Now that I had decided to go for the Beast it was now time to choose the dealer. I went ahead with Concorde as it was TATA owned and location was close to work and home.
The SA Mr Deepak Joshi was very proactive through out the time I was deciding on the car. He arranged test drives at my convenience and arranged for a long test drive when I took my wife along for her to handle the beast. Colors were not readily available on display and hence we had told him to show us a Black and a Bronze. He had promptly called us when someone was taking their delivery few days later and we went ahead and saw it from a distance. Both the SA and us respected that it was some one else’s baby so didn’t touch or fiddle with it. We loved both colours but disregarded the black for sentimental reasons for wife and maintenance reasons for myself.
On Pongal, we went paid up the advance amount of one lac. There was disparity among bookings as some people were paying only 50 k. But I didn’t mind complying with their insisting for the full six digits. I was promised delivery before month end. The showroom was being done up entirely by a LandRover makeover team and so I wanted to take delivery after the facelift.
What followed were silent days of frustration as there was a lull and no communication from the dealer. SA was off for training so no communication/e mail from dealer or TML.
We ganged up, Hillbilly and myself, and attacked the dealer. Calls were made, emails shot around and I got my delivery on the 2nd of Feb. Wallet Woes
Ex-showroom (Delhi) 1082866
Regn (DL 6C ) 135658 (Could’ve saved some 40k by registering with HR address, but considering resale is better with DL and didn’t want problems when I move out on transfer. Personal experience: DL number fetches better around the country)
Number Plate 213
Smart Card 416
MCD Charges 4000
Extended Warranty 7000
Basic Kit 3001 (DID NOT TAKE. Was offered some funny foot mats and car perfume and Ganesha idol.)
Insurance 41541(DID NOT TAKE.Was offered Oriental Insurance.Cashless. First party, third party.No zero dep. Called up and pitted ICICI Lombard and Bajaj Allianz agents against each other. Got Cashless.Zero Dep.Bumper to Bumper Comprehensive Cover.First& Third party.Plus Engine protector,free tow service,road side assistance from Allianz at 36k.With vol.excess of 7.5k) D Day experience
The showroom has been facelifted to arguably one of the best showrooms in the country. With one huge LCD screen on the wall which runs live streaming of TMFT from their Mumbai office. A nice waiting lounge and another screen flush with the wall that runs the features of the vehicles on display.Stunning for any standards, more so for a TATA.
I called and confirmed that we would be there at 1030 am. I was told to come at 1130 as the car is getting cleaned and decorated. I reached at 1230 knowing that they would be late. Car was getting cleaned still. Wife was angry that they were not punctual. I was gawking at my baby and didn’t mind the delay. Went closer and told them to take their time and clean her up properly. Some guy came running with a painted number plate and put it on top of the TR number. Then slowly at 2 PM we got the keys in from of the showroom with a chocolate box. The SA explained to me the locations of the tool boxes, first aid kit etc. I was bargaining the OEM
alloys price and he stood steadfast at 26.5k Decided it was getting too late and so postponed alloy biz for later and started the engine’s heartbeat for the first time. Bliss. Maybe this is how it feels when you become a Dad.
And that’s how we got home our new family addition. Christened him ‘KUMKI’*
. And that’s the story of how I became the proud(??) owner of two TATA cars one in each end of the spectrum. Good Bad Ugly
TD vehicles were multiple handled and abused. When you get your own car it feels totally different and eventually grows a character similar to the drivers. When I drove around my beast I could feel it very unspoilt and eager to learn.
The alloys would ve been better but the metal rims don’t look too bad themselves.
Interiors in EX are better than VX for maintainability and looks better too.
Loved the black steering and black gear knob. Both in beige would be a nightmare to maintain. Storage spaces and cubby holes are a plenty and the glove box light is thoughtful. Doors are heavy and robust and hence take a good push to shut tight. Puddle lamps are usefulKey is huge but good. Headlamp button on key is handy to locate car in parking lots and when parked in dark places can be used as Follow Me home. First click unlock opens only driver door. Rest doors unlock on second click.
