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Old 21st February 2017, 14:13   #16
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Remember, it's better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Apologies for my lack of understanding, but could you please expand on this?

Great thread bye the way!
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Old 21st February 2017, 14:19   #17
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I have the previous gen Figo. And the preciseness of the steering never fails to amaze me. It is better than any other car I have driven. Question for folks who have driven the Figo and high-end cars - are any/all of the more expensive cars better in the steering department?
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Old 21st February 2017, 14:42   #18
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You walk to the car, the puddle lights come on invitingly. Keyless go lets you open the door effortlessly......And then you are woken up by your stupid Moto G phone. It's your boss asking why you are not at work yet.


This is so true though! Forgot the add the extra respect you get on the roads when driving a fancier car. People let you cut lanes more willingly, don't honk when you are waiting for a red light, etc.

The only other car that has so much respect are those that are synonymous with taxi drivers (etios, wagonR, etc.) / politicians & goondas (white innovas/safaris).

Especially if you have a VIP/VVIP number.

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aah, dark side of the Force. I almost never go there. If I've ever crossed 110 kmph, it was by mistake (not looking at speedo, for example).

Can cruisers like me enjoy a powerful premium car? I do enjoy the 20 to 100 kmph dash.
Yes, the beauty of these germans is their ability to mask the speed. You could be doing 200kmph with your passengers sipping hot coffee in the back seat! (not on public roads though please - this is just for the sake of this debate)

You may not enjoy the 20-100kmph dash as much as other cars, but the torque surge is addictive.

Some brands like Mercedes are best for cruising with their well weighted steering. Our new C220 on a recent trip on the expressway was solely cruising and munching up the miles in much more refinement than the mass market cars (though the Superb would come close), and I had a whole lot more fun than if I had to cruise in a similar manner in our Laura.

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Driving pleasure is not all about the power or handling either. I find immense joy & satisfaction from driving Jeeps, whether it's my ol' Classic 4x4 or the fantastic Thar. These make me smile every time. If I didn't own a Jeep already, a nicely modified Thar would've been parked on my driveway right now. Vintage car enthusiasts derive the same pleasure from classic cars, and nostalgia addicts love taking their Padmini / Ambassador for a spin.

Once drove alongside a Cayman which is a far more accomplished car for about 50 km. There was no difference in the real-world performance of either car. In fact, in mid-range acceleration, the Cayman couldn't keep up with the 530d. On a track, the Cayman would murder the 530d. Not so on actual Indian roads.
Can't agree more!
I have as much fun driving the Etios and the S-Cross as I do the premium vehicles. In case of the A6 - I probably enjoy the S-Cross more owing to the terrific surge, wheels squealing, etc. which is just not that enjoyable in the Audi - even though the Audi is way more planted and corners like its on rails.

Added advantage is the nimbleness of these mass market cars, and their ability to take on our roads. In the city, these small cars can outrun the more expensive germans without breaking into a sweat - which is a whole lot of fun!

But then have a RWD BMW 328i with it's tail sliding out is just next level

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Originally Posted by th2 View Post
I have the previous gen Figo. And the preciseness of the steering never fails to amaze me. It is better than any other car I have driven. Question for folks who have driven the Figo and high-end cars - are any/all of the more expensive cars better in the steering department?
Not with the EPS. I found the 530D steering to be lacking compared to the terrific Ford wheel. Mercedes is good here with a nice liquid smoothness to their steerings, but not as sharp as the Fiesta/Figo.
But at the same time, for old ford owners - the BMW is the one that comes closest to having fun!
Having owned the previous gen Fiesta, the only car that has come close to keeping me as involved (if not more) is the E60 5 series. I am sure it is the same case for the E90 3 series as well. The newer generations are like comparing the old Figo to the new Figo.

PS: With the E60 crossing 9 years this April, replacement options include non-germans too (Camry as a top contender) for pure city driving and chauffeur driven usage. The rear seats with their recline function, and other controls; the silent hybrid motor; comfortable ride quality; acres of space; ease of maintenance are some things the Germans still have to catch up too!

