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Old 13th August 2008, 23:34   #1
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Talking Yet another MJD vs VDi vs ZXi thread

ok ok, before I am butchered on the forum, let me state upfront that it is just one of the input emails I got from an friend of mine in the automotive line. That I veered away last minute (had to withdraw cash) from MJD was influenced entirely by Tata dealership but here's his laboriously extensive review. Its not perfect: safety could get muuch more marks etyadi, but its just a nice laundry list from someone whose owned/driven ZXi and VDi long enough and TD'd the MJD. With that long -a.s.s a preamble, here we go:

Finally drove the Fiat Palio 1.3 Multijet.... For nothing more than a short drive on the banerghatta road and back... i cud drive for some 10-15minutes.

In short, the car is very good.. infact its really good... but only if there was no car by the name Swift in the market!!

When u think of value for money on stuff like rear-wash-wipe and demister... but thats not what i wud rate the car for... its the lovely suspension it has to tackle bad roads...

on purpouse i drove it on broken parts of the road and the guy kept saying, saar... please keep to the tarred road. Told him, i am testing the most important difference it has with swift!

But if u want to have fun, and maitain speeds on corners.... be cautioned though... this thing has more body roll than other small cars... but less than the indica which i feel floats around corners!

I did not partularly like the interiors... plastic quality is really pathetic.. its more INDICAish.

Engine is not at all eager... it just doesnt feel like a torquey diesel at all... The swift diesel is very interactive. its purely individual taste i must add.. + i dont know who said it doesnt have turbo lag... if u need a definition of turbo lag, and cant find a Tata Safari 2L, this is the car for it!

floor the pedal in 2nd gear at say 20kmph, and u can wait for the song to change in ur ipod by the time the car wud have touched 70kmph!

It shows no sign of eagerness whatsoever... after 2400rpm, it explodes a bit.. but not as vicious as the swift.

One good thing is, the gearing of the palio is very much suited to drive this car at peak torque zone without troubling the turbine in 3nd gear! So basically it is more comfy inside city @ crawling speeds compared to swift which cant manage above 2nd!

Less sporty than swift ddis...

engine noise is pretty well damped than in the swift... actually engine has been laid in a more mannered way... on the ddis, all the cheap bits are visible making it look like a crappy cheap diesel engine!

but, in-cabin noise is high even at slow speeds... there is a boom noise in that particular car in 3rd gear @ 40kmph!

Simple si baat hai yaar, all said n done... mileage will be similar in both, only reason i wud buy becoz everyone else owns a swift!

If one can spend 90k over the M800, for an Alto which only has EPS & front Power windoews + marginally better ride, i think the DDis is easily a bargain over the Fiat.

My rating for the VDi & MJD with the ZXI.

Read the ratings as out of 10 for - ZXI/VDI/MJD

Looks - subjective, but Swift looks better... but common. no points for anyone

Engine noise & isolation - 8/7/6

In-cab NVH - 8/8/7

AC effectiveness - 8/8/8

AC response time - 9/7/8

Pulling with AC in full blow - 7/7/8

Response at low RPM - 7/8/7

Driving in 2nd & 3rd at slower speeds - 7/8/9

Drivng in 3rd @ 30-40kmph with 3-4 persons in the car - 7/8/8

Acceleration - 9/8/7

Gearshift quality - 8/8/8

Gearshift feel - 8/7/8

Gearshift throw/ease - 7/7/8

Gear lever - steering wheel - pedal ergonomics - 8/8/8

Pedal location/spacing - 8/8/9

Left foot braking (only for me )- 8/7/6

Pick-up in 2nd on full throttle - 8/6/4

Suspension on normal roads (noise)- 8/8/9

Suspension feedback on rough roads slow speeds - 6/7/9

Suspension feedback at high speeds on broken roads-7/7/9

Suspension on really bad roads - 6/7/9

Torque steer (having toqrue steer is bad n dangerous)-9/7/8

Fun revving up and downshifting (petrolhead!)-8/6/6

Handling around corners - 9/8/6

Steering response @ low speeds - 7/8/9

Steering response @ high speeds (safe n positive) - 9/8/8(tested till 80 only)

Road feedback to driver - 7/7/8

Stability @ high speeds & crosswinds - 8/8/8

Braking at slow speeds - dry tarmac-9/9/9

Braking at slow speeds (40-50kmph) - wet/gravel - 7/8/8(gave 8 coz not tested)

