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Old 9th April 2017, 02:00   #1
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Default MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Dear Team-BHPians, I am involved in a serious conflict between my head and heart and need your suggestions.

Background :
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My current car is a 2010 Ritz zxi, 45000+ KM driven so far. A very good practical city car without a doubt. The K12 petrol engine is zippy enough for city traffic and a decent highway cruiser too. Last year, I was blessed with a son; hence road trips took a back seat for sometime. In Jan 2017, I decided to take my family to Goa (me, wifey and the little one 8 months old then). Now, for the little one, I need to carry a lot of things whenever I go out. An infant car-seat is fitted in the rear bench. I need to carry a folded stroller in the boot and lots of bottles, flasks, water-heater, sterilizer etc. After fitting the infant-seat, the rear bench is effectively half occupied. And there is hardly any boot space left after keeping the stroller. There is no space for my parents or friends to accompany us in the car on long drives.
Thus I started looking for a bigger car to replace the Ritz.

Requirements for my new car; in order of importance, highest first:-
  • Safety : ABS, Dual airbags minimum. I always look for the highest trim of any car that comes in my budget as that trim will usually have all the safety measures available for that model.
  • Rear seat space: the new car should have a rear seat wide enough for 2 adults and an infant seat. Effectively, space for 3 adults to seat comfortably over long drives.
  • Ride Comfort: My wife will accompany my son in the rear seat always. So a good ride quality is must. Bouncy ride & excessive horizontal movement is a big no no.
  • Build quality & Reliability : Looking for a reliable & sturdy car. Should not ‘feel’ like driving a tin can. Should not sway sideways on a highway when a bigger vehicle is overtaking in the next lane. Expecting minimum niggles with the new car.
  • Boot space: the new car should have a good boot space to carry a stroller & other baby needs plus weekend trip luggage of 4 adults.
  • Highway Performance : On highways the car should be able to comfortably cruise at 100 - 120 KMph all day with few rare occasions of 140+ in smooth deserted stretches. Overtaking other vehicles on highways should not be a strain on the engine.
  • Servicing : Servicing should be tension-free. I have had a smooth A.S.S. experience with Maruti for the last 7 years.
  • City Performance : I don’t drag race between traffic lights on city streets; so I am not expecting a hot-hatch-type performance. The new car shouldn’t fall back when the signal becomes green and other cars are already far ahead. I would hate to be honked at by all the vehicles behind.
  • Ground Clearance : The car should have decent ground clearance. My ritz, when fully loaded with 4 adults, scrapes some of the huge speed-breakers of Bangalore.
  • Fuel : Diesel. Sometimes I feel the need of more torque while going uphill fully loaded. A diesel mill should provide additional torque.
  • Fuel Efficiency : FE is the last thing in this list. Anything in the range of 15 KMPL in real world scenario is good enough for me.
Driving habit:
  • I drive with a light right foot in the city. Clutch usage is frequent.
  • On weekdays, my daily office travel is 10 KM ( 5 KM each way). This may increase if I change my job.
  • At least one weekend per month is kept for long drives (~ 500 KM).
  • Some of the roads I travel are village roads (broken, non-tarred). Again, I feel the need of good GC.

Budget:
I have fixed a budget of on-road 12-13 L in Bangalore.

Cars shortlisted according to budget :
( Disclaimer: The pros and cons listed here for different vehicles are my personal views. I do not intend to portray any vehicle inferior or superior to another one. All vehicles are special in their own way; I just tried to match my requirements with vehicle characteristics based on short test drives.)

1. TUV300 :
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Heard a lot about this car. Took a TD on a Sunday morning.
Pros : 1) high seating position; good visibility all round
2) rear seat is very wide. Comfortably seats 3.
3) GC is good (although it says 180mm but looks more).
4) boot space is OK with the jump seats folded.
Cons : 1) ride quality is very bouncy. Specially at low speeds on broken road. Worse than my Ritz.
Verdict : Rejected by family due to ride quality.

2. Vitara Brezza :
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The current sensation from Maruti stable. Checked out the vehicle in Maruti showroom.
Pros : 1) Good driver seating position.
2) GC is good.
3) Maruti A.S.S.
Cons : 1) boot space is less than I expected
2) 3 healthy adults in the rear seat will be a tight fit

Verdict : undecided. TD not yet taken.

