1. Its better to take advice from experts or from folks who are passionate about that stuff you want assistance on. You mostly never go wrong and if does, you know the guys backing you have the know how and the passion to help you out anytime.
2. Most of us have this herd mentality and actually consider something good/bad based on hearsay (my granny has extreme opinions on Indian cricket and Indian players when she's not held a bat in her hand anytime!!, friends suggesting this car and that had no clue about engine capacity even of the rides being suggested!!!).
I had not not gotten a chance to share my requirements anywhere except with a few of my colleagues and friends over casual discussions. One of my sardar friends suggested a used Honda City!!! ('Abe.. status symbol hai boss, ladkiyon ko pasand ha
i' - same words used by him) and I knew these discussions were going nowhere. But somewhere there, I did not feel like spending a substantial amount of money for the 'ladkiyon ko pasand ha' act.
With my (little) knowledge of cars and reading a lot to understand several tech terms, I finally shortlisted on 3 cars:
One thing was for sure, if I was spending that much money initially for a premium hatch (budget increasing from 1.5 L to oh man, upwards of 5L), I wanted my fuel bills to be lesser. Moreover, I would be traveling quite a bit here in Mumbai and that meant atleast 1200 Kms a month. So, Diesel it was. Call me biased or whatever, but somehow I did not want to go the LPG / CNG route. I drove my friends Spark with LPG, did not like it one bit.
Mind you, "whole lot of research" meant analyzing prices, watch TV auto shows, figure out discounts etc etc. Honestly, I had not found a decent forum to discuss my thoughts, interests and share them with somebody (and I am honest here!!). It was by accident that I found TAI
(while actually searching for "Automobile forums India") and I find it strange that we are having difficulty finding prospective members. I am sure there are whole lot of guys like me looking around to share their (auto) passions and actually not having a platform to do just that. Anyways, that discussion is for some other day.
In August'09, started a thread here at TAI
(as suggested by 350Z). The discussion was extremely fruitful (you can read further at: Need suggestions on Diesel Hatchback, Bought Punto
). I had to take a sabbatical from Mumbai due to work pressures and finally around the time of Diwali, I decided that "Punto" is the one that I felt like owning. This when I was still out of Mumbai.
OK.. so Punto it is, now which variant? My initial thought was go for the Active, Diesel. That's what I could afford. No music system!!, says my gf, Will get the ICE done afterwards, post buying a month later, warranty might become void sir says the dealer whom I called, shucks man!! Dynamic it is then. My mind is racing.. no front fog lamps - ok I can live with that and hoping that my gf does not notice that
, suddenly comes another problem - no body colored handles says she. Oh well!! the damn feature list pamphlet is screwing my happiness and has gone into the wrong hands (read SHE!!). Sense prevails and I also start feeling that if I could actually look at Dynamic, I can move a little further up and buy either the Emotion or the Emotion Pack variant. Moreover, all this budget calculation is based on pre-diwali pricing, so I am good to go now knowing I am getting a substantial discount.
Anyways, to cut the long story short, final final can only go uptil Emotion variant and that is what it is.
So, on the 24th of October (I was back in Mumbai around the 23rd I think), booked the Punto, Emotion variant, 1.3 MJD
. Now, its another story about color selection, one thing to another to another and finally to the Electric Blue
. Lessons Learnt:
1. Boy wants car, boy sees 2 cars, boy likes 1 car, boy buys that same car is not a true story at all. This is Bollywood fantasy
. This should more be like (as explained above) - Boy wants car, boy searches for car, boy has to decide amongst 8 new cars, boy has immense pressure from well-wishers for particular car, boy overshoots his budget by a mere 350% to get car, boy has immense pressure again on features of the car and so on and so forth..
2. On a serious note, I overshot my budget thanks to the point that I had the bank balance to support it for various reasons mentioned in the previous posts. Beware: Never ever do this, not good for your health, this is..
My booking, dealer, bank/loan experience in my next post (Sorry guys, have to get work done!!