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View Poll Results: What's your *ONE* deal maker?
Engine 181 34.09%
Ride quality 29 5.46%
Handling 59 11.11%
Looks 29 5.46%
Space 14 2.64%
Equipment 14 2.64%
Build Quality 38 7.16%
Interiors 8 1.51%
Safety 30 5.65%
Reliability 110 20.72%
Other (Please specify) 19 3.58%
Voters: 531. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 27th October 2011, 10:36   #46
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Easy option - Reliability.

I am no spirited driver and can live with a car that is ok in all other aspects but is extremely reliable for a lakh kilometres.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:41   #47
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

I have gone with ride quality, notwithstanding it is not a popular choice at all. My experience has shown that almost all cars in a price bracket have similar engines albeit different specifications and power, and also come kitted with similar options. From every car I have owned or driven my most anticipated expectation has invariably and involanterily been the ride quality. Always wanted it to ride very smooth, filtering every bumps and irregularities, bad roads into the cabin. The journey should be comfortable, totally fresh on reaching the destination. Of course there never can be ONE deal maker though as somebody already mentioned, there always seems to be one deal breaker. I feel that's because there are similar specd cars and you need some bone in there to pick one out.

I also feel that along with ride quality two other main factors helping in the decision are the engine and equipment level.

Last edited by druk75 : 27th October 2011 at 10:43.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:44   #48
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

The one thing I look for in a car is overall driver comfort.

Now this covers a lot of things on the list, I suppose. Ride quality for one. Space and interiors definitely. Seating position and the layout of the seat and pedals. The tractability of the engine, and how effortlessly one can drive around, both in the city and on the highway (please note that I am still anti-AT). Cruise control takes away a lot of pain from the right foot. Visibility all around - whether the pillars interfere with vision, whether the dashboard shines in the sun, and whether ORVMs have a good angle of view. But then, when actually test-driving a car, all of these are never quantified as a list, but come together under the single entity of overall driver comfort.

If I had to choose from *ONE* thing on that list, I'd say reliability. But more important than reliability for me is ease of service. Unless a 21st century car is really, really badly designed, it is generally reliable. But if it does break down (show me one car that never does! ), I want it back on the road with minimal effort, time and money.
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Old 27th October 2011, 10:49   #49
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Very interesting poll results. Is it any wonder then, that the Swift got over 100,000 bookings? It's got the best diesel engine, Maruti reliability (and peace of the mind) and handling too (though that won't really apply to the mass market. We are enthusiasts here).

Or take the City. Engine & reliability? Check. Verna? Check. Innova? Check. i10? Yup.

Reliability (and peace of the mind) is definitely one of the most important factors to the mass market. Take a look at the Top 20 list in the September sales thread. Except for the Tatas & the Figo that suffer from niggles, the others are all very reliable cars. This is an area that Tata (especially) & European brands (including Fiat) need to work on.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:05   #50
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Handling first, Engine next.

Even a car with a not so good engine but great handling can still be a lot of fun to drive - e.g. Ford Figo TDCi.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:10   #51
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Engine it is for me.
Ride, handling etc can be easily taken care of in the after market scene.
Looks also to an extent can be tailored to your own taste. In fact, its better to customize the looks of your car and make your own statement.

EDIT: Only 5 votes for safety?
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:16   #52
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Its Handling for me.

As someone has justly said, its more fun to ride/drive a slow bike/car fast than a fast car/bike slow.

Coming from the rude bikers' school, riding overdone/overmodified Yamahas & Bullets, I learnt that power is nothing without proper handling. Too much power could always get you closer to the ground. Guess I carried those lessons learnt over to my car world as well.
Then again, back to my biking days: one of the greatest pleasures on a bike was not in a straight line, but was at throwing the ride around twisties, putting your knee down, overtaking while at it! Ah, pure bliss!

Moreover, with a great handling package, the power factors can be modified easily. However, with a unwieldy chassis, it will be quite a complex task to upgrade the handling. So, I dont mind if I am a bit low on power as long as my ride holds her line around the corner without a fuss. Anyways, its not a race out there! however, when time comes i.e. emergency, I would trust more on safety & handling than power to get me out of most of the situations (of course, i can gas it and move out of the harm's way faster, in some cases). So, I'd prefer the big "L" board on my forehead rather than a set of man diapers!
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:16   #53
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Handling it is for me.

Somehow I can't imaging having a great engine with pathetic handling but the other way around would be a better deal since changing my driving style a bit would be less painful.

In the real world though, I think reliability and good after sales service also has a say in my decision making (I didn't/wouldn't buy a skoda for that reason alone).

