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Old 9th September 2005, 12:36   #1
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Default which car- baleno, Ford, NHC>........???

Iíve planned to purchase a luxury car and my maximum budget is 6.25 lakhs. Iíll not be traveling more than 1000 km/month so Iíve decided to go for a petrol version. After a little research I selected following cars:
1. Accent GLE/GLS
2. Ford Fusion
3. Ford Ikon
4. New HC EXI
5. Fiat Palio/Petra
6. Maruti Esteem
7. Maruti Baleno VXI

Iíll not use my car for frequent daily traveling but for occasional use and weekend tours. Iím a govt servant and posted in J&K. for coming 4-5 years Iíll be posted in interiors where terrain is hilly and roads are rough. My preferences are FE, Low maintenance, hasselfree movement, sufficient space, good ASS and safety.

I did some research in find the following:
1. Accent is fantastic in driving and Ė very smooth but less space than Baleno, less FE and costlier to maintain. I donít like its AC and ití body. Iíve a Santro and in case of any dent on doors Iíve to replace the whole door. I donít feel safe while driving hundayi vehicle. Moreover GLS is overshooting my budget and GLE is underpowered and less features.
2. Iíve not driven the ford vehicles but heard that Fusion is good car considering the rough road conditions. But itís not only overshooting my bugut but there is only one dealer and service center in J&K while Iíll be posted anywhere in J&K. I also heard that it is less FE and costlier to maintain. Ikon 1.3 flair is in my budgut but less powered.
3. Iíve been told that NHC EXI will perfectly suit my requirements. Its ex-showroom price in Delhi is 6.22 L. Iíve not driven this car but people praise a lot. Honda donít have network in J&K hence Iíll have to bring the car from Delhi or Chandigarh. Iím not aware of its maintenance cost and ASS. Itís also overshooting my budget.
4. I donít have any idea about Fiat but heard that Petra has most powerful and refined engine in its class. Though this is in my budget but Petra have diesel engine. I donít have any considered opinion about Petra or Palio. Iím not sure about itís ASS also.
5. Iíve driven the New Esteem and gone through its review on net. I find it best car in its class. But I didnít liked its driving. It was like maruti 800. Moreover Baleno is in my budget so Iíve not considered Esteem much.

Considering all the above requirements and factors Iíve decided to go for Maruti Baleno VXI. But Iíve heard some problems in Baleno. These are:
1. Rattling sound in steering column
2. Less headroom and boot space
3. Stiff suspension
4. Poor braking and unsafe tyre size.
5. Low safety standards.
6. Costly spares
7. Less popular and no resale value
8. maruti has decided to phase out this car and hence offering rebate for stock clearance.

Though my peers and relatives are suggesting not buying Baleno and going for either NHC or Accent. Maruti dealer is offering me discount of Rs. 70,000+ 2yrs extended warranty (total 4years). At this price Baleno is very attractive for me. Maruti has good network in J&K. Iíve talked to some Baleno owners they all are satisfied with the vehicle. Iíve decided to change its tyre with wider ones.

Considering the all above points plz advise me on following;

1. Is Baleno is best buy for me at this moment or should I go for some other vehicle?
2. Whether Baleno has these problems identified by me or these are only rumors?
3. Is Baleno really having very poor resale value in comparison to its competitors?
4. Whether sale of Baleno is increasing after current discounts?
5. If new Baleno comes recently with new features resale value of current model will dip?
6. Is it good time to purchase or I should wait upto dipawali for more discounts?
7. Is there any other tyre option other than 185/65 R14 and 185/70 R13 for baleno that increases the ground clearance of the vehicle along with better grip. What will be approximate cost of tyre change?
8. Whether stone-guard will help me in overcoming the low ground clearance?
9. Any other suggestion.
suggetions invited.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 9th September 2005, 13:25   #2
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At that price, the FIAT Adventure Sports would probably have been a very good option, since most of your 1000kms/month would be in hilly,rough terrain ..

But access to FIAT servicing in the interiors could be tough.

Don't think the Fusion's FE is too great ..

The NHC I believe is tailor made for City driving .. not sure whether that would be a good choice given the roads you would need to drive on ..

If you are planning to keep the car for 4 -5 yrs, then it would probably be prudent not to give too much weightage to resale value .. there'll be loads of cars released in the next few years and resale values of any of the current models might not be remain too good ..

Baleno users would be able to give you better feedback on it .. however, the general trend is to go for the LXi and then deck it up ..
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Old 9th September 2005, 13:26   #3
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Since your in J&k I guess your choice is very much limited to Maruthi vehicles. Baleno is a awesome performer. You can go for that. I guess there are lot of chances for facelifted Baleno in near future. Its worth waiting, Also Honda is coming face lifted City during Diwali.

You can also consider Petra, if your posted near to some metro. Need less to say about Petra 16 value DOHC 100 BHP engine. About FIAT A.S.S,so far I haven't faced any issues. I used to get phone calls and letter every six month from Fiat Authorized service centre (Sakthi Fleet in Chennai).

