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  1. Prashanth
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. Monday, March 01 2021
Hello sir,
I live in Bangalore and I am looking for a hatchback/compact SUV car in 10 to 12 lakhs (on road) budget to be primarily driven to office. This will be about 30kms a day two-way at least 4 days a week. I will also be doing weekend shopping(10kms) and may be a long trip once a quarter. I need a PROPER automatic and a safe car and these are two absolute priorities with no compromise. I am least bothered about fancy features and I would like to get the car delivered in the next 4 to 6 weeks.

I have been primarily doing online research so far and here are my thoughts. I seek your recommendation.

Honda:
I like Jazz but not sure if their 1.2 engine is still good enough, 1.5 could have sealed the deal. Wrv is a let down as they don't have an auto. Amaze is a sedan but should I consider their 1.5 diesel CVT?

Hyundai/Kia:
I have owned an Honda accord and a Mazda CX5 in the US and hence heavily partial towards the Japanese cars. I don't like Korean cars for no reason :) However, I am happy to listen to your thoughts here.

Toyota:
Where are the cars? It's sad that I just have the Suzuki rebadged Glanza and Urban cruiser to consider.

Tata:
I like Nexon but no AMT please. Should I wait for their DCT?

Kiger:
Should I consider checking this out? I am skeptical about the safety and build quality

Suzuki:
I llove the Brezza with their 1.5 engine but does it make sense to consider this given that new gen will be releasing this year end? I am not sure about SCross as lately I see Modiji quite skeptical with the platform this is built on. Baleno is nice but I don't think it does well on the safety aspect.

VW/Skoda:
I love the polo but my family of wife and 2 kids will struggle in the rear seat during long drives. I don't want to put down so much money and get the comfort compromised.

Ford:
My first love for SUV started with Ecosport but the mileage just doesn't make sense to me at all.

Looking forward to your response.

Thanks,
Prashanth
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Dear Prashanth Saahb,

Greetings !!

I read your entire post with available car choice options. Some Inputs
> Polo: Yes very correct, somehow limited rear seat legroom is a downpoint, but if ready to exceed budget to 11.5 Lakh On road then can get in Skoda Rapid Rider Plus Automatic which has better rear seat legroom and is a great choice in terms of handling, build, performance, Even turbo lag looks like masked in Rapid Automatic and not much felt as otherwise in Manual Transmission

> Ford Ecosport: Yes Mileage is a definite concern area

> Renault Kiger: To view are better products available

> Nexon DCT: DCT still has time and would be introduced in Altroz first, followed by Nexon. This would be very first time such a transmission be introduced by Tata Motors and reliability is in unknown zone

> Toyota: Yes is Suzuki Badged products, but if seek may explore Toyota Yaris J CVT. A great product for day to day city use and ground clearance is decent too. Worth a check

> Hyundai, Kia: They made a name for reliability and IMT as what introduced by these brands delivers a great experience. No Manual Clutch Pedal and yes has creep Mode. Somehow Sonet HTK Plus or HTX IMT offers lot of features and a convenient pack to drive in

But, best buy to view is Honda Jazz CVT and strong reasons
> Despite 1.2 Litre Engine (which although on manual transmission feels under-powered), but same engine when mated to CVT Automatic delivers a great experience for buyers looking for majorly city usage. No lag, no under power feel for someone whose usage is within city commute

> Very Spacious - infact feels more spacious in cabin as against Toyota Yaris too. Only downside is that rear seat headrest are fixed and slight on smaller size. If rear seat to be used by a family member whose height is 5'5" or lesser - there is no discomfort on same too.

> Very Reliable Product and built on same platform as what Honda city 4th Gen is made of. Offer Sturdy Build

> Steering although not to enthusiast drive, but considering stiff suspension - steering feedback is good for someone doing controlled speed drive.

> Offered with 3 year warranty, extendable to 5 year / 1 Lakh km by paying Rs 9000 and Honda also offering anytime warranty for later years./

However, the only downside to view is that Service interval is bi-annual, and considering high labor charges expect average annual paid service bill (from 2nd year onwards) to be in range of Rs 10,000 to 12,000 (including both services in a year).

May choose in Honda Jazz Vx CVT - to view a great all rounder product and despite of 1.2 Litre Engine - for day to day usage is a great product to choose in.

Final Recommendation
If you are a kind of driver who loves relaxed drive then
> Honda Jazz CVT would be first pick
followed by Toyota Yaris CVT as second choice

If you seek fun to drive with power performance and quick response then
> Skoda Rapid Automatic would be excellent choice else
followed by Kia Sonet HTK Plus IMT / HTX IMT (not proper Automatic - but yes are convenient to drive) -

Important: But both these cars Rapid Rider Plus Auto and Sonet comes with long waiting as of now. Infact Sonet has many months of waiting

Suggest to have test drive. Am sure would get in your dream car.
Hope shoul help !!


  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 1
Prashanth Accepted Answer
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Thanks Modiji, appreciate the quick response and I am excited that you recommend Jazz.

I am leaning towards hatchback/CSUV and hence will probably not go with Rapid. I am also not a fan of IMT but ready to go with DCT for Sonet as I can stretch the budget until 13L for a good product. Do you mind sharing your views on choosing between Sonet DCT HTK+ petrol and Sonet AT HTK+ Diesel?

