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Old 29th October 2010, 12:40   #31
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If you must look at second sale cars, avoid the "upmarket" dealers, unless you are extremely sure of putting the cars through a proper evaluation. You will find much better single owner 1-3 year old cars on internet postings and manufacturer owned used car showrooms. If buying used, go Japanese with a fully verified service history.

For a new car, Civic should give you most happiness over a 5 plus year ownership period. Add a Skoda Yeti for the fun element, and toss a coin.
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Old 29th October 2010, 15:02   #32
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Quite a few of you have recommended Civic. Fortunately, I have managed to arrange for a test-drive from Magnum Honda. Previous attempts to get the same from Whitefield Honda and Dakshin Honda had failed so this comes as a pleasant surprise. So I hope to drive the Civic tomorrow followed by yet another drive of the Cruze (Kroppex have been really good to me in this respect).

In my mind my shortlist is already down to just 3.

- Cruze MT/AT LTZ (the AT I drove was quite good so I am confused now)
- Civic VMT
- Skoda yeti (Elegance)

The Cruze-Civic shootout is scheduled for tomorrow so I should be able to strike off one. The yeti should launch on Nov 18 and I hope to test-drive it to make the final decision.
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Old 29th October 2010, 15:07   #33
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I forgot to mention how I eliminated the Jetta and the Laura from my shortlist in the previous post.

-Jetta: the version I like is 19L+ OTR Bangalore. That is just too high for a car that will surely be replaced in 2011.

-Laura: Wife is extremely skeptical about Skoda and for good reason. Yeti is still an option because I feel it is one-of-a-kind vehicle in its class. So if you look at my first post in this thread, this car promises to satisfy most of my requirements. For this reason I am willing to ignore the Skoda angle for the Yeti.
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Old 29th October 2010, 17:20   #34
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Well with skoda shield you can give Yeti a thought. But still skoda is skoda and it can really get tricky sometimes. Still cant trust the Skoda service advisors and what cooks inside their workshop. Yeti is yet to prove its stand in the Indian Conditions.
You can also look at pre-worshiped captiva as an option as well.
Looking forward to your cruze vs civic shootout!
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Old 29th October 2010, 19:39   #35
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I suggest you anyways take a test drive of the Cedia!!nothing to lose right?if you are impressed then all the more to gain!!

how did you feel the turbo lag in the Cruze?

also if you have decided on the civic, you can get free insurance if you move quick enough
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Old 29th October 2010, 19:48   #36
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Old 29th October 2010, 23:01   #37
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@GloryManUnited, Skoda service in Bangalore is not as bad or good than an equivalent Honda and Toyota specially due to Vinayak Skoda. With all the skepticism in mind while my search for a new car, all it took to decide Laura TSI was one test drive, the car is that good. Icing on the cake though was the Skoda Shield, no worries about expensive spare parts failure for 4 years.

My advice to you is drive all the cars you have shortlisted and decide the one which suits you the best but don't abstain from getting Laura merely due to bad service reputation. Skoda is making all efforts to change this image, Skoda Shield is certainly one in the right direction towards it.

Finally did the tankful to tankful method check of fuel efficiency, the figure is a mind blowing unexpected 9.7 kms per litre in Bangalore with 100% A C and 50% bumper to bumper crawl. Have filled Speed 97 this time, need to see what difference this makes to performance and F E now.
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Old 30th October 2010, 19:53   #38
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Ever felt there is not place to hide when you prepare an excellent presentation with all the bells and whistles but when it comes to give it to an audience; you end embarrassing yourself.

This is the exactly how I am feeling right now. The Honda guy rescheduled to tomorrow but I took my third Cruze MT test-drive today. I had primed my family with so many accolades for the Cruze; how this car tugged my heart and all. Today it let me down big time. In the little stretch of Sarjapur road on which I drove the Cruze about 5 kms; I ended up scrapping the bottom of the car about 3-4 times. And I was practically at crawling speeds. 1 breaker was a very tall one so that is not a good reference point. But the other 2-3 were very modest by our standards. There were 4 of us in the car with no luggage. Each time it made this horrible crunching sound as the belly scrapped; it was not funny at all !!

