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Old 3rd July 2011, 14:53   #1
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Default When truck drivers go hatch hopping

We own two cars. One is the huge humongous Tata Safari, the companion of our many travels, to the distant mountains and flats.
The other one is a 10 year old indica. An aging 2002 model which has seen 115000kms.
Unlike many other safari owners, we do not own a fill it, shut it, forget it kind of car.
Every time the indica starts in the morning, half the local wildlife goes dead, and window panes shatter.
Her mood swings can put your most dramatic soap to shame, and as I come behind a DTC bus, just the sound of the engine makes the bus driver wet his pants.
All I am trying to say is that, we don't have a car. We have a tractor, and a truck.
And finally, after lot of deliberations and computations, it has been decided that we will also own a car. Yay.

So with such great aims we go, car shopping.

We went shopping 3 years ago, and brought home our beloved white elephant, and this time, we are going in the big huge truck, to test the other end of the spectrum.

Well thanks to the big huge truck, we find ourself in Gurgaon. After lot of phone calls here and there, we have come to a conclusion that there is a Maruti showroom somewhere near the metro line on the road with 200 shopping malls.

You see this is a problem. A big problem. WE haven't had lunch, and its 3, and we want to have lunch and then take a TD. And we are in a traffic jam,

A lot of boring details later, we are in another traffic jam, its past 4, and we haven't found a Maruti showroom yet.
Suman lets us know there is one on Gold course road, and thats the destination.

But thanks to Gurgaon not being satisfied with metro, we are in the jam. Something called a rapid metro is being built. Whats a rapid metro? I really don't care. I just want to get to a Maruti.

Finally, after a long drive, on a road which only had some 20-30 potholes(surprise) and no traffic jams(even a bigger surprise) we are at a spanking new showroom of Rohan motors.
The showroom is totally new. The walls are new, the floor is new, and even the salespersons are brand new.

There is even a new paint smell.

Inside there are many new cars.
And they all look hideous....

Seriously. The hideousness almost touches the hideousness found on Mahindra showroom floors. The occasional SX4 thankfully breaks it a bit.

We look around. And then I see a buffalo. Fat pregnant white buffalo. Oh wait.... Its a dzire. Then I see an alien insect, like the one in starship troopers. Its an A-STAR.
But our shock climb new heights when I see a car with badly dented rear parked!
Wait... its a Ritz. And there are no dents. Its tailgate is like this. Maybe while protyping the engineers had a fight and kicked the rear of the prototype?

As I turn around, I spot the quirky swift. Thankfully, its only quirky. Nothing else.

Meanwhile, a smiling sales guy has come upto us. We chat with him and tell him of our intentions. Check out the Alto K10, Swift D and Ritz D.

Unfortunately, the showroom is brand new, so all they have is a Ritz for TD.
So while formalities get done, we decide to check out the interiors.

This is time for shock number two. The cars are tiny from inside. If I plant my 6.2" frame on drivers seat, the rear passenger has to do yoga. And if rear passenger does the firm planting, I have to do yoga.
I mean inside a safari you can carry your fridge, TV, microwave and the kitchen sink. In the indica you can probably travel with a fridge. And here, even the microwave will have a tough time.

Its like downgrading from a marriage hall to a studio apartments kitchen. But then halls do not have shelves and pockets. Kitchens do. And this is the case with ritz atleast. Lots of cubbyholes everywhere. Definitely a +. Unfortunately, the IRVM is not a day/night(like the swift vdi). Did somebody at maruti forgot to put it?

anyways, its time to go for a TD now.

First its my turn. I give the sales guy an impossible task. "I want an big empty road". Very very big and very very empty.
The salesman does not even flinch. After all maruti can do the impossible. Like sell 10,000 5 lakh + cars, and 24000 small cars a month.

Its time for the salesman miracle, and couple of turns later, I am staring at a big empty stretch of tarmac. divided, with 4 lanes on each side(not painted though), and no traffic. Not less traffic, NO TRAFFIC. Nada, Zilch, zero.
Road to hell maybe? I ask the friendly salesman.

