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Old 6th July 2008, 22:37   #1
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Default used car for 5L - is Toyota Corolla the way to go??

hey everyone

its FINALLY time to replace my 8 year old M-1000. with some cash in the bank and some pre-approved loans i started my hunt for a worthy replacement.

assuming i get 85k - 1L for my existing car..... i can take a loan for 4 - 4.15L and pay the bank back in the next 36 months. it works out to under 15k a month which as a fresh architecture graduate i can manage.

now to some details about what i am looking for. i don't think i would be doing more than 30-40 kms a day on an average so i kind of ruled out diesel. i need a boot. i carry lot of materials, drawings, samples etc so boot is a must. this would be a replacement for my family car hence i'd like it to be comfortable with easier entry/exit compared to the m-1000.

my options obviously ruled out brand new cars so i went around searching in the used car market. there were quite a few interesting choices and i worked out pros and cons for each one of them.

1)Skoda Octavia Petrol - 2002-2003 model - pros: big car, snob value, well built, german, good resale value. cons:expensive to maintain, thirsty, poor rear legroom.

2)Chevrolet Optra 1.6 - 2004-2006 model - pros: big car, amazing rear legroom. cons: american, expensive maintenance, thirsty and poor resale value.

3)Hyundai Elantra CRDi - 2004-2005 model - pros: diesel, torquey engine, good interior space, cheap to maintain, good mileage cons: problems crop up after 70k kms(i've heard), poor build quality

4)Toyota Corolla - 2003-2004 model - pros: fast, toyota reliability, cheaper parts can be sourced from other asian markets, good mileage, abs and airbags. cons: harsh ride, soon to be replaced

5)Honda City - 2004-2005 model pros: honda, good mileage, good resale. cons: soon to be replaced, no abs or airbags, slow.

in the last 2 weeks i have come across 2 corollas and 1 honda city.

03/2003 corolla h2 - white colour - 55k kms run - good condition. - 4.75L final
06/2004 corolla h2 - black colour - 67k kms run - good condition. - 5.5L final

03/2005 city - gold colour - 50k kms run - good condition. - 4.75L final

i will be looking at a few more cars but right now the 2003 corolla h2 seems interesting. the 2004 is out of budget and besides doesnt make much sense paying 75k more for a car which has run more.

i am looking to buy one by the end of the week. what are the common problems which one can expect in a 5 year old corolla which has run 55k kms?? the tyres have been replaces 15k kms before.

please let me know what you people think.
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Old 6th July 2008, 22:49   #2
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Corolla seems to be the best choice. The biggest worry for a 2nd. hand car is maintainance, corolla is very reliable & requires less of it. New corolla is to be launched soon, so this should make the present one even a better deal , as resale prices will fall.
Leave out octy., its heavy on fuel & maintainance & parts dont come cheap.
Optra too is fuel consuming.
Elantra has been discontinued, so, procuring parts in future might be an issue.
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Old 6th July 2008, 22:57   #3
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the elantra crdi would be a good choice. brilliant car and you would get it cheap now.
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Old 6th July 2008, 23:09   #4
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I dont have a suggestion, but you need to keep in mind the regular service charges, and the fact that these cars are far from cheap to fix if you get into an incident on the road and require lamps/panels. Hyundai, in this scenario, makes good sense.
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Old 6th July 2008, 23:21   #5
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Hi flipsyde

Both the car you choose are good.

I have a friend who has a 2004 corolla and the car has 85k on the odo.

The car is a dream. You can't go wrong with a Toyota even if it's a used one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by flipsyde View Post
hey everyone

1)Skoda Octavia Petrol - 2002-2003 model - pros: big car, snob value, well built, german, good resale value. cons:expensive to maintain, thirsty, poor rear legroom.

2)Chevrolet Optra 1.6 - 2004-2006 model - pros: big car, amazing rear legroom. cons: american, expensive maintenance, thirsty and poor resale value.
No offence meant


Skoda is a Czech compacy owned by German.

Chevy Optra is a Daewoo car . Not American

Spinner Wheelz
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Old 6th July 2008, 23:37   #6
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@flipsyde - I would actually recommend an Optra 1.6 over the Corolla.
Expect similar FE to the Corolla but remember, the Optra is newer and has a much better build quality than the toyota. We had a 2003 Toyota Corolla and weren't impressed with it at all. Infact, we sold it off last year and the car had done 50Kkm.
A few points to note about the Corolla -
- The Suspension is really flimsy! We had a few shunts, nothing major and most were bent bumpers, and the suspension needed to be retuned a lot of times.
- Uneven tyre wear - I have seen this on my friends cars as well. Our Problem was amplified due to the flimsy suspension and accidents and we went through 3 sets of tyres in 4 years/50Kkm.
- Poor build quality - There were quite a few rattles and a few parts were even falling off at the end of these 4 years. The car had been driven on some rough roads but at the same time, we maintain our cars really well. Infact, the corolla rattled more than the Palio and Ikon which were older, the Ikon being 7 years old and having covered over 1L km! I saw the same in my friends Corolla as well. The new ones have improved but since you are buying the 2003, its better to be careful.

