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Old 4th February 2020, 17:21   #136
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by ac 427 View Post
i think there are 2 most, mountain ready cars.

1. the Alto 1 L
2. the bolero.

I have seen these cars eat up mountains like nobody business.
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Originally Posted by procrastinator View Post
We have had Alto K10 in family which was bought to be used at Shimla. The roads in hills were narrow; Alto (and Nano) had least width making it easier to tackle the oncoming traffic.
Despite being powerful than alto800 and m800, it required more slipping of clutch and an early downshift. But It did make an excellent progress after 1600rpm.

We came to a point that for hills, a personal car should be able to satisfy below criteria.
1. Petrol: itís easier to ignite and maintain

2. Compact dimension: it helps on narrow roads

3. Ride quality: roads or no roads, should stick and absorb the lumps and bumps well.

4. Low end torque: engine and gearbox combo that provides excellent low end torque to make effortless progress.

5. Service Center: There should be one nearby(at least one in city) and second one not too far.

6. Good FE. Some cars may have great low end but return single digit kmpl.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aroy View Post
Alto and Omni have the best turning circle and width for hill driving. Their short wheel base also makes it easier to traverse potholes that a long wheel base vehicle will get stuck in. Further narrow track makes it easier to drive on ruts created by wider vehicles.

So depending on the image you want to project get an Omni (or EEco) or the Alto K10.
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Originally Posted by Turrrb0 View Post
If lag is a concern, avoid all turbo cars then. They will all suffer from turbo lag. Also a dsg all the way there ? What if it breaks down ? Where is your nearest vw service centre ? The polo is best avoided. Hyundai nios 1.0 turbo? I donít think itís a fun to drive car despite its engine, it wonít handle as well as your other choices.

Of course, maybe youíre not interested in an alto or 800 since youíve mentioned bigger pricier cars. Fair enough. Why not look for other naturally aspirated cars. One choice that comes to my mind. The ford freestyle . It fits your criteria perfectly. Engaging to drive. Handles and rides well (I find the polo not as great a handler without all the suspension and braking mods people throw at it) . Comes with more ground clearance than the usual Garden variety hatchback (in your part of the woods you definitely need it). Has good features and very importantly safety features too. This suggestion I make is under the presumption that you have ford serviceability out there.
Oh and it isnít a csuv by any means and still manages to look sportier than the Figo as well.

Well I tried being as objective as I could.
Anyway all the best.

I slept on these posts for quite some days and it got me thinking. Buying a GT TSI will be a dicey affair since I plan to do a lot of mods that'll void the warranty and living with the DSG in such a situation will surely be a dance with the devil. Moreover, I see myself using it once a week, maybe.

I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine. Thinking aloud, why not go in for a new Lxi K10, throw in an aftermarket steering wheel, bucket seats, ICE, FFE, K&N filter, fatter tyres, lowering springs and enjoy it as a project car? There are loads of posts of BHPians tricking out their K10s. After all its going to be for pleasure per se. I'll always have access to an SUV for daily duties.

Also, should I just shell out a lakh more and get the base variant swift and do the same?

Thoughts please?
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Old 4th February 2020, 17:54   #137
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post

I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine. Thinking aloud, why not go in for a new Lxi K10, throw in an aftermarket steering wheel, bucket seats, ICE, FFE, K&N filter, fatter tyres, lowering springs and enjoy it as a project car? There are loads of posts of BHPians tricking out their K10s. After all its going to be for pleasure per se. I'll always have access to an SUV for daily duties.

Also, should I just shell out a lakh more and get the base variant swift and do the same?

Thoughts please?
The Alto wins because of its weight, or rather the lack of it.

The Swift lugs around in the mountains and we constantly need to work the gears.

My two bits.

Safe riding.

cheers,
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Old 4th February 2020, 19:27   #138
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post
........

I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine. Thinking aloud, why not go in for a new Lxi K10, throw in an aftermarket steering wheel, bucket seats, ICE, FFE, K&N filter, fatter tyres, lowering springs and enjoy it as a project car? There are loads of posts of BHPians tricking out their K10s. After all its going to be for pleasure per se. I'll always have access to an SUV for daily duties.

Also, should I just shell out a lakh more and get the base variant swift and do the same?

Thoughts please?
Swift is a wider car, so that rules it out for narrow roads. Further Alto K10 has a shorter wheel base and less front and rear overhang, that translates to less bottoming out on potholes.

The trick to using Alto K10 is high RPM, beyond 2K all the way to 6K, where it is more efficient. You can reach 80 km/h in second gear and 110 in the third, which is excellent for spirited hill driving. Driving at 3000 - 5000 RPM gives decent consumption, while lugging the engine below 2500 RPM consumes more fuel.

I chose VXi because it came with the Tachometer and a few other goodies like fog lamps, front electric widow winder etc, the price difference is not significant, so I suggest you go for Vxi manual. Wait for the BS-VI engine before buying.

I would not fiddle with either the suspension or the tyre size, they are perfectly tuned for the car. My version had no ICE but the current one comes with it.

