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Old 13th January 2011, 23:18   #1
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Default My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Hi Friends

I have benefited tremendously from this forum when I was planning my first and only car. I wanted to share my experience with you because all of you have helped me buy my perfect car.

Planning for a Car: I have been driving my Bajaj Avenger for over 4 years now and have absolutely loved every day of it. However, with age catching up, (I am 27 Now), I decided me and my dear wife deserved the luxury of a car. Add to this that Pune auto drivers try to fleece you dry, I felt helpless every time some auto chap demanded 200 Rs for a 15 KM distance because he knew, I had no other choice. Hence, I convinced my wife we needed a car.

Which Car To Buy: I was an absolute novice with cars. I started with a philosophy that every car is the same, it seats 4 -5 people, why not buy the Alto. Cheap and no loan required. When I started researching about cars all this philosophy went for a toss and I was carried away by the passion with which people wrote about cars and factors influencing their choices. So that first concrete decision was to freeze on a budget. What started as Rs 3.2L for Alto suddenly went up to 6 Lakh for the right car. Now comes the important question? Which was the right car for me? I wanted my wife to hopefully drive it soon. I had no driving experience and was going to driving school. I had 3 cars on my mind. I loved the boot space and the costing of the Swift Dezire and I really liked the styling of the i 10. The car that appealed to me the strongest was the i 20 Magna.

Dealership Experience:So the next step was to go to various dealers and talk to them. I started by going to Kothari Hyundai which was closest to my office. They were very professional and showed me both the i 10 and the i 20. I loved the i 10 sports optional model. The on road price was 5.42L and the car had some awesome features. The i 20 Magna was also good but my friend was always insisting that it was underpowered for a 1.2 L engine. The i 10 Asta with ABS and tilt steering with airbags was 5.9 Lakhs. I then visited Sai Service on JM road to see the Swift Dzire. They said they dont have Swifts and the Dzire's on display since the car is selling like hot cakes. Buying a car without seeing it can be a difficult choice. Hence I decided to go to Wonder cars and also check out Kundan Hyundai and talk to him. This dude was the worst dealer I have seen. They hardly had any cars on display and i realized the Hyundai folks were charging 4500 Rs to get the car from the Godown to the Showroom and clean it before delivery. Also, they were not ready to even talk about discounts at all. This behavior really put me off and I went to Sanjay Hyundai on Wakdewadi to check out the i 10 there. Meanwhile I had read about enough rattle problems and Hyundai's high handed attitude about it to decide that I did not want an i 20. Underpowered engine, A/C issues, rattle problems were too much to bear. Sanjay Hyundai was also really professional and I was liking the i 10 more every time i saw it. But somehow while the heart was satisfied the mind was giving me different signals. The Hyundai i 10 sports optional did not have ABS or Seat Height Adjustment, nor airbags and still cost 5.4L. Also, the car gave me a feeling of a small car and while I am not tall, am definitely big enough to demand more space than it seemed to offer.
Meanwhile the Swift Dzire VXI seemed to be a good option my car freak friend gave me a very valid reason not to buy it. It was hatch with a boot and the center of gravity was very different that what it should be for a hatch. Also, since I could not afford the top end variant, the ABS and Airbags were something I did not want to miss on for a sedan, if I indeed ended up buying one.

The Return of the Dark Ages: I was depressed beyond words. All this research and I still did not have a car to show for it. I did not want Tata for Fiat, Swift had a 3 month waiting and it was too common on the road and I simply did not trust Ford and Chevrolet. Add to this that Skoda was overpricing Fabia, I felt I will never be able to buy a car.

And Then There Was Light: I had almost convinced myself that I will end up with an I10 and was researching on it in Team BHP when I saw some very favorable comments for the Ritz. I had never seriously considered the Ritz since my mind was conditioned to the fact that it was a car with an ugly rear. These comments on Team BHP made me think again and I called up Sai Service to check on its cost. The ZXI was 5.66 L on road, on which Maruti was giving 14K cash discount and 2.5K corporate discount. Now for this I get 1.2L Kappa ka Baap engine, ABS, Airbags, Inbuilt Stereo, Key less entry, Height adjustable seat (used by me), Tilt steering (very useful), and alloy wheels. Add to this Rear Wiper and Defogger and its a potent combo for this price. The I 10 was a car with a much smaller feel and even the Asta variant costing 5.9L had no alloy wheels. I had Blue-tooth though which was a nice addition I had been wanting. Both cars had steering mounted audio controls though and this was a nice incentive for me.

