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350Z 22nd January 2012 10:44 PM

The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
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Definition of Classic (/ˈklasik/): Judged over a period of time to be of the highest quality and outstanding of its kind.

The Background:

Our first family car was a little Maruti 800 DX (5-Speed) which was bought on 31st December 2002. Opposite to the present scenario, it was a time when the cars were not spreading like wild mushrooms across the Indian automotive market, consequently leaving the buyers with very certain options. Maruti 800 is still merrily serving us despite on whichever terrain it has been driven. But eventually the situation has changed over the time and so does the requirements. I realized that it was a time to upgrade to a better car which is capable enough to stand up to the current requirements without affecting the wallet much, not only before but also after purchase.

The Requirements:

The foremost criterion was a bigger car with refined engine that must have at least essential safety features as standard. This is something which Maruti 800 did not offer. These were further followed by other important requirements such as driving pleasure, passenger comfort and of course, fuel efficiency as well as a value for money product. Though indirectly I was quite conscious about the re-sale value aspect too but factors such as brand image and unpopularity really did not affect the short-listing process anyway for my soon-to-be car.

Hunting for Pre-owned:

In the beginning, the budget was set to maximum Rs.5 Lakh and I knew that it was a farfetched dream to buy any desirable new sedan at this price tag. So I began with the hunt of buying used. The search started as early as in Jan 2010 with a never-ending list of tempting used cars in mind, starting right from a Chevrolet SR-V to Honda Accord. But I took some time to pinpoint and give it a wise thought by maintaining the foot on a ground level. After a thorough analysis about various important aspects of real-time car ownership like practicality, upkeep costs and what not, I finally end up short listing a Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia Sports.

As if one challenge wasn’t enough, another was waiting ahead for me. Well, finding a simple Mitsubishi Cedia itself isn’t easy in second hand market, I should have forgotten about the Sports. In spite of knowing that, it was quite a task; I went ahead with the search and ever since then there was barely any car listing in automotive classifieds which didn’t scan through my eyes. I was particular about the selection of a used car and therefore started visiting authorized used car sellers on weekends in order to inspect the cars with an open mind to consider something else apart from a Cedia if seemed to be worth. The search continued for many weeks. During this phase, I came across a number of cars, most of which were either in bad shape or just not genuine. There were mixed experiences after speaking to several dealerships and also some individual sellers. For instance, experience with a couple of Mahindra First Choice Dealers was poles apart. One was too good while other doesn’t deserve a mention.

Let me write about the Gurgaon Mahindra First Choice which was courteous. This dealership although isn’t too big but they have a fairly wide range of cars to choose from. Unfortunately, when I spoke to them about Cedia, they told that it was immediately sold off. Apart of the Cedia, the two sedans from which I was really impressed were Skoda Octavia vRS and an understated Hyundai Sonata Embera. The black Skoda Octavia was exceptionally well-kept but it had clocked over 77,000 Kms and price quoted was around Rs.7.5 Lakhs. On the other hand, Sonata Embera stands in a different league altogether. It was a 2006 model, done over 40,000 Kms with asking price of Rs.6 Lakhs. But the condition wasn’t very pleasing which I found upon performing a close inspection of interiors and rest of the areas. While dealing, the sales person ultimately admitted that it was chauffeur driven and used to pick up clients of a prominent firm in Gurgaon. It wasn’t surprising for me since I already got an idea of this after performing a thorough inspection. He agreed to negotiate further and also told about other Sonata Embera they had on sale. But I overlooked, considering that presently I was not at all in a need of buying a bigger luxury sedan when a C-Segmenter can serve exactly what I want.

The search of buying a used car was on and I was keeping a track of various classifieds with a slightly stretched budget for used. Somewhere in between the hunt, I also thought to consider a compact sports utility vehicle like Grand Vitara but again, the question was same. Do I really need one? Quite certainly, the answer was a clear cut no. Call me finicky, but having scanned the used car market for over a year, I was still not able to find a car which truly touches the string of my heart. Therefore, it was now decided to stretch the budget to maximum feasible limit and go for a brand new car. Though in all the confusion and chaos, I was still shuffling used car classifieds with flexible budget of Rs.5 Lakhs in hand. Coincidentally whichever car I preferred has one thing in common. Be it Cedia, Sonata, Octavia, Optra, Grand Vitara, Manza, Linea or Fiesta. Names of all ends with letter “A”. :smile:

