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Old 16th December 2009, 16:48   #1
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Default ARTICLE: The Best (used) Enthusiast cars for 6 lakh rupees! Or less

What can 6 lakh rupees buy you today? A boring-to-drive Indigo or top loaded i10? No offence to those who buy dull new cars for 6 lakhs (I own an Indigo myself), but at the end of the day, we are petrolheads! And petrolheads live to drive. Unfortunately, most of the affordable new cars on sale today are rather unappealing (Related thread).

I'm going to present a list of cars you can buy for 6 lakh rupees (or less), that will *guaranteed* make for a satisfying ownership experience. Each of these will bring a smile to your face (guaranteed again ) in their own special way. Each time that you go out for a drive!

What's more, if you want to enhance the driving experience, most of the below mentioned cars are modification friendly too. As long as you find a clean car, you can't go wrong with any of them. In fact, this could well be the best 6 lakh rupees you've spent in a long time.

Credit for pictures : Many Team-BHPians. Pics lifted from different threads on the forum.

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2010 at 11:20.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:50   #2
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Skoda Octavia vRS

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 4.0 - 6.5 lakhs
Availability : Good. Finding clean RS' is very easy, especially in the metros

What you'll like:
  • Outstanding handling, braking and driving pleasure. A great track car & driving machine
  • Fantastic 150 BHP 1.8L turbo-charged petrol engine. Revv-happy too
  • Plentiful after-market modifications support
  • European build. Solid car
  • Loaded with equipment. Xenon lamps, sunroof, ABS, disc brakes all around and more
  • Classic styling. Funky colours include red and yellow
What you won't like:
  • Not the most reliable over 50,000 kms. Needs attention off and on
  • Turbo-lag in the city
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Shoddy after-sales service. Expensive parts
  • Front wheel drive layout
  • Poor urban fuel efficiency (7 kpl)


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 14:42. Reason: Adding review links
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:51   #3
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Mercedes Benz W124 (E220 petrol / E250 diesel)

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 3.0 - 5.5 lakhs
Availability : Good. Finding super clean cars difficult. After all, the newest W124 will still be atleast 12 years old

What you'll like:
  • A *real* Mercedes. Built like a tank and will last 3.0 - 4.0 lakh kilometers
  • E220 fast by even today's standards. 0 - 100 in 10 seconds (140 odd BHP)
  • Classic evergreen looks. Soon to be connoisseurs favorite
  • Your social status will take a boost, thanks to the three pointed star
  • Good ride, handling and brakes. Rear wheel drive layout
  • Mechanically simple & over-engineered. No fancy electronics. Reliability is strong. Relatively cheap parts
What you won't like:
  • The newest example you find will be atleast 12 years old. Old cars require varying levels of refurbishing
  • Some spares can run expensive. Body repairs will mean big $$$
  • E250 diesel is slow. 0 - 100 in a yawn inducing 16 seconds
  • Electronically limited 180 kph top speed
  • Poor urban fuel efficiency for the E220 (6.5 kpl). Diesel is fuel efficient though


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 14:48. Reason: Adding review links
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:51   #4
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Ol' Honda City Vtec

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 2.75 - 4.25 lakhs
Availability : Above average. Clean Vtecs are hard to find

What you'll like:
  • A jewel of a 1.5 liter 106 BHP revv-happy engine. Loves its 7,100 rpm redline
  • Still the quickest C segment sedan. 0 - 100 in 9.xx seconds
  • Satisfying to drive. Engine begs to be revved. Direct steering and butter-smooth gearshift
  • Super Honda reliability. Mechanically simple too
  • Fuel efficiency beats current C segment sedans (thanks to light 985 kilo kerb weight)
  • Low cost of ownership. Appeals to the heart and the head
  • Modification friendly. Huge after-market support
What you won't like:
  • High speed behaviour is rubbish
  • Basic interiors
  • Sparse trim levels (not even a tilt adjust steering)
  • ABS option unavailable


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 14:58. Reason: Adding review links
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:52   #5
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Honda Accord V6

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 6.0 - 10.0 lakhs
Availability : Good. Lots of V6' sitting on dealer lots

What you'll like:
  • A jewel of a 3.0 liter 221 BHP 6 cylinder revv-happy engine. High on refinement too
  • Fast acceleration. Absolutely wild mid-range
  • Super Honda reliability. Built to last
  • Spacious interiors. More room than the Mercedes E-Class
  • Automatic gearbox is a boon within the city
  • Relatively fresh. 2 - 5 year old examples available
What you won't like:
  • 5.0 - 6.0 kpl in the city. There is a reason these cars go cheap
  • No manual gearbox option available
  • FWD layout. Lacks handling finesse of the Europeans


