Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 6th March 2020, 07:55   #46
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 50
Thanked: 107 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

This is an awesome list. If only some of you had included which cars met all of your criteria, we would have many "what car" questions answered!
sridharj77 is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 6th March 2020, 08:10   #47
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 37
Thanked: 20 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots


1. Full safety package. Air bags, ABS, EBD, Traction Control.
2. Reliability & Durability. The car should be durable.
3. Power. The power output should be good enough ie. 1.5 litre and above.
4. Ride Quality.
5. NVH.
6. Availability of spares and reasonable cost of service.
7. Comfortable seating.
8. Ground Clearance.
9. VFM.
10. Some basic features like auto lock, BT telephone connectivity, Electrically adjustable ORVMs.
11. Automatic. Either CVT or DCT.
12. Fuel Economy

Must Nots:

1. Poor availability of spares.
2. High cost of service.
3. Small engine.
4. Niggles. Taking the car for small things to the workshop consumes a lot of time which is precious.
5. Poor NVH levels.


1. Re-sale value.
2. Extended Warranty. Most cars come with 2 to 3 years standard warranty. If the manufacturer is reputable like Toyota or Honda usually there are no major issues.
mpshah68 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 6th March 2020, 12:01   #48
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 113
Thanked: 84 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

The criteria if I were out to buy a car today would be
a) A car with good build quality safety equipment and atleast a 4+ NCAP rating
b) A smooth, refined and reliable engine, that is conducive for city driving while also powerful enough for the open highways, I have, over the years become a sedate driver , so the quickest 0-100 is just statistics and good to know but not essential
c) A decent and reliable auto transmission option , for city driving I can live with AMTís as well and have worked around the ĎHead Nodí problem ( never driven an AMT on highways, so going by the general opinion, this may not be a great experience)
d) Reliable service centers, reasonably priced spares- Overall peace of ownership
gops2009 is offline  
Old 6th March 2020, 12:09   #49
Senior - BHPian
rajushank84's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/CA(USA)
Posts: 1,084
Thanked: 842 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

As I travel more, I try to reduce the tendency to put conditions on my happiness. That's the secret to happiness, the art of putting fewer and fewer conditions on it, to live in that way and apply it to all walks of life. So in the context of a vehicle, the things I compulsarily look for tend to be driven more by a common-sense and utilitarian angle, like safety features, space, seat comfort, AC effectiveness, braking performance.

However, that's not to say I don't have preference. When I can afford within boundaries, I try to prioritize
  • An accurate steering feel, preferably a tight feel, that makes direction-changing feel intuitive. This is THE biggest niceness factor I look for.
  • Compact dimensions that makes maneuvering and parking easier. For this reason alone I prefer hatchbacks nine times out of ten. If I won a lottery for 50 million dollars, I would still drive a hatchback or sportscar or something small, never something big unless I can help it.
  • Sharp handling even at the expense of ride quality, to some extent
  • A responsive engine and slick (manual) gearbox come only after the above
  • Of course, a reliable service network
  • Aesthetics, even less important

What it needs to compulsarily NOT:
  • A certain brand
  • Pink. I can do any other color, even purple. Just no pink please.

Last edited by rajushank84 : 6th March 2020 at 12:15.
rajushank84 is offline  
Old 6th March 2020, 12:56   #50
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 17
Thanked: 28 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Some of the things which I tend to look into while buying new cars

Must Haves:
- Safety is a must. ABS has saved me many times on our unruly highways
- Reliability, I hate to be stranded anywhere because of poor reliability
- Handling, Who doesn't enjoy good handling cars, poor handlers take away the joy of driving
- Decent ICE
- Automatic climate control, I do not open my windows when driving, especially in cities
- Should be a looker, will always turn back and look at her after parking

Nice to Have:
- Decent Automatic Transmission, prefer good old Torque converters. No AMT's
- Good fuel efficiency
- Ground Clearance
- Reverse camera, parking sensors etc
- Resale Value
- Brand Value
Simha13 is offline  
Old 6th March 2020, 19:53   #51
bharatbits's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 462
Thanked: 590 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must Have
1. All 4 power windows with one touch up and down.
2. Service center less than 10kms from home. My entire day goes waste if I have to visit Fiat ASS in any city.
3. High GC above 185mm.
4. Looks must be appealing. No Tavera s and Chev Enjoys.
5. No wanna be sedans or wanna be SUVs. Only full blown D segment sedans and above or full blown 7 seater SUVs. Will pick Fortuner over Q3, Hexa, Harrier over Creta, Isuzu MUX over Benz A Class, Superb over any entry level luxury Euro sedan like the A4, C, BMW 3.
6. Diesel. Period.
7. Double digit mileage. We are in India.
8. Light colored. White, silver preferably over any other dark colors. While I like dark colors on many cars practicality trumps over a great dark color. We are in a hot, tropical country.
9. No Maruti, Hyundai's. Even if it's a Tucson or Santa Fe I will pick its competitor from Toyota, Ford or even Isuzu.
10. Spare wheel well must accommodate a full size spare although the manufacturer may provide a space saver.