"New road, does not go anywhere", comes the answer.
So in Gurgaon, if you want to find a runway like road with no traffic, take the road which goes nowhere.

And so its time to rock. I floor the pedals, work the gears.
There are quirks, like the slight lag and the silly accelerator pedal position, and no dead pedal, but that would be nitpicking. She flies. High speed stability is great, and driving is effortless. A true joy after a tractor and a truck. For a moment you forget the looks, the cramped interiors. All you know is the easy gearshift. No more sore left shoulder, and no more weird sounds. Just smooth motoring nirvana.

Wife takes the wheel, and she finds the oddly placed gearshift even better. It means you can push your seat back further, and not strain to change gears. Effortless motoring it is.

Only problem, the accelerator pedal. Its too high. Will it be a problem in traffic? Maybe, but then indica has it worse.

Back at the dealership we weigh our options. Ritz has a month of waiting, and swift probably 3-4 months, and new swift will cost aleast 10K more.
Is it worth the extra 25K over the ritz? You get less space, less number of cubby holes, and you sit lower.

but swift sells 10,000 units a month, double the ritz. Whats the catch buddy? This we will know only after driving the swift diesel, the national diesel car, but for now, its time to look for a ford.

Unfortunately, ford is far away, the sun is setting, and we spot a Hyundai dealership.
A real bad thing.
The steering automatically turns to the left. I am trying to drive straight, but the Hyundai magnet is very powerful.

The showroom is small, and does not look to be doing good business, however, its packed with cars.
Apart from a couple of eyesores, its sheer poetry everywhere.

There is the i20 with her curves, the sonata with her elegance, the the fluidic verna with its catty exterior.

Interior also exudes quality.
We sit in the i20, as the sales man explains the features of the magna which is out of our budget. There is a cheaper 5.86L era diesel avaiable on order(1 month waiting), but the voice of the salesman is coming from a distance.
This is what a car should be. Why did we ever come here.

As I start the TD, I try to find faults. The handling is not nimble, the clutch is too loose, its too smooth, its too fast, it dangerous. But deep down I know its all nitpicks.
My wife has the same toughts.
What a car.

She flies in any gear. The clutch is so light that all you need to do is whisper and it presses. The gearshift is a work of art, and so are the interiors. the seating is perfect, so is the controls position. Its a car made to run on the big empty road to nowhere.

7000 units a month for such an expensive car. Now we understand why this whips the figo and ritz.
Its worth every extra penny!

Will it be our next car. Yes! But then reality bites. The reality of 60K extra over the ritz. Time to wake up.

The sun has set, and its time to go back.
tomorrow Sunday will come, and we will TD the Americans. Tonight, its time to catch some i20 dreams?

Last edited by tsk1979 : 4th July 2011 at 12:08.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:02   #2
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Default When truck drivers go hatch hopping - Redux

Its a warm and sunny sunday. Yesterday we were supposed to have finished all our TDing, but then things seldom work out as planned.

Today we check out the Americans, and maybe redo the Japanese

First stop. Cell phone. Time to locate the Ford dealer in Noida.
Couple of phone calls reveal a startling statistic. There is no ford dealer in Noida. We have to go to Delhi. Ford dealer in noida was closed down, and new one will come in another 2-3 months. -1 for Ford

But before that, its time to check out the Chevy Beat. End July will see the diesel version arrive, and bookings are already open.

We reach shiva motors, and walk into the showroom. Its refreshing. Good looking cars, in their reds and greens. Oooh shiny. Things are looking up. The world has not gone hideous. There are no tall boys, short boys, funny boys, fat boys, thin boys here. Just pure and simple motoring.

The green beat is inviting.
Sadly TD car has gone to Ghaziabad. No big loss, diesel is not launched yet, and we check out the interiors of LS version.

Wife slips into the passenger seat, and instantly likes the car. Its modern, its roomy, its refined, and it stands out.

