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Old 5th June 2018, 15:51   #1
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Wink Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

On the hunt for a new car? The selection is not an easy task anymore! Courtesy - the multitude of models and variants across different manufacturers/brands.

This thread focuses on selecting the best car from a shortlist - assuming all the initial filtration has already been done from the plethora of choices.
Though the method which I am going to describe may not be very accurate in all 100% cases, I feel it helps select the right car to a good extent.

The source of inspiration for this method takes me back to my college days where in we had the 'grade' system and one would walk away with a grade point average or GPA. So, why not apply this for car section process? Let's find out.

For those who are not very familiar with the grade system - here it how it works. Let's say we have 4 subjects out of which 2 are theory based, 1 with a problem solving approach and the remaining one being a practical or lab; not all subjects will have the same importance when it comes to evaluation. This is where the 'weightage' factor kicks in. What is does is the more important subjects like the ones with problem solving approach gets more 'credits' or 'weightage' than the theory one. Refer image below for a sample calculation.

Name:  GPA.jpg
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From the above - it is evident that even though student 1 has scored a 9 pointer in both theory subjects; a mediocre score in the high weightage subject meant that the overall grade point average or GPA went for a toss. Meaning - he may not be the candidate for the company who is looking for someone with problem solving techniques but may end up doing well in a Marketing job

Coming to the actual topic; I see a very close analogy between the above and a car purchase. We define our requirement, add weightage score based on our priorities to each of the identified requirement and then score each of the contenders on a 10 point scale and see who comes out on top. How do we do it? Below is an example.

Let's say I am on the hunt for a hatchback and after doing the initial math about budget, driving cycle etc, I have finalized that it is going to be a B+ hatchback or a compact sedan in petrol automatic guise with a budget capped at 9L on road.

After test drives of available choices, my final contenders are top trims of Tigor AMT, Baleno CVT and Figo facelift in the conventional 5 speed AT guise. (While the Figo facelift is still far from launch, the shortlist was done purely from an illustration perspective to include the variety of automatic gearboxes).

The sheet below explains the factors and their 'weightage' for my kind of requirement. The rationale behind the numbers are explained as well.
Choosing a car based on numbers & scores-table-1.jpg

The next three tables are the rating based on my evaluation after the test drives for each of the shortlisted contenders.
Choosing a car based on numbers & scores-table-2.jpg
Choosing a car based on numbers & scores-table-3.jpg
Choosing a car based on numbers & scores-table-4.jpg

Now for the moment of truth. This table sums up all the numbers and gives us a winner. Here you go!
Choosing a car based on numbers & scores-results.jpg

So from this, it is clear that the Figo AT is the car for me. Would like to hear from all of you on this

Disclaimer(s)
  • I am not in the market for a new car and the this thread was created on a lazy afternoon at work in the interest of prospective buyers on this forum.
  • All ratings and scores are just for calculation purposes and do not depict the actual scenario.
  • The rating for each of the cars is subjective and varies from person to person. What is shown above is just my personal opinion.

Last edited by Kishen.padiyar : 5th June 2018 at 15:57. Reason: Added more information
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Old 5th June 2018, 18:03   #2
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

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Originally Posted by Kishen.padiyar View Post
this thread was created on a lazy afternoon at work
Are you in the IT industry?
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Old 5th June 2018, 18:13   #3
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

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Originally Posted by Kishen.padiyar View Post
Would like to hear from all of you on this
This is a numerical or objective way of choosing a car. This is not statistical.
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Old 5th June 2018, 18:23   #4
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Good application mate however this is exactly where subjective elements come into picture.

Also if a person can shortlist cars down to three (especially with the premium hatch vs compact sedan vs compact SUV vs used D segment intersection). Then the model is only about confirming what you really want.
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Old 5th June 2018, 18:27   #5
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

My 2 cents.

Most of the rating given by you here are notional at the end of the day and there's likely to be good approximation due to it.

If I were you, I would go with Baleno as per your criteria, difference in score between Figo and Baleno isn't big enough. Unless you have your heart set on Figo AT.
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Old 5th June 2018, 18:33   #6
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

I look at a car and I think I like it or I donít like it. Iím never that bothered by the endless numerical and or statistical data.

