Looking to buy my 1st car: Need a feature-loaded vehicle under 14 lakh

I am inclined more towards SUVs or the bigger-looking vehicles over sedans and hatchbacks.

BHPian Lord_Cheezus recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Everyone!

I 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 in the country. Currently, I stay 4 kms away from the office and I plan to get married next year so I might move to my own apartment which would be 10 kms (max) away from the office, so the whole trip could be 20 km.

Car usage & 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 & cars considered

I am definitely more inclined 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 automation and good-looking interiors apart from mileage etc.

  • Hyundai Venue, MG Astor - Really love the features, the automation and the interiors but the model that falls within 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 the interiors don't look that premium I guess.
  • Kia Sonet, Kia Seltos
  • Tata Harrier (second hand)

Open to suggestions. 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.

Here's what BHPian kushagra452 had to say about the matter:

Kia Sonet would be at the top of my list. The car is feature loaded and has a good road presence. You should take a test drive of all the cars that you have shortlisted and then take a call.

Here's what BHPian RYP had to say about 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 in 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 i-Vtec, CVT and loaded with features even from the base V variant.

Realistic options (with limitations) are:

  • City 5th Gen AT (17.5 L OTR for VX)
  • Kiger/Magnite (No sunroof)
  • Jazz (Lethargic engine, dated)
  • Maruti Ciaz (No sunroof, dated 4-speed CVT)
  • Sonet / Venue (iMT or DCT)
  • Brezza (overpriced IMHO)
  • Altroz (DCT, TATA ASS)
  • 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 madcap Bangalore traffic.

Hope this helps.

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