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View Poll Results: How many other cars did you consider before buying your current one?
0 (I was 100% sure about what I wanted) 64 22.30%
1 21 7.32%
2 35 12.20%
3 39 13.59%
4 43 14.98%
5 20 6.97%
6 or more 65 22.65%
Voters: 287. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 30th January 2023, 15:11   #1
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How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?-bonnet-1.jpg

Honda Civic image courtesy: spadix

Whenever one buys a car, he / she considers various options before getting home the "chosen one". After all, if it's the only car in your garage, it has to excel in multiple departments. It can't be good in just one or two areas.

In my own case, back in 2015, before I selected my current car (9th-gen Toyota Corolla), I considered 6 cars in total. Here's a look at the list and the reasons for me dropping the other cars from it.

Fiat Linea 1.4 T-Jet:

This was my first choice. I loved this car for its looks and road manners. In the past, I had driven this thing hard in pouring rain and it cornered like it was on rails. The turbo-petrol used to go like stink too. But, the T-Jet was difficult to come by in the used car market, the NA petrol was not really exciting and the interiors were not as spacious as the size of the car would suggest. Then I was worried about Fiat's reliability and the company's long-term plans. After a long search, I found one and test drove it. It wasn't in great condition. So, I dropped the idea of getting a Linea.

Ford Fiesta 1.6 (6th-gen):

I believe that Along with Fiat and Mitsubishi, Ford made the best driving cars in the sub-BMW / Jaguar category and that made the Fiesta a hot favourite of mine. I had driven the 6th-gen Fiesta and loved its driving dynamics. Unlike most people, I loved the Fiesta's looks too. However, this was not a very successful car in India, so good examples were hard to come by in the used car market. There were a couple of nice examples available, but they were out of my budget. Again, like the Linea, I was worried not sure about this car's long-term reliability. I test drove two cars - a petrol and a diesel, but the petrol was run a little too much for my liking and I didn't want a diesel. So the Fiesta had to go off my list.

Honda Accord 2.4 (7th-gen):

This was the second Accord to be launched in India. It had a spacious cabin and boot. It offered good performance and like other Japanese cars, I was sure it would be reliable too. I had also wanted an Accord for a long time. However, there were two problems. The first and smaller one was that the cars available in my budget were too old. The second and main problem was that the Accord was more than 4.8 metres long. The only car in my garage could not be so large. I test drove two cars for the heck of it. Both were rather good but I had already made up my mind not to buy one.

Honda CR-V (2nd-gen):

This was the first CR-V that Honda launched in India. I have always loved the CR-V. The performance, comfort and reliability it offered pulled me towards it. However, the car had been out of production for a very long time period of time and I was worried about getting spare parts in the years to come. It also had a rather large appetite for petrol. Hence, without test driving even one car, I dropped it from my list.

Honda Civic (8th-gen):

The third Honda on my list and the one that ran my final choice very close was the Civic. It was the right size and the futuristic looks and interior were just "WOW!" It had decent cabin and boot space and a great combination of performance and reliability. The enthusiast in me liked the Civicís sports car-like low seating. Sadly, that was the car's undoing. The low seating was not suitable for my ageing parents. With a heavy heart, I had to drop the Civic. I test drove two cars - both were good and within budget.

Toyota Corolla (9th-gen):

This was my final choice. This car is the jack of all trades and the master of two - interior & boot space and you guessed it, reliability. It is more than adequate in all fields that a family man would consider while buying a car. Of course, it has flaws, but they aren't serious. Over the years, it has been a great friend and even now (it will be 17 years of age in August), it is ready to take on any road trip like a boss. If our laws permit, this car will outlast me. Read my Corolla's ownership review at this link.

So, BHPians, whether you bought a new or old car, do tell us how many cars you considered and how many you test drove.

Let us know why you rejected the other cars & why you chose your current car over them.

Last edited by Aditya : 30th January 2023 at 15:13.
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Old 30th January 2023, 15:13   #2
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Mahindra Thar: I fell in love with it when I drove it for the Team-BHP Review. I knew I wanted one right then & there. Waited for the recommended 2-years (boy, was it a long wait!!!) after a fresh Mahindra / Tata launch so they can iron out the niggles, and brought a Petrol AT home. Alternatives considered = 0.

BMW 530d: I fell in love with it when I drove it for the Team-BHP Review. Actually, I'd driven the 6-cylinder 525d and was so amazed that I knew I will bring an F10 home "someday". 5-years later, a pre-worshipped 5-Series was mine. Alternatives considered = 0. I am quite decisive and have already decided what car will replace the 530d in 2 -3 years.

Mahindra Classic: Alternatives considered = 0. Bought it based on the Jeep styling, ads and reviews. Checked out an example at a dealer, but there were no test-drives available then.