Suddenly my life had zing again. The birds were singing, the sunlight was bright, and I was a Wannabe Ritz owner. The hard part was now convincing my wife about it. She absolutely hated the rear of the Ritz and it took me logic, blackmail, and finally pleading to get her to agree to buy the Ritz.

Which Dealer to Approach: A friend of mine had recommend Chowgule as a dealer which he liked and I thought about giving him a call to check out the car. I called for an inquiry and the sales guy (Nilesh) was extremely polite and well informed. He told me that there was not point talking about a car if I cannot see it, and drove 25 Kms to my house to demo the car. I loved the car. The AC was fantastic, the seating was comfortable, and the driver seat is huge. I looked pleadingly at my wife and she gave me a nonchalant nod resigning to the face that I had made my decision. I really liked the way Nilesh offered the deal and my only other option was Sai Service which was like subzee mundee where no one knew exactly what to buy and felt the next shop could give a better deal. Chowgule was like Big Bazaar. You knew that while the deal may not be the cheapest, it would still be cheap and hassle free.

Negotiating the Freebies: I started asking Chowgule around what they could offer me. Except for 14K of Maruti discount and 2.5 K or corporate discount they said that under body coating and teflon would be done for 3K and they would provide warranty and bill for the same. Alongside this matting, mudflap, and steering wheel covers were complementary. I pressed for more discount and asked him why he could not give me more freebies. I am not sure whether to believe his explanation but found it intriguing none the less. He said that Chowgule gets 15K margin on every Ritz they sell. Out of this 14K is cash discount and 80% of this cash discount is borne by the dealer and 20% by Maruti. Then 2.5 K cash discount is also shared on an 75% and 25% basis between dealer and Maruti. Hence, they have no margin to offer discounts on. I refused to believe this and told him, he cannot seriously run a showroom if he has 1-2K earning per car. His explanation was that every showroom makes profit servicing the car after its bought. I did not know what to say and since I liked the car, paid him advance and booked the car. He also helped me secure a car loan from Kotak Mahindra Bank for 10.75% interest when ICICI and HDFC were offering 11.75 and 12% due to the booming car market.

Choosing the Accessories: I was a novice driver and my wife insisted we buy a reverse parking sensor. This was awesome advice since this device is very frequently used. Paid 4000 for this device and added Luster seat covers for 2400. Some more basic accessories and I was ready to get the car in the First week of Dec 2010.

Buying and Driving Car (1st Service Done)

Chowgule is the guy to buy a car from in Pune. Everything was ready bang on time and they even clicked a picture of me with the car, and printed it, put it in a golden frame and gifted it to me in 5 mins. The car has been an absolute treat to drive. The first service was done on 11th Jan and I opted for the pick and drop facility. This was done in an impeccable manner. The driver was at my office at 9AM. I got a call from the service center at 9:45. The first service cost me 15 Rs for labour cost, 3000 Rs for Bluetooth I installed which integrates with the car stereo, and 150 Rs for pick up and drop. The car was back with me by 4PM and they had done a brilliant job.

Positives of Buying a Ritz:
  • The sense of space in this car is amazing. When i drove an i 10 in my driving lessons after driving a Ritz for a week, it felt like I have moved from a 3BHK to a small 2BHK. I am sorry but there is no other way to say it.
  • The driving seat is huge and soft.
  • The ABS braking system is awesome
  • The car makes zero noise.
  • The engine is par excellence. I pick up the car from almost 0 at times on the second gear and have never felt the need to lower a gear while overtaking any car.
  • The AC is chilly and have never put the blower above 2.
  • The car is priced amazingly well. I feel I have gotten full value for money.
Negatives of Buying a Ritz
  • The rear visibility is a problem while parking the car. Either a parking attendant or a sensor sometimes both are needed when parking in congested spots.
  • The stereo provided by Maruti is a big let down. While I am not a huge music freak, I can still know a bad system when I see one. Sound cracks even at low volumes.
  • The gearshift is generally good but can misbehave sometimes when you have to exert some power to change into reverse gear.
I am more than happy with my choice and I thank every member of Team BHP who helped me make this choice that suited both my heart and my mind. The car cost me 5.4 L and I think it is worth every cent.
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Old 14th January 2011, 09:56   #2
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Hi Akshay, many congrats on the extremely sensible buy considering this is your first car! I'm happy to see that you plonked for the ZXi, and not a cheaper VXi. Good decision to prioritize safety! Please do post some pictures of your new ride!
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Old 14th January 2011, 10:48   #3
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
it felt like I have moved from a 3BHK to a small 2BHK. I am sorry but there is no other way to say it.

