|9th May 2010, 00:34||#1|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2005
Thanked: 312 Times
ShuvCivic - Tafeta White VM/T
I needed a second car. To be driver driven. For family duties.
The Baleno ownership experience has been extremely satisfying till date - 4.5yrs and 66K kms. Selling it was never really a serious option. Keeping it meant I'd have to hand it over to a driver - painful. But then I realised I'd have to let go one day. Either the Baleno or whatever I buy now. Handing over a new car to a driver was even more painful, I thought. Yes, I've been following the used car threads but selling the concept to wifey did not yield a favourable response. So new it had to be. Either small car for the driver or a new car for me.
Goes without saying, the decision was to get a new car for myself, with the Baleno going to a driver.
Now given that 95% of my commute is within city limits, the head said I could easily do with a Fiesta S or a SX4 or the ANHC or even the Cedia. But the head+heart combo said, you'll have to live with whatever you buy now for the next 5/6/7 yrs at least. So .. would you want to spend 8-10L and then deep inside wonder what-if????
No ways ! I 'wanted' to 'upgrade'. It was no more a financial/practical/need thing - it was purely aspirational. With that established I started looking at expensive options.
- a fulfilling driving experience. Engine, power, seats, handling, 'feel' ... without this factor, I would not be able to live with a car for a long time. The Baleno has it's cons, but driving it still thrills me.
- petrol or diesel, though I prefer petrols. Love to have the option of revving high !
- long term reliability. Imperative. Since I would keep such an expensive purchase for 6-7 yrs surely. Again, the Baleno had set a minimum standard
- ease of servicing. Maruti has spoilt me.
- refinement. The Baleno does show it's age here.
- looks. Btw, I love the Baleno's lines. Nice and low slung.
- Price ideally around 10-11L at most. Even 11 was stretching things a bit.
Test drives - my opinions
Nice, peppy, spacious, tacky dashboard, a bit too high for my liking, not very inspiring to drive. At around 9.8 OTR (post discounts) for the V, it fit my budget well. Was selling like hot cakes. Resale would be fantastic too. I went to check my car when it arrived. There were just 3 Civics and around 30 odd City's. 1 CR-V, 1 Accord. Yeah its fast - but - it lacks soul. Did not feel connected.
Strong contender. Had driven it earlier. Checked out the new sports version. Loaded with features. Perfect price range. 10.3OTR. (post discounts). Dealer brought a new car. Peppy, silent, lovely seats and momo steering butttt .. steering felt vague at the straight ahead position. Distinct play. ABS kicked in too early with the stock tyres. Must have been due to that specific car. Might have still asked for another TD but then that TD made me start thinking of the things I did not like about the car. Should I buy a Mitsu in Calcutta? In 2010 the showroom near my place has probably sold around 1-2 Cedias. The new Lancer may come in someday and I would feel let down since that's such a looker ! I don't particularly like the Cedia's looks, though the interior is wonderful. It is fairly powerful and effortless, but I did not get the kick that I would expect from an upgrade over the Baleno. I asked myself, can I live with it for 6-7 years and the answer was a ummm, errrr, maybe ...
Jetta 2.0 TDI
Loved it. Couldn't find any fault with it. Smooth, refined, not much turbo lag, lovely ride, surefooted, wonderful gearshift, great build quality (surely feels better than the Civic), blah blah blah
Things that kept me away
- Price. 15.2 (post discounts) for the Trendline. I would easily take 5 years or more to recover the high initial price from any diesel running cost advantage. And honestly once you've been in the Comfortline (pushing 17 OTR), it's very difficult to settle for the Trendline.
- Looks. It's not bad. But not exciting either. I guess that's the key thing about the car. It's feels like an immensely capable vehicle but not exciting enough.
- Potentially expensive total cost of ownership. I have no hard data to support it. But a perception.
- Civic steering 'felt' more connected. The Jetta felt a tad over-assisted. Minor issue though.
Oh and while I was at it, also drove the Passat 1.8 TSI. A shade over 20 OTR. 2nd gear tyre squeals without trying hard. Zoomed to 120kmph within Salt Lake before I could realise it. 215 Pirellis didn't let ABS come into play on hard braking. Whattacar !!
Just one small thing I noticed. The plastic material for the electric seat switches felt cheap. If I'm not mistaken, the Altis has better switches.
