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Old 3rd December 2009, 10:33   #1
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Default Which car manufacturer - First decision

Hi All,

(Mods- Hope I am posting in the correct section)

I was waiting for the introduction thread to show up. It has. Hurray. Now to the first ever question.

I have decided lately to buy a new car and my budget is limited (about 4 L at max - 4.5 L *THE MAX*). I am having confusions to decide firstly on the car manufacturer before deciding on the car itself. Let me make it more clear

Hyundai vs Maruti
-------------------
I am not looking at FIAT / FORD others. No offence meant, I am still at awe when I look at a linea or a fiesta. But the reasons are pretty "indianish". Dad says maruti is so well known and he sees a lot of Hyundai vehicles, so the first choice is made. I intend to buy this car mostly for short family driveaways (more than 90% - very very less city commute as I prefer two wheeler).

Given this fact and that I would be taking my family along, one question kept popping in mind, "What if the car breaks down" in the middle of nowhere. Call me a pessimist, but I think at the end of the day, I am the "MAN" in the family (keeping in mind old parents and wife and kid) I need to know the service levels of both of the above manufacturers in the highway. I live in chennai and I should not have any issues in locating a service center in the city.

I have gone through so many threads where people have managed to get cars repaired in the highway but many suggested that they had to take an alternate mode of transport as the car was towed to service guys.

Questions
------------
a) Hyundai cars - Are all of the "low end - think I10" repairable at Maruti shops. Given that Maruti has service centers in many small towns too. Any experiences on this.

b) Maruti cars - Are all cars (think - Wagon-R, Low end RITZ) repairable at smaller maruti shops at remote towns.

My car choices are also revealed up, But since there is enough comparison of them here, I request experienced members to comment on their service experiences of these above cars and in general highway servicability of the above manufacturers.

Sorry for the first post being longish, but I wanted to make sure all points are covered.

Cheers,
VJ
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Old 3rd December 2009, 10:44   #2
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If you want service stations in the remote corners, Maruti is your best bet. Tata and Hyundai come a close second.
That said to keep your warranty intact you have to make sure that you take your vehicle only to authorized service stations!
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Old 3rd December 2009, 11:17   #3
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Till now i have seen many of my relatives who had maruthi's getting it repaired in small service centres or mechanics. But for the first 2-3 years it is best to goto a MASS to keep the warranty
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Old 3rd December 2009, 11:54   #4
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Thanks for the replies till now. Just to make sure the correct issue is projected:

I would make sure it is a MASS (as tsk pointed out), but I wanted to know the serviceability of Hyundai cars at Maruti shops AND new age maruti cars (like RITZ) at smaller towns, in case of a highway breakdown.

Thanks for taking the time to reply.

Cheers
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Old 4th December 2009, 10:03   #5
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Hi Guys,

Any help please? I have got two kind souls who put their opinions. It would be great to have other experienced guys throw in some of their experiences and opinions. Any links back to TBHP is also most welcome, for all I know, I could have missed certain keywords during my initial search before posting.

Please let me know if my post is unclear or long, I can trim that, if needed.

Hoping for more help.

Cheers
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Old 4th December 2009, 10:32   #6
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First of all your big worry is not really a practical possibility, in 99% cases car breaking down in midst of highway is highly unlikely. Believe me, i am in automotive sector and the technology has scaled up so much that such scenario is virtually impossible atleast for initial few years. Now coming to the choice of the car, in your budget i would keep 2 options of first i10 and the other wagon-r. In comparison, i10 is way ahead in technology compared to wagon-r and the feel of driving is completely different. Now coming to another point, if you are planning to hold onto this first buy for long or it is just an initial kicker. In case if you are planning to live with this car for only a short while then i would suggest you Wagon-R since you will not loose much in resale. Also as you have said your drive will mostly be on highways then i10 scores significantly over wagon-r. Regarding the space, wagon-R definitely scores over i10. Finally my suggestion would be to go for i10. Regarding other cars like alto and santro, i think it is time for us to move from stone age, so definitely do not consider those options.
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Old 4th December 2009, 12:05   #7
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"Highway serviceability" which seems to be your key decision point can't be generalised.

