I already own 2010 model Swift (Vdi), which has covered ~94k kms till date and still going great. The car is used only by me, mostly for travelling to office and back to home. And while driven for any other reason, the maximum number of people travelling together is 4.
Reason to buy another car:
This fortunate acquisition came into picture due to an unfortunate event. In August 2015, my father met an accident while he was travelling on his Activa to the office & as decided by the whole family, he is forbidden to drive any 2 wheeler henceforth. Also, owning another car seems better than hiring a chauffeur for my swift, at least on paper.
Reason to buy a petrol car:
1st of all, we already have a diesel car. And 2nd, the total number of kms in a month would not exceed 500 (except in case of any road-trip & visits to relatives). Overall considering everything, the odometer will not have an impact of more than 8-9k kms in a year.
Reason to buy an automatic car:
My father cannot drive a car with manual transmission due to some physical restrictions. Honestly, even I am tired of changing gear every 20 meters during my daily travel to office.
By early Sept 15, the budget was finalized to be 3.5L INR (TATA Nano). Yes, that’s almost 1/3rd of the actual amount paid of the LUV, but bear with me…
But after couple of discussion sessions & my mother’s intervention, the budget was increased to ~6 L INR (Maruti Wagon R, Celerio; again, less than 2/3rd of what we paid for Ertiga), and basic requirements were finalized after addition of airbags & abs to the list. I received an instruction from my father, “If the car is only for 5 people it should not cost more than 6 L INR”. Keeping that in mind, I went ahead to inquire about Celerio and came to know about the 3 months waiting period for the same. And with that, I was back on the table with my parents. Following will give you an idea about what actually happened.
Me: Dad, how about City or similar cars? Yes, we will require to shred a bit more from our pockets, but we will get more in return. It can carry 5 people, around 10-13 L depending on the car and the variant.
Dad: 5 people = 6 L INR.
Me: Ohkie, how about 8 L? We can consider Dzire or similar car. It’s just like our Swift but with extra boot space…
Dad: 5 people = 6 L INR.
(After quite a time...like couple of days or so...)
Me: Dad, if we can wait for ~2 months, an automatic variant of Ertiga might be launched by Maruti. And if in case that didn't happen, then we can surely go for Celerio. See, 7 seats, and it will cost around 10L, plus Maruti and we can travel with Logan as well….all we need to do is “wait”…
(While negotiating with him, I recalled those days when I was 18 & was looking for a fast bike)
And so, the wait begins…
Eventually, the car was launched by end of Oct’15, and I checked with 2-3 dealers regarding the waiting period and OTR for AT variant. Waiting period was confirm by everyone to be around 2 months, and OTR = ~9.77 L INR. Booking was done at Wonder Cars (near Chikhali RTO) on 5th Dec’15, as my father received his learner’s license on the previous day. The color chosen was Silky Silver.
And with that, the wait begins…again…
Now comes mid of Jan’16...dealer says “It might take another month”…and the wait continues…
Now comes mid of Feb’16…dealer says “No update...maybe you should consider other options, we have wagon r with AMT in our stock”…and the never ending wait continues…
Simultaneously by end of Feb’16, the hunt for an hatchback was re-initiated, but this time the budget limit was of ~9L INR (Visited Honda dealer for Jazz & also checked with Nexa for Baleno over the phone).
We all were getting impatient with the waiting period now & my father was losing his cool. But eventually, in the end everything felled in place. Just to give you an idea...
● Wednesday 9th Mar - Dealer called & informed that there are no production plans for coming 6 months. Discussion restarted for the available options in the market.
● Thursday 10th Mar – While leaving for the office Dad said, “Let's book the Jazz in coming few days”, and after 20 minutes got a call from the Maruti dealer saying "Sir, an AT variant in Granite Grey color has been dispatched. Would you like to buy that?" And my immediate response was "YES"
● Friday 11th Mar - The sales guy visited my place, took a signed letter for change in color and a signed check for some partial payment
● Thursday 17th Mar - Car was unloaded at dealer's end, was able to check the car myself.
● Friday 25th Mar – The Delivery Day. After completion of all the formalities, the car was handed over to us, with OTR being just above of 1 Mio INR (includes extended warranty for 3rd and 4th year & zero dept insurance for 1st year)
As you all know, as of now there is no petrol car with 7 seats and automatic transmission in the market to compare. But in all, we did considered 8-9 cars, starting right from the cheapest automatic i.e. Tata Nano, Maruti Alto, Wagno R, Celerio, Hyundai i10, Baleno, Figo till Jazz; but every one of them was rejected either due to the shape or price or quality or waiting period or because of some other reason.
