Hi guys, I'll begin with a small prelude for my friends who is not aware of the scenario. A few months ago, before coming to the UK, I had sold off my Punto as I had nobody to take care if it while I am here. Now, I will be coming back to India in September and that warrants the need to begin the search for a new car.
Why am I looking for a car 5 months before I need it?
Well, my sister-n-law just learnt driving and since my other car is an XUV, it is not wise to give her the XUV to drive. The idea is to buy a car which can suit a newbie like her and also is good enough for an enthusiast like me!
Is used car an option?
Definitely. Since she is a newbie, it would be better if we buy a used car, since I dont wanna see scratches and dents on a brand new car. Also, for me, I can get a bigger and better used car than a comparatively smaller new car. Its time for a lateral upgrade from the Punto!
My priorities for the car :
2) Good interiors
3) Spacious (we are a bunch of tall people in the family!)
4) Adequate features (Powered ORVMs, USB compatible audio and if possible, Auto AC)
5) Adequate performance
Not coming to the most important bit - the car has to be an automatic
Why an Automatic? Well, it would be easier for my sister-in-law to drive around an A/T, plus A/Ts are more convenient for me considering the dense Mumbai traffic. Since, this wont be out primary car, the running would be very very low, hence fuel efficiency and resale value is not a concern.
Now, I am open to both options - petrol and diesel. I am a huge diesel fan but I am aware that finding a huge diesel A/T is a task, so I am okay with a A/T petrol too. Also, the resale value of a petrol A/T would be pathetic, so chances of finding good cars at dirt cheap prices are more.
Please note that even though the car is primarily to be used within city, long drives once in a while can be possible. The budget
- Not a rupee more than 5 Lacs, maybe 5.5 at the max.
Now the options I have considered are: New i10 A/T
: Would cost be about 6.2 Lacs for the A/T sportz variant. Asta would cost be about 7 Lacs.
Pros: Brand new car, nimble and easier to drive around town, lower maintenance costs.
Cons: Pricey, un-enthusiastic A/T gearbox, tall boy not good for ride and handling, not very spacious (so long trips are out of question), fuel efficiency not good enough for a hatch, no Airbags and ABS
in Sportz variant. Used i10 A/T
: Will cost me about 4 to 4.5 Lacs
Pros : Same as above + the fact that I would get a decent car for lesser money.
Cons : Same as above. Used i20 A/T
: Price is about 4.5 to 5.5 Lacs
Pros : Spacious cabin, lots of features, good to drive in city and lower maintenance.
Cons : Again, unresponsive A/T, low fuel efficiency, poor styling (I somehow dont like the way it looks), sloppy steering response and handling and no passenger airbag in Sportz variant.
Used Civic A/T
: Price is about 4.5 to 5.5 Lacs
Pros : Good styling, comfortable seats, spacious, great dashboard, good ride and handling, superb A/T with paddle shifts, i-VTEC technology and refined engine, all safety features like Airbags and ABS
and also Auto A/C and powered mirrors standard across variants... all this at a great price!
Cons : Low ground clearance and low set seats. Comparatively more driven and older than a similarly priced used i10 or i20.
I have not considered a used ANHC as it is pricier than used Civics since ANHC was launched in 2009 and you get used Civics of 2006-2008 which cost lesser. Also, A-star A/T is not considered since it is too cramped for us.
Now, I know the choice I have to make is - whether I go for a 2009-2010 manufactured (about 25k driven) used i10 or i20 or should I go for a 2007-2008 manufactured (about 45k driven) used Civic... Other options are also welcome, if it fits the above mentioned criteria.
P.S.: I have seen a Civic V (top end) A/T which has done 44k kms and is a 2008 model. The quoted price is 4.9 Lacs, so essentially it can be bought for about 4.5 Lacs. If we stretch the budget to 5 Lacs, I think we can get cars which are driven for 30000 kms and maybe a 2009 model. I searched across forums and it is mentioned that used Civics are popular in the market and Honda engines which have run for 40k kms is practically a new engine!