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Old 14th January 2010, 17:16   #1
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Default Debating between Verna AT and Corolla Altis MT

I am debating between buying a Diesel Hyundai Verna AT (automatic transmission) and a Toyota Corolla Altis MT (my budget will not permit an AT Altis; even the MT Altis will stretch my budget). Need to get/ book one in the next few days if not tomorrow. Please advice.

6 days a week I travel in the back seat of my car; on sundays, holidays, late evenings/ nights and on days when my chauffeur takes leave, I drive. Travel a minimum of 30 kms a day and at times up to 50-60 kms/ day. The roads in Chennai that I travel in are a mix of good to pathetic. Twice or thrice a year we do a run from Chennai to Kodai/ Ooty/ Yercaud/ Bangalore (all great highways) with the family. I drive on the ghat roads; on highways where the drive can be fast, I drive unless I am more tired than the chauffeur. The segments exiting and entering the city/ town where the traffic is heavy and the slower/ bad road sections on the highway are done by my chauffeur. We almost never make long, out of city drives at night.

The most important factor for me is back seat comfort. While I do enjoy spirited driving, in the city and outside, it’s not my number one priority.

As such I am looking at:

1. A pliant back seat ride quality
2. A car that will not rattle for at least 3-4 years/ 60,000 to 80,000 kms
3. Automatic climate control – (don’t have to tell the chauffeur to switch off/ on the compressor)
4. MP3/ CD player
5. Automatic transmission – (to avoid the jerks during gear changes when the chauffeur drives)

Hyundai Verna AT : The Verna AT seems to tick all the boxes. Test drove one yesterday (for the first time – have driven the MT before) and found things acceptable. Don’t particularly like the clatter and rattle of the diesel (in comparison to the petrol Altis) but it was not too bad. The ride quality was good but obviously not in the Altis league.

The pick up was quite good – have test driven a Laura diesel AT before my co-brother picked up a Laura MT recently. When not pushed hard, the gear changes were not significantly noticeable. Took it on a drive up the (small) St.Thomas mount – the Verna AT climbed the hill effortlessly; and no clutch/ gear to worry about! Did not stall when there was a small bump to climb over after a stop near a road junction; just a gentle press on the accelerator and it rolled forward smoothly. The ABS assisted brakes were sharp (compared to my non-ABS Dzire) Am aware that it lacks airbags – the younger son aged 4+ years insists on sitting in the front when driving in the city and so it will be a boon and not a bane. The doors and the body feel solid – hoping that translates to a rattle free long-termer. Ground clearance did not seem an issue.

Toyota Corolla Altis MT: Test drove the MT and AT. Have also driven (and been chauffeured in) my F-in-laws Corolla at times. The AT (which will definitely avoid the jerking when my chauffer drives – one of the factors in back seat comfort) is out of my budget – 2.5 lakhs more than the MT, and has other differences too in the specs/ features – none of which I need. Even for the MT I will have to stretch my budget. The big size (while an advantage when inside the car) will make driving and parking that much more difficult. The ride quality is remarkably supple – more than even the diesel Laura; airbags available; very quite, rattle free interiors (it is a petrol after all).

Almost ruled out Maruti SX4 AT and Honda City AT.

Maruti SX4 AT: Several things on the interior look similar to my Dzire – not that the looks matter much to me – it’s the other issues mentioned below. Worried about rattles in the long term which my Dzire has and my Versa used to have, both under 2 years. Also not too sure about FE issues and re-sale value. Love the Ground clearance. The suspension is definitely not supple on the city roads. Apart from the test drive AT, also drove a friend’s MT – had recommended this car to him a couple of years ago, as his number one priority was a high ground clearance sedan. It had a bit of rattle and the suspension was stiff. Drove another friend’s 30,000+ kms SX4 MT in Kodai – ride quality seemed ok and there were no major rattles.

Honda City AT: Checked out the new and the old one. Both friend’s ATs. The suspension thuds over road imperfections (in comparison to the Altis, and even the Verna). No Climate control. No MP3/ CD player. Friends had minor complaint about ground clearance when the vehicle is fully loaded.

The hatchback ATs are not in contention. Need a sedan for the boot space. Please advice.

