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Old 24th March 2006, 23:08   #1
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Smile What is the best car to buy at 8-10 Lakh range?

Hello Friends,

This is my first post. I have been living in the United States for last 7 years and now planning to move to India on 1st of May, 2006. Finally I am getting transferred to our Hyderabad office. India now offers more opportunites than ever before.

We are now 3 (wife, me and our 16 month old boy) and will soon become 4 (yes - we are expecting the second one this August). Among lot of other things - like looking for an apartment to stay, shipping our furnitures from Kolkata, one of my goals is to buy a car at the earliest. I have been looking for different cars on the net, and could successfully confuse myself and now need your help on this.

I am thinking of a budget around 8-10 lakh (not a constant) for the car and would really like a diesel one (just because of obvious reason of price). Now if anybody shows me why petrol will be better (trade-off between savings and smooth driving), I am all for it. I guess I'll drive around 20 KM a day and may be after a year will start going for long trips (after the baby is a year old).

In US, I mostly drove Honda Accord. I love it. But, when I looked at the price of the same model in India it is just double the price in India. Toyota Camry is more than double in India and Mercedes is also just double the price. Though I like these cars, but don't want to be ripped-off knowingly.

Any help from you choosing the right car will be highly appreciated. Looking at the posts in the forums, I am very confident that you guys are superb and very knowledgeable about Indian Car Scene.

Sudip Kar

http://SudipKar.tripod.com
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Old 25th March 2006, 01:38   #2
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Chevrolet Optra Royale 1.6 VGIS. I think it fits your bill best. Costs little less than 10 lakhs on the road, but you can push for big discounts from GM. Alternatively the base version (Optra Elite) costs little less than 8.

Big, comfortable and good looking. Brilliant interiors. Loads of goodies to keep the wife and kids happy (sunroof, double din MP3 player, climate control etc). Good engine, enough to keep you happy if you prefer cruising to boyracing. The car is stable and solid at high speeds, and is great for highway driving.

20kms a day isn't much. You're much better of with a petrol. If you were doing 60-70 kms then it would be a different matter.

Go check it out and see if you like it. Chevy Optra is available in the US as Suzuki Forenza, so maybe you could check it out in Louisville itself.

Alternatively there's the Honda City Vtec, but I'll let Goldie sell you that one!

Cheers
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Old 25th March 2006, 02:43   #3
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Thanks a ton. I like your points and Optra. Optra will definitely be on my list. What's your thought on Octavia base models (more than but close to 10 lakh)?

But what did you say about Suzuki Forenza - is it same as Chevy Optra? I don't see these same (one is Suzuki another is Chevorlet and looks different) - am I missing something?

http://www.suzukiauto.com/sr_06/forenza/

http://www.chevrolet.co.in/content_d...dex_optra.html
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Old 25th March 2006, 03:52   #4
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Its more or less the same car and the US version has a 2 liter engine. Also some of the bumpers and interior trim are different.

You can also look at Elantra, Corolla, Cedia and Octavia. All these cars are sold in the states. The Octavia would be same as the 05 Jetta. Like Boom mentioned, the Optra offers the best value for money.
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Old 25th March 2006, 03:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sudipkar
Hello Friends,

This is my first post. I have been living in the United States for last 7 years and now planning to move to India on 1st of May, 2006. Finally I am getting transferred to our Hyderabad office. India now offers more opportunites than ever before.

We are now 3 (wife, me and our 16 month old boy) and will soon become 4 (yes - we are expecting the second one this August). Among lot of other things - like looking for an apartment to stay, shipping our furnitures from Kolkata, one of my goals is to buy a car at the earliest. I have been looking for different cars on the net, and could successfully confuse myself and now need your help on this.

I am thinking of a budget around 8-10 lakh (not a constant) for the car and would really like a diesel one (just because of obvious reason of price). Now if anybody shows me why petrol will be better (trade-off between savings and smooth driving), I am all for it. I guess I'll drive around 20 KM a day and may be after a year will start going for long trips (after the baby is a year old).

In US, I mostly drove Honda Accord. I love it. But, when I looked at the price of the same model in India it is just double the price in India. Toyota Camry is more than double in India and Mercedes is also just double the price. Though I like these cars, but don't want to be ripped-off knowingly.

Any help from you choosing the right car will be highly appreciated. Looking at the posts in the forums, I am very confident that you guys are superb and very knowledgeable about Indian Car Scene.

Sudip Kar

http://SudipKar.tripod.com

How about an SUV at this price? You get comfort, poise value, diesel engine and Highway comfort.

