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Old 23rd April 2010, 11:47   #1
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Default Buying a Tata (Indica Vista Aura ABS) -Leap of Faith

It was inevitable. Time to bid goodbye to my beloved ‘Silver Dart’ – Maruti 800 AC (2006 December) with aftermarket LPG Kit (Lovato). She had served me exceptionally well for more than three years without a squeak or groan in three cities (Hyderabad, Chennai and Mumbai) as I got transferred and moved up the corporate ladder. My daughter had now started complaining of the discomfort in the back seat on out of town trips and switching the AC off (for power) in Mumbai’s bumper to bumper traffic and inclines in hot-humid weather was getting tiresome for me. But the bond between man and faithful machine takes time to break. I resisted for eight months, begged my wife to learn driving so that I could still have an excuse to retain my Silver Dart as a second car. But my wife’s reluctance to drive in Mumbai and parking space constraints forced the decision – there was no way I would park her on the road and let the dogs piss on her or the urchins scrawl on her impeccably maintained body. She had to go.

But which car would I choose to replace my Silver Dart ? It had to be a hatchback, I couldn’t afford a ‘proper’ sedan. Lower end sedans in the market are just hatches with a boot. Moreover, it never made sense to me – lugging extra weight in the form of a boot you’d rarely use. I had to think about parking space too.

My daily commute is about sixty kilometers with some trips to Pune thrown in. I love to drive and wanted to go on occasional longer trips but the Maruti 800 isn’t exactly the most comfortable car to do a Mumbai to Goa trip. So diesel seemed sensible option.

My requirements were comfort, space, fuel efficiency, reliable performance and reasonable *** and network and ABS was a must have on Mumbai’s slippery monsoon roads.

After a lot of surfing, reading reviews on Team BHP and I shortlisted the Maruti Swift VDI ABS, Ford Figo Diesel Titanium and the Indica Vista Quadrajet Aura ABS – the Punto Diesel was beyond my budget.

I test drove the Vista QJD first. True to what members on Team BHP had described, the space was humongous, comfort was great, looks not so great, fit and finish disappointing. The ICE was pretty bad. I’d read on this forum that the boot space is too small – actually I thought it was pretty decent, comparable to the swift – enough for a family of three and an extra passenger. I think four large soft bags would fit in – that’s not too bad. The engine seemed refined enough and the damping quite good. I’d also seen on the Manza what a breathtaking difference a tuning kit would make to the performance of this engine.

I moved on to the Swift VDI ABS and was immediately put off by the uncomfortable seats, including the drivers seat. Leg space in the rear is terrible. The engine however feels quite peppy. The suspension is too hard for my liking and the car I test drove was old and had the classic Maruti rattle of body parts. I think they should copyright the rattle..my 3.5 years old Maruti 800 produced the same rattling sound. The swift was quickly off my list ( but I must add that the petrol swift I test drove –just for kicks – has a great engine – very very impressed).

Next on the list was the Ford Figo Diesel Titanium. A very good package. Looks good, decent space, good pick up. The diesel engine felt a little noisy and much less refined than the Fiat QJD in the Swift and the Vista. My hunch is that the aged Figo Diesel engine is a stop gap arrangement – borrowed from the Fiesta. I’ll bet they will replace the engine shortly. Was also disappointed they have the ABS only in the top end Titanium.

For their *** and network and my previous experience with a Maruti 800, I would have blindly gone for a Maruti-Suzuki but they didn’t have a suitable product. Tata scored over Ford on this count. Ford have announced that they’ll expand their network, but I reckon it won’t happen that soon. I wouldn’t want to be stuck somewhere on the west coast with no Ford support for hundreds of miles.

Tata’s notoriety on the bad *** and build quality front was nagging me incessantly, but they scored over Ford on service network. A few friends who drive Tata vehicles assured me the quality has improved. The Vista QJD ABS had the best package on offer in that price range. The only negative for Tata was the perception of bad ***. I am not very much into ‘image’ – I just stick to hard facts. I’ve heard snide remarks against the Tata “Chee – Taxi”. I have only one answer for these people. If you’re looking to flaunt your money do it properly – with a Toyota Camry or Skoda Superb at least. If you can’t afford that, at least don’t try to “show off” your economy sedans as is they were worth flaunting.

The substantial difference between the price of the Ford Figo Titanium and the Indica Vista QJD Aura ABS in Mumbai (including discounts) is about sixty four thousand rupees. I calculated that as about two years worth of Diesel..too good to ignore. That was probably the clincher. If Ford officials are reading this, I’d like to say I’d have gone for the Ford Figo if they had the ABS in the lower versions – safety should be affordable and not a luxury.

So I decided to take a leap of faith and opt for the Indica Vista QJD Aura ABS and booked it (silver again. My wife and kid gave me a wide choice; any colour as long as it is silver). I’ve parted with my beloved Maruti 800 after driving her back to Hyderabad where she was registered ( posted in the Travelogue section “Mumbai to Hyderabad in a Maruti 800”). I’ll miss her.

