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Old 6th July 2009, 01:02   #1
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Default Which car is best at sub 10L category-Need help?

Hello everyone,
Yes! Finally I am planning on changing my NHC to something new! Have gone through various threads here and got enlightened & bit confused though! Made a list of cars and test drove few of them already

Right now Toyota Corolla Altis-1.8G is on top of the list followed by Maruti SX4-GXi & Fiat Punto-Multijet Emotion Pk!

Here are the requirements that I went in with:
Fuel– does not matter – something that does not make sound of mini truck! Love diesel for their torque/love petrol for their refinement & better spec fuel
Size/Category – does not matter – Hatch/Sedan/SUV
Cost – Max 10 L (ex show room), with some exceptions, can stretch! (Any way cars are overpriced in our country but people end up buying by stretching as there are no other options!)

Other needs:
  • Good ground clearance (better than City)
  • Good leg room all around (Jazz)
  • Good under thigh support for long drives (Laura/Corolla)
  • Easy entry & egress (Jazz)
  • Decent boot space (good if seats foldable) – should be able to carry 2 days baggage for a small family & should be able to carry flower pots max a meter tall
  • Great for city driving while retaining comfort for long journey
  • Minimum turning radius (comparable to city)
  • ABS/EBD/Airbag/Fog lamp
  • Good all round visibility
  • Quality & Reliability
  • Good service back up
  • Good warrantee coverage
  • Prefer center arm rest/dead pedal/slick gear shift (auto ok if like civic)
  • Alloys not necessary (for our kind of road!)
  • Climate control not necessary – but ok if available
  • Music system not necessary but do need provision for fitting 4 speaker+2 tweeter+CD player+CD changer without any changes – no drilling/wiring etc
  • Locally manufactured/assembled/parts availability should not be an issue at Bangalore (Palio-D experience)
  • Last but not the least – if car can be built to our spec rather than stock options (Ex – Jazz – should be base+fog+mudflap+…not active/mode etc. Corolla – why not auto on base versions – who wants headlight washer?)
So as you can see, you won’t find many cars boasting all this! You get what manufacturer think you should own (Not very different from Amby’s!)

OK now for the test drives:
1) I20 (Advaith-ORR): Good car to be in, has all safety features except for rear center head rest, rear seat is comfortable, foldable. Front seats are good for husband & wife – it is cosy up there & can rub shoulders! Switch gear good, steering feel good, decent boot space. Gear shift is not good (car had 13K on Odo).
The website test drive request did not work. Someone called up after a week or so but nothing really worked! Sales experience was good but not the best (guess they had too many customers & hence distractions!). After test drive I got a follow up call the next day, asking for when I would decide & which cars I am comparing etc! No discounts of any kind/not even floor mats/mud flaps (can the ministry make mud flaps mandatory?) . Min 1 month waiting period. Overall it is OK car

2) Punto (Prerana-Sarjapur road): This is a looker of a car. (Btw I have a soft corner for FIAT product from design/styling point…but hugely disappointed by ***! Palio-D). Solid build, decent space upfront. Good safety feature. Has 6 spkr/MP3 player (Blaupunkt). Switch gear is good – designed for left hand drive! Good boot space & seats foldable. No rear center head rest, under thigh support not good at rear, so is leg space. Could not drive as the diesel was not available. Test drive request through website & phone- did get call saying someone will be in touch but nothing happened! Liked the car but lots of doubts – how is ***, do they have expertise in fuel pump/ECU calibration? No discounts of any sort. But dealer would give floor mats. 2 to 3 wks waiting

3) Jazz (Dakshin-Hosur road): What a car! Great looking, ultra spacious. Great safety features. Superb looking instrument panel, nice steering, peppy engine. Great boot space/leg space all around! Everything except – low ground clearance & price for the feature provided. It is worth 1L less than what Honda thinks it should be! Test drive request was responded very quickly! 13K corporate discount. Not an option – purely from ground clearance point!

4) SX4 (Pratham-ORR): Really spacious car. Has almost everything one needs in a car! Only car that I think priced sensibly (again wee bit over priced!) The only grouse I had – rough road vibration passes directly to steering wheel! (Has anyone else observed this in their car? This test car had about 7k on ODO). Had lightest clutch of all the cars that I drove! Again looks bit odd as it has purely sedan profile with SUV tyre! I liked this one…but many in friends circle do not like this car and prefer me not to buy! 50K discount but min 1 month waiting period!