I slip into the drivers seat, ready to say ooooooh. But all that comes out is owwwwww!
The AC controls have broken my knee.
Pull back the seat further, and its manageable. But its scary.

We swich sides, and the reaction of my wife is a little better. Advantages of not being 6'2", I guess? but as she fiddles with the seat, and pulls it forwards, its another owwww.

Will this car be a masochist torture machine? We have to take a TD to find out.
but for now, its time to head to south Delhi.

Flying on the DND flyway, we reach the showroom of ford.

Its nice. The figo in its green and red is inviting. Its again a showroom of cars, not funny boys.
No quirky styling here. A tad boring, but the green "Squeeze" color makes up for it.

As the salesman explains the features, we check out the car.
Its roomy, its smooth, its suave. It even tells you how many kms you have left. DTE, they call it.

We need not be bankrupt by Hyundai.

The TD car comes, and it has 19000 on the ODO. This is good. The ritz had just 5000kms on the odo. Only when you drive a 19000km done car you know how well it ages.
And in our hands, with so much highway driving, 20,000kms can come within a year you see!

I slot the gear, and the car starts to move. Barely. Have I left the handbrake on?
No. It just does not like to be driven.

This is bad.
I race with a DTC CNG bus at 20kmph, and barely make the left turn. flick the indicator, and wipers start cleaning the squeeky clean windshield.
Oh boy. American cars.

Somehow, struggling and panting, the roomy suave american finds an empty road, and then its more struggle time.

This is an indica in disguise. A N/A indica at that. In city drivability? It does not have any drivability.

You have to work the engine as it groans and complains. This is another tractor, without the sound.
My wife is even more frustrated. She was expecting a fast sleek hatch, and there it is a tractor in disguise.

What makes it worse is that the car is almost perfect in every other sense. The price is 4.92, and the interiors are roomy. Controls are good, except for left right quirk, and steering is stable. Sure the horn is hard, and you will develop thumb muscles, but other than that, this could have been the perfect car. but its the perfect tractor.
Replace our tractor with another one?

Anyways, we check out the maintenance plans
1. Pay 45000 INR and your car is covered against everything for 60,000kms. Heck even the safari cost 45000 for 60,000kms. Whats so great about that
2. Take 7 services only(60,000kms) and we will take only 13000. Again, 2500/service is okay, nothing too cheap, eh?

There are some other options also, but as of now, the car does not seem worth it.

The sun is still up, and we have time. Time to head to Maruti again, and check out the swift and Ritz.

Half an hour later, we are trying to squeeze the white elephant between two marutis. Its quite amusing for the watchers. Trust me, parallel parking the blue whale would be easier.

We enter the showroom, and soon the staff is with us. they have the Alto, the Ritz and Swift, all available for TD. Yay!.

Its time to get Swifted.
She has 15000 on the odo, and as I take her out, she still feels new. Very unlike the figo.
The gear is smooth, the acceleration is peppy, and the ride is sorted. A little more sorted than ritz.
But other than that, it walks like a ritz and talks like a ritz. Why the 3 month waiting and the 20k extra? Pray tell me please.

The salesman has no answer.
But its a good car, this swift. Its a little cramped, a little less roomy than the ritz.

Back to back, we td the ritz, and its definitely better. It walks like a swift and talks like a swift. And is more roomy.
and its cheaper too.

But the rear door has a dent out of the showroom. How cool is that.
Will the rear dented door be our next car? Or will it be the i20?

Its time for confusion. all these care are so much nicer than our tractor. As we zip through the traffic clogged bylanes, they feel better than our blue whale, the huge big white truck.

No wonder maruti sells by the hordes.
But we still can't fathom, why would anybody choose the swift over ritz?
Is it the dented rear door?

But some questions do not have answers.

Before we walk out, there is another question which needs and answer. Should be buy the 3L K10 and be done with it?
200mts of TD, and we realize, we can't take the Alto K10. Its too crude, its not fast, its not peppy, its too flimsy. And 200mts of TD is all it takes to shatter our ultra low budget dream.