Also, you have not commented about the Suzuki section where I have talked about Brezza, does it make sense to consider the 4 speed AT now with new gen expected to come by the year end?
  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 2
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Hi, Sure

See there's a turbo lag which is observed till 2000 rpm in DCT Version of Sonet and Venue
If your requirement is going to be maximum in city use for day to day office commute - you really wont be able to enjoy DCT as what the true potential is. Spending in 13 Lakh wont be justified.

Instead yes Sonet HTK Plus Diesel Automatic feels lot better.
> This Diesel ENgine is super refined and has ample power delivery with superb mid range
> Yes slight lag at lower end but not as much as otherwise felt in DCT Petrol version
> Steering is impressive, stiff suspension although deliver some amount of jerk passing in cabin if driven at speed but rather would still call it mature suspension as not something which cant be tolerated in and yes high speed handling behavior of car is impressive.

If not IMT then for need Sonet HTK Plus Diesel Auto is better pick as against Petrol DCT

For Brezza - apologies missed replying on first shot
Brezza is good in Vxi Automatic / Zxi Automatic (or say for that matter Urban Cruiser too)
Despite of 4 Speed Automatic - this gearbox is well tuned for day to day usage and is actually boon for drivers who seek a car with reliability, raised ground clearance, mileage and a car for office commute . Suspension is rather tuned on comfort side
Downside of Brezza is very average plastic quality, interior aesthetics and yester year steering, button, average sound clarity - which do not justify the potential which otherwise this car has.

Although as a product - there are absolute no issues and despite old 4 speed Auto - its no problem in day to day city use.
In terms of next gen - well too early to comment but Brezza in present form is ideal for day to day city usage from driver per se without any complaints.

Hope should help !!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 3
Prashanth Accepted Answer
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Dear Modiji,
I have now test driven Jazz CVT, Sonet AT and Urban Cruiser AT.

Jazz's drive was as expected and feels a good all round product and the paddle shifters added to the fun. However, the seat positioning was too low to my liking probably because the other two cars are SUVs and you get to sit at a higher level. I also felt the R15 tyres are a touch skinny. Your thoughts?

As far as Urban cruiser is concerned, I thought the suspension was probably the best, it handled the bumps and pot holes very well. I drove only inside the city and hence the 4speed limitation didn't really come in to play. The interior felt very cheap and outdated, I just think it may not justify paying 13L for the limited features and low grade plastics quality.

Coming to Sonet, I liked everything about it and really don't have any complaints except that you have to wait 5 months to get diesel AT. However, I am worried about the safety and the reliability as the product is relatively new. If I am not mistaken, Sonet has not been crash tested but Seltos has earned only a 3 star. Do you mind sharing your thoughts on safety and reliability?


  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 4
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Hi,

Jazz
Sure its bound to be like that when you drive in cars like Sonet, Ecosport and then come to hatch like Jazz - yes will find seating to be on low side
Yes - Honda Cars India offers skinny R15 175 tyres and purpose is to maintain fuel efficiency and light steering

But if you considering Automatic - wont really recommend to upsize tyres been
> Wide R195 Tyres would be like too much for a car whose engine is 1.2 Litre and this car is not as light as Baleno is
> Will gain some stiffness on steering due to added width

Jazz is best the way it is without any modification to tyre need to be done

Urban Cruiser
Yes - excellent choice as rebadged Brezza with a car with
> Comfort oriented suspension
> 1.5 Litre engine mask any delay or jerk in 4 speed AT and yes is well tuned
> Very reliable product from Maruti, Toyota Badge

but yes
> Very average interiors
> Plastic Quality with Yester year button, steering wheel

It really disappoints. Add on upright seats at rear
Although a great no nonsense car, but somehow when you feel like spending in 13 Lakh - at end of day thinks - spend for such average aesthetics
So brezza although may be an excellent choice for Lxi, Vxi or possibly Zxi Manual at 9 Lakh to 11 Lakh at best - but post that one really needs to make up mind that they are compromising on premium feel which otherwise is felt in most other cars in segment

Kia Sonet
Well its not a question of reliability. Been part of Hyundai Globally and sharing same technical know how and QC standards
But yes Safety is definite a part, been Seltos scored 3 star - there is no reason to believe that Sonet would be better than 3 star (in non GT Trims)

Hope it help !!
  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 5
Prashanth Accepted Answer
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Gaganji,
I just wanted to update you. I test drove few more cars but none of them gave the comfort that Brezza and S Cross did. Sonet is probably the best but I am not going to compromise on the safety. Brezza and SCross both have 4 stars and I felt a pricing difference of only 50K for Zeta AT models means I must go with SCross. It's neither a hatchback nor a compact SUV but I think I get reasonable ground clearing, lot of space, torque converter gear box, satisfactory safety and hassle free maintenance.

Thanks,
Prashanth
  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 6
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Hi

Although yes S Cross is a great choice in
> Handling
> Suspension is relative stiff and has better highway dynamics
> More Spacious
> Better Rear Seat Comfort with 2 Stage Recline angle

But only issue is that - this car based on heartect chassis platform (Which came to my notice 6 months back) and somehow Indian S cross with heartect platform not been crash tested.

Also Ertiga with same platform scored 3 star rating and marked unstable in crash test at 64 kmph speed, while Brezza scored 4 star in same crash test and marked stable. Brezza is the only car which is made on modified Suzuki Global Platform and rest all other cars based on Heartect Platform (except few entry segment cars of Maruti based on old platform)

Been S cross not crash tested and doubt on heartect platform
Recommended to opt for Brezza Automatic
  1. more than a month ago
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. # 7
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