Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > What Car? > Hatchbacks


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 30th March 2015, 09:25   #1
Team-BHP Support
 
khan_sultan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,663
Thanked: 3,185 Times
Default Which car for personal use of an elderly couple?

My parents have started spending more time (practically living there 90% of the time) in the village and mobility from village to anything nearby represents a challenge. While in city they can get around in a sedan but the same car in village (all the time) represents a different challenge of several dimensions -- ranging from bad roads to narrow alleyways, to suspect fuel to service issues and others.

Ground Situation:
  1. Roads
    Roads in village can vary from barely tarred to gravel to brick roads to moon surface to slush to undulations that can swallow barrels. Depending on the weather/season/other conditions, these can vary like day & night and a stretch that you did comfortably a week ago could be a total no go after a bout of rains or during heavy cane crushing season for example.

    Not just the road surface poses challenges, but even the width of roads is an issue. Most village roads (and approach roads) are at best wide enough to accommodate a tractor/trolley and they too manage because they can go off the road and while their wheels are on road the body can extend beyond the road.

    The capability for a vehicle to get off tar and on to the shoulder of the road is a key capability of any vehicle on village roads. The shoulder of the road present another set of challenges as they can be too near to the fields, undulated, slushy etc.

    So, a car with good ground clearance is a nice to have on village roads.

  2. Service Centers
    While you can watch satellite TV, even have 2G data on your mobile phones etc in villages but for almost anything and everything not related to everyday village life you need to go to the nearest district headquarters or the tehsil. That can mean 20-25 kms of travel in 3 hours using combinations of crowded auto/jeeps/buses. If the district headquarter you happen to live in happens to be big, then you can find all kind of brands there but in most districts even today you will be surprised to know that even MUL may not have a proper showroom. They have at best extension showrooms and small MASS at best. Small FNGs are dime a dozen here but quality could be suspect and every person in village would have stories on which one to go to or avoid.

    Have found that MUL followed by Hyundai & TATA have some presence at least in terms of service centers & garage capabilities.

    At the same time, realized that M&M reach in even small towns/tehsils is just too good. I think the presence of M&M in tractor segment and the success of Bolero in both pickup segment + personal use segment is somewhat linked to this fact and all vernacular papers have good amount of publicity for Bolero

  3. Fuel
    The less said the better about fuel quality in remote areas and any vehicles in villages need some amount of tolerances for adulterated fuel. Another fact is that diesel only fuel pumps are a reality in remote areas and to fill petrol one has to go to the nearest district headquarters/tehsil.

  4. Other Needs
    # Rear seat comfort, leg space
    # 100% reliability & peace of mind
    # Ability to maneuver in tight roads/alleyways
    # Driver driven 100% of the time and that would mean ability to take clutch abuse etc by driver
    # Decent luggage space -- though not a priority
    # The dust & mud in villages means that even a brand new/washed vehicle looks aged somehow. So, looks of vehicle is not a primary concern
    # The usage of the vehicle will be primarily to travel to the nearest district headquarters or to visit relatives in nearby districts. Max travel of 100-150 kms on state highways at a stretch, 100% driver driven
    # Maximum usage of 0 - 200 - 500 Kms a month at best
    # Has to be a hatchback or a Compact sedan at best.

The current set of vehicles being used in the village include Zen, Alto, WagonR, Santro, Indica, Quanto, Nano & the omnipresent Bolero. However, most of them are in not so good shape (except few) and owners don't mind the abuse these vehicles take as long as they take them from point A to B.

I have zeroed in on WagonR as the first choice primarily for the following reasons:
  • Easy ingress for elderly people & good seating position in rear
  • Is a MUL product. Tested & trusted with a MASS in district headquarters. FNGs can help in emergencies
  • Small enough to maneuver on narrow village roads

Another thought that comes to mind is buying a Bolero -- which seems to tick all boxes for village use but not sure about ride quality & paying some 3-4L extra over WagonR.

