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Old 16th October 2021, 23:17   #1
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Default Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Dear BHPians!

I am very new to the forum (Thanks to the admin folks for letting me join in!) and some of you might have seen my posts on the Hyundai Creta review thread.

I had booked a Creta 1.5L Petrol SXO IVT on July 21, 2021. In the following 2 months, I found that I had enough reason for losing my trust on the vendor and HMIL, based on the sales process experience. In addition, reading up on all the threads related to SUVs/Cross-overs also got me thinking that paying upwards of Rs.2 million for that particular car was not maybe the best choice I made. So, after a short interaction with the dealer + HMIL support folks, which elicited no meaningful response, I cancelled my Creta booking on Oct 12th.

I am looking for a car which I can take out of the parking lot without second thoughts about where I am going (not off-roading, but you get the idea), one with which I won’t have to worry about whether 5 people will be comfortable in or about luggage space for short or even moderately long trips. And of course, bonus points to the car that can get me back to the good old days of more road trips, with comfort, reliability and assurance of quick service if needed.

Now comes the checklist.
  • We need space. The car should be able to comfortable seat 3 moderately built adults in the back for longer trips too. Bonus points if a 6ft 1in guy (me!) can sit in the back (occasionally) without knees scraping the front seat. Wife doesn’t like sedans. Just as well, since my mother finds it difficult to get in and out of low floor vehicles.
  • AT variants only and that too only CVT/IVT/TC. Open to good AMTs, but my experience with AMT was horrible during a few hours of driving within the city with a Swift DDIS AT. IMT is out, since Seltos is not comfortable with 3 people in the back.
  • Prefer petrol vehicles generally, given monthly run (after offices open up) would still be less than 1000km. Even with one long road trip per quarter and few shorter trips on weekends, I don’t expect to cross 12K to 15K kms in the first year. But I am open to diesel ATs too.
  • I am certainly not an ‘enthusiastic’ driver. I am quite ok with a car that can pull the load at decent accelerations and give a decent mileage with it. If I can take it fully loaded (5 people total + luggage) on a ghat road, say, to Ooty, or Kodaikanal or Wayanad, without much trouble, safely, in sort of not good weather or road conditions, I would be quite satisfied.
  • Safety – yes, it is important. But I am also practical about it. High speeds or negligent driving practices would negate any safety rating, in my opinion.
  • Budget – up to 20L. Can stretch a bit if needed by 10-15%.
  • Used vehicles – not a choice as of now
  • Ownership timeline – I intend to hold on to it for 8 years at the very minimum. But that could change anytime in the future, depending on various factors.
That’s pretty much on the desirables! Fancy tech or electronic conveniences are welcome but not mandatory.

Now comes the shortlist.

Korean twins
  • For now, I am not considering them. Might consider if I am not able to lock in on any other choice.
S-Cross (Alpha AT)
  • What I liked:
  • TD’ed it yesterday. Seating was perfect. I could get in the back seat with driver’s seat set to my comfortable position and still have enough space at Knees. A 6-7Km drive within small lanes and then on normal city roads was very good. Potholes or dug up patches in the road that usually showed up as jarring impact on my back in the Santro were not even felt much. I didn’t ‘feel’ the size of the vehicle (4.3m long) when driving it. Luggage space of 350 odd liters seems adequate. It should be able to fit 1 large suitcase (check in baggage size on aircrafts) with 2 smaller ones (cabin luggage size) and a few assorted bags. Hope I am not too wrong on that judgement. There is no loading lip which is a good thing. Seats were very comfortable and got a thumbs up from my wife. Overall fit and finish seemed good.
  • What was concerning:
  • The steering felt extremely tight (heavy?) at standstill, with engine on of course and at low speeds, even more than my old Santro. Is that normal or something of a defect in the test drive vehicle? The dealership guy didn’t have a good answer. Also, with low AC fan speed and no music inside the cabin, I could hear the vehicles outside, especially an autorickshaw that was, say 10 meters, in front of the S-Cross. To be fair, the autorickshaw engine was louder than usual. Another concern is that getting inside the car, especially in the back seat felt like really getting “inside and down”, the cabin floor felt a bit too low than the door sill. Would it be a problem for elderly folks? I don’t know. The adaptive guidelines in reversing camera are a miss, but I don’t see it as a major miss.
MG Hector (Sharp CVT)
  • What I liked:
  • Space. That vehicle is huge! For 3 passengers in the back, for a ton of luggage (not literally) and so much room for flexibility, this wins on space, hands down. I took the car in the same route as the S-Cross. I did get the ‘big car’ anxiety but the it turned out fine. I had to stop and reverse to complete a left turn due to traffic in the small streets. The 360deg camera was good, but I guess my muscle memory made me fall back to the RVMs and gut instinct. On the final turn to left, the front sensors started going off, as I turned the vehicle through a really tight gap with another parked vehicle. Phew! What a relief! Then on small stretches of straight road, I tried to floor it. The response from the turbo engine was good, though with a bit of lag. Loved the ventilated seats and the close to silent noise levels inside the cabin, although I felt the seats in S-Cross were more comfortable. Fit and finish seemed good. The steering was a breeze, compared to the S-Cross. Powered tailgate would be very useful for my wife (when I am lugging the baggage!).
(The panoramic sunroof was of course the only thing my kids were interested in this. )
  • What was concerning:
  • The height shows. My mother would probably need to have a step fixed to get inside. (To be fair, it was like this with the Innovas we traveled in during our trips, but she was few years younger then. Having survived cancer does take a toll anyway). The ride quality, surprisingly, felt extremely shaky in all directions, like the older ‘air suspension buses’ run by travel companies. It might put the passenger to sleep on normal roads, but for me as a driver, it was uncomfortable a bit. The bigger potholes that didn’t show up in the S-Cross were very much felt in this car. The SA who brought the car said it would give 10-11kmpl in the city and 15kmpl on highways. I think it was a bit inflated, having read about it here on the forums.
Tata Harrier

