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Old 3rd February 2021, 02:10   #1
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Default Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Hi,

I am a first time car buyer and I am what TBHP would refer to as a "non-car guy". I am looking for an automatic car purely as a commute tool. So after a bit of reading and talking to friends I have come up with a list of requirements :
  1. It should be an automatic. I am mostly going to use it in the city (Bengaluru). I might use it for outstation travel but it will always be a distant second use case.
    1. I have previously driven a Tata Indica Petrol for 2+ years in the city and occasionally an Alto. But I have almost never driven outstation for more than 100-120kms
  2. After a bit reading I have zeroed in on CVT or TC.
    1. AMT - I am told is jerky and a low cost option.
    2. DCT - Sounds very complex and service / repair costs scare me.
  3. Would prefer to avoid Turbo
    1. Same reason as DCT. Plus refer to point 6 below.
    2. Plus I am not so much of a ride enthusiast. I am more of a "Slow and Steady"
  4. Lots of boot space is highly desirable.
  5. It should withstand rough usage. (This is one is my wife's requirement)
    1. I am not a very proficient driver. I manage.
    2. My wife will also be driving and she has not driven in Bengaluru before. Otherwise also her driving experience is nominal
  6. Reliable brand which gives us Fuss-Free ownership
    1. In line with the previous point, we do not want to be running to the service center often.
    2. Any repairs that might come up (and the regular service too) should not be very costly.
  7. In most cases the top variant is what I would go far primarily because of the additional electronic driving aids that come with it :
    1. Hill Hold assist
    2. Rear camera / Parking assist
    3. ECS
    4. Better tyres
  8. Safety : As safe as it can get. More on this below along with budget.
About the budget, I thought of setting it at around 10L after one round of study of the available cars. Here is my comparison output in a Google Sheet

Filtering out the AMTs I arrive at these cars

Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car-screenshot-20210203-1.16.54-am.png

Further if I ignore the Datsun brand (new, not consistent, not reliable especially for a non-car guy), I am left with these 3 cars :

Amongst these Honda Amaze kind of ticks the most boxes (with max boot space) until I start considering the safety aspects. From what I have read :
  1. The metal body feels very thing with depressions seen on pressing with finger.
  2. Only 2 Airbags - which seems to be the case until I am increase my budget to 14L.
    1. Even after that several next segment cars still offer only 2 airbags.. !!
    2. This made me wonder if no manufacturer places safety high enough in India instead optimizing for cost.
    3. So while on one hand I am considering increasing my budget, on the other hand, even amongst expensive cars very few offer 4 or 6 airbags.
So here are the questions for the TBHPians :
  1. Comments on my rationale and filtering logic. Is the paper knowledge in line with the real world?
  2. What brand / model would satisfy the "Withstand rough use" criteria?
  3. How do the 3 brands in my shortlist stack against my requirements?
  4. How do the 3 models stack against my requirements?
  5. Am I missing any brand / model that I should be considering?
Btw, not really looking to buy a user car. So that option is out to find a higher end car in the budget mentioned above.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd February 2021 at 08:08. Reason: Removing naked tags
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Old 3rd February 2021, 08:06   #2
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Default re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Nice post! I respect such an organised approach.

Quote:
Originally Posted by srirang View Post
I am looking for an automatic car purely as a commute tool.
Quote:
Lots of boot space is highly desirable.
The Glanza CVT suits your needs to the T. Lots of space, smooth CVT (I hate jerky AMTs) and a practical boot.

Quote:
It should withstand rough usage. (This is one is my wife's requirement)
90% of the cars on sale today will give you reliable service till 1.5 lakh km. Maintain it like a BHPian and 2+ lakh km is doable.

Quote:
Reliable brand which gives us Fuss-Free ownership
Toyota .

Second choice Honda Amaze CVT

Also consider the Vitara Brezza / Urban Cruiser as they got 4 stars in the GNCAP. Test-drive all 3 models and pick whichever makes you smile the most.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 08:28   #3
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Toyota .

