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Old 11th December 2015, 16:10   #1
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Default What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

We all know Team BHP to be the best source for information on cars, accessories and basically automobiles. Team BHP was formed in 2004 and since then we have had the luxury of an unbiased vantage point of the Indian car scene.

Team BHP reviews cover every inch of the car, and we all, read every inch of the review! But then, I'm sure a unique feature in Team BHP reviews is What you'll like and dislike section at the beginning which sets the tone for a review.

Now, the 90s was in some ways a revolutionary period for the Indian automotive industry. Post economic liberalization, we saw many overseas companies bring in their cars into a market which had only a handful of models. I've always wondered what the reviews would've been like for those cars? Think about the Team BHP review of the Ford Escort, or the Daewoo Cielo.

Here's what could've been:

Ford Escort:

What you'll like:
  • A solid spacious sedan from Ford
  • Ergonomic cabin with lots of space
  • Big accommodating boot
  • Smooth diesel engine
  • Beautifully packaged interiors, easily the best in the segment
  • Heavy body translates to excellent ride quality
What you'll dislike:
  • Lacking equipment of competition - Power windows offered only in front
  • Power steering comes only with the diesel variant
  • Petrol engine is terribly under-powered especially with the A/C on
  • Handles like a boat

What about the cars that you've experienced in the 90s? Or even the 80s?
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Old 12th December 2015, 14:58   #2
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Default re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Innovative thread idea . My two cents:

1997 Mahindra Classic:

What you'll like:

• A Pure Jeep! Well priced too (3.45 lakhs ex-showroom)
• Timeless looks & design. Very stylish
• Go-anywhere capability. A true mountain goat. Robust build handles offroad terrain with ease
• Torquey diesel engine. Fuel efficient too
• Cheap to repair, easy to fix
• Many 'export market' features such as front disc brakes, 12v electrical system, comfortable recaro-replica seats etc.

What you won't:

• Awfully cramped if you are 5'8" or over. Rear seat is best left to the mother in law
• Bumpy ride quality, even on a flat well-paved road
• No performance at all over 90 kph
• Small niggles & issues are a part of daily life. Build quality is full-on 'Jugaad'
• No safety to speak of. A 50 year old design

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-pics-stratos-20.jpg

1996 Maruti Esteem:

What you'll like:

• Fast performance from a revv-happy engine. The quickest petrol sedan of '96
• Well-tuned steering (non-PS version)
• Immensely modification friendly. Tons of after-market support
• Features such as power windows & central locking (trust me, it was a big deal in 1996)
• Stupendously strong reliability. Can take abuse & how (ours did 2 lakh kms with nary a breakdown)
• Cheap ownership costs

What you won't:

• Poor brakes. Plus, they fade easily
• Low-end torque is very weak
• Air-conditioner struggles on hot days
• Seating is too low. Affects rear seat comfort

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-3234.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 15th December 2015 at 11:05.
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Old 12th December 2015, 16:10   #3
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Now this is an interesting thread and I loved how GTO quickly posted a quick review on two classic cars from the 90s. Here is my try on one of my favorite cars from the 90s, the Tata Sierra.

What you'll like:
  • Timeless macho looks that combined a 3 door design
  • First in class adjustable steering
  • 1.9 L Turbo Diesel engine with 90 horses, Fuel efficient NA diesel engine
  • Spacious cabin with decent comfort levels
  • Power steering at that time was a boon

What you won't
  • Non turbo diesel engine lacked power for hill driving
  • Electrical issues with power windows
  • 4 wheel drive variant had limited availability
  • Boat like handling and floaty ride
  • Long term reliability that needs care and dedication

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-155399.jpg

Last edited by GTO : 12th December 2015 at 16:17. Reason: Uploading image as attachment
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Old 12th December 2015, 16:26   #4
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Well as for the Sierrra, I still own one. 1999 Turbo. Same colour (Metallic Green) as attached pics. Will post some of its too ...As for the 'features' its already been highlighted in the last post and I couldn't agree anymore on them..!!
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What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-1.jpg  

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-2.jpg  

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Old 12th December 2015, 16:42   #5
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

This made my day: (I will classify it under 'what you'll like' category)

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

What you'll like:

• Awfully cramped if you are 5'8" or over. Rear seat is best left to the mother in law.
Here's my contribution:

Maruti Zen:

Likes:
1. Literally a pocket rocket. Among the most fun to drive cars around.
2. The free revving and turbine like smooth engine begs to be revved hard.
3. Beats all other hatchbacks on a 0-100 drag strip. Takes off like an angry wasp!
4. Excellent power to weight ratio (80 bhp/ tonne)
5. Fuel efficient despite good performance.
6. Extremely mod-friendly.