  • Scheduled the test drive with 2 different dealers. First one never bothered to bring the car on time or even call me after the first phone call to fix the appointment. The second dealer missed the appointment twice and called me on some random weekday to see if I can do the TD since he ‘has the vehicle now’. I missed the call since I was at work and rescheduled it for the third time. That was missed as well. I am wondering what the sales and service experience will be if they can’t manage a single test drive appointment properly in a span of 2 weeks.
Other cars:

  • Innova – Too big (even more than Hector), too expensive for the package, all things considered.
  • XUV700 – looks like a one year waiting period. Might as well get another good car instead.
  • Jeep – not considered, outside the range of what I am willing to spend.
  • XL6/Ertiga/Alcazar/Safari – don’t need a 5+ seater, really. Long waiting times and sub-par sales experience (on HMIL and TATA ones) are a minus too.
At this point, I believe there aren’t too many options left for me. Would be great if the folks here can share their thoughts on the choices that I have shown here or choices I might be overlooking by being a bit parochial.

Stay safe! Looking forward to the responses.
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Old 17th October 2021, 00:04   #2
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Honestly, the requirement of a comfortable 5 seater kind of rules out almost all crossovers in the given price range.

I think XUV700 matches your requirements perfectly. Spacious, safe and has almost all of the latest creature comforts. The long waiting period also gives Mahindra enough time to sort out the initial niggles and also for us to hear the honest reviews.
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Old 17th October 2021, 01:13   #3
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

If budget and size is not a constraint, you have XUV7OO all written for your requirement set.
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Old 17th October 2021, 01:34   #4
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

In a similar search for a comfortable 5 seater I found S-Cross Zeta AT most appealing. It is cheaper than MG Astor by ~1.7 lakhs and cheaper than VW and Hyundai twins by at least 3.5 lakhs. There are some misses which I'm not happy with:
  1. No Rear AC vents, no headrest for middle passenger in backseat. Note that Dzire, Ciaz get rear AC vents.
  2. Even though the AT is a dated 4 speed Torque converter, I think it is still a notch better than the CVTs of MG, Hyundais.
  3. Lacking active safety: There's no ESP, Traction control. I feel ESP is a life saver and more important than the crash ratings. This is a deal breaker for me. Note that Maruti offers it in Ciaz, XL6 and more recently on Swift.

There are not many 5 seaters in the segment. The only ones with wide backseat are MG Hector (not Astor), Harrier. If you wish to drop a segment down there is XUV300, of course with powerful petrol AMT and a small boot.

If you've time I would suggest to wait for another 6 months, hoping for the S Cross facelift to address these.
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Old 17th October 2021, 08:06   #5
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Seems like the S-Cross is best suited for your needs.

