Team-BHP > The Indian Car Scene


Reply
  Search this Thread
37,970 views
Old 1st November 2023, 21:31   #1
Senior - BHPian
 
McLaren Rulez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Mysore
Posts: 3,336
Thanked: 4,783 Times
Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

The Indian market has seen some really well-engineered cars for relatively cheap money. Examples are the Palio, first gen VW/Skoda products, the S-Cross, the Punto, the final gen Fiesta, the Yaris, the Jazz etc.

If you read the reviews for these cars, they always had the longest "small but significant things" section. For instance, this quote is from the Yaris' review.

Quote:
The big wipers have a good sweep and the wiper + washer are whisper silent in their operation. They are more silent than even Audis, BMWs & Mercedes':
Unfortunately, these cars were generally thought to be overpriced because the cost cutting measures were relatively few. It also usually translated into mediocre/poor sales figures. A lot of manufacturers also learnt that this formula doesn't work in India and started downgrading quality levels. VW has been among the worst offenders with the new generation cars having a lot of cheaper parts.

So what cars on sale today have that polished feel-good factor and depth of engineering while still being relatively affordable (sub 20L)?
McLaren Rulez is offline   (58) Thanks
Old 1st November 2023, 21:39   #2
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2021
Location: Pune, Indore
Posts: 285
Thanked: 767 Times
re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Interesting question, a question that might highlight the flawed market we have where we choose to compromise on one point or another.

If you talk about fit and finish then Mahindra and Tata are already out of the race.

If you talk about Koreans then fit and finish indeed exists but their cost cutting with body shell is evident barring the Verna.

I would say It's MG Astor and Hyundai Verna.

Honda isn't what it used to be but maybe we can consider Elevate and Honda City ?
BleueNinja is offline   (10) Thanks
Old 1st November 2023, 22:27   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 417
Thanked: 1,410 Times
re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Good question! I've also pondered this too, and only one springs to mind - MG Astor. While it may not be flawless, it outshines other cars in its price range when it comes to fit and finish.
Col Mehta is offline   (15) Thanks
Old 1st November 2023, 22:45   #4
Distinguished - BHPian
 
mayankk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 5,115
Thanked: 8,024 Times
re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col Mehta View Post
Good question! I've also pondered this too, and only one springs to mind - MG Astor. While it may not be flawless, it outshines other cars in its price range when it comes to fit and finish.
Will have to agree on this.
MG really knows how to put it's cars together with quality materials. 3 years back my hector would qualify for this thread easy.
My colleague has a block Astor, and it's got the same quality.
mayankk is online now   (12) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 00:04   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
DicKy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Thiruvanthapuram
Posts: 3,671
Thanked: 10,911 Times
re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Jimny? That is the only one that comes to my mind under 20 lakhs. And dare I say, the Isuzu S-Cab (other than that they detuned the 135bhp to a Tavera like 77bhp)

All others try to overcome their shortcomings with engine power, body size or sheer flashy features. Also frankly 20 lakh price point has moved on. Can't believe 3 years ago one could get a CBU for ~20 lakhs while now top variants of sub 4m models have crossed 18 lakhs OTR.


Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
If you read the reviews for these cars, they always had the longest "small but significant things" section. For instance, this quote is from the Yaris' review....Unfortunately, these cars were generally thought to be overpriced because the cost cutting measures were relatively few.
True. The door thud and insulation vis-a-vis the City showed why the Yaris was overpriced. Pity the average engines too didn't help the case for the Yaris.

When they are new, we automatically tend to compare them to their cheaper, more VFM rivals. It takes time for us to appreciate what they really are, and by that time they would have been phased out from the market. Again, many of these offerings come when

1. Companies have newly entered the market. So they bring in models to create an impression, rather than to recover costs. Can also apply to existing companies trying to move upmarket and decide to bring upmarket models from abroad without regards to cost.
2. The model maybe at the end of its lifecycle abroad or the next generation might already be on sale internationally. So companies can bring them over straight without cutting costs. Only con would be it is an older model.
3. Transition/waiting period- When it would take time for the company's strategy to work out, so in the interim they would bring in a few CBU/CKD models. A top down approach. Or like how VW/Skoda waited for their India 2.0 project by bringing models using the 2500/year quota.
DicKy is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 03:02   #6
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: HR51/HR29/HR26
Posts: 2,501
Thanked: 18,266 Times
re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

MG Astor comes to mind. There is no cost cutting as such. But there are other compromises - the powertrains are average and the suspension tends to gets bouncy at speed.

Mahindra XUV300 is another car with minimum cost cutting. It has superb mechanicals and solid underpinnings, the cabin is well put together with good ergonomics and insulation and the engine is also best in class. It’s only let down by its dated design and ambiance.

The two big Mahindras - ScorpioN and XUV700, there lower variants provide incredible value under 20L ex showroom. Not the most loaded with features, obviously, but you get all the essentials. More importantly, the mechanical package is the best you can buy for this price. The Z4 4x4 diesel ScorpioN and AX5 petrol XUV700 are standout variants in terms of value for money. I have great things to say about both Mahindra engines, which are best in class, best under 20L and also under 30-35L. Refinement levels are very good, suspensions are sorted, insulation levels are proper and road noise is also kept in check.

Last edited by Shreyans_Jain : 2nd November 2023 at 03:05.
Shreyans_Jain is offline   (30) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 14:33   #7
BHPian
 
vigneshkumar31's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Goa
Posts: 750
Thanked: 5,753 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

So what cars on sale today have that polished feel-good factor and depth of engineering while still being relatively affordable (sub 20L)?

