Well, lets take this one by one
To keep an apple to apple comparison, I will keep the on-road price in the same ball park of 6.5-6.75L. Not considering any exchange bonus or discount
Honda Amaze S MT (7.23L - 45k discount): Compared to the other cars, the space and interiors are not that great for the price. The S version does not have air bags. So I am not too keen
Ford Aspire Trend MT(7.01L): Nice soft driving car and feature loaded. However, the Trend does not have ABS
. Pedal feel in the test drive was just OK. Plus Ford is known for high maintenance costs, isint it?
Tata Zest XMS / XM (XMS 6.9l XM 6.7) : Test drove it today on familiar roads in my locality. Nice spacious car with good features. ABS
, CSC and Airbags from the XMS variant. However, you can feel the engine rattling in the gear stick which even the sales rep admitted. The driver side mirror on the one I drove didnt open up to the point I couldnt see the corner of my car but I dont remember this problem in the one I drove yesterday. When I raised the seat handle to straighten the back, it just refused to go down. Quality issues there. And dont Tata cars have a reputation for falling apart sooner? TATA OWNERS PLEASE ADVICE
Hyundai Xcent S(O)-7L/ SX-7.4L- The S (O) doesnt have airbags. Both are way too expensive. Even with discounts, the front seat space is less that the others. Not too keen
Maruti Swift Dzire VXI (7L): Known and established car but lacks the basic features- no ABS
or airbags in this one. However, really like the interiors and backed by good support network. Not sure what to make of it. The ZXI is 8.1L (with discounts 7.5L but thats out of my budget) and didnt it have hard brake pedal / ABS
Maruti Baleno Sigma / Delta: When I test drove it, I didnt feel it was a peppy as the Swift. However, I did end up driving a 500km old car and judging it in bumper to bumper traffic and then thought it wasnt as eager as the Swift! I think, the Base Sigma is not too bad as it provides ABS
+airbags in 5.9L. If I step up to the Delta, I get a lot more features at 6.8L, it isint too far out of my budget. The current waiting period also ties in with my timelines for purchase (after Jan 2016 registration).
I have asked someone to snap the Sigma from Nexa, Pune and send me the pics for a better feel of the Sigma
I20 Elite Magna / Sportz: The Magna is 6.7L and the Sportz 7.3L. The Magna doesnt come with ABS
or airbags. Then the rear seat is just about same as the Swift to get in and out. Not too keen as too expensive anyway
Toyota Etios Cross G: Really liked Toyota's approach on pricing model offers in that nothing needs to be added or done over and above the model's price. The car was well built and put together for a 11000km old test drive vehicle. However, space inside is not even the same as the Swift, car doesnt have ABS
and is way outside my budget at 7.3L. Not keen
Honda Jazz E/S/SV: This car drives very well and flattens out the bumps and stuff. Having seen so many other cars recently, I decided to just go and sit in the showroom model (SV) today. Realised that its interiors are not as premium as some others. The SV is 7.73L and the S is 7.1L. There are no offers, so I can only look at the base version! And the E or the S doesnt even come with ABS
or air bags. Other that the space it offers, I wouldnt even be considering this car
I didnt look at any of the others due to other issues.
So basically, it looks like I have to choose between the Baleno (Sigma or Delta), Dzire (and forgo the ABS
and airbags) or the Zest (and hope it doesnt give too many issues). I always have the option of waiting a few months to see if the Dzire price corrects (as it should or the Baleno's price goes up, which is rumored) and / or Hyundai and Honda react and start offering ABS
and airbags in their base versions also. In the meantime, I can also get reports on the Baleno but I am considering booking the Delta (which has a 8-10week waiting period) by which time I will get the Baleno reports and can decide whether to cancel my booking.