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Old 26th March 2006, 18:30   #1
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Default Not really what car, but what price

Needing to upgrade from my small car, I started looking at mid-size sedans (the City ZX, for example), but am not happy with their interior space. I'll be hiring a driver, and then there's the family of four, and I like to travel. Once in a while, we may have to squeeze in the grandparents too -- your typical Indian family you see. All of these reasons argue for a lot of cabin and boot space. Of course, the primary requirement remains urban commute (40 to 50km a day). I cannot afford two cars -- one for commute and the other for family -- so SUVs and Innova, being difficult to maneuver in congested city traffic, are ruled out. Yes, I won't be driving the car to work myself, as (hopefully) a 'professional' will do that for me. Still, I think Innova (or, say, Scorpio) takes more time than other cars to get me to my destination in city traffic, because of all that ingenious lane-cutting and squeezing into non-existent gaps required to make progress on city roads. All these issues with the 7L to 9L cars seem to indicate that I should look at the C+(+?) segment: Corolla, Octavia, Optra, Elantra etc. I am also a safety freak, and these cars definitely seem to be offering better safety than the smaller ones. Fuel economy is important, but not an overriding concern.

Howver, to buy a C+ segment car is to stretch my original budget beyond the original limits quite a bit. When I began my mid-size car search, I set a ceiling of 10L on on-road price, hoping not to have to cross the 9L mark. Still, a price tag between 10L to 12L will not, strictly speaking, bankrupt me. Yes, it will burn a scorching hole in my pocket, but I'd pay my bills yet and have decent savings too, both now as well as in the future (salaried professional).

However there is another thought I'm tormented by. Whereas I'd be psychologically at peace owning a Honda-City class machine, these C-pluses seem intended for people of a different league altogether. When I look around, most of the owners of Corollas or Skodas seem to be at least in the second level of corporate hierarchy, but I am not there yet. Octavia, which I am in love with, is even advertised as a "luxury" car, and that upsets me no end. Some people probably would like to own these cars as 'status' symbols, but precisely that is what I don't want to do. I don't want to be perceived as making any statement of sorts with my ownership of a 'luxury' car, primarily because I don't have the commensurate 'status' to go with such a statement. I hope I am making sense to you.

What will you do in my situation? Do you think times are past when C+ cars are considered as status symbols? Please say so, and I'll head right to the Skoda dealer tomorrow.
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Old 26th March 2006, 20:20   #2
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used OHC, keep the change to rent a decent Indica to ferry Grandparents etc for those family drives out of town!

Incidentally, you'd be surprised how adept our company Tavera was at manouvering through traffic - I'm sure it was more the driver than the vehicle though. I've heard the Elite is pretty good , and absolutely does not indulge in any kind of classism that you brought up
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Old 26th March 2006, 20:49   #3
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I would say go for a suv,this is because when you need to go out a sedan occupies max 4 people + 1 driver.If you try to squeeze more people, than it can be bad for long trips.
Since you are going to hire a driver,it his job to drive the car in the traffic.
A big car will loose some minutes of your time as it wont be able to squeeze in the tight space.
Go for a test drive,drive a suv and a sedan both in crowded streets,and then see what you liked.
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Old 26th March 2006, 22:26   #4
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Originally Posted by conformist
SUVs and Innova, being difficult to maneuver in congested city traffic, are ruled out.
the C+(+?) segment: Corolla, Octavia, Optra, Elantra etc.
step 1 :SUV ruled out( coz u dont want one)

step 2 : from the options of cars u gave above, i will rule out Elantra and optra becoz of their so-so performance and mileage.

two cars left, Corolla and Octavia.

step 3: ruling out Octavia because it dosent have good rear legroom, plus u shall be sitting at rear seats most of the time.
also it wud be cramped when 3 ppl are at the back.

step 4: Corolla left, decent looks, nice FE, good space inside..
its a jap.. peace of mind..
book ur corolla with eyes closed.
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Old 26th March 2006, 23:33   #5
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no elantra, because its a stupidly priced car as far as i'm concerned. optra isn't all that good; octavia, i endorse what speedbuster said, yeah, the rear legspace isn't too great. which leaves you with the corolla; yeah, its ok looking, but there's a nice bit of space inside. good car overall, FE's ok-to-good.
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Old 26th March 2006, 23:35   #6
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Buy base Optra 1.6, it comes around 8.5 lakhs on road delhi. It's really not C+, as it competes with Honda City. That way you dont have to worry about status etc. yet you get the space you would get with Optra 1.8.
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Old 27th March 2006, 00:14   #7
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I would suggest a Skoda Octavia since one of your requirements is safety. And the Skoda's tank like build quality is unmatched by the corolla and the the Optra. I agree with speedbuster that the Octavia does have a slightly cramped rear seat compared to the Corolla or the Optra, but not by much. I think the Skoda Octavia 1.9TDI Rider is just about perfect for you. Its a very refined and silent diesel, so your fuel bills will be kept in check and since its a Rider, it does not have the appeal that the Elegance and L&K have, so IMHO, i feel its a perfect match for you , and if you don't like the diesel, there is also the petrol which is an equally good car.

And BTW, in no way are any of these cars going to take anymore than 5 passengers comfortably. If you need to fit in more people in one car, i strongly suggest you look at SUV's. Since you find the Scorpio and the Innova to be too big for your liking, i feel you should seriously look at Cheverolet Tavera, I own one and believe me its a real good car at that price.


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Old 27th March 2006, 07:29   #8
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With your requirements no sedan makes sense.It is impossible to travel with 6or7 people in a sedan.

Take an innova though it is HUUUGE it is not all that difficult to drive in the city. You will be delayed by a maximum of 5 min on a 15km drive. Innova is very comfortable too but for all the safety features you must take the top end model(V).The diesel is also extremely frugal i get 11.5kmpl with a/c in city and about 12.5-13 kmpl on highway with a/c always on and speeds in excess of 90kmph most of the time.
Trust me you will be extremely happy with an Innova.

Alternately you can try the tavera but it will not be as comfortable or safe as the innova.
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Old 27th March 2006, 09:52   #9
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if you really want to squeeze in a family of four + your grandparents + the driver, no sedan can ever do the trick for you, no matter how pricey ...

you need to go in for an SUV, and since mostof driving will be within city, the Innova should be the best bet - great engine, loads of space, good interiors and very low running costs for the diesel ..

and dont get bogged down by the fact that a huge SUV wont be able to squeeze itself in the traffic, your driver should be able to take care of it. if you take a look at any of the Qualis or Innova cabs, they manage to squeeze in practically anywhere and can cut through traffic like a hatch

though you might have a problem if you drive yourself ....

OT - is crumbling city another name for delhi with all demolitions going on or bangalore with breakdown of traffic system ?
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Old 27th March 2006, 14:19   #10
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I think your driver + a family of 4 and then occasional grandparents equation alongwith the once in a while long drives on highways tagged it all together. You do not need a sedan. period. Forget C or C+... you can go upto Z and spend a bomb but no sedan in the world will take in that kind of passenger list.

As quite a few ppl suggested, go in for an Innova. That is what you need. And since you can actually take that budget of yours upto 12L you should look at the Innova top end diesel (you won't need that full 12L even then). It is 'THE' car for your kind of ppl. Is frugal, has good performance and comes with loads of space. And yet inspite of all that cost somehow ppl won't eye you the way they will if you buy something like an optra.

@Goldie: Let me take a hunch on that crumbling city part. I think he is referring to Bangalore. It is badly crumbling, busting at seams and whatever other adjectives you can come with.
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