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Old 7th September 2012, 11:55   #286
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

The 90HP Punto sport will never disappoint you. It is a perfect car for the driving enthusiast. But i would tell you that take care of the car with the initial 5000 kms of driving as Fiat engines take time to open up. The remap or plug and play should wait till then IMHO .Once its done then you have a rocket in your hands will all the features. Regarding the tires i would suggest you to go for 205/55/15 as this offers much better handling and better stance .Its the best VFM diesel hatchback for the enthusiast available in India today

Last edited by Nimish anthony : 7th September 2012 at 12:00.
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Old 7th September 2012, 12:04   #287
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
I went on an objective TD spree of all other diesel hatches anyway, to see if anything else fits the bill. I'll list out how I arrived at my decision in my post tonight.
Sorry to hear about your buying experience with MSIL which made you look for alternatives. One of my friend also got cheesed off with the never ending wait for the ZDI and he cancelled the booking. Finally after TD for close to 3 months on all cars in town he finally settled in for the Fiat Punto regular version and not the 90 HP.

Congrats Buddie and looking forward for your new whip
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Old 8th September 2012, 21:16   #288
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
For someone like me who is a normal guy without contacts or wanting to go the dirty route, the wait has been long. Very long. Changing the dealer was not an option, because the wait will start all over again, without any guarantees of delivery date.
Its very sad to note that despite waiting 8 full months you have to endure another 4-5 month wait to get your car. A few on this forum started looking at other options after waiting for 4 months, even after 8 months if Maruti is not able to give you a car,well..Shame on them! A lot of favoritism goes on at the dealers, you can try contacting the regional office and see if they can interfere and help.



Quote:
This past weekend I did some rather extensive test drives of all possible / available Diesel hatches in the country in my quest for a sporty pocket rocket. No prizes for guessing which hatch won the battle (yes it is miles ahead of the Swift ZDi in every aspect), but tonight I'll put up a comprehensive, unbiased post spanning my set of observations about each car, what I liked/disliked and why I rejected/approved the car(s).
Good to know you decided on the 90HP! You can now sit in peace and decide on the accessories for your car than to be in a state of confusion. Do put up a post on how your TD of all other cars went! I also TD'd the new i20 and posted my opinion on my ownership thread. Do take a look
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Old 8th September 2012, 23:08   #289
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

I have a 2007 Jan Swift VXi ABS driven 44000 (approx.) Kms. It is in very good condition and everytime puts a smile on my face on the highway. No problems whatsoever. Only problem is 1) rising gasoline prices and 2) recently i have been allocated to a long term project at Chennai, which means i would need to travel frequently (twice a month) between Chennai and Bangalore. If these 2 things would not have come up at the same time, i would not have upgraded for another year at least.

Keeping the above points in mind i am looking at buying a diesel hatch.
Requirements:
1. Comfortable in highway drives
2. Dependable
3. Quality (Premium feel)
4. Should have basic safety features (Airbags, ABS etc.)
Finally it should feel like an upgrade from Swift, not just a lateral buy.

Swift ZDi: Extremely long waiting periods, Otherwise i have driven MS cars and like their troublefree nature and reasonable maintenance.
Punto/Vista: Not comfortable with Tata A.S.S.
Figo: Does not feel premium.
i20: Highway manners are very confident inspiring. Expensive Asta variant.

This leaves me with Polo or the Fabia. I do not intend to drive in speeds in excess of 130Kmph (spurts) with cruising speeds of 100-110 Kmph. I plan to keep this car for 6+ years. And coming from Swift i would expect it to handle equal or better than Swift.

Looking for your inputs.

Last edited by hyper-VTEC : 8th September 2012 at 23:10.
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Old 9th September 2012, 00:16   #290
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Well after driving swift petrol both Fabia and Polo would feel sluggish to you, especially in sub 1500 RPM, also frequent gear changes to keep the car in powerband. Also NVH levels in both these cars is on the higher side. But yes build quality is solid with superb highway manners.
My pick would be Polo as this is slightly modern car, with better aerodynamics and superior handling (of the two).

In case if you are ready to look beyond hatches, I would recommend Fiesta classic. Great mileage, adequate performance upto 130-140 Kph. Great handling and mileage, acceptable interiors and good comfort (for front seat). I have mine 2009 EXI (limited edition model) and I never feel low on power and I am quiet an enthu driver . Also it would be a perfect upgrade from a hatch.
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Old 9th September 2012, 00:55   #291
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

I have given some pointers to your queries ,well at end of day its your hard earned money and hence take your time and do steer clear of the marketing gimmicks of auto companies and take a well informed decision.
You can really take my word ,you would be much safer in a punto then all other cars in contention .I have applied brakes at 130km/hr speed near nashik and car didnot lose its cool
Praveen singh


Note from the Team-BHP Support Staff: Kindly remove images from original post if quoting a reply. This causes inconvenience to the dial-up users.

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 9th September 2012 at 09:07.
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Old 9th September 2012, 02:47   #292
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by hyper-VTEC View Post
Keeping the above points in mind i am looking at buying a diesel hatch.
Requirements:
1. Comfortable in highway drives
2. Dependable
3. Quality (Premium feel)
4. Should have basic safety features (Airbags, ABS etc.)
Finally it should feel like an upgrade from Swift, not just a lateral buy.

This leaves me with Polo or the Fabia. I do not intend to drive in speeds in excess of 130Kmph (spurts) with cruising speeds of 100-110 Kmph. I plan to keep this car for 6+ years. And coming from Swift i would expect it to handle equal or better than Swift.

Looking for your inputs.
Since you have narrowed it down to the Polo and Fabia, i'll provide my inputs as a Polo owner and keep it as unbiased as I can:

Purely going by the looks, i'd pick the Polo over the Fabia anyday,but it may be subjective and some may prefer Fabia.
The Polo meets your requirements very well, it has a premium feel inside out. The highline is equipped with ABS & Airbags, and highway drives don't leave you fatigued. The front seats are quite comfortable and have a long travel range for the taller drivers.

Coming to the performance, since you're coming from a Swift, both Fabia and Polo diesel will feel underpowered. You won't like driving around in the city much thanks to the turbo lag, but the mid range is punchy and once you get a hang of the power-band its pretty fun within the city as well.

You'll really enjoy the Polo out on the open road! It took me a few journeys to realize why the 3cyl engine is not as bad as one might think. The engine can cruise effortlessly at 100-110km/hr no sign of stress at all, the RPM is at 2500 when doing 100 km/hr in the 5th gear(identical to Punto 90 figures) and to overtake other cars a tap of the accelerator will do, no need to shift down at all. It feels powerful till about 130 km/hr on the open road after which the engine/tyre noise et al become a bother.

