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Old 7th May 2010, 12:37   #91
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Originally Posted by pnredkar View Post
If you see here, the petrol cars are at the top of the heap (only two diesels in the top ten) while diesels are generally at the bottom. Does the high torque of diesel engines have something to do with this?
When the magazine guys brake from 100 - 0 kmph, I'm not sure if they use engine braking too. Cars equipped with diesel engines apparently don't do well in this department. Excerpts from Wikipedia on "Engine Braking" -

Diesel engines do not maintain a throttle vacuum as they do not have an intake throttle. The fuel itself is the throttle, and thus diesel engines are not subject to the same engine braking effects as gasoline engines are.

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Originally Posted by challa View Post
Excellent thread and smart analysis by Smart Cat, love to see the final list.
Thanks. Final list will be ready by this weekend.

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Originally Posted by sanagg1 View Post
Any Hope on this account ? cheers
Will collect data on rear leg room and boot space after we are done with equipment levels. Expect Maruti A-Star to go down the rankings after we are done with this.

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
A pointer the Isofix is quite useless in India, I have the Skoda Laura with Isofix car seat holder latches. But an Isofix compatible car seat available from skoda (and I did not find it anywhere else (including at mothercare) cost about Rs. 33,000 vs normal car seats in the range of 5-10K.
Check the Bangalore based ecommerce website 20North.com - ISOFIX child seats area available from Rs. 16,000. I guess the best bet would be get a relative/friend who is returning from US/Europe to get one for you, if you need more choices.

Basically, its a nice feature to have - and Skoda needs to be "rewarded" with a point for providing that facility. Remember that we are always ready to thrash them for pricing their cars so high.

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Also felt that braking distance is an important parameters and though the details are not available for some cars they are available as per your list for most. you could either get the rest from any other car magazine or - just give the cars with no distance figure available the average points and give the rest points based on their performance. - Just an Idea incase you find the time to go throught this.
Unfortunately, no other car magazine carries this important data parameter in their "Buyer's Guide". Not sure if giving average points is a good idea - M800 for example has no power assisted brakes, so its braking distance could be close to the Tata Nano. Maruti Alto's brakes are better, but by how much? Assuming braking distance of diesel cars would be even more risky - just look at Hyundai i20 diesel.

I do not want myself (a humble cat after all) to decide on any parameter in the rankings - I want the numbers to decide.


Part V - EQUIPMENT/FEATURES


Do you get what you are paying for? This is what everybody loves - the big Value For Money (VFM) factor. For eg: Swift Diesel might be inexpensive for a diesel but it is not VFM. However, Swift Petrol which is equipped with steering mounted audio controls, dash integrated MP3 player, climate control and 14 inch alloy wheels with 185 patch tyres is a serious a Value For Money buy.

I'm considering the following features, with one point allocated to availability of each feature/equipment -


BASIC FEATURES:

Front Power Windows
Rear Power Windows
MP3/CD Player
Front Disc Brakes
Air Conditioner
Power Steering

EXTERIORS

Front Fog Lamps
Alloys

"BIG CAR" FEATURES:

Sunroof
Projector headlamps
Rear Parking sensors
Wide tyres (185 or above)
Auto Folding Mirrors
Climate Control
Rear Disc Brakes
Rear fog lamps
Cooled Glove Box
15 inch wheels

DRIVING AIDS:

Dead pedal
Tachometer
Day/Night Mirror
Steering wheel Adjustment
Rear Defogger
Rear Wiper

LITTLE CONVENIENCES:

Central Locking
Steering mounted audio controls
USB/Aux-in Connectivity
Bluetooth connectivity
Electric Mirrors
Remote Boot Release
Trip Computer
12V Power Outlet
Boot Lamp
Remote Fuel Filler
Split Folding Rear Seats

SAFETY & SECURITY

Immobilizer
Remote Locking with Alarm
Tubeless Tyres

Let me know right away, if any feature or equipment needs to be either added or removed (with justification!)

