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Old 5th May 2014, 19:30   #16
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I would not suggest a 2000 model Baleno primarily:
1) The car would need quite a few expensive part changes.
2) Low GC would scrape the fun part.
3) Being on the coast it would be prone to rusting.
4) Service parts are expensive and not easily available.

But from the shortlist you ahve put up, it still makes for the most compelling contender. And I know what I am talking about as my Dad owns a 2006 Baleno which has done about 1,10,000 Kms and still going strong. Even with a driver, hill roads it gives about 16 kmpl. The only grouse the steering fluid is leaking and MASS is asking for the whole unit to be replaced.
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Old 5th May 2014, 20:37   #17
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
Hi GTO, We have a 1986-Maruti 800 which is also running fine - that's the car I learnt my driving on and which I use for most stuff now. It however needs a *lot* of body work (estimates are Rs. 15-20k) and my parents and I are all agreed that it would be tempting fate to take it out on a 14 km run one-way on a regular basis (for my office). My mother has a 1 year old VW Polo but I don't want to spoil it with erratic gear shift and novice dents.

That's why I decided to buy a cheap sedan until 2016 or 2017 when I would buy a new sedan. Actually I did consider a WagonR but that won't help me get used to sedan-like dimensions while driving / parking, hence the intent to buy a used sedan. This is just something temporary to absorb the "punishment" till I get my driving skills honed. Otherwise after 3 years I'll be hesitant to buy a new Honda City / Toyota Corolla.
Well you will be in for similarly expensive maintenance hits with a Baleno. Simply buy a cheap used hatchback and learn how to confidently chuck it about everywhere. I myself spent my learning days in a hatchback and an old jeep (sorry I dont know much about them; the gears slotted in different lengths, driving in top gear meant i had to move my left leg, it had a heater button or something like that which I had to hold for a while before starting it, and steering that thing was a workout for the scrawny kid that I was) and then went straight up to a D2 segment car. People all around me have given nothing but compliments on my driving abilities. To go both smooth and steady as well as fast when needed. I still manage to fit my car through places that even most guys in hatchbacks get afraid of What I am saying is that if you have it in you to learn how to drive well, then whether you learn on a small hatchback or a sedan, it wont matter; you will soon be able to tackle anything

As a reliable car to learn and abuse, simply buy a wagon r or as gto mentioned, a spark if you find one.
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Old 5th May 2014, 21:08   #18
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
Thank you all.
=========
Based on your responses I'll hire a professional mechanic and check out some of these cars.
The Spares for Baleno are expensive as they are imported and made In Japan but the life of the Spares are also double than a MGP(Maruti Genuine Parts), hence costs more. Considering the factor that you go for a less run Baleno which is well maintained, you will not feel the pinch of the spares unless the car has lot of repairs, get the Car checked thoroughly before deciding on it, consider what spares might require a change, further you can even consider the fact as to which car is more comfortable for you to drive and gives you the pleasure of driving and the Smile on your face when you are driving it, all these factors matter when You buy a car not only the costs involved(ofcourse this is also a practical consideration). Ford definitely will create bigger holes compared to a Baleno, also consider the fact about After Sales Service and reliability of the Car. Baleno is definitely reliable. I have seen couple of Baleno's which have run more than 100K & 150K and are still the best machines. Ultimately consider a Car on More aspects than just costs involved. Thats what I would suggest you, let the Money you spend give you peace of Mind and Smile when You drive.
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Old 5th May 2014, 21:24   #19
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Firstly, Kolkata is not coastal. It has the Ganges, which is a river and the nearest sea is about 200 kms from here. So if a car is maintained well it would not have rust issues.

Secondly, Baleno is an awesome car but parts availability is a hit or miss. If you looking for SGP parts, it will be very expensive and hard to find. However there are alternatives in the market and also Mullick Bazar where you can get anything you want. However saying from experience, some M.A.S.S do keep parts as well.

Its very difficult to find a good Baleno in Kolkata, since not many were sold here. There is a good availability of esteems and its spares in the market, and its a hoot to drive as well. Since you say that you are a novice, I do not think you would be unhappy owning one and its available in different ranges depending on the year.
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Old 6th May 2014, 00:25   #20
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

