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    Thread: From one beast to another, Optra Magnum TCDi

    1. #1

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      From one beast to another, Optra Magnum TCDi

      Our esteem had served us well but was not starting to show its age. So the search for a new car began, the main criteria were it had to be a Sedan, Diesel with proper big car feel for a budget of around 10 Lacs.

      The following cars were considered:
      Hyundai Verna 1.6 SX
      Volkswagen Vento TDI Comfortline
      Maruti Suzuki SX4 Zdi
      Do note that Optra was not even considered at this time.

      Hyundai Verna
      The car looked good and was loaded with features cockpit looked awesome with blue illumination and the front seats were supportive. But as soon as you step in the rear seats, the whole experience changes, the rear seats felt claustrophobic with the high window lines. On the test drive the car was super silent and the engine was pretty smooth and powerful, but the steering felt like a video game and handling was wallowy. Overall didn't feel like a complete package.

      Volkswagen Vento TDI Comfortline
      The car looked pretty good, European styling was timeless and has a raw appeal to it. But the car felt pretty cramped on the inside, front as well as rear. The test drive was good, the car handled pretty well and the steering was direct and had a nice feel to it. The engine had pretty good performance and was very traceable in city driving but was very noisy to my liking.

      MarutiSuzuki SX4 ZDi
      Being a maruti owner, the car felt the right choice for the upgrade. SX4 gave the proper big car feel, had most of the features as on the other cars considered, was big on space and the company was offering a good exchange bonus on our Esteem. The car rode well on the test drive but the engine felt underpowered as compared to Verna and Vento.

      As we were getting out of Maruti Showroom at Bhikaji Cama Place, noticed the Chevrolet showroom just across the road. Thought of checking uot the Cruze despite being way over the budget. The car looked awesome in flesh and the cabin truly felt like a cockpit, the rear felt short on leg room but otherwise felt good. But 14.50 Lacs on road price was a bit too much. On seeing negative response, the service advisor took me to an Optra Magnum Max model parked outside their showroom. Half heartedly went through the car just for the sake of service advisor, the car felt nice to look at from some angles. Stepped inside the car and the car

      felt BIG on the inside. The front seats were good and supportive but the dash felt a bit old as compared to recent cars. Stepped on the rear seats an WoW, it felt like sitting on a sofa in there. Wide seats with generous amount of headroom and leg room was phenomenal. The max model felt pretty stripped down. There was no music system, black ORVMs, no height adjustment and no alloys.
      On esquiring further, came to know that it was a Nov 2011 manufactured model in the unsold stock of the dealer. The car was being offered for around 8.00 Lacs on road.Felt pretty tempting at this price even without much accessories and stuff. Went home telling the sales rep that I'll think about it and to send the car for test drive at my home as I was pretty tired after going through all the cars mentioned earlier on the same day.

      The next day, the advisor came with the car,a Diamond white Optra Magnum TCDi LT model. The car was not a proper test drive car but the personal car of the owner of Metro Chevrolet, the car dealership. Advisor told me that the owner prefers this car over Chevrolet Cruze. I hopped on the driver seat quickly and started the car, the car was fairly silent with no vibrations, better than Vento but pretty short of Verna's refinement levels. Still felt pretty silent to me.
      The thing that won my heart was how easy it was to drive in the city. It did had some turbo lag but was pretty minimal as compared what I hace experienced on the Cruze. The car felt pretty stable and planted over bad stretches and potholes with the stability increasing along with speed. Liked this trait very much. As I turned onto an empty stretch at around 30kmph, slotted the car into 2nd and floored the accelerator.
      The car took off like a rocket literally. There was wheel-spin in second gear and the strong surge continued in 3rd gear as well. Stopped to catch my breath, took a U-turn and floored it once again. I cant explain the feeling it was, you have to personally experience it to know what I'm talking about.

      With that said and done, headed straight to the showroom and asked whether any other variants were also available, after some calls the advisor told me that a few LT(Top) model were there at the company plant and he can arrange for the car in around 3 weeks time. I booked the car in Sandrift Grey color as it was the only color available, a choice which came out well in the end. Meanwhile arranged for the finances and asked the sales rep to provide me with the VIN Number of the car. The advisor promptly did so and the car was a March 2012 manufactured model.

      The car arrived at the showroom within two weeks and the delivery was taken on 29th June 2012. Basic accessories like mud gurad, foot mats and Idol of lord shiva was provided along with the car. The total cost of the car came to 10.30 Lacs.
      After 2 years and 5 months of ownership and over 49000 kms on the odo, I must say that I am pretty happy with the car and it has served us pretty well till date and hope the same for the miles to come...

      A recent pic of the car during the Udaipur trip in August this year.
      Click image for larger version. 

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    2. #2

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      Click image for larger version. 

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      Crossed the 50,000kms milestone yesterday, exactly 2 years and 5 months of buying the car.
      Needless to say, the car has served us really well apart from minor niggles part of every ownership experience.
      Hoping to cover much more in the years to come.

    3. #3
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      Congratulations! That is a stonking engine you have in the Magnum. Get it remapped and unleash the potential! You will be amazed!
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    4. #4

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      Service Update. Got the 50,000 kms service done. Total cost came to around Rs. 3900. Engine coolant and brake fluids were changed and the brake issue was taken care of under warranty. Car is back to it's prime now.

    5. #5

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      Quote Originally Posted by de**** View Post
      Service Update. Got the 50,000 kms service done. Total cost came to around Rs. 3900. Engine coolant and brake fluids were changed and the brake issue was taken care of under warranty. Car is back to it's prime now.
      Only Rs 3900 for service? I see you have changed the coolant and brake fluids, but was that all? That seems to be on the lower side. My last service was closer to 7K but I did have the rear brake shoes replaced.

    6. #6

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      Quote Originally Posted by gprash View Post
      Only Rs 3900 for service? I see you have changed the coolant and brake fluids, but was that all? That seems to be on the lower side. My last service was closer to 7K but I did have the rear brake shoes replaced.
      Yes thats all. Actually I got the engine oil, oil filter and brake pads replaced at 46000 kms. So this was just a normal checkup service with engine coolant being changed as per schedule and brake issue being resolved. Very happy to own a beast that is heavy on power and light on the pocket.

    7. #7
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      happy to see another optra owner who thinks with his heart and not with brains when driving an optra.. the feeling which we get while riding the beast would never be there with verna or vento.. recently had a trip to chennai and man!! floored it to 180..

    8. #8

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      Winter FE Update. Got 16.02 kmpl from last tankful, driving was 60% within city and 40% on highways. Pretty happy with it. I make it a point to never cross 2k rpm in any gear except 5th and adopt a very sedate diving style. Btw also crossed 52000 kms mark yesterday.

    9. #9
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      Quote Originally Posted by de**** View Post
      I make it a point to never cross 2k rpm in any gear except 5th and adopt a very sedate diving style.
      Highly inadvisable. You will MURDER the life of your diesel engine. This has been proven time and again.

      Please read up Driving a Diesel- Things to remember .. and we can continue that discussion there.
      Last edited by kb100; 20th Dec 2014 at 14:48.
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    10. #10
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      Quote Originally Posted by kb100 View Post
      Highly inadvisable. You will MURDER the life of your diesel engine.
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