Friend of mine was looking to buy a car as there came a midnight emergency and so buying a car became the first next priority. He don't know how to drive and had only 2 other members in family. His use will be 20 km in 100% city traffic. So I suggested to get a small petrol car and suggested Wagon R. Most of his buddies were Swift fan boys and they influenced him to go for Swift. He booked Swift LDi without consulting me. Then he upgraded to VDi and then to ZDi. Waiting period was going up and up, he downgraded to VDi again. Then another colleague of him booked a Swift. With influence, waiting list got shuffled and both reached under 100. Other guy got a car, but this guy didn't. Swift guy put all bells and whistles and the ego clash starts, so wanted something better than Swift. Test Drive Marathon:
One fine Sunday night he calls me and asks to take TD of all diesel cars and find a car better than Swift, sent his cousin along, an UK returnee. His prime priority was Liva or Etios, because of Toyota's brand value than Maruti. Right then asked him to pick Honda Jazz, but he refused. Must haves he wanted were ABS
Monday morning head to Toyota dealer. No TD car was available. Waiting period 3-4 months. Said about the party channel. Waiting came down to 1 month and top variants, ugly colors readily available. Then took a look inside the car. Terrible and disappointed. I said, I won't let him take this crap, so did his cousin. No features, no Toyota quality, just a Toyota logo. Another Indian disaster.
The hit Marikar Nissan. Micra, what a car. We both fell in love at first sight. Feature-rich, high-quality car. Again, No TD car available, but the guy promised he can get it to anywhere we want the next day or in an hour if we could wait. We said we will go an TD Figo and come back. He smiled with an evil grin, "Okay Sir." Understood its meaning after TDing the Figo.
Kairali Ford. Got an undisguised red Figo diesel. Took out for spin. O bloody turbo lag. But once the turbo kicks in, it was absolute rocket. I could feel the torque from rear seat. We ran out of road before we could try the 5th gear, the executive was asking can we turn back at every junction. Took a U-turn in the verge of a clean straight. Clearly, it was a car from the past, should have been here 10 years back. Disappointed with built quality, was in the yard to check the red trimmed car, saw at least one part fallen off in most of the car, pathetic. Other than price point, nothing really convincing in Figo, maybe the mileage too.
Back at Nissan. Demo car not back. Just a km from there was EVM Volkswagen. Decided to TD the Polo in the meantime. He was in love with the love of its looks and I was in with the highway characteristics. He was saying it's the only car that could be called a perfect Hatchback. Everything else lack the proportion. Executive was a petrolhead, not the blah blah kinda idiots we saw in all other showrooms. All queries and doubts answered perfectly and satisfactorily and he owns a Polo 1.2. UK boys turned the key, everything gone, 8L car, sounds worse than the Indica. Diesel clatter felt on gearstick and steering. Premium build, but very bland interior, very less features compared to rivals and an unrefined crappy engine. Lost interest in Polo too. Took it for a spin, the executive guy was asking us to go faster and faster. It hit 140 and it felt as low as 100s only. He made his point very clear. He asked to slam the brake hard at that speed, car slowed down perfectly even without ABS
coming into play. With Micra in mind and unjustified 8L Polo price tag, we zeroed to Micra
Back at Nissan, the test car was there. Executive apologized for the delay. His mom was in hospital and he came back just for our TD, a nice guy. Keyless entry, keyless ignition. Here we go.
We: Dude, we asked for diesel Micra.
He: Sir, it's diesel only.
Terribly silent. Virtually no turbo lag, quick as petrol. Hit 80s in no time. Awesome car. Feature rich, right price, many innovative features/designs. Finalized. Micra. Top-end diesel around 7L. Agreed to pay advance and same day. Picked up my buddy and hit back dealership. First impression, he didn't like the looks. We both tried hard and convinced him. Agreed to pay advance next morning. On the way back, hit the Renault dealer (just open, still under construction). Showed him the Pulse. Same car with just Renault logo and a doggy front end. He said it looks better than Micra. 20k more than Micra, you get twin Airbag, Micra had only drive side one. Finalized and back home.
Nothing heard from him for some days. One day call me up and said took TD of Verna and i20. I said "NO." Unreasonably high service costs. He said it is "Hyoooj" and got chilled glove compartment which can hold 4 bottles :D. Gave up. After a debate, call ended.
After a week, just thought of visiting his house. Nobody home, wall and gate being rebuilt and repositioned. He was saying he may get the Swift soon by influence. Called him, he was at showroom taking delivery and he said it's an "I20." Was like WTF. !@#$%^&*
At first, I decided not to collaborate with that car (ego ego). But how can I avoid a CAR, spent 3 sleepless days in that car continuously.
Date of Delivery: 27/3/2012 Damage to Pocket:
On-road price: 7.8L INR
Accessories at dealer: 16k + freebies (3M paint treatment, underbody coat, seat cover (interior was brown and beige, he ordered black and beige though same brown was available), floor mat).
Another at dealer 2.5k for fixing Roots Megasonic (another disaster, I could've done it better).
35k @Car Palace accessorizing (most of them unnecessary) (Reverse cam, sensor, tinting, windshield film, carpet, bass tube, amp, door sill, crappy perfume, mobile charger, etc.) First Impression:
It was "HYOOJ," feature rich, slightly more premium than Swift, but lots of gizmos than Swift and better built. A bit difficult maneuvering city traffic, but solid on highway. Turbo lag till 1.8k rpm. Starting from steep incline is a bit difficult. Handles well on highway. Premium feel all over, better quality than Maruti cars. Biggest blunder was fluidic i20 was just a week away and I've mentioned that to him earlier. 1st Service:
Done 10 days at 1.5k km. Economy:
Returned just around 15 with full time AC, unnecessary idling, 60+% city driving. Inevitable Crashes:
Had two bumps. Pain in city. Scooter uncle brushed the left front end. Slight scratches. Next came a bloody auto driver, overtook through wrong side. and crashed the stationary car at traffic light. Same spot. Bumper broken, more scratches. Fog lamps came off the clips. Dealer quote 1k for repair.