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Old 17th July 2009, 12:29   #1
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Default Thinking of Spark - worried about A.S.S

I'm looking for a fuel efficient car in the budget of 3-3.5L. As my running is about 1500Km a month - fuel efficiency is the most important factor for me. Out of daily running of 70KM, 70% will be on open roads where 80-100Km can be easily achieved, rest 20% is within city and in bumper to bumper traffic condition. Can't go for a Diesel as they are priced too high.

Looking for the following:
Alto LXi - Superb fuel efficiency, lowest price, great maruti service. But thinking twice since it has 800 c.c engine and the load of the A.C on the engine.

Wagon R DUO: Should be economical to run with LPG also has 1L engine. But doesn't like the looks, old model also slightly out of my budget. But nevertheless in my list.

Santro ECO: Quite old model and hearing that it will be discontinued soon.

and lastly

Chevy Spark: IMO the most VFM car in this price range. Good handling. Good FE. Everybody in my family likes the car. But since I was using a Maruti car for quite some time and used to its phenomenal service presence I'm a bit worried about the A.S.S of Chevrolet.

Anybody using a Chevrolet - please post your experience of A.S.S with GM. Specially inputs from kolkata users will be highly preferred.
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Old 18th July 2009, 01:59   #2
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If service is the only concern I suggest you go ahead. GM doesn't have the presence of Maruti but I have found the service to be satisfactory with my U-Va. Couple of minor issues but no more than what one would come across with almost any brand. Their customer-care acted very promptly in sorting out a problem I came across with the dealer.

As you said the Spark is definitely a VFM car and is pretty reliable.

Of course this is my experience in Hyderabad - can't say about Kolkata.
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Old 18th July 2009, 06:46   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archat68 View Post
I'm looking for a fuel efficient car in the budget of 3-3.5L. As my running is about 1500Km a month - fuel efficiency is the most important factor for me. Out of daily running of 70KM, 70% will be on open roads where 80-100Km can be easily achieved, rest 20% is within city and in bumper to bumper traffic condition.
I bought myself a Spark just a week ago, after considering all of the cars you refer to.
But your driving patterns seem very different from my 500 kms a month of city driving so your service needs will be more important.
In your place, I would extend the budget a bit to go for the Santro. I am not sure that Hyundai service in Cal is as good as it is in Pune, but it would probably be so. Be a good idea to talk to local Hyundai customers about that.
Remember that what matters is not just FE, but the total cost over the life of the car. That includes resale realization.
I would also check out the i10, the base version that comes without power steering. On open roads, its lack would not be felt, and if you test drive one, you may realize that it is a perfectly good car. It has the proved for reliability Santro engine, and is a new car, two generations ahead of the Santro. Very well built from the inside as well. That would be a great buy too, I believe.
Hyundai cars are better built than Marutis, and they tend to not rattle for a lot longer than Maruti cars. After sales, Hyundai may actually be better, but certainly not worse than Maruti, in most places.
All the best!
PS: Fyi, I have posted a review about the Spark

Last edited by Sawyer : 18th July 2009 at 06:50. Reason: the PS
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Old 19th July 2009, 22:51   #4
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Just increase your budget by a few thousands a get a Ritz Lxi.
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Old 19th July 2009, 23:05   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archat68 View Post
I'm looking for a fuel efficient car in the budget of 3-3.5L. As my running is about 1500Km a month - fuel efficiency is the most important factor for me. Can't go for a Diesel as they are priced too high.
Budget is very strict. The lower is better.
Actually this is my priority. A diesel would be the best suited for me but out of my budget. So, thinking of Alto which is just fine for me (considering the FE) but the 800CC engine and AC load on the engine.

But again all thing (FE+A.S.S) points out to a Alto.
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Old 19th July 2009, 23:38   #6
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Hope you are thinking of getting the LPG version.

Chevy and Alto are underpowered until you learn how to use the powerband. Its fun once you master it in the Alto. I get 17kmpl avg of highway run with 100% AC and that too with loads of fun.

WagonR is 1.1. Time to even compare about it,its too old and what do you get for 3.5 lac you pay? A-Star would be a more sensible buy and A-Star is what Alto's plus points plus what Alto didnt have: more power !

Santro; nippy guy. Its bit old too.But you have ECO and has resale value.

