Since the Pajero Sport was sold in 2017, we primarily had only one SUV (Endeavour) which hampered family travel. With growing kids, the urge to buy an additional family vehicle only increased.
As it had to be a family vehicle, comfort was of paramount importance closely followed by space on offer. An automatic transmission was must have due to the comfort in driveability it offers. Following vehicles were considered:
A. Mahindra XUV5OO: On paper, it was a sure shot winner and we practically went for the showroom with a mind to buy it after test drive. Key reason for this mindset was the availability of AWD with Automatic transmission. But it changed dramatically after the test drive – the ride was never settled and the vibrations accompanied with drone sound from the powertrain around 80 Kmph were a real dampener. Add to that the usual Mahindra perks of a squeaky cabin in a new vehicle. It was clear that only something else will do.
B. Tata Hexa: Having lived the service horror of Aria, considering the Hexa even on paper was a challenge. But surprisingly I registered for a test drive of the Hexa on the website immediately after returning from the XUV5OO test drive as that was the first name to pop-up in mind. The test drive was tough to get as the local dealer brought the Manual transmission XT and closed the lead with Tata Motors with the remark of having offered a test drive. It was hard to explain to Tata Motors customer care again that the test drive of automatic is desired while dealer had offered the same on a manual transmission vehicle. Once the customer care people understood, they arranged a test drive from a nearby dealer for the XTA. In the first drive of the Manual XT it was clear that just like the Aria, the ride comfort was at a different level altogether.
C. Toyota Innova Crysta: With-in 5 minutes of sampling the Hexa XT Manual, called-up my cousin and took his Innova Crysta GX Automatic for a very short spin. In that hardly a km long drive, it was clear that the Innova Crysta can only be bought for the Toyota brand value leading to higher resale. As a product, it did not have merits to beat the comfortable ride and opulence of the cabin of the Hexa. With Rs. 50K separating GX and XTA and the exorbitant pricing of the ZX, the Innova Crysta was out of contention by the time it was returned from the short spin.
Briefly considered the Hyundai Creta, Jeep Compass and even the Isuzu MUX but the Creta was simply overpriced, Compass lacked the space and Diesel-automatic option while the MUX was almost in the Endeavour 2.2 territory.
Zeroing on the Hexa was a tough task after the horrific ownership and resale experience of the Aria. A quick chat and call with friends from the forum regarding Hexa was enough to conclude the search. While I personally was never inclined towards the captain seats variant, it was this call which incepted this idea of going for the captain seat variant. Surprisingly, this was the configuration everyone at home had in mind with colour choice being Tungsten Silver.
The Dealership experiences were quite varied. The local dealer was adamant on dictating his terms on the most important factor of how old vehicle would be provided upon booking – they couldn’t even provide in writing that a vehicle manufactured with-in 3 months would be provided. Their best offer was a 2018 manufactured vehicle and upon explicitly asking if they got a 01 Jan 2018 manufactured vehicle from the plant, the response was I will have to buy it. While they had the second best offer, this approach was a real dampener. More surprising was the push from Tata Motors to buy from the local dealer. The other near-by dealer could not even match their quote.
Started calling the dealers in NCR and only Concorde had the captain seat variant in ready stock. They had 2 infact – a Jan 2018 manufactured XTA in Tungsten Silver parked in showroom while other was a May 2018 manufactured Arizona Blue. Despite having old stock, the discount they offered was the worst.
Thanks to the friends from the forum got to know that Sagar Motors, Noida is a recommended dealer. An old friend from the Aria days gave the same name. With both these right references, met the GM at Sagar Motors on 10 Dec and without haggling, we concluded on a number before we finished a cup of tea. Booking done and the wait started as this colour and seating combination was rare.
With the stars aligned, the Hexa reached the dealership on 22 Dec – right before I was going to start a vacation. I and a fellow friend from the forum did the PDI and finally delivery was taken on 04 Jan. In between, the Sales Executive kept me updated and executed everything to perfection on the paper work front.
The dealership experience at Sagar Motors was entirely transparent to the extent that they themselves even informed about refunding the minor difference in payment and invoices. After a long time I had a timely vehicle delivery though missed a couple of friends who couldn’t come. To nit pick, there was excessive use of polish in the interior which has now become a dust magnet.
Thanks again to the friends from the forum and the team at Sagar Motors who helped getting the Hexa home.
Pictures from the PDI
Ready for Delivery
Sharing space with the Endeavour