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Old 15th March 2020, 19:34   #1
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Default My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Hey All,

So I have been dreaming of driving a car since I turned 18 but never got the chance! Now that I have finally settled into my job, I am looking for a good new first car. Requirements:
  1. Car should have good build quality and be reliable
  2. Should be fairly safe
  3. BS6 Petrol
  4. Should have good infotainment system (especially Android Auto)
  5. Should look good
  6. Although I am preferring Automatic since I live in Bangalore and the traffic here is hell, if people say Manual is not too hectic, I can get manual too
  7. Will be used 90% time for city/office commute. Highway trips would not be too frequent but would be an aspect.

Budget: 11L (Not fixed)

Research done:
I have already test driven these vehicles:
  • Baleno Petrol CVT Alpha
  • Grand i10 Alpha Manual Petrol
  • Hyundai Venue SX+ DCT Petrol 1.0 TURBO
  • Honda Amaze CVT Petrol
  • Hyundai Grand i10 NIOS AMT Sportz Petrol
  • Honda City 1.5 Petrol Manual

So I loved Baleno Alpha CVT and wanted to buy it since a long time. The cvt transmission felt amazing and the pickup was great. Rubber banding effect was also less. I am also in love with it's looks (esp Nexa blue colour). I have also heard about amazing things regarding Nexa dealership.
In fact I was just about to book the car when I heard terrible user reviews! My office mates said the build quality is quite bad and the car is not safe! I was wondering how that is possible since it scored 3 in NCAP. So looks like the car doesn't inspire confidence at high speeds. Also, I have heard since the sheet metal is quite thin, it's easily dent-able. This was quite a big concern to me since I am a new driver and don't want my car to be full of dents. Someone told me it gets dented just by people leaning on it or opening/closing the bonnet frequently. I also saw similar concerns on team bhp threads.

My query is, is this really the case? Is the outer body so dentable? Does the issue still persist in 2020 models? Immediately I started looking at alternatives. People told me Hyundai has amazing build quality. Since i20 is no longer available in automatic, I started looking at Grand i10 NIOS AMT. I must say, the car looks like a nice overall package. My only concern is there are some features missing from this car compared to Baleno and the looks are not that great. Also, I have heard AMTs are bad for bumper to bumper traffic but I found this AMT to be pretty good. What I don't know about is how is the sheet quality? Is the car stable at high speeds? Does AMT worsen with time?

I also tried Venue DCT and absolutely loved it but then I heard terrible things about DCT transmission and how it heats up in heavy traffic. I don't see much point in getting auto if you can't drive comfortably in bumper to bumper. Is it still the case with new venues? Sales person said the issue is sorted out.
If that is the case, I will book venue.

Currently I am confused between i10, Baleno and Amaze. I also love Honda City but the auto variant is out of my budget. Is it really bad to drive with a manual in city traffic? Will really appreciate this forum's inputs in helping me decide the car.
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Old 15th March 2020, 20:30   #2
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Why not go for a Yaris J CVT? Ticks most of your boxes and you can go for a aftermarket HU with Android Auto. I drive a V CVT and its butter smooth to drive, gives 11kmpl with AC in B2B bangalore traffic, 21kmpl on 4 lane highways and is built to a very high quality standards. Rear seat space is a downer though.
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Old 15th March 2020, 21:16   #3
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

You must also test drive the BS6 Polo AT (either Highhline or GT) whenever it is available. Cramped rear seat is the only shortcoming I see.
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Old 15th March 2020, 21:24   #4
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhruvky94 View Post
So I loved Baleno Alpha CVT and wanted to buy it since a long time. The cvt transmission felt amazing and the pickup was great. Rubber banding effect was also less.
I would stay far away from Baleno CVT. The car is under-powered, at least for my driving needs. That, coupled with a CVT transmission, would be quite boring to drive. The only good thing I have heard about Baleno CVT is that it gives decent fuel efficiency. From your AT cars list, I would pick the Hyundai Venue.

Last edited by clevermax : 15th March 2020 at 21:30.
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Old 15th March 2020, 21:28   #5
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Let the hunt begin !!!

Let this be a well thought through decision.

You can also consider the following -

Ford Ecosport
Tata Nexon

I have added these as you have also shortlisted Venue.

Other things you should consider -

How long do you plan to own the vehicle ?
Past ownership within family, what did you like or hate?
Usage of the car planned ?
Any major life events planned in next couple of years ?
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Old 15th March 2020, 21:44   #6
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Would recommend looking at the Nexon. I have the diesel one and I absolutely love it! Not sure how the petrol performs but it has received a bump in power with the BS6 version. Test out the AMT version.

