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Old 21st July 2011, 23:41   #511
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by vb-san View Post

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?
Exactly what i was discussing with a friend few minutes ago, vb-san. When a manufacturer designs a car he has a specific target audience / customers in mind like Fiesta wants Ajay.

My personal opinion about the present day front runners:

Go for:

SX4 D: If you want a trouble free performance, excellent service network, a decent performer with a tall body, more than decent FE, ok with old looks, no snob value. (I TDed this car)

Vento: If you like a great engine, turbo-king, snob-badge-value, do not mind cramped ingress / egress, do not mind oh-not-so-latest-gadgets, very decent FE, not-so-sure-about-***, German build and quality, loooong waiting periods and SNOB value. (I TDed this car)

ANHVerna: If you like a great city ride, if you drive yourself,love driving, awesome features and dash, sexy fluidic exterior design, good ***, do not mind the ergonomically bad rear bench, good FE, did I mention great looking car and very decent snob value? (I did not TD this car and will not TD it)

NFF: If you drive yourself and like a great ride, love sexy interiors, love driving, like great features and dash, sexy front and sides, not-so-bad rear looks, do not mind that the rear seats only 2 comfortably (3 is very very uncomfortable), class leading FE, very decent ***, class leading cost. Very decent snob value (I did not TD this car but saw it in person, I sat in the rear seat too)

Chevy Optra Magnum: If you like driving yourself or sitting in the rear seat, love the power of 2L engine, like spacious interiors, comfortable with the OLD badge, jaded dash, pathetic ICE, okie dokie FE, decent ***, low cost, exhilarating ride, did I mention the power? Zilch snob value. On a lighter note: Infact if you buy this car people will question your sanity. What say, keyur?( I TDed this car couple of times and in all probability will buy it)

Fiat Linea: No clue, never thought about it, never TDed it, have no opinion about it. for some reason not in my focus at all.

^^^^ is my personal opinion, not a true reflection of performance of the cars mentioned above.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 02:30   #512
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

@drmohitg, @vb have things to say/reply and will do so later, as it may be lengthy. Hope you wouldn't mind.

This one is for specific point to NoRules.

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Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
Fiat Linea: No clue, never thought about it, never TDed it, have no opinion about it. for some reason not in my focus at all.
Since you are almost finalizing your car, after reading the above, thought I should say this right away:

Though it has it's set of shortcomings, the Linea is a worthwhile TD. When I look back, it probably had the MOST involving drive. And I say this after a TD of the New Ford Fiesta I had today (report should hopefully follow tomorrow). It was agile, had a LOT of steering feedback. Very good handling in double digit figures. TD's only tell you so much, but based on those, it seemed to be more of a drivers car than even the NFF; and that is a lot to say.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 08:55   #513
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
This one is for specific point to NoRules.



Since you are almost finalizing your car, after reading the above, thought I should say this right away:

Though it has it's set of shortcomings, the Linea is a worthwhile TD. When I look back, it probably had the MOST involving drive. And I say this after a TD of the New Ford Fiesta I had today (report should hopefully follow tomorrow). It was agile, had a LOT of steering feedback. Very good handling in double digit figures. TD's only tell you so much, but based on those, it seemed to be more of a drivers car than even the NFF; and that is a lot to say.
I am not even sure why I never thought about the Fiat Linea. Have nothing against it except I dislike the snub nosed front looks. While I am curious about all the vehicles that come in the market (During my visit to Chevy showroom couple of days ago I spent quite sometime checking out Chevy beat diesel just out of curiosity), for some strange reason I was never attracted towards Linea.

