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Replaced my Tata Indica with a Maruti Ignis; got a discount of Rs 1.1L

I immediately enquired in two NEXA showrooms and got the best deal of Rs. 7.15 lakhs (after a whopping cash discount of Rs. 1.1 lakhs, original on-road price was Rs. 8.24 lakhs) bundled with 5 years extended warranty, accessories worth Rs. 20k and an MCP plan for 2 years.

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The need for a new car was felt in July 2023 as the 2003 Tata Indica DLS which I received from my parents had to be sent back to Kolhapur, my hometown, for re-registration. Since this is my first post, I would like to tell you that I reside in Ahmedabad whereas my folks are back in Kolhapur. I had brought the Tata Indica with me to Ahmedabad whereas my folks drive a Tata Nexon 1.5 Diesel and a Maruti S-Presso (both AMTs).

So basically, the Indica had to be sent back to Kolhapur for the 20-year reregistration in July 2023. Also, though the Indica had aged really well and returned a FE of 14 to 15 kmpl in the city with AC on, I always felt that I was driving a very heavy vehicle. I was not willing to drive the Indica back to Kolhapur as it would be too hectic and getting off from work was also not possible. Hence, the Indica through a transporter and the car reached safely to Kolhapur from Ahmedabad in 2 days.

Indica on one of the last long trips: Mount Abu

Within 2 days of sending the car back, the need for a new car was felt and the search began. The car had to meet the following criteria:
1. Budget: Around 9 lakhs
2. Fuel Type: Petrol or CNG
3. Easy to maintain
4. Clean interior design with minimum electronics
5. Easy to drive, zippy, no-fuss city car

Though I explored the option of buying a pre-owned car from Spinny, I felt that by adding around 1.5 lakhs extra, I could buy a brand new showroom model of the respective car. Hence, dropped the plan of buying a pre-owned car and decided to buy a brand-new one.

The following options were considered:

1. Maruti Suzuki Swift: Though driving-wise the Swift is perfect, but 9 lakhs on-road for a Swift did not feel right. Also, most of the goodies like the touch screen, etc. were reserved only for the ZXI+ top trim and the CNG did not come in the top trim. Hence, dropped the plan of buying the Swift.

2. Hyundai Nios: The Nios was a tough contender with a good fit and finish and stylish looks. But one of my colleagues has a Nios AMT and has always observed that the MID consistently displayed an FE of 12.5 kmpl and this worried me. Even the Nexon 1.5 D returns an FE of 16 in the city, though it’s not an apple-to-apple comparison. So, if I was buying a Nios, then it had to be a CNG. Hence, keep the Nios CNG as an option.

3. Hyundai Exter: Felt like a spacious and jacked-up Nios from the inside, nothing new. Though it really felt good and spacious from the inside with a good commanding driving position, it did not feel like a car that could zip through the city traffic. Also, there was this long waiting period. Hence, Exter was out.

4. Tata Tiago: Tata was offering heavy discounts on the Tiago CNG and the top-end CNG was available for Rs. 8 lakhs on the road which was a good deal. But later got to know that it was for clearance of old stock as the new twin-cylinder technology was introduced in the Tiago as well. Everything was perfect in the Tiago except the 3 Cylinder Petrol engine but kept the Tiago as an option.

5. Tiago eV, Comet eV: No eVs considered as my job is transferrable and eV charging infrastructure at my accomodation can be a problem in future.

6. Maruti Suzuki Ignis: Well I had always admired Ignis due to its funky-retro styling, out-of-the-box interiors and the 1.2 L NA engine, but had never driven it. The NEXA experience was also great. As soon as I entered the NEXA showroom, I was attended to promptly. The test drive experience was great and the engine felt really smooth, free-revving, the seating position was great and most of all it really felt like a car which can nip in and out of traffic very easily. My heart was immediately inclined towards Ignis and after receiving the quote, my mind too. The Zeta was the variant that I felt was the best and value for money as it had all the goodies including Touch screen infotainment, alloys, rear wiper-washer, fog lamps, etc. It just missed out on Auto climate control, DRLs, and seat height adjust which I felt are not too important. Most importantly, the Ignis Zeta was cheaper than all the above-considered cars. Though Ignis was not available in CNG, since I was saving huge money as compared to other cars, felt Petrol MT was a good option.

