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Old 16th January 2012, 00:00   #1
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Default Premium SUV between 75 lakhs - 1.5 Crore

Help. Advice. Information.

I am looking for all three from the members here to reach a decision on the purchase of a premium SUV.

I don't have much SUV driving experience. None actually. However, I had come to a decision that my next vehicle would have to be an SUV and the excellent thread on this forum highlighting the reasons why most Indians opt for SUV's seemed to list down my reasons as well:
  1. High driving position & better view of whats happening in front of me
  2. Road presence
  3. Ground clearance - Although major roads in Kerala are half decent, the picture is not so pretty once we move away from the highways. I am tired of regularly scraping the underbelly of my sedan.
  4. Easier Ingress & Egress - Opinion regarding this might be divided amongst us. However, I feel getting up into an SUV is easier, than getting down into a low slung sedan (my 6'2", 100kgs+ frame being a factor here).
  5. People and luggage carrying capacity - 6-8 people (2-4 adults and 4 children) and the occasional extra luggage for the short vacation trips.
  6. Reduced fatigue - Subjective & speculative, considering I have only had a few test drives which could not possibly be a reference. However, it is something that quite a few people seem to agree with.

In addition to these reasons, a comfortable cruiser decked with creature comforts has been a dream, one that I would dearly love to realise.

Now the parameters/information that I have listed for this purchase:
  • Provision to place multiple Baby / Child Seats
  • Major upgrade in segment - I currently live in C-segment-sville with the beautiful Fiat Linea (D), so the new vehicle is a huge step up in segment
  • Vehicle must have the option to carry 7 passengers and be comfortable for people of various sizes and ages to step in and out of.
  • Ability to devour bad roads / no roads effortlessly
  • While expecting the vehicles that will qualify for the above attributes to have exception handling is not quite reasonable, it would be nice for the vehicle to be as much of a drivers vehicle as possible.
  • Its gotta be a diesel.
  • Having a package similar to BMW Secure would be nice to have.

The number of vehicles that match the 7 seat requirement alone are limited:
  • Audi Q7
  • Land Rover Discovery 4
  • Mercedes GL 350
  • Toyota Land Cruiser LC 200

Alright everyone, I hope this information is good for a start. I have a couple of months to take this decision and hope that Team-BHP helps me make my mind up.
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:37   #2
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

TLC is the top pick from you list. Go for it you will never regret, or it has to be Q7 to ferry all the 7 people.
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:41   #3
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

Having driven the GL 350 in Ladakh over even worse road's, I would recommend that. Ride is pretty good, I am 6ft and was comfortable driving on treacharous stretches and it is well protected underneath.

The Audi Q7 is more of a road car. Rear most seats are a little cramped.

Land Rover Discovery is very good off road but I would like to observe long term reliability

Toyota Land Cruiser is the king of reliability but it is way over priced.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:09   #4
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobC View Post
Help. Advice. Information.

I am looking for all three from the members here to reach a decision on the purchase of a premium SUV.



The number of vehicles that match the 7 seat requirement alone are limited:
  • Audi Q7
  • Land Rover Discovery 4
  • Mercedes GL 350
  • Toyota Land Cruiser LC 200

Alright everyone, I hope this information is good for a start. I have a couple of months to take this decision and hope that Team-BHP helps me make my mind up.
That's a nice choice of SUVS to be spotted in. Of the four, my pick would be GL350 and LC200 in that order. They both would have been equal had the LC not been overpriced. GL350 is worth every penny you spend on it. Truly a great 7-seater SUV. Buy it and you won't regret it.

Peace of mind is only what you seek then get LC. It may not give you the German engineering, but it will certainly give you Japanese reliability.

Compared to GL350, Q7 has cramped rear seat, less cargo room and is quite heavy. The bad thing about GL is non adjustable second-row. But everything else is quite good.

Finally, take a test drive and decide. You can't go wrong with your instincts. Hope this helps.
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Old 16th January 2012, 09:25   #5
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

GL was the choice of a friend who is tall and has tall people in his family. Another friend takes it for longer drives and is very happy with its road munching ability. Donno if this helps, but both gets 10kmpl if you keep it below 120kmph but drinks if you are sporty.

Also, I was surprised at how manageable the GL was at places where I would go nuts with Safari ( reversing etc).

You should also look at a.s.s. IMHO. I think you get packages for Audi but IIRC,nothing with Merc. Merc service is present here but for Audi you have to take to Cochin.

+ 1 to Chevelle.
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Old 16th January 2012, 11:23   #6
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If you are in no hurry, i'd say wait for both the 2012 GL350 and the 2012 Discovery 4.

The 2012 Merc should be out soon in India and is a major refresh, as opposed to the rumoured refresh of the discovery.

The 2012 GL350 in my opinion looks amazing! its that perfect blend of class and power. Its great for your needs, and you can rest assured of its capabilities. I love the interiors on this one.

The Discovery 4 in my opinion, is the ultimate no nonsense vehicle out there. Great interiors - classy yet very functional; Rugged handsome looks; and supremely capable. As one auto reviewer did say " its three cars in one - an offroader, a people carrier and a luxury limousine ". The exterior styling however doesn't appeal to everyone.

The LandCruiser is a tad overpriced, considering the car you're getting at the end of the day. Very functional interiors, comfortable and a great drive. While there is nothing to complain about, i really don't think there is anything to drool about over here either :P

The Q7 is an excellent package which should tick all your boxes and handle the occasional bad roads you encounter with ease (I doubt you have any serious offloading in mind). The interiors are classy, and comfortable, though some say its not as big on the inside as it is on the outside.

I don't recommend waiting for the updated discovery because there are no solid data available on when this could happen.
You can get at least 3 child seats fixed in all these cars, but i haven't heard of an equivalent of bmw secure from any other manufacturer.

Considering my dad and I are looking into this same segment right now I have done a lot of research, plus being in the same boat as you, this is a huge upgrade from our current car as well. We are finding it very difficult to decide between the Mercedes and the LandRover. For your needs, if time is not a factor, you should wait for the 2012 merc and test drive the Discovery 4, Q7 and GL350 on three consecutive days. Pick whichever one touches your heart because honestly these are all excellent vehicles and it boils to personal taste at the end.

Oh and make sure you get the panoramic glass roof, all three of them have it ( the discovery 4 has three separate sun roofs, but thats basically the same thing). Its a major drool factor, at least for me
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Old 16th January 2012, 13:00   #7
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

Though I'd personally buy a Landcruiser 200, it would never be brand new. The interiors & the general feel of the Toyota just don't make you feel like you spent a crore on it. Sorry, but the LC200 doesn't make sense at the current price tag. It will be the most reliable though (and the Europeans will be quite the opposite ). Don't know how long you intend to keep this SUV, but suffice to say, you could hand it down to your grand children.

Is the 3rd row of seats a must-have, because you are letting go of a lot of amazing 5-seater rides. Personally, I'd be checking out a Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne. Reliability aside, these two SUVs blow everything else out of the water in feel & finesse.
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Old 16th January 2012, 14:19   #8
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Is the 3rd row of seats a must-have, because you are letting go of a lot of amazing 5-seater rides. Personally, I'd be checking out a Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne. Reliability aside, these two SUVs blow everything else out of the water in feel & finesse.
Wouldn't you recommend the Range Rover Vogue over the Sport? The Sport is a bit cramped considering the overall size, and the interior quality does not seem worth the price. Hopefully they would have improved on it but the Vogue feels a whole lot better. That is of course if he is considering a 5 seater.


From the requirements, I think a GL450cdi (which should be available) would be the best best. Feels premium on the inside, has good road presence, the 450 engine will take care of the underpowered feeling of the 350cdi, and of course the 7 seats are useable.

The LC200 again is a great choice, the only issue being that it is a bit overpriced. The new 2012 model which should be here soon seems to have slightly better interiors. This will be the most comfortable and reliably by far, and probably the most uninspiring to drive.

The Q7 too has 7 seats, but the rear 2 seats are pretty much useless unless kids are sitting in them.
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Old 16th January 2012, 17:03   #9
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Default Re: Premium SUV between 75 lakhs - 1.5 Crore

Hi ,

I would say GL350 CDI or the GL450 CDI ( if you have the dough).

Only reason - 7 "proper seats". I sat in the LC and let me tell you GL350 wins hands down on the rear most seat department. Also it ticks all the six points you mentioned. I get to drive a GL350 occassionally and Trivandrum- Cochin trips feels easier than Kawdiar - Technopark drive in the Skoda.

My choices would be

1. GL350/450 CDI - Spacious , Amazing comfort, But underpowered ( 350 CDI). OTR (350 CDI) - 76L

2. LR Disco 4 - Spacious, Looks good, and Amazing front seats and dash (similar to RR Sport) - OTR 67L

@Siddvish - Have you seen any pics of the 2012 GL. All I could find on the internet was a spy pic of the 2013 GL.

Last edited by artofzen : 16th January 2012 at 17:08.
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Old 16th January 2012, 17:48   #10
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Default Re: SUV between 75 Lakhs and 1.5 Crs

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiddVish View Post
If you are in no hurry, i'd say wait for both the 2012 GL350 and the 2012 Discovery 4.

The 2012 Merc should be out soon in India and is a major refresh, as opposed to the rumoured refresh of the discovery.

... For your needs, if time is not a factor, you should wait for the 2012 merc and test drive the Discovery 4, Q7 and GL350 on three consecutive days. Pick whichever one touches your heart because honestly these are all excellent vehicles and it boils to personal taste at the end...
Is the 2012 GL a major upgrade on the outgoing model? What are the major changes?

Secondly, I might be mistaken, but if I were booking a GL in a couple of months, wouldn't I be getting the 2012 version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Though I'd personally buy a Landcruiser 200, it would never be brand new. The interiors & the general feel of the Toyota just don't make you feel like you spent a crore on it. Sorry, but the LC200 doesn't make sense at the current price tag. It will be the most reliable though (and the Europeans will be quite the opposite ). Don't know how long you intend to keep this SUV, but suffice to say, you could hand it down to your grand children.

Is the 3rd row of seats a must-have, because you are letting go of a lot of amazing 5-seater rides. Personally, I'd be checking out a Range Rover Sport or Porsche Cayenne. Reliability aside, these two SUVs blow everything else out of the water in feel & finesse.
According to the Toyota showroom here, the 2012 LC 200 gets additions like cameras under the ORVM's, KDSS replaced by TEMS, and few other cosmetic changes on the interior. On road price for the top variant duly gets bumped up from 98.4 lakhs to a not so insignificant 1.20 Crs (approx.). There's no denying though that it would outlast 3 or 4 generations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
... Donno if this helps, but both gets 10kmpl if you keep it below 120kmph but drinks if you are sporty.

Also, I was surprised at how manageable the GL was at places where I would go nuts with Safari ( reversing etc).

You should also look at a.s.s. IMHO. I think you get packages for Audi but IIRC,nothing with Merc. Merc service is present here but for Audi you have to take to Cochin.

+ 1 to Chevelle.
Audi is planning to start their next showroom in Kerala at Trivandrum, while JLR will start their next at Calicut before turning eyes towards Trivandrum. But as you have pointed out, in the near future only the Merc and the LC200 will have service options in Trivandrum.
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Old 16th January 2012, 17:53   #11
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Default Re: Premium SUV between 75 lakhs - 1.5 Crore

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@Siddvish - Have you seen any pics of the 2012 GL. All I could find on the internet was a spy pic of the 2013 GL.
Oh crap i've made a complete mistake !! I"m sorry, i was referring to the ML while talking about the update

I have no idea what i was thinking
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Old 16th January 2012, 19:06   #12
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Default Re: Premium SUV between 75 lakhs - 1.5 Crore

From the cars in your list, I would pick the Discovery for sure. It is a no nonsense SUV with functional interiors and mindblowing off-roading capabilities should you need it.

Though I am a huge fan of the Land Cruiser, it simply does not make sense at the price it is sold here.

But make no doubt, reliability is still the best with the big T, none of the Germans or the Brit will be as trouble free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SiddVish View Post
Oh crap i've made a complete mistake !! I"m sorry, i was referring to the ML while talking about the update

I have no idea what i was thinking
Isn't the new 2012 M Class a 5 seater?
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Old 16th January 2012, 19:35   #13
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Isn't the new 2012 M Class a 5 seater?
It is, it is

I was always referring to the GL but for some reason i wrote that the GL was being updated when its actually the ML thats got the update.

This is why cars should have names not numbers, they stick in your head much better :P
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Old 16th January 2012, 19:38   #14
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Default Re: Premium SUV between 75 lakhs - 1.5 Crore

From the four choices, Discovery 4 and Merc GL would be good options.
q7 is good and has a great tourqey engine, but the space inside is not that good considering its size. If you really need space as said in your post q7 is not good choice for you.
Land Cruiser(LC) is way too expensive, and not worth the price. Discover 4 and GL also has reasonably good off- road capabilities as well, but ofcourse you are not going to take it for hard code off-roading. the latter 2 also has better creature comforts than LC. And considering both can be had for less price than LC, it will feel like money well spend.
Now comes sales and service. I dont know which of these have dealers in your city. But I guess toyota and merc will be there since they have the widest sales network among these 4 companies.
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Old 16th January 2012, 21:54   #15
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Hello,

Q7 and GL get whole new models later this year wait for them really both will be huge leaps compared to their current cars, I do not know how urgent it is for you but I urge you wait for the two, and I can assure you buying the new GL will be perfect for you, it comes with a host of quality upgrades and a lot better features makes its global debut in few months, should be in India end of the year or early 2013 will get you more updates on it in sometime.

Regards,

Quote:
Originally Posted by RobC
Help. Advice. Information.
[*]Audi Q7[*]Land Rover Discovery 4[*]Mercedes GL 350[*]Toyota Land Cruiser LC 200


Alright everyone, I hope this information is good for a start. I have a couple of months to take this decision and hope that Team-BHP helps me make my mind up.
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