Buying a 4-wheeler in India is quite a complicated decision these days considering we have so many options to choose from across categories and price points. I was thoroughly confused initially but I was sure of one thing that I wanted a Petrol Car.
I started my research in June 2017 and initially shortlisted Maruti Suzuki Baleno, Maruti Suzuki Ciaz and Ford EcoSport. 3 vehicles across 3 different segments so you can very well understand how confused I was! I removed the 2 MS cars due to the pathetic reviews I read about the lack of safety features and the poor build quality. Then we went to the showroom to check out the Ford EcoSport; it is a well-built car with all the safety features we wanted but it went off our list due to lack of space for the price it commanded. I was not willing to pay such a big price and still settle for such less interior space. Then I looked at the Ford Figo and Asprire too. I took the test drive of the Ford Figo, enjoyed the short TD but didn’t go for it because of the small size.
Hyundai was never in my list of preferred brands but we still went ahead and visited the Downtown Hyundai showroom here in Vadodara where we looked at the i20 and the Creta. The sales guy Mr. Hemant introduced us to the Hyundai i20 Active and we got thoroughly hooked on to it thanks to its overall features, safety options and the gorgeous looks. The sporty & outdoor exteriors got us very interested. I got back home and started my online research about its reviews, detailed features and the overall feedback. Got a lot of details on Team BHP, Overdrive and Autocar websites. I also sought advice from some of my friends who are automobile enthusiasts and have great knowledge on this subject. Dhairya, Sukrut and Adit all gave me thumbs up and the go-ahead. 2 days later Mr Hemant arranged a test drive for us which closed the deal for us!
The main reasons we finalized Hyundai i20 Active were:
- Availability of 6 Airbags in the top-end model which was a must for us
- Rear AC vent and Automatic climate control AC
- The exterior looks including the roofrails, plastic cladding, front fog lamps and the rear reflectors
- The orange and black dual-tone interiors
- Adequate rear legroom and boot space
- The 7 inches AVN touchscreen navigation system
- 16 inches tyres and the diamond cut alloy wheels
- Proven 1.2 litre engine with decent mileage and adequate acceleration for our Indian roads
- Perfect pricing for us – 9 lakhs INR all inclusive on-road price
- Availability of the Red colour which wasn’t too bright nor too dull for our liking
- Air-conditioned Glovebox which is perfect for long drives
- Projector head lamps with DRL LEDs and the turning lamp feature in the headlight
- The feather touch turning indicator which is a superb feature for overtaking moves during highway drives
All these points ensured we had made our final decision; we made the full payment and then the wait started; we had to wait for just 8 days and we finally got the delivery of our car on Tuesday 1st August 2017. We went to a nearby temple to get our care blessed straight from the showroom after getting the delivery. And then I started to get some options for a short drive to get our Road Trips started. We had to wait till Saturday because of Abhay’s school.
I finalized a short drive to the Sindhrot Check Dam site which is quite close to our home. It is a very popular picnic spot for Vadodara residents in the monsoon season and we joined the bandwagon too! It is located on the Mahi River which flows across the city.
Originally this site was built for water conservation purpose but later gained popularity amongst youngsters and now some small food shops have also opened up here selling tea, snacks and other stuff. Some villagers also come and sell roasted/boiled corn to the visitors.
Recently some youngsters lost their lives here when they jumped into the water and got washed away due to the strong undercurrent so it is advised not to be foolish and try getting too adventurous.
Saturday 5th August 2017
Armed with all this information we started this short drive from our home at 11 AM and reached Sindhrot within 30 minutes covering the 15 kms distance. We paid a parking charge of 30 INR and walked towards the check dam. We were expecting a big crowd but were surprised to find just a handful of people at the site. We sat by the riverside and enjoyed the scenes around us. Some village ladies were washing their clothes, 2 kids were sliding into the water and then swimming back, 2 women were selling roasted corn while some couple were getting too close for comfort!
Abhay was as always enjoying exploring the area while we clicked some selfies.
Bandita went to get the roasted corn with Abhay which was perfect for the overcast weather.
And I clicked some pics with my brand new “India Watch Company” Special Edition watch which is the latest addition to my ever-growing watch collection.
We left Sindhrot at 12:30 PM for our next destination – the famous highway dhaba named Kismat Kathiyawadi Hotel. I enjoyed Kathiyawadi cuisine for the first time when we visited Bandita’s parents first time after our wedding in November 2012 in Ankleshwar and was looking forward to get my second dose of this local cuisine. We ordered Sev Tamatar, Lasuniya Bateta and Baajre ka Rotla for lunch along with Masala Chaach. The freebie salads served were absolutely fantastic and we gobbled them up along with the main course. The food was very delicious and quite heavy.
We started our drive back home at 2 PM after the first road trip on our new car which was quite a short one but the good thing was that we were going for a long road trip the very next day to Pavagarh and Champaner which kept us adequately motivated and excited!
So till the time we meet again…
Cheers to life…
Till then ride safe and have safe sex…
Hasta la Victoria Siempre…