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Old 15th December 2009, 13:48   #1
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Default Help to decide Family car around 8L

Hi fellow BHP-ians,

I'm planning to upgrade to a bigger car from my trusty 9 year old M800 to a good VFM sedan / premium hatchback in the 8L range.

So what am I looking for?
- Price range: Upto Rs.8 Lakhs
- Type: Sedan or Hatchback (space and comfort is important)
- Maintenance & After Sales Service (A.S.S.) expectations: Good A.S.S support and low cost of
- maintenance.
- Average distance traveled per month: 1200km
- Where car will be mostly used: 40% city, 60% highway - used mostly for weekend travelling
- Chauffer driven / self driven: Self Driven
- Whether the vehicle will be shared by other members of family: Yes (wife)
- Any specific requirements from car:
- Safety is most important (ABS, EBD, airbags, all 5-seats seat-belts are a must)
- Good mileage (but +/- 20% is ok for me)
- Good service and low cost of spare-parts and maintenance - in total, am looking for low cost of ownership
- Looks are not important
- Interiors should be spacious and good quality
- Good-sized boot (> 300L)
- Comfortable rear-seat (at least 3 medium sized people)
- I'm a sedate driver, so am not looking for a performance car. However, the car should be powerful enough to drive comfortably with 4 people and luggage in the hills.
- How long you intend on keeping this car and how important resale is to you: min 5 years, resale is not an important factor

I've short-listed the following cars based on very extensive research (~90% of it on team-bhp). However, I have not taken TD's of any of the cars except SX4.
1. Ford Fiesta 1.6 Petrol Sxi
Pros: Excellent driver's car (doesn't matter much to me since I'm a sedate driver), perfect size, classic design, VFM, good interiors, reasonable mileage -> my first choice based on feedback from team-bhp members
Cons: cramped rear seat, A.S.S. quality, high spare part and labour costs
2. Maruti SX4 Zxi with VVT engine
Pros: Very spacious, very high ground clearance, new VVT engine with good mileage for a car of
this size, seems good VFM.
Cons: Too big for city driving, many people have complained about the A-pillar, and the interiors are really disappointing for an 8L car.
I had taken a test drive of this car, and found it quite comfortable, especially I could drive coolly over speed-breakers without brining the car to a halt. This is an important factor. However, I could hear the engine sound in the cabin (even in Wagon R, I could not hear a sound). And the interiors were really putting off. My wife hated the interiors. She also said it's a pain to sit in and get get out of the rear seats because of the height. (I made the mistake of showing her the Jazz first and then the SX4).
3. Honda Jazz 1.2 Petrol
Pros: Very good engine, out-of-the-world interiors and trim, excellent space management, good drivability, high safety ratings. The comfort of a sedan with the convenience (and mileage) of a hatchback.
Cons: Very very highly priced. Low ground clearance, no seatbelt for 5th passenger (and this is officially a 5-seater, and Honda says this car is safe!!).
Wife just fell in love with this car, especially the interiors. However, I've yet to take a test drive - the price is the main reason. Am still willing to consider for the above pros because of the reliability and H badge, especially after reading Sid's review of his parents' Jazz!!
4. Hyundai i20 Diesel Asta ABS w/o SR
Pros: Excellent interiors, loveliest looking car of the lot, new model, high safety ratings, good powerful engine.
Cons: Highly priced, possible high price for spares because of imported engine, and high labour costs.
5. Tata Manza 1.3 Diesel Aqua+
Pros: VFM, spaciousness, very good Fiat engine, new model (will not be outdated soon), cheap spares.
Cons: Bad A.S.S., perhaps too big for my parking space, doubtful interior quality. I think the quality will improve over time, but I cannot wait for another year.

6. Hyundai i20 Petrol Asta ABS w/o SR
Pros: Excellent interiors, loveliest looking car of the lot, new model, high safety ratings,
Cons: Engine power not sufficient under full load (need this when travelling in hills etc)

Cars dropped:
Fiat Linea Petrol - based on the inputs here about bad quality interiors (parts falling off
etc), plus the top end is slightly above my budget.
Maruti Ritz 1.3 Diesel -> Petrol is a better option as compared to Diesel
Maruti Swift Petrol / Diesel -> Outdated design (no offence to any Swift owners), rattling
Chevrolet Aveo sedan -> An older model, and seems Fiesta is a better option than this.
Chevrolet UVA -> Spacious, but underpowered, and old design (again no offence to UVA owners).
Ford Fiesta 1.4 Diesel Sxi -> Not worth paying 1 lakh more for a diesel for my running.

