Chevrolet Planning Competitor for Honda City?

As per the latest rumours and reports, GM is looking to build on the existing line up of cars in the Chevrolet portfolio and will release a minimum of five models by 2017. In addition to this, it is also being rumoured that Chevrolet would introduce a global C-segment sedan that would make its place below the Chevrolet Cruze.

It is also being rumoured that the Indian version of this model would have a turbo petrol unit or even may have a diesel option. GM India has already made it clear that all the future models of the manufacturer would be manufactured at the Talegaon, Maharashtra plant of the company.

As per reports, the model has already been undergoing testing and may be globally unveiled by the end of 2016.

Since India is one of the largest volume markets in this segment, GM is quite likely to launch it with much fanfare here and if launched it would be above the sub four-meter Chevrolet Beat sedan that is likely to go on sale in 2017.

GM has already had an unsuccessful attempt at the C-segment in India. They had released the Optra SRV premium hatchback as well as the Optra sedan in the past and both did miserably in the markets and were axed soon after the initial blitz. However, the brand is likely to learn from these mistakes and it will be interesting to see how this car shapes up for the global market.

 

Top Five Fuel-Efficient Diesel Cars In India

Though, certain criteria explains petrol option is pocket-friendly if wished to own the car in small size, or if had bought the just for weekend trips; but certainly the diesel had always topped the sales chart. After all, who wished to care about the fuel prices once after buying a car in India, and diesel always delivers more kilometers per litre in any condition, so the most of Indians tend to go with the said option. After the launch of Maruti Swift Dzire facelift, variation between petrol and diesel has risen to an all new level, with this compact sedan delivering max fuel-efficiency as per ARAI in India from a single litre of diesel. To work out the rankings which are just scuffled to accommodate this newbie, here is the fresh list with all the details to know about the top-five fuel-efficient diesel cars available on sale in this country.

Maruti Swift Dzire

The Maruti’s favourite horse to bet even at the dead of a race, has delivered the carmaker to serve more than expected, and is the only model to be sold this widely in the segment. Swift Dzire with its minute cosmetic changes hasn’t raised eyebrows, but the tweaked fuel-efficiency figure claims it to the crown of most fuel-efficient car on sale in India. At 26.59 kmpl it dethroned the Ciaz to sit on the second position. Power delivery is as usual of 74bhp and 190Nm of torque from a 1.3-litre DDIS engine.

Maruti Swift Dzire

Maruti Ciaz

An all new car for the Maruti to experience and gauge the segment rightly which has been delivering failed results to them for past by the means of SX4 and Baleno, is accessed rightly with the claimed fuel-efficiency of 26.21kmpl. This high fuel-economy from the car so long and heavy was unexpected from the maker which stands neck to neck with the magnificent examples like Honda City and so on. The package with numerous new features along with 89bhp and 200Nm of torque from the Dzire’s 1.3-litre engine is enough to keep the foot dabbed on accelerator.

Maruti Ciaz

Honda City

Honda City is sold in immaculate numbers since the launch, all thanks to the diesel trim added to the list, where earlier buyers were able to buy only petrol based versions. Now, the 1.5-litre engine under its bonnet delivers the whopping 99bhp and 200Nm of torque with fuel-economy of 26kmpl.

Honda City

Honda Amaze

The amusement of max fuel-economy in India started with the Amaze, which was the first Honda on the shores to get a diesel engine. Planted with City’s 1.5-litre i-DTEC (of 99bhp and 200Nm) it delivers the fuel-economy of 25.8kmpl, slightly lower than the City despite weighing lesser.

Honda Amaze

Chevrolet Beat

Chevy’s Beat is one of the favourite cars to drive on India roads due its small dimensions that aide in tweezing through the corners. But what’s more exciting is the fuel-economy of 25.44kmpl, which it delivers from a 936cc three-cylinder engine worth of 57bhp and 150Nm of torque.

Chevrolet Beat

New-Gen 2014 Honda City Unveiled in India

New-gen Honda City whipped the entire rumour-mill with its world-premiere held at New Delhi in India. The all new attire of City stunned every spectator at the venue. Japanese concluded, their new flagship sedan launch to be held in January 2014, while this was only the unveiling ceremony to show-off their latest creation that world was waiting for.

Hopefully, the new Honda City takes up a totally different looks. The aesthetics of new City is been enhanced on measurement (than the older one). 50mm increased wheelbase and 10mm increased height are not just the things to talk about. Instead, as rumored, the front seems totally inspired by the latest 2014 Honda Jazz. “EXCITING H DESIGN” is what can be seemed on it even from a distance. We expect the Honda Civic buyers will now also spawn their optional to new City witnessing its foot-cranking new looks.

