyover, where I stayed for 23 hours, in my Qualis, with the engine and A/C on, until the waters subsided. I was really glad I had this vehicle then as I felt infinitely safe in it, unlike other cars in which the occupants had got trapped since their batteries had died and their windows were up and the doors were stuck shut and so on.
Thanks FarPatel. Good to hear from you. It's not often that I get posts on this thread. There are many more people who have had their own unique experiences with the Qualis. Its great to come by them every once in a while.

I just wish I was more aware at that time of what a reliable piece of engineering it was. Would have clicked all the crazy things we have done in it with regards to the terrain it has had to see in those ten years.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dean5545 View Post
Somewhere in my mind I knew this would happen. As the same thing had happened to me. 4 years ago when my Qualis was due for replacement dad had booked a Dzire. He had even gone there with a cheque to pay the booking amount. Something pulled him back. Within a month we were driving an Innova.

Completely happy with the decision. Have already covered 1,12,000km as of date.
You are right. The Innova seemed like the automatic choice after our Qualis was totaled. We even waited for a year to get the finances in place for the Innova. But then the wait was getting too difficult to bear. The Verna was never a car that could do mild off/bad-roading. Being accustomed to trips in the wild since I have come to my senses it was decided to go for the Duster the day it was launched.

As on date the Odo on the Duster reads ~ 30,000 Km in 14 months of ownership, similar to what the Qualis used to clock in the same time in the initial 4 years of ownership. So happy that it gives my Dad the freedom to do what he enjoys a lot.
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