Dislikes:
1. Poor rear pax space. Don't know whom to fit here. Mother in law is in GTO's jeep.
2. Poor boot space.
3. Slightly tuned suspension would have made the handling even more fun.
4. Needs better brakes & a rev counter.


Amby

Likes:
1. The only real 6 seater around.
2. Extremely comfortable rear seats.
3. Huge boot.
4. Nice sounding engine.

Dislikes:
1. Poor brakes.
2. Needs power assisted brakes and steering badly.
3. Reliability issues.
4. Better to be driven around in rather than drive around.


Premier padmini

Likes:
1. Satisfactory performance.
2. Engine & exhaust note!
3. Reasonably fun to drive.
4. Reasonably fuel efficient.

Dislikes:
1. Poor ground clearance of only 128 mm is not at all practical for Indian roads.
2. Saggy rear suspension only compounds the ground clearance problem.
3. Boot space limited.
4. Rear pax space is again limited.

Regards.

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th December 2015 at 13:33. Reason: Adding some formatting :)
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Old 12th December 2015, 17:02   #6
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidzzone View Post
What about the cars that you've experienced in the 90s? Or even the 80s?
Heck, I'll post reviews of cars from the first half of the 'Thirties! Thanks for starting this thread. Always wanted to do something like this.

Anyways, my POV on the PP S1; am writing in past tense.

___________________________________

Bombay. January 1995:


The Premier Padmini S1 has been launched; and the prices range from 1,75,000 INR for the Standard; to 2,38,000 INR for the Deluxe BU A/C.

What you'll like:

A] T-E-R-R-I-F-I-C engine performance- Reworked FIAT 1100 103 i-4 from AVL performs MUCH better than previous versions.

B] Smooth gearbox. Feels like a hot knife through butter. There is a tendency to crash around in second gear, though.

C] Presence of a catalytic converter = a FAR less polluting car

D] Presence of Nissan ancillaries and components. Quality has (seemingly) improved by leaps and bounds all around the car.

E] Equipped with an alternator- Goodbye battery drain woes!

(Previous cars were equipped with a rudimentary dynamo, which could barely manage to keep the car's battery charged)

F] At long last, a car that is joy to drive! Drifts VERY easily- owing to the fact that the car is RWD

What you will NOT like
:

A] Car shouts out for a fifth gear. Engine sounds very strained at higher revs. B] The basic engine design dates to colonial times. The basic car design, itself dates to 1960.

C] The car isn't very fast, nor is it very efficient. Feels primitive in general.

D] Quality, though much improved - is still questionable. Quality levels can still improve a lot.

______________________________

Net on net- the car is old wine, in a new bottle.

Old wine in a new bottle.

Really? Nopes, it is more appropriate- if we call it - Old wine, in an older bottle. The car has NO clear USP, is very primitive, very outdated.

Engine has a marked tendency to overheat, and struggles to pull- when the A/C is switched on. The brakes are- Poor. Plus, they fade easily. They're drums- quite rudimentary. Air-conditioner struggles A LOT on hot days

Verdict: Get a Maruti 1000 / Esteem instead.

_____________________________________

Looks SWEET! So typically 1962, isn't she?

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-premierpadminis1deluxeinde00045152.jpg

No quarter glass present- the car is equipped with an A/C.

The Padmini...............equipped with an A/C.

A sureshot sign of changing times!

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-premierpadminis1deluxeinde00025151.jpg

Those fintails are so very typical- of the cars designed in the late 'Fifties.

Cost cutting- the lovely metal 3D badges are gone. What we now get is a cheap sticker.

Sigh. Times are indeed, changing.

