Hi everyone. This is my first post on the forum. I am very happy to be a part of it.
First I would like to give a brief intro about my passion towards cars and bikes. I learnt driving during early years of my teenage. I have owned cars like Maruti 800, Hyundai i10, Tata Manza and now Skoda Rapid 1.5 MT Ambition plus till date.
In terms of two wheelers, I have owned and ridden several two wheelers like Bajaj Chetak, Hero Honda CD 100SS, Hero Honda CBZ, Yamaha Ray, Honda Dio, Honda Twister, Honda Activa 125 and currently I am riding the monolithic RE Thunderbird 350.
Fine let me not bore all the reader further. So straight away get into the topic.
Please don’t break your head as to what is Bucephalus.
It was the royal horse of Alexander the Great and one of the most famous horses of antiquity. Now the story:
Mid of 2014, I started thinking to get a car for me though my Manza 1.3 MJD was doing its duty diligently. Initially I was looking at C1 segment cars only and Honda Amaze looked like the best option to me. Having driven the 1.3 QJD diesel in Manza, I thought I want something different and not the MJD again. No complaints about the 1.3 MJD. It is truly a gem of an engine. But I was looking for a change as the very evident turbo lag was a bit annoying for me in the city runs even though I got used to the dynamics of the national engine. This constraint left me with very little options in the C1 segment.
I was very excited till the time I test drove the car. I was aware about the ugly looking interiors of Amaze, but still the 1.5 L engine made me think about Amaze.
All my excitement got shattered when I test drove the car. Though the city drivability was good, the engine noise was terribly annoying to me. Absolutely no noise insulation at all. Also the rear seat comfort was pathetic. I was constantly hearing a humming sound in the cabin when the car was running. The quality of interiors looked very cheap and made me think that car manufacturers like Tata are constantly improving in this aspect and a company like Honda has produced this kind of car. Really disheartening so I dropped Amaze out of the list without a second thought.
Firstly 1.1L U2 CRDI mill is a joke and further the on road price of CRDI top end model is close to 9.5L on road. In my wildest dreams also I will not spend 9.5L for this car. In addition to that, to be very honest, I am not really looking at any Hyundai product. The reason being my erstwhile i10 was burning my pockets deeply in terms of fuel efficiency and maintenance. Hyundai just rips the customers. They are exorbitant. So I did not want to end up with heavy expenditure for years to come. Current state of mind said “No Hyundai cars for me”
Other C1 segment cars excluding Zest
- I did not like Mahindra Verito, Maruti Dzire, Nissan Sunny, Renault Scala, Chevy Sail sedan and Toyota Etios. So didn’t bother to examine them.
Tata Zest – “Is it the best?”
How can I miss out the great Zest. Honestly speaking, I didn’t look at Zest as one of the options for two reasons. Firstly no Tata car again and secondly due to the MJD engine (once again my thought repeated for clarity - no problem with the MJD, I just wanted a change. That’s all). No offence meant to any Zest owners or Tata loyalists. Been a Tata car owner for the past 4.5 years, I know how much pain does the Tata A.S.S guys give the owners. Not that I hate Tata cars. Indeed Tata manufacture very good car cars at very competitive prices. But they miserably fail in the A.S.S department. Hope they will grow up. Tata has a new leash to life yet again after Manza by introducing Zest. I hope they don’t break the glass once again.
Is there any other car left out in the C1 segment…. No I don’t think so. Now I am left with no options. So I decided to move onto look cars from one segment higher. This segment is very interesting. All cars in the C2 segment are good in one way or the other. Ford Ecosport
- First time I saw the Ecosport on a highway in Tamilnadu. The moment I saw the car, I was like wow!!! what a car. I really loved the design and looks. I was very much interested to take a test drive of the 1.5 TCDI variant and one fine day dropped into the showroom. One negligent sales guy from Lathangi Motors in Bangalore said… Sir there is no test drive car available. I asked when it will arrive? He said I don’t know Sir. It has gone to a Customer’s home for TD. I was irritated and was planning to leave the showroom. That is when the Fiesta attracted me towards her. The car was fabulous in the front but not the rear. Once again went back to the same sales guy, he was very interested in pushing the Ecosport only and not the fiesta. This made me angrier. But still I was diplomatic and asked for fiesta TD…. Even that was not available. Also the discount that Lathangi offered on the fiesta was very less for such a low sales volume car. End result was all bad experience and moved out of the showroom.
