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|3rd June 2010, 20:51||#1|
The Panther "FIGGA"
Well that’s what the first word came from my wife when I asked a name for our Black beauty 1.2 ZXI. So have now named it the “Black FIGGA” . A long story unfolds down on how I came to own our first car. People in a hurry can skip to Chapter 4, if they really need to read, strictly point wise car characteristics and observations.
Chapter 1: Y a Car!
I was happily puttering along in Bangalore traffic on my Unicorn(2nd gen, 2005 make) for close to 2 years and was quite used to the traffic here. Well to be frank getting married somehow makes a guy loose his touch with his prized 2 wheeler. Then gradually household routines turned frequent and weekly shopping trips became whole day affairs.
To add to the mess were untimely evening showers, smoke/dust filled roads, and heaps of bags to be carried around. Just married six months down these things started glaring up, when earlier I used to cared a hoot about these.
So sat over and thought about my requirements in mid Feb. My first car for primarily 2 people, occasional in-laws, a few long trips in a month, decent luggage space, practicality over performance, easy to drive and VFM certainly. No Diesel as I had estimated a max 700Kms run in a month. My office is just 1.5kms from my stay!
With a budget of around 4L(could stretch if I really needed by 50K) as I was going by the company lease plan, a few hundred more in EMI would not bother me too much.
Chapter 2: The Hunt
The choices in my mind then were Spark, Swift/Ritz, or i10 (No TATA as I hated the taxi image, Beat was out as I felt claustrophobic due to the high dashboard and enclosed rear, and punto and polo were both out due to their price tags).
I had a good share of driving on our old 98’ Omni and 99’ M800 but a newbie for newer tech equipped cars. When I went for a test drive for the above cars, I was amazed to see the ease of driving in the new modern cars. The EPS, ECU, ride comforts and the works used to make me tilt to get the first car I TD! After feeling Swift and finding it a better car (found others to be small in space and utility though i10 was close) I had the opinion that it would make the most sense for my list.
However my wife was aghast at swifts look (for her it looked like a frog from the back). I was at my wits end when the star entered in the scene. By march first-second week the Figo was launched at a cut throat pricing. I had also been reading a lot about hatchbacks in Team-BHP when I happened to go through GTO’s well covered and exhaustive review. Decided to give it a try and looked up in the website.
The car did look a bit weird in the side profile with the curvy front and slight angular lines towards the back. However looks can be deceiving and I immediately booked for a TD over the net. I did not expect my request to be taken up soon as it was a newly launched car with VFM and big car feel. But to my surprise I got a call within 4 hrs! on what model I wanted and the place where I resided. Gave the details and waited for 2 days but finally ran out of patience and went to the nearest showroom 17kms away.
Landed up at Metro Ford at 10am on a Saturday expecting the worst (one of my colleague happened to visit on Thursday and in spite of waiting 2 hrs did not get a TD, the car certainly caught curiosity amongst masses). Was pleasantly surprised to see just one couple checking out the almost empty showroom there was one sea grey titanium diesel for TD. After checking in and out the showroom display model I was very satisfied by the overall looks and interiors and utility it offered.
So time for a TD, entered the car and felt like I was entering a sedan. Since I was new to diesel, it took me some time to realize the turbo lag thingy. But the car pulled 3 of us (SP in tow) effortlessly, the road view was excellent and not like the other cars. We both made up our minds that this was it. The car looked like a big hatch and not smallish like the i10, Santro, Spark, Beat. It had a flair of non aggressiveness (I’m a calm driver) and serenity (same goes for my Unicorn too, a performer without any razzle dazzle)
Chapter 3: The Kill
With the car ticking all the checkboxes we got down to the model booking. I had in my mind that LXI was the most VFM. However seeing the audio unit, rear wipers, defoggers, body colored tid-bits, electronically controlled ORVM, cabin/boot lights, etc made me stretch out and book the ZXI. (Not gone for titanium as had already stretched my budget by 50K)
One grouse I have against manufacturers is why not give the ABS and Airbag option on all trims. I would have easily opted for LXI with these safety features then and discarded the non essential add-ons given in higher trims.
