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Old 30th April 2012, 14:31   #61
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Default Mid Life Crisis - Automatic in < 17 Lakhs Budget. Will i Find my midlife love ?

It’s that time of the life when a person graduates from Manual to Auto Transmission for various reasons, but primarily for stress-free driving (to an extent). Having driven over 180000 Kms in Manual Trans vehicles in the last 11 years, my left knee was begging to take some rest since the traffic was getting from Bad to Worse to Worst to Ridiculous. Its Bengaluru.
My new job is further fueling this change, since I need to travel 60Kms per day (through the city traffic, JP Nagar 7th Phase to ITPL) and spend atleast 4 hours in the traffic. I could no longer drive the way I use to drive 10 years back. My stress level is quite high with the new Job and I really DON’T want to get to office in not-so-good mood with all the trouble one has to take to wade through the traffic. Im in people’s manager role and the last thing people want to see me is in a bad mood entering the office or grumbling with knee pain. All of this is making me lose interest in driving (something that I loved few years back). Driving has become stressful and drains the energy out. Enough of my ranting.

So the Need is clear. I need a new Car with Auto Transmission with a Budget of 17 Lakhs. Thats the stretch

I did fair amount of research and end up more confused. Im listing my requirements to help me navigate the ambiguity and find the one that would fit my purpose. Finding my Love to Drive again.

Requirements:-
1. Preferably Diesel car since the usage is more than 60Kms per day. But not hard bent since there are very few options in diesel model at < 17Lakhs.
2. No/Minimum Turbo Lag. I want to enjoy the ride and feel good without getting bored. Should suit both City and Highway trips. I want to feel Good and Energetic driving this vehicle. I want to look forward driving every morning to office.
3. Since I intend to keep this car for atleast 10 years (yes, you read it right), I would prefer a sturdy, reliable and easy-on-pocket vehicle. Vehicle that has proved it’s reliability.
4. 90% of my driving will be in the city with occasional 1000Km round trip twice a year. Basically a city centric car.
5. Ability to seat 5 adults comfortably.
6. Budget of 15 lakhs, but can extend upto 17 Lakhs Max.
7. No Pre-worshipped vehicle. Need bread new since my association with this will be for 10 years atleast.
8. Reasonable Mileage, irrespective of Petrol or Diesel vehicle.


Cars that I have shortlisted:
1. Ford Fiesta PowerShift Titanium +
2. Scorpio 2WD AT.
3. City AT.
4. Verna Crdi or Sx AT.


Cars I didn’t consider and why ?
• Vento or Rapid - I’m made to believe that auto gear-box in both are not upto the mark. Again, this is based on the reviews and I haven’t TD’d any vehicle so far. If this is wrong, please let me know. I will add them to my list of TD.
• Laura TdI 2.0 with DSG – Maybe out of my budget.
• Cruze – Huge turbo lag and not good for city driving. Is this true?


Verna comes with 4 speed Auto gearbox. I like everything about Verna except the 4-speed. Wish they had a 6-speed option. Anyways, for now this is in the bottom of my list.

My Dream would be to own Laura 2.0 TdI with AT. Even Ambiente/Ambition version is fine but the OTR is 17.5 in Bangalore. Bit of a stretch for me.

City AT – Tried, tested and a strong contender here.

Fiesta AT – I have read tons of review about this and love the car on papers. The Powershift thing seems to be as good as DSGs in Laura, but I doubt if this car can take 5 adults comfortably.

Scorpio AT – I just love the looks of Muscular Scorpio. I don’t know how reliable their AT box is, but I just Love this vehicle. Been my dream for long. I will take TD this Saturday and know how good their AT box and steering comfort is. It almost checks all my box + few more.


There aren’t too many diesel options is less than 15 lacs in India which is a bit frustrating. All we have is Verna and SX4. Petrol has few but with spiraling petrol prices and high usage, I wish to invest in diesel. But wait a minute, what if Diesel prices are rationalized and all subsidies taken out ? Will it then become more expensive to own a diesel ?

Experts/Gurus - Kindly help me with your valuable inputs since this is THE CAR that will pretty much take me from my 30s to 40s in my life. It’s very important that I make a wise investment.

Last edited by noopster : 30th April 2012 at 15:07. Reason: Please avoid using hard-to-understand acronyms like ANHV
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Old 30th April 2012, 14:45   #62
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Default Re: Mid Life Crisis - Automatic in < 17 Lakhs Budget. Will i Find my midlife love ?

