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  1. Venkatesan KG
  2. New Cars, Reviews
  3. Saturday, March 20 2021
Dear Mr.Gagan Modi,

I planned to buy a SUV for my wild-life photography trips (not a very real hard off road). I drive on rough terrains, unpaved roads, rocky roads, muddy roads, and high ways. my number of trips would be around 5-6 trips in a year. I will also use for my family trips to different locations. But in total max 6-7 trips in a year. Rest of the time, I use my Polo for within city commutations.

I looked at Duster turbo 1.3L CVT and Jeep Compass petrol AT.
Also Creta 1.5 AT and Seltos DCT.

I do not consider TATA Harrier because it is too big and reliability issue.

Not interested in Hatch back.

XUV300 has no boot space. Brezza may be good but if I can pay for Brezza why not Duster ? the difference is not much.

I don't intend to spend 24Lacs for Jeep Compass. It is expensive for me both in terms of initial acquisition cost and maintenance cost.

My budget is Rs.15 - 20Lacs on Road.

I felt Duster Turbo is value for money and proven for off road trips. However, it is an old model and may not have resale value when I sell after 10 years. I will certainly keep the car for 10 years. I m 55 yrs old now and will retain until 65 and thereafter do locally no long trips.

Recently I saw Skoda Kushaq introduction and I believe it will be available from July 2021.

Now the question is which one ? Should I buy a Duster turbo CVT or wait for new models.? or Do you think Creta and Seltos are capable for my purpose and I should buy one of them now ? I also need less maintenance vehicle.

Is Duster Turbo good and less maintenance car ? are Fuel injectors issues still exist in this model too?

I m oaky not to have to much electronics in the car. But Automatic gear and safety are most preferred feature.

Kindly advice.

Regards

Venkatesan
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Dear Venkatesan ji,

Greetings !!
For Terrains mentioned
> Rough terrains,
> Unpaved roads,
> Rocky roads,
> muddy roads

You require a SUV with better off road characterstic.
All New Mahindra Thar can be great pick provided rear seat not much required and has very capable character to be a SUV which can be what used for such road conditions.

But as you referred in family usage - am keeping this car away for need

If pickup then Isuzu V Cross can be a great choice for terrain mentioned to clear and this car set for launch in early May 2021
Rear Seat offers generous space and is very capable off roader yet powerful engine
But would you be okay for this pickup ? as you referred that finding Harrier to be too big for need. I doubt as Isuzu would be even bigger

Creta : For terrains mentioned - this cars wont fit in need
Suspension is on soft side and would be incorrect to take it for need specified despite of Snow, Mud and sand mode

Seltos: Due to relative stiffer suspension - will rate it relatively better as against Creta and somehow capabilities will feel better
But pls note that having terrain mode in a front wheel drive car wont bring lot of change, but still would be better to experience as against other front wheel drive suv especially compact one like Ecosport, Brezza

Skoda Kushaq: Too early to comment on
Although the crossover like VW Troc / Skoda Karoq which cost in close to 25 Lakh to 30 Lakh on road has superb driving potential, unsure how much would be replica in Skoda Kushaq in terms of off road
Although i have no doubts on build, handling and performance oriented petrol engine which is what the key USP of VW Cars - but how will the car perform on such bad terrain roads, too early to tell. Having said same basis the experience i have with VW and Skoda Cars in terms of Suspension dynamics - can vouch on one thing that suspension and handling character of VW Cars / Skoda Cars is a notch above Hyundai and Kia

Renault Duster: There are reasons why Duster and Kicks despite of offering segment most powerful engine and well tuned handling not selling. Yes prouct feels outdated, concern on after sales, poor ergonomics and considering parts and concerns on long term resale basis sales - cant really recommend it for need basis preference specified

Recommendation
Yes, Skoda Kushaq would be worth a wait as its a fact that driving dynamics, suspension of Skoda on large per se feels a notch above. So whenever drives open up - pls experience this car, Else Kia Seltos GTX PLus Automatic having terrain drive mode would be a better bet.

Hope should help !!


Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

Thank you and amazing to see your quick and prompt advice. I personally felt korean cars are priced high for their value. Duster is Rs.16L on road and Seltos is Rs.20.25 Lacs on road. Is it the worth for the difference of Rs.4.25 Lacs. Secondly, if I compromise on my requirement of Automatic to Manual, is Jeep Compass 1.4 Petrol Manual good choice ?
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

Also I felt, the Duster is rugged and proven compared to Seltos on Indian roads.

Regards

KGV
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Hi,

Although yes these Korean Cars are priced higher but they offer differential too
> Fully Loaded Active and Passive Safety (although yes Seltos scored 3 star in NCAP rating, but the kind of active & passive safety in top of line trim differs)
> Yes feels premium and better ergonomics and better lifestyle Features
> Hyundai Cars (been Kia part of Hyundai) is more Reliable with better after sales service experience
> Yes Lower Service cost too

To view - you will have better experience with Seltos GTX PLus

Yes, Compass is more desirable product, as you referred in requirement of drive conditions referred - i will rate that when you spending in 20 Lakh Plus and have clear requirements of
> Rough terrains,
> Unpaved roads,
> Rocky roads,
> muddy roads

Should never feel that you have compromised. I will put Compass base petrol model - Compass Sport Petrol an excellent choice for need.
This car has
> unmatched suspension
> Steering feedback, handling
> Capabilities to off road

and if Automatic option stretches a lot in budget (been on road price would be almost 3 lakh higher) then opt for Manual Transmission one.
You will love in the experience and this car will be better suited for need preference.

