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Old 9th May 2009, 16:48   #1
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Default Test Drive Day

Hi Guys,

I had sold my Palio some time ago.

I wish to forget that period of my life.
I pushed it more than I drove it
It had become a topic of conversation amongst family and friends.
I have been at receiving end of a lots of funny ones.
Let bygones be bygones.

I decided to test drive a few cars.
But one day before the scheduled test drives, I made a huge mistake.
I drove my friend's Merc, E 280 CDI.
I have been driven around in it many times but it was my first time driving it, and Sweet Lord ...
It was the most unbelievable drive of my life.

The backseat experience is ok. Its no big deal.
There's leather and stuff but no gizmos to speak of.
But pedal to the metal and its a revelation.
You can feel the power in the seat of your pants yet the ride is so soft.
The way it grips the road is fabulous.
As you can imagine from Palio to Merc is a jump. A huge jump.

Anyways, back to test drive day.
I didn't have a budget in mind hence the extensive list of test drives.
I wanted to be sure, really sure this time.
  1. Honda City
    I sat in the car that was in the showroom. It was so pathetic from the inside
    I didn't even bother with a test drive.
    I had heard that the interiors were not upto the mark but that was an understatement.

  2. Honda Civic
    She's a Hottie. I was really excited about this one. I dreamt of a white Civic with white alloys.
    Despite the huge number of Civic's I see on the road, It hasn't diminished its charm.
    I thought this would be the one.
    She's STUNNING to look at.
    Being a photographer, I had shot a Civic a year back for Castrol.
    I knew then that this was the car I would buy someday.
    The test drive changed all that. The low end torque is just not there.
    It feels dead. And it scraped its underbelly on the way out of the showroom.
    The drive wipes the smile off your face that you had when you saw her.
    What a letdown.

  3. Honda Accord - 2.4
    I'm 34 and a photographer. Even though the Accord has a corporate look I liked it a lot.
    Spacious and roomy in the back. Finish was alright too.
    But it felt 'tinny'. Like a huge shell thats not solid from within.
    It drove fine, the AT.
    The shifts were smooth but the engine felt it could do with a lot more grunt.
    Low end torque was nothing to write home about.
    And of course the big calculator type display. Its quite a shame.
    We aren't in the 80's anymore, Honda.

  4. Ford Fiesta - 1.6 S
    This baby reminded me of my Yamaha Rx-135 I had in my college days.
    It begs to be pushed. You can't drive it slow.
    It will turn Leonardo di Caprio to a Colin Farell.
    Scary performer.
    The interiors were better than the Honda City.
    It does carry of the sporty look, with the alloys and the spoiler, quite well.

  5. Hyundai Verna - Diesel
    The Verna is a wolf in sheep's clothing.
    Its ugly to look at, there are no two ways about it.
    That people buy it, is a nod of approval to its performance not its looks.
    The Dzire also seels like hot cakes does not make it a looker, does it ?
    But thats going OT.
    I could test the AT coz the dealership didn't have one.
    Its great to drive though i sensed a bit of Turbo lag initally.
    The interiors are pleasant.
    But its chassis lets it down.
    I never got a feeling of security. A bit skittish.

  6. Fiat Linea - Petrol & Diesel
    I know that after my Palio experience i should never have entered the showroom
    but there was positive feedback on Team-BHP and other forums so why not give it a chance.
    The interiors were quite good though the instrument panel is quite cluttered looking.
    The retro look is not to my liking. The finish was really good in most parts.
    I think most of us adjust our seats in any new car we sit in.
    I did the same and the seat adjsuter came off and into my hand.
    Which ofcourse, I handed over to the sales exec in the passenger sear
    The look on his face ... Priceless ...

    The engine was underpowered in the petrol. The diesel has more torque hence feels punchier.
    I drove both of them back to back.
    The boot is huge.
    If your're from the Mafia, you can definately hold a guy in there.

  7. Toyota Corolla Altis
    Nothing bad about this one. Just that it evokes no emotion.
    Its a safe performer.
    The dash is alright but the fake wood trims just cheapen the look of the car.

  8. Skoda Superb - 1.8 TSI
    Superb, Superb, Superb.
    No other word for it.
    Its not that great to look at. A bit gawky i would say.
    But the game changes on the inside.
    Plush and loaded. Solid built feel.
    This car comes closest to the the German trio we have in India.
    Quality is fantastic. Top of the line.
    Fit for a king, of a small kingdom ofcourse.

    The DSG gearbox is slick and smooth. 7 speed one.
    Never felt the gear shift ... up or down.
    Its goes beserk in Sports mode.
    Redlines all the way and is great fun to drive.
    Kinda Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.
    Never makes you feel its just a 1.8 litre under the hood.
    20.5 L on road Mumbai is a great price.

