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Old 9th February 2017, 12:28   #211
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post
I am out in the market for a new set of wheels since 2015 December with a decent budget of Rs.12 lakhs and no car seems to have the "driver's car" magic. Though there are cars that are fast, some of them are fun to drive as well, but they all somehow lack the magic feel of a hard-core driver's car. Cars today seem to be more about what features do they have, how comfortable are they, what sort of infotainment do they carry, etc. Where are the cars for those who don't mind driving a metal shell on four wheels with just a steering wheel which plants a smile on the face each time you are behind the wheel right through each day of the ownership period?
I was pretty much in the same place as you 3 years back. I didn't want a tin-can on four wheels whose sole existence was to transport you from point A to point B in the most dullest manner. Yes, I know I know, I am exaggerating a little bit but then most of the options weren't what you could call, a 'driver's car'. Thankfully, there was one which ticked most of my boxes including the most important one - 'driver's car'. 3 years later, i'm happy that I went with my heart and bought home the Ford Fiesta! You can check my ownership experience here -->

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...rd-fiesta.html (Fast Ford - My 2014 Paprika Red Ford Fiesta)

If I had to choose a car now, my list would be as follows -

1) VW Vento/Skoda Rapid - in the TSI/TDI guise based on the price and requirement.

2) Abarth Punto - HPS, build quality, handling and if I don't mind spending 12L on a Fiat (which I don't, to be honest).

3) VW Polo TSI - gearbox (ease of use, happy left foot and the 'S' mode which is fun), looks (I like it and with subtle mods it will be a great looker) and if I don't want the rear seats.

4) Figo TDCi - engine (more performance with a remap?) and if I don't mind a Ford in a Maruti/Hyundai clothing (no offence meant to anyone).

5) Linea - Would've been an easy-peasy decision if this was 2013-14. The car per se is not bad at all but even the heart doesn't agree with this one in 2017.

Second hand market then, would be the ideal place to look out but if you are someone like me, I know you wouldn't go there.

All the best and happy shopping!

Last edited by Porschefire : 9th February 2017 at 12:32.
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Old 9th February 2017, 12:33   #212
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Cars that come close to your title are...
1. Skoda Rapid
2. VW Ameo/Polo/Ameo
3. Punto clan

This is all I can think off; or else you've the 60% down used market where you can bargain a lot & get an old Beemer or Merc at good price.
Skoda Rapid is a great car but its again only fun to drive, not exactly a true drivers car. The suspension tuning is still comfort oriented and not for real spirited driving. Also, the petrol engine is not really free revving, I found it to be a little coarse.

The Polo and Ameo lack the engine credentials required to qualify for a driver's car and both of them again have soft suspensions and a steering with dead centre.

The polo tsi is brilliant but let off the mark due to the comfort oriented suspension tuning.

Also, though a petrol head should not be looking at this, skoda and VWs are not easy on the pocket to maintain.
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Old 9th February 2017, 12:48   #213
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by Porschefire View Post
I was pretty much in the same place as you 3 years back.
========
All the best and happy shopping!
Thank you porschefire, I agree with your tips and your choice of buying the ford fiesta 1.6 (I hope). Thing is though, I don't like the diesel clatter so much and somehow have always found petrol cars to be much more fun to drive. so the TDI and TDCI both drop off my list. I was a fiat loyalist uptill they shelved the fiat palio and launched the punto-linea (have talked about it in previous posts as to why am I dropping them). With no other option quite really the polo & vento TSI are there on my list but not completely satisfied with them.

Point is, cars like the following -

1.Ford Fiesta 1.6 S

2.Fiat Palio 1.6

3.Old Baleno

4.Skoda Octavia RS (first gen)

5.Suzuki Swift 1.3

6.Figo (first gen)

7.Ford Ikon 1.6

8.Fiat Uno 1.2 (with a tyre upgrade)

The essence of these fantastic driving machines has been lost.
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Old 9th February 2017, 12:52   #214
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post

The polo tsi is brilliant but let off the mark due to the comfort oriented suspension tuning.
Put aftermarket Bilstein B6/B12/B14 or kW Street Comfort Coilovers and all suspension related issues would be sorted out.

The other thing the Polo siblings lack is good brake bite. This also can be solved by upgrading the rotors/pads to something good after market.

Fix these two issues, get a basic remap and it'll run circles against a fiesta. The fiesta S was pretty sorted out in terms of ride, handling and steering. However even that car lacked brake bite IMHO.