New Honda City

Engine specifications also do flip the new side of competition. First time in India, City is said to dwell the 1.5L four-cylinder EarthDreams diesel engine in its bay, which is been powering the Amaze. And the 1.5L i-VTEC petrol engine of current City is said to be retained and improved for class leading fuel-efficiency.

New Honda City Interiors

“Layered Floating Cockpit” is the term Japanese used to define interiors of new Honda City. 5-inch screen with in-built handsfree communication, and Aux, iPod, USB and Bluetooth connectivity options, rear aircon vents, 8 speakers, four power outlets (2 in the front and 2 at the rear), sunroof, touch panel auto AC, one-push smart key entry system, cruise control and shark fin antenna are the things defining new vehicle of “H” badge carmaker.

New Honda City Back View

Honda recalls its 2nd gen Honda City to replace the power window switch

Such events are rare in a competitive commercial world. When on one hand every firm is after increasing its profit margin, there is Honda on the other which gives quality of its products, the primary importance. Honda has announced that it is recalling every 2nd generation sedan, Honda City, from the market inorder to fix its window switch. Honda Cars India Limited (HCIL) has said that the power switch might start malfunctioning due to water entering in from the window and therefore just to be on a safer side, it is recalling all the cars.

Honda Motors Limited, more commonly known as Honda, is a Japanese multinational firm that was established in the year 1948. It is Japan’s 2nd largest automobile manufacturing company. Honda has consistently been the biggest two wheeler manufacturer in the world. It is also the largest supplier of combustion engines with an annual production of 14 millions. In the year 2011, it was the 8th largest automobile company in the world with respect to annual sales and production. It deals worldwide in both 4 and 2 wheelers.

The Honda City sedan, first generation, was launched by Honda in the year 1981. THis was followed by second generation Honda City. This stayed in the market until 1994. The tag Sedan was again brought to the market in the year 1996. Since then it has stayed in the market and by 2009 Honda had sold over 1.2 million City units in around 45 countries. City is a sub-compact sedan, which uses Honda’s small car platform.

Honda City Ivtec
Honda City, second generation, manufactured in the year 2007-2008 in India, are being recalled specifically. This car uses a power window switch at the driver’s window which might face problems due to water or some other liquid entering in. So as a preventive step, Honda will be replacing the power window switch in ever Honda City.

Regarding this, Honda has posted on its official website “HCIL is carrying out the part update as preventive measure although no such problem has been reported from anywhere in India. The replacement would be carried out free of cost at HCIL dealerships across India, and the owners will be contacted individually in a phased manner. HCIL is carrying out the part replacement as part of a global exercise by Honda Motor Company to ensure stringent quality standards for its products. The 3rd generation Honda City currently sold in India is not affected and does not require any part replacement. Also, global recall does not impact the Honda Jazz in India.”

To keep up with its standard Honda will be recalling a total of 42,672 units of Honda City sedan.

Honda City again the top seller even after a year in the Indian Automobile Market

Finally Honda has reclaimed the top spot from its rival, Volkswagen Vento and Hyundai Verna Fluidic after almost a gap of one year. Since March 2011 Honda got back the production to its normal frequency and sold 6,052 units in February2012. This was 30 per cent more than what was observed of the segment leader of that time, Hyundai Verna with its sales of 4,500 units. It is important to mention here that Volkswagen Vento won over the 13 years of dominance by Honda City in its segment last year majorly because of its availability in diesel version.

The new design which makes it dissolve in the air with the wind while it moves is in the form of an arrow shot. Electric sunroof is one of the major attractive add-ons to it compared the previous models. The three slate premium chrome front grille has the Honda’s signature emblem. The ORVMs (Outside Rear View Mirror) has turn indicators embedded on them. Sparkling Brown Metallic and Carnelian Red Pearl are among the two body colors added to the list of Honda City in 2012, which makes it a total of 6 colors now. What makes it look luxurious is the 10 spoke alloy wheels when it’s on the move.

2012 Honda City

The company sold 6052 units of Honda City in February 2012 in comparison to Hyundai Verna’s sales of 4500 units every month. As Mr. Janeswar Sen, Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Honda Siel Cars India told the correspondents that it is a fact that Honda city has always been a favorite, inspiring and desirable car in the country. The launch of the 2012 Honda City last year in December saw a commendable response from its customers.

Honda City was supposed to bring in its diesel version long back as it was getting a tough competition from the diesel variants of other sedan making automobile giants in the market and so it came out with two variants in its diesel version. Both 2012 New City Diesel S and 2012 New City Diesel V has a 1.4 Liter, 4-cylinder diesel engine generating a maximum power of 110 Bhp. Here an improvement in the engine is required to make it at par or more advance than the diesel engines of its competitors.

