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Old 28th June 2011, 14:50   #1
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Default Offbeat Buy - Used car for <2 lakh rupees

Hey all,

Some of you might remember me as the guy who went on Mitsu's Great Driving Challenge a couple years back and as the chap who was lucky enough to buy a pre-owned pristine Black Cedia Sports at a steal at around the same time.

Well, I've changed professions since then and now travel across India (and sometimes, the world) as a full time photographer and rarely spend enough time in one city at a stretch. I'm currently living out of Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune, Delhi. With the majority of time being spent in the first 3 cities. So I've shifted my Cedia to Hyderabad where my parents use it when am not there and am now looking for an offbeat drive to own here in Mumbai.

This car is more of an indulgence and fun buy than a serious purchase. That's why the low budget as well to ensure I don't regret it much later.

Here are my criteria:
- Budget: Under Rs.2lks
- Body-type: Sedan ideally, or SUV or hot-hatch
- Pre-owned only
- Am okay with ANY year of manufacture
- Drive: Fast-ish, refined (mostly), and comfortable with some sort of quirkiness
- Mileage: Anything
- I'll be driving this for around 700-800kms/month in the 10-15 days I spend in Mumbai/Pune
- I plan to own this properly for only 1-2yrs, and then leave it in Hyd again later. This is almost a 3rd car.
- I'll be comparing this to my Cedia mostly in terms of drive-fun, refinement and size


Options looked at so far:
- 2002-05 Sonatas. Especially the V6. Fast, comfy, quirky looks, but might be an issue with maintenance (not a big concern, honestly)
- 2002-03 Mondeos. Always loved this car, but spare parts might be a big issue. My concern: Will they last even one year?
- 1994-96 Merc W124s. Rock-solid, but I feel they aren't that fast and tend to well used
- Some other random things on four wheels

Lemme know more. And think out-of-the-box!
Cheers!
Joe
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Old 28th June 2011, 15:19   #2
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Default Re: Off-beat buy - occasional drive car under 2lks/MUMBAI

Buy a clean Mondeo if you can find one. My neighbour just sold his immaculate, very reliable Mondeo for 2.xx lakhs. This would be my first choice.

Honda Accord : The 1st gen that was sold in India. Fast, big, comfortable and reliable. You might need to stretch your budget by 50 grand.

Honda City 1.5 / Vtec : You'll see plenty. Only issue is getting one with low miles. Car hides its age very well, thus convincingly clocked back odometers are very common.

Palio 1.6 GTX : Great torque, lovely steering, excellent ride. You should be able to source an example for a low 1 lakh rupees. Spend 20 - 30K in refurbishing it.

Ford Ikon 1.6 : Even by current standard, extremely fun to drive. Torque'y engine, simple build.

Mitsubishi Lancer : An all-rounded sedan that's also fun to drive. Mod friendly. Plenty of 50,000 - 60,000 km examples around.

Ultimate sleeper for the budget : Black Ambassador with a 1.8 ISZ under the hood. Pimp it up and you have one cool, cheap set of wheels. Black tints, nice wheels and punchy ICE, you'll fit right into "the hood".

Good luck hunting!

Last edited by GTO : 28th June 2011 at 15:21.
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Old 28th June 2011, 15:27   #3
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Can I convince your neighbour to sell it to me instead?

Thanks for the leads GTO, am almost certainly off the Palio/Ikon/City/Lancer books cuz I've driven (and owned a Lancer) all of them several times and would love something more rare.

So a Sonata is definitely out of contention?
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Old 28th June 2011, 15:53   #4
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

How about a Forester . You may manage to get one for around 2.5-3 lakhs (but with high milage)
Positives
  • Great for driving on the highway
  • Good soft-roadability
  • Very reliable

Negatives
  • Spares are an issue and one should be ready to order and wait
  • Not so great FE (around 10)
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Old 28th June 2011, 16:03   #5
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Full marks! I always loved that car in fact, but finding one won't be easy.
(I can just imagine a new thread here: "Finding Forester". !! )

The hunt begins.
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Old 28th June 2011, 17:37   #6
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Hey ,

Have you considered the Elantra , sure it might fit in the Budget,
Don't know much about the car , so can't comment.