Other new releases in 2010 -> Am not willing to consider any model that is less that 6 months old since newly-launched models mostly have minor (or major) issues which are ironed out in the later cars.

The reason for this post is that I need answers to a few questions from owners which still remain inspite of extensive search on team-bhp. The answers will really help me decide.
- Fiesta: When is current model expected to be discontinued? I'm worried that if this model is discontinued (say) in a year or two, then the spare parts will become expensive, and thus increase the ownership costs. This is the most important question for me! How is the spare part availability for a discontinued model (e.g. Fusion)?
- Fiesta: How is the A.S.S. in Bangalore? Lathangi or Metro? Spare part costs and labour costs? Quality of the service?
- Fiesta: Is it a good idea to buy in Dec or should I wait till Jan? I'm getting a good price (7.62 OTR) for Sxi, but colours are limited (black, white, morello and paprika red). The silver option that I like would be available only in Jan at the earliest, and the dealer said that in Jan the prices might be completely different (read more than now).
- Fiesta: I read somewhere on team-bhp that leather seats on the Sxi can get dirty very soon.
So is it a good idea to go for leather seats? Will they last for the life of the car (~ 5 years)?
- Jazz: Is the ground clearance a problem?
- SX4: Is the A-pillar a problem in congested lanes etc, especially at night?
The heart (and better half) are for the Jazz, while the head is looking around to make sure there are no better options around. Frankly I'm surprised that there is not one good car which really appeals to me readily!! Sometimes I feel it makes more sense to stick to the M800, if it were not for the safety features.

Am also open to other options which I may have missed, and any advice / experience which will help me choose a good car.

Thanks a lot,
Nikhil

@ Mods - this is my second post in this forum. I've done a lot of research here, but have still not been able to decide. That's the reason for this separate post.
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Old 15th December 2009, 14:56   #2
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I think from your requirements, Fiesta 1.6 zxi seems to be a good choice (heard 75K year end discount on it)..
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:00   #3
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On Fiesta:

- The A.S.S and spare costs of ford are not as bad as it is being perceived generally. You can ask anyone owning a ford currently. I have a Ikon with 88k on the odo with no major issues so far. There was a problem with power steering once which they replaced under warranty.

- Buying Fiesta now: If you like the car go ahead and buy it. Fiesta is a successful model that is selling for 4 years. They wont stop it atleast for next couple of years. Even if they stop, you will not have problems acquiring parts because of the large number of cars on road and Ford plant being in India. I bought my Ikon towards the end of 2005 which was when Fiesta was released. I havent had any problems so far and Ikon is still selling close to 1000 cars a month.

-Buying in December: If you want to own the car for 5 years, just go ahead and buy it with all the discounts you get now. Do your bit to eradicate the useless tactics by second hand car dealers to reduce the price while they buy from us. What difference it makes when a car is bought on Dec 31 or Jan 1st? Maximum someone can ride a 1000 km extra.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:01   #4
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I'd recommend the i20. It covers most of your needs. But I'm not sure whether you should go with petrol or diesel. Calculate it out and see the difference in cost. I suspect petrol will be better for you though.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:02   #5
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Fiesta or IMHO if you are planning a vehicle for more then 5 years then go for JAZZ!!
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:09   #6
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You have 8 lacs of Budget & you want something which can be a weekend tourer with faimily. Why buy a CAR???

Why not

Scorpio
Xylo
Innova (though a little more then 8 L)



+1 to Airwind below : can look for Diesel Top end G Punto.

