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Which car? - January Edtion 4


Budget decision

My wife and I, both senior citizens, are now self-employed and log in about 60-70 km per day on city roads in a Maruti Alto (in which we have done about 50,000 km), for which we employ a driver. To economise on fuel costs, we are considering switching to diesel. Our budget being small, we are thinking of the Tata Indica. We seek your advice on the right choice, also considering maintenance expenses.

T Datta, Kolkata

For your kind of driving, a diesel car seems to be a practical choice. From the Indica range, we’d suggest you consider the Indica Vista. It is more spacious and better built than the regular Indica, is more refined and generally feels better put together on the whole. Both the TDi and Quadrajet diesel options have decent power and are frugal as well. In case the Vista is too much of a stretch, you can consider the Indica Turbomax diesel which is essentially powered by the same engine as the Indica Vista TDi. Overall cost of maintenance on the Vista is reasonable and competitive.

Polo position

I would like to buy a premium hatchback, and my usage is about 15-20 km per day. Great looks, a company with a good reputation, cost-effectiveness and value for money are my main considerations. I decided on the Suzuki Swift, but then came to know that a new model is around the corner; therefore, I decided against it. I’m considering the VW Polo and the Hyundai i20. I’ve been told that the overall cost of maintenance, spare parts, service and so on of Volkswagen cars is higher than that of Hyundai cars, and that the Polo will suffer when it comes to resale value. Please advise me — my budget is Rs 5.5 lakh.

Rajeev Singal, New Delhi

Volkswagen has worked quite hard to price the Polo competitively, as well as to ensure that the prices of spare parts stay more or less at par with the competition. It is untrue that the Polo’s cost of maintenance is substantially higher than its rivals, nor do we think that its resale value would be any different from any of the leaders in the segment. The Polo rides and handles well, has frugal and driveable motors under the hood and is a well-built car that can handle most of what Indian driving conditions throw at it. We would suggest the Polo 1.2 petrol for you, in the Highline trim; it has all the bells and whistles and safety equipment too!

Toyota story

I need help choosing a car, and my budget is a maximum of Rs 7.25 lakh. The choices are the Toyota Etios, VW Vento, Maruti SX4, Hyundai Verna and Maruti Suzuki Dzire. My per-day running is about 30 km, mostly in the city and rarely on highways.

Ritesh Arora, Chandigarh

Considering all things, the Toyota Etios seems to be the perfect fit for you. It is spacious, has a frugal petrol engine that is a strong performer in both city and on the highway and it also has decent dynamics. You can consider the G model, with ABS and airbags, which should fit your budget and give you the necessary safety equipment as well.

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