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Old 7th June 2010, 22:57   #1
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Default Nimble Diesel

Which would be the best car, either new or used for the following scenario:

Monthly distance covered: upwards of 2000kms
Fuel efficiency expected: around 16-17 for a used car, around 20 for a new one
Other extras:
Must have AC, power steering.
Both front and rear seats must be comfy.
Good noise insulation, either stock or DIY-able.
Should be fast and soak up bad roads with ease. Fast indicates it should have a good pickup and preferably an engine that's capable of high revvs. Should be a mile cruncher/muncher, and occasional uneven surfaces should not unsettle the ride much.
Bootspace should be decent (don't exactly require a cavernous boot, but it shouldn't even be as miserable as an A-star).

Needless to say it's got to be a diesel not just from the long term ownership cost perspective but also from running costs perspective.

Probable options (though not restricted to only these) are a used Indica/Uno diesel. Preference is more towards a used car at first, due to low initial investments. New may be considered after a few months.
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Old 8th June 2010, 01:01   #2
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Used Swift Diesel / Getz CRDi. Swift for the handling and economy. Getz for the raw power and the "King of the Highways" stance.
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Old 8th June 2010, 01:36   #3
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Uno Diesel is a great car, however suffers from easiy availability of spare parts. Other than that it should fit your criteria. You mentioned second hand and low investment, this should do the trick.

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Old 8th June 2010, 02:37   #4
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How about the good old Amby?
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:05   #5
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Thanks for the replies, guys.

Amby is too big to maneuver in the city traffic or park. I am also not sure if its pickup would be as good as a smaller hatch, though no doubt it would probably give the best ride on bad roads. Again finding a good diesel Amby would take more luck than anything.

Swift diesel is an option I hadn't thought of, but its rear seat legroom is not exactly good. I would put that on the list of choices, but not on the top.

Getz CRDi might fit the bill except the initial investment. It would take more money to buy a used Getz than a used Indica. But I shall put it on the list as a Getz in a good condition, even if used, can actually substitute as the all-round car.

So the list would be:

Indica
Getz
Swift
Uno


Even Palio Diesel would require more investment upfront, so unless it can match the Getz in other specs (interior / boot space, quality and A.S.S.), it would stay off the list.
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:12   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Swift diesel is an option I hadn't thought of, but its rear seat legroom is not exactly good. I would put that on the list of choices, but not on the top.
I would still recommend Swift diesel as its a proven one, anyway, you may want to check out the Ritz VDi in addition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
So the list would be:

Indica
Getz
Swift
Uno
My sincere opinion - stay away from Uno; the car is good, but you may not find the spares that easy backed up by T.A.S.S.
You can consider Vista instead of Indica, but for its poor T.A.S.S. If you're willing to live with it, then its a good VFM next to Maruti.
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Old 8th June 2010, 09:44   #7
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You havent mentioned the amount you are willing to spend here. If you are looking to upgrade to a new car 'in a few months', I'd suggest you do it right away. Why spend all the money on insurance / regn etc only for a few months ?

Also, it may not be easy to find a well maintained, low run good diesel hatch in the used market (unless its uno/palio/indica - which you should avoid).

Most VFM of the lot looking at your requirements - new Ritz LDi
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Old 8th June 2010, 10:22   #8
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Initial investment could be below 1 L. As low as that. I am definitely not thinking of spending 3L or more at the beginning. I already have the Santro, but using it every day over the distance would mean the running costs are very huge. That's why a diesel.

If all the things work out well, which again is in doubt, my plan is to buy a used diesel hatch that can give me a real quick and easy transportation, and the upgrade the Santro to something bigger, either a sedan (used/new) or an SUV (used/new). Till that happens, I would be keeping the Santro. And this upgrade could take anywhere from six months to more than a year depending upon how other things work out.

Right now, going for a diesel hatch has the only advantage of guaranteeing me a transport to and from home/office anytime of day/night and saves on commuting time.
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Old 8th June 2010, 10:58   #9
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Budget of 1 Lakh - Go for an Ambassador

Monthly distance covered: upwards of 2000kms - Reliability
Fuel efficiency expected: 12-15kmpl
Other extras:
Must have AC, power steering.- Check, Check
Both front and rear seats must be comfy.- Check ,Check
Good noise insulation, either stock or DIY-able. Check
Should be fast and soak up bad roads with ease. Check, Check
Fast indicates it should have a good pickup and preferably an engine that's capable of high revvs. Check, No
Should be a mile cruncher/muncher, and occasional uneven surfaces should not unsettle the ride much. Check, Check
Bootspace should be decent. Check
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:06   #10
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Finding a used Amby, specially a diesel one, itself is a herculean task. And as I mentioned earlier, it's a no go for the traffic in Mumbai roads, plus a problem for parking.

