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Old 29th January 2008, 11:59   #1
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Default Hi, still deciding - which should be my first car!

Hi, I am a software engineer from Bangalore. Have been driving a Honda Activa for the last 5 years. 50,000 kms and a few accidents later, I am still in love with my activa which gives FE of 50 Km/L even now (checked last week with fuel from shell for the last 2 months).

Need a new car as my wife is a little tired of riding on the activa on the pot-hole ridden roads of Bangalore. And now that we both are in the same office, it makes sense for us to come in a car. Joined car driving classes and got my LL, but not the DL yet.

Not sure which car to buy... a few facts
1) I am new to car driving. No experience other than the 8 hrs in the driving class. Nor have i been a co-passenger for long, so... not much idea of driving a 4-wheeler.
2) I am looking for something with good comfort. Had a chance to buy a 2.5 yr old new model Zen for 2.5L, sounds like a good deal but am not happy with the space/comfort in Zen (based on many reviews).
3) I am not looking for very high Power, mainly intend to drive in city and may be very rarely on Highways.
4) Looking for good FE.
5) Will drive around 25-30 kms a day and may be around 50Kms in the weekend.
5) Still confused whether to buy a new car or a used car!
6) My budget if stretched is around 4.5-5 Lakhs!

Research results...

1) I wanted to buy a used Alto, but somehow Alto sellers seem to overprice the car as it is Maruti and has good name. I would rather go for a new Alto.
2) Indica V2 Turbo DLS looks good, but not sure if I need a diesel vehicle. I would be driving around 25 kms on weekdays and may/may not use the car in the weekends.
3) Have loved the reviews of Fiat Palio Diesel, so am keen on buying a used Fiat Palio Diesel, but not sure how reliable the used car dealers are! (Kind of hoping that some BHPian wants to sell a Fiat Plaio diesel and I would buy it!)
4)I fancy Chevy Spark, but not sure, seems to be a lil highly priced.


Suggestions Please...

Can anyone please suggest which car I can go for!?
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Old 29th January 2008, 14:22   #2
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Go for petrol car, your usage pattern doesn't make economical sense for a diesel.

If possible & affordable, go for a new car as all components would be in working condition rather than compromise for a used car with few items not in perfect working condition.

Test drive these cars.

Maruti Wagon R / Zen Estilo
Hyundai Santro / i10
Tata Indica Xeta
Fiat Palio
Chevy Spark

Write down your list of requirements & then check for those in these cars to zero down your options.
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:09   #3
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Since it's your first car, I would suggest looking into something like the Santro. Easy to drive, decent space & cheap to maintain. I say that because inevitably you'll have some small mishaps (you're new to car driving & Bangalore traffic is not too kind!) and you'd want a car that is not only cheap to fix but the service support is good too. Hyundai scores big points there.

Also, right now there should be some good discounts on the Santro so bargain hard!
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:26   #4
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Hi Vasanth, welcome to the world of driving 4 wheelers. Once you get the hang of it, you would wonder why you felt it was ever difficult at all.

Coming to the question you had asked, i would say a new Alto or a Santro would make for a perfect first car. Both these cars are quite reliable, and also maintaining them would not eat too much into your income. Considering your limited usage, it does not make sense to plonk in more money on a diesel car.

The Alto is a nimble car, and for majority of city driving which you would be doing, it makes for a sensible buy. The same goes for the Santro as well, although the seating is higher, and i would believe offers better all-round visibility.

There would be many reviews on these cars on the forum,search and go through them for more info.

Good luck.
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:32   #5
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My choices would be:

1) Swift Lxi
2) Wagon R Lxi and upper.
3) Santro.
4) i10.

My personal suggestion would be go for Maruti as the spare parts, A** is more cheaper than the others. You will also find the spare parts every where.

Last edited by snaronikar : 29th January 2008 at 15:45.
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:33   #6
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Default My doubts about Santro!

Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Since it's your first car, I would suggest looking into something like the Santro. Easy to drive, decent space & cheap to maintain. I say that because inevitably you'll have some small mishaps (you're new to car driving & Bangalore traffic is not too kind!) and you'd want a car that is not only cheap to fix but the service support is good too. Hyundai scores big points there.

