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Old 6th April 2006, 16:14   #31
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Default As promised - reply from Overdrive.

Please note - Kindly take up any and all issues related tothis reply with Overdrive directly.

Hi Farhan,

Apologies for the delay in replying – was tied up with work.

First things first – this busa character is right about our features slip-up. The rider doesn’t have climate control while the Optra does have it. Our mistake was to rely on GM’s dealer in Pune and their call centre for updated trim levels but how that alters the verdict is hard to fathom.

Yes, we did shoot the 1.6 Optra as is evident from the pics. Tell me, do you think it’s that difficult to blank out a number plate? If we wanted to hide the fact that we’ve shot a 1.6 it takes us 10sec in photoshop to blank out a plate and 10min to change badging, colours and tail lamps. And nobody would be the wiser. The reason we shot a 1.6 was because our test 1.8 isn’t in good enough shape to be photographed. Suggesting malafide intentions is baseless and frankly stupid. Worse suggesting we’re paid off is slanderous at the very least, and organisations have sought legal recourse for far less. We earn an honest (albeit extremely enjoyable) living and anybody who suggests we’re swayed by test cars and business class tickets to exotic locales needs to examine his own morals and value system.

While we at OVERDRIVE welcome the proliferation of internet fora helping as it does to build the automotive community and brings like minded individuals together, mud flinging is something we take a very dim view of. Mistakes (bloopers like you’ll put it) do happen and we welcome readers pointing them out but end of the day criticism has to be constructive. This busa chappie isn’t being constructive in any which way and worse hasn’t taken the effort to read the whole story before shooting from the keyboard. Nowhere have we mentioned that the Octavia runs ‘widest tyres’; what we’ve mentioned is that she runs fat rubber. In any case as busa should know the Optra’s are 14-inchers, the rest all run 15s and thus wider.

Also busa doesn’t seem to be able to fathom nuances of the English language. Our verdict is a toss up between the Elantra (for its excellent pricing and equipment levels) and the Octavia (for its ride, handling, engine, fuel efficiency, rock solid feel etc). In fact the verdict page has pics of the Cedia, Elantra and Octavia. Why then does busa assume we rated the Corolla second? Pictures are as in yer face as they can be but if that fails to make an impression, well….

If busa knew anything about driving he’ll know the Corolla will blow the Optra (I’m talking 1.8 before anybody starts howling again) into the weeds up a hill or round a track. Yes, we did use the 1.6 for our recent track tests (GM couldn’t give us a 1.8 in Coimbatore) but I’m surprised he doesn’t know that the 1.6 and 1.8 run identical 185 section 14-inch rubber. In fact thanks to a more eager engine (relatively speaking of course) the 1.6 is as fast round a track as a 1.8. And as for the Corollas build, she went through unmitigated hell during the last Mumbai flooding and she held strong. Not many cars would.

Please try and understand that a 15-minute test drive round Worli seaface tells you absolutely nothing. We test every car for a minimum of 600km, put on at least two up and down Mumbai-Pune runs and that’s if time is at a premium. Our job is driving and riding and if I didn’t have to sit and write this I would be out driving or riding something. FYI, the jury for the ICOTY had more that 150 years of combined experience driving and evaluating cars; and just the top two guys from each magazine were on the jury. Now equate that experience levels with a 15-minute test drive of a dealer demo car and these are the kind of postings you get. In fact Farhan, you have been with us automotive journos on the last Raid and know the journo teams finished third and fourth, only behind professional rally drivers and their active co-drivers. Fair and square we were head and shoulders above the rest and that, unlike previous years when we won, were in cars that were on its last legs and had to be nursed with great care. Surely that proves we aren’t idiots behind the wheel and don’t have to prove our credentials, especially not to a teenager.

As to criticisms of our fuel efficiency figures – as we keep saying in the magazine, the highway figures are the best anybody could hope to achieve. Our highway runs for every car are done on the same 50km lap on the expressway that balances effects of wind, gradient and other variables. In fact I think it’s time we filmed a run and post it on our website so everybody knows what we’re doing and not go shooting off their mouths. The highway run is done in top gear keeping the engine spinning at 2-2500rpm (80-100kmph) when it’s at its least stressed and without the air-con. Before anybody starts howling as to the logic behind this test route, drive at a constant 80kmph on the Delhi-Jaipur highway (or any of the scores of beautifully paved 4-lane highways across the country), keep braking to an absolute minimum and you will get similar or maybe even better mileage figures.