For 8-10 lacs you can have a look at the top end scorpio crde or Safari DICOR base models.


Both are Indian cars and are pretty good VFM models. you wont be getting them for cheap anywhere else.

I would recommend the more comfortable safari for a family but Scorpio is cheaper and lighter compared to the heavyweight safari.

For a sedan try to have a look at the hyundai ELantra crdi or Octavia TDI.
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Old 25th March 2006, 09:01   #6
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Nice!! Lot of info!!

I also did some more research on the ones mentioned here. My take so far:

Optra: So far my best choice with all those leather interiors, moon roof, climate cotrol, nice look. But I just read a bad experience by one boarder who had trouble with the new car from the dealer. I hope it is a stray incident. Also I read a news that Optra will have a diesel option in 2007. Can thate make the resale value of the current one less?

Octavia: A liitle too much for my budget. Seems 13 lakh is the base model. Is there any model near 10 lakh ( I heard so).

Scorpio: A very good choice and VFM for a SUV. One of the good choices in Indian car market and also love the thought of savings driving a diesel veichle in India. If the price does not move up when I'll be in the market, with all those new 43 features, it's a very good buy.

Innova Diesel G2/V: Nobody mentioned this one. I started liking this one very much. Any thought why I should not consider this one?

Elantra: Heard fuel efficiency is not good. No sun/moon roof. After seeing the sun roof on Optra, it has become kinda standard for me..

Honda City: Not at all a VFM. But Honda is always great.

Also can any of you tell me two more things:
1. How the insurance premium gets calculate in India and who are the major providers? Also how the claims get processed - any copayment etc. etc.
2. Is burgaining a standard in the car dealers? If so, how do I appraoch? (It's very standard in US and I know people getting deep discounts)
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Old 25th March 2006, 10:51   #7
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So you need a Diesel car.

Go for Ford Fiesta TDCi. Its the most modern diesel engine this side of 10 lacs in India presently. Gives good fuel efficiency, is easy to drive in city, and comfortable as well. Silky smooth engine. Or else, if you dont mind SUV's, you can chose between the New scorpio CRDe (with Lotus designed suspension) or Tata Safari. My pick between the two is Scorpio. And, if you dont mind Hyundai, then there is an option of Elantra, although its a bit dated now.
So, here is my list:
1. Ford Fiesta TDCi
2. M&M Scorpio CRDe
3. Hyundai Elantra

If you can strech your budget a little there is an option of Skoda Octavia TDi also. Offers superb performance,build quality and fuel efficiency, but downside is huge costs of spares and slightly cramped for space compared to other cars in the segment.

Last edited by DCEite : 25th March 2006 at 10:53.
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Old 25th March 2006, 12:17   #8
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8-10 lakhs.....

Civic - if you can wait a couple of months...

City - Vtec - but no safety features

Optra - a great luxury car with low FE

Innova - great vehicle if chauffer driver, little too big for city life, unless u r a joint family of 6-9 people.
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Old 25th March 2006, 12:34   #9
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I would suggest the Innova for you. Its very car like to drive and is a Toyota after all. You can go in for the diesel version. Will be also useful when you start your outstation trips too.

10 lakh should get you a pretty loaded model
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Old 25th March 2006, 12:50   #10
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Optra FE is approx 9.5 in city with A/C. I've heard of people getting even 11 kmpl, but my personal experience is around 9 (I've upsized the tyres, so lesser mileage).

Not frugal, but at the same time it's not too low, and if you're only doing 20-30kms a day it barely makes a difference.

Civic is great but will be closer to 12 lakhs I think.

If you want fuel efficiency at the cost of everything else, then look at Honda City I-Dsi

Innova's also really good if you want a van. Extremely reliable and good FE (diesel). You might find the size a bit much to handle in the city though.

Last edited by Boom Shiva : 25th March 2006 at 12:54.
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Old 25th March 2006, 13:05   #11
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At a price range of 8 - 10 Lacs i would suggest you to go for a Optra Royale. It has Sunroof, Leather Seats, Alloys wheels and is a very comfortable car. It is pretty high on comfort and FE is quite acceptable with the new VGIS. The Royale LT will cost you Rs 9.13L

Honda Civic wont come between 8-10 Lacs. It will surely come around 11Lacs and will go all the way till 13Lacs.

