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Old 7th November 2010, 08:03   #1
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Default Which sedan to buy sub 10 lakhs?

Hi everyone,

My aunt wishes to purchase a new car under the 10-lakh budget. She is based in Jamshedpur and does frequent trips to Ranchi. Although a hatchback seems perfect for her needs, she is a bit image-conscious and wants to go for a sedan. Her current set of wheel is a Maruti Swift ZXi which has served her very well since the past 4 years. The basic requirements from the new car are (in that order)--

1. Fun to Drive- She enjoys her 30km commute everyday and wants a car with a character.
2. Looks- Stylish exterior and comfy interiors that are easy on the eye.
3. Performance- The car will be used for occasional highway jaunts so it must be a good performer within the city as well as it should have an effortless overtaking ability in the highway.
4. Fuel Economy- It matters in India.
5. Boot space- A good boot size is a must for carrying lots of essential stuff.

In the past few months, lots of cars have been shortlisted. In started with the hatchbacks.
1. Ford Figo TDCi Titanium- The car was perfect for the needs but it wasn't actually a lateral upgrade and probably there wasn't a need of a diesel car. So the Figo, though desirable, was ruled out of contention.

2. Nissan Micra XV- Nice nippy car. But a small boot and thin dealer network was not convincing.

3. Volkswagen Polo- The 1.2 petrol as well as the diesel did not please with their performance figures. Though 1.6 may be in the contention if VW sets up shop in Jamshedpur or Ranchi.

4. Skoda Fabia 1.6- The new one is out with a 1.6 motor and the car has quality interiors. But the A.S.S is a big reason to worry.

5. Fiat Punto 1.3 90PS- The gorgeous looks have won her heart but the Tata-Fiat service in the region is pathetic.

6. Hyundai i20 CRDi- The car is great overall and the Hyundai service is exemplary but the poor steering feedback and not-so-Punto like handling have not won any heart.

7. Honda Jazz- One car that has it all. Perfect for the city, a good engine and a comfy highway cruiser with a huge boot. But the dismal sales are not convincing and it seems the future of this hatch is not so great in India.

Finally the hatchbacks brigade was over. But one thing that caught my aunt's attention during the Punto TD was a gorgeous Fox Trot Azure Linea. So the hunt for sedans began.

1. Ford Fiesta 1.6 S- Won her heart staright away but a new Fiesta is on the cards. So perhaps the 1.6 S didn't come on top of her wishlist.

2. Honda City S/V- Though at the extreme end of the budget, this car has everything she needs. That makes it a very strong contender.

3. Fiat Linea 1.4 T-Jet- Nobody in the family saw the T-Jet personally but by reading the reviews in ACI, I personally feel this is the car for her. And she loves the looks. But the Fiat A.S.S is a bit of concern.

4. Volkswagen Vento- The diesel motor is great but the HL version is a bit of stretch and she's wary of German reliability (she has heard nasty cases about her friend's Opel Astra and even though the Vento is fresh, she doesn't wants to risk her purchase).

5. Toyota Etios/New Ford Fiesta- Worth a wait !!

So basically its a fight between the Honda City V, the Fiat Linea 1.4 T-Jet and to some extent the Honda Jazz and the VW Vento. She is not interested in getting an used car even though it may be a year old pre-worshipped car. Though she doesn't minds waiting for a few months to check out the Toyota Etios, Hyundai RB and the new Ford Fiesta 1.6 (which has more even power than the current version). She plans to keep the car for atleast 6-7 years so reliability and availibility of spares are a concern.

Any input will be welcome.

Regards,
Arry.

Last edited by //M : 7th November 2010 at 08:11.
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Old 7th November 2010, 08:43   #2
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@arry- I would recommend you suggest your aunt to go for a Honda City Vtech.

Performance wise it is excellent and provides you with the least problems. Mileage wise a good 16kmpl would be definite. Maintainable as well with regards to AS/S.

Good resale value and would certainly give good boot space and comfort.

The other cars you considered:
Fiat Linea T Jet : Similar features to the TATA vehicles and mileage of around 12 at best (petrol version) and 13-14 in the diesel version

Has a turbocharged engine which gives a good rev, apart from which is reasonably big. However, since TATA is handling the AS/S, its still worth thinking about it.

Honda Jazz, very compact , good for city driving. Mileage of around 11-12 unlike the mileage claimed by the city. Boot space is reasonable. but for a larger family, the City would be ideal since it is from the same brand.

