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Old 12th September 2009, 14:24   #1
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Default Convince me Against buying an A-Star VXi

Hi All,

To keep things plain and simple, I am in the market for a new car. I am willing to spend not more than Rs 4 lacs ex-showroom. Not set aside any budget for ICE. If it comes within this budget, I take it, else I wait for when I can. No big hurry, and you will know the reason why. Putting my budget constraints aside, I think I would prefer a hatch(for good ol' Bangalore driving) though I am a sucker for big boots(read sedan). I need very good A/Cs of course. I hate the heat(willing to transfer to Antarctica if someone offers me a job there) and I use the A/C a lot. May not be at full blast, but to some extent anyway. I at least need to keep my legs cool.

Next, to give you a background of my current possession. I own a M800, bought second hand, since 2 years and I love the car and have not had any problem with it yet. I have out-dragged most small and mid-engined cars off traffic signals. I had test-drive a dozen cars and fit into only this one when I purchased it. Funny considering that I didn't want to be caught inside an M800 prior to falling in love with the car. Notwithstanding that, I do want to upgrade my car now.

Finally about me. I am all of 6 inches tall, and thanks to an overly active metabolic system(of late), I am now at 86 kilos. So I am quite well built, wider than most normal males of that size and I easily rub shoulders(literally) with my wife on cars such as a Wagon-R.

That being said, I have shortlisted, after reading umpteen articles, the A-Star. Right, now before your brows raise and your eyeballs roll upward, consider reading the rest of the post. Due to various likes and dislikes of the hundreds of models in the market today, I have taken this decision. Writing about what features in which cars I like and dislike would take at least 1 hour of your time and I don't think you have that much time to spend just to get me to select a car.

What I would like from you, to help me, is to be very very critical of what I have written below. This could be quite interesting actually. I have read all the negative points of A-Star on this post and I have countered those negatives. I have also written a couple of positives. Tell me how I am being wrong while deciding on the A-Star, while throwing me some good alternatives. I am considering the VXi badged model. Importantly, I want a new model from the market(< 2-3 years old) and not some old model re-hashed, re-furnished and re-engined. Have fun reading the most relevant part of this post below.

A-Star Advantages:
1) Interesting looks - The looks need to grow on you. I 'prefer' the looks, and in certain shades, looks stunning from certain angles.
2) Driveability - Rigid chassis, love the gearshift, well balanced steering wheel without being toy-car like (I need to feel the car when I drive)
3) Good equipment levels as standard - ICE on the VXi

A-Star Problems(as mentioned in the forum, as countered by me):
1) 3-pot rattles during Idling - Who are the ones who idle their car these days? Save petrol, save the environment, save the ppl behind your exhaust pipe. Switch off the engine when you are at a standstill.
2) Rear bench is cramped - 2 years with M800 and 9000kms gone by, never once sat on the back seat, driven < 100 kms with 4 passengers, driven < 500 kms with 3 passengers.
3) No boot space - Made < 10 trips to and from airport/railway station and managed just fine. Just plan in advance between taking co-passengers for seeing-off, or reserving one seat space for excess luggage.

Any other issues with A-Star? No way Jose, and it clean beats the even higher priced competition in all other areas such as comfort, drivability and value for money.

A-Star then it is for me. Per my use, and not per shortcomings which are irrelevant to me. I'd rather crib about the car 10% of the time, than rue not having bought the car I want 80% of the time I use it. The remaining 10% buffer is for those times when only an Audi A4 or a BMW 3-series would keep me happy.

Ok, waiting for some expert comments from you now. I need to finalize on this car in the next one month and I really really would like to arrive at the right decision.

Thanks in Advance,
Prashanth
blogs.prashu.com
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Old 12th September 2009, 14:43   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
Hi All,

Finally about me. I am all of 6 inches tall, and thanks to an overly active metabolic system(of late), I am now at 86 kilos. So I am quite well built, wider than most normal males of that size and I easily rub shoulders(literally) with my wife on cars such as a Wagon-R.


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6 inches tall and 86 kgs has to be some kind of record !!

jokes apart I think your choice is brilliant and prefect .

the only problem you would have would be in fitting in the car ,but since that area is sorted out I think you should go and buy it .

people will tell you how cramped it feels inside on the back seat etc etc but honestly if the backseat is going to be used mostly to keep the laptop and the groceries do we really need to worry how cramped they feel .

and as it is in most cars its generally 1-2 persons 90% of the time and more than 3 people only 10 % precent of the time . why dilute your ownership experience for that 10 %

so I say go with it , its more or less the prefect example of usable space , power and mileage
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Old 12th September 2009, 14:51   #3
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You have already convinced yourself to go for it. You won't like any other car as you have decided on the A-star.

