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Old 20th January 2009, 14:22   #1
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Default Car for someone who's been there and done that!

Hello Folks,

I am in the market now for a car. A used one most preferably. A budget of under 3L. And not a FIAT

I have owned three FIAT's over the past couple of years. A nice red 1.2 Sports, a fantastic S10, and very solid Petra Diesel. All sold one after the other to make way for new economic conditions and use. So I am done with the FIAT's and their service conundrums.

My other vehicles include a '59 Willy's 4x4, a '96 Yezdi Classic 2, and a recently acquired '87 Jawa 350.

As you notice I have enough "white elephants" in my stable. So what I am looking for is a:

1. Good looking car
2: Decently powerful (remember I have owned an S10, so I dont want one in that league unless the price is juicy)
3. Can be a petrol or a diesel (but not many miles on the odo)
4. Should be fairly easy to maintain (I dont want no headaches)
5. Primarily going to be a point A to point B car with the occasional highway run.

I do about 1500 kms a month in city driving. In addition, I may throw in a long distance trip once in 2 months at the maximum. I have a twin and a jeep so they take care of trips too for me on most week ends.

I dont need speed, because I have a 350. I dont need adventure (and therefore an SUV) because I have a Willy's 4x4 with whom I have done countless jaunts with the Bangalore JeepThrills group. What I need is a simple car that will be my saviour day in and day out.

And finally, I plan to keep this car for about a year to year and a half and thereafter buy another one as life changes. As far as "cars" are concerned, I end up losing interest in them after a brief period of time.

I have also thought of picking up a 1100 and doing her up within a budget of 2L. I did find it possible even with a nice little 118 NE engine. Decisions! Decisions!!

Now I need advice on this...because I pretty much am absolutely horrible at making logical financial decisions when it comes to automobiles. I inherently think from the heart - which has been the reason why I always stuck to the Fiat's. What I need now is a logical financial decision on a good car that will be a point and run machine Maybe I will have to sacrifice some things in the process!

Do I have my saviour here?
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Old 20th January 2009, 18:12   #2
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Nice garage there! Looks like you've got your fill of fun machines, and are looking at practicality. But then, you type:

Quote:
I have also thought of picking up a 1100 and doing her up within a budget of 2L.
Practicality or fun? What is it that you are looking for?

Practicality + Fun : Used Baleno / Honda City / Ford Ikon

Fun + Unique (as your current wheels are) : If you want to get a ride only to spruce her up, a Contessa over the 1100. Or stretch a wee bit more and get yourself a W124! You'll retain her for longer and will relish that simple / solid German engineering everyday.
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Old 20th January 2009, 18:18   #3
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If hatch is ok, Swift VXi/ Santro Xing.
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Old 20th January 2009, 18:43   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Nice garage there! Looks like you've got your fill of fun machines, and are looking at practicality. But then, you type:



Practicality or fun? What is it that you are looking for?

Practicality + Fun : Used Baleno / Honda City / Ford Ikon
You got it. I am a bit off my rockers. But none of these cars attract my fancy.

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Fun + Unique (as your current wheels are) : If you want to get a ride only to spruce her up, a Contessa over the 1100. Or stretch a wee bit more and get yourself a W124! You'll retain her for longer and will relish that simple / solid German engineering everyday.
Hmmm...yes...I think you've understood my psyche right. I am worried about reliability though. Yes, these cars should be straight on reliable (i remember seeing an old episode of top gear where they literally smashed through a W124 estate to see how much abuse a yesteryear vehicle could take). But then again its a worry. The last thing I want is another car to be in the garage.

You wont believe it, but at one point a few weeks back, all my cars/bikes were in the garage for some work or the other! I just lost it



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Originally Posted by jkdas View Post
If hatch is ok, Swift VXi/ Santro Xing.
JKdas...man, you just have to pummel my male ego to the ground eh? I dont even want to go near a Santro. I can sense all my evil girl friends sniggering away at me.

There goes my "logical decision buy this time around" through the window!
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Old 20th January 2009, 18:46   #5
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Go for an OHC or a Baleno. Japanese and reliable as hell. Will fit your budget too and east to live with.
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:00   #6
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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
JKdas...man, you just have to pummel my male ego to the ground eh? I dont even want to go near a Santro. I can sense all my evil girl friends sniggering away at me.
It is good normal car to fall back on. In fact I switched from a 225HP Acura 3.2TL to an automatic Santro. At 5.5 years it is the longest time any car has stayed with me. In fact, it has spent less time in garage than all my later vehicles like Baleno, CJ340 and Grand Vitara. Ok, the GV put in garage hours for the skid plates, not for any problem.

