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Old 17th July 2011, 12:00   #91
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

In less than 2 years the price of Petrol has shot up more than Rs 20 Per Liter, this kind of increase effects even one's who travel 600-800 kms a month significanty. Now car like Nano and Indica EV2 Diesel have started looking like good cars to buy.
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Old 13th September 2011, 18:52   #92
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Why the heck does the Indian consumer care ONLY about fuel economy so much?

The value of life is really not too much in our country. Else with such pathetic driving conditions, you would expect people to focus on safety/ride quality and not fuel economy as the "be all" of buying an Indian car. I have actually heard some ignorant idiots saying "Yeah, it gives 11 kmpl in the city. It's a great car. That other one gives only 9 - its horrible". The typical Indian car buyer would rather run the risk of getting permanently injured (or much worse fatally injured) in a car accident than see that all important fuel gauge go down sooner than expected.

Sad but true

GTO
This is so true GTO & I'm glad that you have pointed this out. While I also like my car to be frugal, not at the cost of safety. I'd any day be safe than cheap. One reason I dont like the idea of hatchbacks in our country. One massive shunt from someone behind & God help you. This obsession with economy has resulted in manufacturers opting to make the car as light as possible resulting in very thin body metal being used.

I have personally witnessed this difference in quality. Some maniac Honda City (the new one) driver decided to, in the middle of the road, do some brake testing with a clear road ahead of him. I had no chance to avoid hitting him from the back at about 30 kms / hr. I was hopping mad when this happened esp. as I could clearly see from the driver's side that the City's rear bumper had caved in massively. I got out to inspect the damage to my car & I was struggling to even make out that my Elantra had hit something!! Apart from the broken number plate that is! I was in sheer disbelief & was astounded at the difference in safety that the 2 cars offered. The apology from the City driver was quickly accepted in this scenario though I still took down his numer as I wasnt entirely sure of any problems that might crop up

A possible defence could be that the crumple zones are meant to do just that (cave in) but somehow I dont quite buy that theory. If this is what happens at 30 kph I would shudder to think what would happen if the car were to hit a barrier sideways at 70! The reassuring thud of the Elantra doors make me thank my bro for picking this one out of the lot
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Old 14th September 2011, 18:26   #93
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

I have a couple of colleagues who are planning to go for a hatchback but they are so confused in making a decision as they are arguing all the time between fuel efficiency, maintenance cost, after sales service. Due to this, more often than not, they end up being frustrated. Never I have seen them talking about ABS, Air Bags and other features related to safety.
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Old 14th September 2011, 18:48   #94
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by kirantp View Post
I have a couple of colleagues who are planning to go for a hatchback but they are so confused in making a decision as they are arguing all the time between fuel efficiency, maintenance cost, after sales service. Due to this, more often than not, they end up being frustrated. Never I have seen them talking about ABS, Air Bags and other features related to safety.
Kiran, the issue is, until recently, things like ABS, Airbags were never in any manufacturer's list for the A/B segment cars. Obviously, awareness is pretty low on such stuff, and probably will pick up slowly. With more cars in B & B+ coming with these safety features, there will be more discussions and push from show rooms. Cant blame anyone, but the manufacturers and govt policy for not making such things mandatory. Ok, if not make them madatory, atleast they should spread awareness of safety features for the benefit of the users, in those segments.
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Old 14th September 2011, 21:35   #95
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by kirantp View Post
I have a couple of colleagues who are planning to go for a hatchback but they are so confused in making a decision as they are arguing all the time between fuel efficiency, maintenance cost, after sales service. Due to this, more often than not, they end up being frustrated. Never I have seen them talking about ABS, Air Bags and other features related to safety.

The situation is same in USA. But the reason being, people here expect any car to be equipped with basic safety features for any car they buy. So they are not too worried. People here are also assured of safety, so a general talk while buying a car here also related to FE, Cost and Price.

The difference is, people of USA are aware that safety is important and all vehicles are equipped with active safety kit. So they worry about other things.
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Old 14th September 2011, 21:41   #96
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

As the owner of a petrol AT vehicle I have learned tha art of ignoring those dreaded questions, "Diesel kyon nahin?" (Why not diesel?) and "AT kam detee hai na?" (Don't ATs return lower mileage?) I agree that Indians are totally obsessed with FE, especially at the expense of safety. It's astounding to see a person preen that his car "gives 18" and in the same breath utter nonsensica things like "Mein city mein chalaata hu isliye mujhe ABS-airbag ki zarroorat nahin hai" (I drive mostly in the city do don't need ABS-airbags and all that stuff).
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Old 15th September 2011, 03:02   #97
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

I do not think that safety is associated with FE except for a few things like thinner tires, harder compound and a lighter body shell. ABS, airbags, ESP and other modern safety equipment have no impact on the FE of a vehicle and consumers are well aware of this fact.

Also, with increasing fuel prices, being FE conscious too is a given. Thankfully, in today's market we have cars like the new Swift ZDI, the Vento, the Laura to mention a few that are amazingly fuel efficient while having decent safety equipment and NCAP ratings/scores.

