Rs 10 lakh budget: Car for a young professional & his parents

So far we've owned only used vehicles (Nano, SX4, Corolla). This will be our 1st new car that will replace our current ride - a pre-owned Toyota Etios Liva.

BHPian chaksjr recently shared this with other enthusiasts.


New car within 10L OTR (Hosur, TN); monthly drive of minimum 1000kms, 95% solo. Involving a daily work commute of 38kms with 28kms of it on the highway. Car will be financed through a bank loan, hence, it will be retained at least for the next 6-7 years.


I am a 26-year-old product engineering rookie who has spent all his life in Delhi until October 2021 (and 4 years in Shivamogga for college), and has now moved to Hosur with a work commute to Attibele. We have owned only used cars to date and this will be our first new car.

We will undertake about 2-3 road trips each year, mostly to Coimbatore and other places in TN. I plan to take my car on trips with friends to any of the 4 Southern states and Goa a few times a year (if a Goa plan is ever made to not be cancelled). Yearly running can therefore be expected to be ~15k km.

What do you want from the vehicle?

I am still at the early stages of my career hence I would want something which can give me peace-of-mind ownership along with a decent fuel economy. Driving fun is not high on the list, I will reserve that criteria for when I can truly afford an enthusiast's car. Safety is of high importance due to a major part of my daily driving being on the highway. This does not mean that it has to be a 5-star rated GNCAP car, but should have a decent set of active & passive safety features.

I am an enthusiastic driver and have an unending love for all things automotive. Though with this being my first purchase, I am trying to be conscious enough to let the head make the decision rather than the heart.

Auto or manual?

Manual will be manageable due to negligible bumper-to-bumper traffic runs. AMTs are an obvious option but can only determine if I can live with them after test drives. Budget stretches can get me a Honda/Renault/Nissan CVT, will need to discuss with the head of the household. AMTs and CVTs seem to be as reliable as manuals, hence, open to all.

Purchase timeline and test drives

The purchase (I mean the booking) is still a few months away, not before the start of FY22-23. I have not test-driven any vehicle yet and only intend to do so when I am actually ready to book one.

I will obviously be taking my parents for each TD and getting their opinions on comfort primarily since they are both on the wiser side of 65. Their feedback and likings will play a major role in the choice but I would still love to take opinions from the forum in the meantime.

Since the purchase is a few months away, any launches in the next few months fitting into my requirements and budget will be on the list as well, and would like the forum to enlighten me on the same.

What have you owned/own currently?

As mentioned earlier, we have only owned pre-owned cars to date, detailing them out below:

Tata Nano LX (Aug 2012 - Dec 2016)

This was a loaner from dad's office and our first-ever vehicle. Was driven over 35k kms when it was with us, though mostly by a driver since dad couldn't drive and I used to be away at college. The farthest we took it was onto a Dehradun-Rishikesh trip from Delhi during monsoons.

The Nano at home in the WAC, Subroto Park

MS Sx4 VXi (Nov 2016 - Feb 2018)

Was the first car we actually 'bought'. Had no idea about used car prices at the time and purchased at a very high price of 2.6L. This was a 2008 car that was at 92k kms on the odo at that time. Drove it for about 12k kms before selling it off because it had started to become a money pit.

The beige boy in rural Gurugram

Toyota Corolla H2 E (Feb 2018 - Sept 2019)

My friend had established his pre-owned car business by now and I got the Sx4 sold through him and bought the Corolla. I had driven his 2008 Corolla a lot by now and I was in love with the comfort and more than the decent performance of the 1.8L. Considering that it would be a reliable car, purchased this and made the mistake of installing a CNG kit into it. The car was at 78k kms when I got it, drove it for about 25k more before selling it off. I would have removed the CNG kit and kept it if the RC could be renewed. Also spray-painted the alloys matt black over a cold Saturday along with a couple of my friends late in 2018.

The ever-reliable T in the fields of Haryana near Asaoti

Toyota Etios Liva VX (P) (Sept 2019 - till date)

Sold the Corolla through my friend again and bought the Liva from him. If I may be allowed to, his business is called Fidomotus. The Liva was at 72k kms when I bought it and the odo is presently a shade over 95k kms. This would have been much higher if not for the Covid lockdowns and WFH sessions. Except for a few new parts in the clutch assembly and the front shocks, have not spent any money on the car barring the usual maintenance. It is currently suffering from a clunky front left suspension (I am suspecting a worn-out control arm bush) and a music system that seems to be getting quieter as time goes by. The spray paint treatment has been given to the Liva as well (although gloss black) just a few days before the 2nd Covid wave hit us.

