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Old 30th January 2022, 23:04   #166
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
A 'hypothetical' question I've asked myself a few times: If I was presented with an apt model of the XUV700, would I go ahead with it? I am unsure. I could probably live with the ingress-egress issue on the passenger side, as I usually don't use that seat (typically on the driver's or the second row left). The lack of steering feel bother's me, but that is poor in the Hector as well. Harrier and Compass seem better (on tested speeds), but they have the knee-console issue.

The big issue with the 700 also remains it being the niggles associated with the vehicle in it's first (and maybe second) year. The suspension too wasn't ideal for the city. If I had a lot of highway drives expected, might have been tempted enough. Right now: don't know. The engine, it's brute power, and overall composure for it's height remains enticing.

So, where does that leave me?
Lost!
I went for long TD of XUV 700 MT today and below are my observations
-I AM 6í3 and in front seats good space with center console not touching legs.
-However with seat pushed back sitting in back row was difficult. i wish they had made spacious 5 seater.
- So many electronics and all working in test car but i dont know what future holds. I wish there were less electronics and some old school feel.
- Steering felt very small and very light. It was ok but could have a little better feel.
- Driving was good and MT was fun to drive with lot of power on tap and not many downshifts required. As far as Mt go this is the one to get.
- Suspension was good and smooth on both good and bad roads.

I think you should try out 5 seater again as at times it takes couple of drives for something to grow on you.

BTW after this i did TD of Thar Petrol MT on same route and same distance. XUV was better in lot of aspects but it was Thar that made me smile.
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Old 31st January 2022, 14:03   #167
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
-Harrier and Compass seem better (on tested speeds), but they have the knee-console issue.

The big issue with the 700 also remains it being the niggles associated with the vehicle in it's first (and maybe second) year. The suspension too wasn't ideal for the city. If I had a lot of highway drives expected, might have been tempted enough. Right now: don't know. The engine, it's brute power, and overall composure for it's height remains enticing.

So, where does that leave me?
Lost!
XUV700 initial niggles will mostly be sorted by April/May batches and those batches should be nearly sorted too, I am told. You may want to test drive Safari too if you like Harrier. It has a very usable 3rd row. And Harrier/Safari have better suspension and high speed stability than XUV700. Safari comes with all 4 disc brakes too and when compared with a same trim of Harrier, Safari seems a better value as it has more features
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Old 1st February 2022, 21:10   #168
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by JKBKS View Post
- XUV700 initial niggles
- Harrier/Safari have better suspension and high speed stability than XUV700.
- Safari comes with all 4 disc brakes too
- Thanks for the heads up, mate; it helps.

- Couldn't test the cars at highway speeds, but my impression too was similar, but more based on the steering feel than the suspension (many complain about the Safari/Harrier HPS steering however - possibly due to them being more used to an EPS?).
- At higher speeds, the suspension of both seemed well sorted, though the XUV700's experience at low speed made me wonder if it had other surprises in store.

- I really had little reason to look at Safari, with the Harrier sufficing my needs (and I liked the looks of Harrier better too), but now you give me a reason - all 4 disc brakes! Had not noticed that. Thanks again!
- I wonder if the braking performance of the Safari would be significantly better than the Harrier in real world situations considering the extra weight Safari has (about 150kgs maybe?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by heydj View Post
- I went for long TD of XUV 700 MT today and below are my observations
- I think you should try out 5 seater again as at times it takes couple of drives for something to grow on you.
- BTW after this i did TD of Thar Petrol MT on same route and same distance. XUV was better in lot of aspects but it was Thar that made me smile.
- Our experience seems roughly similar, mate.
- The lack of steering feel and feedback of any kind really took away from the experience for me; even more so considering the overall character of the vehicle (say, vis-a-vis a Hector which has a different character).
- Could you try it out on bad roads on low speeds? That is where it surprised me (as in the TD report on the first page)

- Very valuable suggestion about test driving the same cars again! I have rarely needed more than 2-3 TDs, and was more focused on new vehicles to try. Trying out the same ones again is likely to help a lot more, especially in the light of the untested ones not being promising enough. Thanks for reminding me this!

- You do love the Thar, man. The ingress-egress was bad enough in my case for me to not consider it any further. The Gurkha has a lot of appeal too and towers over a Thar, but Mahindra's widespread support is a huge factor too.
- Could it be that you liked the petrol engine over the diesel, than the Thar per se?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
- I read your OP, I have come to this understanding that you don't need a few things.
- All things considered you should be looking at Octavia base model, you took a gamble with Chevy , Skoda is a safer bet and it's a proper upgrade from your Optra. The H point is fairly tall for a sedan, even in the back , so getting in and out is very easy.
- Thanks for checking, mate.
- I really need a spacious vehicle with easy ingress-egress and need to balance between a suspension which might not trouble my back (in case issues increase over time) and enjoyable driving. In general I enjoy torquey diesels (Magnum was about 230Nm/ton). Higher centre of gravity also doesn't help. With those constraints on the suspension and CoG, to enjoy the car, a good steering feel and the engine's eagerness become bigger factors.

