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Old 29th September 2007, 13:55   #1
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Default Buying Innova - TD'ed Diesel, Petrol, Safari, CRV

Not sure if I should make this a new post, but could not find a place to put it elsewhere.

I have been looking out for a second car - I have a Petra - for sometime. Due to improved financial situation, I was ready to go upto a Camry at a stretch. Sofa like comfort in mumbai traffic was the overriding concern above all else. The car was to be driver-driven most of the time with me chipping in only when the driver is not available. I ended up deciding to buy a Diesel Innova. My experiences are below.

The requirement was for a large spacious vehicle to relax in while being driven on the bad roads and long hours of bombay traffic with an occasional trip to Goa etc.

- Decided that I wanted only a SUV type of large vehicle since I already have a decent Sedan. I'm however planning to sell off the Petra sometime soon due to lack of availability of Fiat spare parts. Anyway, so Camry, Accord etc was off the list for now.

- My first choice from reading TBHP was Tuscon. But the local dealer said they did not have any TD vehicle and he had to get his boss's friend to give his vehicle for TD or something like that. Also, the delivery was apparently straight from Korea and would take 3-4 months. That scared me off and apparently to good reason since Hyundai is phasing out Tuscon.

- Next TD was Safari. I really really like its looks and badly wanted one.
The test drive showed that Safari was the most comfortable of the lot over rough tarmac. BUT, it had more body roll than others. My wife was thrown all over the cabin while riding over bumpy roads in the unloaded Safari and felt car sick. When I took the wheel I found the handling too truck like - very rough gear shifting, vibrating stick, play in the clutch and steering. I definitely won't want to drive it myself into the city when my driver is away. So sadly enough Safari was out.

- Next was Innova Diesel. - I'm still quite bothered by its horrible looks and feel embarrassed to be seen driving one (call me petty). But being driven in the diesel innova was surprisingly comfortable. The body roll was low enough for my wife to be happy, it soaked up the potholes quite well. The only problem was the diesel engine vibrations which are more than one would like. When I took the wheel, i found it less nicer to drive than the Petra. The steering was very good, but shifting and gear ratios (higher torque but lower speeds) is something I don't expect to ever quite enjoy. But the driving experience was OK enough that I can bear to drive it on an emergency.

- Then I TD'ed petrol innova, due to posts in TBHP. Petrol Innova is almost as smooth to drive as my Petra. The only difference being the taller gear shift with a little extra vibration than Petra. But overall its a very very easy vehicle to drive quite like a car. HOWEVER, to my surprise I found the Petrol Innova to have a noticeably harder ride than Diesel. I checked that the TD vehicle was newer than the Diesel one, still the ride was not as soft was Diesel. This I can only attribute to the lower weight of the Petrol. This was a problem since I will mostly be driven around rather than drive myself.

- In an attempt to get both driving and riding comfort I TD'ed CRV AT. It was the greening colour one. Its a posh and beautiful looking vehicle with quite classy interiors. Needless to say it was a breeze to drive with a perfect driver's seat with all those adjustments. BUT, the ride in the back seat was harsher than Diesel Innova !!!. IN fact what I felt was that CRV was quite good in handling pot holes but not small bumps. Its like the suspension is designed to handle tarmac that's broken away but not lumps of tar/mud/stuff sticking out. So when I deliberately drove it over a fairly large pothole it would be barely noticeable, but overall on a broken and badly redone road it was quite bumpy. Also the tire noise in the cabin was higher than Innova - but the engine itself was super quiet. The rear seats were only partially reclinable unlike amazing set of options in Innova including fully reclinable second row seats. Overall, it felt that the money was going to make the driver happy and for the good looks in CRV - not to make the passergers more comfortable.


Considering all the above, I decided (though with a rather heavy heart) to buy Diesel Innova as the most practical and comfortable vehicle to be driven in below 25 lacs - while retaining the option of driving it myself once in a while if requried.


I'm finalizing the deal with Madhuban today evening for a champagne gold V model. I'm not planning to add any cladding or other external accessories to keep the vehicle as sleek looking as possible. Will let you know how it went.

Finally, I'm planning to buy the 8 seater in my company (proprietorship) name. It seems an 8 seater in company name gets a yellow plate. The yearly tax is higher, but Toyota gives a 50,000 rupee discount to cover the additional tax cost for 2 years. Also, I can claim depreciation in company account. I will most likely sell in 3 years. In this context, I want to know if there is any problem in driving around in a yellow plate in city and crossing state limits ? extra harassment etc ?

thanks,
CF
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Old 29th September 2007, 16:16   #2
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i suggest you buy the 7 seater unless you need the 8. the bucket seats in that are more comfortable than the 8 seater and even have armrests. since you main priority is comfort IMO it makes more sense for the 7 seater.

another thing you should do is make sure they give you bridgestone tyres on your car then upgrade your tyres to better ones. the reason to ask for bridgestone with your car is so that when upgrading youll get a better price than the crappy goodyear gt3s.

some more things you should get are sunfilm(including the windscreen which lets in alot of heat) , parking sensors (very useful in bombay), more powerful headlights (the stock ones are underpowered),
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:25   #3
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Good choice, Innova is really good car like MUV.