My view is that start small - with a fun peppy single owner hatchback. That will be much more useful in Kolkata traffic than a Baleno. Believe me, I had issues parking my DL registered Innova in some places of Kolkata, and sorely missed having a hatchback.
Besides, with a lighter car, you will have quicker acceleration , an absolute must for choked street intersections and red lights, when you absolutely have to move ahead to save the next 10 minutes.
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Old 6th May 2014, 09:52   #21
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R
I did consider a WagonR but that won't help me get used to sedan-like dimensions while driving / parking, hence the intent to buy a used sedan.
The above seems to summarise your basic intent for buying a used-sedan. That is, getting used to sedan dimensions, being a current small-car driver. But while it does look like a big deal to get used to the bigger dimensions, in reality it really isn't. The initial days/weeks might feel difficult or different with a sedan, but then you will get used to it in no time. I was driving only an M800 from 1985 till 2005 when I bought the Baleno and my wife still kids me about how nervously I drove the Baleno from the showroom to home - all worried about any bike/car that even comes few metres near the car. But that was just for the initial weeks and then the Baleno was as comfy as the M800 was.

So, if you are buying a very old sedan (with various potential issues that could come with it) just because you want to get used to a sedan that you plan to buy 3 years from now, I don't think it is worth it. In fact if things go wrong and you end up with reliability/maintenance issues, it would be unnecessary trouble you invite upon yourself. I suggest you drop the idea and instead start using the Polo which is almost close to sedan-width.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R
We have a 1986-Maruti 800 which is also running fine - that's the car I learnt my driving on and which I use for most stuff now. It however needs a *lot* of body work (estimates are Rs. 15-20k) and my parents and I are all agreed that it would be tempting fate to take it out on a 14 km run one-way on a regular basis
Was this bought new ie. were you the first owner ? If so, it would indeed be a better idea to spend and bring this baby back to shape, given that it is a car you know for close to 28 years now and thus a better bet than a 14 year old car whose history you have no idea of. We had a 1985 M800 which we sold off after 19 years in 2004. Nice car.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 6th May 2014 at 09:55.
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Old 6th May 2014, 16:08   #22
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post

Was this bought new ie. were you the first owner ? If so, it would indeed be a better idea to spend and bring this baby back to shape, given that it is a car you know for close to 28 years now and thus a better bet than a 14 year old car whose history you have no idea of. We had a 1985 M800 which we sold off after 19 years in 2004. Nice car.
Yes, my parents' first new car; I think they had a 3 year wait period from booking plus six months to have the delivery transferred to Bangalore. As far as I remember many of the plastic parts used to have 'Made in Japan' inscribed. The only major changes have been a carburettor change and a half-engine replacement two years ago.

Now the body's badly rusting with holes in several places, the panels looks terrible and the roof lining is coming off. Father's very keen to sell it off if it were not for the Rs 15k road tax he paid last year.
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Old 6th May 2014, 16:55   #23
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
I have an offer for a Baleno Std (make 2000) from a second owner quoting at Rs. 85k. The mileage is 82k. What are your thoughts on this car?

I plan to use it for 35 kms a day in the city.

Is it easy to run and maintain for a novice driver?
Are spares a problem? What sort of mileage can I expect? Is the quote ok enough to merit serious consideration?

Thank you.
Thoughts of an ex-owner:
Avoid the baleno because of the higher cost of maintenance. On an average a 5k service would set you back by 7-8k because there would some part which would require replacement, this could be wheel bearing, lower arm, engine mounts.. They don't come cheap and the quality of SGP is a big question mark from my experience. Parts take a while to ship, (e.g.) MASS gave a time estimate of 45-60 days to repair my baleno which met with a minor accident last year, I sold off the car eventually.

The esteem as a cheap fast ride make utmost sense, parts are cheap and easy to come by. You could thrash it out on the roads without fearing the cost of spares.

If you need a baleno at any cost, be prepared to spend 2-2.5 lakhs and pick a specimen which has done between 30-50k kilometres, hard to come by

