My First Ever Car - My Vista QJD AURA ABS


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Disclaimer : Long post. Not suitable for the ones who hate reading long ownership report.
The views expressed here are entirely personal and NOT a general opinion of the entire public.


The background : Coming from a typical Indian middle class family, owning a car has always been a dream. I was like the regular Joe there. Owning a car was never that easy for us. The cost, the fuel, the expenses required to maintain it in proper condition was always beyond our budget. Car was always a luxury. NEVER a necessity for us all these years.
Like any other car freak out there, I too was bitten by the car bug very young. I was a total car freak since childhood. I used to recognize most cars. To add fuel to the fire, I studied mechanical engineering which made me get more attracted to cars/planes and anything and everything which was “mechanical” :P


The need : The need for car started a few years back when commuting in RTC buses were not all that reliable. Add to that, we had to skip so many places to visit simply because RTC buses never had such destinations on their schedule. And also, the dream of buying a car and upgrading our lifestyle was always deep hidden in my heart. To show to the world that one has succeeded, one has arrived, must always be made in grand terms and must be visible to one and all. People automatically start recognizing you for the achievements you made. Some are jealous, some are happy. You cannot satisfy them all! In the end, who cares?! Life moves on. Live for yourself. NEVER for others!


The Convincing part : This is one huge hurdle everyone must face when one makes the decision of buying a car/2 wheeler etc. One must always justify with facts and figures as to why one needs a car. Why and how it will be used for useful purposes. Similarly, in my case too, convincing parents was the biggest hurdle. When I first started pestering them(my parents) to buy a car, I got cold stares, angry stares and what not!! Most of our conversation about car buying abruptly ended with no conclusion in sight.
My dream of buying a car for the family simply got postponed day by day, month by month. After repeated futile attempts, I was finally able to convince my mom ( the finance minister :P ) that we did need a car for errands, weekend shoppings, long drives, visiting friends/family, attending marriages/functions etc. Note that we have 2 two-wheelers at home and we could still manage all that with them. But, come on, at the end of the day, dad, mom and me could not attend so many family occasions together simply because it was a waste taking both 2 wheelers out and wasting fuel. We needed just one vehicle which could take all 3 of us, and also additional passengers, if need be

The Budget : Fixing the budget is another story altogether! I simply did not know how to convince them that the primary budget what we fixed was nowhere close to buy even a decent car. After all the hoopla and drama, we finally fixed the budget at max 5.5lacs OTR. Not a penny more

Fuel Type : Phew! Need I say more about this?! The govt raised petrol prices more than 6 times in the last 8 months. I simply could not digest feeding a car with gallons and gallons of fuel by literally drilling a hole in my pocket! I simply wanted a diesel hatchback car. To hell with all the calculation, break-even time etc. math be doomed! Who cares!!?!

The car(s) in question : Following are the cars considered for our budget

1>Ford Figo : Man! Ford hit a jack-pot with this total VFM car with decent features and spot-on pricing! No wonder this car has sold more than a lac units in India since its launch. I somehow was not convinced that this is the car I wanted. The seating was low. Ingress and egress was quite difficult, to bear in mind that my parents are aging. I was doubtful about Ford’s A.S.S and also high spare prices and also their limited number of service stations did not give me confidence in them to invest my money on. Moreover, Ford never offered the Figo with ABS as an option other than in their top-end Titanium models. I could not stretch my budget for the top-end. Hence, Figo was struck off the list.

2> Ritz : Looks small from the outside, but is very roomy inside! Was surprised to know how roomy the car was with its small exterior looks. But I could not digest the rear look of the ritz and also maruti never offered any goodies/features with the car. ZERO!! I had to shell out more on music system, central locking etc etc.

3> Vista QJD : This one fit our budget correctly. Had all the features we wanted. Music system, keyless entry, ABS(most important safety feature) It can easily swallow 3 ppl at back without glitches. Comfortable for long journeys, the front seats had lumbar supports, fog lamps, rear wash and wipe, read de-mistifier etc etc Add to that, relatively in-expensive spares, lot of service centres available across the country.

4> Swift : Every tom, dick and harry owns a swift. Too common on b’lore roads.Below average leg room at back. And not to forget the never ending waiting period! Ruled out.

Never considered Fabia, I20, Polo, Liva, Micra etc since they were all way too expensive and beyond our budget.


Dealership Experience :

Dealer : K.H.T Motors, Whitefield, Bangalore
The only reason why I chose KHT Motors was due to the fact that the model and variant I wanted was phased out and KHT was the only one who had the last outgoing piece. The dealership is 25km away from my place!! Since I wanted the outgoing model and NOT the new updated sedan class vista,on 9th Aug, I called up every TATA dealer in bangalore to check the availability of the old one because the new one would cost me close to 28k extra on the on-road price compared to the outgoing one. I could not bear additional loan amount which would invariably add more amount to the EMI to be paid. In the end, it was KHT which responded promptly saying that they did have one last piece and it was Cavern Grey in color. I was ok with the color available. I told the sales exec that I’d be visiting their showroom/stockyard to check the vehicle and would then take the correct decision.