Hope should help !!
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

Thank you very much. I love Jeep much more than other brands. However, when I see their car, I m confused about their 1) Ground Clearance - is it better than Duster ? (2) DCT gears - Heard lot about the problems with DCT gears. Expensive to maintain - what is your take ? (3) Long term maintenance cost - what could be worst scenario ?



Kindly let me know.

Regards

Venkatesan


Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Hi - Correct way to adjudge Ground clearance is best when be taken in conjunction with Suspension, Wheelbase and approach / departure angle
Compass come with
> close 178 mm Unladen Ground clearance has
> 2636 mm Wheelbase
with one among better tuned suspension with
> superior approach angle of 16.8 degree
> 31.7 degree departure angle
> Water wading capacity of 350

You really dont need to worry on Compass Ground clearance
If you dont need 4x4 cars of Thar, Isuzu or cars like Bolero then Compass by far is the best Front Wheel drive (way better than Duster, Seltos). Somehow Duster all wheel drive is not available in BS6 - else would have recommended same.

I recommended Manual Transmission for Compass. Somehow, if you feel to strecth your budget then do note that this Dual Dry clutch transmission comes with 3+2 year warranty. Adding on some marginal changes needs to be done to dry clutch
Refer - Transmission Overheat

In end - dont worry Compass is a strong product and will end up been better off.

Hope should help !!
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

I respect your opinion and advise.

Also I m very much tempted to buy Jeep compass. But it is Rs.8 lacs more than the Duster. my Accounting background says, if I invest Rs.8 Lacs in to an Equity Mutual Fund, there are huge chances that Rs.8 Lacs would become Rs.15Lacs in 10 years time just at a normal return on NSE. It means, the Duster car may be sold for 50% and buy a new electric car with the savings.

If Duster can functionally prove me right, I am ok to live without any aesthetic features and some ego boosting of driving expensive car.

Do you agree with me?

Regards

KGV
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,
I am not sure whether my earlier response is transmitted or not. Hence typing again.

I respect your opinion and advise. However my accounting background tells me that the difference is Rs.8 Lacs between Jeep and Duster. If I could invest Rs.8 Lacs in a Equity Mutual fund for 10 years, there are high chances that this fund value will become Rs.15-16 Lacs. I can sell my duster for 40%-50% after 10 years and buy a new car.

If Duster can perform functionally as i needed, I think i m okay to go with duster and feel financially free.

This may have dent in my ego and pride but my passion is wildlife not a car.

What do you think about it?

Regards

Venkatesan
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

Am I correct ? waiting to know your opinion.


Regards

KGV
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Sir - its like what to say

If i speak of Duster CVT - then Duster CVT Automatic yes delivers you
> Convenience of CVT - a full fledged Automatic Transmission and in 1.3 Turbo feels like perfect
> Good Ride Quality, Handling
> ESP and Hill Hold is present which is what like essential safety for need

Issue is
> Renault After sales service
> Possibly the worst ergonomics
> Very average interiors,
> Resale and Long term reliablility is in unknown territory
> 3 Star Crash test rating

Lost its charm as no all wheel drive

If you ask me pure from accounting perspective and consideringB Duster CVT, i will say test drive in Tata Nexon XZA Plus AMT - cost almost 3.5 Lakh lesser than Duster Rxs CVT and be assured that AMT has significant improvement over what was there in BS4
> 5 Star Safety Rating
> Feels more upmarket in interior over Duster
> Better Ergonomics
> Ride, Handling is good too
> Fact that when you slot in sports mode - you will find the very best of experience from Nexon AMT
> The way Tata Nexon Sales on increase and improved efforts by OEM where all initial niggles are sorted

Nexon XZA Plus AMT is a great pick.
My suggestion - drive once and experience in sports mode. Although an AMT - yiou will surely be impressed with the product outcome which is available now with 120 PS Power

Hope should help !!
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Sir,

As you suggested, I went and had a test drive of Nexon. It is really a good car but a hatch back. But I also took the test drive of Tata Harrier. It seems be to better than Nexon in terms of space etc. What is your advice about Tata Harrier. I read some reviews and they talk more about the Harrier reliability.

I liked the XZA variant.
Could you please share your opinion.

Regards

KGV
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Thanks for your advice though I did not hear anything from you on Tata Harrier.

I am visiting Jeep showroom tomorrow and booking the Compass Automatic Sports. All done over the phone and just a few paper work pending. Basic but serves my purpose very well.

Regards

KGV
Gagan Modi Accepted Answer
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Be assured Venkatesan ji,

You have made a correct choice !!
Venkatesan K Accepted Answer
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Thank You Sir..
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