The Hunt for the right Car
My hunt for a car started as soon as I moved to Bengaluru from Indore. Decided to hand over my leased Chevrolet Spark, I moved to Bengaluru in Jan 2015. This was our faithful and reliable companion for 3 years and it was difficult to let it go.
Within a week, I was itching to lay my hands on the wheel. Family was scheduled to come after 15th March post exams of kids.
Had some cars in mind, but could not decide the best fit by looking at catalogs, brochures and pictures so decided to have test drives of as many different make and models as possible. Afterall, weekends were boring without having a drive.
I had booked all my testdrives using Justdial and found the response spot on. Leaving my cell number on the site of the OEM
did not work for me.
My choice was to go with a petrol vehicle as wife feels discomfort in a diesel car. Also my running will not be more than a 1000 Kms per month. Office is close by (4 Km) from home which do on a bike comfortably. So my car is to take my family (Wife , 2 Kids both aged 6.5, Parents) on weekend trips.
Budget was 7-9 Lacs on road. Should have Airbags for front seats and ABS
Hyundai i10 Grand Asta
Good response from the dealer and drove the car for around 45 mins. Good, comfortable car with tons of features. Light steering, easy to turn , park and reverse. Responsive engine. Rear seats felt a little cramped. Seemed difficult to take 2 kids and parents (atleast one will not be on seat belts is not a comforting thought). No offers from the dealer or the SA.
Honda Amaze SX
This was a car that had caught my interest from the day it was launched. Good looking , good brand. Again the dealer response was good and I drove for 30 odd mins. Good turning radius and comfortable stance. The interiors left a lot to be desired more so after seeing the Hyundai i10 Grand. The rear seats also felt congested for 4, so may be I should not be looking at his segment at all. Anyways, I had booked test drives so thought lets drive and then decide.Asked the SA if he could arrange for a Mobilio and he promptly got one the next day.
Honda Mobilio SX
Excellent to drive, good peppy engine, easy to drive. Seats seemed too thin for comfort. The interiors were nothing and to go for a VX or upgrade the music system seemed to be the only option. Had thought of going with Mobilio as this seemed to check all boxes except for the interiors. Reasonable boot for my requirements. No discounts as we are Honda !!
Ford Ecosport Titanium
Excellent drive but could not find the comfortable driving position somehow. Excellent vehicle to drive, super stance and looks. The bulk does not seem to be transferring to space, and the rear seats were cramped. The top model for petrol was exceeding my budget. No discounts.
Chevrolet Sail LT
Good spacious car. By the time I test drove this my family was in Bengaluru. So took the car for a spin by seating all. Seemed a good fit but the engine lacked the power that found in Spark. An underrated car and with Chevrolet brand taking a hit, I was not confident. I would like to add that I was extremely happy with Chevrolet service in Indore and Spark was an excellent vehicle. Good discount and deals offered both for petrol and diesel variants.
Good comfortable car. Instantly felt home while driving the same. Loads of features. Good dealer response. They actually followed up for months after the test drive. But by this time I had made up my mind for a 6/7 seater. No Discounts
Renault Lodgy RxL
Was awaiting a launch for this and test drove it just after the launch. Had taken my dad and kid to the showroom. They were not sending the cars home for TD on weekends. Good car, nice drive, but the RxL variant was 1 Lac more than Mobilio SX and had only driver airbag and this was diesel only. The looks did not impress me but did not disappoint either. This got me confused. Should I up my budget, should I compromise on safety and go for a sedan (1 passenger without seat belt). No discounts
Maruti Ertiga Zxi
On first glance the looks did not charm, but went to the showroom to have a detailed look. Nice looking interiors, spacious cabin and wife and kids liked it immediately. My concern was the boot space, so asked the SA to bring it for a TD to my home. Did a TD and felt immediately at home with the controls. Through the wiper and light controls are opposite to what I had in Spark , it took only a couple of mins to adjust to the same. Good power, light steering and spacious interiors.
Last test was loading my usual travel luggage bags in the boot with seats set for normal travel positions. Surprisingly 2 trolley bags got loaded and there was space to spare for small bags. Ertiga bowled me over and a decision was made. Now the challenge was the budget as on road price was slightly over my planned budget. No dealer discounts offered.
Skoda Rapid Elegance
Excellent car and excellent comfort, Classic interiors. Good for seating only 2 in the rear seat because of the floor hump. The TD was a formality and thanked SA for the effort.
Kalyani Motors at Bannerghatta road was the closest. Mandovi motors was also nearby , but the response and approach from Kalyani was better. Choice of color was proving difficult with the set available – White, Silver, Beige, Blue, Red and Grey. I was liking Silver and Wife preferred blue. We asked SA for blue and found that it was not in stock and there was no visibility of when we can have one in our choice of trim i.e Zxi. At the same time , I heard about the proposed facelift for Ertiga and decided to delay the purchase till June/ July. July came and went and there was no news of facelift. Meanwhile, in the month of August , got a message from Kalyani that there was a discount being offered with financing upto 95%. I thought , this seems a good opportunity to get Ertiga. As the choice was already made , it was only about deciding the color.
We had a family discussion, why not white this time with some body stickers to break the monotony, white with stickers looked good and we all agreed for white. Took family to showroom to have a look at the color, decide the stickers and accessories. Now came the discussion on finance for the car.
Kalyani SA was extremely supportive and secured the financing from Syndicate Bank. Some hiccups with approvals delayed the planned delivery date of 14th Aug , but we rescheduled the same for 21st Aug as recommended by parents.
The D – day
Took leave for the day, performed PDI in the morning. Minor dents detected in bumper , which was changed right away. Accessory fitment got delayed and I had to push the SA to get the job done.
List of Accessories: Seat Covers, Anniversary Kit ( mats, body stickers, reverse parking sensors, chrome door handles) , chrome window border, Door Sil, Auto window up kit, Steering Cover, Door Guard, underbody antirust coating and body coat on first service. Also purchased the Parrot Bluetooth kit as Bluetooth is not available in Ertiga even on top models.
Reached showroom at around 5:30 PM as we knew the delivery was taking time. Went to the service centre and found car was almost ready and cleaning was pending. By the time cleaning was completed it was almost 7:00 PM and we started to drive from Service centre to the showroom. I suggested to tank up on the way. Kalyani had offered 4 litres of fuel coupon which was supposed to be filled up at the IOL petrol pump nearby. Reached the station and was surprised to see that lid did not open. We had checked the function during PDI , so it was a surprise. It started to rain heavily. SA called the On road service who opened the lid and tanked up , but suggested taking the car to the service centre for checking.
Sent the car and awaited at showroom with kids getting cranky now. It was almost 8:45 when the car was brought back. As it was raining the delivery was given at the basement. Ours being the last car to be delivered for the day.Sometimes , I feel , however well you plan to do PDI , there is some force which controls everything and you feel helpless in those stages. Our choice was to either take change our delivery date to Monday or take the delivery the same day and I decided to take the delivery the same day. Gave token gifts to the SA and accessories guy who were profusely apologizing for the delay and inconvenience.
Registration happened after 5 days and SA supported well in processing the same.
We have christened our White Ertiga as “Shadowfax” , the horse of Gandalf from Lord of the Rings ! Have done 3 highway runs in the last one month and am extremely satisfied with the performance of the car. On the highway the displayed mileage in 17 kmpl and looks like I am practically getting 15-16 Kmpl.
Thank you all for viewing this review and thanks to the previous reviews and ownership details of Ertiga in the forum that helped me in making the right choice. Will be posting the drives done in the travelogues soon.