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Old 7th May 2014, 14:53   #31
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Hi Kumar,

I would suggest to put your 90K on Hyundai Accent than a Baleno. Reasons are

1. Accent is still being sold & spare parts are available outside, for that matter in any spare part shop.
2. Santro & Accent from Hyundai have largest presence in second hand market, so you may get one easily.
3. Baleno had high import content, so many spare parts are only available with Maruti.
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Old 7th May 2014, 14:53   #32
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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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.
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Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
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.
I am of the same opinion. If getting used to dimensions is your only reason for a sedan, I think that is a non-issue. I was almost in the same situation as you. Was a newbie driver and had a budget of 75-80,000 for my first car. Started with an M800, then moved to a Zen and then to an SX4 (within 3 years). The first drive home with the SX4 was the only time I felt a little worried. Got used to it in no time. Even before I got the SX4, there was a situation where I had to co-drive an Innova to Hyderabad and then drive it within the crowded lanes of the old city. Again adjusted with no difficulty. Once you are a reasonably confident driver, then the size of the car does not take much time getting used to.
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Old 7th May 2014, 15:40   #33
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Like few others, I'd definitely recommend the esteem and here's why. We bought a pre-owned esteem in 2004, we used it for 4 years and till early 2009,it had clocked 70k kms and during the duration of our ownership, , not even once, was a single part replaced, no rattles, no nothing, the air conditioning worked fine all the way, mileage was consistent. Just the usual services happened. The car undertook frequent long distance trips(1500km +) on bad terrain, heavy rain, godforsaken roads and every single time, it made us smile. It was a breeze to stretch the car to 140kmph on the highway and god, the FFE just sang the tunes of heaven. Anyways, the point I'm trying to make is that, even today, the esteem lives up to that promise and maintenance is certainly not an issue unlike the baleno, in terms of spare parts. The esteem is surely a proven workhorse. Pick one up! Have a test drive first, of course :-)
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Old 7th May 2014, 15:51   #34
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rajeevraj View Post
I am of the same opinion. If getting used to dimensions is your only reason for a sedan, I think that is a non-issue. I was almost in the same situation as you. Was a newbie driver and had a budget of 75-80,000 for my first car. Started with an M800, then moved to a Zen and then to an SX4 (within 3 years). The first drive home with the SX4 was the only time I felt a little worried. Got used to it in no time. Even before I got the SX4, there was a situation where I had to co-drive an Innova to Hyderabad and then drive it within the crowded lanes of the old city. Again adjusted with no difficulty. Once you are a reasonably confident driver, then the size of the car does not take much time getting used to.
I agree word for word with everything Rajeevraj said. I've been in very similar situations to him, and switching to bigger cars like Honda Citys and BMWs is not at all an issue once you're confident with regular driving. The dimensions will not be a problem.

If you are particularly concerned about parallel parking and looking behind, I would recommend you install reverse parking sensors on the new nicer sedan you plan to buy after a few years. A lot of cars come with these factory installed anyways, and more will be in the future.
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Old 7th May 2014, 21:13   #35
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I have bought only one car to date and that is a Baleno Vxi. I have been using it since January 1, 2007 and bought the car on December 29, 2006. Till date it has done 39013 kilometres as I use the car strictly when I drive around the town with my family or for a long drive. I have been fortunate of driving so many beautiful cars in the past but this one gets all the brownie points for being simple and straight forward. If you are the sort of person who has the patience to source parts when they are difficult to come by and have a passion to drive long distances, this is the machine for you. On the highway this car has the ability to munch miles and occasionally when you get bored, you could take it all the way up to the redline and it will put a huge smile in your face. Its got space, comfort and performance all rolled into one car.

However, for all that you love the car you would hate it for many reasons.

Styling, sorry. I hate my car for what it looks from behind. Comparatively even a Volvo B9R does not have tail lamps as big as this one.

Availability of parts, sorry again patience might pay off here but my gosh they are hard to come by. For example, my car had a strange problem where there was a suspected high pressure in the crank case and if I go anywhere above 4000 RPM the oil dipstick pops up and there is literally an explosion of engine oil sprayed all over the engine bay. Took it to the ASS and checked it. Thankfully it was because the grip that held the oil dipstick in place but sadly, they didn't have a new one they could replace it with. I also have a broken front bumper, thanks to a stray dog. And some part on the front left suspension that needs to be changed that I am waiting for. But I am sure I will find it someday. As I mentioned I don't use my car as I use my motorcycle. So it is pretty much just the way it came from the factory.