Don't get confused any more, just go for it.
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Old 12th September 2009, 14:56   #4
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Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
I need very good A/Cs of course.

I easily rub shoulders(literally) with my wife on cars such as a Wagon-R.
Budget 4L, for a big person. Need lots of shoulder space and a good AC. Not a high-mileage traveller (or so I deduce). Need a current model car.

How about the Indica Vista 1.2L petrol? Far wider than the A-Star, with a decent AC. The leftover change from 4L should buy you some decent ICE too.
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Old 12th September 2009, 14:58   #5
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@herculesksp : AStar is a good choice but driving an 800 you would very well be aware of shortcomings of a 3 Cylinder motor .You should atleast test drive the 1.2 Punto .It will be bang in target of what you are looking at and it is a much better car .As some oenrship reviews here say that Punto 1.2 is great and is giving decent mileage too.
You can also wait for the new Santro or the new Wagon R since it will be definitely getting a new engine too early next year.
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Old 12th September 2009, 15:05   #6
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@Hercules, I wouldnt have said anything in response to your post, and the A-star seems to meet your requirements to a T. But apart from the very logical argument you have put forward, I dont see anything about you (your choice of car) considering the future.

1. How long do you intend to keep your car ?
2. Family ? You look to be a small family today, but are you / aren't you going to grow in the near future - atleast within the time the car will be with you ?

I guess you get the drift. If the car will meet your needs for the entire duration of it's stay with you, then go for it. Else, pls plan for what you will need the car to do during this time.

Or, you'll atleast need to be ready to change the car as soon as your needs change.

I got an Ikon a few months back. Reason for not going for a hatch : I cannot add a boot when required.

I too need to feel the car I drive. & it still applies to my drive - a neat two-tonner.

Apart from the Reva, isnt the A-star the smallest car around us today ? If the A-start is comfortable & not toy like, then nothing is. (nope, not commenting about your lines, but just trying to understand which car would feel like a toy as per your observations).

Happy buying !
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Old 12th September 2009, 16:03   #7
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Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
How about the Indica Vista 1.2L petrol? Far wider than the A-Star, with a decent AC. The leftover change from 4L should buy you some decent ICE too.
+1 to that. indica vista Terra should come for close to 3.8 L OTR. esp with it being Sep, expect a lot of discount thrown in too.
Quite a good car too.
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Old 12th September 2009, 16:45   #8
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Prashanth,

You need to seriously look at the Hyundai i10 IRDe Era. For the same price, you get a bigger car than the A Star, and it is a 4 cylinder and therefore smoother. Although both A-Star and the i10 IRDe are rated at 66BHP, the IRDe engine has 101Nm of torque as compared to the 90Nm torque of the A-Star. Since you mentioned that you need to feel the ride, you will have much more fun in the i10. Here are some points in favor of the i10 over the A-Star

1. i10 IRDe is a bigger car than the A-Star.
2. i10 IRDe engine has more torque than the A-Star (more fun)
3. i10 has bigger front and rear seats than the A-Star.
4. i10 has a bigger boot than the A-Star. The rear seat also folds down to make a huge boot!
5. i10 is a 4 cylinder, therefore smoother and refined than the A-Star.
6. i10 too is a new car and the interiors are much better than the A-Star

I suggest you TD one and decide for yourself.
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Old 12th September 2009, 16:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by newcoolgadgets View Post
1. i10 IRDe is a bigger car than the A-Star.
2. i10 IRDe engine has more torque than the A-Star (more fun)
3. i10 has bigger front and rear seats than the A-Star.
4. i10 has a bigger boot than the A-Star. The rear seat also folds down to make a huge boot!
5. i10 is a 4 cylinder, therefore smoother and refined than the A-Star.
6. i10 too is a new car and the interiors are much better than the A-Star

I suggest you TD one and decide for yourself.
very well said mate and I can't help but agree to all these points. The 3 cylinder engine roughness will get to your nerves through time and you'll realize that a 4 cylinder car is what you'd have wanted. on the other hand, the A Star has got FE to its forte. it gives a tremendous FE and the i10 fades away there and so will the other 4 cylinder cars.

