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Old 22nd March 2010, 13:19   #1
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Default A 7/8 Seater Vehicle

I am searching for a vehicle that can seat 7-8 people. Currently we are 5 adults and one baby, but my mom may require a whole seat to lie down occasionally. So the extra seating. Also there will be quite a bit of luggage that a hatchback finds a tad difficult to accomodate easily.

I have owned a M800 and currently own a Santro, both of them pre-owned. The overall satisfaction levels with both these cars in terms of maintenance costs and fuel efficiency are high. There haven't been any significant niggles with any of these cars, and the ownership experience was quite hassle free.

The Santro does satisfy our travelling needs at present (except that I have to drive real slow on bad roads), but after about 6-8 months I may need a bigger transport. The vehicle must be hassle-free to own. It should be available and ready to go all the time, without having to take it to the garage for checkups before every major trip. It should not fail on the road. Issues such as leakages from the vehicle or into the vehicle are a strict no-no. The ride must be comfortable. Creature comforts include a power steering and AC. Body roll should be on the lesser side, though I wouldn't be taking corners at 100kmph. I am not much interested in the 0-100 figures as long as the vehicle doesn't take ages to reach cruising speeds. My FE figures on the highway with M800 and Santro are ~21-22 and ~17 respectively. So I would prefer not to deviate significantly from these figures. A 15%-20% increase in the fuel bills would be acceptable.

I am a little averse to the Mahindra vehicles (as well as Rhino Rx) because of the driver's seating position. Both in the Scorpio and in the Xylo I have found that the position of the steering wheel is a bit awkward for me. Getting in and out of the vehicle without scraping my knees against the steering is quite difficult in these vehicles. Safari and Qualis fared a little better, with the Sumo bettering others in this aspect. So a steering adjustment in such a vehicle would be great.

Pure looks are not important. So a Sumo, Safari, Innova or a Scorpio are all same to me in this respect. The looks may be important only if they affect creature comforts or driving position or aerodynamics (for e.g. Innova may be more aerodynamic than a Sumo maybe). Budget would be ~3 lacs for a used vehicle and double that for a new vehicle.

Apart from the above there's no specific preference in terms of brand/fuel type or new/used. Can you all help me decide which would be the right vehicle? Maybe as follows:

1st Pref: vehicle x and why
2nd Pref: vehicle y and why
3rd Pref: vehicle z and why

and so on.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 13:51   #2
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Innova. Why, the answer lies from your post

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Originally Posted by honeybee View Post
I am searching for a vehicle that can seat 7-8 people. Currently we are 5 adults and one baby, but my mom may require a whole seat to lie down occasionally.
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The vehicle must be hassle-free to own. It should be available and ready to go all the time, without having to take it to the garage for checkups before every major trip. It should not fail on the road. Issues such as leakages from the vehicle or into the vehicle are a strict no-no. The ride must be comfortable. Creature comforts include a power steering and AC. Body roll should be on the lesser side, though I wouldn't be taking corners at 100kmph.
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I am a little averse to the Mahindra vehicles (as well as Rhino Rx) because of the driver's seating position. Both in the Scorpio and in the Xylo I have found that the position of the steering wheel is a bit awkward for me. Getting in and out of the vehicle without scraping my knees against the steering is quite difficult in these vehicles. Safari and Qualis fared a little better, with the Sumo bettering others in this aspect. So a steering adjustment in such a vehicle would be great.
One thing that is not possible with any 7/8 seater (including Versa or Eecko) is the FE; I'm not sure by how much percent your fuel bill is bound to go high as it depends on the usage; compared to Santro/M800, the price of per litre of petrol comes down to per litre of diesel, however if M800/Santro gives you 15Kmpl, be prepared for a 10-12Kmpl with Innova.
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So I would prefer not to deviate significantly from these figures. A 15%-20% increase in the fuel bills would be acceptable.

Last edited by aargee : 22nd March 2010 at 13:52.
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Old 22nd March 2010, 20:55   #3
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Hmmm..... A new Innova is quite out of my budget. Does Toyota have a pre-owned cars business in India yet?
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Old 22nd March 2010, 21:06   #4
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Not yet; you'll need to contact some reputed used car dealers or keep watching for availability; BTW, what's your budget & how much are you willing to stretch & are you planning for a car loan? & if so how much?
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Old 22nd March 2010, 21:15   #5
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Not Toyota though, but Dealers have on their own for second hand cars.

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Hmmm..... A new Innova is quite out of my budget. Does Toyota have a pre-owned cars business in India yet?
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Old 23rd March 2010, 07:55   #6
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Since your budget is around 3 lakhs for a used vehicle and 6 lakhs for a new one, I think if you stretch it a bit you could go in for a Xylo, since a Xylo has some luggage space below the 3rd row seat as well. Maybe you could scout around for a used Xylo.

Otherwise a used Innova around 6 to 7 lakhs should be the other option.

Since your mother needs to lie down sometimes, I feel the 7 seater configuration is ruled out. It's important that you look only at 8 seaters.

Last edited by mooza : 23rd March 2010 at 07:56.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 08:57   #7
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Got to read your budget now & missed reading it before as it was mentioned as one liner (I would expect that to be highlighted) ;

Don't get me wrong, your ambition is high but not willing to stretch your budget; Recently, a friend of mine bought a five year old used Qualis (RS) in a mint condition clocked around 55K for 5.75L here in Chennai, so you can imagine the price of used Innova; I'm not discouraging you, I'm only trying to straighten out facts. Pls check this Thread & I would only be happy to find me wrong.

