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Old 21st June 2013, 18:42   #46
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Steering: When market is moving towards lighter steering, I like well weighted and precise steering. This is perhaps one of the most important factors I see in a car, other than its handling and engine.

'Thud' Doors: I absolutely hate tinny doors. For me, the reassuring 'thud' is in a way your car saying it will keep you entertained and safe.

Car = Petrol: This is something that is deep rooted in my mind. The choice is mainly due to their high revving nature!

Bigger Engines: When the market is moving towards smaller and efficient engines, I somehow have a liking towards bigger engines with nice low end punch and having great throttle response.

When market is towards silent engines, I absolutely love those orgasmic notes coming out of a high revving petrol exhaust.

Exhaust tip: Nowadays, I've seen that the exhaust tips are hidden, however, I like it to be seen, as long as it looks sporty and goes with the design.

Meters for everything instead of warning lights:
Yeah, it'll be cluttered, but I love to know whats happening in my car. Really, if you give me a tyre pressure meter, I'd choose that over low pressure warning light.

Handling: Always ready to compromise some ride quality for a little more handling.'

Service: I don't care about the service, as I've learnt that whatever happens, YOU have to sort it out yourself. A.S.S guys are a bunch of monkeys who know only how to change oil and sell you engine de-carb liquid. BUT, parts should be easily available, at nominal prices, and I should not loose warranty.
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Old 21st June 2013, 19:20   #47
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Nice thread. My list:

Overdesigned cars:
Have nothing against fluidic designs per se- in fact I think the Elantra is quite the looker- but overdesigned cars get my goat. The XUV500 is one such, the Chevy Beat another. You wish the designer had stopped at some point instead of having kept going! You may get over a car's looks if it is slightly plain Jane, but if you're stuck with an overly cute specimen you're gonna hate it all your life. At least I know I will! My cars should age well.

Stock ICE: Why exactly do automakers insist on saddling us with their substandard music systems instead of tying up with aftermarket OEM guys and letting us choose? Half the stock systems out there are useless: either they lack some function or the other or they have electronics issues. This is never a factor in my buying decision: I suffered through my warranty period before completely overhauling my Vento ICE and have never been happier. And yeah I can live with some loss of "integration", whatever that means.

Tight seating position: I am probably in a minority here but I like a low, tight sitting position with my lower limbs almost perpendicular to the seat. I don't like to go full stretch like many above-average-height drivers. As a result my knees often bash the hard plastics most carmakers use in the area surrounding the central console.

Hard plastics: Why oh why? My Vento has beautiful soft buttons for all the touch functions but the stuff they use for the dash may be something left over from WW2. Not done.

Climate control: Unless you're God you cannot control climate. 'Nuff said. Maruti Suzuki makes the best ACs in this country as far as I'm concerned, and they don't empty your bank account when it's time for repairs. Climatronic-schmimatronic!

Refinement:Not in the way GTO means. I love quiet cars because then when you go for a drive in the rain with your loved one, you can actually hear each other. have not had the courage to buy a diesel car yet because, let's admit it, they clatter like beegeezus.

General upsizes/upgrades/souping up: With the exception of ICE, I like everything on my car stock. Even tyres. Very un-enthusiast-like I know but at the back of my mind is the feeling that any modification will impact the car's performance in some way, and in a way that I will regret!
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Old 21st June 2013, 20:52   #48
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

80s Boxy designs - Maybe cause as a '90s kid growing up in Riyadh, this was all i saw. But them designs were and are practical, functional ones.Classic example and my all time fav- Toyota Cressida. And for imposing boxiness- what more than the Caprice/Crown Victorias. But if 80s designs are not for your taste, then look at the w126 S class. Not boxy per se, but it shines 80s throughout.

Likeness for strange dashboards

especially dashboards that seem to envelop you.

one of my 3 automobile dark desires-kei car(paying for it by having a WagonR now

Not a Hummer fan, but like the H1 mammoth interiors and also the vulgarly huge Ford F650 truck with 6 doors

And ashamedly the only person to like this........

Most are enamoured by the brutish acceleration of modern diesels,torque wave et al
But to me its like strapping on a jetpack. Nothing gives the 'connected feel' that a hi-revving petrol gives. Don't get me wrong, diesels are better for everyday use and my next car will be a diesel from Honda stable for obvious reasons. Its just that from pure FTD POV petrol it is.

Power things
Except power steering, all others: power windows,power seats,electric mirrors,ACC,auto lights/wipers are a turn off for me. Sure appreciate their usefulness, but in cars this side of 15lacs (especially non-Honda/Toyota ones) is like asking for trouble 5 years down the line.
But problem is base variants with only a/c,p/s also lack features like tachometer, driver armrests and small things hat add to convenience.