3. Ecosport Tdci:
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I had a thing for this car when it was launched few years back. Took a short TD.
Pros : 1) Build quality: Super
2) Good Driving position and good driver seat-back support
3) very nice interiors
4) GC is very good.
Cons : 1) Rear seat space is same as my current car.
2) Boot space is not upto my requirement.
Verdict : I would have loved to buy this. But rejected it after much deliberation due to lack of space.

4. i20 Active :
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I have never driven a Hyundai before. Took a short TD on ORR bangalore.
Pros : 1) The AC is a chiller.
2) Easier to chuck around in city traffic due to small footprint.
3) Hyundai A.S.S.
Cons : 1) Feels like a regular hatch
2) Steering is very light , not upto my liking
Verdict : I don’t have any better way to put this : I Could not connect with the car. May be its me, but after the TD I felt this is not the one for me.

5. Creta :
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This car is way out of my budget; still took a short TD of petrol SX version..
Pros : 1) Super silent cabin. Very good NVH management
2) Lovely interiors. Loaded with goodies.
3) Refined & powerful 122 BHP petrol engine
4) Adequate space for my needs
5) Hyundai A.S.S.
Cons : 1) Exorbitant pricing. diesel version is way out of my budget.
2) Super light steering.
Verdict : Only the E+ petrol trim is in my budget. Liked the vehicle but rejected due to budget constraints

6. Nuvosport :
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Same underpinning as TUV300. Still took a short TD.
Pros : 1) Better interiors & ICE (compared to TUV300)
2) high seating position; good visibility all round
3) rear seat is very wide. Comfortably seats 3. 60:40 split. reclinable.
5) GC is good (although it says 180mm but looks more).
6) boot space is OK with the jump seats folded.
Cons : 1) very bouncy ride for the rear row.
Verdict : Nicely packaged from Mahindra. But rejected due to poor rear seat ride comfort. Otherwise ticks almost all my boxes.

7. Ertiga :
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Another hot seller from Maruti.
Pros: 1) brilliant space utilization.
2) reliable and proven 1.3 MJD engine
3) car like handling
4) VFM package
5) Maruti A.S.S.
Cons : 1) turbo lag before 2000 RPM
2) Owner reviews that say 1.3 MJD is underpowered for this car
2) beige interiors will get dirty easily
3) GC on paper is 185 mm. But looks and feels less ~ 170 mm. Especially when fully loaded (5 adults)
Verdict : Really liked how the car is packaged. Total VFM. Contender number 1.

8. Duster :
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Took TD of the 85 PS version.
Pros : 1) brilliant ride comfort
2) negligible turbo lag
3) good space in rear seat. 3 adults can seat comfortably.
4) huge boot
5) highest GC

Cons : 1) Only Rxs & Rxz is available with dual airbags. Rxs falls within my budget. Interiors (other than Rxz trim) are not to my taste
2) Renault A.S.S. is still a hit or miss
Verdict : Really liked the ride comfort of this car. Rxs trim is within budget if negotiated strongly.Contender number 2.

Constraints :
I have only 1 parking space in my building society, so I have to let the Ritz go. I am expecting at least 2L for it although the offers are less (as it was involved in an accident 4 yrs back; maybe telling this upfront to the prospective buyer is automatically bringing down the starting price). The exchange offer from Maruti True value and Renault will weigh a lot on my final decision.

Conflict :
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So the final contenders are Maruti Ertiga ZDI+ and Renault Duster 85PS Rxs. The head says Ertiga while the heart tells me nothing but the Duster will do.
  • Ertiga ticks almost all the boxes but does not excel in any particular field.
  • Duster has that SUV charm which is hard to ignore.
  • Different seating permutations release a lot of space in Ertiga
  • An infant seat (with my son) + 4 adults + 1 kid (4-5 yrs old) (this is the max number of people I’ll carry in any case) looks like a very tight fit in a duster
  • Ertiga GC is a big concern. On paper it is 185 mm, but in actual it looks like that of a Swift ~ 170 mm. I have apprehensions about scraping the bottom if 5 adults are on board. Existing owners please comment with your experience.
  • For Ertiga, if I upsize tyres to 205/60/R15, will it increase GC? Stock tyre spec is 185/65/R15.
  • Build quality of Ertiga : Existing owners please comment.
  • Duster is a lot heavier than Ertiga. I presume it has a lot to do with the sheet metal thickness.
  • Long drive comfort : Which car will be more comfortable for passengers in long drives covering over 15 hours in a day.
  • A.S.S. of Renault : Existing owners please comment.
  • Maruti A.S.S. : still the best in the country

