Malayali Car Enthusiast to drive Tata Nano 25000 Km (Around India in 80 days) !

Mr Thomas Chacko preparing for the trip
Photo Source : www.manoetnano.com

1 Car Nut +  1 Wild Dream + 1 Tata Nano + 25000Km of Road  + 80 Days = Recipe for Epic Road Trip ? Definitely !

Kochi based auto enthusiast and long road trip geek  (among a long list lot of other illustrious achievements) Mr Thomas Chacko cooked up this dream road trip while editing the trip details of Suresh Joseph who covered all Indian state capitals and all zonal railway headquarters in a Maruti Swift.  Rather than do the same road trip he wanted to add some more excitement – by choosing to add in the farthest points of the country in all directions possible , making the distance to cover touch 25,000 Km and to do this in around 2.5 months.  He managed to sweet talk Mr Ratan Tata(through a letter) to have Tata Motors sponsor a Tata Nano as well.  Mr Chacko will be doing this trip without a convoy of on road assistance as well.  He is planning on doing all the driving himself but will have company with him across the trip from his family  – his wife, son, daughter, brother, sister and brother-in-law.The road trip has kicked off on May 3rd and is to conclude by July 20th,2012.

Just looking at the plans things seem easy – plain math says that 25000 Km in 80 days would come to 312 Km per day. Though the details of the specific daily routes/distances is not mentioned – it would mean driving a minimum of 6+ hours (assuming an average speed of around 55Kmph) each day. Of course this may vary depending on road conditions and traffic.

Using the Nano for such trips is not new – The Nano Superdrive event in 2010 covered 15,000 kilometers across 36 cities in around 26 days with multiple cars and drivers primarily with the intent to set at rest fears of the Nano’s reliability and safety. The Nano(s) came out of the experience unscathed.

However I wish there was a bit more to this road trip than the distance, endurance of man, machine and time factor – am sure its still not too late to use the publicity from this drive to benefit some charity or other. So far all that is clear is that the journey will be documented in a book called Mano Et Nano which obviously will be printed by Mr Chackos own publishing company. Will be a fun read am sure either way.

Do follow the updates from his blog www.manoetnano.com (I wish the site is updated frequently – it hasn’t been as of writing this post). Some funny comments to the initial post on the site ask if the Nano would crack first or the Chacko would ?

I salute Mr Thomas first for being a car nut and for being crazy enough to embark on such a trip. Am also happy to see his family come forward to participate and support  him on the trip.  It is truly an inspiration to see such road trips being planned and executed. Hope to do something like this before my bucket kicking.

What to do – You are driving and hear a siren ?

This is one of the first of a series I hope to write covering some tips and tricks useful in general city traffic and driving  building in a flavour of road safety.

Situation: You hear a siren while driving a car/two wheeler. What should you do ? Click on the image below for a flowchart on how to go about this.

What to do when you hear a siren while driving

 

Key Do’s:

  • Switch off the music if playing in your vehicle and immediately determine the location of the siren.
  • Safely and quickly do what is necessary to enable speedy movement of the vehicle to its destination

Key Don’ts:

  • Block the vehicles progress
  • Chase after the vehicle after it has passed to utilize its pathway to make good time.

 

A Request:

Please provide your inputs / suggestions on similar issues / items to write about.

Please share this to your friends and lets do our bit to drive safely while fully aware of rules and regulations – hope we can be the change !

Attention Bachelors: Create your Auto Themed Bucket List before its too late !

If your days of carefree life with minimal responsibilities(read- bachelorhood)  are numbered, do take some time to prioritize how you spend your last years/months/days. After the noose – you will be expected to involve the other half in pretty much everything and you  have to start thinking of a variety of things such as  – purchase of a residence, loans to be repaid (college/home), future family(if kids on the way), emergency funds, kids education funds, annual holidays, household expenses – maintenance / first time purchase or replacement of existing – TV, Fridge, sofa, beds, washing machine, dish washer, vacuum cleaner, water purifier, household items, health care etc etc …this list goes on.

Rather than spend the rest of your (married) life wishing you had done this earlier – take a look at these and make your own bucket list (A Top movie of 2007/2008).(Buy the movie on Flipkart on VCD/DVD/Blue Ray if you don’t have it already – I definitely recommend watching this).

This Bucket List  includes both products and experiences – what is listed is not a list you should blindly copy but use as inspiration to build out your own list. This could be a start to your own life time Bucket List as well that includes everything you want to do before finally giving that big kick to your bucket.  Also make sure you remember this list when you define your budget for spending money as well :-).

Big Ticket/Luxury/Are you out of your mind:

  • Brand New Out of the ordinary vehicle – either a too small car like the Nano/ Reva or a 4×4 like the Thar or an SUV like the Bolero/ Scorpio etc.
  • Project Vehicle – Restoration of an antique / sentimental vehicle from scrap to a show piece
  • Jeeps – this is a topic in itself – If you ever had dreams of owning/driving an open topped 4×4 off road -and the associated accessories required for this. If there is only one item to have on your must have – this would be it. All others I feel would be possible with a lot of sweet talking 😉
  • Convertibles – slightly more acceptable than the previous one
  • Vehicle with an out of ordinary colour – red/ yellow/ bright blue  etc etc.
  • Design and build your own custom hot rod/sports car/replica/kit car.

You don’t really need this/Mid Level (you may get away with some of these – spread out over time):

  • In Car Entertainment – Touchscreens  HUs/ head rest mounted displays /Speakers/ Amps etc.
  • GPS Navigation devices
  • Alloys / Up-sized Alloys / tires
  • Bluetooth /handsfree kits
  • Leather / Sports seats
  • Race tickets for events outside your city/state of residence (For. e.g. One F1 Event in India 🙂 )
  • Performance/rally driving school training fees
  • DIY Racing Simulator – Gaming console, steering wheel, racing seats +big screen TV
  • Meeting a racing legend – Schumi/ Kimi / etc etc
  • Driving long distance across your home country / Driving long distance to some exotic location of your choice
  • Attending auto shows outside your city/state of residence

Lowest Level(Lowest impact – and cheapest – you may get minimal resistance but WW-III wont break out either if you get any of these):

  • Track Day outings and associated charges
  • Brand specific merchandize – Caps/Keychains/Clothes/Accessories etc etc
  • Subscription to Auto magazines like Autocar, TopGear etc
  • Movies – car themed movies – Bullit, Fast & Furious series,
  • Gaming PC/Game Consoles and associated racing games, gaming accessories – mice, steering wheels etc.

Again just so that it doesn’t seem that your life is over after you get married – just that you have one more voice that will speak practically (in addition to your own conscience 🙂 ) – and that your priorities may change.

Please do share your own lists as well through the comments.

 Please make sure you cross off at least one big ticket item before marriage 🙂 and then try to aim for the smaller ones each year.

PS: Make sure your criteria for a future spouse has “must be an auto enthusiast” as one of the key items.

Vehicle Photos in Automotive Advertising

Mahindra Thar

It started as a one off thing but over time I have started noticing the embellishments that are done while preparing vehicles for photo shoots used for print ads and for the websites of the manufacturers selling vehicles in India. I know it’s the whole point of advertising to sell the product in their best possible light – but I feel these points should be known especially if you are in the market for a new vehicle.

  • Visuals of the cars on manufacturer websites usually are of the highest trim variant which comes with body colored bumpers, door handles, exterior body colored mirrors, alloys and in some cases wider tires.(All Manufacturers)(Best Example – even the Maruti 800 on its website is shown with Alloys. The Nano however does show wheel covers in most photos with some even without the wheel covers with just wheel caps)
  • Sometimes even the top end trim may not come with alloys – but still all photos will be with Alloys! ( Eg. Tata Grande)
  • In a lot of cases the photos are shot with wider than stock tires and with a much lower aspect ratio.(Tata Nano/ Tata CS).
  • Mudflaps are usually omitted. Especially the el-cheapo ones given for free by the dealers.(Most Marutis and Hyundais)
  • Dark tints are there on all windows including the front window- usually so dark that they could never be street legal. (Every single manufacturer does this)
  • Body Kits are usually added to boring models.(Toyota Etios Liva)
  • Boring/ugly rear ends are usually not shown – except for the 360 degree views where they have no choice.(Swift D’Zire, Toyota Etios)
  • Interiors are usually again shown of the top end trim level with steering mounted controls, tachometer, climate control(if present), music system and premium seating material. The lower trim levels without music system , speakers, parcel tray, floor mats, boot mats etc are never shown. (All Manufacturers)
  • Vehicle colors indicated and the actual color of the vehicle may have next to nothing to do with each other. Only colors like white, black and silver may look similar in real life.

