As I had mentioned in the Ford Figo ownership thread, I was thinking about replacing the i10 for a while since we were doing a lot of driving and a Diesel was required. I had already checked out the alternatives but didn’t buy a car as the resale on the i10 was pathetic. However I did end up picking up the Figo for my sister. Selection Process
Now the dealers of the cars we didn’t buy kept calling inquiring whether we were interested and with offers etc. We still needed a replacement for the i10. The car was trouble free and nice to drive in the city. However it was a pain on the highway. Firstly the lack of power, then the horrible handling and finally the not so great fuel economy. My wife kept changing her mind whether she needed a new car or not. Finally I took the decision for her. If we get a decent price (at least 3 Lakhs) for the i10 we will sell it and buy a Diesel Hatch.
A small recap of the Test Drives / Selection of the Diesel Hatches: Maruti Suzuki Swift:
Rejected without a TD. Reason, it was a Maruti and I hate Maruti. Verdict: Rejected Maruti Suzuki Ritz:
Don’t even want to look at it, let alone TD it. Verdict: Rejected Toyota Etios Liva:
The exterior (sides & rear) look quite nice. The front, I can live with. The drive was nice. I actually enjoyed the handling. But the interiors were just yuck. Also at the price it was just not worth it. Verdict: Rejected Hyundai i20:
Didn’t want another Hyundai just because of the handling. Besides the i20 isn’t really VFM
. Verdict: Rejected Tata Incica Vista:
Wife said no. Besides I had TD’d it a year ago and was not impressed with the handling. Verdict: Rejected Fiat Punto:
My favourite hatch. Was on top of my list. I had driven all variants (engine) of this car. I was willing to live with all it’s negatives just for it’s handling and Fun to Drive factor. Verdict: Shortlisted VW Polo:
My brother has a TDI HL. So didn’t need a TD. I had driven his car. Verdict: Shortlisted Skoda Fabia:
Nice car. Not the best handler, but a nice comfortable car. Aslo was already dreaming of giving it a VRS look. Verdict: Shortlisted Nissan Micra:
Again a nice car. Proven engine but nothing special about the car. Verdict: Shortlisted Renault Pulse:
The dealer in Goa was the same guy who owns the Suzuki (Bikes) and Vespa showrooms. He has a reputation of cheating customers by overcharging. I actually liked the car but then this was just a Rebadged. Verdict: Shortlisted Ford Figo:
Comfortable car, good handler but quite underpowered and dated design. I had just picked up one for my sister so didn’t want another. Besides my wife was not impressed with the interiors. Verdict: Rejected Chevrolet Sail UVA:
Somehow this car did not excite me. Did not like the finish. Verdict: Rejected
Meanwhile I had also checked out a few sedans: Fiat Linea:
Except the front, my wife liked the overall look of the car. Factors which went against it. It was too big (considering this was to be the i10 replacement). I am anyway planning to buy a big car so this car had to be small. Then there was the 1.3 engine. Though it is great we wanted a bit more power. Then the discounts was not that great. Verdict: Rejected Ford Classic (Old Fiesta):
I had TD’d the car during my visits to the Ford showroom for my sisters Figo. Brilliant handler, decent power and quite comfortable. Much more VFM
compared than the New Fiesta. Verdict: Shortlisted Volkswagen Vento:
No TD car was available. Caculo Group (who had the Ford, Honda, VW & JCB dealerships in Goa) had just lost the VW dealership. Of course the HR manager for all 4 dealerships who happens to be a good friend claims they gave it up because they didn’t see any future for VW in India. I still pull her leg about it everytime I meet her. The new dealer was operating from the same premises and they could only show me the display car. They promised to get back to me (which they did 2 days ago). A friend owns a Vento so I had tried it out. Verdict: Shortlisted Skoda Rapid:
By now I guess you all know that this is a Vento with a Fabia nose and that it is more VFM
and the suspension is supposedly better and all the other blah blah written by the Toons on their forum. Anyway they did have a TD vehicle and I did take a TD and I liked it. Verdict: Shortlisted Chevrolet Sail:
