Why I chose to buy the Toyota Hyryder over Maruti Grand Vitara

My Hyundai Verna fluidic turns 9 this year and am planning to replace it with something around Rs 20 lakh.

BHPian drsachin recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

For people living in Delhi NCR, with a budget of 20 lakh, and heavy mile munchers within the city, a strong hybrid or an electric car is a brainer.

I was looking for a car within 20 lakh to replace my fluidic Verna diesel (2014 model), for the last 1 year and I kept a deadline of April 2023, the day my car turns 9 years to replace my car. I kept searching/test driving for almost a year and couldn't convince myself to get any of the ones available.

My requirements were

  1. Petrol car. Diesel cars in Delhi NCR are treated like punching bags. First, the valid registration of my car was reduced from 15 years to 10 years and whenever there is pollution within the city for whatever reason, diesel cars are punished by the confused authorities.
  2. Compact SUV or a mid-size SUV. I have driven sedans throughout the last 15 years but somehow after driving an SUV they felt a lot more comfortable for long-distance daily driving.
  3. Automatic. Although I love manuals and the enthusiasm they offer now that I have turned 40 years, my knees have started hurting especially in traffic jams in the evening. And after 15 years of enthusiastic driving, I have started loving the sedate style of driving.
  4. Fuel efficient: I drive around 1500-2000 km per month. My present car gives me around 21-23kms/litre( as per the MID )of diesel even in traffic jams, it can't be better than that.
  5. Safe, strong and well-built.
  6. Long-term reliability. I like to keep my car for a long duration. I don't like to change often, for not just economic reasons but also the hassles of test-driving new cars every now and then.

90% of my driving is in the city with just 10% highway leisure trips. I have a family of 4 adults and a 4-year kid. Again I drive solo for almost 70% of the time, 2 adults and a kid rest 20% of the time and all four adults with a kid just around 10%(The last part is never on a highway or long distance since my parents are 70+ they don't like long-distance driving in the car).

Cars I considered and test drive

  1. Mahindra XUV700: Test drove a number of times but I couldn't get a relaxed driving position. I am 5 feet 6 inches and I think XUV700 just doesn't suit my height. Also, the fuel economy of petrol automatics is dismal.
  2. MG Hector: Brilliant car to drive, economic to maintain. Excellent view, and a great driving position. Well built and has Superb cabin space, very comfortable. Although not crash tested but feels it will surely get 4 stars as and when it's tested. Long-term reliability also seems good. It ticked almost all areas but "fuel efficiency".
  3. Creta/Alcazar/Seltos/Carens/Sonet/Hyundai Venue: All are well built, with value for money offering, great driving position and comforts but with just a 3-star crash testing rating I was not comfortable and fuel economy is just ok not great, DCT gearboxes have reliability issues too.
  4. Maruti Brezza: This one ticked almost all the boxes. Crash test Safety 4 stars, compact SUV, most fuel-efficient among the lot, reliable torque converter automatic. The 2022 model just looks too good too. But just a fun part, whenever I saw Brezza it appeared a slightly inflated swift with bigger size tyres. I mean is it really a compact SUV or hatchback with big tyres? The automatic Brezza is lacking in power, never feels like an SUV and look wise it appears like a hatchback only.
  5. Nissan Kicks: I took a test drive and the automatic is too slow and not fit even for sedate driving. Nissan is also treating it like a neglected orphan child.
  6. Tata Nexon/XUV300: AMT felt like a circus driving, too jerky with every change of gear. Both I and my wife had a good laugh after the test drive. Don't know why can't they launch a CVT or a torque converter.
  7. Ertiga/XL6: Poor crash test ratings and automatic felt low on power.
  8. MG Astor: The torque converter with 3 cylinder engine felt a little jerky to me. Poor fuel efficiency too.

I never considered electric: Still feel infrastructure will take at least 3/5 years to fully develop and those living in society flats, unless your society has fast charging infrastructure or your parking has an electric charger arrangement(Needs support from your builder/society management). Remember despite CNG being launched almost 20 years back you still find long queues at even odd hours. Electric would be even worse for public fast charging as it takes 30 minutes to charge fully even on a fast charger. And forget even 10% of my highway trips. And what about resale value or long-term reliability? Your car may be technically dead after 8 years of battery warranty getting over. Sorry manufacturers I need at least 10-15years of battery warranty. So an electric car at least 5/10 years from now for me or maybe I need to keep at least two cars one electric and the other petrol for emergency use.

So finally came Hyryder/Grand Vitara and it suits me the best in the present scenario.

  1. Compact SUV of adequate size.
  2. Hybrids with mouth-watering city fuel economy.
  3. In the city driving dynamics are good both power/handling/Suspension.
  4. Automatic eCVT felt just as good as DCT in city driving or even better. Better than CVT too.
  5. Expect at least 4-star or more crash test ratings, after all, made on the Brezza platform.
  6. Safety wise Hyryder G-Hybrid seems to have everything which the competition offers.

Now why Hyryder or Grand Vitara

Benefits of getting Hyryder instead of Grand Vitara (Both cars are manufactured by Toyota only)

  1. Variant by Variant Hyryder is cheaper by Rs 50,000/ compared to Grand Vitara in the case of strong hybrids.
  2. Cosmetically finishing, looks are better in Toyota. The rest 90% parts are the same in both cars.
  3. Hyryder has free 3years warranty+ 2years paid extended warranty+ 2years extra warranty after completion of 5years at service centre level. Always buy a maximum warranty for new technologies. Grand Vitara has free 2years+3 years paid.
  4. Toyota insurance is the only one which offers zero dep for 7/9 years.
  5. Toyota insurance is the only one which offers battery/hybrid cover insurance add-on.
  6. Toyota service centres already know how to service strong hybrid cars. After all this technology is by Toyota only, which is a world leader in strong hybrids. They already have experience servicing Camry(the only strong hybrid in India).

So finally booked expecting delivery in March/April.

I am also expecting a reduction in taxes on hybrids next year so that might sweeten the deal even more. Both UP and Haryana state cabinets are thinking about considering strong hybrids as electric only and even Toyota is lobbying hard with the central government for a reduction in GST.

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