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Old 17th July 2011, 22:48   #496
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by prabhuferrari View Post
Just a question which might not be relevant in this thread. Whats the petrol equivalent of a reliable spacious sedan?
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Originally Posted by prabhuferrari View Post
Poitive,
Sorry for hijacking the thread. And what does Poitive mean by the way?
Firstly, Congrats mate and wish you all the very best.

Was wondering if I bumped into the wrong thread with all this petrol talk!!!!
The odd Off Topic talk is fine mate, especially if it adds value. We just don't want that to take centrestage with long replies. So will keep mine brief.

Spacious Petrol Sedans upto 12L (or a bit more)
* Corolla - Reliable, Very Spacious. Good ride.
* ANHC - Reliable, Quite spacious.
* Fluence - Just guessing it should be well suited.
* Optra (haven't tried the petrol, but not enough reason to go for petrol for an Oprtra) - Ride, spacious.
----
* New Fiesta - Yet to be tried. Don't expect a soft ride here. NOT spacious.
* New Verna - Only if mainly the front seats are to be used and you don't expect to go over 80kmph or so (I really doubt that), 6 airbags option.

Given the extremely plush ride (soft, absorbent, composed) both at low and high speeds (1370kgs, AWIS etc) and space, the Optra Diesel should be your choice, from what I can gather.

However, do test the Fluence, it might spring a surprise.
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Old 18th July 2011, 01:47   #497
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Hi Poitive:

Thanks for your email. I am just one post old on the forum so am not allowed to use the online form. Eventually I will be - I hope.

We seem to have momentarily digressed from a discussion on diesel sedan to petrol (going by your last post), however, I will stick to the original title thread and add my two cents.

To my mind, since individual needs and wants may differ, a weighted average scale is quite helpful in deciding which car. These days we are if not really spoilt for a choice, are neither stuck with choosing between an Ambassador or a Fiat.

I bought an Optra Magnum LT in 2009. My priorities for a sedan were (i) driving pleasure - didn't want to miss my Ikon 1.6 or my Fiesta which, in my view, are decent drivers cars; (ii) comfort - not just mine but also of my aged parents - hence rear seat comfort too; (iii) safety; (iv) cost of ownership; and (v) value for money - in that order of priority. I have already shared my decision above. We have in other posts talked about how responsive the engine is, how comfortable the seats are, how it has four discs; ABS; Airbags and front; side and rear impact beams, how the maintenance package is helpful in reducing the cost of ownership in conjunction with diesel and mileage and how with six cd changer, automatic climate control, leather seats and the safety features it does come across as a value for money proposition for the price it comes home.

Others may decide depending on how they value the above parameters and also add other parameters if they have any. It is an undeniable fact that for some looks matter whilst for others they don't.

The common refrain I have heard about the Optra is that it has dated looks. Guess it doesn't matter to me as I am oriented more towards function than form. Probably explains why I bought the Pajero SFX and not the Fortuner, Endeavour, Captiva even though these may, arguably, in majority opinion have more modern lines.

I am happy with my decision. I do not feel the need to have steering mounted controls, Petes box, free flow exhaust, K&N filters or induction kit and other similar stuff. The car in stock form has decent amount of power for a reasonably high speed highway cruising and is fun to drive. There is no end to modifications and personally I prefer buying a more powerful car than modifying a less powerful one. The stereo system is adequate for a non-audiophile like me while being capable of providing entertainment to cars parked alongside on traffic signals at higher volumes.

The only things I found inadequate about the car were (i) the headlights - so I had xenons installed; and (ii) diesel chatter - it is quite noisy from the outside but is livable once inside the car.

Optra, in my view, has suffered primarily from two reasons (i) Toyota Corolla - which always carried a more premium image than the Optra; and (ii) the Korean connection which may have further denuded the image.

Having said all this, I must admit that I find the driving position and ingress egress of a Skoda Laura better, the steering feedback and the driving pleasure of a Fiesta significantly superior, the features of Verna or Fiesta substantial in comparison, the exclusivity of a Vento; the ride of Linea; or the ability of Honda City to engender desirability amongst people as attributes where the Optra gets beaten.

I will not be surprised if some statistical finding indicates that 80% of cars are bought basis what image they will project on neighbours than what the buyer really wants. It is safe to assume that with significant resources at their disposal, manufacturers do conduct consumer surveys to understand the market dynamics before investing millions in designing products. It is also safe to assume that no one sells a product which one knows will fail.

