Indian Autos Thread

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Chandragupta
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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Chandragupta » 09 Mar 2015 07:43

Did test drives of Altis, Jetta and Octavia diesel manuals. The VW is easily the best out of them with loaded features, space, drive and ride quality and a body built like a beast. The Altis I found very sluggish and unimpressive, though it looks really smart from the outside and Octavia is horribly over priced, I mean 20L for a car that used to be at 11-13L not so long ago? Same thing with Altis too, a decent diesel manual variant will put you back by around 18L, which it hardly looks like. Only thing I'm concerned about Jetta is the maintenance and availability of spare parts, hope that will not be too much of a headache!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Sridhar K » 09 Mar 2015 09:58

^^ IIRC Indian Octavia and Jetta sharing the same platform inside like Rapid/vento, superb/passart and is a repositioned vehicle?

My friend has a passat, spare parts are not an issue but he spends Rs 35000 odd on each of his 15K service. VW treats him well but they seems to charge a super premium on their branded parts while the OEM one with out the VW logo is much cheaper. A Mud flap costs Rs 8000 odd as they say it is imported. Altis will definitely be cheaper to maintain with very high MTBF of parts.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Aditya_V » 09 Mar 2015 12:45

Chandragupta the Altis Diesel with its 1.4 lt 84BHP diesel is heavily under powered for the category. Only reason Toyota prices it so high is because the Petrols deserve a 17 lac value and in this country Diesels are automatically priced 1 lac above. I would even consider the Altis Diesel. VW only downside is cost of parts.

If dont mind compare a Petrol Altis VS Diesel 2.0 Jetta. I think there should be a 3-3.5 lac purchase price difference. See whether you will recover the difference within 3-4 years.

You can also consider some of the SUV's for the Budget, Mahindra XUV 500 or Duster AWD for that budget or Renault Fleunce.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby negi » 09 Mar 2015 14:11

All depends on the amount of disposable income , if one is ok with a worse case scenario involving car being a PITA after say 3-4 years of use and is ready to buy another one then one can buy a VW or best buy an extended warranty but that will not cover suspension or even transmission only engine and some core modules are covered which seldom go kaput. Painting a VW Polo front bumper alone is 8k INR clutch plate alone is around INR 20 k same thing for even a Honda city is around 10-12K INR. That is the premium you should be willing to pay.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby arshyam » 10 Mar 2015 02:59

Negi-ji, but do clutch plates really need replacements that frequently? I would guess they last a long time. How has your experience been, w.r.t. to service? That is one big factor in deciding on a car, and their levels vary across countries.

Let me share my experience with a VW in khanland: I had owned a 15 year old ('99) made-in-Germany Passat for the past 7 years. When I bought it right after grad school, when asking the dealer if the car will be reliable (it was 9 years old, with 130K miles under the hood), his answer was: it was not an American car, and the car will run for a very long time. And my experience sort of bore out what he said: I had no problems other than the odd oil filter/service, and replacing the timing belt at ~140K miles (2nd time in the history of the car). Other regular maintenance was changing tyres when they went bald, and fixed the brake pads once in 2008. They were sort of due for replacement again last year, but had decided to sell/donate the car, so gave it a pass. Finally donated the car at 165K miles last year. Towards the end, the suspension started making a noise/creaking a bit on rough roads, and steering needed some fixes, but at the ripe old age of 15, that's expected I suppose. But absolutely zero issues with engine, clutch, transmission, etc.

Yes, while the maintenance was not much, the parts were expensive. One must keep that in mind. I don't know what VW service offers in India, I think negi-saar is better placed to answer that. I just wanted to give the perspective of a satisfied ex-owner of a VW.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Raja Bose » 10 Mar 2015 04:03

Dunno about the VWs sold in India but VW build quality of cars sold in massa are paki. For reliability best to stick to Japanese brands. Germanics are typically much more unreliable.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby arshyam » 10 Mar 2015 04:06

Sorry saar, don't agree. Pliss to see my above post. Have been owning Germanics for the past 8 years, no issues with reliability.

Are you by any chance referring to Germanics assembled in the US? Both my cars were assembled in Germany, maybe there's a difference.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby putnanja » 10 Mar 2015 21:51

I had a Honda Civic in 2000, while some of my friends bought VW Jettas & Passats 2000 model new. Our cars did similar mileage, and after 10 years my Civic was still running strong with just regular maintenance. The VWs had so many niggling issues that my friends sold off their cars and bought different ones, not VWs! One of my friend who bought an Accord too had trouble-free ownership and sold his car recently.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby ldev » 11 Mar 2015 06:17

German cars are great to drive, phenomenal balance between ride comfort and handling and they feel safe at high speeds due to their autobahn tuned origins. But they are a money pit as far as maintenance is concerned. I have access to some high end vehicles e.g. driving a 2013-2014 Mercedes Benz S550 4MATIC, is some experience, from 60 kmph to 160 kmph, even at 50% throttle, it accelerates like a jet aircraft on take off. However my friend who owns the S550 calls it the $500 car!! Because any visit, however simple to the dealer, results in a minimum bill of $500, even for the mechanic to just peek under the hood!!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby niran » 11 Mar 2015 08:14

Raja Bose wrote:Dunno about the VWs sold in India but VW build quality of cars sold in massa are paki. For reliability best to stick to Japanese brands. Germanics are typically much more unreliable.