Fiesta might be good. Mileage wise would be great .. the ford which my cousin has gives a mileage of around 16.5kmpl, and its about 5 years old, considering this this sounds a good one, however, serviceability is a tad little expensive considering HONDA is much better.

Ultimately, the decision comes between City and Fiesta .. where Petrol against Diesel is evident. the choice should be made as per necessity and afford-ability.
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Old 7th November 2010, 09:55   #3
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Thank You for your valuable suggestions varun. The City is perhaps the obvious choice, though a bit expensive for what it offers. The Linea seems to be more VFM with the new 1.4 turbo-petrol and a long array of equipment.
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Old 7th November 2010, 11:42   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
My aunt wishes to purchase a new car under the 10-lakh budget. She is based in Jamshedpur and does frequent trips to Ranchi.
I would recommend that you go through my two threads here:

The Inevitable Question: Linea, Manza or another entry level sedan (The inevitable question: Linea or Manza or another entry level diesel sedan)

Grey Noir Tata Manza Quadrajet Aura ABS has finally arrived! (Grey Noir Tata Manza Quadrajet Aura (ABS) has finally arrived!)

While the Manza does not hit the FTD \ Looks and Performance criteria, It is a very practical buy for use in a city like Jamshedpur and more so if trips to Ranchi are involved.

The lowdown on the dealers:
ASL Motors - Tata-Fiat: Pre-Sales experience not up to the mark. A.S.S. okay provided that their is supervision and follow up. Generally, our driver hangs out with the car during the time it is being services.

Pebco Motors - Maruti Suzuki: The benchmark for sales and service is Jampot. Quick delivery and a thorough service experience.

Bebco Motors - Toyota: Large dealership and service levels acceptable.

Jayashree Motors- Ford: Smaller dealership and while sales level acceptable,, not sure about the quality of major maintenance and service.

Millenium Honda - Honda: MASSIVE dealership. Ex- Pebco GM manages the place. However they did have some teething issues when the setup a couple of years ago (My car's O2 sensor failed the moment it left the dealership after a paid service when I tried it out for the first time - While this could have been a coincidence, my hypothesis after some research was that this failure took place because carelessness while washing the engine bay).

Narbheram Motors - Chevy: One of the older dealerships in the City. They used to sell and service Opel's and Fiat's before. Okay service.

Alpha Motors - Mahindra and Renault: Dealership owned by a friend and has got accolades from the company for dishing out good service.

Imperial - Skoda: Very small setup and I have had no experience with them but their workshop is tiny.

Faideal Hyundai: Also owned by a friend and they have been in the automotive biz for a long time. Good paint booth too.

VW and Nissan do not have a setup in Jamshedpur yet. However, a few Polo's and Micra's are streaming in. Typically when there is decent mass, dealers from Kolkata, send down a team every few months and organize a camp at any of the above dealers and service the vehicles. This is how our Honda was serviced for the first 6 years of it's life.

Alternatively, a lateral upgrade choice is a quality used car. Jamshedpur roads and weather is pristine and some of the larger cars putter around for a few kms daily and you can find garaged, well maintained, low mileage examples. A friend's Civic was 2 years old, had clocked 3K and was his 4th car in the house so wanted to sell it for 8L (2 Years ago). Similarly another friend's Hyundai Sonata Embrera was not being used at all and had merely 1500 Kms on the clock and was 2 year's old and he wanted 6.75 lakhs (1 years ago). Not many takers for "big" cars in the city so you can get heck of a deal provided you know the owner and how well he \ she has taken care of the car.

Let me know if you need any help with dealers or any other questions you may have.

