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Old 14th October 2008, 14:26   #1
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Default Review of 20 odd SUV/MUV for sale under 30 lakhs

THE PRIORITIES:
- 7seater
- Tough Build
- Self-Driven
- Decent Offroading Capability
- Torquey Engine
- Easy to maneuver in city
- Good Highway Manners
- Balanced Ride and Handling Setup


THE CONTENDORS:
- TATA Safari 2.2 Vx 4x4
- TATA Sumo Grande Gx
- TATA Winger
- Mahindra Scorpio Vlx
- Mahindra Bolero CRDe
- Chevrolet Tavera
- Chevrolet Captiva
- Toyota Innova
- Toyota Prado(2nd Hand)
- Suzuki Grand Vitara
- Maruti Versa SDX
- Ford Endeavor Thunder+
- Mitsubishi Pajero SFX
- Mitsubishi Outlander
- Mitsubishi Montero(2nd Hand)
-Toyota Qualis RS(2nd Hand)
- Honda CRV
- Nissan X-Trail
- Hyundai Tucson
- Benz MB100(2nd Hand)
- Hyundai Terrecan(2nd Hand)
- Lexus Lx 470(2nd Hand)

THE REVIEWS:

TATA Safari 2.2 Vx 4x4:Looks great,huge and handsome why do you all call it beast call it a hunk.But the moment I open the door and look in all that good feeling is lost.Lousy plastic quality.Great space inside.Silent engine which pulls well has good amount of torque.I was surprised as the ride comfort claimed by everyone here that it is great but I felt it was like a boat in turbulent waters,it rolls all over if the roads are well laid and smooth,gets you the kinda feeling of the old sonota,but ride comfort was great over broken pot holed roads.IF you intend to use it for basic offroading get atleast the 4x4 as the 4x2 gets stuck in places which my SX4 manages with ease.Neverthless its an great highway cruiser.Comes with good amount of equipment.Felt the third row of seats were useless as they dont offer support of any manner.Difficult to maneavour in the city.Aircon roof vents look worst than after market jobs which used to be done on the amby.Good paint quality.The major turn off were the brakes ready to put it out of track ,Man the brakes in our Omni even though weak atleast maintain the composure of the vehicle.All in all well priced for about 13.5 Lakhs,decided it to give it a miss and wait for the next gen Safari.

TATA Sumo Grande GX:Its lost the macho looks of the old Sumo,looks attractive,but the rear is dumpy.Interiors look good to the eye .But the plastic quality and the way they are put together felt it could give comptetion to its siblings the 207 and The Ace.Its very spacious ,the third row is good and the A/C roof vents are one of the best designs.The engine even though is detuned felt more peppy than the Safari.Easy to drive in the city.WE Felt like getting out of it after driving it for 15 mins,because felt that we would be made to pay if any plastic part breaks.Didnt feel like taking it on the highway, forget offroad.At around 9.0 Lakhs,not great value would prefer the base model Safari which is a few thousands cheaper.

TATA Winger :It might look like a bread box but this is the biggest threat to the Innova if Tata position it properly and get in a variant with more bells and whistles.Its better built than the safari and sumo,has loads of space inside.The nine individual bucket seats with armrests look lovely.The engine even though is the ancient 2.0 TCIC motor is well refined and easy to drive without any annoying turbolags.At about 7.5 lakhs onroad its good VFM,but it doesnt make sense for it to be self driven unless you would want to look like a call centre cab driver.We would have picked it up if any day dad decides to be driven a chauffer then would have painted it dark black with dark tints ang get some killer alloys for the exterior,and in interior would get a partition between the driver and passenger cabin,would get in some comfy sofas and a plasma screen along with a mini bar inside.Only if dreams could come true!

