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Old 4th March 2020, 15:08   #16
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

We have touched upon similar topics earlier, but the threads weren't exactly the same and of course, our preferences evolve with time.
You already pointed out all the desirable must-haves and must-nots for most of us in team-bhp.

However keeping my next car purchase in mind, I could point out below in order of my preference now

1. full safety feature, ABS-EBD, 6 air bags (minimum 4), if possible ESP and TC, Car based on global platform with higher safety rating (if an Indian car already rated then better, very less option though considering below points)
2. Reliability
3. A good automatic (TC or DCT or CVT)
4. Engine should be same or more powerful than my last ride (peppy engine)
5. Should not be more than 4.5 meter, as my driving in Bangalore needs a small car
6. Looks for sure (it should look good to me, does not care much about masses/others choice)
7. Seating comfort for driver with at least neutral ride and handling (never got a chance to drive hydraulic steering, tuned suspension setup etc, so no expectation in these aspects)
8. Decent service cost and easy spare parts availability, specially 40-50K km onward
9. Fuel economy should be >9kmpl in city (means at least 10 kmpl, some desi mentality still there )

Neutral or do not care
1. Sunroof
2. Good to have paddle-shifter
3. features like 360 camera or HUD, cooled seat
4. 4x4, not an adventurer, my drives are in city and planned highway runs, but if budget permits does not mind investing in 4x4 though
5. VFM, current market does not have a single value for money product. and more over VFM is sort of relative, if you like something, you tend to justify the value of the car.
6. Resale value, plan to keep a car for minimum 8-10 years

1. dying brands like Nissan, Renault
2. Everything touchscreen (like AC controls becoming touch buttons without tactile feel)
3. No AMT gearbox please

Last edited by dipdawiz : 4th March 2020 at 15:16.
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Old 4th March 2020, 15:25   #17
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

The must haves and must not haves widely vary depending on whom I am buying the car for in the family. While BHP maybe my top priority, its my mothers last priority as she is always chauffeured.

However, there are some must haves haves that remain constant:
-Safety first! Air bags, lots and lots of them. I will always opt for the highest model, sometimes not for the frill but just to have those extra airbags on offer.
-Decent looks. Cannot bare to have an ugly car in the garage. Although looks are subjective, I don't find many cars ugly but you definitely wont find a kwid,spresso,etc in my garage.
-Automatic transmission. Even if the car is mainly chauffeured, the seamless gear shifts of a AT make the ride for the passenger much smoother.
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Old 4th March 2020, 15:37   #18
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Important considerations that I can think of for my next car.

Must Haves:
1. Safety. ABS+EBD+Hill assist is absolute top priority. 2 airbags would do.
2. Only Top variant Automatic. I'm too lazy to go aftermarket for upgrades. I am OK with an AMT too as I've managed to get around its weaknesses. Driving manuals in cities is turning out to be a stressful job.
3. Handling. To me EcoSport is a benchmark in this. Since I own one and my driving style complements it perfectly, I cannot compromise.
4. Headlights. No halogens please. I am burning my pocket by spending on "probably better" bulbs on Amazon and AliExpress with not much success. A factory fit HID or LED with projectors are needed.
5. Attractive instrument cluster and a smooth ICE supporting Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
6. Comfortable front and backseats. Should be able to seat 5 without being crammed.
7. Reverse camera. I am too spoilt by this tech. Driving a car without one is a challenge now.
8. Neutral styling.

Good to have:
1. High performance and fast engines are not really a necessity for me. I am OK with good, reliable engines (read: Japanese).
2. FE. Not particular about it. But will always prefer cars that make less frequent trips to petrol bunks.
3. Continuing on the above point. If one is available at the time within the budget, I will chose an electric over ICE.
4. 6 airbags is a luxury safety feature, to me.
5. A not so great A.S.S experience will not be a deal breaker. I have no problems visiting another service centre even if it is far. It's a once-a-year affair, so that's fine.

1. Hard suspension. This is one grouse I have with EcoSport. I know a good tyre upgrade will solve it to an extent. At the moment, the famed Bangalore roads are giving me nice smacks on my back.
2. Without rear wiper/washer. To me it is an important feature. Cannot always stop to clean the rear windshield.
3. Preowned. Personally I feel it is too much of a hassle to get a good deal. Probability of getting a mechanically damaged one is more. Unnecessary worry during the ownership period.

Last edited by strawhat : 4th March 2020 at 15:44.
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Old 4th March 2020, 17:02   #19
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

While I am quite pleased to see that Safety features in the top 3 for a lot of TeamBHPians, I want to understand why people are satisfied with 2 Airbags and not 6? With a side collusion, a two airbag car = car with no airbags.

