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Old 26th May 2015, 11:56   #31
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

Just returned a trip from Ooty /Kothagiri. I took 800 for the trip and wow, it was really fun. Though it lacks the initial torque which the diesel vehicles offer, the lower weight and the size allow it to zoom past the heavier and powerful cars in the ghat roads. If the roads are good,the peppy engine of 800 makes it a natural choice in the hill roads. And the manual steering wheel offers better feel of the curvy roads.
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Old 26th May 2015, 12:15   #32
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

I live near the hills of Darjeeling and venture up quite often for work as well as for pleasure. For my many trips to the hills I love taking My Hyundai Santro. Its light, ground clearance is good and best part is the engine. Its got so much low end torque, because of this its a breeze to drive up hills. Also need to mention the brakes on the Santro are excellent.

I see the humble M800 is being mentioned here quite a lot. Yes the car is very popular among hill taxi drivers. One of the main reason is due to the absence of power brakes. Because of this they can drive downhill with the engine switched off thus saving a lot of fuel . Unlike the alto which has power brakes, so if you switch off the engine then you will have no brakes.
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Old 26th May 2015, 12:52   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramzsys View Post
Petrol is good; but fuel efficiency?

Any diesel without huge turbo lag should do fine. That puts the renault's dCi first in the list and the swift's ddis last in the list.

And then comes the service center troubles for these cars, and then people buy the DI jeep and develop complicated relationships with the friendly neighborhood mechanics.
Agreed, I guess the main reason why petrol cars are being mentioned by everyone(including myself) is the lack of any turbo lag that comes with most present day diesels.

That said, any diesel with a less turbo lag should be equally good if not better. To add to your point around the dci, in theory the Nissan Micra might be an excellent choice.. I believe the cheaper active version has minimal turbo lag, it has an excellent Turing radius, its a hatch but still spacious! In theory, that should be a great combination.

Has anyone driven it in the hills?
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Old 26th May 2015, 13:01   #34
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The best vehicle would be the Duster AWD.

========
+1 to this GTO

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Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Hello all,
This is the most suitable thread as per my query. So here it goes.

=========
Now comes the real debate. This is the reason why I had to come to BHPians, those never ending discussions with my Dad.

So the shortlist is as follows:

=============

Thanks in advance.
Neel, for me it would be Duster if all round capability is needed as GTO has mentioned, Thar if looks and off-roading are of paramount importance, Gypsy if you want to build up muscles and ultra-reliability is the need of day. Gypsy being petrol is easier to start in colder conditions.

Last edited by khan_sultan : 26th May 2015 at 20:59. Reason: Please quote ONLY the relevant bits of a post. Quoting a full, long post inconveniences our mobile readers. Thanks
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Old 26th May 2015, 17:56   #35
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

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Originally Posted by fuel_addict View Post
Having driven M/T cars all my life, just curious to know how cars equipped with A/T handle the steep-incline driving conditions? Do the engines feel more lethargic when coupled with an A/T box?

The overwhelming choice for hilly terrain driving seems to be NA petrol cars which I find a bit baffling. Always imagined that a turbo charged car (petrol or diesel) driven in the turbo zone will be better equipped to tackle steep inclines.
Just having bought the K10 AMT, I was really disappointed by the automatic performance uphill. Now I always drive it in manual mode uphill. Downhill it is fine. Uphill it is confused, and the engine is huffing and puffing.

Regarding the turbo zone, this is the exact problem. Stop and go situations while driving uphill make being in the turbo zone tough. I've noticed this especially with the Swift D.
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Old 26th May 2015, 19:56   #36
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Default Best car for the hills?

Agreed. Stop-go conditions with turbo charged cars on inclines will always be challenging. I was referring to steep incline driving on relatively clearer roads which is what I have mostly experienced.

A/T boxes on smaller engine cars like Nano & Alto just don't seem right for challenging situations. Good to have the manual option in such situations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jassi_jeeper View Post
Just having bought the K10 AMT, I was really disappointed by the automatic performance uphill. Now I always drive it in manual mode uphill. Downhill it is fine. Uphill it is confused, and the engine is huffing and puffing.



Regarding the turbo zone, this is the exact problem. Stop and go situations while driving uphill make being in the turbo zone tough. I've noticed this especially with the Swift D.
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Old 27th May 2015, 10:52   #37
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

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Originally Posted by Dan9ie View Post

That said, any diesel with a less turbo lag should be equally good if not better.
I fully agree on the above statement. Main advantage of these petrol cars mentioned above is that they are much smaller and lighter and so easy to drive in ghat roads.
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Old 27th May 2015, 15:03   #38
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

I am from chandigarh and have taken many trips uphill to shimla, chail, barog, dalhousie etc, in many different cars, and to my mind I still have fond memories of my old Zen. it was a perky little car and drove uphill like a nimble goat.

