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Old 7th June 2010, 09:05   #1
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Default My new Hyundai i20 CRDI Asta 6 Speed

Okay. Time to get the show on the road. After a short wait, took delivery of my Berry Red i20 CRDI Asta. With a couple hundred kilometres on the clock, here’s the initial ownership report, first instalment.

Background. A few weeks ago, my wife brought up the topic of buying a new car. Although we already own two cars, a 2001 Qualis and a 1999 Matiz, the Matiz had begun to show its age, and scores of niggling problems were beginning to surface. We both drive to work, and as my wife has the longer distance, she takes the Qualis. With its superb driveability and handling, and ability to carry around insane amounts of stuff we are very satisfied with it, and so looked for a replacement for the Matiz. Requirements were a medium sized car with decent handling, reasonable luggage space, and the ability to carry a large dog in the back when required. Service and support network had to be good across the length and breadth of the country. Mileage expected for the next couple of years was approx 1000 to 1200 km per month. A quick budgetary estimate later, we figured that we would be able to put down about 3 lakhs as a down payment With the decision taken, we started looking around.

Selection Procedure. The initial selection process was fairly straightforward, although, I must admit, not wholly scientic. The list of contenders in the small / medium hatch segment being large, elimination was based on mutual veto lists. The need to have the car act as a bridge car a few years down the line when the Qualis replacement would be needed straightaway ruled out the small segment due to insufficient luggage space (Nano, Alto etc out the window). After much deliberation, mid sized sedans also went out of consideration as we decided that the Qualis would handle all outsize load / long distance relocation requirements. The new car would need to be reasonably compact to handle bumper to bumper traffic and stringent parking space requirements in town. This pushed the Honda City, Hyundai Verna and Indigo Manza out of contention, although I must admit that the VFM offered by the Manza (at Ieast on paper) made me reconsider several times. We finally narrowed down on two segments, the smaller containing the Chevy Beat, Hyundai i10, Ford Figo and the Maruti Ritz. The slightly larger segment (size and cost) had the Swift, Swift Dzire, VW Polo, Fiat Punto, Indica Vista and the Skoda Fabia. Two outside challengers at this stage were the i10s elder sibling, the i20, and the Honda Jazz. Tons of choice .
We very quickly realised that this ‘shortlist’ was a bit too long, do did another theoretical winnowing. Axed were the Swift (too old), Swift Dzire (boot too tacky), Vista (consistent bad experience with Tata sales and service in the family), Fabia (too costly). Next round of elimination saw the demise of the i10 (no really good reason – just because the i20 was looking better), Beat (rear legroom, boot layout and rear visibility), Ritz (I hated the back), Punto (good reviews, but didn’t like the 3 pot and of course the Tata tieup), and the Polo (good car but long waiting list + doubtful VW service network across the country). Finally ended up with the Honda Jazz, i20 and the Ford Figo. After much consensus decided on diesel, so reluctantly dropped the Honda Jazz. Although a good car on paper, we didnt think the extra cash was worth a petrol car.

Test Drives. Having narrowed it down to the i20 and the Figo, we decided to set the test drive process in motion. Couple of quick calls to the Advaith Hyundai and Metro Ford and we were all set (or so we thought).

More later with pics

Thanks to all for the felicitations,

The story continues :


Test Drives. Having narrowed it down to the i20 and the Figo, we decided to set the test drive process in motion. Couple of quick calls to the Advaith Hyundai and Metro Ford and we were all set (or so we thought).


The Advaith Hyundai response was quick and positive, and the TD car (White Asta CRDi BS III) arrived at our doorstep on a Sunday afternoon as requested. Two company reps, and two of us got into the car, and put the car through half an hour of representative Bangalore driving (we managed to get bumper to bumper traffic, poor quality roads with high humps and good quality ring road all within a radius of 8 km from home !). Was fairly impressed with the car, except for a sense of dissatisfaction with the turbo lag. Getting away after slowing down for the humps was a painful process in 2nd gear, especially when compared to the Qualis which is absolutely superb in this respect. Internal space, fit and finish and boot space were very well suited for our needs.

