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Old 20th February 2020, 11:30   #1
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Default Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

They say that cockroaches can survive a nuclear apocalypse. Whether that is true or not, we don't know, but there is no doubt that these pests are pretty darn resilient. All of us have struggled with pest control in our homes & found that the little rascals simply refuse to die / disappear. From PestWorld:
Quote:
A cockroach can live for a week without its head. Due to their open circulatory system, and the fact that they breathe through little holes in each of their body segments, they are not dependent on the mouth or head to breathe. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst.

A cockroach can hold its breath for 40 minutes, and can even survive being submerged under water for half an hour. They hold their breath often to help regulate their loss of water.

Because they are cold-blooded insects, cockroaches can live without food for one month, but will only survive one week without water.
And some more on The Week.Taking that analogy into the Indian car scene, which cars are the "cockroaches" of Indian roads? The models that simply refuse to die or disappear?

Toyota Innova
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They say there's nothing quite as durable as a body-on-frame Toyota diesel & we're inclined to agree. Just look at the number of Innovas & Fortuners on our roads with 3 - 4 lakh km on the odometer. We've even seen a Qualis with 5+ lakh km! Some say the Innova's engine is "like new" at 2,00,000 km, and that the 1,00,000 km mark is just the running-in period of the car ! This is one damned resilient ride.

Maruti WagonR
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The practical tallboy has a legion of followers, and the repeat business is among the highest in the auto industry. WagonRs are ubiquitous on our roads and one even sees lots of 1st-gen WagonRs still faithfully serving its 2nd / 3rd / 4th owners. BHPian paragsachania has a nice looking example which has crossed 250,000 km - link.

Hyundai Santro
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The tallboy Santro was introduced back in 1998 & Hyundai claims sales of 1.32 million copies in the country. When Mumbai decided to replace the ageing Premier Padmini cabs, the Santro was the choice. These "black cockroaches" are all over Bombay, literally! They might be old & creaky, but they run without issue day after day.

Maruti Omni
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Perhaps the "workaholic" of the car industry whose cheap price & ample real estate endears itself to commercial buyers. The Omni was on sale for 34 years in India, before being discontinued due to the safety norms. Courier companies say that the car takes any & all kinds of abuse, is mechanically simple and will continue to serve its existing owners for years to come.

Jeep Commander / CJ / whatever
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You are bound to find these in any rural part of India. They usually feature people hanging from the back! These Jeeps would be on their 3rd or 4th engine rebuild & be fed a generous diet of adulterated diesel, but they continue working day after day, transporting a load of 50 - 100% more than it was designed for.

Tempo / Force Trax
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Ditto like the Jeep Commander.

Honda City
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Made famous by the Vtec version, we are surprised to still see 1st-gen Honda Citys around here! While none of them seem particularly well-maintained, the car has bullet-proof reliability and can run infinitely with little or no maintenance. Just check its wheel bearings and you'll know how over-engineered it was (unlike today's Hondas). We have one in our office lane that was parked in a flood with water up to its window line (the entire dashboard was underwater). It spent 3 days in the workshop & needed Rs 20,000 worth of repairs. Guess what? It's now reliably doing the Mumbai-Pune commute every fortnight!

Toyota Corolla
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Same points as that for the City. A car that never breaks down, is reliable and quite cheap to maintain. A superb 2006 model could fetch ~2L in Mumbai. We still see a lot of these around and no owner really complains. Internationally too, this model has quite a reputation & is a favourite with students on a budget. Here's one example with 800,000 km

Last edited by GTO : 20th February 2020 at 11:36.
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:42   #2
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

Nice thread.
Maruti Gypsy fits into this category quite well. It is a mountain goat, can travel anywhere and is mechanically simple. Just like the Omni, it has sold for over three decades in India and it is a darling of the Armed Forces and the off roaders.
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:43   #3
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

A comprehensive list indeed. Thread name sounded negative until i read the context.

I would add the following to the list too. They are still seen on our roads(may not be in big cities though)

1. Toyota Qualis
2. HM Ambassador
3. M800
4. Bolero
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:45   #4
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

Why isnt the Alto here? It even looks like a super Roach!
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Old 20th February 2020, 11:57   #5
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

I would not call WagonR, Innova, Alto etc. as cockroaches since they have their unique appeal and qualities that make them a must have for many. For example the WagonR has practical space and seating as well as easy ingress and egress for oldies. The Innova is super reliable and comes with a ladder frame chassis making it adept for any place in the country. The Alto is cheap and easy to maintain. These are all genuine qualities that must appeal to many.

