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Old 18th February 2010, 19:30   #1
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Default Jetta 1.9, Cruze 2.0, Sonata Transform 2.0 , Laura 1.9 - Need Help!!

Hello friends
Need some help. My requirements are as below

1. Budget max upper limit -> Rs. 20 lakhs on Road (New Delhi).
2. Running -> Daily 100 kms in and around Delhi.
3. Interior comfort important (Rear seats very important).
4. Good Ride important.
5. Car will be driven by chauffeur (60%) as well as me (40%).
6. Currently in Mumbai, will be relocating to Delhi soon and will purchase there, so have some time on hand and need to make an informed choice.
7. Maintainence shoud be reasonable not exorbitant.
8. Manual/ Automatic not an issue.

Cars under consideration and initial impressions

Volkswagen Jetta -> visited Volkswagen Downtown limited at Prabhadevi, Mumbai
Initial impression ->
The staff was courteous and offered refreshments while i waited for the salesperson. The sales person was knowledgeable and offered fitting replies to my queries.
  • Good understated looks.
  • Extremely well built. Doors shut with a great thud.
  • Good attention to detail with the hydraulic usage at the bonnet and boot.
  • Neat, simple interior but quality extremely good.
  • Great safety features.
  • Rear seat fairly comfortable but would have preferred more legroom. The tunnel protrudes a bit as well but manageable overall.
  • Brand impression is fairly good.
  • Seems a little overpriced.
  • After good deal of bargaining I`m being offered a discount Rs.20,000 on the 1.9 Trendline and Rs. 25,000/- on the Comfortline.
  • 4 years warranty with replacements for manufacturing defects.
  • Overall impression: Good
Skoda Laura -> visited Autobahn at Prabhadevi
Initial impression ->
The staff offered refreshments while i waited for the salesperson to arrive. However with regard to knowledge the sales staff was found a bit wanting. Also the constantly tended to derail other cars especially the Jetta. (I did not like this part)
  • Reasonable exterior looks. I personally dont like the rear.
  • Interiors similar to the Jetta, though i feel the Jetta quality seemed slightly better.
  • Rear seats are similar to Jetta as well.
  • No discounts. Kept on saying that lesser brand need discounts since their products dont sell. (Again didnt appreciate this attitude)
  • Huge concerns regarding After sales service. When i bought this concern to the sales staff they replied that since they sell the car in HUGE numbers, there may be a bit of waiting at the counter and the buyers of such cars are egoistic and dont appreciate waiting and hence give us poor rating and spread rumours. (Didn`t appreciate the statement one bit).
  • Seems overpriced.
  • Warranty period 2years non extendable.
  • Overall impression: Mixed. Car seemed decent but didn`t like the attitude of the sales staff. (Don`t want to eliminate the car totally from consideraion due to sales staff attitude)
Chevrolet Cruze -> Visited Ashtavinayak Auto Goregaon East, Mumbai
Inital Impression
The staff seemed disinterested. I had to wait for 20 minutes before being attended. The staff didn`t seem knowlegable as they could not explain explain the basic features. I had more knowledge than them it seemed. (I had done my homework before going there). Anyways, further statements like our car is 10 times better than the Jetta kind of repealed me. However the car itself was a pleasant surprise.
  • Brilliant looks, Really modern
  • Good modern interiors, though the quality could have been better. Good space at the front. The rear seats felt a little low but the legroom seemed okay.
  • Rear headroom is definitely at a premium.
  • Loaded with features especially the LTZ.
  • Great Value for money.
  • Staff not aware about the warranty (Guys please help out here)
  • Overall impression: Mixed. I was impressed with the car in general, but the staff left a lot to be desired.
Hyundai Sonata Tranform -> Visited A1 Hyundai at Andheri East.
Initial impression
The staff was very courteous. Refreshments were sent while i waited for the salesperson who was ateending another gentleman. The salesperson was extremely knowledgeable with reard to the technical details. He was constantly focusiing on the strengths of the Hyundai rather than weaknesses of others. He gave me the impression of someone who believs in his product. Overall experience was really good
  • Reasonable standard looks. Definitely seemed bigger then the prior cars visited.
  • Build quality good but not good as the Jetta.
  • Excellent interiors. Great rear seats. Good features though only two airbags offered.
  • Hydraulics at the bonnet and boot ala Jetta
  • Huge legroom at the front and rear.
  • Will defnitely have an edge with regard to the After Sales Service.
  • The negative aspect is that the car sells in very few numbers.
  • Brand impression isn`t great.
  • Felt it was litlle expensive but the good part is i was offered huge discounts which takes care of it somewhat(around Rs. 90,000/- which i feel can go up further).
  • Overall impression: Excellent
The test drives for all cars are scheduled on Monday. Guys please help with regard to any specific issues i need to look at for each car.