Last edited by Aroy : 4th February 2020 at 19:29.
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Old 4th February 2020, 20:19   #139
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine.
I would suggest you get an S-Presso.

A little more modern with nicer interiors but the same qualities as the Alto K-10, nice engine, good GC, high seating and light-weight. It has a few more features thrown in like dual airbags (not sure if Alto has one or two), steering mounted controls and a dashboard central console that looks like a second steering wheel for some reason I can't fathom .
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Old 4th February 2020, 21:22   #140
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

I think the Alto K10 is going to be discontinued.

Anyone with experience of the Alto VX (1.1L 4 pot engine) in the hills? The WagonR with the same engine was not really great for spirited driving in the hills because of its body roll and rubbery gearchange.

The first Maruti vans were also great. These had shorter final drives than the later models. And seemed faster than these actually were.

I don't see any modern equivalents other than the S-Presso.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 4th February 2020, 21:44   #141
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post
Thanks for the reply.
Main concern is whether it'll be engaging enough to drive in the lower range given its turbo lag? Since we do not have straight highways here will I be missing out on enjoying its true potential? Am I better of with something like a NIOS 1.0 turbo here?
I live in a hill station and own a few cars including a Polo GT TSI. The best option is the GT TSI because
1. The DSG will mask the turbo lag and you only need to control the steering
2. Ideal car for quick overtaking on short straights due to super quick DSG and mid range torque of TSI.
3. Car will not roll back on inclines since it has hill hold.
4. Compact size (width) for narrow roads.
5. Decent handling.

Last edited by anb : 4th February 2020 at 21:57.
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Old 4th February 2020, 22:24   #142
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post
I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine. Thinking aloud, why not go in for a new Lxi K10, throw in an aftermarket steering wheel, bucket seats, ICE, FFE, K&N filter, fatter tyres, lowering springs and enjoy it as a project car? There are loads of posts of BHPians tricking out their K10s. After all its going to be for pleasure per se. I'll always have access to an SUV for daily duties.

Also, should I just shell out a lakh more and get the base variant swift and do the same?

Thoughts please?
My thoughts on this
  • The first-gen Alto K10 would be much more fun than the current-gen, for what you are planning. Shouldn't be challenging to find one that is "hardly used". Many uncles buy Altos around retirement time and hardly ever drive them. Even though the K10 is to be discontinued, its engine is used in the Celerio too, and parts will be available for a long time to come.
  • The Swift won't be half as much fun for this purpose. If at all you do this, I would suggest go for the first-gen Swift. But still, the K10 with its agility and fun character will create a bigger smile.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Anyone with experience of the Alto VX (1.1L 4 pot engine) in the hills? The WagonR with the same engine was not really great for spirited driving in the hills because of its body roll and rubbery gearchange.
The original VX with non-power steering and the 1.1 engine! This was serious fun, the best Alto ever made in my opinion - followed not-so-closely by the first-gen K10. But the VX is almost impossible to find, and I think it was discontinued so long back that you will have a 20-year old car, at which point you might as well just buy a last-production-year Zen or Esteem instead.

Last edited by rajushank84 : 4th February 2020 at 22:32.
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Old 4th February 2020, 23:15   #143
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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I slept on these posts for quite some days and it got me thinking. Buying a GT TSI will be a dicey affair since I plan to do a lot of mods that'll void the warranty and living with the DSG in such a situation will surely be a dance with the devil. Moreover, I see myself using it once a week, maybe.

I do like the nostalgic element of the Alto K10 coupled with its chuckable engine. Thinking aloud, why not go in for a new Lxi K10, throw in an aftermarket steering wheel, bucket seats, ICE, FFE, K&N filter, fatter tyres, lowering springs and enjoy it as a project car? There are loads of posts of BHPians tricking out their K10s. After all its going to be for pleasure per se. I'll always have access to an SUV for daily duties.

Also, should I just shell out a lakh more and get the base variant swift and do the same?

Thoughts please?
1. If your usage is going to be low, pick Alto K10 top end ( I hope it's available)
Mods can be done later but a factory fit feature like fog lamps, remote locking, tachometer will have quality assured and warranty offered too.

2. Apart from width of Swift, I find it competent too.
In my short test drive of petrol version of swift, I found the low end okay.
Unlike the non VVT version or 1.3L Swift which were gem.
Do test drive it as well.
Even a base variant offers airbags/abs and you can add features and mods later on.

3. Santro comes with 1.1L engine which had excellent low end in erstwhile Santro. Do consider it as well. Also, consider the Hyundai Grand i10 and Nios (based on your budget)
In my experience Gi10 has good low end torque and its width is shorter than Swift.