Will check it out today / tomorrow.
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Old 22nd July 2011, 12:39   #514
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Though it has it's set of shortcomings, the Linea is a worthwhile TD. When I look back, it probably had the MOST involving drive. And I say this after a TD of the New Ford Fiesta I had today (report should hopefully follow tomorrow). It was agile, had a LOT of steering feedback. Very good handling in double digit figures. TD's only tell you so much, but based on those, it seemed to be more of a drivers car than even the NFF; and that is a lot to say.
Of all the cars being discussed (< 12L sedans), I find Linea to be the best-looking of the lot, esp in that dark, maroon-ish color. If it came with Vento's diesel engine, I would have bought it long ago. It just looks majestic.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 02:30   #515
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
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?
----------------
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!".
------------------
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!
What had me taken aback was how the feel-good factor was SO much better in a Tata vehicle as compared to a Toyota, in the same segment.
.
The Tata Story - Some thoughts

I see a lot of people being quite frustrated with Tata vehicles. At times, it happens to me too. More so when they make spacious vehicles (@vb, norules- more about the 'spacious' bit in another post) which suit me but then they have some shortcoming one finds hard to accept.

Tata vehicles usually give that solid-take-anywhere type of feel. The kind you don't get from Japanese and Korean ones. They also are pretty frugal, especially when one considers their interior space and weight. They also usually have the most comfortable interiors (Indigo/Indica, Manza/Vista, Safari, Aria?, Sienna-remember that one?). The finish has improved by a HUGE margin - just enter the Manza Elan without any bias of it being a Tata/desi vehicle. And to feel it more, enter it after entering an Etios! They are also usually cheap to maintain.

Now what it also has is niggles. Most stories are of niggles, not breakdowns. Even the famed German cars break down [ I think I posted this it before too - link (PICS : How flatbed tow trucks would run out of business without German cars!)]. We just seemed to be culturally biased towards some stuff. It is the Japs who have reliable performance, followed by the Koreans at some distance. Tata also has inconsistent finish. But I'd anyday live with some bit of the cabin with slightly poorer finish and quality for the seat and cabin comfort.

Tata has a lot of basics right. They need to be more refined for sure.

Now, why don't they do it? I remember this short talk I had with someone who was the proud owner of a Safari and when he had complained to someone from Tata about quality -

Why can't you make better cars, with better finish et all?
Sir, we can, but would you be willing to pay 25-30% over what you pay now? Would you not have bought an Endevour or some other SUV then?

Ah yes! Now imagine Tata cars at a 20-30% higher cost. Even if they had a better finish et all, we would probably not choose them.

Tata has been smart. They have kept costs low, provided the basics right on many counts (Nano, not withstanding), provided a built-for-bad-Indian roads sorta vehicles which are practical. And they have tapped a big section of the market, despite their shortcomings and are doing quite well. I appreciate Tata for this, despite my frustrations.

Heck! Even the biggest manufacturer in the world is trying to emulate them on some counts - look at the Etios!

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
The Chevy mechanic came back to Hyderabad today and gave his feedback:
-------------
Presently I am negotiating with Orange auto and KUN. The best offer stands at 10.63 lakhs + freebies.
Thanks for sharing the inside info from the Halol plant mate. It should build confidence in some who are on the fence.

How much discount does it work out to?

Quote:
Originally Posted by vb-san View Post
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?
Fluidic Verna - For people who mainly use the front seat, normally don't travel at more than 80kmph and aren't much into driving hard (guess it would be about 70-85% of people who use the car largely in the city) - It is the best diesel around (barring probably the Optra!!! LOL). The USP, if I have to put it that way - smooth petrol like, easy to drive experience with a very smooth engine. The Engine! Yes!! The Engine!!!

@VB, am contemplating writing on selection of cars in this segment. On what is likely to suit which needs. If I do end up writing it, you will get more detailed answers on this. In case you have have any specific querry in the meantime, I'll try to answer to my limited abilities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRules View Post
I am not even sure why I never thought about the Fiat Linea. Have nothing against it except I dislike the snub nosed front looks.
---------
Will check it out today / tomorrow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by bansal98 View Post
Of all the cars being discussed (< 12L sedans), I find Linea to be the best-looking of the lot, esp in that dark, maroon-ish color. If it came with Vento's diesel engine, I would have bought it long ago. It just looks majestic.
I too never really liked the Linea from the front. Yes, the same snubbed nose. But when I see it from the rear, and to an extent from the side, it blows me away. Especially in the Maroon/Wine colour, quite like Bansal.