- Octavia doesn't work out for the following reasons:
* It is 24mm taller than the Optra Magnum (link here and here)
So, it gives little chance for the H5 point (~ seat height as measured fromt he road level) to be sufficiently higher, without compromising headroom. Ingress-Egress (and not agile enough at lower speeds) was my main gripe with the Optra Magnum. Slavia too unlikely to be good enough, but is somewhat better placed. Considering Slavia was a lot to do with frustration and the idea that with a SUV, I wouldn't be able to take corners as I have in the past
* It does not have an MT option
* It being a petrol don't rule it out (certainly not with those specs!) but is not the preferred option due to the hit the FE takes on enthusiastic driving. Might not be a big enough factor though, considering the overall good FE of Octavia (true for Petrol as well?)
* The base model costs 26L+ Ex-showroom and 29L+ on road in Delhi.

For someone with similar needs and a higher budget and not keen on an MT, the Tucson is worth looking at (neither apply for me) - it has 400Nm of torque.

- All the above said, I do drool looking at these pictures shared by @sachin_cs on the COTY thread.

Name:  Octavia  01.jpeg
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Name:  Octavia  02.jpeg
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- Incidentally, I had actually joined the forum ages back to check on how much a gamble buying the Chevrolet Optra might be, and the overall view was quite positive that it wasn't. My first post on the forum (link here) was to start a thread with that concern.

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Old 1st February 2022, 22:08   #169
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
-

- Thanks for checking, mate.
- I really need a spacious vehicle with easy ingress-egress and need to balance between a suspension which might not trouble my back (in case issues increase over time) and enjoyable driving. In general I enjoy torquey diesels (Magnum was about 230Nm/ton). Higher centre of gravity also doesn't help. With those constraints on the suspension and CoG, to enjoy the car, a good steering feel and the engine's eagerness become bigger factors.

- Octavia doesn't work out for the following reasons:
* It is 24mm taller than the Optra Magnum (link here and here)
So, it gives little chance for the H5 point (~ seat height as measured fromt he road level) to be sufficiently higher, without compromising headroom. Ingress-Egress (and not agile enough at lower speeds) was my main gripe with the Optra Magnum. Slavia too unlikely to be good enough, but is somewhat better placed. Considering Slavia was a lot to do with frustration and the idea that with a SUV, I wouldn't be able to take corners as I have in the past
.
With BS6 around, diesel needs fairly good amount of usage, else you are going to have to deal with uncle DPF and tantrums associated with it.

When you have mStallion around , why worry about Torque of diesel, that one is trigger happy all the time, it will however take some waiting to get your hands on one given the waiting period for the XUV L models. But you can take corners at even higher speeds than your Optra, the dynamic package is that good.

Optra had low rear seating but Octavia even from Mk1 model had a more upright seating even in the rear because it wasn't a sedan as such - it was and is more of a notchback / hatchback. I suggested it because you were looking at compass as an option and the decent variants in compass (D-AT) were 30L plus.
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Old 3rd February 2022, 19:19   #170
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
With BS6 around, diesel needs fairly good amount of usage, else you are going to have to deal with uncle DPF and tantrums associated with it.
I haven't checked much on the DPF part beyond that they can be taken care of with a spirited 20 minute drive, or might need a regeneration managed by the car with it running for a while. Also the fluid to be refilled. Anything else one needs to be really concerned about, mate?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
When you have mStallion around , why worry about Torque of diesel...
Fuel efficiency. Turbo petrols tend to suffer much more on spirited driving. With the Kicks' 1.35 litre engine, it might have been within reason (and big upfront cost saving too), with a 2 Litre petrol with a heavy body, less suitable aerodynamics, bigger tyres, it would likely be a concern. Am more concerned about FE from the times when the running might increase to 2k kms/month. I'm the kind who'd be happier bearing the pain at the time of purchase, than be bothered at each refill, and have some sense of guilt of waste with spirited drives giving FE of 5-7kmpl (a guesstimate).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
I suggested it because you were looking at compass as an option and the decent variants in compass (D-AT) were 30L plus.
No, 30L was never on the cards. The price of Diesel MT Compass Sport with discounts was about 22L at the time of the OP .
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Briefly: Being a bigly built guy with some recent back-issues, need a high vehicle with easy ingress+egress, a lot of headroom, legroom and foot-room. Am much inclined towards a torquey diesel. Fun to drive, though much desired comfort for the back is more important. Ideally of course have both. Budget reluctantly stretched it to about 20L OTR. 22L is a stretch to not rule out the Jeep Compass

