Looking to buy my first car under 10L: Which AT to pick?

Since, it'll be their 1st car and they are absolute novices; ease of service, good reliability and the works counts.

BHPian ashvek3141 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My cousin is looking to pick up his 1st car and has set a budget of around 10 Lakhs. Initially they were planning at around 8 Lakhs, however they intent to keep the car for over 8 years; hence, I suggested them if they could stretch a little, they could get some better options at around 10 lakhs (thanks to TBHP advice )

So now, requesting your kind help in finalizing a car for them as they intent to purchase the same in this month taking advance of the ongoing discounts.

Frankly speaking he wants the car on 20th Jan for his Mom's birthday; but than there are 2 things - one, he will lose out on the ongoing year end discounts & second, the impending price hike. Hence, the decision of registering the car in this month & taking the delivery in Jan.

Below are the requirements laid out in no particular order -

  • Body style - Hatch / Sedan / SUV is irrelevant. As long as it is adequately comfortable. They are a family of 4 (Couple + Parents).
  • Fuel - Petrol, as the running will barely touch 1000 kms a month. No EV's.
  • Transmission - Big question. They were keen on getting an automatic car as it'll be convenient for his spouse to learn and drive too; however, in this price segment there are only AMT's which are barely any good. Also, long-term reliability is a question mark. Hence, I suggested on the MT. Request your kind inputs here. They're open to both MT or AMT.
  • Good Mileage
  • Decent safety kit
  • Others - Since, it'll be their 1st car and they are absolute novice; ease for serviceability, good reliability and the works.

Requesting your kind inputs as they need to finalize in a week or two due to the stock limitations for this month.

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

You could get the Amaze CVT! Allrounder car, super smooth AT & driving experience, Honda badge, spacious cabin, neutral suspension & reliability. It's actually very well-priced and a no-brainer choice for 10 lakhs.

Yes, avoid the AMTs.

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

I would suggest you to take test drives of Maruti Baleno and Hyundai Exter. Both use AMT units but I found them to be comfortable for city driving. Both Maruti and Hyundai are a safer bet in terms of after sales service.

Exter has longer waiting period so you might not get the car by your desired date.

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

I think the Amaze is selling fairly well and rightfully so. It has got the best auto box for the price and a fairly no nonsense pleasant cabin and driving experience. Even if the car gets discontinued you will definitely get parts for it for another 10 years atleast. If buying the latest is a priority then perhaps check out the updated baleno? Although I would personally still advise that you go for the Amaze CVT in whichever trim fits the budget

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

I would suggest the following around the 10 lakh on road mark, in order of my preference :

i20 Sportz IVT : alleviates all your concerns but would come around 10.8 lakhs on road Goa. Check if year end discounts drive it below 10.

Honda Amaze : already explained above and its a good first car to have. Honda's future seems more optimistic than before with their future SUV plans so 10 years of spares and support will not be a concern.

Altroz XMA plus : Fits the bill, the wet clutch DCA hasn't reported many issues. The usual Tata disclaimers apply though. If getting this then I guess it would be better to read out the 10 commandments of DSG to the drivers of the new car

As for AMTs, at 10 lakhs they're best avoided. Just drove a Nexon XZA yesterday in traffic and slow roads.

I was better off with a manual.

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

Considering your requirements, here are my recommendations for automatic cars in this budget:

1. Tata Altroz XMA Plus Petrol

Perhaps the safest car you could get in this segment with a proper automatic transmission (DCA) and more than enough space. The engine is a 1.2L 3-cylinder but considering it's their first car, power shouldn't be much of an issue, Moreover, other alternatives aren't exactly powerful either. It has an adequate feature set and should serve them well too. The Car is available at Rs.9.88 lakhs on-road Goa and you get a further cash discount of at least 15k for purchases invoiced this month, along with a 5k corporate bonus, there is a 10k additional exchange bonus (but that's irrelevant considering it's their first car) and some dealerships are offering upto 30k cash discount (instead of 15k) so try your best to get the maximum discount possible.

2. Hyundai i20 Sportz IVT

A bit over budget at Rs.10.86 lakhs on-road Goa but it comes with a cash discount varying from 10k to 20k depending on the dealership, coming to the car it's a no-nonsense vehicle with an adequate feature list and a CVT. The car has enough space and can be a reliable companion, with it being recently facelifted, the car is sure to remain in its current avatar for at least a couple of years more.

3. Honda Amaze S CVT

The Honda Amaze is a reliable, safe, and no-nonsense sedan with adequate features, enough space, and a smooth 1.2L CVT, you can't go wrong with the Amaze, it's a perfect car for new owners looking for a "proper" automatic car in this segment. The Amaze S CVT is priced at Rs. 10.18 lakhs on-road Goa and gets officially up to Rs.67K Benefits (Including Rs 25K Cash + Rs 15K Exchange Bonus + Corporate and loyalty), however, some dealers are offering more than 50k cash discount as well, so try your best for maximum discounts, and you could be in for a sweet deal.

If it is a manual you are after, you can get quite a few options in this budget ranging from the above cars in their manual counterparts to cars like the Maruti Brezza LXI, Hyundai Exter SX(O) 1.2, Hyundai Aura 1.2 SX(O), Maruti Swift 1.2 ZXI Plus, Maruti Baleno Zeta MT, Tata Punch Creative MT, Maruti Dzire ZXI Plus MT, Hyundai Grand i10 Nios Asta MT, Tata Nexon Smart 1.2 5MT and so on most of these cars besides the Nexon and Brezza are available in their AMT counterparts too within your budget, but I wouldn't recommend the AMT, and therefore have restricted the options to these.

Of these, Because you intend to hold your cars for long, and with traffic increasing by the day, I would recommend choosing a "proper" automatic from the initial 3 listed, or if not a top-of-the-line manual from these three as well. The other options are worth considering in the manual segment, but they aren't quite safe and have received poor crash test scores (the only exceptions are the Brezza and the Nexon which have their base manual trims under 10 lakh, or the Tata Punch which gets a similar engine to the Altroz).

Hope this helps! and feel free to DM me if you want any further help, I have the list of offers and discounts available for the other cars too, if you need it!

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