There are some cars that you can buy, and keep until you die. Yes, these cars can comfortably do 3 lakh kilometers, and still have some juice for more. Since we’re talking about tried-and-tested cars here, we’re going to head to the used car market, and pick out 10 such examples.
So, what are the criteria?
1. They should be affordable to buy.
2. Availability of spares should be good.
3. They should be reliable, and last long, really long.
4. They must be niggle-free.
5. After sales service should be good, and the cars must have been around for at least 5 years.
Now, the cars
The WagonR is a simple, no-nonsense car. Just get the regular services done and drive smoothly, and you’re absolutely set in this machine. While buying a used version of the WagonR, just make sure that you pick an example that’s covered under 40,000 Kms. So, you get a car that you can buy now, and own for the next 10-15 years without any hassles. It’s extremely popular, which means that spares will not be an issue for a long, long time.
How much? A 3 year old well maintained example with about 30,000 Kms on the odometer can be found for as little as 2 lakh rupees in Delhi’s used car market.
Good bits: Reliability, fuel efficiency, ease of driving and simplicity.
Not-so-good bits: Though long lasting, it doesn’t feel solidly built.
The Maruti Swift is a mega hit, and for good reasons. The Swift’s a super reliable, very fuel efficient, low maintenance car, both in petrol and diesel trims. Diesels naturally last longer and if you drive a lot, simply opt for the Swift Diesel. Petrol versions of the Swift are for those who drive for relatively lower monthly distances. Like the WagonR, the Swift’s popularity means that spares will not be an issue for at least a decade more.
How much? A 3 year old Swift Petrol that’s run 30,000 Kms costs about 2.75 lakh rupees. A 3 year old diesel Swift with 5o,000 Kms on the odometer sells for about 4 lakh rupees.
Good bits: Reliable and fuel efficient. Stylish and fun to drive.
Not-so-good bits: Claustrophobic rear seat, and rattles, especially if not looked after well on bad roads.
The Verito is a highly under-rated car, but one that can last a really long time. It’s extremely reliable, well built and fuel efficient. Though not a stylish car, the Verito offers a lot of space on the inside, rugged mechanicals and hard wearing interiors. Mahindra’s nationwide after sales reach is a big plus. Since the car’s a global model, the supply of spares will be steady.
How much? A 2012 Mahindra Verito Diesel with 50,000 kms on the odometer costs about 4 lakh rupees.
Good bits: Reliable, fuel efficient, minimal turbo lag, well built and spacious.
Not-so-good bits: Looks dated.
If you want a petrol sedan that’s fast, fuel efficient, extremely reliable and costs little to maintain, the Honda City is a top pick. Buy the version that gets a 1.5 liter i-VTEC petrol engine with 117 Bhp-145 Nm, in other words the previous generation model. The car has a spacious rear seat, and has top quality interiors. Overall quality is very high, and this is what makes the car last.
How much? A well maintained 2013 Honda City with less than 30,000 Kms on the dials goes for about 7 lakh rupees.
Good bits: Very peppy, reliable, and well built with high quality bits all around.
Not-so-good bits: Poor ground clearance can be a bother on rough roads. The car has a tendency to squat when fully loaded, amplifying the ground clearance issue.
Toyota Corolla Altis
Want more space than the Honda City, but all the attributes that the former offers? Buy the Toyota Corolla Altis. This one is super reliable and extremely low maintenance. The Corolla Altis is available in both petrol and diesel options. The petrol version is certainly the peppier of the two while the diesel version is mainly for those who do large monthly distances.
How much? A Corolla Altis Petrol of 2011 vintage and with 40,000 Kms on the odometer goes for 7 lakh rupees, while a diesel version from 2012 vintage and 45,000 Kms on the odometer goes for about 8 lakh rupees.
Good bits: Very peppy, reliable, and well built with high quality bits all around. Good ground clearance.
Not-so-good bits: The car isn’t a ravishing looker, and this can be a turn off for some buyers.
…Continued below: Hassle free cars that can easily last 3 Lakh Kms …