Even if I were to find a used Amby for under 1 L, I doubt it will have features such as power steering or AC.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
Right now, going for a diesel hatch has the only advantage of guaranteeing me a transport to and from home/office anytime of day/night and saves on commuting time.
Go for Indica DLS. As per your requirement and budget it suits you most. Only thing you won't get is quick pick-up.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:27   #12
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May I suggest the Palio Diesel :

Monthly distance covered: upwards of 2000 kms - Frugal 1.9D engine.
Fuel efficiency expected: 12-14 kmpl
Other extras:
Must have AC, power steering.- Yes
Both front and rear seats must be comfy.- Excellent
Good noise insulation, either stock or DIY-able. Yes
Should be fast and soak up bad roads with ease. Clocked 1 lakh Km in mine no problems till now !
Fast indicates it should have a good pickup and preferably an engine that's capable of high revvs. Good !
Should be a mile cruncher/muncher, and occasional uneven surfaces should not unsettle the ride much. Build to last a lifetime
Bootspace should be decent. Better than the competition

You will find a good one in tune of 1 lakh rupees.

Uno is strictly a no-no , its parts are expensive and very difficult to find. (My friend has one, and we had to go to a scrapyard to find its bonnet as we could not find one elsewhere )

Indica is a good option , but try to find a good one as most of them are abused badly before selling , so be wary of people skinning you !

Ritz LDi is a good new car option
and if you try to stretch your budget a little you can even go in for a Barely Used Dzire

Other cars you can seach for are used Accents, Ikons etc.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:28   #13
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Not sure if you'll get a Getz or Swift for 1Lakh.
Maybe an old Indica with about 3Lakh km on the odo. - Maintainence will kill you.
Uno- not sure about availability of spares and service. But great car nonetheless.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:51   #14
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Palio is a good option in this budget , They are individually owned so would be less abused.

In 1 Lakh most probably you will get an Indica from which last bits of juice is extracted and you may have high maintenance cost.

In case you can get hands on a clean Indica which is privately owned ( white board does not mean it is always privately used) then may be it is OK.
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Old 8th June 2010, 11:57   #15
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@Rahul,

Thanks for the info on the Palio, but there are two constraints: Getting a used Palio 1.9D under 1 L is next to impossible. Actually getting a used 1.9D itself is difficult. Also the FE does not quite cut it for now. If I were looking to replace my existing car, it would be a worthy contender. But as a second car, at least right now, it doesn't make financial sense.

Here's the calculations which are going to influence the choice to a large extent:

Distance covered: Approx 90kms a day, six days a week.
Price of Diesel: Rs. 39

Total monthly running would then be 2160kms. If I were to set aside Rs. 5000 for the cost of diesel, I would need the FE to be at least 16. I wouldn't be using the AC extensively, but with rains it might be required to be on at least 40% of the times. So with 40% AC usage, I would need 16kmpl to keep the costs under control. With an FE of 14kmpl, the costs go up by more than a thousand. By ordinary standards, the distance would take around two hours in moderately heavy traffic. However the timings may work in my favour where I might be able to find less traffic. Hence a quick pick up and a fast/high-revving car would be good to shave off a significant amount of time. I was able to do a similar run in an hour and 15 minutes once. I am looking to spend about an hour and a half one way. So heavyweights such as Ambys are out.

If and when I get the job and things work out well for another six months, I can keep this car as my daily running car (low initial investments, low running costs) and be able to invest in another car for family outings.

Re the Indica, I have a mutual acquaintance who runs a tourist car business. He gives out his vehicles on contract to an MNC. As the cars need to be troublefree always, regular maintenance is never neglected. After three years of contract, he retires the car from active service and either sells it or keeps it as a backup. By this time the car will have more than 1L on the odo. So if it were to be sold, the price would be quite low for a 3-year old car. As it's a diesel, it should ideally last another 1L kms easily. So if I get a good car this way, I am looking to keep it for another three to four years easily, which should be more than enough.
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