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Old 20th November 2010, 22:39   #1
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Default Long-Distance Drives: Upgrading Advice

Hi Experts/Enthusiasts,

I seek your advice on upgrading. For the moment, I am staying in the dustbowl of Chhattisgarh, in the steel town of Bhilai.

I typically avoid flights and trains; typically drive between Calcutta and Bombay and the Delhi-Bombay stretch is not a stranger to me either. Over the past five years, I have been squeezing whatever my Ford Ikon 1.6 is worth, but the strains of doing stretches in Orissa, CG and parts of Rajasthan are now showing on the vehicle. Rising petrol costs are pinching me as well.

I want something that is roomy, can pack in stuff for wife and a five-year-old who seem to need endless pieces of baggage on these journeys. I need a sturdy vehicle with high road clearance, one that scores high on the safety standpoint, given the distances I shall continue to travel. Ideally, I would have liked to upgrade to the Endeavour, for I am very happy with Ford, but can't as I have started out on my own. I am looking for a cheaper option, but with all possible safety features at a lower price.

Please advise.

Ashok
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Old 21st November 2010, 12:14   #2
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>>>ashokbh,

Given your requirements - roominess, sturdiness, long distance cruising ability and so on, I would have unhesitatingly put my hand up for the Jetta ( you might see my experiences in my thread 'Got my VW Jetta' in the initial driving experiences section.

However going by your budget requirements and since you have had a pleasant Ford ownership experience, I think you should check out the Fiesta, and also check out the Manza, the Polo and possibly the Linea. If you drive extensively, a diesel will be a better option in terms of 1. fuel quality available in our country, 2. torque, 3. ruggedness of design

Sad that the Fusion has been phased out - it was a very able, spacious, but low profile car, almost a crossover.

Interesting to read that you regularly do Bombay - Calcutta and Bombay -Delhi. Do post your travelogues and excels detailing your drives in the appropriate sections here. It will be useful for us.

Regards, drive safe
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Old 21st November 2010, 12:27   #3
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You haven't mentioned what your budget is, and since you've mentioned that you'd ideally take an Endeavour but you would like a cheaper option, I really can't think of anything else other than the Tata Aria. It has all the features you need and is a comfortable, large, feature-packed and pretty safe. It should tackle rough-roads with aplomb and has enough space to move a house!

You could also look at the Toyota Innova which is an equally capable car.

I advise you not to look at the Yeti just yet. It's brand new to begin with. And I'm not sure how reliable it might be. Besides, after-sales-service would be a problem in a town like Chhattisgarh. I'm not sure about the dealers and the service centre there. You're better off owning a more reliable car. preferably a Toyota or a Tata.
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Old 21st November 2010, 14:51   #4
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Give me a Scorpio any day! Very good to take the abuse that our highways throw at it. Very roomy, takes loads of luggage. Decent fuel economy. Popular all over India, parts available without any problems. Very comfortable.
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Old 21st November 2010, 15:06   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Give me a Scorpio any day! Very good to take the abuse that our highways throw at it. Very roomy, takes loads of luggage. Decent fuel economy. Popular all over India, parts available without any problems. Very comfortable.
Ashok requires a car that can cover long distances and I'm not sure if the Scorpio will deliver on that front. I do agree that the Scorpio is one car that can take quite a lot of abuse. And yes, it's quite roomy and the FE figures can be good.

Is the Scorpio good for covering long distances? I've heard that the ride is very bad and the Safari is way better in that department. However, the engine that powers the new Scorpio is a stonker without doubt!
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Old 21st November 2010, 15:09   #6
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Assuming that you are looking for a sedan, then Tata Indigo Manza Quadrajet Aura ABS.
It has a proven fiat heart, lots of cabin space and boot space. Also decent ground clearance too. Ideal cheaper solution.
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Old 21st November 2010, 15:54   #7
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why not the new kids in the block! the Linea T-Jet!? or VW Vento!
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Old 21st November 2010, 17:26   #8
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Hi Friends,

Thanks much for your advice. Perhaps, my first post wasn't clear altogether about my choice, reflecting in part how I feel (whether I pump in more cash and pick the Endeavor or submit myself to the present state of relative poverty!!!.)

