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Old 15th January 2008, 14:36   #1
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Lightbulb I am totally confused - Expert Input Much Needed - Budget 10-12Lacs!

Ok Guys, after a lot of deliberation I think I am now confident of putting up the big question for your expert advice. However I must say that i am totally confused and need someone to hand-hold me in going over the pros-cons before buying.

A little background before I go on:

I currently own a Tata Indigo LX (approx 3 years old), and a Maruti 800DX (approx 9 years old). I drive the Indigo and my wife (who started learning how to drive a few months back) pretty much manages the M800. Its time for me to upgrade and was thinking of upgrading both cars (I'll outline the dilemma a little later).

The Indigo has done well till date barring a few niggles here and there which I have conveniently ignored and managed to rectify and live with. Quite honestly I have been very happy with the car till date as it has pretty much served the purpose for which I had got it (VFM).

I am very finicky about maintaining my cars and hence have made sure that have got anything faulty REPLACED on my Indigo from the TATA service centre instead of repair. Therefore the Indigo is in top condition (outside and inside both), so much so that the service guys comment that this is the first Indigo they have seen which is 3 years old but doesnt look its age (I am flattered - dunno they may just be pulling my leg! ). Have replaced all four tyres to Bridgestone tubeless 185x65x14 around 3 months ago (although the stock JK's could have lasted another 5000 kms easily as per the tyre wala - however dont like to compromise on safety! The car easily gives me 13-14 kmpl in city (always with A/C on, even on idling) and 18-19 kmpl on highway (always with A/C on). The car has done 48000kms till date in 3 years and 3 months.

The M800 has been more of a step-daughter as I had kept it for 2 years after buying brand new and then went overseas for 5 years. Was used by various family members while I was away (however was regularly maintained from Maruti service centre). Been 3 years now since I've been back and have got it regularly serviced from maruti dealership but the car didnt run much as I had bought the Indigo on arrival. Had changed all four tyres to new around 2 years ago, however its run only 5000 kms in the last 3 years (maybe even less - not sure). Only started running when the wife started learning to drive on it a few months back. However the car is great - keeps going on and on without much maintenance being required (maybe it hasnt run so much for me to feel the pinch). The car has done 65000kms till date in 9 years and 6 months.

Now the dilemma:

I'd like to upgrade both cars quite frankly, however there is no urgency as such.

I am quite bored of driving the Indigo for over 3 years now and would like a change. Also dont want to keep the car for very long due to 2 reasons: (1) What if the goverment increases the price of diesel for private vehicles or worse what if they ban them in Delhi! and (2) Its a known fact that any car would start giving trouble as it starts to get old (> 3-4 years).

The M800 I dont consider safe at all for my wife and just wanted to her to learn on an old car before I get her a new one. However she refuses to let go as she feels that changing cars is nothing but conspicuous consumption and she doesnt see the need in my wanting to incur that expenditure. Women - what do they know! Moreover she feels more comfortable in driving a small hatchback as its easier to drive. And also the fact that she doesnt need to drive much at all. She insists on me buying a car for myself and she'll happily do with the M800 for the next 2-3 years.

I didnt agree with her point of view and thus ideally wanted to buy the Santro A/T for her but refrained from doing so since the variant was phased out by Hyundai. Have waited endlessly for the i10 A/T and now they tell me that it should be out in Feb08, however no one knows the expected specs or pricing as yet. No other A/T hatch back worth considering or available for the time being. I wanted to buy an A/T for her as it would be hasslefree driving for her.

Now the point is that I'd like to upgrade both cars quite frankly, however there is no urgency as such. I have even tried for her to take my Indigo while I buy a new one. She reluctantly tried driving it, and was successful in doing so (as I forced her to drive all over the city with me on the passenger seat), however she constantly kept complaining as to how big the car is as compared to her M800 and that how uncomfortable she was as her legs were dangling on the pedals (she's about 5'3"), etc etc. I can see that she can drive it and would be able to do more comfortably eventually as she gets used to it.

I know, that money-wise I'll get more for my Indigo now than later. So I am in a dilemma whether to sell now or not. I dont want to spend much in terms of outflow for my upgrade, therefore am very tempted to sell the indigo now and use that money against reducing my outlflow, however that would also mean that I'd have to buy another new car for me wife by next year maximum - thereby increasing my total outflow tremendously in such a short while.

However if I was to keep the Indigo and the Govt was to ban diesel then not only do I get stuck with an expensive to run and maintain car but that would also severly hit my resale within a short span. Also now that the car is 3 years old it'll always give me a little trouble in terms of maintenance.