Mahindra Scorpio:Never liked this because of the staid M.Armada experience we had in 1996 and all the reports of it being nose heavy and ready to roll over anytime put us away from it.We land into the showroom and nobody is intrested to show the vehicle,we ourselves get into the demo peice,surprisingly its better built and has better plastic quality than the Safari.But it cant even hold a candle to the space and comfort levels offered inside compared to the Safari,its too cramped.After waiting for half an hour the dealer agrees to give us a TD.THe engine is a bit loud at idle but on the move its very refined and pulls well,but it doesnt inspire confidence,rolls a lot.Its as easy as a car to drive in the city very easy to maneuver.It offers a lot of features not heard of in the baby VW,Skoda,Benz,BMW,Audi.At about 12.1lakhs onroad its great vehicle to be driven only in the city ,if you want to scare all the rickshaws and pesty mopeds on the roads and dare not take it on the highway.

Mahindra Bolero Crde:Heard about the launch at T-Bhp,asked the dealer about this he was shocked to know how we had got to known about it.The demo vehicle had not yet arrived.He shows us the regular Bolero we are shocked upon close inspection that it is the same Armada with a different nose and coupled with scorpion engine we are calling disaster

Chevrolet Tavera:We had TD it during its launch.There's nothing much changes expept the beige interiors inside.It has a good engine and easy to drive in the city.Ride and Handling is one best in the segment.Its very spacious also heard it has the most fuel efficient engine.It scores well in all areas but loses out due to lack off appeal and an inflated price tag of 10.2 lakhs onroad.

Chevrolet Captiva:Loved the front looks but the rear is an disaster.Inside its spacious and has a lovely cabin,well laid out.but a few plastics are iffy.It also boasts of an self leveling suspension.The engine offers stonking performance albeit annoying turbolag.The gearbox is typical GM.Seats 7 comfortably.The ride quality is great.The only disadvantage is the absence of 4wd.At 20lakhs onroad a great piece of machinery,no wonder it takes 45 days to deliver.

Toyota Innova:What can one say about it its Mr.Perfect,delivers fantastic value at that price.Its spacious inside,engine is torquey and pulls well.The only bad points could be that the engine looses its breath at 100 kmph,the looks are subjective and difficult to drive in the city,poor ride quality on broken roads,suspension bottoms out on speed breakers with full load .Its about 13.0 lakhs onroad and you do get good discounts but need to bargain hard to get the best deal as its a bit expensive and a refresh model is expected soon.

Toyota Prado:We were shown a 2002 import petrol version.Frankly speaking it doesnt look huge and its best as a 5 seater the rear sets are for name sake purpose.But the interiors look out of the world is very comfy inside.It is great offroad but surprisingly it felels slow on the highway.Had it har 5 days but we used to see stars when we had to fill fuel because it would return 5 kmpl.At 30-32 lakhs would have picked it up if it would come with an gas station.

Suzuki Grand Vitara:It looks compact and muscular from the outside.The interiors are poor,with the same design of Swift and SX4 and a bit better quality.The engine aint great and consumes a litre every 7 kms.The gearbox is a bit notchy.The seats are comfortable,but it can seat only five.It should be great offroad as revealed fromm samurai's posts.The equipment levels are low.Its for sure expensive at 16.5 lakhs who cares if its an CBU.

Maruti Suzuki Versa:Looks a bit odd.It has seven seats and a dual aircon but anly chimps can fit in there.Has the same esteem engine tuned differently.Very easy to drive in the city.With a price revision its offered at 6.2 lakhs onroad,its best as replacement to the omni for short city rides not long highway journeys.
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:39   #2
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For occasional: Grand Vitara

For quite often: Safari

Cost effective and often: Bolero

Cost effective and often: Gypsy (?? Not so sure)
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:47   #3
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Nice write up. Crisp and clear.

About the Innova losing its breath @ 100 kmph - i dont think so. We just did 130 kmph in an Innova 5 days back, with more room to pull it further.

All in all, i think the only 2 cars worth looking at in your comprehensive list are the Captiva and the Innova. I love the 7 seater Innova, especially the one which has 2 bucket seats in the 2nd row. I personally call it the "Aeroplane Innova"

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Old 14th October 2008, 14:58   #4
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Nice writeup !

How come you forgot to check out Hyundai camp ! I believe Tucson is still in production and as much i have heard it is a fantastic machine to drive, though future is un-predictable due to close launch of Santa Fe.
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Old 14th October 2008, 14:59   #5
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That a long list of cars tested DVR !

