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Old 23rd July 2007, 17:32   #1
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Question Chaar peti ki gaadi (i.e. A car for four lakh)

My mom currently drives a Maruti 800, I want to shift to a higher car, the purchase will be on loan, the objective is to give her a car that is comfortable (a/c, power steering etc, that were absent on the earlier car) car.Cars short listed: Well, just about everything at this price point viz. Estilo, Spark, Palio Stile, Indica Xeta, Santro! Price range: Around 4 Lac INR is what I started with, since it is on loan, a 'delta' of around 30-40k is okay.Maintenance & After Sales Service (A.S.S.) expectations: Ideally we'd like what Hyundai is doing i.e. a guy comes home to pick up the car, gets it serviced and drops it back home. Preferably we'd also like some kind of an emergency helpline car kind of thing in case of any middle of the road troubles. My mom stays in Hyderabad.Average distance traveled per month: She visits the Ashram outside the city once a week - thats around 200 km per month. Add to that visits to relatives etc. another 100 km per month. In all, its going to be lightly used.Where car will be mostly used (city / highway / rough roads etc): Mostly used in the city only. Hyderabad has decent roads for an Indian city but that isn't saying much, so ride quality should be good as well.Chauffer driven / self driven: The car will be self driven for at least a couple of years more, can't afford a driver right away . But back seat will have people frequently, including my Mom herself at times, so back seat comfort also would be welcome.Whether the vehicle will be shared by other members of family: A 'temporary chauffeur' may be employed at times (when my Mom doesn't know the route to a place) but mostly it will be singly driven.Any specific requirements from car (ex. Better luggage space, responsive engine, rear seat comfort) : One big grouse with the M800 has been the bad gearshift - it once sprained my Mom's wrist! So gear shifting HAS to be of the highest order, also good low end torque is desired so as to minimize gearshifts - yeah, we considered automatics but only Santro automatic is available at this price, and I didn't like the fact that there are TWO options in 'drive' mode - D1 and D2, in addition to L as well! So with three choices, it is headache enough, or so I decided.

The ideal car would be built like it were from a single piece of rock, be spacious, have good gear shift and ride quality, have good servicing, good low end torque so gear shifting is minimal, and of course power steering, a/c etc.

Please give your suggestions. Thanks in advance.
  • How long you intend on keeping this car (and how important resale is to you)
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Last edited by tsk1979 : 23rd July 2007 at 22:46.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 20:30   #2
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My advice as per preference...
1. santro
2. stile
3. spark

dont go for that truckwalla car.

flashy advts don't a good product make.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 21:28   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
The ideal car would be built like it were from a single piece of rock, be spacious, have good gear shift and ride quality, have good servicing, good low end torque so gear shifting is minimal, and of course power steering, a/c etc.
There is no ideal car, but based on your requirements, Santro Xing comes pretty close. I would say choose between Santro and Spark. The only thing i dont like about Spark are the front sloping seats. Other than that, both Santro and Spark have their own strengths and weaknesses, take a test drive and decide. One thing however, Hyundai A.S.S. is much better than GM, though GM seems to be catching up.
Estilo is ruled out because of bad gearshift (which is a strong factor as you said).
Regarding Xeta, talk with existing owners regarding any problems/issues. Its a superb Value for money car mind you.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 22:48   #4
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Choose between Santro/Spark.

Estilo is a no-no for its gearshift. Xeta might be big for your mom to drive around. Santro/Spark should make her happy.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 22:49   #5
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Most ladies love the driving position and ergonomics of Santro. Ask her to take a test drive and choose
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Old 23rd July 2007, 23:08   #6
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i would suggest the santro for your mom she will love the drive, dont forget to give her good tyres as well.
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Old 23rd July 2007, 23:09   #7
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WagonR and Estilo should be ruled out because of the notchy gear shift (its really very notchy )

Santro has an advantage in terms of a good driving position, good A.S.S and a proven performer. But the rear seat can be a little bumpy at times coz of a hard suspension. But that is the only compromise with the car. The gear shift is the best in its class.

Spark is also a decent bet but slightly unknown A.S.S

Best would be to ask her to TD all the cars, both as a driver and sitting at the back.