What cannot be ignored is the fact that most people would still prefer buying cars without ABS, for example due to the difference in the vehicle price and then end up spending pretty much the same amount of money on an audio system upgrade or a fancy seat cover in leather.
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Old 15th September 2011, 13:46   #98
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Kiran, the issue is, until recently, things like ABS, Airbags were never in any manufacturer's list for the A/B segment cars. Obviously, awareness is pretty low on such stuff, and probably will pick up slowly. With more cars in B & B+ coming with these safety features, there will be more discussions and push from show rooms. Cant blame anyone, but the manufacturers and govt policy for not making such things mandatory. Ok, if not make them madatory, atleast they should spread awareness of safety features for the benefit of the users, in those segments.
Samm, I agree with you on your views. However, if the same people who have seen both sides of the world and who have driven cars in the other side of the globe talk about such stuff, then I feel they do not make any sense.

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
It's astounding to see a person preen that his car "gives 18" and in the same breath utter nonsensica things like "Mein city mein chalaata hu isliye mujhe ABS-airbag ki zarroorat nahin hai" (I drive mostly in the city do don't need ABS-airbags and all that stuff).
Dude, This is exactly the same (word to word) sentence being used by my colleagues inspite of me trying to convince them on the safety aspects.

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Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
What cannot be ignored is the fact that most people would still prefer buying cars without ABS, for example due to the difference in the vehicle price and then end up spending pretty much the same amount of money on an audio system upgrade or a fancy seat cover in leather.
@devdath: Majority of the people in India are making this mistake and later repent for not having gone for safety features.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:22   #99
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Samm, I agree with you on your views. However, if the same people who have seen both sides of the world and who have driven cars in the other side of the globe talk about such stuff, then I feel they do not make any sense.
Right, now I know where your frustration is coming from! I agree with you .

I have a living (fortunately!) example of my friend who benefitted from Airbags. Met with an unfortunate accident on the fault of a TN bus in the midnite. It came without any light, and took a U-turn from the opposite side, and hit my friends car. Fortunately, he had bought the top end Micra with all safety features. The car was damaged beyond recognition, and everyone escaped. The guy who drove was unconcious had some injuries, and minor fracture. Anyone who would see that car will never believe everyone survived! Now, he bought a new Verna with 6 airbags, because that is the max anyone offers!!! He has no doubt in his mind on the safety features that he will want from his car - small or big.
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Old 15th September 2011, 14:47   #100
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by noopster View Post
As the owner of a petrol AT vehicle I have learned tha art of ignoring those dreaded questions, "Diesel kyon nahin?" (Why not diesel?) and "AT kam detee hai na?" (Don't ATs return lower mileage?) I agree that Indians are totally obsessed with FE, especially at the expense of safety. It's astounding to see a person preen that his car "gives 18" and in the same breath utter nonsensica things like "Mein city mein chalaata hu isliye mujhe ABS-airbag ki zarroorat nahin hai" (I drive mostly in the city do don't need ABS-airbags and all that stuff).
I prefer a sedan because of the longer crumple zones. I have a Maruti Esteem Di and have been avoiding the Maruti Swift DZire long enough because the front is shorter than a regular sedan. I just might upgrade to the Maruti SX4 in the interest of safety despite the price difference between a DZire and an SX4 (considering that both have the same diesel engine, the price difference seems unjustified). When given the choice of AT, I would readily take it up despite a lower FE because of the comfort.

However, I would not disregard FE entirely. I would stay away from a fuel guzzler and although SUVs offer much more safety than a sedan, I would prefer a sedan because of the FE but I would not go as far as buying a hatchback.
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Old 15th September 2011, 16:13   #101
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

In India car is a luxury. Very less companies (probably only IT companies & big corporates) pay for travelling by car.

When i used to drive to Maruti dealership (where i worked for a short while) in my M800 everyone was visibly disturbed by that. Unless this mentality is converted & personal transport is considered as a time saving/productivity increasing facility everyone will cry over burnt petrol.

We have been mentally conditioned to consider it as a extravagance - I know people who felt guilty in retrospection after purchasing cars of their liking (with stretched budget of course)

Petrol price will be hiked by 3 Rs in a week. So there is no escaping the FE web.

Sadly cars with good FE + safety features are out of budget of most average car buying Indians.

Last edited by Skyline GT-R : 15th September 2011 at 16:19.
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Old 15th September 2011, 19:14   #102
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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Originally Posted by jesse_916 View Post
This is so true GTO & I'm glad that you have pointed this out. While I also like my car to be frugal, not at the cost of safety. I'd any day be safe than cheap. One reason I dont like the idea of hatchbacks in our country. One massive shunt from someone behind & God help you. This obsession with economy has resulted in manufacturers opting to make the car as light as possible resulting in very thin body metal being used.

