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Old 23rd January 2017, 18:31   #181
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It totally depends on the definition of fun and where you intend to have this fun.

For me even a M800 is a FTD car as much as an Abarth. But that's just me.

Taking cues from this forum, you could even get a nice used car and mod it as per your requirement.


That being said, for a reliable daily drive, I'll anyday pick up a powerful stock car than mod up a used car/ less powerful car.

Of the 3 - Fiat, VW and Skoda, I think only Abarth Punto, Linea 135S, GT Tsi, and Octavia 1.4 TSi could fall into the FTD factor. I may be a bit biased towards petrols over diesels.

And all these there have their shares of problem - but none of them are so bad that one is put off buying their cars.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 18:32   #182
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

Ok, now i guess the name of the topic has misled a few valued contributors.
What i meant was full sized cars with no compromises while targeting the 10-14 lakhs bracket, not hatch backs and pseudo crossovers.

While each car has got their own pros and cons, the Figo/Aspire while delivering on the performance front cant provide users with the premium feel of a Polo TSI/ Vento TDi. The moment one steps in they know they are in a particular segment. No doubt Ford deserves the Kudos for having put in the stonker of an engine in that segment, but my problem is we still dont have a full package within this particular price bracket from a vendor who can be trusted well enough and expected to help us cherish our ownership experience.

Last edited by adneo : 23rd January 2017 at 18:33.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 18:56   #183
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
It totally depends on the definition of fun and where you intend to have this fun.

For me even a M800 is a FTD car as much as an Abarth. But that's just me.

Taking cues from this forum, you could even get a nice used car and mod it as per your requirement.


That being said, for a reliable daily drive, I'll anyday pick up a powerful stock car than mod up a used car/ less powerful car.

Of the 3 - Fiat, VW and Skoda, I think only Abarth Punto, Linea 135S, GT Tsi, and Octavia 1.4 TSi could fall into the FTD factor. I may be a bit biased towards petrols over diesels.

And all these there have their shares of problem - but none of them are so bad that one is put off buying their cars.
Yes ofcourse, cheaper cars can and do give us a fun filled experience but most of the times at the cost of something. I really enjoy driving my Alto K10 in the city, it feels just like a go kart, but it comes at the cost of safety and interior and build quality.
Thats why i hiked up the price bracket to 10-14 lakhs as i would generically expect a more complete package at those levels at least from some vendors.
Honda was a worthy mention in that bracket until they lost it somewhere while redesigning the City.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 19:26   #184
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

Before we can even talk about the brands, what are the factors that makes a car FTD?

Few I can think of:

- Chassis: This, I think, is the most important. A rigid but light and stable chassis is the basic ingredient of all FTD cars. Without a good chassis, nothing else will work.
- Steering: 2 factors here. Steering accuracy and steering feel. Most cars in the price bracket mentioned by OP has no feel. But anyways, I think, steering feel is overrated. An accurate steering, which can make the car go where it is pointed, is more important for FTD cars.
- Engine: A good, fast revving engine with good power is a classic ingredient in a FTD car. But in Indian conditions, a low revving engine with loads of torque low down in the rev range can be equally rewarding.
- Suspension: As a general rule, stiffer the better for handling and softer the better for ride. So for a FTD car, a careful balance between the two is needed. Also suspension travel is another factor. Longer the travel, the more the body roll. Eg: Many reviewers complained about the boat like rolling of Abarth Punto.

These are all I can think of. Others please add any other fundamental factor which I have missed.

So, we have to consider cars based on the above factors. FTD is not just a brand thing.

Edit: One more factor, Transmission: MT or AT is based on individual preference. There are pros and cons for both. Also pros and cons for different types of ATs. Also, among MTs, some are notoriously bad.

Last edited by deerhunter : 23rd January 2017 at 19:32.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 19:49   #185
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Default 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
Hi Folks,
Thought of creating a dedicated thread, even though we have discussed cars in the same category previously, since i wanted to focus on the manufacturers and the options the buyers are presented with along with the fine print.

So the case in point for this discussion would be if i were a buyer in the market looking for a FTD option within the 10-14 lakhs bracket by options would mostly get reduced to Fiat, VW and Skoda, with the Linea 125s, Vento TDI and the New Rapid

VW/Skoda:

1. Shady business practices. After sales horror stories.
2. Exorbitant parts and labour charges.
3. Availability of spares.


I thanks everyone in advance for taking the time to review this thread.

I think one needs to be a lot more open than generalising like the above. Even though VW has been hit by the emission scandal, I don't think other car manufacturers are free of wrongdoing as well. You have auto companies around the world being caught out in this emission saga as well, at least in the context of Indian market, I think VW does justice to the quality of its cars more than any one else. Some major parts are expensive, but the Vento, Rapid and Polo are heavily localised and in reality are as cheap or as expensive to maintain as a Hyundai or a Maruti.

