@350Z : Appreciate your patience brother, keep watching this space.
@Vipul : Well its quite clear what lies behind the silence, I was on one side and my rest of the family on another.
@Iron Rock : Thanks! And you know how it goes ahead...its no different !!
@Shailinder : I am a Tea lover and I would never want to be deprived of it. I am sure you must have guessed the rest of it...
The story continues...
Frankly, we had considered switching to a new car quite long before this, all those new models and glittery interiors impress and lure the family members so much, but I was delaying it in anticipation of a White Elephant. They have no interest in what lies under the hood.
Finally after I was voted out, we decided that our research will start from the weekend.
The very next weekend, I woke up at 9 and was shocked to see my family dressed ready at 9'o clock in the morning unlike the 4's on ususal weekends. With that excited smile on their face they said 'Lets Go'...and I knew this is going to be tough.
I called up the Honda Showroom to confirm whether we have a TD vehicle available (confirmed because generally on weekends, it remains occupied). Not to my pleasure, they said Yes !! Holy God !!
We left our house at 11 and sat inside a glittering new Honda City at 11:45. Everyone sitting inside had that chubby smile on their face except me.
1. I knew it will be hard on me as it came untimely.
2. I did not like City that much, [no offence anyone], but I was totally sold for a Safari since its inception.
Anyway the TD :
I started from the showroom and told the sales guy 'I want a long strech....a long empty strech'. Reply - sorry sir, not available nearby.
I continued, in-city driving was a piece of cake, a very smooth ride, the interiors were above par against all other cars available at that time, comfortable seating position, appropriate space for us(I could calculate as all 4 members of my family were sitting in and felt comfortable) and a nice sophisticated look of the dashboard.
I took it towards Hi-Tech city and being weekend, traffic was not even 20%. I started pushing it and it was quite smooth, but as I had owned a Palio for quite sometime, I knew its stability went for a toss at high speeds as against my palio. The people sitting in were enjoying more than me driving (Even the salesguy, lazy fellow started relaxing in front passenger seat and almost slept as I ran on a smooth strech
). It was my wife's turn to take over the wheel and I could see it coming as it was effortless for her to drive it.
We reached the showroom, took the price quotations and left. Everyone had decided that very soon we will be proud owners of a Honda City. I stopped in front of a Tata Motors showroom as my eyes were stuck to sparkling White Elephant standing behind a glass. Everyone understood my intentions and immediately ordered me to drive off(Reason : Only you will be able to drive and no one else. They were not comfortable riding the elephant).
Stopped by for lunch and after a lot of conversations, we decided to try another vehicle. Took a U-Turn and headed towards Mody Ford and were greeted very affectionately by a well dressed sales manager. We asked for a Ford Fiesta-1.4 Petrol. Lucky here, the TD vehicle was available.
He started explaining the features and in the meantime my wifey, dad and mom were busy checking the in-out of it. They were whispering making weird faces and looking at me. We confirmed with the sales personnel if we could take a long test drive and he happily agreed. Again we took off, as you might imagine, the family was not pleased sitting in the rear, space was again felt just appropriate, but they had stuck their mind on the interiors of the previous one.
However, the interiors comprised pretty good quality plastic, the silver shade on the air vents, the gear knob, center console and the steering gave it a good sporty look. The two tone beige n black finish was again nice. The doors did not close with that solid THUD as of a Palio's, but much better than the City.
So again, traffic was growing slowly and I was riding very calmly with the low-end torque giving me good support.
As I reached an empty road, I pressed the pedal and boy it flew, highly appreciable acceleration. It felt completely steady at high speeds, an A/C which chilled the cabin to almost freeze everyone's bones in the month of April, even at the rear(April in Hyderabad is very HOT). The steering feedback was amazing, the build quality, corner handling and stability..all of it was just mind boggling. Gearbox was very precise, had that solid feel to it. Amazing brakes !!
It took me very less time to get accustomed to the vehicle and I was enjoying it to the core. It felt as if the vehicle is listening to you, you say it, it'll do.
I had gone 'Fida' and it was time my wifey experienced the same. She took the wheel and as she accelerated, she had a smile on her face immediately. She turned sharply, braked, accelerated again n again and to my pleasure...looked at me and smiled !! Let me tell you, my wife accompanies me on all my trips and shares a good part of driving too, she is quite particular about handling and behaviour of a vehicle.
There were a lot of other cars and their TD's over the period of another 2-3 weeks, which I am sure nobody is interested in as it is already going too long. I will bring it to rest.
We brought home a Platinum Gold Ford Fiesta ZXI on 10th of July 2007, got ford genuine leather seat covers and everything else stock.
It has been 4.5 Years and it just completed its lap of 40000 Kms, still shines and roars. I thought of jotting down all the joy this heck of a drive has given us.
I will try to point out the major pros and cons during my ownership of 4.5 years in the next posts.