Test Drive Reports + Thoughts below:
  • Kia Seltos
  • Tata Harrier / Safari
  • MG Hector / Hector Plus
  • Jeep Compass
  • Mahindra XUV700 (NOT a TD - thoughts and questions) - EDIT: Test Drive report now added
  • If I test drive more, shall report below.
Besides my own search, the idea of the thread also is to help fellow T-Bhpians looking for similar vehicles to select based on observations and drives shared here.

~~~~~~~~~~
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Jeep Compass (Manual Diesel)

Background
This wasn’t at all in the mix, however as one realized that though one had started looking at the Harrier and Hector with their base trims (good strategy, auto-makers) one only found a higher model a good buy, the budget became somewhat close to the base model of the Compass (Sport). Being dead sure that I would not go up the trim ladder in this one, like I did with the other’s, I started checking the Compass. Most were happy with it, and there was much praise for it’s driving manners.
Since then most cars in the segment have seen a price increase.

About the XUV700 - as mentioned on the XUV700 thread, it is a pity that the 5 seater model is quite a compromise and doesn't even have a rear centre armrest. Going from AX5 (5 seater) to AX7(only comes as a 7 seater) mainly due to the armrest and seat recline seems hard to justify to myself. About living without the rear centre armrest - no, I don't think I'll do that; would rather change the variant or even the car! I find the armrest as useful.
Some car/variant design decisions remain strange.

~~~~~~~~

Note:

I quoted the above parts, also as a reminder to someone who might not have gone through the whole thread about the essence of the price and the thread (including the thread not being restricted to me, but open for anyone with similar requirements (SUVs with wheelbase of 2600mm-2800mm) to post and use this thread, as mentioned in this post.

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Old 3rd February 2022, 20:42   #171
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
I haven't checked much on the DPF part beyond that they can be taken care of with a spirited 20 minute drive, or might need a regeneration managed by the car with it running for a while. Also the fluid to be refilled. Anything else one needs to be really concerned about, mate?

About living without the rear centre armrest - no, I don't think I'll do that; would rather change the variant or even the car! I find the armrest as useful.
Some car/variant design decisions remain strange.
Am not sure about taking care of DPE issue with just a 20 min spirited driving, given what I am told. But it will be nice if someone could clarify on the minimum no. of kms that a BS6 diesel needs to be driven in a month....

Even I have this reservation (missing arm rest) with the 5 seater variant. So am looking out for the to-be launched 6 seater variant. Other option is 6 seater Safari that I am thinking about
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Old 3rd February 2022, 21:16   #172
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

@JKBKS, Mate I too need to study the DPF part a bit further. Shancz had mentioned a relevant thread earlier, and he has asked some good questions there. DPF issues are also a bit different if one is on hilly tracks. My hurried takeaway long back (and am not 100% certain) was that passive regen is always available and not an issue. Also, since I am to go in for an MT, keeping a higher RPM for a while is really simple.

I wonder if the car being unused for a while is an issue for the DPF. It happens quite often with us ever since Covid. Besides DPF, battery issues being reported on the XUV700 thread are being reported due to lack of use. In my case, the Optra Magnum started on first self even after 2 months!

Thread link: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...-engineer.html (All your questions about DPF & BS6 Diesel answered by a Diesel Calibration Engineer)