Plus in case of a side collusion, there are no crumple zones like the Hood or Boot. You are likely to receive a lot of impact.

Hence this dichotomy of "Safety is important, but has a threshold above which I am ok with the risk" is something I am unable to understand?

P.S. I am a victim of the same, the most my car had were 2 airbags, but that was a function of availability in the used car market. 6 airbags variants are expected to reach the used car market not very soon, only available models currently will be early Hyundai i20 and Verna Asta models. (2009-2010)
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Old 4th March 2020, 17:23   #20
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

I have to admit, I couldn't care less about the engine in any car I buy as long as it's reliable.

I have an unrefined, underpowered and not particularly efficient unit in my Polo and while it would be nice to have a better engine, the other parameters of the car always come first. Almost all modern engines are good enough and car reviews tend to exaggerate when they say an engine is "horribly underpowered", "sounds like a tractor" etc.
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Old 4th March 2020, 17:34   #21
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

  • A good, punchy engine - my last three cars were Getz CRDi (2009), Verna CRDi (2013) and XUV5OO (2018), and the primary reason to pick them where their engines, which are happy mile munchers but, with beast-mode ON, can show 'em how is done
  • Safety - my last two cars had 6 airbags. My next will probably have the same (if not more), and will have a decent NCAP rating too. TPMS is a life saver too, and rear wash and wipe are life savers in our monsoons
  • ESC - After some hair raising moments in the monster called Getz CRDi, and the Verna CRDi, and a relatively calm posture in the bigger XUV5OO, I'll not have another set of wheels without ESC. It should be made mandatory in every damn thing on wheels!
  • Looks - toned down chrome, and not in-your-face - can't stand stuff like those DRLs in XUV3OO, Seltos or the "connected" tail lamps of Hector, or the Venue's grill Reliability - this one is pretty important, I'd rather not be stranded, tossing whatever plans I had down the tailpipe! Handling - need not be a Punto or Fiesta S, but should be predictable with the steering and suspension
  • Seats - Needs to be comfortable enough for driving 3 to 4 hours stretches
  • Black - yes, it has to be black!
  • Automatic - the XUV5OO auto has spoiled me proper. Can't drive a stick shift of that size vehicle in our cities anymore!
  • Ergonomics - there should be no compromise on the driving position and things falling into hands naturally
  • Reverse assist - camera, sensors, the works!
  • Ground clearance - need to be a go-anywhere-without-a-bother kind of a ground clearance
  • Creature comforts - ventilated seats, panoramic sunroof, leathers...
Everything else apart from this (exhaustive) list is a meh for me
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Old 4th March 2020, 17:45   #22
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must Haves for me:
1. ABS + EBD+ 6 Airbags- Safety trumps all
2. Good engine- Powerful, linear and minimal vibrations- I'm agnostic to petrol or diesel.
3. Space- this is a must for me. I do a lot of long drives and a cramped interior will just not work for me.
4. SUV- Try as I may, I just don't get excited about sedans or hatchbacks despite having owned a few over the years.
5. AT- a proper torque converter AT for me. No manual (dodgy knee), no AMT (jerky and unreliable) and no DCT

Must Not Have:
1. Sedan or Hatch- as noted above, its only SUV bodystyle for me.
2. Low GC- I go to the mountains pretty frequently and low GC just doesn't work there when you are crossing a non existent "road" with large stones strewn about or craters to traverse
3. Soft suspension

1. Fuel- Petrol or diesel- either is fine
2. After Sales- having experienced Tata, Maruti, Mahindra, Hyundai and VW over the years, I can safely say they are all the same. Either know someone high upin the company (which I do in Tata and Mahindra) or a simple advance 500 tip to the mechanic, and your car is treated just fine. Helps if you stay with the car and join in for a cuppa with the mechanic.
3. Dealership experience- they all just want to extract max money from your wallet. some do it wearing suits and speaking English, whilst others do it in a more "desi" manner. But they are all the same. End of the day, stand your ground, drive a hard bargain, and focus on getting the car you want. all else is immaterial.

Last edited by himanshugoswami : 4th March 2020 at 17:49.
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Old 4th March 2020, 17:46   #23
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

After having bought 3 cars I have more or less settled on what I want and, more importantly, what I DON'T want.

