Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Maruti Estilo - Layman's approach to buying a car

I bought Maruti Estilo recently. This is my first car. It was not an easy job to select one from the lot! As a layman to automobiles, things went only difficult. But, at the end I had to make a decision and I made it.

Some research:

Once we decided to buy a car, the basic question which came to my mind was “which one”. That’s when my searching started. Before I make a decision on one, I need to know some ABCs of cars. That’s where the power of internet came! I started searching for cars. I visited car manufacturer’s web sites and checked the models and price. Wow! So many models! It confused more than any help!

Then, I started some research to find more about these cars. For that, I took the help of review web sites. In these web sites, you can find car reviews written by experts and owners. There are many such web sites but after careful study, I stuck to Team-BHP. I found Team-BHP to be very professional and un-biased reviews directly from car owners. I carefully studied each and every review report and started zeroing on cars. In the next section, I’ll tell you why did I like/dislike some cars.

By this time, I had decided on a couple of things. One is that I’ll go for hatchback since it is my first car and I’ve to drive it in Bengaluru traffic. Second, my budget. Let’s go to the selection!

Selection of Cars:

Obviously, this requires some patience and time. There are people who go by an advice of others and pick the car. For me, I wanted to do a careful study before I choose one. And this is how I decided. Please note that, the comments I’ve given is purely my personal observations. Definitely, it varies from people to people.

Based on my budget, I listed down some cars and did careful filtering. Here is the list:

Hyundai:

Santro – Though it is one of the successful models from Hyundai, it is pretty old model. So, I filtered it out.

Tata:

Indica – Though the diesel version of this car has got reasonably good reviews, I had to reject it for one reason: It’s taxi image. So I didn’t even look for other variants of Indica.

Chevrolet:

Spark – My wife liked this car. For her, it looked cute. I didn’t like the interiors (subjective) and also it’s Fuel Efficiency (FE) was not that promising.

Beat – I liked it very much for it’s different looks! My wife rejected it saying the rear windows are too small! She’s right! Also, rear seats are somewhat not roomy. So had to reject it.

Maruti:

Alto – Most successful running model in India. My wife was against it as she felt it an old model. When wife says no, there is no much argument left!

Alto K10 – We did have a look at it. This was in the final list and it lost to Estilo as we found it less roomy comparatively.

WagonR – This car has got pretty good reviews in many websites. This has also made it to the final list. We had to reject as it was more boxy in looks (subjective). My wife always called it “Van”!

Estilo – The previous version of Estilo (Zen Estilo) has got some negative reviews. One was on gear box and other was on the looks (subjective). New Estilo has got K-series engine and the front looks have changed drastically. As per reviews, Maruti has rectified the problems which were in “Zen” Estilo. We both liked this car and bingo! The car was chosen!

Estilo was chosen based on my observation on reviews. I particularly went for Maruti for the following reasons:

• Good track record of the company
• Excellent after sales service
• Less maintenance (I spoke to Maruti owners to validate this)
• Better FE (I’m not a speed freak, so I was looking for better FE)

Still, I wanted to get a first hand report of the car personally. And I approached my bro Anoop. As he says, car review is his passion! He sighed a relief as I had done lot of homework before approaching him. So, the only question to him was “What is your review on Estilo?”.

Anoop happily took the task of reviewing this car for me. He took the car for test drive and carefully observed many things and to my surprise came out with a PowerPoint presentation! Wow! The report was very professional and covered many aspects. He had clearly mentioned both Pros and Cons. As I carefully observed Cons, none of them mattered much to me. After a discussion, Anoop gave a green signal to go for this car. That’s it, no more reviews, I thought!

Credits: Thanks to team-bhp for all the work they are doing. It is really a wonderful site to know all about automobiles. Special thanks to Anoop for all! Right from the car review to car delivery, he was constantly guiding me. In fact, he was more enthusiastic than me!


Here is a snap of my car:

17 comments:

vichi said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
vichi said...

I didnt know anybody would do so much of homework on buying a car!! Great :) From now on even i'll do a lot of homework before buying anything new!! Thanks to you :)
- Vishwas

Nagesh said...