I have a swift petrol and it ticks quite a few of those boxes
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:18   #54
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Though this may not be true at all times, I have voted for 'Looks' as that (and only that) influenced me in putting my money on my current car, the Honda Civic. Ever since the car was launched in India in 2006, I fell for its looks and was hellbent on owning one and I am glad that I own one now. The fact that it has an aweswome engine, is extremely reliable and handles suprebly are just an added bonus.

But usually, my preferences would be in this order - reliability, engine and looks. I guess most of the Indians prefer it in this order as can be seen by the list of super successful cars in India. Even though the old Hyundai Santro lookwed awful, I loved its reliability as most of the relatives at home had one and it never ever let us all down. The same goes for all Marutis, Toyotas and Hondas too. They all are supremely reliable and trouble-free and I sincerely wish that other manufacturers (especially Tata and Mahindra) learn from them and make and sell reliable cars.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:21   #55
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

It is "Safety" for me. I will never compromise on safety. Next in line are: "Engine" , "handling", Ride Quality.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:26   #56
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Even for me, it i the engine. But I am not a fan of rev happy petrol engines.

I like torquey diesels. I love it when I get the push in the back feeling, i love it when I can drive at 15 kmph in 3rd gear & still accelerate, i love it when i dont have to use the accelerator in dense traffic... I am a big fan of the scorpio because of it's mHawk engine.

Second comes looks. That is the reason I bought the Punto.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:33   #57
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Voted for Engine, which is the most important while buying the car, the specs and other related details, technology and how it really feels while driving.

Off course other things are important as well but they are looked "after" i am happy with the engine specs and its performance.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:40   #58
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Was about to click on engine when i saw the option for reliability. For me its the single most important factor. There is no point in having an engine which loves the redline if it cannot be trusted in completing a long drive.
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Old 27th October 2011, 11:47   #59
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

Handling, followed by a close second choice- engine. An engine can be worked up on to produce more grunt, but sorting out a chassis for better handling is not easy - though we can correct the handling to an extent by adding stiffer shocks, anti-rolls bars etc.

My choice of going for Punto was mainly due to the handling characteristics of the car - it is awesome fun throwing the car around the corners.
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Old 27th October 2011, 12:11   #60
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Default Re: What is your *ONE* deal maker?

If I were to pick a single virtue from the list of options, it would have to be reliability, period.

However I got wondering. After having owned three cars (M800 MPFI 5-speed, Santro Xing and the Ikon 1.6), I struggle to find if there was a single most important aspect to my decision to go for these cars.
  1. Engine: This did play a part in case of the Ikon. For the other two, it wasn't a major factor.
  2. Ride quality: Again, except in case of the Ikon, it wasn't a major factor in the other cases.
  3. Handling: Ditto as above.
  4. Looks: This point is probably way down in my list of priorities, so no comments, although I never hated any of my cars for the way they look. I actually like all three of them.
  5. Space: Again, in case of the first two there never was much choice, and this did influence the Ikon decision to some extent. Though, I must say if I were to choose my first car now, I would probably go for the Santro than the M800.
  6. Equipment: Except for the basic necessities like AC and power steering, I don't have many expectations. There are things I would love to have, but I doubt if I would pay a higher price to get them.
  7. Build Quality: So far all three cars I had have been good in this department. All of them are now at least eight years old and still going strong.
  8. Interiors: Right above the Looks, but still pretty low in the list of priorities. I am not particular about the colour of the interiors or the layout of the dash, as long as the car scores on other points such as comfort/seating space.
  9. Safety: Have never missed ABS or airbags, so I doubt if I shall put these items on top of the priorities. I am so far comfortable with seat belts, and unless I start slogging my Ikon I don't plan to up the priority for these items.
  10. Reliability: The most important factor, if I have to choose one. Whatever vehicle I own, I want it to start when I crank it, keep running as long as I don't switch it off and then start again the next time I crank it. Periodic maintenance apart I would prefer if the vehicle does not demand extra attention all the time.
  11. Price: Something not covered by GTO, but this definitely is important, in fact it fights for the top spot with #10 above.
When I went to Spectra Motors to look at the Maruti 800, I had very basic knowledge about automobiles, though I had already spent a couple of years driving cars. I didn't know how to check a vehicle for its faults, didn't know how to bargain and couldn't understand torque figures (still can't). The biggest factors in this case were the price which was almost within my budget, features like the five speed tranny and AC and its immediate availability.

When I got the Santro from my uncle, there wasn't much to choose. But after owning and driving it for a few years, I think I would not hesitate to choose it again. When I sold my M800 I had a clear need to get something more spacious and better / more solid. The Santro was the perfect answer.

When I got the Ikon, the 1.6 litre engine, bigger boot and its ability to cruise highways effortlessly were the factors I took into account (not to forget a reasonable price too!).

So is it really just one particular thing that we look for in our rides?
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