Photoshop:

  • Colors are usually bumped up in contrast/saturation to pop off the page.(All Manufacturers)
  • Wheel are blurred to indicate it is in motion. (Maruti Swift usually looks like it is going to crash into something. Usually the rear wheels are not moving.)
  • The Mahindra Thar in the photo used as the cover for this post – looks absolutely pasted in ! Also note the bull bar,headlight grill,fog lamp,insect grill, alloys ,tint and the lack of driver :-).  Oh and by the way the front right tire is just a bit smaller than the left.  The weird lighting under the vehicle is very suspicious  as well.

Open Challenge:

  • List the manufacturer websites  where entry and mid trim variant photos are shown in the comments below.

8 Reasons to Hate the Maruti Suzuki Ertiga !

Maruti Suzuki Ertiga

There is a lot of mixed love and hate for the new Maruti Suzuki Ertiga and there is the news of 10,000+ bookings already within 5 days. While everyone will tell you why to buy the Ertiga – here is a list of why you shouldn’t buy it:

  1. You want more versatility of seating and luggage than what is present in a small footprint – and not necessarily need 7 seats – go buy the Honda Jazz
  2. You want a vehicle with a lot of first and second row leg room and boot space – go buy the Nissan Sunny !
  3. You want a vehicle with great quality in and out, premium brand and luxury feel – go buy something from Mercedes or Audi or BMW
  4. You want a 7-seater primarily for highway use and want to carry luggage for all 7 along with you all the time – better get the Toyota Innova and a roof rack and maybe even a trailer
  5. You want a rugged off roader that will carry 7 people and go off-road – go buy the Mahindra Thar or build up one from an Army disposal MM550 ;-).
  6. You have a family of giants (both tall and wide) – the Ertiga will be too small for you – go buy the Tata Winger/Force Traveller !
  7. You want the laser edge of technology and features – you should have been already in line for the Mahindra XUV500.
  8. You want to take the vehicle to the race track and are particular about cornering and response – go buy the New Ford Fiesta

Test Drive: Etios Liva GD SP Diesel

Etios LivaLIV TMRRW 2DAY is the tag line Toyota is using for its entry level Hatch – pitched at the millennial generation looking for a high quality brand name car – easy to drive and maintain. Suddenly after a long time feeling the need to do a TD – I requested for a test drive through the Toyota website on a whim on a Thursday afternoon scheduling a time for the next day 5 PM. No call no email till Friday morning when a person called to confirm the test drive request and mentioned the sales person would call and confirm the time for the TD. This happened like clockwork within a few minutes. There was a change in plan from my side and requested  the timing to be between 1:30 to 2 PM instead. This was agreed to. I gave my office address as the location for them.

At 1:28 PM I get a call from the sales person that he was outside our gate ! Wow – for the first time the TD vehicle has shown up at the time specified.  The sales guy made sure the vehicle was turned around and made easy to drive out for me (from a service lane still under construction that had open manhole covers) . That was a nice touch.

Test drive car was in Ultramarine Blue and was of GD SP (Safety Pack) trim. The color reminded me a lot of my Getz Electric Blue :-).  The test drive car came with a body kit that was an add on accessory – not part of the standard – but it definitely made the car look interesting and a bit sportier. The car without the under body skirts and spoiler looks very plain and unappealing.

There were stickers on the car to indicate it was a test drive /demo vehicle. Great – good to know am not driving a customer car. Digital odometer had around a bit over 9K Kms.  Interior of the vehicle was spic and span and clean.

Steering wheel was nice and chunky and of the right size to hold with a thicker portion at 10 and 2. Steering wheel had height adjust but the seat did not. Seat felt a bit lower than needed but I was comfortable within a minute of sitting in it with just adjustment for leg room.

For my height (5’7″) there was decent leg space in the driver seat and my left leg didn’t foul with the dashboard like it did in the Figo. No dead pedal available.

1st gear slotted in nicely and surely and starting off was a piece of cake with the clutch being light and easy to operate even for a first time user of the car. No heavy diesel car clutch issues I was expecting.

Pickup from stop was decent enough – didn’t push it but when moved into second the vehicle seemed a bit slow to respond. Unfortunately the lack of the tachometer meant I had no assistance to tell if I was shifting too early etc.

Drive in 3rd and 4th were decent – again within city roads the ride was smooth and minor bumps etc were not noticed.  Even on a badly paved road at slow speed the ride was comfortable. Only one sharp bump made the suspension make an awkward sound and the vehicle sprung up a bit.

The center mounted speedo is easy to read and I got used to it in no time.