    Ofcouse I'm aware of the issue going on the forum but credit must be given where due.

    Car for car, it beats the pants off the accord. And great fun to drive too.

Now the question.

Should I go a used Mercedes - C200 K -W 204 - 2008 model -
5,000 to 9,000 kms used.
or a new Skoda Superb Petrol.
I have never driven a C-class but i just the love the way the new C looks.
Its pretty sharp looking in white.
How good is the c 200k ?
Will I miss the torque of the diesel ?

Carwale lists these cars at 24 - 25 lakhs.
Is that a good price or can they get lower ?
Of course there are people listing them at 27 and up but lets get real.
They don't sell at those prices.
The diesels are more expensive, ofcourse.

A Merc is a Merc.
Skoda can never get close to it in image but as a product its fantastic.
Please don't suggest a BMW as I am a Merc fan.
I know nothin of bimmers except that they come in 3 / 5 / 7 variety.
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Old 9th May 2009, 17:10   #2
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Oh, another 'choose a car for me' debate! Looking forward to another pitched battle of choices. Me, I'd buy the Merc any day, eyes closed - if I could afford it!
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Old 9th May 2009, 17:40   #3
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Hi SS,

The skoda is more loaded. No doubt.
It would even put the Merc E to shame.
Unfortunately no badge.

I don't have much experience in automobiles
and my car ownership experience has been tragic so far.
Its taken me a year to get over it.

I would rather travel in cab than push my car.
Public transport is fantastic in Mumbai.
And we have no dearth of cabs in South Mumbai,
or anywhere in Mumbai for that matter.
If not a cab then an autorickshaw or train or bus.

But I miss driving.

The E 280 put a smile to my face
so I thought why not ask ask the experts and go for it.
And you guys have opened my mind up to the diesels.

The E being out of my range, I considered a used C.
I have seen it at the showroom but no testdrive as yet.
People on this forum have complained that its too "Plain Jane"
hence the questions.

Mercedes have priced the new C exhorbitantly.
32L for the 200k.
34L for the 220Cdi.

Unless someone here can get me a better deal
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Old 9th May 2009, 23:19   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.K. View Post
Hi SS,

The skoda is more loaded. No doubt.
It would even put the Merc E to shame.
Unfortunately no badge.

I don't have much experience in automobiles
and my car ownership experience has been tragic so far.
Its taken me a year to get over it.

I would rather travel in cab than push my car.
Public transport is fantastic in Mumbai.
And we have no dearth of cabs in South Mumbai,
or anywhere in Mumbai for that matter.
If not a cab then an autorickshaw or train or bus.

But I miss driving.

The E 280 put a smile to my face
so I thought why not ask ask the experts and go for it.
And you guys have opened my mind up to the diesels.

The E being out of my range, I considered a used C.
I have seen it at the showroom but no testdrive as yet.
People on this forum have complained that its too "Plain Jane"
hence the questions.

Mercedes have priced the new C exhorbitantly.
32L for the 200k.
34L for the 220Cdi.

Unless someone here can get me a better deal
Go for the Superb.
I agree that a lot of friends here had faced issues with this brand.But that has to do more with the un-ethical Service centre thugs and not the car in itself.I have driven a superb and would have purchased one right away if I had the money.Just make sure you have the right service guys to take this beauty to post purchase for service.
Wishing you all the best with whatever choice you make.

Have fun driving
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Old 9th May 2009, 23:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A.K. View Post
I would rather travel in cab than push my car.
Seems your budget is in the 20-25L range. And you're interested in a pre-owned Merc C or a new Skoda Superb. Not a Camry, nor Accord.

So why do you want to push a new car as well as go bankrupt, if you can drive a pre-owned car that'll cost you less to maintain in the long run and feel like it can drive on for ever?

QED.
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Old 9th May 2009, 23:43   #6
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Go through the skoda threads here, to check the A.S.S experiences.
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Old 10th May 2009, 09:09   #7
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A superb is ok if you stick with JMD for service
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Old 10th May 2009, 09:21   #8
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Hows about the new Audi A4 1.8TFSI with the superb's petrol engine.
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Old 10th May 2009, 11:39   #9
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The superb is unbeatable. Id recommend it eyes closed if not for Skodas disgusting behaviour with customers. I can understand that some service centres were at fault, but shouldnt Skoda take the customers side (or at least the side who is 'right'). Anyone can see that arguing with a customer so far so as to go to court and then continue to appeal when lost isnt getting anywhere in terms of customer service.

