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Old 5th May 2014, 01:40   #1
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Default A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

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?

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.
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Old 5th May 2014, 09:51   #2
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

A 2000 make car means you are looking at a 14+ year car that has also gone through 2 owners and the resultant ab(use).
Plus the hassle of getting it re-registered when the Govt indicated life of 15 years gets over in 2015.

The Baleno is a gem to drive, especially in cities where the flat torque avoids the need for frequent gear changes. And on the highways it is a blast.
The FE is also good - I get anything between 12 to 14kmpl in Chennai city traffic, depending on the route/traffic.
However, with a 14 year old car, there is no knowing what all needs replacement/repair and the SGP parts can be quite costly (there is though a thread here about cheaper replacement spares for the Baleno).

I have a Baleno that completed 9 years last month and done 75000kms and it has been a pleasure owning this car - only as much running expenses as as hatchback.
Check my review at the link below to get an idea of running costs / maintenance expenses over a 9-year period.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...-pg-9-a-9.html

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 5th May 2014 at 09:53.
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Old 5th May 2014, 10:57   #3
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Honestly, these cars ought to be left to project buys now unless you are an experienced chap. As a first car on a tight budget, it will be difficult for you to keep these in top shape. The Baleno is an absolute cracker and is my pick of that era (I'd have it over the OHC too), but genuine parts will soon be, if not already are, a pain to source and expensive.

I believe that as a novice on a limited budget, you should just stick with something like a Wagon R, gain experience in owning a car and then carefully reconsider a buy such as this if you are still on a tight budget.

That really was the safe and sensible answer. The other one is: simply go for the Baleno!

Cheers

Last edited by IshaanIan : 5th May 2014 at 10:59.
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:06   #4
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I would say No.
The primary reason being you are from Kolkata (from your profile). As you are close to coastal areas, i would advise you to stay away from so old cars. I hope you got the reasons.

Secondly, sourcing parts for a Baleno is always difficult. The case is different for Icon's and esteem's, as they were sold in comparatively higher number and they are more of Zing cars.

Thirdly, you are clocking 35 KM a day, so, i hope it will be in city. I think, it would be an overload to the car you are considering.

Fourth, Baleno has the worst GC. You will end up scrapping all of the speed breakers. It is not bad, but you wont be very careful as you would be with a new car.
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:18   #5
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I would suggest you to up your budget upto 1.25 lakhs and get a used Logan petrol if it's a sedan you must have. 2008 model should be available at that price point.

Last edited by drsingh : 5th May 2014 at 11:21.
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:23   #6
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
The Baleno is a gem to drive, especially in cities where the flat torque avoids the need for frequent gear changes. And on the highways it is a blast.
The FE is also good - I get anything between 12 to 14kmpl in Chennai city traffic, depending on the route/traffic.
However, with a 14 year old car, there is no knowing what all needs replacement/repair and the SGP parts can be quite costly (there is though a thread here about cheaper replacement spares for the Baleno).
That is incredible! Either you have a gem of a car or are a gem of a driver.

I am getting 14 kpl in my swift diesel in bumper to bumper city traffic with a lot of idling under AC (always at 50%, running all the time). The mileage on the highways goes back to 19-20 easily.

Your mileage with a stonker of a petrol car is awesome in comparison!
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Old 5th May 2014, 11:29   #7
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno View Post
The Baleno is a gem to drive, especially in cities where the flat torque avoids the need for frequent gear changes. And on the highways it is a blast.
The FE is also good - I get anything between 12 to 14kmpl in Chennai city traffic, depending on the route/traffic.
OT, but WOW! I've always been complimented for my ability to extract 10-11 kmpl from my Kizashi in the city but now I know what true skill is like 12-14kmpl in the city from a petrol car that is 9 years old, is quite frankly brilliant
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Old 5th May 2014, 12:55   #8
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

As a 2nd hand car, the Baleno is definitely a better buy than any of the others on the list. A Baleno - if maintained and serviced well - should not give you much problems. However we are talking about a 14 year old car which has been through 2 owners. If it has a good service history - go for it. Note, Baleno spares are difficult to source and the more expensive than the Esteem, Ikon or Accent. You could try stretching your budget to around 1.2-3 and you could get a 2006 Baleno.

Else the next best option is a low mileage hatchback.
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Old 5th May 2014, 16:37   #9
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Hi, You will get a better Baleno anywhere between 2002 - 2007 with a budget upto 1.7 if you intend to keep for atleast 3 years. This car might give you costs and the resale wouldnt fetch you a good value post 1-2 years. I would suggest you to search for better Baleno's, I myself Own a Baleno and its a Gem of a Machine and robusy but it needs attention, dont abuse it, if possible if your budget permits, look for a first owner car(though difficult but possible) stretch your budget a little. Negotiate on the costs that you might have to spend to keep the car +20K that should give you a good margin to negotiate and also buy it at a reasonably good value.

Please review the thread of buying Used cars in India under Advises section.

I would suggest you to keep this car on offer as a last choice, ultimately the decision is yours.
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Old 5th May 2014, 16:49   #10
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

I would say avoid Baleno.
Its an excellent machine and awesome to drive car, which many modern cars cannot match.
But the spares are expensive and getting more and more difficult to source.
Considering the age of the machine, you might have to incur more expenses in suspension maintenance/overhaul.

Ranging from basic requirement like headlights to OVRM, all are damn expensive. Out of all the cars mentioned by you, Accent makes for a very practical choice. Accent was recently discontinued and sold in reasonable nos. meaning better availability of spares. The torquey nature of motor will also help in city traffic. Of all the cars mentioned, Baleno is best car, but not practical.


