A little late to update this thread as was busy with work and studies and had no time for surveying or test driving all these cars. 2 days back got a call from Dad that he wants to get the new car soon by 15th Jan. So finally today took out some time to test drive the cars.
Had driven XUV500 extensively over the last month as a cousin of mine bought it. Really love everything about this car, but it was always going to be out of budget. So planned to drop it from the list.
Ertiga and Innova dropped from the list as they don't give that SUV feel which is required.
Scorpio rejected by me solely for being an age old product now and the interiors are really not to my taste. Dad still might give it a look when he comes on the weekend.
Only cars left for the final list were Tata Safari Storme
and Renault Duster.
Had a test drive of both today.
Went to the local Renault showroom. There were like 15 Dusters standing outside to greet us. Each and every color was standing. Really liked it in white and silver. Woodland brown too looks good but i guess i would get bored of it in sometime if i end up buying that shade.
To begin with there is a lot of confusion over the variants of Duster. Was in a total shock when the SE started telling me about what feature is available in which trim. Finally got down to 2 variants RXL 85 And RXL 85(O)
Price difference is 1 lac between the variants and the RXL(O) gets Dual Airbags, ABS
and alloy wheels as extra than RXL 85. Really didnt liked the sound how the doors closed. Very flimsy in my view. No rubber beading on the door was like a total shock. (Cost cutting at its best.) Interiors are ok. I liked the driving position in the Duster. Its more car like. Power windows switches are really awkwardly placed. Looks like an after market job.
Did a small 5km drive in RXL 85 and liked the drive. Doesn't have the out right punch but it just breezes smoothly. Was in total command from the word go. Didn't feel like much of a change from my Polo. Rear seats look a bit cramped for a car of this size. Engine noise was fairly audible inside the cabin. Sound quality from the ICE was below average. Surely an upgrade for speakers would be required.
RXL 85 - Ex showroom price -9.57Lacs
RXL(O) 85 - Ex showroom price - 10.57Lacs
These two are in contention at the moment. Waiting period as claimed by SE is around 3 months at present. But Dad knows the agency owner and I'm sure we can get it for ourself in a week max.
Then headed to Tata showroom.
Tata Storme looks substantially bigger than Duster from every angle. Its a got very solid feel to it. Literally had to climb to get inside the car on display. The front seats are super comfortable. But the mammoth size of the Storme got me a little worried if it would be a good idea to go for this beast.
Tata Safari Storme LX and EX fit the budget perfectly.
Had a short test drive of the Storme. Really liked the commanding view from the drivers seat. Not very cumbersome to drive in the city as i was thinking it would be.Pick up is noticably quicker than the Duster i had test driven earlier. Turning radius of this beast is really one thing that makes your jaw drop. Its literally astonishing how a car of this size makes U turns in congested streets in one go. Steering wheel is on a little lower position, not particularly to my liking,but still ok. Steering wheel didn't hinder with my thighs during the drive as was complained by some members.(I'm just 5'8). Loved the sofa seats in the rear. This really would be one car in which i would prefer trvelling in the rear seats as much as being in the driver's seat.
Saw the interiors of LX and EX variants. Not particular to my liking,specially the bizarre silver portion in the middle of the dash is totally out of sync. Maybe would try getting faux wood for them in after market if we go for this car. Jump seats in the rear are good for kids only. Although in our case would hardly be used.
LX sounded more Value for money as it just doesnt have the Fog lamps, roof mounted AC and rear wiper. Paying a whole 90k for these 3 doesn't sound right.
Storme LX - Ex showroom price - 9.95Lacs
Storme EX - Ex showroom price - 10.8Lacs
Waiting period - 3-4 weeks.
A twist in the tale -
Saw one standing inside the Tata showroom. Went to check it out and was completely blown away by the interiors. Really loved the dash design and the whole interior lay out. Don't particularly like it from the outside though. There is a 1.5Lacs discount on the base Pure variant which comes down to 10.5Lacs ex showroom price. But surely wouldn't be going for this vehicle.
I would have gone straight away if i was given these interiors in the Storme. I guess Tata messed up real bad when it came to the interiors of the Storme. Verdict
Preferably would go for the Storme now after the test drives of both the vehicles. Waiting for Dad to come and experience the cars himself on Saturday.
My vote at present is for Storme LX either in Black or White. Should be finalizing over the weekend.