On the highway I tried driving between 120-130 km/hr and it did a good job of keeping up with faster traffic, this was with a boot full of luggage and 5 onboard. The dynamics are spot on, you won't be nervous taking corners at high speeds and straight line stability is up there with some of the big cars. My car has ABS and not once did i feel nervous under panic braking. She stops dead straight, no drama whatsoever.

FE I've managed is 18-19kmpl averaging 100-120km/hr with 5 on board and a boot full of luggage. Within city I get 13-14 depending on the driving style.

To sum it up, you'll really enjoy this car on the open road than within the city. Since you'll be using it more on the highway, you'll be happy with a Polo.

AFAIK, Fabia scores high on interior quality and space. Can't think of anything else.Just don't expect either of these cars to be as refined as the 4cyl units.

If you have any specific queries, please post them here. I'll try and answer to the best I can.

PS:Your moving from a Jap to a Euro (in either case) rest assured, you won't be going back to the Japs.
PPS: Since you enjoy detailing, get one in black

Last edited by shashank.nk : 9th September 2012 at 02:51. Reason: Added a few sentences
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Old 9th September 2012, 08:36   #293
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Passiautonate View Post
Well after driving swift petrol both Fabia and Polo would feel sluggish to you, especially in sub 1500 RPM, also frequent gear changes to keep the car in powerband. Also NVH levels in both these cars is on the higher side. But yes build quality is solid with superb highway manners.
My pick would be Polo as this is slightly modern car, with better aerodynamics and superior handling (of the two).

In case if you are ready to look beyond hatches, I would recommend Fiesta classic. Great mileage, adequate performance upto 130-140 Kph. Great handling and mileage, acceptable interiors and good comfort (for front seat). I have mine 2009 EXI (limited edition model) and I never feel low on power and I am quiet an enthu driver . Also it would be a perfect upgrade from a hatch.
Yes. I think people upgrading from Swift to other hatchbacks have the same dilemma as i have. I have seen colleagues reasearch for upto an year to find the rightful upgrade.

Ford Classic: It would be out of budget, no premium feel. Although i agree it is the best drivers' car south of a million rupees. And the size will also be a problem, since i have a relatively small parking (lengthwise) at my current accommodation in Chennai as well as home on Bangalore.

Quote:
Originally Posted by blueblooded View Post
You can really take my word ,you would be much safer in a punto then all other cars in contention .I have applied brakes at 130km/hr speed near nashik and car didnot lose its cool
Praveen singh
I agree your points about TASS. There are exceptions. Like what happened in few cases with Skoda and it has been termed as bad SASS. I am sure the Punto is a hoot to drive. I promise to TD the 90HP Multijet and check.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Since you have narrowed it down to the Polo and Fabia, i'll provide my inputs as a Polo owner and keep it as unbiased as I can:

Purely going by the looks, i'd pick the Polo over the Fabia anyday,but it may be subjective and some may prefer Fabia.
The Polo meets your requirements very well, it has a premium feel inside out. The highline is equipped with ABS & Airbags, and highway drives don't leave you fatigued. The front seats are quite comfortable and have a long travel range for the taller drivers.

Coming to the performance, since you're coming from a Swift, both Fabia and Polo diesel will feel underpowered. You won't like driving around in the city much thanks to the turbo lag, but the mid range is punchy and once you get a hang of the power-band its pretty fun within the city as well.

You'll really enjoy the Polo out on the open road! It took me a few journeys to realize why the 3cyl engine is not as bad as one might think. The engine can cruise effortlessly at 100-110km/hr no sign of stress at all, the RPM is at 2500 when doing 100 km/hr in the 5th gear(identical to Punto 90 figures) and to overtake other cars a tap of the accelerator will do, no need to shift down at all. It feels powerful till about 130 km/hr on the open road after which the engine/tyre noise et al become a bother.

On the highway I tried driving between 120-130 km/hr and it did a good job of keeping up with faster traffic, this was with a boot full of luggage and 5 onboard. The dynamics are spot on, you won't be nervous taking corners at high speeds and straight line stability is up there with some of the big cars. My car has ABS and not once did i feel nervous under panic braking. She stops dead straight, no drama whatsoever.

FE I've managed is 18-19kmpl averaging 100-120km/hr with 5 on board and a boot full of luggage. Within city I get 13-14 depending on the driving style.

To sum it up, you'll really enjoy this car on the open road than within the city. Since you'll be using it more on the highway, you'll be happy with a Polo.

AFAIK, Fabia scores high on interior quality and space. Can't think of anything else.Just don't expect either of these cars to be as refined as the 4cyl units.

If you have any specific queries, please post them here. I'll try and answer to the best I can.

PS:Your moving from a Jap to a Euro (in either case) rest assured, you won't be going back to the Japs.
PPS: Since you enjoy detailing, get one in black
I would never drive with 5 adults and full luggage, so i feel i will get better FE and a bit more power in highways. I know the worthy upgrade in my case would be the Swift ZDi, but the unknown waiting periods are killing.

I always had my eyes on Polo. And i agree that Polo looks much better than Fabia, but had a question on the handling, but i feel the Polo wins hands down in this department as well.

I am sure after i "learn" to keep the Polo in the turbo range within city, it would not be a dud. Thank you for the detailed report, i will PM you in case i have more questions.

Last edited by hyper-VTEC : 9th September 2012 at 08:39.
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Old 9th September 2012, 08:56   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hyper-VTEC
I have a 2007 Jan Swift VXi ABS driven 44000 (approx.) Kms.

Keeping the above points in mind i am looking at buying a diesel hatch.
Requirements:
1. Comfortable in highway drives
2. Dependable
3. Quality (Premium feel)
4. Should have basic safety features (Airbags, ABS etc.)
Finally it should feel like an upgrade from Swift, not just a lateral buy.

I do not intend to drive in speeds in excess of 130Kmph (spurts) with cruising speeds of 100-110 Kmph. I plan to keep this car for 6+ years. And coming from Swift i would expect it to handle equal or better than Swift.

Looking for your inputs.
Shouldn't you be looking at the next segment ?
Vento Tdi
SX4 Zdi
Duster 110

6 years is a long time. Suggest you to look at next segment, space requirements may increase.
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Old 9th September 2012, 09:02   #295
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

I believe Bangalore has good Fiat ASC's and Fiat has started opening Fiat exclusive ASC's as well.

Have a look http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...n-network.html (Fiat revvs away from Tata dealerships. To set up its own distribution network)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...-workshop.html (Fiat opens Millennium Drive Pune, the first brand-exclusive workshop)

Thanks
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Old 9th September 2012, 10:38   #296
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

This past week and weekend, I had the opportunity to do extensive back to back test drives of all diesel hatchbacks available in the market. I'll summarize what I observed in all the cars, what I liked and what I didn't like. I will be looking at only the top end variants available in all the cars, and all the prices mentioned are OTR Bangalore.

My requirements which I will be benchmarking each car against, are as follows (no particular order) :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient (low-end and mid-range grunt) in the city -
- Highway tackling capabilities from an engine's perspective (High end grunt, ease of overtaking, sudden deceleration and acceleration abilities, etc)
- Engine Refinement
- Handling
- Ride Quality
- Braking
- Steering feedback
- Ergonomics
- Exterior looks
- Interiors
- Build quality
- Ease of servicing
- Features (gizmos, all the bells and whistles)
- Safety features
- Value for money

To keep the scoring simple, if I like the car's particular characteristic, it gets a 1, else it gets a 0. Total score will tallied in the end on all parameters, out of 15 points.

The following aspects are left out because I either don't need them, or else I don't care about them :

Bootspace - primarily a solo-used city car, so the boot will be opened only if there is a tyre puncture, if ever.
Turning radius - My home-office commute is along a ring-road, with almost no turns. Turning radius may not make a big difference on weekdays, and all hatches today are almost equally spec'ed in this department.
Back seat space - it will hardly be used, maximum possible usage is to dump my office laptop bag.
Brand image- I don't care what others think of my car. I am only bothered about how much fun/comfort I am having with it.
Resale value - this car won't be sold for the next 8-10 years. Maybe more. Not a concern
Fuel efficiency - most diesel hatches today return between 14-18 kmpl with A/C. I hardly believe in cringing for 1-2 kmpl difference in FE figures between the models, so it is not a deal breaker anyway.

Disclaimer
: before owners start flaming me, I will clarify that these opinions are purely mine, and I have tried to be as objective as possible with the scoring. If I didn't like something, I will outright blast it, bash it and smash it, so please bear with me

The reviews begin :

Toyota Etios Liva G.D

Price : 7.2L
Discounts : none, only a few freebie accessories

What I liked :
- quite peppy in the city, light weight body makes it a lot more chuckable.
- interior space is miles ahead of the competition.
- Toyota brand name, and peace of mind with the servicing
- neutral ride and handling. Comfortable in the city

What I didn't like :
- horrible plastic quality, interiors from the stone-ages, central dashboard layout with weighing scale gauges.
- Dissatisfied with the build quality and thin sheet metal. Weighs just 800kg? wow!
- no features/goodies on the specs. I'd have preferred a V.D in the line-up.
- styling not to my taste. Looks like a 1970s car, especially the front.

Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Reasonably peppy for a 68PS motor. I didn't find it struggling for breath anywhere >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Doesn't stand a chance against the competition it is benchmarked against >> 0
- Engine refinement - I didn't find it to be overly noisy or annoying. Seemed quite refined to me >> 1
- Handling - Couldn't find anything to complain about >> 1
- Ride Quality - A+ comfort for the passengers over bad roads and good roads alike >> 1
- Braking - The brakes didn't feel like they had sufficient bite. Was this an issue with the specific test drive car? I wonder >> 0
- Steering feedback - It is reasonably good, at least not as bad as the competition >> 1
- Ergonomics - Pretty comfortable. Found nothing to complain about >> 1
- Exterior looks - Not to my taste, this is a subjective rating >> 0
- Interiors' quality - wish I could have given negative scoring here for the Liva. It looks like it is built for the rural market. Tata must be better here >> 0
- Build quality - extremely thin sheet metal makes this a tinny build with a horrific kerb weight of just ~800kgs >> 0
- Ease of servicing - Hassle free Toyota ownership and service experience should give no nightmares to the owner whatsoever >> 1
- Features - No V.D variant. The G.D has Alto-like interiors at double the cost >> 0
- Safety features - Fortunately the G.D comes with SP edition equipped with ABS and Airbags >> 1
- Value for money - Not worth putting 7+ lacs of money on this yesteryear-like model with cheap interiors and zero features. It should be priced at 5L ideally >> 0

Total score = 8 / 15

Verdict : Rejected due to lack of features, bad interiors, inflated price tag and lack of sportiness for me.


Hyundai i20 CRDi Asta

Price : 9.2L
Discounts : none

What I liked :
- Extremely well kitted. Has all kinds of features under the sun. Even C segment sedans don't have many of the i20's features.
- Safety features are a segment first. 6 airbags and all disc brakes in a hatch! (to mention a few)
- Ultra-light steering easy for city traffic.
- Spacious cabin and good boot space
- 6th gear boosts fuel efficiency on highways.
- Decent ride quality at low speeds. All bumps and potholes are absorbed in the city without much noises.
- Ultra-refined Peppy 1.4L motor feels more like a petrol engine than a diesel

What I didn't like :
- DEAD steering. Absolutely DEAD. Steering feels like it is not part of the car. (sorry to confuse readers about the advantage of this in my 'liked' section)
- Bouncy boat-ride starts after you gain speed.
- Handling is nervous and twitchy. Lack of steering feedback compounds the lack-of-confidence.
- Lack of good under-thigh support for the rear seats. They are very narrow and bench-like
- Inadequate lumbar support and under-thigh support for the driver seat and rear bench.
- extremely long throw of gear shifts. Shifting from 1st to second makes the stick travel from Kashmir to Kanyakumari!


Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient
- Amazing peppiness in the city. Perhaps the best engine to drive among all diesel hatches >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Unbeatable in a straight line on the highways as well. Good for overtaking obstacles >> 1
- Engine refinement - Beautiful. Simply beautiful. Feels like a petrol engine in all aspects. Hyundai has even outdone the inventors of CRDI technology (Fiat) at this >> 1
- Handling - the soft boat-suspension gives up completely on the highways. Needless to mention this scary aspect >> 0
- Ride Quality - Excellent in the city, bouncy on the highways. Since this will be used in the city, I give it the benefit of doubt >> 1
- Braking - segment first all-round disc brakes makes this a no-brainer >> 1
- Steering feedback - zero feedback from the steering at all speeds. An arcade game machine in the local mall offers me better feedback >> 0
- Ergonomics - cabin although adequately spacious, seats do not provide enough lumbar support and under-thigh support. This will be a traffic jam vehicle (~4 hours everyday for my office commute), thumbs down >> 0
- Exterior looks - the fluidic design looks amazing. I like it. Attention to detail is impressive >> 1
- Interiors' quality - Brilliant interiors. I cannot find anything wrong with it >> 1
- Build quality - Excellent build quality, although not in the league of the Europeans, it is still good enough >> 1
- Ease of servicing - With Hyundai's widespread service network, this should be easy to answer. Cost is supposed to be high, but I'll give it the benefit of doubt again >> 1
- Features - No brainer. It is stuffed with everything you could possibly want >> 1
- Safety features - 5 star Euro NCAP rating, 6 airbags, ABS, blah blah.. Enough said >> 1
- Value for money - others may disagree with me, but I think it IS value for money, considering the overall package you are getting for 9.2L >> 1