Just got delivery of the Vista from Wasan Motors-Borivli. Looking forward to a new love affair with my Vista Aura ABS.

I recalled a few lines from the song ‘Clementine’ – “How I missed her, how I missed her, how I missed my Clementine ; so I kissed her little sister and forgot my Clementine”.

Initial ownership report and photos will follow shortly.

Last edited by bblost : 23rd April 2010 at 12:39. Reason: Font Tags Removed, Please do not copy paste from any editor except notepad. Thanks
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Old 23rd April 2010, 12:47   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain.Goat View Post
... at least don’t try to “show off” your economy sedans as is they were worth flaunting...
Oops that hurt...

Congrats on Vists QJD!!!
Do post initial impressions & pictures of "Silver Dart Part Deux".
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Old 23rd April 2010, 13:48   #3
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Congrats on the Vista QJD. Enjoy many more miles on the Vista. On the Color of the car LOL

The VFM hatch just got better with the inclusion of the Airbags and ABS.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 14:24   #4
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Congrats.
Is it the new QJD BSIV with EuroTech gear box?
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Old 23rd April 2010, 14:28   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mountain.Goat View Post
think they should copyright the rattle.



Well said.

Oh and congrats for the new car. Also, its the same bond I had with the ,97 m800 that I could not sell it off and it clocked just 600kms in last 4 years. Finally I decided to let go of it. Of course, with a very heavy heart.



Regards.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 15:32   #6
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Heart felt write up and made for a good read!

Congrats on the Vista QJD... Happy mile munching!!

And the customary pics please.
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Old 23rd April 2010, 17:44   #7
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Nice write up! Congrats and please post some ext/int pics, dealer and initial drive experience
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Old 23rd April 2010, 18:21   #8
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@Mountain.Goat, Congrats and condolences at the same time for your Decision!! But Im sure your "New Found Love" should not dissappoint you

COULDN'T AGREE MORE WITH YOUR WORDS "safety should be affordable and not a luxury" !!

FORGET FORD, ALL THE CAR MANFACTURERS....WAKE UP!!
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Old 4th May 2010, 23:35   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pb10gagan View Post
Congrats.
Is it the new QJD BSIV with EuroTech gear box?
No. It's the Euro III version. Missed the Euro IV by a week or so. Is the new gearbox a great improvement?

After having done about 600 Kms, I suppose an Initial ownership report is due. So here goes. Most of my 600 Kms have been in Mumbai’s bumper to bumper traffic, with a short day trip to Alibag (about 250 Km round trip). What I find striking about the Indica Vista QJD Aura ABS is the comfort. I find it as comfortable as my boss’s Toyota Corolla Altis. No Kidding. The sound damping is wonderful and the ride comfort great with the thigh support and seat back adjustments (lumbar support and all). The space is unbelievable; you get a ‘big car’ feel in this hatch. Lots of space and comfort in the in the back seat as well. The car is quite tall and entry and exit is comfortable. This is my first diesel car, so took a little time to adjust. No more eager ‘first off the block’ approach at the signal. The start is sedate (what’s the hurry anyway? Rushing just gets you to the next signal…for another wait) but acceleration later is powerful and the ride is stress free. The air conditioner is very effective even in Mumbai’s summer heat. Any of the famous TATA niggles yet? None whatsoever – touch wood. Managed to mate my Nokia E71 to the stereo with the Bluetooth. Works very well. Now to the negatives. The suspension makes strange creaking sounds sometimes – can be heard in the silence of my stilt parking space. The gears and clutch feel a little rough compared to my last car – Maruti 800.The stereo was described aptly by somebody on this forum – strictly average. Haven’t got time yet even to accessorize the car. This week end hopefully. Had some trouble on the ghat road as I did not realize I was taking a tight turn at 85Kmph. The car is so silent that you don’t get a ‘feel’ – or was it the body roll. I suppose I need a longer trip to get a better feel of the car. Because of the traffic on the Mumbai-Goa Highway and the restrictions of the run-in period, I wasn’t able to stretch the car much. That will have to wait for some time. Planning a trip into the Konkan area this month.
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Last edited by Jaggu : 4th May 2010 at 23:52. Reason: Back to back posts, use Multi Quote (Quote +) instead. Thanks
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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:56   #10
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The first nine hundred kilometres were mostly in Mumbai's bumper to
bumper traffic.As i was planning a drive into the Konkan area, i
preponed the first service and got it done at Richard Garage,
Marol-Andheri East. I was still wondering where i'd take the car for the
first servicing when i got a call from Richard Garage reminding me that
the first service would be due shortly. The Service Centre is conveniently located
close to my workplace - not much to do in the first servicing anyway as i had
had no problems to report- so i decided to give it a try.The place is a
small stand alone Tata Authorised Service Centre run by the father-son duo
of Richard and Kiran Carvalho.I found the service very efficient and the
attitude very warm.When i went to collect the car, it was coming out of
the wash area. I was surprised to see the right side headlight fogged over.
When i pointed out the same, there was immediate concern and the young'boss'
was called in to inspect. It was quickly diagnosed and set right. Had a
good chat with young Kiran, who seems to know his job well, being a
automobile engineer to boot. The experience was good and i recommend this
Service Centre.
My trip into the Konkan region and return via Ratnagiri, Ganapatipule, Guhaghar,
Chiplun, Koyna Nagar and Pune covered about 1200 km, with a lot of ghat roads and rough state highways. Not a single niggle yet - i'm becoming more confident about
the Vista QJD quality. Also the mileage was outstanding @18 Kmpl inspite
of the constant gear changing in the ghats.
There is one major concern though - the body roll. Though there was no
problem on the narrow ghat roads at @ 50 Kmph, cornering at higher speeds
@ 70-80 even on the wide ghat roads of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway was
terrifying. The car felt uncontrollable and looked like it would
topple over. The car continues to move quite fast even after you ease off
the pedal.I'm not an expert but not a newbie either, having driven
various cars over the last 25 years. I've never felt so scared taking
a turn before. Could other Vista QJD owners share their experiences in this
regard?
But on the whole, after more than 2000 km, the Indica Vista QJD ABS
continues to delight.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 12:09   #11
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Default Indica Vista QJD Aura ABS - More Happy Miles