Cheers,
V
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Old 7th November 2010, 11:54   #5
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Thanks a lot vcash. Actually my uncle drives a Tata Indigo GLX petrol. Since there is an Indigo already with them, they are not keen on the Manza or Indica. Also the service from ASL is good but the Fairdeal guys are way better. We have a Santro Xing in Ranchi and we are more than satisfied with Fairdeal Hyundai. And a close relative has a good experience with Bebco Toyota. You are absolutely right about the big cars and Jamshedpur roads. I agree that a less used Civic or a Corolla will actually be a better option, but my aunt is not at all keen on an used car. I came across a used new-gen CR-V for 9 Lakhs with just 12000 kms on the odo. It was a steal but my aunt was not convinced enough.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:07   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Thanks a lot vcash. Actually my uncle drives a Tata Indigo GLX petrol. Since there is an Indigo already with them, they are not keen on the Manza or Indica. Also the service from ASL is good but the Fairdeal guys are way better. We have a Santro Xing in Ranchi and we are more than satisfied with Fairdeal Hyundai. And a close relative has a good experience with Bebco Toyota. You are absolutely right about the big cars and Jamshedpur roads. I agree that a less used Civic or a Corolla will actually be a better option, but my aunt is not at all keen on an used car. I came across a used new-gen CR-V for 9 Lakhs with just 12000 kms on the odo. It was a steal but my aunt was not convinced enough.
My recommendation in that case would be to either buy the City or T-Jet now. Or wait for the Hyundai RB / New Fiesta.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:13   #7
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My recommendation in that case would be to either buy the City or T-Jet now. Or wait for the Hyundai RB / New Fiesta.
Yes perhaps a wait will be a good option. Can you throw some light on the Ranchi's Tata-Fiat dealership, Basudeb Motor's A.S.S team? Is it safe to go for a Fiat in Ranchi? My dad also loves the Linea, but probably the Honda City is the only option for new car buyers in that part of the country, even though Honda has no shop in Ranchi.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:22   #8
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Originally Posted by //M View Post
Yes perhaps a wait will be a good option. Can you throw some light on the Ranchi's Tata-Fiat dealership, Basudeb Motor's A.S.S team? Is it safe to go for a Fiat in Ranchi? My dad also loves the Linea, but probably the Honda City is the only option for new car buyers in that part of the country, even though Honda has no shop in Ranchi.
No idea about Ranchi Dealerships at all but ASL is pretty okay and 120km drive from Ranchi to Jamshedpur is doable for servicing.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:31   #9
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The Punto 1.3 MJD had been shortlisted but the aftersales are a bit of a concern. And though the Punto is good in all respects, my aunt is keen on a sedan. If the aftersales won't have been such an irritant, then she would have very well gone in for the Linea as it is very much in her budget. Also with her daily 30 km driving cycle, I don't feel a need for a diesel car. Instead she enjoys driving, so a powerful car with great on-road characteristics will suit her the most. Plus, thankfully Jamshedpur roads are great for most occasions so there won't a problem driving or parking a car as big as a Linea.

Thanks a lot for your points PaddleShifter. The ANHC is probably be the car to have but still my aunt has decided to wait for the new Fiesta.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:33   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vcash View Post
No idea about Ranchi Dealerships at all but ASL is pretty okay and 120km drive from Ranchi to Jamshedpur is doable for servicing.
Thanks once again vcash. The heart says the Linea T-Jet but the head says the ANHC. In my case, my heart rules my head.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:39   #11
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You've got quite a list to choose from!

I own a Jazz and I think it's just the perfect car. Honestly, you don't need a boot that sticks out when you have a Jazz. It's boot space rivals our Civic's, and I'm not kidding! Plus, it's smaller and therefore, easier to maneuver inside the city. It's quite planted on the highway as well. We were impressed with its highway behaviour. Its 1.2 litre engine might seem puny but it's quite a performer and can cruise at 120-130 km/h effortlessly! And the space inside the cabin is something you will believe only when you see it for yourself. About the FE, our Jazz gave us an astonishing 20 km/l during our last highway stint. Need I say more?

The problem with it, however, is that it is a little under-featured for the price tag it comes with. You would expect features like climate-control and auto-folding ORVMs. But, no. Although, if you can live with not having these small things, it's just THE perfect car.

However, you have mentioned that your Aunt would prefer a sedan to a hatch-back. Which is understandable.

In that case, you should ask her to check out either the Maruti SX4 or the Honda City. the Fiat Linea T-Jet is a sensible option as well. The SX4 would be a good buy as Maruti's after-sales-service is bullet-proof! Honda's City is reliable too. Not sure about the Fiats though.

Avoid the VW Vento. The after-sales-service is not good even in the major metros and the dealership's arrogance just reflects their idiocy.
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Old 7th November 2010, 12:48   #12
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^ ^ Yes certainly the VW dealerships have their ego thing. I went for a TD of the Polo from VW Madurai and the experience was awful. But the experience at VW Kolkata was really good. They have down-to-earth guys who are really humble and honest about their products, which is always a good thing.

Also my aunt wants to switch brands so she's not keen on another Maruti (She's too image conscious). Again the Jazz X is a hot option but she needs a sedan.
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Old 8th November 2010, 04:15   #13
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I would suggest a Fiesta Diesel SXI with a smaller turning radius ( easier for ladies to drive) , cheaper fuel costs, good discounts. Ford spares have now become more affordable with the advent of the figo.
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