Last edited by SamtheLeo : 15th December 2009 at 15:23.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:13   #7
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Look at the top end diesel versions of the Grande Punto and Ford Fusion. I omitted the Fabia due to poor VFM and low volumes.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:42   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nikhil_blr View Post
Fiesta: When is current model expected to be discontinued? I'm worried that if this model is discontinued (say) in a year or two...?
The new Fiesta is expected to come to India in early 2012. There are more than a lakh Fiestas on the road. Spares should not be an issue even after the model is discontinued.
Quote:
- Fiesta: How is the A.S.S. in Bangalore? Lathangi or Metro? Spare part costs and labour costs? Quality of the service?
I can comment about the price of the spares only. The prices are pretty competitive now. You can take a look at the price list I had posted in the big Fiesta thread.
Quote:
- Fiesta: Is it a good idea to buy in Dec or should I wait till Jan? I'm getting a good price (7.62 OTR) for Sxi, but colours are limited (black, white, morello and paprika red).
The Dec deal is sweet. 35K off on the SXi I think. There is a definite price increase in Jan and the discounts will be scaled back as well.
Quote:
- Fiesta: I read somewhere on team-bhp that leather seats on the Sxi can get dirty very soon.
Any beige leather can get dirty. All depends on how you maintain it. They will definitely last 5 years if you take good care of it. If you have small kids, beige is best avoided.

The Fiesta 1.6 is a sensible choice. It has loads of low end torque and it's a scorcher on the highways. It's not as spacious as the SX4 but it has the right amount of space for a small family.
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:54   #9
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Go for Fiesta 1.6 (Zxi or SXi or S -Zxi has got very good offer for december sale).
Its worth for money and a good car to drive.
Regarding your complaint towards cramped rear seat - Are your going to carry 3 people all the time in the rear seat? if yest then you may be correct -otherwise see the other comforts of the car.
YOu can see plenty of Fiesta's on the road which means people like this car very much and ofcourse there are many bangaloreans own fiesta.
Also you might have seen that in last couple of months we have more than 75 fiesta
members in this forum? may be by end of this month it mayl cross 80/85 !
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Old 15th December 2009, 15:58   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
Go for Fiesta 1.6 (Zxi or SXi or S -Zxi has got very good offer for december sale).
He said airbags are a must. So Zxi is out and leaves just the SXi and S. Even though I bought an S, I would not really call it a 'family car'.
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Old 15th December 2009, 16:37   #11
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@SamtheLeo: That was an option I was thinking of, but I struck off SUV's because the car will definitely be driven in the city, but only for short distances by wifey to drop kid at school. Secondly, the parking space in our apartment is small, even the SX4 is a tight fit

Thanks for your suggestion anyway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SamtheLeo View Post
You have 8 lacs of Budget & you want something which can be a weekend tourer with faimily. Why buy a CAR???

Why not

Scorpio
Xylo
Innova (though a little more then 8 L)



+1 to Airwind below : can look for Diesel Top end G Punto.
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Old 15th December 2009, 17:13   #12
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With an indicated 60% highway, i would avoid Jazz. Its a dedicated City car, apart from obvious reasons about pricing etc. I would leave the i20 on the same grounds.

Fiesta is a great car. But you have mentioned that you are a sedate driver. Fiesta's USP is its beautiful engine and handling. Space is not the best and so is the ride. I would pass it.

That leaves the SX4 & Manza. In that my preference would be Manza. The space and ride better than any car in this list and as a sedate drive it would more than satisfy your needs. Its not a drivers car, but it is adequately powered and returns brilliant diesel FE. I understand you dont like the interiors, but with the money saved compared to other cars you can spend about 30-40K on interiors and get fantastic looking custom interior of your choice.

I wouldn't worry too much about quality. TATA has done a good job in Manza. You can check with the Tata users in Bangalore for the best service center.

Good luck on the decision.
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Old 15th December 2009, 17:17   #13
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you want a Honda Jazz @ 8L. I dont get it, you get the sedans at that price. Thats slotted for second car needs of 12L + car owners ( and for those who need 12 cup holders).

Manza, why if you have 8 L. If budget is more like 6.5 yes Manza may be a choice.
And its still TATA A.S.S is going to be average if not worse. They are more used to handling taxi drivers/owners.

You can drop SX4- wifey no like interiors, getting in and out pain. That's a Deal Breaker if I know one.

i20 - may make the cut purely because you mentioned sedate driver, still you can get a sedan at the price.

