Summary: Some cars are better than others for a person with a family. We take you through a few pre-owned ones that will suit you as a family car the best.
With the help of used car loans, pre-owned cars are great purchases to make because they insulate the buyer from the massive amounts of depreciation that a new car purchase involves. However, selecting the right pre-owned car can become a difficult task, as they need to be serviceable for at least a few years after purchase. There are a few choices that stand out, as family cars. Let us have a look at a few of them.
The WagonR is one of the default choices for a first car, and with good reason. It combines great space and fuel efficiency with low cost of ownership and repair, and its long sales run coupled with massive sales figures means that spares costs and availability are excellent. Look for one of the later WagonRs powered by the K-series engine; it will offer you much better fuel efficiency and refinement over the older 1.1 liters four-cylinder engine.
The Xcent was a new platform compared to the older Accent and offered more space, comfort, and features than its predecessor. The diesel engine is eye-popping efficient, and the boot space provides much-needed convenience for a family with a small child that needs to carry around a lot of luggage. The rear seat space is also perfect. The only stigma that the Xcent faces are that of being a taxicab model, but that only means that the car is exceedingly reliable, but that spares pricing and availability will always keep the owner happy. Given all its good points, the Xcent would make a good case as not just a first sedan but as a first car as well.
The Ertiga is Maruti’s attempt at cracking the MUV/MPV segment, and cracking it, it did. The Ertiga has established itself as the default choice of MPV on a budget and with good reason. With its three rows of seats, it offers added flexibility for extended or large families – and the third row of seats folds flat, for luggage space so large, you almost wouldn’t know what to do with it. The diesel engine is the ol’ reliable of the Maruti range, the bulletproof 1.3-litre DDiS. Some of the later versions of the Ertiga had start/stop capability, which will help fuel efficiency. Not too many petrol Ertigas were sold, and even fewer were sold with the automatic gearbox, so you’re likely to snag a diesel one for yourself.
The Honda City is the standard for premium sedans in the Indian market, and with four different generations to choose from in the pre-owned market, there is quite a bit of choice. The first generation will not be a good choice, but the second generation with the 77bhp i-DSI engine can be so for a very reasonable amount, especially if it is the pre-facelift one. The facelifted second-gen City was called the ‘ZX.’ The 10th-anniversary second-gen VTEC was the first City to offer disc brakes on all four wheels and ABS, so that will be a good option if you can find one. It was sold with a CVT automatic gearbox, but the odds of finding one are very low. The third generation City is quite readily available in the used car market. It is powered by the first i-VTEC engine in the Indian market and has an automatic gearbox. You might find an example with a sunroof and a touchscreen audio system fitted from the factory if you look long and hard enough. A good feature of the third-gen City was the standard ABS across all variants except for the ‘Corporate’ variant sold for a relatively short time. If you want a diesel-powered City, though, you’ll have to look at the fourth generation City, for which you’ll need a considerable budget.
The Toyota Innova is the ultimate family car in the Indian market, with its ludicrously low regular maintenance cost and legendary reliability. The Innova is so beloved in the Indian market, and it retains the highest value of any pre-owned car. It has only two true generations in the Indian market, so you’re more likely to find the older generation at relatively reasonable prices. The top-spec variants were designed as comfortable family vehicles, so those will be better options – but they also retain their value much better. Since they were designed as commercial vehicles and most likely will have been used, avoid the base models. An automatic gearbox was offered only on the new generation Innova, so you are highly unlikely to find one at a reasonable price at this point.
The used car loan eligibility criteria are simple and listed clearly on the websites. You can even apply for the loan while at the used car dealership or from the comfort of your home – you merely need to have the required documents ready for submission, and loan disbursal is quick for you to have your chosen pre-owned car as soon as possible! Many websites also offer tools like the used car loan EMI calculator, which will help you plan.