After a week or so, I get a call from the sales guy stating that Ecosport TDI car is available for the TD. I was happy and said come over to my place. I test drove the car and I was not very impressed. The suspension set up was pathetic. Every pothole of the road was heavily felt. The ride quality was too bumpy. My muscles were shaking like I was on an orbitrek. May be the air pressure was not checked on the trial car or what..,. I do not know. The rear seat comfort was bad. The rear seats were very hard. The boot space was average. The 1.5L engine definitely had a good amount of turbo lag which put me off. Also I felt there is no point in carrying such a heavy car in small roads around the city when you have no space inside the cabin. What’s the point!!!! So ruled this car out. Honda City
- Having test driven the 1.5L diesel engine on the Amaze, I was not really interested in looking at City diesel. Also the variant which I was looking for was priced somewhere around 12.6L on road in Bangalore which was really not worth it. Hyundai Verna
– No Hyundai as I said earlier. New Mahindra Scorpio
- Man I really loved this macho man when I saw it for the first time. I am a heavy built guy, so these kinda cars really suits me well and I also fall for it. The driving experience was good.The city drivability was excellent. The car is built robust and abuse friendly. But severe low quality in the interiors and too many rough edges. The driver seat was very close to the door (reported in official review of Scorpio also) and my hand was hitting the door very frequently. The interiors and dashboard looked very ugly to me. The pricing of the S8 was somewhere close to 13.75L on road in Bangalore. Somewhat lost interest in the monolithic and left it over. Renault Duster
– I did like the car in terms of drivability. The suspension was fantastically tuned and the ride quality was good. But exteriors and interiors were not pleasing to me. I observed the poor ergonomics like placement of exterior mirror adjustment knob under the handbrake, audio controls and call controls under the steering instead of placing it on the steering . Plus the interiors did not feel plush. Also my people at home had a big no for the Duster. Don’t know why they felt so. Finally I had to drop it out without a choice to argue with them. Fiat Linea
- Not an MJD once again. This segment commands more powerful engine in my opinion Maruti Ciaz-
This is one very important contender I would say in this segment. I am not a fan of Maruti cars at all but however I accept that Maruti A.S.S is top notch. Naturally a person like me who has suffered with the Tata A.S.S issues would choose a car either from Maruti or Hyundai to have a peaceful ownership experience. Considering the Maruti’s brand name and its excellent resale value of its cars, the Ciaz makes good sense for those who wish to have a trouble free ownership.
But I did not get impressed with the car for three major reasons. Firstly the 1.3L MJD engine is an under performer at this segment where I personally feel at least 1.5L engine makes more sense and further as I said earlier I do not want another MJD. I keep wondering why Maruti is not capable to invent a diesel engine itself with different variants like 1.3L or 1.6L rather than always looking for Fiat’s support in this aspect. AFAIK
Maruti is all time dependent on other car manufacturers for the diesel engine. First it was Peugeot now Fiat. Please correct me if I am wrong. Secondly the built quality of the car is very very flimsy. I was seriously put off when I closed the boot of Ciaz. It sounded like two piece of cheap quality tin rubbed together. Thirdly the price, the ZDI was close to 12.75L on road which is seriously not worth for this car IMHO. So dropped Ciaz out of the list.
The left out options are the German siblings
Vento and Rapid. Firstly I test drove the Vento 1.5TDI. There was indeed some amount of turbo lag. The ride quality was bumpy. Overall I liked the car. But the discounts offered were not very attractive. So I had kept this car on hold till I reviewed Rapid. Skoda Rapid
was there in my mind for quite some time. Every time I saw the car on road, I did stare at it till it passed out of my eye sight. I was really excited to see the black edition advertisement in the papers and the great offers that Skoda offered. One fine day I test drove the Rapid. Out of all the cars above stated, Rapid was the car that impressed me more.
I am a kind of person who will give more importance to engine performance rather than the goodies that are offered today. I can live without those great features like Harman music systems, glove box cooling, auto fold mirrors, key less entry, blab la bla but not without a good and a dynamic engine which happens to be the soul of a car. Rest all comes second. I cannot compromise on this aspect.
More to continue.....