So decided last Sunday to do a final round of TDs before finalizing the car. Also wanted my father and wife to have a look together on all the models before selecting one. Had shortened the list to the following:
Listed in the above order as the showrooms falls in the same order on my selected route.
The Maruti SA had called earlier and had promised me some discount on 2012 cars so was interested to see what the actual price was coming to. Earlier was interested in Ritz VDI (ABS
), but now it seems that even ZDi would be in budget. Also since I had got a good resale price for my Spark, going up to Rs.7-7.25 lakh was ok, if the car was good enough to justify the investment -- hence inclusion of the Swift.
Hence after lunch, drove up to the nearest TATA dealership for the Punto. I always had a weak spot for the Punto and irrespective of TATA/FIAT ASS
issues, still wanted to give it a try (irrespective of friend/family advised) if they could come down from their pedestal and really show interest to sell. Knowing the divorce between companies, probably was asking to much. But anyway.. turned out that the dealership is closed on Sundays (cost cutting measure I guess), so I took it as a sign and crossed Punto out.
Next was the Maruti Suzuki showroom (Salt Lake). The SA had called me up atleast 2-3 times during the previous week and I had specifically asked him that I would be interested in TDing the Ritz and the Swift and he said that he will have them ready. My idea was that Maruti being Maruti .. one would still consider buying for the obvious advantages, given that they do give me some discounts that makes it VFM
. I was not expecting anything on the Swift, but definitely some on the Ritz as they had 2012 stock.
Anyway walked into the showroom and you could tell that the auto industry was in the doldrums. Not a single customer... only a security guard and someone in the inner office. Called up the SA and he said he was coming in 5 minutes, which he did. Surprise surprise, no demo cars, either for the Swift nor the Ritz. So why did he promise us and asked us to come? Well he got a Swift from somewhere, a VDi with alloys and music system .. which is strange as they don't come with those. Anyway we took a short TD, while the handling and power was good, there was lot of engine and road noise filtering into the cabin. Also the horn sounded to be more inside in the cabin than outside. And terribly very very cramped indeed. When I asked the SA about the alloys and music system and he started mumbling so I was sure that this was a pre-delivery vehicle that they were using for TDs. Now to the price, well did not expect much on the Swift anyway but Ritz was a surprise. Well sir said the SA, we have a discount of Rs.25K on the Ritz which effectively meant that they were offering me at the same price the car was sold last Nov-Dec 2012 (thanks to the price increase this year). But these are 2012 cars I said, to which he replied that all cars that they sell in January are 2012 manufacture. You would only get good discount if you wait till March. There was a clear disconnect between what had been spoken on the phone (Sales lady) and the SA (a young man in his late twenties). Anyway took the quote and left saying that we will let him know later. I was right on the disconnect as the very next day the lady again called and this time I asked her to email a quote for Ritz Zdi. And email she did and a very good price too. But by that time it was too late.
Next stop was the Toyota dealership. My father was impressed with the looks, engine , ride and interior space but we decided that it lacked many things, some which my wife considered very essential (e.g. back wiper and defogger). Also overall finishing was a concern as both the TD vehicle and couple of others that had come for servicing had the front doors mis-aligned when closed, visible jutting out from the rest of the body. Probably a easy fix, but to my father these small things matter. Another concern was that price was fixed and knowing that a facelift was around the corner, did not make sense either way.
Last on the list was the Figo. The titanium variant was practically fully loaded (except for the back power windows) and I had liked the car when I had TDed it last year. Its not as eye catching or powerful as the Punto, but its a driver's car nonetheless.
Concern was the GC issue (small concern to me, big to my father), but I reasoned that if I drive carefully over the humps (I have Jazz - so I have practice), it should be ok. Also Ford seemed to have stiffened the suspension in the facelift so probably that would solve the problem to some degree. Anyway the dealer had a Dec 2012 KBlue Titanium in stock and he offered a very good price, nearly Rs.15K extra discount over the Jan offer price.
Since the car was less than a month old and the color was also to my wife's liking decided to book it on the spot. It was ticked most of my requirements (ABS
, Airbags, fun to drive, good space etc.) so seemed to be a good VFM
On Monday, the SA came home with the SBI loan papers which probably was applied on the same day. The loan was approved by Thursday and considering Wednesday (23 Jan) was a holiday here, pretty impressed with SBI turnaround time.
On Wednesday, went to the stock yard to do the PDI. Checked the car according to the PDI list..checked the VIN, showed it is Dec 2012 manufactured. Checked the body/glasses etc. for scratch, dents etc. Could not find anything but the exterior was dirty so will have to check again during delivery. Interiors were clean, ODO showed 8 kms and everything seemed to be in order. Could not check the spare tyre, as the cars were closely parked and could not open the dicky. Comes with MRF tyres, which are not bad but would have liked Apollo Acceleres if given the choice.
Registration takes 2-3 days so probably will get the car on Tuesday/Wednesday but in reality will only have time on Saturday, so will take the delivery then.
Immediate embellishments I can think of:
1) Seat Cover
2) Steering leather cover (stitched)
3) Door sill plates
Will come with the Figo foot-mats but probably try to get the better ones.
Waiting for the delivery... will update with experience and pictures.