Just like the UVA this car did not excite me. Did not like the finish. Verdict: Rejected Nissan Sunny:
I don’t have a driver nor do I intend employing one soon. So the lovely back seat is useless to me. Besides we needed a driving pleasure which is clearly missing in the Sunny. I would have considered it if I needed a “Beater” car. Verdict: Rejected Renault Scala:
A rebadged Sunny. The back looks worse than the Sunny whereas the front looks better. Then there was the dealer issue. Verdict: Rejected Tata Manza:
Again an excellent car if you have a driver. The interiors are actually quite nice and the entire package is VFM
. Wife just did not like the looks. Verdict: Rejected Maruti Suzuki Swift Dzire:
Haha. Verdict: Rejected
We went through all the shortlisted cars, compared specs, prices, discounts etc. Somehow we were leaning towards the Fabia. So we paid a visit to the Skoda showroom for a TD (for my wife). I had already spoken to the SA Colin earlier and he had kept the Fabia ready. But it was the petrol model. I told he that we were interested in the Diesel. He quickly arranged the Diesel Fabia. The car ticked all the right boxes. My wife really liked the car. But during the drive she found the car a bit underpowered. The SA suggested we try out the Rapid. Now the Diesel was not available so we had to come to the showroom again. Again the SA was quite eager to sell us a Petrol Car. The showroom is located in a village on the outskirts of Margao town. This village has a large number of seafarers. They always buy Petrol cars. So the SA couldn’t figure out why I needed a Diesel. Anyway once I told him he quickly changed his focus towards the Diesels. After the TD of the Rapid my wife liked it. She said it was the perfect car for her. Another factor which tilted the balance in favour of the Rapid was the ridiculous pricing of the Fabia.
Fabia 1.2 TDI Elegance: Rs. 839736/- OTR
Rapid 1.6 TDI Elegance: Rs. 1105483/- OTR
I was offered discounts of around 40K on either car. The difference in price between the 2 was Rs. 265747/-. Then the dealer offered a Red 2012 Elegance for Rs. 965000/- OTR. The difference was now Rs. 165264/-. Now it made even more sense to pick up the Rapid. But then let us not forget the Ford Classic. The Titanium Variant was priced at Rs. 950000/- OTR and with discounts it was coming to around Rs.900000/- OTR. Overall a decent deal but the dealer was not budging on more discounts. So the Rapid was the better deal here.
Skoda has 2 dealers in Goa. Avelar Motors was the original dealer when the Octavia was launched. Avelar was actually quite famous for his restoration of VW Beetle’s in Goa and the dealership was a reward from VW for his work. In fact Avelar Motors was India’s first Skoda dealer. Yes, you read it right “India’s first Skoda dealer”. A few years ago Priority Auto was appointed as the 2nd Dealer in Goa. All this while I had been dealing with Priority Auto, so I decided to give Avelar a call and check what they were offering. They said they have no 2012 models in stock. The deal on the 2013 models was the same as Priority. They however passed on my number to a finance guy who happened to an old friend of mine. He immediately called me up. I told him about the offers from Priority. He told me that they had a Black 2012 Rapid but the cheque for the booking had bounced. He said they could give me a “Fabulous Deal” on that car. I am still waiting for that “Fabulous Deal”.
Then after a few days Avelar gives me a call to let me know about the “Prestige Edition”. This was basically an Elegance with the following extras:
1) TomTom Navigation System
2) Rear Parking Sensors
3) Wind Visors,
4) Floor Mats ( Textile)
5) Product badge 'Prestige'
OTR Price Rs.1006946/- with Skoda Shield.
Priority called the next day with almost the same offer. The offer was for 10 days only. Then on the Auspicious Day of “Akshaya Tritiya”, the corrupt Govt. Of Goa decided to increase the Road Tax from 7% to 9%. The revised price was now Rs.10,19,150/- OTR. The Goa CM had just presented the state budget some time back. Road tax was increasing from 7% to 10% from 1st April (Not an April Fools Joke) but was implemented late.