I also realized that the MT is very difficult to handle in the 1st and 2nd gear with a tendency to stall or jump about (27K on the odo so this car was not new). Slotting the 2nd is such a pain. Slotting to higher gears is much better though. So its going to be an AT for me if I decide to buy the Cruze.

I am so heartbroken :(

It got me thinking. Is there any car at all in the C+ segment that does not have the GC issue? Cruze/Civic/Jetta are my favorite three and all have reports of having GC issues. I know Altis has this sorted out but I don't like that car. Now more than ever I have my hopes pinned on the Yeti.

On the positive side I thought the Cruze had adequate space in the rear. My wife did not like the upright back of the rearseat. I also realized that with the sunroof retracted and all that light entering the cabin from the ceiling; the car looked much more roomy. On the negative side I thought that there were rattles in a couple of places. How well does the Cruze age really?
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Old 31st October 2010, 12:53   #39
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So I drove the Civic VMT today. The TD vehicle had 43K on the odo. The first thing that strikes you about this car is the gear-shifts and the clutch play. Changing gears is ridiculously smoothe; almost like shifting the tiptronic on an Automatic. I was a little disappointed on the power front though. The engine does not have a push-in-the-back feel. However it is much better than the Altis. What I didn't like was the engine noise that filters in the otherwise quiet cabin when you revv this car. I tend to shift my gears based on the engine note so its possible that I wasn't revving the engine high enough and that could be the reason why I felt the power was inadequate. Civic owners please do comment on this aspect.

The build quality seemed quite good. The interior space seemed best in the class to me. The back seat had a lot of legroom once I found my driving position. I am a six footer and despite that the rear seat felt spacious. The driving position seemed tall enough to me after having driven the ikon which is much lower. So it would be easier to drive the Civic in the night.

The lack of equipment shows considering that this is a rather old model. So you can't release the boot using your key fob. There is no sunroof. There is no Air Quality Control despite having ACC. No indication of distance-to-empty. The USB is certainly a plus point.

The worst part was the GC. I drove over the same stretch on which I drove the Cruze yesterday and there were the same set of 4 people on board. I counted 5-6 scrapes in the round trip. On the positive side the bottom scrapping did not sound as murderous as in the Cruze . I even tried taking the breaker at an angle. Did not really help.

My wife just loved the Civic. The reaction was quite similar to the one she had when I drove the Camry as mentioned in one of my earlier posts. These Japs sure have mastered the art of ensuring that the wives fall in love with their cars

Sadly for me-the-driver, the Jap cars don't evoke the same fondness. Overall though the Civic is a strong contender in my list.
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Old 1st November 2010, 13:27   #40
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
I am so heartbroken :(

It got me thinking. Is there any car at all in the C+ segment that does not have the GC issue? Cruze/Civic/Jetta are my favorite three and all have reports of having GC issues. I know Altis has this sorted out but I don't like that car. Now more than ever I have my hopes pinned on the Yeti.
That is what happens when you do not pay heed to well meant advice even though it may be unsolicited.
Once again go TD the Cedia, same segment C+ but far better GC and no scraping whatsoever, whether it is Bangalore or elsewhere.

Last evening while on my way back from BOM to DEL a huge traffic jam near Kotputli forced me to follow a Corolla(old model) whose driver seemed to know the interior roads as I assumed having seen a GPS device mounted on his A pillar and given the confidence with which he turned off the highway with his wife and kids on board. This gentleman turned out to be a very enthusiastic driver and what followed was a high speed countryside run on some roads but mostly village embankments with nothing but loose soil and plenty of rocks jutting out at odd angles. Net net no scrapes anywhere, not for once did the issue crop up, not even when negotiating the odd ball muddy ramps nearly 2~3 feet high. The Cedia's chassis did not pitch even once on the non existant surface(s) and the suspension was good to go without any issues of bottoming out.
BTW the Cedia was loaded to the gills with exactly 210 kgs(documented) of parts, nearly 50 kgs of assorted luggage and Diwali shopping and with 120 kgs of me the car was pretty much close to the limit of its allowed tare weight of 445 kgs. In a way that pretty much equals an average Indian family with a weekend's luggage, weight wise that is.