Skoda Superb: My brother considered & test-drove 10 different cars in the 30 - 50 lakh range, before closing on the Superb. It was like a new brand coming down the house everyday for a TD. Chose the Superb for being a VFM luxury car, design, space, features, lovely engine + gearbox and comfortable ride. Dropped the Seltos after its GNCAP showing.

Nissan Sunny: Wanted a beater car way back in 2012, so:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Tata Manza: I'm a huge fan of the Manza's space, comfort & VFM pricing. Plus, I do believe that Fiat's engine & drivetrain will make the car more reliable than the previous-gen Indigo. The minute I brought up the Manza on the dinner table, I almost had my meal taken away from me . After the shoddy Tata Indigo experience, the family wouldn't touch another Tata vehicle with a barge pole. End of story. @ Tata : You better realise that you are killing your brand with unreliable, shoddily built products. If the mass market is dissatisfied with your 6 lakh products, who in their right mind would pay 18 lakhs for that premium offering? Tata is truly cutting the branch it sits on.

Maruti Swift: After testing it for Team-BHP, I fell in love with the Swift. Much improved over the outgoing generation, better quality, great engine and superb ride & handling balance. Maruti reliability, solid after-sales and highly fuel-efficient engine should have been the deal maker, right? WRONG. Mom saw the back-seat space and scampered off in the opposite direction. End of the Swift's innings then.

Hyundai i20: Not as much fun to drive as the Swift (was I buying for the family or myself??!!), yet a lot more practical. The fully-loaded Asta Diesel was the one I had my eyes set on. Superb engine, outstanding quality, top notch safety and more. Mom & Dad weren't keen on the i20 either. Too small, they said.

Toyota Innova: Space they said? Well, here's a football stadium's equivalent of it. As much of a workhorse as the Innova is, the Toyota simply wasn't for us. To start with, there are rarely going to be more than 2 people in the car (chauffeur + 1 family member). To lug around seats for 7 when only 2 will be used 99% of the time didn't make sense. My kid brother wasn't kicked about the "van" image either. It's not as easy to drive as a hatchback or C2 sedan, and paying 14 lakhs for functionality we'd use once a year didn't add up. My theory : For those 2 times a year that you need a 7 seater, rent / borrow one.

Other cars that were considered, but only just : Dzire (same space as the Swift), Rapid (Skoda horror stories) and Etios diesel (too basic compared to the Sunny).

Enter the newest kid on the block, the Nissan Sunny Diesel. I wasn't impressed with the petrol Sunny at all. On the other hand, the Sunny Diesel appeared to be a sensible, practical workhorse. Folks loved the space, my brother the ease of driving, and everyone felt that the Japanese engineering will result in topnotch long-term durability.
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Old 30th January 2023, 15:30   #3
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

I test drove the XUV500 and Creta before settling in for my S-Cross, primarily because it was the most VFM of the lot.

Ford Ecosport was the other car in consideration, and ended up as the runner up. Ecosport was my longest "test drive", considering I had rented it from Zoomcar earlier in the year. Got a spanking new car (those were the days!) and enjoyed my drive from Bangalore to Ooty.
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Old 30th January 2023, 15:37   #4
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

My present car, a Ford Aspire S diesel was booked with no other consideration. This was in 2017 and there were plenty of cars to choose from in that price range. The changes in the Sports edition over the normal Aspire is what made me go for it eyes closed. Also having owned the previous gen Figo, I wanted something similar in the handling department although this car comes a distant second to the old car. And the other reason being, the Fiesta S which was one car I would have loved to own, but couldn't, so the Aspire S was an alternative.
I would have gone for petrol if they had a good enough petrol engine or if they had brought the Dragon series engine earlier and plonked the 1.5 version of it in the Sports edition.

Last edited by tharian : 30th January 2023 at 15:40.
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Old 30th January 2023, 15:45   #5
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Can't vote hence mentioning it here.

I bought the Skoda Octavia (2.0 TSI DSG) recently and I considered the Tucson (an outside choice) as well, that's it. Test drove the Octy twice and the Tucson not even once. Why? Here is some insight.

To give a backdrop of where I am coming from, I owned a Hyundai Venue (1.0 SX+ DCT) and had already experienced 'riding on a horse' so wasn't much interested in buying a SUV-ish car as my next ride. Furthermore, although the car had no mechanical issues and never gave me trouble of any kind I lost the 'connect' with the car very quickly. For context, I brought it home in March 2020 (one day before the 1st nationwide COVID lockdown) and sold it mid November 2022.

Apart from that missing connect feeling with car, I faced issues with the boot carrying capacity. I shifted my home base and I had to do 3 round trips to get all of my necessary belongings moved.
On an another instance, I had trouble with the boot space while packing for a marriage outing. The luggage wasn't much but THAT was the exact moment when I came to know that how small actually was the boot space of my car.

