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Old 14th May 2009, 13:40   #1
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Default TD'ed i20 in Pune

Hello all,
Been a lurker for a long time. Finally have something to post about. Dad did not sanction ICE for my alto, hence even those dreams are shattered. Luckily dad is now considering a new car. We'll sell off the faithful Indigo GLX which is 86k km and 5 years old. (advice needed)
We fell in love with the Linea, but, he said he doesn't NEED such a big car (the reason still eludes me, but he's the boss). I suggested the i20, considering its "big car - like" features. It is also pretty spacious as it's a new and improved getz (hope i'm not wrong)

Visited Sanjay Hyundai on Bombay-Pune road. We're getting the Asta for a decent 6.35 OTR. Sales reps were decently well informed about all the features and seemed keen to sell us an i20. (not booked yet, will keep you'll posted)
Dad left the TD bit to me, since he's away on tour (and the fact that i was over-keen). I had no problems scheduling the TD. The fellow came home with the demo car. Interestingly, it was a December car 10k km old!

One important thing. I suppose I'm a novice driver. I'm only 20. The range of cars I've driven are:
Maruti 800 (learnt on that.. and practised a lot on friend's car)
Alto (5k kms) (my baby)
Old Zen (not much... a few kms maybe)
Indigo ( quite a bit, it's our other family car, 3 mumbai Pune trips)
Santro (not much, but enough to include in this list)
LAURA!!! (only for 2-3 kms on winding Mulshi Highway.... but that remains the epitome!!!) <sigh...>

I read up the TD tips here and feeling excited took my mom along for the ride. Here are my impressions:

First Impression:
Sexy key!!! If you can even call it that. The remote unlock was very silent. In my alto u can hear the locks unclick from 10 mtrs away! Silver colour demo car was not dusty, seemed to be cleaned recently. Doors open-shut wasn't noisy, it closed without an unpleasant thud.

Interiors
:
Top notch. Seriously. Nothing seemed just bunged in for the sake of it. All the cubby holes seemed to belong. The lines were flowing and easy on the eyes. A very handy feature is the portable ash tray (none of us smokes, but it's a handy dust-bin, i suppose). Looks good too. I took a 250ml bottle of water with me to test the effectiveness of the Cool glove box. The water wasn't "fridge chilled" at the end of the drive, but definitely much cooler than before. Leather wrapped stearing felt plush as did the two-tone interiors. Very Classy. The metal inserts seemed thoughtful. The digital display in the centre of the dash read the time/ input or radio station on ICE / outside temperature / trip distance. (and possibly more :S )
The seats didn't have seat covers, as in, just the default thing was there. Like a kid I fiddled with tilt adjustable steering, electric ORVMs, ACC, etc. I found the fit and finish to be superb.

Ride and Handling:
I don't quite know how to objectively comment on this. I guess, I'll just state my experience. The drive was from my home, in Bopodi to Bhosari (storage/go-down of Sanjay Hyundai) and back via old mumbai-pune highway. I made it a point to take it over speed bumps and potholes at 20-30kph and it took it in it's stride, so to speak. Though, I overdid it over one speed bump. Cornering was good, but I didn't do it at higher than normal speed, since mom was sitting behind. People familiar with the "under the highway turn" at bopodi chowk - (A long,full circle with downward slope) it was the MOST enjoyable part of the drive. I exited the highway at 50 kph odd and continued the entire duration with occasional brakes. The Alto's tyres squeal when I do that and Indigo has never inspired confidence for me to try that out. The i20 didn't even flinch. It seemed like business as usual for it.

Engine, gear and steering wheel:
The steering wheel felt solid, without being heavy. Much lighter than the Indigo and not as light as the Alto, which is a good thing, as the Alto is freakishly manoeuvreable and disconcertingly light. The i20 had the manoeuvreability (which the Indigo lacks) while managing to remain steady and reassuring. Weaving in between cars at 60 kmph was a breeze, though I dont know if the Hyundai fellow's heart skipped a few beats. Btw, this was for purely test purposes, I'm a sedate driver for the most part

I don't quite know what to make of the engine. The 1.2 Kappa did seem peppy (but that's probably because I drive the Alto everyday). Definitely not as quick as the Indigo (it can MOVE, when asked to); (I don't know whether I'm using the right yardsticks). I guess, for everyday city usage it more than serves the purpose. My drive was 80% highway, so I can comment that it didn't feel hassled on the highway, though i don't know how it will fare with luggage and 5 passengers. I can confidently state that it won't have a problem cruising at 100-120 on the expressway, which is sufficient for our needs (obviously subjective). It still left me with the feeling that acceleration could have been a tad better. Remember this wasn't a new car, but a decently Run-in 10,400 Km old car.

The gear-box was amazing. So smooth and effortless. Shifting was great overall. No hardness in any gear. It was a pleasure shifting gears. I only dared to rev it till 5k rpm in 2nd gear. It didn't vibrate, but I'm not the red-line kinda guy (definitely not with mom sitting behind). Acceleration picked up briskly only after 2k rpm. I could manage 35 kph in 5th gear, though only for the heck of it, and I down-shifted immediately.

