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Old 14th January 2011, 17:17   #1
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Cool i love you i20

It all started in early 2009; there was this one flash in front of my eyes. Violins started to play, wind started to blow. A typical scene from the movie "Mahobbatein". I was riding my motorbike to the office, when all of a sudden; I saw an absolute stunner parked beside the road. I fell in love with that car then and there itself. This was purely a "love at first sight". And then after, this car turned my head every time I saw it on the road. In terms of looks, this car made its home in my heart. Till this day, I was madly in love with Chevy Spark. But this car had got it all.

I continued to be an all-i-need-2wheeler type of guy. With my wife, we did lot many long rides on my trusted Honda Unicorn and enjoyed every bit of it.

Then, the story moves forward to the end of 2010. I was blessed with the good news of ďmarital promotionĒ. Hence, the need of adding luxury to our lives popped up. I rushed to the nearest driving school to start my lesson on car driving.

So, I was in a situation to purchase a new car with no idea about how to drive it. I was in confused state with options ranging from Alto to Jazz. At that time, T-BHP helped a lot. It didnít take much time to understand the technical discussion as I belong to the community of mechanical engineers. At the same time, I understood what other points (ergonomics, driveability, features etc) should be considered while buying a car. We were rushing to buy a car at the earliest, to avail the various discount offers during December. And also, my wife started having trouble in sitting on my bike.

Even though, I had crush on i20, I had a look at other recent launches. The first question was whether to go for Diesel or Petrol. After a careful survey, I realized that diesel is needed if
- Usage is at least 2000km per month
- Live in hilly region (for the advantage of turbocharger)
- You are sincere with service schedule and taking good care of the vehicle
- Have good hands on car driving
So I decided to go with a petrol car attributing to the 1st reason and 4th reason.
So, the other cars I considered for further detail research were: Ford Figo, Tata Indica Vista, Fiat Punto and the Hyundai i20. The cars that didnít get much consideration were
- Swift: because of the fact that every 3rd car on Bangalore roads is swift
- Polo: 3 cylinder engine and price tag considering the loaded features
- Fabia: 3 cylinder engine, price tag and looks like hybrid of Swift and mini-cooper
- Jazz: price tag
- Ritz: rear end
My wife also suggested waiting for Toyota Etios, but I donít really like sedans. Moreover, Etios would have taken another 2-3 months to own it. So, rejected it.

Now coming to the shortlisted contenders:

Figo: After going through the reviews posted on TBHP, I got an impression that Figo is a good buy for the diesel variant. I took the TD of the petrol variant (Titanium). Liked it but as I mentioned earlier, I was just learning to drive. So, I couldnít assess the car from drivability perspective. The a/c was a chiller and was hitting on my head. Figoís a/c would really be good in northern and central part of India, but in Bangalore, It will give me a running nose. The dealership experience was also good with Metro Ford. They arranged the TD within 4hrs of our request.
No cash discount was offered from Ford, but included freebies of worth Rs 10k.

Punto: I was interested in Punto Emotion 1.2. We just walked in KHT motors. But the TD vehicle wasnít available at that time. I asked him to arrange the TD over the next weekend. But it was too late as we needed to book a car at the earliest. When asked for Indica Vista, the dealer was pushing us for Punto (because of higher commission from FIAT?). He wasnít even ready to schedule a TD for Vista.

i20: After Figoís TD, we took TD on my love. Oh, I canít describe the feeling. (Please excuse if I am being biased to i20. But this car is my old time love.) The first step into the car gave me a feeling of getting inside a big car. Drove it for around 5km within my limits of being a learner, I enjoyed every bit of it. A thought came to my mind that if a beginner like me can feel the difference between Figo and i20, then i20 has definitely something in it. The passenger cabin was surprisingly silent. The ACC was doing a better job. The gas filled suspension was really soft (you may know that the gas type suspension is adopted from aircraft landing gears).
I was already equipped with various reviews related to i20. In nutshell, the negatives I observed were:
- 1.2 kappa is under powered for this bigger and heavier body
- a/c is not at par with other competitors
- steering rattling sound
As a new learner, I am fine with having an under powered engine. Frankly speaking, I never felt it that way. I have comfortably overtaken Volvo buses on the Outer Ring Road of Bangalore. Regarding less effective a/c, itís not a big issue considering the Bangalore weather. In terms of steering rattling sound, I just pray not to get it in my car.

