SUVs have always fascinated me. Initially, I thought all SUVs were Taxis, meant to carry maximum passengers which people hired when they had to go to pilgrimages like Vaishno Devi or sometimes to hills.
It was only when I started going on long distance trips like to Jodhpur and Auli few years back that I observed families self-driving their own SUVs to their far-away destinations. Even then, I never thought that I would own a SUV someday simply because I never had a big enough family for it but over the years as my family grew- I have 3 kids and of course, my wife, mom and even our maid accompanying us on all trips that I finally felt that we now need to own one ourselves.
I started zeroing on them one by one but was not satisfied with Sumo's, Safari's and Innova's of the world that around a year back, I got to know that Mahindra is going to come out with one that is going to have best of both worlds. I had no pictures, no engine specs or anything to fall upon and somehow I could never reconcile to go for a one made by an Indian manufacturer like Mahindra till after a long wait, Mahindra launched one christened XUV500 in 1st week of October,2011.
I went to Sri Durga Automobiles in Prashant Vihar and after liking the looks and interiors, I went for the next big job and that was to convince my wife who is otherwise the most difficult one to please. One look and she was hooked, luckily. My mom and kids are anyways very co-operative; they too cast in their 'positive vote'. So, without any test-drive or second opinion, I went for the cheque book to pay the Advance for a 2WD W8 version.
I was told I would get delivery sometime in Feb/March, 2012 but I got a call from both the Dealer and Mahindra that I should get ready for delivery by 25th Decemeber,2011 itself.
In between, I went for a Test-drive also which the Dealer was offering to only those customers who had booked the car. Unfortunately, I didn't like it. I found gear-change to be clumsy and clutch very heavy. Even the plastic in interiors looked 'cheap'. I came back home disappointed. My wife got suspicious and asked me why was I feeling so bad? I told her about my experience and she even suggested I should cancel my booking if I was not fully convinced but my mom advised me to go ahead.
I was confused but decided to wait and watch till as late as possible. Soon, the car was on road and most of the 'user reviews' were positive. And one day, when I came back home from my clinic, I found a Silver-colored XUV parked right in front of my house. I was shocked and surprised. I even found my kids and wife sitting in it. They laughingly told me that this belonged to one of my patients who was sitting inside. She told me that I can take a test-drive on her car which I promptly did. And boy wasn't the car flying. The gear-shift was very smooth and clutch lot easier to operate. Even the Interiors looked Impressive. Soon I realized that users had made a mess of that test-drive car and XUV was a far better car that I thought at the time of test drive.
I had now made my mind fully that I will go for the Cheetah but by now, I was repeatedly getting calls from the Dealership that I should come to them for discussions. I tried telling them that they should at least deliver me the car on 1st Jan so as to get the New Year model but they told me prices are going to be hiked by at least 50k and therefore, I should take the delivery at the earliest.
I somehow convinced them into giving me Delivery on 31st December evening so that my RC is issued next day only so that my Registration is for year 2012. They agreed after a lot of persuasion.
I had cleared all my payments already and happily went to take delivery of my XUV W8 model on the morning of 31st December but I was in for a rude shock. They told me that they did not have a Silver W8 with them and if I agreed, they were willing to me offer a White one instead. I protested but they showed helplessness.
They showed me the Inventory list which showed they didn’t have a single W8 in Silver color with them. When I demanded to know where my Silver W8 had disappeared since company itself had informed me that VIN No. was already allotted to me long time back.
They then offered me to instead opt for a W6 in Silver color which was available with them and offered to top it up with a 25k discount. My wife said a firm ‘No’ while my grey cells got thinking that I would also get back my 1.5L in difference in prices between W6 and W8 as well.
I agreed since children were already waiting at home for the car since the whole day but got some free fittings as well as ‘freebies’ from them for their mistake. At 10P.M at night of 31st Dec, we finally got delivery of our Silver colored XUV 500.
To be continued