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Old 20th November 2014, 18:08   #76
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Haven't seen a single post in this Forum where someone came and said, the Datsun Go put a smile on their face. Then why is it here? Even the K10, has some posts on how it would be a pocket rocket considering the power to weight ratio but again don't remember of any ownership thread pointing out the FTD factor.

When the thread title starts with, "The Best.." you can't be so lenient.

Apparently people's expectations from Sub 10 Lakh FTD cars have gone down instead of increase in number of True FTD cars. The 4M+1.2L Rule, higher fuel prices and delayed diesel de-regulation have contributed a lot to this.

With the dropping Oil prices and diesel de-regulation, I hope 2015 would see the revival of FTD petrol cars.

Let's hope to throw the accountant out of the driver's seat
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Old 20th November 2014, 18:47   #77
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Awesome thread with lot of research work.
May be I am being partial but would had loved to see XUV 5OO in that list. With the kind of highway performance, gizmos, handling and what not, it should had been in the list of enthusiast car of India. Am sure all the XUV owners will agree with me.
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Old 20th November 2014, 19:28   #78
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Awesome thread indeed, albeit a tad generous And these discussions are even more awesome The word enthusiast could be subjective, and vary for various individuals. My neighbor has a 2001 model 1.1L Alto, and its such a hoot to drive even to this day. Easily the car suiting enthusiastic tastes within a tight budget. However, I personally just did not find the ecosport ecoboost combo enthusiastic by any yardstick. And, how on earth did I not see even a single mention of the Duster/Terrano twins in the 110 Avatar?? These have the best ride and handling combo even if you compare it with 2 or 3 segments above, and the 110 PS version is never ever short on adrenalin, as long as you ignore the turbo lag. This is a must have on the list!
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Old 20th November 2014, 20:08   #79
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Default 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

This thread is turning out to be a list having all the cars sold in India except maybe hyundai. May be we should change the title to "Fun to drive cars below 20 lacs". Also whats the point of saying Alto with better tyres then another car with remap etc. If modifications are allowed some old maruti zens can run circles around most of the cars on this list. I actually do not see any value addition to the forum from this thread.

Last edited by robimahanta : 20th November 2014 at 20:09.
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Old 20th November 2014, 22:24   #80
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

The thread is about fun to drive cars.

Just because a car has shoddy built quality doesn't mean it is not fun to drive. Just because a car does not offer adequate safety features also does not mean it is not fun to drive.

In fact almost all of the world's legendary driver's cars cars are all poorly built and offer next to no safety.

Last edited by GTO : 20th November 2014 at 23:48. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 20th November 2014, 23:23   #81
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alchemist
Otherwise this thread will just be an opinion of the OP and nothing more
Actually, that's what it is.... if a member publishes an ownership review of his car, it's his opinion of the same. This list of enthusiast cars is an opinion, albeit an informed one. Feel free to debate the list. We're always open to corrections. Nothing official about it.
This settles it then. I was under the impression that this is our official compilation of the best enthusiast cars, just like our official reviews. I stand corrected! On the same note, I'm of the opinion that this kind of threads are landmark threads and maybe in the coming years we can publish official lists/recommendations. After all, we have many experts in this forum

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Alchemist
We normally see a lot of manufacturers going the 'mass-market' way and I wonder whether this thread is a contribution from T-BHP to that way of thinking!
On the contrary, this thread illustrates that it is indeed possible to have fun with 'mass market' cars too...and as an enthusiast, I say that's a good thing. There's no need to falsely restrict 'fun-to-drive' with only expensive / niche cars.
I totally agree. Price is not something which defines the fun to drive factor, and everyone should be able to enjoy their car regardless of the money they can spend on it. Just to clarify, my quoted statement was based on the lenient criteria for selection of cars and the inclusion of a few cars based on 'I want my car as well in the list' arguments by readers. When the title said 'The BEST Enthusiast Cars in India', I was not expecting this lenient criteria for selection. Then again, it might be because I assumed it to be a official T-BHP list as I mentioned earlier
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Old 20th November 2014, 23:30   #82
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

First, let us go through the definition of a fun-to-drive car, since my concepts are screwed up after reading this thread.

Q: What is the fun-to-drive factor in a car?
A: Fun to drive is a subjective measure—an intangible quality that can mean different things to different people. From my experience, a car can have a very powerful engine and accelerate quickly, but without the proper chassis and steering, it's not much fun. Case in point being the Hyundai Sonata. You’d expect a car with 198 BHP to be fun while driving. But that isn’t the case. Quoting Samurai from his Sonata review.
Quote:
The suspension is softly set up and doesn’t imbibe much confidence when pushing the car on twisting roads. While taking a few long, gentle curves at 80 - 90 kph, I had to be very cautious with my steering control & input.
In fact, once my friend asked me to drive his new Sonata & he was driving my Ford Classic. 3 kms into the drive, I asked him to swap. He asked me the reason for doing so & I blatantly told him that I’d rather drive an under powered car than a car which makes my hair stand at the end at 3 digit speeds.

