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Old 8th October 2020, 16:28   #46
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My favourite car has to be my 2010 i20 (now sold). Solid build, absolute delight on the highways and a stellar audio system. It had major issues cropping up very often and during a Goa trip it refused to change gears (clutch plates had given up). Hyundai doesn't make such quality products anymore. Attaching a few pictures:
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:35   #47
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Favorite car I ever owned was the 2007 Honda Civic. The car looked stunning in black and drove like a dream!
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:35   #48
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Hands down, my 2013 Mercedes E200. Phenomenal comfort, loads of space, exceptional ride quality, and oodles of luxury are just some of the reasons why I love it. I have driven many more cars, but none have come close to what the E offers. Itís a car that gives me unmeasured joy every time I drive it. Also, it being the prefacelift, the star on the bonnet just gives a different feeling every time I see it while driving.
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:46   #49
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A Perfect Substitute for a Porsche Boxster

We lived opposite the Porsche showroom when we stayed abroad. And the Missus always wanted a Boxster. So I bought her a Candy Red Nano XTA, the perfect substitute for a Boxster to match my affordability and Indian road conditions. It is Red, Rear Engined, has a ‘Sport Mode’, is just as noisy and has a fussy electro-mechanical gearbox like the PDK. The Missus doesn't get the joke, understandably.

Cars are amongst the greatest loves in my life. I was fortunate to have found my Ikigai early. I and joined the auto industry, first as an auto journalist in my teens and then as an auto company employee. I have had the honour of working for half a dozen Fortune 500 auto brands – Indian, German and Japanese. I have been fortunate to have driven and owned some very fine cars and driven on fine roads abroad. So yes, been there, done that. While the expensive and the rare will draw oohs and aahs, let me zig while the world zags. After 3 decades of driving, the best car IMHO is my Tata Nano XTA Candy Red.

First, full disclosure – I work for Tata. I bought the Nano with my own money – it was not a company car. If I were making a pitch for my own company’s cars, why would I choose a model that is discontinued and vilified. Truth is I genuinely love it.

It is easy to make a wonderful car, cost no object. But no one else has ever made a car so complete, so right for India at this price. I paid Rs. 2.5 Lakhs all–inclusive for the car, including a Gold AMC package and a boot opener thingmajig. The purpose of buying a Nano was to teach the Missus and my two daughters how to drive. My younger daughter named her Jerry for the cheeky, lovable mouse of the Tom & Jerry cartoons.

In the three and half years that I have owned Jerry, I have only spent extra for the floor mats. The rubber mats given by the dealer smelled like a tyre store and I had to change it. Other than that no expense or issue with the car. None! It is not a perfect car. But what it delivers for the price is does? . . . There is nothing that even comes close.

Let us start with the Cons.

1) The 2 cylinder engine is noisy, non-linear, jerky and not particularly fuel efficient. A smart-aleck urchin on the road told me ‘Uncle, you could have put in a little more money and been the proud owner of an auto-rickshaw instead of this noisy thing!’. To be fair it is silent within the cabin but pass-by noise is bad and sounds terrible aurally too.

2) The AMT is dim witted and is barely tolerable in Sport Mode. It is particularly stark given that my last yardstick for comparison was a VW Passat DSG. Nowadays I have a Hexa XTA which is also pretty ‘maska’ (butter smooth) as we say here in Mumbai!

3) The brake cylinder is too small and under repeated braking is often caught wanting. So pedal effort varies and one needs to be conscious of this.

4) There is no Hill Hold (seriously, you want hill hold at this price?). Many Indian drivers cannot handle a reverse slope. Even the Missus is terrified when the vehicle starts rolling back on a slope. So, yes as a beginner’s car it would have been good to have Hill Hold on the car at extra cost. Summing up, there is nothing that one cannot get used to, except the fuel efficiency bit.

With that little nit-picking out of the way it is time for the many Pros of my Nano XTA.