Total score = 12 / 15

Verdict : Unbelievably high score, but this will not make a good companion to the T-Jet. They are radically different, and I prefer driving characteristics more than the flashy gizmos. I wouldn't call this car overpriced. For 9.2L, you are getting amazing features and an incredible safety kit too, with the practicality of a refined hatch. It is a nice VFM car which offers a big car package in a hatch, but just doesn't suit my driving preferences.


Skoda Fabia 1.2 TDI Elegance

Price: 9.1L
Discounts : none on diesel variants

What I liked :
- best quality of interiors among all hatches. Period.
- Neutral ride, good interior space.
- Nice turning radius
- Solid build quality
- Quite chuckable in the city for a 1.2L 3-pot mill. I expected it to be sluggish

What I didn't like :
- that annoying clatter of the 3-pot. It is LOUD, with a capital L. No amount of NVH deadening helps this. It sounds like a refined tractor at best.
- Ergonomics are satisfactory for tall drivers, but I found it rather cramped in leg space.
- I would have liked a little more steering feedback
- heavily overpriced at 9.2L. It is at least a lac more than the Swift, which ironically offers more equipment than the Fabia. The pricing is arrogant.
- styling is a little too feminine for my liking


Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Reasonably peppy for what I expected >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - I wouldn't really want to take a car with this tractor engine on the highway. It feels really strained after a point, and I didn't find the overtaking abilities good >> 0
- Engine refinement - absolutely NIL. After driving this, you wonder if cars suddenly also have started going retro like fashion designing trends. Astounding amount of noise with the 3-pot will give you a headache within 10 minutes of driving. Please keep a pain relief ointment in the dashboard handy at all times >> 0
- Handling - Not a bad handler at all, but I expected better >> 1
- Ride Quality - Felt quite good to me in the city >> 1
- Braking - Nothing wrong with the brakes so I will spare this one too >> 1
- Steering feedback - Although its an EPS, it does offer a good amount of feedback, more than what I expected >> 1
- Ergonomics - Spot on. Adequately comfortable seats give me nothing to complain about >> 1
- Exterior looks - Not to my taste. It looks a tad too feminine to me >> 0
- Interiors' quality - Wish I could have given this bonus points for interior quality. The inside is posh and feels like a 10+L sedan >> 1
- Build quality - European build quality. Don't ask further >> 1
- Ease of servicing - From my relatives' experiences at Bangalore, I've heard of loads of spare parts issues and other horror stories. Let me play safe here >> 0
- Features - I don't see anything to complain about. Adequately equipped with all the necessary features I need >> 1
- Safety features - ABS and Airbags standard on the Elegance trim >> 1
- Value for money - Heavily overpriced at 9.1L for a 3-cylinder tractor engine >> 0

Total score - 10 / 15

Verdict : It could have made the cut for me, if only they had a more refined, more-powerful 4-cylinder engine at a lower price. Rather than this 3-pot, I can as well buy a tractor and go to office. At least I get some more respect on the road (other vehicles giving me way).


Volkswagen Polo 1.2 TDI Highline

Price : 9.2L
Discounts : none on diesel variants

What I liked :
- Brilliant ergonomics
- Cabin feels upmarket and rich.
- Rock solid German build quality
- Looks the best among all the hatches available today.
- Fantastic handling and ride quality combo
- Same engine as the Fabia TDI, feels quite peppy

What I didn't like :
Same as Fabia 1.2 TDI, but I actually liked the ergonomics of the Polo more than the Fabia.

Total Score : same as Fabia's score + 1 more point for exterior looks since I like the polo's understated looks - 11 / 15

Verdict : If only this car came with a 4 cylinder mill, or with the Vento's 1.6 TDI engine, its scorecard rating would be a + on the first 3 points and overall rating would have been a whopping 14/15 ! It (polo with 1.6TDI) would have been my choice from day 1, if I were to ignore the servicing and VFM factors. Sadly, I will give this option up now due to 1. Inflated price tag and 2. Tractor-like engine


Nissan Micra XV Premium Diesel


Price
: 8.9L
Discounts : a few freebies on negotiation

What I liked
:
- extremely peppy engine makes the drive effortless
- quite good amount of gizmos on the inside with the start/stop button et. al.
- Comfortable ride over bad roads.

What I didn't like :
- extremely feminine styling, inside and out. My friend commented that it looks like a chinese imitation product of a VW Beetle (no offense meant)
- non-existent dealership network
- Only driver airbags provided. Nissan strongly encourages owners practicing re-marriage after accidents
- overpriced.

Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Brilliant driveability in the city. I in fact felt it was overpowered sometimes >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Should manage to do well on the highways, but who has the confidence to take it on the highway without safety features? >> 1
- Engine refinement - The refinement is quite decent >> 1
- Handling - This is not a handling beast, but it could be termed as neutral. Neither horrible, nor good >> 1
- Ride Quality - The ride quality is quite good in the city, absorbs all the bumps and potholes and provides a nice ride >> 1
- Braking - I felt the brakes lacked bite, and this thing does not even come with ABS??!! Good heavens!! >> 0
- Steering feedback - It lacks feel and feedback, and doesn't feel very connected. For the lack of involving experience for the driver, I axe it >> 0
- Ergonomics - Driver ergonomics seemed ok, but I somewhat felt I was sitting too low down. I'll ignore that though >> 1
- Exterior looks - Extremely feminine styling is not to my liking. I wouldn't want to be seen in one of these, for god's sake. >> 0
- Interiors' quality - Plastic and upholstery quality is okay, but the grey color doesn't look very premium. For the price they are charging, I expect better interiors >> 0
- Build quality - Well, this is no tank-build. I didn't find it to be too cheap or tacky, so I'll let this go >> 1
- Ease of servicing - Their service network is non-existent outside the city, and the cost of spares/ownership is unknown. I'll play it safe >> 0
- Features - There are the usual gizmos which everyone provides. Nothing to complain about here >> 1
- Safety features - No ABS on any variant, happy skidding and sliding on highways! The XV premium model comes with only driver airbag. The poor unsuspecting passenger doesn't know this. How terribly cruel of them! >> 0
- Value for money - Why would anyone pay ~9L for a car which looks like it has been built for the fairer gender, and doesn't have ABS and dual Airbags >> 0

Total Score : 8 / 15


Verdict : Outright rejected due to a lack of safety features, thin service network and last but not the least, extremely Girly looks and feminine styling on the inside too. I wouldn't want to be caught driving one of these.