Hey Suresh,
Nice, do you remember our approach towards our first mobile phone :)-, appreciate you to write few words on your driving skills and your reviews on the car.

- Nagesh

Suresh said...

@Vishwas,

Thanks for your comments. When you do the homework, you are well aware of your decision. The kind of satisfaction you get after all these processes is something cannot be explanied in words!

@Nagesh,

How can I forget that? After all it was first mobile! Sure, I'll write about my driving skills also. Since this post went lenghty, I'll write a new post.

pavan said...

Hi Suresh,

Good to know that you have gone Hitech!.

A few insights on the car i have selected (Ofcourse after all the research Vendor,Team-BHP,NDTV etc).

At last it was FORD FIGO that i selected after 3 months of research,Test drive of various brands including maruti(Estillo)etc. I even personally sent email to Team BHP who suggested the competition is only between VW and Ford as far as 3rd generation hatchback is concerned.

Finally i dont regret buying Figo as its been awarded as best in 2010 for hatchback by NDTV,Auto car etc. Of course you cannot compare milege to that of Maruti cars,but it has proved its class in rest of the areas. JAI HO FORD!

bgd said...

Dear Suresh,
You and (most importantly)your wife like the car.That's great.
But I like the process you followed.Have a great motoring in this wonderFOOL roads and trafic of Bangalore.
Advise on a lighter note - Pl don't allow your wife to to drive you when you are driving.!
All the Best and God Bless.
bg.Dwarakanath

Anonymous said...

Suresha,

When i was in mysore this time, i visited the zoo and while coming back, i took mysore Jhatka gadi(kudure gadi)ride for the sake of my son. He had this luxury of cars since his birth, so he enjoyed this special ride very much. For me, i was surprised to see this jhatka gadi over took lot of cars that were also coming along my way sharing the same road. That was the time i really felt proud of mysore and its heritage. When i was in bangalore, i remembered that song, "car,car,elnodidru car". Do you know bangalore's total capacity of verhicles including cars for the existing roads is only 10.5 lakhs, but right now,it is having more than 30 lakhs vehicles. "mera bharat mahan". Dont take anything personally...its just your article made me to share some of my views.

keshava.

Suresh said...

@Pavan,
As long as you are happy with your choice, it's good. That only matters. Enjoy the ride!

@BGD Uncle, Thanks for your comment and wishes. I liked your advice! :)

@Keshava, nice to hear that on Tanga. Thanks for sharing your views.

Anoop said...

Dear Suresh,

Have a safe & steady driving while Xploring the green Earth! I am glad you are happy with your Estillo.

Just few quick tips for driving in Bangalore:
- Interior of the car belongs to you, Exterior to others. Watch out!!
- Assume everyone on the road, except you, are in super hurry & cooperate with them!!
- Finally, I encourage you to drink and drive. Coffee I mean!

Suresh said...

@Anoop,

Thanks Bro! Happy to see your comments. I liked that third tip! :)

pratap said...

Short and sweet article and I like the part where you obeyed to your wife.

No mentioned, why you happen to choose Chocolate color. Was it dictated by your son ?

pratap said...

Short and sweet article and I like the part where you obeyed to your wife.

No mentioned, why you happen to choose Chocolate color. Was it dictated by your son ?

Suresh said...

Pratap,

Thanks for your comment. Chocolate was the one which both myself and wife agreed upon without any argument. So, we settled for it. :)

Anonymous said...

I am just another famiky man from Canada, i m glad everyone is doing their homework and carefully evaulating their needs, value for money, specifications and reputation of a model and not rushing to buy what pleases you first.

i researched for 2 years before buying 2005 Chevy Impala,back in 2005.
i researched repair hiatory, safety features and crash test ratings and family oriented features as opposed to sporty features. Family comfort, safety of a new born child and usefulness on trips and grocery shopping was important.

Suresh said...

@Anonymous, thanks for providing your comments and thoughts.

Anonymous said...

What mileage do you get.

Suresh said...

@Anonymous, on highway getting 19KMPL. Not really checked on city limits.