This article is based on personal opinion, no offense to the owner of any car!! PROLOGUE:
It was a bright sunny morning of November here at Hyderabad. Just like other weekdays I was heading to my office in my Activa. It was on NH9 near Madinaguda, Miyapur. The NH9 in this area is having wide section beside the road, easily which could’ve been another lane. In this wide section 3-4 bikes were waiting(on the left side) to cross the road. All the traffic were flowing towards Lingamapally, BHEL(i.e. where am heading). Before I could react, suddenly a biker(out of 3-4 bikes) wanted to cross the road, came on my way with her small kid seating in front of him, both without helmet..!! I pulled the break so hard, small tyre of active got skid, kissed the back of the bike and bang!! Landed up few meters away with a broken leg, knee joint ligament tear, several scratches on the left hand, stretched all the way. Thankfully was wearing full helmet, so no head injury! With the obvious bed rest for couple of months I started thinking about my childhood passion/love, better switch to car! So the hunt began!!! THE PLAN (JUNE LAST WK to JULY 2nd WK '15):
With all the tension of counting EMI every-month, to research in internet, me and my wify began our hunt with Alto K10. During this period we visited numerous sites, blogs to know more about car, features etc. We also visited nearby showroom to check different cars. I cant tell how much help we got from our very good car enthusiast friends Ayushman
, they provided us many valuable tips. I must say, without them things would have been little difficult. We were really confused at this point, whether to buy car or not? Which one to buy? petrol or diesel? automatic or manual? How much it will burn our pocket and so many other factors! Trust me it was really nice time to enjoy these tension and confusion, after all its first car, this is obvious!! Anyway, our requirements were:
1. Safety factors should be loaded as maximum as possible.
2. Engine should be good & peppy, handling & ride quality should be nice
3. Decent Mileage, after all we are Indian, how can we not think about the national car buying factor “kitna deti hai”!
4. Comfortable front seats as well as the rear one, practical boot
5. Solid build quality, at least that “thud” sound while closing the door
6. Interior should be practical & appealing.
7. After sale service should not be an issue.
Other factors (It’s okay if we don’t get it):
Music system should be decent.
2. DRL, Follow-me-headlamp would be better to have.
3. Keyless entry and go feature
Nearly after one month or so we list out pros & cons of various cars which match close to our requirement. Our initial impressions for the following cars are like these:
1.Maruti Alto K10:
Maruti is well known for its after sales service network, apart from that Alto K10 is already a successful model of Maruti, perhaps best in its class with the affordable price tag. It looks smart, decent; also gives good number per litre when it comes to mileage. But what we don’t like is the poor & economy grade build up quality. Adds to that no ABS
, dual airbags even in the top end! Also rear seat comfort is way to go!
Again the factor its Maruti’s widest service network that will put smile on your face at the first instance, also we liked the legroom and head room which is decent enough and the boot size of 235 litre grabs our attention. But the flimsy body structure and poor grade material all around the car tells us this is an economy grade car. Also NVH level and engine option we dint like. Engine is 3 cylinder 1 litre, whereas better options are available nearly at this price range. And finally, the design. Oh god! Who designed this car?
3. Maruti Ritz:
We almost decided to go with this car, its comfortable seats, loads of headroom, decent legroom, practical boot is really appealing. Also the K series engine start showing its magic once I raised the throttle, on the top of that the car is big enough to feel safe. Also ABS
, dual airbags add more to the same. However, we dint like the looks of the car, especially it looks really weird from the backside, and front side was not appealing to us either. On the top of that we got to know, that Maruti will stop selling this model very soon. So dint want to invest in a car which will be shortly out of market!
The swift is one of the most popular hatch of the country, so took a test drive. Lovely front seat, sporty interior will appeal almost instantly, handling, suspension, engine all put together I felt special immediately after pressing the foot down. But the story took a dramatic turn when we had a look on the backside as well as the boot!! High window line, all black interior, cramped rear seat, we were really felling claustrophobic! It was really not up to the mark. We realised, that the front seats is actually eaten up more than a half of the cabin size! That’s why they said its driver’s car. May be, but who will sacrifice all other features like key less entry & go, practical boot, good rear space for that 2%(IMO
) extra driving fun? At least we were not ready to sacrifice all these modern features & comfort.
5.Honda Jazz & Elite i20:
Both the cars are really really nice looking & feature packed! Elite i20 grabbed our attention the moment we entered to the showroom, whereas Jazz’s huge cabin size reminds us that we were in a sedan than of a hatch! But sadly both the cars were out of our budget!
When we were searching for our first car, the new figo was not launched, so tried the old figo, which had a great diesel engine & stability. Good front seat support makes it even breezier affairs to drive the car. Back seat was also nice & comfortable. Only odd thing that the rear glass went upto 50% while we wanted to roll it down! Ford called it “as a safety measure”, we could not sense a proper logic what is the safety behind it! Also at least in Hyderabad availability of very few service stations was a concern, the nearest one from our place was 20 odd kms away. These factors took the cake away from it and finally we fell in love with….
7.THE GRAND i10: A Grand Beginning!!