Back to 5L land.

We walk out, and next door is a chevy and ford.

Time to take a TD of the Chevy.
1km later we both are back with our busted knees. I am sure there is commission somewhere for knee surgeons with every sale.

Oh boy, the beat is out. Even if it comes for 4L for diesel, its out.
Not for the long legged ones you see.

The sun has still not set, and we decided to check out the Figo again.
Maybe the car we chose was a bad piece.

A short while later, guess what, we are TDing a much smoother figo.
Its nice. Its peppier, its acceptable. We like it. It will be our next car! The AC is an absolute chiller. I am freezing. This car seems like perfect!

And then on a long empty stretch, we realize that life is not simple. Even a new Figo does not have the horses to be a highway sprinter.
Its a struggle if you want to stay above 80.

Big struggle.

The sun has set, and we get into our big while elephant, and go straight to chettinad land.
Over the chicken chettinad, its becoming clear. Hyundai and the universe is conspiring against our bank account. That i20 is such a nice car, that everything else is paling.
Sure, the ritz is a close contender, but i20 is i20.

Only a miracle can save us now.

10pm, and I am on the phone with an i20 owner. And then the miracle happens.
i20 is out

Why? Every service at 10,000kms costs close to 4K atleast, and the clutch costs 24K because you need to change flywheel.
So if clutch lasts 70K, we are looking at a good 1rs/km maintenance cost. Same as the big while elephant.

So whats its going to be?

We still don't know. Ritz is the strongest contender, but i20 still tempts. 3 years back we bought the big white elephant listing to our heart, but now its time to listen to the head, and head is saying ritz.
But we were never good listeners. Were we?

So its all open again. We know that after a couple of years, when we let go the big white elephant, 99% another big white whale from Tata will stand in its place. So maybe, for the second car, its time to listen to the head, and not the heart?

But then they say, you live only once? Clean out your bank account, mortgage your soul to the banks, and bring home the i20. To hell with the 24K clutch, and the expensive services. You live only once? Eh?

Its flop flip flop flip flop

Maybe we will toss a coin.
Maybe we will bring home what the heart desires, or maybe, for once the head will win.

If there is a conclusion, its only this, when you are a truck driver, every hatch seems small and nice!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 4th July 2011 at 13:04.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:03   #3
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Default Fiat tata and................ a MICRA!

Its a Sunday. A muggy sunday at that.
A 8 hour gruelling ride to Delhi avaits us, but before that there is something to be done.
I have promises to keep.
Promises to haul myself into a TATA FIAT

So here we are, standing in the hot muggy squeaky floor of a Tata fiat showroom.
The A/C is not working.

But we are not here to test the A/C.

We are here to see what has changed in 9 years. Or rather, what has changed in 3 years, since we brought the big white whale home.

And as we enter, we see what has changed. Its mortal combat today.
There is a big burly salesman from the Tata side walking towards us.

There is a not so burly and not so big salesman walking in from the Fiat side.
They meet.

The FIAT guy takes out a revolver, and points it to the Tata guys head. The TATA guy takes out a RPG.
Before we have WW3 the Fiat guy backs down. Bigger wins.

He presents the brochures, mumbles something about pricing, and then takes my license away for a TD.
I go to the FIAT guy and reassure him that he will also get a TD.

I also look around the showroom. Its nice. There are some cars parked. There are no buffalos, no cows, no dented cars, no alien insects.. but there is a big huge FROG!
Oh wait, its the crossbreed of a Vikram, an APE and a Nano, and it has no doors. True frog convertible. Maybe tata can sell it in Europe?

Apart from the frog, its all cars only showroom.

We check out the Vista interiors. It feels like home. The smell, the looks. Its our beloved tractor in new clothes. Home sweet home.
The car is spacious. Its inviting, the sofa like seats, the big rear bench. Home. Our next car?

