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Old 28th September 2009, 16:09   #1
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Smile Added a "Spark" to my life

Finally, I own a car!

And many thanks to all T-BHPians for the help. I used T-BHP extensively for my "car-hunt". Learnt a lot. Was able to appreciate the technical differences between cars and was able to take an informed decision. I am quite delighted I came across this forum!

Something in the male genes makes us car freaks right since childhood! I had to wait for 25 years before I could finally own a car of mine! The wait ended with a Chevy Spark being driven home on 20th of September! Hope it turns out to be a worthy end to my wait!

Pardon me if I get technical terms wrong anywhere in the past. I have never owned any vehicle before. Am still learning the ropes by spending almost an hour everyday at Team BHP.

Booked the car in August last week. But took the delivery only on Sep 20th due to the Shradh period in between! Long wait, I know. Miscalculated!

Felt the need for a car since the day parents moved in with me. Did not want to spend much on the car as at this stage, the car was just a need that I was trying to satisfy and and not a luxury that I could afford. Added to the cost consciousness was the plight of I being a newbee driver on crazy Mumbai roads.

I am sure to bang the car here and there a bit. Didn't want to feel too bad by banging an expensive car. Due to these reasons, budget became a primary constraint.

Considered a second hard card for a while, but couldn't convince myself. Somehow, didn't feel right that I should satisfy my dream of years with something that was someone elses's dream object earlier, especially when I could afford a new car. Having made up my mind on buying a new car, I set out to showrooms. Cars that I considered:

Alto - Good car. But didn't want to buy a car with too low a power (Kindly bear in mind that I could not TD any cars at this stageas I am not confident about my driving. But friends suggested that Alto will not be powerful enough)
A-Star - Visibilty was poor from the driver's seat. And the seats at the back were too cramped. Considering that I was buying a car to drive parents around the city, the backseat being cramped was a big no-no)
Wagon R - a close cousin sister owns this and she was adamant that there won't be a second Wagon R in the family
i10 - Good car but found it overpriced
Spark - Good car. Fitted my budget. Issues were centre mounted dial and GM A** and of course, the resale value

Spent a lot of time on Team-BHP. Could not come across any major negative comments about Spark.

Went with my sister to the showroom and had a TD of Spark. She was reasonably satisfied with the performance. Had issues with the driver's view and placement of the brake / clutch / accelator padles (too close) (She is used to the Wagon R which has very good visibility and big and widely spaced pedals). We had a TD of i10 as well. Found it good but did not find it better than Spark enough to command an almost 60-70k premium. Though I understand that i10 will have a better resale than Spark. However, I am reasonably sure that if this vehicle does not turn out to be a lemon, I will keep it as my second car / wife's car in the future, even if I move to a luxury car / sedan after 3-5 years. So resale value was not too much of a consideration.

Having decided on Spark, I had to decide the model. Considered LPG variant also, which is 30k costlier than the non-LPG. However, my monthly driving is unlikely to cross 500kms. At so low a driving, my calculations showed that the break-even period would be quite long. So decided to stick to petrol. Somehow, I don't like black coloured bumpers. So PS variant was out of question. Between LS and LT, I felt that the 30-35K that I would be paying extra for LT didn't justify the additional benefits that I was getting (Body coloured OSRVMs, Body colourd door handles, rear spoiler, rear seats head-rest, rear power windows, fog lamps etc.) as I felt most of them were luxry items and not a necessity. So decided to go ahead with LS.

There wasn't much to choose in terms of colour. Had to decide between Black and Platinum. felt that Black would be difficult to maintain and considering that someone like me, who is learning driving, is quite likely to leave scratches on the car, which would be highly visible in black, I decided on platinum. Somehow, I don't like Topaz (Though I know it would go well with beige interiors). I liked red but parents didn't so it wasn't under consideration.


Model: Spark LS
Colour: Platinum Metallic
Dealership: National Garage, Mahalakshmi Mumbai


Payment to showroom - 3,50,000

This includes the registration charges and is post the following discounts:
GM discount - 40,000
Corporate discount - 4,000
Exchange discount - 8,000

Insurance - 7,261 (National Assurance. Bargained hard for this. The initial quote was for some 9,500)

Freebies:
Sunfilm
Mudflaps
Mats
Soft toy
Number plate

Additional accesories and respective costs (All from Autoking, SHivaji Park, Dadar):
Autocop Piranha - 3,200
Seatcover (Autofoam) - 3,000
Sony HU (with USB, without bill) - 4,800
JBL Front speakers - 1,050
JBL Rear speakers - 1,050
Internal FM antenna - 250
Leather stearing cover - 475
Total (post 25 rs. rounding) - 13,800

Other miscellaneous expenses (Puja, cash to dealership guys) - 350

Thus, in all costs that I bore - 3,71,412.