This car was ticking all the boxes what we wanted. From the safety features to the premium interior. This car has it all. Boot space is pretty good as compare to its rival, so no problem with weekend gateways. Now how about the inside? Well, we took the test drive on a quite bumpy road, and found handling is very good, ride quality is comfortable, AC was working brilliantly on a hot sunny weather outside, it comes with the rear AC vents, which was segment first. Apart from that 1.2 kappa VTVT is proven good engine to drive. It is peppy, power is available in every stages. Seating position was comfortable with its height adjustment & tilted steering facility, though tilt and telescopic would have been better! Loaded with features like key less entry & go, steering mounted control of music & calls, 1 GB memory, chilled glove box & so on. My wife did not complain either for the rear seat comfort & space it offers. Black & beige combination was spot on to maintain a balance between sportiness & airy feelings! So much so we did not want to come out of the car. But when we came out, that solid thud sound from the door brought smile on our face and said that we are done with our memorable hunt! TAKING QUOTATION FROM THE DEALERS (2nd to 3rd WK OF JULY ’15):
Now the most important part of the journey begins! I will start sharing our experience and will provide some tips for the new buyers as well from now on. Well, first we decided, we will not be in a hurry to grab our dream, rather will go slowly, enjoy the ride with excitement and taste the dream! So once the car & model is decided, we went on trying different dealers nearby like, Kun Hyundai , Talwar Hyundai etc. And for the dealers who are far from our place, we inquired over phone. Straight away I asked best for possible quote. Tips: Never disclose that you are going to compare the same with other dealers, this will enable to contact among them & you will start receiving exact same quote from all the dealers.
We had tried all the possible option very hard to get best out of the deal (Sometimes my wife also got annoyed on me for hard negotiation!). But this way we managed to get 25000/- cash discount (which other dealers told only 15K), apart from that further discount of 2K. Also we got, mud flap, floor mat, car cover, seat cover and anti-rust. We tried hard for fuel, but they agreed for anti-rust. BOOIKNG, PREPARATION OF DOCUMENTS & BANK PAPERS(Last 3 Days of July ‘15):
After considering all the facts & quotes, thankfully most nearby dealer Lakshmi Huyndai, Madinaguda quoted the best. Mr. Asif the sales executive was really brilliant on his job. From the test drive till handing over the grand key he was perfect. He was accepting my terms wherever possible without much drama, and wherever not possible he simply denied till the end. We decided to go with Lakshmi Hyundai & on 28th July we booked our first car and we informed him at the very beginning that we will arrange all the paper related work by ourselves, be it registration related or bank related. So we had saved couple of thousand bucks in the form of “cut”, we did our first checking before temporary registration (TR). I categorically told Asif not to take TR unless we inspect the car. Tips: It is always better to inspect your car before TR, because, once it is registered against your name you can’t deny the car, they may repair if any problem arises, but will never give you fresh stock.
After we were done with our pre-registration checking, Asif requested us to make the deal before 31st July to meet his target, also another fact revised price was about to get effected from the next month. Due to that Grand was about to get dearer by 5-10K from 1st August, the same was confirmed in news also. So to get the better deal it was required make all the paper works get ready ASAP
, in order to make the invoice date on or before 31st July. The delivery was promised within 7-10 days if the papers are ready within time. We successfully made all the things ready by the given date. Now we were just waiting for the D-Day! PDI & the D-Day!(1st Aug '15):
Immediately after doing all the paper work they confirmed the car is ready it can be delivered latest by 31st July, yes within 3 days! From that moment I could not able to concentrate on my work, was not able to sleep at night. But we decided to take it on 1st Aug being a Saturday. Weekend will be the best ever weekend for us! On the D-Day I left office (Yes, sadly we both have six days week) and directly reach there a bit early to do all the PDI.
With the PDI list and a pen on my hand, all of them at Hyundai were staring at me. I guess, I was more looking like an auditor than a customer!! Asked them to place the car directly under sunlight for PDI, it went well, no problem at all, though ODO 71 was bit of a concern, which should have been under 50. Everything else went well, wheel arch, edges were all perfect, Bluetooth was working flawlessly, and gear shifting was butter smooth. No problem in the engine bay either. After the PDI is over, I took some demo from them, though unfortunately the demo guy did’t even knows that Grand Asta gets a rear windshield washer! I told them and showed the function! But rest of the features he explained nicely. After an hour spending on all these, I asked them to take the car for final washing, while I came back to my place (barely a KM away) to change. And the countdown began!! Bought some sweets to share happiness with people of Hyundai and of course a gift for the sales executive Mr. Asif to make the bonding even stronger for his perfect work & for the issues which may arise during the course of ownership. Tips: Always try to maintain cordial relationship with the dealer persons, it will help you to sort out any problem during the course of initial ownership.
So, I returned with my wife and our friends. After some formalities regarding gate pass and all, now it was the time..!! The moment Mr. Asif told “Congratulations! Delivery bay mei aap dono ki gadi khadi hai, yeh rah gadi ki chabi, happy driving”
.. I can’t explain that feeling!! My childhood passion, my love for car all came true!! It was not only the key for the car; it was like key to happiness!!
After sweet distribution & series of selfies We drove our happiness home!!
Now take a look at our "white knight"!!