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Buying Advice



Hey Guys,

So we've been using a Toyota CR 42 (Townace) 2003 for quite a while now, and we used a 2002 model before that (my father is a big townace fan as you can tell). My father isn't working now, so the only use for a long time, has been to travel to the supermarket, to my relatives' places or an occasional ride out of town. We got this a couple of years back for 3.9mn (which was overpriced even at the time, but there's something about CR 42s and the Sri Lankan market, innit?). And there are 5 members in my family, although we don't travel together a lot, we make trips occasionally. Okay that ought to give you guys an idea about the background and my knowledge about cars. xD

Anyways, I'm still in college and got my license very recently. And as expected, I'm not particularly a fan of Cr 42s like my father. But now he too thinks it's time for a change. But with the hike in prices of almost every vehicle in the market, the choices that would've been obvious a couple years back are now over the budget. So we decided to stretch the budget a bit to 5.5-6.mn (given that we can sell ours for something over what we bought it for). 

We won't be using the vehicle everyday for long trips, but I might take it to college one day or so per week, and out in the weekends. So we have ruled out hybrids for that reason. I'm looking for a reliable ride, with okay fuel consumption and maybe a good resale value too.

After reading through many threads and looking at the prices from different sites, I've narrowed it down to the below list,

  1. Corolla 141/Axio
  2. Lancer Ex (This Ik to be the most loved car by this community 😁)
  3. Axio (non-hybrid) 2013ish
  4. Bluebird G11 (2010,11 or 12)
  5. Mazda 3

Apart from these I personally like Crossovers like the Kia Sportage, Tucson, (give me some more suggestions). But I'm having doubts because most people claim the vehicles in this class doesn't do well on fuel (petrol ones) and the diesel ones are over the budget. So is it wise to go for a vehicle like this over a car, considering the fuel consumption and the resale value? 

So to sum up, I'll repeat the questions once again (hope I'm not violating the guidelines),

  1. Best out of the above list?
  2. Is a crossover like the Sportage better or worse, and more suggestions on crossovers.
  3. Is it wise to wait for a few months considering the price hike or buy a vehicle right now?

Thanks in advance Car People!

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I will respond in reverse....

3. No one knows considering the downturn in the economy and the messed up policies of the country. Even if imports were allowed the prices are going to be high because of the exchange rate...so the prices will not come down by that much. Secondly, you might have to factor in any stricter conditions and additional taxes the govt. might enforce/impose to slow down forex drainage (mind you this has never worked..for the most part).

2. Korean cars of the 2000s are not bad...it is just that they do not age that well and most people did not care for them too well. Bottom line is whether you will do better or worst depends on the car you are looking at as what determines it is the condition of the car and not whether it is Japanese or Korean.

1. Your list mainly comprises of sedans. They are more comfortable than your CR42...however they do not have the practicality nor the spaceof the van. (I have a Corolla wagon and a hatchback...I was given a Corolla sedan by Toyota when the wagon was taken in for repairs for 3 days. I hated living with the sedan...as I missed the easy use and access of space..so yes..I preferred a 21 year old Corolla wagon over a 2 year old Corolla sedan). The lack of cabin space will be a bit of a problem on long drives...yes sedans are five seaters but it is comfortable for 4 adults and a kid or two adults and 3 kids.

From your list...

The Mazda and the Lancer would be your better choices, mainly because you will have a slightly higher chance of finding a decent car that is not over priced with a proper service history.  The Sunny G11 (I mean bluebird...or is that Bluebird Sylphy...so many names) is probably the most comfortable on your list and probably towards the end of your price range...but they are not known to be the mos exciting nor economical drive. The Corolla/Axio 141 are good all-rounders (typical Toyota of doing everything reasonably well but not really good at one particular thing)...problem is finding a good, honest car is tougher than finding one of the others. The Axio 2013, this is an interesting choice....because most of the availability of the Hybrid model...the gasoline model was left alone by the cheap thel higanna owners. So there are some decent 2013 Axio petrol ones around...sadly more of these are getting in to the hands of brokers it seems..which means most of them too are now taineted...and also they are hard to find. Since this Axio was based on the Vitz, its also not as nice as the previous model Axio nor any of the other cars on your list.

May I ask what i wrong with the CR42 ? Considering the current economy it might be better to do a proper restoration and keep it longer...or at least do a decent interior and exterior upgade to make it a bit more comfortable and exciting.

If you must buy a new car...and if I was looking for a replacement for a van...I would look at something like a XTrail, Vitara, CRV, RAV4 from around 2005 - 2008ish. Has decent space...decent comfort...and economy wise...well...you will get anythign from 6 - 7 if running within the city but since you are doing very little of that...I don't think it should be a problem (you can expect to get 11-13 on the highway/outstation..in my experience the CRV has been slightly better in fuel economy than the others). The verstality that you get is the biggest plus point and worth the extra cost in fuel (since you are hardly using this in the city...look in to it). I would say look at something like a Rush/Terios as well. You will get a slightly newer model compared to the likes of a XTrail...but lesser space and almost similar (slightly higher) fuel figures.

If you are in to wagons, look at the Corolla Fielder 141 as well...not many around but most that ae around seem to be in better shape than their sedan equivalents.

No matter what you buy...make sure you get it professionally inspected BEFORE you buy it.
Those old Corollas and Sunnae people claim to be doing 15-20kmpl cannot be trusted...in reality all of them would do only about 7-9 (under bes circumstances) within the city because of engine wear, etc...

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