The biggest issue with the fiesta was the engine - it barely made any power and felt pretty slow in a straight line. Even a stock Polo 1.2 TSI without any remap is much much quicker in acceleration. After a remap it is a riot.
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Old 9th February 2017, 12:59   #215
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post
Skoda Rapid is a great car but...and VWs are not easy on the pocket to maintain.
Pardon me for being blunt...not you, but most people around the world, fantasize having a car as big as Royce, as powerful as BMW, as safe as Merc & yield FE as much as a Prius but only to be priced as cheap as Hyundai!!

In reality these are not possible you only get what you pay for!!

Either increase the budget for a new car, or buy what you like even if it is a used car. Most that you listed such as Palio 1.6, Baleno, Ikon, Uno, Octavia/Figo first gen all can only be found in used car market & not in showrooms.
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Old 9th February 2017, 13:02   #216
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Originally Posted by reignofchaos View Post
Put aftermarket Bilstein B6/B12/B14 or kW Street Comfort Coilovers and all suspension related issues would be sorted out.

The other thing the Polo siblings lack is good brake bite. This also can be solved by upgrading the rotors/pads to something good after market.

Fix these two issues, get a basic remap and it'll run circles against a fiesta. The fiesta S was pretty sorted out in terms of ride, handling and steering. However even that car lacked brake bite IMHO.

The biggest issue with the fiesta was the engine - it barely made any power and felt pretty slow in a straight line. Even a stock Polo 1.2 TSI without any remap is much much quicker in acceleration. After a remap it is a riot.
If modding is what we are looking for, I feel a bilstein suspension on Punto Abarth would make it invincible, it'll leave the polo in the dust long gone!

Thank you for the suggestion reignofchaos, it is genuinely good, however, the polo is already not a very reliable car and with the mod I doubt its longevity. I am looking for a car in stock tune which I can push to the limit through a 5 year life span without worrying too much about it breaking it (mechanically).

also, the fiesta S did not have weak brakes, the brake pedal required a stronger shove to make it work, the stopping distance of the car was perfect. If I talk about weak brakes my swift is horrible even when I stomp the brake pedal with all my might.
Talking about the engine of the fiesta S, I agree it did not have a very strong bottom end but as a package with the car it was quite fast.

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Pardon me for being blunt...not you, but most people around the world, fantasize having a car as big as Royce, as powerful as BMW, as safe as Merc & yield FE as much as a Prius but only to be priced as cheap as Hyundai!!

In reality these are not possible you only get what you pay for!!

Either increase the budget for a new car, or buy what you like even if it is a used car. Most that you listed such as Palio 1.6, Baleno, Ikon, Uno, Octavia/Figo first gen all can only be found in used car market & not in showrooms.
Thank you for tip Aargee but practicality while buying a drivers car is not a bad thing, neither is it a bad thing to fantasise owning a car which is as fun to drive as a BMW but costs 1/10th of its price
With the cars I have listed, it was possible to actually live that fantasy.

I dont see 12 lakhs to be a bad budget for a driver's car and this is exactly the point that I am trying to drive here, on the new car market we are not left with good drivers cars for decent money. They have gradually moved to a niche segment, our mind-set has been tuned to believe that if we want a car that's outstanding to drive, raise your budget or go home.

That said, I take your opinion and like I have mentioned in an earlier post, the polo and vento TSI are on my list but am not entirely satisfied by the drive either, so the finances come in second here.

NOTE FROM T-BHP SUPPORT: Please avoid posting consecutively. Use the EDIT / QUOTE+ functions within 30 minutes of posting. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 9th February 2017 at 14:11. Reason: See note in post
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Old 9th February 2017, 13:39   #217
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post
If modding is what we are looking for, I feel a bilstein suspension on Punto Abarth would make it invincible, it'll leave the polo in the dust long gone!

Thank you for the suggestion reignofchaos, it is genuinely good, however, the polo is already not a very reliable car and with the mod I doubt its longevity. I am looking for a car in stock tune which I can push to the limit through a 5 year life span without worrying too much about it breaking it (mechanically).

also, the fiesta S did not have weak brakes, the brake pedal required a stronger shove to make it work, the stopping distance of the car was perfect. If I talk about weak brakes my swift is horrible even when I stomp the brake pedal with all my might.
Talking about the engine of the fiesta S, I agree it did not have a very strong bottom end but as a package with the car it was quite fast.
Point is the 12L budget. The Polo costs 10 or so on road. Spend the rest on mods and it's a lovely car
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Old 9th February 2017, 13:50   #218
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In today's market there is no car as you want under 12-Lakhs which can quality as a bone stock fun to drive car. The market is filled with jacked up hatchbacks with a suspension tuned for comfort or sedans with a ground clearance which could put a few compact SUVs to shame.
You have only two options-

1. Pick up something from the existing options available and get a set of aftermarket struts and coil overs from some reputed brand.

