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Old 2nd October 2010, 22:43   #1
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Arrow In pursuit of happiness: my next car UPDATE: Skoda Yeti wins over C+ segment sedans !

I have owned my paprika red ford ikon flair for about 6 years now. There are so many things to love about this car; especially the way this car has aged so gracefully. The other day my wife remarked as we parked in our garage that this had been a good buy. And that sums it all.

But now its time to move on. I still have a few months to go before I upgrade. But the anticipation is the best part, isn't it? This is the time when we weigh all the myriad options, figure out what is it that we need in the next car and my absolute favorite part: the test-drives !!

Just the right time to initiate my first thread on Team BHP. Just wanted to share my experiences as I go along and hope to learn by the wealth of experience that trolls around on these pages. So here we go !

Having clocked about 50,000 k.m. on Bangalore roads and the occasional jaunts to places like Pondicherry and Coorg, the ikon experience is really what's going to shape my expectations from our next car.

So what's my wish-list?
  • A minimum of a 1.8L engine. Fun to drive.
  • Low levels of NVH (the ikon didn't have any insulation at all!)
  • Great gear shift (no automatics; i like to retain control)
  • A good suspension
    • not too hard not too soft (a little softer than Ikon's though).
    • Not too much body roll.
    • I like the suspension of the Linea so something of that variety.
    • Decent ground clearance.
  • Easy to drive at night which probably means a tall driving position
    • I am researching whether a windscreen film makes it easier at night. If yes then a low driving position will do too.
  • Good overall space including a roomy backseat
  • Japanese or European (yes I am biased; bring on the insults In reality, just want to understand what so special about these makes)
  • The interiors should feel special; well-kitted
    • Automatic climate control a must
    • USB based music system highly desirable and so are steering mounted controls
    • Safety features like ABS/airbags but then in the C+/D segment, all cars have them
  • A good looking car !
  • A good resale value since I am willing to put in around 16L which is steep for me. This indirectly means a popular car.
  • The engine should be peppy and the car should remain well-behaved upto about 150-170 kmph. Ikon flair is good till 120.
    • Free revving
    • Low NVH should continue at high speeds
  • Good build quality; build to last
The car I end up buying should have a majority of the above.

And the nominations are
  1. Honda Civic
  2. Toyota Corolla
  3. Skoda Yeti ( I have been tracking this car since long, hoping against hope that this will be sold in the price band that I have in mind; fingers crossed)
  4. VW Jetta (2011 model if it comes early enough)
  5. Chevy Cruze
  6. Say the Kizashi if it launches quickly and falls in my budget)
I have just about started visiting the dealers, taking test drives, researching etc. Of the above I drove my friends new Altis last week. I will write about my initial impression in the next post. Until then ... stay tuned !
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Old 3rd October 2010, 00:27   #2
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Originally Posted by GloryManUnited View Post
  1. Honda Civic
  2. Toyota Corolla
  3. Skoda Yeti ( I have been tracking this car since long, hoping against hope that this will be sold in the price band that I have in mind; fingers crossed)
  4. VW Jetta (2011 model if it comes early enough)
  5. Chevy Cruze
  6. Say the Kizashi if it launches quickly and falls in my budget)
Good options you have listed - but there is some or the other problem with all choices, you may not find a perfect one ! But can match most of your expectations.

1. Civic fits almost all your requirements - but low on ground clearance.

2. Corolla - i think you will need to strike it out as you have mentioned FTD. Never read anything from Corolla that excites the driver!

3. Yeti - I think this will suit your requirements as its a mini SUV - but I would not recommend owning this car as and when launches in India. Remember Skoda badge has enough problems except for Octavia, so better watch and wait before investing a huge sum on it.

4. VW Jetta - heard good reviews - but then new model is coming soon. So keep an eye on this.

5. Chevy cruze - Good contender. Plus diesel economy - again low on GC and read the space is not all that great at the back.

6. Kizashi - Should be a good option if it comes to Indian shores. Definitely is a good choice considering the reviews, but need to wait and watch how they will place it in terms of equipment and price if it launches here.

Please do as many as TDs as possible and enlighten us with all your findings and rating. Hope you will find the right candidate who will serve you as good as your old Ikon !
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Old 3rd October 2010, 00:34   #3
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As I was reading your wish list, I had one car in my mind and by the time I reached at the short-list you have posted, I think you have accurately listed Honda Civic at the top of the list.

But, for me, if I have the budget and I have to pick one out of the ones you have mentioned, I will pick Chevrolet Cruze LTZ variant. No second thoughts.

Cruze- I like the styling. I like the dimensions, the cockpit(the best in terms of style) and the meaty steering. Rain sensing wipers and PEPS(true keyless entry and start-stop system). 0-100 in 10 seconds. Turbocharged 2L diesel engine. I will Choose to Cruze any given day.

Last edited by PaddleShifter : 3rd October 2010 at 00:36.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 00:37   #4
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Originally Posted by PaddleShifter View Post
As I was reading your wish list, I had one car in my mind and by the time I reached at the short-list you have posted, I think you have accurately listed Honda Civic at the top of the list.