350Z 22nd January 2012 10:46 PM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Owner’s Review
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Hunting for Brand New:

It leaves me into astonishment whenever I start comparing today’s Indian automotive market scenario with that of a decade ago. During those times, although one had limited but an interesting set of choices in approximate budget of seven lakh: Mitsubishi Lancer, Honda City, Ford ikon to name a few. Alas, nowadays you can hardly fetch an interesting car for this much amount and most of them suitable are only the hatchbacks (Note: Keyword is ‘interesting’). All that sedan market has stored in for you is cars like Tata Indigo Manza, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Chevrolet Aveo, Toyota Etios, Mahindra Verito and Nissan Sunny. These are some fine sedans in their own respective areas but there is a common issue of concern. Most of them are primarily only focused towards offering simply luxury (in terms of features, new gizmos and what not) and not the real thing from a driver’s viewpoint.

You have earlier already read the challenges I had been through. I’m pleased to make you meet with a new one – Finding a car which offers a fair blend of comfort mixed with performance and obviously, rest of the of requirements as mentioned in the second paragraph of this review. I went ahead to discover what exactly these vehicles have to offer overall. My first pick was a Chevrolet Aveo for the incredible interiors and a well-groomed design. Ironically, I came back knowing that GM has discontinued some of the useful features (Airbag etc) and dealership experience was not that all great. Second worry was the dropping sales figures of Aveo, keeping in mind that new model is also around the corner. Personally, I’m not a big fan of Sail if compared to present Aveo though. ( Apart of this, other contenders were kept out of consideration for the following reasons:

> Maruti Suzuki Dzire: Good car but I do not like the concept of punching boot on a hatchback. Plus, Dzire facelift is also around the corner.

> Tata Indigo Manza: An impressive list of features and its interiors are next to Aveo. But again, this is basically an Indica with a boot and a disproportionate one at that. The disappointing pre-sales experience with Tata Motors was a biggest letdown however.

> Nissan Sunny: Great caaar for those who are chauffeur driven. Its base variant is a lacklustre while mid was exceeding the budget. Basically, not worth considering other better options that I could have bought by further exceeding the budget (Read Honda City, Skoda Rapid). Nissan neither agreed to offer benefits like freebies / discounts nor showed any special interest in selling their car. The only benefit I got was to see 370Z in flesh at their showroom.

> Toyota Etios: Don’t intend to offend the existing owners though, but this car was kicked out from the list ever since I saw and sat in it. Only apparent positive was the spacious interiors, rest of the plastics, design was too poor for a sedan of this price tag. Pity Toyota. Indian buyers are far more alert than you think of. Don’t throw anything in front of us in the name of “India’s first”.

Until now, only Manza was emerging out as a worthy contender in entry level sedan segment (Save for rear design and standard performance) but every time my experience with Tata-Fiat dealerships was bad for some reason or other. Dropped the idea of spending on a product which leaves the dissatisfaction somewhere inside the heart. At the same time, I was also eyeing for upper-end C-Segment sedan if they were to fit in or around the fixed budget. Fiat Linea has always been my heartthrob even before launching in India, thanks to impeccable Italian design, top comfort and exciting features but on a performance note, something was really missing. Eventually, I became interested in Linea T-Jet which was fulfilling this aspect, and more or less because of Fiat’s year-end sale. Started inquiring with various Tata-Fiat dealers and none of them had a T-Jet in stock. Call it my luck; again, I had a terrible pre-sales experience with a Tata-Fiat dealership. This was also the only dealership which had the T-Jet in stock. (

Next car I was curious to learn about was the New Honda City. Especially because Honda recently launched the Corporate Edition at a fairly reasonable introductory price of Rs.6.99 Lakhs (Ex. Showroom). All the safety equipments being offered as standard was another deal-breaker though the problem was that Honda dealer was quoting base variant for Rs.7.8 Lakhs (On-Road) which means stretching further an already stretched budget which I was not in a favour of. Meanwhile the ongoing search, I fortunately stepped into a Ford dealership, this steered the story to a totally new direction. Just in case you’re not bored yet, continue to read on.