Second choice Honda Amaze CVT

Also consider the Vitara Brezza / Urban Cruiser as they got 4 stars in the GNCAP. Test-drive all 3 models and pick whichever makes you smile the most.
Your post has YARIS written all over it. Do test drive it please. Since its a slow selling car, you may get the discounts to keep budget in check!
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Old 3rd February 2021, 08:41   #4
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by srirang View Post
  1. After a bit reading I have zeroed in on CVT or TC.
    1. AMT - I am told is jerky and a low cost option.
    2. DCT - Sounds very complex and service / repair costs scare me.
  2. Would prefer to avoid Turbo
    1. Same reason as DCT. Plus refer to point 6 below.
    2. Plus I am not so much of a ride enthusiast. I am more of a "Slow and Steady"
While I understand your logic for ruling out AMT and DCT (I agree with your points there!), I do not think turbo should be ruled out. Turbos in today's cars are very reliable (as reliable as most other parts), and there is nothing unique there that requires any special maintenance. Just make sure to the follow the idling rule (see this thread: https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techn...rged-cars.html (Why you must practice the "Idling Rule" with Turbo-Charged Cars)) and there is no need to worry about turbo. In a rare case, turbos may require a replacement say when close to 100,000km. But with your driving pattern, that would be a long time and even then, it is only a small chance.

Further, most good engines today (both petrol and diesel) are turbocharged, and that is really the beauty of modern engineering. By eliminating turbocharged cars, you will lose out on most good engines of today.

Quote:
Btw, not really looking to buy a user car. So that option is out to find a higher end car in the budget mentioned above.
Is there a chance you can reconsider this? Given your requirements (and especially given that both you and your wife are new drivers), a good robust used car sounds perfect! And it is not even about saving money. A used car is a perfect tool to practice your driving skills, do many long distance drives, figure out your long term driving pattern, and then sell it off (with minimal depreciation) and then buy a new car that time! I would seriously consider this option if I were in your position.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
The Glanza CVT suits your needs to the T. Lots of space, smooth CVT (I hate jerky AMTs) and a practical boot.

Toyota .

Second choice Honda Amaze CVT

Also consider the Vitara Brezza / Urban Cruiser as they got 4 stars in the GNCAP. Test-drive all 3 models and pick whichever makes you smile the most.
However, if the original requirements are strict, then these cars make most sense. I agree with GTO then. I would seriously consider Vitara Brezza.

Last edited by Dr.AD : 3rd February 2021 at 08:43.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 08:44   #5
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

GTO has summarized it very well.

Also, please add the Honda Jazz to your list - it feels more premium than the Amaze. Jazz is built for the US & EU markets, whereas Amaze is built exclusively for the developing markets. The Jazz also has incredible visibility which your wife might appreciate considering she's new to (driving in) Bangalore.

Maruti, Honda, and Toyota are generally fill-it, shut-it, forget-it type cars that can run a long time with minimal maintenance.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 08:58   #6
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Quite a meticulous approach in buying a car which most of us live for nearly a decade.

My suggestion in order of preference would be:

1. Jazz CVT : Better built than the Amaze. Feels more premium and safer compared to the sub 4 meter compact sedan. Honda service is neither great nor bad, somewhere around Maruti and Toyota.

2. Glanza CVT: Premium hatchback with great space. Being a Maruti with Toyota service, you can keep it well maintained at a low cost for a decade or 2 Lakh KMs.

Ruling our UC and Brezza as they are AMTs and you are not keen on it. You should consider UC for the freshness it brings to a hot selling Brezza. AMTs aren't that bad if you are not so particular about jerks. You will get used to it in just few weeks.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 10:27   #7
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Here's the thing about AMTs. Mechanically, my knowledge is worth zilch. I am just a passionate driver and so I rely on my 12 year bond with my FNG mechanic. What he says is that they are highly unreliable and AMT cars are prone to frequent niggles. They can be easily repaired by him whenever needed but the bottomline in his experience and based on what he hears from his colleagues in the field is that AMTs are unreliable.

That's what I do. I avoid AMTs.

Even otherwise - he has wonderful things to say about Toyota and Honda's cars . The wiring on these cars is very well organized in his experience (which is important in the long term maintenance perspective) and their overall maintenance is easy and intuitive from the lay mechanic's point of view. He doesn't encounter any quirks or oddly designed parts in the Japanese OEM's cars.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 10:43   #8
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Have you test driven AMT, DCT, CVT & TC cars? Which one suits you? I find AMT is all sufficient for my neutral, sedate city traffic driving with not much compromise on city mileage too. Don't go by others experience, paper knowledge and online write up. TD all your options of both cars and GB combination and then make a list again. Of course you are the buyer and you are well aware of where to put your money. If altogether you are avoiding AMT still I will also recommend you Glanza or Baleno CVT based on city usage. My next choice will be AMT of Ignis for it's peppy nature. That driving position command and space management is top notch in Ignis.

Last edited by KPR : 3rd February 2021 at 10:44.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 10:55   #9
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

AMTs are used in many high horsepower applications, so it's not necessarily the technology that has a problem, it's not implemented properly especially in low cost vehicles. NVH aside the system tries to keep the small engine alive by letting go off the clutch.

Anyhow let me stay within the Topic. If budget allows - Vitara Brezza automatic. There is very little to go wrong with it and its mechanical bits are well made.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 11:11   #10
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by VWAllstar View Post
Ruling our UC and Brezza as they are AMTs and you are not keen on it
Correction: The diesel Brezza had an AMT. The petrol-powered Brezza and UC share the same powertrain (1,5P + 4-speed torque convertor AT) used in the Ciaz & Ertiga.

The gearbox is good for sedate driving, but not suited for drivers who like to wring the engine often.

Last edited by landcruiser123 : 3rd February 2021 at 11:13.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 11:30   #11
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

I am absolutely loving my Swift VXi AMT. The ride is smooth and the jerks are hardly felt (if ever!). Do consider the Maruti Suzuki Swift AMT (AGS in Maruti lingo).
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Old 3rd February 2021, 12:02   #12
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by srirang View Post
Hi,

I am looking for an automatic car purely as a commute tool. So after a bit of reading and talking to friends I have come up with a list of requirements :
  • It should be an automatic.
  • After a bit reading I have zeroed in on CVT or TC.
  • Would prefer to avoid Turbo
  • Plus I am not so much of a ride enthusiast. I am more of a "Slow and Steady"
  • Lots of boot space is highly desirable.
  • It should withstand rough usage. (This is one is my wife's requirement
  • Reliable brand which gives us Fuss-Free ownership
  • Safety : As safe as it can get. More on this below along with budget.
Sir, you seem to have both petrol and diesel options in your shortlist. Even though it's for your commute can you provide the expected mileage or maybe your monthly running. I am not sure if your budget is in ex-showroom or OTR but assuming it's ex-showroom...

From your list, the best option (personal opinion) would be either the Maruti Brezza or the Toyota UC (essentially the same vehicle). You would only get the one above base variant of both cars with this budget.

Both of these have a proven safety record, should be reliable (Naturally Aspirated engine and Torque Converter gearbox), easy and in-expensive to maintain/service and be robust enough for Bengaluru city traffic.

The next options that I would go for:
  • Nissan Magnite (or better yet Renault Kiger since you would have more service centers) - can't guarantee the safety, it does have a CVT transmission but a turbo charged so not sure of the reliability. Most important would be the hard suspension tune which you might not like inside Bengaluru.
  • Honda Jazz (or Amaze) - both of these are decent options. I didn't like the Amaze too since it seemed like it was built to a cost. Jazz is more premium option here.

The other options you have listed are either over your budget, are unsafe or simply don't offer the required bootspace.

The only two manufacturers who provide more than 2 airbags under 10L are Ford (you can't get an automatic with their offerings though) and Renault (the ones in the market at present use an AMT).
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Old 3rd February 2021, 12:16   #13
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

If I were you, I would have bought the Honda Amaze. We got one in the extended family last year for a similar set of requirements. It is a totally VFM car.
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Old 3rd February 2021, 12:44   #14
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

From your priorities on safety and TC/CVT, two cars comes as top contenders from list,

1. Ford Ecosport Titanium+ AT
2. Yaris VX CVT
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Old 3rd February 2021, 14:38   #15
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Default Re: Automatic | Rough Use Resistant | Mass Market Car

They have discontinued the AT models of the Figo/Freestyle twins, otherwise, I would have recommended them.

From the currently available crop of cars, you can not go wrong with the Amaze.

Though if you can increase your budget do look at the Ecosport. We have one in diesel and it feels to be solidly built and in the ~3 years of ownership, we haven't faced any niggles.
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