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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:46   #1
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Default Lifestyle Vehicles in India: What are these? Your opinions please.

Every so often, a vehicle is launched with little tags to its name, projecting it as something it may or may not be. Manufacturers talk about utility. They talk about lifestyle. They talk about offering multiple options in how customers can use these vehicles. And most of all, they project an image for the car which is expected to attract the so-called yuppies among car buyers.

For me, a car is a car, and there are different kinds of cars that
  • I can afford to buy and run
  • I like the looks and performance of
  • Does the job I want it to do
So what exactly is a lifestyle vehicle?

Is it a sports utility vehicle (SUV)? For me an SUV is just a bigger car that can seat more than 4/5 passengers, is a little more expensive to buy & run, and is a little more difficult to park.

Is it an off-roader? 4-wheel-drive, go-anywhere capability, at the cost of some of the comforts another car at that price point can offer. Ok, so how many of those blue-blooded off-roaders like the Prado / Cayenne / Range Rover / Hummer have you seen ploughing its own road?

Or is it a hatchback pretending to be a multi-activity vehicle (MAV), like the Wagon-R? Heck, to me, a hatchback will always be a hatchback.

Is it a uniquely styled vehicle like the Ford Fusion or BMW X6? Or maybe even an ordinary run-of-the-mill car that has been modded to look, sound and drive a little better (or worse)? My car looks different from your car...

Or maybe even the Reva? A good conversation-maker at a party or over coffee? I'm green, you know.

Let's hear what exactly you mean by a lifestyle vehicle. And what cars in India would be considered lifestyle vehicles.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:53   #2
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In my opinion, lifestyle vehicles are generally a scam for a manufacturer to take an existing model, hike the price by 1 lakh or more and give it a lifestyle tag !!.

Prime examples of these are Tata Xeonon and Scorpio Getaway. Why should these vehicles be prices absurdly more than their MUV/SUV counterparts like Scorpio/Sumo Grande when 90% of sheet metal and power train is the same.

I don't think there is anything like a lifestyle vehicle? Suppose you are an environmentally conscious librarian (which by the way,I am absolutely not) , how can the Tata Xenon become your lifestyle vehicle.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:55   #3
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A lifestyle vehicle one buys will immediately tell others about the type of person you are - the kind of lifestyle you lead. Eg: Mahindra Thar

I'm a Tata Xenon XT type of person by the way. (not exactly though - it would have been a perfect vehicle for me if it was a bit luxurious)
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Old 23rd May 2010, 11:57   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post

Is it a uniquely styled vehicle like the Ford Fusion or BMW X6? Or maybe even an ordinary run-of-the-mill car that has been modded to look, sound and drive a little better (or worse)? My car looks different from your car...

Or maybe even the Reva? A good conversation-maker at a party or over coffee? I'm green, you know.

Let's hear what exactly you mean by a lifestyle vehicle. And what cars in India would be considered lifestyle vehicles.
You have said it right in the above lines. The Ford Fusion, The Skoda Octavia Station Wagon, Station Wagons in general, can be classified as Lifestyle vehicles.

Lifestyle vehicles are what your lifestyle is about. Are you into speed on weekends - then a sports car is your lifestyle car, Are you into Offroading then maybe a 4x4 is your lifestyle vehicle. Are you into Horse riding and you want a Pick up truck which is modified to move your horse and its cage on weekends to wherever you are riding - then that is your lifestyle vehicle.

It's a tough definition. BUT I suppose in India we buy vehicles for every day use and then some more, we keep one car and then we use it for everything. It's my weekend car and my office car and my school dropping car and my vegetable buying car.

also one must keep in mind that Lifestyle cars are generally owned by people who are passionate about what that car is about and their hobby. Also you should have the money to mantain a lifestyle vehicle and buy one.

I cannot at the moment !! But if I have the money I will be the first one to go ahead and get meself one !

But abroad I see with the middle class and above class of people they have vehicles which are for specific purposes suited to their lifestyles. They have Trailors ( Just like the one in Swades ) that they use on weekends.

So for me a lifestyle vehicle is something that I own for my lifestyle. I one day want to own a expensive 4x4 which I will use to travel to Rajasthan and do Off Roading and then maybe even hit the sand dunes. It may be a Tata Safari 4x4 or a Fortuner or maybe even a Landcruiser. But for me that is MY LIFESTYLE vehicle.

Nice thread

Let's hear it from other Team BHPians.

Last edited by vkochar : 23rd May 2010 at 12:00.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 12:25   #5
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Zen Carbon,
Skoda Octavia staion wagon,
Baleno Station wagon,(Altura?)
Indigo Marina
Scorpio Getaway
Fiat Adventure
Ford Fusion
Corsa swing weekend
TATA Estate

All these kinds? Let's add more to this list!

I like Tata Xenon XT very much, but I am not sure whether people will see it as a lifestyle vehicle in India at present. May be it will take some more time.

Last edited by clevermax : 23rd May 2010 at 12:35.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 14:08   #6
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In India, it's more of snob value than lifestyle.
Recent example being that of the Toyota Fortuner which sold and is still selling like hot pancakes but not even 1/4th of those will ever go for an off roading trip.

