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|5th July 2007, 18:42||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Guderian...A Scorpio CRDe. EDIT : Updated to 100,000 kms. Full costing on pg 6
"And so after driving a puny little Zen you think you can handle a rather large piece of metal with your temperament ?" The temperament here was indicative of a great sense of impatience with the other blokes driving skills and a general sense of annoyance with the general driving population on Indian roads - read autowallahs,taxiwallahs,truckwallahs and other indeterminate wallahs !
"And what about your image ? You want the others to regard you as a wretched politician who is yet to arrive ? You certainly don't belong to the corporate world do you ?" The 'arrived ones' generally had a Prado or a Pajero or a whatever...and the 'corporate world' had the City,Civic,Lancer and a what-not !
"What's wrong with a car ? Why bang your head on a glorified jeep ?"
'Ahhh...going in for an airconditioned tractor I see !"
After hearing all these jibes for about a fortnight during the selection of a new stallion, one was left scratching his head, even without a scalp problem, about the final selection ! The scalp itch and the doubts were all banished once the black giant with soft gold cladding was shown just before the final delivery ! There it stood in its resplendent glory dripping water after a show room shower and I swear I heard a friendly snort from The Bull (TB for this piece) when its cast its eye on its wide twinkling eyes (my Zoology fails me but bulls' eyes can twinkle right ?) on me. And so on the 15th of Sept 2005 TB came home with the usual fanfare and a fare of 'knowing' looks from the neighbours (and I think I saw a pretty neighbourhood girl wink at me as well)...and now I was not going to mention to anyone why I got TB over other vehicles !
Well why did I get TB ? For one I wanted a sturdy set of wheels that would take me from my residence to the office every day (except the weekends of course - though my boss would love it if I could make it then as well!) a roundtrip distance of about 80 KMs through possibly a mix of good and rotten roads. Secondly having driven a Zen for close to about a decade and being pushed around by rather big road hogs on Indian roads wanted something which could help me hold my ground on the roads (now is that a convoluted sentence or what ?) and thirdly a set of wheels which could now help me travel across the length and breadth of the country with ample highway presence and luggage space...fourthly - I think I am getting very defensive about my decision...and so forget the rest of the very, very germane reasons !
And now at a point of time when TB is almost touching 40 K KMs on the odometer I thought I must put a few reflections down as an assessment.
Basic facts as on date -
1. Scorpio CRDe – SLX 7 seater. Black – Soft gold cladding. Came with 6 free services and a warranty of 5 years – as I had purchased it during M&M’s 60th year offer period.
2. Accessories - None whatsover over what was given by M&M except for the bull bar in front (which gives TB an Army Sergeant Major-ish look with a fierce moustache) and exchanged the old Kenwood tape player for a Kenwood CD player.
3. No additional coats, polishes, etc which the accessories guy at the dealer was trying to con me into shelling cash for... only the Dinitrol equivalent was applied for rust prevention.
To this date no additional stuff adorns TB.
4. Completed 7 servicing/s and is due for the 8th anytime now. Great advantage – ASC is just behind my housing complex. The ASC guys are mortified of running into me every now and then !
5. Major service points –
- Vacuum Modulator replaced at 20 K KMs with a newer version.
- Oil separator replaced at 15 K KMs with a newer version.
- One window winder mechanism had to be replaced. Motor was fine but the mechanical arm jammed in operation.
- Jump seat straps broke so had to scour the army shops in Colaba to get a couple of canvas buckle straps of khaki colour!
6. Additional equipment picked up for TB over a period of time mostly during my visits overseas -
- Draper double cylinder foot pump.
- Draper tyre air pressure gauge.
- Black & Decker car-vac 1205.
- Durabuilt vehicle tool box.
- 2 T floor jack.
- Seat belt shoulder pads, upholstery cleaner, touch up paint pens etc etc are the minor items.
