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Old 17th June 2005, 16:47   #31
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Most of you have said it.

FE is important to the majority of people and manufacturers aren't here to make one-off models for a few people. Most people don't have money to "throw around" on fuel bills and even an enthusiast would check his vehicle's FE from time to time in India, unless he/she has money growing on trees.

With rising fuel prices, it is only fair that the majority of people would choose to focus on FE primarily.

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Old 17th June 2005, 21:29   #32
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You are totally right, FE is an obsession with Indians. As with every other kind of obsessive behaviour, there is not logic or economics behind it and can reach alarming levels.
But, I dont think Indians think 'only' about FE when they buy a car, if that were true they would have all bought M800s, Omni, Citys, Octys and Zen Ds. Whereas the best sellers in India are Alto, Santro and Indica. What they do is they buy a car that after looking at FE,suspension, space, safety etc and then try to squeeze the best FE out of it. Yes, depreciation and insurance are higher, but what can you do about it. You cannot cut corners there.

There are techniques to go fast AND get good FE.
Having grown up in India, I am subconciously driving for FE......its programmed into my brain. In my family in Bangalore, I always get the best FE in any car, but I dont granny it either. The technique is to let off the gas when you see a red singal and coast to a stop rather than slam on the brakes in the last minute. And when you take off, do so gently. No use driving very slowly. The newer cars give best FE at 60-70kph, so I go pretty fast if the road permits. Newer cars are designed to rev high do keeping it below 1500 is worse for FE. Of course my cornering is always flat out, so I never slow down for turns. So, at the end of the day.........I drive safe, I have fun, I save fuel and I get to my destination sooner than the others. Of course, when I am in a mood for thrills (like when someone challenges me) I dont care about FE.

This obession to FE is not just India, but even Europe. Even though Europeans are very wealthy, they tend to drive smaller cars with manual transmission and turbodiesels.....compared to their american cousins who drive SUV and pickups with archaiac pushrod engines with 5+ liter V8s. Yes, I know fuel is expensive in Europe, but that is not the whole story, they are efficient and enviroment concious in every thing they do. Who else would create a car like the Lupo 3L.

As far as tires, I agree there is a danger in going too narrow and using hard compounds. Government should have a dry/wet braking test as part of homologation and make sure the bar is raised every few years. Thanks to Ralph Nader, the US has some of the strictest safety requirements in the world. (dual airbags mandatory).

At the end of the day, the government has to take a holistic approach to FE by building good roads, flyovers and good city planning to reduce traffic jams. If you are stuck in traffic and crawling in 1st gear, you will get poor FE even if you are in a Toyota Prius. In the US, I drive 17 miles to my office and all of it is on a freeway that cuts right through the city. I set the cruise at 65mph and I end up getting highway FE in the city. If I had taken the city roads I would have hit 25 stoplights and would be crawling at 30 mph. We need freeways inside the city like this in India.

In a way its good that people think about FE, that way our petroleum reserves will last longer and prices of fuel will be in check. Last thing you need is a country like the US where people wipe out the reserves and then go to war over black gold.

Last edited by Mpower : 17th June 2005 at 21:47.
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Old 17th June 2005, 21:47   #33
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we all are obsessed with FE ...

its in the back of our minds ...i hate driving just below the power band just because i have to ..

- i hate the fact that the first thing that comes to my mind before thinking of a destination is how much gas am i going to burn -

in india we find people who worry about FE while buying Accord V6 , i mean if you can afford something that expensive you wouldnt give 2 ****s about mileage...

its a craze here, my dad rates the alto higher than my corsa because its gives a better mileage ... thats how the general population thinks ...

the second question one asks after the Price of the vehicle in the showroom is "average kitna deti hai yeh ?"

