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View Poll Results: Whats your pick?
European Cars 211 43.78%
Japanese Cars 219 45.44%
Others (Indian, Korean, American etc.) 22 4.56%
Prefer both equally 30 6.22%
Voters: 482. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 14th May 2014, 00:00   #196
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In my life so far, I have owned 2 Japanese, 1 Italian and an Optra. Choosing the best among them is easy for me as I felt very safe in my Premier Padmini during my teenage years and same goes for Optra for it's superb build quality. However, Like the USP pointed by GTO about the Japanese, I fell for Honda and Maruti simply because of their fuel efficiency and reliability.

By far, I as a owner feel Honda needs a lot of improvement whereas Maruti is brilliant in the long-term perspective.

So, Except for Honda all other Japanese brands have my respect.

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Old 14th May 2014, 00:14   #197
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Originally Posted by desdemona View Post
That would not be a hasty conclusion at all. The Honda City and the Hyundai Verna are not offered in the US, otherwise their biggest market, for a reason! I look forward to comparing the specs on these counts of the upcoming Honda Jazz to the American Honda Fit. NONE of the other sub-D-segment East Asian cars sold here is offered in the US.

Also, if you consider the Indian Linea, Punto, Fiesta (old and new), Figo, Ecosport, Duster, and even Fabia and Polo to a degree, in light of their European versions: you find there has been very little dilution of standards of build, sheetmetal heft, ride and handling, braking and tyre specifications. Sure, fewer airbags, different steering units and diluted engines in some cases, but that's all.

That is because these attributes are part of their brand DNA. These very attributes are either missing or peripheral to the brand image/stories and DNA of the East Asian marques. They are each being quite true to their brand characters.

Safety, sturdiness, weightiness and ride-handling-braking balance are just not important to the Japanese and Korean brand identities in India, or even, to a degree, anywhere else. They do not and will not provide these to a decent level unless forced by the regulations. The sales figures certainly don't indicate that the market will push them to change their ways.
The Hyundai Verna is actually sold in the US as the Accent. So is the SX4 sedan.

Sheetmetal heft and its bearing on crash safety however, has long been debunked. The thickness of metal used in a car has no bearing these days on crash safety. It is the energy absorbing crush zones that do. However, my recent research into sub D segment cars, is proving quite enlightening. I am ashamed to say that I agree with you; East-Asian brands do seem to be diluting their standards in terms of quality and structural safety, when selling products in our market.

That being said, today's generation of C segment rides from Japan, Korea and the likes, do perform pretty admirably and are not as unsafe as people claim them to be. They do not perform as well as European marquees (Funny since in other parts of the globe, they seem to outclass the euro competition. Simply afraid to think then, how much they cut corners here) but even though quality is being diluted in countries such as India, the margin of difference seems to be decreasing as the years progress. That, the relentless efforts of the Global NCAP and the possible adoption of crash testing by our government, is hopefully a sign of good things to come.

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Originally Posted by ad3952n View Post
In my life so far, I have owned 2 Japanese, 1 Italian and an Optra. Choosing the best among them is easy for me as I felt very safe in my Premier Padmini during my teenage years and same goes for Optra for it's superb build quality. However, Like the USP pointed by GTO about the Japanese, I fell for Honda and Maruti simply because of their fuel efficiency and reliability.

By far, I as a owner feel Honda needs a lot of improvement whereas Maruti is brilliant in the long-term perspective.

So, Except for Honda all other Japanese brands have my respect.

Thanks

AD
While Honda is doing some shameful acts here in our country, you do know that of the bunch, you are actually safest when sitting in your 3rd Gen Honda City right? The Premier Padmini may have been built of Birla Shakti Cement, but the minute you collided with anything it would transfer all impact energy to your body, and the Chevy Optra, was actually a Korean car (Daewoo) and of very old heritage. It has scored extremely poorly in crash tests across the Globe and I shudder to think how it would have scored if the trends these manufacturers take when selling any product in India, are of any indication.