Tell us about the roads that you intend to drive, if they do not exist, it might be better off buying a used SUV.
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Old 4th February 2020, 23:52   #144
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Tell us about the roads that you intend to drive, if they do not exist, it might be better off buying a used SUV.
Thanks for the reply. My usage intends to be low on average in a year. Primarily focussed on touring and occasional weekend rides. Not commuter centric at all. Shall be driving on good roads but with ghat sections and twisties. Initially may venture out of HP for tours but I know that'll be infrequent.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 5th February 2020 at 01:02. Reason: Trimmed the post inside quotes for better readability. Thanks.
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Old 5th February 2020, 12:13   #145
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Thanks for the reply. My usage intends to be low on average in a year. Primarily focussed on touring and occasional weekend rides. Not commuter centric at all. Shall be driving on good roads but with ghat sections and twisties. Initially may venture out of HP for tours but I know that'll be infrequent.
Thanks. I think then post #143 will be able to narrow down the choices. You may want to add more as well.
Just a tip, Prefer the brands that have service centers nearby.
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Old 5th February 2020, 12:28   #146
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post
Thanks for the reply. My usage intends to be low on average in a year. Primarily focussed on touring and occasional weekend rides. Not commuter centric at all. Shall be driving on good roads but with ghat sections and twisties. Initially may venture out of HP for tours but I know that'll be infrequent.
If you are based in Keylong, then the service of any but Maruti or Mahindra will be patchy when and if available. I would definitely steer away from VW and other European brands as they require constant attention. South India is fine but finding service Centres in Himalayas is difficult.
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Old 5th February 2020, 13:11   #147
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Originally Posted by Magnus Drayne View Post

I don't want a continent-conquering high-speed beast (obviously impossible on my budget). But I want durability and reliability. I plan to be wedded to this thing. I'm of the opinion that every lakh spent should be a year spent with the car - unless it's a Rolls since we're not turtles.
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Originally Posted by Pahadi.Officer View Post
Greetings,
Looking to purchase my first ever personal vehicle. Kind suggestions please.
I was going through the posts and came across various cars across various manufacturers and segments. If I've not missed, I was wondering why people have not suggested the Ignis? It's a small car with a superb engine, good ground clearance, shorter overhangs, somewhat chuckable in corners, lesser body roll and few other plus points. One issue could be rear seat space but that's subjective as it depends on our driver seat adjustment and also our heights! Yes, the boot is small but what you both have mentioned is that it'll be mainly used a s a daily driver and not for longer commutes, I guess you should take a look at it.
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Old 5th February 2020, 17:05   #148
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

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Primarily focussed on touring and occasional weekend rides. Not commuter centric at all.
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you both have mentioned is that it'll be mainly used as a daily driver and not for longer commutes
Thanks for your kind suggestion. In my case it'll be a touring vehicle. No commuting whatsoever in it. Might even get one chance in 2 weeks to take it out on the road. Thus petrol.

I'm in extremes of thought here to be fair. If I'm thinking Maruti, I'm thinking Alto K10 with wild mods over Ignis and Swift. On the other end of the spectrum I'm looking at a new Stock GT TSI (No mods, warranty important).

In either case the vehicle is going to stick with me for a considerable time.
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Old 7th February 2020, 19:15   #149
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In either case the vehicle is going to stick with me for a considerable time.
Have you considered picking up a second hand vehicle like a Abarth Punto.
An Alto just seems like a compromise and is a very cramped vehicle, at least for me and I am just 5'8" tall. I think someone above suggested the Ford Figo Sport as well and both Ford and Fiat apart from VW are known to make driver-centric cars.
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Old 2nd September 2020, 04:27   #150
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Default Re: Best car for the hills / mountains?

I currently live in Kashmir and have a Bolero for use. I've used it extensively in hilly areas with height ranging from 1500 meters to 3000 mtrs and in conditions ranging from total sunshine to heavy rains to heavy snowfall. Have had the pleasure of going in areas, plenty of times, where 4X4 low range was mandatory. The Bolero is a 2016 with 35K on the odo and well kept and maintained with timely services and all. What I found is, the Bolero is not very reliable when doing even little tricky areas. One can't always be confident enough to come back from a certain location without external help. Having grown up with a Gypsy King and driven it for years in all sorts of terrains, sand, mud, hills, rocks, snow I can safely say that there was never a feeling of being worried about going to a certain location or terrain in the Gypsy. It always used to be a piece of cake. If the 4X4 was ever to be engaged in the Gypsy, whether high range or low range, the experience used to be thrilling and effortless.

In the Bolero, however, bringing the vehicle from 4WD to 2WD and vice versa is a chore, making one feel always wary of using the same. Sometimes the Bolero just refuses to change modes to 4WD and back. It is happy to stay in neutral and give u small headaches. The Universal Joint Cross Bearing of the Drive Shaft of the Bolero is another headache that is common for Bolero users. It goes kaput at will. The Bolero is a Diesel with 63 horses and definitely feels losing breath from 2500 mtrs onwards.

The Gypsy on the other hand was always a charm to use in any mode. One didn't need to worry about the time or place of destination.

The general opinion of 'good drivers' here is to use an Alto K10 to traverse any height or even drive to Ladakh. Some even ditch big 4X4s and take an Alto instead, for spirited runs till heights of 3000 mtrs.

The type of tyres used in Bolero or Gypsy or any other vehicle also make hell of a difference while travelling among such heights and terrains. The Gypsy is dead and obsolete as a vehicle now but I miss it like I miss my school days, the best days of life.
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