The 1L engine did not excite me anymore as well even though the DCT was fast and flawless throughout the ownership.

So having experienced the 1L turbocharged engine, the DCT and the fake SUV-ish car body I wanted something different.
Even if it reluctantly would be a SUV, then it had to be something with a good engine-transmission combo. Did not want to spend north of ~35L either as that was my most extended budget.

Looked at the Slavia 1.5 and the Virtus GT but the poor packaging was an eyesore even though the engine-transmission combo was excellent.

Did not even look at the Harrier (QC issues by TATA), XUV 700 (wanted the car in this lifetime only) and the MG Hector (lazy CVT transmission).

Drove the Octy twice. Was love at first sight with the engine-transmission combo, the sedan dynamics, sorted highway manners along with the awesome interiors and packaging.

Eventually, did not even take TD of the Tucson after that, the love was that strong (the petrol automatic was the only variant in my budget).

Have been in love ever since.

Have already gobbled up ~1750 kms courtesy two highway trips with quite a lot of baggage.

So, 2 TDs of the car I wanted and nothing else. Knew what I was exactly after this time.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:01   #6
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Before the Skoda Superb (2021): A whopping 14 cars including the Superb itself! It included 3 crossovers and 11 sedans.

Truth be told, the car we were upgrading from, a Fiesta 1.6, turned out to be so difficult to upgrade from that we ended up with a D2 segment sedan after originally setting out for a C2 or D1 segment sedan. Most of the cars we rejected lacked the fun to drive factor, while some were simply too expensive for what you got.

Quoting the entire list and reasons for rejections from my review would be an inconveniently long read here, so I'm attaching the link in case anyone's interested.


Before the Ford Fiesta (2006): We only test drove 3 cars, the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Aveo and the Fiesta itself. From what my parents have told me, the Aveo's refinement was a major letdown, while the Elantra's driving experience worked against it.

We were looking for something in addition to a 2004 Ford Ikon 1.3 Flair, which meant that fun to drive was high on the list. We also wanted something which had everything we needed right from the factory (a modest list in today's world: power steering, reading lights for all passengers, power windows for all windows, central locking and a good stereo system).

The Fiesta was the only one that met both these needs without breaking the bank, which is why it's still with us today. Apart from the obviously outdated technology, it's aged brilliantly. It still feels fast and is an excellent handler even by today's standards.

Last edited by GForceEnjoyer : 30th January 2023 at 16:20.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:17   #7
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Voted zero.

I was sifting through TBHP forums (wasn't a member back then), hunting for an upgrade to my Wagon-R when I saw the Terrano pics for the first time and instantly fell in love. A SUV had been on my mind, and back then Duster, Ford Eco Sport and Terrano were hot on the market.

I immediately called my local Nissan dealer for a test drive at my office, and was hooked.
Still loving it after all these years.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:25   #8
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Figo 1.5 diesel

This is the list of the cars which I drove before finalising on the Ford Figo 1.5 diesel(it's a long list )-

The Baleno Delta Petrol, the Dzire Petrol, the Elite i20 petrol and diesel, the Grand i10 petrol and diesel, the Aspire Petrol, the Figo Diesel, the VW Ameo Diesel and Petrol, the Ignis diesel and petrol, the Amaze petrol, the Jazz petrol and the Tigor diesel and petrol.

Even though I had my eyes on 2 or 3 selected cars, I ended up driving almost all the cars in my budget to avoid buyer's remorse.

If I bring into account my Father's cars-

Maruti 800 1996-

No other alternates considered.

Fiat Palio 2003-

Alternates were the WagonR, the Alto, the Santro and the Indica. We test drove the WagonR and the Santro.

Ford Fiesta 1.4 Petrol 2007-

Alternates were the Logan, the SX4 and the Honda City. We test drove the Logan only before finalising on the Fiesta. Dad had driven the dolphin shaped City already.

VW Jetta 2.0 diesel 2015-

This car was brought in 2015 mid but is actually a 2014 variant. The alternates were the Hyundai Creta, the Hyundai Verna, the Hyundai Elantra, the VW Vento, the Toyota Corolla and the Honda City. All the alternates were considered in their diesel guise only since dad really wanted to drive a diesel. We test drove all the other alternates except the Verna and the Corolla(Toyota never bothered to bring the TD vehicle whereas Verna was never in serious contention).

Last edited by AYP : 30th January 2023 at 16:29.
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Old 30th January 2023, 16:58   #9
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Voted 0. Bought my first car in India (Tata Manza) without test driving and not even seeing that car model in person. I was still overseas, and wanted a car in India for family. So called few Maruti, Tata and Hyundai dealerships. All except one Tata dealer quoted more than a month waiting period. But one Tata dealer said, if I can pay the whole amount today then he can deliver the car next day. Only condition I had was - if it is Tata, then it has to be a diesel and what the dealer had was a mid variant diesel. I paid the whole amount the same day, and got the car next day. The car was with me for 11 years and 1.1L KMs.