For us, fun is a blend of factors such as handling, steering feedback, suspension, chassis and finally the nature of power delivery that leads to smile-inducing satisfaction. In that order.



Now, since the thread is named as "The best enthusiast cars in India 2014", I would expect only the best of the best to be included. But what actually happens is an Indian Film Awards show, with one award for everyone sitting in the hall. No, with Team-BHP, it does not work like that. We need to weed out any contender which has even a small flaw.

1. Toyota Liva
Quote:
The electric power steering is effortless to use at parking speeds, and when pottering about in the city. Unfortunately, it's a major disappointment on the highway for us driving enthusiasts. At 100 kph, the steering is light and feels like a playstation wheel. You need to maintain a firm hand as it reacts to the slightest input. There is absolutely no feedback either. Whenever I wanted to know what the front tyres were up to, I’d roll my windows down.
This is what GTO had to say about the Liva TRD. So how does a car with a Playstation-like wheel become one of the 'best enthusiast cars' in India?

2. Maruti Alto K10
Quote:
However, as you start utilizing the extra horses of the K10, the shortcomings of this setup become apparent. The steering is very skittish / light at higher speeds and you will have to back off the accelerator if it’s anything more than a very gentle curve.

There is massive understeer at higher speeds, which I personally found to be the most disappointing of all drawbacks on this car, very likely due to the heavier engine and the larger front overhang.
And of course, did I miss the K10's safety ratings? It scores a satisfying 0/5 NCAP rating. So here we have a 90 BHP/tonne PTW car, with a bad chassis, light steering, AND a 0/5 NCAP rating coaxing one to drive fast & consequently making its way into the 'The best enthusiast cars in India'?

3. Mahindra Thar, Gypsy, Isuzu D-max

Since when did we have Jeep's, SUV's, MUV's and trucks in this list? With their high CG, body roll, utilitarian nature, and vague steering, these vehicles do not have anything in common with enthusiast FTD cars. Of course, if you include off road fun in this, then it's a different story altogether.


Now, my replies to some of the posts in this thread.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheQuarterMile View Post
Although it doesn't fit the 20lac criteria in India but I think an apt example of a performance car with family benefits would be the Mitsubishi Evo X.
The EvoX is a great car, but it has been discontinued.

Quote:
Originally Posted by PVPal View Post
In my opinion, the Fiesta is a big and bold omission, though I take the point that it is not the most powerful of the lot. Although a lot has been said about the Ecosport, it has just not touched that string in me when it comes to driving with its slightly odd steering feedback.
Agree with your points wholeheartedly. I didn't intend to write a post on this thread, but when i saw that they omitted the Fiesta and included the Ecosport, I decided that it was too much for me to digest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaNdY_AR View Post
And guys, you have left out the I20's!!!! Both old and new(Elite).
Quote:
Originally Posted by poised2drive View Post
I was wondering about the absence of Hyundai !! Surprising that none of them make it to the list !! Personally, I felt driving i20 was fun. But I am happy to see Swift retaining its spot [ as I own one ]
The i20 does not even come close to being a enthusiast's car. It has a wallowy suspension & dead steering.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JediKnight View Post
How come 4th Gen Honda city does not make it to the list.
Quoting from Team-BHP's Official Review. This is reason why the City 4th Gen. cannot be considered.
Quote:
The light build is obvious and the City isn't as planted as the segment benchmarks. This is especially obvious on uneven highways where (again) the rear end refuses to stay flat. What doesn't help on the expressway is the EPS remaining light & sensitive. You need to maintain a very firm hand over 100 kph. The electric steering does feel like a playstation wheel and there's no feedback to speak of.

Last edited by GTO : 20th November 2014 at 23:49. Reason: Keep the personal attacks OFF the forum.
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Old 20th November 2014, 23:44   #83
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

I seriously feel that an earnest attempt by a fellow member is being taken way too much out of the context here. Really guys, we all should agree to disagree. There is no harm in it. I mean, yes there may be worthy exclusions from the list, or the list may be very different from one's perspective, but then it is just a list at the end of the day. Or in other words, its just someone's perspective. I mean some of the posts in the thread have gone way too much overboard in criticizing the list. Well there may be genuine omissions from the original list of what are to be called enthusiast's cars but then as I said earlier, we should just leave it at that. As the old adage goes, to each his own.