However, i have my doubts on two of your observations:

1. Toyota Innova being uncomfy on broken roads? I hire the Innova when i'm visiting other cities in India and find it to be one of the most comfortable cars

2. The captiva by no means can "comfortably" seat 7. The last row is horrible, only kids below the age of 9 would be comfortable, provided they don't have too much baby fat.
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:02   #6
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The Innova is 13 lakhs on road?
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Old 14th October 2008, 15:47   #7
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Whoa, you test-drove all those cars in your search for one? Decent synopsis, though some points are debatable. I look forward to hearing your comments on the Montero & the mighty LX470.
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Old 14th October 2008, 16:16   #8
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Ford Endeavor Thunder+:Looks like a truck,is huge,imposing and built tough,Ford Tough.Has a huge 3litre engine producing about 150 odd bhp.Interiors are a bit freshened up.The last row of seats are too small.The less spoken about the ride quality the better,itís the major drawback.It has 4x4 but it cant be enabled on the fly.Too huge to drive around in the city.Somehow doesnít form a sort of liking towards it.For sale at about 21.5 lakhs on road.

Mitsubishi Pajero SFX:Looks awesome, neither too mean nor too subtle.The two-tone paint option is bad.The interiors though old world are well built and have a charm of their own.Equipment levels are low at that price.The engine is ancient but it pulls well without turbolag.The ride and handling setup is the best, loved riding it over potholes.The middle row is cramped for three.Its the best offroad.On the highway it takes its own sweet time to go over the ton.At 23. lakhs onroad its expensive but it is something special and a different creature.

Mitsubishi Outlander:
Didnít even care to give it a TD since it was a five seater and an auto even though its got a MIVEC engine.Had a brief look at the showroom ,Interior quality is outstanding,the Rockford Fostage audio system is great for an OEM.Has huge list of equipments.Interiors are luxurious and the seats are comfy.It comes with 4wd but doubt its performance because the stepney and exhaust are too low.

Mitsubishi Montero: This one was a 2004 model covered around 48000 kms.It looks ravishing.The engine was great had impressive power but a touch noisy. Nice interiors, everything had an quality touch. The middle bench and the front row is comfortable ,the rear most row is bad,even for children.The mutimeter inside was lovely.It was blewing out black smoke and the interiors werenít well maintained.The previous owners were expecting around 26 lakhs for it .Didnot feel worth it because they had paid just 30 lakhs when it was new,and it was not in its best shape.Would have preferred to pick up a new one at 30 lakhs but for gods sake the same model with refreshed exterior and interior costs 40 lakh onroad.Bye-bye Montero.

Toyota Qualis RS: Everyone had a liking to the quails at home especially the RS Green and silver version.Has good space inside .The engine even though had done68000 kms in 3 yrs was as good as new.The interiors were well maintained and ther were few squeaks and rattles inside.Everything was right except for the price it was offered at 8.0lakhs.The value of an used quails is more than that of a new Innova.

Honda CRV: I am a Honda Hater post NHC to the core and didnít even want to go too the showroom to even look at it,but since it was falling in our budget had to look at it.It looks pig ugly.The interiors look lovely but are typical Honda too delicate and full off beige,I was scared to touch anything because I felt it would get soiled.But the engine is great performer.It handles as good as a hatchback.The ride is a bit firm.Donít even think of going offroad and it only seats five.Bloody expensive at 23.4 lakhs.

Nissan X-trail:Looks butch and compact but the rear is not to my liking.Has great quality interiors.One of the best diesel engine I had driven ever.Handles well ,rides well.It doesnít seat seven.Has a lot of gadgetry and equipment and is reportedly good offroad.The downers are poor Nissan network,uncomy rear bench,a new model is out worldwide and a price tag of 29 lakhs.

Hyundai Tucson: Had asked the dealer for a test drive,they seem leat cared because they are hapy with their i10 and verna.If this was the attiyude before sales than what would it be after sales for a model that is about to be discontinued.Heard it costs somewhere around 18 lakhs decided to give it a miss.

Benz MB100:Was told over phone by an used dealer about this vehicle.Didnt get to drive it,but it doesnít feel like a benz.The interiors had platics faded away and the leather wornout.It had done an excess of 1,00,000kms and a price of 8 lakhs made it avoidable.The winger was a better choice.

