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View Poll Results: What is Build Quality to you?
Supreme Reliability 302 70.73%
The "Thud" 125 29.27%
Voters: 427. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 1st October 2010, 13:10   #151
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Originally Posted by srishiva View Post
"Thud" is not just a matter of using heavy metal. The sound is what we like.
On a lighter note, If you like to hear "thud" you should buy the Honda City.

It makes lot of "THUD" sounds whenever it goes post a hump or a pot hole and you end up making "thuth teri" sound.

No offense meant for Honda city owners..
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Old 1st October 2010, 14:48   #152
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Very Difficult question to answer.

I guess in my opinion build quality actually means that it should, to an extent have both, sturdy feel aka the "Thud", and reliability.

But if I were asked to choose between the two, I would have to say supreme reliability.
I chose reliability as this symbolises not how well built the car appears to be, but how well built it really is, as only a truly well built car can go on for hundreds of thousands of kilometres without giving any problem.
In other words, although a car may or may not give a tank-like feel, its long term reliability that will really prove how well built the car was when it came out of the factory.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 12:01   #153
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Originally Posted by NOS Power View Post
I for one think that Japanese cars are slowly starting to get that ''thud'' feeling too. I don't know how Lexus cars are in comparison to the German tanks but I think overall Japanese cars are getting there.
Absolutely. My Civic feels solid, in a very European car way (85% there). The doors feel substantial & the overall body shell very stiff. There is absolutely no flimsiness to the car at all.

A question to the members. Do you think Korean cars (i'm talking about Hyundai in general) are making cars that have a mix of both the supreme reliability along with a bit of thud? Or are they tinny like the Japs? The reason I am asking is that off late the Hyundai's feel solid and do not rattle at all even after extensive usage. Also the parts replacement frequency and overall reliability is very very good.
The Sonata feels very solid, more so than even the Accord. And I've seen plenty of Santros with over 50,000 clicks and not a rattle.
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Old 2nd October 2010, 12:14   #154
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My Santro has run around 80k, and it still does not rattle.

That is in part due to careful driving, and not just build quality. Have driven some that rattle with just 15-20k kms on the dash.

For me build quality would be a mixture of the thud, and solid and well fitting plastics.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:33   #155
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Default Quaity - not added but built into it

To me the build quality in car is amalgamation of following things
1. shut lines - how consistent is the shut lines
2. use rubber and soft touch plastics in dashboard , door moldings
3. rattle free interiors and quiet cabin
4. glare free instrumentation and dashboard
5. fit and finish
7. thud sound when doors are closed
8. Trouble free engines which run for at least 1.5 lakh km
9. electronics which are trouble free
10. comfortable seats with adequate back support
11. reasonably priced spare parts and service .
12. safety - structurally sound and safety built into the cars not added on them

The European cars though have impressive build , quality but they lack reliability of electronics when compared Japanese cars which is the only negative thing about European cars .
It is quiet an irony that despite having best technology in terms of electronics , an old Mercedes W124 is bogged down buy poor electrical and not any other specific thing related to engine or chassis.

A popular American Motors commercial once advertised this - " quality and safety built into it not added on"
This what vehicle manufactures today lack - thats why so many recalls .
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:48   #156
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rattles....the absense of rattles in a car which has run more than 40k shows that the build quality is good.
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Old 4th October 2010, 12:56   #157
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Originally Posted by Zero Cool View Post
rattles....the absense of rattles in a car which has run more than 40k shows that the build quality is good.
By that logic my 6.5 year old WagonR has good build quality. No rattles at 55k kms.

Though there is no "reassuring thud" to talk about and neither it feels like a tank.
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Old 4th October 2010, 13:11   #158
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Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
My Santro has run around 80k, and it still does not rattle.

That is in part due to careful driving, and not just build quality. Have driven some that rattle with just 15-20k kms on the dash.

For me build quality would be a mixture of the thud, and solid and well fitting plastics.
One of friend has a santro which has done ~90k kms and i was very much surprised to see that there was absolutely no rattle. They just get the regular servicing done apart from that nothing else. I will say the build quality is pretty good.
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Old 4th October 2010, 15:09   #159
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on good roads even the most basic and spartan of cars will have no rattles. rattles also include minute clinking sounds. it is on bad potholes roads that the build character (if there is such a term) of a car truly comes forward. Bellow 10L honda city is one car that truly shines here.
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Old 4th October 2010, 18:28   #160
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I the definition is a personal one, varying from person to person.

Zoom_vroom has put it beautifully..
- "A car that makes you think before you sell it and you just can't find reasons to sell it"

I feel this fact encompasses everything else..
If something irritates you it has to go, where as some may want faultless running and would not care 2 hoots about rattles n squeaks.
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Old 13th October 2010, 23:14   #161
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For me there's no two ways about it. When I want to take my family out on a weekend outing, or drive my inlaws somewhere, or visit friends, I don't give two hoots about whether the right parts of the car make the 'thud' or the wrong ones. All I care about is the car must perform. It would bad by itself if the car suddenly gave up on me on one of my office trips, but it would be a personal insult if it gave up in front of others.

