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Old 1st October 2012, 10:15   #1
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Default The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

This is my hunt for the next vehicle to replace My ka Laal (My ka Laal: Swift - Oye VDi, VDi Oye! - 12 months, 29.3k km UPDATE)! Its done 90k now, has had its share of bust ups and now its share of component failures.

Just spent 36k on replacing synchros, clutch and the turbocharger (aftermath of a 1 year old accident). it seems to be running fine - returned a 24.7 kpl average yesterday and feels good. Yet the nagging feeling of unreliability doesn't go away (till 87k, it had simply been a fill it shut it, forget it car) - I am not averse to spending money. I am only apprehensive that its not 100% reliable anymore. The axles will need work (at full turn, there is one or two clicks) and the rattling is now bad. IF I trusted the car, it is driving fun enough that I wouldn't mind owning it till 2L km - but the turbocharger episode has made me lose faith - both on the car and Maruti.

With Daksh now being 15 months, we are getting back into touring mode. I want to have a car that can be driven out at a whim/fancy, and clock a trouble free 500-700km journey across all kinds of roads. We do feel cramped in the swift, and would like to have some more space, but are not sure of what incremental value other vehicles will provide. For all you know, we may just end up owning another hatch.


The budget is not fixed: I can easily spend upto 10L (if i see value) but will be willing to spend upto 13 if I ultimately settle for an Innova G series (and then will buy with a 7-8 year horizon). I will sacrifice ABS/airbags then.

We are a family of 3. Occasionally my mother would join us. Once in a blue moon, it may be a sibling with spouse/kid(s).

The first alternative is:
Repair the car as and when problems arise - spend some 10-15k on replacing ALL rubber parts (thanks drpullockaran for his posts) as well as the 'boot' on the axle.

Now if I were to replace it - I would have the following considerations:
  • Closely meet or exceed the overall Swift experience - Fun to drive, frugal, competent on the highways (quick to brake, quick to accelerate), mostly reliable in the first 80k of ownership
  • Frugal engine - My wife has this one criterion only
  • Airbags (and ABS if possible) - You only live once. I may concede on this aspect if I buy the Innova because that is darned expensive on road.
  • Should not be too tough to park – Our underground parking is quite narrow and the swift fits in easily. The Innova etc will need much cajoling.
  • Long warranty (150k ideally) – the 80k extended warranty from Maruti is NOT enough for me.
  • Warranty on repairs – Maruti does NOT give warranty on repairs. I am NOT keen to go back to them for this single reason. Infact, the turbocharger failure is the single cause for my anxiety over the car’s reliability.
  • Decent service in Gurgaon (I will fathom this myself). Back in 2008, I had dropped Fiat on this reason itself, all because of Dhingra Motors.
Nice to have stuff:
  • Comfortable ride – I would be okay with the ride provided by Duster which is awesome in bad roads as well, unlike Ertiga which is quite swiftlike in its bad road approach and is NOT fun to drive.
  • Ability to carry a cycle or two – esp if it’s a SUV/MUV! Can I carry a roadbike with its tyres detached, in the rear boot of a Quanto?
  • 4x4. I haven’t thought about it in depth, but I am no tanveer. I have not really done those kinda trips in a long time, nor do I fancy doing them with a kid. I will encounter
  • Under body protection. Else I will get it done myself at my contact – just like I did for the swift.
  • Lie down / flat bed – I remember pics from the Evalia review, where you can roll up middle/ last row of seats and then Daksh can have a play area to himself. It becomes a veritable camping ground too ! But its not too safe IMHO. You can do this in a way with Ertiga, but not much.
Note that I have excluded the following:
  • Good looks
  • Good looking interiors (though i love the utalitarian interiors in ertiga and micra for instance, i dont care about i20)
  • Tata and associated brands
  • Maruti – Because of the warranty angle. I may choose them again, but honestly, their policies and approach to warranty does not inspire one bit of confidence.
SO what am I considering?
Nissan Sunny / Evalia
Renault Duster
Scorpio 4x4 - it will be a good go-anywhere vehicle
Quanto? Its a hatchback on steroids and I need to see whether it gives more value or not.
Ford Figo (if I settle back into a hatch) / Ecosport
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Old 1st October 2012, 10:34   #2
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

It would be nice to look at an XUV W6. It is 1 Lakh more expensive in bangalore, don't know your price in Delhi. But it would fit your needs.

I agree there are minor niggles but it is quite a good vehicle.
From the warranty perspective they have a 100000 Km 3 year warranty. I am sure there may be some extended warranty options.

Note from Mod : Appreciate if you DO NOT use SMS type language on forum. Please read the rules before proceeding further. Next time will invite infraction

Last edited by GTO : 3rd October 2012 at 15:59.
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Old 1st October 2012, 11:16   #3
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Saar,

150K Kms warranty ?, I think no company offers such warranty.

Trust me 10L is middle of now where budget.

I would suggest you stretch a little and go for XUV W6 or you can settle for Vento Tdi.