Had not planned rear speakers initially, due to cost reasons. However, once the front speakers were fitted and I tested the system, I wasn't satisfied with the sound. For a reaosnably good sound at the back, the volume would have been required to be kept too high, which would have driven me nuts, while I was driving. So decided to go ahead with a set of speakers at the back as well. Fitting oval speakers at the back would have set me back by 2.5k extra, would have required me to put a rear parcel tray and would have taken away some boot space. So, decided to go ahead with normal speakers at the back.

Will add a gear lock after the first service. I need one as I park my car in the lane. No parking for me in my building. And in the past there has been an instance of a car theft from our lane. However, Autoking guys suggested that I fit the lock after the gearbox becomes a little free. It's too hard right now.

The gear lock will cost me around 1,100. Thus in all the cost of the full fledged car to me will be 3,72,500. My personal ceiling was for 3,75,000. So I still have 2,500 Rs left! Any suggestions, to put this 2,500 to use by getting any accesory would be much appreciated.

My experience at the National Garage dealership was quite good. They were friendly and helpful. Co-operated me and all my pre-registration inspections and pre-delivery inspections (as I learnt to do from team BHP). Only grouse - Since I delayed taking the delivery, the day before the delivery, when I went to inspect the car, they had kept it in the display. Right in front of me, the other prospective car owners were opening the doors, sitting inside and testing the systems inside! I got bugged. They should have at least locked my doors while it was in display.

The experience at Autoking was also good. The owner was helpful and gave right advice. Felt he was genuine. Didn't succeed much at bargaining there. All I got was a 25 rs discount on the final bill. BUt hopefully, he will be helpful if any of the accessories go kaput at some stage.

My cousin and friend have driven the car. They have been quite satisfied with the engine and pick-up and overall feel of the car. Cousin feels that the seats gave her back-pain! Don't know if others also faced the same problem.

I don't like the steering wheel's looks. Looks little too big and cheap. And the 500 bucks leather cover has also not helped much.

Unfortunately, with my limited knowledge of automobiles, I am unable to comment much on the technical aspects of the performance of the car. However, the ride has been a little bumpy, though I believe that's because I have been driving quite slowly. Have hardly crossed 40kmph. Haven't been in the 5th gear so far. But the pick-up has been good. And the engine, as every Spark owner has mentioned, is smooth and silent. The other issue I have faced is the engaging of the first and reverse gear. It is too tight and clumsy as of now. BUt having gone through the reviews by other spark owners, I believe this is the case with every spark and will hopefully become better after few thousan kms.

Haven't measured fuel efficiency yet. Right now, all the focus is on learning driving. And while I am learning, I know I will be doing a lot of things (e.g.
riding the clutch) that would have an adverse effect on the engine and the fuel efficiency.

I have been practising driving daily, early in the mornings, when there is not much traffic. Have become much better at handling the car. Haven't had any mishaps, even minor so far.

Need to get some practice in driving on slopes. And then, hopefully, I will be happily "sparking" my way to office! In the meanwhile, if any of you Mumbaikar Team-BHPians see a platinum spark, with big "L"s on front and the back, going around Worli sea face early in the mornings, that's me!

Experts out there, please feel free to comment on the car, the colour, the price I paid, the accessories and the prices I paid for them! Would be quite
helpful for me to understand whether I was right in my approach to buying the car.

Thanks to all Team-BHPians. Hope to become a regular member on this forum; share my experiences and gain immensely from other members' experiences!
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Old 28th September 2009, 16:24   #2
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First of all Keviv. Congrats on your buy. I am sure this car will bring lot of joy in your life. Its a bargain at this price. A.S.S should not be a problem and gm wont go bankrupt anyways now. They are clearing off some of the brand names from there umbrella and that would give them more time to get things in order and government bailout is always a possibility in case gm needs it. So Enjoy the ride without bothering alot . Gm A.S.S is not that bad at all actually.

Since you are not confident on your driving. Take her for a early morning walk when traffic is minimal everyday and you should be good to go in a month`s time.

Last edited by frown : 28th September 2009 at 16:26. Reason: typo error
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Old 28th September 2009, 17:35   #3
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Congrats keviv!!
Your new car shall surely SPARKle up your life

Driving on slope actually does require half clutching ! (which I am pathetic in!)

My 2 cents:

Don't be so sure that you can pass this car as a hand-me-down to your fiancée /future wife- you are gonna buy a spanking new car for her and keep using your spark when the time for a new car comes ! trust me!
(now take this as a joke would you? after that Sashi Tharoor vs twitter episode I stay real far from making tongue in cheek comments - especially on public forum!)

Also, get fog lamps and if possible a good loud horn for that 2.5K.

Happy motoring!
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Old 28th September 2009, 17:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Congrats keviv!!
Your new car shall surely SPARKle up your life

Driving on slope actually does require half clutching ! (which I am pathetic in!)

My 2 cents:

Don't be so sure that you can pass this car as a hand-me-down to your fiancée /future wife- you are gonna buy a spanking new car for her and keep using your spark when the time for a new car comes ! trust me!
(now take this as a joke would you? after that Sashi Tharoor vs twitter episode I stay real far from making tongue in cheek comments - especially on public forum!)

