Dear ones, this is my first ownership review. Though I have tried to keep it as simple and informative as I could, please bear with me in case of anything which doesn't go well with the context of the review. Also, the views expressed are strictly mine and have no intentions to offend anyone's sentiments. Peace!
Finally, got our new ride home on 15th October 2015 – Pure White Grand i10 Asta (Optional) variant. Price – 6.13 Lacs on road with complementary mud flaps, floor mats, leather seat covers, car perfume and body cover. Below mentioned are my experiences from planning, TDs, dealership, financing and taking my first new car home! Planning, rather, ‘generating’ need for a new car –
A little background, I have been driving my classic Honda City on CNG which never failed me and served me as one of my best companions. But my infidel heart always wanted more – better – new! Last 5 years, I had been planning to buy a new car with, umm.., no real need. We always had my Pulsar 180 and my wifey had her scooty to take her to beauty parlors and markets. And about 3 years ago we bought a used Honda City, 2001 manufactured, which likewise I stated earlier, served us really well with minimum maintenance. The car was mainly used for daily routine and travelling to work. But just like every middle class guy, I always wanted to buy a new car and this is where my finances and other commitments held me back. “But not now. Not anymore” – this is what I told myself when things changed from professional front and gave me room to stretch my legs. A little bit. Hunt for our new car –
No diesel and no Tata! No offense to Tata owners but I just can’t live with niggles, rattles, poor build quality (Maruti – are you listening too?) and bad customer service, which has improved to some extent these days.. Though customer service in India is pretty much bad and hopeless at times with almost every manufacture/service provider but Tata has managed to surpass everything in this department. No diesel because my usage is limited plus don’t really like diesel clatter! So, it was easy for me to start looking for new car – only petrol, good comfort with great build quality and features – basically, a VFM
car. Budget was 5-6 lacs.. Cars considered – Ritz
– Like the design, which is very subjective, and overall feel of the car. The K series petrol engine is quite efficient too. Only one constraint – the build quality which absolutely sucks. No offense to the owners but I genuinely feel for the car since Maruti never did justice to how the car has been positioned in the market plus how this beautiful little hatch has been ill-equipped. Horror stories of lifetime rattles didn’t help to its cause while selecting the car. Rejected. Beat
– Nice car with brilliant build quality. My wife always liked the cute and aggressive design of this car and we had almost booked the car post our TD. Why we didn’t go for it – the petrol engine failed to impress with very limited low end torque. Wondering if it was with the particular TD car but had a few owners in the past talking about the same issue. Didn’t want to buy a car with no driving fun. Limited rear space played its part and the car was off the list. Elite i20
– Absolutely love the new design. BUT, 1.2 Kappa engine is just too puny to handle the weight and dimension of the car. It is sluggish and feels incredibly low on power. Power to weight ratio is being messed up completely. Don’t know how Hyundai passed it for production. Felt disappointed since it was one of the prime contenders when it was launched. Rejected with a heavy heart. Honda Jazz
– One of my all-time favorite cars. I still can’t stop myself glancing at the previous generation Jazz. Last year, I had the opportunity to drive it for a few kms and came out super impressed. The space, storage, looks, style everything was just perfect except the engine which I thought could have been better, particularly, torque at lower RPMs. Guess this is how Honda’s new IVTEC engine is being designed which asks to be revved more. Now, the new Jazz looked great (though I still feel the previous Jazz was a tad smarter looking car) but lacked the punch – where? – Everywhere really! There are evident signs of cost cutting. The plastic, thin sheet, equipment list AND the biggest one – impotent petrol engine. As much as I hate myself writing this, I lost all my confidence in Honda the moment I sat inside the car and drove it for some time. The sheer quality Honda is known for was missing and the engine just failed to impress. Straightaway rejected it. With VERY heavy heart. Grand i10
– This was the last entry in the list since I somehow didn’t like the design at the initial phase. The car, however, did manage to impress me as I did my research. Multiple TDs sealed the deal since I had so much fun driving the car. Just loved the space, pretty decent engine (not as fun as K series perhaps) and LOTS of bells and whistles. The outside looks still didn’t impress me after TDs but my heart knew that this was our new car! Cars not considered – Swift
”? This is the reaction I get from most of the people. But the real deal breaker was the average build quality, long term rattles in Marutis and rear bench which should be declared unusable for adults – dull and cramped. Small rear windows injects claustrophobic atmosphere into the cabin and make things even worse for elders and kids. One of nephews feels sick every time he travels on the rear seat. Plus my wife never liked the design of it. Fiats
– Just can’t build confidence on the brand. Not sure if that’s how other people also think but I just can’t see myself owning a fiat. Again, no offense meant for the owners. Strictly, my personal view. Figo
– The petrol engine isn’t as good as its diesel counterpart. Plus the design looks very 90s. VW Polo
– One of the best looking hatchbacks in the country. Period. Only reason (apart from limited rear bench space) not to consider it was pricing which I thought was just too much for a hatchback. Build quality, performance and style statement justify it though. Bugatti Veyron
– just couldn’t.. SIGH.. The final verdict
– Grand i10 it was after lots of research, TDs and consultation with the better half. As I mentioned earlier, I never liked the overall design of the car, especially the small bonnet. But other than that, I think I fell in love with this car the moment I took the very first TD. The car ticked most of the boxes, if not all and I knew that no other car comes close in terms of level of equipment, space, comfort and performance – more on this later..
