Go Back   Team-BHP > BHP India > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 22nd July 2009, 18:15   #31
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,705
Thanked: 89,156 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
if they can articulate a little more in depth/specifics exactly what they mean when they say that a car has a lot of character?
For a car to have character, it's got to have a unique personality, an air of individuality to itself, an image that's really macho / powerful / stylish / cute / luxurious / exuberant / etc....simply put, a machine with a soul. Don't matter whether its rare or mass produced (iconic examples : Jeep, Beetle, Mustang)

Consider the Contessa Classic. Even today, you'll see more than a handful of BHPians creating threads on modifying Contessas into muscle cars. A '95 Esteem would leave it for dead on all parameters of performance. Why then does the Contessa still exude character? The size, that silky 1.8 petrol (which set the benchmark for its time) and the long-hood short-boot muscular design.

To me, the most character-rich Indian cars till date are:

Audi A4 3.2 FSI (for the red colour and engine alone)

Audi Q7 (not the X5 nor the M Class. Primarily the design?)

BMW 530d (Insane diesel sedan, sharp handler)

Fiat Grande Punto (solid, stylish)

Ford Endeavour (Big, tough, macho, 3.0 diesel)

Ford Fiesta 1.6S (Power, driver orientation, raspy engine note)

HM Ambassador (A classic, babus have given it some respect)

Mahindra Classic ('Nuff said)

Maruti Gypsy ('Nuff said)

Maruti Swift (Snazzy, cute, youthful)

Mitsubishi Montero / Pajero (but not the more modern Outlander)

OHC Vtec (still undefeated in sub-10 lakh rupee acceleration, gokart feel)

Skoda Octavia (somehow, more than the Laura)

Tata Safari (see next para)

Tata Sierra (unique Bronco-inspired styling, two doors, diesel)

The new 7 & the S Class (Majestic. No A8 here!)

Toyota Landcruiser (Big, burly, reliable, go anywhere)

I'm willing to bet that an overwhelming number of Safari sales are due to its image & character. King-size inside out, looks wicked, torquey diesel, all factors adding to its character. Take the character away and the Sumo Grande is probably a better buy from the Tata family!

On the other hand, as much as I respect Hondas & Toyotas, few of their cars have character. Nor does Hyundai figure anywhere on this list.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
I think most of us will agree that Bullets are bikes with a lot of character. Just what is this aspect of a Bullet that confers it character?
That exhaust note!! The sound of the exhaust is so important to motorcycles that Harley patented their thump. The Bullet wears retro-styling, has had the largest engine offerings for a long time and is stable at 100 kph. These factors are probably what make a Bullet the Bullet.

Last edited by GTO : 23rd July 2009 at 10:38.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 18:29   #32
Senior - BHPian
 
greenhorn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TN-14
Posts: 6,837
Thanked: 1,314 Times
Default

I think the hallmark of a car which most people say 'has a soul' or has character, is in fact , some character flaw, or something that has the capacity to generate emotions ( not necessarily good ) towards it.

You see cars which run and work perfectly and create now hassle, and they dont stir any emotions in you. - look at the countless mainstream hondas , toyotas and marutis. Dependable workhorse cars, but not too much 'character'

On the other hand, you have fiats, safaris, alfa romeos even. All these cars have some form of weakness, and yet we all love them. I guess some of us would have cars with a few weaknesses, just like ourselves

I know I am one !

Last edited by greenhorn : 22nd July 2009 at 18:30.
greenhorn is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 18:55   #33
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For a car to have character, it's got to have a unique personality, an air of individuality to itself, an image that's really macho / powerful / stylish / cute / luxurious / exuberant / etc....simply put, a machine with a soul. Don't matter whether its rare or mass produced (iconic examples : Jeep, Beetle, Mustang)
This and the rest of the post is as good an articulation of the automobile lovers point of view as I have ever seen, particularly the list of Indian cars with reasons, and I am willing to accept this as a good definition of character in that context. Bravo!
Since it an auto lovers argument, it need not all be logical, so it does not need to be examined with that lens either, and in any case, much of this can be very subjective, by definition almost.
You did say that Hondas/Toyotas are missing, but there a few Suzukis, as is the OHC, in the list. I was interested in seeing the Swift picked too. And I would have picked the Matiz.
I will continue to maintain that for many of us the character comes from how the car makes me look, and in turn I confer that on the car as character. The Maruti commuter makes me look anonymous, so how can it have character? Which is also why the Skoda has ended up as a car with character in India, unlike its reputation elsewhere. If character was inherent in the car, it would remain the same wherever the car was in use.
I still also believe that only animate beings have souls, but on this forum I do not propose to push my luck too much with arguing that position
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 19:06   #34
Senior - BHPian
 