2. Pick up a used Jetta or a E90 320d.
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Old 9th February 2017, 15:27   #219
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post
Thank you porschefire, I agree with your tips and your choice of buying the ford fiesta 1.6 (I hope)...

..The essence of these fantastic driving machines has been lost.
AG, I'm getting a feeling that our frequencies on cars match! I completely agree upon all the 8 cars you've listed here have been fantastic it terms of their set up. Also, these catered to a wide price bracket - 5-15L so a mango person who was more driving oriented wouldn't have been left out.

Here's the thing, all these cars are more than a decade old and back then, anything beyond 7-8L was considered serious money. The Fiesta 1.6S for example which retailed for about 10L then would definitely cost twice that today. The market itself has changed drastically over the last decade with cars becoming more 'soft' in their approach and pricier. How else would one justify a sub-10L on road price for a car like the Ignis!!!
Cars which were performance oriented back then were more or less 'imposed' on us by the manufacturers because of the lack of options. The purists loved them but the person who wanted comfort and FE absolutely hated it. Though I like Hyundais and have owned one, I strongly believe they are the reason for the cars becoming 'soft' nowadays. They are the masters of providing a comfortable VFM product IMO and the problem is every manufacturer in the country is trying to replicate that. That is what 99% of the aam-janta want.

My point is, the market has changed. Sub 4m cars rule the 3-12L range, SUVs/UVs/MUVs on the 12-22L bracket and performance starts beyond 22L. You will never find the 'perfect' car in your range, best you can do is pick the one which offers fun as an ingredient and you make a main course out of it.

Last edited by suhaas307 : 9th February 2017 at 15:47. Reason: Trimming quoted post for improved readability. Thanks.
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Old 9th February 2017, 17:49   #220
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by Porschefire View Post
AG, I'm getting a feeling that our frequencies on cars match!
======
You will never find the 'perfect' car in your range, best you can do is pick the one which offers fun as an ingredient and you make a main course out of it.
Completely agree with you Porschefire, I have reached one conclusion that finding the perfect driving machine will set me back by double my budget so I am going to wait for a few expected launches in the coming one year (since my swift is running good currently) like the following -

1.Baleno RS

2.Swift RS

3.Toyota Vios (not that I expect too much from it as a driver's car)

4.Ciaz 1.5

5.Aspire Ecoboost (a dream that I wish comes true )

while keeping the following cars on my list from the current lot -

1.Polo GT TSI

2.Vento TSI

3.Honda City (neutral dynamics and an explosive engine)

4.Punto Abarth

5. Linea 125

I wonder what it would be like if I could purchase a second hand ford fiesta which would cost me about Rs.3 lakhs and plonk a 1.0 ecoboost in it which should cost me another 4-5 lakhs. Its just a brain wave, that's worth discussing, not that I am actually going to do it
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Old 10th February 2017, 20:53   #221
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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.
The Abarth is definitely a good car but negotiating curves at speeds is different from chucking the car into turns for quick times. The latter procedure shows how poorly the suspension manages the Abarth Punto's weight. It definitely is a situation of handling vs comfort but when you slap an Abarth badge on the car shouldn't one be right in expecting handling to triumph over comfort? Afterall the market for the Abarth would be purely driving enthusiasts who know exactly what they want. I feel Fiat should not have played neutral with this one and simply let the Abarthness take over IMO

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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.
Agreed. Although from personal experience, I must say that a good brake pad upgrade to the old Fiesta almost completely solves its braking issues.

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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 honestly feel the City has great potential (ofcourse with a tyre upgrade) slap on some good tyres on the City and it definitely puts a simle on your face. You may not like the light build etc. BUT the car is so chuckable and I think what Karthikeyan meant when talking about the dynamics, is that the car is so predictable even close to the limit. The V-Tec coupled with the slick gearbox, makes the drivetrain pure nirvana and one can chuck that car around a track keeping that engine on the boil all day long. Stability and steering feel is not everything mate sometimes there is a lot to be said about the inherent playfulness of a car.

