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Old 8th August 2010, 23:46   #1
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Default A very twisted tale - Polo to Fiesta 1.6 SXi

Hey All,

So finally after 2.5 months of waiting, fretting over a new car my search finally ended (What a relief & Joy !!). As the tale is quite long with some interesting twists I thought organising it in chapters would help.

Chapter 1 - Why a new car?

On April 26th I realised that my Matiz has completed 10 faithful years and even though it served me well in city on highways it was woefully short now. To add to the issue list the loose silencer and coolant issue couldn't be solved by 4-5 garages so it was becoming difficult to maintain it. So after few thoughtful days discussing the idea of buying a new car with my wife and looking at my finances carfanatic thought it's time to give wings to his dreams of buying a new and powerful car. So Days/Nights were filled of dreams of shiny car bodies which fly when I press the accelerator

Chapter 2 - What do I need in the car?

This supposedly simple question became too complicated later on but my starting list was:
1) A great looking car, hey I am image conscious
2) I adore things which have great build quality so build quality has to be great
3) It should be good to drive in the city and should not be a chicken on the highways
4) Should handle very well, it should inspire confidence while driving
5) Boot should be spacious
6) Most important - Budget, counting every drop in the bank I thought 7 lakhs is a reasonable amount for a car
7) Rear leg room should be ok but not too worried about it as right now only me and my wife are there
8)Good AC
9) Decent music system, should not break at bit loud levels
10) Petrol or diesel doesn't matter as my monthly running is not much, I will buy if I feel good on driving it
11) Considering my budget and requirements I decided on buying a bigger hatch or an entry level sedan
12) Resale wasn't high on my priority list as i intend to keep the car for 5 years and with the advent of so many new cars and manufacturers I think in 5 years all cars will have almost same depreciation

A late entrant to the list was Air Bags and that too when one day after my better half understood how useful they are from the car salesman and internet and looked into my eyes, touched my arm and said in a concerned voice that we should get all safety features as our lives are most important and not money. I scratched my head and thought that this means going only for top end variants and that too in the expensive Bangalore market but there was simply no argument against it so gave in and with that dreams of entry level sedan within 7 lakhs.

Chapter 3 - Search for a new car

So one fine weekend I had to shake off my weekend stupor and urge my brother and wife to accompany me to take test drives. I started by going to the Tata Dealer K.H.T. motors as it was very near to my house and this kick started the 4 weekends of test driving so many cars. My views on the various cars is described below:

Punto: I TD Emotion Pack Patrol and 1.3 MJD. I went to KHT motors, which was near and Tata salesman were instantly onto me while I had to wait for Punto salesman. During my initial TD’s I absolutely loved the Punto diesel and petrol felt underpowered. The car had immense power and gave a delightful grunting noise when pushed hard. It was easy to drive, stable, looked extremely good, had all the gadgets you want or long for. Interiors quality was ok and better than many other hatches on our Indian roads. After a few days I TD at Prerna Motors and was thoroughly disappointed with Punto as it was a year old and was making too much noise and wasn’t as smooth as the other one I had test driven. Also the fact that Tata pushes its own cars over Punto was creating some discomfort. It had all features except OVRM's having indicator lights and closing as in i20. So Punto’s 1.3 MJD scores for me were:

Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 7/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 8/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 41/50
OTR - 7.78 lakhs and after discounts 7.4 lakhs
Manza: I TD petrol version and wasn’t impressed at all by the performance of the car. It had a lot of lag with AC on and although it has a lot of features but it doesn’t have the maturity, ride quality of Punto or Polo. Best thing about the car was that it was very spacious with huge trunk space, however the looks were typical Tata’s and definitely need an uplift in my opinion. The salesman was playing cleverly is what I felt and wanted to push the petrol version instead of diesel version. He didn’t even had a demo diesel car for TD. So the scores for me were:

Driving Pleasure 7/10
Quality 7/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 10/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 42/50
OTR - 7.26 lakhs for Petrol and 8.3 lakhs for Diesel

