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Old 14th July 2011, 21:49   #451
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
Yeah, nasty experience, and reading something like this always gives you a bit of a chill when you're thinking of buying a car.
But what do you do? There's at least one horror story about anything you choose. All you can do is hope that the poor victim gets things sorted out without too much more nonsense, and that it doesn't happen to you.

@ poitive... tried emailing, but I think I can't because I'm still a newbie. Sigh. Anyway, this looks the right thread to talk about my thought process.
Yes. Initially it was a bit of a shock. But with more time and reading about more such experiences (including @oxyzen's comments on another thread) from other manufacturers has put things in perspective. It tells us of the importance of the PDI.

Do share your thought process, as it may have good pointers for others as well

@roadtrip thought you would mail me at gmail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
I dont have the figure for OPTRA. But what I am trying to say is 25 is too high. All the cars are in the range of 13+2.

@ Positive, can you reconfirm.
May be Optra owners can also pitch in their comments.
Am thinking what I can confirm. What I can add here is that I checked this in as reasonable a fashion as one safely can, while driving the car. And this was of course with the normal analog meters on the car - no special equipment attached.

Reasons why the "discrepancy" may be:

1. Improper readings of the RPM and Speedo. It could have been 23kmph@1100!! And don't blame me for such errors on an analog meter and being able to see it for a flash!!!

2. Speedo and RPM errors. I suspect the meters are more inaccurate at low rpm/speeds.

3. Tyre size being different. Though don't think that was the case.

4. The Optra does seem to have tall gearing. It goes pretty smoothly and effortlessly upto 80-90kmph on second. IIRC I even read somewhere (very likely on the forum itself) about someone taking it upto 120 on second!! Optra also has humungous torque and good FE for it's weight. All suggest tall gearing on the Optra.

5. SLK does own an Optra and gave us some figures. With those figures it does seem quite possible given point 1 and 2.

Why don't you calculate this for the Optra as well, mate? ACI does have an Optra review on their website, IIRC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by khoj View Post
Why am I not surprised at your findings below. As I have posted on this thread earlier as well as on the other thread it is indeed the stiffened up chassis aided by the AWIS set up that holds the key to this car's handling.
Not that I needed to be convinced about this car , this TD was even more of a revelation of the brilliance in design, that has gone into this car.

@Khoj, I think a lot of talk about Optra's "not so good" handling may lie in people assuming that if it has such a wonderful ride, the handling "ought" to be bad!! IMHO, at high speeds, it handles better and is more composed than other cars that are supposedly good handlers. But of course I can't say that with full authority, given my opinion is mainly based on TDs of those.

Edit: It has happened again!! I open a reply page and reply at leasure between a few things. By the time I post it, some more posts have been made. Oxyzen and SLK just had a conversation between!! lol. In other words - I wrote this without reading the previous two posts.

Last edited by Poitive : 14th July 2011 at 21:52.
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Old 14th July 2011, 22:42   #452
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
@Khoj, I think a lot of talk about Optra's "not so good" handling may lie in people assuming that if it has such a wonderful ride, the handling "ought" to be bad!! IMHO, at high speeds, it handles better and is more composed than other cars that are supposedly good handlers. But of course I can't say that with full authority, given my opinion is mainly based on TDs of those.
The thing is that most people have had their driving exposure on the Petrol Optra which is well a Whale. The Magnum is a different beast all together, a wolf in sheep's clothing if you will provided you ignore the front grill (looks wise).

As for your take on the comparatively inferior handling of other cars being based on your TD, well how else would you judge them. You know when we are trying out a car either in a TD or a friend's new ride our senses are at their sharpest and we will pick up on the smallest of nuances of the given vehicle. In every day driving we can be and are attentive but never to the level that is reached during those initial runs.
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Old 14th July 2011, 22:47   #453
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
BTW what id the Max RPM the optra can Revs freely to?
not tried much - it's a new car not even 2000kms on the ODO. Though 3000-3500 comes easy.
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Old 14th July 2011, 23:17   #454
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by khoj View Post
As for your take on the comparatively inferior handling of other cars being based on your TD, well how else would you judge them. You know when we are trying out a car either in a TD or a friend's new ride our senses are at their sharpest and we will pick up on the smallest of nuances of the given vehicle. In every day driving we can be and are attentive but never to the level that is reached during those initial runs.
My thought here started with revelations about the Optra. I learnt new things about it over a few TDs. As expected, more time with the car revealing more about it. So if one owns some of these cars of drives friends' cars often (I v.v.rarely do), one can be surer of one's opinions Also, some TD cars aren't maintained well. One TD with a Linea is what I am not even talking about, as it was terribly maintained. Bansal on this thread, it seems has had his TDs on a poorly maintained Optra. At times, the tyre pressures aren't right, which can affect one's opinion.

