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Old 17th September 2009, 13:15   #1
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Default Tricky purchase. No exciting car between 13-30 lakhs! (IMO)

Let me explain.

Dad is looking to upgrade his NHC Vtec. Probably end of this year or beginning of the next.

Let's look at the options. Some of them may not be in my dad's budget, but let's look at them anyway.

1). Honda Civic - Low ground clearance and it's too common. Not keen on it.

2). Altis --- Great engine, very comfortable, bullet proof but not exciting to drive

3). Skoda Laura 1.8 - It's a skoda, and no creature comforts at all with the 1.8 petrol.

4). Honda Accord - Handles like a boat, somewhat slow but extremely comfortable and fully loaded

5)Toyota Camry - Same as Accord, but more expensive(am I wrong here?)

5). VW Jetta - Cheaper than Accord, but less comfortable on the inside than an Altis which is even cheaper. In my eyes, I dont see anything going for it except the brand. And VWs arent exactly known for their reliability. And it seems to be somewhat boring to drive. Not what you'd call a fast car.

6). VW Passat - Expensive, slow, FWD.

7). C230 - Excellent but expensive and of course out of our budget.

8). Skoda Superb -- Excellent car, especially with the 1.8 turbo but it's a Skoda!

However, my point is this.

Apart from the two Skodas which unfortunately are being sold by the most unethical company in the country today, there doesnt seem to be a single exciting car this side of 30 lakhs. Of course, if our budget permitted, the C230 would be perfect. Dad and me both prefer the 3 pointed star to Bangled ugliness, so I havent considered the BMW. The Audi is FWD and wont have the same driving dynamics of the Merc. The Quattro is too expensive.

So, for someone who needs an exciting car with a semblance of honest service, what car do you recommend?

Or is it worth getting a Skoda simply because of the great car it is and getting it serviced from outside?

PS: Havent test driven any of the cars except for the Civic(and that's because my uncle owns one! ). This is what I've gathered from various articles on the forum, speaking to people, etc... Will start the serious test driving once my dad fixes a deadline.

PPS: Cedia is an option. But that's below or close to 10 lakhs. Have definitely kept it as an option.

Last edited by Nikhilb2008 : 17th September 2009 at 13:18.
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Old 17th September 2009, 13:30   #2
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New Superb is very much close to your requirements but again as you say you dont want a skoda,next good alternative would be a Passat.
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Old 17th September 2009, 13:35   #3
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Passat isnt exciting! Or is it?
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Old 17th September 2009, 13:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Passat isnt exciting! Or is it?
To me more than a Accord,Its got a good ride and handing setup and the new common rail motor is told be more responsive and quieter than the outgoing PD motor plus DSG gearbox is very good at the job.
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Old 17th September 2009, 13:47   #5
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Nikhil,

I guess your 1. budget, 2. your driving requirements, and 3. your feelings about the car when you drive it ( comfort, confidence, ease of driving, road mananers) will enable you to zero in on your chosen brand and model.

I don't agree that there's no car in the (rather broad) price brand that you can't choose.

I will add my comments inline with your permission...please take my views as just that, another person's views and those might not be relevant for you!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhilb2008 View Post
Let me explain.

Dad is looking to upgrade his NHC Vtec. Probably end of this year or beginning of the next.

Let's look at the options. Some of them may not be in my dad's budget, but let's look at them anyway.

1). Honda Civic - Low ground clearance and it's too common. Not keen on it.

>>> GC is low. Being common is a perception, Mercs are also common in western countries and are becoming common in India too. My view : stylish, attention grabbing even now; seating position in the rear is low and may be slightly problematic for older people, plus there is no ac vent for the rear seats.

2). Altis --- Great engine, very comfortable, bullet proof but not exciting to drive

>>> You shouldn't expect a dynamically exciting drive from a best selling Toyota. The Corolla is becoming common too. My view : feels flimsy and comfort is so-so at the back ( where most owners will sit).


3). Skoda Laura 1.8 - It's a skoda, and no creature comforts at all with the 1.8 petrol.

>>> No idea about this; only that there's hearsay about poor after sales service.

4). Honda Accord - Handles like a boat, somewhat slow but extremely comfortable and fully loaded

>>> My view : a bit loud, spacious comfortable, more businessman's fast sedan than a sporty sedan -its grownup in more ways than one

5)Toyota Camry - Same as Accord, but more expensive(am I wrong here?)

>>> No idea; I somehow don't like the 'dolphin' looks

5). VW Jetta - Cheaper than Accord, but less comfortable on the inside than an Altis which is even cheaper. In my eyes, I dont see anything going for it except the brand. And VWs arent exactly known for their reliability. And it seems to be somewhat boring to drive. Not what you'd call a fast car.

>>> My views are different, and I have a conflict of interest as I've bought one, so let's pass as you have your own views.


6). VW Passat - Expensive, slow, FWD.