1) It brings Joy. Whenever I look at Jerry with its shiny Candy Red paint she makes me smile. Toddlers wave at me, people turn around and mouth the word Nano. The only time I got so much attention in a car when I had a VW Beetle with me for a few weeks.

Mumbai policemen wave me off with a ‘Tsala Tsala’ (go on) and a knowing smile ignoring my minor traffic infractions. Fuel station attendants move me to the top of the queue. Everyone wants to chat up the jolly Hawaiian shirted Uncle in the Nano. Soichiro Honda, a legend I immensely respect, spoke about The Three Joys – Joy of Making, Selling and Owning. The Nano brings immense joy of ownership. Go ahead and chat-up any Nano owner and you’ll realise we are a pretty thrilled lot.

2) Park anywhere. Parking woes? What parking woes? Shopkeepers happily let me park outside their shop, watchmen let me leave the car wherever I want and reassure me they’ll keep a watch over it. She turns on a dime and is the perfect car for bazar hopping.

3) Spacious and airy as a barn. It is a proper 5 seater. The headroom is generous, the visibility (except for the chunky A Pillar) is superb. Also, it makes a superb chauffeur driven car. The first time I drove a Nano was in Germany (surprise, surprise) with 4 burly German colleagues in the car. It was a laugh-riot but the Germans were impressed.

4) A hoot to drive. It is a go-kart. Put her on Sport Mode, hang the right elbow on the door sill and go overtake every car on the road. You can traumatize most motorists by overtaking them. It is fun seeing their expressions in the mirror.

5) A freezer on wheels. No matter what the ambient temperature, the AC chills in a jiffy. With Mumbai being perennially humid, I am thankful to crank up the AC after I plop myself after carrying groceries . An enclosed bubble is always preferable to an auto rickshaw or 2 wheeler as a runabout, during 4 months of Mumbai monsoon and now the pandemic.

I plan to keep the Nano for as long as I can. I am looking for someone who can later convert it in to a scary fast electric car. It will be a perfect sleeper car to smoke some German cars at the stop signals. There are many 2nd hand Nanos going for lesser than the price of a good bicycle. It is sure to become a coveted classic in a few years. Time you got yourself a Nano and experienced the sheer joy this little, misunderstood car can bring to your life.
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Last edited by Ferruccio : 8th October 2020 at 16:47.
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Old 8th October 2020, 16:53   #50
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That one car....

For me itíll be my humble Alto K10. I got that car in 2011 but it was only until 2016 that I got to lay my hands on her and that day I understood why my brother and father loved it so much. Never thought that a car with 67 hp of power and a tiny 3-cylinder 1 litre engine would bring a smile to my face every time I drive it. I loved that thing also because it taught me how to drive and how you can enjoy a car without all that gizmos and all your ďnice to haveĒ features. All you need is a manual transmission and a good playlist!
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Old 8th October 2020, 17:16   #51
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My first car Contessa Classic purchased from my own earnings during my early twenties. Learnt driving and understood the mechanicals. Was a pain in the back to maintain this car due to unavailability of spares and poor FE, but diving pleasure is a pure bliss. Hence, this one is special and close to my heart, still evokes memories to this day. Sold it off (dont know why i did that).

My next love was the Fiat GP that I brought and was with me for longer duration of almost 7 years. I was drooled over with its look when I first saw in showroom and felt that this is what a proper car should be. Everything about it was good except initial acceleration.

Sold it off in 2016 as felt the need for a new car. first booked Baleno and cancelled it as I didnt felt good about this car during test drive. booked Ford figo and that too was cancelled. Took TD for several cars and for some reason I could not find that connect with any of the other cars that I had with either conti or with Fiat GP. Right then, I went back to Fiat again, this time Fiat Punto Evo and is now remapped. This car just understands the pulse of my heart and brings a smile on my face. Every time!!
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Old 8th October 2020, 18:13   #52
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My favorite car would have to be my first car, BMW 3 series. Have driven plenty of good cars that are far more superior to this but nothing even comes close to my 3er. Have had it for 6 years now and the journey has been nothing but exceptional. It started out as a stock F30 328i Luxury line and over the years, after spending a lot of time and energy on it, have made it totally unique and according to my taste. All the efforts and resources are incomparable to the wonderful memories this car has created for me and my dear ones. This one's never leaving the garage.