The OP starts such:
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjanayak View Post
I am a Diesel Calibration Engineer by profession specializing in DPF calibration for Indian vehicles . I see a lot of queries and some misunderstanding about BS6 in general and DPF specifically on this forum. So as an expert I would like to clarify some of your doubts and questions regarding these things. So post your questions and queries below and I will try my best to answer them for you.
Regarding the armrest, I really didn't find the slender armrest on captain's seats (as checked and reported on the Hector TD) a match for a wide one as seen on 5 and 7 seater versions. A 6 seater also means more weight at the back; a somewhat bigger issue for someone often on the hills, or someone who enjoys his corners

~~~~~

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kosfactor View Post
But you can take corners at even higher speeds than your Optra, the dynamic package is that good.
Had missed out on this one in my previous post. I would be really surprised if it was such, especially considering how very composed the Optra Magnum was; also considering the low centre of gravity of the Optra vs the XUV700. I can only guess that it is based on the Petrol version of the old Optra, and not Optra Mangum Diesel which (which had a reinforced chassis, and a different suspension setup, besides engine).

Is the opinion based on driving both the Optra Magnum and also the Mahindra XUV700, mate?
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Old 3rd February 2022, 22:13   #173
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

@Poitive i doubt any cars are left to be recommended or not have been considered by you already.

All have compromises here & there so now practical thing would be to give weighted average to all requirements you have and then compare all to see which has max points. Either then go for it or wait for new launches however we all know what to expect this year in terms of launches so see if you want any of those.

Only X factor left in consideration is you really like something outside budget and then scout around used market for same so that it falls in budget.

Or you have soft spot for some car and ready to live with compromises. In your first thread you had posted you have already made booking of a car model. So how about letting us know which was that

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Old 4th February 2022, 21:02   #174
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Warning: Rant ahead.

@heydj, Besides what I replied to @shancz here, I am also avoiding mentioning it till a proper final decision is taken due to some personal reasons (including F&F circle reading T-Bhp now and then). If it really changed things, I would have surely mentioned it mate.

The idea wasn't about new cars being mentioned, but about points of views and factors that weren't considered with suitable weightage. Also to minimize buyer's-remorse for something that is dear to me.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Come on mate! The whole point of the thread is to bring in thought which one might not have considered (or given due weight to) otherwise.
I was barely focusing on Turbo-Petrols, and after the discussion here started focusing more on those - Kushaq and Tiagun quite seriously; till the Skoda-problems thread came up. Renault Duster and Nissan Kicks was barely even in mind, and now Kicks is likely the next (untried) one to TD. That too came up due to discussions here. Had the Tucson been available with an MT and fancy features at a lower cost, I was likely to have gone ahead with that (surely only if it passed the TD well enough). Have started studying the DPF issues a bit more, due to it coming up here again (at the face of it, doesn't seem like big enough an issue; at least for my use case).

About the soft spot - yes, there is one The Compass. It left an impression. The SA mentioned that the pre-facelift version didn't have the knee-console issue. I checked if any unsold stock was available - it wasn't. Also find it difficult to get over the other issues with Jeep/Compass (the bullet points in the Compass TD on page 1)

Of the well over a dozen purchases of automobiles we've made in the past, the only one's we've regretted have been used ones. Even though I get tempted towards it, I am not able to convince myself. The closest I got was to go in for a used was the pre-facelift Compass. The years of use also take away from the precious 10 the NGT allows for diesel vehicles in Delhi also make the option less attractive. I also hate wasting time for niggles and problems a car might have; also the slightly higher uncertainty that goes with a used vehicle, even more due to the very late-night travel I have now and then. A vehicle which takes away from one's peace of mind becomes questionable to my mind - finding that right balance, at times, is tough and tedious.

I agree that one really has to choose which compromises one is willing to live with. My propensity to avoid significant compromises on certain things is coming in the way. I don't connect with the idea of tables and points for such purchases, mate. I prefer imagining living with the vehicle, and seeing how I feel about it, and also consider my gut feel and if it resonates enough. Being highly subjective and vague, I don't talk about the gut-feel-factor, but it has been a part of my/our decision making process in the past - it just might end up with that being the deciding factor!

However, I remain open to suggestions however big or small they might be (your suggestion to TD again is very valuable). Have tried to give reasons and shared my thoughts (at times much more than needed) for any vehicle suggested - partly due to not wanting to see arrogant to dismiss suggestions, and also partly also due to bearing in mind that many outside the members-base read the forum as they don't have the privilege to ask questions or raise concerns (the thread has already had over 80k views - not too much in today's scenario, but not too less either.).

I realize that suggestions and options to me might be drying up. As mentioned in the first post, the idea of the thread also is "Besides my own search, the idea of the thread also is to help fellow T-Bhpians looking for similar vehicles to select based on observations and drives shared here".
In fact, just before your post, I reported the post quoted below to the mods, for it to be mentioned in the first post (OP) for suitable visibility and use of this thread, which contains multiple test drive reports by the same person/people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
From now on, let this thread be open to anyone considering an SUV in this segment
(Please read below for details)

Last edited by Sheel : 4th February 2022 at 21:48. Reason: Typo.
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Old 6th February 2022, 09:26   #175
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Interesting thread but my decision is already made

I have Renault Duster 85 PS driven very happily for 7 years and some and 85000 kms and now Booked a Safari XZ last week and then changed it to XT Plus. Selected Safari XT plus over XZ because of following reasons:
  • I just couldn't get my head around maintaining white seats
  • Kid and wife wanted the damn sun roof.
  • With my budget being strictly 20 lacs, i couldn't go for XZ plus adventure and didn't want dark.Love the Safari in white color.
  • Always wanted manual because that's what I prefer driving. As much as I liked the AT, doesn't match the fun of driving an MT. Personal choice.

Regarding the knee thing, i didn't face the issue in Harrier or Safari or even Compass. I liked Harrier better but went for Safari because of two extra seats and it gave the impression of even bigger car

I test drove Harrier, Safari, Kushaq, Hector Plus and Compass.
I didn't test drive Seltos because of the experience at the showroom. Felt like Kia was doing me a huge favor by showing me the car. Didn't TD XUV 700 because SAs just didn't have time, they got back to me in Jan for the query made in Nov and the waiting period is 86 weeks so didn't make sense. Also hate the XUV exterior looks. Can't make my mind if XUV is uglier than creta or vice versa.

Here are my observations and why I selected Safari over Hector, Compass and Kushaq
  1. Exterior looks - Harrier wins hands down and Safari isn't too far behind. Compass looks great but feels much smaller. Hector front looks nice but didn't like side and back. Kushaq looks gorgeous.
  2. Interiors- While Hector looks the best when it comes to interiors i didn't like that the screen was apparently the single point of failure for so many functions. don't understand the lack of any physical buttons and switches. Kushaq dashboard and seats feel like they belong to a sub 10 lakh car. Compass dashboard looks best of the lot. Kushaq and compass both are strictly 4 seaters. I changed the booking from Safari XZ to XT plus as interiors are white in XZ and with 7 year old, a toddler and a dog, white interiors didn't make much sense.
  3. Drive - Kushaq 1.5 was amazing and just blew me away. I would have immediately booked it if it was a foot wider and longer and about a half a feet taller. Hector drive was acceptable but both Safari and Harrier were much more eager and fun. Loved compass and found it similar to Harrier but space issue is a deal breaker.

    Unlike popular opinion, I didn't find steering for Harrier twins much of an issue. Steering on Compass felt better though and Hector a little lighter.
    Didn't find much of a problem with NVH on Harrier twins and compass and I like bit of grunt from the engine.
    None of these cars are as good as my current Duster when it comes to dismissing bad roads. Safari is acceptable.

  4. Music - Safari gives a much smaller screen but all I need from a Head unit is that I should be able to play music and navigate maps. I will wait and see how the sound quality of XT 8 speaker set up and may decide on upgrading it in a way that stock space is used for sub woofer. Any suggestions welcome.

Thanks

Last edited by SinghP09 : 6th February 2022 at 09:50.
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Old 9th February 2022, 17:37   #176
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghP09 View Post
...I have Renault Duster 85 PS ...
...Always wanted manual because that's what I prefer driving. As much as I liked the AT, doesn't match the fun of driving an MT. Personal choice...
Lucky you! Decided and without the knee-console issue. Happy to connect to another of the dying breed who love and choose MT.

Why am I not surprised that you didn't have issues with the steering on the Harrier-Safari - both Duster and Harrier-Safari have HPS. I increasingly suspect many of the complaints (not all) are due to people being more used to and expecting the typical EPS lightness. However beyond the convenience, some EPS are much appreciated from the driving experience too (eg: Compass, Laura as also by @Behemoth on this thread).

Of the three on the Fiat's MJD, I found Compass to be the most eager, followed by Hector, Harrier and then Safari in that order; but that is just by the seat of the pants feel. The condition of the TD vehicle too could have much to do with it. The difference between Hector and Harrier was not much though.

Two questions, mate:
1. How would you compare the Kushaq 1.5 to the Harrier's drive, mate? Which one felt better and in what way?
2. If you might remember: how was the steering feel of the Hector as compared to the others, and as compared to the Duster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SinghP09 View Post
Music - Safari gives a much smaller screen but all I need from a Head unit is that I should be able to play music and navigate maps. I will wait and see how the sound quality of XT 8 speaker set up and may decide on upgrading it in a way that stock space is used for sub woofer. Any suggestions welcome.
I don't know what all might be possible in the space, and might not have specific suggestions to make, but would suggest you properly demo what you go for, especially since you are particular about music. Also, in case you are trying out a fresh speaker right out of the box, allow it to play for at least 20-30 minutes to form any opinion about it (eg: speakers I adore now, sounded trashy right out of the box). Ideally the burn in would be way longer though (from few 10s to a couple of hundred hours). In general, an amplifier and decent component speakers are a good upgrade for clean sound. Not sure what the Safari offers in it's system. Please check on how changes might affect warranty.