>>> VFM if you compare it with the big three ( A4/3series/C class)

7). C230 - Excellent but expensive and of course out of our budget.

>>> Mercs seem to suffering from a sales spiral over the last decade or so ( w.r.t the Audi and the Beemers; read an article in an international journal where they analysed the sales from the mid-90s to about 2007. The conclusion was that first the Beemers would overhaul it and then the Audis would. Mercs suffered from quality glitches in the period after the W124 was phased out, when they started competing with the Japs.


8). Skoda Superb -- Excellent car, especially with the 1.8 turbo but it's a Skoda!

>>> My view : Skoda is a budget car brand, so why would you buy a large sedan, with no brand image. The reasons have to be compelling.


However, my point is this.

Apart from the two Skodas which unfortunately are being sold by the most unethical company in the country today, there doesnt seem to be a single exciting car this side of 30 lakhs. Of course, if our budget permitted, the C230 would be perfect. Dad and me both prefer the 3 pointed star to Bangled ugliness, so I havent considered the BMW. The Audi is FWD and wont have the same driving dynamics of the Merc. The Quattro is too expensive.

So, for someone who needs an exciting car with a semblance of honest service, what car do you recommend?

Or is it worth getting a Skoda simply because of the great car it is and getting it serviced from outside?

PS: Havent test driven any of the cars except for the Civic(and that's because my uncle owns one! ). This is what I've gathered from various articles on the forum, speaking to people, etc... Will start the serious test driving once my dad fixes a deadline.

PPS: Cedia is an option. But that's below or close to 10 lakhs. Have definitely kept it as an option.
>>> Mitsubishi does not have a good after sales service reputation, primarily because they are still bit players here and also because their Indian partners do not seem to be keen in bringing the right models at the right time.
>>> If you prefer good resale value and reputation, go for the Honda Accord. The Japs offer a bit of everything. And they have flash of a kind which we Indians love. If you prefer solid engineering go for one of the German marques. You might also like to consider the new Nissan Teana- the Teana offers a more refined option to the Accord.
In the final analysis, it is how you feel that counts. The choice of car reflects your personality, just as a watch or a suit. Be guided by your head and heart! All the best.
Regards

Last edited by Technocrat : 17th September 2009 at 13:53. Reason: Changed formatting for better readability in quoted post, thanks
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Old 17th September 2009, 14:06   #6
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Sorry but if nothing is exciting you, why don't you scale down and go for the Cedia sports and add goodies to it as time progresses. The best of the lot you've listed is the Altis. I would suggest the same. Its very much upto you to make it exciting.
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Old 17th September 2009, 14:17   #7
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I guess you need to wait for something new.
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Old 17th September 2009, 14:21   #8
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A Toyota Fortuner with Petes is what I would suggest. Am sure it would fit into your budget and your father's requirement alongwith yours.

Just think about it you could go the 4 x 4 way. What say?
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Old 17th September 2009, 14:47   #9
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...or an Optra Magnum with Petes?

else you could wait for the Chevy Cruze.
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:02   #10
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OT: How I wish I was in such a dilemma!!

By the way are you looking at sedans only, or are you open to SUVs/SoftRoaders? How about the new Vitara, or Outlander?

Happy car hunting.

Last edited by unni.ak : 17th September 2009 at 15:05.
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:07   #11
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Wait for GM's new baby, you should find your best bet. Its just couple of weeks away
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:14   #12
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Well, not really looking at SUV/Softroaders. Dont like them too much :(

Didnt look at the Chevys because of the company. I know if I reason it out, it should be ok. But somehow. Not too keen on it.

As someone said, Cedia Sports would be awesome. Hoping dad agrees!
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:15   #13
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Hehe, very interesting thread, perhaps the most interesting in the What Car section!

From the cars that you have shortlisted, I agree with the reasons you have mentioned against them.

Now we expand our vistas:

SUV(as some have already pointed out)

CRV: Common, but good to drive, though overpriced.

Fortuner: With Petes perhaps.

Outlander: For whatever and against whatever!

X-Trail: With Petes or some other chip.


If we would open to the so called pre owned or nearly new:

Merc C
Merc E
BMW 3 and 5
And so many more, though I doubt that you are looking at the preowned segment.

One question though, what about the merc C diesel, its within 30 right? Or is it only in Kolkata?
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:21   #14
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What about a pre owned C class or something? Can we get it for 12-15 lakhs? And if it's a good piece how much can we expect to blow on it in maintainence? I know GTO's long term ownership thread is there, but I would like a simple figure of xxxx/year. Approximately of course
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Old 17th September 2009, 15:26   #15
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Either a pre-owned BMW 325i or 320d or if you want new the following:

VW Jetta: Really good buy with awesome handling and good DSG box. Better after sales than Skoda and goof offers like 4yr warranty and maintenance plan.

Chevy Cruze: I would get this car if I was still in the market. Stonking diesel with amazing features and I would not worry about GM brand in India at all. They are doing good and making a very good effort.
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