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10/01/08

Of Curves and Cuts on Tyres...

This year's Auto Expo (one of the exbitions that I love to love) looks like one of the more practical ones in the last few years...

Two things that I have been following and am happy about are...

1. The cheaper Car - Nano... The claims are that it costs a lakh, however when you add things like road tax, insurance, a few accesories etc this should be around 1.25 on-road for the base model... not bad at all for a 33bhp 600 odd cc engine... I think this should be a very practical buy for city driving... The only thing that will keep me away from it would be the poor Tata build quality in cars... except the Safari, the plastics of most cars are cheap, and they can start rattling in about 6 months of regular usage... Indigo is a delight to look at, and has one of the best ACs that I know of in Sedans in India, however the sound that it starts making after a few months is something that is a big put off... Ankur now has a Safari and I am really looking forward to some first hand reviews from him...

The sad part is after I have driven the FIAT, the build quality of almost every car that I have been into seems inferior...

2. The new SUMO... relabelled as the Sumo Grand... though the looks seem to be coming a lot from the LandRover, minus the headlights which still have a dated feeling... the first looks at the SUV made it look impressive... again.. the TATA build quality is something that I would really like to consider before I would recommend this to anyone... Mahindra seems to be much better in their engine refinement and the quality of the vehicles when it comes to a comparision between the Sumo and the Balero and the Scorpio and the Safari...

But with this new good looking Sumo, and the "I so want it but cannot afford it" Safari, things might be a li'il tough for Scorpio and likes...

Another news that I have been waiting for was the launch of SKODA Fabia... Its a premium hatchback, which personally makes a lot of sense to me, and comes with the SKODA tag... needless to say the safety, reliability, build finish and quality are the things that you can assume coming with this car by default... Not sure how successful it would be though in the very cost concious Indian market... We are not too keen on paying a premium for a smaller car which comes with added benefits... If the Fabia 1.4L Diesel engine delivers like the much higher and bigger Octavia does... they already have a customer in line for the car !!!

Honda also had on display the Honda Jazz which is a sleek looking 5 door hatchback... Another car to look forward to in terms of reliability and performance...

Oh, and yes I also saw a few pictures of the new Suzuki Dezire... the sedan version of the SWIFT ( which is a nice car) but Dezire is one of the most stupid looking cars that I have seen in recent times... Looks like there is a competition of sorts about who makes worse car backs between Mahindra Logan and Suzuki Dezire...

All in all, this looked like a good beginning for the potential car buyers, and people who are looking at decent upgrades for their existing vehicles...

I am looking forward to another FIAT though :)

20 comments:

  1. i got reminded of this song wen i came across yr blog -
    upparrr chaai kii dukaaan, neeche gori ka makaan!zaraa jhoom jhoom le ;)
    oh ya, i looove all SUVs, n among the indian make, safari's my fav!

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  2. # Elusive...
    I think the song is Neeche Paan ki dukaan upar gori ka makaan :)

    Thanks for the visit.. hope to see you around :)

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  3. I wonder if at all it is a good idea to get NANO on roads - it is so very affordable that it will be the only car amidst our already crazy traffic jams to be seen. But on second thoughts, glad that TATA brings some dreams to reality those of lower middle class.

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  4. ...and of all those on the show -I await SantaFe. We drove that car in Muscat and loved it.
    Outlander and new lancer looks good too from Mitsubishi.
    Hmmm Fiat fan, what about Alfa Romeo...

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  5. nice informative stuff.... thanks for this.... pretty intersting... though i will never sell my fist car... but for sure this info shall be very handy while buying another one...

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  6. safari is most impressive design wise but it too suffers from shoddy plastic and interior job that tata do on it........have seen it in couple of them..........

    me too was waiting anxiously for Fabia and frankly saying even with all the features on safety, they have priced it high for diesel version.........
    a diesel hatch for 7.5 lakhs....forget it......dont think it wud be that much successful ........indian customers are too much design/looks and mileage centric.....for them safety features dont matter much.......
    though their 1.2 P base model is attractively priced at 4.99L but spares are another prob for skoda(they are costly)

    inspite of that its one of the three cars that i would surely check out before buying in that class..... fabia/grande punto/ Jazz

    lets see which of them comes out good.....the quality of work done on european cars (fabia and punto) will be always ahead that japanese ones..........

    if all of them are priced around same price then i think fabia sounds best bet (punto will be manufactured in association with tata :( )

    Its getting interesting day by day now :)

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  7. i am practically looking forward to see Fabia

    and impractically to see fiat single doors [you know which ;)]

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  8. Hundred cheers for Mr.Ratan Tata.
    The man who deliveerd on his promise,inspite of all the odds..the infaltionary prices rise..and bitter opposition from environmentalist and other competitors.