~~~~~~

Nissan Kicks Turbo Petrol MT

Folks, managed to have a compromised test drive recently. Will be posting impressions on it soon. It is unlikely to be as detailed as the others due to how compromised the whole TD was.
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Old 14th February 2022, 22:31   #177
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re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kicks

Folks need help - I have had an opportunity to do TD of below mentioned cars and need help in deciding few things:

- Jeep Compass Petrol vs Diesel MT. How much % is Diesel better? Is it better enough to disregard NCR 10 year rule?
- Jeep Compass P MT vs XUv 700 P MT which is better in terms of service? Fun to drive? Long term ownership?
- Jeep Compass P MT vs Tucson P AT. Disregarding gear box which is better in terms of fun? Build? Service?

We can disregard features and only focus on technical capabilities. Also budget is ranging from 16L to 25L hence all models above are on table. Also AT vs MT does not matter as I only drive on weekends.

Any other recommendation in budget. Only criteria is technical capabilities and fun to drive.

Thanks ��
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Old 15th February 2022, 18:56   #178
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Driven - Nissan Kicks Turbo Petrol MT Test Drive

Nissan Kicks Ė Turbo Petrol MT
(It was a pretty compromised TD; has some comparisons with the others tested till now - XUV700, Harrier, Hector, Compass)

Background
This was another hurried one, largely due to it being a last minute one, being done late evening, my getting late, phone batteries being on the edge and other uninteresting stuff. It was a shortest TD of the lot by far. Started with some tension in the air due to the delays and confusions. Went to the extent that on reaching home, I could not really recollect the colour of the car I had just driven! I really didnít focus on the looks at all. Please bear in mind that I am less certain than usual of the comments I make below due to the compromised nature of this test drive; I could not even check the tyre pressure and there was no onboard monitor. The bare minimum I wanted to achieve was if another one was needed.

