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Old 26th July 2010, 16:57   #16
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even though I do not fall in the category of "ladies" (far from it ) let me give you my inputs based on my wife's experience.

we had a tata safari (3.0 dicor) while we were living in Hyd, and my wife was a frequent user of the truck. she absolutely loved driving the Safari primarily for the reason that no one on the roads messed with that truck, everyone gave her the right of way and she had this feeling of security in the vehile.

she never complained of heavy controls or anything, the only issue being that it is a pain to park.

we now have an sx4 and she does not like driving it at all after having driven a safari for over two years.

But- one hting iwht the safari is that you whould be prepared for more than average "niggles" and issues- the main reason we sold ours off- it cannot match the reliability of a modern japanese sedan
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Old 28th July 2010, 09:22   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugeeta View Post
Dear All,

Many thanks for your views on the vehicles in question, i.e., sub 10 lac SUV's.

Armed with your valuable views, I plan to head for test drives of a few in the coming week.

Cheers
SM
Do post your experiences, comments regarding the testdrives.


It will be intrested to know how women feel about driving these SUVs.

Would like to your views on issues like:
Ease of control over these SUVs,
Road judgement while driving these wider cars,
Pickup/overtaking etc.

Last edited by WDM007 : 28th July 2010 at 09:25.
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Old 28th July 2010, 12:34   #18
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I would suggest you to still stick to the sedan category.

My wife drives the Fiesta we own and has been a good handler of the car. She used to drive our earlier Santro but found handling the Fiesta much better than Santro. In fact she has become much more sober driver with Fiesta.

I would suggest you to wait till the new Fiesta is announced coz you dont want to end up regretting TDing the new Fiesta. I firmly believe once a Fiestian always a Fiestian.
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Old 28th July 2010, 13:12   #19
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My wife drove our 3.0L Safari on a daily basis before we bought the A-star last week. Her comments are as follows:

Positives:
+ commands respect and space on the road, everyone woul dgive way to the beast.
+ excellent view of the road on the front and sides (better than A-star). We have a reverse camera for ease of reversing - a must-have for this car.
+ Easy to drive - handling, clutch and brakes are no issues in the city. Very comfortable seating and loads of space too (bedroom on wheels - best in its price-class)
+ a breeze over speed-bumps and potholes, you can literally ignore them.

Negatives:
- very big turning radius, U-turns will cause traffic snarls on smaller bangalore roads.
- frequent gear changes
- difficult to maintain cleanliness in the car with kids around. There are lots of nooks and corners where food, small toys etc can get stuck.
- expensive to maintain. Requires oil change every 10,000 kms or 6 months and each service costs us at least 6K.
- Clutch is a weak link. Very delicate, cannot use half-clutch in crawling traffic, like if a person is used to a Maruti or any other vehicle. We had a clutch overhaul at 30K kms, been very careful with the clutch after that.

She has now bought the A-Star mainly for city use. The beast (has completed 52K kms in just over 3 years) will be taken out for highways only.

Hope this helps, you can ask more questions, I will direct them to my wife.
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Old 28th July 2010, 13:36   #20
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FYI, summary of findings of a research that focused if SUV's are safer than cars:

Quote:
Average midsize and large cars have same risk to drivers as average SUV

Safest subcompact and compact cars have same risk to driver as average SUV

Pickups and SUVs (and minivans) impose high risks on other drivers because of their incompatibility with cars

Average subcompact and compact cars have similar combined risk as average SUV

Driver behavior influences what we call risk ó low risk to drivers of minivans and high risk to drivers of sports cars

Driver sex and age do not appear to influence main findings by vehicle model

Quality of vehicle design appears to be a better predictor of risk than vehicle weight
I would suggest you get a vehicle irrespective of the type i.e.,car/sedan or SUV to have good safety systems i.e., air bags, abs, vsc, ebd et all.
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Old 28th July 2010, 15:30   #21
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Amongst our desi SUVs, the Mahindra Scorpio is best suited for city driving with short turning radius, high seating and very good visiblity. It comes with a good 6 speed Automatic transmission too.

