Lightweight or Heavy Build?


Which is your choice?


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I rely on strong built bodies, All my previous posts i had mentioned the build qaulity of Innova.
I don't say if its heavier its safe, we have to drive carefully.
But one thing i noticed was when my friend was parking his Innova a small bump to a tree had a huge dent.
This makes me thinks how safe it is.
 
Thread Starter #17
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Ambys in general are very strong (panel strength wise) but only & only since the design is very very old, i doubt it would be as safe as any modern car.

but yes, i am sure it can trash a japanese car in the event of a head on collision but the fate of the occupants in both the cars seriously cannot be guaranteed.

I rely on strong built bodies, All my previous posts i had mentioned the build qaulity of Innova.
I don't say if its heavier its safe, we have to drive carefully.
But one thing i noticed was when my friend was parking his Innova a small bump to a tree had a huge dent.
This makes me thinks how safe it is.
Ask me!

1] our 4 day old innova: driver reversing at a speed of maybe 3-4 kmph, literally. reverse sensors fitted by the toyota A.S.S were not installed correctly. they showed wrong readings. there was a post behind. the innova went & "touched" behind. i get down anticipating a scratch on our brand new car. what i see is a huge dent on the boot & bumper. damage - Rs. 9000/-

2] i was reversing at the same speed & some children placed a plastic chair behind which i dint notice. reversed onto the chair which slided away. again got down anticipating nothing but saw the paint peeled off from the bumper! painting charges - Rs. 3500/-

3] In pune, a biker (splendour) rear ended our stationary innova at a slow speed. no damages to the bike but our car's bumper was torn apart! i could see a huge cavity in between. the bumper had to be replaced. Damage - Rs. 6500/-

4] a corolla while parking reversed onto my car damaging the front bumper. to my surprise, the entire brackets of the front bumper was broken!

5] a cycle & its rider fell down on the front fender in traffic scratching & denting it!

6] a rickshaw scraped against the front bumper peeling off its paint.

7] Now this dent on the door i mentioned above due to a small stone. [frustration]

8] Apart from all this, there has been numerous scratches on my innova, not caused by any other car or biker. to scratch an innova's paint, you just need your fingertips or a dried leaf!

My brother always tells me that toyotas may not make good looking, butch or great performance cars but they make highly reliable, sensible & practical cars. i agree on the reliable part but not on the practical part. whatever is saved on the repair costs, more than that is spent on the denting & painting costs!

@ mukesh:
buddy, compare this to our "heavy" scorpio -

my car has been rear ended by a biker, dzire , esteem , qualis (and some i dont remember!)... biker had a broken front mudguard, dzire had a scratched bumper & cracked headlight, esteem had a broken number plate & slightly dented bumper & qualis had a badly damaged front bumper. my scorpio's bumper still stands proudly & has required just a "touch up" job which was done free of cost at the A.S.S.!
 
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Definitely, heavy built cars. Our Maruti feels like a tin, and whenever I close the door, even slam the door, it feels (and sounds) like a feather! Why, I'm sure I can pull off all the 5 doors, seats, trim, destroy the dash/facia![evil]

Our indigo is just about satisfactory, but I want that 'thunk' and tank like feeling I get in the case of the Logan/Palio. No wonder I've asked my dad to buy either a DZire or Polo, nothing else.
 
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I prefer the heavy built cars like the skoda,palio,benz etc.

Some advantages of the heavy built cars in Indian conditions.

Superb ride quality.
Lack or rattling.
Lots of confidence in our poor roads.
Safer during a collision.
Feels secure to drive and travel.
 
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Although most of us love heavily built cars (which includes me) there are some points to consider here

Lighter cars +ves
1. Lighter cars are peppy to drive & a joy to ride in cities
2. I guess most of the light weight cars are also the best sellers in their segments - Alto, Swift etc (mainly due to fuel efficiency)

Lighter cars -ves
1. Pedestrian safety is more of a marketing strategy than an asset - How many of us think about pedestrian safety while booking a car? We will be busy checking finance options, emi's, negotiating the price of the ICE etc.
2. Light cars cant give the confidence what the heavier cars can.
3. Road noise is more due to the thinner sheet metals
4. Tyre upgrade is a must if you want better road grip, then we lose out on the mileage factor & so the whole point of buying a lighter car for better FE is lost.
5. In any collision a lighter car will get damaged easily, less safety for its passengers

Heavier cars :- +ves
1. Safer than lighter cars - in most cases
2. Inspires confidence in the driver even at high speeds
3. Silent cabins, less road noise, nill/very little rattles
4. Better suited for ICE with woofer kind of options
5. more confortable, tougher suspensions, less bouncy feel

Heavier cars:- "-ves"
1. Most of them are low on fuel efficiency
2. They have lesser initial pickup (very evident when you find a M800 being quicker at signals than most other heavier cars)
3. They cant impress you easily on the short test drive the SA offers you in the city lanes
4. Costlier to buy, costlier on daily running (FE) & low resale value

There are N no:of situations where the build quality of the car wont decide the safety of the passengers in it.

Sharing an incident:
One of my friend's family member was driving behind a tempo over loaded with protruding Iron rods - TMT Bars used in building house pillars etc. The tempo stopped to enter the log book at the building site gate (on a very small inclined road) & when the driver tried to drive ahead the tempo started to roll backwards & before the tempo could stop the rods broke the windshield & injured my known person very badly. Since that day my friend's family cribs that Alto is a poorly built car & that the car was not able to protect the occupant.

In the above situation it was the car driver's fault that he was too close to the vehicle ahead. In the above situation no car would be safe, even my favorite Fiat Palio would be of little/ no use.

My choice: Fiat Palio [:D]
Anyday a heavier car, irrespective of mileage/resale value.
 
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I like cars that are built like tanks.I really don't care about fuel efficiency that much,hence I downright hate cars that are built flimsy! A resounding 'thud' while closing the door definitely assures me for a safe journey:)
 
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I would always prefer the heavier ones. Never liked the lighter ones. Heavier ones almost always have better high speed stability, better high speed ride. A quick look at the Euro NCAP ratings of the manufacturers shows that most ford and volkswagen cars score 5 stars [clap]
 
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MISCONCEPTION.

Heavy car does not mean safe car. Simple example for this. An Ambassador occupant is likely to come up with more injuries compared to an Indica V2 occupant in a case of collision between the cars.

The external skin of the cars these days are designed to soak up the energy during a crash. So expect it crumple easily. This crumpling action of the skin helps redirect energy of the crash away from the passenger compartment keeping the occupants safer. If the cars skin resists from crumpling (aka Amby-thicker sheet metal) the force of the crash will be channeled straight into the cabin of the car (aka injuries to the occupants).

AND a lighter car can change direction as there is lesser inertia and decelerate faster than a heavy car which in turn helps avoid a crash.
 
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MISCONCEPTION.

Heavy car does not mean safe car. Simple example for this. An Ambassador occupant is likely to come up with more injuries compared to an Indica V2 occupant in a case of collision between the cars.

The external skin of the cars these days are designed to soak up the energy during a crash. So expect it crumple easily. This crumpling action of the skin helps redirect energy of the crash away from the passenger compartment keeping the occupants safer. If the cars skin resists from crumpling (aka Amby-thicker sheet metal) the force of the crash will be channeled straight into the cabin of the car (aka injuries to the occupants).

AND a lighter car can change direction as there is lesser inertia and decelerate faster than a heavy car which in turn helps avoid a crash.
100%agree bro,An Ambassador absorbs less shock on accident which reaches the cabin than a V2 or on a Beat.
The new generation cars are designed to crumble on accidents for the safety of the passengers,
An innova cannot be compared to a scorpio/safari with strong cross bumpers,on a less speed collision.
An innova is always said and marketed by toyota as a big 8 seated, comfortable,aerodynamic car.
It is true that the Suv's like scorpio and safari's are more safe on collision due to their high GC and strong chassis and cross bumpers but i strongly believe that innova with ABS and Air bags are equally safe on high speed collision.

I would suggest if you go for a lighter good FE car , Go for the one with ABS and Air bags.
 
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Saying that Innova is less safe compared to Scorpio/Safari is a bit dim. All the three cars here are BOFs. So theoretically all the cars will show similar results during a crash. And lets not forget, all the three cars are within the crash safety parameters set by Indian admin.

AND Higher the floor of the car, Higher the potential energy. Hence in an event of a crash, that energy will be dissipated which might result in greater damage.

AND high speed stability has nothing to do with weight. Stability is dependent on suspension setup, suspension geometry, track to wheelbase ratio and such complex mechanical parameters.
 
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This thread is full of misconceptions.

A heavy car is not safer, nor is it better balanced or more stable. Its just an example of engineers being lazy. Flimsy car and light car are two different things. I don't like flimsy cars, but i love light cars.