Having seen the i20, we waited for a suitable response from Metro Ford, St Marks Road, Bangalore for the Ford Figo test drive as promised. The sales reps were either very busy, very complacent or just not interested. Several attempts later, my wife finally got a commitment to get the car over the following Sunday, with a confirmation on Sunday morning. Come Sunday morning, and no call. No car either. Calls to the sales execs phone went unanswered. By end of day, Ford had obviously sunk slightly lower in our esteem. On Monday. I decided to give it one last go. Once again spoke with a sales exec, who disclaimed all knowledge of Sunday’s fiasco. He flatly refused a doorstep test drive, and agreed for a Saturday afternoon TD at the company premises. Considering the high cost of the i20 CRDi we also wanted to look at the i20 petrol model, so got Advaith to agree to our request for an additional TD of the i20Asta petrol from the showroom (since it was located close to the Cauvery Ford showroom). By Fiday evening, however, Cauvery Ford stopped responding to our calls for an exact time for the TD. In desperation my wife mentioned this to the Advaith guys, who very kindly offered to get us a Ford Figo TDCi Titanium from their Ford dealership (Cauvery Ford, I think) for us to do a direct comparison.

Carried out both TDs in the MG Road, Infantry Rd, Brigade Rd, Residency Rd area. The Ford Figo was a nice car to drive, with nothing much separating it from the i20, in the slow speed heavy traffic regime. We did not get a chance to check her handling and braking at speed, though . The top end model was less loaded than the i20 (seat adjustment was a sham, rear windows partial opening, manual winding, no 60:40 rear seat split), it was still a decent package for the price. Once again the handling and driveability in slow traffic was nowhere near the Qualis, but it seemed quite reasonable. We also managed the i20 petrol test drive, and were both in agreement that the i20 petrol somehow just didn’t cut it. Although the diesel was more expensive, the driveability in terms of torque and power appealed to us far better than the petrol 1.2. We asked for one additional test drive as my father-in-law had shown interest in checking out the car but could not come down to the showroom when we were there. Advaith obliged, and sent a car across to his house so he could check it out. Once again, Metro Ford was a no-show.

All said and done, the final decision was to be the wife’s, since she would be using the car every day. I was okay with both cars, and had done the math to work out that we could (just about) pay for either. She dithered over it for a bit, and initially went with the Figo, but changed her mind after six hours of hard thinking and decided on a berry red i20 Asta CRDi. This was a final decision, and we went with it. Deconstructing it later, we felt that the decision was based mainly on the featureset, looks, service network and lower long-term maintenance cost of the i20. A significant part of the decision, however, was also played by the relative sales approaches of Advaith Hyundai and Metro Ford. Although the Figo was no slouch as a car, we did not want to keep running around after the sales / service people for every niggling thing once the car was in our possession. Advaith Hyundai gave us a sense of upfront reassurance that finally sealed the deal.


Showroom Formalities and Paperwork. The showroom formalities were simplicity itself, and the sales and finance people went out of their way to make us comfortable. Due to the fact that both of us were working and fairly busy at this time, we went with the showroom recommended insurance and registration options, paying the additional premium for convenience. The paperwork was extremely simple, and the showroom people ensured that we did not have to lift a finger to do anything. We were keen to exchange my old Matiz, so after an evaluation, an exchange price was fixed for Rs 45,000. I thought that was a fair price, given the condition of the car, and decided to go with them. A few signatures later, loan clearance was processed in double quick time, and in two days I was informed that the car was ready in the stockyard for inspection should I so desire. I paid up the balance money and fixed up an appointment. On enquiry I found out that the stockyard was way out of town, but that they were bringing the car anyway up to the Mission Road service centre for PDI checks and RTO formalities and I could inspect it there.

PDI. On the appointed date I showed up at the showroom, and was taken to the yard to see the car. Having armed myself with the very informative gen regarding PDI on TBHP, I took along the serial numbers and a small checklist. To cut a long story short, the car was sitting there, looking nice and shiny, and I found nothing to quibble with. The Odo read 16km, and all panels and internals seemed fine. With not much else to do, I got back home and waited for the RTO formalities to be completed and delivery intimated.

Delivery. RTO took a day, apparently the Indiranagar guy had some issues with annual tax, so rather than waste time tying to ‘convince’ him, they got it done at Koramangala RTO. Since I had informed the showroom that I had no specific preference for registration number, or the time or date of delivery, things moved pretty quick and I was asked if 5 pm of the following day would be fine for delivery. Agreed in a flash, picked up the wife from the office in the Matiz, and was at the showroom at 5 pm. Spent ten minutes handing over the Matiz, and thereafter did a quick and comprehensive once-over of the car. A quick number check confirmed that it was the one I had seen in the stockyard, and carried out an external and internal inspection to see that all was well. I was gratified to see that all stickers (except the PUC, PDI and serial numbers stickers) had been removed as per request. Thereafter the sales rep took us through the functions and operation of all controls in the cabin, after which a physical verification of spares and accessories was carried out. Finally, he made sure that we know the location and operation of the jack, wheel spanner, spare tyre and wheel jacking points before retiring to the office to wrap the paperwork. The entire process on the car took 35 minutes, and I was happy not to be rushed through at any stage. The paperwork took another fifteen minutes, and the only things I was not in possession of were the registration book (smart card – directly mailed from the RTO office), insurance policy (ditto from the insurers) and the certificate for the third year extended warranty option (to be handed over later by the showroom ppl). Finally, as the sunlight was fading, we bid farewell to our trusty Matiz, and drove out onto the busy Residency Road to make our way home in our new car.

