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Old 28th January 2021, 13:41   #1
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Default 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Prologue

When I bought my Ford Fiesta Zxi (what the Ford called Classic later) in 2010, I articulated my joy on the pages of Team-Bhp. They are still buried some where here. Between 2010 and 2021 (oh boy ain't we glad 2020 is finally over) that joy only went one way and I don't have to tell you which way is that.

I would tap the steering wheel of my car twice , as a way of showing my respect , every time I would reach home at odd hours with my young family in the car after long home town or other long drives. Acknowledging the confidence she has been able to give me ,to not think twice and move around irrespective of the time , irrespective of the roads.

But with 11 years under its belt , the age starts showing. The fact that it has taken water once doesn't help either. As much as I would love to be with her, it is time for me to switch. And hence the big question..SWITCH TO WHAT?

The Contenders

Everything considered , a comfortable budget would be 15 lacs. A quick glance over the options available , it doesn't take time to realize you don't really get very many GREAT options in that budget. What the heck, this is first real upgrade for me (wife changed from a M800 to a Maruti Celerio Automatic in the mean while) so why not push the envelope a little and the new figure arrived at is Rs. 20 Lacs TOPS.

With that figure in mind I started looking for cars. The list of contenders that I seriously considered went as following.

1. Kia Seltos

What you get in the vicinity of 12 to 15 lacs leaves you wanting for more. Specially since the car offers so much more if you indeed cross that price point. Took the family to the showroom and we TDed a Petrol Automatic. The car has so much to offer but somehow it doesn't convince you fully.

Why? It doesn't necessarily offer more space than what you get on a Fiesta. Boot space ,which is a key consideration for us, is identical if not rather slightly less. The design , which is appealing right now, may make it look dated soon enough. Difficult to put a finger , but somehow it didn't sweep us off our feet.

2. Jeep Compass

Though I am not an off-roader per say, but I liked this car from day 1. Watched the launch video of face lift and that soft corner for the car grew even larger. A already good looking car was looking even better in that video. Plus, for good or for bad I somehow like it better if I am not following the herd. What with everyone flocking to Kia and Hyundai showrooms these days.

Did a visit to the only showroom in Gurgaon and even wifey started to like the car. And this wasn't even the facelift. The SA did not have the price or feature list till than but he was able to confirm that the AT starts from the base Sport model in facelift and also knew that the price difference would be in the vicinity of 1.2 lacs per variant between two models. we both knew in my budget its only Sport that fits. Came back with an almost certainty that is going to be a Compass for me.

on 26th January the SA got the spec sheet from FCA and he forwarded me that. I wasnt expecting much from the base model but that sheet made me a little nervous. Its going to be a bare bone variant. However, the price was the next factor which I was still waiting.

On 27th I got the price list of new Compass. The sport manual and sport AT has a WHOPPING 2.5 lacs difference ex-showroom. I couldn't believe my eyes and called the SA to confirm that the difference between these two is just the Automatic or some "features" are also added. He confirmed it is only the transmission. Sport 1.4Mair MT is 16,99,000 and Sport 1.4Mair DDCT is 19,49,000 ex-showroom. As much as I tried , I couldn't put my head around paying 2.5 lacs more for Automatic and Manual is not what I want to buy.

A disappointing call but had to bid goodbye to Compass. Think of it , well above 2 Million and you dont even get Fog Lamps , Automatic AC , Remote keyless entry , Push Button Start...so much so that not even a parcel tray.

3. Hyundai Creta

Not much to write here. You know why? Because Hyundai dealers are unwilling to entertain you if you are in for Creta. The face drops and the SA lose interest. Tried two dealers and none of them even had a display car. Managed to see one when SA took us to the service area to see if there came one for service. The communication start and end in 2 minutes flat which goes something like.."sir , at least a 6 month waiting . Could be more. What do I tell you about the car". Not done Hyundai.