Now it came to discussing the other important part of purchase – yes, you guessed it right – money! As I mentioned earlier, there was no “real” need of a new car since we had enough wheels already and that’s why I found it difficult to convince, well, myself to buy a new car, that too, the top model. Checked out lower variants’ prices and Sportz variant seemed to be a good proposition. But heart won over senses again – “I would only live once – why not treat myself
”? – Booked Asta (O). How did I book the car
– I had missed couple of credit card payments recently and knew that my ability to borrow money wouldn’t be too great. So before applying for a loan, I decided to check my Cibil score first. Checked it and it came out as 747 which wasn’t that bad! Did some research and came to know the ideal score to apply for any loan is >750. Damn! Just two missed payments and I can’t take another loan? Felt disheartened. Called a few people from lending business and banks and they also confirmed the same. I didn’t want to risk my scores by applying again (every time you apply for any loan, irrespective of being approved or not, your cibil score gets affected). So, no new car then, not until I rebuild my credit rating. Didn’t eat for the whole day. Just couldn’t. Didn’t feel like.. Cursed myself for missing those two payments. And not thinking about my credit scores before doing all the hard work of selecting the right car. Dad comes to rescue
– My native place is Dehradun where my dad and mom live. After a few days, my dad called to know the status of my new car progress. Didn’t tell him anything that day. He called again. Told him everything. “Is that stopping you to buy your new car? Let me help you with your loan
.” I felt life in me again. BUT, I didn’t want him to be overburdened with multiple loans. He had recently bought VW Vento and a new home. 2 loans already running. “No, not the third one. But wait a second, he doesn’t have to pay anything. I would do the down payment and take care of the monthly installments. The only thing he would do is take the loan. Rest is all mine to take care of
.” That’s it. Discussed the model/loan amount/down payment etc. and he applied for the loan. After a few days’ time, got the loan approval confirmation and I was ready to get my hands on our new car. Dealership Experience
– My dad contacted several Hyundai dealers and DPM Hyundai, Dehradun seemed most interested in selling and offered decent discounts and freebies. Vaibhav, the SA, helped us with buying formalities and booking our car. We paid 5K booking amount and asked for VIN to be sent. We also made it clear that proper PDI would be done before taking the delivery/sending the car for registration. The car was August 2015 built. Okayed it and decided to take the delivery on 15th Oct. But things weren’t as simple as it looked. We reached at the showroom by 1130hrs and my dad immediately started doing the paperwork as we wanted to leave asap
. In the meantime, I stepped outside to do PDI of the car. BUT, the moment I saw the car my heart sank for a second. It looked and felt, well, very ordinary without any charm of a new car. The dealer had some “cheap” ugly looking seat cover installed without our consent which had some spots, too. Fingerprints and dust were all over the dashboard which looked very tacky. I immediately called my dad and he wasn’t impressed either. One thing which I didn’t notice earlier was car’s tyres. They didn’t look very new which raised alarm – car might have been used for TDs? I had already got upset and almost decided to just drop the idea of buying the car
. We raised our concerns and as expected, showroom guys tried to defend themselves by telling us stories about how ‘brand new’ the car was but the car had evident signs of being ‘used’. We refused to take that car and ‘demanded’ to visit their stockyard for a new car to be allotted. Our SA insisted that they can change the seat cover and have the tyres replaced. We refused. He then came up with another layer that the car had already been allotted to us and can’t be changed. I eventually had to ‘educate’ him that unless the car is registered, we can get the car changed. So went to their stockyard and saw couple of cars and selected one of them post checking the VIN. Did a quick PDI there and asked them to get this one ready for us. Finally, I was happy and had this feeling of buying a new car!
Got the paperwork done and paid the down payment and in the meantime, kept a very close eyes on the car while it was getting ready
. At the time of delivery, had a picture clicked and the showroom folks gifted us a box of chocolate and photo frame of me and dad getting the car keys. The ceremony was pretty decent and we finally drove home with our new white beauty. One thing though, the invoice which we got from the dealer is about 20k lesser than what we agreed on the final price of the car which is 6,13,000 INR but the invoice is only for 5,92,236 INR. Asked the dealer and they came up with some cooked up story which I didn’t really understand and didn’t argue much. Experts – any idea?