Maruti WagonR to Hyundai Tucson: Much-needed car upgrade after 17 years
Even though I knew that a new car is needed a long time ago, my priorities were different.
BHPian Randamoozham recently shared this with other enthusiasts.
Before I jump in, a little bit about myself. Believe me, it will make sense once you finish the review. I spend a lot of time before buying anything, but when I do, I intend to use it for a long time and sometimes till it wears out. You must have understood that from the title of this article. Be it my scissors – which I use for cutting my moustache – it’s with me for the last 28 years (travelled with me from Kerala to Chennai, Mumbai, Bangalore, Raleigh, Atlanta and Back to Bangalore) and still going good – Or my first smartphone – which lasted for 5 years till it broke and second one already completed 5 years.
Now you know why I had to spend a lot of time choosing the right car for me in the right budget. I am a tall guy – 184 cms (6 foot and 1 cm) – All the guys who are 180cms and calls themselves as 6 foot, please bear with me. Way back in 2007 I did not have much choice when buying my Wagon R VXI. It was the perfect car for me then for a comfortable driving position. Even Mahindra Scorpio did not give me comfortable seating during those years. Even though I knew that a new car is needed a long time ago, my priorities were different. But it hit me when my younger one told me to move a little front (since I always push the seat to the extreme back), I knew that I can not wait anymore.
I was hesitant since my Wagon R serves me well within the city and I am not a fan of driving a long distance. I am hoping that Tucson will change it.
Coming from a 17-year-old car, I do not have much to compare it with Tucson except the Toyota Camry I drove for 7 years when I was in the USA. Man, how I miss my Camry. I asked for the price in India and it is 50L + and did not even look back.
I landed on Tucson GLS 2WD Diesel, Phantom Black. This is my third week and hitting 500Km on the Odometer.
- Elegant and Classic Design – It is timeless and it grows on you
- Handle, Puddle and Corner lamps – I find these lamps very useful
- Automatic Headlights and Rain Sensors – Yet to experience the Automatic rain sensors though
- Space in the back seat – Jeep disappointed me in this category. My family thanks me every time they get in. Even if I push my seat to the extreme back, they are comfortable.
- Very smooth drive – Did not feel the need for a paddle shift while driving or overtaking. – Yet to go on a highway trip which I am planning pretty soon
- Wireless Charger – My 5-year-old S7 Edge works well with this
- Blue Link – I like the option of starting the car and keeping the AC on 5 mins before I arrive especially when the car is left in the sun.
- Parking Sensors for the front and Back
- Last but not least, I expect the car to have better safety measures since it is CKD. Once the localization starts, you can expect issues and it will take a couple of years to sort it out.
- Ventilated Seats are missing – I loved the ventilated seats in some of the other cars while test driving which would be REALLY helpful while driving during the day
- 360-degree Camera – I really miss this given the size of the car especially when you are cutting corners in crammed junctions
- Wonder Warranty – Hyundai withdrew the wonder warranty from Feb 1 2022. There is a twist to the story. details in the booking experience
- Parking Sensors do not get activated automatically at low speeds. It works as designed by Hyundai and works like a charm when I put the car in Reverse. I wish it automatically gets activated while the speed lowers to less than 10 km/hr.
- Steering Wheel – I don’t like the grip -I feel like they are slippery – and the placement of the horn.
- Android Auto is not wireless which defeats the purpose of wireless charging. One of my friends who owns a Tiguan told me that it is better when it comes to Google Maps to get quick updates from phone to Car.
- Blue Link app throws an error that the door is not locked every time when I lock the car. I need to refresh the app and then only it goes away.
- Not enough USB ports – I see that there is only one port for USB Charging. If it is used for Android Auto, you could not charge another phone.
- Utility spaces are not enough – You can not keep a one-litre bottle on the door panels and there is no provision to keep anything on the dash.
Here were my principles for buying a Car
I test drove almost all SUVs (I thought about the Octavia for a little but my wife was not for a Sedan) in the 20- 40 lakhs range. I called Jeep, Skoda, Kia, VW, Tata and Hyundai on the same day. I went to their corporate contact centres and they assigned the enquiry to dealers located near my home.
Here are my impressions
I thought I will end up in Jeep so I wanted to test drive this in the last. But he showed up first. I did not have much to expect but I feel that the SA was overconfident about the vehicle and did not try to explain the features properly to me. But my family complained about the rear seat space. I wanted a top-end diesel and it comes only in 4WD which pushes the envelope to 37 lakhs.
The Lakshmi Hyundai did not have a TD vehicle. So they brought a Creta and I liked Creta except for the 360-degree camera. My wife and mother also loved the car. But I did not want to be one of the Millions of Creta owners. The SA was pushing for Alcazar since the ventilated seats and 360-degree cameras are available in Alcazar. He also said the same engines are being used in Tucson and why do you need to spend more money on Tucson. I also read about the arrival of new Tucson so I decided to wait. The SA offered 50K first but if I am ready to book he was ready to go up to a 75k discount.
I did not test drive the vehicle but took a look at it in Lakshmi. My family and I did not like the interiors. I feel it is crammed with three rows. It was ruled out.