Laura 1.8 TSI
Ah well. Didn't even bother to TD. No prizes for guessing why. It's a pity really. 4 years back, I was sure, that someday when I buy a car in this segment it would be a no-brainer. vRS it would be. And now, there's a 1.8TSI and I'm scared to even consider it. Sad.
Was immediately put off by the steering wheel material. It had come off in places. Like scuffed leather. Dunno what they did to the TD vehicle. The leather on my Baleno steering feels and looks lovely and weathered. Anyway, here's a car loaded to the gills. Priced exactly the same as the Civic V. Looks good. I kind of liked the driving position too. Steering feels good to hold. But somewhat disconnected.
Interior quality, as has been the common refrain, leaves a lot to be desired. Turbo lag is present till the rocket launches. Clutch pretty sensitive. I managed to stall it a few times in first gear. Rear seat headroom is a tad less. Shoulder room too 'seemed' less. Overall seems to have less space than the Civic. Engine noise was audible inside. In contrast, the Jetta felt quieter and better damped. 13.8 ish for a Chevy. No way. Having seen the resale woes of @shuvd's Optra diesel a couple of years back.
Did not TD!!! Had driven the prev gen Corolla. Very peppy and quick. High seating. But not exciting. Had checked out the Altis many times since it's launch. Went to the showroom, looked at the Altis again. Hard. Sat in it and just did not feel like driving it. That was a litmus test. Followed my heart and gave it a pass. Though probably the most practical car to buy and keep for ages.
At 12.9 OTR for the S (post discounts), I was dangerously above my budget. Still decided to give it a go. Have always liked the Civic since it's launch. Although it never had the appeal of a vRS. But still always makes me want to drive one. Love the looks inside out. Again, had driven it earlier, but wanted to once more, with a fresh mind. Drove it the day after the ANHC. Wifey was in the front passenger seat in both TD's. She said this is it ! ANHC seems to float. This one sticks to the road. Feels so much more planted. (Did ~150 in the ANHC and 187 in the Civic).
The TD Civic had Bridgestone B250s btw. So yes, the Civic ticked almost all the criteria, except for the price. And to make matters worse, she insisted that if Civic, then it's gotta be the V !! This meant 13.8 OTR ! Suicidal !
And so I spent weeks pondering over the options. Read and re-read pages of threads on the forum. Didn't start a WhatCar thread since all the info was anyway there already.
Went around in circles bothering my friends no end. @shuvd, @razor special thanks to you for your patience - I know there are more of you I have used as sounding boards (@planet, @vrooooooom, @blackpearl, @johy, @debdeep ... ) but these 2 gentlemen had to face the maximum flak !! And then there's my dearest wife. She used to get fed up but yet maintained her calm and patience knowing the conflict I had within, of fulfilling an aspiration/luxury vs practicality/financial stress. I started feeling so bad about it that I decided to clam up and to not bother anyone anymore till I take a decision, stand by it and buy a car.
Right .. so the price of the V was the major deterrent for me. It was a big risk. But then I realised, at least I won't carry with me the what-if feeling during the ownership experience. I was sure I could live with the Civic long term. I guess it's better to stretch a bit at times to fulfill one's aspirations. I also looked back to the Baleno purchase. I had taken a similar risk then. Fortunately, I have been able to live through it. End result I have a car I've been extremely happy with all these years. (Dear boss, if you are reading this, please do give me a respectable raise this year !!)
(Excel) Sheets of calculations later I took the plunge. Just told my wife. No one else ! Later just parents and my brother. And thats how it has been till today. Now that the car is home - I can spill the beans. It'll surely be a relief for quite a few friends
Colour choice was between Silver or White. Since I already have a silver in the garage, white it was.
Initial Day 1 observations:
- The suspension does seem firm. And can hear it negotiating the rough patches.
- Engine snarl sounds nice. Haven't gone beyond 3K rpm. Ok ok, mebbe 4kish once !!
- Black plastic at the base of the front quarter panels dont have a snug fit. They don't rattle. But ...
- A faint droning noise. Not sure yet if it's part of the normal engine sound or some belt noise or the tyres (Michelin MXV8) or my imagination !
- Gearshift (2nd to 3rd) slots in with an audible thunk. Need to get used to it I guess.
- Haven't had any issues with inching traffic. Rolls along nicely.
