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Old 15th May 2009, 11:47   #1
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Exclamation Expert opinion needed to bail me out of my car buying woes

Hi all,

I have been sitting on this conundrum for quite a while now. I decided to phase out my daily driver and get a new set of wheels. I have been doing a lot of research and that seems to be my undoing as I cannot decide which car to buy anymore!
  • My Budget is max 10 lakhs ( cash, no EMI) and there is no minimum limit
  • On a daily basis I drive about 80 kms (At least) and this car will also see some weekend trips which would also add to the reading on the ODO.
  • While I drive myself around for now, I am looking to hire a driver to drive me around so I can manage more than the 5 hours of sleep I get now!
  • That said, on the weekends I shall be in charge of this baby so it should be driver friendly too
  • I am "kanjoos" and I make no qualms about it, so mileage and maintenance costs should be kept as low as possible
  • The car should give me my moneys worth.
Phew, I guess now you know why I have my knickers in a twist!
I had narrowed my search down to the following cars :
  1. Fiat Linea MJD (Emotion) - While I love this car, the family is after my life to buy a city!!
  2. All new Honda city -S manual - We already have a city and I dont want my garage to look like the Honda stock yard! That said I dont find the car particularly fun to drive.
  3. Honda Civic-MT (Used) - I was hoping if I land a used civic for about 7 odd and save about 3 lakhs!
  4. Honda Accord MT - A friend of mine reccomended this, well he has been drafted in this search for a suitable car too! The bottle of the fine bubbly shall be your buddy, just help me out with this, you know who you are
  5. Chevy Optra Magnum LT- Same as the civic
  6. A fairly Old merc/Beemer - I know some old mercs and beemers can be snagged for as low as 4lakhs, its got the badge and though some money will be needed to get them into tip-top shape it should still end up cheaper than the other options, right or wrong?
I was debating a diesel car with my dad and he has heard that a) diesel cars dont have a long engine life ( 3 years is what he has heard) b) resale value is zilch c) Overhauls are required at as low as 60k (in line with a)
I would love to hear some expert opinions on this.

Also considering I am the kanjoos person that I admitted above, would CNG conversion to any of the used petrol cars i mentioned above make sense? What kinds of sacrifice would I have to make in terms of performance and drivability?

I know this is a long post but I am at my wits end now and I cant make my mind up anymore, while I know there will be n number of suggestions that shall arise here but hey, what can go wrong?


Mods : apologies for asking so many questions, cant help it!
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:57   #2
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Being a "Kanjoos" (Typing people we are) I would suggest you to have a brand new Honda City S and get it converted to CNG after running for at least 10K Kms. It would be the best option which will not only be lighter on your pocket but will stay with you for long. At the end of you'll not even enjoy best resale but also a floor cheap run-in during ownership span.

Though if you are a bit fascinating towards style and looks you can also do with a used Civic which should cost around 7-7.5. But still for CNG my suggestion will be to have a new car.

BTW, I too drive/driven into a CNG Optra and swear it as one of the cheapest car in our family to run and own.

Last edited by ashthedivx : 15th May 2009 at 12:00.
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Old 15th May 2009, 11:59   #3
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Get ready to see a lot of expert opinions in here will give you my 2 cents as well...wait till june for the grande punto launch (if you don't mind a spacious hatch with better initial gear ratios than the Linea). I'm sure it has all the makings of a winner.

Also new generation diesels are reliable and hassle free.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:04   #4
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Yaar Pallav, still stuck at the old conundrum eh!

So my suggestions (as you know already) would be a used Accord though to be honest I'm not big on the CNG thing but that's just my personal opinion. What say we hunt some down next week??

P.S. I know you have a lot of experience maintaining your Palio but I still wouldn't go down the Old Merc/BM route. You need something that doesn't cost much to maintain and should serve you reliably for the next few years considering your average running is quite high.

Last edited by iraghava : 15th May 2009 at 12:07.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:07   #5
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I'd say - go ahead with Linea if you really like it or consider overpriced City S (M). Stay away from second hand stuff, not worth the hassles you go through for it, unless you are buying it from someone close and know the car well. You have good budget and it makes sense to buy a new car. Linea MJD emotion+ gives good mileage as well.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:11   #6
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Dear Pallav,

Some Serious Myths there about Diesel, I am one of the Biggest fan of Diesel engines & would vouch for my words that all 3 points you wrote are not true.

Diesel Engines last years & years (my dad MM540 dp is still live & kicking model 1988)
My Scorpio already clocked 65k kms & 3 yrs nothing except services on time.
Yes Services are little costlier but your amount of driving you would save much more in fuel.

And why dont dont you cosider
Hyundai Verna Diesel (Good Average, good value for money)
Skoda Octavia (Very strudy enginer, Nice average)
May be Mahindra Scorpio (Totally Niche, Wont regret)

Let me know if I can be of any help!!

Or MAy be LINEA Diesel itself

Last edited by SamtheLeo : 15th May 2009 at 12:12. Reason: missed a point
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:25   #7
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The Honda Accord would be a fantastic car. It also comes very cheap in the used car market.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:27   #8
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I recommend diesel instead of CNG. I see lines and lines of vehicles outside CNG pumps in Delhi and noida. So you will sleep 2 hours a night, unless you plan to sleep in the queue.
Moreover CNG conversion may void warranty, and it will hurt your kanjoosness.
So I suggest you get a diesel sedan with a comfortable back seat.
Ford Fiesta/Verna/Linea are your potential candidates if you want to keep the bills low. You can also look at the Safari/Scorpio if you want nicheness, however do not expect them to be "fun" unless you do serious bad roads. Their handling and tarmac manners can shame oil tankers, and if you are a sedan guy looking for fun to drive you will be disappointed. But then drive and decide.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:42   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I recommend diesel instead of CNG. I see lines and lines of vehicles outside CNG pumps in Delhi and noida. So you will sleep 2 hours a night, unless you plan to sleep in the queue.
Moreover CNG conversion may void warranty, and it will hurt your kanjoosness.
Pardon me, but long queues is a tale of past. Recently with government being very active to increase the no.s and taking corrective actions to reduce queues it is decreased drastically.

Earlier my driver use to take somewhere around 25-30 mins at Nerhu place CNG station, but recently it is mere 5-10 mins job. I am very sure with the timing as recently i have employed a new driver with whom i also need to do CNG station trips.

Regarding warranty, Unless and untill you have not got it installed from Manufacturer's Authorised service center or installer your car's warranty will stay intact.

With regular services and maintaince CNG is anyday the chepest fuel to run on.

Last edited by ashthedivx : 15th May 2009 at 12:43.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:48   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pranava999 View Post
wait till June for the grande punto launch (if you don't mind a spacious hatch with better initial gear ratios than the Linea)
Hey pranava999, thanks for the suggestion mate, I agree the punto should be a stonker. As much as I find the car attractive ( I have been in love with it since I saw one in person) I am looking at buying a sedan for now. Maybe If I get rid of the palio, the punto should be the logical successor!


Quote:
Originally Posted by manish7 View Post
You have good budget and it makes sense to buy a new car. Linea MJD emotion+ gives good mileage as well.
Mate, I love the Linea its just that I risk a re-enactment of the Mahabharata in my family if I buy one! I dont know why but they just didn't like it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheLeo View Post
Some Serious Myths there about Diesel, I am one of the Biggest fan of Diesel engines & would vouch for my words that all 3 points you wrote are not true.
Thanks a ton for the advice Sam, of the three cars you mentioned the Verna though blessed with a great engine is ruled out because of the poor interiors and lack of space in the back. Just not worth the dough in my opinion. The Octavia is out because of similar issues and the amazing amount of "trust" that its servicing inspires!
The Scorpio is on my mind, but considering that I am not much of a off-roader ( Delhi "roads" warrant one though) and that I prefer a low, close to the road stance it just seems less useful to a guy like me. Maybe if i drove around in one I would like it? stranger things have happened!


Quote:
Originally Posted by iraghava View Post
Yaar Pallav, still stuck at the old conundrum eh!....What say we hunt some down next week??
sure thing bro! I am officially tired of being confused so lets take a look at some beauties and settle the matter In case you are back in town, I'll give you a call this evening?
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:52   #11
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Yup, I'm back finally! Give me a call in the evening and we'll figure something out.
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Old 15th May 2009, 12:58   #12
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Umm if you are looking for a sedan than I guess a Optra Magnum is a good option. Infact the other day my friend informed me that the magnum top end with air bags, sunroof , etc is priced at 9.90 lakhs (on road pune). Also the maintainance cost for three years would be on chevy which will cost you around 20 grands.

Also considering the low maintainance part, I suggest you avoid used cars unless you know the owner well.
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Old 15th May 2009, 13:53   #13
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I would suggest go for the Linea MJD a peppy yet cost effective performance!!!
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Old 15th May 2009, 18:40   #14
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Looking to your heavy driving, i will not suggest any used car. & Diesel is preferred.

IMO Linea 1.3 MJD is the ultimate choice in the given price range for " Kanjoos". (I'll prefer is above verna)

If you can increase your budget a bit, buy a SUV (Innova!!!) so that, you will get hotel bed for sleep. (Xylo, Safari will be well in your budget)
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Old 15th May 2009, 18:58   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by loving_alaap View Post
...you will get hotel bed for sleep. (Xylo, Safari will be well in your budget)
The Xylo is designed to tilt the front seat back right down, remove the head-restraint, and convert the rear seat into a bed! Most comfortable seat for the money, with adjustable lumbar support, and I've found it very comfortable to sleep in. Give it a test!
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