This time i had a strict safety requirement for the car. My minimum requirements are two airbags for the front and ABS. I decided not to compromise on that. Unfortunately, Indian car makers consider safety is only applicable for premium models. It is only available in their top end models.
Ciaz ZXi otr is 10.5L. ZDi is 12L. The car has pretty decent interiors. I had a chance to test drive only the disel. The performance is very similar to my Dzire. Adrenaline rushing pull when the turbo spools above 1800rpm and slugish below that. As long as there is enough rpm, car is peppy. Interiors are okish. Some how felt bit fakish as they tried to simulate luxury with cheap components. Suspension is stiff and ride quality is bumpy. That is very similar to my Dzire as well. Pradeep at the back seat almost got cramps as he was rolled around in bumpy bangalore roads. The car felt like another version of Dzire to drive for me. I didn't like that. The sale person too was not knowledgeble. He just talks about the brand "Maruti", sales network and cheap spare parts. No one can deny that is Maruti's USP and the reason for being there at number car maker in India. Having owned Dzire for couple of years, I don't saw Maruti is the cheapest in spare parts. Ford, Hyundai etc also caught up with Maruti in nominal spare parts cost. Overall, not impressed with Ciaz
The hike in disel price is blessing in disguise for Honda. Their showroom is crowded with people and they did not have anyone to even greet us. City has great looks. Its interior is plush. Rear seat is ultra comfortable. Looks are classy. But, the base version lack air bags. Two air bag option is available only top end. OTR price 12.5L . The only other down side is the really tinny doors. Would require heavy damping
Really horrible third row. Middle row comfort is pathetic. Can't accept it as a muv. Comfort can be perhaps compared to Omni. Disappointing.
Vento was my first choice car. Built like a tank. Solid performance. Not an eye catchy looks like a verna. But, sharp look in traditional design. But, as the facelift is coming, need to wait for couple of more months. Again, on road price touching 12L if i want two air bags.
Know that it is a solid car based on Vento platform. But, didn't want to take the risk with skoda service. My previous house owner in Chennai sold his Octavia in good condition for 4l as the service cost was difficult to cope up with. So, didn't have a good opinion on Skoda.
A car which sells hardly 500 units per month in India. Somewhere lingering in the bottom of the charts. But, know that it has a solid engine as i have experienced in Pradeep's Pulse. First thing that impresses you is the courteous welcome by the staff. Very knowledgeable and able to compare other cars and put the plus and minus points. Build quality seems to be slightly better than maruti and honda. But not as good as Vento. Interiors are okish. Not as good as Honda or Vento. But, better than Maruti. The only car that has two air bags and abs in the mid segment (RxL). OTR price is 10L and fits the budget. The car is hugeeee. Enormous leg room. Enormous boot space. But, the thing that blew me was the performance. The car has a pretty decent power. But, what surprises you is its ability to handle traffic. One can cruze in 4th gear in Bangalore traffic without touching the accelerator. The car never stalls and it hardly ask you to downshift. Say, if i release the accelerator at 60, the speed doesnt drop below 40 in 4th gear. The lunges forward. That is akin to driving an automatic. I am so used to driving Swift in power band with constant reving and braking. In this, i hardly pressed brake. If you can judge the traffic speed, one can cruze with the traffic in right gear. The next is its ability to handle bad roads. It is bit sensitive to bad roads at very slow speed. Say 10-20kmph. But, once you touch 35+, the bad road disappears. Excellent ride quality. Pradeep was reading the brochure when i was rowing through the bumps. He hardly felt any bumps. It was not silky smooth as Linea. But, pretty close. Left pretty impressed.
Then checked with our Chennai GH whatsapp group on that night. They encouraged me to go ahead with it. The next day went and paid the booking amount for the car.