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Thread: Automobiles - Large hatchbacks

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Automobiles - Large hatchbacks

    I've got a taste for long, sporty-looking hatchbacks. Think VW Golf, Ford Focus, Renault Megane, Opel/Vauxhall/Holden Astra, Peugeot 308 and higher up the price ladder, Mercedes A-Class, BMW 1 Series and Audi A1/A3. I'd like to own one, as it's more fun to drive, more spacious inside, and saves some parking space that would otherwise be occupied by sedans or booted hatches wandering around as sedans here in India. Here, though, companies offer only sedans above a price bracket, for some inexplicable reason, and we even have this abominable concept of a compact sedan- a small hatchback with a welded/pasted boot, very short, to beat the price. I'd rather have a VW Golf than a booted VW Polo, known as the Vento here.

    What are your stories, or recommendations? Wishful thinking for an Indian, though, as we don't have most of these cars here, except for the Mercedes and BMW. Importing a Ford Focus wouldn't really work out, for the price paid would be as much as that for a Mercedes A-Class, or even more than the top-end variant.
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    International Coach social's Avatar
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    M135i is arguably the best car on the road (see Top Gear review)

    Golf is great but overpriced

    Some of the hot hatches from Europe and Asia are amazing

    As a bit of a rev-head, I have had plenty of them (BMW, Golf, Subaru, Seat) and loved them all

    Be careful as first time owners tend to flog them and re-sale values are ordinary
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    Eternal Optimist / Cricket Web Staff Member GIMH's Avatar
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    I drive a Golf and it's awesome

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    I drive a Golf and it's awesome when it wants to work - Try not to get something 13 years old (TBF, it was only 7 years when I got it, and has done an amazing job)

    Boot space is brilliant, folded down back seats mean I can get pretty much anything I want in.
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    Hall of Fame Member superkingdave's Avatar
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    I have an Alfa Giulietta as my company car, done over 50K miles in 2.5 years and its only broken down once The engine is great (1.4 turbo, 170bhp), the dealers are woeful. Will probably perm one from A class, Golf, A3, 1 Series when I come to replace it, but unfortunately might be forced to get a diesel this time.
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    International Coach uvelocity's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sledger View Post
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    Arjun off to a fabulous start in his debut outside of the CC.

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    International Coach social's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by superkingdave View Post
    I have an Alfa Giulietta as my company car, done over 50K miles in 2.5 years and its only broken down once The engine is great (1.4 turbo, 170bhp), the dealers are woeful. Will probably perm one from A class, Golf, A3, 1 Series when I come to replace it, but unfortunately might be forced to get a diesel this time.
    Had an Alfa GTV in the mid 90s and it was one of the many cars that I have bought with heart not head - it was named "World's Most Beautiful Car" by somebody at the time so I ignored Alfa's horrific reliability record at the time

    Shortly after I bought it, I was driving in the rain when water started pouring into the car from around the windscreen and took it straight to the dealer

    Diagnosis: Alfa had experienced problems with their sealants and had neglected to use any on my car

    A little while later, I was driving home from the office (distance of about 2 ks) when the car overheated

    Diagnosis: Factory and pre-delivery checks failed to detect loose seal on sump with result being that all oil had poured out of car

    After that, I'd had enough and handed car back to dealer with less than 500 ks on the clock

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    International Vice-Captain BeeGee's Avatar
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    I own a Mercedes E350 station wagon and I love it. Not really what you'd call a hot hatch, so this probably isn't much help to you.

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    Cricket Web Staff Member fredfertang's Avatar
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    I've got a Jaguar S-Type - lovely car - 15 years old now and the electrics are playing up but its got a lovely engine and I can't face getting rid - 15 mpg round town the only downside

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    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
    I own a Mercedes E350 station wagon and I love it. Not really what you'd call a hot hatch, so this probably isn't much help to you.
    Hot hatches, long hatches and estate wagons- three breeds of cars which corporates are afraid of launching in India. How's the reliability and support/service backup? Does it break down often? And does the service network put it up and running without much fuss? These are recurring problems with European car brands here in India, which pushes the market towards Japanese (or Indo-Japanese) and Korean machines. I'd love to own a Mercedes A-Class, but for the ownership expenses and likely hassles here.
    Last edited by Arjun; 21-01-2014 at 11:15 PM.

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    International Coach uvelocity's Avatar
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    list of indian cars with world XI:

    datsun
    mitsubishi
    etc

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    International Vice-Captain BeeGee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arjun View Post
    Hot hatches, long hatches and estate wagons- three breeds of cars which corporates are afraid of launching in India. How's the reliability and support/service backup? Does it break down often? And does the service network put it up and running without much fuss? These are recurring problems with European car brands here in India, which pushes the market towards Japanese (or Indo-Japanese) and Korean machines. I'd love to own a Mercedes A-Class, but for the ownership expenses and likely hassles here.
    I did have some issues with it not long after buying it and started thinking I may have made a mistake, but they did sort the issues out quickly. It's been problem free for the last three years now.

    It's not a cheap car to own. Parts and maintenance are expensive and the mpg is poor.

  14. #14
    Cricketer Of The Year Arjun's Avatar
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    In the recent Auto Expo in Delhi, India, I was quite disappointed with Ford's new India launch- not the Fiesta hatchback, not the Focus hatchback, but a cramped sedan version of their Figo, the previous generation Fiesta, with the bodywork of the new Fiesta. Car companies in India don't realise a bigger hatch is more useful than a tiny, slow sedan!

    Then there's this new plan in Australian tourism, who offer cars for self-driven tours, for tourists from RHD countries. I wonder what cars they offer. May be an Indian's best chance to drive a VW Golf or Ford Focus.
    Quote Originally Posted by BeeGee View Post
    I did have some issues with it not long after buying it and started thinking I may have made a mistake, but they did sort the issues out quickly. It's been problem free for the last three years now.

    It's not a cheap car to own. Parts and maintenance are expensive and the mpg is poor.
    How much do you use your car daily, in miles covered? I prefer to use a car as little as possible, for longer distances and fast sprints, to using a car as a daily errand mule, in which case we have an option to choose a better car. Mercedes' cars are not really suited for excessive daily running, while cheap Hyundai/Suzuki/Tata (the people who gave UK the City Rover) and dirt-cheap Toyota/Honda cars are- but they're definitely not better cars.



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