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Old 25th May 2010, 11:06   #1
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Default Best Hatch for Wifey

While I have paused my research on the buying a car(power hatch or sedan) for a while. I am contemplating to buy a new hatch for my wife.
Not sure if we have a hatch that fits my calls(fast , powerful, sturdy,fun to drive and good price) and following properties as well.
Our requirements are:
1) 25% city drive 75% highway.
2) Good space on front seats with good driving view(as she is new to driving).
3) Good rear seat space for friends to popin for weekend trips.
4) Ability to hold decent luggage.
5) Good mileage/fuel efficiency(important).
6) Best riding comfort on those road ala craters and Mount Fuji type speed breakers.
7) Good service network and low bills on maintainance in case of "I scraped your vehicle first" type of scenarios in mad traffic here.
8) Love to drive car with powerful engine to pull you safely on highways (important).
9) Looks good.(though subjective but suggestions welcome)
10) Has good safety features like sturdy body(abs / airbags not very essential).
11) Price - in or closer to 4L bracket.
12) Average drive a month would be 1000kms or more(mainly those weekend escapes)
13) Car that can seat 4 comfortably(important)
14) Well built and should not have plastics that hate the car and like to run away. I mean low quality rattling plastics.
15) Power steering and AC must.
16) Her height is 5.1" and mine 5.9" with average built (read weight).
17) This would be our first car.

Phew! here is my long list. Does that mean I am demanding a never made / dream car?
Seriously guys I know it might be too much but hey your ideas/suggestions can help me get the car that fulfills most of the above requirements. Right?

Here are the Cars I have shortlisted (Indians are indeed given less choices given our "santusht" type of nature and small pockets) and my opinion about them:
1) Maruti Alto -- Humble car that is best for city. Too much compromise on various features when compared to others.
2) Chevrolet Spark LS/LT -- Good and practical car that meets most of above requirements. Not sure about its high speed manners.
3) Chevrolet Beat LS/LT --A very good car for city driving, but not so suited for long drives and bad roads. Worst Rear only 2 can sit and claustrophobic. Boot space is nil
4) Wagon R new - Japs are good at design but how they created this shoe box, no idea. And it growing big in every few years. Might become a pure van one day.
5) i10 -- Felt overpriced and very less boot as compared to others here. Also heard that it has a low mileage too and gives vertical ride/flies at high speeds. good for city though.
6) Swift -- Killer looks and service network of this big hatch. "Not easy to drive for newbie" image. Bad on features and omnipresent. (I love diesel). Which version to choose is like again to start another thread.
7) Punto -- Excellent and stable car on bad roads, medium loaded, heavy car. Tata service is a big question. Pricey
8) Figo--Has best of all features at less price but still very costly for my budget. Looks more or less like same old fusion- Plane and boring.

Strict No-No due to their price /age/looks/blah-blah:
1) Polo
2) Skodas
3) Ritz
4) Tatas
5) Santro
6) i20
7) A-star
8) Nano

Kindly open your wisdom box and let your fingers punchin the ideas here. I would like to finalize the car by end of this month. (No prize for guessing what if I do not come out with a final answer in next few days).


I have seen many comparisons in forum here among few cars but I am sure my comparison has long list of cars.
I would be happy if you suggest any car from No-No list or any other not mentioned in both the lists above.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:25   #2
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I have a Spark and I can vouch for its high speed manners. I regularly (at least thrice a month) do a high speed Mumbai-Pune expressway run and I have never felt scared to do 100+ in my Spark. I also own a Ford Ikon which is a proven high speed performer and I am absolutely satisfied with the high speed road holding and manners of the little Spark in comparison to the Ikon. The Spark steering is quite fantastic in communicating surface feed back to the driver.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:40   #3
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Default go for Wagon R

I guess, from your research & conclusion (options):
I would suggest to go for new Wagon R.
Reasons:
1) Price
2) Mileage
3) Maintenance cost
4) Driving comfort (For newbie)
5) ABS / Airbags option

Other cars:
1) Spark
2) Zen estilo
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:41   #4
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With a budget of 4L, and 75% highway driving, safety should be a primary concern.
Look no further than the WagonR VXi with ABS and Airbags.

If possible, stretch for the Figo Titanium. It will meet all your criteria except performance, and the FE will not be as good as the Marutis. However, it is amazing VFM, fully loaded, very easy to drive, very stable at high speeds, and has space and a big boot. However, at the end of the day, the Figo will require you to spend a bit more of fuel (like around Rs. 1000 assuming you don't drive a 100km/day), but that extra amount is well worth it.
For a new and short driver, tall boy cars are much easier to drive. However, the Figo is an exception with many owners comparing it to their zens!

The Punto and Swift with their innumerable blind spots might not be too feasible.
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Old 25th May 2010, 11:54   #5
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Quote:
2) Good space on front seats with good driving view(as she is new to driving).
3) Good rear seat space for friends to popin for weekend trips.
5) Good mileage/fuel efficiency(important).
6) Best riding comfort on those road ala craters and Mount Fuji type speed breakers.
7) Good service network and low bills on maintainance in case of "I scraped your vehicle first" type of scenarios in mad traffic here.
8) Love to drive car with powerful engine to pull you safely on highways (important).
@Anand - For all these points above, you can close your eyes & choose the new WagonR. I would've opted for Beat but for point #7.


