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Old 28th May 2004, 20:11   #1
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I get asked for car opinions all the time from my friends and family, and a cousin of mine called this afternoon inquiring about the Tavera. He was headed to the National Garage so I tagged along for a first drive.

What struck me first is the level of professionalism at this show-room. The last I had been there was with a friend to pick up her Opel Astra way back in 1996. "Boy", I thought to myself "These guys deserve to sell Ambassadors ONLY". Sure they had all the balloons and chocolates...but their customer service reps really sucked. This time around, I found the entire staff to be really customer savvy, pro-active and informed. I say informed coz the sales guy actually knew the difference between a direct injection diesel and an indirect. Nice.

So it was first checking out the fully loaded version inside National Garage and I was really impressed with the build quality and paint finish. The panel gaps are even throughout, and the overall feel is just like that of a Qualis. What makes it even more surprising is that the Tavera is currently 85% indigenised. The overall quality is atleast one light year ahead of the Scorpio.

On the inside, its way beyond disappointment...I literally felt like I am sitting in one of those tourist taxis AND this is in the fully loaded version. The dash is extremely stale (though high in quality), the steering is a little oversized and the seats seem to be sourced from Tata Sumo suppliers. B-A-S-I-C is the word that comes to mind.

Next, we drive the second highest version that has power-everything and an air-con but no alloys, running board or dual tone colouring. Took her to the sea-face and RIPPED her apart in true Team-BHP style. Whats alarming is that the engine runs out of breath just so soon. Its almost time to upshift...immediately after you have just performed one. The drive is smooth for the passengers, but the driver can feel the unrefined nature of the drive-train coming through the clutch and the otherwise sweet-shifting gear lever. In fact, its darned coarse as you approach the redline. Heck, the Scorpio feels like a Vtec in comparision!!!

The ride quality is nothing short of astounding, even over bad-roads and an intended "no braking" stint a-la-Rehaan on the speedbreaker. The chassis and suspension stay composed all through. However, body roll is the one area where I disagree with Autocar. They claimed that the body roll is very controlled and minimal, but I really felt it coming through at even regular highway speeds.

The split air-con (Only in top 2 versions priced at 8.5 and 9.1 lacs ex-thana) made a chiller of the interiors, even in todays hot afternoon and without tinted glasses. Space in the middle row seat is awesome, much much more comfortable than the Scorpio. None of my sedans can comfortably accomodate three persons on the rear seat, but it was no issue with the Tavera. As with all the MUVs in India, the last row is nothing to talk about.

Ex-Thana prices start at 5.8 lacs for the extremely non-aircon non-powersteering version, while the top of the line sells for 9.1 lacs. I think anyone who spends 9 lacs on a Tavera is foolish.

But the smart sales are going to come out of the tourist guys who pick up the basic version and run it for 800 kms per day with 10 people packed in. Urban dwellers would do well to buy the 7.1 lac version with Powersteering and Air-con only.

Another point worth mentioning is that Chevy offers a 5 year 1,50,000 km warranty on the engine and transmission. The bumper to bumper warranty covers 2 years/50,000 kms.

Honestly, If I wanted to buy an MUV I'd walk straight into a Mahindra showroom and pick up a black Scorpio - full loaded - for 7 lacs. Its two lacs cheaper than the fully loaded Tavera and much much nicer to drive. Even the interiors are more car-like compared to the "trucky" Tavera interiors. Plus, add alloys to the Scorpio and you have a truly urban SUV.

But I am not the target market for the Tavera. Their real sales will come from outside the 4 metros.

GTO
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Old 28th May 2004, 20:29   #2
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Excellent report GTO

My experience was not all that good because I didnt get to drive. I went to the Jogeshwari showroom for a test drive. He got the car out and I sat in the front passenger seat. We took the car out on to the highway . He did a cruise on the highway leaving me wondering when he would let me take the wheel and to my surprise he returned to the showroom. I was quite amused. On asking why he didnt let me drive I get the amswer " Sorry Sir we are not allowing anyone to drive becasuse one person banged the car a day earlier. So until we get more vehicles we wont be offering tests"

I came away pretty disappointed but had a good look at the car. Fit and finish is good and I liked the rear seat. The interiors are very plasticky and I feel the Qualis interiors are higher on quality. Toyota of course. I wasnt too concerned about the last row of seats cause thats one place I'd never like to be. Overall it gives an MPV look. I agree with GTO that most of the buyers will be tourist operators. I wonder how many would go for the fully loaded version. Anyways I hope to head to National garage for a proper test drive.

Meanwhile I clicked the Tavera in the showroom so I'll put up a few detailed pictures I took coutesy my A70 Powershot

Cheers



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Old 28th May 2004, 22:35   #3
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GTO, your analysis seems to be more consistent with what I had expected the Tavera to be like. But I guess what matters most is it's long time standing - how this vehicle fares on such parameters like quality, reliability, etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]But I am not the target market for the Tavera. Their real sales will come from outside the 4 metros.
I can already see a tavera-load full of folks headed for the pilgrimage. If I think I understood the fine-print, are you saying this is not going to eat remarkably into the Qualis market share ?
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Old 28th May 2004, 23:47   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]I can already see a tavera-load full of folks headed for the pilgrimage. If I think I understood the fine-print, are you saying this is not going to eat remarkably into the Qualis market share ?
Well, I was speaking to some Mahindra guys about their sales figures. They said that because of the sheer SUVish nature of the Scorpio, a majority of their buyers are urban or semi-urban. The Qualis however has clicked in both...rural and urban markets. Urban because of its car like nature from the inside, and rural because of the sheer quality and reliability. They claim to have seen overloaded Qualis' with 250,000 km and still going very strong.

