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Old 4th November 2013, 11:56   #1
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Default The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Link to Official Review (Mahindra Quanto : Official Review)

M&M launched the Quanto sometime early last year to leverage on the Xylo platform. Approximately Rs 100cr was spent to develop the Quanto - a bulk of it might have gone to develop the cut size engine to avail the excise duty benefit.

When M&M was preparing this vehicle for launch, the compact SUV space had gathered a lot of buyer interest with the Duster ( run away succeess on launch and still doing good numbers ) and the upcoming Ecosport. With knowledge of these capable players in the fray, M&M decided to take the price warrior approach and hence went for a vehicle on the existing platform and developed a new engine to save on the excise duty.

What came out was a good attempt by Indian manufacturer standards. M&M priced it competitively at launch starting at a sub 6 lakh price ( having gone up now ). The pricing ensured it covered a wide array of segments from B1/B2 to C1/C2. Even now, on price alone, the Quanto shares the segment with the likes of the Dzire/Amaze ( selling around 25000 copies per month ), Swift/I20 ( > 25000 copies per month ).

With sales starting off at nearly 2000 numbers per month, its now doing just about 400-500 numbers.

Key pluses as reported by the official review and owners has been
1) Good space for 5 adults + luggage with the ability to handle 2 more medium build adults if required in the 3rd row
2) Good driveability in the city does not run out of breath in the highways
3) Efficient engine for the FE crazy nation
4) Rugged underpinnings - so you dont have to worry about non existent city roads or taking a deviation from the highways into a muddy/uneven section

With all the above benefits + M&M's customer centric approach ( as seen from its premium offerings and speaking relatively in comparison to Indian manufacturers ) + attractive pricing -- What is the way forward for this capable vehicle ? Are their segments that M&M needs to create to improve sales further ?

While I feel the pricing of the Ecosport has also played a key role in the lack of interest on the Quanto, despite the huge waiting period and the fact that similarly priced sedans/hatches are selling in large numbers, what does M&M need to do differently ?

Will a redesigned version help ? Should M&M venture into the semi urban/rural markets to to leverage its traditional strenghts and push this vehicle ? How about exports ?

Would like to hear your thoughts on this.

Last edited by GTO : 5th November 2013 at 14:35. Reason: Adding link to official review
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Old 4th November 2013, 12:09   #2
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Here are some suggestions for Mahindra on the Quanto
- Get rid of the two seats at the back and get the angle of the rear seat to recline, that way atleast 5 people can travel comfortably, now except the ones sitting in front, all are uncomfortable
- The Quanto needs bigger tyres, take a look at the spare at the back, a bigger spare will definitely improve the looks and 16 inchers should be direct fit on the Quanto

If I were to buy a Quanto, these were the two modifications I would make straight-away

Other than this, Mahindra have very little to play around with, price cannot be reduced further and you cannot reduce the roof height without dumping more money on an already sinking platform
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Old 4th November 2013, 12:25   #3
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Though a good concept, the pathetic execution worked against the Quanto. I still wonder why Mahindra chose to create a small SUV on the Xylo platform when it could have leveraged on the Scorpio's image! Trying to build on the Xylo's image (which already was loathed for its confusing looks) was a big blunder Mahindra could have best avoided.

In my opinion, Mahindra could phase out the Quanto and make way for the new mini suv.
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Old 4th November 2013, 14:31   #4
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

The rather abrupt tail gate, giving the impression of a chop-off, is the single most important factor for its dismal sales. It would have been better if the roof sloped quite a bit towards the rear.

Making it a five seater would have made the middle row a lot more comfortable.

And I dont think the Quanto is going to change. It is rather a stop-gap cum test marketing/trial run of the sub 4 metre SUV with a new engine.

Last edited by simplyself : 4th November 2013 at 14:38.
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Old 4th November 2013, 14:37   #5
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

IMO the Quanto is a brilliant concept to begin with. It is sub 4 m and has stuffed in 2 additional jump seats to make it a 2+5+2 configuration. However, what I think is that it was introduced a little ahead of its time. Ideally what Mahindra should have done is waited for the likes of the Dusters and Ecosports to enter the market and let them create the compact SUV segment. It would be then with the presence of such size vehicles increasing on our streets should Mahindra have jumped in with the Quanto laying extreme emphasis on its 7 seater capability.

