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Old 17th September 2009, 17:59   #1
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Default Third Car - need a hatchback - Fabia,Ritz, i10


I currently own an Ikon 2002 Zxi, a Suzuki Swift 2007 Zxi and just got rid of a Hyundai Santro 2001. I am replacing the Ikon with a Fiat Linea 1.4 Emotion Pack and want to replace the Santro with a hatchback. I already own a Swift so I don't want another one. It will just be city run about and hence I wish to buy a petrol car. My budget for the car is about Rs. 5.5 L but I can push it upto 6 and not a cent beyond that. It will be a single guy's car - mostly driving between Central and South Bombay. I most definitely would like the car to have Airbags although I am not fussy about having ABS as I don't forsee it snowing in Bombay anytime soon. The cars being considered include

1. Fabia 1.2 Active or Comfort - it has airbags and the Bombay registration on-road price comes to about 5.40 - it was a bit underpowered but it is not as if I am about to acquire any speeding tickets in Bombay. 1.2 Active comes without an ICE - which I like so that I can get a nice HU. Loved the interiors and the seating - but I hear spares are prohibitively priced. Also, they only give a 2 year warranty without the option of purchasing an additional one.

2. Ritz Zxi - has both ABS and Airbags - I didn't like the lack of USB slot on the HU but the engine was quieter than a Buddhist monk in meditation and build quality although short of Skoda standards was still top-notch. The salesman giving me the TD kept talking about "waterfall effect" on the dashboard which really made me think that either I have lost my marbles or he is garbling rubbish. Either way, I liked the car.

3. A-Star Zxi - although it was touted as a "family hatchback" - I wondered if they were referring to a family of midgets or if my family included a couple beer crates - because that's all that would fit in the back. I couldn't care less either way - because I shall be driving the car alone. It was strictly okay and grossly underpowered. The finishing too seemed sad and the tachometer stuck out like a tumor. Am not too keen - but if someone has something positive to say - let me know.

4. i10 - I like it - nothing negative to say but nothing great either - good run-about. It looks neat.

5 - I actually liked the Indica Vista except for the cheap @ss plastics but the lack of Airbags was a turn-off. I even shot-off an e-mail to Tata saying that do they value the lives of the Indian consumers less as they offer airbags in Italy and South Africa on even their older Indigo models? They give me some corporate b.s. about fulfilling consumer needs and meeting all laws of the markets they operate in. I hear the Vista Ignis is loaded - should I just wait for it?

6 - Any word on the VW Polo - that definitely looks like a great car.

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Old 17th September 2009, 19:11   #2
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i10 A/T suits your needs perfectly. Easy to drive and maintain. A perfect city car.
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Old 17th September 2009, 19:22   #3
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From the list it seems i10 or Ritz. Mind sharing why the Punto is not there on the list?
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Old 17th September 2009, 19:29   #4
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Hi invidious

From cars available in this date:

As I drive the i10 asta, I might recommend that to you. I find no fault in it, except the following (being the top model in i10 line up, these should have been included)

1. Lack of electronic adjustable ORVM
2. Lack of alloy + meaty tires
3. No USB in factory fitted HU.

Tires should not be much of a concern for you if you keep it confined to city use only.

You might as well consider the Ritz ZXi petrol, I have head that its good inside, and slowly I am beginning to like the outside too! Additionally A.S.S becomes a bit easier for you to manage by having 2 cars from teh maruti stable.

A-star / Fabia have 3 cylinder engines, and may be a bit noisy and not-so-fun-to-drive cars o9n the occasional highway trips. Strictly my opinion. Haven't peeped into them.

From cars rumored to be coming soon :

The Ignis and Polo - I personally think that if one needs a car at some point of time he should get one from the available lot - if the need is really urgent. The ones coming up may not be so lucrative when they finally arrive!
But as you already have 2 cars at your disposal, whats the hurry? You can play the waiting game for sure!

My 2 cents:

Why don't you also consider the Chevy Spark LT option pack? It costs about 4.4 Lakhs ex showroom Mumbai.

Last edited by blackasta : 17th September 2009 at 19:35.
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Old 17th September 2009, 20:07   #5
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btw, the fabia active is currently not in production. Even I was tempted but surprised to find out it's not available at all.

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Old 17th September 2009, 20:13   #6
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Originally Posted by blackasta View Post
Hi invidious

From cars available in this date:

My 2 cents:

Why don't you also consider the Chevy Spark LT option pack? It costs about 4.4 Lakhs ex showroom Mumbai.

I would have loved to suggest the same car, This car is a class of its own. Roomy interiors, Great A/c and a good economical peppy engine.
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Old 17th September 2009, 21:21   #7
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Originally Posted by prince_pervez View Post
From the list it seems i10 or Ritz. Mind sharing why the Punto is not there on the list?
Yep - I went to see the Punto at the Marine Lines showroom - this was not a Tata Motors dealership - I usually go to Prabhadevi. I waited for - and I am not exaggerating - 20 mins for someone to show up and help me - I even spoke to a couple of the people working there and they couldn't care less. I then proceeded to the car on display - the rubber panels on 2 of the doors were coming off completely - the interiors were dusty as well. The whole experience was off-putting and a complete contrast to the awesome service extended to me at the Tata owned showroom. I asked for a test drive - I might as well have spoken to the ant crawling on the dashboard - since the people were completely ignorant. To hell with it I said.