Liked the Exterior but the moment I stepped in, the seats looked cheap, the Brake nob, and the manual seat adjustment surprised me. After paying 23 lakhs, I might get good build quality but I don’t even get Power Seats after spending 23 L. Come on VW.
Had a brief Test drive but Rs 41 lakhs for petrol is not worth it for me.
I had to call three to five times to get a TD. The exterior and the interior looked good. I liked the car. But I also heard the horror stories Skoda recalls. I wanted a diesel. For those reasons, I ruled out Kushaq.
Seltos was my dream car two years ago. Since I started seeing Seltos everywhere (2 million Seltos in 2 years) it lost the charm and I am bored with it. I liked the TD though. The safety ratings for Seltos also went against it in my books.
Good Road presence but I could really feel the dragging (rubber band??) effect in low gears and my wife from the rear seat asked me why the car is behaving like this. There was a warning light and sound as I was finishing the test drive and the SA could not fix it. Tata is yet to perfect the art as far as I am concerned.
I test drove the vehicle for the heck of it. Very comfortable suspension and is a no-nonsense car. I did not want to go for it for the same reason I do not want to buy a Taxi car.
I started reading the TBHP again about the Tucson new model but realized that their wont be any discounts plus the price would go north. I wanted to do a Test Drive and wanted to shop around. One Saturday afternoon, I called all dealers in Bangalore and asked for a Test Drive for Tucson Diesel’s top end. Only Blue Hyundai, Rajaji Nagar offered a Test Drive on the same day and the SA (Shahabuddin) came with the Branch manager (Naveen) to my home. That was a good gesture on Naveen’s end to come home and he was serious about closing the deal. Straight away he offered a better discount and if I go with a starry night (which they had in stock), he was ready to give more discounts. I asked for a couple of days to close the deal while Trident came back with a better offer, even Lakshmi Hyundai was ready to match the offers but the fact that Naveen came to my home and took time to meet with me made me go with Blue. To my surprise, Naveen even bettered the deal and I closed the deal on the same day. I should say that both Shahabuddin and Naveen were very helpful throughout the process and made me feel at home.
Shahabuddin came home for the booking process. Naveen told me to book the car directly using Hyundai Click to Buy website to block the Phantom Black colour since there were only two left in the plant.
During the negotiations, Naveen informed me that HML withdrew the wonder warranty. But while booking the car, I noticed that the wonder warranty is still available on the HML website as part of the Tucson offers. I brought it to the notice of Naveen and he agreed to write to HML. I took a screenshot of the same along with the date and shared it with Naveen. He told me that typically it will not be honoured since they closed the program. In my mind, well, they should have updated the same on the website. I booked the car online and I was told by their website that it is available. As expected, HML came back to Naveen stating that the program is discontinued. I did not want to leave it there and wrote to HML directly. After a follow-up, no response from HML but I got a call from Naveen offering me the 4th year extended warranty as complementary from the dealer end since HML puts the onus on the dealer to handle an unhappy customer. Effectively I had to pay only the 5th year extended warranty.
I went with the Dealer Insurance (Bumper to Bumper), basic accessories, and an extended warranty of up to 5 years. I feel an extended warranty is VERY important considering the cost (especially this is a CKD) of the car.
Note: Different dealerships charge you different prices for the accessories. Blue charges only around 3K but Lakshmi is charging around 6K. Please watch out for the on-road price while you shop around
I was told that it will take up to three weeks for the car to come but to my surprise, the car came to the showroom in two days and I did the PDI, registration was completed in a week’s time and I took the delivery with the family. The team at Blue Rajajinagar made us feel special with flowers, cake and the ceremony. I took the car straight to Shell and filled the Power Diesel.
PPF and Ceramic Coating from Krithi Car Care
Before I take the delivery of the car, I had a discussion with Krithi Car Care and took the advice of Meena for the delivery. She gave me some tips like I should ask the Dealer NOT to do the machine polish or wax the car and leave the plastics in the car as is since PPF is a wet application. Typically the dealers use the same machine for polishing, there would be swirls left on the car.
I was planning to do PPF in damage-prone areas only but after a discussion with KP, I decided to do the PPF for the entire body and ceramic coating (complementary from them). . Both Meena and KP are very knowledgeable in detailing of cars and they give you the right advice on any matters related to the car.
Even though I told my SA not to do any machine polishing, they did the water washing and wiping off the car which left swirls on the body. I was shocked to see swirls and scratches in the body when I took the car to Krithi after two days of delivery. KP from Krithi consoled me stating that this is normal and he will take care of those before PPF is applied.
They took 4 days for the work and did an awesome job. My experience with Krithi was wonderful. Both Meena and KP are knowledgeable in what they do and could give you good advice in maintaining the car,
Note: I thank KP and Meena for convincing me to go for whole body PPF. I already had my first scratch (as you know, the first scratch is always a scratch on your heart). While parking the car, my gate hit the car, PPF saved the paint and it did the job which it was supposed to do. It left a small dent but no issues with the paint. KP’s initial reaction was to leave it as it is but it was too much for me to take so he helped me to replace only the portion of the film. You could very well make out a patch on the car but what to do.
I am yet to go for a long drive which is due. I am planning for a trip to Kodai and then to Kerala. More to come…
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