Beat: I called up Sundaram motors as I thought I should TD Beat as it had some good reviews. Luckily the TD car was near the vicinity and he promptly got it to my flat for TD. Frankly I enjoyed the drive, it was smooth with no hiccups, interiors were ok, ACC was pretty good, looks were strange a bit but the car was small and I wanted to buy a bigger car. Also the car had some body roll and it wasn’t giving reassurance on high speeds. However the ratings were:

Driving Pleasure 9/10
Quality 8/10
Gadgets/Features 8/10
Spacious 7/10
Safety 8/10
Total Score 40/50
OTR - 5.5 lakhs

Polo: I went to Elite motors for a TD and there was a long wait for the TD. The salesman was good and unlike other showrooms was much more refined. He patiently explained all the features of the car and answered questions on the car, RSA, service, spare issues if any etc. The car looked pretty damn good and was close contender to Punto in red. I especially like the protruding chin which lends aggressive character to the car. Once I revved the car it felt really good and was so smooth, within no time I was cruising at 100 and with hardly any noise inside the cabin (with AC on). With windows rolled down it does have some noise but the noise is not a bad one. I would also mention the gear box it is the best among all cars I TD and was absolute delight. You hardly notice the gear shifts due to this. The car looked good as a package but there were some sore points like – No steering mounted controls in the top end, no lamp for the boot, no electrically operated side mirrors and music system is pathetic with no USB/Aux (VW should remove the system and reduce the price of the car or give a better one). So the scores for me were:

Driving Pleasure 9/10
Quality 10/10
Gadgets/Features 7/10
Spacious 9/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 44/50
OTR - 7.05 lakhs and after discount 6.95 lakhs

Figo: I TD Titanim TDCi, it was a good car and that was the problem with it too. It was average to good on all parameters but for me nothing stood out (No offence to Figo owners). It drove well, had some lag with the AC on, dash quality was ok not very good, inside space was best in the segment, it had most of the gadgets. I didn’t like the looks much and it had no rear power windows, steering mounted controls and the dealership was strange to say the least. Metro Ford said that for diesel version I have to wait for 3 months while Lathangi said 1-1.5 months. It is a total VFM car but missed the reassuring ride quality of Polo/Punto and dealership experience needs to be enhanced. So the ratings were:

Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 8/10
Gadgets/Features 7/10
Spacious 9/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 41/50
OTR - 6.44 lakhs for Diesel

i20: Finally after a week of TD’ing new models decided to test out the dependable models like i20 & Swift. I went to Hyundai showroom which was empty on Sunday and the salesman was good and explained each version and feature. I TD both petrol and diesel versions. The car had lot of positives – good looks, good space, all gadgets, good quality but sore point for me was the ride quality as it was bumpy and the steering had no feedback. It was too smooth for comfort and almost felt like driving a toy car (no offence meant for i20 owners). I thought a more powerful engine and a better feedback from the steering will make this a killer machine.

Driving Pleasure 6/10
Quality 9/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 9/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 42/50
OTR - 6.97 lakhs

Swift: Finally TD Swift Diesel & Petrol version and felt high & dry after all the other machines I had driven before it. Except the powerful engine the car wasn’t upto mark compared to other cars in anything. I was put off and decided against it, also it is the most common car on roads and that too has a waiting period. Another fact which I didn’t knew was that once you add all the gadgets/features available in other cars to Swift the price is not very low compared to other cars. So the ratings for me were:
Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 7/10
Gadgets/Features 7/10
Spacious 8/10
Safety 7/10
Total Score 37/50
OTR - 6.4 lakhs for Petrol

