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Old 24th February 2020, 16:57   #31
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

One interesting dimension to consider.

Rather than Top end vs lowest end (Plus accessories) as a route to lower price, I would do the Top end vs Used Top end (with <20k on the odo in used car market) comparison.

I am sure the later will work out way more economical.

Benefits of this approach
  • Car would be in warranty, you can opt for extended warranty and use the car for 3-5 years.
  • You will get everything the top model offers and not selective major features, including smaller elements like body colored RVMs etc.
  • The price will definitely work out to be even cheaper than the lowest variant on-road price.

Disadvantages - No new car feel!
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Old 24th February 2020, 23:15   #32
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

If it is just one missing accessory like a reversing camera, parking sensor, or AVN, I'd buy a lower variant and buy the accessory.

One can't add ACC, Airbags, sunroof, steering mounted controls etc easily.
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Old 24th February 2020, 23:34   #33
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

I prefer going in for the highest model as it comes loaded with features which have been tested by the manufacturer. Additionally, all of these get covered in warranty claims or in worst case, insurance claims.

If I am in the market for second or third car, the equation may change and I might be ok with lesser features because that would mean a lower sticker price.

I like keeping my cars in stock condition and shy away from any after market addition as there is just too much headache in managing them should anything go wrong.
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Old 25th February 2020, 00:44   #34
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

After owning a one below top variant car and driving it extensively on the highways, I feel that all the safety features and cruise control are necessary in a car! ESP, TC, 6 airbags (at least 2), cruise control, ABS+EBD, all disc brakes and reverse parking sensors+camera need to be standard on all cars.
My suggestion would be that if one is going for a car, please go for the topmost variant so that you don't need to add accessories aftermarket because factory fit is the best fit and chances of failure is low. The cost of buying a top end variant and adding accessories in base or mid variants will almost Match the top end 's price, so buying the top variant makes more sense and there will be no buyer's remorse in future. Even I intend to do this for my future car purchases.

We pay an average of 10-12 lakhs for a car in Bangalore and that's a lot of money. We cannot be ignorant of safety features after paying so much money.

A serious suggestion would be that car makers can allow us to choose features and make the car as per our requirement like it's done in the western countries(anyway a new car delivery takes 1-3 months in India).

Last edited by jithin23 : 25th February 2020 at 00:48. Reason: Added content
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Old 25th February 2020, 08:36   #35
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

For me it should be top variant of a car. If I cannot afford that segment I will buy cheaper top variant of a lower segment. This will work great in the long term ownership.
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Old 25th February 2020, 08:55   #36
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

As a guy who brought a base Creta 1.4 and "accessorized " let me elaborate. It depends on automobile popularity and the accessories available for it in the after market. Also the value a buyer feels appropriate for it. For example as has been referred to above the difference in price for almost 80 percent between base and top end version is ridiculous. Of course anyone who has the capacity and sees value in it will definitely buy it.

I brought the base Creta instead of the Seltos was the first availability of ASC in my home town, secondly my wife liked the creta more and third most important decision was the wide variety of upgrades available in the after market for it.

Upgrades I did on it , most were cosmetic ,some were functional. With about 90k spend my car was equivalent to almost 3 trims above which would have cost atleast 3 lakhs more in factory fit. The added bonus was the media system and alloy wheels were better than what the factory offered.

Now the only things I miss from a factory topend is mainly the rear wiper/defogger. Would have liked to have cruise control and 6 airbags too. If wishes were horses.(I think horses are as costly as factory top end too )
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Old 25th February 2020, 09:11   #37
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

I prefer and usually buy the top end variant. As mentioned by many distinguished members here the top end has the finesse that is lacking in after market installs. Plus there is also the question of warranty which again varies from dealer to dealer within the same manufacturing company. I have done after market installs and have not been satisfied with the fit and finish. The difference is noticeable.
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Old 25th February 2020, 09:21   #38
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

Top end variant. Period!

I had my heart in my mouth just even while getting seat covers installed from outside. I cannot simply trust after market installs on my brand new car.

It's good that manufacturers are making some of the safety features standard, I truly appreciate that. But my sincere request is make the rear washer + wiper standard too. That's a basic necessary safety feature in every car. Why they call it a 'premium feature' and make it available only on top end variants is beyond my imagination.
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Old 25th February 2020, 09:22   #39
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

It will depend on the price range or segment I am shopping in.

<15 lakhs - all variants offer same safety kit (2 airbags and ABS). Base variant is bare bones, top variant has many wants than needs. I would usually choose mid variant with power windows, remote locking, touchscreen etc.

15-30 lakhs - top variant offers better safety kit (6/7 airbags, ESP, hill hold etc.) than base or mid variants. So I would choose top variant.

>30 lakhs - all variants offer same safety kit (6/7 airbags, ESP, hill hold etc.) and decent comfort and convenience features. I might even choose base variant to be in a car from higher segment. In these segments, even base variants offer lot of kit like keyless entry & start-stop, touchscreen, nav etc. I might just choose a Better engineered car, bigger/powerful engine etc.

Whichever variant I buy, I generally would try to avoid modifying the car aftermarket. I will try to keep it as stock as possible. If necessary, would add seat covers, or audio head unit but nothing else.