Also, get fog lamps and if possible a good loud horn for that 2.5K.

Happy motoring!
Look who is talking of clutches ! An AT owner!!

Just kidding !

Last edited by ampere : 28th September 2009 at 17:52.
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Old 28th September 2009, 18:00   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ampere View Post
Look who is talking of clutches ! An AT owner!!

Just kidding !
Hey - I gave my caveat right . I said I am pathetic with M/T cars on slope and in the city!
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Old 28th September 2009, 18:08   #6
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Keviv, congrats on getting a new a sparky. Spark is a wonderful car that has evolved since the matriz days. GM is going to launch another refreshed (re-engineed) version of spark next year. But this spark is ture VFM. Congrats, some pics would surely do justice to your wonderful writeup.

Thanks, Arun
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Old 28th September 2009, 19:45   #7
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Congrats on the Spark. Even I was looking for the same for my dad. The only deterrent is that both the show room and service centre are quite far from the house, while the Maruti guy is next door !

Last edited by ampere : 28th September 2009 at 19:48.
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Old 28th September 2009, 20:09   #8
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Keviv, Congrats!!! Spark is a real VFM car. I have been driving one for almost 2 years now, and have had no issues with it. Don't worry about the 1st and the reverse gears. I too faced problems with them initially but are now butter smooth. Enjoy your car.
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Old 29th September 2009, 07:59   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
(now take this as a joke would you? after that Sashi Tharoor vs twitter episode I stay real far from making tongue in cheek comments - especially on public forum!)

Happy motoring!
A joke will always be taken as a joke from my side! To add to it, what you said was not entirely a joke. Had a grain of truth. Idea of hands-me-down car for the better half might backfire

Quote:
Originally Posted by MutantX View Post
Keviv, congrats on getting a new a sparky. Spark is a wonderful car that has evolved since the matriz days. GM is going to launch another refreshed (re-engineed) version of spark next year. But this spark is ture VFM. Congrats, some pics would surely do justice to your wonderful writeup.
Clicked some pics a while back after my daily dose of driving. Here they are!
Attached Thumbnails
Added a "Spark" to my life-dsc01786.jpg  

Added a "Spark" to my life-dsc01788.jpg  

Added a "Spark" to my life-dsc01791.jpg  

Added a "Spark" to my life-dsc01789.jpg  

Added a "Spark" to my life-dsc01790.jpg  

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Old 29th September 2009, 14:08   #10
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Congrats Keviv on your new car. I got my Spark LT last month, so far its completed around 600KM. As you mentioned Slotting in first and reverse gear is bit tough for me even today, Hope it improves soon. Engine is super smooth that's what I like about Spark you cannot even make out that its running even windows are rolled down. Did you recrank it again and again....!!!! happened to me lot in the beginning.

and I see you kept ganesha idol on top of center console. Is it obstructing your visibility?. I kept on near RH speaker area

Last edited by Latheesh : 29th September 2009 at 14:13.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:17   #11
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Nice post. congrats on a lovely car. The price your paid is just right, so you certainly were not ripped off. I noticed that you did not mention if you took a loan or not. How about that? Did you make the entire payment or took a loan for some amount? Just wanted to know interest rates / downpayment etc if you did.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:18   #12
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Youve added Spark to your life.

Congratulations on your first car. The feeling of a long time dream coming true is special . Good call on the light colour shade. Scratches should be less visible. I like the interiors too.

Apart from from the L sticker, how about adding a Team BHP sticker as well?

Drive Safe.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:31   #13
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Hey why don't you get a nice cover for the car since you have cash to spare? Since you'r parking outside, it will be exposed to the elements whereas a good cover will keep it going through rain or shine.
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Old 29th September 2009, 14:42   #14
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Hey congrats !!!! It sure is raining Sparks here. I got mine just last month and finished its first reassurance service. I am sure you will be very happy with your purchase. Enjoy your drive.
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Old 29th September 2009, 17:52   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Latheesh View Post
and I see you kept ganesha idol on top of center console. Is it obstructing your visibility?. I kept on near RH speaker area
Thanks Latheesh.

Yup. The idol is kind of distracting. And it is little bigger than what I would have preferred. Might shift it eventually to one of the sides.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takumi-san View Post
Did you make the entire payment or took a loan for some amount? Just wanted to know interest rates / downpayment etc if you did.
Thanks Takumi-San.

I made the entire payment. Did not go for a loan. Did not even enquire about one. So have no gyaan on interest rates and other terms and conditions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Apart from from the L sticker, how about adding a Team BHP sticker as well?
Thanks Dippy.

Yup. I have planned to get the stickers. Will do that soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
Hey why don't you get a nice cover for the car since you have cash to spare
Read somewhere on T-BHP (and I tend to agree to that) is that a cover will be cumbersome and might adversely affect the car in terms of corrosion, when it gets wet during rains. But yeah, I am considering it. There is absolutely no protection for the car and I see all sorts of dust, dirt and bird droppings every day on it :(
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