Chapter 4 - The birth of Polo as final choice

So finally I was in a fix on which car to buy and scores on my parameters were pretty close. Looking at my budget of 7 lakh eliminated Punto Emotion Pack 1.3 MJD immediately. Now the battle was between Petrol cars Polo, i20 and a diesel car Figo. On the pricing front Figo was winner with 6.5 lakhs on road compared to 7 lakhs for Polo and i20. So the head said Figo but the heart said Polo. Finally I decided on the Polo as it met my requirements and was great to look at, had a VW badge, good build quality, had all the necessary features and a pleasure to drive.
I booked the car in May and was told to wait for 3-4 months.
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Old 8th August 2010, 23:48   #2
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What a detailed post !! Quite enjoyed reading through your buying experience. It sums up all the evaluations quite well. Congrats and waiting for pictures.
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Old 9th August 2010, 00:00   #3
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Chapter 5 - The agonizing wait

So now the agonizing wait started and being on Team BHP and going through Chethan's and Poloman updates were not making matters easier. I was getting itchy and decided to test drive cars which I haven't test driven so far. So I started with ANHC and SX4. I liked both and my family was totally gaga over the comfort of Honda and how great it is as a car and I thought bloody Honday guys have really established themselves as the best even for people who don't know much about the car. Anyways while discussing the test drives the first twist came from my mom who said see bigger car is a big car and you cant compare it with a small car. Point taken and noted although I argued that Polo will be easier to drive in the city and would serve well for years. Anyways I browsed through lot of thread on T-BHP on SX4 and ANHC and found out the good and bad points but both had their advantages.

SX4
Good thing here was SX4 was unlike usual Maruti's in terms of features and build quality but bad part for me was that it looked too big and the high driving position wasn't inspiring. Anyways my scores were:
Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 8/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 10/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 44/50
OTR - 9.3 lakhs and after discounts 8.7 lakhs
ANHC
It's a Honda that should be enough for most people but the GC issue was too much for me as my Matiz also over the years had developed an attraction for speed breakers so I hate the scrapping sound which cuts me through like a knife. I took 2 more TD's and the car scrapped at at 2 speed breakers which was enough for me but family still liked it too much

Driving Pleasure 9/10
Quality 9/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 10/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 46/50
OTR - 10.6 lakhs and after discounts 10.5 lakhs and this was for SMT not top end prices which are there for other models.
So was inclined to go for SX4 but my heart just wasn't for it. Most people I inquired were ok with both but price of ANHC was too high compared to SX4 and compared to my initial budget (50% more), so thought about it for 2 weeks but couldn't decide. Did a TD of ANHC in 2nd hand market also but wasn't impressed with high prices so ditched the idea.

Note to Mods - Please dont close this I will update pictures and initial review shortly
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Old 9th August 2010, 03:41   #4
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Congrats Mate. Nice, crisp and detailed reviews.

will look forward to reading more and ofcourse to see some nice snaps.

wish you miles of happiness.

Take care and drive safe.

Gaurav
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Old 9th August 2010, 07:52   #5
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HI Carfanatic,
Great review and to the point comparisons that anyone should look for, while buying a new car.
Did you look for Nissan Micra as well. I saw it in person yesterday and boy that is a big car despite its projected image of small car on TV commercials. Have a look at it with your family. I am sure they would love its creature comforts.
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Old 9th August 2010, 08:28   #6
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Hi carfanatic,

Fantastic reveiw and nice detailing. Good to know that you have finally settled for a Polo. The delivery period is almost same as the Dzire, too long to wait to get your hands on the vehicle.
Do provide other details such as OTR.
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:09   #7
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Hey carfanatic,
Congratulations on the polo. Please post pics.
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:19   #8
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The wait for your third installment is as agonizing as the wait for my Polo.

From the title, I can't make out though your image displays a Polo... Did you finally get your Polo?
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Old 9th August 2010, 10:39   #9
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that would be a fast delivery!

but hey I really see a lot more Polo's in Chennai (maybe people just waited for the diesel).
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Old 9th August 2010, 13:10   #10
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yo carfanatic! the only way to avoid a GC issue with honda is to go it slow. soft suspensions, unrealistic low seating, blame it on those. thanks for considering my car though :-)
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Old 9th August 2010, 22:31   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flyingspur View Post
What a detailed post !! Quite enjoyed reading through your buying experience. It sums up all the evaluations quite well. Congrats and waiting for pictures.
Thanks Flyingspur !


Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
Congrats Mate. Nice, crisp and detailed reviews.

will look forward to reading more and ofcourse to see some nice snaps.

wish you miles of happiness.

Take care and drive safe.

Gaurav
Thanks Gaurav, I will post pictures soon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
HI Carfanatic,
Great review and to the point comparisons that anyone should look for, while buying a new car.
Did you look for Nissan Micra as well. I saw it in person yesterday and boy that is a big car despite its projected image of small car on TV commercials. Have a look at it with your family. I am sure they would love its creature comforts.
I didn't check Nissan Micra for reasons you will get to know shortly, but I did see it physically and it didn't inspire much and with 20 dealers across India I think its better to wait and let others drive it for some time then go for it

Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
Hi carfanatic,

Fantastic reveiw and nice detailing. Good to know that you have finally settled for a Polo. The delivery period is almost same as the Dzire, too long to wait to get your hands on the vehicle.
Do provide other details such as OTR.
Thanks but the end is still far and has many twists


Quote:
Originally Posted by jayanth_yk View Post
Hey carfanatic,
Congratulations on the polo. Please post pics.
Hey Jayanth, Thanks for answering my queries, I tried all your tricks but still ANHC was bit over budget and it wasnt the Polo finally

Quote:
Originally Posted by nowwhat? View Post
The wait for your third installment is as agonizing as the wait for my Polo.

From the title, I can't make out though your image displays a Polo... Did you finally get your Polo?
No I didn't

Quote:
Originally Posted by YellowEye View Post
that would be a fast delivery!

but hey I really see a lot more Polo's in Chennai (maybe people just waited for the diesel).
No fast delivery man, wait is still on

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekSrik View Post
yo carfanatic! the only way to avoid a GC issue with honda is to go it slow. soft suspensions, unrealistic low seating, blame it on those. thanks for considering my car though :-)
Hey Geek thanks for answering my queries, I almost decided on your car but then fate had other plans
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Old 9th August 2010, 23:16   #12
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Chapter 6 - Twists & Turns

Well the story didn't end there and continued as Polo was nowhere in sight and I was slowly gravitating to buying a bigger car, remember big car is finally a big car. I called the VW SP many times and every time he had same reply "Saar, it will be on time" i.e. 4 months and he kept avoiding giving a concrete date. In the meanwhile following twists added to my confusion:

1) Twists #1 -
Polo 1.6 was launched, SP was also pushing it. OTR ws 7.6 lakhs. So Carfanatic got excited, car of his dreams with a more powerful engine what more did I want or dreamt but OTR was still on the higher side and that too for a hatch finally but it did shake the foundation of Polo 1.2 a bit

2) Twists #2 - Vento was launched and it seemed to answer my predicament of having a Polo and a bigger car toobut OTR was nowhere in sight and delivery starting in Oct, well that was asking for too much that once I decide on a car and then wait for 6+ months to get the car. Also FE for Petrol was rumored to be around 13 kmpl which would be under standard conditions so tad lower. Also PTR should be in 9.5 to 12 lakhs OTR with highline definitely close to ANHC so no point in thinking over it.

3) Twists #3 - Pratham Motors called and said if you want Diesel Dzire its available but VDi and I wanted Air Bags due to reasons explained earlier. So I wasn't interested but still went for a test drive. The car was good but wait time of 3 more months was too much and I simply don't like its looks so it was dropped. Although VDi was readily available and I was becoming desperate to buy a car. Yet to get a sense of rating, the rating was:
Driving Pleasure 8/10 (It does have loads of power but power delivery is not linear as turbo suddenly kicks in which is usual)
Quality 8/10
Gadgets/Features 8/10 (ok nothing outstanding compared to jazzy features offered by Manza)
Spacious 8/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 41/50
OTR - 8.3 lakhs

4) Twists #4 - One pre-worshipped ANHC on T-BHP was going reasonably cheap. I thought about it as deal was mouth watering but finally couldn't buy as family wasn't too inclined on buying a pre-worshipped car

5) Twist #5
- I went for test drive of Fiesta Diesel, Linea Petrol and Fiesta Petrol as thought that why leave out 2 cars which I haven't tested so far in 0-10 lakhs category. Then I realised the great discounts being offered on both.

