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Old 15th August 2020, 17:15   #46
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Imagine if Elite I20 in 2014 was launched with turbo petrol engine with AT (DCT or TC), it would have surpassed polo GT Tsi by a huge margin. Newer (2014 onwards) I20s had better chassis, build, space, interior quality. But petrol engine was a dud. Hyundai later launched it with a CVT gas guzzler, which was as lazy as a buffalo crossing a road! And mileage in single digits. Owners, please do not get offended, but I drove once and it had terrible pick up. Similar to Duster CVT.

Another car which comes to mind is the one I drove quite recently, Honda Civic. Beautiful interiors/ exteriors, agile handling, sports car like driving position but performance specifications like that of Honda city. And yes, lack of features. Still if it had a enthusiastic engine to match the tight chassis, Civic nameplate would have compensated for the lacking features to some extent.
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Old 15th August 2020, 17:54   #47
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Originally Posted by ashvek3141 View Post
I partly agree to this. The low-end is horrible! I own a manual and a slight mismatch in the accelerator-clutch timings stalls the car. All the more the car doesn't pull much in lower end. Same applies for the top-end, looses steam post ~3500 rpm. Only the mid-range is acceptable.

Completely agree. When I was scouting for a new car 2 years ago, I test drove the petrol Creta and it felt so lazy. I immediately took the car off my list. The diesels are a complete contrast. Even the 1.4 diesel is so much better than the petrol. I finally settled on the 1.6 diesel and the torque on this one is just amazing.
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Old 15th August 2020, 18:16   #48
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Creta 1.6 VTVT 2019 model had some improvements in terms of the responsiveness than the older models.

But it was never in the league of the iVTECs even for a NA unit.

1.6VTVT was always a choice for those who wanted a fuss-free Petrol engine with all the bells and whistles which Creta offered.

Nothing more Nothing less.
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Old 15th August 2020, 19:33   #49
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Just wanted to highlight an inaccuracy/oversight in the original post. The ciaz was never launched with 1.3 L in swift. The swift had a FGT MJD with 75 BHP. The ciaz had a VGT MJD which belted out 90 BHP. That engine was at par with diesel competition like honda city and had reasonable power to weight ratio too when it was launched. The ciaz was only 1160-80 kgs.

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Old 16th August 2020, 01:06   #50
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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Originally Posted by Geo_Ipe View Post
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!
Yep, it might have sounded good on paper, but multiple drivers, including my Dad, have claimed it to have struggled to pick up speed beyond 70 - 80 kmh on the highway. This wasn’t the issue with even the 70 BHP 1.3 Ford iKon Flair. Not too sure about the Nexia and the other comparable Escort and Lancer though.

Last edited by TheHelix0202 : 16th August 2020 at 01:08.
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Old 16th August 2020, 02:38   #51
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Beat this!

Before going out of production, the 1.5L Ambassador dsl produced 35.5 Bhp and 72.9 Nm of torque. The weight of this car was around 1200 kg!

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Old 16th August 2020, 15:07   #52
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

I feel every hatchback is underpowered in India except the turbo petrols maybe. But they're on a different league and not affordable by masses.

Now my dad who is 65 thinks the swift has too much power but I think it's underpowered.

Funny thing is whenever an updated version is launched, Maruti likes to reduce couple of bhp just to keep the magical FE number of 20kmpl.

Other manufacturers like to keep the power figures untouched mostly.

I wish automakers offered cars with at least 2 engine maps, one to hit the 20kmpl mark (83bhp and 113-115Nm) and another one with 90bhp and 130nm.

Is that too much to get just from the engine/fuel maps?

Idk but I love day dreaming
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Old 16th August 2020, 19:10   #53
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

I would start my list with cars/ jeeps from the 1970's. Many of the newer ones are already discussed, so no more repetitions by me.

(1) Mahindra CJ 500 D that almost replaced the petrol Hurricane engine in 1975 with the International Harvester tractor diesel engine (MD 2350). It was terribly underpowered generating 38 bhp of power but had a very good torque. The newer Mahindra 540 with its Peugeot 540 DP engne was only a wee bit better with its 2112/ 62 bhp engine. They offered this engine as an option since 1982 on the CJ 4A body, which also came with the antiquated International tractor diesel engine.

(2) Ambassador diesel introduced in 1979 with the BMC 1489cc/ 39bhp diesel. Already this has been discussed earlier by a friend. This is the same engine that powered the 1961 (onwards) Morris Oxford Series V and VI diesels, mainly for taxi applications in the U.K. many parts of SE Asia. Though rugged and sturdy, the engine emitted visible pollutants and black smoke like many other diesels of that era. This still powers thousands of the Kolkata taxis.

(3) The Hindustan Contessa was hurriedly introduced in 1984, using the 1489 cc/ 50 bhp BMC Ambassador engine of the 1950's vintage. It was terribly underpowered for the British Vauxhall Victor till the 1817 cc Isuzu petrol engine replaced it as the Contessa Classic 1.8 GL.

(4) The Standard 2000 introduced in 1986, with its 1991 cc/ 83 bhp engine. This engine was derived from the 1950's Standard Vanguard, but used a twin SU carburettor. The body was contemporary, based on the Rover SD 1, with so many never before seen features and goodies but the engine was too underpowered to pull this heavy car and it soon flopped. It was a pain to see this car climbing gradients with the AC on and a full passenger load. The British Rover SD 1 also had a 3500 cc V 8 engine option. The Standard 2000 was one of the greatest blunders and failures in the modern Indian car scenario.