Mileage of baleno:
City - 11-12kmpl with AC
Highway - 16-17kmpl with AC

It is one of the most reliable cars I've come across, it has never let me down.
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Old 6th May 2014, 17:08   #24
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Bean View Post
Thoughts of an ex-owner:
Avoid the baleno because of the higher cost of maintenance. On an average a 5k service would set you back by 7-8k because there would some part which would require replacement, this could be wheel bearing, lower arm, engine mounts.. They don't come cheap and the quality of SGP is a big question mark from my experience. Parts take a while to ship, (e.g.) MASS gave a time estimate of 45-60 days to repair my baleno which met with a minor accident last year, I sold off the car eventually.
I cannot agree to this. I had a Baleno which I drove for 50000 Kms in 3 years and it was dirt cheap to maintain. It had seen all kinds of roads from West Bengal to the Himalayas to Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh. I never had to change a single part in those 3 years except for a tie rod which was bent due to the service centre not putting the mounts properly before jacking up the car. The steering rack was changed under warranty due to a rattling sound and I did not have to pay a penny. I sold it to friend in Bangalore who drove another 30K kilometres without any problem before selling of the car as he got transferred. The Baleno is the most reliable car I have driven till date. Currently I have an Esteem and it is very reliable as well, but overall feel of driving a Baleno is much better than that of the Esteem.
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Old 6th May 2014, 19:26   #25
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I second black Pearl on the cost of maintenance. Baleno is a very well built car and very very sturdy. But yes age does show up and when it comes to part they are expensive, at least feel so because of the cheap maruti parts perception, otherwise they are comparable to the other spare part costs.
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Old 6th May 2014, 21:56   #26
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Given that the Esteem sold much more & with MGP parts easily available, it makes more sense if at all the OP wants to have a sedan-experience. A 14-year old Baleno with costly SGP spares does not make a viable proposition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr_Bean
On an average a 5k service would set you back by 7-8k because there would some part which would require replacement, this could be wheel bearing, lower arm, engine mounts.
Since the Maruti-specified scheduled service interval for the Baleno is 10K kms, the mention of "5K" above makes me think you possibly did the service at MASS where the dealers try to make customers believe that the car needs to come in every 5K kms for service/checkup and make money. And what I have learnt is that one should stick with MASS only till the warranty is in force. After that say goodbye to them and find a good local mechanic, because the other name for fleecing-agents is MASS. At the 3rd year / 30K km service of my Baleno, they told me that the brakes are weak and need change of pads/shoes. The car is 9 years old and done 75K kms and I am still running the original pads with the braking as good as when car was new. One of the rear drum-brakes was changed at 60K km service or so.

My total maintenance expense for the car at the 70000km / 8-year milestone was 45000Rs which included cost of 9 scheduled services, all unscheduled repairs, 2 batteries, puncture-fixes, basically any paise spent on the car other than fuel. That is just about 5600Rs a year. Details here.
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Old 7th May 2014, 00:42   #27
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Why don't you test drive some sedans and check if you really have a problem getting used to the size. If you are confident with the size, you can actually book one right away rather than waiting for few years.

Last edited by Voyager-1 : 7th May 2014 at 00:45.
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Old 7th May 2014, 07:35   #28
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Small update guys...I went to check out the Baleno for what it was worth along with a trusted mechanic. After a 25 minute check including a solo drive, his opinion was that the engine was making a strange sound in higher gears, there was some major rust holes in the dicky and floor which needed work, tyres were in bad shape and the car was not worth more than 50k (very confidently) esp as road tax + renewal would be required in 2015. He also mentioned that a comprehensive mechanical check would take a day and cost me Rs 1k + about 1k for some parts. As the owner was asking for Rs 85k, this did not sit well with him although I did sense that he had put the car on the market since Jan and it was unsold till now so bit of urgency.

There are no other Balenos I know of.. so it seems my next evaluation will be a couple of Ford Ikons next week after election. Having read the replies above Im seriously considering getting a WagonR or an Esteem.
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Old 7th May 2014, 13:42   #29
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Hi mate, a year back I started a search for a used car under 2 lacs, ended up buying a 2004 Fiat Adventure for 90k Rs.
The car has served me exceedingly well, being run 6 days a week.
The only issue which I faced thus far was that the thermostat had rusted away after 10 years.
Like many have suggested it would be best to go for a used hatchback of a newer age, as all the cars mentioned are indeed quite huge gas guzzlers.
That said however, if a clean record car comes your way, do take it!
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Old 7th May 2014, 13:48   #30
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
Actually I did consider a WagonR but that won't help me get used to sedan-like dimensions while driving / parking, hence the intent to buy a used sedan. This is just something temporary to absorb the "punishment" till I get my driving skills honed. Otherwise after 3 years I'll be hesitant to buy a new Honda City / Toyota Corolla.
If your sole intention in going with Sedan is to get used to the Sedan-like dimensions then IMO you need to rethink. With the advent of new technology, rear parking cameras and sensors, driving or rather say parking/reversing a Sedan is a breeze, it is even easier than hatchbacks who do not have these features. In normal day to day traffic, you just focus on the front (till the B pillar) and any B2 hatch back can help you hone your driving skills.
In terms of monetary value, if your buying a second hand car for a short period of few years, you should just not think at Cost Price but also Resale Price & Maintenance Cost and considering this, a good A or B segment hatch (probably from Suzuki stable) can give you a good resale value and next to negligible maintenance cost and thus better ROI and driving pleasure.
Buying a 90k 14+ years old Sedan might just help you boast of driving a "Sedan" & nothing more
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