The Petrol version has as always been attracting the customers towards its sheer style and prowess. The high-end variant of the petrol version is Honda 2012 New City V Exclusive AT, which is priced at around Rs.12 lakh. It has a 1497cc, i-VTEC petrol engine which gives a maximum power output of 116 Bhp at 6600 rpm, whereas the maximum torque is at 146 Nm at 4800 rpm. In this C+ segment car you will get great looks, ABS, EBD, Integrated Music System (USB/AUX/MP3/AM/FM), two standard airbags on the front. It is also very relieving to know that on an average, under standard conditions it gives 16 kmpl on the highway and 11 kmpl in the city. Pretty descent for a sedan in its luxury version, I would say.

Production cuts impact the sales of Honda Siel Cars in India

It had been recently reported by us that the impact of the severe floods in Thailand had resulted in Honda Siel Cars India facing huge constraints in getting vehicle parts imported to India from that country. The company’s production in India has taken a hit beginning November 2011, which has now gone on to impact the monthly sales. The production subsidiary for Honda automobile in Thailand, HATC, which has its headquarters in Rojana Industrial Park in the province of Ayutthaya, has suspended production from the 4th of October, as the plant premises has been flooded. This has caused a complete disruption in getting components supplied from the Thailand plant.


All models that are manufactured in India have been affected by the shortage of parts. However, the vehicles that have taken the maximum hit are the Honda City, Honda Jazz and Honda Brio. The Senior Vice President for Marketing and Sales, Honda Siel Cars India, Mr. Jnaneswar Sen, said that as the company had announced previously that the floods in Thailand had severely impacted their production in November owing to shortage of parts, the same was also likely to continue in the month of December as well. He regretted on behalf of the company for the inconvenience that Honda customers were facing as a result of these developments and appealed to them for understanding the situation. He also declared that HSCI was fully geared up to ensure that they resumed their full production within the shortest possible time.

As per reports of the company, it had registered 1,982 units of sales in November 2011.

Deals for the month of October 2011

Ahh! This time across we are bringing in the deals for the month a bit late. Usually we compile the list by the starting of each month and most often follow up with another series in the same month. However, this time around, it took an unusually long time to get the details fixed up. So, without any further ado, here are the deals for the month of October 2011.

Mahindra:

The manufacturer is as it is having its hands full with the newly launched XUV500 and hence to bring the focus onto its other models, the manufacturer is offering some heavy discounts. The Scorpio is readily available off the shelf and hence there are no discounts on this one. The upmarket version of the Mahindra Xylo, the E series gets a free insurance package plus a 2 years extended warranty package. The D series which is targeted for the taxi segment gets no discounts. There are no discounts being offered on the newly launched Bolero and also the Thar. The diesel variant of the Verito gets no discounts while the petrol one gets Rs 20k off its sticker price.

Mahindra Verito

Chevrolet:

The Chevrolet Spark now comes in with very nice Rs 57k off its sticker price. This makes it approximately 20 percent cheaper to buy. If buyers want, they can opt for a Mahindra scooter in exchange of the Rs 57k. The Spark’s younger brother, the Beat is also offered with a Rs 31k cash discount. However this magnamity extends only to the petrol variants and the diesel variants don’t have any discounts on them.

Chevrolet Beat

Hyundai:

In lieu of the upcoming launch of the Hyundai Eon, Hyundai Motors is offering generous cash discounts of upto Rs 50k off on its small car, the i10. This offer extends to all the variants of the i10 and includes the Rs 15k exchange bonus as well.

Hyundai i10

Honda:

The biggest gamble that Honda played has actually paid off. The slumping sales of the City have seen a significant boost following its Rs 65k off offer. The offer still continues. More than 10 percent of the car’s ex-show room price is being waived. This big heated feeling shown by Honda may also be to the fact that a new face-lifted City is just around the corner. The Jazz also comes in now at a much cheaper price tag and infact Jazz deliveries are now hitting at a 6 months waiting period deadline.

Honda Jazz

Toyota:

Facing some slump in sales following the initial interest by the car buying public in the Etios, Toyota have decided to offer discounts to boost the sales. This is the first time since its launch that the Etios is being offered with discounts. About Rs 25k is being offered by Toyota dealers off the sticker price of the Etios petrol and this includes the insurance part also. No discounts are being offered on the diesel variant or even on the Liva hatchback.

Toyota Etios petrol

Nissan Sunny vs competition – a new rule

The Caaar ad would have definitely caught anyone’s attention and that is just the right thing that Nissan wanted for its baby sedan in India. The only thing that Nissan officials weren’t sure about was the point at which the Sunny would be competing against or rather which segment would it cater to. Once the price of this car was announced, it became even more confusing since it straddles both the lower strata of the C segment as also the higher end of it. The former due to its pricing and the latter due to its space quotient and features list. The Etios, Dzire and Manza would be the direct competitors of this car from the lower segment while the higher segment would see it competing against the likes of the Hyundai Fluidic Verna, Honda City and also the Maruti SX4. The Sunny is a rounded off product which is a well thought out weapon from Nissan’s arsenal and one which thinks to straddle both the ends of the C segment. We just primed the Nissan Sunny against its so called rivals and the results are for you all to read.