Main I Ė Cabin Experience
Parked amidst many stationary vehicles in a disorganized parking, I enter the vehicle, with the SA being all eager to get going and more so to end the drive so that he can make it home (understandable considering it was late). Ingress was quite good; it is rarely prefect for me, and happily it was about as comfortable as the bigger ones. The passenger side too was fine, unlike the big XUV700. Nice! Seat height wasnít low (unlike the Optra). Even at itís lowest, it was quite high. Canít understand this fascination with raising seats, if even 6í people want it a bit lower and canít get it. Why I wanted it to be lower was to have the top of the windscreen felt kind of low in the field of view from my position. This was the point discussed earlier in the thread based on which the Kicks was all but rejected on Ďpaperí itself (latter part of this post). Though not as airy as the bigger ones in this aspect (Harrier, Hector, XUV700) or I think even the Seltos, it was just about acceptable. If everything else works well I could live with this, I thought. The reason I had almost dismissed it before wasnít bad enough. A good start!

Thankfully the legs sat quite okay and there was no issue of the knee hitting the console. In that respect, it was quite like the XUV700. The armrest in the XUV700 was way better though. This one didnít feel wide enough in comparison, but to be fair, it was a smaller car. Elbows often brushed with the SA. Not really ideal elbow room if you are two wide adults in front, but surely manageable. Ergonomically, nothing felt too off right away. The footwell too didnít feel off. Surprisingly I canít recollect with certainty, but I donít think it had a dead pedal; yet it felt okay. Tried to see the interiors with the lights available and couldnít assess much as the light wasnít too bright. The interior lights themselves didnít seem high quality. The interiorsí finishing appeared moderate overall, but donít take my word on it, as I didnít really focus on it and the light was insufficient.

The rear seat was checked for a short part towards the end. The seats were a bit firmer than Iíd like, however on the important aspect of headroom Ė something which is enough to rule out a car for me Ė it was excellent. More than some of the bigger ones. Surely way more than the Compass. The top of the window line too was perceptibly higher and it did not feel cramped from that point of view. The base of the window line getting raised did block the outside a bit, but it wasnít as bad as I had imagined. It felt more spacious than the Compass overall. Unlike the Hector, the ride on the back seat too wasnít too different than the front in that short run.

Main II : The Drive Ė Suspension, Steering, Control, NVH

(As mentioned before, please bear in mind that the tyre-pressure was unknown, and my guess is that it was about 4-7 psi lower and will comment based on that, but I could easily be way off with that guess as it was my first time with this vehicle.)

Taking it out of the cramped space wasnít an issue. Almost felt at home. Into traffic, and as expected for a petrol the clutch feels lighter than the diesels tested till now. The clutch would engage quite far, and the release happened fairly quickly. Made me stall the car a couple of times. Gear shifts felt okay. The uneven roads on the way are handled rather well. Not the potholed kinds, but the regular broken city-roads we often get. A composed feeling without a needlessly hard suspension, I thought. Quite impressed. Now on a freer road for a bit, the suspension reveals itself differently. The road is wavy Ė the gradual up and down shift many roads have. The waviness can be felt a fair bit, and unlike most of the others. I donít recollect feeling it in the Compass on the same road either. While not really bothersome, might be unwelcome for someone looking for pure comfort, where the Hector shone at city speeds.

We end up in the rush hour traffic; almost a jam. Easy to manage this one. Not too big, not too small, not too hight, not too low Ė the size felt right for the city. What was revealing during the same was the traffic noise. The XUV700 felt a segment below the others. This felt a segment or more below the XUV700. The sound insulation was disappointing. The engine noise too came in a fair bit; quite a bit at higher RPMs, I thought later. Far from any sense of luxury. Though engine at high RPMs and traffic noise was much, it didnít have harshness or an unrefined feel overall.

Now on freer roads again, yet again thankfully that the turn I like to test on is free. We pick pace. Rather urgently for what is only a 1.3 litre engine and hit the undulation and turn. It felt composed. Though I didnít get the confidence I got in the XUV700 (on which I guess I was at higher speeds), but felt good enough and I was quite happy. The XUV700 felt more planted, I suppose due to the weight, and to itís credit felt nimble enough. Where this one was a whole lot better than the XUV700 was the steering feel. Yes, the HPS (Hydraulic Power Steering)! It didnít give me the game-like feel one got on the 700. Didnít feel heavy to me at all (remember, I am used to a HPS from the Optra Magnum). It might have been more direct and sharper with proper tyre pressure. In the tested state, it surely wasnít as sharp as the Compass. Like all the others test driven, this too didnít really inform one of the road surface like a Linea might, but for practical daily driving Iíd say that is a plus. Though very different from the excellent EPS on the Compass, it would be comparable in overall presentation.

