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Old 31st October 2006, 11:23   #1
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Exclamation Esteem Vxi - To buy or not to buy.

Hi all,

Here is the scenario. My brother is looking to buy a car soon. He has a tight budget and wants to buy a sedan (no hatches - no Swift he hates the looks). Both of us went around the other day and had a look at the Indigo and Aveo - we did not like either, Indigo for the build quality and Aveo - somehow did not find it reasurring and I disliked the way my left knee got obstructed by the dashboard. We also took a look at the Baleno Vxi and I found it powerful, fast, big, with a good AC (climate control), but nothing more to it - I am sorry, but I did not get "thrilled" - I guess with the kind of roads we have - is just not fit for the Baleno. My brother felt the Baleno was very "luxurious." Now when it comes to putting the hard-earned money, he says spend less and get more.

A couple of days back a friend bought a new white Esteem Vxi and I got to take it for a spin - I was pleasantly surprised - found it very driveable and hardly felt any bumps on a really rough patch of road, felt very "rally like." Perhaps I felt that because I personally drive a Wagon R and have owned a a Santro before that.

So I suggested to him, why not take the Esteem - if one is not bothered by the dated looks (he isn't). Now I read in the forums somewhere that the SX4 is going to completely replace the Esteem and of course the new Baleno is just around the corner (? November 2006). I fear the new Baleno will be at least Rs 50,000/- more and take away the present Rs 50,000/- discount, it makes this car Rs 1 lac more - can't afford that. Secondly, no idea of the launch dates for the SX4 and more importantly the price.

Here are the prices offered to us by the dealer (after discounts, on-road prices)

Esteem Vxi: 5,13,000
Baleno Lxi: 5,90,000 (6,75,000 for the Vxi - out of budget).

What would you guys say? Take the Esteem Vxi and enjoy its great engine and performance? We don't have Ford Ikons here in town and the only other sedan in that range - the Indigo - we hate! I even ventured and asked him, take a "modern" hatch - the Getz and he says no - he needs a sedan. Still, I will coax him to take a look at the Getz once.

What do you guys suggest?

What my brother wants:

* Value-for-Money sedan.
* Tight budget (The lesser the merrier). Yes, he could stretch for the Baleno Lxi, but it would be a stretch.
* Low cost of maintainance.
* Initially chauffer driven mostly, but ultimately he would drive it a lot. I would drive it a lot too from day one.

Last edited by johy : 31st October 2006 at 11:25.
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Old 31st October 2006, 11:43   #2
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johy,looking at your brother's requirements,indigo would be good,but since he didnt like the looks,just forget it.
the esteem is dated.in fact too dated.agreed its maintenance costs are less and the driving pleasure is enormous,but its tough to recommend it to someone today.the body shell is not strong enough and in the long run,rattles may crop up.if you are that intrested in an esteem,i suggest you buy a used one.say around 1 year old examples with a low odometer reading in good condition.somewhat i feel buying a new esteem aint that worth.
the ford ikon is good especially if your brother will get chauffered.the 1.3 flair is not as good as the nxt though,but you will get only the flair now.anyway since you cant get the ford,forget it.
if i were in your place i would go for the baleno.just give it one more try
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Old 31st October 2006, 11:49   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy
What my brother wants:

* Value-for-Money sedan.
* Tight budget (The lesser the merrier). Yes, he could stretch for the Baleno Lxi, but it would be a stretch.
* Low cost of maintainance.
* Initially chauffer driven mostly, but ultimately he would drive it a lot. I would drive it a lot too from day one.
The above requirement just says you have already decided on Esteem VXI.
I personaly feel Esteem VXI has everything what we want and is a real VFM. If you want more info on this please feel free to ask anyquestion. I feel the word "dated" does not hold good for cars, it all depends on how you feel about the car and the performance along with VFM. Wish you all the best in choosing the machine.
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Old 31st October 2006, 11:56   #4
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Well, Willy, sandwiched between a tight budget on one side and an undoubtedly good car on the other, does push us towards the Esteem Vxi. I agree with you on the looks. The question that is nagging me is the possible early of launch the SX4 and it's "replacement" of the Esteem - and if it would be a good idea to wait. If so, for how long? What is your take on that one? Secondly, a friend has been telling me that Maruti 3-box cars - the doors start creaking after 2 years or so - is that true?
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Old 31st October 2006, 12:38   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy
The question that is nagging me is the possible early of launch the SX4 and it's "replacement" of the Esteem - and if it would be a good idea to wait. If so, for how long? Secondly, a friend has been telling me that Maruti 3-box cars - the doors start creaking after 2 years or so - is that true?
The link below would answer your question about the SX4.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ext-sedan.html (SX4 to form basis for Maruti's next sedan)

Do you think the new SX4 will be with in the budget?

I don't have any problem with the doors. May be your friend should give the car for service on time without fail.
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Old 31st October 2006, 13:01   #6
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Given your brother's requirements, the Esteem looks like the best fit.
It has been around for a long time, yes. But still a nice VFM car. You still see lots of people opting for it (some of them even repeat Esteem purchases). If my budget were less than 5L and I needed a sedan, I would look no further than the Esteem, given the options I have today.

For those that want newer looks, the Flair is a good option, though costlier than the Esteem in maintenance and lesser FE.

A sedan is a sedan. If the roads are good for the Esteem, they are good for the Baleno, Aveo, whatever. But if he wants more bang for less bucks, the Esteem it is.