I found 8 seator is comfortable for my requirement, but many people said 7 seator option is
nice as well.

Except for looks no vehicle in the range can beat Innova.

I own Petrol Innova with Goodyear tyre. I like every aspects except for tyres. I get FE around 7 to 11 kmpl.

Make sure it comes with Bridgestone not goodyear.

Already my 2 goodyear stock tyres are gone (one has external bulge and other tyre has become as if its used for 40,000km.) I have clocked 20,000km.

Innova is fresh every day We never feel like it needs service. Amazing product by Toyota. looks like Slightly overpriced but it has quality inside!

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:37   #4
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Ravi - Innova has a habit of premature tyre wear. Tyres dont last more then 20000kms on the Innova.
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:40   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Ravi - Innova has a habit of premature tyre wear. Tyres dont last more then 20000kms on the Innova.
my g3s have done 20k. and they will last more.
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:43   #6
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Quote:
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my g3s have done 20k. and they will last more.
They arenot stock tyres na & Bridgestones are harder compound, last a bit more.
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Old 29th September 2007, 19:46   #7
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CF,

Have you considered Pajero ? It is great in every aspect (other than interiors and the fact that middle row is two seater).
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Old 29th September 2007, 21:53   #8
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I agree BUSA about stock Innova Tyres, Guy who did balancing and alignment said stock Tyres of Innova are bad especially Goodyear, He says better you upgrade to 225/60 R15 the moment you buy Innova Michellin or Bridgestone his choice although he don't sell tyres he says they are best set of tyres in India as of now.

So CF, If you buy Innova if your budget permits upgrade your tyres.

Regards,

Ravi.
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Old 29th September 2007, 23:38   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
Ravi - Innova has a habit of premature tyre wear. Tyres dont last more then 20000kms on the Innova.
I've seen Innovas past 30000kms with stock tyres with tread left for some more.

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Old 30th September 2007, 00:00   #10
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Quote:
They arenot stock tyres na & Bridgestones are harder compound, last a bit more.
Our Innova is running stock tyres and 15k kms down, they're still in good shape. The tyres will easily last more than 20K kms. Tyre wear depends on a lot of factors.

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Old 30th September 2007, 04:03   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BUSA View Post
They arenot stock tyres na & Bridgestones are harder compound, last a bit more.


My diesel Innova done 52,000Kms on stock GoodYear tyres and time for change now,,,
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Old 30th September 2007, 09:31   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vittalnrv View Post
My diesel Innova done 52,000Kms on stock GoodYear tyres and time for change now,,,
IMO 52k is a bit too much.
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Old 30th September 2007, 10:06   #13
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OK, I have to apologize to forum readers and say that I have changed my mind about the first post. That was done with just 10 minutes of Test Drives in the middle of a very busy time. But when the sales person took me to their showroom to finalize the deal in a Diesel Innova, the ride was over 30 minutes in stop and go traffic. I found the Diesel very rough as apart from the vibrations (which I did notice the first time) it also made me lurch forward each time the driver changed gears or took his foot off the accelerator in lower gears. I was quite unhappy by the time I reached Madhuban Toyota.

At the dealership I again took a TD (driven) on the same roads with a petrol innova and felt a huge difference. I still think Diesel is a little softer on suspension than Petrol but overall comfort is higher in Petrol in city traffic. On highways I don't think there will be much difference.

SO I have changed my mind and has put down a booking amount for a petrol 8 seater innova. I don't like bucket seats because they feel too restrictive. I like to spread out a bit and change my posture during long drives.

I was also mistaken about the Rs 50,000 discount on company registration. This was a natural result of the fact that for individual registration there is a 74000 (approx) life time tax while for company there is a 21000 (approx) yearly fee. But Toyota is giving a 34,000 discount on all Innovas (atleast the V versions) till Oct 4th. Also bombay cess is apaprently going to increase by 8% (thats 80,000 Rs for V model) from Oct 4th.

Also, I was told that if I take a company registration for an 8 seater, then I will get a yellow plate with Maharashtra only permit. Each time I took the vehicle out of state, I will need a temporary permit.

Finally, about the CRV TD, looking back at the short TD, i can't quite say whether my feeling that CRV was harsher than Innova was the result of different expectations. However, I can confidently say that there certainly isn't much to choose between the two - except that Innova has more comfortable and flexible seating arrangements.
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Old 30th September 2007, 10:58   #14
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If you can afford a CR-V, do yourself a favour and test drive the Pajero. That is the cheapest real SUV available in the market.
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Old 30th September 2007, 11:09   #15
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the petrol innova is also pretty nice but do upgrade the things i mentioned in my first post. did you see the mileage of the diesel innova you did a td in because in my diesel innova there are no more vibrations than a petrol innova except at the gear lever. and you getting lurched forward purely depends on the driver. anyway youve made up your mind.
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