Not sure what issues you had with HMIL but I guess they were troubling enough to have you skip it so will let it be.

Whether you want to wait for the S-Cross update depends on when you want the car. Haven't heard of anything but even if an update happens with those much awaited interior features mentioned earlier and like anthusiast said at least 6 months before deliveries begin factoring in the chip shortages and related production cuts.
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Old 17th October 2021, 08:21   #6
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

You have a low monthly milage. I'd recommend going for a car greater than 15 lakhs if and only if you are ready to pay upwards of 5 rs. In just depreciation costs per km (excluding fuel, maintenance, insurance etc.)

With that out of the way, go for the S-cross or the Ertiga. S-cross is built on Brezza's platform which scored 4 stars in the global ncap crash test; Ertiga on the other hand scored 3 stars. However, Ertiga is way more pratical than scross. It is also the best for older people to get in and out of.

It isn't clear to me, from your post, if you actually tried to fit your family into Etriga and found it tight or if you haven't yet done so. If you haven't it's a good idea to take your entire family along on TD (taking COVID precautions). In addition to testing for space, you get the bonus of testing how the engine works with a full load of passengers.

All the best!
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Old 17th October 2021, 09:36   #7
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

I have recently acquired the Hector CVT, and my requirements were pretty similar to yours. I am extremely satisfied with the car especially with the dealership and ASS experience. The car has tons of space, is very well kitted and feels robust.
One thing to note was the definite difference in ride quality between my car and the test drive mule. My car has a much sorted out ride compared to the test drive car. I guess it’s all the hard revving and pothole testing in those test drive vehicles that affect tyre alignment and pressure which greatly affect ride quality. I will say go for the hector over scross. It’s 2 segments above if not one and will definitely feel the money spent well.
Maruti simply cannot compete and build cars worth 10L above. They not only, not have the feel good factor, they are also tin boxes with no brand image.
Go for the hector. If not the hector go for XUV 700 which too is a class apart. Be prepared for early niggles though.
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Old 17th October 2021, 09:49   #8
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by neelkumar View Post
Honestly, the requirement of a comfortable 5 seater kind of rules out almost all crossovers in the given price range.

I think XUV700 matches your requirements perfectly.
Quote:
Originally Posted by headbanger View Post
If budget and size is not a constraint, you have XUV7OO all written for your requirement set.
Well, any 'big' car would be a good fit if it can tick off 5 people, luggage space, safety and mileage. S-Cross did tick most of those for now. And Yes, I did consider XUV700 (it is within budget for me, at least the 5 seater one) but the super long waiting time and the feature spread threw me off. But if I defer my car decision, then there is a chance it will be back in the mix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anthusiast View Post
In a similar search for a comfortable 5 seater I found S-Cross Zeta AT most appealing...

Lacking active safety
: There's no ESP, Traction control. I feel ESP is a life saver and more important than the crash ratings. This is a deal breaker for me...

The only ones with wide backseat are MG Hector (not Astor), Harrier. If you wish to drop a segment down there is XUV300, of course with powerful petrol AMT and a small boot.

If you've time I would suggest to wait for another 6 months, hoping for the S Cross facelift to address these.
No doubt the S Cross is appealing. To be honest, it wasn't even in my list until last week. Like I said, going with Creta was a heart over head decision. Now that I cancelled the booking, I started looking at more options. Point on lack of ESP/TC is noted. I haven't considered the XUV300 only because the boot space is not much bigger from my old Santro.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
Not sure what issues you had with HMIL but I guess they were troubling enough to have you skip it so will let it be.

Whether you want to wait for the S-Cross update depends on when you want the car.
It's not issues with 'HMIL' alone but with the general sales, booking and allocation process. After waiting for 2.5 months on a 3 month delivery commit on paper, I was told I need to wait for another 3 months and even that with no firm commit date on allocation. On top of that, the dealer hadn't even entered my request in Hyundai's system until I pressurized them to share the number. They did that only a week before I cancelled. It's more on a matter of principle for me. I felt that they (both the dealer and HMIL) were not earnest in their responses and so dropped the booking. I have documented that experience in my posts starting with this.

And on the S-Cross, or any other car for now, with the waiting periods, it will slip in to 2022 anyway. An additional 2 or 3 months waiting should be fine, I guess. We will see what the new year brings!
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Old 17th October 2021, 10:26   #9
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asmr View Post
It's not issues with 'HMIL' alone but with the general sales, booking and allocation process.