Daydreaming stops, and we get to know somebody else has gone for vista drive. We have to wait.
Well we don't as the punto guy sneaks upto us, and offers an immediate TD.
So far so good.
One hitch.
They only have a 90hp TD car, which costs 6.22 ex showroom(or maybe more?)
We cannot TD the 75 horses punto.

Nevertheless, we try out the car.
Its cramped, well just like maruti's when you see the rear, but the frontis decent.

I start the car, it settles to a slight clatter. The engine note is similar to the ritz.
No mistaking the MJD here.
The gear shift looks nice, and then I try to press the clutch, and then I realize, you do not press the clutch in punto, you bring you knee to your chin, and then stomp it.
STOMP STOMP 1st gear, and we start at a brisk pace. ITs 90 horses, but 10 of them seem to be bunking the class, and only 80 say "present sir".
Still, seems to be around 5 more than the ritz/swift

STOMP STOMP second gear
3-4 more horses come now, and we are indeed going briskly.

She has ABS(all top enders do), and we can safetly avoid a cow.
STOMP STOMP STOMP, I am back to neutral, and its time for the wife to try.

I have just hinted at the STOMP, let her discover for herself, and she is not pleased.
"IS it a bus"?
"It has a sensor in the clutch" pat comes the reply from the not so big and not so huge salesman.

So FIAT punto has a STOMP sensor in the clutch.

Its a quick STOMP drive STOMP drive in the 90 horsepower punto. Sometimes 80 are with you, sometimes 85, but 5 horses have permanently bunked the class.

WE reach the showroom, and the bigger and studier salesman is waiting for us with the big and sturdy vista.

Time to sit inside.
Its an old car, and it feels even more homely than the showroom piece.
ODO says 9000+change.

I start the engine, and instinctively look up. No pigeons have fallen dead.
So far so good.

Its not so silent as the siblings, but still its a Tata, and very silent for a TATA.
5.13 for front power window version. Very niiiice.

I press the clutch, which is a tad hard, but no worries, I know TATA will give me a new clutch if mine goes hard.
Then I engage the first gear
Gnnnnnnggggh. I sheepishly look around. No worries. We will double declutch. Its an art form ingrained into the DNA of TATA owners.
Gnnnnnggghhh Gnnnnnnggh with some more gnashing and grinding, the first gear is engaged.
WE hit the open road, and I floor her. She flies, and then PLOP. A dead pigeon falls on the roof.
So old indica kills at idle, this one needs to do so at speed.

Time to shift to second, and floor it again, grrrrr the engine note singing hoarsly, or rather howling, I try to see the speedo climbing.
But I can't.

Oh wait, its in the center.
ITs such a big car that you miss it.

Speedo climbing confirmed, its time to shift to fifth.

GNNNNNNGGGNGNGN and some grindings later, she is roaring away to glory. I keep looking in the RVM whether something has fallen off. Its easy to keep looking right. That way I can avoid the glares from my better half. It was on my insistance that she even walked into a TATA fiat.

Anyways, I try to salvage some pride by showing the excellent ABS braking, and she does stop.

Its time for the wife to test the beast.

GNNNGNGNGNGNG GNNNNGNGNGN after lot of grinding and gnashing, she also does the double declutch(see indica made her an expert), and we start moving.
The pickup is brisk, and the sports car like howl(politely speaking) makes it look even faster.

We are back at the dealership, and now its time to go.
ITs not going to be a Vista, or a punto. No home sweet home.

I have seen TATA cars age, and this one ages just like the old ones.
The engine may be sweet, but everything else still appears "built to a cost".

This cannot be the fill it shut it forget it car.

Its time to head back.

In a suicidal blaze of courage, I ask my wife whether she would like to try a micra?
"Whats that?"
"Its a car by a company which does not have any dealerships and any service centers, and sells only 1600 a month".
"Isn't it the company which makes the Altima Hybrid?"
"Lets go"


So we set out on our route, looking out for a NISSAN.
And after a few kms, we do find one. This is indeed a miracle.

