Rs 15 lakh budget: Choosing the ideal daily-use automatic car

The car has to come with an automatic transmission, absolutely no compromise on this.

BHPian akash_v12 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello BHPians!

A gent I know is on the lookout for a new car. Before the pandemic started, he would travel by train/office cabs, but now he has no other option. A 2010 Tata Manza occupies his garage (just short of 40K km) currently. He will be looking to exchange it.

His requirements are:

  • Has to be automatic - Absolutely no compromise on this. He is just over 50 and the Manza has been giving him knee pains over his 75KM round-trip under heavy Bombay traffic.
  • Open to both sedans & SUVs although an SUV would be preferred to tackle the monsoons.
  • Has to be petrol. Again, no compromise on this.
  • He is a bit worried about certain brands pulling out of the market in the near future.
  • Should be relatively easy to get it serviced anywhere in Mumbai.
  • A budget of ₹12-15 Lakhs. Lesser the better.
  • Has to have a minimum of 4* in GNCAP. Unless, it is a really VFM Product worth looking at.
  • Majority of the usage would be in Mumbai traffic, more so during peak traffic hours. Would see very little highway running. But with the pandemic, there is a possibility of it changing. In the last 15 years that I've known him, he has taken none of his cars on the highway. Not a very enthusiastic driver as well. Rather a calm, sedate driver.

I had short listed a few cars for him earlier, but would love to hear all of your thoughts. Please help BHPians.

Thanks in Advance to all who respond!

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

Do drive the the S-Cross and XL6 ATs once without any prejudice of them running 4-speed gearboxes. The entire package is very competent and has pleasantly surprised people in the AT-guise.

The Brezza scored 4 stars, so the S-Cross being on same platform wouldn't be hugely different. The XL6 has a few minor structural additions over the Ertiga, so we cannot be sure what score it will get.

In terms of build (the exterior feel and heft), there is simply no comparison with any Tata. Even the S-Cross feels light when compared to something like a Nexon. The XL6 feels well built than your regular Marutis like the Swift/Baleno etc.

But then in reliability and niggle free ownership, the Marutis fare much better. Hence, car purchase today is all about a calculated guess and there is no one perfect product which does it all.

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

If he is okay with sedans, would suggest the City (V CVT) and Ciaz (AT). However, if he is uncomfortable driving sedans which are naturally longer in Mumbai traffic, would definitely suggest the S-Cross Automatic. If he wishes to lower the budget, also consider the Jazz or the (Magnite/Kiger) twins.

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

S-Cross is best suited for the given requirements, not only for him but 90% of the public wanting to buy a car in that segment. It’s the want of bling and negligence towards mechanical robustness which makes people choose the Korean twins.

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

The S-Cross is definitely the safest Maruti on offer currently. It has been tested by the EuroNCAP I believe and as far as one can make out, apart from safety equipment differences there does not seem to be any other weight difference or impact beam differences. Just drive it and you will understand why I am so confident in my statement about its safety, regardless of the fact that it has not yet been tested by GNCAP. The chassis is stiff as heck. Also, do ask your friend to drive the manual also. As you mentioned, he drove a Manza now I'm not sure about how Tata's refinement was back in those days but I can attest that petrol Marutis all have extremely light and easy-to-operate clutches. Honestly the only time I find myself wishing for an automatic is after a hectic game of football where my whole body is fatigued and sore.

I sometimes feel bored recommending it to nearly everyone on this forum who enquires about a new car nearly twice a day. Simple NA 4-cyl petrol engine, robust chassis and acres of space and practicality. What more can one want in a car, I say.

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