German cars except Merc and beemer have quality equivalent to premier padmini of 80s. (based on cars localy in me neck of woods) by year 3 you will need engine/ gear work (no not oil/filter change but real engine work where it is opened up) Beemers will need engine coolant plug change in year 5 regardless of km used. this is because they still use aluminum caps in place of Bronze caps the Japs use. Merc power steering hydraulic pipes will go kaput in 3 years this is true for ever model since 2000 (dunno what the cause is) and don't get me started on beemer, aah! i remember have posted about beemer quality and timeline about things going kaput somewhere on BRF.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby arshyam » 11 Mar 2015 09:21

pandyan wrote:^^ is it 1.8T or VR6? btw, there is an interesting video (in a good way) of VR6 engine by Engineering Explained. VR6 is really a single block with cylinders slight offset and looks like an inline 6 only compact length wise.

as far as I know, most of the VWs are made in mexico now for the americas. not sure where it comes from for india. I doubt the issues are related to final assembly. batteries are german made I believe as are many small items. they had a huge problem with cracking window holders and window with drop down all of a sudden. then engines had the bad habit of drinking oil requiring owners to keep a careful eye on the engine oil level. dealership network is also few and far.

1.8T saar, good enough for my needs.

VWs were expensive till recently, I think they started production in the US (or Mexico as you said). The prices dropped too, IIRC. But the earlier ones like mine imported from Germany.

As for India, I think they are assembled in Chakan, and not imported. The parts may have different levels of local sourcing, I am not sure either.

putnanja wrote:I had a Honda Civic in 2000, while some of my friends bought VW Jettas & Passats 2000 model new. Our cars did similar mileage, and after 10 years my Civic was still running strong with just regular maintenance. The VWs had so many niggling issues that my friends sold off their cars and bought different ones, not VWs! One of my friend who bought an Accord too had trouble-free ownership and sold his car recently.

There was a time period around 2003-06 when Jettas seemed to have a run of issues. I know of one person who had bought a Jetta in that time frame, and seemed to have some issues with his car. Not sure how serious they were, though. But VW sort of cleaned up after 2006 with their next gen, some of my friends have Jettas/Passats, didn't hear any complaints from them.

If the choice is between a Civic and a Jetta, I would go straight for the Civic. Retains value better. But with other Japanese models, it's not such a straight decision.

Toyota messed up their reputation by not focussing on quality around 2008-11, when they had recall after recall, the most serious ones related to the sticky accelerator pedal. I swore off Toyotas ever since, and haven't regretted. Plus, Toyota cars have cheap looking rental car type plastic interiors, especially when compared to a Honda of similar price range. I have observed this especially on the Camry, which I rented 2 times in the last six months. Was disappointed, considering it was a Camry. Honda does a better job with feature comforts even on their most basic models, and looks classy, relatively speaking. Engine wise, both are equally good. I did have a 15 year old Corolla for 2 years in madrassa days, and I added 30K miles to it in 2 years, which was a mean feat, considering her already advanced age (15 years old, 150 to 180K miles!). At the same time, my fellow batch mates had a selection of 18-yo Accords topping at 220K and older Camrys! So yes, Japanese cars run a very long time.

As for Nissan, the only data point I have is from a friend, who's Maxima stuggled with clutch issues. Finally traded it in as the clutch plate (which seemed to be the culprit) gave out and needed replacement, but was costing around 2.5K USD in a local garage, not even the official Nissan service centre! Turns out the engine compartment had to be opened and a bunch of stuff removed before being able to access the clutch mechanism.

Chandragupta-ji, hope I haven't confused you by these long posts!

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby rahulm » 11 Mar 2015 12:03

Maybe one day, the funnest car in the world, the Alfa Romeo 4C is available in the India at some time in the future. Alfa lost its way for many years, indeed decades but with the 4C they have re-announced their arrival as a sporty fun marquee claiming its lost glory.

The sound of a classic Alfetta with the legendary 1954 era all aluminum (very advanced for that era) 4 pot 2L OHC throttling its twin weber carbs, gleaming chrome highlights and short leg long arm (unusual) driving position or a 3.0 GTV/Spyder with the rasping Busso (the best sounding V6 of all time) is a class and refinement apart from the super car genre excess of Aston Martin, Lambo's, Ferrari's which are essentially hoon cars.