How we all would like to pluck one part from one car to another to build a DIY car!!! The Optra notwithstanding, I'd take the front of the Fluidic's cabin, the rear from the Manza, steering from the Verna, suspension/chassis from the New Fiesta, the Steering from the Linea, diesel engine from the Fluidic again! And surprisingly, Overall, besides the cabin's headroom, the Vento may come closest to the overall package. But that was with the Optra out of the list

@NoRules - Would look forward to your report on the Linea

Last edited by Poitive : 23rd July 2011 at 02:33.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 09:31   #516
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
What had me taken aback was how the feel-good factor was SO much better in a Tata vehicle as compared to a Toyota, in the same segment.

I see a lot of people being quite frustrated with Tata vehicles. At times, it happens to me too.

Tata vehicles usually give that solid-take-anywhere type of feel. The kind you don't get from Japanese and Korean ones. They also usually have the most comfortable interiors (Indigo/Indica, Manza/Vista, Safari, Aria?, Sienna-remember that one?). The finish has improved by a HUGE margin - just enter the Manza Elan without any bias of it being a Tata/desi vehicle. And to feel it more, enter it after entering an Etios! They are also usually cheap to maintain.

Now what it also has is niggles. Most stories are of niggles, not breakdowns. Even the famed German cars break down. It is the Japs who have reliable performance, followed by the Koreans at some distance. Tata also has inconsistent finish. But I'd anyday live with some bit of the cabin with slightly poorer finish and quality for the seat and cabin comfort.
Well the first assumption behind my post was that money is not an issue. I agree that you can't compare Manza with an Altis. But the top end manza is almost in the base model of honda territory ( infact little more costly i guess). If Honda can shout quality from all the angles then why can't Tata? Indica is in the I10 territory or Santro territory. I have driven and owned 2 santros. Both were well built and had no niggles of any sorts.

Justifying the huge body panel gaps and poor material used by the argument that it is cheap does not hold good. I have no complaints against the hard plastic feel or cheaper fabric used for the seats and stuff. What I am complaining against are the panel gaps, some pieces of plastics used which are just plain shabby! I haven't checked the Etios till now so I cant comment. But in regard to the subject of my post, I dont think Etios will present the customer with a surprise. They might have used poorer plastics, thinner seats et al but the end product will be long lasting.

As far as germans are considered I never said they are dependable. But thats more to do with them not modifying there machines enough to suit the Indian driving conditions rather then use of poor material.

When I drive a brand new car out of the showroom and immediately there is some niggle that presents itself, its just not acceptable. For ex a Nano ownership review posted yesterday where the owner had some timing belt issue as soon as he took the car from the showroom. If Tata wants to hide behind the VFM tag then I really dont buy it. How many Marutis have such niggles right from the start? If you will see the % Tata will be leading it in each segment.

Lastly I will again like to point out that the idea is not to ridicule Tata. But they really need to improve on these issues. Rectifying these will not even cost them very dearly I am sure. Its more to do with the attitude and willingness of the company. Untill then Tata will just remain a so called desi player in the market. They might sell modest number of Indicas ( taxi segment?) but they surely wont sell any Arias!

Last edited by drmohitg : 23rd July 2011 at 09:36.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 11:27   #517
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Poitive! You have been a big (and good influence) in me shortlisting optra. I am trying to decide between an optra and Honda city automatic.

I have a specific query about the arm rest in the back seat. It did create quite a bit of Discomfort for the person sitting in the middle for our test drive. How did you all feel about the same? How comfortable is Optra back seat for 3 people on a long drive?

