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Old 24th February 2010, 17:58   #1
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Smile Indica Xeta GLS 1.2 - 18000kms, three years, loads of smiles!

Hi BHPians! This is my first topic on team-bhp, after the introductory topic. Let me start off with a long-term review of my Xeta.

I had sold off my third-hand crashed-and-repaired M800, and had specific intentions of buying a WagonR. This time I wanted a car with AC and power steering. My car search took me from TrueValue outlets demanding 3 lakhs for 5-y/o WagonRs to Maruti dealers quoting 3.94lakhs for WagonR Lxi to Hyundai offering Santro for 3.8lakhs.

Somehow I was not convinced at these prices. For a time I pondered Alto Lxi and almost finalized it. My mom likes Alto's looks too, so it was almost deal done (I wasn't married then, so it was just left to me and my mom to decide).

Then one day I was riding past Concorde showroom, and I saw a "Rs.30000 off on Xeta" banner. I already knew that Xeta was 3.4lakhs OTR, so I just went in to inquire whats the catch. I was expecting some story about giving accessories worth 30k, but the sales lady said it is a straight cash discount. I was surprised. That made the Xeta the second cheapest car after 800, and THE cheapest car with power steering and AC.

Then I took a look at the car itself. My uncle has alredy owned two Indicas and currently owns an Indigo, so I already knew to some extent about its strengths, weaknesses and its position as an unfairly underrated car. But I didn't expect to see beige interiors. I was just sitting in the car's seats and looking at it, and the lady asked me whether I would like a test drive. I said sure.

The first thing I noticed was the car seemed HUGE after driving 800. I somewhat nervously reversed the car from a maze of TD vehicles parked haphazardly, and took it out on the road. The power steering was super-smooth and soft, much more so than the Santros and Altos I had previously driven. More than anything else, it was this power steering that convinced me to buy this car. The third thing was, I just had to slightly lift my foot off the clutch, and the car was off - without any throttle. Xeta showed me its loads of low-end torque, and it was love at first drive.

Back at the showroom, I quickly made some calculations. Looked like I would not get anything better than a five-year-old WagonR at around 3 lakhs. The only other option among new cars was Alto, which didnt have any discounts at thiis time. Alto (which I had previously test driven) suddenly seemed very very cramped, small and underpowered. So I took mom to the showroom, she too was floored looking at the car, and I booked it nimmediately.

Delivery took a good two weeks, and I did not mind. The dealer tried to make me take delivery with "For Regn" board and register it myself, and I refused. Asked them to take their time and give delivery with a proper number plate. Took a good friend with me (he is a bike mechanic), did PDI and drove the car home.

I must say haven't been driving the car very much. After 3 years the car has run only around 18000 kms. This is mainly because I use the bike for regular commutes, and the car is only for weekend outings, shopping etc. Somewhere in the middle on this 3 years I got married, so my amount of driving increased somewhat.

Now for the pros and cons. Let me begin with the problems:
1. Around the sixth month, the car had some problems with the temperature sensor. It would fail for some reason and fail to trigger the fan that cools the engine. I once got stranded in the middle of the road because of the overheated engine which would refuse to start. The engine later cooled down and I could drive it home. It took three trips to Concorde and yelling at the manager before they replaced the sensor under warranty. It is not an expensive component (around Rs.230), but the previous two times the mechanic had "adjusted" the sensor instead of replacing it - and as usual removing the "Check Engine" error by deleting it.

2. As in many Indicas, the front tyres lose air very quickly.

3. Wheel rims get bent easily.

Having menntioned the cons, let me get to the virtues of the Xeta. Firstly, it has been an absolute pleasure to drive. The engine response is very peppy,. though it comes into its own only in 3rd gear. It doesnt have the pep of Santro in the 1st and 2nd gears. But once into the 3rd gear, there is usually no need to shift down (torque is high), so city driving is a breeze. Highway driving is great too, because of the grip.

Ride is good because of the independent suspensions all around, and the whole family (including my 85 y/o grandma) is very comfortable traveling in this car.