Last edited by smartcat : 7th May 2010 at 12:39.
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Old 7th May 2010, 12:54   #92
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Aha.so this was the home work you did before selecting on Punto as said in your travelouge thread?
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Old 7th May 2010, 13:02   #93
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Seat height adjust can be added
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Old 7th May 2010, 13:34   #94
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
When the magazine guys brake from 100 - 0 kmph, I'm not sure if they use engine braking too. Cars equipped with diesel engines apparently don't do well in this department.
No, this was not what I meant. More engine torque means more torque at the wheels. With similar brake type and size (for petrol and diesel from same stable), this equates to lesser stopping power and hence longer stopping distances.

This is just a surmise using basic physics.
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Old 7th May 2010, 13:37   #95
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According to my knowledge, Palio GTX had ABS and Airbags when it was launched. At that time it would have been one of the most safest small cars around.
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Old 7th May 2010, 15:02   #96
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Smartcat, Smart indeed, covered most feature points.
Some minor additonal points.

1) The Stearing Adjustments are for Rake and Reach, most small cars do not have the Reach adjustment (towards and away from us), and have the up down (rake) adjustment. Having both is a Plus
2) MID - MultInformation Display - I20 and Fabia have it I think am not sure of the Vista and the Punto
3) No of speakers 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 - i think the Fabia has 8. 6+ Should get double marks for speakers. (Laura has 12 - 3 in each door)
4) Indication for Distance to Refuel + Km/Ltrs, + Distance in current trip (auto trip) + current fuel consumption - can be clubbed with the MID point.
5) The simple bottle holders (possibly 0 points for 2 holders, and -1 for less than 2 holders and +1 for 4 bottle holders. (Two in front doors and 2 in rear seat armrest or rear doors.)
6) Seat height Adjustment
7) Powered Seats - Fabia/I20/Polo may have it am not too sure.
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Old 7th May 2010, 15:24   #97
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Originally Posted by mpksuhas View Post
Aha.so this was the home work you did before selecting on Punto as said in your travelouge thread?
I do things a bit differently - I first decide on what car to buy, and then try to find out where it stands

Actually, my heart says go for the Punto, but my head is asking me to give the top end i20 diesel a close look - I didn't know it had such a cracker of an engine. The extra Rupees One lakh or more doesn't matter to me because there will be hardly any significant difference in the EMI.
However, the braking distance is something I need to check - will the Hyundai salesman mind if I take the test car to 100 kmph and slam on the brakes?

Anyway I'm not in a great hurry as such - gives me a chance to take a look at Punto 90 BHP.

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Originally Posted by fiat_tarun View Post
Seat height adjust can be added
Will do. I will get rid of AC as a feature though - all 36 cars have them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ACM View Post
1) The Stearing Adjustments are for Rake and Reach, most small cars do not have the Reach adjustment (towards and away from us), and have the up down (rake) adjustment. Having both is a Plus
I don't think any small car has "reach adjustment", but will check.

Quote:
MID - MultInformation Display - I20 and Fabia have it I think am not sure of the Vista and the Punto
Quote:
Indication for Distance to Refuel + Km/Ltrs, + Distance in current trip (auto trip) + current fuel consumption - can be clubbed with the MID point.
This is what I meant by "Trip Computer". I will just rephrase it as "MID".

Quote:
3) No of speakers 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 - i think the Fabia has 8. 6+ Should get double marks for speakers. (Laura has 12 - 3 in each door)
Shouldn't the quality of speakers matter more than the actual number?
But anyway, I think this number is difficult to get - brochures/websites don't mention it.

Quote:
The simple bottle holders (possibly 0 points for 2 holders, and -1 for less than 2 holders and +1 for 4 bottle holders. (Two in front doors and 2 in rear seat armrest or rear doors.)
Will check on this, but again, I don't think brochures or websites give too much attention to it.

Quote:
6) Seat height Adjustment
Done. Quite useful for shorties.

Quote:
7) Powered Seats - Fabia/I20/Polo may have it am not too sure.
No small car has this feature. I think Laura L&K is the cheapest car with powered seats.

