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Old 21st January 2022, 10:44   #1
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Default Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Hello everyone,
I am looking for a used diesel car under Rs 7 lakhs. The main USPs should be fun to drive, reliable and not so costly on maintenance. Practicality, rear seat comfort and features are not all a concern. I've been confused for the past few months, so I thought I should rope in fellow enthusiasts for helping me. So, here are some of my random (unrealistic, haha) options:

1. Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI
2. Renault Duster/Nissan Terrano
3. Mahindra TUV300 (I know. I know. But it just looks fancy to me)
4. Mahindra XUV500 (Does it really make sense to go for a 7-8-year-old one?)
5. Volkswagen Vento/Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDI
6. Skoda Laura
7. Maruti S-Cross (Slightly inclined towards the 1.6 diesel)
8. Tata Safari
9. Ford Ecosport
10. Ford Figo / Freestyle (Would really love the Figo S).

My monthly running would be approx 1500-2000 kilometres since I travel a lot. I'm planning to keep it atleast for 5 years. Please help me from this dilemma!
Thanks.
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Old 21st January 2022, 13:10   #2
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

You have included the Laura and any reason not to include Jetta, you should drive the 2.0 TDi once.

By the way, the manual Laura came with a lower tune compared to the Jetta.

Out of your list, I will root for S Cross 1.6, it is all you had asked for, reliable, no nonsence, low on maintenance.

KK
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Old 21st January 2022, 13:24   #3
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

From the list you have made for yourself, I see that you are not too concerned about the body type.
Having said that, I would not consider SUV's like the safari and XUV in the 'driver enthusiast' category. Don't get me wrong, these are both brilliant cars and I myself want to get a Safari (400Nm variant) someday, but I don't think these are built for absolute performance.

Personally speaking, out of the list that you have put up, I would pick up the 1.6 Scross. I hear that these are quite rare in the used market.

Good luck with the find.
Cheers
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Old 21st January 2022, 13:28   #4
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

With fun to drive quotient being the prime requirement, you can knock off XUV 500 from the list. You indeed have the right list of cars to start with.

Another car, though from a previous generation, you can include in your probable list is Ford Fiesta TDCi. 1.6 S would be even better but your annual running of 25k calls for a diesel. It's fun galore with that car. If you can find decent examples, it's worth a look. You may need to spend on the core mechanicals like new suspension, brakes etc and even tyres to get the best out of it. It's one of the best driver's cars our country has seen in the lower end of spectrum. Spares are still available, maintenance cost is reasonable too. Ford service can still be banked upon even after their exit.

Last edited by Bibendum90949 : 21st January 2022 at 13:35.
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Old 21st January 2022, 13:30   #5
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

That's really easy, S-Cross 1.6 all day!
While it's no 1.3MJD, the 1.6 looks to be (relatively) the most reliable of you shortlist!
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Old 21st January 2022, 15:08   #6
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

S-Cross 1.6 (Driven Extensively)
Figo 1.5TDCI (Own 1)
Jetta 2.0 TDI
Polo GT TDI

In this order itself, fin.
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Old 21st January 2022, 15:32   #7
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Out of the list,

VW Polo 1.5 TDI- Small dimensions, great handling, powerful and torquey engine, under the budget, significantly cheap to maintain thanks to reliable powertrain and tons of spares available thanks to a relatively new car and tons of them being manufactured. Try to go for the GT TDI because they came with a higher power tune (110 hp) whereas the regular one came with 90 hp.

Skoda Laura- Came with 2 engines, the earlier ones with a 1.9tdi and the later ones with the 2.0tdi. With the manual transmission, I think they both only came with 105 hp and both are very reliable just watch out for the water pump because that's the only weak spot on those engines and the Laura will be well below the budget you've set.

VW Jetta- Another BHPian above me recommended this and I second this choice. The 2.0 TDI is a workhorse and is one of the more reliable VAG engines. The Jetta is basically a nicer looking and more premium feeling Laura but it is on the higher end of your budget.

Suzuki S-Cross 1.6 DDIS- great engine, one of the rare times where Suzuki put in some effort and gave us a good product. The S Cross is safe and reliable car but do keep in mind that the 1.6 was an imported engine hence spares will certainly be more expensive than a 1.3 DDIS. One of the BHPians, Dr. Naren is even running a Stage 3 tune on it and has had no issues. The only downside to this car would be the more budget interiors and the high resale costs of this car so you will really have to stretch your budget for this one.

Apart from these,
Figo Diesel- It is a pocket rocket. Great steering and amazing engine although wouldn't be my first choice for highway duties.
Skoda Superb 2- Can be bought with a reliable dq250 auto transmission too and will be a perfect highway cruiser.
Skoda Yeti and Skoda Octavia Mk3- Same reasons as the above VAG cars
Lastly, Chevy Cruze, certainly harder to maintain and wouldn't be as reliable as others on the list but it does have a rocket of an engine even making those 2.0 tdi look slow when it first came out.

I hope this helped. Happy hunting.
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Old 21st January 2022, 15:41   #8
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarunkochar3 View Post
...
The main USPs should be fun to drive, reliable and not so costly on maintenance.
...
1. Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI
2. Renault Duster/Nissan Terrano
3. Mahindra TUV300 (I know. I know. But it just looks fancy to me)
4. Mahindra XUV500 (Does it really make sense to go for a 7-8-year-old one?)
5. Volkswagen Vento/Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDI
6. Skoda Laura
7. Maruti S-Cross 1.6 only (Slightly inclined towards the 1.6 diesel)
8. Tata Safari
9. Ford Ecosport 1.5L 2018 facelift onwards only
10. Ford Figo / Freestyle (Would really love the Figo S).
The above would be my top 3 picks for your requirement of fun-to-drive, reliable and manageable maintenance. Figo would be the easiest to find in the used market and should fit easily in your budget of 7L.

S-Cross 1.6 is obviously the pick of the lot. But options are far and few in the market, and will come with a lot of mileage due to discontinuation in 2017, which is fine if the car was maintained fine. I own a pre-owned 1.6 with 95k on the odometer. Parts are not that expensive (similar to most other Maruti vehicles) and available easily in the market. Much much more reliable and easy on the wallet as compared to the European alternatives; I should know - I owned a VW Vento 1.6 diesel for 8 years before the S-Cross.

Edit: Olx 1.6 option is a rare find with <40k on the odometer. But you'll have to do your homework before signing the deal. Happy hunting.

Last edited by ninjatalli : 21st January 2022 at 16:01.
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Old 21st January 2022, 15:44   #9
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Surprised to see scross 1.6 picked above jetta/laura. Apart from maintenance, from a performance point, isn't jetta/laura better than scross 1.6?
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:32   #10
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by tarunkochar3 View Post
Hello everyone,
I am looking for a used diesel car under Rs 7 lakhs. The main USPs should be fun to drive, reliable and not so costly on maintenance. Practicality, rear seat comfort and features are not all a concern.

1. Volkswagen Polo 1.5 TDI
2. Renault Duster/Nissan Terrano
3. Mahindra TUV300 (I know. I know. But it just looks fancy to me)
4. Mahindra XUV500 (Does it really make sense to go for a 7-8-year-old one?)
5. Volkswagen Vento/Skoda Rapid 1.5 TDI
6. Skoda Laura
7. Maruti S-Cross (Slightly inclined towards the 1.6 diesel)
8. Tata Safari
9. Ford Ecosport
10. Ford Figo / Freestyle (Would really love the Figo S).

My monthly running would be approx. 1500-2000 kilometers since I travel a lot. I'm planning to keep it atleast for 5 years. Please help me from this dilemma!
1. Maruti S-Cross 1.6 - I am not sure about its maintenance cost, but being maruti I assume it would be cheap compared to VW and Skoda. Also the required frequency would be less to Tata and Mahindras.

2. Ecosport 1.5 TDCI - With excellent driving dynamics and a pretty decent fuel economy this would be my choice. Also, Ecosport needs to be serviced only once a year or 10k kms and the service costs are reasonable.

The only reason, that S-Cross is above Ecosport is obvious - Ford has left the country. But if you can ignore that fact, the ecosport is much better at driving. Has many features starting from the base model, tall seating and commanding driving position.
S-Cross while it may be a tab bit more powerful, lacks the driving dynamics of the Ecosport. But S-Cross, is much more comfortable, especially at the rear, has a better boot space and a strong Maruti support system.
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:38   #11
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

If it's manual, it has the be the Jetta over the Laura. IIRC the Jetta Manual got 140BHP tune, while the Laura manual had 110BHP tune.

This would be followed closely by the S-Cross 1.6 with a remap, and then the Vento/Rapid/Figo/Polo GT TDi 1.5 / 1.6 which are more or less on par in terms of maintenance and fun to drive.

That being said, none of these are easy on maintenance vehicles either - parts are not cheap, and not always easily available. Some stuff like brakes, etc. can be procured after-market of course.
Even the S-Cross 1.6 backed by the famed Maruti A.S.S. - I've had to order the A.C. Condensor as it was not in stock (took about 10 days to arrive) and also am currently waiting for a new clutch & plate + boot hydraulic shocks which are also not in stock.
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:38   #12
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KK_HakunaMatata View Post
You have included the Laura and any reason not to include Jetta, you should drive the 2.0 TDi once.

By the way, the manual Laura came with a lower tune compared to the Jetta.

Out of your list, I will root for S Cross 1.6, it is all you had asked for, reliable, no nonsence, low on maintenance.

KK
I had the Jetta in mind. But all decent listings were crossing the 7 lakh mark.
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:41   #13
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

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Originally Posted by jomson13 View Post

Good luck with the find.
Cheers
Safari and XUV are both just for the SUV feel. I considered both mainly because they are seven-seater SUVs and would help in the occasional passenger loading. I know, i'm contradicting my own driver-enthusiast list but these cars just have been my crushes since teens.
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Old 21st January 2022, 16:43   #14
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

From the list you shared it would be Laura > Polo / Vento / Rapid / S Cross. None of the other cars (with exception of Ford Figo too) are really enthusiastic to drive.

Though Jetta would have been great, but for budget of 8 lakhs I doubt you will find any less run examples. Certainly difficult to find one in a place like Bangalore, you might get in Mumbai though.
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Old 21st January 2022, 17:37   #15
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Default re: Best used diesel car under Rs 8 lakh, for a driving enthusiast?

When it comes to drivers cars. Ford followed by VW's/Skoda's are several notches above everything else in their respective segments.

My pick would be between (2019 or newer) Ecosport or Freestyle under Rs7L. Save the rest for repairs or maintenance and make peace.
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