Beat the Beast
I had to take a painful decision of trading off my chevy spark, my first car which I just loved driving. After driving for 2 years/ 37000 kms, I decided it was a high time to shift to diesel due to the ever growing costs of petrol. Then started the Hunt- Probables included Ford Figo, Toyota Liva, Maruti Ritz, Tata Indica eV2.. (just the first list of "can-look-at"). The major factors for shortlisting included Mileage ( I drive too often on the highways), Low Maintenance. All others are good-to-have.
Please note that though safety is the primary issue while driving on high-ways, the ABS+EBD version's price is out-of-bounds for me. So, I was looking for a diesel version for which I can shell out at best 6 lakhs OTR Bangalore (as I need to fork out more for other accessories).
Maruti- Out at the first shot- reasons- long waiting periods, crazy shapes (debatable as perception varies from person to person)- With due respect to my fellow drivers of Maruti cars, I anyways hate Maruti cars- please excuse me
Indica eV2 - Taxi on the street??? Lol, sorry
Liva - What happens when a renowned brand, in the crazy hunt for market share, develops a product with cheap plastics, glaring cost-cutting etc etc.. The end result is an Etios. Cut the boot space much further- you have Liva. Sorry
Ford Figo - The best of the lot that I selected. I liked the way it looks, drives. Space is also quite good for a car of that segment. So, started negotiating the price with the dealer.
Then, all of a sudden, came the new entrant- Chevy Beat- on the recommendations of few of my friends. Tested the car and it was just amazing. Light steering, peppy engine (for the city roads), solid suspension, Heavy insulation to reduce the noise levels of a typical diesel engine- so on so forth. I was now in a dilemma in choosing between Figo or Beat.
Whean all things are more or less equal (engine wise, Figo has an extra cylinder taking the total capacity to 1.3L while Beat is just 936cc), the bone of contention will be the price/ accessories/ exchange offers etc. So, the price-
There is not much difference between the base versions price for both the cars (its 5.5 for beat, don't remember the exact details for Figo but the difference was not much)
Exchange Bonus- My first car was a chevrolet and from the same dealer (trident bangalore). There was no exchange bonus but he offered a loyalty bonus of 10k
Exchange of old car- The dealer was ready to trade-on the new beat with the old spark. He offered me 1.7 lakh. The rate was less compared to the market value but - frankly I was in a little hurry.
Accessories - Quite a bit of bargaining resulted in Central Locking, Left-side rear view mirror, Passenger side visor and vanity mirror, Mobile recharger and a Car Invertor.
The dealer promised delivery in 7-10 working days and he was bang on-time.
It has been a treat to drive this car... While mileage in the city has been around 15, its the highways that it just stuns...Out of 8-10 trips done till date (my car is 3 months old), it constantly gave me 21-22kmpl on the highway(100% A/c on, min 2 people with light luggage, constant speed of 100). My last trip Bang-hyd-bang has been a shocker, where I got a mileage of 26.8!!! (same driving conditions, but this time single) much higher than ARAI standards. I already wrote to the dealer about this. I will test this again to confirm this.
On the flip side, you cannot drive on high-speeds on highway as it runs out of steam at 120. For best driving pleasure keep it at 100 and enjoy the drive.
On a different note- my mileage (car/bike/ petrol/ diesel) drops drastically whenever I use fuel from IBP / Indian Oil and increases if its from HP/BP. Observe this next time when you are filling up your tank.
Happy driving/ riding