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Old 10th November 2009, 09:09   #1
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Default My new Sea grey Ford Fiesta 1.6SXI

I finally took delivery of my new Ford Fiesta 1.6SXI last Saturday. It has been a long journey that started way back in 2004 when having come back from Australia, my wife and I were deciding on a car. In those days, I was posted at Mangalore and our options were a little limited due to the limited number of dealerships. Having owned the original Santro earlier, I was set on buying a C segment car and had almost finalized on the Baleno which had just been relaunched. Somehow, I allowed myself to be talked out of it by one of my “friends” who convinced me that the cost of ownership and service would be too high. We finally ended up buying a Santro Xing. I have no complaints with the Santro, but whenever we go on a highway trip, I think wistfully about how much better it would have been in a Baleno.

Anyway, cut forward a few years. In that time, a lot has changed. With the arrival of a second child, we feel the need for a larger car, especially for outstation trips. I wasn’t too particular about it being a sedan or large hatch. So, I set about looking for various options in the 6-8l bracket. The cars I shortlisted were

1.Hyundai i20
2.Fiat Grande Punto
3.Honda City
4.Maruti SX4

The first one to be eliminated was the City. It was way outside my budget. I didn’t even want to take a test drive, because I know that none of the other cars would match up in terms of performance or refinement and having tasted the unattainable fruit, I would always be thinking of what I was missing by not buying the City. Maybe at some other time, but right now the big H was out of reach.

I test drove the i20 twice. I loved its looks and the general interior quality. But the power and performance of the 1.2 l engine was disappointing. With 3 of us on board, it struggled with the acceleration. This was addressed to some extent with the diesel, but I wanted a petrol engine, as the premium for a diesel engine was way too high. They do have a 1.4l petrol version, but it only comes with the automatic transmission. So, the i20 was out as well.

Next up was the Grande Punto. I had a lot of expectations from this car. When I saw it in person, it was a disappointment. The interior space was limited and I felt that the quality of the interiors was not up to the mark. I test drove it right after launch, so the time in it was limited, but even in a brief drive, it made a very good impression. But, the quality and relative lack of space was a definite deal-killer. While at the Fiat-Tata showroom, I briefly looked at the Linea, but having read enough reports on how the 1.4 petrol was underpowered, I decided to hold on for the 1.6 launch.

The final car that I test drove was the SX4. I was extremely happy with the car, it looked good, handled well, had adequate power, good ground clearance etc. Then I learnt that a facelift was imminent and decided to wait it out.
I’d left out a few cars from my list for a number of reasons
Indica Vista: space inside was massive, but boot was too small, plus there was no version with airbags. I wasn't very happy with the interior quality as well
Swift Zxi: never liked the looks of the car
Aveo: one of my favourite cars lookswise, but again airbags were not available.
Fiesta: felt that it was a little too small, not much of an upgrade space wise from Santro.

So, there I was in September, without a car and in waiting mode. Waiting for the new SX4 to be launched. Then I met a friend of my wife, who’d come over with his family. I knew that he had bought a petrol Fiesta a couple of months back and was curious to find out the thinking behind his decision. I went down to have a dekko at his car. The cabin did look small, but seemed big enough for my needs. I then took the car for a small drive and was bowled over by its power (though I couldn’t really test it out as it was in the running in period) as well as its poise on the road (or what remains of it in HSR Layout). Then came the clincher, he said that as employees of a Ford supplier, he and my wife were eligible for special supplier pricing, which was almost 70K less than the regular price.

That piqued my interest and I decided to explore more. I started out naturally at my favourite automobile site team-bhp and found a world of really passionate enthusiasts who were totally in love with the Fiesta. I then called Lathangi Motors for a test drive. I took a 15 km drive through the ORR and some of the service roads and came back totally impressed. This was followed by another round of test drive, this time with my wife and daughter and they just loved the interiors of the SXI. Ultimately, everyone was onboard that it was a good buy.

But there was still the decision on whether to go with this or wait for the SX4 to be launched and then decide. I thought about it a little bit and felt that it was just a case of putting off the decision. They were not comparable pricewise (SX4 is 8.6L OTR, I was getting Fiesta SXI for 7.5L OTR), plus SX4 would likely be even more expensive when it is relaunched. So, the Fiesta it was, a decision made not just with the heart but with the head as well.