Surrounded by all your white elephants, you need a beacon of sanity, and Santro can give you that.
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:13   #7
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A used Baleno would be your best bet..... my friend just bought one with 67k's on the odo for 1.7L
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:21   #8
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Originally Posted by Samurai View Post
It is good normal car to fall back on. In fact I switched from a 225HP Acura 3.2TL to an automatic Santro. At 5.5 years it is the longest time any car has stayed with me. In fact, it has spent less time in garage than all my later vehicles like Baleno, CJ340 and Grand Vitara. Ok, the GV put in garage hours for the skid plates, not for any problem.

Surrounded by all your white elephants, you need a beacon of sanity, and Santro can give you that.
Wow...but did you switch to the Hyundai because you moved to the hilly netherworld? I understand you moved (but not sure when). I do understand your point about sanity, and am actually looking for that. Sometimes you get up in the morning and just want to go A to B. No wondering when the car is going to give up on you etc etc.

But then comes GTO and puts me back on track to re-start my research on the W124.

Offtopic: Hope to see you at Munnar!

Quote:
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A used Baleno would be your best bet..... my friend just bought one with 67k's on the odo for 1.7L
Thats a nice price...was that in Delhi?
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Old 20th January 2009, 19:34   #9
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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Wow...but did you switch to the Hyundai because you moved to the hilly netherworld? I understand you moved (but not sure when).
I am just a week away from completing 5 years of my return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
But then comes GTO and puts me back on track to re-start my research on the W124.
He too has a backup car like Indigo.

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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Offtopic: Hope to see you at Munnar!
You bet.
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Old 26th January 2009, 14:30   #10
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Default EDIT - Now looking for a used Bolero in Bangalore!

Alright, am back again!

Missed the Munnar OTR because of work 12 hours before having to leave. Drat and dang! But heard the Great Escape was a sissy trip. Not sure what the scene is with the JT event. But after having seen pictures of the trail...well, its got to be one helluva ride.

However, I have spent the time usefully by soul searching over my requirements for a car. After helluva research on Maruti's and Hyundai's I am flabbergasted at the prices being quoted for these dinky contraptions. For something close to 2L, I dont even get power steering off a 2002 or '03 car which has probably done 40k on the odo. I cannot come to terms with paying so much for a car that offers zero protection, almost no comfort, runs on petrol. I just cant fathom it.

So I started searching again...and I slowly came to realise that inspite of owning fast cars, what I really liked was never burning the tyres in the city. I loved long distance driving and wanted a car that could take me to those places.

In comes the Bolero. It never figured in my mind because I expected it to be quite expensive. However, after reading the reviews of most people here, the pro's seem to absolutely spit out the cons. I have used an old Willy's jeep for 1.5 years in bangalore stop go traffic, so I just gave two hoots to all the comfort factors which people kept getting at. I actually loved driving my jeep out in traffic because (will list out only the logical reasons now):

1. I could park anywhere. Even on foot paths 2 feet high. I could also just drive over half a foot high medians and take u-turns during heavy traffic jams.
2. I loved the view from the top over all the little people.
3. Nobody dared come near me.
4. Diesel economy
5. Simbleee reliable

I cross checked and the bolero just fit everything listed above to the last nut and bolt. For someone coming off jeeps for the past 2 years on a regular city driving basis, a bolero should logically be a step up. And for someone having driven only the new age FIATS his entire driving life, the reliability and service from mahindra must be like what a cold wet towel is for a migraine.

So why used?

The new VLX CRDE is horribly over priced. More than 8L on road is not for me. I dont care for the power on that hunk of metal. Its more dangerous than anything else.

The new SLX 2WD works out to about 6.66 OTR and the SLE is about 6L OTR. Hmm. Still pricey. Okay, I am cheap. Anyway, I dont expect to do more than 1000kms a month of city driving, so buying a *new* diesel seems like a waste. I am looking at a 3 year horizon for a bolero. So a used one makes more sense, IMHO. I will be using the bolero to literally hump the bad roads and highways when I do take off for the quarterly trip out of sight.

Well. Okay I am still CHEAP. But does anyone have any idea of what kind of dicsounts dealers are currently throwing out? I will do my research by visiting them too, but if I could compare notes, it would be fantastic. Anybody bought an SLX or SLE in the past couple of months?

However, since many people usually buy the bolero to ** literally hump the bad roads and highways**, am I on the right track? I will probably pay upto 3.2L for a Bolero, but do I have the hope of finding one from say 2004 that hasnt done much? I am betting on the gloomy economy now to ratchet out a good price. I read up on some threads about what to look out for in a used bolero...and its pretty much akin to checking out a used 540. So I can do a lot of checks myself. But any more pointers will be helpful.

PS: If anybody does know of a bolero for sale with sub 30k mileage at a good price, please let me know. I will close it immediately. Bangalore.
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Old 26th January 2009, 16:48   #11
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At 1k+ per month, I am sure you are looking for a diesel.