In recent ASEAN NCAP test, the City scored 4 stars. Let's hope we get the same thing here

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Old 14th May 2014, 00:49   #198
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I would prefer Japanese cars to own in the long term. I don't mind 2-3 year ownership periods with German cars - enjoy the German characteristics and not be bothered with the long term reliability issues.
The built like a tank feeling etc. is just superficial, crash tests have often proved that the Japanese cars have performed equally or better than any others. I'm referencing IIHS safety tests done in the US.
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Old 14th May 2014, 00:53   #199
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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The Hyundai Verna is actually sold in the US as the Accent. So is the SX4 sedan.

Sheetmetal heft and its bearing on crash safety however, has long been debunked. The thickness of metal used in a car has no bearing these days on crash safety. It is the energy absorbing crush zones that do. However, my recent research into sub D segment cars, is proving quite enlightening. I am ashamed to say that I agree with you; East-Asian brands do seem to be diluting their standards in terms of quality and structural safety, when selling products in our market.

That being said, today's generation of C segment rides from Japan, Korea and the likes, do perform pretty admirably and are not as unsafe as people claim them to be. They do not perform as well as European marquees (Funny since in other parts of the globe, they seem to outclass the euro competition. Simply afraid to think then, how much they cut corners here) but even though quality is being diluted in countries such as India, the margin of difference seems to be decreasing as the years progress. That, the relentless efforts of the Global NCAP and the possible adoption of crash testing by our government, is hopefully a sign of good things to come.



While Honda is doing some shameful acts here in our country, you do know that of the bunch, you are actually safest when sitting in your 3rd Gen Honda City right?
Hi Ishaan. I believe there are basic differences of automotive philosophy at work at least in emerging markets between the east Asians and the europeans. Their brand DNA-s are different, as are their degree of compliance with government regulations in Europe and America, which set the benchmark.

In India, I am afraid the gap is widening, not reducing: the gap between the way Linea or the Fiesta or the Ecosport or the Duster or the Polo harmonize handling-build-steering-braking and say the Verna or the new City is as great if not greater than ever, especially at the much higher speeds India is now seeing, because of improved roads and highways. I fail to see how compromised steering-tyres-braking and especially handling enables safety. Crush zones are only the last resort for safety: how about keeping the handling-steering-braking standard high enough IN THE FIRST PLACE?

The gap has closed in reliability and ASS: the Europeans are improving. But that news has yet to reach or persuade most in this market.

On the point about sheetmetal: even if its heft played no role in safety, which I believe is an implausible claim at least for lower-momentum crashes, it is FAR cheaper to repair a damaged heavy-metal European car, ALL ELSE BEING EQUAL, than an equivalent thin-metal East Asian. You do want not just yourself but even your car to survive in the event of a crash, no?