All the best !!
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Old 23rd July 2007, 23:40   #8
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Id go in for Santro if I were you.

Its got one of the smoothest gearshifts.
Extremely easy to drive.
High Seating position
Easy to get in and out
Good Visibility
24 x 7 Emergency breakdown service
Great A.S.S. and service network
Pretty good quality

Try and get the one with ABS if Hyundai is still selling it.

The only thing against the Santro is that the ride in the rear is slightly jumpy.
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Old 24th July 2007, 01:52   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
I didn't like the fact that there are TWO options in 'drive' mode - D1 and D2, in addition to L as well! So with three choices, it is headache enough, or so I decided.
I cannot advice you on which car is suitable for you, but I am wondering if you have a misconception about automatic tranny. The D2, D1 and L are lower gears to which you can restrict your transmission. For city and freeway driving you should always leave the gear selector on 'D' which will change gears from 1 - 2 -3 -4 and back (assuming it is a 4 speed).

When in a climb or climbing down a hill you may need to shift to lower gears to have more control. In that case leave the car on D2 or D1 which would not let the tranny shift beyond 3rd and 2nd gears respectively. For example, in a hill descent it is advisable to have the car in 1st or 2nd gear so that it doesn't 'run-away' so to speak. In that case you can put the gear lever in L and car will never go beyond first gear.

You may already know this, but just wanted to clarify in case you didn't if it helps you chosing an automatic. It really makes life easy for the women, especially those who use cars as only a means of transport.

Last edited by Mayavi : 24th July 2007 at 01:53.
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Old 24th July 2007, 10:08   #10
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Strider, going by your requirements, i must say that the Santro seems perfect for your mom. Ask her to proceed for a test drive, and decide accordingly.

As Mayavi has mentioned, the 'D' should suffice for most roads in Hyderabad on the automatic.

OFF-TOPIC : I agree with Strider when he says Hyd has really good roads for an Indian city.
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Old 24th July 2007, 14:08   #11
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I would recommend the Wagon-R/Estillo. Driveability is easier because of EPS. Driving in highways is slightly better in Wagon-R compared to other cars listed.

Almost all dealers have free pick up and drop facilities for servicing. So don't worry about it. This is not a factor in making decision.
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Old 24th July 2007, 16:07   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
The ideal car would be built like it were from a single piece of rock, be spacious, have good gear shift and ride quality, have good servicing, good low end torque so gear shifting is minimal, and of course power steering, a/c etc.

Please give your suggestions. Thanks in advance.

Going by the above I'd recommend the Palio Stile 1.1.

Except for the A.S.S - Dont know how good it is in Hbad.. If you have a good dealer then this would be ideal.

Nimz
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Old 24th July 2007, 16:14   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nimz View Post
Going by the above I'd recommend the Palio Stile 1.1.

Except for the A.S.S - Dont know how good it is in Hbad.. If you have a good dealer then this would be ideal.

Nimz
Good low end torque on the 1.1? Its 92 Nm @ 2750 rpm, and the car weighs a ton
Compare that to the competition
Santro 96 @ 3000rpm, and santro weighs 850kg only.

Getz prime is a better bet due to more horses. Fiat is good for the 1.6 100bhp engine, in the "Econo box" version its just an underpowered ordinary car with "no USP".
As for A.S.S. with Tata coming in things will be better now, buy Tata cannot match Hyundai. There is still that "Dealing with truck drivers" lurking in the mindset somewhere.
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Old 24th July 2007, 16:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Strider View Post
The ideal car would be built like it were from a single piece of rock, be spacious, have good gear shift and ride quality, have good servicing, good low end torque so gear shifting is minimal, and of course power steering, a/c etc.
As Nimz pointed out, the Car that meets most of your desired features is Palio Stile 1.1

Yes, Service may not be as great as Hyundai, but with Tata Motors, it is decent enough!

Ask your Mom to test drive the Stile 1.1 & then decide.
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Old 24th July 2007, 16:52   #15
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I would vote for the Spark. Its wasy to drive. Its got good space. Its gives a good ride comfort. And it comes wiht a 3 year warranty at the price.

Followed by the SAntro only in case you dont have a service centre for spark in your town.
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