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View Poll Results: Did you buy a lower-priced car, despite having the budget for a more expensive one?
Yes 318 72.11%
No 123 27.89%
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Old 12th March 2024, 15:49   #1
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When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

In this dynamic Indian car market of today, cars are improving at a scarily fast pace. Just look at the sheer competence & capability of SUVs & Crossovers in the 15 - 30 lakh space, be it the Creta & Seltos Facelifts, the 2024 Safari, the evergreen XUV700 and more. If you consider the space above, things get even better! Truth is, the 30 - 50 lakh cars are giving the luxury marques a run for their money. This is what GTO had to say on another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
But the real reason is the emergence of the 30 - 50 lakh car segment which really didn't exist this way before. Even the luxury brands have accepted that the Tucson & Kodiaq are being cross-shopped with their small crossovers, the Camry with their entry-level sedans etc. Cars like the Innova Hycross, Ioniq 5, XUV700, Safari, Camry, Kodiaq, Tiguan etc. are just too darn competent & frankly, all the car you need in terms of power, space, safety, features, size etc. They don't come with the headaches of German car ownership either.

It is the 30 - 50 lakh cars from mainstream car makers that have killed the growth of luxury car brands in India. Heck, forget anything else, the 50-60 lakh Fortuner alone outsells everything combined from Mercedes + BMW + Audi + Lexus etc. The German luxury car brands have dug their own grave in India with crazy pricing, stiff maintenance costs, cramped rear seats, eye-watering repair costs & turnaround times, delicate darlings that break over broken roads and lack of product innovation. The 30 - 50 lakh cars have developed at a far faster pace than the 50 - 70 lakh cars.
While just a few years ago, the segments were well-defined, these lines have now blurred and we see a lot of cross-shopping. Without significant compromises, mind you. We know of several people who happily bought a Camry Hybrid over luxury sedans, an Ioniq 5 instead of German EVs and Innova Hycross over the 70-lakh luxury SUVs.

When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-4.jpg

This brings me to the point of the thread = have you settled for a lower-priced car even when you had the budget for a higher-priced car? Earlier, this would’ve meant that you’d be sacrificing a lot of features or settling for a less powerful car. However, you now have cars that offer much more bang for the buck. Here are a couple of examples:

BHPian vinayvec recently purchased a Tata Safari
Quote:
Cars I tried and rejected.

- Fortuner (third row headroom was less, old school tech, price is on the higher side and not a 5-star rated car)
- Skoda Kodiaq (good car but 3rd row is strictly for kids)
- Jeep Meridian (again same good car but 3rd row is strictly for kids)
- Toyota Innova Hycross (good car, I did not like the looks, and it's not tested for safety yet)
BHPian nerd1200 purchased a Mahindra Scorpio-N
Quote:
Toyota dealers were raining discounts on the Hilux (probably) to clear their '23 stocks, so I briefly considered getting it. It was hard to ignore. I spoke to two dealers in Bangalore and the price one of them offered was almost too good to be true unless it was. I decided to test it out, I knew I had no use case nor did I wish to withstand the torturous ride quality, but I still had a soft spot for it. Took it out for a spin and came back mighty impressed with a lot of its qualities. I get why people endure the back-breaking ride and still love the Hilux.

But soon enough, mind voted over heart and the Scorpio-N voted over the Hilux.
When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-img_2901.jpeg

There are plenty more such examples where the buyer has the budget for a higher segment car, but given how capable the car of a lower segment is, it doesn’t justify the price premium. When GTO was looking at an SUV, he was just looking for a 4x4 that he'd love, with no specific budget in mind. Although he could have spent a lot more, he happily settled for the Thar, then spent 5 - 6 lakhs on modifying it.

When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-img_1854.jpg

The kind of tech, power & features that 25-lakh cars offer can embarrass cars from 2 segments higher. This is the Seltos ADAS at work:
When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-seltosadas.jpg

All in all, the value-for-money aspect is more prominent than ever. Do share your experience if you opted for a car of a lower price even when you had the budget for a more expensive car.

