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Old 15th August 2009, 13:49   #16
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A-Star all the way. It is new, stylish, peppy engine, great fuel efficiency, good safety. I believe, any one looking to drive without too many people and luggage to carry in the city will just love this beauty (I just love the looks. It should have been called all new Zen)
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Old 15th August 2009, 13:53   #17
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why not the spark? with the maintanence package its a headache free car for three years even afterwards, the spares will be cheap. its real easy to drive around also.
Good option. Also consider the i10. Available now for 3.6Lakhs with AC, Power steering & front power windows.
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Old 15th August 2009, 14:37   #18
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A friend of mine has been working in Delhi for past 6 months. This is her first job. She has realised that commuting to work and to other places in Delhi is not easy in public transport. She is contemplating buying a car. The choice is between Alto and A-Star. Guiding points are:

1. Should be inexpensive to buy. Less loan. Lower EMI.
2. Cheap to maintain. She is a first time driver.
3. Spacious enough for those occasional weekend getaway with friends to a near by place.
4. Not a guzzler.

She is contemplating the base (LXi) variant of both these cars.

Help her decide, please!
For precisely many of these reasons the Alto is a best seller. And if one is buying a base model, may as well start at a place where maxing out the savings is done. And to master driving in a car that does not attract attention, and is easy to drive - for all its merits the A Star suffers from poor visibility for the driver.
Later, she can move to cars better than either, but for now, the Alto is an unbeatable proposition.
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Old 15th August 2009, 19:27   #19
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I definitely dont recommend the Alto. The A star is the only option if its a toss between these two. But why not the Spark!? At least consider it - its perfect for girls, very easy to drive and the A.S.S. has had no complaints so far. Besides zero maintainence for 3 whole years (not a single penny out of the pocket) makes it a damn good buy.

Sawyer , surprising to see you not recommending the Spark ; how big is the price difference between the base model of a Spark and Alto?

Please do not consider the Estilo. From what I hear its on the way out. While spares will never be a problem, you may not want to go for such a car. That being said, it is a decent one if you like the looks (which I did).

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Old 15th August 2009, 19:58   #20
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Since it is more than evident that your friend's first priority is to save money - Alto it has to be. Cheapest off the shelf, easy and fun to drive, high resale...

Sure it is dated compared to A-Star, but should it really bother or practically affect your friend at the end of the day?

Spark, i10, very good cars - but they negate the raison d'etre of this thread.
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Old 15th August 2009, 20:17   #21
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Sawyer , surprising to see you not recommending the Spark ; how big is the price difference between the base model of a Spark and Alto?

(which I did).
I stuck to the instruction of choosing one of the two! I am guessing that the difference would be around Rs 50k, significant as a percentage increase.
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Old 15th August 2009, 20:21   #22
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Default Go for a pre-owned car

I would strongly suggest a pre-owned car for your friend, who is a first time driver.

Pre-owned car prices are really attractive in Delhi. Ask her to check out Maruti True Value dealers.

Some good cars for a beginner would be Maruti 800 / Alto / Old Zen. All these are fuel efficient and cheap to maintain.

Let her master her driving skills on the pre-owned car. A pre-owned car is always better for a learner to bang around.

Meanwhile she can start saving some money and splurge it later on a bigger and better car.

If pre-owned cars are a complete no-no for her, go for Alto or Spark.

A-Star is not good for learners - the front/back visibility is very poor. Also, the boot is very small - not practical at all, if this is your only car.

Just my 2 cents.

Rohan,
Bangalore
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Old 15th August 2009, 20:24   #23
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A star or Spark, alto's just too old. could also consider the vista safire terra
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Old 15th August 2009, 23:03   #24
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Thanks a tonne people! The suggestions and reasons thereof have been very useful. My friend has gotten interested in Spark!

I leave it to her to decide now. She is reading the comments on this thread. A car, I believe is a very close to heart decision when bought. And it becomes a (il)logical decision when it comes to maintenance.

The heart says - A-star and the mind tell - Alto. Some trips to Car dealers including the True Value ones, and she will be ready to decide. May the best car be bought.

Thanks again!
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Old 15th August 2009, 23:59   #25
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Ask her to buy a real SAFE car.

Honestly, I'd anyday recommend the Spark over any Maruti car anyday (check any accident thread - Altos crumble like anything). Its as lovely a car as it can get.
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Old 16th August 2009, 00:10   #26
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Personally I tend to agree with some on this thread that have recommended a used car to begin with. Reason: My sister took this route. She had a used 800 for about 4 years until about 3 weeks back when she bought an A-Star.

In my opinion, front or rear visibility is not a criteria in learning good driving. Learning to judge the front and rear of whatever you are driving is what really matters.
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Old 16th August 2009, 01:37   #27
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A-star no doubt!

new engine, better mileage and cheap to run and easy car for a girl!
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Old 16th August 2009, 06:52   #28
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In my opinion, front or rear visibility is not a criteria in learning good driving. Learning to judge the front and rear of whatever you are driving is what really matters.
That is not the reason why I mentioned this point. The blind spots is. They are too large for an inexperienced driver, even a bus at a short distance can be accomodated in them, making it an unsafe car that needs experience to cope with. One of the main reasons I dropped the A Star and checked out the Spark, which then opened my eyes to the other pros of the Spark. The other reason why I did not like the A Star was the rear seat feel of being put in a small cage. Other than these two reasons, it is a very good car, but these two combined were killers.
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Old 16th August 2009, 11:14   #29
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IMO a new car is not good for a first time driver. It would take a lot of abuse like over revving, stalling, scratches etc.

An used Zen or an used Alto would be great for her. For a new driver driving in a City like Delhi is going to be quite an experience and scratches are inevitable. A used Zen in good condition which will be around 1.25L would be best bet. Use it for a year or two to become the master behind the wheel (don't bother about scratches), sale it (resale value will be be also great along with cheap spares and service cost) and upgrade to new car of choice. In this case no one will lose more than 25K in about 2 years.

Don't go for True Value - they are way expensive and I heard that the quality is not maintained now as it was before.
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Old 16th August 2009, 12:00   #30
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IMO a new car is not good for a first time driver.
I bought a brand new car as a first car. No problems

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An used Zen or an used Alto would be great for her.
Not really worth it. Better to go for a new car as old car hold their value quite well

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Don't go for True Value - they are way expensive and I heard that the quality is not maintained now as it was before.
I agree
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