To S(h)un-film or not to S(h)un-Film?

Sun Filmed Swift
My Sun Filmed Swift

The Indian Supreme Court probably wanted to take a break from looking at more weighty matters and chose to focus on a frivolous PIL submitted by someone who claims to represent the “Mango” People (Aam Aadmi). Supposedly sun film is the cause for all the law and order issues in the country and that it should be banned altogether – there is no legal % of visual light transmission that can be used. Only factory fitted tinted and laminated glass that conforms to the CMVR rules can be used.

Legality apart -the sun film manufacture/sales industry supposedly provides around 150 crore to the Indian economy. These people will be badly hit if all sun film is made illegal to use. There is a fee for getting the sun film removed – this is not something that is usually done – but now the installers themselves are getting a chance to make money by “assisting” the removal for a fee of anywhere between 300 -500 Rs ! They hope to milk this for at least a month and then raise petitions to remove the ban. The ban will get removed within no time. Then again people will flock to get the film added back. With all the FUD going on people will gladly shell out more money to get costlier “clear” film that reduces heat transmission. The sun film companies make money either way.

Doing a net search shows sun film bans have been talked about since 2007 in parts of India – but this has not been consistently enforced. I remember having a dilemma when buying my Swift(photo in this post) in 2007 about putting sun film but since there was nothing clearly specified or enforced I went in with tints with 50% VLT which were legal at the time. However now 5 years later the same tints are now illegal. Our 7 year old Getz has films with around 70% VLT as well.

My Next Steps:

  • I personally will wait and watch what will play out. All speculation online points towards the drives to strip out sun-film to be strong for the next month or so at most if not less
  • Plan on keeping Rs 100-1000 as the fine for getting caught and pay it and get a receipt for the fine as well. Why the range – because the cops do not have a clear fine specified – it seems to vary !
  • If forced to remove the sun film by the cops I will do so – but feel I will also park at the side and then make sure they catch and remove sun film from all vehicles that go by including cops, ministers, actors etc.
  • I will not put back the sun film on my cars after that – hate to spend more money on a commodity which can be legal one day and magically be made illegal the next. Also hate the feeling of being taken for a ride by the cops and the legal system which is not consistent nor effective in its mandates.

Points to Ponder:

  • Different states seem to be interpreting the rule differently – some targeting only the darker tints while some are targeting even the lightest and even the clear films – if you are planning drives across states – make sure you drive without sun film to be in the clear.
  • Are the cops so good at catching anti-social elements/terrorists by visually identifying them from a distance ? This is assuming they don’t already move around wearing some disguise in crowded buses and trains !
  • As many online have commented – is there a way to measure the crime rate coming down drastically when vehicles do not have sun film ?
  • Wont the kidnappers/rapists start using panel vans/load carrying trucks instead of just vehicles with dark tints?

Some Fun:

  • Just because of a rising trend in vehicle accidents – is the solution a ban of all vehicles altogether?
  • Just like knives are used in murders – they should be banned altogether
  • Terrorists use hotels, houses etc – so can they be banned as well ? Or as an alternative – ban all windows, doors and hey why stop there – ban all walls – we just need protection from the rain and just need the roof over our heads – walls should not be there – just to make sure all the moral police can happily peer into our bedrooms and bathrooms !
  • Full face helmets with tints on them obscure the faces of the riders/also there may be some nefarious activities going on under the tinted face shields- can they be banned as well ?

What are your thoughts on this ban ? Do let me know and what will be your action – comply or get caught or what ?


Update – May 18th,2012: 

Today’s news papers indicate that the Chennai City Traffic Police (CTP) has started their drive against sun films. They have posted a notice on their FB page as well. All are free to comment on this drive. I already have !

Do Show Your Support:

Do show your support against this ban by “Liking” this FB page calling for a Movement Against Supreme Court’s Decision to Totally Ban Suncontrol Films. There is also a petition here “The Supreme Court of India: Reconsider decision on a blanket ban on car films.”

Owner Feedback – Ford Figo ZXI Diesel


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 ?


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 !



Honda Jazz – Owner Interview


Jazz in Sherbet Blue

This is a short offline(done over email) interview with Mr Girish T.,  one of my close friends who is probably one of the first in Chennai (maybe in India as well) to buy a Honda Jazz. Many thanks to Girish for agreeing to this interview and sending over his answers in a very short time.