Regarding Esteem/Baleno being upgraded by MUL, quite some news/rumours floating around. No clear indication of the timeframe or models to come in. You could wait for it to come in or go for the Esteem. Even if the Esteem is discontinued, parts/maintenance will not be a problem for years to come.
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Old 31st October 2006, 13:03   #7
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An Accent GLE should be somewhere between an Esteem and Baleno, and is worth checking out. With Verna in, dealers might offer some nice deals on the Accent. For proper sedan looks, you cant go wrong with an Accent at that price. Good looking interiors too.
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Old 31st October 2006, 13:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy
Well, Willy, sandwiched between a tight budget on one side and an undoubtedly good car on the other, does push us towards the Esteem Vxi. I agree with you on the looks. The question that is nagging me is the possible early of launch the SX4 and it's "replacement" of the Esteem - and if it would be a good idea to wait. If so, for how long? What is your take on that one? Secondly, a friend has been telling me that Maruti 3-box cars -
Quote:
the doors start creaking after 2 years or so - is that true?
well, my car is almost 8 years old & i am yet to hear any creaks, except from fellow motorists as they gape at the speed in which i can manage to overtake them. Here's my equation.

Tight Budget + Need terrific car + FE + Fast + Driving pleasure = Maruti Esteem VXI. there is nothing to beat that combination. so there.

but if you can extend that tight budget a bit, get the baleno LXi. your brother wont regret it

Last edited by esteem_lover : 31st October 2006 at 13:47.
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Old 31st October 2006, 13:55   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy
* Initially chauffer driven mostly, but ultimately he would drive it a lot. I would drive it a lot too from day one.
If its chaffeur-driven, ask him to check out the rear seat of the esteem. It can be quite cramped, and doesnt have a comfortable ride.

Baleno not only provides decent space and legroom, but also gives much better ride.
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Old 31st October 2006, 14:25   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supremeBaleno
A sedan is a sedan. If the roads are good for the Esteem, they are good for the Baleno, Aveo, whatever. But if he wants more bang for less bucks, the Esteem it is.
Thanks SupremeBaleno, when driving the Baleno - I felt that to enjoy a powerful car like that - you needed stretches of wide open roads - the kind my brother won't come across too frequently on his trips.

goldie_malhotra, esteem_lover, ballkey, willy, supremeBaleno, carfreak - thanks for your responses.

I will certainly look into the back seat ride (cramped). Also, we don't have a Ford dealer in town, so those are really out. I think the Esteem does not seem a bad bet at all right now and reinforces my belief after driving the Esteem myself. Sure enough my brother will be reading this thread in a while and I am sure he will see some light as well. The rattles - they don't seem to be too common - I am awaiting more inputs before a decision is arrived at. Yes and ballkey, I must look at the Accent GLE - I will do that as well.

But like esteem_lover aptly put it "Tight Budget + Need terrific car + FE + Fast + Driving pleasure = Maruti Esteem VXI. there is nothing to beat that combination."

Last edited by johy : 31st October 2006 at 14:28.
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Old 31st October 2006, 14:50   #11
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I am assuming your brother is from Siliguri too,so the first thing that comes to my mind is Go for a maruti only[remember the ad you are never far away from a maruti service station]

So your choice narrows down between the baleno and the esteem.
It is not necessary to have wide open roads to enjoy the baleno you could have some fun in the hills too[The paved ones].Also safety wise you will be in a good position in the baleno.It will give you a higher segment experience as well.

Now for the esteem It has its own virtues esteem_lover has pointed it out.


Since cost of maintainance[Including FE and cost of spares etc] is in bold I asssume that is the most important factor ,then go in for the esteem.Or else between the two the baleno Lxi is what the heart would say to go for.

Last edited by rahul_intlad : 31st October 2006 at 14:52.
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Old 31st October 2006, 14:55   #12
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Well, i have been using Esteems since 12 years now. Its a great VFM (IMHO) with a fully loaded Vxi for about 5L. I am presently using a 2006 Jan Esteem Vxi and i just love it everytime i drive this car. We also have 3 Esteems doing duty in the tourist sector and they have all served us extremely well.
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Old 31st October 2006, 16:45   #13
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i have an esteem that's almost 5 years old... and barely run 35k... i am so attached to the car that the faint idea of selling it due to decpreciation upsets me...

the car is real VFM, parts are very easily accessible, low on maintanence, high on FE, comfy, zippy, and very very good fun to drive... also is classy and luxurious on the inside...

this is one of the few cars that you can buy blindfolded... and not worry...
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Old 31st October 2006, 22:11   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johy
What would you guys say?
Its a good car to own and cheap to operate. And that engine is going to be around for a long time to come - on other models; so spares wont be a problem.

Go ahead - if you can live with the looks, difficult ingress/egress, flimsy build quality and nervous chassis.
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Old 1st November 2006, 00:37   #15
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I also was very confused before buying an Esteem for my self. The things that made me take the decision is that Baleno is getting replaced in the Month of November and will be a completely new platform.

Esteem may get replaced but that would certainly be at a later date. You can hence purchase an old esteem probably 1 yer old use it till the new esteem is released and then sell it off. Maruti's are known to keep their resale value even if the cars are no longer manufactured. A great example for the same is Maruti Zen. Maruti have stopped manufacturing Zen long back but in the second hand markets it still sells like hot commodilty. Trust me I have just purchased a second hand car.

As far as SX4 is concerned If I am not mistaken it is replacing the baleno and not the Esteem
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