Need advice: Test drove multiple cars; still can't decide what to buy

I decided on the Polo GT. Started hearing rumours about discontinuation and by the time I was ready with money, the dealership stopped accepting bookings.

BHPian SaiChaithanya recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Team,

This is my first post and thank you admin team for approving my registration to such a wonderful library of automobile brains.

I’m planning to buy a new car which is going to be our first car & need opinions to decide the best one.

There are twists & turns in my car search which might feel interesting when you read completely.

This post might be lengthy for someone but all my search experiences are mentioned so that forum members can share their opinions accordingly.

The search began in the beginning of COVID. Have searched each and every brand website, watched YouTube reviews after short listing few cars, read Team BHP user reviews and further short listed few cars.

My initial interest: A performance oriented car.

Wife’s interest: A practical family car.

I never knew the value of the Polo earlier and only came across when I was reading posts related to my short listed cars on this forum. Finally, I wanted only a Polo GT & forgot the rest. Literally, I was like babies crying for toys that they’ve seen until we buy them.

However, these are the short listed cars based on our needs at that point of time:

  • Volkswagen Polo GT
  • Tata Altroz
  • Toyota Glanza CVT
  • Honda Jazz CVT

Started test driving each short listed car and went to the Altroz first as it was on the way to the VW showroom.

Altroz TD:

  • Entered the showroom, no one came forward to attend us for 10 minutes. SA was not good and not interested to take us through the car, I lost my 1st opinion about Tata there but still went further.
  • Wife liked the car at first sight and factors like space, sound quality, ride comfort further impressed her.
  • I was personally interested in automatic but had to go with manual as there was no option in Altroz.
  • I felt gear shifting was not slick.
  • The SA restricted me to test drive for 2 kilometres only.
  • Overall I didn’t want to go with Altroz as it’s a manual gearbox which is difficult for me to drive in Bangalore traffic conditions.
  • DCA is underpowered and again didn’t want to go with it when I myself set a desire to own a performance car.
  • Moreover, ASS was a concern and behaviour exhibited by the SA further strengthened my opinion not to go with Tata. Felt bad that reputation of great brand is going down because of bad behaviour of dealership.

Polo TD:

  • Appealing welcome by SA & interest they’ve shown to take me through the product. Felt very nice.
  • Test driven in areas where I often go through.
  • I asked them how many kilometres I can test drive & answer surprised me. “Sir, it’s upto you & n number of times!”. This impressed me and this is what I expected.
  • My opinion on Polo GT: No other words, It’s a gem!
  • Wife’s opinion: She didn’t like rear legroom space and low height of the car. But she respected my choice as only I’ll be driving.
  • I’ve mentioned below why we couldn’t get a Polo.

Glanza CVT TD:

  • It’s a Baleno but I didn’t want to go with Baleno only because I’m getting same from Toyota.
  • After sales service and peace of mind ownership with Toyota.
  • Performance wasn’t bad but I felt like I was sitting in a boat as I’m only 5.5 feet height.
  • Have understood Toyota’s quality & ASS after reading so many reviews related to Toyota products, I didn’t want a rebadged version.
  • No other products in my affordable range from Toyota brand.
  • Now with Glanza AMT & plenty of features, I’m yet to take TD but didn’t want to go further as I mentioned in above point.

Jazz CVT TD:

  • SA was good in demonstrating product & follow up for my decision etc.
  • I felt car is roomy with more glass area, sunroof, light theme interiors.
  • First time I tried cruise control & loved it.
  • Speed is not that great but one can stress the engine to the maximum.
  • Loved the paddle shifters and helped in down shifting when required.
  • Build quality is good.
  • Wife also liked the car in almost all the aspects.

Apart from above listed cars, I have test driven the Magnite, Kiger, Punch, Swift, i20 but didn’t like any of them except i20. Didn’t want to go with the i20 as it was costlier than others and front design didn’t appeal to me.

Finally I decided to go with Polo GT for its performance and classic looks. Started hearing rumours about discontinuation and by the time I was ready with money, the dealership stopped accepting bookings. Tried almost with all the dealerships in Bangalore and Hyderabad but no luck. Was upset that I will never my hands on the GT as a first owner.

Whenever I see a GT/Legend passing by, I feel bad that I’m late to the party.

Couldn’t digest the Polo discontinuation and started searching on used car platforms considering I would get at least any colour with less driven.

Have found 1 Legend badged car with 2k kilometres on the odo but asking price was 15L.

Didn’t want to go with this price & love towards Polo remained in the heart and started looking at other cars.

When I started searching used cars, things changed from here.

Found a less driven Toyota Liva at a good price.