Overall experience was definitely good. The dealer at least tried to keep us informed all the time. I will surely recommend Wonder Cars to others. At the time of delivery, everything was explained neatly & that’s when I got to know about the “On the door service” (newly introduced by Maruti or by the dealer, I guess). Also a coupon of 5 liters of petrol was handed over. (After delivery, the tank was immediately filled up to the brim & surprisingly it took ~49 liters of petrol in total)
Positives of the car:
● 5+2, multiple seating arrangements possible; already planning a road trip with friends :-D
● Automatic transmission means comfort for the driver too
● Airbags & ABS in AT variant; no need to say anything more on that
● Availability of Bluetooth, steering control for audio and phone…nice…
● 2nd row accessory socket; good for long drives
● Provision of dead pedal (hidden under the lamination & the floor mats, so not-so-useful now)
● Many storage options in all rows
● Healthy seats, no cost cutting at all
● The sea of beige color, difficult to maintain (Universal issue?)
● No arm rest in the first row (Got it covered)
● Greenhouse effect when parked in direct sun (Solution found)
● Inadequate throw of headlight bulbs (surely will be replaced)
● Edges of plastics at various locations is not even (for e.g. edge of the glove box lid or above MID)
● Missing option of driver seat height adjustment (available in higher variant)
● Unavailability of rear wiper & washer (available in higher variant)
Accessories till date:
1. Alloy wheels (set of 4) – 21,700 INR (after rims & wheel caps were sold outside for 1,200 INR)
2. Armrest – 2,890 INR
3. Chrome door handle – 1,490 INR
4. Sill plates – 540 INR
5. Tyres replaced with Conti CC5 in stock size – 8,100 INR (set of 4) + OE tyres (Goodyear Assurance)
6. Number plate: OE plate wasn't good enough for my taste, so went for better one – 1,200 INR
7. Floor lamination (Black) – 3,200 INR
8. Window shades with Zip – 1,050 INR (Bought online)
9. Floor mats (Beige) – 1,700 INR (Bought online)
So far so good…
1. Till date, the car is driven about 1.1K kms (50% highway running), with AC on for almost 100% of time. As of now, the MID shows is 14+ kmpl and first tank-to-tank method implies 12.5 kmpl; good enough for an automatic MPV. I believe after the first oil change, this figure might increase.
2. In bumper to bumper traffic, it is no different from any other automatic. Slot the lever in “D” mode, lift your leg from the brake pedal, and you are off… This happens with AC on & with full load too. The gear changes are smooth and with almost no jerks in case of city driving. No complaints at all.
3. Now talking about performance on highways, well...it’s no different here too.. The car hits triple digit speed with ease, also you won’t be able to hear much of the engine noise (almost nil), until you cross 2.5k mark (~100 kmph) on the rpm scale. While overtaking, if the person knows the transmission, then he/she can overtake any vehicle with ease.
4. Acceleration is quite good; no need to use the “A” pedal on normal roads. In case, one need to quickly pick up some speed from standstill, just press the “A” pedal more than usual, and you are off.. While moving (say @ 90+ kmph), if suddenly more speed is required (e.g. to overtake), just press the accelerator a bit hard and the gear is shifted down by one (generally) with a small jerk, and there you go.
5. In all the ghat sections encountered, there were no rollbacks, bringing more confidence. To move ahead, one might require to slot the lever in “D”, “2” or “L” according to the number of people in the car.
6. AC effect (including one in the roof) feels more than sufficient, maximum blower speed till date used is 2. Sometimes, it was reduced to 1 after 15-20 mins of usage.
7. Audio system comes with a remote control. Speakers are good enough for one’s daily commute, though the rear speakers won’t add any bass effect if used alone. Bluetooth works without hassle and gets connected automatically whenever the already paired device comes in the range (feels good).
8. Talking about CC5 - super silent and comfortable; would definitely recommend. Had an incident with one of the tyre but I guess this was one-off case as I have been using the CC5’s on my swift too, without even a single puncture since last 31k kms.
Time for some pics:
OE alloys with Conti CC5 : Worth it
Unlike Dzire, Ertiga doesn’t have the special tag for the automatic variant: Exclusivity is surely missed
The MID shows the slot the lever is in, average till date (from the point it was reset), total kms till date & time. The average can be replaced by instant average, range, trip A and trip B. Also as you may see, there are hints available about ACC, Cruise, Set and few other features in the same.
What else you want?
The width of the armrest is not enough for 2 people, but it just does the job.
Window shade - Quite helpful
Next in the list:
● Seat covers, door pads, steering cover
● Bulb replacement with Xtreme Vision or if required up-gradation to 90/100 with relay
That's all for now. Hope that I have covered at least those points which are exclusive to the AT variant, kindly let me know if any further information is required from my end.