Braking at very high speeds on straight line - 9/7(without abs)/7

Stability around corners - 9/8/7

Confidence inspiring around corners - 9/9/7

Low-idle driveability in 2nd gear with 4 persons - 6/9/8

Smoothness in drivetrain with slight throttle after clutch engagement - 6/8/8

Noise @ high speeds - 8/7/6

In-cabin plastic quality - 9/9/6

Finish of cabin - 9/9/7

Aesthetics & ease of use -8/8/8

Practicality of parcel tray - 7/7/8

Leg room front - 8/8/8

Leg room rear - 8/8/9

Thigh support front -8/8/7

Seat adjustment front driver -9/8/8

Visibility front 3/4 - 7/7/8

Visibility rear - 7/7/7

Rear wash-wipe - 7/0/8

SRS saftey components - 9/0/0

VFM - 9/9/7

Fuel economy - 7/9/9

stock tyre grip - 9/7/7

Feel-good factor - 8/8/7

ICE (am against integrated stuff!) - so am not comparing here

Rear seat comfort - 8/8/8

Central locking - 9/8/8

Optionalpackage - 9/8/6

Service backup (overall) - 9/9/7

Rear AC effectiveness - havent tested in Palio & VDi- ZXI its great

Total points out of 530

ZXI - 436
VDi - 411
MJD - 411

I hope i havent missed out anything!

LOL!! i was shocked to see that the Palio scored equal points with the VDi.. but thats mainly due to the rear-wash-wipe thingy that left the VDi with zero points!

Again.. choice is urs!!
/You were warned, weren't you?!
//He thrashes cars for a living so he's not me or the average jock or even the average teambhpian.
/// Is basically a pasted email, so have removed most smileys. Adjust mods maadi.
////Shared just for kicks maadi. Mods, feel free to move/join into the right thread. To me, this is a sorta unique comparo!
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Old 13th August 2008, 23:49   #2
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Man, I used to think that I was quite crazy since I used to put nos against various features (just for fun's sake, even though I may not be buying any of the cars) and total them up to compare cars. But this guy beats me hands down. I am nowhere near this league. Hats off and convey my grudging admiration to him!
But I must say, this is a very nice list. For most people & most practical purposes, only some of these features will matter and they can look at this to compare against their own thoughts.
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Old 14th August 2008, 00:32   #3
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WOW, is the word to describe the comparo. This guy is a genious, please post other reviews carried out by him, if any!

Well there are some discrepancies though, simply because Swift Vdi should have won the battle handsdown. Also, FE of Vdi is better than Palio Mjd.
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Old 14th August 2008, 00:41   #4
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Build quality is missing, which I would believe would be in favour of the Palio instead of the Maruti.

But overall the comparison is really good.
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Old 14th August 2008, 07:07   #5
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the review is quite nice, except for the fact that, the author has tried to summarise the results with a grand total. that is not a good idea.
the scoring should be left broken down into components so that the individual reader can decide which feature needs to be given more weightage.

for example, the swift VDi recieved the same total points as the Palio MJD because it recieved 0 points for the rear windshield wiper, while the palio took away 9 points there.

for some people, the rear wiper absence, might be a deal breaker. but most people wouldnt notice.
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Old 14th August 2008, 08:07   #6
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Oh my god, what hve you done? Very detail test and review. To be saved and used by others for doing a good TD. Thanks Phamilyman...
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Old 14th August 2008, 09:03   #7
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One of the other aspects is to provide weight age for each of these factors which is really important. handling and rear windshield wiper can't have same weight age.

Also I see FE rating same in VDI and MJD. I would assume Palio FE would be lower than VDI. As you all know Palio is built like a tank and consumes fuel like a tank.
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Old 14th August 2008, 09:13   #8
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One think I would swear by the Palio for: After 5 years of throwing around, the Palio would have aged less than the Swift - but would also sell for less than the Swift :(
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Old 14th August 2008, 10:26   #9
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Rear seat comfort - 8/8/8
Somehow, the above doesn't seem right. In my opinion, rear seat comfort in the Swift is not in the same league as the Indica / Palio.
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Old 14th August 2008, 10:27   #10
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i cud drive for some 10-15minutes.

thats what is said above, in such a short span, can all these attributes be looked into???

