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Old 26th July 2009, 18:28   #16
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Buying and owning
  • Hyundai getz: 8 /10
  • Hyundai I 20: 8 /10
  • Honda Jazz: 6 /10
  • Maruti Ritz: 9/10
  • Maruti swift: 9 /10
  • Skoda Fabia: 3 /10
  • Chevrolet Aveo 5: 5 /10
  • Tata Indica Vista: 4 /10
  • Fiat Punto: 5 /10
This forms the mot important criteria in the purchase decision because for most families, this will be their only car and hence, has to perform all the tasks that an average Indian car buyer demands.

And it is Maruti that has understood this aspect very well and all their parts are cheap, easily available and workshops at almost all the territories means that buying a maruti means peace of mind. Moreover, many workshops also show interest towards customer satisfaction which automatically reflects on its resale value, on par with the industry best.
Maruti offers a 2 year 40,000 km warranty, which can be extended to 4 year 80,000,km on nominal charge.

Hyundai dealers also provide competent, hassle free ownership experience but some workshops charge very high labour rates, so it makes sense to scout for a decent workshop before getting th car serviced. Though many Hyundais have decent resale price, the getz doesn’t command a good price in the seconds market due to low demand, although it makes for a decent second-hand buy.
The I20 is expected to offer better resale due to its recent design and reasonable demand.
Hyundai offers a 2 year unlimited mileage warrenty which can be extended to 5 years or 1 lakh km depending upon the model.

Chevrolet, freshly emerged from bankruptcy is making every effort towards gaining custmer confidence by giving best in industry standard warranty (3 years/1,00,000kms) or cashless ownership offer (9 free services –both parts and labour for Rs. 10,000 for 3 years/ 45,000 kms) but still the network is limited and sometimes parts are not available. Dealer attitude in general has to improve at all counts.
The biggest problem with chevrolet is the high rate of depreciation which translates it into poor resale value the moment the car is driven out of showroom, not a good sign for the brand.

Tata motors may have the second largest chain of workshops across the country but their service standards leave a lot to be desired, especially their workshops which are pretty incompetent in handling customer satisfaction, often a war of words have to be carried out to get even the basic of job done at TASS workshops.
Tata offers an extended warrenty of 3 years on all its vehicle.
Again, the vista petrol will depreciate heavily due to poor demand and the perception of tata motors more of a diesel car maker rather than a petrol car maker.

Fiat’s tie-up with tata looks promising but again, still it has to do a lot of climbing up the ladder with competent workshops that restore faith in the brand that has completely lost its sheen. The linea and the punto are positive signs, but still many gripes like parts availability and poor dealer attitude remain, something fiat has to work upon as soon as possible.
Fiat offers 2 year/ unlimited mileage warranty on the punto which can be increased to 4 years on nominal payment. Service intervals of 15,000 km again look a step in the right direction.

Skoda, on the other hand, the less said the better. Fraudulent dealers, expensive spares and maintenance costs, reliability issues with fabia petrol and worse, the parent company’s lack of involvement means that dealers are having a jolly good time looting customers, stealing parts and swapping them with fake counterfeit ones, making false profits by forging signatures etc.
Its time for skoda to wake up or else, the fabia will doom prematurely.
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:31   #17
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Summing up:

It all boils down to the requirements of the customer that whether he/ she prefers being self driven/ chauffer driven, he wants performance or mileage/ comfort or utility/ family carrying criteria etc.

So, the winners will be those cars which do a combination of most of these things right and very few wrong, that is, the winner is the car with the least compromises.

First up is the vista. It looks decent, has good space and comfort and comes with cheap price.But as a complete product it does not excel in every single area and is hopelessly outclassed in important areas like performance and mileage, maintenance costs, quality/ fit and finish and resale value.At best, avoidable. Buy only if you really want a tata product and even if you are tempted towards the vista, only the quadrajet diesel makes sense.

Next-the aveo 5. Other than decent space and comfort and ride, again, it feels hopelessly outclassed in every single area. poor resale value, inconsistent after sales service and outdated design and mechanicals means again, it is avoidable. Its biggest problem is that it lacks the overall feel that most cars in this segment now provide. Dull driving experience and wheezy engines are another chinks in its armor. GM needs to come out with its replacement-the viva-fast.

Next to go is the fabia. It looks good, has the best fit an finish, ride and handling and space and comfort and is packed with features not usually found in some D segment cars. Surprised? Then start counting its negatives and you will never give it a second look again as the cons like pathetic engine configuration, vibrations, reliability issues, electrical gremlins, stratospherically priced spare parts and maintenance and the worse of all, dealers almost zero commitment to customer satisfaction means that this car is also off from the buyer’s radar.

The hyundai getz also ticks most of the right boxes-like practical nature, decent ride, space and comfort , after sales service etc but again, it fails to deliver what car buyers want-value and feel. Poor depreciation means that the getz’s resale value will be abysmal and despite hyundai’s resorting to brutal discounts, demand has not really picked up and now there's a word that the vehicle may get phased out by the end of this year doesn’t help the matters also. Only recommended for the best price to size ratio and those who can live with an outdated 7 year old product.

