1 month with the Vento Petrol Higline
Got a Vento Highline Petrol in Bangalore last month. My previous car was a Honda City. So most of the comparisons are with the City. A lot of people advised me that the Vento would not be an upgrade from the City. But my HC was the older 77BHP iDSI version and also base model, so the Vento Highline is definitely an upgrade ! For one thing it is loaded with features, ABS, Airbags, Climate Control, Alloy Wheels, Remote Locking anti-theft alarm, fog lamps, the works. Ride is a lot more solid than the HC, steering is a mite stiffer. Best part is the ground clearance - no more gritting your teeth as you wait for that sickening scraping noise as the City bottoms out on the vast population of Bangalore's speed breakers. Not one of them could beat the Vento yet ! Performance is nothing to write home about - a little better than the iDSI, but may not be a match for the HC V-Tech. So is the fuel consumption. My daily commute is very short, so it doesn't even qualify as a regular city ride, but even then what I get is around 8 Kpl - low by any standards. I took it out to the highway for a Mysore trip - that gave me about 13.5Kpl, still no big deal. The engine if supposed to generate peak torque at 3,800 RPM. I could never get the counter to go beyond 2,500 in any gear. Looks like I would need to push the vehicle really hard to reach that sweet spot of 3,800. Sometimes I wonder if I erred in not going for the Diesel or maybe even the CVT. The finish is very good both exteriors and interiors. Seating is comfortable, and with the driver seat height adjustment, you can get the best possible driving position. Rear view is pathetic. It is just a fraction of what you get on the city. For some reason there is no beading between the body and the front and back glasses. A 1/2 cm gap that is sure to accumulate dust and dead leaves unless you have the luxury of cleaning it everyday with a water hose. Now for the quirks. First the swapping of the turning indicator control and wiper control. No big deal you would get used to it - that is one way of looking at it. However, I have not let go of my City yet and dont intent to do so very soon. Net result ? I end up turing on the Wiper instead of the indicator in BOTH ! And then the locking system. The doors can ALWAYS be opened from inside irrespective of the lock status. In other words locking is effective only from outside. This is contrary to our pysche of locking the doors to prevent kids ( or even absent minded adults) from opening the door while the car is in motion. The safety consideration here seems to be different - it prevents you from getting locked inside the car in an emergency and possible failure of the locking system. By the way there is no separate release mechanism for the fuel tank lid. It is controlled by the central locking - and the lid does not pop out. You have to press on the lid to get it open. Now imagine explaining this to your friendly neighborhood petrolwalla ! I was ready to put up with the open karo refrain and tapping on the glass, imagine my horror when I saw a guy trying to prise open the lid with a screw driver. So it is now back to Maruti 800 days - get out and open the lid for the petrol walla :-( If you open the car and dont insert the key into the ignition within a certain time the alarm goes off. I discovered it the hard way last week, when I send wife and kids to sit in the car while I went back to collect something I forgot. The alarm went shrieking and the poor souls had no clue of what to do. Last but not least the Gear lever position for reverse. You have to push down on the lever and take it left beyond Ist gear to engage reverse. Matter of getting used to you could say. But I still dont get it right all the time. For one thing an 8 inch long lever can never be precisely pressed downwards vertically, it is likely to veer sideways resulting in getting Ist gear instead of reverse. That apart - beware if you are used to giving you car for Valet parking ! I gave the car for Valet parking at a mall, and shortly saw a crowd around the Vento. I thought they were admiring it's looks. But when I went back to check, it was the Valetwallas trying to figure out how to engage reverse ! But quirks apart, I love the car amd very happy with it. And I am told that I dont need to take it for a service before 15,000 KMs. At my usage rate that would be at least an year from now. Talk about solid German engineering !
- 23 Likes
- 2 Dislikes
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