So end of story there

4. MG Hector

Wasn't very gung-ho on this to begin with , but after a disappointing visit to a Hyundai showroom thought why not check out the Hector. Wife and both kids in the company ,we walked into MG flagship showroom in Gurgaon. Most well behaved and friendly staff welcomed us. The first thing they did was to give us a walk through of every model on display before bombarding us with questions like "which car are you looking for" , "what is your budget" , "when do you want to buy the car" etc. which we thought was the norm at other brands.

I think in 15 minutes of us entering the showroom , the kids were decided that it is the Hector that we want. The only question remained was if it is going to be Hector Plus in 6-seater captain seat avtaar or the Hector 5 seater.

The sales person spent enough time with us talking both cars in details. We did a test drive of Hector 2021 DCT Sharp. True to the reviews here , it doesn't excite you but is not a laggard too. It's the car which looks like a SUV but doesn't drive like one. It would be fair to say, it does not behave differently than how my typical city driving style is so wasn't a real downer really.

Wife loved the space , both in the middle seat and also at the boot. Kids were blown over by all the bells and whistles it has to offer. That Tesla style central unit (they have seen a lot of pics of mine enjoying that for a short time I drove Tesla in US) , the super cool sunroof , the ventilated seats , the voice commands. The list just goes on. The car feels super sturdy and strongly build too.

We left the showroom with a promise that we would decide between Hector Plus 6 seater (it looks amazing in that Sepia Brown interiors plus the charm of captain seats for kids) or Hector 5 seater which was a more practical choice for us. Both cars in Sharp variant would exceed 2 million mark on road by 50 grand and 150 grand respectively.

What followed was my extensive search on-line and off-line what could be wrong with Hector. I am not going to get into Chinese pedigree , the risk of them leaving the country etc. But what was one of the biggest put off was the reported FE of 6 to 7 for Hector AT. I , or for that matter anyone can , stretch their budget one time to buy the car they like. But once that joy of new car is over , the pain of emptying your pockets every time you get a tank full (which you would do a lot more given the FE) will make you disappointed or angry or felt cheated or all of them in the longer run.

That being a major consideration , there goes the Hector too. Or so I think.

5. Tata Harrier

In comes the most loved car from Tata stable. Design wise, its a personal choice between Hector and Harrier. Suffice to say both have a fan following. The space is slightly more on Hector (bigger boot etc.) . The reason I wasn't actively pursuing this car was the niggling issues I keep on reading on this and other forums. However, I am also aware that just like XUV500 the car will keep on improving and the later you buy the better fit and finish it would be minus the niggles (hopefully).

I was reading for many months that Tata might release Gravitas (eventually Safari) with their newly developed Petrol engine and when that happens the same option could be available for Harrier too. Alas, the Safari launched without the petrol variant so I don't see any near future possibility of a Harrier with a petrol engine.

I called Tata showroom and requested for a TD at my place. The SA came with the car (it was XZA Dark Edition car) and we test drove it. The car has identical cabin space to offer as the Hector albeit with a considerably smaller boot. This being a higher capacity Diesel power horse, does definitely drives more spiritedly than the Hector Petrol AT. Of course returns a much better fuel efficiency too.

Between the Hector and the Harrier, has to be said Harrier is better equipped in the first row and and at the dashboard. Not that Harrier is ugly or bad, its just not up there. Take that odd looking hand brake for example. Bottom line, not much to not like but not too much to wow too.

The top line cost me 23 lacs something and the next best (XZA) cost me about 21 lacs. What I miss out on is the sunroof (kids love it and for me its good if its there. If not , am not gonna miss it), electrical adjusted driver seat and things like that.

I can live with the top but one variant in a higher price than the top variant Hector , but and a big BUT is its a diesel. I am not the one who changes cars very often. I drove a middle 2000 technology car for 11 years. I am sure a late 20's technology car would last / should last much longer. But being in NCR, I would have no choice but to replace it in 10 years max. 10 years from now is a long time. While I certainly do not know what or how it could be, but I know for a fact that I would be needing a lot of money for other things. Would I be willing to take a big chunk out of it to spend on another car? Of course it would be impossible to settle for a small hatch back once you get used to a size. Bottom line, I am not very sure if I want a Diesel.