Last edited by Comrade : 25th February 2020 at 09:34.
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Old 25th February 2020, 10:42   #40
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

My case, I have always picked base +1 variant and have made additions as per requirement. Until 2014 these versions had more value for money with almost all manufactures. Being born in the family of car mechanics adding stuff was a weekend time pass. Alloy wheel, Chrome ring around fog lamp, big display audio, painted door handles, colorful seats and trims made no sense to me. Coz the base Chassis, powertrain and suspension is going to be the same. Sales guys have tried to convince me to go for higher variants everytime. One funny example was during the figo purchase, the sales guy explains the availability of push button trunk, i simply asked him good there's a button to open, but i should still get out of the car to close it. The guy was so inexperienced instead of talking about ABS and Airbags, he was talking about tacho, seat and dash color to convince me.

The only situation i felt i should have gone one step up was with my 1st gen Figo EXI which does not come with ABS. That was one of the car in the segment which will tempt you to throw in tight corners at good speeds and do quick lane changes. There have been couple of instances on highway, all 4 wheels would stop and the vehicle kept moving. Rubber upgrade marginally helped. Thank fully spotted a totalled tit variant in a friends garage, picked it up and swapped the complete ABS kit to mine and sold the rest. life was good after that.

Off late ABS and Airbags are standard in all variants, so the base +1 will still be good value for money.
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Old 25th February 2020, 11:03   #41
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I fully agree with GTO. Buy the top end model if possible. If you are getting a low end model of bigger/better car for the same price, go for that.

When I bought my civic in 2001, I was not following my rule. I bought the mid model and upgraded many things. Eventually, I got tired of loose/rattling panels and water logged headlights.

Nothing gets closer to a factory fitted item - ever.
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Old 25th February 2020, 16:14   #42
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

I always suggest to anyone asking for my suggestion to always look for a base model with AC+PS. If they are so keen on the top end, I will suggest all the base models that are available at that price point and list their features for the comparison. Those higher priced base variants have markedy better build, safety and performance.

I bought a Ford Figo 1.5D BASE. I have added 4 hella 500 lights, Viofo Dashcam, Bosh Europa, Hella Supertones, Wolo RC100 steering switches. I tried 4 corner camera/single split monitor setup too but removed it after finding it redundant. I did the same with front andrear proximity sensor too.

I am in the process of adding Root Megasonics, Led light bar and 205/60 R14 tires(spare already upgraded).

Last edited by COMMUTER : 25th February 2020 at 16:28.
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Old 27th February 2020, 14:19   #43
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

Originally Posted by K_Drive View Post
If you are budget conscious, is it wise to get base variant and add aftermarket accessories like android touchscreen head unit and speakers, shark-fin antenna, remote central locking, rear power windows, roof rails, fog lamps etc without voiding warranty? All these can be managed in a 50k budget.
Base variant is perfectly fine for me, IF it has ALL safety features.

Originally Posted by Reinhard View Post
If a base variant comes with 0 electronic gizmos, no music system, nothing for comfort, I'll still buy it.

Provided it has -
  1. ABS+EBD
  2. Airbags
  4. Rear wash+wipe
  5. Good quality headlamps
+1 to your views.. From your list, for me, it is ONLY #1, #2 which are mandatory. The rest are optional.

I would in fact prefer a variant with ONLY safety features and with minimal electrical/electronic gizmos. Reason ? Less possibility of malfunctioning and hence lower maintenance cost.

Electrically adjustable mirrors - Very nice - But to replace / repair when it gets kissed /broken in the city traffic - not very wallet friendly!

Power windows - lesser of a repair problem - but still will prefer only for the front seats.

Infotainment - each to his/her own - But my preference is a basic audio set up which can play some mp3s on a USB stick (mostly classic / soft music type) and can tune in to FM (which even the Rs.1000 radios do pretty well)

Call me old school - I have never used the reverse camera in any car which I have driven - I can get by quite easily with my mirrors, though with age catching up, twisting and turning in the seat was not so easy as it was once!

Bottom line: Never compromise on that stuff which CANNOT be fitted aftermarket - (ABS, Airbags, etc)

All the rest can be safely ignored - especially if one is on a tight budget.

Last edited by haria : 27th February 2020 at 14:23.
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Old 27th February 2020, 23:19   #44
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

When we bought our S-Cross, we had our eyes set on the top end Alpha, but the price difference of over 2 lakhs over the Zeta was a tad bit high to warrant consideration.

We happily brought home the Zeta, since it had everything I needed and desired. I was even able to swap tyres and alloys for better ones for a reasonable cost.

Essentially, I'd stretch as far as it gives me everything I want, preferably till the top, but sometimes it also means that you have to reckon with things you don't need. For e.g. with the top end S-Cross I'd get leather seats which I'm not very comfortable with. Therefore, a good way to eliminate options would be to have a list of must-haves, good-to-haves and not-haves before finalizing the variant.

Last edited by pannags : 27th February 2020 at 23:21.
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Old 28th February 2020, 09:42   #45
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Default Re: Base variant + aftermarket accessories versus Top variant

When I bought the City in 2014, I went for the Top - 1 variant. This suited me well. The Top end was extra frills that I did not want such as a Sunroof etc.

One advise I have for people going for modifications is to wait until a few services are done. This is to ensure that you have given time for any manufacturing defects on the OEM to surface and to ensure the ASC does not push the blame to an aftermarket fitment. One of the Accessory Shop person gave me this advise when I had approached for a fitment.

Despite going for the Top-1 Variant of the City, I have added several accessories that came up in the market due to technology changes. So, I would not see it as a goal to buy a base/lower variant with the idea to convert it to top but I believe more in adding accessories to the car as a technology comes along and appears to add value to the existing car.
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