Thanks.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 12:10   #518
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
.
The Tata Story - Some thoughts

I see a lot of people being quite frustrated with Tata vehicles. At times, it happens to me too.
Quite an interesting debate between Poitive & drmohitg. Couldn't hold myself back as for the last 7+ years I have been experiencing a TATA product day in & day out. Though a bit off-topic hear, with your due permission Poitive I would like to share my thoughts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Tata vehicles usually give that solid-take-anywhere type of feel. They also are pretty frugal, especially when one considers their interior space and weight. They also usually have the most comfortable interiors (Indigo/Indica, Manza/Vista, Safari, Aria?, Sienna-remember that one?). The finish has improved by a HUGE margin - just enter the Manza Elan without any bias of it being a Tata/desi vehicle. And to feel it more, enter it after entering an Etios! They are also usually cheap to maintain.
Absolutely with each & every point mentioned above
  • solid-take-anywhere type of feel --> Have driven extensively in the interiors (bad roads) of Konkan
  • pretty frugal --> Overall mileage = 18.37 kmpl (hovers between 17 & 20 kmpl, for city & highway driving)
  • most comfortable interiors --> While at native place have driven the car with 7 people, without any fuss
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Now what it also has is niggles. Tata also has inconsistent finish. But I'd anyday live with some bit of the cabin with slightly poorer finish and quality for the seat and cabin comfort. Tata has a lot of basics right. They need to be more refined for sure.
  • Niggles -->I agree to this as well, however I consider myself luckly, no rattling after 7+ years & 96+K kms
  • inconsistent finish --> True for internal plastics, body panel gaps are more prominent compared to competition.
  • need to be more refined --> The NA diesel engines do sound coarse, compared to the new common rail ones, but they are as reliable if not more. I am a bit amazed to see on the Vento threads, how the car is sipping engine oil. In my 10K servicing interval I rarely have to do an oil top up.
Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Justifying the huge body panel gaps and poor material used by the argument that it is cheap does not hold good. I have no complaints against the hard plastic feel or cheaper fabric used for the seats and stuff. What I am complaining against are the panel gaps, some pieces of plastics used which are just plain shabby!
No doubt the panel gaps needs to be improved, plastic should be of better quality, but then the plastic parts don't fall off even after 7+ years

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
If Tata wants to hide behind the VFM tag then I really dont buy it. How many Marutis have such niggles right from the start? If you will see the % Tata will be leading it in each segment.
The very fact that TATA cars are most favoured by the taxi & fleet owner segment these are bound to get abused. The cars withstand such abuse & just come out with some niggles actually demostrate their sturdiness

Quote:
Originally Posted by drmohitg View Post
Lastly I will again like to point out that the idea is not to ridicule Tata. But they really need to improve on these issues. Rectifying these will not even cost them very dearly I am sure. Its more to do with the attitude and willingness of the company. Untill then Tata will just remain a so called desi player in the market. They might sell modest number of Indicas ( taxi segment?) but they surely wont sell any Arias!
Completely agree. Period
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Old 23rd July 2011, 13:47   #519
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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No doubt the panel gaps needs to be improved, plastic should be of better quality, but then the plastic parts don't fall off even after 7+ years
There are only few plastic pieces that are really unacceptable. Also you have been lucky and am sure many more too have had a good experience with Tata.
Even we had a 2nd generation Indica at home. But the presence of niggles in factory brand new cars does exist. See the various Tata cars ownership reviews. The chances of each bhpian finding some part loose or falling is quite high compared to other manufacturers. They are all basic niggles with some or the other nut being lose. The question is how did it pass un-noticed to the customer? Professionalism??


Quote:
The very fact that TATA cars are most favoured by the taxi & fleet owner segment these are bound to get abused. The cars withstand such abuse & just come out with some niggles actually demostrate their sturdiness
I have a different theory to why the taxi segment prefers Tata:
When the Taxi Industry had its boom in India the only people mover that was available was the Tata sumo followed by the only diesel hatch Indica. Tata cars were the only ones which came with diesel, were cheap to maintain and a customer travelling in the car for just some few hours will not find time or the will to criticize the build quality.

The Qualis came and outclassed the Sumo pretty soon. Similarly now you will find as many Logans in the Taxi segment as there are Indigos.