The next day I visited their showroom. They had the car in the parking area (basement). I was happy with the car’s condition. I headed to office from there. Spoke to parents in the evening. Convinced parents that this is the time and time had come for us to take the final call. The next day, I headed to KHT again and paid them a booking amount of 10k cheque and booked my car! Yippee!! Since the car was readily available, thankfully, there was no waiting period etc! The only thing what we needed was the bank loan. We applied for the in-house HDFC bank loan for an amount of 2.9lacs @ 11.75% for 5yrs tenure. The loan was sanctioned and the car was delivered to us on 27th Aug 2011.
The final on-road price was 537300/-.
How?
Ex-showroom : 539973
Road tax : 2500/- Annual road tax since I registered the car in my mom’s name who works for a reputed PSU
Insurance : Free
Incidental expenses : 5000
Extended warranty : 5100 = free. I bargained for extended warranty to be given free in lieu of corporate discount since my mom was eligible for corporate discount of 3500. He agreed.
Discounts from TML = 10000 cash discount
Freebies from Dealer : Mud flap, Mars, Sunfilm (Garware), Idol, Perfume.
So, all discounts and offers put together added up close to 35k!!

Before all this happened, I did a complete PDI with the help of my friend.Found the car to be in good condition. Decoded the VIN and verified that the car was June 2011 manufactured. Test drove the car. It was slightly pulling to left. Strictly instructed the sales rep to get the alignment done and the report be handed over to me before delivery. They promptly did the alignment checked and rectified the issue.

Delivery experience : Oh gawd!! It is my first ever car and I experienced the worst that day. I had very well informed the sales rep that we’d be coming over the next day to get the car delivery on 27th at 11am. We arrive at the showroom at 10am and the car was not ready! They get the car washed and park the car in front of showroom and wait for the sun film to be installed. Despite my strict instructions, the sales rep had not got it installed the previous day citing lame excuses. They take full 3hrs just to get the installer at their showroom. Inefficiency at its highest order. And if you thought that the car was delivered to us after the sun-film installation, you are wrong! It took us total 7hours just to get the car delivered. Why? Inefficiency, ZERO co-ordination between each dept, miscommunication, confusion, chaos and what not?! The list goes on. Our woes went unheard. How irresponsible they can be that they had not got the insurance done even on the day of delivery! The excuses they had were that the TATA CRM website was not accepting the old price of the vehicle since the new one’s price were already updated! Unless the invoice was generated, the insurance could not be done. They somehow generated a manual invoice and got the insurance copy at 5pm!! Phew! We were made to wait till eternity. We simply got bored walking around the showroom for 7hours! We were offered coffee a couple of times. Nothing else.The dealer offered us 5 litres of free diesel at the next fuel station. Tanked up for 1000 bucks. Drove the car home straight. Got the customary pooja done the next day at the famous Basavanagudi temple. Took the blessings of god and went home .
 

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Thread Starter #2
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Re: My first ever car, My Vista QJD AURA ABS

Continued from my first post...


If I were to rate them on a scale on 10 for their delivery experience, I would rate them 3/10! If this was their showroom experience, I wonder how their service station experience would be like! I dread to think of it! Thank god! I need not have to get my car serviced there!.
Now, finally coming to my car’s initial driving experience, it has been good. Have driven 890km on the odo as of today. Had take the car out on a round trip for about 370km.
Plastic interior quality is nothing to write about. 2 plastic clamps which covers the rear seat clamps simply broke off even without touching them or handling them. I really wonder what TATA’s are upto! The car is a breeze to drive on the highways. It simply glides. It is a total highway cruiser. Have been getting 14-15kmpl mileage with a mix of city and highway driving with 30-40% AC usage. I have not been able to correctly determine the mileage since I have never filled the diesel full tank. Will be doing so shortly after her 1st service. The engine is smooth. It starts with usual diesel clatter and later settles to usual thrumming sound. Not too much of NVH audible inside when you roll up the windows. Infact, I have accidentally cranked up the engine twice unable to notice that the engine was actually running! Job well done, TATA!

The music system is very average. I would definitely suggest you upgrade the speakers. My friend’s Figo Zxi diesel which was delivered the previous day has the best in-built OEM music system and sound clarity, IMO!

The only other upgrades I can think of is nothing but a nice set of seat covers and alloy wheels. The beige color easily gets way too dirty. It’s a pain in the neck to keep cleaning them. I only wish, TATA had given us a little more darker interiors. Beige simply does not suit our country! So, folks, this is my initial opinion and ownership report as of now.
I will be leaving my car for the first free service on 1st oct and will update the thread on service experience etc later.
Readers’ suggestions and comment, brick bats, opinions are welcome!
Now, let some pictures do the talking.
 
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Re: My first ever car, My Vista QJD AURA ABS

Great first hand review simha.k! It made for a great reading. About your experience on the final delivery day, I can only say that it happens, so one should be ready for such things. Many a times these overtly gentle SE and other staff is not so prompt on the D-day because of so many factors. Best way to handle such issues to be calm and always go about these things in leisure.