romeomidhun's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Chennai
Posts: 2,629
Thanked: 1,880 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
To me, the most character-rich Indian cars till date are:

Fiat Grande Punto (solid, stylish)
...
Ford Fiesta 1.6S (Power, driver orientation, raspy engine note)
...
Maruti Gypsy ('Nuff said)
Maruti Swift (Snazzy, cute, youthful)
...
OHC Vtec (still undefeated in sub-10 lakh rupee acceleration, gokart feel)
...
GTO, be prepared to face a lot of 'pressure' from 'H'ians for not including any of them in your list - especially from those i20 boasters.

Last edited by romeomidhun : 22nd July 2009 at 19:08.
romeomidhun is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 19:19   #35
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by romeomidhun View Post
GTO, be prepared to face a lot of 'pressure' from 'H'ians for not including any of them in your list - especially from those i20 boasters.
When I bought my i20 earlier this month, one of my critical criteria was that it should not have too much character. I just wanted a modern stylish hatch with all the creature comforts that will give me hassle free service in every way for 5-6 years. So I am quite happy to see my judgment confirmed
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 19:32   #36
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 224
Thanked: Once
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Let me get this straight - what you are looking for is a car that has problems, rattles, with bad a.s.s and that is not smooth??? Is that what confers character on the car in your eyes? I know you do not quite mean that ( I guess ) but that is how it sounds on a plain reading!
No, I am saying that in spite of all those nice things it just did not have that something special...character as you call it.
Pragmites is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 19:48   #37
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pragmites View Post
No, I am saying that in spite of all those nice things it just did not have that something special...character as you call it.
I hear you. Make sure that you do not now get character and lose all those nice things, because one gets used to them

Quote:
Originally Posted by greenhorn View Post

You see cars which run and work perfectly and create now hassle, and they dont stir any emotions in you. - look at the countless mainstream hondas , toyotas and marutis. Dependable workhorse cars, but not too much 'character'

On the other hand, you have fiats, safaris, alfa romeos even. All these cars have some form of weakness, and yet we all love them. I guess some of us would have cars with a few weaknesses, just like ourselves

I know I am one !
I had a sneaking suspicion that when many people say that their car has character, they are consoling themselves over just what you are so frankly laying out. As for me, I would now rather live with a car that is boring so I can figure out how to get to grips with some of my weaknesses instead of the car's

Note from the Team-BHP Support Team : Please use the "edit" button if posting within 20 minutes of the first post, instead of creating another back-to-back post.

Also use "Multi Quote" option for quoting Multiple posts.

Last edited by Technocrat : 22nd July 2009 at 20:22. Reason: Please read the note in post, thanks
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd July 2009, 21:51   #38
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

I was scrolling through some recent posts complaining bitterly about poor service at sales and service points, and I thought I should post a thought that always occurs to me when I hear these loud complaints. Didn't want to create a thread for it, but wanted to plant it somewhere on the forum, so pardon the digression for this one post.
Many of us are now very demanding of the service we want at places we go to as customers. No complaints about that. But what I want to point out is that in our lives we are also people who have customers for our work and output. My question is are we just as demanding of ourselves in terms of the service levels we, or our organizations provide to our customers? Unless we are so, have we earned the right to be as demanding as we are from people who provide us service?
Something to introspect over, I suggest.
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 09:46   #39
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
On the other hand, as much as I respect Hondas & Toyotas, few of their cars have character. Nor does Hyundai figure anywhere on this list.


Given our discussion elsewhere, I think I caught you out here - how come the Landcruiser is missing??? A car that is preferred by the Taliban got to have character And is now available in India!