But as far as cars that classify into the "cut above the rest, yet very practical" category are concerned my vote would go for:
1. HM Contessa - Shows your passion.
2. Mitsubishi Cedia Sports - Love it for it's youthfulness.
3. Chevrolet/Subaru Forester - Those who knew it bought it, the rest who knew it are now fuming with jealousy
4. Tata Indigo XL - That rear seat legroom is something to die/kill for.
5. Skoda Octavia Combi VRS - I've been seeing a black one parked at the lot opposite HSBC bank, Hutatma Chowk since the past 5 years and boy, is she a beauty. The owner's love for the vehicle and lifestyle clearly shows.

P.S. The Chevy/Subaru Forester is another contender for clevermax's list of station wagons sold in India
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:00   #7
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Fiat 500
Volkswagen Beetle
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:07   #8
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A Lifestyle Vehicle is to Show to Others That I can Afford Certain Features in my Car, Which Users in Other Countries Get at Non Lifestyle Product prices
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:11   #9
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guys lets not confuse 'lifestyle' vehicles with 'status symbol' vehicles!
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:12   #10
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I would term a lifestyle vehicle as a vehicle which is very personal and may be out of the mainstream. If i'm a family man a lifestyle vehicle is something i would buy to thoroughly enjoy myself after the family is provided with one or two regular Cars/SUVs. A lifestyle vehicle could be a personal or a couple vehicle, but would not suit many as a family vehicle. A lifestyle vehicle is something which may not be very practical always.

Lifestyle vehicle need not be an expensive vehicle.

Jeeps/Gypsies can be termed a lifestyle vehicle in case of people who use Jeeps & Gypsies for offroading adventures and use a Car/SUV for regular commute.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 15:16   #11
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To me it would be grand-tourers such as the M3, CL class etc.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 17:25   #12
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Great thread idea. To me, the definition is a vehicle that allows you a certain lifestyle, which regular sedans / hatchbacks cannot.

Subaru Forester : One of the best lifestyle vehicles to be sold in India. Super AWD system can take you places, built robust and cargo space of a station wagon. Jeep / Gypsy 4x4s for the Offroading "lifestyle". What about the Tempo Traveller motorhomes? For those who want to live on the road, quite literally so! Imagine parking out on a scenic isolated spot for the entire weekend and chilling with your family. Beats that 5 star hotel room any day. We can also include sportscars as lifestyle vehicles...and more so if the owner uses them on the track.

In a way, I'd consider vintage cars as lifestyle cars too. The restoration & ownership experience can be very special (or a headache, depends how you look at it) & time consuming. But I know of some VCCI enthusiasts who'd spend weekends working on ol' cars with their kids. Customary sunday evening drive is the highlight. Go out sourcing parts with your friends. Now, that's a lifestyle for 'em fans of old cars.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 20:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
In my opinion, lifestyle vehicles are generally a scam for a manufacturer to take an existing model, hike the price by 1 lakh or more and give it a lifestyle tag !!.
Prime examples of these are Tata Xeonon and Scorpio Getaway. Why should these vehicles be prices absurdly more than their MUV/SUV counterparts like Scorpio/Sumo Grande when 90% of sheet metal and power train is the same.
I don't think there is anything like a lifestyle vehicle?
That was what my initial opinion was – that labeling a vehicle as lifestyle is a marketing gimmick to sell something quite ordinary in a flashy package. But then, would you consider a “recreational vehicle (RV)” to be a lifestyle vehicle? Or, since such an RV is not readily available in India, would you consider what DKG is building (Building a truck camper : Home away from home) to be a lifestyle vehicle?

Moot question: Is your Scorpio 4WD a lifestyle vehicle, or a daily drive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by smartcat View Post
A lifestyle vehicle one buys will immediately tell others about the type of person you are - the kind of lifestyle you lead. Eg: Mahindra Thar

I'm a Tata Xenon XT type of person by the way. (not exactly though - it would have been a perfect vehicle for me if it was a bit luxurious)
If the car you drive is a statement of who you are, my white Scorpio says I’m a politician. I am not! So what would be the statement that a Xenon owner-driver makes, that a Thar owner would not? Or are they making the same statement?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
You have said it right in the above lines. The Ford Fusion, The Skoda Octavia Station Wagon, Station Wagons in general, can be classified as Lifestyle vehicles.

Lifestyle vehicles are what your lifestyle is about. Are you into speed on weekends - then a sports car is your lifestyle car, Are you into Offroading then maybe a 4x4 is your lifestyle vehicle. Are you into Horse riding and you want a Pick up truck which is modified to move your horse and its cage on weekends to wherever you are riding - then that is your lifestyle vehicle.
It's a tough definition. BUT I suppose in India we buy vehicles for every day use and then some more, we keep one car and then we use it for everything. It's my weekend car and my office car and my school dropping car and my vegetable buying car.
So, if I have a farm and enjoy farming on the weekends, would a tractor be my lifestyle vehicle? Or do I need to soup up a tractor with AC and ABS, alloy wheels and fog lamps, to call it my lifestyle vehicle? Why is a station wagon a lifestyle vehicle? Because not too many people buy it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
also one must keep in mind that Lifestyle cars are generally owned by people who are passionate about what that car is about and their hobby. Also you should have the money to mantain a lifestyle vehicle and buy one.
A car collector may not label any of his cars as a lifestyle vehicle. For him, they are all collectibles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vkochar View Post
…vehicles which are for specific purposes suited to their lifestyles. They have Trailors ...that they use on weekends.

