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Old 19th April 2011, 13:00   #1
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Default Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

They say quality and quantity don't go together. Although I don't necessarily agree with the statement, it is the situation we find ourselves quite often when purchasing a new set of wheels.
  • There are cars which are high on quality but are very basic on equipment and features.
  • There are cars which provide a host of features but lack the finesses of a world class product.

Example in HATCH Segment: On one end we have a POLO which is a high quality car (sans the three potters) but has hardly any feature in the bottom spec. On the other hand, we have the Indica Vista, which has a gamut of features but has quality niggles. In between are the Puntos, i20s, Swifts etc. which are decent in quality and offer decent equipment levels as well (not necessarily stands out in Engineering department but are competitive enough)

Example in entry Luxury Segment: On one end we have a Laura which is a high quality car (we are not talking about A.S.S here) but has hardly any feature in the bottom spec. If you need to get features, you have to spend substantially more moolah. The upcoming 'new' Jetta seems to be another one that could be added to the list. On the other hand you have the Corolla Altis, which is loaded to the brim, but feels clearly built for a price.

What do you value more? Quality engineering (may or may not be feature rich) or cars loaded to the brim (feel good factor?). Or do you generally try to strike a balance between the two. Compromise a bit on each to get a well balanced car?

I fall in Category one: I value Quality Engineering the most.

PS: Why don't we have more cars like new PASSAT (good quality with features at decent price) or CIVIC? (when it was launched it had good quality, decent equipment at competitive price: with the passage of years, it has become distinctively overpriced)

Last edited by Abhi_Automobile : 19th April 2011 at 13:05.
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:19   #2
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Would vote for a better engineered car.
But going by the launches seen recently this would change for sure and a well engineered car with loaded features would evolve.

Cheers!
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:26   #3
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

I for one would choose a decently engineered product with few important usable features and car has to be VFM.

My Ideal vehicle would be Bolero Vlx, better interiors, ABS and Airbags, with 4x4 drive train. Priced at 10L OTR.

I prefer the above vehicle over Safari or Scorpio, which have crusie controls, rain sensing wipers, voice alarms, etc.,,Niggles, cheap quality interiors which are useless for me in the real-world usage.
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:31   #4
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Quote:
My Ideal vehicle would be Bolero Vlx, better interiors, ABS and Airbags, with 4x4 drive train. Priced at 10L OTR.
No offence my friend, but would you call the Bolero a 'well engineered product'? It has rough edges all round. The interiors are as inviting as a washing machine
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:35   #5
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

I would prefer a better engineered, mechanically and technically sound car over a feature rich, VFM one.

Let's take Build quality: The Swift has the poorest, the doors especially. An impact of the same magnitude that would appear as a scratch on a Polo/Punto would appear as a dent on the Swift. Even the Ritz is better when it comes to metal gauge thickness of the doors, maybe MSIL is saving huge metal cos the Swift is it's best seller!

Suggestion: Why not add a poll?
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:36   #6
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Quote:
I for one would choose a decently engineered product with few important usable features and car has to be VFM.

My Ideal vehicle would be Bolero Vlx, better interiors, ABS and Airbags, with 4x4 drive train. Priced at 10L OTR.

I prefer the above vehicle over Safari or Scorpio, which have crusie controls, rain sensing wipers, voice alarms, etc.,,Niggles, cheap quality interiors which are useless for me in the real-world usage.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhi_Automobile View Post
No offence my friend, but would you call the Bolero a 'well engineered product'? It has rough edges all round. The interiors are as inviting as a washing machine
That is what I preferred. I cannot expect T-Fort features or LC features @ 10L, right sir ?
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:41   #7
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Team BHP has discussed this several times, do well engineered means doors that close with a thud or equipments that never fail (or to make it utopian , both of these)? - am lazy to dig up these threads.

Defining this properly is a must before going further on this subject.
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:42   #8
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

A well engineered car loaded with all the features at an affordable price - this is every auto-enthusiast's dream. In real world, this usually doesn't happen like that. Quality engineering is OK, but it would leave a sour taste in the mouth if some necessary features commonly found in 'lesser' cars are missing. Someone who buys a car with all the goodies but with persistent niggles is also likely to be dissatisfied.