More to come.....
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Old 14th May 2009, 14:46   #2
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NVH:
When the engine is on and car is stationary, there is absolutely no noise in the cabin. No vibration when u cursorily touch the steering or the dash or other parts. But careful scrutiny and palpation, if you wish, reveals that the engine is alive and throbbing (wrong words??)
While driving with AC on, the cabin is extremely silent. Only beyond 4k rpm does the noise find it's way into the cabin and then too, it's not annoying. (Enthusiasts might argue - when is it ever?) Thankfully, no noise or next to no noise when kept below 2k or 3k rpm and the it was a peacefully silent drive during the times when i DID keep it below that mark. All this was done with stereo of and a silent salesperson Interiors weren't rattling either. Comfy overall.

ICE:
A 2-din cd/mp3 music system with Aux-in and USB with four door mounted speakers is provided. The steering wheel controls are a boon. One cannot expect audiophile quality from them of course and it is decent. Has ok-ish bass and high range. I still made it a point to test Radio, CD, and took my Cowon D2 with line-out and usb cable to test it. steering controls for "skipping tracks" dont work when it's on Aux (i suppose that's normal) but work fine on radio, cd and usb mode. It also struck me that the steering wheel is Civic inspired (no?) Played a variety of tracks - Rasputin, Wld World (mr. big), I'm gonna getcha good (Shania), Blues at Sunrise (SRV and Albert King), Bol na Halke Halke, etc... encompassing different styles. For average usage (which my dad and I suppose other regular users are going to subject it to) it seems fine. It doesn't crack at max volume. Satisfactory overall, but those who "like their music the way they like it" may find it sub-par. ( I use Shure IEMs with my cowon, and i didn't fall in love with the ICE, but as I said, you can't expect the world from a stock ICE)

AC:
The Asta variant, which was the TD car and the variant which we're interested in has ACC. I didn't fiddle much with it since I was happy with the way it was when I started driving. It was 12 30 pm and the AC did a good job of cooling. Mom was happy and I was comfy as the driver gets a good dose of cool air.

Visibility and ease of use:
Visibility is very good. While reversing, the head-rests hinder the view a bit, but not more than normal. My alto doesn't have head-rests and the visibility THERE is amazing, so I was a little impaired, but not what one would mark as poor visibility. The frontal view is good, as is the riding position. Seat is height adjustable and when I found the setting I wanted, it felt great. ORVMS are visible (after electric fiddling) with just a sidelong glance. The RVM displays the entire read window and hence, I'd have to say this car offers very good visibility. Other than the regular, marginal blind-spot that the A pillars cause.

So overall, I'd say I was very pleased with the car. Though I'm left with the feeling that it's a little overpriced. What do the gurus here have to say about it? Also, after reading reports of the i10 AT, I'm somewhat drawn towards that too although i've never even sat in an i10 before. How much will the mileage be affected due to the AT? My dad's requirements are ease of use in the city, must be able to hold its own in the occasional highway runs (mostly mumbai-pune), comfortable and safety features.

Suggestions are welcome, in this price range. Why has the i20 been selling in such few numbers? Or does all this need to be discussed in a new thread?
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:48   #3
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A well written review comments mate, very nice. Just to know - can you elaborate on its high speed mannerism if you have tried it during TD?

It looks like you have frozen on hyundai at least - ?

I would suggest, in my opinion - try TDingt Getz, though its old looks etc, you might get a better price deal from hyundai (some latest threads in forum), its also a nice car to be considered. It should work out cheaper than I20 for you in my opinion

Also considering i10 auto - go for it if you and your dad like auto boxes, and are ready to live on the low FE compared to manual i10s.

All the best, keep us posted on your journey
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:51   #4
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You have got the report bang on correct.

It is a bit (a bit) over priced.

The Auto can end up giving effeciency in the range of 6-8 in mumbai western suburb traffic, and 8-10 in Pune / mumbai easern suburb traffic.

The interiors and other aspects are just as mentioned by you. It is a good buy if you value the features.

It is a tad under powered and yet quite ok and practical as a city car.

It is also got a vague suspension as compared to the Fabia or the Vista or the swift for that matter.

It sells in lesser numbers due to subjective looks, power and suspension and most importantly price vs the Swift diesel. (It is only petrol). 70% of the swifts sold currently are diesels.

Alternatives -
Vista Aura diesel 4.5L odd

Fiesta 1.6 Petrol Limited. (Best option) 5.5 Ex showroom and 6.20 landed with individual registaration in pen / navi mumbai. (no airbags or auto but a much better drivers car and better built) - I would recommend this as a bigger car even without Airbags is better and it is available for a steal of a price.

Linea if you strech the budget but it is bigger and costs about 1 L more for the petrol dynamic pac.
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Old 14th May 2009, 16:56   #5
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Don't book anything since the gp, ritz and jazz are going to be launched soon.