Now the Question:

Do you guys think I should buy a new car for my self and keep the Indigo for my wife to drive, and sell the M800?

Or do you guys think I should let her drive the M800 and upgrade to a better hatch as and when available and/or as and when she is comfortable for an upgrade, and sell the Indigo and use that money to reduce my outflow for my new car?

Whatever the option, also kindly advise how much I should I expect to get if I sell - (a) the Indigo, or (b) the M800.


Now the requirements and options for my upgrade:

My budget is approx 10-12Lacs (without much flexibility unfortunately).

Ideally I would love to have a SUV which runs on diesel and has an Automatic Transmission and has great interiors with great fit and finish and fits in the above budget! However there isnt anything available with those specfications. I have pretty much outlined the following requirements (in order of preference):

1) Automatic transmission (would love to have it, although not a dire necessity)
2) Dependable and safe
3) Frugal to run and easy to maintain
4) Comfortable (has a little bit of gadgets like sunroof, integrated ICE, and has good interiors etc)
5) Reasonable resale value (cant say this point will hold much substance as the market will be completely redefined in the next 3 years)
6) Maybe a little snob value too (however not that important)

Based on the above I have outlined the following (not in order of preference):

1) A second hand Suzuki Grand Vitara A/T (in top condition).

2) Toyota Corolla H3 A/T (knowing the new model is just round the corner - which is why they have a 75000 discount on it, as even if the new Corolla comes it'll be way over this price range).

3) Optra Magnum LT (There was a discount of 75000 available on this until end Dec 07 - dunno if its still there, however there is some news of a facelift just round the corner).

4) Or wait for the Optra Magnum LT with A/T and Sunroof (dunno when that'll come)

5) Scorpio Vlx

6) Or wait for the Scorpio Vlx with A/T (saw it in the autoexpo and the lady - some senior official in marketing - said that it is expected in April 08 and they plan to be on time this time, considering they had delayed the vlx launch).

7) Was considering the Civic S A/T - no longer available as its phased out now.


Certain Assumptions:

1) Depending upon what all of you recommend - whether to sell my Indigo first or my M800 first - I might be influenced in not bothering much about resale value for my upgrade. For example if I was to keep the Indigo I can buy a car without much resale in the long run and eventually give it to my wife after 2-3 years, after which I'll probably sell the Indigo then and upgrade again for myself.


Guys, I havent specified WHY and HOW I have selected the above options for upgrade. I didnt want to make this post extremely Looooong thereby making it boring to read (like I already havent!!). However do let me know in case you guys want me to outline the whims behind shortlisting the above options, and I would be more than obliged to do so!

Hoping to recieve some good advice from your end, and BTW I am open to other options too (in case you feel some other car which I've left out would be better suited to my needs).

Thanks and regards.
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Old 15th January 2008, 14:49   #2
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Why don't you consider Octavia automatic?It meets all your requirements and is only automatic diesel in this price bracket.
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:06   #3
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@ .Anshuman - Octy AT would be above his budget, its 13.xx i think.

@ HSV - It would be difficult to get used Grand Vitaras. You could however find the old XL-7s. But, with the V6, they are not exactly frugal.
Current Corollas could depreciate pretty fast once the new ones hit the market. Why not a 2nd hand Corolla AT?
Haven't heard of any discounts on the diesel Magnums. But, its a good, accomplished car. Decently equipped and cheap to run/maintain.
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:06   #4
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Your points 1 and 3 are inconsistent - A/T cars have lower FE than their non A/T siblings. I think Anshuman's suggestion of an Octavia automatic would fit the bill - but be mindful of the expensive Skoda A.S.S.
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:11   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Why don't you consider Octavia automatic?It meets all your requirements and is only automatic diesel in this price bracket.
I did consider it, and even took a short test drive. I must say that I absolutely LOVED the Octavia. A very robust feel to it, and quite frankly I am a sucker for German cars. Reminded me of my BMW back in Australia. However the points against it were as follows:

1) During the test drive I felt that the car had a huge rubber band effect. I had to really push the accelerator to make it go. The RPM used to shoot up before the car actually moved. Didnt feel very sprightly at all.

2) Octavia being a dated model - the company may phase it out any day soon. And they arent/werent offering much discount to wet my appetite. Had there been discounts similar to the Toyota - I would SERIOUSLY be considering this variant even now! However I guess its only free insurance and nothing else!

3) Most importantly I have read numerous threads warning against the exhorbitant maintence cost of a Skoda. Which sort of keeps me at bay even though I love German cars. Furthermore if the maintenance cost is so high, I just shudder to think what'll happen in the event of an accident!?