Yes, I would rather want an SUV/MUV, not a sedan, if I could pack it in sub-11 Lac Navi Mumbai on-road. My accent is on safety - I need the airbags and the ABS-EBD. I don't need the electronic finery that passes for comfort and experience; I just want long-distance driving and seating comfort, given the distances I have to travel.

Therefore, within this budget, what are my choices? I wouldn't want a sedan if I could help it. If you knew CG/Orissa roads, you would instantly agree. I asked the Tata dealership in Bhilai whether I can get the ABS-EBD and airbags fitted into a lower-priced Safari variant. The company said it is not possible.

Thanks again.

Ashok
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Old 21st November 2010, 17:36   #9
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Thanks much. I shall, especially the routes I have kind of discovered between Navi Mumbai and Nagpur. I have done the NH-6 in Maharashtra and the condition of this trunk route has actually made me an explorer!

But when it comes to road conditions, CG is the ultimate example of `upward mobility' - you are on a roller-coaster virtually in every district here

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
>>>ashokbh,

Given your requirements - roominess, sturdiness, long distance cruising ability and so on, I would have unhesitatingly put my hand up for the Jetta ( you might see my experiences in my thread 'Got my VW Jetta' in the initial driving experiences section.

However going by your budget requirements and since you have had a pleasant Ford ownership experience, I think you should check out the Fiesta, and also check out the Manza, the Polo and possibly the Linea. If you drive extensively, a diesel will be a better option in terms of 1. fuel quality available in our country, 2. torque, 3. ruggedness of design

Sad that the Fusion has been phased out - it was a very able, spacious, but low profile car, almost a crossover.

Interesting to read that you regularly do Bombay - Calcutta and Bombay -Delhi. Do post your travelogues and excels detailing your drives in the appropriate sections here. It will be useful for us.

Regards, drive safe
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Old 21st November 2010, 18:02   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
Ashok requires a car that can cover long distances and I'm not sure if the Scorpio will deliver on that front. I do agree that the Scorpio is one car that can take quite a lot of abuse. And yes, it's quite roomy and the FE figures can be good.

Is the Scorpio good for covering long distances? I've heard that the ride is very bad and the Safari is way better in that department. However, the engine that powers the new Scorpio is a stonker without doubt!
Oops, I missed that.

In that case, I would suggest a small car like the Swift Diesel to be a great car for the highways.

Comfortable, fast and excellent FE. Only limitation being the small boot space.
Better GC and shorter wheelbase compared to the larger sedans, takes the bad roads - and humps - better.

Scorpio is a very comfortable car as long as you are the driver and not the rear passenger. I have travelled real distances in the Scorpio - 2.5L kms at last count - and I have never felt any fatigue or discomfort, in fact it is far more comfortable compared to the best sedan.
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Old 21st November 2010, 18:25   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
...a car that can cover long distances and I'm not sure if the Scorpio will deliver on that front.
Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Give me a Scorpio any day!
If hvkumar says "Scorpio", and ashokbh says he wants an Endy, the Scorpio wins hands down. The Scorpio in hvkumar's (and to a small extent, my own) hands covers longer distances than perhaps any other single brand of car on this forum - even the Safari. May I suggest a peek into the travelogues section to find out more about which cars are used for long distances.
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I would suggest a small car like the Swift Diesel to be a great car for the highways.
@hvk: You must be in one of your tongue-in-cheek moods today, right? Suggesting a Swift to someone who wants an Endy?
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Old 21st November 2010, 18:40   #12
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innova any day is better than most of its rivals, is supremely comfortable and reliable.
also it is good on the safety front.
seems to be the most cost effective and sensible option.
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Old 21st November 2010, 18:55   #13
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Hi hvkumar,

thanks for your suggestion. I am thinking of the Scorpio and really value your experience, since like you, I have to do the driving; hence, the comfort factor, in my case, needs to be assessed from the driver's standpoint.

I had one query, and that chiefly is from the price front. Given my requirements, how would you rate the Xylo top-end, with ABS and airbags, vis-a-vis the Scorpio?