Cheers - best of luck!
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Old 28th June 2011, 19:34   #7
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_payne View Post
- 2002-03 Mondeos. Always loved this car, but spare parts might be a big issue. My concern: Will they last even one year?
There is a beautiful Mondeo (with rare beige interiors) in Bangalore but with MH registration. Asking price is higher though.
http://classifieds.team-bhp.com/buy-...d/Mondeo.html/
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Old 29th June 2011, 14:35   #8
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

There was a used Forester for sale on Carwale.com or something. Check it out.

About the Mondeo, spare parts shouldn't be extremely hard to find in Mumbai, but the prices will definitely set you thinking. However, as a driver's car, nothing comes close!
As GTO mentioned, do check out the Honda Accord. Though it is not a Sonata V6 in terms of looks and power, it definitely handles it a lot better and will be very reliable.

Apart from that, I am very tempted to suggest the Lancer to you as well. You would get a pre 2002 Lancer within your budget, with enough of money left over for some alloys and engine mods.
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Old 29th June 2011, 14:40   #9
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Hi Joe, if parts and over-all maintenance is not a big concern, you should be able to find a decent Vectra as well. Do consider the Indian Gen 1 Accord, 2001 -2002, great space, leather and Automatic as well.. good luck with your search.
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Old 29th June 2011, 19:35   #10
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Default Re: Off-beat buy - occasional drive car under 2lks/MUMBAI

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Ultimate sleeper for the budget : Black Ambassador with a 1.8 ISZ under the hood. Pimp it up and you have one cool, cheap set of wheels. Black tints, nice wheels and punchy ICE, you'll fit right into "the hood".
...
Loved that, black Amby, also could add Contessa to that list, though not that much practical.
Anyone having a review of the 1.8 ISZ Amby?
Edit: oops,forgot sidindica's Amby review.

Last edited by DicKy : 29th June 2011 at 19:36.
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Old 13th July 2011, 01:56   #11
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Ah well.

After even considering Seras, I've now resigned myself to upping my budget to accomodate Gen 2 Honda Accords (03-04).

I've shortlisted 4 of them so far, all 2.4MTs in Mumbai and will be TD'ing them this week. Reliable, not so exciting but nice potential for some mods at least.

The RS was an option as well, but after seeing the number of issues with Skoda (after 50-60k kms), am pretty sure I'll stick with a Honda.
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Old 13th July 2011, 05:34   #12
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Default Re: Off-beat buy - occasional drive car under 2lks/MUMBAI

Quote:
Originally Posted by DicKy View Post
Loved that, black Amby, also could add Contessa to that list, though not that much practical.
Anyone having a review of the 1.8 ISZ Amby?
Edit: oops,forgot sidindica's Amby review.
My Amby 1.8 ISZ can be found on the below link, I still own the car and it's doing fantastic.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...cs-pg-2-a.html ('99 Zen to '04 Ambassador Avigo 1800 ISZ EDIT: Pics on pg. 2)
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Old 21st July 2011, 01:46   #13
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Booked it.

A sweet Dec-03 Accord 2.4 VTi-L MT (2nd generation) with 48k on the odo.
Black (not again!!!).

Very well maintained car overall with a few niggling issues which the dealer is taking care of. I'll post a complete new car thread with photos next week.

Joe

PS: Driving it kinda feels like an overgrown Cedia. Fatter, faster, more comfy, more refined and not-so-zippy.
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Old 21st July 2011, 02:16   #14
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

Quote:
Originally Posted by d_payne View Post
A sweet Dec-03 Accord 2.4 VTi-L MT (2nd generation) with 48k on the odo.
Excellent choice ; how much?
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Old 21st July 2011, 18:08   #15
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Default re: Off-beat buy - Occasional use car for <2 lakh rupees: Bought Black Accord 2.4 MT

4L all inclusive (with comp. insurance).

Finished a Honda authorised checkup as well.
They told me tyres had to go (which I knew!) and pointed out clutch/suspension as probable replacements in near future. Overall, key mechanicals and engine are all 100% clean.

Minor issues like some bulbs, door latches, seat-belts etc are all being done by the dealer before delivery.


NOW: Am in a major mood to repaint the car to a very rare deep shade of electric blue - the US Accord had this option. Any leads where in Mumbai I can get this done?
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