Last edited by lamborghini : 21st February 2017 at 14:48.
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Old 21st February 2017, 15:29   #19
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

I was having this same discussion with my brother the other day. He lives in the states and drives a Nissan Altima. Now he wants to upgrade and he genuinely feels the beamers or the mercs do not provide the same difference in experience proportional to the price increase. Yes, the ride, comfort, features are more but not justified when paying 2-3 times more. His friend drives an X1 and his touch screen had some loose contact issues which made him visit the service centers more than 7 times. Considerable time I have spent in a luxury saloon was in an audi a3 when we went on a 10 day tour. The biggest change is that you get lot of eye balls. But other than that is it worth 3 times I verna I drive right now, not really in my opinion.
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Old 21st February 2017, 16:48   #20
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
NVH, seats, ambiance improvement (say from 2* to 3.5* if not 5*) are something that can be improvised from after market parts.
How can NVH be improved? Am interested in specifics like pedal vibrations and wind noise. Given the fact that there is a diesel under hood that is not known for refinement.
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Old 21st February 2017, 17:13   #21
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

For me, the biggest difference between a mass market car and a decently premium European is their mile munching ability.

At the end of an 8 hour trip in my Volvo, I never ever feel tired - primarily because of the great highway ride that is absolutely flat with zero body roll and vertical movement.

The car absorbs bumps at highway speeds as if wafting over a cushion of air, amazing seats that cosset you whether you are doing 20 or 200 and a light but still well weighed up steering that inspires confidence and that solid hunk of metal feel that completely isolates you from all sorts of noise, heat, dust and elements.

The gizmos, technologies, power everything, sunroof are nice to have but then after the initial thrill you barely end up using them. My car has auto park where it will find a spot and then parallel park itself. The number of times I've used this feature till date - once!

It is not always hunky dory though. As the V40 is not a very common car, it gets a lot of eyeballs and sometimes unwanted attention. On one of my road trips, some imbecile tried to key his name on the fender. Also one is constantly worried of someone side swiping you or hitting you in Bangalore traffic and you encountering a big repair bill to get it fixed. It is something one just has to live with. These days as a result I normally drive it only on weekends when I know the place I'd be going to has secure parking where the car would be safe.

As for mainstream alternatives for not a lot of money - the closest are the VW Vento/Polo twins in TSi guise. They are really spectacular value that give you 70% of everything at less than 30% of the price. A Jetta is even better but then we are hitting near luxury price levels.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 21st February 2017 at 17:26.
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Old 21st February 2017, 17:47   #22
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Liva 1.5 (LOVED that car)
I am sorry for being

Have never driven the Liva 1.5, but own an Etios 1.5, I am curious to know how different or better is Liva 1.5 to drive compared to Etios 1.5?

This thread: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...s-india-9.html (2014 Lineup: The Best Enthusiast Cars in India), chooses Liva among the picks for an enthusiasts car, but doesn't mention the Honda City 1.5.
I also get to drive a 2011 Honda city 1.5, which I find to be a better performer than Etios 1.5. So is Liva significantly better than the Etios?

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Old 21st February 2017, 19:20   #23
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
For me, the biggest difference between a mass market car and a decently premium European is their mile munching ability.

At the end of an 8 hour trip in my Volvo, I never ever feel tired - primarily because of the great highway ride that is absolutely flat with zero body roll and vertical movement.
I would like to defer here; i have made a Bangalore to Goa 10 Hr non-stop in my Alto LXi (2004 Model) and it was so comfortable and never had any sort of tiredness. Also have made a drive from Bangalore to Chennai to Coimbatore on the same day in a Zen (1998 Model), and here too there was no much issues with tiredness and all.

The tiredness is mainly because of the seating position of a car. I love the sleeping, relaxed position of Zen and Alto rather than the upright tall boy seating of the Hyundais. To give an example, I have made a similar Bangalore to Goa 2 stop drive in an i20 Petrol and felt the tiredness, that is why it was a 2 stop drive. I was forced to stop once in 3 Hrs to rest my ankle and back. I have also driven a X5, and I feel Skoda Superb is more comfortable than X5 due to the above mentioned reasons