Last edited by desdemona : 14th May 2014 at 00:55. Reason: spelling
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Old 14th May 2014, 01:04   #200
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I would choose European over Japanese because European feel more personal than Japanese. Everyone can make a car but European know what makes a car my car. The small touches here and there and they are thoughtful about the interior. The technology they use is generations ahead of any Japanese car. Imagine driving a top of the line Lexus and feeling a rubber band effect during acceleration making u feel like : Thats my experience with Lexus. They are realiable because they are using technology that has been perfected over decades. They don't have the courage to invent unlike Europeans and then there is build quality. Nothing matches European. Maybe the American luxury be on par like escalade or the navigator but compare it to a Lexus or a lc200 they lag behind. Japanese manufacturers need to make more exciting cars and need to try to be innovative
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Old 14th May 2014, 01:06   #201
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Originally Posted by V12Doc View Post
I would choose European over Japanese because European feel more personal than Japanese. Everyone can make a car but European know what makes a car my car. The small touches here and there and they are thoughtful about the interior. The technology they use is generations ahead of any Japanese car. Imagine driving a top of the line Lexus and feeling a rubber band effect during acceleration making u feel like :
You need to drive more cars mate! By the way, even Audi loves using stupid continuously variable transmissions.
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Old 14th May 2014, 01:29   #202
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You need to drive more cars mate! By the way, even Audi loves using stupid continuously variable transmissions.
I know about it.I have an a4 that uses cvt and it's actually not half as bad as the stupid cvt Toyota uses. It's eight speed and works great. The cvt in D mode is pretty relaxing and put it into sport mode it will shift gears like Ur using a dsg. I actually love the transmission in the a4. It's whats your mood type. It eagerly downshifts and holds onto gears in sport mode and I bet u can't tell its a cvt. The screen starts showing gears from s1 to s8 instead of just D in the drive mode. Cvt is only evident in D mode that too because the gears keep on changing and the rpm does not. You can reach from 0-140 and the rpm will be still at 2200rpm for all the time. I think it's 2200rpm @140 in 8th gear. Rubber Band effect comes only in D mode that too when you are at a good speed trying to overtake and the effect is so minimal that I started feeling it when I read about it :/ Compare that to the cvt in my fortuner which is a confused one. U cannot cruise in that without using the cruise control because if you try it will rev up without increasing speed proportionally. The car has ample torque reserve at 100km/h in 4th gear but when u accelerate it will shift Down to 3rd red line it and then shift back to 4th instead of keeping in 4th gear and accelerate. I will try making a video of both the transmission in action. Will be easy to understand. ��

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Old 14th May 2014, 05:55   #203
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Originally Posted by desdemona View Post
That would not be a hasty conclusion at all. The Honda City and the Hyundai Verna are not offered in the US, otherwise their biggest market, for a reason! I look forward to comparing the specs on these counts of the upcoming Honda Jazz to the American Honda Fit. NONE of the other sub-D-segment East Asian cars sold here is offered in the US.

Also, if you consider the Indian Linea, Punto, Fiesta (old and new), Figo, Ecosport, Duster, and even Fabia and Polo to a degree, in light of their European versions: you find there has been very little dilution of standards of build, sheetmetal heft, ride and handling, braking and tyre specifications. Sure, fewer airbags, different steering units and diluted engines in some cases, but that's all.

That is because these attributes are part of their brand DNA. These very attributes are either missing or peripheral to the brand image/stories and DNA of the East Asian marques. They are each being quite true to their brand characters.

Safety, sturdiness, weightiness and ride-handling-braking balance are just not important to the Japanese and Korean brand identities in India, or even, to a degree, anywhere else. They do not and will not provide these to a decent level unless forced by the regulations. The sales figures certainly don't indicate that the market will push them to change their ways.
I guess the US market has a completely has a completely different profile in comparison to our market where small hatches form the bulk of sales.
But I really wish I could get some data on the point you made about Japs and Koreans diluting sheet metal heft, standards of build etc in the Indian market when compared to a more advanced market on the same models. And also data that the Euro cars leave these as they are for both markets. That would really drive home the point you make.
Global NCAP has recently tested an Indian made Maruti Swift Zxi. The results should be out soon but it looks like the car will come out with flying colours based on video evidence according to a report on Motorbeam. Now that would be a shot in the arm for the much maligned (possibly with good reason) Jap/East Asians and hopefully spur them on to bring up their safety standards on par here.
http://www.motorbeam.com/cars/maruti...sults-pending/

Last edited by wilful : 14th May 2014 at 06:21.
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Old 14th May 2014, 06:36   #204
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Personally, I think there is a huge difference between Honda on one hand and Suzuki. Most of the Suzuki cars sold in India are highly diluted compared to the models sold in Japan, and of course the same models are not sold in the USA. On the other hand, the Jazz sold in India was very similar to the Fit sold elsewhere from a structural perspective - it only lacked side air bags, which at the end of the day are a third order safety device (seat belts, structural safety and front air bags are far more important). I doubt Honda would have diluted standards on the City compared to the Jazz, so it is reasonably safe as well. The same applies to the Civic, accord and CR-V. Not sure about the made for India Brio and Amaze though. The Suzukis sold in India au contraire (barring the Kizashi) are highly diluted - with the Alto K10 being a classic example.

