Saturday, May 29, 2010

New Baby on the Way!

Booked our new Ford Fiesta SXi (Sea Gray) yesterday, for Madhavi. Also ordered a sky roof (still debating if we should have it), rear spoiler and reverse camera. Car comes with standard alloy wheels (which Reona doesn't have) and leather upholstery. The in-dash player now also supports MP3.

Look forward to getting her early next month!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Some Incredible Ford Endeavour Videos

Ploughing Fields



Jump



Pulled out by a crane



Slide



The new Endy

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Apollo Flight of the Hawkz

Nice reality show on Nat Geo these days, Apollo Flight of the Hawkz, primarily focussed on off-roading from Lavasa to Goa. Mostly Gypsies, some sexy off-roading stunts. But the coolest thing: the hostess Nethra uses an Endy :) Yesterday she was talking about how the Bluetooth in the car enables her to talk while driving safely, with eyes on the road and hands on the wheel :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Rack Off :)

OK guys, thank you for the frank feedback and for taking my poll. I have taken off the rack - your overwhelming votes against it helped convince me that that inner voice telling me to take it off wasn't alone :)

30K worth of aluminium is now paper-wrapped and hanging from the roof of my unused bathroom-turned-store :)

Ford Ad


If there were no cars, there would be
- No car pools
- No lying about your age for a licence
- No romancing in the back seat
- Nothing to put a just married sticker on
- No peeping into new cars
- No eyes meeting in the rear-view mirror
- No "Are we there yet, Daddy?"
- No "new car smell"
- No Women drivers
- No Driving off into the sunset
- No 0 - 60
- No love bug...........



I am trying to find a better picture and the full text, I know I have it somewhere.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

With or Without?

Does Samara look better without or with the roof rack? I need it for a full-house long distance travel only, but if you think it looks good, I might as well keep it. If it makes the Endy look more like a public transport vehicle, though, I can easily take it off... all it takes is 8 small screws.

Please take the poll on the blog (see to your right!) and help me decide!



Seven

Saw seven Endeavours today, five of them sexy black, one with awesome headlights. The best, of course, happened to be Samara :)

The reason I am mentioning this is simple - I never noticed Endeavours earlier. Is it just because I have one now that I am seeing them on the road? Or has the Endy breed really grown so much since I bought mine?

I got Samara her roof rack and headlamp guards today. The roof-mounted DVD player now works great too, it was a faulty power cable that gave the problem earlier. With the sound system at full blast, it's really a mini theatre with dolby experience in the back seats!

Tomorrow, hopefully, we'll get the ladder and the spoiler.

All I need then is a bank of fog/head lights on her head, and we are ready to rock the world.

Newer Mile Sur?

I saw the Mile Sur video on Zoom TV today (see my earlier post at here) and guess what, they have updated the video to add all our young sports icons! Sachin, Saina, and many others... pretty cool :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Google TV

Watch out for Google TV, a combination of TV, Internet and Search - endless possibilities, but will it be the same as our idiot box?

Shouldn't be too far away!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Samara Updates

Samara completed 2000 kms today, and in the last 20 days, she's been twice to Mumbai, to Lavasa, Panchgani/Mahabaleshwar and Sinhagad.

She's also been valet-parked at the Hyatt in Mumbai, and the Mariott in Pune :) Got my first view of her on the road, being driven by someone else, and it was such a sight - all the mean muscle barelling down, the huge roar of the engine making everyone look out! Awesome!

Today, she had her first "accident" - at the Ratna Hospital traffic signal, an i10 nudged her from behind. Thankfully, she didn't get even a scratch!

She also got her own Team BHP sticker today.

Hopefully, over the next week, she'll have her spoiler, roof rack and ladder. And have her DVD drop down screen fixed too. Her floor mats have already been installed, and the chiller is on board too!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Joke For The Day

High class blonde is walking along the lake shore, sees a crocodile, and screams, "Hey, Lacoste!"

That's the Spirit!



Something very mesmerising about this picture. Saw this old lady on the bike with her grandson, they overtook us, then took on the other Endy in front of us. That's the spirit!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Taatu Time...



...with the Smiling Buddha and a Crossword book

Samara's First OTR Adventure

video

Toyota Corolla Altis Test Drive

Took a test drive of the Toyota Corolla Altis yesterday. Pretty good interiors, wooden and leather finish to the steering (slippery?), leather seats, climate control, cruise mode, multi-function display with controls on the steering, and pretty spacious too.

External looks are good too, pretty clean lines, with jutting lights, the champagne color looked awesome in the late evening light.

The driving experience was a disappointment though :( While it's OK for in-city economy driving, a power driver will come back thoroughly disappointed. Forget squealing tires, the take off is poor, highway performance seriously hampered by a wierdly ineffective AT, with 4 (yes, 4, not 5) gears.