The first nine hundred kilometres were mostly in Mumbai's bumper to bumper traffic.As i was planning a drive into the Konkan area, i preponed the first service and got it done at Richard Garage, Marol-Andheri East. I was still wondering where i'd take the car for the first servicing when i got a call from Richard Garage reminding me that the first service would be due shortly. The Service Centre is conveniently located close to my workplace - not much to do in the first servicing anyway as i had had no problems to report- so i decided to give it a try.The place is a small stand alone Tata Authorised Service Centre run by the father-son duo of Richard and Kiran Carvalho.I found the service very efficient and the attitude very warm.When i went to collect the car, it was coming out of the wash area. I was surprised to see the right side headlight fogged over.When i pointed out the same, there was immediate concern and the young'boss' was called in to inspect. It was quickly diagnosed and set right. Had a good chat with young Kiran, who seems to know his job well, being a automobile engineer to boot. The experience was good and i recommend this Service Centre.
My trip into the Konkan region and return via Ratnagiri, Ganapatipule, Guhaghar,Chiplun, Koyna Nagar and Pune covered about 1200 km, with a lot of ghat roads and rough state highways.Not a single niggle yet - i'm becoming more confident about the Vista QJD quality. The ABS is also quite good. Also the mileage was outstanding @18 Kmpl inspite of the constant gear changing in the ghats.
There is one major concern though - the body roll. Though there was no problem on the narrow ghat roads at @ 50 Kmph, cornering at higher speeds @ 70-80 even on the wide ghat roads of the Pune-Mumbai Expressway was terrifying. The car felt uncontrollable and looked like it would topple over. The car continues to move quite fast even after you ease off the pedal.I'm not an expert but not a newbie either, having driven various cars over the last 25 years. I've never felt so scared taking
a turn before. Could other Vista QJD owners share their experiences in this regard?
But on the whole, after more than 2000 km, the Indica Vista QJD ABS
continues to delight.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 12:48   #12
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Nice report there. I enjoyed reading it.

The Vista is without a shadow of a doubt one of the comfiest and spacious hatch out there.

It ticks all the marks in the VFM, Space category.

The pics are nice.

Any reason why you did not opt for the Ritz Diesel as you mentioned that you would go for a Maruti but were not so happy with the Swift.

How much OTR price did you pay ?
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Old 23rd May 2010, 20:11   #13
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Thank you Mr. Kochar. I got an OTR price of 5.64. Frankly, i did not take a test drive of the Ritz - don't remember being offered one either. Didn't like the look of the car - specially from the back when fully loaded - very awkward. Also a little miffed with the Maruti Suzuki "take it or leave it" attitude, including their reluctance to offer ABS in the lower model and small features like the bluetooth on the stereo - even in the top model (while the competition is pulling out all the stops) and also the unbelieveable 6-8 week waiting period and higher price. Wonder how they can justify a long waiting period even for the petrol version - where they're not dependant on another company's engine. I think their 'creating a shortage - therefore more demand' policy will backfire big time in the future, with others snapping at their heels. It isn't surprising to read that Suzuki is an 'also ran' in the international market - India saved them from ruin. If they ill treat their Indian customers like this, it won't be long before they become 'also ran' in India as well. Suzuki needs to pull up its socks.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 22:11   #14
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Congrats on your new car.

I understand the price you have mentioned is including discount.Can you specify what all discounts you got?
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Old 24th May 2010, 19:09   #15
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Congrats on the car! Does driving over curvy stretches or generally in traffic make you sea-sick? I'm not a Vista owner, but have not heard too much bad said about the car. All the best and write more of your mini-travelogues
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