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Old 5th June 2010, 11:19   #1
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Post Dilemma of a 0.7ish millionaire

Hi All,

This is the dilemma that I continue to face as I decide which car to buy in 7-8 lacs. Having been in this state for 3 months now, I decided to take your opinion

Precursor :
It was March 2010. and on a weekend, my folks were discussing about cars. I happened to step into their room, and to my surprise saw brochures of cars with them - Skoda Fabia, Ritz, Santro, Swift, an many more. I could not believe the fact that my dad was even contemplating buying a new car, and selling his 1996 Maruti 800. I had thought he would like keep it forever. Since I was busy with working over weekends, due to appraisal time; he had decided not to disturb me with it.

However, it was time I reinstated the fact that - "Dad, I love cars". So, I asked him is criterias of shortlisting, and he had just 2 words - it has to be Maruti only, and should be as reliable as his 800...Phew!!!! IMO, Thats how most of the decisions of buying a car in this country are taken - no offence to any car maker, but atleast try them out.

So, I decided to do the shortlisting myself, and went about TDing the cars myself. The joy of TDing a new vehicle made me cultivate a thought that I should replace my 2007 Esteem as well.
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Old 5th June 2010, 11:29   #2
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Convincing the better half:

Mid March 2010, dad got a white Swift Lxi.Believe me, it was a pleasure to drive on first floor, considering the "basement" seating position of Esteem. Every time I drove the new vehicle, I felt the urge to get a new one myself. I started to come up with excuses to convince the better half that we really needed a new car, Esteem's outdated, etc etc

However, being the Leo she is, she is one hard nut to crack . So, I had to overcome this herculean task of convincing her before I could think of even this decision.

Luckily for me, one of wifey's colleague got a new car in a week after my dad's purchase. The same evening she went for lunch party in the colleague's car. The card that played into my hand was her mentioning this to me, an opportunity that pounced upon.

And...my work was done - I convinced her into buying a new car, but WHAT CAR is the answer that I am still struggling with.
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Old 5th June 2010, 11:41   #3
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Shortlisting:

Living in I.P.Extension, East Delhi, all major car dealerships are in the vicinity of 3 - 4 kms from my house. So, TDing a vehicle was of paramount importance to me - since I wanted to feel the car before buying it.

I listed my MUST HAVEs in a car that I wanted:
  1. AC
  2. Power Windows
  3. ABS + EBD
  4. Airbags (Definitely a plus, but not a constraint)
  5. Good GC
  6. Value for Money
  7. Good ***
  8. Looks
  9. High seating position
  10. Petrol only
  11. Easy maneouverability
Considering the fact that I have driven my car for only 25k kms in last 3 years, this car would be used primarily for office use; and perhaps once a quarter weekend drive. The cars that came to my mind were :
  1. SX4
  2. Honda City
  3. DZire
  4. Fiesta
  5. Aveo
  6. Fiat Linea
So, I decided to go for a TD myself over weekends, and if something clicks, will ask wifey and kid to accompany.
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Old 5th June 2010, 11:50   #4
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TDing:

1. SX4

Maruti has 2 dealerships in this vicinity.

On my visits to one of them, I felt they were ill equipped to handle premium car customers. What a waste of time to even open such a dealership. The second one were quite professional, took time to explain features of the SX$.

What was good was the seating positing and high SUV like GC..Above all, it was a Maruti - so the standard deviation from being an Indian mindset was absolutely minimal . Besides, dad would also have been happy. However, things changed as I TDed the vehicle.

While it look quite a VFM stuff, the ride was very bouncy and the gearshift quite hard. The refinement levels of a new Swift, or even my Esteem was not there. NVH was also quite high - but then Esteem has it also. Making 3 people seat at the back seat would be a pain. Add to this the A pillar offered restricted view around corners, and reversing this car was a pain.

One TD, and I knew this car was not for me.
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:00   #5
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TDing:

2. Honda City

I knew there was a premium to pay for the H badge, and even though I was not convinced with the extra amount to shell out - I did visit the Honda showroom for City. I took my wifey along this time, since Finance Minister has to approve the overheads, and deviations in the pre-appoved budget.