I have had a used Maruti 800 for four years and currently have a used Santro for the last two years. While I thought my M800 was quite reliable, the Santro experience is even better. I doubt if I would ever consider something other than the Japanese or Korean brands. Maybe an Indian one like Mahindra or Tata, but surely not the pricey and dicey European ones. It doesn't matter if my car will rock and roll while taking corners at 80kmph. I can slow down and take the corner at 60 or even 40. But if the car refuses to start in the morning or stalls on the road, I don't have a remedy for that.
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Old 14th October 2010, 05:21   #162
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A trick question actually. It becomes imperative that your car has some decent reliability to ensure you are not stranded on roads, but at the same time the quality of material used and the way its put together becomes important.

After having driven my Maruti Swift for a little over 4 years, I am confident that there is a possibility of me being diagnosed with cancer considering all the rattling that it makes.
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Old 14th October 2010, 08:46   #163
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I had a Fiat Uno and I have never owned another car yet whose doors closed with a loud resounding thud. Not to mention it never rattled apart from the annoying noise of the rear parcel shelf for all of its 60k plus kms. I really like Fiat build quality since owning the Uno and I am really disappointed that the new Fiats have a lot of problems in interior quality.
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Old 29th November 2010, 14:20   #164
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Default Your definition of Build Quality

Hi Everyone,

I just bought my new Wagon R. Though it is a pleasure to ride, the thin metal sheet work has me a bit worried.

Now why my attention went there?

We had a solid ambassador till 1995. It's bumbers were made of steel. When we switched over to Maruti 800, it's sheet metal was a cause to worry. And the bumpers were made of plastic.

Now almost 15 years later, when I bought the New Wagon R, I was dismayed to see that the sheet metal work is thinner than even Maruti 800. The bumper, in a bid to merge with the body contour seems non existent.

What increased my fears?
  • When I went to get a flag rod (estimation rod) fitted on the left side, the accessory shop guy refused to attach one. He said if a kid pulled at it, it would bring the bumber down.
  • Just yesterday, a Santro coming from behind an auto collided with a new Ritz. The Santro was not at all damaged but the Ritz bumper and the fendor above it registered considerable damage. The guy said it will cost him Rs. 10,000 to get it repaired. Poor guy just screamed at the 4 irresponsible youth and went off without claiming any money or filing a police case. So at least he was not exaggerating.
  • The sheet metal of Wagon R can be pressed by hand. Santro's seems to be built on a a sturdier sheet metal work. But the comparison was again with an older generation Santro. Dont know how the current models of Santro look like.
Apart from the monetary damage, wont the safety of the passengers inside be compromised if we continue to make thinner cars? The family in Ritz was not at all injured by the impact but it happened at less than 20km ph. The Santro was emerging from a parking lot.

Because of this I searched for a sheet metal comparison between various cars of India. I have spent two days on and off on this research but no manufacturer (Hyndai or Maruti) mentions the sheet thickness of their vehicles.

Is there somewhere this can be found. Is my suspicion that Maruti's present generation of cars is indeed very fragile true. Or am I overreacting?

Have you got any experiences to share regarding minor/major accidents and the impact on your cars particularly Hyudai and Maruti make.

Other cars like those from Tata, Mahindra etc seem to be solidly built. Is there a minimum thickness criteria for safety or can it get more and more thinner?

True we save on mileage with a thinner body. But if one small impact can set you off by 10,000 then where is the saving. And the safety? This is not like getting a license for rash driving. But we all know that even when we drive safe (I am a very safe driver) we have just 50% of the safety angle in our hand. The rest depends on other drivers plying their vehicles on road. In city driving conditions where people zig zag, drive rashly, overtake from left, drive drunkenly, things are not completely in your hand. You are at their mercy.

Please share your experiences and analysis.

On purchase I assumed Wagon R would be as sturdy as my old Maruti and did not bothered. Had I noticed this then, I would have done more research on this.

Let my mistake be a learning eye opener for other would be buyers. There needs to be a full story on safety, apart from features, looks and new engine of Wagon R.

Let the truth prevail.

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Old 29th November 2010, 14:32   #165
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Very good post mate! I have the exact same doubt.
I have a 2005 Santro Xing and my close friend has a 2005 WagonR. It is very clear Santro has a much thicker/stronger metal than the WagonR. Marutis (including Swift) generally tend to have a very tinny/thin metal and it gets severely damaged in small accidents (seen many of those). Whether it affects passenger safety I am not sure about (as there are many factors to be considered) but common sense says that cars with stronger build should be safer. The sturdiest build no doubt belongs to the Fiat cars (Linea/Punto etc) even better than VW (Polo/Vento)
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