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Old 14th March 2010, 12:22   #1
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Default Highway Hatchback?

Hello Everyone,

At around 3 am last night, after spending a good 2-3 hours here, I posted a question comparing Swift VDI and Punto. I might have posted it in the wrong place (can't say I was fully awake when I posted) or it got moderated out for some other reason. So, here's the twist to the tale.

I plan to buy my first car sometime this year. I love driving and have taken my cousin's i10 on a number of long drives within Karnataka touching 150 on open stretches quite a few times. My sister is a travel enthusiast like me and we plan to put our new car through the paces, taking it on spirited drives, whenever and wherever we can.

For budget reasons, we need a hatch (though a sedan under 7 lakhs can be considered too), but we need it to be a pleasure on the highways.

Cars we are NOT considering out of personal preferences
* Ritz, Indica Vista, Polo, Jazz among the hatches
* DZire among the sedans

Now, the burning question: Which car should we go for?
* Swift VDI (wish there was a ZDI): Overall quality, Maruti ***, can find spares in any corner of the country, resale value isn't a consideration because we plan to OWN the car while we own it and not think of what it will sell for.
* Grande Punto Emotion Pack: Loved it the first time I overtook it on the way to Hampi, it's loaded, not so sure about service and spares
* Figo: New kid on the block, not sure if its been put through the paces on a highway consistently enough, service network is a worry for now at least

The one sedan we are considering is Indigo Manza. I haven't seen one on Bangalore roads yet, but have liked what I have read about it so far. It would stretch the budget for the top end version, but am willing to listen to an argument in its favour.

I am not light on the pedal on the highways and this car will be used at least 40% on the highways. What do other Team-BHPians think?

Tushar
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:03   #2
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Add Fiesta diesel to your list. Although engine is same as Figo diesel, but its worth for your analysis.
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:07   #3
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Highway Hatchback - GRANDE PUNTO for sure! Based on GTO's and friend's reviews....
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:10   #4
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Being a proud owner of one...out of the three the Punto it has to be.
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:11   #5
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Default Alright...added Fiesta Diesel

Thanks for the inputs. so let's add Ford Fiesta to the list. I would prefer a sedan though I may settle for a hatch given the price difference. So here are the contenders once again:
* Swift VDI
* Grande Punto Emotion Pack
* Ford Figo Titanium

* Ford Fiesta Diesel
* Tata Indogo Manza

Look forward to opinions and pointers.

Thanks everyone (in advance)
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Old 14th March 2010, 15:30   #6
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Since you are asking for a highway hatchback it has to be a Punto. Excellent dynamics and comfort. The steering is absolutely fantastic.
Punto emotion/emotion pack would be the best.
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:00   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soccerfan View Post
The steering is absolutely fantastic.
Punto has hydraulic power steering right? EPS is better than hydraulic na...
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:24   #8
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Since I own a Punto 1.3 MJD,EP, my views would definitely be biased.But it wouldnt be without reason. Great highway car.quite stable at high speeds. I have had the car for around 17000km.Done 2 free services. But I havent had a problem with the car or the service so far. In fact there was one time they really went overboard in helping me out.

Things you wouldnt like would be the engine noise levels and poor finish of the plastcs. But then that is something I have learnt to live with.
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:26   #9
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Has to be a PUNTO.

When you say a highway hatch - the very basic you need is comfortable seating and enought space in the boot for all the stuff.

Has to be a PUNTO.
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:30   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin View Post
Great highway car.quite stable at high speeds.

Things you wouldnt like would be the engine noise levels .
The engine noise is something I have read about elsewhere on the forum too. Am curious to know how 'noisy' the noise is. While a purring or even growling powerful engine is something i can live with, having a noisy companion on long high-speed drives may not be the most comfortable. Also, how far have you pushed it in terms of speed? I have read that it has a top speed of 175kph. Would it do 150+ consistently on the highways and how uncomfortable would the engine noise be at speeds in excess of 140-150?
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Old 14th March 2010, 16:42   #11
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The engine is noisy, although the noise will go down as you run-in the vehicle.

For a highway hatch, Punto is the best choice. I've driven it at 120+ on the highways - the noise for me is manageable - but have a TD and take your call. Don't think you can do 150+ on indian highways apart from short occasional bursts.
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Old 14th March 2010, 17:42   #12
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Quote:
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Don't think you can do 150+ on indian highways apart from short occasional bursts.
That is true, but when the road and traffic does allow you to depress the pedal, you don't want the car begging for mercy. That's where I was coming from when I was asking how far would the Punto be willingly pushed without seeming to cry in pain (read that as ubearable noise).
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Old 14th March 2010, 18:00   #13
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My vote is in for Thee Grande Punto . Very very spacious . Pretty powerful . Have heard about the high speeds it can reach although haven't tried it myself . I own a punto (active ) would have loved to get an emotion but like you I had my budget constraints too . And dont worry about the spare parts FIAT + TATA alliance is at par with the MARUTI spares . And with the Road side assistance being a freebie you can live without any worries .

Go with the punto my friend . I bought the car with my heart . And am glad i listened to my heart and not my head , which by the way was all in for teh swift .

Swift is more or less like pulsar . Too many of em' on the road . Nothin really exciting left in it . I've seen the spyshots of the next gen swift . Nothin too exciting .

So if you wanna smile while you drive and feel happy dont think twice , I would say dont even think , just listen to your heart . Go get the punto.
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Old 14th March 2010, 21:07   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arun1100 View Post
Punto has hydraulic power steering right? EPS is better than hydraulic na...
i think i had to be more specific. i meant the steering feedback
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Old 15th March 2010, 02:22   #15
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You missed the absolute Highway Hatch @ less than 6 Lacs (when it was being phased out) - The Getz CRDi

The i20 Magna CRDi should be a bit of a stretch above 7 lacs, but well worth it - try it before you lock in on any other.
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