- Alignment and balancing seems to be a bit off. Will anyway get it done outside. Tyre pressure from dealership was at 32psi. I checked at my regular place. Have retained 32 for now.
- Tanked up with normal unleaded from BP. Auto cut-off at 42 odd litres. Dealer said they had given 5litres. Did they give more than that?
- First 70kms shows 8kmpl FE. This includes quite a bit of idling with AC on and 2nd/3rd gear traffic.
- Yet to find the ideal driving position. Getting a bit of neck and lumbar strain. Or maybe I'm still a tad tense driving it.
- AC chills quickly
- Glove compartment does not have a lock. Would have liked one, what with an inquisitive kid on-board !
- Spare key does not have remote locking buttons. So in case the main key battery fails, one needs to call Honda?
Thanks for reading through all that ranting ! Here are some snaps.
|9th May 2010, 01:23||#2|
Join Date: Jul 2007
Thanked: 526 Times
Let me be the first to congratulate you.
White civic just looks so awesome.
And I must mention this...you lucky chap....the V is 16.16 in Banglore (as of 2 weeks ago)......almost 2.4 difference.
|9th May 2010, 07:34||#3|
Join Date: Mar 2006
Thanked: 377 Times
Hey Shuvo, big congrats your way. Glad you got it finally . Relief yes, but happiness more here! I am sure glad you were able to buy the Civic. Enjoy your new ride. Here's to miles and miles of pleasurable driving. Cheers to that! (I don't see an appropriate smiley here he he..).
You have written everything here and that too so well. Enjoyed reading every bit of it.
That cockpit amazes me and never ages - just like your heart!!
Last edited by johy : 9th May 2010 at 07:37.
|9th May 2010, 09:22||#6|
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Hannover, DE
Thanked: 91 Times
One more to the collections of the white beauties !! A brilliant choice of the machine and the color
|9th May 2010, 10:07||#8|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: New Delhi
Thanked: 540 Times
Congratulations on the new ride Shuv. Civic looks best in White. A nice set of side skirts and spoiler will make her look Wicked!
Wish you miles of happiness.
Take care and drive safe.
Last edited by gaurav_chopra04 : 9th May 2010 at 10:21.
|9th May 2010, 10:47||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Apr 2007
Thanked: 843 Times
Congratulations! I must say, your decision process and choice of car are more or less similar with mine. And should I say, the same taste too! lol
|9th May 2010, 11:05||#10|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2008
Thanked: 4,120 Times
What you said about the Altis so true - very practical and more 'head' rather than 'heart' material if you know what I mean. But in my case it was the head ruling over the heart - twice over. The Altis, my 2nd Corolla, is staid and even boring. But she's what we call in India a 'no tenshun' (Mods, this is a deliberate "Hinglish" spelling) experience and does nearly everything to keep an owner happy.
The Civic on the other hand gives your heart wings. So enjoy the experience and drive safe.
|9th May 2010, 11:56||#12|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2005
Thanked: 312 Times
@Johy, @Lazy, @raghu, @satheesh, @dar3dev|l, @SS-Traveller, @gaurav, @iTNerd, @R2D2, @Live to Jive, Thanks for all the wishes
Last edited by shuvc : 9th May 2010 at 11:57.
|9th May 2010, 12:10||#13|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Thanked: 437 Times
Good choice Shuvc, I'm sure you'll love her.
|9th May 2010, 13:48||#14|
Join Date: Nov 2006
Thanked: 0 Times
Congrats Shuvo!!! You know how happy we are..When I was reading your thread my mind went back to our old MC days, when we used to stand beside the 5th floor glass wall and used to look at the road and discuss which all cars we have noticed..Every single point of discussion would touch at least a new Civic noticed on road( at that point of time it was very rare to find a civic)..The maroon one first time inside IBM premises..and then Skoda RS / Civic discussion ..silently when your love for car has shifted from Skoda to Civic ..recently our endless chat on City \ Civic \ Cedia...Your TD @ 187..ah!!! Heart says something and the excel says the other..n number of times I suggested you not to spend so much and think it over and over again..You know that at all these times, my heart always said Civic..Go for it ..NOOOOO..Go ..
At the end, everything is well what ends well..
Waiting for the treat..Monalisa has already started asking about the date of the treat..while you plan for that I will be happy driving it..Have a wonderful safe journey for all years to come...