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Old 20th October 2010, 11:10   #1
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Default Slow thought process but a Swift decision

It all started as an unexpected date with Ritz, followed by infatuation on i10, a major crush on Beat, falling in love with Figo, flirting with Vista in between, and getting engaged to Wagon R but finally ending up marrying something else. Read On.

Buying a car is still such a big thing for the great Indian middle class and I'm no exception. Itís been a roller coaster ride for the last several months with multiple go/no goís for a car, showroom visits, test rides, research, suggestions, checking bank balances almost every day, excel sheets, contemplation, confusionÖwhat not?. Relief ! Relief ! Iím happy now that all is over. It was interesting to see how a WANT for a car gradually transformed to a NEED and some conducive situations that made it meeting this need.

Let me set some context first:

After I started working in 2006, Iíve lived in 3 cities - 1) Bangalore > 2) Chennai > 3) Bangalore > 4) Hyderabad > 5) Back to Bílore and was without even a 2 wheeler from 1 to 4. I was accustomed to being vehicles-less and completely relied on the public transport. Even spent time without any vehicle after marriage while in Hyderabad, thanks to the share auto concept and of course couple of generous friends who picked and dropped on their way to office. So never really felt the need for a vehicle. But things changed after we (me and wife) shifted back to Bangalore (5) in Feb 2010. Kind of things became immobile, since we are from KA with loads of relatives and friends visiting us and vice versa. This coupled with negotiating crowded buses and arrogant auto drivers for office and weekend commutes became hell. A vehicle, at least a 2 wheeler became an absolute necessity.

While in Hyderabad during Dec 2009, me and wife had dreamt of having a car after shifting to Bílore. But the reality of increased cost of living in Bangalore after actually shifting brought us back to the ground. Monthly balance after Single earning (my EBIDTA ) minus House Rent minus Expenses minus some pre committed miniscule savings minus Car EMI gave us nightmares and we pitied ourselves for not being able to afford one. Many mornings during breakfast we thought - "Letís take the risk, letís go ahead and buy one on a maximum loan and we can somehow manage EMIs. When many people buy this way, Why canít we?" But by dinner time, a pen and paper showed us the reality again and the morningís josh died its death as the nights fell. So we sincerely dislodged the thought of a car from our minds and realized we just need a commuting arrangement for 2 and hence decided to book a 2 wheeler. Went to book one in March 2010 and this is when the actual story started.

Still to come Ė
Rest of the decision making saga
Twist to the final decision
Cancelled and new booking
Initial ownership experience
ICE updates
Other planned accessories
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:22   #2
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Nice narration there. Waiting eagerly for the rest of the story. I am just guessing- " Would it be a NANO in the end" ?
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:27   #3
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The clue is in the title of the thread itself, its a Swift!
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:29   #4
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Nice start. But seems like the answer to the question is in the thread title itself. I'm thinking you settled on the Swift finally .
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:38   #5
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a very good start to a thread that i am sure to subscribe to , a story that i can relate (At least till now). Waiting to hear the rest of the story !
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Old 20th October 2010, 11:39   #6
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Great Start torq and guess would have sounded more intriguing if only you had given a different title. Most of us might still be wrong to jump to a conclusion on your purchase though!!

Nevertheless, Congrats on your latest Acquisition bro and better start filling in fast before the mods close the thread due to lack of a Purchase Order!!
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Old 20th October 2010, 12:11   #7
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Nicely written there. Swift decision for Buying Swift makes it interesting. By the way was the car delivered swiftly or did you have wait for a few months to get your hands on one?

Enjoy many more happy miles with the car.
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Old 20th October 2010, 14:34   #8
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Default ...continued

Thanks for the quick replies folks. Gives me motivation to continue the story with josh. Well, regarding the final decision, will not comment on your guesses now .

Thanks Eddy for being considerate and reopening the thread.

Note: This will be a long post. Brevity loving people, please bear with me. I'm posting the full decision process hoping it will benefit someone else like me. Have also included the ownership experience at the last part of the post.

After the context, Now the actual story:

We went to TVS showroom to book the 2 wheeler on a Saturday, finished the booking formalities and came out. The delivery was promised in 2-3 days. As we stepped out of the TVS showroom, my eyes fell on a Maruti showroom which is next to this TVS showroom. A glazing display car was beaconing me to come and explore it.

I told my wife – “Why won’t we just go and checkout that car. I know we are not even close to buying any now, but what’s wrong in just seeing it. Anyway it’s a Saturday. We don’t have any better business to do”. My wife’s looks were like “Are you crazy ?”. She tells me “We’ve just made TVS richer and close to exhausting our bank balance and you have thoughts to think of a car”. I convinced her no harm in just going and seeing it as long as the SA can’t make out from our faces that we are there for time pass. She reluctantly joined me. Well this was the first unconscious research towards buying a car, of course with no plans to buy the same.

We went in, an SA approached
“Yes, Sir”.
“umm..we have plans to buy a car shortly (Luckily no lie detector around ), so we are here to check out the same”.
“Which car are you looking for, Sir”.
“ahh…A Star" and I pointed towards the display car
Wife corrected me to my embarassement “It’s a Ritz, you are actually showing a Ritz”.
“Oh ! I’m sorry I meant Ritz not A Star”.

Believe me I was that much wet behind the ears then as far as cars are considered. I didn’t even understand which was a higher trim out VXI and LXI. And when I saw some K Series poster, was wondering whether it relates to engine or gearbox or god knows what.

The SA had us seated and explained about features, variants, petrol/diesel and of course price and took us to the display car and was explaining the features. I was nodding as if I was lapping up everything. After all the pretentions of a potential car owner, I asked him for a test drive (Yes, I know driving atleast. Have been occasionally driving my dad’s plain vanilla Alto). Was told test drive vehicle was not available at that time and he shall send the same coming Monday. “OK, that’s not a problem. Let’s do it on Monday”. My wife was giving me “What are upto Boss???” stares.

Then SA said Sir, Madam, why won’t sit inside the car (Ritz) and see. We then sat inside, closed the doors, felt the luxury of a 5L+ hatch and wished if we could book one right now. I couldn’t resist recalling the scene from the movie Raju Bangaya Gentleman (Forgive me for being little melodramatic here). Remember? SRK and Juhi walk into a car showroom to check out cars with no aukat for buying one. Of course, our condition was not that bad and also I wasn’t doing any overacting like SRK though (Sorry SRK fans). But yes, I was enjoying sitting in the driver’s seat of a luxurious hatch, for a short moment on a still car though.

The pretentions were over and as we prepared to walk out of the showroom, the SA said “Sir, I will call you on Monday and will get the car to your office”. I was praying for this guy to forget it. As we walked out of the showroom and started towards the city bus stop, my head was turning back towards the showroom glass wall to take more glances at Ritz and other cars on display there. Wifey literally dragged my hand towards the city bus. It was like how moms drag kids out of the toy store while kids keep looking back at the shop. Emotional ! Ain’t it ?

Again that evening, we debated whether we can consider buying one. Result was same – Pen and Paper – Josh Dies – But the dream lives on.

Come Monday, SA calls and says “Sir, I’ve actually arranged for TDs to few people working in your office building and on my way right now. You can also take a TD today”. Since I was sitting jobless that day, thought of giving it a spin once. Pulled in a coworker who had bought a manza recently for the TD and we both took a TD. Having driven only plain vanilla Alto (have very occasionally driven few friends’ car), driving a cute little powered hatch was a aha moment. Somewhere in me, actual desire for a car started shaping up.

Guess what ? I thought of taking TDs of other cars (didn’t tell this to my wife. Used to call the TD cars to office). Research and reading started on net (Bumped onto TBHP during this time), started loading my brain with some auto knowledge. All these were happening without firm plans to buy any and withough thinking about the finance.

While all these were happening few incidents happened in parallel which started transforming the WANT to NEED
- While visiting relatives over weekends, after a late dinner, were forced to stay back at their place since they wouldn’t allow us to get back home on a 2W at that hour. It started embarrassing us. Wish we had a car !
- Parents were on their way to a trip and had a pit stop at our place. They were to catch the flight at 6.30 in the morning. It was their maiden flight and my mom was as excited as a kid. Had booked a cab for pick up at 4. He didn’t turn up till 4.30 and upon calling tells me the vehicle has broken down and is sending an alternate vehicle. After few tense moments, another vehicle did pick them up. But Wish we had a car !
- With relatives pouring in, had to do multiple trips on my 2W + Autos for picking and dropping. One hell of an inconvenience every time. Wish we had a car !