Anyway great great VFM car there and it looks good in grey. Post some more exterior pics and it will give your thread some more looks [:)]
Wishing you many happy miles with the milecruncher.
 
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Re: My first ever car, My Vista QJD AURA ABS

congrats for vista buddy..why you didnt wanted new vista??
 
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Re: My first ever car, My Vista QJD AURA ABS

simha.k congrats on your Vista. [clap]
Very well written. Your story is suitable for most the people.You have covered all the posits.
Vista is a total VFM and indeed a good decision to have it. Your review will definitely help many potential buyers.
Do keep updating us.Thanks for sharing.
 

Akash

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Re: My first ever car, My Vista QJD AURA ABS

Excellent write up simha. Enjoyed reading it. Except for the instrument cluster which gets the central position, i like everything about this car.
 
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Congrats simha on the new car.
Wiish you miles of safe & happy motoring.

But i never knew that road tax can be paid annually.
But for how many years do you need to pay the road tax?

We had paid life time tax at once- it was close to 1,48,948 INR/-
 
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Hi Simha, Welcome to TAI. Nice and detailed write up. Thanks for sharing the info. Just continuing Mukesh's query, you have told that annual tax is because the car is registered in your mom's name who is a PSU employee. Can you please elaborate on this? So do you pay tax annually instead of one time ? for how many years you need to pay?
 

350Z

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An absolutely honest and straight from the heart review from a typical new car buyer’s perspective. Fantastic write up and lovely pictures too. Congratulation for turning your dream into reality. You fetched a nice deal overall but I’m not surprised about another incidence of unprofessional behaviour from Tata Motors Dealership. Anyways, they finally managed to deliver the car on the day itself. Now we look forward to read similar interesting updates from you in this thread. :smile:

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Nice writing Simha[:)]

Congradulations for the Vista buy.

Only I had a feeling that you should have gone for the new Vista (just 28000 more). Any way you have taken a decision and took delivery too. So no more regret thoughts.

Regarding the biege interiors and your wish for dark one, you can really find it boring and unlpeasent in dark interiors during long run.

To keep the interiors clean - Roll up the wind shields and keep AC on all the time. Contrary to popular perception, fuel consumption won't go up much in modern cars. Use proper gear in city and avoid zig zag driving (economical as well as safe). In highways closing up wind shields will actually increase the mileage.
 
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My First Ever Car - My Vista QJD AURA ABS
Congratulations !!! welcome to the team of car owners.

If I were to rate them on a scale on 10 for their delivery experience, I would rate them 3/10! If this was their showroom experience, I wonder how their service station experience would be like! I dread to think of it! Thank god! I need not have to get my car serviced there!.
I am shocked to see such a pathetic approach from the dealer .

If you don't mind why not shoot it as feedback to Tata customer relation. Hoping that it will teach them a lesson.
May be it will help you see improvement from their side and happy ownership.

after all couple of words will not cost you anything but few minute.
 
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Hey Simha, nice description of the buying experience. Wish you happy miles crunching in your Vista baby. Hey how about naming your car [;)]? A beautiful name for the beautiful car, do think about it.

Drive safe and post some more interior pics.
 
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Pardon me for random replies. I am a newbie here. i do not know how to use quotes and multi-quotes for multiple replies.

@Thetraveller : Since this was my first ever car, i was sleepless the whole night the previous day! All my enthusiasm,excitement, energy died down simply because of their inefficiency. I only wish they had made my day a little better.

@Umang : Thanks a lot friend

@Surfer : Thanks a lot. I had plans of elaborating it little more. But later decided not to bore the readers. I wanted to keep the report crisp and clean. Will definitely update as and when i reach major milestones.

@Akash:Thanks Akash. I really do not have a problem with the IP being at the centre. It gives me better road visibility. The only grouse i may face in future is that the people sitting at the back may be glued to the speedometer and may report running commentary and do back-seat driving [frustration]

@drivetech4 : Thanks a lot.

@mukeshus : thanks mukesh. Annual road tax is strictly applicable for only those central govt and PSU employees whose jobs are transferable across India. The employee must produce a letter(under the company's letterhead) to the RTO at the time of regn stating that the employee has been in service with the organisation and his/her job is transferable across India. The employee must pay annual road tax as long as he/she is in service.

@carfreak : Thanks for the feedback. I guess i have answered your question above. If you still have doubts, pls feel free to ask.

@350Z : Thanks! I guess you are the founder and moderator here.

@autosafari :I really wished i could upgrade to the new Vista-Sedan class. But my budget was on a severe constraint [anger] It would add more to the EMI, which i was not ready for. Thanks for the suggestion on keeping interiors clean. Will try to follow them.

@jayadev : Thank you! I am eagerly looking forward for the delivery experience feedback call from TML, Pune. I am yet to receive the call. Will definitely give them a piece of my mind. I want them to listen to customers' voice and pull up their sock.

@ashinhere : thanks a lot! well, my cousin who looked the pics said that it looks like a bull to him I am not really a big fan of naming bikes and cars. I just want to maintain them clean and in proper running condition. Will definitely post interior pics after i get the seat cover job done.

Once again, thanks everyone for your replies.
 
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