Check the A-Star if petrol is ok and Xeta with CNG/LPG(?).
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Old 19th July 2009, 23:40   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archat68 View Post
Budget is very strict. The lower is better.
So, thinking of Alto which is just fine for me (considering the FE) but the 800CC engine and AC load on the engine.
But again all thing (FE+A.S.S) points out to a Alto.
This is the same situation I was in. I opted for the Alto for these very reasons. FE is good. Power with the AC is not good but ok for city. You get used to it. Though a lot is said about the wonderful A.S.S., it may not be really that good. Be prepared to live with numerous irritants due to large scale cost cutting (in all Marutis).
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Old 20th July 2009, 18:41   #8
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Default *** for spark * LPG spark

Quote:
Originally Posted by archat68 View Post
Budget is very strict. The lower is better.
Actually this is my priority. A diesel would be the best suited for me but out of my budget. So, thinking of Alto which is just fine for me (considering the FE) but the 800CC engine and AC load on the engine.

But again all thing (FE+A.S.S) points out to a Alto.
If you give high weightage to FE, you may consider Spark LPG, but you would have to sacrifice trunk space a bit.
Regarding A S S, we should not go by "speculation". The quality of A S S vary dealer to dealer, city to city. GM seems to be trying hard but again that is a guess and speculation.The local GM dealer can surely give contact of previous purchasers. It is better to talk to them directly.
Resale value of Alto is definitely better, but do you plane to sell your vehicle within next yhree-four years? Three years is a long time and the Bharat XX norm prevailing at that time (also Alto with K series engines may be available then) may become an issue.
Driving pleasure would be more in spark, definitely, both city and highway.
As of now, Spark has class, Alto is run-of-the-mill,though a superb and very reliable car.
Tough choice. We have gone through this.
Cheers.
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Old 20th July 2009, 21:13   #9
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FE is the main criteria for this car. I already have a 1999 Zen which is giving 12KM/L in City and hence is not economical for the kind of travel I plan to make with the new car. This will be used mainly for commuting to office which is 30-35 KM each way from my residence.
I don't intend to sell the car till 85K KM (nearly 5-6 years). So resale value is not concern.
Tata cars are not considered at all. Everybody in my family and friends are against it. If Tata cars were OK - I would consider extending my budget and going for a Indica DLS.
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Old 21st July 2009, 02:17   #10
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Default Dual Fuel Option

As FE is the major concern, suggest consider the LPG version of Cars. LPG supply is a bit problematic, but in south Kolkata, you get more than 50% of the time when you need it.
The Rupee wise FE is excellent as my friends and colleagues state.
Your short list is then Santro Xing (dont think it would be phased out, PUC will pass with LPG), WagonR (I know you don't like its looks, but also check out for the K-series date) and Spark LPG (if you get assurance of good A*S*S), IMHO.
Cheers.
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Old 21st July 2009, 06:40   #11
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FE and power? Spark all the way. No matter what they say about the 800cc engine , fact remains that it does feel underpowered. Go for a test drive of the Alto and the Spark in the conditions that you are going to drive. Dont be afraid to ask for multiple test drives in varying conditions / times.

If its just the *** that you are worried about , GM is here to stay. They are going all-out to get new customers and I havent heard any horror stories / troubles from my friends who own GM cars. Besides their 3 year warranty (all-inclusive) is simply the best in the class. That is also what has me decided on the Spark for later this year.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 17:01   #12
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If you are worried about after-sales of GM then don't be . They will go any length to satisfy the customer. I have a Spark for a year now and driving about 9800km in Pune traffic I can safely say that it is the best low-budget city hatch you can find. If you can go through my one year ownership review at the link

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...0-kms-odo.html

Maybe it can be of help in your decision

Thanks
Vikrant
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Old 22nd July 2009, 20:13   #13
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Thanks vikrant for the ownership report - nice one.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 20:26   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas
Chevy and Alto are underpowered until you learn how to use the powerband.
True for Alto but not For Spark. The Spark has the most peppiest engine(between Santro, i10, Alto, Wagon R) with brilliant suspension & good mileage.
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Old 22nd July 2009, 20:32   #15
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Why don't you look at Indica petrol or CNG? Quite a good one, lot of space, comfortable for long drive and within your budget.
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