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    Thread: Hunting the Cheetah!

    1. #1
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      Hunting the Cheetah!

      I never liked Cheetah name for XUV5OO. The most prominent feature of Cheetah is its agility which, a massive car like XUV can never demonstrate. Well, if marketing and branding people liked the idea and got paid good salary for that, who am I to question them. So, XUV5OO is Cheetah and Maruti Alto is elephant.

      My current car, Eon Era+ is more than 3 years old and loan for it got completed some 4 months back. Desire to upgrade from Eon was always there however, the question on what to upgrade to and when to upgrade ever existed in front of me. This resulted for me to go out in the market hunting for my next ride. There were few things thrown at me as a condition:

      • Car has to be a big, meaning a 7 seater, getting more will be good. My wife is always in for big cars, she doesn't care how they look, but to her Sumo, Balero, Winger are good cars - we can roam with our entire family together. Now 80% of the time, it is only her, me and our baby in our car for additional 18% time, we'll get either my parents or her mother, which can happily fit into a specious sedan or compact SUVs, just for those 2% of the time, we need a bigger car to accommodate more people. 7 seater need is to cater to just that 2%. Well, there was no point putting any logic to all and I agreed to this.
      • Car has to look good both exteriors and interiors - boxy look and age old interiors are sure let down for me.
      • Budget of less than 10L - that's all my pocket could afford.
      • Existing car needs to be exchanged or sold - to give me cash.
      • Upgrade to happen by Aug - I am in no hurry. Selling existing car, approving loan, finalizing new car - all this was expected to take time.


      Indian market isn't rich with tonnes of options anyway. I started with below list of cars and my opinion about them: (based on reviews, features and videos, before any TD)

      • Ertiga -
        • Positives: found it to be very practical and well established car. Is light on pocket and has decent features with it. Petrol VXI was costing around 8L on road and that was perfect for me. Bit of modifications here and there, and I would get a great car ready for me. Has a very car like feel, good mileage and good for city driving. I was never going to bother much with this car in parking. has a decent boot space as well and with 3rd row removed, u do get good space on offer.
        • Negatives : It was still a small-ish city car. If you stand next to it - you won't feel it is a big 7 seater car. Space wasn't a problem but lack of split seats in 3rd row was big problem. Very regular, run-of-the-mill Maruti design. While interiors had beige problem, exterior never gave me a wow feeling. I may be partial, but I found Eon to have better looking exteriors than Ertiga. but overall, there was nothing to say I didn't like the car. it was short-listed.

      • Mobilio
        • Positives : It was Honda and it was spacious. Very car like again. Good practical 7 seater car.
        • Negatives :This list is big - It looked horrible for a 7 seater (peronal taste). Hardly has any road-presence, quality of material used and assembly standards are pathetic - the gaps are so wide that you can put your finger through them. Very tin-like feeling - it seemed that if you close the door a bit strongly, it might cause a dent in it. I dropped it without any consideration.

      • Scorpio :
        • Positives : New Scorpio looks good. Is spacious and within budget. Sturdy and proven vehicle.
        • Negatives : Interiors are not impressive. Base model is very basic. Top model is too expensive. May not be a great vehicle to drive in city. And my new car is to be driven in city 80% of the time.

      • Tata Aria
        • Positive : Its big, spacious, its within budget, @camchennai already bought one. Good road presence and I wont have servicing issues.
        • Negatives : Not impressed with the look - hardly seen Aria's on the streets anyway. Seems to be a flop vehicle from Tata. Tata have built a great reputation as commercial vehicles, they still need to improve a lot to be in private owners area. Buying experience from Cammy was pathetic anyway and I didn't like it anyway.

      • Lodgy
        • Positives : Very special car. Good sturdy mileage friendly engine. Known to clock few lac kms easily, true people mover vehicle. May end up doing great business in taxi market.
        • Negatives : Boxy look and pathetic interiors. Period. Never impressed me enough. If I had to choose between Ertiga and Lodgy, I might have picked Ertiga any given day. Overall, I found it to be a great fit for taxi market.