Do agree about your point on one's senses being sharper in the initial few drives. But at times it is like a well made layered movie - on seeing them again, one doesn't have to focus on the obvious and the finer points/layers come to the fore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
I might be a bit of an impostor on this thread
Thanks for sharing your thought process mate. If you want to share more details and your TD experiences and even your experience after the purchase, please feel free. It could only help others make up their mind.

Quote:
Originally Posted by oxyzen View Post
I am sure the percieved lag in Optra is due to the tall gearing.
+1
Also that the surge later makes it 'seem' that there isn't eenough power before leading to a perception of lag.

@oxyzen, if you share your thoughts and decision making process and maybe a bit of your Vento ownership, it may help others looking out of a diesel sedan.
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Old 14th July 2011, 23:54   #455
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Why don't you calculate this for the Optra as well, mate? ACI does have an Optra review on their website, IIRC.
I will if I get the data.
I dont know what type of Internet connection I have. Autocar site right now is damn slow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
@oxyzen, if you share your thoughts and decision making process and maybe a bit of your Vento ownership, it may help others looking out of a diesel sedan.
Please Look into my ownership thread http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ms-review.html (My Volkswagen Vento 1.6L TDi : 350 kms review!)

Last edited by oxyzen : 14th July 2011 at 23:56.
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Old 15th July 2011, 13:32   #456
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

So, the reviews and the TD...
I looked all over the net and through my old car mags for any reviews I could find - difficult because I was looking at the petrol car at the time, and almost all the reviews were about the diesel. There was a common thread, though: the diesel was a rocket, and the car a very good buy. Still, I wasn't sure; I'd driven a friend's Optra Magnum the year it was launched - a friend was one of the first to buy it, and we'd taken it to Lonavala and Pune from Mumbai.
I remembered liking the power and the highway stability but didn't like the way it worked in traffic, with considerable turbo lag and sharp brakes.
So I asked for a TD of the petrol, from National Garage in Mumbai, and was quite surprised at the efficiency. They responded promptly, brought the car to my Fort office the next day, and the SE seemed to know what he was talking about for the most part.
Likes: Big, plush interior, smooth, easy-to-use engine, ride not bouncy-soft but very absorbent, parents loved it (my dad was especially taken by the sunroof)
Dislikes: The styling, especially outside, is a bit old-fashioned. The interior too looks a little dated in the pics, but once you're inside, you don't notice that under the leather and nice colour scheme. I don't like that glowing green ring around the speedo - I suspect it'll be a bit distracting at night but ok. I was fairly happy with the boot space as well. There were two bigger problems: one was the lack of a passenger airbag, the second the fact that the petrol engine, while not exactly slow, didn't really have much punch. I like the feeling of having power in reserve when I'm driving, especially on the highway. and this one didn't feel like that.

So then, I thought I might as well have a look at the diesel, especially with petrol prices getting to silly levels. It was a bit difficult, since the car was going out of my budget a little (I'll put the exact on-road prices etc in a later post, don't have the price-list on me). The diesel LT would come to about Rs 10.8 lakh OTR, which was a little steep for me, having started thinking about a Rs 7 lakh hatch , but I thought I'd take the TD anyway, especially since I'd read (mainly here) that the engine had been remapped and was now much smoother at low revs.

This time, I decided to try a dealership closer to my Andheri home - AVK on Veera Desai Road. In a word, awful. The car was here, the car was there, the car was in the workshop, whom had I spoken to earlier? My address was taken down some six times by as many different people, the dates and times of the TD were changed several times. Finally, when the car came, it was a battered TD vehicle with some 60k on the odo, the suspension creaked, the engine sounded like a truck's, the SE claimed the turbo came on at 5,000rpm. Great.

Chucking those guys as a bad job, I went back to National Garage, and again, the response was better. The car arrived, and felt well-cared for. And God, it felt good! Yes, there was a surge after the turbo kicked in, but it didn't feel at all sluggish below that. The gearshift was surprisingly good - nice and firm and positive - and though the car has a tendency to 'run away' if you're in second at very low speed, it's more a question of getting used to the car than a genuine fault. Again, there was that excellent ride and the nice, warm, comfy feeling of the cabin. I don't know why it lacked a sunroof and power-retractable mirrors - very strange equipment lists! Do passengers in petrol cars not need airbags? Or do diesel-car drivers have extremely long left arms to pull the off-side mirrors in manually?