ICE: I invested around Rs.13k in ICE. Sony HU with USB and aux-in, Sony front speakers mounted on the dash, and Arrow-something brand speakers for the rear, mounted on the wooden plank (not exactly wooden, I think it is called something else). I am quite happy with this ICE setup, and use USB most of the time. Sometimes I plug my iPhone into the aux-in. Never used a CD. Xeta has an internal antenna, so I never had to adjust the antenna once. I have programmed all the radio stations into presets, so radio reception and quality is excellent.

Other than that, I invested in a Xenos central locking system a year back, which mysteriously stopped working last week. - I am guessing it may be the battery, but the spare one doesnt work either, so it may turn out to be some loose contact. I am planning to get the car seviced next month, and fix the central locking along with it. If the service bill stays this side of Rs.5000, then I may go for front power windows which will set me back by Rs.6k. It also depends on the impact of tax on my income this month and next month.

Long drives - not much. Innumerable drives to Pondy and back. Once to Tiruvannamalai. Once to Bangalore and back. Thats it.

The AC in the car is a chiller. In Chennai heat I never need to use it beyond the "2" position (out of 4), so it is more than good enough.

The most surprising part of my ownership experience is the gearbox. The gear shifting is super-smooth. I wonder why others complain of rubbery shifting in their Indicas. Maybe it differs from car to car. Guess I am just lucky, in case of my car it happens to be very smooth. Some of my friends who tried driving the car say it is as good as the i10 gearbox .

The brakes are instant stoppers. Initially I found the brakes too effective i.e too sudden, but got used to it.

Haven't had any incidents with the car yet, except that I once scraped the left front bumper against an invisible stone when parking. Oh, and I broke the rear view mirror when parking the car once - I was reversing in a very close space, and I forgot about the mirror jutting out. It was too late. As it is an internally adjustable ORVM unit, it cost me around Rs.1300 to replace the whole unit.

Overall the experience with the car has been very satisfying. In one line: Excellent performance, city mileage of 13kmpl, very comfortable for passengers.
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Old 24th February 2010, 18:29   #2
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Dint expect our new paypalian to post a thread so soon

Nice review and well composed!

Few things you missed

1) FE !
2) Pix
3) Model of car.
4) Expense during each service
5) Do you have extended warranty?
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Old 24th February 2010, 19:16   #3
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lucky you that you've had no issues
13 is pretty good FE for a xeta. A colleague has one, and he gets 10ish
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Old 24th February 2010, 19:58   #4
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Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post
lucky you that you've had no issues
13 is pretty good FE for a xeta. A colleague has one, and he gets 10ish
you need to understand that "I know one who is getting this" kind of statement does not carry any value. I have a xeta and I am getting 14+ FE in hyd. Then so what? How much do you know his (thread owners) driving style?
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Old 24th February 2010, 20:11   #5
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MAJOR EDIT (sorry): It is just over TWO YEARS, not three. I had 2007 and 2010 in mind, so wrote it as three years. But I just remembered it was Dec 2007 when I purchased the car. Also, it is just over 13k kms, not 18 (somehow I thought its 18k... maybe because the tripmeter was showing as 1800..). Just goes to show how absentminded I am...

FE as I mentioned is 13kmpl, sometimes more. I am relatively light-footed on the throttle, usually drive this side of 2Krpm. The main reason is that NVH levels get really high after that, and also there is usually no need to rev more than that.

Exact Model is Indica Xeta GLS 1.2

I did not opt for the extended warranty. I don't remember exactly why. Till now I haven't regretted it. Anyways, I am likely to change the car next year or the year after that.

First service cost around Rs.1000. Second service was around 5k, and the third one was around 3k. Fourth service is due in another 3 months, but I am going for it next month itself.

Trying to figure out how to insert pics. I am attaching the files, hope it appears along with the post. These pics were taken a long time back, and the car looks nowhere as clean or shiny now, thanks to numerous scratches and Chennai dust.

The last pic shows the recent scratches :(

Indica Xeta GLS 1.2 - 18000kms, three years, loads of smiles!-dsc00790.jpg

Indica Xeta GLS 1.2 - 18000kms, three years, loads of smiles!-dsc00796.jpg

Indica Xeta GLS 1.2 - 18000kms, three years, loads of smiles!-dsc00801.jpg

Indica Xeta GLS 1.2 - 18000kms, three years, loads of smiles!-picture-005.jpg
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