The reason why I suggested the Optra -
- Poor resale value is actually an advantage for you as you can get a 2006 model for the price of a 2003 Corolla
- Looks more richer than the Corolla.
- Way better build quality and better interiors
- Much better ride quality which your parents will appreciate.

The maintainance of both the cars should be similar. Just remember though, the Corolla is much more peppier and bigger than the Optra. Avoid the Skoda as maintainance is on the expensive side though it is an amazing vehicle.
The Hyundai looks like a good deal but finding a low run used example in good condition can be expensive.
It comes down to what you want.
Comfort - Optra
Driving pleasure (within limits) - Corolla

@Spinner - the Skoda Octavia is built on the VW Golf's platform so even though it is a czech company, the parts and platform are german designs.

Last edited by lamborghini : 6th July 2008 at 23:39.
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Old 7th July 2008, 00:05   #7
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I would suggest you the corolla.
It is a great car
Gives you better mileage than a Chevy.
Toyota is a world renowned company
The car is loaded with safety features and being a toyota, it is sure to be a class apart.
Its got better power than the Chevy.

And ya 1 more thing, 3 million people cant get wrong with buying the corolla. So go for it dude
You wont regret it.
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Old 7th July 2008, 00:36   #8
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thanks for all you responses.

from the face of it i can see the best thing for me to do is stay away from the skodas. germans or not its expensive to maintain. so i regretfully strike skoda off my list.

as many of you have suggested hyundai elantra seems to be a good choice. but sadly the 4 cars i have come across till date have either done a lot of miles (60k+) or are in bad shape. and i never knew the elantra was discontinued. i always thought they'd stop making them by the end of the year. i will still look out for good examples but its borderline axed in my book.

i'm surprised not many of you have recommended the honda city. i'm still wondering if i should scratch it off my list. is it because its almost one segment lower??

@lambo : your right. i agree with you that the chevy sounds interesting..... much newer car for the same price.

the gearbox and engine in the chevy are such a let down. the gearbox especially..... but the rear legroom on the other hand is just amazing. i don't think i will be able to get a 2006 LT model with airbags and abs which i would otherwise get on the corolla. the interiors in the optra are soo much better. the whole car has a quality feel to it. can i expect a mileage of 8-9kmpl inside city?

i agree with the premature tyre wear on corollas. i thought the harsh ride was because of the low profile tyres. i guess flimsy suspension is also to blame. but here i get abd and airbags. even the short test drive that i had it felt so good driving the corolla. so much power was instantly there. the gearbox was precise. not much to talk about the comfort it offers. but its not bad either. and being a toyota it would probably run forever.

ok guys here is my final list - corolla, optra 1.6, city. i already have suitable candidates for the corolla and city. should find a good optra soon. i might have to pull some of you t-bhp members from chennai to the dealer before i pick up the car.
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Old 7th July 2008, 00:44   #9
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Toyota Corolla!
No matter what, it's a Toyota. Period.
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Old 7th July 2008, 00:47   #10
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@flipsyde - the 2003 Corolla's didn't come with ABS. Only 2 airbags. ABS was introduced in 2005/2006 model after the facelift.
AFAIK - there was no 1.6LT until recently. There was a 1.6 Royale IIRC which had all the features. See if you could get that. The 1.6 was decent on performance and the FE should be around 9 in city. The corolla's was also similar.
For the NHC, wait till the new version is out as the resale value of the present model will fall. Even the NHC is a very good car but the performance is ok and ride is harsh though I havent heard any complaints about the vehicle and it is very very reliable.
When you go and see the Corolla's, please make a note of the tyres and specially uneven tyre wear on the rear tyres on the side facing out. I have seen that cars that have faced even small shunts have that problem. I think it was rectified in the newer corollas.
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Old 7th July 2008, 01:26   #11
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@lambo : no ABS on the corolla??? thats a bit of a let down! you'd expect a 11L car to have ABS even back in 2003. they have changed the tyres to MRF something recently so i'm not able to tell much about the uneven wear. the spare tyre which is bald (they promised to have that replaced) has worn out evenly. it was the original bridgestone potenzas which come standard on the car.

was there any warranty offered on the engine? i heard something like 2L kms warranty. can someone confirm this?

i am also going to be on the look-out for a optra 1.6 royale.
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Old 7th July 2008, 01:36   #12
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If the car is self driven,shouldn't drivability be considered before the leg room?
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Old 7th July 2008, 02:06   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by noidaboy View Post
If the car is self driven,shouldn't drivability be considered before the leg room?
very true. i don't see why either the optra or the corolla should suffer from poor drivability. both aren't underpowered. both produce good torque at around 2500-3000 rpm.
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Old 7th July 2008, 02:52   #14
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@flipsyde - No ABS for sure.
Are the MRF's tubeless? I would suggest changing to 205/60/R15 Michelin MXV8 as they are much better and will improve ride a lot!
The corolla is very drivable in city traffic though it feels a bit skittish at speeds in excess of 120kmph. Optra is more planted at high speeds.
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Old 7th July 2008, 03:17   #15
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Hold on a sec. As a fresh architectural graduate if you do lotta runnning around in all kinda places and won't have great salaries (not as far as I know) - aren't you taking a too expensive car? A 10L waali car bought few years old will still require maintenance and the occasional damage at 10L prices.

And a new car is a new car is a new car.
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