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Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
So I drove the Civic VMT today.

I was a little disappointed on the power front though. The engine does not have a push-in-the-back feel. However it is much better than the Altis. What I didn't like was the engine noise that filters in the otherwise quiet cabin when you revv this car.
This I can state with full confidence that the Cedia has the best NVH levels of all the cars in its segment.

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Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
The worst part was the GC. I drove over the same stretch on which I drove the Cruze yesterday and there were the same set of 4 people on board. I counted 5-6 scrapes in the round trip. On the positive side the bottom scrapping did not sound as murderous as in the Cruze . I even tried taking the breaker at an angle. Did not really help.
Once again do a full load TD and take all of the Bangalore bangers head on.

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Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
These Japs sure have mastered the art of ensuring that the wives fall in love with their cars
I am sure that your wife will like the Cedia too, the dash is a work of art. Several levels above the drab profiles of the others.

Besides the Cedia aka Mitsubishi are as Japanese as they come. From the infamous Zero aircrafts of Pearl harbour fame, to ocean going vessles, to high speed bullet trains and varied industrial machinery Mitsubishi has made many honourable contributions to the Jap's manufacturing lore. The story continues with the Cedia which is a well engineered and well put together product, though unfortunately not appreciated here.

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Sadly for me-the-driver, the Jap cars don't evoke the same fondness. Overall though the Civic is a strong contender in my list.
Hmm.. my experience is otherwise what with a early 90s M800 with an original Suzuki engine, the 1996 Zen followed by the 1998 OHC and now with the 2010 Cedia. There were others in between but these three beauties from Nippon were/are closest to the heart.

PS You mentioned something about the Civic's engine not having the push-in-the-back feel. Let the Cedia show you her magic. On paper the Cedia is the weakest amongst its cousins but how the transmission transfers that seemingly low power to the wheels is another story all together. This too I can state now with supreme confidence given my experience of last evening with other boy racers on the open stretches of the Jaipur Delhi leg.

My Cedia chewed their assorted Civics, Cruze (lone) quite a few Vernas (some on the Kishangarh-Jaipur, 8 lane runway) & Scorpios and spat them out of its exhaust
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Old 2nd November 2010, 20:39   #41
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The story continues with the Cedia which is a well engineered and well put together product, though unfortunately not appreciated here.
Your passion for the the Cedia is infectious

But IMHO the reason why the Cedia is not appreciated in India is because of the lack of commitment on Mitsubishi's end as far as their India story goes. I am usually not comfortable dealing with manufacturers who don't fully set shop in India. Fiat is another case in point. Great cars; just not sold in the proper manner. Renault seems to have realized this and are going on their own. So no Mitsubishis for me.

Moreover I don't see myself buying a car that sells only in double digits (See the October sales numbers).
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Old 2nd November 2010, 20:57   #42
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I had the good fortune of test-driving the Laura today. The TD vehicle was 2.0 CR MT (ambiente) variant. I must say I was highly impressed !

The car felt really well put together. The cabin was the most silent till date. The gear shifting / clutching was delightful. The engine was very smoothe and the power was adequate. I was interested in the 140 BHP DSG box but they didn't have a TD vehicle in that configuration. They have promised me a TD on their Superb (though I am not considering it) since it has exactly that engine so I will have a first hand feel of the DSG box soon.