And on the S-Cross, or any other car for now, with the waiting periods, it will slip in to 2022 anyway. An additional 2 or 3 months waiting should be fine, I guess. We will see what the new year brings!
I saw that thread and its quite frustrating. IIRC a friend had gone through a similar experience with his Venue booking which shifted goalposts twice by a factor of months. He flatly asked them what can they give him at the earliest, it was an i20 Asta MT in 2-3 weeks. He initially liked the i20 but had booked the Venue for the GC. He also mentioned that they had "asked" to book by paying 1 lakh and when he asked about the min booking amount it turned out to be miniscule, which he paid and booked
Sorry can't recall the exact numbers so not mentioning those.
But in essence this seems like a country wide issue.

Check on the S-Cross trim availability too, a Bhpian in Delhi got a Zeta it in 5 days, recently. But this could be due to the choice of transmission and model along with the dealer's stock.

Festive/year end discounts have to be seen, I am not very confident on them looking at the production cuts and current backlog.

Last edited by shancz : 17th October 2021 at 10:29. Reason: typo
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Old 17th October 2021, 12:18   #10
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by buzzy_boy View Post
You have a low monthly milage. I'd recommend going for a car greater than 15 lakhs if and only if you are ready to pay upwards of 5 rs. In just depreciation costs per km (excluding fuel, maintenance, insurance etc.)

With that out of the way, go for the S-cross or the Ertiga...

All the best!
The low(er) monthly mileage is because we are still in WFH mode and once office opens it will be a hybrid work model for me. And as I mentioned, I want to get a car that will actually make me get out of home more. 12K-15K was just a projection for the first year, if I book now. I fully expect to see that number go up significantly. Besides, I do intend to hold on to the car for sometime.

Ertiga/XL6 was not considered till now. If I decide to defer the buying decision, I might do a TD with any 2022 facelifts if they come. Thanks for the suggestion!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mpod11 View Post
I have recently acquired the Hector CVT, and my requirements were pretty similar to yours... Go for the hector. If not the hector go for XUV 700 which too is a class apart. Be prepared for early niggles though.
Appreciate the feedback. Yes, the test ride experience was a bit off. Good to know that the new vehicle feels better than the TD one. Hector does check all the requirements for me. My other concern is their service network availability. Even within Chennai, they have only one service center (albeit a huge one as per SA) and by January 2022 they will have one more, but that's about it. Hopefully that will change with time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shancz View Post
I saw that thread and its quite frustrating. IIRC a friend had gone through a similar experience with his Venue booking which shifted goalposts twice by a factor of months...

Check on the S-Cross trim availability too, a Bhpian in Delhi got a Zeta it in 5 days, recently.
I know it's across all manufacturers and it's not like my dealer is the rotten fruit. However, I had been following up with them weekly after booking and they did not breathe a word about the booking number or delay. The only response was "we have put it in for priority allocation". That lack of honesty and lack of explanation for it when challenged (from both dealer and HMIL) was the proverbial straw. Looks like HMIL is incahoots with them and enabling them to allot the vehicle to anyone they like, whenever they want.That is of course my inference/speculation.

On S-Cross, the Nexa dealer closest to my home doesn't have ATs in stock. Only MTs. The ASS is very close by and I might have actually gone with a PDI if they had some ATs in stock. Right now, it's a 4 to 6 week waiting time for new bookings on the Alpha AT. This would mean end of November or early December delivery. I might as well wait a bit more is what I am thinking.
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Old 17th October 2021, 12:37   #11
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by asmr View Post
I might as well wait a bit more is what I am thinking.
Sad state of affairs, doens't look good for HMIL too now

Makes sense to wait it out.
Just a guess but Diwali to January should get us something interesting. Would've been more confident otherwise but the chip shortages make me jittery on whether the manufacturers would be willing to launch a new model with a long list of pending bookings.

Good Luck

Last edited by shancz : 17th October 2021 at 12:39. Reason: ccl
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Old 17th October 2021, 15:41   #12
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

The waiting lists for the Hyundai Creta with some dealers is for six to eight months too. The laid back attitude of the dealer as said is disheartening. Contrarily, HMIL and other car makers need to reward brand loyalty by giving preference for 'Brand Loyalty Upgrades'. Verifying the ownership of at least five to ten years with the RC document, based on which a certain percentage like say 5-10% of the production could be earmarked for brand loyal customers. Car makers can then set a good example, when there are huge waiting lists.