7. TB gives me an FE of 11.5-12 KPL in city (generally Thane-Mumbai) and about 14.5 KPL on the highways. Always try and maintain a speed of 80 KMPH. Very difficult to keep a control of one’s impulses though, on the highways, where I’ve gone steadily for long stretches at 13/140. Max speed touched in a moment of insanity – 155 KMPH. (Statutory Warning – Please don’t attempt this at home. This stunt was performed by an untrained driver in a momentary lapse of reason.) Of late thanks to the monsoon woes of Mumbai and the resultant traffic woes the FE has slipped to 11.25 KMPL. Fill only BP Diesel (normal) from what appears to be ‘Pure for Sure’ outlets. Once in two months top off the tank with BP Hi Speed D.
8. Completed one very long trip (2715 KMs in 8 days during a trip to coastal Karnataka in May ’07) and multiple short trips (less than 500 KMs) with TB.
9. Drive TB all by myself…and don’t let any other guy even touch it. Great pressure from colleagues and other sundry well wishers to employ a driver – my response – “Over my dead body!”
TB grunts in appreciation each time an exchange of this kind takes place within its earshot.
- Excellent engine. Pick up, torque, city/highway running and FE. Lot of power at your finger, sorry, toe tips.
- Good field of vision, seating position etc.
- Fairly decent space within and cavernous luggage space if 5 seats are occupied.
Excellent road presence. Adequately keeps the riff raff (read autos/taxis and the ill mannered call center Indicas etc) on the road at a respectful distance.
Fairly good maneuverability.
On long trips very low degree of driver fatigue.
- Fit and finish leaves a lot to be desired.
- Tacky/cheap plastics inside.
- Design of the instruments cluster - layout could be vastly improved.
- Have seen numerous debates on the suspension and handling capabilities – I’ve learnt that one should know the limitations of the equipment and use it effectively! And learn to use it well and you’ll be at peace.
- Brakes have vastly improved over the previous models. I am not getting into the debate of lack of ABS, EBD, air bags etc as you should be purchasing an item of this cost after assessing your requirements the features of the product and general research. Stupid to be raving and ranting later on about the lack of something that was never intended to be in the package in the first place!
- Also avoiding the comparisons between various other vehicles – Endy, Safari…tomes have been written on it by everyone and his uncle. I believe each vehicle has its own positives and negatives and its up to the user to enjoy it to the maximum after having taken a conscious decision to purchase a particular set of wheels after due research.
- This aspect has been a mixed bag as it is with anything in life. Some parts good, some bad ! Overall an average experience.
- I go only to one ASC of M&M and at times I’ve had to yell for getting the smallest of things fixed – a squeak, a tightening of bolt etc. And sometimes they delight you going out of the way to help you.
- One process I diligently follow during the servicing is that I remain with TB during the process on the shop floor. Yes, it has meant almost a day to be invested in the process every three months but I do feel it’s really worth the effort and you also learn a lot about your beloved vehicle…beast. And it has also helped me to point out to the mechanics that some of the things they miss during the process. This has also meant that I’ve had fights with the Supervisors and Floor Managers who object to my presence stating distraction of the mechanic etc but over a period of time they’ve grown accustomed to me.
- The team at the ASC are all decent blokes given sometimes to a little bit of skullduggery but eager to please and I note that in general the ASC’s customer orientation seems to be improving every visit. But once again I hasten to add – one has to be extremely alert given our local circumstances!
Self Service aka Car Seva:
- I spend about two hours with TB every Sunday!
- I have a GDW (GaadiDhoneWala) who cleans TB every day and attempts (!) to clean the interiors every Sunday.
- Sundays are the days when TB gets a lot of TLC from me – having belted him (?) for the rest of the days.
- Starts of with the tyre check and filling up the same to the desired levels if required with my Draper pump mentioned earlier. The foot pump gives my legs a fantastic work out as well! Spare tyre checked every month. All valves check and tightened with the valve tool once a quarter.