Chevrolet Beat TCDi LT(O)

Price : 7.2L
Discounts : none on diesel variants

What I liked :
- Tiny compact body, Nimble footed, extremely small turning radius make it a delight to penetrate through heavy traffic
- Decently kitted for the price tag. Kit even matches some of the bigger diesel hatches
- Cheap price tag of 7.2L. Cheapest of diesel hatches in the country.
- Fuel efficiency claims of 24 kmpl in the city, with A/C. Irrespective of whether that's true or not, its safe to assume its the most fuel efficient diesel hatch

What I didn't like :
- You guessed it right. Extremely underpowered at 56bhp. Forget all highways and long drives. Ghat sections are a distant dream.
- DEAD steering. The EPS unit feels totally disconnected
- Skinny tyre sizes require you to keep cash for a tyre upgrade after purchase
- Interiors' quality (both upholstery and plastic) feels tacky


Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Adequate for city speeds, reasonably peppy at sub-50kmph. With its chuckability in traffic gaps, the destination comes up quicker >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Er. highway.. what's that?? Sorry. Overtaking?? good luck. Ghat sections?? Are you out of your mind??!! Please don't insult this thing any more. I take leave here >> 0
- Engine refinement - This is another 3-pot tractor engine, just that its a smaller size tractor than the Polo/Fabia. It really lives up to its slogan 'Drive Khulke', the engine sound is fully 'Khula' >> 0
- Handling - This is by no means a handler. I would describe the handling as jittery and nervous at best >> 0
- Ride Quality - The ride quality is quite good in the city >> 1
- Braking - Couldn't find anything wrong with the brakes >> 1
- Steering feedback - This is another DEAD steering, bettered only by the i20 >> 0
- Ergonomics - I couldn't find too much room in the driver's seat, the steering seemed too close to the body and the seat didn't move as far back as I would have liked. This is too cramped for me >> 0
- Exterior looks - I don't find much to complain about its looks. It is typically Chevy, looks funky and different >> 1
- Interiors' quality - Plastic and upholstery quality is not upto my expectation. Cabin has tiny windows and rear windshield, and feels claustrophobic >> 0
- Build quality - I didn't find it commendable. This is another Etios Liva in terms of build quality. Built to a cost with thin sheet metal >> 0
- Ease of servicing - With the Chevy 3-year promise, servicing shouldn't be too much of a hassle. I'll give it a plus >> 1
- Features - for being the cheapest diesel hatch, it is quite well equipped with most bells and whistles >> 1
- Safety features - the LT(O) has ABS and Airbags, thankfully they haven't skimped on this aspect >> 1
- Value for money - at 7.2L on road, I don't consider it VFM for the tiny 3-pot motor, lack of driving fun and the tinny build quality offered. It is a 4-5L car with a diesel motor, nothing else >> 0

Total Score : 7 / 15

Verdict : Too underpowered to be an enthusiast hatch. I cannot take this out on the highway even if there is a sudden need to. Steering feedback is NIL, overtaking is a pain, and is impossible without downshifts. It is a brilliant car to be used in high density traffic, but it is by no means an allrounder. I respect its abilities in the city, but I will forego this option since its abilities are restricted.


Maruti Swift ZDi

Price : 8.4L
Discounts : none

What I liked :
- Decently kitted with features
- Ergonomics are spot on for me, more so because I already had a Swift all these days
- Peppiest diesel motor among all the options with the best tuned gearbox. Effortless driving in the city and on the highway alike
- Fantastic handling and chuckability.

What I didn't like :
- FGT turbo takes forever to spool up (2k rpm) and till then, you are in the lag zone
- Bootspace is extremely small.
- Ride quality was bone-jarring in the previous gen Swift, now it is reduced to 'Muscle jarring', but the harshness is still present.
- Thin sheet metal and unsatisfactory build quality.
- Highly overpriced at 8.4L

Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Brilliantly tuned gearbox literally lets you have fun even in the city. Boy is it Swift? You bet! >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - the DDiS engine pulls effortlessly on the highway, overtaking is a breeze but sudden start-stops are managed half-heartedly. But again, this is not an out-and-out performance scorching monster higher up >> 1
- Engine refinement - It is quite a refined engine and inside the cabin, the clatter is well controlled >> 1
- Handling - Have a blast. This is a lightweight Go-Kart that can be thrown into corners, it has extremely good handling prowess >> 1
- Ride Quality - The ride quality is harsh on bad roads, and in the city the ride quality is still not as plush as the competition. A lot of reviews claim that the new Swift has improved ride quality, but I don't think it is a major improvement over the previous gen which I had >> 0
- Braking - Despite the comments here on various threads, I couldn't find anything wrong with the ZDi's brakes >> 1
- Steering feedback - The EPS on the Swift is one more missing aspect which separates it from the enthusiast league of cars. It is still not as bad as the i20 or Beat though, so I give it the benefit of doubt >> 1
- Ergonomics - Ergonomics are quite good for me, perhaps this is because I am already used to it >> 1
- Exterior looks - The Swift looks young and jazzy, and the current gen looks a bit sportier too >> 1
- Interiors' quality - Plastic and upholstery quality is not upto my expectation for a 8.5L car, still it is better than the previous gen Swift and can't exactly be called Tacky >> 1
- Build quality - I didn't find it too great. It seems built to a cost with thin sheet metal >> 0
- Ease of servicing - It is a Maruti! Do we need to say anything more? >> 1
- Features - post-facelift, the Swift is decently equipped, although I would have liked Bluetooth connectivity to be there too. It isn't under-equipped in any other department, so this will pass >> 1
- Safety features - The ZDi is decently kitted with safety features, and even has better brakes than the L and V. No reason to complain here >> 1
- Value for money - When I booked this car in March, the price was 7.8L. The price has steadily increased since then to 8.4L for the exact same car, with no discounts or freebies whatsoever. Is it worth that much?? >> 0

Total Score : 12 / 15

Verdict : It ticked most of the boxes for me, so it was booked in March this year. Then it was cancelled in September, owing to dealer arrogance and apathy, repeated strikes and lock-outs at Maruti, unknown delivery timelines, and last but not the least, better cars being launched after the booking.