I assume that with the increasing presence of compact SUVs in India, shall create a desirability for such vehicles in the semi-urban and rural population. It is then when Mahindra can really change gears by refreshing the Quanto, re-position it (focused on the new target markets) and advertise the product highlighting its 7 seater trump card. They surely have a winner (its just a matter of time).

I believe that this car may/ will not be lapped up by urban image conscious buyers but for semi-urban/ rural buyers, having being an Indian brand with compact dimensions and 7 seats(!) would be a great value for money proposition.

Last edited by S2!!! : 4th November 2013 at 14:40.
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Old 4th November 2013, 15:28   #6
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
Here are some suggestions for Mahindra on the Quanto
- Get rid of the two seats at the back and get the angle of the rear seat to recline, that way atleast 5 people can travel comfortably, now except the ones sitting in front, all are uncomfortable
- The Quanto needs bigger tyres, take a look at the spare at the back, a bigger spare will definitely improve the looks and 16 inchers should be direct fit on the Quanto

If I were to buy a Quanto, these were the two modifications I would make straight-away

Other than this, Mahindra have very little to play around with, price cannot be reduced further and you cannot reduce the roof height without dumping more money on an already sinking platform
+ 1 to that! But, won't reducing the number of seats lead to a reduction in excise benefits?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinair View Post
Though a good concept, the pathetic execution worked against the Quanto. I still wonder why Mahindra chose to create a small SUV on the Xylo platform when it could have leveraged on the Scorpio's image! Trying to build on the Xylo's image (which already was loathed for its confusing looks) was a big blunder Mahindra could have best avoided.

In my opinion, Mahindra could phase out the Quanto and make way for the new mini suv.
Perhaps the Quanto was based on the Xylo rather than the Scorpio because the Xylo was a much more modern design and it's interiors are also a lot more spacious than the Scorpio's.

Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyself View Post
The rather abrupt tail gate, giving the impression of a chop-off, is the single most important factor for its dismal sales. It would have been better if the roof sloped quite a bit towards the rear.

Making it a five seater would have made the middle row a lot more comfortable.

And I dont think the Quanto is going to change. It is rather a stop-gap cum test marketing/trial run of the sub 4 metre SUV with a new engine.
From what I read on the forum, the Quanto was developed for a mere 100 crores and there's a lot of commonality in parts between the Xylo and Quanto as per GTO's official review. Serious changes to the sheet metal would require serious money. The one good thing in my opinion which has come about because of this exercise, is the mCR 100 3 cylinder 1493 cc Diesel mill good for 98 odd BHP, which can be used in Mahindra's future line up of sedans, hatches and compact SUVs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by S2!!! View Post
IMO the Quanto is a brilliant concept to begin with. It is sub 4 m and has stuffed in 2 additional jump seats to make it a 2+5+2 configuration. However, what I think is that it was introduced a little ahead of its time. Ideally what Mahindra should have done is waited for the likes of the Dusters and Ecosports to enter the market and let them create the compact SUV segment. It would be then with the presence of such size vehicles increasing on our streets should Mahindra have jumped in with the Quanto laying extreme emphasis on its 7 seater capability.
The Quanto or the mini Xylo took a long time in coming. At the conceptual stage, the Duster and Ecosport were not even on the horizon. The only rival was the Premier Rio - and Mahindra was certain that people would choose an MM product over a Premier any day. Sure it's a great concept, only the execution is far from perfect. Look at what Maruti did - it came up with the Ertiga which is based on the Swift platform. They created a brand new segment, the compact MUV and their execution was extremely good.

Quote:
I assume that with the increasing presence of compact SUVs in India, shall create a desirability for such vehicles in the semi-urban and rural population. It is then when Mahindra can really change gears by refreshing the Quanto, re-position it (focused on the new target markets) and advertise the product highlighting its 7 seater trump card. They surely have a winner (its just a matter of time).

I believe that this car may/ will not be lapped up by urban image conscious buyers but for semi-urban/ rural buyers, having being an Indian brand with compact dimensions and 7 seats(!) would be a great value for money proposition.
Which car sells in rural India? The Mahindra Bolero. Why? Because it's rugged, boxy design allows it to carry the maximum number of passengers over pathetic road conditions for a reasonable price and very low downtime for maintenance. I seriously doubt whether the Quanto would be able to match that criteria.
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Old 4th November 2013, 16:15   #7
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

One of the main problems with Quanto and M&M in general has been the boat like experience in the back rows. I experienced this even on their flagship XUV which is not ladder on frame !!

