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Old 23rd July 2011, 12:19   #1
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Default The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

I've noticed quite a few threads recently coming up in the 20-30lac range, with many similar questions being asked. So I thought I would come up with a list of cars, with a few + and a few - points just so that a person can get a quick idea of the cars.

Note - This is not for SUVs, and only for sedans. Also these are partly my views, you may disagree with some of them.

Skoda Laura L&K
This is the only variant crossing the 20l mark so my points are only for this.

+ 140bhp tdi quick enough for most, and good economy
+ Brilliant 6 speed DSG box
+ Loaded with features - touchscreen, 12 speakers, seat memory etc
+ A mini Superb minus the Sunroof

- Space can be at a premium
- After sales might not be good (Depending on the dealer)
- Some may think it is not VFM, in that case compare it to the 320d CE

Honda Accord

+ Great engines, 2.4 is powerful enough while the 3.5l is quite a beast
+ Good car to be chauffeured in, the back seat is like a sofa
+ Honda reliability

- Lacks features, by a lot. Basic things like MID missing
- Handling is so-so with the soft suspension setup
- Build quality cannot match up to the other cars here

Toyota Camry

+ Better built of the Japs here
+ Very good ride quality
+ Better reliability than the Germans

- Overpriced

Nothing much to say about the Camry, since like most Toyotas it is good at all things, but great at none.

Skoda Superb

+ 1.8tsi can surprise you with its punch, also gives better FE than you expect
+ 2.0tdi is the same as in the Laura. The best if you are chauffered
+ 3.6 V6 is a monster, and if you want a quick car this is your best bet. Also has 4x4 and a lowered suspension
+ DSG is all variants. 7 speed in 1.8tsi, 6 speed in rest
+ Loaded with features, more than some variants of the 3, C, A4
+ Rear Legroom is great

- Ride can be a bit bumpy sometimes
- You feel like a limo driver if self driven
- Skoda after sales (again depends on the dealer)
- Possibly due for an upgrade soon, hopefully the diesel will get a 30bhp bump

BMW 320d Corporate Edition

+ The most involving to drive of the lot, may not be the quickest
+ The BMW badge
+ 184bhp diesel, the fastest diesel here, again pretty good FE too
+ RWD, matters to some
+ Compact size can be good if there are not more than 2 users most of the time
+ BMW Secure + BSI packages

- Model due for replacement soon
- Lacks space, even compared to the Laura
- Has an OK amount of features, it misses things like Xenons, iDrive screen, and only gets an 8 speaker music system
- The ride can be stiff sometimes

Volkswagen Passat

+ The king of features in this segment. Everything you can think of and then things like Automatic parking. Feels like the 30l is worth it
+ 170bhp tdi + DSG = Surprisingly quick and decently fun to drive
+ Ride can be better than the Superb at times
+ Sexy DRLs

- German reliability?
- Less legroom than the Superb at the back
- Nothing else I can think of

Nissan Teana

+ By far, the best to be driven around in
+ Great ride quality, and rear seats, and front seats.
+ Ottoman legrest for passenger seat
+ Panoramic roof

- CBU so overpriced
- Nissan does not have many dealerships
- only a V6 petrol engine

Self Driven -
Laura L&K
Superb 3.6
320d CE
Passat

Sitting in the back seat -
Teana
Camry
Accord
Superb

Mix of both -
Passat
Superb
Accord V6


Guys please feel free to add your own points. These are just what I could think of to sum the cars up.

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 23rd July 2011 at 12:21.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:25   #2
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Super thread, Akshay! Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
+ 140bhp tdi quick enough for most, and good economy
+ Brilliant 6 speed DSG box
One of the best engine & gearbox combinations there is today.

But a big downer is the unreliable nature after 50,000 kms. Not cheap to maintain either.

Quote:
Honda Accord
Still my choice in petrol, thanks to the stellar reliability and no-nonsense ownership.

Quote:
Toyota Camry
Superb sedan, let down only by the price.

