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Old 13th March 2011, 00:11   #1
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Default Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Dear fellow BHPians,

I would like to get your inputs on narrowing down on an used, automatic car. It has become an almost impossible quest, given my shoestring budget and lack of options.

My requirements are:
1) Modern Automatic transmission (at least 4-speed AT)
2) Comfortable (hopefully for 5 people)
3) 2 Lacs Budget
4) KA or TN registration

Fuel consumption, badge value and poor resale value are not my top priorities. Availability of spares is a definitely a factor though.

A few options I have been able to shortlist:
1) Hyundai Sonata AT
2) Honda Accord AT
3) Mitsubishi Lancer INVEX
4) Old Honda City AT
5) Chevrolet Optra AT
6) Skoda Octavia AT
7) Old imports from bygone eras

I know I am being kinda unrealistic here. But, do you guys think I could find one of these cars for under 2 Lacs? Any pointers would be welcome.

Thanks!
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:02   #2
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

I would rule out the old City AT - a CVT! Also, the Elantra since spares may be tough to get. The Skoda - have heard enough stories of expensive spares and repairs.

The Accord looks promising. You can probably look at the Corolla as well.
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Old 13th March 2011, 09:19   #3
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

For your budget you can only get Santro AT, if you can stretch your budget up to 4L you might get a Corolla or Accord or Sonata.

For Santro and Corolla finding a part will not be difficult, not sure in the case of Accord and Sonata.
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Old 13th March 2011, 10:01   #4
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Post re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Ashwin,

I agree with camchennai. The Santro AT looks to be your best bet. Even if with some good luck you do come across a Corolla or accord at your target price, the cost of spares and maintenance of those cars would not be as economical as a Santro AT.

That aside, I remember seeing some ads in Autocar India a few years back that advertised conversion of a manual transmission car to an automatic transmission one with the attachment of some mechanical device inside the cabin. The ad used to proclaim that no gearbox alteration was required.

I am not sure whether this really works as I have personally never seen any car that was fitted with the above kit. But maybe our fellow members can shed some light on that.

This example is something similar I think http://www.semiautomaticar.blogspot.com/ ..Once again, I do not know if it works or not. I am just trying to give you another point of view thats all

Last edited by Diesel9999 : 13th March 2011 at 10:12. Reason: updating information about the transmission conversion
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Old 13th March 2011, 10:19   #5
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Seeing you budget the best bet for you would be a Santro AT or the OHC AT. I dont think spares would be a problem either for these cars. If you service on schedule they really dont need any maintenance. Leave out the Skoda and Optra ATs. Didnt really sell much, would be hard to find, reliability is an issue. Of course you could buy one for a song if you found one.

A Corolla AT would have been perfect but finding one in your budget would be tough unless you stretch it. Alternatively you could get a Gen 1 Accord 2.3 AT.

You can check out my long term ownership thread of my OHC AT which I had bought preowned 4 years ago. Had done 24k kms when I had bought it and currently the odo has crossed 95k kms

Here is the link to the thread

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...93-000kms.html

Good luck
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Old 13th March 2011, 10:30   #6
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

There are literally hoards of Accord ATs in the second hand market,some of them really well kept by previous owners. Was to say you could get a great deal on them but under 2 lakhs ?....THAT i dont know.
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Old 13th March 2011, 10:33   #7
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Post re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dippy View Post
Seeing you budget the best bet for you would be a Santro AT or the OHC AT. I dont think spares would be a problem either for these cars. If you service on schedule they really dont need any maintenance. Leave out the Skoda and Optra ATs. Didnt really sell much, would be hard to find, reliability is an issue. Of course you could buy one for a song if you found one.

A Corolla AT would have been perfect but finding one in your budget would be tough unless you stretch it. Alternatively you could get a Gen 1 Accord 2.3 AT.

You can check out my long term ownership thread of my OHC AT which I had bought preowned 4 years ago. Had done 24k kms when I had bought it and currently the odo has crossed 95k kms

Here is the link to the thread

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/long-t...93-000kms.html

Good luck
OHC AT is much better in almost every way when compared to the Santro AT but i guess it might be a challenge to find a good one as OHC AT's are not very popular down south. Atleast in Andhra Pradesh, it is very very rare to find one.

So Ashwin, cross your fingers and hope you find some good cars in your search. Keep us posted about your progress.
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Old 13th March 2011, 10:45   #8
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Thanks for everyone's inputs.

Finding an Accord AT online for under 2 lacs is very hard. The dealers where I live do not seem too promising with respect to options as well as prices.