5. Honda City

In comes Honda City. To think of it there is not even another car available anymore. I would have loved to upgrade to a "better" sedan if there was a choice. I in fact started my search looking for one. My person opinion is , if I want a SUV I will buy a SUV. Everything else listed above is pseudo. However, no SUV is available unless your budget is 30 lacs (conservatively ) and close to 40 if you need a fully loaded. I obviously do not have a budget like that.

Coming back to Sedans. You have City , Verna , Rapid , Civic (over priced for what it offers over city?) or Elantra and Vento (dated). And that's just about it.

Verna was rejected by wife within a couple of minutes of us being in the show room. The car doesn't have much going its way from size to storage space to looks (personal choice) etc. City on the other hand is a difficult car to say no to. The ever established assurance of quality. The cult following. Beautifully designed . Best boot space. Safety (e.g. 6 airbags on top variant ). A perfect AT engine. Costing a good 5 lacs less than Hectors and Harriers of the world.

BUT , the feeling that you get is that you are moving away from a car that has gotten old to a new car. There is no sense of class upgrade. It plays on your mind that the car you are buying has been around for 20+ years (facelifts aside) and most importantly ,and trust me it does , it feels like you are forced to buy this car because there are no alternatives available and not because you liked this the best amongst all others.

Epilogue

If you have come thus far, I can not thank you enough. I know it has been a long post. But if you have, I am sure you concur with the notion that I have developed that if you are out in the market with a 2 Million budget you dont get a car which ticks all the boxes. Harrier doesnt have petrol and Hector doesnt have Diesel automatic for example. One car gives you a lot of features but is either new or lacks on other things the other car just simply feels over priced (case in point Harrier or Compass).

Therefore, while I am still undecided which one it is going to be , I thought I will initiate this discussion here and pick on the mind of more "tuned" people. How I wish we have choice of competent sedans between 15 to 20 lacs, I would have not even considered a Cross Over and would have waited for my finances to meet the threshold of a true blue SUV. Alas, that's not the case and doesn't seem to get any better any time soon. Unless some of you know if a real good contender is coming any time soon?
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Old 28th January 2021, 13:51   #2
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

On the contrary, there is a SO MUCH choice in the market now and buying is always a real pain when there is so much choice. I would be very happy to be in the market for a new car, no matter what my budget and preferences are. Just be aware that there is no perfect car irrespective of budget - some compromises have to be made. Off late, I am enjoying the process of decision making that involves finding what I truly need and what I am brainwashed to believe I need. I feel like Neo of Matrix

Last edited by androdev : 28th January 2021 at 13:52.
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:01   #3
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Well if you're a sedan guy, go for the City eyes closed. If you want to try the SUVs, then happy hunting. I drive a 2018 City CVT. Must say its a no-nonsense vehicle with good comfort and some sportiness inbred with its paddle shifters for those days when you look for some excitement. I'm based in gurgaon too, if ever you need to check the car, albeit the older version than currently available. Cheers
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:04   #4
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

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Originally Posted by Guneet View Post
Well if you're a sedan guy, go for the City eyes closed. If you want to try the SUVs, then happy hunting. I drive a 2018 City CVT. Must say its a no-nonsense vehicle with good comfort and some sportiness inbred with its paddle shifters for those days when you look for some excitement. I'm based in gurgaon too, if ever you need to check the car, albeit the older version than currently available. Cheers
I know. And it makes most sense too both economically and otherwise. Might just end up buying one. Thanks for the offer.
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:13   #5
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Once you've experienced a sedan with good ride and handling, it's very difficult to replace it. Period. There's really not much in the market for us.


