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Old 8th August 2009, 22:44   #1
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Default frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10

It's been quite a long time since I logged on to team-bhp for the very first time. 3 years to be precise.
Ever since I joined, I envied people who wrote in this section. I always dreamt of opening my own thread here, and gazing at people's threads always gave me goose bumps.
The new horseless carriages with their freshly polished gleaming metal, seats enveloped in clear plastic, the virgin shiny tyres; the odometer showing just a few miles on the clock, and the freshly placed Idol of God, taking pride of place on the centre console of the facia, all made me very nostalgic about the time that I got my first car. I was all of 1 year, and I had a very bad cough and cold. I hadn't eaten a thing since morning, and I could hardly breathe. I can't recall everything about the evening I got my car, but I can most definitely remember the smell that pierced my nose! Fresh car interiors. Which, till now, are my favourite fragrance. Followed by the smell of fuel.
Perusing the write ups of elated owners gasping a few, excited words, gushing about their new possessions made me liken the delivery of a new car with that of the arrival of a new baby in the family. The fanfare, the pride, the happiness, the tears and the absolute urge to go out and parade the new arrival: all are present when there is a new offspring as well as a new automobile in the family.
Cut to the topic, and I shall tell you why I have opened this thread today. It has been a long but unforgetful journey with MH-01-DA-5076, since that fateful Fall in 2001, when we got her home. 8 Years of unfaltering bliss with my Maruti Esteem, that never ever broke down on us. Save for a few punctures, we were never stranded on the road because of her. This kind of a history was nary present in our family, because of which she got the reputation of being a bulletproof horse. Come hail, come storm, she breezed through the worst of conditions, most pathetic Mumbai roads, and even some dicey situations where she was subjected to abuse because of the fact that some idiot had forgotten to connect the radiator to the radiator water bottle, and even disconnected the radiator fan in the process. My Esteem has braved all this, and still, till date, never broken down on the road in its 41 odd k that Dad and I drover her. Dad has driven her till 10k, after which the younger generation took over her reigns. Mom even had a short stint, learning driving on her, and I had a few shunts with her. But she stayed faithful, loving and most importantly, FUN.. I can still vouch for the fact, that most modern cars cannot hold a candle to my car at traffic signals, and more often than not, I am always first off the lights. The light body, the reasonably powerful, high revving, buzzy and light gem of a piece of aluminum mastery, made this car a rocket. It's still a rocket. Period. 8 years, and everything has it's span. Dad decided we needed a bump up, and we decided to put it up for sale. It's spoken for. Within 2 hours of putting up the advertisement. A record of sorts for us.
Now, I am new to the concept of writing in this section. So I apologise for the ramble, but I promise to speak about the actual reason why I opened this thread now.
We have booked our new car. Yes, after a long hiatus of 8 years, I will get to smell fresh interiors again!

It's a Ford Fiesta S, Diamond White in colour. We have booked it on the 7th of August, 2009 at Shaman Motors, and are now awaiting verification from the Kotak Mahindra Finance company, since we have applied for a loan on a fraction of the ex-showroom cost, which we shall be susbequently paying over a period of 3 years, in 35 installments.

Many might ask. WHY a Ford Fiesta? Did I take test drives? How did I arrive at this decision? Why the sports variant?

Let me brief you'll on what EXACTLY I wanted BEFORE I test-drove the Fiesta.

One Month ago:
I wanted a diesel. Period. Regardless of what anyone would say. I'd campaign for a diesel at the drop of a hat. We have a running of 5 km a day, and sometimes we don't even start her up. But I still yearned for a Diesel.

Reason: I had driven the Swift Dzire and Swift Diesel with the national engine, and I loved those torque-surges. I felt a chill in my spine every time I was pushed back in my seat in 2nd and 3rd gears due to the absolute rush of torque. I wanted to swim in this river of torque. I did not give 2 hoots about economy, or the fact that diesels cost a lot over their similarly specced petrol counterparts in all the segments that offered a diesel stallion in the stable, alongwith the Petrol dud of the same spec.

I started my test-drive sessions.
Let me say a few words about the cars I drove.

1. Honda Jazz: Smooth engine, lack of torque, Innovative design, Quirky shape and horrid price tag for the kit.

2. Honda City: Trashy engine at higher revs, garish interiors, lack of driver appeal, spacious but not sporty. The City is a decision one makes with the mind, and not the heart.

3. Fiat Linea/Punto: Bad engines, REALLY bad customer service, Badly maintained test mule. Petrol was underpowered, national engine didn't feel like it was in good shape. Slightly low rent plastics. Good amount of kit. Super sexy looks.

4. Hyundai i20: Uninspiring performance, Lack of rear seat space, small boot, over priced for a hatch of those dimensions. Very well specced, but I wouldn't end up paying 6.5 lacs for vehicle no larger than a Getz. Would have loved to test the diesel, but the price of the diesel (8.5 lacs) was ridiculous. Hence, declined the offer.

