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Old 19th October 2009, 13:51   #1
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The smell of a new car is next only to the scent of a new woman, and my senses are overwhelmed right now. After a long and frustrating wait, "Silver Rocket" has finally touched down in my garage! It was not love at first sight, mind you. The first time I had seen her, I did not like the way she looked from the front. Although I did admire what lied under her hood, but as they say, "with great power comes great responsibility", and she had a reputation of being very irresponsible. That turned me off. Days went by and I started to grow restless for a new car. Having driven one of the cult small cars of its time, the Maruti Suzuki Zen Vxi, and being madly driven by BHP, I had decided one thing in my mind, "My next car will be a 100 BHP car, no less." But with a growing family, and increasing driving distances, a petrol 100 BHP sedan was looking like an expensive affair. That's when I decided to take it to the next level and check her out.

I had heard that she has had a little makeover and did not look so bad now. And to top it all, she had become a little more responsible now too. So I walked into the showroom to check her out. That's when I fell in love with her. The beautifully sculpted face with the chrome garnish took my breath away, she had turned into a looker! I walked around her and couldn't help noticing her sleek waistline, accentuated again, with a chrome strip. The shiny feet and chunky shoes she was wearing gave her a stunning stance. I checked out her rear and my jaw dropped! The badging was a dead giveaway, "She has ABS now, that's why she behaves more responsibly!" A quick check revealed that she also had disc brakes all around. "All round discs and ABS", I thought, no wonder she appealed to the "safety first" family guy in me. I was grinning from ear to ear. I did not know she had all this in her. I asked to take her out for a spin. As I eased into her lap (seats), I felt a feeling of luxury I had not experienced before. She was comfort personified! The beige interiors and the wooden garnish enticed me with their feel. The instrument cluster had everything that I wanted, including a tachometer, a trip computer, a distance to empty (DTE) display and an outside temperature display. The rear seats were huge and comfortable. The center armrest folded in flush with the back and not protruding as was the case in a lot of other sedans. As I gripped her chunky leather wrapped steering, I could already feel the power that lay underneath the hood.

I slipped in the key and turned the ignition. She purred to life with such elan, I was taken aback! I could not believe that a diesel sipper could be so silent. I grabbed her knob and slotted her into gear. As I pulled away, I felt the restless power, yet was amazed by the smooth pick-up she displayed. As I slotted her into 2nd and pressed the throttle, she started pulling away like a woman possessed. I was taken aback and had to ease the throttle. I now realized what she was capable of. Slowly I took control again, pointed her in the right direction and pressed the throttle. She immediately took my cue and zoomed ahead. When I put her in 3rd gear, she was all primed up and ready to please. I decided to show her who was in control and stepped on it. She started pulling like a freight train and I was stuck back to the seat, enjoying the wild ride! I threw her around corners and though I had to get used to the understeer, I quickly got hang of it and was making her do exactly as I wanted. Soon I was in top gear and already reaching the next level, doing 110 kmph on the first date. That's when it hit me. What if she has not mended her ways? If I ask her to stop now, will she obey? Or will she refuse to stay in line and misbehave and dissapoint as she used to before? There was only one way to find out. I hit the brakes as hard as I could bring myself to. She did not dissapoint at all. She stopped in a straight line, no antics. I was reassured. The ABS and all round disc brakes did their job well. I decided to overlook the fact that she still did not have a Supplementary Restraint System (read SRS Airbags) to go with the seatbelts. But she had already won me over. I decided then and there that I was bringing her home. As I parked her back in the showroom, I decided to put down a booking amount and start the formalities to bring her home.

That's when I found out a very important detail about her. She was the last of her kind. Her makers had silently omitted the rear discs and replaced them with drums in all top end versions. Although the ABS was there to help, still the tight bite and the secure braking that the all round discs had, was missing in the newer cars. I asked the dealer to put her away safely and not allow anyone else to take her out. She was mine, and either I would have her or I would have no car at all. The dealer understood, and thus started the long wait to complete the finance formalities. I wanted to bring her home on Dusshera as it was an auspicious day. But the banker to Tagore, Rajendra Prasad and other great people had other ideas. They wanted me to realize that they were doing me a great honor by agreeing to finance my car and that all good things only come to people who can wait endlessly. A day before Dusshera, my case was finally cleared, but the brown banking sahib who was to sign my fate decided to go home and start the whole 'victory of good over evil' celebrations a little early in the afternoon. Translation: "My Silver Rocket was probably not coming home as soon I wished". I quickly called the dealer and explained to him that my loan was approved in principal and the sanction letter was ready, but the burra sahib had not yet done the formality of signing it. The dealer called the banker to the nation and he confirmed the fact that my loan had indeed been approved. I agreed to give the dealer a post dated cheque for the full amount, which her would return to me once the bank gave him his cheque, in return for delivering my Silver Rocket to me on Dusshera day. So after much hits and misses, my beautiful Silver Rocket finally came home on Dusshera day.