If you really can, wait for the new Rapid/Vento coming at the end of the year. Supposed to be a touch larger than what is offered today. The response for the Kushaq is positive i.e it's the most fun to drive car in its class despite being built purely for India, something which we feared may not happen after all the cost cutting and Indianising.
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:18   #6
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Looks like you've been "Novice in Wonderland" with the Ford Fiesta and haven't had a look at any other car or prices and have suddenly been brought down to earth. Don't look at car's or prices through the 'prism' of what your Fiesta was bought for or the faithful service your Fiesta has offered. You and your family should sit and decide as to what you guys need and what's on offer. Take test drives not only you but your family see which one of the car's Wow you and make the booking. It'll take a few months to decide (as it did for me when I downgraded from Elantra to a Honda City). The points to decide on would be: Seating, Ride Comfort, Fuel efficiency, maneuverability, performance, perception the product has in the market. You may go up a rung or come down a rung based on these. Prices have surely skyrocketed and INR has nose dived in buying power, and everyone right from Govt, automakers and dealers have become greedy. Happy Hunting: From my end you're in same boat as I was end of Oct' 2016 when my 'hunt' started and ended in Feb end 2017. I had TDed 6 cars during that period. My Elantra was almost 12 years old then and as is your Fiesta: was showing its age...My suggestion go for the 2020 Honda City ZXI CVT (or wait for the Honda City Hybrid that's due probably this year) as someone said there's no perfect car at any budget...

Last edited by Durango Dude : 28th January 2021 at 14:26.
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:18   #7
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

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Originally Posted by Guneet View Post
Well if you're a sedan guy, go for the City eyes closed. If you want to try the SUVs, then happy hunting. I drive a 2018 City CVT. Must say its a no-nonsense vehicle with good comfort and some sportiness inbred with its paddle shifters for those days when you look for some excitement. I'm based in gurgaon too, if ever you need to check the car, albeit the older version than currently available. Cheers
A question for you though. Did you find your city bottoming out in Gurgaon roads or worse when it gets water logged in within an hour of the rains?
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:22   #8
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Believe it or not, the car that comes closest to your requirements is the one that you did not get to see - Creta. The petrol CVT (compared to the DCT in Seltos) is a much safer option. Try a couple of dealers more. Book the car if you like it, and who knows you may get to jump the queue on account of a cancellation. Has happened before.

Last edited by Eddy : 28th January 2021 at 14:39.
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:28   #9
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Absolutely loved the way you have narrated your issues in the post, felt like reading a fabulously written travelogue. No wonder, team bhp and its BHPians are the gold standard in whatever field they operate.

Coming to the point of your hunt for a car which satisfies your requirements of the following:

1. Upto Rs.20 lakh.
2. Safety features
3. Generous boot capacity
4. Proven engine
5. Bells and whistles
6. Longevity
7. NCR environmental rules compliant

Now, I drive 2nd generation Honda Jazz (1.2 liter engine) and I must say that it's a fuss free i-vtech (touchwood) engine giving decent FE on open roads (read 17 kpl) and B2B traffic in Bengaluru (read 12 kpl). Honda's bread and butter is sales of City and other cars barely do some numbers. City has got the following deal makers:

1. It's been there for over 2 decades
2. Sorted driving manners
3. Sweet 1.5 liter petrol engine
4. AT's are better than any other melodramatic AMTs from the stubble of MSIL.
5. Generous boot capacity
6. Brilliant FE
7. Honda offers warranty upto 10 years. (when you have trust in your machines, then only this can be offered). Read the details here https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...-warranty.html (Honda India now offers 10-year warranty!)
8. You will have massive control over your new car as you have tonnes of experience in driving proper hatchs.

The only con which comes to my mind could be the inferior build quality of Honda over the other A listers of Hyundai, Ford, Tata, etc.

IMHO, CITY it is and preferably red colour !