If you want to know what she’ll do on your city commute go by the city figures. Our city runs are done on a fixed 60km lap in Pune city with the AC and we do a city run thrice for most cars. Pune city is so congested our city runs are easily achievable by anybody who drives with a light foot.

I hope you’ll be kind enough to post this on your forum, I’m not a member. I agree it’s a bit long but it’s best to clear all this once and for all for we aren’t going to entertain any more correspondence on this matter (we’ve got tons of driving to do). We’re not heroes but average people, average people with petrol coursing through our veins, passionate about cars and bikes like you wouldn’t believe and putting in a very hard month’s work to bring out this magazine. We’re not in the business of ramming the magazine down anybody’s throat – it brings great joy if you appreciate our job and keeps us on our toes when you point out flaws, but this dude demanding an apology for wasting his time is just OTT.

Regards,

Sirish

PS: If the Cedia doesn’t run a MIVEC engine, does that mean the Colt can’t? So if the Baleno doesn’t have airbags or ABS the Swift shouldn’t? And also read Himashu’s posting. Appalled that he can’t make out the difference between an ad and a story. If we wants to read what we really think of the Rhino please direct him to the March issue of OD or our website. And which mail id to these guys write to, none of us have seen their mails...

------------------------------
SIRISH CHANDRAN
Asst. Editor,
OVERDRIVE Magazine
9A, 5th Flr, Tara Heights,
Wakdewadi,
Mumbai-Pune road,
Pune 411003
I N D I A
+91 20 30921295/6
+91 20 25811377
www.overdrive.co.in
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Old 6th April 2006, 16:36   #32
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Hahahahaha.. Bravo Shirish!!
Edit...
Looks like Busa posted his letter on the OD forum as well... and was deleted..and was posted again.
Oh well.. Busa.. waiting for a reply to the letter...

Last edited by 2L8uLoose : 6th April 2006 at 16:54.
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Old 6th April 2006, 16:43   #33
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Ok!!! That was some reply... Busa... over to you now.
Btw I would say one thing about this FE thing. If they actually posted that Skoda RS runs 21+ kms for every liter of petrol, as somebody pointed out somewhere below, well I have only one thing to say. ...And the cow jumped over the moon. Short of shutting off the engine and pushing it the maniac RS will never reach the 21kmpl figure. Howsoever one may drive, and no matter how much Shirish justifies that. Of course, if they claimed that at all in the first place.

Last edited by Zappo : 6th April 2006 at 16:47.
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Old 6th April 2006, 17:03   #34
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Quote:
what we’ve mentioned is that she runs fat rubber. In any case as busa should know the Optra’s are 14-inchers, the rest all run 15s and thus wider.
What is the definition of fat rubber? They have clearly mentioned that Octavia has the fattest rubber. Now isint fatter mean wider. As all of tem run on 195/60/15 leaving the Optra which i think runs on 195/55/15 and the RS on 205/55/16. Optra LT has optional 15inchers on them.

Anywayz since they took time to reply even i will do so and read again. And yes if they FE figures are right then man i need a driver now ready to pay you what you want just file your resume buddy. ******** Will see them soon.

Cheers
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Old 6th April 2006, 18:48   #35
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In all the cars I have driven I have got equal or better FE than overdrive
The cars where I got these are
1. Indica
2. Indigo non TDI
3. Getz
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Old 6th April 2006, 19:36   #36
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the optra runs 185/65 R14 tyres. if i remember correctly 15inches were a dealer option for which you pay more. that way i can pay 30grand and put 16inch rims and rubber on my swift and pronouce its handling to be better than an RS. okay not an RS but an optra?

from what i surmise the optra runs the most poverty spec rubber. btw didn't see the RS in the story, it's the poverty spec rider.
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Old 6th April 2006, 19:41   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jdp
the optra runs 185/65 R14 tyres. if i remember correctly 15inches were a dealer option for which you pay more. that way i can pay 30grand and put 16inch rims and rubber on my swift and pronouce its handling to be better than an RS. okay not an RS but an optra?

from what i surmise the optra runs the most poverty spec rubber. btw didn't see the RS in the story, it's the poverty spec rider.
Buddy let me clearify something 15inchers with tyres(195/55/15) and alloys are not dealer option its the complany option. Since the company is putting in the tyres i guess there wont be a problem and you will be having warranty on them. This 15inchers costs 18K including tyres and alloys. I am sure even after you put 17inch wheels on your Swift it wont be able to beat a Optras handling. Also your ride will suffer miserably. Anywayz lets not go PM me if you want to continue the arguement.
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Old 6th April 2006, 22:36   #38
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Shirish may be a skillfull writer but the facts about Overdrive are far far more clear then his reply. OD is very much a biased magazine and their fuel efficiency figures are the most hilarious I have ever seen.