The main difference(s) in the Premium (German) and Mass Market car would be (to answer the original post from smartcat);
1. The powerful and smooth engines - makes a hell lot of a difference in the drive pleasure
2. Irrespective the drive distance, it satisfies the last piece of driver in you
3. Yes, even if you can't own one - rent one for a 3-5K long drive
4. The power difference is something you will notice (rather enjoy) only in the Highways. I usually cruise in highways at minimum 130 and have touched 212. And on average I cruise at 155KMpH. But unless you see the speedo and tacho, you would not realise the speed, especially if you are on an empty stretch (Note: I live and drive in Germany)
5. YES
6. My suggestion would be the discontinued CIVIC in India
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Old 21st February 2017, 20:10   #24
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

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My questions in this thread are addressed to those who own premium brands like BMW, Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Volvo & Land Rover - but preferably, those who also own & drive a mainstream brand car (like Hyundai or a Toyota) daily or on weekends.
Nice thread smartcat. I don't qualify as per the comment above, but in any case putting in my thoughts based on perception.

Sometime back, I had gone to see the Skoda Superb. This is what I wrote in a post then. I know we are talking about cars a segment higher than the superb also, but since the Superb is talked about as a car that does 90% of a premium brand, I think this comment holds good.

Quote:
Post launch, I had been to a Skoda Showroom with a friend to check out the Octavia. There was a Superb on display and I spent a long time just admiring the car, sitting inside in various seats, touching and feeling the various areas. Everything is so pristine and perfect. You kind of bow your head in respect
I think this is what makes all the difference, In a premium brand, yes-there may be more features, yes-they are more powerful, they have much bigger snob value. But beyond all that, even with the Superb, that kind of feel you get inside in a way is inexplicable.

Personally, I would definitely want to own one of these luxury vehicles at some point. Of course, a preowned one.
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Old 21st February 2017, 20:31   #25
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

Great topic. Own a Merc GLA and a Honda City and this is what I've noticed in cars like Mercedes,BMW etc :

- Attention to detail in premium cars is impeccable. No cost cutting at all!

- Attention on road and presence. Anyplace you arrive say in a Merc or BMW, I've noticed, people give you respect (maybe it's in my head).

- That special feeling everytime you see "the special" logo on your car key.

- Till entry level luxury cars, performance is very similar (say in A4/3 Series/C-Class) but move on to the next segment (A6/5 Series/E-Class and above) and everything changes. The interiors, performance, handling, SAFETY, techno-wizardary etc etc..it's in a different class itself. There's a sense of occasion which can't be explained.

So basically, cars like Skoda Superb have blurred the lines in comparison to entry level cars from the German trio but go a segment above and there's no comparison at all.

Quote:
Remember, it's better to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow.
Quote:
Apologies for my lack of understanding, but could you please expand on this?
Let's talk in terms of bikes. I prefer a Duke 390 over a Ducati. Why? Because I as a human being can extract 90% of the power almost 80% of the time. Any street I see empty, I can redline the motor. What will happen if I redline a Ducati Panigale? I'll reach 100 in first gear itself and I'll be a danger to myself and the society.

The only way to enjoy such machines is to go to a track. Now, how practical is that?

Powerful bikes and cars in India are machines which you'll have to keep on leash. Tamed. Like having a cake in front of you with tied hands. Now that's not fun now, is it?

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Old 21st February 2017, 21:39   #26
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

Nice thread and some lovely posts as well.

I can totally relate to this question as I am someone who took that leap into the premium segment just recently. Mainstream cars have gotten better and better. Euro brands like Skoda and VW have bridged the gap between mainstream and premium brands to a great extent. Infact it was a Skoda that really convinced me that there's more to a premium brand than just the badge value.

Premium cars are all about indulgence. Its about pampering yourself or rewarding yourself and feeling good. Its never really a good value proposition if you think about it that way.

My daily drive is a Polo GT TSI/ i10 AT. About a year ago I replaced my Laura with a BMW X3 30d. The preimum car is used exclusively for highway runs and outings with family. Sometimes for work related highway drives I avoid the big car as I don't want to give out the wrong image. In that sense the badge value of the BMW is a sometimes a liability. But I must admit I do enjoy the prestige, status and importance given to me when I step out from my premium car. The world treats you differently, for sure. Or maybe its in our head as someone pointed out. Either way, it feels good.

There is a definite difference in the way the car drives. Of course it is down to the choice of car. For example a BMW will always drive better than not only mainstream cars, but also its premium rivals. While its interiors may not be that much of a step up compared to midrange brands like VW and Skoda. Or a Merc will be really premium inside out, but the fun factor behind the wheel may be missing.