Drive Home. As we left the showroom it started pouring cats and dogs and we found ourselves in the midst of one of the classic Bangalore evening pre-monsoon thunderstorms. Traffic was heavy, and initially I was very uncomfortable, trying to drive sanely home among the myriad two and four wheelers around me. It seemed to me as if they had all but one mission, to inflict a scratch (or worse) on my brand new baby before she even got home. Finally, by the time we got home, the novelty of using the rear wiper and the on-wheel audio controls had enabled me to relax a bit, and we finally cruised home to the ooohs and aaahs of admiring neighbours. The next few days saw both of us driving the car around and getting used to it, culminating in a quick Sunday morning dash to BIAL to check out the Hoskote – Devanahalli road. With 200 plus km on the clock the car still feels new, but needless to say both my wife and me are extremely satisfied with our buy.

A few quick first impressions.

The car is easy to drive, provided you cater for the slight turbo lag upto 1800 – 2000 RPM. The 6 speed shift seems to have improved driveability compared to the 5 speed tested prior to purchase, but the need to downshift pronto as you begin to get stuck still needs some time to get used to. Seating posture is good, especially since the driver's seat and the steering column are adjustable in pretty much every way. The only quibble I have here is that there is no armrest for the right elbow - it will take me a while to find a natural resting place. The power steering response is reasonable, a tad lighter than one expects perhaps, but nothing you will not get used to pretty soon. Once the turbo does kick in the response to flooring the pedal is superb, the car leaps forward like a wild animal unleashed, although this is advised only on the Ring road / highway. Within this short time we have had more than our fair share of the smorgasbord of speedbreakers that Bangalore provides, some inadvertently at a higher speed than I would have liked, but was gratified to note that the suspension soaked them up fairly well. One point here – the showroom guys had overinflated the tyres to 48 PSI all round !, which caused a fairly sensitive ride till I got it sorted out. God knows why on Earth they do that.

The braking, once again is very good – brake pedal modulation and response is very natural, and sitting on the brakes from speed gets you to a halt with no directional control issues or brake dumps. We filled up a full tank after leaving the showroom, but unfortunately the Shell bunk guy in his zeal continued to ‘top up’ after the tank was full. Will ensure that the regular full tank to full tank method is followed henceforth, so initial FE is not available.

Although the car is pretty fully loaded, the lack of some small details is a bit puzzling. For the premium that the car commands, I’m sure Hyundai could have included Bluetooth functionality in the ICE for at least the top end models of the car. Also, the MID should have featured the current consumption rate and a ‘distance to empty’ function. All in all, however, we are very satisfied, and intend to use the car to the maximum in the months ahead.

Pros :

Good looks, motorized ORVMs, vanity mirror on the passenger side, steering wheel adjustment, seat position adjustment for the drivers seat, rear legroom, boot space, wheel mounted audio controls, brake response.

Cons : Weak horn, non-retractable FM antenna, lack of proper arm rest, no vanity mirror on the drivers side (c’mon Hyundai, ladies drive too, you know), wheel mounted audio controls (placement not optimum – several inadvertent mutes while trying to use the horn), turbo lag, lights in low beam, No bluetooth in the ICE system.


Planning a couple of longer drives to let her stretch her legs before taking her up the ghats. Maybe after the first service. Will keep noting further impressions as they come along, and will post a more 'technical' review in a few days. A large number of i20 BSIV pictures are already up on the TBHP, so I won't add to the gigabytes. I’m uploading a few normal pictures of my car – any specific areas you wish photographed, please let me know and I’ll put them up.
Attached Thumbnails
My new Hyundai i20 CRDI Asta 6 Speed-stock1.jpg  

My new Hyundai i20 CRDI Asta 6 Speed-stock2.jpg  

Attached Images
    

Last edited by GTO : 9th June 2010 at 18:53. Reason: Merging both your posts, so that the actual review is a part of the opening post
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Old 7th June 2010, 09:30   #2
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Congrats on the i20 crdi. The additional gear will make it a relaxed highway cruiser. By the way has the turbo lag reduced due to the different gear ratios?