If it's fun to drive full size sedan in the 10-14 lakh category then there is nothing that beats the Vento or Rapid diesel DSG or even their manual diesel versions. The TSi is beautiful as well. Unfortunately the others like the Hyundai Verna nor the city offer such performance levels and are best used as neutral cars.

Last edited by motorworks : 23rd January 2017 at 20:06.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 19:54   #186
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
Before we can even talk about the brands, what are the factors that makes a car FTD?

Few I can think of:

- Chassis: This, I think, is the most important. A rigid but light and stable chassis is the basic ingredient of all FTD cars. Without a good chassis, nothing else will work.
- Steering: 2 factors here. Steering accuracy and steering feel. Most cars in the price bracket mentioned by OP has no feel. But anyways, I think, steering feel is overrated. An accurate steering, which can make the car go where it is pointed, is more important for FTD cars.
- Engine: A good, fast revving engine with good power is a classic ingredient in a FTD car. But in Indian conditions, a low revving engine with loads of torque low down in the rev range can be equally rewarding.
- Suspension: As a general rule, stiffer the better for handling and softer the better for ride. So for a FTD car, a careful balance between the two is needed. Also suspension travel is another factor. Longer the travel, the more the body roll. Eg: Many reviewers complained about the boat like rolling of Abarth Punto.

These are all I can think of. Others please add any other fundamental factor which I have missed.

So, we have to consider cars based on the above factors. FTD is not just a brand thing.

Edit: One more factor, Transmission: MT or AT is based on individual preference. There are pros and cons for both. Also pros and cons for different types of ATs. Also, among MTs, some are notoriously bad.
About the steering feel, i can connect with you about the VAG steering but cant say the same about Fiat's HPS unit. That being said one of the best EPS i have driven around is the Fiesta's. Absolutely point and shoot!
The suspension indeed is a crucial factor, but some reviews are just plain and simply put biased. They lowered the ride height for the Abarth Punto and it runs stiffer dampers. While TDing it i didnt feel a bit of nervousness while negotiating curves at speed. Ofcourse if someone expects better body roll control it has either got be compromised financially (Rear Independent suspension + stabilizer tweaks) or in terms of ride comfort (Stiff suspensions which will bounce passengers around). We had such issues with Fiesta 1.6S where some of my friends would complaint about the back seat discomfort.

Another thing that i would like to add to your list would be reassuring build quality and good brakes. I am not saying that a Disc + Drum solution cant be adequate, i was astonished by Ford's tuning prowess having experienced their Disc + Drum combo on the Fiesta at speeds. While i was hell scared by the one's in the vento. Fiat is currently the only vendor in that segment who offers a all disc setup.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:01   #187
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by motorworks View Post
I think one needs to be a lot more open than generalising like the above. Even though VW has been hit by the emission scandal, I don't think other car manufacturers are free of wrongdoing as well. You have auto companies around the world being caught out in this emission saga as well, at least in the context of Indian market, I think VW does justice to the quality of its cars more than any one else. Some major parts are expensive, but the Vento, Rapid and Polo are heavily localised and in reality are as cheap or as expensive to maintain as a Hyundai or a Maruti.

If it's fun to drive full size sedan in the 10-14 lakh category then there is nothing that beats the Vento or Tapi diesel DSG automatically or even their manual diesel versions. The TSi is beautiful as well. Unfortunately the others like the Hyundai Verna nor the city offer such performance levels and are best used as neutral cars.
I do accept the fact that every company has gots it share of misdoings, but specifically how VAG takes us Indians for granted is disconcerting to me as a buyer. A simple example after the issues with the DSG, they offered free extensions across the globe, i think upto 10 years in China. But in India? Its just covered by the default warranty. I regularly get to listen to people being given the run around citing fuel problems, bad driving styles ( that too in a DSG!) and god knows what.
I mean if it was just a one of incident it would not have created this widespread well know perception amongst car buyers that VAG is a risky decision.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:02   #188
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Some reviews are just plain and simply put biased.
Purely from a FTD point of view, I prefer Narain Karthikeyan's Autocar Trackdays. The details he gives about the driving and handling characteristics of the cars are, I feel, very accurate. I have watched the trackday videos from 2010 and he has covered many of the budget FTD cars. Some results are surprising.

Quote:
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I think VW does justice to the quality of its cars more than any one else.
When we talk about quality, we must also include the quality of the mechanicals. With these many DSG and injector failures, I dont think VW does justice to its cars. I agree that their interior plastics and outer sheet metals are of better quality, but their mechanicals are nowhere closer to others in terms of quality.