Must Have
1. Good diesel engine with TC AT box.
2. Complete safety package
3. Fully loaded top variant. The more the gadgets, the merrier it will be for me
4. Engine should be sufficiently powered. I do not care about 0-100 timing but there should be enough power on tap when I put my foot down to overtake
5. Should have a proper full size spare wheel

Should NOT have/be
1. The brand should not be flaky or untrustworthy. For this reason I will not look at cars from any of the VAG companies be it Volkwagen, Skoda, Audi, etc
2. Should not be from companies about to shut shop in India
3. No CVTs or DSGs or AMTs for me
4. Upholstery should not be artificial leather.
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Old 4th March 2020, 19:30   #24
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must Haves
  • Good Engine. Preferably a Turbo Petrol.
  • Automatic- No AMT's and CVT's. Prefer a fast DSG, but ok with the good TC gearboxes coming now a days.
  • A whole bunch of safety features. NCAAP ratings are a plus.
  • NVH and feel: Should feel solid and very well insulated. Good speed masking ability.
  • Light color interiors. Not a fan of the dark looks.
  • Should feel like a noticeable upgrade to my current car.
  • Handling should be at least neutral.

Must Nots is typically the opposite of the must haves

My list of Don't Care's closely matches GTO's, so just quoting

But to add, I also don't care if the car is new or pre-owned. GTO, I think that holds for you also.

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

Neutral (aka points I don't care about):

~ After-sales service quality. I'm not too big on this point. As long as the dealer is not a crook, I can live with "average" service quality if the car makes up for it. I anyway have to see the workshop just once a year.

~ A VFM price-tag. I'm not really price-sensitive. Despite a car being overpriced, if I really love it, I'll buy it (best example is the Kodiaq).

~ Ground clearance. Not a deal-maker for me. I have toured the entire of Maharashtra & Goa in cars like the Civic (known to scrape its underbelly), 530d (158 mm) and C220 (145 mm IIRC) without real trouble.

~ Sales experience = I'll buy a car despite a bad sales experience. After all, I have to live with the car, not the salesman (related thread (Had a bad sales experience at a dealer? Please do NOT eliminate the car model because of that!)).

~ Resale value. Because I keep cars for long, this point doesn't matter to me. Plus, as I love pre-owned cars, poor resale can actually work in my favour .

~ Fuel economy. Surprising, considering my nationality! I couldn't care less about FE and don't remember the last time I calculated it for any of my cars. I do appreciate a long tank range though, because of the rampant fuel adulteration on our highways.

~ Age of the model. All the 3 cars I own today are discontinued. I'm not at all about buying the "latest & greatest new launch". Cars like the Etios 1.5, Polo, Thar etc. still appeal to me.

~ Size of the car. I love XL-sized cars like the S-Class, as well as small cars like the i10. The size of car doesn't matter at all to me. I know many people who wouldn't buy cars that are too big or too small. Not me.
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Old 4th March 2020, 19:34   #25
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must haves-
1.A smooth and refined engine-
This is my topmost requirement. I just hate noisy engines with a lot of vibrations filtering in to the cabin.
2. Reliability-
Reliability is very important. Reliability ensures a good ownership experience and complete peace of mind.
3. Safety-
I think this aspect is important for all and is the only reason why my next purchase will be anything but a Maruti!
4.Stiff suspension-
I know a lot of you will disagree but I just don't like cars with soft suspension. Stiff suspension just feels a lot reassuring to me.
5.A good steering-
Steering is very important for me. If not feel and feedback, then atleast it should have some weight.
6.Good performance-
Performance should be good if not exceptional.

Must not haves-
1. Upright seat back-
This is can get very uncomfortable on long journeys.Much better to have a relaxed recline angle.
CVT is a big no for me. I can live with an AMT (which I am living with) but not with that rubber band effect.
3.Heavy clutch-
The worst thing you can have in your car is a heavy clutch!
4. notchy gearbox-
This is one of the things I hate the most in cars.
5.Too many buttons on steering-
I just too many buttons on the steering wheel. Atleast one side should be blank to keep the hand comfortably.

Last edited by Nazaar25 : 4th March 2020 at 19:49.
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Old 4th March 2020, 19:54   #26
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must haves:

- A good peppy engine, which will always respond well to my right foot.

- Good handling.

- Good brakes.

- Reliable.

- A well built safe car.

- Good AC.

Neutral (aka points I don't care about):

- Will prefer a manual, but if I get a good AT, I wont mind for my city usage, but I will always prefer a manual for the car I take for trips.

- Extra feature's or goodies like- Climate control, auto folding ORVM, Sun roof, cruise control etc etc. Am not a feature craving guy. I prefer a car with strong basics.

- Looks. Though a good looking car is always preferable.

- If I can grab a 4x4 or an AWD in my budget, will always prefer to have it!