Last edited by Sawyer : 23rd July 2009 at 09:47. Reason: typo
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 10:12   #40
BHPian
 
aerohit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: India
Posts: 876
Thanked: 576 Times
Default

No one mentioned Civic?

I think the Asian Civic has the most civilized character in India (and civilized people also)
May be even more civilized than luxury brands in some cases.
aerohit is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 10:23   #41
DKG
Senior - BHPian
 
DKG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 3,706
Thanked: 928 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
how come the Landcruiser is missing??? A car that is preferred by the Taliban got to have character And is now available in India!
Character? Hmmmm I don't think so. Depth of abilities? Phenomenal. The LC is the ultimate workhorse. The ultimate offroad tool. You have to look the way of Range Rovers to see the character bit.
DKG is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 10:45   #42
GTO
Team-BHP Support
 
GTO's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bombay
Posts: 47,705
Thanked: 89,156 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
how come the Landcruiser is missing???
That, and the 530d. Sacrilege! I ought to be caned by the taliban for this one.

Post edited and both cars added.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sawyer View Post
Many of us are now very demanding of the service we want at places we go to as customers. No complaints about that. But what I want to point out is that in our lives we are also people who have customers for our work and output. My question is are we just as demanding of ourselves in terms of the service levels we, or our organizations provide to our customers?
Let's leave this for another thread, but just a quick note. The size of the purchase, and available alternatives, make our demands justified. Of course, it is important for us to be reasonable at the same time. When Merc wanted 15 days to call for a seat adjustment switch, I didn't complain (much to their surprise). I did understand that its not possible to keep such odd failure parts in ready stock for a limited volumes car. However, I take them to task for their unreliability + limited warranty coverage. Similarly, a BHPian recently created a complaint thread on how a service station flicked his usb pen drive for the car. I'd say, he's the one to blame for leaving personal belongings in the car in the first place.
GTO is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 12:57   #43
Team-BHP Support
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 11,883
Thanked: 9,702 Times
Default

Let's stand back and look at what goes into character

Tactility - the way a car feels/ responds - my honda had way more character compared to the Skoda. My Peugeot had handling and brio that out its classed dreary looks. Enough about Porsches but I once drove a Trabant - it had character by the bucket loads. Tactility was different - it had none

Adding to tactility are stuff like sounds, ride quality

Eccentricity - Porsche's rear engine, alfa romeo's switches in the roof, my vtec jekyll and hyde sounds, gear shift gates, I used a Renault 12 where the gears shifted in a slightly diagonal plane. Saab's key on the gear box. Morgan's style and wooden chassis, citroens brake button (not pedal) and sapce age suspension. All these made a drivig experience which was different

Association - Aston with Bond, Audi Quattro in Ashes to Ashes, yellow mini in Bean, Ford Capri's and chavs (i felt embarassed being given a ride in one), Pontianc and Knight Rider etc

There are probably many more- some parameters to start with!
ajmat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 15:15   #44
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DKG View Post
Character? Hmmmm I don't think so. Depth of abilities? Phenomenal. The LC is the ultimate workhorse. The ultimate offroad tool. You have to look the way of Range Rovers to see the character bit.
That reconfirms to me that many equate character with a dash of unreliability -Unless you are referring to quirky looks post the BMW ownership.
Btw, the defender guys look down on the RR in much the same way - that it has all the character wrung out of it!
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd July 2009, 15:37   #45
Senior - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Pune
Posts: 2,499
Thanked: 1,268 Times
Default

Here too is another take on what gives the car character - a car that is designed to meet the needs of a certain application or a certain type of user, and does not then make any compromises in trying to also meet other needs at the same time. A specialist as opposed to a jack of all trades. The specialist focus could be sports car, GT, off road, eco commuter, whatever. But that is all the car is designed to do. Just that one thing.
Sawyer is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Ultimate Cop Cars - Police cars from around the world VTEC11 The International Automotive Scene 341 21st September 2017 13:55
NOS cars vs NA cars at drags:is it fair mclaren1885 Indian Motorsport 123 7th May 2006 16:24


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 18:50.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks