Second car under 25 lakh for heavy city traffic: Reliable options only

I currently drive a BMW 330i and I’m not comfortable using a long and expensive car for my daily commuting in Bangalore traffic.

BHPian manish84 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Greetings BHPians!

I moved from Mumbai to Bangalore at the beginning of 2023. I am in the market to buy a second car as soon as possible and would really appreciate some advice.

Current car

Currently, I own a BMW 330i Sports variant which I bought in Dec 2021 in Mumbai. The car is serving me very well and I have completed about 17000 km in 2 years. Just completed the second service and the car is in top shape. Currently, I stay in Sadashivanagar and my office is ~6 km away on MG road. Folks from Bangalore would appreciate that these areas are the most well kept and hence I enjoy driving to and from the office every day in my BMW.

My previous car was a Polo GT with a 1.2L turbo and DSG. I very much regret selling it when it was 6 years old and in top shape (though it would have been 8 years old now and may not be as reliable).

What is changing?

I am changing my job and the new office is in Marathahalli. Moving job from an established firm to a seed-funded startup.

The new commute would be 20-22 km one way in Bangalore city traffic which would take 1-1.5 hours (Sadashivanagar>Hebbal>Nagvara>ORR>KR Puram>Marathahalli). The route would have 3-4 major bottlenecks and roads have a lot of barricades due to metro construction. I am not comfortable taking a long and expensive car on this route every day and hence looking to buy a second car. However, I intend to shift my rental house closer to the office in May-July 2024 and then it will be again under 30 mins drive. I cannot shift house immediately as we are expecting our second child early next year.


  • Reliability is paramount as I expect my startup work to be very consuming in addition to attending to a newborn at home.
  • Has to be an automatic. Prefer TC or CVT over AMT. Dual clutch is the last choice.
  • For the next 6 months, I intend to self-drive 45 km, 5 days a week and spend 3 hours in traffic. Public transport/cab/auto is not an option and hence I need a reliable and comfortable car.
  • From mid-2024 onwards, I need a car which will be driven by a chauffeur and do the daily duties of drop/pick-up my kid at school and then drop/pick-up of either me or my wife to the office. The third person would use the second car for self-drive.
  • The car should have good NHV, strong AC and comfortable seats.
  • City mileage should be respectable, at least 10 kmpl.
  • Sedan is the least preferred as I already have a large sedan. Preferred is SUV and then hatchback.
  • Should have ISOFIX for baby car seat
  • Budget in general is not a constraint but I am keeping my budget up to 25 lakhs due to a drastic reduction in near term cash flows from my job. Lesser the better.
  • I need the car delivered to me by the end of 2023. The sooner the better.


  • Buy a premium hatchback and whenever we keep a driver, give him the BMW (emotionally very difficult to give my beamer to a driver for daily city runs)
  • Buy a premium hatchback and whenever we keep a driver, give him the premium hatchback
  • Buy a 4+mtr SUV and whenever we keep a driver, give him the SUV
  • Spend 10-11 lakhs and sell the car in 2025 to take a fresh decision then

Car choices rejected

  • All Tata cars due to niggles concern. I really like the new Tata Nexon EV but I do not want to take up the tension of charging.
  • All Mahindra cars due to long wait time
  • Skoda cars – Only Kushaq fits the bill, but I would rather buy Taigun. I had a great ownership experience of Polo GT.
  • No Renault/Nissan/Jeep/Citroen due to lack of visibility on how long the brands would sell in India
  • No Honda Elevate/Honda/Amaze due to extremely poor NVH. In fact, I had booked and cancelled a City in 2021 post which I bought the BMW.
  • Second hand cars – difficult to find and also the amount saved on a 20 lakhs car is not significant to justify the effort. Totally support buying pre-owned cars in luxury cars though.

Car choices shortlisted

  • Among premium hatchbacks, we have liked only the i20 Sportz (Asta is 2.5 lakhs more on a 11 lakh base and doesnโ€™t feel VFM). Baleno/Fronx is out due to AMT and lack of premiumness inside the cabin.
  • Among SUVs, we really like Creta SXO but there are 2 blockers to buy Creta – safety concerns and upcoming facelift launch.

