I test drove Wagon-R, Swift-Diesel and Santro.
At the maruti showroom, inspite of the prior research, I asked the guys if the cars I was about to drive had power steering. I did not want to exercise my biceps while turning the wheel or changing gears. Oh yes, they confirmed me a smooth drive ahead. First came Wagon-R to be test-driven by me. I have never driven any other car on road, except my father’s good ol’ Omni, which is about 15 years old. I thought, So what? I have a driver’s license. I started the car and pushed down the accelerator. Oh no!! This was not my old Omni, it was a decently maintained, new car. And it made an extremely shrill noise while it revved up. The auto-expert who was in the car (along with me, my dad and the marketing guy), took this chance to tell me that I did not need to push down so hard. It is “a cool new car”, after all. He kept telling me to use the accelerator very gently through the length of my drive. The brakes and gears and the entire car can be handled more gently, he said. Fine!! My driving-test was not yet over. I test drove the new Swift –Diesel engine. It did behave a lot better when I started, and also when I turned. Oh yeah! The Auto-expert said “it’s a great car”. “People book it 3 months in advance”.
Then I test-drove a Santro. This was on the inner ring road as compared to the more crowded Bannerghatta road, where I previously test-drove. It was a smooth start and a smooth drive. Obviously, all I had to do was push the accelerator gently as instructed by the instructor (or the Auto-expert back at maruti). My turning showed a little irritated behaviour by the car. It made a little shrill noise. Its ok. I almost overlooked that little tantrum. Oh! How can I forget the driving-instructor from Santro, who even helped me steer the wheel a bit on the inner ring road, when a speeding HTV passed close next to me? Finally, I finished the driving session after taking driving tips and advice from the Auto-experts from the two companies. And I thought I was test-driving. Who am I kidding? They almost took my driving test.