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Is it worth buying a 9-year-old car in India

The price is within my budget and I wanted to know if it is worth going for a 9-year-old car?

BHPian trek recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

I am in the process of getting a used car to replace our 12-year-old Tata Indigo CS which is seeing frequent breakdowns and suffers from an overheating problem of late.

Key criteria:

  • We are family of 6 footers and adequate legroom at the front and back is an important decision factor.
  • The ability to seat three adults at the back without rubbing shoulders. We are spoilt by the interior space available in the Indigo.
  • Reliability - After owning a lemon car for long, getting a fill it and shut it car is a must have. Frankly we don't know till date what a fuss free ownership means.

I plan to keep the car for at least another 5 years and use it as a daily ride and hope to travel long distance for vacations around the country.

I have recently come across a 2011 petrol Toyota Etios G variant from a known acquaintance, the car has only done about 51k in mileage and is under first ownership.

The body work seems okay with minor scratches and dents, AC works well and the suspension feels good too. The tyres have been replaced a year ago.

The only downside is there are no airbags and ABS, no fog lamps and other fancier gadgets.

I have yet to get the car professionally evaluated at a Toyota service centre.

The price (within 2L) is within my budget and I wanted to know if it is worth to go for this 9-year-old car?

Here's what BHPian Cessna182 had to say on the matter:

You could get it examined at a Toyota dealership to find out the expenses that will be incurred in restoring it to original spec.

Etios is a fine car and very reliable. The only issue is the lack of refinement which is perhaps worse than the Indigo. The early models were very noisy inside.

Just a suggestion- you could find a good Corolla for less than 4 lakhs and it would be a great upgrade. Spares are never an issue for that car though it has been discontinued. Someone I know paid about 2 lakhs for a first gen manual Corolla which was almost mint. I drove the car and was amazed at the way it retained its composure at high speeds. There wasn't a single creak or rattle also.

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

Am using an Etios, Petrol G from 2011 June which has clocked 101,000 km till date.

My take:

Pros

  • Thoroughly reliable.
  • Cheap to maintain.
  • After many abusive trips to the Himalayan terrains, not a single rattle in my car.
  • The 1.5L petrol is fun to drive and quite fast on open roads.
  • The suspension is more tuned towards comfort, though it handles well on twisty roads.
  • Acres of cabin and boot space.
  • Spares are available anywhere & any mechanic can fix this car.
  • Paint quality is great. After 9.5 years, my car shines just after a wash. Am not a guy who always take car of the external paint. Literally anyone cleans my car and most of the time not even a microfiber cloth was used! Swirl marks are there, but the paint retained its shine.
  • No rusting anywhere in the car.

Cons

  • Bare-bone interiors.
  • Poor NVH
  • 2011 Etios had softer suspension, I later upgraded it with the stiffer ones available from the 2013 model. Things improved a lot, but with load the car sags. I later up-sized the tyres from 175/65R14 to 185/65R14. This made the GC of my car 176 mm. Things improved further.
  • FE completely depends on driving style. With not so light foot in city, you will get around 11-12km/L & 14-16km/L on highways.
  • Sheet metal is light, its prone to small dents on minor hits.

For more details do check the post in my ownership review, where I have mentioned about every work done on the car till 100k km.

This year my car will turn 10 years. Will I sell it?

Hell no! Will pay the road tax and keep it! This car is more reliable than my two years old Duster AWD!

Between 2011 to 2020, I have sold our 13-year-old Uno, our 1.8 years old Alto K10, 3.5 years old Figo TDCI, but I have retained this car and am still in no mood to sell it off!

Here's what GTO had to say on the matter:

As someone who regularly keeps cars past the 9 - 10 year mark, I can tell you this = if the price is right, go for it. But equally, you must be prepared for part replacements & maintenance. Even if a car is from the mighty "T", cars / parts have a finite life and there will be some that are on the verge of wearing out now.

I hope you get lucky with this Etios, but the reliability of any 9-year old car will be a bit patchy.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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