The i20 comes with a good bunch of features but if you want to save some money look at the i10, and well, just wait till those 3 cars arrive.
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Old 14th May 2009, 17:22   #6
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As i'd posted before.. it's not the question of budget (well.. at least as far as linea is concerned) my dad doesn't WANT the linea. He likes it, but says I don't have much use for it. It's just going to be mom and him and he'd rather have a nice hatchback. I've read rave reviews about the fiesta 1.6 but my father wont' touch the "American Ford" with a Barge Pole. Plus, isn't Ford service a bit dodgy?

Swift Vdi i'd love for him to buy, but it's a bit cramped yes? i20 has got much more space as compared to swift, right?

ok, Vista I shall check out.

One question, though. An oft repeated one - After all the skoda fiasco is it worth considering the fabia?
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Old 15th May 2009, 08:11   #7
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@narayanang76:

As for its high speed capabilities, I didn't get enough open stretch to try it out. Only took her till 100. The sales rep said rated high speed was 160. Hard to believe. 140 seems more likely. But then again, I might be mistaken.
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Old 15th May 2009, 17:26   #8
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I test drove the i20 with Kundan Hyundai. Its an absolutely fabulous car IMO. The small tit bits have been taken care of by Hyundai which pleases you immensely while driving. Its a wonderful car, have booked the Sleek Silver color last week will be getting delivery of the same in a month's time.
And @sultanofswing if you're planning to buy the i20 i highly recommend that you have a test drive from Kundan Hyundai too, you might get some offers from Kundan which Sanjay won't give.
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Old 15th May 2009, 20:48   #9
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Kundan Hyundai? where is it? please give me details. What sort of offer did they give you? Sanjay Hyundai just offers mats and mud flaps, which is too little IMO.
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Old 16th May 2009, 14:19   #10
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Nice review. I'm looking at a large hatchback too, but am yet to TD the i20. I liked the looks/features of the i20. Was slightly put off by many reports suggesting that it struggled when fully loaded.

I would suggest that you to stay away from Fabia since you now have more choices. However, there's no harm in taking a TD - just gives you something to compare the i20 with.

If you aren't in a hurry, do TD the Jazz. I know the reported price of 7 Lakhs is ridiculously high, but you can see if it's worth all the excitement. And who knows - Honda might decide to price it more sensibly after reading comments on T-bhp

Last edited by CBlazer : 16th May 2009 at 14:20.
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Old 16th May 2009, 15:52   #11
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I'm more excited about the Grande Punto. And it's getting launched sooner than Jazz, if i'm not mistaken. Jazz might just be TOO overpriced given the feature list, though most might suggest the honda badge is worth it. I'd rather go for the same H in italics and with more features
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Old 19th May 2009, 20:33   #12
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I just re-read my post and noticed I'd forgotten to mention this part. The Stockyard which we went to was atrocious! It was this big open ground type space cordoned off with wire fence as if all the cars were impounded. All, I repeat, ALL the cars had a THICK layer of dust covering them and were baking in the sun. I always assumed cars were stored indoors (hangar type structures). This is where the cars are brought from the factory, and as per orders, are dispatched from here to the showroom, from where delivery is taken. I didn't have my camera with me, so no photos unfortunately.

This may be the case with this particular dealer or maybe not. Is this how all cars are stocked generally?
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Old 20th May 2009, 10:12   #13
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nice review sultan, u have showed a lot of maturity for a 20-year old!

if your dad loved Linea, then he'll love GP even more

btw, do wait till GP is launched. i guess, the competition in july will be so hot that u'll get a much better deal for i-20 if u still decide to go ahead and buy that.
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Old 20th May 2009, 10:59   #14
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IMO, the i20 will still be there against GP, Jazz, Ritz, Swift, etc. as a great VFM for its features. Waiting would only possibly get you better engine options a few months down the line. Hyundai has a huge worldwide backlog for the i20 so they are not going to be in too much of a hurry to offer better deals.

GP = Fiat = wait and watch if sales and service standards improve. Just read the huge number of posts on TBHP about broken delivery promises, wrong allotments, etc. for the Linea. The servicing woes are yet to start.

Ritz = i10 really and again usual Maruti drama - no deals now, special invitation price (read premium for long delivery), no stock, maybe we will give you in a couple of months. The minute you say no, they suddenly promise a different colour/model and say it is in stock. Look at the deals now on the A-star. Also Maruti = rattles.

Jazz - yes Honda badge (I love it too), but will not be a sensible buy and will also not have half the features of the i20 Asta. Yes, the engine / pick-up will be much better, but on a practical level, the 1.2 kappa engine is very nice too. Feels a lot less under powered than the Linea and do you want to drag race every time?

I suggest wait till the Jazz launch and see what Honda offers, it is not too far away. The Jazz should be the only other option.
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Old 20th May 2009, 21:21   #15
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@ Minardi: Thanks a lot. Yes I AM eagerly waiting for the GP and Jazz (who isn't?)

@Sandeep108: I'm leaning more towards the GP rather than the Jazz (considering it's expected to be highly overpriced). But it's finally up to what dad is comfy with. The i20 definitely DOES seem like a good bet. But, for sure, final decision will be made after Jazz and GP are officially launched.
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