The laid back attitude of the HMIL dealer takes us back to the good old days when Vespa /Bajaj/Priya, Lambretta (Lamby was readily available and had no waiting lists) , Fiat/Premier and even Ambassador dealers and their employees would give curt replies to those who had either booked or wanted to book these. While personally entering their premises one would feel that he or she has stepped into a government department, not an auto dealership.

Coming to the XUV700, apart from the waiting list, we should have our own waiting list, to patiently await M&M's initiative to sort out the niggles and gremlins after its much hyped new launch. A similar patience is also required for the new Tata Safari. The fact that the Safari uses proven mechanicals is though soothing.

Hence, after taking account of all such pros and cons the choice becomes quite restricted to zero upon the S-Cross from MSIL. The Brezza's higher ground clearance also could be a hindrance as a choice.

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 17th October 2021 at 16:00.
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Old 17th October 2021, 18:55   #13
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
The laid back attitude of the dealer as said is disheartening. Contrarily, HMIL and other car makers need to reward brand loyalty by giving preference for 'Brand Loyalty Upgrades'. Verifying the ownership of at least five to ten years with the RC document, based on which a certain percentage like say 5-10% of the production could be earmarked for brand loyal customers. Car makers can then set a good example, when there are huge waiting lists.
That would be a good program indeed. Unfortunately, the loyalty recognition ends with a paltry discount in offers. And in my case, it mattered 0%.

Quote:
Coming to the XUV700, apart from the waiting list, we should have our own waiting list, to patiently await M&M's initiative to sort out the niggles and gremlins after its much hyped new launch. A similar patience is also required for the new Tata Safari. The fact that the Safari uses proven mechanicals is though soothing.
Going by current numbers, 50K cars in the next 6 - 9 months seems to be a good enough time to sort through niggles. But then I have never owned a TATA or Mahindra vehicle before. So, it will have to be an informed risk, if I book a XUV700 now, looking at delivery in Q3 of 2022. But then would there be more choices by then? Likely and I would probably be stuck in a vicious cycle.

Quote:
Hence, after taking account of all such pros and cons the choice becomes quite restricted to zero upon the S-Cross from MSIL. The Brezza's higher ground clearance also could be a hindrance as a choice.
S-Cross actually checks much of my needs. Since I am looking for a family mover, sedate driving vehicle, I am inclined to say that the "only 2 airbags" or "lack of ESP" might be overlooked. Many people in my circle say just to go ahead with the S-Cross and that I can't go wrong with it. Some want me to get the Harrier.

Guess I need to take a decision on it quickly and be stoic enough to stick with it.
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Old 17th October 2021, 19:36   #14
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Originally Posted by asmr View Post
Guess I need to take a decision on it quickly and be stoic enough to stick with it.
Personally I always loved large hatchbacks(like the Golf) and with each passing day consider the S-Cross as a large hatchback with good GC rather than a SUV/Crossover. With that perspective seems like a good successor to your Ritz(also a favorite)

IMHO, the Harrier looks smashing, whoever designed it deserves a
I was trying to shoehorn the Altroz Turbo into the Golf in an Indian avatar but recent episodes with TML customers have weaned me away from their shores for good.

Whichever car you chose, please do a thorough PDI and if anything feels off skip the deal.
Good Luck.
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Old 17th October 2021, 22:58   #15
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Default re: Cancelled my Creta booking | Which SUV or Crossover with a budget of 15-23 lakhs?

@asmr, there is a lot of intersection between my requirements (Maruti S-Cross 1.5L Petrol : Official Review) and yours. Big difference is my budget though - my budget was limited to Rs.12L ex-showroom. Pretty much the only car that seemed to fit my requirements was the S-Cross. And my TD just reinforced my research. (May be subconsciously I liked S-Cross because as @shancz mentioned - my current car is a Ritz and may be I was just looking for a bigger, better Ritz with AT.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by asmr View Post
  • The steering felt extremely tight (heavy?) at standstill, with engine on of course and at low speeds, even more than my old Santro. Is that normal or something of a defect in the test drive vehicle? The dealership guy didn’t have a good answer.
In my search, I didn't notice anyone bring up tight/heavy steering at standstill. Neither did I notice it during my TD. Perhaps you can do another TD at a different dealer?

Good luck in your search.
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