Duster is starting to look over priced and and is slowly entering XUV territory. But the engine is known to last several lakh kilometers.

Scorpio is an old and outdated product now.

Ford Ecosport looks interesting but the launch date is unknown.

Last edited by F150 : 1st October 2012 at 11:20.
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Old 1st October 2012, 11:32   #4
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by F150 View Post
150K Kms warranty ?, I think no company offers such warranty.
Right !
The best I recall of late, is 3 years / 1.2L kms with extended warranty for the Figo.
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Old 1st October 2012, 11:34   #5
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
[/list]SO what am I considering?
Nissan Sunny / Evalia
Renault Duster
Scorpio 4x4 - it will be a good go-anywhere vehicle
Quanto? Its a hatchback on steroids and I need to see whether it gives more value or not.
Ford Figo (if I settle back into a hatch) / Ecosport
Since you do not need a 4WD or an AT, I d recommend the Duster. It is a no nonsense, reliable frugal vehicle that can munch miles effortlessly and cocoon 4 people in comfort like few others.
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Old 1st October 2012, 11:39   #6
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
Yet the nagging feeling of unreliability doesn't go away (till 87k, it had simply been a fill it shut it, forget it car) - I am not averse to spending money. I am only apprehensive that its not 100% reliable anymore.
As a car gets old, certain wear & tear parts will need replacement (e.g. your axles). If the car is basically reliable & of good quality, parts once replaced won't need a revisit for another long period (unlike some Europeans, including the one in my house). Selling a car because the wear & tear parts need replacement is like buying a new house because your current home needs new furniture.

Quote:
will be willing to spend upto 13 if I ultimately settle for an Innova G series
Rule the Innova out : You don't need the space which is its USP. No need to lug around 1,600 kilos of metal running empty. The Innova is expensive and not as fun to drive or fuel efficient as the other options you have.

Quote:
Repair the car as and when problems arise - spend some 10-15k on replacing ALL rubber parts (thanks drpullockaran for his posts) as well as the 'boot' on the axle.
This is what I'd do. Invest the money you'd otherwise spend on a new car. Then, buy a better new car (as your budget would have increased with the smart investments ).

Quote:
Long warranty (150k ideally) – the 80k extended warranty from Maruti is NOT enough for me.
While the warranty period is important, pay more attention to the reliability of the car. My Tata Indigo had a 4 year / 80k warranty, my used Civic had none. Yet, the Civic has proven 100% reliable in the 3+ years I've had it, while the Indigo was a nightmare to own (even though the repairs were free for 4 years).

Quote:
Comfortable ride
Ability to carry a cycle or two
Under body protection
Lie down / flat bed
Good looks
From the SUVs, it would be the Renault Duster (top recommendation). You might want to wait for the Ford EcoSport as well. From a segment above, take a spin in the Skoda Yeti; extremely competent car, but you will have to take a gamble on the reliability & Skoda's after-sales.

Amongst sedans, I'd highly recommend the Nissan Sunny to you. Always brings a smile when commuting in the city. I love the Rapid & Vento too albeit, like the Yeti, you'll be gambling on long term reliability, expensive parts & after-sales quality.

Last edited by GTO : 1st October 2012 at 12:08.
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Old 1st October 2012, 12:57   #7
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
As a car gets old, certain wear & tear parts will need replacement (e.g. your axles). If the car is basically reliable & of good quality, parts once replaced won't need a revisit for another long period (unlike some Europeans, including the one in my house). Selling a car because the wear & tear parts need replacement is like buying a new house because your current home needs new furniture.
GTO, your point of view is always amazing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
From the SUVs, it would be the Renault Duster (top recommendation). .
RXZ 110 Ex showroom is Rs 11,11,324
W6 Ex showroom is Rs 11,61,001

I would go with W6. Even the lowest variant on XUV has almost the same or more features than RXZ, and we get 30 more horses
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Old 1st October 2012, 13:09   #8
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

+1 with GTO
Do check out the Yeti if you have the budget for it. Its a sensible and safe fun to drive car that is good for long distance touring.
and Please, don't sacrifice the safety (ABS, airbags etc)
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Old 1st October 2012, 13:30   #9
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Hitanshu - If you can look at 13L range, go for the Yeti Active. I guess it is only slightly more expensive than that. The 4WD edition is a lot more expensive though.
Buy it with the extended warranty etc. and it'll be a car that will keep you happy.
Nothing else will give you that level of refinement and driving pleasure. It also comes with a host of accessory options, including cycle racks.

A relatively distant second on my list would be the Duster in the 85 BHP trim. Second, only when compared to a Yeti. It trumps everything else in it's price range.

If you really need a 4x4, then the Scorpio LX 4WD also makes a lot of sense. A couple of friends have recently picked this up, and I quite like what I see. However, the ride comfort will leave a lot to be desired. Best leave this out though, considering that you are not crazy about a 4WD.

