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Old 1st June 2011, 17:41   #1
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Default Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

Ever since we got our Zen back in August last year (the car was almost 15 years old when we purchased it), we had an intention to use it for a few months and then buy a proper car.
The search started with listing of new cars within a budget of 4 lacs.
With a few safety features thrown in (ABS + Airbags), we realized that the budget was just not sufficient. So, we had to look at increasing the modest budget to 6 lacs.
The cars which came to our mind were:
Ford Figo (Diesel)
Maruti Ritz
Chevy Beat
Tata Vista
Hyundai i10
Fiat Punto
Skoda Fabia

We started contacting dealers for test drives. Some dealers were very prompt while others simply did not care.
So, what were we looking for?
1. A car that can be driven by both me and my wife. This translates to a car that is suitable for short people (read 5 feet tall).
2. A car that has good all-round visibility and is fun to drive. (fun to drive is very important!)
3. Decent fuel efficiency
4. Good air-conditioning
5. Airbags (2)
6. ABS
7. Good rear-bench which can accommodate three comfortably.

Since our running was not going to be much, we were OK with petrol cars.

We started with Figo since that is the car that most appealed to me in December. Figo petrol did not have good reviews, hence it was not even test driven. Figo Diesel Titanium was the first car that we drove. We were both very comfortable driving the diesel with almost no turbo lag. The power was sufficient for us (remember we were upgrading from a Zen) and the driving position and visibility were both good. My wife was not too happy with the rear-bench, especially with the middle seat which is raised above the two side seats. We thought we will check out some other options and keep the Figo in our short list.


Next came the turn of the Marutis. We had a friendly sales guy who brought the Ritz (petrol and diesel both). My wife was happy with Ritz, though I was not comfortable with the driving position. I really liked the engine of Ritz though. What I did not like was the boot design which prevented from putting big bags inside the boot. The suspension was very stiff and the ride quality over bad roads was not what I would like. We rejected the Ritz over Figo.
While at Maruti, we were given a test drive of Wagon R. I was never serious about this car, but still took a TD for the sake of comparison only..
The first thing that I noticed was the RVM is way higher than where I expected it to be. This is a very tall car. The AC loads the engine and I did not want that. Ruled out. AFAIK, it does not have Airbags and ABS, so this was never going to cut in.

Next came the Chevy Beat. Butter smooth gear box. Front visibility is very poor for short people. Wife was uncomfortable with this. Ruled out.

Next came Punto. Test drove the petrol. Tank like build quality. Superb engine and ride + handling. I was hoping my wife likes it and arranged for a Punto diesel TD.
Meanwhile, I realized that I might have to stretch budget to around 6.5 or even 7.0 lacs to get the Punto Diesel.
Punto Diesel was driven by my wife. Very poor ergonomics for a short person. Cannot depress the clutch pedal and change gear without getting into an awkward position. Seat has to be moved way in the front, very close to the steering wheel. Plus elbow angle for gear change is not optimal. Rejected. This was a big setback for me. My search for a new car was supposed to end here. But I guess, fate had something else in store for us.

Last edited by S_U_N : 2nd June 2011 at 12:02.
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Old 1st June 2011, 17:54   #2
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Default Buying a car - a journey by itself - Part 2

With an increased budget of 6.5+, we had some more choices and started looking at more cars from the premium hatchback segment.
The next car on my mind was the Fabia. Despite Skoda horror stories, Fabia was difficult to ignore. At around 6.75 lacs, I would have got a 1.6L engine with very solid build quality and good safety features.
Europa Auto sent the TD vehicle. It was a good drive. My wife was impressed with Fabia more than any other car. She still had the issue of the long clutch travel, but the smooth gear shifter alleviated the problem to a great extent. I started negotiating with the dealer. Meanwhile there were others on TBHP who were interested. We envisaged a plan for a group discounts. In the end, the discounts were not up to my expectations and everyone lost interest.

Meanwhile I also drove my friend's Tata Vista petrol, though I was somehow not keen on this car.
I was simply unable to convince myself to pursue this further and dropped this, though the car really didn't have any shortcomings. My wife was also not very keen on Vista (taxi image) from the looks perspective.

We moved on to the next major manufacturer - Hyundai.
I had avoided this so far, since I was aware of the steering issues.
I was interested in i20, but they did not have it for TD. So, we drove the Hyundai i10. My wife liked it (as expected - women love this car), but I found the ride quality very bumpy. I really did not feel that it was worth the money they were asking for. This looked like a compromise for me in terms of space and comfort. Hyundai followed up several times to check on my interest in i20, but I did not even want a TD after reading numerous threads on unresolved issues with steering column.