Quote:
Skoda Superb
40 lakh luxury at a 20 lakh price is how I'd put it. Unfortunately, the DSG gearbox & air-conditioner remain problem areas. As you rightly said, whenever I drive the Superb, I feel like a chauffeur!!

Quote:
Nissan Teana
Better back seat comfort than even the Superb. While the Skoda may have more legroom, the Teana is spacious enough too. And those rear seats are really like comfortable couches, matched to great ride comfort.

One of the biggest downers with the Teana is it's CBU pricing. That's about to change soon. Rumour mills insist that she is going the CKD route in a quarter.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:31   #3
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Why is Mercedes missing in this. They have a model equivalent to the 320d CE for under 30L. The A4 is just over the 30L mark.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:49   #4
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Nissan Teana

+ By far, the best to be driven around in
+ Great ride quality, and rear seats, and front seats.
+ Ottoman legrest for passenger seat
+ Panoramic roof

- CBU so overpriced
- Nissan does not have many dealerships
- only a V6 petrol engine



One of my favorite cars. Quite expensive though. I wonder why Nissan was not quicker in getting its prices lower [along with the X-Trail] ?

Cash crunch perhaps?
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:55   #5
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Please don't make this thread only about sedans. Could you also include the SUVs in this analysis? How about the
  • Fortuner
  • Pajero
  • Captiva
  • X1
  • Santa Fe
  • X-Trail
and any others I might have missed out on?

Also, a comparison of the ground clearance on these cars may be relevant to the scenario of driving on Indian roads.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 18:59   #6
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Great thread !

I guess the new 3 series will have a balance between ride & comfort just like the new 5 series. Atleast better space is really expected and hope they make it that way.

Its sad that Skoda scores really good on all aspects except the reliability part.

And yes it could be nice if you could add the SUVs here itself or in another thread exclusive for it.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 19:03   #7
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Thanks Akshay. The timing of this thread could not have been better for me :-)

My daily driver is decommissioned.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/street...-accident.html (Four-year dream run comes to an end - Laura L&K accident) and I am looking for a replacement in the 20-30 price range which can be called an upgrade of sorts. The good news is I figured out what I want in my next car and the bad news is there are hardly any such cars and that calls for some expert advice :-)

My well researched criteria:
1. Sedans only, 70% time driving alone to office, remaining time family/vacation,etc.
2. Manual transmission (truly truly get bored with AT)
3. High ground clearance - my previous car Laura had pretty good GC, I also get to drive 520d and its poor GC diminishes the fun factor in Bangalore
4. Equipment must include bluetooth, xenons and sunroof

My initial opinion on the cars mentioned by Akshay:

Not under consideration:
1. Laura L&K - already owned it (MT though), so looking for something different/better
2. Accord/Camry/Teana - Don't evoke the right feelings
3. 320d CE - I am not much into hard-driving so can't give up on the equipment. BMW brand is verrry desirable though.

Under consideration:
1. Superb TSI MT - Almost perfect, let down by the looks and driving-a-limo feeling. Very comfortable with a.s.s and loved Skodas for their VFM factor.
2. Passat MT (when will it be launched?) - Extremely low on spec I imagine and need to see how good the MT is.
3. Passat AT - I might compromise the MT requirement as this car seems pretty balanced on all aspects. Don't like the black interiors that come with Highline so might have to settle for Comfortline. I called up the dealer for emailing me the quote and no response.

I hope my post is not off-topic. I would be happy to create a new thread if needed. Thanks.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 19:05   #8
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

I have not driven any of these cars but if I have a chance to buy any it would be the BMW 320D without sparing a thought.