I'm sure you can get the Laura DSG Ambition in your budget. There are discounts of 50k+ going on the car and its best you go to the showroom and find out. In that price the car is the best built, and has the best gearbox. Going by the Octavias the Laura will last you long.
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Old 30th April 2012, 14:48   #63
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Default Re: Mid Life Crisis - Automatic in < 17 Lakhs Budget. Will i Find my midlife love ?

You have 3 options -

- Stick to the current car if you are generally happy with it, but spend some time on Google Maps. See if you can think of an alternate stress free route to ITPL, even if is 10 Kms extra. My brother's office is at Whitefield, and he is plotting different routes to his office from the last few days (with visibly improved results). Who knows - the longer route might get you to your destination 30 minutes earlier and still save on fuel (low traffic).

- Hire a driver. You are not very excited about driving anymore anyway. You could perhaps drive only on your occasional highway trips.

- Buy the Hyundai Verna diesel AT (meets almost all your requirements). Even if Diesel prices are rationalized, you will still have the advantage of higher fuel efficiency
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Old 30th April 2012, 14:52   #64
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Default

The two cars which you omitted are the top two contenders.
Cruze AT and Laura AT.

Laura AT ambition as per carwale is 19.55 L OTR.

Cruze 6 speed AT is 18.79 L OTR. Turbo lag is a non issue on the AT variant as per what I read on the forum.

Verna has a four speed AT unlike the cruze and laura.

City AT is 11.64 L OTR, and has a 5 speed AT, if you are OK with the CITY being from a segment lower, this fits the bill perfectly.

Haven't read too many reviews about the Scorpio AT or Fiesta AT.

Even a pre-owned civic AT should suit you. Fellow tbhpian DOT bought a pre-owned civic AT, you may refer his ownership review thread, if the proposition interests you.

Last edited by F150 : 30th April 2012 at 15:03.
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Old 30th April 2012, 14:54   #65
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Default Re: Mid Life Crisis - Automatic in < 17 Lakhs Budget. Will i Find my midlife love ?

Well think about this option... if you get the city automatic you save about 7-8L vs buying a Laura AT and the interest that you earn on that money can be used to pay for the fuel. With the Honda badge what you also get is unmatched reliability and almost certainly a trouble free 10 years of ownership.

Besides I don't think diesel prices will continue to be so low over the next year or two.
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Old 30th April 2012, 14:55   #66
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Default Re: Mid Life Crisis - Automatic in < 17 Lakhs Budget. Will i Find my midlife love ?

I would certainly recommend the Honda City AT (but then of course I am biased - being the owner of one ).
Like you said - your diesel options are rather limited - just the Scorpio & Verna at the below 17 lac range. Both the Cruze and the Laura are, I think, around a lac and a half more. If you are able to stretch your budget by 50 k, I think the Toyota Corolla CVT (petrol though) is worth a look.
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Old 30th April 2012, 15:44   #67
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

The City AT is a great car no doubt, but why buy it when you have a larger budget? My advice; go for the Laura Ambition DSG or the Cruze AT.

The only negative against the Cruze is that it migth not be able to seat 5 in absolute comfort, but then every car has its minor drawbacks. The Laura might not be reliable or cheap to own over 10 years, the City will. But then it is inferior to these cars and is a petrol AT. Can you live with that?

It's very difficult to cross off everything on your checklist, but you can get something that will satisfy most of your needs. That something seems (to me) to be the Laura. Don't ignore it. If you get discounts (and you will), you'd be well advised to consider it. I am going to be in a similar conundrum as yourself in a year's time, and I know the Cruze, Laura and Jetta will be at the top of my shopping-list. Mull over it, those are three great cars.

Note that I didn't recommend the Jetta to you since the AT is available only on the top end and it is prohibitively expensive. The Laura is much of the same, ergo at a lesser price. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 30th April 2012, 15:48   #68
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

Harish how about the Civic A/T.
I have noticed you find driving to be stressful which quite frankly it is in todays conditions. May be you could opt for a smaller hatch back with a auto tranny rather than a sedan.I know i am contradicting my recommendation here (civic) as i am frankly biased towards it as i own one (m/t though) :-) but it's just that a smaller car will be much easier to drive.
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Old 30th April 2012, 15:50   #69
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

Thank You All.

@ Smartcat - Having a driver isn't an option since we/family had very very bad experiences with our past drivers.

@Akshay and F150 - I shall take your advice and TD Laura. Cruze is ruled out purely because of its price and i cannot seat 3 adults in the back seat comfortably. We have a Cruze in our family so very well aware of it's limitation. BUt i have to agree that Cruze has a stonker of engine.


@HKap and Wilful - City AT is a strong contender since it seems like an unbeatable package. Ford Fiesta AT seems better with 6 gear Powershift, but the option of not seating 3 at the back makes City a very good choice. And I totally agree on the economy part of saving 8 lakhs with City compared to Laura.