So, I guess to each his/her own.
Would I recommend an Optra? Of course I would.
Would I recommend a Vento? If the potential buyer has a similar usage pattern like me (i.e. outstation travel) - No. The service network is still thin.
Would I recommend the new Fiesta? I would say - would you like to wait and watch a while? This despite being a self-proclaimed Ford fan. If Fiesta S was still alive and driving pleasure was the only consideration then south of Rs.10 lakhs that would be the only choice for me.
Would I recommend a Linea? I would say - do you love driving or prefer the rear seat?
Would I recommend a Cruze? I would say - if rear seat space/roominess is not a priority, by all means.
Would I recommend a diesel Corolla? I would say - do you drive yourself mostly? If yes, would you like to consider other options?
Would I recommend a Laura Petrol? I would say - if driving pleasure is the only consideration, look no further.
and so forth and so on. Of the above, I have not driven the new Fiesta only.

Am not sure if this was useful. I hope this doesn't come across as a pro-Optra post or more importantly as an 'ANTI-Optra competition' post as that was not the intent.

Cheers!
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Old 18th July 2011, 02:03   #498
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You can check out my new thread on the ANHC too. Would give you a little insight if you wish.
Catch you there.
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Old 18th July 2011, 09:17   #499
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by prabhuferrari View Post
Thank you for the wishes and suggestions. I am planning to buy one as early as August. That's a good enough time I suppose. And that also gives me chance to take my wife to chennai on the GQ and drive back alone in the sports mode. He he. Just kidding. To say I am excited will be an understatement.
Early August sounds fantastic, and it will give you enough time to get accustomed to the car.

Note: Many people tends to overlook the importance of child seat (in the fear of losing rear seat space, and wrath from relatives). If you have any such doubts, refer to the threads below

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...ian-roads.html (Child Safety, and SAFE driving on Indian Roads)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...seat-kids.html

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
* Fluence - Just guessing it should be well suited.

However, do test the Fluence, it might spring a surprise.
Fluence should be a spacious one, but the base diesel variant (only option) is 12.99 lakhs and top end petrol (only option again!) is 14.40 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi.
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Old 18th July 2011, 09:40   #500
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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I will not be surprised if some statistical finding indicates that 80% of cars are bought basis what image they will project on neighbours than what the buyer really wants. Cheers!
That is so correct, Deep_Shri. It is mostly the social image and approval / disapproval of friends and peers that influences many peoples decision making in anything they buy. I have been going through this cycle myself since I started looking for a new car and liked Optra Magnum just when Vento was launched but at the end I have decided to go with what I am feeling is right for me, not what my friends / neighbors would want me to do. I had people telling me about the Chevy unreliability, the old look, the old model v/s the German engineering of Vento, newness of Fluidic Verna and the jazzy New Fiesta.

At the end of the day I knew I wanted a spacious diesel car which is a VFM. I ruled out the new Verna and Fiesta for simple reason - In next one year or so I expect my travel to increase considerably and might go in for a driver. While my family is 2 + 2, I do have my mother / friends as the third rear seat passenger quite a bit. So spacious interior was a must must. Vento also ticked lot of boxes but I just fell for the 2L power of Magnum.

I spoke to few owners of this car and every owner spoke to strongly recommended it.

As you said, everyone has his requirements and reasons and I chose the Optra Magnum.

Last edited by NoRules : 18th July 2011 at 09:52.
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Old 18th July 2011, 11:16   #501
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Deep_Shri View Post
I will not be surprised if some statistical finding indicates that 80% of cars are bought basis what image they will project on neighbours than what the buyer really wants. It is safe to assume that with significant resources at their disposal, manufacturers do conduct consumer surveys to understand the market dynamics before investing millions in designing products. It is also safe to assume that no one sells a product which one knows will fail.
Very well written post and absolutely agree with you. THe Indian Auto market has been viewed as not a very mature market by foreign players as many buyers' decisions were based on factors such as mentioned above.

But off late the trend seems to be changing as people are experiencing more and more cars and percentage of first time/ or inexperienced car buyers is dropping year on year. People now seem to be more clear about what they want from their automobiles and unless the offerings from the car makers are able to deliver true value, they would not stand in the market place. Just image or brand reputation would not suffice in the coming years.

