I am sharing the entire buying experience & an initial review of my Maruti Ertiga ZXI. Our requirement:
We already own a Tata Indica Xeta (i.e. Petrol). We started looking for a 7/8 seater family car some 8-10 months ago. Me with my wife & parents often need some extra seats when in-laws, friends or other family members accompany us. So we were looking to upgrade to a bigger car. My dad was against buying any sedan as he says it is going to have same 5 seats as in Indica. So according to him, just an additional boot is not what we wanted for the extra price we were paying.
Our monthly running is less, so we always wanted a petrol car. But 7/8 seater petrol car options were not there. So we also started looking at diesel car options. The shortlisting:
1. The XUV-500
: I was very excited at the launch of XUV-500 & loved it very much. Even my wife & parents liked it. But it was out of our my budget. So it was eliminated from our list.
: I like Scorpio & LX variant was just about in our budget. Even my wife likes Scorpio. But the grey interiors of LX were disappointing. Also, it was too high for my parents to climb in & step out.
: Nobody likes Safari at home except me. So it was immediately eliminated from the list.
: None of the sedans were considered as we strictly wanted more than 5 seats.
5. Upcoming cars
: I had a close watch on the upcoming cars, thanks to TAI
& other websites. Duster & Eco-sport were out as those are strictly 5-seater cars. I feel Chevrolet Enjoy is too boxy & would go mostly in the commercial market. The design of Nissan Evalia is not to my taste.
: I was following Ertiga since it's first spy pictures were out. The days between it's showcasing at Auto-Expo in Jan & it's launch in Apr were spent searching for more spy pictures, more insider information & speculating the price. I showed the available images to my family, but they did not like it much then.
It was launched in April, I liked it a lot & visited the website quite often. The price was well withing our budget of 7-8L. I drove my wife & parents to a Maruti dealer 4 days after the launch. A white Ertiga was displayed there. Everybody liked it very much & were impressed with the practicality of the car. The flexible seating options seemed to be very useful. It matched perfectly with our requirements. The test-drive
We took a short test-drive of a white ZXI. In the short journey, I felt as if I was driving my Indica. It felt so car-like. The turning radius is similar to a small car. The A.C. was quick to cool the whole cabin. The music system was good. The space & comfort was very nice. I am 6 feet tall, so leg room was my primary concern. With front seats adjusted to my comfort, I was able to sit comfortably in 2nd & even in 3rd row seats.
The very next day we booked dusky brown Ertiga ZXI. There was some confusion between Fire-brick Red & Dusky Brown. We had seen none of them in real. All the dealers in Pune were having White or silver display & test-drive cars. Initially we thought of booking VXI which was perfectly within budget. But then thought of going for ZXI to get the safety features which were for 70k more than VXI. Looking at the red in Ritz & brown in Estilo, we finalized dusky-brown.
The dealer had by then increased the booking amount from 10k to 50k to avoid false bookings. We took test-drive at some other dealer & booked at another dealer as my dad had some contacts at their workshop.
The dealer had already given us an idea of the waiting period of around 3 months. We were in no hurry, but after booking it was difficult to wait. The waiting period & financing:
The waiting period was building the suspense & excitement for the new car. There were hardly any pictures of brown Ertiga on the internet. Meanwhile, I was following all the Ertiga owners' threads on TAI
religiously. For financing, I approached HDFC for their offer while the dealer forwarded my application to SBI. As per everyone's advice to go for SBI, I told the dealer to go ahead & process the loan application. The loan was approved by both HDFC & SBI. But since SBI has zero pre-payment charges & other benefits, I decided to go with SBI.
I was waiting desperately to get my car & was jealous of the guys getting it early.
Once, the dealer offered a White ZXI but I refused & told them that I am in no hurry. My car arrived in the city:
After almost 2 & half months, one morning I received a call from the dealer that my car will be leaving from the factory today & it will be invoiced. It will reach the city in a week's time & I can get the delivery in 2-3 days after that. We all were very excited. So the final bank documentation & financing process began. The insurance episode:
It started from the dealer saying that I cannot get insurance from outside & need to do it from them only. I told them that this cannot be made mandatory & since my dad has working experience in a automobile-dealer he shared the same with them. I made them know that we are aware of the reality.
Then I told them I need zero-depreciation policy. To that they said it would add to 5-6k more premium. I was surprised because I was getting an online quote with zero-dep much lesser than the basic insurance offered by the dealer. The dealer spent almost a week telling me that we are in talks with the insurance company.
Finally, I mailed them the online quotation & asked them to match that premium or else give me the Engine & Chassis nos. They tried to convince me that online value is incorrect, it cannot be so less.
The reasons given were: IDV value must be less, this must be Delhi price, Octroi+VAT might not have been added, I might have added some No-claim bonus of other car.
They again took 2 days to check what can be done, talked to their Insurance Co. guys.
Meanwhile, Royal Sundaram guy called on registering online & I confirmed with him that I would get the same service for online policy.
The local Royal Sundaram chap called me & gave me some excuses that I won't get cashless benefits if done online etc.
In short all possible things were tried to discourage me from getting an online policy & saving their commisions.
Finally, the dealer SA gave in & sent me Engine & Chassis nos. which they were not giving me for these many days.
I took the online policy & the Royal Sundaram online guy was very helpful & received policy via mail in 5mins. I mailed the same to the dealer. The delivery:
I wanted to do a PDI. But the car was kept in the dealer's stockyard outside the city. So could not see the car before registration. Finally, the day of delivery came. This was just before the 3 months since the day of booking. We all went at the showroom & saw the Dusky Brown Ertiga standing in the delivery area. This was the first time we were seeing brown Ertiga in real. We were really very happy that we selected that colour.
The delivery process was smooth & took around one hour. The SA explained the features. The selected accessories were already installed. The pricing:
Ertiga ZXI (in Pune)
Ex-showroom: Rs. 7,47,000
Insurance: Rs. 18,800 (from Royal sundaram On-line including Zero-Depreciation)
R.T.O. Tax: Rs. 67,231
Extended warranty: Rs. 4,120 On-road price: Rs. 8,37,151 The accessories:
I opted for following MGA:
1. Floor Mat: Rs. 1,345 ( a must as the floor is of beige colour)
2. Seat-covers: Rs. 5,890
3. Steering cover: Rs. 510
4. Reverse-sensors: Rs. 4,700
5. Door Sill guard: Rs. 450
6. Side moulding: Rs. 1,390 Initial driving experience:
The car is super smooth to drive. The steering is so soft compared to my Indica. The gear-shift is also smooth.
The engine noise is almost nil & the cabin is so silent that sometimes I feel that the car has switched off.
The information display showed the average as 6kmpl on the 1st day. But now it is slowly increasing with more running & has reached 10kmpl after 70kms of running.
The power-window & central locking switches are not illuminated & this causes problems at night.
I need to push the starter for 2-3 secs to switch on the car. The Indica starts in 1 second push. Has anybody experienced this?
Overall, I am satisfied with my purchase & looking forward to enjoy many family outings & journeys. Let the pictures do the talking now: