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Old 28th August 2010, 00:59   #16
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Unfortunately, "low slung" goes with "sporty".

How about Scorpio? Or Swift?
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Old 28th August 2010, 10:21   #17
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Hi

Go for the New Honda City (2004-2009) it is spacious and has a good engine,second option is Corolla and last one is SX4

All the best
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Old 28th August 2010, 11:45   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshguy View Post
Go for the New Honda City (2004-2009) it is spacious and has a good engine
On a ligher note, that statement is an insult to Baleno. If you have read the thread starter's requirements, you wouldn't have said it.
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Old 31st August 2010, 12:33   #19
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Originally Posted by filcord View Post
Thanks guys. I checked out the SX4 even earlier, but the TD did not leave a very good impression. That was three years ago before the engine improvements. Has the engine changed since then?
I will also look at pre-owned, as GTO suggests, with as few numbers on the clock as possible. That should open up the horizon somewhat.
My son had a 2005 Baleno. It was a tremendous vehicle with one of the best AC and phenomenal acceleration.

The new engine on SX4 is way ahead of the old engine. My AC dealer who has cars ranging from Baleno to NHC, recently acquired the SX4 and claims that SX4 is all that the Baleno was in terms of performance and AC but at the same time is taller and easier to get in and out. In fact he likes the SX4 better than the NHC.
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Old 31st August 2010, 14:56   #20
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I think Filcord got the answer in the second post. Sporty and no low slung cannot go together.

Only option that i see is SX4 for that price-point or even a Fiesta 1.6S which is not as low slung as a baleno or an accent.

Last edited by mobike008 : 31st August 2010 at 14:58.
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Old 31st August 2010, 21:20   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Only option that i see is SX4 for that price-point or even a Fiesta 1.6S which is not as low slung as a baleno or an accent.
+1 to that . I would put my money on the Fiesta 1.6S any-day over the SX-4. It aint all that low slung like the baleno, definitely is a hoot to drive around when it comes to the power delivery in the 1.6 category . Had the chance to drive a car in our family quite recently and couldn't think of anything getting this close to the experience of driving a baleno.

On the other hand if you wanna go the used cars way, consider what GTO said.
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Old 31st August 2010, 21:50   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filcord View Post
Thanks guys. I checked out the SX4 even earlier, but the TD did not leave a very good impression. That was three years ago before the engine improvements. Has the engine changed since then?
Yes, SX4 now has a VVT engine (launched in October 2009).

I would also recommend SX4, especially given your requirements. The new engine is significantly better than the earlier one. I have done numerous test drives on non-VVT and VVT SX4s and came to this conclusion. If you want more details, please check out my ownership thread.

However, if you are considering SX4, I would only recommend ZXi version. The VXi version does not have ABS and airbags (and also a lot of other goodies), and hence not recommended. But the problem is that ZXi is more than 9L OTR (at least in Bangalore), and hence it will not strictly fit in your 8L budget.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
The new engine on SX4 is way ahead of the old engine.
Exactly!

By the way, I do not want to sound like I am promoting SX4. There are several serious weaknesses to SX4 that I have pointed out in my thread. All I am saying is that SX4 meets your requirements perfectly.

There are several cars which are better than SX4, but those are low-slung and also not under 8L ;-)

Thanks,
-AD
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Old 2nd September 2010, 12:26   #23
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Thanks Drad.
BTW loved your SX4 review, which I have just read. This raises the bar for reviews henceforth, and I find I'm leaning towards the SX4 now.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 14:57   #24
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Finding a car good enough to replace Baleno is impossible. The combination of comfort, handling, ride, AC, space and rear seat is very hard to find. The excellent motor of Baleno makes it very difficult to find a proper replacement or even upgrade.