History repeated again. Manza was giving too much trouble in 2021 and I wanted a car to replace it immediately. Criteria were -

1. Has to be safe with 6 airbags
2. Should have space at least same as that in Manza
3. Must be reliable (Manza taught me the importance of this)
4. Has to be Automatic (no AMT)
5. Budget of 18L
6. At least 1.5L engine, with >100 BHP max power and >100Nm max torque
7. No Tata, No VW/Skoda, No Nissan/Renault (Mainly because of #3)

Opened Carwale, put these filters, and there were only handful of cars that came up. Checked the waiting period for those and only Honda City was available next day Took a test drive; I liked the way it drove, its looks, seat support, space, CVT and low seating but didn't like the quality of interior plastics and the infotainment system. Knowing that there is no perfect Car, paid the amount next day. Since dealers don't deliver car with temp registration now a days, got the car in few days.
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Old 30th January 2023, 17:14   #10
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

While I was quite sure of getting the Safari Storme, I did check out a couple of models for comparison: the Ford Ecosport (too small inside), Rexton (found interiors a little plasticy, and was otherwise not attracted to it). XUV500 was the direct competitor, but never liked the looks.

The biggest change was moving to a Sumo Victa after having the Palio D in mind. Else most of my purchases have been pre-decided.
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Old 30th January 2023, 17:21   #11
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

2011 : Tata Nano was the only new car i could afford so i bought one after taking a test drive. In 2011 i was confident that Nano was reliable product and i could trust Mr Ratan Tata. I faced a lot of criticism from my family and friends, but 12 years down the line little Nano has proved everyone wrong.

2016 : I wanted a Jazz, but in 1.5, since it was not available my next best bet was Baleno. So i took a test drive and then booked one immediately. My car had to be fun to drive and sub4m. I was never a Maruti Fanboy but between Jazz, i20 and Baleno i had to buy Baleno since it was exciting to drive - i trusted reviews blindly. In Hindsight it came out well, since i got a chance to drive i20 and Jazz after purchasing baleno and boy i was super happy with my decision.

Last edited by silverado : 30th January 2023 at 17:28.
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Old 30th January 2023, 17:30   #12
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Voted "zero".

Back in 2010, when I got my Maruti SX4, I considered a few other cars and also did many test drives. However, since the poll asks the question for "your current car", I answered for my current primary car which is BMW 320d, and for that, my answer to the poll is "zero".

When I got this preowned 320d in 2018, I knew exactly what I wanted. I wanted a 3-series since that was ideal for my driving style, driving requirements, and of course, I wanted to own a BMW for a long time. Thus, I specifically wanted 3-series sedan that time and did not even consider any other car. A new 3-series was out of my budget, and I wanted about a year-old 3-series, which would be in my budget. So I was only looking for about a year-old 3-series examples and luckily found exactly what I wanted. Thus, I did not consider any other car and my answer to the poll is zero.

Now 4.5 years later and with more than 80,000km on the odo of that car, I could not have been happier with my purchase decision. I enjoyed every moment with the car, have some great memories with the car, and still enjoy every single drive with the car. Thus, knowing exactly what I wanted and luckily finding that worked out well in the end.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 30th January 2023 at 17:39.
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Old 30th January 2023, 17:30   #13
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Current Car
Baleno Zeta 2022

Alternatives considered
  • Honda City SV 4th generation
  • Nexon Petrol XE

Test Drive
  • Baleno 2022

Brother's car
Hyundai Creta Diesel E

Alternatives Considered
  • Kia Seltos Diesel HTE
  • Nexon Diesel XZ Dark Edition
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Old 30th January 2023, 18:38   #14
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

Zen 2006 (sold): Only car I had considered then, since I was a huge fan.

Fiesta 1.6s (sold): 2 cars - this and City iVTEC. After the test drive, choice was obvious.

Octavia 2016 TDI (current): 3 cars - this, Jetta and A3. Octavia made more sense for being more futuristic and more responsive performance than Jetta. In comparison to A3 it’s much more VFM and a bigger car. In the bargain had to compromise on multi link suspension, but no regrets.

i20 IVT 2022 (current): Many cars - Tiago, Swift, Baleno, Jazz, Kiger, Polo, Altroz, Punch etc. Polo was obvious choice if there was availability and more spacious. Finally felt i20 to be a better compromise.

Last edited by sunikkat : 30th January 2023 at 18:48.
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Old 30th January 2023, 18:44   #15
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Re: How many cars did you consider before buying your current one? How many did you test drive?

I wanted a mini SUV and at that time there was the Brezza, and Nexon was just a day old. After testing the Brezza, opted for Nexon. So ONE car all I tested
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