Pricing of Quanto is very aggressive. M&M can hardly price it any cheaper because the vehicle is so heavy. If they could shave off at least 200KG steel, that might have been a better investment in R&D which they did not.

Having said that, one major plus for M&M is the engine. they can power newer UV range with this mini-beast
Quanto engine NVH is better than what we have on VW cars !! also the FE figures are decent for a car of its size.
Would love to see the engine performing on their newer and lighter UVs. that could bump up the BHP as well as FE numbers
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Old 4th November 2013, 18:09   #8
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Around a year ago a taxi driver I was using in Bombay told me the following, during a conversation about Innova, Scorpio, Xylo, XUV etc.

I was using his services in an Innova at the time.

He said that the Innova's suspension and springing works very well and is very comfortable because the movement that one experiences as a passenger is 'up and down' and never from 'side-to-side'.

The Mahindra vehicles however, all have a nasty habit of rocking and swaying you from side to side, as a passenger. This leads to motion sickness, extreme discomfort on long journeys on bad roads or hill roads, constant, nagging neck and back aches and a general sense of ill-being.

I had the opportunity to get under the skin of a really modern SUV on a trip to England in 2011, a Subaru Forester. After having experienced the comfort and pleasure of a monocoque chassis, first class suspension and all the other bells and whistles, I was actually finding it extremely difficult to contemplate getting back into my Scorpio and driving it up and down on a daily basis, once I returned to India.

My Doctor actually advised me in 2011 to get rid of my Scorpio, because of constant, nagging, neck ache, back ache and apparently was even tending towards possible Spondylitis. He said the rocking motion of my Scorpio on the lousy Bangalore roads was actually aggravating my condition!

However, having no other go and no other vehicle, I was forced to 'grin and bear it' until I made a decision on what car to upgrade to and had made the financial plan for the same! By the time I got rid of it in December and took delivery of my brand new Yeti, I was suffering from an extreme case of user fatigue and user disgust, with that Scorpio I can tell you. It was really such a sheer relief to see the back of that vehicle on account of the various aches and pains that I had come to associate with it!

I sold my Scorpio to a friend and now, two years down the line, he is constantly cribbing about the rocking, swaying motion that he has to undergo every day when he takes that vehicle into his rutted Estate roads. He plans to dump it quite soon.
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Old 4th November 2013, 23:39   #9
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

As a quanto owner i would suggest 2 things:
1. Reduce body roll. This may be a challenge but i think that's what is my most problematic issue.
2. Lighter clutch ..
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Old 5th November 2013, 00:01   #10
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

You cannot abruptly chop off Xylo which is a slow seller in itself and expect people to take to it like a duck to water. The center of gravity is so high that no matter what you do you will get serious amount of body roll. The ride quality gets affected on account of stiff suspension to ensure stability on such a tall vehicle. I mean with options like Terrano, Duster and Ecosport who would somebody spend that kind of money on a tower on wheels. The funny bit is Quanto despite enjoying excise cut and a borrowed platform from Xylo is not exactly cheap either. Nothing wrong in sharing platforms but you simply cannot chop off a MUV abruptly and expect to sell it in decent numbers as a mini SUV.

Last edited by needforspeed88 : 5th November 2013 at 00:02.
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Old 5th November 2013, 00:33   #11
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Quanto was a half hearted attempt from Mahindra to make quick buck. They literally chopped off the Xylo and somehow got a 3-cylinder engine to align to the excise cuts that the Govt proposed.

1. Private owners never liked the looks of the Xylo. However, the cabbies embraced it for cheap-to-own image. How did Mahindra expect private owners to like the looks of the Quanto? Few hours on t-bhp would have told them this.
Proportions are really oddball. Ertiga, even though not very good looking, looks well proportioned.

2. Quanto has a height of 1880mm. They could have done some investment and could have chopped off some 200 mm atleast. Must be scary to drive!

3. Quanto weighs 1640kg for the base variant. How could Mahindra not have knocked off some weight? Should be overweight by atleast 300-400kg.
To put things in perspective, the Innova weighs 1675kg.

The way forward? Shelve the project.

Taxi operators either prefer Xylo or Innova. Rural crowd prefers Bolero. Private crowd hates the look. So, there is almost nobody that Mahindra could target. And there is no desirability factor either.

