Car under Rs 80 lakh for a college student: Fortuner, Thar or M340i

I know there’s no direct comparison between these cars but it’s like a head vs heart thing.

BHPian Azen Valen recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We’re planning to buy a car next year when I’ll be in the 2nd year of my college. So far I’ve not been able to decide which one to buy but I’ve narrowed it down to 3 vehicles.

  • Mahindra Thar
  • Toyota Fortuner
  • BMW M340i

Our budget is 80 Lakh

Location : Bangalore

Priorities: Safety, Reliability, Performance, Ground Clearance

And here are the pros and cons, I’ve noted, personally:

With Ford Endeavor and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport out of the question, Fortuner is the only option in the segment for me. It’s an SUV, so obviously I have to compromise on performance a little bit. But the practicality is insane. I can take it anywhere without worrying about the terrain or the belly scraping across speed breakers. However, Fortuner is quite overpriced for what it offers. 50-60L seems a bit too much. But then again it doesn’t have a proper competitor.

Then I was thinking about Mahindra Thar. It’s a lot cheaper, but compromises have to be made again. It has a stronger road presence I presume. And again, I’d never have to worry about the terrain. At times the Thar feels like a Wrangler lookalike and Fortuner is way too common which puts me off.

M340i would be a more unique vehicle to drive. But this is not exactly a rational point to make. I really like the driving position of both vehicles. Something which I’d never get in the M340i.

And finally BMW M340i. We’re planning to lease it instead for 2-3 years.

It’s the most affordable car with a solid performance in the market right now. The C Class and S4 are out of my budget. And the only reason I was thinking about the M340i is the performance factor. I don’t need the luxury or comfort, so I honestly don’t want any other BMW, 3 series or any German luxury car right now.

The low ride height and ground clearance would make it cumbersome to drive anywhere peacefully. Also being a BMW, I would have to be extra cautious to make sure someone doesn’t vandalise it. And obviously, depreciation is another factor.

95% of the time, I would be driving the car alone. And at max, I may have 2 more people. Bringing the total to 3. Fortuner’s 7 seats would never be utilised.

I won’t be owning the car for more than 4-5 years. So I would have to sell it eventually. So a lease sounds more reasonable.

Should I think practically and go for one of the SUVs or lease the M340i? It’s like a head vs heart thing and I know there’s no direct comparison as I’m presenting totally different points here. But I’d like to hear your thoughts. Also, please correct me if I am wrong.

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

It seems like you prefer the SUV traits (high seating, high GC and go-anywhere ability). M340i type of car is meant for people who prefer a low-seating, low-GC, high-revving, fast car. It’s not just performance – the overall experience of driving a sedan must be to your liking in order to tolerate all the downsides of driving such a car on our hopeless roads. From your post, it doesn’t look like you have the patience to baby a sedan on our roads.

Why don’t you consider some performance-oriented SUV/Crossover like GLA (AMG variant) or something along those lines? Don’t rule out without checking them out in person. I have trouble imagining a student driving a Fortuner to college.

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

If you want a car to commute / go to college, it should be something which is relaxing and that can do the commuting run. Either an EV (Nexon) or a CSUV (MG Astor looks brilliant, so does Sonet) or an i20N Line or a Seltos.

And get something nice for the enthusiast in you like the BMW X3 xDrive30i.

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

Buy the Thar or even the Nexon EV. Invest the rest of the money.

With its annual returns, do an international trip and drive the best cars in that country, eg drive the Porsche on the Autobahns of Germany, go to the US and drive the muscle car.

You get the drift.

Cheers and Godspeed

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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