EDIT - On a second thought, how about Maruti EECO? I found this quite suitable to your budget & has a big rear seat to lie down; however you might need to fit in A/C for the 8 seater model. Owning a Maruti earlier, you'll know how their service rocks so no issues on maintenance & reliability; the only compromise that you'll need to make is a little bit on comfort compared to Scorp/Innova/Xylo.

Last edited by aargee : 23rd March 2010 at 09:07.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 10:07   #8
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1st PREF: in 3L, you could get a brand new EECO. it is a very basic car with just AC & no power steering or power windows. but in 3L, you get a car with little maintainence issues. it wont be as comfortable as a qualis or xylo though.

2nd PREF: in 3L, you could get a second hand 2003 model qualis. this meet all your requirements. yes, its very outdated but thats not a concern to you.

3rd PREF: in a little above 6L, you could get a new xylo, but the base model. it will have AC, PS & power windows. but since you dont prefer mahindra vehicles, you can also look at the tata sumo grande MKII. its price has been reduced recently.

also in 3L, you can get a 2003 model safari. this will be a supremely comfortable car but service costs & maintainence is on the higher side. so i think you will not prefer it.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 10:17   #9
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Originally Posted by raj_5004 View Post
1st PREF: in 3L, you could get a brand new EECO. it is a very basic car with just AC & no power steering or power windows. but in 3L, you get a car with little maintainence issues. it wont be as comfortable as a qualis or xylo though.
I'm under the impression that the A/C is available only with the 5 seater variant & @honeybee is looking only 7/8 seater variants; shouldn't he be looking to fit in A/C for the 7/8 seater model that he's looking at or did I miss out something?

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2nd PREF: in 3L, you could get a second hand 2003 model qualis. this meet all your requirements. yes, its very outdated but thats not a concern to you
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Old 23rd March 2010, 12:08   #10
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The Eeco is on my radar somewhere, but since it's not as comfortable on long journeys as the Innova/Safari/Xylo kind of big vehicles, it would be sort of a last resort. I wouldn't even mind going for a used Versa which has a more powerful engine. Preferably a DX2 which has rear AC vents. But it's hard to find. The seats aren't very good for long journeys, but they can be replaced. Either the Eeco or the Versa are a tempting proposition from the price/value perspective.

Xylo I can consider provided it comes with some steering adjustment. I have already mentioned I have some problem adjusting to the driving position in the Mahindra vehicles. So unless this problem is taken care of, there's no point in considering this vehicle.

A 7-seater is ruled out as Mom can't lie down on the rear-most seat where it will bounce the most. Though I am not a rash driver, there are occasions when the sudden undulations on the road surface simply can't be avoided as you can't brake from 100 to 40.
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Old 23rd March 2010, 12:12   #11
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2nd PREF: in 3L, you could get a second hand 2003 model qualis. this meet all your requirements. yes, its very outdated but thats not a concern to you.
Since it's already discontinued, though there are still a lot of these vehicles running on the road and though it may be a good vehicle, I would put it at the end of the list and that too if the price is quite low.

The purchase, if more than 2 L will be a financed one. I can trade in my Santro for around 1.3 to 1.4 L and maybe spend a little more cash if the deal is very good. But beyond that it would be a financed decision.

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Old 23rd March 2010, 12:22   #12
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@Honeybee : your options at 6L for a new 8 seater car are pretty restricted to say the least..and at 3L for a used car ,your going to look at vehicles which are atleast more than 4-5 year old..and any 4-5 year old vehicle will require its fair share of maintenance..instead why dont you up your budget for a used vehicle to 6L..? that will leave you with a lot more options to choose from and the car will be relatively newer! jus my two cents..cheers!
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Old 23rd March 2010, 21:20   #13
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@Prashant,

Yes, I know my options are limited, but then so is my budget at the mo. While I agree with you that stretching the budget would give me a better chance of getting a relatively good used vehicle, I am afraid it is out of question for now.

Update: I went to the Toyota India website and posted a message to ask if Toyota has a certified used car business in India. This was last night. Today before lunchtime I received a call from the B'lore office of Toyota, where the lady confirmed Toyota has a certified pre-owned car business and told me the nearest Toyota dealer (from Thane) would get in touch with me within the next 24 hours. I requested her to email me the address as well and I can see that she has emailed it to me. That's efficient work!
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Old 24th March 2010, 09:41   #14
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@honeybee
with a budget of 3 lacs for used and 6 lacs for new I think Toyota is out. I guess it would be difficult (read close to impossible) to find even a used Innova @ 6 lacs.
I think the Tata Sumo Grande MK II EX Turbo is your best bet (if going for new)
I would also like to add that no MUV / SUV is going to match the fuel efficiency figures of your M800 and Santro. (even if you add a margin of 15%).
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Old 24th March 2010, 10:24   #15
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Quote:
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I received a call from the B'lore office of Toyota, where the lady confirmed Toyota has a certified pre-owned car business and told me the nearest Toyota dealer (from Thane) would get in touch with me within the next 24 hours. I requested her to email me the address as well and I can see that she has emailed it to me. That's efficient work!
That's a fantastic piece of information to me; Thanks & appreciate for sharing. Let me see if this is the case in Chennai too.
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