And to make matters worse, there was a very disgruntled Altis owner at the showroom, pleading with the dealer to take his new car back, and warning me to stay away. Signs?

Movie Review: Badmash Company

Shahid wants to grow rich quickly, and in pre-liberalization India, there is a brilliant opportunity. Import thousands of pairs of foreign shoes, make it seem worthless, let customs put it up for auction, buy it back cheap and then sell it in the hungry market. But how do you make them look worthless? Simple. Get all the left shoes in one consignment, the right in another. Without each other, they are worthless. With each other, priceless.

With three of his cronies, this is one plan that's guaranteed to make them rich quickly.

When Manmohan Singh liberalizes the economy and cuts down import duties, their business is kaput. No problem, there are other equally brilliant ways to continue the game...

Shahid looks a little out of sorts after his other recent performances, Anushka looks hot but a little uncomfortable in her dialogues, the kissing scenes sizzle, the sound track flops, but overall, the movie is good entertainment value for the time spent.

Movie Review: Housefull

Delicious, mindless comedy - leave your hunger for sense at home, and just go laugh your heart out.

The girls look so good, every scene is a treatment for the senses :) Deepika sizzles, Lara looks great as usual. Jiah sets the screen on fire in her bikinis, and Jacqueline looks good in her item number. Akshay and Ritesh with their perfect timing, Boman as usual with his subtle mannerisms, and even Chunkey Pandey in a cameo role make you laugh your guts out. The quartet of Akshay, Deepika, Ritesh and Lara hit it out so well, you can see their comfort levels in every scene together. The end could have been better, but even then, all is well!

The sound track is average, but Papa Jag Jayega simply grows on you every time you hear it, with the visuals adding to the treat.

Overall, good weekend entertainment, best enjoyed in the theatre.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Endy Inti

Here are some pictures of the interiors of my Endy :)



I love the drivers seat! The steering is amazingly light, the AT is smooth and easy to operate, the only confusion comes from the reverse position of the light and wiper controls, as compared to my Fiesta and Ikon. I got the beige steering cover at a local accessories shop, and although the finish isn't that great, I love the fact that it matches so well! The sporty pedals look good. The fuel cap release button is thankfully not under the seat, and pretty conveniently located on the dash. Another switch helps control the brightness of the dash lights. Note: the black floor mats are temporary from a demo Fiesta, I just got the actual beige/carpet Endeavour mats today.



This is the view from the middle row. Notice the wood panelling - it's a mini drawer itself, great for hiding some cash or valuables The drop-down DVD screen for the middle and rear rows is still not powering up, need to get the wiring checked up.

Ignore the black mark on the in-dash screen - it's a problem with my camera lens!



Middle seats are comfortable, give sufficient leg and head room. Leather quality and finish is great too. Comfortably takes 3 adults.



Middle seats split 50-50, each can be folded to provide access to rear row.



In-dash provides a host of options including USB, Bluetooth, FM/MW/SW Radio, TV (but not connected in India), DVD, Telephone (via Bluetooth) and Sat Nav (MapMyIndia). Also doubles up as reverse camera.



Pretty sophisticated audio system, with myriad options and configurations



Mobile phone support is really extensive, providing audio as well as SMS interface. Ability to receive and make calls, access phone book, create/send and receive messages on the go is extremely convenient. Once hooked, you can also use the phone's memory to access and play audio on the car's speeakers.



And finally, here's the in-dash Sat Nav from MapMyIndia. I used the in-car unit before, so this was welcome. Does seem to have issues catching the satellites sometimes on cold start, but otherwise works perfectly fine. I do wonder how they will support map upgrades. I couldn't figure it out.

No pictures of the chiller yet. I also need to get the roof rack and headlamp guard installed.

Any comments on the rear ladder on the Endy? I kinda like it, but some others have told me it gives the Endy the look of a mini-bus What do you think?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Team BHP

Team BHP is a pretty nice, professional and serious online forum for car lovers...

Here's my thread on the Endy at Team BHP: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-drives-initial-ownership-reports/80669-my-ford-endeavour-3-0l-4x4.html

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sherbaug

We went to this awesome nature theme park near Panchgani today, called Sherbaug. We didn't have too many expectations, but I must say, we came back very impressed and happy. Beautiful natural flora, a very innovative (though a little dangerous) water park, and an astounding fossil museum, along with a huge cactus garden make this a really exciting option for kids as well as adults. There's also an art gallery and a house of horror, along with a sweet lil restaurant. At 400/person, it seems a tad expensive, but trust me, it's totally worth it. Don't miss it if you are ever in the vicinity.











Hmmm Hmmm Hummer



Not impressed much actually... especially since it was parked right to my gleaming Samara. I'm sure it rocks off road, but it's definitely not a looker!

