I have been looking at buying a diesel family sedan for the last month or so. I already own a M800 for the last 9 years and it takes care of most of my commuting requirements. However as highways get better I feel the M800 looks out of place in highways. Also it is tiring as you get old to make long trips in a M800.
Cars I had test driven/researched
1. Skoda Rapid TDI:
1. Simple and elegant design and interiors.
2. Good drivability and comfort.
3. Rear A/c - nice to have if you happen to drive in Chennai.
4. Superb stability at high speeds
1. Only one dealer in Chennai or Hyderabad - Read a lot of not so nice reviews.
2. 12 lac + price for the top variant (do not see this as value for money)
3. Limited service options if I happen to drive in smaller towns.
Decided to skip for the price and dealership reviews
2. Hyundai Verna
1. Nice design. Best looking sedan for me by a mile.
2. Hyundai CRDI - Been around for long and can be trusted.
3. Lot's of goodies come standard.
1. Only one and that is the vehicle stability at high speeds.
Was there in the last 2 but lost out.
3. Honda City
1. Honda brand and reliability
2. Re-sale value
1. Might be I am one of the very few Indians who likes minimalist designs. And for me the Chrome in 2014 model is too much to bear. The previous Honda City design might have tilted the scale if it was available in diesel now.
4. Ford Classic 2014 TDCI Titanium
1. My dad already owns a petrol Fiesta and I know more than what I do not know.
2. Good drivability - especially in highways where the surface is not always flat (non-divided highways).
3. Has some of the aesthetics I like in a car.
1. Some parts are real expensive - Had one of the headlamp assembly in my dad's Fiesta broken by a tempo backing up on our car. The OEM part costs about 15k.
2. Low speed torque/power is not ideal for city driving.
Having weighed the pro's and con's I have decided to go ahead with the Classic diesel and have made the booking advance and down payment for 1.5 lac. The biggest factor going in this car's favor is the top end variant with nice safety features (ABS, Airbags, EBD) being available for a good price.
The on road price was 8.5 lac including bumper to bumper insurance and accessories (floor mat, boot mat, mud flaps and car cover). Price does not include extended warranty.
I have got an approval from SBI for 80% finance @ 10.95% (through dealer). I still need to sign the papers with the bank.
I was provided with the VIN number upon booking and it looks like they have the car on the way to Secunderabad from the factory. I went for the diamond white and the display car in the showroom had complete black interiors. Will be interesting to see whether I get a one with black (preferred) or Camel brown interiors (hard to maintain with a young kid on board).
I checked to see if the VIN is from recent months but looks like I will be guessing on this. None of the websites I checked so far have the details up for 2014 and I do not know if there is any change in Ford's notation for VIN numbers. My guess is that it is from July 2014.
Waiting to proceed with the next steps in the coming days. Will keep you posted.