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Rs 15 lakh budget: Choosing a suitable SUV for a family of 6

I currently use my pre-owned 2005 Toyota Corolla which has served me well to date, but is now starting to age.

BHPian Bingeljell recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hola fellow BHPians.

TL;DR for those short on time:

Should I do up the pre-owned Corolla and hold out for a couple of years and then upgrade (more on why I'm considering this below**)? Or bite the bullet and pick up one of the new SUVs in the Rs 15 lakh (on-road price) range?\

Longer version:

Context:

I purchased a pre-owned 2005 Corolla in 2014 with about 70k on the ODO for 2.5L. It was in pretty good condition and has served me well in the last 7 years. I've done about 60k km in the car totalling about ~130k km so far. Would have been an additional 15-20k km, but the last 18 months ensured that we barely left the house.

The car is now starting to age. I've ensured that the internals has been kept smooth and well maintained. However I've had to park on the street in the last 6 years and slowly, but surely, that's started to affect the outside. Random scratches have built up, the back panel of my side mirrors have been stolen (damn those guys), one at a time. And of course, my headlights no longer look very shiny. Things have switched up a bit and I can figure out better parking for myself going forward (where I currently live) and even if I move, I'm certain that I will be looking for at least 1 safe parking spot for myself.

Why we are considering upgrading**: I love this car and it's served me well, but we are now expecting our 4th and will be a 6 member family (2 adults and 4 kids). We were a 4 member family when I got this car (2 adults and 2 kids), and my wife is now looking forward to a new car as this is beginning to age.

My Dilemma:

I have a Rs 15 lakh (on-road) budget, but I am keen on getting a car that will satisfy the following conditions (in no particular order):

  • Be somewhat loaded with features
  • Be safe
  • Be able to seat 6 of us - it doesn't have to be a typical 7 seater, just a big car should be good enough given that my kids range from 9-3 (and a newborn incoming next year)
  • Be fun to drive
  • Be within my budget

But the cars that I'm currently eyeing are: (While these are SUVs, I am open to any Sedan recommendations too.)

  • The Hector (Hector Plus?) - most likely out of budget
  • The XUV 700 - Will a decently kitted out version be within my budget? Also, is worth buying just yet?
  • The Hexa (Discontinued) - Should I buy pre-owned?
  • The Tata Safari - Might be out of budget
  • There's also the Ertiga/XL6, Honda BR-V (which I'm not particularly keen on - are these as fun to drive or be in?) or the Creta (which I'm not sure about).

What I need advice on:

  • I spend 50-100k on my Corolla and do it up. Get a decent paint-job and ensure that everything is running smooth and I run it for 4 more years. Then figure. Is this a good idea given the age of my car?
  • OR I spend 15 lacs for a brand new car. The downside to which is that I may not get the variant I want or the car I want in my budget.
  • OR I buy a pre-owned car now for a slightly lower budget, run that for another 3-5 years and then see what the market is like down the road.

In case I go with option 3 above, then what would be the recommendations. XUV 500? Hexa? Harrier? Honda CRV? Or even any recommended Sedans? I'm so confused...

Would love some guidance!

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

Corolla is too old now. Get rid of it. Life is too short to be driving 16-year old sedans. Time for something spicier:

  1. XUV700 AT, it's a very special machine. But after 1 - 2 years so that Mahindra can sort out all the niggles in this highly complex car. Outsource the R&D & bug testing to the early adopters.
  2. Innova 2.8L ZX AT like this used example. Fast, smooth, fun, practical, bullet-proof, nice interiors. Think of it as a Fortuner with better ride quality, but without the SUV style & 4x4.

You are clearly capable of holding onto cars for long, so don't worry about an extra couple of lakhs for a car you really love - related thread.

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

The Corolla has already served you pretty well and I am sure can last much longer. However, since it is a conventional 5 seater sedan, I would highly recommend replacing it with a 6-7 seater which can carry infants safely with ISOFIX child seat mounts.

For under 15 lakhs, the only 3 row cars available are the Renault Triber, Ertiga/XL6 and Marrazzo lower variants. As somebody who has been driving an Ertiga for the past 2 months, I can safely say that the Ertiga/XL6 offer a decent package for the price. Comfortable cabin, silent engine, a decent amount of kit on the higher variants, flexible seating, good luggage space and reasonably good fuel efficiency. Downsides are slightly cheap interior plastics, lightweight body and van-like looks. Driving them isn't exactly fun, but then that is the case with most vans. You can still enjoy driving, but slowly. These are tall vehicles, so aren't exactly corner-carving Ford Fiestas. Also worth noting is the fact that the Ertiga has an average safety rating of 3 stars. [I was fine with 3 stars since my usage for this car is strictly limited to city driving.]

The Datsun Go+ is also there, but it is best avoided. There are also cars like the Bolero Neo and Scorpio that can seat 7, but they both have side-facing seats, so not very comfortable.

The other cars that you have mentioned - Alcazar, Safari, XUV700 and Hector Plus, all of them start around Rs 17-18 Lakhs and are good options if you can stretch.

You can also look for a pre-owned Innova. For 15 lakhs, you can also get a decent Crysta.

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

Normally I would just advise you to stick with the Corolla since it is an extremely good car and very hard to replace. Not to mention the fact that it can outlast its owner.

Since your family is big and growing, I would recommend that you become a 2 car family. Retain the Corolla and do not do any cosmetic upgrades until you can find decent parking for it. Just ensure its mechanical maintenance and use it as a beater. Since it is a 2004 model, you won't get much if you sell it anyway. You can get it repainted once you find better parking.

Buy a pre-owned 3-row car that can fit your entire family in comfort and safety. I would recommend the discontinued Toyota Innova 2.5 (the last facelift of the previous generation).

Two cars will add more value to your family rather than just one. Moreover, do not buy a new car unless you are a business owner and you can get a tax write-off for it. The depreciation on new cars is a downer.

I hope this helps. Happy driving!

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

I suggest you keep using this car that you love and has a reputation to be reliable. Take it to the grave. Once things are more clear then you can decide. Kids are expensive man, or maybe you already know this.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

 
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