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Old 14th August 2020, 23:23   #31
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In addition to some excellent vehicles here, I'd like to add the following:
- 2005 onwards Fiesta / Fiesta Classic TDCi : brilliant driving manners, let down by poor performance.
- Ford Figo petrol: current gen or previous, the car is capable enough to handle a better power plant
- Etios / Liva Diesel: neutral manners but an underpowered diesel.
- Audi A4, Octy, Jetta with the 1.4 TSi option; new mercedes 180/200 engine variants (GLA, CLA, A, B) - just takes away from the character of these excellent machines

From the new launches, I am not took excited by the new S Cross auto, though details will only be confirmed after a test drive.
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Old 14th August 2020, 23:37   #32
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Here's one more from my end - Jeep Compass Petrol AT. Although fast, the 1.4L turbo-petrol & 7-speed dual clutch AT made for a dimwitted combination. With aggressive driving & varying throttle input, the gearbox could end up terribly confused as well. Manual mode? Too conservatively tuned for a petrol. The more impressive Diesel AT came later, but it was grossly overpriced.
Have been driving the AT for over a year. Think the Compass 1.4 Petrol engine is not bad. The DCT gearbox is.
Wish FCA could do something about the the slow shifting and noisy gearbox. A torque converter perhaps?
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Old 14th August 2020, 23:41   #33
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

I think there are a few cars that have been missed in this thread, and a few whose presence I would not agree with.

A surprising omission is the Honda Jazz - the car sells with a 1.5 l engine in other markets, and was launched here with the sluggish 1.2 l. I remember test driving it back in 2012 - and was shocked that the car struggled to climb flyovers.

Would agree with many of the cars in the first list. the TUV300, the Maruti 1000 (though you could not blame Maruti for that - this was in the license permit Raj when the government decided your engine and chassis combinations), and the original 3 cylinder Polos (assuming the 1.6l Petrol was not also available at launch). Where I would disagree with your picks is in cases such as the Toyota Corolla or the Honda CRV, where the same car was also available with a much more attractive engine variant (even if with a different fuel option) at launch. In such cases, you are segmenting the market and offering people the ability to pick what they want. The Corolla 1.4 l diesel may have been horrible from an enthusiastís perspective, but it was perfect for its core audience, the tourist taxi companies. I probably have travelled more kilometres in Corolla 1.4s than in any other model which I have not owned. Similarly, for the entirely chauffeur driven folks, any engine will do as long as it can keep the air conditioning cooling well. Any sensible car manufacturer will look to serve them too.

Finally, one last objection, and that is to the last car in the opening post. I fully agree that the 2 cylinder diesel that found its was to the Celerio is the worst engine that was ever placed in an Indian car. However, I donít think it deserved to be in this thread - that was just the case of a terrible car with a terrible engine as well.
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Old 14th August 2020, 23:57   #34
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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The original TUV300 was a competent 7-seater available at a price comparable to budget sedans. Alas, Mahindra launched it with an 84 BHP / 230 Nm engine. These figures were simply not enough for the 1,590 kg kerb weight of the body-on-frame vehicle.
Being an owner original 84 BHP TUV300 bought in December 2015, I can definitely feel that engine is under powered and M&M could have done a better job. Within few months of launch M&M had to upgrade the engine to 100 BHP.

Last edited by airbus : 15th August 2020 at 00:00.
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Old 15th August 2020, 00:44   #35
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Does anyone remember the 2nd gen Honda City with the 1.3 i-DSI? I'd love to head about the performance of that.

My top () 2:
1. Toyota Corolla 1.4 D: I was a passenger in this car - to say that the car struggles is an understatement. Combine that with unskilled drivers who keep lugging the engine, this car is SLOW.
2. i20 1.2P: This car is too slow on the open road. It is surprisingly good until 80-90kmph, but struggles after that. I've heard similar experiences with the Elite i20 1.2P.

On the contrary, the Ciaz 1.4 AT which my parents have is a pretty decent car. Much better than the lame Linea 1.4. The Ciaz can do well until 90-100 kmph, but is a little slow after 120 kmph.
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I don't know whether it should be a part of this list or not but I feel even the earlier gen Innova with its 2.5 Litre mill generating somewhere around 102 BHP was underwhelming for a car the size of an Innova.
It wasn't bad when the car was launched in 2005, but felt extremely outdated in 2015. At minimum, Toyota should have upgraded the engine to the 118 BHP and tweaked the gear/final drive ratios.
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Old 15th August 2020, 00:56   #36
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Definitely the Daewoo Cielo. It had a lacklustre 1.5 L petrol engine that produced 71 BHP @4800 RPM, and 11 kgm of torque. Decent figures, you say? Maybe, but it wasn't really capable of picking up speed on the highway, and was quite dreary. It did have a ton of cool features though; an electrically retracting aerial for one.

Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines-6487595931_251d5246da_b.jpg
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Old 15th August 2020, 02:19   #37
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Some entries from my side:
1.Skoda Kodiaq-The Kodiaq was a near perfect sub 40 lac family hauler with an amazing build, long list of features, car-like dynamics, great space and an excellent gearbox but was letdown by the rather underwhelming 148hp engine.

2.Honda WRV-The WRV story would have been quite different if it had the 1.5l i-VTEC motor instead of the lame 1.2!

3.Honda Civic-Simply put, this looker just doesn't have the go to match the show!

4.Maruti Scross/Brezza-These two cars really deserved and still deserve much better engines!

5.Ford Figo first gen-This little tank needed a more powerful heart to exploit it's fantastic dynamics!
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Old 15th August 2020, 03:53   #38
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Default Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

1) Skoda Fabia : It was the benchmark in terms of quality inside out and was one of the most practical cars, still is in the premium hatch segments. However the engines let it down big time, both 3 cylinder petrol and diesels.
2) Fiat Linea MJD: The 1.3 does the job but the kind of ride and handling balance it boasts of , it deserved the 1.6 MJD.
3) New gen Civic: It is a benchmark in the segment as far as road manners and steering feel is concerned, but the decade old petrol (no MT) and the noisy diesel has bogged down its appeal.
4) Global Fiesta- The 1.5 Diesel and1.5 petrol were adequate but that brilliant chassis (along with Linea) begged for the ecoboost petrol that Ford reserved only for Ecosport.
5) First gen Figo- It was a go kart kind of car but again came with lack lustre engines. The new Figo has an awesome Diesel engine but didn't feel half as good as the original Figo.

Last edited by Waspune : 15th August 2020 at 03:55.
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Old 15th August 2020, 04:31   #39
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

I know some subscribe to the opposite philosophy but for me, the engine's performance is the least important part of the car during a purchase decision.

Once you drive a car for a few thousand kilometers, you get used to the performance characteristics. On the other hand things like an ugly design, lack of interior space or poor quality and reliability are much harder to accept.
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Old 15th August 2020, 07:09   #40
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

I would add Chevrolet Beat diesel to the list.

It was a well built, fun to drive small car but the 998cc MJD derived from fiat's 1.3 was slow!! 58 bhp on a car that was almost 900 kg.

It was noisy at highway speeds and it lacked a top end. I owned one for 90,000 km and there have been many times that I regretted taking it on the highway runs instead of my swift diesel.

For a car that had relatively sorted dynamics, looked great and was extremely city-friendly, the beat definitely deserved a more powerful diesel engine.

I can say the same about my sumo gold - 85bhp and 250 Nm from a 3.0 liter diesel in a 2 tonne car! But that was a case of terrible engine in a terrible car.

SCross is another car that deserves a much powerful diesel (also now a much powerful petrol than that 1.5). It is one of those rare maruti cars that is built well and actually connects with the driver. On the highway, beyond a certain triple digit speed, engine feels handicapped while the chassis is eager to be pushed harder and harder. Sad!

Last edited by PrasannaDhana : 15th August 2020 at 07:23.
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Old 15th August 2020, 10:51   #41
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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Originally Posted by TheHelix0202 View Post
Definitely the Daewoo Cielo. It had a lacklustre 1.5 L petrol engine that produced 71 BHP @4800 RPM, and 11 kgm of torque. Decent figures, you say? Maybe, but it wasn't really capable of picking up speed on the highway, and was quite dreary. It did have a ton of cool features though; an electrically retracting aerial for one.
Are you sure the 71 bhp 1.5 lit was inadequate when the Cielo was launched? As far as I can remember, it was the most powerful engine circa 1995. I also remember that Daewoo launched the Nexia with close to 100 bhp, which was supposed to take care of the power hungry customer!
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Old 15th August 2020, 11:01   #42
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

As pointed out in an earlier post, I recall the Skoda Fabia 1.2 HTP (high torque petrol? ) as a solid, well built Euro specced hatch (our 2008 model had 3 point harness for rear middle passenger and a height adjustable front passenger seat for starters).

However the 1.2 petrol sounded like an appliance with a high pitched whine while delivering anaemic performance. The diesel version back then (named PD) was extremely noisy as well. The rare and expensive 1.6 MPI elegance version, of the same car was a contrast though!
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Old 15th August 2020, 11:04   #43
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

For me, the list includes:

1. 2000 Skoda Octavia 1.9TDi: Initial model with the 1.9L developing 90PS. Felt it was an injustice to the car.

2. Old Ford Figo/Fiesta Classic: With the 1.4L Duratorq engine developing 69PS it was criminal to the car as the chassis & handling was much more capable. It could handle 100+ PS of power. Thank God, Ford corrected that in the later stage with the new Figo plonking in the 1.5L engine which made the car a pocket-rocket - but sales never picked up, sadly.

3. 2015 model Fluidic Elantra: Sporting the same 1.6L CRDi (126PS) as the Creta & Verna, that engine never did justice to it. That car deserved something more powerful.

Last edited by a4anurag : 15th August 2020 at 11:10.
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Old 15th August 2020, 11:26   #44
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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I can say the same about my sumo gold - 85bhp and 250 Nm from a 3.0 liter diesel in a 2 tonne car! But that was a case of terrible engine in a terrible car.
This engine, sir, is a torque monster. The Sumo Gold/Spacio is a favourite with cabbies in the high mountains for its ability to deliver all the torque at near idle speeds. There is absolutely no lag and it just pulls. You’ll see plenty of Sumos with this engine chugging up Rohtang and Khardung with 10-12ppl inside. This engine also powers the Tata 407, and you must have seen many of them doing near 100 speeds on highways, fully loaded. This commercial vehicle engine was never a highway scorcher, it has its purpose and serves it well.
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Old 15th August 2020, 12:30   #45
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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This engine, sir, is a torque monster. The Sumo Gold/Spacio is a favourite with cabbies in the high mountains for its ability to deliver all the torque at near idle speeds. There is absolutely no lag and it just pulls.
Agreed it's a torque monster. But as a primary car, I used it for 12 months and 25,000 km, and I hated every time I drove it. Reasons - noisy engine, no highway performance, bone jarring ride quality, terrible NVH and poor fuel efficiency. My Safari dicor which also was doing duties that time returned better fuel efficiency.

But the sumo had good driveability and was a great car on the hills.
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