(5) The Maruti 1000 (on road price was Rs 4.5 L then ) came in 1990 with the 998 cc Zen engine is already discussed. It again shows the alacrity of automakers to introduce newer models for the gullible public swiftly, with antiquated engines. It was replaced later in 1992 with the 1298 cc petrol engine and rebadged as the Esteem.

(6) The Ford Escort petrol first introduced by the Mahindra Ford JV, with an underpowered pushrod 1297 cc/ 60 bhp engine around 1996. The engine let this car down as it was incapable of doing justice to it's British engineered, solid and heavy bodyshell. Ford also had the 1339 cc and 1498 cc petrol options for this model, which Mahindra needs to have provided inputs for to Ford, to make it a success.

(7) The Fiat Uno diesel launched in the late 1990's was fitted with a 1697 cc/ 58 bhp diesel option that was OK for this car, delivering 16-17 kmpl. But the fact was that Fiat ignored the need for a compatible power steering for such a heavy diesel engine. The steering was rack and pinion.

(8) The Premier Padmini/ 137 D were powered with the Fratelli Negri Macchine Diesel Sud (FNM), Italy, 1366 cc/45 bhp diesel since around the early 1990's which was noisy, underpowered and antiquated. It was highly polluting too. Ill maintained examples were seen emitting black smoke. At decent speeds with a spirited driving it could deliver upto 24 kmpl.

Most of these cars/ jeeps show a mismatch in their bodylines and the engines fitted and indicate the urgency of manufacturers to introduce newer models when the mechanicals were not ready with the company and it depended on whatever antiquated technology was available.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 16th August 2020 at 19:19.
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Old 17th August 2020, 00:00   #54
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Would add the SX4 diesel to this list.

The 1.3 litre engine was never going to be enough for the car this size (weight & dimensions).

While it's still a great car, definitely under powered.
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Old 17th August 2020, 10:03   #55
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Nissan and Renault got missed out till now. The Dusters and Terranos of this world could do with some more poke. The Sunny is one car I loved for its practicality and simplicity but hated it for the performance. Same with the Fluence. Renault/Nissan/Datsun have had the same formula, mediocre diesel and even more lethargic petrol.

I think almost all the cars have been covered in the 4 pages on this thread. Now the question is, what do the manufacturers do/smoke/get high on while strategizing on such underpowered launches? For a few like Maruti and Toyota, even the crap gets sold. But for someone like Tata, FCA, VW, Nissan, this was missed opportunity to eat into your competitors share. Some of the products are just brilliant except for the engine.

Last edited by Jaggu : 17th August 2020 at 11:19. Reason: Adding Paragraph break, for readability. Thanks
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Old 17th August 2020, 10:24   #56
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

The Mg Hector 1.4 petrol + DCT falls in the category. Bad Performance, Bad fuel economy and the infamous fire catching videos. I think with the Petrol option, MG scored a self-goal.
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Old 17th August 2020, 10:44   #57
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The POLO 1.2 mpi!!! And the Fabia too!!! Both brilliant cars with Ride and handling still unmatched!

I havent extensively driven the 1.2 Diesel, but from the specs it wasn't the best available.
The Polo caught my attention only after I drove the 1.6 MPI and man it was sweet!!! I wish i had money then to buy it when it was available. Not that I regret the 1.2 TSI

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samba View Post
Beat this!

Before going out of production, the 1.5L Ambassador dsl produced 35.5 Bhp and 72.9 Nm of torque. The weight of this car was around 1200 kg!
This was one car which did not require a speed limiter

Last edited by Rudra Sen : 17th August 2020 at 10:47. Reason: back to back posts merged
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Old 17th August 2020, 11:14   #58
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

Amazing thread, I also feel engine downsizing is the new normal . Some cars are being specifically launched with lamer engines to preserve face lifts . Ford had the option to launch the bi-turbo 2.0 engine with 10 speed auto , but it didn't do(for the reasons known to them).Bi-turbo 2.0 diesel is due for launch anytime next year . I own a brilliant 3.2 though with six-speed auto it has enough pep to cross the mountains or any terrain for that matter. Maruti Suzuki divorced diesel engine post BS 6 though they had an option for 1.5l diesel developed in house just before a year .

God knows when we Indians will be smarter to decide on car buying and not fooled by manufacturers on the name of fancy gizmos .

Last edited by Jaggu : 17th August 2020 at 11:19. Reason: Adding Paragraph break for better readability. Thanks.
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Old 17th August 2020, 11:26   #59
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

If Altroz petrol is mentioned we should also put the Elite i20 and Jazz too side by side. All of them are equally underwhelming.

Luckily Maruti has a sweet 4-pot 1.2L petrol engine which they have plonked in almost all of their cars!

And MG Hector petrol deserves a special mention here.
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Old 17th August 2020, 11:37   #60
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Default Re: Good cars in India that were let down by lacklustre engines

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Originally Posted by kamilharis View Post
If Altroz petrol is mentioned we should also put the Elite i20 and Jazz too side by side. All of them are equally underwhelming.
Rightly said, driven my brother-in-law's i20 petrol, the engine's poke is just about ok-ish and is definitely underwhelming, but surprisingly there is lot of drama and singling out of Altroz petrol while i20 is equally bad/good. Wonder why i20 petrol is left out in the list.
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