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View Poll Results: Which is the "Smartest" car buy below 10 lakh INR
Honda City E MT 64 64.00%
Honda Jazz 8 8.00%
Hyundai i20 28 28.00%
Voters: 100. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 13th April 2010, 02:28   #1
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Default Smartest car below 10 lakh INR

Hullo BHPians,

My journey with Cars started 10 years ago since when i have been reading at least 2 car magazines every month.
As a self confessed passionate automobile enthusiast Team-Bhp was a dream come true when i discovered it some 4 years ago.
And now finally the time has come when i have finished my MBA and it is time to buy a car for myself...
my very first 4-wheeler... my own baby !!

When i started off my criteria for buying a car was:

1. Fun of driving : The car has to have a great engine & good handling characteristics
2. Prestige value : The car should be aspirational. viz its something you desire to buy & envy if your neighbor has it, rather than a car that is sensible & logical but doesn't have the wow factor.
3. Resale Value: The car should hold its value in the used car market so you can upgrade with a time frame of around 4 years in mind.

With these in mind, i started off my hunt in the hatchback segment. Since my budget initially was around 6 lakh INR and the car was to be used in heavy mumbai traffic a hatchback seemed a logical choice.

With the Premium criteria in mind i focussed my attention on the B+ segment, where i saw the following option:

1. Fiat Grande Punto: A favorite across the forum & the hatch that even GTO recommends ( Red MJD emotion pack)
I test drove this car extensively on the highway between Pashan & Hinjewadi in Pune.

What i loved about the car was its amazing sense of stability. At 120 i had to look at the speedo to sense the speed.
The suspension was also very good, not wallowing over bumps & taking care of potholes with nary a sound.
The build also seemed super solid as compared to my Dads puny i10.

The Cons: I really found the engine lacking in the kind of rush i wanted to experience ( Its very different from the Ritz diesel that i drove which seems quite eager)

I was also uncomfortable with the scattered reports of Rusting ( bigger problem in Mumbai) & poor fit & finish of the cars ( the door beadings were horrendously put together)
I also found the car to be kind of claustrophobic with dark interiors & less space ( My knees would always hit the centre console & the footwell was cramped)
I also found the MJD to be a raucous old brat when revved hard.

The biggest problem i perceive with this hatch is its resale value. With only 800 odd Puntos being pushed out every month this is not really a mass market favourite.


2. Skoda Fabia: I test drove this car in Hyderbad on the Highway & really loved it for what it was worth.
Fine the engine is nosiy, but not once you sit in the car & roll up the windows.
The interiors look classy & really well built.
Airbags are standard across the range.
Ride & handling was as good as the Punto.
The Fabia semed a eager car till 100 kmph, after which it started running out of breath.
Another pro is the big discounts being offered (50k on classic variant) which make this an extremely lucrative proposition.

Big confusion over whether this car is BSIV compliant. Skoda salesman say so :P
Also reports of a Facelifted model coming in, in September with the Polo engines.
Horror stories of ***.
Expensive spares.
All contributing to what i would assume is poor resale value.

3. Marutis: The swift is a 6 year model with a facelift due & the ritz i did not like the interiors or the ride & the body roll. The swift diesel also has a waiting of 2 months and i want to buy the car right away.

4. VW Polo: Liked most things about this car. Was fun to drive, had great interiors build & was shouting Premium hatch (in the silver color)
But the earliest delivery if i book today is in August. Thats FIVE months away.
Cannot wait.

5. Ford figo: Smart & sensible as the marketing jingle goes. Did not test drive the car as
a. It has a 2 months waiting period
b. Its not really "premium"


6. Hyundai i20 : Being an i10 owner (1.1 engine) & none too happy with the wallowy suspension and the tin can types build, i was looking at this car with a jaundiced eye.

But i liked the eagerness of the kappa engine as compared to the 1.1 in Dads i10.
Also like the fact that Hyundai has just refreshed the entire line (with the era variant now looking VFM)
Found the space good but the suspension waalowy.
Dint find the seats really comfortable.
Hated the chrome gear knob.

On the flip side, the i20 is an immense success with over 5k being pushed out every month.
So one can safely assume good resale value.

It also has a certain premium tag attached to it.

Amongst the Hatches i found the i20 to be the smartest choice.

But wasn't entirely satisfied with the i20. So decided to do a treasure hunt in the Sedans segment.

to be continued...
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Old 13th April 2010, 02:40   #2
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Default The sedans

With the original 3 criterion in mind i now roved my eyes across the sedans.