So, my choice ? I feel that a bit of compromise is needed both on the quality and equipment fronts to get a car one can comfortably live with.

P.S. This can change if more cars like PASSAT and old CIVIC enter the market.
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:43   #9
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Good Question,

Many may have to select either of the two atributes but for me a trade off is just not acceptable.

By the way though the Vista has niggles in some areas (not all) it goes seem better engineering then many higher priced cars in the same segment. Yet overall what has been stated is true, but can be overcome so easily for the best of both worlds, almost there in the new manza elan.

Alternative take:
There is a third parameter (Brand) and this at times shoots up cost for perceived quality (though not evidently visible). For many brand is the most important parameter even more than the build and features.

I am the kind of guy who requires both good engineering and also a lot of features, just having either would not do for me, but can do away with the perceived brand value.

So typically would get the top featured model of cars with good engineering even if that cost as much as a base spec featured car of a higher segment.
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:44   #10
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Abhi_Automobile View Post
No offence my friend, but would you call the Bolero a 'well engineered product'? It has rough edges all round. The interiors are as inviting as a washing machine
I doubt whether any engineer has been associated with its design at all! Washing machines look much better and don't sound like tractor
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Old 19th April 2011, 13:58   #11
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Quote:
Team BHP has discussed this several times, do well engineered means doors that close with a thud or equipments that never fail (or to make it utopian , both of these)? - am lazy to dig up these threads.
The definition of build quality has been discussed to death. I don't want to dig on that. Engineering includes build quality, grades of materials and metals used, engines, chassis etc. I don't want to dig the 'thud' factors.

The topic here is: Is Engineering finesse more important or features? Also, if you think there are cars which are solidly engineered (including interiors) and are also feature rich, please discuss them. Unfortunately, in most cases, we have choose between either of them.

Interesting trend is that on our forum most people seem to support 'better engineered cars', however the purchase of VFM cars couldn't be higher, even on our forum.
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Old 19th April 2011, 14:08   #12
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

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Originally Posted by ACM View Post
By the way though the Vista has niggles in some areas (not all) it goes seem better engineering then many higher priced cars in the same segment.
Correct me if am wrong, but I feel that the best engineered thing in the Vista is it's Quadrajet engine, which is from Fiat. Next comes the build quality (forgive the gaping panel gaps, we are talking robustness here) , not the interiors though.

Not sure if it is better engineered than it's 'excessively' priced counterparts.
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Old 19th April 2011, 14:16   #13
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Good thread!

A well engineered car with some thoughtful / useful features will do the trick for me. Definitely quality and safety is a priority, and if added comfort features are available, it’s a bonus.

At times I feel that some manufacturers are not confident enough of their product, which they jazz it up to generate volumes. On the other end of the spectrum, there are some manufacturers who know their product’s capability and do not bother to dress it up well. On the latter, one example I can think of is the Skoda Laura TSI.

They’re selling it only in the base trim, and they know their audience. But the point to note here is that it is a good product, with solid build quality, and no compromise on safety features.

And I guess even our buyers are into VFM quality. Look at the success of Figo. And more recently, the revised Fabia. Some of the comfort features maybe missing in these cars, but these are well-engineered products with accessible pricing.
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Old 19th April 2011, 14:17   #14
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

Define better engineered first.

EDIT: "Features" are good engineering too? Give it a thought. The bucketing of well engineered and feature full cars is an absurd differentiation.

Or do you mean feature rich cars are not better engineered.

A clueless thread in my opinion.

EDIT2: More food for thought for the OP as I imagine he does not understand the term "engineering" and "features" too well. How about this: To add features the product needs to be well engineered to take these features. So now?

Last edited by Spitfire : 19th April 2011 at 14:26.
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Old 19th April 2011, 14:25   #15
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Default Re: Better Engineered car vs Feature rich car: Which will you prefer

We are talking about extremes here, which is never the case when it comes to buying a car. One always tries a balance and looks for the best match available (barrring some extremes). Take Linea which is a good mix of both, Altis, Palio, Jetta there are so many examples

In your own post you are mentioning about everything available in Laura, albeit at a higher price. So the right question is what do we prefer to save cost on? will we let go of features for saving money?
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