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View Poll Results: Which would you put your money on?
Top spec model but a segment lower 127 57.99%
Base model but a segment higher 92 42.01%
Voters: 219. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th May 2007, 11:14   #1
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Default Cheapest of the higher or costliest of the lower?

I'm talking about segments here. Seeing the recent debate on prices for the new cars, and how close the top spec level of model X comes to the cheapest spec of Model Y, which would you chose if it were your money on the line?

To illustrate my point, lets take the most recent example of the Chevy Spark. As highlighted in This thread, most consider the Spark as over priced. Also, the top spec variant (LS) is priced extremely close to the cheapest Swift (Lxi), which is a segment higher. However, the Spark LS comes with power windows, central locking and a few other features lacking on the Swift LXI, which would you prefer.

Similarly, the top level Hyundai Santro is awfully close in price to the base model Getz Prime. However, the base Prime doesn't come with power windows, body colored mirrors and door handles, central locking, rear wash/wipe and a couple of other features.

Ofcourse, the higher up the ladder you move, the less of an effect this has, as the basic features (power windows, central locking etc) become standard on all cars priced 7 lakhs and above.

I recently had to help a relative of mine make a similar choice. She needed a small car for personal use. After deciding on the Santro, she went to the dealer to make the booking. I get a call from her saying that the Prime is available for sale for just Rs.50,000 more. However, its the base model. She settled for the top level Santro after making her realise that the extra space the Getz provided is of no real use to her, and the lack of essential features like power windows and locking would be more of an annoyance to her in everyday use. Also, base models of cars rarely command a decent resale value.

The upside to chosing the larger vehicle would be, in most cases, a higher level of safety and the additional bit of social status that comes with owning a larger car. However the latter is diluted to some level being the base model.

How many here would do the same? Would you rather buy a larger car but without the frills, or a smaller car but with the works?
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:34   #2
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I buy for my family's convenience, and not to impress others. Therefore higher specs, lower segement would do. Remember, I am crazy enough to have considered Gama.
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:44   #3
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With the comparison mentioned above. Top model-Lower segment but otherwise if higher segment is a sedan. So it depends ..
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:50   #4
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Base version of the bigger car for me, unless the lower version offers significantly better safety features. This inspite of the fact that I dont care two hoots about image .
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Old 5th May 2007, 11:52   #5
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I would go for a top spec model but a segment lower. Normally.
But for me must have features now are "Power windows". Which come in most C class cars.
So if I was buying a small car I would choose the top spec model, but in midsize land I would be choosing the bottom end model or a middle end model.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:06   #6
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i would go for a costliest of the lower than the cheapest of the higher..
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:13   #7
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Always the top of any segment for me, whether it be cars, or any other purchase.

Point in case
- Santro XS over Ikon Flair
- NHC Vtec over Optra 1.6 Elite or Elantra, or base Corolla.

Quote:
Also, base models of cars rarely command a decent resale value.
Neither do the top models. The extra stuff you get is for your convenience only.

Last edited by goldie_malhotra : 5th May 2007 at 12:17.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:16   #8
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Another example, costliest honda city vtec or base model of corolla is what I am faced with as well. Both are coming close to 9 lakhs. Power windows, internally adjustable mirrors, power steering, etc are standard in both. Both dont have Airbags, Toyota on the other hand has ABS, however the interiors of Toyota are cabish, but the City looks a charmer.
So only for cosmetic look of interior, which car would you choose? Top end of one segment or base model of the other....

Last edited by aseem : 5th May 2007 at 12:20.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:18   #9
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Nice thread Rtech. For me it would have be the lower segment car but not the fully loaded. The fully loaded one usually has quite a few features not needed. So I would go for one just below the fully loaded. It actually depends on the car in question but in general the rule holds good.

the lowest in the segment higher is devoid of features and the size is not a convincing factor as once you pay so much money you do expect some amenities in the car.

