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Old 25th August 2011, 22:39   #1
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Default Best Small Car for 77 year old

My uncle (77 years old) wants a small car to replace his 15 year old Maruti Esteem, which is in great condition but he finds it difficult to drive & park. His needs as I understand are:
  1. Run short errands mostly in the 5 - 10km range occasional longer rides
  2. I guess he will be doing around 200 - 300km / month at best & car will not be used for long stretches when he is traveling
  3. Easy to drive & park
  4. Low maintenance cost and limited visits to the Service station
  5. Luggage space not essential, he will be driving alone or with one passenger for the most part
  6. Budget - as low as possible but he is open to spending around 3 lakhs for a good car
What are his options? He was offered a loyalty bonus + Sr. Citizen Rebate + Old Car buyback ~ Rs. 70 - 80k at Maruti Showroom, he was asked to take a decision by August end if he wanted this bonus. He saw the Wagon R & didnt like the shape too much. The salesman recommended Maruti Alto (1000cc), as opposed to Alto (800cc), which he said was being phased out.

He wants to know if he should look at other cars - am not too familiar with the small cars hence this post. I thought Alto 800 cc should be an option, also suggested Chevrolet Spark. He is somehow not keen on Tata Nano.
  1. What are the pros & cons of Alto (800cc) vs Alto (1000cc) vs Spark
  2. What other cars should he consider? Why?
  3. Should he consider used cars? If yes which car & from where? Does Maruti True Value make sense? (He lives in Secunderabad)
Thanks
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Old 25th August 2011, 22:43   #2
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Considering his age, he should go for AT car. Ask him to look at A-Star AT.
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Old 25th August 2011, 23:05   #3
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Considering his age, he should go for AT car. Ask him to look at A-Star AT.
I did suggest AT, but somehow he is not very keen. I will check again though.

Edit: Just checked the Ex-Showroom price is around 4.47 lakhs, quite above his budget.

Last edited by crisscross : 25th August 2011 at 23:08.
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Old 25th August 2011, 23:51   #4
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Quote:
he finds it difficult to drive
Old people are always suspicious of new technology and hopefully that is where you will step in .

In the end, I am sure he will be delighted with the A*A/T. With the 80k off, its a no-brainer really, but if affordability is a issue then look for used vehicles.

Otherwise WagonR or Nano both with high seating are the best options.

Last edited by Mpower : 26th August 2011 at 00:00.
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Old 25th August 2011, 23:54   #5
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

If he is strictly driving in the city then why not look at the Nano? i.e. if he is not keen about the brand image.

I would suggest the Spark otherwise.

Also look at Zen Estilo compared to Alto because ingress and egress is also an important factor for a 77 year old.

He can also look at the Tata Indica which is extremely comfortable and robust but suffers from minor niggles.

Is he open to Used cars? He can look at Automatic WagonR and Santro models

Last edited by devarshi84 : 25th August 2011 at 23:56.
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Old 26th August 2011, 00:12   #6
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
[*]Budget - as low as possible but he is open to spending around 3 lakhs for a good car
Like the others suggested above, I too would suggest the A-star considering his budget. I was initially thinking of the i10 but checked the prices are over his budget.
Clarification needed: Is his budget 3L overall (on-road) or ex-showroom?
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Old 26th August 2011, 01:15   #7
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Assuming your uncle has a budget of 3lac +80k(Discounts). Also assuming that he would at least prefer to have Power Steering (Central Locking ??) and AC on the car.

Amongst the options which show up,
1. Alto K10 VXi
2. Indica eV2 Xeta GLX
3. Estilo LXi (Base model)
4. Santro Xing GL+
5. Wagon R LXi (Base Model)

The best city car could be a New / Used Santro Xing.
1. First and foremost its torque peaks lower than the others (minus the much heavier Indica) and so should be the easiest to drive in city.
2. Has the smallest turning radius of the lot (4.4 m)
3. Is a bit more comfy than all the Suzukis (wider, more head room).
4. Is priced 2nd lowest in the lot for similar equipment level(Not too expensive)
5. Has the highest GC too.
6. Would be the easiest to get in and out of (Alto being the worst).
Added bonus unrelated to the topic at hand
7. Has the lowest 0-100 acceleration timing.
8. Has the shortest 100-0 braking distance.
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Old 26th August 2011, 01:36   #8
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

My 1st choice would be the A-Star Auto, but since that is out of budget, and as it seems that he is on a strict budget, I would suggest the Spark.

Better than the Alto in regard to space (ingress/egress), which is important considering his age. Also, the Chevy maintenance package makes it attractive.

Oh.. and yes, the NANO. It has amazing low end response, and has super maneuverability.
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Old 26th August 2011, 04:57   #9
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

There are two options IMO, Wagon R and A Star. Wagon R is better in terms of space ingress and exit (Don't have to bend down to get in the car) might not be considered important for some but some of our elderly folks in the family liked that as less strain on the knee.

Also the driving position in little up-right on Wagon R unlike the Esteem were you sit low and legs going parallel to the ground. Might have to forget about the looks though.

A Star is also a good option but some folks find it is cumbersome to get in and get out as its also has low seating. If it is comfortable then that would be a way to go.
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Old 26th August 2011, 08:42   #10
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Going ahead, chances are high that your uncle would be getting a driver instead of driving himself, so I really wouldn't advise spending money for the AT. Rather would suggest choosing the car with front/back seat comfort, ingress & engress as the top priority.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 26th August 2011 at 08:43.
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Old 26th August 2011, 08:50   #11
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Since the car is not going clock a lot of miles and your uncle is not going to carry any/much luggage why not consider the Reva? Your post mentions only 5-10km runs and an occasional longer drive so IMO the Reva fits the bill to the tee.

Its very cost effective to maintain and run, requires almost no servicing and is compact so very easy to drive around and park.

Last edited by n_aditya : 26th August 2011 at 08:51.
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Old 26th August 2011, 09:02   #12
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by mayankjha1806 View Post
There are two options IMO, Wagon R and A Star. Wagon R is better in terms of space ingress and exit (Don't have to bend down to get in the car) might not be considered important for some but some of our elderly folks in the family liked that as less strain on the knee.

Also the driving position in little up-right on Wagon R unlike the Esteem were you sit low and legs going parallel to the ground. Might have to forget about the looks though.
I second this fully. My uncle recently got one and space wise and ingress/egress wise this is the best, along with the visibility (but for the A-pillar on right turns). It feels airy too.

The boot space is a little compromised but this should be something you may not need much within the city.

However it seems a little sluggish in the 2nd gear, right after negotiating speed breakers but nothing you cant live with.

The compromise is worth it I would say.
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Old 26th August 2011, 09:28   #13
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Quote:
Originally Posted by carfreak77 View Post
Clarification needed: Is his budget 3L overall (on-road) or ex-showroom?
Budget is on-road. My understanding is there is some flexibility on budget say 20% or so, but he would prefer not to go over it. Also the 70 - 80k bonus is only for Maruti Cars.

Thanks everyone I will pass on the feedback.
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Old 26th August 2011, 10:28   #14
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Isnt there a age limit for driving in India or is the age limit only for getting a driving license?
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Old 26th August 2011, 10:55   #15
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Default Re: Best Small Car for 77 year old

Spark is my choice if budget is a real contraint.Alto is too low and ingress will be an issue @ his age.Otherwise Santro is a trouble free proven car.
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