The Metro ford guy gave me an ETD of 6-7 weeks! This was in mid march and I was aware that the VAT increase is coming into effect in April. I wanted to try out some place which would give me a sooner delivery. Tried out in Lathangi ford and the experience was pleasant there as well. The guys were polite helpful and eager to show around. We did a booking for 10K then and there (3-4 weeks commited and had to go for increased VAT).
We were caught up in the TV advt. and brochure pics and opted for the signature green with black dash (did not see the green shade in Metro and Lathangi showrooms display car looked cool in it) However a week later we both had apprehensions on our color choice. Went again to the showroom and were appalled to see the green in broad daylight! (no offense to Squeeze owners please). It looked to wild for our tastes and we immediately changed the color to Black and SeaGrey(2nd option), however with the bottomline that Black dash may go for a long waiting time. I got the formalities cleared from my office and got a tentative date as 1st week of May as delivery. Waited anxiously and finally got a call on 5th telling I could come down for an inspection.
Here Team-BHP helped me a lot and I took a long printout of the PDI with me. Reached on 7th may and did an exhaustive check, we got the black color all right but with a coral dash! It was nothing much to worry about as we soon eased up to the fact that light reddish dash does not clash out with a jet black car. Maybe it even gave it a slight sporty feel (thought of Zen Carbon series!). Was satisfied and gave thumbs up for the registration. 10th was the promised delivery date.
Chapter 3: The Arrival
I gave the instruction to put 3M tints(CS series 50) on the sides and back for 2500/-. Ordered the OEM floor mats for 970/- and no mudflaps as I had read that many owners have lost them in the first few bumpers and potholes itself. Will think of some other alternatives outside. The personel told that the glasses need a day ideally to dry up properly and hence I decided that 11th would be fine for pickup.
The time decided was 4pm and we (me, wife and 2 colleagues) reached at 5. The car was brought out in the open and we did a quick check again. Infact I made the SP sit along with 4 of us and took the car out for a short spin just to see of things were ok. Immediately on return removed the show ribbons then and there, much to the amusement of the SP. Somehow the documentation took time and was almost 7:30 when we could roll out the car. In this ordeal we forgot to take the first snaps in the showroom itself. My colleagues moved out by their own vehicle.
I was extra careful to drive and was totally uptight(new virgin car, prone to scratch on first owner drive!) add to the fact a light drizzle and soon I was taking road margins as if I was in a truck! All was going well when just 3kms from the showroom, the car stalled due to no fuel!!! No number plate new car, busy working day Bangalore traffic, drizzle and being stuck on the middle of 2 lane road at 8pm causing a decent traffic jam with horns blaring all around! Total recipe for ruining the new car enthusiasm. I called up Lathangi and gave them a piece of my mind. But they were quick to respond and a service guy came over quickly with 5 ltrs petrol. I was pissed off and gave him also a session but realized that he was not directly at fault. Finally after 30 mins we were able to get on towards home. The Lathangi guys too called up later to apologise and said I would be given complimentary petrol coupons(have yet to collect).
Chapter 4: Life Onwards
Much has been said about the cars characteristics in so many other member reviews but I will put some here based on what I feel as a newbie person handling an “electronic” hatch after spending many years on “mechanical” cars.
.The car is very easy to drive with controls falling in easy reach. The road view provided is excellent and gives a more confidence inspiring ride. The rear visibility is a bit hampered by thick C pillars (could not understand why its so broad and the designers could have made it more slimmer)
.Clutch is very smooth and light (its actually butter compared to the crude omni and 800). Its actually difficult to stall the car as I think the ECU kicks in if you play haywire on the pedals. The non ECU cars on this front are very non forgiving and everything you do will show up on the drive.
.Gear change roughness on the 1st and 2nd is still evident and hope by 1st service it would smoothen out.
.EPS is very assuring as it gives a proper heaviness and road feedback (found swift/ritz and other cars to be too light and arcade style). Highway lane flicking is razor sharp and you know exactly where your car will be going.