I had almost exhausted my options at this point in time. The favorites so far were Fabia and Figo. But Figo owners were complaining of squeaks and rattles, which I was not very happy to hear.

Nissan Micra was not considered, since I was skeptical of service network.

Polo was not test driven since there was a huge waiting period.

I thought it was time to increase my budget further to 7.5 lacs and see what options I could get.

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Old 2nd June 2011, 12:15   #3
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Default re: Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

I had put in a test drive request a while ago for Honda Jazz. I had also chased the sales guy for the test drive, but never really got the vehicle. It appeared that the dealer was not really keen on selling Jazz. Then one day I decided to call the other dealer in town. The test drive happened immediately and I was blown away with the car despite it being very dirty from inside. As with all Jazz purchases, the price is the only thing that comes in between. Negotiated hard for a January manufactured mid-trim version. Despite the year end target, the sales guy did not offer anything more than the standard. The top end was around 8.1 lacs and mid version was 7.5 lacs. This would not have been a sensible buy as per my wife.
Since we had liked Figo earlier, we thought of checking out Fiesta as well. Drove a brand new vehicle (supposedly a display vehicle) which had around 125 KM on the odo.
It was clearly a driver oriented car. Perfect seating position for the driver and good visibility. Top end would have cost us 8.1 lacs with all the discounts.

We realized that most cars that we liked were out of our budget and there was no scope of increasing it further (since I did not want to go with bank financing).

That is where the thought of pre-owned cars became more relevant for us.
During these months we had checked out a few pre-owned cars. In some cases, dealers were pretending as owners which was something I did not like.

It is really difficult to find a direct owner car equipped with ABS and Airbags in the pre-owned market.


We had shortlisted Octavia, Fabia, Jazz and Fiesta as four cars that we would look for in the pre-owned market.

Then we decided to check out Mitsubishi Cedia based on ownership threads here and elsewhere. I contacted the dealership and they were kind to arrange for a vehicle (which was apparently a customer vehicle which had not been delivered yet). The ODO had just 25 KM on it. The vehicle was perfect. My wife was at extreme ease with the vehicle. At a price of 10.75 Lacs, the overall package was neither appealing nor in budget. But this did make a very good candidate in our list of pre-owned cars to search for.

So, by April I was seriously looking for pre-owned cars only (GTO's thread on this topic was thought provoking) and not new ones. The list was short - top end models of Cedia, Fiesta, Jazz, Fabia, Octavia.
Looked at TBHP, Sulekha, Carwale, CarTradeIndia, CarSalesIndia, Craigslist and some other portal.
Checked out service history of a lot of cars from the various service centers. In most cases, the odo was tampered or the vehicle condition was not upto the mark. I even asked my family to check out some vehicles in Mumbai, but they were also not in good condition. In case the vehicle was fine, the price was not what I was comfortable with.

I was more interested in Cedia since it offers more space than a Fiesta.
Some examples that I checked out.
A 2009 Cedia with 40 K running was quoted for 6.5 lacs. Vehicle was modified and driven rough. I think the vehicle is still not sold.
A 2006 Yellow cedia with 38 K running was quoted 6 lacs (negotiable). Service history revealed the vehicle was above 50K in actual running.
A 2007 Cedia (outside Maharashtra state), was available for 4.2 Lacs. Road tax and registration would cost me another 60-70 K. I did not feel this was worth it.

Finally, one day I saw on ad on Sulekha.

Last edited by S_U_N : 2nd June 2011 at 13:13.
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Old 2nd June 2011, 13:23   #4
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Default re: Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

It was around April 24th when I saw the advt and contacted the owner. A white Cedia, 2007, in immaculate condition with a running of 100000. There were no pictures of the car.
I thought that there was a typing mistake and the running would not be more than 40K.

Contacted the owner and he clarified, it was indeed 1 lac KM - I was now hesitant. Saw the photos and I was impressed.
Took a test drive and was pleased with the vehicle - yes some amount of work was required. Got it evaluated at A.S.S. They gave a green signal, but the estimate to bring it to my level of satisfaction was around 45K.
I did my best to negotiate on the price with the owner. Finally we agreed on an intermediate price and closed the deal. I took the car to an independent mechanic. He drove it for a good 20 km and determined a few problem areas. The estimate given was around 11K.

Then I had to travel overseas for a week. Meanwhile my mechanic got the vehicle ready: serviced AC, changed shock absorbers in the front, upgraded headlamps, and got 3M paint protection + interior cleanup, and a few other mechanical aspects done.

After spending around 18K, the car was ready.
The battery conked off on day one and I got a new Exide one for 4K. Peace of mind.
There are still a few small pieces remaining, but they will be taken care as I get more time.