Current status

We have test driven most cars except Tata & Mahindra. Even paid 11k booking amount for i20 Sportz variant. However, for some reason, I am not feeling convinced with my decision and hence havenโ€™t made the full payment. My joining date of the new job is 1 Dec and I need to act fast.

Look forward to inputs and guidance from my fellow members.

Here’s what BHPian Turbojc had to say about the matter:

Going by your requirements, the Maruti Suzuki Brezza ZXi Plus AT seems like the best option. It comes with an adequately powerful 1.5L petrol motor mated to a smooth 6-speed TC gearbox, is sufficiently loaded with all necessary creature comforts, and falls well within your budget. Above all that, the new one looks quite premium as well. Here is the list of pros taken from Team-BHP’s official review of the car.

Maruti Brezza Pros

  • Good-looking Compact SUV with improved road presence & mass appeal
  • Well-rounded product. Takes a successful formula and improves upon it
  • A competent BS6 petrol with Smart Hybrid tech and excellent fuel efficiency
  • Smooth 6-speed torque-converter AT comes with paddle shifters
  • Well-mannered suspension setup riding on 16-inch wheels and 215/60 section tyres
  • Decent cabin space for a sub-4 meter car. Lots of storage & a powerful air-con too
  • Now gets a sunroof, 360-degree camera, head-up display, rear A/C vents, wireless charging, ambient lighting, tilt & telescopic steering adjustment, connected car features etc
  • Long feature list includes dual projector LED auto headlamps, LED DRLs & foglamps, auto-dimming IRVM, cruise control and a 9-inch touchscreen HU paired with an Arkamys sound system
  • Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP, hill-hold assist and ISOFIX. Built on the same platform as the outgoing car, which had received a 4-star GNCAP safety rating
  • Marutiโ€™s excellent after-sales service, wide dealer network & fuss-free ownership experiences

Here’s how much it costs in Bengaluru, according to Carwale:

Do take a test drive to see if it fits the bill. Cheers!

Here’s what BHPian androdev had to say about the matter:

If you are ready to think outside the box, I would suggest you buy a used Camry Hybrid from Toyota U Trust outlets.

Here is why:

  • Ease of buying: Buying experience from U Trust is as simple as buying a new car. Very smooth, transparent and with access to complete info on the car’s history. I bought two Camry cars from them and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy a Toyota car from any U Trust dealership.
  • Value for money: Camry Hybrid is the only Toyota that offers good depreciation in the used car market as sedans are out of favour. Camry will run forever and costs very little to own (fuel and service costs).
  • Perfect car for the city: You have to drive it to believe it. It’s a very relaxing car to drive and to be driven in in our chaotic traffic. Plenty of space for a family. EV sedans would be better (I’m strictly a sedan person) but I doubt I will find one under 20L that’s better than Camry.

Some negatives:

  • Sedans are not for everyone. These days the combination of bad roads and the impatience of the drivers warrant high GC cars. If you are a careful/patient driver and appreciate the advantages of a sedan, this would make a good choice.
  • Large size. Can’t use it like a small hatchback to zip through small markets streets and park it any little gap. Home to office commute is best done by a comfortable sedan so you can remain insulated from the chaos outside.
  • Dated and boring: It’s a very simple car, not much is exciting about it. However, it scores a perfect 10/10 when it comes to taking you from home to office in superb comfort.
  • Age of the car: This Camry was sold upto 2018, so you will be getting a car of such vintage. Remember this is the legendary Camry Hybrid backed by Toyota – age is just a number.

Here is a good example, I highly recommend you at least give them a call and check it in person before ruling it out. Camry will surprise you – don’t try to drive it like a sporty car but evaluate it in rush hour traffic.

I wrote more about my Camry experience here.

Here’s what BHPian Sreesh1009 had to say about the matter:

If I were you, I would get the Honda City/Elevate and spend some money getting fresh rubber and sound dampening done to help with the NVH. Though I would assume that the petrol motor should be barely audible except when giving it the beans.

Since you already have experience with VW, then go for the Taigun eyes shut. Get the 1.0L AT since the primary purpose is city driving.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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