Sushil: What was your old car and how long did you have it ?
Girish: Fiat Palio – 7 years

Sushil: Why were you replacing your old car/getting a new one ?
Girish: The Fiat Palio was a Fuel Guzzler, Great car but was not backed by service. Fiat had stopped production as well. Time for change.

Sushil: What were your requirements for your new car?
Girish: Fuel efficient, Hatchback with lots of space and preferred that it be a Japanese this time

Sushil: What options did you evaluate ?
Girish: Jazz, I20 and Punto

Sushil: Why did you pick this car from the options you evaluated?
Girish: Lots of space, Excellent styling, Honda brand and tag of being decent on fuel efficiency

Sushil: Which dealer did you get it from and how was your purchase experience ?
Girish: Sundaram Motors – Nothing great. They have never been known to be great on the purchase experience or service. But went with it because that was the closest to my place. Can’t get a lazier reason 🙂

Sushil: Any freebies received ?
Girish: None – they managed to screw my chance to participate in the Honda festival and possibly get the Jazz free. They didn’t care much about it though. Speak volumes of their customer service. They did give me some money on the Fiat though. I thought that was a great freebie :-).

Sushil: What accessories did you add and what do you feel are must haves for someone buying this vehicle ?
Girish:Didn’t add any. But the rear parcel tray is a definite must. So is a USB port. They have brought in these options with Jazz X

Sushil: How many KM have you covered and how long have you had the vehicle ?
Girish: About a year now and 15K on KM

Sushil: What is the mileage it gives you so far ?
Girish: Gives me nearly 14 in city.

Sushil: What are the good points/features that stand out ?
Girish: Mileage, Drive, Space and Space

Sushil: Any irritants or negatives that stand out ?
Girish: Some more features for the price would have been great.

Sushil: Would you recommend the Honda Jazz to anyone and why ?
Girish: Definitely recommend for those looking for a hatchback to drive in the city with loads of space. The tag of being pricey and Honda has not been able to do anything about It has let the vehicle down.

If you have any further questions on the Jazz please post them here through the comments and will request Girish to answer them here.

An Indica Experience of ~ 9 years & 1,25,000 Km

This post is written by one of the readers of this blog Jacob Chacko who on request shared the ownership experience of his Tata Indica (he owned and drove it for around 9 years clocking around 1,25,000 km in the duration selling it this past Friday). Thanks Jacob Chacko for sharing your experience with the Indica!  Here is his story with photos of his car: 

After 11 years on a petrol Ambassador, I had begun to feel weary of driving with such a heavy steering wheel (perhaps, because I was also growing in age), that I started looking for a new Car. India’s dream car, TATA Indica had been launched just about a year ago. The euphoria that peaked with margins for new Indicas had died down and teething troubles had taken over. Since I was contemplating a change from an Ambassador, my priorities were adequate space (for my parents), ease of ingress and egress, driveability and good fuel efficiency. I needed to run 1000- 1500 km a month and a diesel alternative to my ambassador had become rather imperative.

 The TATA tagline was quite impressive : “The space of an Ambassador with the efficiency of a Zen at the price of a Maruti-800 !” This description vastly suited my requirements. I did a TD to verify facts. The space indeed was fine. The diesel engine did not sound all that bad – certainly not the roar of (shipping) diesel engines that were doing duty on some Ambassadors. The only competitor was the Fiat Uno, in which efficiency and build were reported to be superior. But, then TATA was coming up with a passenger car for the very first time. Who wouldn’t give them a try, especially in the context of the near-repulsive service from Uno’s then dealers, TVS ? The decision in favour of Indica was rendered easy by a comparative feature that appeared in one of the auto magazines, which gave the verdict, something to this effect : Despite, all that, the scales can be  seen ticking the Indica way with the claimed superior fuel efficiency at much lower vehicle costs. The local TATA dealership took personal interest, offered freebies and supervised the delivery of an Emerald Green (no semblance to green ; more to grey, though !) Indica in November 2000.

I remember I was ecstatic all through the running-in period : it had already fetched me a fuel efficiency of 17 kmpl ! And, I did like the soft sound of the new diesel engine.

 Problems It was smooth riding until around 37000 km when trouble surfaced with the car showing excessive oil consumption. Besides oil changes specified at service schedules, I had to keep topping-up every now and then. I had maintained my own diary on the mileage and the oil consumed. I started writing letters to TATA management, with little reprieve.

