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Old 28th February 2008, 16:03   #1
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Question Very Light Driver,looking for a car for an all india road trip

Hi Guys,

I am here to seek your advice and discuss out the options for me. I currently own an Alto I picked up at True Value in Oct 2006. It will be due for exchange in Oct 2008 or so, most probably for a new second hand one.

My dilemma is that I drive very light, only 400kms max in a month so a diesel car does not make a lot of sense. But for this trip I think a diesel car makes sense.

I intend to go for the trip around the same time next year. So my options are:
1) Exchange my car with a safari, go on the trip and come back and sell it, may be after keeping it for a few more months.
2) For the trip buy one and come back and sell it off.

My thoughts on which car I might be picking up are in my blog at About a road trip around India on Golden Quadrangle....: Vehicle for the trip

Here is the copy paste from there
Quote:
Here comes the most important part in the planning. The best vehicle. Its got to be an SUV I guess.. what say?

Now we have quite a few options for SUVs in India. We have Ford Endeavour, Honda CRV, Suzuki Grand Vitara and Hyundai Terracan among the high end ones. Then there is the more "affordable" range of Tata Safari, Mahindra Scorpio and Ford Fusion, these are all around 10 lakhs mark. If we compare feature wise Tata Safari is on the highest end, price wise too. So Tata has come up with almost similar tech specs in Sumo Grande, (it looks cute... for an SUV) which is priced more aggressively and has lesser jazzy features like LCD screen etc.

There are some others which can fit the bill like Toyota Innova, Indigo Marina which can be considered, but am not, just for lack of sheer power. This trip could be fun to enjoy the raw power of the vehicle I choose.

So the choice has boiled down to picking one out of Safari, Sumo Grande, Scorpio and Fusion. Fusion looks good and is priced very aggressively but its not something I would like to pick for 2 reasons, one its power which is barely 100PS in the petrol version(diesel is a meagre 68) and two it is from GM which from my US experience doesn't build cars that one can "enjoy", its more for "use". This trip has enjoyment as priority so Fusion is out. Sumo Grande I can buy a new one, but it does not come in Petrol variant and diesel doesn't make a lot of sense for my 10-15 km per day city driving, so that drops down the list a bit.

Okay, just checked petrol will be very expensive :-|. So for the trip it has to be a diesel car. Can I keep the diesel car after the trip .. may be .. may be not? So I have to buy something second hand, that I can sell of without loosing a lot of money in a month or so. So the Sumo Grande, the cutie, is out. Its too new and may not be available in second hand, even if it is available it would be huge loss in buying and selling.

So my choices are down to either a Safari or a Scorpio. The usual range that I look for in a second hand car is around 12k-15k per year and 2-3 years old. According to CarWale.com India, Safari should cost around Rs.6,36,500 and Scorpio Rs.7.34 for Aug 2005. The average is better by a couple of kms on highway in Scorpio as per net research. Given the price advantage of 1 lakh and my wife likes the look of Safari, I guess it will be a safari. P.S. The pricess are for 30k driven Dicor EX and Slx models respectively, which are second from top.

So my choice of vehicle is Tata Safari which should cost around 6.5L in August. thats AS OF NOW :-).

Last edited by jits_1998 : 28th February 2008 at 16:09.
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Old 28th February 2008, 16:22   #2
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I am no Guru here but in IMHO, the safari will be best best. You can carry loads of stuff , it is a very comfortable highway muncher & spacious too. A used 2005 30k Safari will be around at 5.50.

& yes fusion is from ford Stable not from GM as mentioned in your blog
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Old 28th February 2008, 16:26   #3
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Heyi Pankaj,

Thanks for the correction. I am in Hyderabad, good second hand car here is less easily available and hence more pricey. There could be a difference of upto 1 lakh around Delhi. I am looking at Exi model.

Let me quickly correct my blog.. But actually All US car makers have the same thing, its good to use, bad to sell and not so good to enjoy.

Last edited by jits_1998 : 28th February 2008 at 16:39.
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Old 28th February 2008, 17:53   #4
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Safari's requirement? Its only in your head, with all due respect. Any car can do a GQ run boss.
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Old 28th February 2008, 17:55   #5
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Tell me, you want to buy a car just thinking of a GQ drive....
Well, you can do that in your Alto as well and you will enjoy it too !!

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Old 28th February 2008, 17:57   #6
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Heyi Robin,

I have heard most of the roads are good except some major portion in Bihar.

But I am looking at a big car for 2 reasons:
1) It will be easier on my back. I have had a back problem and I am planning to work on it, right now it does not let me drive for 2 hour stretch.
2) IT could be once in a lifetime trip and would like to enjoy it, a big car sounds like fun. For city driving I don't intend to buy one for some time at least.