Do post the pictures of the car and enjoy many more miles on the i20
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Old 7th June 2010, 09:34   #3
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Eagerly waiting for the complete report on i20 CRDI 6 speed Gear box ....

Please post more pictures for the same ...
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Old 7th June 2010, 10:37   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modthomas View Post
Punto (good reviews, but didn’t like the 3 pot and of course the Tata tieup)
Punto has 4. Polo and Fabia have 3.
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Old 7th June 2010, 12:17   #5
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Punto has 4. Polo and Fabia have 3.
@ p'arth. I'm sorry - that was a mistake. I stand corrected
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Old 7th June 2010, 12:51   #6
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Congrats on your new car. Could you please let us know the on road price in Bangalore ?
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:13   #7
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Congrats on your latest acquisition Thomas.
I did drive the latest CRDI I20 couple of weeks back and was pretty impressed with the refinement of the Engine.
Great choice, Drive safe.
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Old 7th June 2010, 14:21   #8
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Many Congratulations for your new set of wheels,please let us know the price breakup and performance of Aircon.
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Old 7th June 2010, 15:22   #9
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hi thomas ,

congrats on your new i20 asta, do provide pics performance and cost of ownership reports .

enjoy your korean beauty on indian roads .
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Old 7th June 2010, 16:04   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nkrishnap View Post
Congrats on the i20 crdi. The additional gear will make it a relaxed highway cruiser. By the way has the turbo lag reduced due to the different gear ratios?

Do post the pictures of the car and enjoy many more miles on the i20
Yes, there is an improvement in pulling away in second gear in the six-speed as compared to the five-speed i test drove. The usability of the 6th gear is limited under present conditions in Bangalore, but the bunching of the ratios has improved driveability slightly at the low end.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SpinWizard View Post
Congrats on your new car. Could you please let us know the on road price in Bangalore ?
OTR in Bangalore with the annual tax option was 7.01L

Last edited by Rehaan : 23rd June 2010 at 12:47. Reason: Posts merged. Please use the MULTIQUOTE button instead of making multiple consecutive posts in the same thread. Thanks.
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Old 7th June 2010, 17:44   #11
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OTR in Bangalore with the annual tax option was 7.01L

Annual tax option ? I didn't know one can pay annual tax in Bangalore. How much is the tax for 1 year ?
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Old 7th June 2010, 17:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modthomas View Post
OTR in Bangalore with the annual tax option was 7.01L
Hey,

Congrats on your new car.

I am confused about the pricing. I just checked the prices on Hyundai site. As per the site, the Ex-showroom price is INR 701337/-.

Dont know if i missed something here. Will need to read through your thread again.
i20 1.4 Asta (BS IV)701,337
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Old 7th June 2010, 17:50   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by modthomas View Post
OTR in Bangalore with the annual tax option was 7.01L
Congrats on the car! This is one of the cars I've been researching for quite sometime now. The price is very good. What is the price differential between one time road tax and annual tax? Is this somewhere in the 100,000 region as I remember seeing a OTR price of Rs 813,000 on some website for the 1.4 lt DSL asta version?

Also, any comments on the AC, as I have observed a number of dissatisfied owners on other treads.
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Old 7th June 2010, 18:05   #14
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Even I am amazed at 7.01L OTR Bangalore Price! I am only geting a Magna version for 6.86L OTR Navi Mumbai. Asta is 7.6L+ here.
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Old 7th June 2010, 18:35   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
Annual tax option ? I didn't know one can pay annual tax in Bangalore. How much is the tax for 1 year ?
You can, if (and only if) you're a bona fide, certified, card carrying employee of the Central Govt on a transferable posting with current domicile in Karnataka. Comes to 2200 bucks a year, give or take.

Quote:
Originally Posted by h@r$h@l View Post
Hey,

Congrats on your new car.

I am confused about the pricing. I just checked the prices on Hyundai site. As per the site, the Ex-showroom price is INR 701337/-.

Dont know if i missed something here. Will need to read through your thread again.
i20 1.4 Asta (BS IV)701,337
My bad - 701170 was ex Showroom.


Quote:
Originally Posted by prashanthyr View Post
Congrats on the car! This is one of the cars I've been researching for quite sometime now. The price is very good. What is the price differential between one time road tax and annual tax? Is this somewhere in the 100,000 region as I remember seeing a OTR price of Rs 813,000 on some website for the 1.4 lt DSL asta version?

Also, any comments on the AC, as I have observed a number of dissatisfied owners on other treads.
Close to a lakh, yes.
AC - so far so good - i run it in recirculate, and its fine. Having said that, the Bangalore weather lately hasnt been very trying for the AC. Might have to wait for next summer to really check it out.
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