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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.
Have you actually got any experience on a race track? Just asking because if you did, you would know that while the Abarth suffers from terrible gear-ratios, the DSG is most definitely not a boon for the Polo either, nevermind lending it a "2 fold" advantage. The only scenario where a DSG with no paddle shifters or autoblipping feature is better, is in a drag race where its fast upshifts cannot be matched by a human. Otherwise the car hates to be told when to downshift especially if your downshifts are on the aggressive more demanding side and without an autoblipper, downshifts cause instability. Had the Polo had a manual it would have been MUCH faster on track.

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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.
Obviously the skinny tyres hinder the Citys performance aspirations but if you replace those tyres for something better (which is not so expensive anymore and our market has several options) then the car really is quite the drivers delight.

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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.
All things left same, lighter car does always translate into better dynamics. Technically you're right about the suspension BUT the car will more than make up for that with better acceleration, quicker turn in, less body roll, better braking etc.

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Originally Posted by adneo View Post
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.
The Linea's HPS, ride quality and braking are truly outstanding, BUT the heavy weight that is not compensated for with stiffer suspension or stabilizer bars which hinders chuckability and the terrible ergonomics (all key elements on a track), means that I would honestly pick the City over it on a track all day everyday. Nothing against the Linea but I feel that the Linea does not inspire confidence (obviously Linea is the safer car but I'm talking in terms of performance on track) in as easy a fashion as the Honda does. The Linea definitely wins on paper and performs superlatively better in terms of braking, stability etc. but it is more of a numbers game with the Linea it sort of loses out in terms of balance, chuck ability and drivetrain characteristics for me. If I may be permitted the following comparison; the Linea is kinda like a Veyron whereas the City is like a Koenigsegg . Obviously that comparison is wrong on so many levels but I hope you get where I am coming from. The Linea is a great car to drive in the hands of an amateur who would appreciate its sheer capability but for someone who knows what he's doing, while they might be equally fast if not faster in a Linea, the effortless nature of dancing a City close to its limits, will always be more enjoyable.

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Originally Posted by skandyhere View Post
One could add a few other crucial aspects:
- Weight distribution, and the associated 'chuckability' of the car
- Good ergonomics: Not to be seen as a tangential practicality' issue in a discussion on FTD cars, because poor ergonomics can very quickly take the fun away from driving.
- Pedal positioning: Some cars have such god awful pedal positioning that it's impossible to heel-toe with regular shoes. I struggled with the Ecosport, and it's ironic that Ford, of all the car makers, makes this error.
- Gearshift experience: Assuming a manual transmission, it's interesting how many variables there are that could either enrich or dull out the whole gearshift experience - clutch travel, clutch feel, how positive gear shifts are, and shifter length.
- Engine & drivetrain: Think power and torque characteristics over the rev range, and the gear ratios. Although I'd think it's rarely SO bad that you can't compensate for it by adjusting your driving style, these make a big difference when they're just perfect.
You said it mate

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Originally Posted by mayankk View Post
What use do you put heel and toe to in a front wheel drive car? Just asking.
Let's say your thrashing your car into corners like nobody's business; what if there is a stone, sand, pothole or an unexpected undulation? Or what if one of the corners is tighter than you expected? You want to be able to go down the gears while also being able to keep the weight shift in check. In other words, a jerk free ride is not only comfortable, but has its performance and dynamics advantages as well.

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Originally Posted by The AG 6167 View Post
Point is, cars like the following -

1.Ford Fiesta 1.6 S

2.Fiat Palio 1.6

3.Old Baleno

4.Skoda Octavia RS (first gen)

5.Suzuki Swift 1.3

6.Figo (first gen)

7.Ford Ikon 1.6

8.Fiat Uno 1.2 (with a tyre upgrade)

The essence of these fantastic driving machines has been lost.
Sadly you're right. Might want to add the Forester to that list too

Last edited by IshaanIan : 10th February 2017 at 20:58.
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Old 11th February 2017, 01:03   #222
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Talking Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
The Linea is a great car to drive in the hands of an amateur who would appreciate its sheer capability but for someone who knows what he's doing, while they might be equally fast if not faster in a Linea, the effortless nature of dancing a City close to its limits, will always be more enjoyable.
It should also be said that the reason some of us may prefer the City to the Linea is that the joy of instant-power-on-tap from a naturally aspirated free revving petrol at its higher octaves is so much more satisfying than having to work within the relatively narrow power band of a turbocharged engine which also doesn't yield its best at higher revs. Here's what they mean to me: The former is as 'spiritual' as it gets - if one can digest that term here - since it feels like driver and machine are one, whereas in the latter, the driver interacts with his machine as a separate entity.
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Old 11th February 2017, 07:56   #223
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Default Re: "Driver's Car" a concept that seems endangered

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joy of instant-power-on-tap from a naturally aspirated free revving petrol at its higher octaves is so much more satisfying than having to work within the relatively narrow power band of a turbocharged engine which also doesn't yield its best at higher revs.
Completely agree with you skandyhere but the problem is, to keep emissions & costs of building an engine down manufacturers are shifting to small displacement turbocharged engines so in the recent future there may not be many naturally aspirated engines left.