As we walk into the showroom, but mugginess dissapers, as their A/C is working!
And it looks nice. There are no frogs, only cars. The micra is a little weird, esp in orange, but overall, you can call it cute. And the silver does not even look "girly" as some people might say.

As I talk to the salesman, my wife goes and checks out the base model XV.
After discussing pricing and variants, I ask him for the TD, and walk over to the showroom piece.
I can see her smiling.
"Its our next car".

Its a pretty strong reaction!
Now I have to sit inside.
And I realize its indeed the potential next car. It has space at the rear, maybe not has much as vista, but definitely more than the marutis. Even the boot is fine.
But the real icing on the cake is the interiors.
Everything is "perfect".
The glasshouse, the controls, the instrument cluster. IT even tells average and instantaneous FE, along with DTE.
Forget the start stop button or the auto folding mirrors, it is more about the quality. There is no cheap plastic here or there, no ugly panel gaps, no jugaad. Few years back we fell in love with the altima hybrid for exactly the same reason. Nissan knows how to make cars. While toyota makes very reliable cars, and then puts in the cheapest plastics, Nissan has gone ahead and given the very best.

Its time for a TD. Its 5.7, quite a bit more than the ritz, but its a nissan, and it looks as if it will last 20 years.

"No TD car available".

Now thats funny. "Why".
GM has taken the TD car. He does that sometime on weekends.

No thats even more weird. The only showroom in probably a 100km radius has just one TD car. Can't they have 2 TD cars?

So with just the interiors checked, its time to drive back to Delhi.
The micra has thrown all criteria out of the window. Dealership and service network, availability of parts, blah blah, all gone out of the window.
Some cars are built to last. And frankly speaking, this was the first one in the hatches which screamed "built to last". No corners cut anywhere, except for ABS removal.

But proof is in eating the pudding. Cement with brown paint just looks like chocolate, but its not chocolate.

And so, with more confusion we were back in Delhi.
However some things were clear.

Ek Myan me do talwar is difficult (One shealth and two swords is tough), and TATA FIAT are like that.
Tata is still TATA, it is not land rover or jaguar.

And fiat, well punto won't tell more than 1500 a month, and we aint buying one.

So was it the micra now?

Well monday comes, and we call up the dealer in Delhi. There is none in Noida.
The Delhi dealer is eager to send a TD car, and in the peak of rush hour, around 6pm, he comes to my office.

The plan is to drive home, pick up my wife, and then go together for a long TD.

I sit in the car, slot the first gear, and she goes.
There is no surge, no flight, no drama.

Just the sheer pulling power of a locomotive.
I could have started in 3rd gear, and she would have pulled.

Just to test I engage 4th at 30kmph, and she pulls.
I always wondered what is a no turbo lag turbo diesel. Today I discovered one.

More and more brownie points were being added to the micra. It was looking less like cement with brown paint, and more like chocolate.

And then I had to honk.

Squeek! There is a mouse in the car. Just like our safari, there is a mouse in the car.
Thankfully it was just the horn.
Note to self: If horn goes bad, do not spend money, tie mouse to front bumper.

I move the circulation vent to external air, just to test the air filter.

No smoke inside. Voila. After a safari, such little things bring great joy to the soul, as with the safari, closed or open, you always get the dust and smoke.

As I drove more and more, it was becoming clearer and clearer that there was a conspiracy against our finances. The 5.2 of the ritz has gone to 5.7
The budget hatch has become a premium hatch.

But then comes the silver lining.
The car has no brakes. Yay. Something negative except the horn.

Really, braking is really really scary. Worse than our 9 year old indica.

Either the brake pads are worn on this 9000 done car, or something is seriously wrong!

Anywas, my wife joins us, and we head for some more driving. I reset the Average(kmpl) meter. Lets see who much she gives in rush hour traffic.

I take the passenger seat, and take out the owners manual.
It weighs 1000kgs and has 10,000 pages.
And it does not tell me the service interval.

There is a tiny feather light book telling about service intervals.
Another negative i spot. The service is 10,000, but every 5000 you have to take it to service center for "checkup"??