Please Note:
1. I have not considered any sedan for 2 reason: firstly, I enjoy a relatively high driver seating position in my Ritz and want the same high seating position in my next car. Secondly, sedans have lower GC compared to the vehicles mentioned above. But feel free to suggest if a sedan fulfills at least some of the requirements stated above and comes in my budget.
2. I considered S-cross 1.3 but could not manage to get either salesperson attention nor a scope of test drive in a visibly customer packed nexa showroom for 2 consecutive weekend afternoons. S-cross 1.6 is way out of my budget. Please suggest if I am missing out by not considering S-cross 1.3 since Brezza & Ertiga too have essentially the same engine and drivetrain.

** Image source: Google image search
Image copyright : respective owners

Last edited by ankan.m.blr : 9th April 2017 at 02:06.
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Old 9th April 2017, 03:46   #2
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IMO Honda Jazz (or W-RV) , S-Cross fits the bill. But I would still suggest that you go for Duster due to its superb ride quality. I haven't driven it or even sat inside but have read and heard great reviews about it.

Also the all-round flexible package that Ertiga is also makes for a compelling buy but it wouldn't be as exciting to own as a Duster would.
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Old 9th April 2017, 03:47   #3
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
2. I considered S-cross 1.3 but could not manage to get either salesperson attention nor a scope of test drive in a visibly customer packed nexa showroom for 2 consecutive weekend afternoons. S-cross 1.6 is way out of my budget. Please suggest if I am missing out by not considering S-cross 1.3 since Brezza & Ertiga too have essentially the same engine and drivetrain.
Yes. You are missing out by not considering S-Cross. Going through your requirements, I feel S-Cross will fit in really well. The 1.3 suits the car better than the Ertiga. GC & ride quality would be better than Ertiga, although might not be as good as Duster. ASS - familiar Maruti territory for you. Decently high seating position. Rear seat width for 3 - would like owners to comment.

But, when spending this money, guess will be good to have a look at S-Cross. Try a different Nexa outlet. Or wait for the initial Baleno RS buzz to die down. Or try a weekday, if possible.

It is definitely a car worth considering. It might win both, your heart and head.
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Old 9th April 2017, 03:57   #4
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Consider the S cross. Since you are not very keen on the performance, the 1.3 should be good enough. It will fulfill all your needs except for boot space, maybe.

The boot would only be a little larger than the Ecosport which you have already rejected. I would strongly suggest you to take another look at the ecosport and for your running, even the petrol ecoboost would be a great choice. Do try to load up the boot with an example of the luggage that you are likely to carry.

S cross and Ecosport are much more solid and better for highways than the Ertiga. Look at it only if the big boot(with 5 people) is your criteria.
If you feel the GC could be an issue, look at the Honda BRV. That would cover all your needs and I checked the S petrol is under 12.5 lacs OTR bangalore and I'm sure honda is dishing out some tasty discounts.
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Old 9th April 2017, 09:48   #5
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Stop playing 'Listen To Your Heart' by Roxette. Postpone your 'cool car' desires for another 6 years. I don't know why there is even a conflict - the choice is obvious when I read this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
. Now, for the little one, I need to carry a lot of things whenever I go out. An infant car-seat is fitted in the rear bench. I need to carry a folded stroller in the boot and lots of bottles, flasks, water-heater, sterilizer etc. After fitting the infant-seat, the rear bench is effectively half occupied. And there is hardly any boot space left after keeping the stroller. There is no space for my parents or friends to accompany us in the car on long drives.
Quote:
An infant seat (with my son) + 4 adults + 1 kid (4-5 yrs old) (this is the max number of people I’ll carry in any case) looks like a very tight fit in a duster
Quote:
the new car should have a rear seat wide enough for 2 adults and an infant seat. Effectively, space for 3 adults to seat comfortably over long drives.
None of the shortlisted cars have a seat wide enough for 2 adults & a child seat. Etios & Zest perhaps, but those are sedans. You really need a 7 seater.