So keeping fun and comfort factor I thought about picking an SUV.. what say.
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Old 28th February 2008, 19:45   #7
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Criteria to decide on the car:

- How many people travelling ? Adults ? kids ?
- Kms you intend to drive in a day
- Do you intend to go off the GQ and do sight seeing ?

The Safari Dicor 3.0, Scorpio and the Innova come as top of mind recall, suitable for the trip. A well maintained tata Indigo Marina also may be an option if the no. of people are not too many.

You may also want to send a note to Tata Motors to see if they will loan you a Sumo Grande in xchange for some testimonials !!
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Old 28th February 2008, 20:32   #8
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Hi Srini,

Here are some of the questions I have answered from my friends on my blog:

About a road trip around India on Golden Quadrangle....: Things to consider in planning

Quoting here for easy reference:
Quote:
Then there are questions (credit: Kaushy) to answer like:
1) Will I travel alone? Still considering, interested in going alone but lets see...
2) Which car? Have my own Alto car, but may be will rent some SUV.
3) Any message to carry around? No. It is a personal fact-finding and learning trip.
4) Any sponsors? This blog could be my partial sponsor ;-)
5) How long will it take? Plan to travel around 8 hours everyday, so at an average of 40 kmph would be covering around 300 kms in a day, so this could take minimum of 20 days..may be more if I plan to take breaks on weekends.
6) Self drive or take a driver along? Driver would make it a leisure trip rather than an adventurous business trip.. what say ?
So no kids, may have my wife along for some part or a friend is also interested. Then since I am going to be driving in real leisure, I would need place to stay, so will be seeing the city a bit to find a place to stay at least. But not really off-route kind of places to be visited in this trip.

Thanks.
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Old 29th February 2008, 10:15   #9
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You'll need a comfortable car, petrol or diesel depends on your cost analysis. For comfortable diesel, I would go for Optra Magnum, Hyundai Elantra or Fusion diesel in that order.
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Old 29th February 2008, 10:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smsrini View Post
You may also want to send a note to Tata Motors to see if they will loan you a Sumo Grande in xchange for some testimonials !!
That's a good idea.
With a well worded Mission Statement Tata or Mahindra might well loan you a vehicle and/or become sponsors!
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Old 29th February 2008, 13:18   #11
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Went thru your blog.
If it is just you and another companion, then you should even consider the Indigo Marina. Its got good space, and is serviceable practically anywhere. You will be travelling on the GQ, so mostly good roads.

If you are considering the Safari, then you may want to opt for Tubeless tyres and ( atleast ) carry the Inflatable Tyre repair ( Gulf make ). Changing tyres of a Safari may be very cruel on your back. A electrically operated ( on the car cigarette lighter ) jack is a good option to carry.

Renting a car for this is ruled out as the interstate taxes will be a big hassle. you should use a car registered for private use i.e. White board car.

Talk to the manufacturer and they should be able to give you contacts of their Area managers, who can help you if you hit some troublesome repairs.
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Old 29th February 2008, 15:12   #12
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@jits_1998 Your thread title is somewhat misleading.I was imagining you require a car for a 20~25 kg Driver

On a serious note, driving on the GQ do not demand and special car(At least in the south I havent seen the conditions in North).And you have very modest expectations as far as avg speed is concerned. You can even do it on your alto.
However, if you want to seriuosly click some speed and create some record, pls contemplate on a Verna.

A recent trip i had in my friends car to Bangalore, we were doing consistent speeds of 120+, althouh the handling is not very sure, braking and straight line stability was amazing. I even touched 190 briefly, and some stretches( chennai -Nellore) the speedo was constantly above 150 and to my surprise, a distance of 180 km were covered in a little less than 1 houe 45 mins. (Early morning before sunbreak and no traffic at all, familiar road)

Although you cannot drive on the edge constantly, but this is one car which can cruise all day at 140.And the suspension is also pretty descent,so that you wont be troubled by ur backache. Steering effort needed is really laughable, which can be a blessing in such loooooooong trips! All the best
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Old 29th February 2008, 20:27   #13
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Best highway cars (diesels)...why would you want an SUV??
  1. Magnum
  2. Verna
  3. Fiesta
  4. Logan
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Old 29th February 2008, 21:15   #14
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IMO the preference should be a car in which the seating is comfortable,really stable one under speeds above 130-140kmph,can carry your luggage comfortably,should not be that thirsty and a pretty good resale value too.
The top most priority would be -it should be available in the second hand market as a cheap buy.
TATA safari can be one choice considering these facts and should be available cheap too.
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Old 1st March 2008, 15:11   #15
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You want to buy a new car for a trip thats expected to last only 20 days? It would be best for you to rent a car.

Scorpios and Innovas are easily available for rental use, with luck, you may spot a Safari too. But I don't really see the need for an SUV / MUV here. A competent sedan will make the drive far more enjoyable. Take your pick from an Optra, Corolla, Octavia or even a Civic.
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