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Old 10th November 2007, 21:29   #1
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Default 1 day- 7 cars! 4TDs! 5L budget, loads of fun & loads to share.

Disclaimer- I never mentioned in the title this is going to be a short review.

Today morning would most probably end up one of the most memorable days of my life. Its not everyday that you'd get to check out 7 cars, drive 5 of them and TDnR 4 of them. Interested? Read on.

And no... Am not yet changing my WagonR. This search is for a close friend of mine.

The call

All started with a phone call by noon. My friend calls after a long time to ask about the cars under 5L budget. I tell him about the options available and my opinion about them. After some talks, the question comes 'Are you interested in coming to check out the cars?'

Started from home half an hour after the phone call.

Budget and other parameters.
  • Maximum of 5L.
  • Family use.
  • Should be good to drive, although not necessarily sporty.
  • Spacious (tall family should be happy family after the purchase)
  • Good service available.
What are the options?

Today we checked out 7 cars around that budget.
  • Hyundai i10.
  • Mahindra Renault Logan 1.4
  • Hyundai Santro
  • Hyundai Getz 1.1
  • Chevrolet Spark
  • Chevrolet U-VA.
  • Maruti Suzuki Swift
  • Maruti Suzuki Zen Estilo
  • Maruti Suzuki WagonR Duo
He had already checked out Maruti Suzuki Swift and Zen Estilo/ WagonR. Thats a lot of options available. (To add to the confusion, TATA Indica/ FIAT Palio which were not considered in the list).

Checked out the Logan first. As all of you have seen all these cars many times- no stress on the pics this time.


Initial impressions and TD- Logan 1.5
  • Looks- I hated the Logan when it was launched, but somehow liked it now. Looks seem ok, or may be i am getting used to it. Just looks plain, nothing bad anyway.
  • Interiors- SPACIOUS, and even more spacious. The most comfortable of the lot i checked out today. However, plastic quality and ergonomics are not upto the mark.
  • Power windows switches- Both front and rear are placed awkardly. And the lights and wiper arrangement is confusing as well.
  • TD car available was 1.5 diesel. Bad thing is that it seemed like a customer car being prepared for delivery with speedo disconnected.
  • Diesel sounded refined 'enough'. Not in the league of Swift D and Fiesta. However, good enough.
  • Gear shift was nice. No problems at all. Clutch felt a little bit heavy.
  • Initial response is very good. Didnt feel like a diesel. Not much of turbo lag as i have noticed in the Swift DDiS and Accent CRDi. Power is less compared to these cars, but initial response will make it good to drive in the city.
  • Felt comfortable driving the car, although i was worried of the width of the car compared to the WagonR.
  • Prices- 1.4 GLE- 5,23,363 OTR Trivandrum (17,000 gift voucher will be given in gold)
  • Unfortunatley, no petrol model for TD right now. So, have to check it out.
  • Overall impressions- Good spacious car. Good if space if the first priority. Dont think the car will let you down as a comfortable family car. Nice diesel with pretty good response and minimal turbo lag. Diesel seems slightly higher priced while petrols sound VFM.
Initial Impressions- Hyundai Santro GLS
Now you must be thinking. Whats new about the Santro? Well! They have changed the variants, discontinued the top-end variants, reduced the discounts, all to make sure the i10 doesnt seem overpriced.
  • Prices- GLS- 4,01,134.
  • GLS is the top variant.
  • No rear power windows.
  • No option of defogger, rear wash wipe, ABS etc.
  • i10 Era comes to almost same price (within 10k difference) and has similar specifications, much better interiors and exteriors and more refined engine. Whats with Hyundai and its pricing policy?
  • Test Drive? Sorry Hyundai, at this price, NOT INTERESTED! (Has Hyundai cannibalised Santro?)
Initial Impressions and TD- Hyundai i10 Magna
Next came the i10 Magna from the Hyundai stable. Nice little car from Hyundai. Went in for the TD also.
  • Looks- Mixed bad, though good overall. Front looks good, sides and rear ok. Interiors awesome, and well ahead of the competition.
  • Space at the rear was not too good. However, felt that it was better than Santro.
  • Gear shift is a bit notchy, and first is a bit hard to engage. However, the gear lever fell to hand easy, and good thing Hyundai introduced the dash-mounted shift.
  • Engine is very much refined, and control are all light and easy. After the diesel logan, felt very much easy to drive.
  • Power is nothing to write home about. Infact, felt almost like the WagonR. Initial response was lacking, although mid-range was good. Somehow, the engine response as a whole didnt impress.
  • Power steering is too light. Felt that it was lighter than the WagonR. Although i drive WagonR (Which is said to have the lightest steering feel), i10 steering felt somewhat scary at higher speeds.
  • Ride and handling felt almost same as the WagonR. Not much difference noticed.
  • After TD'ing the i10, WagonR interiors felt like that of a truck. hehe.
  • Prices- i10 Magna- 4,41,159 OTR Trivandrum.
  • i10 is overpriced compared to Suzuki Swift. However, its much better deal compared to the Santro. No competition at all, if you are interested in buying Santro, please buy the i10 era paying 10k more. Its more than worth it.
  • Overall- Nice little car with excellent interiors and build. But, overpriced and not fun to drive as its cousins.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Santro is better to drive - Getz 1.1 is 100 times better !!!
i argued about this that day, but after driving both, i completly agree! Report on the Getz 1.1 will come at the end.


Initial Impressions- Chevrolet Spark

A good product ruined by bad pricing and marketing? Thats the Spark. A nice car, but with a big price tag didnt find any buyers. So, they gave 50k discounts. Now, then dont know what price to sell the car at. Dont know what reasons to give for the 50k increase in price tag. Dont know what is the reason why they are offering 30k discounts across all models.

The montly capacity of the Spark is 2k cars. Still if they need 30k discounts to meet this capacity, bad of GM!

Initial impressions of the car-
  • After the Santro, this felt the smallest.
  • Good looks from front. Rear is plain UGLY!
  • Nicely build interiors, and good design. However, black plastics cant keep up with the modern interiors of the i10.
  • Pricing- 1.0 LT- 4,26,739 OTR trivandrum. (Offering 30k discounts on this amount).
  • Both of us had good height, and with front seat adjusted, sitting at the rear proved next to impossible.
  • Test drive? Didnt feel like checking it out seriously. Left the thought!
  • If this same car was from Maruti/Hyundai stable, would have been a different story. Sad GM did this to a car having such good potential.
Initial impressions and TD- Chevrolet U-VA

From the spark, the sales persons led us to the U-VA. Which impressed us better. The pricing is not too high, and they have offers running also. The car is quite spacious overall, decided to check it out properly.
  • Interiors- SPACIOUS. But black and grey plastics all around doesn't do justice to the car.
  • Rear seat is also spacious and comfortable. Also the seat fabric and materials used are of good quality and feel.
  • Engine is pretty much refined. Performance is adequate.
  • Performance drop with ac was not a big deal. Thats good.
  • Gear shift sucks! The worst feeling gear lever i slotted today. The car i drove had much worse shift than the WagonR (Famous for bad shift quality). Fifth gear just wouldnt engage unless pulled with much force.
  • Overall- Good again. But competition has better things to offer for now.
So, which is the best car i drove today?

  • Logan- left out because it exceeded the budget and features are very much less on the base model.
  • Santro- No way unless they offer big discounts again.
  • i10- Very good car. Great interiors/ fresh looks although not too much of a fun to drive.
  • Chevy spark- Not enough space. And, have to see if they are offering the 50k discounts again. (Which would make it a good deal)
  • Chevy U-VA- Good car, but interiors are a let-down.
The car both me and my friend liked the most is the one i haven't mentioned yet. It was not in our list till the moment we drove it, and after the TD, was bowled over. Its the Getz 1.1


Initial impressions and TD- Hyundai Getz 1.1


Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
Santro is better to drive - Getz 1.1 is 100 times better !!!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
In fact, this is what confuses me. How is a Getz 1.1 fun to drive!
As you can see from this conversation that took place two days back, I didnt have a good impression of the Getz 1.1. Santro engine in Getz body. Hugely underpowered in the papers and specifications. I hated this particular variant.

After seeing the i10 Magna, the sales reps casually asked if i wanted to drive the Getz 1.1. I said yes, and all my perceptions about the car was shattered in the next few minutes.
  • Most of you might be knowing that the Getz is very much refined. Clutch is light, and the vehicle is easy to use. Although dash-board size is a problem hindering visibility.
  • Slotted into first gear- Nice shift. Felt real good among the cars i drove. Better than the i10 I TD'ed just before it.
  • Released the clutch and pressed the accelerator. The car leaped forward. I was shocked by the response. Turned back and asked the sales guy if the car is indeed a 1.1!
  • Initial response is the best i experienced today- by far! A light touch on the accelerator makes it move.
  • Power is not too much (as specs reveal)- So, revving it too much doesnt produce any effect. Dont think this would make a good highway car. However, the initial response more than makes up for the city.
  • Space is more than enough. With front seats comfortably back, enough space was left at the rear.
  • Dashboard- Beige is a welcome change. Cant say the same about the wood finish. It is tacky, with the only saving grace being that it looked better than in the pictures.
    However, the beige interiors coupled with the large windows made the cabin feel large and airy (compared to the U-VA).
  • Prices- GLE- 4,36,697 OTR Trivandrum. GVS- 4,73,278 OTR.
  • Getz 1.1 GLE less expensive than i10 Magna, and GVS only 30k more than i10 Magna.
  • I felt the 30k is money well spent over the i10. The getz offers almost everything that the i10 does, and even more. More space, more comfort, quality interiors (though i10 is better), nice and peppy engine (compared to the slow responding nature of i10).
  • Overall- Well, my pick of the day. Same goes for my friend.
Getz 1.1 wins my (our) vote among these 5 cars under the 5L bracket.