Nissan Sunny

Looks

The Nissan Sunny in India car looks like a mini Teana for sure and this was a unanimous thing which everyone would agree to. However, turn towards the rear and it is quite obvious that apart from the tail lamps which are similar to the Teana, the boot looks more like that of the Swift Dzire. Come to think of it, there are also some comparisons with some other Maruti products like the SX4 as well. The most flamboyant design package in this lot would have to be the Hyundai Fluidic Verna. Its got all those chops, swivels and what nots in what can be called as a diminutive package. Sportiness is quite evident from the Hyundai Fluidic Verna in India’s appearance. Even the rear does seem to sync in with the whole design of the car. The Honda City in India can be called as a car which holds its appeal even well after 3 years since its launch. This car can be said to have aged gracefully. The arrow shot design still commands a second attention. The rear is also well proportioned. The Toyota Etios in India is a bread box package. Its boxy, however the uses of some elements of chrome have definitely spruced up the looks of this car. Even at the rear, the car carries forward the boxy theme. As for the Tata Manza, it’s a product which cannot be called cutting edge but at the same time, it stands its ground well. When it was introduced, it had an all new look and approach to design. It never looked like the Vista had a boot tacked onto it. However, the same cannot be said now since the Vista has now got the Manza face to it. However, it definitely takes up the fight with the upper C segment with its space and features quotient, just like the Sunny. The Maruti SX4 is more like a concept car here. It seems smaller than it actually is plus the thing that it is the most butch amongst cars here. Traditionally cars have been referred to in the feminine gender, however not with the SX4. The tall stance and a well integrated boot is what it all stands for. Its smaller brethren the Maruti Swift Dzire in India looks exactly like the old generation Swift, with the addition of a downright ugly boot.

On the design side, it’s the Hyundai Verna which looks cool while the Etios and Sunny cater to the sober kind of clientele. The Manza and City would appeal to the young as also middle aged personality while the SX4 is something which we can call as the car for someone who wanted an SUV with sedan like capabilities. The Swift Dzire for the budget conscious and lovers of the Swift’s design language.

Honda City

Interiors

Now, this is where the Fluidic Verna outshines its rivals. Everything out here has got a premium feel with what even the switches and power goodies falling into hands easily. The Verna has got a nice feeling going for it. Its only when the space is concerned, that it falls short in the backseat. The Nissan Sunny in contrast is a car which, like the Verna has got good interiors along with the assurance of space thrown in. The AC unit has been plucked out from the one in the Micra and is a cool looking piece. The Verna and the Sunny are the only two cars here to have a push button start for the engine. The Tata Manza in India is one product which is very similar to the Sunny in its dimensions. It has also got features galore, even though it is a very affordable car. The Blue and Me technology which is derived from Fiat is a useful feature. Spacewise, the Manza is one of the best in the class, even surpassing the Sunny when it comes to head room. When we talk of space, there was earlier only the mention of Honda City. Even now, things haven’t changed much and its still very much a spacious car. However, the price point at which its positioned, with the entry of new rivals promising the space, it is but natural that people would ditch the snob value of Honda and go in for the others. The City also lacks in features which the Verna and even the Etios to some extent offer. The Etios top end model comes with steering mounted controls. However, that is it. It was built to be a low cost car and it stands true to that. The seats are flat at the rear and shoving in 3 huge people at the back wouldn’t be a problem. As for the SX4, it has also got a good features list. One sits upright in this car and visibility all around is real good. Even for the back benchers, this one is pretty good. The Swift Dzire seriously lacks space at the rear and the boot addition just about adds some space to the Swift’s puny boot. The features list is almost similar to that of the SX4, moreso since they share parts from the same bin.

If its space, one is looking for, then there is no contest and it would be the Manza here with a cutting edge price tag for it. Next comes in the Sunny with its features list and comfort factor. The Toyota Etios is one more car which is good for being chauffer driven, however the quality of plastics leaves a lot to be desired. The Honda City is still a very comfortable car, however, the omission of certain features plus the typical Honda “stinginess” really hurts. The Swift Dzire makes for a good car for singles; however, if carrying around people is a priority, it better is left alone. The SX4 is for those who would like to be in a commanding position while driving and would even like their passengers to be in the same position. It has got just about adequate features.

