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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The road to buying my new car - Part II - Diesel Models

I hope you read about the Petrol Cars I checked out from the below link


Continue reading for information about Diesel Cars which i looked into.

My brother had checked out Chevrolet Beat DIESEL during its launch and as our current range stands in around 5lacs, he insisted that I should check it out as we have a large difference in petrol and diesel prices as of now. If I am to drive to and fro office everyday then fuel will be a critical thing which i should keep in mind while selecting a vehicle. I decided to test drive the new Chevy BEAT. The Chevy SMARTECH 950cc engine is not offering you good power but comes with a mileage claimed around 26kmpl. The handling is ok. The LT model excluding the optional items cost 6lacs.

Now I wanted to test drive all diesel variants available the B-Segment Hatchs which I was looking for. The MARUTHI SWIFT and HYUNDAI i20 seemed costly for its features and I have drived them earlier. So i didnt check them out. My criteria or my requirement for my car is decent mileage, very good driving experience and handling, which comes on road around 6 lacs, good turning radius and optimum width so that it can enter the small way to my house easily and low maintenance. I was also loking for some safety criteria for me like driver side airbag and crash resistance body. The below ones are the cars which i considered.


The tuff built heavy PUNTO. You feel very much safe inside. The driving quality is not bad. The 1.3L multijet diesel engine which is the same used in SWIFT and VISTA seems to sit back due to the weight. I mean it better fits PUNTO than the other two :-P. The fuel economy seems to be affected by its weight. The fuel economy claimed to be near 20. It claims a ground clearance of 195mm which is the best i have heard. The handling and drive experience was below my expectations. The worst thing was its turning radius. It was very difficult for me to turn a 90 degree turn coming out from our office. It definitely wont be able to enter the small way to my house with that. But its the most stable car among the ones i test drove. The DYNAMIC version was costing around 7lacs on road and it was not having the airbags in the driver seat as per my requirement. Actually the price is not so high compared to SWIFT or i20 as there are many features in the DYNAMIC version. They just forgot airbag it seems.


This was the car with best handling and drive experience among the ones i test drived. I agree with something they have written in their brochure - "Best in class ride and handling". The 1400cc engine perfectly matches the vehicle. Car claims a good mileage also. The only thing i didn't like about the car was its shape. The full option Titanium version costs 6.8lacs on road. The Ford Figo stands among the ones i short listed.


The Etios Liva is almost as good as Figo in handling and drive experience. It costs around 6.6lacs on road. The 1300cc D4D CRDI engine gives good response. The outside look is stunning. But you will feel to puke when you see the interiors. The plastic seems to be such a bad quality. I was expecting more from Toyota. The interior design also seems to be done not for India. The ac vent positions are awkward. Seeing the interior i rejected the car from my list.


It was very recently that a RENAULT showroom got opened in my native place. I am a fan of REDBULL RENAULT racing team which is now at the top of the F1 championships. It was actually about RENAULT DUSTER which people were talking about. A SUV at 9lac. I decided to give a look into the RENAULT offerings. DUSTER was costly for me. So i settled down to check the PULSE. The looks seemed to be quite cool. It is same as NISSAN MICRA which is owned by one of my colleague. But he commented that PULSE is somewhat more refined than MICRA and is a good option. The 1500cc engine seemed to be too much for the small car. The torque was extra ordinary and the car seemed so powerful. The ride quality and handling seems to be ok. One thing RENAULT boast about in their brochure is about the turning radius of PULSE which is 4.65m. I also tried it out during my test drive and i could do a U-turn in a stretch where-in if I was in my Indica V2 it would have cost me a couple of shifts to reverse gear. PULSE had the best suspension among the cars i tried. Moreover the seat exactly rested my back and I felt more comfortable in my ride. The  gear shifts were smooth. The fuel efficiency claimed is around 23kmpl but my colleague is getting near to 30kmpl which was the highlight in my case. The car was having a slight more width than my indica which may give difficulty in the turn to my house. Another negative point I found about the car is its stability when turning curves in high speed. There are chances of rollover if the speed crosses 80kmph in an average curve. The PULSE RxL option with driver side airbag costs around 6.6lacs on road. Checking the features I shortlisted PULSE also in the final list.

Now it was time to choose. The final list contained HONDA BRIO, FORD FIGO and RENAULT PULSE. In the stage wise filtering BRIO got filtered out as it is a petrol model. Finally after many thoughts i decided to go with PULSE hoping I will get good service from the new launcher. Its a risk I am willing to take. The color i chose is METALLIC GREY.

I think you got pretty much information about cars available currently in the market. Hope it will help you people in selecting your car. 


  1. da i agree with what u said abt figo very good ride....though not very happy about the after sales service i got from pvs.. but figo is a successfull model where as pulse..hmm a little risky...

    1. Sanoop, Renault is a new entry to Indian market. They are aggressively trying to create market share for their models. Lets see the result.


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