I shall be TD'ing all these vehicles in the next few weeks.

Any insight into Mahindra 2WD or 4WD AT ? Is this a reasonable contender ?
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Old 30th April 2012, 16:39   #70
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

I think you need to look at the Vento/Rapid AT option as well. The 6-speed slushbox is an old-fashioned torque convertor sure, but it is quit comfortable in the city and even for crusing on the highways- the only time you may feel underwhelmed is when taking off from a dead start on an open inviting road! I have done 22,000 km in my Vento AT and the build quality, ride and high-speed handling makes up for the lack of low-end grunt.

Otherwise, I would heartily endorse the Laura DSG. A dual-clutch is vastly prefered to a torque convertor and this one's a diesel to boot! The only reason I didn't opt for it is because my budget was constrained, to be honest. And Skoda A.S.S is a bit iffy.

There is nothing much wrong with the Hyundai Verna Crdi AT if you can get used to the boatiness at high speeds (I noticed that high-speed handling is not in your list of requirements anyway). Sure it's a 4-speed box but you should get used to that pretty quickly.

Honda City AT is also a great buy- the V-AT now comes with optional sunroof which gives it a very classy look. Unbeatable VFM when you think about it.

The Powershift Fiesta is the only other dual-clutch in this segment: you should deinfitely TD it, evn if it is only available in petrol.

It's so nice that AT buyers are beginning to have a decent basket to choose from these days!
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Old 30th April 2012, 16:40   #71
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

I'll suggest you the new City V AT Sunroof. The top end AT variant has almost all the major features that Cruze/Laura has and the paddle shifters should be quite fun to use and the interiors feels premium too. Having said that, if you can extend your budget further, I'd say Cruze AT is the one to go for... And if you don't mind a pre owned, you can also fetch a A4 1.8 or the 320d CE for around 18-18.5. All the Best!

Last edited by AdiSinghV12 : 30th April 2012 at 16:43.
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Old 30th April 2012, 16:41   #72
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

If you are ok with a petrol, why not consider the Altis?

It is supremely comfortable, and can seat 5 easily.It has a 7 speed auto 'box, so is a good highway cruiser as well. All this, plus the legendary reliability and good service that is a given with the T badge on the nose.
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Old 30th April 2012, 16:52   #73
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

Since the daily running is 60 kms, I suggest to rule out the petrol options.
Regarding the turbo lag on Cruz, I suggest you to test drive and check it, as even with so called 'turbo lag' it should be much more drivable then smaller petrol counterparts. (and when the turbo kicks in, it will be substantially quicker)
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Old 30th April 2012, 16:56   #74
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by harishpr View Post
Thank You All.


@Akshay and F150 - I shall take your advice and TD Laura. Cruze is ruled out purely because of its price and i cannot seat 3 adults in the back seat comfortably. We have a Cruze in our family so very well aware of it's limitation. BUt i have to agree that Cruze has a stonker of engine.
Since you are keeping the car for many years, don't you think it makes sense to stretch and go for a segment higher? Its something to consider. Had it been for 3-4 years then yes saving the 7-8 lacs and buying a smaller car would be better. The Laura is definitely bigger in size than the City, Vento etc etc and much better to drive especially with the 140bhp tdi.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdiSinghV12 View Post
And if you don't mind a pre owned, you can also fetch a A4 1.8 or the 320d CE for around 18-18.5. All the Best!
Not in Bangalore buddy, no way.
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Old 30th April 2012, 17:13   #75
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Default Re: Automatic below 16 lakhs

Corolla AT is just under 17 Lakhs on road. This is good, Toyota's reliability is legendary. I will add this to the list.

Laura AT Ambition is working out to a whooping 19.5 Lakhs on road. Im not sure if i can manage to stretch my budget so far. 17 Lakhs is a Stretch for me but nevertheless i will TD this vehicle.

Cruze LTZ AT is 18.7 Lakhs on road. This is a stretch but i will go with the recommendation to TD. Sometimes the driving pleasure can change the mind to stretch a little more to get something that i can love for another 10 years.

I have consciously opted out of Civic though it has killer looks. It's not the ground clearance but the low seating which breaks the deal. My dad has a slight physical challenge and he finds it extremely tough to get in or out of Civic. I tried this last weekend with my friend's civic.

I think i pretty much covered all the cars under 20 Lakhs for TD. I will post all my TD updates and keep this thread alive. I would need the car in June/July and will try to close all my TDs by mid of May.

Any update or input on Scoprio AT will be highly appreciated.

Last edited by harishpr : 30th April 2012 at 17:18. Reason: forgot to mention abt civic
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