I also visited Lakozy Toyota for the Altis and Linkway Honda for the Civic, but felt they didnt` really match what i was looking for. Hence these two cars are not under consideration.

Guys please pour in you advice and views regarding the above cars.
Also while i prefer new cars i`m not totally averse to used cars if they have low mileage. (within 20,000 kms. Something like a one year old Passat maybe.)

Guys please reply. Any viewpoint will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:09   #2
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Keeping in mind your parameters I would suggest the sonata transform.Super space , comfortable and good ride quality.The best rear seat in the bracket. Bargain hard and a discount of over 1 lakh can be obtained which makes it serious value for money for size and equipment. I dont like skodas and hence would not reccommend it. Jetta is good too but keeping your requirements go in for the sonata.
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:34   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by punitkakri View Post
The negative aspect is that the car sells in very few numbers.
Quote:
Brand impression isn`t great.
If I understand your post, these are the only two negative factors you have on the Sonata Embera. What really counts is : How much do these factors mean to you?

People don't buy the Embera in large numbers? Big deal. It's an exceedingly under-rated car, has super punch, class-leading interior space (far more than the Laura, Jetta or Cruze), great ride quality and Korean reliability (a good thing). I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Sonata diesel would be my pick from this segment. Hyundai's excellent after-sales is a bonus.

In addition, you have clearly stated that your requirement list ranks ride quality high, and you will be chauffeur-driven a majority of the time. On these factors alone (backseat, space & ride comfort), the Embera beats the Laura / Jetta / Cruze hollow! There is simply no competition as the other three are cramped in comparison.

Clearly the Embera meets your needs the best. Question is : Are you buying the car for yourself (your requirements) or for others (brand value & sales numbers)?

Last edited by GTO : 18th February 2010 at 23:38.
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:50   #4
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Agree with GTO. Sonata is the best bet here.
And its now the Sonata Transform which replaced the Sonata Embera - interiors were improved a good deal IIRC
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Old 18th February 2010, 23:53   #5
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Pardon my ignorance GTO, but isn't Sonata 2010 bound to be in the Indian market in near horizon?
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Old 19th February 2010, 00:04   #6
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If you don't care about the resale, Sonata is the way to go. No issues like the Skoda, awesome rear seat confort and Hyundai A.S.S is good. If you can stretch your budget a little bit, you get the Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI that has features comparable with the E class. But again, for a diesel you will need to stretch till about 25l.

If you don't have problems with a second hand car, you can get many great cars.

P.S : If you need a drivers car, check out BMW 320i which is now available at 22 lacs ex-showroom. But then, you will surely be the one who will do the driving.
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Old 19th February 2010, 10:57   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigron View Post
Keeping in mind your parameters I would suggest the sonata transform.Super space , comfortable and good ride quality.The best rear seat in the bracket. Bargain hard and a discount of over 1 lakh can be obtained which makes it serious value for money for size and equipment. I dont like skodas and hence would not reccommend it. Jetta is good too but keeping your requirements go in for the sonata.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
If I understand your post, these are the only two negative factors you have on the Sonata Embera. What really counts is : How much do these factors mean to you?

People don't buy the Embera in large numbers? Big deal. It's an exceedingly under-rated car, has super punch, class-leading interior space (far more than the Laura, Jetta or Cruze), great ride quality and Korean reliability (a good thing). I've said it before and I'll say it again. The Sonata diesel would be my pick from this segment. Hyundai's excellent after-sales is a bonus.

In addition, you have clearly stated that your requirement list ranks ride quality high, and you will be chauffeur-driven a majority of the time. On these factors alone (backseat, space & ride comfort), the Embera beats the Laura / Jetta / Cruze hollow! There is simply no competition as the other three are cramped in comparison.

