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What hatch in the 4-6.5 L range

Discussion in 'Car Purchase Queries' started by MihirC, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. MihirC

    MihirC Amatore

    Hi guys,

    I have been looking forward to buy a car since ages. If I could go a bit OT here to give you a background of my love for cars, the first time i asked my dad for a vehicle was when I was 12, wanted to buy a scooty to go for my Karate classes and since then always was hooked on to automobiles.

    1997 saw the launch of Opel Astra, and since that time my mind was focussed solely on europeans. Then came the Palio's, the sienna's and Petra's. The one car which I always wanted to own was the 1.6GTX/S10/1.6S and to this day I regret that I didnt get to drive it even once, let alone owning it. Dad didnt want to spend money on car as he wouldnt be using it and I was not old enough.

    Its been 13 years since then, every car launched by FIAT,TATA,Opel was the one that I wanted to own. I used to and still do keep visually following the car passing by wishing I owned it. Left for further education to the UK and started getting neck sprains seeing the cars over there. I never really recovered when I saw that AM parked on the street, never have or never will ever see something as immaculate,serene like it. Still have a bit of sprain in my neck ::OO

    Anyways, came back home, started off with a job and then the urge to have a car hit me again. Bought a 96k km run,1995 Maruti ZenLX in 2008. To be honest the only creature comforts the car had was an AC and a music system and honestly I didnt require anything more. Its been 3 years and more than 10k kms since I bought that car and now her age is showing. The ride quality has gone for a toss and I can feel every smalles stone on the road, there are rattles in quite a few places, and she just feels so old.But boy oh boy, is she a hoot to drive in the city or what?

    Buying a car was and still is a big thing for me as I have not yet settled down financially and there are quite a few outstanding payments to my parents which have to be taken care of. Nonetheless with my current sweetheart, old, a new one had to be bought and so began the test drives of different cars.Although Iā€™m doing general testdrives since past 10 years just for fun this was a new experience for me. The requirements were pretty simple.

    a) The car needs to be spacious, I should be able to sit comfortably in the rear seat with the front seat, pulled back completely,
    b) The rear should accommodate 3 in moderate to good comfort, since mine is a family of 5. although long trips with full occupancy are not so often, around 4-5 a year,
    c) Impeccable and impressive highway cruiser. I love driving and there is nothing I would rather do more than drive. The only reason I have been holding back expressway drives for 3 years is as I am a bit insecure driving at those speeds in my Zen. So with the new car I was planning to have a good number of long drives to Pune, Kolhapur, Nashik ,Goa etc etc,
    d) Mileage was not a major concern, my Zen gives me 7-8 in the city, I always drive with the AC on. If I want to travel from A-B in the cheapest possible way, If I want a cheapest maintenance costs, lot of service centers so on and so forth, I would rather take the public transport. Period. 10-11Km/ltr in the city would be more than enough.

    The test drives were taken for the following cars,

    1) Punto 1.4,
    2) Vista 1.2,
    3) Micra,
    4) Beat,
    5) I 20.

    Since this post is getting too long I ll post in parts soon.
  2. Bala

    Bala Esperto

    Have you left out the FABIA?
  3. MihirC

    MihirC Amatore

    Well the fabia is available only in 3 cylinder and the 1.6 is out of my budget and also its stripped down of even basic features like rear defogger/wash and wipe. Otherwise , with respect to my requirements, the Fabia suits me to the T.
  4. Punto all the way when it comes to ride on highway. I would only compare it with Polo ( I've not driven yet) given the price range and local manufacturing.
  5. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    I won't even look at the Punto.

    Points a & b from your criteria point ONLY towards one car : the top end Indica Vista petrol variant. I think it is Indica Vista Aura + Safire BS-IV

    I recommend a tyre upsize if you get the Vista though.
  6. Ravi

    Ravi Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    My suggestion in Bold.

  7. MihirC

    MihirC Amatore

    @ Amogh- I agree with you on the points a,b but the Vista is not so confidence inspiring at high speeds especially with more passengers on board. Though space and comfort wise it beats all other hatches hollow, except jazz I guess. Wont a tyre upsize to say 195/60 hamper the ride quality though??

    @ Pinakin- I second you on that mate, call it wishfull thinking if you may but I would prefer a combination of Vista's space and Punto's high speed manners.
  8. amogh

    amogh Staff Member Janitor

    Grande Punto 1.3
    Mihir : Vista is not THAT bad at high speeds. The stability is pretty good. Of course it is no match to the Punto. But it definitely is no worse than the other cars you are considering : in fact it's a tad better. I don't think you need to worry about speeds of upto 140.