A cockroach would be something that does not exactly full-fill any particular requirement for us yet still exists and by that definition, I vote that every single sub-4m compact SUV, is a cockroach. A simple hatchback would do, yet this breed of car still clogs our streets and visibility of the road up ahead, for no apparent reason

Last edited by IshaanIan : 20th February 2020 at 12:00.
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Old 20th February 2020, 12:02   #6
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

There are plenty of vehicles that will survive a long haul , but would you bother to keep it is the question. Remember the fill it shut it forget it slogans? Yep, that forget it part is important, those vehicles fell by the wayside after doing loyal service for it's owners.

Apart from Jeep, most of the other vehicles in the list above will be forgotten.

How about the troublesome kids? Yep, they were temperamental and yet are now being lovingly restored.

You no longer see qualis on the road, same goes for many fabled bullet proof vehicles. Sometimes it is not about how you build something, it's about what you've built with all that effort.

The old Fiats, President, Padminis , All Jeeps, some ambys will have many engines , many colors and live through nine or more lives. Their mechanical engines will survive even a nuclear disaster.

On the two wheeled side, the no problem bikes are forgotten, old bullets and Jawa are lovingly restored.

I guess we humans like stuff that's more like us with plenty of faults and yet full of character.

Note : Cars I mentioned are just examples, there is renewed interest in classic Marutis , M800 , Omni and Gypsy too.
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Old 20th February 2020, 12:41   #7
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

A cockroach is something which is unwanted and yet refuses to disappear. By that definition it has to be the Omni. Despite the safety risks ( both in terms of crash safety as well as human safety due to the kidnapping fear) which have existed since the 90s the model was doing huge numbers until being discontinued. I find it both amusing and disappointing at the same time when I find so many omnis being run as ambulances when they are moving coffins themselves.
However I guess have to reluctantly agree as a people mover in a small footprint at its price level, its convenience is something that cannot be ignored.
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Old 20th February 2020, 12:44   #8
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

Quote:
Originally Posted by IshaanIan View Post
I would not call WagonR, Innova, Alto etc. as cockroaches since they have their unique appeal and qualities that make them a must have for many.

A cockroach would be something that does not exactly full-fill any particular requirement for us yet still exists and by that definition
You missed the point. A "cockroach" is basically an old / older car model that refuses to die and continues to exist on Indian roads.
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Old 20th February 2020, 12:51   #9
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

Not sure if its a cockroach, but, one car that is the oldest and just doesn't disappear is the M800. And I'm not talking about the vintage value of the car.

This is one car that still is the daily drive of thousands of people. Is still as much reliable, comfortable, still performs as good and is still very utilitarian.

Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?-1.jpg

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Old 20th February 2020, 13:02   #10
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

This Xing always literally looked like a fully grown cockroach to me

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Old 20th February 2020, 13:04   #11
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

Another interesting thread, nicely written.

First on the list is, mighty Innova. You just can't express in words how reliable it is, you have to own one to know it. Adhere to service interval and change the usual wear and tear parts, it will just take you anywhere, anytime. Even a person who doesn't know anything about cars knows the reliability of Innova. A proud owner of 2015 Innova, recently shared the info here, but I will do it again, because the car deserves it.

Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?-img_20200216_183022-innova.jpg

Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?-img_20200216_105701-odo.jpg
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Old 20th February 2020, 13:43   #12
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

On a lighter note, me living in Dadar(Non Suburban part of Mumbai) all my life, have always regarded the Autorickshaws as a menace.To the uninitiated, autorickshaws don't ply on the the Island City of Mumbai and are permitted only to operate in the suburban parts.
All of my family and friends living in SoBo ( so as to speak) consider the Autorickshaws as Cockroaches, since they emerge randomly from gaps that never existed. Going by the threads essence, Autorickshaws are my contribution to this genre.
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Old 20th February 2020, 13:47   #13
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

The true cockroach in the list is the Omni. It is ugly, it is dangerous and it refuses to go away. All the things that a cockroach is.
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Old 20th February 2020, 13:48   #14
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

If mods don’t mind, I’d like to add the bikes too here:

1) Hero Splendor
2) Bajaj Pulsar
3) RX 100 / 135
4) Honda Activa
5) Honda Dio

The list goes on and these vehicles will still ply around no matter how old they get

As for the cars;

1) Maruti 800
2) Alto
3) Chevrolet Tavera
4) Santro
5) i10
6) Swift
7) Verito
8) Swift Dezire
9) Indica
10) Ertiga

Here too Maruti excels with most of their cars that will continue to exist for years together
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Old 20th February 2020, 13:53   #15
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Default Re: Which car is the "cockroach" of Indian roads?

The Ambassador, Premier Padmini Kaali-Peeli, Scorpio, Bolero....

Sooner or later, may be the Dzire in all avatars, and the Swift in all avatars! Kudos to MSIL!
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