NVH : Again down to the choice of car and variant. As GTO says, the 6 cylinder variants really do step up the game, while some entry level offerings can be very ordinary.

One thing that I feel is that premium cars come into their own when the speed picks up. On the highway they are extremely easy and relaxed to drive at a fast pace. Mainstream cars at the same speed feel frantic and stressed. Its all to do with better insulation, a sorted firm suspension, better brakes, better transmission and a car built to handle higher speeds. My X3 is fantastic to drive on the highway. I do a Bangalore Belgaum trip of 500 kms one way, every month. I leave early morning and reach Belgaum by lunch. Sometimes I am so fresh, its like I just drove to office. I have also done the very same trip in my Polo GT TSI many times. There is simply no comparison. Polo and X3 may not be a fair comparison. My Laura was a fast car too. But it did feel more frantic than the X3 at higher speeds.

My advice to anyone going premium, go for the top variant with all bells and whistles and best and biggest engine. Premium car will burn a hole in your wallet anyhow. What difference will it make if the hole is a little bigger?

Last edited by Santoshbhat : 21st February 2017 at 21:42.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 00:21   #27
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

All my previous 12 cars are solidly in the mass market range: 1 Chevrolet, 3 Fords, 1 Toyota, 1 Opel, 1 Nissan, 3 Marutis, 1 Hyundai, and 1 Honda. One VW soon to join. Hence I do not qualify as an owner of a premium car to comment critically on the topic being discussed here, although I have driven Merc and Volvo extensively in Germany and US respectively, and also a bit the BMW in Germany. But there are plenty of people in the forum who own these cars now and can comment far better than I ever can on these cars.

However, I want to share a different experience here. In the summer of 1994, I made a longish trip of more than 3500 miles (more than 5600 kms) in 13 days. The route was: St. Louis MO - Columbus OH - Pittsburgh PA - Buffalo NY - New York City NY - Washington DC - Daytona Beach FL - Orlando FL - Birmingham AL - St. Louis MO. Apart from my wife, in the car was our 3 year old son and my eldest sister (nearly 60 at that time who never did this kind of travel in a car ever before or after). I first wanted to rent a Lexus for this drive, but since we had to transport a large Indian instrument cased in a large fibre glass box to Washington DC, I asked for a Cadillac which had a large enough boot. At St. Louis airport, our favourite place to rent a car, we finally got a Lincoln Town car, because they ran out of the Cadis they had. I need to mention here that I was the sole driver for this trip with my wife sitting in the passenger seat with AAA road maps for help with navigation.

I am not sure if the Lincoln Town car qualifies as a premium car in the sense the term is used in this thread. Firstly, it is as American as one can get, secondly it is not a performance car although there was no shortage of power (and space too). It was called a luxury sedan, a special one at that, used by quite a few US Presidents. This car had all kinds of features of creature comfort in the car.

At that time I used to own a Nissan Sentra GXE. We also had an used Ford Escort that my wife used to drive. Whenever we rented, our standard choice was a Toyota Camry because of its ready availability with Hertz and its no-fuss reliability.

The main difference with all these mainstream cars to the Town car was that after this whole drive of more than 5600 kms in 13 days (daily average of nearly 450 kms consecutively for 13 days) none of us were tired at all. The comfort seats, the space, and the comfort suspension did their job unbelievably well.

Another thing I distinctly remember is the following: While overtaking a 18-wheeler truck there was absolutely no swaying of the car, something that was so common in the Camrys or my Nissan.

I have done many many long drives alone across the length and breadth of US and Europe (like Aachen Germany to Budapest, Hungary or Aachen Germany to Naples Italy to mention a few in Europe). But I can bet, no other drive was more comfortable from the point of not getting tired after a very long drive.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 01:09   #28
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

Thanks SmartCat was starting this very interesting topic. I gave it some thought based on my experience which in India is primarily based on owning XUV and having ridden in C Class merc, 3 series BMW. And in the US having driven premium brands like LExus and Cadillac.