Nevertheless, I was hooked. I didn't do any 0-60/100 bursts, but the ease of overtaking, in practically any gear, was wonderful, and hugely useful for the highway. So I'd have to stretch my budget (sigh), but what to do?
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Old 15th July 2011, 15:22   #457
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Other notes from my Optra 2.0 LT test drive (in no particular order):

1) I was expecting the clutch to be quite heavy, but it wasn't too bad. A bit deep (I'm pretty short), but ok
2) The ICE seemed ok enough to me. I'm not a big sound fanatic, and I can definitely live with this. I don't know why they aren't offering a USB though. Has anyone swapped the 6-CD changer for one of the single-DIN units available at the dealership? Can you do so? I saw a couple that had a USB slot as well, which is frankly a lot more useful to me than a 6-CD changer.
3) How do you put the rear foglights on? I hope they don't come on every time I switch the front fogs on. I drive with the front fogs on most nights - they illuminate potholes better - but I don't want to go blinding the poor guy behind me with the high-intensity light of rear fogs.
4) The switches and knobs for the climate control look quite outdated but feel nice and meaty. Very positive.
5) I like the twin-knob height-adjustment system. Bit fiddly at first, but more adaptable to different drivers as needed.
6) With the wrong-side indicator/light stalks and tiny horn buttons, taking turns in traffic could be a bit tough at first, given how often you need to honk at someone creeping up beside you.
7) The steering wheel could have been a bit thicker, I feel. Would've made quick driving a bit more fun.
8) I couldn't check this out on my TD, but from what I remember of my Expressway drive, the car is decent enough through corners. Not especially sharp, and it has a bit of roll, but overall the handling is quite neutral, very easy to get used to.
9) I'm told the front seats are narrower now than they used to be in the original Optra. What were they then, Barcaloungers? These were wonderful!
10) The dials are the main gripe I have with the styling. The lunimous green ring, the font... this could have been a lot better, and should've been changed when the Optra became the Magnum.
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Old 16th July 2011, 02:41   #458
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

@roadtrip, thanks for sharing mate.

Some interesting things coming up in @roadtrip's experience.
  • Moving up from a 7L hatch to a (near?) D segment sedan and spending 10.8! The Magnum effect
  • How the perception of Interiors changed from seeing pics to being in the car.
  • How the dealership experience was so different, which tallies with the the Tbhp TD section saying that it is inconsistent.
  • That he didn't find the car to be sluggish before the turbo in the well maintained Optra.
  • That the clutch was light.
  • That overall handling was neutral and easy to get used to.
Now why am I repeating? Well, I was just trying to highlight some points which seemed relatively more relevant to how the discussion on the thread has progressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
Other notes from my Optra 2.0 LT test drive (in no particular order):
I thought you had bought the car mate! Or maybe you did, but just shared your TD experience till now. Any changes in your opinions after the purchase?

Quote:
9) I'm told the front seats are narrower now than they used to be in the original Optra. What were they then, Barcaloungers? These were wonderful!
Does anyone have any idea of the seats in the Optra being changed?

One think that particularly impressed me about this car was the seats. Really hope the ones they are delivering now, are the same as what was there on the TD vehicle. I think it was a Nov 2010
(@Torquedo, in case you are listening-what was the model of that car? What were your observations about the seat in the new Ls you saw?)

Last edited by Poitive : 16th July 2011 at 02:49.
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Old 16th July 2011, 08:40   #459
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Stumbled onto this thread of raaga. New owners and prospective Magnum buyers please check it out:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...dated-15k.html (Optra Magnum 0k To 10k Experience And Some Nagging Issues EDIT: updated to 15k)
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Old 16th July 2011, 10:15   #460
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
@roadtrip, thanks for sharing mate.

Some interesting things coming up in @roadtrip's experience.
  • Moving up from a 7L hatch to a (near?) D segment sedan and spending 10.8! The Magnum effect
  • How the perception of Interiors changed from seeing pics to being in the car.
  • How the dealership experience was so different, which tallies with the the Tbhp TD section saying that it is inconsistent.
  • That he didn't find the car to be sluggish before the turbo in the well maintained Optra.
  • That the clutch was light.
  • That overall handling was neutral and easy to get used to.
Now why am I repeating? Well, I was just trying to highlight some points which seemed relatively more relevant to how the discussion on the thread has progressed.