Ground clearance, oh boy! you are in for trouble if you have 5 people with their luggage inside their car. It goes like a sleigh over speed bumps literally scrapes every inch of its belly on the road.

Other than that, this car is one of the most practical and usable ones out there. If you have the patience to live with it. Go ahead, else I would rather suggest an Esteem primarily because it was sold in large numbers, and you could somehow get the parts from somewhere. Else more money means more options.
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Old 7th May 2014, 22:02   #36
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
Hi all,

I'm looking to buy a used sedan, for under Rs 90k. At the moment I seem to find my choices are

(a) Maruti Esteem
(b) Ford Ikon
(c) Maruti Baleno
(d) Hyundai Accent

Many members have cautioned against old (>5 or 6 years) Ikons or Accents and newer ones are too expensive. That leaves me with the Esteem and the Baleno. 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?
The Baleno was a great car. I'm using a friends' Baleno now and everytime I drive it, my face is like . But I think spares maybe difficult to source.

Esteem is a good option as Gypsy still uses the G13BB engine. So engine parts wise, your best bet. And there a lot of old swifts using the same engine.

I advise you to stay away from Ikon as it's successor(Fiesta first gen, sold as classic now) is old now. I think you'll have a difficult time getting parts.

Think Accent diesel might a good choice, not petrol. I'm not sure about spare parts though.
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Old 7th May 2014, 22:16   #37
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

If cost of spares is a concern, you can can consider 5-6 years old petrol Indigos if budget can be extended to around 1.5 L. Try to find a direct owner instead of a dealer and bargain hard to get it for the best possible price.

In my opinion this would be a more sensible option than buying a 10+ years old used Baleno.
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Old 7th May 2014, 22:44   #38
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I have been down this road once. Could not afford a new car and bought a year 2000 Ikon 1.6 in 2009. Brilliant car to drive. I gave up the car only because of expensive spares. Not only were they expensive, the parts did not seem to hold up. The engine was the only thing that did not give me any trouble. I was least bothered about gas mileage. You don't buy an Ikon 1.6 for mileage. Its for the incredible steering, chassis and the superb engine response. If only Ford took care of keeping spare prices in check and fix those lousy brakes. To give you an idea, I spent 1.9lac on the car and spent a little over a lac on spares. Had I kept it till now, I am sure it would be close to 2lac spent on spares. It was a bad buy, no doubt.

As for the Baleno, I have to say, may end up costing much more to maintain than the Ford. This is from experience of a colleague who owns a 7+ year old car. A lot of the Baleno parts are Japaneses made and they cost a lot. You get Made in India original parts which are nearly as good though. A resourceful mechanic is what you need. I don't care much for the Baleno's stock suspension. It is a scary drive in stock strut configuration combined with those tiny stock rims. My colleague has Koni Yellow's installed up front, the one's at the rear sprung a leak so he switched back to stock replacement but non Japanese make. Works well. He has also installed a strut brace and higher profile rubber. All this in place makes the Baleno a very satisfying drive. Else; its only the peppy engine.

A car that gets really close to the engine response, feel of the Ikon and Baleno is the Toyota Etios petrol, Liva TRD petrol. Hands down the most responsive, naturally aspirated engine in its segment. The Ford Duratec 1.6 is another fantastic engine.
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Old 7th May 2014, 22:50   #39
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Hi Kumar,

Been going through the various posts and tend to agree with the ones (nearly all!!!) who advise you to stay away from the Baleno. It is a superb machine no doubt - probably one of the best offerings from the Maruti stable - but it is now 14 years old!! I was in the same quandary as you a couple of years ago and asked the advice of a friend who is also an official Maruti workshop manager who has been maintaining my Maruti cars for the last few years and who drives a Baleno himself. His response in a nutshell was : "Even if you are getting it for free, don't take it"!!! I was shocked and asked the reason. Same as the posts before me. "No spares available. Exorbitant cost. Car will spend more time in the garage awaiting spares than on the road". Needless to say I walked away from the deal and suggest you do the same. Go for an Esteem instead though being 6"2 getting in and out might require some acrobatic training. It is a trouble free car and spares are cheap and easily available - as of now. Mileage is also not bad but you must try and get the latest versions - 2006/2007 Vxi preferably - the ones with power steering and MPFI. A/C is not great - nowhere in the league of the Baleno - but acceptable. Power windows are usually a bugbear in the Esteem (I've owned two) but easily fixed. Apart from that it's a great car.