Knowing Toyota’s ASS & build quality, I started hunting for a Liva though it’s a manual gearbox but easy to shift. Compromised on everything and thought this should be a good decision and this car will help me in understanding car ownership, wife can learn driving, the duration of owning this car should act as a bridge by the time a Polo replacement comes. But checked details at a known Toyota service centre and understood this car met with an accident whereas seller agent told me this car is non-accidental and he’s having all service history.

Service centre guys whom I know well for 5 years advised me not to go with this deal.

Couldn’t find a similar good deal again.

As I mentioned earlier that after understanding Toyota ASS & build quality, I slowly started digging at Toyota's own products in my affordability. As Yaris is discontinued, I could only go with used car market. Considered the Yaris VX as it 6 airbags, now we’ve a infant and safety concern increased. Good that I’m getting ISOFIX in this car.

Have test driven a Yaris CVT from Spinny recently but didn’t like the engine noise, unable to trust used cars, I’ll be 3rd owner. Spending huge amount for a used car, why can’t I take a look at new car with same price bracket.

News about the Hyryder started coming in but I was worried on the pricing. Later understood it’s more of a Maruti than Toyota on the inside. Don’t know if I have to wait or I should go with another reliable car or brand.

Then I looked at our shortlisted cars again and was finally left with Jazz considering reliability, build quality, engine refinement, ASS. Started seeing rumours about discontinuation of Jazz and this time I didn’t want to lose a good product.

The Altroz was a strict no for me as I’m particular about ASS & peace of mind ownership as well.

Was going through Honda website casually and found there’s a City with manual gearbox being offered for lower price than Jazz CVT. I was wondering why such a good car is priced below Jazz CVT & wanted to understand by seeing physically.

Visited same Honda showroom again.

City 4th Gen TD:

  • Driving seat comfort is good in City than Jazz.
  • Didn’t feel as airy as Jazz but still ok.
  • Liked the engine pickup even in lower gears.
  • Easy shifting gearbox and I loved it immediately.
  • I took to crowded places to TD this manual gearbox and to understand if I can manage traffic.
  • I could easily go in stop-go traffic.
  • Easy pass over speed breakers.
  • Impressed with manual gearbox and asked SA for a Jazz CVT TD to understand differences.
  • I didn't like the Jazz performance after driving the City manual.
  • Considering the point having a baby in our family now and need for more boot, I felt this package is very VFM at this price point.
  • SA asked me to check out 5th gen base model.
  • After sitting in a base variant demo car, I was shocked that I’m getting almost all essential features even in the base variant.
  • Right from beginning of my car search I never wanted to go with a base or mid variant but this car really impressed me with the package being offered.
  • Yet to test drive 5th gen but after experiencing 4th gen I feel 5th gen would be same or better than 4th gen, so there’s nothing to worry.
  • Couldn’t look back at 4th gen city as 5th gen looks and design felt more appealing to me.
  • VX variant offers few important features like 6 airbags, sunroof which I’m thinking about but I need to stretch my budget. When my kid grows up, the sunroof could be a nice feature for him to enjoy.

Here’s my experience with car search and landed up with a sedan & CSUV which I never thought of.

Currently, HyRyder prices are not out and unable to decide on which car.

If I have to go with the Hyryder, I will be able to go with only base variant Hybrid version, will miss lot of essential features & lots of boot space. Have considered this only for Toyota’s peace of mind ownership.

If I have to go with 5th gen City, should I go with V or VX variant - both are manual as shifting gears is easy for me here and can’t stretch the budget for a CVT. VX variant itself is out of budget but considered as Honda added important features over V variant.

Or, should I wait for few more months so that there’s any chance for these 2 brands to launch much better products at affordable range.

Here's what BHPian AJ56 had to say on the matter:

Get the City VX CVT, trust me after a few hours in traffic your left leg will thank you every day for years to come. Hondas are very reliable and chances are you’ll keep this for 10-12 years, don’t let 50-80k sway your decision and get the variant you want and I’d highly recommend the CVT over the manual. I doubt Honda is going to launch any new sedan anytime soon so no point waiting.

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

I'd second AJ56's opinion. Even if you'd have to stretch your budget a bit now for the VX CVT, you'll end up loving the car more.

And most folks are switching to automatics these days and for good reason. I'd also suggest to take the CVT. Honda's CVTs are very reliable, have been proven over the decades, are very smooth shifting in traffic, and you'll probably not need another car than the City CVT for the next decade, post which the Indian car scene would be vastly different. While you'd feel like you'd have more fun with the MT, if your usage is mostly within the city (pun unintended), City CVT could be the ideal car for you.

And even if Honda ends up leaving India in that time (which I doubt), your local mechanic would still be able to address most common issues, as the NA CVT Honda Citys are not nearly as complex as the turbocharged petrol + dual clutch cars in the market at that price point.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information

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