MG Astor.

(Interesting thought: Who would have thought that a Chinese car would be the most popular answer to this question about quality! )
vigneshkumar31 is offline   (22) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 16:49   #8
Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2023
Location: Udaipur
Posts: 19
Thanked: 27 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

In this imperfect world, our perspective on the Indian car market often revolves around Maruti, which may not be a prudent assessment. While the early Baleno Alpha was once considered an excellent choice, the MG Astor has undoubtedly surpassed it in terms of comfort and technological features. However, I've heard people express concerns about the Astor being overpriced in showrooms, which, in my opinion, is not the case.

If I were to invest my money, I would have opted for the Ford EcoSport again, but unfortunately, it has been discontinued now. The Polo, which used to be renowned for its fit and finish, has lost some of its former glory. Those who remember the first Zen manufactured in India by Suzuki in the early '80s may recall it as a collector's piece. Many of my relatives who owned these Zens would frequently receive inquiries from interested buyers. However, in today's automotive segment, the prevailing trend is value for money (VFM), leading all original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to adjust and scale down their product qualities. Although this is not openly acknowledged, it is an undeniable reality.
carsirdar is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 17:05   #9
Senior - BHPian
 
CEF_Beasts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2020
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 2,660
Thanked: 17,374 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Quote:
Originally Posted by vigneshkumar31 View Post
MG Astor.

(Interesting thought: Who would have thought that a Chinese car would be the most popular answer to this question about quality! )
The reason is the SAIC-Volkswagen collaboration in China, have a look at the switchgear like the buttons on the steering and it’s clearly visible those are VW parts !
CEF_Beasts is offline   (12) Thanks
Old 2nd November 2023, 17:56   #10
BHPian
 
saikishor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2020
Location: TS07
Posts: 444
Thanked: 2,108 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

MG Astor comes to my mind immediately after reading the title, as other members have mentioned. The roofliner of the Astor is in an other level when compared to its rivals. The Astor feels like a proper euro car despite being chinese.

I would consider Honda's to some extent of not having glaring cost cutting, but only to some extent. Paint quality is excellent on Honda cars.

MS Ciaz feels decent compared to other MS cars.

All yesteryear cars or lets say cars from the 2010-2020 era didn't really have much cost cutting. They aged well too. I guess going forward cars will never be made that way.
saikishor is offline   (9) Thanks
Old 3rd November 2023, 09:40   #11
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Noida
Posts: 243
Thanked: 645 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Hi, If I consider ex-factory price, then Hyundai Verna, MG Hector, MG Astor, Mahindra XUV 7OO, Mahindra Scorpio N & TATA Harrier-Safari come to my mind.

Tata twins may have some QC flaws but they don't seems to have cost cutting anywhere inside out. While MG & Verna hold the most VFM badge & top notch quality inside out, in my view.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 3rd November 2023 at 10:58. Reason: Typos.
GoBabyGo is online now   (2) Thanks
Old 3rd November 2023, 09:43   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Jaipur
Posts: 297
Thanked: 704 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Tata Altroz definitely does not feel cheap, especially top end variant. Probably I am biased because I own one. The other car which comes to my mind is Ecosport. Curious to know what others think of these cars.
gauravanekar is offline   (7) Thanks
Old 3rd November 2023, 09:58   #13
BHPian
 
josetom89's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2022
Location: Kottayam
Posts: 38
Thanked: 68 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

I think Jeep Compass Sport is worth a mention. When I purchased it, ex showroom was 18.69 with On road @ 22.5. There is an obvious lack of features being the base model but whatever available is of good quality. I couldn't observe any cost cutting during my 3 years of ownership. It is still running on it's original wiper blades which is a first for me considering all the vehicles I have owned till date.
josetom89 is offline   (12) Thanks
Old 3rd November 2023, 10:03   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
vigsom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: NSEW
Posts: 3,691
Thanked: 24,037 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Quote:
Originally Posted by McLaren Rulez View Post
The Indian market has seen some really well-engineered cars for relatively cheap money
Many examples from the 2000-2015 era - the Innova, Corolla, Corolla Altis, first gen Fortuner(except for the brakes and ride), pre - Fluidic era Elantra, Sonata transform, Getz, Accent (in fact almost all Hyundais were there), the old Baleno, Esteem, Zen, Swift, sX4, even the Versa. VW's newer Jetta minus the problematic DSG, and the older Skoda Riders were also good except that they weren't built for our harsh climate.

Quote:
What cars on sale today have that polished feel-good factor and depth of engineering while still being relatively affordable (sub 20L)
From whatever I've seen, the MG Astor, Maruti Jimny, XL6 (except for sheet metal thickness) qualify today as well engineered affordable cars despite the heavy GST levy. Toyota is now sadly off these parameters - too pricey for what they offer.

Last edited by vigsom : 3rd November 2023 at 10:07.
vigsom is offline   (8) Thanks
Old 3rd November 2023, 10:14   #15
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2020
Location: NCR
Posts: 188
Thanked: 395 Times
Re: Sub-20 lakh cars that don't reek of cost-cutting

Quote:
Originally Posted by josetom89 View Post
I think Jeep Compass Sport is worth a mention
I would second this, we purchased the Jeep Compass in 2018 and the car felt very well put together with good quality stuff. Some feature omissions were there, however overall it didn't feel like any cost cutting was done with regards to materials and parts used.
Turbolove is offline   (2) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright 2000 - 2023, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks