Advice needed: A feature loaded & fuel efficient SUV on a 14L budget

Cars in consideration are including but not limited to the Kia Sonet, Hyundai Venue, Kia Seltos and the MG Astor.

BHPian Lord_Cheezus recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I am new here and am here to pick your brains to help me buy my first car in Bangalore! I have come here because after doing my research I am super confused and want some opinions from the veterans who have been doing it for quite a while. I did go through some past posts but I didn't find anything relevant to my requirements/options.

A little about me

I am a 28 year old single man working as the Regional Director in a leading Digital Marketing firm of the country. Currently I stay 4kms away from office and I plan to be married next year so I might move to my own apartment which could be max 10kms away from office, so the whole trip could be 20kms.

Car usage and buying factors

I am looking to have a vehicle that has good features to make life easier and also a car that has a great look/road presence. Apart from the office trips of 10 to 20 kms daily, I am also looking at exploring nearby areas in Bangalore on the weekends, so adding 300 kms occasionally each month. So a total usage of around 500-700 kms per month maximum.

Budget and Cars Considered

I am definitely more leaned towards SUVs or the bigger looking vehicles over Sedans and Hatchbacks.

My budget is 12-14 Lacs on road price. I can stretch by 1 Lac if I am convinced that it is worth it and I am also open to buying pre-owned cars if someone has a good recommendation or past experience. I am open to Diesel or Petrol and Manual or Automatic.

What catches my attention in a car is having a good touchscreen with GPS, sunroof, driving automations and good looking interiors apart from mileage etc.

  • Hyundai Venue
  • MG Astor: Really love the features, the automations and the interiors but the model that falls in my budget does not offer a panoramic sunroof :(
  • Renault Duster: I like the road presence and was always fascinated by it as a kid but it lacks features and interiors don't look that premium I guess
  • Kia Sonet
  • Kia Seltos
  • Tata Harrier (Used)

It would be great if you can weigh in and help me figure out what car and model/make would be best suited for me. Thank you for reading my post and I look forward to some positive responses.

Here's what BHPian RYP had to say on the matter:

Go for the Automatic. A year or two down the line if the Missus decides to take over the wheel, it's a far easier transition. In that sense, 14L is a very painful spot to be right now. 8L - 10L budget people can go buy fully loaded with an AMT and feel they got value. 17L-18L people can buy a proper CVT / DSG / DCT and be satisfied with it. Whereas 12-14L budget gives one a proper AT gearbox or loaded features with AMT but not both. Trust me, I'm hunting for one as well in this price range.

Kiger & Magnite fall bang in the price range, but the 1L turbo engine (turbo lag in city, FE) & Interiors (Magnite) is a downer. I would not dare touch a DCT/DSG for our driving conditions, let alone a Hyundai / Kia made one. Honda Jazz fits the bill, but too long in the tooth and the 1.2L NA engine is not a spirited performer either. Considering the new Brezza being priced into the stratosphere & MG being MG, I feel 5th Gen Honda City VX is the most VFM vehicle out there. A free revving 1.5L iVtec, CVT and loaded with features even from the base V variant.

Realistic options (with limitations) are:

1. City 5th Gen AT (17.5 L OTR for VX)

2. Kiger/ Magnite (No sunroof)

3. Jazz (Lethargic engine, dated)

4. Maruti Ciaz (No sunroof, dated 4 speed CVT)

5. Sonet / Venue (iMT or DCT)

6. Brezza (overpriced IMHO)

7. Altroz (DCT, TATA ASS)

8. MG Astor (fairly new, China)

If you decide to go for the Manual, it opens up a plethora of options but again AT has become a creature comfort especially in the mad cap Bangalore traffic

Hope this helps

Here's what BHPian Revvman had to say on the matter:

Welcome to the T-bhp community!

Looking at your current and prospective usage, here are my suggestions:

  • the car has to be a PETROL as your daily usage is hardly ever going to let you derive the FE benefits of a diesel. Plus, a petrol is much more refined and easier to drive in the city traffic. Considering that petrol and diesel prices are almost at par, it will take you a while in breaking even the initial premium you will pay for the diesel, hence petrol it should be.
  • since majority of your drive is going to be in the city and looking at the way our city roads are exploding with traffic, you "must" consider an AUTOMATIC transmission. It's a boon in city traffic. Unless you're an enthusiast who's really addicted to manuals, automatic will serve you very well.
  • if you can stretch your budget slightly, check out the Hyundai Creta. It ticks all the boxes of your requirements quite perfectly!

Here's what BHPian DhruvBhardwaj had to say on the matter:

Venue/sonet/Astor in there petrol automatic trims would be ideal for your usage case IMO. Venue has recieved a fresh facelift . I believe venue SX optional turbo dct would be around 15.5 lakh on road there which is fully feature packed(alongwith sunroof). If you are comfortable you can consider it's iMT variant too.

Here's what BHPian Durango_dude had to say on the matter:

My suggestion is the Honda City 4th Gen manual comes to around Rs 11.76L OTR where I live and it's a gem of a car. Though a generation old it's got it's fundamentals right: Driving Pleasure, Fuel Efficiency, Seat Comfort a large boot, etc...

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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