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What Will Make Me Buy Our Third Tata Nano October 2, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Cars , add a comment
Tata Nano's Big Fan

I love my Tata Nano

Yes, it will be our third. First came in 2010, second in December 2015 and third can come when my current wish list is fulfilled.  2010 one was also top of the range and 2015 is also top trim.

I want Tata Motors to add following bells and whistles to their top end Nano XTA for me to buy my third and yes, take another a lakh and half, maybe even two, but do give me all of this.

  1. ABS
  2. Just 2 front doors, back deck and a tail gate
  3. Better seats, wider the better and better fixed to the floor
  4.  Plush seats, fully motorized
  5. Vanity mirror on both front sunshades
  6. Driver side airbags or both front passenger airbags
  7. Glove box cooling
  8. On the door power window buttons
  9. Boot Opener
  10. Fuel intake regular outlet, opening bonnet is a challenge
  11. 100% Electric like Mahindra E2O would be big fun
  12. LED lights and rim/trim lights
  13. 2DIN audio
  14. Adjustable from inside manual/electrical exterior rear view mirrors
  15. Rear window wiper, washer and defogger
  16. Alloy wheels
  17. Leather seats (as an optional)
  18. Outside temperature indicator
  19. Roof rails
  20. Center armrest of sorts (I know it is very tight but a strong alloy armrest 3″ wide can fit in
  21. Steering controls for audio and dashboard

Why I am never going to buy or recommend Honda ever again April 3, 2016

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Sharad finally sold his Honda Mobilio and with it I am surely done with brand Honda for life. A vehicle which costed on road almost Rs 13 lakhs was sold for Rs 6.6 lakhs after 14 months. What a burning.

Honda went ahead and hyped the product, priced it in a segment it didn’t belong and messed the whole after sales service and support.

Price: Obnoxious

Exterior: Looks good, but as a raw material it is worse than Datsun Go.

Interior: Looks good, but actually is all very cheap and substandard.

Engine Transmission: It is inadequate for this vehicle, car drags. Engine and body mating is imperfect.

Performance and Handling: What performance, it is a shame on cars and handling is very tentative, car never gets grip of the road.

Braking System: Never drive if there is water on the road, the vehicle can skid and kill you.

Safety Features: Seat belts are not good at all, mechanism is not up to the mark and neither quality of belt.

Mileage: Never gave above 12.

Verdict: Don’t buy, if someone gits one to you, sell and buy whatever comes for that money.

Honda Mobilio – A Bad Product February 28, 2016

Posted by simarp in : Cars , 1 comment so far

With great enthusiasm we opted for a Honda Mobilio and that was despite having an Ertiga which was doing very well. Mobilio was launched well, marketed very well and looked like a couple of generations ahead of Ertiga in terms of looks and features. October 14, just within the first month of launch, we had our Mobilio. When it came it drove well, gave a good feel and looked nice, but within first three months we were sure that this was definitely not better than an Ertiga. Mobilio may have scored on marketing buildup,  but as a car it was “cheap” and significantly poorly built.

We felt cheated, this is not what was expected of a Honda product, our experience with Honda Accord was excellent and we were expecting a similar or a better experience, of course not that luxurious though. Within 3 months vehicle started rattling, engine would started performing better after 10,000 KM claim didn’t prove to be right. The engine proved to be an extremely under-powered for the  body it was mated with, and soon it started hurting us. Between us two friends, we have 9 cars and we do buy our cars after deep discussions and analysis. We do travel/interchange at times. As of now we have a Toyota Camry which we are happy with, a Honda Accord which proved to be a great buy, two Nano cars, both doing good, no regrets, one Ertiga, worth every Rupee invested, one Alto and one i10, perfect. Apart from these we have an Eco by Maruti Suzuki which doubles up as a metro shuttle. Except for Mobilio ,we have not regretted any decision since  1998. All cars which were bought proved to be good buys.

There is nothing much which Honda can do about Mobilio except pulling it out from range of cars sold by it. This doesn’t deserve a Honda badge, or maybe they can give it to Nissan to market under Datsun brand. At that expectation point, this car would be good.  What should they do with existing customers? How should they apologize to them for rolling out a brain damaged product? Best course is  to extend warranty by two years and make it all parts inclusive. I have never heard of clutch plates going at 30K before Mobilio, and other repairs which don’t get covered. This would at least keep people engaged and not start bashing Honda, day in and day out.

Honda, please wake up, all those who bought Mobilio are feeling let down and it would be right for you guys to fix, quickly.