If only the newer Alfa's could be more reliable and the classics were not held together by rust (Russian steel). But, they when they are running they are a hoot.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Kashi » 11 Mar 2015 13:32

I had a chat with few hybrid car owners and they are quite happy with the performance and fuel efficiency. Toyota Prius for instance had a mileage in excess of 25km/l as per one.

Of course driving conditions and roads are different around the world but I think one can safely assume we would do well to encourage the the domestic manufacture and use of hybrids around the country. It should help with auto fuel consumption and that would reflect positively on crude import bill.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby member_28640 » 11 Mar 2015 13:48

Hybrids like these saar?
Image
Image
Image
Now before you report my post, i'm trying to make a point. The cost of an actual hybrid is very high in India.
Actual Hybrids require high precision parts that no contractor is willing to make not to mention battery technology. Hence a manufacturer is forced to go for Full Import route and this means that the same Prius in Desh is 25 lacks.. It has the same space as a Honda Jazz which is 20 lacks cheaper.. Think about how much fuel you get for 20 lack rupees. VFM Mindset onleee saar

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Kashi » 11 Mar 2015 13:52

GopiN wrote:Now before you report my post, i'm trying to make a point. The cost of an actual hybrid is very high in India.
Actual Hybrids require high precision parts that no contractor is willing to make not to mention battery technology. Hence a manufacturer is forced to go for Full Import route and this means that the same Prius in Desh is 25 lacks.. It has the same space as a Honda Jazz which is 20 lacks cheaper.. Think about how much fuel you get for 20 lack rupees. VFM Mindset onleee saar


Exactly. These cars are expensive because they are imported. If the manufacturers can be encouraged to set up manufacture of these cars in India, the costs will come down. It's all about economies of scale. If a contractor sees a profitable venture he'll try and go for it.

Of course as you pointed out, it's not so simple since there may not be enough skill set to replicate the advanced engineering necessary to locally produce the batteries and other crucial components.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby member_28640 » 11 Mar 2015 14:06

Saar the subcontractors can always be hustled into producing mechanical parts with better and better tolerance values, but the Indian electric industry is still nascent and focuses on heavy industry. Local LiPo production facilities just cannot come up due to the intense competition from China (This is mainly due to most Lithium Mining happens in China upto 95%). The more complex the car the more industries it involves and in India those industries havent yet come up. This is where Make in India is important

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby uddu » 12 Mar 2015 06:44

Maruti Suzuki aims to make hybrids affordable, offer technology on cars from Alto to Swift hatchback
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/ind ... 120758.cms

Maruti is aiming to make hybrids affordable and wants to offer the technology on cars right from the Alto, the cheapest in its product portfolio, to the Swift premium hatchback over the next three to four years, said people with knowledge of the carmaker's plans. In the process, it is taking the 'Kitna Deti Hai' (how many miles does it give) slogan to the next level.

These people said Maruti's hybrid solution could deliver 20-30% more fuel economy.

"A large part of the development is happening in Japan and key inputs from Indian R&D engineers are also being absorbed. The idea is to offer a technology to the mass with not a major price difference over existing petrol cars."

"The success of hybrid depends on affordability as the Indian consumer is highly value and cost-conscious," said Gaurav Vangaal, senior analyst, forecasting, at IHS Automotive. "Maruti can penetrate the cost levels in India given the volume of its products."


The huge import bill on crude oil is always a worry for India and to limit it, the automotive industry needs to start looking for viable alternatives
, Vangaal said.

Maruti to supply new Swift hybrids to government
http://www.autocarindia.com/auto-news/m ... 80888.aspx
Maruti Suzuki is all set to supply an undisclosed number of production-ready Swift hybrid hatchbacks, named Swift Range Entender, to the government as a part of its pilot project.

http://www.business-standard.com/articl ... 295_1.html
Swift Range Extender Hybrid was showcased at the 2014 Auto Expo and recently it was even showcased at the 2015 International Green Mobility Expo in New Delhi. The Swift Range Extender hybrid returns a fuel efficiency of 48.2km/l.

The Swift hybrid is powered by a 660cc petrol engine and an electric motor that together produce a power of 73bhp. The electric motor has a range of 25.5 kilometres and can be fully charged in 1.5 hours, through a 230V charging socket. The hatchback weighs 1600kgs, about 500kgs more than the regular Swift.

Image

Maruti Suzuki is planning to get hybrid cars in India, beginning with the Swift. Suzuki is working towards developing affordable hybrid car technology, with India being a key market for the company. The launch of the Swift hybrid is planned to be around 2017, however now the only challenger will be the price point at which it will be offered

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Singha » 12 Mar 2015 06:59

Ford is using aluminium panels in f150. If it passes ok could save weight over steel.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby hnair » 12 Mar 2015 07:09

niran wrote:don't get me started on beemer, aah! i remember have posted about beemer quality and timeline about things going kaput somewhere on BRF.


