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Old 16th April 2010, 12:23   #1
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Question Used Automatic car for less than 4 lakhs rupees

Hi my name is Sunny and I have a car purchase decision to make slightly outside the norm.

I am a new member and you can read my introduction here:
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/introd...thusiasts.html (Greetings to my fellow car enthusiasts)

What makes my decision harder then for the common man is that I have a handicap which means I will be installing hand controls and have fairly specific requirements. I will try to create a list to cover my needs and hope that this community would be so kind to lend me their expertise in making my dream of driving in India come true.

Must have:
- Automatic transmission.
- Power steering/breaks/windows
- Reliability
- Driver power seat either standard or possibility of installing aftermarket one.
- Service availability in Punjab or CHG / Haryana at a stretch

Preferable:
- Power mirrors
- Adjustable/telescopic steering
- A powerful base engine
- Aftermarket parts availability for engine/performance modifications
- Power moon roof
- Good door opening clearance when seat in most back position for easy entry exit
- Petrol as I heard they keep better if parked several months at a time

Not so important considerations:
- Keyless entry
- Kmís to the liter

My budget is not etched in stone, however I would like it to be between 2.5 and 4 lakh obviously the lower I hit the more I could spend on mods, the car will be driven an average of 4-5k a year as I am not based here, but am over a few months a year.

Based on my research on here and carwale in regards to automatic transmissions the options are not many, but these are the ones I have gathered:

- 2003-2005 Chevrolet Optra 1.8 LT AT
- Honda City EXI AT or GXi CVT from about 2003-2004
- Hyundai Sonata V6 AT not sure which year has AT
- 2005 Hyundai Sonata Embera AT this one might be a bit over the budget, but let me know if it is worth the extra money
- 2004-2005 Mitsubishi Lancer Invecs 1.8
- 2002-2003 Honda Accord 2.3 or 2.4 VTI-L
- Another option I would not mind is an older MB with an Auto Transmission, any idea what year and model would fit my budget?

Please feel free to add some options to my list or give me your thoughts on the ones listed. The main issue I find is that most of the cars listed with AT option are not commonly available in the 2nd hand market in Punjab so I may have to buy from another state. How does this work in terms of paperwork and transport, if I for example find a car in Mumbai or Pune is it possible to get the car on a truck up to Punjab or at least Dehli?

The second part will be the installation of handcontrols, I will be bringing them over from Canada and have them installed. So if anyone knows of anyone that has had them installed or knows an actual workshop or mechanic that has experience with that sort of work please let me know.

Any input and recommendation would be greatly appreciated, I am the type of person who always finds a way to achieve my goals and I think Team BHP will find me a welcomed addition to the family once you get to know me.

Thanks in advance,

Sunny.
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Old 16th April 2010, 12:58   #2
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Hello mate,

I would suggest you to pick up Honda city CVT. Just to update your info, CVT come in a single variant only. Not only it will be cheaper to maintain but also the parts will be easily & widely available.

However, Buying it from Delhi or Chandigarh (Nearest Cities from Phagwara) will be best bet as you might not need to get it transported i.e. you can arrange someone to drive it for you.

Cheers
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Old 16th April 2010, 16:29   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashthedivx View Post
Hello mate,

I would suggest you to pick up Honda city CVT. Just to update your info, CVT come in a single variant only. Not only it will be cheaper to maintain but also the parts will be easily & widely available.

However, Buying it from Delhi or Chandigarh (Nearest Cities from Phagwara) will be best bet as you might not need to get it transported i.e. you can arrange someone to drive it for you.

Cheers
Thanks for your reply, it is very quiet on here today. Anything to say about the Optra and the Sonata/Embera?
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Old 16th April 2010, 23:43   #4
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@sandip: I would suggest you look for a car which is sold in the Canadian market as well. While there are options in your list which will be cheaper to maintain (Like the NHC), it wouldn't have power seats, sun roof, powerful engine, etc. It is more of a practical car than a fun to drive car.
If I were you, I would look at the Hyundai Sonata V6 (they are all auto), the Sonata Embera (at the price they sell for, it is much better than the Accord).
The 2002-03 Accords have some expensive spares as they weren't sold in big numbers.

As for the MB - the only one within your budget would be the W124 E Class, which though reliable and one of the better Mercs to be sold in India, it also would be on the more expensive side to maintain.