The weight difference between Japanese and European cars can also be seen in the US market - and has nothing to do with safety. If anything, the Europeans through use of more aluminium and strong but light steel elements are moving towards lighter products. Yes, the Europeans focus a lot more on handling (because of the demands of their home market), while the Japanese focus on what the Americans like - viz comfort and reliability. The choice between those two dimensions is a personal one, and not a safety one.

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Old 14th May 2014, 07:02   #205
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This is just an example of what thin metal sheet does. This is a crash test of landcruiser lc200 the most expensive Toyota or Lexus. The test is a simple test from ANCAP which is way less stricter than iihs. The test shows a simple frontal crash. This is the car I least expected the cabin to collapse due to thin sheet metal. Even though u can't see the cabin collapsing and it wouldnt make a big difference if it collapses a little because it's huge but in smaller sized cars it makes a lot of difference. In the video you can see how the sheet collapses at the back of the vehicle even though there is no impact there. That's the problem a of thin sheet metal. When a crash happens the passenger cabin should remain intact and not collapse on the passengers. It should bear the impact but to a limit. If the cabin is not strong enough then a it may crumple too early in a minor crash and too much in a major crash reducing chance of survival. The tests conducted are good but do not indicate a real world situation. I have seen cars rolling over and thin sheet metal won't keep the cabin intact. In case of a side impact it's going to be dangerous and the pillars of these cars are ready to collapse in case of accident. Go to IIHS YouTube channel and see Japanese cars crash tests for Hyundai Accent or Toyota Highlander or similar cars and you will understand.
Here is the video of LC200 Crashing -Toyota Landcruiser 200 Series (from 2013) - 5 sta…:
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Old 14th May 2014, 08:06   #206
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thin or thick, sheet metal will not keep your car or your cabin intact in a roll or a high speed crash.
Unless, of course, you're driving an m1, of the abrams variety.
Do look up what a spongy ford from 2013 does to a perceived tank, I think it's an impala, on YouTube, and see what little relevance sheet metal has in overall safety.
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Old 14th May 2014, 08:21   #207
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'Built like a tank feel'. Now why do people only relate this to crashes? Why not things like dents, scratches? Over a long term- most of the japs I see pickup a lot of dents. In our apartment, we have kids playing cricket and football near the car parking area, and I have seen cases of japs picking up dents when hit hard with a tennis ball. However, my FIAT fares far better even though it's it the line of fire. Touchwood thankfully, thanks to the solid built.

Now observe the same on the roads. Observe similar mileage japs against Europeans. Japs would have picked up a lot more dents over time! Not my cup of cake, I realise now, after owning an European for sometime.

My uncle's WagonR (older version) boot caved in when his son leaned against it while talking!


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Old 14th May 2014, 08:31   #208
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If I remember correctly the india spec i10 had a poorer rating that euro spec i10. So it will be relevant to keep the scope of discussion to cars sold in India!
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Old 14th May 2014, 09:09   #209
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If my life depended on it, Japanese because no matter what anyone says they are reliable from super cheap cars to super expensive one's. If I can afford more than one car, the other one would be a European for sure.
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Old 14th May 2014, 09:26   #210
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I value reliability over perceived safety. Hence my answer is obvious. Consider this, what are the safety ratings of Japanese cars? Are they always below the European ones? Second, Japanese engineers, being as assiduous as they are, tweak vehicles considering the demographic information a little bit more in my opinion as compared to other manufacturers. Then in India, localisation counts as well, for maintenance as well as replacements. These of course are my perspective and yours may vary.
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