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by v12 : 17th January 2010 at 14:14.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:54   #6
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Mitsubishi Cedia

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 4.5 lakhs and up
Availability : Decent. The Cedia didn't exactly set the sales charts on fire, but a little research & hard scan on the market can land you a recent example. At a good price

What you'll like:
  • Superb driving experience. Refined 2.0 liter engine has good power and driveability
  • Well-sorted ride and handling package
  • Brownie points for steering and gearshift quality
  • Spacious interiors
  • Strong after-market support for modifications
  • Japanese reliability
  • All-rounded nature
What you won't like:
  • Engine is not a scorcher. Car begs for more power
  • Indian-spec car has a softer suspension for ride quality (over handling)
  • HM's lousy after-sales support
  • Some parts can entail wait periods


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 15:19. Reason: Adding review links
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:54   #7
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Ford Mondeo

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 3.0 - 4.5 lakhs
Availability : Above average. Mondeos age well, thus most examples feel good

What you'll like:
  • Driver-oriented sharp handling. As good as a FWD D segmenter can get
  • Fast & torquey engine. Nice gearbox too
  • European build. Solid car that ages well
  • Spacious and comfortable interiors
  • Good ride quality (by its high handling standards)
  • Early Mondeos came well-equipped (e.g. xenon headlamps)
  • Diesel variant also available (tough to find)
What you won't like:
  • 7.0 kpl in the city
  • Inconsistent reliability. Expensive parts are hard to find
  • FWD layout


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 15:10.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:55   #8
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Honda Civic

Name:  Black Civic.jpg
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Prices we've seen : Rs. 6.00 - 9.50 lakhs
Availability : Excellent. A currently sold model that averages about 7,000 units each year. There are plentiful used Civics on the market.

What you'll like:
  • Stunning design & solid construction
  • Stellar reliability levels. A completely dependable no-nonsense automobile
  • Fast revv-happy engine. High on refinement as well
  • Quick steering, slick gearshift and overall driver-orientedness
  • Spacious well-designed interiors
  • An all-rounded car that appeals to the head and heart
  • Tremendous after-market modifications support
What you won't like:
  • Poor torque delivery at low rpms
  • Soft rear suspension poses limitations
  • Stingy Honda. No folding rear seat or FE / DTE meters


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2010 at 11:17. Reason: Adding review links
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:55   #9
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Fiat Palio 1.6

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 1.00 - 1.75 lakhs
Availability : Average. Expect footwork to find a good Palio 1.6 cheap. You can also buy a new one for under 5 lakhs, but used makes more sense (high depreciation)

What you'll like:
  • 1.6 liter 100 BHP engine. Torquey too. India's 1st hot hatch
  • 100 BHP for Rs. 1,00,000 only. Maximum bang for the buck
  • European build. Feels solid
  • Excellent ride quality and high speed stability
  • Spacious interiors (by hatchback standards)
  • Well-proportioned styling. Still a looker
What you won't like:
  • Average braking ability
  • Poor fuel efficiency, relative to the hatch segment
  • Fit & finish are unimpressive
  • Ordinary interiors
  • Frequent niggling issues. Spares aren't easily available


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by GTO : 13th April 2010 at 10:59.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:56   #10
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Maruti Baleno

Name:  baleno.jpg
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Prices we've seen : Rs. 1.75 - 3.00 lakhs
Availability : Decent. Maruti true value carries Balenos too

What you'll like:
  • Revv happy engine. Good outright performance
  • Flat torque curve aids urban driveability
  • Balanced ride quality and handling
  • Great project car for modifications
  • Japanese reliability + Maruti's after-sales service. Peace of the mind
  • Respectable fuel efficiency
What you won't like:
  • Ugly rear styling
  • Ordinary interiors
  • Expensive spares entail long wait periods
  • Does not feel as "special" as other cars on this list


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by GTO : 18th September 2010 at 09:01.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:57   #11
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Mitsubishi Lancer

Name:  lancer.jpg
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Prices we've seen : Rs. 1.25 - 2.75 lakhs
Availability : Good. Lancers sold respectably, and are easy to find in the used market