Your options -

1) Maruti Ertiga
2) Honda BR-V (I own one. No issues with build quality, rattles, things falling off or reliability. Extremely high levels of satisfaction among owners)
3) Renault Lodgy (It's a Duster with 3rd row of seats)

Perhaps you can buy an Ertiga in darker shade, and spend money over the next 6 years to increase its cool quotient. Snazzy alloys perhaps?

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Another interesting option is a pre-owned XUV 500 W4. Or a new XUV500 W4 if you can stretch your budget a bit.

Last edited by Gannu_1 : 9th April 2017 at 19:15. Reason: Corrected as requested.
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Old 9th April 2017, 09:50   #6
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

You can rule out Brezza, boot space won't fit the bill.

IMO, Duster & S-Cross would be ideal for your requirement. If you can live with the interior of Duster, your search should probably end there. S-Cross won't give you the driving position of an SUV.
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Old 9th April 2017, 09:58   #7
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Regarding the Ertiga:
1) Turbo lag would not be as bad as it is made out to be. It is a lot about changing gears at the right time, for that vehicle. Once you get the hang of how to keep the engine in the power band, you wont be thinking about this point.

2) GC. Again, dont think too much about it. If 185 feels like 170, then what about those that actually have 170 ?

3) Beige interiors ? Get the interiors cleaned professionally at least once in 6 months. Good for hygenie too.


One point about the Duster I would like to add is - if a facelift is coming, then go for that. Or get the current one with some discount at that time. The Duster definitely has a good ride, and loads of space - may be a little more than the Ertiga too.
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Old 9th April 2017, 15:37   #8
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S-Cross fits your bill, absolutely perfectly. In fact, from your list of requirements, only one car that comes to mind is the S-Cross. The 1.3 Zeta should be within your budget. It has everything you need, the safety features (airbags, ABS, ISOFIX, and all wheel disc brakes), all creature comforts including navigation, cruise control, and even a rear parking camera. Above all, it has loads of space, both front and rear. It even has a few very thoughtful convenient features - for example, a push-away parcel tray to access the boot from the rear seat - something that will be very convenient for your wife with an infant seated next to her. Many years ago, in Germany, I remember, we had to remove the parcel tray in our Ford Escort stationwagon so that my wife could access stuff from the boot, seated next to our months old son.

S-Cross 1.3 has a light clutch and in-city gear changes are very comfortable. It has sufficient power for you to drive at highway speeds.

But above all, no other car in your list has the driving dynamics of a S-Cross. It is well-planted on the road and has very stable manners at high speeds. It handles pothole ridden city roads quite well, so I expect it would be able to take on the village roads quite comfortably.

Getting in and out is a breeze, for its higher stance. Driving position is very good, with excellent visibility. (some cars look very attractive from out side, but pose practical problems in reality. For example, my wife is shortish and it was a struggle for her to get down from the car when we checked out the Creta. Many of these cars you mention look big from outside, but inside gives a cramped experience, for example Vitara Brezza and Ecosport).

It is very well built, very unlike Maruti, and atypical of Japanese. It has more like an European-build with Japanese reliability and peace of mind when it comes to service.

I have looked at the S-Cross, Creta, Ecosport, Vitara Brezza and some of the other cars in your list for my recent purchase. Believe me, I did not find anything close to the S-cross when you put everything together. It's another story, finally I decided to buy a small petrol automatic (VW Polo GT TSi), because we already have a bigger car (Honda City). But, as probably you know by now, the S-Cross has made a lasting impression on me. I honestly think, with your requirements, the S-Cross is the perfect car. Please take a serious look at the car and take a test drive.

My only uneasiness with S-Cross was that it is a diesel car, and I have never driven a diesel car before, and noise level inside the cabin was slightly higher than what I am used to. But diesel has its own advantages - the S-Cross 1.3 has mouth-watering (almost unbelievable) fuel economy. The 1.3 VGT engine also has minimal turbo lag and makes city driving quite comfortable. If you need more power, there is the 1.6 also available, but that has a price premium. I hear that a petrol S-Cross is also around the corner, perhaps later in the year.