      • Safari Storme - Very much same as Aria plus add tonnes of body roll with it.
      • XUV
        • Positives : I simply loved the look of the car. It felt to be my dream machine. Interiors are stunning - exteriors looked even better. Spacious - amazing road presence, people reported good mileage, came with diesel by default. I kept dreaming about this 2.2L mHawk / 140 BHP monster for quite a few days
        • Negatives : Above my budget, cheapest W4 came with on-road price of 13.5L. Can't change the music system. Tonnes of features gone from base model. No 2nd row sliding.


      I basically had two shortlists - Ertiga for its all-round capability and XUV - just because of its heart-melting looks. Other options were Scorpio and Lodgy and may be Aria.

      The first thing I did was to pay a visit to Zulaikha Motors in Velachery on 9th May to see the XUV in flesh. The visit and my experience deserves another post.

    2. #2
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      The first touch....

      Its the touch to the car is what I meant - nothing else. Come back, you not going to find an erotic story here!

      There have been tonnes of reading over Internet : reviews / feature list / niggles / improvements / changes and tweaks etc. I knew all about XUV that could qualify me for a sales person's job in Zulaikha if they were hiring one.

      The purpose was to just see the pricing / offers and space of the car. There were few cribbing done on the third row seat, driver seat adjustment, visibility, quality of plastics etc and I wanted to validate them first hand. Pricing and offers were my first priority though. I also wanted to get details on the new face-lift launch of the vehicle. TD was to happen later - may be sometime when I visit them in day light.

      So I arrived at showroom at around 7pm and it was deserted. There were 2-3 staff - sharing WhatsApp jokes or just chit chatting. I went with my wife, mother-in-law and 5 months old baby. I asked them about XUV5OO and one gentleman took me to 2nd floor where they have Rexton and XUV on display. Silver color W6 XUV looked stunning. I asked my MIL and Wife to go around and see the vehicle from in-side out. Sales guy started with his queries on which model and what I am looking for. I told him plain and simple and that I am looking for W4 and its strictly due to budget constraints. Being an efficient sales person, he started selling W6 and W8 to my wife. He spoke of features that my wife and MIL had no idea about. I told them to ask any question with the rep if they don't understand anything, however I guess she was too shy to ask what is ESP / HDC / FATC / Mood lighting, etc. I left it there. I could handle those questions myself later.

      I started with my enquiry on price and offers. Corp discount and exhange bonus of 10k and 15k existed respectively, however no cash discount on the car. W6 and W8 had 19.5k. Not sure if I haggle - I'll get it or not. He denied it on my face saying nothing would be given on W4. He said that he'll try in accessories. I didn't push much - I wasn't here to negotiate anyway. My job was to sense all this and see how it will go. It looked positive. He clearly understood that I know this car very well. I threw in India Garage and my option or Ertiga to him as well. Those tactics worked decently.

      After my conversation, I came back to the car. I was yet to touch and feel it. My wife and MIL were done exploring it - she asked me on what all colors available. I directed sales rep to do that job and he took them in the color section / TV screen to show color options. I got a quick time to open the drive seat door, sit in and feel the car.

      First impression - it was a tall car and even for a 6" guy like me, I had this feeling of climbing up to it. Foot steps definitely needed!! In EON, I kind of shrink into it. I know its an unfair comparison, but that's what I got to compare and I'm afraid you'd have to live with it. Well, coming back to the car, I sat in - closed the door and it closed with a "THUD" assuring sound. Boy I loved it. In my college days when I used to go for the bus, I used to cross a very posh colony and some great houses / cars. I don't remember the make and model of that particular car, but one day, while passing by, I saw a car cross by, an old person getting down and closing the door of the car. It made a sound which mesmerized me. It felt as if two disjointed things met together in perfect symmetry with an assurance of not letting go. For some reason that sound registered in my mind and I heard that again when I closed the door. I fell in love with it - again!