Hope we are not digressing from the thread subject.

Request to mods : Please delete if viewed as off topic.
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Old 18th July 2011, 15:32   #502
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

The Black Shark Cometh

Update:
- Submitted papers for the car loan. Am told it'll be done in two days' time.
- Caviar black is the chosen colour. I was leaning towards Diamond White for the three-layer depth and hiding of scratches and swirl marks, but the family hated it. Most of the other colours were pleasant without being IT, other than black, which looks great on this discreet car. It's a bit impractical, but ok. Should I get some sort of 3M-type treatment done at the very beginning?
- Re sun-film, I think I'll forget the dealer-provided sun-film and go for a 3M or V-Kool one. Any opinions on this? Or should I just stick to the dealer's freebie?
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Old 18th July 2011, 16:29   #503
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Congrats in advance, roadtrip. The anticipation must be tough to handle.

I am yet to finalise the color (ehe..I have not even booked the car yet). My wife wants Black, I wanted Red. She is absolutely against red and I am neutral about black but at the same time am worried about the imminent scratches, the parking slot in my apartment is not so great and I am not a very patient person. But my wife gave me a 'gotcha' look and pointed out that the scratches look equally bad on red :P. As of now Sandrift Grey is what we all seem to agree. Might change at the time of finalisation.
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Old 18th July 2011, 19:55   #504
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Firstly, Congrats mate and wish you all the very best.

Given the extremely plush ride (soft, absorbent, composed) both at low and high speeds (1370kgs, AWIS etc) and space, the Optra Diesel should be your choice, from what I can gather.
Thanks Poitive. Optra is there in consideration.

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
Early August sounds fantastic, and it will give you enough time to get accustomed to the car.

Note: Many people tends to overlook the importance of child seat (in the fear of losing rear seat space, and wrath from relatives). If you have any such doubts, refer to the threads below
Hi vb-san. I have my eye on the child seat. One of the things that caught my attention in the NFS brochure was the child seat.
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Old 20th July 2011, 03:32   #505
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

As @SLK too had mentioned, one looks for ownership reviews to decide on a car. What better than owners sharing their experiences and thought processes in the selection process.

Would be useful for readers, if owners of various diesel sedans shared their opinions. It is with this intention that I had messaged @Deep_Shri. Thanks for responding, Deep. If you share your experiences with the 'second gear' issue (it may be a bit different now - ECU remap, BS4 changes) and GC related stuff, it should benefit other readers.

I really relate to you when you say
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Originally Posted by Deep_Shri View Post
There is no end to modifications and personally I prefer buying a more powerful car than modifying a less powerful one.
and this one sure IS powerful!!

Quote:
Having said all this, I must admit that I find the driving position and ingress egress of a Skoda Laura better, the steering feedback and the driving pleasure of a Fiesta significantly superior, the features of Verna or Fiesta substantial in comparison, the exclusivity of a Vento; the ride of Linea; or the ability of Honda City to engender desirability amongst people as attributes where the Optra gets beaten.
A comparo between Fiesta (with it's on-rails like handing) and Magnum (with it's surge) could be interesting. They way Vento has been going, it seems it will be quite common pretty soon and the Magnum will seem more exclusive (ha ha - always rooting for the Optra?). More seriously, I found the ride of the Optra miles ahead of the Linea. Linea had very good feedback; also handling at two digit speeds. Am surprised about how our experiences with the ride comparison of the Linea vary.

And yes, a LOT of purchases seem to be driven by neighbors'-envy (oh that Onida devil! - was a milestone in advertizements). Doesn't capitalism get a lot of it's drive based on this? But well, that is another topic for another thread/forum.

Quote:
Am not sure if this was useful. I hope this doesn't come across as a pro-Optra post or more importantly as an 'ANTI-Optra competition' post as that was not the intent.
Ah, sure it was useful. We guys on this thread seem to be pretty miserly with using the 'Thanks' button . Going by that benchmark of feedback, it was immensely useful. And yes, it was also very unbiased. Thanks for sharing mate.

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Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
I had people telling me about the Chevy unreliability, the old look, the old model v/s the German engineering of Vento, newness of Fluidic Verna and the jazzy New Fiesta.
A lot of such talk is just uninformed biased talk, without giving it enough thought. We need to do some research. That is how the thread started. @NoRules, you of course would know, as you have been a part of the journey right from the beginning.

