Prabir from Navi Mumbai wants to buy a used sedan under Rs. 2-Lakh. Here is our response to his query-
Based on your requirements and budget, We suggest you have a look at the Honda City ZX, Maruti Suzuki SX4 & the Toyota Corolla.
Starting with the City ZX-
1. Plenty of ZX's available around the Rs. 2-Lakh mark. You have a wide range of options to choose from in the used market.
2. Spacious interiors and a huge boot make it a perfect package for a family sedan.
3. The Vtec and Vtec plus variant get the more powerful engine as against the GXi and EXi engine which get the i-DSi engine. Both engines are very fuel efficient. The Vtec engine is powerful too. Most importantly the Vtec variants get a rear disc brake which enhances the braking performance.
4. We haven't received any major complaints regarding CNG fitment on the City ZX. It runs well and there are no issues related to tuning either.
5.The suspension setup is on the softer side which makes the ride comfortable in the city. Out on the highways, it will be a bit bouncy at high speeds. You will need to install coil spacers on your suspension to retain the ground clearance as the car tends to sag with a CNG cylinder. This also leads to a lot of underbody scraping.
6. Dual Airbags and ABS are offered only on the Vtec and Vtec plus variants. The EXi,GXi and CVT variants don't get any safety features.
7. After-sales service and spares availability isn't an issue for any honda. The City ZX isn't an exception.
Coming to the Maruti Suzuki SX4-
1. You might able to find cars from 2006-2009 in your budget. The SX4 is a well built tall boy sedan which can handle a lot of abuse.
2. The SX4 feels like an SUV thanks to its high ground clearance of 180mm. The stiff suspension makes the city ride a bit bumpy but it enhances the ride quality as the SX4 picks up speed. Neither does the SX4 sag after the installation of a CNG kit.
3. The 1.6L petrol engine makes decent power but isn't very fuel efficient in its petrol avatar. It was also offered officially with a CNG kit in the VXi trim. With the installation of a CNG kit, The SX4 becomes very affordable.
4. Spacious interiors and a huge 505L boot make it a fantastic package. An automatic climate control is an icing on the cake.
5. Spare part pricing is slightly more than regular Maruti Suzuki's as most of the parts used in the SX4 are Suzuki Genuine Parts(SGP) and not the Maruti Suzuki Genuine parts(MGP). SGP's have a better quality and long laster than the MGP's.
6. SX4 has dual airbags & ABS in the ZXi trim. Sadly even the VXi CNG misses out on these safety features.
Finally the Toyota Corolla-
1. This is a segment above the SX4 and CIty ZX so it feels bigger and more equipped. You should specifically look for cars post-2005 which is when the Corolla received a facelift. The suspension was improved in the facelift.
2. The interiors of the E & G variant feel luxurious. You get features like Auto AC, wooden inserts. rear arm, 6-CD changer.etc. Front airbags were standard across all variants. Only the H1 E variants misses out on ABS. Rest all the variants get ABS and dual airbags.
3. The 1.8L engine in the Corolla is very powerful. At the same time it offers terrific fuel economy. The fuel efficiency is more or less similar to the City ZX but more than the SX4.
4. The suspension is clearly tuned for comfort and the high ground clearance makes driving on bad roads and huge speed breakers easy.
5. The cost of spares for the Corolla are pretty cheap. You can source the genuine Toyota spare parts from the online Toyota india spare parts website. All the spare parts will be delivered at your door step.
All the three cars can be easily used with a CNG kit without much issues. Cost of spares is resonable and long term reliability is proven.