Hey Akshay.
Welcome aboard, and also welcome to the proud owner's group of Ritzians.
I really like the 2bhk and 3bhk funda, that was real good one .
Bdw ,which color did you choose.
Also, the bluetooth device that you fitted , was it from the showroom itself or you got it from outside.

Post some pictures man as soon as you are allowed to .

Cheers And drive safe.
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Old 14th January 2011, 11:29   #4
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Thanks for your wishes guy. I got the blue tooth set from Maruti original accessories. The color is silky silver. Multiple reasons for this color. Maintaining it is much easier. Also, the car remains much cooler in the sunlight compared to the darker colors. I actually tested this out with the cars outside my office and the difference is palpable. Another advantage is car is cooled much faster during day drives since heat absorption is much lesser.
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Old 14th January 2011, 11:30   #5
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Hey Akshay,

Welcome to TBHP.
Congratulations on your new Ritz! Yes its a really nice package indeed and good to see you picked the ZXi. One friend of mine who lives in Sadashiv Peth also has a Ritz ZXi and finds it very good to maneuver in the city.

As for the rear, IMHO, the Ritz looks much fresher and smarter from rear when compared to the dud Swift rear. No offense meant of course.
BTW, when you say "ABS is awesome" - I hope you haven't had to really experience some harsh braking already?
Some photos would be a treat for our eyes

Wishing you and your family unlimited safe and happy miles with your new car.

Keep updates coming regularly.
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Old 14th January 2011, 11:43   #6
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Hey Akshay,
Congrats for your first car. Ritz is a very good car to start with. As you said the engine is one of the highlighting points in the car. Sometimes you will not even realize whether the engine is running or not. The sexy retro styled RPM meter comes to rescue to avoid giving ignition when engine is already running.
Run-in her properly to get maximum mileage out of it.
And where are the pics man? A post without a pic is a crime
Drive safe.
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Old 14th January 2011, 11:52   #7
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
I got the blue tooth set from Maruti original accessories.

Thats good, could please let me know the part no for the same, actually im also in the lookout for the same .
I don't see the same listed in the Ritz's accessories PDF from maruti.
Cheers

Last edited by Schoudhury : 14th January 2011 at 12:06.
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:07   #8
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
The gearshift is generally good but can misbehave sometimes when you have to exert some power to change into reverse gear.
Don't worry about this. It would settle in a month or two. Slotting into reverse gear feels hard till first 2 -3000 KMs.
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:19   #9
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Hi Akshay,
Congrats, for ur new Ritz Car, be more cautious while giving ur car for
servicing - for 3 free services they will charge more. And for paid services
they will start saying lot of more problems - and the charges will be around Rs.10k to Rs.15K.
So always consider a nice mechanic before giving it for a service.
Than-x
Binesh

Last edited by Dippy : 14th January 2011 at 18:33. Reason: Please avoid quoting a long post when replying to a topic. Thanks
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Old 14th January 2011, 12:20   #10
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
Chowgule is the guy to buy a car from in Pune.
Completely agree. Compared to the response I had received from Sai Service, JM Road, (nobody bothers to show you a car, no car available for TD, no commitment on delivery times, no display car either, take it-or-leave it salespeople, the list was endless) , had almost turned me off brand Maruti when I was buying a car.
However, Chowgule was far better in almost every respect. I am happy with their service too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
[*]The engine is par excellence. I pick up the car from almost 0 at times on the second gear and have never felt the need to lower a gear while overtaking any car.
The engine is really one of the highlights of this car. You slot it in 2nd and take your foot off completely the a-pedal, and you still have to brake in order to prevent it from accelerating too much in traffic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
[*]The gearshift is generally good but can misbehave sometimes when you have to exert some power to change into reverse gear.[/list]
To get over this, I usually slot it into 1st, slide ahead a wee bit, and then engage the reverse.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
The car cost me 5.4 L and I think it is worth every cent.
5.4L OTR is simply AMAZING value for money. Enjoy your car and post lots of pics!
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Old 14th January 2011, 13:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
BTW, when you say "ABS is awesome" - I hope you haven't had to really experience some harsh braking already?
Some photos would be a treat for our eyes
Well actually near the Pune airport a cyclist got possessed by the spirit of someone who rides a 1000 CC Ducati bike and cut across 3 lanes to end up right in front of my car. Used ABS to full effect when I had to brake really hard and stopped an inch before him. The dude magnanimously waved his hand, asking me to overtake him and proceed, and I rolled down the window and asked him, if he would have shown the same kindness if he were below my wheels. He gave a stupid grin and passed on, while I thanked the inventor of ABS brakes. I know that it only reduced braking distance marginally and is very useful on wet roads, but this time the smallest of margins helped.