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Old 8th October 2020, 18:24   #53
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My pre-owned Honda Civic bought in 2013 and sold in 2017.

I still remember in 2006 when my father first took us on a drive in his friend's brand new Civic. The free revving NA petrol engine, the slick gearbox, Independent rear suspension, the hydraulic steering and that speedo. We were awed by the futuristic interiors coming from a 2001 Ford ikon 1.6.

In 2007 when it was time to change the Ikon, my father booked the Civic without even test driving any other car. But at the time, parking was an issue in the house we were staying. He contemplated and modified the booking and we ended up buying the Honda City Vtec instead.

Fast forward to 2013 and I came across a slightly modified (cosmetic only) 2008 Civic for sale in TBHP classifieds. Turns out it belongs to another family friend. The deal was made and poof! I had a Civic! It was an upgrade to my Santro Xing and as one can imagine, it was better in every way. The way it built revs all the way to the redline was exhilarating for me. It could do almost 70 kmph in the 1st gear, 110 kmph in the 2nd gear and 143 kmph in the 3rd gear before the rev limiter cut off the throttle. I had made all sorts of plans for stage 1 and stage 2 mods as the previous owner had left the engine stock.

But then I had to go out of India for my Masters and after coming back, sold the Civic and got a used Fortuner as it was more suited for my usage. But it still remains one of the best handling manual petrol sedans of the last decade in India IMO. My next car will definitely be a petrol enthusiast's car from one of the German stables. Unless of course the Civic Type R is launched in India. That will be a worthy competitor for the likes of the Octy vRS.

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Old 8th October 2020, 19:05   #54
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Nice thread! A bit of Nostalgia can bring smiles on our faces..

I loved the Lancer (had both Petrol & Diesel) back then when it used to be a workhorse and withstood almost anything that's thrown at it...Parted ways with it to go for a new vehicle and we bought ourselves a Punto MJD in 2013. The confidence & the ride quality that Punto brings is leagues ahead in its segment, barring the slightly underpowered MJD

Absolutely loved it and thoroughly enjoyed my time with the Punto & used to be my first attempt at subtle mods! The 2nd workhorse and the national engine for a reason

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Then the need for some extra power came up and Ford Aspire Sports TDCI came home! It was a hoot to drive and the brilliant engine kept me in good revvs. used to find reasons to revv it

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Happened to lease a Chevy Cruze in the US while there for a work assignment and it was my first take on AT!! It gives me some beautiful memories...and deserves a special mention here

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Finally I was intrigued by the Rapid TSI and took a plunge, might look like a downgrade from a Torque perspective but It had the big boy manners and so far enjoying it! There were a bit of DIYs, many subtle mods I liked and keeping me engaged. This will stay for years with me and I hope the car ages well.

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Here is looking for more to come!! Loved reading all your posts...Happy riding!

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Old 8th October 2020, 19:13   #55
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My very first attempt to drive a car was when I was in 5th grade. I knew how everything was done in theory but I had never tried it.
We lived somewhat close to an unused airport back in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. I was (over) confident and pestered my father to let me try my hand at driving there. He agreed to let me drive his 1998 honda CRV.

Well, what can I say. My first time was a DISASTER . I couldn't get the clutch control right and I was SAD. I learnt driving after that over 2 years by reversing out of and into our parking spot.

I didn't like the car very much back then, because it had a few scratches and it was quite old.

We sold the car in 2013 at 160,000 Kms (with the stock factory clutch, mind you) and moved to Hyderabad and purchased an EcoSport.