In case the above doesn't work - Of the final 3 that you're looking, would suggest you check out the Amaze. Should be butter smooth to drive and I hope Honda still ticks the box on reliability since it's Japanese.
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Old 15th March 2020, 21:45   #7
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

More than MT/AT, you need to be clear about the body style. Hatchbacks are best suited for city duties. You'll find C-segment sedans to be more cumbersome if you drive in narrow lanes or need to park at tight spots. Compact SUVs fare slightly better in this regard but can be tough to navitage through tight spaces due to their sheer width.

I do not see much of a trouble with the Venue though. It has a nice & commanding driving position (bonnet is visible) and an overall compact footprint. You have valid concerns about DCT heating issue though. I'd suggest you to take a test drive of the manual turbo variant and go for it if you find the controls manageable.

If automatic transmission is a must, Amaze CVT would be my pick over Baleno CVT given that both are available at almost the same price. Baleno has better performance, infotainment unit and mileage on its side but, as an overall product, Honda feels better. Goes without saying, test drive is a must.

Quote:
I was wondering how that is possible since it scored 3 in NCAP
Maruti Baleno sold in India hasn't been crash tested yet.

Quote:
My query is, is this really the case?
Some comments on Baleno's build quality are highly exaggerated. Yes, it gets dented easily in traffic with slightest of nudges and scrapes from two-wheelers where other cars come out with lesser damage. But damage with fingers, opening/closing doors and such stories are crap. Do you think thousands of people who drive it every day would keep quiet if that was the case?

Quote:
Also, I have heard AMTs are bad for bumper to bumper traffic but I found this AMT to be pretty good.
Do not consider AMTs if you have the budget for proper automatics. Period. Out of the options you've shortlisted, I'd pick either an automatic Amaze or a manual 1.0 Venue.

Last edited by self_driven : 15th March 2020 at 21:47.
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Old 15th March 2020, 22:19   #8
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Please do consider MS Brezza (P) TC. It's NCAP rating for BS4 variant was 4 stars. I would prefer a daily drive to be a super reliable Japanese car.

And honestly do try out the AMTs. I personally felt they are pretty decent in city traffic. They are far better than a heated DSG in stop and go traffic. I have observed more than 2-3 times Polo GT TSI with 7 speed DSG lunge forward when stuck in traffic jam for 15-20 minutes.

Personally I would try the new Polo GT TSI with 6 speed AT. This should take care of your daily needs and weekend trips.
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Old 15th March 2020, 22:36   #9
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagr22 View Post
Why not go for a Yaris J CVT?
Yes, that is a nice option. Not sure about the cost of maintenance of a Toyota Yaris though. Also not sure about the dealership experience and infotainment system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guna View Post
You must also test drive the BS6 Polo AT (either Highhline or GT) whenever it is available. Cramped rear seat is the only shortcoming I see.
I did consider polo earlier but my friends recommended against it since the cost of maintenance is too high.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clevermax View Post
I would stay far away from Baleno CVT. The car is under-powered, at least for my driving needs. That, coupled with a CVT transmission, would be quite boring to drive. The only good thing I have heard about Baleno CVT is that it gives decent fuel efficiency. From your AT cars list, I would pick the Hyundai Venue.
It is quite boring to drive yes, but I found the pickup to be quite good. Hyundai Venue has issue with DCT though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freak View Post
Let the hunt begin!
Thanks

I did consider Ford Ecosport but dropped it due to old styling of the dashboard and lack of good infotainment system. For Tata cars, my family did not have a good experience and my dad recommends against any Tata car.

For ownership, I plan to own as long as I don't leave India and then transfer the vehicle to my father.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhilthegunner View Post
Would recommend looking at the Nexon.

In case the above doesn't work - Of the final 3 that you're looking, would suggest you check out the Amaze.
I did consider Nexon earlier but my family has bad exp with Tata cars and dad doesn't want me to get it. Given that I may have to give this car to him if I need to leave India, don't want to go against his wishes.

Will definitely consider Amaze. The only thing I didn't like about it was the lack of features and the poor infotainment system.

Last edited by aah78 : 15th March 2020 at 23:01. Reason: Posts merged. Quotes trimmed. Typos.
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Old 15th March 2020, 22:50   #10
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

I've been driving in Bangalore since 20 years and the traffic chaos that has risen in last 5 years is tantamount to hellish to say the least. So an automatic is a big MUST for you, no two ways about it especially since you stated 80% of your usage is going to be in city. Add to that the parking woes in the city. Recently, I spotted a bumper sticker that read " It's not about what you drive, it's about where you park ".

The mushrooming of so many food delivery apps points to the aforesaid woes. People are more and more not stepping out with their cars.

If you're a tall person, go for a compact SUV like Venue, Ecosport, which are all nimble and compact enough to zip around in the city. The ingress and egress on a SUV would be much easier than a lowly sitting hatch.