Also remember even though the price of the higher specd lower segment car and the lower spec higher segment car will be close it's the long term which you must consider.

the higher segment may have poorer mileage, higher maintenance/servicing costs, the parts and dent repair will all be higher.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post

the higher segment may have poorer mileage, higher maintenance/servicing costs, the parts and dent repair will all be higher.
Not neccesarily true.... A Toyota Corolla would have less maintainence cost than Chevrolet Optra, Hyundai Verna... it might give more mileage as well.

Esteem for eg gives more mileage than Getz and spare parts are cheap.

All in all in depends on the car in question... Though the perception seems to be the bigger the engine the less fuel efficient it is... or higher maintainence, which is not always the case.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:30   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aseem View Post
Not neccesarily true.... A Toyota Corolla would have less maintainence cost than Chevrolet Optra, Hyundai Verna... it might give more mileage as well.

Esteem for eg gives more mileage than Getz and spare parts are cheap.

All in all in depends on the car in question... Though the perception seems to be the bigger the engine the less fuel efficient it is... or higher maintainence, which is not always the case.
that's why i mentioned that it may have all that. like the Santro-getz example, getz/swift - ford ikon.

Chevrolet's maintenance costs are one of the lowest actually compare to other cars but lets not go there on this thread.
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Old 5th May 2007, 12:45   #12
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The higher segment car it is for me. I can spruce it up whenever i want to. Although a basic higher segment car might have most of the stuff that the high end lower segment car would have. If i can afford a higher segment, i would take that any day.
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Old 5th May 2007, 13:57   #13
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Quote:
Also, the top spec variant (LS) is priced extremely close to the cheapest Swift (Lxi), which is a segment higher. However, the Spark LS comes with power windows, central locking and a few other features lacking on the Swift LXI, which would you prefer.
Incorrect Rt. The LS is NOT the top spec variant of the Spark; its the LT which at 5.xx lacs is MORE expensive than the base Swift. Also, the LS which is the point of discussion only has front power-windows and central locking.

So the question really is:

1. Would you want a 1.0 liter 63bhp small car with front-power windows and central locking

OR

1. A 1.3 liter 87 bhp mid-size hatch with a lot more power, space, ride comfort and handling. But no front power-windows and central locking. Arguably the Swift may also record better resale value.

Lets look at it from a differential value perspective. What is the cost of front power windows and central locking? About 15 grand? Tops? But what is the cost of additional power, more space, better ride quality, better handling, better brakes etc.? A lot more than 15 grand? This is where I bring the Swift....which at only 30,000 more than the front power-window'ed Spark appears to offer a LOT more value.

If it were me, I would undoubtedly go for the Swift as the engineering and inherent product benefits matter a lot more to me than front-power windows (which I will seldom use) and central locking (I always get an autocop upon delivery). Also, I can fit front-power windows and central locking in the Swift a couple of months down the line. But I cant do too much to the Spark to make it behave like the Swift.

Last edited by GTO : 5th May 2007 at 14:00.
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Old 5th May 2007, 14:05   #14
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Rtech - I love your polls. Left to me, theoretically, it'd be the Costliest of the Lower since honestly speaking, I have a mind block and ego problem abt owning any Cheapest of the Higher. Besides its more loaded. Practically of course, I'd buy the Middle of the Higher most times.
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Old 5th May 2007, 15:32   #15
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For me it totally depends upon what type of purchase i am doing and what am i gonna look for in a car in that budget.

My basic necessities are:
1. Power Steering
2. Power Windows
3. Defogger - this can be a after purchase fitment from dealer in alot of cars.
4. ABS/ Airbags if they can be optional in the lower model. **

I am not crazy about climatic control or stuff like company ICE and seat covers + dont even like electronically controlled anything except steering and power windows.

The main point for me is the need. As of now i am happy with Small size cars or hatchbacks. But after i have kids and stuff i may move onto either a SUV/Sedan or MUV like innova.
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