neerajd

Wagon R AMT or Celerio AMT?

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Hi Friends,

Been a long time this topic was doing rounds in my mind and I finally thought of sharing it here and looking for a larger opinion.

My Swift is almost going to be 8 years old now. It hasn't really started showing any age but that's the car my wife primarily uses. Now with the growing traffic in Pune and especially in Hinjewadi and city areas, driving a manual really is a painful thing.

I test drove the Wagon R AMT a couple days ago and came out really impressed how an auto transmission can help keep your nerve in traffic. I'm a manual fan by heart any day but the convenience factor made me think hard on this option. I have a Fiesta to enjoy the drive anyway and going away with the Swift, which I seldom use, will not hurt me a lot.

Now the confusion here is between the similarly sized and priced cars from Maruti stable - Wagon R and Celerio. Here is my comparison. This is the max amount I want to shell at this time. Otherwise the Polo TSI would have been booked by now.

Main factors for choosing these 2 cars:

  • Dimensions - need a compact sized car - my wife finds the Swift a little fat to manoeuvre in dense traffic.
  • Auto gears - must (Alto isn't on this list because it would be a complete step down from the Swift)
  • Decent space.

Wagon R VXi - Rs. 5,67,609 OTR (discounts available)

Advantages:

  • Tall body - elders can get in/out fairly easily, good view of the road.
  • Adjustable head restraints - Safety feature most are unaware of - I feel this is a must.
  • VXi variant comes with a rear defogger and wash-wipe too.

Disadvantages:

  • Very boring looking center console
  • Not enough space to even park your cell phone.
  • Oddly placed 12V power socket.
  • No Bluetooth
  • No Steering mounted controls (the Stingray will get it but only as an option - still no bluetooth)
  • Thin tires

Celerio ZXi - Rs. 5,92,789 OTR (discounts available)

Advantages:

  • Passenger airbag as standard
  • Well countoured rear seats
  • Neat looking dash design
  • Lock-unlock switch like the Swift (I don't know, but I feel it's convenient)
  • Bluetooth pairing
  • Steering mounted controls for audio as well as phone
  • Rides on comparatively better tires

Disadvantages:

  • Very thin seats - integrated head restraints
  • Hatch lock design is a complete eyesore

Overall, the WagonR option pack will give me Airbags and ABS and cost a little over the Celerio ZXi AMT spec.

Both cars are very closely priced and discounts offered are pretty similar too.

I spoke to a few friends who recently bought a WagonR and they vouched for it.

The confusing factor is mainly the dash design that I kinda liked on the Celerio but the seats are a complete disaster. There can't be best of two elsewhere, can it?

I'm looking to get this deal done as soon as possible. All suggestions welcome :)

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Neeraj, between WagonR and Celerio, I will suggest WagonR as it's more practical car.

If you have a bit more budget, then do look at below choices as they are far superior.

Ford Figo AT (DCT)

Honda Brio AT (quite old now so you might get a good deal)

But whatever you choose, please have safety covered (2 airbags + ABS as minimum).

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Thanks Sachin.

The Figo AT goes way beyond 8 lacs on road and that's quite expensive for me at this moment. The Ford is definitely a better car than any in terms of looks and handling with the overall package. But the price is a deciding factor here.

The Brio was into consideration, but reading reviews on team-bhp - people have mentioned average in single digits. That'll be too expensive a car to own and maintain too.

I kept an eye on the Celerio and WagonR on my way to office today and found the Celerio to be a better looking car overall with good dynamics and road manners. Was able to spot these cars in almost every color too :D

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Personally I feel bluetooth phone pairing is highly advisable for specially ladies, while phone is in the handbag (they can attend calls of their children!). Overall Celerio is better and I prefer it above swift

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@neerajd, I am driving Wagon R for last 11 years and may not sell it as still giving average of 18~19km/L. Only issue with it is, every time you press the brake pedal one has to lift his leg, the heel can't rest on the floor. In the heavy traffic your leg, especially thigh area, would pain. As you mentioned earlier the visibility is good from the front seats also getting in and out of the wagon R is easy as tall boy design.

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Both are capable vehicles

I will personally prefer the WagonR out of the two.

I know its outside your requirement but see the new Amaze CVT , its newer more roomier and a step up from the Swift.

If you consider Alto a step down , Celerio and WagonR are no better , i personally consider them a step down even now from the swift.

Do fill in of what you finally decide , buy before April and save on those new taxes.

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@librankur, if I have the budget, I will just go for either the Figo AT or the Polo TSI. Having a Fiesta at home, I'm not really looking for another 3 box and definitely not a pretentious one :P

Took a test drive today of the Polo TSI and man that gearbox is just so amazing.. Drives brilliant. Overall a solidly built car with great gadgetry as well. The only downside is the budget - about 9.75 lacs on road. This is almost twice the amount I plan to spend for a replacement.