Regards,
SS
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Old 7th May 2014, 23:15   #40
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Think outside the box. Scout for a used petrol powered Palio instead. They go for peanuts, are a hoot to drive, reasonably comfortable & spacious.

You should be able to get one with not so high a mileage and it will be relatively newer (compared to the vintage of the cars you are considering).

Servicing though is a mixed bag; but nothing you cannot go to an independent garage for.

All the best!
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Old 8th May 2014, 02:46   #41
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Dear All,

Thank you so very much for the detailed responses and your time. As I wrote my earlier update, the Baleno idea is dropped due to your warnings and also the insufficient number of used balenos to even get a worthwhile comparison (just 1).

Meanwhile I will widen my search for the Indigo / Fiat Palio from tomorrow. The Ford Ikon idea will be relegated to second position after these two.

Incidentally I am going to Delhi for 3 weeks during which time a friend has agreed to lend me his Hyundai Eon for my driving. I hope to have a rookie's review ready when I come back

best,
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Old 8th May 2014, 08:26   #42
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumar R View Post
Meanwhile I will widen my search for the Indigo / Fiat Palio from tomorrow. The Ford Ikon idea will be relegated to second position after these two.
I'd put the Ford in front as spares are easily available. Lots of Ikon 1.6 cars around and they go for as low as a lac for a 2005 model. The Ikon's from year 2004 onward had better build quality. I will say that no amount of part replacements on the stock brakes does anything to improve them. They are weak by design.

Are you referring to the 100bhp TwinCam Indigo? Never driven one so won't comment.
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Old 8th May 2014, 12:39   #43
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I'd put the Ford in front as spares are easily available. Lots of Ikon 1.6 cars around and they go for as low as a lac for a 2005 model. The Ikon's from year 2004 onward had better build quality. I will say that no amount of part replacements on the stock brakes does anything to improve them. They are weak by design.

Are you referring to the 100bhp TwinCam Indigo? Never driven one so won't comment.
Indigo XL came with a 100 PS petrol engine.

Indigo petrol had a 1.4L, 85 PS, MPFI engine. I think its the same engine on which the new Revotron is based.
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Old 8th May 2014, 14:52   #44
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Moderator note: Post edited to fix punctuation. Helps with readability of the post. Thanks.

Baleno is a very good car indeed. talking about your concern; please go for a test drive on the car which is on offer (the subject vehicle 2000-model). chose your route in which you can take it to 120kmph and after that on a slight cityish rough patches.

Things to observe:

1. steering / vehicle wobbly feel in 80kmph-120kmph range, slow the car down by just gradually braking, with as less level of deceleration possible try feeling the vibrations from the brake pedal.

2. on the rough patch, go at about less than 20-30 kmph and try and hear abnormal suspension noises (if observed, you need to replace the lower links and associated bushings which are not so easily available).

I also bought a 2000 model car from a second owner with 1.30lakh kilometers on the odo, using the car as a daily drive since. even participating in autocross events with the same. and its been hassle free from the word go. odo now shows 1.76 clicks and she's been with me from last 4 years.

If the car on offer appears problem free, there is a fair amount of chance it literally is so.

best
arshjeet singh

Last edited by Jaggu : 8th May 2014 at 16:58.
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Old 9th May 2014, 01:18   #45
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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Dear All,Meanwhile I will widen my search for the Indigo / Fiat Palio from tomorrow. The Ford Ikon idea will be relegated to second position after these two.
If you are looking for a car that is low on maintenance,you will be better off with a Maruti. The best car i could think of is the Esteem. It's easy to use and is also capable of giving you that spirited drive when you need it. It's no sports car by any stretch of imagination but it does deliver on the thrill factor with that gem of an engine in its all aluminum 1.3 unit. Being a Maruti, it will be easy to maintain too. Look for post 2000 cars as they came equipped with MPFi technology. 2002 saw them receive a minor facelift and the introduction of Peugeot's frugal 1.5L TUD 5 diesel units. 2004 saw them receive further cosmetic changes that made it look a little less dated. I personally would look for a 2006-2007 Vxi model but your budget will have to be stretched a little bit for that. Maruti True Value outlets will be your best bet for getting a clean car.
Esteem is a car that is very special to me so kindly excuse me if i sound partial or make no sense. Happy searching.
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