cant be helped actually the price of petrol threats to rise everyday ... it certainly needs to be valued ...
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Old 17th June 2005, 21:52   #34
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FE is an national obsession just like Cricket. You do it because everyone else does it and talks about it and calculates it.
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Old 18th June 2005, 03:32   #35
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Quote:
in india we find people who worry about FE while buying Accord V6 , i mean if you can afford something that expensive you wouldnt give 2 ****s about mileage...
ha ha very true buddy
have got that lots of time just makes me mad

infact earlier i was flipping through channels when cam across some show called men mange more on star one & saw Audi A6 (only reason i watched that crappy thing) with aftaab shivdasni
& it was damn funny one
the host was just saying its cool, its powerfull etc
while aftaab was talking about it being practicle car as it gives good FE

common man
if you care about FE then you surely don't deserve to drive A6
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Old 18th June 2005, 07:15   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adya33

infact earlier i was flipping through channels when cam across some show called men mange more on star one & saw Audi A6 (only reason i watched that crappy thing) with aftaab shivdasni
& it was damn funny one
the host was just saying its cool, its powerfull etc
while aftaab was talking about it being practicle car as it gives good FE
haha..i was watching that show too ,the host was a complete idiot..he lkept saying its cool it must be a very powerful ccar...aftabs likw..yes it has 3000cc engine and the host goes ooooo ...i switc hed the channel....
i missed the FE part then i guess...
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Old 18th June 2005, 14:04   #37
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GTO, those are my thoughts completely!!

FE is important but on a scale of 1 to 10 you can give it a 2.5 or 3. Nothing more!

Its absurd to see people buying big cars and scrounging for FE, whats the point! Like others on the forum have said, they should stick to small cars.

Take my case for example; when I had made up my mind to buy the Palio 1.6, everyone was like, whats wrong with you?!! Low mileage was the first thing which came to everyoneís mind and then followed it up with no resale value and bad ASS. They were like it gives 7kmpl and people who bought it have sold it coz of bad FE. And when I told them I gonna change the exhaust, they were like, I am nuts ! What I wanted to tell them was, its the fastest in its competition, has a super ride quality, suspension is great, spacious and comfortable, looks butch and its SAFE! But none of them would listen to all that coz it pales in comparison to the FE!

Anyways, I still went ahead, bought it and have never regretted it. In city, I hardly go into 4th gear, coz there is nowhere I can do a steady 60kmph over a period of time, mostly change gears over 2500 rpm, from signals I go upto 3000/4000 rpm before I slot into 2nd and never drive below 2000 rpm. I drive like this 90% of the time and still manage to get a minimum of 8.5 kmpl with the a/c on all the time. And the icing on the cake is I have a free flow exhaust on it and wider tubeless tyres!!

Yes, I could have bought a car with a smaller engine and better mileage but at what cost. I wouldnít have been able to overtake cars at a drop of a hat, felt so safe and reassuring at speeds excess of 120kmph on highways and glide over rough roads!

So the point is that, you can have the best of both worlds but there is a way about it!

We should learn to see beyond FE! But unfortunately FE is king in India! Cars with FE sell like hot cakes and have great resale value even if they look like ugly ducks!! In all segments upto the D segment fuel economical cars rule the markets. And this also brings me to the Diesel fetish we have. Most cars, if they have a diesel option, the diesel sells quite a lot more than the petrol, For example, Indica, Indigo, Lancer, Octavia, even the Mercís. Also, diesel versions will have a much better resale value than the petrol versions.

Which again shows that Indians want to save money on fuel bills, as diesel is cheaper than petrol. A potential Mercedes buyer will in all probability prefer a diesel version to a petrol version so that he can save on fuel bills, even if he is going to spend a few lakhs more on it! When a Merc buyer, whose spending a min of 20 lakhs on a car can scrounge on his fuel bills, why canít an average Indian car buyer scrounge harder!

At the end of it all, Indians want to save money one way or the other and the most upfront solution is the fuel bills coz most of us donít have the time to work out total cost of ownership, insurance, depreciation and the intangible costs of safety of the occupants and the others on the road, performance and most importantly the pleasure you get out of driving a comfortable, safe and fast car!

Till we change, educate buyers around us and the government helps us by doing their infrastructure bit, FE will rule and everything else will take a backseat for 95% of car buyers!
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Old 18th June 2005, 21:50   #38
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Well GTO amazing write up and wonderfully written i will make sure to forward it to such people who care more of FE.

Also cars like NHC have 175mm tyres and Baleno 165mm tyres just for FE. Really really sad.