Talking about reliability and German cars. And interesting read here (PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!)

Quote:
I spoke to few owners of this car and every owner spoke to strongly recommended it.
To me, that is such a big factor. To ask people who have similar requirements (and approach) and how they feel about their ownership experience. And almost no one seems to talk bad about this car. Most love it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadtrip View Post
The Black Shark Cometh
Ha ha! This is becoming a feature now. Talk about an Optra being booked even goes without a mention that it was one! Come on guys, even though this thread has become Optra centric, let us not make it to this extent. That people who want to discuss other cars don't even feel comfortable.

So we have a new name for your (to be) delivered car. Could make for a title for your ownership report.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
As of now Sandrift Grey is what we all seem to agree. Might change at the time of finalization.
Congrats on the decision mate. Did you try out the NFF? IIRC you were waiting for it's launch before talking the final call, based on your friends in Ford. In case you did try the NFF, please share your experience with it.

Dark Grey seems to be the 'new white' colour. I mean, the colour everybody (including me) is inclined towards. It looks classy, is easier to maintain (after the whites and slivers which have become a tad too common) than many. It suits the Optra.

Last edited by Poitive : 20th July 2011 at 03:36. Reason: Typos, formatting.
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Old 20th July 2011, 11:15   #506
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Congrats on the decision mate. Did you try out the NFF? IIRC you were waiting for it's launch before talking the final call, based on your friends in Ford. In case you did try the NFF, please share your experience with it.

Dark Grey seems to be the 'new white' colour. I mean, the colour everybody (including me) is inclined towards. It looks classy, is easier to maintain (after the whites and slivers which have become a tad too common) than many. It suits the Optra.
I did not TD the NFF but saw the car in flesh couple of days ago. The car looks good from all sides, I felt even the rear was good, sit in the front seat and you will love the interiors, super sexy. But sit in the rear seat and you will be totally disappointed with the elbow space. Fitting 3 adults is just not easy. While my drive is mostly with my family of 2 + 2, I would like to have the space for 3rd passenger for sure, especially when I am paying in excess of 12 lakhs.

Going to the showroom with missus now to show her the Sandrift Grey color. They have one readily available in the showroom and i I asked them to bring it out of the basement so that we can check it in normal light.
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Old 21st July 2011, 01:50   #507
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Going beyond the favourite of the thread (the Magnum). Carfreak77 just talked about booking a NFF. The surprising bit is that he is 6'2"!!! And I almost thought that NFF really doesn't make the grade to be called a spcacious diesel sedan. LOL His TD report on the NFF thread is here (Ford Fiesta : Test Drive & Review).

Another interesting thing came up. I was in a mall and they had an Toyota Etios on display (yes, it was a petrol and the diesel variant is yet to be launched). Even though I have NO intention of going in for this one, I checked the cabin. Was WAY more spacious than most of the cars talked here (SX4, Linea, Fiesta Classic, NFF, Verna, Fluidic). It was pretty much as big as the Manza. It could seat one 6' person behind another with comfort. Maybe even more than the Optra. The front seats were rather thin, but still quite comfortable. I think it would also be able to take a 6' and a 6'2" behind one another. It felt that big!

The finish was just about acceptable. The visual design appeal, was something I personally found hard to digest. I, for one, have a big issue with the speedo not being right in front of me as a driver. Ergonomically, it really should be in my line of sight with a vertical movement of my head/eyes. Besides that too, it was not at all appealing, and to me the splash of red, which if rightly used, could have added a bit of a funky feeling to the car, only made it look even more cheap. Seemed like a gimmick to take the attention from the other aspects of the poor looking cabin (I mean no offense to anyone; these are just personal views).

There was a Tata Manza on display almost right next. Just out of curiosity, I checked that again. Oh Boy! Didn't I feel proud of India then!!!! I sure did. Could never imagine that a TATA vehicle could feel AS good after being in a Toyota a couple of minutes back. It felt SO VERY REFINED. It was unreal. The design, the finish, the overall feel. A few years back, one would talk of that change moving from say (am exaggerating) a Sumo into an Corolla. My compliments to Tata for this huge stride. And that they still manage to price their vehicles so well.

A bit more assurance of quality A$$ and this company could do so much better (and it would help Fiat no end too).