350Z 22nd January 2012 10:49 PM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Owner’s Review
2 Attachment(s)

The Classical Saga:

Ford Fiesta is not a new sedan for me. I’m used to of seeing many of them on the roads everyday and never thought that one of them would be mine. The first ever time I actually had an encounter with this car was at Carnation (Multi-brand service centre) while getting the Maruti 800 serviced. The friendly service manager showed his subtly modified Ford Fiesta and I instantly became a fan of it. This affection further increased after taking one for a spin.

Back in April 2011 when Ford India launched Fiesta rebranded as Classic, I causally went to a dealership without an intention of buying one. The car on display at showroom was an extremely basic LXi variant which really left me disappointed. The interior didn’t feel upmarket anymore and I returned upset thinking that Ford has discontinued those better interiors with beige trim amid other bells and whistles. The tables turned in December when I visited a nearby Ford Dealership to find out about the New Fiesta 2011. I was only checking the new model when my eyes suddenly drew towards a gorgeous Ford Fiesta Classic SXi. I immediately left the Fiesta 2011 and headed towards Classic SXi. The car was fully furnished with chrome bits, ORVM mounted indicator, beige interiors with wooden finish and more.

This was impressive. I proceeded and discussed with the sales man about it. He calculated and finalized about all the discounts. Since Ford’s December Dhamaal offer was just about to end, he added that I can win an assured gift (DVD Player, Blackberry Phone, Camera, Samsung LCD etc) if I book the car right away or maximum by this mid-night. It was perplexing because I did not want to take such decision in a jiffy. Finally, I decided to sacrifice the idea of Mid-night offer but started collecting price quotes from various Ford dealerships.

Ford Fiesta Classic is selling like hot cakes; as a result, when I returned from a short outstation trip, the dealer called up and said “Sorry, the car you considered has been sold. Now only the Diesel variant is left with us”. This was unlucky for me because, by now, there was no stock left of SXi with other dealerships either upon inquiring. I lost the hopes of buying a Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi. Also, did not want to consider New Fiesta 2011 even if I forget the cramped interiors (Esp. Rear) for once. Given that, I was getting a fully loaded Fiesta Classic easily in the budget whereas for New Fiesta 2011 I had to shell out another lakh and still live without basic features like alloys wheels, fog lamps etc.

Now it was mid of December and the hunt was on. The weekend arrived and it was no different. I stepped out to survey at different car dealerships but didn’t knew this evening has stored in something special for us, something really special. The location I was on is called Mohan Cooperative Area. This place has a few car showrooms (Starting from Hyundai to Rolls Royce) located very nearby. One of the names is Riddhi Ford which has been inaugurated just a few months ago. But Ford India’s website is not updated and still showing “Riddhi Ford – Opening Shortly” which is why I never cared to contact them.

Someone rightly said, whatever happens, happens for good. As soon as I entered inside the Riddhi Ford, welcome was very gentlemanly. The sales person (Mr. Pradeep) immediately greeted and attended without making us wait, although there was a lot of rush. This kind of professional and personal approach coupled with an overall pleasing atmosphere of dealership was providing a very positive sense. The only concern was whether they have a SXI in stock. Guess what? The answer was Yes. We discussed further and after maximum bargaining, clinched the deal with which I was satisfied. The deal includes free Extended Warranty + Insurance + Mud Mats, Mud Flaps, Perfume + Discount on FGA (Ford Genuine Accessories) and Sony Cyber shot as a part of Ford December Dhamaal’s Scratch Coupon which he somehow managed to offer.

Riddhi Ford had a couple of Ford Fiesta SXi in stock and both were Diamond White. I was absolutely comfortable with this colour as our first car is also white. But had it not been white, I would have picked either Chill Metallic or Panther Black. The first car was sold quickly and now I was left with no choice. Decoded the VIN and found that the car was manufactured earlier in 2011. Next day I went to the showroom and the sales person convinced that it arrived at their showroom only in October 2011 from which I was okay considering the showroom itself was opened in August. Just a few days before the delivery, I performed a thorough PDI check up of the car with the help of The Automotive India’s Exhaustive Pre Delivery Checklist. Everything was perfect except for a little suspicion or two which were clarified later on. The buying process was butter smooth and the car was supposed to be delivered on 31st December 2011. Exactly like our previous car which too came home on 31 December but for now, this date was intentionally pushed forward to 8th Jan 2012 due to certain superstitious cause.