As the gyaan that the sales guy gave me about the car, including moolah, etc. I could not help noticing him selling the H badge, and snob value of the car - which are also IMO the biggest contributors to the sale of the car + ofcourse the reliability + *** + resale.

I TDed the S version, and was hugely disappointed. The interiors of the car do not give you a 9lac feeling at all. The refinement levels were 2 classes ahead of SX4, and driving it was an ease.

Wifey was already drooling over the looks of the car, which I somehow am not very fond of. Meanwhile I got my car evaluated since I wanted to exchange it. The dealer quoted a figure, which would have been light years less than if I were to sell my vehicle in scrap - of course, which I wont. Infuriated, I thanked him and we went back.

On our way back, it seemed the SNOB bug had bitten wifey, and she was persuading me to go for it. However, I to date am not convinced on buying one. IMO, paying an extra premium for this car does not justify anywhere for me.

Score till now; TDed - 2, Tentative - 1
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:21   #6
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3. DZire - Rejected for looks alone. Big a** not for me - coupled with a huge waiting period

4. Fiesta - No FORD please. They are not very popular in North, I feel. + havent seen much in markets. I have read about the good drivability, etc etc but not going this way

5. Aveo - TDed the car. What I liked was the interiors - very appealing, and good seating position. The car gives you a very relaxed driving position. However, my jiju has a Chevy and complains about the pathetic a**. I didnt want to go even near it after hearing that.

6. Linea - That left me with Fiat. The car is a looker, and hits you straight through the heart. The Italian beauty has to be seen in flesh, and you will be DROOOOOOL.

I visited 2 dealerships - the one in Delhi was not interested in selling Fiat - did not have a TD vehicle, brochure, and to top it the salesman was not at all interested in selling a Linea.

Meanwhile, I was following various feedbacks from people in TBHP and on net. HT came out with a car satisfaction survey recently which ranked Linea no. 3 in 6 - 8 lacs car category. I showed that to wifey, and got a TD arranged at my place. The salesman was again a let down, and it is only after I called him again and again that he got the TD car arranged. This was a customer car to be delivered.

I took my wife along for the TD - while we stood for a minute admiring the curves and looks of the car - I actually ran my hand through entire car just to admire the beauty of it....It is one of the beautifullest cars that I have seen in flesh to date. I was all DROOOOOOOOOOL..The moment I stepped into the car, my jaw was left opened..

Interiors were just opposite of exteriors ..Dull and boring, most of the stuff seemed plasticky..The height adjuster lever looked as if it will break as I adjusted my height. My wife immediately complained of less legroom at the front, and ineffective AC. There was a lag as I left the clutch and accelarated - and the reviews that I had read of the underpowered car came true. The turning radius was also higher. On our way back, me and wifey sat at back while the salesman drove - the legroom at back was amazing - but it was awfully hot at back. This could also be because there was no rear vent in this vehicle. The seating position was good, and I did not feel the low GC of this car.

Major letdown....Wife was never a fan of FIAT, since she feels putting 7 - 8 lacs on a FIAT is not worth it. After the TD, I was inclined to believe her.
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:29   #7
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Close to 3 months have passed, and every weekend gets me more frustrated on WHAT CAR..

I understood one thing - I wanted good interiors and exteriors, and the car has to be a VFM. Then, came across a few posts on TBHP about used civics, and though initially I did not think - this seems to be a viable option now. 3 box is what I am looking for (missed that out)

Went to Honda, but they do not have any used civics available currently through Auto terrace.

So here I am - confused guy looking to sell his Esteem and buy a new car..need you help here experts..

PS : The views mentioned in my posts are entirely my opinions, and not meant to offend anyone or influence their buying decisions. All the cars mentioned are capable and deserving, however, did not fit my bill. The last thing I would want to get into are controversies over something written about a make, which has some owner annoyed..All in all (Dont take it personally)

Last edited by cutdcrap : 5th June 2010 at 12:30.
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:46   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post

Went to Honda, but they do not have any used civics available currently through Auto terrace.

