My second love: Elite i20
As a first car, I dreamt to by Elite i20 in 2015. Planning to buy a hatchback, started the search with Elite i20 and ended buying it but after a GAP on whole 1 year. Being a first car, confused a lot - shall I look for mileage, strength, style, safety, city driving dynamics, or what else? Really tough choice to make. Started the search with Elite i20. However, I had apprehensions about Hyundai's after-sales service, safety and high cost of ownership. So I moved to Fiat Punto 90HP - really an excellent car, high level of safety, moderate cost of ownership, how Diesel Engine Lag and scarcity of service center pushed to rethink. Along with that poor resell ability added more concern to rethink. Subsequently moved to Polo - a nice car but high maintenance cost, poor leg room for rear seat and low ground clearance pushed to replan. Subsequently, I moved to Toyota Etios but Etios is more known for more being used for Cab purpose and further weak body strength and an awkward dashboard made to rethink. They provide airbags and ABS but their body sheet appear very flimsy to me, I personally didn't like it. I liked old Ford Figo & EcoSports. Since a new Figo, ASPIRE and updated EcoSport was about to launch in the later part of 2015, I decided to wait for it. Once Aspire -Diesel was launched, I was really excited to book it, called to the office for test drive. Considering punch of 1500CC engine, a linear transfer of power, everyone in the group became a fan of Aspire but I had made one decision. Whichever car I buy, it must have minimum safety standard - at least two airbags, ABS and good body strength. Though dual airbags are offered in all variants of Aspire, they were offering ABS in Titanium version only. On sending multiple emails to Ford India, they didn't confirm if they will provide ABS as option to add in lower trims such as Trend or Ambient, I decided to move on as paying Rs 9.7L for Titanium on road in Bangalore is a bit unreasonable for me. Another thing which kept me away was reduced thickness of body sheet and which impact strength of the car. Their previous version of Ford Figo was mainly known for extremely good body strength (build quality) apart from other features which is not maintained in ASPIRE. However, I was expecting that they will maintain at least for Ford Figo so decided to wait for it. The excitement of the launch of new Ford Figo went down with the same kind weak body of Aspire, unlike old Ford Figo. Anyone who sees old and new Figo will easily get which is a safer car. However, the SA assured that it is made of same material i.e., Boron Steel. So I booked it in Oct 2015 and waiting for confirmation on delivery date and Boron Steel as high strength steel which was used on old Figo. But later on, I was told that it doesn?t have Boron Steel and which help me in taking the decision of cancellation. Now, which is the next was a difficult question for me? Then Baleno launched. Fortunately, NEXA showroom in JP Nagar is just at walking distance from my home which helped me to visit and check the car multiple times. Brand Maruti is quite big and convincing in India and then Baleno with loads of features! what else. I booked Delta Petrol version in Nov 2015 and I was informed Feb end as expected delivery period. It was anxious to wait for the first car. However, it got delayed due to high demand of Baleno and priority of Maruti to export first on expense of home buyers. In between, I visited Advait Hyundai to enquire on offers on Elite i20 Petrol, to my disappointment, Hyundai didn't give any offer on Elite i20. They were offering Dual Airbags and ABS in ASTA version only which was not within my budget. Then a miracle happened. Hyundai decided to add dual Airbags in all versions of Elite i20 from Jan 2016 so Elite i20 - Sportz was matching my requirement. Further, delay in delivery of Baleno brought further fortune to me. A friend's cousin who had booked and Reg Elite i20 Sportz Petrol decided not to take delivery due to personal family problems and he offered me to take it with Rs 1L discount due to Reg though the vehicle was at showroom only! What else! visited showroom checked odometer - 12 KM only, checked whatever else was there - transfer of warranty/insurance et , finalized it and got it delivered in April. In April 2016, I was a proud owner of a Passion Red Elite i20. I must say it is comfortably strong built car in comparison to old i20, new Ford Figo, Baleno, Etios and many other though Polo and Punto are ahead on build quality. But the style offered by Elite is unmatched. Extremely fun car to drive in the city, though feel lack of power on highway. Zero cabin noise, sometimes even I was not sure if the engine is "on", have to check RPM :). Overall a nice car, I am not a racer but a normal family person and this car meet my all requirements. Quite happy with it!
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