Rs 10-20 lakh: Worth replacing my Honda City with a VW Vento
After looking at several vehicles, Taigun/Kushaq 1.5, Honda City ZX, Creta/Seltos, XUV700 and Harrier, no vehicle hits both the heart and the brain.
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Should someone who keeps the car for at least 10 years buy the Vento today? The thing is that all the vehicles I have seen in the Rs 10-20 lakh price range in the sedan, CSUV, mid-size SUV or full-size SUV segments each have their own flaws and none of them feel like it that it is so it’s worth the money. Let’s take a deep dive.
We currently have the 3rd generation Honda City in the family which has aged really well with no mechanical issues whatsoever. But with over 90,000 miles on the odometer and a 13-year-old car, and considering the 15-year rule in the NCR, the decision was made to replace it.
After looking at several vehicles, Taigun/Kushaq 1.5, Honda City ZX, Vento, Creta/Seltos, XUV700 and Harrier, no vehicle hits both the heart and the brain and none of them feel like they are worth the street price is you pay Also diesel had to be turned down because we don’t change cars that often and NCR’s 10 year rule meant changing the car after 8 years to get fair value even if it’s in pristine condition! The only reason not to have repairs done or spend a lot of money on Honda City is that there are some hiccups such as the air conditioning stopped working when we were driving on the freeway and the headlight units due to broken ones Leveling devices have to be replaced, the high beam as such has no effect and could then only be kept for 2 years. And yes, don’t look at the used car market.
VW Taigun / Skoda Kushaq 1.5:
Just doesn’t give you the feel of well-laid out 20-litre vibes when you’re sitting inside, sure the engine is really good and punchy, but it loses some in the interior. It doesn’t feel overly premium or special for a 20-litre car, and the glaring cost cuts, Kushaq dash clatter, lack of features compared to this segment, and degraded fit and finish make it look like would it be a cheaper car . It just seems that the money is being spent on nothing but perceived build quality, safety, paint quality and driving dynamics. The feeling that the product as a package justifies the price was missing.
Hyundai Creta / Kia Seltos:
Theses were rejected mainly because of the security aspect. The fitment build, too, was almost on par with everything else in the competition, and there was some rattling or creaking of plastics. Even the really clever ways that Hyundai/Kia cut costs are acceptable, but little things that cut costs become really irritating in the long run. How come no lighted window switch in a 20 liter car? Should we stick light strips on the switches now? The only attraction was the 1.4 T-GDI and tons of features offered by them.
Um, there are mixed feelings. We already have one, and mechanically it’s almost the same. The quality has deteriorated over generations, and there are threads filled with the minnows of the 4th gen town. The new city’s HU isn’t great either, with a rear camera and poor-resolution lane monitoring, and the high-speed ride quality gets a bit springy, although we don’t have an issue with that currently in the 3rd gen, but I’m not sure if that 5th generation ride is improved, worsened or more or less the same. Road and wind isolation are also not great according to reviews. What it has in its favor is a modern design, aesthetically good, spacious, high quality and really comfortable seats with good quality of the leather/faux leather used. It has many places where they have also used this leather material.
Was a perfect family car, chose the AX7 MT. It had all the necessary features and more, felt plush and huge, and was spacious enough for 4-5 people. It also has a 5-star rating in G-NCAP. It had everything and more. When we first visited the showroom, the wait was 8 months, but at the time we looked around and didn’t make up our minds. But when we did, that’s after 20-30 days, the estimated delivery time was estimated at 14-16 months!!! Can’t wait that long so dropped.
Was a car that looked sharp and modern from the outside, with an overwhelming presence on the road and tough on the inside. I’ve been eyeing that for a long time. Was even willing to let go of the diesel factor, although that meant the depreciation damage would be huge and the complications of the DPF weren’t in Harrier’s favor either. So I finally dropped that too. When I saw the XUV700 in the flesh it felt more VFM and the drive, refinement and plushness were better than the Harrier. The large touchscreen with the joystick on the center console was also a big draw, to be honest. From the outside, however, the Harrier and Safari still look their best.