Further in the drive, it is driven on a highly truncated route, further shortened with road blocks. One which allowed me to test it on a vacant small roundabout. While turning hard, I realize that this one didnít understeer when pushed, and the tyres remained silent. Good? Probably not, as at a point, it felt that if really pushed it might not give enough warning before toppling over! (no, I didnít push is anywhere close to that and kept well within normal safety limits). Very grippy. Low tyre pressure might have helped with better girp. The saving grace was the steering feel, which made one know when to ease off the accelerator and when it was getting closer to itís limit. Felt like a sedan with a much raised centre of gravity. Could be dicey in a noviceís boy-racerís hand, is thought which did cross my mind then.

The suspension overall, was a good balance of comfort and control, but also varied as explained in the wavy road part above. At no point did the car feel less controlled and one felt confident and at ease, except roundabout part mentioned above. It went though speed breakers with proper composure and acceptable comfort, even when the steering was a bit turned. Took bad roads and sharp corners well. The bodyroll was never bothersome. The ride though not plush, was generally fairly comfortable. Not particular agile (possibly due to low TP) but not slow to react either. The chassis-suspension combo was practical, and impressive with it's balancing the two. Combined with the steering feel, as compared to the Optra Magnum: it felt a bit sharper in steering response, comparably composed at moderate speeds (though for an emergency, the Magnum scores way more due to itís low centre of gravity), not as plush a ride, but almost a fair trade-off with the sharpness and quicker steering response it brought (am partly guessing it would be better with due tyre pressure). The ingress-egress too was fine. Had I found my mate? Had this thought with the XUV700 too, so I headed for the very same roads the suspension of the XUV700 was found wanting.

The same pothole, the very same colony poor roads with those 2Ē-4Ē unevenness, similar speeds Ė how does the Kicks perform? Superb! Totally composed. Took the unevenness with ease, as it had most that was thrown itís way. The surprise, if at all, was how well they were handled (might be a bit different had the tyre pressure been higher). It made the XUV700 look bad. This also felt the kind which would be well suited to the highway, as for the hills and the city - comfort and control. Overall the suspension-chassis-steering felt closest to the Harrier; a bit like that in a smaller package. Based on the TDs, for highways alone, Harrier remains my pick; for city and hills, this would likely be more practical, quite like the Compass.

So, you might ask me: have you finally found your elusive ride, Poitive? Read on.


Main III : The Engine and a bit more
(A chance that the TD vehicle was had issues, as the SA said that the service was overdue)

What I didnít mention above to compartmentalize the drive experience was how the engine felt. Though I didnít get the chance to really go flat out, it did much seem the kind to take a full straight acceleration run well quite like the YouTube video shared in the post before (link). It seemed pretty free revving too (wouldnít compare it to the XUV700ís magic). Sounds good, eh? Sound! Well, it could be heard a lot more than one would want it to be. If one really revved it often, would be bothersome. Some just might enjoy it. To me, it didnít have the somewhat enjoyable sound and feel of the Compass (diesel). Livable, but not appreciated. Though not tested properly, the brakes too felt about okay. Not impressive, but enough for the job. Possibly like the Harrier (both have front disc and rear drum setup).

The engine is one co-developed with Mercedes - 1330cc, 154bhp@5500 RPM, 254Nm@1600. (Jeep Compass Petrol is 162bhp@5500, 250Nm@2500-4000 and heavier). Havenít got proper figures but this is on a roughly 1.3 tonne vehicle. Sounds pretty good with ~118bhp/tonne. Optra Magnum was only ~88bhp/tonne. A good 30% higher (torque comparison is totally different story though). A figure comparison isnít really fair, but this was just to give some context.

It was a big let-down, as I half expected, but was convincing myself that it would not be so after hearing such good words about turbo-petrols, the said video, and paper figures. Yes, certainly way better than what a 1.3NA engine would be, but the power is too peaky/spiked. That itís peak torque was from 1600 rpm had raised expectations, but it felt quite dead under 2000 rpm. Somewhat picking up at 2500, and only really comfortable and enjoyable at 3000; or should I say 3500. It does pull cleanly thereon and pulls well for a 1.3 litre engine. 3500 is when the fun started, however what also happens at such rpms is that the car reacts sharply to any change in throttle even while reducing it, as engine braking has a bigger effect. Makes it tedious to drive around town. Might be good for that odd spin, or the avoidable boy-race between traffic which some enjoy, but not practical for daily runs. Iíd have to constantly be too focused on the throttle to have an easy drive Ė a far cry from the 2 litre and above diesel engines it was being (unfairly) being compared to. Was it a whole lot of fun post 3000? Fun, yes; whole lot, no. Not after the Optra Magnum; not at all, in comparison. This was also a lot more noisy too. It might have been better if the engine had a lower peak power figure and maybe even a lower peak torque figure, but a better spread of torque across a wider range.

