Buying experience and initial love: Recap of December 2009 Few months back, the “I want a car” changed to “I need a car”. So, I started preparing my self to buy my first car. After some serious math, I have arrived at the budget of less than 5 Lakhs on road. On this budget, I had Punto 1.2, Indica Vista Safire, i10 and Spark. I can extend my budget to get i20 magna or other variants of Punto. Some how, the looks of MS cars (even the love of many, Swift) didn’t pull my heart. I have test driven Punto 1.2, Sparks and i20. After completing a lengthy decision matrix, my brain agreed to heart and my wife, Punto is the right choice. Showroom Experience My experience with Concord Motors, Chennai is great and the Sales Executive (P. S. Raman) was very helpful. I booked the car on December 7, 2009 from Concord Motors, Chennai. I applied for the car loan from Axis bank. The loan got approved at 10% for 3 Years. I have paid the down payment on December 12, 2009. Due to the rain in Chennai, I have to request the dealer to delay the delivery of the car. Finally we brought home our Bossa Nova White Punto Active on December 23, 2009. Got free insurance and extended warranty. Got free mud flaps, floor mats and 3M sun control films for windows and tailgate. Looks I like the elegant looks of Punto. It is so admirable and adorable. Interiors I have found gaps near the steering column and fuse panel, during my PDI. I reported the same. The one in the steering column is fixed and they could not able to fix the one in fuse panel. I am satisfied with what I got. Drive Experience Last weekend was so busy for me as well as the car. Since delivery, I have driven the car for 180 Km. I have equally traveled in city and highway. I have driven alone and I have driven with 6 adults (including me) and 2 kids. Punto took all the challenges with ease. I was a bit worried about the car’s performance loaded with boot full of bags and cabin full of people. But the car did a decent job. I didn’t feel any difference in driving alone and fully loaded with people. It pulled effortlessly and climbed flyovers, with out A/C. One of the kids is allergic to A/C, if not, I would have tested the car with A/C. I did a long trip to pickup my wife her office and my cousin from her college. The trip was a 70 Km one and 70% of the trip is a highway. I didn’t push her beyond 2.5K rpm (75 Kmph on 5th gear). The drive was smooth and excellent. So far, the braking was good. I should admit that I am not good at braking. I have not and do not like to come across any panic braking situations. My Punto is with stock JK tornado 165/80 R 14 shoes. The average indicated in the MID hovered between 10 and 15. I am yet to measure the correct average. I am expecting 12 for my day-to-day office ride and 15 on occasional highway trips. Just yesterday, I filled a tank full of petrol. I will update the average soon. The drive comfort is excellent. “Heart rev at read-line” moments 1. On the way back home after delivery and fueling, the left hand side OVRM hit a parked motorcycle. Mistake is mine. No damage happened. 2. The same day, when trying to turn the car, the lower part the front bumper got hit by a stone, which I did not notice till I heard the bump. Mistake is mine. A scratch of length 2” in the lower part of bumper. 3. I was traveling in a congested street; the same left hand side OVRM hit a guy walking. Mistake is mine. No damage happened. 4. Again, I was traveling in a congested street: a cow standing near my had blue with another cow standing next to it and fell on the car’s left side fender. No damage happened. 5. Just a few meter after the previous incident, in the same street: a cyclist trying to pass thro the narrow gap between Punto and a truck, lost balance and fell on the car. A lengthy, not so deep scratch on the left side rear door. 6. While parking, I hit the car to the pavement. Mistake is mine. No damage. Hmm. I should have a healthy heart. Things I like to have 1. I am yet to purchase a car cover. These birds seem to love my Punto a lot. Last Thursday evening, I was terribly shocked to see the car, in my office parking lot, covered with bird droppings. Surprisingly, there is none in the near by cars. So, a decent car cover is my first priority. 2. Remote central lock. Without a central lock, it is a real pain. I am planning to install a remote lock soon and bargain for a free (Is it too much) car cover. 3. My current music system has touch screen, can play mp3s, has SD card slot, has usb port, have bluetooth, can make phone calls, it can take voice commands, connect to internet and can pair up with external GPS antena but the sound quality is not up to the mark. I would like to upgrade to a nice and pocket friendly music system. Waiting for a bonus from my employer. Till then, I am happy with my HTC p3400i PDA. 4. A nice looking alloys and wider tires after three years (after closure of loan). Things I am not comfortable 1. The first gear is very short and need to shift to second very soon. Some times, the car starts very swiftly. I afraid, I might hit some one in dense traffic. :auto-swerve: 2. The steering wheel lock does not work some times. 3. Using the key to lock and unlock the door is very rough. Photos Picasa Web Albums - Soundar - Punto I will add more pics to the album soon. Down payment Rs. 60,000 EMI Rs. 12,500 Fuel cost Rs. 5,000 But there are some things money can’t buy, for every thing else, wish me many more trouble free happy miles.