I thought you had bought the car mate! Or maybe you did, but just shared your TD experience till now. Any changes in your opinions after the purchase?

Does anyone have any idea of the seats in the Optra being changed?

One think that particularly impressed me about this car was the seats. Really hope the ones they are delivering now, are the same as what was there on the TD vehicle. I think it was a Nov 2010
(@Torquedo, in case you are listening-what was the model of that car? What were your observations about the seat in the new Ls you saw?)
@ poitive,
Yup, I've paid my 50k booking amount, just going through each step of the buying process. No changes in opinion, just a warm, fuzzy feeling and a MASSIVE amount of impatience. The dealership says delivery should take about a week to 10 days, but I've asked for the delivery only in the first week of August. Practical reasons - giving the rain a chance to get milder - but hopping with impatience now

Re the seats, I meant these were changed during the 2008 makeover, according to TopGear.
Also, another interesting thing. When I was considering the ANHV, I was looking only at the SX model, not the SX (O). I liked the extra airbags, but the over 1 lakh more seemed too much, and I didn't care then for the leather seats, didn't think they were worth spending extra on (the start/stop button I would've paid to have taken off, and the proximity-sensor key). Now, after sitting in the Optra, I'm hopelessly in love with the leather seats. Weird

Anyway, what I'm paying:
OTR (Mumbai registration): Rs 10.95 lakh
Standard discount: Rs 30,000
Corporate discount: Rs 10,000
They're giving rubber mats, basic sun-film and mud-flaps for free (yeay, hurray, champagne all round), but nothing else. I could have haggled for more, but I'm one of those retarded people who can't bargain to save their lives, and in any case, I was more interested in getting good service, so didn't want to get into hassles over a couple of grand here and there.
They did match my bank's interest rate, though the difference wasn't really that much.
Accessories:
Parking sensor - Rs 2700
Emergency kit - Rs 1200
Carpets - Rs 1800

Total price (car itself): Rs 10.61 lakh

Am not going in for the extended warranty or maintenance programme at the moment - let me see what the service is like. Can always go for those in a few months' time.

Couple of questions:
1) Does this seem reasonable, in other Optra owners' experience?
2) Does premium insurance sound a better idea?
3) I'm wondering whether I can swap the 6-CD changer for a single-DIN unit (at the dealership itself, in exchange) that has a USB slot as well. Has anyone done this? Do dealerships do this sort of thing? Also, if I go for a single-DIN, can I get some sort of tray for the empty space, so it becomes a cell-phone etc holder?
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Old 16th July 2011, 13:37   #461
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
3) I'm wondering whether I can swap the 6-CD changer for a single-DIN unit (at the dealership itself, in exchange) that has a USB slot as well. Has anyone done this? Do dealerships do this sort of thing? Also, if I go for a single-DIN, can I get some sort of tray for the empty space, so it becomes a cell-phone etc holder?
I had inquired about the same thing at Vento showroom and the sales guy told me that they do not take the stock unit back. That is, there is no exchange scheme etc. I'll have to pay the full price for a new head unit.
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Old 16th July 2011, 14:16   #462
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I just came back from a test drive. Sundaram Motors Bangalore dealer had brought the car home. Went on a test drive at place near home where roads are bit bad as they are digging up for laying sewage pipes and temporarily covered with red sand. And later to the highway kind of road between sahakar nagar and vidyaranyapura where you can touch 3 digit speeds. Some observations.

1. The car had 5788 kms on the speedometer.
2. Almost zero turbo lag, my current car is an esteem and am used to shifting ti lower gears in bad roads.
3. The turbo pull was linear and i didn't even realise when I touched the 3 digit speed.
4. Gear shift is ok. Can be better. Or it's too early to comment on it.
5. Seats are extremely comfortable and the steering wheel response is also good.
6. Horn placement and indicator stalks could have been better. Or maybe matter of getting used to.
7. Clutch was butter smooth.
8. I am short and seat height was pretty good. But getting in and easy were not that easy. Maybe for taller people it's easy.
9. Back seats are like a sofa. For a short distance I sat there. It was good.
10. Cabin is airy but the head unit is lame. Actually lame is a polite word. It seems you cannot exchange it for a new one.
11. Apollo tyres makes a lot of noise. Otherwise I could hardly hear any sound.
12. Braking felt good. Was pretty confident.