Last edited by 14000rpm : 12th September 2009 at 16:57.
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Old 12th September 2009, 17:22   #10
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im 6"2 tall and i slide the driver seat backwards when i took the A-star test drive. my knees did touch the steering wheel but with few adjustments, it was alright!

go for Silver or White colour for A-star!

there should always be Plan 'B', keep i10 as Plan 'B'!
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Old 12th September 2009, 20:58   #11
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Also consider a Spark. Great engine, interior space better than A Star. Boot is also better and comes in a great price - you will have decent amount left for your ICE.
Negatives are not so fuel efficient compared to A Star, looks are feminine (subjective though) and not so good A.S.S compared to Maruti.
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Old 12th September 2009, 22:52   #12
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Originally Posted by abhijit 2284 View Post
6 inches tall and 86 kgs has to be some kind of record !!
I take that as the first argument against the A-Star. :P

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
How about the Indica Vista 1.2L petrol? Far wider than the A-Star, with a decent AC.
I would've preferred the Quadrajet had I the budget. Not very sure how good/refined the petrol is. Plus, thinking about resale, coz I'm not planning to keep it too long. 3-4 years max.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trust_In_Thrust View Post
You can also wait for the new Santro or the new Wagon R since it will be definitely getting a new engine too early next year.
There is one new Santro out now, but that is only interior facelift. Is that what you are talking about or is there another one due?

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Originally Posted by condor View Post
2. Family ? You look to be a small family today, but are you / aren't you going to grow in the near future - atleast within the time the car will be with you ?
Very valid point and something I hadn't considered. But then for the kid to really want more space, it would be another 5-6 years, considering we don't have one yet. I would like to invest in a bigger car then. For now, squeezing thru B'lore traffic is more important.

Finally, and very importantly, a shot from the dark has changed the entire equation. Today I took my family to see the cars. The dash of the A-Star being quite high, my wife cant see beyond the steering wheel. In fact the steering wheel blocks half her view. Very unfortunate. Otherwise the car was very acceptable to all of us. But since she too is a stakeholder, this choice might not work out. :(

Ritz then was the preferred car. Mom and Dad too preferred it. Wife still find the elongated dash a bit hard to see over(we come from M800, you see?), but then all new cars these days are like that. So, its gonna get hard getting a car to suit her occasional need to drive. This is quite important to us, since I want to build up her confidence to drive the car on her own when she needs it, and she needs to feel comfy with the car.

Gonna go and drive the i10 once again and see. Maybe will have a look at the Punto too.

For those recommending the i10, whose Era model has jumped to the top of my list(neck to neck with Ritz LXi) these are the reasons why I don't like the car.
1) Feels like a toy. Nothing to do with size, but the steering wheel is over-assisted. The gear stick is too slick with very short throws(I love the ones on swift and even santro).
2) I feel the gearing is too short. I find myself changing gears very often in the sprint to 40. Not quite liking it.
3) Don't care too much for the looks as it is nothing radical.
4) Not much for beige interiors as I feel it will get dirty easy. Also, does anyone find it reflecting on the windshield when driving directly against the sun?

Can someone better 'sell' me the i10? What are the equipment levels on the i10 Era - Power Windows, central locking etc? Also how is the A/C on the i10?
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Old 12th September 2009, 22:57   #13
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Originally Posted by archat68 View Post
Also consider a Spark. Great engine, interior space better than A Star. Boot is also better and comes in a great price - you will have decent amount left for your ICE.
Negatives are not so fuel efficient compared to A Star, looks are feminine (subjective though) and not so good A.S.S compared to Maruti.
spark is very bad with interior space for the driver. highly uncomfortable and since you are tall, it'll be terrible. I've driven my friends Spark extensively and I've found my Alto better!!
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by herculesksp View Post
Can someone better 'sell' me the i10? What are the equipment levels on the i10 Era - Power Windows, central locking etc? Also how is the A/C on the i10?
i10 era has front power windows and central locking.
Try this out for full features of i10.

HYUNDAI MOTOR INDIA - Hyundai i10

On the i10 A/C , I can only comment from the drivers perspective, that also from the 1.2 Kappa engine - buts it cools super quick, and I turn off the A/C after 9-10 minutes on blower setting 1, again switching on after 15 or so minutes, continuing like that. This also saves fuel you see!

Last edited by blackasta : 12th September 2009 at 23:25.
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Old 12th September 2009, 23:25   #15
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@hercules, I happened to check out the Maruti range of hatches today. Even at 5'8", I found the driver seat of the A-star cramped : the steering column is in easy reach of my knees. And even with my lean frame, I was close to rubbing shoulders with the guy who came with me .. wonder how would you make it in the A-star.
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