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Old 11th October 2009, 23:35   #1
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Default Need help deciding on ~20 lac sedan

Hi guys,
Our current car is a civic AT. Also had an Accord (MT), which we just sold off since it was 5 years old, and needed work, and also have an i20.
Current budget for a sedan is around 20 lacs. We were looking at a diesel, but we want a D segment car. We were considering the accord, but we've already had one, so that goes out of the window. The camry is too overpriced for the features, and im not a big fan of the design either. I'm looking for an automatic.

So here are the cars that I'm considering as of now.

1. Skoda Superb - The 1.8TSI is what I personally am leaning towards. The diesel is an older generation, and being 3.5 lacs more than the petrol does not seem worth the price. The creature comforts that this car provides are just , and I'm in love with the interiors. I would buy this in a heartbeat, but the brain is forcing me to think a little bit.

2. Skoda Laura - Creature comforts matter to me. The top of the line Laura(diesel) costs almost the same as the 1.8 TSI, so this is the big decision. The laura is not much of an upgrade over the civic, and neither does it have the creature comforts of the superb. The only thing in the laura's favour is the engine, but I'm not sure whether its a CRDi or not.(could someone enlighten me on this?) If its not, that makes the laura's case even weaker.

3. Chevy Captiva - I'm not too sure about this one because its not as comfortable as the superb, neither does it have the features. My grandmother is 90 years old, and getting in and out will be tough on her. The only reason I'm considering this is the state of the roads in mumbai, where I travel from south mumbai to andheri everyday, and the roads are BAD. I currently use the soft suspension civic right now, and have zero confidence in taking over even a single andheri pothole. My father thinks an SUV would help there, but I think that the pothole issue is a bit glorified since we're using a supersoft civic right now.

4. Tata Safari - Same as above, somehow dad thinks its a good option, but its gonna lose out eventually since its going to be very hard for mom and grandmom to get in and out.

5. Chevy cruze - not too happy with the looks of the interior, and again, not an upgrade from our civic.

In my family, we have never ever got a diesel car, so if we do.. it will be a first. The only reason we were considering the diesel was the fuel efficiency, but thats not really a major factor. We want the fuel efficiency of the diesel in a the free revving petrol.

PS - Yes, I know that a lot of people here would not go near a skoda, but I guess I have the confidence.
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Old 12th October 2009, 10:49   #2
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The Superb is such a sweet car. The only thing that'd stop me from recommending one is Skoda's shoddy support & suspicions over the long term reliability (especially on the DSG gearbox). If you do choose a Skoda, stick to the JMD dealership. I'd recommend the Jetta over the Laura, take a spin and update us with your testdrive report.

SUVs are out due to ingress / egress troubles for your granny. May I suggest the dark horse of the C segment : The Hyundai Sonata diesel? Its a highly under-rated car, offers phenomenal space + comfort and the recent interior upgrades are a welcome move.

For peace of the mind and comfort, its hard to ignore the Accord, even though you have previously owned one. The new gen is an entirely different car. Much bigger, powerful and comfortable.

Net net, test the Jetta, Sonata and Accord, then come back and update us with your likes / dislikes. That will help you, and us, to zero in on the right car for you.
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Old 12th October 2009, 11:18   #3
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How about stretching your budget a little and getting the New Teana? Its a fantastic car and if you like great equipment and great interiors, then you cant go wrong with that, it also has that enormous two piece sunroof as an option!

In Kolkata, there isnt a Nissan dealer, but in Mumbai, I doubt that it will be a concern.
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Old 12th October 2009, 11:20   #4
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The Sonata won't do it for him as he wouldn't like the interiors and neither does the car offer any extra creature comforts (one of the reasons he is inclined towards the Skoda).

I don't really understand how would the Jetta be more reliable than the Skodas.

I dont think holysmoke would anything other than the Skoda SUperb. He might feel a little cramped in the Jetta. If the running is not too high (< 1000 kms/month), the TSI it is else the oil buner).
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Old 12th October 2009, 12:29   #5
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If you want a diesel i would suggest to stretch the budget a bit and try Passat and Superb diesel, if exceeding this budget is not an option Laura and Jetta are only good options.

For petrols Superb is brilliant and obvious choice if you can take chances with skoda or the only option left is buy an Accord again.

Pls note Europeon brands like VW and Skoda in this segment are much more expensive to maintain than their japnese or korean rivals.

Last edited by .anshuman : 12th October 2009 at 12:30.
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Old 12th October 2009, 21:44   #6
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As GTO pointed out, the Sonata is a nice car that is more towards comfort. I think except VW stable cars there are not much options from others in the diesel segment. Next cruze is the car good for your requirements. Skoda is something we have multiple threads about, so IMHO, its not worth buying one as key factor of reliability can be an issue.