Now that begs another question - is there a standard definition of the term 'enthusiast' that many of us seem to be so passionate about and are using so 'enthusiastically'. To my mind, a person with little technicalknowledge about cars can also be called an enthusiast, similarly it also doesn't depend on the number of and kind of cars one has. So, one enthusiast's list may be very different to another enthusiast. IMHO, Its Just very difficult as much as being unfair to standardize the term and hence its application.

Last edited by rattanw : 20th November 2014 at 23:50.
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Old 20th November 2014, 23:57   #84
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

This thread is turning out to be like democratic India. Every car wants to be on the list as each car has a fan or enthusiastic following.
Should we have a criterion to define enthusiast. could be all of below:
1. fun to drive
2. craves to be driven hard and cornered hard.
3. In spite of its shortfalls, an enthusiast loves it for the fun it offers
4. cheap to tinker and has mod potential ?
5. Readily available aftermarket parts ?
6. Cost of the vehicle or the segment it belongs to ?

Please feel free to add.
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Old 21st November 2014, 00:01   #85
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post

First, let us go through the definition of a fun-to-drive car, since my concepts are screwed up after reading this thread.

Q: What is the fun-to-drive factor in a car?
A: Fun to drive is a subjective measure—an intangible quality that can mean different things to different people. From my experience, a car can have a very powerful engine and accelerate quickly, but without the proper chassis and steering, it's not much fun.
I was thinking of penning down something similar but without the references to TBHP quality etc.

Also, I dont quite agree with your argument about why offroaders are in the list. Offroading is a huge sport among enthusiasts and offroaders put a lot more demand on their vehicles than regular drivers.Chassis capabilities and torque characteristics matter a lot to those guys.

But overall, any car in the list that does not have good suspension and steering feedback, needs to be knocked off. These would be:
1. Skoda Octavia 1.8L DSG : No manual gearbox!! Ask anyone in the motoring community and the first thing they expect out of their ride is manual transmission. I have been driving an automatic for the past two years and even though it has nearly 400 horses, I wont call it an enthusiast's car exactly.
2. Fiat Linea T-Jet: Rubbery gearshift.
3. VW Polo 1.5L GT TDI: I think this can stay. I havent driven it so i dont know to what extent it's electric steering is an issue.
4. VW Polo 1.2L GT TSI: No manual gearbox, again.
5.Ford Classic 1.6L Petrol: This can stay. Does not matter if it is "Awfully outdated by current standards" as long as it still ticks the right boxes.
6. Ford EcoSport 1.0L EcoBoost: Light steering. Where is the fun in that?
7. Toyota Liva 1.5L: Light steering with zero feedback!!
8.Force Gurkha 4x4: Offroaders swear by it, when they are not swearing at it
9.Maruti Gypsy: I didnt know it is still available. If it is, then it deserves a place in the list, as an offroader, in 4x4 form.
10. Mahindra Thar: I dont think i know enough about the vehicle to comment. But i would go with what the offroading community has to say about it.

This list should be called "Cars that COULD HAVE BEEN the top 10 Enthusiast cars". I wont call it "best" because only one can be best. Not ten.

Cheers
Amitoj
EDIT: I somewhat lost interest in the list after ten. Even ten cars being listed as enthu cars was a little too much to take

Last edited by amitoj : 21st November 2014 at 00:18.
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Old 21st November 2014, 00:05   #86
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Why is Duster AWD not in the list?? Its one of the best handling and best driving vehicles around. For its size, It drives better than many cars around.
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Old 21st November 2014, 08:51   #87
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

I think the problem is the perspective. XUV 5OO handles better than the Scorpio and the Safari, expected disadvantage for the other two being body of frame constructions. Considering these two- it handles well for its size.

That said- I wouldn't call the XUV an enthusiastic handling machine.

Last edited by GTO : 21st November 2014 at 11:07. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 21st November 2014, 09:47   #88
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

The car that does not work for me is Ford's Ecosport. The spec sheet for the Ecoboost is most impressive and that's about it. Its a nice drive for sure but not enthusiast grade, atleast for me.

Nothing new in the line up which is sad.
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Old 21st November 2014, 10:12   #89
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitoj View Post
I was thinking of penning down something similar but without the references to TBHP quality etc.

Also, I dont quite agree with your argument about why offroaders are in the list. Offroading is a huge sport among enthusiasts and offroaders put a lot more demand on their vehicles than regular drivers.Chassis capabilities and torque characteristics matter a lot to those guys.

But overall, any car in the list that does not have good suspension and steering feedback, needs to be knocked off. These would be:

1. Skoda Octavia 1.8L DSG : No manual gearbox!! Ask anyone in the motoring community and the first thing they expect out of their ride is manual transmission.
2. Fiat Linea T-Jet: Rubbery gearshift.
Thank you for replying to my post. My replies.
  • If you would have told me 3 years ago about the MT, I would have agreed with you, but today we have to face the harsh fact that MT's are a dying breed. DCT's are the future. If we start knocking off cars with no MT, we would probably miss out on a lot of great cars.
  • Regarding off-roading, while it is a huge sport among enthusiasts, it doesn't exactly fall into 'high-speed cornering & edge of the seat antics' section. But this is a debatable topic.
  • Also, I wouldn't put the T-Jet out of contention just because of its rubbery shift. Other than that, it has everything going for it.