But, for me, if I have the budget and I have to pick one out of the ones you have mentioned, I will pick Chevrolet Cruze LTZ variant. No second thoughts.

Cruze- I like the styling. I like the dimensions, the cockpit(the best in terms of style) and the meaty steering. Rain sensing wipers and PEPS(true keyless entry and start-stop system). 0-100 in 10 seconds. Turbocharged 2L diesel engine. I will Choose to Cruze any given day.
Small correction here :P It is 9 seconds not 10
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Old 3rd October 2010, 01:08   #5
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@VOiLA- My bad. 0-100 in 9secs. That's awesome though I'm not really a 0-100 guy. :-)
LTZ is fully loaded.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 01:16   #6
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Moved the thread to the What Car - Sedan section as most of the options are from that segment (other than the Yeti, of course). Once you have test-driven and shared the experience with us (and better still bought one of them), please PM me or report the post, we can then move the thread to the appropriate section.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 19:17   #7
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How about Laura TDi Elegance? I believe it would meet almost all of your needs.
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Old 3rd October 2010, 20:48   #8
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How about Laura TDi Elegance? I believe it would meet almost all of your needs.



If not for the A.S.S, this would have been a scorcher.

Among the cars listed by the original poster, Cruze makes more sense. Buy the LTZ variant, its fast and fully loaded.
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Old 4th October 2010, 02:27   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PaddleShifter View Post
@VOiLA- My bad. 0-100 in 9secs. That's awesome though I'm not really a 0-100 guy. :-)
LTZ is fully loaded.
Yes It is as powerful as Skoda RS 1.8. Just a second slower in 0-100 :P ! I would say go for it !
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Old 4th October 2010, 16:49   #10
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I think only two on your list meet your gating requirement - FTD : Civic and Cruze. Skoda Laura can join the list but then..

cruze is not tested on the built to last parameter. Civiv - you can easily form your opinion once you head to the long term ownership sub-forum. This thread being the prime: http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...-must-dos.html
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Old 4th October 2010, 17:28   #11
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Big omission from your list is Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI. This car is head and shoulders above the rest in every aspect. Though Petrol option is only available in the base trim Ambiente, it covers all the necessary usable luxurious equipments even. The 1.8 turbo engine is rated to be equivalent to any good 2.5L non-turbo one by various international reviews. Since you are from Bangalore, A.S.S from Vinayak is terrific too. Recently got one after thorough analysis and comparison with Corolla Altis and Civic. Surprisingly, the dealership experience was better than Honda and Toyota and that is a big achievement for a Skoda. Test drive the cars back to back and let us know your decision, all the best.
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Old 5th October 2010, 00:23   #12
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The "skoda" brand is such a enigma. Amazing and desirable cars but the dealers have managed to create such negative press that anyone would think twice, thrice before buying from them.

I missed mentioning the Laura variants in the hope that Skoda would price the Yeti the same as the Laura. Because if it does, the Yeti will pick itself. Having said that the Laura 1.8 TDi is very much on my list. I am not so sure about the petrol TSi since I hear the mileage is a paltry 6-7 kmpl. Plus Ambiente-only variant is a put off. As I mentioned in my first post, my next car must be well-endowed with features

I need to figure out how to get dealers in Bangalore to give me a test drive. Last week I went to Whitefield Honda. They did not have a TD vehicle but they noted my details and promised they would contact me for the TD. No word since a week !

3 days back I tried the online route. I booked a TD for the Laura 1.8 diesel. Still no luck.
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Old 5th October 2010, 00:32   #13
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Originally Posted by swiftnfurious View Post

1. Civic fits almost all your requirements - but low on ground clearance.
The Civic is certainly on the top of my list. However I am a little wary of buying a car that is towards the end of its lifecycle. When I bought the ikon, it had already been in the market for a good many years. As a result, it seemed obsolete very early in my ownership experience.

The newer cars these days have neat features like the "push-button" start/entry, bluetooth, steering mounted audio etc. Some of these are quite useful. Cars like the current Honda Civic lack them and it would rankle if a year after I buy, the much awaited 2011 Civic arrives with these and more such nifty features.
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Old 5th October 2010, 00:36   #14
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Big omission from your list is Skoda Laura 1.8 TSI. This car is head and shoulders above the rest in every aspect. Though Petrol option is only available in the base trim Ambiente, it covers all the necessary usable luxurious equipments even. The 1.8 turbo engine is rated to be equivalent to any good 2.5L non-turbo one by various international reviews. Since you are from Bangalore, A.S.S from Vinayak is terrific too. Recently got one after thorough analysis and comparison with Corolla Altis and Civic. Surprisingly, the dealership experience was better than Honda and Toyota and that is a big achievement for a Skoda. Test drive the cars back to back and let us know your decision, all the best.
Kitna deti hai ?

No seriously, I am usually not too hung up on mileage numbers. But 9-10 kmpl is a reasonable expectation IMHO.
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Old 8th October 2010, 19:54   #15
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@GloryManUnited: If you drive her well, I am sure the FE should be around 9-10kmpl.

According to owner reviews on the portal, the reported average FE works out to:
1.8 Petrol : 8.2 (City) / 11.7 (Highway)
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