      I'll be honest, I don't exactly recall any other experience. I was so awe-struck by the feel of sitting and actually thinking of owning this car that I don't remember noticing anything else. Well, I did notice couple of things. The hand brake is not straight - its diagonal. I asked Sales guys and he said its coz of 6-speed gear-box. Second thing was lack of glass area. In my EON (again an irrelevant comparison, but, well, that what I felt), I have huge glass area in front of me. The glass comes close to my head and with a little tilt of my head, I can see the sky if I want to. I mean, if you focus on road, you'd not going to notice anything inside - here the visibility was limited to what I see in my front with dashboard, steering wheel, all within my area of sight. Hardly matters - but just what I felt.

      I came out of the car. Walked up to my wife who was busy seeing pictures of W4 on the TV. She didn't seem to be disappointed a lot by seeing a single line clock display for music system. That was a good sign. I asked her how she feels - she felt good. Later I realized my question altogether was wrong. For her, she has been sitting in my EON for last 3 years and never complained, she obviously was going to like XUV.

      I wanted to check the last row seats - I opened the rear door, pulled the seats up, sales guy opened the middle row seat and my wife went inside quite comfortably. Middle row seats was put back in place and it was magic - she is 5"6' and she was very comfortable there. She had good thigh support, it was not a knee-up sitting, and her knees were not hitting or getting disturbed with 2nd row seats. She had bottle holders, her own AC went there which she loved. For a six-footer, it would be a cramp! I flipped the other seat down to see how much of space it is building - and it was enough to carry some bags. Effectively - it was a 6 people + luggage car and that's exactly what I was looking for. Ertiga ruled out. I think Ertiga was ruled out quite a long time back. If there was anything left, that "THUD" sound from the car door sealed that opening too.

      It was time to say good bye to the showroom. We were treated very well and offered bottled water to drink and pamphlets to read along with price list which I'll attach here. Overall experience was good with the dealer and sales rep. I asked for details on new face-lift launch from the Sales guy and I told him my dilemma - I like the existing version and if I wait for new face-lift and I don't it, where will I get the old one from? Also, on the new one, he was sure that there will be a price increase. I am already too tight on my budget, I can't afford the price to go up any more. All in all - he suggested to definitely wait for new launch as its not advised to buy with uncertainty. New one is coming by May 25th (another 10 bloody days). He'll also help me with updates as he might get any within a week as some of his colleagues are going for training. I might pay him a visit sometime tomorrow of day-after, I am not sure. Ideally there is nothing for me to hurry. I should be a lot relaxed as anyway I don't have funds right now with me and I need to wait till July / Aug for that.

      I am not sure for how long I can hold myself. I am definitely waiting for new face-lift for sure. Also, I am thinking to start the process of selling my car. I need to be sure how-much will it bring to me. I have heard negative reviews on Mahindra First Choice, but I'll get my car assessed from them for sure. I also understand that Toyota U-trust has a tie-up with Mahindra showrooms where you can sell your car to Toyota U-trust and still get the exchange bonus. Reviews on Toyota U-trust have been positive. I am also planning to put the car on OLX - Quickr - Sulekha - CarDekho - CarWale etc site to see how a good deal is going to work out.

      I don't want to sound impatient - however I have reached a stage where I dream about that car in my sleep. I think it could be due my excessive reading - but hey, I love it. At least I am driving this car in dreams, whereas it'll take another 2-3 months for me to drive it in reality!!

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    3. #3
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      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      and 5 months old baby.
      Is she a dad's darling or a he who is ma ka ladla ? Congratulations to both you and your wife.

      looks like you are more or less made up your mind to stretch and go for that leap. excellent thought. make sure that you are including couple of items as a part of your budget.

      (a) Car seat for the baby
      (b) Driver if necessary, within city
      (c) accessories like hydraulic jack, battery operated air pump and upgrades you might want to get in.
      (d) extended warrantee
      (e) zero dep insurance premium etc.