5. Hyundai Verna Diesel: Brute of an engine, Low seating, Lack of kit, Turbo lag and overall feeling was of something missing. 9.5 lacs for this car was not what I intended to pay.

6. Maruti SX4: Smooth engine, Characterless car, Poor suspension, high, commanding driving position, but slightly flawed due to lack of visibility. Good amount of kit. No way was I going to pay 8.5 lacs for a car that has almost the same interiors as a Swift. Pretty pointless, to say the least.

7. Maruti Ritz: Now this car, in true Maruti style, gave a tough fight to all cars that I drove, the Fiesta included. Smooth revving KB series petrol engine (didn't bother asking for the national engine, after the Linea debacle), highly specced ZXi version, ABS, dual airbags, comfortable interiors, good gear shift and spiffy performance. I rejected her. She was a maruti and had the habit of rattling more than a rattle snake. I had earlier pledged not to buy a Maruti for this very reason, but the Ritz would have changed that thought. JUST about.

The Ford Fiesta:
This is a CLASSIC example of 'love at first drive'.
Ever since the Fiesta was released, back in 2006, i was always in love with the European looks and simple but striking profile of the car. Non-invasive and something you couldn't hate, even if you couldn't love it.
Had heard of the Gem that resided inside the bonnet, and did duty in the Fusion, which bombed, but made a reputation for the 1.6 SEFI Unit that had the performance of a Derby Steed on a mix of Red Bull and Viagra.

I called Bhavna Ford, which is a kilometer away from my campus, and I arranged for a test. The sales executive came in this Aquarius S, that took my breath away. Even from a distance of 100 meters, I could notice her in the parking lot, parked among 10-12 cars. It's a looker, what with the stunning alloys, large tyres and subtle but beautiful body kit and spoiler.

I sat inside, adjusted the seat, the steering, the mirrors. Had one glance at the road behind, and set off.
The venue for the test drive was Palm Beach road, and I had a well run in S to do it.

The smooth revving engine, the highly addictive short throw gear lever, the soft but inviting feel of the perfectly weighted accelerator, great all around visibility and almost perfect driving position already had me sold. And I had just moved a few meters.

I revved her again and again through the gears, all the way till the redline. the road was empty, and the car was accelerating like there was no tomorrow. I was doing 120 in the 3rd gear, and I had a smile on my face. Something I wanted to wipe off, since I wanted the salesman to know I was having an 'ok' time (finding ways reason to get a discount, you know ;-)

The steering was weighing up really really well, and the car was responding to directional changes at the slightest of instances. I got a real feel of the road underneath, and it felt like I was driving a well sorted car.

I told the fella to gear up for an abrupt stop at a signal, since i wanted to test the brakes. No cars ahead or behind, and I just stomped on the brakes at 110. We stopped in a few meters. All without fuss. I would have spun like crazy on my esteem.

Now, slowly buy surely, the shortcomings started showing. The interiors were looking dated. The shiny plastic on the centre console was not something I was a fan of, and the rear seats had one of the worst designs I had seen in the earlier cars I had driven.
I started lining my priorities:
1. ABS & Airbags--- check
2. Great Handling--- check
3. Good engine and gearbox--- check
4. Good brakes--- check
5. Decent amount of kit and effective Air Conditioning--- check
6. Looks--- check and WOOOAH, the S looks like a totally different Fiesta.
7. Solid Interiors with no rattles--- check
8. Rear seat comfort and slightly cheap interiors: NOT ON THE LIST
10. Reliability, Cost of Spares and Service, A.S.S.: Suspect

This is how I can sum the Fiesta up.

After 3 test drives of the S, and one of the ZXi, I decided to book the car. The variant was again a matter of debate, partly because of Ford's (good) strategy to provide all extra fittings in the Options list.
The S won over the ZXi in a battle of the heart over the mind.
We eventually booked at Shaman Ford since we got a HEFTY discount on the S, and eventually it cost me less than even the ZXi. So, my mind was totally satisfied too. It was a win-win situation, and the only thorn in my heart was the fact that I was booking from Shaman, after making the fellow at Bhavna do all the hard work. Thank you, Vibin Vijayan from Bhavna Ford, and apologies for placing the order at Shaman.

Thus we have booked her. And the car is lying at the stockyard, since our loan has to be cleared by Kotak Mahindra Finance. The registration will ensue after this, and we shall be getting delivery soon.... Real soon.

In the mean while, I went to have a look at my car in the stockyard, and to do a proper inspection before it is registered, adhering to the Team-Bhp norms as mentioned by N_C in one of the best threads on Team-Bhp. She passed all tests, and I decided that she would be the one. Noted down the VIN No, and found out she was born in April, 2009.

Happily drove back, dreaming of my white S, awaiting her delivery. Till then, here is the reward for reading my rant patiently. Some pictures of her in the yard, all dirty, and un-PDI'ed. She's going to be mine soon, and I pray all goes well till she is with me.