And now the list of criteria that made i20 as the final choice:
- my ďlove at first sightĒ
- super smooth drivability (I am yet to test at higher speeds)
- extremely spacious and classy interiors
- large boot space
- features like electric ORVMs, 60:40 foldable rear seats (IMHO, seats in i20 are at par to the magic seats offered in Jazz), tilt-telescopic steering, steering mounted audio controls, ACC, all 4 power windows
- very quite passenger cabin
- mediocre sound quality (not as good as my Bose speakers at home), AUX and USB connectivity

I liked i20 in many colours like dark grey, silky beige, berry red and blue. My wife insisted on white or berry red. Voila! We got a finite intersection set and berry red was finalized. I had already extended my budget from Figo Titaniumís 5.4L to 5.9L for i20 magna. But then, my wife pushed me to spend extra 40k and suggested to go for 1.2Sportz model. I would have loved to go for i20 Asta, but I decided to put brakes on my budget extension. I compromised on features like ABS&EBD from Asta and settled down on Sportz. I really feel Hyundai should give ABS & EBD in Sportz variant instead of driver side airbags. I also wanted to have fog lights, which Sportz model lacks and planning to put them on my own.

Now coming to dealership experience:
We took the TD at Trident Hyundai on Bellary Road and booked the vehicle at the same place. We were promised a delivery of 5 days (!!) as they said that the color is available in stock. 2 days for loan approval, 2 days for registration and 1 day for PDI. I booked the car with Rs 10k on 20th Dec 2010. The insurance amount of around 20k was waived off under the December month offer and was promised freebies of floor mat kit, mud flaps, Ganesh idol, air freshener, car cover and sun film. I also opted for 3 years extended service warranty.
But next day I got a call that the colour I opted is not in stock and it may take 1 month, if I insist on berry red. I was given option of selecting dark grey or silky beige if wanted to have quick delivery. I was really pissed off with this, because I felt cheated. The dealer did false promise to have the car booked. I blasted him and asked him to arrange berry red Sportz model asap. After extensive follow-up and to my luck, another customer who had booked berry red Sportz didnít get his loan approved. However, his car was already dispatched from Chennai as he had done the down payment. So, his car was allotted to me and delivered on 30th Dec 2010. I know that 10 days of delivery time is really quick for a car, but I was particularly not happy with the false promise done to me.
Apart from this, overall experience was good. They performed puja, clicked a picture of me, my wife and the car, explained all the features and gave a box of sweets.

So, this is my story. I have driven around 200km now and FE is yet to be calculated. I have got addicted to drive this beauty. I have become more punctual to my office, as I start early to avoid rush hours through a highly congested junction (tin factory on Old Madras road in Bangalore). I always look for an opportunity to drive it.

Pictures to be taken over this weekend and posted on Monday.

Now, I am eagerly waiting for TBHP stickers to decorate my car
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Old 14th January 2011, 18:30   #2
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Red face Re: i love you i20

Congratulations on your new possession. The i20 is a fantastic car to drive. Happy mile crunching, drive safely.

Two things surprised me a lot
1) Rejection of Ford Figo for the AC being too effective
2) Buying a car without the basic safety features like ABS

The reason for surprise is that you claim to have read reviews on the forum and still went ahead to buy a car without ABS. There have been tons of reading material on the fourm advocating the need for ABS in basic variants too. Dont get me wrong here, just expressing my views.

All the Best.
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Old 14th January 2011, 18:32   #3
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Default Re: i love you i20

Congratulations on the car! Please note that Team-BHP does not permit booking / buying experience threads in the Test-Drives section anymore. For the benefit of members & guests alike, it is now imperative to include a complete report on the car (the driving experience / comfort / features, what you like, what you don't like etc.).

This thread is temporarily closed. Please report this post once you are ready to update with a complete driving report; that's when it shall be re-opened. Thanks for your support.
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