Ever questioned yourself why all race editions, rally specials of popular cars rely heavily on weight reduction? does it make it less stable or dynamically degrade it from its "heavier" sibling? no, it helps it go faster, take corners tighter and slash lap times.

And please do not compare cars and SUVs. A Polo is half the weight of a Bolero. Doesn't mean the polo is flimsy and the bolero well built. In fact its the other way around.
 
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This thread is full of misconceptions.

A heavy car is not safer, nor is it better balanced or more stable. Its just an example of engineers being lazy. Flimsy car and light car are two different things. I don't like flimsy cars, but i love light cars.

Ever questioned yourself why all race editions, rally specials of popular cars rely heavily on weight reduction? does it make it less stable or dynamically degrade it from its "heavier" sibling? no, it helps it go faster, take corners tighter and slash lap times.

And please do not compare cars and SUVs. A Polo is half the weight of a Bolero. Doesn't mean the polo is flimsy and the bolero well built. In fact its the other way around.
+ 100 for the bold part in your post .
There is a reason why the latest range rover sheds its weight . And you summed up perfectly by giving example of polo and bolero .
 
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I would like to clarify here (if my previous posts have given a different impression) that I dont mean lighter cars are unsafe and heavier cars are flimsy.

This thread is about the build of the car, not the kerb weight. Again, there is no hard and fast rule that flimsy cars are not as safe as cars which are "built like a tank". For example, the Punto and the i20 - though the i20 is not as flimsy as the Marutis (no offence to owners), but still it is not tough as the Punto either. Still, both the Punto as well as the i20 has a 5 star crash test rating.

But then, flimsy cars are a pain to maintain in traffic as a slight shunt causes a big dent. Plus, I have read many cases of Marutis and Toyotas (which I personally consider flimsy) being involved in an accident and coming out completely smashed. On the other hand, I have seen the better built cars like Fiat and Germans like VW involved in a high speed crash and still in a better shape with only a few bruises to the occupants.

Please note - I am not generalizing that all flimsy cars are unsafe. It is just my personal opinion that most flimsy cars cannot take impact as well as the sturdy ones. There can be exceptions. If I am given the option to drive a XUV or the Innova (both with Airbags and ABS) on a dangerous highway, there is no doubt I will pick the XUV. The whole idea that I can bend the panel of the Innova with my finger does not help me psychologically when I think that this can go head on with a 10 ton truck!

Of course, my ideal "safe" car would be car which is not only sturdy, but also has all the other necessary safety equipment like Airbags, ABS, EBD, TCS, etc.
 
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I would like to clarify here (if my previous posts have given a different impression) that I dont mean lighter cars are unsafe and heavier cars are flimsy.

This thread is about the build of the car, not the kerb weight. Again, there is no hard and fast rule that flimsy cars are not as safe as cars which are "built like a tank". For example, the Punto and the i20 - though the i20 is not as flimsy as the Marutis (no offence to owners), but still it is not tough as the Punto either. Still, both the Punto as well as the i20 has a 5 star crash test rating.

But then, flimsy cars are a pain to maintain in traffic as a slight shunt causes a big dent. Plus, I have read many cases of Marutis and Toyotas (which I personally consider flimsy) being involved in an accident and coming out completely smashed. On the other hand, I have seen the better built cars like Fiat and Germans like VW involved in a high speed crash and still in a better shape with only a few bruises to the occupants.

Please note - I am not generalizing that all flimsy cars are unsafe. It is just my personal opinion that most flimsy cars cannot take impact as well as the sturdy ones. There can be exceptions. If I am given the option to drive a XUV or the Innova (both with Airbags and ABS) on a dangerous highway, there is no doubt I will pick the XUV. The whole idea that I can bend the panel of the Innova with my finger does not help me psychologically when I think that this can go head on with a 10 ton truck!

Of course, my ideal "safe" car would be car which is not only sturdy, but also has all the other necessary safety equipment like Airbags, ABS, EBD, TCS, etc.

As you summarized, its all psychological.
The strength of any car, as long as it is a monocoque, will large depend upon the unibody, basically the engine subframe and A,B,C & D pillars. not on the door panels, fenders or hood. What matters is whats underneath the flimsy panels, and that is why the i20 and punto both have 5 star NCAP ratings.
Thats why i said, i like light cars, not flimsy ones.

Flimsy cars, on the other hand flex like crazy during hard cornering.
 

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