These photos have been posted earlier by me too, but I am posting them again. Mods please do not mind.
Thanks for looking guys. Stay tuned, and watch this space for more on my newly booked CARGASM.
Attached Thumbnails
frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-06082009003.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-0608200900201.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-06082009004.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-0608200900101.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-06082009005.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-06082009007.jpg  

frankmehta gets a CARGASM: Ford Fiesta S Diamond White EDIT - REVIEW on pg10-06082009008.jpg  

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Old 8th August 2009, 22:56   #2
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Frankmehta, congrats.
Fiesta Sporty S looks damn sexy in white. I never thought Fiesta looks so good in White.

One question - what has Autocar to do with Ford ( i am referring to the sticker )??

Happy and safe driving.
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:01   #3
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Wow, congrats on the booking. Its one of my most favorite cars too. The coming few days will be a pain to wait for the beauty to come home. Nice writeup best I like the test drive..
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:04   #4
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Congrats buddy. I too think that the understated looks of the Fiesta is its winning point. It looks great without being in your face. Tell me is the "S" version a Diesel or a Petrol?? Sorry im not very aware about this.

I feel in this particular segment, there are only three cars that look good in white; the Fiesta, the Linea and the Verna. The rest look like wannabe Dons dressed in White!!

So enjoy your new steed and let me tell you the car has got some real Butch looks!!

Last edited by V-16 : 8th August 2009 at 23:06.
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:10   #5
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Wow man, wow! S in White looks fantabulous!!
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:10   #6
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Originally Posted by V16
It looks great without being in your face. Tell me is the "S" version a Diesel or a Petrol??
Only petrol. Gogi, You SHOULD drive this car.
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:22   #7
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Congrats For the new Fiesta pal. Hope you get it delivered soon and start enjoying it. Waiting for the review after delivery.

Could you share what was the on road price you got it for?

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Old 8th August 2009, 23:32   #8
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Congrats Frank! The S is quite a looker, apart from the Fiesta's tinny rims. Take good care of her, and have fun. Was thinking that I'd finally stop getting multiple status updates on FB about your test drives and car questions. Now status updates of pics and on-road reviews I guess, eh? Atleast now I'll get to look at a nice-looking car every morning

Last edited by pranavt : 8th August 2009 at 23:34.
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:36   #9
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Congrats!! It looks great in white.
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Old 8th August 2009, 23:55   #10
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Beautiful write up ..... but an even better car there.And most of your observations during the elimination process are agreeable.

The Fiesta 1.6 S is the most under rated car in India and and even more surprisingly, on a forum like ours which is meant for enthusiasts. I just loved that car and I think that Ford really made a bold move by being the only manufacturer to provide a pure driver-centric car, something that is so uncommon in this day and age where car companies purely concentrate on the mass market's requirements. Unfortunately, for Ford its not worked and an awesome car is not getting its deserved attention. For people who call themselves driving enthusiasts, dont consider yourselves one till you've driven the Fiesta 1.6 S. Its the best driver's car in the C segment. Period.

Anyways, frankmehta, enjoy that beautiful white beauty of yours and treat her well. and awaiting a detailed set of pictures, write up and ownership experience. Good Luck!
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Old 9th August 2009, 00:09   #11
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Originally Posted by frankmehta View Post
The smooth revving engine, the highly addictive short throw gear lever, the soft but inviting feel of the perfectly weighted accelerator, great all around visibility and almost perfect driving position already had me sold. And I had just moved a few meters.

I revved her again and again through the gears, all the way till the redline. the road was empty, and the car was accelerating like there was no tomorrow.
It flies franky, it flies!! very well written review, congrats again buddy!!
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Old 9th August 2009, 00:15   #12
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Congrats frank,
the car looks amazing!
As a fellow fiesta owner, we haven't faced any issues in the last 50Kkm, except one or two rattles and a faulty A.C. compressor. The car has seen some bad roads, some fast roads, and has never disappointed. Ford vehicles are indeed built tough.
Didn't understand about the interiors though. I liked the dashboard quality and design more than that of the Verna and SX4.
Rear seats are cramped for sure, but being 6'2", i love the amount of travel offered in the front seats.
If we had to replace our fiesta today, the S would definitely be on the top of the list.
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Old 9th August 2009, 00:46   #13
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congrats frank on buying the best driver's car.

I thought that the 1.6S only came in the "aquarius blue". Does it come in all colors as well?

Any reason why the dealer gave such a huge discount, considering it is quite a new stock.
Also that Autocar sticker is kind of raising a redflag. Make sure you get the full story as to why it's there. Hope it wasn't gone on some extended testdrives by autocar magazine.

I am not trying to scare you. Just make sure, you never know with these dealers.
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Old 9th August 2009, 01:00   #14
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Congratulations on adding a Ford to the family, trust me you wont regret it. I have always noticed that Ford's stock ICE is quite quite better then any of their counterpart. You should rate the stock ICE as well.
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Old 9th August 2009, 01:33   #15
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Wow frank congrats on the new car and awesome write up!
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