This went on until the vehicle clocked about 70000 km. Meanwhile, confronted with my repeated visits to the TASC with the very same complaint of excessive oil consumption and allied effects of excessive smoke on initial starting etc., the service advisors privately hinted that engine overhauling was the only way out. They narrated several instances of similar occurrences and how, after engine overhauling, such vehicles were rendered out of the clutches of this malady.

After repeated complaints to TATA management, the TASC was instructed to conduct a HOC Test (High Oil Consumption Test). All oil was drained out of the sump, weighed and poured back before it was driven by TATA (me seated alongside) for 300 km at a stretch. The residual oil was again drained and weighed.

Oil consumption was calculated as : Weight of oil x 1000 / 0.88 x Km run.

In my case, for 299 km, the difference in weight of oil was observed to be 125.2 g.

Thus,  125.2 X 1000 / 0.88 X 299 = 475.83 ml / km

TATA explained that 500 ml / km was the maximum permissible limit for Oil consumption (but, I was not shown any documentation to attest this claim) and that, therefore, this value was indeed within limits ! The fact that the value was almost at the max. of the permissible limit was not a matter of concern to them.  Even so, it was clear that at as low a mileage as < 70000 km, the car was already nearing the upper limit of “permissible” oil consumption. The import of the idiom, “You can take a horse to water, but cannot make it drink,” dawned upon me with full force.

My last resort was to address none other than Mr Ratan Tata himself. If this excessive oil consumption were not to be attributed to flaws in manufacture and / or in strict quality control, were Indica cars expected to undergo engine overhauling at mileages as low as 70000 km. His office replied that Mr Tata was on tour and that the matter would be attended to by others. This question, finally, fetched me some minor discounts by way of piston rings and accessories for carrying out engine overhauling at < 70000 km ! 

TATA ought to be more receptive to customer feedback / complaints and should demonstrate the resolve to redress genuine grievances to mutual satisfaction. For those like me who were prepared to accept the new Indian venture with all its teething troubles, TATA – through their actions, rather inaction – seemed to prove the point that they cared a hoot for us ! They ought to display the readiness, leave alone the grace, to acknowledge deficiencies / faults.

Visits to TASC (Focuz Motors)

This car has been with me for 104 months now and has clocked 125000+ km. I have strictly adhered to TATA recommendations on service schedules and have maintained it with utmost care. In all, I have had to make 49 visits to the TASC, of which 23 were for regular service check-ups at specified intervals. In all fairness, I must compliment the service personnel at the TASC (Benz Motors, later renamed as Focuz Motors) for being receptive, considerate and helpful. I might well be one among their long-standing customers. 

Other issues / repairs

After overhauling of the engine, there has not been any complaint of excessive oil consumption or the like. Other issues have been the following :

  • Clutch plate replacement at ~ 70000 km (done along with engine-overhauling)
  • Glow plugs were the most problematic, requiring 8 replacements
  • Steering rack and pinion assy was replaced at ~ 95000 km
  • Wheel cylinders replaced 6  times
  • Ball joints replaced 8 times
  • AC bearing, compressor repairs effected at ~ 87000 km

Despite all these troubles, this Indica of mine has never let me down on the road. Fuel efficiency was an average of 16-18 km/ litre within the city (with AC) amidst Cochin’s notorious traffic snarls and between 20 -22 km on the highways (with AC). It has even peaked to 24 km / litre at times.

The first battery had a remarkable life of 68 months !

I have bills, vouchers and accounts of every expense incurred at TASC all through the past ~ 9 years and ~ 125000 km. Costs for maintenance (includes spares, lubes, consumables, servicing, labour and taxes, but excludes tyres, battery and fuel) of this vehicle have worked out to an average of ~ 80 ps per km.

My Next Car – Not a TATA:

The new version — Indica Vista is generous on space and tempting in appeal. User reviews that sing praises (for sure, they have the right to do so) to the vehicle are all written based on the early few thousand km experience. Problems crop up only after the vehicle has run ~ 15000 km. All across the web, I have come across only a single review from an owner who had used his Vista Quadrajet for ~ 16000 km and that review was indeed daunting. I wouldn’t want to risk a repeat of the snags I faced – all of which could be traced to manufacturing defects arising out of severe deficiencies in strict quality control at every stage, including that at the site of the vendors that supply spares to TATA cars. After all, isn’t experience the best teacher ?