Earlier people got terribly affected by FIAT start from discontinuing Fiat 118 & Uno and 3 to 6 month delay in delivering Palio (just like Swift, there were Palio craze during 2001), unannounced price hike even for booked vehicles etc etc. Hence people are not ready to pardon FIAT.
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Old 9th September 2005, 13:30   #4
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Hello Ajeet,

From your post, I can figure out that you have not test driven most of the cars that you have in mind. My suggestion is to test drive them and then decide. On the face of it, I guess Fusion and Adventure can be your best bets, except for the FE. Since you need to be moving in interiors of J&K, you need vehicles with great ground clearance and good ride quality. Well, the best bet is to test drive and decide for yourself.

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Old 9th September 2005, 14:04   #5
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fusion gives about 9 to 10 kms per litre with A/C on all the time.
I guess for a 1.6 litre engine, this FE is Good.
I have driven about 10,000kms and had no problem.
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Old 9th September 2005, 14:18   #6
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Since you are posted in a remote area you should either go for a Maruti or a Tata or Mahindra as only these companies will be having authorized service stations in these areas. NHC is one to avoid because if you have a breakdown bringing the car to Pathankot/Amritsar will be a hassle.
Petra also fits the bill but do you have authorized service centers nearby. Fiat service has very very bad reputation in small towns, and i am guessing the nearest service centers will be in punjab towns
So you stick to maruti. You can either go for the Baleno or the Esteem.

But a word of caution, if you are in a region where roads are very very bad avoid a car. The issue is not ground clearance but frequent hammering which your shock absorbers will get. Suspension faliures are not covered in insurance and are costly. As for resale value, after such rough use it will be very low. Both baleno and esteem are not off roaders.

Also your location eliminates ford/honda/fiat due to no service centers.
If you could let us know which companies have service centers within 50-80kms of where you are it will help a lot. Avoid any car which you have to get more than 100kms for a service. Gone are the days when local mechanics could fix cars. Now cars have ECU, fly-by-wire etc., which need authorized workshops.

Last edited by tsk1979 : 9th September 2005 at 14:24.
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Old 9th September 2005, 14:20   #7
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Ajeet, welcome to Team-BHP. The Baleno is a good choice as you would have a lot of after sales issues that take care of themselves if you have a Maruti. But do remember it is a Baleno and not an 800 which can be serviced practically anywhere. Also it is strange that you are going for a VXI. The LXI has better VFM, IMHO.

And yeah do check out the cars personally by test driving them before taking a decision. I would love to recommend Fiat and the NHC too but am holding back because of poor ASS network in the case of Fiat and not too much VFM when it comes to the NHC, though the NHC is the most refined car in your entire list.

Yeah I missed out on the Tata range. If possible get a diesel Indigo. That will be the best bet IMO.

Last edited by typeOnegative : 9th September 2005 at 14:31.
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Old 9th September 2005, 14:27   #8
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Yes stick to the Maruti.. Itís your best bet. Guys for bad roads, which is better Esteem or Baleno? I believe the new esteem has a Ground clearance of 170mm equal to the baleno.

The best vehicle for you application is the Fusion; you can look at it if budget permits. It requires service only every 6 months or 5,000kms. So service should not be a big problem. I would never ever recommend a fiat unless you are base in a big city.
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Old 9th September 2005, 14:53   #9
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Dear who said u nhc exi ex showroom price is 6.22 L in delh ? It's price is 6.81L for exi in delhi keep it in mind i. :

Last edited by unknown : 9th September 2005 at 14:57.
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Old 9th September 2005, 15:25   #10
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ajeet, i would definately recommend you a Maruti Baleno in your case. Since u are posted in J&K, only consider a car which has a service back-up.
since u mentioned there are no Honda dealerships there, forget abt that.
baleno is a strong built quick automobile. its a really good choice
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Old 9th September 2005, 17:15   #11
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Dear solly,

Petra needs service once in 7,500 and Corsa once in 10,000 kms.
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Old 9th September 2005, 21:51   #12
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go for a petra. you will get the higest end car model with even more freebies thrown in in your budget. it may also handle the rough terrain better than other cars.

baleno is old and so is accent. esteem soon to be phased out.

Nhc is a good option but maybe a but pricey.
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Old 9th September 2005, 21:56   #13
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Close your eyes and get your self a New NHC, which is going to be launched next month!
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Old 9th September 2005, 22:00   #14
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I would say to get a Palio, it simply looks cool and had got bags of power. Or instead of the Accent, get the Accent Viva which has a much sportier look, looks really nice too.
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Old 9th September 2005, 23:30   #15
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i would suggest you go for a Fusion if its really hilly,compromise resale

indigo ( and marina) are also a good option its ride quality is really good
leave accent and put indigo or marina into ur options list
accent is a real bad car. its only only that its owners rate it that high load it with well fed 2 in the rear seat adults u will see that the boot is almost touching the floor and same applies to ford ikon.forget ikon and esteem and petra they are outdated. my uncle has got a nhc hesays he is he happy and would buy a vtec if there is an option too y dont u wait for vtecand watch for the pricing of nhc to be changed (unless u are in a hurry) even therea re a lots of new models gonna come so wait rather than waste or else compromise

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