Name:  premierpadminis1deluxeinde00055153.jpg
Views: 16557
Size:  77.2 KB

___________________________________

**BUMP**

Bombay, December 2015:
I've just finished typing this post!

How times have changed!

P.S: Photo Credits- Due credits to whoever the original uploader was. Had downloaded these pics long ago.

The pics show a PP S1, faar, faaar away from home. Yep, the PP S1 was exported to many countries, mainly in the Gulf region.

Last edited by FINTAIL : 12th December 2015 at 17:13.
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Old 12th December 2015, 17:03   #7
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Wow wow!

Here is my addition

Mitsubishi Lancer

Likes:

1. Timeless, mature styling, Turns heads and ages very well.
2. Fantastic handling. A real good package on ride and handling.
2. Sweet, linear diesel engine and smooth Petrol engine
4. Steering, steering and steering.
5. Bulletproof reliability and extremely mod friendly
6. A well appointed cabin with superb quality materials, Smooth gearshift with excellent ergonomics.

Dislikes:

1. Poor ground clearance
2. Low seating is not for elders
3. Boot space is limited for this class
4. Petrol engine could be more punchy

Last edited by Rehaan : 13th December 2015 at 13:34. Reason: Adding some formatting :)
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Old 12th December 2015, 17:26   #8
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Cars of the 90's have a special place in my heart! Give me a 1998 Lancer with modern Engine, airbags, ABS - I would pick this anyday compared to current crop of Sedans.


Opel Astra

What you'll like:
1.Solid German Engineering.
2.Wow features like Sunroof, cooled glovebox.
3. Powerful 1.6 L NA petrol.
4.Great ride quality.

What you won't:
1.High price tag.
2.Expensive spares and poor A.S.S.
3.Poor FE.
4.Not as spacious as competition.

I particularly remember this two tone Opel Astra Club, total drool!.
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Old 12th December 2015, 17:40   #9
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

I'll add my dream car- The TATA Estate

+ Space simply Huge Space
+ Power Windows
+ Rear Wiper
+ Bucket Seats in the front (feature back then)
+ Became a status symbol of directors of the mid cap companies
+ Back Seat Comfort
+ First station wagon in my memory (some variants of the Padmini are unknown to me)

- Truck engine
- NVH
- Pricey
- Unreliable electrical
- Would have been a lethargic vehicle to drive (was 8 when i last sat in an estate)
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Old 12th December 2015, 18:39   #10
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Excellent thread!! My contribution:

Car reviewed-Maruti 800 5-Speed DX
Launch Month & Year- January 2000.

Likes:

1. Improved power(45BHP vs 37BHP)) and Torque(62Nm vs 59Nm) in the same light bodyshell.
2. One of the earliest MPFI applications in a Maruti
3. Environment friendly- one of the earliest Euro II cars
4. Excellent mileage compared to the Standard 800 due to the 5th cog.
5. Cheap to buy and own and extremely easy to drive.
6. High level of reliability
7. Splendid Maruti service
8. Excellent performance-one of the few cars to go beyond its speedo limit.

Dislikes:

1. Cramped interiors
2. Dated design
3. Needs better brakes & a tachometer
4. Safety concerns
5. Performance takes a hit with AC on

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-1.jpg


Regards,
Shashi

Last edited by Leoshashi : 12th December 2015 at 18:56.
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Old 12th December 2015, 18:41   #11
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Grew up being ferried in this car for most of my childhood.
One of the most successful Maruti models, ever:

Maruti Omni

What you'll like:

-An engine which when revved has an exhaust note unmatched by many powerful cars even today. Easily can be mistaken for a much powerful car. (Though the actual pace tells a different story )
-Can be (and is) used for every purpose known to man.
-Infinite seating capacity. No one knows the actual limit.
-Horn buttons on either end of the steering wheel will bring out the boy inside every man.
-Good reliability.
-No A/C you say? Open the flaps right behind the headlight assembly and voila! Instant cooling. Also, weight reduction, bro.


What you won't:

-Driver and passenger will have red hot derrieres over long distances, thanks to the under-seat engine!
-An almost non-existent hood/bonnet will give your passengers a scare everytime you stomp on the brakes.
-If you drive one in a dark shade and tinted windows, people automatically assume you're a kidnapper


On a serious note, this van has been selling well right from the day it was launched. It's the Chuck Norris of Indian cars!