      There are two types of car buyers. both of them can afford upto say 50K outflow per month towards vehicle + transportation, First one will buy a car that will make him pay an EMI of 45K and then he will restrict his travel expenses to great extent. Second one will buy a car that will make him pay an EMI of 25K and use remaining 25K for all his exploration, travels, and adventures. Which type of car buyer are you ?. The one who wants to sport a real high end car, but use it minimal or use a decent mid segment car and use it the way it should be used. ?

      Good luck with your search. something tells me that you might end up buying the vehicle earlier than Aug
      Last edited by Nomad; 15th May 2015 at 20:15.

    4. #4
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      Is she a dad's darling or a he who is ma ka ladla ?
      She is my darling Nomad. We call her Naysha.

      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      There are two types of car buyers.
      If you look at my driving pattern in terms of KM done with my existing EON car, (22k in 3.5 yrs approx), I'd fall in first category. But to be honest, that not where I typically belong. I be quite flexible.


      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      something tells me that you might end up buying the vehicle earlier than Aug
      Haha, you may be right. It all will depend on 25th May, when the new model shows up and how it stands up to my liking.

    5. #5

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      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      There are two types of car buyers. both of them can afford upto say 50K outflow per month towards vehicle + transportation, First one will buy a car that will make him pay an EMI of 45K and then he will restrict his travel expenses to great extent. Second one will buy a car that will make him pay an EMI of 25K and use remaining 25K for all his exploration, travels, and adventures. Which type of car buyer are you ?. The one who wants to sport a real high end car, but use it minimal or use a decent mid segment car and use it the way it should be used. ?
      This is a POV that I often repeat in my circles at the risk of being unpleasant. You have captured it nicely indeed.
      rksingh1, Since there is still some time to make the purchase, would you be averse to trying the AWD model in this lineup? One may not foresee all that he or she would end up growing into with time and I can imagine you doing zuluk, ladakh and the playing cat and mouse with the mighty himalayas in a short while. If grip, traction and low ratios become a requirement with time, you might want to factor that angle in as well as you decide. Please take these as suggestions only as I believe you are still toying with options.
      Last edited by megazoid; 15th May 2015 at 23:27.

    6. #6
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      Quote Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
      I can imagine you doing zuluk, ladakh and the playing cat and mouse with the mighty himalayas in a short while.
      You guys know me better than what I think.
      Nomad predicted me buying the car earlier than Aug and now you saying about me going to Himalayas.

      Himalayas fascinate me to a great extent and given no constraint on money, I will definitely love to take a FWD into those mountains and spend half of my months their. I know the money constraint will remain there always and I need to improvise in my life to make those dreams come true. I am working on those. But, FWD has to wait!!

    7. #7

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      rksingh1 - Go for XUV. It's a matured vehicle now and M&M customer service seems to be quite good. I don't think there are any mechanical changes in the facelift. So, if you get a good deal on the current version then go for it. mHAWK engine is known for low end grunt and so city driving should be quite good and for that highway trip it has sufficient power anyway. I just looked up the XUV website and was glad to see that M&M have offered dual airbags and ABS in the base W4 version itself.
      TATA Indica Vista Quadrajet (2009) | Suzuki GS 150R (2010) | TVS Wego (2011) | TVS Victor GL (2004) - SOLD

    8. #8
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      Thanks Roady. I need those confident words. New one is just cosmetics changes and there will be impact in resale value 4-5 years down the line. That, is a bigger concern than anything else. Plus on the existing one, they aren't giving any great offer.

      In terms of features W4 will compete with top end of an Ertiga or Mobilio. That's how strong the Base version is. ABS, Airbag, all 4 power windows, power ORVM, CC player with 4 speakers, rear wiper and washer etc. I knew the misses are plenty but I am sure I can live without them.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by Nomad View Post
      battery operated air pump
      Do we have any thread on that? I might buy it now. I dont have it right now anyway!

    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by rksingh1 View Post
      Do we have any thread on that?

      Here is one of them. I do not own one, I do not know the quality and reliability of the one mentioned in the link.

      http://www.snapdeal.com/product/air-...car/1319152028

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