Finally, a German Car that i can call OURS arrived in my parking lot on 20th of this month.
The ride "now" is very comfortable but to get there we went through some tough decision making process...
It all started 4 months back when we decided to move back to India (after a stint of over 7 yrs outside India). When I left India I had my 800 and of course during the course of living in US i had my Malibu and then last 2 yrs in Shanghai had a Minivan.
So when we start looking around we down selected these cars for test drive.
Innova : Proven, typical family-van
Scorpio : Having a enfield this is my natural choice :)
Verna - Fluid : Looked sleek but too jazzy
VW - Vento : German Sedan
Skoda- Rapid : same as vento
Toyota- Etios : Brand Toyota tempted me
Swift Dzire : Never say no to Maruti :)
The twist came when we got to know that Mini-suv's are coming up i.e Ford Ecosport, Duster (while no clear dates). So the temptation in between was to get a used car and then go for Mini-suv's..But what the heck, lets drive a new car...
The first 2-3 days after we arrived we were visited by skew of test drives.
Safety : You have so many variants with safety features compromised and we wanted a Dual-air bag + ABS
Comfort : Navigating in BLR roads, parking and occasional weekend trips
Engine : Diesel (this is the buzz that i dont want to leave out)
Maintenance : This is a big UNKNOWN area. I guess other than Maruti nobody could crack it that close
Transmission : Manual (i had auto for over 5 yrs in US and i think we are still comfortable with manual)
Delivery : FASTTTT...With my Thunderbird, driving for school admissions (for my 2 kids) is a nightmare, so i need a 4 wheeler in couple of weeks
Efficiency : Thou shall not care to give 15KMPL in India may call them DEAD
We have started filtering based on above criteria and finally it became a Innova, Skoda & VW decision...Scorpio was very close but unfortunately the test drive vehicle that came was 2010 model and my wife killed in first shot itself.
Innova : 16.5 L (High end)...Beyond my budget
VW Vento : They came promptly for test drive and when i went to showroom on Saturday it was a long long wait and felt may be this is not a car
Skoda Rapid (Middle variant): Liked the car and went to showroom 2-3 times and once with a Cheque book. Well within my budget, drive was comfortable, the looks inside was bit plastic but its ok...The build quality was good but if i compare with Vento it lacked something, not sure what ??
Finally we want to give another shot at Vento with a different dealer and if not working out we were ready for RApid. The second dealer was welcoming and within an hour we had the almost close final numbers with us. No 2011 models. Tried to find out car before excise duty imposed date again no luck (they had black only).
Rapid Offers given : Corporate Discount (15k), Teflon Coating, Lumar(3m), Basic Accessories set
Vento Offers : Free Insurance (1st yr), Basic accessories, Lumar, Door Sills (VW logo), Corp Discount (Rs.27k)..Final OTR 12.19. Financed through HDFC
Booked on 12th and delivered on 20th.
Thanks Wildon for your VIN Report.
Detailed photos and reports soon...