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Old 21st February 2011, 16:53   #1
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Default Need advise on buying a used XTrail

I am looking for an SUV that will be reliable and will climb ghats easily (we have a holiday home in a hill station). I will be driving this vehicle about 10,000 kms in a year with most of this on four-laned highways where I usually do 100-120kmph.

I use an Alto within the city, and the SUV will be used predominantly outside the urban jungle. I would prefer a diesel vehicle, but petrol is also OK, because my usage will be limited. A 5 seater is also OK, because there will be only two of us in the vehicle most of the time. I need lots of luggage space though.

The Innova looks (and feels) too big and when I read comments about the lack of stability of the Scorpio and Xylo at high speeds, I am not sure I want to include them in my shortlist, despite the fact that I can get a new model within my budget (10 to 12 lakhs). I can stretch my budget for a new Yeti, but the bad feedback about Skoda service puts me off.

I therefore began looking at ads for a used CRV or an X-Trail or even a Grand Vitara. Saw an ad this week for a six year old X-Trail with about 60K kms on the odo and the price quoted was about 9 lakhs.

The vehicle looks good and seems to meet my requirements well, but I know this model (2004 Dec) has been replaced in 2008, so I am concerned about cost and availability of spares.

Any idea how expensive the maintenance of the X-Trail could be? How is Nissan's service? Are spares available for an imported unit like X-Trail?
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Old 21st February 2011, 20:16   #2
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

X trails are known for blowing its turbo. Check history thoroughly
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Old 22nd February 2011, 00:30   #3
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

If you are planning to spend 10 lakh + Rs, please rethink about purchasing a 5+ year old vehicle, unless you are a collector or have a very special affinity towards a particular model.

A. Reliability starts getting suspect around the 6-7 year mark as plastic parts reach their end of life.
B. Vehicles that are out of production, end up waiting months to get the correct spare, even if the spare supply is assured. For a sparingly sold vehicle like xTrail, the problem can even get more acute.
C. It is really difficult to get a "new" and "tight" feel from a 5+ year old vehicle.

While the Innova may feel big, and seem so as well, I can assure that my wife, who used to drive a Santro, and opposed moving on to a Baleno very strongly, on the pretext that it was a *big* car, now drives my Innova effortlessly and finds it very enjoyable as well. Apart from the slightly hard clutch, there is really no big issue in driving the car.

However, if you dont prefer the looks of the vehicle, you should look at alternates. Both Scorpio and Xylo are reasonably stable at 100 kmph and can be evaluated. Of course, I am heavily biased towards the Innova and dont think there are too many vehicles in that price range that come close as a package.

Why would you need a SUV if there are only 2 of you. Any car is more enjoyable to drive compared to a SUV, (especially the body on chasis type) that always has poorer body control, soggy handling and lesser overall stability. Not to mention worse off ride on paved roads.

If luggage space is a priority, you can get almost all that you need with an Etios. Also, please test drive the Innova a couple of times before you give up on it. However, if you plan to do extensive offroading, the Innova might be a bad choice.

Last edited by Buffetfan : 22nd February 2011 at 00:33.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 08:29   #4
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

In India, all SUVs are compromise vehicles. You have to be ready to suffer short comings like less FE, less features, very overpriced for choosing that SUV shaped vehicle.

Now, if you are regularly driving in bad roads or need some 4x4 ability, then SUV would make sense despite all the short comings. Some suffer these short comings just for the imposing looks although their driving needs don't demand a SUV. Innova is the most practical vehicle for most people who need 7 seats, luggage space, long distance cruising, etc. Yet, lot of people ignore it in favour of SUVs, simply for the looks.

Your needs don't require a SUV. If you still want an SUV, do know you are buying a bundle of compromises.

And if you are buying used SUV, that too out of warranty, be ready for anything, especially breakdowns and big bills, in addition to the original short comings.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 10:44   #5
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
Now, if you are regularly driving in bad roads or need some 4x4 ability, then SUV would make sense despite all the short comings.
Tell me, how many cars in India can actually seat 5 in comfort? Very few.

Also, let me give you another example.
A friend of mine lives with his wife, 2 parents and one 5 month old baby. He has a Verna. If he fits a baby seat in his Verna, the car becomes a 3 seater which means that it is short of space even one typical Indian family to travel together. On the other hand, a 7 seater SUV can seat 4 adults and one child in the child seat comfortably.