Why we bought another Nano? January 5, 2016

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What, you are buying a second Nano? Are you crazy? Are you out of your mind? Is it not stretching your loyalty towards the House of Tata a bit too far? Are you replacing your old Nano with a new one? Tata Nano, really?

Yes, really! We did go in for our second Tata Nano. We had one, the original top of the line which was booked and came after almost an year of waiting. it is Gold color and has been doing almost a daily duty for the family. It runs a few kilometers every day and is largely a local errand car used by both my wife and me and our drivers. It has done just 15,000 KMs and smells new. The best part which we liked about it is ease of drive and parking. Two things which lack in a car like this are power steering and automatic transmission. I always thought that if Tata’s brought in these two features this car would be a darling. And Tata’s did that.

I saw an add for a fully loaded Nano Genx, it had a boot, tiny though, it had power steering and behold an automatic transmission. Brilliant. On top of it , it also had a music system. What else do you need in a small car which has to do local errands and also be part of your garage as a back-up car? Just nothing. Genx Nano didn’t come with Alloy Wheels, Airbags and ABS, I think we can live without these for a few years, I am sure subsequent versions or newer models would come with these three optional/essentials too.

The first time my daughter sat behind the wheels, she was cautious, not too sure of how it will behave. She was thrilled as she didn’t have to get to this clutch business and all, and within minutes, she was comfortable. This vehicle is so light and needs mastering only steering control.

My daughter is tall, getting in and out of the car is a breeze and the car is super spacious from inside. I think this is the most spacious fully automatic hatchback one can buy without burning a hole in the pocket. Yes, it has come with a state of the art music system and bluetooth connectivity.

What were my other choices? We could choose between Alto AT, WagonR AT, Celerio AT all from Maruti and I10 Grand from Hyundai. These are the only small cars which come in petrol versions and have an automatic transmission. For the features, the use and the price Nano looked like a steal. At 3.35 lakh on road it was almost 2.00 lakh less than its nearest competitor with full features.

So, if this car is so good, why others are not busying it? Yes, it is not selling well at all, the reason is brand perception, those who wish to make a statement with buying a new car feel at loss if they buy a Nano. For those who have nothing to prove Nano is a great choice.

If you really want a good car, go in for Tata Nano XTA, it is real value for money and a fun to own.

Replacing our Logan December 25, 2012

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We have been thinking of replacing our daily use car, Mahindra Renault Logan. it was bought in 2007 and has served us well. We are spoiled for choice and it has taken us some effort to get to our shortlist of 5. Our range was wide Rs 800,000/- to Rs 15,00,000/- and the requirement was for diesel vehicle which can do 100 KMs per day, six days a week.

Here are the eight which couldn’t make it to our final five, and why?

  1. Tata Manza ClubClass EXL – First choice, was a shock elimination for me personally. Dealership is under-equipped to sell this car, they won’t be able to maintain it. They couldn’t show us the exact variant we wanted to see and buying experience was pathetic to say the least.
  2. Tata Safari Strome – Dealership is under-equipped to sell this car and for a Rs 12,00,000/- + vehicle no steering mounted controls buttons underscore the experience. Exterior is fabulous but it can’t cover for other negatives.
  3. Hyundai Verna – Turban hits the roof while getting in and out of rear seat.
  4. Renault Scala – Turban hits the roof while getting in and out of rear seat.
  5. Rennault Fluence – Turban hits the roof while getting in and out of rear seat.
  6. Nissan Sunny – Turban hits the roof while getting in and out of rear seat.
  7. Skoda Rapid – Dealership experience was bad, doesn’t build confidence for service for 5-6 years.
  8. Toyota Altis – Value for money is not there, the car is at least Rs 200,000/- overpriced and looks are very dated.

The final five and why:

  1. Maruti Suzuki Ertiga ZDi O  – Comfort, low-cost of ownership and (lounge) flexible seating of middle row. Looks like would serve all our needs and that occasional, when more than 5  have to go together.
  2. Ford New Fiesta Titanium & Style – Most sexy looking cars within our budget. Very good engine mounting, almost no vibrations, our great experience with our Ford Fiesta bought in 2006, still running strong.
  3. VW – Vento Highline – VW, we like the facelift, buying experience was excellent, car gives a feel of a good vehicle, build quality is best in the class.
  4. Toyota Etios VXD – Dealership experience was pleasant, our own experience with  Toyota has been fascinating. Etios looks like a heavy-duty,  no-nonsense car, attractive pricing in its range.
  5. Renault Duster 110 PS RXZ – Looks good,  good experience of a Renault product, great road presence, interesting colors to choose from.

Would post here in a day or two on which one we went for and why?