TATA badly needs to reorient their functional priorities to be sensitive to the needs and perceptions of the customer, if ever they intend to befriend and build lasting relationships with him. The Indica Club, launched by TATA with much fanfare, appeared to have met with a premature death; TATA did not seem to be bothered even by this.

Therefore, sadly though, I have decided to trade off my Indica for another brand from a different manufacturer, keeping my fingers crossed on what might yet lie in store for me now !

PS:  Please do reach out to Jacob through the comments here on this post in case you need any tips or advice on Indica’s. Am hoping to get an update on his experience with a new brand of vehicle after his move from Tata.

Is your car safe – even at home ?

The blog author was the sole witness to a despicable crime this evening. The victim, in the below right photo was a long standing member of the Karupu Kaakka Kudumbam Gang (K3G).  His short devious dark life of crime was brutally ended by a rival gang member of  Nandri-illa Nais Nexus (NNNs)  – shown in an earlier file photo (left) from our archives.  

The victim was talking a leisurely post dinner walk in the garden when he was murdered in hot blood(it is still summer here remember!)  by the accused who was granted his nightly parole (from his chains for his nightly business) just a few minutes earlier. If you look closely the dead K3G is seen in the background on a high perch aiming at a poor defenseless automobile while his murderer relaxes on the foreground.

A black raven
Image via Wikipedia – RIP

Dog - Victim in background sulking.
Murder Accused relaxing - Primary Victim in background and another victim in background sulking under sheets.

Though one key gang member has been put to rest tonight the attacks  still continue and will continue on without end.  

I mention attacks on poor helpless Automobiles in their own homes.  
On a daily basis cars in India have to deal with attacks not just on the road while on the move but also at home when at rest from the following attackers: 
Kids – Cycle handle bars, bats,chalk, pens, stones, sticks etc find cars surfaces very irresistible and feel the need to produce artworks on shiny cars. Car grilles/number plates also are a good alternative to putting up stumps for playing cricket. Headlamps/tail lamps are the bails – you knock one of them out – you get a wicket !
Family Members – borrow the car and returning it all scratched up – without ever leaving the parking lot/compound !
Pets/Stray Animals/Reptiles/Rodents/Insects –  Cars are made of material found to be very comforting to these. They feel they have to be in constant touch with them, bite/pee/sit/shit on them, scratch them, get into them to prepare to meet their maker, give your reminders to ensure you to re-do the wiring system/buy new car covers/do periodic repaints/interior cleaning), clog up A/C vents to make sure you have to clean the whole system. I once have given a lift to a Frog on my Swift. It rode on my car’s A-pillar and kept peering in through the glass at me for around 2 km. It hopped off finally when a bus passed me and scared it ! (True Story – I swear)

