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Old 8th April 2008, 19:15   #1
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Default Sedan under 10L - narrowed down to 2 choices

I currently own a Palio which i had from 2002. I have been contemplating a second car for sometime - I had even started a thread here a few months back. My wife needs a car - and since we miss the comfort & boot space during my long trips - we decided to go for a Sedan. We will keep the Palio for another 2 years and then maybe upgrade it. Our budget is a slightly stretchable 10L.

Driving Pattern:
  • 500 km/month and 2 long drives of 1200 km each => 8400 kms/month
  • 80% of the driving will be me alone, rest 15% with wife and child and 5% with 5+1 (ballpark)
  • All driving with a/c on.
Preferences (in that order):
  1. drivability in traffic compared to outright performance (and if I can have both, great!)
  2. maneuverability (in congested Bangalore roads)
  3. good handling & breaking
  4. reasonable isolation from external sounds (traffic, noise pollution etc)
  5. comfortable ride over bad roads
  6. decent space for a family of three and a good boot (we almost run out of bootspace during long trips)
Dont care for:
  • perceived status. mebbe i would if i had 30 L to spend :(
  • exterior looks (almost all sedans under 10 L look ok to me - and i don't have 13 L for a Civic)
Now I have done some homework and narrowed down my choices to the following two:

Honda City Gxi 8.38L on road, after discounts and freebies
Swift Dezire Vdi 6.60L on road, no freebies/discounts

Now, I know both are different classes. Doesnít matter - what I am keen on is which one fits my need better. As for why not Dezire petrol since my yearly run is less? - I drove swift petrol & diesel with a/c on in city and at least to me diesel was better in traffic. I donít mind paying extra for better drivability.


Considered and dropped after TD:

Verna (CRDI SX) - Amazing power for the diesel. The car flies like a dream in an open stretch, good control, good ride. Interiors are OK. Driving in 2nd/3rd in city not as good smooth as the Honda though. Beats me, but my wife just doesnít like this car.

SX4 Zxi - Good power, Great elevated sitting position. Amazing ground clearance of 190 mm means i don't have to slow down for innumerous speedbreakers. Interiors not good for a 8L car & and looking bad plastics. It didnít help (perception) that the demo car had badly soiled interiors. Very safe car with airbags, ABS, EBD. Poor FE is a downer, and can
affect long term resale. Again, driving in 2nd/3rd in city not as good smooth as the Honda.

Innova - The best car of the lot. Amazing ride, space, class. No other cars I have considered comes closer in comfort. I would have bought this but for congested Bangalore roads and that i have to drive on my own. My wife really liked this car too.

Didnít Consider:
Ford, GM - donít like these brands
Cedia - i am scared i will buy it if i testdrive - i dont like HM :(
Logan - didn't TD since interiors were not to my taste

And to the finalists (+ve,-ve and ?not sure):

City Gxi
+ Very refined, pulls brilliantly in 2/3rd gear.
+ Effortless to drive around in city
+ 3 can comfortably sit in backseat
- GC a problem, did bottom out in some speedbreakers with 3 people on board
- light steering makes me uncomfortable above 80 kmph. Probably a case of getting used to.
- i "feel" more planted in my Palio in high speeds, and i think it handles corners better
+ Great cabin quality, has a lux feel
? heard storied about breaks locking, i tried breaks and found it to be ok. can someone elaborate?
? i heard performance is an issue with all 5 passengers/full luggage/ac

Dezire
+ pulls well in 2/3rd gears with a/c, not as good as NHC, but no big difference.
+ pretty smooth for a diesel
+ leg space in front and rear ok (none of us are above 5'9")
+ feels safer than city at high speeds
- rear cramped, cant seat 3 in comfort
- felt more planted than City at higher speeds
? engine noisy while accelerating above 90, or mebbe i am not used to diesels?

Questions:
  1. Assuming my car usage (small family,most driven alone) does it make sense to pay extra for the Honda?
  2. If City is replaced this Nov, how badly will it affect spares/service/resale?
  3. How bad is the GC problem, and assuming it hits speedbreakers every once in a while, would it affect the car badly?
  4. Noise levels of the Dezire was ok, would it deteriorate over the years (Swift D owners)?
  5. I keep hearing bad things about Maruthi build quality & rattles. Is is really that bad or a mere hype? (swift/sx4 owners)?
Please let me know your views. Thanks for your time - this was a long one. I will decide by this Saturday.
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Old 8th April 2008, 19:21   #2
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If your budget is close to 10 lakh rupees why not consider an Optra Magnum Diesel base of the mid end variant. It gives you everything you ask for and more.
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Old 8th April 2008, 19:28   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
why not consider an Optra Magnum Diesel base of the mid end variant.
Here is your answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
Ford, GM - donít like these brands
@SkyWalker: I think you should consider Aveo(top end) or Optra(mid model), they are great VFM and with the service package that GM is offering these days, they are a force to reckon with.
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Old 8th April 2008, 19:34   #4
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@revv... I knew the answer too, just wanted to ask the guy... why?
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Old 8th April 2008, 19:58   #5
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Why don't you consider City Automatic (AT)? Especially since bulk of the driving is done in the city you can have absolute control on driveability and maneuverability. Comfort levels will be high. You will have to give up on mileage though, which is not key in your case.

Cheers,
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Old 8th April 2008, 21:29   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
@revv... I knew the answer too, just wanted to ask the guy... why?
I agree Spark & Optra are nice products. I somehow cant GM as a successful brand despite good products - and that doesn't make me convinced about the service, availability and resale.