And just for that, cancel it out. So Merc it should be.
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Old 10th May 2009, 17:29   #10
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Benz will get you amazing customer satisfaction. However there is no arguing the fact that the maintainance will be astronomical (even as compared to the Skoda). The c is amazing, however the C200 Komp. is under equipped. You will miss the Diesel grunt but it is not under powered per say. However, it will be cheaper to purchase as the petrol's value falls rapidly ( specially in the first 2-3 years). The skoda seems to be a good bet if you stick to JMD. The benz will get the class, but i cant bring myself to shell out that much money for a car and then stick my hands out to pull the mirrors in. Shame really, it looks so hot. Why don't you try for the 3 series. I got the A4 and am very happy with the same, it's resale prices are way lower than The Benz or the BHimmer as of now, maybe you can get one at a good price. I expect it to hold its own in a couple of years as the brand building continues, as it is i see a lot more A4's and Q7s on the road today than i saw a few months back.
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Old 10th May 2009, 18:50   #11
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id say go for the VFM package.
Buy a Toyota and u will never push it in ur life
as mentioned earlier Fiesta also is a killer of a deal.
Not to mention the upcoming cruze from Chevy which may be of some interest to you.
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Old 10th May 2009, 22:43   #12
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Oh come on, you know you want the Superb or the Benz. Go for it!!
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Old 10th May 2009, 23:02   #13
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why not a used old gen superb. (diesel/petrol you decide)
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Old 11th May 2009, 02:23   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alter_Ego View Post
Go for the Superb.
I agree that a lot of friends here had faced issues with this brand.But that has to do more with the un-ethical Service centre thugs and not the car in itself.I have driven a superb and would have purchased one right away if I had the money.Just make sure you have the right service guys to take this beauty to post purchase for service.
Wishing you all the best with whatever choice you make.

Have fun driving
I think the Superb is a great buy too.
Its just that I have been Merc fan and its seems within reach now.
A preowned C that is.
Lots of people have complain about its lack of equipment hence the doubts.


Quote:
Originally Posted by arindamray View Post
Go through the skoda threads here, to check the A.S.S experiences.
I have gone through the forum and read many pages of the Skoda thread.
Not all of it though.
My Palio didn't really boast of great A.S.S. either though the car did shut with a thud

Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat View Post
A superb is ok if you stick with JMD for service
Thanks Ajmat. An opinion of which of the two would be a better buy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vid6639 View Post
Hows about the new Audi A4 1.8TFSI with the superb's petrol engine.
Vid, though I'm not sure about the pricing, it might get to 30+L on road approx. That's a lil beyond by budget. I don't want to go beyond 20-23L.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Takumi-san View Post
The superb is unbeatable. Id recommend it eyes closed if not for Skodas disgusting behaviour with customers. I can understand that some service centres were at fault, but shouldnt Skoda take the customers side (or at least the side who is 'right'). Anyone can see that arguing with a customer so far so as to go to court and then continue to appeal when lost isnt getting anywhere in terms of customer service.

And just for that, cancel it out. So Merc it should be.
I don't want to comment on the Skoda issue though I wish the aggrieved party does get a quick resolution.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redeff View Post
Benz will get you amazing customer satisfaction. However there is no arguing the fact that the maintainance will be astronomical (even as compared to the Skoda). The c is amazing, however the C200 Komp. is under equipped. You will miss the Diesel grunt but it is not under powered per say. However, it will be cheaper to purchase as the petrol's value falls rapidly ( specially in the first 2-3 years). The skoda seems to be a good bet if you stick to JMD. The benz will get the class, but i cant bring myself to shell out that much money for a car and then stick my hands out to pull the mirrors in. Shame really, it looks so hot. Why don't you try for the 3 series. I got the A4 and am very happy with the same, it's resale prices are way lower than The Benz or the BHimmer as of now, maybe you can get one at a good price. I expect it to hold its own in a couple of years as the brand building continues, as it is i see a lot more A4's and Q7s on the road today than i saw a few months back.
Hi Redeff, I read the complete thread about your A4 buy and is was a great read. As far as I remember you paid 33.5L on road for your A4. Thats stretching it a bit for me.
Are the carwale figures, mentioned in my earlier post, alright ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinaydas View Post
id say go for the VFM package.
Buy a Toyota and u will never push it in ur life
as mentioned earlier Fiesta also is a killer of a deal.
Not to mention the upcoming cruze from Chevy which may be of some interest to you.
I did try the Altis but not the Camry, which I feel is overpriced.
I lacks 'character' - for want of a better word.
Safe buy but not for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cooldude1988765 View Post
why not a used old gen superb. (diesel/petrol you decide)
If Superb, I want to buy it new.
There's something about a new car.
I will only consider a pre-owned Merc coz the new ones are stratospherically priced. I wont consider any other brand pre-owned.
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Old 11th May 2009, 09:56   #15
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Try a second hand A4 if you get your hands on one. It's good.

It's a fact that the Superb's maintainace might kill you, though they have got maintainace packages now i think.

On the other hand the benz's maintainance will surely kill you if star care is not opted for
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