Dog Vs Car Vs Rat
NNN Vs RR - 2008

Dog Vs Car Cover
NNN Vs RR - 2009

The photos to the left are the scars from gang fights between the Rebellious Ratberts and the NNNs in 2008. The car cover that was in the way of the fighting, suffered extensive injuries – but was given first aid and lived for a year with multiple hospital visits requiring stitches.
The other photo is from January 2009 when a repeat fight broke out between the RRRs and the NNNs. This time however the car cover had received grevious injuries and no amount of needle+thread first aid and DTR(duct tape repair) could save it.
Trees  – Coconut trees are the most dangerous – they can aim coconuts at cars even up to 20 feet away from them. Any tree that has falling fruit/twigs/branches has to have sign boards next to them warning about them and their violence against cars. Laws of nature/ gravity/ biology/ chemistry and physics are bent by trees to fling fruit/nuts/ branches/ birds at cars). If they cannot throw something then they will make sure they drip a decent sized amount of  tree sap on car parts that will be very obviously visible such as the center of the bonnet etc. (ensuring a repaint/polish is required).
Movable Objects – Gates, doors and anything that can swing, will and shall swing out and strike the closest car. Wind is not a requirement for this phenomenon. A mild sneeze will suffice. Actually a thought of sneezing will be enough.
Immovable Objects – Cars are fatally attracted towards immovable objects such as walls, pillars, posts etc at speeds so slow(tending towards zero) that just expensive paint scraping and body denting occurs. I theorize that Buildings have evolved from Trees especially coconut trees – since they also exhibit similar aim and strength of throws. The only difference is that buildings throw  pieces of concrete, bricks, tiles etc at poor unsuspecting automobiles. If they cannot throw items similar to what I mentioned they usually drip A/C water or other similar corrosive liquid on the car. Then they act like  they are just some building that can do no harm ! Balconies are the evolutionary equivalent of tree branches and are used by humans instead of birds as shooting ranges from which to practise their aim – at cars of course.
Neighbors– These people can be jealous, stupid, egotistical, insane, funny and mean all at the same time and go all out to make sure your vehicle has at least one scratch more than their 30 year old rust and rabies ridden excuses for automobiles. These are the ones that feed stray dogs/crows/beggars on your car bonnet/roof and also teach poor illiterate children to read and write on your car ! The sad part is your car is probably the cheapest vehicle money can buy – but still they could be jealous.
House Help:  People who look like they have brains in all other situations will always choose to remove them before they work near your car. Excuses such as “I didn’t know paint thinner would remove the entire coating of paint – I just thought I would remove the tree sap” become very common. Any equipment they use for cleaning the yard will invariably fly towards the car and gently remove a small layer of paint. Just a small amount enough to be visible.
Other cars/vehicles: They get amorous when they see a curvaceous beauty like a red Suzuki Swift and feel they need to get close to her and cuddle up and nuzzle against her with disastrous results. Common excuses mentioned by the drivers are things like – I forgot to put the handbrake on – we should be aware of the real reason.
Rust: Those staying near the coastline must experience new cars rusting withing weeks of purchase. No solution for them other than to keep buying new cars or to hold off on that replacement purchase till an all plastic car comes about. Invest in rust proof paint company futures. Those of you who refuse to drive your cars from time to time deserve to get a nice rust full car. At-least start it once in a while !
PS:   One of my earlier posts was 10 Reasons to leave your car at home . Even though it makes sense in some scenarios to leave your car at home, it is never advisable to leave your car at home without supervision for extended periods of time. Do check on your vehicle from time to time as it is constantly under attack.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Buy these vehicles in White only if …

TATA Indica-Vista-EV
Image by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr

If you are a cab/tourist travel /call taxi operator, these are your most favourite vehicles of business:

Call Taxi Favourites:

  • Maruti Suzuki Omni (esp the LPG version)
  • Tata Indica (Indicab version)
  • Hindustan Ambassador

Travels/ Tourist Favourites:

  • Tata Indica (Indica DLS with A/c)
  • Tata Indigo/ Indigo XL
  • Tata Sumo
  • Chevrolet Optra
  • Chevrolet Tavera
  • Ford Ikon 1.8D & Flair
  • Hindustan Ambassador (with A/C)
  • ICML Sonalika Rhino
  • Toyota Qualis
  • Toyota Innova

Possible Future Cabbie Options:  

  • Indica/ Indigo Vista (New lowest end trim just released for the Vista)
  • Hyundai Santro (New Cabbie edition is out)
  • Mahindra Xylo
  • Tata Sumo Grande
  • Maruti D’Zire

**Sad part is even if you buy them in any other color people see them as cabbie vehicles :-).

If you buy the above listed vehicles in white you have to get the following “Must Have” accessories  as well:

  • Annoyingly Loud Horns
  • Blazingly Bright Headlamps and controls to use both horn and light with just a press of the horn to flash the lights non stop and keep honking non stop
  • Terry Towel Seat Covers
  • More Horse Power than Driver IQ ratio
  • Stereo music system with more watts & bass than required
  • Pointless stickers or either the puppy peeping from under the sheet, row of dogs walking, cricket ball breaking window, keychain hanging from keyhole,Ferrari or other exotic car name/logo stickers, NOS, Sports, Racing, Rally etc.

You are eligible to drive a vehicle with the above specifications only if you meet the following must have “Driver Attributes”: 

  • Cro-magnon/Neanderthal intelligence (maximum IQ has to be atleast 20 less than vehicle Horse Power) & features
  • Cat like reflexes – to keep twitching between lanes
  • Bat like vision – to see atleast some things/vehicles on the road
  • Must not be able to hear other road users expletives. Otherwise hearing should be fine.
  • Rhinoceros Spec Skin (to ignore all the curses of all other vehicles). Buffalo spec skin is too thin.
  • Must know how to operate cell phone to keep asking cab company for directions
  • Must know how to navigate vehicle without using brakes but with only horn, lights and accelerator
  • For high end tourist/travels must be fluent in native language and butler style english if foreign customers are to be served. 
  • Be able to sleep and drive. (Work all day/night and sleep whenever a few minutes are free)
  • Be a good runner, to out run mobs on foot after sleep and drive accidents

Any essential points missed out ? Do let me know.