Also, right now there should be some good discounts on the Santro so bargain hard!
Thanks for your reply. I tried researching on Santro but I saw 2 major problems in Santro, since you are a very experienced member in this site and I am a novice not only to this site, but also to cars in general , may be you can clarify my doubts. The two major problems I read about are:
1) I read that it rusts.
Complaints Board | Hyundai Santro Xing

2) I read that the spare parts are expensive.

May be Santro has rectified the rust problem with Xing. I have absolutely no idea about spare parts cost. May be you can help me with some info information on this.
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:44   #7
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@vasanthn21, I would request you to focus on your driving classes and gain DL and, more importantly, enough experience. Also, please avoid picking up "Bangy" tricks such as racing to a dead end and cutting the late etc.

First car is always very special! So, do spend time and check out and drive all prospective buys yourself. Do you intent to buy a hatch? IMO, all hatches in our market are more or less evenly matched in terms of FE and Comfort. So, eventually the decision boils down to your personal preference.

Once you are done with your homework, do bring in specific questions. We would be happy to answer those
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Old 29th January 2008, 15:52   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
@vasanthn21, I would request you to focus on your driving classes and gain DL and, more importantly, enough experience. Also, please avoid picking up "Bangy" tricks such as racing to a dead end and cutting the late etc.

First car is always very special! So, do spend time and check out and drive all prospective buys yourself. Do you intent to buy a hatch? IMO, all hatches in our market are more or less evenly matched in terms of FE and Comfort. So, eventually the decision boils down to your personal preference.

Once you are done with your homework, do bring in specific questions. We would be happy to answer those
a few specific questions...
1) I heard Santro rusts after a few years! Is that true or only true prior to Xing?
2) One friend suggested that as long as I drive every day (may be 20kms) diesel car would be good for me. Is that true? Cos, some say only if you drive over 50 Kms a day, Diesel car is good.
3) For a newbie like me, do you think, buying a new car makes sense? Though I don't intend to drive rash - I might end up scratching the vehicle.
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:11   #9
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Agree with most of the suggestions for you Vasanth. When I bought my first car (used), I was keen on the Wagon R or Alto. I ended up buying the Ford Ikon, purely for the looks. I had practically no driving experience, but soon picked up.

It's only a matter of a week or so and you should get a hang of it. And yeah! first car is always special. Welcome to the world of 4-wheelers.
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:11   #10
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@vasanthn21 a few specific questions...
1) I heard Santro rusts after a few years! Is that true or only true prior to Xing?

go for the underbody treatment,(at the time of purchase) you wouldnt regret that
2) One friend suggested that as long as I drive every day (may be 20kms) diesel car would be good for me. Is that true? Cos, some say only if you drive over 50 Kms a day, Diesel car is good.
i think even if you dont have a good running,you can still buy a diesel car
but the fact is that you dont enjoy the "economy" for which you have spent extra money initially


dont know the answer for 3rd question

Last edited by ankit.jhamb : 29th January 2008 at 16:14.
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:19   #11
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Hi Vasantha, considering your requirements i would suggest you to go for a petrol car. I would personally suggest you to go for the santro or the i10. Check out the i10 as its more new to the market .
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vasanthn21 View Post
3) For a newbie like me, do you think, buying a new car makes sense? Though I don't intend to drive rash - I might end up scratching the vehicle.
Forget the newbie part pal! No one remains a newbie for long. IMO, buy a new car, only if you intent to keep it for long time (5 Yrs?), or if you have money to throw around.

If you already have an itching to go for the upper class, you should either
1) Stretch you finances to buy a new bigger car
2) Buy a used car in a class above, at the same budget. Do watch for maintenance cost, which would be higher too!
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:32   #13
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vasanthn21, Go in for a Santro (CNG) or i10 since you are new to driving car driving. Santro is perfect for city rush also you would feel a pleasure in effortless driving. Some merrits : High Seating, Backseat comfort, Gear Shift, engine performance.
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:34   #14
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Since you'll most likely pick up dings - this being your first car, I'd suggest an Alto. Its also very easy to drive and maintain.
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Old 29th January 2008, 16:50   #15
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go in for a used waagon r or santro and try being more comfortable with the car first.let it be not older than 2 years so that the standard waranty is still valid.then try to live with it for a couple of years by the time you require an up grade.you wont loose much compared to a new car when you sell it off and go for the up grade.its a painfull task in finding a good second hand car but it is worth it.
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