Air-conditioning seemed adequate at fan speed #2  in the afternoon Chennai heat – but again the sales guys had the Ac running before the TD itself. Over #2 the noise was a bit much.

Doors felt a bit thin and didn’t have a solid feel on closing.

Rear hatch has to be opened via central locking and the hand grip of the opening was a bit awkward.

Positives:

  • GD trim comes with ABS. Need to go to GD SP for Airbags
  • Comfortable front seats – adjustable headrest can be lived with
  • Amazing space at the rear seat – 3 people in comfort with around 4 inches to spare of legroom till the front seat (set for my driving position).
  • Flat rear floor makes middle passenger comfortable
  • Fairly decent and usable bootspace of around 251L. When folded it goes to around 500L.
  • Service interval of 10K after initial service at 1K. Also option of Smile service packages for lower costs.
  • 3 years 1Lakh Km warranty
  • ARAI claimed mileage of 23.59 (Not able to test mileage in the short drive I did)

Negatives:

  • Noise from the engine sounded like a share auto. This was heard over the AC. I guess one will get used to it over time- but for the entire duration of the test drive – this bothered me.  The Figo in comparison had a muted thrum and the Maruti diesels had a similar muted thrum that was not annoying.
  • Horn sounded adequate but was only a single one.

Missing features (that would make this a truly great car):

  • Tachometer
  • Split folding rear seat
  • Seat height adjust
  • Music system (strangely they have speakers installed for the GD SP trim but no music system)
  • Fog lamps
  • Alloys
  • Climate control / switch for fresh air/recirculation – the slider is from 1980s !!!

Availability at this time is around 30-45 days. Price for top end GD SP Diesel trim on road Chennai is 7.14L.

Overall:

You get a Toyota badge on your vehicle for the price. Ride and handling are decent enough. Feature list is a bit short and makes the Figo seem like a major value for money deal.

Also points to think about – do you really need a diesel – if not then can you spend a bit more for the Etios sedan (in petrol) ? The pricing for the top end Etios Sedan diesel on road I felt was a bit too much coming at around 9.46 on road.

 

Other Notes:

PS: Images are from www.toyotabharat.com & toyotaetiosliva.in

I just noticed – almost every  image of the Liva on the Toyota websites – are with the body kit and spoiler and with alloys (found only on the VX petrol trim) !!!! One has to pay extra for the body kit to be added to the diesels.

 

Liva Without Body Kit, Alloys

 

 

<- What it looks like without the body kit (see circled areas). Couldn’t find any other image without the body kit on the site :-).

 

 

 

Liva With Body Skirts, Spoiler and Alloys

 

 

 

 

 

 

<- Looks much more improved with body kit, spoiler and alloys(see circled areas). Fog lamps as well.(Click on image to view larger size)

 

 

 

 

21 Radical Tips to Improve Fuel Efficiency

With rising fuel prices and the prospect of them going up further – here are some radical tips to improve mileage of your 4 wheeler from a primary car driver and owners point of view. They can be easily adapted for SUVs, Minivans as appropriate etc. These have been collected from years of scientific research and of course from across the web.

Fuel Price Increases

This chart with prices of petrol, diesel, CNG & LPG for Chennai since 2002 is from  www.mypetrolprice.com

A lot of these tips are so simple and commonsense you will wonder why you didn’t think of them yourself.  Its ok – You can thank me later.

Here the list:

  1. Improve the aerodynamics of the car – remove all exterior mirrors, chrome, mudflaps, spoilers, badges, stickers and wheel caps. Door handles can also be sealed off to reduce drag. Cover all panel gaps in the body with clear cello tape. Seal the wheels as well with smooth plastic plates.
  2. Maintain the exterior of the car by regularly cleaning and polishing the surface – reduces wind resistance. Make absolutely sure there is no road tar, tree sap or bird poo that is on the surface – this reduces your aerodynamics.
  3. Stop using the AC all the time but instead use it from time to time. As a backup install a couple of Indian hand fans. The windows should be kept closed though for maximum aerodynamics.
  4. Perform weight reduction on self – if you are 10KG overweight – that’s an extra 10KG your cars engine has to drag around. Even bigger savings if you are really really overweight.
  5. Make sure you(the driver) and all passengers if any have finished daily ablutions and necessary bowel and bladder evacuations before the car trip. Weight reduction.
  6. Add the option to pedal power or kick power like in the Flintstones – this helps reduce your weight and also reduces the fuel used. Good for crawling in traffic jams.
  7. Fuel in the fuel tank is added weight – so calculate your daily distance based usage and fill petrol for just what you need.  That way your vehicle will be at its bare minimum weight. If you are the low risk taking type – keep an empty 2 liter soft drink bottle in the car for an emergency.
  8. Perform further weight reduction – remove all non essential items from the car – including but not limited to the following:
    • Remove one wheel from the car – I mean the spare wheel & tire the jack and  tools that you rarely use.
    • rear seat + seat-belts at rear , passenger seat+ passenger seat-belt – can be replaced with some good coir mats on the floor
    • Stereo + speakers and related wiring – if these are retained – then play only slow music – reduces th e temptation to speed.
    • Dashboard
    • Carpets
    • Door interior panels
    • Air-conditioning system
    • Windshield wiper fluid
    • If you drive primarily during the day – you can remove the headlight bulbs – add them back if you want to drive at night
  9. Do not take work material home or purchases of any kind or carry lunch or snacks. Buy what you need where you need it and consume it there.
  10. Wear thin soled shoes or avoid shoes altogether to ensure light presses of the accelerator.
  11. Install tough springs under the accelerator – to reduce the amount by which you can press the accelerator – burns less fuel.
  12. Join a BPO company that does night shift work or if you cannot shift your work that easily – volunteer to work in the night shift from 10PM to 6 AM. Guaranteed to beat the traffic in all major cities.
  13. If your workplace provides company transport that’s running at capacity – talk with your admin team to sell seats on your car for a price for the route you take. For e.g. if it costs you Rs 250 per day in petrol to use your car for a distance of around 35 km roundtrip – sell 3 seats per day at 100 each. Giving you a profit of 50 a day ! That’s a profit of around a 1000 per month counting 20 days !  Basically you are getting paid to drive.
  14. Getting smaller and narrower wheels will assist your mileage on multiple counts – lowers the vehicle height and also reduces the rolling resistance. Just follow the opposite of popular up-sizing guides to properly downsize your wheel and improve mileage. Also see next two.
  15. If your vehicle comes with alloys swap them out for cheaper and lighter pressed steel wheels.
  16. Fill Helium in the tires – helium is lighter than nitrogen and if nitrogen is supposed to give you an approximate 8% increase in mileage – this should give you at-least 20% more.
  17. Change the air intakes to be of hot air type. This increases and improves combustion efficiency burning less fuel. Similarly – smaller diameter exhausts should also help.
  18. Install solar panels on the roof, bonnet etc and use the solar power for charging the battery of the car – you can get rid of your cars alternator and reduce weight there. This has been proved to increase mileage by 10%.
  19. City driving in stop and go traffic is bad for mileage – therefore make sure you include highway trips into your commute – your mileage will automatically increase to become the average of your city and highway mileage.
  20. Push your car in stop and go traffic instead of using the engine.
  21. Remove power steering that requires the engine to run to assist the steering . Also make sure the steering column does not lock on switching off the engine.On all descents – switch off the engine and coast down. Make sure previous point is taken care.

 

Disclaimer: If you didn’t understand this post still do look at the categories. Its a bit late – I know.

All the best improving mileage and please do add any suggestions you can think of as well through the comments !

 

 

Owner Feedback – Ford Figo ZXI Diesel

Figo

Coming soon after my post on the test drive of the Ford Figo is a this post with  feedback from Rithesh, (a friend and colleague of mine) on his Ford Figo.

What was your old car and how long did you have it ? 
Hyundai Santro   – 6  years

Why were you replacing your old car/getting a new one ? 

It was old and started giving more maintenance cost , plus however some panel change was mandatory to continue with it

What were your requirements for your new car? 

6-8 lac budget , Diesel , good AC

What options did you evaluate ?

I10,I20,Jazz,Fiesta

Which dealer did you get it from and how was your purchase experience ?

MPL Ford Chennai . Very good experience

Any freebies received at time of purchase?

Insurance discount

What are the accessories you added on and what do you feel are must haves for someone buying this vehicle ?

3m external coating

How many KM have you covered and how long have you had the vehicle ?

10000 Km and One year

What is the mileage it gives you so far (and any services done so far – is it on par with your expectation at time of purchase?)

18 Km . reduced to 15.5

Any good points/features that stand out ? 

AC is good

Any irritants or negatives that stand out ?  

Windows at rear is a problem

 

Thanks a lot Rithesh for your feedback – am sure it will help others evaluating the Figo !