.Suspension is soft or the long wheelbase or both are playing havoc here as I have scrapped a number of speed breakers even when travelling with only my wife and no luggage. With 5 people it’s a different story as a few breakers will touch even when going over them virtually dead slow.(missed my omni here as it was like a plane gliding over these mountains!)
.Engine power feels mighty for me upgrading from 34-37BHP cars (others might feel it is underpowered) and I feel it is very good for the city driving. Highway cruising at 100km/hr ~2500rpm is a breeze and car is stable and gives a strong hold (cruising at 80 on M800 or omni was an achievement in itself! I would be more confident riding my Unicorn at 80 than on these two)
.On diesel it might not be so obvious but I have noticed a distinct power difference when driving the petrol car with and w/o AC. With AC if you go below 1000rpm say in 2nd or 3rd gear it feels like u are lugging a truck behind you, even if you stand and dance on the accelerator. A downshift is required to pull off cleanly and without AC this feel is reduced by a good amount. I try to keep myself above the 1500 rpm mark as there is almost a pseudo pickup kick from here onwards. I have observed gearshifts at ~2K rpms are useful for a good FE.
.I do not follow the DTE or the tank full method. I follow the the simple car kms run to the liters put calculation Till date have put 60.5 liters and the car has run 704 kms with DTE showing 34. Hence in all have managed about ~12odd Km/Ltr (this is with 60/40 - city/highway runs with 60/40 – AC / w/oAC)
.Don’t know why people crib about absence of 60/40 split seats or rear PW. These features definitely should not be a deal breaker
A few negatives on this car:
.The LHD car design has literally been made to RHD for India without caring for the indicators and Bonnet levers. It’s a real pain to drive in the night when one has to make frequent pass signals(awful). The quick lane change feature affects the pass signal function and unless you are very steady, you will confuse the oncoming driver by simultaneously flashing high beam and also the Left/Right turn signals!
.They could have made USB cable a standard on the audio unit. I have been trying all external gadgets to bypass that and still trying to find a cheaper solution. (1124/- is no way coming out from my pocket for a cable) had also tried the cheap FM transmitter/Modulator which goes into 12v socket and has provision for pen drive/sd cards etc, but not happy with the reception. Hence still using the radio and my phone BT function to stream songs
.Rear windows roll down only 60% and I too wished it would have been better to see it go down more. However the glass view and roominess makes up for the deficit.
.Seat height adjuster seems to be a serious April Fools Joke! Somehow I keep fidgeting with it so that on long drives I get comfy. Put it too high and you lose thigh support. Put it too low and your bottom simply caves in behind due to the cavity created. Ideally the whole seat platform should rise or fall with adjustment but this just tilts the platform at the back(plain stupid)
.The non existent bumpers, essential equipment close to the front bumper and the painting charges shown by some members has made me extra cautious. No tailgaiting stunts from me and keep praying no one does that to me also!
Will be posting the pics in Chapter 5 Soon!!!
|3rd June 2010, 22:52||#3|
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Panaji, Goa
Thanked: 2 Times
Good luck with the new car mate!
I agree with you. Do your best NOT to 'touch' anyone else while driving!
I've booked a diesel EXi myself and can't wait to get the delivery. On a side note are you satisfied with the FE of your car? Considering that most Maruti petrol cars tend to give higher FE in city driving.
|3rd June 2010, 23:13||#4|
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: California, USA
Thanked: 324 Times
Congratulations on getting the black Figo! I too just got mine, review is here: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...al-report.html ("Blackcat" (Figo Diesel Zxi) - initial report)
|4th June 2010, 09:58||#6|
well many factors do play a part here I think.
.Broader tyres in figo
.heavier than similar hatchbacks from Maruti
.filling normal fuel in a BS IV type vehicle
.not yet completed 1st servicing
.driving habits need further refining to fully optimise FE
expecting a rise of 1-2km/l when cars been totally run in and serviced.also will try to tank up with high octane fuel this time.
|4th June 2010, 11:06||#7|
Oops! is this also one factor which might be affecting FE figures as I have read in the forum that HPS actively uses a marginal amount of power from the engine to be functioning!
probably this part is eating 0.5 km/l mileage figures
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