Quote:
Big, comfortable and good looking. Brilliant interiors. Loads of goodies to keep the wife and kids happy (sunroof, double din MP3 player, climate control etc
Buddy the 1.6LT doesnot have Climate Control, only the 1.8LT has it.
Since in the U.S you had been driving a Accord then you wont find the NHC quite comforable for obvoius reason. Therefore i suggest you to look at a Lower D Segment Car. If you dont like the Optra much for reason of it being a Petrol only i would suggest you to consider a Elantra CRDi as its a diesel version. Also with the amount you are running i would not suggest you a diesel as the maintainence of a diesel is quite high comapared to petrol.

Quote:
Its more or less the same car and the US version has a 2 liter engine. Also some of the bumpers and interior trim are different.
2.0L 119BHP just 4 more then the Indian version on the Canadian one and 12 more on the U.S version. Only the US-Canadian Version has 2.0L rest of the world has only 1.6 and 1.8 versions found in India.

I would not recommend a Innova since you are four people and such a huge car wont be logical to drive.

You will have to strech your budget a bit to get hold of a Octavia 1.9TDi which is an amazing car and fits your needs quite well as your children are going to sit behind and not an adult and where the Octy lacks is in the rear leg room which wont be a problem i guess. If your height is above 6 then please dont look at the Octy.

All the best for your decision. Do take a test drive of the following vehicles before you decide.

1. Optra 1.6
2. Elantra CRDi
3. Lancer Cedia
4. Octavia TDi

Last edited by BUSA : 25th March 2006 at 13:06.
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Old 25th March 2006, 13:17   #12
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My favorite car would have to be Skoda Octavia 1.9 TDi. If not that, then I suggest you look at the Elantra CRDi. Whatever might be said, I think that you are sold on a diesel and these are the only cars that I think will finally interest you.

The Optra is a good car, but I do not think that the fuel costs are going to enthuse you too much. Do try and take test drives though. You may unexpectedly fall in love with something that was not in the equation in the first place.

P.S. The Accord costs double here right? That is one reason why I do not like Honda in India. Or Toyota for that matter.
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Old 25th March 2006, 13:36   #13
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My choices for u :
1) Optra 1.6 ( VFM)
2) Lancer Cedia ( offers performance + comfort ). Resale would be a little lower compared to others but not pathetic. for eg : If u sell the car after 4 years expect a lakh(max) lower than other similar priced models which are doing well.

3) Elantra ( at 8.00 laks on road, its really worth it , even if the FE is 1 - 1.5 lower that others, its still worth the price u pay if u can live with the looks.
Hyundai has one of the best after sales service in the country.

Resale wont be pathetic, if u sell after approx 4 years, as it will always be higher than the Accent, which has a respectable resale vale.

Octavia is too pricey at 13 lak.

Last edited by Dippy : 25th March 2006 at 13:37.
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Old 25th March 2006, 20:45   #14
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Have you had a look at safari DICOR?

One of the most comfortable cars India has ever produced. And its a superb highway cruiser. Driving in the city might be a hassle.

Also look at the optra. It is better equipped and an equally good choice but more kit and equipment means higher price compared to elantra and cedia and lacks in FE to japanese cars. cedia is a good car but the more I think about it the more I hate HM. they have devastated what is overall a good car. Good value for money though and has good power and comfort. resale value wont be down by a lakh but will be close to the optra(cedia is cheaper so will be lesser a bit than optra)

octavia rider is the cheapest version of skoda octavia you can get but the price will be more than 10 lacs.

my choice would be safari DICor. Otherwise look at optra/cedia/octavia Rider(the cheapest version of the octavia)
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Old 26th March 2006, 06:48   #15
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Thanks all of you for so much information and nice responses:

devarshi84: I liked TATA Safari. But wife somehow doesn't and she likes all the others mentioned here. I guess she has the veto power..

It seems, Optra is in everbody's mind. I liked every aspect of it. But as I have been doing more research on it I could see some Cons:

A. In Hyderabad they have only one dealer. So I may have less burgaining power and become very much dependent for after sales activities (servicing etc) on that guy.

B. I guess Chevy Cobalt (http://www.chevrolet.com/cobalt/) is the comparable version of it and selling for under Rs. 6 lakhs ($13,490) in USA. It also has 145 hp 2.2 L engine. After knowing this fact, I may again become hesitant.

C. Not sure about its resale value, as I may want to upgrade in 3 years once the Merc India prices will get somewhat comparable to its US counterparts (now there is a BIG discrimination.. )

Scorpio is still on my favourite list. I'll also test drive Cedia, Elantra, Octavia TDi and Innova for sure.

Which one does look best?
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