Dilemma: Searching For a Driving Pleasure Oriented Car


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I am an avid automobile enthusiast. But I regret each and every passing moment of being one, and scoff at almost all cars available in India. Why? You may ask. That is because where are the cars? All I see on roads are refrigerators and washing machines! They can do everything well and even tell you what’s wrong with them, but none, NONE evoke the true sense of feeling that a car used to do. Where’s the aggression?

The involvement?The style? Tall-boy designs, boxy shapes, small wheels and huge doors, crappy shapes all over. And still auto reviews are all gaga over the designs. Where are the cars? The long low and wedge shaped ones? Whatever happened to good looking things on the planet? The only cars that look good to me are the ones which have been ageing. The humble 800, the mitsu lancer.The erstwhile baleno. The cedia looks good and so does the civic, but look at others. A-star?Gaping goldfish.Estilo? Cross between god knows what and what. I10? The worst looking car in any department. The old verna? It was designed by my Dentist. Im sure it was. The last gen City? I don’t have words for it. The Micra?The Ritz?The Dzire? And the list goes on. And the way the dzire sells, I don’t think MSIL would ever have to employ better designers! But then that’s how it works in India.

Question- I am a young guy, out of college, in a job, and a saving to buy my first car. I have 5-6 lakhs to spend and would like a car which looks good, and is thoroughly enjoyable to drive. So what do I buy?

Answer – Nothing.There’s nothing for you. Specially the fun to drive part. The Swift with the rev happy G13B was dere, but they have discontinued it. The Getz CRDi with that stonking mill was a sleeper in every sense, so they put it to sleep. Forever. The Figo has a petrol mill that I wont think twice before using it to pump water. Its that agricultural. The Micra you might say, well I thought u wanted a “Good” looking “Fun” car? What else? The I20 is good looking, but way out of your price range, and armed with a EPS, is a video game,like every car with EPS.
Coming to the handling part, which car you drove recently has the driving dynamics of a car, and involves you for the sake of fun? The last ones I drove, from the Wagon-R in my house to my friends Swift to the i20 to the fiesta. Nobody. The involving cars are all dead.
Lets pray for them.

1. Honda city Vtec.
2. Ford ikon 1.6 ROCAM
3. Maruti Suzuki Zen
4. Maruti Suzuki baleno
5. Skoda OcatviaVrs

And the list will go on. Today I wanted to buy a new car, but instead decided that will use that money to improve upon my present rides. A set of Koni’s are en route for my 800. Short shifter is already in place, the turbo is being worked again, with some head work for lowering compression. A new larger intercooler has been ordered, with a new Mikuni carb taking place of the older one. If possible, plan to go with ITB’s. A strut Brace is being fabricated as I type this, and the ICE is getting framed in my mind. Search is going on for 13inchers that appeal to me. All this while I have thrown a mail to a stockiest in Japan who claims to have a spare set of the 4x4 kit that came in Alto Rs works in the early 90’s,and will fit our 800 with some mods. Lets see what gets out of this deal.

And then I also need a bike. Fun and Aggressive. Rev maniac. And I know I’ve bought the correct bike for myself. An Apache RTR. But now the power feels less and I want more. So ehat do I do? Upgrade to a better bike? Well lets see. P220? A flame will show its true place in the twisties. And if I don’t ride for twisties, why do I ride? R15 u say, everybody has one, and in Ranchi, u see those poser boys in R’pundhrass’ withDhinka Chika horns, and u shrug to buy one. So?ZMR.Never. Even if I get one for free. What to do then? CBR 250? Looks like a good option. Explored it and found im not ready to sell of my RTR, and maybe wont ever. So looked around and found Joel Joseph. Called him to get info about his RtR big bore.Plonking it soon. 205cc big bore kit. Megaphone exhaust. Modified flow Head, compression bumped up.Bigger 29mm CV carb.Upjetted. Is rumoured to produce somewhere near 22BHP! All this in a package that weighs less than a stock 160RtR. P220s out in Ranchi, watch out. Somebody is gonna give u sleepless nights.

So overall what did u find? A middle class auto lover in India has nothing off the shelves. And thanks to the tuner culture growing here in India. Else what would have happened to people like me??
 
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Re: Dillemas

Sorry Debayan, but I am failing to understand the point of your thread. Looks are subjective and depends on inidividual's perception. If you are talking about driveability, there is new tech being employed every day. I am sure most of us would agree that new age engines are better to drive and *maintain* compared to their older counterparts.

Every market has cars which are built for the masses, if you want something different, mod it. If not, one should be ready to shell out the correct price for exclusivity!
 
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Re: Dillemas

Sorry Debayan, but I am failing to understand the point of your thread. Looks are subjective and depends on inidividual's perception. If you are talking about driveability, there is new tech being employed every day. I am sure most of us would agree that new age engines are better to drive and *maintain* compared to their older counterparts.

Every market has cars which are built for the masses, if you want something different, mod it. If not, one should be ready to shell out the correct price for exclusivity!
Im ready to pay for exclusivity, but here. i just want clean simple Drivers cars. can you list them in the lower price bracket? A trend that was started by the Honda City and Ford ikon? Any such cars now? Thats my whole point. i dont want exclusivity. i want pure simple cars, unmarred by electronics.
 