And yes, like you said, the Innova ticks all the correct boxes for most people who go for an SUV.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 10:57   #6
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

I think you should go in for an Innova with your eyes closed.(not literally)

This is the vehicle of choice in its segment backed by Toyota's reliable service.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 11:23   #7
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

Thank you very much for the advice.

Why do I need an SUV? Well, I own a 6 year old Tata Indigo diesel with about 40,000kms on the odo. I drive three times a year from Hyderabad to Kodaikanal and back with not only the boot but also the back seat full of stuff we carry from one house to another (we spend three to four months in a year at Kodai).

On the four laned NH-7, the Indigo cruises well at 100kph, but feels a little strained. On the ghat road to Kodai, I find the pickup inadequate, more so when we have five people in the car. At Kodai, to reach our house, I have to go up a narrow road with sharp hair pin bends for about one km. I can do this only in first gear and the engine heating up considerably by the time we are home. This road is damaged in a few corners, and there, I am always worried about the Indigo scraping its bottom (this happens regularly even on speed breakers if the car is loaded).

I enjoy driving and done a few long distance trips with my family. I am planning to go on one or two holidays every year which will not only involve roads like NH-7 (North-South Corridor) but also potholed roads like those I have seen in Madhya Pradesh and more recently in coastal Karnataka. Etched in my memory is a difficult drive from Mandu in MP to Banswara in Rajasthan some years ago. The roads were terrrible and deserted. We were in an Esteem and I was always worried about damaging the Oil Sump on one of the innumerable rocks. My wife had to get down several times and direct me over the larger potholes and rocks -- she never lets me forget that!

Cars are great on highways like NH-7, but I feel I would be more comfortable and safer in an SUV on the state 'low-ways' which branch off from the highways. Chances of damaging the vehicle or getting stranded in the middle of nowhere would be much less on an SUV. I dream about a driving holiday to the Himalayas and to the North East, where I presume I will have to go on broken tarmac.

Also, with the high speeds on the Golden Quadrilateral type roads, I am increasingly worried about accidents - I have seen even state transport buses coming in the wrong side (not to mention two wheelers, autos and seven seaters) of the road. I have read reports stating that an SUV is usually a safer vehicle to be in -- of course, any new vehicle that I buy must have Airbags and ABS.

I perhaps do not 'need' an SUV, but I'm not sure which car suits my requirements. Also, I sat in a Scorpio on the so called 'highway' in Coastal Karnataka last year, and I liked the high driving position and the view of the road it gave me. The driver was so relaxed even when driving over potholes -- I thought my next car (which I plan to use for at least five years) should be an SUV.

Well, based on all this good feedback, I think I will go back and take a test drive of the Innova, Scorpio and Xylo.

Thanks once again - any further advice (on the models of the above three that I should look at) is very welcome!
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Old 22nd February 2011, 11:38   #8
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

I am glad you've decided to test drive some new vehicles before a final decision is made.

My suggestions:
1. The acquisition cost of a Nissan X Trail (used) would be around 10-14 lacs depending on its condition - for a 4-5 year old.
2. In general one does not know how the vehicle has been used by the previous owner and whether its 4WD system has been used with "respect" or not.
3.This is more so if it has been driven by a paid chauffeur which most of these upper end cars have actually because the owner tends to drive them but rarely.
4. It is a CBU and hence, free and easy availability and the costs of spares are bound to be a bit of a challenge.
5. Nissan is yet to develop its after sales service network to appreciable levels in India - this will happen, but will take a bit of time.
6. You would do well (given my understanding of your usage as described) to consider alternatives such as the Innova, Scorpio, Safari and even the Xylo. On all the above I would sincerely suggest you evaluate the top end models - unfortunately it is only the top end models of these vehicles that come with the essential safety features that you have mentioned amongst your priorities. You may be pleasantly surprised with the value you can derive from these makes of vehicles when you buy them brand new.
I would go so far as to say you will enjoy the next 4-5 years of owning and driving any of the above - notably the Innova and Scorpio as these are in general pretty solid and they hold up their re-sale value very well indeed!

All the best!