The premiumness criteria meant i had to strike off the following cars even before i started:-

1. Swift Dzire: Yuck ! Pathetic genetic transformation of a hatch. Screams wannabe !
2. Hyundai Accent executive: The grandpa in the sedans segment.
3. Ford ikon: I hate the redesigned front. If i were to buy an ikon i would buy a used 1.6 for 1 lakh !

Now the other sedans:

1. Suzuki SX4: OTR 7.7 in Pune for the VXI. Havent test driven it but reports of raucous engine, poor ride (bumpy) and bad fuel eficiency (10kmpl)

2. Hyundai Verna: Hate the looks & the fact that it is a old car scheduled for a replacement.

3. Ford Fiesta: Special edition & EXI not available in Pune. Minimum cost to buy Fiesta 7.7 OTR for a car which Mr. Mustang says will be phased out in Jan 2011 ( a statement which he has hurriedly retracted :P ford management must have been after him )
Thus poor resale value witha 4 yr horizon in mind.
Loved the test drive though. Lovely free revving engine & a nice athletic handling spirit.

4. Tata Manza: Loved the Space. Dint like the build quality or the slow engines or the body roll or the wallowy suspension. A car fit for a family maybe but not for a young 25 year alpha male :P

5. Fiat Linea: Same reasons as the Punto as mentioned in the above post.


With most of the sedans disappointing i finally turned my eyes towards the HONDAS !

To be continued....

Last edited by Silverfire : 13th April 2010 at 02:59. Reason: typo
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Old 13th April 2010, 02:53   #3
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Default The HONDAS

Within my budget 2 Hondas were trying to woo me

1. The Jazz
2. The City

Let me add at this point of time that i will be buying the car through CSD since my Dad is an ex-armyman.

The Jazz has great space, the fastest engine i have driven of all the hatches & a nice premium feel about it.
Available for 7.7 OTR through CSDwith the active package being offered for 10k more.
The Jazz though is not selling too well, around 500 cars per month
In a bid to push sales Honda is offering car loan at 4.99% upto 5 lakh.

I haven't test driven the City yet, but from what i have read on the forum its the best sedan below 10 lakh INR.
The City is available through CSD for 8.8 OTR for the E MT version.
The City exudes premiumness and has a great brand equity within India.
The City is an immensely successful product & the ANHC has broken all sales expectations with Honda churning out around 5k per month.


Now my budget was never 8.8 lakh.
But when i started looking into the numbers i came up with the following calculation:

FACTS:
1. A 2006 NHC which retailed for around 8.5 lakh is available in the used car market today for a MINIMUM of 5 lakh INR.
2. Thus it has depreciated by 3.5 lakh in 4 years.

ASSUMPTIONS:
1. A 2010 ANHC which retails for 9.5 lakh will have a resale value of around 6 lakh in 2014
2. My car (bought for 8.8) will depreciate by 2.8 lakhs in 4 years.
3. Thus essentially my cost of owning the city is 2.8 lakh ( keeping other factors like spares, service & fuel aside, which will be more or less same across most cars)


WOW !

A Fiat bought at 7 lakh OTR will surely depreciate by more than 2.8 lakh in 4 years.
Suddenly the Honda City starts looking like a financial investment which is feasible !



With all of the above points in mind i would like to ask the community:

Which is the "Smartest" car to buy below 10 lakh INR ?

a. Honda City E MT
b. Honda Jazz
c. Hyundai i20
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Old 13th April 2010, 04:30   #4
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Looks like you have done your homework pretty well. I haven't driven any of the three cars you mentioned in your shortlist. So, I will leave the informed opinion to the experts on the forum.

Only you know what exactly you are looking for in a car and how much you are willing to spend. Test drive all the cars in your shortlist and pick the one you enjoy driving the most. I am guessing that would be the City

Good Luck
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Old 13th April 2010, 06:44   #5
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Well, just voted for the ANHC, all the points/reasonings mentioned by you point in only 1 direction,

for almost similar amount of money, you get a bigger, better, comfortable car with a 118 bhp motor + the excellent resale that a City employs sums up everything,

Jazz is a dud product at the price that they are offering it, unless and untill they reduce the price, it doesn't seem to be selling strongly,

i20 is good but cannot compare to Honda in terms of engine driveablity, comfort, refinement and other driving characteristics,

So, just close your eyes and follow your heart and get yourself the trouble free car known as Honda City
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Old 13th April 2010, 13:38   #6
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I would put my vote for Punto!! Its a real pleasure. You may want to read a detailed discussion on hatch going on at another thread -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...hatchback.html (Highway Hatchback?)
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Old 13th April 2010, 15:16   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by keyurshah View Post
I would put my vote for Punto!! Its a real pleasure. You may want to read a detailed discussion on hatch going on at another thread -
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/hatchb...hatchback.html (Highway Hatchback?)
Keyur.... I have read almost all the threads on the Punto in the forum Including multiple ownership reports which run into scores of pages !