Last edited by deerhunter : 23rd January 2017 at 20:08.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:06   #189
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post
Purely from a FTD point of view, I prefer Narain Karthikeyan's Autocar Trackdays. The details he gives about the driving and handling characteristics of the cars are, I feel, very accurate. I have watched the trackday videos from 2010 and he has covered many of the budget FTD cars. Some results are surprising.
When i read about your thoughts on the Abarth Punto somewhere i knew Narain was the source of that feeling. No offence but i think Autocar track days at least for the cars meant for the general public are biased and paid up for.
He said the current gen Honda City was stonker with good dynamics !!! Come on anyone having driven fast laps in the current gen City would beg to differ more so if they have driven the same course in a Linea TJet, Punto Abarth or a Vento TSi/TDi.
No doubt the City has a great engine, but the dynamics??? Come on.

Last edited by adneo : 23rd January 2017 at 20:08.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:16   #190
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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When i read about your thoughts on the Abarth Punto somewhere i knew Narain was the source of that feeling. No offence but i think Autocar track days at least for the cars meant for the general public are biased and paid up for.
He said the current gen Honda City was stonker with good dynamics !!! Come on anyone having driven fast laps in the current gen City would beg to differ more so if they have driven the same course in a Linea TJet, Punto Abarth or a Vento TSi/TDi.
No doubt the City has a great engine, but the dynamics??? Come on.
I dont know why you think they are paid reviews. He posted a better time in Figo diesel compared to Abarth Punto. There are many other surprises as well.

Like I said earlier, handling characteristics depend on so many factors. Maybe in a track that is what matters. Most of us, layfolks, dont push it that far. That maybe the reason most people find Abarth Punto better handler than a Figo. Also, most of us admire the high speed stability of a Polo GT TSI. But he was talking about how badly the front suspension was stepping out of line. Maybe, the FTD for layfolks has a different meaning compared to FTD for a track driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by adneo View Post
About the better times of the Figo even though the engine is quite potent, the nature of the track with its frequent turns also did aid in that as the Abarth's prowess is the the top end which brings in all the horses whereas in a diesel the max torque kicks in quite early on.
His Abarth Punto and Polo GT times were the same. So it is not just the track, there is some truth in what he says. Maybe he is right about the body roll. If that is right, then probably for Indian conditions, a Figo maybe a better FTD car than an Abarth Punto. Because good corner carving is an inherent character of a FTD car.

I agree that a track test is not equivalent to road test. But we can get many accurate pointers to the driving character of a car.

Last edited by deerhunter : 23rd January 2017 at 20:41.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:25   #191
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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I dont know why you think they are paid reviews. He posted a better time in Figo diesel compared to Abarth Punto. There are many other surprises as well.

Like I said earlier, handling characteristics depend on so many factors. Maybe in a track that is what matters. Most of us, layfolks, dont push it that far. That maybe the reason most people find Abarth Punto better handler than a Figo. Also, most of us admire the high speed stability of a Polo GT TSI. But he was talking about how badly the front suspension was stepping out of line. Maybe, the FTD for layfolks has a different meaning compared to FTD for a track driver.
Exactly thats my point a professional driver can post better times with a car going around the corners on 2 wheels but that would not be a reassuring experience for a general person like me who appreciates stability as much as true performance. Moreover we wont be driving them on the track and the external factors most of the time would be against us. For example while taking a tight turn on the roads a tractor emerges out of nowhere forcing you to make a sudden change in direction, whilst a car might negotiate a track with 2 wheels in the air, the same car will definitely turn turtle if its not accompanied by ESP, which has happened quite a few times with the Ecosport.
About the better times of the Figo even though the engine is quite potent, the nature of the track with its frequent turns also did aid in that as the Abarth's prowess is the the top end which brings in all the horses whereas in a diesel the max torque kicks in quite early on.

Last edited by adneo : 23rd January 2017 at 20:29.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 20:46   #192
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

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Originally Posted by deerhunter View Post

His Abarth Punto and Polo GT timings were the same. So it is not just the track, there is some truth in what he says. Maybe he is right about the body roll. If that is right, then probably for Indian conditions, a Figo maybe a better FTD car than an Abarth Punto. Because good corner carving is an inherent character of a FTD car.

I agree that a track test is not equivalent to road test. But we can get many accurate pointers to the driving character of a car.
Again the Abarth looses its edge to a TSI DSG in a frequent turning track just because of the gearbox, which everyone knows is Abarth's pain point and on the other hand its a machine taking care of the gearshifts, so the advantage is 2 fold.

I really dont want to hurt anyone's feelings here and whatever i have stated are purely my observations.

I do respect the Figo/Aspire a lot for what Ford have put into them, but any car in its factory tune would have inherent advantages in certain situations where as in others it will lose out.

A true review would be one which considers all reality and judges a car only after taking into consideration all eventualities.

Having said this, lets close our views of reviews here and get on with our discussion about the choices in that price band and the vendors.

