Thursday, March 22, 2012

Buy Hyundai i10 vs Nissan Micra vs Ritz vs Etios Liva

Planning to buy a new petrol hatchback car? Confused between NextGen i10 and Nissan Micra, then read on…If your travel is within the city, then there are not many good cars than Hyundai i10 Petrol VTVT. The design is peppy and fresh. It is zippy and stylish. Hyundai i10 has good interiors and has good mileage and performance too. But the part where it scores the most over Nissan is after sales service. Nissan would not be able to provide you that huge service network, faster turnaround times, etc. that Hyundai provides. Hyundai i10 VTVT is the best bet. I bought new i10 silver color recently and clocked 2500 kilometers without any issues. Actually, me and my brother-in-law bought two cars together from Rishabh Hyundai in Okhla, New Delhi and got really great discounts. I have got my first service from Hans Hyundai and besides some issue that was not resolved in the first visit, the service was very fast. I immediately received a call from Hans Hyundai and they told me to rate their service. I told them that I am not satisfied with their service as I have some little noise issue that has not been cleared. The girl from the Hans Hyundai told me that we are sending someone at your place to pick up the car and they did it within the next hour, got the issue resolved without any hassles, and delivered the car at my place. So Hyundai’s service is awesome. I don’t know much about Nissan but assuming they are very new in the small car segment, it will take some years for them to settle around with after sales service.
This is my car - Hyundai i10 NextGen

If one wants to consider more options, then one can look at Maruti Ritz if you don’t want to wait for Maruti Swift (considering the waiting time after booking). Ritz has got good space inside. It is a tall boy design that makes it a practical city hatch. And the K series engine in Maruti Ritz is not only a good performer but is also frugal. If you can live with the rear design of the car, it makes a good choice.

Other than that, other great option is Etios Liva Petrol hatchback considering the Toyota’s brand image and the space inside the car. Seriously, I own an i10 currently but I love Etios Liva because of the space it provides inside. Actually, you feel like you are not sitting in a hatchback but sitting inside a sedan.

Now here are some pointers for Nissan Micra vs i10:

Engine performance, fuel economy:
Nissan Micra comes with 1.2 liter 3-Cyl 12-Valve DOHC engine with max power 76 PS @6000 rpm whereas Hundai i10 with 1.2 liter 4-Cyl 16Valve DOHC with VTVT (Variable Timing Valve Train) gives out maximum power 80 PS at 6000 rpm which is far better than Nissan Micra that slightly sounds kind of like a diesel engine.

Nissan Micra just reminded me of Porsche when I looked the front bonnet and headlights....I loved d bubbly cute looks whereas somewhat I didn’t liked the front grille of new i10.

Micara is more spacious and comfortable than i10. The airconditioner that instantaneously chills the interiors but the rear headrests are useless.

Ride Quality and Handling of Micra is far better than i10 and suspension is good tuned for comfort and feels as if you are driving a sedan.

One thing I like about Nissan is that Micra comes with driver’s side airbag that is standard across all variants of this car.

Micra's ground clearance is only 154 mm, liked both cars because they both have some unique features and are perfect city cars.

According to me, if I buy Micra, then I am really worried about after sales service

Also, MICRA being a 3-cylinder car may give you more mileage, but not power and feel as compared to a 4-cylinder vehicle.

On the other Hand, i10 is a VERY SILENT car with nice seating posture but the ABC in i10 are placed too closed as compared to Swift, Ritz or even a INDICA. This is a problem for people who wear 9 to 10 no. shoes and more importantly when you own a Swift, you will need a lot of adjustment while switching cars (i.e. you swift and (if) i10). i10s shocks are not that bad either. Hyundai i10 comes with a power pack features as same as MICRA too. Even if Micra handles better than the i10, I think i10s performance would be far better than the Micras on the Highway. You have to make your priorities clear as to what purpose you need the car, so my conclusion is test drive all the cars and buy the best car.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Impression of Fiat Punto Emotion by Rajat Issar

I am really sorry to post this entry very late as Rajat emailed me his review of Fiat Punto Emotion around 2 years ago. I am busy with several things and this is the reason why it happened. By the way, you can go through Rajat’s review of his Punto. Though this review was done 2 years ago, still it is as fresh as now. After reading, you can express your views via the comment section below. Now here you go:

Last evening, I just though to visit Fiat showroom to have a quick look at the newly launched Fiat Punto. Mind you for last 3 months I am struggling to choose my second car which will give me better mileage, comfort, and feel of luxury but at same time have value for money. I was hopping between a premium hatchback and entry level sedan. As my budget is 5 to 6 lakhs, I have driven Ford Icon Diesel, Hyundai i20, Hyundai Accent Executive , Swift Dzire, Switch VDI, Getz CRDI, Maruti A-star, Maruti Ritz, even Maruti Sx4 Vxi, though out of my budget.

