Friday, April 11, 2014

Delivery and a Quick First Drive (Ertiga)

Finally, after lot of deliberation, research, analysis, review readings, multiple test drives and what not – we decided to settle for our new car (Ertiga).

This was my fourth car in last 8 years and for some reason I still remember the exact dates when we bought them, this somehow reminded me of my dad’s words that he used to say while we spent his hard earned money on stuff which wasn’t required (as per him) – he would always say “The day you start earning, then only you will understand the value of money”. Fortunately he was right beside me while we took the delivery and you can see him below in the delivery picture taking the car keys proudly. That theory indeed made sense now, as I guess I will never be able to forget those dates of our prized acquisitions. The D day was April 3rd 2013, went in after lunch to take the delivery as showroom was at a stones through from our place – those were the longest 4 hours of my life as it took that much time to do all the remaining paper work, final wash and polish after the car came out of their yard from Bhiwandi (Around 40 km from showroom) with odometer reading 48. As the SE promised some goodies at the time of delivery, we got a set of pen (Blue and Red) neatly wrapped in a box with a perfume bottle which was fixed right in front of the gear lever cubicle. Checked in the rest of the stuff like spare wheel, tool kit, service / user manual and other usual things, everything was in right order. Maruti (Shivam Motors) even offered to do a pooja before letting us off with the car – that was a surprising move from them and since dad n mom were with us – he did the formal quick pooja and made that mark on the hood as visible in the picture below.

From left - Dad, Mom, Wifey with kiddo,
My best buddy Vikram and me on extreme right
Finance: I already had a preapproved loan of around 9+ lacs from HDFC bank but as I read on lot of forums about the advantage of taking a loan from a nationalized bank – wanted to try that. Hence approached State Bank of India with no hopes because as far as my understanding went – they have a different set of rules and are way too particular about whom they give loans too but there was no harm in trying. Showroom finance guy took all the documents and sent them across to the bank for approval. The very next day I got a call from the local branch for verification; an officer visited our home and took all the details. Next day they asked me for a copy of bank statement for the last one year, sent them a scanned copy and to my amazement the very next day I got an approval mail from them with a condition that we disburse the loan within 45 days or something – since the car had already arrived – we did that in next couple of days and everything went very smooth to my shock and amazement. The rate of interest that they offered with early repayment option was way too good – SBI wasn’t charging us anything if in case we planned to pay off the whole or part loan in big chunks – that was awesome. They even offered us the lowest EMI compared to their private counterparts. They even sent the loan amount to Showroom guys via online transfer and the best part was that – I hadn’t visited the branch yet – not even once. Although the lady who was taking care of my loan did tell me that once I get the registration done – we will be required to make a visit to the branch in person with the car and they will take a copy of everything that is registration card, insurance and invoice etc, which we obliged once we got it from RTO. This was indeed my first fantastic experience with a nationalized bank and I will highly recommend it to anyone looking for a car loan in future. 

First Drive:
The child in me was craving to go for a long long drive since the moment we got the car delivered – I was even ready to go to buy vegetables to the nearby vendor at the drop of a hat – as long as I was getting to drive the car. I even prayed that my kiddo missed the school bus very next day so I could get to drive her to school – imagine I was that desperate to drive and the opportunity knocked right on my door. IPL season was on and my best friend called and declared that he had 9 tickets for a particular match but the catch was that the tickets were for a match to be played at newly made Subroto Roy Sahara Stadium on the outskirts of Pune. If you live in this part of our country then I am sure you know that the best road to drive a car or rather test is the Mumbai Pune Expressway and that’s what I was dying to do. So the plan was to pick up my friend and his kid from Powai with a couple of friends and I delightedly offered that my car should be taken since we all can accommodate in one and it will be fun too to go together. They all agreed – now the head count was 5 adults 2 kids (under 6). As we started for Pune from Powai – another friend called and informed us that they too were on the way to Pune in his Ford Figo – we offered them to come onboard my Ertiga and join us. We picked them up from Vashi on the way to Pune and now the head count was 7 adults 2 kids. The car was fully loaded with two XXL size guys on front with 2 L, 1 M and a kid in centre with us two S sizes on back with one kid. Since it was a day trip – we didn’t need much luggage anyways and the boot was only filled with knick knacks that kids picked up for their morning snacks etc.

Thats me with my car :)
On the way to Alibag.
Feedback from my friend who drove the car to Pune and on the way back too was a broad smile and he approved our decision of buying this one with thumbs up sign. Car performed as expected even with full load – there was no power lag, he did hit 120 KMPH and car felt stable with so much weight inside, but didn’t go beyond it. Wheel size of 185/65 R15 with Z Grade Alloy is a boon especially on highways and on top of that they have managed to offer a ground clearance of 185mm which is excellent. AC was effective – mind it this wasn’t the peak summer but in our part of the world – AC is always required. The best part was the AC vent for second row which was a blessing for the back benchers, it chilled the whole vehicle in no time and not for one moment we felt hot. Since this was the very first drive and car wasn’t even serviced once – no point talking of the mileage but I must mention that the half tank diesel was all which was required to do a round trip of Stadium which is on the outskirts of Pune (45 ltr fuel tank capacity). Although the third row is a bit bumpy – no doubt on that and isn’t as comfortable for long drives especially for adults but I didn’t feel that bad sitting there as the drive was hardly a couple of hours one way. Every time my friend drove over a hump or on a bumpy road – we did jump a little and hooted – it was fun but only for a shorter period – later he realized how he needed to maneuver the car to save us from bumping. Stock stereo (2 DIN Single CD USB) is good enough with nice Bass, 4 speakers and two tweeters work just fine and the remote comes handy for the back benchers. Also, the steering mounted audio controls are a blessing for driver, no need to move your head anywhere once you get used to them. Ample of water bottle holders on all the rows is very useful, 2 each on front, 2 in the second row and 2 on the third row too. I liked that pop out can holder on front passenger seat right below the AC duct – which helps keeping the can colder – nice thinking by Ertiga designers, although they missed at least one cell phone charging point for second and third row.

So thats it for now!
But I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep. (Robert Frost).


  1. Thank you for sharing this information this is very nice blog thank you for giving this info

  2. Thanks for sharing. I M going to buy a new ertiga-facelift next week.