The vehicle is a Cedia Select, Dec 2006, completely stock. It has done 1 lac 2 thousand KM so far, out of which me and my wife have driven it for around 1200 KM in about 8 days that we have got her.
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Last edited by S_U_N : 5th June 2011 at 16:03.
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Old 5th June 2011, 16:53   #5
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Default re: Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

Note from Support: Thread moved from Assembly line section. Thanks for sharing
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Old 5th June 2011, 17:43   #6
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Default re: Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

Congratulations. The car looks to be in immaculate condition. So much has been said about Cedia's handling and "fun to drive" quotients. I hope you get to enjoy the same.

One lakh kilometers seems to be a lot, it is not everyday that a person in urban India will opt for a car with this kind of odo reading. Thats brave. However in terms of miles it is 62k. Properly maintained and timely serviced car with 62k miles on odo is really "low miles".

It good that you have changed the shock absorbers and battery because at 100k (kms now!) they would need replacement. What about belts, mounts, spark plugs, fuel injectors and springs; Are you planning any other replacements?

Have fun and drive safe.
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Old 5th June 2011, 17:51   #7
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I changed the shocks since they were leaking. I changed the battery since it conked off. The car has been serviced at every 10K at the A.S.S. They have changed the belts and the fluids in the 90K and 100K service respectively. However I am not certain about any need to change the other parts even as preventive maintenance.
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Old 5th June 2011, 19:46   #8
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Default re: Buying a car - a journey by itself: Mitsubishi Cedia

Congrats on your new acquisition - the car looks immaculate in white.
I agree with dot - 62k miles is real 'low mileage' car in US, but in India the roads and driving conditions are different, and a car suffers more wear and tear.
Looks like the earlier owner drove the car with a velvet glove - would you mind sharing how much was the amount you finally paid for this car?
Drive safe!
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Old 5th June 2011, 19:58   #9
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It has cost me around 4 Lacs.
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Old 5th June 2011, 20:01   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by S_U_N View Post
It has cost me around 4 Lacs.
Great deal I must say - considering the fact that the Cedia depreciates like anything.
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Old 5th June 2011, 20:27   #11
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Congratulations SUN. Your car looks stunning in white. The front grill design of Cedia is one of my favorite - white, red, yellow or black, it gives the car a totally different look. A rear spoiler will enhance the sporty look.
The car looks clean from inside too, the seats/carpet, dashboard. Very spacious rear seats (last photo). All the best and enjoy your new ride.

Last edited by AvonA7 : 5th June 2011 at 20:41. Reason: edit
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Old 5th June 2011, 23:09   #12
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Congrats Sun, I couldnt believe that the car is 4 years and 1 lac kms old. 4 lac is a decent deal. I think you said in another thread that timing belt was changed at some 90k kms.. right?

Take care and drive safe man, you own a car which is still the best IMHO, under 11 lac rupees .

Enjoy.
Gaurav
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Old 6th June 2011, 09:52   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AvonA7 View Post
A rear spoiler will enhance the sporty look.
The car looks clean from inside too, the seats/carpet, dashboard. Very spacious rear seats (last photo).
Thank you. I hadn't realized that there is such a lot of space at the rear until the previous owner pulled the passenger seat in front for demonstration.
But then one must not forget that this is a long car and is expected to have more space than a typical C segment car.
I am researching more on the rear-spoiler. It will hamper rear visibility and I might have to go with reverse camera or rear parking sensors at the same time. Plus the fact that one has to drill holes to get this fitted is something I am a bit uncomfortable with. I will check with some expert installers who can do this job cleanly.


The car does not have any rattles or squeaks - it has been kept in stock form all these years. I don't want to make any modifications at the cost of rattles or squeaks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gaurav_chopra04 View Post
Congrats Sun, I couldnt believe that the car is 4 years and 1 lac kms old. 4 lac is a decent deal. I think you said in another thread that timing belt was changed at some 90k kms.. right?

Take care and drive safe man, you own a car which is still the best IMHO, under 11 lac rupees .

Enjoy.
Gaurav
Yes. Timing belt was changed at 90K as far as I can recollect. I had seen some other Cedia's with 35-40K on the odo and they looked older than this one. It all depends on how it is driven and maintained. As they say, Mitsubishis age very gracefully. Now the task for me is to continue maintaining it the way it has been maintained previously.
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Old 6th June 2011, 10:19   #14
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Congratulations on a great car at a great price; You have been quite judicious and have got full value for your money.
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Old 6th June 2011, 10:29   #15
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congratulations sun, seems to be a good bargain.
Could you post some pictures of the engine bay?
How are the tires?
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