The two biggest differences that a premium car offers in Indian context is better and more powerful engine which you rarely get in family sedans like city/ciaz and overall build quality both in terms of exterior and interior all in one package. However the moment you compare a D segment sedan some of these things get addressed but again not in one package. Cruze gives good engine but no snob value, Elantra gives quality but poor engines, Jetta came close but have compromise on ICE, creature comforts

So if you want a no compromise package across most vectors like engine, build, features, ICE, ride, get one of the premium brands. Plus it comes with the whole image factor which again has its pros and cons
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Old 22nd February 2017, 08:25   #29
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Default Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

Just moved to the premium cars. Bought home a C250d in January , must say I am enjoying every bit. The engine is nice and powerful , 204 BHP with 500 NM of torque available from as low as 1800 RPM. The 9 speed automatic is quite good and feels a whole lot different to drive.
I also own the Neo Elantra Fluidic for the last 3 and half years. So if I were to differentiate the two, the C250d wins hands down on engine, gear box and handling and the interiors, not that the interiors on the Elantra are bad but Mercedes has taken the game to a whole new level with the interiors.

Both are very good cars in their own right. Elantra seats are more comfortable , they are also cooled. It's an able mile cruncher and has a very refined engine. It's a lot of car and equipment you get at 40% the price.

The Mercedes is fun on the acceleration( the short bursts in kick down),gearbox, interiors are excellent and yes , both the cars are lookers. Again it's just down to brand value and engineering( everyone is catching up with the Germans rapidly).

Maintainance costs, don't ask.

Elantra for the daily commute and the Mercedes for weekends.

I also have a Fiat Punto with Race Dynamics ECU. I am always smiling when I drive this car. The dynamics are superb. Build to last quality ( it's done 99 k and still looks fresh). Let downs are space and it's gearbox. Bought for 8 lakhs 4 and half years ago. Would slot this car between the C250 and the Elantra in my order of preference.


The Octavia will bridge the gap further. Superb definitely will be on par and will excel in the space and comfort at probably 10 lakhs cheaper OTR.

So honestly price and driving pleasure are not Co-related. There is no perfect car , but the right balance is what we and all the manufacturers look for.

Nice thread.

Last edited by Arjun Reddy : 22nd February 2017 at 08:34.
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Old 22nd February 2017, 10:15   #30
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Default Re: Driving Experience: Premium vs Mainstream Cars

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I would like to defer here; i have made a Bangalore to Goa 10 Hr non-stop in my Alto LXi (2004 Model) and it was so comfortable and never had any sort of tiredness. Also have made a drive from Bangalore to Chennai to Coimbatore on the same day in a Zen (1998 Model), and here too there was no much issues with tiredness and all.

The tiredness is mainly because of the seating position of a car. I love the sleeping, relaxed position of Zen and Alto rather than the upright tall boy seating of the Hyundais. To give an example, I have made a similar Bangalore to Goa 2 stop drive in an i20 Petrol and felt the tiredness, that is why it was a 2 stop drive. I was forced to stop once in 3 Hrs to rest my ankle and back. I have also driven a X5, and I feel Skoda Superb is more comfortable than X5 due to the above mentioned reasons
To some extent you are right but then a person of my frame (6'2") won't even fit in an Alto LXi or Zen comfortably for anything more than short drives. Those cars are the most bare bones basic cars you can get and doing anything more than city drives in them is gonna be a nightmare. Also they have the most jittery and bounce inducing suspension out there. i20 is not a driver's car either nor does it have sorted ergonomics. I'd stick my head out and say none of the hyundais excel in this regard.

However my comment was related to the cars I've had before and now - A Mitsubishi Cedia which had spot on ergonomics and decent seats, a Honda Brio which again was well sorted out for a small hatchback and the Polo GT TSI which is well reviewed and has quite a bit of fan following here.

Compared to all of those, the v40 is in a different league for long distance highway driving - simply because of how good the seats and the suspension are and how stable and flat the car is on the highway. It runs the same euro suspension that it is sold with in the EU and hasn't been jacked up/raised like the CKDs/made in india cars and as a result the highway ride is just fabulous with zero vertical movement.

A wallowy, soft suspension though good for potholed, cratered roads is bad for highway rides - it leads to unnecessary vertical movements and can tire you out in no time. Maybe that is one of the reasons why you were tired in the i20.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 22nd February 2017 at 10:17.
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