Last edited by adneo : 23rd January 2017 at 20:54.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 23:17   #193
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Default Re: 10-14 Lakh FTD Car - Manufacturers with questionable track record

@ Adneo : If one wants a FTD as well as car that can keep you and occupants safe - the options are very less.

I had similar requirements but with Safety taking first priority over FTD. I did not care much about re-sale value.

First short lists were VAG, Ford and Fiat ( no particular order)

So after all test drives I zeroed down to the ford Fiesta face lift ( Aston martin grille) and the new Linea MJD. Tried a month searching for a new stock Fiesta but too bad production had stopped and no dealer was interested in getting me a car - so it was only the Linea left - took one in March 2016 and munched 13k kms till date - absolutely no issues and in love with her to say the least. The sales experience with Aadya ( Fiat) motors Bangalore was pleasant too.

Regarding ASS - i was in touch with Team Fiat India group members and i knew exactly what to expect and that was acceptable to me - trust me Fiat ASS is not that bad as people say. It is manageable ( assuming one is a discerning owner and reads up, talks with fellow owners etc ) unless you are in a location with no dealers.

With VAG - the management is not actually very responsive to customer complaints. Also the Rapid/Vento is not as well built as their Octavia /Jetta's are and their face lifted ( current Rapid) was not ready when i was in for a buy.

With Fiat in spite of really funny sales numbers- they don't skimp much with respect to build quality. Though they do not care much about sales, if you escalate issues regarding their service ( and whatever is left of it) their management does respond.

Wishing Ford had not discontinued their new Fiesta - still ogle at one whenever i spot one ( rarely of course).

Coming back to FTD - it is the rough , ghat and curvy sections of the road, where you will appreciate these cats. Braking ability is really very good and the steering feedback is excellent - u ll hate driving most EPS cars post that. Overall given other factors are constant ( eg., driving style/ability) one will feel most confident and involved behind the wheel with these cars.

Regarding offering all 4 discs : T-Jet , Verna and S-cross variants have them.

Last edited by The Observer : 23rd January 2017 at 23:23. Reason: Adding a few points.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 23:39   #194
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Default Re: Fiesta 1.6S...what next? Fun-to-drive car upto 10 lakhs

Why isn't City FTD?

+ Has a fast, high revving, sweet sounding NA iVtec engine. Rare breed in this age of downsizing and turbos. I think it's most powerful as well after Linea 125s.

+ Smooth,short,precise slotting manual gearbox which is very much engaging and fun compared to auto transmissions in these TSI and TDIs.

I'm an old school guy and for me Manual > Auto (dual clutch or anything else).

+ Light body = Better handling.

+ Precise steering. It's light, no doubt but it makes up in being direct. Dare I say, it's twitchy. But I agree, there's not much feedback. But then, Ventos and others themselves aren't a great examples of feedback. If your car has EPS, forget feedback.

So, my definition of FTD is high revving, powerful engine, sure slotting manually GB and a precise steering.

I guess, FTD is very broad then. Different strokes for different people.

Last edited by The Brutailer : 23rd January 2017 at 23:44.
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Old 24th January 2017, 00:19   #195
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Why isn't City FTD?

+ Has a fast, high revving, sweet sounding NA iVtec engine. Rare breed in this age of downsizing and turbos. I think it's most powerful as well after Linea 125s.

+ Smooth,short,precise slotting manual gearbox which is very much engaging and fun compared to auto transmissions in these TSI and TDIs.

I'm an old school guy and for me Manual > Auto (dual clutch or anything else).

+ Light body = Better handling.

+ Precise steering. It's light, no doubt but it makes up in being direct. Dare I say, it's twitchy. But I agree, there's not much feedback. But then, Ventos and others themselves aren't a great examples of feedback. If your car has EPS, forget feedback.

So, my definition of FTD is high revving, powerful engine, sure slotting manually GB and a precise steering.

I guess, FTD is very broad then. Different strokes for different people.
As much as i appreciate your point of this being more of a personal preference, Honda somewhere moved over their focus from drive dynamics to creature comforts.

While i love the iVtec for its free revving nature and the gearbox as well, the skinny tires and the light build quality dont go a long way in reassuring confidence in the enthusiast. Moreover a lighter car always doesnt translate into better dynamics since one would have make up for the weight loss into the engineering of the suspensions so that any uncalled for motion of the vehicle can be countered accordingly.

I loved the 1 & 2nd Gen Hondas! Absolutely drivers machines, but after that they started playing the numbers game and now a City has become more of a status symbol than a machine yearned for by the hardcore enthusiast.

If you really want to feel the difference , please drive the Linea TJet and the City back to back on a nice twisty section. Provided you do it with an open mind i dont think it will take much to make you feel the difference between the Linea's HPS, Ride dynamics and braking performance.
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