I have driven her about 500 kms now, and she is still revealing herself to me everyday. Her road manners are impeccable. She satisfies my passion for power whenever I ask her to and yet she is quite the frugal family type. The trip computer shows an economy of 18 kmpl, but she actually did 17.5 kmpl on the first fill. The second fill is turning out to be even better and I expect her to return 18.5 kmpl this time. "18 kmpl? that too for a Diesel! I can hear the cash coffers jingling already! I am going to be rich beyond dreams! OK, OK, not rich, but atleast I will be saving a lot. The Variable Geometry turbo (VGT) is the secret to the raw power yet frugal nature of the 1.5 CRDi motor. The wife loves her too, and is not at all jealous of her. She loves the chrome accents, the beige interiors and the rocking music system. The best part that she loves about the Kenwood is the full size remote that she can command from the comfort of the rear seat. I spent close to 18K trying to improve the sound in my Zen, but still could not achieve the SQ delivered by the Kenwood 6 speaker and Double DIN system that she came with. My daughter has a new playground now, the Verna's rear seats, that she has all to herself. On day one,she decided that the center armrest was a rock on which all mermaids (which she thinks she is) should sit and look out for Prince Eric. After a lot of convincing and finally concealing the center armrest with Zip covers that came with the new seat covers, she has now made peace with the center armrest. The boot is decent and comes with a smart luggage net that you can use to organize your luggage. Under the boot is a full sized alloy wheel with the same 185/65 Bridgestone footwear that she runs on. A lot of other sedans skimp here and only provide a steel rim for the spare wheel. The factory integrated keyless entry and security system is good. I only wish they would have placed the button on the face of the key, instead of putting it on the side of the key. The cabin lights come on automatically when you press the unlock button on the key, and you can easily locate her in the night from a distance in a crowded car park. They stay on for 30 seconds and go off theater dimmer style, when you turn the key in the ignition. If you do not open any door for 30 seconds the doors will automatically lock again. Cool!

The glove box is a little small, but that is compensated by the numerous cubby holes and door pockets all around. All four doors have bottle holders, and there are two cup holders up front and a huge cup/bottle holder for the rear passengers. The soft touch sunglasses holder, the ticket holders and covered vanity mirrors are small but convenient touches. The electrically operated OVRM's are a pleasure to use and fun to play with! But a big omission is backlighting on the window buttons. Only the central locking button is backlit, and you have to struggle to find the buttons to roll down the windows at night. The Climate Control system is amazing. I just set the temperature to 23 degrees and it automatically adjusts everything, including the blower speed to chill the cabin quickly. Once the cabin is cooled to 23 degrees, it automatically lowers the blower speed to the lowest to maintain that temperature. The compressor cuts off when the desired temperature is reached and comes back on when cooling is reduced. I dont have to do anything once I have set the desired temperature. Saying that the AC is chilling is an understatement. I once set it to 19 degrees and it chilled my bones stiff. Even the rear passengers asked to raise the temperature to 23 degrees again. The V-Kool sunfilm that I had installed on all windows, rear glass and the windshield helps too. It just cuts off all UV radiaton and the interior remains much cooler even when parked under the hot sun.

I will be updating this thread as my relationship with "Silver Rocket" grows deeper and I get to know her better and better. All her good qualities and bad ones too, will be documented. For now, enjoy her first photo shoot; you are allowed to drool! Last and not the least, thanks to all Team-BHP'ians who helped me decide to take the plunge. You can read all about it in the What Car section here (100 BHP+ Diesel Sedan under 10 lakhs - Booked Verna CRDI SX (ABS), now under 9 lakhs).

Here are the technical details for those who are interested:

Technical


Engine: 1.5 liter CRDi Diesel with Variable Geometry TGurbocharger
Power: 110 BHP, 240 Nm Torque
Brakes: All round Discs with ABS
Tyres: All 5 tyres 185/65 Bridgestone Tubeless on 14" Alloys

Comfort and Convenience

Fully Automatic Climate Control
Keyless Entry with Anti Theft System
Kenwood Double DIN MP3 player with Kenwood 6 Speaker System (with Remote)
Height Adjustable Driver's seat
Driver's Armrest
Center Armresrt with Cup holders for rear seats
Electrically Operated OVRM's... etc.


Moderator's Note: Please do not post back to back posts. If posting within 20 minutes, please edit the previous post. Thank You.
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Last edited by Eddy : 19th October 2009 at 15:30. Reason: Note Inline
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Old 19th October 2009, 14:23   #2
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Congratulations on your new CAR !!

I can feel your enthusiasm emanating from my computer screen.

I have driven a Verna CRDi once and was smitten by the sheer manner in which she pulls forward. Its like traveling in a locomotive.

I would have purchased one myself. If it had Airbags (At least as options).

But anyways congrats once again, wishing you a very Happy & Safe motoring experience.
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Old 19th October 2009, 14:46   #3
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Congratulations on your buy!

Couple of things - are you sure its all round discs? There is a big discussion going on the forum about the new verna's coming with rear drums.

Secondly, please upgrade to 195 tires. I shifted to the 195/60/r14 michelin xm1+ and I realized what I had missed out on during the first 1 year of ownership with the 185s. The comfort levels and ride quality, not to mention handling improves by an amount I cant even describe. You feel much more safe driving the car more than anything else.