Clearly the Embera meets your needs the best. Question is : Are you buying the car for yourself (your requirements) or for others (brand value & sales numbers)?
Quote:
Originally Posted by lancer_rit View Post
Agree with GTO. Sonata is the best bet here.
And its now the Sonata Transform which replaced the Sonata Embera - interiors were improved a good deal IIRC
Quote:
Originally Posted by AlokSriva View Post
Pardon my ignorance GTO, but isn't Sonata 2010 bound to be in the Indian market in near horizon?
I am inclined towards the Sonata transform as well. It does make a lot of sense especially after discounts. I can take a definite call after test driving all cars. My mother needs to be fine with the back seats as well.

Another issue i have in mind is that whether the new Sonata is due in the near future. If someone can throw light on this it`ll be great. I dont actually mind waiting for a couple of months, although it`s preferable to get the car before 31st March.


Quote:
Originally Posted by prateekm View Post
If you don't care about the resale, Sonata is the way to go. No issues like the Skoda, awesome rear seat confort and Hyundai A.S.S is good. If you can stretch your budget a little bit, you get the Skoda Superb 1.8 TSI that has features comparable with the E class. But again, for a diesel you will need to stretch till about 25l.

If you don't have problems with a second hand car, you can get many great cars.

P.S : If you need a drivers car, check out BMW 320i which is now available at 22 lacs ex-showroom. But then, you will surely be the one who will do the driving.
Again Skoda Superb just felt like an elongated version of the L&K 2.0 variant. Plus with 25 lakhs it`s going a bit out of my budget.

Yes i`m planning to have a look at the 320i as well, though in this case i`ll have to take a bit of a loan as well, but would do it if i`m satisfied with the car.

Accha another thing, i have come across a 2008 company owned VW Passat with an asking price of 18 lakhs. The car has run 22,000 kms. I am going for inspection tomorrow morning. Apart from the issues discussed on the Passat thread is there any external problem indicators i should look for ? For a second hand car i want to get the car checked up and certified before purchasing.
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Old 19th February 2010, 13:14   #8
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Quote:
Again Skoda Superb just felt like an elongated version of the L&K 2.0 variant. Plus with 25 lakhs it`s going a bit out of my budget.
Yeah, it's the elongated version, but you do get loads of features + awesome legroom. This gotta be the best car <30 lacs for legroom + features.

Quote:
Accha another thing, i have come across a 2008 company owned VW Passat with an asking price of 18 lakhs. The car has run 22,000 kms. I am going for inspection tomorrow morning. Apart from the issues discussed on the Passat thread is there any external problem indicators i should look for ? For a second hand car i want to get the car checked up and certified before purchasing.
Read a post by GTO where he said that most of the Passat's have turbo failures. No ideas about the DSG failures. I think Superb has better features than a Passat so it would make sense to go for a Skoda. BTW, just saw a classified on Carwale yesterday about a '07 Audi A4 for 18l. Sounds like a good deal if you can negotiate well. Looks neatly maintained from the pics given. Will PM you about it if interested.
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Old 19th February 2010, 14:34   #9
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you can get the sonata transform with 6 airbags. (side airbags and curtain airbags.) i think you have to pay 35K more. and it would be made to order. so do check with the dealership. these sales people don't mention it. or even do not know this stuff!

sonata is in different segment. offcourse its a hyundai. but because its a hyundai. i think maintence of sonata will be less expensive than the jetta and certainly less than the skoda.
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Old 19th February 2010, 14:39   #10
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Sonata does not have a re sale value.

Go for Jetta 1.6 comfortline diesel automatic.

Stay away from Skoda as A.S.S is very bad.
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Old 19th February 2010, 14:56   #11
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My 2 cents below - enjoy!

Accord is out? Not even a test drive? Reconsider! It doesn't have the gizmo appeal of the Superb but a very competent car which meets ALL your criteria very well!

@GTO- Wouldn't the Sonata be in the Accord/Camry/Passat category rather than Laura/Jetta/Cruz?

Avoid the Used cars - Passat or A4 (previous gen model). I think there is a 2011/12 Sonata (All New) on the cards - dont remember where i read about it.