Thanks again

Ashok


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Give me a Scorpio any day! Very good to take the abuse that our highways throw at it. Very roomy, takes loads of luggage. Decent fuel economy. Popular all over India, parts available without any problems. Very comfortable.
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Old 21st November 2010, 19:36   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokbh View Post
Hi hvkumar,

thanks for your suggestion. I am thinking of the Scorpio and really value your experience, since like you, I have to do the driving; hence, the comfort factor, in my case, needs to be assessed from the driver's standpoint.

I had one query, and that chiefly is from the price front. Given my requirements, how would you rate the Xylo top-end, with ABS and airbags, vis-a-vis the Scorpio?

Thanks again

Ashok
Today, with increasing traffic, higher speeds and more incidents of rash driving, I would value safety above all other issues. Hence, if the Xylo gives you more safety at lower price and the higher-end Scorpio does not, within your budget, my choice would be clearly the Xylo, even though it is not as nippy as the Scorpio.

SS, the Swift suggestion was serious - ask laluks who has a Honda Civic and prefers to take his Swift when he goes on difficult drives. I myself am a ex-hatchback guy and found the Matiz one of the best cars for the Indian highways.

I would also choose a car which is more popular all-round - because of service network - and that rules out most of the fancier cars like Endy, and even the Innova (check out how many Innovas are in the entire North East region, for instance). One does not want to waste days searching for accelerator cables (when it broke), as happened to a friend who had a Fiat recently. Unless you plan to drive around like Bangalore-Mysore or Delhi-Chandigarh all the time, if you are on any serious long-distance drives, a car which is common currency is always to be preferred. That is where the Scorpio gets full marks, it is there all over India.
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Old 21st November 2010, 23:14   #15
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First of all, it's great to see someone giving lots of importance and value to safety. Rarely does the average Indian consumer give importance to that. He'd rather save 50k than go in for the top-end variant that comes with air-bags and ABS. Shame.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SS-Traveller View Post
If hvkumar says "Scorpio", and ashokbh says he wants an Endy, the Scorpio wins hands down. The Scorpio in hvkumar's (and to a small extent, my own) hands covers longer distances than perhaps any other single brand of car on this forum - even the Safari. May I suggest a peek into the travelogues section to find out more about which cars are used for long distances.
Agreed. I must take HVK's and your word on this. And I've also been told that the Scorpio is great if you are in the front seats. Not so much in the back. It does tend to get a bit uncomfortable at the back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashokbh View Post
Hi hvkumar,

thanks for your suggestion. I am thinking of the Scorpio and really value your experience, since like you, I have to do the driving; hence, the comfort factor, in my case, needs to be assessed from the driver's standpoint.

I had one query, and that chiefly is from the price front. Given my requirements, how would you rate the Xylo top-end, with ABS and airbags, vis-a-vis the Scorpio?

Thanks again

Ashok
I hope you don't mind answering this question even though it was for HVK.

You are interested in a car that costs 11 lakhs OTR Mumbai and your priority is safety and comfort (from the driver's standpoint). You've got 4 cars to choose from since all of them fall within the same price-bracket. The Toyota Innova, the Mahindra Scorpio, the Mahindra Xylo and the Tata Safari.

In terms of safety, most cars in the list provide you with a good number of safety-features. As far as I know, the Innova and the Xylo top out here and the Scorpio and the Safari come a close second!

In terms of reliability, all of them are good, reliable cars. The Innova should be the most reliable of them all and the others are pretty good too. You shouldn't be worried about after-sales-service in any of these three cars as they are quite popular in our market and can be serviced easily.

In terms of comfort, the Innova wins hands down here. Compared to the Safari/Scorpio/Xylo, the Innova is a very luxurious car and a real mile-muncher. The Safari comes very close to the Innova. The Scorpio, as HVK had mentioned, is very comfortable from the driver's perspective, is very good. But the passengers in the back seat aren't going to enjoy it. I'm not so sure about the Xylo though. But from what I've heard, the back-seat is a great improvement over the Scorpio's.

When it comes to power, the Scorpio stands out here. It's Mhawk lump will leave the Safari for dead! The Meagle lump in the Xylo is decent enough and will happily munch the miles.

So I would recommend you buy the Innova. It's tough, sturdy, comfortable, spacious and safe. It has a great engine which is capable of good highway-performance. If you're not very particular about back-seat comfort, the Scorpio is the automatic choice!

Last edited by suhaas307 : 21st November 2010 at 23:16.
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