Well, I just wrote a whole story above. In one line, the Indian Manza's cabin felt shockingly better in terms of feel, finish, visual design as compared the the Japanese Etios.

Last edited by Poitive : 21st July 2011 at 01:55.
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Old 21st July 2011, 10:00   #508
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

I totally agree with that. Manza blew me away too. The space is humongous specially at the back. The only grudge is the sad quality at some places like the Usb and Aux cover. Yuck! What were they thinking when they put that?
Also Tata still needs to improve a lot. Yea it looks good when you compare it with the 1st generation Indica but then thats not the milestone its competing with. In almost every ownership thread of a Tata vehicle I have seen the owners complaint about some or the other issue cropping up right after they drive the car out of the showroom. That for me is totally unacceptable. I even checked the Aria while I was in the showroom and happened to notice huge gaps everywhere between the body panels. How can you not put a car together decently in 2011? Is it that difficult? The sales person sheepishly said - "Its TATA!".

They really need to improve this. No wonder the brand Image takes a beating and in the end all they are left with is the Taxi segment.

Sorry if it sounded like a Tata bashing post. The intention is not that. But as a customer you feel frustrated because Manza's space is unmatched. But these small niggling issues have to become a thing of the past. Unless then I am going to stick to the Japs and the Koreans!
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Old 21st July 2011, 18:39   #509
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

As you people are aware, i am in the final stages of buying my next car. Just to clear any doubts I had and take that final call, I asked my Maruti *** guy (he has been servicing my cars from 2000 and I trust him implicitly) to speak to his friend who is a senior mechanic at one of the Chevy service centre for a long time. Apparently this guy was at the Halol Chevy plant for some training. Since he was at the factory, I also asked him to check up about the rumors of Optra Magnum being discontinued.

The Chevy mechanic came back to Hyderabad today and gave his feedback:

1. He asked me to go ahead with the purchase of Magnum and he promised to personally take care of my car should there be any problem. The service centre is close to where I live.
2. He assured me I would not need the CPCO as the servicing costs of Magnum are not very high. However I need to take a final call on this.
3. He was very clear that Chevrolet does not have any plans of discontinuing Magnum in near future. Atleast that was what he was told at the factory.

This exercise was just an effort on my part to clear any doubts considering the choices available - SX4D, NFF, ANHV and Vento.

Another step closer to the Magnum. Earlier I thought I will take the delivery by next week but since this is Aashadam month, my wife wants to wait till 1st week of August when Shravanam month starts.

Will probably book the car in next 3-4 days and take delivery on 4th August (It is a Thursday which my wife considers auspicious as she is a Shirdi Sai devotee, both my earlier cars were delivered on a Thursday - and 4th Aug apparently is Nag Panchami, auspicious. While I am not particular about these things, no harm in humoring the Missus)

Presently I am negotiating with Orange auto and KUN. The best offer stands at 10.63 lakhs + freebies. One more round of discussion tomorrow. Thanks a lot, mobike008 for helping me with negotiations.
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Old 21st July 2011, 22:14   #510
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Going beyond the favourite of the thread (the Magnum). Carfreak77 just talked about booking a NFF. The surprising bit is that he is 6'2"!!! And I almost thought that NFF really doesn't make the grade to be called a spacious diesel sedan. LOL His TD report on the NFF thread is here.
I was thinking about this idea of spacious diesel sedan. At times I feel that we are talking of exceptions here. The cars in this segment are small family cars, and it’s meant for small families. How many times it occur that, in a small family we have 6’2” person driving, and another two 6’ 0” passengers in the back seat? It’s a good test to gauge the space in the car, but in a real-world scenario you may not be sacrificing much. For a person who plan to drive the car himself/herself, and has got a small family – say spouse and two kids, these cars are quite well suited (be it the Fiesta, Vento, Verna or the Optra)

As NoRules mentioned in the Fiesta thread, the car is meant for Ajay and his small family, and they expect Ajay to drive himself. I like the idea of cars targeting a specific group of customers, rather than a please-all product – just my personal thought

Poitive, on a separate note; you have TD-ed quite a lot of the cars in this segment as a part of your search. Each car has had its own strengths as a product. e.g.; Linea for ride & handling. Fiesta for the fun-to-drive factor, Optra for the space and diesel engine etc. Since you have driven the new Verna as well, can you point on its USP as a product? The overall looks maybe one, but anything other than that?
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