Skoda Slavia / VW Virtus:
These are really nice looking modern design cars with slightly improved quality according to some walkaround reviews, much better headliner, the best engines in the segment and lots of features. It also has really good ground clearance, which is an added bonus. These are larger than the Vento and the Rapid and almost the same size as the city’s. The split-folding rear seats are the first in the segment. Assuming it has the same engines, the driving experience would be similar too. The only thing to look at is the ride quality, although I don’t expect a drastic difference from the Taigun/Kushaq as the ride height hasn’t been reduced much. The prices are not known yet, but I assume that they are almost the same as Kushaq/Taigun’s prices of +-50,000. But when I say I would only take the 1.5 TSI. It is superior to the 1.0 TSI in performance and mileage. And the 1.5 TSI costs no less than 18.5 liters for the manual on the road. Well, if we see the 1.0 TSI at all, and let’s say the Ambition MT variant, it would cost around 14.5 liters on the road, with a similar trim level to a VW Vento Highline MT.
Now the question is, is it worth spending that money for a much more modern design, some more features (bigger and better HU, more speakers, much more powerful LED headlights, maybe like the Kushaq, and a few other things) you can forego on things that Vento has (leatherette upholstery, windscreen wipers with rain sensor, auto up-down in all windows, cooled glove box with light, footwell lighting)
It’s a really good car. The best interior design in the budget. You are comfortable inside. Soft touch everywhere, almost all the features Creta has to offer and more. But inside it doesn’t feel like it. The space in the rear is decent, lower leg support is very lacking. The engines are just fine. No participation in driving. The reliability of these cars is also a big unknown. However, overall quality feels great. And yes, it’s a car worth its price. The only things holding us back are the small rear seats and the unknown reliability of the MG. Those who want the best interior, the best, should buy this car.
VW Vento / Skoda Rapid:
Came up recently in conversation when nothing was really flashy enough to go ahead and buy. If I had to describe Vento, a 10 year old car in today’s Indian market, it would be utilitarian. It is mechanically well equipped with this 1.0 TSI, solidly built and well assembled, has all the necessary features and has the best fit and finish and plastic quality of any car under 20L. The only downsides that actually need to be considered are a very dated design inside and slightly less space on the outside than the 3rd gen Honda City. Other downsides will be missing modern convenience features and some sophisticated or feel-good features like the sunroof, soft-touch materials, a larger touchscreen, a better audio system, and the like. Another thing to consider is that with a wave of EVs in the automotive sector, soon EVs will look far too futuristic than any car on the market and this car, which is already 10 years old in design, could look very old on the road 5 years later.
But if you only compare the VW Vento Highline MT which has almost all necessary features, big trunk, decent space for 4 passengers and so on, you will find it better than almost all compact sedans and the C segment sedans on sale in India just for the value it offers. It’s roomier than the Venue and Sonet, better built and handles better than the City, better than any compact sedan in almost every way. The only car that surpasses this figure is the Honda City V model. But if Honda City were to be bought, it would only be the ZX model.
Maruti Suzuki S-Cross:
Well I’m not really keen on buying a Maruti Suzuki and I have some strong opinions about the brand. The drive quality is nothing exciting. They optionally do not introduce new engines on the market and are stuck with small engines. Their focus is on volume and we know that in every segment they offer their cars in, they are the cheapest in the segment. There’s nothing bad about it, but the design and quality looks very basic to me with too many parts being shared, plus having a Maruti and seeing a neighbor isn’t a smooth, uncomplicated experience. The plastic trim around the shifter in the Celerio that we got out after a week was replaced by the service center guys. Then it wasn’t fixed either. When escalating, they changed the entire center console. But after a few days it was still coming out. It was very annoying and very time consuming to keep going back to the service center so live with it as it is. It’s not a big problem, it’s just that it pops out and looks ugly. The neighbor with his Ciaz had 3 breakdowns on highways because the engine overheated. Then there was a liquid leak in the passenger footwell. Overall, the quality and after-sales experiences have been terrible. So crossed out.
And Vento Highline MT, the main contender, would only be picked if we got a really good deal since it’s being discontinued. Otherwise we would choose another car or wait for new product launches.
If Vento is bought now we might replace the second car which is a Celerio AMT at a little north of 20L after 3 years. Who knows? At least that’s the plan. This is because when searching the market one thing is clearly observed that if you go from a budget 10L to a 20L you will get a bigger car with more space and lots of features, some very useful and others not much and much are of drive options. But you don’t really get a huge upgrade in terms of quality, feel-good factor, or interior design. On the other hand, if you go from 20L to 30L, you get a much more powerful engine and a car that has a much better sense of upgrade and luxury with more comfort and useful features.
Now the question is should one buy a much more modern car considering the car will be kept for at least 10 years or is Vento a good enough car and would be the best choice to buy now ?
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