Last edited by 97_Octane : 12th December 2015 at 18:43.
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Old 12th December 2015, 19:10   #12
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Another two (+ & - are the same for these two)

Force Trax & Mahindra Savari

+ It could pull 50 people if you could stick them to the vehicle
+ flexible seating or standing
+ Narrow width ideal for navigating the bylanes of rural villages
+ Maintenance free vehicle
+ Bullet proof reliability of mechanicals- No complicated tech
+ Super FE for the non AC variant
+ Length of a minibus in a guise of a jeep
+ Metallic Bumpers
+ Super sheet metal- could seat a few on the roof
+ Long term owners are happy with the vehicles

- Horrific Handling - steering non responsive, tyres do not understand that they have to provide grip, a glass of water could spin your vehicle
- Seat provided only to rest an square inch of an A** nothing more- no comfort whatsoever
- Lights were literally non existent (poor lighting that time coupled with horrible reliability/poor maintenance- tail lights were just Diwali bulbs)
- No relation/understanding of the words "refinement"/"comfort"
- Speed to be limited to 60 kmph to reach destination in one piece
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Old 12th December 2015, 19:33   #13
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Thanks Sidzzone for such an innovative thread.

Car reviewed- 1992 Maruti 800 STD

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-20151209_164417.jpg

What you'll like:
  • India's original people's car.
  • Extremely Cheap to buy and to run. Regular maintenance is similar to most premium bikes.
  • High level of reliability, simple mechanicals.
  • Easy to drive.
  • Second to none Maruti's service .

What you won't
  • Basic design
  • Cramped interiors
  • Safety concerns
  • Horrible brakes

Reported Fuel Efficiency (City / Highway)

Petrol : 14.5 / 20.5 kmpl

What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?-20141030_052531.jpg

Regards
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Old 12th December 2015, 19:51   #14
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Fantastic thread. Thanks to siddzone for initiating it. I seriously doubt, if our fathers reviewed cars before they purchased. Sad, they had very few models to choose from. Our good old Amby, a luxury version of HM motors (Contessa). How many of us have drooled looking at it.

Few great cars of the era included : Standard, Matador van (our beloved school van), Maruti Omni, Maruti 1000cc, Daewoo Cielo, Mitsubishi Lancer, Montana (one boxy looking hatch, it had the best ground clearance for a hatch), Premier NE 118., Tata Safari, Tata Estate
Maruti Gypsy - which still sells around 800+ today (November 2015 sales). Was really surprised to see it selling better than Honda Mobilio.

Last edited by itzvicky201 : 12th December 2015 at 19:53.
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Old 12th December 2015, 20:01   #15
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Default Re: What if Team-BHP reviewed cars from the '90s?

Being born in '95, I have fond memories of my dad's Maruti 800 (4 speed MT) and Qualis.
The 800 was a cramped little car and had no AC. It could do 80 kmph easily on the highway. We did BLR-MAA via Chitoor twice and Coorg once. It never saw the highway after that. (Qualis was waay more comfortable)

Let's not review the qualis as it's in the new millenium. (I haven't driven it too) It was a true beast in it's own nature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 97_Octane View Post
-Can be (and is) used for every purpose known to man.
It's the most versatile car. Just wonder why they didn't launch the pickup version and why they didn't try making a diesel?

Quote:
-Infinite seating capacity. No one knows the actual limit.
I used to go to school in this vehicle between '02 and '04. 17 children+Driver is the record. The van ran well on LPG

It still used to climb slopes pretty well. Any Bangalore BHPian know the slope in the rear entrance of Shanthi Park Apts? (Jayanagar 9th block)

Quote:
-No A/C you say? Open the flaps right behind the headlight assembly and voila!
Been there. Done that.

Quote:
-If you drive one in a dark shade and tinted windows, people automatically assume you're a kidnapper
Ah. I though white ones (with tinted windows) were used for kidnapping. Atleast this is what movies show.
I used to go to school is a navy blue van and return in a red one. The red one had extra headroom too. Extended roof version maybe?
Not able to find a pic on the internet.
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