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Old 8th November 2014, 14:52   #1
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Default Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Fancy wafting instead of driving?

Want to look like a businessman instead of a family man?

Here are some large saloons which you could consider. Remember, they will be expensive to run but since some of them are corporate cast-offs, having fulfilled their duty on the depreciation benefit, they can be yours for less than half of the original price. These may not all be enthusiast’s cars but are supremely comfortable!

Why are they cheap?
  • Balance Sheet Write Off – Rather than pay tax, better to spend on insulating the CEO’s posterior against the potholes
  • Unpopular Variant – Some are lesser cousins but only the badge on the back will give the game away
  • Scary Stories – Some have an overstated reputation for problems. Be selective and diligent and you might be lucky
  • Overstretched on the brand – A lowly brand punching above the CEO’s weight
  • Disinterested Dealers – The manufacturer wanted an image car for branding purposes but the dealers were not interested in selling or maintaining them (sometimes they were clueless!)
  • Fuel Consumption – People forget that the petrol/diesel parity has changed the whole equations

Risks when Barging In
  • Running costs will be high
  • Parts will take time to come in
  • Getting rid of the barge will take time
  • Accident repairs = write off!
  • Dealers might be clueless if the car has sold in low number

Barges work best as an occasional car. They can also be used for a chauffeured commute keeping in mind the running costs will offset the EMI’s saved

So lets looks at some barges

Last edited by ajmat : 9th November 2014 at 13:18.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:21   #2
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Skoda Superb II


Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-2011may22skodadrl2.jpg

Yes – this car is the topic of discussion for the wrong reasons. However for the DSG issues, we do not see too many issues to report. Good 3 year old ones around the 40000km range are selling for Rs 9 lakh

For
  • Punchy 1.8 TSI engine.
  • Loads of space
  • Shrinks in size when driven
  • Upmarket feel
  • Reliable mechanicals (well except one component)
  • Plenty of choice

Against
  • DSG Box reliability – now resolved but time will tell
  • Expensive parts
  • Need to check the oil
  • Diesels a little underpowered
  • A few bad dealers
Watchout - DSG box history needs to be clearly documented. Rumour has it that Skoda will quietly address DSG failures for a while. Budget for an expensive clutch flywheel change for high mileage ones

Verdict – Scrutinise the history and buy but keep Rs 1 lakhs in liquid funds untill you know you can trust the DSG reliability. Manuals are a no brainer, thousands of European taxi drivers cannot be wrong

Last edited by ajmat : 13th November 2014 at 11:48.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:26   #3
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

VW Passat TSi

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-20121102_085402_resized.jpg


The first Passat we got in India was a troublesome beast due to complications with the engine reliability and DSG box. VW withdrew the diesel and gave us the 1.8 TSi for a short while.

Although obsolete, it is a really nice car. I had one as a loaner and it was a pleasant surprise. Fairly lightfooted although not the ultimate drivers car. Mint ones are around Rs 10 Lakhs

For
  • Punchy 1.8 TSI engine
  • Very easy and light to drive
  • The chromed nose gives it a lot of presence
  • Well equipped

Against
  • Fuel consumption gets into the 6’s when you enjoy it
  • Engine might drink oil at low mileages
  • VW dealers might not know much about this engine as it is rare to them
  • VW dealers
  • Parts when required might take a while

Watchout – Check the clutch and flywheel, Check handbrake works as it consists of little motors in the rear hub which will eventually give up with the dust and muck. These motors cost around Rs 50000 for a pair.

Last edited by moralfibre : 10th November 2014 at 09:01. Reason: Correcting typo.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:30   #4
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Nissan Teana

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-dsc01306-1.jpg

Coming from a leading manufacturer of anaesthetics (yes the GTR and 370Z belong in the viagra portfolio), these cars are rare and very unassuming. You never will notice one of these but the interiors are plush and the engine is buttery smooth. It is supremely reliable and non of Renaults bits have found their way into these. The initial versions are available for around Rs 6 Lakhs and the latest version are around Rs 15L range

For
  • Lots of comfort for the money
  • That front Ottoman chair in the top versions
  • Smooth engine
  • Reliability

Against
  • Dealer might not know how to service it
  • Parts might be difficult to come by especially when it comes to accident repir
  • Not exactly a car for those who love driving
  • The opposite sex will not notice you, neither will the same sex!
Watchout – Make sure you have a capable dealer

Verdict – A sofa for your parents

Last edited by ajmat : 13th November 2014 at 11:49.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:33   #5
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Nissan X Trail

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-xtrail.jpg

As a manual, this car is a good drive and outclasses the Honda CRV. Alas, high prices, indifferent dealers and poor brand image killed it. Most of the ones on the market will have done around 60000km but don’t let that discourage you.