What you'll like:
  • Mod-friendly nature & excellent after-market support. Mivec engines anyone?
  • Superb handling and suspension. A satisfying drive
  • Refined engine offers decent performance & driveability
  • Stunning looks (even today). Easily one of the best looking C segmenters sold here
  • Japanese reliability. A trouble-free car
  • Excellent steering. Deserves special mention
  • Suitably equipped for its time. Drivers seat height adjustment, tilt steering etc.
What you won't like:
  • Lacks the outright performance of the OHC Vtec
  • Localisation (from 2003 onward) lead to compromises in fit and finish
  • Some spare parts are expensive to replace


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


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Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 15:35. Reason: Number plate
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:58   #12
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Contessa Classic 1.8

Name:  contessa.jpg
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Prices we've seen : Rs. 30,000 - 1.75 lakhs
Availability : Above average. The "Conti" has been on sale for 20 years now, thus, expect to sift through all types of examples

What you'll like:
  • Super cool muscle-car styling. An ol' Classic! Solid road presence. Oozes with character
  • Bullet proof 1.8 liter Isuzu petrol engine. Relatively quick too
  • Excellent ride quality
  • Interior space. Comfortable back seat (sofa)
  • Rear wheel drive
What you won't like:
  • Electricals prone to failure
  • Below average braking capability
  • Shoddy fit & finish. An old school car that was built the old school way
  • Prone to heavy rusting
  • Not really a handler. Far from it!


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Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 15:58.
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Old 16th December 2009, 16:59   #13
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Mahindra Classic 4x4

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 1.75 - 3.25 lakhs
Availability : Clean examples are rare. A Jeep that sold in small numbers. Many are scrapped already. Owners who have retained their Jeeps aren't willing to sell

What you'll like:
  • A true Jeep. Timeless styling. Oozes with image and character
  • Torquey 2.1 liter diesel. Respectably fuel efficient (11 kpl)
  • Built tough, simple and robust. Loves to be abused
  • Outstanding offroad capability. Literally a mountain goat
  • Open-top cruising
  • Well-equipped (by basic Jeep standards). Recaro style seats, disc brakes, tow hook etc.
What you won't like:
  • Living with one is not everyone's cup of tea. To start with, you won't fit in the driver's seat
  • Frequent niggles. Loose build quality
  • Stock diesel engine is not built for the open road. Highway cruising at "only" 80 - 90 kph. 0 - 100 takes a couple of hours
  • Harsh ride quality
  • Heavy to drive in the city, and you stay exposed to the elements (heat, dust etc.)
  • Loves to flirt with rust


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 16:10.
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Old 16th December 2009, 17:00   #14
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Ford Fiesta 1.6

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 3.5 lakh and up
Availability : Excellent. Plenty of used Fiesta 1.6' in the market today. Ford's frequent "special editions" can land you a brand new 1.6 for 6 lakhs (or in the whereabouts)

What you'll like:
  • Clean timeless styling
  • Revv happy 1.6 100 BHP engine. Quick, smooth and linear power delivery
  • A currently sold model. Used Fiestas will be relatively recent examples
  • Well balanced ride & handling. Loves corners. A hoot to drive
  • Direct steering & slick shifting gearbox
  • Solid build quality is better than tinny Jap competition
What you won't like:
  • Small cabin size. Space at a premium
  • 1.6 is not as fuel efficient as say, the OHC or Baleno
  • Inconsistent quality & reliability


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 17:38. Reason: No. plate :)
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Old 16th December 2009, 17:00   #15
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Maruti Gypsy 4x4

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Prices we've seen : Rs. 50,000 - 3.50 lakhs
Availability : Obviously way better than the Classic. Gypsies have been on sale for nearly 25 years now. Avoid 1.0 liter engine variants. New Gypsy also available for Rs. 6.0 lakhs at your nearest Maruti showroom

What you'll like:
  • Revv happy MPFi engine. Refinement high (by 4x4 standards)
  • Built tough, simple and robust. Loves to be abused
  • Outstanding offroad capability. Literally a mountain goat
  • Open-top cruising
  • Japanese reliability (dream on, Jeepers) + Maruti's after sales support. Peace of the mind
  • Easy to drive, even within the city
What you won't like:
  • Loves to sip petrol. No diesel option
  • Lack of low end torque for offroad use
  • Light weight clutch requires generous slipping in 4x4 mode
  • Harsh ride quality (bumpier than the Classic)


Some ownership reviews on the car (Please search for the complete list):


Some discussions on the car (Please search for the complete list):

Last edited by Dippy : 18th December 2009 at 16:59.
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