My current cars:

Maruti Dzire Petrol Vxi (April 2008) and Hyundai Santro MT (November 2004)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...ervations.html (Maruti Swift DZire - delivery on 7th April 2008 - some observations)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...-1-2years.html (Hyundai Santro Xing - Crankshaft & engine repair/ failure-only 26000 Kms & 2 1/2years)
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Old 14th January 2010, 17:40   #2
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Quote:
6 days a week I travel in the back seat of my car;
No brainer ! Corolla !
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Old 14th January 2010, 18:11   #3
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agree with JKDas. The corolla MT is a no brainer vis a vis the Verna A/T.
I think you should still reconsider the City A/T though.
Toyota like reliability, compact dimensions, benefit of A/T (which qualitatively is probably better than a Verna A/T as tranny set ups go). The suspension is not that bad to be intolerable and the gains on the other aspects may compensate.
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Old 14th January 2010, 21:23   #4
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As such I am looking at:

1. A pliant back seat ride quality
2. A car that will not rattle for at least 3-4 years/ 60,000 to 80,000 kms
3. Automatic climate control – (don’t have to tell the chauffeur to switch off/ on the compressor)
4. MP3/ CD player
Corolla altis is the best one to go for you
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Old 15th January 2010, 05:52   #5
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Default Reviewed Corolla dimensions vis a vis Verna

Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
No brainer ! Corolla !
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
agree with JKDas. The corolla MT is a no brainer vis a vis the Verna A/T.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cosmopolitan View Post
Corolla altis is the best one to go for you
All three recommendations for the Corolla Altis MT vis a vis the Verna AT so far. Does this mean that Automatic transmission does not add to back seat comfort in your opinion?

Reviewed the 2 other parameters that are, in my perspective, against the Altis MT (vs the Verna AT)

1. Dimensions:

Corolla Altis MT - Length: 454 cms
Verna AT - Length: 431 cms
Difference : 23 centimeters

Corolla Altis MT - Width: 176 cms
Verna AT - Width: 169.5 cms
Difference : 6.5 centimeters

While the length seems significantly more, 6.5 cms additional width does not seem like a lot. Wonder why on eye balling the Altis looks much wider visually? Any thoughts? On the height front the Altis is only 1 cm lower.

On road cost Chennai:

Corolla Altis MT 2009 model: 1271148 - 50,000 cash discount = 1251148
Corolla Altis MT 2010 model: 1271148

Verna AT 2010 model: 989903 - 15000 loyalty bonus - 10000 cash discount = 964903

A difference of 3,06,245 rupees (for the 2010 model) and I lose out on the auto transmission comfort factor. Also, the fuel costs will be higher on the Altis as it is a petrol.

Additional features on the Altis include - airbags, auto anti glare inner rear view mirror, EBD, electrically retractable outside rear view mirrors with integrated turn signal indicator, printed antenna, Aux-in on music system, Audio controls & Multi Information Display switch on steering wheel, telescopic steering etc - don't think I need any of these.

The models compared are Toyota Corolla Altis 1.8G MT (warranty 3 years/ 1,00,000 Kms) and Hyundai Verna 1.5 SX CRDi VGT AT (warranty 3 years/ 60,000 kms).

Please advice.

Last edited by Murugan : 15th January 2010 at 05:55. Reason: added "don't think I need any of these"
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Old 15th January 2010, 07:21   #6
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They are two different segments.

Obviously, the features/ride quality/comfort of Verna will not match up with the Altis.
And there's a whole lot of extra money you have to spend out too - 3 L !

IMO you should first fix up a budget if thats a deciding factor.
Verna will be cheaper to get and run. With the AT advantage.

If you are going to be driving this car a fair bit, do seriously think about that AT box. You may want to give a second thought to the city AT also. Kind of a mix of both here. Good FE, good ride quality and the AT box with good resale.

If you think its mostly going to be chauffer driven, and your driver knows how to drive a good new MT Altis (a lot of drivers suck big time in clutch usage and jerky drive), and you have 3 L more to spare, think about the Altis.

Its a brain vs. heart decision here I guess.
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Old 15th January 2010, 08:06   #7
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Default Brain vs Heart - it's not a no-brainer!

Quoted in part

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigbarai View Post
Its a brain vs. heart decision here I guess.
Well, incidentally, I am a Brain (& Spine) surgeon! Still not sure about the brain vs heart exclusivity part - the brain and the heart want the comfort of the AT on the Verna and the supple ride and faster accelerating, clatter free engine of the Altis (within a tight budget)!