Last edited by aah78 : 15th March 2020 at 23:00. Reason: Typos. Spacing. Please run a spell-check before posting. Thanks!
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Old 15th March 2020, 23:15   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by self_driven View Post
More than MT/AT, you need to be clear about the body style. Hatchbacks are best suited for city duties. You'll find C-segment sedans to be more cumbersome if you drive in narrow lanes or need to park at tight spots. Compact SUVs fare slightly better in this regard but can be tough to navitage through tight spaces due to their sheer width.

I do not see much of a trouble with the Venue though. It has a nice & commanding driving position (bonnet is visible) and an overall compact footprint. You have valid concerns about DCT heating issue though. I'd suggest you to take a test drive of the manual turbo variant and go for it if you find the controls manageable.

If automatic transmission is a must, Amaze CVT would be my pick over Baleno CVT given that both are available at almost the same price. Baleno has better performance, infotainment unit and mileage on its side but, as an overall product, Honda feels better. Goes without saying, test drive is a must.



Maruti Baleno sold in India hasn't been crash tested yet.



Some comments on Baleno's build quality are highly exaggerated. Yes, it gets dented easily in traffic with slightest of nudges and scrapes from two-wheelers where other cars come out with lesser damage. But damage with fingers, opening/closing doors and such stories are crap. Do you think thousands of people who drive it every day would keep quiet if that was the case?



Do not consider AMTs if you have the budget for proper automatics. Period. Out of the options you've shortlisted, I'd pick either an automatic Amaze or a manual 1.0 Venue.

I do agree that form factor also plays a big role here. However, I quite liked the Venue form factor. It was compact enough to drive and me being a shot guy could easily see the bonnet. I will test drive venue maual 1.0 Turbo in city traffic and check if that suits me better. Will steer clear (pun intended) of the baleno

Quote:
Originally Posted by BrakeFree View Post
Please do consider MS Brezza (P) TC. It's NCAP rating for BS4 variant was 4 stars. I would prefer a daily drive to be a super reliable Japanese car.

And honestly do try out the AMTs. I personally felt they are pretty decent in city traffic. They are far better than a heated DSG in stop and go traffic. I have observed more than 2-3 times Polo GT TSI with 7 speed DSG lunge forward when stuck in traffic jam for 15-20 minutes.

Personally I would try the new Polo GT TSI with 6 speed AT. This should take care of your daily needs and weekend trips.

I have heard all MS cars have build issues so didn't really look at Breeza. Is it not the case? If so, Breeza would be a great option for me! For Polo, people have said maintenance would be quite expensive.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bibendum90949 View Post
I've been driving in Bangalore since 20 years and the traffic chaos that has risen in last 5 years is tantamount to hellish to say the least. So an automatic is a big MUST for you, no two ways about it especially since you stated 80% of your usage is going to be in city. Add to that the parking woes in the city. Recently, I spotted a bumper sticker that read " It's not about what you drive, it's about where you park ".

The mushrooming of so many food delivery apps points to the aforesaid woes. People are more and more not stepping out with their cars.

If you're a tall person, go for a compact SUV like Venue, Ecosport, which are all nimble and compact enough to zip around in the city. The ingress and egress on a SUV would be much easier than a lowly sitting hatch.

I am not a tall person per se but was able to see venue bonnet quite clearly and it was a good drive for me. The only issue is with the DCT else would have booked Venue immediately :(

Quote:
Originally Posted by pgsagar View Post
Dhruvky, since you said you don't hit highways much and drive mostly in Bangalore city traffic, you would be better off buying a reliable automatic hatchback. If I were you I would look at Baleno or Jazz CVT. Only torque converter or CVT can give you peace of mind.

Baleno is an excellent car and not for nothing it sells as many as it does. It is also the one which delivers highest mileage per litre of petrol, among others. I don't know why some of us are so unduly harsh on Baleno. On one hand, we say on these forums and posts that sheet metal thickness has nothing to do with safety of a car and, on the other hand, we also say Maruti cars are unsafe because of thin sheet metal. Which statement is true?

I have a friend who does 640 KM one-way monthly runs between Vizag and Nellore in his Baleno, apart from some hard in-town abuse but his 2016 Baleno still looks and runs like new. And, no hatchback can beat it in looks. Not even Polo which looks dated now, apart from DCT uncertainty. Jazz is another good alternative for a little extra where you get cruise control and paddle shifts which neither Baleno nor i20 have.

Yes, Jazz was also a good consideration for me but unfortunately they have stopped it right now awaiting new facelift in Mid 2020. I am not sure about Baleno safety issue but definitely don't want dents in my car due to some silly incidents which I can't even control (like someone hitting car a bit hard). Will that case occur?

Quote:
Originally Posted by nagr22 View Post
The dealership and service experience at Toyota is one of the best in Industry. Do visit one of their showrooms to have a feel of it. Regarding maintenance, I have so far done 2 services on my Yaris and the first one cost me 1500Rs and the second one 3500Rs. I might seem a bit biased due to all my cars being Toyotas, so do enquire with others. And no matter which car you choose, do not decide without a long test drive with your family at the back seat. We strangers can give our feedback about service and maintenance experiences but when it comes to driveability, ergonomics, rear seat comfort etc, everyone has their own tastes and the car you choose has to satisfy your and your family's tastes.

Regarding your question about AT or MT, DO NOT buy an MT in Bangalore. Your left leg will thank you. Good luck

Thanks will checkout the car. How is the interior and infotainment system quality?

Last edited by Zappo : 15th March 2020 at 23:45. Reason: You are making far too many back to back posts. You have been warned before. For one last time - please use multiquote button to respond to everyone in a single post.
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Old 15th March 2020, 23:25   #12
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Dhruvky, since you said you don't hit highways much and drive mostly in Bangalore city traffic, you would be better off buying a reliable automatic hatchback. If I were you I would look at Baleno or Jazz CVT. Only torque converter or CVT can give you peace of mind.

Baleno is an excellent car and not for nothing it sells as many as it does. It is also the one which delivers highest mileage per litre of petrol, among others. I don't know why some of us are so unduly harsh on Baleno. On one hand, we say on these forums and posts that sheet metal thickness has nothing to do with safety of a car and, on the other hand, we also say Maruti cars are unsafe because of thin sheet metal. Which statement is true?

I have a friend who does 640 KM one-way monthly runs between Vizag and Nellore in his Baleno, apart from some hard in-town abuse but his 2016 Baleno still looks and runs like new. And, no hatchback can beat it in looks. Not even Polo which looks dated now, apart from DCT uncertainty. Jazz is another good alternative for a little extra where you get cruise control and paddle shifts which neither Baleno nor i20 have.

Last edited by pgsagar : 15th March 2020 at 23:26. Reason: spelling error
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Old 15th March 2020, 23:26   #13
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Quote:
Originally Posted by dhruvky94 View Post
Yes, that is a nice option. Not sure about the cost of maintenance of a Toyota Yaris though. Also not sure about the dealership experience and infotainment system.

The dealership and service experience at Toyota is one of the best in Industry. Do visit one of their showrooms to have a feel of it. Regarding maintenance, I have so far done 2 services on my Yaris and the first one cost me 1500Rs and the second one 3500Rs. I might seem a bit biased due to all my cars being Toyotas, so do enquire with others. And no matter which car you choose, do not decide without a long test drive with your family at the back seat. We strangers can give our feedback about service and maintenance experiences but when it comes to driveability, ergonomics, rear seat comfort etc, everyone has their own tastes and the car you choose has to satisfy your and your family's tastes.

Regarding your question about AT or MT, DO NOT buy an MT in Bangalore. Your left leg will thank you. Good luck
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Old 15th March 2020, 23:42   #14
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Hi dhruvky94,
Since you are looking for a Petrol+Auto transmission, as your first car,
Why not checkout the BS6 Vitara Brezza as well?

It covers most of your requirements and being a Maruti, it won't disappoint you interms of reliability and service.
Safety wise, Brezza had scored 4 stars in the Global NCAP test.
The 200mm ground clearance is an added bonus, to tackle Bangalore roads.
Do test drive it, before eliminating it from your list.

All the best for your car hunt.

Last edited by DLC5005 : 15th March 2020 at 23:54. Reason: Added
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Old 15th March 2020, 23:55   #15
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Default re: My 1st Automatic Car - Budget 11 lakhs

Choice between MT & AT should be fairly simple considering you are in Bangalore. AT all the way in 2020. A friend got creta manual last year for similar budget as mine(~11L). Within a year he is already repenting & now often travels with me. I chose the Jazz CVT over MTs for the convenience it offers in our b2b traffic. Atleast till all the metro work is over(read atleast another 4-5 years) , traffic isn't gonna improve for sure.

About the car, I did test drive i20 & Baleno CVTs extensively as well but Jazz felt the most sorted mechanically thanks to the reliable 1.2 iVtec-CVT combo which is oldest among the three. Build quality also is pretty decent & it comes with paddleshifters and cruise control which I didn't know would be such a boon on those one-off highway trips. But it does lack on feature front a bit ( missing projectors,DRLs , adjustable rear headrest being the primary ones). Price wise, thanks to the discounts, Jazz comes cheaper than Baleno or i20 CVT now.

Happy shopping

P.S: If you plan to replace it within 3-4 years & hence resale matters more, please ignore Jazz. Baleno or i20 would be better in that front.
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