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Old 18th January 2006, 19:28   #1
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Thumbs up Climate control Baleno VXi !

My current ride ...
... is an Indica 2000 petrol. It's got adequate performance. But not too much of low end grunt. The pull however is pretty good in 3rd gear (mine doesn't have a tacho). 99% of my driving is within the city and it served this purpose quite well. FE was so-so. Used to get around 10 to 11 kmpl. It doesn't have power anything :( steering, windows are all manual. Had a Pio cassette deck with XPlod speakers. I don't understand the subtelities of ICE. Even then it's apparent to me that the audio installation and quality is pretty bad. The gearshift has a mind of its own - long play and rubbery. Switchgear quality is appalling (it's one of the early gen models). I spent zilch on mods.

It does have its cons, quite a lot more than you would want in your car. However, having said that I love the car and love standing by it. It's got loads of space and is quite comfy. It's been very very reliable - never let me down. Minimum of maintenance. Not a single engine problem in 40K kms. Not a single electrical problem. And we are talking of a pre-V2 Indica here !

My Indica experience taught me ...
... one thing, which was foremost in my mind when I was planning for my new car - When you are on a given budget (purchase and maintenance) look for a vehicle within that price range, whose fundamentals are good. Frills should take a back seat.

My shortlisting thought process ...

I listed my requirements .. some driven by my head, some by my heart.
I wanted a petrol sedan (and in order of priority)
- which is available through my employers' leased car scheme (CLC)
- within a given price point
- which would drive reliably for at least 5 years (I drive around 9K kms a year)
- which provides adequate driving pleasure (I like to drive myself)
- which has decent power (good low end torque, good consistent performance all through the 0-80kmph range)
- which doesn't feel cramped (as @hrag once said, the Indica has spoilt me !) .. I'm 6'1"
- whose maintenance costs are on the lower side .. relatively speaking
- that has a good AC (am not too particular about blower noise)
- that may give 1 to 2 kmpl FE more than the Indica
- and among the features my heart wanted were wide tyres, 14" alloys, a basic MP3 ICE system with a woofer and decent looks.

I consciously did not let the following parameters influence my purchase decision, as they were either not important for me or I couldn't afford the extra dough to spend on them.
- resale value, snob value, image, interior plastic/fabric/etc quality

It was pretty obvious that there is something to crib about in almost every car. The point is, I was not looking for a car which was EXCELLENT in all the parameters under
consideration. I was realistically looking for a car which is GOOD in all of them at the best price.

The process of elimination follows ...

The petrol sedans that were being provided through CLC AND met my price point (at most 7.5L OTR) were
- Esteem
- Accent
- Viva
- Ikon Flair
- Ikon 1.6 EXi
- City ZX EXi
- Baleno

Esteem : Costs within 5.3 L OTR
- I find it cramped - otherwise, it was fitting the bill
Ikon Flair : Around 5.2 OTR
- IMO Lacks space
- Only dealer workshop very far away from my place
- Not as powerful as I wanted
- Cost would be more with alloys and woofer
Ikon 1.6 ZXi : Around 6 OTR
- IMO Lacks space
- Only dealer workshop very far away from my place
- Perception of higher maintenance costs over a 5 year period
- FE may be equal or less than Indica
- Add cost of woofer
Accent 1.6 : 6.6 L OTR (with extended warranty of 2 years)
- Add alloys 17k, add MP3 HU 6K .. Costs 6.83 L OTR
- 1.6 not as pleasurable to drive
- I was unhappy with rear sear space
Viva 1.6 : 6.82 L OTR (with extended warranty of 2 years)
- Found this somewhat cramped too

City ZX Exi - 7.37L OTR
- Add alloys 17k, add MP3 HU and 2 speakers and woofer approx 13K .. Costs 7.67 L OTR
- Not as powerful as I wanted
- Did not want to pay the premium for the Honda badge
- Still can't stand the look, even the ZX. I don't want to be seen with one
- Maintenance costs on the higher side (people say Baleno fog lamps are costly @12.5K. Well, City ZX fog lamps cost 18.7K !)