- I like a 4 cylinder unit over a 3 cylinder unit, though there are some exception's like the 1.5L Dragon.

- Choice of fuel, it can be a petrol or a diesel. Will depend on the engine.

- Mileage. Am okay with anything above 10 km/L.


- An under-powered car.

- A car too expensive to maintain.

Last edited by Samba : 4th March 2020 at 20:04.
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Old 4th March 2020, 23:26   #27
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

  • A Safe Car- with the changing time, this has become a top priority.
  • Automatic- Next car in the family will definitely be an automatic. No AMT's please!
  • Quality- Fit & finish should be very good.
  • Decent Space- With 6 footers in the family, space is the top priority.

  • Underpowered Engine- Being an ex-owner of i20 petrol, I can say that this combination was not the most exciting to drive.
  • Base Variants/ Bare bones interior- I am not a fan of basic interiors and rather spend on top/mid variants even if they are not VFM. Nothing beats the Factory Fit!

    Today, had a short drive in friend's Creta 1.4D and was disappointed with it's performance. It was the E Plus variant (bare bones) with aftermarket accesories and stereo.The Android stereo was okayish at best. After today's drive, I was more convinced of the above points.
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Old 5th March 2020, 03:32   #28
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Won't write a fancy essay but

1. Must have
- Looks
- Safety
- Ride Quality
- Handling
- Performance
(Most of the Fiats, Tatas, Skodas, VWs cater to above basic automobile characters)

2. Don't bother about
- Gizmos or accessories
- Brand
- Service ( all are good as well as bad, based on my experience this is based on your relationship too)
- Overhyped reliability ( I don't want to drive a reliable maruti in which my life has no reliability)
- Sales figures ( Never in India )
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Old 5th March 2020, 08:52   #29
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Originally Posted by 2000rpm View Post
I want to understand why people are satisfied with 2 Airbags and not 6? With a side collusion, a two airbag car = car with no airbags.
Cars do come with side protection beams that reduce impact. While six airbags are better than two, not all cars provide that. Also the ratio of frontal collisions are still higher than from the side.

Have driven for almost 3 decades now and the Vista is the first car of mine that has ABS (no airbags). The best way to avoid a crash is to anticipate actively.

Car purchases are still a luxury in this country and six airbags on a car will be its top-end model while the base or mid-trim with two airbags might be a few lakhs lower (more affordable).
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Old 5th March 2020, 09:30   #30
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Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Auto makers must really read this thread carefully while designing their next car. My take on this topic:
  • A good engine- either a NA petrol or a turbodiesel with ample low end torque (Will be irrelevant if once EVs are the norm)
  • If an AT, it should be a TC or a well tuned CVT (Will be irrelevant if once EVs are the norm)
  • If an MT, a smooth GB and a light clutch (Will be irrelevant if once EVs are the norm)
  • Fast charging for an EV. Should at least give 150km of range in half hour of charging (Ideal for lunch/coffee breaks on highways)
  • Comfortable ride with a well damped suspension to prevent pitching on highways
  • Minimal body roll
  • Minimal vibrations
  • Reasonably stiff rear suspension so that the car doesn't sag when fully loaded
  • Reliability- not a problem for most modern cars
  • Preferably a key which I can turn to start the car
  • Spare wheel & No runflats please
  • Adjustable lumbar support
  • Fabric seats. Or Fabric + vegan leather seats. I'm against killing animals for car seats and don't like leather seats as I sweat a lot.
  • Soft touch plastics and fabric/vegan leather inserts on door pads,armrests and steering. I'm against killing animals.
  • Presence of buttons for commonly used functions
  • Bluetooth Audio
  • Voice commands should be optional
  • D + P airbags at minimum. Additional airbags in the lower variants are welcome
  • Good ASS and spare part availability
  • A big boot
  • Reasonably sized. I don't think I'd ever drive something like a Kia Carnival in India
  • Reasonable mounting space for a bicycle rack
  • Good headlamps
  • Bad NCAP rating/not crash tested: With busier roads, higher traffic and more distracted drivers, a car with a good safety is the best investment
  • Bad brakes
  • Extremely light steerings. I prefer a heavy steering. Any well tuned steering will be welcome
Neutral about:
  • Looks: I can drive an Innova and I drive a 2012 Ford Fusion. Not too bothered about looks unless it's a Nissan Juke
  • Ground clearance: As long as my basic requirements are met, this should never pose a problem
  • Fuel economy- I'd love to have good FE on the secondary cars in the house(Irrelevant when EVs are the norm)
  • Lane keep warnings, automatic steering corrections

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 5th March 2020 at 09:42.
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