Black and White

Samara Goes to Panchgani

We went to Panchgani today, Samara's first out-of-town trip after last week's quick romp to Lavasa. A full load, 5 adults and 2 kids, 250 kms. Expressway and ghat, on and off road. And she handled beautifully... safe and secure at high speeds, easy to manoeuvre and handle on the twists and turns of the ghat, and easy to get down and off road on the narrow roads of the hill stations.

And being able to play music from Madhavi's extensive collection on her cell, using Bluetooth, on the car's speakers meant freedom from having to change CDs for the entire journey :)

Here are some pictures...









Monday, May 03, 2010

Samara Gets A Bath



By the way, while her name's inspired by a friend I had way back in college, I just
found out it means "guardian" or "protected by god". Pretty cool :)

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Stress Test

Just took Samara for a stress test on the expressway. She hit 140 easily, and with a little coaxing, the speedo kissed 160. Ride quality, handling and steering was fantastic, though the thought of the massive beast hurtling down the road at that speed is pretty unnerving. Braking was good too, although she does needs a little longer runway to touchdown compared to my Fiesta. Use the breaks to rev the engine a bit before take-off and you can easily draw sketch paintings on the tarmac.

And while we're at it, I must say the sound system totally rocks - close your eyes and you could well be in a very sexy (and loud!) movie theatre!

Some More Hill :)



Saturday, May 01, 2010

Tips for Car Buyers

Pit one finance company against another, you can easily get the car loan rates down by 2-2.5%. Starting with 11.5, I managed to get 9.5 without much effort. Other areas of bargain include the processing fee and amount of coverage.

Pit one insurance company against another - again, I got 15K off, plus a 100% cover (no depreciation for plastics/glass etc). The insurance company might be able to pass on some additional discounts to you.

Make sure you carry your NCB from the earlier car. Since you can have only one car with the NCB, the insurance company might not allow you the NCB on the new car unless you sell off the older one. If you intend to keep the old car, you can move it to a thirt party only cover, and carry the NCB to the new (more expensive) car. If you plan to sell the old one off, you can then get the NCB applied to the new car by endorsing the insurance policy appropriately.

Understand and plan for the dependencies:
Insurance company needs car chasis and engine number to issue cover letter - make sure the dealer gives it on time
Finance company needs cover letter to issue disbursement - make sure the insurance company sends it
Dealer needs insurance cover note, and disbursement order to send vehicle for registration - make sure the finance and insurance company do their bit :)
Dealer needs registration, disbursement amount AND your balance/down-payment amount in the account to release car to you

Special Tip: If everything is ready, but you don't have the money in bank to do the down payment, try the credit card option! I did :)

Endeavour 24 Hour Report

The Good

Looks fabulous, sexy presence on the road, a truly beautiful beast
Cruises fantastic, the diesel engine is absolutely noiseless
Awesome torque, ability to squeal tires
Takes off-road with unbelievable ease, given its size and weight
Beautiful behaviour on fast turns, fluid and smooth, securely rooted to the tarmac while swaying gently on the suspension
Sexy and comfortable interiors, truly a premium segment experience

The Not So Good

Suspension is jarry on bad roads at slow speeds, rear in uncomfortably jumpy on those sudden speed breakers
Roof-mounted DVD screen didn't power on, probably not fitted correctly (or I don't know how to make it wake up!)

The Small But Significant Things

Independent AC controls for all three rows, cooling is fast and effective
Wonderful media & entertainment system - rocking speakers
Integrated GPS and Navigation from MapMyIndia
Integrated Bluetooth, seamless access to phone's dialled/received/missed call list, automatic call reception
Rear view camera for parking is super convenient
Inadequate lighting for the front row, lights positioned towards middle row
The chiller is a wonderful accessory (although I have yet to receive it)
Light thrown up by rear view mirror assembly when opening door ensures you don't step into puddles, lovely feature!
Alti-theft nuts for tires also a good idea! (again, I am yet to receive them)

Lavasa

Visited Lavasa today, the planned and privately run city coming up along the banks of a man-made lake, some 40 kms from Pune. Looks like a good option to invest in, and definitely a lovely place for a weekend getaway. Some early pictures...




Samara

Got delivery of my super sexy Ford Endeavour 4x4 3L yesterday. Here are some exclusive pics...






We took a full load up the hill slopes off the road to Lavasa, enjoyed some heavy showers, and basically had a great time cruising the city streets... Needless to say, it's been a fantastic 20 hours so far, and we're just getting started!



ps: The picture doesn't bring out the depth/height of the hill slopes at all, will upload some more "revealing" pictures next time!

Oh, and yes, her name's Samara, the younger sister to Lisa and Reona.