Toyota Etios

Handling and ride quality

The Sunny here can be called as a neutral handler, its not an expert in controlling the body roll thing, however, does well to mask it with its soft suspension setup. The ride quality is also of the absorbing kinds. However, the NVH factor is something which Nissan should have worked on coz this sedan isn’t that noise proof as the others in this comparison. The Fluidic Verna is something which is a very quiet performer. In terms of absolute NVH, there is nothing that comes close to this sedan. The handling though is a doubtful thing and it isn’t as well planted as we would have liked. The ride quality for a softly sprung car is very good and it more or less is in the same ballpark as the Sunny’. The Manza’s engine makes a little less of noise than the one in the Sunny plus the suspension is all the more absorbing. The handling for the Manza is also on a similar foot like the Sunny, however the steering wheel lacks some feel as compared to the slightly better feel from the Sunny. The Suzuki SX4 is the one to go for if one has to have a sporty car as an everyday drive car. The SX4 has a stiffly sprung suspension underneath and this means that the ride quality may not be that all cosetting, however the handling definitely is very surefooted. As for the NVH, the Suzuki engine is quiet and only gets coarse towards the top of its rev range. The Toyota Etios in India was perceived as a low cost car and this is evidently visible from the fact that this car doesn’t have sufficient insulation under the hood. As a result, inside the cabin, things do get thrashy after a certain limit. The ride quality is good, however, the Toyota doesn’t feel confident around bends and plus the steering wheel which is more tuned for city use, doesn’t work in its favor while on the highways. As for the Swift Dzire, its also stiffly sprung and this affects its ride quality. As for the handling part, the Dzire is a bit tail happy; however, it does its best to plant a smile on its driver’s face. The NVH is well controlled for the 1.2 liter engine. The Honda City in India has a ride quality, which though not exactly pampering, can still be termed as acceptable. The handling would have been stellar, were it not for the lackluster steering wheel, which simply doesn’t provide a good feedback. Wider tyres would have also made it to handle better.

The overall balance tilts in favor of the SX4 with its made for India ground clearance as also handling prowess. Other meekly follow it here, however, the ratio would vary depending on one’s preferences.

Maruti SX4

Engine, performance and fuel efficiency

The Maruti Swift Dzire’s engine is the one which has the least capacity amongst this competition. However, it produces a mighty 84 Bhp from its heart along with 113 Nm of torque. It is mated to a 5 speed stick shift. The Dzire is amongst the lightest cars in this category and has superb acceleration to its credit. The engine and gearbox combo is a perfect thing here. The Dzire’s brakes need some working into while the safety features list, up the variants is also good. The Toyota Etios comes with a light weight body and a 1.5 liter heart. 89 Bhp of power and 132 Nm of torque is what can be plucked out of it. A 5 speed manual gearbox, which though a tad notchy, does the job well. The Etios’ brakes have almost the same bite as the Dzire’s and safety levels are also the same. The Tata Manza has got a 1.4 liter Safire heart and 89 Bhp of power along with 132 Nm of torque is what it has managed to produce from it. A 5 speed manual gearbox, derived from Fiat is what this one brings into the equation. The gearbox, though not in the same region as that of either Suzuki or Toyota, is a reasonably good shifter. The Manza, due to its porky weight loses out on the acceleration front, but, still is a nice cruiser. The brakes of the Manza are better than the Dzire and Etios, however on the safety features front, per variant, the Manza lacks behind.

The Nissan Sunny gets a 1.5 liter engine which is tuned out and out for fuel efficiency. It produces 98 Bhp of power along with 134 Nm of torque. The gearbox here is a vague unit and neither does the engine like to be hurried. However, the Sunny scores on its opponents by having its safety features in place. Variant on variant, there is no comparing the Sunny with its competitors, with even the base variant coming with a single airbag, ABS and EBD. The Hyundai Verna’s less decorated 1.4 liter engine makes 107 Bhp of power and also 136 Nm of torque. A 5 speed manual handles the cog shifting duties. The Verna petrol is also a gutsy performer; however cruising is what best it can do. The base Verna lacks safety features in the name of ABS and airbags, which is a big letdown. The petrol SX4 has got a 1.6 liter engine which has a peak output of 104 Bhp of power along with 145 Nm of torque. The gearbox of the SX4 is a bit recalcitrant; however, does the job perfectly. As for safety features, the Sunny’s spec list matches that of the SX4’s and both the cars are evenly matched here. The Honda City makes do with a 1.5 liter petrol engine which produces 117 Bhp of power, the highest in this comparison along with 146 Nm of torque. The gearbox is a smooth shifting unit and a delight to use. The engine also takes on a sporty note, after a particular rpm. The Honda City, however, lacks the basic safety features which one would expect from a sedan of this class.

Tata ManzaAs for the fuel efficiency, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency is the highest for the Etios while the Sunny ranks in a close third.