 

 

Ford Figo Titanium (Diesel) Short Test Drive

Ford Figo

I test drove a Ford Figo Diesel in Titanium trim after a long time of not having done any test drives. It was a fairly short one for around 2 kms over bad roads and for around 2 kms on good roads. The car had four guys (myself, a colleague of mine and two salesmen from Ford). I drove mostly on the bad roads and my colleague on the better roads. Done after lunch near office.

Positives:

  • Good leg room in the back and can seat 3 on the rear seats (its got a larger wheelbase than the Swift, Ritz, Indica,I10 , Beat) –  in close contact
  • Ride fairly good over bad roads and vehicle felt pretty stable
  • Good sized rear view mirrors and rear and all around visibility
  • Seat material seemed pretty rugged and could live up to some wear and tear – no choice on seat colors though.
  • Adequate looking boot space (284 they claim)
  • Afternoon sun with red dashboard didn’t cause any reflections on windshield
  • The demo car brought for the TD had a “demo car” sticker at the back and had around 25K kms on the odometer. Didn’t notice any rattles during our TD – but also one of the two salesmen was on the phone for a good duration trying to get a good deal on life insurance J.
  • AC was felt in the rear even at speed 2 on the blower – however we didn’t get to check how soon it chilled the interiors since the AC was on even before we got in the vehicle. More than 2 the noise of the blower begins to be loud.
  • Only Titanium trim comes with ABS & Airbags (not available on lower trims as an option even)
  • Defogger shows up from ZXI(mid trim) trim onward – this is a good point – Maruti provides this only on their Top end ZXI trims only.

Negatives:

  • 2nd gear seemed to be a bit sluggish – I have only my recent 1.3 petrol Swift to compare with – and in comparison this felt slower to respond – however in 3rd things seemed a bit livelier. Noticed by my colleague as well.
  • Turn indicators on the left hand side of steering wheel. Not a deal breaker but annoying as hell if you have/drive other brand vehicles as well. I kept switching on the wipers multiple times during my TD.
  • Driver seat position was not comfortable for me with my left knee hitting the dashboard console. Colleague was ok.
  • Adjusting the seats couple of times didn’t help get me any more comfortable than when I started.
  • Door pockets useful only for papers/magazines etc.
  • The plastic on the B-pillars outside had faded to a dull grey like old Maruti 800 bumpers. On pointing this to the sales guy he mentioned it needs polish periodically to look ok.
  • The sound of the diesel engine is apparent when pushed in 2nd and 3rd. Got used to it by the end of the TD
  • No power windows for rear doors, climate control, fog lamps, steering controls , alloy wheels even on Titanium (highest) trim
  • Single folding rear seats (isn’t it time split folding rear seats become the norm ?)
  • Rear Wash and wipe only on Titanium

Odd:

  • Boot release button on the dashboard – I kept searching on the floor near the driver’s seat and found only petrol tank release.
  • Gear lever seems a bit too long (would have felt better if it was shorter maybe by an inch or so)
  • Seat belts are in a fixed position on the B-pillars. If you are not comfortable with the seat-belts – you may find the driving position with seat-belts irritating.
  • Odd colored dashboard option 🙂
  • Even odder combination when paired with the wild green colored exterior (The color is called “Squeeze”)
  • Forgot to check the glove box space and for the bonnet release which I didn’t see near the driver’s seat – turns out its on the passenger side.

 Cool and interesting features of the Figo (Didn’t get to test these):

  • Rapid Deceleration Warning
  • Distance to Empty Meter
  • 6 Speed Smart Wipers
  • Lane Change Indication
  • Bluetooth Phone Connectivity

Overall:

I didn’t get to take it on one of our “highways” – but I guess OMR can be called a highway of sorts. Ford did a price reduction recently in 2012 and this is after a price increase with some additional features in 2011.
Would I buy this car ? Yes – only if I couldn’t afford to wait for something with more bells and whistles for the price and with a more responsive engine. If you are in a hurry and want a diesel engine hatchback with a minimal waiting period – this vehicle does most things well and can be a worthy choice among other options available. Also check the options from this list: http://cars.zimbly.com/2009/07/diesel-hatchbacks-comparison-chart-updated-with-hyundai-i20-crdi/

Only other point to remember is this car has not had any exterior updates since the time of launch – now over 2 years without it means it could happen anytime within the next 6 months to a year. Changes may not be very major but still …worth a thought.