Don't care
1. Power, low end torque.
2. Sales numbers.
3. Auto magazine, YouTube reviews and public talk.
4. Brand and it's snob value. I'd rather keep it lowkey.
bharatbits is offline  
Old 6th March 2020, 20:09   #52
rahulcmoulee's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2020
Location: Bengaluru
Posts: 86
Thanked: 302 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Must Haves

1.) Good Safety Rating and Equipment
2.) Android Auto
3.) Good Engine
4.) Good Ride Quality
5.) Good Air Conditioning
6.) Rear Parking Sensor and Camera
7.) Comfortable Seats
8.) Decent Service Network

Must Not Have

1.) Bad Looks
2.) Low Profile Tyres
3.) AMT Gearbox
4.) Reliability Issues

Nice To Have

1.) Ventilated Seats
2.) Cruise Control
3.) Rear A/C Vents
4.) Alloy Wheel for the Spare Tyre
5.) Reclining Back Seats
rahulcmoulee is offline  
Old 6th March 2020, 20:17   #53
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Dehradun
Posts: 36
Thanked: 17 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Points which matter to me the most (Descending order of importance)

1. Bullet proof engine reliability. I don`t want to get stranded in middle of nowhere + no maintenance except for regular services.

2. Safety,(NCAP rating + all safety equipment) the reason it comes second is that i believe that being a safe driver is also equally important.

3.Nice ride quality, comfortable and spacious cabin.

4.Effective A/C.

5. Features, like touchscreen, backup camera+sensors, electric+ventilated seats, so on and so forth.

6. Reasonable and economical service interval at least 1 year or 10000 kms whichever comes earlier (although it is a norm these days).

7. Fuel economy.

8. Resale value.
Anuj 6227 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th March 2020, 08:12   #54
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Faridabad
Posts: 17
Thanked: 24 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

What started out as a promising thread is now looking like an advertising forum with folks just stating features of their favourite cars. Anyway, my requirements from my next car would be-
1. Minimum 4 star GNCAP rating
2. Loads of space, preferably with 3 row seating
3. Good low end torque
4. Cornering lights- they are a boon on our poorly lit roads
5. Reliable and efficient - should not be prone to breakdowns or be a guzzler
6. Sunroof- for those drives out of the city when u want to breathe in fresh pollution-free air
7. Front armrest preferably with storage
8. Plenty of storage spaces - for mobile, wallet, toll tickets, loose cash, water bottle, etc
9. Movable and Reclining second row bench seat- so someone can lie down when required
10. Good NVH
11. Cruise Control
12. Rear defogger and wiper
13. Anti-pinch window
14. Good ride and handling
15. Second row cooling fans, preferably high mounted- loved Toyota's Yaris
16. Good ground clearance

What I'm not particular about -
1. Auto everything - love this phrase whoever coined it
2. Body style- a well designed muv is equally beautiful to my eyes as a suv or sedan
3. Navigation or ICE.. i have everything i need on my phone, can pair it to any decent Bluetooth speaker if required
Time_Machine is offline  
Old 7th March 2020, 11:58   #55
Carpainter's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 514
Thanked: 691 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Nice thread.
Must Haves:-
Good engine. Should be able to cross 100kmph with ease. I know almost all cars sold in India today can do that but I love powerful cars that will not go out of breath after crossing 100.

Safety: I'll buy cars that are solidly built and has proper safety equipments. Although after govt. regulations all cars now come with airbags and ABS but I'll usually buy a model that has more than a couple of airbags. No compromise on safety.

Interior space. Once or twice a year I hit the highway with my family or friends and I need a spacious cabin for that. Even if it is a 5 seater, all 5 passengers should be able to sit comfortably in a long journey.

Boot space. In continuance to the above, need a reasonable boot space to carry luggage for a highway trip.

ICE:- In this day and age a good audio system is a must have. I don't want to buy a car in 2020 and then go to aftermarket for a good audio, reversing camera or other gadgets installed. So no base model for me.

Must nots:-
Bad Looks:- A deal breaker for me. The car has to look nice for me to even consider it in my list no matter how good the engine gearbox transmission or everything else it has.

Poor auto:- That's why I'll never buy an AMT or a CVT. CVTs are okay for city driving but I'll not be able to enjoy it out on the highway. The reason why the new Civic is off my list when I'll think of upgrade. Although the rest of the car is really impressive.

Poor GC:- The kind of roads that I drive on, there is hardly any surface that can be said as even or flat. So low ground clearance can be a headache over mountain like speedbrakers.

Poor steering and visibility:- That's a deal breaker for me. Specially the car I'll be driving should have a good or atleast neutral steering. Visibility is also an important factor in city driving.

High maintenance:- Should not cost a bomb to maintain and repair.

Nice to have:-
Sun roof:- I'll never turn down a car if it doesn't come with a sunroof. In fact in our climate and weather it'll be the least used feature for me.

Ventilated seats:- These are mostly want than need features. Only Hyundai and Kia offer this in cars below 25L if I remember correctly.

Last edited by Carpainter : 7th March 2020 at 11:59.
Carpainter is offline  
Old 7th March 2020, 14:28   #56
BrakeFree's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2020
Location: Hyderabad
Posts: 20
Thanked: 60 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

The non negotiables

1. Reliability over the complete ownership period

Originally Posted by Anuj 6227 View Post
Points which matter to me the most (Descending order of importance)

1. Bullet proof engine reliability. I don`t want to get stranded in middle of nowhere + no maintenance except for regular services.
This is exactly what I would have put it too!
I'll spend a full day with the car at the service station once a year. Once the service is done the car should just not give any trouble until next year. It's very important that my family member or I can take the car in the middle of the night without the fear of a break down or getting stranded.

This is not something a car has to demonstrate for the initial 4-5 years, but at least serve as a reliable work horse well beyond 10 years. Of course in return preventive maintenance should be religiously followed. All my cars visit only the manufacturer's workshop and I don't let them out of my sight. SA and mechanics do understand what does this car means to this owner who is almost baby sitting the car.

I think Maruti, Toyota and Honda cars fall under this bucket.

2. Car's ability to sprint from a signal and stop with grace.

These things go hand in hand. The moment one is missing the other becomes less useful. To provide an example my Verna Fluidic (D) 126 bhp picks up speed swiftly but the brakes don't inspire confidence and the steering nervousness is visible when negotiating sharp maneuvers. The suspension makes it sway like a boat. As a counter argument my wife loves the feather touch steering and soft suspension of this car dearly. On the other hand Grand Punto (D) has legendary stopping power (somebody please do explain me why!). It can come to a complete halt with no drama. Car driving dynamics are spot on. But the engine wakes only after the turbo kicks in at 2k RPM.

Here I think MS Swift rules the roost. I drove the new swift (P) AMT with a heavy foot and car was a hoot to drive. Polo GT TSI just managed to keep up with it. The AMT was jerky, car is super light and it flew off on every undulation on the road. But the Swift was quick, hugged the corners like a pro and brakes decent enough to drop speed in a jiffy.

Here is a nice patch of road if you want to experience the car going over both steep as well as gradual inclines, sharp turns and nice curves and view of a huge lake from the top. This is known as Movie Tower road (located in western side outskirt of Hyderabad)
The must haves!
1. Road Safety
ABS with EBD, Dual Airbags, frame with crumple zone and structural strength. I am not too sure if how much does the sheet metal adds to the safety aspect of the car. Honestly I am curious to know about it especially with respect to occupant safety.

2. Cars with no scandals associated with them:
  • DSG issues and the company deals with it on case to case basis - sorry Skoda ATs
  • DCT heating issues - bye bye Venue, Seltos (AT variants only)
  • Emission control hacks - VW diesels you broke my trust
Good to have

1. A big boot
A boon for long drives or going to IKEA (currently a privilege in Hyderabad only)

2. Electronics gadgetry
Automatic lights, wiper with speed control, RVM night mode (Internal and outside), gearbox, Hill hold control. Electric memory seats with lumbar support. Cooled glove box. Front and rear proximity sensors.

3. Miscellaneous
One liter bottle holders in all doors, Access to the boot from rear seat, rear fog lamps, rechargeable portable torch, place to store wet umbrella (Skoda Superb has it).
Not sure why does these features even exist?
1. Sunroof/Moonroof
Adds to the green house effect in the car and India being predominantly hot and bright what purpose does it solve. It adds weight to the car, with time this can be a nightmare for maintained and strains the AC and few parents feels immensely happy when kids stand in the car with the heads out.

Really hurts my eyes when somebody decides to drive with parking lights off during evening. Not sure how does it add to the safety. Keen to understand the real usage in context of India.