Last edited by asitkde : 9th April 2017 at 15:42.
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Old 9th April 2017, 16:08   #9
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Consider the following cars -

1. Honda BR-V
2. Maruti S-Cross

If possible, try to stretch for a Creta. The base diesel is decently loaded and might fit in your budget. That would be the best option.
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Old 9th April 2017, 16:58   #10
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Default re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Brezza and Ertiga may have the same drivetrain BUT while they have the extra ground-clearance and are marketed and sold as SUVs/MUVs, do note that the suspension componentry that they come equipped with are just as strong/weak as would be in your current hatchback. The S-Cross in that regard is the perfect fit for you as it is underpinned with suspension that is upto the task when it comes to tackling rough roads and not only avoiding scraping the bottom but also not leading to too much wear and chassis flex in the long run. As for the Duster, it is an extremely outdated product and while the AWD and touchscreen infotainment system might fool some, do remember that it performs very poorly in crash safety tests since it is essentially nearly a decade old and more importantly designed by a third world manufacturer for use in third world countries (Dacia in Romania) don't let the Renault badge fool you.
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Old 9th April 2017, 17:41   #11
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Default Re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

The car that will appeal to your head & heart is undoubtedly the Hyundai Creta. From your post, it's obvious that you really like this all-rounded SUV. You only live once, so I'd suggest buying that.

BUT

There is currently a budget constraint. So here's what I would do in your position to eventually have my cake & eat it too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
And there is hardly any boot space left after keeping the stroller. There is no space for my parents or friends to accompany us in the car on long drives. Thus I started looking for a bigger car to replace the Ritz.
Your Ritz has done merely 45,000 km and you are happy with the car too. Now, space constraints are only there on long drives. For now, hold onto your Ritz; it's already depreciated heavily and an additional year or two of usage will lead to minimal loss of value.

What about the road-trips then? Well, am sure you don't head out every week. For that occasional road-trip, rent an XUV500 / Endeavour etc. from Zoom Car. Their home city is Bangalore and you'll always have a lot of choice. Myles by Carzonrent is also excellent.

Advantage of the above strategy: Using the Ritz for another year or two will save you big bucks, and (hopefully) you might also be able to increase your budget in 2018 / 2019. Whatever you were going to pay for the car, invest it now. Then, with those savings (from using the Ritz), earnings (investment instead of down payment) & fatter wallet (higher salary), go buy the Creta or whatever premium SUV is the best 1 - 2 years from now.

I believe that good cars are worth waiting for. Plus, the better the car you buy, the more you'll enjoy it & the longer you'll keep it. The advice I'm giving you is something I've followed myself.

Last edited by GTO : 9th April 2017 at 17:43.
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Old 9th April 2017, 17:58   #12
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Default Re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Ertiga is now available with all black interiors as a Limited Edition variant if it helps. But only in V variant.

Ertiga Limited Edition launched (Maruti Ertiga : Official Review)
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Old 10th April 2017, 00:46   #13
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Default Re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Post deleted by the Team-BHP Support : Please do NOT post messages that add little or no informational value to the thread. We need your co-operation to maintain the quality of this forum.

Please read our rules before proceeding any further. We request you to post ONLY when you have something substantial to add to a discussion.

Last edited by GTO : 10th April 2017 at 09:59.
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:39   #14
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Default Re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

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Thanks a lot for your suggestions, guys! the overwhelming majority suggestion is S-cross 1.3 although it was not in the fray
So duster is out of the contention, its Ertiga vs Scross now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
...
I totally agree with your view, GTO. But my family members are adament on getting a new car on the occassion of my son's first birthday (next month). I am not able to convince them :(

An update from my side : I have paid a token advance of Rs.10000/- to my Maruti dealer towards Ertiga Zdi+. Paid the amount as he was giving me max for my old car. Today afternoon or tomorrow I'll pay a visit to nexa and hopefully get a test drive of S-Cross 1.3. The 1.3 zeta seems to be within budget. I'll keep you guys updated about my nexa visit.
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Old 10th April 2017, 13:11   #15
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Default Re: MUV or SUV for 13 lakhs? A conflict between the head & heart

Quote:
Originally Posted by ankan.m.blr View Post
I totally agree with your view, GTO. But my family members are adament on getting a new car on the occassion of my son's first birthday (next month). I am not able to convince them :(
GTO's advice is spot on! Ertiga is no match against Creta, it's like a segment above by most standards.

In fact I'd not even consider S-Cross 1.3 because without the 1.6 engine I personally don't see anything great about it, not to mention we're putting it against Creta.

For a car that's doing perfectly fine it doesn't make sense to sell it. But when one decides to sell it I'd strongly suggest the next one not be a compromise because you already have one in your garage.
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