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Re: Dillemas

With margins coming under pressure and sinusoidal demands car makers have moved away from making pure driver oriented (or should I say driving pleasure oriented) cars. Sudden surges of torques have been linear ed. Engine o/p has been controlled for better FE and emissions. Agree with you that you would not find cars like OHC or Ford Ikon, but still there exist cars which inspire confidence and are fun to drive as well like Swift, Punto 90Hp, but they are rare and lack few bits. All other new mid-sized sedans or premium hatches have transformed to suit the economic demand.

Those Lancers, Balenos, Ikons have now given way to all these sedate machines. Thats why the performance mods come into picture.
 
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Re: Dillemas

Completely true. And this is what pisses me off. Every other country gets hot hatches. Inexpensive fun as i like to put it. But us? No luck as such. I dont want sedate cars, who can move me from point a to b in utmost comfort sipping least possible amount of fuel. This is the only reason why i had to go the tuner route. I still have a raesonable amount left with me. Any good cars u guys can suggest?
 

350Z

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Re: Dillemas

True that some of the so called modern car designs are instead going towards back but then, this is not the case with all of them. Auto makers are bringing what the audience wants and exploiting their demands in order to earn more profit by selling them into volumes (This is Business after all). And the truth is that, in this era, exclusivity, features and maximum possible fuel efficiency is exactly what buyers are looking for. Just that, possibly the definition for ‘exclusive’ has changed here which is why we see all kind of funky designs to attract attention of youngsters. Maybe it is increasing expenses / rising costs of fuel that force buyers to opt strictly VFM cars, or maybe the tastes have changed or for whatever reasons - Now the problem is, number of ‘enthusiastic’ buyers like you has been compressed who keep the simple design, fun to drive factor along with value for money as priority numero uno. For those who do, either they have very little options or have to shell out premium costs, else simply buy used. I’m unsure if any new car under this much budget will be able to please you but I can confidently recommend to check out Pre-owned Mitsubishi Lancer Cedia Sports. I’m too on a look out for one but unfortunately, it's too rare to find. This car definitely ticks most of the boxes, if not all.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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Re: Dillemas

@Racerdabba, I can very much feel what you must have felt that made you start this thread. Most MSIL cars in India are people movers, period. Do not mistake them with cars. [;)]

My vote is and will always be for a Mitsu Lancer. what a looker man, absolute sleeper.
Second best would be a conti.

where are the CARS man???


freakdude
 
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You can make best use of what is available or go on endlessly ranting about it.
O c'mon buddy.dont take it as a rant. It's just the desire to won a automobile that makes you drive it more and more.
 
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Thread Starter #10
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You can make best use of what is available or go on endlessly ranting about it.
well, im not ranting about anything. And if u have read the post completely, u can see that im doing what i can. Upgrading my present steeds. Now ur signature has the answer to my question. But i dont have that kind of patience, nor do i have the guarntee that after all those years when i ahve the money, i will splurge it on the BMW or some practical family needs.
 
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Few hatches which *were* good rides - Palio 1.6, Getz CRDI, old zen for sheer driving pleasure. I can not comment whether there are good ones in the new breed.

In mid sized - cedia sports (though expensive), baleno and ikon obviously. In new ones Linea T-jet scores over everyone in that price range. ANHC drives like a toddler in front of it.
 
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well, im not ranting about anything. And if u have read the post completely, u can see that im doing what i can. Upgrading my present steeds. Now ur signature has the answer to my question. But i dont have that kind of patience, nor do i have the guarntee that after all those years when i ahve the money, i will splurge it on the BMW or some practical family needs.
I did read your post completely . I am well aware that you are juicing up your present ride.

Your tone represents the typical enthusiast's groan and I am very much party to it. However, we are only a niche segment or rather a non-existent segment. Our cries will always go unheard. The best you can do is get whatever is available and be happy with it.

Off Topic: Speaking of BMW, they have launched tuning options.
 
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Few hatches which *were* good rides - Palio 1.6, Getz CRDI, old zen for sheer driving pleasure. I can not comment whether there are good ones in the new breed.
I had a Siena 1.6 and can confirm it was indeed a drivers car. Even the Uno I had before it was a real handler and was anyday better to drive than the Zen. My sister had a Zen and I used to drive it sometimes. Even though the Uno was 45 BHP v/s the Zens 50 (both carb), I always enjoyed the Uno more. The Getz was a real rocket but a horrible handler (all hyundais suffer from this)

In mid sized - cedia sports (though expensive), baleno and ikon obviously. In new ones Linea T-jet scores over everyone in that price range. ANHC drives like a toddler in front of it.
Was not impressed by the Baleno. The Fiesta is really good. Not driven the Ikon or T-Jet.
 

Akash

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Very well written racerdabba. I agree with each and every word of yours. However when it comes to performance, i feel Baleno is the car which is not only a drivers car, but handles superbly. However, maintaining the ccar is a bit difficult, since most of its spares are not easily available now.
 
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Have you tried all cars in INDIAN market?? I would suggest you to give Punto 90HP worth a try..
I had recently been to check Punto and had a chance to speak with some Punto 90HP owners, and they feel that its a sheer performance machine.. If 90HP is out of your budget then I think even Punto 75hp with some mods can take care of your performance thirst.. You can search for Punto mods for such performance boost.
 
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