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Old 21st June 2011, 19:11   #1
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Smile Used Esteem or Lancer for Modifications?

Hello all.
Firstly thank you to all the mods for having such a great open forum for discussion and to all the pundits here who are doing an excellent job of educating and informing a naive like me. Really words aren't enough to express the gratitude for this forum.

I have a very specific requirement/issue, so please would be really grateful for all the advices and suggestions.

I am confused between buying a used Esteem and a Lancer. It is for my younger brother who doesn't know how to drive and will be learning on this car. I had a Palio and upgraded myself Manza, hence I won't let him drive mine vehicle. I have the following specific questions :-
  1. Which is better amongst the two for modifications.
  2. Read in one of the threads about the MIVEC for Lancers can it be fitted on a esteem.
  3. I am not looking for the resale of the car, will use it to be completely re-vamped both performance wise and cosmetically within a year or so.
  4. There are few 2000/2001 Lancer models available for around 1.5L, which is within my budget. Should I go ahead and buy it.
  5. Apart from these two cars can you suggest any other car which can be used for a year or so and then be modified.
Thank you all in anticipation.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 00:40   #2
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Well, from your requirement I can see that you are looking for a performance car with good looks. Also a car that should look and perform better with modifications.

With your budget which is around 1.5 lakhs you will get a newer esteem as compared to a lancer. But performance and look wise lancer will score more than the esteem. Also esteem with make it even with lesser service costs and being easier to maintain.

Out of the above two, would suggest you to go for an esteem, though it will be lesser in performance and looks but it will cover up with reliability and hassle free ownership. HM support will not be as good as maruti's. If you are interested in the lancer then make sure that you find a very well maintained one.

Since, you intend to keep it for a longer time and modify it...you can also cosider an OHC if you can increase the budget a bit. The old honda city looks amazing when nicely modified, also it will bring honda's reliability. You can also consider a baleno, which should come in the same price range of OHC. Baleno though underrated is a very good performer and has good looks too.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 08:35   #3
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

First of all a MIVEC isnt an easy job unless you have the right tuners and access to parts. Doesnt come cheap too, look at sideways MIVEC lancer and you prolly will get an idea of what has gone into the making of it.

It would be wise decision to spend on an Esteem MPFI than a Lancer. The Lancer is a slow car and even with a FFE and other goodies it aint that fast. On the aesthetics part the LANCER scores any-day over the esteem. However part's aren't that cheap for the lancer and I dont know about the server network for HM cars in Pune.Esteem being from the MUL stable , sourcing parts would never be a problem and the prices aren't that high.

Quote:
Which is better amongst the two for modifications.
If its for looks then lancer, performance the esteem with its 1.3 engine is good enough. Not that you would be wheel spinning everytime in the 1st gear and doing speeds of 160+ on the highways constantly.

Quote:
Read in one of the threads about the MIVEC for Lancers can it be fitted on a esteem.
Nopes cant be and the MIVEC stands for MIVEC (Mitsubishi Innovative Valve timing Electronic Control system).Something developed by Mitsubishi Motors.
Quote:
  1. I am not looking for the resale of the car, will use it to be completely re-vamped both performance wise and cosmetically within a year or so.
  2. There are few 2000/2001 Lancer models available for around 1.5L, which is within my budget. Should I go ahead and buy it.
Dont make it an impulsive buy, take time drive both Esteem and the lancer compare spares pricing/service network etc.
Quote:
Apart from these two cars can you suggest any other car which can be used for a year or so and then be modified.
At a 1.5 lakh budget I cant quite think of another car other than what you have mentioned. If you have the money look no further than a baleno or a OHC if you are considering performance mods.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 10:15   #4
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Esteem IMHO. Easy to maintain, easy to get experts, easier to modify and mileage!

Forget the MIVEC part like rj said.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 10:30   #5
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

I have a 13 year old Esteem LXi which was passed on to me by my Dad, who bought it second-hand after the initial owner had used it for just over a year (and migrated to the-then City). My Dad used it till 2009, the year he retired, and gave it to me. He still drives it every now and then.

All I can say is, for the 13 years it has been with us, it's absolutely a no-fuss car. Great to drive inside the city, nicely built-in torque and acceleration for the zip in the highways, loads of space, wonderful AC, great all-around visibility, and good FE. You can't go wrong with an Esteem.

Haven't driven the Lancer yet so can't comment on it, but I feel the Esteem will serve you better IMO.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 12:50   #6
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

  1. Which is better amongst the two for modifications.
  2. Read in one of the threads about the MIVEC for Lancers can it be fitted on a esteem.
  3. I am not looking for the resale of the car, will use it to be completely re-vamped both performance wise and cosmetically within a year or so.
  4. There are few 2000/2001 Lancer models available for around 1.5L, which is within my budget. Should I go ahead and buy it.
  5. Apart from these two cars can you suggest any other car which can be used for a year or so and then be modified.
Thank you all in anticipation.[/quote]

Out of the two i would always go for the esteem since i have used that car for a long period and i loved it. You can play with that car, there is alot you can do with it. Lancer will turn out to be more expensive, eventhough there are lots of aftermarket products available for the lancer but then that depends on what kind of modifications you plan to do. I would suggest the esteem anytime compared to the lancer.
Apart from these two you can go for a zen, small but again is a car in which you can do hell lot of modifications.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 14:32   #7
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Well, Esteem turns out to be an unanimous choice. So if reliability, maintenance, getting a mechanic easily are the factors tilting the tables in favor of an Esteem, which comes from the house of Maruti's, should I look for a Baleno as suggested by Ravi, which (I guess) will have the same benefits as that of Esteem. Because really Esteem isn't my cup of tea. Have seen a few Baleno's within my budget.

Would love to hear from someone who is passionate about Lancers.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 16:21   #8
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

you are planning to let your brother learn(as in ground-up learn?) driving on this car, and then put performance mods later on?
umm, slight problem.
In this period it will be a learners car.
One year is a long time for a learner to mash up the innards of an engine.
(my sister did it to my zen..)
you should buy whichever is the cheaper one for the learning bit.
(this may be sacrilege, but maybe you could widen your horizons for a cheaper option, maybe a hatch).
then when you start feeling the modding itch coming on, the you can buy an even cheaper (compared to today) esteem/lancer/baleno, what not.
just saying.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 17:18   #9
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Since you mention esteem as the other choice I am guessing you mean a Petrol Lancer. Well Let me tell you its surely a rock solid car and one of the best drivers car for sure. I currently have one and there is no reason why you should even consider esteem or anything else. Mine is a 2002 model and there is not much that the car demands except a dismal FE. With 100% AC on and driving within the city dont expect more then 9 kmpl. And that too assuming you drive with a light foot. Let your brother first join one of the driving schools and thereafter I find no reason why you cant but the Lancer. If he drives safely there is no need to worry about any damage to the car.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 17:29   #10
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

If looks are not a problem, go the Baleno way. If you haven't driven it, please do so once before finalizing your car.
I would choose a Lancer simply because it still looks good to me. I dont know how fast the tuned Lancers can get, but I see a lot of them in North India.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 17:39   #11
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Well both cars are excellent in their own rights - However , since you mention ease to modify + considering the fact that a new driver is gonna use it - The balance shifts towards Esteem. Look wise and comfort wise Lancer would have the edge , but it is not what you call a performance car and not sure would be that easy to get performance upgrades

you may also Consider City/Baleno/even Accent.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 20:13   #12
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

@albatross

Exactly, being a maruti...the baleno will have the same advantages as that of an esteem(availability of spares, spares being not that costly, wide network of authorized service centres) Even though baleno is not in production, spares are not a problem. And its 1.6L engine is loaded with power. Also I have seen many balenos which are nicely modified and they look great.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 22:34   #13
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

I don't think there is any debate on which is the better car; obviously the Lancer. It's from a full segment above, is safer, has better equipment, driving position, low-end torque, ride & handling. Best part is, clean Lancers are available for a steal. Aditya picked up an immaculately clean Lancer for 1.5ish (IIRC, give / take 25K). Plus, in the current day and age, a Lancer will definitely not feel as outdated as the Esteem.

For all the talk of Esteem being more reliable than the Lancer, it's rubbish. My Lancer did over 100,000 kms and except for scheduled maintenance, the only component failure was the air-con compressor (Note : My Esteem got a new compressor too, and one that failed much earlier, in the warranty period).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ravi_23 View Post
the baleno will have the same advantages as that of an esteem(availability of spares, spares being not that costly
Hardly true. Many Baleno parts are expensive and not easily available either. Considering that the Lancer sold 10X more than Balenos in India, and for a much longer period, I'm willing to be that Lancer parts will be way easier to source. Remember, the Lancer is still on sale in India.
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Old 22nd June 2011, 23:03   #14
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
For all the talk of Esteem being more reliable than the Lancer, it's rubbish.
You are completely missing the point my friend. Read my first post carefully, I said with a budget of around 1.5 lakhs it will be very difficult to find a good condition lancer. Also it will be around 2000 - 2002 model. But one can easily find esteems of around 2004-2006 model within that range, and age does matter in any vehicle. Regarding reliability, I do not want to argue on that as both are really good machines but IMO a newer esteem will certainly have an edge.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Hardly true. Many Baleno parts are expensive and not easily available either.
Hardly true, I will not agree with this unless you provide me spare part's cost list of both lancer and baleno of similar parts...and show me which parts of baleno are costlier than similar lancer's parts. Also parts are available easily, unless you are sitting in some remote village where even cellphone network doesn't exist. To top it all maruti's service network will be better and cheaper than HM anyday.


I have no issues with the lancer, and I agree that its a good car. Its just that, with that kind of budget it will be very difficult to find a good one. If you can arrange one in immaculate condition then please help albatross by finding one
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Old 22nd June 2011, 23:06   #15
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Default Re: Help me decide between used esteem and Lancer

+1 to GTO.
I was a little surprised with the comments of a lot of people here. Now i must admit that i am a die hard lancer fan but there are a lot of reasons for it. First off the lancer is a car that's perfect in all aspects namely Drive quality, seating posture, comfort, looks , steering feedback, decent FE (i get around 10 in city without A/C and got a FE of 15kmpl on my recent trip to Goa). Apart from all this the car is rugged, does not feel like anything will fall apart even on the toughest of roads. So in my opinion its the lancer.
And for those who say that lancers parts are hard to find , i agree to some extent but this has been the case with cosmetic parts and not the mechanical stuff. Also spare prices are at par with Hyundai etc.
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