Thanks to constant new car launch events and auto expo, it wasn’t difficult for me to pass on one week in wait of a new car, unlike many other new car owners who usually have a tough time waiting for a new car, but I only realized how long the wait can grow on Saturday night when next day the car had to be delivered. Guess I didn’t sleep that night. [thumbswink] On Sunday noon at I found myself at Riddhi Ford waiting for the delivery. As expected, the process was still smooth and pleasurable. Finally, in the evening the showroom staff assembled outside. One of their staff members performed Pooja over the car and handed over the keys with pack of chocolates and a bouquet of beautiful flowers. The car was tanked up with five litres of fuel which was refuelled on the way and surprisingly, fuel gauge needle is yet to drop down to empty (!).

The only trouble with the Riddhi Ford was about getting the registration done, which they delayed, but the end result is sweet. Co-incidentally, the registration number is just an easy jumble to that of Maruti 800’s. Got the logistic charges refunded also on the same day. Thanks to our member NH08 for letting us know about it on TAI ( My heartfelt thanks to members and Ford owners out here who promptly supported me with this decision and poured in valuable views when sometime back I requested for owner’s opinion on Ford Fiesta (

Overall it has been an outstanding experience dealing with Ford and Riddhi Ford as a dealership. Probably the best I have ever had with any car dealership around. Hope this relationship with them turns out to be equally pleasant in future as well. Since the car is just a couple of weeks old, I'm myself yet to explore it more. I will make sure to keep this thread updated with more experiences and information in future. So remember to come back!

Mr.Pradeep posing with Fiesta after delivering the car. He is reading this review, I'm sure.

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Thread Contents (Updated Timely):

Varun560061 24th January 2012 04:33 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Nice review. keep updating. Nice pictures too [:)]

AppU 24th January 2012 05:25 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Nice Review,

Keep updating to us..

rekharam 24th January 2012 05:47 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Hearty congratulations on your new buy. How much did you extend from your initial budget of 5L finally?

Drive Safe!

droy 24th January 2012 09:20 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Congrats for your new Ford Classic.Really one of the very fine detailed buying process you wrote.The car still a looker.Fiesta is well known for being a drivers car.In my view the going for a used car is a little bit of risk.Made a good decision.
Best of luck and wish you a safe drive.

ilango[speed thirst] 24th January 2012 09:42 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
That was a good experience of yours to read.

congrats , one pure good engine. have fun.

JazzSelect 24th January 2012 10:23 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
congratulation for your Fiesta classic.
Ford handling is unmatched. Enjoy your drive.

Freelancer 24th January 2012 10:38 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Congrats!!!! very good writeup...keep exploring your car and updating us....

P3T3R 24th January 2012 10:42 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Congratulations on the Fiesta. That was a very well written Review. Rated it a well deserved 5 stars. I somehow prefer this car to the new Fiesta. I just wish they hadn't discontinued the "S" variant. I somehow did not like the beige / faux wood interiors. The black/silver combo on the older cars was better. Try and get a "S" badge and stick it on. No one will know. In case you're planning to upgrade the tyres, please check with the dealer about warranty. There's a note in the owners manual that states that the warranty will be void if the tyres are change to any size other than stock. However it is mentioned that if the size is changed, the service centre needs to reprogram the ECM with the new size.

BTW what is the small key for?

Akash 24th January 2012 10:44 AM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Many congratulations for acquiring the segment's best drivers car. The car is looking great in white.
Sorry for being to demanding, but do consider getting a boot spoiler. Fiesta looks awesome with it.

Superbad 24th January 2012 12:08 PM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Nice write up.
I too would have considered this reading so many good reviews about the classic.
Only that our fuel requirements were for a diesel and the diesel with a 60bhp made me not to consider the classic.

krish199 24th January 2012 12:14 PM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Congratulation for you buy. In my opinion Fiesta classic is still macho looking then new Fiesta and white is doing full justice to it. Very good buy.

Iron Rock 24th January 2012 02:15 PM

Re: The Fiesta Carnival: Ford Fiesta Classic 1.6 SXi Ownership Review
Congrats 350Z , this looks good in white. Offcourse The best driver's car in its segment - we cant expect any less from you! Looking forward to a detailed technical review!

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