Ford Figo Titanium TDCi

Price : 7.3L
Discounts : didn't enquire

What I liked :
- Extremely fun to drive in the city. Perhaps the best in-city driveability among all hatches
- Superb air-conditioning in the cabin. It cooled the cabin in minutes, on a hot and sunny day!
- practical car which is an all-rounder, shines in all aspects

What I didn't like :
- Old-school, boxy design is unappealing and downright ugly! Red dashboard is very gaudy!
- Ergonomics were not to my liking, sadly. I could never find a good position and kept squirming around through the test drive.
- No outright rocket-like performance on the highways.
- Doesn't offer anything more than my current Swift ZXi. Not an upgrade in the true sense. In fact I lose the rear power windows that I had in a 2006 hatchback!

Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Brilliant driveability, zero turbo lag, delightful gearbox and amazing fun to drive in the city >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Nice car to drive on the highway, but the 70PS engine with a 1130kg Kerb weight suffers from a poor power-to-weight ratio. I cannot call it as an exciting car to drive on the highways, especially in the power department. This chassis deserved much more power to truly make it enjoyable >> 0
- Engine refinement - There is a fair bit of clatter audible at idle, but inside the car, I couldn't hear anything. It felt quite refined once in motion >> 1
- Handling - Among the 2 best handling cars of all the hatches (the other one being Punto). I can't really find any fault with its handling >> 1
- Ride Quality - Ride Quality is also quite well controlled and I cannot find anything wrong with this >> 1
- Braking - The brakes felt adequate for those sudden stops >> 1
- Steering feedback - Steering feedback is amazing, truly amazing. The communicative steering keeps you glued to the drive and is a joy to use >> 1
- Ergonomics - I felt the seating was way too low for my liking, and I kept squirming around in the seat trying to find the best position, to no avail. This will be a daily traffic jam vehicle, like I mentioned before, so ergonomics are important for me. I still give this the benefit of doubt, since it is just a matter of getting used to >> 1
- Exterior looks - Dull, boring, boxy, old world, hideous, ugly! Ok that's enough! This is no looker, and I don't really see it pulling my heart strings in this department >> 0
- Interiors' quality - Plastic and upholstery quality is satisfactory, although I am not too keen on the gaudy Red dashboard, I'll let this pass as a subjective choice. Interior build and plastic quality is good >> 1
- Build quality - Really good build quality, unlike the Japanese and American competition. It gives a nice secure feeling inside too >> 1
- Ease of servicing - I haven't really heard good things about Ford, but then neither have I heard horror stories like those of Skoda. I'll give it the benefit of doubt since there are so many satisfied Figo owners out there >> 1
- Features - post-facelift, it comes decently kitted, apart from that ridiculous idea of not giving rear power windows even on the Titanium variant (they might as well call it Stainless steel in that case). I'll let it pass since it is the only missing thing apart from auto climate control >> 1
- Safety features - Has all the safety features one would want >> 1
- Value for money - It is a superb VFM car. It offers a lot of equipment, adequate safety at a price of 7.3L on road, a full lac cheaper than the Swift ZDi and 1.5L cheaper than the Punto Sport / Hyundai i20 and the other Europeans >> 1

Total Score : 13 / 15.

Verdict : There really couldn't be another car at this price segment, which suited all my requirements perfectly. But I had a couple of problems with the Figo :
1. It was not punchy higher up in the gears and at highways speeds.
2. Features-wise and segment-wise, it wasn't an upgrade from my Swift ZXi. In fact, the 6 year old Swift ZXi can still put this Figo to shame in the feature list, despite being a generation younger
3. The undigestable looks! Why couldn't they make it a little more desirable?! It is an ugly duckling from all angles, and I would dare say an Ambassador looks much better.
4. I was NOT looking at this price segment to begin with, but was in fact targeting the 8-9L space (for an upgrade), so settling for a downgrade was not among the options.

I must be fair to the Figo. It is a brilliant all rounder (you can see from my own score). I would have picked it if I was looking at something in this budget range. It ticks all my boxes at the 7L hatch range, and it is unfair on my part to compare it with the Punto Sport or i20 because there is a 6 digit difference in the price between these 2 segments. Finally, I will give up this option, because I would like the Swift's successor to be a proper upgrade on all counts.


In the end, I moved on to the T-Jet's own stable. I had deliberately kept these for the end now when I did the test drives the second time, to avoid any biased decisions. My benchmark was already quite high for the Fiats. I had 2 options to choose from - the Grande Punto Emotion 75HP and the Grande Punto Sport (90HP). Driving both of these siblings back-to-back did not produce the desired results for me. I had to again request for repeat test drives from Prerana motors, for both these cars to know the difference in driving the two. Thankfully they obliged. Let me take the Punto Emotion 75HP first, and then the Punto Sport last.


Fiat Grande Punto Emotion 75HP

Price : 8.1L after discounts
Discounts : quite a handful. Enough to keep customers pleased. Free insurance, free RSA + extended warranty, exchange bonus, free accessories.

What I liked :
- Stunning looks and build quality. Typically European
- Flawless handling and zero body roll. Excellently balanced with a nice ride quality too!
- Involving drive experience with excellent steering feedback
- Perhaps the best highway car among all the options seen till now


What I didn't like :
- interior fit and finish is tacky. Fire the engineers who assembled the Punto 75's interiors plastics, I say!
- not a very peppy car to drive. Swift's case is an example of how a well tuned gearbox can really utilize this same MultiJet engine's specs
- not as appealing when its more desirable elder sibling (Punto Sport) is parked next to it, costs 40k more and comes with a whole load of extras in addition to being 18PS more powerful
- The Punto 75HP doesn't have a very spotless record when it comes to being niggle-free. With the T-Jet's internals and parts being imported from Italy, I have hardly faced any issues at all! I wonder how the niggles can be with the Punto 75HP.