Last edited by DicKy : 21st June 2013 at 21:07.
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Old 21st June 2013, 21:44   #49
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

  • Boxy, paper-fold designs of the 80s.
  • Fastbacks and notchbacks
  • WAGONS!!!!! ALL STATION WAGONS, ALL THE TIME!!! The Altura, The Octavia Estate, The Tata Marina, The Corsa Swing...Love them all! I don't understand why Indians don't like Wagons. They make so much sense. Having a hard time locating an unabused vehicle at a reasonable price.
  • Underdogs and Unconventional/Underestimated cars (Forrester,
  • Powerful, noisy, large capacity turbodiesels. Lots of LET and power when you want it.
  • Sensible cars like the Nano or the old WagonR
  • Black (Not dark grey, but real black) interiors
  • Low sills
Will probably add more as I think of them.
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Old 21st June 2013, 22:05   #50
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

My unconventional preferences,

Petrol over diesel anyday for the revvs and for sure a FFE. My old carb 800 had a long muffler from an Enfield instead of the two mufflers in the stock and my Figo a proper FFE.
Some may not like any exhaust sound or boom in the cabin at all,but for me to be involved in driving, I need that.
I10 has a nice exhaust note which is very audible from the outside and so does the Petrol Figo. Not to forget the old Opel models and Cielo.

I prefer diesel only in a SUV or a Jeep and love the idle and response of a DI engine along with the diesel clatter. I somehow got a drive on a 207di when it was launched just to hear and feel the DI. First experienced it on Mahindra CJ DI, and loved the way it idles and sounded when acclerating.
Then drove a turbocharged DI Mahindra soft top Major and it never felt like I wanted it to.


Last edited by tharian : 21st June 2013 at 22:07.
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Old 21st June 2013, 22:07   #51
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

SUVs: The country's appetite for SUVs remains insatiable, and you'd think Indians can't have enough of them. Sorry, but I prefer equivalently priced sedans that are generally faster, better handlers, fun to drive and offer more bang for the buck. Related Thread (Should you buy an SUV? The definitive Sedan vs SUV debate).
No SUVs for me, thank you.

Service Quality: As long as a car is super reliable, I'm okay with acceptable levels of service quality.
Absolutely. My Lancer is 10+ years old, run 110k+ km, and is still a pleasure to drive (knocks on wood)
Petrol engines: The market has majorly tilted in favour of oil-burners.
No two ways - petrol it is.

Climate Control: Sure, I appreciate the convenience of specifying a certain temperature and letting the electronics maintain that. Equally, I do think climate control is a highly over-rated feature. Give me a powerful air-conditioning system and I'm happy with the manual blower + temperature controls.
Can't agree more. All the climate control tech-wizardry with a weak or unreliable compressor (i20, some Merc models etc) are no good.

Fuel economy: Marketing consultants will tell you this : If your car isn't fuel-efficient, it's better you pack your bags and go home. To me, fuel economy isn't important. Driving pleasure is.
As long as it doesn't break the bank, I am ok for a few kmpl less for fun to drive factor

Temperature Gauge: Related Thread (Good 'ol Temperature Gauge : Yes or No?). Enough said.
Must have.

Engine Sound: The quieter the engine, the better it's considered to be. Not the case with me when it comes to petrols. I like them loud (as long as they sound nice). Of course, with diesels, I'd rather have them silent.
A nicely revving engine with a moderate, sporty growl is good. Don't like too much noise though.

Safety: If I were to put a number to it, I'd guess that less than 1% of Indian car buyers give any weightage to safety in their purchase decision. If a car doesn't offer 5 star safety, I won't buy it. It's that simple.
No point in buying a car that is not safe enough. Doesn't have to have 8 airbags, but ABS, front airbags, good structural safety with crash zones and guards are a must.

Steering: Well-weighted steering with good feedback rather than the light, vague Santro-like ones. Prefer hydraulic to electro-mechanical anyday

Last edited by lancer_rit : 21st June 2013 at 22:11.
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Old 21st June 2013, 23:17   #52
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Hydraulic Power Steering: I hate the electronic power steering which comes with many marutis and hyundais. Tata Indica is bashed all over the forum, but it offers a very nice hydraulic steering which is nicely weighted and performs amazing on highways.

Low slung seat: A seat which has height adjust and the range is really good. I love to put the seat to its lowest height

Tilt adjust steering: This goes along with the height adjustable seat. If the tilt has good range, I can have a perfect seating position.

Electronics minimum, Mechanicals maximum: I believe a car should work perfectly for at least 10 years. Mostly what fails is the electronics which cant be repaired or replaced. I dont need automatic climate control, headlights, wipers, etc, as long as the basic mechanicals are over engineered and easy to maintain.

Over the counter spares: After warranty is over, I prefer to get the car maintained from a neighbourhood garage where I can get personalized service and attention to detail. In this case, if spares are not available OTC, all this plan breaks down and we need to depend on expensive after sales service.
Also these company service centers are not interested in maintaining cars more than 7 - 8 years old. If they do maintain, they dont take care to do the minimum required stuff.
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Old 21st June 2013, 23:43   #53
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Clean, proportionate designs: I'm the kind of a guy who won't give a second look to the W221 Merc S-Class, but will take a u-turn and follow a W126 / W140 home. The market loves swoopy, futuristic styling. I happen to love them straight & clean. Think Vento over fluidic Verna. You could say that I have old-fashioned tastes.
GTO completely agree with you. Ive changed my route to Pali naka (whenever im visiting a friend) so as to see a W140 on the way Forum members would be knowing the car im talking about.