About out of state transfers, I believe you would have to get a NOC from the seller, along with all the other documents and have the car re-registered in your home state.
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Old 17th April 2010, 12:17   #5
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Cheers for that Lambo, yeah Sonata seems to tick quiet a few of the boxes. Although it doesn't have such a high status in Toronto it seems to be alot of car the money here in India.
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Old 19th April 2010, 16:55   #6
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IMO The Optra looks best suited for your needs primarily because of 2 reasons:

A) It will be in your budget and still leave room for after market mods
B) It ticks most of your check boxes - including the one for moon roof

Servicing should also not be an issue because GM has a decent service footprint. I have not driven the Optra but have sat in one quite a few times and have found it be quite comfortable. Maybe someone here can comment on the engine performance and driving dynamics of the AT.
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Old 19th April 2010, 18:27   #7
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Can I completely change the tables and suggest a i10 AT?

Reasons:

Tall Boy - easy to move in and out
Wider service network
Available FH so no headache due to transfer of registration
Many mechanics - so mods are easier
Light car, so less stress on steering...

Flip Sides:
Not the most powerful of engines

Not the most Tashan, but to me very moddable, reliable and easy to maintain. Wotsay?
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Old 19th April 2010, 21:31   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesc View Post
IMO The Optra looks best suited for your needs primarily because of 2 reasons:

A) It will be in your budget and still leave room for after market mods
B) It ticks most of your check boxes - including the one for moon roof

Servicing should also not be an issue because GM has a decent service footprint. I have not driven the Optra but have sat in one quite a few times and have found it be quite comfortable. Maybe someone here can comment on the engine performance and driving dynamics of the AT.
Cesc does it have powerseats? Just based on reading about the car I am liking it however I am going to try to get a firsthand look at one soon to get a better picture. Are there many of these for sale in Gurgaon/Delhi?

Quote:
Originally Posted by k!ng_@thur View Post
Can I completely change the tables and suggest a i10 AT?

Reasons:

Tall Boy - easy to move in and out
Wider service network
Available FH so no headache due to transfer of registration
Many mechanics - so mods are easier
Light car, so less stress on steering...

Flip Sides:
Not the most powerful of engines

Not the most Tashan, but to me very moddable, reliable and easy to maintain. Wotsay?
King I think such an option is probably a very practical choice and I thank you for your input. Having said that I think I will only go down that road when all other options been exhausted. The smallest engined car I have ever driven is a Nissan with a 3.0 V6. I am pretty blank on the compact market, are there any slightly bigger engine and roomier options available with AT. I saw a Ritz today it looked kinda sporty and nice.
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Old 20th April 2010, 07:15   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandipsn View Post
The smallest engined car I have ever driven is a Nissan with a 3.0 V6. I am pretty blank on the compact market, are there any slightly bigger engine and roomier options available with AT. I saw a Ritz today it looked kinda sporty and nice.
There is the i20 AT, but it costs almost 8L, you might find a Santro AT from the used market, but that would not be too much more powerful...

Both ritz and swift ATs are expected, but not sure when...

Nothing else in the range of your budget.
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Old 20th April 2010, 17:46   #10
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My first suggestion to you would be to prioritise : Don't choose a car based on electric seats & a moonroof! Automatics form less than 1% of the total car sales in India. You will understand that your choice is small to being with. Then, you want to buy used, within a budget of 4 lakhs and further...you want electric seats!

Lets get real. If you find exactly the car you are looking for, perfect. If not, expand your choice to include

- A Brand new i10 AT
- Used Optra AT (hard-find)
- Honda City AT. Either Type II or the NHC. Lots of cars available.
- Lancer Invex 1.8 (awesome car, tough to find)
- Accord AT
- Corolla AT (highly recommended, easy ingress & egress for you)

Quote:
Originally Posted by sandipsn View Post
The second part will be the installation of handcontrols, I will be bringing them over from Canada and have them installed.
Another option is customising the car for hand controls in India itself. A friend of mine - Ferdi Rodricks - is an ace at preparing vehicles for the handicapped. Look up his contact details under "Mumbai" over on this link.
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Old 20th April 2010, 23:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
My first suggestion to you would be to prioritise : Don't choose a car based on electric seats & a moonroof! Automatics form less than 1% of the total car sales in India. You will understand that your choice is small to being with. Then, you want to buy used, within a budget of 4 lakhs and further...you want electric seats!

Lets get real. If you find exactly the car you are looking for, perfect. If not, expand your choice to include




Another option is customising the car for hand controls in India itself. A friend of mine - Ferdi Rodricks - is an ace at preparing vehicles for the handicapped. Look up his contact details under "Mumbai" over on this link.
I agree with you on the "moon-roof" part, however the power seats is a necessity rather then a luxury option I wish to have. I have no problem with buying a power seat setup and having it installed aftermarket, but like I said it is a must have based on reasons explained before. I do have a Recaro powerseat I removed from the Maxima sitting in my garage in Toronto and an option would be to bring it over next time I am flying from there.