But these were the points against the Punto according to me which is why i had to strike it off my list

Though my sources in Tata Motors tell me that The Punto Sport with the Linea spec VGT MJD will be launched in July... I can't wait that long.


" The Cons: I really found the engine lacking in the kind of rush i wanted to experience ( Its very different from the Ritz diesel that i drove which seems quite eager)

I was also uncomfortable with the scattered reports of Rusting ( bigger problem in Mumbai) & poor fit & finish of the cars ( the door beadings were horrendously put together)
I also found the car to be kind of claustrophobic with dark interiors & less space ( My knees would always hit the centre console & the footwell was cramped)
I also found the MJD to be a raucous old brat when revved hard.

The biggest problem i perceive with this hatch is its resale value. With only 800 odd Puntos being pushed out every month this is not really a mass market favourite. "
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Old 13th April 2010, 17:05   #8
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Would beg to differ sir!!

I have experienced punto and even had taken it on drive from Mumbai to Udaipur (non stop in 14 hours flat, about 950 kms). I was neither tired, nor fatigued. The car throughout didnt stop exciting me a bit. It was pleasure to drive it. I have done this same trip on Indigo, Safari and also Innova (Innova as passenger). But I would rate the experience on Punto next only to Safari.

The pickup, brakes were all superb.

Regarding space, I am 6.1ft tall and could fit comfortably in. Did take time finding a comfortable position, which is common amongst all who have driven Punto, but then had no problems what so ever.

Not sure of Rust as this car was relatively newer (only 5 months old)
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Old 13th April 2010, 18:36   #9
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Default The Honda City test drive

Just finished a test drive of the City.
Looks awesome & has a sweet engine.
Reached 90 in the second gear comfortably and felt a definite surge beyond 4000 RPM.
Nice & stable at 100.
Brakes well... had to emergency brake from 100 when a rickshaw waala decided to suddenly take a U-turn from the slowest left lane..cutting across without any indicators The wheels locked up but the car tracked a straight line.
Space was fantastic at the back.

Downers
The E MT variant i am looking at comes with grey interiors and not the biege ones according to the salesman.
The ride at the back was slightly bumpy& the car scraped a speed bump right outside my front gate !


I have realized that with hatchbacks getting more and more advanced the feel of a hatchback is not really very different from a sedan.
A sedan offers more space at the rear & a bigger boot, but in terms of features and the feel of driving a Honda City is not a world apart from a Hyundai i20.
I don't understand why the mags keep harping on "big car feel", "feels like a sedan" when the best sedan under 10 lakhs feels not so different from the hatches ( In fact i would rate the Punto to be much better than the City when it comes to ride & handling)

Thus for a single driver like me who doesn't need the backseat or the boot, i have started to wonder if a sedan really makes sense.
Especially in congested Mumbai.

Pls advice.
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Old 13th April 2010, 18:56   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfire;1835074

1. [B
Fiat Grande Punto:[/b] A favorite across the forum & the hatch that even GTO recommends ( Red MJD emotion pack)
I test drove this car extensively on the highway between Pashan & Hinjewadi in Pune.

What i loved about the car was its amazing sense of stability. At 120 i had to look at the speedo to sense the speed.
The suspension was also very good, not wallowing over bumps & taking care of potholes with nary a sound.
The build also seemed super solid as compared to my Dads puny i10.

The Cons: I really found the engine lacking in the kind of rush i wanted to experience ( Its very different from the Ritz diesel that i drove which seems quite eager)

I was also uncomfortable with the scattered reports of Rusting ( bigger problem in Mumbai) & poor fit & finish of the cars ( the door beadings were horrendously put together)
I also found the car to be kind of claustrophobic with dark interiors & less space ( My knees would always hit the centre console & the footwell was cramped)
I also found the MJD to be a raucous old brat when revved hard.

The biggest problem i perceive with this hatch is its resale value. With only 800 odd Puntos being pushed out every month this is not really a mass market favourite.
While I respect your opinion on all these cars, I some how feel that you should reconsider Punto again. I have been TDing all the cars that come to my office, but none stands close to Punto or the Linea. Almost all hatches feel half the weight of Punto and all feel lifeless while driving. I TDed i20 too, the drive was so lifeless. Yes, the steering was light and the gear shifts easy but I could find no life at all. It behaved like a robot which acts on your inputs, it didn't connect to me at all.

Also, you have listed out "rusting & poor fit & finish" as one of the reasons to reject. I really believe they are now a thing of the past, no recent Punto/Linea owners have had any of these complaints.

TD Punto again!

