It’s been a year and a half since we bought the Alto LXi Spice (Red Hot Alto Spice if you’ve seen the thread). The car had completed 19K Kms but I was not happy with it and made up my mind to sell it and buy something better. But the re-sale was pathetic (so much for Maruti’s great re-sale value). I decided that I need another car and I’ll keep the Alto for my mom to use. Since my usage is quite a lot, I wanted a Diesel. The obvious choice was the Punto. However I decided to check out all options. THE CONTENDERS
FIAT PUNTO: Having owned 2 FIATS myself (Uno Petrol & Petra 1.6) besides others in the family (brothers Palio and Dad’s 3 FIAT 600’s), I was very comfortable with the brand. Took a Test Drive of the Punto Petrol (as another customer was testing the Diesel). Surprisingly it was quite peppy and fun to drive. My wife liked it too. Finally I got the Diesel (dealer brought it home). This was quite nice. Suited me perfectly. However my wife was a bit uncomfortable with the seat height and visibility as she was quite short. In the meantime I also tested the 90 HP. Just a bit better than the normal one but I was not interested in spending the extra bit on it. Finally I had to rule out the Punto as my wife will be using the car a lot.
TATA INDICA VISTA: We checked out the Vista QJD. The car was very comfortable and real VFM
. However we did not like the handling. The TD car also was in bad shape. I thought it was a good choice for my wife. However she disliked it and ruled it out.
FORD FIGO: A real good hatch on paper. I had TD’d it earlier and quite liked it. But being a Ford which has a history of not supplying part for discontinued models and expensive spares. The dealer in Goa does not have a good reputation either. Ruled out by my wife without even testing it.
Hyundai i20 CRDi: Too expensive. Ruled out.
Skoda Fabia: Expensive spares and not exciting. Ruled out.
VW Polo: Waiting period and out of the budget. Ruled out.
Maruti Swift: Too common, poor build quality and poor A.S.S.* Ruled out.
Maruti Ritz: Wonderful rear design (second only to the Dzire!), poor build quality and poor A.S.S.* Ruled out.
Now it was looking like I had to shelf the Diesel option and buy myself a Diesel Sedan next year. My wife will have to use a Petrol Hatch. We had already tested the petrol versions of the above hatches, so I’ll only list out the remaining.
Maruti Wagon R: Ruled out for being a Maruti (I had made up my mind that I will never spend money on a Maruti after the Alto experience). *Before coming out with comments on the Maruti A.S.S., please read my review of the Alto and my horrible experience with them. If they are the best, why did it happen?
This left me with only one choice; the i10. I had made up my mind that I didn’t want a Kappa. I didn’t find the power all that great compared to the IRDE and also the initial peppiness of the IRDE was missing in the Kappa. Also reading various reviews on various forums, I learnt that the Kappa was a thirsty car compared to the IRDE.
Now that I had decided on the engine, I was not sure whether to go for the Era or Magna. Finally decided on the Magna. The i10 was recently facelifted but I liked the old version. I contacted Alcon Hyundai and they had a black Magna IRDE and a few white Era’s. The offered the usual freebies. Then I contacted the other dealer Goa Hyundai. They said they had a Red and a White Magna. However when I went there, they said they were already booked. Took a TD of the facelifted version. Then sat down to talk business. They just offered me 50% off on insurance and remote locking. They were making no effort to budge with their take it or leave it attitude. They did not even offer a cup of tea. I walked out and went to Alcon Hyundai. They offered free insurance and the usual freebies. I took the quotation and told them I would get back to them. After a number a follow up calls from their side, they finally said that they would give me the car on the road at the ex-showroom price. I agreed to buy the car and insisted on doing the PDI before booking. During the PDI, I noticed the right fender was loose and fouling with the door. They said they would fix it but I demanded a further discount as it was a damaged car. During all this the other dealer Goa Hyundai did not even bother to follow up. THE SWITCH TO THE FACELIFT AND KAPPA2
Finally I decided to go in for the facelifted version. The December offer was out and Alcon Hyundai was offering free insurance (though the ad said insurance + attractive gifts). I kept asking for the attractive gifts but they were not giving anything. Anyway I decided to buy. Reading the reviews convinced me to go for the Kappa2. Looks like Hyundai have rectified the Kappa’s milege problem with the VTVT Kappa2 engine. After a lot of debate I decided to go in for the Sportz. I earlier considered the Magna and then adding some of the features of the Sportz. However some of the stuff I wanted could not be done so I decided to go for the Sportz. FINANCE, INSURANCE AND DEALER SWITCH
I told them I would book after arranging the finance. I contacted Corporation Bank through my sister who works there. Since she did not know the price of the car she called Goa Hyundai for a quotation. She also mentioned to them that she knows the owner of the dealership. The staff immediately verified this and immediately came up with an offer of 22K off. However I later realised that the catch was that I had to take insurance with them which was more expensive. Melvyn’s friend even gave me a fantastic quote for Tata AIG but Goa Hyundai would not allow me to take it. They would only reduce 9K if I took my own insurance. Even that with their insurance, the deal was better than Alcon. However I showed my displeasure at the offer and seeing this they gave me free seat covers as an extra. Anyway I called up Akshay (Alcon) and told him my decision. He quite appreciated the fact that I told him.