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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
Automated Manual Transmission or AMT looks like the flavor of the season. No sooner MSIL launches Celerio, almost every Indian manufacturer had one concept/ product ready with them. AMT isn't particularly new technology, it's clever on part of MSIL, to spot a opportunity. What Maruti Suzuki has done with Celerio, is set the stage for the struggling automatic segment in India. I consider Celerio as a very important product in the Indian automobile industry, simply because of the AMT technology. AMT can be considered as the first step into Automatic territory. Its ease of use may tempt people to go full automatics. With the rising congestion, its a boon for urban environment. Plus it's ideal for long straight highways that we have nowadays. I expect fine tuning of AMT, advancement in the technology, since it is economical than conventional ones. Just look at the 2 wheeler industry and one can understand how big the automatic market is. People just swear by the ease of use.