For my daily drive, comfort is the most important aspect and that canít be measured other than personally experienced. So I go and sit in a car I like and try it out

Actually, if you would look into how people choose anything, thatís the way most of us do it. Then we find the data, numbers and arguments to back up that initial choice we made in a split second.

Jeroen
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Old 5th June 2018, 19:00   #7
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

I did all this (something similar but not the same), only to end up with the wrong car.
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Old 5th June 2018, 20:22   #8
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Quote:
Originally Posted by AMG Power View Post
Are you in the IT industry?
No buddy, I work for an Aerospace firm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
This is a numerical or objective way of choosing a car. This is not statistical.
Possible. Request Mods to change the thread title appropriately.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
Then the model is only about confirming what you really want.
True. Even in this scenario, I feel this method can be of help by factoring the right criteria like snob value; maintenance costs etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lovelydude77 View Post
If I were you, I would go with Baleno
Perfectly fair. If you were to use this sheet, by your ratings the Baleno would have come up on top. Cheers.

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Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
I did all this (something similar but not the same), only to end up with the wrong car.
Interesting. Please share your purchase experience.
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Old 6th June 2018, 10:25   #9
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

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Originally Posted by jetsetgo08 View Post
I did all this (something similar but not the same), only to end up with the wrong car.
Me too! I have been in a similar boat long ago.

I too worked out an elaborate spread sheet that captured my (and my family's) criteria, weights, ratings, and eventually comparison. On top of that, I gave greater priority to the criteria that were dearer to me, and worked out whether my top choice(s) were consistent when discarding less important attributes.

All this effort, and I ended up with the wrong car. Because end of the day, I ended up with a mathematical fit that didn't somehow appeal to my psyche over the longer run. The problem with using such a Selection Model, is that both the weights and the ratings are not objective over a long period of ownership, and can never truly reflect what your heart will decide eventually. After all, we all continuously evolve, and this point in time modelling can never take that into account.

Since then, I have modified my approach, and that works better for me. What I do nowadays is, I keep a set of criteria, and it is a very small set - NOT TO SELECT, but TO ELIMINATE cars. My Elimination Model includes Safety, Brand and Versatility; that's it. And, I don't make it too objective either - it is my subjective assessment whether or not the minimum level for these criteria is being met or not, and if not, I eliminate from my list. Once I have done this elimination, then with the remaining choices over numerous test drives, observation, reading and ogling, I eventually decide which one "appeals" to me the most, and that's where I put my money.
Sad to say, I have gone Wrong with that too, although to a lesser extent than with the Selection Model.

Last edited by roy_libran : 6th June 2018 at 10:27.
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Old 6th June 2018, 10:40   #10
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Default re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

In my opinion, (Even statistics says), the more the parameters, more is the inaccuracy in decision making.

Finally, everything boils down to TOP 2 or 3 factors that are really critical for a person to get happy with the car chosen.

And, if the heart(Absolutely No logic OR parameters for the heart to decide from the available list) synchronizes with the brain's analysis and calculation, then, the possibility of person being happy with the car is very high.

If the heart does not sync with brain and calculation, then, very soon, brain will decide that the chosen car is a wrong decision.

Finally what matters is, the sync between brain and heart. Heart is very adamant on its decision. Hence, it will influence the brain because brain is logical and finds a new logic (that was not found earlier) to conclude the chosen car is a wrong decision once heart starts influencing the brain.

Therefore, I always do all the R&D, analysis, calculations first and see if analysis matches the heart choice. IF yes, I will go with heart decision. If not, will again do further analysis to match heart decision

WILL NEVER BUY IF HEART AND BRAIN DO NOT SYNCHRONIZE

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 6th June 2018 at 11:26. Reason: Typo corrected
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Old 6th June 2018, 11:59   #11
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Default Re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Can't really buy a car based on numbers, just as you can't select a shirt or house based on it. There are too many subjective factors at play; plus, the choice of car is influenced by the head as well as the heart. The only customers who might be able to buy based on numbers are from the commercial segment (taxis, fleet owners, bus operators, transport companies).

I've lucked out when it comes to the process = For the last 5 personal cars that I bought, not a single alternative was considered. Somehow, I knew just what I wanted at the time, whether it was the Jeep in 1997 or the Vtec in 2004. For my own car, the alternatives considered over the last 21 years have literally been zero.