ITs 5000kms or 3 months, whichever is earlier.
The sales guy senses a disturbance in the force

New dealerships opening in Noida and mayur vihar. So every 3 months we don't have to go to the workshop.

My wife meanwhile discoveres that nobody can hear the horn, and the car has no brakes.

But then there are things like the ultra tight turning radius, the zero turbo lag.
Thanks to no empty roads, we cannot exceed 90, but uptill 90 she is fine. The 10 missing horses do not show. Did the punto's horses which bunked class enter here? Dunno.

Maybe its just the less flab.

After some more very nice effortless, driving, Its time for the TD to end. I check the rush hour FE.
Which is quite frightening. With the lightest foot driving, we can manage 10.5 in city with our big white beast, and around 13 with the aging indica. This gives 17.1 in rush hour without really trying.

Our budget is being attacked.

What would we do now.
Do we save our bank balance, and go for the Ritz.
Do we buy a car with intention to sell and buy a swift with best resale.
Do we buy the wildest kid on the block, a known problem child with no A/C, the i20?

Or do we buy the micra. The car with no brakes, and no dealerships(yet). The car which was never the contender.

In the last couple of weeks, only one thing is certain, even through the customer is spoilt for choice, there is no perfect hatch.
If only the micra had better brakes and was 15K cheaper
If only the ritz had more space and better plastics
If only the vista was not a jugaad
If only the i20 had a better A/C and cheaper parts
If only the swift was priced for what its worth.

Nothing is perfect. Nobody has been able to make the perfect hatch.
Will micra be the perfect hatch. Only time will tell when people do 10000s of kms in their micra's

As for us, the quest is on.
The new swift is near launch, and september will be the month of decision!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 12th July 2011 at 00:16.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:32   #4
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

LOL, you sure have a way with words, as with cars, outings and photography!

Any particular reason you didn't check out the i10?

I doubt if i20 maintenance would be that much. Did you get a chance to find out what is being done in the regular service? If it uses a fully synthetic oil, then yes, the oil itself would amount to Rs. 3k something. But otherwise the costs should be around 1K for a routine service.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:35   #5
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

I dont think the hatchback story can end without a TD of the Punto! IMHO it is leagues ahead of the others that you have already seen in terms of drive + handling.

The i20 also has its own set of steering issues reported. Check the i10; though it could disappoint you in terms of space too.

And while you are at it, why not TD the Nano too? I agree its genetically aligned with your truck, but at the most its a mini truck with reduced noises too. Dont buy it if you dont want to, but at least a TD would complete your story with a cheap hatchback flashback

Last edited by selfdrive : 4th July 2011 at 13:37.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:36   #6
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I was rolling on the floor reading your TD experiences. Would be eagerly waiting to hear which BOY you finally decide upon.

Are you not interested in the refined tractor (Vista i mean)?

EDIT: Just now read your other thread with the POLL. So Punto and Vista are out of the equation alltogether.

Last edited by amitwlele : 4th July 2011 at 13:42.
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:56   #7
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Boy, you are an excellent writer! Direct to the point and calling a spade, a spade! Come on, update it faster with which one was it finally!
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:00   #8
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tsk1979 superb posts, keenly awaiting the verdict, the selection, and the initial review. What have you finally selected?

Do you write novels by any chance as a profession? Don't mean friction, but then what other kinds are there.
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:01   #9
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Great write up. I enjoyed every bit. I strongly feel you should wait for the new Swift. It is just few months away and if reviews are anything to go by it is a better package.
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:02   #10
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

Hilarious tsk, Loved every bit of it.

4 grand arounds for every 10 thousand km service is what the swift or the Ritz is going to cost you too. 1200 bucks alone for an oil change, then alignment balancing, brake cleaning etc etc + the service cost of 1000 odd rupees equates to an overall of 4 grand.