My experience of the three are:

Fiesta Diesel -Definite buy for someone who travels a lot as its FE is on of the best in the category. It had everything going for it except 2 things, I had TD a new car and the noise was very high and OTR for SXi was very high - 9.85 lakhs OTR with Insurance discount and I was getting additional corporate discount but still it doesn't warrant that much price

Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 9/10
Gadgets/Features 8/10
Spacious 9/10
Safety 9/10
Total Score 43/50


Linea -
I was bowled over by the looks and did a TD of Petrol as Diesel was definitely out of reach. The petrol was good but had a problem in low gears and clutch travel was too high but still strong contender. If it was being sold by Maruti/Hyundai it would have sold for 11 lakhs IMO
OTR for Linea Em Pck was 9.24 lakhs and after discounts it was coming to 8.85 lakhs

Driving Pleasure 8/10
Quality 8/10
Gadgets/Features 10/10
Spacious 10/10
Safety 10/10
Total Score 46/50

I almost decided to buy it but then went through T-BHP and totally lost motivation for buying it as IMO the defects coming up in Lineas are purely manufacturing errors and shows poor quality and I am buying a new car to have a easy life not to keep going to Service station (Blackening of headlamps, Rusting, Wobbly wipers, Coolant pipes came off for someone, replacement parts taking ages, come on Fiat all this is too much)

Fiesta Petrol
Last car I TD'ed and was blown away. It had everything I wanted except a bit short on features like steering mounted controls and Blue & Me but both are not mandatory. I knew it would get replaced or a new model is expected next year but still it was very impressive.

Driving Pleasure 10/10
Quality 9/10
Gadgets/Features 9/10
Spacious 10/10
Safety 9/10 (Adjustable seat belts missing)
Total Score 47/50
OTR - 8.72 lakhs and after corporate discount I was getting a pretty good deal. Pm me to get the details of whoever is interested.

Chapter 7 - Final Decision & End
So now came the tough part of deciding the final outcome. I again called VW and they reconfirmed that no early delivery and 1st week of Sept and I was not happy with their attitude of take it or leave it. Anyways so again fixed my budget, thought will cut off on eating out/movies, samosas, golgappes and save some more to have a 9lakh budget. So the new contestants were Fiesta Petrol and Linea Petrol. Manza didnt consider as dont like the looks and image. although it is loaded with features but Petrol wasn't exciting and diesel at 9lakhs was overpriced I thought. Dzire also doesn't look good but an excellent entry level sedan.

Now Linea was dropped due to the info provided by T-BHP forums and Fiat SP also admitting that there are some issues with servicing. That left only Fiesta. Thought long and hard over it, it might be discontinued/replaced next year but went through the ownership threads of Fiesta owners, asked queries to Nair and noticed how happy people were with the car. So one fine Monday called up Lathangi and Metro to ask if there is a Fiesta 1.6 SXi available readily as didn't wanted to wait more. Lathangi confirmed Paprika Red is available and I immediately booked it after a PDI and in 4 days it was delivered to me .

So now I am a happy Fiesta 1.6 SXi owner. Sorry Poloman & Chethan but wait was too long and priorities changed. Some pics for you all
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Old 9th August 2010, 23:18   #13
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Apologies missed the pics earlier so now posting it
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Old 9th August 2010, 23:30   #14
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It is a twisted tale in fact!! Did not expect you to land up with a Fiesta! Congrats on the buy. This is one of the best cars available in this price range.
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Old 9th August 2010, 23:43   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
It is a twisted tale in fact!! Did not expect you to land up with a Fiesta! Congrats on the buy. This is one of the best cars available in this price range.
Thanks Unni , actually thanks to Polo I got a Fiesta, if Polo was readily available I wouldn't have got it
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