Karthik's scorecard :

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - It can't be termed as sluggish, and yet it can't be termed as a scorcher either. I'll give this a pass >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - Has enough grunt to take on the highways, but not enough grunt to rule the highways. Same problem as the Figo - It suffers from a slightly low power-to-weight ratio, and runs out of breath as you move to the higher gears and start extracting more juice. I wouldn't call it as a performance inspiring runner >> 0
- Engine refinement - There is quite a bit of noise at higher revs, but the sound damping is brilliant at low revs and I could hardly find fault with it. In fact, the Swift feels much more unrefined with the same engine >> 1
- Handling - The best handling car, along with its VGT sibling. No questions about its handling >> 1
- Ride Quality - Ride Quality is perhaps the segment best, although in the city I would tend to favour the i20 better. The Punto offers the best balance between handling and ride quality through all the speed ranges >> 1
- Braking - The brake bite is good enough. It almost felt like it had disc at the rear too >> 1
- Steering feedback - Feedback is the segment best. After my T-Jet, I don't think I will like any other steering wheel to use >> 1
- Ergonomics - Ergonomics are largely similar to my T-Jet, so I didn't have trouble sliding into and out of the seats or finding the right position. What's more - the switches are all located in exactly the same place as the Linea, which means no change in ergonomics when I switch between the cars >> 1
- Exterior looks - Classy, Ferrari-like looks, especially in the Ferrari Red color >> 1
- Interiors' quality - (In the Punto 75HP ONLY) Plastic quality is tacky, and the black and grey cabin looks dull and unappealing. Fit and finish needs to improve a lot. There were lots of grey tipped switches and handles with paint chipped off on a 10,000km old car, and some glaring panel gaps on the inside plastics. Wish I could give it a minus 1 rating. The T-Jet is a world apart in the interior fit and finish and is well put together, although these 2 are fundamentally similar. Punto 75HP loses out in this department >> 0
- Build quality - Tank-like build quality with bus-like interior plastics. This still scores for the tank part though >> 1
- Ease of servicing - Contrary to what other people might say, I have been a satisfied customer of Fiat for more than a year now. The service centre I visit is splendid, the staff are super-helpful and the cost of maintenance shouldn't be too astronomical in comparison to its other European rivals. I will give the service experience a plus rating purely for the good dealer in Bangalore, and my experience with the T-Jet >> 1
- Features - The Punto is equipped with most of the features one would possibly want. I have no complaints in this regard. >> 1
- Safety features - Has all the safety features one would want, plus that tank-like build quality for extra protection >> 1
- Value for money - For 8.1L, you get a decently powered and feature-laden diesel hatch, 30k cheaper than the Swift ZDi. With the discounts being thrown in now, it is a good proposition for someone willing to stretch for 70-80k from the Figo's budget >> 1

Total Score : 13 / 15

Verdict : This is a brilliant car and in the city, it should not differ too much from its costlier sibling in terms of low speed behaviour. Where this tends to lose the battle is in the mind of the enthusiast. The kind of customer who will obviously be partial to its better powered sibling which comes with better goodies on the inside and outside, and is a better high speed car, priced at 40-50k more. The Punto 75HP Emotion lost out on the verdict due to its own sibling backstabbing it. Rejected.


Fiat Grande Punto Sport (90HP)

Price : 8.6L after discounts
Discounts : same as Punto 75HP Emotion

What I liked :
- Stunning, jaw-dropping looks and build quality. Typically European
- Flawless handling and zero body roll. Excellently balanced with a nice ride quality too!
- Involving drive experience with excellent steering feedback
- The best highway car among all the options. Period.
- The turbo surge is better controlled by the VGT and acceleration is more linear and suited to city driving than the sudden rushed feeling of the FGT turbo diesel cars.
- Rocket-like performance beyond 2nd gear. A tuning box can turn this into a ~120bhp monster hatch
- Interior quality is better than the Punto 75HP.
- Whole lot of goodies in the sport like the 18bhp of extra power, Abarth racing pedals, chrome exhaust, etc.


What I didn't like
:
- You guessed it right. The infamous gear ratio problem in the 90HP. When you want to blast forward and upshift from 1st gear to 2nd, there is an annoying lag since 2nd gear is quite tall and 1st is quite short. The first gear is quite good for start-stops in bumper-to-bumper traffic though.
- Interior fit and finish is still tacky, but it is better than the Punto 75HP.
- Possible niggles cropping up (Although I am yet to face anything in my current Fiat, need to be prepared for this)
- I can't think of anything much against this car, except that it will definitely not be a Maruti Swift when it comes to servicing it.


Karthik's scorecard
:

- Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient - Apart from the 1st-2nd gear sluggishness, once you are in 2nd and above, this is a blast to drive in the city. The torque is massive and propels it forward without any throttle input >> 1
- Highway tackling capabilities - 2nd gear and upwards this thing flies. This car should easily rule the highways with its 93PS of power. Enough said. >> 1
- Engine refinement - Refinement is on par with its 75HP sibling. I didn't find anything to complain about >> 1
- Handling - The best handling car in the segment. No questions about its handling >> 1
- Ride Quality - Ride Quality is quite firm at low speeds, but it is perhaps the segment best again. The Punto offers the best balance between handling and ride quality through all the speed ranges, from 5kmph to 150 kmph >> 1
- Braking - The brake bite is excellent. I didn't find anything to complain about >> 1
- Steering feedback - Feedback is the segment best. After my T-Jet, I don't think I will like any other steering wheel to use >> 1
- Ergonomics - Ergonomics are largely similar to my T-Jet (which I am 100% used to), so I didn't have trouble sliding into and out of the seats or finding the right position. What's more - the switches are all located in exactly the same place as the Linea, which means no change in ergonomics when I switch between the cars, except that the Punto's seats are nowhere as plush and luxurious as the T-Jet's (understandable since there is a 2L price difference) >> 1
- Exterior looks - Segment best, Ferrari-like looks, especially in the Ferrari Red color >> 1
- Interiors' quality - Plastic quality is not upto the mark, and the black and grey cabin looks dull and unappealing. Fit and finish needs to improve a lot. The 90HP is marginally better than its 75HP sibling, in that the cheap grey switches are now replaced by chrome, which is more durable and looks more upmarket like the Linea's cabin.The T-Jet is still a world apart in the interior fit and finish and is well put together, although these 2 are fundamentally similar. Punto 75HP loses out in this department >> 0
- Build quality - Tank-like build quality is again, best in segment and only Polo comes close the the Punto in this department >> 1
- Ease of servicing - Contrary to what other people might say, I have been a satisfied customer of Fiat for more than a year now. The service centre I visit is splendid, the staff are super-helpful and the cost of maintenance shouldn't be too astronomical in comparison to its other European rivals. I will give the service experience a plus rating purely for the good dealer in Bangalore, and my experience with the T-Jet >> 1
- Features - The Punto is equipped with most of the features one would possibly want. I have no complaints in this regard. >> 1
- Safety features - Has all the safety features one would want, plus that tank-like build quality for extra protection >> 1
- Value for money - For 8.6L on road, you get a rocket of a car with amazing features, mind-blowing highway performance and an all-rounder in all aspects, if you can digest the Fiat brand name in society though. Is it VFM compared to what the other rivals are selling their tractors for, yes! It is really VFM! >> 1

Total Score : 14 / 15.