Brain vs Heart - it's definitely not a no-brainer!
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:06   #8
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As was mentioned, Altis is a segment up,its bigger , wider and comfortable. 3 lac is a big difference. Innova V was a better option but you will have to forget the Auto part.

Think Cruze might be launched today with an Auto
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:28   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
As was mentioned, Altis is a segment up,its bigger , wider and comfortable. 3 lac is a big difference. Innova V was a better option but you will have to forget the Auto part.

Think Cruze might be launched today with an Auto
Since you were thinking of settling for the Verna ...
here is my experience .. I too checked both cars you specified. Altis was out of my budget. Then took a TD of a Chevy Aveo LT top variant. The plush interiors and ride comfort was way better than the Verna. Finally settled on an Aveo.
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Old 15th January 2010, 09:51   #10
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I own Corolla. I am happy customer, AT makes sence for me as I drive it.
If 80% time driver is going to drive it, I would go with MT than AT. Airbags,electrically retractable outside rear view mirrors, MID etc will not help you as you will be seating on rear seats. Don't spend money for features which are not going to help you. Most of features are hardly used even if you are driving the car.
I would suggest to look at cars which are good for rear sitting than driver ones.
Honda City MT, Verna, Indigo Manza, Optra as well. Indigo comes with National Disel engine from fiat. Indigo Manza kills all cars in rear comfort.
Regarding interiors, you can always change them with after market ones. Something like DC designs for Innova, will tune your car to your taste.
I would also suggest to go for 2009 model and save money. There is nothing special if you buy 2010 model. If you are driving more than 1000 Kms per month, look for Disel.
Go Practical.
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Old 15th January 2010, 10:00   #11
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Can I add to the confusion ??

Why not Chevrolet optra ?? It is diesel, it is bigger than Verna, backseat is as comfortable as corolla. As you running is on higher side, I would suggest to Diesel for the sake running bills.
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Old 15th January 2010, 14:40   #12
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Default Depreciation on Verna AT

The person who is going to take my Dzire at Hyundai tells me that when I sell a Verna AT after 3 years it will sell for at least 50,000 Rs less than a similar spec manual Verna. So eventually it adds up to Rs 70,000 (as initial extra cost for AT) + Rs 50,000 = Rs 1,20,000 loss for the comfort of AT. Add to that the increased cost due to lesser mileage and more wear and tear on brake pads etc. Food for thought. Thanks for all the advice so far. I am listening and will keep listening.
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Old 15th January 2010, 14:58   #13
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If you are looking at a long term ownership (>3 years), then you are locked in and it is better to go with what you prefer (AT). Resale over a longer term is less an issue.

Go with the Verna AT (lesser car compared with Corolla AT), but then everything is relative. Corolla AT is lesser than Accord which is lesser than Lexus, and so on.

I faced the same dilemma in late-2006 when my budget permitted a City but I finally settled for Corolla AT in March 2007. 2-3 lakhs over budget but no regrets so far.

After using an AT, i have vowed to consider only ATs in the future for my wife. Although there are many manuals in the sub-10 range that I can buy, I will not because buying a manual will commit my wife to using a manual for the next 5-10 yrs. So only AT for me.

If you can stretch, go for the Corolla AT; but for me AT is more important now.
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Old 15th January 2010, 15:31   #14
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The advantage of a AT is more with respect to driving comfort than for passenger. Jerks can be avoided by good drivers in any manual car and it can be created even on an AT by bad drivers. So its purely driver dependent. In addition, AT consumes more fuel than MT. For your requirement Corolla base variant looks liek the best option. You can also look at GM cars such as Optra or Cruze which may provide even better backseat comfort than Corolla.

Japanese and Koreans are not great for backseat comfort compared to American and European cars, at least for segment in question. You can also look at Linea top end variant.

Last edited by vasoo : 15th January 2010 at 15:35.
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Old 15th January 2010, 18:24   #15
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This is one thread to which Im replying without going through it completely.
Obviously Corolla Altis. There is no debate at all since you can stretch your budget.
And Altis fits exactly in your requirements. The rear space is enough to play carom-board (literally)
Although these 2 cars are from 2 different segment. The Altis is still a great VFM in its class.
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