Now with the list you made GTO:
- A Brand new i10 AT
The best option from a practical point of view. I am sure a 10 year older me would jump on the idea, but going from V8 4.4i to 1.2 when I am over here is a big ask.
- Used Optra AT (hard-find)
How hard? I could wait 6 months for this car to be found if I was put in touch with a trustful dealer. I am leaving for Toronto in 3 weeks and will be back after summer, car is needed readied for then. Any links on reputable people in the dealer business who could work on this?
- Honda City AT. Either Type II or the NHC. Lots of cars available.
The 1998 Honda City 1.5 EXi I get driven in, is to me an awesome car with a bit of kick and lots of reliability. A 2000-2003 type II AT model is in my opinion nicer then the NHC, any input on the AT, any known problems? Cant find them in Punjab, are they easy to find in CHG or Delhi?
- Lancer Invex 1.8 (awesome car, tough to find)
See Optra
- Accord AT
Different bracket to the others, known all around the world for its performance and reliability. Roomier and much more car then the others. On the other hand expensive to maintain and are there many out there in the 2nd hand market? Did it come with power seats in India in the 2002-2004 models?
- Corolla AT (highly recommended, easy ingress & egress for you)
I like this car, is the 4lakh valuation on carwale accurate for the 2003 h4 1.8g? How would you compare it to buying the Honda City type II and the 1 lakh + difference.

Thanks for your input GTO, as I've been browsing these boards for a while I know of you and what you stand for, and I hope to use your insight in the future. All these are good options now how do we narrow it down further?

I will look into contacting your friend as I am sure he can give me some pointers.

Thanks for your input.
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Old 21st April 2010, 15:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandipsn View Post
- Honda City AT. Either Type II or the NHC. Lots of cars available.
The 1998 Honda City 1.5 EXi I get driven in, is to me an awesome car with a bit of kick and lots of reliability. A 2000-2003 type II AT model is in my opinion nicer then the NHC, any input on the AT, any known problems? Cant find them in Punjab, are they easy to find in CHG or Delhi?
I own a Type II OHC 1.5 EXi AT and though I bought it only a few months back, I would agree its an awesome car and driving it is a pleasure. One problem might be replacement of Oxygen sensor at around 70k kms, which in my opinion is not a big problem.

Only thing which I think you would like to consider is the car is pretty low seated and hence ingress and outgress from the car might be an issue. I would suggest check it out on this front and if you are OK with it, go for it.
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Old 21st April 2010, 17:43   #13
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I own a Type II OHC 1.5 EXi AT and though I bought it only a few months back, I would agree its an awesome car and driving it is a pleasure. One problem might be replacement of Oxygen sensor at around 70k kms, which in my opinion is not a big problem.

Only thing which I think you would like to consider is the car is pretty low seated and hence ingress and outgress from the car might be an issue. I would suggest check it out on this front and if you are OK with it, go for it.
Yeah I agree it is a nice car and I have an OHC 1.5 EXi manuel which is the type 1. I manage to get in and out of the passanger seat with a bit of effort on my own. If i go with the powerseat I have in Toronto it also has a raise and lower function that will help further. Any tech guy out there know how the stock AT will react to vast engine mods say 50% increase in output?
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Old 22nd April 2010, 01:22   #14
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Dear Sandip

Can I suggest that you should consider the Skoda Octavia Automatic as well? It was available in two trim versions, namely the Elegance and Rider (the Elegance being the higher end version), but I am not sure about the power seats.

Octavia's are available in the second hand market for the price range you mentioned, although getting the automatic will be hard, I think the Octavia has a chance. It is a good car and although Skoda has a bad reputation as far as service is concerned, I don't think you'll have too much trouble sourcing parts from abroad if required.
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Old 22nd April 2010, 02:20   #15
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Sandipsn, please dont take it otherwise, but I suggest you get a new i10 AT - the reasons being:

1. Very easy to drive. The overeager steering might actually help you. (knowing that you have some physical limits)
2. small car, manouverable in Indian roads. (as it is you would find driving in India very annoying and requiring much concentration, and also the distance people keep from each other may come down to a few inches!)
3. It might be difficult for you to manage if you have a breakdown in the middle of the road. New car = lesser chance of breakdown.
4. You would rarely find the road in India to unleash V6 power.
5. May be difficult to maintain a old car if it sits for quite a while when you spend time in Canada.

I have driven cars starting from chevy aveo to dodge chargers in US, but I think engine power is just useless on Indian roads.
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