The car that comes close is SX4. The updated engine has brought performance level or rather acceleration upto around 120 near to Baleno, but not better than Baleno. But this is the best bet one can have while replacing Baleno.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Altis, on the other hand, is fast, spacious and a truly practical sedan. Not as sporty as the Baleno, yet a very good car to live with. You'll easily get 2007 - 2008 cars with < 20,000 kms on the odo for 8 lakhs.
I beg to differ. I have driven Altis and felt ( IMO ) that engine is not one of the best. Baleno's engine had torque at lower rpm and very good top end. Yes, it wont pull hard like Altis from low rpm, but the engine was more lively. Altis feels a bit dead when compared to Baleno's unit. Ofcourse, Altis is fast, but the feeling is absent. Engine is more of " Yes, Sir, I will do the job with sincerity " and it really does so. Baleno might not hit top speeds of Altis but the engine had " Lets enjoy the work " nature specially after 3500 rpm. I dont mean to say that Altis engine is bad. In fact it revvs well, pushes the car to very high speeds quite easily, but the enthusiasm is absent. Even Civic's motor is not as enthusiastic as Baleno ( because Baleno's unit would pull cleanly from even low rpm ).

Secondly, Altis's rear seat is flat. Putting it the other way round, Baleno has better rear seat under thigh support.

But Altis has better sound insulation.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 2nd September 2010 at 15:02.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 12:24   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aaggoswami View Post
The combination of comfort, handling, ride, AC, space and rear seat is very hard to find.
Actually, on most of these factors, the Altis is better. It is more spacious, has an excellent ride and a better rear seat.

However, I will completely agree that the engine isn't as free-revving in the Altis. No, it won't come anywhere close to the Baleno in terms of driving experience. Seems to be that Filcord now wants exactly that; a car that prioritizes practicality + is quick enough, over one that's only good to drive.

Quote:
Baleno's engine had torque at lower rpm
Altis is also amongst the best when it comes to driveability.
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Old 3rd September 2010, 15:47   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post

1) Actually, on most of these factors, the Altis is better. It is more spacious, has an excellent ride and a better rear seat.

2) Altis is also amongst the best when it comes to driveability.
1)
a) Comfort. Not only me, but even my family members felt that Baleno has better seats. Rear seat under thigh support is very good in Baleno which Altis does not have. Note that my family is on heavier side. Rear seat back support is better in Altis, but the seat base is not as good as Baleno. This is purely IMHO after traveling in rear seat of Altis.

b) Ride. Yes, Altis ride is better, but its not significantly better. When one has to drop the wheels of one side, Baleno rides better ( its only here that the Baleno is better ), else ride quality of Altis is better overall. Suspension is also less noisy than Baleno.

c) Spacious. After traveling in Altis me ( and my family ) felt that Baleno is more spacious. This could be due to smaller dash ( not a large dash occupying a lot of space like Punto ) and controls a bit further away from driver, but we were not happy with comfort and space levels of Altis.

The feeling of spaciousness could be more in Baleno because things are set quite low as compared to Altis. This is purely my perspective, and I am adding my family's view because they are quite neutral and not car crazy. My mother did comment that in turns ( corners ) Baleno feels more secure both in front and rear seats. Note that she is hardly interested in technicalities or specs.

But finding a good combination of all parameters is now next to impossible.

2) Yes, it scores here heavily. Quite easily it would pull from low speed to high speeds of 140+ without one noticing it. Baleno too would pull, but there is a surge after certain rpm. Altis in 5th for example at 60 kmph would cleanly pull till cruising speeds, where as Baleno wont pull that smoothly in 5th. At the end, Baleno's unit was overall more lively with capable lower end, fantastic mid and top end.
Here is what I meant :
Altis : Good overall, no enthusiasm.
Civic : Poor lower end, fantastic in mid and top end is a driver's delight.
Baleno : Capable lower end, good mid and top ends. So IMHO, its overall a better unit as it not only satisfies drivers, but also those who are non enthusiasts ( Purely IMO ).

I agree with you on the fact that Altis does represent a good practical replacement for Baleno.

Last edited by aaggoswami : 3rd September 2010 at 15:53.
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Old 4th September 2010, 22:28   #27
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4 months. 12500 kms, a history with back problems and real bad monsoon roads in mumbai says. Go try the 1.6 fiesta petrol and come back with a smile.
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