I cannot just believe Mahindra made a similar mistake and came up with the Verito Vibe. Sigh!
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Old 5th November 2013, 10:33   #12
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Compact SUV doesn't mean it has to be less than 4m. Only advantage with <4m is lower price than others who don't meet the small car criteria. This comes at the expense of a cramped interior, smaller boot and quirky looks. Duster doesn't fit into the small car criteria but still sells fine because it doesn't have these disadvantages of a compact SUV.

Moreover, if the government modifies the small car definition by including a max width parameter to it, (which I think they should btw!) that would be the end of this sub 4m SUV mania, since the high CG will make it impossible to make a stable SUV with the width of the small car. There ends all your advantages, but the disadvantages remain.

If there is a way to price your >4m no-frills 5 seater SUV on par or slightly higher than the compact SUVs, you are likely to get more takers. No frills is actually an advantage for Mahindra here, since most of the complaints niggling issues regarding Scorpio and XUV comes from the electronics, which you can easily take off the feature list of a mini-SUV. That would indirectly help give a positive experience to the buyer, since the lack of a feature is something he already knew at the time of purchase, while a broken feature is something he is not going to accept easily.

As someone has already pointed out, this was supposed to be a stop-gap thing, with a better iteration expected in 2-3 years.

Need of the day is a spacious and comfortable 5 seater with the boot space of a sedan and good ground clearance. Feature spec of a 5L hatch should be good enough for this segment; anything extra is unnecessarily inflating the price. Not to mention, looks should be clean and proportional too.

All said, this would be a successful product in their balance sheet since they would have already recovered the investment by now and would be chewing on the profits even if they just sell a single unit every day. So its not a disaster for them, unlike other manufacturers who sell similar numbers after spending thousands of crores for R&D.
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Old 5th November 2013, 11:05   #13
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Default re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Beautifully put @zenren - an an optional 4wd would also be interesting. If wishes were horses...!!

The way forward for Quanto is no way forward - it does not fit anywhere with the oddball design, and the competition is more contemporary and better.

Last edited by GTO : 5th November 2013 at 14:57. Reason: Typo
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Old 5th November 2013, 14:55   #14
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Default Re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

I feel the main thing going against the Quanto / Xylo is their awful design. Average looks is one thing, but ugly & disproportionate styling entirely another. Looks aside, both vehicles are quite competent: VFM price, spacious cabin, good reliability and acceptable interior quality. The motors also offer excellent driveability & fuel-economy. Their ride quality is poor, but that hasn't stopped anyone from buying the Scorpio or Bolero!

For a company that can sell 4,000 units of a 11-year old Scorpio, 10K ancient Boleros and 3K premium XUV500s, the fall of the Xylo & Quanto must've come as a shock.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinair View Post
I still wonder why Mahindra chose to create a small SUV on the Xylo platform when it could have leveraged on the Scorpio's image!
Simply because it'll take sales away from the larger, more profitable Scorpio.
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Old 5th November 2013, 16:23   #15
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Default Re: The Mahindra Quanto's poor sales. What's the way forward?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
Here are some suggestions for Mahindra on the Quanto
- Get rid of the two seats at the back and get the angle of the rear seat to recline, that way atleast 5 people can travel comfortably, now except the ones sitting in front, all are uncomfortable
The recline is not the biggest issue per say, but I get what you are saying. Read below what I think of the seats.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheARUN View Post
- The Quanto needs bigger tyres, take a look at the spare at the back, a bigger spare will definitely improve the looks and 16 inchers should be direct fit on the Quanto
The tyre size is appropriate. You find the spare at the back to be small because of the huge metal (the boot door) on which it is fitted. Otherwise, for the car, the tyres are appropriately sized (this, coming from a guy who likes big wheels). I wouldn't really go for an upsize (mainly because it becomes expensive; you have to buy more expensive tyres and maybe even alloys), rather just change the tyre to a better one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shankar.balan View Post
The Mahindra vehicles however, all have a nasty habit of rocking and swaying you from side to side, as a passenger. This leads to motion sickness, extreme discomfort on long journeys on bad roads or hill roads, constant, nagging neck and back aches and a general sense of ill-being.
I agree that this issue definitely plagues the scorpio. However, the quanto is not that bad. It is very much tolerable by most people who have sat in my car. The body roll is definitely controlled well, and the suspension manners have improved quite a bit. It's not in the league of innova, but I would say it's there almost 90%.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zenren View Post
Need of the day is a spacious and comfortable 5 seater with the boot space of a sedan and good ground clearance. Feature spec of a 5L hatch should be good enough for this segment; anything extra is unnecessarily inflating the price. Not to mention, looks should be clean and proportional too.
The quanto is a spacious and pretty comfortable 5 seater with the boot space of the sedan (if you, like me, were to remove the rear-most jump seats) with a good ground clearance. From what I am reading on this forum (cannot comment on the general public's sentiment since I don't know about that), it's the looks which are the bane of most.