Last edited by shankar.balan : 22nd February 2011 at 11:42.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 13:11   #9
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

Vartakavi

1) X-Train - NO - Expensive and hard to source repair scene.
2) Xylo - No - you seem to do a lot of high speed driving on the highways and Xylo had neither great stability nor great brakes at high speeds.
3) Innova - Yes - tough big to look at it is likely to be easier to drive than the Xylo, and it is stable at high speeds plus brakes better.
4) Scorpio - Maybe - Below average Braking and stability at high speeds but the right size so if you are less than 5'10" go for it. (Interior space is compromised for larger sized persons)
5) Safari - Maybe - Decent Braking and Stability compared to the Scorpio and Xylo but less than the Innova, imposing and superb interior space, but quite large in many ways if you want something smaller- Geat a preowned one for 6-8L (just 2 year old versions with 2 years of warranty pending.)
6) Pajero - 5 year olds can meet all your needs.
7) Aria or Yeti - If you can stretch the budget - Good buys for your needs but higher budget would need to be provisioned. Skoda horror stories are much rarer now than they were 3 years back.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 13:55   #10
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

As much as I am a believer in pre-worshipped cars, and the value in buying used, I cannot recommend an X-Trail to you. Main reason : You currently own an Alto & Indigo. A 6 year old import will come with its own set of nuances; for instance, would you happily pay 30,000 for a major service? If your air-con compressor conks off, the bill won't read less than 60,000 - 70,000 rupees. 50,000 for a clutch? The X-Trail is a fantastic soft-roader and drives like a car. But buying a 6 year old example is not the wise thing for you.

There's only going to be two of you in the car, and rough / broken roads will be occasional. Why compromise with an SUV? A quick sedan - like the Honda City, Vento diesel or Linea T-Jet - will be better in nearly every way. Be it driving pleasure, efficiency, handling, performance or braking. No SUV can touch the joy & satisfaction of driving a fast sedan. And don't worry about the occasional rough roads. Us sedan owners have been managing them just well in decades of driving on Indian roads. However, when you want to take a holiday to no-man's land, RENT a MUV or SUV for those 7 - 10 days. Heck, they are even renting Endeavours out in Ladakh!

Of course, don't overlook the beauty in buying recent model, used sedans. I got a Civic for 8.xx. It's a year up and I've had zero issues (save for the OEM battery replacement). Not a screw gone loose. You might also want to consider the Toyota Altis.

Good luck searching, and keep us updated.

Last edited by GTO : 22nd February 2011 at 13:56.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 14:24   #11
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

I also would not recommend an old car, as not only you do not know the service history, but most of the problems start after 5 years of ownership. Ideally you should go for an Innova, but if you do not want to, please try the Fortuner.

If you did not have to lug so much luggage, I would have suggested the Alto K10. For your type of trips it is ideal, with good power, excellent AC and good drivability.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 14:27   #12
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

I suggest you look at an SX4 - good ground clearance, familiar Maruti service and bills
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Old 22nd February 2011, 14:51   #13
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

Why isn't anyone recommending a Captiva? Don't they come for around 10-12 L in the used car market?
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Old 22nd February 2011, 14:53   #14
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Tell me, how many cars in India can actually seat 5 in comfort? Very few.

Also, let me give you another example.
A friend of mine lives with his wife, 2 parents and one 5 month old baby. He has a Verna. If he fits a baby seat in his Verna, the car becomes a 3 seater which means that it is short of space even one typical Indian family to travel together. On the other hand, a 7 seater SUV can seat 4 adults and one child in the child seat comfortably.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
A quick sedan - like the Honda City, Vento diesel or Linea T-Jet - will be better in nearly every way. Be it driving pleasure, efficiency, handling, performance or braking. No SUV can touch the joy & satisfaction of driving a fast sedan. And don't worry about the occasional rough roads. Us sedan owners have been managing them just well in decades of driving on Indian roads.
OT: Rush, what is your take on my point quoted above? This is something which has me pondering for quite some time now.
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Old 22nd February 2011, 16:36   #15
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Default Re: Need advise on buying a used XTrail

Hmmm ... a Sedan? But isn't the ground clearance low for Honda City and the Linea? Great for highways definitely, but on cratered roads? Not sure about the GC of the Vento. The SX4 has a higher ground clearance - may be that is something I have to include in my shortlist, especially because the diesel version is to be released shortly.
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