For being chauffeur driven accord is excellent. I wont forget the 30min ride I had in a V6.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 19:06   #9
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Interesting thread.
The Superb drives better than the Passat in the twisties due to its stiffer setup, the Passat is really not meant for spirited driving - steering is lacking feel.
The Superb also has the 2-stage boot which is unique.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 19:44   #10
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
[b]Skoda Superb

+ 3.6 V6 is a monster, and if you want a quick car this is your best bet. Also has 4x4 and a lowered suspension
4x4 in sedan! , how it works and is it useful in any sense? A good link for this particular price bracket. I don't know exactly but think there is a mercedes baby also in this bracket CGI 220 and audi A4 1.8TFSI?
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:00   #11
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

There's the 205bhp Volvo S60 too in this price segment. I believe that is the fastest diesel car in this price range and not the 320d.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:06   #12
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
I've noticed quite a few threads recently coming up in the 20-30lac range, with many similar questions being asked. So I thought I would come up with a list of cars, with a few + and a few - points just so that a person can get a quick idea of the cars.
Thanks Akshay. Great thread. This can bring in some good discussions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234
Honda Accord
Toyota Camry
Nissan Teana
All the 3 Japanese have their own strengths, but unfortunately Honda is quite suicidal with the Accord, and the latter two being CBUs can enter in a ‘spot the car’ contest. I think the Accord have more desirability factor than the Camry and Nissan.


Quote:
Originally Posted by androdev View Post
My well researched criteria:
1. Sedans only, 70% time driving alone to office, remaining time family/vacation,etc.
2. Manual transmission (truly truly get bored with AT)
3. High ground clearance - my previous car Laura had pretty good GC, I also get to drive 520d and its poor GC diminishes the fun factor in Bangalore
4. Equipment must include bluetooth, xenons and sunroof
Under consideration:
1. Superb TSI MT - Almost perfect, let down by the looks and driving-a-limo feeling. Very comfortable with a.s.s and loved Skodas for their VFM factor.
2. Passat MT (when will it be launched?) - Extremely low on spec I imagine and need to see how good the MT is.
3. Passat AT - I might compromise the MT requirement as this car seems pretty balanced on all aspects. Don't like the black interiors that come with Highline so might have to settle for Comfortline. I called up the dealer for emailing me the quote and no response.
I hope my post is not off-topic. I would be happy to create a new thread if needed. Thanks.
Good luck with your search. A separate ‘what-car’ thread would be ideal. I feel the Passat highline/comfortline would be the ideal replacement. I personally like the VW black interiors a lot. IMHO, they do black better than beige

Last edited by vb-san : 23rd July 2011 at 20:07. Reason: realigned
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:53   #13
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vasuki View Post
4x4 in sedan! , how it works and is it useful in any sense? A good link for this particular price bracket. I don't know exactly but think there is a mercedes baby also in this bracket CGI 220 and audi A4 1.8TFSI?
Its pretty much just for more grip. With that 260bhp engine, it definitely needs that.

The Mercedes and the 1.8tfsi go over 30l if I'm not mistaken?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post
Interesting thread.
The Superb drives better than the Passat in the twisties due to its stiffer setup, the Passat is really not meant for spirited driving - steering is lacking feel.
The Superb also has the 2-stage boot which is unique.
But don't most new cars besides the BMWs suffer from steering lacking feel?

Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
There's the 205bhp Volvo S60 too in this price segment. I believe that is the fastest diesel car in this price range and not the 320d.
I think that too goes over 30l.

I shall make another thread for the SUVs.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 20:55   #14
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Default Re: The 20-30 lakh Quick Car Guide!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
One of the best engine & gearbox combinations there is today.

But a big downer is the unreliable nature after 50,000 kms. Not cheap to maintain either.
The reliability of the newer Common Rail engines is really not known, the reliability surveys from European countries suggest it to be a more reliable car than most other European cars.

The same Engine is shared all across Skoda, VW and Audi range so i guess they should have tested it thoroughly this time. Same goes for DSG, most issues are told to the sorted in the current version(6 spd).

I bought it just because they were offering Skoda Shield, a 1,00,000km/4 years extended warranty.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 21:03   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post

But don't most new cars besides the BMWs suffer from steering lacking feel?
Yes, EPS isn't as good as HPS. Even the new Bimmers come with EPS and can't match the older ones. However, Passat's EPS is worse than others like Laura and Superb from reports ...
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