What drives the market's purchase decisions? Research says it's a mix of brand, styling, features, pricing & fuel economy. These define an overwhelming majority of the ~30 lakh car sales in India every year.

Basing a decision on hard numbers can not only lead to the wrong "purchase" decision, it can also lead to the wrong "building" decision. One of the worst cars ever produced was built based on on-paper numbers & processes. It literally flew through every on-paper requirement & all research clinics, but bombed in the market.
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Image source. Additional reading 1, 2 & 3.
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Old 6th June 2018, 14:33   #12
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Default Re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

If you don’t look back after parking and while leaving your car, that say you’ve got the wrong car.

I don’t think a car bought by the above method will make you do that. However as Jeroen rightly said, you can support your initial decision using these numbers.
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Old 6th June 2018, 14:43   #13
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Default Re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Practically I don't think anyone can/will associate a numerical figure against each attribute as a first step. Normally its a set of priorities one has and accordingly the list is made.

Nowadays a bigger problem/confusion arises when the only criteria people have is the budget and start cross-segment shopping. IMO the first step should be the type of car one wants to buy whether its a hatchback/small hatchback or a Crossover/Compact SUV or a Sedan. After selecting the type one must come up with the major criteria points (2-3 points) in an iterative way.

Example:

Step 1: I want to buy a premium hatchback. Options: Baleno/i20/Polo/Jazz/Punto

Step 2: I want to have lots of fun behind the wheel above everything else. Options: Polo/Punto

Step 3: I want lower spare costs/ better rear space >> PUNTO
OR
I want to have premium interiors/ automatic/ powerful diesel >> POLO

Another example (starting from Step 2):

Step 2: I want to have mental peace of mind above everything else. Options: Baleno/i20/Jazz

Step 3 : I want a lot of space inside and a bigger boot too. Options: Baleno/Jazz

Step 4 : I want a better FE and power in a diesel engine/ flexible seat options >> JAZZ
OR
I want more features/ better A.S.S coverage >> BALENO


NOTE: This kind of thing would work only when one is clear about what he/she wants from a car.

Last edited by Waspune : 6th June 2018 at 14:51.
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Old 6th June 2018, 14:54   #14
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Default Re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

I've lucked out when it comes to the process = For the last 5 personal cars that I bought, not a single alternative was considered. Somehow, I knew just what I wanted at the time, whether it was the Jeep in 1997 or the Vtec in 2004. For my own car, the alternatives considered over the last 21 years have literally been zero.
Can you really say that with certainty? What if Jeep were not available in 1997 or vtec were not available in 2004? Would you not have purchased a different vehicle? I think alternatives are always considered consciously or unconsciously. Based on certain criteria and weight system, a certain item is zeroed on. Only thing is that the criteria and weight system varies in a population.
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Old 6th June 2018, 14:55   #15
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Default Re: Choosing a car based on numbers & scores

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kishen.padiyar View Post
This thread focuses on selecting the best car from a shortlist
On page 128 of the New Endeavour's Official Review thread, this is described in a concise and IMO much better way by Czarcarsm.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Basing a decision on hard numbers can not only lead to the wrong "purchase" decision, it can also lead to the wrong "building" decision. One of the worst cars ever produced was built based on on-paper numbers & processes. It literally flew through every on-paper requirement & all research clinics, but bombed in the market.
One of the worst cars produced only by sales standards and any sort of aesthetic consideration IMO (setting aside the fact that it was instrumental in raising the popularity of America's number one hack Oprah Winfrey. And no, Trump is only number two IMO - pun intended ).

I'd say that it was a car ahead of its time (and ugly) - just look at the modern crossover trend. It was quite practical and the one of the first attempts to marry SUV practicality with Unibody convenience in the way that people are crazy about today.

Certainly not one of the worst cars ever produced. And, given that it's just starting to become cool, and the low numbers it did, it might become a halfway cult classic in the coming decade. It'll be sad if it does - not because of what it is, but because of what it represents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
WILL NEVER BUY IF HEART AND BRAIN DO NOT SYNCHRONIZE
This is a statement that truly deserves to be in all caps. Sums up exactly what I do, and always will.
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