Last edited by BrakeFree : 7th March 2020 at 14:56. Reason: Disambiguating few headings
BrakeFree is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 7th March 2020, 20:10   #57
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 290
Thanked: 495 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

as mentioned by someone at the beginning of this thread, it is not mandatory for me to have a car that is bestseller in its segment or is rocking the sales chart month on month.
The list of must haves are as follows
1. Good build quality
2. Safety features-ABS with Airbags is a must
3. More safety features like TCS/ARP are welcome
4. Good road manners. Point & shoot type
5. Very good brakes
6. Good music system
7. Good engine. Power should be available at the slightest tap of the accelerator
8. Reliability
9. Low cost of servicing

Not so Important Factors
1. Cosmetic items like projector headlamps
2. Fancy Dashboard like LED displays in meter console
3. Fuel efficiency
su1978 is offline  
Old 7th March 2020, 22:09   #58
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 10
Thanked: 12 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

For me some of the Must Have.
1. Reliable Brand and ASS - Maruti or Toyota
2. AC - Chilling AC must in Delhi climate
3. Comfortable Ride - the Indian roads the way they are a good suspension and ride quality is a must.
4. Connected Car - May deter theft and when being driven by a chauffeur - you can monitor whether AC on or not , over speeding, taking it out for a joyride .
5. Apple car play and Android auto- saves time when travelling
6. Music system - must have good output.
7. Parking sensors and camera
8. Decent leg room at the rear

Must not have
1. Sloping window line like Hyundaiís
2. Very low mileage - burn hole in the pocket
3. Compromise form practicality over design

Donít care much
1. Engine - All modern day engines are OK, with few exceptions.
2. Auto Head light
3. Auto wiper
4. Alloy wheel design
5. Black or beige interior
6. DRL
7. Paddle Shifters
8. Electronic break
9. Auto Hold
10. Sunroof
samitjain is offline  
Old 8th March 2020, 11:23   #59
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Kolkata
Posts: 56
Thanked: 203 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Very informative and helpful thread as it helps a buyer to prioritise his requirements before making the final call.

My requirements would be in below order .

Must Have :
1. Safety - structural safety (life saver) is paramount along with Airbags (life saver) and other safety features,
2. Ride Comfort (both front & rear) - very important as we are spending our hard earned money on something where we can be comfortable in our travels,
3. Engine, Gearbox & Clutch - Strong, reliable, dependable and efficient engine well mated to an equally good and strong gearbox and soft clutch,
4. Handling - very important for tacking the nighmarish roads in India,
5. Spaciousness - there must be good space inside the vehicle for all 5 occupants to be comfortable,
6. Tyres & Brakes - grippy tyres with strong & effective brakes (life saver),
7. Lights - strong piercing lights with proper throw length, proper spread to ensure that we dont loose our way in nights,
8. Air Conditioning - good strong AC that can make all occupants comfortable in the hottest of days,
9. After sales service - very important for tension free ownership and long distance travel,
10. Looks - otherwise you will feel that you have wasted your money,
11. Storage spaces including boot - important for my long distance travels with my family.
12. High ground clearance - important in India's hinterland where gigantic bumpers and big potholes are available in plenty on the roads (completely free of cost),

Neutral :
1. Automatic Gearboxes - I like to drive my vehicle not steer it. However ok to live with AT gearboxes (Torque Converter only) in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions and also with age catching up fast,
2. Fuel efficiency - Good to have high FE, but can live with mid level FE as well,
3. Fuel type - Equally comfortable with both Diesel and Petrol drivetrains,
4. Alloy Wheels - Good to have but not compulsory,
5. Push Button Start - Good to have but not compulsory,
6. Sunroof - Good to have but not compulsory,
7. Infotainment system - Good one will do, do not require a very high tech one,
8. Resale value - I keep my vehicles for at least 10 years, hence may not be that important to me.
9. Showroom experience - i have to live with the vehicle and not the showroom reps,
10. Brands - i am equally comfortable with a Mahindra & Tata as i am with a Hyundai and Ford. If the car is good brand does not matter.

Must NOT :
1. Low slung sedans - causes problems in getting out mostly leading to back problems,
2. Long & hard clutch - absolutely NO NO,
3. Tin cans - no safety.
SaurabhB is offline  
Old 8th March 2020, 11:39   #60
Team-BHP Support
Chetan_Rao's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 3,569
Thanked: 11,618 Times
Default Re: Buying a car: Your *compulsory list* of must-haves & must-nots

Won't repeat everything already said, but one small bit that's a must-have for me on an MT car: a properly sized and usable dead pedal.

I'd avoid buying a car without one.
Chetan_Rao is offline  

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2021,
Proudly powered by E2E Networks