I might just have to take a decision soon. Cuz the new upgraded one comes with unnecessary additions - Rain sensing wipers and a touch-screen audio along with auto dimming internal mirrors. This increases the cost by about 50k. There is one Flash Red in stock with a dealer I inquired. Lets see. Not really getting the push from within to buy a car this expensive.

On the other hand, I can always wait for padwa offers for a Maruti and I know there will be plenty :D

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Neeraj, if you can wait for a while then Tata Tiago will be launched on 28-Mar and AMT is expected to be on offer on Petrol variant.

And Tata is expected to price it quite aggressively, a direct competitor to Celerio.

Infact I like the freshness of the design, from so called Indica like design on Bolt.

I think it might just be a good wait.

Otherwise, if deciding between WagonR/Celerio then pick it up fast as you might get at old prices as new taxes will be applied at factory gate and Maruti has already announced price hike to offset infra cess.

Edited by sachins

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I wouldn't mind giving it a look, Sachin. But I'm not sure why these companies decide to equip either the diesel or petrol models with AMT and not both. Typical case with the Swift Dzire to give AMT only on the ZDi variant. Now come on, your Alto, Celerio and WagonR have the same AMT actuators!! Similar case with the Zest. They have an AMT on the diesel but not on Petrol.. and moreover no AMT on the Bolt.

I would have seriously had another car to consider here if the Bolt was equipped with one.

Anyway, I'm really not happy with either the WagonR or the Celerio in terms of what they offer for the money. Might just have to consider increasing my budget to get a better car, it seems.

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@ Neeraj !!

My suggestion will be simple, " Automatic car with all safety features in budget " ; Budget could be add on incase safety demands.

Alto is very basic car having no safety features (driver side airbag is a fooling exercise from Maruti), Celero comes with ABS and AIR BAG and little decent car, Wagon R is very outdated car (no point).

Look for Kiwid if it has safety features (?) or may be launching some time soon.

Hyundai having CVT ( i10 G) with all the features and good discount, you may explore it.

Brio the car I like, as you say single digit fuel economy will not qualify for short list in modern era.

Let's do the short list and do objectively SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, and Threat) of each car with evidence based.

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Just putting fancy abbreviations in cars wouldn't increase their reliability. CVT is belt driven, belt tend to break and slip. Regular automatic cars uses planetary gears and hydraulic clutch coupling which are reliable and proved itself over the years. Japanese car maker offers reliability, time tested technology and above all piece of mind.

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Thanks for all your inputs friends.

I took the test drive of the Polo TSI and was absolutely smitten by the car. Only thing is, the budget does not permit me to commit to this car at this time.

Also, I took a long look at the Swift standing in my garage. There is no other car than the Polo TSI which can take its place. The WagonR and Celerio will be a complete step down from what I have right now. And I feel if I'm to change cars it should only be an upgrade.

So, putting off the thought to buy a new car at this point. Will wait for a while to build up a little corpus to buy the TSI. Or maybe any other car worthy to be considered during the time I enter the market again.

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VW is not a great choice though car is second to none in terms of ride quality, you never know some scam pop up again, lot of uncertainty within the company, A nail in the coffin is there very bad after sales service.

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I agree with monoclonal, choosing VW will lead you to uncertainty, both from company's and product's perspective.

Whenever you are in market again, do look at Baleno and Jazz (both CVT).

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I will Sachin, Monoclonal.

But I don't completely agree with regards to uncertainty of the brand altogether. I agree, they don't have the best of AFSS; but I've known people with good testaments. Of course, the service costs are going to be a bit higher than what we are used to, but I don't see why one should not try a good product. The engine and the gearbox are a gem together. Not sure if I can get a similar thing out of a Maruti or a Honda. Jazz has become flimsy.. probably even matching Maruti's build quality lately. Ironically, Marutis squeak a lot less than they originally used to..

Unless, the Baleno comes with the 1.0 turbo petrol with an autobox. Unlikely, me thinks.

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I will Sachin, Monoclonal.

But I don't completely agree with regards to uncertainty of the brand altogether. I agree, they don't have the best of AFSS; but I've known people with good testaments.

Neeraj, the statement I made was not generic.

I agree that there are many positive ownership reviews of TSI/TDI with DSG.

However, my only point was that these technologies are complex hence if something goes wrong it will be a nightmare.

Anyhow, always opt for extended warranty and you are good to go.

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Yes Sachin. If I go for a VW, I will be going in for the extended warranty for sure.

Will be test driving the Figo automatic today. Would be a couple lacs cheaper and their guarantee of 10 yrs on their gear box makes things interesting. It is also a couple lacs cheaper than the VW. Wouldn't mind looking at it if there are discounts running which might make it a sweeter deal.