She said service interval is 10000 kms and black Color is immediately available. On road price was 11.44 lakhs. After discount she offered me for 11.15 L. And since I will be going via Orix lease scheme, she said I can get another 10k or so as discount.

They had no plans of discontinuing this model.

Max power according to brochure is 120.5/3000
Max Torque is 314/2125

2 years and 50000 kms warranty.
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Old 16th July 2011, 14:17   #463
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bansal98

I had inquired about the same thing at Vento showroom and the sales guy told me that they do not take the stock unit back. That is, there is no exchange scheme etc. I'll have to pay the full price for a new head unit.
Bansal,

I suggest you take a TD of the Optra from Sundaram Motors and check the turbo lag effect.
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Old 16th July 2011, 15:47   #464
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Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
Re the seats, I meant these were changed during the 2008 makeover, according to TopGear.
Congrats on the booking mate! We'll keep looking forward to your experiences and comments to help others decide.

Thanks for the info on seats. So what we did check would be what we'll get, as the TD car surely wasn't as old. Oh! That is such a relief.

Quote:
Also, another interesting thing. When I was considering the ANHV, I was looking only at the SX model, not the SX (O). I liked the extra airbags, but the over 1 lakh more seemed too much, and I didn't care then for the leather seats, didn't think they were worth spending extra on (the start/stop button I would've paid to have taken off, and the proximity-sensor key). Now, after sitting in the Optra, I'm hopelessly in love with the leather seats. Weird
No offense meant to Verna lovers (it is a wonderful car in it's own right), but with the kind of 'presence' the Optra interiors have, it seems that leather seats belong there. With the Verna (and many other cars) it is a bit of something that is added to it to enhance the appeal, rather than a sense of it belonging there in the first place. Wonder if I am making any sense to anyone!!

Funny - your comments on paying for getting the start-stop button/proximity sensor removal!! I too never really saw much reason to have those, and relate to how you feel. But I may be pretty extreme on such things. I don't even like steering mounted audio controls. They are an arm's length away when needed, so don't like those to disturb the steering use. For me 'not having steering controls' was a bit like a feature!!!

Thanks for sharing the financials. Many aren't comfortable sharing those details. Did you check out on the insurance rates you could get outside?

Another thing I picked up on the forum - While making your final payments, check what amounts have been actually used for calculating the registration and other amounts. They may often take payments from you on the ex-showroom rates and pay them on the discounted rate (i.e. after the 40k reduction) and pocket the differential. Now, if they aren't willing to reduce the amount payed, it would give you a chance for asking for some freebies/accessories!

Quote:
Am not going in for the extended warranty or maintenance programme at the moment - let me see what the service is like. Can always go for those in a few months' time.
Please confirm if you can take up the maintenance program later. Extended warranty should not be an issue, though IIRC some companies charge a tiny bit extra later - not sure.

Quote:
3) I'm wondering whether I can swap the 6-CD changer for a single-DIN unit (at the dealership itself, in exchange) that has a USB slot as well. Has anyone done this? Do dealerships do this sort of thing?
Not saying this based on any experience, but it may have worked out better, if you had talked about this as a part of your negotiation process. Alpine has a pretty good and well priced entry level single-DIN HU, which is good with output and clarity, though not on features.

You could also consider adding an amplifier to improve sound, if the Clarion unit on the Optra has pre-outs, but that would not take care of the USB bit.

Now since many may consider changing an Optra's ICE
(In Car Entertainment system), thought it may be relevant here:

Had written an "article" in the ICE section on selecting ICE (seems some enjoyed it and it got some a bit annoyed ). Tried to mix the information and thoughts with some humour.
Link
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Old 16th July 2011, 19:31   #465
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive
(@Torquedo, in case you are listening-what was the model of that car? What were your observations about the seat in the new Ls you saw?)
I don't really remember this clearly but I think it was Oct 2010.

Poitive, I don't think GM would go about changing the seats and stuff, as I said and this is not on comparative basis from the post price cut, but the changes to me are:

1) Under the Hood and Trunk, Primer has been used instead of paint.
2) PU Leather on the seats and not genuine leather.
3) Alloys

On the LS though, the seats and the material were the same, all the other aspects, the gear knob, the AC vents and stuff all were the same.

HTH Mate.

Last edited by Torquedo : 16th July 2011 at 19:32.
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