Thursday, November 15, 2012

O My. What a car. (2002 Opel Corsa 1.6 Royale)

* also at *

It has been a long time since I last posted on MouthShut - For a background, my first car was a Maruti Esteem (read its review here). Have to report on my present day car, Corsa too; unfair otherwise.

Bought my Corsa around 4 years back from a colleague who had taken extraordinary care to maintain it; I definitely must have been lucky to get a second hand car in this tip-top condition. It continues to amaze me each time I hit the road.

To start off, its build is nothing like any of the entry level Indian cars (read "less than 6 lakhs kind in 2012") where pieces come loose, no nagging complaints of oil/water leaks, no loose nuts, no cheap plastic, a heavy solid body, no vibration-hell as you touch 100kmph and you don't feel tired even after a non-stop 8hr drive. The suspension does its best job in taking the Kerala roads - kudos for it.

Being the high end version of the Corsa, this car is fully loaded - alloy wheels, wind spoiler, wooden finish in dash board, quality plastic that has not yet faded and much more.

Power/Speed: @1600cc, 93bhp@5600rpm this is a solid beast that can pretty much take on most of the cars on the highway on the run and at the lights. In the last 4 years, there have been very few instances of overtakes ;). The last drive through Avinashi-Salem highway gave me goose bumps at 160kmph (and it kept asking for more). Even at these speeds, the steering, brakes and the overall cars "road-balance" /"road-grip" were in total control (not unlike my old Esteem where once you hit 110kmph, tension was in the air and the car appears to go out of control), giving you complete confidence. In the past 4 years, there has been no case of a/c-OFF-for-more-power mode which was pretty standard sequence in my old Esteem :(. An high performing a/c that does it job even in the worst of Kochi summers make sure the passenger is left cool.

I had one bad incident when a Qualis fellow crossing the main road hit Corsa directly on the left front door straight on. It appears the steel rods which runs through Corsa's left door had taken the complete impact. The front end of the Qualis (grills, air vents...) together with its engine were all piled up and seems to have considerably displaced deeper into the vehicle. I had to take its driver in my Corsa to the police station to get the acknowledgement. Felt sorrier for him - he had to tow his away. Drove my car then to Kropex; all good as new in a weeks’ time.

Maneuvering this car in the Bangalore traffic is pretty smooth - given its small width, I can pretty much get into most of the gaps and squeeze my way in, which appears to be a much required feature for cars these days in Bangalore.

Maintenance when compared to my old Maruti Esteem was way cheaper over the year. It should be noted that though the per visit charges appears to be high, over the year it is cheaper to maintain when compared to my Esteem for which the number of visits I had to make were innumerous. No issues as of today in getting spare parts - Kropex has been very helpful till date.

Petrol Efficiency - city ~10, highways ~14. Nothing much exciting to report here.

Overall a beautiful piece of German engineering that got released into the Indian market way too early. Achtung Opel/GM if they are is listening : we are more ready today - blow us out again please!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Mature enough to Learn?

Do we really think a 20yr old who has completed his 3yr graduation (say B.Sc/BA) is mature enough to absorb, appreciate, critic, comment, develop what would be taught for post-graduation studies ? Don't think so.

Suggestion : Have a compulsory break of at least 8 years before going in for a post graduation study. At this point, also include compulsory courses on humanity and humility. A holistic approach to the subject in concern is highly required at this point to create him a better educated person.