Any reason for not considering a Turbo Indica? With all those taxis around, spares are assured to be cheap for next decade and half. Ugh. You are concerned about image, right? (Hence no santro for you). So why not a Getz Crdi (if available)?

Do not look at those True Value shops - they exist to artificially pump up prices of used MSIL vehicles.

IMHO, Bolero is neither here nor there. Does not qualify as a SUV, MUV, sedan or hatchback or even 4x4.
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Old 26th January 2009, 17:03   #12
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My thoughts inline...

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaCkSeAtDrIVeR View Post
At 1k+ per month, I am sure you are looking for a diesel.

True! 1k+ is city driving. What I have to take into consideration is also the countless hours stuck in traffic/waiting for women to change and come out/valet wait etc and during summer, I do not want to switch off the vehicle and burn.

Any reason for not considering a Turbo Indica? With all those taxis around, spares are assured to be cheap for next decade and half. Ugh. You are concerned about image, right? (Hence no santro for you). So why not a Getz Crdi (if available)?

You got it right. A getz crdi is quite expensive even in the used market. There are very few around. If a new one is about 7 OTR, then a used one will retail around 5Lakhs+ thereabouts - right? For a sub 40k mileage on the odo? My question is why pay 5L odd for a getz CRDI when I can pay 6L for a new 2.5l go-anywhere bolero?Unless people raise their hands and say the Bolero 2.5Ltr (SLX/SLE variant) breaksdown at every whimper.

Do not look at those True Value shops - they exist to artificially pump up prices of used MSIL vehicles.

Just came back from Car Mart in Benson town near my office. 2005 Bolero run 50k kms for 5L. SLX model. Unbelievable. When I can get an SLE (without power windows) for 6.06 OTR and put in power windows for 12k off JC road. What was he thinking???!

IMHO, Bolero is neither here nor there. Does not qualify as a SUV, MUV, sedan or hatchback or even 4x4.

Thats true. Which is why its probably perfect. Its...lets say...a butch looking soccer mom car If you see my post above, I already have a jeep to satisfy my 4x4 urges, a twin 350 to satisfy my craze for speed (now racing on a bike wins over a car hands down in terms of exhiliration). So what I need is a no-nonsense car that takes me from point A to point B without a whimper - irrespective of whether the distance between that point A and Point B is 5kms (then a zen makes sense) or 5000 kms (now we're talking).

I have also owned an S10 in the past. its a hot hatch in its own right, and I have had enough with pi*sing in the tank to show the guy next to me what my car can do. Bah, not worth it. Better to hire a super car on the track.
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Old 26th January 2009, 17:04   #13
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At 1k+ per month, I am sure you are looking for a diesel.
Of course he is! He's been going on & on about the Bolero.

Quote:
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IMHO, Bolero is neither here nor there. Does not qualify as a SUV, MUV, sedan or hatchback or even 4x4.
LOL, the very reasons why the Bolero is a strong contender! It can do this and it can do that! The thread title is "....been there done that"!!
IMO, the Bolero would do nicely for his requirements. Also happens to be one of the cheapest to maintain. (Please note the man is a self confessed cheapo)!!
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Old 26th January 2009, 18:14   #14
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Red liner - The Bolero is an extremely sturdy UV call it MUV or anything else. I have done thousands of kms across the length and breadth of the country and its one of the best. Forget the most hyped about crude engine, worst dashboard-it does not have a tacho even for its Rs 6 L price (older models) but now it sports a tacho.
The Bolero with the Peugeot XD3P engine (2498cc) is much better at cruising at 80-90kmph all day long.It needs the basic minimum maintenance. Do not go for the desi 2523cc DI engines, which are not so refined for the driver.
And having driven jeeps -the CJ3B, CJ4A,CJ500D, 540DP and even the FC260D pick-up, I can vouch for Mahindra.The Bolero is much refined compared to all its predecessors. And you have the 1959 LHD CJ3B in your garage(does it have the original Carter fuel pump with the glass sump?).
You can also try a second hand Scorpio but that will need some more say about Rs 2L more.
For getting a good Bolero surf the carwale and cartradeindia are among the many sites that display used car details.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 26th January 2009 at 18:15.
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Old 26th January 2009, 19:44   #15
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Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Just came back from Car Mart in Benson town near my office. 2005 Bolero run 50k kms for 5L. SLX model. Unbelievable. When I can get an SLE (without power windows) for 6.06 OTR and put in power windows for 12k off JC road. What was he thinking???!
OMG!!! Does Bolero have any significant quantity of gold in it?? My rule of thumb is 15% depreciation for each passed year - means 55% or less of current OTR. Have a long hard look at the registration documents, seating capacity etc - and ensure that the vehicle is registered as a private vehicle - else you end up paying taxes annually.

Bargain!!!! Start at 2.5 L or so.
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