Last edited by Omkar : 12th March 2024 at 15:52.
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Old 12th March 2024, 15:54   #2
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

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Old 12th March 2024, 16:02   #3
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Voted Yes, did that on my last 2 purchases. My take, car is a depreciating asset, and we are paying 2x what they pay for same/similar ones in the US. Add to it the fact that for a person with my kind of OCD, more expensive the car, the more expensive its maintenance and heart burns when it gets dinged by some rogue driver. Additionally, the current 30 to 40L segment offers all and above what is available in the 70+ L segment makes the 30-40L segment a good choice for most.

Do I rue my choice of settling for a segment below, sometimes yes. Would I change my habit for the next purchase, well... :-)

Last edited by SR-71 : 12th March 2024 at 16:05.
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Old 12th March 2024, 16:17   #4
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Been there, done that .

Although we had a bigger budget and were seriously considering the XUV700, we ended up purchasing the Slavia instead. My dad felt that while the XUV700 was a fantastic car, paying 31 lakhs for what felt more like a 5-seater than a 7-seater didn't sit right with him. Plus, the mileage on the petrol AT variant we were interested in wasn't impressive either .

When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-screenshot-20240312-161416.png

While the XUV700 might be the superior package overall, do we regret choosing the Slavia instead? Not at all. My dad thoroughly enjoys the Slavia, especially its performance every time we take it for a drive.

Last edited by MotorDev : 12th March 2024 at 16:21.
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Old 12th March 2024, 16:45   #5
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Yup! We've done that, too. Had a budget of about 25 lakhs and almost finalized the Jeep Compass - but bought the Creta instead.

Main reasons include low presence of Jeep dealerships and unknown reliability.

Happy that we've gone for the Creta instead, especially after Jeep horror stories. Creta is a hoot to drive, with everything necesary inside, and good reliability.

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Old 12th March 2024, 17:04   #6
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Yup. We did that. Had a budget of 20lakhs.
Went in thinking of Hyundai Creta top model, but came out with Venue top model

That the car has run 16k kms since 2019 is validation enough that we did not need a bigger car. Happy with the purchase.
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Old 12th March 2024, 17:23   #7
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Nope, quite the contrary.

I had to stretch my budget to get better cars that were a bit beyond my budget for both the cars that I have bought thus far. I haven't regretted these decisions one bit. Mainly because I keep my cars for longer.

In the first instance, I had the budget for an i20 Asta Diesel, but stretched it and went for the Vento 1.6 TDI Highline. In second instance, I had the budget for a Safari top-end model, stretched it again and went for the Tucson 2.0 Diesel AWD.

Sold the Vento after almost 9 blissful years, and the Tucson is 2.5 years old now and going strong.

In both instances, it was the superior engines that sealed the deal for me, and that took precedence over other factors like features etc. Had features been the major criteria, I would have gone ahead with the Verna instead of the Vento. Same was the case with the Tucson over the Safari back in 2021. The option of an AWD with the Tucson was also a plus as my primary usage is touring.

Having said that, had the Scorpio N been around when I was out looking for a new car, I would have given it a serious consideration.

Last edited by anshu1101 : 12th March 2024 at 17:41.
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Old 12th March 2024, 17:25   #8
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

What happened to me was the opposite.
I had a budget of 12 lakh and I was looking for a good city car that can do well in the highways.
The cars in my bucket list were
1. Hyundai Exter (bad looking)
2. Nissan Magnite
3. Honda Amaze
None of the cars satisfied my requirments.
So I had to stretch my budget to 16 lakh and bought the Kia Sonet 1.5 CRDi AMT.
I never regretted my choice since.
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Old 12th March 2024, 17:38   #9
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Yes, followed this when my dear old Ecosport was getting replaced last year.