A possible defence could be that the crumple zones are meant to do just that (cave in) but somehow I dont quite buy that theory. If this is what happens at 30 kph I would shudder to think what would happen if the car were to hit a barrier sideways at 70! The reassuring thud of the Elantra doors make me thank my bro for picking this one out of the lot
mate you have a incorrect understanding about crumple zones and body zones in a car. Any mordern car which is crash tested has the maximum guage metal/material within the passenger compartment. The engine bay and the boot are essentially crumple zones, designed to cushion the impact and protect the passenger cell. So if the manufacturer uses lighter guage metals in the crumple zones thats a wise thing to do, along with plastics and likes to save weight. I am sure you would have heard of pedistrian safety systems too!! The Hondas are designed to crumple on impact with pedistrians to minimize damage to them and save their lives. A crumpled car can be repaired, what can we do for loss of limbs or life??

Also please understand the forces involved during a collision. In your shunt, considering your elantra weights 1000kgs travelling at 30kmph bumped into the honda, the force is of the order of 3tons!!. A tata safari sat on the honda's bumper!!.

I am very happy your ride got no damage during the accident, but understand that the angle of impact also helped you, sometimes you may observe its ur car which ends up with more damage than the other one depending on the senario.. cheers
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Old 15th September 2011, 19:56   #103
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

Let us have millions of discussions on this but the Truth is that "FE" has been and will remain one of the most important factor for an Indian customer while buying a new car.

The maximum population of buying class in India is of Middle Class people. And the best way to impress them is show ROI on their hard earned money which they are investing in your product. The easiest and most tangible/visible/quantifiable options are (1) FE and (2) After Sales Service. Rest all comes as secondary for users. Maruti seems to have learned this lesson better than others and hence the Success which they have achieved.

Yes, I am an enthusiast and likes to rev hard but FE is also as important to me in this stage of my economic standard. May be in future when I will be rich enough to buy a Beemer/Merc/Audi etc. etc. I will say FE - who cares, just bring on the power.

Last edited by SinghBHP : 15th September 2011 at 19:58.
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Old 15th September 2011, 22:56   #104
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

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mate you have a incorrect understanding about crumple zones and body zones in a car. Any mordern car which is crash tested has the maximum guage metal/material within the passenger compartment. The engine bay and the boot are essentially crumple zones, designed to cushion the impact and protect the passenger cell. So if the manufacturer uses lighter guage metals in the crumple zones thats a wise thing to do, along with plastics and likes to save weight. I am sure you would have heard of pedistrian safety systems too!! The Hondas are designed to crumple on impact with pedistrians to minimize damage to them and save their lives. A crumpled car can be repaired, what can we do for loss of limbs or life??

Also please understand the forces involved during a collision. In your shunt, considering your elantra weights 1000kgs travelling at 30kmph bumped into the honda, the force is of the order of 3tons!!. A tata safari sat on the honda's bumper!!.

I am very happy your ride got no damage during the accident, but understand that the angle of impact also helped you, sometimes you may observe its ur car which ends up with more damage than the other one depending on the senario.. cheers
Apachelongbow, that was truly insightful. I feel quite ignorant now Thanks for taking the time. You know I had never considered the pedestrian safety angle while building cars (even though I'm the sorts who will slow down or stop to let them pass!) Thats why I love this site. You learn something new everyday.

SinghBHP makes a valid point as well. I guess for a lot of Indian families economy is the one thing that would actually make them drop the scooter in favour of a car thereby increasing transport safety for their family.
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Old 16th September 2011, 12:25   #105
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Default Re: Why the heck do we care ONLY about Fuel Efficiency

FE is important, but then people do not think about safety aspects at all sometimes. In India, a car with what would be classified as a Cat B or Cat C accident is repaired and back on the roads. In the UK, these cars are typically scrapped with Insurance paying out the claims. Why do we still accept such 'repaired' cars at the cost of our safety?
In Pune, I have seen many people putting CNG/LPG kits in old cars without even changing the gasket sets on their engines, which in some cases are 8-10 years old. A little gas escapes and it is bye bye.
Yes, FE is important but if you do the math, It pays to have a car with additional safety features over a car with none.

Also, metal guage matters. Most Marutis I have seen have very thin guage metal as compared to say a Tata or a Fiat. How can you reduce the weight of a car which has increased in size? Simplest way is reducing the metal gauge by 1-2 mm, in *non critical areas* as the companies want you to believe.

What is non critical in a car? How many cars have a subframe for the engine? A subframe not only reduces vibrations but also in a crash offers a crashworthy structure which does not allow intrusion of the engine into the passenger bay.

A simple calculation -

I have considered two cars as examples, one which has a lower FE but better body structure and passive safety. Another with a higher FE but thinner body structure and passive safety. Both examples I dont consider the active safety (ABS, Airbags, EBD etc).

Price of Fuel (Petrol) = Rs. 80 (Future! )
Total KMS driven - 1000 per month.
FE of car - 14kmpl. (Car 1) and 17 kmpl (car 2).
Cost Per month - Fuel - Car 1 - 5714 and Car 2 - 4705.

The difference is 1000 bucks, translates to 12000 ruppees per year. Is this more than the safety of our family? I think most guys would agree that we spend more than that on eating out in a month or year.
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