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MouthShut Score

89%
4.16 

Leg Room:

Dealer Satisfaction:

Mileage:

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Reliability:

Appeal:

Rs. 3,63,000 (Ex-Showroom)

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Versa-tility in a time of Diversity
Feb 10, 2004 01:30 PM 13905 Views
(Updated Feb 10, 2004 01:30 PM)

Leg Room:

Dealer Satisfaction:

Mileage:

Comfort:

Reliability:

Appeal:

Let me start by saying, ?It?s a VAN?. If any one calls it otherwise, I?d say you?re having trouble with identifying your vehicle. Now that we?ve got that part out of the way, the name Versa, I would like to believe might have been coined from the word ?Versa-tile?. It has all the utilities of a car and much more, yet looks nothing like one. Just having said what I have, I?m still going to refer to it as a car throughout the rest of this brief encounter I had with the vehicle.


Well the first thing that catches one?s eye is the height of the car. About the same dimensions of a mid size saloon, it dwarf?s all of them by it?s mighty stature. Climbing into the driver or front passenger?s seat could be quite a task for a relatively short person, but the side grips and the footboard (SDX) provide all the assistance one needs.


I don?t know what catches the eye first the fabulous space age, straight out of STAR WARS Kenwood Cassette/CD Player, the white dials or the elevated cabin, which provides quite a different perspective of the road. For most people who have driven cars, sitting at such a height requires a little getting used to.


Anyway turn the key, remember you don?t need to step on the accelerator pedal because this is an MPFI engine, and the 1298 cc power train comes to life. Pull down the front windows with a press of the buttons on your door panel; pull down the seat belt and you?re ready to take this seven-seater luxury car ?or rather two cars in one? on the road. Oops wait a minute; you?re not going to do justice to the ride if you haven?t put on some earth shattering music.


Well let?s undo all that and spend some time figuring out what the system?s all about. I would seriously recommend devouring the manual to do justice to this audio system. Well a press of the button and voila the whole front panel moves outward and down, revealing the slot for the CD / Cassette. Well Bryan Adams it?s going to be this time.


In goes the cassette; up goes the panel and we have ?Lift Off?. The car goes comfortably into reverse and out of the parking lot we go. The large side view mirrors on both sides makes it all the more easier gliding out. Of course I?ve got my fingers crossed that no one?s standing right behind the car. At this height it?s very easy to miss things lower than you, which means nearly the whole car population on the road.


Anyway Bryan?s ripping ?Summer of ?69? and I?m off to make my own kind of music with the wheel. The car is peppy, step on the gas and for any disconcerting driver hoping to antagonize you at a red light revving the engine in his car, he could be in for a nasty shock as he?s catching your taillights when the signal goes green.


Anyway I have the stereo on Stadium mode, which resonates against the cabin walls and fills the entire space. Well the interiors are no less than just that, comfortably seating seven people in a two-two-three format, but then knowing us Indians, we?d probably push in a couple of more to derive that extra value for money. The DX & DXII seat eight in a two-three-three format. You could fold the back seats in various ways for accommodating passengers and luggage as the case may demand.


The car settles into a steady cruise and now is the time to roll up the windows and check out that Air conditioner. I haven?t realised but it?s been a couple of seconds and we?re already doing 80 kmph. Oh I realised that only looking at the Speedo, otherwise I?d believe I was doing a steady fifty. Anyway the AC comes on. It?s pretty effective, so you realise the next time you roll down the windows. The car doesn?t really lose any power with the AC on; even if it does it?s negligible. Fuel consumption on the other hand does go up a bit, as the drop in the fuel meter is visibly evident. The dual AC is as effective at the back, which has it?s own fan speed control.


The gearshift is very similar to most mid-size saloons. As far as the ride goes, the suspension takes quite a bit of licking, if you do consider venturing into some rough country. Though let me warn, you the ride could be a tad bumpy, the reason being the position of the driver?s seat right above the wheels. Also the car needs to be treated with respect, it?s a large family kind of vehicle so don?t try too many of those high speed turns. Of course if it?s a matter of maneuvering through traffic, you have power steering to assist you. What you need to get used to is the fact that you don?t have a lengthy bonnet ahead of you, so you need to adjust your judgment accordingly. Once you get used to this aspect, you?ll cut corners with ease.


The vehicle does make heads turn, mostly out of curiosity. What is a young bloke doing in such an odd looking big car. Well it?s time to party, and the calls start coming in, ?hey heard you got a VERSA, can you pick me up?, or ?hey I need a ride to that Party?? Soon the party?s already begun in my car. You have half a dozen of your close friends and you?re wondering, should we bore ourselves at another one of those do?s. We?re all here; we got music and lots of space. Let?s go on a long drive. Let?s Party.


Passengers can slip in easily through sliding doors. No banging please, a slight push and they roll shut. Wow what a Car pool vehicle this would make. I can just imagine a bunch of kids frolicking in the back. Driving to school I?m sure would account for the best part of their day. The vehicle could make a fitting welcome wagon for weary passengers at the airport or railway station. Or what better car for a fitting send-off at the airport to a young lad leaving to get a degree abroad, the whole family made it?. together for a change. Given its dimensions I?d say it would make for a perfect Ambulance too.


Given the maturing market, the Versa has potential. Keeping in mind the way Indian families are and given the fact that the price has been rationalized, it sure does make a good buy.


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