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Old 13th April 2010, 19:42   #1
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Default Executive Hatch- Polo petrol 1.2 Trendline * i20 1.2 Era * Swift Lxi * Figo TDCi EXI

I am reading TEAM-BHP for the past two years. I am reading Autocar for the past 5 years. I am planning to buy a car for the past 5 years. I am working in a Bank in a middle management level where you are expected to come to office in a car. I have learnt car driving two times in the past three years (ofcourse I got licence officially second time) to test drive cars. But none of them appealed for one reason or the other. Now I have become so unpopular in my family that they question... which company is manufacturing your car?

my requirements can be funny. But i am serious. Can you help me....

1. I don't test drive cars to decide which car to buy. My logic is that car manufacuring is an art with lot of passion rather than fixing nuts and bolts on to a chasis keeping some budget in mind. I feel the cars to see how they communicate with you. The way front seats envelop you, the way doors cose, the way your fingers can feel the plastics on the interiors, the way steering wheel is wrapped in your plam, the way the gear lever shifts, the comfort your neck portion gets when you sit in the back seat etc... All these things can be tried with out driving the car.

2. As I said above, I go to a office where you are expected to come in a car. I do not at the moment. I come in a taxi some times, auto some times, etc. I need to buy a car badly. Sadly I can not buy Alto/Spark/i10 etc as these are not expected for my position. I work in a consulting environment where I have to go to several meetings with clients, CEOs, Ministers, IAS officers etc. Though I can spend up to 10 Lacs, I do not want to buy a Sedan in Hyderabad where the traffic is erratic. My budget is 5 lakhs and thereabouts. I will be driving the car myself. So the car i intend to buy should have an executive feel and quality that speaks about the person driving it. I do not know how many of you have driven Honda Unicorn, though might look silly for you, that is the benchmark for me in cars. Have you ever felt how a hot knife cuts the butter freshly taken out of the freezer. that is how Unicorn feels to me.

3. The last time, When I was very close to buying a car was when Skoda Fabia got launched. That was the time when I first learnt car driving. This was also the first car which met all the criteria mentioned in point 1. But after checking the spare parts price list, I was so depressed that I postponed my car buying plan indefinitely. Normally people go for Value For Money kind of attitude in every vehicle. But I go for Extreme Value for Money. That is the way I do things. The reason I listed Swift Lxi above was to get the same EVFM. Get LXi, upgrade wheels to Alloys and Michelins, get the body color door handles and mirrors and below 5 lakhs, I have a executive hatch ready.

4. Reason for shortlisting the cars. In the same order of my preference.

Polo1.2 Trendline Petrol: First car which met all my criteria. Costs about 5.3 lakhs onroad in Hyderabad. But for one thing. 15 inch alloys can not be fitted on to Trendline. VW showroom and workshop confirmed this. They got clear instructions from VW headquarters for this. I do not know why. Waiting period is two months or more. Can anyone of you help me on OEM 15 inch alloys of Polo Highline and how much they cost and where.

i20 Era: Magna was above my budget. Era costs 5.32 Lakhs on road. Quality is OK. Still not yet available for TF. (Test Feeling the car !) Going by the quality of Magna interiors this car should be OK. If Polo Alloys issue is not sorted out, I am planning to buy Era.

Swift LXi: As i mentioned above, this is one of the cars for which numerous modifications can be done with out worrying on Warranty. Even if you change your stock tyres to ZXI version tyres and alloys, your warranty is still valid. And I am not going to use ABS/Airbags in 40-50kmph traffic of Hyderabad. Not much of Highway driving either. if Era fails in TF, I am planning to buy this.

Figo TDCi: The sole two reasons why I have Figo TDCi in my list: 1. The way Ford has put its act for the past two years in making themselves heard in Indian market. They have genuinely invested in India to make a mark. This speaks for commitment they have for India and the cars. Figo is a car brought on to Indian roads with lot of passion behind it. It reflects in the way they priced it too. 2. Diesel engines of Figo. They are good to hear compared to other diesel engines. Speaks for the quality they have. Again I have not taken any TD of TDCi engines. Only TF of engine sound.