EDIT : I had Baleno. Bought in Sep/Oct 2005, Used it for 70K kms. and sold for Rs. 1.25 Lakh. Used to change wiper blades every monsoon and enjoyed each and every mile of driving that awesome machine. That stable and smooth ride! On bad stretches, where more than 90% of cars slowed down, I could cruise through. That awesome engine; missed that engine on E-way recently. My concern was non availability of spared despite being eager to make advance payment. This might vary from city to city, but overall, for a car discontinued way back in 2007/8, getting spares might get more and more difficult.

If budget permits, try to look at Ford Fiesta also. It has lower FE than Baleno but is also a nice machine to have.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 5th May 2014 at 16:55.
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Old 5th May 2014, 17:32   #11
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Thank you all. I'm planning to use this car for 2-3 years, maybe 4 max and the idea is to get used to a sedan and tolerate some rookie-type dents and scratches without risking a new car, especially a new sedan that might be Rs 6L+. That's why I don't want to stretch the budget also since I forsee this car will be junk after 3-4 years.

I just dont want to be stuck with a used car for which any small maintenance needs a trip to a Ford service center and spares becomes a problem (like my mother's new VW Polo for which we can't run to a local garage for any issue (not that there are any recurring problem though).

@supremeBaleno,Thanks for the 15-year heads-up. I guess that's why all the 2000/2001 models have a slightly lower price.

@IshaanIan, v12 and gemi_kk - I'm a bit confused on your opinion re spare part expense. Elsewhere on TeamBHP I read that the Ford Ikon has real trouble with spares. Would you say that the Baleno is more or less troublesome compared to the Ikon.

I'm getting a lot of quotes for 2002/2003 make used Ikon 1.3 Flairs in the price range of Rs 65,000 - 80,000 and mileage of 25k-40k. I know that the Ikon has loads of leg room in front (I'm 6'2 so that's also an issue) and am very tempted to seriously consider the Ikon. Baleno was not on my original radar until I came across some threads on TeamBHP where it was hugely recommended *over* the the Ikon. That's why I obtained a Baleno quote.

So how is the Baleno compared to the Ikon - keeping the above price range and details in mind? What do you think? Based on your responses I'll hire a professional mechanic and check out some of these cars.
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Old 5th May 2014, 17:50   #12
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

The Baleno would be my pick of the lot above and it is definitely less hassling to own that an Ikon. BUT my views on it not being the ideal first car on a tight budget today, still stay the same.
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Old 5th May 2014, 17:54   #13
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
That is incredible! Either you have a gem of a car or are a gem of a driver. I am getting 14 kpl in my swift diesel in bumper to bumper city traffic with a lot of idling under AC (always at 50%, running all the time). Your mileage with a stonker of a petrol car is awesome in comparison!
It is mostly the car and partly the driving. City-FE with 100% a/c & normal driving has been 12kmpl from the time I bought the car in 2005. With change in driving characteristics (sticking to speed-limit, anticipatory driving, avoiding jack-rabbit starts etc), I found over a 6-month test-period that I could easily up it to 14kmpl. But it takes a lot of patience and self-control to sustain this driving-style and thus this ended up as a short-term experiment.

My current daily 20km run is mostly on the OMR and except for the few mins idling at Sholinganallur & Accenture signals, the drive is mostly doable in 5th gear, which results in a consistent FE of ~14kmpl. I always fill for Rs2000 when gauge is at close to the E mark, which in recent times equates to ~26litres. And the range I get is anything between 350-380kms. Each fuel-fill from 2005 is recorded in a log-book kept in the car, so have all the details about range, fuel-station, unit-price, litres, odo-reading etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman
The mileage on the highways goes back to 19-20 easily.
Ha, highway FE has been a different ballgame. My highway mileage has been only in the ~16kmpl range, but then I am driving at the max. speed that the road/traffic conditions allow - pedal-to-metal. I always think of trying out a highway drive keeping speed between 80-100kmph max just to check FE gain, but could never bring myself to drive that slow on highways.
Someday...

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan;
OT, but WOW! I've always been complimented for my ability to extract 10-11 kmpl from my Kizashi in the city but now I know what true skill is like 12-14kmpl in the city from a petrol car that is 9 years old, is quite frankly brilliant
As mentioned, it is mostly the car that is to be complimented with the torque availability at low rpms enabling puttering around on high gears, limiting gear-shifts.
Eg. using the 5th gear in the Baleno comes naturally in the city even at 40ish speed, which would not be possible say in our 1.3L petrol Swift.

Last edited by supremeBaleno : 5th May 2014 at 17:58.
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Old 5th May 2014, 18:08   #14
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

If you're on a budget of 90,000, that also means that the repair & maintenance budget is limited. You can get a Baleno for a lakh but remember, its parts will be priced on par with a 7 - 8 lakh car (which it was when new).

A 14 year old car will have suffered plenty of wear & tear. There is no way I'd recommend a year 2000 Baleno to someone on a tight budget. Considering you are a novice driver, I'm assuming your knowledge of mechanicals, parts & garages is limited too. These are a must-have for owners of old cars.

Would personally recommend a newer Alto or Spark. These make a lot more sense for a new driver. Use one for a couple of years and then get a sensible sedan.
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Old 5th May 2014, 18:45   #15
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Default Re: A Used Baleno - Is it worth it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If you're on a budget of 90,000, that also means that the repair & maintenance budget is limited. You can get a Baleno for a lakh but remember, its parts will be priced on par with a 7 - 8 lakh car (which it was when new).

A 14 year old car will have suffered plenty of wear & tear. There is no way I'd recommend a year 2000 Baleno to someone on a tight budget. Considering you are a novice driver, I'm assuming your knowledge of mechanicals, parts & garages is limited too. These are a must-have for owners of old cars.

Would personally recommend a newer Alto or Spark. These make a lot more sense for a new driver. Use one for a couple of years and then get a sensible sedan.
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.
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