EDIT: Else, as someone suggested wait for the Punto Sports. According to me, Punto sports will be a dream hatch to own. I'm not exaggerating.

Last edited by CliffHanger : 13th April 2010 at 18:59.
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Old 13th April 2010, 19:04   #11
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Yeah...
After driving all these cars i find that it was the Punto that had the best ride & Handling...
B.U Bhandari in Pune also informed me that "The insulation of the bonnet had come off in the test drive car" which is why it was so noisy.
Have called a test drive vehicle from Pandit Auto now.

Another thing with the Punto i feel is the "perception of speed"
The Punto feels so stable at 100 that it "seems" slow.
Whereas my i10 at 70 "seems" fast.

Will test drive the Punto again tomorrow
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Old 13th April 2010, 19:13   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfire View Post
Yeah...
After driving all these cars i find that it was the Punto that had the best ride & Handling...
B.U Bhandari in Pune also informed me that "The insulation of the bonnet had come off in the test drive car" which is why it was so noisy.
Have called a test drive vehicle from Pandit Auto now.

Another thing with the Punto i feel is the "perception of speed"
The Punto feels so stable at 100 that it "seems" slow.
Whereas my i10 at 70 "seems" fast.

Will test drive the Punto again tomorrow
I feel for you Silverfire! It is the Punto which is pulling the strings to your heart. Go for it!
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Old 13th April 2010, 20:01   #13
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If I were you, I would go in for Linea Emotion Pk (D).

1. Fun of driving : Linea is for sure fun to drive and handles very well.
2. Prestige value : In India Sedan = Prestige. Park a Linea next to any sub 10Lakh sedan and see the difference for you self.
3. Resale Value: It may not fetch you same amount as a Honda during resale, but a diesel + lesser initial cost will surely compensate it to some extent.

These are purely my thoughts, it may differ person to person. By the way I would also suggest you to wait till Linea T-Jet is launched.

Last edited by HammerHead : 13th April 2010 at 20:08.
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Old 13th April 2010, 20:14   #14
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I will say in this case the smartest is Honday City or I20l. None can predict the future man, after 4 years who knows what will be the resale of ANY car. However 2 things
1. I am surprised at you referring to the i20 as tin can build?? It has a solid build and in fact a lot of safety features. If just the door "thud" is a measure of the build quality, i beg to differ big time. How else do you measure build quality than perfectly fitted parts, no blemishes, superb material quality and good safety features? Anyways will not like to debate on that
2. I20 will continue to be a standard in premium hatch segment for another year at the MINIMUM, with all planned launches over in this segment for this year and maybe next.( the rest are in the mid level hatch segment)

On the wow factor its the ANHC only. Jazz will probably get a "why this??" response!!
If you really want a wow factor- buy the i20 with sun roof and 6 air bags

Punto is technically v good, however you need to check 2 things
1. Just ask your friend to call them for a TD at his location, see if they turn up. I guess you went personally for the TD?
2. Check other owners on what they say about *** in your city, do not only go by here as most of folks here are FIAT lovers, so will ignore a lot of -ves
As for having a sedan, i am 100% in agreement that UNLESS its the real need for a large boot, or power or jsut the feel of a "big car" there is no use of buying a sedan, exactly why most action is in the premium hatch segment.

Resale will depend on how you keep the car, market dynamics at that time and other offerings at that time. Both ANHC and I20 will have a decent resale most likely.
Just my 2 cents.

Last edited by mkh : 13th April 2010 at 20:15.
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Old 13th April 2010, 20:43   #15
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@ mkh

Regarding Hyundai build quality, I don't think it matches any European car. I'm not saying that Hyundai's are badly build but that's one difference between the Japs/Koreans and the Europeans.

This is from GTO's Punto test drive thread.
Quote:
A Hyundai i10 smashed into the back of this Punto. The Hyundai's bumper + bonnet got bent. The Punto? Only a misaligned bumper:
I would think i10 is as good as i20 when it comes to build quality.

Quote:
Punto is technically v good, however you need to check 2 things
1. Just ask your friend to call them for a TD at his location, see if they turn up. I guess you went personally for the TD?
So you will certify that "Fiat Punto" does not worth considering if they did not turn up for a TD?

Quote:
2. Check other owners on what they say about *** in your city, do not only go by here as most of folks here are FIAT lovers, so will ignore a lot of -ves
You will find more Fiat owners bringing out -Ve's then any other car owners There are hell lot of owners here trying to defend the brand they own then the specific car they own from that brand!!!

I had this question for long time now. Since you own a i20 though of asking it to you. Does i20 have engine guard?

Last edited by HammerHead : 13th April 2010 at 20:48.
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