Well, please share your thoughts. What is your mind saying.
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Old 13th April 2010, 21:29   #2
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My order of preference would be:
1. Polo / i20
2. Swift
3. Figo

You really should take a test drive of the cars within a short span of time to decide which 'feels' best for you. Apart from that, if you're looking for an executive feel, go for the i20, its a "big" car with great presence.
If you want the VW badge & novelty factor, a well-built car, go in for the Polo. But, I would recommend checking on its spares pricing first.
Swift is the smartest & safest of the lot. Let's people know you've arrived & you're sporty.
Figo would be the most practical, but - (1) Its a ford (2) Not very appealing to the eye
Its loaded though, have a look.

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And I am not going to use ABS/Airbags in 40-50kmph traffic of Hyderabad. Not much of Highway driving either.
You never know when these might come in handy. One can't ever overstate their importance
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Old 13th April 2010, 21:57   #3
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Even me on a similar car hunt from a month, And yes finalizing a car has made me almost sleepless. After checking out the cars features online, personnel visit to dealerships, checking the cars, reading reviews, etc . At last I too have finalized a few cars, hope this will be helpful:

Hyundai i10: Felt overpriced and not VFM compared to other cars in the segment. A lot of complains on service in Bangalore. So dropped it.

Chevrolet Beat: A very good car for city driving, but not so suited for long drives and bad roads. Rear only 3 can sit and rear visibility a problem. Boot space is small.

Ford Figo: Currently no other car is offering such features, even the high ends to that matter. Very spacious and real VFM. But Ford service and spares are a concern along with resale value.

VW Polo: My first love, a true German engineering simple and high quality. Not loaded and a 2 month waiting period.

Skoda Fabia: Safest car and very high quality and also comes at a big price tag. Excellent features, but service and spare rates are highly overpriced.

Fiat Punto: Excellent car, medium loaded, heavy car. But Tata service is a big question.

Tata Indica Vista Aura: True VFM but sad in quality.

Maruti Ritz/ Swift: Everywhere, great service and spares. Very poor on safety.
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Old 13th April 2010, 22:14   #4
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Looking at the first two points you have mentioned, only 2 cars cut the ice here.

Polo and the (not mentioned) Fabia

Why ? I'll reiterate your words here - 'So the car i intend to buy should have an executive feel and quality that speaks about the person driving it.'

No other hatch (I repeat, no other hatch) will give you the premium outlook, inside as well as outside for that much money.

Don't expect the Polo to be any cheaper than the Fabia in spares / service.
Apart from the outer shell / body, they share 90% of the parts within the engine bay.

If you are willing to spend some more, do look at the Fiesta as well. Its a sedan alright, but it aint as big as it might appear to be (from managing within the traffic perspective).
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Old 13th April 2010, 22:46   #5
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@ musicmaker, @jigbarai: I have confirmed with VW workshops and they said the first service is at 15000km or one year which itself is saving a lot of money. Moreover general service costs about 4 to 5000 including items like oil, fuel, air filters etc. so maintenance cost of 5000 per year is very good indeed.

@jigbarai: Fabia indeed looks and drives premium. But it costs so heavily in service. Skoda is not just looting but cheating Indian customers. I do not think it shares 90% of spares. Engine is ofcourse tweaked by VW.