Personally i find driving Scorpio in traffic easier than Punto.
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Old 28th July 2010, 17:29   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ghodlur View Post
I would suggest you to still stick to the sedan category.

My wife drives the Fiesta we own and has been a good handler of the car. She used to drive our earlier Santro but found handling the Fiesta much better than Santro. In fact she has become much more sober driver with Fiesta.

I would suggest you to wait till the new Fiesta is announced coz you don't want to end up regretting TDing the new Fiesta. I firmly believe once a Fiestian always a Fiestian.
Hi Ghodlur,

You got it right.

I am indeed avoiding an SUV. However, my family seems to believe that an SUV is a safer option.

To put their collective arguments in a simple manner : An SUV is a stronger vehicle. My brother drives a Lexus RX 350 series vehicle back in NY which comes fitted with all possible safety paraphenelia.

However my argument is :
I find sedans to be more refined vehicles.
The sub 10 lac category of SUVs cannot have high levels of refinement.
Have been in 2 accidents in the past 20 years. I do not scratch cars everyday, leave alone crash them.
Do not want to spend a large amount on a vehicle I may not enjoy driving.
Would rather save for a C Class in the next 1-2 years.
For the time being the existing car would suit me fine.
I fear driving SUV's for longer durations might result in backaches.

But all the same, I would love to test drive these vehicles for a first hand experience.

Warm Regards
SM
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Old 29th July 2010, 16:01   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sugeeta View Post
Hi Ghodlur,

You got it right.

I am indeed avoiding an SUV. However, my family seems to believe that an SUV is a safer option.

To put their collective arguments in a simple manner : An SUV is a stronger vehicle. My brother drives a Lexus RX 350 series vehicle back in NY which comes fitted with all possible safety paraphenelia.

However my argument is :
I find sedans to be more refined vehicles.
The sub 10 lac category of SUVs cannot have high levels of refinement.
Have been in 2 accidents in the past 20 years. I do not scratch cars everyday, leave alone crash them.
Do not want to spend a large amount on a vehicle I may not enjoy driving.
Would rather save for a C Class in the next 1-2 years.
For the time being the existing car would suit me fine.
I fear driving SUV's for longer durations might result in backaches.

But all the same, I would love to test drive these vehicles for a first hand experience.

Warm Regards
SM
Hi Sugeeta,

I am also novice to SUVs and MUVs, have test driven most of the below 12L ones because of my upgrade plans. Here's my inputs, might help since you would also be in the same situation when you switch to SUV/MUV initially.
  • Most of today's midrange sedans are refined than almost evey SUVs on Indian market (<12L).
  • MUVs like Innova and Xylo has the comfort factor compared to SUVs.
  • Especially on high speeds (80KPH +), braking seems to be better in sedans compared to MUV/SUV.
  • Cost of ownership would be atleast 12% more in SUVs when comparing a similiar priced sedan.
  • Another thing I noticed is the rattlings other sounds are more in SUV/MUV cabins (Innova is an exception here)
  • Drivability in city is not a major issue on almost every SUV/MUVs we have today but parking can be an issue sometimes compared to mid sedans.
  • High driving positions in an SUV/MUV is an advantage for lady drivers, my wife vouch for that after these test drives.
  • Let it be brakes or clutches or gears, we have to put a little extra effort compared to any of the sedans.
  • Regarding backpain, I think Innova or Xylo would still be a safe bet.
Defenitely we will get adjusted to the massive beast with its body roll and hard clutches and brakes. But I dont find a real reason for upgrading to SUV/MUV if safety is the only concern on current car. But family size, yes!

Last edited by jacs : 29th July 2010 at 16:04.
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Old 29th July 2010, 23:34   #24
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Hi Sugeeta,

Sorry to hear about your accident.
Here are my two cents, I drove a safari back in India and it offered me command and respect on and off the road. It was very comfortable with an advantageous view than the sedans. It did have its share of niggles here and there and not to mention the poorly managed Tata service centres. Only difficulty I had was when I had to reverse into a crammed parking spot.