Well though I was convinced that Ignis is the perfect car for me, it took quite a time to convince my folks and also the people around me, mostly due to the styling. Like, when I told my colleagues about my decision to buy Ignis, they suggested looking for other options. The same was with my parents. I requested my parents to take a test drive. They initially were reluctant but after a few days, they took a test drive at NEXA Sangli and were convinced immediately. I immediately enquired in two NEXA showrooms and got the best deal of Rs. 7.15 lakhs (after a whopping cash discount of Rs. 1.1 lakhs, the original on-road price was Rs. 8.24 lakhs) bundled with 5 years extended warranty, accessories worth Rs. 20k and an MCP plan for 2 years. I insisted to the dealer that I wanted to see the car in person to which the dealer immediately agreed.

The next day we went to the stockyard and were surprised to see a huge stock of Ignis standing next to one another. The Relationship Manager said I could choose whichever color I wanted, but I was firm on Glistening Grey. She immediately showed me the car that I would be allotted, I noted down the VIN, and it was a June 2023 car which I was fine with. Booked the Glistening Grey Ignis 1.2L Zeta MT on 2nd August 2023 and scheduled the delivery on 21st August 2023. Processed the loan through BOI and had a great experience there as well with minimal visits and fast processing. Selected the accessories completed the PDI on 18th August and transferred the entire amount. Delivery was scheduled at around 2 p.m. on the 21st August.

 

Car standing outside the showroom a day before delivery

Reached the showroom by 1 pm and as expected, a lot of cars were lined up for delivery on the day. My car was ready for delivery by 3:30 PM. Performed the Pooja, unveiling, clicked a few photos, completed the formalities and paperwork, and left the showroom by around 4.30 PM. Received a small gift from the dealer (which had two Nexa badged coffee mugs and a Nexa keychain). Filled up the tank and went to the temple. It was a sweet and simple delivery experience and up to the expectations.

 

Delivery rituals at the showroom

First Drive Impressions

I have already driven the car for around 3100 kms entirely in Ahmedabad City only in a span of just 2 months. Gradually leave the clutch and the car gets off the line smoothly. The 1.2 Litre is one gem of an engine. Till 1000 kms, I drove the car very sedately below 2000 rpm and there was negligible engine sound creeping into the cabin. The engine revvs just above 2000 rpm at 80 kmph in 5th gear. Did not feel the suspension to be stiff as mentioned by many, maybe because we have Nexon and S-presso at home, both of whose suspensions are stiff at low speeds. Post 1000 kms started revving the engine and boy-o-boy instantly fell in love with the car. The engine revvs very freely and the engine sound felt a bit sporty at higher revvs. At no point does the engine feel coarse or loud. The third gear acts as an automatic as it easily picks up from speeds as low as 25 kmph and goes above 80 kmph effortlessly.

The exterior paint quality is really good and as expected considering it's a Nexa model and panel gaps are also consistent. The black alloys really compliment the Glistening Grey color of the Ignis. The driving ergonomics are spot on, it's just that being a narrow car, with a heavy person in the passenger seat, there are chances of your elbow brushing against the passenger during gear shifts. The MID shows multiple information and lets you browse through multiple settings including security alarms, auto lock settings, etc. The needles of the speedometer and tachometer feel sporty and the dials are easy to read.

Overall visibility from the driver's position is good with the side mirrors and IRVM offering good rear visibility. Air conditioning felt adequate though when parked under sunlight, it took time to cool down the cabin. Felt my colleague's i10 Nios cooled down the cabin faster.

The music system is also great. Though I ain’t an audiophile, but still love the bass effect of the system. The steering was to self-centers and was a big relief as the one in our S-Presso seldom self-centers, though it is not very confidence-inspiring at speeds above 95 kmph.

A small-looking car from the outside opens up quite a decent amount of space on the inside. The front seats are really comfortable with the side bolstering and feel better than the ones in Nexon. My colleagues were surprised with the amount of space this funky-looking small car offered on the inside, though the rear bench lacks under-thigh support. Overall, it’s a great package and comfortable for up to 4 passengers and a kid.

Have also completed the first free servicing, though just cleaning, topping up of fluids, etc was done. The service experience was good.

The MID hovers around 18 kmpl FE figures and tank-to-tank calculations have revealed FE figures of around 16.8 to 17 kmpl which I feel is great for city drives.

 

MID of the Ignis

All in all, it’s a funky little fun car to drive which zips in and out of traffic very easily. In love with this vehicle and definitely the best choice in the price range

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