ALPINE music system is simple and decent sound quality. Thankfully, there are no ladies annoyingly welcoming you each time you start the car. The car comes with an I POD cable which looks like it doesn’t belong there. Yet to find where it plugs into the system. Used my own ipod and its cable in aux port and played perfectly. Phone Bluetooth connectivity works like a charm and mic is placed just ahead of the IRVM and is effective enough to have a conversation while driving. Stalk mounted controls are not present in the EX. Didn’t miss it much. Similar to my Figo, headlight location is handy for me. Headlight throw is very good and throw angle switch is also handy. Fog lamps are good and effective. Tried it in the evening fog while entering Gurgaon. Wiper switch and all stalks in general are of robust quality and click nicely on tap. On an isolated occasion the wipers came on when I hit a bump suddenly. Rear wash and wipe is a boon in dusty rainy conditions.
Seating is very comfortable for driver and passenger. Lumbar support knob is ok.The height adjust is a pump mechanism and is good enough to pump me up and down (85 kg when seated) I found that sweet driving spot with the seat at a good height and the steering at top most height. Would‘ve still preferred one more notch possibility for steering height adjustment.
AC in economy mode is effective and chills cabin very fast. Separate switch for Rear AC. ORVM joystick adjust was very useful to check what’s beside you and I had to set my left mirror a little lower to see smaller cars zipping past me (LOL)
The toolbox is kept in a carboard type enclosure under the seat. Could ve been better stored.Looks downright cheap when you take it out. Seat fastening mechanism could have been better for the middle row.
Fuel gauge has no DTE indication. But has two trip modes with a SET and a MODE button.
I love the way the keys light up in the night and are easy to find in the dark. First Drive
Neemrana and back was a 250 km run. The car proved to be a head turner on the highway with many cars pulling up for a closer look. Some old DICORs came beside and gave a greeting smile to their new brother.The vehicle is a dream on the highway as it stretches its legs and shoots like a dart. Kept it between 1800-2000 revs between 80-100 kmph on top gear for running in the engine through out the trip. Torque available was meaty across gears. Seldom had to downshift.The car offers top notch ride quality over all terrains. Put it through rumblers and speedbreakers and went off the road (not offroad) for a bit and ride quality was still admirable. Karl Slym has kept his promise with the Most Comfortable Ride on the Most Difficult Terrain line.
Delhi guys might understand what Im talking about
: The slope that climbs to the Fort is pretty steep and on weekends parking on the slope is expensive real estate. There was another Range Rover and our own beast doing a jigsaw puzzle on the slope for an elusive spot. I was impressed how the vehicle held sideways in that slope. Was able to turn around on the slope fully with hand brake on and off and the heavy beast still held its ground. Terrapod might have been on a fabricated obstacle. This right here was real. I am aware that any car could’ve done the same but I was just happy that this Hulk did it and I made him do it. Im still getting used to her size and weight hence was excited. Tires offer decent not great grip in such slope. Came out pretty impressed and happy after parking (RR had to find another spot! :P) Did a small stretch on loose mud and tires tend to drift as I picked up speed. Could’ve been fun in an open stretch like the Rann. But here it was limited and wouldn’t ve tried further without better grip tires suited for such duty. Loved kicking up some dust in the sandy stretch and saw the sandstorm follow. Would’ve made a great campaign pic. My beast gave me a no nonsense ride with all the essentials I needed and excellent ride quality with acres of space. I can safely say that its worth every penny I plonked and Im looking forward to many more happy miles in many different terrain.
So Many Roads So Little Time…
* Of all the beasts of the wild I love the pachyderm elephant the most. Yes, it’s definitely not the fastest beast but with its size and strength, what’s the hurry? There’s no one to run from. But as it happens in the forest bordering villages of Tamil Nadu, an odd elephant may go rogue and comes out to the villages destroying everything in its path. The only thing that is called to stop this juggernaut is another trained elephant. With its mahout’s (driver’s) capable handling and its own strength (140horses?) it takes the mad beast, head on with arrogant ease. Such elephants are called ‘Kumki’ and I thought the name fit.