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Old 29th May 2010, 20:13   #16
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please go for jetta or captiva

To be frank buying sonata at this point of time is a like buy a scrap,it has no brand image and resale value
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Old 30th May 2010, 00:36   #17
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I too think that spending this much money for a Sonata is completely absurd. It depreciates heavily from the moment its driven out of the showroom. I don't know about the rear seat of Jetta but overall Jetta will make you a happy owner.
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Old 30th May 2010, 16:51   #18
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Originally Posted by joshguy View Post
please go for jetta or captiva

To be frank buying sonata at this point of time is a like buy a scrap,it has no brand image and resale value
The OP has clearly stated that back seat comfort is the primary requirement. While I agree that it doesn't have brand image, when you are travelling on the back seat, what matters more?

a) Badge on the hood

b) Rear seat comfort, space and ride quality

Resale is not good either, agreed. But if he uses the car for over 8 years...well, that factor is entirely negated. The problem is, none of its diesel competitors have great backseats. Not the Jetta, Laura or the Cruze.
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Old 31st May 2010, 07:13   #19
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I agree with GTO.. I have a diesel Sonata Transform and it has oodles of space. I chose it over the jetta as both my wife and i are tall and we need the seats pushed back and there is no place in the rear seat for others in most other cars other than the transform in this price bracket. The downside is the driveability in the city - needs frequent gear changes and the lack of snob value.. If these are OK with you and you intend to keep the car for long (which i intent to), then you will like this besides the COO and the Hyundai support network.
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Old 31st May 2010, 16:16   #20
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^^ Please also consider the fact that Sonata depreciates very very fast, and you might not even find many takers. I have seen this personally when my Uncle tried selling his Embera CRDi.
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Old 8th June 2010, 17:42   #21
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I would still recommend that you recheck the Laura in the segment (Do not unlike the rest it is actually a Hatchback not a pure sedan - meaning a different kind of experience) it is the best bet, Owning one my comments could be biased, but the jetta simply has not taken off essentially offers less features than the Laura at higher model vs model price points, with the engines being identical. The Sonata tranform will have the worst resale, and spares could be an issue as it has not sold enough, and will get replaced by a newer model sooner than later. The Sonata has the best rear leg room in the segment, and the Jetta slightly better build than the Laura which is not too far off, but the overall stability and drive gives Laura a slight edge.
If you do drive yourself as well, go for the 6 speed Auto DSG.

Yes Skoda service is an issue, go for JMD if in Mumbai, and take the full warranty package.
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Old 19th November 2010, 22:41   #22
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Well if rear seat comfort is what you're looking at, look no further than the Sonata Transform. I was considering the following cars and here's my read into their capabilities:
1. Honda Civic - Flashy, really flashy and pretty on the outside. Insides flashy again, but the flash seems to be restricted to the digital speedometer. Interiors are ok, a little plasticky. Drives great as well, however shorn of any kind of gizmos, a tad too basic for a car of this range. And the ground clearance was the real clincher. This is the first car I showed the boot to
2. Chevy Cruz - Ok, I havent really driven this one yet, but from what I hear, its got oomphloads of power, though the handling is a bit suspect. Loaded with all kinds of toys and features. However, being the owner of a Safari 3.0 Dicor and an Ikon 1.6 Sxi NXT, I was in no mood to put up with the quality of fit and finish that was on offer, so had to let it pass without as much as a test drive
3. Corolla Altis 1.8 GL - Honestly, I wasnt really interested in the Corolla. I've always had this brand image of the Corolla being the Maruti 800 of the West, so was having a tough time getting myself to deal with a visual image of me driving a Corolla as my third car. A bit of goading from my wife got me to the test drive, and it turned out I was actually pleased. Pleasant unoffending interiors and a few toys like HID headlights and electric adjustments for driver's seat thrown in. Good quality of plastics as well, though I must mention that the interiors did seem a bit stark. Drove pretty well, seemed decently power though it did seem to lack a bit of grunt at revs past 3500. Handling wasnt much to write home about but wasnt poor either. Great shift seemed a tad clunky. Good space at the rear. Suddenly the Corolla was thrown into the pool of cars I have under consideration. Nothing tremendously exciting, but a decent family kinda car that gets the job done well
4. Hyundai Sonata Transform 2.0 CRDi Diesel manual - Ok, a short drive in this car and the Corolla was immediately thrown back into the deepest recesses of my consideration quotient. Approached it with the same kind of expectations as the Corolla.... not a driver's car, but a good comfortable executive feeling car. Quality of interiors were spot on, loaded with the right bells and whistles as well. Oodles of space. A trip in true business class. But the surprise was the drive. Put it into gear, tapped on the pedal a little harder than normal, considering it was a diesel powering a heavy car. What I wasnt expecting it to do was to fly out of inertia leaving its shadow running to catch up. Which is exactly what it did. Wasnt quite looking at the revmeter, but I reckon the turbo kicked in at something like 1500 or so, with minimal lag. What a flyer of an engine! Absolutely unexpected... and thrilling. Alright, so it wasnt quite the nimble cheetah around the bends you could launch it into but this isnt meant to be a race car. Steering felt a bit soft and vague as well. But the gear shift was quite slick with pleasant throws. The Transform made an extremely strong case for itself. Not the car to race around hairpins, but it's got dollops of power and in-line acceleration. Add on the interiors and the lux quotient, and Hyundai seems to have a winner here!
5. VW Jetta 2.0 Comfortline - I'll keep this one short. Fantastic engine, great power delivery, super handling. An out and out driver's car. Oh, and it's fully loaded with all the things you could wish for in a car barring a forklift. Build and quality - we all know how good it is. Very pleasing. But I had to rule it out on 3 counts. i) That kind of money and I get a car which looks mid-C segment at best. Smallish both from the inside as well as the outside. ii) Couldn't digest how atrociously similar the front looked to a Indica. Hated it. iii) The seat backrest adjustment knob was the rotatory kind. Heaven knows they are a pain to use
That wasn't quit so short was it? Well at least the car was "short"
6. Skoda Laura 2.0 TDI Elegance manual - Read the Jetta comments on the handling above. Pretty much the same on the Laura. Add on some more bhp's to the engine and now you got a lethal machine. What a brilliant car! From flat out acceleration, to g-force inducing twisters, this car felt like it was begging me to let it loose into whatever road was thrown at it. Which i gladly did, and not for a second did I feel short of confidence while doing so. Suspension was a bit rigid, but I say that's a good thing. Interiors were very neat and feature loaded. Loved the multi purpose display unit with the reversing indicators. Auto headlights and rain sensing wipers... wonderful feature, was sorry that these did not find their way into the Transform. Interior space is not massive, but rear legroom isn't bad. But no car is perfect is it? Tears shed for low ground clearance and lack of electric driver seat adjustment

