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Old 23rd August 2009, 14:18   #1
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Default Initial ownership report: Red Indigo CS LX Tdi

Dear friends and members,

In the beginning of March this year, I felt the urge to go for a personal car. My dad has a Hyundai Getz 2005 but since I work away from home mostly, I hardly get to drive the Getz and even when I am home, parents mostly say "you are out of practice, let dad drive".

I had a limited budget and started thinking of Maruti A-Star but then an auto spare parts shop keeper in Sangli told me that it has almost the same engine as Alto. I was really taken aback and also turned off completely. I then approached the local Maruti dealership in Kolhapur to find out about the Swift. Somehow, I never took a test drive of any of these cars and the first car I tested was an Indica Vista. I had called up the Marvelous Motors people and they said that a couple of their people were at the Dussehra Chowk and I could go and TD the car there.

So, I got to drive the Indica Vista and then started thinking of buying the Indica V2. Some of you may find it strange that I TD the Vista and start thinking of the V2 but budget was a serious concern for me and thus that thought. I called up my father after having paid the salesman 10000 rupees as booking amount and he started questioning my decision as the Indica V2 resale value was a question mark for him as newer models had arrived on the scene. After consulting some more family members and relatives, I changed my booking to Indigo CS from the Indica V2.

The story did not end there as finance became a problem. Tata finance was not ready to do it and HDFC car loans' was only offering a 65% loan. I got angry with the Tata dealership guys at this stage and personally went and approached the Maruti people again and they started arranging an 85% loan for me on the Swift Vdi. The loan got approved through Axis Bank but the problem of the advance already paid to Tata was still there. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to stick with the Indigo CS LX Tdi because it was a lot cheaper than the Swift Vdi. I think one thing that added to this was the fact that the Sai Service people had never offered me a test drive of the Swift till then and I was so close to buying.

On Gudi Padwa day, March 27, 2009 I brought home a Tata Indigo CS LX Tdi in scarlet red colour. Initially I went around Kolhapur for a few days and did about 500 kms. Then, I decided to do a Kolhapur - Bangalore trip and came back from the trip with the trip meter reading 1300 kms. It was an excellent trip and I remember the car was going beyond 130 kmph but my wife would stop me every time. I really had to listen to her as two months later we had our son. One Fiat Palio had zoomed past me on the way back from Bangalore and I had wondered how fast he must be going. While going, we had done a night trip and it had taken us 10 hours but on the way back, I preferred driving in day time and registered a time of about 9 hours. Fuel efficiency had been excellent on that first long trip and I needed only 2300 rupees diesel for the round trip.

The road condition in the stretch from Hubli to Davangere was not to my liking and that is what prompted me to hit the road in day time while coming back. There were too many diversions and it was tough to make out the direction of the diversions at night. At least, that is how I felt. On coming back, I gave the car for the first free service even though it should have been within 1000 kms by official standards. Around May-mid, I did my next big trip, which was to Goa. During this trip, my car took two complete spins on one of the downward slopes in Fonda Ghat while going and the car slammed into the side railing, which is meant to protect vehicles from hurtling down the hill in case of an accident. The reason for the spin was a lot of gravel that was lying at the bend when I was negotiating it. I pushed on, picked up mom from the Dabholim airport and came back the same day. On the way back, I did not use the Fonda Ghat but came via the Goa-Belgaum-Kolhapur way.

Next day, I gave the car into the garage. Total cost of repair was 43000 and I had to shelve 12000 from my own pocket. The front bumper, left front headlight, left front fog lamp and air filter etc were completely replaced. The slam had caused a dent on the side opposite to the side of impact as well, to my sheer surprise. The dealership guy told me that this is a three-box vehicle and you have to be careful about spinning in the future as well. I got the car back after a good 12 days at the garage but the work was not completely to my satisfaction. The colour difference with the new bumper and right hand side fender compared to the rest of the body still seems very obvious.

Anyway, I was concerned with the performance of the car more than the colour match. I hit the trail to Mumbai sometime in June and I discovered to my horror that the lights were not enough in a heavy downpour the type of which I drove through while going as well as coming back. The thing that made me happy was that the engine was still performing top-class. I remember chasing down one Swift (number plate had 87 in the end) and one Swift Dzire (number plate had 6969). Both the cars overtook me after Pune when I was feeling a little drowsy and this woke me up but retaliation took another 10-15 minutes as I needed to feel completely awake. The guy sitting next to me told that for the next 1 hour the speed did not go below 130 and he used a seat belt for the first time in his life. I touched 150 kmph with this car for the first time that night. Finally, I overtook both the 87 and 6969 somewhere before Wathar.

At 9300 kms, I got the second service done but to my surprise I realized that the dealership people had never informed me about the 5000 kms free service. This made me furious and I changed the place of service from Marvelous Motors to Desai Motors, Shiroli. This service cost me around 2500 rupees and a couple of days later, I hit the trail for Karnal. That trip has already been recounted by me in a different thread under "travelogues". At the end of that trip, the car had done 11800 kms and by the ensuing week it had crossed 13000 kms. Performance has been good, a/c is excellent, speed is fantastic. The gear shift used to be a bit rough in the beginning but I shift gears so much that now it has become much smoother. Dad says all the three pedals are much harder and heavier than the Getz but this is Tata after-all. I am happy
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Old 23rd August 2009, 23:46   #2
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The car gives a very good average of about 16 kmpl even after being driven at above 120 kmph consistently over long stretches and that too with the a/c on. At lower speeds, I have even managed an average of 20 kmpl on the highway. This happened because of special circumstances one day when I ran out of cash close to my village. I had only about 30 rupees in my pocket and Karnal was another 40 kms. The filling stations around had no card payment facility and the fuel gauge was showing absolutely empty. The entire red zone had already been crossed and I was dangerously close to stalling on the road. I re-fueled with the 30 rupees that I had and then drove consistently at 60 kmph for the rest of the way to Karnal and finally my home, which was on the farthest end of the town from the direction I approached.

If I assume that about half a litre was left in the tank when I re-fueled, I still managed nearly 40 kms with about 1.5 litres. That is close to 26 kmpl but I'm sure there must have been about a litre left in the tank instead of just half a litre and thus, I managed 20 kmpl that day. It is a good vehicle in many aspects. The handling has been quite good on high speeds till date. On some hard curves, I have had to watch for understeer but with minor adjustments in speed that problem does not crop up any more with me.

I have found the braking to be adequate even though a screeching sound does come while applying the most urgent of brakes sometimes. The power steering is a bit heavier compared to the Getz one but I like it all the same. Boot space is not bad and I managed to fit in two really heavy and big suitcases into the dickey recently. The plastics are a spoilsport in a way as on a couple of windows, the plastic is not that neat at all.

For the price paid, it is not at all a bad vehicle.
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