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This car will see a use of 7,000 km per year, of which 4,000 in urban conditions. I plan to use it at least for the next 5-7 years.

BHPian CR07 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hello everyone. I’m in a dilemma of buying a reliable workhorse for mostly urban use. I will try to be as thorough as possible with my set of requirements, for you to guide me in buying the car.

Prelude- We are a family of three (soon to be four in May 2022). Our family has always bought new cars, but due to my insistence on checking out at least one used car, we purchased a used Ecosport S TDCI in July 2020 (23 month old car). I was praised by my parents for saving almost 35% money when we were planning on getting a brand new Ecosport at the time. The car has served us extremely well to date, and aside from a small scratch on the front passenger door, it still looks damn new. Our annual trip has been a constant 10,000 a year and I expect it to stay the same.

Need a second car – I will soon be transitioning into married life in a few months, and with the pandemic easing (thank goodness for that), I will need a second car in the family. This car will see a use of 7,000 km per year, of which 4,000 in urban conditions. I plan to use it at least for the next 5-7 years.

For the second car, I have two approaches, but confused which I should adopt-

1) Keep Ecosport as the main driver for all highway trips. Use the second car as a city vehicle. That way, I can buy a car that’s a little older and doesn’t cost much to start with.

2) Buy a second car, which is just as capable of driving on the highway as it is of performing city duties. In this way, the initial purchase cost will increase considerably, but hopefully it will be easier to maintain in the long term.

Budget – 8-8.5L. Can expand to 9-9.5L, if the deal is worth it.

Requirements and expectations

1) Must be automatic. Since we’re looking for a used car, CVTs/ATs are best, well-tuned AMTs are good enough too. DSGs will be avoided.

2) Should be from a reliable brand where the car will not only be reliable, the annual maintenance bill will also stay below 15-20K.

3) My dad and I (5’8ft and 5’10ft) are relatively taller, while my wife (5’1ft) and mom (4’11ft) are relatively shorter. As you can decipher, legroom/headroom isn’t a huge issue for us (me/my dad would sit 90% in the front seats), but we would appreciate if the car could comfortably seat 5 adults.

4) Accustomed to tank like Ecosport build, need safe car (either by perceived build or 4-5 star rated NCAP product).

5) In terms of ride and handling, ride quality matters more. City driving at speeds

6) This car will not necessarily be driven in a metal pedal style. At motorway speeds too, this will spend most of its life in the 90-120 km/h range.

7) Will appreciate a quiet cabin. This includes not only engine noise, but also road and tire noise and vibration-free interiors.

Required features

Essentials: automatic climate control (cooling unit required), cruise control, decent headlights, fog lights, a decent audio system/touchscreen, alloy wheels, rear windscreen wipers (for cars other than sedans), dimming IRVM Automatique.

Good to have – Puddle lamps, keyless entry and start, touchscreen equipped with Android Auto, LED/HID headlights, remote engine start stop, TCS and ESC, dedicated cornering lights

Not necessary – Sunroof and connected car technology

Pre-selected cars

1) 2013 Corolla Altis (10th Gen) – This car has almost everything I need. I will also be able to get one at around 5L; significant savings.

Three doubts I have with this car-

a) Annual service fees. Will they be below 15-20K?

b) The car is 9 years old, can I trust it to stay trouble free for the next 5-7 years?

c) It is almost 4.6 meters long. I have never driven this type of vehicle, is it really difficult to drive one on a daily basis in city traffic? I am staying in Viman Nagar area of ​​Pune which has comparatively less traffic than Bangalore or Mumbai’s peak traffic.

2) 2015 Corolla Altis (11th Generation) – A substantial visual upgrade (exterior) to the above car. The positives remain the same. My doubts also remain the same.

3) Tata Nexon Diesel AMT (2018) – The only C-SUV style car that fits my budget. 5 star rated GNCAP product, solid build, lots of GC, roomy as a 5 seater, it has a lot to offer.

Two Capercaillie-

a) It’s a TATA. I have seen and read many Harrier/Safari owners complaining about frequent problems. If flagships have so many problems, am I supposed to expect much more from Nexon? (My sister has a 2016 Tiago (MT), which has been trouble free for the most part, so included Nexon)

b) Since this is an AMT, will it bother my highway cruising type of driving very much? It also lacks cruise control, which I found extremely practical on Ecosport.

4) Honda Jazz V CVT (2018) and City VX CVT – Honda traditional +ves. Also meets most of my criteria. I’m not sure about NVH levels and AC performance. Also, is the CVT trouble-free?

5) Hyundai Verna SX(O) AT/ SX+ Diesel AT (2018) – Verna’s only major weakness, limited rear seat space, doesn’t bother me. Two tetras, the petrol SX(O) stretches my budget to 9.5L (may cut it down to 9), while the diesel AT misses keyless entry/exit, 6 airbag cooled seats and such. Second – Are there any issues I should be aware of with 6-speed ATs? Can they last for the next 5-7 years without a problem?

I ask anyone with knowledge of the above cars to share it with me and help me make an informed decision. You can also suggest any other car that I might have missed. Thank you in advance!

Here is what Sunikkat BHPien should say about it:

I would suggest stretching the budget to 9.5 and looking for a new Amaze. It may not meet all of your criteria, but it will meet many.

I believe that below 10 lakhs (unless the car has a very low resale) it is not worth going for a used car. They are either old or you save almost nothing.

Here is what BHPian AJ56 should say about it:

Get the Accord, meets all your safety/driving/power requirements and has cruise control + ESP for the highways, is also quite stable at high speeds, very reliable and inexpensive to maintain, mine doesn’t Hasn’t caused any problems in 11 years of ownership. Look for 2012-13 2.4L models that go for 6-7L. You’ll also save a significant amount of money that you can use for new tires/maintenance over the years. Annual maintenance cost of oil + oil filter + air filter is 5-6k using genuine Honda parts and oil (Idemitsu full synthetic 0W-20).

Ecosport is a vehicle under 4m and too small to be used as a highway driver. I have driven a lot in the rush traffic of Mumbai and Gurgaon for many years and the length of the vehicle doesn’t really matter, I switch between the Amaze (3.95m) and the Accord ( 4.95m) and it takes less than 2 minutes to acclimatize in either vehicle, I prefer the Accord in traffic actually because it’s not underpowered like the Amaze and facilitates the reduction of gaps. Cheers.

Read BHPian’s comments for more ideas and information.

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