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Old 11th June 2013, 15:08   #1
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Default Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

I'm having trouble figuring out my next car. My preference is probably captured by the term 'hot hatch.' I'd like a well-powered car which should have high-speed stability and great handling. The car would be used by me for daily drives in the city which are moving across and parking at multiple locations in day. I would use it as well as for weekend drives with 2-3 passengers max. Budget is anything under 40 lakhs on road.

Have been considering a few options:
  1. Mini Cooper S
  2. Mercedes A Class [would have liked to have A45 AMG on offer though]
  3. Fiat Punto Abarth [is it going to be launched?]
  4. Import from abroad [seems like a hassle]
  5. Modify stock car [not keen on it though]
Any other ideas/options that I have missed? Any thoughts, advice and guidance from tbhp members will be very much appreciated!
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Old 11th June 2013, 15:50   #2
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

If you are OK with buying a used car, also consider:
- Octy vRS
- Palio GTX/S10

As far as new ones are concerned, look at the Polo GT as well. I would not consider the Mini Cooper, as it comes with an auto-box only in India.

p.s. - I am waiting for the Abarth Punto as well!

Last edited by KiloAlpha : 11th June 2013 at 15:51. Reason: Added p.s.
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Old 11th June 2013, 15:56   #3
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

The best bet of the lot looks like the mini cooper s or even the countryman, they are real cool cars to drive. You can also check out the Fiat Abarth 500, if it can be ordered with Fiat India.
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Old 11th June 2013, 16:35   #4
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KiloAlpha View Post
If you are OK with buying a used car, also consider:
- Octy vRS
- Palio GTX/S10

As far as new ones are concerned, look at the Polo GT as well. I would not consider the Mini Cooper, as it comes with an auto-box only in India.

p.s. - I am waiting for the Abarth Punto as well!

40L can buy approximately 40 Palio 1.6's
Look at the budget,for 40L budget it has to be the Mini Cooper S and nothing else.
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Old 11th June 2013, 16:48   #5
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by msbehave View Post

Have been considering a few options:
  1. Mini Cooper S
  2. Mercedes A Class [would have liked to have A45 AMG on offer though]
  3. Fiat Punto Abarth [is it going to be launched?]
  4. Import from abroad [seems like a hassle]
  5. Modify stock car [not keen on it though]
Any other ideas/options that I have missed? Any thoughts, advice and guidance from tbhp members will be very much appreciated!

Mini:
Ridiculously fun to drive. Not fond of the auto transmission. A manual would be welcome. Ride on bumpy Bombay roads is terrible. Great as a weekend car, though.
When I checked earlier this year, price was 39.90 on road Bombay. Must have gone up after the budget.
What you could consider is checking if they have a pre-budget/2012 car in stock and wring a nice deal out of it.

A-Class:
The stuff in India is hot only to look at. Very disappointing under the hood.

Abarth:
Interesting. No news on the Punto Abarth in India as yet though. How long do you want to wait for?

Import:
You'll have issues with service backup, parts, high insurance the usual. Plus the pain of going through customs.

Modifying a stock car:
Reliability issues, loss of warranty, falana falana

Others:
If you want to wait, you could wait for the 1-Series and pray that they get it with the 28i configuration. Though, if they follow mercedes, they would probably get just the 114, 116. Not the real juicy stuff.
The boring A3 is coming in 2014 apparently.
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Old 11th June 2013, 16:58   #6
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mango_pal View Post
Abarth:
Interesting. No news on the Punto Abarth in India as yet though. How long do you want to wait for?
And that should bring the VW new beetle also into the picture.
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Old 11th June 2013, 17:06   #7
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by msbehave View Post
Have been considering a few options:
  1. Mini Cooper S
Have you driven it? If not - PLEASE DO!

Its FUN FUN FUN.

Sure, the auto-box is, well, an auto-box. But in daily traffic, thats probably a blessing. And to be honest, its a pretty sweet auto box. I had no real complaints with it.

The ride on the other hand was HARSH, but that was with the 1" larger optional wheels. It might be a bit better with the smaller wheels.

The A-Class in comparison is all show, no go. ZZZzzz.

cya
R

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th June 2013 at 17:07.
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Old 11th June 2013, 17:12   #8
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandeepmdas View Post
And that should bring the VW new beetle also into the picture.
When I saw the Beelte in Singapore. I was shocked and appalled, it looks very similar to the Porsche Boxster. Hated it.
The Boxster, however is a very beautiful car. When its rear end is given to the Beetle, the eyes roll.
And personally, I always thought the Beetle to be a girly car.

Last edited by mango_pal : 11th June 2013 at 17:13.
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Old 11th June 2013, 17:59   #9
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

On your favourite driving road, the Cooper S can be as much fun as some 400 BHP cars. Take a look at our Official Review for all you need to know about it.

It's no contest. Please go test-drive a Cooper S. You'll fall in love. Don't drive the non-S version though. It's got a horribly lazy engine.