Walked straight to the Jeep showroom and drove the diesel AT. Lazy gearbox that takes a few full seconds to shift and a far cry from the fun MT I drove many years ago. Then drove the petrol AT only find this one to be even more dimwitted. Even the interior felt quite cramped. Then came the price - 40L on road Hyderabad for the model S Diesel and a meagre 1L discount. Not to mention their attitude saying 'Jeep is a premium brand'. Just didn't appeal to the heart or the head. Promptly returned the keys, put one Namaste and walked away.

Then visited VW to look for the Tiguan, only to realize that it wouldn't fit in my parking spot.

Finally went to Skoda to try my luck if they had any Octavias remaining. Ended up driving a Slavia 1.5, with a w-i-d-e grin plastered over my face. Yes, some parts of the interior were a bit creaky, but who cares when it drives like that. Also got a cool 1.8L off including freebies like extended warranty etc; owing to the car being in their stockyard for 3 months. Why spend more, if you're happy with a cheaper alternative?

Last edited by Vibhav-Van : 12th March 2024 at 17:41.
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Old 12th March 2024, 18:15   #10
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

I believe it depends on where you are on the price spectrum. The sweet spot for VFM and acceptable cars starts from 15L-30L. Folks who have lesser budget try and extend to this sweet spot and purchase Top end Sub-4M crossovers or Medium / higher spec Compact Crossovers and in some cases the rare Sedans.

On the other hand, folks who have higher budgets (50+) also find most features and performance in 25-30L range and settle for Harrier, Hector, Safari, Hycross, XUV, ScorpioN and VAG top end Crossovers/ Sedans.

In both cases, the budgets to buy your ideal car overlap. I voted for extending my budget as I am on the lower spectrum.
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Old 12th March 2024, 18:27   #11
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

While I have not executed a decision on this theme yet, as I contemplate my next purchase I am increasingly leaning towards this philosophy. While the budget scale is relative, I have thought of why would I pursue Porsche Macan when I can get reasonable capabilities in a X3. You get the drift.

However, cars are an emotional thing for me so who knows what justification would I come up with when it truly gets down to bringing out my cheque book!
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Old 12th March 2024, 18:56   #12
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Two years ago I was royally confused with going for German trio or stop at SUV/ MUVs in the 30 Lakhs segment. Flirted with 3-series & GLA for some time & then settled for Safari XZA in Jun-21 for not much delayed delivery. My decision could have been much difficult if the new Tucson or Endeavour were in market then or the XUV700 had lesser waiting period.


The ownership has been uneventful, except for an accident in Jan-24. So I do not have anything to complain on giving up the pricey Germans.
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Old 12th March 2024, 20:34   #13
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

This is exactly what I am going through now. Have a budget for more than 40 lacs but seriously considering settling for a top end Creta / Seltos because it offers almost everything with very little compromise. The incremental benefits vis-a-vis a bigger car / larger brand is mostly only derived from badge or snob value or literally just a bigger version of the same car (for eg Tuscon vs Creta).
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Old 12th March 2024, 21:25   #14
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Went in with a 20 to 40 Lakh budget.
Happily bought the MG Comet EV.
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Old 12th March 2024, 23:19   #15
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Re: When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car

Feb 2009- was looking for a (bigger) second car when we already had WagonR. Test drove Corolla Altese and Safari DiCOR 2.2 VTT 4x4. Instantly liked the latter and bought it. It was about 50k cheaper than Altese on the road.

When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-fb_img_1587710010991.jpg

Diwali 2023- was looking for a replacement for our ~11year old Brio. Had budget for top end Petrol Thar 4x4, test drove also, but, settled for about 2 lakhs cheaper Suzuki Jimny as it ticked all the boxes and appealed to the heart more.

When you had a bigger budget, yet happily settled for a lower-priced car-pxl_20240105_042954282.jpg

Cheers,
-BJ

Last edited by bj96 : 12th March 2024 at 23:27. Reason: added pics
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