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Old 27th June 2008, 20:16   #1
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Thumbs up The Innova-ting Experience

"Experience" is a comb which nature gives us when we are bald. Well I'm not bald; not yet at least. But just as I was guided and enlightened through the words of wisdom on this forum, I'd love to share my experience with selecting, and finally buying a new car in Mumbai. While you read through this post, please forgive me if it's too long; the role of a writer is not to say what we all can say, but what we are unable to say; and I am one. So here goes.

Let's first take a look at requirements

1. I am six and a half feet tall, heavy build. I drive.
2. Have already had a spine operation for severe pain 2 years ago.
3. Traveling about 50 Kilometers daily within Mumbai. Occasionally moving across the golden quadrangle across Western India with the family. A family of 4, with typically everyone wanting to carry everything that can fit inside a home.
4. Purchase the car with finance; ready with down payment of 3 Lacs and mentally prepared to pay about 20K per month as EMI.
5. Needed reliability to use the car for at least 8 to 10 years.
6. Fuel efficiency to ensure low running costs; definitely not wanting CNG or LPG.
7. No particular choice between a Sedan, or MUV.

So the hunt was on! First information gathering activities

Friends; newspapers; TV shows; commercials; and then test drives. Speaking about test drives; I don’t particularly remember the sequence, but it began with the Toyota Innova, then Hyundai Verna, Honda City, Hyundai i10, Tata Safari, Maruti SX4, Honda Civic, Skoda Fabia, Skoda Octavia. Everything from 5 Lac to 14 Lac luxuries.

You must know by now there was confusion. Lot’s of it. That’s when I turned to the trustworthy internet. Stumbled upon forum after forum but finally reached TeamBHP. (Thank the good lord for that). And lo and behold; selections started to narrow down. Here’s how:

1. Honda City ZX (Arya Honda - Worli): Too low, poor suspension and could barely fit in (even with the seat at completely back and low position). Close uncle informed me that the ground clearance is too low. Bottom of the car hits bumps and need to be careful. This was rejected.

2. Hyundai Verna (HMP - Bhulabhai Desai Road): Great car. Good looks, Diesel economy, good pickup, does not feel like a diesel, seamless suspension (gas shock ups at their best). Could not fit the 4 + passengers comfortably. This was near selection; but rejected due to space constraints. Too big a dashboard and feels heavy for the driver and front passenger.

3. Maruti SX4 (Sai Motors – Kemps Corner): One more - great car. Excellent ground clearance, superb pickup and suspension (once again gas filled shock-ups), feature rich, effortless power steering, smooth gear shifts. Unfortunately high running costs. Petrol with a low average. Friends experienced 7 to 8 KMPL in City with AC. Rejected.

4. Hyundai i10 (HMP - Bhulabhai Desai Road): Again good car. Superb pickup; surprisingly I could fit in it quite well. But it did not suffice for the space requirements my family wanted. Rejected.

5. Tata Safari: No good points. Too heavy and could not feel comfortable in the drivers seat the moment I got in. Rejected.

6. Skoda Octavia (Autobahn): Great car superb pickup, diesel, no gizmos or frills, practical. Nearly bought this. But thanks to the forum, found out that Skoda has a high maintenance costs with poor after sales dealer experience. Rejected. After sales service is too important to compromise for luxury cars.

7. Honda Civic (Arya Honda – Worli): Poor dealer experience. The dealer actually forgot that I was due for a test drive with my family. No car available. But they made up for it by sending the car at my residence the next day. Great car. Absolutely futuristic. Superb drive-ability. Two reasons for rejection. Like its lower sibling, this Honda bottomed out on speed breakers. Hit hard on the underside during the test drive, and low fuel efficiency. Rejected.

8. Toyota Innova (Shinrai Toyota - Worli): Well by now, you know what I bought. After three test drives, the Innova was selected. It met almost all of my requirements. Over and above all, it was the dealership that impressed the most. Extremely courteous staff and an out of the world experience. Great clarity in explaining every feature the car has; you kind of get a feeling that they give you a personal assistant. After booking the car, regular information about the delivery status from the dealer was quite relaxing (especially after reading some horrific car buying experiences on this forum).

On the day of delivery, the dealer again gave us a personal assistant; who spent 4 hours with us; explaining every feature of the car, with a checklist of items to use (of course I had carried the checklist available on this forum); they left no stone unturned. It was finally the time to move and drive the car home.

It has passed 10 days today after the delivery and I receive a call reminding me of the first service if my car has covered 1000 kms. Informing me about the procedures of service and asking me for a suitable time that would be convenient as per my schedules to bring the car in for service; informing me that while they would take 2 hours for the first service, they have a customer lounge that I could sit and relax in, or alternately use the internet connection available in the lounge to continue with my business work.