In conclusion, currently a toss up between the Transform and the Laura. I've come up with a customizable comprehensive excel sheet which does a point wise comparison based on priorities and weightages of each feature and gimmick. And the Laura seems to have its nose marginally ahead of the Transform. With a marginal difference, the decision to buy could swing both ways. Will update the post when I buy. Until then, any further pointers are welcome.
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Old 19th November 2010, 23:40   #23
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Once you drive an European, it would be difficult to tilt back towards a Korean or Japanese.

Jetta and Laura-Elegance-Manual should have very similar driving dynamics and exactly the same power. Did you notice any difference ?
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Old 20th November 2010, 18:32   #24
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Quote:
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Until then, any further pointers are welcome.
Arijits, do you intend to self-drive or be chauffeur-driven? Also, do test drive the Cruze before making the final decision.
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Old 20th November 2010, 18:57   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sabynag View Post
Once you drive an European, it would be difficult to tilt back towards a Korean or Japanese.

Jetta and Laura-Elegance-Manual should have very similar driving dynamics and exactly the same power. Did you notice any difference ?


Totally agree with you on that - BUT the Embera / Transform is a Euro Spec car, as is (was) the Getz. One ride in the Transform & you may "transform" into a fan. It feels a lot like a European car to drive albeit the handling is like that of a BIG car. I am sure changing stock shocks to better ones shall do a lot for the handling department.

Having said that, it is a close contender with way more reliable service & cheaper spares than the Laura, IMHO


Cheers
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Old 20th November 2010, 19:17   #26
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The Jetta should suit you quite well. From personal experience the car is absolutely a breeze to drive and is excellent on the highway. The back seat may not be the best that you can get but it is certainly quite adequate and comfortable. Also since you are in Mumbai after sales support for a VW is no problem at all.

As far as the Sonata is concerned, I did have a test drive and frankly it didn't feel good. The Europeans are after all Europeans!
I didn't like the ride and so never reached the back seat.
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Old 21st November 2010, 12:37   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arijits View Post
In conclusion, currently a toss up between the Transform and the Laura. I've come up with a customizable comprehensive excel sheet which does a point wise comparison based on priorities and weightages of each feature and gimmick. And the Laura seems to have its nose marginally ahead of the Transform. With a marginal difference, the decision to buy could swing both ways. Will update the post when I buy. Until then, any further pointers are welcome.

I did look at the most of the cars you mentioned above last year for occasional use and eventually bought the Transform CRDi.

My requirements were primarily for a comfortable car to drive and sit back in, meeting general approval with the whole family , with an absolute hassle free after sales service experience. Petrol/Diesel, Price, Sedan/SUV were not really the key deciding factors. Since you have already pruned your list, I'll stick to giving my opinions on these two only.

1) Laura - Definitely a sharp drive, The suspension though a tad stiff was perfectly acceptable. But the space at the rear, the high boot, an annoying tendency to stall occasionally at crawling speeds, the non convex ORVM & the potential for something to go wrong and having to deal with Skoda dealers kept me away.

