1. Exterior enhancements :
o Roof rails
o Body treatments + Colored door handles + ORVMs
These were easy, rather I didn’t have patience to find the right deal for above set. Roofrails -
I certainly wanted OEM
(read sturdy) roofrails so that if ever I chose to utilize the roof for a rack or to carry my bike I can. Also, I was unsure if aftermarket ones would damage the chasis by the way of drilling. Hence, went ahead with the dealer quoted price of 13K for it Body treatments
– Since I had chosen the flashy Blue color for my car, I felt a coat would be needed to maintain it, especially as the car would be parked in the sun for most of the days in the week. Dealer’s quote was reasonable ~8K for 3M under+overbody+ engine protection with re-coating twice in the year. I took the plunge Body colored doors+ ORVMs
– Again due to the color, I thought it would be difficult to find a match if I try after market sources. While paying 3K was too much for it, since there wasn't much choice had to go with the dealer quote Engine protector
- not sure if that's a feature miss in ambient or it was missing in my car however It is a must have for offroads. I tried all possible source but couldnt manage to get one. Finally, Madhu from TAI
was kind enough to offer his spare protector. I can't thank him enough for his help
24 from 70K budget was spent already
o Alloys + Bigger/Better Tires
Aftermarket choices were limited (in September 2013) and expensive (25 – 35K for a set of 5 alloys). There was a wide variety of tires available and almost all of them were expensive (35- 45K). This combination was certainly not in my budget. From the alternatives that came up, one viable alternative was to look for stock alloys + tires that customers exchange for aftermarket ones. A few challenges i encountered while pursuing these deals:
1. Authenticity of the deal:
olxs and quikrs were filled with fake ads.
2. Quality of equipment
: For alloys, one could still use judgment however for tires one cannot. In many cases it is difficult to assess the life of a tire basis its looks.
: These deals were without a benchmark, for as high as 50K for a set of 5 OEM
I wasn’t in a hurry; started exploring the biggest aftermarket sources: Mumbai and New Delhi (thanks to friends who gave a helping hand). Finally the deal was struck in Nov 2013 for 20K for a set of 4 OEM
alloys with Bridgestone 215/60/16 tires. Since the source was in Delhi, I had to pay 3K to get the tires down to Pune.
That’s 47K from 70K gone. I was lucky enough to sell the used 15” tires (4x) for 10K which added 10K back to the budget
o Chrome front Grille
I tried a few options here:
, dealer solution. I was informed that the front grille in ambient doesn’t support chrome inserts and if I were to change the grille, then plug the inserts it would cost close to 14K (for upper and lower grills). That was lot of money to be spent for some chrome
2. Found a seller on olx who was willing to let go of the front titanium variant grille for 5K, including shipping it would have costed 6.5K. By the time I could make up my mind, the deal was closed
3. Aftermarket from rediff shopping for 2.5K. The day it arrived, I wanted to return it. The quality was pathetic. It was a glue based solution and knew it would peel off sooner or later. It did in a week's time and were shipped back to the seller
4. It was lost patience when one day, I decided to spray paint it. Used a can of chrome spray 150rs, some tape and newspaper to ensure that only relevant area is sprayed. A clear lacquer coat later finally for longer life
While, not an ideal solution; It isn’t bad either.