Any other choices I should be looking at or other factors that I should consider for a car primarily intended for village use?

Last edited by khan_sultan : 30th March 2015 at 15:23.
khan_sultan is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 15:22   #2
Team-BHP Support
 
khan_sultan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 4,663
Thanked: 3,185 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Thread moved from Assembly Line to What Car Section.
khan_sultan is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 15:56   #3
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Pune
Posts: 1,101
Thanked: 1,492 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

What's the budget? I think WagonR/Ritz are best bet for senior citizens, because of their tall stance.
ani_meher is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 15:57   #4
Senior - BHPian
 
pramodpk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,011
Thanked: 463 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
My parents have started spending more time (practically living there 90% of the time) in the village and mobility from village to anything nearby represents a challenge. While in city they can get around in a sedan but the same car in village (all the time) represents a different challenge of several dimensions -- ranging from bad roads to narrow alleyways, to suspect fuel to service issues and others.

===============
Another thought that comes to mind is buying a Bolero -- which seems to tick all boxes for village use but not sure about ride quality & paying some 3-4L extra over WagonR.

Any other choices I should be looking at or other factors that I should consider for a car primarily intended for village use?
Did you consider the Mahindra Quanto? I am not sure about the reliability but it seems to tick all other boxes.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 30th March 2015 at 16:46. Reason: Edited to reduce the quoted post.
pramodpk is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 16:00   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
rajeev k's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Emerging Metro
Posts: 3,306
Thanked: 1,730 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Need not look much farther, Wagon R is the best bet for them. It fits the bill perfectly.
It is MUL, tall boy and easily serviceable.
rajeev k is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 16:04   #6
BHPian
 
caged_nomad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: Delhi/ Hyderaba
Posts: 36
Thanked: 38 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

How about a used SX4?
1. Its a MUL Product
2. Excellent ground clearance of 170mm
3. Decent ride (just an assumption never sat in one)
4. Should be available cheap on the second hand market (out of production)
caged_nomad is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 16:07   #7
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Bombay
Posts: 1,038
Thanked: 681 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

I think the Wagon R is a good choice, since its narrow in width, while still giving good headroom and reasonable boot space, plus the reliability of Maruti service. However, how will you solve the non availability of petrol since you've listed that as one of the constraints? Perhaps you could check out Bolt/Zest to see if those would make sense.
Lalvaz is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 16:36   #8
Distinguished - BHPian
 
paragsachania's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belur/Bangalore
Posts: 4,250
Thanked: 10,506 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
My parents have started spending more time (practically living there 90% of the time) in the village and mobility from village to anything nearby represents a challenge. While in city they can get around in a sedan but the same car in village (all the time) represents a different challenge of several dimensions -- ranging from bad roads to narrow alleyways, to suspect fuel to service issues and others.
I will pick the WagonR if I were in the same situation as you not because I own one but I can safely say that for the requirement that you have mentioned and the conditions, the Tallboy will readily withstand abuse as a commuter car (Let me not talk on the lines of an offroader!).

Quote:
[*]Roads
Roads in village can vary from barely tarred to gravel to brick roads to moon surface to slush to undulations that can swallow barrels. Depending on the weather/season/other conditions, these can vary like day & night and a stretch that you did comfortably a week ago could be a total no go after a bout of rains or during heavy cane crushing season for example.

Not just the road surface poses challenges, but even the width of roads is an issue. Most village roads (and approach roads) are at best wide enough to accommodate a tractor/trolley and they too manage because they can go off the road and while their wheels are on road the body can extend beyond the road.

The capability for a vehicle to get off tar and on to the shoulder of the road is a key capability of any vehicle on village roads. The shoulder of the road present another set of challenges as they can be too near to the fields, undulated, slushy etc.