Anyways, here is what I personally think of this car. I have a soft spot personally for this car, so I will be a little biased to it.

If I were to look at the Quanto from Mahindra's perspective (knowing very well how the company operates), it is a very intelligent solution:
The market wants a car:
- comfortable 5 seater with good boot space
- fuel efficient
- cheap to service
- reliable
- SUV feel
- car like mannerisms
- status?? (not so sure on this)

The quanto is all of that except car like mannerisms. You sit high up, a true SUV feel, but it isn't car-like to drive like say an ertiga, duster and maybe eco-sport (I haven't driven one so it is an assumption) or any other competitors I may have missed out.
The body roll is present, but it is not bad per say. There are sedans/UV's out there which handle worse, and have more body roll (I am looking at you hyundai and tata).

I honestly cannot understand how the Indian mentality works per say. I think we as a public have herd mentality. We do not know what is good for us, and we will buy stuff (especially cars) which is popular. This is my observation only, and I cannot prove it.

So why does the quanto fail in our market? Honestly to me, here are the fatal flaws:
- Styling. As a current owner, this is what I hear from my friends and acquaintances. They do not find it appealing to the eyes. I, personally am ok with the styling.
- Versatility. This is my biggest grouse. The second row of seats are not reclinable, and have no 60:40 split, or cannot be even removed without spanners. The seat recline is fine for most people, but the way it is put in the car, you will not like to sit on it for long journeys. It is some-what like the ford endeavour's middle seat. I don't know how else to really describe it.
- The car still feels like a crude car. The finesse is missing. You sit in the driver's seat, you press the clutch, you slot the gears; while doing all this, there all those small vibrations that are so 'Mahindra'. The car is really built well to take abuse, but it is these small things which just make the overall experience so much better. There no rattles so to speak, but every once in a while, there is small squeak or vibration which typical for the mahindra cars.

Some myths that I'd like to bust about this car:

1. The car's suspension is hard, and the car has a lot of body roll.
Wrong. The body roll is present but pretty bearable. The suspension is hard initially when the car is new, but give it say 5-7k kms, and it settles down pretty nicely. It is never going to as good as duster or ertiga, but then the duster is pretty pricey for what it offers, and the ertiga just cannot take the kind of abuse this car can

2. Interior quality is bad.
Nope. The quality is acceptable. the main issue is some hard plastics are visible to the eyes, and the fit and finish is not as good as the competition. The plastics used in the car are actually pretty good and durable. Interior design is uninspiring to be honest. But, not a deal breaker for sure.


What are things which I really like about this car:

- The abuse friendliness. This is why I have bought it, and it really is good in this area. Just too good.
- A true SUV position. You sit above all.
- Cheap to buy and service.
- Parts availability in the after-market shouldn't be an issue.
- F.E. above my expectations (which was pretty low to start with).

The way forward:
I am not the best person in this world to comment on what the market wants. So my suggestions are based purely from what my friends / acquaintances say, and based on internet research:

- Improve styling.
- Improve the versatility of the car.

Thanks,
Simple_car

P.S.: I would like to clarify what I mean by abuse friendliness, since my friend mentions to me that ertiga is a maruti, and maruti has been in India since so many years; their car's have been serving Indians since many years.
Yes, true that the ertiga or for that matter any other competitor of the quanto can easily survive in our conditions (roads, people etc.).

My definition of abuse friendliness is something else. You see, I give my car to multiple drivers (family members and our chauffeurs), who have different styles of driving and maintaining the car. Some run the clutch, some have no concept of slowing down for potholes, some have no idea that a car has to have a service after a particular duration... you get the idea. I can assure you, the ertiga/duster will not be able to survive the conditions I subject a vehicle too beyond a few years maybe. Mahindra cars in our family survive very well for us. They give us a lot less hassles and are a lot cheaper to maintain when something does go wrong.

So why not a toyota? Simple: Innova and fortuner are pretty big for our requirements, and not worth the price in my eyes. We have a tendency to replace our cars every 5-6 years. So investing in a toyota is not worth it.
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