- Next open the bonnet and water clean all the visible innards…I love the engine to be spanking clean rather than an appearance with blotches of oil and detritus of leaves and general muck. Check engine oil, other fluids etc. Once a month check battery fluids. Cleaning the engine well also helps me to check if all the tubes, joints etc are in place…helped me immensely once when I saw the coolant leaking from the engine head…just a teeny-weeny tell tale green sign – the nest servicing saw the gasket being replaced and saving me a lot of trouble during the next long drive to Pune.
- Once a month sees the interiors being vacuumed thoroughly…helps me immensely again as that’s the time when the wife’s belongings surface up –mysteriously lost earlier…a slim bracelet, ear ring…were the two items I remember! The delight of such recoveries is truly great!
- Upholstery cleaning once a quarter with foam spray from a can and dry wipe.
- All other removable parts from interiors – mats, carpets etc washed by the GDW every week.
- Check for loose items, nuts and screws and tighten – saves me some money when I find some items loose and yet don’t loose them and pay for it at the next servicing - notably footboard/running board lights once a way, rubber inserts of the doors etc.
- Actually feel quite cantankerous and uneasy if I miss doing this ritual on a Sunday! Not sure if it’s leading to some kind of obsession or has already lead to it! Wife and kid love it as I am out of their hair for a couple of hours on a Sunday! They suspect, I love the time to myself too…no comments here !
- A very good vehicle keeping all the pros and cons in mind.
- Good value for money and rather delightful to have around.
- Servicing quality needs to be improved.
That’s a long diatribe on the ownership experience of TB !
Last edited by DCEite : 5th July 2007 at 20:42. Reason: Please avoid FONT,COLOR tags in your posts.
|6th July 2007, 09:09||#4|
Senior - BHPian
Thanks DCEite and Abhi !
Abhi - the 155 KMPH was once done in a stretch between Kohlapur and Belgaum and again between Hubli and Chitradurga.Both these stretches had tar surface and not concrete for some short distances.
I have not tried this on the Mumbai- Pune expressway as the surface is rather rough and these days dirty with all kinds of muck and gravel lying around. Somehow find tar roads much more comfortable !
|6th July 2007, 11:44||#8|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 0 Times
Aaaaah... tis been a long time since I read a nice long written review on a Scorpio. A rather enjoyable reading. Well done!
|6th July 2007, 11:56||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Vikhroli, Mumbai, India
Thanked: 20 Times
Nice review. Very detailed and balanced. I like.
But there are no pictures of TB. I dont like.
P.S. Since you seem to be a Heinz Guderian fan, why did you not go for the Safari? You might have been able to 'Schwerpunkt' anyone on the road better.
|6th July 2007, 13:17||#11|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 3 Times
Hi Guderian, that's a nice detailed review.
I read somewhere that the Scorpio is a little difficult to drive in the rain - it mentioned that even at low speeds water splashes directly on the windshield. Can you share your experiences - do you face this problem?
|6th July 2007, 14:31||#12|
Join Date: Feb 2005
Thanked: 1,037 Times
Nice Report there... very nice read.
Do comment on the highway stability past 100 kph
|6th July 2007, 14:57||#13|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Apr 2007
Thanked: 802 Times
Even I do this for my NHC.
I think it's a must in India...unless you don't love you car.
|6th July 2007, 16:09||#14|
Senior - BHPian
Thanks Manu (Manver),Jaggu,Mistakenguy,HSV,Typeonegative,benbs b29,Cypher,Extreme Torque and Anand P...kind words indeed !
Right, so I get the message and here are some snaps of TB. Shall take some more shots soon and post it here:
Image of The Bull - Dream Sequence ! - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune009.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune003.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune004.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune002.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune032.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
ScorpionersMeetApril06Pune028.jpg - Image - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Have sent in some snaps !
Last edited by tsk1979 : 6th July 2007 at 16:38.
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