They extracted 21kmpl from the Octavia RS

They extracted, if I remember correctly, 27kmpl from the NHC in City(?) driving!

when they tested the MPFi Indica, they took great pains to clarify that mileage was average considering the size of engine, BHP, and heavy build of the car.

A more heavily built Palio was blasted by them for poor FE. I still remember the article, they wrote if you want to buy a Palio buy a petrol pump with it. That day I knew OD had lost it. I didn't own a Palio at that time. I knew the car was panned because it's sales were zooming and the Palio D was on the horizon which would have meant tough, very tough times for the Indica. I guess TATA and OD got to-gether to ensure that competition was killed before the car would be launched.Ironically, the Palio is the only car that didn't give them good mileage.

Few years down the line they did a megea FE test and the Palio (non NV I think) returned better FE then the Wagon R! Maybe they didn't recieve the cheque form MUL that month.
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Old 7th April 2006, 00:08   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amit
Few years down the line they did a megea FE test and the Palio (non NV I think) returned better FE then the Wagon R! Maybe they didn't recieve the cheque form MUL that month.
It was 27kmpl on the highway and that was in 2003 December issue.

OD is owned by Tata Infomedia or something. I am so sure the method they use to test FE a Palio 1.6 will also easily return 15kmpl and i can bet on that.

All is the money game. Will ever a new car is lauched the manufacture pays them a fat sum to publicise their car and thats quite evident in all their tests.
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Old 7th April 2006, 00:38   #40
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I did see busa's thread on the OD forum .. It did a disappearing act ... Now , they came up with a lame excuse saying that the thread got deleted while shifting to a new server or some such crap .. Comeon , u guys at OD need to take a reality dip soon .. And sirish , im sure u guys drive as well as u guys type ..

Moms looking for a chauffer , with the kind of FE figures u guys claim , id love to employ one of ur test drivers for the job..

U guys goofed up big time and this has been happening for quite a while now , rather than accepting the mistakes and vouching to correct them talking in this tone to a viewer of ur mag is utterly disappointing .. With this attitude im sure u guys would go places ( only downwards that is ) ..

PS : Sirish , if u do happen to read this .. DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE the knowledge of teenagers .. It is US (public) who make u guys what u are , respect that fact ...
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Old 7th April 2006, 00:48   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sideways
Please note - Kindly take up any and all issues related tothis reply with Overdrive directly.

Hi Farhan,

Apologies for the delay in replying – was tied up with work.

First things first – this busa character is right about our features slip-up.

BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH

I hope you’ll be kind enough to post this on your forum, I’m not a member. I agree it’s a bit long but it’s best to clear all this once and for all for we aren’t going to entertain any more correspondence on this matter (we’ve got tons of driving to do). We’re not heroes but average people, average people with petrol coursing through our veins, passionate about cars and bikes like you wouldn’t believe and putting in a very hard month’s work to bring out this magazine. We’re not in the business of ramming the magazine down anybody’s throat – it brings great joy if you appreciate our job and keeps us on our toes when you point out flaws, but this dude demanding an apology for wasting his time is just OTT.

Regards,

Sirish

PS: If the Cedia doesn’t run a MIVEC engine, does that mean the Colt can’t? So if the Baleno doesn’t have airbags or ABS the Swift shouldn’t? And also read Himashu’s posting. Appalled that he can’t make out the difference between an ad and a story. If we wants to read what we really think of the Rhino please direct him to the March issue of OD or our website. And which mail id to these guys write to, none of us have seen their mails...

------------------------------
SIRISH CHANDRAN
Asst. Editor,
OVERDRIVE Magazine
9A, 5th Flr, Tara Heights,
Wakdewadi,
Mumbai-Pune road,
Pune 411003
I N D I A
+91 20 30921295/6
+91 20 25811377
www.overdrive.co.in

Its quite an embarassment for us when the Editor of what is allegedly a 'leading' auto mag in the country writes something like this. He has a way with language, but he still glosses over the facts without addressing the real issues.

OD's figures are mostly questionable, no matter what methodology they use. I'd like to see them extract those figures for real, so yeah Sirish please go ahead and record the damn thing on video - we dont believe you.