So, it was either too dull, lifeless, boring at lower rpms, or too peaky/spiked and always kept one a bit too alert and focused on the throttle management while being noisy and only moderately fun (for my case). Would give extremely poor FE at enjoyable RPMs too. At no point was it making a case for itself. Reminded me of the old adage: no replacement for displacement (though turbo petrols do certainly change that to an extent).

I got the answer I sought at the beginning: I didnít need another TD. Alas, this one too was not for me.

Closing Remarks
With a chassis-suspension-steering steup like this, I think this could easily handle (with fine-tuning and some reinforcements, of course) a way bigger engine. A 1.6-2.0 diesel on this one would be good fun. Something like the Fiat 2.0 MJD could do magic for this setup. But with the increased price I doubt it would find enough takers, so one can somewhat understand Nissan not going for such. However, Nissan also seems to be rather confused as to whom the car is targeted towards. Makes half a case for many, but not enough of a case for most Ė the comfort driven buyer, the neighbourís envy driven buyer, the gizmo and features driven buyer or the enthusiast. Or maybe, I am wrong about the last one. Like I said before, anyone wanting the Compass Petrol MT for itís driving manners should at least TD this one. Similar engine specs, longer wheelbase and more space, well balanced ride and handling, way cheaper to own and maintain. If the engine makes you happy, there is much for an enthusiast to appreciate in this one; and yes, it has an HPS!

Nissan Kicks 1.3 Turbo Petrol Ė Summary
(please bear in mind the compromised nature of the test drive as elaborated in the full report)
  • Well worked out practical cabin setup. Decent ergonomics. Impressive headroom on the rear bench.
  • Practical size for the city. More spacious than Compass etc. Lowish top of windscreen height. High enough top of window, especially at the rear.
  • Enjoyable Hydraulic steering. Good feel. Enthusiasts could appreciate this dying tribe; typical buyer might find it Ďheavyí, especially if used to a light EPS.
  • Excellent suspension-chassis setup. Appears good enough to take a way more powerful engine.
  • Suspension-chassis-steering setup should feel very good for city, highway drives and even hills. Good comfort and control.
  • Engine, a big let-down for me. Doesnít do justice to the overall enthusiast setup. Didnít feel practical either (for sheer practicality the 1.5NA just might be better).
  • The immensely peaky spread of torque (power) and it coming at a high rpm was bothersome for regular use. Suitable power came late for a turbo (around 3-3.5k RPM), and it was noisy then. The engine and itís tuning didnít agree with me.
  • The high rpm engine noise and traffic noise was bothersome, however it didnít feel harsh.
  • If you find the engine to your taste, it just might be the car you missed out considering, especially if you enjoyed the Jeep Compass Petrol for itís driving manners and didnít want to spend for it. (Note: I make the Jeep Compass remarks based on paper specs of the petrol model and having tried out the Compass Diesel on long test drives, so please consider opinions accordingly.)
Please share your thoughts.

PS: In case you've directly landed on this post, reports and summaries of other SUVs in the segment are here.
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Old 16th February 2022, 09:19   #179
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Re: Driven - Nissan Kicks Turbo Petrol MT Test Drive

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Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
Please share your thoughts.
Quite an eye opener again, well done

The last thing I would've imagined looking at the exterior was that the rear headroom won't work for you and Nissan just turned that assumption on its head, kudos Nissan.

The 1.3 turbo's analysis is another eye opener, looking at torque from 1600rpm I thought it will behave like a diesel but the argument fell on its head once again

With most options being exhausted are you willing to try out the Meridian ? Hopefully it doesn't have the knee issue and better rear seat space.
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Old 16th February 2022, 21:34   #180
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Re: Choosing an SUV up to 22L | Driven Seltos, Harrier / Safari, Hector Plus, Compass, XUV700 & Kick

Quote:
Originally Posted by Poitive View Post
.1. How would you compare the Kushaq 1.5 to the Harrier's drive, mate? Which one felt better and in what way?
2. If you might remember: how was the steering feel of the Hector as compared to the others, and as compared to the Duster?
Sorry for the late response, was a little busy last week or so.

Don't think it's a fair comparison IMHO as both are completely different categories. I absolutely loved the 1.5 Kushaq and didn't feel the same happiness with any other car I have test driven recently. You just tap the accelerator and you are at 100
Also found Kushaq's Steering very connected and ride very planted. I have been telling everyone, i would have bought Kushaq if it was a foot wider and foot longer


Hector steering was decent, lighter than Safari at low speeds and nothing to complain about or cheer about. It does the job well. I won't be able to tell the comparison with Duster as Duster has kind of become an extension of me and I don't really have to think about anything while i am at the wheel. Hard to explain!

I agree that ppl actually finding the Harrier twins steering heavy are may be too used to Electric ones. It too me a day or two when I changed from i10 to Duster 7 years back.
I didn't get a chance to drive Safari or Harrier over 100, so not sure about the steering too light at high speed issue.

Last edited by SinghP09 : 16th February 2022 at 21:50.
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