Rab rakkha,
MDED
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Old 28th January 2021, 14:54   #10
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

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Originally Posted by New.Novice View Post
A question for you though. Did you find your city bottoming out in Gurgaon roads or worse when it gets water logged in within an hour of the rains?
Well, I have not experienced any underbody scrapping till now in Gurgaon. Ground clearance is decent and the suspension does not bottom out. Bigger issue is the long overhangs though (esp the front overhang). I am always cautious while driving up or down any steep incline like roadside inclines, mall entry points or those 45 degree inclined parking on the side of roads.

As for surviving the waterlogging is concerned, I don't think many Pseudo SUVs will fare any better (Ecosport is the only one, if I am not wrong, which has a decent "company claimed" water wading capacity).

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Old 28th January 2021, 14:58   #11
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

There is nothing called "CAR that ticks all boxes". Its a myth. But, at the same time, it doesn't mean that we should not have the list of requirements, expectations and needs. The approach should be, see which car ticks most boxes and go with that car OR go with what heart says.

But honestly, i could not figure out what is your explicit needs, requirements and expectations from your post.

I saw, with one manufacturer, you are unhappy because, there is no petrol variant and with another manufacturer, you are unhappy because there is no diesel variant. I would suggest you pin down the requirements first and hunt for your companion. You will surely get what you need.

All the best for your new journey

Last edited by gkveda : 28th January 2021 at 15:01.
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Old 28th January 2021, 15:16   #12
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Dear New.Novice,

You told us your opinion of different vehicles, but what is your intended use of the vehicle? Once you figure that out, you will find it. After you make a shortlist of the vehicles that suit the purpose, go ahead and take them for test drives, if you are going to be the sole driver, buy the vehicle you liked to drive.

Of course, there are considerations like service support etc etc considering long time ownership, but I guess when having a ford you would know that already.

Sometimes car buyers get hung up on trivial stuff and forget the big picture, I know plenty of such people who needs to borrow someone else`s vehicle to go somewhere worthwhile, don't be that guy.

Happy shopping!
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Old 28th January 2021, 15:24   #13
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gkveda View Post
There is nothing called "CAR that ticks all boxes". Its a myth. But, at the same time, it doesn't mean that we should not have the list of requirements, expectations and needs. The approach should be, see which car ticks most boxes and go with that car OR go with what heart says.

But honestly, i could not figure out what is your explicit needs, requirements and expectations from your post.

I saw, with one manufacturer, you are unhappy because, there is no petrol variant and with another manufacturer, you are unhappy because there is no diesel variant. I would suggest you pin down the requirements first and hunt for your companion. You will surely get what you need.

All the best for your new journey
Agree, the post was not written from "what I want" approach its rather "what's on offer". The idea was to reproduce what I felt having seen those cars if you know what I mean.

If you look at it, what we want is not very different than what most buyers would want. Space , Features (worthy of the price) , Easy to drive (translated to Automatic) , Fuel Efficiency and a sense of upgrade from previous drive.

Coming to the example you picked on Petrol or Diesel, if you read again , it says while one doesn't have Petrol Engine at all the other doesn't have a Diesel AT.
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Old 28th January 2021, 15:29   #14
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

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Originally Posted by New.Novice View Post
If you look at it, what we want is not very different than what most buyers would want. Space , Features (worthy of the price) , Easy to drive (translated to Automatic) , Fuel Efficiency and a sense of upgrade from previous drive.
Two very underrated (strictly IMO) cars are XL6 and Marazzo. Do take test rides of both and see if they fit your purpose.
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Old 28th January 2021, 15:57   #15
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Default re: 2 million rupees, and still not a "complete" car for me to buy?

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Prologue

When I bought my Ford Fiesta Zxi (what the Ford called Classic later) in 2010
I feel that the used market opens up a wide variety of options for you, sir. A used Octavia or Superb make for great sedans and you can find low-mileage, new examples for less than 20L for sure.

However, if you're not comfortable with the used market, I think the Harrier with it's smooth auto will suit you the best. Yes, it might be a bit over your budget but if you do keep your car for a long period (which going by your Fiesta's age, I assume you do), the amount can easily be recovered.

Last edited by akash_v12 : 28th January 2021 at 15:59.
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