Compare New Swift 2011 VDI versus Punto Emotion Pack 

Man trust me when you are limited with budget and have love for car, then making choice is really difficult. Last time when I bought my first car I had struggle in the same way but Maruti Sx4 Zxi at time of launch made my job easier. I had same feeling when I coincidentally landed up to see Punto . Trust me guys this is one car where you are ready to put your bet on. After having a feel of it I honestly gave up my desire for another sedan. All the above mentioned cars lack one or the other thing but this car has damn everything to make you have one.

Best build quality in its class. Although it is little pricey than Swift but trust me you will know why you are paying more. The quality of plastic interiors is simply amazing. In fact after having close look, I like Punto build quality better than Fiat Linea. And I have reason for it.

Space wise, the car never gives you a cramp desire for a sedan. Even pushing the front seat to max at bottom you still have enough leg space at back seat. Boot is also 280 liters which is good when you are looking for a hatchback. Plus folding seats give you enough room to keep your stuff for outings (that’s why I am planning this car.) Blow punk music system sounds impressive. Plus there are well-placed cub holders and two glove boxes (in Emotion ) to keep your stuff.

Last but not least! Fiat offers you service after 30000 km. Man I never heard any car coming for service after 30k km but Punto do. Man that is what we call confidence in the build and performance.

Upgrades For Maruti Suzuki Swift Vdi 2012

If you have bought your long-awaited Maruti Suzuki Swift latest edition and are looking for serious upgrades, then this article is for you. Actually, my brother-in-law bought brand new Swift Vdi 2012 model in exchange of his old Maruti Wagon R. After buying, he bought the vehicle at my home and had the following upgrades in his mind: Unbiased Review of Maruti Swift VXI VDI K Series

1.    ZXi spec tyres, probably Michelin or Yokohama.
2.    15 Inch alloys for Swift.
3.    V-Kool or some other good sunfilm.
4.    Good quality floor mats. He wanted those translucent plastic/rubber normally found in cars like Honda City.
5.    A basic ICE setup consisting of a good HU and four good speakers. He is not keen on amps or woofers.

He needed suggestions for all of these in particular,
1. Will there be an odo error in case of upgrade to ZXi spec tires ?
2. Which ones would be better ? Michelin XM1+ or Yokohama A-Drives?
4. Is V-Kool the best sunfilm out there ? Or are there any better ?
5. Will I get the floor mats that I talked about made for Swift ?

After going through his questions, I started answering them one by one:

As for tires, Both XM1+ and Yokohama A drive are excellent tires with superior grip though Michelin has a little edge in longevity. In 185/70/R14 size, there will be no speedo error. In fact even if you install 195/60/R15, there will be only 0.65% error which is negligible. Interestingly 15" alloys will improve the handling and cornering ability of your car though the steering with wider rubber will get little heavier. Even if you do not want to upgrade to 15" rims, then in 185/70/R14 size of ZXi too, you can go for Michelin XM1+ tires which will be the ideal upgrade for you in same size. If you want to improve handling at the cost of losing little comfort in same size then upgrade to Michelin Pilot Preceda 195/60/R14. In 15" size, the ideal size would be 195/60/R15 for better grip without losing on comfort.

Regarding sunfilm, V-cool is undoubtedly one of the best brands in market, although 3M also has good range for premium requirements. The CR series is their take on the V-Kool series. It will cost you around 10 k for side and rear glass. Installed the same and happy with the results. For front, you can install CR70 which will cost you another 9k.

V-Kool Sunfilm price for front and sides:

Economy - 60% HR - Rs. 5550
Elegant - 76% HR - Rs. 8850
Select - 92% HR - Rs. 16775
Premium - 94% HR - Rs. 20875
Diamond - 99% HR - Rs. 22950

While for Front (Clear Film)

71% HR - Rs. 7084
77% HR - Rs. 9926
94% HR - Rs. 11690

(where HR is Heat Rejection)

Too expensive.

On the other hand of the spectrum are Garware sunfilms.

Garware sun control film price for side and rear:

Basic Range - Unknown HR - Rs. 450
Mid Range 1 - 30% HR - Rs. 1100
Mid Range 2 - 35% HR - Rs. 1800
Ice Cool - Unknown HR - Rs. 5500

For Front

Basic Range - 25% HR - Rs. 1200
Cool Vision - 37% HR - Rs. 1700
Ice Cool - 50% HR - Rs. 2800

Now at the end, regarding floor mats for Swift, the translucent floor mats will not suit the Swift's interiors which are all black unless your seats are beige. This is my opinion.