Quote:
9) Looks good.(though subjective but suggestions welcome)
Estilo/WagonR/Figo/Beat/i10

Quote:
10) Has good safety features like sturdy body(abs / airbags not very essential).
11) Price - in or closer to 4L bracket.
13) Car that can seat 4 comfortably(important)
14) Well built and should not have plastics that hate the car and like to run away. I mean low quality rattling plastics.
15) Power steering and AC must.
16) Her height is 5.1" and mine 5.9" with average built (read weight).
The new WagonR; I would've opted for i10 but for point #11. For all your expectation & the price factor, the new WagonR seems to be most viable option.

Quote:
4) Ability to hold decent luggage.
Where WagonR fails is only at the above point; again, I don't know how much of decent luggage you're expecting. But others scores better here

Last edited by aargee : 25th May 2010 at 11:56.
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:00   #6
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Thanks guys,
Never thought new wagon R got so many brownie points apart from spark. Did any one drive new Wagon R at high speeds to confirm its stability?
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:06   #7
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I will suggest, have your wife test drive a couple of those which you have shortlisted (infact you have mentioned all the hatchback :-) ) and then take a call, as the car will be primarily driven by your wife (if i got it right).
But from maintainance point of view will suggest stick to maruti .
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Old 25th May 2010, 12:10   #8
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The issue is she is yet to finish off her driving lessons, so she cannot judge which one is best.
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:45   #10
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With the kind of requirements you have set for your dream car, I don't think any car would meet the same, unless you are willing to compromise on some factor.

IMHO, if one has to make a compromise somewhere, it can be made in the looks department.

Apart from the looks, Ritz would satisfy most of your requirements. You can't go wrong with either engine option, both petrol and diesel engines are amazing. With your monthly usage of 1000kms, it would be a tough call between petrol and diesel.

Also consider i10 1.1 irde. The IRDA certified mileage is 19.X, which is highest in the segment. I don't understand why i10 has been branded as overpriced and fuel guzzling. i10 kappa may be slightly expensive, but i10 1.1 irde is really value for money (and fuel efficient too).

The visibility (front and rear) is much better in i10 compared to Ritz. Both Ritz and i10 are tall boys, still highway manners are adequate for driving at reasonable speeds. Of course, you can't drive these tall boys like low slung sedans.

Spark also meets most of your requirements. The boot space is less compared to Ritz and i10.

Take test drives and decide for yourself.

Rohan
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Old 25th May 2010, 16:56   #11
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If i am to make a choice, it would be Spark because of its VFM. Especially when your wifey is new to driving, not sure why would you worry on high speed stability.

Spark comes with a 3 year warranty including service consumables and hence zero maintenence cost for next three years. Its worth each penny you spend on it.
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Old 25th May 2010, 17:27   #12
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Anandg,
Considering your requirement No.2,3,4,5,6,7,11,13,15 and 16-I would suggest you to go for WagonR.Not sure if it can impress you with its looks with a Boxy looks,still this is a "Magic Box"(I really mean it!).

Good space in front,good view of road,can seat 4 comfortably,good boot space etc etc which matches most of your requirement.I have WagonR from past one year and I have done close to 13k kms till date and I am satisfied with its performance.

It may not be that gr8 car but still its the best package you are looking for and always there are few pros n cons for all cars. Since this is your 1st car you will really love it. Considering its performance in high speed-I have driven her at ~120kmph on Bangalore-Mysore road and it is stable but never pushed her beyound that.Since you are planning to drive more on highways better to go for Vxi with ABS.

There are other options as well in the market (like Spark,i10 etc) but I am trying to focus more on the "Magic Box" since I own it.

Hope this helps!

Sanjeev
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Old 25th May 2010, 17:36   #13
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New Wagon R will fit your bill. Buy the highest end version with ABS and Airbags and for the highway driving, as long as you are within reasonable speedo readings, you guys should be fine. (Ofcourse won't be stable anywhere close to those super optimistic speedometer limits of Maruti). BUt then for the budget that is a good buy there for you.
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Old 25th May 2010, 19:56   #14
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Thank you very much guys :sparkled,neo,lamborghini,aarge,schoudhury,jkdas,r ohan,jacs,sanju,snan for all your trustworthy suggestions.
Based on your advise, in the evening, I went to maruti showroom to look at new Wagon R and here are my comments:
1) Looks- younger brother of Sumo Grande. I mean it! Like the way maruti brought old estilo as baby Innova.
2) Space - good
3) price - 4.38 (costly by 60k than spark)

Also saw New estillo:
-Looks far better than old estillo and new Wagon R.
-Not sure if it carries the same engine as new Wagon R -- sales guy was too tired to put his brain to work.
-never heard its detailed reviews here as compared to other cars.
-Price was good - 4L OTR.

Would like members here to let me know which is better Spark (3.8L + free auto cop+audio+other basic stuff) or New estillo(4) apart from other ideas for my post 1.

Also saw new Alto. Interiors are neat and seats are better with tubeless tyres with costs 3.28 on road. Reason I am in delima to think about "peace of mind"alto as I once saw my friend parking his alto road side with its bonnet open to cool it after driving halfway to shirdi ghats(when its roads were good). Not sure if that is the case with all altos as that would defy my purpose of a highway car.

Let your point-of-view rain in so that I can get a car that is closest to my requirements.
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Old 25th May 2010, 20:01   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anandg View Post
-Not sure if it carries the same engine as new Wagon R -- sales guy was too tired to put his brain to work.
-never heard its detailed reviews here as compared to other cars.
-Price was good - 4L OTR.
The engine is the same. They have downgraded the 1.1L to K-Series 1L.
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