My Ride - Mahir Majid's Hyundai i20
Ashwin Ram N P, Ashwin is a guy with a slightly unorthodox perception of everything. His struggle to choose a career path, between art and automotive engineering, has landed him in the field of auto journalism, where he has paved way for himself to practise both.
Mahir Majid is a regular reader of Indian Autos Blog and when we heard he was going to buy an i20, we immediately asked him to give his account of buying and experience. His car is hardly a week old and we've quizzed him comprehensively and his first impressions should help you decide whether this is the car for you.
When did your passion for cars begin?
I have been passionate about cars since childhood. Dad owned a Toyota Cressida 1984 and then a Honda accord 1986 which was used for a good 13 years and then got a 2007 dodge charger which he still drives. I have driven all the above.
Here in India mom got me a 1995 Maruti 800 for familiarizing me with the Indian road manners and then finally moved over to the Hyundai i20.
When did you buy the i20?
I had booked the Hyundai i20 end of January and got the delivery after almost 50 days on 7th may 2009.
Which colour is it? Why choose this colour? What were the other colours you were also thinking about?
The colour is berry red as i have always liked cars in this color. The others among the choices were black (rejected because of the dust visibility factor) white and sparkle blue.
Have you taken it for a long drive yet?
How much waiting time since booking? Was the dealer harsh? how was the treatment?
A little over 50 days. Got it from Hyundai motor plaza which is a factory showroom. The experience with the people was amazing and they were really helpful.
Which model is this one? Why did you choose this model over the others?
It is a magna variant. the top end variant was a good 1 lakh rupees more and gave the same engine, besides I wasn't really interested in the safety equipment. However some of the features which I'd wish to have in my magna would be the USB connectivity, height adjustable seat, electric mirrors with electric folding, steering mounted audio controls and remote locking.
What is the fastest you have gone on it yet?
Touched a max of 100kph, didn't feel like taking it any further as the car is still very much new.
Safety. Your take on it
Have a magna which doesn't really come with airbags, ABS etc but the car is of a very superior built quality which should be sufficient for a safe driver like me. I keep my seat belts on wherever I'm sitting and I advise the same to all Indian Autos Blog readers.
How much your car costs
It costs Rs.5,64,000 on road (Mumbai).
Any modifications you intend to do on the car?
Window tints, auto cop and maybe alloy wheels after 5 years when I change my tires.
Have you owned other cars before? Tell us about them
my previous car here in Mumbai was a 1995 maruti 800.these cars can really not be compared except that it was very small and could be squeezed in the smallest gaps here in Mumbai but was physically demanding and the Hyundai i20 is a breeze in the city with its power steering which is as light as a Honda.
How many km you drive every day? Do you plan to use the i20 for daily trips?
I have driven a lot in the last 4 days since I got the car, close to 280 km in city. I will not be using the car for daily commute as local trains are a much feasible option for me.
Fuel. Which type of fuel and engine oil you use normally and for this car, what do you intend to use?
I am using regular unleaded fuel but i make sure that i go to a nice petrol pump. Engine oil and other fluids have been filled at the Hyundai motor plaza workshop. Hyundai recommends servo and other Indian oil products.
My dream car has to be the Lamborghini Reventon.
What's so special about your i20 compared to the cars driven before?
the other cars which I considered buying prior to the Hyundai i20 were the Suzuki swift diesel which is a very powerful but the 4 year old shape will be hard to live with and so will it be with the cramped interior. The Hyundai i10 sportz was almost booked but we changed our mind as we are a family of 5 adults and have to make frequent trips to the airport with luggage.
The Suzuki A-Star was on my mind after seeing it from the outside as it has a very nice shape but it is super cramped on the inside and has a microscopic boot compared to my requirements.
A sedan however would be too pricey for us as the sedans in the range of six lakh was not at all pleasing to the eyes be it the "slap on boot" swift or the "new front end but 8 year old" Ford Ikon.
What makes the Hyundai i20 a hot choice is:
*the shape and styling of a European car.
*the space of a sedan.
*a very comfortable ride.
*the multi-information display, which will appeal to you if u like gadgets.
*amazing air con which comes with rear a/c vents, vent in glove compartment and in the hatch.
*excellent in car entertainment.(the 2-din unit and the six speaker music system is better than many aftermarket music systems and speakers from leading brands)
*the reliability and service of Hyundai.
*a super light power steering (turns with your thumb)
*a sweet and peppy engine with a nice mileage may not be as powerful as the swift diesel but won't let you down, you can take my word.
*small children running around your car screaming "i20 i20" like its "Ferrari Ferrari".(this happened with me at nariman point where as soon as i parked the car, a bunch of 10 year olds eating ice cream at a roadside joint started shouting "i20 i20"like it was some exotic car ).
couple of drawbacks
* the lower side of the driver's side dash board which rubs against your left leg if u are a tall man(above 5'10") the solution is that shift the seat a little back which I have gotten used to now.
*roof antenna which does not fold. so if you've got a cover out of excitement before you got your car and forgot to check if the cover has got a slit for the antenna(like I did) then you'll be ending up unscrewing the antenna each time you put the car cover.
*no reading light for the front passenger and driver and no vanity mirror for front passenger...it looks as if Hyundai was so busy designing this car and making it safe that they completely forgot about these basic requirements.