VW is rumoured to be loosing close to one lakh rupees on every Polo it is selling in India. VW is committed to make a mark in hatch segment. this is also evident from their purchase of stake in Suzuki. So VW can not repeat another Skoda Fabia story. Moreover 50% of parts are still imported from Germany. So before all parts are made through Indian manufacturers, it is wise to buy a half german car at very decent price. Am i right? But for me the deal breaker is alloy wheels for Trendline variant. If I do not get them, I have to move to i20 Era. Alloy wheels are a must for my car. Let me see.
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Old 13th April 2010, 23:05   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
Polo1.2 Trendline Petrol: First car which met all my criteria. Costs about 5.3 lakhs onroad in Hyderabad. But for one thing. 15 inch alloys can not be fitted on to Trendline. VW showroom and workshop confirmed this. They got clear instructions from VW headquarters for this. I do not know why. Waiting period is two months or more. Can anyone of you help me on OEM 15 inch alloys of Polo Highline and how much they cost and where.
Best choice for you. No comments at all.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
i20 Era: Magna was above my budget. Era costs 5.32 Lakhs on road. Quality is OK. Still not yet available for TF. (Test Feeling the car !) Going by the quality of Magna interiors this car should be OK. If Polo Alloys issue is not sorted out, I am planning to buy Era.
Again correct, 2nd best choice as per your requirement.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
Swift LXi: As i mentioned above, this is one of the cars for which numerous modifications can be done with out worrying on Warranty. Even if you change your stock tyres to ZXI version tyres and alloys, your warranty is still valid. And I am not going to use ABS/Airbags in 40-50kmph traffic of Hyderabad. Not much of Highway driving either. if Era fails in TF, I am planning to buy this.
I donno why you are considering this car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
Figo TDCi: The sole two reasons why I have Figo TDCi in my list: 1. The way Ford has put its act for the past two years in making themselves heard in Indian market. They have genuinely invested in India to make a mark. This speaks for commitment they have for India and the cars. Figo is a car brought on to Indian roads with lot of passion behind it. It reflects in the way they priced it too. 2. Diesel engines of Figo. They are good to hear compared to other diesel engines. Speaks for the quality they have. Again I have not taken any TD of TDCi engines. Only TF of engine sound.
Now Figo is something interesting. It a mix of a lot of things. Rather say it a perfect all rounder in the small car segment.

But as you said the upmarket feel is important for you. So go for VW, or just incase you are bothered about service then rightaway the i20.

Hope this helps. Cheers!
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Old 14th April 2010, 00:58   #7
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hi Gopinath,

Based on the profile and the requirements you have posted, I think you have got the first two cars spot on or may be you can keep i20 as first choice as it has been there for a little more time. I would say don't look beyond these two unless something is really not meeting your expectation.
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Old 14th April 2010, 01:35   #8
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I would suggest Swift or Punto for that executive presence, as well as a fun-to-drive machine.

Or Ritz if you can sell yourself the rear-end looks .
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Old 14th April 2010, 03:21   #9
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I would recommend the Polo for your needs since I believe that the business class people tend to prefer clean and straight lines as opposed to curves (my personal experience). Since you mentioned you would be doing quite a bit of traveling with/to your clients, the polo got the looks. Why don't you look for the highline option which comes with all the bells and whistles (should impress your clients too!)
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Old 14th April 2010, 06:55   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
VW is rumoured to be loosing close to one lakh rupees on every Polo it is selling in India. VW is committed to make a mark in hatch segment. this is also evident from their purchase of stake in Suzuki. So VW can not repeat another Skoda Fabia story. Moreover 50% of parts are still imported from Germany. So before all parts are made through Indian manufacturers, it is wise to buy a half german car at very decent price. Am i right?
No way VW's losing money!! You mean to say they're selling thousands of hatches at a loss to make a few meagre bucks on fewer premium offerings or to establish a brand? They spent crores on the TOI ads, that's about it. They cannot afford to sell cars at a loss, whichever way you look at it.
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Old 14th April 2010, 08:52   #11
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I dont mean to hurt you but you seem to be a very confused boy to me. You talk about butter smoothness on cars and Extreme Value For Money. And your list of cars look funny to me.

The Polo 3 potter is not one of the "smooth" engines around. Which plastic part on the swift did you touch and like!!! And from which angle does the i20 look anywhere close to VFM (leave alone your "E"!!). The Figo, with its subdued looks would not look as an executive hatch from any angle.(atleast to my eyes)

I really cant understand what you are looking for. But if its just an executive hatch to boost your ego when you get out of the car in front of your clients. Here is my list

FIAT Palio 1.6 in Formula Red Colour: I'm sure you can pick up a second hand one in pretty good condition. This would be the Most EEEVFM car you can have. The engine is butter smooth. Its got the looks that you need to keep everyone drooling (atleast close to). With you being able to spend 10L i dont think you'll mind the F.E after spending only around 3L.

FIAT Grande Punto 1.4: If you can afford the 1.4 go for it. ITs a better engine. If you cant just ignore the "butter" a bit and get the 1.2. It has anyways got the same looks. And you might be able to get a higher variant at your budget.