Calling someone an irresponsible teenager for pointing out irregularities only shows how OD and its editor are behaving like spoilt teenagers themselves. Have the grace to admit when you're wrong - we understand everyone's human.

I wouldnt be surprised if your biggest readership group comprised of teenagers, Sirish.

Goodbye, Overdrive. You need a new gearbox.
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Old 7th April 2006, 01:00   #42
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the attitude of sirish is totally unacceptable....
BUSA might be right or wrong, but that does not allow sirish who is supposed to be holding a respectable position in OD....

either you clarify yourself or you accept your mistake..this shows your greatness..

and acceptance of mistake usually is forgiven...not attitude..

i can see the behaviour of sirish as immature as that of a teenager in puberty........
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Old 7th April 2006, 01:10   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA
All is the money game. Will ever a new car is launched the manufacture pays them a fat sum to publicise their car and thats quite evident in all their tests.
Yes it is evident. but let us not go all out and say things we can never prove.

Mr. SIRISH from overdrive seems to be a very good writer, well then thats what overdrive is known for. Though his post here is desperate enough to be read as guilty conscious!

I mean
Quote:
Yes, we did shoot the 1.6 Optra as is evident from the pics. Tell me, do you think it’s that difficult to blank out a number plate? If we wanted to hide the fact that we’ve shot a 1.6 ........
They actually did shoot 1.6 to look bona-fide!... that they didn't use photoshop!

Quote:
anybody who suggests we’re swayed by test cars and business class tickets to exotic locales needs to examine his own morals and value system.
ahh.. I have a screwed up value system...... then does it mean they are justified in doing whatever they do.

Quote:
Please try and understand that a 15-minute test drive round Worli seaface tells you absolutely nothing. We test every car for a minimum of 600km, put on at least two up and down Mumbai-Pune runs and that’s if time is at a premium.
I couldn't agree with this more!... At least all the 15min test drives I have taken have been utter waste of those 15mins... Whatever I can get from 15mins is all quite useless. Apart from the fact that it was an experience that I hadn't had earlier.

BTW another example of an "OVERDRIVE FACT" is...
Quote:
So in typical Indian back-to-the-wall style, a most ingenious solution was come up with. The existing 796cc power plant of the Maruti 800 was taken and an additional cylinder added to it.
"Maruti" added another cylinder to the 800 engine to make it for the WagonR to cut costs.
Actually I was wondering whether they used quickfix or fevi-quick!

I mean it was a Suzuki F10D already available on the International Alto launched in 1998. Ok it was an engine in the same series...

The whole description of that engine made it sound like a cheap piece of metal picked up from a car that costs half the price of a wagon R.

I don't remember this one correctly but.. was their Alto Vxi slower than the Zen?... But ACI had put it the other-way-round... .. Someone has to be wrong.

Last edited by SLK : 7th April 2006 at 01:14.
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Old 7th April 2006, 07:54   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLK
They actually did shoot 1.6 to look bona-fide!... that they didn't use photoshop!

I don't remember this one correctly but.. was their Alto Vxi slower than the Zen?... But ACI had put it the other-way-round... .. Someone has to be wrong.
Well these guys are so busy testing cars and giving out their HONEST VERDICTS that maybe they didnt have the time to even sit and do some photoshopping .. Refer to sirish's last para where he says

Quote:
for we aren’t going to entertain any more correspondence on this matter (we’ve got tons of driving to do).

Also did they actually say that the zen was faster than the alto Vxi ?? Which issue was this ??? If this indeed is true , well what can i say about OD ..


Taking a high position at OD , i must say sirish's tone over this issue is certainly leaving a bad taste in everyones mouth about OD .. Sirish , i dont think u yet know what tbhp is all made off .. Before u know half of ur so called readers would have disappeared by the word of mouth about this incident .. Thats ends OD subscription for me .. Guys who cant take up criticism , how could one expect them to give unbiased opinions and help me choose a car based on their verdict ..

Last edited by mclaren1885 : 7th April 2006 at 08:04.
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Old 7th April 2006, 09:49   #45
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Alright.. have read all this again and here's my opinion.
NO AUTO MAG IN INDIA GIVES YOU AN HONEST VERDICT.
Having done work for both OD with Adil and ACI with Hormazd, so be it Shirish who has taken a not so favourable tone to the complaint or this magazine's faulty FE figures or a photoshopped Image... THEY ARE ALL THE SAME!!
Honesty... Im sorry my friends.. unfortunately that word is non existant in our automobile industry's dictionary or vocabulary.
Sad but True.
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