Genius, isn't he?
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Old 14th August 2008, 11:02   #11
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@Junky: Like I said, he gets paid to tinker around with cars, thrash them. So his attention to detail is way better than most. He's read this thread and added something which got left out:

saw the replies to the post... I did mention that VDI wud have outscored if not for that rear-winsheild wiper...

btw i did totally forget Quality of parts such as

Effort to open bonnet - 8/8/7
Ease of opening rear boot - 9/8/8
Effort to open driver-side doors - 8/8/8
Effort to open passenger side doors - doesnt matter as they are all light
Quality of door shut (front) - 6/7/9
Lack of vibration in door components -6/7/8
Ease of ingress (getting in)- 8/8/8
Ease of egress- 8/8/9

Rear fog lamps! (well the ZXI has one and its a life saver in heavy downpour!) i thought it was a dud addition as that red fog lamp was only as bright as the normal tail lamp... but during my highway drive in torrential downpour, i noticed only the rear fog lamp (bottom middle of rear bumper) and had to get real close to see the tail lamps which were also ON!

i think even VDI has that... cant remember.
@DFan: Nopes. Both have same weight. That used to be to compare between Santro and Palio. Swift is as heavy. Sorry to bust your myth You may wish to check both cars with a GPS before we claim such fundae.

yes, weightage i agree. more for safety.

@phoenix: True that, but this is a TD thread jaani. Let's wait for the multijets to age. They have been made to a price. Do you know that the SDE comes without plastic inserts in the boot door? Its ugly.
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Old 14th August 2008, 11:38   #12
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Originally Posted by hrag View Post

Somehow, the above doesn't seem right. In my opinion, rear seat comfort in the Swift is not in the same league as the Indica / Palio.
Thats true. Among the hatches except the Palio, Indica and I guess Fabia, rest all are just four seaters. So these three have the advantage of having 25% more capacity.

Lets say, you happen to gave friends and family and go vacationing in a car - Swift has serious drawbacks. If you fit five in a Swift, the back benchers who are cramped and being thrown around are going to be very annoyed. And you cannot fit much luggage 'cos of the weird shape of the boot.

So if you want a drivers car to blast in a expressway and Maruti peace of mind then Swift it is, if you want to transport people in good comfort and speed ( MJD is quicker then Swift in real Indian road conditions for you don't have to slow down for the smallest of potholes ) then its the Palio.

And Swift - D are there every were nowadays. So owners try to mod them desperate to differentiate their ride form their neighbors who bought his just for its FE and that its from MSIL. Well Fabias and Palios are very exclusive.
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Old 14th August 2008, 11:39   #13
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Nice review. Agree with most of the points laid down here, now comes the but.. I dispute a few points here;

1. I personally feel the MJD is much better to throw around the corners and easier to manage on the highways. The SWIFT just feels undertyred at times. Let me clarify, there are times when you have so much power on tap in the VDi, but arent confident if the tyres will hold.

2. The SWIFT has pathetic leg room in the back. PERIOD. I am 6ft tall and i dread sitting in the back. That brings me to the front seat. Dont know how many of you have noticed, but, have you ever noticed the dashboard on the passenger side? No matter how much you push back the passenger seat, the pointed edge of the dashboard keeps staring at your knees. Wonder how it will impact in case of an accident.
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Old 14th August 2008, 11:40   #14
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@phamilyman- your friend has done a great job with the comparo.
The posting of the review in quotes makes it difficult to differentiate between his views and yours.

and I agree, the reviewer had mentioned that the windshield wiper skewed the results. I had not paid enough attention to that sentence. my bad.

It would be nice to have a review of this sort for other cars too.
Who is this secret reviewer?
Auto mag writer?

I almost suggested doing away with the point system, because each person would give different weightage to features /performance, but then thought better of it. its not just important to know which is better than which, it is also important to know , by how much.

even though the point system is flawed because of its variation according to individual perspective, it is the best we have. unless people can come up with better solutions.

Last edited by rippergeo : 14th August 2008 at 11:45.
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Old 14th August 2008, 11:50   #15
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Far too many 7s, 8s & 9s, that's my take

None of the three models are near perfect in any way so why the high ratings, what say?

Last edited by suman : 14th August 2008 at 11:51.
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