Upgrading my parents' 2009 Honda City: Hyundai Alcazar or Kia Carens?

My heart says Hyundai Tucson, but it is almost 9 lakhs more compared to the Alcazar.

BHPian Aaron:) recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Would like some help in choosing a retirement vehicle for my 60-something parents.


60-something parents, soon to retire. Have worked hard all their lives. Currently own a 2009 Honda City. Now it's time for an upgrade. Almost decided on the Kia Carens or Hyundai Alcazar, but tempted by the Hyundai Tucson.

Seeking inputs on: Any other options to be considered; long-term reliability and maintenance costs of a Tucson.

For the ones brave enough to read a long post, here goes:

Previous cars and context


  1. Maruti 800 (1998 - 2009)
  2. Hyundai Santro (2003 - 2017)
  3. Honda City 1.5 S M/T (2009 - Present)

Experienced for a short duration

  1. Fiat Palio 1.2 (2007)
  2. Kia Carens 1.4 DCT (2022- 2023)

We’ve had a fantastic ownership experience with the City. Despite being almost 15 years old, the car still runs like a dream. No rattles, no strange noises, and the car feels as tight as it did back in 2009. The only issue is that the suspension is a bit worn out, but that can easily be fixed.

However, my parents will be retiring soon and it’s time for an upgrade. Furthermore, thanks to Delhi NCR’s ridiculous 15-year rule, the City will have to be sold, which means that the new car is going to be our primary car.


  • SUV/Crossover
  • Petrol + AT
  • 5 seats good, 6-7 seats even better
  • Needs to be spacious with a nice interior ambience
  • Refined
  • User friendly
  • Peace of mind: This car is going to be with us for 10 years minimum. Hence long-term reliability and reasonable maintenance costs are non-negotiable
  • Usage: 90% city, 10% highway

Options considered

Tata Harrier/Safari

  • Fantastic-looking cars. Diesel only, concerns niggles and reliability.
  • Rejected with a heavy heart.

Toyota Innova Hycross/Maruti Invicto

  • Ultimate peace of mind and very low running costs. However, top variants are out of our budget, waiting times are too high, interiors feel utilitarian and the car is too large to be used as a primary car.

Honda Elevate 1.5 CVT

  • Pros: Great suspension tune, decent interior, we liked the design, and peace of mind that comes with Honda.
  • Cons: Doesn’t feel like an upgrade from a City, average noise insulation, lacks features

MG Hector Petrol CVT

  • Pros: Fantastic interior ambience, big car feel.
  • Cons: Fuel economy reports, concerns over long-term reliability, that giant tablet on the dash

Maruti Grand Vitara / Toyota Hyryder Hybrid

  • Pros: Fuel economy, peace of mind, suspension
  • Cons: Noise insulation, cabin doesn’t feel premium

VW Taigun / Škoda Kushaq 1.0 TSI AT

  • Pros: Design, solid build, handling, 5-star NCAP rating
  • Cons: Cramped cabin, concerns over long-term reliability. 1.5 DSG not considered due to reliability concerns

Mahindra XUV700 Petrol AT

  • Pros: Design, power, space, features, 5-star NCAP rating. This car truly has it all
  • Cons: Fuel economy, concerns over niggles and long-term reliability

Kia Seltos 1.5 Turbo DCT

  • Pros: Design, handling, features, silent cabin
  • Cons: Space, average ride quality, concerns over 3-star NCAP rating

Kia Carens 1.5 Turbo DCT

  • Pros: SPACE, interior ambience, silent cabin
  • Cons: Design, boring to drive, concerns over 3-star NCAP rating

Hyundai Creta/Alcazar 1.5 Turbo DCT

  • Pros: Features, silent cabin, nice ride quality, silent cabin, space
  • Cons: Weird design, concerns over 3-star NCAP rating, waiting period (Creta)

Final shortlist

  1. Kia Carens
  2. Hyundai Alcazar

Almost zeroed in on the Alcazar. We know that it is due for a facelift on the lines of the Creta. But we can't wait any longer and need a car within the next 3-4 months.

The twist

Checking out the Alcazar in Hyundai’s showroom. The car feels nice. The third row is good for occasional use (Carens has a better third row though). Seats can be folded and the middle row slides back to create good 2nd-row legroom and space for our dog in the back. Car won’t win any beauty contests, but we can live with it.

Right next to the Alcazar, is a Tucson in the amazing Amazon Grey colour. We decide to check it out just for kicks, and we are hooked. The car has that wow factor. Massive space, futuristic design. Enquired about the price. The delta between the Alcazar and Tucson will be roughly 8-9 lakhs.

My heart says Tucson. But firstly, it's a huge budget stretch. Secondly, it's a CKD which likely means heavy maintenance costs.

Key questions

  1. Apart from the Tucson and Alcazar, are we missing any options? Any other car we should consider?
  2. How easy/difficult is it to maintain a Tucson over 10 years? Would love to hear the experiences of people who've owned premium Hyundais over a long period
  3. How do Alcazar owners feel about their cars? Would love to hear about their ownership experiences

A huge thanks to everyone in advance! Looking forward to your thoughts and suggestions.

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

Since your folks keep cars for a long 15 years, the price premium is worth it. Divide the price difference by several years of ownership and it's hardly anything for what is a vastly superior car. The Tucson is a full-on global product sold in the most mature markets and has the quality/engineering to match. Your parents have worked hard, let them enjoy the fruits now with what will be their "sunset" car. The only condition = the extra cost isn't detrimental to their retirement funds or lifestyle.

Between the Alcazar & Carens, I think they'll be happier with the Carens (you said "6-7 seats even better" which means you will use the extra row from time to time). It has excellent ride quality too.

But really, just get the Tucson for them. Please read.

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

Don't you want to try electric? Perhaps MG ZS EV.

Since 90 per cent is city driving, it will be a great option provided you have a place in your parking to install a charger. Imagine, no runs to the petrol station. Running costs are a fraction of petrol vehicles.

Take a test drive, no harm.

Other electric options are:

  • BYD Atto 3: The interiors are a bit wonky.
  • Tata Nexon, or wait for newer launches by Tata.

Look at other manufacturers too. I only suggested the MG ZS EV due to the budget range of the other cars on your list.

Here's what BHPian Rodie09 had to say on the matter:

Wow! Could not resist asking the reason for such a strong statement against the Korean twins. Reliability has been a strong point of Hyundai and that's how they have built their reputation in India. Fuss-free ownership. Hyundai has come a long way and people's interest in Kia shows the same for that brand too.

I have been a Hyundai user for 20 years now - Santro and Verna - peace of mind is all I can say about Hyundai.

I would suggest a Creta any day over the new-age Honda Elevate etc. Honda's quality and reputation over the years has only gone down and numbers do show that.

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

If you're okay with the price of Tucson then do consider Hycross as the price will be in the same ballpark or may be lower for VX trims. It's just a better vehicle in every possible way with the exception of may be interior plastic quality and a few gizmos here and there over Tucson which a 60y old person wouldn't mind. Waiting period can be an issue though.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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