Been thinking of writing this for a long time… a year now… but Hulk completely swept me off my feet. I have been flying all this while and still am The background:
This was my third new car purchase. I had a Maruti Suzuki Alto (2007 model) and a Hyundai i20 Magna (2009 model). I was looking for a new one to replace the i20 while the Alto was used by dad at home. So I had become a little wise in vehicle purchase, though not an expert. And I had a list of my preferences ready. The reason:
I had changed jobs and the new one gave me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. The only hitch was the distance from home. I owned a petrol Hyundai i20 at that time and couldn’t imagine driving < 70kms daily. The fuel cost was too much (eating into my hike
). I had to think of a diesel. Was I a sedan type? No. I couldn’t imagine myself having the executive look yet. I was also thinking of something big. And the budget was also limited. I could stretch, maximum, to 12L all inclusive.
I was left with the following choices:
- 1) Tata Safari DiCOR
- 2) Tata Safari Storme
- 3) M&M Scorpio
The following were the mandatory features:
- 1) ABS
- 2) ABS
- 3) ABS (the reason, these vehicles have powerful engine, and heavy, hence all the more important to stop properly, and also my style of driving)
I had always liked Tata Safari but the DiCOR didn’t have the features (ABS
), the Storme was out of budget. So it was the Scorpio!!! The testing:
I again researched on Scorpio, talked to owners and was already having a list of expectations – both good and bad. So I knew what I was asking for. I had also learned to read the VIN to identify the year and month of making (didn’t do these for my previous purchases… so a little wise right?
I called for a test drive and thought would do with my family. Since I had heard a lot of stories about the body roll, I wanted them to confirm that it was manageable/acceptable. The first dealer I approached couldn’t get the car on the day I wanted for test drive, I have specific work-from-home days. I called another dealer, and it was available within 30 mins. It was a 7 seater VLX with pilot seats in the center row. I took it for a ride around with my wife and daughter. The layout where I stay in, has good metal roads and the nearby rural area had some kuccha roads. I drove on both for about another 30 mins and just felt the car. It was all feeling and no logic.
I loved the visibility from the driver’s seat – I could see the corners of the bonnet (I couldn’t see the top of my bonnet in my i20, I am 6ft and certainly not short
I loved the power it had – in 5th gear, I could still get pushed back to the seat while pressing the accelerator (even today, once in a while, I keep pushing the gear lever thinking that it’s in 3rd gear while it’s at 5th gear
I loved the clearance – ran over few midsized stones, broken concrete blocks without scraping the bottom (the bumper in my I20 would have taken a beating, forget the bottom scraping!!!
And while on the bad roads, observed the expressions on my wife and daughter. They were giggling away to glory, they loved it and I certainly did.
So the car was chosen or the car chose us!!!
The only logic I applied was, just before letting the car go, I asked the sales representative to park it in my parking space. And got the final confirmation that I can park without an arm & shoulder workout. The bargain:
I had planned to exchange my i20 for the new Scorpio. Hence I started negotiating with both the dealers (the one who couldn’t give me the test drive vehicle in time and the other who did
). I started bargaining and finally reached to one where I felt I couldn’t push them further. I was also, in parallel, bargaining on the accessories – I love music and a woofer is a must in my car. So putting these both together, the cheapest among the final quote took the priority.
Then there was also the color. I wanted Rocky Biege but since the test drive car was Diamond White and my wife loved it, I had to love Diamond White. Both the dealers could get me this.
Next came the delivery date. I had a very specific preference on the date of delivery. Again chose the one who confirmed this. Only one could.
So finally froze on the following:
- Car (absolutely… all effort for this)
- Color – Diamond White
- Variant – SLE (Micro Hybrid was too much of electronics for me)
- 7 seater – third row - side facing (wanted more luggage space)
- Pioneer head unit
- JBL speakers – 2 front, 2 back, 1 subwoofer
- JBL amp
- Did I miss anything else?
- Exchange of old car and arranging finance for the rest.
So my specific day was 24th April 2013. That was the last auspicious date, for me, before my joining date at my new job, 6th May 2013. 23rd April 2013
I called up the dealer for a PDI. I was informed that the car will be ready by evening and can check it. But I wanted to do it in proper sunlight. Tension was slowly building
. Called up again in the evening, I couldn’t go there because was in the last days of my notice period and didn’t want to take any vacation before the 24th, the vehicle was still not available.
I went there directly after office but they were still not showing the car. I was getting a very restless. I was feeling something amiss. During my i20 purchase, I saw the car a week in advance. I had to vent out my feelings a bit on the sales manager and return home disappointed after they informed that it will be available for PDI the next day morning. 24th April 2013
Again checked if the PDI could be done, but I was told that it will not be ready before noon. Tension piling up, I informed them that I will be there by 2 PM with family and want the car ready for PDI. I arrived there by 3 PM and went straight to the garage, leaving my family in the showroom.
Saw him standing there…
Door panels removed for fixing the music system, probably cleaned a day before, covered in dust, but still MAJESTIC!!!
I was very angry with the dealer, but everything vanished on seeing him…
Didn’t bother about the state of it, but opened the bonnet, checked the VIN, deciphered that it was manufactured in March 2013 and was happy that it’s not an old one. Though had not mentioned to the dealer before, I had wished for MRF Wanderer AT tyres, and that’s what I had got in him.
But I also got to know what was amiss… the reason for the delay… the tag had 8FF, while I had requested 7SF (7 seater side facing
)… and it was 7SF, but was really not bothered…
I was swept off my feet… I had already started flying…
It was 5 PM… music system was still getting fixed
It was 6 PM… music system was still getting fixed…
I jumped… it was time for puja… I got them fixed temporarily, got it cleaned quick and the first puja was done in the showroom, then took it to the nearby temple and got one done there. Was back in the show room by 7.30 PM…
Music system fixing started… again…
8 PM and finally it was done… and was given coupon for 5 ltrs… and drove back home with garland in the bonnet, balloons in the front grill and rear viper…
Friend & Neighbours were informed in advance of the new arrival, and there was a small crowd welcoming him…
Finished the day with a spin around the layout, completely loaded, around 9 fully grown adults on the Hulk, and he didn’t even bother… PS: Pardon my non-technical write-up...
Some pictures below... was too busy enjoying the ride... shall post more pictures and the 1 yr ownership experience after the 1st anniversary!!!