If you dont want both. Go for the VW. Its the only brand at the moment that can give you what you really want at that price.
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Old 14th April 2010, 09:16   #12
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@gkoneti : Since you want an exclusive & elegant hatch. I would recommend that you drop the figo & the swift & the I20 from your list :

as Figo - will become too common
Swift - Already very common
i20 - Its AC is horrible & will feel like a tandoor in the hyderabad heat.

The only two cars that will suit you in this aspect are

1) Punto - Any color - White though is really elegant
2) Polo - Red color only

If you want a diesel then go for Punto straightaway without thinking, If you want a Petrol then you can have a test feel of the cars & decide but If I were you, I would still go for the Punto. None of your clients are going to see your car from the inside & will only notice the awesome exterior looks of your car.

Why am i recommending the Punto?

Punto is a real beauty on the road, Has a Maserati inspired supercar nose & a hatchback body. What else could you want to show that you are powerful & as well as practical.

Take the Punto man, Its definitely worth it for you & is also VFM to an extent! (*drooling all over the place*)

Check out this thread for white Punto pics:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...punto-mjd.html (My White Fiat Punto MJD)

Last edited by Mustang.101 : 14th April 2010 at 09:24.
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Old 14th April 2010, 10:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gkoneti View Post
VW is rumoured to be loosing close to one lakh rupees on every Polo it is selling in India. VW is committed to make a mark in hatch segment. this is also evident from their purchase of stake in Suzuki. So VW can not repeat another Skoda Fabia story. Moreover 50% of parts are still imported from Germany.
No car manufacturer will sell any car at a loss, they cannot survive or go anywhere. As of now VW is also charging a premium for the Polo. Its price may come down after 3 years. The big brands usually skim the market in the begining.

I have seen the car, if you look at the features there is hardly anything compared to other cars like Figo or Fabia. But due to its high quality the prices are high, Polo is a simple and high quality car. It doesnt has feathers.

Also it needs to be noted that 80 to 90 % of the parts of VW are being manufactured in India and only a few are getting imported. Thats what the VW dealer had told me. And this was confirmed by Skoda dealers also. If you see presently the Skoda prices have come down almost by 50K to 70K depending on the models. Thats because from last two months only VW is suppling some of the parts to Skoda.

So its not going to go the Skoda way, but Skoda has already felt the pinch and it would go the VW way and reduce its prices by a small margin atleast.

And VW polo is targeted at the high middle class segment and Skoda Fabia is for the high end customers.
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Old 14th April 2010, 10:30   #14
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Gopinath,

If you looking for executive look and car you drive should reflect your personality, then blindly choose between Punto and Polo.

Punto: Either 1.4 FIRE or 1.3 MJD, both of these are tried and tested engine. Punto looks are best in it's class and it's handling is class apart. No one has ever mentioned about Punto brakes, but trust you on me Punto brakes are the best in it's class and comparable to cars in 15-20 lac segment.

Polo: Good to look at, interiors are nicely done, spacious and surely a tough hatch. Engines are 3 Pot and also not tried and tested in Indian conditions. VW *** is yet to establish itself, very miniscule dealers network.But, this car is worth a risk
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Old 14th April 2010, 10:47   #15
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Like many of us here, I too would recommend the Punto. Judging by your post, I truly think it's tailor made for you, here's why:

a. "I feel the cars to see how they communicate with you"
Feel the Punto, take a good walk around it, it's as executive yet stylish a car can get.
b. "The way front seats envelop you, the way doors cose, the way your fingers can feel the plastics on the interiors, the way steering wheel is wrapped in your plam, the way the gear lever shifts, the comfort your neck portion gets when you sit in the back seat etc".

The driving position on the Punto is fantastic, it takes adjustments for some but overall it's driving comfort will be vouched for by each and every Punto owner of teambhp. The steering wheel actually feels the best out of all the hatch's in India (even better than the Polo in my opinion), the gearbox is a typically European one, which slots in a slightly notchy yet sporty way.

The only thing that might be an area of concern could be the feel of the plastics, and I've heard that it's improved in the 2010 Punto.

My suggestion: The Punto 1.2 Emotion. Falls in your budget, doesn't feel underpowered in the city (I think it doesn't feel underpowered till110-115kmph), has a fantastic A/C etc. Get it in white, it looks pristine and very "Executive".
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