The Liva at home in Hosur on Diwali night, 2021

Have you done any research yet?

Yes, yes, I have. Post moving to Hosur I have spent a decent amount of time going through carwale, getting a few quotes from dealers, browsing YouTube videos and of course this beloved forum. I created an excel for whatever info I could find.

The prices mentioned in my spreadsheet are a little old and directly from carwale, so do not quote me on them. I categorized the EMIs into zones basis financial comfort, pretty self-explanatory. The 2L down payment is an approximate assuming that is what I'll get when I sell the Liva. The actual sale cost will determine the exact down payment. A 6-year EMI is for sure (my bank is willing to offer a max of 6), the rate of interest is an assumption for now at 9%. Can go down and hopefully not up.

The above pictures show what sort of features I am desiring in the vehicle (in no particular order). While all are not an absolute need-to-have, it would be good to incorporate as many as possible.

I initially considered only petrols before realizing I am not in the NCR anymore & that my daily highway runs should keep me safe from frequent DPF tantrums. So I am open to diesels as well. I did a quick calculation taking the Altroz (XZ+) as an example, and with a 1000kms run in a month, I will be able to cover up the EMI difference with savings in fuel cost. The below table is assuming an FE of 15 for the Petrol and 19 for the Diesel at current fuel prices.

I think my finances and requirements have a Maruti written all over them, but I have a fairly wary opinion of the brand (partly due to my experience with the Sx4 and the safety quotient). Though the upcoming Baleno facelift has my attention, will at least TD post its launch.

Between an average height hatch and one on steroids, I stand very open to both, although it never harms to have more ground clearance on our roads.

From reading through this forum and viewing videos online, I have figured out the below issues with some of my choices.

  • Kiger - the dust ingress and exit from the tail light and lower fog lights. Though I believe Renault is now offering a solution for existing customers and have hopefully added the same from the factory for new dispatches.
  • Magnite - some owners have reported rattles very early on in their ownership experiences.
  • Altroz - vibration from the engine bay, the solution already available here on the forum. On the flip-side, Prasanna's ownership thread makes me want to just get one!
  • Amaze - widespread complaints with respect to the engine mounts (only restricted to the Diesel though, I think).
  • Tiago & Tigor - fuel pump failure if driven frequently on less than half a tank of petrol.

Could not find anything specific on the Hyundais and the Nexon.

My current dislikes/likes of any of the options are limited to the features list, and will only truly solidify once I have test driven each of them.

With these things in mind, looking forward to suggestions and opinions from the forum. If I have missed out on any options please do let me know.

Here's what BHPian asit.kulkarni93 had to say about the matter:

Consider the Jazz V CVT for ease of driving and comfort. If you can find a Rapid rider plus or Polo TSi, do consider them. If you are keen on a diesel then the Altroz or Amaze I-Dtec are decent options. Please search enough, you will find some shocking things on Hyundais.

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

First of all, great choice in cars so far. SX4, Corolla & Liva are all amazing cars to drive (without the CNG kit of course. But hey! we make mistakes and we learn.)

I got really excited reading your post as this will be your first new car, so congratulations on that.

Jazz & Polo will be both great choices. However, as an existing owner of a Polo, I'd advise you against it only because of the cramped 'fit-for-a-child-only' rear seat. Since you mentioned that your parents will be traveling with you as well, this will play a major spoilsport in your long drives. Jazz on the other hand has oodles of space, a comfortable ride and fuss-free ownership thanks to Honda's Anytime Warranty. With a light foot and mostly highway driving, you'll get decent mileage out of it as well.

Also, start taking TDs now, so you have a good idea about which ones you don't like and which ones to take multiple TDs of, by the time you're ready to put down the money. And request for longer ones & in different driving conditions to get a better sense of the car.

Do update us on which way you decide eventually.

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

Among your list, I'd go for the Nexon but in the XMS guise. XMS not for the sunroof but the steering mounted controls which are an important safety feature. Though you can get them installed aftermarket as well, the exact OEM type.

Since you are open to diesels as well, do consider the i20 Sportz. It has a better diesel engine as compared to the Altroz. The Altroz does have a 5-star GNCAP advantage though. If you don't need a sedan form factor, I'll prefer the i20 Sportz any day over the Amaze S diesel.

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

Your usage perhaps does not require a crossover SUV, expansive highways of TN are a blessing.

Considering this is the first new car and you've had sedans before, consider a sedan once again. Check out the base variant Verna & Ciaz, you do get a big car for the money and the engines are very smooth while the interiors are well-appointed.

Also do not ignore the brand that you already have - Toyota, check out the Urban Cruiser.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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