4) The engine is Euro II, so if the Delhi Govt was to enfore Euro III or Euro IV norms any time soon, then I am done for!

Am I correct in assuming the above?
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:35   #6
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So you have a wife who is happy with the 800, and doesn't like the more expensive Indigo, neither does she seem keen on a replacement. LUCKY YOU! Go ahead and splurge on a car for yourself then.

Vitara's are rare, and the chance of you find a used A/T is negligible. Here is my take:

1. The Octavia & Corolla feel very outdated compared to the competition now. Best avoided. The Scorpio A/T is out too, since it simply isn't worth the 11 - 12 lakh expected price tag.

2. Can you stretch your budget a wee bit for a Civic? Highly recommended.

3. Optra Magnum A/T also seems fit, but no announcement of a launch yet. The 1.8 petrol suffers from bad resale, due to the competent 1.6.

4. Importantly : Just because you have a budget of 12 lakhs doesn't mean you have to spend that entire amount. Considering that you have happily driven an Indigo for 3 years, a CVT NHC, SX4 or Optra 1.6 may keep you satisfied. They are pretty competent sedans and a significant upgrade from the Indigo.
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:54   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaibir View Post
Your points 1 and 3 are inconsistent - A/T cars have lower FE than their non A/T siblings. I think Anshuman's suggestion of an Octavia automatic would fit the bill - but be mindful of the expensive Skoda A.S.S.
Sorry if I may have sounded a little vague there, however what I meant to say was that if I was to get a good car with an A/T then I may not mind sacrificing on the FE part, although there is nothing like a diesel A/T, however the expensive maintenance and parts may keep people like me at bay.
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Old 15th January 2008, 15:58   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HSV View Post
4) The engine is Euro II, so if the Delhi Govt was to enfore Euro III or Euro IV norms any time soon, then I am done for!
Octavia is Bharat stage III, and even when euro IV emission norms come all new cars should comply with emission norms not the existing cars already sold.So nobody can force your car off the road.
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:13   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvd View Post
@ .Anshuman - Octy AT would be above his budget, its 13.xx i think.

@ HSV - It would be difficult to get used Grand Vitaras. You could however find the old XL-7s. But, with the V6, they are not exactly frugal.
Current Corollas could depreciate pretty fast once the new ones hit the market. Why not a 2nd hand Corolla AT?
Haven't heard of any discounts on the diesel Magnums. But, its a good, accomplished car. Decently equipped and cheap to run/maintain.
The last time I checked, after taking into consideration the free insurance part the final OTR price comes to approx 12.5 Lac. Its out of budget but only if I were to stretch. However its the issues against the Octavia that scare me - I only wish these issues werent there, as it feels like a lovely car to sit in. Damn! You cant get the best of everything.

I frankly dont like the old XL-7, its the new one that I wouldnt mind picking up considering everyone in India cribs about FE and some rich dude plans to sell it within a few months of his/her buying it and not liking it, and considering it fits in my budget! (Naaah, too wishful I think).

Quite frankly I am a novice when it comes to understanding about cars, and couldnt tell the difference between a good and bad used car. Therefore the only reason I am considering a used Vitara is because since it was launched recently, the ones in the after market would be in pretty good shape (as only those guys who didnt like it after their initial experiment would be selling so soon, alternatively the accidentals - which I wouldnt touch anyways). And also since the new Vitara is out of my budget I can consider 2nd hand, and since the corolla fits in my budget, I wouldt like to compromise there. Sorry I know it sounds very whimsical and not practical... DUH!

Quite frankly I did very much like the Optra Magnum LT. It drove very well indeed. Also was very impressed with the interiors too, as the leather quality was very good too. The gear shift was good too as it clicked into place (seemed similar to the Skoda's if not better). Great VFM too if I was to compare with the Skoda. However the only thing that puts a question mark in my mind is the fact that its a GM car and one never knows what may happen with GM. We had a Opel Corsa in the house and a not-so-happy ownership experience. Had discussed with Vasudeva (another tbhpian), and he had similar ownership experiences with his Opel Corsa.

I am not sure what the ownership experience would be like with the Magnum in case I was to buy it. I would hate to have to visit the workshop quite frequently, also not sure whether the spares are very expensive too or not. Resale I know would definitely not be good at all, but the drive quality pretty much compensates for it. Also not sure how dependable the car would be. The last thing I want is I am out on a family trip and we're stuck on the highway due to some problem without any help at hand. I have read the few ownership experiences on this car on this forum, however they are too recent to form an opinion.