On a different note - my mom is convinced I am being a bit too adventurous in opting for a Linea over a City - she somehow connected the Linea by Fiat to the 118 NE of PAL we had in the late 80s/early 90s and said how bad the metal was and water once seeped in from below! I am not about to convince her about my buying another Fiat till the new Linea proves its credentials to her. Else you are free to argue with her. I wish you all the best!

Blackasta \ Mr. Kadam - Thanks for your views. I feel the Spark looks a bit dated - but thanks for the option - I shall go have a look at it. Blackasta, I wouldn't mind waiting a few months.

Anekho - Click Here - or Here they are actually giving a massive discount on the Active and Comfort variants - a family friend recently acquired a VW showroom and told me that they have actually started rolling out a trickle of Fabias from the Chakan plant in Pune which is bound to bring down the cost of ownership. But they are just getting rid of the Czech made Fabias in the Active and Comfort variants as they are fairly slow moving.

Thanks for all your inputs!
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:01   #8
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Invidious, have you considered the U-Va? It isn't as peppy as the Swift but as an owner of one, I can say it is a reliable and solidly built car. It wasn't equipped with airbags initially but I think I read that they have been introduced this year.

Welcome to the forum and hope you don't intend to live up to your handle!
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:08   #9
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Stay away from the Fabia. Miles away. I'm sure you have read all the Skoda horror stories! And you need to fill only premium fuel in it.

I also own a i10 Asta AT and the car is a joy. The only negatives, is what blackasta has mentioned but you can live with it.

Since you live in south bombay, i would suggest go for the AT. Otherwise, for a manual option, i would go in for the Ritz, the peppy engine is great!

BTW, ABS in my opinion is more essential than the airbags (if i had to choose). Read up a bit more on ABS and its uses and it is very effective during the rains on slippery bombay roads.
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:23   #10
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Forget the Fabia - It's an excellent car no doubt, BUT Skoda's reputation is already in the drains with more & more horror stories coming in everyday. I'd say stay away !!

i10 - It's just another nice small little hatchback which has nothing wrong in it - BUT neither anything exciting in it. It's a good car BUT a bit pricey if you opt for the Airbag Model.

Ritz - Smart looking car ( IMHO ) - some people can't even digest it's looks, BUT I find it quite reasonable. It's just a matter of time before everyone starts liking it.

i20 - Top End Petrol Model here in N India cost around 6 Lacs OTR & is heavily loaded ( Integerated Stereo , ABS, Airbags, Electric ORVM, Rear Wiper etc etc )

I'd say go for the i20 / Ritz

I have not driven the Punto so cannot recommend although it's quite a stunner.
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Old 18th September 2009, 11:34   #11
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IMHO, the best car for you is A-star. You have mentioned that the car will be used by a single person most of the time, so issue of boot space does not crop up. The A-star is fun to drive ( I have driven one in city and highway, both ), is smaller as compared to other which will be a boon in very congested city like Mumbai. The handling is better than i10 and Ritz. The front seats are also accomodiative ( I am 5'10", 95+ kg ) and comfortable.

Next car is Ritz.
Ritz has got a suspension set up that is on the softer side, but this gives Ritz a very good ride quality for city driving. The front visibility is good, the K12M engine is an excellent unit and space is better than A-star. The interiors are nice too.

If mostly one or two persons are going to be in the car, its A-star, else Ritz.
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Old 18th September 2009, 17:37   #12
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A star is not VFM at all. It shouldnt have been priced above 3.5L seeing its size. I will suggest you for i20. I wonder why i10 and not i20 made to the list. Of this what you have mentioned i10 is much much better than others Reason
FABIA. It doesnt have any resale, spares expensive, Will end up like Corsa in my opinion.
Ritz. Its a maruti thats enough a reason for me to not buy RItz more over its nothing better than a swift and you already have one.
Indica Vista: Petrol will kill you its a very low mileage engine from fiat. Though on Punto it gives better milage then Vista. I assume you not keen on punto since you buying a Linea.
i20 Magna model is perfect according to me.
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Old 21st September 2009, 01:39   #13
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The i20 Magna doesn't have either ABS or Airbags - the Asta is 6.5 L OTR (Bombay registration) which puts it out of my budget for now. Are you sure about the mileage on the Vista? From what I understand it is not all that much of a difference compared to the Swift. I am a bit concerned - if the Skoda service is as bad as people make it out to be; will VW be any different? Perhaps waiting with anticipation for the Polo then may not be the brightest of ideas. In all honesty, a bunch of my friends own Skodas and whilst some of them have complained about the exorbitant prices; none has much to complain about in terms of service. Either way, given that the people here are more of car aficionados than my mates, I shall take your word for it and keep away from the Fabia like its the plague. I spoke to the chap at Fiat and he told me the Vista Ignis should be coming pretty soon.

@ - Somebodystopme - Why is it being a maruti a bad thing? I have not completely ruled out the A-star since it's only going to be a single person's car - I don't even foresee 2 people sitting in it that often - I just wish it had a touch more power and better interiors - the current interiors of the A-star are an abomination.
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Old 21st September 2009, 18:26   #14
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Since your budget allows it, go for the Ritz. It's a heck of a practical hatchback. Good space, great engines, and seemingly better built than the Swift. You won't regret choosing it over the A-Star (superior refinement, driveability and interior room).
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Old 21st September 2009, 18:54   #15
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No need for too much of thinking !

Just buy Ritz Zxi !

or wait for Vista Ignis.
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