This is when I started missing my old CRV. She was the most reliable machine ever and never broke down on us. My dad isn't the most mechanically sympathetic and always caned her after cold starts. Despite this and all the abuse of me learning how to drive, she was still perfect. Sometimes I wish I could've imported her here instead of buying the EcoSport. Sure the EcoSport is a great car but she doesn't hold a candle against my ancient and beloved CRV.

The CRV had a mechanical AWD system that helped us explore new picnic spots and untouched sandy beaches. There was a foldable picnic table (stock) in the dicky floor which really was a party trick. The trunk glass opened up separately and you could drive like that. I have lost count of the number of times I reversed her into trees, walls and light poles. The rear Stepney took all of it in its stride.

I loved her because she was simple, pure, reliable and absolutely fuss free. ( Heck, dad used desalinated tap water in the radiator) And I hope to own and drive something as dependable as her.

Im not crying. Someone's cutting onions here.
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Old 8th October 2020, 20:36   #56
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My first car was Swift. It was nice but nothing compared to my 2nd car, a Linea T-jet. I never thought i can have emotions towards a car, but i did, for the Fiat. I wish it was an AT and i could keep it forever.

Recently i asked everyone about how to replace my car, in a separate thread. Think about it, if there was an easy answer, I wouldn’t need to ask that question.

What a lovely car. Soulful is the word.

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Old 8th October 2020, 21:18   #57
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Ah lovely thread indeed! I think my first car, a Maruti Ritz was certainly emotional and it did make my parents happier than me. Nothing like that proud feeling on their faces.

I had a lot of fun with my next car, the Civic with that super rev happy engine.

But the emotional connect and the feel good factor was really with the V40 CC. It takes us places with that reassuring feel that we are fairly safe. It makes me drive for hours together and I just cannot get enough of it at times. We all know its a machine but its a wonderful feeling when you get that emotional connection with the machine and its a special feeling for sure!

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Old 8th October 2020, 21:42   #58
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Having owned multiple cars and car brands over the years from utility to luxury, no car gave me the connection of a Tata Sierra. Just like how Nicholas cage has a connection with the Eleanor Mustang in Gone in 60 Seconds movie, I have a connection with Tata Sierra.

I learnt everything about cars starting from this car model. All those things I know about diesel cars, mechanicals, hydraulics, electricals of car is due to Sierra only. This is a car which made me know cars and become a car enthusiast. In fact I found Team-BHP forum through Orkut Tata Sierra community in 2007 or 2008.

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Sierra is the first ever car which I drove. As a teenager, I used to sneak out with this vehicle when no one was around and learnt driving on my own. We own 3 Tata sierras and we still have them, These cars took me to my school, college and many places, there are many memories attached with these cars. All our Sierras combined put 10 lakh + kms over the years. In fact I took my girlfriend on a first date in my Sierra when I was in college.

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I really felt sad when I had to move abroad for higher studies, infact I kissed the Tata logo on the bonnet of my Sierras before leaving home. I know few people will think that I'm crazy but I just love this car. When I was a kid, I used to go to Walden (book & toy shop) in my sierra and used to buy Sierra toys to play.

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Old 8th October 2020, 23:24   #59
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My 2007 Honda Civic was by far the best car I have owned. to date, I cant avoid looking at a well kept civic. I still have the pictures from years ago when I got it home.
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Old 8th October 2020, 23:44   #60
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Among the ones that I owned, Estilo was a capable vehicle. It had a peppy engine, good torque and quite suited for the Pune traffic. It was fun slotting from 1st to 3rd at high revs without adverse issues. Not to mention the AC which was very powerful. This is in the hatch segment in INdia.
I am impressed with the Prius in the US. Loads of features, safety things and , surprisingly, powerful for a hybrid. It holds its own at traffic lights.

Again - This is based on ownership and not desire!!
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