    His Nano,is much more environmental friendly,fuel efficient and safe than many other cars and bikes on the indian and european roads.

    ..and one will have to compromise on finish etc considering the cost input of the car.
    Overall,Mr.Tata has won thumbs up!!

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  9. Have you checked out the latest Scorpio Hawk.. it is just so very tempting!

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  10. # Mon..
    I think thats a valid debate... this will increase the number of cars on the roads... people who are not bike freaks and have a family of three or four might want to upgrade... so more traffic... that might also mean that there are less chances of people getting hurt or killed in accidents, because how I see it most of the bikers or two wheeler owners are not concerned about how safe their helmets or riding ways are...

    This also means more business for the insurance and automobile industry for sure..

    and means more fuel burnt and bigger traffic issues...

    But if people downgrade to this car from their usual biggies, it might work out well, however I don't think that a lot of people might want to do that... In India, its like "if we can buy it, we will... rest does not matter..."

    I have not clue about outlander or the lancer...I don't follow Mitsubishi for anything except the Pajero.. which is my dream baby... Simplistic no nonsense no frills vehicle... I HAVE to buy it someday... in red/cream combo...

    Alfa Romeo... oh definitely... its amazing... but i doubt of its successful entry to the India market... we are a cost consious market and not a quality concious one !!

    # Aqui...
    thanks :)

    I wish for a day when we can recyle our cars in India.. selling old cars is such a big problem :)

    enjoy buying your new cars :)

    # Deepak...
    Lets see bro... I am waiting for some inputs from Guptaji... he seems to be mighty impressed with the performance so far... and I have no reasons to believe that the 140bhp beast is not a delight to drive be it the city or the highway... but then as you said.. Plastic quality... sucks in so many of them...

    @ close to 8 lacs it might not be a good buy.. you are so right... as I said above.. we are more of a cost concious market and rest only follows or does not matter...

    yes, skoda spares are damn costly... I was looking for a Air Horn from Octavia for my car and it was about 2500 bucks and no off the shelf sale :)

    Fiat Punto might not be high on looks, but if you are looking for reliability and safety... its a must...
    Fabia... total cost of ownership over a decade should be much less than the counterparts..
    Jazz.. like the name jazz but mellowed down... nice performance, sparky car... comes with the Honda tag too...

    Punto would be manufactured with TATA but lets wait before we reach a conclusion... I have to see if FIAT loose their quality here... I hope not... :)

    Its getting too interesting too bet :D

    # Burf...
    dekh dekh... mujhe bhi dikha :D


    # FighterJet...
    you bet... there always is something that would want to hold you back... but its a good move.. has its plus and minus.. but i find it a good things...

    There is no other car which we can compare to Nano so saying that its more fuel efficient is probably not the right thing to do.. it will take less fuel than any 800 or 1000 cc counterpart because of its less weight, and low power... I know of 800s and Altos happy to give around 21kmpl with ease :)

    I am really looking forward to what happens.. its going to be a lot of crowd on the road in the year to come...

    # Sakshi...
    I had no idea about a HAWK... i will see if I can read about it somewhere.. thanks for the tip :)

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  11. Hey, I will send you the deck I have of all the cars and their description that are there in Autoexpo. I saw outlander, Alfa Romeo, and the new Lancer etc there. It also has Hawk.

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  12. @ Mon...
    thanks :) i'd love that...

    Hawk i read about.. the 2.2l engine was being waited for a long time now... just that the TATAs came out with it first and Mahindra waiting for the auto expo to launch it... makes sense to get the right platform..


    I like the scorpio, however at times i feel its too curvy and rounded...

    par aap mereko bhej dena please wo deck... thanks in advance...

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  13. Kal bhejta hai office jaake. Pakka promise.

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  14. # Mon...
    will thank you personally sometime for being one of the nicest people I know :)

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  15. checked out Fabia, punto and Jazz yday..........of three of them ...purely by looks and build quality Fabia scores ....its just too good.......it looks so much like a high end car in the build quality and looks as comapred to Jazz and Punto........

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  16. Oh it sure does...

    I have seen all three of these here in UK... and I am in agreement with what you mentioned...

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  17. Hope that you get your dream car really soon!!

    I sure want one of mine.. It's bugging to beg your brothers to drop you some place when the driver's not around!!

    Being a guy you sure would know how guys behave sometimes!!
    :D

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  18. # Kay,

    its a Pajero :) I wish I get it soon... takes about 20,00,000 INR to own one...

    On Guys... they can behave like idiots... a lot of times :D

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