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Old 30th December 2009, 16:41   #1
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Default My story-Need a small car for my family for city drive

I have a family of 4 people ( Me, Wifey, Dad ,Mom). Me,Wifey, Dad, are doctors. I own a Linea Emotion Pack petrol. My Dad has a Hyundai Verna 2006 1.6xi petrol.

Dad is off late not comfortable driving especially the bigger cars. He has driven my linea only once in this 8 months. It has been quite a while since he has actively taken the car at night without complaining, though he drives it very rarely ( may be twice a month or so).

It has been 3 years since we got the verna ( when it was launched) but since then it has done only 19349kms till now in which i would have driven it for close to 5k kms. (so you can very well gather how much he drives). He is not willing to part with it and thinks it is his prized posession ( i agree it has a stonker of engine). I have heard him complain that he cannot actually judge the left front side of the car well.

I have a linea emo pack in which i have done 12,346kms in 8 months of ownership ( if only i had chosen a diesel head ). Though i love this car ( yes it is my dream car) and have driven so much , i never take this car for a couple of hospitals near my house( courtesy : very narrow roads and you know the turning radius of linea). I love to drive linea to all other hospitals except these 2 hospitals where i go in the evenings where my father is also a consultant. We generally go in bike ( bajaj wind 125 ( dad) and pulsar 150 ( mine))

Recently me and my father have had a couple of fall from two wheeler and have got badly hurt during the evening trips to the hospital. And to add insult to the situation My lab techinition has recently had a fatal accident from his bike.

So My mom and My wifey (Joint Venture only in this!!) has put a ban on us from taking out the two wheelers. ( You know how hard it is to break family rules especially if it comes from the BOSSES).

And one more information for completion sake, my wifey ( walking disaster) is finally learning to drive a car ( though she rides a kinetic flyte without a licence ). And i dont want her to experiment on my linea or the verna.

So after having a discussion with my Dad ,we have finally come to a conclusion to get a small car for our errands which we are actually meant to be done on bicycles. We are planning to sell our bikes and put the money we get as marginal money and rest is a loan on my dad's head!!

The story stops here.!! and the dilemma starts here !!.

A few more information for you !!
1. We are not in a hurry. We can wait a bit ( 3-6 months) as we have couple of cars in hand which we can use now ( wait for my mother and wifey to change minds?. !!. you can straighten a dogs tail but not their mind!!)
2. Budget is definitely not above 5L
3. The car need not have goodies like ABS/EBD/Airbags as we are definitely not going to take it for a highway drive ( my linea has all of it, and enough is enough)
4. Ease of driving is the most important thing, it must be zippy , easy on turns and really drives like a autorickshaw in city and crooked roads with smaller turning radius.
5. I am also planning to hire a chauffer a couple of years later if my father's eyesight becomes poor ( i really believe it is the reason now for him not driving the verna at night and he is keeping that under wraps).
6. The small car would also take 1/4 th burden off my linea as i would drive too sometimes withing the city ( i live in a suburb) for the want of parking
7. Power is not a major criteria as my father doesnt drive like a schumacher ( though i do sometimes), but i really dont know about my wifey ( she is the real kimi raikonnen in my family. you should see her driving her 2wheeler). so i dont want to take chances.
8. 99.999% city drive. so it should be the best car for B2B traffic ( and you know how nasty is chennai traffic. the verna does great here but not my linea). i definitely dont want a lag in 1st 2nd and 3 gears. i dont mind it running out of breath in 4th or 5th. the car will never be taken on a highway
9. we have not decided on petrol / diesel though i think petrol would suffice ( i would take your sugesstions for this)
8. We havent driving auto tranny though i really dont mind buying one as it will be easy to drive for my wifey too, and i know my father can definitely learn the art as it is not rocket science.
10. My father is ok with any A.S.S. But you would have seen me fighting with Fiat- Concorde for all the lapses. and i dont mind fighting at all, so i am also Ok with A.S.S unless it gives me one hell of a headache

Since i have been in team-bhp for over a year now and you are the people who have actually coaxed me into buying linea, i leave all my dilemmas to you now and rest in peace.

I havent done a test drive with this mindset when i test drove cars, when i chose linea.

So kindly help me out with options so that i can have a look at the cars and then decide ( Our bosses have to agree too!!)

Any other information you want kindly let me know !!!

thanks in advance

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Old 30th December 2009, 16:48   #2
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i10 1.1 if you are not power hungry or 1.2 Kappa Auto. The later one can cost 5lac up and will have lesser resale value IMHO. You can also save a lot by buying Santro LPG.

Tall boy design will be easier for elders and this.

2010 will only spoil a small car buyers mind now that VW, Toyota too might join the gang.

Chauffeur driven means strictly back seat driving then Ritz or so. Not sure how comfy Polo is gonna be and how ingress/egress friendly it is going to be for a senior.
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Old 30th December 2009, 16:54   #3
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My 2 Cents Buy either one of the Hyundai hatch twins with a Automatic and it would be easier for every one in your family to use the car
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:01   #4
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Just buy a Hyundai i10 Base Variant with the 1.1. Should cost you about 4.2 - 4.4 lacs I suppose in Chennai.

If you are not keen on a Hyundai then get yourself the base variant of a Ritz Petrol.

And if you are willing to wait for another 10 days then the POLO is out and from what I hear it's going to have a shocker sticker price. So go for it then in that case.
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:25   #5
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I agree with JKdas and suggest that you get the Hyundai i10 1.2 Kappa Magna A/T.
Price: 4.4 lakhs ex showroom chennai.
Driving: Very easy in B2B traffic
Negative: May give low FE initially
As you own another hyundai , you should be aware of other pros/cons of a Hyundai cars / A.S.S
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:34   #6
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I will try my best to keep this post short.

First decide on petrol or diesel. Depends on kms. you are likely to cover. With rising traffic, IMO, diesel is a good option thanks to higher FE as compared to petrol.
But the real issue is that there are very few hatchback less than Rs. 5 lakh. Vista is one of them.

Diesel cars.
1) Ritz
2) Vista.

Vista is more spacious, but is also larger than Ritz on outside. Ritz has good utilization of space, has higher seating position that is beneficial for city driving, and ride quality is good for city driving. Add to that Maruti A.S & S. Problem is that LDi starts at around 5.22 and with current discount of Rs. 15K, the price can be just in what your budget it.
No power windows though.
Advantage here is A.S & S. network.

Petrol cars.
1) Wagon R.
2) Ritz
3) Spark.

I am putting Wagon R first because its boxy shape has numerous advantages. Good space utilization, very good visibility, small dimensions are a few advantages as compared to other cars. The high seating and good visibility allows easier judgment. Wagon R is one of the best city hatches without doubt.

If you want a better thing then go for Ritz. It has almost all the advantages of Wagon R and comes with an excellent 1.2 ltr. motor which is one of the best 1.2 currently in the country ( IMHO ).

Next is spark. Nothing particularly wrong with this car.

IMO, Wagon R suits all your requirments well. I would suggest this car over any other small car. The space utilization, high seating and good all round visibility is very very practical in congested city driving conditions. The boxy shape has its own advantages.

Last but not the least, wait for Auto Expo. There are news of a new Wagon R with starting price of around Rs. 3.5 lakh. There are many new car launches like Ford Figo and Nissan Micra. Just wait for AutoExpo to get over.
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:44   #7
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I am also planning to put my Palio to rest and am also on the search of a small car. One of my cousin has a Spark which cost him around 3.4 lakh on road and I felt it to be good. You can also go for the base version of the Beat.
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:44   #8
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Is this auto expo going to be a big thing?. i dont mind waiting as i said in my post!!.

2010 will only spoil a small car buyers
it is going to add fuel to my fire now!!
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:47   #9
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i10 is my selection at the moment.
Also you said that you are not in a hurry (can wait 3-6 months?), in that case there will be new models coming up in the market soon (Polo,Ford figo etc), and you will have more wider choise to get a good VFM car?
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Old 30th December 2009, 17:50   #10
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I would say you get yourself a used alto vx 1.1 (will come in 1L or lower). Cheap and best - problem free being Maruti - given your lack of running.

If new, i10 DLite or WagonR (very very lovely visibility)
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Old 30th December 2009, 18:03   #11
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Alto or even the nano would be a good choice with your requirements and friendly on the pocket also.
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Old 30th December 2009, 18:06   #12
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First choice : i10
Second choice : Spark

If you can stretch the budget a bit then i10 automatic. It is expensive to maintain though, give the dismal mileage.
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Old 30th December 2009, 18:12   #13
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Hi Geeash, Wagon-R or Chevy SPARK are the best cars for city use and vfm. i10 is good , but i'd suggest Wagon-R anyday for city commuting.
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Old 30th December 2009, 18:31   #14
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I drove a Grand Punto Active ( Petrol) from Pune to Mahabaleshwar. Very easy to drive in traffic, great on the highway. The owner is a lady doctor who is 5ft 2 " tall and drives primarily in the city (from hospital to hospital/clinic) and another "kimi raikonnen". She has no problems with maneuverability/parking/etc. She has upgraded from Wagon-R and loves the car. Although the engine is 1.2, it is quite peppy and I find it very smooth. I need not add anything on ride and handling.

Pune OTR is about 4.5 lakhs if no discounts are available. If they still have free insurance/ extended warranty, the price will be lower. And by now you are getting premium A** from TASS.

If you are not in a hurry, how about the Polo ( expected April 2010)?
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Old 30th December 2009, 19:06   #15
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Ashwin, since you are comfortable with Verna and Hyundai service, would suggest the base or mid variant of i10.

Strech a bit, you could also look at i10 automatic. Your FIL and wifey would be comfortable with that ( & peace of mind for you !)
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