    About the tyre : I was talking about a 185/60 14 profile. (I am assuming the top end petrol comes with 175 14)
  9. kaps

    kaps Superiore

    New Delhi
    New Delhi
    Linea 1.4
    Difficult choice. If you can live with compromised rear bench (since you are using full bench 4-5 times a year), the answer is clear, Punto Fire. I think you must not rule out the MJD here. Even in Active variant, MJD will be a great deal. As far as Polo, there are too many harried VW enthusiats who are venting there spleens here http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-driv ... nto-2.html so it is advisable to stay away from VW for now.
  10. MihirC

    MihirC Amatore

    Continuing from wher I had left last night, I ll get to the test drives,

    1) Punto 1.4-


    1)There is already a Linea E+ in the house so Im used to the solid feel, the sturdiness, high speed stability even post 165km/hr,

    2)Steering feed back, handling of FIAT, and the Punto felt no different.

    3)The pick up was acceptable , the poise was great, driving manners- impeccable. Is the Punto as good as the Linea at high speeds, and at masking the speeds as well?

    4)The set of features are simply unbeatable.

    5) Boot space is decent enough to caryy out weekend luggage for 4 people.

    6) The "thunk" when I close the doors makes me feel very very safe and secure.


    1)Rear bench space is way too poor, difficult to seat 3 at the rear for long drives exceeding 100 kms,

    2)The rear legroom itself is pretty meager and with me in the driving seat, no one taller than 5ā€™-1ā€ will be able to seat behind me, as I have a habit of moving the drivers seat completely behind.

    3)The drivers seat was very sports car like, holding and hugging me. I personally prefer more spacious and wider seat. The under thigh support in both the front and rear seats is good though,

    4)The view thru RVM is really poor.

    2)Vista 1.2


    1) Space Space and more space. Im 5'-9" and with the driver seat pulled back completely I was having a tough time in pressing the pedals all the way , and it was pretty ok on the rear seat.

    2) Lot of glass area- The cabin feels much more spacious than it actually is.

    3) The seats are wide and comfortable, though on longer trips I would prefer the firmer Punto's seats,

    4) Feature set is really good at the price range.


    1) The car feels sturddier than its japanese and Korean counter parts, body roll distinct even in turns at speed of 80. Its no Punto. With people on board I wouldnt dare cross 100-120 on the highways.

    2) Woefully underpowered engine, but with the Vista 90 just round the corner, the power factor will be taken care of.

    3) Boot space has been clearly compromised for giving better legroom inside,

    4) The rear end looks soo sad, especially the light cluster looks a bit tacky. The front end is simply awesome though.

    3) Micra 1.2


    1) The size of the car does not do justice to the space inside. Its more or less as good as the Vista,

    2) Cool features like electric mirror close, start stop button etc.

    3)Tall 2nd gear is a boon for city driving. The engine was not at all strained even at 80 in the 2nd gear,

    4) The dash is refreshing than the one on other hatches.

    5)RVM visibility is really good.


    1) The car is a 3 cylinder. The noise becomes quite audible post 80km/hr. From my experience I assume the engine would run out of steam by 100-120km/hr.

    2)No driver seat height adjust even on the top variant,

    3) Rear seats are like a flat bench, not much of a thigh support,would be a concern on long drives,

    4) Boot space,

    4) Beat 1.2-


    1) Funky external design is cool,

    2) Seats 4 very comfortably, rear bench width and leg room is good,


    1) The instrument console is simply a no go for me. Im a conservative person when it comes to cars and all the funkiness from outside is carried to the inside. I just need 4 dials man,Speedo, RPM,Fuel and temp. Found it very difficult to see whats going on where ::D

    5) i 20


    1) Very nice design and a planted stance,

    2) Equipment level is good,

    3)Boot space is decent

    4)Front seat pretty comfortable.


    1) Gear shift was bad, really rubbery and gooey, maybe it was an over used test car,

    2) No offence meant to any i20 owners , but after Punto the steering was simply dead and way too light, I have driven more than 10k kms in the past 2 years including night drives, early morning drives with the glare of the trucks and transport vehicles in my eyes post vashi, but manouvering this car was scary, I was not getting the hang of the steering.

    3)The angle of the rear seat is just between vertical and slightly acute and I wasnt too happy with the posture.

    4) The dash colour combo was a big put off,

    5) rear legroom was not good.

    Post the test drives i20, beat were out of the window. and micra is almost out , just hanging by a thread here. My choices have come down to the Vista and Punto. I am waiting for the 90 hp Vista to be launched so i can TD it before finalising the car.

    Its gonna be a very very tough choice as both the Vista and Punto are excellent in their USPs.I need both high speed ride handling and cornering and good space :confused I know I cant have my cake and eat it too though :cry: . If all goes well, looking for the purchase in December to avail the end of the year sales.

    Oh and I forgot to mention, Looking to keep the car for atleast 5-6 years. Your opinions please guys.

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