So, a car with good ground clearance is a nice to have on village roads.
The WagonR will not have a phenomenal ground clearance that it will come out clean everywhere but the fact that the overhang (Front and Rear) along with short wheel base makes it an easy one to manoeuvre in such conditions with usual load. You will rarely scrape the lip of your bumper or break that oil sump anyway. (Yet to come across some regular occurrences of damaged under-body parts in a WagonR due to its Ground Clearance)

Quote:
[*]Service Centers
While you can watch satellite TV, even have 2G data on your mobile phones etc in villages but for almost anything and everything not related to everyday village life you need to go to the nearest district headquarters or the tehsil. That can mean 20-25 kms of travel in 3 hours using combinations of crowded auto/jeeps/buses. If the district headquarter you happen to live in happens to be big, then you can find all kind of brands there but in most districts even today you will be surprised to know that even MUL may not have a proper showroom. They have at best extension showrooms and small MASS at best. Small FNGs are dime a dozen here but quality could be suspect and every person in village would have stories on which one to go to or avoid.

Have found that MUL followed by Hyundai & TATA have some presence at least in terms of service centers & garage capabilities.

At the same time, realized that M&M reach in even small towns/tehsils is just too good. I think the presence of M&M in tractor segment and the success of Bolero in both pickup segment + personal use segment is somewhat linked to this fact and all vernacular papers have good amount of publicity for Bolero
Needless to say, Maruti will not disappoint you when it comes to the availability of ASC. WagonR has a good penetration in interior markets too (See, not everyone wants a Hot Hatch here) and availability of parts should really not be something for you to worry about.

Quote:
[*]Fuel
The less said the better about fuel quality in remote areas and any vehicles in villages need some amount of tolerances for adulterated fuel. Another fact is that diesel only fuel pumps are a reality in remote areas and to fill petrol one has to go to the nearest district headquarters/tehsil.
Not sure about the sensitivity of the K10 Engine with adulterated fuel but when it comes to my WagonR, I rarely have been choosy when it came to refilling Petrol (and I am doubly choosy with the Ertiga and Diesel today). I have refilled for 300/- to 2000/- from various stations in some of the remotest locations during many of my drives and have faced no issues with the car stalling or behaving erratically. Many case we knew the engine was running a bit coarse but that’s about it and it would settle back to normal after the next full tank.

Quote:
# Rear seat comfort, leg space
– The New WagonR (K Series) has definitely got better when it comes to Leg Room and comfort in that Budget.
Quote:
# 100% reliability & peace of mind
– I don’t think I need to mention that the WagonR should not let you down for your needs listed.
Quote:
# Ability to maneuver in tight roads/alleyways
– It’s a simple boxy design and the driver would love passing it through the narrowest of gaps.
Quote:
# Driver driven 100% of the time and that would mean ability to take clutch abuse etc by driver
– A normal driver should not abuse it much but even if he does, the replacement job as you know won’t cost as much as the others (Knowing how the clutch Assembly is priced). However, I am not sure if Clutch life would be same if you opt for a Diesel/Bolero.
Quote:
# Decent luggage space -- though not a priority
It’s not a selling point now but it’s acceptable for those usual runs.
Quote:
# The dust & mud in villages means that even a brand new/washed vehicle looks aged somehow. So, looks of vehicle is not a primary concern
See, most of them hate the WagonR for its looks .
Quote:
# The usage of the vehicle will be primarily to travel to the nearest district headquarters or to visit relatives in nearby districts. Max travel of 100-150 kms on state highways at a stretch, 100% driver driven
# Maximum usage of 0 - 200 - 500 Kms a month at best
# Has to be a hatchback or a Compact sedan at best.
For a mere 200-500 Kms a month, I will say simply pick the WagonR than invest more money on anything else. This will give you one thing for sure – Peace of Mind!

I will pick the car for the following reasons:
  • Easy Ingress/Egress
  • Taller Seating
  • Generous Head and adequate shoulder room
  • All round visibility and generally never feels claustrophobic
  • Acceptable ride quality even on bad roads at hatchback speeds
  • The presence of WagonR in your area makes it a safer bet in terms of after sales experience (You will find these everywhere along with the Altos/Swifts)

Ritz should be your other choices with Ritz mainly for Ingress/Egress and better power and safety equipment and even better ride quality.