The Nissan Sunny does stake out claims to being a big sedan with lots of space and just about inoffensive looks. However, for the part that it has been, it doesn’t do anything exceptional. Its fuel efficiency is also not class leading. What it promises is a very tempting price package plus some segment firsts like the rear cooler vents, push button start and keyless entry. The Sunny price starts from a very tempting Rs 5.78 lakhs and is available in three variants. Compared to this, the Toyota Etios starts at a price of Rs 5.54 lakhs, the Maruti Swift Dzire’s base price is Rs 4.88 lakhs, the Tata Manza’ price starts at Rs 5.39 lakhs, the Maruti SX4 starts at Rs 6.91 lakhs. The Honda City’s price starts at Rs 7.6 lakhs while the Hyundai Verna’s price starts at Rs 6.99 lakhs. Feel free to guess the winner in the comments section below.

Hyundai Fluidic Verna

10 Cars that rewrote India’s automobile history

Now, we all know that there are some cars which hold a place of pride in our lives some time or the other. This same thing happens when we go out to buy a car and come out in the end clutching the prized possession that we admired for so long. Sometimes, the car we admired is no longer in production and hence we have to settle for some duplicate or new version of it. Sometimes, people even settle for used cars exactly because they still want the car of their dreams or rather dreamt of when they were 15 or 16. There were some cars which caught on the fancy and actually changed the entire landscape of the Indian car industry. Here is a list of the 10 cars that actually rewrote the Indian car history for good.

Maruti 800 :

The 800 actually mobilized the Indian public and this inspite of having some of the Premier Padmini cars around. The 800 went through its fair share of changes and moves when it shifted from carburetor to fuel injection and some minor body panel changes. Finally in 2010, it was laid to rest, albeit temporarily and from what we have heard so far, MSIL are planning up a M800 on the lines of the Alto minus the K series engine. Seeing an 800 filled with about 7-8 people was quite common and infact is even common now.

Fiat Palio :

The 800 may have never looked alluring enough but then the Fiat Palio was. There was always an aura about it and despite the fact that Fiat weren’t putting their best feet forward, this car was on the top of the priority list of many buyers. This car had a tank like build quality and coupled with the 1.6 liter engine went like stink around corners. Moreover, it was highly practical as well. Only the Fiat authorized service center part is what spoilt this car’s future. Has anyone heard of the term hot hatch? Well, it was coined after this car came to the market.

Tata Indica :

After the 800, this was the true People’s Car. Tata without much collaboration from foreign companies managed to make their first foray into the passenger small car segment with this car and it stays true to the Indica. The car buying public got what they wanted and that was fuel efficiency, a cheaper to run diesel engine and also space. Not to mention the ease of spares with a Tata product. All this coming in an attractive package as well. The Indica went onto become the Indica Vista and stuff.

Honda City :

The City was the alternative to the Maruti Esteem at that time. Buyers were delighted to have the Honda badge on what was a relatively inexpensive car. Moreover, unlike the Esteem and Cielo, this one had a very good performance even towards the fag end of its rpm. Something like a turbocharger in those days when even turbochargers on diesel cars was a luxury. It was also fuel efficient to a certain extent as also dead cheap to maintain. The reliability aspect was even better than that of the Esteem. It changed the Indian mindset towards Honda as a brand.

Toyota Qualis :

Comfortable drives were never a part of the people mover group thanks vastly to the cramped up Tata Sumo as also Mahindra Armadas. However, when Toyota unleashed the Qualis, it was regarded as a safe, comfortable and also reliable option. Plus factor in the fuel efficiency and the low maintenance costs and this MUV was always in the “waiting”. Inspite of knowing that it was going to be discontinued, there were bulk orders for the same and even now, resale values are an all time high for this MUV even with multiple owners being there on its RC book.

Maruti Swift :

A company which was trying to project a youthful image to its customers found the Swift in their backyard and that’s where the entire thing changed. The Swift was first viewed with an apprehension by the car buying public but then this skepticism was met with long waiting periods and this saga continued right till the 6 years old model was discontinued. Fun to drive – tick, fuel efficient –tick, reliable –tick. What more could a buyer ask for. Plus the drop dead gorgeous looks is something which cannot be discounted for. The Swift continues its best seller tag even to this day and the new one has started following on the old one’s footsteps.

Mahindra Reva :

Well, when it was launched, it had a different name tag to it. However, this was India’s answer to the world regarding the use of electric technology for cars. It was not only compact but also a cheap thing to run about. The asking price is a bit too high however that easily gets negated counting the running costs. The icing on the cake is when next year there would be a 4 seater electric variant coming up and which should carry 4 people around in reasonable comfort without occupying much of real estate.

Skoda Octavia :

Before the Octavia was launched, the Indian public never really knew that there existed a car which had a tank like build, had a big boot, lots of space and also a diesel engine. All this in just under Rs 10 lakhs. Plus the status quo which rivals that of Mercedes cars. This is the Skoda Octavia. Yeah, the rear space was bit on the lower side as was the leg room. The fuel economy that this one accorded was near about 18 kmpl and the diesel running costs further made it all the more value for money. Then there was the RS variant which was aimed at satisfying the enthusiasts and made all the automobile journos look upto Skoda for a test vehicle. Truly a icon, sad that it didn’t sell too well (RS).

Tata Nano :

The car that the world looked upto and only a certain Indian was able to fulfill with, the Tata Nano seemed like a very fresh thing out of the oven. Yes, it has had its fair share of troubles even before production began and also a lofty target to meet as far as the price was concerned. It had the footprint of a sportsbike and offered to carry around 4 passengers in relative comfort. Also, it has got a very frugal engine with decent pep to it. Also, it can be called as a proper 4 wheeler. The Nano set the right expectations from its buyers and delivered more, a typical Tata trait and eventually an Indian at that.

Hyundai Santro :

This tall boy Korean marked the entry of Korean car maker Hyundai into India. It was greeted with a flourish, especially so since Bollywood superstar Shahrukh Khan was endorsing it. The Santro proved as a means of affordable motoring for the Indians and also mixed it with a good seating capacity and reliability. 12 years after it was launched, the Santro still manages to sell in decent numbers given the competition that it has raked up in all these years. This tall boy helped Hyundai in setting a strong firmhold in the Indian car market. Many revamps over the years didn’t see much change in the looks, but yes the engine and fuel efficiency always seemed to be ready to take on the competition head on.

If you have the cash, we have the used car suggestions here

More often than not, it can be noticed that first time car buyers often have a dilemma of choosing a new car or an old one. This has been extensively covered in some of the earlier discussions. Right now, the second hand car market in India is more of a minefield. Cars which would have been considered out of budget some good 3-4 years ago are now suddenly viewed with a renewed vigor and with the same budget in hand. Due to this, many new car buyers gravitate towards a second hand buy just to satisfy their so-called carnal desires. Like the title says, if you have the particular amount of cash (read Rs 8 lakhs), we have the right car suggestions for you. This would apply both to the enthusiasts as also ones who are not so enthusiastic and just want a point A to point B machine.

Hyundai Santro (2003-2010) :

This is a popular choice for a first time buyer since this car is a tall boy which means that one can easily look around the corners and have an easy access to the interiors. Over the time that it has being in India, it has achieved a near cult status. The reliability quotient that it comes with and the running, servicing costs which border on the affordable end mean that this is the right choice for a first time buyer. However, some of the spare parts are really expensive. People on the prowl for a used Hyundai Santro should take a close peek at the driveshafts. If at all, there is a noise coming in from there, it would only loosen your purse strings. Ensure that the parts used in the car are original and not some fake counterfeits. Second hand Hyundai Santros with CNG and LPG kit fitted on as additions need to be checked thoroughly. Check if an RTO endorsement certificate has been issued to this car or not. If not, then this should be the deal breaker. Typically, used Hyundai Santro price should be around the Rs 1.2-2.7 lakhs mark. As an other alternative, its identical Maruti cousin, the Maruti Wagon R can be looked into.

Hyundai i10 (2007-2010) :

The natural replacement for the Santro would be the i10. Check out the tips on buying a used Hyundai i10. It is a highly recommended second hand car buy and especially so due to its reliable and almost flawless nature. However, like most of the i cars, even this one has a steering rattle problem. A badly maintained i10 will also need some looking into its tie rods, which in turn would affect its handling. Check for some other vital signs on the used Hyundai i10 that you are eyeing. A common practice noticed amongst Hyundai i10 owners is that they tend to fix on the 1.2 Kappa badge on cars with 1.0 liter engine. Don’t be fooled by this and check the RC book carefully for the engine displacement details. Since the i10 is a new product, resale values are also very good. A used Hyundai i10 price would vary from Rs 2.0-3.3 lakhs. A worthy competitor is the Nissan Micra.

Maruti Alto (2000 – 2010) :

Since the time the car was launched, Maruti have been constantly giving it some botox treatment. The exteriors were touched upon minimally and it was more of the interiors thing receiving the bounty of Maruti’s upgrade formula. Some bits like the tail lamp bezels as also the head lamps received a minor upgrade throughout the life cycle of the car. However, this same thing makes it easy to check a second hand Maruti Alto in the used car market. An Alto should have matching head lamps as after an accident, owners tend to put on the more modern shape of head lamps and end up having one head lamp of different size and other of different. If the color of the body panels differ, then it is a sure sign of a shunt. The coil and condenser need to be checked closely in carbureted versions of the Alto as though not costly to replace, if ignored, they do tend to leave one stranded on the middle of nowhere. The head gaskets should also be inspected closely for leaks or stuff. Other than that, there are no major issues creeping in a used Alto. If the head gaskets lack uniformity, it means that the engine has been taken apart at some point of the time or other. Used Maruti Alto prices would hover around the Rs 80k to 2 lakhs mark. The other alternative would be discontinued stablemate Maruti 800.