Verdict : Some might argue with me that I am partial to Fiat because I own a T-Jet+ already. I have tried to be as objective as possible in reviewing all the options in front of me. The Punto Sport 90HP satisfies 14 out of my 15 requirements well, and the interiors' quality is certainly not as tacky as its 75HP sibling. The dynamics of the car and the involving-feeling one gets when this car is driven, should be experienced first-hand rather than explained here. People may call me a fool for going towards Fiat again, but I don't see any other diesel hatch which ticks more boxes for an enthusiast than this car. I just got off a call to the dealer and my booking should be through in the next 1 week or so. The T-Jet finally gets company in the garage from an able successor to the old Swift ZXi. The Punto 90HP in comparison to the Swift ZXi now
- sips lesser fuel than the Swift, and is cheaper to fill up the tank
- looks like a million bucks, and provides superior build quality too.
- offers more features and gizmos on the inside
- is a better handler, and in spite of that it offers a better ride quality balance
- is an upgrade over the Swift in terms of power and torque as well

This car (Fiat Punto Sport) is a true upgrade from the Swift and is declared the winner of this diesel hatch comparo.


Game changers (I Wish) : If there was a Polo with the 4-cylinder engine of the Vento, I would have gone for it any day! That beast engine is infinitely faster, more fun to drive and suffers from absolutely zero turbo lag. It is the most fun diesel engine I have ever driven in the sub-10L segment. How I wish there was a Polo 1.6 TDI Highline in the market! Alas. It would have topped the chart with 14/15 points right up there with the Fiat Punto Sport on the podium.


Segment toppers (my top 3 picks in the 15 categories) :

Fun to drive and Peppiness quotient in the city - Hyundai i20, Nissan Micra dCi = Ford Figo, Maruti Swift ZDi

Highway tackling capabilities (power-wise) - Fiat Punto Sport 90HP, Hyundai i20, Maruti Swift ZDi = Ford Figo

Engine refinement - Hyundai i20, Ford Figo, Fiat Punto Sport

Handling - Fiat Punto Sport / 75HP. The Ford Figo comes a close second, Swift = Polo for the third place

Ride Quality - Hyundai i20 = Etios Liva for the city, VW Polo for the highways, Ford Figo and Fiat Punto for all-round ride quality

Braking
- Hyundai i20, VW Polo = Fiat Punto Sport

Steering feedback - Fiat Punto Sport, Fiat Punto Emotion 75HP, Ford Figo

Ergonomics - Fiat Punto Sport = VW Polo, Maruti Swift ZDi,

Exterior looks - Fiat Punto Sport, VW Polo, Maruti Swift ZDi

Interiors' quality - Skoda Fabia, Hyundai i20, VW Polo

Build quality - Fiat Punto Sport, VW Polo

Ease of servicing - Maruti Swift ZDi, Toyota Etios Liva G.D, Chevrolet Beat TCDi

Features - Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto Sport, VW Polo = Skoda Fabia

Safety features - Hyundai i20 for 6 airbags and ABS, European league of VW Polo / Skoda Fabia / Fiat Punto for combined safety of build quality + safety features

Value for money - Ford Figo, Fiat Punto Sport, Hyundai i20 = Chevrolet Beat TCDi for third place.


Thanks for reading through this rather massive comparo post. I've just put forth my attempt at arriving at an unbiased decision. Hope the post wasn't too boring

Last edited by KarthikK : 9th September 2012 at 10:58.
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Old 9th September 2012, 12:53   #297
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Whoa ! That's one detailed and exhaustive summary of all hatches available today ! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Polo highline has seen a price correction. It should now cost atleast 50k less (40k reduction in ex showroom price) and a few new features have been added too.

Agree with you that the engine could've been better.
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Old 9th September 2012, 13:39   #298
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post

This car (Fiat Punto Sport) is a true upgrade from the Swift and is declared the winner of this diesel hatch comparo.

Game changers (I Wish) : If there was a Polo with the 4-cylinder engine of the Vento, I would have gone for it any day! That beast engine is infinitely faster, more fun to drive and suffers from absolutely zero turbo lag. It is the most fun diesel engine I have ever driven in the sub-10L segment. How I wish there was a Polo 1.6 TDI Highline in the market! Alas. It would have topped the chart with 14/15 points right up there with the Fiat Punto Sport on the podium.
Fantastic analysis ! Does anyone know if the VW Polo 1.6TDi will be launched ?
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Old 9th September 2012, 14:10   #299
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarthikK View Post
I have tried to be as objective as possible in reviewing all the options in front of me.
Hats off to the effort you have put in for reviewing and penning it down. But I really don't know why I am getting finicky these days nitpicking at others. Maybe it is a sign of getting old fast. Ain't giving +1 for 'Ease of servicing' for a Fiat being too subjective?
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Old 9th September 2012, 14:25   #300
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Default Re: Upgrading from Swift. Which Hatch?

Quote:
Originally Posted by shashank.nk View Post
Whoa ! That's one detailed and exhaustive summary of all hatches available today ! Thanks for sharing it with us.

Polo highline has seen a price correction. It should now cost atleast 50k less (40k reduction in ex showroom price) and a few new features have been added too.

Agree with you that the engine could've been better.
Thanks for the information shashank . So it will become 8.6L now, sounds much better than the 9.2L price tag which was on it all along. Out of curiosity, how much did you pay for the highline when you bought it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by thoma View Post
Hats off to the effort you have put in for reviewing and penning it down. But I really don't know why I am getting finicky these days nitpicking at others. Maybe it is a sign of getting old fast. Ain't giving +1 for 'Ease of servicing' for a Fiat being too subjective?
Thanks thoma! I'd expected someone to ask this, its not at all nitpicking, feel free to question anything. The whole review has been tailored for my requirements, so I am trying to be objective within a subjective world *lol* (inception part 2, eh??). The +1 for Fiats were given considering the fact that Bangalore Fiat service centres are quite good. A lot of my friends who have been having Fiat cars all along are satisfied with Prerana's service levels, and so have been a lot of members here as well. As a Fiat customer, I have been really happy with their servicing efficiency, and with the service network split next year, things can only get better from here once they are free from the Tata network's laid back babu-culture of not stocking parts, apathy, etc.

So, keeping in mind that it was a Bangalore-specfic review, you could say it was an objective + rating for Fiats in Bangalore. And if it was India-specific, you could give the Fiats a 0 rating for ease of servicing , considering the difficulty many owners have faced with fixing niggles. Either way the Punto Sport still tops the rating chart!

Last edited by KarthikK : 9th September 2012 at 14:37.
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