Despite my repeated request for test drive of Punto, I am yet to get desired result. I think Punto's case has been lost on me. Sad but I am disheartened by dealer response. It further creates doubt on my mind about after S&S.
But I have one update to share. Owing to heavy price cut of City and rumor of impending price cut of Jazz, I decided to try Honda. Within two days of online request, I got a call from Honda people and they arranged a test drive at my office as per my convenience.
Today I took test drive of base version of Jazz
and my observations are as under:
1. First thing I noticed was the lack of seat height adjust. In a premium hatch it should have been standard. Now it is present only in top X version.
2. Seats are comfortable and an average driver may not miss lack of seat height adjust.
3. Though purely electric unit, but steering feels good. Light at low speed but offers decent feel at speed. It feels better than Fabia by a slight margin but lost out to Figo/Fiesta's steering. However steering wheel is great - both to hold and to look at.
4. Ride quality of Jazz has been criticized, but I did not feel the reported harshness from drivers seat.
5. Stereo is good for an OEM
: better than Fabia.
6. Low end performance is weak- very weak. Fabia offers better pick up. But engine picks up nicely after 2500 rpm and is addictive. It will be fun on highway. But city driving would be a sore point.
7. G/B is very good. But Fabia is even better.
8. Although Fabia is often praised for ride & handling balance, Jazz did not offer me any scope for complaint. But again Ford with rail like handling seem a cut above. I have not driven any Fiat and my opinion about Ford is from Figo & Fiesta only.
9. Doors does not provide Fabia 'thud' but good nevertheless. I had high expectation from Jazz interiors but they do not look as good as in picture. It was badly maintained and it could be one reason. Fabia on the other hand looks very good but would be a nightmare to maintain.
10. Even with front seat fully stretched, leg room at rear is very good. Under thigh support of all the seats is very good. Now the offer:
1. 55k flat discount.
2. Insurance amounting to 20k is off.
3. Corporate discount of 6k.
4. On road would be 6.72 L + RTO charge i.e. around 7.00L for Jazz select version which has got alloy wheels & rear parcel tray (both missing in base version which is 11k cheaper). Comparison with Fabia
1. Fabia now offers free insurance and that makes it around 1L cheaper as compared to Jazz.
2. Fabia has seat height adjuster, steering tilt & telescopic action but misses out on rear wiper+defogger, steering audio control & 60-40 split of rear seat.
3.Honda offers 2+2 warranty & RSA.
4. Honda likely to have cheaper maintenance cost & better dealer network. For me it is noteworthy point as I have a transferable job . Confusions
1. Jazz is superior car. But 1 Lakh difference is not very tangible. Specially from driving seat.
2.Magic seat & better space utilization is a good thing. But point to be asked how often will we use that much space: specially in a nuclear family.
3. For me Jazz's attraction over Fabia lies in things which are intangible such as warranty, RSA, better quality, cheaper maintenance, Skoda's infamous After Sale & Service etc. But point is: do these thing command 1 lakh premium? All these things are brand specific issue and not model specific issue. If I want to see where I spent extra lakh rupee in Jazz over Fabia where would I look ?
4. I feel owning a Honda would be easier than owning a Skoda and ideally Brio would have been my pick. Since I need to own a car by August so I can't wait till Oct for Brio.
I however must compliment Honda's Sales executive for their approach. I told them that I am considering Fabia as well but they did not push too hard for Jazz over Fabia and allow the brand comparison to took over. They explained that over a long period of time ownership experience of Jazz will make up the initial 1 lakh difference. Surprisingly they gave me a parker pen as gift for test drive gift. Small things: but left a good impression.
Guys help me out with your inputs.