Hyundai Terrecan:This was the only vehicle which I liked from the Hyundai stable,pity its no longer sold. Has great looks for a Hyundai.The CRDi unit is punchy and never loses power.Its underpinnings are from the pajero inspires confidence.Would have bought had it been sold new.The vehicle shown even though had done only 30000 kms the interiors were gloomy, felt it was decent value for a four year old vehicle at Rs15,00,000 only to know later that it had been in a massive accident.

Lexus LX470: Boy o Boy this is the king.Theres nothing you pick out wrong in it.It has the ultimate snob value.The looks,the engine,the sofas,the works ,the tech,the gadgetry everything is from a different world never seen.Its built to last a lifetime.Nothing can come close to it.The only model which came inside our budget was a 2000 model done 90000kmsfor 24 lakhs..It had HR registration.Its import papers were not clear and we didnít like to get into any legal hassles. Maintaining would be difficult and its past is unknown, evaluating all this decided to give it a miss.Its hightime Toyota got Lexus and this big daddy into India .


Will post back in sometime about the vehicle which won our hearts,why dont you guys give it a guess.

Last edited by D.V.R : 14th October 2008 at 16:32.
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Old 14th October 2008, 18:25   #9
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My two bits, nothing beats a PAJERO, I hope your results match mine
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Old 14th October 2008, 20:51   #10
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Default Pajero it is

THE CHOSEN ONE:Well rnbohra you've guessed it spot on,PAJERO it is.Its the dark horse among the bunch.Even though its 15 years old it matches all the priorities.The only vehicles which gave it competition were the Innova,Safari,Captiva,Endy.The priorities were:


7seater-The middle row gets cramped with 3 but can still manage
Tough Build-Its proven its build and reliability over the past 15 years
Self-Driven-
Decent Offroading Capability-Does it require to be spoken off
Torquey Engine-Even though ancient pulls well without turbo lag
Easy to maneuver in city-Its a bit huge but allround visibity is good
Good Highway Manners-Not much body roll
Balanced Ride and Handling Setup-This is the best part of the vehicle

The Bad points about the vehicle:
Looks:They are subjective,its an longlasting timeless design like the CJ.
Interior:You can consider them retro but they are well built.
Colour:The dual tone is ugly but cant help it unless tou want to shell out 50k and wait for 90 days.But folks at home liked the dual paint combo,we do have wierd tastes.
MiddleSeat:It is best for two a bight tight for three,has more space than the SX4 in which three sit without any complaints.
Cost:Its expensive but the competition is neither far away.

Will update later with the booking,colour,discounts etc.
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:04   #11
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Fantastic choice in the Pajero; I had a feeling that you would zero in on the Paj after reading your comments. That beast is a darn robust machine and will probably outlast you. Congratulations and do update us with an ownership report.
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:43   #12
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Nice choice... congrats!!!

IMO the dual tone (esp. the silver on white) looks much better than a mono giving a pleasing look to the otherwise bland exteriors... Maybe I fall in your wierd category

Quote:
Originally Posted by D.V.R View Post
THE CHOSEN ONE:Well rnbohra you've guessed it spot on,PAJERO it is.Its the dark horse among the bunch.Even though its 15 years old it matches all the priorities.The only vehicles which gave it competition were the Innova,Safari,Captiva,Endy.
Colour:The dual tone is ugly but cant help it unless tou want to shell out 50k and wait for 90 days.But folks at home liked the dual paint combo,we do have wierd tastes.
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Old 15th October 2008, 11:56   #13
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Certainly a nice choice, Congrats. I too hate the dual tone stuff. All the regrest will be vanished with excellent drive and off-roading ability.

cheers
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Old 15th October 2008, 12:46   #14
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Do I stand to get a prize?

Like its bullet proof build and reliability its is truely a fill it shut it and forget it kind of SUV. Always dreamt of having one and gods grace own one at the moment.
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Old 15th October 2008, 21:25   #15
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Before buying Scorpio i test drove almost all the SUV's below 22lakh,i was impressed by pajero for the ride and handling.
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