The whole ides for a Taxi is that its upkeep should be cheap, spares cheap, can be serviced at every garage.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 15:11   #520
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

I think the race in this segment is getting hotter by the day. What one needs to remember is that a Merc could be a VFM and a Nano may not be one. I said this earlier in my post that a car should be a good car first. Reverse camera, good ICE etc can't make a car good. Having said this I think that Optra is a excellent VFM. If you spend just half of the price difference between Optra LT and top models of NFF and ANHV you can get a better eqipment list than these cars.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 16:08   #521
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

One question for the gurus: Can we add Automatic Climate Control in the after market? Specifically can i buy a LS model Optra Magnum and get ACC retrofitted? Also can Airbags be retrofitted?

Last edited by NoRules : 23rd July 2011 at 16:29.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 16:59   #522
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Fluidic Verna - For people who mainly use the front seat, normally don't travel at more than 80kmph and aren't much into driving hard (guess it would be about 70-85% of people who use the car largely in the city) - It is the best diesel around (barring probably the Optra!!! LOL). The USP, if I have to put it that way - smooth petrol like, easy to drive experience with a very smooth engine. The Engine! Yes!! The Engine!!!

@VB, am contemplating writing on selection of cars in this segment. On what is likely to suit which needs. If I do end up writing it, you will get more detailed answers on this. In case you have have any specific querry in the meantime, I'll try to answer to my limited abilities.
Thanks Poitive! That’s a good explanation for the product. Looking forward to your new thread on the selection process.

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One question for the gurus: Can we add Automatic Climate Control in the after market? Specifically can i buy a LS model Optra Magnum and get ACC retrofitted? Also can Airbags be retrofitted?
Not an expert, but my recommendation is to stay away from doing any aftermarket fitment of safety equipments like airbags. IMHO, these are best to have as stock.
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:04   #523
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

On the Magnum:
Now that this seems to be the thread to discuss the Magnum, i'm being attracted here too amd fond many of you from the fiesta thread. Still not have gone for the fiesta test drive despite many calls from the rep. Dil nahi lagrahai.

A short test drive left me liking what i hated most on the other contenders, "the rear seat" and I find the finishing on the LT superb and very VFM. Only that the dash is dated and has no modern gadgets.

How is the body/paint and build quality. The beaten up and rusting Tavera's come to mind first to me as chevy products. Only now i started looking at optra's. Since i'm a long time vehicle retainer if i'm happy, this is the first and foremost question.

What is the fuel efficiency that one gets when driven sanely?

Thanks You for your inputs
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Old 23rd July 2011, 17:13   #524
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Quote:
Originally Posted by optimist
On the Magnum:
Now that this seems to be the thread to discuss the Magnum, i'm being attracted here too amd fond many of you from the fiesta thread. Still not have gone for the fiesta test drive despite many calls from the rep. Dil nahi lagrahai.

A short test drive left me liking what i hated most on the other contenders, "the rear seat" and I find the finishing on the LT superb and very VFM. Only that the dash is dated and has no modern gadgets.

How is the body/paint and build quality. The beaten up and rusting Tavera's come to mind first to me as chevy products. Only now i started looking at optra's. Since i'm a long time vehicle retainer if i'm happy, this is the first and foremost question.

What is the fuel efficiency that one gets when driven sanely?

Thanks You for your inputs
Hey Optimist. Did you test drive at Sundaram motors? How much did they quote you?
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Old 23rd July 2011, 19:19   #525
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Default Re: Choosing a Spacious Diesel Sedan upto 12L

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Hey Optimist. Did you test drive at Sundaram motors? How much did they quote you?
Took the LT for a round. Nice vehicle. Wife found the rear seat very nice. i found the power very tempting too. My purse is happy too. WIN-WIN-WIN.

As i am looking to keep the car for long period, 7-8 years, 1.5 lakh kms, i'm not too bothered about the resale.

Have a proforma for 11.07 lakh. That is after some discount of approx 30K from Cheyrolet and TVS. Did you go look at it also? maybe the dud pricing of the fiesta will be the optra's gain. The supposed FE of the Fiesta and the fresh looks are it's saving grace.

I'm going on Sunday, post lunch to have a detailed discussion and clear some doubts.
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