Last edited by smartcat : 7th May 2010 at 15:32.
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Old 7th May 2010, 15:46   #98
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waiting for the rest of the verdict. seems like i20 is going to ace in this dept.
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Old 7th May 2010, 16:37   #99
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Great analysis. However I feel, more importance should be given to the price of the vehicle. For example, if Mercedes or some other company XYZ launches its small car in India, and prices it at say 15 lakhs, the car may top all lists like outright performance, driveability, safety features, equipment, and scores the lowest in only one dept i.e initial purchase price, there too getting a point, it will be the winner of this race. However, since this is the small car buyer guide, when people refer to it, they will conveniently ignore the top car because its price offsets every benefit it offers. My opinion is, we create a median, and for every Rs 10000, the car cheaper than the median gets a point, and for every Rs 10000 more than the median, the car gets a -ve point.

Last edited by dark_horizon : 7th May 2010 at 16:57.
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Old 7th May 2010, 16:57   #100
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@smartcat - really appreciate the time and efforts that you are putting into this noble cause that all of us can really make use of

Now that we are giving so much more importance to safety as we can see from the lists, how about adding a seatbelt beeper/indicator feature that reminds drivers if they forget to wear it. I know many of the cars in the list have them but probably not all.
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Old 7th May 2010, 16:59   #101
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dark_horizon View Post
Great analysis. However I feel, more importance should be given to the price of the vehicle. For example, if Mercedes or some other company XYZ launches its small car in India, and prices it at say 15 lakhs, the car may top all lists like outright performance, driveability, safety features, equipment, and scores the lowest in only one dept i.e initial purchase price, there too getting a point, it will be the winner of this race. However, since this is the small car buyer guide, when people refer to it, they will conveniently ignore the top car because its price offsets every benefit it offers. My opinion is, cars priced above say 6.5 lakhs should get -ve points for initial purchase price.

Good argument. I give you two options -

Option No. 1:

Let's say you have a rigid budget of Rs. 6 Lacs. But even then you will look at cars 5% plus or minus Rs. 6 Lacs. Your shortlist would be -

Fiat Punto 1.2 Petrol ---------------- Rs. 5.7 lacs
Maruti Ritz 1.2 Petrol ---------------- Rs. 5.7 lacs
Chevrolet U-VA 1.2 Petrol ----------- Rs. 5.86 lacs
Hyundai i10 1.2 Petrol --------------- Rs. 5.95 lacs
Maruti Swift 1.3 Diesel -------------- Rs. 5.97 lacs
Maruti Ritz 1.3 Diesel ---------------- Rs. 6.05 lacs
Maruti Swift 1.2 Petrol --------------- Rs. 6.11 lacs
Ford Figo `1.4 Diesel ---------------- Rs. 6.2 lacs
Tata Vista 1.3 Diesel ---------------- Rs. 6.22 lacs

You could look at where these cars stand (with respect to eachother) in the final rankings to help you decide. Because eventually, the best Value For Money car will come out on top - a car that offers the best compromise between all the important parameters.

Now if you intend to run your car for only 500 km a month (for example), you won't even need a diesel. So you might decide to get rid of diesels from the above list, and shortlist only the petrols - and get more features/equipment.


Option No. 2:

Sholay and Titanic have alternate endings when you buy the official DVD. Similarly, we will have an alternate rankings at the end, where we give initial purchase price twice the weightage. Because, as you said, customers do give the cost of a car lot of weightage when they arrive at a buying decision.
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Old 7th May 2010, 17:00   #102
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Waiting for next installment. This thread is going to be very very popular. Now I understand the months of waiting period for Swift Diesel. Keep up the good work.
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Old 7th May 2010, 17:05   #103
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Especially, when we are clubbing cars like Nano & Fabia together, where for the price of one, you can buy 4 of the other.

Edit :
Thanx for considering.
Option 2 looks better.

Last edited by dark_horizon : 7th May 2010 at 17:08.
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Old 7th May 2010, 17:33   #104
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Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
I don't think any small car has "reach adjustment", but will check.
The "overpriced" Skoda Fabia and Hyundai i20 has rake and reach adjustable steering. But surprisingly, the Honda Jazz doesn't offer it, even at that price point.

Smartcat, thanks a lot for adding the "dead pedal" in the Driving aids. This is one thing which is quite often overlooked. For me, it's been a boon on long drives and I will make sure that my next car also has it!
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Old 7th May 2010, 18:10   #105
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Just too good man!

Don't balme me for getting greedy! Can I expect a similar post on Sedans once you arrive at the winner in this thread ?
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