Best part about the Mini is, it works as an amazing city car too, due to the small footprint & light controls. Definitely has daily driver potential. Don't worry about the attention either, regular folk dismiss it for a modified Swift.

However, you might want to wait a bit. The Countryman recently got a ~10 lakh price cut because of local assembly (link (Mini starts local assembly at BMW's Chennai Plant)), and the Cooper is expected to soon become a CKD as well.
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Old 11th June 2013, 18:24   #10
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Best part about the Mini is, it works as an amazing city car too, due to the small footprint & light controls. Definitely has daily driver potential. Don't worry about the attention either, regular folk dismiss it for a modified Swift.
This is so true! The other day we happened to spot a cooper s while driving with my family.
Mom and sis had a look and said its such a well modified Swift.
Once I told them what it is and how it costs as much as a 320d in Bangalore all they managed to say was "It looks so much like the Swift though"
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Old 11th June 2013, 18:32   #11
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Mini Cooper countryman S as suggested by the experts over here. Would be in 40 lakhs.

Just curious, how much does a Boxster start at?
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Old 11th June 2013, 18:34   #12
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Ha! However getting a Mini mistaken for a jazzy swift is a good thing as it removes unwanted attention...

What about a Nissan 350Z or 370Z - I m sure one can get a slightly used, pre-owned example for 40 lacs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
On your favourite driving road, the Cooper S can be as much fun as some 400 BHP cars. Ta
It's no contest. Please go test-drive a Cooper S. You'll fall in love. Don't drive the non-S version though. It's got a horribly lazy engine.

Best part about the Mini is, it works as an amazing city car too, due to the small footprint & light controls. Definitely has daily driver potential. Don't worry about the attention either, regular folk dismiss it for a modified Swift.

However, you might want to wait a bit. The Countryman recently got a ~10 lakh price cut because of local assembly Cooper is expected to soon become a CKD as well.
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Old 11th June 2013, 18:49   #13
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Quote:
If you are OK with buying a used car, also consider:
- Octy vRS
- Palio GTX/S10
The only used car I would consider buying is a manual Mini Cooper S.

Quote:
Abarth:
Interesting. No news on the Punto Abarth in India as yet though. How long do you want to wait for?
I would want to wait a max of 5-6 months by which time I want to be sitting in my new car. My 2005 Swift has now clocked 73K and I'm getting a bit bored of driving it, although I'm very attached to it!


Quote:
It's no contest. Please go test-drive a Cooper S. You'll fall in love. Don't drive the non-S version though. It's got a horribly lazy engine.
I did read the review as well as take the Cooper S for a spin. The dealership drove me nuts however -with as many as 5 different people calling me asking me the same thing and cancelling TD appointments at the last moment - saying that they didnt know the car had to go to Pune/other centre in Worli. When it came to me, it was low on fuel and on time, which meant a tame 15 minute ride. Also, the sales guy who sat with me knew nothing about the car - even telling me I couldnt adjust the treble and the bass on the harmon kardon system. I'm going to ask for a longer TD.

Quote:
Its FUN FUN FUN.

Sure, the auto-box is, well, an auto-box. But in daily traffic, thats probably a blessing. And to be honest, its a pretty sweet auto box. I had no real complaints with it.

The ride on the other hand was HARSH, but that was with the 1" larger optional wheels. It might be a bit better with the smaller wheels.
I did specify for them to send the 16 inchers so the ride wasnt as harsh as I had expected - since I was expecting bone-jarring rickshaw quality. If available in a manual I'd book it in a heartbeat. Went to its india launch at the Delhi show expecting to book it, but super disappointed that it's only in auto. But, I think this is my only option - but - wanted to check on TBhp before moving on it!

Quote:
However, you might want to wait a bit. The Countryman recently got a ~10 lakh price cut because of local assembly (link (Mini starts local assembly at BMW's Chennai Plant)), and the Cooper is expected to soon become a CKD as well.
Wow. that would be great. Any idea of the timeline on the Cooper becoming a CKD?
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Old 11th June 2013, 18:51   #14
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Seeing as you are looking at performance, I think practicality comes secondary.

Given the budget and the options, it has to be the Cooper S all the way. With or without the auto-box, it is a fun car to drive. On a lighter note, I'd recommend setting aside some extra $$ for yoga classes to deal with that ride quality. Can't imagine what the average Indian road and that stiff set-up would do to one's back.

Also, as GTO pointed out, irrespective of how awesome the Mini's bigger alloy wheel options look, ensuring that you stick with the higher profile tyres could soften the blows.
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Old 11th June 2013, 19:12   #15
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Default re: Hot Hatch Wanted - 40 Lakh Budget. UPDATE: Mini Cooper S booked!

Check with BMW if they can import a 135 hatchback for you. That is my definition of a really hot hatch. A small RWD platform that is immensely balanced and capable and has a 300bhp/300 lb ft stonker of a straight 6 turbo engine. If you don't need the luxuries, just get a bare bones basic 135. I don't think the mini or any of the other FWD cars can even come close to the 135. Oh, and they will happily sell you one with a 6 speed manual.
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