And many more such incidents, a car was becoming a need.
While the TDs were on without the actual timelines to buy, few positive things happened – Got few bonuses at work, wife started working and Voila ! we can buy a car now.

A not so serious research and TDs turned serious and intensified now.
Budget set for the car – strictly 5 lakhs.
Rational for the upper cap – No point in buying a hatch which is above 5 lakh. (See what happened later).

Cars TDed and my personal views

Ritz (Vxi Trim)
Big car feeling on the front seats
powerful engine
Good drive-ability in the city

Poor rear view for the driver
Shape of the rear was a no-no

Light steering making it a breeze in the city
Found all the features of 1.2 magna trim apt
Good offers from the dealer

Found the front seats a bit cramped
Too many on the road already

Chevy Beat
A head turner
Excellent interiors
Good cabin insulation
Enjoyed the test drive in terms of power
Lot of good features for the price

Felt this suits college goers..too stylish for me.
Skeptical about GM service

The moment I saw it closely and TDed it, just fell in love with it.
Zxi trim seemed so practical for the sub 5 lakh price tag
Liked the diesel more but budget put a break.

Me and wife were convinced on this and hence thought of booking it. This was in May 2010. Stacked up down payment in one bank account, got all the documents ready for the loan. Was all set to book, but wanted to get feedback on the mileage from the users. Regularly started following TBHP threads. Unfortunately many TDCI threads on TBHP, not many on petrol version. But realized Figo petrol gives 10-12 in the city. Was skeptical about the maintenance cost and resale value as well.

Why I have to consider maintenance and resale value ?
I'm in the kinda of a job where out of nowhere I might be asked to go abroad on a longterm. Resale value is important if I sell it and easy maintenance is important If I chose to leave the vehicle with my parents.

Vista (Wasn’t serious but TDed QJet though it was well over budget)
Liked the overall smoothness of the car
Humongous shape at the rear
A good package overall

Skeptical about TATA A.S.S
The taxi tag to Indica

Then came the Blue Eyed Boy, Wagon R. TDed it couple of times. Lacklustre engine and mediocre driving experience was evident when compared to all above cars. But somehow, we thought of relinquishing Figo and settle for Wagon R since it would be a safe bet in terms of mileage, maintenance and resale value. With Figo in heart, with an effort to be very practical, went ahead and booked a Blue Wagon R on the last week of June 2010 with a waiting period of 2 months. I knew it was a decision from mind and hence started convincing myself about Wagon R.

The initial 15 days after booking were fine, infact wife and I started spotting blue Wagon Rs on the roads and started dreaming one will be with us shortly. But after some days into the booking period, call it post purchase dissonance, started feeling Wagon R doesn't suit me in terms of snob appeal, road presence, feel good factor, performance etc., The thought of canceling and booking a Figo instead kept jogging in my mind. Wife stymied the tempation by reminding the FE, maintenance, resale value of Figo.

Waggy was still in its waiting period even after 1.5 months after booking. One eventful day (last week of August), out of the blue, a thought came to mind. Why not stretch the budget and buy a Swift. This is a proven car with no issues of performance, maintenance, FE, resale value and has a decent status symbol as well.

If you see the thought process so far, Swift was never in our list. Wifey was dead against its looks and I had thought there are too many on the roads already and we should be buying something contemporary. But I donnow what happened that day, all of a sudden I thought Swift it is for me. Bounced the idea to wife expecting a negative answer. After observing my half hearted decision on Wagon R for so may days, she seconded my thought on Swift. Our rationale was "When you invest on 4.6L car half heartedly and not enjoy it, what's the point in buying one. The whole 4.6L looked like a waste". Let's go for it...SWIFT DIESEL. Fortunately, finances by this time permitted for this decision upgrade.