Along with the Safari I also drove a Getz Crdi which was much nimble and responsive to drive around in traffic, though it might not have been as safe to drive as the Ikon which I had before it.

Currently am in the US and I drive a Grand Vitara XL7, I find it as comfortable as the Safari. Also itís as nimble as the Getz maybe being Petrol powered and mainly due to wider roads and parking spots in the US apart from the fact that others road users drive sensibly here.

Personally, I would prefer a Sedan over an SUV as itís more practical, smoother and safer to handle in most traffic scenarios.

Hope this helps.
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Old 30th July 2010, 01:16   #25
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If you are concerned about safety I would give all three SUVs a miss. Neither of them have a ncap rating.

Many SUVs are much more dangerous in an impact then most people believe.
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Old 30th July 2010, 07:44   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CPH View Post
If you are concerned about safety I would give all three SUVs a miss.
+1 to the above.

Also, two SUV / MUV owners that I personally know have been involved in nasty rollover accidents, in separate incidents. Both accidents happened due to sudden steering inputs on highways while avoiding obstacles. In both cases they were very lucky to survive, with shoulder and arm fractures (one accident was on NH48, the other on NH4). One of them was driving a Qualis, the other a Scorpio.
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Old 2nd August 2010, 07:12   #27
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Though SUVs are not invincible and have their own set of safety related issues (high rollover etc) they have a lot of other advantages that you have to consider. The first is that you sit higher in a SUV and have a better view of the road making maneuverability a lot easier. I did not realize this at first but was convinced when I drove a Tavera from Bangalore to Chennai non-stop. The second is that the size intimidates most other road users including BMTC bus drivers etc. and most of them give way, so there are less chances of accidents. The third is that the higher ground clearance helps to clear all those huge speed breakers that keep cropping up everywhere. And the last is that the extra space is really useful for everything from carting the weeks groceries to taking the extended family along.

Regarding the question about ease of handling I guess most SUVs especially the fully loaded versions with power steering power clutch etc. are easier to drive. In fact my wife prefers to drive the SUV over the Maruti 800.

Even in the US when the SUV craze was at its best a few years back before the oil crisis hit a majority of the SUV drivers were women (soccer moms) who found the extra carrying space and the seats really useful.

If you understand the limitations and do not do anything stupid like trying a high speed lane change maneuver, you should be as safe in an SUV as you are in sedan.

My two cents

Last edited by tatsago : 2nd August 2010 at 07:16.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 14:09   #28
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So, any updates on the test drives? IMO, a fully loaded sedan or a hatch like i20 might be a better bet. However, I feel your family does have a point. An SUV may come out on top incase it got into a head on collision with a sedan / hatch owing to the front beam (donno what its called "technically") being situated higher than most sedans / hatches.

I hope you came out of the crash unscathed and wish you very many happy miles with your (prospective) new vehicle. Do keep us posted on whichever way you go.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 14:19   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Urban_Nomad View Post
So, any updates on the test drives? IMO, a fully loaded sedan or a hatch like i20 might be a better bet. However, I feel your family does have a point. An SUV may come out on top incase it got into a head on collision with a sedan / hatch owing to the front beam (donno what its called "technically") being situated higher than most sedans / hatches.
I hope you came out of the crash unscathed and wish you very many happy miles with your (prospective) new vehicle. Do keep us posted on whichever way you go.
You are right, owing to the high driving position, heavier engine, body and larger tyres compared to a sedan or a hatch a SUV might be safer but when pitted against a truck or a bus the heavier vehicle will win.
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Old 3rd August 2010, 14:26   #30
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Oh yes SUV are quite if you crash into a pot hole
It's very hard to say if a car is safe just by describing if its a SUV, sedan or hatch.
Have google search for crash tests and you will find yourself amazed.
A smart car (mercs really small 2 seater car) which looks like a bug when crashed with a 2 ton volvo it was seen that smart is a safer car. But this doesn't apply small cars are safer.
And the best way to be safe is to drive safe.
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