What I liked about the car
- Looks (some may say that Fiesta looks dated, but it has a classic feel to it, especially side on, it looks very proportionate unlike other cars in its segment
- Engine power, extremely responsive
- Ride, felt really composed over the bumpy HSR roads
- Handling
- Interiors on the SXI, those leather seats are awesome
- Loaded with airbags, ABS, chrome everything

Things that could be better
- ICE, having got used to USB/Bluetooth on my current setup, it is like going 2 years into the past. Still the sound quality is good
- Glove box space felt a little small, but I’ll know only after sustained use
- No dead pedal

Totally dissatisfied with
- Indicators, why they are on the left in a made-for-India car is beyond me
- Chrome side view mirrors (ugh)

I booked the car on Oct 12, expecting to get delivery in 2 weeks time. It was a tough choice on the colour, the white (taxi), silver (already had a silver Santro), platinum (the most common colour), morello (purplish tinge)today, red (too bright) and black (tough to maintain) were eliminated and I went for the sea grey having never seen a car in the colour. The delivery took a little longer than expected and I finally got it on Oct 7.

The car has got a little dirty with all the rains that we have been having in Bangalore recently, so I will post pictures after a through cleaning.

Some other facts
Freebies: floor mats, mud flaps, small Ganesha
Loan: got it from HDFC Bank at 9.68% pa interest
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:14   #2
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Congrats jaganm,

The interior is very lively and up market with leather seats and wooden console and it's a Driver's car too.
Try to add some photos.seems the color is new one for me.
Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:57   #3
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Congrats Jaganm and welcome to ever growing Fiesta club. Well written shortlist process, wish you many many happy miles.
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Old 10th November 2009, 09:59   #4
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So, another fiesta - seems some typo in your last paragraph,
you said booked on 12th oct and took delivery on 7th oct - I presume 7th nov?
Sea grey colour - not seen so far. So please post some pictures soon
Congratulations - you will definitely enjoy the car.
Cheers!
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Old 10th November 2009, 10:04   #5
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Jagan, congrats on your new car. Please post some pics. I have not seen too many sea greys on the road. Another issue with the indicators is that you can hardly see the blinkers in daylight. You can hear only the beep beep noise.

Did you get the 70k supplier discount as well?

Nair: Please do the honors of including jaganm in the Fiesta Hall of Fame.

Last edited by Gilead : 10th November 2009 at 10:09.
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Old 10th November 2009, 10:50   #6
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You got Sea Grey colour, My dealer here says that colour has been discontinued, I will have to ask him again to check.

Please post some pics of this colour.
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Old 10th November 2009, 10:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gilead View Post
Jagan, congrats on your new car. Please post some pics. I have not seen too many sea greys on the road. Another issue with the indicators is that you can hardly see the blinkers in daylight. You can hear only the beep beep noise.

Did you get the 70k supplier discount as well?

Nair: Please do the honors of including jaganm in the Fiesta Hall of Fame.
+
Yes, checked and his name is already there in the list
thanks
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Old 10th November 2009, 11:02   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
+
Yes, checked and his name is already there in the list
thanks
Lets get that list upgraded to version 2 by adding the model / version info against each name, I will try to find that information and will provide complete list.
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Old 10th November 2009, 11:12   #9
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Congrats for your new car. Sea Grey - I liked the colour, seen a few on on road. Has an understated elegance to it.
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Old 10th November 2009, 11:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBeastFieast View Post
Lets get that list upgraded to version 2 by adding the model / version info against each name, I will try to find that information and will provide complete list.
+

Yes,good-just carry on and prepare the list.
Frankmehta started the listing of names (prsume he is not keeping well),
and then I have updated so far.
Cheers
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Old 10th November 2009, 12:08   #11
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sea grey color - wow. seems the first car of this color on Tbhp

Pls post some pics jaganm. and happy driving her...
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Old 10th November 2009, 12:57   #12
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Congrats on the buy. Did you had any idea of Fiesta-S while purchasing?
Pls add a spoiler to it. Looks very good.
Different color.stand out of the crowd. PICS please.
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Old 10th November 2009, 13:33   #13
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Congrats Jagan !!! Sea grey is a newly introduced colour right ? I am curious to see how it looks. Enjoy the drive and keep revving !!
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Old 10th November 2009, 15:36   #14
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Congrats Jaganm, enjoy your car. Agree with you on the chrome mirrors though. Clean up your car and post pictures soon, maybe in the rains itself. Grey looks great with water.
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Old 10th November 2009, 17:47   #15
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Kudos Jaganm,

A very well written report clearly indicating your state-of-mind influencing your buying decision. Fiesta SXI is a good choice and yes, it is a shade smaller than SX4, but as you drive most of the time, you would not find much of a difference.

Enjoy your ride and drive safe.
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