Safari and their ilk, though adequately powered for the drive, feel big on the tight roads.

Of late, since i have automatics, the Laura is no problem to drive uphill, but i prefer to keep it in S mode on steep uphill sections, as in D the power delivery can be inconsistent, you get sudden burst when it drops 2 gears at a time.

But, I will still place my bets on a nimble hatchback. Havent taken the GT uphill, but I am sure it will be fun too.
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Old 27th May 2015, 16:35   #39
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

I would recommend the new Punto. It has a good GC, perfect size and if you get the T-Jet (anticipated) then its icing on the cake. Plus it has the best in class handling.
I have taken my Linea to every kind of place with soft offroading, hills, hairpins, bad roads etc. It was pretty easy to handle despite of the size of car. Punto will be rather easier I must say.
One of my friend in Ranchi has a Linea Mjet and he had been abusing it like anything. The car goes to the fields of Bihar on a regular basis and still does not show sign of agony.

Last edited by Speed Pujari : 27th May 2015 at 16:37.
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Old 27th May 2015, 18:52   #40
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

I have taken my 800 (sold now) on countless trips to Ooty, Doddabetta, Bheemeshwari etc. It climbed the hills without a fuss everytime and it was also unbelievably quicker if you know to work her up in the right gears.
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Old 15th June 2015, 12:10   #41
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

Quite tricky question. I've not used many cars so cannot comment but has used my M800 and Swift for my vacations to hills and felt fine. Particularly swift has seen many mountains and if I remember correctly there were very few places where it scrapped its bottom (driving in Kerala prepares you for that). The two which I remember are one at Changla and one in Bandipur forest. Some of the mountains/hills which she has been my companion were Leh [Zozilla, Hunder (via Khardungla), Pangong, Tso-Moriri], almost all hill stations in Kerala (Munnar, Thekkady, Wagamon, Gavi, Nellaiampathy, Parmabikulam, Waynad), popular hill stations in Karnataka and Tamilnadu.

Only place where I got scared was in Khardungla where we got stuck in Snow (had to give way to truck). Luckily saw some Gentlemen (Military) who helped to push the car a bit (harldy 5 meters) and got the traction on the front wheel and we were off. At all other places we just placed the Mat/Sack like cloth under the front wheels to get traction and with a small nugde could come out.

At few placee during my travel felt that higher ground clearnace would be better and at few other places 4x4 (may be AWD would do).
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Old 15th June 2015, 13:44   #42
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

Had used an old ALTO 1.1 (with the F10D, 4-cyl engine) extensively in the hills between 2001-2002.
It was a fine little motor. Nice, low end grunt. A sufficiently low 1st gear to clamber up steep gradients, short overhangs which prevented scraping. Even engine braking was decent when tackling long descents.
A nifty chassis and a tight turning circle added to the fun to drive factor.

Pity, Maruti buried this car so early in its production life cycle.
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Old 15th June 2015, 20:15   #43
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

I have driven the M800, Omni and K10 in hills, and find that the rear wheel drive Omni the best, followed by K10. That is as long as the roads are decent. The best part of small petrol engines in hills are that they are quite frugal and give you no problems in very cold conditions. The small turning radius of the above three vehicles is an added advantage on steep and narrow roads. The short wheel base also helps as the break over angle add to the GC.

If the roads are bad, then you need a high GC 4x4.
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Old 19th July 2015, 10:53   #44
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

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Originally Posted by XtremeTorque View Post
May not be your cup of tea - but have you considered an Omni? It has fairly good ground ........So if you can live with its minivan characteristics (no crumble zones,handling,lack of safety and comfort features etc.), then its worth adding to your list too
I've been going over this thread and overall I'd tend to agree with you, Xtreme Torque. We have been driving around the Kumaon hills (most of it, but parking ourselves at Naukuchiatal as base) for almost the past two decades.
We started with the Omni & graduated to the Tata Sierra and now the M&M Scorpio. And we find that the Omni is the ubiquitous choice for most taxis between Haldwani/Kathgodam & uphill destinations, followed by the M&M offerings - Boleros being the preferred choice.
From our own earlier experience, the Omni's popularity is understandable - its basic robustness (not safety mind you!), reliability, RWD versatility and ease of maintenance makes it an easy choice.
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Old 19th July 2015, 19:52   #45
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Default Re: Best car for the hills?

The Yeti, in my opinion is by far the BEST all rounder for India.
I just love it.
Every day my life is made a little happier when I drive my Yeti, irrespective of the surface and/ or terrain.
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