In fact even Honda is shifting to turbo petrol with the upcoming Civic which is expected at the end of 2017 & has a 1.8L turbo petrol churning 174hp under the hood.

Thing is though, these turbo petrols are fast & there is no doubt about it but they just arent as mystical as a naturally aspirated engine. Reason being turbo engines have smaller displacements with a turbo for added air intake in the valves to churn more power, thus making them more susceptible to slow down due to passenger & luggage load & Air-conditioning than a larger displacement Naturally Aspirated engine.

Further, Turbo petrols then have a limited power band because only the range where the turbo works is where that engine pushes itself, for the rest of the time it'll tell you "don't disturb me, I am working & that should be good for you"

Bottom Line, Turbo Petrols are faster, but Naturally Aspirated engines are better & the current city might be one of the last ones to use a brilliant N/A engine in the sedan category. I appreciate Fiat here for one fact that the linea still carries a displacement of 1.4 litres so you get the better of both worlds but not the best
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Old 7th March 2017, 18:10   #224
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Default Moving beyond the Optra Magnum- the 1 million problem?

Hi BHPians,

This thread going to be about searching for the next right car from my current pre-worshiped Optra Magnum.

Background:
My own first car was a Chevy Beat Petrol. Bought it more so because the looks/design appealed to me more than anything else. Sold it in around slightly over 3 years (in 2015) and based on a seed planted in me about buying pre-worshipped cars I was introduced to the world of Optra Magnums. Of course these were highly underestimated/not very successful cars in the market but something about the Optra Magnum appealed to me immensely which is why i took the plunge and got myself another Chevy-a 2009 Dec Optra Magnum LT.

What I Like about the car-
- The 2.0l engine (the lag doesnt bother me too much), the performance, the ability to climb triple digits speeds- probably faster than pretty much 90% of traffic on the road- even stronger performer on the highway
-The ability to be a proper sleeper, the comfortable ride yet the decent handling
-Plush leather interiors
-Airbags, ABS+EBD, all discs around- superb acceleration coupled with good braking
-Despite its age there are no rattles- impeccable build-I do find the thud of the doors better than the likes of VW (of course its my opinion)
-For a large, heavy diesel car the clutch never bothered me. For some reason the one in my car is lighter than usual. Mind you I travel back and forth in the horrible ORR peak hour traffic in Bangalore.

What I dont like-
-Unavailability of Parts/expensive parts/no warranty
-Age of the car showing up with things requiring replacement like the suspension
-Lack of any modern technology- a 6 CD changer isnt so hip in 2017

So well the Optra Experience has taught me a thing or two about the pre-worshiped experience. But the D segment type engine performance has spoilt me completely in terms of what I expect out of a car's engine.

Which brings me to subject- What next? I am looking to replace my Optra mainly because of its age and un-friendliness towards getting new parts and I am confused between a new car or another pre-worshipped one.

Budget: 10 lakhs (can stretch to another 15% if required)
Requirements:
- Need power and that is going to be the main thing- I doubt I will enjoy anything which is much slower than the optra. It has be in a similar league or better
- If its pre-worshipped I need to definitely have a warranty in place. This rules out powerful D segment cars which fall in my budget and are under warranty
- All go and no handling? Well, it should of course be a decent handler- if not good to match the engine
- Looks are not my priority as such neither is back seat comfort or even boot space
- No loyalty to any particular brand (despite what my last 2 cars tell you ) however, parts availability should not be a concern
- I would prefer an automatic, but could go either way.
- Prefer a diesel but could go either way
- SUV/Sedan/Hatchback? Prefer a sedan >SUV>Hatchback- however irrelevant for the right car

I have been trying figure out what my options are, but I need a larger audience to help me in this dilemma and nothing better than the members of this forum.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 7th March 2017, 18:23   #225
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Default Re: Moving beyond the Optra Magnum- the 1 million problem?

Stretch 50% and get a S-Cross 1.6, will keep you power happy for a good long while without worry about spares.
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