Also will post pictures over the weekend.
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Old 14th January 2011, 15:03   #12
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Congratulations Akshay.

Can you post some pics of the car?

Be warned, with when you slam on the breaks, keep an eye out on the rear view mirror. The car following you may not be able to stop in time.
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Old 14th January 2011, 16:04   #13
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Congrats on your Ritz. Good car to start with. Loads of cabin space makes you feel like you are driving a sedan rather than a hatch. Be careful in city driving. That A pillar has a huge blind spot and can easily hide a person if you get the angle right. Be double careful while reversing. Small rear window doesn't help matters. Its good that you got yourself a reverse parking sensor. I say this from experience.
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Old 14th January 2011, 17:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay_ritz View Post
Well actually near the Pune airport a cyclist got possessed by the spirit of someone who rides a 1000 CC Ducati bike and cut across 3 lanes to end up right in front of my car. Used ABS to full effect when I had to brake really hard and stopped an inch before him. The dude magnanimously waved his hand, asking me to overtake him and proceed, and I rolled down the window and asked him, if he would have shown the same kindness if he were below my wheels. He gave a stupid grin and passed on, while I thanked the inventor of ABS brakes. I know that it only reduced braking distance marginally and is very useful on wet roads, but this time the smallest of margins helped.

Also will post pictures over the weekend.
I dreaded some close shave...And it was. Touch wood, no harms to your car and you guys. Nobody on this planet knows about the "ghostriders" as much as we Punekars do. After more than 10 years of driving, my advise would be NEVER stop and say anything at all. Its just some waste of our time and calories...

Drive safe. Its one hell of a powerful car you got there around you

Cheers!
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Old 14th January 2011, 22:33   #15
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Default Re: My Ritz: The Journey of a Car Novice

Congrats on your new Ritz ZXI and we wish you many, many kms of eventful and pleasant drives in the future.

I too had the recent task of shortlisting a new car, albeit, with a lower budget of Rs 4.5 lakh here in Goa. My finalists were the two excellent competitors, the Ritz LXI and I10 1.2 Magna. You may find my ownership experience at:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ve-dwarfs.html

While the Ritz ZXI may appear to be more value for money in comparison to the I10 Asta (and you seem justified in your decision to opt for the ZXI), the situation was quite the opposite for the lower variants, especially when I compared the Ritz LXI with the I10 1.2 Magna.

While it is true that the Ritz LXI is a "3BHK" and an I10 a "2BHK" as you have put it, a close comparison of the two variants made me prefer the "fully furnished 2 BHK" in comparison to the "empty 3BHK". In other words, for Rs 4.3 Lakh, I had an I10 with 4 power windows, central locking, D/N mirror, electric rear view mirrors, tachometer, gear shift indicator, etc. For the same amount, the Ritz LXI only had the benefit of larger cabin space and split rear seats on it.

But more than the furnishing/fitments, the relatively greater body roll on the Ritz, especially on sharp turns, was a major deal breaker for us. In contrast, we found the I10 to have much less body roll. Given the fact that my wife and our 3-yr-old daughter do not adjust too well during heavy body roll, it was the I10 for us. By the way, my wife's brother has a Ritz LDI and we have had pleasant drives in that car.

The cabin space is indeed great on the Ritz, but when I have to squeeze inside a narrow parking slot on a busy road in Panjim, I am grateful for having chosen a compact car with decent cabin space.

I quite agree with you on the poor quality of the music player on the Ritz ZXI. When we test drove the ZXI (the demo car was a ZXI), the music player was quite poor (but thankfully better than one on the new Wagon-R, which, in my opinion, is a disaster).

We really liked the music player on the Figo, followed by the I10, in the demo cars that we had tested. But in any case, the I10 Magna (and LXI variant of the Ritz) does not come with an integrated music player and hence, our comparison of music players was purely academic.

Do post us some snaps of you car. Happy driving.

Last edited by misquitas : 14th January 2011 at 22:42.
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