Hope you have a long and enjoyable relationship with your new beauty. The verna really is a wonderful car. Drive safe.
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Old 19th October 2009, 14:55   #4
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Congrats on your silver beast!
I was also contemplating the crdi A/T verna but settled for i10 due to tight budget and tight parking slot!
Drive safe and continue posting.
Also, I have the EXACT same footmat as yours!
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Old 19th October 2009, 15:35   #5
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Thanks Sid, Maglev and pras.oct25.

pras.oct25, my Verna SX indeed came with rear discs. The car is manufactured in August and was in the dealer's stockyard for more than a month as the top end SX version does not move as fast as the lower end version. I am lucky to have laid my hands upon one of the last Verna to ship with rear discs. See pic below:
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Old 20th October 2009, 10:41   #6
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Your are very lucky to lay your hands on the one with all round disc.
Pls upgrade your shoes as soon as possible.It would be more stable on high speed.

Congrats.
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Old 20th October 2009, 10:49   #7
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Congrats on the Verna! That's an absolute stonker of a diesel engine. Best part with driving diesels hard is that the FE is not as severely affected as with high-revving a petrol.

Out of curiousity, did you consider the automatic Verna at all?

Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
I threw her around corners and though I had to get used to the understeer, I quickly got hang of it and was making her do exactly as I wanted.
You'd do well in upgrading the tyres; they will noticably enhance the Verna's dynamics. As your tyres are nearly new, you'll get the best exchange price right now.

Quote:
The Climate Control system is amazing. I just set the temperature to 23 degrees and it automatically adjusts everything, including the blower speed to chill the cabin quickly.
Hyundai's airconditioners, for some reason, are known chillers.
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Old 20th October 2009, 10:55   #8
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Hi,
I bought one this month beginning. Unlucky me, its with back drum brakes.

Are you planning to do something with the stereo, I feel the SQ is bad, compared to a good aftermarket fitments.
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Old 20th October 2009, 11:41   #9
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Congratulations enjoy the rocket Btw nice seat covers!
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Old 20th October 2009, 14:57   #10
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Good write up, great car and not to mention your interaction with Banker to every Indian was indeed humorous !
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Old 20th October 2009, 15:56   #11
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Congrats on the new ride! Upgrade the tires
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Old 20th October 2009, 16:20   #12
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Congrats!

And one of the most refreshing write-ups on initial ownership of a car!
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Old 20th October 2009, 16:44   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Best part with driving diesels hard is that the FE is not as severely affected as with high-revving a petrol.

Out of curiousity, did you consider the automatic Verna at all?

You'd do well in upgrading the tyres; they will noticably enhance the Verna's dynamics. As your tyres are nearly new, you'll get the best exchange price right now.

Hyundai's airconditioners, for some reason, are known chillers.

I am surprised by the FE too, inspite of driving her hard, I still did not notice a huge drop in FE (atleast that's what the DTE suggests).

I did not consider the Auto Verna, as I prefer manual shift, and Nagpur is still one of those cities with good and un-congested roads where you can enjoy a powerful sedan and not get caught in bumper to bumper traffic.

I will explore the tyre upgrade option, although I do not put the car in extreme handling situations. And Nagpur's market is not so aggressive as in the metros, so I doubt that I will get a god price in exchange. What should I get for the Bridgestone 185/65's?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aZa
Congratulations enjoy the rocket Btw nice seat covers
I too like the fabric/false leather combo seat covers. The sweat areas like the middle of the back and the seat are fabric, so it remains cool, and the rest is false leather, so it does not attract dust and is easy to clean.


Quote:
Originally Posted by manish.thomas
Are you planning to do something with the stereo, I feel the SQ is bad, compared to a good aftermarket fitments.
Manish, I am quite satisfied with the SQ. If you want to upgrade, I suggest you start with upgrading the rear speakers to JBL. If you are looking for more bass, you can add a 4 channel amp to power the rear speakers AND install a sub in the boot. The stock Kenwood HU itself is good, and does not need an upgrade IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mustang29
Good write up, great car and not to mention your interaction with Banker to every Indian was indeed humorous !

Thanks, it is funny in hindsight, but it was not so funny when I was going through the situation. Anyway, as they say, "all's well that ends well" :-)

Last edited by newcoolgadgets : 20th October 2009 at 17:01.
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Old 20th October 2009, 17:03   #14
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Congrats on your new car. Nice Car. Pity, Hyundai is not offering Airbags. Tried the Automatic Version?
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Old 20th October 2009, 17:18   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sarvodaya View Post
Pity, Hyundai is not offering Airbags. Tried the Automatic Version?
I too feel let down by Hyundai for skipping on the Airbags. If you care to look at photo no. 6 above, the instrument cluster clearly shows the presence of an Airbag light, that has been disabled. Even the glove box is very small, obviously to make space for the passenger Airbag. How much would it have cost Hyundai to install the Airbags when everything else, including the space for them is already there?

I for one would have gladly paid a little extra to have Airbags. Sarvodaya, I did not try the auto as I wanted a manual.
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