Truly a great experience! Just as memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose; I would forever cherish the memories of buying this car.

Apologies if this is rather long a story. I did not begin with “long long ago”; but I am sure of the “happily ever after”. Cheers!

Thread edited since it contained various [FONT], [COLOR] and [SIZE] tags. Posting with such text formatting should be avoided on Team-BHP as it is inconvenient for members to read post. Kindly go through Announcements section before proceeding.

Last edited by Jaggu : 27th June 2008 at 20:25.
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Old 27th June 2008, 20:48   #2
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That's a wonderful buying experience any car buyer would love to have. But sadly this is only an exception here(India) rather than the norm.

Enjoy the new car.
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Old 27th June 2008, 20:51   #3
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Great buy! Innova is Sharp brain's choice. You can find everything right there except few silly features not available ( internally adjustable control for mirror not availableagain for all type of poeple same angle of mirror is fine, foot rest side of clutch, Power Windows/Steering not available in low variants very funny I felt so sad for one Taxy driver trying hard to park in tight place in Agumbe, how can we drive non PS Innova in congested cities ? ) in its few variants.

Toyota service is improving day by day, they told me they are getting ready to handle the customers with smile because ocne they launch small cars people will Queue up for their cars, so they need to get ready to handle it.

If they manage properly for the demand they will win big time because they have winners in their house!

Congrats and all the best and its sweat to read Toyota is giving good service every where now.

Its good to know Toyota listen to customers voice very much because I can see lot of add on things year after year in their product.

Post the pictures soon.


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Old 27th June 2008, 21:07   #4
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Really well narrated and even though it was big, it did not feel like that. I am impressed with the dealer just by your narration. I have only heard good things about the Innova and I am sure that you will experience the same. Best of luck and keep us posted with your reviews and experiences.
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Old 27th June 2008, 21:33   #5
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Nice write up and choice of vehicle. Which model did you buy?

And you missed out Magnum. Why?
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Old 27th June 2008, 21:38   #6
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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
Nice write up and choice of vehicle. Which model did you buy?

And you missed out Magnum. Why?
Thanks much for your best wishes. I bought the V model. Primarily because I am a firm believer of not tempering with a new vehicle with accessories; so go in for the top model which kind of has everything you would want. It just keeps the 'original' feeling of the car 'intact'.

About the Magnum, a close relative who owns one in Surat told me about some teething problems coupled with the Magnum diesel emiting smoke after 28K Kms. Was kind of put off.
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Old 27th June 2008, 21:42   #7
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That's a fantastic first post GH & a wonderful buying experience too! The Innova suits your needs to a T & is an excellent vehicle. Here's wishing you an enjoyable ownership experience!
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Old 27th June 2008, 21:56   #8
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Congrats Greyhound, Innova sounds to fit your requirement to a T. It will for sure accompany you well into the next decade. What variant and what was the on-road price, alloys, ICE etc etc? Pics, Pics and more pics....
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Old 27th June 2008, 22:08   #9
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^ same question on my mind
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Old 27th June 2008, 22:27   #10
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The Innova is perhaps the best choice in terms of space, reliability and frugality. And surprisingly for its size, its quite maneauvrable in the city.

My question is the same as JKdas: "Why didn't you consider the Optra Magnum?" To my mind, it is similar to an Octavia, with better A.S.S. and more rear space.
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Old 27th June 2008, 22:45   #11
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So finally you got the vehicle that meet your requirements from a car perfectly.
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Old 28th June 2008, 12:24   #12
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which version of the innova did you buy? And which seat option did you go in for. If you can let us know your reasoning for the same, it would be of a great help...
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Old 28th June 2008, 13:16   #13
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I am always pleased when someone evaluates all options of cars, before zeroing in on the purchase. In fact, at Team-BHP, we insist that you do. Congratulations on the Innova. It does fit your requirements to the T. An immensely versatile machine that does everything properly and has no real disadvantages.

When a van has a following on an enthusiast community, you know its got a good thing going. Please do read through the car ownership articles from our Advice section; they will help you get the most out of your Innova!

Drive safe.
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Old 28th June 2008, 14:02   #14
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Congrats on you new buy. Innova suits your requirements (as per your narration). Post some pics. AFAIK, people who have bought Innova are always happy customers as it fits mostly to the requirement. Dp post some pics.
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Old 28th June 2008, 14:12   #15
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My uncle drives an Innova V.
He is in love with it and speaks very highly of the after sales service.

btw he bought it second hand with under 15k kms on the odo.

I wish you the very best with your Innova-tion.

Last edited by bblost : 28th June 2008 at 14:16.
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