Maruti Swift (2005- 2010) :

One of India’s favourite hatchback, the Maruti Swift is just going to enter a new phase of its life and resale values for the older ones would definitely fall down. As of now, the used car markets are flooded with Swift models. It is available in both the diesel and petrol trims. Reliability as also fuel efficiency are the trademarks of both the engines. However, there are some things to look out for in it. First up is high mileage cars definitely need to be given a pushover. Front suspension has known to be troublesome for some earlier cars and this can be diagnosed by the unearthly sounds that the car makes when going over potholes. Tie rods are another area of trouble for this used Swifts. A suspension overhaul would be on the cards if there is a wood gnashing against wood noise coming from the front. The Swift has had some variations in its lights and do check if all the lights match each other on the exteriors. A used Maruti Swift price would vary from Rs 3.0 lakhs and going upto Rs 4.3 lakhs, depending on the variant and model selected. An alternative to this would be the Tata Indica.

Maruti Swift Dzire (2008-2010) :

Just like its smaller cousin, the Swift, the Swift Dzire also sells well and it also has its fair share of niggles or issues, usually associated with Maruti rather than the car itself. Suspension is the primary suspect here and all the checks done for the Swift would also need to be performed for the Dzire. The steering column usually develops play and there are some noises to be contended with. Replacement would be the order of the day for the joints and worn out bushes. Due to its peppy performance, the second hand Maruti Dzire that you may be eyeing would have being involved in accidents. Best way to check is the spare tyre recess. The paint needs to be checked and if there is any doubt in the shades, be wary. Under the bonnet, the strut braces also need a careful inspection. If both the ends don’t seem the same, then it is very obvious that the car has been in a shunt and the repair work was done shoddily. Alignment is also an issue with the Dzire cars and hence this also needs to be checked properly. See if the car is tracking a straight line and if its not, then better move away coz the chassis may have been damaged. The second hand Maruti Swift Dzire price would be in the Rs 4.3-5.4 lakhs bracket or even more. A worthy alternative to it would be the newly launched Toyota Etios.

Mahindra Scorpio (2002-2010) :

This is one SUV which has constantly been upgraded throughout its life cycle. If things weren’t enough, it get both engine as also cosmetic upgrades. Many Scorpios are now available in the used car market and hence choosing the good ones from the lemons is a difficult thing. The earlier generation of SUVs, though available dime a dozen are best left untouched. They were a tad unrefined and also had problematic electricals. Prices are very tempting but then after the initial purchase, you would be left with a problematic vehicle. The newer lot need to be checked for smoke from the tail pipe. If its profuse enough, then the air mass sensor needs to be replaced and it is a very costly thing. Taxi duty Scorpios would have to excused as they would be have been driven rashly. Steering pump as also the suspension need to have a thorough overall look. Engines though are reliable enough. Depending on the condition and goodies on offer, a used Mahindra Scorpio price would be between Rs 3-7.3 lakhs. The worthy alternative to it is the Tata Safari or even a Toyota Innova.

Honda City (200-2010) :

The ever looked upon Honda City is a hot favorite in the Indian car market. However, this doesn’t mean that the car is without its faults. Spare parts are more on the costlier side of things for a used Honda City and even the windscreen wiper costs a bomb to be replaced. Engines, however, are bulletproof and don’t tend to have any problem. Hassle free service is what the engine of the City is known for, be it whichever generation. The electricals, however need to be thoroughly assessed. The aircon system and the power window modules need to be given more than a roving eye. Throughout its lifecycle, only the latest generation City was recalled to have the Motion Spring replaced in its engine. Do checkout if the recall has been adhered to. Do steer clear from Vtec modified cars with many racing accessories added to them. The earlier Vtec engined cars also gave lesser than expected fuel efficiency but would be high on the smiles front as far as driving pleasure is concerned. The Honda City holds on to its resale value very nicely. The used Honda City price would vary from Rs 2 – 7.5 lakhs. An alternative to this would be the Hyundai Verna or Maruti SX4.

These are some of the cars which one can buy in the used car market depending on what their preference is. The more flamboyant ones would go for the City or the Scorpio while newbies would prefer the Santro or Alto. Enthusiasts would keep a sharp eye on the Swift and also its booted sibling along with the Vtec variants of the City.