For:
  • Durable and well built
  • Good handling for an SUV
  • Lots of space
  • Not too bad off road


    Against:
  • Horrible auto box
  • Interiors are pretty basic although well equipped
  • Dealers will not know how to service the more complex bits
  • High Miles for the price

Watchout – Check all tyres have even wear (can cause premature differential wear). Make sure the turbo is not shot


Verdict – Superb go anywhere wagon

Last edited by ajmat : 9th November 2014 at 15:07.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:39   #6
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Mercedes E class w211 - Second Generation

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-photo-02.jpg

Well, a Mercedes is a Mercedes is a Mercedes

Go for the ones with the louvered headlights. Apparently Mercedes made 3000 improvements on it which led to an uptick in reliability. The main highlight was that the troublesome Sensotronic brake by wire was removed. It shows that Mercedes had the guts to admit its past failures and start re-engineering its cars properly. Asking prices are around Rs 15-18L but your bargaining skills can bring prices down

For
  • It’s a Mercedes, doors will open, limbs will part
  • Great ride
  • Stable on Indian roads
  • Sense of occasion
  • Solid build and safety
  • Good unofficial parts availability
  • Wide dealer network if unofficial sources do not work!

Against
  • Parts and service will cost you – find an alternate unofficial sources
  • A bit dated compared to the competition
  • High miles compared to other cars but may not look ropey
  • It’s a Mercedes so asking prices can be unrealistic

Watchout- check everything works and get a professional evaluation

Verdict – Real Merc Motoring if you are lucky but remember go in with your eyes wide open

Last edited by ajmat : 13th November 2014 at 11:50. Reason: Bullets
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:42   #7
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Honda Accord

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-photo2256.jpg

10 years ago, we used to aspire to wanting one of these assuming that a Merc was out of our reach. Now, no one really bothers or notices them. They do have a lot going for them though

For
  • Reliable
  • Easy to service and maintain
  • Plenty of choice in terms of engine and transmission
  • Plenty of space
  • Lusty V6

Against
  • Too many of them
  • Honda dealers have attitude
  • Needs to a few revvs to get the horses going
  • V6 engines are rare
  • Very bland and underequipped compared to a Superb or Passat

Watchout –Check for accident damage or abuse - drivers get frustrated than nothing happens they try and make something happen

Verdict – A painless choice but not the most exciting choice

Last edited by Aditya : 11th November 2014 at 17:56.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:49   #8
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Toyota Camry

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-img20140726wa0002.jpg

A big comfy sofa but has taxi written all over it. A significant proportion came in under the EPCG scheme as taxis. Many techies going to the US ended up with them as hire cars so viewed with disdain as a commercial worker!

For
  • Reliable
  • Space
  • Ease of service
  • Silent

Against
  • Boring to drive
  • It's no arm candy, it’s a big Corolla, nothing more
  • Watchout – No yellow plates left in the boot

Verdict – This commercial worker is more like a Geisha girl focussing on comfort not excitement

Last edited by ajmat : 13th November 2014 at 11:50.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:52   #9
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BMW 520i, 523

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-bmw_01.jpg

These were rare entry level cars more for the corporate honcho on a budget. A case of all dressed up but no power to go!

For
  • Zazzy bangled looks
  • Great Image
  • Nice handling (when going downhill)

Against
  • Relatively underpowered
  • Hard Ride
  • Higher fuel consumption compared to a diesel
  • It’s a BMW so asking prices would be high
  • Suspension and electronic gremlins as cars age

Verdict - Cry hoarseless for horses

Last edited by ajmat : 13th November 2014 at 11:51.
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Old 9th November 2014, 13:54   #10
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Audi A6 Petrol

Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs-28032009001.jpg

I was tempted by a 2007 one in Delhi going for Rs 12 Lakhs but the Karnataka road tax priced it out of contention (and the running costs). A competent car, China’s hotel limo by choice

For
  • Punchy performance
  • Grippy chassis
  • Classy roomy interiors

Against
  • Dated compared to its peers
  • Slightly numb steering
  • Audi service
  • Multitronic box is DSG in disguise

Verdict: Comfy cruiser, might bowl Ravi Shastri out but not the keen driver!

Last edited by ajmat : 9th November 2014 at 15:16.
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Old 9th November 2014, 14:00   #11
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Volvo S80 Petrol

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This was completely off the radar until I noticed quite a few on OLX.com. There are plenty of Series 1 versions that came in as embassy cars coming under the Rs 10 Lakh range.

The series 2 cars were sold locally. Not many have been sold due to the stealthy Volvo network but examples are popping up at tempting prices. These cars may not have the cachet of the Germans but are more than a match in the comfort, durability and reliability stakes. If you are realistic, you will realize that one spends more time driving in straight lines on rutted roads. this is where these cars make a lot of sense.

2007 6 cylliner petrol versions are going around the Rs 12 lakhs range. If lucky, a Yamaha engined AWD V8 can turn up for over Rs 17 Lakhs.

For
  • Excellent ride
  • Durable and reliable
  • Excellent seats
  • Well built

Against
  • Duller than the germans to drive
  • Dealers thin on the ground
  • Parts might be delayed
  • No, its not a bus - commonly heard at the cocktail party

Verdict - Try one, you might have the last laugh over ze Germans

Last edited by ajmat : 9th November 2014 at 15:18.
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Old 9th November 2014, 14:03   #12
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Renault Fluence Petrol

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Yes, it is a little smaller than the aforementioned cars but it needed a mention. Although the CVT transmission dulls the car, it is more usable than the traditional barge. I saw a good one going for around Rs 11L lately.

For
  • Newish metal for the money
  • Good ride / handling
  • Sturdy build
  • Ample power

Against
  • CVT box spoils the party
  • Quirky ergonomics
  • Rare model means dealers might be clueless and parts might be sightless

Verdict - A slightly low key choice but apart from size it has all the attributes of a barge

Last edited by Rehaan : 11th November 2014 at 15:31.
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Old 9th November 2014, 15:42   #13
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Shifting to main area from assembly line
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Old 9th November 2014, 15:57   #14
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Renault Fluence, Nissan X Trail and BMW 5 Series probably won't fit well into the definition of "automotive barge". Hyundai Sonata is a decent fit though.

I have been tracking the (falling) prices of Honda Accord and Nissan Teana on OLX/Quikr. These cars might be boring to DRIVE, but their rarity on the roads makes them interesting. Honda Accord is actually quite rare in Bangalore and Nissan Teana is almost invisible. Both having V6 engines helps their case too. Although many find their exterior design staid, I find them clean and timeless. The key is to choose the right colour - black/other dark colours look way better than silver/grey/white/beige. However, I feel the prices need to fall a bit more - Rs. 8 - 9 Lacs price range seems like a good deal for me for these sofas on wheels.

Meanwhile, now that we have a Volvo dealership in Bangalore, S80 looks very tempting. Any idea how heavy it is on the pocket to maintain? Somewhere in between a Honda & the Germans? How is the reliability?

Last edited by smartcat : 9th November 2014 at 16:07.
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Old 9th November 2014, 18:04   #15
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Default re: Dependable pre-owned Barges & Luxury Cars for Rs. 10-15 Lakhs

Nice list. I have got a barge wet dream going on at the moment.

Used Honda Accord v6 for around 8-9 lakhs.

And with the money I saved by not buying a new D segment sedan, put in stiffer springs to get rid of that floatiness at high speeds, bigger brakes to make it stop better, wider tyres, a K&N typhoon air intake and a better exhaust. Should be able to do it for 3-4 lakhs, isn't it? Then keep it for around 6-7 years. Might be a pretty good idea.
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