5) ANHC (Dakshin): This is the best upgrade from my current NHC, except for low ground clearance, switchgear does not look as good as NHC; neither is interior as good as NHC! Weak looking tyres! Great engine/love those AT, great safety; huge boot (larger than even corolla). Test drive request on the web responded <1hr. I would have bought AT without second thought but GC is a put off for me! I hate you Honda for treating us like stupid Indians. 15K corporate discount

6) Linea (Prerana-Sarjapur road) : could not test drive! Great car for the money except for GC & rear seat head room+Fiat service. Also saw few mails on initial quality issues by owners!

7) Altis (Nandi-Hosur road): This is the car I liked. Looks bit huge! (Why not Toyota bring a car of City equivalent!). Gear is not as slick as Honda (maybe test car). But has all – ABS, EBD, airbag, climate, rear seat foldable, large boot, good GC & worlds largest selling nameplate=quality! Disappointed – steep price/no auto option with base versions & auto option not as good as Civic/City! This car I liked, almost everyone liked this car except for the size – tight fit in my parking space! Btw – test drive request on the web was responded within 1hr! 20K corporate discount!

8) Skoda-Laura (Tafe-Hosur Road): The best drive of any car that I had in this lot! Expensive & not sure of ***! Would give it a miss!

On the price point I do not see any of these cars here are right priced for what they have! Among the lot found SX4 at least reasonable.
So now the million dollar question – who would be my soon to be companion!

a) Altis –Reliable & legendary! Does everything a car has to do without much fuss! Not an enthusiastic car, design is not as exciting as Civic! Very safe car to be in, reliable, trouble free ownership & good customer care. (Ex show room 10.98L)
b) SX4 – Can not go wrong with Maruti. Looks like safe car to be in with acres of space/head room. Looks bit quirky. Waiting period is too much (7.24L)
c) Punto – most exciting but comes with a unsettled feeling on quality & service issue! Rear leg room is an issue! Waiting period too much. (6.14L)

Anyway- I am still going to do some more bit of test driving these 3 cars/checking threads on these 3 before I decide in next day or two!

Cheers!
Gany
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Old 6th July 2009, 10:58   #2
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Gany, the Altis suits your needs to the T. It'll be a logical upgrade to the practical NHC (other hatchbacks won't). The high stance gives it easier ingress / egress, power's good, looks fantastic (especially with the new "sports" kit), comfy interiors and will outlast you. I say, go for it.
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Old 6th July 2009, 11:16   #3
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I agree with GTO. The Altis will suit your needs perfectly, the car is more loaded with gizmos than an Accord and is extremely spacious and refined. The auto-version might be a little over your budget though.

The only thing I have doubts about in the Altis is the one meter tall flower pots that you want to carry
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Old 6th July 2009, 13:38   #4
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Didnt you see the best c class sedan thread and poll in the other subforum. The poll speaks for itself
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Old 6th July 2009, 13:47   #5
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Do consider Optra Magnum (Diesel). It is a fantastic car.
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Old 6th July 2009, 13:51   #6
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I would go with Altis. Its a very well built car and comes with Toyota badge on it. Great car to drive as well.
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Old 6th July 2009, 13:56   #7
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vchounal is right. Please consider the Optra Mag because you can get it pretty cheap with all those discounts and its a nice car.
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Old 7th July 2009, 23:29   #8
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Thanks to all for your valuable input

I finally decided on Corolla Altis and booked one - Silver/1.8G! The car is not in stock so it might take anywhere between 5 (if it comes in the next lot) or 20 days! Can't wait! But in the meantime I am sad that I have to sell my current car NHC! Gr8 car and we both took care of each other for the past 3 years!
Thx
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Old 8th July 2009, 11:29   #9
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Congrats on a wise decision! We await a detailed ownership report.
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Old 8th July 2009, 11:37   #10
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Congratulations on your new ride. I know waiting for a new toy is always tough, but I am sure it is worth it. Await your initial ownership experience.
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Old 29th July 2009, 12:01   #11
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hey congratulations on your new ride. You have moved from the honda to toyota. Both are known to have great cars. So I guess you will not miss you NHC much.
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