While it is true that Maruti has a wider service network, the kind of problem you have will determine whether you can get it repaired on the spot or have to get it towed and arranged alternate accomodation.

What I'm trying to say is that the nearest mechanic/ garage capable of repairing the car may be only a few kms away but you may still need to get it towed depending on the problem encountered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumya_Ramesh View Post
Regarding other cars like alto and santro, i think it is time for us to move from stone age, so definitely do not consider those options.
The WagonR is just as 'stone-age' as the Santro, how is it that you have suggested that one then? Also the probability that a non-A.S.C. garage will be able to repair one of these most-selling 'stone age' cars is higher...
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Old 4th December 2009, 13:57   #8
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Thanks to those who took time to reply. Nice to see replies from experienced guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumya_Ramesh View Post
First of all your big worry is not really a practical possibility, in 99% cases car breaking down in midst of highway is highly unlikely. Believe me, i am in automotive sector and the technology has scaled up so much that such scenario is virtually impossible atleast for initial few years.
Thanks Soumya_Ramesh, That is reassuring and coming from an automotive sector person it adds more value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Soumya_Ramesh View Post
Now coming to the choice of the car, in your budget i would keep 2 options of first i10 and the other wagon-r. In comparison, i10 is way ahead in technology compared to wagon-r and the feel of driving is completely different. Now coming to another point, if you are planning to hold onto this first buy for long or it is just an initial kicker. In case if you are planning to live with this car for only a short while then i would suggest you Wagon-R since you will not loose much in resale. Also as you have said your drive will mostly be on highways then i10 scores significantly over wagon-r. Regarding the space, wagon-R definitely scores over i10.
I propose to own this care for "quite" some time. So resale value is something I am not even looking at. I have a 89 model enfield that I still preserve and use. I sort of develop a lot of attachment towards vehicles that carries us wherever we need to.

Yes I10 was also in the scanner. But As I said Price factor is spoil sport for me. Each 10 K increase will be difficult for me to manage and thats the reason I sort of zerod in to Wagon-R. I have read some longtime ownership reports of Wagon-R and felt pretty impressed. Thanks for the suggestion, i will take it home to my folks to further discuss.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
While it is true that Maruti has a wider service network, the kind of problem you have will determine whether you can get it repaired on the spot or have to get it towed and arranged alternate accomodation.

What I'm trying to say is that the nearest mechanic/ garage capable of repairing the car may be only a few kms away but you may still need to get it towed depending on the problem encountered.
I fully agree to that mr.Walker. Just that since I am new and I am too sure what to expect on a highway, I wanted to get perspectives from people like you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwalker View Post
The WagonR is just as 'stone-age' as the Santro, how is it that you have suggested that one then? Also the probability that a non-A.S.C. garage will be able to repair one of these most-selling 'stone age' cars is higher...
I sort of answered this to the previous poster. Price. But neverthless, Ritz LXI is also in the cards. Comes a little above the band, but I am going to try that to my folks. I will keep you guys posted.

More suggestions welcome guys. Any small pointers that you guys say would add value.

Cheers
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Old 4th December 2009, 14:22   #9
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VJ,
Having said that Maruti takes the pole position when it is A.S.S, with your budget and the current offerings for lets say a Ritz VXI On road, 473000-15000 (discount), your budget can fit the bill. I see you are a family man, and this is a great family car.
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Old 4th December 2009, 14:29   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by funnyguru View Post
VJ,
Having said that Maruti takes the pole position when it is A.S.S, with your budget and the current offerings for lets say a Ritz VXI On road, 473000-15000 (discount), your budget can fit the bill. I see you are a family man, and this is a great family car.
Thanks funnyguru for tracking me up from the Intro thread.

OT: Yes I saw many threads recommending the Ritz, I have not yet taken a TD (reason for this post) but I did sit in the car. I am 6 footer (exactly + or - few cms), I felt comfortable on Ritz / Wagon-R / SX4, but not in a swift / others. Thats one primary reason, given the budget it must be Wagon-R or Ritz.
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Old 4th December 2009, 15:22   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vj_carLover View Post
I have read some longtime ownership reports of Wagon-R and felt pretty impressed. Thanks for the suggestion, i will take it home to my folks to further discuss.

I sort of answered this to the previous poster. Price.
Ahem, may I suggest the WagonR Long Term Ownership report from your truly, in case you haven't already read it, here (WagonR Vxi 2005 - 37,000 kms)

The second comment was really directed at Soumya_Ramesh, as he had suggested WagonR on one hand, but rejected Santro on the other as 'stone-age'!
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Old 4th December 2009, 16:15   #12
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Yes mrWalker sir, you bet I have read that review of yours. In fact first of the few I read even before I registered at the family. Yes, there are niggles here and there as you had rightly pointed out, But I sort of took a overall impression of the car that is interspersed throughout the community.

I agree there are better cars and better engines. But as I pointed earlier, keeping in my Price, my targetted drive ratios, driving pattern (quite sedate and no tension driving ), I was sure to pick up some vehicle which suites not only my affordability but also my height (6 footer).

and yes, Ritz, LXI, I have been checking out through the day, so for all you know I might end up with that too. But that calls for another thread. So I will wait that out.
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Old 8th December 2009, 19:51   #13
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Am 6' as well, I did the rounds and felt Ritz is better for tall men. Its like a Mini SUV experience.


Quote:
Originally Posted by vj_carLover View Post
Thanks funnyguru for tracking me up from the Intro thread.

OT: Yes I saw many threads recommending the Ritz, I have not yet taken a TD (reason for this post) but I did sit in the car. I am 6 footer (exactly + or - few cms), I felt comfortable on Ritz / Wagon-R / SX4, but not in a swift / others. Thats one primary reason, given the budget it must be Wagon-R or Ritz.
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Old 8th December 2009, 22:15   #14
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Hi vj_carlover,

So you have narrowed it down to WagonR and the Ritz. But before coming to any decisions I would suggest that you do try out the i10 too.

Apart from the breakdown factor , If your priorities are mileage and cheaper spare parts and plenty of service stations, you won't go wrong with a Maruti. But you would have to bear with the cheaper plastics on the dash, a little rubbery gear shifts (esp on Wagon R) and a slightly inferior build quality. But you can save on the cost of the car and the company has to compromise somewhere, don't they?

If your priorities are driving comfort (like smoother gear shift, good handling) you can check out the Hyundai. Though the spare parts are comparatively a little costlier its not much. And the after sales is good though the service stations would be comparatively less in number which means you would have to book in advance for your service.

But good build quality and good interiors which make you forget that you are sitting in a small car are the highlights of an i10.

TD all the cars in question and find out for yourself which one suits you best. That will sort of narrow down the choices. Then you can begin the real battle of taking the final decision.

all the best.
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Old 8th December 2009, 22:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carbine View Post
Hi vj_carlover,

So you have narrowed it down to WagonR and the Ritz. But before coming to any decisions I would suggest that you do try out the i10 too.

all the best.
Thank you Carbine, A much thought provoking detailed reply. I did look at I10 too. Matter of fact some kind folks earlier suggested that and I am discussing that with my spouse. I am also sort of inclined to think about waiting till the autoExpo 2010 (may be i will get a Wagon R with a Ritz heart (albeit with lesser power) and I might get some other nice ones from Hyundai. I am following other threads here on the AutoExpo.

I will keep you guys updated. And oh, sorry for the late reply. I was stuck at work and had find some time off to get back to this again.

Cheers and Thanks again
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