1) Cruze
2) Sonata
3) The new Accord, its different from what you had, its not bigger and better with more space and is comfortable. I think if diesel is not brought into discussion, this is the best option.
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Old 12th October 2009, 22:39   #7
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Test drove the Jetta. Not too impressed, its just a bit better than the civic. I have test driven the transform as well, and my dad didnt like the interiors and I didnt like the autobox (shifted everytime i stepped off the gas + turbolag.)

So it looks like diesels are out.

I havent test driven the new accord. But I did sit in it in the showroom. The dash is overkill I feel. Too many buttons, it doesnt look elegant. I also dont like the back. Looks like a huge and classy esteem. I had the 2.4 iVTEC engine in my old accord, and I know that this one is quite an improvement, but it still is a gas guzzler.

I guess the real dilemma in my mind is, I know Skoda is a brand that needs a lot of work in its after sales, but after TD'ing the Superb, I dont think I am going to like any other car in this segment. Its a big fight between heart and brain. Sometimes I feel I'm being stupid if I get this car, while sometimes I think I should just take the plunge.. what will be, will be...

Decisions, decisions......
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Old 12th October 2009, 22:44   #8
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The following considerations are worth mulling over :

1. Usage of the car ( e.g., city commutes-possibly over terrible roads and equally terrible traffic conditions, so ride will be key vis-avis long distance travel where handling will also come into the equation; offroading and so on

2. Number of occupants ( 2-4 or more)
3. Initial budget ( approx. 20 lacs gives you very clear choices)
4. Technical considerations ( choice of fuel, transmissions and so on)
5. Lifecycle ( short term, viz. say less than 3 years, vis-avis long term, say 7-10 years)
6. Cost of ownership : quality of service, availability of and cost of spares, 24 x 7 assistance and so on
7. Brand image and your perception
-----------------------------------------------------
Understanding your requirements, your choices boil down to

A. Budget brand : Skoda : 1. Entry level luxury sedan - Superb 1.8 TSI (petrol)
2. Executive sedan - Laura 1.8 TSI (petrol)
3. Executive sedan - Laura 1.9 TDI ( diesel -PD engine); no CRDI yet
B. Mainstream brand : Honda : 1. Accord 2.4 A/T ( petrol)
C. Mainstream brand : VW : 1. Jetta 1.9 TDI ( either A/T or M/T ( diesel -PD engine); no CRDI yet
D. Mainstream brand : GM : Cruze
E. Budget to mainstream brand : Hyundai Sonata
----------------------------------------------------------------------

Whereas I wouldn't be able to comment on the last two, I would heartily second GTO's opinion on the Superb - it is superior to the Accord in many respects and is terrific VFM. The prices are comparable at 21.5-22.5 lacs on road Mumbai ( w/o discounts).
Moreover both are D segment cars, unlike the others which are executive sedans, possibly C+.

The Camry and the Teana retail at about 30 lacs in Mumbai, so you might have to think a bit about them. Teana is a very comfortable and a low profile car, but its not a drivers' car at all.

The Cruze will likely be priced at approx 15 lacs and will fall into the same price bracket as the Laura and the Sonata, give or take a few.Its personality is brazen and in your face- you've to double check on the rear seat comfort re. your grandma.

You might also like to go through AutoCar India for September ( first drive of the Cruze) and for October ( for the comparo between the Teana, the Accord,the Camry and the Superb).

I had a similar conundrum, wherein I had the Accord in my sights for long, albeit with a reduced target price of approx 18-19 lacs, and after considering the Accord, the Laura, and also the Civic, settled on the Jetta because of the combination of build quality, torque, high speed stability and not least the rear seat comfort for the elderly and the infirm.

I had to opt for the diesel option as the petrol option was underpowered and did not have creature comforts. The horror stories re. Skoda were unknown to me then, but I sensed that VW would likely have higher quality benchmarks. Thankfully, touch wood, I haven't had any occasion to change that opinion.

You have to consider the options and take your own decision. All the best, safe and above all happy driving!
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Old 13th October 2009, 02:34   #9
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While VW may be better than Skoda as on date as a brand, I have the following issues with VW v. Skoda in the Jetta / Laura segment.

1. Top of the line Diesel: In terms of the top of the line version DSG options, the Laura L&K now comes with the 140 bhp diesel that's provided in the Superb while the Jetta still comes with the wheezy 105 bhp engine. That makes the Jetta totally incomparable at that price point compared to the equivalent L&K Laura.

2. Petrol engine: The petrol engine Jetta also is completely underpowered compared to the 160 bhp TSI found in the Laura.

Until VW carries out similar engine upgrades to the Jetta as Skoda has done to the Laura, I find the equivalent Jettas making little sense in that segment compared to the Laura.

Disclaimer: Please do correct me if my info on the engine options in the Jetta is outdated and they've already changed the engine options.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
I'd recommend the Jetta over the Laura, take a spin and update us with your testdrive report.
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Old 13th October 2009, 09:03   #10
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Here, Superb is a clear winner in terms of comfort,features it offers & VFM.But you need to worry about the A.S.S. & be prepared to take a toll when things happen out of our way.