1) I have managed to find a TN-registered 2004 Sonata (V6) AT for 2.5 lacs (88k on the odo)

2) DL-registered 2000 Sonata AT (V6) for 1.5 lacs in tamilnadu (this deals sounds a bit fishy, since the guy claims to have bought a repossessed car from a Bank. While he says that he has the original RC book and insurance papers, he however does not have any bank documents stating that the car is free from any debts.

Do any of these deals sound okay? If any of you guys know of an accord AT or Sonata AT on sale for my budget, I would love to hear from you.

What issues can I expect from an 7-10 year old Sonata? I may sound a little blur, because I am. This will be my first car. So Help!
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:15   #9
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Santro AT and OHC AT are the cars you would get in your budget.
Good cars without any major issues. You will get FE of 12+ if you drive carefully in city and 15+ on highway. Why can I say these figures?
Cos these are the figs of both my cars, Santro AT and OHC AT! : )
1st ensure that your local garage guy has the capacity to work on gear box in case of any issues and also has the ability to get spares of OHC. No issues on santro non-gear spares.

Last edited by subscrive : 13th March 2011 at 11:26.
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Old 13th March 2011, 11:23   #10
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Default re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by sgiitk View Post
I would rule out the old City AT - a CVT! Also, the Elantra since spares may be tough to get. The Skoda - have heard enough stories of expensive spares and repairs.

The Accord looks promising. You can probably look at the Corolla as well.
OHC AT was not CVT. NHC AT was a CVT and IMO worth considering. CVTs are found in many expensive cars and have their own merits
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Old 14th March 2011, 14:06   #11
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Default Re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Since you are on a tight budget, avoid the Accords & Sonatas like a plague! Even if you get either of these cars for 2 - 3 lakh rupees, remember, their parts cost the same as a brand new 15 lakh rupee car. Think in the range of 50,000 and up for air-con compressors, alternators and the like.

A Santro AT is perfect for you. Honestly though, I'd highly recommend you open up to Manual Transmission cars for that kind of money. The choice will be far wider & superior.
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Old 14th March 2011, 15:21   #12
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Default Re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Thanks everyone for dropping in your suggestions.

@GTO: After reading your advice about costly spares, I am beginning to reconsider the whole D-segment car spread. And, what are your thoughts on "city clutch" semi-automatic system suggested by Diesel9999? I know this kinda conversion takes reliability out of the equation. But, have you personally seen or heard anyone using it effectively?

And what about 2000-2001 OHC ATs? Would the spares be economically manageable?
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Old 14th March 2011, 17:18   #13
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Default Re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin489 View Post

And what about 2000-2001 OHC ATs? Would the spares be economically manageable?
Yes they are as long as you have a good independent garage to take care of your car. The A.S.S will always be costlier almost double the price. I have stopped giving my OHC to Honda for service. I carry out the necessary fluid and lubricant changes by myself. Works perfectly. Parts for the OHC are easily available as well. No problems as such.

Last edited by Dippy : 14th March 2011 at 17:41.
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Old 14th March 2011, 17:35   #14
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Default Re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

I feel your pain: hate the mentality in this country that an AT= expensive. With the end result that with a few recent exceptions, nobody at the low end of the market sells AT models

Santro AT may be the one for you, like a lot of people here have suggested. But if you don't mind me suggesting this, why don't you stretch your budget to about 5 lacs and you may get decent sedan options in there? I mean, at 2 lacs you won't even be able to afford the cheapest new car, so is it a reasonable budget? Do forgive me- I don't mean to offend. The reason I say this is ATs devalue faster than MTs and you may get a helluva deal in that range.
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Old 14th March 2011, 18:15   #15
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Default Re: Going Automatic on a Rs. 2 lakh Budget!

Well, this is a tough one.
If one thinks Santro AT would be economical to maintain, please read this:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...sts-22-5k.html (Daylight robbery by Hyundai: Santro drive axle costs 22.5K!!!)

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...practices.html (Hyundai India, unreasonable long term maintenance and service practices!)

Though both the threads suggest that Hyundai - as a company - may be the culprit here, my experience with Hyundai has been very nice (I have the Tucson, which is MT). So I tend to think that Santro "AT" may be the culprit - rather than Hyundai as a company...

BTW, I have test driven a couple of Sonata V6 AT's - for a friend who has been seriously searching for a good used car (AT if possible). Stay away from Sonata V6 AT - it's a really horrible gearbox. Saps all the power of that V6 and drinks all the petrol in the tank!

Look for a City AT or Civic AT - will be hasslefree to own, reasonably modern gearboxes and should not be heavy on your pocket - especially looking at the santro AT stories above.

All the best.

Last edited by anandpadhye : 14th March 2011 at 18:16.
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