Pretty neat and precise brief for a new car. Basis your current ownership pattern it seems you fancy cars with more headroom - Innova and your inclination towards the Duster.
If what I am assuming is true, then sedan's definitely are a no go and the option gets limited to either MPV's or Compact SUV's. Models one could look at are top-end - Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Quanto and Xylo from Mahindra, Tata Motors Safari, Nissan Evalia, Chevrolet Enjoy, Renault Duster and the upcoming Ford EcoSport.
Let's start with:
Ertiga - a car from the trusted Maruti Family, it was a rage when it was launched in Mid 2012. Indian car buyers shift from sedan's to MPV's or compact UV's can be attributed to Ertiga and Duster. But unfortunately it seems to be losing steam, maybe because as my wife commented yesterday after seeing one in front of us, that the 'Ertiga looks like stretched WagonR and smaller Dzire'. Must admit it's true to a great extent. It's diesel does have a decent lag and kick, which for the uninitiated becomes a matter of concern. Ertiga goes out of our consideration set because of its size.
Xylo and Quanto - One a smaller version of the other, both from Mahindra, who are known for robust and sturdy cars, as they appeal to the not so urban and professional car buyers looking for rough usage. However, for most of us spoilt by great tactile feel inside the car with high quality fit and finish, Mahindra cars does not fit our bill, obvious from your current cars.
Safari - Those who love it swear by it and often go for a repeat purchase, personally for me it's a no go as I am used to far silent engines, car like driveability and better fit finish. Safari does not fit my bill. Safari Strome may make my consideration set, as the fit finish has improved dramatically, NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) has come down to a decent levels, fit finish has improved, but car like driveability is still question mark. To top this, I am uncomfortable with its big size. Maybe I need some time to move to bigger cars.
Evalia - Big, spacious and therefore inviting. It's diesel is far more smoother to drive, but then what makes it a no-go is lack of AC vents for rear seat passenger and its van like proportions with puny looking 2 and row 3 windows. They make this car look ooh so van like, I am not going to pay 10 lacs to buy an obvious commercial vehicle for my personal use. Add to this Nissan's reach in terms of dealership and I will have serious doubts.
Enjoy - This could be a possibility, particularly because of its 2nd row captain seats, spacious third row seats, roof mounted AC vents for row 2 and 3, silent engine, decent tactile feel inside the car and hopefully if Chevrolet offers 3 yrs/45000 Kms maintenance package on it , then it become a strong contender for my purse. But what I am most uncomfortable with is it's very prominent diesel lag in 2nd and 3rd gear, the car refuses to budge and therefore a no go for those driving on highways and wanting to overtake, quite frequently. Having said that, low end grunt and post mid-range RPM the car is pretty decent to drive.
Duster - Whilst Ertiga is on the downhill road, Duster seems to be ever so strong, getting those 4500 to 5000 sales nos month on month. Reasons for the same could be, its very balanced proportions, decent size, which is not intimidating and at the same time making the car spacious for a family of 5. It's road visibility (no of cars on road) id another reassuring sign, no obvious over the top complaint on the car makes it a very strong contender for my purse strings. What goes against it, is the rear seat, which will take 3 adults at a stretch and diesel lag which is very obvious making frequent down shifts a necessity. If you are a family type sedate driver who does not push the throttle very often, then yes do give it a serious thought.
EcoSport - Round the corner, could come in as early as 27th June 2013, if Ford does not get cold feet again as has been the case till date. It's my favourite and must admit I am waiting for it. What I am really keen on is their 1 litre EcoSport Engine. However, even their 1,5 Litre diesel New Ford Fiesta diesel engine is quite smooth, almost lag free and very silent engine. It has lots of low, middle and Top-end grunt, Mated to Ford's Dual clutch Automatic transmission, makes it a dream car to drive. What really goes in EcoSports favours is its high road visibility thanks to its drop dead looks which sure will ensure many a envious looks. What can go wrong against is lack of space inside the car, front row have decent legroom, however, the same cannot be said for row 2 seats. Boot space is major compromise. It's sub 4000 mm size can make it look small like Ertiga. But I would reserve my judgement till an actual test drive and in your case you do have the Innova to do the people and load carrier job and the EcoSport can help you relive those hard throttle pushing days. Wait if you can is what we would suggest.
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We at www.ecardlr.com always recommend an exhaustive listing of one's need and test drives of all cars in your consideration set. We also suggest that you must take our inputs as suggestion only and not a final decision.
Comparison: Innova vs Crysta, May 19 2016.
VISITOR is there Innova petrol version available
AGENT petrol Innova is supposed to be coming in Diwali
AGENT currently they have only diesel versions
VISITOR Innova ya Crystal Innova model
AGENT the Crysta
VISITOR oh but plane Innova
VISITOR petrol mode available
AGENT I will have to check
AGENT cricket go on our site and see if the old Innova is available
AGENT whilst I may not be sure but I believe that Toyota has possibly discontinue the old Innova
AGENT just checked on my site Toyota has discontinued the old Innova
VISITOR Hyundai Compact MPV when lunched
AGENT not so soon if one was to believe the recent article then probably they may not launch gm TV
VISITOR oh ok thanks