My second thought, try the VW Passat,see if you can stretch yourself. But here A.S.S is far better when compared to Skoda. Again heard few problems with AT-box.

According to me Cruze is not right upgrade for Accord.
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Old 13th October 2009, 09:33   #11
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@holysmoke,
Cruze AFAIK will come with a stiffer suspension.After taking a test drive and if you like the ride quality,it is a good choice.Cruze is GM's warrior and they will do everything possible to make the car a success.According to present market conditions it should be a success in India.You can save a lot of money also and the Chevrolet maintainance package would save you a lot more and maybe next time around you can buy a Bimmer or a Merc.
Superb although a superb car would be a headache to maintain given the pathetic attitude of the Skoda A.S.S .
Accord was a brilliant car, with zero headaches.But it does not hit the right chord with your heart.By the way how much does the Accord V6 with V.C.M cost?
At the core of it , car buying is more a decision of the heart rather than the head where the head tries to justify the heart.So if you think you like Superb and are ready to take the calculated risk, I dont see anything wrong.Before that search for all skoda superb related threads on the forum and outside.There are 3rd party warranties as well which you may like to consider (These work like insurance policy).So in case skoda does not cover something you have an additional level of protection.

Last edited by freewheelburnin : 13th October 2009 at 09:35.
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Old 13th October 2009, 11:39   #12
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Top of the line cruze with sunroof, leather, cruise control at 12.45. That is some great pricing.
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Old 13th October 2009, 12:02   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
While VW may be better than Skoda as on date as a brand, I have the following issues with VW v. Skoda in the Jetta / Laura segment.

1. Top of the line Diesel: In terms of the top of the line version DSG options, the Laura L&K now comes with the 140 bhp diesel that's provided in the Superb while the Jetta still comes with the wheezy 105 bhp engine. That makes the Jetta totally incomparable at that price point compared to the equivalent L&K Laura.

2. Petrol engine: The petrol engine Jetta also is completely underpowered compared to the 160 bhp TSI found in the Laura.

Until VW carries out similar engine upgrades to the Jetta as Skoda has done to the Laura, I find the equivalent Jettas making little sense in that segment compared to the Laura.

Disclaimer: Please do correct me if my info on the engine options in the Jetta is outdated and they've already changed the engine options.
To each his own, but I had considered the Laura and dropped it simply because - I reiterate- the quality benchmark variation between VW and Skoda. The 1.9 TDI available in the Jetta may have 105 bhp ( has 105 bhp in fact) but you have to look at the torque also in a CI engine, and that is where it is very impressive- 250 Nm. Also I found Jetta suited me better ( low profile & understated as compared to the slightly 'louder' Skoda).

Further, you will have upgrades almost every year, but that does not necessarily mean that one should wait endlessly for the 'right' engine. I waited for nearly two years for the new Skoda RS, but it didn't take me very long to choose a diesel Jetta over both the petrol and diesel versions of the Laura.

I for one do not allow one criteria ( viz. any one of price, engine type, bhp figure, a.s.s)to completely dominate my selection process.

I think it is important for the individual to take test drives and then choose, the figures are abstract and don't convey the whole story. I did so and am the better for it.

Regards
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Old 13th October 2009, 13:45   #14
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First of all, I agree, "to each his own"

I have to say, you're assuming I'm making an oversimplistic approach while choosing a car. While i will choose a car based on a combination of a range of parameters, I could reject a car on a single parameter (assuming that parameter is important to me). Thats the only point I was highlighting in the prev post. To me it becomes a deal breaker but as you said, to each his own. There can never be one right answer for everyone.

I am also aware of the role played by torque. The L&K I was referring to has torque figures of 320 NM. I think if one drives both cars, there's little doubt that the Laura offers an engine that has a better driving experience. Having said that, of course if that is a factor that is not material to the individual purchasing then he can ignore it. Personally, I would not touch either car because I dont trust either brand yet. Its too early in VW history to tell whether they'll be another skoda. But then again that's my personal choice.

Glad to hear you've got your perfect combination.


Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
To each his own,

I for one do not allow one criteria ( viz. any one of price, engine type, bhp figure, a.s.s)to completely dominate my selection process.

I think it is important for the individual to take test drives and then choose, the figures are abstract and don't convey the whole story. I did so and am the better for it.

Regards
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Old 15th October 2009, 16:36   #15
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Best options for you:
1) Superb petrol 1.8 TSI - 168 bhp
2) Laura 2.0 TDI L&K Auto DSG - 140 bhp - if you have a very high running.
3) Captiva - Diesel - the climb into the captiva is not too high.
4) Accord - good reliable car and a step up from the Civic - inspite of your initial openion on sitting in it.
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