But once again - it might be a perception problem - FIAT is a failure too until now - didn't stop me from enjoying Palio.

As for Ford - i have heard bad things about longevity, spares and service centers. My cousin was one of the first Escort owners and still keep cribbing about it. I have seen multiple messages in this forum about bad stories related to Ford.

No offense intended : didn't mean to say any brand is bad - just the way i see it - and i may be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revved_up View Post
@SkyWalker: I think you should consider Aveo(top end) or Optra(mid model), they are great VFM and with the service package that GM is offering these days, they are a force to reckon with.
Thanks for this tip - i have read about the service interval - but that was not at the top of my mind when i shortlisted cars. I will definitely check out Optra MAX. I am not sure about Aveo though - i have driven it when my neighbor bought it about 1.5 years back - not particularly impressed.
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Old 8th April 2008, 21:43   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diffsoft View Post
Why don't you consider City Automatic (AT)? Especially since bulk of the driving is done in the city you can have absolute control on driveability and maneuverability.
Cheers,
Thanks, i did consider it - at price levels close to 9.2L it was dangerously close to VTEC. On top of that i made the blunder of commenting to my wife CVT 60K extra is ok since she will find it easier to drive. And she turned up her pretty nose and let me know that she is as good if not a better driver than me and she didn't need my charity, thank you.
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Old 8th April 2008, 21:52   #8
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You need to buy NHC the reason its best refined and has better space inside with boot, fuel efficient too.

Dezire is not good choice since already you own Swift and inside space is not good but it has good boot.

My suggestion re consider the Innova, If you make up your mind buy Petrol Innova (FE between 7 and 12), its wonderfull product to sit inside also to drive. Who cares for resale value and FE when it makes you smile every single day.

Innova has wonder full driving position with great Mirrors, Even if we are first time drivers, If we use our brain we can park and drive this vehicle in any congested tight areas.

I can clearly see my wife who has around 200km/2 months driving experience now drove my Innova much much better and she is better than me already and I have so far maximum 50km/5 years driving experience :(

Innova is such a vehicle anyone can get tempted to drive it and every one can feel happy with what it offers inside.

NHC is also very good Sedan you can consider that too

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 8th April 2008, 23:40   #9
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You already have a city car so why not buy something that is perfect for highway cruising? I would suggest that you reconsider Innova. IIRC, there is another thread about how easy it is to get used to driving it on Bangalore roads.
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Old 9th April 2008, 00:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post

500 km/month and 2 long drives of 1200 km each => 8400 kms/month
Since you are going to drive 8400 Kms/month, IMO you should not go for a petrol car. You should look for Innova Diesel or Optra Magnum.
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Old 9th April 2008, 00:12   #11
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Go for the NHC you wont regret.If you can stretch to 10l then you can go for the v-tec with abs and airbags. Very good car trust me worth the extra money.
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Old 9th April 2008, 00:17   #12
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Any particular reason for the dislike of HM? Frankly considering the fact that you are in Bangalore, service is not a problem. Lathangi is pretty decent. In 10lacs and with a running of 8400km per year (i assume month was a typo), Cedia is your best bet by a mile. The other option is the Optra Magnum LT but thats roughly 11.5 onroad and your kind of running doesn't warrant a diesel.

If you liked the NHC or the Swift Dzire, you'll be blown away by what the Cedia can do.

Last edited by reignofchaos : 9th April 2008 at 00:18.
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Old 9th April 2008, 08:08   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Since you are going to drive 8400 Kms/month, IMO you should not go for a petrol car. You should look for Innova Diesel or Optra Magnum.
I am sorry, i meant 8400/year. Mods, anyway i can edit and update this?

Quote:
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and with a running of 8400km per year (i assume month was a typo)
yes it is. Thank you.
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Old 9th April 2008, 08:19   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravibhat View Post
My suggestion re consider the Innova, If you make up your mind buy Petrol Innova (FE between 7 and 12), its wonderfull product to sit inside also to drive. Who cares for resale value and FE when it makes you smile every single day.

Innova has wonder full driving position with great Mirrors, Even if we are first time drivers, If we use our brain we can park and drive this vehicle in any congested tight areas.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hondadude View Post
You already have a city car so why not buy something that is perfect for highway cruising? I would suggest that you reconsider Innova. IIRC,
Thanks for this. I have TD'ed the Innova and it was definitely better than anything i have tried on my list on almost all aspects. Two reasons kept me from it:
  • my family is just me my wife and my 3 year old daughter. I would be hard pressed to find situations where we travel with more people.
  • If i look at the time i drive 90% of it would be spent in city, and mostly me alone (except for weekends)
Quote:
Originally Posted by hondadude View Post
there is another thread about how easy it is to get used to driving it on Bangalore roads.
too bad i know of this thread after 6 years of driving in Bangalore. Well, i guess better late than never. I will look for it, If you don't mind - please PM me a link cheers:
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Old 9th April 2008, 08:26   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Any particular reason for the dislike of HM? Frankly considering the fact that you are in Bangalore, service is not a problem. Lathangi is pretty decent.
RoC, i have read your ownership review here, as well as a few other Cedia's. My heart is with Cedia - i love the masculine looks and from what i read in the ownership reviews, i will like the driving experience too. And above all else its a Mitsu - and i have driven Lancers before and absolutely loved them.

In general i have heard bad things about HM service. I am also worried with new Lancer coming in early 2009, spares & service might get costlier. Yes, i know City will be replaced even faster - but city sells high volumes and i hope there would be decent spares availability. Can any OHC owners enlighten us here?
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