Seeing Grand Vitara in person: Views of an ex-owner of Swift & Duster08/08/2022
As someone who thought he would never go back to a Maruti, I must say, I was mighty impressed by this SUV.
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Finally got to see the Grand Vitara in person, since I kept missing the right Nexa showroom by a day. It was a ‘for one night only’ type of scenario as it was the car’s last night for viewing in Mumbai.
As someone whose first car was a Maruti (Swift, Petrol) more than a decade ago, and as someone who thought he would never go back to a Maruti, I must say I was mighty impressed.
The look was so premium, so European and ‘posh’ as a friend of mine said, I was taken aback. This didn’t look like a typical Maruti at all. (My apologies to all Maruti owners, but even the S-Cross and XL6 didn’t appeal to me much though on paper both seemed ideal for my requirements at one point).
But with the GV – the build quality seemed much much better, the doors heavier, and the fit and finish also miles ahead of what I had seen in the past. Of course, it was no VW/Skoda (which I had recently done a TD of) but still, it actually made me think about the GV as an option too.
The front seat has manual adjustment (much like the VW Taigun and Skoda Kushaq) but I could manage to find a good driving position – something that is hard for me since I’m 6.2″. The seats were good and comfortable, but my head was almost an inch from grazing the roof – a problem I had in my Duster as well – and that had no height adjustment option! Being able to sit a little lower might help but only time will tell as this is the first time I’ve had this option in my car. But even without it, being this tall, I am quite well-versed with how to drive knowing the limitations of roof height in almost all cars – especially in hills where I need to bend forward a little to check on the oncoming bends and traffic (literally) up ahead!
Only issue is that the back seat, while decent, had lesser under-thigh support for me, and my head was touching the roof. My father is an inch shorter than me so I am a good stand-in for him for back-seat testing. My worry was on bad roads his head will hit the roof unless I’m very careful.
The sales crew were very enthusiastic and thorough, giving everyone a good chance to get a ‘sit and feel’ once. The interior ‘fit and finish’ is something I have not paid too much attention to in the past, since the early Swift and first gen Renault I owned were also very basic and rudimentary but blew me away in terms of ride quality (Duster) and low maintenance (Swift).
But I do want to upgrade to a fully-loaded type of car, with all bells and whistles for once in my life! The GV impressed me enough to make it a contender. A slightly shoddy feel in the driver’s seat is not a deal-breaker for me as long as the drive quality is good. I am also a huge fan of EVs but the lack of infrastructure at present makes me pause since a lot of our long journeys are in areas without many charging options as of today.
So as a lot of people on this forum have rightly said, this will probably be our last ICE car. A hybrid appeals to that part of my brain too – best of both worlds, so to speak. And surely would be easier to maintain than a VGA car I feel.
Of course, a LOT depends on the TD, when it is done, and on the price. If it stays within the 15-20 OTR zone in pricing, it can be one of the dark horses in the race.
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