(Dont take it personally)

Contact some brokers and see if you can find any cars, be patient with the used car search, it may take a while before you find "the car"

You can also consider the Vento once it is out.

good luck!
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Old 5th June 2010, 12:50   #9
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Any particular reason you did not consider the Verna?

You could wait a couple of months for the VW Vento.

It's very difficult to get all you want in one car. Some compromises will surely have to be made. Either on features or quality or price ... You need to prioritise which compromise you can live with for the duration of ownership.
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Old 5th June 2010, 13:00   #10
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The Mitsubishi Cedia? Honestly, I think you should just go for the Ford Fiesta 1.6 S and forget about everything else!
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Old 6th June 2010, 07:57   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
Shortlisting:

I listed my MUST HAVEs in a car that I wanted:
  1. AC
  2. Power Windows
  3. ABS + EBD
  4. Airbags (Definitely a plus, but not a constraint)
  5. Good GC
  6. Value for Money
  7. Good ***
  8. Looks
  9. High seating position
  10. Petrol only
  11. Easy maneouverability
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post

SX4

However, things changed as I TDed the vehicle.

While it look quite a VFM stuff, the ride was very bouncy and the gearshift quite hard. The refinement levels of a new Swift, or even my Esteem was not there. NVH was also quite high - but then Esteem has it also. Making 3 people seat at the back seat would be a pain. Add to this the A pillar offered restricted view around corners, and reversing this car was a pain.

One TD, and I knew this car was not for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
TDing:

2. Honda City

I could not help noticing him selling the H badge, and snob value of the car - which are also IMO the biggest contributors to the sale of the car + ofcourse the reliability + *** + resale.

I TDed the S version, and was hugely disappointed. The interiors of the car do not give you a 9lac feeling at all. The refinement levels were 2 classes ahead of SX4, and driving it was an ease.

IMO, paying an extra premium for this car does not justify anywhere for me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by cutdcrap View Post
3. DZire - Rejected for looks alone. Big a** not for me - coupled with a huge waiting period

4. Fiesta - No FORD please. They are not very popular in North, I feel. + havent seen much in markets. I have read about the good drivability, etc etc but not going this way

5. Aveo - TDed the car. What I liked was the interiors - very appealing, and good seating position. The car gives you a very relaxed driving position. However, my jiju has a Chevy and complains about the pathetic a**. I didnt want to go even near it after hearing that.

6. Linea - That left me with Fiat. The car is a looker, and hits you straight through the heart. The Italian beauty has to be seen in flesh, and you will be DROOOOOOL.

The moment I stepped into the car, my jaw was left opened..

Interiors were just opposite of exteriors ..Dull and boring, most of the stuff seemed plasticky..The height adjuster lever looked as if it will break as I adjusted my height. My wife immediately complained of less legroom at the front, and ineffective AC. There was a lag as I left the clutch and accelarated - and the reviews that I had read of the underpowered car came true. The turning radius was also higher. On our way back, me and wifey sat at back while the salesman drove - the legroom at back was amazing - but it was awfully hot at back. This could also be because there was no rear vent in this vehicle. The seating position was good, and I did not feel the low GC of this car.

Major letdown....Wife was never a fan of FIAT, since she feels putting 7 - 8 lacs on a FIAT is not worth it. After the TD, I was inclined to believe her.
Dear friend you have so correctly put into perspective what we Delhites feel exactly when we go out to buy a car.

Now my friend I have Purchased an Sx4 2 months back and let me tell you that

1. The ride is indeed bouncy but that what you gotta pay for if you want that amazing ground clearance. a Honda city or fiesta will lick the Delhi roads like ice cream specially during the monsoons. Also I own a Accent alongside and in comparison i find the Gearshift of SX4 much smoother. Also the NVH is minimal. infact many have debated that the NVH is better taken care of in SX4 over the City. As far as space goes IMO this is the most spacious vehicle of the lot and sitting 3 people at the back is no issue at all. infact i have had 4 of my friends sit at the back comfortably. Maybe you got a totally banged up testdrive vehicle. Do try so at other dealerships. Nevertheless the A pillar and reversing remain as issues.