2) Sonata was somewhat like a Camry/Accord mix, The handling is definitely not a plus compared to a Laura/Passat, It leans into corners when turning too hard or too fast. The looks, while too understated are something we liked. The seats are very comfortable, the feature list was decent, the rear seat is definitely plush and the straight window lines eliminated the feeling of being hemmed in(something my mother doesn't like). The ground clearance is surprisingly impressive which is a plus on Delhi NCR's horrible roads.

Yes, the brand value isn't hot and I'm sure the resale will be low too, But to me all that was far less important than the peace of mind I was getting in the end with the Transform.

Our running cycle(~ 500km a month) does not warrant a diesel in any way, but we just got it for it being a easier drive on the highway than the petrol and its ability to mask the cars weight with the torque available low down.

And as expected the after sales is excellent, the dealer's performance from pre-sales to servicing has been transparent & impressive till date.

I'm not saying that you should look at Skoda's ownership experience as a complete negative or anything cause the product itself is impressive & you may get a great ownership experience from the Laura, like many people do.

I just did not have the time, patience or inclination to deal with such things if anything did go wrong.
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Old 14th December 2010, 05:06   #28
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Cool Re: Diesel Jetta v/s Sonata Transform confused

Thanks guys.

@ Veedub - The Jetta is completely out of the game for me. Spending that kind of money, I cant imagine why for the life of me, I should go with a "small" sedan pretending to be a "luxury" car. I mean, the Jetta is really smallish. And looks ugly from a personal perspective, I still cannot get rid of the similies with the Indica. Looks and size remain one of the big reasons people eliminate cars . No doubt it is a good car, but not really the kind of upgrade I'm looking for

@ GTO - Self drive. Cruze was definitely in the reckoning, and I've read all the reviews raving and ranting about it. But two things in the reviews catch my attention - 1. high turbo lag followed by sudden surge of power 2. mediocre quality of plastic, fit and finish. Both sound discouraging to me. I'd definitely want an upgrade from my current lot. Add to the fact that my wifey will have nothing to do with a Chevy badge ever. And the wife always wins

@saby - Yep, driving dynamics of both the cars are equivalent, the Laura was an iota faster

@ Ricky / Fuelled - Definitely the Laura is a driver's car. But the feeling of luxury inside the Transform is superb. The brand value bit is something the Transform lacks. I find that highly irritating and would like to attribute it to the fact that the average Indian buyer has absolutely no knowledge of good cars. Why else would a car like the Transform or the Elantra fail? Hyundai's marketing team again is not the guys I'd employ to hand over my wedding cards, might have been a different story if these guys woke up with a working cerebrum.

As for depriciation and resale, am not worried about that. I personally find it demeaning if I start thinking of selling something even before I've bought it. Sends out all the wrong vibes. Ok, the Skoda servicing worry. Not a problem, the employers figure that one out

I stand torn between the Transform and the Laura. And I'd technically call the Transform an European car as well. I dont see anything remotely Korean about it except the price.
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Old 27th July 2014, 09:39   #29
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Default Re: Diesel Jetta v/s Sonata Transform confused

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I did look at the most of the cars you mentioned above last year for occasional use and eventually bought the Transform CRDi....
How's your Transform holding up now? Was on the market to buy a used one. How's the reliability? Any major parts/repairs you had to get done?

The one I'm planning to buy gets a heavy "thump" sound, when driven over speedbreakers and potholes, as if a tonne of weight is stuffed into the boot! Any idea what could that be?
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Old 22nd August 2014, 00:29   #30
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Default Re: Diesel Jetta v/s Sonata Transform confused

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Originally Posted by nikhilj View Post
How's your Transform holding up now? Was on the market to buy a used one. How's the reliability? Any major parts/repairs you had to get done?

The one I'm planning to buy gets a heavy "thump" sound, when driven over speedbreakers and potholes, as if a tonne of weight is stuffed into the boot! Any idea what could that be?
Hi Nikhilj, did you proceed with your purchase, the Sonata is a heavy car about 1.7k kgs which is H-E-A-V-Y, in fact feels every bit heavier to a 1st gen Camry too, which may explain the overall 'weighty' feeling, more so if you just moved up the car ladder, and though I can't relate to the experience you mentioned, I drive a Sonata crdi which feels massively front heavy, the suspension isn't as sorted out as a Camry and in our case the rear bottomed a few times, they haven't got the perfect blend here.
If there is a suspension expert around you, take him along for a spin.
I have taken the car several times to the ASC and independent folks and they say there isn't something that's really wrong in there, however the suspension puts me at unease, especially after a spin in my friends Camry or our Skoda.
Its funny, because one drive and you know Hyundai is really struggling in this department, neither is the low speed cushioning perfected nor high speed cruising.
It has its fair share of positives though and if it impresses you for the right reasons, should keep you happy.
Hyundai is a promising auto maker, or should I say major, they have the reliability and support to ensure relatively smooth experience.

Last edited by s_pphilip : 22nd August 2014 at 00:48.
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