However, decision is not yet made. The process has just started. Will update on the final decision after my friend decides with his parents.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 10th November 2007 at 21:40.
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Old 10th November 2007, 22:03   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Getz 1.1 wins my (our) vote among these 5 cars under the 5L bracket.

Among the cars 7 cars we spent the day with (Which doesnt include Swift/Estilo/Indica among the options considered)
(MODS- Editing time over. Thats why seperate post)
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Old 10th November 2007, 22:05   #3
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Great write up crazy..

I myself test drove the i10 today. Was pretty impressed by it. The only thing I dint like was that my legs keep hitting the dash.( I'm 6'1"). Was not able to check out the Getz 1.1 as it was not available for TD today. But after talking with you I am surely going to TD the Getz on monday.
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Old 10th November 2007, 22:33   #4
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thats a real good one crazy driver. Why didnt you try the Getz 1.3 too. I think that would have felt even better.

Just Curious why was the FIAT out of the list??
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Old 10th November 2007, 22:44   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gemithomas View Post
Just Curious why was the FIAT out of the list??
My friend's father doesn't seem keen on FIAT. (More to do with the public perceptions than anything wrong with the car).

However, i told him we'd check out Indigo and Palio 1.6 also. Thats going to be the second phase. Today noon to evening, could cover only 3 showrooms (and also had to get my bike from service before they closed).
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Old 10th November 2007, 22:51   #6
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Good Review. Getz 1.1 is a good car and VFM. There have been some reports that the mileage is bad in 1.1. Not sure about it.
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Old 10th November 2007, 23:07   #7
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Good Review. Getz 1.1 is a good car and VFM. There have been some reports that the mileage is bad in 1.1. Not sure about it.
Something a TD wont reveal. But how bad can it be?
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Old 10th November 2007, 23:20   #8
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Default Part 2- The dealerships!

So, after the cars, thought i'll pen down my thoughts on the dealerships as well.

All the three dealerships were good. The best experience being Hyundai, second GM (But by a very small margin less than Hyundai), and the third Mahindra Renault.

Popular Hyundai

They had to explain three cars to us, and give two TDs. They did everything to satisfaction.

Hyundai brochures were the best ones we got today. And got price lists (written ones) to the three cars as well. Explanations given were satisfactory, and overall liked the experience there.

GM

Excellent as well. There was a lady and her team-leader, both were very helpfull. However, there was this particular tendancy to compare there products with Maruti/Hyundai cars and say that their's is better, which i didnt like.

Also, the brochures were not impressive, and was just paper handouts. However, overall, a good experience.

Mahindra- Renault

Had a good experience with the sales persons. They appeared new and pretty eager to get some sales. Explanations were also good.

However, there was no petrol model on display and TD car appeared to be 'for delivery' with speedo disconnected. Therefore, have to rate the experience third among the three i visited today.
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Old 11th November 2007, 07:39   #9
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nice write up dude...do try the other options available and let us know...
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Old 11th November 2007, 19:00   #10
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Fantastic report there crazy bhiaya. When i read the thread title i was quite sure it wasnot you replacing the WagonR, i am quite sure you will replace it with the Swift D
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Old 11th November 2007, 19:12   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by burnt. View Post
I am surely going to TD the Getz on monday.
Take me also along.
Quote:
Originally Posted by basilmabraham View Post
nice write up dude...do try the other options available and let us know...
Loads of options available. Palio 1.6, TATA Indigo (Comes within 5L, right?) and the Swifts. Have to try them out next day we both are free.
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Old 11th November 2007, 19:30   #12
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Thats excellant report, This report is much better than any auto magazine!

Getz is spacious I liked its refinement too, People say its overpriced but they never think about practicality.

One thing i hated about Getz is its low seating actually Verna has low seating as well. I like Santro/i10 seating positions.

i10 looks awasome in and out more spacious than Santro because of Innovative design. I am yet to TD it may be in few months once I shop for small car.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 11th November 2007, 21:21   #13
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Uva is a nice car and gear shifts do improve after couple of 1000 kms, they (GM cars) hold well (less wear) and have very good maintanence packages compared to other products is what i felt.

Not sure about A.S.S in Trivandrum for GM cars though.
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Old 11th November 2007, 21:58   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
Something a TD wont reveal. But how bad can it be?
The poll conducted in Getz community in orkut says 11 for most of the users. Seems to be same as 1.3 engine. With discounts, 1.3 seems to be a better deal if highway use is also important.
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Old 11th November 2007, 22:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
One thing i hated about Getz is its low seating actually Verna has low seating as well. I like Santro/i10 seating positions.
The seating position is exactly the same as Verna. The seating is comfortable, but I do not get under thigh support because I am 6 2 height. I did not have much choice in this segment. Santro seat height is good, but space is not enough. SX4 seating is very comfortable for tall people because of the height.
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