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Thread: The soft skills of a car...

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    The soft skills of a car...

    For a majority of car buyers, a car is a tool to deliver a person from point A to point B, a tool of convenience, and prestige. One often starts with a budget (and ends up exceeding it) but the later process varies. Some straight head to a Maruti or a Hyundai showroom without much efforts in as much taking a test drive, while some head to their most favourite brand; I headed straight to Fiat. While a few others spend ages reading reviews on various forums, test driving many cars and ending up buying the car which not necessarily was the best.. I know I'm taking a dig at those who liked a Fiat or a Tata and ended up with another Safe brand.. to each his own.

    Most of the times, a car has amazing mechanicals and for some, this is the foremost requirement when buying a car. While some want bang for the buck. Some have space and comfort as their requirements, while some need strong performance.

    Choosing a car is sometimes akin to hiring a candidate for a vacancy. You look at the resume, shortlist candidates, test their technical knowledge, and then look at their soft skills like communication, body language, etc. When it comes to a car, usually skills translate to having a reliable engine, and good performance when lugging people. Proclaimed mileage is like the tenure of a candidate in the previous jobs. Interviews are like those test drives of short duration which makes us feel comfortable and one decides to hire the candidate right away, but therein lies the perils. So, at times there are multiple rounds of interviews by different interviewers to test the communication skills, presentation skills, and aptitude. Different interviewers ask the same question in a different way, or ask something totally unexpected or irrelevant to judge the consistency in the candidates response to a situation and so on. In a car it translates to multiple test drives with family and friends over longer routes similar to what we use regularly. One tests things like ride comfort, steering feel, etc.. This delays the process but is most likely to give a reliable companion to drive later.

    During these test drives, the limitations and the strengths of a car are revealed. A short test drive usually gives an initial comfort but it could be misleading. For example a short test drive kept the occupants happy on a softly sprung suspension and a comfy seat, but drive a little longer and the kid or wife wants to throw up, and your bums start to ache. The seemingly urgent delivery of power which pushed you back into the seat now seems to be transferring vibrations to your feet and leaving you exhausted after a drive. The light steering at city speeds feel twitchy at higher speeds and the car judders when bringing it to a halt at higher speeds. The reverse also holds true with City driving becoming a chore due to a heavy steering or clutch or a pathetic gearing.

    Sounds familiar? And why the hell I'm writing so much in a seemingly wavering and directionless manner? Well.. here goes the story.

    It's been almost a year since I let go off my Punto. And there is hardly any day when my son doesn't ask as to why I sold that car. Even during his short trips at the back seat buckled up in his child seat, he complains of nausea. So does my wife. I have done fairly long trips but do feel the legs shaking but back seems to hold up well - on my Kwid. And when driving in the rains, I miss the Punto a lot. I always felt Punto was easier to drive in rain due to its windshield being low on incline and being far from the driver, wasn't so comfortable in other cars like M800, Figo, etc. Even Nano was excellent in this front. The Kwid lies somewhere in between. I face trouble when driving through rains in the Kwid.

    Long drives didn't feel tiring in the Punto. Nano was good too. So were a few other cars. The occupants didn't feel like throwing up (including the odd occasion when I occupied the rear seat). Driver fatigue was minimal. Nano was good in this front too and so was the Palio. And a couple of other cars. The Figo was ok... The rear was slightly boaty. The Kwid surely make the rear a bit nauseating.

    And finally the space. The Punto had next to no storage space. Reviews did complain about a cramped rear. But I always felt horizontal space was a little less but not bad, and the rear seat incline and thigh support made it more comfortable than most other cars. The firmness of the seats were just good, though not the best. This was one odd car where my family including my parents had little to complain... Ours is a fussy family when riding as passengers in a car. And oh yeah, yesterday I packed six adults and a kid for a short 5 km drop within the city and the car was fairly uncomplaining. felt good, just wouldnt have been so easy if i had blindly bought the Alto which i nearly did. So guess why I'm writing all this is now a bit more clear. Eh?

    Today a lady friend of mine was inquiring on which car between Alto and Kwid. My response was like if you want space and comfort, and ease of ingress and egress, go for KWID or a used WagonR, else Alto is an option... and my friend will take a drive with her aged parents before deciding.. You see.. I seem to have learnt some lesson. I didn't just tell them to go for something blindly. I have promised my family to take them for a drive before the next car but, so that they feel good. My earlier choices were so good that they didn't complain until the Kwid. As my son says... If only we had more money ....
    Last edited by Vijethcm; 17-06-2018 at 02:34 PM. Reason: Adding text

  2. #2
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    Re: The soft skills of a car...

    @vijethcm excellent post buddy.

    I do feel feel that we Indians should explore the market before buying a car from herd mentality.

    In next few years the Indian Car market will see so many new car companies launching their cars so that we will have many good cars available than current ones.

    Hope Indian government will make some strict laws to manufacture the cars in India.
    Punter

    FIAT Palio S10
    TVS Apache RTR160

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