Missed that. Can you please repost?

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby niran » 12 Mar 2015 09:45

something like
- at 8 month battery goes kaput (12 months if you are lucky)
- at 38000 km timing belt change they have rubber belt timing belt not metal
- 50000 km engine cooling valves change (major work involving taking down the whole engine)
- in 7 series every 8000 km you need to change all shock absorber bushings another looong stay and huge payout at mechanic
- in 5 series by 65000 km major electrical/sensor work like oxygen sensor, oil sensor, heat sensor going kaput and the car refusing to start
- by 75000km the electronic engine management computer (beemer staff words not mine) kaput me had to pay 28000 INR in 1998 that is about 56000 in current era
- by 100000 gear, engine, windows even the damn clock needs attention (softest word i can find)

compare accord to 7 series and civic to 5 series onree regular oil change, brake pad (15000 km) Tyre change(55000km) and battery change (3 years)
no complain in 15+ years for accord and 7 years for civic till now every i insert the key am confident i won't a dead car (touch wood)

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby Chandragupta » 12 Mar 2015 20:24

Thanks arshyam guru for the insights. Had another look at Altis, Jetta, Octavia & even the new Verna. I seem to have missed the totally atrocious interiors of the new Altis. They're ridiculously bad for a car that costs 17L on road. I checked out the new Verna just for the heck of it, loaded to the hilt with all kinds of features and no doubt a great option for a smaller sedan, may be I'll replace one of my hatchbacks with it later this year, god willing. Anyway, so I have more or less zeroed in on the Jetta diesel. Feels like a beast, I say it again because it is a badass tough car with excellent ride quality. Hope to close it in a couple of days will report on my initial experiences here.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby arshyam » 13 Mar 2015 06:17

Please sir, not a guru by any stretch of imagination. Just sharing my experience, that's all. All the best with your new purchase.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby panduranghari » 13 Mar 2015 15:28

Up vote for Honda. Have 2. One for wife which is 5 year old Insight hybrid bought from new. Mine is 26 year old civic. Still going strong. Bought it in 2008. And still is strong. Wife does not like it nor do my friends who are all posh (or at least think they are). Honda claim their VVTI engine has NEVER failed ever, globally.

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby hnair » 13 Mar 2015 18:25

niran wrote:something like
- at 8 month battery goes kaput (12 months if you are lucky)
- at 38000 km timing belt change they have rubber belt timing belt not metal
- 50000 km engine cooling valves change (major work involving taking down the whole engine)
- in 7 series every 8000 km you need to change all shock absorber bushings another looong stay and huge payout at mechanic
- in 5 series by 65000 km major electrical/sensor work like oxygen sensor, oil sensor, heat sensor going kaput and the car refusing to start :eek:
- by 75000km the electronic engine management computer (beemer staff words not mine) kaput me had to pay 28000 INR in 1998 that is about 56000 in current era
- by 100000 gear, engine, windows even the damn clock needs attention (softest word i can find)

compare accord to 7 series and civic to 5 series onree regular oil change, brake pad (15000 km) Tyre change(55000km) and battery change (3 years)
no complain in 15+ years for accord and 7 years for civic till now every i insert the key am confident i won't a dead car (touch wood)


<pops in a bottle of gelusil>

I would have to drive to Bengaluru (where it was bought), since the pakis over in Kochi dealership has once put in spurious parts (long story, the dealership at Chennai found out and reported to the country head. They sorted it out, but no more going there!). I use chubbier tyres nowadays, due to low-profile ones getting banged up by Kerala's NH, so changed the suspension a bit

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Re: Indian Autos Thread

Postby nachiket » 13 Mar 2015 22:43

Chandragupta wrote:Thanks arshyam guru for the insights. Had another look at Altis, Jetta, Octavia & even the new Verna. I seem to have missed the totally atrocious interiors of the new Altis. They're ridiculously bad for a car that costs 17L on road. I checked out the new Verna just for the heck of it, loaded to the hilt with all kinds of features and no doubt a great option for a smaller sedan, may be I'll replace one of my hatchbacks with it later this year, god willing. Anyway, so I have more or less zeroed in on the Jetta diesel. Feels like a beast, I say it again because it is a badass tough car with excellent ride quality. Hope to close it in a couple of days will report on my initial experiences here.

If you were considering the Corolla and Jetta, why did you see the Verna? You should have checked out its larger sibling, the Elantra. It has equal if not more interior space than the Corolla and looks better as well. Hyundai's after-sales service in India is pretty solid. Much better than VW anyway.


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