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Old 19th July 2009, 06:50   #31
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I think as budget city cars go, this is a very good car, and the development done on the Matiz platform has helped. GM is doing a great job in providing a very viable alternate to Maruti/Hyundai in India, and that is always a good thing.
I am getting used to the car in the city. The clutch is very light to those I am used to, and the engagement happens at a precise point in the travel, so I am still stalling the car in getting the car moving again at low speeds. It is also good to see that the front quarter window actually works to reduce the size of the blind spots in front. In the last decade an alarming trend has been to increase the size of these blind spots in response to design dictates - in the A Star and the GP that I tested, I felt concerned about just how large these were for my seating position - a truck could be in it and you would not see it till it was a lot closer than is safe. It was already large in my Palio, and I had to remind myself to crane my neck around the blind spot all the time. It felt even larger on the two new cars, and for the A Star it was one of the key reasons for not buying the car - not being able to see so much of where you are going felt very unsafe to me. And as in all modern cars, the angled windscreen, again for style, means that sunlight is in your lap all day. Heating up the car like crazy, and destroying the plastics. I have the V 70 in front, but at the end of the day, even 10% of solar energy in India is a heck of a lot of it.
Am getting used to reaching across and locking/unlocking the doors too, but the car is narrow enough to do this easily. Ditto for the manually wound windows - again, it is just a matter of habit and attitude. At least I will not have to ever have to fix central locking and power windows in this car - ever!
The gearbox is spongier than what I prefer, and here I have also been spoilt by the Palio, and even the 118NE before that. It works reasonably well, just doesnt allow you to pretend that you are a rally driver.
The AC if anything is too cold even at position 1 on the blower, and even at that speed, the fan is too noisy. And since the rest of the car is silent, this is noticeable. I will have to get to start using the thermostat, to get the inside temp right.
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Old 19th July 2009, 08:34   #32
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Most important +ve of this vehicle is drivability in the city. It just rips across when the signal turns green. I tried stunts like driving at 130 on Mumbai-Pune expressway wouldn't recommend it to anybody but still the car felt rooted to the road.
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Old 19th July 2009, 10:14   #33
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I am looking forward to the green light thing. At this time, the engine is tight and my right foot is light - running in considerations. That said, in Pune with non synched traffic lights, there isnt much to be gained by the accelerate brake style. Hard on the car, hard on the wallet too.
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Old 19th July 2009, 15:18   #34
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Nice car. I like white color with black colored bumpers. This combination looks good on any cars.
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Old 19th July 2009, 17:01   #35
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Having had others with that combination, I agree. And with the grey V Kool now on, it looks even better. The challenge is to keep the black looking black as it weathers. Any thoughts on the best way to do that?
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Old 20th July 2009, 10:50   #36
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Use bumper polish every fortnight, and they would be sparkling , I had a Matiz for 9 years and used the polish to keep the bumpers clean and shiney, when i sold it last year the buyer thought it was only a three year old car.
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Old 20th July 2009, 11:10   #37
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Thanks, I am aware of that way, but would appreciate knowing which make of polish you used. Lots of choices in the market, and it would help knowing which one worked long term, as it did for you.
Thanks again.
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:25   #38
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sawyer, black and white gives a good look and to most of the hatchbacks, is your spark with new beige interiors or black ones that used to come earlier, can you post its interiors pics if its new beige one please.Keep updating.
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:41   #39
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the earlier grey ones - if you scroll back, you will see that this was my preference. I like beige only in expensive leather!
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:54   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Having had others with that combination, I agree. And with the grey V Kool now on, it looks even better. The challenge is to keep the black looking black as it weathers. Any thoughts on the best way to do that?
How much V kool for front windscreen costed you. Even I planning to get one for my spark.
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:57   #41
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V 70, the only film meant for that application from that brand, Rs 12k. Over a 5 year period, a great investment.
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Old 20th July 2009, 13:59   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
the earlier grey ones - if you scroll back, you will see that this was my preference. I like beige only in expensive leather!
oh ok, thanks for the reply may be missed that one on your earlier post, keep updating and have a safe ride.
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Old 23rd July 2009, 08:10   #43
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It appears to me that Spark has quite a few happy customers. That, and the thought that we do not convey appreciation as often as we criticize, led me to send an email to the GMI head, Karl Slym. I have cut pasted a part of this email here.