Now coming to Fiesta SXI - it has all the saftey features-check
Has premium interiors - check
As for getting that biege colour dirty, what do you think 3m interior cleaning pakage is there for - @ Rs.1000 change you can do it thrice in 5 years and have a fresh interiors without paying too much.
boot 430 ltrs>300ltrs -check
A.S.S, spares cost - thats par for course ask current owners, me for instance, go with lathangi, trust me METRO's not much worse, ofcourse you dont get that hand holding that you may with maruti/hyundai, but then you are on T-BHP and dont really need that do you?

obsolecense - kidding? - its 3 years old in the market. first six months you won't touch a car (fine observation indeed, now that's a t-BHPian), most cars will get a mid life touch up, Fiesta got one last July and its mid life for may be a Honda not Ford. See, Ford is still selling Ikons and by the looks of it they will sell them for another 3 if not five years. So Fiesta may replace it by then, when the new Fiesta comes in late 2012. Any way the new Fiesta is having same wheel base and would share some parts for sure. They will have to handle FIGO in 2010 so are not going to get worked up on replacing Fiesta and say they do end up with a new Fiesta and lets say continue with Ikon and drop current Fiesta, which is highly unlikely- 1L cars on road, your car will be three year old by then and spare will be available for another 5 years.It wont end up like the fusion's spare part cost, Ford cannot afford to do that.

Has huge year end discounts - Deal Clincer

color - I would rather take the discount rather than color and ist not like you wanting morello and only silver is available- that silver color is blinding every one in the sun on all cars, next to white silver seems to be the color that most cars sport. take that morello or may be black if you want funky or white of you want classy but dont end up paying more for plain jane silver, atleast I wouldn't.
Get the deal closed in Dec and tell them you want it registered in jan first week( you can drive around with for reg, if they insist on taking delivery in Dec to get that discount).

May be if you are still not convinced on the Fiesta - go on with i20.

Please the other ones deserve to be dropped from the list.

keep it simple.
Sedan / Hatch
Fiesta 1.6 / i20 1.2 - Cons: Highly priced, possible high price for spares because of imported engine, and high labour costs - as per mhmm you.

Last edited by marlinspike : 15th December 2009 at 17:26.
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Old 15th December 2009, 17:24   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nairrk View Post
Go for Fiesta 1.6 (Zxi or SXi or S -Zxi has got very good offer for december sale).
Its worth for money and a good car to drive.
Regarding your complaint towards cramped rear seat - Are your going to carry 3 people all the time in the rear seat? if yest then you may be correct -otherwise see the other comforts of the car.
YOu can see plenty of Fiesta's on the road which means people like this car very much and ofcourse there are many bangaloreans own fiesta.
Also you might have seen that in last couple of months we have more than 75 fiesta
members in this forum? may be by end of this month it mayl cross 80/85 !
Thanks Mr. Nair. Currently we are three (me, wife and 3 year old kid). So it's just the three of us who will be using it. Here I guess the Fiesta is suitable. But we might have guests (quite rarely) and I would like to have the option open for 3 people at the rear. The best thing I liked about this car was the dimensions - not too small, not too big, perfect for city and highway. The wheelbase almost same as Jazz (2486mm) and GC is 168mm, and best of all, the Turning Radius is 4.9m (compare to 5.3m for SX4 and City, and 5.1m for Manza).


Quote:
Originally Posted by SkyWalker View Post
With an indicated 60% highway, i would avoid Jazz. Its a dedicated City car, apart from obvious reasons about pricing etc. I would leave the i20 on the same grounds.

Fiesta is a great car. But you have mentioned that you are a sedate driver. Fiesta's USP is its beautiful engine and handling. Space is not the best and so is the ride. I would pass it.

That leaves the SX4 & Manza. In that my preference would be Manza. The space and ride better than any car in this list and as a sedate drive it would more than satisfy your needs. Its not a drivers car, but it is adequately powered and returns brilliant diesel FE. I understand you dont like the interiors, but with the money saved compared to other cars you can spend about 30-40K on interiors and get fantastic looking custom interior of your choice.

I wouldn't worry too much about quality. TATA has done a good job in Manza. You can check with the Tata users in Bangalore for the best service center.

Good luck on the decision.
Thanks Skywalker. I and my wife love the Manza for the space. My FIL recommends it because it's a TATA, so the total cost of ownership will always be low. Plus it's got a proven Diesel engine. The only thing is that it's just been released, and I've been reading about some problems in the initial lot. I guess it will take at least 6 months min for the niggles to be ironed out by TATA production. That means sometime around May-Jun next year. I would like to buy something now itself, at the max by Feb.
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Old 15th December 2009, 17:29   #15
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My vote to the i20 Diesel... It really does check most of the important boxes for you...

And yes you really need to decide if 3 people at the back is a must-have or a nice-to-have. If its a must-have then the Manza is really the only option in this budget.
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