Cancelled the Wagon R booking, got the full refund. Caught a friend who had earlier pushed me to buy a Swift and that he would arrange for the faster delivery through a contact at a dealer. I had ruled out his suggestion then. Fell back on him, booked a white VDI through him on 3rd September. Took the delivery on 27th Sept. Phew !.

Oh boy ! am loving my decision though it was a budget stretch by leaps and bounds.

What I'm Liking:

The big car feel inside and outside
The proven and powerful DDiS engine
Decent cabin insulation
Road presence
The kick that you get after 2k rpm
Great driveability both in city and highways

What I'm not:

The gear shifts are not smooth
Stock tyres aren't good
Even Vdi doesn't come with creature comforts that are present in almost all modern hatches v.i.z electric ORVM adjustment, rear defogger & wiper, seat adjustment/tilt steering, remote boot opener among others.
A "Me Too" feeling. So many Swifts out there.

But I'm ready to embrace these negatives for a proven mini beast.

So folks, this was my roller coaster story of buying a car. Months of research, contemplations changed on one day..one moment infact. It was indeed a SWIFT decision !

Last edited by .anshuman : 24th October 2010 at 20:47. Reason: Extra smiley removed. Please limit max smileys in a post to 2 in future. Thanks
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Old 20th October 2010, 15:48   #9
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Torq man you have quite literally penned down your experience so well that its almost as good as a Visual display!!

Only thing missing from our TBhp custom is few snaps of your White VDI.

From TVS to a VDI, what a Saga bro. Guess you should start hitting highways soon with your SWIFT DECISION, moreso now since your decision has a SWEET TURBO along!!! LOL

Last edited by Vik0728 : 20th October 2010 at 15:50.
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Old 20th October 2010, 16:00   #10
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@ Vik - Thanks bro. Will post the pics tonight or tomorrow.

Last edited by Eddy : 20th October 2010 at 16:06. Reason: Please use the "report post" functionality for such requests
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Old 20th October 2010, 17:05   #11
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I posted a good note of appreciation in the morning before which the thread got locked; let me try testing my best of memory to put back those words

First congratulations; your state of mind typically shows the dilemma of every middle class family undergoes on the decision of purchasing a car & you're penned it down very well.

And many more such incidents, a car was becoming a need
And ^^^ is truly becoming a reality in many people's life & I'm happy that you've come over such embarassing situations.

Strictly speaking, a car is turning to a need in today's life style in our country & I'm glad you've achieved it. Have a pleasent ownership & having bought a Maruti as first car, I'm sure you've made a wise choice.

Congratulations once again
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Old 20th October 2010, 17:38   #12
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Congratulations Torquaris for your car and a big round of for your excellent write up.

Me too in the same situation as yours..

Originally Posted by torquarius View Post

Let me set some context first:

After I started working in 2006, Iíve lived in 3 cities - 1) Bangalore > 2) Chennai > 3) Bangalore > 4) Hyderabad > 5) Back to Bílore and was without even a 2 wheeler from 1 to 4.
This exactly matches mine except that i didnt work in chennai..It was in my mind that i would be getting a vehicle in 2010, but financially was not in a position for entire 2010, but as you said it was a NEED for me to get one, so somehow everything came along and yeah suddenly i am a owner of a car

A good choice of yours and wishing you to have safe miles ahead.
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Old 21st October 2010, 13:21   #13
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Default Pics

Posting few pics of my white beauty taken at the time of delivery.

Check out my ICE update in the thread titled "ICE in my new Swift - The EVOlution" under Sound Off and Show Off. Will be posting ICE installation pics in that thread shortly.

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Slow thought process but a Swift decision-2.jpg

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Slow thought process but a Swift decision-4.jpg
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Old 24th October 2010, 19:53   #14
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Congratulations on your new car. A good write up as well. Post some more pictures of the car. Interipr pics would add beauty to the post.
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Old 24th October 2010, 21:23   #15
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That is one excellent review!! Being from a typical Indian middle class, I could relate to all your experiences and I could feel the underlying emotions too. Must admit, I relived most of those moments through your thread. Thank you very much for the thread

And at last, but not the least, congrats on the car. Drive safe.
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