That left the Baleno. And it met all the criteria. I like the looks too. I prefer wedge shapes. For looks, the OHC was my favourite, followed by the Lancer and the Baleno. I took drives, searched the net, pored through all the info on Baleno's in T-BHP to try and identify the negatives of the car. The most common ones I came across were 'drab looks', 'cheap interior plastics', 'low resale value', 'old design', 'somewhat
noisy engine'. It seemed to be a pretty good car - fundamentally

It boiled down to a 2 car contest between the Baleno LXi and the VXi. Now I am not much into car mods. I prefer stock features.

The 'new' VXi @6.76 L OTR ; the LXi @5.93 OTR. Price difference = 83K
I added the desired mod costs to the LXi
185/65 R14 tubeless tyres & 14" Alloys - 27000
Basic MP3 HU + 4 speakers (with papers) - 13000
Remote locking - 5000
That totals 45K. - So I save 38K ?
But ... the demister, the climate control, the height adjuster on the drivers seat might come in handy ... and it saves me the trouble of modding (as I said earlier, I prefer stock cars)

Hence .. I got myself a silky silver Baleno VXi today .. and I'm loving it !

What I Paid ...

The VXi price breakup was:
Ex - showroom - 6,76,173
Insurance - 25,260
Regn/Rd Tax - 39,883
Seat Cover - 2,000
Soomoku Act. Sub- 6,500
Extd Warranty - 8,000
---------------------------------
Total OTR - 7,57,816
---------------------------------
I paid - 6,76,173
Total discount - 81,643

Note 1 - Fiesta/Petra/Lancer are not covered under my company's scheme. If they were, I may have spent many sleepless nights deciding between them !!
Note 2 - A very big thank you to ALL T-BHPians. Without T-BHP I would not have been able to take an informed decision.
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Old 18th January 2006, 19:49   #2
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Congrats man on your purchase.
Do put up some pics of the new car. We would all love to see them.
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Old 18th January 2006, 22:49   #3
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Hearty congratulations - drive safely!
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Old 18th January 2006, 22:57   #4
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great choice mite.....enjoy..drive safely...
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Old 19th January 2006, 00:28   #5
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Quote:
Hence .. I got myself a silky silver Baleno VXi today .. and I'm loving it !
Welcome to the T-Bhp Baleno club dude.
You have yourself posted some very good price figures and other analysis of the Baleno. I was really wondering when you would be getting one

Anyway great choice and you won't regret it. Happy driving! Keep us posted with long term reports.
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Old 19th January 2006, 02:52   #6
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congrtas on your purchase buddy.dont rip her for the first 1000 kms.after shes run in then tear her apart.

But drive safe
Rev
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Old 19th January 2006, 05:46   #7
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Welcome to Great B Club, Comrade... May the tribe increase!
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Old 19th January 2006, 09:21   #8
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CONGRATES DUDE...
Have fun...
Drive safe...
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Old 19th January 2006, 09:56   #9
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congrats, mate - the baleno is a lovely choice

and thats a very nice write up regarding the short-listing process
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Old 19th January 2006, 10:58   #10
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Congrats !!
By the way which IT major r u with ?
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Old 19th January 2006, 11:19   #11
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Great choice dude!! Baleno is team-bhp's official car actually..Keep revving dude..
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Old 19th January 2006, 11:30   #12
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Good choice! Enjoy your ride...

Quote:
By the way which IT major r u with ?
Kolkata......hmmm IBM?
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Old 19th January 2006, 11:39   #13
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Good choice, dude! Happy Motoring!
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Old 19th January 2006, 11:50   #14
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A refreshing, nice review. Congradulations!! welcome to the maruti family.
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Old 19th January 2006, 12:22   #15
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Congrats on your purchase. You got a discount of 81k, thats great. Is the yr of manf 2005 or 2006? How did u feel about smoothness of the gear shift in Baleno?
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