The cabin was very comfortable. The rear seat was comfortable too. The rear legroom was not as much as the Civic but better than the Cruze. It was adequately comfortable according to my wife; so that's +1

The icing on the cake was the ground clearance. I took it out into the same route as the Civic and the Cruze (that has become my personal test track it would seem !) and surprise surprise !! Not a single scrape !!

The negatives? I thought I could hear the tire noise. The ambiente trim had the smaller R15s. If I buy it would be the elegance trim that has R16s. It is possible that the sound I registered was how a well-planted solid car should sound like. Anyway that was not a deal-breaker. Also, the engine does tend to stall. It stalled it 2-3 times initially when slowing down for speed breakers. But then I got the hang of it and didn't stall it any further. If I buy the DSG then stalling wouldn't be a problem at all. The DSG is also tuned with 140BHP so that means even more power

My wife liked the car and rated it the best among the Cruze and the Civic. She thought Civic had the best rearseat but the Laura's is good enough too.

I was dealing with Vinayak Skoda and so far so good. All I needed was a single phone call to arrange for the test drive. They came home and let me drive as much as I liked.

I get the feeling that I am going to like the German/European cars. I know they are expensive to maintain but hey ! you need to pay for the good stuff

Jetta and the Yeti still to go and then I will decide ... feeling better already !!
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Old 2nd November 2010, 21:03   #43
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Well with skoda shield you can give Yeti a thought. But still skoda is skoda and it can really get tricky sometimes. Still cant trust the Skoda service advisors and what cooks inside their workshop. Yeti is yet to prove its stand in the Indian Conditions.
You can also look at pre-worshiped captiva as an option as well.
Looking forward to your cruze vs civic shootout!
Captiva is little big for my liking and for my garage. In general I am not looking at 7-seaters. Moreover the MT version is notchy and the AT version way out of my budget. The only SUVs I am considering are the CRV and the Yeti.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 23:08   #44
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@GloryManUnited, can I now say I told you so about Laura? Drive the petrol too, I am pretty sure you will like it though there is no automatic option. Also, the F.E is not too far from the Civic and highly surprising for a car with so much performance.

Civic was at the top on my wish list for a long time and was willing to overlook all the other Laura strengths in its favour (thanks to big reputation Skoda A S S) but the biggest deal breaker was the bottom scrapping on most of the speed breakers.

I agree with your observation on wheel size and road noise, its mainly due to Goodyear tyres which are pretty ordinary. I exchanged my 15 inch Ambiente wheels to 16 inch Elegance ones and Michelin tyres during delivery and am pretty happy with the decision. They Looks way better, probably equally comfortable as earlier 15's and very less road noise.
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Old 2nd November 2010, 23:23   #45
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@GloryManUnited, can I now say I told you so about Laura? Drive the petrol too, I am pretty sure you will like it though there is no automatic option. Also, the F.E is not too far from the Civic and highly surprising for a car with so much performance.

Civic was at the top on my wish list for a long time and was willing to overlook all the other Laura strengths in its favour (thanks to big reputation Skoda A S S) but the biggest deal breaker was the bottom scrapping on most of the speed breakers.

I agree with your observation on wheel size and road noise, its mainly due to Goodyear tyres which are pretty ordinary. I exchanged my 15 inch Ambiente wheels to 16 inch Elegance ones and Michelin tyres during delivery and am pretty happy with the decision. They Looks way better, probably equally comfortable as earlier 15's and very less road noise.
Guilty as charged. I was so hooked by the Cruze having driven on the smooth Hosur road that I was sure this is the one. Until the GC showed its ugly face on Sarjapur Road with 4 occupants. Then I drove the Civic and it was worse in this regard. Had me really upset. I don't want to buy a 15L+ car only to scrape it on every second speed breaker. Just not worth it !!

When you went from R15 to R16, were you not vary of calibration error on odo/speedo ??

The petrol is out because it is Ambiente-only. And that robs it of the climate control which is an absolute essential for me.

Also thank you for the sharing the sales rep contact information at Vinayak.
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