I never really cared for the Jetta - looks are so blah as is the drive...its a german corolla! The Laura looks way better!

The Corp 320d would be the best of the lot! You would enjoy the 40% drive in this car a lot more than you would a 60% back-seat ride in any of the other cars mentioned above!!!
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Old 19th February 2010, 15:14   #12
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i think the new sonata is supposed to be launched within march/april? if so
i would wait for the new sonata
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Old 19th February 2010, 18:42   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Caramelo View Post
you can get the sonata transform with 6 airbags. (side airbags and curtain airbags.) i think you have to pay 35K more. and it would be made to order. so do check with the dealership. these sales people don't mention it. or even do not know this stuff!

sonata is in different segment. offcourse its a hyundai. but because its a hyundai. i think maintence of sonata will be less expensive than the jetta and certainly less than the skoda.
Hmm this is interesting i`ll definitely check thisone up. Thanks for the lead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anuprav View Post
Sonata does not have a re sale value.

Go for Jetta 1.6 comfortline diesel automatic.

Stay away from Skoda as A.S.S is very bad.
True Sonata may not have reale value but i do plan to keep the car for the next five years at least. So that may negate it.
I taking a test drive monday, so that`ll give me more clarity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Speeding@160mph View Post
My 2 cents below - enjoy!

Accord is out? Not even a test drive? Reconsider! It doesn't have the gizmo appeal of the Superb but a very competent car which meets ALL your criteria very well!

@GTO- Wouldn't the Sonata be in the Accord/Camry/Passat category rather than Laura/Jetta/Cruz?

Avoid the Used cars - Passat or A4 (previous gen model). I think there is a 2011/12 Sonata (All New) on the cards - dont remember where i read about it.

I never really cared for the Jetta - looks are so blah as is the drive...its a german corolla! The Laura looks way better!

The Corp 320d would be the best of the lot! You would enjoy the 40% drive in this car a lot more than you would a 60% back-seat ride in any of the other cars mentioned above!!!
My neighbour has the Accord. Though he is satisfied with the car, he keeps cribing about the high fuel cost. Plus i want to now move on fom a Honda

I would tend to prefer the Jetta over the Laura. Skoda A.S.S. horror stories keep pouring in everyday. Though i`ll take the final call afterr the test drive.

Well on Tuesday i`m planning to visit the BMW dealership. Looking forward to that .

Quote:
Originally Posted by dockap View Post
i think the new sonata is supposed to be launched within march/april? if so
i would wait for the new sonata
When if that is the case i`m prepared to wait for some more time. I can wait till mid may at the maximum. Please update in case anyone has some kind of concrete news in this regard.
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Old 20th February 2010, 01:29   #14
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As my dear friend of my runs Car Rental Business I get to drive most of the Indian Car's and know there problems as well (Not technical stuff but from Customer point of view)

Here my experience:

Skoda Laura:

Pro's: Powerful, Comfortable back seat, Ride quality, decent mileage, elegant looks

Con's: Hell expensive to maintain, Louder compared to Cruze

Chevy Cruze:

Pro's: Powerful than Skoda, Sporty look and interior, cheaper than Laura, Low maintenance cost

Con's: Back seat not as comfortable as Laura, difficult to drive in B2B traffic, No metallic colors for White and black (if you planning these)


As I said I am just sharing my experience as user and not Tech-master... you can drive both of them and then make your decision...

As far as upcoming Car are considered I would suggest wait for Maruti Kizashi

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Old 20th February 2010, 01:46   #15
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yeah i also know that the new sonata is due for launch.i didn't mention it in this discussion because imho, when its going to be launched is a big question? i think it may be 2011 march/april sadly. and not 2010 for its launch. i say this because they would have not gone through the sonata transform "nirvana" marketing campaign and even the facelift. they could have just dropped the bomb of the new and sexy sonata. and also currently its available in south korea. then they will think of the USA the primary target market. this car is aimed for USA sales.(sells a lot more there). go to usa website for hyundai and it shows 2011 sonata.

but the question still remains "would you go out and buy the new sonata over say and accord or superb?" can they do what i20 is doing to jazz these days?

Last edited by Caramelo : 20th February 2010 at 01:52.
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