PS: The car in the photo up top is an Indica Vista EV. It has not yet been launched – but when it is launched am sure it will be done with an Indicab trim as well.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Future Collectible Cars of India



I read a recent article on Popular mechanics “Jay Leno Predicts Future Collectible and Classic Cars”.  I had to create a similar one based on cars available in India.  

Long Post Warning: This is another long post ( I do have to learn to write shorter ones soon).

The vehicles  I have listed match one or more of these criteria:

  • Vehicles sold in India to the mass market not imported vehicles
  • Car of the Year awarded  (typically packed with features and are usually popular).
  • Have some “first” attributed to them or some other unique characteristic, unusual engines or features or designs. Highest trim level versions are usual suspects since they have new features ahead of their time. (For e.g the Swift ZXI was the first Indian hatchback with steering mounted audio controls and climate control and airbags.)
  • Special editions / signature editions.
  • The first models  or the last models  of a car/brand.
  • 4x4s, convertibles and coupes and higher engine powered variants. 
  • Shouldn’t cost more than 15 Lakhs (ex showroom) when new.
  • Sold between 1975 till today April 20th 2009. Why 1975 ? Because that’s the year I was born. Simple ? :-).

In the order of Manufacturer/Brand I predict that in the year 2034  (25 years from now) these cars will be considered as collectible antique cars:


  • The 2002 Fiat Palio 1.6 Sport (Car of the year for 2002). The S10 is collectible just for the signature.
  • The Palio Adventure for being a  station wagon with go anywhere looks. Unfortunately was not a 4×4.
  • The 500 just made my list at 14.8 lakhs
  • Upcoming: I predict the Grande Punto to be a collectible just for its looks. Hope it has an engine to match.

Force Motors:

  • The Trax , Judo and the Ghurka all in 4×4 versions.


  • The Escort 1.6 and the Orion and Iris special editions – these are rare already you cannot find cars in good condition anymore.
  • The 1999 Ford Ikon 1.6 SXI with ROCAM engine a popular enthusiasts car giving good performance for a reasonable price. 
  • The Fiesta Diesel from 2006 for having the best diesel engine from Ford. BSM Jury Award 2006. Fiesta special editions with weird stripes as well since just a few in number were released. 

General Motors/Chevrolet:

  • The Aveo U-VA. BSM Car of the year 2007. The only reason this can be a collectible is that very few actually sold.
  • The Chevvy Spark(Daewoo Matiz reborn): Best Value award for 2008. Plus it looks really good for an Indian Chevy.
  • Optra SRV:  Sporty hatchback. Very poor sales makes this a collectible.
  • Upcoming: Chevy Beat & Cruze both look good and could become really popular


Running Costs – Nano Vs Competition

Tata Nano -- 2500$ Car Launched In Auto Expo 2...
age via Wikipedia

I came across an article  in Money Today that talked about the running costs of the Tata Nano compared to the Maruti 800, the Santro and the Swift.  It was a very interesting read especially since I was wanting to put up a running cost calculator of my own on this website. I felt a better comparison would be of the Tata Nano with the Maruti Suzuki 800, the Maruti Suzuki Alto, the Maruti Suzuki Omni, the base Hyundai Santro and the Tata Indica Xeta GL. These are the 5 cheapest vehicles currently available. I feel there is no point comparing it with the Swift. The only true comparison is with the M800. The others are much costlier.

I have used Chennai prices as my reference. Insurance values come from For registration and life tax have used a standard 8%. I have used a different way to calculate costs and have added some parameters as well. Of course most of the parameters may need to be tweaked for actual use but hope this gives an idea.

Please click on the below image to view the comparison chart.


For 3 years the Nano has the lowest running cost with the 800 close behind. The Alto and the Omni are very similarly priced while the Santro and Xeta are also similarly positioned.

graphrunning1Of course the maintenance costs of the Tata Nano still need to be seen. Hope the quality of the finished vehicle will be decent enough.

Am still working on an online running cost calculator. Will add it in when I am done with it. Till then do let me know your comments on this comparison.  If you feel like you could also play with the excel I used to create it runningcostcalculator.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]