The Honda jazz-modern design, practical and spacious interiors, best in class performance and good mileage with industry best resale value and the “H” badge on the nose-suddenly the whole package looks tempting and the right choice.
But, factors like inconsistent after sales service by honda dealers, high purchase price and most importantly, skimping on essential equipment means that the jazz is not as good value in long term as you have better alternatives available.

It’s a close call between the swift and the punto, which are declared as joint runner ups.
The punto ticks almost all boxes right-sexy design, solid build, ride and handling, decent interior space, competitive pricing and equipment that would make a jazz look like a stripped down model making it fantastic VFM.It loses out due to mediocre performance from its claimed 90 bhp 1.4, below par fuel efficiency, so important in a car of this segment and poor interior quality with sme small parts falling off. Questionable after sales service is also a cause for concern.

The swift, again is a good all rounder with good equipment levels, VFM price, amazing after sales service and industry best resale value. Combination of performance and mileage is also worth noting but it loses in crucial factors like rear seat comfort, outdated engine which is about to be replaced, and most importantly, the body which though has proven itself, still does not feel well screwed together. Wait for the new KB series swift which is expected to change games drastically.

It’s a close call, again between the Ritz and the I20, declared as joint winners as both these cars tick most of the boxes right and very few wrong.

The ritz will appeal to city dwellers who want a practical car with high visibility, decent ride and handling, amazing performance and mileage from its new generation KB series engine and most importantly, the sheer value for money it offers in terms of equipment levels in the ZXI. Cramped rear and small boot with questionable rear styling are small things that an average car buyer can live with.The peace of mind coming with the maruti badge is another jewel in its crown.

The I20, on the other hand will appeal to those who want a safe, spacious and comfortable car with lots of features and do some highway runs. Though the engine is uninspiring, it more than makes up with decent mileage, stability and the peace of mind that comes with the hyundai badge, making it easy to live with.

The Ritz and I20 are good, competent all rounders that take the best ingrediants from all the cars and blends them into a recipe of optimality, something that we people need.

And we Indians love optimality. Don’t we?
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:35   #18
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excellent work sid! took some time to go through everything. It's a very comprehensive and unbiased review i must say! Better than many car magz available! Or do you work for one?
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:45   #19
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Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
Fuel efficiency:

On typical Delhi traffic with 90% AC on, expect these figures:

Skoda fabia- 4 /10
  • City-8-9 kmpl
  • Highway-11-12 kmpl
Fiat Punto-5 /10
  • City-9.5-10 kmpl
  • Highway-12.5-13 kmpl
Honda Jazz -7 /10
  • City-12 kmpl
  • Highway-15-16 kmpl
Hyundai getz- 6 /10
  • City-10.5 kmpl
  • Highway-14 kmpl
Hyundai I20- 7 /10
  • City-11.5 kmpl
  • Highway-15-16 kmpl
Tata indica Vista- 4 /10
  • City-8-9 kmpl
  • Highway-12.5 kmpl
Chevrolet aveo 5- 6 /10
  • City-11 kmpl
  • Highway-14-15 kmpl
Maruti swift-7 /10
  • City-11.4 kmpl
  • Highway-15-16 kmpl
Maruti Ritz- 8 /10
  • City-12.5-13 kmpl
  • Highway-17 kmpl
Great report again sid, Did you test these FE figures or are these ones imaginary?
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:52   #20
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Great review Sid...

Originally Posted by .anshuman View Post
Did you test these FE figures or are these ones imaginary?
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:53   #21
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Good work Sid

Now i know why the Ritz Petrol outsells the Diesel and also why hyundai is them selves astonished with the demand for the i20! they never expected such demand from the domestic market. Finally Indians get a high class Export Vehicle
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:55   #22
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wow!!! Comprehensive review. Well-done Sid.
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Old 26th July 2009, 18:58   #23
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Awesome unbiased review!
Kudos Sid.
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Old 26th July 2009, 19:59   #24
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sid, I'm not sure how the fiat scored more on the ownership than the vista. I have a feeling that fiat owners suffer more at TASCs than us tata owners
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Old 26th July 2009, 20:00   #25
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Amazing insight Sid! The level of detail is simply outstanding. Great job! We really needed such a compilation with so many premium hatchbacks around. Keep it coming....
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Old 26th July 2009, 20:48   #26
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Great Job Sid..It's a wonderfully composed detailed review of hatches available in Indian market...Excellent work!!

- Vish
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Old 26th July 2009, 21:14   #27
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Fantastic reviews and comparisons Sid. These reviews (with comparisons) were very much needed. Truly better than many car magazines . Great job Sid, keep it coming.
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Old 26th July 2009, 21:21   #28
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Huge effort that justifies the wait and anticipation. Cold, objective analysis brings a logical winner of the segment. This should put to rest any niggles people had regarding earlier comparisons/reviews. For me personally, I feel for Fiat to reach runners up position is by itself a good achievement. I hope things go upwards hereon for Italians. Once again, great work sid.
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Old 26th July 2009, 21:27   #29
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How bout adding the Ford Fusion to this list? I know its a 1.6L but within the same price range (or thereabouts) of the contenders listed here.
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Old 26th July 2009, 21:47   #30
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Outstanding comparison attempt Sid! Even better than your diesel hatch comparo.

In my book too the Ritz takes the cake among petrol hatches. If only Maruti could give it a better back.
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