Also important aspect being that cars are detuned by the manufacturer for FE. Example the Swift..
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Old 19th June 2005, 20:30   #39
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i have seen people crossing their limits for fe such as switching of their cars when there is slope i mean its very dangerous since your brakes arent fully workin and your steering if it is a ps one then it becomes very tight
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Old 19th June 2005, 20:48   #40
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Because our fuel costs approximately $1 per litre in a country where many people live on < $1 a day...
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Old 27th June 2005, 18:58   #41
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FE is an obsession with us Indians - I concur. Having said that, if we try and delve deeper, we will notice that it is a part of our genetic make-up. No-no, please do not get me wrong here. Savings are our biggest obsession. Period.

Faaltu kharch mat karoo.
Save for a rainy day.
Power of compounding.
Eat little - Eat longer.

Having survived 300 years and more of foreign rule, our genes are programmed to keep something aside for a rainy day. Come to think of it in a deeper sense, you will feel sad and sorry.
I have never been goods with words, but hope you guys get my drift.

On a lighter note, with the Credit card and EMI culture hitting the younger generation with vengeance, are the days of 'FE calculations' numbered cos for sure if our new generation is an example, our genetic structure is already evolving!

Cheers
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Old 28th June 2005, 15:45   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by speedsatya
We being enthusiasts are always more concerned abt the handling,power and other technical aspects.
We may say that we do not care a damn abt FE(even I say that),but donít all of us really feel good when our cars give better FE figures.

I had thought this many a times. Sometimes even I had felt that our forum discussions may not hold good for a non auto enthusiasts to decide.

Half of the decision on car is made towards most selling car, reputed brand ( company) on fuel economy & low maintenance influenced by relatives owning one.

They care less about top speeds, best handling, driving comfort etc etc. Just for them it is better than the Govt bus or paying for the taxis.

Last edited by Surprise : 28th June 2005 at 15:46.
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Old 28th June 2005, 16:09   #43
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Mostly everyone is on a strict budget. Middle class spending is limited. This could be the main reason. If the infrastructure improves FE will go little above and we can care little less about FE i think
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Old 28th June 2005, 16:17   #44
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Quote:
Mostly everyone is on a strict budget. Middle class spending is limited. This could be the main reason.


i know couple of families who went for 800AC model only because its Premium is lower than that of Alto Lx
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Old 28th June 2005, 20:55   #45
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Hey

To begin with I am concerned about FE. Not so much that I'd chuck my Baleno for an NHC (shiver!), but that I chose it over the Ikon, which is almost as quick.

GTO, you point out that people don't tick airbags etc on options lists. This is because most people do not expect to crash. They do however, expect to drive, and thus spend money on petrol. And in caring about FE, they try and minimise the burden.

The Maruti Esteem could do with much better rubber for the enthusiast. But only for the enthusiast. The average Joe will not rev beyond 3000, if that, or cross 70kmh. At these speeds, 155 rubber should be about enough.

I own a Baleno. It could be called a "driver's car" in today's market. I drive with a light foot throughout the week, never crossing 2000rpm. On weekends, however, I live at the limiter! This is my way of ensuring that all-important "average" does not go south too much.

Not everyone buys a VTEC for a 16.4 quarter-mile (I would!). There are many people I know who bought it because it was the most expensive car in it's class (10 lakhs) and it looked good. Ditto for the Mondeo. They are not necessarily enthusiasts or revheads because of what they own. I know someone with an E 240 who proudly told me it's a V8!

Like you said, you are happy if your cars give you acceptable economy. Different things are acceptable to different people. Your limit may be 8 kmpl. Mine is 13 kmpl. Accordingly, we make our choices as consumers in the automotive market. A lot of people are not willing to pay a premium for anything, be it a shirt or an automobile. Most Indians will rather have a shirt which looks decent, doesn't fade too much, and lasts 5 years and costs Rs 100. There are others, a minority, who buy Versace in tune with the seasonal collections and chuck out everything else.

Most people are not out to get a pleasurable experience from their cars. As long as they get from A to B, with a stop at C to pick up the kids, they are happy. Pleasure would mean a music system to them. No one, except people like you and me, care about handling, acceleration, top speeds, body roll characteristics, and in-gear times. Non-scary looks and a nice colour about sum up the expectations of most buyers. And mileage!

As Steeroid said, its $1 a litre, and most Indians don't even earn that much. People who don't think of FE and the be-all and end-all of automobilia, why, they're on Team-BHP!!!

Cheers


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