I am hoping someone will be able to give more concrete info on the availability on the Optra Magnum A/t with sunroof. I wouldnt mind waiting if its not for too long!
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:19   #10
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Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Octavia is Bharat stage III, and even when euro IV emission norms come all new cars should comply with emission norms not the existing cars already sold.So nobody can force your car off the road.
Oh is that right? I quite remember reading Euro II on the specifications page in the Skoda India website. That would mean that Euro II should be = to Bharat Stage III? Thats not too bad if thats the case.

But what about the expensive maintenance? Is it really that much? Although I know how everyone keeps correcting that out of the huge service bill the major component is synthetic oil which is why it seems expensive. But I just cant see my self keeping a white elephant.

Do you think I should take another test drive to see whether the one I drove wasnt a lemon? I mean it had 35 kms on the odo (which was disconnected BTW) and seemed fairly new, probably to be sold to an unsuspecting customer. I did feel that one had to pump the pedal more to get any output and didnt feel very peppy at all. I may be wrong.

Wonde rif anyone else has driven one and can give their feedback?
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:26   #11
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How about the City Automatic. After the Santro/i10 the next automatic is the City. There is nothing in between!

I know this is below the budget but may be an option. Having owned small auto's since 1999 (Zen till mid 2005 and Santro thereafter) I can confirm that they are great city cars (at the cost of 20% in economy) The i10 Auto should come at a premium of about 75k from the second top model (based on my experience of the Santro).
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:26   #12
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You could change your Indigo and let your wifey continue to drive the 800. Options for a new car would be Cedia while being in Delhi, you could have plenty of pre-owned car options, say Optra 1.8, Sonata Embera or Accord or even a CRV... and if lucky with an auto box... best of luck in your search!

Last edited by AirWind : 15th January 2008 at 16:27.
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:38   #13
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
2. Can you stretch your budget a wee bit for a Civic? Highly recommended.

4. Importantly : Just because you have a budget of 12 lakhs doesn't mean you have to spend that entire amount. Considering that you have happily driven an Indigo for 3 years, a CVT NHC, SX4 or Optra 1.6 may keep you satisfied. They are pretty competent sedans and a significant upgrade from the Indigo.
Quite frankly I was almostly on the verge of finalising the Civic S A/T , and was even offered a discount of 30K, but it fissled out in the end when I came to know that it was phased out going forward. How I wish I had finalised then.

However after reading a few threads here, sort of undertsood that the GC is a bit of a problem and that the car was a wee bit more delicate than the others and probably a little more expensive to maintain (as well as cost of parts) as compared to the Corolla. Damn the car is beautiful, guess it'd be a little hard to avoid it getting scratched in Delhi more often than not.

The Corolla only excites me to the point as its a D segment A/T available at Rs 75000 less (H3 OTR is approx 11.75 Lac). I know that the new Corolla has to be more expensive than this. Also after talking to a lot of people its supposedly a maintenance free car and from what vasudeva tells me its not too bad in frugality. However it DOES look and feel MORE dated than esp the Civic.

Now you see why i am confused!

Further you are very right in saying that I dont have to spend the entire amount in one go. I did seriously think about the CVT and the SX4.

CVT was an ideal contender too. Already have one in the family and they are very happy with it. I can ideally keep it for 1-2 years and give it to my wife as it would be an ideal car for her to keep. However it lacks safety features (which may not be needed in the town/city runs) like ABS and Airbags. Also I have tried very hard to somehow like it, but every time I consider it I always end up taking out too many ostensible things that I dont like about it. I feel if I were to buy this one, then I would eventually end up upgrading very soon again! Not that its a bad thing to do, however I had the Honda Jazz / Skoda Fabia / VW Polo in mind for the wife next year (or in two maybe) after the Indigo. Also the City is due for a platform change soon too, that puts it in the same boat as the Corolla.

SX4 although a great VFM, somehow doesnt seem to rock my boat. There is something about that car that I dont seem to like, however I cant say what for sure. Maybe the fact that its too bulbous! Dunno.

Last edited by HSV : 15th January 2008 at 16:40.
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:54   #14
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What about the Sonata Embera ? Wont it squeeze in ur budget with discounts?
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Old 15th January 2008, 16:58   #15
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What about the Sonata Embera ? Wont it squeeze in ur budget with discounts?
Hadnt considered this until now. I'd love to buy it if thats the case. The car looks great and have heard its peppy too, and the A/T is a tiptronic - fabulous! But isnt the price around the 15L mark? Not sure what discounts are being offered on this. Would you know whats the max discount available on this?
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