Quote

There are other such comments on other posts - of course there are complaints as well. If you are not already doing so - I suspect you are - my suggestion is for your customer feedback organization to rigorously track the posts on all GM cars in the forum. It is for free, and for the large part, sincere. Some times, not fully educated about autos, but that is typical of the market as well. The moderators stay on their toes to keep the quality of the posts at as high a level as well as one can do, in a group of voluble Indians! I have no association with the site other than as a recent member, so there is no other agenda here. Except to continue to get good service, I suppose, if GMI/Pashankar continue to do well ! I have started a new post about my car that may or may not be of interest to GMI. It is as objective as I could write it, and may be of interest as well.

I trust this feedback will be also valuable to your entire organization because the experience I get comes from the concerted effort of all of them. It is not often that good things are conveyed down to the trenches.

May I request you to also convey this to the Pashankar ownership and their people at the Pashan dealership as well? I ought to do this myself, but I do not have their email address at hand.

Unquote

The intent was to thank him and his organization, and to bring the value of this forum once again to the attention of GMI as a very valuable feedback tool.

Win Win on both sides, I should think. And he did acknowledge the first thank you email I sent to him, the day I bought the car, so I know he will read the mail. Which is the extent to which I can influence things in GMI, so I will have done what was in my power to do.

Last edited by Sawyer : 23rd July 2009 at 08:10. Reason: typo
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Old 23rd July 2009, 09:00   #44
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A lot of you found my experience with the Matiz and Hawaldar funny - it sounds funny when I think of it now, but not then. But the truth is , that it did happen. A family of 4 (me, dad, sister and mom) with the AC on - someone mentioned that the Matiz had the largest compressor , that is true. Its the reason why the interiors could actually be frozen , and it also was a major drain on the engine. The junction in question was a major one, thus a lot of distance had to be crossed to clear it.

As most Matiz drivers would know, an early shift into the second is not a good idea if you are with the A/c on and need pickup. It was my fault , I had enough experience with my red babe by that time to know better. Nevertheless , the newer engine (from what I hear) is much much better on this front. That was a much needed improvement. A close friend of mine who also owned a Matiz and liked to drive fast had become as quick as Fast Draw McGraw at switching the a/c on and off. The effect was as perceptible as say driving with the hand brake still engaged or not.

Coming back to the topic, Sawyer , you will continue to be pleasantly surprised by this little beauty. We owned her for 4 years and she never gave a cause for complaint despite rough usage , long inter state drives and some minor as well as one major accident. The only sore point was when after Daewoo shut down. I am keeping my fingers crossed for GM , if only for the Spark - this car deserves much better. As someone mentioned, it can easily beat the Alto (and cars in that league) ; if only people loose their non-Maruti perceptions.

<edit> Sawyer, I havent driven the Spark, but there is this one question that I want to ask. In the Matiz, another problem that I faced (and I drove a few other Matiz cars too , so I know it wasnt limited to my own car) was that it was considerably hard to engage the second gear. Is that issue still prevalent? If you need to even think about it to answer, then they fixed it. Cuz it was very well pronounced. So much so that my dad often shifted from first to third , something that I absolutely hated.</edit>

Last edited by Takumi-san : 23rd July 2009 at 09:07. Reason: question
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Old 23rd July 2009, 09:09   #45
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I look forward to those kind of surprises. The other thing about the Spark is that it looks like a happy little car. As did the Matiz. I like cars that smile. By contrast, I think the Santro looks positively grumpy!! A good car, but you know what I mean.
I like the fast draw comment - I had to do that with my 1995 Zen, with the 1 litre carbureted engine, that one too felt like someone had put a hand round the throat when you hit the AC button. Highway overtaking moves, where you want to be out of the danger zone asap, the first thing to do was to hit it to shut it.
PS: Too soon to say, the gear shifter is not its strong point, somewhat soggy, is all I can say just now.

Last edited by Sawyer : 23rd July 2009 at 09:14. Reason: PS
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