I expect the chevy also to be a relative hit with the rural and semi-urban class. The Isuzu engine is a workhorse and Chevy themselves offer a 150,000 km warranty on the engine and transmission. The relative MPVish looks should click with a sizeable part of the metropolitan population too.

Yes, I do expect the Chevy to eat into teh Qualis' marketshare...not very significantly, but enough for toyota to speed up with the introduction of the next generation.

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Old 29th May 2004, 01:21   #5
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Nice report GTO. How wud u rate the Tavera against the Qualis. Spacewise and Qualitywise.
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Old 29th May 2004, 01:23   #6
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On space, Tavera wins hands down. Quality wise, the Tavera felt far more robust...though somehow I feel that it is the Qualis which will last longer.

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Old 29th May 2004, 09:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GTO @ May 28 2004,23:53)]On space, Tavera wins hands down. Quality wise, the Tavera felt far more robust...though somehow I feel that it is the Qualis which will last longer.

GTO
Typical GM - plenty of metal, not always optimised well for long term ownership
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Old 29th May 2004, 15:44   #8
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Just met the toyota dealer here,
Who also has the GM dealership,
This is our conversation,

So should we buy the Tavera for our staff?
He' just smiled,
I asked again what happened?
He' like Aapdi Toyota ni saame kai nathi, ( Nothing compared to Toyota )
I was like any reasons?
He's like it's easy to just launch competetion,
but with that you need to be able to give the full commitment towards customer needs and support,
Also he says toyota has tested the qualis in much better ways,
Also according to him he says most GM vehicles now compete with Toyota too,
And he's like besides those who buy Optra for the VFM factor,
no GM vehicles really make a big dent to the Toyota sales,
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Old 30th May 2004, 00:33   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (S350L-E240 @ May 29 2004,14:14)]So should we buy the Tavera for our staff?
He' just smiled,
I asked again what happened?
He' like Aapdi Toyota ni saame kai nathi, ( Nothing compared to Toyota )
I was like any reasons?
He's like it's easy to just launch competetion,
but with that you need to be able to give the full commitment towards customer needs and support,
Also he says toyota has tested the qualis in much better ways,
Also according to him he says most GM vehicles now compete with Toyota too,
And he's like besides those who buy Optra for the VFM factor,
no GM vehicles really make a big dent to the Toyota sales,
typical hyd toyota dealer
too proud
mark my words this dealer ship will suffer
same thing happened in hyd, now that guy is repenting as the new toyota dealership in cyberabad( IT area of hyd) is going great guns

went to him, mahindra and gm showrooms today
would rate mahinra first as they had a seperate show room for scorpio, and were very enthu, they never critised abt tavera and qualis and asked us the pro's and con's of those two vehicles
the new toyota guys were same, really good manners and eager to help people

found the gm show room ok, but the staff were really good



overall in the vehicles found scorpio the best then tavera , then qualis


ps:my cousin's booked a tavera, its goonna be the first delivery in the city
2nd highset version for 9 lacs!!!!!!
scolded him left right and centre , he could have gotten a scoprio or safari with that money!
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Old 30th May 2004, 02:44   #10
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But addix this guy is the dealer for GM and Toyota,
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Old 30th May 2004, 11:06   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (S350L-E240 @ May 30 2004,01:14)]But addix this guy is the dealer for GM and Toyota,
woah!
did u talk to the owner or a sales guy??
i am sure no owner willpass out a comment like that when he has both the dealerships, coz if gm comes to know, his dealership will go phaat!


any s350
i think for ur staff a spacio would be good! at say???


ps:guys scoprio 4X4 launched 'available only in the dx version
773248 on road in hyd
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Old 30th May 2004, 12:56   #12
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lol aadix he's the owner,
Im looking for Qualis cause it's made by toyota and im sure it wud be reliable,
I dunno how reliable scorpio is,
Had a Sumo that troubled us so much finally sold it in March,
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Old 27th June 2004, 22:55   #13
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Tavera is much better looking than the qualis in all respects. My dads friend who stayed in Indonesia for 5 yrs says that the panther has very reliable mechanicals. if thats true then we can say the qualis as of today is finished. Scorpio on the otherhand is in a different league.
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Old 28th June 2004, 00:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (chaxy @ June 27 2004,21:25)]Tavera is much better looking than the qualis in all respects. My dads friend who stayed in Indonesia for 5 yrs says that the panther has very reliable mechanicals. if thats true then we can say the qualis as of today is finished. Scorpio on the otherhand is in a different league.
-Chaxy
It's true that the Tavera is a fine product, but, I don't think we can count the Qualis out at this moment. Over the years, the Qualis has built a very good reputation with Indian buyers. It's refined, comfortable and reliable. The cabin is acceptable and drivability is almost car like. It's not very difficult to maintain either. It is more than a cut above the Sumo. It's going to be very difficult for any vehicle to dislodge this bird from its perch. The Scorpio is for those who are looking at a car with a better image.



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Old 28th June 2004, 14:24   #15
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Good article from BS motoring-Comparision of the Qualis Vs Tavera. link below.

http://www.bsmotoring.com/2004/may15_1.htm

-Chaxy
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