A comfortable VFM Sedan - Sunny gets the pick, all considered.

As GTO said, if you don't really need that kind of space, no point hauling around that Evalia or the Innova.

Quanto - Seriously?

P.S. Maybe this is the prefect pretext for a Quick-Meat. What say?
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Old 1st October 2012, 15:28   #10
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Quote:
Originally Posted by phamilyman View Post
SO what am I considering?
Nissan Sunny / Evalia
Renault Duster
Scorpio 4x4 - it will be a good go-anywhere vehicle
Quanto? Its a hatchback on steroids and I need to see whether it gives more value or not.
Ford Figo (if I settle back into a hatch) / Ecosport
One question - If you're okay with a M&M product, then why not Tata? With Tata & M&M, whether you get a niggle full or free vehicle totally depends on which side of the bed you get out of. So, one is as good [or bad] as another, at least IMO Anyway, if you change your mind about blacklisting Tata, then the Safari is the best long distance tourer out there. Think about it.

If you're okay with a Scorpio, then might as well check out the refreshed Xylo too. It has amazing space, body roll is lesser than the Scorpio [or so I've heard], the mEagle is a proven engine and the E8 with ABS and Airbags will fit in 13L easily, with room to spare. Forum member "gsferrari" has recently bought one and gone to Leh in it.

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 1st October 2012 at 15:41.
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Old 1st October 2012, 16:13   #11
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

For SUV - Two options fits most of your requirements - XUV and Duster. The only major downside vis-a-vis Duster in the XUV is little bit hard/bumpy ride quality on bad roads. On all other aspects XUV will give you more pleasure to own and drive whether you opt for W6 or W8.
XUV has more fun to drive engine and gear ratios, safety features, oodles of space which duster lacks, superb AC. A.S.S. wise i think at this point of time Mahindra and Renault are equal in my opinion. Duster and XUV both boasts of well tried and tested engines.
If you are ok with mediocre interior quality and space for only two that back seats offer than do opt for Duster for its superb ride quality.

For Sedans - Space & Comfort - Tata Manza and Nissan Sunny. Better take test drives of both since on paper Manza may not compete with Sunny on the Frugal Engine basis and pick the one you like the most. Its true that A.S.S. of Tata's is concerning but in case of Manza with multijet engine, it's a different story. I am quoting it on the basis of the ownership experiences of my friend who owns two Manza at home.

Last edited by superbhikari : 1st October 2012 at 16:16. Reason: Engine-wise requirement added
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Old 1st October 2012, 18:24   #12
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

i think what you are looking at is a vehicle with decent ground clearance and very little body roll for the highways.

Vehicles which are too big for your requirement - scorpio/safari/innova
Duster/Yeti - too new to market, serviceablity not yet known.
Quanto - body roll - not really an upgrade from swift.
Eco-sport - if in no hurry you should wait for this to come out.

At 13 lakhs are you willing to look at used fortunners? While being as big as scorpio/safari, at least they will be major maintenance free. If you are thinking of finance, then used cars are out - prohibitive rates.

SX4 diesel ZDI with airbags - best compromise car - I think with rear seats down, a cycle can be carried, after releasing front wheel. Use it for 50k kms, and then sell it - maruti diesel will get a premium if the vehicle has not crossed 60k kms. Then go buy a big tank.

ps: Ertiga could be a similar option, if the waiting period is fine by you, and if it has an option for airbags.

Last edited by manolin : 1st October 2012 at 18:27.
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Old 1st October 2012, 19:41   #13
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Well, I too was in the same boat a few weeks ago.

I was looking to replace my 2005 Esteem with a 4wd family tourer. Spent 2-3 months in used car market for SUV (Bolero/Scorpio/Innova) without satisfaction.
Then took test drives of Safari/Scorpio/Bolero/Xylo.
Finally considering a lot of factors booked Scorpio LX 4wd two weeks back.

I felt Scorpio, even if old model is still better. Same was the case when i bought Esteem in 2005.
Factors i considered were Reliability, Fuel Economy, 4WD, Service Availability, Maintenance cost, looks...
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Old 1st October 2012, 21:55   #14
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

If you are a family of three with some occasional visitors and are going to drive within city/good roads and are not keen to take your car for mud plugging, why to spend a fortune on a fuel guzzling SUV/MUV. It would also require extra efforts for parking in and around Delhi. Settle down for a feature packed and FTD sedan.

You could look @:
1. The Nissan Sunny - ++ Space/Fuel Efficient
2. The Vento/Rapid - ++ Engine performance/FTD
3. The Ford Classic (Top Model) - ++ VFM/Frugal Engine/FTD
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Old 1st October 2012, 22:18   #15
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Default Re: The search for the Family Long Distance Tourer begins

Does the swift meet all your requirements now. If so, you are better off doing a complete overhaul of whatever parts are at the end of their life and then continuing with the car. Not only is it way cheaper, you are also comfortable and used to the car. That can make a huge difference to your son
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