Last edited by paragsachania : 30th March 2015 at 16:38.
paragsachania is offline   (8) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 16:52   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
sdp1975's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 1,592
Thanked: 920 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

The S101 from Mahindra should be out soon, and I would recommend waiting for it.

It should be priced lower than the existing Bolero , although not as low as the Wagon R.

The upcoming U301 would be another vehicle to look at.

Last edited by sdp1975 : 30th March 2015 at 17:08.
sdp1975 is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 17:09   #10
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: DL9C
Posts: 2,516
Thanked: 2,246 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Quote:
Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Another thought that comes to mind is buying a Bolero -- which seems to tick all boxes for village use but not sure about ride quality & paying some 3-4L extra over WagonR.
I would recommend the Bolero over anything else - if it's within your budget. With local Mahindra Support, I don't think you will regret going for it. The ride quality is harsh, but the kind of roads it will see, I am not sure which car will offer a pliant ride anyway. Resale is good as well - if you wish to sell it off after a few years, you will get a good price.
Dry Ice is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 17:19   #11
Team-BHP Support
 
tsk1979's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 22,953
Thanked: 15,641 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

WagonR or the new Alto(Celerio?). I have seen these cars take some epic level of abuse in the Himalayas. Tiny roads, tiny parking spaces, bad terrain, water crossings.
Alto is the toyota Hilux of India. you just cannot kill it.
tsk1979 is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 17:27   #12
Team-BHP Support
 
noopster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Pune
Posts: 8,665
Thanked: 9,194 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Cousin is a doctor in a village near Belgaum and he swears by his Bolero. He recently traded it in for a Verito and is reasonably happy because it is allows him to do highways trips with family, for example, that were uncomfortable earlier. He swears by Mahindra's reach in the most remote of rural settings and hence stayed loyal to the automaker.

You may want to give the Verito a dekko.
noopster is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 17:29   #13
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Rajeevraj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,251
Thanked: 7,946 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Apart from the Wagon R, the Quanto comes to mind. The almost ugly but tall boy design will suit the purpose, good ground clearance, should be able to take the abuse of bad/rough roads.
Rajeevraj is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 18:52   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
lurker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Tura
Posts: 1,308
Thanked: 641 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

Marutis in villages can develop suspension problems pretty easily. In fact it will be a pain to maintain them. Every 6 months something will go wrong with the bush, boot etc or the entire thing will be rattling and grimacing all over. Buy something with sturdy suspension.

You can go for Mahindra Bolero, Toyota Liva, Fiat Punto, Linea, Xylo, Trax Toofan, Nissan Terrano, Duster. All strong beefy suspension.

Do not opt for agon R, Eon, i10, i20, Alto, Honda anything, Verna, Elantra, Maruti Ciaz.
lurker is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 30th March 2015, 19:02   #15
Distinguished - BHPian
 
paragsachania's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Belur/Bangalore
Posts: 4,250
Thanked: 10,506 Times
Default re: Which car for personal use of an elderly couple in a village?

^ Perhaps a visit to Leh Ladakh areas would give a lot of hints on how the Altos, Celerios, WagonRs or Eecos rule the roads taking all the abuses on the car (and the suspension).

After Innovas, Taveras and Sumos, the only other cars that I have seen are these.

The suspension is abuse friendly and when it comes to replacement, most of the parts including Struts, Bushes, Lower Arms, Tie road etc are reasonably easier on pocket when they give way. This is one of the reason (apart from being light) that these cars also operate in the Himalayan region with Yellow Boards!

Punto or the Linea can never offer easy Ingress/Egress or taller seating like the Tallboys do. Those cars belong to a different segment altogether and their use case is different to what has been listed here by the OP.
paragsachania is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Which Sedan for an elderly Doctor? MileCruncher Sedans 17 10th December 2010 13:05


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 04:12.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks