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Old 2nd March 2010, 15:51   #1
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Default Small car for Wife? Please suggest

Friends,

I have gone through most of the threads on this topic in this forum but still have some lingering doubts on the car that would suit our needs. Hence this thread. So let me begin by laying out the current scenario and requirements.

My wife drives a 2000 Zen LX (done 91K) mainly for dropping/picking kids at school and doing some local errands. Her monthly average is about 250 kms (with no highway kms at all). The problem is with the AC cooling (its basically useless in summers) and the lack of power steering so I have no option but to replace it.

Requirements:
  1. A safe, stable car with Power Steering and Low Maintenance.
  2. Would be driven for next 8-10 years @300 kms/month.
  3. Would only be used in city conditions (a radius of 5-6 kms).
  4. Budget: Not more than Rs.4-4.20 lacs.
  5. Looks dont count much.
My Preference: I usually go for a 2nd from Top variant but in this case wont mind going in for a base level variant as well (hope my wife is not reading this !!!). I think an AC of a 1.2 litre car will be more effective after 6-7 years than that of a 1.0 lt car. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

So the cars that I think fit the bill are: Beat (PS/LS), Spark (PS/LS), Wagon R (with K series engine, if possible) and Maruti Ecco (since I wont be driving it and kids are too young to understand... ). Another advantage of Ecco and Wagon R is their tall boy stance which, I feel, is relatively safer than others. Please correct me on this one too.

Thanks in advance.
JK
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Old 2nd March 2010, 15:59   #2
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JK, IMO best option among the ones you have mentioned is BEAT. But let your wife TD the car and then decide on it
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Old 2nd March 2010, 16:20   #3
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Thanks Shishir. My wife wont go for TD and has asked me to take the call on the car.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 16:35   #4
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Beat base is a good bet from the list you have put up.

If your wife is not too tall, then the high dashboard might be a concern since she is used to the low slung seating/bonnet position in the zen.

Try out the Spark too. You will be pleasantly surprised by the space inside and compactness outside. We too were in a similar dilemma and were thinking of Alto. But the TD of Spark after suggestions from T-Bhpian's changed everything and we are now waiting delivery of the Spark.

The base Spark/Beat are good choices to go with.

Edit: As far as AC, my limited knowledge tells me that maintaining the car overall and ensuring good compressor health over the years should not have much of a difference in the cooling be it a 1.0 or 1.2L engine. But the others might be able to shed more light on this one

Last edited by abhinav.s : 2nd March 2010 at 16:37.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 16:40   #5
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I wanted to go with Spark but then Beat arrived on the scene. My only worry with Spark is that it is a 1 lt engine (similar to Zen) and may result in lack of AC cooling after 6-7 years of use (like my current Zen) so want to go for a 1.2 lt engine of Beat.

But is there any other car which I should be looking at in this price range?
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:00   #6
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I feel Chevy Beat is the best option for your wife.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:19   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKBKS View Post
I wanted to go with Spark but then Beat arrived on the scene. My only worry with Spark is that it is a 1 lt engine (similar to Zen) and may result in lack of AC cooling after 6-7 years of use (like my current Zen) so want to go for a 1.2 lt engine of Beat.

But is there any other car which I should be looking at in this price range?
In this price band, you get Ford Figo, VW Polo also. You can give a try and see how it matches with the BEAT. My bet would be BEAT
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:27   #8
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@Shishir: I did look at Polo and Figo but think that a 4 cylinder engine will be a better bet than a 3 cylinder one over a 10 year period. Since usage is very less (max of 300 kms/month), the car will be driven in 2nd/3rd gear most of the time. I think a smaller and a less powerful engine will wear out more than a little bigger engine. Dont know if this is true or not though...Experts here can shed some light on this.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:28   #9
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I personally feel you could go in for an i10 IRDE. It's one of the best cars that I've driven. For strictly city use, it will work like a charm. I somehow am not a big fan of chevy.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:33   #10
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@Vtec: I dont know but have never been a fan of Hyundai even though I have never bought/driven a Hyundai. Just a personal thing i guess !!
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Old 2nd March 2010, 17:54   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKBKS View Post
@Shishir: I did look at Polo and Figo but think that a 4 cylinder engine will be a better bet than a 3 cylinder one over a 10 year period. Since usage is very less (max of 300 kms/month), the car will be driven in 2nd/3rd gear most of the time. I think a smaller and a less powerful engine will wear out more than a little bigger engine. Dont know if this is true or not though...Experts here can shed some light on this.
Then there is nothing better than BEAT base or middle version(I guess LT option). Take a TD and let us know what has fitted your bill.Just go through the forum and you will get lots of threads on BEAT.

Last edited by shishir_bn : 2nd March 2010 at 17:56.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 18:28   #12
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The Beat is not suitable for small children at the back, it gets claustrophobic due to the small windows and this will also adversely effect all around visibility which is a must for around the house/town kind of a car. As for MUL their vehicles now a days do not have the feel of something that will last 10 years.

Spark on the other hand is a proven design, old but it is one of those evergreen kind of form factors which do not fade away. Moreover it is a safe and sturdy car which has kept its occupants safe time and again as read in this forum itself.

Another very good alternative would be the i10 especially if you can get the automatic. Given the worsening traffic situation your wife will thank you for years on end for sparing her the agony of half clutching.
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Old 2nd March 2010, 19:10   #13
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I think it a bit harsh to reject Hyundai for no reason at all.

Take a TD of Hyundai i10 and you will change your opinion.

I would suggest i10 1.1 iRDE (ERA) for your wife's usage. I have the same, it is a wonderful all round performer.

It provides a great combination of power, FE, comfort, handling, build quality, great interiors, upmarket image, value for money and dependable after sales service.

It has good all round visibility, easy to drive and easy to park.

Rohan
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Old 2nd March 2010, 19:11   #14
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I had been for the TD of the beat over the weekend. The car looks great from the outside. On the inside one word to describe it claustrophobic thanks the rear windows and the massive A-pillar. I was unhappy with the driving postion and felt the A-pillar was obstructing my vision when I took right turns. Liked the Spark, but I would go for the I10 kappa
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Old 2nd March 2010, 19:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JKBKS View Post
Friends,


Requirements:
  1. A safe, stable car with Power Steering and Low Maintenance.
  2. Would be driven for next 8-10 years @300 kms/month.
  3. Would only be used in city conditions (a radius of 5-6 kms).
  4. Budget: Not more than Rs.4-4.20 lacs.
  5. Looks dont count much.
My Preference: I usually go for a 2nd from Top variant but in this case wont mind going in for a base level variant as well (hope my wife is not reading this !!!). I think an AC of a 1.2 litre car will be more effective after 6-7 years than that of a 1.0 lt car. Please correct me if I'm wrong on this one.

So the cars that I think fit the bill are: Beat (PS/LS), Spark (PS/LS), Wagon R (with K series engine, if possible) and Maruti Ecco (since I wont be driving it and kids are too young to understand... ). Another advantage of Ecco and Wagon R is their tall boy stance which, I feel, is relatively safer than others. Please correct me on this one too.

Thanks in advance.
JK

What about the Ritz base version? It also fits all your requirements, and has a better and fuel efficient K series engine too.
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