A flywheel change is mandatory in the Maruti's too ( atleast the diesels) along with a clutch change but the change won't cost u 24 grand. A Maruti clutch set ( as they call it ) costs around 8 to 9 grand for parts + labour of 2 grand or so. So should be on its way for around 12 grand maximum.
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:08   #11
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Why you left the Punto out?
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:08   #12
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

From your words, i have already migrated fro mini-truck an Indica DLG to Ritz. It worth an consideration. All it needs a tyre upgrade to 195 profile and Ritz rocks. With the ammount you save with respect to Swift spice up Ritz.
Only advantage with Swift is that may fetch better re-sale value than Ritz.
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Old 4th July 2011, 14:37   #13
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

What happened to your "the lesser the better" thought process ?

I can totally understand how you feel. Cars like i10 and i20 feel so good that they make you forget everything else. In fact, when I took the TD of i10, the sales person almost challenged me by saying that "If you take a TD of i10, you will definitely buy it". It seems that you have also been hypnotised by i20 in a similar manner.

No matter how good i20 feels, do you really think that it meets your requirements stated in the other thread ?

IIRC, you were looking for a budget hatch which would be niggle free and suitable for highway cruising.

IMHO, Ritz fits the bill better. Ritz has a higher seating position which gives you a commanding view of the road. Its tall boy design is more suitable for your built. Its high GC and shorter wheel base would ensure that it doesn't scrap any speed breakers. Being a Maruti, its maintenance costs would be lower and availability of service centres would be better.

i20 has known issues - weak AC and steering rattle issues. Its low GC means that you would be scraping speed breakers. Why do you still want to go down the same route again by listening to your heart and not the head ?

Also, do remember to inquire about service intervals. Maruti cars have a service interval of 10k kms/1 year. Hyundai cars also have a similar service interval, but they insist on 5k kms/6 months for cars in severe usage consitions. Severe usage conditions are like long idling, frequent change of gears etc (basically using a car in city amount to using it in severe conditions). I am sick of getting the car serviced every 6 months, even though my usage is very less.

And do keep in mind the service costs also. I recently paid almost 3k for the routine servicing of my i10 1.1. It was just a routine service with engine oil change, nothing else. No WA, no WB, no shampoo cleaning, no wax polish.

If the service charges for 6 month routine service for i10 1.1 is Rs 3K, you can only think about the service charges for a premium hatch like i20.

Is the Figo really that bad ? I find it hard to believe. Figo diesel is selling like hot cakes, at least in Bangalore. I have seen many Figos zipping past me on the expressway, while I am cruising at 80 kmph.

I somehow feel that the TD cars were poorly maintained. Again hard to believe since you took 2 TDs. Still, I suggest you take a TD in a friend's/fellow BHPian's Figo.

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Old 4th July 2011, 15:02   #14
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Default Re: When truck drivers go hatch hopping

Awesome write up Tanveer

If I were you, I'd have a toss up between the Ritz and the Swift. Both the Ritz and the Swift are F-A-S-T. And in the right hands, both would be able to keep up with a i20 CRDi.

Add to this, the Suzuki twins will be a lot more lighter on your pocket.

There's not much you can do about the way the Ritz looks. But you sure as hell can pimp it up with some mind numbing alloys.

Happy Shopping!!
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Old 4th July 2011, 15:23   #15
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@tsk1979 that must be one of the funniest posts on tbhp lately! Couldn't stop laughing at your Similes!

Coming to Hatch Shopping, I agree with @rohan_iitr! The Figo is not all that bad! It crawls to 2k RPM definitely! It isn't that bad after that. I neither own a Figo nor am I a Ford fan boy, but I feel Figo is great VFM and that's precisely the reason it's selling well!

Best luck! Looking forward to your final call - and your description and justification to that!

Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

We look around. And then I see a buffalo. Fat pregnant white buffalo. Oh wait.... Its a dzire. Then I see an alien insect, like the one in starship troopers. Its an A-STAR.
But our shock climb new heights when I see a car with badly dented rear parked!
Wait... its a Ritz. And there are no dents. Its tailgate is like this. Maybe while protyping the engineers had a fight and kicked the rear of the prototype?

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