TSI is more for the heart. Figo may be a sensible one to look at. Lets see.

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My vote for Figo, One of my office mate bought new one, He is very impressed with car dynamic, ride quality and look. Guess, the figo is value for money.

@ neeraj .. Wonder, did you ever get chance to look Fiat Abarth Punto ? I would like to know about the Fiat Abarth Punto?

Thanks

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Hi Monoclonal, sorry for the disappointment. I test drive the Figo a few days ago and I found it to be extremely pathetic (I may be exaggerating a bit here) for what you get for a good 8.58 lacs on road.

I would absolutely not put my money for a car that steeply priced and the kind of plastic and build quality you get. Ford's cost cutting measures are pretty evident.

To start with, the door panels get sucked in as you close the window... and pump out a bit when you roll the window down.. this does not even happen on my Swift. No soft cushions on the doorpads, the stalks are definitely of cheap quality. In fact, my Fiesta Classic is a way better built car that way!

The aesthetics are sure better than my Fiesta, I agree. But overall, the drive was not that engaging. There was quite a bit of delay to change gears in the D mode and it was quite sluggish. For a car that had only 243 kms on the odo, it felt an absolute let down.

Doors did not close with that solid thunk that we know of Fords. I felt pretty sad actually after experiencing what that car drove like and I was able to give a solid answer on my consideration towards the car. A solid NO.

There is no other car that comes as close to the TSI in terms of the smoothness of the ride and gears. A lot expensive than any on offer, but I think its absolutely worth it.

I will also consider the Jazz now since that's the only car otherwise I would say I would consider. But reading a lot of first reviews and people experiences here and on T-BHP in terms of the flimsy build quality and thin steels etc., I don't know if I would be able to give it an unbiased look.

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Oh Gosh !!

I have been told exactly opposite what you have mentioned above. My office mate must be in denial mode or justifying his decision...

Great, you have saved me from bigger embarrassment as I was planning to have test ride of his car.

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The reverse gear of Polo is a little awkward. You have to push left and push down and then upwards (like 1st gear). A reverse camera will help to see if the gear is in right position. Also the back seat room is not so good. Only two can sit comfortably (even in Vento too). The parts of this car is also at a higher side, but not so high if you compare the quality. Availability of critical parts may take weeks or more than a month. But definitely it is a driver's car. But what about the fuel efficiency of TSI. Will it give in two digits in city and above 13 on highways. Running 350 km per month may cost around Rupees 2500 plus insurance around 15K per year

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@Hari, thats for the manual. The TSI comes with an automatic gear. So slotting into R/D is very easy.

The car averages about 9-11 kmpl in city and could go well beyond 15 kmpl on highways. City average can go upto 13 if driven sedately.

Coming to monthly spends, I wouldn't mind that amount since this is not the primary car. My daily ride is a Fiesta diesel. Gives me good average. The TSI will be mostly used over weekends or fun drives. I loved the dynamics of the car. It handles triple digits with easy. The pick-up and performance was just thrilling.

I had decided to shift my focus to the Baleno and Jazz automatic. Baleno has a 28 week waiting! That's more than 7 months!.. does not make sense at all. Jazz goes terribly close to the Polo category and isn't fun to drive at all. Even with those paddle shifters.

So in all, it boils down to the TSI again. Paying 10.35 lacs for a hot-hatch is a little undigested. It is a lot of money for the car you are getting. Now, not all know that the heart is different and about the super-slick gearbox. I think I might just bite the bullet and buy this car. I had booked one at 9.85 lacs and cancelled it. The price has now gone up by about 50k. But there are additional features like rain sensing wipers, auto-dimming IRVM and touch screen audio that I would get.

Lets see. Too much confusion and the guilt feeling of a typical middle class mind creeps in with what-if questions like I could really use that money to clear off my house loan or I can really save up that amount and have great vacations each year etc.

Will update as I fight this thought battle.

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I have been advised from one of the sane person "Think twice if not twenty times before you leap" before spending hard earn money. First objectively define the need, ask your self "what is if I not buy the car? " or what are the other option? Am I buying a car for heck of it ? Do I really need it ? If all the answer clicks Yes you need the car. you can buy the one which full fill your need.

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Agree. but sometimes you don't buy the car because you need it. It is for pure pleasure and only because you can afford it.

Ask me if i need this car - the answer is NO. Am I buying it for the heck of it - YES.

It's mainly because this is the age I would buy such kind of car. I CAN buy it. The only time in the next few years I buy such a car would be for my son.

I know this is going to cost me about 20k a month (EMI, Fuel & Servicing etc.) to keep this car. Which is a considerable amount of money. But it would give me a sense of satisfaction to have such a car to drive. Somewhere adds to your happiness quotient.

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