Replacement for my Hyundai i20 Active: Buy an EV or a used diesel AT

My options boil down to either the Nexon EV / EV Max or ZS EV which has recently become significantly more expensive.

BHPian arpanjha recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear folks,

I own and use one of the best driving hatchbacks in the country the i20 Active 2016 October registered. I have a daily usage of around 90 km x 6 days a week and add another 40-50 Km on Sunday.

Why do I need a replacement?

  • Reason 1: Fuel expense. On average, I end up spending about 12k to 13k a month on Petrol.
  • Reason 2: Need for an automatic transmission. My drive is a mix of highway & city traffic, where the city traffic portion is terribly slow and irritating. Recently with the opening up of the schools and many offices going back offline, the traffic is getting from worse to horrible every day, to such an extent that I push back my departure time from the office till 8/8:30 PM when the traffic begins thinning while my work is over around 6 PM. This particular need for an automatic has now recently become priority 1, so much so that I am even willing to try out a pre-owned car for the first time in my driving life of 20-21 yrs.

The dilemma:

I have been eyeing the EV space for long, more so since Nexon EV shook up the Indian car community which was till now lethargic on EV adoption.

Now, like others in India, my options boil down to either the Nexon EV/EV Max or ZS EV which has recently become significantly more expensive. For the last 8-9 months I have been pushing back my decision primarily waiting for a new EV in the market, which seems not practical in another 8-9 months. Now as stated above such as the pathetic traffic every passing day I think of other options than driving my car to the office.

I have started thinking if the EVs currently on offer are out of my budget/not of choice at least let me get a pre-owned Automatic car to fill in the time gap till a decent EV is on offer. Now, buying a pre-owned car has never been an accepted idea in the family, hence it is getting rejected by folks at home. I have now started exploring options of buying either a very good condition used automatic, or a new small Automatic car Diesel (keeping fuel expense in mind, since they offer at least 3-4 km/l better mileage than the petrol counterparts). Or, book one of the 2 EVs available, filling the budget gap with a loan (which I have started hating the idea of a loan for a car for the last 2/3 years).

Looking for sound unbiased advice as always!

Here’s what BHPian shankar.balan had to say on the matter:

The new Nexon EV with a higher range is probably what will be best suited to your needs.

Perhaps you should do a test drive and then decide.

I personally would choose Tata over MG any day.

Here’s what BHPian Porcupine had to say on the matter:

I would definitely choose the Nexon EV for your use. As your maximum commute is 90 km a day the range should be more than sufficient for you, no manual transmission and fuel costs to worry about, and it actually pretty fun to drive. It suits your requirements perfectly.

Here’s what BHPian ajayc123 had to say on the matter:

I am not following the Tata EV cars closely, but I always hear the chatter about Nexon EV? Did you consider Tigor EV?

The reason why I asked this question was that you are likely to travel alone to the office on most days, and you could use the smaller EV for office commute while retaining your existing car for occasional use when you would need a bigger car. That way you would cut your fuel cost and also reduce your spending on the new car, hopefully within your budget, and avoid the delta loan.

However, if you need a bigger car for office commute as well, then this reasoning doesn’t work.

Here’s what BHPian Shreyans_Jain had to say on the matter:

There is no point going for a basic automatic hatch today, and then replacing it with an EV in a few months. Your usage is tailor-made for EV, and that is the route you should take.

As your budget is limited, you should reconsider your aversions to the Tigor EV. Its electric drivetrain is a lot better implemented than the basic Nexon EV – regen is better judged and the drive is overall smoother and more natural. If it is the Nexon, it has to be the Max. The improvements and additions are critical and are well worth the price difference. The base ZS EV exists only on paper, so discussion about that is moot at this time.

Here’s what BHPian SmartCat had to say on the matter:

Buying an EV car to save money is being penny-wise and pound-foolish. Think about an EV’s high initial costs, higher interest payments, higher insurance costs and possibly low resale value, when compared to its petrol AT variant. Financially, a used Swift/Dzire diesel AMT or used Hyundai Verna diesel AT makes sense, but availability might be an issue. The next logical choice would be new (not pre-owned) cheapest diesel automatics like Honda Amaze or Kia Sonet.

However, I think you are putting too much weight on daily running costs. This greatly reduces your shortlist of vehicles. Instead, go for turbo-petrol automatics which will cut your fuel bills by 10% to 20%.

Start with this (since 2016 Hyundai i20 is your current daily driver).

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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