PS- Straight lines are easier to drive too, lesser judgement required on the sides.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 06:01   #54
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Clean lines - As GTO i would also prefer a Vento over a Verna.

Build Quality - I am a die hard fan of Europeans. Don't like Japs or Koreans. They are too light and flimsy for my taste(No offences to anyone). For example the boot of my friends Honda City feels like a paper as compared to my Fiesta.

Free revvin petrol engine - I prefer smooth and free revvin petrol engines over noisier Diesels. My monthly running is between 1.5K - 2K KMs and i still don't own a Diesel car.

Electronics and gadgets in a car don't fascinate me much though i would prefer my car to be well equipped with safety features and i find auto folding mirrors a boon in small and crowded cities.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 07:18   #55
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

My quirks;

Sat Nav - I prefer to get lost and find my way than an unknown female voice tell me where to turn!
Leather seats - Okay they look good, but fabric over leather any day
Stick shift over auto - A manual transmission is the 'connection' between the driver and the car. My heart goes out to those who haven't felt the connection
Both low slung and high seating - I love both! One day I will have a Subaru WRX and a Merc M in my garage !!
Three row seating - I rarely use the second row, so why bother about a third row.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 07:57   #56
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Wow. This one post seems to have summarized why I bought my City CE.

Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Awesome thread GTO!

Black over Beige: Would take black over beige or possibly even any other colour. I don't understand the masses' obsession with all things beige. Beige just gets dirty incredibly quickly and just looks classless once it does. Black maintains its class much, much better over time and just looks cooler.
Couldn't agree more. Preferred my Honda City CE over E,S,V for this precise reason. Love the black interiors it has.

Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Chrome: Hate it. Chrome in small quantities looks good, but the way it is applied on cars in India is just a bit too ostentatious for me. All the sedans have either massive chrome strips on the bootlid or chrome grills or both. Many SUVs also have those bad chrome garnishes on their headlamps and taillamps which just which are absolutely horrendous.
Again went for CE coz it has much less chrome bling.

Originally Posted by nipcarlover View Post
Safety over features: This has been said a few times on this thread, and I am going to say it again. I would anyday buy a car that has ABS+Airbags over a car that has Bluetooth this and Chrome that at the same price.
Again CE had all the safety features one needed.

Customizable: A car should offer me room to add my own touch to it. Oh how I hate those OE music systems etc and money you need to waste in getting rid of them. A bare bone car that has all the safety features is what I would prefer any day.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 10:47   #57
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Nice thread.

Body Design: My take on current hatchbacks is that I don't like the tallboy design. Hence, if I am in the market for buying a new hatchback, I will be having a tough time deciding for one, as most of the options available are tallboy designs. In sedans, more than flashy designs, I like simple elegant designs, like the OHC, Civic. I used to love the Opel Astra too. The NHC is also a good looker to me.

Seating Position: Also, I love a low-slung seating design, which gives a nice planted feel at all times and cornering too. Not to mention, less of bodyroll too.

Engine: Also, with so many, even premium hatchbacks like Polo being offered with a 3 cyl. engine is a big turn off for me, be it psychological or whatever. I prefer a 4 cyl. engine.

A smooth & short throw gear box is what makes a car more fun to drive.

Other factors would be a nice refined engine, good tyres (preferably Michelin), great pick-up & handling, etc. but that would not be 'unconventional' I guess, as these features are on everyone's wishlist and hence not appropriate for this thread.


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Old 22nd June 2013, 10:59   #58
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

I think having a religious idol mounted on car dashboards is quite common in our country, so can be considered a conventional preference. Sorry if the following hurts sentiments, I for one think it spoils the look of the dashboard.

In terms of other preferences of mine,

- On regular cars, I prefer stock steel rims to alloy wheels. I simply detest after market alloys.

- I HATE any kind of bull guard on any type of car. Its a different matter that I was forced to put that Toyota branded rear guard on my Innova.

Last edited by rrsteer : 22nd June 2013 at 11:01.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:30   #59
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

My unconventional preference would be a compact hatch with premium interiors and no rear-bench.
Currently the primary car does the duty of travel with family/friends.
Would absolutely love to own a twin-seater compact hatch for as secondary car for office and city runs.
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Old 22nd June 2013, 11:34   #60
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Default Re: Your *unconventional* Automotive Preferences

Originally Posted by anurag.somani View Post
My unconventional preference would be a compact hatch with premium interiors and no rear-bench.
Currently the primary car does the duty of travel with family/friends.
Would absolutely love to own a twin-seater compact hatch for as secondary car for office and city runs.
If you find the interiors of the Zen still premium in this age, then its Zen Carbon or Steel for you! May be there was one Zen Snow too.

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