So for me a lifestyle vehicle is something that I own for my lifestyle. I one day want to own a expensive 4x4 which I will use to travel to Rajasthan and do Off Roading and then maybe even hit the sand dunes. It may be a Tata Safari 4x4 or a Fortuner or maybe even a Landcruiser. But for me that is MY LIFESTYLE vehicle.
So does it again boil down to being a vehicle you only use for weekend trips into bad-road or no-road areas? So then, is every 4WD that is driven only on weekends a lifestyle vehicle? Or does it have to be expensive to make the grade?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 23rd May 2010 at 20:32.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 21:09   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
Zen Carbon,
Skoda Octavia staion wagon,
Baleno Station wagon,(Altura?)
Indigo Marina
Scorpio Getaway
Fiat Adventure
Ford Fusion
Corsa swing weekend
TATA EstateAll these kinds? Let's add more to this list!
I like Tata Xenon XT very much, but I am not sure whether people will see it as a lifestyle vehicle in India at present. May be it will take some more time.
Once again, we have another finger being pointed to a dual cabin pickup truck like the Xenon or Getaway, with another being pointed to station wagons. Why should a station wagon or a pickup truck be a lifestyle vehicle? Because it can carry more luggage? Is luggage carrying ability a prerequisite for anyone’s lifestyle? And why should a car, given some more time, transform from a pickup truck to a lifestyle vehicle? Would people's lifestyles change?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anand123 View Post
These are the lifestyle vehicles I see in our country
Audi TT & R8
BMW 6 series, M3, Z4 & X6
Honda CRV
Jags
Lambos
Gypsy
Merc CLS
Nissan 370z
Porsches
Xenon
Prius
Beetle.
All right, now we are talking about a large number of expensive niche cars along with a Gypsy and the Xenon. And then there’s the Prius. Is it because they are great conversation-starters? Are these expensive toys great for a lifestyle which includes rubbing shoulders with the high and mighty and trying to impress them? So a 10-carat diamond does it better... So is it safe to assume that a lifestyle vehicle in India is an extension of the gold and diamonds that one wears? Just jewellery that needs a garage?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARCUS_520i View Post
In India, it's more of snob value than lifestyle.
That's another viewpoint. It's not about lifestyle, it's about "ishtyle"... So why not call them style cars (or show-off cars) rather than lifestyle cars?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARCUS_520i View Post
But as far as cars that classify into the "cut above the rest, yet very practical" category are concerned my vote would go for:
1. HM Contessa - Shows your passion.
2. Mitsubishi Cedia Sports - Love it for it's youthfulness.
3. Chevrolet/Subaru Forester - Those who knew it bought it, the rest who knew it are now fuming with jealousy
4. Tata Indigo XL - That rear seat legroom is something to die/kill for.
5. Skoda Octavia Combi VRS - .... The owner's love for the vehicle and lifestyle clearly shows.
Back to station wagons again. And rear seat legroom. Once again, does a spacious car mean a lifestyle car? Or is it just that a fast car (like the Cedia) is a lifestyle vehicle (LSV)? What is the application of terminology such as youthfulness to a car? Does a youthful car refuse to age and break down over a longer period of time? Or is it that the design has been around for ages? such as the Porsche Carrera (or even the Ambassador)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by MARCUS_520i View Post
The Chevy/Subaru Forester is another contender for clevermax's list of station wagons sold in India
What about the Forester? It's just another 4WD SUV. So does that make a Grand Vitara a lifestyle vehicle (LSV) too? Or is it because the Forester sold too few cars, and is less visible on the roads, that makes it a LSV? If the GV also qualifies as a LSV, then we ought to categorize ALL off-roaders as LSVs. Is that the case?

Last edited by SS-Traveller : 23rd May 2010 at 21:14.
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Old 23rd May 2010, 21:59   #15
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In my opinion, "lifestyle vehicles" as referred to in India are those vehicles, that are used to project the personality of the owner as outdoorsy, activity filled etc.

Generally we see most of the pickup trucks and the station wagons being projected this way. Mostly to mimic the weekend recreation of common people in the developed world. Say boat hauling, canoeing, fishing, jet skii's and the like where the extra space afforded by the load bay or folding the rearseats in a station wagon can allow you to exercise. In other words ownership of these vehicles in India also has the ability to convey that the owners have have a lifestyle comparable to the west.

However, it is to be debated whether it is possible to lead a similar life on our warmer climes.

I saw a Tata Xenon carrying cartons of packaged drinking water and being driven by individuals who are as far removed in personality from a cool dude as one can imagine.

Last edited by 1100D : 23rd May 2010 at 22:02.
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