Last edited by GTO : 21st November 2014 at 11:08. Reason: Quoted post deleted
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Old 21st November 2014, 11:31   #90
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Default Re: 2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India

Quote:
Originally Posted by Biraj View Post
the issue was with the opening post....We are so used to reading fresh and great stuff on Team-bhp that even slightly stale or mediocre stuff gets .
Understood & acknowledged, thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by searchingheaven View Post
First, let us go through the definition of a fun-to-drive car, since my concepts are screwed up after reading this thread.
I actually hope that the concepts get 'unscrewed' good & proper . Time for elitists to understand that you can have fun on a budget too.

Quote:
This is what GTO had to say about the Liva TRD. So how does a car with a Playstation-like wheel become one of the 'best enthusiast cars' in India?
Did you miss out on the other points? If we have to weed out cars because of one characteristic, there won't be any on the list. Yank the Octavia off because of a lack of MT & its uncommunicative steering, Linea because of poor ergonomics & sub-par gearshift (I still can't find my ideal driving position in that car) etc. etc.

Suggest you pay a visit to the Liva 1.5 review again:

Quote:
Due to its light kerb weight though, the Liva 1.5 has a power to weight ratio of 96 BHP / tonne. That's better than any petrol hatchback, including the erstwhile Palio 1.6.

Torque delivery from low rpms is phenomenal, easily the best in class.

Out on the open road is where the fun begins. Slot the gear into first, slam the accelerator and release the clutch. There is a fair amount of torque steer. By now, you realise this isn't the ordinary, boring Liva. The car's quick acceleration is thoroughly enjoyable and easily makes it among the fastest petrol hatchbacks on sale today. The TRD Sportivo accelerates clean to a 100 kph, and eagerly continues beyond. What's more, throttle response is sharp, especially when compared to the Polo / Fabia 1.6L petrol. The mid-range packs a punch, making highway overtaking moves quick & easy. At the end of our spirited drive, we had a smile plastered all over our face.

The 5 speed gearbox is smooth to use. Shift quality is positive, gates are well defined and the throw is just right.

The Liva has neutral on-road behaviour with no nasty surprises thrown in. Outright grip levels are surprisingly good for a Toyota hatchback. We pushed hard into a fast corner or two and the car remained composed. Understeer doesn’t come in as early as you'd expect of a family hatchback. While some body roll is felt, it's well within acceptable limits.
Quote:
Since when did we have Jeep's, SUV's, MUV's and trucks in this list?
You've obviously missed my earlier enthusiast car articles (including the one on used enthusiast cars)? They were very much a part of it.

Quote:
but when i saw that they omitted the Fiesta and included the Ecosport, I decided that it was too much for me to digest.
Trust the digestive system is clean now . The Fiesta was added much before you even posted.

Quote:
The i20.....It has a wallowy suspension
Please update yourself on the 2014 i20. From our official review:

Quote:
Compared to the old i20's puzzled suspension, or the 2011 Verna's wallowy behaviour, the Elite i20's underpinnings have grown up. The i20 now feels a lot more mature in terms of road manners.

There is hardly any bounciness on the highway...The rear end of the car doesn't bounce around like the confused ol' i20, thanks to superior damping characteristics. Not only does this make things better for passengers, but even the driver feels more confident.

High speed manners have matured thanks to the suspension set-up and superior steering. The Elite i20's chassis displays more poise than the 1st-gen car. That feeling of 'floatiness' at speed has been eliminated. Straight line stability is par for the course and it doesn't have you at the edge of the seat (like the 2011 Verna, for instance). Grip levels are good around corners, while overall behaviour can be best termed as safe & predictable.
Quote:
If you would have told me 3 years ago about the MT, I would have agreed with you, but today we have to face the harsh fact that MT's are a dying breed. DCT's are the future. If we start knocking off cars with no MT, we would probably miss out on a lot of great cars.
Perhaps, you could apply that same logic to EPS too. Even Porsche has moved to electric steerings!

Quote:
Regarding off-roading, while it is a huge sport among enthusiasts, it doesn't exactly fall into 'high-speed cornering & edge of the seat antics' section.
That an incredibly narrow view of what is enjoyable with cars, and the exact problem portrayed by your posts. You can have a lot of fun even outside these two areas, else you'll only enjoy driving for 1% of the time you spend on the road.
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