2. Honda City seems overpriced but it certainly is the best car of the lot. You dont get the features that you get in SX4 or Linea but all the premium that you pay goes towards better build quality, more powerful and economical engine and better resale value. Plus the snob value is free.

3. You have rightly judged that Linea though is a looker (IMO it holds its own even when parked next to a 3 series), the engine and interior looks and quality leave a lot to be desired.

4. You have stated exactly what I feel about Fiesta. They are certainly not at all popular in Delhi. It may be the most involving car to drive but it just doesnt sell, specially the petrol variant. Also contrary to the rest of the country Ford A$$ is not really worth going though in Delhi. Plus the resale is pathetic. I mean buying this over a City ....you will loose all that you saved on purchase, at the time of resale, not to mention City is more comfy and commands more respect. Same will be the Case with Aveo. (No offence to all Fiesta and Aveo owners)


Hence ill advise you to reconsider both SX4 and City.
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Old 6th June 2010, 21:33   #12
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Thanks everyone for your responses.

@shuvc : Verna looks outdated, also heard about a new facelifted version coming. Sirji, after your Shuvcivic is ICEd, I am totally drooling over the whole carputer thing. Thats the first thing I will do once I get hands on a civic.

@zerocool : Couldnt agree more with the roads. Will get a SX4 TDed next weekend again. After my last year's bike drive to Ladakh, I had this thing of doing it again in my car, and the only car in my range that fit the bill is SX4.

An update here : I visited Prime Honda, and got a first hand feel of the civic yesterday, and am left drooling. Though the car is in a segment higher, I am comparing it here because am contemplating buying a used one.

However, none of Honda dealerships in Delhi have a used Civic - I am told by the dealers that they are like fast moving goods - sold as soon as they come. However, have shared my numbers with most of the dealerships (Auto Terrace). While I queried for the price, most of them told me a 07 - 08 civic will come in range of 7 - 8 lacs (not bad!!)

Just waiting for the "My Civic", or if I get an alternate suggestion by fellow TBHPians.

Last edited by cutdcrap : 6th June 2010 at 21:35.
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Old 6th June 2010, 22:02   #13
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SX4 ride quality and NVH can be improved by having good tyres like Yokos or
Michelins. The stock JK Vectras are pathetic and these are on the TD vehicles as well - hence I can understand what you went through.

Infact I had once TD a ANHC which had MRF Tyres (dealer had probably replaced the original Mchelins) and gosh the ride was bouncy and horribly noisy - not expected from a ANHC.

The SX4 is the best you get in 8 lac range today. A good reverse parking system (camera+sound) can offset the reverse parking issue. The ANHC starts kissing every hump on the road once 4 ppl are onboarded. Get 8 in the SX4 and you'll not scrape bottom even in Leh
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Old 7th June 2010, 00:12   #14
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totally agree with parth the jk vectras are awful. i requested the dealer to change my wheels to potenzas at an extra cost but they could not manage it then.

guess what

on the the third day of my new car ownership one of the tyres got punctured. talk about resistance to puncturing. sone pe suhaga being last week on of the wheels actually burst (more like cut actually) as it went over a brick at the paltry speed of 20kmph,tho the Tyre has been replaced by maruti one thing is clear.....JK's are pathetic.
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Old 7th June 2010, 03:07   #15
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What you are facing is quite representative of the lack of fresh cars in the 7-9 lac segment, there has been a rush of small cars but the 7-9 segment requires some new blood. Well if you have nothing against used cars go for the civic... looking from your requirements, you are stuck with sx4, but since you've stayed with the esteem for so long, (i know what i am going to say next is hard) but wait a little longer, there is talk of a more powerful linea launching this year, there is vento which should have good build quality (price could get iffy though).
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